Saturday, 13 August 2016

Cuter 'n a little red wagon

I've always loved the phrase 'cuter than a little red wagon' and today I found something that truly is 'cuter……' etc.

This morning we picked up these odds and ends for a few pounds. We didn't know what we were going to do with them but fell in love with the sweet little wheels and metal handle...


From that point on I can claim no credit for the resulting cuteness.
MLH (My Lovely Husband) put them together with an old wooden box we have been using to store logs by the fire in the Winter...


Even the box was bought a couple of years ago for about a fiver,
so all in all it fits my idea of rustic style for a song!


I mean seriously, how adorable is this?
I can wheel it to the door to load with logs from outside


and then wheel it back into the living room right next to the fireplace. 
No more carrying armfuls of logs for me! 


and all thanks to MLH - love him!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Magic storage solution



You know how it is, you've got books, DVDs etc etc stowed all over the house, you can't get at any of them and you end up not using them. This is my magic storage solution.
It looks like an ordinary cupboard, I bought it for a song and shabbied it up a bit...



Heere's how it ended up, I added an old handle, replaced the back panel and wallpapered it, and it fitted into a space in the garden room…


here's the magic bit, it takes almost no floor space but all my books DVDs and so on have disappeared inside with no trouble. Some are stacked two deep, but even so I couldn't believe how much stuff this little cupboard swallowed up!

Here it is empty...


and here it is full!


I can find what I want easily and then shut the door on it again so the room stays tidy - like I said "Magic"!



Wednesday, 20 July 2016

My newest quilt.....

Oh my word, quilting is addictive. I can't stop collecting vintage fabric with a view to making more and more quilts and throws.


here's my latest, I love working in pale colours and this random selection of fabrics with a floral theme spoke to me, I used a lot of the fabrics on the reverse side to give a soft, faded look


It also gave me the excuse to use this large white bobble trim I have been hoarding


I used hydrangea flowers cut from a larger piece of fabric for some of the squares and then used long strips of the same pattern to make a border


I like to add a 'Homemade' label to each piece I make to remind me that I am not in pursuit of perfection, just pleasure.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Addicted to quilts

You know the story, a young innocent girl (use your imagination here) picks up a square of fabric and thinks 'what harm can it do? I can stop whenever I like'. The next thing you know there are quilts everywhere. 
Now, I've always collected quilts, they're all over my day bed, on my sofas and bursting out of my cabinet


but I never thought I'd make my own until I started looking for a project to keep myself busy in the Winter. 

Just to clarify for any horrified 'proper' quilters out there:
I don't enjoy following the rules so I love starting something and then making it up as I go along. I think it's very liberating creatively to have no idea what you're doing so you aren't scared to try anything and see if it works - maybe there's a life lesson here? The Zen of Quilting? So, this is just my own take on quilt making ;)

The first creation was a large checkerboard of toile and striped fabric with sashimi style embroidery around the outer squares.



It was meant to protect a chair from the fur babies but they just climb underneath it to sleep!


The next was a mix of pale scraps from my stash, 
some using the reverse side to keep the effect very muted


I loved using up pieces I'd kept for 'just the right thing'


Next was a lilac and white theme inspired by some embroidered lavender fabric I found…


I trimmed it in a lilac pom pom trim - very French…


The next batch of fabrics were all in peachy tones so…


lots of lovely shades


And finally (who am I kidding?) last week I picked up some vintage french fabric swatches (in the centre of this quilt) and used a mixture of white embroidered and cutwork linen and matching squares to frame them. 



The camera angle makes this look more wonky than it actually is  - honest….

There is also a mix of machine and hand quilting to define the patterns.


Lovely old french fabrics…


What next? well I've got plenty of fabric in the stash just waiting for the 'right' project and I can't stop collecting so I'm sure there will be more to come!
Thanks for reading x

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Take a seat...

I can't resist chair makeovers, I'm always especially excited when I see something like this Edwardian chair. It had all the potential and beautiful 'bones', even though the upholstery on top was nasty the webbing etc underneath was in great condition.

