#Pinkcycled

As you will know if you follow me on Instagram I’ve recently got really into upcycling. I mean I’m by no means a professional in this field…but I do like to give it a bash. In the last few months I’ve upcycled a Danish style mid century floral teak mirror for the livingroom using Valspar paint and a vintage mens bicycle that I spray painted with Plastikote spray paint which looks fantastic in the front yard!

I get so much joy out of giving pre-loved furnishings a new lease of life and I’m also a lass who loves a challenge, so when I saw Lynne Lambourne’s post a couple of weeks ago about getting involved with the #pinkcycled project I just knew I had to join in! It wasn’t just the idea of upcycling something in pink however that made me want to sign up, the main reason I took part in this challenge was to help raise money for a very special cause.

The Pink Ribbon Foundation is a trust I had heard of before but I wasn’t fully aware of all of the amazing work they do. They are essentially a grant making trust who fundraises to enable charities to continue with their vital work. This includes providing a highly skilled programme of care, complimentary therapies, counselling for patients and their families, up-date communication materials, awareness programmes, lymphedema care, therapy sessions, specialist equipment extra nurses to care for breast cancer patients, vital research into this terrible disease and much more.

I deliver art therapy sessions to patients with life limiting illnesses on a weekly basis and over the years I have worked with a number of adults who sadly suffer from breast cancer, some of whom I have grown really close to and formed special relationships with. Through doing this job I have become to understand the importance of projects like these and the massive impact it can have on people’s lives.

The project…

So the first thing I needed to do for this project was to find a preloved item to upcycle. I visited my local British Heart Foundation to see if I could source out something suitable for restoring. I’ve found some absolute gems in charity shops over the years and the best part of shopping in second hand stores is that your’e helping to raise funds for life saving research and also, you’re saving items from landfill which is so important.

I clapped eyes on a few potential projects but in the end I purchased a vintage child’s rocking chair for £10. As soon as I saw it I thought with a lick of pink paint this would make such a great little plant stand and book shelve for a living space!

The process…

Step 1: I firstly gave the chair a little wash and clean then I painted it using a few different products including Annie Sloan chalk paint (in Antionette) as well as some Valspar paint kindly donated to me by my studio neighbour Claire.

Video

Step 2: I added some geo designs to the arms using Valspar paint and frog tape. I’ve recently started following Joanne Condon on Instagram and absolutely love her work,  her upcycled furniture and designs really inspire me. She’s the Author of Furniture Crush and an expert in painted furniture and teaches workshops to help people think outside the box. If you’re into upcycling go check out her lovely creations!

Step 3: Once I painted the chair I gave it two coats of varnish to seal it using Polyvine decoraters varnish. I then created a pom-pom garland using scrap pieces of wool from my studio and clover pom pom makers and attached it to the bottom of the chair.

Step 4: I took the chair up to my dads and he fitted a scrap piece of wood from his workshop underneath the chair to create a mini book shelve.

Step 5: Lastly I made a needle felted flamingo using wool felt and pink wool tops and a clover punch tool and attached it to a stick so that it can be used as a fun plant prop!

So that’s how I created my #pinkcycled project which is now available to purchase on the Preloved website for just £25! You can also follow my journey on my insta #pinkcycled highlight. So why not join in too? Find out more here!

Next on the list is an old wooden art desk from the 80’s that I used to use as a child. I can’t wait to get started, I definitely have the bug now!

Rachel x x

Studio of Dreams!

 

 

Back in November I took the leap from working at home to renting a room at my local business centre. It has always been a dream of mine to have my own design studio and workshop space. Since becoming a freelancer mum I have found trying to focus on work-life quite a struggle, the main reason being that my home has been my workplace too. Since having my daughter three years ago I haven’t had that “separate” work area, not one I could close the door on anyway. So back in November I decided to take the leap, I used part of the advance I had earned from writing my new craft book on a deposit for my very own place!

Taking on a studio space has allowed me to completely escape from chaos and distractions of homelife to a colourful and happy little place full of the things I love. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being a mum and I equally LOVE being at home, but it’s so lovely to have a seperate area to run my freelance business from, where I can just “zone out” for a few hours and not constantly be thinking…I must tidy those toys up or I must get the washing out! I’m definitely a lot more focused now and so much better with time management. I also love the fact that I can now invite people into my world of craft making and share my passion for designing and my skills in my own creative environment which I have never been able to do before. The other fabulous thing about renting a studio is that it has been the perfect excuse to put my interior design hat on again!

When I first took on this room it was a typical office space – dark blue carpets, white wash walls and blue PVC framed windows! It needed completely transformed into the colourful and happy studio I’d always longed for. As well as filling my studio with lots of my own quirky creations I’ve also packed it full of items by some of my favourite makers (see list below!).

So here is a little tour of my new space and an little insight into how I have turned a bog standard dark office into a lovely bright and cheerful space which I now call my “studio of dreams”.

Enjoy!!

