25 February, 2009


For some unknown reason I'd been operating on the assumption that Easter was middle of March rather than middle of April. I don't know why because I distinctly remember looking up when it was awhile ago. Anyways, aside from the feeling of mortality and increasing senility this generates in me, it's such a relief! Wow, a whole extra month to do things in! The freedom, the lightness of being, it's amazing. I should do this more often - convince myself that Christmas is in November, that Hazel's birthday is in July... oh the possibilities are endless!

Things are NOT going well with my thesis corrections, I thought they were done and I'd emailed them off but unbeknownst to me I had managed to lose all the tracked changes and am now having to mark them all by hand which is taking forever and of course I keep finding more things that need doing. Tonight though, I will be done! To keep my mind intact I've been doing a bit of sewing - pattern testing for Natasha at Hanies, and starting on a pincushion from 'Seams to Me'. Choosing colours and fabrics is very soothing to a ruffled spirit. This blog started out about the conflict between archaeology and crafting, but sometimes one keeps me going on the other. Speaking of which, must keep going!

23 February, 2009

More Kirsten Doran goodness

Posting about that Kirsten Doran sling bag pattern below reminded me that I had some other photos to post of her fabric! I made a messenger bag for my friend Shelly last year and forgot to take photos of it before I handed it over. I eventually threatened her enough that she took photos of it for me - on her iPhone, probably just to remind me that I'm about the only person in the world who doesn't have one yet :( As well as being fellow LOTR geeks, Shelly and I share a love of Mac laptops :)

I made it out of Doran's Botanicals print and plain brown canvas. After I'd started I managed to get some blank stone canvas from her to match the print but too late for this bag!

The bag has lots of pockets front, side and back and came from this tutorial with a few modifications. I made the front flap too long, although Shelly kindly denies it. I've got another panel of this fabric to make a bag for me so I rather think that I'll be making the sling with it!

Ribbons and bibbins

I made a run to the post office today

I think the lady behind the counter thought I was nuts with all these soft, squashy envelopes going hither and yon. The white ones are for the Sew Mama Sew fat quarter swap (I did two) and the fabrics are my stash give-aways. Such lovely things to put into envelopes! I popped down to the stationers afterwards because I wanted to get Hazel a Dora the Explorer magazine and they had the Burda magazine so I got that for me, AND they say they get it every month so I'll have to remember to check back.

On Saturday I went to Spotlight to get some fabric to make a little something for baby Amy (small cheater shot here because I can't resist but want to retain some mystery for Jess)

and I found this, pure linen ribbon to die for.

I know, Spotlight? No way! But true, and to reward them for having such exquisite taste I bought 5 metres of it because I knew I'd use it, and love it, and wanted to encourage them to get more.

I also purchased, via the wonder that is the internet, three Oliver + S patterns on sale at Kelani Fabric Obsession. Not only were they on sale, but I had the Australian GST refunded making them a totally reasonable $16-odd Aussie dollars.

And a Kirsten Doran sling bag pattern (but sadly not the fabric!)

21 February, 2009

Feeling the Clothkits love

About a year or so ago I came across mention of the revival of the UK-based 'Clothkits' company and was really taken with their clothes for women and kids and the way it all works. Basically you get the kit with the cutting lines and designs printed on the fabric already, and you just cut and sew it up. I remember things like this from my childhood, whether or not they were Clothkits or not I don't know. Anyways, the range was small but promising and I mentally bookmarked it and then promptly forgot. I came across mention of them again today and wow the range has expanded and I'm so in love! Damn this low NZ dollar, it makes them too expensive, but I need to share the love.

How about this fabulous girl's dress featuring the Trellick Tower? Also available as a skirt for women that I'm coveting big-time.

I'm also very much in love with this skirt, to the point where I'm trying to convince myself it's worth over a hundred dollars plus shipping.

But seriously, how freaking cute is it? A puzzle? Love it!

And lastly another girl's dress

20 February, 2009

Not really needing an ark here but...

...Mum and Hazel decided the world needed saving from flooding and went out in the pouring rain to fix it.

They're predicting up to 80mm from last night through today which is a fair amount of water so perhaps their preventive actions will save us all yet.

