Pink girlie dressing table

Hi everyone! In advance, thank you for visiting my page. My latest blog post is progression photos of a girlie pink dressing table, with sparkly knobs. It’s my favourite and I hope you like it too 😊 Cheers!

I am super pleased with the way this one has gone, it’s my favourite so far as really girlie, hehe. I painted with pink frenchie paint which is fab. I tried wood staining the top with an ‘antique pine’ stain however the batch I bought from B&M was dodgy, I swapped it and it was still dark, more a mahogany than pine. I thought when dried it might go lighter, but it wasn’t to my taste. At this point, the project was a disaster as the top looked hideous lol. I got out my orbital sander and sanded it back to bare wood which massively improved the top. I sealed it with a couple layers of clear varnish, and lacquered the legs/frame. Then, to finish, some gorgeous sparkly knobs my boss donated πŸ‘ And here is the finished product:

My next couple of projects I’m thinking of decoupaging some maps, such as world maps, onto tables, or superhero wallpaper. I have some projects in the pipe line for the store cafe too, so plenty to keep me busy 😊

Thanks so much for taking the time to read/view my blog, as always much appreciated, Lauren xx

Β© 2022 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

My first upholster! Progression photos

Good evening fellow followers πŸ™‚ My latest blog post is progression photos of a upholstered chair, I’m pretty proud of it, hope you like…

My first task was unpicking the metal staples around the brim, ready for new fabric. I sugar soaped and then used a primer on the bare wood, when dry I sprayed chalky grey furniture paint, and a crystal clear protection to seal. Next, I stapled a bottom sheet to the frame, to increase durability. The fabric I initially chose was black/dark blue, with elegant yellow flowers. I used the first bit of cloth as a template to get the right size. Upon completion however it was agreed the choice of fabric was a little too pretty, and did not match an industrial vibe wished for the new store cafe (this is what I’m working on at the moment). As it appeared more for a bedroom than a cafΓ©, I unpicked the metal staples and started again! I upholstered with a plain more rustic fabric, and glue gunned a brim, adding a bit of personality with the tassels!

This has been my favourite project so far. I love the shabby chic effect, and I think it looks very classy and elegant. I love that I’m learning too. The store manager did give me a tip to pull the fabric really tight, so less loose, I completely agree however I don’t think I’ve done bad for a first upholster attempt. I’m really proud of myself, hehe πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Coming up soon, some metallic steampunk effect frames, upcycled wooden spools (big project for the cafe) and a Earth map decoupaged table! Please do keep a look out… I’m hoping to sell some of my art/knitting too as sponsorship money towards my Liverpool cathedral absail, so I’ve plenty to keep me occupied πŸ™‚

Much love, Lauren xx

Β© 2022 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

Upcycled cafe table – 22 progression photos

Hi everyone, I’ve been a busy bee upcycling again for the Children’s Air Ambulance! My latest blog post is 22 progression photos of a rustic cafΓ© table, hope you like!

I started off with a quick sand and sugar soap cleanse. Then, I used a spray primer for the leg and foot of the table, before spray painting silver. Next, wood staining the table… Well, it went a little wrong! I didn’t sand the table sufficiently and subsequently it went a tad blotchy and darker in some areas. I ended up having to start all over, scrape and sand thoroughly. I switched from a roller brush to a cloth for more even distribution. The finished result is more desirable, a rustic antique pine, only requiring a polyurethane varnish to strongly seal.

This isn’t my most impressive piece in my personal opinion. It was a bit of a chore and required some elbow grease to scrape/sand. I was happy when it was finished to be perfectly honest, haha.. Well, at least it was a learning curve.

Up next, upholstery! Yes, my very first go at upholstering a chair! Look out for it.

