Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Up-cycle: Farrow & Ball Drawers

It's the Summer Holidays still and I'm getting restless (I'm a singing teacher by day) so I decided to do re-work a little set of drawers for my bedroom. Well, I painted them with gorgeous Farrow & Ball paint in Parma Grey. I picked up these drawers for a fiver from my favourite hospice shop in Sheffield. 

You  will need: 
  • A piece of unloved furniture
  • Assorted sand-paper
  • Dust sheet
  • J-cloth and warm water
  • F&B paint of your choosing
  • DECENT brushes
Begin by sanding down your wood with a coarse paper and some elbow grease. 

Once you've gone to town on the wood all over any paint or varnish should be gone. Then go over again in a fine sand-paper to really make sure you are varnish-less. 

It's around now I suggest you grab a cream scone and a brew.

Then continue by wiping down your now dusty drawers with a damp cloth and warm water.

Now, I cheated quite a bit with the paint. Because there wasn't a great deal of varnish and the wood is quite light, I missed out the undercoat. I recommend using a plain white emulsion of any brand. Nothing too fancy - you'll just be creating a blank canvas. If, like me, you're lazy then head straight to your paint of choice!

The brush strokes must be in the same direction at all times and it's quality not quantity, when it comes to painting wood. Neat neat neat!

Once you've done one coat, wait for it to dry and begin your second coat when your common sense tells you it's time. As you can see, the second coat looks much better so be patient and do as many coats as you need. I went for three altogether.

Right then! I forgot to take official finished draw photos, but here they are in action.

It's simple, but I really like the colour as it works with the vintage/retro theme I have going on in my room. Plus I have so many papers that need a home (nevermind CDs) and now they've had a bit of TLC I'm really happy with them.

Do you up-cycle/rework? Want to share any of your creative projects? Get in touch!

G x

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Sunny Beach With BGFL: Part 2

We had left it with me singing Valerie in a bar hadn't we? Ah yes, then I couldn't continue for fear of losing my dignity all over again.

The days are blending into one another, so I'll go with this day.

We went to Nesse Bar which is a village down the coast from Sunny Beach for a change of scenery. Now, the place is slightly more picturesque, there are some trees and some birds and one or two buildings that were built before the 20th Century. Like this one.

But unless you're after a fake Moschino purse, a crochet table cloth or a novelty magnet I'm afraid you're out of luck. We decided to grab some breakfast at one of the more pretty restaurants that overlooked the sea, like most the places on offer, it was surely going to be fairly awful. So Kate and I plumped for a continental breakfast because, as Kate pointed out, "Not much can go wrong with that" oh but it did, didn't it?

Now I don't know about you, but curried Cornflakes aren't the norm for me, no no no. But how well timed was Kate's comment? I was laughing for quite some time. Once we added in the banana and milk it sort of faded, so I went for it anyway. The view was spectacular, mind.

I'm wearing:
Shirt - Charity shop
Belt: Vintage
Shorts: Mums from 80s

That night it was time for the one and only Basshunter. Oh yes. 20 lev for a ticket later and we are ready to party at Club Viking, the only place, AND I QUOTE "The only place where it's OK to get naked on the bar." Oh lord, time to buy more 6lev vodka to pre drink like we are 18. 

I tell you what, I love getting ready with my girls. It's one of the best parts of going out for a big night out so I'm pretty pleased I was able to do it 3 nights in a week with my BGFL. Have some snaps. Oh and I'm wearing the same Hearts & Bows dress that I blogged about here.

 I still can't believe we did this holiday. We met a gorgeous barmaid called Eva who dumped two guys dressed as french maids on us, they did my head in. And as you see below, I was rather unimpressed with their outfits and tans. And perfectly coiffed hair. And no chest hair. WHERE DID YOUR TESTOSTERONE GO? OR YOUR 50 LEV?!!!!

Anyway, onwards to Club Viking where we met the boys off of Part 1 and danced (fully clothed) near the bar. Not on it. Basshunter is now blonde, slightly tubs and appeared to be singing along to a backing track. 

A quick shout out to Rimmel and their Scandaleyes mascara - I think my lashes look lengthy as! A boy bought me a rose and I blushed and went all girly. For Gods' sake.

There isn't much else to tell you if I'm honest, well nothing I can. We had a failed night out the next day, OK correction, I had a failed night out. I wore my glasses. A bar man said "why the hell are you wearing those?" and I got all funny. Personally I think I look cracking and perfectly classy.

In summary. I came home with a nasty tummy bug and one week later I have only just begun to recover. I love my BGFL but Christ, I do not love Sunny Beach. No no no. Never again. 

