Friday, 28 May 2010

Hope & Benson

Today I had a major haircut and bought a dress. Just a cotton day dress - turquoise with red and pink roses. No doubt within 48 hours the haircut will have lost its blown dried bounce and I'll be wearing the dress over jeans. I have resolved however to be bold and to be brave with my colour choices. To wear more of my own corsages, to stick stuff in my hair...and to have funky bags.

And when I'm a grown up I will be like the lovely doll faced ladies from the fab HopeandBenson summer collection.

I wish.

Hands up who's loving the patchwork wall?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Ishtar Olivera

In my search for the best of  daisy inspired design I came across this gorgeous shot on Flickr from Ishtar Olivera Belart.

Lordy lord Ishtar's blog is amazing with all manner of wonderfulness. I am going to read her tutorials on photography closely as I am a complete novice and have no idea. So far I like what I read and it all makes brilliant sense. For example, Ishtar says in Part one of her Photo Tutorial,

"I like to shoot with natural light. One: because I dont have a photography study , two: because I dont have professional equipment; and three and most important of all, because I love it! Having natural light is everything. Is the key for shooting gorgeous pictures. If I was asked what made my photography better I would honestly answer: NATURAL LIGHT! It really made the difference! But you have to learn what kind of natural light works best."

Got a minute? Go and be informed and inspired.

For the Love of Daisies

 Our lawn has been invaded by the sweetest of invaders....hundreds of daisies. Whilst I would be happy to let them be I am told by those that know better about such things that the grass must be mown. This will probably take place at the weekend when our pack leader is home from work. If the wind is in the right direction, it's a full moon and pigs are flying it is also possible boys large or larger may  cut it even sooner. Either way it seems I must soon say farewell to their cheery little faces....

or do I? 

 Found at the Scout Jumble sale on Saturday (at 8 o'clock in the morning sporting hangover from hell) I spied an old 1960s book on wild flowers. It's great and guess what's at no.50. Yep - Bellis something - the daisy. 
Well from then on it seems that everything is coming up daisies. 
I took a tour around the house today whilst waiting upon absent plumber and spied more daisies. There were 3 sets upon my favourite fibreglass trays.

And on the stooly bin thing I think I spy a daisy.  There's my precious patch of vintage vinyl wallpaper all covered in the palest and softest of daisies. And from the corner of my eye whilst deep in conversation with caller I spy another daisy invader on one of the kitchen pinboards.

Well now I became rather alarmed. Have I been a daisy fanatic all these years and never known it? Have I been lurking jumble sales and charity shops with what I though were eagle eyes but which were only actually eyes capable of focusing on things with daisies on? Surely not.

A brief inspection of what passes as my wardrobe revealed no daisies. Phew. I'm 4* for goodness sake - I cannot wear daisies. Cushions, throws and bedding all a bit granny chic floral but no daisies.
But then it hit me how many other flowers I was seeing in the patterns and design. Flowers are truly inspirational and in honour of that I am launching a monthy "floral favourites" round up of all that is best on the interweb/etsy/flickr etc.

Every now and again (roughly monthly) I'll pick a flower and we'll see what we can find. I'd really welcome your suggestions. If there is enough interest I'll set up a flickr group or something where you can submit your entries for that particular flower.

So the first flower to inspire is...the daisy.
And to kick us off I've made my selection of favourite daisy inspired goodness.

My Darling Daisy Design award from Etsy goes to......

Wait a minute, yes - there are even daisies in the Follyandglee shop too. Now what a suprise.

What have you seen inspired by daisies you really Love?

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Make over, make new- it's easy to do.

Connie Con-Tact is so right - sticky back plastic is great for giving you a lift as well as your home.....

..or at least it can be.  Apartment Therapy and Design Sponge have both blogged excellent round ups in the past of what's available in stores (in the US) today. Some of it seems a bit grim. Its the vintage stuff that I love - the patterns from the 1960s were amazing.

