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Tag Archives: decorating
  • Posted on May 5, 2015

    Beat the Bank Holiday Blues with Letter Art!

    Is it Tuesday already? We hope you all had a super weekend, but we just can’t believe how quickly the bank holiday has flown by and how many emails were sat waiting when we got into the office this morning! Amongst the mail mayhem however, we discovered a great email from Hobbycraft with ideas for creating decorative letters… and instantly we were feeling calm and crafty! While we love Hobbycraft’s colourful suggestions, our instinctive response was to turn one of our favourite books from Clare Youngs (who are we kidding, we love them all!) for even more Letter Art inspiration! Needless to say, here’s a project from the book to beat your back-to-work-after-the-bank-holiday blues…

    Foamboard Lollipop Letters

    Use colorful scraps of wallpaper and pages from old books to create a collection of letters with a lovely vintage appeal. The thin sticks are available from craft stores. Cut them to different lengths to make a charming display for a shelf in a child’s bedroom.

    Foamboard Lollipop Letters - O

    YOU WILL NEED:

    • Letter template

    • Plain or graph paper

    • Ruler

    • Pencil

    • Tracing paper

    • Masking tape

    • Craft knife

    • Cutting mat

    • Foamboard measuring approximately 8¼ x 10¼in. (21 x 26 cm) per letter

    • Washi tape

    • Scissors

    • Craft glue

    • Patterned paper

    • Thin wooden sticks 1/8 –¼ in. (3–5 mm) thick and 8–12 in. (20–30 cm) long per letter

    • Block of wood measuring approximately 4½ x 1½ x 1 in. (11 x 4 x 3 cm)

    • Pages from old books

    • Drill

    • Awl

    Foamboard Lollipop Letters Step 1

    1. Choose your letter from the templates in the book (or create your own) and enlarge it to the right size, either by using a photocopier or scaling the letter up on graph paper. I made mine approximately 8 in. (20 cm) in height. Trace out the letter and transfer it onto a piece of foamboard (see Tracing technique below). Protecting your work surface with a cutting mat, cut out the shape using a craft knife and a ruler for any straight edges.

    Foamboard Lollipop Letters Step 2

    2. Line the outside edges of the letter with strips of washi tape. When lining a curved edge, use scissors to make small snips into the overlapping tape—every ¼ in. (5 mm), or so—to enable you to fit the tape neatly around the curve.

    Foamboard Lollipop Letters Step 3

    3. Spread glue all over the front of the letter shape and place a piece of patterned paper, right side up, over the top. Smooth out and press down all over. Allow the glue to dry before using a craft knife to cut off any overlapping paper. You’ll find this easier to do if you place your letter face down on your cutting mat. Repeat on the other side of the letter, using a different paper if you like, so that both sides are covered.

    Foamboard Lollipop Letters Step 4

    4. Cut a length of stick. Cut a strip of washi tape to the same length and lay it down on your work surface, sticky side up. Place the stick on the tape and wrap the tape around the stick neatly, to cover it.

    Foamboard Lollipop Letters Step 5

    5. To cover the block of wood, center it on a page taken from an old book. Draw around the base. Remove the block and draw a border around your drawn outline. It needs to be the same depth as the sides of the block. Use a pencil and a ruler to mark cutting guides as shown. Cut along these guides to make four flaps.

    Foamboard Lollipop Letters Step 6

    6. Spread glue all over the wrong side of the paper and place the block back in position. Wrap the two short sides of the block first, sticking the paper flaps to the long sides of the block. Then wrap the two long sides.

    Foamboard Lollipop Letters Step 7

    7. Drill a hole in the center of the block of wood, that is equal to the width of the stick. Use an awl to make a hole the same size in the foamboard at the base of the letter.

    Foamboard Lollipop Letters Step 8

    8. Push the stick into the wooden base and then push the letter onto the opposite end of the stick.

     Foamboard Lollipop Letters Base Block

    TRACING

    For many projects you need to transfer the template onto paper or card stock (card), using tracing paper. Place a sheet of tracing paper over the template and secure with some masking tape. Trace the lines with a hard 4 (2H) pencil, then turn the tracing paper over and go over the lines again on the reverse with a softer pencil, such as a 2 (HB). Now turn the tracing paper over again and place it in position on your chosen paper or card stock (card). Go over all the lines carefully with the 4 (2H) pencil, and then remove the tracing paper. This will give you a nice, clear outline.

