Darkness & Light

Renovation chaos continues at Delovely HQ– it took me a looong time to find my tablet and stylus in order to do this post and I don’t even want to imagine what will happen the next time I need to find something to wear that is not one of two pairs of (grubby) shorts and one of two (equally grubby) t-shirts….

One of the things we are discovering (#late_to_the_party) is that one renovation project leads to another and, thanks to a profound difference in working styles (I’m more “start one room and finish it before moving to the next,” and he’s more “do all the similar projects at once, even if they are in different rooms”), every single room in our house is both filthy and full of stuff that Does Not Belong There. Think a headboard for my mum in the living room, paint supplies in the dressing room, ALL MY CLOTHES in the basement, all my shoes in storage bins, etc.

What keeps me going is the fact that I may be within striking distance (*spits superstitiously for fear of angering the renovation gods*) of finishing the decor in the office. Which was not on the initial reno list beyond a little project to make desk drawers. Which quickly escalated into new paint, new curtains, new flooring, etc.

Here is the inspiration for the office make-over. I’m hoping I’ll be able to reveal the finished product to you before, oh, say, Christmas….

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1.  Dip-dye curtains, scooped up from the West Elm sale room ($15 each! Woot!)

2. The colour that has captured my heart– Blackberry Punch, by Benjamin Moore. Looks sooo sharp against the creamy white built-ins in our office.

3. Some crisp and preppy fabric that is not too feminine, since our office is shared space and I must refrain from making it too girly.

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4. An area rug to protect our new hardwood floors from the ravages of our office chair’s wheels.

5. A cute print or two to lighten the mood. (I love this one in spite of its punctuation error.)

6. Jumping on the brass hardware/gold accents bandwagon.

 

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Peggy Goes

There are so many exciting projects afoot here at Delovely HQ, but no time for photo-taking and documenting, so you will have to be patient while I restore a semblance of order to our daily lives before I can share with you some of the fun stuff we are up to around here.

In the meantime, I must introduce you to someone who stole my heart the second I saw her. Meet Peggy.

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When I was little, I made clothes-peg dolls by the dozens, taking hours and hours to make each one unique, making clothes, hair, faces and dreaming up individual stories and personalities and relationships for them. My mum found them stored in her basement and gave them back to me– they are hilarious! And I can still remember each and every one of them, as though they were real people. If we ever find my sewing room again in this chaos, I will be sure to post them for you to see so you can have a laugh.

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Knowing how I feel about clothes peg dollies (and about a certain someone named Peggy), you can imagine how my heart skipped a beat when I saw this enchanting little lady at Liberty! Peggy is busy– she goes on holiday, to the shops, to work, to Mexico…. Isn’t this a clever idea? What a sweet gift she would make for a sewist or other crafty sort.

 

The Cat’s Pyjamas

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Chaos continues to reign here at Delovely HQ as we get new windows and new floors installed, so here is a sweet little flashback from my Liberty of London pilgrimage.

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I could be happy with a few of these whimsical beauties, couldn’t you? Check out Rory Dobner‘s work here and here.

Shine a Light

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I saw a similar DIY on Cityline and thought to myself, “Why, those would be PERFECT for my dressing room makeover!” And, since I already had the Ikea candle-holder/planter thingies, all I needed to do was find the covered cord kit I wanted in order to jeuje up the Cityline version, which used plain white plastic cord. Turns out, finding that cord was not as easy as I thought it would be: it seems that North Americans just don’t want pretty, brightly-coloured, fabric-wrapped electrical cord. Brits? Heck, yeah– they are ALL OVER it and you can order it online in a myriad of gorgeous colours. But British electrical cord is not compatible with North American electrical current, as anyone knows who has ever moved from one side of the pond to the other and had to have all her existing lamps rewired… And so, I had a problem. I could order some from Portland, but it was a replica of vintage cord, so the available colours were pretty muted; the most exciting colour they had was a sort of rusty red.
Good looking, but not a good fit with my design vision, alas.

Then, one day, I was walking along and there, in the window of one of my favourite shops, Ziggy’s at Home, was a display of Plogit cords! Perfect!  And they are designed in Canada = awesome!  I zipped in and asked whether the cords came in hot pink and, when the answer was “yes,” I quickly snapped  up two of the remaining three.

Many months later, I enlisted the help of my dear friend BMad to help me with the transformation. He is an artist, photographer, sculptor and all around handy guy, so I knew he’d have the tools. Over I went to his place last  Friday morning and, in under half an hour, he completed the metamorphosis of my candle/plant holder thingies, making them into pretty pendants with a modern edge. Now I can’t wait to hang them!

Here’s how we he did it:

1. Mark the centre of the bottom of the vessel.  These are metal (tin?) so we used a regular hole saw, but you can also get bits that allow you to drill into glass, if you would like to transform a glass container.

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2. Hold the bottom of the vessel steady and sloooooowly drill a hole with the pilot bit, then keep going sloooowly with the hole saw bit. Make sure you choose a hole saw a teeny bit bigger than the socket.

