Saturday, 30 April 2011

Weddings and Knittings

What a nice day for a white (and ivory) wedding!  Catherine's dress was perfect for the occasion and will not date, unlike Diana's.  Must admit, Pippa almost pipped her, looking fab in her slinky bridesmaid outfit.  My daughter-in-law held a Vintage Royal Wedding Party at her home and we all had a great time.  I made the bunting out of tea-dyed Union Flag material and also made Earl Grey cupcakes, courtesy of my yummy Cake Days cookbook.

Little Princess with a breadstick sceptre, showing her pants in a very unregal fashion
Quite excited as a new knitting shop has opened up round the corner from me.  It's called A Good Yarn and they opened today, with drinks, nibbles and wool-based cupcakes.  There's going to be workshops and knitty drop-ins, so I'll be round there with me needles on a Saturday afternoon.  They are selling glorious yarns and great books.
This is a little bag I knitted from scraps of leftover wool and strips of an old grey t-shirt. I'm really into knitting up old clothes torn into varying sizes of strips right now.  I've even used old socks and scarves as experimental items.

Just adding my latest makes.  I have a bundle of white cotton chair covers which d-in-l, who is very arty and clever, made for the seating at her wedding.  I cut the extra length off some of them, tea-dyed them and sewed over the tops.  I then threaded net curtaining strips through the hem and added 1970's photos, taken from an old book.  They can be used as nightwear cases, laundry bags, undies bags and so on.
I know they look like Big Pant in this picture, but they're not!
All have different pictures, scanned from a 1976 book and stitched onto more net and cotton

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Wallpaper Update, Folks!

Yes, it was fairly painless.  Mr Carrad even agreed with my choice!  We only tried a sample at the moment but he'll be off to B & Q when he's next on his travels, to pick up a couple of rolls.
The sun sneaked into the corner of the pic, but what the heck, it's just nice that it's shining...

The tiny flowered paper was so pretty but a bit little-girly and I was aiming for a more sophisticated look

My other purchase today was another charity shop stool for £2.  The poor little thing was dirty, cigarette-burnt and raggedy but a makeover is brewing.
I've already stripped the tatty fabric and braiding off, only suffering a small injury in the process which must be a good omen. 
 Now to find some lovely fabric to cover it ...

Makeover - The Featurette

Just a quickie post as I'm about to go out and buy WALLPAPER!  This is an update of a completed bathroom and a bedroom well on the way.
Birdies scattered about the bathroom.  These are hung on the pole across the top of the window which also has a wispy off-white pashmina draped over it.
Featuring the inspirational "ocean" decoration.  How often, though, does a toilet roll take pride of place on a blog?
 Ignore the wires, please.
 This picture is a bit too dark.  The paintwork (Wilko's "Cloudless") is a much softer, paler shade really.
Ignore mattress!  And lightshade!  This wall will be papered as a feature wall, but it has to be just right so I'm expecting a grumpy Mr Carrad after the shopping trip...

Wish me luck!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Merry Easter!

Had such a lovely day today.  Visits by family and the first barbecue of the year.   Bunting was put up, tables prepared and the radio tuned to Absolute Classic Rock.  Carrad juniors arrived bearing gifts of food and drink and the barbecue was turned on.  The menu? fish course of haddock, salmon and talapia, meats including steak, sausages and proper burgers plus green salad, German potato salad and grilled halloumi cheese.  To wash down: Peroni, lager, gin and tonic.  Yummeeeeee!
Bunting out on a Sunny Day
Fire up the Barbie!
Viciously spearing innocent kebabs
Fly the Flag
Tulips - an Easter Gift
Lilac from our tree in my big enamel jug
  ... and not a chocolate egg in sight!

Friday, 22 April 2011

A Few Random Photos

Bathroom and Bedroom makeovers on hold as sooooo busy right now, but am adding a few photos for your amusement until I do a proper blog.

 The two pics below are my contribution to an exhibition to be staged by Artlandish to raise funds and promote using bags instead of carriers.  Artists start with a plain white canvas bag and decorate it as they wish - paint, photos, fabrics, etc.  These will all be shown at the Gallery in September and will then be sold at £4.  A great idea.  My theme was Vintage Beach.

Front of bag for Artlandish Exhibition

Back of bag for Artlandish Exhibition

Jasmine painted these plates - they were very pretty until she found the black!  Julie at The Paint Box sighed "They always find the black"  I wrote on them (she's clever, but not THAT clever!)

... anyway she was very happy to have her lunch off hers

Old and tatty woad-dyed t-shirt stripped and knitted into a lavender bag

Tidied up all my herbs and spices and made tea-stained "antique" labels for them

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Hello, Minty-fresh Bathroom!

I’ve actually managed to tackle a decorating project at last.  As previously blogged, I had the bathroom lined up for a 60 Minute Makeover.  The Wilko’s “Mint Crisp” shade was a little too minty and bright for my taste so I added equal quantities of “Moonlight White”, also Wilko’s which we already had.  This was a perfect shade and I used just two little matchpots so it was a really cheap option.  I then used the slightly darker Wilko’s “Spa” for the mirror surround and distressed it a little. 

