We have moved!

Following the momentum and success of our blog over the past 2 years, we have decided to upgrade our blog site, and can now be found on www.salvagesisters.co.uk We hope you will join us over there for some more salvage antics and stories….

Lucy & Gemma



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Knit and Knatter







I have made a discovery.. what with our world of social networking and virtual time passing, it fits that to get anything done you need background company!

On reflection, perhaps this is a personal character flaw, I always studied best with company and over the years at school and uni came up with many study comradery adventures – in caravans, parks, cafes, sleepovers chewing actual coffee granules.. aah moment of appreciation for all you tortured students out there.

It was bliss to attend the recent Belfast council run Revamp workshops I wrote about here and here, not least because just pottering away in a room full of people doing the same thing was so comforting, social, inspiring.

So in a bid to reclaim a childhood skill I had a glorious girls night in to ‘Knit and Knatter’.













It really was a rare privelige to have both a relaxing and gratifying friday night after a long week..  sipping cocktails from a teapot ((i was served lately in a bar in Belfast to this effect) and catching up, whilst patting oneself on back for new skill acquired and that comforting feeling that should you find yourself shivering or naked in the future, you could yarn your way out of that predicament!










The next event, a ‘Pic – knit’. If you’re interested let me know! Extreme knitting ideas welcome..






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Anthropologie edinburgh

I am very excited about next week’s grand opening of Anthropologie on George St, its only shop out-with London in the UK. Originally from Philadelphia, it showcases a wonderful treasure-trove of beautiful fashion and interior pieces. Each store is independently run, with unique styling and window displays to really make you linger…

Their range is vast and eclectic. Check out this page of cushions, some fabulous wallpapers, lush rugs, or see these styled warm-weather rooms to get more of the flavour and feel of their styling.

And a few pics to inspire…

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Meadows Festival 2011

Last weekend was the wonderful meadows festival, a veritable selection of bric-a-brac, vintage, antique and hippy stalls, plus some great music and eateries. Running since 1972, it achieves a real community vibe every year, and seems to be developing and growing each year alongside the current trend towards thrifting, up-cycling and ‘make-do-and-mend’ culture.

The vintage and second-hand clothes were cheap and abundant….

…lots of tat to choose from; yes, that does say 10p an item! Plus some pretty handmade bits and bobs…

..somewhere very funky to rest your weary limbs…

…plus lots of other wares for the crowds.

So what bargains came home with me? Firstly i was pretty delighted with these 1970s lampshades at £2 for the pair

These little circular Italian pics were 25p each

A lovely vintage Tala flour sifter for £3

And some pretty vintage lace for £2

I’ll be back to showcase my wardrobe finds soon, hopefully to receive the fashion-sista seal of approval!?


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Diary genius

Hope you enjoy this guest post from Ali T on the story of his amazing revamped diary collection….

I am a sucker for nostalgia. For years I have kept shoe boxes full of old letters and photographs, and bizarre trinkets that include airline sick bags, branded bar napkins and cinema ticket stubs, hoping that they will spark fond memories whenever I come to rifle through them again. For almost ten years I have been keeping daily diaries to chronologue my day to day activity, in the hope that one day I will look back on them and remember all the amazing things that I was doing with my life; the fun I was having, the places I was going and the people that were shaping me.

To a certain extent this will be true, because I want to have interesting things to remember, and will always be sure to write significant places and events down. But because I don’t keep the kind of diary where I log my innermost thoughts and by which I can chart the development of my character, and instead keep a books full of schedules and to-do lists, most of my ‘memories’ will be of appointments, shopping lists and train booking reference numbers.

Even without the wealth of interesting anecdotes to look back on and remember the days gone by, I still keep these diaries because I am helpless without them. I have a memory like a sieve so if I want to get anything done I have to write it down. But perhaps even more than the necessity of keeping these diaries for the sake of productivity, I keep these diaries because I love making the covers. I choose not to buy the trendy moleskin books that boast an air of literary accomplishment, but instead opt for cheap primary school jotters that allow maximum creative scope. Now you might think that covering a child’s jotter would be the easiest thing in the world, but what I have learned throughout my extensive jotter-covering experience, is that if you want to create a diary of utmost quality, there are rules that must be followed and phases of completion that must each be concluded in order to provide structural and aesthetic integrity to the finished article. I have made 35 to 40 of these books in my ‘career’ and have always striven towards each outdoing the last.

