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Paddle Boarding

Friday, 31 July 2015 14:50:49 Europe/London

 

Southend-On-Sea 

paddle

 

I absolutely love living by the sea, come rain or shine there's nothing like a walk along the seafront to clear the cobwebs!

For years I have said I wanted to give Paddle Boarding and Kite Surfing a try, to the point it was getting a bit boring hearing myself talk about it. I am really pleased to announce to all my friends and family who have listened, I have finally scratched that itch and I am thoroughly enjoying Paddle Boarding and Kite Surfing lessons are in the diary YEY! 

 

I went with a close friend Emma (Miss P Anderson), we were so excited...... 

Paddle

 

 

Unfortunately the weather was pretty lousy on our first trip and we spent most of the time kneeling because it was so choppy but that was pretty good fun and one hell of a workout, literally I couldn't walk properly the next day we had worked muscles that had been happily relaxing for most of my life haha I appreciate this picture makes it look lovely and calm! 

 

Paddle

 

Paddle

 

I did have a good go at standing (although that's a picture of Emma haha), I got a bit cocky in the bad weather conditions, my board went flying off to shore without me on it. I figured I'd be cool swimming back so didn't panic, for a good 5 minutes after getting nowhere fast. Emma shouted "don't worry I'm coming" then proceeded to paddle in a circle out of my reach, the laughing really didn't help me retain my energy for survival purposes. Finally she made it to me breathless and all, I grabbed onto her board after what felt like a lifetime of bobbing about and thanked her for saving my life...finally. We were both laughing so much whilst getting chucked about in the sea, when I felt something touch my foot and this is no joke, I realised it was the ground haha. You know they say don't panic, remain calm in an emergency.... well my advice is check to see if you can stand before you resort to drowning haha. 

 

Paddle

 

  I'd like to say at least we looked cool carrying the boards but we couldn't even pull that off as they were too heavy haha, it was a joint effort! 

We've been a few times since though and we've cracked it, summer bay eat your hearts out!!!! We're totally addicted, we manage to carry our own boards and stand without dramas, total professionals haha. We now have Kite Surfing lessons booked, armed with the fact our feet will be attached to a board I can't wait to see how we get on haha. 

 

Paddle

0 Comments | Posted By Laura Dionne

Market

Friday, 31 July 2015 11:30:52 Europe/London

Market

 

We had such an amazing time at the Wild Woods Day, it was brilliantly organised with fantastic entertainment for the children throughout the day. My kids are 5 and 11 years and there was entertainment for both of them which we normally struggle to find, the pleasures of having an age gap. The pop-up market was busy with such lovely friendly customers (this isn't always the case). I am extremely glad that we were part of this local fun day, which highlighted the importance of thinking green, giving great tips on recycling to look after the environment that we live in. 

Our stall was next to the Forest School Association, that couldn't have been planned better for my children. They sat and made beautiful jewellery and hanging mobiles, with items foraged from the surrounding woods, they learnt how to use tools and instruments safely. Jack was so impressed with his masterpiece, he was over the moon when a lady started taking photos of his mobile, "I made that" he said proudly, "would you like to buy it" I don't know where he gets it from haha. 

 

 Market

 

Market

 

There was an abundance of local sourced food and handmade stalls, showing just how lucky we are to live in this area. Essex Radio set the atmosphere with an entertainment stage including local talent performing throughout the day, Jack was totally blown away with Titan the Robot who performed twice during the day, he also took a little walk through the pop-up market so it was literally entertainment on your doorstep for us.

 

Market

 

Darcey enjoyed the large climbing wall, paintballing ... seriously there was so much on offer and with a £2 wristband they could enjoy everything throughout the day without breaking the bank and even without purchasing the wristbands there was loads of free entertainment on offer.

 

Market

 

I was impressed with the allotment performance, which totally kept the adults along with the kids mesmerized.  

 

Market

 

We met some lovely people and got some great feedback. The children got fully involved handing out flyers and Darcey was absolutely brilliant at working the stall and touching up on her mental maths. It's not every day I get to take the kids to the markets, so it was extra special to get them involved and I absolutely loved the way they were so proud of our little business. 

