Saturday, 26 October 2013

Supersized sketch pad

Hi folks! 

I'm still fiddling about in our spare room, trying to turn it into a useful and inspiring work space. This morning I decided to transform my rather dull grey plastic crafting table into a useful sketch pad and doodling spot. I don't want to run to the expense of a new table when I have a perfectly functional one already but it is a very uninspiring, if practical, plastic fold up table. Great for doing fairs and shows but not great to look at on a daily basis and hardly conducive to flights of creative fancy.

I had thought about putting a pretty cloth over it but I need this table to be practical, especially when I begin to experiment with the resin jewellery again. Resin spills on paper are easy to deal with but resin on a plastic table may well stay there for ever. So, having seen something similar in a silver-smith's work room, I thought how positively spiffy it would be to have a table covered in paper so that I could scribble notes, designs, doodles, whatever, to my heart's content and then just screw it up and recycle when I'm done!

This very simple transformation required a box of greaseproof baking paper, scissors and sticky tape. Simply stretch out the paper, tuck over each end and stick in place. Pop a few extra strips of sticky tape at intervals to prevent it moving about too much. Repeat with another strip overlapping the last one, etc., until table is perfectly covered in paper. The table is plastic so there will be no harm in sticking the greaseproof paper to it with sticky tape.

There we have it - a supersized sketch pad. 

Perfect for researching my latest treasures and taking notes as I go or scribbling ideas as they pop into my head. 

What will you be doing today?

Take care folks
Melanie Melanie

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Open for business

I got the bed. We picked it up yesterday and after a lot of huffing and swearing managed to put it together. It takes up quite a bit of the spare bedroom but as it serves as a day bed, pulls out into a double and has massive drawers for storage, it's going to prove a really useful bit of furniture. It's a perfect lounging spot for reading and snoozing too - I've tested it already. I covered it with a quilt I made with Hawaiian fabric years ago and a couple of cushions and throws for snuggling.

The other good news is the English Rose Vintage shop is open for business again at last. Best of all, Etsy has finally rolled out the facility to accept credit card payments and Etsy Gift Cards to the UK - thanks Etsy! So now it is possible to buy an Etsy Gift Card to be used in our shop or pay for your goods by card instead of PayPal.

I mentioned before that I'd already made some great vintage discoveries for the shop since we moved. Here's a sneaky preview of my favourites. 

I was very excited when I got my hands on these beautiful petit point boxes and tray.

There are two gilt boxes with hand stitched petit point flower panels in different designs. The petit point is in lovely condition as both have been protected by their original plastic covers. The covers need a bit of a clean up to show off the stitching to best advantage so I shall be doing that before I list them.

The tray is quite beautiful, with an embroidered central panel surrounded by lace held between two pieces of glass in a gilt frame. 

Such a pretty set. Can't wait to get these in the shop, although they would look so good on my new dressing table. I must resist temptation...

I have plans for a revamp of the shop soon. I'm working on a new look including banner, avatar, etc. The plan is to use some lino cutting equipment I received as a gift to make my own design, which I will print onto business cards, postcards, tea towels, and anything else I can think of or get my hands on. My aim for this week is to transfer my first design to the lino block and cut it out. I will show you the results - even if it's a disaster!


Sunday, 13 October 2013


Well, the gorgeous 1950s wardrobes and dressing table were delivered by two burly chaps from the second-hand store and have now taken pride of place in our bedroom. I was very relieved to find that they did fit after all. I had somewhat guessed their sizes as I hadn't taken a tape measure with me when we bought them. 

They are very heavy so we were glad of the help in getting them into place. The wood is a beautiful warm honey colour with a delightful pattern to it.

We have a wardrobe each and I, naturally, nabbed the one with most hanging space. Both are beautifully made and they even have hidden drawers in the bottom. We searched for a hidden drawer in the dressing table - hoping for treasure or long lost love letters - but sadly no joy there.

The lovely handles look like glass but are actually plastic. I'm so glad we spotted these - such luck!

We have spent this weekend clearing the mess that is the second bedroom and transforming it into a workspace come spare room. We just need a guest bed now - I'm bidding on one on Ebay now but don't hold out much hope of winning - wish me luck!

More next time on some fabulous finds from our local car boot sale and a pretty floral lace panel I bought on Ebay for the bedroom window.

Take care till then and have a happy week,