Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Kitchen spotlight update....

give a girl some spray-paint....

Remember my post here about choosing the right ceiling spotlight for my new look kitchen??
I had my heart set on some industrial style ones!

In the end I didn't go for any of them...
....because I found these from B&Q at a bargain £35!!

They had that right look with an industrial feel....
....OK, so they didn't have the right finish: That brass look wasn't quite what I'd had in mind!!
But then I remembered my own advice in my post decor and furniture on budget : "a quick makeover with some spray paint can change the look of a bargain buy to fit with your decor!!"

This instantly sprung to mind...


So I decided to take my own advice and set off to acquire my bargain kitchen spotlights!


As I am going for shots of black and copper in my new look kitchen (See my full reveal on Saturday)
I set to work , armed with spray-cans, in the said colors:

I masked off the outside of the lights...

And sprayed the inside of the shades copper..
...when the copper had dried, I masked off the inside of the shades, removed the previous coverage on the outside and spray-painted the light fitting matte black!

And, voila: The transformation was complete!!
The perfect ceiling spotlights for my new look kitchen!!

I have used spray paint a lot in my kitchen makeover to tie in the details....
...never underestimate the power of spray paint: It really can transform the look of just about anything!!

Get ready for the Full reveal on Saturday!!

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Friday, 18 July 2014

Reclaimed scaffolding wood for new kitchen shelves...

How do you like my new kitchen shelves?'s the reason why I needed to drill holes in my tiles (see my previous post here to see how)!!
Nice, hey??
And do you know what the best thing is about my new kitchen shelves??....I got the wood for free....fished out of a skip!! So apart from the 2 IKEA brackets, at £2 each...I made this shelf for practically nothing!!

Today I will show you how I reconditioned the wood to make these rustic looking kitchen shelves!!

I swear people think I'm mad around here! I am always looking through skips and bringing home items in various states of distress : Lugging home pieces of wood on the bus etc....
My husband certainly thinks I've lost the plot, as my shed is slowly filling up with rubbish....useful things for future projects!! Anyway, I had been on the lookout for weeks for a piece of wood to make some kitchen shelves with!! Actually: I did want to make a table, but lets start with the shelves!!
The other day, as luck would have it, I passed a skip: Lo and behold: the holy grail!! A dusty plank of old scaffolding board!! OOOH...the joy!! (And not too far from home either!! Result!!)
I pulled it out of the skip...getting covered in dust in the process (and some serious strange looks from passers by...) Brought it home and set to work immediately!!

First: I gave it a good scrub with bleach and water! (after all who knows where its been??....Oh! That's right: a skip!!)

Then I pulled out any old nails and staples...

Cut it to size with a wood-saw. (I chose the area of the plank that had most interest in the wood, in form of knots and cracks and damage etc......the more the merrier!!!)

Then I got out my trusty old palm-sander + 40grit sandpaper, and set to work!!
I wasn't after a very smooth finish, as I wanted it to look quite rustic (!!) But I sanded it back just enough to smooth down the surface and get rid of any splinters etc! I paid particular attention to the edges of the wood, using the palm sander to round off the corners a little!! 

When I was satisfied with the surfaces, I dusted it down and applied 1 coat of Danish oil to seal the wood!!
This darkened the wood initially, but later faded to reveal the beautiful patina of the old plank!! 

I left the plank overnight to soak up the oil, before attaching the IKEA brackets the following day!!

My new kitchen shelves were ready to hang up!!

I love how they turned out...better than I had imagined actually!!
(Oh! by the way: If you like my labelled glass jars, I will show you how I made the labels soon)

I love the way the rustic wood looks against my crisp new tiles!!

What do you think?
From a skip to your kitchen: Yay or nay??

I am so-nearly-there with the whole kitchen reveal...just waiting for the neighbor to come and fix up my new spotlights in the ceiling (There's another post, coming soon!!)

I am soo pleased with how it looks now!!
If you are curious, you can see how it used to look here
Cant wait to show you guys!!
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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

How to: drill through tiles maybe not the most exciting post ever, but very useful!

When I finished tiling my kitchen the other week (Oh boy! that was a BIG job!!!), I was very pleased with myself: It looks great!! But then to my horror I realized that I would now have to drill through my beautiful (If I say so myself...blush)new tiles!! 
This filled me with utter dread: I suffer from "hole-in-the-wall phobia" anyway, but drilling through tiles....!!! What if they crack and I ruin all my hard work??
But it had to be done!!

After consulting with anyone I could think of....(and Mr Google) i took a deep breath, and got to it!
And do you know what? It was easy...not at all scary, and I didn't damage a single tile!!

Turns out this is one of those jobs that simply requires the RIGHT TOOLS!!

A small masonry drill bit(2-3ml), some masking tape, a fully charged drill...
....and most importantly: A tile cutter drill bit!! (that's the one with the arrow head!!) They come in different sizes according to what you need! They cost between £3-4, and its definitely worth the money!!
...Oh and a bowl of water(?)

First mark where you need to drill the holes with a marker pen on the tiles, then cover each spot with a cross of masking tape.(This will give the drill bit something to grip into, instead of sliding around on a smooth tile!!)