Rachel x x

 

List of products used:

Crocheted plant hanger and tassel garland – Going Loopy Cornwall https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/GoingloopycrochetCo

‘My Happy Place’ wall sticker – Made of Sundays

https://www.madeofsundays.com

Triangle wall stickers – The Lovely Wall Co.

https://www.thelovelywall.com

Handmade cactus’s/plants – Boho Felt Crafts

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Boho-Felt-Crafts-decorations-succulents/dp/178249555X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1527758542&sr=8-1&keywords=Boho+Felt+Craft

Coloured A3 frames, shelves and storage units – Ikea

https://www.ikea.com

Storage bags – Sunjellies

https://www.sunjellies.com

Mid-century Danish style upcycled pink mirror – Ebay

https://www.ebay.co.uk

Window mirror – William Wood Mirrors

https://www.williamwoodmirrors.co.uk

Pink letter board – IWOOT

https://www.iwantoneofthose.com/gift-home-office/square-premium-felt-letter-board-pink/11540417.html

Calendar  – Ever Made

http://www.evermade.com/

Trunks  – La Redoute

https://www.laredoute.com

Peg Board – Block Design

https://www.blockdesign.co.uk

Lights – Cable and Cotton

https://cableandcotton.com

Wallpaper – Homebase

https://www.homebase.co.uk/fine-decor-pineapple-orange-wallpaper_p405918

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Tour!!

 

“Rachel is a self-confessed maximalist….” – Alison Gibb, Stylist (@greatscottishindoors), Homestyle Magazine, September 2017.

Yes that’s me! I am a maximalist and there’s no doubt about it. When it comes to decorating and furnishing a home I am a “more is less” kinda gal!! I have a love for bold colours and I’m not afraid of mixing lots of them together. I like to walk in a room and instantly feel happy and warm and get lost in all of the colourful handmade decor and furnishings that adorns the space.

Last September our first family home, a lovely sunny Victorian upper villa apartment, featured in the fabulous Homestyle magazine. It was a house filled to the brim with quirky furnishings, vibrant prints, handmade homewares and fun wall decor! Our home was always so full of cheer and I really miss it from time to time as it brought us lots of lovely colourful memories. Here’s a little tour around it…

Photos by Douglas Gibb Photography.

 

 

 

DIY Geo Wall Decals

Make a statement in your space with a geometric felt wall design – these triangular decals take no time to make and you can move them around as many times as you like to create lots of fun patterns!

 

What you will need…

Triangle template (download below)

A4 white paper

Marker Pen

Long metal ruler

Pair of scissors

Rotary Cutter

Half a metre of melange wool felt in shades yellow, coral and aqua

8 x A4 sheets of Steam-a-Seam double stick fusible web

Step 1: Place your triangle template (download here) under a sheet of steam a seam and trace around 4 times with a marker pen. Do the same onto all other fusible web sheets and cut out triangles.

Step 2: Peel off one of the paper backings on each triangle and one at a time place them onto your chosen colours of melange wool felt. Turn your iron onto its hottest setting and press each triangle for a few minutes until the sticky backing has attached to the fabric.

Step 3: Cut around each triangle using a rotary cutter and a large metal ruler then peel off all paper backings.

Step 4: Arrange triangular decals onto a plain wall in your home and create a lovely geo style design!

Rachel x x

Decorating Lottie’s Room

I’ve always had an interest in interior Design, as a teenager I would watch back to back episodes of Changing Rooms (how good was that show??!), I remember feeling completely inspired by Linda Barker and Anna Ryder Richardson’s creations and wishing I could have a go! However, it wasn’t until my husband and I bought our first property that I found myself completely falling in love with the challenge of designing and decorating spaces. It’s become such a passion of mine lately and I’m now forever watching interior programmes such as The Great Interior Design Challenge (my fav!) and DIY SOS, scribbling down new ideas for furnishings and colour schemes.

Recently I was faced with what was to be my biggest interior project yet, our new home! In April we moved from our Victorian upper villa flat to a sweet little 70’s bungalow, that used to belong to my late grandma. As lovingly furnished and memory filled as the house was when we moved in, it was in need of modernisation, personalisation and a colour pop or two…or, as I said to my husband “it needs Rachy-fied”.

The darkest room was the single bedroom (my daughter’s room). The reason for this was it had green carpets, green walls, a dark oak window frame and it’s also a very small sized space. This was the room in the house I was most excited about, as it was the most challenging out of all of them, and I do love a challenge!

When I started to design Lottie’s room I knew I wanted to brighten it up as much as possible and open it up so it seemed much bigger. I decided that the only way I could achieve this was by doing a few things. These were as follows: Painting the walls fresh pastel colours; adding fun wall stickers; creating a geometric design on the back wall; painting the oak window frame white; replacing the carpet with white laminate flooring; adding a large rug and laying it vertically; adding a super colourful chest for Lottie’s clothes and books; keeping the furniture to a minimal and accessorising the room with the most colourful of homewares out there from some my favourite brands (including my own :))!

Below is a list of some of the products I have used in Lottie’s room and a link to where you can buy them.

