upcycling

My First Upcycled Furniture, Tips and Tricks!

Small Table Restoration Upcycling Refurb Shelly Still

There are so many wonderful programmes and people that champion the art of upcycling. Some create absolutely wild and wonderful things, and others stick more to the traditional route. I have been shooting in-between both for a few years now. Quite often a piece of furniture will tell you what it wants! The small desk table above was my first salvages. Totally destined for the bin it was covered in dark dark varnish, had scratched graffiti all over the sides and the worst… Chewing gum underneath!

Small Table Restoration Upcycling Refurb Shelly Still

I noticed it at a local auction house, and no one bid on it, so I took it before they tipped it. Now, you would think I’d do a bit of research, see what tools I’d need, how to make it easier on myself… But no. I had my elbows and I had some sand paper, and boy did I go for it.

Small Table Restoration Upcycling Refurb Shelly Still

Now, tips I can tell you now. Buy a sander!!! Hehehe, ok, if this is just a one off attempt then keep on with the elbow grease, but I seriously recommend a sander. I’ve ended up buying a mouse sander as you can use the tip to get into some of the nooks and tight spots with the tip (I recommend a Good Black and Decker brand, one with a dust extractor is a great idea! So much dust! https://amzn.to/32UNVmY )

Also get some face masks! Most of us have masks now anyway, and know how to make them, so there is absolutely no excuses! Even manual sanding can be dangerous to the lungs, even in a well ventilated space. You never know what the old varnishes have in it too, so keep safe! And please, if you’re going to start gouging out bits of wood get yourself some eye protection too.

Anyway, enough of mother Adora telling you to be safe! After 7-8 hours of sanding over three days my desk table turned out stunning! Such beautiful wood under all that gunk and goo.

Small Table Restoration Upcycling Refurb Shelly Still

Now, I did think about filling the crack in the top, but I just loved the fact that it was an honest piece of furniture, it has been round for years so why not show that? No a days I may have done a ‘Jay Blades’** and painted it a bit funky, but at the time I was more chuffed I salvaged a beautiful piece of furniture. So I got some clear wood varnish and finished her off.

After popping it on Facebook I got contacted by a local pub who was interested in buying it, and we came to a deal of £40 and a pint. Now, if you think about it the hours worked to money ratio is shockingly bad. But it ended up paying for a mouse sander and the varnish, so to me it’s paid for free tools so the next project will be cheaper to try. I always try and make my hobbies pay for themselves somehow, it’s an achievement.

So, will you go skip diving and bring an ugly piece of furniture back to life? These old pieces last way longer than any Ikea pieces, and remember you can always paint them to go with your vibe!

So now this desk table sits pride of place in the Hope and Anchor in Wokingham, and I try to put a pint on it when I’m in the area (though it does tend to see a few feet too being it’s just the right height to become a foot stool!)

Small Table Restoration Upcycling Refurb Shelly Still

Shopping list Links to things I’ve mentioned (they are affiliate links, if you do buy something I will get a tiny payment that will help pay for this website, so thank you in advance)

Mouse Sander! BLACK+DECKER Mouse Detail Sander, Compact Detail – https://amzn.to/3kI65yz

Dust Masks – Honeywell Nuisance Disposable Dust Mask, Box of 50 – https://amzn.to/3963nAT

Eye Protection – G & F 13016-6 EyePRO Scratch, Impact & Ballistic Resistant Safety Goggles with Clear Lens https://amzn.to/32TlaXX

Sandpaper – 3M 9019 General Purpose Sandpaper – https://amzn.to/2IMpUHZ

** Just realised that people outside the UK probably have no idea who Jay Blades is! There is a BBC programme called Money For Nothing where they go to the dump and save things from going to landfill, then create cool upcycled items, Jay has a wild time and often creates vibrant pieces! This is his website for inspiration! https://jayand.co/

Photography

Halloween is Nearly Here! Skull Time!

My yearly fun, get the skulls out and make the weirdest thing I can think of. This year, well, I have no skulls, so I am stepping back in time. Made with a badger skull and vintage dolls clothes please meet your Victorian nightmares.

Halloween Horror In a Dress! Skull Doll Victorian Shelly Still
These spooky little photographs are available as prints and other fun things at Society 6 HERE and Redbubble! HERE
Halloween Horror In a Dress! Skull Doll Victorian Shelly Still
Halloween Horror In a Dress! Skull Doll Victorian Shelly Still
Photography

Sci-fi Skulls – Art Photography

Space Skulls. We think we saw them in the corner of our eye, or maybe seen them in the telescope. We’ve all wanted a closer look and to visit the worlds in the stars. Finally they came close enough for a mere mortal like me to collect the evidence.

