Tuesday, 24 August 2010

T52MMMC week 3

I did make this last week, honest, I just didn't get round to posting until today as I spent most of last week in the beautiful city of Bath, doing lots of shopping. Luckily while I was in Bath the weather was beautiful which is more than what I can say for the weather in Essex recently, we are feeling a bit soggy here at the mo, which is a bit ironic since last weeks make was a garden sunshade!

These pictures where taken in a bit of a hurry in-between rain showers, so aren't the best.
I bought this lovely heavyweight cotton fabric last year in a slightly odd, but pleasing fabric/coffee shop in Maldon (the smell of coffee wafting up your nose while you fondle fabric was quite soothing).

At the time I thought it would be lovely to use it in garden somewhere, either as a giant outdoor floor cushion like this, or some sort of sun shady thing. But it spent over a year taking up precious space on my fabric shelves until now.

The sunshade has garden canes threaded through the back and front to help keep it's shape and is held up with a combination of cup hooks, eyelet screws and some washing line, so it quite easy to take down and roll up when the weather is yucky.

I don't know about you, but all the flowers in garden are starting to look a bit worst for wear now, but these newbies look gorgeous in my french stacking crates I got for the boot sale the other week £10 for 3!

This is one of a pair of deck chairs I got two years ago, I managed to make a new sling for this one last year, but still haven't finished of the other one, so that's another job for the list.

Please pray for a non-rainy morning for me tomorrow, as it car boot day in Marks Tey and I missed it last week while I was in Bath!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

T52MMMC week 2

Yesterday, whilst washing up my latest car boot haul from the Marvellous Marks Tey Car Boot (no, seriously, thats what it's called), I decided that my new-to-me mini jelly mould would make a lovely votive for a candle. Then I thought I'd go one better than that since I'm on 'the make' at the mo and make it into a candle.

Now, I don't have any candle making equipment as such, but in typical me style I just had to make it NOW.

So after locating my stash of Ikea candles, I quickly got down to snapping and chopping them into bits, removing the wick to use for later, and melted all the bits 'bain marie style' directly in the mould over a gentle heat. Once the bits had melted fully, I gingerly removed the mould from it's hot bath and balanced a skewer with the wick tied to it until it all solidified 'et voila!' one candle.

I can see candlemakers around the world covering their face in horror. I've probably used the wrong type of wax, the wrong type of wick and completely the wrong method, but it looks ok to me, and it was fun to do on a whim and I think that's what the 52MMM challenge is all about.

I'm going to visit my Mum & Dad on monday morning for a few days. Ella and I are going by train to Bath where my parents have recently bought an apartment. It's in Sydney Place, which is but a stones throw from the Cath Kidston shop, not to mention a whole host of other lovely places. How exciting!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Cath Kidston fame!

Well not for me..............

But my lovely sister-in-law who, back in June, was sent a load of fabric by a lady at CK HQ and asked to turn it into lampshades. Fast forward to the beginning of this week and imagine her joy when she discovered they had been used in the new catalogue/magazine and on the website

Unfortunately these babies aren't available to buy from Cath Kidston, but lucky for you, you can snap one up over at The Old Lamp Shed. Just don't forget to mention me when you make your order (I have to earn some brownie points to convert into lampshade credits!)

Alternatively you could snap up one of these vintage style pretties or choose the bespoke service of recovering a old favourite lamp shade in a fabric of your choice.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The 52MMM Challenge week 1

That stands for 52 marvellous makes madness challenge.

The challenge is to make one thing a week for the next 52 weeks, and that doesn't include dinner!
O.K, so I was a bit slow on making a start, but this week I made my first thing. A cute little blind for the spare room/sewing room. made from a vintage embroidered tablecloth and a bit of lace from my stash.

Very simple, it's unlined, without any rods, and just pinned to the window frame, but I sewed on some rings and threaded it with cord so it goes up and down easily. I'm really pleased with it!

Looking at the photos now, I probably should have given it a bit of an iron, but hey, I'm not known for my ironing skills!

