Repaint and decoupage an old wooden chair

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A boring wooden chair can have new life breathed into it for very little money but lots of imagination, with a mixture of painting, some good photocopied images and a bit of sticking.

You will need

Wooden chair

Paint brush

Photocopy paper

Pencil

Tangerine Twist paint from Dulux 3 x £1 tester pots at B&Q

PVA glue

Paint brush

Sand paper

Scissors

Blue tack

 

Instructions

  1. Sand the chair
  2. Paint the chair and leave to dry
  3. Find copyright free designs on the internet, enlarge and photocopy the designs
  4. Cut out the shapes
  5. Blue tack the images into position on the chair. When you are happy with composition stick into place using PVA glue.
  6. Paint on coats of PVA varnish to give a good finish to the chair.

Tips

Instead of buying new paint, use what you have in the house and mix colours to create something new and interesting. This is a great way of using left over paints.

Before photo –

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Orange Chair Detail copyOrange Chair Back copy

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Eight easy fabric prints using low tech materials including string, pencil erasers, pipe lagging and vegetables

As many of you may have seen in one of my previous posts it is very simple to create patterns using little more than things you find around the house or in the garden. I have a you Tube video that shows using  a pepper to make a print. The designs below have been made with all different items. Some of the designs use  the same method but are printed in a different colour way. They are all printed onto fabrics using Dylon fabric paint. The prints are  fixed by ironing onto the back of the fabric once the paint has dried. IMG_2938

This first print is made using pipe lagging to create a circle and a dot from an eraser at the end of the end of a pencil.  The second print uses the same method but in a different colour way.

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The print below was printed using a small red cabbage cut in half. IMG_2942The next design was made in two stages. First of all a halved potato was used to create the pink back ground. This was left to dry before the next part of the design was added. This is a celery end, the bit you usually throw away or put in a stock pot.  The celery head was dipped in red and applied on top of the pink potato dots. It looks quite rose like. IMG_2948The blue and lime design below has been created using a small block of wood with elastic bands wrapped round it dipped in blue paint and then the lime dots were added later using the pencil eraser once again.

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Pipe lagging and pencil erasers came into their own again for this design. IMG_2944.jpg

The  circular design is made up of a new potato cut in half and that old pencil eraser making dots round each circle. IMG_2946

I love this design it is another block this time wrapped in string printed in black and, yes you’ve guessed it, that old eraser again this time creating red dots.

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Create your own African print pouffe

POUFFE

 

I loved the idea of making a pouffe from African batik style fabric. So wacky and at the same time the perfect item to lift the look of a staid room. Batik is very popular in the South West London in areas such as Tooting and Brixton but you can also buy it in markets in the East of London and Paris.

You will need:

African batik fabrics available in London market stalls 2m

Orange fabric for the base 80cm

Calico 2m

Hook and loop tape 1packet

Water-soluble pen

Beanbag filling I large bag

Pins, needles and thread

Scissors

Paper for pattern

Note:

The instructions for the outer and the calico inner bag are the same. I made the outer part first and then the inner. I used 1cm seam allowance throughout.

 

Make your pattern.

  1. The top piece should be a circle with a 25 1/4 ins (64cm) diameter. This includes a 1cm seam allowance. Draw the circle onto paper and use this to cut the top of the lining and the top of the calico liner.
  2. Cut the paper circle in half and add 4cm strip of paper along each straight edge. Use this pattern to cut two bottom pieces for the outer and the calico liner.
  3. The sides of the pouffee are made up from sections that are 13ins (33cm) from top to bottom including seam allowance . The width of each section will depend on the pieces of fabric you have. The finished piece will be about 80in plus seam allowance. The amount of seam allowance will be dependent on the number of panels used.

 

Instructions

1.Use the patterns to cut out all the pieces from the calico and the African Batik fabrics. I used the large motif that was perfect for the top of the pouffe. I decided to piece together lots of different designs to make the side. As the base is not seen, I used some plain orange fabric.

2.First make base with the hook and loop tape opening for the top fabric. On both base pieces turn the straight edge under by 1cm then turn again by 3cm. Sew down, then pin and sew strips of hook and loop tape along both sides.

