To do list

My Before & After list just got a whole lot longer. 

It already included:

- making this into a pretty and durable flower box and/or bench (without the upholstery)

-making this into something we can hang our clothes over in the bedroom:

This came from the late night flea market near Fontainebleau that we went to a couple of weeks ago. It's called a prie dieu in French. And guess what. It's called a prie dieu in English too!

(Now before we go on, I need to apologize in advance for the crappy pictures, it was really late and I didn't have any room to set up this furniture anyway so decided dark hallway and random balcony pictures were the best I could do.)

And since this weekend's trip to the Emmaüs sale in Paris, my list now includes:

- finding a place for this

I'm thinking the bathroom. Add a funky coloured cable and maybe a fun lightbulb for groovy disco vibes.

- some sanding and painting and hopefully a sale for this tray table. I'll try not to ruin it with gold and neon chevrons. Although it could hardly be uglier than it is now. There's something about seing a fish the size of a beach house the size of a sailboat that just makes me cringe.

- even MORE sanding and painting and loving (and keeping!). Isn't this the cutest piece of furniture you've ever seen?

Tiny cupboard: check
Rounded shape: check
Potential: checkcheckcheck.

I'm not sure what it is really, a desk? A bookshelf? Anyway I'm guessing it was in a child's room, and I'm guessing the child was properly freaked out by captain hook:

Seriously though. Who would do that to a child? 

I think I'm ready for a trip to Castorama (etym. 'Castor'= beaver, small fury animal who loves DYI, and 'rama' as in bananarama= let's go bananas and make stuff ourselves).

None of this is likely to get done anytime soon though as we are driving off to Tours for the weekend to stay with some friends! They've just about finished renovating a cute townhouse they bought last year and I can't wait to see the finished result!! Watch this space.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot! Small update on the sword: Boyfriend thought it deserved another cleaning, this time with cloric acid. Let's just say, frustration and late nights are making me dislike his newfound love for medieval weapons.

Happy weekend little bunnies!!


Guest post: getting da rust off from da sword

Hi ! I'm Boyfriend. I haven't got a name. I'm just Boyfriend. As my bunny said, I bought a sword at a flea market last sunday. I don't know yet if it's a 14th century sword or a copy, an "épée d'apparat" or a real killing machine, but one thing is sure: to have your own sword in your hands is an undescribable thing, a very confusing sensation (something to do with male weaknesses and my love for history). I did some research to know how to clean it. This sword was full of rust. See for yourself:

I found some advice on the Internet and I went to Leroy Merlin (a french DYI store)
to buy all this:

I started with protections: long shirt, plastic glasses and those lovely gloves (Oops! I haven't got my green dress on today). Then I put my sword on the kitchen sink and started to rub the blade with stinky deoxydizer and a piece of steel sponge. After many efforts, sweat and a arm like a stone, I used a regular sponge to remove all the rust off the sword (the pommel needed a brush), and tried again to clean every little part of my new toy. It was difficult as hell. But, after five rounds (grip, cross-guard and pommel were very hard to manage), I washed up with some bicarbonate of soda to stop the action of the deoxydizer and, after that, used a bit of washing up liquid to make sure the work is done, and tadah!!!!

Quite a lot better, isn't it? But sadly dry, for a sword... it needed something special to make it shine. As I hadn't got any dark age grease, I had an idea. Why can't I use some of this stuff wich make my guitar string nice and smooth? 

After some more tender and sweet treatment, the sword was ready to be photographed!

The last step before applying the varnish (I have to wait a few weeks before doing it) was to dry the pommel (warning, homemade system):

I would like to thank my bunny for inviting me on her blog. Excuse my English, I'm from the centre of France, where people don't even talk proper French... 


Medieval madness

Just a few photos to illustrate our most memorable moments of the day:

Because candyfloss and candy apples were so popular during the dark ages

Half a ham sandwich with mustard and pickles please.

Medieval cat-flap

Surprisingly yummy sparkly wine made from rhubarb

I swear this freaky man on stilts is at every medieval festival I've ever been (dragged) to.

Provins is a really nice old city with lots of medieval architecture. Towers, turrets, fortification walls, you name it, they've got it.

Lots of people were actually living the full medieval life for the weekend, with tents and animal skins and straw and mosquitoes.

Provins is famous for its roses so I had to try some rose ice cream. I'm pretty sure it was made in a factory though. The food and drink was stupidly overpriced, which is why we left the festival and went for an Indian meal at lunchtime. 

I tried to take some artsy pics while Boyfriend wrote his name on a piece of parchment paper using a feather. And while he played the sytole. And while he had a go at archery. And while he browsed a million books on medieval times. Let's just say it was a fun-filled day.


 Miniature tree growing on top of a wall 

I'd like to end by saying that the day after this, we went to a charity sale, and Boyfriend bought... a sword! He's currently at home cleaning it with highly toxic products and I have a feeling it will be proudly displayed on the dining room wall when I get home. 

My main worry is: can I get rust stains off the wall with a magic sponge?


