Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Horse Chestnut Series - July!!

"Summer has seen the flowers withered and died
But hides the new seed growing deep inside
Spikey green fruit swell with the sun and the rain
The circle of life coming round yet again"
It is now the end of July and officially the end of summer.

The Horse Chestnut now bears strange looking thorny green fruit; a result of the pollination that took place in March.

 These thick, fleshy casings have sharp little spikes on the outside to protect the precious seed within which will be released in the weeks to come.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Egg Box Three Ways!!

You know Mr. Auburn bought this lovely egg box back here and I said I would do something with it.
 Well I did.....like three times!
For a long while, it sat on our worktop just holding eggs perfectly well in its original pale wood state, then it got Annie Sloaned.

Cue Makeover #1.
In my wisdom I thought the ASCP duck egg wasn't a million miles from eau de nil, right? WRONG! It is 2 million. Also it was looking a little too pristine for our house.

 Makeover #2.
Perhaps if I tone it down by white washing over the duck egg, and distress the edges a little with some sand paper that will make it work in my kitchen.
(Sorry forgot to take picture at this stage, I was starting to get a little fed up by now!!)
It looked okay but still not right.
Who am I kidding, 99% of stuff in this house is off white or cream. Duck egg has to go!
Makeover #3
Repaint the whole thing in Original white and make it look old...
Once it was repainted in off white I decided to use some AS Craqueleur on it for some 'age'.
 This was my first time to use it but it was really simple and I love the effect it gives. First paint on the base coat in small strokes and leave to dry.  Then paint on the glaze and quickly dry with the hairdryer to make it crack! Thin coat = small crackles on small box.

Then the scary bit - dark wax. I was panicking a lot doing this thinking I had ruined it again at one point but actually you don't have to be scared. I just kept working it in and used a little clear wax on areas I thought were looking a little too mucky.

Loving Craqueleur!!
Third time's charm... dirty crackled off white fits right in I think!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Reloved Drawer Thingy!

I bought this in TK Max ages & ages ago because I really loved it and loved the price tag.
I brought it home and after disappointingly trying it in every room in the house, I conceded it that even though I loved it, the house didn't!
 This however was pre my Annie Sloan campaign!!
I gave it two coats of Original, 'a warm slightly creamy off white'....
...and distressed it quite a bit along the edges and to show off the lovely carved detail.
I decoupaged the insets of the little drawers with some Laura Ashley wallpaper I bought for about €6, eau de nil of course.
Now I've uttered the three magic little French words you know it's going to work don't you!
 The whole thing got a couple of coats of wax and suddenly, the dining room said she'd gladly have the new and improved drawer thingy...

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Saturday, 5 July 2014

Hola amigos!

 Just spent an amazing week in the city of Málaga with friends. I had never been before but it is such a beautiful city, I will definitely return.
It is one of the oldest cities in the world and therefore rich in history; in over 2,800 years it was founded by the Phoenicians, became a part of the Roman and Byzantine empires, came under Muslim Arabic and then Christian rule.
The people of Malaga appear deeply religious, most being Roman Catholic.
The city has a stunning cathedral Basílica de la Encarnación.

We were lucky enough to be in the city for an amazing procession on the Sunday evening, the streets were lined with people of all ages, men dressed in traditional robes carrying statues and beautifully decorated floats accompanied by music and song and showered with rose petals from the upper stories of buildings as they passed.

These processions take place throughout the year, those of holy week being particularly special. Indeed one of Malaga's famous sons, Antonio Banderas returns to his brotherhood every Easter.
It is of course birthplace to world renown artist Pablo Picasso.
Picasso's childhood home was on the second floor of the building you see behind his statue in this picture. While Picasso left Malaga as a young boy he had always wanted his work exhibited in the city. His daughter-in-law worked to realise this dream and now it holds 285 works donated by the family in the beautifully converted Buenavista Palace.
It must be a wonderful place for budding artists; home to Picasso and Revello de Toro, so many art galleries to see, lectures and workshops to attend and inspiring views all around. Indeed they can been seen on every street creating their own impressions of the city.

Malaga is rich in culture. On the eve of San Juan (St. John) we were party to a spectacular festival on Malagueta beach. A massive concert stage was erected and various acts performed. Huge bonfires were alight on the beach which was thronged with people young and old; eating, drinking and dancing into the small hours. At midnight many took a dip in the sea to wash away evil for the year ahead.
Speaking of eating and drinking, I could not omit Tapas and Sangria, could I? From humble Spanish roots Sangria is now served around the world. Sangria is a sweet punch made with red wine and fruit, is served cold and is typically served to 'visitors'.

Along with the Sangria, Tapas is served in bars on every corner to the sound of Flamenco.
Huge varieties of small 'snack-size' dishes are served in small earthenware bowls. Some hot like meatballs in tomato sauce, prawns fried in garlic and oil (gambas al pil-pil), potato croquettes flavoured with ham, and some cold like cured meats, olives and cheeses. All equally delicious!

On our last night there we saw a Flamenco show. Flamenco is of course a type of Spanish folk music and dance with guitars and handclaps or palmas. It was absolutely enthralling, see for yourself...


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