Saturday, 22 December 2012

Map print lampshade tutorial

I saw a tutorial for a map print, paper covered lampshade on Pinterest a few months back and its been bugging me as i knew i wanted to give it a go.
So i popped to homebase and grabbed a small white paper lampshade which was about £1.90 give or take a few pence.
Then i found a gorgeous sepia print of an old fashioned map on the interenet and printed out about 50, cut them out then in half.

I used about half a tube of this UHU all purpose glue to cover the whole sade, i just put a line of the glue along the straight edge and started fixing them from the bottom up, layering them as i went.

It took a few hours to fully cover the sade but i couldnt be more happier with the how it turned out and it has taken pride of place in our lounge. I'm planning on doing a much larger one next time for the hall.
I could get addicted to this :)

L xx

Saturday Make

With it being the last Saturday before Christmas i wanted to take things easy and slob out in front of the TV but my creativity got the better of me and before lunch time i just couldn't sit still so i raided my stash of "don't wear so need to refashion" pile and grabbed a few tops and tshirts and my bag full of fabric pens and paint that the lovely folk over at bottletoppr sent me and i got to work.
First i printed out some silhouettes of anything i could find that took my fancy and i used my craft knife to cut out a stencil.
i then just kinda went with it...

 Silver deer
 Black Doctor Who 
 I free handed this after seeing a tshirt i want with this printed on, it hasn't turned out as well as i had hoped though.
 Red gloss moustaches

 silver deer to the side
 Purple top hat and bow tie with a silver moustache
Glitter silver bowler hats

This is such a fun and inexpensive craft, you can make or customise your own clothes or buy a plain cheap scarf or shawl and print something on it for gifts, you could even go as far as socks and underwear if your creative talent runs pretty deep :)
I also cant wait to let the kids go wild with this on some plain tshirts.

L xx

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

My handmade home

The blog has been neglected this last few months in favour of decorating and crafting and its been a lovely break, however i have 'lost' several hundred hrs of my life ill never get back on browsing pinterest for inspiration. Yet i say that like its a bad thing! lol

Here's a few quick and easy Saturdays makes we can all spare the time for to bring some personality into your home with little to no outlay.

Halloween was creeping up on me and i was seriously unorganised this year, i mean who doesn't manage to get a pumpkin on Halloween?? Yeah that's right, ME!! So to make up for my lacking as the Halloween Queen i whipped up these little bats for the girls. I got the pattern and tutorial from Pinterest which was free and i simply used whatever fabric scraps i had lying around and some old buttons.
The girls LOVE them and they are super snugly as i used fleece for the back, would your little monsters like a 'scary' pet too??

But of course you always get one that doesn't want what your making so with my thinking cap on i found a tutorial and pattern for a fabric doll but i couldn't let the little lady be naked, and Emma didn't approve so i whizzed up some clothes too from some fabric scraps.

As I've been decorating where i can between Christmas crafting and the sort I've been making some bits for the house from what we already had that wasn't being used.
The french doors in the dining room being a major headache for me as i need to get out a few times a day to tend to the chickens but i also wanted them to look pretty and possibly cosy when needed.
So after much pondering i had a route through my vintage fabrics and found two table cloths that where the perfect size to make into curtains.
i simply hemmed the top on both to be big enough to slip the rod through, i moved it from the outside to the inside of the window as i thought it looked nicer.
then i needed some tie backs to keep them back for easy access to the back so i dug out some large doilies and cut them in half and zig zag stitched the raw edge.

Then i decided to make a new lampshade and after some careful consideration i decided to try my hand at making a doily one. There are loads of tutorials on Pinterest for them and being low cost i thought id give it a go.
I blew a balloon as big as i could get it, i would suggest trying to find the really big ones or like an inflatable beach ball you don't mind sacrificing for a more round shape but either way i love mine.
I simply laid on the doilies and painted over with wallpaper paste.

