Category: DIY

Do fashions for wreaths change each year? Possibly is probably the answer – because despite the dogs being blinged to their eyeballs (including the recent addition of festive dark glasses, a cunning buy from a party shop) the pull for me for wreaths has become pared back natural.  Sadly our wreath of many years doesn’t quite hit the spot is on the door – it’s  simple version of fir cones except they’re covered in glitter, and every time someone brushes past, a fir cone falls to the ground..I think a bit of tender loving DIY is needed or it’ll become it’s own epitaph..

The perfect excuse for a little bit of Christmas craft. And breathe.

Laters, Kate x

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Merry Mad-mas..

 

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(Knit your own golden retriever)

I was reminded of this post today (along with the feeling that the madness seems to strike earlier each yea)…..it sums up such a interesting feeling that I believe it deserves another viewing, along with the proviso that whilst the spirit is there, the links probably aren’t…

 

When looking for presents, I start every Christmas with a simple shopping list of good intentions..

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..But somewhere along the line something happens.

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I can’t decide whether it’s because I’ve been beaten down and seduced into embracing the madness of the season..or it’s a bizarre reaction to the obscene commercialism that’s always lurking round the corner..
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But it always reaches a point when suddenly giving a gift of earwax seems the most natural thing in the world..

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(Plush Roadkill)

And why shouldn’t a stuffed toy include the inner bits as well?

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Mouse taxidermy? It could be the new baking…

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As The final finishing touch, Firebox – the source of all this wonder (and recommended to me by the wonderfully talented Beth, through her Blog The linen Cat Blog ) add their own distinct wrapping service.  Pure genius.

 

Now if I could have an unlimited supply of ‘crap wrap’ stickers, I think I would be happy for life…grunge wrapping is the new black…

 

Laters, Kate x

Exterior x

It was my birthday yesterday – Yippeee me! Meet my presents – Alfie and Bear, the two best dogs ever who now bookend the front door in regal fashion, the finishing touch to the newly painted exterior which finally can get it’s unveiling.

We also have new window boxes, made to size from a great company on Etsy so they sit properly within the window frame.  The black of the boxes contrasts the graphite of the paintwork.

The boxes have been planted with ivy to soften and tumble over edges, heucheras for their colour and cyclamen as they were the only white plant readily available at this time of year.  At some point trailing white geraniums will be added. It will be a pleasure to see the living wave of colour and white expanding and flowing out over the window sill.  I’m even thinking about adding them to the first floor.

 

The painted graphite on the outside of the house has been dramatic.  It has given the whole house a presence, made it feel bigger, added a modern gloss without compromising its history.

 

Very happy.

Laters, Kate x

 

 

Bella’s room x

 


Bella’s bedroom has been painted, but that’s about it.  It means it’s at an ugly transition stage when it’s a hybrid of essential bits from the past and colours from the present are all colliding to create a visual clash of cultures.  There are still big decisions to be made: colours for the blinds, what colour to paint the bed, rugs to source, a new wardrobe.  But in the frantic hell that is the start of the September term, the pull for peace is outweighing all of this…this weekend we’re just going to paint some art for her room.  Together, with music and large cups of tea.  Nothing complicated, but hopefully bold and aiming for beautiful…these are our inspirations.

 

The idea is to hang them over the half wall line: There’s something so appealing when art hangs over a paint line.

No idea why.  But somethings in life you don’t need to question. Like tea and creating.

Laters, Kate x

The dark side x

The exterior of the house has been undergoing it’s dramatic transformation to the dark side…the scaffolding is now down but there’s a still few bits to go before the grand reveal: The front step is being taken back to stone, the letter box is changing to brass and I’ve ordered shiny black window boxes for the ground floor bay to act as a contrast to the dark grey…they’ll work a bit like the new black drainpipe does, drawing the line between black and not – without them I think the eye will register only black.  I’m after bright green trailing foliage and white flowers to balance the drama. Finally all the stone in the front garden needs a good blast to bring out it’s colour…it’s interesting times…

 

Laters, Kate x

 

 

 

Haru x

Feeling the long days of summer stretching out in a creative dessert? Brain cells fried and inspiration running dry? Let me introduce you to this intriguing little video, particularly if you’re contemplating  decorating a kids bedroom in the near future..

