What do you think of this piece of furniture I wonder? Are you like me who thinks it is beautifully mellow and full of character and history and deserves to be loved and cherished? Or are you like J who thinks it is a right ol' hunk o' junk and is only fit for firewood?
A few months ago, we were returning home from an outing one Sunday lunch time and out of the car window I spotted it. It was sat outside a local restaurant near where I live, and it caught my eye instantly. Later that day, on a complete whim, I walked down to the restaurant and boldly went in to ask about it. I asked whether by any chance they might be wanting to get rid of it (it was standing beside the bin), and the reply was music to my ears. Yes, they said, do you want it? You would be doing us a favour, they said, we'd rather you took it and saved us the trouble of putting it into landfill. Landfill???!!! Shock horror!!!!! No no no no no, pleeeeeease let me take it, I will love it and cherish it and give it a good home.
So with some help from lovely friends, this wonderful piece of old furniture came to rest in the Attic24 cellar for a while, and gradually as time allowed I set to work on it. The top was badly stained and covered in what looked like a restauranty mixture of black coffee, red wine and melted candle wax. I gently scraped off the surface layer but it was still badly stained, so I sprayed it with a strong bleach/mould removing cleaner and scrubbed it right into the grain of the wood with an old toothbrush. Left to dry over night, it came up remarkably well. Still retaining it's age and character, but looking a lot more respectable. I gave the door and drawer fronts a good clean with some sugar soap, but left them pretty much untouched. Now for the inside.....
This old piece of stained paper was lining the shelf inside the cupboard, and as soon as I saw it, it reminded me of Liberty tana lawn. As you may remember, I had just had some real success with Mod Podging my memo board, so I thought I could do the same sort of thing with the cupboard and drawer inners. Oh yes! I could line them with Liberty tana lawn, why not?
I have to tell you, I loved buying this fabric. I have always wanted to buy some of these fat quarters but had never had a project in mind until this. They come from a local shop and are heavily discounted, due to some very slight faults in the print in places. But they were perfect for the job.
It was pretty good fun....
....mod podging drawer bottoms is sooooooo easy. Cut the fabric a few centimetres larger than the drawers, give it a thorough covering of MP (first the drawer bottom, then a thin layer on top of the fabric to seal it). Then once it's all completely dry, the excess is easily trimmed with a sharp craft knife.
I did each drawer in a different fabric, plus used three different fabrics for the cupboard shelves and inside of the cupboard door. Do you like the handles? They are ceramic. Isn't the whole thing completely charming?
The old oak book shelf sat on top was a great buy from a local eBay seller, and will eventually be used for displaying lots of pretty goodies.
The drawers just make me go weak at the knees and every time I visit the studio I can't resist opening them to take a peek.
This humble piece of furniture has made me very happy indeed. You can see my basket up there too look, it cost £5 from a local second hand shop.
It's quite large, measuring 32cm across the bottom and about 40cm across the top. I want to keep yarn in it, so decided to make a liner for it to stop the yarn snagging.
I made a basic circle to cover the bottom.....
.....then simply stopped increasing to make the sides go up (much the same as my bag pattern). I added in some increases towards the top edge to make sure it was going to be wide enough....
...then I simply stitched the lining to the basket. Yeah, honestly, it really was that simple!
I just sort of made little stitches through the gaps in the the basket work, every few centimetres or so to secure it in place.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, it looks good?! And er........ta dah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I really got into those colours, so sweet and pretty and fresh. Even the neutrals are pretty I think.
It's a lovely yarn to work with, a DK weight 50/50 cotton/acrylic mix called "Cotton On" by James C Brett. I bought mine online from here, but I know many online yarn retailers sell it. It's very reasonably priced, and delicious to work with, very warm and soft and pretty.
I've been making something else with this yarn too, which I hope to share with you very soon. I'm having a little struggle on the edging of this Other Thing, but almost there. I think you're going to like it.