Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Shop Counter Revamp . . . . (shortcut)

Greetings dear friends & readers & Happy Thursday to you all !!

When I set up my little Craft Cottage 14 years ago it was done on such a "shoe string" budget !!
In fact, it was more like a "broken rubber band" budget to tell the truth !!
I needed a shop counter so my son's old desk was to serve the purpose until such time as I could afford a 
"proper counter" . . . . . .

The desk got a speedy lick of paint ("marzipan") leftover from the cottage walls  ... & some stencils were hastily painted on the front.

Fast forward 14 years later & that old desk was still in use & has never been upgraded !!
It was looking tired & tatty -  rather like the shop owner!!!
I had neither the time nor the energy to spend repainting it so I bought it inside & decided to cover the top with some oilcloth that I had rolled up in a cupboard
First I glued a covering of thin wadding to the top of the desk to give it a slightly padded effect

The Mr helped me staple the oilcloth tightly to the top
Then I ran a length of curtain wire along the top & made up a curtain using the green polka dot fabric I had leftover from making the baby bag for Sid

Luckily I had just enough fabric to make a nicely gathered curtain
After 14 years of being behind the door, I have moved my counter so it is more on display now

I often make curtains up to quickly hide or disguise the backs of units that are facing outwards in my Cottage 
You can see below I have done the same with a small wooden shelf that faces end outwards
Though this fabric looks like Sanderson, it is actually an old thrifted duvet cover that resembles a Sanderson print

And then the little apple box revamp that I showed you in my last post just sits perfectly on the end of my counter 
to use as a small shelf for the things I need to keep on hand

I hope plan to re-open my Cottage next week so I look forward to showing you some snaps in my next post as some of you have asked for photos of some displays in the Cottage.

Frequently throughout the year I keep a large cardboard box on hand & randomly toss things into it as I clean, tidy & sort cupboards etc ...
When the box is full I make a trip to the Op Shop to deliver it.
I had tossed 2 tall red spotty coffee mugs & this small matching lidded dish into the box while Mum was with me.
I had an idea the other night & retrieved the mugs & the dish back out of the box again
I found 2 red teatowels in my stash & appliqued them with the words "bake" & "cook"
Then made up a soy candle in the small round dish, scented with orange & clove fragrance

These few little items made up a lovely bright & cheery vignette in my Cottage 
Changing displays & coming up with fresh new ideas is constant & ongoing in the Cottage

 I like to start each new season with a fresh order of soaps in different fragrances ...... usually I take any leftover soaps for The Mr & I to use up, but these stragglers still smelt beautiful so I decided to run up some fabric bags to pop them into using my Tilda scraps

I thought they looked so attractive presented in their little fabric bags & they smell divine .  .  .  .

I hope the week is treating you kindly dear readers & you are managing to keep warm or cool where ever in the world you might be?
Our spring temperatures here have been so bitterly wet & cold that we ordered more firewood at the start of the week.
It was the kind of day that made you want to just tuck up somewhere cosy & let the world pass you by . . .
.  .  .   rather like a certain little fairy that I know !!!

Thanks so much for your visits today 
Be kind to yourselves & to each other
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0


  1. Oh I do miss visiting your cottage (and you too!) it's so inspiring, warm and welcoming. The new counter makeover sure looks fabulous. I look forward to seeing more photo's when you PLAN to open! Little Ginger Miss sure has the life!

  2. What a great way to re-invent those tea towels and pot and I love the soaps in the bags. Such handy little gifts!

  3. All lovely and bright and colourful Julie...
    Love what you've done to the old desk! And,
    love the patterned material on the top! Just
    like a bed of roses! :).

    And, l think it's a good idea to mark the soaps,
    otherwise they could be mistaken for mature cheeses!
    Putting them into fabric bags is a good idea to!
    Hubby must be one of the cleanest people in New
    Zealand...HeHe! :).

    I was looking at the bits and pieces at the bottom
    there, suddenly l saw Miss Pippi's sleeping head!
    Bless! BIG (((HUG))) for her, and for Blackie of

    Just gone seven over here, another nice dry day
    we hope, though we've been getting a lot of heavy
    rain recently...Hate it! Rain is so wet..isn't it! :).
    And, my Virginia Creeper is just starting to turn,
    l always feel a bit sad, when that happens, after
    the lush green growth through the summer! Still!

    Another cup of lemon tea is called for, off down the
    town later, market day to~day, Thurs and Sat...So see
    what they've got to give away...! Coffee in Costa....
    Banter with a few friends, put the world to rights!
    HeHe! Have fun...! :0).

  4. That desk, looks like my computer desk! I think a kit from the warehouse many years ago! Love what you did. The tea towels look very Christmassy, modern and bright. Love your soap bags, I am buzy writing up a crochet pattern for soap saver bags, (great minds think alike, lol.)
    We have been lucky down here the last 2 days have been glorious and warm, but before that we had snow on the Tararuss more than what was there in winter, it has all melted now. Our bugbear has been the rain and more rain! Love the little one all snuggled up.

