Category: DIY

Carrying on x

 

As this week comes to an end we have potentially the biggest change so far – I have Bella at home for the first time today and Charlie’s school will close at 3.50 pm.  Things to be grateful for:

 

  1. My children are older.
  2. We have a garden.
  3. I like my children.

 

I think it also helps that I am used to working from home and already have systems in place that I know work. My rules are pretty simple: Run a planner to prioritise what needs to be done, turn off all distractions apart from appropriate music, set a timer – 30 minutes max, focus till timer goes off, re-set with 10 minute timer, start a podcast, do a cleaning or admin job to tick off planner.  Repeat. There’s something about this system that means you’re always willing to re-start the 30 minutes because you stopped it just before you lost concentration. And you always look forward to the 10 minutes because you left the podcast at a critical stage…

I am hoping we’ll all be able to work in the mornings, and create in the afternoons.

 

Through Carla Sonheim’s amazing website, I have joined the sketchbook revival for daily drawing sessions.  What appeals  about this is the unleashing of creative freedom that is the opposite to perfection.  I received the first pre-event taster in my email box straight away – (so far all of this has been free) – a tutorial with Calylee Grey on making a junk art journal from an old vintage book.  Utterly delicious and a must to do: You don’t actually need anything to start, other than a willingness to experiment and a drive to do a little bit every day.

 

This is my heaven.

Every cloud.

Laters, Kate x

Blooming Marvellous x

I never like this time of year; the glitter and sparkle of Christmas has been packed away, the weather is cold, grey, rain, the garden is sleeping, the shops are full of unwanted crap, and Netflix has been over eaten to the point of explosion.  But there is a little silver lining, a sliver of what’s to come, the turning of the tide: Indoor bulbs. Now is the time to raid charity shops, find big bowls and fill with your hearts delight.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

 

The second wave of wonder is, once they’re over, they can be planted in the garden. And the bowls are ready for giant summer salads…

 

Laters, Kate x

Patios x

 

Saw this on Pinterest and thought, what a brilliant idea for a Garden Patio, particularly when the budget doesn’t stretch to tiles, but even when it does  – because tiles crack and fashions change but paint is cheap and cheerful.

 

 

Particularly like the white on dark..

 

And you can even make your own..

Laters, Kate x

Update x

The crochet is going great guns, particularly as we’ve come up with the perfect project to encourage repetition, practise and ideal tension: We’re making what can only be called ‘little socks’ for my dining rooms chairs to replace those sticky pads that only work to gather dog hair.

We did experiment with a garden string and twine, but for ease of make we’re going with a thick grey wool, though we’re both anxious about longevity – time will tell.

It also helps that the six chairs round the table are back with their newly woven seating, looking enticing.

So that’s only seven chairs and twenty eight more socks to go..

Laters, Kate x

Wiser x

 

It’s going to be some time before my fingers can instinctively do this, but I’m having my first ever crochet lesson today and my eyes can’t wait.

 

They’ve been checking out all the incredible designs a simple hook and a piece of yarn and a little bit of yearn can make.

 

I’m very lucky – I’m learning from a highly skilled older lady in my neighbourhood courtesy of The Wiser Collective, a group set up by local mums Claire Redway and Sarah Laffey which aims to link up the generations in my area and

  1. offer practical support for families living apart from their relatives
  2. build connections and provide purpose for potentially isolated older people
  3. offer a sense of neighbourly community and companionship for both groups.

It works on the idea that there is so much we can learn from a group that all too often find themselves isolated, and there are things that as busy families we can offer – large meals with laughter can be something we take for granted.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

I can’t wait

Laters, Kate x

Winding up x

It’s half term next week which means we’re leaving the darkness of winter and transitioning properly into spring.  We’re going away – everything is booked except where we are actually going – we’ve never left it this last minute before.  It feels decadent.  If we weren’t disappearing I’d be tempted to make one of these lights – such a simple, clever idea.  You take the metal skeleton of one or as many lampshades as you like and wrap them with embroidery yarn…genius..

 

If you prefer to buy your lampshade ready made (and they don’t come cheap) check out Wera Jane and, for inspiration, Ana Kras.

 

I didn’t know you could get embroidery thread in neon pink…

Laters, Kate x

Random x

Why have something full sized when you can have it in miniature?? Random but true – these edible delights were spotted on Pinterest…but the mind blowing bit is they are all made out of the humble pipe cleaner!

Feel like making one yourself and the web is full of brilliant tutorials like this one.

It’s like balloon art without the effort

(All pics Pinterest)

 

I want!

Laters, Kate x

A project x

There’s a project gaining traction, think space and do-ability: An office pod in the garden.  It’s been mooted before – it almost happened last year, but the husband was between jobs so it wasn’t the right time.  But the green light is now on to start thinking, planning and budgeting because I’ve worked out over the years, the more time you give to these three, the less it all costs because you work out whats important.  And what’s not.

The pod will need to be heated and although I love the romance of a proper stove, I believe in London, with concerns over air pollution and consideration to our neighbours, a cunning side step to an electric copy, like we did in the cellar will be the way to go: It will provide the visual representation, the heat, but none of the negatives.

Besides there’s always the joy of what goes round the stove..a small area to tile means flex in choice!

At present is a toss up between the modern approach of concrete tiles with large, dramatic patterns.

Or – and I was reminded of this option after seeing this picture of Alexandra Tolstoy’s cottage and splashback – a blue and white delft option.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could create your own? Pictures of coded memories??

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Decisions, decisions…

Laters, Kate x