Happy 2014 everyone! We spent our NYE at a gorgeous Gatsby themed wedding, feeling very vintage and glamorous. And now that the Christmas/NY excitement is over, its time to start thinking about ways to make our house start to look more vintage and glamorous. This involves shuffling certain cough*wardrobe*cough projects from the 2013 column over to 2014 and hoping no one notices. I definitely haven’t achieved everything I wanted to this last year and sometimes it can feel like everywhere you look there is something that needs doing, and its easy to want to throw life the middle finger and crawl under your blankets. At times like this I tend to get sucked into an unhealthy relationship with my laptop, because its not doing nothing its
procrastination research. But its never as mountainous as its seems and sometimes you just need to stop and revel in the little things for awhile.
So… NY resolution, less dreaming (e.g. climb out of the vortex that is pinterest) and more doing, then start putting it on here so this blog can actually become what I dreamed (notice the theme here?) it would be, a collection of all my daydreams and obsessions turned into real life adventures. But also to notice the little pockets of love springing up about us and enjoy the small sweet moments in life, like this one..
I have this slight junk collecting problem… The problem being that I don’t see it as a problem, in fact I prefer to see it as rehabilitation for old, unloved furniture. A journey that sets them on a new path where they can live a rich and fulfilling life, appreciated and beloved by all, albeit a slow journey that needs a few kick starts due to my ability to be easily distracted. So due to the fact that I have a higher ratio of unloved (junk) to loved items at the moment, the boy has deemed it a problem and I not allowed to collect anymore lost
puppies furniture until I do something with what I have. So I painted a chair.
I found this wiry little fellow on trademe for a measly $7.50 and had seen an awesome red wire chair for crazy monies that I wanted to emulate [then we bought a red couch for the spare room and I did a quick mind change to a black chair].
The bones of the chair were in great nick, but the brown coating was faded and rusted, and the arms had their fair share of dings. So I sanded the whole thing down, using 120 grit paper, then went over the arms again with 220 grit to make sure I didn’t gouge the wood. It took quite a sand to get some of the dents smooth, but once the left over varnish was gone I rather liked the natural wood, so have left them bare [this may change once the room develops if I bring in some other wood tones].
For the wire base, I used a rustoleum black gloss spray paint and LOVED it. So much better than the dulux spray paint I have used in the past. It sprayed on smoothly in a nice even coat and didn’t hurt my trigger finger. I painted two coats on the underneath then flipped it onto its feet and did two coats on the top. I think it looks pretty.
Now just a wardrobe, dresser, brick wall and some pallets left then let the collecting re-begin!
Isn’t it crazy how you can go from a dated green bathroom to a gutted room and back to a nice functional room in two weeks then… somehow slow to a crawl and dawdle along taking three weeks to tie up all the loose ends. But its done. All the trimming, painting, filling, sanding, hanging is complete and its pretty exciting. Even Oatis is loving the new shower and looking fluffy and clean. We did a bit of shuffling with the layout and the room seems so much more spacious now (the colour helps with this too). The drippy peachy shower is gone and we moved our gorgeous clawfoot bath, which is one of my favourite character feature we inherited with the house, into its alcove. Originally we were going to have a full wall shower here, but once we measured the spot and realised the bath would squeak in, it made much more sense, as the bath used to block the door opening so you got about a 70degree open which the shower also poked out into. Now there is no bottleneck and so much room for activities!
While the renovation side is all done and dusted, there are still a few design elements I need to play with. The lighthouses above the bath are the original images when we bought the frame and need some art and I need to get busy and make a bath caddy so I can have wine while I lounge around in my kick ass new bathroom. Somethings have come together just right though. These are touches that I love about the bathroom…
…. while this photo shows my problem area. I need to update the toothbrush holder and soap dispenser. I thought the old white ones would work fine but they seem a touch blah. Main issue though is the mirror. Because the vanity is half under the window a large mirror (which we originally tried) overhangs and makes everything look skewed. So this is the temporary solution at the moment. I’m plotting potential solutions other than a boring small mirror…
I took my time to fall in love with red velvet, too many bad experiences with ones that tasted like packet mix cake dyed red. Plus, I had no clue what a good one should taste like, do any of us? The elusive flavour of red velvet…. But the chemist inside me was sucked in by the acid-base reaction, and use of cocoa as an indicator. Science AND baking? Let me at it!
I like my cakes to be oil based, they refrigerate better, are moister, and I can pretend they’re healthier. So I hunted around and found bakerella’s red velvet recipe, which looked gorgeous. But it was a lil bit scary when I eventually managed to convert 2oz into… 56mL! Of food colouring! Plus a casual 2 cups of sugar mmmm hyperactivity here I come.
So I had a tinker, and this red velvet is now one of my favourite things to bake. This time round I made it in cupcake form for a bake sale. It is silky and moist with its own unique flavour and tastes amazing when smothered in cream cheese icing and is show stoppingly red. It also seems to avoid the bitter issues some people come across with red velvet, as this gal is a knock out each and every time.
Red velvet cakes:
Adapted from Bakerella. Makes 36 small cupcakes, or two 8″ cakes
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups of rice bran oil
1 Tbsp Cocoa
1 Tblsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 Tbsp red food colouring
Preheat oven to 175C and grease cupcake tin or fill with cases.
Pop the eggs into a bowl or mixer and whisk until foamy. Add in all the wet ingredients plus the cocoa and mix. Combine all the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir. Sift into the wet mixture and whisk until combined and lump free. Fill the tins 3/4 of the way up and bake for 15mins or until the tops spring bake. Cool on a rack before icing.
For the cream cheese icing, my go to recipe is over here smeared all over an amazing carrot cake.