This actually looks very blue, but the cabinet is really the colour below
I needed a slightly different shade for the loo roll holder and tiny cabinet, wanting to match this to the “O” and “a” of the ocean accessory.  This led me to mix my own colour with the remainder of the match pots and a little squirt of two of black and blue water colours.  I achieve just the shade I wanted and it relates very well to Farrow and Ball’s “Green Blue”, even though it looks very different in the photos. I also added a decorative cutting of a Little Greene Paint Company wallpaper sample on each door.
I’m now in the process of making some little fabric birds to hang up and thinking of something else to go on the wall and above the window.  Oh, and some new towels.
To be continued …
By the way, welcome, Giddy, to my followers, all 16 of you!  When and if I reach 20 I’ll do a draw and one of you will win a “Fashionista Sister” of your very own!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Dolls on Tour

image credit

This morning I despatched six of the girls on holiday to a new place.  They can now be viewed (and purchased, I hope) at the Ropewalk in Barton on Humber.  I’m feeling that a couple more venues are needed to get sales moving again.  The Fashionista Sisters always receive lots of complimentary comments, but sales don’t necessarily reflect this.  They have been hanging around my workroom far too long and if I can sell a few, I can start to make more.  Hmmm  maybe I should turn my tiny front porch into a pop-up shop 

I’m getting bored with the necessary wait for more work to be able to take place in the spare bedroom so when I saw the lovely little sign below 
I decided to buy it and use it as the basis for redecorating the bathroom.  The whole suite really needs changing but this will be a stop-gap until we can afford it.  One and a half walls are tiled and the other two and a half are painted with “Winter Sun”, although I can’t remember who this is by and it’s now very grubby.  I’ve chosen to paint just one wall with Wilko’s "Mint Crisp”. and use Wilko’s “Spa” on the mirror frame and highlights.  
Wilko's "Mint Crisp".  "Spa" is a little darker
The other walls remain undecided but certainly a similar off-white shade as before.  I’m going cheap and cheerful as, much as I love Farrow and Ball, Little Greene, etc, they are kind of pricey for the purpose.  Will keep you posted with updates.

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Spare Room Commences

A little corner of my home is starting to transform itself into a habitable space.  The Chateau Bedroom (well, the spare room, which will hopefully one day achieve a slightly French country chateau look) has been stripped of all manky wallpaper by me, and lovingly replastered by my dear son.  This is in return for future sewing projects for his little girl.  Jasmine is not yet three but started ballet class last week and has her own teeny-tiny pink ballet shoes.  Altogether now, awwwww!
image source
Here are a couple of photos of the room.  With luck these will be updated with more exciting pics.
The big lump in the middle is the bed which has been tipped on its side
Will anyone ever get to sleep in this room???

Friday was a gloriously sunny day and Jasmine and I had just the best time.  We went shopping for ribbon and lace, then came back home for coffee and juice in the garden.  Next we went to the Paint Box Ceramic Cafe where Jazz painted two plates, one for herself and one for Nanny, in fab, splodgy patterns.
After lunch it was a walk down to the beach, spending two hours making (and jumping on) sandcastles, paddling, running in circles and collecting shells.  The world looks lovely through the eyes of a two-year old.  We walked back home, making a detour to Banana Leaf, which is a wonderful shop full of house and garden marvels, then played out of doors with a big bowl of warm sudsy water.  I was exhausted in a very happy way.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


I have commenced my attempt to cook (almost) every cake in my lovely new Mothers'-Day-present "Cake Days" recipe book!  This one is Rhubarb and Almond Loaf.  It doesn't look like the official photo - that one had an elegant swirl of pink rhubarb through the middle and mine has a few bits of green stuff in - but it's moist and truly delicious. 
I can't remember if I put the following photos on already.  If so, here they are again.  I bought two little fabric containers for £2, which were pretty in their own right, but I added further embellishment in two different styles.  I've realised that I can't let anything remain the same, I take one look at an item and want to repurpose, recycle and everything else beginning with "re".  If only I could repurpose myself twenty years younger!

before makeover

after makeover

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Happy Mothering Sunday!

Happy Mothering Sunday to all you mums out there!

It's sunny here today, the (grown up) children have been and brought presents for me which are far too generous but I love them!  Can't wait to try out the cakes in the Hummingbird recipe book, Cake Days.
Do you remember the horrible plasticy-leather stool I bought for £2?
I painted the little legs in Lucid Morning by Dulux and covered the top in Birdcage Walk by Nina Campbell.  It looks fab now and I gave it to my mum as a present today, along with roses and lilies.
I also gave her a silver RAF sweetheart brooch.  When she met my late dad the war was over and he had already left the RAF so she never had a memento.  I was so pleased with her reaction and think it will mean a lot to her.  She's just the best!

      Have a great day, mums! xxx