 

Market

 

Darcey got creative with some brilliant signs to get the customers in, shes open to marketing offers!! 

 

Market

 

Market

 

Thanks to all our existing customers who came to say hello, it was lovely to put a face to a name and always a treat to see those of you we know so well.  I am over the moon at the amount of emails we have recieved, our little market team did well spreading the word. 

 

with Love 


Del Boy and Rodney

xxx


Market


Market

 

 

 

0 Comments | Posted By Laura Dionne

WildWoodsDay

Friday, 1 May 2015 10:47:11 Europe/London

Woods

 

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY 

 

History Repeats will be holding a stall at The Wild Woods Fun Day in Hockley Woods on 30th May 2015, 11am - 4pm. 

 

This years event is set to be the biggest yet with a host of new activities, experiences and entertainment. Visitors will have the chance to explore different zones including a Create & Play Zone, Green Zone, Active Zone and Wild Zone.

 

Some of the activities on offer include:

 

Archery

Paintballing

Axe throwing

Wall Climbing

Rope Bridge Building

Bushcraft

Fencing

Judo

Under 5's play area

Picnic area

Entertainment stage with Radio Essex. 

and of course a pop up market place of which you can find History Repeats. 


Entry is FREE, it's a fantastic day out for all the family and we are really excited to be part of this brilliant event, highlighting the importance of recycling, upcycling, sustainability and protecting our local environment.

 

Please note there is no one-site parking at Hockley Woods on the day of the event. Free parking and a free shuttle bus service will run from Hockley Community Centre, Westminster Drive, SS5 4XD

 

for more information on the event;

 

http://www.rochford.gov.uk/leisure_culture_and_tourism/events_and_activities/wild_woods_day 


Get this date in your diary and be sure to come and say hello!

0 Comments | Posted By Laura Dionne

Handmade Reception Desk

Monday, 20 April 2015 21:43:28 Europe/London

Handmade Reception Desk 

 

Following my last post regarding the polished cement worktop, I wanted to touch slightly on the rest of the desk. 

I wanted to combine three elements into this design, wood, metal and cement

I decided to go for a floor to worktop modesty panel as I wanted this item to be a heavy piece of furniture, making it stand out from the other desks in the office, as it would be the customers main port of call. As I had decided on a cement worktop which I knew would be extremely heavy I also needed a structure to be sturdy enough to hold the weight. 

 Desk

It consists of a wooden built structure, as the desk was a solid boxed design the last thing we wanted was to deliver it and realise that the floor was uneven so each pedestal has four hidden feet that can be adjusted with an allen key via the inside of the units, with plastic removable covers. There is one shelf in each pedestal that can be used at different heights by metal detachable pegs and pre drilled hole options.

As the space for this piece of furniture was limited we finished each pedestal door with a spring magnetic latch. This is such a great tip as a space saver as adding a handle would have made it difficult for the person sitting behind it to swing around without knocking their knees on door handles and it also leaves you with a really sleek finish.

 

desk 

 

Desk

 

The wooden structure inside and out is finished in a matt black, which really shows of the metal framework.

 Desk

 

We used an untreated self colouring metal sheeting, which is as natural as it gets the colour is non consistent in a very natural way. As it is untreated obviously it would weather if using it externally but it is perfect for internal jobs. 

We used a solid welders edge on the corners finished with rounded head screws in a matching colour. I'm often asked to use counter sunk flat heads and I can't stress from a design point of view how much better round heads look, they make me very happy haha I'm so sad. 

Desk 

I decided to balance the design by setting the modesty board back slightly, this gave the desk more character and visually it wasn't as heavy on the eye. 

 

Desk

 

As we had a space criteria to fit, all my calculations worked from the worktop inwards, making sure that the base was a sufficient size to sit correctly under the worksurface, taking into consideration it would be covered in metalwork too. You wouldn't think this a tricky part but it really is essential to get it right. With all our designs I always recommend using good old masking tape to mark the area on your floor you think you have to play with, walk around it and see what suits you. You must really think about what you want from your item, for example when I made my coffee table I took into account that I like to rest my feet on it when watching the TV and now I can do this without my feet covering any of the screen haha, it's little things like that, that make all the difference and if you're having something tailor made you should make sure it's perfectly suited for all your needs. 

