Winter… a time of plenty


I mean plenty of cups of tea.

And what do you need when you have two couches, two bodies and only one coffee table? You need a little side table to hold said tea when the best couch real estate is taken. In our house, there are two competing properties on the couch market. Couch number one is our ‘original’ couch, located in a warm western corner of the lounge, this cosy (read: smaller) couch has excellent coffee table frontage with local reading lamp access and sweeping views of the television. Couch number two is a roomy 3-seater nestled between two bustling walk-ways (read: high traffic area) – a minimalist’s delight!

If you can decipher real estate talk then you can guess that couch number one is the cosy household favourite with the coffee table right in front and couch number two is a big lonely-feeling couch with nowhere to put a cup! Due to the freezing weather, and therefore extra couch time we’ve been having, I had to come up with a cup-friendly solution. On our last trip away Dave took me to Healesville where there seems to be one op-shop for every ten people. Awesome. In one of them I found an old brown laminate table that I think was originally part of a nested set of three. It was $5 and it had to come home with me to become my new tea table.

I had big plans for this table. Big plans of a Moroccan trellis pattern top in turquoise and antique white. I was so enthusiastic I made the entire pattern template from scratch (I don’t have a printer at home) but the whole thing just didn’t work. It happens. Not every project goes the way you want.

Luckily that morning I had picked up a can of gold spray paint and already painted the table legs with it so I scraped of the layers of paint (using my best kitchen pallet knife…whoops) from the table top and sprayed the whole thing gold instead. Then I Mod Podged a gorgeous vintage teacup I found at the Graphics Fairy (fastastic site with free vintage images) on top. I was so ‘done’ by the gold-painting stage that I didn’t sand off the paint from the doomed pattern experiment, I just sprayed right over it, but I actually like the slightly flawed look it gave the finished table top.

Turns out I like the gold teacup version better than the pattern anyway. So there.

Things you will need for this project

A table

Sandpaper

Electric sander (optional)

Primer (I actually just used white spray paint)

Gold spray paint

Printed and cut out image

Mod Podge (I used gloss)

Foam brush

Sealer (TBA)

If possible, remove the legs from the table top – I was lucky, mine just unscrewed. Sand the table top with the electric sander or sandpaper to rough up the surface. Clean with a damp cloth and allow to dry.

Sand the legs if they need it – mine had been attacked by a kitten or small child at some point so I had to sand out the teeth marks. Clean with a damp cloth and allow to dry.

Coat top and legs with one layer of primer or white spray paint and allow to dry. Coat with two coats of gold spray paint, allowing each layer to dry before the next.

Decide on the position of your picture and glue to table top using Mod Podge. Smooth out any air bubbles and then apply a layer of Mod Podge to the whole table top and allow to dry. Coat with two more coats of Mod Podge, allowing each layer to dry before the next.

Now, the only thing I haven’t done yet is coat the whole thing with some kind of sealer. I didn’t think this was necessary until a damp hot cup of tea seemed to stick a bit to the table. I’m using coasters until I go to the hardware shop and find the right sealer for the job – stay tuned!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Geometric ‘Art’

I was a tad unwell recently and confined to the couch for about ten days. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a hard time being idle so rather than spending all (just some) of my time watching my guilty secret TV show which I will not disclose for fear of ridicule (*cough* Gossip Girl), I used most of that couch time to trawl through my favourite blogs, picking up ideas and getting inspired. Sounds nice right? Well it would have been if I was able to put that inspiration into practice. Unfortunately when one is couch-bound it’s quite hard to roll your sleeves up and get stuck into a project. I did try to crochet a granny square but it all went pear-shaped. Literally. I crocheted a purple pear by accident.

By the end of the week I was unable to sit there any longer so I hauled my sorry sick self into my craft room with a vague idea of doing something to add a pop of colour to the fireplace mantle. The same mantle that I had been staring at for ten days straight. The same mantle that desperately needed something to tie in the hints of orange and bluey-green. By the 9th day, the mantle was mocking me and I had to take action. I made art. Well, in my pain-killer induced state I called this art. My Dad called it something else.

