RELAXED COASTAL STYLE

 

9781849759625

 

When I heard about the book Relaxed Coastal Style, by Sally Denning I was very keen to review it. I met Sally many years ago as she was setting out on her career as a stylist, and she used my house as a shoot location. Since then I have been very aware of her meteoric rise in the ‘styling world’ and so knew this would be a gorgeous book and I was correct.

The first part of the book consists of Sally’s unique take on coastal style, celebrating the colours and textures of the seaside: bare wooden boards, unadorned windows, and furnishings covered in robust linen or cotton that will endure salt water and the sun’s rays or gently fade with age. Sally also explores lighting, furniture and coastal decorative accents such as maps, charts and nautical-themed accessories.

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She draws inspiration from beach combing, displaying shells and driftwood to feel close to nature and the sound of the waves. Sally and her photographer have travelled far and wide to shoot a selection of glorious coastal houses, cottages and hideaways that are guaranteed to enchant and inspire.

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The second reason I was keen to get hold of a copy of this book is that it features the house of Jane and Martin Will who own the old Coastguards cottage on Deal seafront. I grew up in Deal although in those days it was less glamorous than it is today. It is now full of artisan shops, pavement cafes and galleries such as the homeware and gallery ‘Will & Yates’ that Jane co-owns with artist Caroline Yates. The Will’s house is as lovely as the gallery painted in soft greys and inky blues and furnished with simple functional pieces of furniture and ‘brocante’ finds.

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Wherever you live, Relaxed Coastal Style will inspire you to adopt the relaxed, informal simplicity of life by the sea.

Relaxed Coastal Style by Sally Denning (£19.99) with photography by Benjamin Edwards ©RylandPeters&Small.

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Recycled painted pots

If any of you  live with  dogs or cats and feed them  tinned food, you probably have a few empty tins lying around. I decided to recycle mine to hold some Heather and Cactus plants.

PaintedTins

You will need

Rustoleum chalk paint

clean empty tin

scouring pad

Paint brush

plastic box

Step1

Fill the plastic box with warm water and  remove the label from the tinStep2

Remove stubborn bits of  paper from the tin, using the scourer. Leave the tin to dry.

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Load your brush with paint, apply to the rim of the tin.

For a spilled paint look, over load the brush and let the paint dribble.Step4

 

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10 key trends from Oliver Bonas for Autumn Winter 2018

Now is the time of year that companies and those who supply retail outlets put on their trade shows, so that Journalists, Bloggers and Influencers can shout out to the world what is new and what will be available in the shops in the autumn. Oliver Bonas had their show yesterday and in the heat of July,  amidst silver tinsel and warm fabrics we  transported ourselves forward to the autumn and beyond to Christmas.

 

  1. Texture and pattern are still a strong trend and velvet is a fabric of choice. It is still being used on furniture and upholstery and on even lamp shades.

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2. Fringing, introduced last season, is still with us in clothing, fashion accessories and again on lamp shades. We are not talking the old fashioned silky kind, but  something far more rustic, looking, made from from  linen, jute, string.

 

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3. Deep colours  are popular  often decorated with rich patterns. The patterns are used on all surfaces including ceramics. Think midnight blue and forest green. The patterns are sometimes embroidered. More often than not, the motifs are formed of loose freehand marks, very omega workshop in inspiration.

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4. Metallics continue to be popular in interior accessories. Raffia  is being used to make lampshades.

raffia lamp shade

5. There are some very interesting and unusual shaped glass lamp bases.

raffia shades

6. Animals continue to be popular as  decorative motifs. Cats of  all descriptions are still very Oliver Bonas popular. They are used by OB on ceramics, fabrics and even door mats.

animals

7. Tassels are still around and are used on cushions and fashion accessories.

tasseled cushions

8. Carrying on from OB’s spring summer designs, ceramics are still  a riot of pattern, shapes and colours.

quirky china

9. Unusual and fun Christmas gifts. OB have come up with some original gift  ideas particularly for the person that you have no idea what to buy. Like this funny note book. They also are selling reusable water bottles with neoprene covers.

humourous christmas presents

10. A great range of strong fashion looks, with accessories including bags, hair slides and  throws. This dress was such a hit with those attending the show that I think will be sold out as soon as it reaches the shops.

Dress pattern dark back ground

 

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Customized seed storage jars

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As we are having such glorious weather I thought it would be fun to create some interesting storage jars for any seeds you have hanging around. I searched for small  toy animals  in a charity shop, where  I found these wooden bunnies that I thought would be perfect for this project. I then  discovered Rustoleum’s wonderful Universal paint that works on all surfaces, and doesn’t even need priming, and can be left outside. I thought that’s perfect for this project and so easy to do.

You will need

Jars to store seeds

Universal paints in bright colours

Chalk board paint (optional)

Labels to write on

Glue gun and glue stick

Child’s toy

Step 1

Using the universal paint, spray the toy and the lid of the jar in a bright primary colour.

Step1

Step 2

Using the glue gun, stick the toy onto the center of the lid. Take the string out of the label and spray with blackboard paint. Leave to dry. Stick a binder reinforcement over the hole and re thread the string and then using chalk write the names of the seeds on the labels and tie round the jar.

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Wreaths by Katie Smyth and Terri Chandler from Worm London

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My last blog post was on making a floral headband wreath for Midsummer day celebrated in Sweden. This post is for those who wish to go larger and make a wreath for their home.

