Sunday, 22 February 2015

Organisation: Shoe Care Box

We've been slowly but surely working on our tiny utility nook.  Whilst waiting for coats of paint to dry, I got caught up in the below frivolous little project!

We already had the Variera box from Ikea.  I raided my collection of gold peel-offs from my card-making days, and got sticking.  Quick and simple, but I was really pleased with the result.

As for the contents, I just gathered all the random ancient tubs of polish and what-not that we had hanging around.  I never bother to polish my shoes, but I probably should.  Maybe I will now!  (Yeah, right...!)

This is just a small step towards a tidy and organised utility space... I hope to share more with you soon...

Check out my Organisation tab for more ideas.

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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Beanbag Cube

Thanks for the great comments on my spare room.  I enjoyed reading them, as always! 

Ok... now onto a bit of sewing!  This is something I made for my nephew for his third birthday, which was a few days after Christmas.  I was a terrible blogger and didn't take any photos at all!!  So, my dear sister-in-law (thanks Roon!) took some on her phone and whatsapped them to me the other day... so excuse the phone pics, and the fact that it's a very tricky item to photograph!

A few years back, I made a beanbag cube for myself, which you can see here (in a post with pretty rubbish pictures, even with a proper camera - I hope my photography skills have improved at least in some way since then!)

From the time I made that last cube I'd had in the back of my mind to make one for my nephew, but he was only a tiny baby back then.  These days, when he comes round to my house, he loves jumping on and rolling around with mine, so I thought he'd got to the age where he'd appreciate one of his own.

And he does seem to be enjoying it!

I bought thick cotton fabric - not sure what you'd call it, but it's thicker than normal weight cotton for quilting etc.  Hopefully it'll withstand all the bouncing!  (If not, Roon - let me know and I'll fix it somehow!)

It has a concealed zip on the bottom that looks rather neat, even if I say so myself, with the zip pull tucked away - but I'm afraid I have no pictures for you.  The idea is that Theo won't notice it and start investigating the inside of the cube!  I did buy beans that come in a kind of stocking bag, though, so if he does make his way inside hopefully it won't be too messy!  He's never noticed the zip on my cube, so I think we should be ok.

Spot the Olaf peeping over!

So, a bit late - but the beanbag cube gets it's time on the blog!  You can see my other sewing projects on my Sewing tab.

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Friday, 6 February 2015

Spare Room Transformation

Well, this was redecorated last year, but I hadn't had chance to get any decent photos until now!  (There may have been a couple of boxes and whatnot hanging around, looking untidy...)

There are still a few things I want to do, but I thought I might as well show you now.  If I wait until it's perfect, it'll never happen!

Above is how the room looked when we viewed the house (estate agent picture)... and below shows the state it was in after being used as our junk room for a year or so:

Let's take a closer look at that wallpaper:

Two walls were in one wallpaper and two in the other.  When we stripped them, the walls weren't a pretty sight!

Anyway, that's enough unpleasantness for one day - let's get on to how it looks today!

The walls were plastered and painted, coving was put up, the skirting, door and carpet replaced (none of it by us, I'm ashamed to say - we got the professionals in!) and here we go... (we finally got round to putting up the blinds and pictures last weekend)...

The paint colour is Blue Boy by Johnstone's, which is a kind of light bluey/greeney/greyey colour.

We bought a corner wardrobe from Ikea, to maximise the bit of space we had.  We use it for coats and clothing we don't wear often.  The Lumberjack was insistent that he didn't want all white furniture, so we went for some wood-effect to warm things a little, with a white door that ties in with the bookcase you'll see in a sec.  (I'm still a little unsure about how it looks in the two-tone, but it's functional at least.)

I was planning to get new bedding in bluey/greeney/turquoise/lime colours and use those as the accent colours in the room.  But temporarily went with this stripy bedding from my old flat, and well, I just liked it!  Seems silly to waste money on new bedding when this looks colourful and cheery!  It also works with turquoise and lime as it has those colours in it.

I love my two peacock prints above the bed!  Hard to get a decent picture of them, but you can see them a bit more clearly below...

They are the designs of a Bristol artist called Bex Glover - you can see her work and order some of it here.  I'm so pleased with them!  I used a black Ikea Ribba frame - the black ties in well with the touches of black within the print, and I love the contrast it gives against the soft wall colour.

Here's the other side of the room:

The bookcase is a work in progress - definitely not styled!  There are more books to squeeze on somehow (the Lumberjack has a lot of books on tree and nature-related topics!)

We also have plans for that blank bit of wall, when we get the time/motivation.

So... let's get onto some before and after fun!

Definitely an improvement, I think!

Check out our other decorating projects in my Home Improvement tab.

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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Book Reviews - January

I've decided to do a brief review of books I read throughout the year.  I like to see reviews on other blogs to give me ideas of new books to read, so I thought that some of you might find it interesting and it will also serve as a record for myself of what I've read.  I'm going to post on a monthly basis.

So, here goes with January's reads... I've only finished two books this month, damn that full-time job getting in the way of reading and crafting and fun things!:

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
- Mindy Kaling

Mindy writes for and acts in 'The Office' (American version) - she is also the creator and star of 'The Mindy Project', a comedy series which I love watching.  As I find that series so funny, I thought I'd give her book a go.

I'm usually a fiction reader and I think this might be the first autobiography (or biography) I've read.  (I prefer to live in a happy fantasy made-up world!)  I just got the impression it would be a fun read, and I was right.  It's a quick-to-read light-hearted book.  You hear about Mindy's childhood and how she came to be where she is today, interspersed with random musings and abstract thoughts which made me laugh.

It's seem less like an autobiography and more like listening to a funny, clever friend chatter away.  If you want to relax and have a laugh with an easy read, I recommend this book.  I really enjoyed it.

61 Hours: (Jack Reacher 14)
- Lee Child

I started reading the Jack Reacher books last Spring/Summer and have now finished the 14th one.

Jack Reacher was an Army Military Policeman and the books start about six months after his exit from the Army.  He is very big, strong, and tough (not quite captured by little Tom Cruise in the Jack Reacher film!) and seems to find himself in the midst of trouble wherever he goes.  Thank goodness he's around to lend a hand and save the day!  He is a bit of rebel, and does things his own way, by his own moral code, but always ultimately for the good.

In 61 Hours, Reacher - thanks to a mini-bus accident - ends up trapped by a storm in the freezing cold town of Bolton, South Dakota.  But of course, dodgy-goings-on are afoot!  (He does encounter all sorts of mischief, this fella!)  I don't like to give away much of the story, so I'll just say that I really enjoyed 61 Hours.  It is a fast-paced, easy read, that keeps you interested and turning the pages (or clicking the button on your electronic reading device).  A great bit of escapism, not too taxing!

And that's it for January.  More next month!

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* Links to the books I've read are Amazon affiliate links

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