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One thing leads to many others…

9 Aug

Ever since I did a textiles project at school based on the 60’s & 70’s I’ve been quite taken by the designs and colours of the 60’s in particular. I love the flamboyance, a decade of style over substance, that created many things that had never been seen before.
I have many books on this era and loved flicking through them, you really get a sense of inventiveness, excitement & fun from the decade. This period has influenced me in many small ways from the clothes I wore as a teen, the car I drove and some of the items I now have in my home.

Summer of Love Postcard - Nettynot Blog

My love of the 60’s inspired a birthday trip I took with my Mum for my 21st (12 years ago). We went to Tate Liverpool to see the Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era exhibition (we drove from Worcester at the time – approx 120 miles – just to illustrate the passion). It is probably the best exhibition I have ever been to, all these amazing things I had only seen in books I saw in real life. Most notable was Verner Panton‘s furniture landscape, Visiona II (below), definitely more of an art installation than furniture, but still fantastic as well as Janis Joplin’s restored Porsche.

Verner Paton - Visona II 1970 - Nettynot Blog

It’s the furniture and patternsin particular that stand out when I flick though retrospective books from this era and I’d love to own a Globe chair one day, however impractical they are. I have seen many version of these chairs and similar in museums (York Castle museum springs to mind).

1960s chairs - Nettynot Blog post

Many chairs that come up for sale are either affordable but a shabby mess or pristine and way too expensive. However while in Liverpool, at the Albert Docks my Mum and I had a wander around and came across a rather nice looking furniture shop (sadly no longer there) which had a whole range of lovely new retro inspired furniture. We spent a while in there and came away having bought a lovely chair from the range for my Birthday. Very much in the essence of 1960’s style, I still have the chair and it is still very comfortable!

My 60s style chair - Nettynot Blog

The chair is rather striking but sits in fairly colourless/muted corner of my louge, even with my 1950’s atomic magazine rack, I did have a large square cushion with bold Sanderson Dandelion Clocks fabric that matched the curtains I made but it just felt wrong having a square cushion on a round chair.

Sanderson dandelion Clocks fabric.jpg

The rest of my decor in my lounge has reds and grey – all taken from the colour pallett of this fabric. It’s taken me many years to get around to it, but I have eventually created a suitable cushion for this chair.

My 60s chair with round cushion - Nettynot Blog

I had intended to just write short introduction about the chair and the the main focus of this post to be about the cushion, however I started getting all enthusiastic and inspired so I going to write a whole separate post about my cushion.

It has been nice to remind myself of the things that have inspired and influence me over the years even if they aren’t such prominent influences now.

Thanks for reading!

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Get it Done February Finale

4 Mar

My February got off to a good start with a pledge to get stuff done, my productivity continued in the first and second weeks of February, however in the last part of February I was a bit here there, n everywhere. I had a week off work where I visited Friends and Family in London and The Lake District, so getting stuff done became more sporadic, however with a few extra days at home in between my trips away I did get several things DONE!

I finished my secret Patchwork project mentioned in my earlier “get it done” blog post, this project deserved a whole post of it’s own which you can see here.
Close up Quilt - Nettynot BlogI bought new fuses, not the most exciting purchase I know, but after having to pinch them out of lesser used items when they’ve blown in more useful items I thought it was about time to replace them, which means I have no excuse not to use the Wii Fit (I will use it again…someday!)
New Amps - Nettynot BlogI took the opportunity to do a bit of gardening, I have lots of lovely snowdrops growing in my garden at the moment, thanks to my Mum who planted them the week I moved in 6 years ago and they’re still doing well. They do struggle to grow through all my weeds – so I got rid of them. It was worth it, in just half an hour and two buckets full of weeds later all was tidy making the snowdrops stand out and the garden look loads better.
Snowdrops and Gardening - Nettynot BlogI have also bought several new house plants to brighten up my home including some cute little succulents for my newly decorated bathroom – I just need to find them some suitable pots. I was also given a grow your own poppy kit in a lovely colourful pot and I’ve now sewn the seeds – just waiting for a Poppy.

