Sunday, 26 April 2015

I do actually make stuff I see on Pinterest. Is that weird?


I thought I'd share some of my projects today, many of which have been inspired by Pinterest. Which I LOVE! I am fairly addicted to Pinterest although I think I use it differently to most people. I actually do make some of the things I pin....


Fess up now, you know which side of the Pinterest (beautifully crafted and full of gorgeous time consuming details) fence you sit on. The pinner on the left is the pin-all-the-things-buy-all-the-stuff-but-rarely-if-ever-get-around-to-making-it. On the other side of the fence is the pinner who pins-only-five-things-and-then-does-them-all. Which one are you? I'm the one standing right on the fence, totally in the middle. But if I didn't have a job, I think I'd probably jump down to the right hand side as I do make some of the things.

You can find me on Pinterest here, if you are interested to see my boards.

I rarely follow Pinterest tutorials though. I tend to use the images and descriptions as a starting point for an idea and then carry it out myself in a way I want to. I'm like that with lots of things, i.e. not-good-with-rules.

This is a hand printed tote bag I made to put Christmas presents in for a few friends and family members. The colour spots are from some pigment I bought in Marrakech and the slogan is stamped with alphabet stamps and black archival ink. Simple but sweet I thought. Also, I love the idea of using the totes to go and buy carrots or shampoo or fairly ordinary groceries and yet your bag states you are looking for magic. The incongruousness appealed to me.

You can just see on the left hand side some silhouette family portraits I made here. They are cut out photographs in white and on a hand printed grey background. There are four and the frames were a lucky find in a charity shop which I painted black. I really like these and am going to redo them every few years as the boys grow.

I love DIY and decorating my house is one of my total passions. I've been a fan of painted floors for quite some time, as I find it hard to get real wood to a colour I like. It always tends to go too yellowy or orange for my taste. However I don't like carpet and usually when I've been decorating there has been a extremely-tight-if-it-even-exists-at-all budget. So painted floors are a great compromise.
Above and below is our bedroom. I wanted a really dark purple, almost an aubergine colour and couldn't find an affordable one at the time. If I was redoing this I'd probably choose either Burnt Juniper from Fired Earth or Pelt from Farrow and Ball. But at the time, I decided to mix my own colour using some samples and paints I already had. I just winged this bit and kept adding until it looked how I wanted it to. It was quite a bright purple as I put it on, but it dried to a wonderful colour and has lasted really well over the three years it's been down. It gets a lot of wear and tear too as we use the bedroom such a lot, although usually with bare feet.

Here it is dry with the bed back in the room. That, by the way, is the biggest pain about painting floors - having to take everything out of the room and let the floor dry before it goes back in. It means a few days of chaos usually.

This is our dining room, which I cunningly decided to do in two halves. It made the job take twice as long, but at least I didn't have to live with stuff everywhere! I don't think anyone enjoys climbing over tables and chairs to simply move around the house.

Here it is after I finished this half. I used an oil based paint for this floor. I much prefer water based paints and will always try to use them but for a white floor in a  dining room it needed to be much more hardwearing so I had to do it. It's lasting ok, but it will likely need a repaint in two or three years, which I think is fine as I may well have changed my mind about colours by then.

Pallets! A post about Pinterest without mentioning pallets would just be really wrong wouldn't it. This is a garden planter, very simply put together with no base and filled with soil. I painted it with exterior wood paint and put some plastic carrier bags inside between the soil and the wood. Three and a half years later and in rainy-Northern-England too it's still going strong. The plants have grown so much too. I'm pleased with this one. I have three of them now and plan to make a few more.

This is a painting I made using a technique I'd seen through a tutorial on youtube found via Pinterest. It's an abstract but is meant to represent my fear of either having or not having another child. (The two boys mentioned, one is son and one is step-son so I've only actually had one baby). It's quite a personal piece but it helped me to get some emotion out of my system so I do love it for that reason and I love the colour combination of pinks and yellows.

I've mentioned this crochet blanket before, but I wanted to mention it again as Pinterest is so brilliant for quickly finding patterns for crochet projects. Only last week a friends son wanted me to make him a ladybird and I found a pattern on Pinterest and had made one within 30 minutes. He held it all day, and then named him Bruce, so it must have been what he wanted. Success.

This is a current crochet project. It's a blanket full of lots of different colours and wools, but is all the same stitch. I like to have one longer term project that I can just pick up and do a bit as and when I feel like it but not feel like I have to get it finished soon.

And then of course is the odd Pinterest fail! See the light above? This is the light which was in our front room when we moved it. I'd hated it for years when I decided to simply spray paint the shades neon pink. They used to be even uglier and a kind of mottled-creamy-peach colour. Yes they were as ugly as that sounds. Anyhow, although the light looked a million times better when it was daytime... as soon as you turned the lights on the whole room was bathed in a sickly pink colour which made everything and everyone look a bit peaky. Not at all good. I didn't even take any pictures of it it was so bad, but I did snap this in relief as it was being removed.
Next up is the rag rug I made. Do you remember it from the STaBLE tour? Well here are some of the process photos as I made it...

At the beginning. An awful lot of hessian and different sized bits of fabric as I worked-out-what-worked. It was quite crumpled but became stiffer as time went on.

By the end of the process I preferred the back of the rug to look at but the front to sit and walk on. So I decided to try the other way to make rag rugs, called Hooky.
Here is my trial tiny piece of Hooky...

I really liked it and it feels amazing to stand on. This piece is about the size of an A4 piece of paper so I can't really test walking on it. I've decided though that this is the style I am going to use to make a large rug for my front room. I've started collecting the fabric I need and even bought a second hand easel to turn into a loom for the rug. Now I just need to decide on how to make the loom and what pattern to use and how big to actually make the rug.
I still haven't seen Breaking Bad, so I'm saving that for while I make my rug as it doesn't require a lot of concentration. Not sure when I will get around to it though. The rag rug took me about three weeks and it's only 100x80cm. I want the hooky rug to be about 8 foot square so it may take me six months. Actually that's probably quite optimistic. How many seasons of Breaking Bad are there?
So it's been a bit of a mammoth blog post here, showing just some of the stuff I do with my free time. Incidentally did you notice how much pink and yellow kept popping up? I do like to feel like I've accomplished something with my time you see, I don't like to waste a minute if I can help it!
Thanks for reading,