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3.Press the hook and loop tape edges together then machine sew the ends of the seams closed.

3 sew hook and loop on top of one side and wrong side of other

4.With right sides facing, using a 1cm seam allowance pin sew together the sidepieces.

4 with right sides facing sew the panels on to each other..jpg

5 Press the seams open so you have a continuous smooth side panel.

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6.With right sides facing, pin and sew the sides to first the top and then the base making a drum shape. Turn through the gap so it is right side facing out.

6 pin the sides to the top6 with a running stitch sew the top to the sides.

7.To make the liner, repeat the process with the calico. Put the calico liner inside the fabric cover, then fill with polystyrene beads.

7 fill the calico liner with polystyrene beads.jpg

 

Tip

Fold and mark the fabric for the top, base and sides into eighths. When you come to pin on the sides, match up the pen marks on the top and base.

 

Stockists

Hook and loop tape, Water Soluble Pen

http://www.korbond.co.uk/ korbond.co.uk/

 

Beanbag Filling

http://www.homecrafts.co.uk/

 

DETAIL

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A Russian Garden created from recycled bottles.

Photo 30-06-2017, 08 07 31 Valentina Karelina and Yury Karelin are the parents of a very creative  friend of mine. She happened to mention that her parents had created a garden out of plastic bottles.  As a lover of all things recycled, I asked if she would send me some images, and  let me interview her.

Where do your parents live ?

They live in a small rural Russian town about 250 km  from Moscow. The population is approximately 30,000 but is dwindling as young people are moving away to cities where there are more job opportunities. The summers are hot between 20-30C whilst  the winters are cold minus 15-30C.

Photo 30-06-2017, 08 08 13

What gave them the idea to create this magical garden?

The overwhelming amount of plastic that was being thrown away  and the desire to do something  creative and fun during long winter evenings. They mostly make everything out of plastic in winter and then put their art out into their 4 acre garden, in the  spring.

Photo 30-06-2017, 08 10 49

Does Russia have a big waste problem like we do in the UK? 

Russia, has a big waste problem and because there are vast swathes of forest going on for thousand of miles,  the plastic rubbish is often just dumped  in the middle of them.

Photo 30-06-2017, 08 11 53

Where did they find all the items to create the garden and how much has it cost to put the whole thing together?

They collect bottles from their friends and relatives.  All the plastic is basically  empty discarded bottles, caps, buckets etc. It’s labour intensive but not expensive. When one has the desire to create you  don’t notice how much time you spend on it, as you  enjoy it so much!

Photo 30-06-2017, 08 06 16

Have they painted the bottles? If so what with?

They spray paint the  inside of the bottles so the paint doesn’t wash out during the rainy season.

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Do they use  a mixture of painted and non-painted?

Yes, if the bottle is lets say green then they leave it as it is. For instance  they are currently doing a flower bouquet from bottles hence green is very relevant. If the bottle is clear plastic then they paint it.

Photo 30-06-2017, 08 15 10

How long did it take to put together? Is it still ongoing? They started 3 years ago and they make new pieces all the time!

Photo 29-06-2017, 19 12 56

Thank you 

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5 Key looks from ARGOS for Autumn Winter 2017

The Homeware team at Argos have really come up with some nice looking furniture and accessories for this autumn and winter.  I have issues with Argos stores and their queuing system and I haven’t always liked the quality of their goods, but not this time. There are five ranges that fit in with today’s trends and lifestyles.

INHABIT

Inhabit 1

The pace of modern culture has fueled a desire and appreciation for relaxed living and understated design. Inhabit is a minimal trend that celebrates a new pace of home life by creating a comforting and calming space that encourages restoration. A pared-back colour palette of soothing neutral and green tones is combined with tactile surfaces, subtle weaves, printed leaf patterns and simple geometric prints.

Furniture designs show a nod to Danish influences with clean lines, minimal shapes and blonde woods.

Products within the Inhabit trend have a simple aesthetic for a softened minimal look in the home.

