Thursday, July 25, 2013

Color My Furniture

Well it seems that every time I turn around someone is posting a picture of antique/vintage furniture sporting a new coat of paint in white or trendy colors. I LIKE it!

Repurposed vanity

Old furniture is usually pretty banged up, has repairs (some badly done) and generally looks well worn and not lovingly so. If yours isn't, good for you. Continue to give it the loving care it deserves. But the rest of us with, dare I say, abused wood and veneer, go for it!

Desk out of an old sewing machine frame

I have come to the conclusion that if you can't put a piece of furniture in your house because it is so badly neglected or beat up and ugly, why have it? If it is not worth a fortune, doesn't need to go to a special conservatory for repairs or doesn't have too many memories in its present condition, then repurpose it! All the spots where the veneer has broken off can be filled with wood putty, the rough patches can be sanded down, the splits and cracks filled in and the hardware replaced. Voila! Newly repurposed furniture is trendy, colorful, playful and shouldn't break the budget.

Wallpaper the drawers? Why not!

Repurposing old furniture is the best form of recycling. It is creative and very satisfying for your expressive side. I collect pix of re-do's from Pinterest, Facebook, design mags, really just about anywhere. I save them onto my smartphone and when I see a piece while out perusing shops, I compare to the saved photo and bam! The idea is completed. I sell some pieces, keep too many others and gift some of them to fellow enthusiasts that are not crafty.

Fido has a new crib!

Just about everyone has come across an idea that made them marvel at how clever repurposing really is. I particularly love the pet bed made out of a 1970's ugly end table. (Had some new ones myself, now you how old I am!) The idea is to be free from design restrictions, add some color to the decor and have some fun with how creative you are. When in doubt, a shade of white is always right! 

1970's Spanish Revival never looked so good!

If and when (and it will be when) you tire of it, it won't be difficult to re-paint, re-upholster or find a new home for your beauty. Like I mentioned earlier, not a lot of money should be spent for the initial purchase but shops are quickly catching on to the market in beat up furniture. You may have to bargain/shop harder. Part of the lure, right?

Textured wallpaper on drawer fronts.

I usually use chalk paints which contain minerals that harden on the piece for a durable finish. I have a small car buffer to add the final wax coat and save my arms. I mix my own paint with directions from Pinterest. It's cheap with sample sized paint and you can make any color you want.

Add stencils!

Do find a special piece to repurpose in the near future, you'll be hooked on it. Send me pictures of what you're currently working on and we'll ooh and ahh together! 
(All the above pix were shared via Pinterest)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Turkish Delightful

I arrived in the late evening so everything was dark and warm. The air was humid, smelled earthy and floral. On the way to where we were staying, the houses and shops wizzed by and I felt rather than saw large mountains looming in the darkness. We went up and down passes, through a tunnel and at the apex of the last mountain we crested, Fethiye spread out around the bay like a jeweled necklace. There was a huge orange moon rising above the city and it was magical.

Fethiye on the Bay

The next morning was hot and bright as they are when near the desert. I peeked past the edge of the heavy draperies to see a few neighbors eating breakfast on their patios. We walked in the heat to the shops nearest the beach to pick up provisions for the day and then staked out space around a bright blue woven willow umbrella stuck in the rocky sand. We stayed in the water, sun and shade all day until the twilight when we took a table at the local shish place right on the beach front. What a sunset and what a day!

Calis Beach under the umbrella via Author

Sunset from the quay via Author

Next the bus ride into Fethiye was crowded with locals, fast and in and out of traffic. It was hot and the air conditioning wasn't working well so we were sweaty before we got there. We jumped off at one of the main streets to start our shopping adventure. Loads of shops to stop in, the locals were sweet and wanted to know all about America. One shop owner had been there and even produced his New Jersey license to prove it! We hurried to the old quarter to the bazaar and what a sight! 

Shopping the bazaar via Author

All the shops were packed with goods for sale from floor to ceiling and out the front doors!  Bargaining is the rule so it was fun to haggle to see which of us got the best bargains. When a sale is made, you sit down to a hot or cold drink and visit while the owner finishes the packaging and final tally. So civilized! 

Spice bins via Author

I especially loved the aromas from the spice bins and the call to prayer in the afternoon while sitting under the bougainvillea canopy in the center of the market eating ice cream and resting in the afternoon breezes. Heaven!

Under the bougainvillea via Author

Turkish ice cream selection via Author

We had more beach time, eating local dishes prepared at home by our host's companion, late nights and even later morning wake ups until Sunday when we went to the Turkish Delight factory and the local market. 

