google analytics tracking code

happy australia day!

Our place 7:15am this picture perfect Australia Day morning.  No rest for the wicked. We were up bright and early to put the final coat on our (largely neglected) front deck before the sun started to hit it.  I am so not a morning person, pre-7am is usually very difficult for me. But the last two mornings we were up before six and outside, and it really is such a beautiful time of the day. It feels unbelievably good to finish the deck, finishing anything, I guess, feels amazing.

Order of events for today include bbq with friends and some lazy spa time. Hope you have something special planned too.

We love you Australia. x

Images: Olive & Joy

how to oil in danish

Title courtesy of MMMC who made me laugh when she said that yes, she would like to see a tutorial about how to oil in Danish! I just wish I knew a little Danish so I could make this post more interesting. Seriously though, I'd like to take you through how I use Danish oil to weave it's magic on the vintage pieces in our home and for the shop, such as the bar stools pictured above and below which I finished on the weekend. You will find Danish oil is an easy and a very forgiving form of polishing timber.

You will need the following:
- Various grades of sandpaper (see below)
- Can of Danish Oil, try Cabots Danish Oil
- Paintbrush, small to medium size
- Steel wool, 000 or 0000 grade
- A couple of clean rags
- Mineral Turps for clean up
You should be able to find all of these items can be found at your local hardware store.

Firstly you will need to sand back the timber piece you are planning on oiling to a smooth finish using various grades of sandpaper. As a rule I start with 120 grade, then 180, 240 and 320 grade sandpaper to finish. It is a lengthy process - it took me days to sand back these two barstools - but if you can stick with it, the result is worth it. You may use 400 grade sandpaper to finish if you like but I find 320 grade is fine as when you oil the wood you will polish it further. Make sure all the fine sawdust is wiped off the timber before you start to oil it.

When using Danish oil, especially when the weather is warm as it is up here in Queensland, I find it best to work on small sections at a time, say one leg of a chair for example. 

Brush on the Danish oil generously to your chosen section of timber, then take a wad of fine grade steel wool and rub the oil into the timber as if you were polishing it. You may find the steel wool quite dry in the first coat as the timber sucks up the oil so I sometimes dab a little oil onto the steel wool before polishing into the wood. Polish in the direction of the woodgrain for best results. 

Leave for a few minutes for the oil to absorb into the timber, and wipe off excess with a clean cloth before the oil gets tacky. The can says to leave it for 10 minutes, but in our climate I only leave it about 5 minutes max. If you have left it a little too long and it has become tacky, just brush on more oil and repeat the steps. 

Repeat for all sections of your timber piece, two to three coats. Use a new wad of steel wool as needed. The beauty of Danish oil is that you don't have to wait until one coat dries, you can do your second coat straight away. The cans says to wait 8 hours between coats, which you can if you like, however I have achieved excellent results without doing so. The result will be a silky smooth, satin oiled finish which looks very natural. Over time the oiled finish will harden more and more to further protect your furniture.

The above picture shows the oiled finish on the left with the original finish (a semi opaque baby poo brown stain) on the right. The Danish oil has transformed the natural look of the timber beautifully.

If you would prefer a glossier finish, in the final coat (or two) brush on the Danish oil carefully and leave to dry without polishing it in with the steel wool, and then just before it gets too tacky, lightly wipe of a small amount of excess oil, making sure the gloss level is consistent throughout. Watch for drips though, you will have to keep an eye on the piece of furniture until it is touch dry to guarantee a beautiful finish. If you are doing the final two coats in this manner, I would recommend waiting the full 8 hours between coats. I used this made-up method when polishing the timber on our Fler armchair as pictured below.

Clean up is with Mineral Turps which I hate using, but you are only using it on the one brush (and your very sticky hands - don't do any Danish oiling if you have pretty polished nails). The steel wool will harden due to the danish oil so the used pieces can be disposed of.

And you're done! I hope you are inspired to start polishing up some neglected furniture pieces for your home. If anyone has any other Danish oiling tips to share, feel free to leave them in a comment below, I'd love to learn more myself.

