Thursday, 4 June 2015

Lace Effect Window...

Hello lovelies, long time no blog! 

My creative/blogging mojo seemed to have wandered off there for a little while but has now returned with a happy vengeance. With having lots of crafty projects on my to do list, I thought I'd get cracking with this little mini-makeover. As I mention here I was still yet to come up with a nice window treatment for the round windows in the attic bedrooms. I love the feature but just felt it needed finishing off somehow. 

Well, after I had stumbled upon this lovely post, I thought as a pretty and perhaps temporary measure this would work. We have some square glass panes to go on all our downstairs doors, for some much needed light, so I thought at least it would be a practice run as I quite fancied this idea for the doors too. 

I thought I would do Miss. Poppins' room and here is Master P's round window. Not sure he's going to go for the lace effect (bit girly) so may have to come up for another plan for him. 

I thought the windows looked a bit dirty, so first off I gave them a good clean.

I purchased the pretty lace fabric at the bargain price of £1.50 a metre from Ikea.

I then made a template of the round window, which was a bit bit fiddly. I then used that to cut out the lace in a big circle which you can just about see here.

Then I gathered together my ingredients.

As with most tutorials I follow, I kind of found my own way, I used a little less than one and a half cups of boiling water and that felt to me like a good consistency. I was aware though I didn't really want any streak marks left behind of the glue mixture, which I do have a couple of in the finished look. Maybe next time I'd add more water to make it a little more runny. 

Then it really was just a case of painting the mixture directly onto the glass.

Then I placed the lace over it and then repainted over it bit by bit. I really had no method and occasionally the lace came away, so I applied a bit more of the mixture in that area. 

Soon the window was done, and although not really recommended for areas that get wet due to condensation issues and the lace possible falling away, I popped some on the round window in the little bathroom too. It dried perfectly and so far so good, we shall see how it fares. I love the fact it is temporary and that with just some hot water and a bit of a scrub it can come off, for now though, I think it's definitely a keeper :) 

It gives just the right amount of screening, but still lets lots of light in and it looks pretty from the outside too. 

Can't wait to get going on the door panes know :)


Friday, 17 April 2015

Coronation Street - The Tour

Hello lovelies.

We have had a busy little Easter holiday and had some great fun, hope you may have too and one outing we really enjoyed and looked forward to, was going on the Coronation Street Tour Being big Corrie fans we couldn't wait to go, even setting our alarms for an early start. I had been on the old Granada Studios Tour many years ago, I even went for an interview to be a guide - a perfect job for those 'arty' types. I was really keen to see how the Corrie set may have differed to my last mooch around, and the children, especially the youngest was really excited and couldn't quite believe he'd actually get to see the Rovers. Although the cast and crew have now moved over to a new location at Media City, it is super that there is still the opportunity to see the sets that had been used for so many years previously, and we all know those cobbles are infamous. The Kabin set can (for a short time) still be seen on current Corrie programmes due to filming in advance, so that fact was great to learn. 

Our guide was David, a jolly and knowledgeable chap who was happy to answer any questions for Corrie fans as we were walking around. To keep things moving and out of respect to the other visitors, it is asked that photographs are not taken on the guided part of the tour. You can however have your photograph professionally taken behind the bar at the rovers and that can be purchased from the gift shop which is situated inside the medical centre set. If you really want a good look you can download free images from their gallery - I wanted everything to be a surprise so if you are planning on visiting, maybe take a peek after you've been.  

The tour was started by our guide telling us all about the history of Coronation street and then explained we were actually sitting in their Green Room - a room where only the cast (no crew) were allowed to relax in. There is even a quiet room for those that want more of a peaceful rest. Along we went, past the old dressing rooms of the actors and actresses, and then on to see the wardrobe department and onto the interior sets. It really is fascinating to see it all, and everything looks a lot smaller compared to on the TV, the attention to detail is fantastic. I was really interested in seeing that the stairs in Gails house didn't actually lead anywhere, just six or seven steps with a little post on the end for the actor/ress who has just run up it, probably in a strop, to hold on to and then has to stay put till the end of the scene. 