Then left to dry for 24 hours, i then popped the balloon, some times they will pop themselves once they are fully dry and contract against the doilies.
i cut out the top, carefully, to slip the bulb through and voila! new lampshade!!! i made a full one so had to use string to tie the shade to the fitting but i am currently making an open end one for the lounge so i wont have to tie that one on.

I love how it throws the light out and casts beautiful shapes all through the dining room and into the hall.

I then decided to up cycle a large, and damaged photo frame to home some James bond post cards my hubby brought home. They are all retro prints so i could resist putting them up.
It was a purple plastic so i simply repainted with a few coats of grey left over emulsion which took great and inserted the prints. it now has pride of place in the lounge.

 I also made a dream catcher after seeing a gorgeous tutorial on pinterest for one. i got the large hoops from a local haberdashery for £1.50 for two which turned out to be much cheaper than eBay but i would like to get some really big ones and make another.
I simply wrapped a doily around the frame and hand stitched into place then hung charms and feathers etc from the bottom and hung in our bedroom.
its to cute, i need to make millions!!

Next time id like the bottom to be fuller.

Our stairs window, which i hate as its huge and slightly pointless needed a loving touch so with a lace vintage table cloth that had seen better days i whipped up into a pair of curtains that subtly frame the window making it less imposing on the stairs.
i used a little ribbon and some lace edging to make little tie backs and it took all of 20 mins to hem the top and edges and hang them

And finally, an already repainted table needed a make over from red to something more subtle ready for decorating the lounge next year so i painted it a gorgeous cream tone that i picked a tester pot up of for 20p in our local homebase. it was just and i mean just enough to cover it and i customised it with some pacman star wars images.

A little PVA glue and it looks like a completely new table. it now homes the games consoles again and everyone is happy.

This just proves that with a few pounds, a little imagination and a whole lot of patience you can turn your house into the home you want.

 L xx

Saturday, 10 November 2012

ECover Zero - A Review

I've used ECover a few times in the past, mainly for a household cleaner and dishwater tablets and never had a bad thing to say about them so when i had the opportunity to try their new Zero range i was over the moon.
We had the washing liquid and fabric softener and washing up liquid that i donated to my mum to try as we have a dishwasher and well neither me or the hubby fancied doing the dishes by hand!
Ive never used fabric softener before as I've only heard bad things about it and with us all having extremely sensitive skin i tend to avoid it for fear of the kids coming out in rashes and I'm no big fan of my laundry smelling of some faux flower or other but i have to say i am more than happy with the ECover Zero one, it left no smell at all on the clothes, it left all heavy fabrics comfortable to wear and it seems to be lasting an absolute age! i have to say i am a complete convert and will definately buying the fabric softener again.

The washing liquid is fabulous! I've never used a natural washing powder before what with having 3 children aged between 3 and 8 they are heavy on their clothes and never go a day without changing so i didn't want to try something that wasn't gonna get them clean but the ECover has been fabulous! All the clothes come out clean and in some cases it has even removed some stains that I've been struggling to remove with ordinary washing powder. It has been so kind to the girls skin and not one of them has had an allergic reaction to it which pleases me more than anything. And even with *cough* accidentally leaving the washing in the washer overnight the ECover kept the clothes smelling fresh and clean and didn't need rewashing.
I cant praise this stuff enough its kind to the environment, kind to skin and doesn't cost the earth. ECover Zero fabric conditioner in 750ml, which has lasted us almost a month and there's still about a quarter left is only £1.92, £1.92!! i mean what can you buy for £1.92 now?!! The washing liquid for 21 washes is £6.99. This is more than i normally pay for my washing liquid but i would happily continue to pay this just for peace of mind.
Like i mentioned before my mum gave the washing up liquid a go and being slightly OCD with her cleaning habits she often has red and dry skin on her hands but after using the ECover Zero for just a  few days it eased the itching and redness and tackled the dirty pots like a boss!! She couldn't be happily and i think I've finally managed to convert her to a more 'organic' cleaning lifestyle and at just £2.09 it well worth the swap.
Here's a little about ECover if you are yet to discover them;