    Letter Art by Clare Youngs

    For more creative ideas to decorate your home, Letter Art by Clare Youngs is available here.


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK and was tagged with homemade, Clare Youngs, handmade, decorating, 2014, project

  • Posted on April 13, 2015

    Maker Spaces blog tour

    Emily Quinton’s family motto 'Create something every day', along with her interest in how creative lives are lived in the home and in the studio, has provided the inspiration for Maker Spaces. She explores the important link between makers and their home and work spaces, looking at homes and studios inhabited by creators around the world, all illustrated beautifully by Helen Cathcart's gorgeous photography. We celebrated the publication of this beautiful and fascinating book with a blog tour visiting a range of interior and craft bloggers, all of whom relished the insider peek into the secret worlds of designers and makers. Look at all the fab bloggers we had taking part!

    Some of the bloggers felt inspired to share their own ‘maker spaces’ and we’ve created a pinterest board here to show you all!

    We started things off on Lobster & Swan, who observed ‘a calming place to retreat to is also essential to most makers’ process…and Emily’s book captures this perfectly. So if you’re looking for ideas of how to incorporate some home comforts into your own studio or workshop, this is the perfect book for you’.

    Next we headed over to Happy Interior Blog where the book was perfectly matched to the crockery!

    This was followed by an interview with Emily over on The Lifestyle Editor, who said ‘If you have ever been curious about how other creative style their homes, or what their studio and work space look like, then this book is a must-have…to satisfy the curiosity in all of us!’ We couldn’t agree more!

    Stops on Modern Craft Workshop, My Scandinavian Home and MadePeachy shared some of their favourite images from the book, and My Scandinavian Home summed up our feelings perfectly with “Whenever I hear the words 'illustrator', 'artist', 'set designer' I pretty much know their home is going to be fab’.

    Yvestown loved that each maker was given their own pages within the book, and shared some photos of her own ‘maker space’ with her review, including some gorgeous shot of her basement studio. Such beautiful light!

    Next we visited Such Pretty Things who loved seeing how different makers had designed their spaces to meet their needs, and the value placed on the importance of ‘surrounding oneself with the things that inspire them and feed their creativity – the things that give them joy’ – such a lovely way to put it!

    Last but by no means least, we finished up with Décor Art UK, whose favourite chapter of the book was the last – Making a Living, noting ‘creativity takes courage… and it starts right where you are. Meet some of the most exciting modern makers and adopt the wonderful author’s motto – create something every day – Maker Spaces will inspire you in more ways than you can think of!’

    What a fab way to finish! We’ve loved this blog tour journey and if you’re feeling inspired, make sure you head along to the book launch and makers' pop-up shop at West Elm! You can see all the details of the event over here.

    Maker Spaces by Emily Quinton is available here.


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Featured, Interviews, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with interiors, decorating, Book Launch, photos, 2015, creative, events, Maker Spaces, makers

  • Posted on February 24, 2015

    Bohemian Modern blog tour

    ‘The Bohemian Modern home is a place where creativity, individuality, and a wild mix of colour and pattern meet in a modern environment’

    So begins the blurb of Emily Henson’s newest book, Bohemian Modern and we thought what better way to celebrate publishing this wonderful title than with a blog tour reflecting this. With reviews and giveaways on some of our favourite blogs around it was a beautiful week, showcasing the variety in the Bohemian Modern style, and we’ve gathered up all the posts here for you to read and re-read at your leisure!

    The week kicked off with a lovely review at Lobster and Swan, highlighting her favourite aspects of the style. ‘The best thing about a bohemian modern home, is that it can be achieved on a small budget if you have some imagination, a thrifty nature and are comfortable mixing different eras and styles’ This was her favourite page from the book!

    Next we visited the splendid H is for Home, who gave us an overview of the book and its themes: ‘The spaces are stylish, yet reassuring and welcoming’.

    A stunning post on The Lifestyle Editor demonstrated both the varied looks you can achieve with the Bohemian Modern style, and also the fact that it isn’t just ‘brown and orange hues’! We couldn’t agree more, and just love this gorgeous blue.

