Charley Harper Darwins Finches £50

My new house (I’ve moved don’t you know) has walls, lots of walls. My old house only had room for one large picture but now everywhere I look there is a wall crying out for a poster, a print or a photograph.

I have a problem buying art. A lot of the things I like I think I could either A: Do myself if I had the time. Or (more often) B: Get so jealous that I couldn’t do it myself that though I love it I feel ever so slightly depressed when ever I look at it.

But today I have found a brilliant website that has so many prints I like that I could probably do the whole house in one go. It all started when I was looking online for a Charley Harper print  (no, not a picture of Charlie Sheen’s character in Two and A Half Men, that is this  Charlie Harper), I love his graphic style and bold colours, I love the fact that he illustrated Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two Cookbook in the 50’s, I love it all really.

From Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

So I’m very excited that I’ve found Elphicks an online shop (and actual shop in Columbia Road, London) that has so many prints I want to own. Right. Now.

Wayne Pate £65

Wayne Pate £65

Marcus Walters £50

James Brown £20

Blanca Gomez £35

Blanca Gomez £35

Claire Hartigan £20

Ingela P Arrenius £18

The prints range from small to large, cheap to a bit spenny. There are Limited Edition Prints, Signed Prints, Litho, Lino, and Screen prints, Giclee prints and Tiny prints (lots are sold as more purse friendly greetings cards).

To see the rest of Elphicks collection head over there now  (or click on one of the above prints)

I still think the Charley Harper will be the first purchase though.

I find it hard to buy cushions. More often than not I know half a meter of fabric or a particularly nice tea-towel (the small cushion above is made from one bought in an Anthropologie sale, the large from a fat quarter bought from FabricRehab), a feather cushion pad and a spare hour with the sewing machine will result in a cushion a fraction of the price as the ones I see in the shops. This theory doesn’t really apply when it comes to printed or embroidered cushions as the time/facilities needed versus value for money ratio is all wrong which is why when I spotted these two cushions in Matalan I had to buy them…

Embroidered Owl cushion

Printed text cushion

… especially as they were only £10 and £8 respectively.

Matalan do do some good little bits and pieces for the home. Visit their website here to see for yourself…

I do also have an aversion to synthetic cushion pads (which most cheaper cushion covers come with) as to me they always make the cushion sit too upright and don’t feel  snuggly enough. But feather pads can get expensive so I tried an experiment the other day which surprisingly worked. I bought feather bed pillows from Poundstretcher at £7.99 for two, then in the garden I opened up a cushion pad I got with the Matalan cushions and removed the stuffing (useful to keep for stuffing soft toys etc). Then I carefully opened a corner of the feather pillow and transferred half the feathers from the pillow in to the cushion case. When the cushion case was suitable plump I sewed it up, squared off the pillow sewed that up aswell and ended up with two new feather cushion pads.

It’s not the tidiest of jobs and the garden did look a little like I taken a job as a duck plucker when I’d finished but it did save a lot of pennies.

from Everything Oz

For some reason Summer has decided not to end this year (not that I’m complaining.) but if your garden is lacking a little colour right now then these giant paper poppies could be the answer … until it starts raining … (which as Miss Jones just pointed out will probably be on Sunday when the Paralympics come to an end and they go all sad and limp … as do we).

The lovely people over at Laura Ashley have put the step by step instructions and templates from Everything Oz up on their blog so if you fancy making a few head over there now.

There was one step they missed out though… Finish with a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust!

If you like that  … Try …

More Giant Flowers A project I did for Hobbycraft and an ‘amazing’ video of paper flowers actually growing! Click here to view

In my old house I only needed three bins, one in the bedroom, one in the bathroom and the kitchen one. Now it seems I have a need for a bin wherever I go (especially as I am still unpacking) and need to find 5 more, well 7 really as I managed to leave my bathroom and kitchen ones in the old house. Here is something I have realised… A good bin is hard to find…  So I’m making do with an interesting selection of receptacles till I find some decent ones.

The one good bin I do have is one I bought in a sale at The Pier when I worked there as a student. When I bought it I always planned to paint it or cover it with paper as I really liked the shape but not so much the paint job. Now 19 years and 6 houses later I have finally gotten around to it.

I’m using the bin in my spare room which is the only room that doesn’t require major renovations (more of which later), I’m sure painting the bin isn’t necessarily the first thing you should do when decorating a room but then I’m finding when it comes to DIY I’m not one for rational planning and sensible organisation!

I used a small radiator roller to paint the lines and it took a few coats of undercoat to obliterate the zebra stripe.

I’m not having much luck finding others I like but here are three that seem fairly innocuous

From Left:
Grey Stripe from BHS £10, not technically a bin but if you only used it for paper bits then it would be fine … Get it here

Teal Metal from Ikea £11, This is a bit of an odd size … A bit too big to be a bedroom bin and too small for a kitchen, so though I looked at it in the shop I didn’t buy it… Obviously as soon as I got home I realised it was the perfect size for the Craft Room. (Yeah, I now have a Craft Room, well, a room in which I do craft. Others would call it a glorified cupboard.) … Get it here

Blue Flip Top from Habitat £22, Has a nice rubberised finish so you wont need to keep polishing it like you do shiny stainless steal ones … Get it here

I’m currently thinking the best bin bet is to buy cheap metal ones from the Pound Shop and cover them in a paper or paint that suits the scheme of the room.