    1. Oops, been meaning to say thank you for the link to the chalk paint firm, haven't ordered yet maybe I will revamp my computer desk too!

  5. i love roses & it looks like you do too as most of your fabrics seem to be in rose prints of various designs! just gorgeous & love what you did to the old desk!
    love the tea towel set, such a simple & creative decorating idea for plain towels that bring them up beautifully, loved the spotted jar!
    awww it's the best place to be Pippi, tucked under a warm blanket!
    love watching you create things here & as others have said can't wait to see the rest of your lovely cottage
    thanx for sharing

    1. Hi Selina, yes I do indeed love roses!!! I love most flowers to be honest. I think I should've been a florist but my idea of a flower arrangement is to bung them in a jar & hope for the best. Hope you have a lovely week Selina. Xxx

  6. Beautiful creative work Julie. Wish I could visit you and your beautiful shop. That little furry one must think she is in heaven sleeping with such delicious scents and beauty all around her. Best wishes for opening day. Do hope your weather improves. We have had hardly any rain. Means our pots have to be kept watered. Not so much the garden. That has a good mulch. Our dark red tulips look wonderful in their blue ceramic p0ts.

  7. Love your revamped counter & your ideas for the cups & dush. Can't wait to see the photo's when you reopen. Hugs, xx

  8. How I would love to wander around your little cottage and see what pretties are on offer. Love the revamped counter and LOVE that fabric! How cheery the red and white polka dot tea towels are. The Spring weather has been so-so here, too. Hopefully some warmth will arrive soon. Your furry little fairy looks so snug and oh so very comfy. Oh to be a cat!

  9. Beautiful revamped counter...Love the idea with the tea towels and little dish... I also love the Tilda soap bags what great gifts they would make...Good luck on opening day... Looking forward to more photos... Have a happy creative week ahead... May x ....Little fur face looks so cosy.... They always find the best places to nap...

  10. Live live live the soy candle in the spotty dish, its perfect. I keep meaning to make soap but I think I'm a bit scared. One day!

    1. Thanks so much Jill. The candle has a really lovely fragrance too.

  11. One day I may just pop into your shop and surprise you. We must be due a visit to our rellos in OZ and NZ soon. Mind you all the money is being spent on the house at the moment. I don't mind really as we love our new home and don't intend to move again. I love all your upcycles and crafty makes, very inspiring. Once the house is finished I'm looking forward to making some things myself. I wonder if you might be making any of your beautiful Santas for this Christmas?


  12. So beautiful.. I'm eagerly waiting to see more pictures from you sweet cottage..

  13. Love the renewed counter, and may I say you look neither tired or tatty!!! Wonderful idea for the soaps, and with the tea towels. Great sleeping spot there for Miss Pippi. It was wonderful to catch up with you this week and spend some time chatting. Looking forward to seeing your Christmas goodies in the cottage.

  14. Love your new and improved counter...well done! You are a wonder Julie xx

  15. Hi! That is a good idea to put oilcloth on the desk top so that it can be wiped off easily. I also like the idea of putting curtains on the backs of things that show. Your retrieved mugs and dish look so nice with the towels you made too. Love the fabric bags you made for the soap bars. Have a great week-end! Nancy

  16. Your counter looks wonderful, Julie. Someone looks very cosy in bed!

  17. You've certainly been a busy bee, Love your new counter it looks fabulous! Actually I love all your projects, I can't wait to start crafting again properly, my craft room is almost done, plan to finish it today:O)
    Big hugs, Michelle xoxo

  18. Hello sweet Julie! You are so smart! I love your padded desk and I adore making curtains for cover, too! I have three curtains in mind right now! No, four!
    I wish I could come to The Cottage and shop. I'd stay all day!
    I hope the weather warms soon. Our weather is supposed to be a bit cooler for the weekend. Maybe I'll pull up the zucchini! Sending heaps of love your way, sweet friend!

  19. Hi Julie, your counter looks wonderful, as does your cottage display, you always amaze me as to what you can come up with, I would of just seen a spotted dish and mugs, and gave them away lol. Aww I want to jump under those blankets with your little fairy there, looking forward to some warmer weather next week ((yay)) Have a great one Julie xoxo

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Chris .... yes I wanted to jump under those blankets with the little fairy too .... & just let the world go by.

  20. What a sweet picture to finish with. Your revamped desk is looking good and I simply adore your bars of soap and their little bags xx

  21. my goodness what a lot you get done in a week! I hope your shop does lots of trade, it looks full to the brim. I like the bake and cook vignette, I never see kitchen linen in the UK with this sort of detail/care. Very pretty.

  22. Hi Julie oh boy i love the ideas that you come up with,your mind must go a hundred miles per hour,lol.
    Loving all the red and white,they look fantastic together,looking forward to the pics of your lovely cottage xx

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  24. hi I was looking at your blog you used a flora material you called it old thrifted material witched you said is close to Saunders material. I bough a duvet cover which was is the exact print and i was wodering if you know were I might be able to purchase duvet or material thanks Theresa I love your work


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