    Day four stopped at Such Pretty Things with a lovely review, including this more ‘subdued and tranquil palette’ – once again showing that Bohemian Modern doesn’t necessarily mean a riot of colour.

    Friday 13th was not unlucky for us, as we visited The Little Green Shed, who ‘adores homes that are unique, full of life and that have developed over time’, making Bohemian Modern an ideal style! She picked out the chapter Back to Nature as her favourite, featuring several rooms from this home, including this lovely sitting room.

    Last, but by no means least, we rounded off a beautiful week on Happy Interior Blog. He felt that his home was a little urban bohemian and he illustrated his post with some photographs of the book amongst his own bohemian touches. We especially loved this smiley cactus pot. So cute!

    What a fantastic week with creativity, individuality, colour and pattern abound!

     

    Bohemian Modern by Emily Henson, with photography by Katya de Grunwald, is available here.


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with homemade, interiors, decorating, Emily Henson, blog tour, 2015, bohemian

  • Posted on March 13, 2013

    Annie Sloan on what inspired her to write her new book

    Annie Sloan's new book Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and More has just become available so we thought it would be a good time to share a few words from her on why she wrote this book...

    Over the years I have written many books, but this one is very personal as it charts the renovation of our farmhouse in northern France.

    Above: The farmhouse, built from stones with cob (mud and straw) walls, has other outbuildings which we currently
    use as storage. I particularly love this old oak door, and am planning to restore and reinstate the old fence. Although we have owned the property for more than 20 years, over the past 12 months we have extended the house and redecorated throughout. This has given me a wonderful opportunity to experiment with new techniques (such as using my paint to dye fabrics) and the perfect excuse to buy more furniture from local markets and village fairs.

    We chose the house because it is easy to get to from our home in Oxford. It takes an hour to reach the port on the south coast of England, and from there we catch the “midnight” ferry. After sleeping overnight on-board, we arrive in France in the early morning, with just another hour’s drive ahead of us. The house is situated in the middle of the green and rolling Normandy countryside, an area renowned for its milk and cream, from the famous Normandy cows, and also for its apples.

    There are orchards everywhere, and cider and calvados, the delicious apple brandy, are produced in abundance.

    The house started as a retreat for the whole family, where the children could run about and do as they liked. We stayed there every summer, spending our days on the nearby beaches or in the surrounding countryside. The children played in the fields of tall maize and rode their bikes along the empty roads. They searched for glowworms, played in the tiny stream, made hideouts in the attics and sheds, and generally had a good time. We spent Christmases there, too, and even though it was very cold, we would soon warm up sitting by the big log fire and have tremendous fun.

    The house is old. One of the beams in the kitchen has the date 1776 carved into the wood, although parts of the building may actually be older than that. On the ground floor, the walls are made of stone, with mud walls above, which was the traditional way to build houses all over Britain and Europe. The previous owners had tried their hand at modernization, and we spent ages removing the hardboard and plastic they had used to cover the ancient wooden beams, as well as scraping green gloss paint from the walls.

    As the house is located in the heart of the French countryside, I chose to decorate it in a predominantly French rustic style. But, as you would imagine, I have also included other influences that continue to inspire me. When I decorate a room, I start with one large item of furniture as the pivotal piece against which everything else is measured.

    Above: The country kitchen is next to the Swedish-style room, so it was important to make certain that the styles flowed easily. I have taken a color from one room and used it in the next. Smaller pieces are then added as I find them and the rooms are constantly evolving. I dress a room until it feels right, which is why you may notice curtains hanging at a window in one photograph but in another shot of the same room there are none.

    I have divided the book into six chapters, with the first on how to use color and make up your own using my paints.

    This is followed by chapters on each of the decorating styles that are important to me: French Style, Boho Chic, Swedish Style, Country, and Modern Contemporary. I have broadly allocated a room for each of these styles but, naturally, there is some overlap, so you will find a Boho Chic painted chandelier in the Swedish room, for instance. Colors in one room will also feature in another. It is in this way that the rooms work together and always feel connected.


    Annie Sloan's book, Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and More is available now. You can order the book direct from Annie's website, our own or all good bookshops and online stockists.


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Interviews, Interviews, News, News, UK, What's new, What's new and was tagged with interiors, annie sloan, chalk paint, country style, easter, bank holiday, decorating, french

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