New Floral Romance Furniture from MiaFleur

miafleur-floral-romance-four-drawer-cabinet-360-floral-romance-stool-102-faux-areca-palm-tree-128 I’m currently coveting MiaFleur’s new Floral Romance furniture collection.
In jewel colours with lavish floral designs, this collection showcases the beautiful 2016 moody botanical trend. While very feminine and classic, the furniture also has contemporary shapes and details, which gives this painterly style a cool update.
miafleur-floral-romance-stool-102-1 Launched in October, the range comprises of four select pieces featuring these dreamy floral designs, designed to be used individually to add charm and character to any room, or in combination with other pieces. I think the drawers would look great for bedroom storage and would make a wonderful key statement piece in a plain space.

Check out the full collection here.

Savvy small space solutions: creating a reading corner

As Dr B and I work from home in a small space we’ve had to be quite savvy when looking for storage and creative solutions. 
ReadingCorner_1As we both work from home, it’s important to me that work stays in the office rather than seep into every bit of the house. Although it’s a compact space, I was very keen to create a corner where one of us could step away from the desk and do a bit of reading and thinking while staying in the working environment.

As the room is small, I’ve stuck to a simple to a black and white colour-scheme with little pops of colour.
ReadingCorner 2The mini rocking chair is perfect for reading and is a great escape from an upright office seat. It’s also light and easy to move around so you never feel like it’s a big bit of immovable furniture taking up too much space.

The slim little table is from Habitat. It’s simple, stylish and didn’t cost much money but it’s tall enough to rest your coffee or book on, as well as this cool ceramic bowl also from Habitat.

I deliberately chose the table, chair and shelves (which you can see peeking in at the right) with long legs that you could see under, adding to the sense of space.

Multi-function objects are great for small rooms too; that A3 box isn’t just a brilliant way to store all my art stuff (it has improved my life immeasurably), it also makes a great little guitar stand for Dr B’s Epiphone Casino.
ReadingCorner 3A tall thin, floor lamp is ideal for a smaller room as it makes a real statement and gives out warm light without taking up too much space. I made my own with a Dannells Floor Lamp Making Kit and designed my own Memphis-inspired fabric especially for the lamp.

As with the other kits this was really easy to use and, what’s great about this is you can buy it with the lamp-fitting so there is no faffing. It provides fantastic light and a much needed splash of playful colour in an otherwise very restrained scheme.

Hack: make your own storage buckets

Hack, make a bespoke bin

Okay I’ll come clean, I’m using these as storage buckets but they are actually waste paper bins.

I originally bought two Needcraft bin making kits for our upgraded study (pics coming soon) and our ‘continual work in progress’ bedroom. The kit is really easy to use with simple step by step pictorial instructions, I’m not a particularly neat sewer so I like a no-sew quick fix when I can.

The thing is when I made the bins and I didn’t have the heart to put rubbish in them.

Hack, make a bespoke bin

As I’m aiming for a relaxing cool blue vibe in my bedroom and I covered the first ‘bin’ in my storm-grey Scandi leaves fabric from my Spoonflower shop.

Hack, make a bespoke bin

I was really happy with the end result, so much so that I really couldn’t face filling it with make-up removing cleansing wipes, laddered tights and other bedroom rubbish stuff. It looked too pretty!

So, inspired by a rather nifty idea from Black Parrots Studio’s Sarah Mitchenall on her first round of The Great Interior Design Challenge my bin turned into a book bucket, which has proved to be very handy, as the one thing our house has got is an abundance of books. So this now lives at the bottom of our bed for all our reading needs.

Hack, make a bespoke bin

Now the study REALLY needed a bin so I set about making the next one in my tropical trio design, also available at my Spoonflower shop.

Hack, make a bespoke bin

Because the instructions are so easy to follow you can make these bins in minutes with either fabric or paper. I’ve had this tropical design for a while and, although I loved it, I was at a loss as to what to do with it. However the fabric’s subtle hues and graphic design suits our workspace perfectly.

Hack, make a bespoke bin

And you see that was the problem – too nice. Once I finished that one I could not face using it as a place to throw receipts and scrap paper for recycling. I do however have lots of gift wrap, large format paper, bookbinding cloth and posters I need to keep in one place so my tropical bloom bucket is being used for precisely that.

Hack, make a bespoke bin

Hack, make a bespoke bin

What to do with spare fabric

Fabric covered box (c) Ella Johnston

I’ve been designing fabric patterns and have ordered lots of my handprinted leaf design in blue from my Spoonflower shop to craft with. So, after making cushions, lampshades and using it to revamp some little steps I have (more about that later), I’ve got an excess of little bits and pieces.

So what to do? Well I’ve got a lovely set of wooden boxes from and I’ve used my blue and white material to cover these little numbers with. They are really easy to do – simply measure your fabric to fit the box, brush the boxes with PVA and place the fabric so it bonds with the glue, mitring the folds and snipping away any spare bits of fabric as you go.

Here’s the result. These containers are great for those little fiddly household items. I use this box to keep my tea-lights in when I’m not using them and it sits pride of place on my sideboard in the dining room.

Fabric covered box (c) Ella Johnston

Fabric covered box (c) Ella Johnston

Fabric covered box (c) Ella Johnston

Fabric covered box (c) Ella Johnston

How to organise your craft materials – Part 1

Organise your craft materials part one’m not a woman who spends loads of money on handbags and shoes. I’m not even that much of a voracious clothes buyer. No, I spend pretty much all my disposable income on art and craft materials. Here’s how I organise mine.

As I have so much equipment, I need to organise it in two ways. One, as general put it away and keep things neat and tidy when I’m not using it (more of that later). Two, the things for ‘live work’ – stuff I need as I’m working.

Organise your art and craft equipment

As I mentioned beforeI have an abundance of black Faber Castell India ink PITT artist pens in various nib sizes, plus a load of drawing pencils and probably more scalpels than a woman needs. All of which as an illustrator I need to hand – and all of which I have a habit of mislaying if I don’t have a home for them!

As I’m currently working on my stamped designs as well as my ongoing drawing practice, I have a lot of little fiddly items that I really can’t misplace. There are messy ink pads (in specific colours), scalpel blades and my collection of hand-carved stamps (true one-offs that I really, really don’t want to lose).

These tricky-to-store bits and pieces need a home, and in true crafty fashion I’ve done a bit of upcycling and personalising when it comes to go-to craft room storage.

Organise your craft materials

All the pens and brushes I’ve got on the go, plus my bookbinding tools, are all stored easily to hand in little tins covered with my red heart fabric. Tins make for great storage – they hold so much, I can see what’s in them and access them easily, plus you can line them up in row to look uniform.

Organise your craft equipment

My little inky items live in an old chocolate treats tin that is also covered in my red and white fabric. I love using these round containers: you can stack them up for easy organising and you can pop a lid on them to keep everything concealed. I have lots of these in my craft room, either painted or covered in paper and fabric (I’ve been known to colour code these for stamps, floristry stuff, threads and fabric scraps etc).

Organise your craft materials’s easy to cover both types of tin too. I love a bit of decoupage. You simply use a tape measure to work out the circumference and the height, then cut your fabric to these dimensions (I’ve used pinking sheers for this). Then simply cover the tin with strong PVA glue and wrap around to cover the side. For the lidded tin I’ve cut out sections of fabric and layered these over the lid. I’ve then covered all the containers with PVA to seal the fabric and act as a varnish.