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Happy Halloween everybody!! This year I thought I would try and do something a bit different with my pumpkins and decided to go down the not so scary route!! I love autumn and woodland themes and so used this to inspire my ‘mini habitat’ pumpkins!!

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Happy trick or treating! xxx

I’m loving this summer’s fashion trend involving patterns inspired by dutch wax prints and African traditional dress. This trend is gradually seeping through into the interiors world as well. One man in particular, Yinka Ilori, has been leading the way with his creative, yet sleek, upcycled chairs. Yinka upcycles chairs in such an imaginative way by drawing inspiration from Nigerian parables so that each piece has a story and meaning behind it. Not only does he paint his work in vibrant colours and upholster using traditional African prints but he also often deconstructs the chairs that he starts off with and then pieces them back together to create a whole new form and function.

Here are a couple examples of his work but more can be found on his website here: www.yinkailori.com

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Last autumn I was lucky enough to go to one of Yinka’s first sessions of upcycling workshops called ‘The Art of Storytelling’. Over 5 weeks I went every Thursday to the workshops that took place in The Old Shoreditch Station. The evenings were co-hosted by Annegret Affolderbach from the womenswear brand Choolips, who provided the fabric for anyone upholstering their chair, as well as offering tips and advice throughout the workshops. Under Yinka and Annegret’s guidance a group of us started with a plain old chair and, using a Nigerian parable of our choice, attempted to upcycle it Yinka Ilori style.

Here is my little chair en route to Shoreditch:

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 And here is my chosen parable:

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One cannot own a tree in the forest and not recognise its fruit.

We then started work on our chairs, it was quite difficult knowing where to start especially when we had only just got our parables. Knowing how to translate the meaning from the parable into the finished design was quite a challenge and so I started by sanding my chair down completely while I came up with ideas.

From sanding and getting used to the form of the chair I decided what I was going to do. I chiseled deep scratches into various parts of the chairs:

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I also cut out chunks from the back, and then screwed on other parts of a different chair to the underneath:

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Then to finish my chair I painted it in an icy lilac and embellished the scratches and ends with a green floral fabric:

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On the last day of workshops we all stood up one by one and presented our chairs and the meanings behind them. The other people in the class came up with some amazing ideas and fantastic finished products (excuse some of the photos taken from a distance with an iphone):

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 It was such a shame when the workshops came to an end after 5 weeks of creativity, I had such a good time and met some really fun and interesting people. I found it so amazing for Yinka to offer such a workshop, as it is a very rare thing to find a designer who is willing to pass on their knowledge and skill to others for very little in return. I wish more artists and designers would follow in his footsteps!

Yinka has been running more workshops since then and if ever you get a chance I would highly recommend going to one if anymore are run in the future as Yinka and Annegret are both such lovely, welcoming people who made the workshops such an interesting and enjoyable experience.

February Photo-a-Day

I took part in the Idea Room’s February photo-a-day challenge last month on Instagram. I love Instagram, it is an addiction of mine but I’m not the most regular poster. This was a great way for me to find inspiration and post more regularly. It wasn’t the easiest challenge and some days were a struggle but all in all I really enjoyed doing it. I thought I would share my photos on here too, some I’m pleased with, some not so much!

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Day 1- Light – Living room lamp

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Day 2 – Dark – Glow in the dark unicorn

Day 3 – Metal -Turkish clock

Day 4 – A Convenience – Pasta!

Day 5 – On My Bedside Table – Bedside lamp

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Day 6 – Pattern – Monsoon shirt

Day 7 – Disorganised – Nandos the aftermath

Day 8 – Frozen – Richmond park 2009

Day 9 – Under – Under the covers in bed

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Day 10 – Shadow – Blue sky behind the clouds

Day 11 – Two – Me at two

Day 12 – Can’t live without – Nik naks and pretty things

Day 13 – Water – Aquapax

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Day 14 – Sweet – Lollipops!

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Day 15 – In my hand – Fluffy pineapple pen

Day 16 – Different – An unusual pet

Day 17 – On my mind – The Last Unicorn

Say 18 – Still – Tea party invitation lying still on my bed

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Day 19 – Help – Someone needs to help me accumulate all of Anthropologie’s crockery

Day 20 – The written word – Happy Birthday to my friend

Day 21 – Tiny – Snuffpot

Day 22 – I see – My latest charity shop finds

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Day 23 – Crisp – Dried roses

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Day 24 – In between – The window and curtains

Day 25 – Shiny – Glittery tealight holder

Day 26 – Peaceful – Peace sign

Day 27 – In love with – This movie

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Day 28 – Up – All wrapped up

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Let There Be Lights

I have needed a new light for my bedside table for a while now and on my last visit to my favourite local charity shop I found the perfect shaped lamp. The only thing was I wasn’t at all keen on the shade or the gold details, but I bought it anyway with a project in mind:

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To start the first thing that I did was take the lamp apart, take the fabric off of the shade to leave the bare frame and painted the base a pale lilac. I then sprayed the frame green and covered the bottom part of the frame with beading:

