Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Top Ten Best Christmas Crafts!

This month, it's December..and Christmas! We're highlighting just ten of our favourite Christmas crafts, just in time for you to rustle up a few for the big day....

If you're not the crafty type, then worry not! These Christmas crafts range from the simple, to the very simple! Just right for a spot of creative satisfaction in these busy days ahead....

1. Our first craft is this gorgeous gilded centre piece (find the full tutorial here), made using gathered garden foliage and transfer leaf gilding.

2. Use this time to think up new ways of wrapping presents! Create your very own bespoke Christmas hampers for friends and family, using our range of beautiful baskets. Keep a stash of our smallest size of rattan baskets for emergencies. Wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon, this is an easy-peasy way to make the most last-minute of gifts look fantastic!

3. ...or how about this string-wrapped gift? Our string (complete with scissors and oak stand) will allow you to get this look!

4. Look at these adorable vintage-style crates, made from brand new boxes. They've been sanded and stained and have been completely transformed. Come and see our full range of different wood stain options.

5. Create your own Christmas scented pine cones....find out how from the full tutorial here...!

6. ...and for a little extra festive sparkle...

...use our Liberon Gilt Cream on those cones...

7. Use string and glue to make these lovely word hangings...simply brush the string with the appropriate glue (make the whole process even more scrumptious by using one of our brushes...

...and then shape the glue-soaked string into any word of your choice and leave to dry...

8. Less of a traditional craft, but still involving plenty of creativity, get your fireplace arranged beautifully for guests. May we suggest a few seasonal extras? 

Our Manor Suffolk Hod is capable of carrying large quanitites of coal, which is exactly what we'll be needing if the weather forecast is right about the cooooold winter coming.

Keep your hearth spick and span with One of our companion sets, which are traditionally made using wrought iron, making them as robust as they are peasing to the eye.

9. And if you have an open chimney breast but don't won't to go to the huge expense of having new fireplaces fitted, consider popping in one of these beauties.Our fire baskets start from only £52.67 and come in two sizes.

10. Festive walnuts scattered throughout your living areas make a stunning way to tie in your decor with seasonal festivities. Paint walnuts with your wall paint and then gild!...

...For an easier version, use our gilt cream.... and then distress to bring out touches of your chosen colour...

Our gilding kits contain sample versions of all you need to get started with this and a whole host of other crafts. You'll be hooked!

Merry Christmas from all of us at Relics of Witney!

 Images via Relics of Witney, Vintage Gal, Pinterest, It All Started With Paint, Meatloaf and Melodrama, Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney, Decorators Notebook, Flickr, Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney,

Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney

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Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Best Furniture Waxes In The World!

With the delightful upcycled furniture trend showing no signs of abating, one of the questions we're often asked is which waxes for wood we recommend. We're here this month to devote a whole post to which are the best waxes for different purposes to give you full peace of mind.

Waxes suitable for wood are broadly divided into two categories. Those used for finishing a piece, painted or otherwise, and those used for the ongoing nourishment and cleaning of furniture.

Let's start with one of our - and your - favourites. Liberon's supremely popular Black Bison Fine Paste wax. We believe this is one of the best furniture waxes available. As implied by its name, it comes in paste form which makes it incredibly simple to apply, its solvents preventing the formula from drying out in the tin. Its pliability also ensures that you can easily take the amount of product you need, making it very economical. 

The paste can be applied using a brush for a rustic look or rag for a smoother finish. It takes about twenty minutes to dry and buffs superbly if you desire a more lustrous end product

Although its original purpose is for nourishing and protecting all types of wood, Liberon Black Bison Fine Paste Wax is fantastic on painted furniture, as testified on blogs worldwide. Cassie from 'Primitive and Proper' says this: "I use several different waxes, but this is one of my absolute favourites to use. It gives a beautiful finish and buffed sheen and smells like heaven."

The wax comes in a full range of colours...

 ...including clear and neutral. 'Neutral' adds colour at all, whereas 'Clear' will bring more depth to your paint colours.  Although soft on application, the whole range cures to a fine, tough finish. It is also worth noting that it is certified as safe to use on toys.

For general cleaning and ongoing protection of wood, we highly recommend Liberon 's Beeswax Liquid and Paste, endorsed by the Guild of Master Craftsmen. Depending on your application preference, both are easily applied and buff up like a dream, bringing out all the wood's natural beauty. The Beeswax Paste, in particular, is perfect for treasured pieces of furniture

We suggest Liberon Liquid Wax for large areas such as beams and panelling, as it will not penetrate sealed wood as well as the paste. For more details on the large range of high quality finishes we stock, talk to one of the Relics of Witney team.

Giving your furniture a deep down clean every few months will help to feed the wood, preventing it from drying out, as well as enhancing the richness of colour and, of course, making your house smell wonderful in the process!

Happy November!

