Summer Summary

I have been a little slow with the blog posts lately. This is mainly due to road tripping from London to Amsterdam with the lovely team Awamu, check out the Awamu link for their write up on the adventure and to see how much money has been raised so far! Awamu Blog

Also we are moving house! Very exciting, up to our ears in packing, but happy. I’m also looking forward to decorating the new house and sharing lots of painting, interior and wallpaper tips with you this Autumn.

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful summer, its been a busy one for me, lots of posts to come x

Save All Your Petals For Me – Homemade Confetti

There’s nothing like a little light crafting and collecting to make me happy, one of my recent obsessions has been collecting and drying as many rose petals as I can get my hands on. Luckily for me my lovely local florist has been handing me all of her wilted blooms.

My obsession started last summer with the build up to our amazing wedding, which I still haven’t had the chance to blog about. So I suppose this is also my first wedding post!

Rose petal & lavender confetti for our quests.  Presented in easy to hand out in little paper cones.

Rose petal & lavender confetti for our quests. Presented in easy to hand out paper cones.

So I wanted to find an alternative to paper and even worse plastic confetti, these are both a problem for wildlife and places of beauty. Plus I love the smell of roses, just add some lavender and you have a pretty, beautifully scented and environmentally friendly confetti to fling.

All you have to do is –

1 – Gather as many petals as you can (befriend and keen gardener or florist).

2 – Place your petals on a warm sunny window sill, the lovely smell will fill the room and the faster they dry the better. You can also use a cooling down oven. Place on a clean baking tray and keep an eye on them, I’ve crisped a few batches.

3 – Place in a dry container and sprinkle in some dried lavender. This smells delicious and keeps any pests at bay.

4 – Voilà! You’re ready go.. Place in easy to carry paper sweetie bags, make little paper cones, or just throw them straight from the basket.

The confetti gauntlet - Lots of fun :)

The confetti gauntlet – Lots of fun 🙂

Rose petals and lavender are also wonderful for popping into your homemade soaps and for scenting your bath water.

Enjoy x

Photography by AliPaul

Wallpapering – Be sure to get the right tools for the job.

I bloody love a useful well thought out tool. They really do make life a lot easier, and don’t get me started on the phrase “A bad workwoman or workman blames their tools”. Bad tools can make life difficult and potentially ruin the materials you are working with.

The past few years I have been using a wonderful little wallpapering tool called the WalWiz and I love it!

It really does make paper hanging so much easier and comes in an array of bright colours, purple, blue, pink and yellow. See below the WalWiz in all its glory and resting pretty on this wallpaper by Mathew Williamson. This paper was printed by Cole & Son for the Habitat VIP collection, sadly out of production now.

The Walwiz in pink and blue. Looks great next to my gold papering shears

The WalWiz in pink and blue. Looks great next to my gold papering shears

The WalWiz was designed by American wallpaper installer Linda Mitchell, it’s a smoother, edge flattener and trimming guide all in one. (Although I still prefer a steel seam roller for some papers or a felt roller for very fragile papers). But if you are confident that your paper is compatible with the WalWiz, it really will help you whizz your way though all those rolls.

The WalWiz’s smooth edges glide over the wallpaper and the edges are rounded so that it won’t drag or catch, these rounded edges are also the perfect width for creating a beautiful straight trimming edge that glides along the paper and laps it ever so slightly into and over any unsightly corners.

This diverse little tool is an essential part of my kit, plus its really brightens up my tool box.

Wallpaper: My Top Three Favorites.

Flavor Paper

I discovered this super cool wallpaper company on my last visit to Brooklyn, I was also lucky enough to sneak a peek at these guys working (albeit through the window!). I really must try and get in for a visit next time I’m in town.

Its such a beautiful workspace and also just a stones throw away from Brooklyn’s amazing Smith Street, teeming with cafes, craft shops and thrift. A must see on any Brooklyn visit.

Inside this lovely space Flavor Paper is busy hand screen printing lots of beautiful, shiny, colourful wallpapers. Options are also available for custom designs FlavorPaper

There are really too many designs for me to wax lyrical about here, so check out the web site for an extensive selection – FlavorPaper and be sure to check out the Warhol Collection I’m a sucker for a Warhol print and they really do have quite a few.

Flavor Paper's Warhol Collection.

Flavor Paper’s Warhol Collection.

 

Quirk & Rescue

I love these guys and I was so happy to stumble across this wonderful East London company on Twitter. Bold and punchy, they have such a great style and they really have nailed this geometric design. It’s everyting a geometric wallpaper should be. All hail the HexaGone.

Quirk & Rescue's HexaGone.

Quirk & Rescue’s HexaGone.

Check out the awesome colour ways available here

All The Fruits

This gorgeous little company is made up of Jessica Pinotti and graphic designer Stephan Cheetham I have the pleasure of knowing Jessica from my, (living in an amazing creative warehouse space) London days, and these beautiful ideas come as no surprise.

Super cute, super conversational, these simple, yet bold graphic design style wallpapers are a joy the look at. You can even cut and paste some! Great news if your mind boggles at the thought of working out the pattern repeat.

All The Fruits - Cut & Paste wallpapers.

All The Fruits – Cut & Paste wallpapers.

Check out the Cut & Paste designs here.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks in a bed shop in Bedminster, Bristol.

Past venues have included gothic churches, old court rooms and an actual real life rave with fire jugglers!

This time however the Magic Lantern crew took over a beautiful old bed shop in Bedminster, Bristol. This has definitly been one of my favourite screenings so far.

