Category: Craft

Baubles x

Not one bauble this year, but a whole eco-friendly-shop of them! Suffice to say, Nkuku’s offerings quite simply rock!

(All pics from Pinterest and Nkuku)

Tidings of comfort and joy!

Laters, Kate x

Pressies 2

I spoke to my gut the other day and asked it what the theme for Christmas would be this year, it said cottagecore all the way: home made, simple, unfussy, thoughtful. I said thank you very much and felt our bond. The above is from a great little independent shop called Midgley Green – what could be more hands on and satisfying than artisan soap and a thrown soap dish? Maybe the price point – £5 for the soap, £15 for the dish. £20 all in? Bargain.

Midgley Green also have these beautiful tea towels – which are fab just as that – but….wouldn’t they make the most beautiful pair of cushions stitched onto an enveloped piece of linen? Guaranteed washable.

(All pics Midgley Green and Pinterest)

On my personal Wishlist this year is this Welsh throw. I’m thinking sofa, candles, fire. And a large glass of egg snog. Sigh.

Laters,

Kate x

Green is Go!

That time is fast approaching. The one where we all have to make big decisions about who to buy who what, knowing that both our personalities will be forever enshrined and defined by our choice. A veritable minefield. First best in show offering – the winter version of spring bulbs, in preferably a slightly rough, stood the test of time pot filled with lacey ferns, dark green moss and something sculptural. I can’t think of anything – apart from maybe candles (can always add) – I would like more at the centre of my dining room table as the nights draw in and food and conversation become a priority.

You can even make your own planters like these ones – go here for more details.

(All pics Pinterest and Artsyprettyplants)

My tip? For the larger bases, hot glue gun on some felt to protect vulnerable table tops. Delicious.

Laters, Kate x

The Friday three x

 

Podcasts are probably the weeds of the media world, growing in the gaps where we thought there were no spaces, except these gaps had rich, fertile soil which has now established these new comers as cornerstones to the garden.  I know I resisted for a long time, I didn’t need yet another time sap.  But there’s an invisible zeitgeist, an energy a new industry brings, a freedom of new voices being heard away from big business, corporate mouthpieces and I am hooked.  Now, when there are jobs to be done, in my own time, at my own pace, I’ll be catching up with the latest offerings – in no particular order, these are a few of my favourites: The High Low – a weekly conversation between writers Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, that covers highbrow and lowbrow culture. A friendship, an intellectual exploration, an authenticity, a zeal.

 

 

Have You Heard George’s Podcast? –  George the poet is a London-born spoken word performer of Ugandan heritage whose innovative creativity sends you down the rabbit hole with fireworks and funk.

 


 

How Did We Get Here? – Claudia Winkleman and Professor Tanya Byron identify struggles faced by real-life parents and family members by inviting them in and hearing them in a one-time unscripted session.  This is like unpaid for therapy, wrapped in love.

 

 

I was going to post more.  But I think to do so would dilute the magnificence of the above….so I’ll continue with the rest in a post next week.

 

Happy listening!

Laters, Kate x

 

Summer Project x

 

Every summer needs a project. Something that requires learning a skill, but nothing so taxing the chances of success always remain a once wished dream. I also believe tools and ingredients matter – low cost, simple and preferably eco friendly;  I think this one gets A stars in all the right boxes – a crocheted rag rug.

 

The best instructions and most of these pics come from this brilliant website – My Poppet, and this youtube channel has easy crochet instructions.  But the necessary bits are easy to gather – you need a good supply a jute string (you can you wool, I just believe the jute gives it a unifying look as well as being strong and sturdy), a crochet hook and lots of unwanted clothes and material scraps.


 

The idea of cutting up unwanted clothes, particularly the things the children have grown out of really appeals. It’s that feeling of history and memories and life continuing on.  The aim is to cut the cloth into one inch strips, then roll them into useable balls.  There’s different ideas about how to attach different strips together, some people like to sew the strips together, others just overlap the strips and crochet them together as and when.

 

 

The crochet required to make the rug is literally the most basic stitch you’ll ever need – this isn’t about doing anything complicated, but more about time and care and working in slow time.

 

 

The size you go is totally up to you.  The one tip I’ve read over and over again, is when it starts getting big, crochet on a flat surface to keep the rug flat.

 

 

(pics from My Poppet and instructions here)

Circles of life.

Love it.

 

Laters, Kate x

Light my way x

 

I’m not here. I’m in a car, driving to Bristol, genuinely quite excited about experiencing a motorway again and moving wider than a 2 mile circle from the house.  We’re emptying The Husband’s work flat as he’s going to be in London till at least Christmas; Every cloud. The plan is to make a round trip in a day – normally a ticket to hell, but all of that has been subtly reframed by the thought of travelling at speed, the prospect of a horizon and the promise of new vistas.  Aren’t I the lucky one? These pictures were taken today – Sunday afternoon has become a potter time for me – projects to plan, things to do.  And this represents the first time I’ve tried to re-make candles.