The Rovers interior set was brilliant, and we couldn't wait to get our snap from behind the bar :) I think Master P forgot about having to look up at the camera on the wall, he loved it in there. 

Next we were taken around some more sets, I especially loved seeing the Kabin interior and it was just as fascinating seeing it when we got outside and actually onto the cobbles. Here's a little peek...

The most exciting bit for me was seeing the outside and the feeling of the cobbles on your feet, a real nostalgic moment for those of use who have been watching Corrie for years. Nicks Bistro is quite a new addition but still felt surreal standing outside it. 

And of course, Roy's Rolls, what a treat actually being there :)

In my opinion, I think this is one of the most famous houses in the street.

And then there's Carla's posh apartment. Hard to believe its just a 'set' and not a proper apartment block. 

Going behind the houses and through the alleyway was interesting too, as much of the filming action often took place in these areas over the years. 

And who lives in a house like this?

I could not leave without getting a photograph outside this famous pub. 

 Whilst outside you were pretty much free to come and go, take as many photographs as you liked and could stay for a long as you wanted viewing the exterior sets. There are places to grab a drink and a bite to eat, and I can definitely recommend the takeaway chips :) 

There was also a little mini tour from another enthusiastic guide for the outside 'sets' and we listened to some very interesting facts and there is much more to see. Soon it was time to have a mooch around the gift shop, which is actually in the old medical centre, still with its original signs inside. 

(Courtesy of Tour Image Gallery)

How could we leave without a little treat or two, we purchased these items from the gift shop which was filled with some really fun and Corrie related items.

And a little something for a relative of ours who is in her 70's and the biggest fan ever! She would love the tour so I shall have to take her around especially as the tour is now extended into 2015. 

So a very enjoyable tour and I would say perfect for any Corrie fan, but also, if like me, you are also interested in television and the media it is really interesting. Prices start at £15.50 for children (5-15), £16 for Students and Senior Citizens, Adults £17, and a Family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) is £60. Children under 5 with an adult go free. If you compare costings to many attractions it is in my opinion reasonable and the memories you'll take away with you last a life time.

So a definite thumbs up from me, we really, really enjoyed it :) 

Disclosure: We gained complimentary admission to Coronation Street: The Tour for the purposes of this blog post. All opinions and words my own. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Pink Delights From Flamingo Gifts....

I love pretty, I love pink, so when Flamingo Gifts sent this perfectly pink parcel of pretty delights for me to have a little play with, I couldn't wait to dive right in. Flamingo Gifts offers such lovely, cute and quirky items, including home accessories, party ideas, fun books and all manner of delightful things that one wouldn't normally find on the high street. 

Although I had given a little hint to Flamingo Gifts as to what items may float my boat, I couldn't have imagined the gorgeousness of this pretty parcel. Whoever selected the items must secretly know me very well, as it really couldn't have been more pink.

I just adore this vintage style telephone, based on the famous princess style of the 1950's. Its a beautifully compact style and the pink is a lovely sugary shade, perfect for girly chats ;) It was so easy to set up, just pop the line in and then plug the other end into your telephone socket and away you go.  

The bell ringer only adds to the charm, and the fact it is a push button means it is compatible with menu options, and which is super handy as most of the company customer services I ring often have about 9 different options to get through.

It has some great other features too.

I have a feeling this next product shall be making it's way into the teenagers room.

The make up bag is gorgeous :)) I love the magicians wand as the 'i' and the fluorescent pink is so on trend. My make up loving Miss. Poppins already has her eye on this so I doubt it shall ever get the opportunity to keep my make up in it, though I shall certainly be borrowing it every now and then.  

I am a big lover of quotes and sayings around the home, and like to be inspired in every room I step in. I think this plaque says it all, and features all the pretty things I love, pink, hearts and bows.

A real bargain too at only £3.10. 

I'm often out and about and like to grab a bite to eat from the house to take with me. Often its just chucked into one of the children's tatty lunch bags and away I go. Now I have something far more stylish and can be happy to pull out of my bag.