 

If you have any criterias or design ideas that you want to see brought to life, please contact us sales@historyrepeats.co.uk for a free brainstorm and quotation. 

 

 

0 Comments | Posted By Laura Dionne

Concrete Worktop

Monday, 20 April 2015 17:00:18 Europe/London

We were recently commissioned to make a Reception Desk for an Estate Agents and I put forward a design with a polished concrete worktop. I love the natural look of cement and for this design it was perfect, I was really pleased when the customer approved the design. 

Polished Cement Surface

Firstly I made a few small moulds to test run different concrete mixtures to find the correct colour and finish. It was like having a little laboratory, I tried different colour sands and proportions of mix etc. I was amazed at all the different finishes I managed to create. 

 

Cement

 

After I chose the final finish for the desk (considering the strength in the cement that I needed too), I tried different methods of sanding, sealants and gloss finishes on my chosen sample. 

We made a large mould out of Melamine which is relatively cheap, it has a smooth gloss finish which is perfect for this job. I have read that you can use standard Ply and coat it yourself but I figured why muck about when Melamine does the trick.

 

When making your mould remember that the dimensions of your surface will be the measurements of inside the mould and also everything inside will be printed and cast onto the surface of your concrete.

 

Cement

 

I sealed all the inside joins with general use, clear silicone caulk, this not only makes it watertight which is essential for keeping the water in the cement (the last thing you want is dry areas, this will weaken your worktop), it's also essential for the finish to your edges. Remember whatever is inside your mould will define the cast for your cement, so it has to be neat! This is a really important step, don't skip it and remember to use CLEAR SILICONE! 

 

Give it a good clean, I used water and arm grease as any chemicals can effect the cement. 

 

To strengthen the cement I added a metal framework with wire mesh, it's recommended to use a wire mesh to add strength but as our worktop wouldn't be completely supported as it's a desk I figured I'd add something with a bit more structure. The metal was attached to the wooden mould by wire and screws that are attached externally to the top of the mould which you can see in the picture further down. The bottom of your mould will be the surface of your counter so you don't want the mesh sinking through your cement mix, securing it will make sure it's hidden within the cement worktop. 

cement

 

Make sure that your mould is on a flat surface as you don't want a wonky cement top when it's dry. I used a level to make sure that it was completely even before pouring in the mix. 

 

For my small samples I mixed the concrete by hand but for the main worktop I used a cement mixer, this is essential when working to large scale, as again you don't want dry or weak areas.  I went for a standard cement mix and white builders sand, mixture of 1 cement to 3 sand, this is for a really strong bond. I always overbuy and then return what I don't use, there's nothing like being caught short. When adding the water I just kept going until I got the consistency I required from experimenting on my smaller samples (if you have the time it's well worth doing this), I used my hand to gauge this, the best way to describe this high tech process is you want it to ooze through your fingers not run haha hope that helps. 

 

cement

 

It took a lot more cement and sand then I though it would, you really need to be precise otherwise you'll have lines down the sides if your next batch is slightly out. I found this out with my small samples and then did it on purpose to make a pretty cool subtle stripey slab. 

Level the cement mix with a large baton, getting rid of any excess mix (I'm sorry my photos are pretty poor quality, I think at this point my hands where covered in cement and I was using a tea-towel over my camera to take the pictures.... ever the professional). 

 

Cement

 

You need to make sure that you get all the bubbles out, again they can cause the worktop to have weak areas and also if they don't rise you'll have potholes on your surface. Ideally you would use a vibrating table but I don't have that luxury so I made my own. My mould was on a strong table, I then used my bum and hips to body bop the mould haha, it worked amazingly you can literally see all the little air bubbles rise and pop. After the body bopping session, I used a hand sander on the outside of the mould although I have to say the bopping seemed much more effective and it was highly entertaining although tiring haha. 

It's then good to leave, I left this for a week it was inside my house so it was pretty warm. 

