Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Just DIY it : Hot Wheels


It's an exciting day as I am currently being aired on Australian television on the Great Interior Design Challenge, Series 2, Episode 6.  If you have watched the show here are 3 further links to previous blogs I posted when the show was first aired in the U.K last November. Hope you enjoy the show!

All a bit a bit bonkers on the Great Interior Design Challenge

My Wee House

On Air: The Great Interior Design Challenge  * spoiler alert *

So to celebrate 'Doing it Yourself', this weeks post is a upcycled project. 

Skill Level: Easy
Equipment required:
Old suitcase or trunk.
4 casters, one with a stopper
Enough screws for each castor.  My castors needed 3 screws each therefore 12 total.
A drill, drill bits and drill screwdriver attachment.  All suitable for the size of screw needed.

Most of the time I can't sit still and I'm thinking up a new project.  This one came to me while sitting on the sofa reading.  I had made a cuppa, set it on the old travel trunk and my arms couldn't quite reach across from prone position to lift it.  Life is tough, and so a solution had to be found.

This old travelling trunk was given to me by my Uncle Kenneth.  Its great for storage as well as a coffee table.

I had driven past the CastormartLTD store located in Belfast's University Quarter many times, but had never called in. 

 I love how castors are so practical and colourful!  There was no point just buying cheap ones, they had to work with the trunk colours. 

After a visit to the best hardware store in Belfast, Dawson Wright Hardware on the Creagh Road to get the perfect size of screws I was ready to fire up the drill.

A very pretty paper pattern on the inside.

Even the drill matches the castors.
I would have preferred brass and blue to match with the trunk, but these were not available.

Screwing on the castors was complete in less than 10 minutes.

Plenty of room underneath to store my slippers, and much easier to bring the trunk table to the sofa.

Have wheels, will travel.

Thanks for reading and I hope I have inspired you to get your wheels on!
Next week I will be back blogging on sewing, and how to transform a silk blouse into a skirt.
Till again,
Have a great time creating, reinventing and Doing it Yourself


Just DIY it : Champagne styles for lemonade incomes

This week I am feeling very inspired to write.  Usually I like to talk a lot, so this  allows me time to think, reassess and focus on  future plans.

I love Spring time! The conception of new ideas and creativity. Today I have been up with the sunrise springing into action.  I tend to procrastinate, a lot!  I'm enjoying a cup of detox tea in my favourite mug which my brother in law bought me many years ago. 

Last year I turned 40 and 2 big things happened...one of which literally turned my world upside down, and in 3 months I am flying to the Southern Hemisphere to Australia.  The second big thing is that I was on the BBC Great Interior Design Challenge Series 2 viewed in the U.K in November 2014.  My episode will be shown on April 21st and 22nd on Foxtel in Australia.  I am going global!  

The Studio Lambert television crew were fantastic.  Sophie, Daniel and Tom were inspiring to be around and we all had so much fun.  In this image, Rich, me and Luke await our fate.  All will be revealed next Tuesday 21st April on LifeStyle TV Australia.

 I have always loved interiors and since buying my home 10 years ago, I have drilled, painted, upholstered, assembled and varnished nearly every surface.  I bought my home by myself so everything was done on a budget.  My mum has always sewed and my dad is a D.I.Y whizz kid, so I have learned my skills from my parents.

I came across this article called 'Brilliantly Flawed' and the page of how to get the look for yourself. 

Big sheepskin rug and a real fire.  What more would you need?
I had bought a wooden milking stool like this for £5 at a car boot sale a few years previous,  The legs were much longer.  I was stunned by the price of this stool, so got to work on my £5 one.
I own a drill and a well stocked tool box, but dad has a range of electrical saws so this job required a trip home to dad's tool shed.

Steady handed dad chopping off a few inches. This is a great saw and I use it to cut wood for my fire.
I'm sure I can think of some use for these legs!

The hand sander was used to smooth off the bottom.

It makes a perfect little meditation stool or for resting the singing bowl on.

At home in front of the fire. I have a real love for circles, textures and natural materials in the home.

This is what I did with the legs.  I attached a double ended screw and they are being used to hang my bags in the living room.  The end needs waxing to match the colour, that's on the list!
If the swing tag in the Interior Magazines is out of your league there are always other ways to recreate the look for less.  It usually requires a little elbow grease, but the satisfaction comes from knowing you have done it yourself and saved a lot of money!
Enjoy the GIDC in Australia on Foxtel.
I will be back blogging next week


Monday, 13 April 2015

Crafting colourful Game of Thrones car seats out of left over fabrics


Before I start writing this, I must say hello and welcome to all my new followers in Russia! I am delighted that I have readers in Russia and you are now my no. 1 readership country, overtaking the USA and UK.

I have been so busy creating, altering, reworking, reinventing and DIY-ing that I now is the time to share what I have been up to.

In February, my favourite car my 1995 Honda Civic said farewell to the roads and she had to be replaced.  A gold Nissan was bought.  She takes me from A-B, but is pretty drab inside.  I have lots of fabric scraps and I thought I would brighten up the upholstery.

A very grey and boring interior.  It was making me gloomy!
Season 5 Game of Thrones has just been aired and did you know its made in Belfast?! I am lucky enough to have been involved in Seasons 1-4 making costumes.  I took a break for Season 4 as it was my 40th birthday and wanted to try other adventures. I have gathered up a scraps of costume cuttings which we are allowed to get after each season is completed and I decided to use these to make my car more plush and colourful.
Lots of rich velvets and brocades.  Can you spot any of your favourite characters costume fabrics?
About 80 of the fabrics are GOT and the other 20 % are plush fabrics I have in my fabric stash.  The bright pink fabric is 100% Irish linen and dates back to the 1970's.

It took hours to sew!!

I backed it in 100% wool bedcover and the blue side panels are silk.  No skipping corners here with the quality of fabrics! I like my natural cloths and natural means long lasting and quality.

Quilting through the layers of cloth and backing fabric.  A rich patchwork of textures and patterns.

My drivers seat has now been renamed my throne!
I made the covers loose so they are not permanent and if I choose to change their purpose it is easy to do so.  Perhaps this might end up as I bed patchwork quilt in the future.
But for now, it brightens up otherwise very grey car upholstery.  Come on car designers, give us more colourful options!

 The quilting makes for a more comfortable seat, colour and comfort!
Till next time, enjoy the new Season of Game of Thrones and all the hard work that is put into to making it such a visual feast.  I'm taking my car on a road trip of the Mourne Mountains in County Down to visit many of the locations where the series is shot.  For all my blog readers who haven't yet visited Ireland, our own island is a patchwork of wonderful textures, patterns and shades of green, browns and golds.  Come visit!

Till next time,