New Plants - Nettynot BlogEvery time the sun streams through my lounge window it’s been highlighting how filthy it is, making me think I really need to clean the windows (both inside and out) and I eventually did it – It’s make such a big difference! It’s lovely to get it done as spring is approaching and there’ll (hopefully) be even more sunlight coming through.

Clean Window - Nettynot BlogI know I have way too many knitting projects on the go, but one more can’t hurt, I’ve planned on knitting a new blanket for a while now after being inspired by a cushion cover I was shown by one of my regular workshop ladies where I work – a square pattern where you just knit 10 stitches, round in a spiral, this image on Pinterest illustrates it much better than my description. My intension is to use up some stash yarn (as well as some new yarn) and who doesn’t need more hand knitted blankets. I’ve not cast on yet, but I have rummaged through my stash and pulled out all appropriate colours.
Yarn for blanket - Nettynot BlogA little while ago I did a little decoupage project, covering a flowery decorative watering can (which was a little bit twee for my taste) with some lovely grey textural images, however I hadn’t got around to sealing the paper, which I’ve now done!

Decoupage - Nettynot BlogI have also started to tackle my bare wall in my lounge, I have been collecting up small picture frames for sometime, with the intention of having a wall full of framed postcards, prints and photos. For several years it’s just had some fabric in embroidery hoops and one other solitary picture hanging there. Now I’ve frames and hung 2 more pictures, a good start to growing the collection.
Picture wall - Nettynot BlogI’ve also turned some lovely glass leaf pendants I bought recently into a pair of earrings – possibly one of the simplest ways to make earrings (just add fishhooks) and in reality takes less than a minute to do, but getting around to these things is always the tricky part and highlights the true nature of why I set myself this challenge – getting stuff done!
Glass Leaf Earrings - Nettynot BlogI like the idea of setting myself a challenge of doing something everyday, I always start with good intentions, however it’s not always that practical, life and other commitments get in the way. It’s also easy to put too much pressure on myself with these things, but who’s going to count whether I’ve actually done 28 things… probably no one and in the end I have got lots of stuff done – whooh! The things I’ve done that have made the most impact on my life have been adjusting my kitchen shelf, (simple things…) and cleaning my window (exciting stuff). Going to Light night, making the small quilt and hanging a few more pictures in my living space have been my happier accomplishments.

Get it Done February – Part 3

16 Feb

The only thing I’m find tricky with this challenge is having enough time to “Get things Done”, though I am keeping up the momentum…

Get it Done – Day 9
Patchwork project – I’ve had an idea up my sleeve for a while, it will be a gift for someone so I can’t say too much at the moment, however what I can say is that all the fabric pieces got cut out!

Cutting fabricGet it Done – Day 10
I fixed a much loved bracelet, simple I know, however it has been waiting for me to re-string it for longer than I can remember. I bought the bracelet about 10 years ago for £1 at a car boot sale and it has been well worn, I was relieved when the elastic eventually went that I didn’t loose a single bead. Phew! It is wearable again 🙂

yellow bracelet
Get it Done – Day 11
Another little bit of DIY. I’ve had a sad shelf in my pantry/under the stairs cupboard, it gets a lot of use as it’s where the cat biscuits live and every time I push the lid back on the tin I can’t help putting quite a bit if pressure on the shelf at the same time. Gradually the top screws have been giving way and I thought it was about time I sorted it out! Now it’s sorted!
Shelf fixGet it Done – Day 12
Patchwork project continuation. I got on and I have sewn all my pieces together. Again I can’t share too much here, but I can assure you there will be a future blog post!

patchwork sewingGet it Done – Day 13
Seizing the moment! I have arranged and booked train tickets to see friends and family in London, making the most of a whole weeks holiday I have booked from work. I find London a bit frantic (& a little stressful to be honest), so it’s sometimes too easy for me to make excuses not to venture to these places on my own, but it’s going to happen!
LondonGet it Done – Day 14
I didn’t get a whole lot done today in the spirit of my February ‘get it done’ theme, but it was a full on day, working 9-6pm, out for dinner with friends and a trip to the cinema for some sing-a-long Grease action! Lots of silly giggling at all the dubious singing and fun added graphics it was an entertaining and feel good evening!
Grease sing a longGet it Done – Day 15
More patchwork – I got the top stitching of my secret patchwork sewing project done! I can’t wait to finish it, it has all been rather enjoyable and I can’t wait to share the finished article.

