Friends, prior to and during the great sewing room project I’ve been trolling the cyber world looking for inspiration on not only how to create a functional sewing room but, dare I say it, how to create a somewhat visually pleasing room too. Like many of you, I use Pinterest to
waste massive amounts of time organise my creative thoughts. I have a board devoted entirely to sewing rooms that take my fancy – please feel free to take a gander. I have another board devoted entirely to IKEA hack projects. More recently, I’ve been looking at how to make furniture and accessories look purty…this board is fairly new and so far contains mostly furniture do-overs with paint: more specifically Chalk Paint. And it is here, at the words ‘chalk paint’, that I am taking a detour in the great sewing room project…but first I need to take you on another detour to get to ‘chalk paint’ – so drive safely and follow the signs!
Folks, if you haven’t seen these before then let me extinguish your curiosity – they are furniture mouldings. They come in a variety of materials: plastic, plaster of paris and the creme de la creme of mouldings – hand carved wood. Mine are the fairly rubbish plastic varieties. Despite them being plastic I am happy to have them as vintage mouldings or any mouldings for that matter can be pretty pricey in the now-popular age of DIY. Mine came on a large wardrobe I bought about 8 years ago from a pre-loved depot. We didn’t know if we were going to stay in Adelaide and needed wardrobes because the house we moved into had NO storage whatsoever. So we bought a cheap and ugly 1970s version of a fancy French style decorated robe. Over the past month, during the great sewing room project, I have been eyeing the mouldings off every time I walk into the bedroom. Well it all came to an ugly head late last night – in the wee hours, on my way to bed, I passed by the robe, stopped (there was my first mistake) and thought; ‘I could use these in the sewing room…I could clean them up, make latex moulds of them and then I’d have as many as I want now that I’ve decided on a quasi-French style of decoration…I wonder if I can get one off without damaging it?’ (there was my second mistake) and the next thing I knew my eyes glazed over and they were all completely removed from the robe! The robe-fronts are now understandably paint-damaged, but I don’t really care – they are old and ugly and fail abysmally in their basic function; to store clothing and accessories – in fact next year we are going to replace them with, dare I say it, IKEA PAX robes!
Readers, I know today’s pictures seem awfully random…bear with me, they’re not. These are child sized wooden hangers. I bought them some, twenty (or more) years ago to paint distress them. I think I got the idea from my friend Michelle, who when pregnant with her daughter Marianna, made some (was it you, Shell, that I got the idea from?) I do know that we were living in Brisbane at the time and both of my daughters were quite young. Like most young families we had
a very limited no disposable income and much of what we had was pre-loved and then decorated by me. I still have the drawers I bought before Miss24 was born for her nursery – I stripped them bare of all 25 layers of paint to find a layer of plastic contact hiding a massive hole on the top. Being the thrifty ‘never give up’ kinda gal that I am, I resurfaced the top, repainted the drawers white and then put baby motif transfers on the front that were all the rage in the late 1980’s – you know…the ones that you used a paddle-pop-stick to rub them onto the surface. I’ve gotten off track yet again folks…back to the hangers. The hangers are all that I could find to show you my ‘paint distressing’ phase – it lasted through till the mid to late 1990’s.
I am experiencing a ‘full’ circle moment friends…because here I am some twenty (and a bit) years later having a second paint distressing phase. I am going to paint and/or distress a number of things in my sewing room: the wooden cotton reel frame I bought on Ebay a few years ago is a definite yes. I love the functionality of the piece, but lordy it’s ugly with all the shellac coating. I’m not sure if i’ll keep the brass drawer fittings yet – probably not. When I finally decide on drawer fittings for the room, i’ll match them all up.
I am considering painting the PAX sliding doors (when I get them) and then stencilling some French text over it. I am thinking of going for a dusty deep pink/cream/off white/old white colour scheme. Much like the pink on the hangers, but mostly to match the IKEA boxes that store magazines and ‘stuff’ on the Expedit cube storage book case. I’m still open on the colour scheme.
I’m also going to paint this IKEA paper rack – it’s currently holding freezer paper (for quilting) but it will eventually hold pattern tracing paper.
Many moons ago when I was paint distressing children’s coat hangers, door knob hangers, wooden name plaques and frames etc to decorate my children’s bedrooms I used trusty old folk art paints from Spotlight. Of course, over that amount of time there has been changes in the world of paint. The big name in chalk paint & decorating is Annie Sloan; born in Sydney and migrated in the 1950s to the UK – she now lives in Oxford, England. Her decorating shop is also in Oxford. Annie Sloan chalk paints have become a global phenomenon. In short she’s opened up the world of paint decorating techniques to the general public by introducing a paint that doesn’t require a primer and is nice and easy to use; pretty much a ‘slap it on’ technique. Her waxing techniques are really interesting too; she uses clear and dark wax to protect and add texture to the painted pieces.
There is only one Annie Sloan Chalk Paint supplier here in South Australia…I consider myself lucky because the supplier is in Angaston – smack dab in the gorgeous Barossa Valley – my favourite place in South Australia and less then an hours drive from my front door. I have booked myself into a Chalk Paint introductory workshop in a few weeks time at Brocante in the Barossa – a decorating store. I am very very excited and I’ll be sure to share my experience with you all in a few weeks time. In the meantime I will leave you with the obligatory Brown Dawg snap.
Yes folks, I am one of those dog owners – I confess Brown Dawg has me twisted around his little toe! Here he is in my sewing room licking my lunch bowl clean; And yes…I left a little of my lunch in the bowl for him. Tomorrow is Saturday – Saturday is a special day of the week in our family. It’s ‘Puppycino Saturday’. EVERY Saturday MrSW and I take Brown Dawg to our local cafe for lunch. He gets a sausage roll and a bowl of water. I know, I know…I am totally whipped by this 32kg bundle of chocolate awesomeness!
Enjoy your weekend!