Sunday, 29 March 2015

Radiator Pipe Transformation

Dinki Dots - Radiator Pipe Covers

This isn't a particularly pretty or dramatic makeover, but it has made me very happy!

If you've been following for a while, you will have seen the bathroom transformation I posted about getting on for two years ago now.  (I really must take more pictures of it with bits and bobs in - it was just finished in those pictures, without any accessories.)

Since then, it has been on my list to paint the pipes on the heated towel rail... which looked like this:

Dinki Dots - Radiator Pipe Covers

Not exactly in keeping with the rest of the bathroom!  It's shameful that it's taken me until today to finally sort this out.

It is purely by chance that it's now complete.  A guy from my team at work showed me a before and after of some radiator pipes he'd just covered (him and his wife have moved into a similar style house as mine, so I force him to tell me every bit of decorating and DIYing they carry out!)

Not only did he enlighten me to the fact that chrome-effect radiator-pipe covers existed (who knew?!  Not me!) but - after I got ridiculously over-excited by the discovery - he brought me in some of their leftovers so I could cover mine.  I am most grateful!

If you have any that need covering yourself, this is what you need:

Dinki Dots - Radiator Pipe Covers

Tubes of covering which are longer than the pipes you need to cover (I believe these came from ebay), a tape measure, pencil and scissors.

Measure the pipes, mark up the correct length on the tubes (pencil probably wasn't the best thing to use, but I made it work), then cut to size.

Dinki Dots - Radiator Pipe Covers

You can see above that it is just a roll of the chrome-effect material that you can open out and wrap around the pipe when it's the right size - soooo easy!

So, let's see a before and after:

Dinki Dots - Radiator Pipe Covers

As I said, it's not a very exciting project, but I am so glad to cross that little job off the list and it just finishes things off in the bathroom at last!

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Washi Tape Pen Pot

This is a very quick easy project, using our favourite... washi tape!

Washi Tape Pen Pot : Dinki Dots

I had an empty Betty Crocker buttercream tub.  (I usually make my own buttercream, but the Lumberjack bought some for the birthday cake he made me in December.  He thought it was the best bet, after the year before he tried squirty cream which soaked into the cake, aaww.  Still appreciated, though!)

Worth mentioning too - those buttercream pots are dangerous!!  The temptation to just tuck in with a spoon is too great for a mere mortal such as myself to resist!

Anyway, back to the project... not that it needs much explaining.

1.  Remove the label from the tub and wash thoroughly.

2.  Pick some coordinating rolls of washi tape from your collection...

Washi Tape : Dinki Dots

3.  Wrap around the tub in stripes, overlapping very slightly at the back.

Washi Tape Pen Pot : Dinki Dots

Done!  It couldn't be easier.

Washi Tape Pen Pot : Dinki Dots

An unnecessary number of pictures of the finished pot for you - you'd have got the idea with just one!

It's a great project for when you feel like some instant results, and a useful item too.

And, for fun, here are my Valentine's tulips in the early morning sun back in February - the sun was catching them beautifully.

Tulips: Dinki Dots

Tulips: Dinki Dots

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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Cable and Cotton Lights

I first saw Cable and Cotton lights a couple of years ago or so and, after admiring them for some time, I am now lucky enough to be in possession of a beautiful string of their colourful lights!

Let me tell you now... what a great company and what a great product!  Customer service was spot-on and delivery was prompt.

The only hold-up in the whole procedure was my extreme indecision over my colour choice.  Damn them for their many gorgeous options!  They have pre-selected sets and the option to choose your own colours, and I veered wildly between different sets and my own colour concoctions.  Eventually I had to stop annoying myself and those around me, bite the bullet, and pick.  I was very excited when this package arrived in the post...

The balls look so pretty laid out in the box, I almost didn't want to unpack them!

Any doubts about my colour choice quickly disappeared.

I picked my own colours and chose:

Pale Blue
Sky Blue
Anais Green
Pebble Grey

The lights are available in a string of 20, 35 or 50 - I've got the chain of 20.  The balls are separate from the fairy lights when they arrive, and you assemble the string by pushing a bulb into each ball through the hole.  This means you can play about to get the order of colours that you like before inserting the bulbs.

