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Revamped telephone table

Beaux- (Craft project)

Recently I saw this retro telephone table out on the road side for free pick up.
I love the shape of it and I bundled it into my car.

I used tin foil and masking tape to protect the brown vinyl seat.
Then I sprayed it a powder blue colour called “Creation Blue”
If you live in Australia, the cheapest place by far to buy spray paint in “Super Cheap Auto. ”
The paint was $3.50 a can. Then I went back to get more and it was $2.50 a can. Bonus!!!

I sprayed the wood with a few coats of this gorgeous retro blue.

I went to a perspex shop and got some little square perspex (plastic) samples in all sorts of colours.

I glued these on and got an old 1950s picture and cut it into a circle shape. I stuck these on.

This is a good colour combo to do as well.

Ultimately, I would like white washed floor boards (as seen above) to photograph the finished product.

Especially for this little one above.
This was my next piece of furniture. Also a road side throw out that my lovely friend Claire spotted for me.
I sprayed this buttercup yellow and stuck perspex squares on and a little birthday card I kept.

I dry brushed the sides with rough paint and had a piece of thick glass cut for the top.

Such fun revamping old furniture. I highly recommend it to give a splash of colour to your house.


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Wooden canvas prints

Recently I discovered you can buy wooden canvases. They look like a normal stretched canvas at the back but have wood on the face. They stand up beautifully on their own and are very sturdy.

The ones above , I used were $8.50 each from the art shop.
I found old black and white photocopies of prints I liked that I’d put away in a file years ago. I had photocopied bits of fabric and vintage lettering etc.

This is another blog on the amazing techniques of gel medium!!
I cut the photocopies to size and pasted a layer of gel medium over the face of the canvases with a large paint brush.
Next I placed the photocopies face down on the gel medium.

Leave over night to dry and bond well.

Next day – get a damp sponge and bowl of water. Begin to gently rub the paper off.
The paper comes off in little bits- is a messy project. I did mine outside under the umbrella in the garden while kids swam in the pool. Nice ” mindless” project. Rubbing away the paper off 8 little canvases.

Eventually all the paper comes away leaving the print. Dust off any excess bits and leave in the sun to dry.

Next step is to seal them with varnish. This takes away any chalky look left on the surface and protects them. As well as seals them so you can then paint over them with a glaze of Colour.
I used gloss varnish from the art shop. But any wood varnish you have in the shed etc is fine.

I have a metal beam in the house. I popped them on there and got some silver lettering with the letters for ” PEACE”.

But once the varnish is dry you can place any thing ontop like vintage buttons glued on, wooden letters , painted stripes…..
Options are endless.
This is also a great way to transfer family photos onto a wooden canvas and stand them up on a book shelf , coffee table etc.
Or do pictures for your kids room
To match the fabric on their bed cover. Enlarge the image from the pillow case on a photo copier in Colour. Transfer onto wooden canvases with gel medium.
Loads of fun….. Options are endless.

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Using great granny’s sewing machine.

Beaux- quet ( craft idea)

Recently my girls and I have been enjoying sewing on a very old bernina sewing machine that was my grandmothers, so Eden and Jessica’s great grandmothers.

It would have been my grandmothers 102 birthday last week. She was an amazingly creative woman. She sewed, painted , did wood work, metal work, jewelry and so much more. Her house was full of creativity and as a child I loved going there.

I bought a big pile of coloured paper for the girls to do craft with. The shop Office works has a pack of all those colours and about 500 sheets for $3.

We decided to cut out paper birds and sew them on the sewing machine.

First the girls drew a templet of a bird and then retraced that over and over.

Then it was like feeding the paper birds through like a sausage machine.

With great delight we hung them up to flit around in the wind.
Such a simple idea and do effective.

We also cut alot of stencils out of the same paper and today I got the machine out again with my two art students and we began stitching paper stencils to painted water Colour paper.

The combination of fabric and paper stitched on with the sewing machine can look really effective, especially framed in a box frame under glass.

This one my little art student stitched on granny’s sewing machine and took great delight zooming her foot on the old pedal. So cute. She did pipe up and say she thinks I need a new sewing machine.

But that’s what I love about it. It’s so old and vintage and has sentimental value. The new plastic white ones are not the same!!!!!

So many more projects to attempt on great granny’s bernina. We’ve only just begun…..

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Chalk boards.

Beaux- quet. ( craft idea)

It’s so satisfying doing a little ” trash- to- treasure” craft. I love it. And as most of my readers are aware- I am a real council clean up fan. Scrounging around piles of throw outs on the road side and finding lovely hidden treasures.

I’ve been meaning to get a chalk board for ages. So I can write shopping lists , notes etc on it. Finally I decided to make one.
I’ve had this round , silver frame for ages that a friend found on the road side for me.

I painted it turquoise blue with aqua Matisse structure acrylic.
Did two coats and let it dry over night.
The plan was to get a jig saw and cut a perfectly round piece of wood to fit in the back. Infact , that is still the long term plan.
But I was so Impatient to see the finished product , I cut a piece of stiff,foam board instead.
Painted the foam Board with two coats of black chalk board paint.

I bought a delightful little rubber stamp with a bunny on it.

Stamped the same turquoise paint onto it and decorated the top of the chalk board.
I’ve hung it up and it looks so cute.

That got me thinking about another old op shop frame l had been given.
Time for another chalk board…..

Grabbed the tool box and unscrewed the painting. Then mixed a duck-egg blue acrylic this time.

This is a really old wooden frame. I took a pic of all the spider webs on it. Yukkkk. I’m thinking it must be from some deceased estate.

