I’ve mentioned before my love of seemingly pointless little bits of printed paper and ephemera. It’s a love that isn’t going anywhere any time soon, in fact if anything I think it might be growing.
At college I was quite organised with my scraps of serviettes, ticket stubs and foreign sweet packets and I kept them all filed in a series of photo albums. Over time these albums have been neglected and now my precious pieces of paper are stored in drawers; knicker drawers, sock drawers, knife, fork and spoon drawers. Essentially anywhere in the house that I can tidy them away quickly always promising that I Will Deal With Them One Day. Well, that day has come. Having found two lovely large box frames at a boot sale the other day I realised they would be the perfect showcase for my papery bits ‘n’ bobs.
I have made one for my bedroom and one for the lounge. I painted the backing card the colour of the walls and mounted the pieces using a mixture of spray mount, foam pads (the kind used in Decoupage to give height) and small dress making pins. I didn’t want all the pieces to be stuck down flat so using a mixture of these three sticky things I was able to keep a nice variety of heights and shapes.
Some of the pieces are personal to me; that’s my birth announcement in the bottom right. Some are holiday reminders; Finn Air towelette anyone? But all of them have a nice bit of design going on and inspire me every time I look at them.
pictures behind glass are hard to photograph
If you want to start (or develop) your own paper addiction then always look in the small dusty boxes at car boot sales and junk shops or head over to Present and Correct for your next fix.
I have a bit of a problem with diaries, every year I buy one, get all stressed about filling it in incase I ruin it by spelling something wrong or writing in the wrong date and then by February I give up entirely and frustrate my friends for the rest of the year by never being entirely sure what I’m doing when.
I got a bit better when I invented my month-to-view printouts that I used to design every three months typing in each date individually and then carrying the A3 printouts round folded up in my bag or clipped to a massive clipboard…
This year I thought maybe a year planner would be my best bet, something so big that I would always know where it was and could quickly see how my year was panning out. I found some really nice ones online …
Doodlelove £12.50 Love the little sayings at the beginning of each month but couldn’t quite get my head round the months going from top to bottom rather than left to right.
Lollipop designs £14 Love this but ditto the above
Present and Correct £11 how cool is the idea that you tear off the days as you go but the year seems to work backwards which made my brain hurt a little
Crispin Finn £12.50 Crispin colours everything he does in a limited palette of red, white, blue and brown paper and what’s not to like about that.
but none were quite right … so I made my own.
Granted it almost drove me insane drawing all the boxes and typing in the numbers and I did waste most of January doing it but it’s just the colours I want and now I’ve done it once it’ll be easy to update for next year. It cost me £10 to get it printed at the local print shop and hopefully, maybe I’ll be more organised from now on.
The other day my lovely friend Lady H texted me asking if I knew any good online fabric shops as she was about to embark on a mini curtain making project to hide her children’s toys at the base of a set of shelves. These were the places I came up with …
Hus and Hem
This shop is a treasure trove of all things Scandinavian (or as they say a Smörgåsbord). Apart from all the lovely home accessories they have a great range of printed linens and cottons.
1. Spira Jaffa Green Swedish Fabric £39 a meter
2 Spira Mello Grey Scandinavian Fabric £35 a meter
3. Kauniste Sokeri Blue Finnish Fabric £24.95 a meter
4. Almedahls Italiensk Blomsterhylla Swedish Fabric £21 a meter
M is For Make
An array of fabrics sold as fat quarters (roughly 45 x 55 cm). If you want more than half a meter of fabric request multiple fat quarters and you’ll get a continuous length. (4 fat quarters gives you around a meter square). Also sells bundles of complementary fabrics which is great for quilting and applique.
1. Autumn Wonderland £3.50 per quarter
2. Navy Leaf £2.90 per quarter
3. Metallic Spot £3.00 per quarter
4. Volumes in Degas £2.50 per quarter
Though Liberty only sell their fine Tana Lawn fabrics online, there’s still over 100 patterns to choose from. Every year they revisit their classic patterns and update them in new colour ways and also introduce new designs … Anyone for a Giraffe in Trainers?
1. Lauren £22 a meter
2. Milla A £22 a meter
3. Poppy’s Patchwork B £22 a meter
4. Queue for the Zoo £22 a meter
The Home Makery
A one stop shop for pretty craft materials; from crochet wool to paper stamps and inks, there will always be something here to inspire you. It has some big name brands with fabrics from Tanya Whelan, Tilda and Dashwood Studios.
1. Annali Fall Flowers £3 a fat quarter
2. Wildwood Foxes £3 a fat quarter
3. Wildwood Aubergine Toadstools £3 a fat quarter
4. Annali Teal Flowers £3 a fat quarter
Don’t like any of these? Then why not make your own? Spoonflower is an amazing website that allows you to upload your own design and have it printed on fabric ( a large choice including cottons, linens and silks), wallpaper or gift wrap. If you’re not a budding textile designer then you can always buy someone elses design. (Prices vary depending on fabric choice)
1. Flying High
2. Floral Quilt Cheat
3. Sparrow Song
So, this was a fun way to spend an afternoon, a virtual shopping spree through all the lovely homeware goodies on the Marks and Spencer website.
Why was I doing this? Well, I spotted a competition being run by Jen at lovechicliving and Jenny at thetreasurehunter asking bloggers to create a dream dining scheme for a special occasion and I just had to have a go at entering it (you never know I might win £200 of M&S vouchers!). As Christmas is well and truly over I thought I’d plan a scheme for the next big feasting occasion: an Easter breakfast (I basically love the Cow creamer so based my scheme round her). Having started the scheme with the creamer I felt that the Sketch range of china and teatowels complemented her slightly quirky feel as did the mix and matchiness of the plates and bowls. The bright pops of colour from the Andante range and the fake alliums and hydrangas give the table a nice spring feeling and the little accents of gold on the mugs and coasters add a touch of sophistication.
Here’s everything I used for my scheme.
Colour Hit Tumblers £3.00
Andante Dinner Plates £3.00
Spot Mugs £7.50
Sketch Hen Side Plate £7.50
Deco Geometric Cereal Bowl £9.50
Lombard Cereal Bowl £4
Sketch Hen Egg Cup £6
Ceramic Glaze Coasters £12.50
Maxim Cow Creamer £5
Sketch Tea Towel £7.50
16 Piece Cutlery Set £29.50
Ercol Dining Chairs £439.20
Eva Jacquard Cushion £35
Wexford Dining Table £399
Chevron Tealight Holders £7.50
Tribal Zig Zag Vase £15
Artificial Allium £7.50
Hammered Votive Tealight Holder £12
Trifle bowl £19.50
Artificial Hydrangea £7.50
Two Toned Filled Candle £15
(If you’re a blogger why not have a go at entering the competition yourself and if I win I’ll send you all a Percy Pig*)
*subject to availability*
*If I ever remember to buy some.