Category: DIY

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

Lighten the mood x

The plan for the garden light poles is well under way.  The pound shop proved to be a rich source of materials, as did our local DIY store.  So far I have £1 trugs for the bases, £4 two metre black poles, 2 bags of cement and some ‘s’ hooks ordered online (I’m hoping they’ll be the perfect shape for one end to sit in the pole, the other to hold the lights.  We’ll see).  The powers that be have promised summer will return this week, so hopefully it will be a gentle evenings activity putting it all together. Until then, enjoy these interior nods to summer where light and natural wood evoke thoughts of sunbeams and curled cats.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

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

It started with a kiss..

Someone very close has proposed to his girlfriend, and she has accepted! And it’s this wonderful, happy, heart warming, life affirming event that his inspired this post.

I was thinking of engagement rings – the token of love with a significance way beyond it’s size.

And I was contemplating how even the word ‘size’ has been hijacked so we now confuse size with love. And pay the price.

How beautiful instead, for a ring to tell a story – a piece of sea glass from a memorable holiday, a stone from a Grandmother’s ring, something from a sister, a mother to communally create and forge in love a unique, individual circle of trust and beauty.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Because the most precious things are naturally priceless.

Laters, Kate x

Floored x

I’ve lost the plot but found the fun.

Vinyl, in all senses is having a revival.

For those times when only saturated, easy clean colours will do.

(All pics Harvey Maria)

It almost feels like rebellion.

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

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

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