I love the quirky words on this lunch box and there is even a little cheeky "(no peeping)" once you have removed the black and white strap that keeps your lunch box in place. How cute is that.

The colours really pop out at you and although I'm not sure if my snacks shall always be very healthy, I am at least very proud to have such a beautiful lunch box to keep them in. I'll do my best to keep it more of the healthy variety.

At Flamingo Gifts there are also some great brands on offer, and finally we have a pretty pink item that again someone else has their eye on. 

Although perfect for lunchtimes, I think this hot pink little number would also be great as a little storage holder for all those pretty bits and bobs, jewellery, clips etc. It would look so pretty on a shabby chic style dressing table. 

The lunch box comes complete with two compartments and a beautiful elasticated band which has a Ted Baker gold bow. The elasticated band is really pretty and keeps everything secure inside. Once your lunch has been eaten, you can then pop the compartment back in and it closes to only 5cm, therefore taking up less space in your bag.

I think it may soon start to grow legs and wander off into the teens bag/bedroom very soon.

So, some really cute items on offer and if you haven't visited Flamingo Gifts before I would definitely have a mooch. I have been overwhelmed by the pretty selection they sent and so impressed with the lovely treats, I had to make a little order. The 1p first class delivery was also very tempting and a great offer. Amongst a couple of other things I ordered, I loved this case for our family ipad and at 50% off, a bargain.

So I shall certainly be making frequent visits to Flamingo Gifts, hope you find something pretty there too :)


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Homebase Dining Room Makeover....

Hello lovelies, I thought I'd share a nice little home makeover post with you today.

I am one who needs no encouragement when it comes to prettying up areas in my home and was delighted to take part in the Homebase #MyWay makeover project. Many a room in my home needs a little TLC, however, there is one room that is not much more than an empty shell and definitely in need of a makeover. The room is the dining area, and I couldn't wait to get decorating.

Homebase has some great inspiration over at the Project Centre and I enjoyed having a browse before starting my makeover. It is said that people on average spend £243 on updating their home decor and get much of that inspiration from online and offline friends, otherwise known as 'Friendspiration'. This encourages many of us to have a go ourselves, and without calling out the professional experts. For this makeover I did it pretty much all on my own (bar borrowing the husband for a bit of drilling and heavy duty sanding) so it can be done! On average, shoppers also spend 29 days researching ideas for the makeover. For my research I created a Pinterest board and although my research took a lot less than the average 29 days, I did have quite a clear idea how I wanted the space to look.

                            Follow Sew_Pretty's board Homebase #MyWay on Pinterest.

So, it was that average amount of £243 (given in Homebase vouchers) that I was to spend on redecorating and updating the dining area. Now, I could have just given it a quick coat of paint and purchased some swanky new bits and bobs and voila, all done. But oh no, when I get stuck in, I get well and truly stuck in. Being somewhat of a thrifter, I really wanted to get as much as possible with that £243, and it took 3 Homebase visits to get all I needed. Here is my trolley on my first shopping expedition...

I was going to go my usual flowery self with the wallpaper but changed my mind as there really is quite enough floral-ness going on in this home. I loved this white brick wallpaper and knew it would be perfect, it has an almost 3D look and I only used up 2 rolls doing both walls. I did get an extra roll just to be sure, and it is always useful to have a spare in case of repairs and/or if the wallpaper gets discontinued. So at £12.99 a roll, I spent £38.97 on wallpaper.

 I also spent a small amount on brushes and wallpaper adhesive.

As to the area itself, as I mentioned earlier it is well over due a makeover and getting involved in this project gave the the impetus to get motivated finally. The room had been stripped back previously and needed a little plastering in places. The area was looking not so much shabby chic, but just plain shabby. 

You can see in the corner I had been playing with wallpaper samples so it was a work in progress to a degree, I just needed to get it finished. Once the walls had been cleaned with sugar soap to wipe off any grease, dirt and grit, it was time to get wallpapering. I have wallpapered before and wasn't really fazed, however I do think it is a two wo/man job as it can be somewhat fiddly getting the paper lined up etc. The first piece went up like a dream, however the next one I had a little obstacle in the way, namely the radiator and as I was not over enthusiastic abut removing it, found a very handy video that shared some great tips on wallpapering.