I need to make a little present for my friend and fellow mum Steph for her birthday on Tuesday but have no idea what would be quick and fun for her to get. Any ideas? I was wondering about something out of a fat quarter a la Sew Mama Sew, or that clutch out of 'Bend the Rules Sewing' but I don't actually know her taste in fabrics. It's actually quite hard to choose things like that for people because fabric tastes are so personal and I get quite anxious that they won't like my taste. How do I conquer this fear (if you can call it that) that sometimes stops me making something for someone purely because I think they won't like it and I can't bear to put myself on the line like that? The rational side of me knows this is silly but...

19 February, 2009

Redraw! and pet peeves

It's been a week and no word from Heather who won the pink selection of fabrics, and I don't have any way to contact her so I've had to redraw. And it's a good excuse to use the random number generator too :)

And #1 is...Sue Cahill from Niagara.

At the moment I'm cutting out fat quarters for this give-away and for the Sew Mama Sew FQ swap and I'll tell you what my fabric pet peeve is - when the person cutting it doesn't do it on the straight. A couple of the 1/2 yards I split were shocking, obviously cut while folded in half and when they're opened up they're in the shape of a V almost. Sure they've given 19" instead of 18" but it still doesn't add up to 1/2 a yard if you need it to run on the grain. Seriously annoying and just sloppy work. I cringe when I'm at Spotlight (our local fabric/craft shop) and one of the girls, who clearly doesn't give a stuff, is cutting and the edge looks all jagged and I'm wondering if I'm going to get my metre or if it'll work out at 90cm in the end. I suppose I could complain and make them recut but I'm not that brave :P

Woof, we've got a tropical cyclone bearing down on us at the moment and the humidity is awful. It's not meant to hit us up in Auckland so much, but we're all expecting lots of rain and wind overnight and tomorrow. I must admit that part of me wishes we'd get hit square on just to give us some excitement - Auckland lacks weather excitement and growing up in Edmonton I'm kind of addicted used to it.

16 February, 2009

Not much happening here

My parents are back for a couple weeks before the leave for Canada, so I've lost regular access to the internet because Mat can't remember the password for the wireless modem to add this laptop. The only cable connection is in the spare room - how inconvenient. I'm in the midst of panicked thesis corrections to get them done in time to apply to graduate in May, so not much going on other than that. I did try out an idea I read in a magazine last week though, for tarting up plain old plastic bottles you want to decant shampoo etc. into. I was having a crisis of too many huge bottles and things wouldn't fit so I was keen to try it out.

Essentially you tape on some nice paper and then cover it with clear contact film like you put onto textbooks etc. I used some old paper I had sitting around and they look much nicer than the unadorned bottles. I covered more of the bottle than the examples in the magazine, which had a thinner strip of paper and now I know why (I think!). These are pristine, never been showered bottles, however squeezing them and having them sit in water allows it to wick up onto the paper if you've got it as low as I have. The one on the right is all soggy and wrinkled under the film now. So I think I'll have to redo it with less paper and the film well above the splash line. And different papers - funny how your tastes move on - I loved these about 3 or 4 years ago but I'm sort of 'meh' about the two on the left now.

Oh, and Heather, please email me about the stash bundle I have for you!

13 February, 2009

Summer, the good and the bad

Let's start with the bad - hottest day on record (tied with 1869 or something like that) yesterday, 32.8 C. Oh yes you may giggle, those of you from more continental climates, but we're soft here in Auckland, soft and squishy, and that was horrid. We survived though, survived and triumphed. On a sadder note I feel kind of funny making light of this given the weather-related nightmare that they're going through over in Victoria. Kiwis and Aussies love to take the piss out of each other but no-one here is making fun that's for sure. They might about the cricket or the fact it's been proven that we invented the Pavlova, but not something this serious.

The good is campbellberries.

Ok, so they probably have a name like logenberries or something, but this is a bush with history and so it's named after Mat. A long time ago he flatted in Dunedin, in the South Island, in an old house up NEV, and there was this berry bush growing there. It has no thorns, is more of a climber than a bush, and had the best berries. Like a good blackberry but twice as nice. Eventually I moved in with him, and all the flatmates would pick berries off it as we went past but given Dunedin growing conditions (entirely lacking) there were never enough berries to do more than that. Friends of his who lived even further south took some cuttings to live in their garden where they thrived - and we moved on to Sydney. Then we came back to New Zealand and the friends came to visit, bearing cuttings of the berry they called the Campbellberry. I'm teaching Hazel how to pick just the ripe ones, with only partial success, I'll leave it to you to guess which of these luscious looking berries will make your whole face pucker in and your eyes cross :)

I sure can't tell but it lends a bit of spice and excitement to my life.


