Thursday, 30 October 2014

Free Craft Storage

Recently, I rescued this empty can of nuts from the recycling box. I thought that it was a nice size for craft storage. It even had a transparent plastic lid.

Now I'm not the sort of person that could just use it 'as is.' I wanted to remove the print but how? I tried a variety of products and methods without much success.

I thought about covering it with paper or fabric but I liked the plain silver as it fits with some of my existing craft storage boxes. 

I became obsessed with how to remove the print from the can. After a bit more trial and error I found that the print comes off when it is rubbed with an old fashioned wire scouring pad. It takes about ten minutes to completely remove the print from the can. The longest and most difficult bit is the lip below the lid. Underneath the tin is silver and gorgeous!

I already have three new storage containers for the craft room. The great thing is that the lids have an overlap which means that the cans can be securely stacked on top of one another. 

There's another flavour which comes with a red top. This picks up the Poppy theme in the craft room!

Now I  just have to eat more nuts and design some labels!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Successful Pattern Matching

The plan was to retire our existing lounge furniture and to buy new. As is often the way when I go shopping for a particular something, I came back empty handed. You'd think I'd have learnt this by now! 
Thus, the sofas have to stay! 

The backup plan was to make some new curtains and scatter cushions. But the backup plan failed too! 

When, oh when, did furnishing fabric become so expensive and so boring! The local shops are filled with furnishing fabrics in duck egg blue and greys but I want bright colours... I found a few embroidered fabrics that I quite liked with a bit of colour but they were really expensive. Plus, I need a lot of fabric as the curtains have to cover two sets of patio doors and a window. I really didn't want to pay so much for something that was okay, but not great. Especially, as we still want to replace the sofas in the future which is likely to trigger a need for new curtains.

What to do? Answer: make the best of what you've got. So, I've spent the last few weeks taking apart my old curtains to scrape together enough fabric to make the curtains that I now need. 

I thought about adding a panel of contrasting fabric to each curtain to make up the length but it is not a look that I like. 

I began to experiment with pattern matching. The pattern had to match along the join but it also had to match where the curtains meet in the middle....

After hours of work, I'm very nearly there! I'll have to live with some joins that I prefer weren't there but that is better than having no curtains at the windows. 

I've found the trick to success in pattern matching is patience. Firstly, iron both pieces. Secondly, match the pattern on both pieces. Thirdly, iron both pieces again along the join line. Fourthly, pin and tack both pieces together. Finally, check the line and sew the seam. Done!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


The thing that really attracted us to our new home is that it is by water. We hoped that we'd be visited by ducks and other waterfowl but we never thought that our nearest neighbour would be a Heron. 

CrossedPaws has not noticed the Heron outside the window yet! 

Close-up of the Heron outside the gate.

Here's the Heron outside the study window!

This is a close-up of the Heron through the window. 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Progress To Date

Here is what my craft room looks like today. It is far from finished but it is now in a state that will allow me to start some of my stitching and home furnishing projects. 

I also need to find some smart storage solutions that don't cost a fortune. During the move I've discovered crafting supplies that were stashed in the loft and long since forgotten.... they include items for lace making, glass engraving and a kit to make an embroidered waistcoat still in the original packaging. The sad thing is that I won't be making this as hubby doesn't wear waistcoats these days!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Furnishing My Craft Room For Free

Regular readers will know that I had a round white table, a dressing table, some low shelf units, some high shelf units and some CD storage available to me. Here's how I used them to furnish my craft room.

I decided to put the table and chairs in front of the window. The natural light and the view is simply too nice to ignore but I am going to have to make a window treatment to keep the sun light from blinding me! I've not had this 'problem' before!

I put the lower shelf units on the wall facing the door. So far, so good! 

I considered using the dressing table as extra working space. This would allow me to leave projects out and still have space to use the laptop or the sewing machine on the table. I've never had this luxury before. 

Also, the fact that I can close the door means that CrossedPaws himself is denied the fun of knocking everything on the tabletop to the ground. I know he is cute but he is a terror too!

In the end I discarded the dressing table and opted for the tall book cases. I settled for three along the wall behind the door. I added brass lights to the top and some matching brass handles to the cupboard to tie it all in, because I already had them and because I could! Now, for the first time ever, all of my craft patterns, books and materials are all in one room. The picture below shows a shelf of my favourite and most used craft books.  

Finally, I put doors on the second low unit and filled the dog leg by the window with a tall corner shelf unit and the CD storage. The great thing about this is that the corner unit holds loads and is an arm's reach away, yet it is completely invisible from the door! 

I have a plan for the CD storage but I'm not going to share it with you yet. 

