Shabby Chic Headboard…

My daughter and I are working on redecorating her bedroom. Our next project was to shabby chic a headboard for her bed. I want to show you the easy steps to shabby chic a headboard with everyday interior house paints. We were looking at a Thrift Store on Saturday and found a great headboard and baseboard for free.

They were in reasonable condition and made of solid wood. Because headboard and base had been painted white previously we decided to use paint from our local Resene paint shop. The colour picked was, Wild Thing, which was really quite a bright yellow, but  we decided to give it a go. I just brought four test pots (60 ml each) and used two coupons (buy one get one free) off the back of grocery store receipts. The cost was $9.00.

This was a great project for my daughter, Serah, as it was easy to do. Also, a good chance to practice her painting on something where mistakes where easy to fix.

Serah painting a headboard

Serah painting a headboard


Once the first coat was done Serah found the colour too bright or too “perky yellow” as she called it. So I mixed one test pot I had brought previously of Half Bianca (60 ml) with one pot of Wild Thing.Serah much preferred the lighter yellow.


Once the paint had dried overnight I lightly sanded down areas of the paint. The thing I love about shabby chicing a piece of furniture is it is wonderful for getting rid of mistakes, drips etc. So I just sanded off areas at random, places where in time it might get worn away anyway. The underneath layer of white paint came through in places to make it a bit more interesting.

Clear Wax and Dark Wax

Finally after sanding I used Annie Sloan Clear Wax and Dark Wax over the sanded areas. I just like this look, but you can leave it without wax if you like.

Distressed Headboard

Distressed Headboard



Shabby Chic Headboard and Baseboard

Shabby Chic Headboard and Baseboard

Thanks for reading my post! Serah’s bedroom reveal coming soon!







3 simple tips to make perfect chocolate chip cookies

The ultimate chocolate chip cookies

The ultimate chocolate chip cookies

3 simple tips to make perfect chocolate chip cookies….

My son told me tonight he had three shared lunches at school next week.  I thought about all I could bake, but I decided to make a large batch of chocolate chip cookies. 

Cookies are very easy to bake and everyone has their favourite recipe. Our family’s favourite recipe comes from:  Betty Crocker – Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies 


¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I never add nuts just due to so many people having allergies)

12 ounces/340 grams (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Start by pre-heating  the oven to 375 Degree F./190 Degree C.
  2. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches/ 5 cm apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centres will be soft). Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

My simple tips to make your perfect cookies are:

Refrigerate your cookie dough for a short time before scooping (if you have the time)

Use a cookie scoop to make the cookies perfectly round

Only bake for 8 to 10 minutes this keeps the cookies from going flat


Using a cookie scoop makes perfectly round cookies

Beautifully scooped cookie dough

Beautifully scooped cookie dough

I use a potato masher to flatten my dough

I use a potato masher to flatten my dough, its a lot quicker

Perfectly round cookies

Finally perfectly round cookies

Cookies on a vintage embroidery tray cloth

The cookies on a vintage embroidery tray cloth

Vintage Embroidery Tray Cloth

I love vintage things in my home. This beautiful vintage tray cloth was made by my grandmother’s friend in 1937.

Vintage Embroidery Tray Cloth

Vintage Embroidery Tray Cloth



Vintage cloth made in 1937

Vintage cloth made in 1937

Thanks for reading my post!











Growing a Rosemary topiary in time for Christmas in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand …

October is not too late start growing a rosemary topiary in time for Christmas! But if you read this post and it is after Christmas start a topiary anyway, because you will love it.


I love rosemary, I use it a lot in cooking, so I like to keep it inside in a jug of water. Something about the smell of it is really wonderful and fills the whole room.

Rosemary in a ironstone jug

Rosemary in an ironstone jug


In my garden I have lots of rosemary bushes growing, one of them is incredibly old with really gnarly roots.

Gnarly roots on rosemary

Gnarly roots on rosemary


Since I have never grown a topiary before, I decided I would start one with the idea it should be looking good enough to bring into the house to decorate in time for Christmas. They look great with even a simple bow around as a decoration. Or they can make a great gift!

So I decided to try growing and pruning a couple of rosemary. One had been growing in a pot for some time and I just had to cut it back to the main vertical shoot. Then trimming off all the shoots and cutting the top off.


The second one I brought from a nursery and transplanted it to a terracotta pot.



Then I proceeded to trim the shoots of the main shoot and cut back the top.


Keep them watered, but not sitting in water. Turn them around to make sure they get plenty of sunlight.

White lavender

Today I  found in a friends garden white lavender with flecks of purple. I managed to get a cutting, so that went in a terracotta pot as well. I trimmed off the flowers and the stem and now we will see if it grows. I will let you know how I get on!