 

We then dismantled the mould by undoing the screws and finally cutting our wire that was supporting the internal metal framework as close to the cement as possible. I then treated and lightly sanded the bottomside before flipping it over to reveal the top of my worktop. I nearly passed out through holding my breath at this point, it's scary not knowing what's on the other side. It's also extremely heavy, you'll require some manpower to help lift it. 

Cement

 

I then left it for a following few days before I gave it a good sand, sealed, polished and buffed it to my desired finish. I used a standard cement sealant and a wax rather then a gloss as I think it looks more natural. I then buffed it with an electric hand tool until it was super shiny.  

It was a really messy (that might be a personal trait) job and it really tested my nerves with all the waiting but it was well worth the effort. I've decided that I'm going to (eventually when I get the time) make my kitchen worktops like this, they really are beautiful and this surface looked just how I imagined when it was placed on the rest of the desk.

 

Cement

0 Comments | Posted By Laura Dionne

Pop of Colour

Saturday, 28 March 2015 15:55:05 Europe/London

What a difference a pop of colour makes. 

 

BEFORE 


pop of colour


AFTER 


pop of colour

0 Comments | Posted By Laura Dionne

Hallway from Hell

Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:52:21 Europe/London

I've lived in my house for 10 years, when I moved in the main idea of buying a fixer upper was to actually fix it up. You do one room and realise that financially you have to make some compromises and all the pictures you've lovingly collected over the years are possibly not directed at someone on your wages. I am slowly ticking off one room at a time, in a fashion that is true to my style and my compromised scrapbook collection. 

 

 For some reason, that is now beyond me I decided that the hall would be my next challenge. I think the theory was it's the entrance to my home, its an important part of the house. Now I've put some blood and guts into it, I've realised it's not really a part of the house that I spend an awful lot of time appreciating. The effort and money I have spend on this no mans land would probably have been better spent in fixing my dining room. 

 

You need a plan when it comes to these things, I had spot lights that I wanted to replace with a ceiling rose and light fitting. The trouble was we had to go through the bedroom floor above this area, I figured whilst we're there I'll give that room a lick of paint and a new carpet. Things started to crumble and it turned into a massive decorating job altogether, now it's finished it's an unplanned tick on the list but it did set me back on my hallway plan. 

hallway

On with the mission, hallway artex! It had to go so I got three quotes to have it skimmed and plastered. You can totally tell who wants the job and who bloody hates artex when those figures come in haha how can they differ so much?

After making my choice, I returned on day one to find him sucking air through his teeth and we all know that's never a good sign. He pointed out the previous owner was a lazy artex lover and had decided to artex on top of wallpaper (why would you do that?), this meant when he tried to skim the tips off the artex the entire wall of artex comes down, "it's a bigger job then I thought", great £££££! "Your skirtings are going to have to come off too", great ££££. I was having visions of money dancing out my purse but he was a man of his word and he did all the extra work for the original quote price and he did a fantastic job. There were lots of little details in the hall that I wanted to keep, a large curved cornerwall and the walls curve onto the ceiling (a bit like build in coving), all the plasterers recommended we remove all of that as they're tricky to get round, this plasterer however just got on with it, my kind of man!

The dust and mess from decorating the hall gets everywhere, it doesn't matter how organised you are, how many doors you shut, it gets everywhere. 

hallway

 

hallway  

Once the plasterwork was complete I then came to realise that another one of the features I had fallen in love with wasn't a real blessing when decorating, high ceilings! You have way more area to paint and the ceilings appear to move further and further away when you have a roller in your hand.

Hallway from Hell

 

Hallway

 

hallway

 

Hallway

 First job was the shitty watery messy coat of paint to seal the plasterwork, which the walls just suck up so it takes twice as long, follwed by the fully loaded coat. That roller felt like it was permanently attached to my hand and my right arm became visibly buffer then my left, I felt like a human roller. 

