Natural Living Style by Selina Lake

Inspirational Ideas For a Beautiful & Sustainable Home

Anyone who has read any of Selina’s other nine books will know they are in for a visual treat with this one. Originally a Stylist, it was well into her career that Selina became an author and Columnist. She writes a regular column for Modern Gardens magazine and styles for many other homes magazines.

This book couldn’t have come at a more prescient moment, with any right thinking person looking for ways to live a more sustainable life.

Starting with Inspirations, Selina explains her own desire to live a greener life. She looks at the ingredients that go to make a Natural Living Style Look, including recyclables such as glass and metal, eco-friendly materials such as cork and rattan and natural fibres, including cotton and linen. She discusses repurposing and up-cycling and looks at environmentally friendly decorative details, such as flowers and plants.

         The second chapter, Natural Living Spaces, shows how sustainability and style can go hand in hand in different areas of the house, including living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms bedrooms home offices and utility rooms.

In Natural Gardens, Selina discusses green gardening and growing your own fruit, veg and flowers.

At the end of the book, a sources section helps readers to create a natural home of their own. Throughout, eco-friendly tips and hints will inspire anyone who wants to lighten their footprint on the planet.

Published by Rylands Peters and Small at £19.99 By Selina Lake

Installations made from recycled waste featured at Maison des Metallos during Paris Design Week

As part of Paris Design week the Maison des métallos held an exhibition of recycled art. The first exhibitor is Sophie Helene. She uses recycled plastic and netting to create her installations many of which are photographed in natural surroundings. The piece above is made from cartridge wrappings.

The work below is made from piecing together Tetrapac that have been opened up and flattened

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The work below is made from different coloured rubber gloves

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This hanging is made from the bases of drinks cans

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Dadave makes art works from recycled computer components.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Thank you 

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