Images via Modern Country Style, Relics of Witney, Primitive and Proper, Popular Woodworking, Primitive and Proper, Liberon, Curate and Display , Liberon, Relics of Witney

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Thursday, 1 October 2015

How To Have The Perfect Weekend!

The season of mellow fruitfulness is firmly upon us, and we're in for more fine weather over the next week too. Come this month on a journey around how to enjoy the perfect relaxed, autumn weekend.

Start by having a leisurely breakfast. You can't go wrong with a hen that lays heart-shaped yolks {how do they do that?!}.

Breakfast should definitely be followed by a lovely, long bath, soft, fluffy towels within easy reach. {Rattan baskets in store at Relics of Witney}

A quick stop for lunch, outside if all is as fine as is predicted this weekend. This beautiful conservatory is painted in Farrow and Ball French Gray.

Then it's time to get ready for a country walk with the dog. Boots? Check. Barbour? Check. (The solid oak peg rails can be found here)

Umbrella (it is Britain after all!)...

Enjoy every moment of the sun's golden rays...

And then it's time for the home-coming ritual. Muddy boots on the rack (available in Relics of Witney)... 

Hang up coats over our sheila maid to air....

Or, if you're lucky enough to have a dedicated boot room then the disrobing can take place there. Don't forget to give those muddy boots a clean on our boot scraper...

Take in the last of the sunshine with a glass of wine in the garden, lighting one of our lanterns if you've left it a little later than intended (always the sign of a good day!).

And then it's time to head indoors for hot toast by the fire. Bliss!

There's just time for a quick sweep up to catch any fallen fire-debris - our fire sets make this job a real pleasure.

And so....to bed! 

Relaxed, refreshed and ready for another day...

Images via Getly, Modern Country Style, Farrow and Ball, Country Homes and Interiors, hratshop, unknown, unknown, Ideal Home, Lewis Alderson, Relics of Witney, unknown, Relics of Witney

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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Adding The Wow Factor To Your Curtains!

Curtain poles have an air of magic about them. The right curtain choice and curtain accessories can absolutely make or break a room. To see what we mean, imagine a gloriously decorated room, perfectly dressed from every angle, And now picture a plastic curtain rail hung crookedly over the window. Uurrrgh! The room would be utterly spoilt.

Don't let that happen to you! Take a look at our favourite ways of adding the wow factor with our curtain poles.

Firstly, and certainly most importantly, don't forget that the right curtain treatment can completely alter the feel and dimensions of your windows. This tip is for you if you're plagued by less-than-pleasing windows. By hanging your curtains higher and wider than a poky window, it can be made to give the impression of a much larger space and, indeed, hide those windows altogether if necessary.

Point two is to think outside the box. Don't be constrained by convention in colour, style or material. Bring your own touch to your house, whether that's ornate swags, eyelets, pleats or simply using an oar to hang a Union Jack! 

Thirdly, there is no point in breaking the bank over fabric for your curtains and then scrimping on the finish. If budget constraints mean that you need to prioritise, go for the better finish every single time. You can see in the picture below that it's possible to make simple fabric choices look a million dollars with a bit of flair and knowhow. If that knowledge doesn't come easily to you, get in contact with the Relics of Witney team and let us steer you in the right direction.

You may be faced with the quandary of how to dress to very different windows within one room. Using a consistent height and finish can help to create cohesion; see below for an excellent example. By using dark poles at the same height, coupled with floor length curtains in a near match to the window and wall colour, the disparate windows are barely noticed.

If you've really gone to town with your fabric choice, let it sing by down-playing the details. Try our simple steel range of curtain accessories.

There are as many finishes for curtain poles as there are fabrics, when different finishes are taken into account. This is not meant to confuse but instead to encourage you to explore your creativity. Consider painting, waxing, gilding or leaving raw for a whole range of possibilities.

Paint is a great way to go when you want to tie your curtain pole into either the fabric or the paint used in the room....

Consider the placement of your pole. If you want to visually hide your curtain pole, perhaps because your fabric is very busy, then place it against a background of a similar colour. Here, by painting the pole in same colour as the ceiling, the pole seems to disappear.

Using wooden curtain poles can help lead the eye outside to a leafy garden scene. Liberon and Osmo (both stocked by Relics of Witney, and available in store or by mail order) have manufactured a variety of oils, varnishes and waxes to give our solid timber curtain poles the full spectrum of finishes.

Gilding is the way to go when you want to highlight particular features. Gilt creams are particularly easy to use for beginners.

Lastly, don't forget about finials. Relics of Witney stock a large range, including contemporary, classic and country. There is no need to insist on the same finish throughout. You can see in the image below how effective changing things up can be, for example by using a wooden rail and silver ball finials.

The world is your oyster!

Images via Cabbages and Roses, ddiydesign, HeartHome mag, Casafina, Homestyle, Kate Forman, Relics of Witney, Kate Forman, hgtv, IvyClad, Peony and Sage, fabricut

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