Basically it’s a Japanese art form made modern in a fun, accessible way. As much in the world is shrinking, these glorified Washi Tapes have grown and the plain colours can be baught in the UK for a pocket pleasing £11 for a 10m roll. The patterned ones are considerably more, which is a shame, at £63 a roll but both seem easy to use..and simple to remove. I can’t do a link on my iPad, but google, Haru..

 

 

Time to get stuck in?!

Laters, Kate x

Front Garden..

Heading to the DIY shop today for wire brushes, sand paper, fillers and primers whilst imagining the perfect front garden:  I have this quiet obsession developing for a statue of a dog to stand sentinel by the door – I’ve already caught myself searching on Ebay so I know it’s serious. It can’t be an expensive one as I’ll never persuade The Husband (hmmmmmmm – mind at work – present for Father’s Day?!, ‘Here Husband, have the concrete dog you’ve always wanted but never knew you did..you love it, don’t you?!’) Besides the chances are it’ll get nicked, but there’s a persuasive voice in my head saying ‘get a faux concrete one and paint it with yoghurt, the resulting green algae will soften, age and add character’…will it be enough to blur the line between kitsch and statement? It’s a risk..

But I can see him there already, proud, endearing, ever present…with a party hat on for birthdays, skeleton mask for halloween and baubles for Christmas: Fun, joy and no poos to clear up.  Win win.

The search for the perfect Fido has meant other garden art has also popped up, some of it sublime.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Think I’ll need a bigger garden..

Laters, Kate x

Exterior..

Molly the dog will be fifteen next week and we still haven’t made any progress on the front of the house..except try out multiple tester pots..

And cobble below the bay window.

Not great progress in a year. At least the decision has been made on colour…we’re going DARK..

Rad, bad..and let’s hope not sad..Work starts Monday

Laters, Kate x

Outside the box x

Maybe summer is finally here, even with the cooler breeze this week jumpers and layers have become redundant and the blue sky is becoming a regular visitor.  Charlie is away on a school trip, the Husband is away on business, so it’s just Bella and I at home so we’ve been heading out in the evenings, just the two of us.  It’s felt like our own holiday, something that sits well with the soul.  Which has raised the thought, why wait for special times to do something different? Wether it’s a change of routine or changing the way you use a space, like these pics prove, little things can make a big difference.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Food for thought. Enjoy.

Laters, Kate x

Handling it..

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The designing of the kitchen actually started on Friday – Alleluia! Naturellement it’s not a new kitchen per se but a hotch potch of the old kitchen units (we like recycling) and new additions that somehow all need to be brought together, but this picture represents the inspiration (I only wish I could have that island unit…but sadly it’s the only space for the sink/dishwasher/bin/cutlery so the carcasses need to hit the floor..maybe in another life..) But we’ve been working on how to line up the sight lines, even up the variety of widths and unify the look.

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Which is never easy..go for industrial raw edge?

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Or embrace industrial engineering with these beauties from Buster & Punch?…

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(There’s something very tactile about that surface..)

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The potential fly in the soup is the mixing in of an old french glazed bookcase  (a bit like this one) I have to hold my crockery. The thinking goes that to pull them together by using that same handles on at least some of the other units.

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It helps I like a variety of handles.

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But it’s still a matter of balance..too many would just be wrong – so which ones to choose?….lovely brass handles?

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Delicious little catches?..

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(All pictures Pinterest)

Or just subtle, understated cup handles and little brass knobs?

The thinking cap is on.

Laters, Kate x