Many thanks, Lauren xx

Β© 2022 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

Upcycled storage box / ottoman – progression photos

Hi again fellow followers! My latest blog post is progression photos of a upcycled storage box / ottoman. This is the one I’m most pleased with, hope you like it too! πŸ™‚

I started off the project by giving the box a good clean with sugar soap, and a thorough sanding with my black and decker mouse sander. I then applied a primer and undercoat which dried in a couple of hours; a huge improvement from before with the shabby chic bedside cabinet – 16 to 24 hours that one took! I then applied a little bit gloopy (unfortunately a few years old) furniture paint in a clotted cream colour. Next I decoupaged the front and back of the box with a gorgeous sort of marble effect silver wallpaper my friend kindly donated. Afterwards, I used furniture wax to seal the clotted cream paint, and satin varnished the decoupage. To finish, I wood stained the top with antique pine wood stain, and painted the hinges black. And here it is completed…

This is my favourite upcycling project so far. I think it looks quite classy with the decoupage, and is unique; hopefully it’ll raise a lot of money for the Children’s Air Ambulance once it’s sold πŸ™‚

I’m not sure what my next project will be, I’ll keep you in suspense, ha! I’m not volunteering today, having a chill out day for my birthday, 31 today, hooray! It snowed this morning… almost like a white Christmas πŸ€ΆπŸŽ„πŸ€ΆπŸŽ„

Thank you so much for taking the time to read, appreciated.

Many thanks, Lauren xx

Β© 2022 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

Rustic charm distressed TV cabinet – progression photos

Hey again! My latest blog post is progression photos of a rustic charm distressed TV cabinet, upcycled for the Children’s Air Ambulance. Hope you like…

At the beginning of the project, the TV cabinet was a dark mahogany colour wood – not always a preferable shade to sell nowadays. Therefore, it was my job to sand using a black and decker mouse sander – still very time consuming it must be said despite not being hand held sand paper! As you can see, I went for a distressed look. One of the drawers of the cabinet unattached also, so I used ‘no more nails’ to secure. After extensive sanding, I kept it simple and classic by rubbing on a furniture wax – to give a rustic shabby chic feel πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ The result…

My next upcycling project for the Children’s Air Ambulance is some sort of storage/ toy box I intend to paint, varnish and decoupage but before then I may have finished a cosmic wolf diamond art to donate. We can’t sell hand made items as a charity unfortunately, so along with what they send off, I’m going to knit some bobble hats, scalves etc for the refugees in Ukraine. I think that would be lovely to do…

Thanks so much for taking the time to read / view, much appreciated.

All the best, Lauren xx

Β© 2022 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

‘Dakota the Dragon’ 20 progression photos

Hi everyone! Good evening, hope you are all well πŸ™‚ The latest blog post is 20 progression photos of an amateur acrylic painting. I’ve kept with the fantasy theme and painted a dragon/castle, hope you like πŸ™‚

I used my art therapy books as inspiration. Dakota and the castle are quite similar colours, with fluffy white clouds in the blue background; I love their effect. I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turned out, as is only my amateur second acrylic attempt. Hopefully the more I practise, the more I’ll improve! Here is the finished piece:

Coming soon, maybe more fantasy/fairy inspired tale acrylic paintings (mermaids, witches, fairies etc) or a gigantic wolf crystal diamond art I bought from the Range, or excitingly, upcycled furniture as I am beginning volunteering as a furniture refurbisher for the Children’s Air Ambulance this week! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Thank you so much for reading /viewing!

Thoughts with the the people of Ukraine, and hope of a world free from war and atrocity.

Many thanks, Lauren xx

Β© 2022 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

Art therapy (amateur) descriptions

Hi everyone, happy new year!

You may not know but I have actually been in a mental health hospital for the last four and a half months. I’m doing much better thank goodness; I thought it would be nice to share though some of my promarker pen amateur art therapy drawings I’ve produced whilst being a patient, and to offer a brief description of what inspired each piece. I do hope you enjoy!

I took inspiration for this cat piece from some art therapy books I already owned. The symmetry with the mushrooms, trees and butterflies and the blue/pink colour scheme is supposed to visually depict equality and togetherness.

This abstract quirky piece depicts looking at the world with eyes of love and promoting peaceful protest.

My two giraffes are boosting upwards off the yellow brick road towards Emerald City (I can relate to all the characters in the Wizard of Oz and I am considering a full leg sleeve tattoo haha).

This is art from great imagination if I may say so, haha. It’s Christmas themed and was started for the ward unique Christmas card competition. There’s a time traveling santa ‘Ho Ho’ sack, a mushroom / tea pot house, pouring green tea where a few people are zorbing. There is also a purple mother mountain, with people and unicycle trees tobogganing down her hair. Tiny snowmen and cute gnomes and everyone flying in the air like Iron man superheroes!