Summer garden

Dear Bunnies,

How was your weekend? Mine was lovely. If you ignore the fact that Boyfriend surprised me by taking me to a medieval fair which he had already taken me to as a surprise three years ago but completely forgotten about. Here I was, all excited on saturday morning, thinking I was going to be able to cross my "go somewhere I've never been and do something I've never done" thing off my bucket list, but noooo! Also, I'm not really a fan of medieval things. But he is, and we had a nice day, so there! I'll show you some pics in a bit.

Today I want to talk about my balcony. It's not quite what you would call finished, but I'm giving you a sneak peak while my brand new flowers are still in bloom. A couple of close ups before I zoom out:

Freesia babies!!!

Saint Paulia

Nasturtium! And a little solar lamp. Can you tell it poured with rain all day yesterday?

I planted two more Saint Paulia betwen my precious freesias and moved the baby freesia that doesn't seem to be growing much to its own private pot. With a chopstick stake. Let's hope it helps.

Here you can also see all the freesia bulbs that never came up. I dug them out before I planted the Saint Paulia. Can I use them again next year? Do they need to dry out? How does it work?  

At this point I went a bit mad and decided to experiment. Remember my rescue footboard that's going to be turned into a bench?


I know it can't stay like this, I just wanted to see if there would be room for a cushion once my footboard-bench was finished. The answer is no, but I'm smitten. I can't wait to get hacking away at the upholstery. Just add this to my loooong list of projects. More on that soon!



My order came! My order came!

Now I'm really ready for summer.

The outside:

sorry for the dark photo, I just couldn't resits using Charlie as a prop. I LOVE this satchel. It was on super sale and it's surprisingly well made. Lots of pockets too, and room for my umbrella, look:

The inside:

I wanted a lighter quilt for our guest room and this one is perfect (this room is also his office so everything that goes into it needs his seal of approval). It helps to bring a bit of life to the room. As we're renting and the wall on the far side is concrete we don't really want to be drilling huge holes in it to hang stuff, and as much as I would love to paint the walls, I just don't know how long we'll be staying to I can't decide whether it's worth it or not. Although given the state of the white we'll probably be forced to repaint before we move out anyway. Hmmmm, maybe I've just found an excuse to paint some walls!

See how the colours tie in nicely with the mustard lampshade and the burgundy around the painting? I love that painting, it was given to me by my aunt a couple of years ago and was painted by my uncle's aunt (are you still following?). Boyfriend thinks the girl is a bride about to get married but I think she's a dancer waiting for her turn to go out and perform. 

Close up?

What do you think?

And the other side (of the channel):

Or just in case I decide to throw a garden party in honour of the Queen. Not that any of my French friends would attend, being too scared of the "'orribel inglish food, beurk! Jelly wiz marmalade! Bif wiz mint sauce! Marmayte!". Yay for misconceptions.

Want to know what I didn't buy?

Yup, you've got to hand it to me: I know when to stop shopping.


Chevron gone wrong

I could have named this post "Before & disafter" or "Chev-wrong", or even "chev-gone-horribly-wrong". Pick whichever you like best.

Remember this guy?

Who got chevronned?

Then he got replaced.

So I decided I no longer needed him and I put him up for sale. Only I wanted to add a bit of bling before I sold him, thinking I might get more than 5 euro for him if I did. This is when everything started going terribly wrong. See for some reason I thought a pop of neon would help freshen up the gold chevrons. Boy was I WRONG.

 See what I mean? No?

How about this one?

Not pretty.I've kept this pic small to spare your eyes but the neon really does a great job of highlighting all the flaws in the gold (which looked fine before). Plus my masking tape pulled some kind of trick on me and I ended up with a big white gap in the gold that wasn't there before. Very strange.

Surprisingly, I haven't sold it yet. A couple of people have emailed me about it though, and haven't said anything nasty. I guess they must be colourblind.

I'm going to go ahead and NOT add this one to my Before & After section. Yuck. 

Luckily, the weekend is off to a good start. Cocktails at Boyfriend's old school in Paris tonight, a surprise day out tomorow (as long as it's not horse riding I'm sure I'll love it) and a huge salvation army sale with friends on sunday (more info here), followed by more drinks! 

xxx have a great weekend little bunnies xxx


Summer bucket list

Hello Summer!!!!

I'm so glad you're here! I hope to make all my Summer dreams come true this year. Want to know what they are? 

- have at least one big picnic involving friends and blankets and wine and naps
- go to lots of flea markets
- go somewhere I've never been and do something I've never done
- complete at least 3 before/afters (2 are already planned, I just need to find time to actually do them)
- meet up with old friends
- maybe a garden party if I can find a free weekend
- go to the cinema (air con! Plus lots intellectually challenging films are coming out soon, such as Lorax, Ice Age 4, etc.)
- make at least 5 recipes from my Pinterest board (I know, so ambitious)
- continue re-reading my favourite books from childhood. I've read the Witch of Blackbird Pond and Anne of Green Gables in the last two weeks, next up, my all time favourite: Little Women!

What else? Lots of happy hours in Parisian bars, maybe a bottle of wine on the île saint louis along the Seine...

Most of all though, I'm looking forward to our UK road trip! Spending time with family (are you reading, Greenwoods?) and discovering the English countryside, eating yummy food and taking pictures. Hopefully by this time tomorow the ferry will be booked and I'll be able to start doing some real planning.

Hooray for summer!!!