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How to make a memo board

9 May

It has become increasingly apparent that we need somewhere to stash the never-ending stream of pictures, paintings, postcards, party invites and general paraphernalia you acquire when you have a little one living in the house. The solution, I figured, would be a memo board. And so I set my mind to creating one using one of my many collected vintage frames.

Here’s a little step-by-step I snapped last week while making the most of a lovely day in the garden…

You will need… A frame {I used a lovely vintage one which I painted in Chalk Paintdecorative paint by Annie Sloan in Old White}; chicken wire {a medium gauge}; wire cutters; staple gun and 10mm staples; a pair of sharp scissors; hessian or other fabric of your choice.

memo board step 1


Step 1: Cut the chicken wire to size

memo board step 2


Step 2: Staple into place {not too many staples at this stage – you’ll go over it again when you place the fabric}

memo board step 3


Step 3: Cut the hessian or other fabric of your choice to size

memo board step 4


Step 4: Staple into place at regular intervals

memo board step 5


There you have it…

memo board step 6a


Finally I painted some sweet little wooden shapes I had and stuck them onto wooden pegs.



And here it is in action {see what I mean about the paraphernalia!} Truly handy, and an adaptable, stylish way to create an ever-changing collage of your everyday bits and pieces.

finished memo board


A variety of memo boards will be for sale at Unique Chique in Alton. Prices vary depending on frame size and style, but generally start at £40. For specific size requirements and bespoke commissions, including individual fabric or colour requests please email


Back with a bang {and a brush}

18 Apr

I promised myself when I started blogging that I would try to avoid terrible excuses for long, wordless gaps. So, no excuses, but what I hope is a very good reason. I have been itching to get on here and share all my exciting news, but waiting for the big ‘TA-DAaaa’ moment to do it. You see, behind the scenes Create Vintage has been having a revamp. New logo, new branding, and a totally new business venture.

So, there have been lengthy deliberations about manufacturing and margins {dull}, and colour schemes and wrappings and ribbons {delightful}. And the end result is this…

Introducing the Create Vintage paintbrush RRP £8.50

Introducing the Create Vintage paintbrush RRP £8.50

Yes, paintbrushes.

I don’t profess to be an expert at furniture painting, but as you know I’ve dabbled. It all began when I was lucky enough to be shown the techniques by the master herself, Annie Sloan. One thing that struck me when I started is that while there was an array of paint to choose from, good brushes were hard to find. So much so that I started to send Mr CV off on little missions when he was in France to find me full, round-headed brushes. Like an artist would use – but bigger!

The ones he came back with were perfect for the job, but somehow lacked any style. Nasty plastic handles in lurid colours. So, an idea was born. How about an effective brush that was specifically designed for furniture, but still had style. The result is this:

  •  A 50/50 mix of natural, unbleached pure and synthetic bristle, which allows the paint to flow so you can still get authentic brush marks, along with a smooth application.
  • A full, round head that is perfect for curves and corners and intricate details. Furniture isn’t flat and one-dimensional {like a wall}, so neither are our brushes.
  • A natural wood handle and simple silver effect collar. Lovely to hold {and not bad to look at either!}

At the moment we stock one size, which I’ve found ideal for most big and small projects, but particularly suited to chairs, small dressers and picture frames.

The Create Vintage paintbrush retails at £8.50 and is available now. We will also be offering wholesale in boxes of 25. Please get in touch at for further details. 

Happy New Year

6 Jan
With a year of blogging under my belt, I’m in the mood for some reflection. Aside from the exciting acquisitions, a handful of revamps and a whole lot of stuff still awaiting its starring moment, I’ve been asked several times in the past few weeks {well, at least twice}: ‘Why blog?’ ‘What’s Create Vintage all about?’
I suppose I started this blog as a way of blending my trade {writing} with a newly discovered passion {vintage} at that clichéd time in life with a new baby on the scene when you can feel like routine takes over and creativity is lacking. At best, Create Vintage was a way of documenting and expressing the things that inspired me. At worst it was a launchpad – a springboard – to wherever that passion could take me.
To anyone who is wavering over the prospect of starting their own blog I say, ‘go for it, take a chance.’ Yes, a blog can be an exercise in vanity and self-promotion, but it’s also a personal and fulfilling legacy that you, your peers, and even total strangers across the world {the blog stats tell the story} can see in an instant. It will sit alongside admired websites and online material, it can elevate your humble thoughts to sacred opinion. The best ones are now huge business. Me? I’m happy with my little ‘swing a cat-sized’ bit of online room.
A year on, I am still enthused by the potential of that dizzying springboard. 2013 heralds optimism, enterprise, action for me. I will be hoping for more time to devote to Create Vintage, but as a start I leave you with this finally finished picture for my little ray of sunshine. Just about to be hung on her bedroom wall…
You are my Sunshine vintage framed picture by