About Ecover

With a fruitful history going back over 30 years we suppose you could say we have OCD when it comes to cleaning, well it’s true we have a healthy cleaning obsession...
We have an answer for all your cleaning needs, an answer which would get top of the class when it comes to doing the job – for sparkling dishes, cleaner clothes and beautiful homes.
Not many brands boast their own state-of-the-art factories, factories which craft exceptional cleaning products in a completely sustainable process.
Some people think you can’t be green and really clean, but we’ve proved them wrong!
With over 30 products for your home, laundry and dishes we lead the way versus our petrochemical counterparts to bring you and your family exceptional cleaning (without compromise)
You see with Ecover it’s not just your laundry, toilets and kitchen surfaces that stay fresh and brilliantly clean – the world stays a little cleaner too.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

kinect... a new age educational tool?

As I was born before the invention of the Internet, sourcing information on the goodies I wanted to fill my head with as a child meant bleeding every adult i knew of information or whiling away the hours at the library with my head stuck in books however for my children its simple enough to switch on a computer and reach every morsel of information they could ever require all in one place all the while still sporting yesterdays PJ's!
Now I'm no advocate for the Internet, its not the ideal place for children to be but for its wealth of knowledge I'm madly in love with it. the things I could of learnt as a child if I had had the Internet at my disposal. (insert evil laugh here)
I have also found an alternative to the nasties of the Internet in the form of new kinect games from Sesame Street and Nat Geo TV. Not only do they get the kids up and about on rainy cold days but they provide them with skills and knowledge you wouldn't necessarily learn otherwise.
My little two ones had so much fun in Sesame Street playing with all the Muppet's and not knowingly learning skills and it was a fun change of pace for them from books and the sort.

Our eldest enjoyed learning all about what Nat Geo wild has to offer, not only can you be a bear, yeah that's right BE A BEAR!!! who doesn't wanna be a bear?1 but she also learnt from first hand experience all about Grizzly Bears in Yellowstone Park and that's just the first episode.
Price wise I feel they are more than fair at £20 each, both come with 2 discs with episodes and interactive games on both discs. Each episodes lasts about 45 mins so the right amount of time for children to learn without getting bored and great value for money.
They also expand as more and more episodes are released through xbox live allowing the fun to last and last.
I never thought I'd say this but Ive finally found a game aimed at children that is fun AND educational and surprisingly kinect actually works!
Now Wonderbook, you have a lot to live up to!!!

Until next time..

L x

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Bag Porn by Free People

I'm a lover of bags, any kind of bags, and i have more than i care to admit to but the one kind i don't have is a gorgeous backpack.
Ive been searching for some time now for one that's girly but hard wearing and that will look great with any outfit.
Then guess what popped into my inbox? The new Free People email stuffed to the brim with backpacks!!
i was in bag heaven!! Take a peak at my top 2!!

The Jackson is waxed and distressed canvas backpack with leather buckle straps. Faux sherpa fur detailing on flap closure and front pockets. Pocket underneath flap. Adjustable canvas shoulder straps with leather buckles to adjust length. Inside is fully lined with zipper pocket. Zipper closure at top.

*By Bed Stu
*Canvas, Faux Sherpa Trimming
*15 1/2" depth, 12" width across front, 4" thickness at bottom 
And quite frankly a steal at £87.96
And last but by no means least...
Is the Cairo Distressed leather backpack with two front pockets with buckle strap detailing and metallic snap buttons. Flap and drawstring closure with buckle strap detailing. Leather shoulder straps are adjustable. Inside is fully lined with zipper pocket and two pouches.

*By Old Trend
*11 3/4" depth, 10 3/4" width across bottom front, 6 1/2"thickness at bottom
*38" total long strap length (at longest - can be shortened) 
This baby is a purse cringing £317.42 but I'm in very humble opinion will stand the test of time.
So if you are searching the market for  the perfect backpack then stop by Free People, they wont disappoint!

L xx