White Lavender

White Lavender


White Lavender

White Lavender

Growing a rosemary topary

Growing toparies

Growing toparies

Thanks for reading about Rosemary. Please come back and find out how my toparies are getting on!






Little sad old cabinet – needed chalk paint makeover

Little Sad Old Cabinet – Needed Chalk Paint Makeover

I loved this little old cabinet as soon as I saw it at a Thrift Store, but it needed a chalk paint makeover. The great thing about it was it was only $20.00, but unfortunately the top half of the back was broken and there was borer in the back. It was probably why it was so cheap!


The first thing I did was remove the broken top part of the back.


I washed it all down with water and dish detergent. Some of the old hardware was broken, so I removed it and brought some cooper knobs at a local building recycling shop. My husband Tom replaced the back with a piece of wood he cut down to size and nailed on.


I treated the whole cabinet with a borer spray to be on the safe side. I don’t get put off by furniture with borer, because some old pieces do have borer. It is easy to treat with a spray and or a borer bomb, just follow the instructions carefully.

When I removed the hardware there were two holes and I filled in one of the holes with wood filler, as I only needed one hole for the replacement hardware.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre on the outside of the cabinet. I ended up giving it two coats of paint, then gently sanded it in some areas to show the wood underneath. It had a lovely texture and dark colour I wanted to show through.

I painted the inside of the cabinet with Duck Egg Blue.

Then I put Clear Wax on all the surfaces, inside the cabinet and outside and rubbed it in as I went along. Finally, I rubbed Dark Wax on some areas of the outside, highlighting rougher areas of the paint and wood.


Cooper Hardware

Copper Hardware





Winter Roses from my gardent

Winter Roses from my garden



This is my favourite chair, picked up from a Thrift store for only $35

This is my favourite chair, picked up from a Thrift store for only $35

This Maiden Hair Fern is really old, it was my grandmothers. I have only just been given it, but quickly managed to nearly kill it!

This Maiden Hair Fern is really old, it was my grandmothers. I have only just been given it, but quickly managed to nearly kill it!

I love the colour and the crackle aged lines on the pot.

I love the colour and the crackle aged lines on the pot.

Thanks so much for reading my blog!






I want to show you some of my favourite things in my kitchen…

Some of them have come from my Grandmother and Mother, so they are quite old. I love the colours and how they work so well together – my kitchen decor.



Herbs are something I use a lot of,  but I especially enjoy having living plants which are functional in the kitchen.


The old vintage jar of my Grandmothers is filled with cupcake wrappers, which are so pretty in colour. This is actually really functional as well, because we use them a lot for baking.


The vintage grocers cast iron scales and weight



This bowl was my mothers, it was made in Germany and has really beautiful colours, which I love.



The last thing is my picture of quirky bottles. This picture I painted back in 2013 with acrylic paints. We live in wine country here in Hawke’s Bay, with over 70 wineries. I especially love springtime and summer here when the wineries open their cellar doors and we can enjoy many a beautiful afternoon sipping a glass of wine.





FAWC – Food And Wine Classic Black Barn Vineyard


Church Road Winery – Winemaker

Thanks for reading about my kitchen decor. If you enjoyed it please come back and learn more about life in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.



Succulents in teacups, little pots, concrete pots….

Succulents in teacups, little pots….

When asked to have a table at a Christmas craft fundraiser for an Alzheimer’s Day Care I immediately said yes. I had a few months to get prepared so I started collecting succulents of all species. Asking friends and families for cuttings, raiding gardens whenever I saw a succulent. Then I hit the Thrift stores collecting teacups, little pots and any pot that looked pretty and was a reasonable price.

I even experimented making some concrete pots painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Duck Egg. My son Elisha helped me making them, we certainly had fun, but that is for another post!

Then I collected tin cans of various sizes and brought some burlap and twine to decorate them. Using a hot glue gun I stuck the burlap on the tins. I even made my own little tags.

This was a really fun project as I love succulents. They have become so popular, probably because they live inside and outside and are very hard to kill.

It took some time, doing all the preparation. But I finally got all the succulents into the right teacup or pot and left them outside to grow for a few weeks. I had to kept them watered regularly as it was hot outside, fortunately they all survived and made it to the Fair.


Don’t they look beautiful?


This is my favourite succulent, called Jelly Bean or Pork and Beans.

Jelly Bean Succulent in a teacup

Check out some of these cute teacups




Some pretty pots



The tin cans with tags



And of course my concrete pots painted with chalk paint.


The day was an incredible success and a lot of fun. Fortunately I only had to bring one home!

Thanks for reading my post. Please come back to find out more about life in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.





