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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Remember me...I'm still around...

Haven't done any blogging for a while, and totally behind on last years excursions, so have given up and forgotten all about them

It's been a vile 3 months, as Homer was diagnosed with terminal cancer in October.  I'm neurotic he is going to keel over every second, but at the moment he is fine and as much of a nightmare as he ever was.  Massive tumour, removed, but spread to his lymph nodes, so outlook is bleak

But my little bald dog is sat on my foot as I write this, so for that I am grateful, and I will enjoy his company for as long as he decides to stay with me

The small 3m bell tent came out at New Year and was camped on a delectable site in Plymouth (the daughters back garden).  4 days of storms and heavy rain, it threw off the weather admirably, and was nice to snuggle with my little mutt again

Looking to 2014, I  have a few camps booked, one to Thistledown in Gloucs (where i went this year, but pretty certain I didnt blog it, so you can have all the glorious details this year), and another back to Nantcol for this years big meet. After last years Fairy themed Sunday, we are going with Monsters and Aliens this year.  Not your average girly type hen party fancy dress, but then we're not your average group of women

So back to today, on the crafty tenty side I decided I wanted to shabby chic/french stencil/ruin a piece of furniture

Unfortunately everyone is doing the same thing, so after searching on ebay for that elusive piece of gorgeous furniture to makeover, and finding that the only things in my price range were 3 legged tables, chairs with stuffing hanging out, broken lamps and ikea laminated desks, i gave up.

Grudgingly visited my mum yesterday (i know, i know, ungrateful child, but its hard work visiting the oldies in my action packed life) and robbed her.  Walked away with a small table she had no use for - it's ok she has another 10 small tables that she has no use for, so it wasn't totally barbaric

Did a bit of googling and found the 'recipe' for chalk paint (as opposed to buying Annie Sloane Ranger chalk paint which was as cost effective as Nectar).  So first mission was to find plaster of paris - initial thoughts were I have to break my arm, and and ask nicely for some surplus stock while in A & E.  Turns out hobbycraft sell it (£2 per kilo - loads more than needed)

Then went to B & Q to fetch paint to mix in with it.  Left B&Q empty handed, went home and checked which paint I needed (gloss, silk emulsion, satin emulsion, enamel, clueless?)  Evidently I needed 'latex' paint only available from the local DIY hardware chains located in California and the Western coast of America.
Went back to B & Q and just bought a tester pot of emulsion (Dulux Bitter Chocolate Shade 3, £3, used less than half the tester pot).  Also bought a small tester pot of poo brown for the stencilling.

I forgot to mention the stencil. I ordered a stencil last week and it was delivered.  I have a stencil now (Must google what it translates as, as not entirely sure what 'Moulins of the Provence' are)

First job, saw the legs down, hope it doesnt fall to bits, but it's too high for the bell tent (not saying that the bell tent is less than 18 inch high)

Also for some reason there are 3 connecting 'facia' bits (sure they have a technical name but not being a carpenter havent a clue), and one end hasn't got any - either at the top of bottom.  So once legs were sawn off, i robbed the bottom piece and 'hard as nailed' it to the top, so it looks the same from all angles. 

I have no idea why they sell tables with 3 sides finished, other than to humour my mothers requirements.  It will have been bought from one of those 'Old and infirm, we want your money' leaflets they seem to send to my mum and no one else.  I narrowly escaped a 'nice silk shawl with butterflies on it, like I always wear' for xmas...
1.  I dont ever wear silky shawls, never mind ones with butterflies. 
2.  I am so glad there are other mothers out there who bought the entire stock for their daughters

Anyway, next step throw a layer of chalky plaster of paris paint mix onto my table (quite apt i was putting plaster of paris on its broken legs really)

Wait half hour. Get bored. Throw second coat on.  Smudge first coat.  Wait an hour and repeat process

Wait an hour.  Get stencil out of packet.  Throw on table.  Splodge through open bits with brown tester

Wait again.... (im useless at this waiting stuff, have no patience)

1 hour later, got the sandpaper and rubbed off in appropriate 'where it would wear off' places. Table now resembles exactly the same as it did after the first coat of paint (neednt have bothered with subsequent layers really)

When it was nicely dried overnight (2 hours later), I found some Ronseal liming wax in the shed, so splodged a load of this on to protect it. 
Although it is highly unlikely to get broken in the future armed with his plaster of paris armour.

And there you have it.  Mums old 3 sided table lovingly made over for the bell tent (translated as more crap I have to force into the camping trailer)

And another picture with props, because google images demand props see.  Although not sure middle of kitchen will be its natural habitat

(blobby paint bits are because its still wet...hopefully)

The End

PS: Happy to report after being left alone overnight, all splodges have dried nicely

PPS: Moulins de Provence translates to 'Mills Provence'

PPPS:  No idea what Mills Provence is either.  Have googled it again and it comes up with 'A bakery, cafe, meeting place offering fresh baked goods, sandwiches, soups'.   No doubt my table will be a meeting place for all that fodder as well....

Still on the stencilling....

Plain Jute rug (b & q) + stencils off ebay sat in cupboard for last 2 years....+ black dylon fabric paint



(and i know what this translates to :) )

what will hopefully be a table runner from a scrap of cheapo calico...

And finally...the camping cupboard got a makeover too....

Mr Bump is still hidden underneath it though...


  1. Nice to see a new post Val - it was only last week that I checked back through your blog in case I'd missed anything from the last few months.

    Personally I'm not keen on shabby chic - my definition of it is to ruin something which previously looked nice - but I do like the stencil on your table top, I think it looks quite classy.

    I'm so sorry to read about Homer; pets are so much a part of our lives that it's awful when something happens to them. Fingers crossed though that Homer will be around for a good while yet x

  2. Hi Val, so sorry to hear about Homer, but hopefully he wants to stay with you for quite some time to come. Best wishes, Mark

  3. Sorry to hear about Homer Val & I hope he stays with you a good while yet
    I love the new look table, a definite improvement. I think the translation in this case would be Windmills of Provence.
    All the best x

  4. Thanks for the well wishes for Homer :) I hope he stays around for a while too :(

  5. Sorry to hear about your Homer. Thanks for sharing your great projects. That table is awesome :) x

  6. A late comer to the party, but I can at least offer an explanation to the three sided table: it's one of a set of nested tables. The missing side allows a smaller one to slide in underneath. The ones I inherited from my equally furniture-obsessed grandmother is a set of three, so there's a smaller one that slides in under that one too.
    Hope Tarquin is settling in well!


CRAFTY POST - My revolting conservatory-camping-store-room, really needed a makeover....

Finished!  So I get asked, where do I store all my camping kit? The answer is