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I didn’t want to re-cover the shade with fabric so I instead wrapped faked flowers all around the vertical parts of the frame. I added a couple of little decorative birds to the middle of the frame, varnished the base with modge podge with iridescent glitter in it and then decorated the frame and base with ribbons and bows:

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This was a really fun project, if a little time consuming. I love the finished look, it is again in my usual style of being a bit over the top but I love the way it looks against my vintage curtains at night:

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I have also completed another lighting project recently, although this one was much more simple. At Christmas we got a circular, wreath like lighting fixture out of our loft that we’ve had for years but only usually use over the festive period. However, after having it in the hallway over the holidays we realised it would look great in what we call our ‘Garden room’ as a permanent fixture, especially as we have been unable to decide on a light for in there. We hung it up and this is what it looked like:

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We thought it would be great to have it up there as we could change what we hang from it depending on the season! I don’t know how dedicated to that idea we would actually be but I thought for this time of year (and to match the decor of the room) it would be good to stick to pastel colours and a floral design. With that in mind I draped a faux rose garland, pearls and beads around the wreath and added more flowers, feathers and chiffon leaves:

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And here it is against the backdrop of the room:

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I have really enjoyed working with light fittings on these projects and will definitely look to do more in the future. I would really love to take a lampshade making course, especially for the traditional shape lampshades as in the first project. They are very hard to find though but I think it would be a great skill to have! I would love to hear of any lampshade projects you have worked on or any courses you have taken.

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So I’ve been meaning to update the look of this little blog for quite a while now and have finally come up with this new header! I don’t claim to be any kind of artist but decided to draw some brogues and decorate with some of my many wrapping paper scraps to give a better first impression of what me my blog are about! I had first planned to have the text on the left and this image on the right: 

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But decided to split them up and have the title in the middle! I’m very happy with my new look, I hope you like it too!!

x

happy new year

 

Happy 2014 everyone! I haven’t posted in a long time but I have missed my little blog lots! It’s been a busy last few months as I started a new job and up until Christmas was working 6 days a week leaving me little spare time. I have to admit that I was pleased to say goodbye to 2013. For me it was a year of ups and downs but without wanting to bring too much of a downer to my blog I have decided to use this post to look back at the good times.

2013 did bring me some ‘firsts’: one of my best friends got married and it was my first time as a bridesmaid and even my first hen party. Her wedding was in June and it was a beautiful day and very emotional with the vows, first dance and Groom’s speech all bringing tears to my eyes! The day seemed so perfect and I was honoured to be a part of it.

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2013 also saw my first year at Glastonbury Festival! I had such an amazing time and couldn’t get over the hugeness of the festival! I don’t think we even explored all of it but still had a great time and saw some incredible performances. Sunday was my favourite day as I saw some of my favourite acts: Jessie Ware, James Blake, The XX and Mumford and Sons. Jake Bugg, The Vaccines, Alt-J, Chase and Status and Noah and the Whale were also the best for me from the rest of the weekend!

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Other firsts included going to Jersey for the first time, which was for work, and attending a furniture upcycling workshop but with a twist, which I will go into further in another post.

Some amazing movies came out last year as well: Les Miserables and Django: Unchained were incredible not to mention The Great Gatsby which managed to influence fashion and style for the entire year. The film was, as expected, a stunning visual masterpiece which confirmed my undying love for the Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.

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To finish off the year, and this post there is only one thing left to mention: Christmas! My favourite time of year and this one did not disappoint. Despite work being a bit crazy making Christmas sneak up a little too quickly it was nevertheless relaxing and cosy and my favourite tasks of decorating the house and wrapping presents all went to plan. I think I may have said this last year but I always wish decorations were kept up all year, even if the theme changed every few months depending on the season! For me having twinkly lights and sparkly ornaments just makes everywhere look so beautiful and magical, I don’t see why that should only be acceptable for a few weeks each year.  Last week we spent a whole day taking all the lovely decorations down, which always makes me sad but I guess now the house is all clear and ready for the new year.

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Happy 2014.

Happy Halloween

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The other day I was looking in my local charity shop when I noticed they had quite a few statuette ornaments that someone had donated. They were quite old fashioned looking, some may even say tacky, but For a pound each I thought I would give them a home and see if a spot of spray paint could spruce them up a bit! This is what I found:

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I decided the best way to bring them up to date would be to spray them both white. I had some white spray paint left over from another project so it made it a sensible option. After a few coats my brightly coloured parrot now looked modern and chic in his new fresh white splendor:

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As for Mr Unicorn the white paint did look nice on him but he still looked a little ordinary. I decided I would jazz him up and turn him into a quirky glow in the dark unicorn. It is of course extremely difficult to take photos of glow in the dark objects so please excuse the picture. I have had to edit it to try and give the best representation of what he looks like in the dark:

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In daylight he does now have a slightly green tinge which I quite like anyway. I am so happy with my re-vamped ornaments and I love the fact that they are now one of a kind!

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