A true story

I was on holiday in Cornwall, walking back from St. Michael’s Mount at Marazion, when I got a facebook message through from Rebecca, who’s studio I have been working in for the last month or two. It was link to the Annie Sloan and British Heart Foundation ‘ReUse Revolution’ competition. She wondered if we should both be entering it.

Obviously, I thought this was a great idea, as Paint Kitchen is still relatively new and I would love to get recognition from Annie Sloan, so when I got back home to Blackburn I began looking for a piece to paint in my local British Heart Foundation shop, in Darwen Street, Blackburn.

I am a big fan of mid century modern furniture and as soon as I saw the sideboard there, I knew it was ‘the one!’

So, with help from the shop staff, it was put in our car, just fitting on the back seat, and then I drove it to RAW studio at Ribchester to borrow Rebeccas studio space to start on a make over for it.

Rebecca had also found a cabinet to paint and she was starting hers, which turned out to be absolutely stunning, in copper leaf and all shades of greens and blues.

I looked at the sideboard and after a quick bit of research I sketched out an idea of colours and shapes and how I wanted it to look.

Just as work began on sanding and prepping, I had taken out the top drawer, to unscrew all the handles and fastenings. Right at the back, there were several bits of paper jammed up against the inner wall of the sideboard.

There was a letter, a few postcards and an old identification card. I knew that they had been missed when the sideboard was donated so I kept them safe at home.

One of the postcards had some lovely angles and colours, and they ended up being incorporated into the final design.

Sanding and prepping continued, with painting, masking and waxing, and finally the cabinet was finished and photographed. to enter the competition, you had to show a good instagram picture of the item you bought at BHF, in it’s new setting, with all the correct hashtags etc.

As soon as the up-cycling was finished, I thought it best to start looking for the owners of the documents. I shared some images of them on a facebook group called Blackburn and District in the Past, an amazing group full of helpful people who love the town and it’s history. There were a total of 39 comments, some with useful tips on how to find the owners of the documents.

Some of the group members knew the ward on the envelope’s address was for maternity and another lady privately messaged me and suggested a surname to contact, which I did. I found the owners straight away and offered them the documents. They were pleased and said they would like to have the documents back as they were just clearing the house of the lady who the letter was for. The letter, written in 1962 was from her Mum and Dad, or the owner’s Grandparents. It had been an amazing journey, and I updated the Blackburn District group with the good news.

It had been a fascinating creative journey. To see more of my work and find out about my workshops, please follow me on instagram and my facebook page.

Thank you for reading,