You are my Sunshine vintage framed picture by


11 Nov
Beautiful {and now unavailable} ISAK 123 poster. Litho printed with vegetable inks on 300 gms recycled paper. Framed and mounted in a simple bevelled frame, painted in Annie Sloan Old White with a ‘Dove Grey’ mount. 88cm x 67cm. Would make a timeless and stylish feature in a little person’s room!
Price: £65.
Please email:

Christmas in July

12 Jul

I can feel it – that ruthless clear out mood that accompanies a house move…

Blitz phase one has already been achieved {the superficial spruce up for valuations and viewings}. Now it’s time to get tough – the garage, the attic, under the bed – nowhere is safe from my black refuse sack! As part of the mission it’s time for a Create Vintage cull… The projects I’ve been meaning to get around to but probably never will; the loved, but no longer needed discoveries; the pieces whose faces don’t fit ‘chez new’. All in the firing line.

First up, an assortment of chairs. It’s true, I have something of a weakness for four-legged furniture, but I haven’t got the time or the space to give this little lot the attention they deserve at the moment. All these beauties need is a lick of paint and some new upholstery.  Trust me, they have the DNA to be supermodels!

Balloon back mahogany veneer chair – just waiting for its makeover…

Queen Anne style dining chair – yep, needs a little help!

vintage shabby chic chair

The finished article, see what a little imagination can do!

And this one’s a work in progress. Ready soon, I promise!

Something else I came across while rummaging through boxes of random bits and pieces was this vintage collection of cutlery. I’m a sucker for decorative handles and slightly tarnished steel. I’ve only ever used them once, and that was at Christmas. Somehow they just seemed right for that time of year.

Assorted cutlery all wrapped up and stashed away in the Create Vintage stockpile!

Vintage cutlery – looks and feels just lovely.

Talking of Christmas, I’m starting a festive photo shoot on Monday. As all magazine people know, Christmas comes in July in the world of publications! Over the years I’ve traipsed through many mountains of fake snow in flip-flops, and eaten turkey and all the trimmings in a heatwave.

With the house moving details to deal with at the same time, I think there’s only one thing for it… Bring on the White Chocolate Snow Bombe!

M&S Christmas Food to Order 2011 White Chocolate Snow Bombe
Photography: Richard Jung; Styling: Penny Markham

Creature comforts

26 Apr

Talk about miserable… This weather is just awful! In pursuit of some cheeriness I give you this – a Katie Daisy print I had framed for a friend this weekend.

'Tell Me...' print by

I admit, it’s borderline self-help in its sentiment, but just on the right side of inspiring to make it suitably marvellous! I think she loved it, which is the main thing. Find more like it here. And if you have a spare few minutes {actually make that hours… days even} is an endless supply of magical, creative stuff to make your house beautiful.

I also haven’t had a chance up till now to share these handmade pictures I created from an assortment of paper, felt and buttons for little CV’s room a while ago. They hang above her bed.

Handmade owl by

Handmade bird by

I fully own up to my flying creature obsession – owls, birds, butterflies, bees – can’t get enough of them. In our house the latest obsessions are ‘Incy Wincy spiders’, which for some reason provoke much hilarity, and ladybirds. I have found a solution to the latter infatuation – sweet little ladybird pegs, which will eventually go on the pinboard I’m constructing for the ever-growing gallery of crayoned handiwork that I seem to be collecting. Just another project to add to the list!

Ladybird pegs by 'Craft for Occasions', available at hobbycraft

Happy easter

5 Apr

I can sense Jubilee fever gaining momentum already. A quick trip to M&S this week in search of easter goodies revealed shelves all but empty of chicks and chocolate and replaced with a swathe of red, white and blue confections. I’m not complaining – the promise of some good nostalgic celebrations, and an extended weekend is alright by me. And, of course, it gives us an excuse to indulge in one of life’s pure, uncomplicated pleasures too – a proper afternoon tea.

I was lucky enough to stop in town for a spot of tea with a friend yesterday and was served up with this impressive spread….

Afternoon tea at The Tea Terrace, Guildford

Never mind the amply stuffed sandwiches, exceptional scones and impeccable Earl Grey, I fell head over heels for this adorable little teapot…

Elephant teapot - BIA for the DRH Collection, London

There will be celebrations of another kind in our house this weekend. Amidst the easter egg hunts and inevitable chocolate overload, our little bunny turns two. Here’s a preview of the card I’ve whipped up for her this morning.

Birthday Bunny birthday card by

 Happy Easter, have a wonderful weekend and see you soon!