Friday, 24 August 2012

The Big 200 - Rocking A Pink Frock

Huzzah! Since October last year Pretty Used Things has been up and about on the internet in one form or another and this is my 200th post. My goodness, I didn't realise I had so much to say, but it all keeps coming and slowly but surely more of you keep reading. A very big thank-you to all of you.

 I went to The Tropical Butterfly House with the girls on our day off and decided to make the most of the warm-ish weather and wear my new 80s does 40s shirt dress. It's a charity shop purchase rocking in at £8. The front of the dress has a pretty white floral applique pattern, which you can see on the bottom photo with my dear Annie. There's a blooper..but..oh go on then. (What is that face?!)

Dress: Charity Shop
Bag: Charity Shop
Shoes: ASOS
Scarf: Fles Market
Earrings: Present from Nannan
Tights: Primark

It's a really sweet little day trip, well, afternoon trip. Especially if you're as bonkers about animals as we are! Have some snaps.

These two were such attention seekers! But so bloody cute. 

All finished off with a brew in The Nichols Building where the Summer Sale is about to begin! Bargains galore.

Happy 200 posts to me :) x

Thursday, 23 August 2012

POP Exhibition: Fashion and Textiles Museum

London constantly draws me in, from the music scene and museums to the vintage thrifting and gloriously high standard of people watching. So I was really looking forward to going down south for a couple of days (especially after Bulgaria - part 2 coming soon!).

Website: click here.

I went to visit my lovely Becky who has made the big move down to LDN and I am very very jealous of her fabulous flat. But the next day I covered all four corners of the city with my friend Dom and he very lovingly, planned it around me and my love of clothes. So, first stop was the London Museum of Fashion and Textiles and the current exhibition, POP.

The exhibition focuses on the influence of music, art and personality on the development of fashion from the rock'n'rolling 1950s to the birth of punk in the 1970s. The space itself is gorgeous, well lit and beautifully arranged. For myself, it was the the colours that really drew me in, the bold primarys in the 1950s to the striking Quant monochrome and the neon of psychedelia. I'm not going to go off on one, but I am going to show you lots of pretty photos.

This Martini skirt from 1956 is a fabulous early example of commercial advertising in fashion. 

The famous Pierre Cardin potato sack dress worn by Marilyn in the 50s spurred a line of imitations and fun interpretations, including this one here. I am desperate to find one. To me it says that absolutely anything can be fashion.

Next in line we see Quant and her massive impact on the fashion of the following decade. Showcased below are the famous monochrome stripes, below that a gorgeous purple Mad Men style dress/tunic suit.

My favourite discovery has to be the paper dressd. I've heard of the 60s paper dress before but had never actually seen one, but me oh my these things are a thing of beauty. They were designed by Harry Gordon in 1967 (L-R) Rose, Audrey Hepburn's eye and hand with Ginsburg poem. The aim for Gordon was to make a new paper dress every week featuring a new pop star starting with Bob Dylan. However, Dylan refused and that is where the line finished, before it had ever really begun. 

Surely colour makes a comeback as we turn away from monochrome. The highlight has to be these cartoon shorts. Fabric by Zandra Rhodes, design by Sylvia Ayton in 1967.

Oh and this absolutely amazing 1969 Sportaville maxi. Note the inflatable cushions in the background - cartoon to the max.

Sticking with the early 70s, (1971 to be precise) take a look at these mens' platforms. Now, did I hear someone say Jeffrey Campbell? I love to see the impact of the past on modern design and the Jeffrey Campbell Litas are certainly no exception. The likeness between these designs are amazing, down to the wooden heel. Apparently Elton John owns a pair of these. 

Dom couldn't have chosen a better exhibition to take me to, so thanks for that sweetcheeks. I highly recommend popping (hohoho) to POP before it closes on 27th October. I've only shown you a small portion of the gorgeous fashion and art on display, so go see for yourselves.


Monday, 20 August 2012

Sunny Beach with BGFL: Part 1

To celebrate coming home get 25% off my ASOS Marketplace with code PUT25 until Wednesday.

This was to be my first beach/girls holiday ever. I expected sun, sea and rather a lot of fun with my BGFL (Bad Girls For Life - awash with irony). And yes. I got all of the above and more, so how was my week in Bulgaria at Sunny Beach one of the worst of my life?

I'll tell you how. By how down right grim Sunny Beach is. We should have known as we landed in the rain in Bourgas that the grey clouds were a sign of things to come; it wasn't going to be exactly what we had hoped for. So much happened on my week away that I simply can't tell you about (what happens on tour stays on tour etc) but I will relay some of the incidents.

First of all! Let us begin with a positive. My first ever bikini! Body (sort of) confident at last!