Turkish Delight via Author

Sunday Market via Author

This area of Turkey must be the bread basket of their country. The fresh produce was amazing, cherries, apricots, melons and greens were spread out for acres!  They eat very healthy and fresh, as I would like to do myself on a daily basis. (Note to self). The shopping of locally made items was vast and the supplies brought in for purchase were never ending. 

Do you think they're knockoffs? via Author

We went up and down the aisles and warrens until we got to the pancake stand to sit and eat a lemon and sugar one with a cup of tea. 

Yummy pancakes via Author

Restored we pushed on and I found a stall of Pashminas of all types. I scored two cashmere beauties for about $25.00. Happy camper!

Haul from the market via Author

More beach time  and a Turkish bath afterward (wonderful after a day at the beach) until it was time to leave on Monday night and we made our way back to England for a day of rest. 

Our plane at Dalaman Airport via Author

We luxuriated in bed, brown, satiated with tons of calories on our hips and cool weather to tone down the over exposure to heat. Then off to Heathrow for the trip home. What a vacation to remember, exotic, new sights, tons of shopping and beach time and an invitation to return next year. If he's good, maybe I will return with hubby in tow!

My Friend Emma as a Sultan!
Do you have a favorite vacation story? Drop a comment and share with us!  

Friday, July 5, 2013

England is so British

I didn't really notice any difference when I first arrived in England, except for the accents.  Oh, I did see Buckingham Palace out the window when landing, impressive!  On the drive to the town I where I was staying the opposite side of the road thing was obvious, but it still kind of looked like home. Then I started to notice the subtle things, the food products were different, the words for things were different, slang was VERY different and the toilets in the loo were different (I can't help it, they were!) My host's children were SO different, polite and they took direction from their parents. What kind of planet was this? 

Tea Drinking is Different to Most Americans

The shopping was a little different, the supermarket looked American style, the mall did as well, but the selections in the restaurants were so different, as was take away. I loved it, but have to get a handle on the money thing!

British Pounds via Google

 The day after I arrived we went to Penny Hill Park Spa for a day of luxurious pampering. What an experience! Total spa time, 4 types of hot tubs, ice room, indoor and outdoor pools, cold water plunge and then .......the treatment! We opted for the Beach Prep and it was lush, full body exfoliation and moisturizing for those rays to come the following week in Turkey. 

Covered Walkway to Penny Hill Park Spa via Author

Penny Hill Park Spa Check In Desk via Author

View of the Pool and Grounds at Penny Hill Park via Author

Spa lunch, lounging around the pool, then it was time for our tea at their separate Tea Room. Let me tell you Americans out there, this is a tradition we should get used to! It was the most amazing spread of savories and sweets to munch on with Earl Grey (the tea not the man) and I want to do this again soon! The facility was so proper, old, well appointed and the best time was had by both of us!

View Out of the Window in the Tearoom via Author

The next day was Ladies Day at Ascot! We primped all morning and I found a fascinator in my friend's stash to complement my dress exactly! Of course with just a fascinator on my head I could not sit in the Royal Box, proper hats only (as if). We got there in time for the arrival of the Queen and had a fabulous lunch spread in our VIP marquis (tent for you all wondering). We drank, bet, lost, won and saw the Queen's reaction to her big win on the huge screens set up all over the racecourse. What a wonderful experience and the sight of formal dress, hats and people having the best time is something I won't soon forget! 

My Friends and I at Ascot via the Author

Next day shopping in London and may I say I don't know what was better, the train, the Tube, the pub or Harrod's. Oh all right, HARROD'S!

Fabulous Home Decor at Harrod's via the Author

Taste of London was on the agenda that night at Regent's Park, the most fabulous food party ever! We ate so much we were going to burst! 

Delicious Haddock Chowder with Quail Egg & Crispy Rice via Author

No rest because the day after we had mani/pedi preparation for a Thames River boat party that night! The salon was the same as at home, but the girls were intrigued with my accent (what accent?) and my slang. We napped all afternoon as it was going to be a late night and we primped until our chaperone came to get us. He was our driver/tour guide/man about town and was with us at Ascot as well. Thanks so much James, it was amazing! Oh and Big Ben rang at 1:00 AM just as our boat rode past. Then he drove us around London at 2:00 AM afterward just to show me where everything was. Fabulous!

Parliament & Big Ben From the River via the Author

More shopping followed (Sunday car boot sale was rained out) in the next few days and then it was packing for Turkey! Stay tuned for the Turkish adventure post and let me know about your perfect English adventure or what you have planned when you go.