For someone who could only really use what was in reach I think I did ok. It’s kind of neon, it’s geometric and it’s DIY so judging by all the trends I have been seeing everywhere, this masterpiece is practically the hippest thing going around.

Anyway, it made me feel good just creating something. Something other than photos of heart shapes made out of M&M’s to send to Dave.

You too can make this geometric wonder!

What you will need:

Mod podge (I used gloss)

Brush

Canvass in any size you like (my was a small cheapie from a cheap shop)

Scraps of paper. I used metallic tissue, gold wrapping paper, paint chips and antique sheet music

Scissors

Cut your paper shapes and play around with the layout until you are happy. Take a quick photo with your phone or camera so you can remember the position of the shapes. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the entire canvass and start laying out shapes. If you are layering your shapes like I did you will need to figure out which ones need to go down first. Smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles (note to Mod Podge newbies (like me!) tissue paper is delicate, especially when covered in glue so be careful when smoothing). Apply a layer of Mod Podge over the entire canvass and allow to dry. Repeat until you have a total of 3 layers.

Display in the most prominent area of the house and wait for the admiration and invitations to exhibit your work to roll in.*

And there you have it. Some may call it ‘scraps of paper glued onto cardboard (here’s looking at you, Dad!) but I call it art.  And nobody can argue with that because then they would have to answer the eternal question ‘what is art?’ And they would have to explain Jackson Pollock to me.

*Bizarrely, as this post goes to press I am still waiting for that gallery invitation…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How to make a cute cupcake stand

What do you get if you cross two plates and a candlestick?

A cupcake stand! Or possibly a romantic dinner. In my case, I chose to make a stand. This is one of those brilliant ‘why didn’t I think of that’ ideas.

I first came across the idea of a tiered stand made from plates and candlesticks on this lovely blog and I’ve seen it in several places since. The idea is great because who wants to spend a fortune on a ready-made rarely-used item? Plus, by making it yourself you can choose the style and colours you like, use other things such as glasses or vases for the stand and make use of odd plates. You can leave them as they are, paint them or, like me, Mod Podge them!

This was my first experience with Mod Podge and can I just say: I am in love! For those unfamiliar with it (I have only really seen it on US blogs, hardly ever in Australia) Mod Podge is a glue, sealer and finish all in one little tub. And its really fun to use (find more awesome Mod Podge projects at Mod Podge Rocks).

I found the plates and candlestick in The Reject Shop which is the Australian version of a Dollar Store (find more awesome dollar store projects at Dollar Store Crafts). While I was trying to decide if I would paint them or leave them as they were I found some lovely old paper I had once found stuffed inside some new shoes. It’s thin, but thicker than tissue paper. I would say about a newspaper thickness. I really like the pattern on that paper so I decided to Mod Podge it onto my plates. It worked really well and took 3 coats plus the first coat I used to glue the paper onto the plate. It kind of reminds me of the willow pattern.

Once it was dry all that was left to do was glue the candlestick to the plates. (I actually haven’t glued mine yet because I wanted to show you how it looks as a single tiered cake stand too).

Materials you will need for this project:

2 x plates (one small, one large)

1 x candlestick

Strong glue for ceramics and glass

Patterned paper

Mod Podge (I used gloss)

Paint brush (I used my pastry brush!)

Scissors

Wash and dry your plates and candlestick.

Cut out your paper shapes and glue them onto the plate using the Mod Podge. Be gentle but try to eliminate any air bubbles. Mod Podge over the plate surface and leave to dry. Once dry, add another coat and leave to dry. Continue until you have 3 top coats.

Then just glue the bottom of the candlestick to the centre of the large plate and glue the small plate onto the candlestick. And there you have it – one pretty cup cake stand for next to nothing. This isn’t dishwasher safe so once used, just wipe clean with a damp cloth.

I think it also looks nice with fruit if you want to go with the healthy option!

P.S. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking ‘where did Maddy get those white chocolate heart-shaped cake toppers? I have to have them!‘ Well stay tuned and I might just tell you!

UPDATE: here is the tutorial for the delicious heart-shaped cake toppers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

%d bloggers like this: