Fab Freebie No 1

Last week I promised you a freebie worth waiting for so here you go!

I found this free vintage poster site while looking for old images of the Titanic (I’m very proud to have family that helped build it!). Unfortunately they didn’t have any Titanic Posters but they have hundreds, if not thousands, of really cool vintage posters.

So grab yourself a cup of your favourite brew, get comfy and check out www.freevintageposters.com.

I just can’t get enough of this great FREE site!

I hope you love it as much as I do? Know any other great sites like this? Please do share ūüėČ

Take care ’till next time,

Nikki x


Five of The Best… No 8

I haven’t had much blog time this past couple of weeks and I have really missed it! I’ve decided to take a bit of ‘pressure to publish’ off myself and will only be running ‘Five of the best’ once a month. It also means that I can bring you 5 truly inspirational pieces rather than 5 ‘nice’ blog posts. I hope you don’t mind?

I am considering other ideas to run in the missing slots – a ‘show me your project’ link-up, a makeover challenge between bloggers, a ‘test the tutorial’ and a few other, not quite formed, ideas. I’d love your opinions and feedback if you’ve got a minute to comment or email?

I found this first piece when Jonna a Lovely Rubbish started following Big Red Barn. I always have to check out other people’s bogs when they follow me (or even comment) and the very first thing I saw was this fantastic Chippy chair. Now, I think I mentioned before that I’ve got a ‘bit of a thing’ for chippy style paint jobs at the minute? Well this piece really made me desperate to have a go myself.

A heavily chipped chair
Lovely Rubbish

I’ve been saving this one for a couple of weeks so I hope not too many of you have seen it already – that being said I love Nicole’s blog (Re-design in a day)and you should all be following her too lol!

Shabby chic corner unit
Re-design in a day

Ever wonder what to do with the extra drawers that seem to breed at the back of your storage space? (or is that just me?). I loved this range of furniture from the designers at sagi.



Redo It Yourself is a blog I have delivered straight to my inbox where I always read it, so I rarely visit the blog proper when I really should! There’s a¬†lot there to keep me drooling but I particularly liked this piece because it’s a practical piece of kitchen furniture that has been made to look elegant and truly ‘chic’.

Redo It Yourself

The final piece for this month is from Bad Rabbit Vintage. I saw this picture on my pinterest feed and just had to click through to see the whole project. The patina achieved is simply stunning!

Bad Rabbit Vintage

Well that’s this months Five of The Best, I hope you found something you liked? Next Sunday I will be bringing you some fab freebies so please do follow so you don’t miss a thing!

‘Til next time,

Nikki x

Five of the best… No 6

Hello my friends! I hope you’ve had a better week than me? I’ve been off my feet with a real nasty stomach bug so not a huge amount to report I’m afraid! I have saved up some goodies for you to check out though, so¬†let’s get sharing!

This first project id from Found This Painted That and I love the finished look. I also love her idea of using a quote from Dr Seuss – imagine the dreams you could have!

Hand painted headboard
Found This Painted That

The next project that jumped out at me this week is from Saw Nail and Paint. I fell for the amazing ‘streaky’ effect she has achieved using General Finishes paint – I wish I could get my hands on some to try!

Streaky paint effect
Saw Nail and Paint

I really couldn’t choose between 2 projects from The Curators Collection – but she has so many beautiful things featured on her blog that I could spend hours drooling at it! So, instead of stressing over which to use, I’m including both!

Distressed wooden Table
The Curators collection
Black and wood
Beautiful details

And last but not least is this fantastic example of milk paint being used over at Sweet Pickins Furniture. I am desperate to try milk paint but have to wait patiently for my supplies to travel all the way to the UK.

Chippy Milk Paint
Sweet Pickins Furniture

Hopefully I’ve beaten the worst of this bug now so can get on and finish painting my corner cupboard – lets call that one an experiment as I’ve never bought something made of¬†Formica with the intention of painting it… in fact I’ve never deliberately bought¬†Formica (plastic laminate)¬†in my life before this corner unit!

Take care til next time,

Nikki x

Book Folding – The Easy Way

This is the easiest way to make master the art of  book folding that you see on Pinterest, in around an hour Рwith free book folding patterns! I have made a bunch of these for friends and family, and they are always well received.

First off you are going to need to find yourself an old book, hardback works best, and you will have to make sure that you have enough pages for the word you want. For the patterns I’m giving away today I used a book of around 300 pages. So long as you count up properly you can always leave unfolded pages either side of your word, but more of that in a bit.

Choose your word/shape from the patterns below and print it out onto an A4 page. If you don’t see what you want you can email me directly as I have started selling them on eBay!

Just click to download the PDF

Book Folding Template Love
Heart Template For Book Art


folding instructions in pdf form can be found by clicking the link.

Count both the black and white¬†stripes, to get the number of pages you will be using. If your design has spaces between the letters just ignore them. Once you know how many pages you are going to fold you simply deduct this from the number of pages in your book and divide by 2. This is the number of pages in that you need to start folding from. *Remember that you are counting ‘leafs’ and not take the page number to mean anything… and yes I made this mistake first time I tried to figure it out!

The next stage is optional but it does make the finished item look neater so go on, take a minute to do it. Measure from the spine out by about an inch and draw a light pencil line. Do this top and bottom and use this mark to guide where you fold to – this gives a nicer finish than folding right up to the spine.

I fold the top of my paper over the page to get the word at the right height.

This a good stage to grab a cuppa, go for a pee or whatever, because in 5 minutes you are going to be scared to set it down!

Book folding patterns
I changed font after I took this photo

Next is the fun part… for about 10 minutes. Then it gets a bit boring, so stick on your favourite tv show and settle in for a while. Put your pattern behind the page you want to fold (you can actually put it 3 or 4 pages back just to cut down on fiddling with it). Fold from the top of your first black line to your guide line near the spine. Do the same from the bottom of your first black line. You are now officially doing it! If you need to you can tick off the lines as you are doing it but you should be ok to keep going for a while.

Next you do exactly the same using the white line (okay it’s not really a line but you know what I mean). Then the black line, then the white line, then the black line… you get my drift?

Eventually your guide will touch the inside crease of the book so just trim it up so you can keep feeding it in and folding… and folding.

Folded book tutorial

When you pattern calls for a top and bottom – like the ‘o’ in ‘love’ – simply fold one page to make the top, move onto your next line and fold the bottom.

Free book art templates

That’s about it! You have folded your first (or easiest) book. No measuring and minimal maths!

I’d love to see what you did,

Nikki x

Edit to add: You can now buy custom words/patterns to use with this tutorial from my eBay. As ebay won’t let me send electronically you get paper in the mail. OR you can email me directly for the pdf by email and a reduced buying price!

Joined my first link up at Knick of Time

What Happens At An Auction

I was talking to a friend the other day about some of the great things you find at a general auction, as well as the trash that can sometimes sell for a lot of money! She said that she ad never been to¬†an auction¬†as she has no idea how to ‘do it’.¬† I figured that she couldn’t be the only one out there so I should maybe write a real simple guide to auctions.

First¬†rule is ‘be fearless’. They are there to sell stuff to you, so it goes without saying (but I will) that they are going to be welcoming and friendly (generally). It also means show no fear to the dealers you will come across – if they sense your nervousness they will sometimes try to intimidate you out of bidding against them – believe me I’ve come across it!¬† They will try to stand in front of you, jump bids up and stare at you when you bid. Laugh at them. Especially if you are buying for yourself and not to sell on. Dealers¬† need to make a profit so they have a limit they will go up to and no further so private buyers have an advantage here.

How to succeed at an auction

Turn up in plenty of time, especially if you haven’t been to a viewing previous to the actual auction. Once you arrive find out how much the buyer’s premium is – generally 15 – 20%, which is added to the final winning bid. Register for a bidding number (some places will charge a refundable deposit for your number) and then have a good look around.

how to buy at auction

Don’t get carried away! This is probably the hardest rule to follow – did you see what I bought by accident? Make sure that whatever you want is in an acceptable condition, with all necessary parts, without wood worm or dry rot (if relevant). Then set your price and don’t go beyond it! Often you will think ‘just one more bid’ but this can turn into another few bids and, before you know it, you’re paying retail for it! And don’t forget to include that buyers premium I mentioned earlier!