Then use the small masonry drill bit to drill a pilot hole in the tile...Go slow with an even pressure!! This WILL take longer than expected!! Every now and then dip the drill bit into the bowl of water, to cool it down! (the friction will make it red hot, and could cause it to melt!!??)

That's all the hard work done!!

Next: Using your arrow-headed tile bit, place it into the pilot hole and watch it drill through the tile like a knife through butter!! Soooo good!!

When you're through the tile,  swap to a drill bit (same size) suitable for whatever your wall is made from (I used a masonry bit as my wall was bricks) and drill the hole deeper!
Job done!!
Remove the masking tape to reveal your perfectly drilled holes in the tiles!!
Now just add wall plugs and off you go!!

Not so scary after all!!??

On Saturday I will show you the reason why I needed to drill these holes...
...and I promise you: It looks amazing!!

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

New blog design

Hi! have come to the right place!
As you can see, Nostalgiecat has undergone quite a transformation in the last few days!!
How do you like my new blog design??
The wonderful Sarah from Trisarahtops smiles has worked her magic!!
I can highly recommend her services: Not only does she create the most amazing blog designs, but she makes the progress quick and easy....And she has the patience of a saint!!
(God knows i tested it with my flapping and indecisiveness!!)
I cant believe how quickly she came up with the header....which was spot on for the brief I gave her!!
All in all the process took about 1 day: from point of contact to finished blog design!!
And for just £ unbeatable price for a fab design and excellent service!!
I just love my new-look blog!!
I hope you like it too, and that you find it a bit easier to navigate (with the new floating menu bar at the top!!)
Anyway, Tomorrow it will be business as usual, and I will be back with another how to post
.....almost ready for the kitchen reveal now!!
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Ps! Please spare a minute to give me your vote for best interior blog  in the Cosmopolitan blog Awards
You can find the link in my sidebar!!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

How to: Resurface a wooden kitchen worktop

...resurface a wooden kitchen worktop 

I love the wooden worktops in my kitchen....But after finishing the tiling, I realized that they were in dire need for some TLC!!
This is my own fault: When we bought our house 2 1/2 years ago: the wooden worktops in the kitchen was one of the features of this property we fell in love with. And we were told that they would need regular re-oiling to keep....however: I forgot...or rather, kept putting it off!!
Naughty me!!
And with so much stuff being made in the kitchen (Not just food, but a lot of my projects come to life here...) the worktops had suffered an unreasonable amount of abuse, and was seriously showing some wear and tear + they had started yellowing and did NOT look like the beautiful wooden worktops they once were....poor things!!
So operation: Resurface the worktops was set into action: 

I started by taking off the previous finish of the worktop.
I used :
Clean Spirit (a non-toxic version of white spirit)
Wire wool
A paint scraper

 Wearing rubber gloves I applied the Clean Spirit to the worktops and scrubbed with wire wool... left to soak for 10-20 minutes the clean spirit lifted the old oil finish from the wood!

 Then I used the paint scraper to scrape off the mucky mix of the old oil-finish and Clean spirit. Then I wiped the surface clean and left to dry.

I then dug out my palm sander and sanded back the surface...first with 40grit sandpaper, then with 100grit. Paying extra attention to where there was marks in the surface!!
I then brushed away the wood dust and wiped the surface clean with a damp (NOT WET) rag .

 I then applied a layer of bleach to the surface with a rag and left this to soak into the wood for 1/2 hour.
This will not only disinfect the wooden worktops, killing any bacteria in the wood, but also help lighten the wood and removing some of that yellowing!!
You can buy special wood bleach if your wooden worktops are very yellow, but I settled for normal household bleach!

 When the bleach had soaked in to the wood, I again wiped the surfaces down with a damp rag! It is important not to get too much moisture into the wood at this stage as the wood in unprotected!! I left the wooden worktop to completely dry out for a couple of hours... then I reapplied 3 coats of Danish oil (there are of course other oils, with different finishes, but I used what the previous owners left behind to save money!!)with an old dishcloth, leaving a couple of hours in-between coats.
(It does say on the tin to leave 5-6 hours in-between coats, but this was a particularly hot day....and I am so impatient!!! Anyway: 2 hours seemed to be just fine!!)
NB!! Make sure you soak the rag you used to apply the oil with before disposing, as the oil can make it self combust at any time!!
 Leave it at least 24 hours before you use the resurfaced and re-oiled wooden worktop for food preparation!

Not all of the marks came out , but I am pleased with the new finish of my wooden worktops...Nothing like a good "scrub-up" to make you feel as though you start afresh...

And I promise to treat my new-conditioned wooden worktop to a regular re-oiling from now on ( and to treat it with a bit more care!!)!!
My kitchen is almost ready for the reveal now, just have few more smaller projects (and one larger DIY) to finish off!!
I am learning a lot in this makeover, and will be sharing some more of my new found knowledge with you all next far the biggest lesson learnt: I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to!!
....and so can you folks!!

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Cosmopolitan blog awards 2014

....I need your votes!!