Woodwork, I was actually looking forward to doing something other then walls until I realised the artex loving lazy bastard who previously lived here also decided to paint every piece of wooden life in millions of layers of paint, every colour under the rainbow, over the years just building it up and up. The problem I had was every magazine cutting I collected had exposed handrails and I got a bit excited and decided I too could have an exposed handrail. After stripping the history of paint with a heat gun, having to disconnect my electric fire detectors and grow accustom to the smell of burnt bubbling toxic paint, I realised that maybe I could have lived with painted handrails. With the time spent stripping all the wood I could have possibly travelled around Europe, i then go to the point of no return and decided that the little window would pop out if it was stripped, I started looking at paintwork in a totally different light mentally calculating how long it would take to strip everything I saw haha. 

Hallway

 I took one final look through my magazine collection and decided on a runner for the stairs, this meant a lot of stair TLC haha I didn't think it would take that much time..... I was sadly wrong. 

Decorating my hall has taught me a lot, I can go without lunch and dinner if needs be, I have a steady hand even after a bottle of wine and the acoustics in an empty hallway is brilliant but I can't hold a note as well as I thought. I don't think I will ever appreciate the hall like I would have if someone else had done it because I know how much effort it has taken and I know how much physical and mental pain it has caused hahaha ok that's a bit dramatic but it was tough. 

Hallway  

I have finally come to the end of the road, the long winding road and the moral of the story is this, fixer uppers are bloody amazing if you're dating a decorator! I have placed an advert in my local paper; 

 

Single lady looking for a man that enjoys decorating, doesn't have to be clever, funny or good looking just good with a sander, filler and paintbrush! 

 

Jokes aside I am proud of the hall and I'm pleased I found it in me to crack on with all those time consuming extras because in time (possibly lots of time) I know I would have regretted not doing it.  

As you can see I'm holding out on getting the carpet laid as I'm having one of the bedrooms plastered and knowing what I know now, I'll get the carpet once the mess is over. 

hallway

hallway 

 

I have one final job, to make a sign as everyone now walks into the hall and with their hands they run them along my now smooth, white walls and say "Oh WOW, it was artex before wasn't it?", get your poxy hands off my white walls haha i bet the home owners in Elle Decor don't have that problem! 

 

Darcey's room's next ......... I'll let the world know that I'm still alive first xx 

New layer...
0 Comments | Posted By Laura Dionne

Vintage Sewing Machines

Thursday, 15 January 2015 13:02:01 Europe/London

This week I've had the delights of playing with some old sewing machines that escaped the window displays of greedy All Saints. I've had three machines in storage and I've never taken the lids off before, it felt like Christmas. They're so beautiful, the detail and craftmanship makes my modern machine look like an ugly pile of plastic, all be it practical but still ugly! 

 

They're all vintage hand crank machines, powered by the manual turning of a handle.

 

Vintage Sewing

 

Singer New Family  


The Singer machine is a 12k Fiddle Base, which Singer labelled their 'New Family' machines. 

 

Vintage Sewing

 

The Singer 'New Family' sewing machine first appeared in 1856 at the end of the American Civil War and at the time the West was still being won. Just a couple of years later it went on sale in the U.K. The New Family was later renamed the Singer Model 12 (12K in the UK) and remained in production for almost 40 years, until just past the turn of the 20th century. 

 

Harris No.3 & No.5 


Harris was a London based sewing machine distributor to retailers. They didn't produce any sewing machines they just 'badged' machines made by many other makers with the Harris name. 

The company was founded in the 1870's and continued in the sewing machine business until at least 1960. It is said that the current incarnation of the Harris company is Mothercare, how bizarre. 


Harris No.3 


 

Vintage Sewing

 

This machine is in beautiful condition, with the original key and a tin full of accessories. 

 

Vintage Sewing

 

Even the ribbon on the key is charming, I'm such a sucker haha.

 

Vintage Sewing

 

The wooden case has a lovely design that makes it really stand out from the other machines. 

 

Vintage Sewing

 

Harris No.5 


1920's Harris No.5 is one of the most amazing machines that I have ever seen, it's stunning, with all its embossed metalwork! This one also has a lot of accessories in the machines storage box. Annoyingly the only thing that lets this machine down is its wooden case, that no longer locks and has external damage but as it's so beautiful I don't think it should be inside a case, let it shine haha, silver lining!! 


Vintage Sewing


I sat turning the hand cranks thinking, I wonder who else has used these machines? I find it all so romantic, I'll never know the full history but there is one and now my grubby mitts are part of it (ha,ha I can hear my friends laughing and telling me to get a life!). 


