Category: 2017

The Garden x

This was the dream:  Box hedging filled in with lavender, off set with a white climbing rose.  Simple.  Effective.  And then the Box Moth caterpillar arrived en masse and started to do it’s worst.

I tried – I went round each plant, taking off the beasts and cutting back all the plants, then hosed them down with the pressure hose, all to no avail.  The buggers came back.  So drastic action was needed..all the box plants have gone.  My flowerbeds are a wasteland with nothing more than a couple of brave shoots. I’m desperate to re-plant and nows the time to do it, but as you can see, the fence needs replacing (the neighbours have been building an extension) it will happen, and quite soon..but nothing can go back till it does or risk builders-boot-annihilation.  I hope there will still be enough time to get some summer colour…

This is the plan..when the green light does shine I’m going for blousey minimalist (I think this could be a new ‘thing’)..filling the entire bed with lavender plants and one white climbing rose.

I keep telling myself dreaming is good.

Laters, Kate x

7 Hammersmith Terrace

There’s a new place ripe to visit: No. 7 Hammersmith Terrace, once the home of  printer Emery Walker has just been re-opened to the pubic and proudly boasts the most complete and authentic Arts & Crafts interiors in the UK. Delights include hand blocked Morris & Co Wallpaper, a  veritable smorgasbord of textiles and authentic Philip Webb furniture. Deep sigh..few houses in the world have original Morris & Co wallpaper on every floor in nearly every room…but this one does.

 

Walker was a key member of many of the organisations that embraced the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement and as such was a close friend and mentor to William Morris.

His house has just undergone an eighteen month renovation – during the process all sorts of delicious discoveries were made like letters from Rudyard Kipling used as book marks and spectacles belonging to Morris with cuttings of his hair in a desk drawer.  It is a living and breathing time capsule.

Could be my new favourite place in London…

 

Laters, Kate x

Smallest Room Part 2

The wallpaper we made over the holidays? 

Despite just using the basics: Lining paper, leftover emulsion paint and cut up sponges – has worked a treat.

(Even though it meant embracing chaos)

This was the before state of the downstairs toilet. A mini dumping ground of DIY and general clutter.

First step was a deep clean of the tiles.  Vinegar, though powerful on the nostrils did the job.  A little bit of re-grouting was needed – and then I was going to dye the grout a dark grey, but I was concerned the new grout was of a different consistency –  less chalky, more rubbery so would they dye the same colour? It was an easier decision to not risk it. Besides the new pristine white of the tiles was impressive. Finally, paint – white on the ceiling and the Little Greene Paint Company’s French Grey Dark on the woodwork which is a soft, pinky grey that seems to blend with any thing.  A continual stream of Radio 4 plays on the ipad helped the process along..

The wallpaper went up easily: The lining paper was one of the thickest available and was aided by both pasting the wall and paper, and leaving the paper for a few minutes to fully soak up the wallpaper paste.

The randomness of the print meant there was no problem on the join – second piece went up where it went up.  Bliss.

The finished job.

Except there’s always one thing left to do…a fitted mirror over the sink. Sigh.

Better get ordering.

Laters, Kate x

Cornwall x

We’ve blown away the winter cobwebs with a week with family in beautiful Cornwall.

We were incredibly lucky with the weather.  Each day the sky was kingfisher blue, though it was a matter of how hot your blood was whether you braved the cold of the spring sea..

The surf gang preparing to face the waves. Note Grandpa Jack behind in three coats, hat..and eventually gloves!

And in!

Cousin love.

This was the natural rock pool close to where we were staying on Treyarnon Bay, large enough to swim in…

(There was this framed postcard of the very spot at the cottage. Shows it even better.)

Watergate Bay and meeting with friends.

The perfect natural slate plate for the perfect hot dog: Barbie on Constantine Bay.

And then a cheeky seagull actually stole a hot sausage off the barbie!

Impromptu wine chiller.

Bruce heading to the surf.

Sophie-bond-girl-extraordinaire following suit.

Charlie and Lexie.

Finding sea diamonds.

At a diamond place.

Laters, Kate x

Midgley Green x

Midgley Green is the sort of shop you want to collect in a jam jar, taking it out regularly to smell and gently spread on life.

It was set up by husband and wife team Katherine Midgley and Seamus Green in Clevedon, North Somerset to celebrate crafts and creators.  With an eye for detail and quality it pulls together the stuff you need, want and will last..

Take this brass hair clip: Simple, effective and fulfils the ultimate design brief: both beautiful and functional.

And breathe.

Laters, Kate x

The Smallest Room x

We’ve been printing.

Very simply with Sainsbury’s basic sponges bought for 20p a packet, onto lining paper and using left over paint from the kitchen renovations. Cheap as chips.

This is all part of the great downstairs toilet upgrade project, which after 10 years of abuse is sorely needed.

The idea is to paint the woodwork a mid-grey, homemade wallpaper above the dado (why not?!) and dye the grout (more on that in another post) between the metro tiles a charcoal grey.

(A bit like this)

The marbling was part of the experimenting plan for diy wallpaper for the toilet..except the problem was we could only make it in small sizes which gave a patchwork effect.  With printing we can make the runs as long as we need.  Brucie bonus to control within the chaos.

The inspiration for the print came from the above picture…

And the general sense of informal uniformity from pictures like these.

Embracing the idea that symmetry can just be too damn predictable.

What is working so well is the straight lines versus the diagonal against the curves of fingertips pushing the sponge into the paper.  I think I’m in love.

 Shame the next few days will be spent doing all the boring bits like filling and sanding.

But watch this space.

Laters, Kate x

First Craft x

Monday madness, first day of the hols and the sun was shining…we spent it in the garden with lovely friends marbling everything we could find.

We used these marbling inks from Brian Clegg for £9.50, ordered from Ebay..

(Plus the metallic set of 10 for the same price…they added a certain sparkle)

They couldn’t have been easier to use – drop on to water, mix with a skewer if you fancy, lay paper on top then peel off and dry..

The results were impressive.

This could be the wallpaper for the downstairs toilet..

So easy, so joyful!

Laters, Kate x

Easters Hols..

This is the last full day of term. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Time for books to be put aside and real life to start.  These are a few of the projects on the list…

(All details Pinterest)

Now we play!

Laters, Kate x

And so it happens..

What did you have for Brexit today? I would like to be a million miles away, living the simple life on a beach, being independent, fulfilled and carving out my own little bit of happiness far away from contagious groupthink.

But that’s me.

Sadly I only have the urban equivalent.

Laters, Kate x