Saturday, 25 October 2014

Secondhand scores...

Er, thank you for your lovely comments on my last post. (sniff.) One day someone somewhere will be googling the correct way to use T hinges and it will all be very useful for them, so there.

Later than promised, here are my recent secondhand scores... (I know you're only here for the secondhand tat.)

From the flea market, this cool rusty card filing cabinet. My husband got a little bit complainy at this one and asked what on earth I was going to do with it. Once I'd cleaned it and sealed the rust with a coat of matt varnish, it mysteriously found it's way into his office. Funnily enough, it's the perfect size for DVDs.

I like rust but I don't want it shedding everywhere and marking things...

Bad Bobby approves...

On the same day I got this vintage wire shopping basket...

It's a very old one...

I'm tempted to remove the handle.

On the Internet I found a lovely vintage English Lady dress which was cheap as chips...

It'll be perfect for next summer with its groovy print.

Oh, and this little cutie came from the car boot sale...

Isn't it sweet?

When I eventually build shelves in the living room, this will be on them. I don't know if I like the sewing machine best or the box it comes in!

I think it'll be great for teaching Connie to sew but I can't imagine such a gleeful expression on her face as the girl on the box.

That's all folks. Next time I need to show you the most amazing gift I was sent. Vintage of course. And an update on Connies room and the colour we've agreed on.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The pantry door...

Well, the door is on and you can only see the huge gap at the bottom if you lie on the kitchen floor. I don't make a regular habit of that so I think it'll be fine.

When you use these T hinges, the question is always where you place the small side of the hinge. Is it correct to have them mounted on the front?

It's easy when you have a flat frame like the cupboard above.

When there's an architrave, what do you do?

You could remove the architrave and put it back OVER the hinge. 

You could face mount it and cut a hole in the architrave...

Or you could place the smaller part of the hinge the wrong way round inside the frame like I did here...

So the wrong side of the hinge is on the inside...

(The hole I cut is a complete mess. I only had a blunt chisel. But who cares, no ones going to see it and it'll look better when it's painted.)

If you're hanging your hinges this way, you might have to countersink the screw holes on the hinge as they are counter sunk on the wrong side and your door might not close. I just used small screws and got away with it.

But which way is right? I mean, if you're trying to restore character to a period property and you don't want to make a faux pas.

None of them! Ha! When these hinges were originally used on doors, there would have been no architrave at all. Architrave came about in Victorian times. These cottage style doors pre-date architrave and would have been screwed into a flat door frame, not a thin door liner like you'll find in more modern homes.

 But we all like a bit of architrave these days. My advice? Do what you think looks right.

I took the architrave off because I was going to plant the hinges under it but the door liner is so thin and the hinge so big, I'd have been screwing into plaster which was too much faffing about for me. Anyway, I've got some nice new architrave lined up and right or wrong, I think it's going to look great with my cottage door!

Cost of new door: 2 packs of tongue and groove = £17.50 Wickes.
Hinges and handle = £5.97 Wilkinsons.

I'm happy with that!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Pear shaped...

Yes, it's all gone pear shaped.

The marvellous door I've been slaving over for the pantry is looking like this...

That is quite a big gap. On facebook I've received sympathy, ideas to remedy the situation and heard that someone was reduced to tears of laughter.

The problem I think, is that I didn't measure anything. I used the old door, ripped off the front and back and clad over the frame. I never noticed the old door being this much smaller than the frame so perhaps I got a bit over zealous with the sander. Who knows...

It gets worse. The door is also warped. I think I should have laid it flat after I made it but I stood it up against a wall. Space saving...

Another problem I have is that the kitchen drain seems to have become strangely blocked with wallpaper paste. Much internet searching hasn't offered up much advice. Other than ''Don't pour your wallpaper paste down a drain.''

Bit late for that.

I was going to show you my cool secondhand finds. I'm not now. I'm tackling this door and I hope to make it work. I got rather disheartened yesterday when I realised the door was warped on top of everything else but today I feel more positive. Warped and ill fitting doors sound like they belong in a delightful English cottage don't they? Why yes they do! And who wants perfect factory jobby doors anyway? Not me. I shall call them rustic.

I'll leave you with a blast from the past. Sometimes I feel a bit like this...

Remember NOT to dispose of wallpaper paste down the drain guys. I'm off to pour some fluid down there that dissolves flesh on contact. I had to sign a document before they let me have it. What could possibly go wrong?

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Getting there...

As promised, a proper stylised kitchen shoot. Not a washing up sponge in sight!

The 'faux' cottage window is velcroed in place and I've tiled under the new window sill.

These are handmade tiles with irregular edges. I'm really pleased with them.

Did you see my new love?

Vintage greengrocers scales found at the flea market for a squillionth of what they sell for on eBay.

Gotta have a crate...

I gave up on brick wallpaper. It was too gloomy. I donated it to my daughters school for artwork backdrops.

Despite the hanging of this...

...single drop of paper being THE. MOST. DIFFICULT. DIY manoevre I have ever undertaken. It took an hour and I sooo nearly wept. Once it was up I tried to love it. But I had to admit that I made a mistake.

Bye bye wallpaper. Hello tongue and groove.

I absolutely love it. It's bright and white and country looking. This entire wall cost £6.99. It's dead cheap and so much fun to do. Unlike wallpaper.

The vintage signage backsplash...

