Monday, 30 December 2013

Renovation: my 'new' vintage kitchen OR what has kept me busy for the last 5 months...

I have been wishing for a new kitchen for a while, I inherited a '70's' one (partly updated in the '90's'), which featured an orange patterned ceramic tiled floor as well as what can only be described as a wooden 'stage' in the corner that I wasn't very fond of... anyway, I came to realise that the kitchen fairies were not going to visit and that I was never going to be able to save any money to do it up, so I took the plunge in August of this year and decided to just rip it all out (it would have to get done then surely!) I gave myself a deadline of Christmas which seemed reasonable and a budget of a maximum of £1000 spread over 5 months (overly optimistic but necessary).

ready to rip (out):

ripped out & plastering started:
note:- no sink for 3 months...

and (almost) finished:

What's left? Just the small matter of one door on my belfast sink unit, wavy glass needs replacing with clear & frosted vinyl, 2 pieces of skirting board... oh and a ceiling rose that I possibly may be laser cutting... THEN a rest for me and my helpers!

About the budget...I went over; by 100%! Total kitchen cost approximately £2000 (including nearly all thats in it); not bad really when a lot of people pay £15,000+ for a new swish fitted kitchen... I wonder how the hell I actually HAD £2000; I do think it's almost a miracle... the biggest chunks of money had to pay for a) some muscle to pull out the old carcasses, b) the plastering (biggest cost) c) about £150 on PAINT - how expensive is paint??!!! d) I got my Smeg from eBay for £300  e) my other furniture totalled £380 (from eBay over some time)and was cleaned and repainted. 

I was really lucky in that my family & friends include a plumber, an electrician, and an all round very handy man who laid the floor, did the extra panelling, built the sink unit, fitted the skirting boards (free from a reclamation yard) and put up the wall units etc. Incidentally the wall units came from 'Oz' - a second hand/junk place in Hartlepool; (a treasure trove of old fabulous stuff) for I think £30 each, with the (only a bit broken) original glass (but filthy); the pile of porcelain evaporating dishes (chemistry lab) were also from there, along with some vintage cutlery and numerous other non essentials!

Other notes about where I sourced items:

  • The cafe curtains are made from stitched together printed muslin seed bags from a car-boot sale (Seaham)
  • The green formica table was bought last minute on eBay £20.00 & collected from Prudhoe, Northumberland in very bad weather
  • I made stencils and spray painted the numbers & red cross on the cupboard which was an old shop counter from eBay (delivered by seller from Darlington) £60 approx.
  • The butchers block/trolley was £7 from eBay, I just had to collect from Consett, Co. Durham and paint it.
  • Most of the things in and on the cupboards are what I have accumulated and collected over the years, the most recent additions are mostly from York car-boot sale and a collector friend who was moving to New Zealand
  • Skirting boards: part of an old gymnasium floor (free because they weren't the straightest of pieces)
  • Belfast sink from an old school art college; picture will follow when door is attached!
I am very happy with my new kitchen but please don't tell me it looks like a museum set, it wasn't the intention- it just happens that I love old things...

Friday, 20 December 2013

Where I left off...

and now I'm back, from outer space...
So please peruse at your leisure some images (click for full size) from our trip to Cuba in the summer... these were all taken in Old Havana except the beach which is Varadero. Needless to say it was purely AMAZING...

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Tate in Ten

A one day trip to London.. quick, slow quick, quick-quick-quick!..

primarily to see one of our own CCAD students exhibiting at Texprint at Chelsea College of Art, and also to attend a number of seminars with speakers including some eminent people from Pantone (ooo) and WGSN...
However, what I would like to highlight here is how much inspiration you can get from a mere 10 minutes by looking at 'wow standard' stuff!
Who is this? Argh.
Having a tiny amount of spare time at the end of the day, just before running(!) for our train back 'up North' we popped into Tate Britain for a quick look (by the way Mick Hucknall was in there too)...and after a perusal in the shop legged it to one of the free entry galleries...
Apart from the quality of the photography (understandable in the circumstances), I'm sure that you'll get the 'ooooo' and 'I need to paint' factors too..
Richard Hamilton

Student's design sheet from around the '50's 

Student's design sheet from around the '50's 
Student's design sheet from around the '50's 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Print Art Salvage Handmade

A full, busy weekend again... BUT this week it is not being used as an excuse for not blogging. I also know I am well overdue for a newsletter, the trouble is I do have a full time job and with final shows, assessing and New Designers in London this week, it's the busiest time of the year.
So... I am writing this on my way to Sheffield in a 17 seater army minibus to help move out my daughters from their student accommodation for the summer. Better prepare for box carrying and calorie burning :-/
Yesterday was also very lovely, I went to PASH. Everyone must go there! My creative friend Joanna Coupland recommended it to me, it's housed in an old flax mill just outside of York and it's full of reclamation amazingness and vintage STUFF, and it's beautiful. Prices, on the whole are ok too which is refreshing...look at it!

old loom - weave when fixed
more science tubes
 Personally, I was very restrained; out of necessity, because I haven't got bottomless pockets but I did buy this...
...(probably) hand blown, large glass chemists flask on a tall scientific stand (makes me feel cleverer) for £25. And also this... omg...
...a belt from an old machine from a woollen mill, with leather straps and wood slats, don't ask me what I will do with it, it just looks amazing. £15.
The icing on the cake and the cherry on the top was something we weren't expecting to be there...a letterpress workshop, some beautiful prints and old wooden type to drool over - pass me the tissues. Dionne Swift has some very nice work for sale there too.

Oh and for £1.00 from the carboot on the way, I found this guillotine - arrrrr mmmm ;-)

Monday, 27 May 2013

'Claire A Baker' Collector Exhibition

As my exhibition is now over, I would like to thank the multitudes of people who visited and left lovely comments for me…
After the very busy preview evening with tea and cake, we had a steady footfall throughout the weeks it was open. I would like to thank all the student volunteers who manned the gallery and took time to chat to the visitors.


I will be pulling it all down next Wednesday and that will be that… although I would like to take the whole lot travelling; if anyone has a gallery or knows of a gallery that may want to host this ‘beautiful’ (!) body of work please let me know and I will send a promotional pack containing glossy photographs, a brochure and a copy of a very special film of the exhibition.