Got an Ipad? Need a new case for it? Well, if you buy a copy of Making magazine this month you will get this nifty little project taken from Felt Sew Good. See it as a kind of ‘try before you buy’ opportunity, though really you should just BUY!
Here is a book. A book called Felt Sew Good. A book I spent many hours last summer creating; dreaming up, making, writing and illustrating the 30 or so projects and it’s finally here and though I do say it myself it’s really rather nice. It looks, feels and smells good too. Above is a little taster of what’s inside and if you head over to Amazon now you can use their nifty ‘look inside’ feature to find out more!
Oh and you know that thing about buses and how you can wait for ages and two come at once? Well, apparently it’s the same for books as here is Felt Sew Goods sister title Little Sew and Sew. Also by me, also rather nice and also available to buy now!
Over the following weeks there’ll be some free project downloads, some interviews and other exciting things. Cool.
The wonder that is Liberty has a new department. A garden department. It’s up on the fourth floor taking full advantage of the beautiful vaulted glass roof that makes you feel you are wandering round an orangery of some grand stately home.
In true Liberty style not only are there beautiful things to buy but their merchandise displays are cool, humorous and inspiring. Their use of unorthadox planting vessels really got me thinking.
They are selling everything from seeds and tiny plant pots, perfect for the city gardener with only window boxes to tend to, to outdoor dining goodies for those with a bit more space.
If you can’t get to the store then they have a selection of wares on their website. Here are three of my favourite things…
1. Fallen Fruits Red Insect Hotel £24.95 2. Fallen Fruits Four terracotta pots in a box £19.95 3. Fallen Fruits zinc rectangular outdoor serving tray £19.95
I do like a nice bit of storage. I think it’s because I’m a bit of a hoarder and keeping the stickers I got when I was 12, the Really-Important-Pebble-from-that-lovely-beach-that-I can’t-quite-remember-where-it-was-but-it-definitely-can’t-go-in-the-bin and all my other bits and bobs hidden away in a selection of jars and pots make me feel like I am holding some semblance of order over my home.
Mixing old and new jars and canisters is a good way to avoid ending up with a Magnet Showroom style kitchen and reusing food containers with pretty packaging is a nice recycling touch; granted my friends do look at me funny when I transport (clean) used yoghurt pots home in my suitcase from holidays in France, but the design is so good.
Anyway my latest addition to my kitchen is the blue lidded jar in the center of the picture above. Ages ago I saw these cute little spice jars in Anthropologie selling for around £10, which are beautiful and I love the ornate detail around the chalkboard.
But then I saw these in Matalan and they’re bigger and cheaper at 18cm high and only £5 each. Hurrah.
Shame you don’t get a stick of chalk with them … Where do you buy chalk these days?
Also on my shopping list are these little beauties
From left; Bloomingville Carla Storage Jars, £12 Flittybird.co.uk
Sagaform Keep Storage Jar, £15.66 wayfair.co.uk
Jonathan Adler Candy Storage Jar £138 uk.jonathanadler.com
Cream Crackers by Wayne Hemmingway £12 utilitydesign.co.uk
Hurrah. I’ve finally done it … I have finished one room in The New House. It’s only taken me … ooh about four months. I started so well; painting, carpeting and getting the bed delivered and built all within a couple of weeks of moving in but then there seemed to be a lull when life and work took over.
When I first saw the house it looked like this.
But I didn’t need bunk beds or more wardrobes, just a nice space that could be an office or a spare room. I chose this room to decorate first because it was small and manageable with no wallpaper to remove, just a quick paint job, new carpet and a few little bits and bobs and it’d be good to go.
Regular visitors to the blog will notice the odd cushion or bin that are now in their final resting places, other pieces came from Ikea or were recycled, reclaimed or customised. I painted the walls in Potters Clay by Dulux from Homebase and polka dotted the two shorter ones with white vinyl that I got from the local hardware shop.