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3. Flip the vessel over to finish drilling from inside, if you can reach with your drill. We put a scrap of 2″ x 4″ under it to protect the surface of the table.

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4. A file will smooth the rough edges of the metal.

5. Unscrew the Plogit socket (or the socket and cord kit you got at the hardware store) and insert it through the hole from the bottom, reattaching the neck on the inside.

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6. Put a bulb in it and there you go! It’s all ready to hang!

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You’ll have to wait until the dressing room gets finished before I can show you these babies in situ, but I wanted to give you a glimpse of the process because BMad and I were so thrilled with the results!

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Thanks to Arren Williams, all-around clever guy and talented designer/stylist for the “spark” of the idea!
And thanks to BMad for doing the drilling and filing.

Spot On

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Confession time: when I painted up the hutch above, I was really under the gun, time-wise. Which meant that I did not really finish the interior of the little drawer where I store my small, flat clutches and evening bags.  The wood is very rough in there and I only had time for a quick coat of primer, so it looked pretty grim.  Worse, it was sort of “pick-y” and a bit of a dangerous spot to store delicate vintage items. Which I put in there anyway because I didn’t have time to deal with the problem. Very bad, lazy, rushed blogger!
I figured I’d get around to it someday….

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That day came along as soon as I found the Cutest Kraft Paper Ever at Homesense the other day.

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If you’d like to do similar to a drawer or some cupboards of your own, you will need:

1. Spray adhesive
2. Sharp scissors (or an X-acto knife and a straight edge– mine are in the shambles of my sewing room, currently inaccessible due to renovations, so I used scissors and just cut very slowly and carefully)
3. Cute lining– wallpaper remnant, fabric, wrapping paper, old tablecloth cut down to size… You could stamp or write on or otherwise decorate your own kraft paper or white paper. How about black paper with chalk pen designs or calligraphy?
4. A tape measure to determine the dimensions of the lining.
(Hint: if I were to do this again, I’d wrap one long piece along the bottom of the drawer and up over the back panel = no seams, pattern stays consistent.  I am GUTTED that I didn’t think of this until it was far too late. Live & learn!)
5. A ruler or straight edge to mark your measurements on the lining
6. A pencil to draw a guideline along the measurements on the lining

Start by measuring your drawer or shelf and then transfer those measurements very carefully to the wrong side of the lining. (See #4 with hint above!)

Carefully cut your lining material to size.

Tape off edges of drawer or shelf– you need to protect them from the overspray of the adhesive; if the latter is left with nothing stuck to it, it dries VERY tacky and stays that way. Messy and horrible!  The adhesive I used gives you 15 seconds of working time, which is not much, so work in batches/pieces and get all your stuff lined up ahead of time. I did a dry-fit of my paper before moving to the adhesive stage and was glad of it; turns out my first piece of paper was a hair too small for the bottom of the drawer and I had to cut another one.

I sprayed the back of the drawer first and glued that strip of lining on, smoothing out the air bubbles as I went along. Then I did each side in turn and ended off with the bottom. I wanted to practise a bit with the adhesive and paper before doing the largest (and most visible) piece. I did it in stages, spraying the back of the drawer bottom first, using the wrong side of the lining as a shield to protect the lined rear panel. After positioning the bottom lining and gluing down the first 2-3 inches, I worked forward, spraying adhesive and using the remaining drawer lining piece as a shield. Worked pretty well, though I did have to pull it up and reposition it in the initial stage. The adhesive worked just fine– it was forgiving enough to give me time to move the paper around a bit.

DO THE SPRAYING OUTSIDE!
The adhesive is really fume-y, so you will need to be somewhere well-ventilated, even if you can’t get outside. Keep pets and kids clear of the probably-totally-toxic-but-you-are-willing-to-inhale-them-for-the-sake-of-your-need-to-make-stuff-look-pretty fumes.

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The edges of the drawer looked a bit rough (why didn’t I paint the top edge at the back?!), so I turned to my dear pal, washi tape, and rolled a bit along each of the sides and the back.

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Done! The paper camouflages some of the roughness and warped-ness of the bottom of the drawer and it is smoother against the delicate fabric of some of my vintage evening bags. Also, it just looks cheery, doesn’t it?

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Total time for this little project: 20-30 minutes.
Difficulty level: easy, if a bit fiddly.

Tray Chic

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These trays by French company Ibride made me guffaw out loud. In typical Liberty style, they are a witty combo of the traditional and the silly and I adore them.
Would it be wrong to get ALL of them and use them on a feature wall?

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Mr. Goat and his Mrs. are the picture of respectability, aren’t they?

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One of the things that I love about Liberty (and the reason that I treat a visit there like a museum visit) is that they curate the truly wonderful and gather it all in one place, introducing unique and interesting companies and their products to people (like me!) who would not necessarily discover them otherwise.
Click on the link to Ibride to see what I mean.

I’m not sure which of these is my favourite….

Sitting purr-ty.

Sitting purr-ty.

Love birds.

Love birds.

Put a bird on it, indeed!

Put a bird on it, indeed!