Wreath  Fresh, Foraged & Dried Floral Arrangements

It was the architect, flower loving,  boyfriend of my daughter Alice, who first introduced me to Worm London, the young hip flower designers and stylists.  They  design flowers for weddings, supper clubs and parties. They also work as stylists for magazines, books and TV Shoots. Katie Smyth and Terri  Chandler are inspired by seasonal wild, foraged materials and the meaning for flowers.

This is Katie and Terri’s introduction to making your own seasonal decorations. With natural materials and foraging having a renaissance at the moment, this book shows you how to use your finds in a most creative way. As they say in their introduction

“Nurturing that connection with the world around us and its changing seasons is important to us, and we want to encourage you to experience this too.”

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The authors use the experience of their global travels where they have  studied garlic garlands on the first day of May across the Greek islands, midsummer  wildflower wreaths in Scandanavia and flamboyant adornments to celebrate Thanksgiving in the US, wreaths can be a warn welcome, an original gift or simply a beautiful addition to your home.

Most of the projects in the book are relatively straightforward to make. The materials and methods of making are accessible and it looks very different from traditional formal floristry.

The book is divided into  four main sections, Fresh, foraged, dried  and  festive wreaths. Their is an introduction and basics on tools materials and making basic shapes. The book finishes with a  glossary, suppliers list and index. The midsummer wreath is glorious and I particularly like  the mobile made from honesty the enormous Christmas wreath and the kitchen herb bundles. I really enjoyed this book, particularly the lovely photos by Kristin Perers and very much look forward to making some wreaths.170724_Worm8645

Worm London

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Frida Kahlo inspired floral headdress

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The much anticipated ‘Frida Kahlo Making Herself Up‘ exhibition is starting  at the V&A in three days time. Here I show how to make a floral head dress in fifteen to twenty minutes. This headdress is constructed on a bought head band but if a more angelic look is your style you could add flowers to a wire halo. The first headdress is in Kahlo colours, rich and bold.

Step1

You will need

Flowers in lots of different colours and sizes

Florists wire

Headband

Florists tape

Scissors

Instructions

Using the florists tape pull it tight and bind it round the headband until all but the ends are covered.

Step2

Choose the flowers you are going to add, and cut them with a 7-8cm stem. Start with the larger flowers in the center and work outwards so the smaller flowers are on the sides  creating  a tiara effect. Starting in the center of the headband, wind florists wire round a stem and attach the flower to the band. Add the next flower in the same way covering the previous stem as you work outwards towards the edge of the band. Step3

Finish by covering the last pieces of wire and the ends of the headband with more florists tape.

Step4

The  21st of June it is the Swedish Midsummer, when the Swedes really celebrate. Traditionally it was considered to be a time of magic, and anything to do with nature was thought to have a special power. Gathering flowers to weave into wreaths and crowns was a way to harness nature’s magic to ensure good health throughout the year. Even though most people these days probably are unaware of the magical origins of the tradition, weaving crowns of flowers is still a major part of any Midsummer observance.

The headdress below has been inspired by those soft pastel hues so beloved by  Swedes.

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My daughter’s beau recently showed me a book on wreath making called Wreaths by Katie Smyth and Terri Chandler who together make up Worm London and so with flowers in mind, I shall be reviewing it soon on the blog.

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Woven plastic bag wall hanging

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In the week that we embraced environmental day,  I thought it would be a good idea to post a creative way of using up old Plastic bags. I purchased a simple frame loom from a thrift shop but the similar can be found at Hobby Craft or Tiger or you can make your own using a picture frame and some nails.  I displayed  the hanging from a broken branch I found in the garden.

Materials

Plastic bags in a variety of colours

Cotton warp thread or string

Fat twig or thin branch for hanging

Equipment

Loom

Weaving shuttle

Scissors

Tape measure

 

Step 1

Cut the bag into strips  0.5cm wide. Knot the strips together so you have one long strip.1 cut strips of plastic

Step 2

Thread the loom by tying on the thread at one side and then going backwards and forwards between the top end and the bottom end of the frame. It is important to maintain an even tension. Tie off the thread in the same way as you tied on the thread.2.thread loom

Step 3

So that the weaving doesn’t fall out when you finish you will need to make a twisted header. Cut a piece of warp thread about two and a half times the width of the warp. Twist the thread round each warp thread in turn. As in the image.

3Making a twisted header

Step 4

When you get to the end of the warp return in the opposite direction push the threads down and tie off at the end.

4Return in the opposite direction

Step5

Thread the plastic onto the shuttle and then starting in the middle of the warp take the shuttle under and over until you reach one end, then go back the other way.

5thread the plastic onto the shuttle a.JPG

Step 6

As you work push down the weft to cover the warp. When you have made a stripe of one colour change to another.6push the woven pieces down to cover the warp

Step 7

To make tassels cut strips of plastic (blue)about 20cm long. Choose a middle section of the hanging and put the blue plastic behind two warp threads at the same time. Wrap one side round one thread and the other round the other , pull the threads through to the front of the hanging. Add as many of these as you like. Mine  was so bunchy that when I hung it up I gave it a bit of a trim.7constructing the tassels

Step 8/9

Weave another block of flat weaving. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to finish off.9Add another block of colour

Step 10

Pull the ends off the loom and then thread onto the branch. Cut off the warp threads from the other end of the loom and knot them one to the next one.

10Pull the ends of the yarn off the loom

Tip

Check that you are not creating a waist by pulling in the sides of the warp as you work.

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