  1. Walls – Dulux Matt Wall Paint, Pretty Pink and Lemon Tropics (www.dulux.co.uk)
  2. Flooring – Balterio Laminate Off White Oak (www.balterio.com)
  3. Triangle Wall Stickers – The Lovely Wall Co (www.the-lovely-wall-company.shopify.com)
  4. Cat Cushion – Jane Foster (www.janefoster.co.uk)
  5. Ceramic Bunny – Camila Prada (www.camilaprada.com)
  6. Yoko Print – Rachel Powell (www.racheljpowell.com)
  7. Pink Polka Dot Rug – Aldi (www.aldi.co.uk)
  8. Chest – Maisons Du Monde (www.masionsdumonde.com)
  9. Deer Plush Wall Mount – Kelsey Davis Design (www.kelseydavisdesign.com)
  10. Personalised Print (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
  11. Free Stitched Cloud – My own!
  12. Wall Letters – Next Home (www.next.co.uk)

Rachel x x

(P.s. keep your eyed peeled for a feature on our previous home in September’s Homestyle Magazine, out next month!)

 

Add some pops of colour to your favourite shopper!

I’ve recently rediscovered my love for TASSELS!!! I used to make loads of these fun woolly decorations with kids at my craft classes, in all different brightly coloured yarns, threads, trims and ribbons! They are the perfect addition to accessories such as shoppers, totes or belly baskets. I’ve used my tassels to decorate my favourite  pink kitschy Sun Jellie’s bag –  if you haven’t yet come across this fantastic colourful brand go check them out  www.sunjellies.com.

This DIY project was a real treat to work on – if you would like to give it a go simply follow my steps below (you will love it, I promise!).

What you will need:

Oddments of wool (four different summery shades!)

1 x metre of cotton twine

A pair of scissors

A large darning needle

A small rectangular piece of cardboard

To make your tassel template cut out a piece of cardboard measuring 12cm x 8cm. Measure 3.5cm down from the top and cut out a section measuring 6cm x 1cm.

Step 1: Wrap your chosen wool around the tassel template working vertically, carrying the yarn up and over the back side and then down the front side. Tie in a knot at bottom edge to secure.

Step 2: Continuously wrap yarn around tassel template working from left to right to form large woolly loops, create a few layers. For chunky yarns wrap 10-15 times, for thinner yarns wrap 20-25 times.

Step 3: Thread a 10cm length of yarn onto your large darning needle. Working from the back to the front push darning needle through at the left side of the cut out section. Now wrap the yarn across the top part of your tassel and through the gap. Repeat a second time.

Step 4: Turn over tassel template. Pull the end pieces of yarn tightly and tie with a double knot to secure. Trim off yarn ends.

Step 5: Cut all bottom loops and remove your template. Now give your tassel a little haircut so the bottom edge looks lovely and neat!

Step 6: Repeat steps 2 – 5 and make three more tassels. Thread a long piece of twine onto your darning needle and pull through top loops of all tassels.

Step 7: I have attached my tassels to my Sun Jelly bag by tying the end pieces of twine around the small holes which sit below the handles and securing with a double knot. For regular shoppers, bags and belly baskets simply tie onto the ends of your handles!

Rachel x x

DIY Wool Wall Hanging

I love love love the macrame revival that’s happening right now. I am a sucker for anything boho and I am constantly trying to inject some bohemian/urban living style into our home. This has been one of my favourite projects I have worked on so far. I adore all of the 70’s wall hangings around at the moment so I decided to make my own version. The first best thing about this DIY is that there is no real craft technique involved, no complicated knotting, twisting or stitching, just some simple tassel making! The second best thing about this project is that you can use up wool from your yarn stash and recycle a pair of old wooden needles (if you are a knitter and crocheter like me) so it won’t break the bank to make it!

What you will need:

1 x pair of wooden/bamboo knitting needles

2 x 100g balls of super chunky mustard/yellow yarn A sharp pair of scissors

A ruler

A glue gun

A 70cm piece of cotton twine

Step 1: Position knitting needles so that the ends are facing each other and attach using a hot glue gun. Step 2: Cut 5 x 150cm lengths of yarn and fold over all pieces to form long woolly loops. Step 3: Place tops of loops over needle and under. Step 4: Lift all end pieces of yarn and pull through all loops. Step 5: Repeat steps 2 –  4 until you have 19 tassels in total (the amount may vary depending of the length of your needles), the middle tassel should sit on top of the needle join, where the two ends meet. Step 6: Cut a 70cm piece of cotton twine and tie two knots to secure, one next to the first tassel and the other after the last tassel. Step 7: Place wool wall hanging over the edge of a chair and roughly trim wool to form a ‘V’ shape at bottom edge.  The best way to do this is to measure down 45cm on 1st  tassel using a ruler and start cutting diagonally downwards to the 10th tassel. Do the same for the other side. Step 8: Hang wool hanging using a picture hook or drawing pin and give it a little trim again so that the bottom edge sits nice and straight. And there you have it, a simple and colourful bohemian style project for your home! Stay tuned for my next blog post on my top 10 craft materials, coming soon! Rachel x x