Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bliss On A Sunny Sunday!

I just love to paint.  Paint old furniture that is.  It is something that gives me great pleasure.  To begin with a bit of tatty old furniture, or a lamp or a mirror, anything really that is no longer shabby chic but just shabby and to turn it around into something beautiful and useful again is so satisfying and cost effective, plus it has great green principles.

My only problem, which is the same as anyone else’s, is having the time to dedicate to painting, so when I do, I go for it big time!  So my recent project was to create a really useful storage cupboard for our bathroom.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take before photographs but here is the finished item. 

Finished that is, apart from the need to fix the hinge, as the door has to remain shut until I do!  One of the drawbacks and the pleasures of living in France profunde is that it is not always easy just to pop to the shop for something that you need, so it has to wait until you are heading in that direction – patience is a virtue so they say.  I also decided to make a pelmet for the bathroom window.  We don’t need curtains as it is just miles of fabulous scenery in front of us but I do have the British penchant for soft furnishings at windows to warm up the ambiance of the rooms.  Plus I have oodles of old linen waiting for me to use in just such a project.

Along with the cupboard, I also have a beautiful pair of wooden lamps which were a bit sad looking and bits of wood were missing etc.  Anyway out with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and they will soon be gracing our home, after I have rooted out a pair of appropriate abat jours!  Then I have a little pine mirror, that is useful but way past its sell by date and so that too is in for a face-lift.  I have had it since the early 80’s so it has certainly earnt its purchase price.  I will show you how they turn out when I have finished them.

My next project is a huge mirror frame that I have painted once and don’t like, so back to the drawing board with that one.  Then there is the desk, sideboard and cabinet that I am itching to get my hands on.  They were bought from a friend’s son and they have fabulous curly scrolled detailing that will look wonderful with an aged finish.

Then there is the mirror that I want to top with the fronton that I purchased and have already painted.  I want to turn them into a feature above our fireplace in the hallway.  Then there is…………. Do you get the picture? 

À Bientôt Mes Amis

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Little Cross Eyed Cat Called Moki

This is Moki.  He is a little grey and white cross-eyed feral cat with an amazing character.  We started off calling him Smokey Joe but it gradually got shortened to Moki and it suits him better.

  We have been feeding him for about 2 years now and he still won’t let us touch him and probably never will. 

 He is so cute but being a butch un-neutered male he would probably not appreciate the cute tag!  His habits have gradually changed and it was hit and miss if he got fed, as we had to see him there.  He would just hang around outside until we cottoned on that he was waiting for his supper.  Now he is much more direct and comes and puts his paws on the French windows and meows.  We think it is probably something like “a table for one and make it snappy”! 

The really funny thing is that often one packet of cat food is not enough and he comes back to the window and cries for another packet!  We always give him another if he does that, as we have no idea what else he eats.  His vision is not great because of his problem with his eyes and you can see that it takes him awhile to find his bowl and we think it is more smell than vision that gets him there. 

He is a fabulous little character but our own cat, Smudge does not agree.  She is unwell now and at 18 years of age has lost her nose to cancer.  She still gets a lot from life and eats and drinks and sleeps.  Pain is kept under control by regular injections from the vet.  You would not think that Moki would bother her but her territorial instincts are still sharp and determined.  She saw Moki outside and although she is a big cat, he did not see her approaching until she was really close and I had yelled to warn him.  When he realised she was there, he leapt so high that my heart nearly stopped as he almost came back down into he swimming pool.  Thankfully, he found the earth and took off at top speed with our geriatric cat close behind.  She gave up on catching him but made sure that he knew he was on her home turf.