The actual imagery used to cover the diary is of marginal concern in comparison to the quality of the assembly of the structure. Over the years I have honed the art of diary making. I have gradually incorporated ideas that were initially tagged on as an afterthought, hidden structural devices in the very fabric of the book, and have finished the product with an ever keener eye for quality, parallel lines and perfect right angles.

But let me not detract from how important it is for me to continually out-do myself on aesthetics, as well as on structure. Where my first diary featured a cover made from a purple striped paper bag adorned with a postcard of Donegal, my most recent diary involved the gluing of 210 individual 2nd class stamps to the front cover in nice neat rows. In the past it was easy; I just had to find a single sheet of paper to use as a cover that was slightly more bizarre than the last.

Diary covers of old have included music manuscripts, pages from the Oxford English dictionary, movie posters, my Italian lecture notes, property listings from an Edinburgh newspaper dated 1952, and the piece of crepe paper that my Dunlop Green Flash shoes came wrapped in.

But now, with the introduction of over 200 individual covering elements coming together in unison, the bar has certainly been raised! Some might say that I am a little bit OCD when it comes to my diary making. I can’t really argue with that, in fact I would probably agree. I love trying to make a more interesting and accomplished finished article. This most recent idea using stamps will be hard to trump, but I look forward to the challenge of trying.


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Type drawer twist

I found these pictures ages ago on Etsy from the seller BlueBirdHeaven, and have been keeping my eyes peeled since for a type drawer. My penchant for beautiful storage was piqued with this winning combination of vintage, practical and pretty.

I picked this one up at good old Retropolis. Its in need of a bit of TLC but has a good combination of long, wide and short compartments.

I then had a peek on t’internet for some other ideas. Turns out there is a whole host of things one can do with a type drawer….

1. Advent Calendar from Modcottage

2 & 3. Picture frame or lego storage by aliedwards

4. Ink pads from Craftystorage

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Before and Afters.. At the Souk

Had a lovely day today surrounded by inspiring, talented and eco conscious stylers at the Home Souk and Rethink, Revamp, Restyle event. I was demonstrating furniture painting techniques all day.. and transformed this dowdy little chair into a french bistro styled monsieur!

I absolutely adore french style, and especially that romantic yet battered chippy paint loved and used look.. I did a little inspiration trail into this project as people were going to be looking on..

My first go to for any styling ideas is Design Sponge.. I could get lost in their ‘Sneak Peaks’ for hours, and voila, there’s a perfectly placed Bentwood Bistro chair!

Bentwood Bistro Chair at Design Sponge

Colour inspiration came from the beautiful photography blog Paris Parfait..

I’ll do another post on my chippy paint crush another time..

So here I am sanding away..

Sand first, then paint, sand again, paint, sand again

With my little helper..

Everyone needs a little helper!

Carried away.. check out my official poster!

Sanding is key for any furniture paint job, and especially for the ‘distressed’ look. Sand all over first. I had to strip this chair initially, but I would only do this if it had a heavy gloss on it.. if you want a very smooth painted result, prime before you start. Otherwise just get the first coat on, sand again, second coat, and sand sand sand until you have the finish you want. I had a lot of questions today on the type of paint you can use. Technically ‘satinwood’ paints are designed to go on wood, but they do give a bit of a sheen. I really like  a flat powdery look for this kind of thing, so I use emulsion and then seal it with a wax or a very light coat of varnish or stain. My favourite part of todays project was that i intended to use a contrasting colour on certain parts of the chair, but I loved the original wood contrast so much, I kept it! Sometimes the items just re- invent themselves!

first coat

Wood contrast

And here’s the table I transformed at the workshops on display today at the showcase.. Will bring you a final after shot of my two chairs when they’re complete.. Don’t forget the Fashion Souk tomorrow too at the Europa! A feast of conscious style all weekend!




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