In different ways each blog I read inspire me in some way. Very often the posts I read will either prompt me to re-post something from the past (Joe's post today reminded me of a post I wrote called 'Tall Poppies' many years ago and I may well re-post that one in the next few days) or will remind me of something that I want to post about.
Val talks about many things that aren't in my world and then she tells about things that are so relevant to me, mostly the similarities between Hick and SD that make me smile.
Sarn and Di who reached out when I had a perplexing situation with blogger and who have since become firm bloggy friends with crafting skills well beyond my own.
K, who I don't visit half as often as I mean to since she disappeared from my blog roll somehow so now I have to go looking (I may not be there as often as I should be but I'm still here lovely).
Polly, who just makes me feel good every time I pop over to visit.
Mike who writes beautifully illustrated posts about his trips around Britain sometimes stopping by at my favourite places (Mike, I forgive you for not loving Swanage as much as I do!).
And others, too many to mention and, even if I haven't mentioned you by name you still inspire me so thank you!
Today's post is inspired by Emma Kate. A lady who doesn't know the meaning of 'can't'. Emma takes the ordinary and turns it into something very special. Her skills and bravery far outstrip mine but because she is so down to earth in the way she blogs she makes me feel I can do it to.
Without Emma Kate I may not have been brave enough to take a can of gloss paint and turn my very ordinary bamboo clothes basket from this:
And I'm fairly sure that when SD and I stopped by at an antiques/junk shop on the way to the beach a couple of weeks ago and spotted a marble topped washstand in fairly bad repair that I wouldn't have thought, 'I can fix that!'
We had been looking for something to sit in an alcove in the dining room for some time. It housed a rather scruffy computer desk which was only really used as a dumping ground for paperwork etc and the idea was to find something nicer, a cupboard perhaps so the paperwork could be put away and then SD planned on putting in some shelves above it.
I wanted something to compliment the pine cupboard that I finally finished that sits in the alcove on the other side of the fireplace (a post on that at some point too!).
This really WASN'T what I was looking for but as soon as I saw it I knew it was exactly what I wanted!
I don't have a photo of it in it's entirety unfortunately as we had to split it into two parts before we could move it.
Marble is HEAVY!!
So, here it is in pieces:
This is the top part that stands on top of the cupboard - I've had to flip the photo as for some reason I took it upside down, probably trying to avoid getting my shadow into it!
The marble top that sits on the cupboard was very dirty and has some scratches, some of which I have polished out and some that are too deep so they will stay but overall I don't think they detract too much from it.
The worst bits were where the piece on top had been sitting and dirt had got underneath it and it had been painted in situ leaving a rim of paint on the marble. Very carefully I used a razor blade to scrape off the paint and dirt before polishing it.
Then we put the marble back on top of the cupboard (I forgot to take a photo before I painted the cupboard but it was a dull yellowy cream, very chipped and dirty) and SD replaced the door latch which he had taken off and polished.
I did wonder if I was doing the right thing trying to make it look perfect but in my experience you really need to know what you are doing if you want to distress or shabby chic a piece and frankly, I don't so I will let time do the job for me.
I also wondered if I should have taken the doors off and removed the hinges before painting but, like Emma Kate, I don't like hinges! I decided in the end to not worry about getting paint on them and as the doors are opened and closed it has rubbed off some of the paint and I quite like the look.
Finally we had to put it in place. To do that we put the base in first and then lifted the marble and the top piece which SD had fitted back together and sat it on top.
I don't know yet what I will put on it, I'm just grateful that all my
And here it is!
Yes, I know it still has
The things on it are things we have picked up in our endless quest to visit every charity and antiques shop in every town that we visit.
The small carpet/rug beater with a green bakelite handle came from a second hand shop in Budleigh Salterton and the little metal butterflies from a gift shop in Topsham when I visited with my sister late last summer.
The grey shoes were picked up in a Charity Shop - far too small for me even if they were wearable but I fell in love with them because they are SO unwearable.
The metal tin was a find when I was helping a neighbour clear out his garage. He was going to throw it away!!!
And the topiary trees in the first picture I bought at a Christmas fair in town many, many years ago.
Overall I'm really pleased with the way this turned out. We probably paid about half of what it was worth and, after a bit of TLC, (SD had to mend one of the legs that was split too) - some elbow grease and a few coats of paint it's really transformed that corner of the room and blends in perfectly with the grey walls and the (soon to be blogged about) cupboard in the opposite alcove.