Upcycled IKEA Kid's Chairs - a makeover

We've had an IKEA children's table and chair set since Miss CCL was 2 (she's 3½  now) she loves it and I have to say it has served her well as a mini dining table, painting table, we've had pretend tea parties on it, she's played on top of it, made a tent underneath it and it has certainly stood up to all a toddler could (literally) throw at it! 

Source: Ikea

We now have 2 of these cute little sets and at £17.00 for the table and 2 chairs, they are good value.  Easy to put together, well, easy for himself to put together and very sturdy, they get top marks all round.

I thought the first set could do with a little makeover so I've taken a chair apart, chalk painted it and covered the seat with a piece of colourful plastic sheet that I had languishing in the newly named craft cupboard!

The first coat was blue, the second coat a pale bluey green, minimally distressed, waxed and buffed.

The result is a gorgeous new toddler chair that blends beautifully with her bedroom and mine (we love colour and mixing up colour schemes!) and she is thrilled with it, especially as she "helped" to paint it!

The other chair and table will also embrace the unusual colour and pattern combination, we have pink and will be colour mixing to see what we can come up with!

Linking up with:


Fabulousy creative friday

DIY Chalk Paint - An Experiment - Part 1

I'm loving using chalk paint, it can be used on any surface with no prep needed beforehand, so no sanding or priming necessary!

Tootling around the internet for chalk paint suppliers I came across ways to make chalk paint. I have a box full of paint testers that were left over from choosing paint colours and some old tins of paint.  I used some to make props for my photography and now it seems I can make chalk paint with the leftovers!

The ingredients are quite simple, Plaster of Paris (bought from Hobbycraft), water, paint - I'm using Matt Emulsion plus a couple of plastic containers to mix it all up.

So this is where the experimenting starts!  I made up the smallest amount to paint a piece of wood to test it on.  The ratio as per the instructions on the packet of Plaster of Paris are 2 parts to 1 part water but like I said experimenting!

Into one of the plastic containers I put 3 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris and mixed with 2 tablespoons of warm water, making a well (like cake making) and gradually incorporating the fluid into the powder.  It should be a smooth, thickish consistency, adding more water if too stiff.  It looked a good consistency so decided to leave out the extra tablespoon of Plaster of Paris this time.

Into the second container added the paint (I used 3 different leftover paint colours), around 200ml then combined with the Plaster of Paris until smooth.

The result?

The paint went on well but compared to bought chalk paint it was thicker, maybe because the paint was old and paint does thicken with age.  It covered in 2 coats but although the finish was smooth, it wasn't as chalky as the bought version but a good finish none the less.  I think I probably needed fresher, thinner paint and that extra tablespoon of Plaster of Paris?  Definitely room for improvement and more experimenting with ratios!

I will keep on using the bought versions but this is a great way to use up all that leftover paint but also using freshly bought paint to create custom colours with that chalky paint effect.


Afternoon Tea: Julien Plumart's Boutique Et Salon De Thé

A lovely treat today, meeting up with a friend at Julien Plumart's Boutique Et Salon De Thé.  This paragraph from the website sums it up perfectly:

"Bestowing his signature creations, the Boutique is brimming with exotic colours and sumptuous flavour combinations that arouse the senses, open the eyes to beauty and launch you into Parisian heaven in just one bite. Here you will find his delectable 24 signature macarons. This is the place to relax and enjoy a moment of pleasure."

Parisian heaven indeed, the amazing choice of beautifully crafted patisserie and colourful macarons with gloriously flavoured fillings.  The wow factor hits you as soon as you enter the boutique with a counter filling the room with row upon row of delicious creations.

The coffee was excellent too (served with a side of water) and the staff attentive, polite and very accommodating.  I will definitely be back for an encore!

If you are heading to Brighton you can find Julien Plumart's Boutique Et Salon De Thé in Duke Street.

source:  Julien Plumart

Silent Sunday


Pilates in Brighton

I've been looking for a Pilates machine studio locally for so long, the last studio I attended had a ball and other small pieces but nothing larger than that and the two classes I have gone to in the past left me feeling aching badly and a little injured!

So when I was grabbing a coffee and a fabulous pastry from the Real Patisserie shop my eyes fell upon an A-board outside advertising Pilates classes and I was thrilled to find out they had machines!

Pilates in Brighton studio in Kemp Town was founded in 2010 by Carolyn Bailey MCSP a physiotherapist and clinical pilates instructor with over 20 years in the fitness industry who has worked at London's top pilates studios and as Physiotherapist for Rambert Dance Company. 

The light and airy studio is well equipped with a balance body reformer, cadillac, ladder barrel, combo chair and Pilates arc.  Another room is dedicated to mat work.  Classes can be booked online.

So yesterday I took my aching body for a one-to-one with Carolyn and was very impressed.  I left understanding why my tummy muscles are doing what they are doing, why my pelvis and lower back ache continuously and why my neck is so stiff!

She took me through a range of exercises designed to build my core tummy muscles so that my back isn't doing all the work (why it hurts!) and gave me some to do at home until next week.  I was also used to breathing into my tummy yoga-style but with Pilates you fill your rib cage with air, so a lot to get used to but a more effective way to get to where I need to be.

Looking forward to my next session!