Saturday, 28 April 2012

Grassy Green

A while a go I put my shapes and things design into a repeat - a bit more flexibility for a big cushion perhaps.  Available to order in any of my colour range.  I just happened to have started with green and given all the rain we've been having recently - it kind of suits the mood!
I've been a bit distracted lately with lampshade sales and kitchens! So thought it was about time I paid more attention to my Etsy Shop - new things coming soon!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Monday, 23 April 2012

Shapes and Things

On Friday, Stanley came home with a print out of 2D and 3D shapes.
 As is his thing at the moment, they were soon cut up.  So on Saturday morning I thought I'd come up with the perfect bit of mother and son craft activity: cut out lots of shapes and make some bunting, Hurrah!
I've got loads of this foam stuff that we bought from our local craft shop in tons of colours.  It's very easy to cut, so was just right for the job (felt would have been nice, but not so easy to draw on, plus I didn't have any!)
Out came the shapes puzzle.
I've got a soft spot for this toy as I used to play with it at my Grandma's on our regular Tuesday visits after school .  This isn't the actual one, but very similar (found on Ebay)
The shapes are a good size to draw around, so we used them for the templates. The general idea was that I would draw the shapes - Stanley would cut.

There were well over a hundred shapes in the end.  Even his dad came in to lend a hand.
Stanley actually drew around one shape in total and cut out two! As is usually his way, he busied himself on his own project. I no longer get frustrated about this, as it's nice that he's just engaged with something creative, sitting with me, sticking, colouring and cutting and not dashing off to watch Doctor Who or whatever.
 Rectangles were his favourite, so he had a little collection of these going on while I kept on chopping.
Once this was done I went off upstairs to sort out the sewing machine.  I put all the shapes into colour coded piles and then shouted him away from the TV.
 Stanley passed me the shapes (more like threw, but never mind) as I sewed - team work at last.

So whilst the kitchen is empty and we still decide on the floor, I quickly hung up our morning's work and said 'well done mummy!' (He'd gone back to the TV by then).
We had a few left over so we've got a little one to take to school - with a nonagon and a decagon thrown in for good measure.
Two shape related things I've bought recently - 'I am a Shape' card set from Francesca of Mrs. Eliot Books (Mister Maker was a big hit in our house for a while, so I know that song very well and couldn't resist) and this little postcard from the triangle queen, Kerry of The Seventy Tree (sale on in her shop right now!) Happy to know there are others out there, lost in shape land.
Mrs. Eliot Books
The Seventy Tree

 I just hope Stanley doesn't go and cut them all up.....

Friday, 20 April 2012

Two Days to Decide....

My friend Nick offered to sand our floor!
It was very dark and dusty.
Off I went to the paint shop and bought deep mahogany stain
Very not nice dark red brown.
Hopped on bike, went back to paint shop and bought dark oak.
That's more like it.
Went off to studio.
Came back to a very light floor.

Nick has gone off for a few days so I can make my mind up.
Anyone else have an opinion?
Deep dark oak - bit like before but all nice and smooth and a little bit shiny......
or just slap on the varnish (matt) after a bit more sanding to get rid of the blotches.

I think I've decided.

What to do with 3 tins of wood stain?.....and what about the stairs!

Thursday, 19 April 2012


I was rather chuffed to receive this picture from a NotOnTheHighStreet customer the other day.  I'm slowly compiling a pinterest board of customer pics of my lights and things in their homes.  Thank you everyone for sending them in! More coming soon. I was very happy to see my old friend Megan of Mr.PS fame displaying my lampshades in her lovely Manchester home.  The kitchen display is gorgeous!  You can see it over at Design Sponge's Sneek Peeks.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Mills, Trees and Galleries.

Easter holidays started nice and quick for us as we headed up North last weekend to see my friend Rae and her family. If you are anywhere near the North West I highly recommend a trip to see Rachael Howard's latest exhibition at Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Cheshire.

We were pleased to get up there for the private view on the Saturday and arrived in time to take a look around the Mill itself.  A grand old cotton mill with demonstrations on spinning and weaving and the biggest water wheel I've ever seen. It really was a great place to visit and find out about the transition of working life from home to mill.
I was intrigued to be told that, at one time, every woman in the country would have been hand spinning cotton every day at home, long before the factories stepped in!

Rachael's work is a real joy and her drawings and fabrics are brimming with playful fun, more so than ever in 'Lost and Found'.  Michael Brennand-Wood opened the show with a heartfelt thumbs up to Rae and her work, supporting the fact that she is a true original and master of her craft.
The boys were very pleased to see each other again and cracked on with colouring and chit chat. I didn't take many photos, so that means you just have to go and see it for yourself - it's on until the 26th June.
Stanley's souvenir colouring book - a nice little touch for the kids!

The next day was glorious sunshine so we took to the hills followed by a leisurely stroll along the beach. 

A moment of calm before we leave.
In the afternoon we sped off Sheffield way to see the family and do a spot of tree climbing.  A whirlwind visit but well worth the trip for a blast of inspiration and fresh air.

Yesterday, I had a last minute chance to see David Hockney at The Royal Academy, thanks to my friend Jacquie and her fast track John Lewis card! What an amazing show, I was totally blown away.  I'd seen the programme on TV about the making of Hockney's Yorkshire woodland paintings so to actually see them in reality was just fantastic. Staring at these huge paintings brimming with colour and vivacity felt just like I was back up North standing in the woods again. The iPad drawings were incredible and I loved how his sketchbooks were not just teasingly set behind glass but had little photographic screens above them passing glimpses of those precious hidden pages.  The huge video installation of rectangular frames was like a live webcam of his work, in living form, before it landed on each canvas. It allowed you to almost see through the eyes of the artist himself.  Despite the crowds I actually enjoyed the fact that it was busy and alive with people, respectfully pacing and gazing and to catch the odd comment and mini appraisal passing by, was quite funny.
So having been to two exhibitions this week, where the artists clearly love what they do and do it all so very well, it's really put a spring in my step.. Time out is good for soul and spirit indeed!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Mini Office

Mini office, originally uploaded by Helen Rawlinson.
I got sick of our my laptop cluttering up the kitchen table so I tried to ban it from the kitchen altogether but it just kept creeping back in. So now it has an official spot and the ercol extension table is on hand for those extra guests without having to drag it out of the cellar each time we need it (OK so lazy me didn't put it back one day and the Mini Office was born!)


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