Close Up of an Animal Skull on Plain Background Horror Halloween
Close Up of an Animal Skull on Plain Background Horror Halloween

I have prints and artwork available at Society 6 and Redbubble

Close Up of an Animal Skull on Plain Background Horror Halloween
Close Up of an Animal Skull on Plain Background Horror Halloween
Close Up of an Animal Skull on Plain Background Horror Halloween
Close Up of an Animal Skull on Plain Background Horror Halloween
abstract art

What’s New Pussycat? Abstract Art

Have I gone on a theme… Humm maybe. I think I’m just missing having a cat around of late, it’s been a while since the Shankster cat left us. This is a mixed media artwork, using vintage pages from a book, acrylic art and in, backed on card. The frame is recycled from some vintage ones I salvaged a while ago. I felt the work didn’t need a fussy frame. It’s available now on Etsy!
https://www.etsy.com/shellystill or message me!

Red Cat Abstract Mixed Media Painting Art Shelly Still 1

 

Taken from the original blog at www.shellystill.co.uk/blog

abstract art

How many cats can you see?

A bit of a change to the usual abstract. I’ve had the idea of cutting up my abstract art pieces into shapes and I couldn’t resist cutting out some stretching cats and adding them to a black background. Obviously I couldn’t just leave it there so cut up some other parts of the original artwork to create a garden for the cats to yoga in. Let me know what you think! acrylic paint and ink on watercolour paper attached to A4 black card.

Three Cats Mixed Media Painting Artwork Shelly StillThree Cats Mixed Media Painting Artwork Close Up Shelly Still

Jewellery

They’re Alive! New Eyeball Kids Ready for Adoption!

Alien Eyeball Kids Gothic Steampunk Cosclay Alien Tentacle Pendant Necklace OOAK Shelly Still

The first batch of Eyeballs Kids are now live on Etsy and waiting for new homes! I had such a great response from Bob, the first Eyeball Kid that I couldn’t resist making some more. We have Jem, Babs, Cynthia, Goldie, Clem, Gavin, Jack and Kevin all waiting to keep an eye on you…
www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ShellyStill

I made these with a new Polymer clay called Cosclay. It’s amazing stuff! Has a bend to it when cooked which makes sure all of the thin parts don’t break, and also don’t stab people, much to the dislike of the Eyeball Kids me thinks… I then create the shimmer effect with mica powder and varnish to keep it strong! Let me know who you like the best, or what sort of things you would like to see on the next Eyeball Kids! Message me at shellystill@outlook.com or leave a comment on the blog!

Jewellery

Steampunk Style Tentacle and Eyeball Pendants for Sale!

Hi all! Wow I am so bad at keeping up with the blog. I even have weekly alerts on my phone that I conveniently seem to miss! But hey, I’ve been busy… I’ve been one of the very lucky people who have had two months off work on furlough in the UK and I’ve had the best time exploring and playing with all different sorts of material and inks. I was very fortunate to be a Kickstarter on the new Cosclay polymer clay from www.cosclay.com It’s astounding stuff that bends like rubber once cooked and it has opened an avenue that I have always wanted to get into, freaky fantasy pendant necklaces! Using a mixture of Cosclay, crystals, mica powder and paint I have been inventing some very weird and wonderful pendants that are already starting to be adopted around the world!

Eyeball Pendant Jewellery Cosclay Alien Necklace Shelly Still 6

One eyed Bob was the first to be adopted and is now very happy staring at the sights and sounds of the North. I have some more Eyeball Kids coming up soon, and will blog when they are ready to enter the real world! But I also have some fun and freaky tentacle pendants currently for sale at Etsy! www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ShellyStill

Alternative Silver Eye Crystal Tentacle Gothic Pendant Jewellery Shelly Still

Birds Nest Robin Pendant Cosclay Crystal Necklace Shelly Still

Alternative Green Tentacle Gothic Pendant Jewellery Shelly Still

Blog post taken from the original post on www.shellystill.co.uk/blog

Photography

Unicorns Live Here – Abstract Photography

Oh man, I had a lot of fun making these ones. I’d like to think it’s where the unicorns rub up against the My Little Ponies to have a rave… But I could be wrong! The beautiful bubbles collection are on Society 6 https://bit.ly/35Wg8tZ and Redbubble (HERE)

I made these by layering up some bubbles I created with oil and food colouring with some abstract light photographs, not quite as glamorous now, but it takes time to create unicorn bubbles!

Unicorn Liquid Neon Bubbles Art Photography Shelly Still

Unicorn Liquid Neon Bubbles Art Photography Shelly Still
Taken from the original blog at www.shellystill.co.uk/blog
Photography

Going Up or Going Down?

Current moods… Up then down, not quite knowing what’s going on and trying to keep focused on not wasting this time I have off from the day job. But then a load of people are in the same boat. I am wondering how had it will be for like minded artists and creators who have had this time to focus on their craft to get back into a work mindset. Going to be very strange sitting in an office thinking about colours and clay! So I made some arrows by layering textures and vibrant colours over arrow road signs. Think it portrays how I’m feeling right now. (prints etc available at Society 6 HERE)

Going Down Abstract Art Arrow Photography Shelly Still

Going Up Abstract Art Arrow Photography Shelly Still

From the original blog at www.shellystill.co.uk