Do I get a gold star?

Possibly not the neatest job, but I'm hoping no-one is going take a nose at the back ;) Soon, I got in my stride and I was really liking the look of the wallpaper as it was going up.

Next, it was time to get painting the sideboard which was purchased off ebay many years ago and for a song. I decided to try out Rust-oleum furniture paint in Dusky Pink  and Chalk White both priced at £14.99 and I have to say I was very impressed.

I used the 'Dusky Pink' for the sideboard and 'Chalky White' for the chairs and table legs. I found the 4 chairs in a skip a very long time ago (I did ask if it was ok to take them) and here is what they looked like before I painted them. 

I decided to make a start on the sideboard and I think the pink colour looks great against the white arty wallpaper. I didn't want too matt a finish, so I gave it a slightly white washed look and which I think gives it some character.

Even though I had decided the floorboards were going to be painted white, they really weren't in very good condition, and as there are floorboards elsewhere in the house to clean up, decided to try out a floor sander for the weekend. One thing I learnt was that sanders weigh a tonne! Anyway am glad we did sand the floorboards first as I think the paint went on so much easier. Here they are prepared and ready to be painted after the sand.

 It was certainly good practice for when we come to use the sander again for the other floorboards. After painting the skirting boards I then used this paint to freshen up the walls and ceiling. I couldn't resist a little play to see which corner I was going to display the plant I had purchased. 

 The paint we used for the floor was Ronseal Diamond Hard White floor paint priced at £31.99 for a 2.5L tin. I applied it with a long handled roller which saved lots of time and it dried really quickly. It gives the space a lovely fresh, airy feel to it. 

I was desperate to get the pretties in and had purchased some lovely accessories from Homebase, however I was a good girl and waited for the floor paint to harden. I also wanted (with the help from husband) to put a shelf up. I did display the pretty frames and which I thought a bargain at only £5.29 each. I used some of a sample wallpaper for the background and that I also incorporated in the sideboard. I then popped a cut out heart shape inside each frame from my favourite fabrics.  

I love the hanging family sign ;) 

Nearing the finish line, my poor thumbs were definitely feeling it. 

Time to get the chairs finished.

I decided to pop a little cushion on each chair that I already had and attached with some ribbon. I love the 'Smile' quote.

It was all coming together and I could finally put my purchased pretties in place. Some of my favourites were this oh so cute Squirrel and I couldn't leave the gloss white Stag behind. I love candlelight at tea time and thought these Lace and House tea light holders perfect for the makeover.

So here is the room after my makeover and I have to say I love it.
*Many photographs coming up alert* 

As it's coming up to Easter, I had to dig out the twiggy tree.

The 'Laugh' tea light holders look lovely lined up and the glass jars are perfect for displaying the tea lights.

Yum! Little sweet biscuits are definitely one of my favourite things :)

I chose a natural straw runner for the sideboard and matching table mats for the table, I think they add texture to the look of the room.

This glass vase came home with me too, perfect for displaying fruit.

I thought this hanging sign just perfect against the brick effect wallpaper.

Another pretty candle, and it coordinates beautifully with the set of 3 rose canvases displayed behind.

The squirrel and stag look perfectly at home.

This is our family's favourite children's book, and it had to have a special place too. 

Tea lights at tea time...

Time to eat...

I really hope you enjoyed your little tour of our newly decorated dining area, quite a difference don't you think, perhaps you've been inspired to pick up the paint brush? I hope so. I felt so depressed and uninspired in the old room as it was and now feel so much cheerier walking in.  

I was very impressed with Homebase as not only was I able to purchase the basics, like paint, wallpaper, brushes etc, but they also offer some fantastic home accessories and in my opinion at great prices. I was able to really fill my trolley/ies up with the £243 budget. Of course, some things I already had, but I always aim to recycle as much as I can rather than buy new all the time. 

Now to enjoy it :)


Disclosure: I was sent £243 of Homebase vouchers for the purposes of this makeover project blog post. All words and opinions are my own.