Bikini: ASOS
Skirt: Primark
Sunglasses: ASOS
Parasol: Venice Market Stall

The first night we had a bit of a walk around the resort, my god. We knew it would be hard work! Frankly, if you don't go out and get rather merry, you'll be incredibly bored. So. Roll on the second night and the BGFL partied in the apartment, drank 8lev Vodka, sank 1 litre of Sambuca and danced on chairs like there was no tomorrow. We looked pretty darn sexy though.

I'm in the middle wearing the printed peplum dress I had on my first wishlist. Love it so. We're all
 wearing a custom made black perspex necklace so everyone knows we are BGFL.

Now as much as I love Tatty Devine, my bank account certainly doesn't. So how happy I was when I stumbled upon Sour Cherry jewelry in The Nichols Building (where I've just moved in as a unit holder - woo!). The lovely ladies did me a cheeky deal for having 5 of the same design made up which was very good of them and my holiday girls absolutely loved them. I particularly love this bowling necklace from their new collection. 

Carrying on, we went into the central square and tried to find a few bars that didn't look dire when we were asked by a lad with a Yorkshire accent if we were up for going to Frankys and before he could say anything we jumped on him and asked where he was from. "I'm from Sheffield!" Oh the poor boy. Five girls screamed and before we knew it we were all buying BOGF cocktails and chatting about the Steel City. Then a bunch of tank top wearing lads approached us and the rest is history. But then blah, blah, blah ended up in the sea circa 4am and my bag got stolen. Phone, camera, favourite lipstick not to mention my fave River Island bag. Absolutely gutted.  So I embraced the lack of technology and concept of time. (Though my new iPhone 4s is beautiful and I have barely left my laptop since arriving home).

The lads walked us to their hotel where we kipped and they were the perfect gents as they walked us "home" the next day. We then continued to do absolutely nothing all day as we lounged by the pool at our apartment. Yessss. Three of us decided to grab some food and more BOGOF cocktails before Round 2. I think we look positively civilised.

Top: H&M
Skirt: River Island
Earrings: Topshop
Ice Cream: Baileys flavour

This night was ridiculous as it was always going to be. But I can tell you that I sang Valerie in a karaoke bar.

I quite literally cannot tell you any more. 

Part 2 coming later this week. You can get 25% off in my ASOS store before Wednesday with code PUT25 by the way :) x

Monday, 6 August 2012

Field View Festival 2012

My goodness. I think I need a nap but I can't as I have to write all about Field View Festival 2012!

Let's start with a quote from the effortlessly siren-like Lucy Rose:
"Field View is the most amazing festival ever!"

Screaming Maldini were confirmed to play FVF earlier this year so I've been looking forward to it for months and boy, it did not disappoint. Still a small festival with a humble line-up, FVF is home to a 3,000 strong campsite with people who seem to be regulars already. Started only 5 years ago in someone's back garden, it's safe to say in 5 years I'll be cooing "Well I actually played FVF back when it was new, I saw Lucy Rose stage dive, took my own gin into the site (which was 2 minutes from my tent) and ate reasonably priced food without being ill."

Highlights for me included meeting two lovely boys Zack and Max who entertained me all weekend, especially with Zack's dancing to The Resonators in the sunny sun sun. Cheery reggae with gorgeous vocals.
Headlining one of her first festival's was Lucy Rose, the girl must have had a special moment on stage, it was lovely to witness her be so overwhelmed by how much FVF bloody loved her! Then she stage dived. Ace stuff. 

I knew that Hey Sholay were good. They're from Sheffield and I must admit I hadn't previously made any effort to go to a gig (poor, I know) but sweet JESUS these boys are incredible. My mind was officially blown by how captivating they were, both musically and visually. Not only are they a very attractive bunch of lads, they know how to put on a show without apparently TRYING to. Something I wish I could do. Looking forward to seeing them take over the world, fingers crossed I get to be a part of that. 

More than anything though, we had a fabulous weekend as a band. Bonding over card games, camping and general larks. Big thanks go out to Tim, Andy and Nick for driving all that way. I hope they know that if I had a decent car I would too. Sadly, my Fiat Bravo freaked out after his trip to Hull. Poor thing. 

I shall leave you with some festival snaps! Vintage took a back seat as did any sense of style, but I hope you'll let me off what with the mud and rain and stuff. I've captioned the TWO outfits I wore...!

Festival hair issues. Vintage specs.

Jumper: £2 charity Shop
Skirt: River Island Sale
Wellies: £2 Charity Shop
Flowers: Various 

The most gorgeous ice cream that Stella McCartney loves apparetly. Ooh.

Jumper:  £1 Charity Shop
Shirt: Primark
Scarf: Charity Shop

Necklace: Vintage Fair
T-shirt: Primark

See you at FVF 2013!