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NATIVE EARTH

Native Earth 1

Inspired by the arid beauty of New Mexico and South America, the fashion-forward Native Earth trend offers a warm and rustic feel with tribal-inspired designs.

The colour palette celebrates Autumn with rich clay red and burnt orange hues paired with charcoal tones, blue accents and dark woods.

Metallic home accessories and woven materials add a rugged finish to the look, whilst bold tribal textiles and intricately embossed ceramics create a strong visual impact.

Native Earth offers a modern take on the iconic wilderness trend and creates a sense of warmth this Winter with earthy textural tones.

Native Earth 2Native Earth 3Native Earth 4

 

DARK POETRY

Dark Poetry 1

Dark Poetry is a stylistic approach to interiors with a focus on filling your home with products that are both functional and visually striking. With a fusion of elegant design and decadent materials, Dark Poetry creates a sense of luxurious living. Touches of gold, brushed brass and jewel tones add a feeling of warmth for the Winter season.

The collection of furniture and home accessories allude to architectural forms with structured shapes and designs, whilst velvet textiles and soft upholstery add elegance to the room.

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FOREST FROST

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Inspired by hazy Winter mornings, Forest Frost introduces a soothing and tranquil look to the home. Forest Frost exudes elegance with a soft blue palette balanced with pastel pink hues. Textiles are adorned with watercolour florals, nature-inspired details and diluted ombre ink washes to achieve a serene setting in the home. Furniture and home accessories are delicately rounded in a painted chalk finish. Velvet and fur textiles ensure this trend feels cosy throughout the cooler months.

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HYGENA

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Hygena provides contemporary and versatile designs for the modern home. Every piece in the range is designed to perfectly complement one another, offering ready-made design solutions which are easy to incorporate into the home. Accents of ochre brighten a sleek colour palette of monochrome and midnight blue hues, whilst geometric details offer a bold contemporary look. With urban living in mind, Hygena offers space- saving solutions and clever designs at attainable prices.

Hygena 2Hygena 3Hygena 4Hygena 5Hygena 6

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LAKELAND’s 6 ‘on trend’ best sellers

Last year when I attended Lakeland‘s press briefing it was all about Spiralizers. They were selling one every 7 seconds! So  here we are one year on and I wondered what has been catching the interests and more importantly the consumers pockets. Often fads or trends are TV led.

1.The sale of Lakeland‘s Kefir Kit is down to Michael Mosley’s ‘Trust me I’m a doctor’ TV series. I am not surprised by this as Mosley goes out of his way to de-bunk nutritional fads and fancy’s and many people still follow his 2:5 eating plan. Mad Millie Kefir Kit, £9.99, ref 71791

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2. With the introduction of paying for plastic bags in supermarkets, and the fact we are more environmentally aware, the sale of  Lakelands stylish reusable shopping bags  has shot up by 70%. 2-in-1 Trolley Tote Set, £19.99, ref 25306

3. I’m not sure if this will turn out to be a fad or a trend but in order to avoid ‘avacado hand’ people have been buying avacado gadgets and their sales are up 72% on last year’s. Lakeland Avocado Masher, £4.79, ref 72197

72197_14. Last year Juicing was very popular this year souping is the new juicing. Lakeland‘s  Soup Maker is already selling three times the amount that was forecast for 2017. 31577_1

5. Health seems to be the key factor, when it comes to cooking, and so in at number five is the Touchscreen Air Fryer, £79.99. ref 31796

At the press show I was lucky enough to taste some  very healthy potato chips  and some  made from sweet potato that had been cooked in the Touchscreen Air Fryer. They were delicious. 31796_LAKE12618_423

There is even a book to go with it. 14573,TAGINES BOOK,LAKE6215,KITCHEN,BOOKS

6. Last but not least, are Lakeland’s fermantation jars. Fermantation has taken over from spiralizing as the ‘on trend’ lakeland foodie process. Fermented vegetables are great tasting and good for your gut. So sauerkraut and kimchi it is, packed with probiotic goodness and flavour.

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Lakeland Fermentation Jars, from £6.99

http://www.lakeland.co.uk/

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