 We're still working on the shop. At least we can have photos now. Proper photos taken by my husband. Mine are awful. I tried so hard and I cannot get the horizon straight. 

See? I get seasick flicking through them. My husband is a photographer so I'm very lucky.

So what's next for this really slow epic kitchen makeover? Why that will be the pantry door...

Elf sized. I want to make one of these...

I've already taken it outside and ripped the front off...

But I wasn't expecting to find that it was constructed from haystacks!

Instead of timber batons the door contains straw batons.

Rather odd and flammable I would have thought for a kitchen!

Oh and there's still the other end of the kitchen to tackle, the lighting and that floor!

Don't worry. I'll pace myself.

Last chance to beg for your votes!

click here

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

It worked...

So where we we? Ah yes, the ongoing saga of the kitchen window. Would you like to see how it's turning out so far?

Rather cunningly styled, I think you'll agree, with some washing up sponges and a pile of freshly washed dishes. It just goes to illustrate how much enjoyment I can now get from washing up whilst gazing out of my pretend cottage window.

I'll remind you of the before...

The frame I made outside the recess was painted and looks a lot better, although it would show up more if I had a colour on the wall.

I made a window frame type thing with thin wooden moulding for the inside of the recess. I found this tutorial on youtube very helpful. I had it bookmarked as I planned to make new garage windows with it but it came in really handy for this project aswell. I didn't use one of those nail guns. They scare me. And my timber was much thinner than his.

 If you do want to try this at home kids, here's what you DON'T want to do. My first attempt that ended in failure prototype was constructed with mitred corners.

Don't even think about it.

The frame had no rigidity and a butt joint is a far better option (as per the video)

I printed out a photo of my window and drew all over it to make sure my spacing looked right.

Once the frame was built and painted I set to work on the curtain. I'll remind you of my inspiration...


I set about chopping up a holey vintage lace tablecloth, made a channel at the top and held it up with one of those extending springy poles.

I like the way the lace curtain hides the ugly opener.
Now in this picture the frame is just propped against the window so I still need to secure it somehow in a way that makes it easily removable for cleaning. I'm thinking velcro. And I still need to tile under the sink. I have a vast array of tiles to choose from as I'm always picking boxes up at the boot sale for a few quid in hopes that they might actually fit somewhere.

But so far, so good I think. I can't wait to finish the job and stage it all properly for a big reveal.

Back soon!
Yes, I have no shame...
I am shameless.

Elizabeth and Co.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Kitchen window treatments...

Okay, so my kitchen window is all nice and white, has a proper sill and is looking much better. So what about window treatments?

I don't need a closing curtain or blind as this window overlooks the back garden. But I would like something to perhaps soften the look and add some architectural detail if I can.

Initially, what I was thinking was to add moulding around the outside of the window recess. Like they would have in old Edwardian houses and like they seem to do a lot in American homes. Even modern ones. I really like the unfussy look and I think that framing the window is such a nice idea.

Isn't it lovely?
I got some pine moulding from Wickes and had a bash at that...

This is why I left the ends of the windowsill sticking out so far. It all needs priming and painting so it'll eventually be a lot more subtle.

I mitred the corners...

and used a coping saw to cut around the kitchen cupboard cornice...

Yeah, it's a mess but decorators caulk will fix that. It's the best friend of the amateur carpenter.

I decided not to add too much of a pediment at the top because I have the coving up there. I might add more height later as having looked at the photos, I think it would elongate the window.

But my window is not a beauty and I'm not sure that framing it will be enough to turn it into one.

So then I thought, how about disguising that whole ugly top section with a sheer-ish lace curtain? The problem here is that, the middle part of the kitchen can be quite dark and I can't afford to lose any more natural light.

But I love this...

I could do that with a bit of old tablecloth...

Thank you to Vibeke for letting me use these photos.

Then I got all wistful about having cottage windows with little panes of glass...
These are very expensive to have made. We have replaced a few windows here but cottage windows were out of our price range.

Okay, these are UPVC but you get the idea...

But wouldn't it be lovely? I could wash the dishes, gazing out of my cottage window into the garden.

So I started to think. Could you fake that cottage window look? Hmm...

I did a little Internet search to see if anyone had pulled this kind of thing off. With varying degrees of success, it seems people have used white electrical sticky tape or balsa wood batons glued directly onto the glass.
I thought I might want my faux window to be slightly less faux.

What about creating a wooden window frame that sits inside the window. Surely it's more honest if it's timber?

I know what you're thinking. It's going to look awful/insane/ridiculous.
Yes it could. But it just might work. So let's have a go.

I got some wooden moulding for about £8. See, already I'm making a saving of about £592. My first attempt was a failure. I prefer to use the word PROTOTYPE. I was feeling quite positive now. I knew what hadn't worked and how to fix it.

So, back for more wood. (Still £584 better off.)

And I'm knocking up another little window frame...

Time will tell if it's a stroke of genius or an act of lunacy...

Thanks to those who have voted for me so far. The rest of you? Come on now!
I don't even know what the prize is or if there is one. Hopefully a great big satin sash with DIY BLOGGER OF THE YEAR on it that you get to wear for whole year. Daily. And a crown would be good.
Truth be told, I've got no chance as there's some really stiff competition but it's really nice to be nominated and supported by my readers.

 Off to crack on with that window frame... and get some tiles on.

Treasure Hunt Thursday