Saturday, 16 May 2015

Saturday Spotlight!!

Lovely Kris over at Junk Chic Cottage has me in the spotlight today!!  

She does this great feature every week where she reveals the "life behind the blogger". Well I feel quite unworthy to be included with all the amazing bloggers she has featured but I am looking forward to meeting lots of new blogger friends.

I found Kris through Saturday Spotlight when she featured a blog I follow. She blogs from her beautifully decorated vintage inspired cottage. If you haven't been you have to check it out. It's magazine worthy - literally! 

 Thank you Kris for the opportunity and hopefully you'll learn something about the life behind this blogger.
  Jen x

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Monday, 11 May 2015

Irish Liquidators and a Question!

Some months ago I paid a visit to Irish Liquidators. It claims to be Ireland's most interesting store and I suspect they could be right. Their slogan is "Rugs to Rhinos"! It has everything including the kitchen sink!

They buy from pretty much anyone. From stores closing down to the guy walking in off the street who wants to get rid of something. It's a 'luck of the draw' kind of place but I usually find something to take home with me. Last time I was there I took away this vintage badminton racket in a frame which you should just be able to make out in this picture. 

Mr. Auburn was a badminton player in his youth! Thought it was okay for €5 and could be nice hung on the wall at some point!? It actually has nice subtle colours to it, creams and mint green.

This little footstool however I hemmed and hawed over as long as I was there. It was €25 which I thought was a little steep as it had a wonky leg. But I have been looking for one to go with the leather chair in our sitting room for ages. In the end I took it home for €20. Its legs are a really good match with the chair and it is the perfect height.

On the way home in the car I had great plans to get some nice fabric and reupholster it and use some nice trim. Since its been home though, I'm not so sure. Or maybe I got lazy. The fabric kinda matches doesn't it? (Please ignore the weird blue colour the wallpaper goes in photos, it really is eau de nil, same as the lamp and the cushion!?).

Is it just too tatty to just clean it, tidy up the trim and leave as is or does it need a redo?? Be honest. What would you do?

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Friday, 1 May 2015

Laura Ashley Knock Off

Today I would like to share with you a Laura Ashley 'Knock Off'. It's my copy of the Palladian Wooden Panel that they are selling at the moment online for £45 down from £65. I cannot remember what it was in Euros but £45 equates to about €60. My knock off was free!!


Taken in Laura Ashley shop

I started with this wooden panel from an old kitchen door. I found it exactly like this lying unwanted in someone's garage, it was free to a good home!

I had to start by removing the dry glue which I presume once attached it to the door frame.

I gave it one coat of ASCP in Duck Egg blue and distressed it a little.

I then stencilled it using a sponge and some ASCP in Original.

I removed and re-stuck the stencil using some Frog tape several times until I got a result I was happy with and gave it a coat of clear wax.

 The Laura Ashley version....


The Sweet Auburn version...

It's a gift for a friend who is looking for some artwork for her new duck egg blue sitting room!

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Friday, 24 April 2015

The Storeyard

Last week I brought a friend to one of my favourite haunts; The Storeyard

It's an antique shop/salvage yard with an amazing tea room right in the middle that serve the best desserts and cakes! We spent about three hours mooching around. It's not exactly cheap but I have never left without picking up something. It's a bit like being in a museum. Admittedly, I had to look at the tags on several occasions to determine what exactly I was looking at! It's essentially a big warehouse but is designed really well with lots of little roomsets and areas of interest. Here are a few sneaky pics from inside...

Have my eye on 'The Abbey' metal sign for a while now. The Abbey Theatre is the national theatre of Ireland. Can't understand why no-one has snapped this up already. 

On this table is a Victorian gentleman's travelling suitcase with lots of the original glass bottles inside with cologne, etc. On the outside are stickers from Dublin hotels which have long since closed. I can't help but wonder about the gentleman who owned this. This is what I love about vintage pieces.

These were being sold separately strangely enough. So cute! They were quite large pieces and had lots of lovely details, made mostly of wood.

Loved this little garden vignette. I'm thinking it's a vintage saddle rack!? Bought some of these mini terracotta pots on my last visit.

Love this royal blue upholstery. And the trumpet. I've always kinda wanted one, I don't play or anything!

