Category: Craft

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

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

Front door x

After 14 years of council-style reinforced glass the front door finally got it’s makeover on Friday.

The before picture! Complete with piece of paper stuck on with door number scribbled on it.  Attractive.

The finished design by Nikki  (click for her details) was beautifully based on the doors we have between the kitchen/diner and the sitting room.

 

The result is a delight, especially when the sun pours through and creates rainbows on the walls.

Above we’ve gone for simplicity of plain glass and the number to let in as much light as possible.

The added bonus was that Keith-the-amazing-stained-glass-man turned up in his pre-war Singer car! How supper cool?

A charming success in every way!

Laters, Kate x

Ikat x

The word ‘ikat’ derives from the Malay-Indonesian word ‘mengikat’ which translates as to tie or bind.

The creative process is an oxymoron where the finished result is a blurred image but the techniques are complex requiring tying, dyeing, untying, re-tying and dying again of the multiple threads in precise colours and positions.

The finished work is fluid, vibrant and capture a certain spirit.

(All pictures Pinterest)

Colourful shadows in a neon-lit world.

Laters, Kate x

Make it x

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Remember these beauties? For me a hark back to the eighties but the concept must actually be a lot older.  I was looking for something to naturally moth proof wardrobes and drawers when inspiration dawned.  A quick check on Ebay proved invaluable..they still existed and this little lot were bought in a bulk buy. The relative quiet of half term was the perfect time to renovate their little interiors..


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Some of them had beautiful vintage labels that we managed to gently peal away.

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Lots of the pomanders had a blingy gold loop so grosgrain ribbon has to be an upgrade. We found the easiest way to replace this was to feed both ends of the ribbon in through the top and pull them through with a pair of tweezers.

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You need to pull the two ends through leaving as little ribbon as possible on the top. We found the tweezers used as a brace was a wise thing to do.  Then just knot ends together and pull the loop back out again.

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After attempts with funnels, the best way to fill the pomanders was with a little jug.  We used lavender and essential oils.

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For those pomanders missing their bottoms we cut out discs from vintage material and simply glued them on.

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Strangely satisfying with a definite whiff of pure nostalgia. To be recommended.

Laters, Kate x

Wood Craft x

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It’s half term so we’ve been busy doing very little.  One thing we have achieved is a bit of stick weaving…a strangely satisfying art form…first you need to find a good selection on Y-shaped sticks = outside jaunt.

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Then wrap each side of the Y.

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To do this you tie the string on, then create a loop at the back.

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Then bring the other end through the loop and pull tight.

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Continue till both sides are done.

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We measured two arm lengths of string for the next bit.  (This is Bella doing her Christ the Redeemer impression)

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Using a large darning needle (new it would come in useful) weave between the two sides to create the horizontal lines.

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Ta-dah!

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Finally weave wool in V shapes vertically from one side to the next. This is Bella’s finished creation.

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Being an adult, I wanted mine tighter…therefore it’s still a work in progress…

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Surprisingly satisfying.

Laters, Kate x