 

 

The first thing was to get rid of the bits of wax left at the end of all the finished candles.  I found the best way was to pour in boiling water, which melted the wax, making it rise to the surface to create a wax plug that was then easy to remove.

 

 

My eclectic collection of containers, from tins to pots to old candle jars.

 

 

The wicks I ordered very cheaply from Ebay.

 

 

And stuck down with a dab of glue from a handy glue gun.

 

 

This was the super candle that inspired the re-make – a winter candle from the White Company with it’s gorgeous smell that died leaving lots of wax.  I melted down in a pyrex bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.  Once the lump of it became soft, I cut it up into smaller bits to speed up the melt.  I also added all the remnants of the other candles, because why not? Once everythings melted it’s possible to add various essential oils.  As the kitchen already smelt like a tart’s boudoir, I refrained.

 

 

Pouring in the liquid wax is not the easiest thing. I recommend a funnel.  Then I improvised with tin foil to keep the wicks upright and central.

 

 

Highly satisfying and highly recommended.

Laters, Kate x

The dress x

 

According to one blog post, the voluminous dress is the new quarantine.  And who am I to disagree? So far, my basic wardrobe has consisted of cropped trousers and long buttoned shirts, double layered when the temperature dipped, as loose coats over t-shirts when the sun shined.  But temperatures due to hit 27 degrees this week, I think it’s time to transition to dresses.  My favourite summer dress is a dark green, cotton vintage dress made with a deep v in a batik print.  I love it.  I love the colour, the ease and the print.  In fact, I would like more of the same, but I can’t find and….so I’ve been trawling patterns on the web to come up with something similar.

 

 

And I’ve found three, and two of them, including the one above, need no pattern at all…and this one even comes with pockets!

 

 

This pattern comes This Little Miggy, a fab website with great ideas and a wonderful vibe, I would recommend a virtual tour.  The instructions are brilliant; clear, precise and everything you could need.

 

 

 

If you feel comfortable sewing, you may want to move onto this pattern from So Sew Easy – or rather, instructions, because again, this is simple, only measurements,  no-pattern sewing.

 

(All pics Pinterest, This Little Miggy, so sew easy, oliverands)

 

A finally, if you want to tackle a simple pattern to add sleeves, there’s this beauty from OliverandS

High summer dressing sorted.

 

Laters, Kate x

Feathered Friends x

 

I’m not sure if we’re in lockdown in London any more, maybe it’s a strange transition period, like wondering what to wear between seasons?  Because, despite the rhetoric, nothing has really changed for us; we’re still spending the majority of time in the house or garden.

 

 

But it gives me the time to salute some of my heroes of the past couple of months: The birds…their activity – the magpies that make me laugh, their song – we have a particularly vocal blackbird, their curiosity – yes, I’m speaking to you, unafraid Robin who watches me just a foot away when I’m gardening, the stories they tell – I’m gazing at nearly arrived swallows from my desk heralding the start of summer, and just their continual zest for life: nothing fazes them.

 

 

This post celebrates the inventive, simple but attractive ways we can introduce more of their joy into our lives.


(All pics Pinterest)

 

Which will hopefully lay down strong foundations to repay their gift and help them through the colder winter months.

 

A circle of life I value.

 

 

Laters, Kate x

Layabout 2!

 

So Monday’s post was about soft, squishy, adaptable garden chairs and this photo made the prime slot.  But there’s no pattern.  But I don’t think it would be too hard to deconstruct: Two box cushions for the seat, make first.  Two side cushions, once done will give measurements for back cushion. Finish with leather buckles at side and back. I’m sure those with more skill than me can even pipe the edges…I may give that a go!

 

 

This looks like a piece of foam cut to size, versus bean bag beads for stuffing or foam bits. In many ways it’s is a simpler design, but possibly harder on the sewing? Again, I would replace the velcro with the leather straps.

 

 

 

And then there are variations on a theme!


 

As and When I make, I will post again!

 

Laters, Kate x

Layabout x

 

I’ve been exploring garden living, the sort that is lush, soft and forgiving, but then also thinking beyond just summer use to multi-functional, multi-family use…

 

 

What’s interesting is the prices – we’re talking generally from £500 upwards..the same price as armchairs with the wooden structure inside.

 

The set above? £1499 from Maison Du Mode.  I’ve seen the Sewing Bee…this is not hard sewing.

 


 

So I’m thinking maybe I’ll make my own.  And combine the best of what I see.

 

 

I love this design, lay it out and it’s a large, lounging cushion, close the leather straps and it’s a chair.

 

 

Imagine in ticking…

 

(All pics Pinterest)

Or a striking Peruvian weave….

And repurposed in the Children’s rooms during the winter months….

Food for thought.

 

Laters, Kate x