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Easter bonnet

March 19, 2016
Easter Bonnet

For this years Easter bonnet we combined two of our all time favourites from our craft cupboard, watercolour paints and feathers.

I came up with this design a few weeks back after an afternoon spent teaching the kids some basic watercolour techniques. The results were so pretty I knew we had to use them on our Easter bonnet. It’s easy to make, no weird and wonderful materials here and what’s more the kids can help out with the really fun painting part.

Kate

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Sewing with Kids: Lavender bags

August 26, 2015
Sewing with Kids: Lavender Bags

A good friend of ours recently left the country and very kindly gave us her stash of beautiful, fabric remnants. Ever since then the kids have been begging me to teach them to sew. After watching them the other day, pulling apart a bunch of Lavender to make “pixie dust” I decided that Lavender bags would be a fun and easy first project for them.

Kate

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A Scandinavian Home Tour

May 29, 2015
Stockholmapartmentfeatureimg

Take a tour around one of my favourite Scandinavian Homes. It has inspired so many of our design choices for our own property refurbishment and features one of the dreamiest kitchens around.

Karlavagen 76 is a beautifully restored apartment in Stockholm a short distance from  the city’s prestigious Karlaplan park area. Developed by Oscar Properties the apartment occupies a grand old residential building which has until now been used as offices.

The interior decor is described as “sophisticated luxury: a classic turn-of-the-century residence, full of light and updated both in modern design and function.”

I hope you enjoy swooning over these images as much I do.

Kate

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Escape from the City: Bluebell Woods

May 7, 2015
Bluebell Woods

Over the bank holiday weekend we took a spontaneous trip out of town with friends, to explore the Chiltern Valley in the hope of finding some bluebell woods.

I knew of a sweet little village about an hour outside London called Turville. I’d refurbished a client’s holiday cottage there a few years back and spent many a site visit wishing I was outside wandering the rolling hills instead of being stuck inside a damp, dusty cottage, wrangling with builders.

So with Turville as our starting point we set off on what turned out to be a magical adventure through buttercup and dandelion meadows, over turnstiles and rolling hills, through beech woods with stick teepees and of course the highlight of the day, the most beautiful of bluebell woods.

At the beginning of our walk we stopped to picnic on a hillside meadow, beneath the pretty Cobstone Mill – home to Mr Potts in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This prompted many choruses of “Truly scrumptious” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang We Love You!” along our journey. Throw in a few muddy knees, lots of dandelion blowing,  some tree climbing and hill rolling,  all rounded off at the end of the day with refreshing cold beers and a pub dinner. All in all it was a pretty wonderful day, shared with wonderful friends.

You can find the map of the walk we did here.

Below are a few pictures I captured on our walk. Thanks to the lovely Courtney Adamo for the last shot of Little Brother blowing dandelions which was way too cute to leave out.

Kate

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5 Minute Flower Crown

April 24, 2015
5 minute flower crown

I’ve seen so many beautiful flower crowns in magazines and on social media recently and I’ve always wanted to have a go at making one but never found the time to sit down and learn how. This past weekend I was stood in my garden staring up at our Cherry Blossom tree fawning over the lovely, delicate, pink, fluffy clusters and I decided that some of the smaller branches would be perfect for building a quick and easy crown.

The great thing about this project is that you need hardly any materials and it really is super quick so why not have a go.

Kate

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Hallway makeover

April 23, 2015
Hallway makeover

When we viewed our house for the first time we were immediately struck by the wonderful wide, light filled hallway and we knew straight away that this house was the one. We’d been searching for the perfect project home for nearly two years and had seen so many dark and narrow London terrace houses that I thought we were never going to find what we were looking for.

The hallway like the rest of the house had been stripped of all its period charm and was in need of a serious style overhaul. But the beautiful light and the interesting architectural lines were obvious despite the overwhelming floral wallpaper plastered everywhere – including the cloakroom door!

Over the past 6 months we have been working hard to transform the space – mostly by ourselves. The floors have been stripped and painted, walls re-plastered and period features reinstated. When we eventually undergo the big building work to extend the house, the floor will be replaced with white oak floorboards and the stairs carpeted with a grey wool runner but for now this is our transitional space, a homemade-halfway-hallway and we love it!