ETA: I've redrawn for the pink lot as it's been a week and no word from Heather, the winner was Sue Cahill :)

I separated you all out into two groups for the pink and green, and Random.org gave me atmospheric noise-generated random numbers, so without further ado:


Which is Heather! Yay Heather from Bothell Washington


And that's Ana Louise from Jackson!

I have to say that I was suspicious of getting two 7s like that, but reminded myself that true randomness does generate clusters, which is one way to help distinguish it from someone trying to be random which generally results in an nice even spread of points.

So exciting was this number generating that I decided to go for a third, as yet undecided bundle, perhaps a mix of the above with something else thrown in. The atmospheric noise decided it should be comment #7! Just kidding, it's:
Which is Natasha, all the way from Berlin!

So if all you lovely ladies would like to email me at ... with your addresses I'll get this all off in the mail asap. I've somehow managed to sign myself up to Sew Mama Sew!'s FQ swap which means more rummaging and (god forbid) buying in new fabric :P

12 February, 2009

Going going...

I'll draw the stash give-away tomorrow morning my time, so if you haven't put your name down you've still got about...12 hours. Such good odds, do you think I can put my name down too? I never win the ones I enter I promise!

Apparently we had a record-breaking hot day here today, 32.8 C. I was suffering but I figured it must just be the high humidity, I'm quite glad I didn't know it was that hot! And only 50% humidity which is welcome after the 95% we had the day before. Too hot to do much except make felt hearts and not even that really.

I bought this dress pattern yesterday because the one on the left made me think 'wow' and I wasn't even looking for a dress. This is such a dreadful screen cap of the envelope it probably doesn't look like much to anyone but me; but it's a really snappy shirt-dress with these great sleeves that are straight for a little way and then full to a gathered wrist. Snappy I say!

10 February, 2009

I think I might need help

Can someone tell me why if 12 cookies seemed like a good idea then 20 or so is even better? Because this is what I told myself and I think I might be a bit delusional.

Hazel wanted to give Mat one of her cookies when he got home from work (10 hour days plus 2 hour commute at the moment poor guy) so I told her to say "will you be my Valentine daddy?" when she gave him the cookie, which she duly did, and I think he just about exploded from the cute and she just about got squished to death in a hug. A little girl with a felt cookie can melt the heart of even the most hardened self-proclaimed Valentine-hater :)

09 February, 2009


Or - 'How I was forced to recognise I like really girly things for myself and not just because my daughter does'

I spent yesterday afternoon sitting on the couch finishing up these and feeling sorry for myself because I have a cold that both Mat and Hazel threw off in a day or even less. Hazel "helped" by putting in a bit of stuffing and hovered around announcing that this one or that one was going to be hers (ie most of them).

The idea came from Chasing Cheerios but I have to give a mention to Emily at Little Sister Handmade who added extra sprinkles which I'm obviously into as well! My big chocolate one bottom left ended up being somewhat, just a little, (mostly) identical to hers. I was limited in my felt and sprinkle options to what I had already, but having said that I'm really very pleased with how they turned out! And super fast and easy too.

I've got a few more to make up, and will ponder sprinkle variations. So far I've got beads, straight stitch and french knots (for ones going to houses with little babies). I can't make up my mind which I like best, the chocolate or vanilla! I think the vanilla appeals to the girly-girl in my nature but mmmm... chocolate... I used to have the same problem with Girl Guide cookies - I liked the vanilla ones best when I was eating them and ditto the chocolate. I never did make up my mind on that one!

Mat wandered by occasionally and had a look at them but was startled when I said they were cookies "really?" he said with a doubtful look on his face. Followed by "...and what exactly are people going to do with these?" I suggested tea parties, or decoration, or whatever kids do with felt food (not entirely sure myself but Hazel loves the two little cakes she has). I think what we have here is the perfect illustration of craft and men and women. I might be totally wrong on this but I think most women would just think "pretty!" and like them because they're "pretty! with beads! and pink!", guys need a function or a reason. He doesn't get pretty, pink or beads on anything other than Hazel :)

07 February, 2009


Valentines is coming! We don't do much for it, if anything, but this year I couldn't resist something for Hazel and friends. Those of you who frequent the same kid's craft blogs as I do probably know exactly what these felt hearts are for.


Give away!