Get it Done February – part 2

8 Feb

I’ve had a whole week of getting things done and it’s making a difference, it’s amazing what doing one small thing a day can achieve.

Get it Done – Day 2
I have gained many lovely embroideries all created by my very talented Gran. One in particular was destined for my bedroom wall. I really like the texture of the piece, it’s almost sculptural, with stitching into card and fabric. I had the perfect spot in mind yet it’s been waiting patiently down the side of my dresser for over a year for me to get it done.
Embroidery wall hangingI thought some command hooks and got it done! I thought the wavy structure would balance nicely with my vertically striped matte and metallic wall paper above my bed, and I think it looks great up, much better on the wall than on the floor!

Get it Done – Day 3
Getting started! I have been mentioning Kate Davies’ Bláithín pattern many times at knit group and here, on my blog, having got over the fear (well almost) of steeking with the sheep carousel tea cosy, I feel mentally prepared so then I just needed to get practically prepared. Balling up my lovely new yarn! I must admit I had some help here, the lovely Jem Weston & Eleanor Burke both voluntarily balled a skein for me too!
Balling YarnGet it Done – Day 4
A slightly boring one, I changed some light bulbs, this might seem a simple everyday sort of a task, however some of the bulbs in my kitchen are not your everyday sort and I have been meaning to take a dead one with me shopping to get some replacements (2 out of 4 have not worked for over a year). I eventually did it. My Kitchen is illuminated again!
Light Bulbs

Get it Done – Day 5
I cast on Bláithín – no procrastination for this project! I knitted my tension square (I want to get this project right since it will be my most expensive project to date) and cast on really to get going!
Blaithin

Get it Done – Day 6
Nottingham Light Night! This is an annual event that happens in Nottingham every year, which for one reason or another I have never been to. For quite some time I’ve wanted to make the most of what’s on my door step, so to speak, there’s often many events on in Nottingham, but I rarely go. I’m so glad I made it this one. I went with a few friends and although we didn’t get to see all of the events and experiences happening what we did see was pretty good.

Light NightWe didn’t make it on to the Big Wheel, maybe an experience for another evening.

Get it Done – Day 7
I’m pretty good at accumulating magazines and catalogues that I really don’t need to hang on to, so I decided to ruthlessly obliterate the pile! Rather than hanging on to the whole magazine for the sake of one project or article I just pulled out what I wanted and recycled the rest – this relatively trivial act made me feel pretty good and made my lounge seems  a lot less cluttered.
Magazine clear out

Get it Done – Day 8
Another seemingly minor task, I adjusted the one of my shelves in my kitchen cupboard. This has been one of those things that whenever I get anything out of the top of this cupboard I’ve thought I really ought to move the shelf down but was always in the middle of something when the idea struck. There was plenty of unused space on the bottom shelf, but whenever I got out a mixing bowl or jug I had to remove the whole pile to get at them.
Cupboard adjustmentIt’s daft that I hadn’t already done this. Another great reason why my getting something done every day is worth doing! So far so good, I do wonder whether I’ll run out of things by the end of the month.

Spring Snow

25 Mar

I know I said February flew by, well so has March, it seems to be a re-occurring theme for 2013 so far. It has been lovely as I’ve spent time with family & old friends, however, I am now looking forward to next Sunday (the first of the year where we have nothing planned – I can’t wait)!