Below are some before and after pictures of our DIY hallway makeover, please excuse the dark & grainy iphone before pics. I’d love to hear what you think.

Kate

 

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An easter bonnet for a boy or girl

April 3, 2015
an easter bonnet for a boy

I had no idea that creating an easter bonnet for a boy or girl would be so tricky…

And as usual I had left it until the very last minute.

Having a girl and a boy usually means double the amount of costumes and double the amount of ‘Mum hours’ spent making stuff for school events like easter bonnet parades. As they attend different schools with different timetables for these events I’ve decided that from now on I will try and kill two birds with one stone by making things that both kids can wear.  I had a quick flick through pinterest for some unisex bonnet ideas but everything I came across was either too fluffy and girly or too garish. In a last minute panic I decided to try and create an Indian style feather crown using some of our polystyrene marbled eggs that we made last weekend details here.

Although not strictly a bonnet I think it still ticks the boxes and both Little brother and Big Sister enjoyed wearing it to their easter bonnet parades. Whats more it was pretty simple to make, find out how below.

Kate

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DIY staircase decorating ideas

April 2, 2015
DIY staircase decorating ideas

This week I’ve been scouring the internet for DIY staircase decorating ideas.

After months and months of co-existing with a disgusting mold-green carpet on our stairs and cursing it on a daily basis, I finally decided that I couldn’t spend another minute staring at the dusty old relic, so up it came.

I’ll be honest, I was not at all prepared for how much of a mess this seemingly simple task would make or how much of a state the stairs underneath would be in. If I’d thought this through more carefully beforehand I probably wouldn’t have even attempted it but my general rule to DIY is “don’t think – just do!”

What I haven’t mentioned yet is that in about 3 months our house will become a building site when we embark on our rear ground floor and loft extensions. Why, you might ask would I go to the trouble of refurbishing a staircase when it will be completely submerged in builders dust and grime in a few months anyway? My answer to this, “there are just some things that I can’t leave alone” and it drives my husband crazy!

So here we are about 3 weeks later, after hours of meticulous refurbishing. Pulling out old staples and nails, filing, sanding, undercoating etc. We have a beautiful painted staircase with bare wooden treads but no carpet and we’d be crazy to fork out money for a new one that’s just going to get ruined in the not too distant future. So hence I started my search for some interesting and inexpensive DIY staircase decorating ideas that could see us through the next few months.

Here are a few of my favourites, I’d love to know what you think. Next week I will post some photos of the transformation (if I’m not in a chocolate coma.)

Happy Easter,

Kate

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Marbled Easter Eggs

March 29, 2015

I remember making marbled easter eggs as a child. The hours spent messily blowing the contents into a bowl, the aching cheeks and the endless egg based meals that followed for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

With Easter round the corner I’d been thinking how nice it would be to do this with the kids but the arduous task of emptying out the eggs kept putting me off. Let’s be honest, the first one is fun but the novelty wears off pretty quickly. Then by chance I stumbled across the perfect cheat in our local craft shop, polystyrene eggs. They are reasonably cheap (we bought a bag of 20 for £4) they look great, are easy to decorate and are far less likely to break.

We had so much fun creating these marbled easter eggs. It really is one of the easiest craft activities we’ve ever done and gives such beautiful results every time. The kids loved how each one is different to the last and just wanted to keep making more and more.

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Stick Loom Magic Wands

March 10, 2015
loomsticks feat

On a recent trip to the woods near our house Little Brother and I stumbled across some lovely wishbone sticks. I had seen some weavings using these sticks on Apartment therapy a while back and always thought it looked like a fun activity. A week later, and not one but three of these beauties have miraculously appeared. The kids think they make the coolest magic wands and have been prancing around the house casting spells on each other. I must confess, they are really satisfying to make and very hard to put down. A word of warning though, they are quite fiddly and require a fair amount of patience, suitable for ages 5 and up I would say. Handy Tip: For ‘little fingers’ use bigger sticks and thicker wool as this speeds up the weaving process.

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