This is my tree of life, with quirky people who are also little tree houses living on each branch. There are blue circles up towards heaven with writing above saying ‘heaven is a place on Earth’. I hopefully envision a future where our planet becomes a utopia; where we come together in solidarity to tackle climate change and establish a better appreciation of and connectivity with nature.

This piece is inspired by The Lion King, where Mufasa encourages Simba to remember ‘who he is’ – the rightful aire to the throne (pride rock). I strongly believe that our actions in our lifetime matter, and we therefore have a responsibility to be and strive always to be, our best selves.

Here is a dark skinned goddess with elephant arms meditating on a mandala. There is a temple (and wind turbine) doorway to the right and to the left a tipee with banner swaying, saying ‘Blessed be the peacemakers).

And last, but certainly not least, is my colourful tiger. There are ‘eye of the tiger’ lyrics. This drawing seeks to symbolise tenacity. Life isn’t about how many times you get knocked down, but how fiercely you stand up and put your gloves back on, like the god/goddess YOU are!

Thank you so much for viewing / reading πŸ™‚

All the best, Lauren xx

Β© 2022 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

Skegness 11th August 2021

Earlier this year, me and my lovely grandma Ruth had a fantastic organised day trip to Skegness (skeggy). Here’s just a few photos and thoughts regarding our outing, hope you enjoy…

We were so fortunate that the weather was beautiful all afternoon, bright and warm and sunny; exactly what you wish for going to the seaside. Some others on the bus trip decided to visit Ingoldmells market first, we went straight to Skegness however.

I was very pleasantly surprised how gorgeous Skegness is. I’ve been to butlins often as a child, but couldn’t really remember how pretty the seaside itself is.

As soon as we got off the coach, we relaxed a while having a coffee / iced latte before strolling into the center. We window shopped a little, gran was adamant she was going to find a particular shop which just was not there, bless her. We had superb food in a popular fish and chips restaurant (no fish for me, urgh lol) before leisurely wandering around the fun fair, grabbing a slushy to cool down. Then we contently and casually walked along the promenade; it was amazing and heartwarming seeing families so happy on the beach. Me and gran sat down on the pier some time to unwind before heading to the pub, haha. I had a few ciders so I was rather tipsy on the way home and I don’t think the driver appreciated having an unscheduled toilet break, oh dear lol.

Skegness was not what I thought it would be at all, it completely surpassed my expectations. I can’t wait to go again and take my Dad along he would love it!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read / view, it is appreciated. Please keep a look out for my next blog post, a portrait of Muhammad Ali.

Much love, take care, Lauren xx

Β© 2021 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

Uncle Jim’s birthday weekend: Retford, Nottingham, Doncaster

Not this weekend but the weekend before, we had a wonderful time celebrating my Uncle Jim’s birthday. Please continue reading for a description of mine, my Auntie Gina, her son Rich and Uncle Jim’s travels to; Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Spa in Retford, a day out in Nottingham and another trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster. Hope you enjoy!

We went for a posh meal on the Friday evening at Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Spa, Retford. As you can see, we dressed up nice for the occasion! The food was delicious, I opted for the lamb which was very succulent. Our original choice for dining out was Spencer’s On The Square, Retford, the venue for Uncle Jim and Auntie Gina’s wedding a few years ago – however due to covid confusions, we changed to the place they have celebrated their subsequent anniversaries. Ye Olde Bell certainly didn’t disappoint on a taste point of view, even if we did have to wait a little longer than expected for our meal to arrive – annoying!

Of all the UK cities I’ve visited over the years, I have never been to Nottingham, so I was super excited to go on the Saturday! We started off at the Victoria Shopping centre. I was quite smitten with a quirky fancy / alternative dress emporium lol. We moseyed leisurely around the shops, enjoying a latte and cake break half way. Unfortunately Auntie Gina couldn’t find a particular hair accessory salon, to her dismay and Uncle Jim’s best efforts! The weather was slightly changeable in Nottingham city centre; one moment overcast with clouds and the next we knew, rays and beams of sunshine! Nottingham City Hall in Old Market Square proudly displayed a Union Jack flag, which would then be in excited anticipation of the England football teams’ upcoming Euro 2020 games. We decided it would be fun to take some typical tourist photos with street performers and in Seaside themed comical booths, hehe. Furthermore, Uncle Jim was delighted to get a photograph with his lovely wife in front of the Brian Clough OBE statue! We finished off our great day with some more retail therapy, something Auntie Gina relished πŸ™‚

