Category: Craft

Switched on x

We still have no starting date for the construction of the garden office pod.  But that hasn’t stopped the dreaming.  I’ve found this company – Loomlight Design– based in Leicester, that specialise in creating unusual reclaimed and salvaged lighting plus a little bit more…

Like industrial cast aluminium light switches made from recycled alloy wheels.

(Which can even be personalised with dimmers and text of your choice.)

And check these out..no-nonsense door handles.

(All info LoomlightDesign)

Roll on start date..

 

Laters, Kate x

Twinkle, twinkle x

T

Somethings are meant to go together –  bread and butter, Kate and John, gloves..earrings. So what do you do if one goes missing?

If you’re artists Lauren Sagar and Sharon Campbell you turn them into a work of art – The Chandelier of Lost Earrings.

It’s a concept of multiple layers – the power of many, making something out of nothing, the transformative power of change.  More than 3,000 earrings were donated by people who wanted to be part of the project originally linked to St Mary’s maternity hospital in Manchester.

Along with earrings, letters and stories were attached from each donation.

(Links here)

Collectively it’s a jewel of a piece.

I’m just glad they never considered socks.

Laters, Kate x

Wasted x

Wastepaper are part of the bare essentials a room needs, but it’s freeing to think that a place for the rubbish in our lives could be beautiful too..

So I took a look. I like the idea of a grand bin – something that takes pride in it’s job and makes a statement.  What I didn’t realise was the grand price attached – the first picture? £185..for a bin.  That’s a living  oxymoron. This one from Oka? A snip at £75..

It seems that bins run in the same business rip-off as cars – people are willing to pay a premium for a new one, meaning they’re devalued as soon as the first snotty tissue lands. So my tip – look to Ebay and Etsy where vintage examples with character can be found at a tenth of the price.

For me, I think I’ll follow my folksy heart and go for canal art painted buckets.

(All links Pinterest)

Just because I love them. And a person always needs a good bucket..

Laters, Kate x

Hard style x

It’s hot here in London. Silly hot – sun fat dying insects hot where the air is a physical wall of heat rising up from the baking pavements and stumbling off buildings and glass.

So why am I thinking a bit of hard landscaping is in order? Mad.  But it’s not something for today but to be chewed over, slowly.

We have a pinch point in the garden just where the table is.  If the flowerbed there was taken back a couple of feet it would make much spatial sense.

Besides, who does’t love a bit of cobbling? Chosen carefully it can transform the mundane and put heaven in a backyard.

 

Laters, Kate x

Trayed x

If less is more than the more has to speak volumes.  Which doesn’t apply to our current tea tray.  It’s the only one we have – round, crudely painted with white undercoat that literally laughs at me with it’s many stains and unclassable imperfections, too gritty to even rank as boho.

It was bought from Ikea many years ago as a DIY project. But I think I’ve always known that there were better painted trays available than I could ever produce.

(All pics Pinterest)

And so it has languished, used but unloved.  The butterfly moment is never going to happen. Time to love a replacement and move on..

 

Laters, Kate x

Project concrete x

There was a project this half term – to make fairy light stands for the garden, just like these ones.

The aim was to have pure concrete at the bottom rather than a container of any sort.  I found these 7 litre tubs in the pound shop and hoped the flex on the sides would mean the hardened concrete would pull out easily.  The easiest way to mix the concrete was separately, in each tub.  Tip of the day: mix it in layers rather than all at once – put a bit in, add water, mix…add a bit more, otherwise it hard work..and there’s always a bit you’ve missed..otherwise, I didn’t know how easy concrete playing was. Like play doh for grown ups..

The concrete was nothing posh.  Bog standard from DIY store.

I had six foot metal poles from homebase (£4.75 each) to go in the middle, held in place with duct tape till they were hardened.

It was surprisingly easy to pull the finished bases out. Ta-dah!

I bought s-hooks from Amazon.  The shape of this particular hook was appealing with it’s straight side to fit in the pole and the curvy end to hold the lights.

In position..pic taken today as the rain streams down…the hooks are held in position with window putty. Simple.

The final thing will be to paint them all black – when the weather improves.  And then photograph them with their lights. Maybe then I’ll do a post on finished projects because the mirror has finally gone up in the downstairs toilet too….

 

Laters, Kate x

For this weekend..

We have two large garden parties in the diary to cater for – one in June, one in September. Just enough time to put the thinking cap on.

 

After weather, lighting has to be the key ingredient.

So I’ve ordered 2 metre fence poles from Ebay (cheap as chips) to concrete into tubs.

A few hooks and just imagine what we could create..

Laters, Kate x

Synchronise Watches..

Charlie has a joint eighth ‘survival’ birthday on the Common tomorrow (I’ll be doing my sun dance once I’ve written this) (and stocking up on paracetamol/large flagons of alcohol).  I saw these army characters in Poundland and thought candle holders!

It could all go horribly wrong – I couldn’t find my glue gun this morning so have resorted to carpet glue which promises to glue plastic if you leave it to cure long enough….

We’ll see…..

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