Bed Shop

This amazing building is not only a shop, but also a wonderful fully operational workshop. The smell of wood and bees wax hits you as soon as you enter this treasure trove of old tools, beautiful bespoke beds and handmade furniture. As I strolled from floor to floor (or rather excitedly skipped) I soon realised there was not one, but three floors of bespoke furniture heaven.

Beautiful tented area

So with the scene set, the evening began, as always there was the Magic Cafe with delicious homemade cakes & pots of tea. This was set up in the workshop area, with lines of beautiful old tools hanging in the windows and a sea of work benches serving as a backdrop.

Magic Cafe

After much oohing, aahing and excitement from the film goers, we all made our way upstairs. Armed with tea and cake and finding ourselves in a beautiful, airy, white brick room full of hand crafted beds, which of course served as the cinema seating, it was time to relax.

As everyone settled down and the light was fading, well kind of, blocked out with some sheets. It was time for a lullaby.

At Magic Lanterns request people had brought along they’re favourite lullabies and a few verses were read and sang aloud, some poignant and some funny. Now it was time to snuggle down and watch the hilarious, very sweet and psychedelic in places (cue flying beds and sparkles), Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Psychedelic bed!

With childhood nostalgia and laughs sweeping the room, this was a sure sign of yet another successful Magic Lantern film night.

This wonderful evening raised an amazing £297, which went towards helping Magic Lantern founder Kerry reach her total VSO (Voluntary service abroad) amount. This will enable her to carry on the awesome work with the kids over in Kampala, Uganda.

The Magic Lantern team usually raise vital funds for the small social enterprise Awamu helping women and children in the slums of Kampala. This August they will be boosting funds by cycling to Amsterdam, I am lucky enough to be one of the support drivers along with the awesome @katycoo Whoop! To find out more or sponsor please check out the support page

Night folks x

Secret Circus

Last minute, last October we decided to open up a pop up shop. A summer long day dream that suddenly become possible when a space opened up in Cabot Circus, Bristol.

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Within two weeks we had thrown together a shop full of handmade, up-cycled, vintage and locally sourced gifts and curiosity’s. Secret Circus was born.

After a day of last minute hammering, price tagging and skipping for thrown away props from other department stores (not so glamorous, but lots of fun – Its amazing what people throw away). The party was on.

We were astonished by the response, our shop was packed and even the amazing Bristol legend Big Jeff rocked up to cut the ribbon for us.

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We had so many amazing friends, family and local people packed into one place sipping wine, dancing and shopping! Whoop! We’d pulled it off..

We even made it into our favorite magazine Pretty Nostalgic – Top Ten : Pop-up Shops. Pretty Nostalgic

During our 6 weeks we had so many wonderful makers stocking our shelves for us.

To name but a few of our wonderful makers –

Bag’s of love
Morwhenna is a local artist and up-cycler who makes, beautiful, plush cushions, bags and gorgeous sleep sachets from once loved mens shirts. All of this alongside an array of other artworks and projects. Bags of Love

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Sarah Macfarlane
Bristol mover and shaker Sarah, produces beautiful prints of punchy colourful photography, cushions’s, cards, magnets and badges. You’ll find images of curiosity’s from flea markets, nature and everyday life. Sarah Macfarlane

One of Sarah's beautiful printed cushions.

One of Sarah’s beautiful printed cushions.

Head full of Feathers
Jen Hamley is a local designer/maker, who’s accessories include gorgeous little bobby pins and super sparkly hair and shoe clips. We loved all of this sparkle at Secret Circus and so did the customers. Jen Hamley

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Crafty Curtis (Stitcher to the stars) –
Bristol crafter Kate Curtis creates cross stitched music lyrics and to quote from her Etsy shop Crafty Curtis “rough like a ninja, stinging like a bee” – Rebel MC & Double Trouble, is just one lyric you can find beautifully stitched out. These elegant, witty and crafty little numbers flew out of the shop.

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Awamu
A small, creative, social enterprise that works with women and children in the slums of Uganda. Gorgeous and colourful, their handmade children’s clothing, fabric elephants, cushions and accessories sold like hot cakes. 100% of all the profit’s that we made at Secret Circus went straight back to supporting the women and children of Uganda. To find out how you can get involved contact Awamu

As the stock came flooding in, the theme and look of the shop evolved, we continued to skip, rescue and find more things. We made use of so many wonderful found items, and breathed a new lease of life into many forgotten treasures, including old chairs, tile’s and clothes.

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One wonderful shopper was so happy with all of our once loved, found & vintage stock, that she bought her entire families Christmas present’s from us! They had all just made a pact to go ‘second hand or made locally for Christmas’. She was trilled to say the least and happy to groove along to the shop’s record player whilst purusing the shop.

Shop DJ @mrjoe below –

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Still being fairly new in Bristol, this was such a great way to get to meet lots of wonderful people, movers, makers and shakers, with which the city is packed to the brim.

The shop enabled us to support some great cause’s, Awamu being the main focus of Kerry Bradshaw, aka partner in crime and motivator behind this awesome scheme CitizensOnlineBristol

We raised over £1500 that went directly to the Awamu

We also raised just under £80 for Bikes for Africa
A charity that is close to my wonderful friend Hannah Brook’s heart. Hannah also made the beautiful handmade lampshades that graced our windows.

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Our film nights we’re a great way of raising money and awareness for these causes and were ran in conjunction with
Magic Lantern

So it was in a flurry of events, workshops and soiree’s that Secret Circus was packed up and closed just in time for Christmas day…

A super big thank you to all of you that got involved. Helpers, makers, volunteers, shoppers, retro gamers, friends, family, everyone!

See you all for the next project x