Remembering the past using beautiful lace and ribbons to make a garland curtain for my 13 year old daughter.

In my last post I mentioned we moved house and I am in the process of decorating my teenager daughter’s bedroom.  I wanted to show how a easy it is to make a beautiful garland curtain.

Vintage Lace and Ribbons

It was so exciting recently to find boxes and tins at my mother’s house of beautiful old lace and ribbons. She had been collecting them for many years and it was special to see how old some of it was. We decided a wonderful way to use the it was to make a curtain for Serah’s room. Some of the lace was leftover from my mum’s wedding dress, how special is that.



Serah has two pale brown roman blinds in her room, we used the smaller of the two to hang the lace curtain over. First we put nails in the wall on either side at the top of the blind then hooked up a long piece of twine. We then attached the lace and ribbons one by one, tying or looping over the twine. Some of the them shorter so we just tied and knotted others together with them to make them longer length.







It was amazing to see how beautiful they looked hanging together. It feels so special that it was no longer in boxes and tins, hidden away, where it had been for many years. It really brought much joy to my mum to see them being used and loved after all this time. Look at this one chocolate box with had lace  stored in with a picture of Queen Elizabeth at her coronation in 1953.



My daughter can now enjoy her grandmother’s old lace and ribbons every day and celebrate the past.

Thanks for reading! Come back and see more about life in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.




Inexpensive And Easy Daughter’s Bedroom Makeover With Chalk Paint

A very inexpensive and easy way to do my daughter’s bedroom makeover was using chalk paint.

Pre-teens Makeover Bedroom update with One Room Challenge @house beautiful

My daughter Serah has turned 13 and as a teenager wants something different. She is very keen to pick out and help paint some furniture for her new room. We brought new colourful bedding, curtains and a rug for the floor.  Next came some furniture…

Little Pine Wooden Shelving Unit

I brought a little pine wooden shelving unit, to use as a bedside table, for only $5.00 at a Thrift Store which I decided to paint in a combination of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints, Old Ochre and Coco. These are very neutral colours which look great in any room.

The shelving was in good condition and just needed a wipe down before painting. No sanding was needed, as the chalk paint sticks really well to any surface. One of the reasons why I love painting with it!


After Serah and I gave it a couple of coats, I let it dry for a day before putting on the Annie Sloan Clear Wax and Dark Wax. I rubbed the dark wax lightly on top of the clear wax. Then gave it a good buffing with a soft cloth. I buy old flannelette sheets for about a $1.00 from Thrift stores and cut them up for this purpose.


Cane Headboard

My other great find at a local Thrift Store up this lovely cane headboard for only $15.00img_1249-2

I painted the cane headboard  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Emperor’s Silk, which is a really beautiful red. I used a smaller paint brush  on this as it was important to get in all the little areas. Only one good coat was needed and no wax is required on cane surfaces.


We brought some handy baskets for storage on the shelves and a new bright red lamp.


It was great to see how well the room came together and Serah was very happy.

Thanks for reading my post!



This old TV Console I brought for $10.00 on Trademe.


Simple repairs needed

One cabinet door was broken and a shelf was missing, it was just not looking so good. But sometimes you can see the potential in a piece. Especially if it is made of mahogany wood and you have two cans of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre and Coco.

I started by removing the glass doors, which was easy to do. Then unscrewed the plastic door tracks and filled in the screw holes with wood filler.  I took off the broken door and cut it down to replace the shelf that was missing.

Finally, I removed all the hardware and place it aside to paint.

As this was such a large piece I used a paint roller to do the first coat. I mixed together both paint colours in the paint tray. They went on easily and if any drips I lightly sanded down when it had dried.



It was such a beautiful day to be painting outside!

For the second coat I used a brush and still using the paint tray I poured the two different colours in side by side. I painted one colour then the next, combining the colours, painting it smoothly over the surfaces. After paint had dried I again light sanded any drips and made sure it was really smooth.

I decided to use Annie Sloan Clear Wax on all the surfaces and Dark Wax only on the front trim.

Using the same hardware, but I painted and sanded it down.  In New Zealand hardware is really expensive compare to America, so I try to use the same hardware when possible.



What a transformation, it came out far better than I expected.





Thanks for reading my post! Hope you have enjoyed it!




Feeling blessed this Sunday to be living in Havelock North, New Zealand

Feeling blessed this Sunday to be living in Havelock North, New Zealand. Celebrating Spring!

Today is just beautiful and I look out our front door and see Spring.



Flowers in the garden.




Even our palm tree looks colourful.


A Beautiful Moon

And then to end the day a beautiful full moon comes up as we look out from our deck over the hills of Havelock North.


Feeling blessed in New Zealand!

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday!

Andi xx

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