That part was the bit I wasn't too keen on, as you have to give the bulbs quite a firm push to get them in (so that they're secure once in place) and I was nervous I'd break something.  You get used to it as you go along, though, and if the balls do bend in, you can pull them back in place - this is all explained in the simple clear instructions.

Then the exciting part - plugging them in!

They look great off and on...

And as it gets darker, they just get better and better!


Another important aspect of the Cable and Cotton company is that they are very ethical in the treatment of their tradeswomen in Thailand.  You can read more about that here.

I may be gushing, but I really do love these lights.  They make the room cosy and inviting - I can see myself succumbing to further sets in different colours for other spots around the home.  (Seriously tempted by the Turkish Delight set - so vibrant!)

I can wholeheartedly recommend Cable and Cotton - go to the website and take a look!

Cable and Cotton
Colour Sets
Choose Your Own

Disclaimer:  I have received a complimentary set of lights for the purpose of this review.  All pictures, words and opinions are honest and my own.

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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Bias Binding

Last July I started making myself a top.  After much struggling, I had most of a top made in my final fabric and got to the point where I had to make some bias binding for the neckline and armholes, and that's as far as I got...

Months have passed... until last Sunday, when I gave myself a good talking to and got on with it.  The Lumberjack was working, and I thought it was the perfect time to get stuck in.  Not that he has a problem with me sewing, but for some unfathomable reason he seems to get alarmed by scissors and random scatterings of pins on the floor.  Just watch where you're walking, I say!  (I know I have a craft room, but I tend to spread throughout the house with these sort of projects!)

Anyway... I cut 1 inch wide strips of fabric on the bias, or diagonal:

I did some very fiddly pinning onto the neckline:

And some rather neat sewing, even if I do say so myself!

I can't believe it came out so well - it looks like a proper neckline!  Who'd've thunk it?!  I've never done this before, so was very relieved that it came out looking neat.

I've done the armholes too, and hemmed the bottom, so in theory it's wearable now.  I just want to add some buttons to the front, and look at shaping the back a bit, as it still has a bit too much fabric.  I'm either going to do a couple of back darts, or attempt a bit of gathering.  (My attempts at swayback adjustments on the toile didn't work out, so I scrapped them).  Once I'm finished I'll be sure to show you the top in all it's glory!

Let me just add - this binding took me HOURS!  I'd never make it on the Sewing Bee - how do they do it?!

Oh, and the fabric is actually more of a teal/turquoise colour - it looks more on the blue side in these pictures.

Fingers crossed I'll have a presentable top to show you soon!

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Book Reviews - February

Another month of 2015 is over, and I'm here with a brief review of the books I read in February... just two again...

Worth Dying For: (Jack Reacher 15)
- Lee Child

The next in the Jack Reacher books, after reading number 14 (61 Hours) last month.  For some reason I struggled to get into this at first, but not through any fault of the book.  I think I just had other things going on, so didn't really get the chance to sit and read it enough.  Once I did get into it, however, I was hooked and really enjoyed it!

Jack Reacher has ended up in another small town, whose residents are being controlled by a nasty bunch of brothers.  There are mysteries past and present to be solved... lucky Reacher is there then!  I won't give anything away, but it was more typical Jack Reacher shenanigans, with a touch of sadness.

Sharp Objects

- Gillian Flynn

I went to see 'Gone Girl' at the cinema, and loved the film.  I later found out it was based on the book by Gillian Flynn, so I requested all three of her novels for Christmas.  'Sharp Objects' is the first one.

Oooooh, what can I say?!  I couldn't put it down - so good!  It's pretty dark, somewhat disturbing, and keeps you intrigued throughout.  Camille is a journalist who reluctantly has to go back to the hometown she's kept away from for many years, in order to report on a year old murder and a currently missing girl.  A more intense and sinister read than the escapism of Jack Reacher, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Keep away if you like a cheery read - this isn't exactly uplifting!  It sticks with you, though, and keeps you thinking about it.

I'm looking forward to reading the next book by this author!

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

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