How to profit at auction
This sold for over £150 but the buyer plans on reselling it for £300

Also I should point out that you need to transport your purchases¬†within a¬†day or two (or you will be charged a storage fee), so remember your space and don’t go buying that beautiful Welsh dresser if you only have a motorbike to get it home.

Buying furniture
We had no room to transport this beauty home or she’d have been mine!

Some auctioneer’s will talk a different language (or it sounds like it)¬†so listen carefully or you could get caught out bidding more than you want to. And don’t be afraid to offer less than they are asking for – if bidding has slowed down and they are asking for the next bid to be ¬£50 feel free to shout ‘¬£47?’, the worst they will do is say no!

If you have an internet connection on your phone then use time between your desired purchases to check out eBay, Gumtree etc for current selling prices.

Once you have finished buying take your number back to the office where they will calculate your bill to include the buyer’s premium, and tax due etc.

Sometimes you will have to wait until the end of the auctions to collect your items but often you can gather them up and take them home to gloat over!

old telephones in an auction

So, what did I buy? At this particular auction I picked up a couple of chairs for a future project, 2 lovely candelabra, a new rug for my living room and 3 porcelain Disney figurines to go into my eBay verses Etsy experiment (coming soonish).

I’d love to hear of your auction experiences, good and bad.

Happy bidding,

Nikki x

Are you a follower of fashion?

Furniture fashion I mean, or interiors. Do you read all the glossy magazines and plan your home, or projects, according to what’s hot?

Pantone color of 2015
Do the industry ‘experts’ influence you?

I have to admit I don’t. Sometimes I will pick up a magazine when I’m shopping but usually a quick flick through, while I wait for Mark to choose a book, is enough for me. I very rarely buy one… I’d rather buy a little piece of cuteness in a charity shop or a new colour of wax.

So how do you choose? Is it the amount of work it will need to make it beautiful, or a charming little detail that catches your eye. Perhaps you are buying for yourself and need it to match your home?

interior magazines
Do magazines guide your tastes?

I’m an impulse buyer. Mark often says I like a thing more the cheaper it is but that’s not strictly¬† true. It is true that if a piece is going for a song I’m less afraid of taking a gambol on it but if I see something that I love, and can see it’s potential, then I will sometimes break the bank to have it.

So what makes you buy, I’d love to know? Is it budget or design? Is it saleability or potential?

‘Til next time,

Nikki x

Easy Jug Makeover Using Chalk Paint

Unfortunately, and for the second week in a row, Mark hasn’t been able to complete a makeover and I’ve been feeling yuk today so haven’t managed to finish the corner unit I wanted to show you. Instead I’m going to share one of those projects that’s so quick and easy you can do it while waiting for paint to cure on something else.

This is a real quick fix for a stone jug I picked up at a flea market for ¬£2. I loved its shape but wasn’t too keen on the colours.

shabby chic flowers
Not too shabby, shabby chic flowers

I started out by lightening the whole thing using some chalk paint straight onto the very glossy finish. I’m still surprised that it covered in just 2 coats – got to love chalk paint!

Can I paint ceramic
All taped up and ready to go gold

Once I was happy with that stage I gave it¬†2 coats of wax varnish to seal it. You never know, one day I might actually want to put a liquid in it and I don’t want the paint running off onto my worktops.

Then I wanted to add some interest so out came the metallic gold. I knew that I could get carried away with it so taped off the section I wanted to paint. I find frog tape works great but it is a bit pricey, when you get through as much as I do. A trick my Mom showed me years ago is to rub some ordinary masking tape on your jeans so it picks up a little dust and looses some sticky.

Then I gave the lip a couple¬†of coats of the gold. I like this Rustoleum brand because it’s not expensive and is nice to use (and dries quite quickly). I did try another brand before, that gave a lovely glossy finish but I couldn’t bear waiting 16 hours between coats!

Painted ceramic

Once I removed the tape I realised that the gold was a bit ‘stretchy’ and had peeled a bit in places where it had dried to the tape. Never matter.

new look for an old jug
New look jug!

Perfect to hold my fake porcelain flowers now.

What’s your favourite ‘quick fix’ you’ve seen recently? I’d love to see it.

Nikki x