So after photographing and playing with these machines, I sat in front of my plastic ugly one rather disappointed! Where's its gold decoration and embossed metal detailing?


Vintage Sewing


Would it be a mistake to get out my sharpie pens and pimp my machine? .................Maybe I'll sleep on that one! 


All the machines apart from the ugly plastic one can be purchased at www.historyrepeats.co.uk 


0 Comments | Posted By Laura Dionne

Happy Christmas and New Year

Tuesday, 6 January 2015 14:47:35 Europe/London

A waylaid Happy Christmas and New Year....... better late then never? 

 

Xmas

 It's been such a busy time in our household as I can imagine many others. 

We had some rather odd decorations this year, with all sorts of toys randomly turning up on our tree.

TreeTreeTree

 

Jack also decided that Noddy had to be our tree topper, this was a great conversation piece throughout Christmas, random Noddy!

Tree

We had bulks of candy sticks, as they apparently look pretty together? It took everything in me not to spread them out every evening once the kids had gone to bed haha. 

 Tree

 

 New Year we decided to stay in just the three of us after going over our options. We got all our favourite food and had a three course meal full of random ingredients to please all our taste buds. Throughout the year we kept a jar full of notes of funny and fabulous things that had happened, reading through those notes was hilarious, it's been a roller coaster of a year but sitting and reading all the positives there was certainly more ups then downs and what a brilliant way to end the year. There should be a law, everyone should have to do this. I have never felt so grateful and consumed by my life and out of all the fabulous ways in the past I have seen the new year in, that was by far my favourite! 

 

History Repeats has come on leaps and bounds and I am extremely excited to see what 2015 has in store, we have been part of some amazing projects and met some fantastic people and I can only hope that this year will continue to be just as brilliant as the last. Thank you to everyone for their continued support x

0 Comments | Posted By Laura Dionne

Teepee Treat

Thursday, 23 October 2014 23:16:43 Europe/London

It's been really busy with furniture orders lately (YEY), it's meant once again getting all the new stock on the website and keeping on top of all it's connected social networks have totally taken a back seat (boo). It feels like I spend most of my days in a facemask, looking at my non-existent finger nails dreaming of manicures of the past. I was starting to feel a bit masculine if I'm honest, bumping into my glamorous girl friends on their way home from work, suited and booted in their beautiful heels, whilst I've been seriously rocking the dusty trampy look lately. 


Face mask


I don't know if you can tell but behind my mask I'm pulling a sad, give me a manicure face! 


So I took a break from the furniture making and as it was my son Jack's Birthday, I decided to get behind my sewing machine (in my heels haha). I have a list as long as my arm of projects I'd like to give ago. Jack is completely cowboy mad at the moment, ironically I decided to make him a cowboy teepee tent ha,ha I know, I know .....what would the indians say?!!


After seeing the price of my chosen cowboy fabric, I decided that I'd use it only for the front panel ha, ha and a couple of much cheaper fabrics for the rest. I also got a bit excited and got some clear plastic for a window and brown felt for the frame, every cowboy needs a window! I also got a couple of magnets so he can easily shut the entrance (this is going to make me sound like an awful Mum but Darcey was forever asking me to tie the doors closed on hers, so this is a souped up, pimp my teepee version).  


Teepee


Teepee

 

It was a massive hit with the Birthday Boy!! 


Teepee

 

With the leftover ends from the wooden poles , I made a small structure then drew flames over his other gifts. He was so made up by his fake fire, he keeps getting it out to sit around with his toys. I have now hung strips of red, and orange fabric from the top. 

 

Teepee


Also from leftover fabrics I made some curtains for inside the window, with tiebacks in my expensive cowboy fabric. I also made a sheriffs no.5 badge from leftover window frame/ brown felt and odds and sodds from my stash. I've got to say the badge was really appreciated and so easy to make. 


Teepee


teepee

 

Jack had a brilliant Birthday and I had a lovely time making his gift....... now time to hang up my heels and get back to the furniture making! 

0 Comments | Posted By Laura Dionne

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