Fakenham Market Finds

I was really pleased with what I found on the market last week. I bought these silk flowers and vase for only Β£3.00 πŸ™‚

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New Lamp Shade

One of my projects last week was to make new a very tatty lampshade.

I have a collection of used stamps and I have loads that I have accumulated that are no use in my collection, so the new project began.

After the laborious job of soaking the stamps of the paper of the envelopes, it was a fun and satisfying thing to do.

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What do you think?

lamp-shade-2

Now for the job of restoring the lamp base! πŸ™‚

Yellow Chair

I am very happy to report the continuation of furniture preservation in my garden.

I now have a yellow chair! I decided that this chair couldn’t be left any longer and needed attention….

Yellow Chair 1

and I am quite happy to tell you I painted it yellow.Yellow Chair 2
I am really enjoying the brightness in my garden as the sunshine has been very limited lately, so now I have my very own bit of sunshine πŸ™‚

Garden Furniture

MMmmm, it’s about time I did something about the garden furniture, otherwise It won’t last very long!

As the sun was out and looked like it was going to last, we got some paint out and began preserving and brightening up the garden furniture. I must say, this table started life in our lounge in Northampton about 15 years ago, it’s been in the garden a year now and we intent to make it last even longer.

Table 1

This is the spot we like to sit sometimes for a cup of coffee in the morning when the sun is on the front of the house. It now has what looks like a new table. πŸ™‚

Table 2

Dyeing with onion skins

I’ve posted this on my art blog, but not on my Simple Life. I have decided to post it on here as it is all part of my simple life aim. With my life, as with my art I like to try to have as little impact on the environment as possible, so I have been trying out a bit of Eco dyeing and combining it with my work.

Onion skins seem to be a good starting point because they need no mordent (a mordent is a fixing agent).

All it take is collecting the brown flaky skins from your onions until you’ve got about a carrier bag full and put them in the largest pan you have (or tin bucket) add a generous amount of water and heat it up.
Onion skins 2
Simmer for a couple of hours, strain, and you get this!Onion skins 3
Take it off the heat, add some wet fabric (not band new fabric, it has to be something that has been washed previously) and make sure you push it all under the dye that you’ve made using some tongs or with rubber gloves to protect against the hot water. Simmer again for another hour or so. Let it get cold on the pan or leave it over night and then take the fabric out and rinse it in warm water and dry on the washing line.
Onion skins 4

You can get quite a dark colour with this dye. The background of this cushion I’ve made shows the sort of colour you get. You can use the dye a couple of times more if you like and you just get lighter colours.
Onion skins 5

Free dye from kitchen scraps, not bad is it! πŸ™‚

Home Improvements

I Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, we did. We spend the last few days doing some home improvements which were long over due.

Improving our working environment started in October and then came to a halt because of work commitments, so it was all hands on deck to finish what we had started!

We had these shelves made from shelving we bought with us from our old house, so we decided to re-use it to save money.

Improving 1

They are so fab!

Improving 2

Over the fire place we’ve hung some outsider art bought from Barrington Farm which is a centre forΒ  adults with learning difficulties here in Norfolk.

Improving 3

We now have a comfortable and improved working environment that we are happy with! πŸ™‚

Wishing you all a very happy and simple New Year πŸ™‚

Decorating the Hall

Pictures of our hall before I decorated it, which to me had got rather shabby.IMG_0101 IMG_0102
I had also taken the carpet up that I didn’t like.IMG_0104
Again wanting to decorate on a budget it seemed extravagant to use Annie Sloane paint on the hall floor. It actually doesn’t work out more expensive as you don’t have to sand or undercoat before putting on your chosen colour. It consists just of the colour and a top layer of lacquer, which cost about Β£40. The covering quality is fantastic so I chose to do only one coat. That with paint for selected wood work and the walls cost in total Β£65.00.IMG_0351 IMG_0353IMG_0352
I now have a beautiful hallway. πŸ™‚