Images: Olive & Joy

featherston, bella and a sniff or two

Watch Bella discover the newest vintage chair in the house. It gets the sniff of approval. This New Zealand made A310 Featherston chair is in need of major overhaul. At this minute I'm thinking danish red wool upholstery, sand the base and oil it within an inch of it's life, and then straight to the Olive & Joy store. (Yes it hurts to sell it, but a girl has to make a living).

Images:  Olive & Joy

checking in

Just checking in on my fellow Queenslanders hoping that you are all safe. We are safe here on the Gold Coast but I am heartbroken that 75% of our state has been declared a Natural Disaster Zone due to the floods. 75%! South East Queensland is in dire straights today and I hope that it doens't affect you or your loved ones. Let's hope that we do not lose too many more lives. Please be safe, don't take risks, we cannot replace lives but we can replace our belongings. 

And please DONATE to the Flood Appeal.


wedding flowers

Flowergirl with bouquet and dragonfly!

One of my closest friends was married on Saturday. We have known each other for nearly twenty years so have got up to all sorts of mischief in the time we have been friends. I'm so happy that she has found a great guy to spend her life with. And they are so in love. You would think they were teenagers. So lovely to see.

My friend was having difficulty finding a florist within her budget, so I suggested we do the flowers ourselves. We found a rose farm on the bayside of Brisbane and chose the different rose varieties for the bouquets. Shortages in the quantities available meant we had to be creative with the different colours. 

I have to say, how cute is the pic with the dragonfly on one of the flowergirl bouquets! I love that photo so much. It is the groom's daughter in the photo so I can't wait to show him the pics. The dragonfly flew from bouquet to bouquet which gave us time to get the camera out. 

I spent the most part of Friday making the bouquets, something which I had never attempted before. My husband's aunt had some lovely camellia trees which she generously (and I mean generously, I had three big boxes full) pruned for us so that we had some beautiful dark glossy leaves for the flowers. I then picked up 15 dozen roses from the Rose Farm. I had previously bought the rest of the supplies (wire, florist tape, ribbon and pearl tipped florist pins) from Spotlight and apart from the odd rubber band all I needed was a pair of secateurs and a good eye, and some patience to make the bouquets. I planned on taking in progress pics but I didn't have a third hand to take them with!

I admit it was a little more difficult and time consuming than I imagined to make the bouquets (seven in total - one bridal, three bridesmaid and three flowergirl), but I think anyone who is handy or creative could do it. Everyone at the wedding loved them. Loved them. Especially the bride and groom. Yay! I'm so happy I could do this for my friend and her new hubby. 

Please excuse my orange cheeks in the last shot, I think the make up artist went a little wild on me with the bronzer!! The whole day was so wonderful, I hope you enjoy the photos.

Farm fresh flowers ready to be made into bouquets

Bridesmaid bouquet and bridal bouquet

Images:  Olive & Joy

hello 2011 and a garden update

Hello there! It's 2011. Crazy, huh? We had a nice break. The usual - eat too much, do too little. It was the BEST! We have really been enjoying hanging out at home. Back to work today but the last few days were sunny and just... magic. Yesterday Andrew walked around and took some pics of the garden, which is full of big happy plants. They are loving all the rain we have had lately. I looked through some photos of the garden from last January and can't believe how much the garden has grown in that time. Turns out we just may have a green thumb or two after all.  

Let's look back at how it looked on the 4th of January last year,

A few weeks later the deck is finished and most of the plants in.

This is what our jungle garden looks like now. The garden is home to visiting birds, two sleeping cats and lots and lots of frogs. It is so lovely sitting in the spa surrounded by the greenery. Like our own little resort.

So whilst our garden is flourishing with all the rain, I am reminded that mother nature has not been so kind elsewhere in our state. If it isn't a drought in Queensland, it's flooding. I feel so grateful and fortunate (and guilty) that we are safe and dry in our home right now when so much of Queensland is flooded. The enormity of the floods is too devastating to comprehend and unfortunately, it is far from being over. If you can, please open those pockets and donate at any major bank to the flood appeal. 

Images: Olive & Joy