The Perfect Desk!

Previously, my excuse for not doing that much sewing/ crafting had been that I didn’t have a proper workspace. The sewing machine used to live behind the sofa (gathering dust) and the rare occasions I took it out it would be placed on some storage bins in front of the sofa where I would sit and try to sew. After about half an hour my back would be sore from slumping over the sewing machine and all the bits and pieces that I needed for sewing would be in a mess on the sofa and the floor. Then, I would have to put it all away after not really accomplishing much.

Desk built to fit

Anyway, we decided to fit a desk into the corner of the back room (dining room) so that the sewing machine and laptop could always be out and ready to use. Storage was needed as well so that all the craft bits were within easy reach and there could be no excuses for doing some sewing. After looking at the desks available in places like Argos and Ikea, we decided that nothing was quite right to fit the small space we had. Instead, we made our own desk using mdf, vinyl and legs (really cheap from Ikea). The board was measured to size and cut to fit perfectly with a nice curve. The vinyl was stretched and glued over the surface- pinned underneath using drawing pins! Finally, the legs were screwed on and the desk was dropped into place.

Desk tidy solutions

On the windowsill is a few bits to keep the desk tidy- a toast rack that is now used to file bits of paper, a flower pot doubling as a small bin and my tin can pen pot that I blogged about previously. Now there is no excuse not to sew and craft!

Weekend Checklist

Around the house there is always loads of jobs to do, most of them have been pending for years! This weekend I’ve written a checklist and have already ticked off four jobs. Obviously the list will grow and will take more than one weekend, however hopefully the good start will continue and soon those niggly little jobs will all be done…

Extra shelf

Here’s the current list:

  • Put up extra shelf in front room
  • Buy DVD storage for shelves in front room
  • Dye front room curtains
  • Buy and fit new towel rail in bathroom
  • Buy and fit new shower-head
  • Finish tile grouting around bathroom sink
  • Replace bathroom light
  • Repaint hallway, stairs and landing
  • Put curtain pole up properly in bedroom
  • Finish and paint skirting in kitchen
  • Cover fireplace in kitchen
  • Buy and fit new kitchen light

 

New Door Knobs

Our house is a traditional Victorian/ Edwardian terrace and has some lovely ‘features’ that date to when it was built or at least shortly after. Amongst them are the door knobs/ handles and fingerplates that are on many of the doors both upstairs and down.

Original Handles

I think the fingerplates are brass (I’m no expert) and they have a feel of the Art Deco period about them. Unfortunately, on both the front and back room doors downstairs these original knobs and fingerplates weren’t there. After searching for similar on eBay and spending quite a few years with very cheap plastic ones, we finally bought these.

New Door Handle

Not the same as the originals but still in keeping with the house. I love the size of them and that they’re ceramic instead of wood/ metal. Took ages to screw on though- the holes for the screws are below the knob itself so makes getting a screwdriver in almost impossible!

Necklace Noticeboard

I’ve already done a past blog on customising a noticeboard to display the usual things noticeboards are used for. While doing that I thought how perfect it would be to use little hooks instead to display necklaces and bracelets. I have mine in a big pot and find it a nightmare in the morning, when in a rush, to find the one I want and then untangle it from all the others. This is the perfect way to have them all at hand and looks good enough to be on display all the time.

Making a Necklace Noticeboard

All you need is a noticeboard (supermarket buy at £2.75), some small hooks (any good DIY or craft store), wrapping paper (or wallpaper or fabric) and a bit of double sided sticky tape.

Paper on Noticeboard

Firstly, cut out the paper to size. I cut it to be slightly bigger than the cork part of noticeboard and then crisply folded it to fit and give straight edges. At each corner and half way along each edge I put a bit of double sided sticky tape. I then stuck the paper to the cork.

Hooks on Noticeboard

I placed the hooks where I wanted to screw them in. I decided on three rows- two for necklaces and one at the bottom for bracelets. All you need to do now is to screw the hooks in place.

Finished Necklace Noticeboard

There you have it, a perfect way to display all your necklaces and bracelets! You could stand this up on a set of drawers or even hang it up on your bedroom wall.

Future Craft Projects?