I've been collecting original pieces for a couple of years now. It started with the kitchen shelves. We would love to remodel the kitchen at some point (who wouldn't) but as that's not an option right now it seemed like the shelves were going to have to get a paint job like all the other cabinets. Being so close to the hob they get grimy easy so I tried a temporary piece of contact paper and it was so easy to wipe clean it's still there several months later. It seemed silly to stop there so you see the rather crazy results below. The shelves are certainly a cheery sight for bleary eyes on grey mornings.

 You already saw our paper organizer files covered in assorted contact papers but I'm afraid that is not the end of the story. I found evidence in the hallway with telephone directories hiding in a box filed covered in Pucci inspired 1970s fablon. (The furry one says why keep the directories at all cos you can look everything up on the interweb. Gotta point cos then I could get rid of that naff hall stand.)

 ...and I fear there are plans for this gorgeous roll on vintage French paper to soon be in the bedroom. 

Alas I may be saved from completely covering the house because seems like its getting harder and harder to find. You can still score some great vintage rolls for sale on Etsy. Try searching the vintage section for fablon, contact paper or adhesive shelf liner.
1. summer flowers manufactured by Adorn from pumpkintruck 2. gold Kwik Cover from JenniesJunque 3. set of 3 vintage samples from lovenestdesign
4. cute fruit print from BluePrintVintage

I haven't found a Flickr group of sticky back plastic lovers yet? Anyone know of one or want to set one up with me? I did find a few pictures with a couple of inspired ideas of what to do with your precious roll once you find it.

1. faux bois parcels at bugsandfishesbylupin 2. Go Gay from strangebehaviour 3. magnetic mushroom noticeboard from vintage pleasure

I'd love to hear if you get sticking. Any one wanna swap contact paper samples?

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Getting organised with sticky back plastic

Kitchen wall bravely attempting to look organised. In theory we all now have our own personal pinboard for urgent and or special reminders/invites. Plus everyone's got a file box for daily mail and general bits of paper. I used bits of vintage fablon or sticky back plastic to cover the boxes cos it so much easier being adhesive already.

Must admit I'm rather in love with old sticky back plastic. That's what we used to call it in the UK. Blue Peter fans will remember it making a regular appearance covering old cereal packets to make Dad a handy memo board etc. In France they call it Fablon and in the UK Contact paper?

I'm off to do some research......back soon.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Button Therapy

I'm pleased to introduce you to Little A. He's a vintage button press rescued from a dusty workshop in India many years ago. I've had him now for nearly 4 years and he's a pleasure to use. Yes he's a little noisy cos you have to really slam the leaver down to cut through layers of fabric. And yes that really upsets the furry one. But....I guarantee if you are feeling a little blue or mayble just a bit befuddled half an hour with Little A will cheer you up. Bonus is you get a big stash of perfect fabric covered buttons and an excuse to get the 70s wallpaper out to make the backing cards.
Anyone else got an old favourite machine or tool in the craft room/workshop that never fails to lift the spirits?

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Grandma Moses Lampshade

The latest Folly&Glee lampshade incorporates a patchwork piece of vintage barkcloth from the US featuring the painting a "Childhood Home" by Grandma Moses.

I don't think her work is particularly well known in Europe but from a quick browse of the web she was a superstar in the US and now highly collectable. There is something really  comfortable about her work - you look at the paintings and feel at home. Our modern competitive world is so full of neurotic insecurities that these simple lighhearted scenes of folk going about their every day tasks is affirmative and uplifting. They celebrate the seasons, community and the rewards of hard work on the land....maple syrup, apple butter, fresh berries ! 

Grandma Moses  took up painting aged 76 because arthritis had crippled her hands so that she could no longer embroider. She could not hold a needle, but she could hold a brush, and she had been too busy all her life to bear the thought of being idle.