My friend purchased one of these vintage watering cans. I bought one of these on my very first visit. Behind them is an amazing piece with eight drawers all hand labelled; Ironmongery, Screws, Brushes, Show-Maker...
And my all time favourites, vintage suitcases!!

This was one corner of an amazing Chinese inspired bedroom. The detail in the fabrics and the furniture pieces was astounding. Sorry it was a bit dark in this room.

Love that gorgeous wooden panelling and that feather/down filled sofa was so comfy.

And this sofa with it's lovely cushions.

So what did I buy???

This cute little book on Birds Eggs....

And this vintage wooden golf club. 

This was for Mr. Auburn as he's a golfer but I have a plan for this one... 

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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Homemade Irish Moss Topiary

This is the third instalment in the 'things I want but can't get a hold of' series. I'm not saying that I couldn't get these in Ireland but I don't want to spent €150 for a pair of them! 

So I decided I was going to have me some made by my own fair hand!
These were all the things I needed....

Two rustic looking clay pots from my local garden centre, €12 each.
Foam balls (x2), foam bricks (x2) and some moss pins (free) from the florist, €26 of total extortion.
PVA glue and a couple of bamboo sticks which I already had.
Lots of good old Irish moss from the bog which I dried in my airing cupboard! Totally FOC!!

I started by cutting one of the foam blocks in half and carving both halves up a bit so they were a really snug fit in the pots. (I actually only needed one and used half in each pot.) I gave it a smattering of PVA glue and sat a little moss on top. 

I covered the foam balls in PVA and wrapped the moss around them securing in places with a couple of moss pins. I did this in two stages, sitting them on a bowl to dry before turning over and doing the second half. The moss worked really well because it came off the bog like a piece of carpet!

Once dried, I pushed both balls onto the bamboo canes which I trimmed to size and inserted into the pots ensuring both were the same height.

There you have it, homemade Irish moss topiary. 

They are rustic looking. The moss is not as perfect looking as the Finland moss you can buy in the florist but I'm not in Finland. And I think it's in keeping with the rustic pots. 

Apologies for the photos, it was dark by the time I had finished. I like how they balance out this little vignette on my landing. I needed something on either side with a little height that wasn't a lamp. I love how they've turned out. They complete this little ensemble which has been in my head for so long. Best of all they cost me less than €50 for both.

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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Bargain of the Year - 2014

Hi all, hope you've had a great weekend. I am back in Blogland again.
Well we had an amazing St. Patrick's holiday in Chicago, the first time I have ever been outside this green isle for Paddy's day. I suppose I see St. Patrick's Day as something intrinsically Irish so it was amazing to see so many people dressed in green and celebrating 'our' holiday. Not only did they turn the river green but they turned the beer green too! We had a ball. Unfortunately we came home from our holidays to three funerals, one of which was very sudden and a close family member of my husbands. That's life eh? Ups and downs. 

 So after a busy couple of weeks I am finally caught up on all my blog reading, it was nothing short of a marathon, you guys were busy! I too have lots to share but as usual I'm lagging behind!

From the title I'm sure you have deduced that this one is a while coming. You see it was and is part of the Hall-Stairs-Landing redo so I couldn't share before now. He's been there in plain sight all the time though! See the little hooves...

Okay maybe not 'plain' sight.

This was another of those items everyone in Blogland had. Teasing me with vintage looking horses of all descriptions, adorning beautiful mantles. Looking at the cost of these on eBay I had pretty much thrown in the towel!

So last September on our return from a stay-cation in beautiful Ireland we stopped over in Co. Kilkenny. I was having a wander around TK Maxx when I spotted him on the very top shelf at the end of an isle. 

I may have knocked some people down on route to that isle! He was like a reproduction plaster Tang horse, subtly painted in tones of beige and green.  

RRP €93.00! TK Maxx price €23.99!  I carefully took him down. He had some signs of wear, some of his paint was chipping and the plaster was revealed. 

Honestly, this added to the look. However I stuck my brass neck out and asked if there was any reduction for the damage.  

 Imagine my delight when the sales assistant returned to tell me, "the manager apologizes for the damage, she doesn't know how it could have happened, would €15 be okay?". 

It took all I had not to squeal and instead reply with a very composed "thank you very much". I am not joking when I tell you that I carried him all the way home to the Midlands like a baby!

He's another piece in my new vignette puzzle.
I promise not to hold out on you much longer!!

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