ETA: Thanks for all the entries and for a glimpse into where people live - I've drawn the winners and have posted them above. I enjoyed it so much please stay tuned for more in the near future!

Ok, here we go...

I've got two lots this time around - pink and green (if you click on the picture you'll get a much larger image)

Pink - Two Amy Butler and an unknown. There will definitely be fat quarters of the Coriander and the unknown, and I'm pretty sure of the French Wallpaper as well but I need to measure that up still.

Green - A Japanese print and three Amy Butlers. There will be fat quarters of the left and right ones, the two middles are scraps - from selvedge to selvedge and about 24cm (9 1/2") for the Tree Peony (actually it's like an L with an extra bit going down the selvedge) and a 23x70cm (9x27 1/2") section for the Martini pattern. Sorry that's not a bigger bit!

I'm not exactly sure how many people actually read this blog so I'll leave it open for a few days. Just leave a comment below telling me where you're from (just because I'm curious!) and which bundle you'd like to enter for, or both (although you can only win one just to be fair). On Friday 13th (ooo scary!) morning, NZ time, I'll see if I can wangle a random number generator and post up the winner. And of course I'll ship internationally because let's be honest here, 99.9% of the world is international when you live in NZ. :)

06 February, 2009

My very own stash give-away

Well this is stupid, wishing I could give away some of my stash and waiting for someone else to provide a forum for me to do it in when I could just...do it! So I will. I need to figure out what fabrics I'd like to do it with (there's more than just in that photo), so if anyone's interested come back in a day or two and I'll have something up :)

See I feel all proactive and take-charge-y already.

ETA: Argh! Mat borrowed my tape measure to do something, says he returned it but it's missing in action so no fabric can be measured or cut until it turns up or I get a new one. Lesson learned. Never fear, I have the fabric all sorted and will take photos tomorrow :)

05 February, 2009


WIP for my upcoming printing course, adapted from a Gerda Bengtsson design I've cross-stitched several times.

It's all about the stash at the moment

Sew Mama Sew wants to know about my stash tendencies. Talk about airing dirty linen in public! :P And kind of strange considering I did a post not 2 hours earlier wishing I could get rid of some of it! Click over here if you're interested in some of it :) I'm drawing for it tomorrow morning my time.
  • What do you usually sew?
Clothes, stuffies, soft furnishings (cushions, curtains etc.)
  • When you shop for fabric, what size cuts do you usually buy? (i.e. If you see something beautiful, but you don’t have a use for it right away, how much do you buy?)
Usually in 1/2 metre, metre kind of lots - unless I have a specific project I'm buying for, but even then I have a tendency to round up to the nearest half metre 'just in case' - hence half my stash. If I see something beautiful I would buy at least a metre, even two if I particularly love it.
  • Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?
I impulse buy, or I go out looking for something specific - sometimes the latter leads to the former (blush)
  • Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it?
Absolutely, but only when I need it.
  • Do you iron it?
Yes, and put it through the dryer. Basically give it the treatment it might get when used, even if it's unlikely anyone would put it through the dryer.
  • How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.)
Print type and fabric type mainly. I have patterned fabrics together, plains together, upholstery-weight together, etc. etc.
  • Do you have any special folding techniques?
No, just folded neatly, or rolled up and tied with a long scrap.
  • How do you store your fabric?
In plastic bins in the attic which is not ideal but relatively easy to get to and we don't have anywhere else to keep it.
  • What tips do you have for building up a well-rounded stash?
None! It's a great concept though, so I'll check others' suggestions.
  • When do you say enough is enough?
Now. There are fabrics in there many years old that I'll never use, it's embarrassing. I guess I realised enough was enough when even the bins were too small to hold it all.
  • What are some of your favorite stash-busting projects?
Small stuffed dollies and animals and starting to think about quilting. That might help!
  • Do you have a current favorite print in your stash? Let’s see it!
Anything Amy Butler (like half the world I think), I have several prints up there that I actually really do just take out and admire and put away. LOL, did I just admit that to the world? After I posted this I went up and grabbed down some of my favourites to photograph. I clearly can't resist showing off, I totally belong on a chat show. These are from the 'patterns' lot, and this was actually a very interesting exercise because I've never laid them out like this (can't you tell I'm not a quilter yet!). I'm now determined to get them organised by colour as well as pattern. Already I'm regretting how I laid them out for the photo, there are some out of order! That Ikea one at the far right is totally out of place, it should be in with that orange Amy Butler. I also learned that I clearly favour pinks (because Hazel looks so darn fabulous in it) and greens, with some orange and brown thrown in. There are reds upstairs in the plain/stripes stash, but nothing in pattern which is interesting considering how much I love it...