I'm pleased with the lay out. The floor space has even allowed me to remove my exercise machine from the main bedroom because it fits comfortably in front of the tall shelves. Now I can work out whilst the glue is drying!

I didn't want a television in here but I've sacrificed a shelf to my favourite music system. 

It is going to be very hard to leave this room!

The great thing about this room is that I've furnished it with furniture and fittings that I have and so I can spend my money on craft materials and much needed storage.  

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

My Craft Room

Now I'll admit I've always been very envious of bloggers with their own craft rooms and I still can't quite believe that I now have my own. It isn't the largest of rooms but it is all mine! It is long and thin with a dog leg in the far corner by the window.

The room is south facing, looking out over the garden and full of sun light. I've inherited pale yellow walls with accents of red (provided by a somewhat dated border of poppies and matching curtains), pale green carpet, wooden door, wooden skirting boards and a wooden window frame. I don't have the time to decorate yet and so I've just cleaned it thoroughly. 

I'm going to furnish the room with the furniture that I have. I'm not allowing myself to buy anything until we've been in the house for a few months. 

Here is the furniture that I have left to play with - a round white table, a white dressing table, some old chairs that have been in the garage for years (they will need new covers), three tall bookcases and a corner unit, two tall CD racks and two low cupboards. 

I'll show you what I did with it all soon!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Picture Problems

Apologies, I've received an email telling me that some of my pictures are not showing correctly in archived posts. Sadly, this has proved to be correct. Curiously, the same pictures are shown perfectly on my related Pinterest page. 

I've tried everything that I've been recommended to do to correct the problem but nothing is working. I'm stumped! I've done nothing different at my end and all of the missing photos show clearly in the record of posts.

If any reader has experienced this problem before and can tell me how to cure it, I'd be very, very grateful. 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Making it up as I go

Now I think I've mentioned that we'd only seen the interior of the house once before we bought it - meaning that I did not have the luxury of measuring the rooms and planning where to put the furniture before moving day. 

All of this means that I've developed a new skill - I call it dancing with furniture. The objective of the dance is to find the room lay out that allows us to use the room in the manner that we've planned. Why don't I use a paper plan? Because believe it or not, with the furniture piled in the centre of each room by the movers, it was actually easier to just move it into position until I found a lay out that works and that I like from all viewpoints. 

Downstairs is mainly open plan and was pretty easy to sort with large rooms and plenty of windows. The only real restriction is the traffic flow to the doors, stairs, conservatory etc. 

Upstairs is very different. The cottage is two hundred years old and it has been extended at least three times. The upstairs rooms are very long and narrow which means that they are awkward to furnish. 

Oh how I missed access to my online design resources! Sadly, by this time we'd had the land line connected but the broadband was less than a quarter of the capacity that we'd had before and nigh on impossible for us both to use together. Time to order fibre! But fibre was not going to be available in the village for a while....

So now, it is a few weeks later, we have fibre and I'm an expert in dealing with narrow rooms! 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

New Home

It has been some time since I've had the opportunity to write here. These pictures show a very small proportion of the bags and boxes that I've been unpacking.

We fell in love with the new house for many reasons. It is a two hundred year old cottage by water and one of the few heritage houses in the area. It is also located in a small village that was listed in the Doomsday Book. 

It is truly a different world from our old house, purchased new, from a builder on a modern estate. But the old house was my home for twenty years. In that time I'd had the garden landscaped, chosen the colour schemes for each room, painted and made all of the curtains, purchased furniture for the house, replaced the kitchen, bathroom and cloakroom etc. 

After less than two weeks in the new house I was very pleased to have only two rooms left to unpack - the craft room and the guest room. But then things started to go wrong! 

We had a flood. I was relaxing in the sitting room after a long day of unpacking when I noticed a dark stain on the ceiling. I was certain that it had not been there in the morning. I was right. After some investigation we found that the shower in the en-suite was leaking. I was really worried because plumbing is not my thing and the stain was right above the ceiling light. I had visions of the ceiling falling down and the electrics blowing up! Early the following morning I was on the phone to a contractor that I have used in the past but he was the other end of the country on holiday! Worse than that the guys that he recommended were not picking up the phone.... after a phone marathon, I found a contractor in our new village who was able to come that day. The expense was unplanned but the problem was resolved. I went to bed breathing a big sigh of relief. 

Then we realised that the main drain was partially blocked. Another contractor, another unexpectedly large bill!

Then the flush on the toilet in the en-suite stopped working. Another contractor visit and another bill all in the space of the first month!

By this time, I was worried we'd bought a money pit for a house! We knew there would be issues with such an old house but we didn't expect all of these issues in the first few weeks....Thankfully, things settled down and I managed to get back to the unpacking.