Sunday – yes, another venture to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, haha! We were so disappointed when we arrived because the new Point Lobos enclosure for Californian Sea Lions was closed due to essential maintenance. We were however able to see the new mother polar bear Flocke and her three triplets at Project Polar 2, which was fantastic! I managed to get some pretty decent photographs of the tigers and meerkats which I was chuffed about, although it was a shame Uncle Jim was unable to catch a glimpse of his beloved, timid red pandas lol – likewise the giraffes unfortunately were not visible in their indoor huts. So though it was a sad we were unable to see some of the wildlife, it was still a brilliant day seeing all the other amazing animals. I think we walked for about four and a half hours in total around the park, I was knackered afterwards, haha – it definitely didn’t help I was suffering from a urinary tract infection and on antibiotics at the time. I was slightly relieved when we entered the gift shop at the new Yorkshire Hive at the end of the day. I bought my beautiful mum a red panda and a zebra teddy πŸ™‚

Thank you so much for taking the time to read / view my latest travel blog post!

I just wanted to mention, it is a misfortune that we didn’t win the Euros last night, especially so cruelly on penalties – but I think the England lads did terrific in the tournament, and brought joy to so many people this Summer, in such awful, dark and unprecedented times. Well done, thank you, and bring on the World Cup!

Further reading:

https://www.yeoldebell-hotel.co.uk/retford-restaurant-bistro-bar (Accessed 12th July 2021)

https://www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com/ (Accessed 12th July 2021)

(Please visit my Facebook and Instagram page ‘UnicornPostbox’ to ‘like’ and ‘follow’)

Β© 2021 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

‘Gladiator’ drawing – 27 progression photos

Happy new year all UnicornPostbox blog followers! My latest blog post is 27 progression photos of an A2 size amateur art drawing of Joaquin Phoenix and Russell Crowe from ‘Gladiator’, the iconic 2000 Ridley Scott film. Hope you enjoy! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

And below is the finished drawing πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

[SPOILER ALERT] Ridley Scott’s 2000 ‘Gladiator’ is one of my all time favourite films. It tells the story of Maximus, a brave and moral man, a respected General who is enslaved as a result of the deceitful Commodus’ chicanery. Reluctantly at first, Maximus fights as a gladiator to the Roman crowds and at the Colosseum; to win his freedom, and ultimately seek vengeance on him who has wronged him;

‘The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an empire’ (Commodus quote – IMBD)

I shall not spoil more of the plot for you in case you have not seen it but ‘Gladiator’ a brilliant and superb film in my opinion, and I would highly recommend viewing!

I have drawn using Derwent sketching and Boldmere colouring pencils. I positioned both subjects Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and Maximus (Russell Crowe) facing one another with a famous quote from the film arching overhead;

What we do in life echoes in eternity’ (Maximus quote – IMDB)

This is to emphasise my interpretation of the meaning behind the quote; that the choices we make and actions we take in our life not only define us as people but have a lasting impact on the world even when we die – our choices and actions do matter. Obviously in the film, Commodus and Maximus are arch-enemies, who completely contrast one another in personalities and integrity – I wanted this to be visually symbolised in my amateur art drawing.

For future drawings, I think I would like to keep to the film theme at the moment and draw other characters from my other favourite films – possibly Jack and Rose from ‘Titanic’ and Baby and Johnny from ‘Dirty Dancing’ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Thank you very much for taking the time to read/view my latest UnicornPostbox blog post. Please do keep a look out for future drawings πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

…I would also however like to take the opportunity to wish all my followers well. I understand how difficult life is at the moment with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. I myself am caring for my mum who is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s so I know how hard the current restrictions imposed on us all are. Please do stay safe and take care…

Much love, Lauren xx

More information:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0172495/ [Accessed 06th January 2021]

(Please visit my Facebook and Instagram page β€˜UnicornPostbox’ to β€˜like’ and β€˜follow’)

Β© 2021 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com