  • What’s your definition of the perfect stash?
One that I was actually going to use in short order.

The joy of giving

So if you haven't checked this out there's still time


Drat, the html's not working for me at this exact second... (got it working) Anyways, I need to get in on one of these give-aways, I've got so much fabric I'll never use that I'd love to give away in something like this but I never come across them until it's in the give-away phase. Which is fine too! Although with the number of comments they generate the chances of winning are pretty low. :))

Anyways, if anyone comes across a nice big give-away in the process of being organised please let me know :) It'd sort of be like Christmas and it'd be so much fun choosing the fabrics to induce maximum squee-age in the participants.

Wash your hands!

What's the phrase I hear most these days? "Mummy I love you"? "No!" Nope, it's "...and do I have to wash my hands? With soap?" Yay for toilet training, yay for being independent, but what is with this obsession about whether she has to wash her hands or not. It's like she has to test the boundaries every time and she's not usually a boundary-pushing little girl. What a rebel. :)

I didn't manage to get any actual embroidery done last night for a few reasons:
  1. lighting is all important with this kind of stuff and severely lacking in the living room at night (see, horrible horrible living room!). I need to get a bedside lamp or something set up in there.
  2. Getting the fabric back into the hoop so that the circles are round is difficult! It all came back to me as a tugged and pulled and swore under my breath.
  3. I can't just listen to Heroes and work because I don't speak Japanese and need to read the subtitles for Hiro and Ando.
Mat says that Lost is back in a couple of weeks at the same time as Heroes. How stupid is that - the audience is clearly going to overlap in a big way, why put them in direct competition? Why did my VCR break down last month? That's the only reason I actually care, otherwise I'd just tape one. Oh to have MySky or similar... I'm loathe to get another VCR, even secondhand, because it's outdated technology!

04 February, 2009

Hidden treasures

I was rummaging around trying to find these Danish cross stitch patterns I have and I found this partially completed tablecloth. It's been a project in progress for at least...7 years? I used to subscribe to Marie Claire Idées (man I loved that magazine, why did I stop subscribing?) and this table cloth was in there. It's a pretty big project, very detailed embroidery but such a lovely effect!

This is where I stopped last time

Tablecloth in progress

There are 10(?) circles scattered singly and in groups across the tablecloth.

Tablecloth in progress

There is something about patterns, or drawings, or paintings that escape their boundaries that I adore! Especially when it's branches or flowers, it just gives a really neat naturalistic feel - or something. I can't quite quantify why I feel that way but it always gives me a thrill! I can't quite decide which circle I like best, but this one is definitely a contender.

Tablecloth in progress

I've decided that it's time to get going on it again, for those times when I want to veg and watch tv and still be productive. Can you veg and be productive at the same time? So tonight is Heroes and that seems like the perfect excuse to get started. No doubt it will take me the full hour to sort out what floss I need and what I was doing 3 years ago when I stopped, and get it folded up and tidy to start going.

03 February, 2009

Back to school supplies

My supplies list came for the fabric printing class I'm doing next month.

*a selection of leaves, strong with well-marked veins
* recently photocopied designs in black and white
* 2 metres of white cotton fabric - washed and dried
* stamps (rubber type, not postage)
* 3 brushes, chunky flat shape between 5cm and 8cm
...and so on

I figured that I might as well make sure that my white cotton fabric was a decent quality in case anything I did with it was good enough to keep, which ruled out getting it at Spotlight. Their plain cottons are crap. Luckily Global Fabrics is having a huge sale right now and I don't really need much of an excuse to wallow in browse their lovely fabrics. To be honest I mostly just stay away from the place because it's too tempting and you never know what you'll find there on a given day! So 30% off fabric and 50% off knits is a decent sale and I found all sorts of great stuff! I only bought a small amount of it though :) From top: lovely fine white cotton - not too heavy, not too light, just right; pale blue Irish linen; heavy coarsely-woven cotton; and two knits of which you can see a peep of the pale grey. The last two are for me to make tshirts from when I finally break out the Sew-U stretch book and do something with it! The middle two fabrics are for potential projects I have in mind to either do in this class on the second 'individual project' day, or for later for Xmas presents.

