SO not sewing…

SoNotSewingHello!  Remember how, last post, I was all full of the joys of spring, and ‘hey look at me I’ve found my sewing machine’?  Ah, happy days!  Not so, this week.  This week I have been laying carpet tiles in my main room.  It’s been a nightmare!  Not the tiles, which are lovely, but the chaos of not having anywhere to put the stuff from the room except, er, in the room!  Can you spot the sewing machine in the above picture? – Nope, neither can I…

Not to worry.  It’s pretty much done now and next week I can FINALLY start unpacking and finding homes for things.  And finding things again, hopefully!

Wishing you all a sparkly Sunday, 🙂


Fabric fun on a wet weekend: Bunting!

cuttingupOh, the disappointment of rain all day Saturday, gloomy cloud on Sunday…

Oh, the JOY of spending said Saturday rummaging through my entire stash, cutting up triangles from remnants of the brightest, most colourful fabrics from just about every sewing project of the last four years, and stitching them together… Fabrics from clothes I love but no longer fit into, gorgeous things I’ve made for other people, and of course favourites that are still around me every day.  It’s a lovely way, as well, to remind yourself of just how much sewing you’ve achieved and all the creativity that’s happened over time.laying outThen, EVEN MORE happiness getting up this morning (despite it being grey and gloomy outside when the forecast had been for SUN all day) to arrange it all into a rainbow of funky patterns and pin everything to the bunting tape…pinning… and then stitch it all up on Auntie Janis, who for once did not complain or throw a tantrum over all the different weights and weaves going under the needle together (a sharps 80, set to a medium zigzag stitch, seemed to be able to cope with everything from lawn to jersey)…readytosewBut most joyful of all, was hanging the finished bunting up on the balcony this afternoon, just as the sun finally decided to put in an appearance!balcony3There is something just so, I don’t know, FUN about bunting, isn’t there?!  balcony2 All those bright colours and patterns together make me SO happy!balcony1Yep, I’m LOVING the bunting!  My only concern was that my regular bird-feeder visitors might be scared off by all that colour flapping around, however I needn’t have worried, as you can see:bovvered“Bunting?  Am I bovvered though??” Have a wonderful, colourful week! 😉

DIY decals: budget décor, 70s style

decalheaderpicDon’t you love looking through all those home decorating magazines that purport to be for ‘ordinary’ and ‘real’ folk?  You know, the ones that say things like “Sophie and Brett have a budget of just £10,000 to restyle their kitchen”.  And then do you, like me, snort and throw them across them room?!   Yes?  Well, then, this post is for you! (With apologies to any real Sophies & Bretts).

I had a budget of about £10 to restyle part of my kitchen – who remembers this horror-show pic from last month?kitchentilesThis was stage one of my kitchen tile makeover.  A tube of ready-mixed grouting cost £5, then two Dulux match pots in lime green, costing £2.30, were enough to do two coats of paint over the tiles.

Now the fun bit!  I wanted some funky, 70s-style decals to zing up the tiles, so I turned to my vintage wallpaper collection for inspirationwallpapersI chose a flower motif from the sheet in the middle, traced it onto A4 paper and scanned it into the computer.  I had to go over the pencil lines with a felt pen first though, to make them strong enough for my picture editor to be able to ‘grab’ them for a colour fill.  I could lie and say that I deliberately gave them a quirky, child’s-colouring-book look, but truth is I’m just not that good at drawing!decalprint2

I enlarged the original, printed out a batch on ordinary A4 paper, and cut them out.  I wanted quite a shiny finish, so I used glossy decopatch glue to stick them to the tiles and seal them down.  I only did every third tile so I probably used ⅓ of a bottle, about £2.decopatchgluesMeasure and mark the position of your decal on the tile, then apply glue to the back of the paper cut-out with a small flat paintbrush.  Stick the decal onto the tile and work fast, this glue dries QUICK!  Brush the decal into place with more glue, smoothing out wrinkles as you go.  Keep a jar of water handy to clean your brush after each decal, as the printer ink can run and a stained brush will mess up your lovely colours!  I put a layer of decopatch glue over each decorated tile to seal it, then once it had dried I went over the whole lot with a layer of ordinary PVA to seal the paint as well.  I used ¼ of a tube of PVA or less, so about £1.

So…..Woohooo!!!  Behold, my £10 kitchen makeover:finishedtiles1I have to say, I am LOVING my new-look kitchen!  OK, it’s not a big-budget affair, and yes, those wobbly edges do show when you get up close, but now it puts a smile on my face every day!finishedtiles2


New Year, New You? – Not Yet!

Happy 2014!

My original intention with this first post of the new year was to go with the whole, ‘Yeah!  New Year!  New stuff!  A whole bunch of new projects, new, new NEW!’ somanyprojecBut actually, the truth is at this time of year I often find myself with a whole bunch of what I like to call works-in-progress (rather than ‘unfinished projects!), and not enough time/energy/daylight available to get on and finish them, let alone begin something new.wigglecushion1I think many of us experience a bit of an ‘energy-drain’ at this time of year, and for those of us who suffer from ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), it can be tough just getting through the basics!  Meanwhile, we’re being bombarded with bright, exhortative messages to get ‘out with the old, in with the new’, make a ‘new start’, and so on.  The temptation is to begin yet ANOTHER new project, which then makes me feel guilty about leaving all the unfinished ones on the shelf.  Or staring me in the face every time I wash up, even…kitchentilesSO!!  – This year, I am going to spend January gently conserving my energy and getting on with my works-in-progress.  I am taking a lead from Michael Nobbs over at Sustainably Creative, who advocates A Month of Hibernation in January, and my other favourite blogger Havi Brooks, whose Campaign to Bring Back Hibernation I’m (in)actively supporting! cosybedroomInstead of Instead of rushing round trying to ‘clear the decks’ and dive into the NEW, I will be mostly spending my free time by the fire, watching DVDs, reading, and enjoying using any creative energy I do have to move a tiny bit forward on my existing projects.  After all, there’s no need to rush.  I want to still be in love with whatever I’m working on, not for it to feel like a burden or something I have to hurry up and finish!wiggleprojectplanningAnd I don’t know about you, but I often find some of my best creative ideas for new projects come whilst I’m working on something else…sleeve2I’m hoping that this year, once the days start getting longer and the sap begins to rise, I’ll have a whole bunch of exciting new projects lined up, and I’ll have (hopefully!) finished my current ones.

So this January, I say the New can wait: ON with the OLD! cardielayout



WhooHoo! Yarnbomb lampshade!

yarnbomblampshade1Oh, TWO ‘whoohoo’s in a month, can you believe it?!!  As mentioned last time, now that I have my gorgeous Mexican Sunset cushion, what better way to co-ordinate one’s crazy interior décor scheme than to make a matching lampshade?

This little project was entirely inspired by Lucy at Attic 24’s funky lampshade yarnbomb post.  I just loved this so much and knew I wanted to make one of my own!  I followed her pattern fairly closely, except for starting and finishing with sc/dc/sc border (that’s dc/tr/dc in UK).  I thought I could resist adding bobbles, but once I’d finished the scallop edge the whole thing had a kind of circusy feel about it that demanded bobbles to complete the look!yarnbomblamplitupOh, this is SO much better than my boring, old, slightly cracked and discoloured white lampshade that I’ve had for a million years!  Go on, get your hook out, you know you want one…