I can’t believe my last blog was over a month ago, eek, sorry for the time lapse. So the past few weeks have been spent celebrating various events. Firstly my Mum’s birthday, (the weekend after Mother’s day), so a bumper occasion. My sister & I went up to the Lake district to visit the parents for the weekend! We popped along with our Mum to a little vintage fair in Kirkby Lonsdale followed by tea & a bun. We had a great dinner out at a local restaurant, The Plough (I had a delicious Fish Pie, followed by thunder & lightning ice cream – mmm). The cardigan I’ve been knitting for my Mum’s birthday went down very well – the pattern is called Sedum, a chunky cardigan knitted mainly in moss stitch (I have made notes about the pattern on Ravelry) the sleeves aren’t actually different lengths, even thought the photo might suggest they are 😛

Sedum knitting pattern

Arnside

Border terriers
On Sunday we walked the families mad dogs, Tilly & Maisie (mother & daughter border terriers). We took them to Arnside where they could have a wild run about on the sand of Morecombe Bay before we went to our Parents favourite cafe, the Posh Sardine (a clever anagram of Arnside shop) where they sell a wonderful collection of antiques and gifts. They also have great cakes & will soon be having a collection of vintage clothing – a great little independent cafe & shop that you wouldn’t find on your average high street.
Posh Sardine

Then this weekend I was away on my lovely friend’s Hen Do (yes another one), this one was also at Center Parcs, however, this one was quite different with a very snowy back drop to the whole weekend!

Spring Snow
Stunning image - ice stream

A wonderful combination of catching up with old friends, amazing wintery weather, walking in the snow, a relaxing spa, nostalgic films + nail painting, loads of food, feeding ducks & fun times – made for a great weekend . Can’t wait for the Wedding – hopefully with some appropriate Spring weather.

girly weekend

After the success of pottery painting last time, I suggested we gave it a go & it went down very well. It also gave me a chance to paint a mug to match my coasters (made on the last Hen do). The background is a little patchy in places, but I’m quite happy with it overall.

pottery painting

Now for catching up with some abandoned knitting projects & finishing a few special projects.

Felting it up!

31 Oct

I seem to find it a little too easy to forget all the things I’ve created for my home, they do tend to blend into the background of your surroundings after a little while. So I thought it’d be good to post a few items I’ve made, how, why & where the inspiration came from.

In my house I have a small window at the top of my stairs, it had a blind when I moved in & although curtains were not that necessary, I decided it would make my landing look a lot more homely.  I wasn’t sure on colour or style, so I let the idea brew for a while. Inspiration struck when watching the first series of Kirsty’s Homemade home – as well as meeting makers to do various projects in each program she met different creative folk. When Kirsty met Cath Kidston, they were talking about her style & vintage looks, while the camera was panning round her home, she had some plain, mid coloured curtains in the background, which had tie backs made of felt beads! So that went into the creative thoughts bank!

Considering the only other significant item in my hall/landing area at the time (other than a book case of paper backs) was my 1950’s Atomic coat rack (which I love – particularly since I picked it up at a flea market for a few quid about 12 years ago – bargain), I thought a dark/mid blue pair of curtains with multi-coloured large felt beads for the tie backs were the way forward.

Retro Atomic Coat Rack

My Retro Atomic Coat Rack

Having looked around for some suitable fabric to make my curtains, I ended up in John Lewis rummaging through their home furnishings remnants bin, fortunately for me, they had just changed over a lot of their display items and I managed to get myself an over sized single, ex-display curtain for about £10. The fact there wasn’t a pair didn’t matter, as one curtain cut in half & shortened was just right for my little window.  Once I had made & hung my new curtains I set about making my tie backs.

I’d done a little felting before at a workshop with Clare Alderson, but not on this scale, but I relished the challenge. I bought a bag of mixes coloured roving (all lovely bright shades) from a stall at the Knitting & Stitching show at Ally Pally a few years ago, the bag was approximately 100g for £5, which I thought was ideal!

It took me one whole evening to make all of the large beads, I decided to add a bit of interest by adding spots to some of some of the beads. I used the wet felting method, I wrote a blog for work (The Bead Shop (Nottingham) Ltd) about needle felting beads, you can read how to make them here. To add the spots I used a felting needle and just before the balls were completely felted I added them to the surface. I threaded my large beads onto 1mm cord, knotting the cord in between each bead, so there would be some movement in the tie backs.

Large Felt Beaded tie back

Handmade Felt Beaded tie back

 

I was really pleased with how they turned out, had I seen something available to buy in a shop I’m not convinced that I’d have immediately liked them, but having seen them in situ first (even if it was on a TV program) it sparked the inspiration.

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