final image

Christmas may be over but that doesn’t mean the fairy lights and decorative tea light holders have to be put away does it. Does it? I hope not as I have this clever little craft project to share.

I love mercury glass; the pretty marbled effect glass that originated around the 1840’s made glass vessels look more expensive and glamorous. Late last year I was commissioned by Country Homes and Interiors magazine to devise six craft projects that would utalise left over Christmas candles in different ways. These mercury glass tea lights were one of them.

All you need to make them is some old clean jam jars with wide necks … The Bonne Maman ones are perfect, masking tape, a water spray bottle and some mirror effect spray paint  – the Americans use Krylon Looking Glass Silver but I think Plasticote Brilliant Metallic Silver is the closest British equivalent.

Here’s how to do it…

Mercury-glass-candle-holders

Simple! This method also works well on small panes of glass. It gives an old foxed mirror effect when done on the underside of the glass.

Here’s a sneak peak of some of how the jars looked in the mag and also some of the other projects. The whole feature with instructions on how to make is in the current issue of Country Homes and Interiors available in newsagents now or to download here

Mercury_0014_

copyright Dan Duchars

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copyright Dan Duchars

copyright Dan Duchars

copyright Dan Duchars

jennie patches 2

Back in June I went to the Rumour PR press day. They had so many lovely Christmas gift ideas that I did momentarily wish it could be Christmas that very day (and then I went out side and it was beautifully sunny so promptly forgot my wishes).

My favourite and my best thing that I saw there were these fabric patches by Jennie Maizels. Jennie patches

Now I love a circus alphabet – I try and do a version in most of my books.

alphabet letters

From my books Fresh Prints and Little Sew and Sew

But Jennies little box of letters blew me away. I love them. I love that there are different colourways of each letter, I don’t love that the ‘C’ is quite boring but I’m used to that (I think it’s just a bit of a dull shape to begin with).

jennie maizels alphabet

Apart from letters Jennie also does packs of patches made up of cute little illustrations, all perfect for decorating plain jackets and dresses and also for disguising worn out jean knees and stains on favourite shirts.

jenni maizels dress

There’s much more to Jennie than iron on clothes plasters, she also writes and illustrated pop up books and has an awesome  Instagram account. Recently she has been on holiday and has been documenting it in a visual diary. Now this is my holiday diary …

holiday diary

(admittedly I was 6 years old)

and this is hers…

Jennie Maizels wednesday

tuesday Jenni Maizels

 

Oh to be on holiday in Jennies world!

To buy any of Jennies patches click here. To follow her on Instagram and be cheered up by her crazy bright colourful world click here.

things i love book

This is a good book. It’s a big book full of good stuff by interior stylist Megan Morton. It’s a book which I fully intend to one day sit down with a cup of tea and some biscuits and read from cover to cover (it’s probably number 10 in the queue of books waiting for that glorious day).

It’s a book that when maybe you’ve just got a little tired of amazing pictures of beautiful homes …

Megan-mmorton-interiors

you turn the page and get a section of perforated cut-out-and-keep postcards full of witty slogans and pretty pictures (which is quite frankly blowing my mind as I want to use the postcards but can’t bare to tear them from the book) …

Megan-Morton-Postcards

Moving on, there’s a chapter of interviews with inspiringly fabulous people …

Megan-Morton-interviews

Then one full of helpful hints to make your home look like it’s from the pages of a magazine …

Useful-pages-Megan-Morton

And to top it off at the end you get a gatefold section (who doesn’t love a gatefold)  showcasing Megan’s Styling Manifesto which actually now I’ve read this page is a bit twee and nothing groundbreaking but it looks good and really isn’t that all that matters?

Megan-Morton-Manifesto

Megan-Morton

Buy Megan’s book here and visit her website here

It took six months after I moved in to get round to decorating my bedroom and another 9 to post it on here but finally the combination of a tidy room, a bright day and a moment to blog have all come together and this is the result.

bedroom before and after

The inspiration for this room was a beautiful piece of fabric by Harlequin. I didn’t have much but the plan was to cut out the trees and applique them onto the bottom of the curtains (made to measure by Ada & Ina 20% off till 31st of Jan). This has never happened. I did manage to find John Lewis blinds  in the same fabric at which I could gaze all day.

blind

The original layout of the room had built in wardrobes along the wall opposite the windows so the bed could only go where it was in the first photo or against the outside wall (where I have it now. Usually I have it facing the windows but got bored the other day and moved it. I wouldn’t recommend this as it’s definitely colder being on an outside wall in the winter months).

bedroom ideas

I thought the alcoves either side of the chimney breast were a better space for the wardrobes so we spent a day ripping the old cupboards out (keeping the wood for other projects (more of which later … like much later … like probably another 9 months) unearthing a time line of wallpapers in the process.

wallpapers

I had the wardrobes built by Emma from allsprucedupcarpentry they took about 4 days and cost around £1000 unpainted. She was an amazing worker and I’d love to have her back to make more things but she’s currently having a baby.

Though Emma built the wardrobes I set dad the project of building a fire surround. This fireplace used to live in my Aunts garage but we all decided that my bedroom would be a much more suitable home for it. I built a prototype in cardboard so dad could see what I was thinking and left him to it. (The fireplace isn’t fixed to the wall so it is totally coming with me if I move.)

fireplacebanda

I didn’t have to buy any new furniture for the room. I just repainted things I already had. It was a lovely surprise finding these shiny brass hinges underneath all the layers of paint on this bedside cabinet.

Besdisde cabinet

a £5 junk shop find

I really liked the idea of these ombre drawers but maybe they are better suited to a nursery, so after about a day they got repainted.

chest of drawers

Found this chest of drawers in the street It took me and my mum three trips to carry them all home

One final treat was finding the original door hidden under two pieces of hardboard.

bedroom door

Shopping list

shopping list

1. Made to measure curtains Ada and Ina
2. Silhouette fabric Harlequin
3. Links Wallpaper Harlequin
4. Mason Rug Laura Ashley
5. Rolling Fog (Mid) paint Little Greene
6. Rolling Fog paint Little Greene (I got mine colour matched at the local paint shop … much cheaper)