In her autobiography, "My Life's History" published in 1951 by Harper & Brothers" Grandma Moses expressed her basic philosophy:

"I look back on my life like a good day's work, it was done and I feel satisfied with it. I was happy and contented, I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered. And life is what we make it, always has been, always will be."

Calamaty Kim , who creates THE most amazing vintage aprons fit for tea with Alice in Wonderland or with Jane Austen,  blogged a while back about her visit to Grandma Moses exhibition and included the above photo. See here for more.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Nursery chairs get a revamp

Have you guessed yet? Does this help?


It's the three little bentply nursery kids chairs I rescued. Haven't they come up well. I used a patchwork of some 1970s wallpaper samples and gave them a good 5 coats of varnish so they are very tough. I wanted to use a really kid friendly paint and varnish so I plumped for Earthborn Claypaint and proAqua Varnish from our fab local paint shop IEKO in Forest Row. Earthborns paint claims its health and environmental benefits are unbeatable. They use advanced techniques that maximise the natural properties of clay to create a high performance paint that is free of VOCs and other harmful emissions, odour free, totally oil free and highly breathable. Being static resistant, it also  reduces dust and allergen build-up. It was certainly lovely to work with and I'll be using it for lots of projects from now on.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Can you guess what these are?

We've been playing with the pixel feature on Picnik. Just load up your photos. Go to Create and select Pixcelate. Great fun.

Here's a furry clue if you'd really like to know what these are.

Bohemian Dream at Charleston Farmhouse

We are very lucky to live on the edge of the South Downs in East Sussex. It is a truly beautiful part of the world that has attracted generations of artists and crafts folk many of whom have made it their home.
From 1916 a group of thinkers, writers and artists known as the Bloomsbury set (Virginia Woolf, Maynard Keynes, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Lytton Strachey, T S Eliot and E M Forster) banished stuffy Victorian conventions and created a unique Bohemian lifestyle against the background of the stunning Downs. There are three magical places to visit close by where they have made their presecence felt. The Monk's House, Berwick Chruch and the amazing Charleston Farmhouse.

Photo from the 2010 Brora Catalogue

Charleston is very much alive today and attracts coach loads of visitors undeterred by the remote setting down a pot holed track. There is no surface left untouched - wals, doors, fireplaces, lamps you name it are painted in the most extraordinary colours. Oh and the textiles!

Photos from the 2010 Brora Catalogue

Its is hugely popular with fashion designers as a backdrop for their latest collection. Most recently I spotted the beautiful Brora cashmere girls in residence. Now that's my kind of house - where a girl is inspired to paint wearing fingerless yellow cashmere gloves and baggy linen whilst sitting on an amazing multicoloured needlepoint rug.
You must come and see. Its only an hour a from London by train to Lewes and then a 15 minute taxi or bus  ride through Firle to Charleston.

Lampshade love

It has been an exhausting week with all manner of ups and downs none of which would be unfamiliar to anyone with........teenagers facing exams, busy busy partners, a passing interest in the UK economy and our political future, youngsters with mysterious tummy aches, overweight pets, plumbing emrgencies, mild obcessions with retro 70s wallpaper, tadpoles who are getting worryingly big for their container, unruly hair that desperately needs a cut and some colour....I could go on.

A beacon of light was the sunny afternoon spent putting together another lampshade I've had in my head for some time now.

The best bit was sorting through the box of old vintage tablecloths, napkins and tray holders I've been hoarding away. None of them were perfect anymore. All had either a stubborn stain or just wear and tare. But everyone has something lovely still and it was my job to rescue it and show it off to the world once more...all be it as a lampshade!

Choosing who was to be placed where and next to whom was hard. Stitching them all together with the crazy patchwork stitch I found on the machine was harder. Fixing to the special fire retardant lamp PVC and handrolling the edges to the shade wires was down right difficult. I was really pleased with the result though and so it seems was its new owner who snapped it up yesterday. Hoping to get another done this week.


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