Home Etc #69

It’s feeling decidedly autumnal this week — the air smells fresher and has lost the warmth of recent weeks. Welcome to this week’s Home Etc — a fabulous showcase for interiors. Home Etc is a weekly link up for bloggers who have written posts that include interiors (wish lists, room tours or DIY), garden or allotment ideas, plus crafting or up-cycling; over the weeks we’ve had some fabulous and inspiring content. If you’re a fan of all things ‘home and garden’ and have a post that you’d like to share, my good friend Jess and I would love you to come and link up. Home Etc Favourites Favourite posts from last week came from Fionnuala at Three Sons Later and Lins who blogs over at Boo and Maddie. Fionnuala showed us her upcycled toy grocery shop. I remember when she first mentioned it, back in October last year, and there was much discussion about how she should paint it — what colour and style etc. It’s so lovely to see the finished item now.  Such a gorgeous thing to inspire a child and ignite imaginative play. Lins’ post was a little further away from home — she shared her recent holiday in Cornwall and showed us the most beautiful… Read More

131 weeks and 5 days | How to make a beach hut birdhouse

Back in July I was asked to take part in a little upcycling competition, entitled make a house a home, with Ocean Finance. You know me — any excuse to get the paints out — there’s nothing I like more than giving something a face-lift. In the past I’ve given a boring old chest of drawers a makeover, as well as giving a little shoe-rack a new lease of life and turning it into a bench-seat. So of course I agreed! Roll on a few months — with just a couple of days to spare — I finally got around to making a start (time management is definitely not one of my strong points since having the twins). To complete the task, I was sent a sweet little wooden birdhouse plus a £25 Buddly Crafts voucher to buy any supplies I might need, to turn it into something special. It was a bit of a plain Jane. And also quite lonely looking. So what’s a girl to do with a lonely little birdhouse? Make things a little more sociable and add a couple of others to keep it company of course! I decided to turn my bird house in to a row of beach huts. How to make a beach hut birdhouse We went to Brighton recently and saw lots of lovely… Read More

130 weeks and 6 days | Our cool caravan {Dolly}

When I was younger, I had numerous pet hates. People who don’t thank you when you hold the door open for them — the sliver of ear that pokes through certain hairstyles (mainly on women) — bourbon biscuits — touring caravans… the list was quite extensive. Roll on a few years and it’s amazing how age mellows a person and these little irks are no longer, well, irksome. And in some cases I’ve done a complete 360° turn and the pet hate has morphed into a pet love (although this will never be said for the ear thing — I still hate that). And Bourbon biscuits. However, touring caravans have redeemed themselves to such an extent, I actually shed a little tear when we waved goodbye to our last one. Who’d have thought it? Not me, that’s for sure. But that’s genuinely what happened. Our cool caravan Dolly — funny little box on wheels — had became such an integral part of our family life that I was gutted when we sold her a few weeks ago. A vision of shabby chic — probably more shabby than chic — and the catalyst for so many amazing adventures. She offered the most comfortable bed and shelter from torrential rain (I’m thinking Glastonbury… Read More

Hillarys Crafts Competition | A shoe rack IKEA hack!

My lovely friend Katie who writes at the blog Mami 2 Five  gave me the heads up recently about a fab craft competition that was being run by Hillarys – the people who make amazing window dressings. The main aim of the competition was to turn a 1 metre square of their Roman blind fabric into a crafty creation. Now, I’m no seamstress so this was the perfect opportunity for me to practice my sewing skills and create something lovely. After not much deliberation I settled on upcycling a shoe rack that we’ve been using in our bathroom as towel storage — a shoe rack IKEA hack, if you will ;) I’ve been desperate to do something lovely with this sad little shoe rack for a while — it’s the perfect size for our bathroom and offers great storage but it was so ugly. So I decided to turn it into a little bench seat. Perfect for the boys to sit on when they’re getting dry, still giving us the same storage as before and looking a LOT more pretty too. Here’s what I did. I made sure I left a couple of cm around each piece so I could turn them over and make a hem. I… Read More

110 weeks and 1 day | A chest of drawers makeover

The Easter bank holiday gave me so many opportunities to roll up my sleeves and get a little creative. Four lovely long days, where my boy was at home to keep an eye on our tiny sons, which gave me the chance to crack on with some projects I’ve been contemplating for a while. We made Easter bonnets and Easter salt dough decorations, to hang on a little tree. Plus I tried my hand at flower arranging for a styling challenge. But the thing I was most desperate to do, over the four day bank holiday, was a chest of drawers makeover. We’ve had two  IKEA tallboys for more than 15 years now and I love them — because they generously proportioned and can hold a lot of clobber — but they aren’t the most attractive pieces of furniture we own. They’re pretty enormous, which was fine when we first bought them. Our first home was the first floor of beautiful Victorian mansion block; huge rooms, with 12ft high ceilings, warranted large pieces of furniture to fill the space. More than a decade on and we live in a tiny cottage — with fairly low ceilings and modest room sizes — and as a result, one of these… Read More

52 weeks and 6 days | Upcycling an old desk

Back in the winter of 2013, I created a Secret Santa gift for another member of the #CraftBlogClub that I’m part of. This fantastic club is the brainchild of the lovely Emma, who writes over at Frugally Peachy. Since I first joined, there are now lots more members and we get together each Tuesday evening (or some in my case, as I’m often busy with the Twinkles!) to chat, on Twitter, about our crafty projects. Following the success of the Secret Santa challenge, Emma laid down the gauntlet and the first challenge for 2014 was to up-cycle something. A piece of furniture, jewellery, clothing… there were no set guidelines. Just take an item and give it a new lease of life. Given the fact that I’ve been working off a shelving unit for the last 9 months, I figured that my Mac — and the rest of my paraphernalia — needed a decent home. A proper desk. Before I had the babies, I ran my business from a bedroom on our first floor landing. This lovely room was chock-full of all of my work stuff; samples, paper-stock, cutting board, printer — and a HUGE desk. But when we found out I… Read More