TOP TIP hand cut wall murals are easy to make using vinyls that are often found on the high street (maybe more commonly known as sticky backed plastic, well, it is if Blue Peter was your crafting Mecca when you were younger (click here if you want to know how to make a Blakes7 bracelet)). I drew round the inside of a masking tape roll for my polka dots and cut them out with scissors. If you are going for a more elaborate design don’t forget to draw your design in reverse on the back of the vinyl so it is the right way round when you stick it up. Oh and something I’ve learned the hard way… Don’t put the mural up on freshly painted walls. It’s best to wait two or three weeks for the paint to dry fully otherwise when you want to remove the mural the paint will come with it. (One way or another my walls will now always be spotted.)
Here are some more facts.
BED I didn’t want my spare room to be filled with a double bed for the odd occasion when someone would be sleeping in it and I knew I’d need lots of storage so this Hemnes Day Bed from Ikea was perfect. It had three massive drawers in its base that are now filled with my fabric collection and pulls out to be a huge comfortable double bed. The bed cost £260 and the two mattresses were £80 each. I changed the original knobs on the drawers for ones bought from Tiger and the Orla Kiely bedlinen is from TK Maxx.
CUSHIONS TK Maxx on the left and Matalan on the right. Couldn’t say if the TK Maxx one is still in store but you can still buy the Matalan one for £8 here. The carved wooden angel wings were a gift from my sister and were £35 from CoxandCox
CHAIR I found this chair in a charity shop in Sydenham when I was on my way to a friends for coffee. It wasn’t super fun getting it home on the train but I did have somewhere to sit. One day soon I will do a tutorial on how to upholster chairs like this.
CURTAINS I’ve decided that it’s best to try and only have two things from Ikea in any one room, that way your home will retain some individuality. I’m not saying I’m going to stick to that rule but I’m going to try! These curtains were just £25 from Ikea. They were ridiculously long when I put them up, so I had to cut about 50cm off the bottom. I made these tiebacks with the spare fabric and trimmed them with £2 a meter pom pom trim from my local fabric shop. The old owners of the house left all their curtain poles so rather than changing this one I simply painted it white.
DESK Here is the bin that was a blog post a little while ago and here is a chair that I found in the street. It has lived in my garden for about three years but even though its been rained, snowed and hailed upon it’s still remarkably sturdy. All it took was a little bit of filling, a lot of sanding and a nice coat of paint and it’s as good as new. The pinboard I made for a shoot and I’m going to show you how in the next couple of weeks.
I love this room. It gives me hope that one day the rest of the house will be as nice.
I would like some chevron fabric. It’s not much to ask is it?
Well, apparently it is. Though some (me) would say that chevrons are The New Stripe and the thing to be decorating your house with this season others – meaning every UK manufacturer and distributor of fabric – seem to disagree and I can’t find any for love or money … Some may say I’m backing the wrong horse but across the pond in the good old U.S. of A it’s chevrons a-go-go, (though I have just been out there for two weeks and still couldn’t find any) hmmm has my stylee sense got it wrong this time?
I don’t think so … The chair above is amazing and from popular high street store Urban Outfitters. The American branches anyway ($349 if you’re interested (click on the picture to go buy)).
I guess I could go down the DIY route like this natty little number
Or Etsy is awash with cushions
1. £10 SewGracious click here to buy
2. £22 Dekowe click here to buy
3. £20 MissyMackCreations click here to buy
But really all I want is a couple of meters of grey chevron stripe material to cover the padded top of an old wooden chest I have. Anyone have any ideas?
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.
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.
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…
… 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.
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
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.
Today’s post is bought to you by the letter A. To be fair this letter A isn’t part of my letter collection (yet) but I’m slowly running out of letters I actually own, so I’m branching out into Other Things That Have Letters On Them But Aren’t Actually An Actual Letter! I first saw this A is for Awesome print at the Tate Modern Last year. It is by illustrator Paul Thurlby, is part of a whole illustrated alphabet and is beautiful. I didn’t buy it then and there but I should have done as it was part of a limited edition run of 200 and now they are all sold out. Boo. He has done a second edition but it is in a red and green colourway that I don’t like so much… I do like these letter combinations though …
If you want to own a print then head over to his website now and if you buy two then you’ll get one free! BARGAIN.