Whenever I’m browsing the shops I like getting ideas for things that can be made at home. Obviously, it would be a lot easier to buy (and probably in some cases cheaper!) but a lot of the time the fun is in the making and not so much the buying. Some of the things I’ve seen recently that made me think ‘I can make that’ are below.

Ribbon Votives

I saw these candle votives over Christmas and thought it was a great idea. A few plain votives, glass jars, small vases, some pretty ribbon, buttons or beads and glue. All together makes a great candle holder!

Buttons picture

This button picture I’m definitely going to create. In fact, I’m a bit disappointed I never thought of the idea myself! So very simple- box frame, and various different buttons sewn onto some fabric to create a shape.

Owl Cushion

The owl cushion on the other hand may be a step too far! I’ve noticed a proliferation of owls over the last few months adorning plates, tea towels, mugs, wallpaper etc and seen quite a few shops selling cushions like this one. Maybe this is one to purchase and not to make…..

Hooks

Flower Hooks

Not the most exciting of titles for a blog post I’ll admit it but coat hooks are so useful and come in so many different styles that they must suit every home.

Heart Hook

I’m afraid so far I only use hooks in the classic ‘back of the door’ context for dressing gowns, bags, and downstairs for coats. However, I do know that they are extremely versatile and can be used for folding chairs, pots and pans, shoes, bags in fact an endless array of things can be hung up. They are particularly useful in utility rooms and kitchens for hanging awkward things that would otherwise be taking up far too much space in a drawer or cupboard.

Pineapple Hook

The pineapple hook is a particular favourite of mine- a charity shop find that was 50p!

Memory Box Frame

I have been meaning to display some of the things kept from our honeymoon to Italy for ages (it was over two years ago!) and finally got around to buying a box frame (about £2.50 from The Range) last week.

Ideas for a memory box frame

I planned out how I wanted the bits and pieces arranged, using the most colourful and memorable ticket stubs as well as a champagne cork and the ribbon from our wedding cake. For the background I used a lovely piece of cream paper with little silver dots on and laid the ribbons across this at the bottom. Everything has just been fixed down using double-sided tape apart from the Coliseum ticket in the centre which I used sticky pads to raise it up a bit.

Memory box frame

All in all an easy way to display treasured memories!

Lacey Ideas

Lace vase and photoframe

I was looking through a box of fabric and wool that I had sitting around and found some wide lace trim. It made me remember an idea in Ideal Home magazine for customising vases and photo frames using lace.

The photo frame first- I had this lovely silver frame that a friend had given me and I hadn’t managed to put a picture in it. I thought this would be ideal for a pretty lace background. I used some handmade pink paper as the background, placed the lace trim on top and then cut out a couple of rose photos that I had. All together it made for a striking picture.

The vase didn’t take any time at all. I bought a flat sided glass vase from the supermarket for £3.50 and placed the lace trim round the base. I secured it with a few stitches but I’m sure some fabric glue would work just as well.

Both the frame and vase together look so pretty!

New Year Flowers

Flowers

Hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year! Just thought I’d post a couple of pictures of the lovely flowers I was bought. The scent of lilies is filling the room now, mingling with the pine needles!

Flowers

Quick tip- if you get any of the lily pollen on fabric (managed to get it on the curtains!) don’t rub it in with a cloth or wet it, use a small paintbrush to remove it. No stains, no problem!

 

Decorating the Hall, Stairs and Landing

I’m quite fond of the red and white theme as demonstrated by the card holder that I posted about last week. As the walls, ceiling, woodwork in fact everything apart from the stairs are painted brilliant white in the hallway and landing then red decorations are definitely the way to go!

Stairs

 

The picture above shows the lovely blue colour of our stairs (much better to hide the dirt!). The lights were from Tesco and the reindeer from M&S, both purchased last year.

Doorway to lounge

Here’s more of those reindeer and a glimpse into our lounge. The plastic doorknobs were bought as a temporary thing about four years ago and have so far not been replaced!

Banister

This final picture is of the banister on the landing. Some lights are wrapped around and I’ve tied some bright red baubles as well. The lights came from The Pier a couple of years ago, used to be one of my favourite shops for gifts and decorations until it went bankrupt!