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Little Soldier's Locker

Happy New Year! I am back from a lovely Christmas spent in Paris with my family and I feel recharged for 2017! There is so much to do, it couldn't be more exciting. Although, as a result, I also feel like I don't know quite where to start! While in Paris, I went to the Marché Saint Pierre, a massive five-storey fabric shop nestled at the foot of the Sacré Coeur. It was a real thrill to shop in such stunning surroundings, I only wished I'd had more money in the bank, not to mention more time, as this edifice, packed with original features and bohemian vibes is truly the shrine of textiles...

Marche St Pierre

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Marche St Pierre Inside

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I picked up some camo fabric to make some cushions for my son, and lovely upholstery fabric that I can't wait to work with. Meanwhile, there is some progress in my son's bedroom. The plan for it is to be army-themed, with earthy greens and greys with accents of bright yellow. You can see the mood board in the post Boy's Bedroom - Part 1 here.

So, this is the wardrobe Zak cherishes and wants to pass on to his children one day... The fact that it comes from his cousin probably contributes to its sentimental value, however, you'll agree something must be done to it!

Wardrobe - Before

I started painting the piece of just before Christmas with all the pressure one can feel under as the end of the year approaches. For some reason, I feel stressed most years. I draw huge, unrealistic lists of things to do, to finish and to get ready for the Big Deadline, and make myself ill over them. And this year, quite literally! I caught a nasty cold that left me inoperational for a good two weeks. Hopefully, this will teach me a lesson for next year. I hardly got anything done from my lists, Zak's room was is a mess, I bought most prezzies instead of making them (apart from fixing an old photo of Mum for Dad, which he was over-joyed with!), and do you know what? The world didn't come to an end. Enjoying the company of loved ones is definitely all I really needed to do.

I did do this one thing though, and I have to admit that forcing myself to carry on with this wardrobe was not the best move, as it really gave me a hard time! My foggy, mucus-filled brain seemed to have fun at my expense, making me distress the paint too much and use the wrong wax on the paint (the tub I picked up was standard wood wax that made the light grey paint look really disgusting), at which point, I felt like chucking the piece out of the window. Thinking of my little soldier very hard, I patiently removed the brown wax with methylated spirits and re-applied more paint. The weather was dull and not enough light was flooding in, so the photos were not to my liking, and by then, I so wanted the blasted thing over and done with that I barely took the time to take any shots of my step-by-step progress! Learning to use my basic camera better and possibly upgrading is definitely on the cards for 2017! Anyway. I used Annie Sloan's Paris Grey, which seems to be the right shade to create an army locker feel without being too dark and heavy. Also perfect for the 1950s look I am after. Here is a - ahem, apologies, very grainy - photo of the first coat applied with a large synthetic bristle brush, inside and out.

Paris Grey

I used a basic plastic letter stencil and marker pen to mark the piece with Zak's initials and year of birth. I then distressed and waxed the piece. With clear wax this time.

Soldier's Locker

I discovered a very fitting dark green suitcase from the fifties in the attic, gave it a good clean and a coat of wax, and it makes for additional toy storage.

Stencil

From Top

My dad's old army blanket will become a bedspread. A chair and desk in need of reviving will sit in the opposite corner, by the window. And this great little ammo metal box will be just the thing for storing small cars. I also brought back some 1980s pale green curtains found at my parents' that I'm going to dye olive green. Above all, I cannot wait to paint over these Magnolia walls that make me feel like we live in a bedsit! I went to the shop with my seven-year-old and let him choose the paint... Will I regret this?!

Ammo Box

M Logo Sept 2016

I just wanted to flag this lovely French steam trunk now up for sale at my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/497283245/french-vintage-bentwood-steamer-trunk

Also, I have just started a Before&Afters section here: http://www.malphor.co.uk/inspiration/before-afters. Have fun!

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