While I was fiddling about I decided that the ikea lamp above the bed need prettifying too, so I tied a ribbon in a bow and clipped on a old china rose earring I had in my box of trinkets.

Kitchen Makeover

This year the possibility of re-doing our little kitchen has arisen. We inherited the old one from the previous owners when we moved in nearly 5 years ago now and although it had been done fairly recently, it was and still isn't to my taste. It has dark wood cupboards with multi coloured tiles in terracotta, dark green, blue, beige and brown.

When we moved in we had to replace the cooker as they had removed the old one (freestanding) and we also replaced the worktop to a solid oak one from Ikea so we could install a built-in cooker. That was the only thing we changed as we just didn't have the money to do anything else.

My plan was to paint the cupboards ivory and change the tiles but that never happened. It looks even worse now as I have a hole in the plaster and a lots of copper piping snaking it's way round the wall when the old boiler was removed and a new one installed on the over side of the wall last year (that still hasn't been re-plastered and boxed in.)

Anyway, this year Danny announced that he was fed up with the freezer being in the outhouse and the tiny built-in under the counter fridge in the kitchen and he wanted a big fridge freezer (which would mean removing the cupboard we keep the saucepans and losing a precious section of worktop space). So I said that if he wanted to do that then we had to move the washing machine to the outhouse and get in plumbed in so we could free up some space (the tumble dryer is in the outhouse so I think that would make sense, creating a separate utility area out there).

So with all this moving about it makes sense to replace the cupboards rather than repaint them. I would like off-white colour cupboards, we will keep the oak worktop and just add ice-cream coloured china and enamelware. Sort of like this........


So when I received an email from Voucher Codes telling me they have just launched a lovely new money-saving lifestyle blog (Most Wanted), and wanted me to suggest 10 gorgeous items under £50, to inject some new life into a room in the house that was looking a bit tired, I knew that I should choose the kitchen.

So here is my top ten.....


Nantes Pendant Light

I have been lusting after this french style pendant light for at least two years and it is definitely top of my list.


Vintage Rose Dinner Service
£4-6 per item

I love collecting floral vintage china from junk shops and boot sales, but this dinner service is so pretty and it's a very reasonable price too!


Cream Metro Wall Tiles
£21.50 per Sq Metre

I love the simplicity of these brick style tiles. They are very fashionable at the moment, on the Fired Earth website they cost over £60 a square metre, but these are a third of the price! I can easily re-tile my kitchen splash backs for under £50 with these.


'Eat Your Greens' Hand Pulled Screen Print

I discovered the Keep Calm Gallery website when I first started blogging and love their collection of quirky screen prints from a talented selection of artists, designers and print-makers. Most of the prints are from limited print runs, so you can easily afford to own a piece of limited edition artwork. This one, by Hayley and Lucas, the sites founders would look perfect in a Kitchen.


Grooved Bone Door Knob

These carved bone door knobs would give a bespoke look to bog standard kitchen cupboards.


American Milk Glass Pitcher

RE is one of my favourite websites, I first discovered the company about 6 years ago when I was sent one of their mail order catalogues, and I've been a fan ever since. I love milk glass, and I love jugs, so this pitcher would fit in a treat in my kitchen on a old painted shelf amongst some pretty china.


Dualit 72402 Kettle in Cream

I need a new kettle, my old one is covered in limescale (we live in a very hard water area) and this one would look lovely in my new kitchen. This was the cheapest I could find it. Good old John Lewis!


Etched Glass Sweet Jar

I love glass jars, and have them filled with things, like shells ribbons and buttons around my home, but they also look good filled with sweet treats like sugared almonds, bon-bons, meringues, and vanilla or cinnamon sugar.


Enamel Ladles
From £7.50

A selection of pastel coloured utensils hung above the hob would add splash of colour as well as being in a useful spot.

Zinc Storage Box

Here this lovely rustic wire storage basket has been used to store magazines. But I can just imagine a group of three hung on a wall in the kitchen to store pots of herbs or glass jars filled with rice, pasta, cous cous and other dry ingredients.