Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Upcycle my Dog

Every Friday our dog, Roxy comes with us to work for the morning. She sits patiently in the art room, waiting for a pat, a treat, a cuddle...she's just happy to be with us but when Steve and I were having a particularly quiet day, Roxy was up cycled. 

With time on our hands it gives us space to think, and imagine and create (the upside of the slow down) so this blog is all about our latest up cycles.

Project One

Up cycled glass pieces - I had been saving these bowls of various sizes, designs, some glass some crystal. Although beautiful, our customers told us they had little use for bowls so we re- purposed them combining them with cake stands, dishes etc added ceramic painted handles and created stunning cake domes and cheese covers. These are marching out the shop which is great!

After running out of bowls I turned to vintage glass jelly moulds and gravy boat dishes to create butter dishes.

Project Two
A Lloyd Loom unloved chair

I found this and another chair a few weeks ago at a fair, looking rather forlorn and unloved but I have learnt to look past the surface to see the 'bones' and I liked the bones on this one! I chose a lovely Farrow and Ball Estate eggshell and covered the 1980's Lilac paint job

Outside in the sun, re-purposed, re-loved and looking rather more-ish

Meanwhile, back at Steve's painting studio in our garden.....

Project Three
Mel's dining room table

Mel dropped this off in a rather sorry state. She had won it on ebay. It was in two pieces, had no screws and about thirty years of dust held it together. What she did have was a dream and we set about making that dream a reality....



A really lovely up-cycled funky gate leg table that would probably have gone into landfill.
Well done Mel for believing!

Project Four
Pink Rose boudoir drawers

This sweet little number was also headed for a landfill when I spied it in the back of a house clearance Lorry at a fair. I loved the curvy detail and stubborn little legs and really wanted to see this restored.
(Steve normally groans at this point but look what he did!)

Project Five
A charming winged dressing table 'vanity' mirror

Every now and then I buy something which even I Lose faith in but, after several months hidden in the back room I decided to drag this rather sad golden relic from the 50's out and give it a paint. Farrow and Ball purchased at the lovely Forest Bailiff again to the rescue. This time a lovely white called "Pointing." I have to say, Had I the space it would come and live with me. I think every woman should have a vanity mirror in their lives.

Project Six
My favourite, Steve's latest Annie Sloan piece - a linen cupboard. Currently we are experiencing a slight disturbance with the redevelopment of the adjoining warehouse. The upside is that we are soon to have a lovely little Italian Deli and coffee shop next to us, but the noise, dust, shaking building have all contributed to a few moments were I have thought very dark thoughts....but a couple of weeks ago the project manager came over and asked if we would be interested in purchasing a few pieces they had in storage. We both fell in love with this the moment we clapped eyes on it, a lovely 1930's linen cupboard. Again, it had good bones but a terrible exterior.

Steve set to work being inspired by a recent visit to Petersham Nurseries. We had seen the most fabulous French dresser and loved the colour scheme so Steve chose Old White and teamed it with Provence blue then hand waxed it. We kept the original handles as they were so lovely. Finally it had a pink pin stripe added around the top then partly removed. The photos really don't do this piece justice.

Displayed in the shop with some of our Lloyd Loom pieces and Carlotta Edwards vintage ballet prints.

Project Seven
Doily Bunting

I have been collecting various doilies and antimacassars for ages not knowing entirely what to do with them. As we have been clearing out the back room, several bags of 'lost' fabrics, scraps etc have emerged and I found a whole collection of really lovely, vivid doilies made by the same crafter. I had been given these by someone who had no use for them but didn't want to throw them away. Each one was split in two then I tea stained bias binding to get the vintage look. The bunting will be used for the vintage hire stock.

Project Eight, Nine and Ten
A  huge framed WWII Spitfire print which I painted red.

A Triang push along horse which had straw sticking out of its back seem was given a saddle made from an antimacassar, a polkadot bow and a rose 'rosette'.

and finally a teddy which got a new pink ribbon..ahhhhh!

We also added a Kelly Swallow piece which  has resulted in a break out of serious chair envy in the general Wimbledon area. Each piece is made from up-cycled wing back chairs and gorgeous patchwork fabrics. Not only is this beautiful but exceptionally comfortable and functional.

Our dear friend and life coach Sarah continues to supply us with beautiful flowers from her garden which never fail to bring smiles to mu face every time I see the random bunches appearing (I say 'appearing' because sometimes Sarah arrives while I am serving customers and quietly plonks flowers in various receptacles scattered around the shop) Oh what I wouldn't do to have her green fingers! Thanks Sarah.

Today we used a piece of fake lawn to create a fun corner for the Maileg toys and the picnic hampers we have. Naturally as we finished, an electrician arrived and needed to view the fuse box which was located in the cupboard behind the rack of bunnies grrrrrrrr.....Steve stepped in and did the honors as he could tell I was about to tell the bloke to 'do one'.

and last but not least..... a few parties have occurred with lovely results;
clay cupcakes were made at Mimi's party and......

sweet clay angels at Maisie's. 

Our work:life balance has been a bit off- kilter lately and so it was fantastic to have a visit from Steve's sister, brother-in-law and niece and nephew over the bank holiday weekend. We spotted these spotty numbers in Richmond park... altogether now......."aaaaahhhhhhh"

What a great view of our home town from Richmond Park. Here's to a long warm summer and lots of happy days.....


  1. I really enjoyed reading this post & seeing how creatively you have upcycled these forlorn goodies.
    Love the patchwork chair but your best project most certainly was lovely Roxy!


  2. Thanks Jayne. We do love our vintage doggie.xx

  3. Ohhhhh what a wonderful treasure-trove of delights to feast my eyes on this morn ... I love the patchwork chair too but I think the crystal cakestands and vintage-doily-bunting are truly inspired!

    *hehe* Roxy is looking gorgeous too!


  4. Hi Callie, thanks my dear. Pop in sometime for a catch up.Hx

  5. I agree with Jayne and Callie -Roxy is a patient hound if she can sit still long enough for you to dress her up! Love the LLoyd loom chair and dressing table / mirror combo especially, but many lovely things....... And a great view of the City - reminds me of NYC a little.

  6. Hi, Have just discovered your blog through your comment on Nikki's Nostalgia blog. I love what you've done with the glass bowls - so clever! Will be a regular visitor from now on.