Imagine my joy on Monday, when I realised I'd made it!!
I've made the shortlist for the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards in the BEST INTERIOR BLOG category!!
I would've done a celebratory summersault...if I could...But the fear of serious injury held me back!!
It was the sensible choice...and I knew it!!
However, fear did not hold me back when I entered Nostalgiecat for the CBA2014 a couple of months ago...but I DID NOT expect to make the shortlist!!
So A BIG THANK YOU to everyone that nominated me... I LOVE YOU ALL....but now I need your help ...again!!
Show me some love...

Its only takes a minute:
Just click on the image above, and the link to the Cosmopolitan blog awards voting pages will open in a new tab....Click through to page 11: BEST INTERIOR BLOG and simply tick the little radio button next to Nostalgiecat .
Then click through to the end, enter your name and e-mail address, tick a couple more boxes, hit SUBMIT....and bobs your uncle!!
...And I am your friend forever!!

I would of course highly recommend that you browse through all the wonderful blogs in all the categories (You can check out each blog by clicking on the blog-names): You never might find your new favourite!!!(Apart from Nostalgiecat, of course (ahem!!blush!!))

Voting closes on the 29th of August.

or at the very least: Wish me Luck!!

Signing off with extra kisses today:

Friday, 4 July 2014

Kitchen cupboard update: DIY diamond cement cupboard knobs

...DIY diamond cement cupboard knobs

My kitchen makeover is nearly complete....just adding the finishing touches!
Today I want to show you how I've made these Diamond shaped cement cupboard knobs to update my kitchen units! They are easy to make, (if not a little time consuming) and adds a modern twist to my new look kitchen!
The only hard part of this, is to fold as many paper origami moulds as you need!!
I have even made you a downloadable PDF pattern.

You will need:

My downloadable PDF diamond  pattern
Glossy cardstock
Rapid setting Cement (or concrete)
Plastic container for mixing up the cement
 mixing sticks
Drill with suitable drill-bit
Clear spray varnish
2 part epoxy adhesive

 concrete diamond template
 Download the template here


# Print out the template on glossy cardstock (You can adjust the size on your printer if needed, but I think this size was perfect for my kitchen cupboard knobs) Print out as many as you will need.
# Cut out the templates
#Use your scalpel to carefully score (take care not to cut through the paper) the perforated lines to make the folding a LOT easier!! (this may be easier to do before you cut out the templates)
#Fold (I forgot to put perforated lined on the little "disk" that goes on the top of the diamond, so please remember NOT to cut this part away, but fold it)
#Tape the diamond shape together using small strips of tape....The little "flaps" go on the outside!! Make sure you cover the whole diamond with tape: this will strengthen the paper mould and help waterproofing the paper!

Depending on how many you need, this process will take some get comfortable, put some music on and make yourself a coffee!!


When you have finished making all your paper diamond moulds, give yourself a pat on the back!! The hard work is done....the next step is easy!!


Mix up your cement in a plastic container...aim for the consistency of yoghurt: Not too runny, but still pourable! Carefully fill each mould with the cement quickly, as the rapid-setting cement sets fast!!  Gently tap each mould as you go, to shake loose any air-bubbles from the surface!
After a couple of minutes you will need to top up each mould to make the back of your diamonds level, as the paper will soak up some moisture from the cement mix, causing the level to sink a little!!
Use your mixing stick to carefully skim off any excess cement-mix!!

Leave to set according to the instructions on your cement mix!

# The cement mix I used set within 20 minutes! I then peeled all the paper off, revealing my diamonds!!
#Whilst the cement was still in this early stage of curing (and still quite soft) I drilled a hole in the middle at the back of each diamond (taking care not to drill all the way through). This is for the screw to attach to the cupboards, so choose a drill-bit with a similar diameter as your screws!!
(I used the old screws already attached to my kitchen units, left by the old hardware, but you can of course buy new ones if they are no longer present)
#Use your scalpel to shave off any lumps and bumps on your cement diamond...especially at the back (as you'll want your new cement diamond cupboard knobs (hi hi...that word gets me every time: childish, I know!!) to sit flush on your kitchen units!!)

Now leave them all to fully cure overnight!!

To seal the surface of your cement diamonds, I used a clear spray lacquer....but a watered down PVA mix will work as well!!


 I used a two-part epoxy adhesive to attach my knobs(...there I go again!! get a grip June!!LOL) to my kitchen cupboards! Epoxy adhesive is great for  creating a strong bond between different materials, in this case cement and a metal screw!!
Mix it together, and drizzle some in to the hole in the back of your diamonds, then screw them onto your cupboards!!

Its no secret that I love concrete and cement, but I REALLY  love how these look in my new style kitchen!! I love the modern Diamond shape and  think they go perfectly with the metro tiles/grey grout combo!!
 Here's a sneaky peek of my new look kitchen:

Looks nice and fresh, hey??
I had never done tiling before, but I am very pleased with how it's turned out!! All the hard work is done now, I even resurfaced the wooden workbench (post coming soon!!)
So now it's just the FUN bits left, like lighting (See my previous post here ), accessories and other details left!! So the big reveal is coming soon!!
I hope you like my Cement diamond cupboard knobs (Alright...that's enough now!!)
Any questions, please leave a comment below!

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