The next step is to find some black and white designs. I'm assuming that we will be transferring them to the fabric somehow, I'm sure I've read about doing this. Not sure what kind of technique it is so I'm really at a loss as to what kinds of designs would be suitable. I suppose if I take a variety ranging from detailed to very simple I should be covered! The stamps though...I know Spotlight carries some but no doubt they are naff. There must be somewhere local though. I was looking at stencil suppliers earlier because the September issue of Martha Stewart Living has some lovely projects, but man they're expensive! I think I'll stick with the free ones she supplies :)

02 February, 2009

The clip issue

When Hazel was born she had a lot of hair (a hairy little bugger as someone said), it never disappeared and there has been more and more of it the bigger she gets. Needless to say very early on we collected a vast and varied array of clips, elastics and doo-dads to deal with it. The number of clips we've been through in the last 3 years must be keeping someone in business. But what to do with the ones she hasn't lost? Storing them has always been a nightmare - I really had no idea what to do with them. Jars don't work because it's too hard to fish out the one you want. Small bowls are better but stuff gets dumped out and messed around and other kids like to play with it. Then the other day I had a brainwave. Well I think I did, it's early days yet but it seems to be working: The clip ribbon!

The only ribbon I had lurking around was an assortment of this gorgeous French stuff I'd bought from my friend Rebeccah, but am generally loathe to use because it's so lovely and I don't want to give it to anyone else! I told you, I'm going to be an old lady with lots of cats, newspapers, fabric and expensive French ribbon. Ahem. It wasn't wide enough so I ironed two lengths on to some lightweight fusible interfacing and that also gives it a bit more weight. They're simply sewn onto a short piece of dowl with some vintage* rickrack from around an Xmas present (also from Rebeccah oddly enough, my local notions supplier obviously!) to hang it up. Oh, and a vintage* button glued onto a nail to make it all pretty and stuff.

Here it is in action

It was kind of sad going through all the clips and realising that some of my favourites have disappeared - there are a few singletons in there now. I know there must be more to go up, including some smaller ones!

*because as we all know, vintage is superior = me being very hip and cool. (text does not convey how much I'm giggling while typing this because really this obsession with vintage is kind of pretentious but like half the internet at the moment, I'm not immune)

01 February, 2009

I hate my living room

Well I do! I've lived with the previous owners' crap decorating for about 7 years now and I've so had it. Not that I can do anything about it, but the hatred is building and is doing my head in. Same with the kitchen but that's even less likely to get fixed anytime soon so I'm trying to live with it. If I'd been organised here I'd have a photo of the living room for you to sympathise with me over, but this is spur-of-the-moment because I came across the old magazine page that has my dream living room on it and I thought I'd share. What do I hate about the current living room? The wallpaper is, well, wallpaper, which I despise. Worse, it's this sort of grey-ish off-white that makes everything look dingy, which doesn't help in an already dark room. And it's starting to peel in places. Our couches are too big for the space, and dark grey. Our art is too bitsy for the walls, the shelves with the tv/stereo/DVDs are a mish-mash and make it look like a student flat. Winge winge moan moan.

So what do I dream of? I dream of something like this:

I can't even remember what magazine it was out of other than I bought it to take 'camping' with us when we were in Edmonton in the summer. It was a useless magazine but it did have this page. What do I like about it? Well it's full of light even though there's no direct sun (actually there is now that I look at it closely, darn!) - exactly what our living room could be like - it's south facing (equivalent to north-facing for you N. Americans), with a small window looking west. I like the way the colours all work together with a neutral base and pops of something brighter. It's a bit bland perhaps, but I'm not looking to copy slavishly. Our curtains and oriental rug in there are deep red, but the curtains do have a bit of pink so I think we could come up with something although not as girly! Redoing the big heavy curtains as blinds would really open things up I think. And there's integrated shelving which is exactly what we need. Short of winning the lottery we're not going to end up with new sofas, but I've made covers before so that's a good compromise.

I can do so much of this myself, but unfortunately the wallpaper needs to be stripped and the walls plastered before anything can be started and sigh, that's not in the budget at the moment! No doubt by the time we get to it I'll look at this picture and laugh because it looks so dated :)

ETA: I found an earlier post that has a bit of the despised living room. Did you know that "orange" natural polished floors are 'out' and darker or lighter stained floors are 'in'? Idiots - would these be the floors they raved about only a year or two ago? I love how the magazine this was in used the term orange in such a pejorative way. :))


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