So I painted it in Autentico 'Bath Stone' and sealed it with their sealer and refinished the seat et voila! A chair fit for a chateau boudoir ......


here she is from another angle showing her lovely curves


and here's the sad state I found her in...
hope you approve of the difference?


I've shown this one before but it bears repeating and the difference is, once again, quite dramatic...


Pretty as a picture!


and so useable in any home


what do you think?

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Lake Isle of Innisfree


I offer no reason or excuse for sharing this because it doesn't need one! It's just beautiful and how we all feel sometimes when we need a little peace



The Lake Isle of Innisfree


W. B. Yeats1865 - 1939

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
     slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
     sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.



Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Louis chair refurbish


I'm a big fan of these lovely Louis style chairs and you might remember that I refurb'd one last year. Well, it didn't stay around for long - in fact, it sold within an hour of being placed in the shop! I'd love to do more because they're so popular but getting hold of them is not easy. However….I was lucky enough to find another and here's it's story...


You can see it was covered in my 'favourite' orange varnish - don't get me started on WHY people would want to use this stuff - and some rather nasty old velour so all of that had to come off...


and after a LOT of scraped knuckles and broken nails, I managed to get all the original studs and staples out and finished the chair in Old White ASCP and some clear wax.


The fabric is a plain cotton so it will fit into any interior and I used an off white trim and a few accent upholstery studs to stop it being too bland.


The back is nicely finished too so it could be placed in the middle of a room.


It's off to Afterglow of Olney as soon as there is a space and I hope someone will love it as much as I do!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Repurposing old travelling trunks

Over time I've seen (and collected) quite a few lovely old travelling trunks and the best use I've found for them is to repurpose them as coffee tables with masses of storage.

This was the first one I attempted and it went off to France to live in the converted barn belonging to  a friend...


recently I transformed this one with some lovely cabriole legs I took off an old stool.
It sold very quickly, as soon as it went into my space at Afterglow of Olney…


And this one has just gone into the shop. It's a lovely example with lots of history as it belonged to a Masonic Institute of Learning. I found some old documents detailing this and left them inside for the new owners to see…


I have one more lovely old trunk in my workshop and it's just waiting for the right legs to come along before it too joins the gang!

Let me know if you like them?

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Things ain't what they used to be...


I love being able to re-use old objects in a new way - otherwise some of them would just be lost forever as their original purpose may no longer exist - I started taking a few snaps around the house and look what I found...

This old chiffonier back no longer had its base but looks wonderful above my French day bed (many a happy hour spent lapsing in and out of consciousness here!)


I bought this old chicken carrier from the lovely Corinne at Douce Campagne, but not having any chickens to carry I use it for holding my favourite magazines by my favourite reading chair...


I can't resist a crate or two - or three, and love the extra storage they provide - here they're storing my ongoing handicraft projects...


they also turn up in the bedroom...


 and the kitchen...


they're just so versatile...



This rusty old French trivet, wonky and worn to perfection, is just perfect for holding candles off surfaces...


Old shutters and windows are irresistible and technically these are decorative and not useful, but being decorative is a purpose in itself isn't it? At least that's what I keep telling my husband...


An old egg basket is the perfect place for vegetables, allowing air to circulate and keeping them close at hand when I'm cooking...
And, in the background, is another old window used as a mirror to reflect the light in our kitchen....


These haven't exactly been given a new purpose being bottle crates originally, but I love using them to store wine and, of course, my homemade sloe gin... 


More shutters, and this time I used them to frame a photograph I took in Paris - it seemed appropriate...


Old clock cases have lost their purpose when the mechanism disappears but they are lovely items in their own right and make great door stops...



I think this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of things I've reused around the house: the French chest as a coffee table, the washstand as a TV stand etc etc, but I love being able to give new life to old things. After all, that's the ethos of I Love My Home and it inspires me to keep searching out more lovely old things x