Began to paint the frame with the duck egg blue. Just such a beautiful Colour.
Local hardware shop can mix you a test pot on request. Not expensive.

The detail in this frame is amazing. Was tempted to
Leave it like this.

But persevered all the way around…..

Then I found a piece of wood to fit and painted this with two coats of chalk board paint. Dulux brand is great and goes a very long way.

Next I lay it to dry over the bath tub with the frame.

Would have liked to have left it out in the sun to dry but it’s been raining for ages.

Once dry , I got some black and white sticky tape and made an inner border. This tape is available from shop called Typo.

Next step – nail in the board to the frame and hang. I do just love this one, even more than the round on.

Another option is to use mini pegs and peg photos through the frame. Yah!!!!! Trash to treasure project/s complete. Great project for a rainy day like today.


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Gel medium

Rain- beaux ( art idea)

I have not dropped off the face of the earth…..
Been ages since I last did a blog. I have been focusing on my fine-arts and painting and teaching.

My website is live , see

That’s at least 40 paintings. ( some very large as seen below)

And loads more that haven’t been uploaded to my website yet.

I’m very excited that my Sydney gallery Exhibition is opening later this year in a gallery on the northern beachs near manly beach on 15 aug.

This will feature my latest tree scapes exhibition.

Gel medium is a great new medium similar to modge podge.
I’ve never used modge podge but I’m experimenting with gel medium lately

Basically – you take any lazer printed / photocopy piece , either Colour or black and white. Paint a layer of gel medium onto surface .Then you lay photocopy face down onto gelmedium on the canvas, paper , wood or metal.

Get a hairdryer and dry it for about 5-10 mins. Then get a damp sponge and rub paper off and print is left embossed onto your surface. !!!! Amazing.

I then washed ink thru the print

And later painted a flower on the top

The gel medium also acts as a sealer and type of varnish.

Today I painted gel medium onto a chunk of wood from an
Oak tree chopped down yesterday. I asked the guys who were chain sawing the tree down for a piece of their wood. They laughed and gave me three bits.

They asked what it was for and I explained I am an artist and it’s for my exhibition on trees. They then offered to sign the piece of wood as a joke.

Just then the last slice ( or chunk of wood ) rolled down the
So there I was -chasing it down the busy street outside school ( and I was bare feet ) as I had raced out the door earlier to
get my kids to school by 9am.

Of course I didnt get out the car at school bare foot and did “kiss and drop” at the gate from the car…… , so I wasn’t ready for hopping out the car and “chatting up ” big Aussie blokes with chain saws.

I got the wood home and today used gel medium on it to stick 1950s “women’s-day” pics on it and clothes patterns. Then sealed it with another layer of gel medium.

Then hand painted birds over the top with acrylic paint. Lots of fun, while drinking cuppacinos and listening to my favourite music. Best way to spend a saturday morning …. I’d say! !!!

Go the gel medium. It’s amazing stuff. Available from most art shops. Made by Matisse.

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Decorating boys rooms

Beaux and arrow ( boys ideas)

Boys rooms are always alot harder to decorate than girls rooms.
I saw this picture recently in a magazine. I thought it warranted a blog.
Unfortunately I dont have any other photos of the room or ” how to”. But I just love the nautical theme captured for a boys room.

Another great boys room idea is to take vintage books from an opp shop and find the best pictures in them that go with your Colour scheme and frame these in wooden box frames on the walls in the boys room.

I recently got a simple black and white bed cover. Then bought a strip of pirate skulls fabric and put it along the bottom of the cover to make a theme in the boys room.

Red and black was another Colour option.
Some times just a plain bed cover works well. Then go to your local fabric shop and buy a strip of boys fabric to stitch along the bottom of the bed or make scatter cushions.

The combination of different width stripes in a Colour theme can be effective.

I designed this fabric for an idea for boys rooms.
Often boys love spiders and bugs. Recently my girls went on a bush walk with a ranger and did a bush craft after the walk.

For those living in Sydney – st Ives wild flower garden , does amazing programes for kids. Bush walks , crafts ,reptile shows etc etc. $12.50 per child.

My girls made these simple spider webs with wool , sticky tape and sticks they collected in the bush.
I thought this would be a great idea to do with boys.
Then place the craft web over the top of a bed side lamp and the web shadow will reflect up onto the boys roof at night when it’s dark and lamp is put on.
Boys rooms can be so fun to decorate when you have a theme , Colour scheme and a starting point.


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Rapee cushion sale

Beaux – on -the -go

It’s the first of December tomorrow!!!! Wow. How time flies.
Time for the advent calanders to start. I took this picture (above) from a magazine I’ve kept since 2008.
I have so wanted to make an advent calander like the one above , covering match boxes with cool papers and putting it in a frame.
Alas- I have totally run out of time to get it done and on Friday which is usually my art day – im off to the RAPEE cushion sale.
Instead of making an advent calander for my blog.

This is the best real sale I’ve ever been to. It’s only once or twice a year here in Sydney. Off smith street , off eastern valley way , northbridge , for those of my readers who like in this neck of
the woods.

Cushions are all between $2-$8 each.

These are all from this sale.

Gotta love a good bargain. Great for redecorating, Christmas gifts etc.
I did a “decorating on a budget ” workshop recently. All those who attended asked me to put up on my blog when the next rappee cushion sale is.
Sat and Sunday it’s on too.
Beware though….. It’s scary!!! Alot of bargain hungry ladies- and a few cat fights! Lol

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