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Friday fun: Sort of Shelfie!

Ella Johnston Dining RoomOf late there has been a trend for ‘shelfies’; things on people’s shelves that reveal a bit about them.

I’ll try and do a semi regular one for Ella’s Place as they are a bit of Friday fun and it’s always nice to have a bit of a nose.

This time I’m doing a ‘sort of shelfie’ with the items on my mainly blue and white dining room sideboard. Here’s a list of items from left to right.

1: Floor lamp made with Dannells kit and bluebell fabric from Spoonflower.
2: Pierre Luigi, a flamboyant Bitossi Rimini pigeon. You can read his story here.
3: PL is sat on Letters of Note and More Letters of Note, visit the Letters of Note Website for fab correspondence.
4: Books, including The Beechwood Airship Interviews by Dan Richards where you can see some of my sister Lucy Johnston’s photography
5: Vintage Habitat vase.
6: Adorable plain grey vase.
7: Our wedding picture (don’t we look young).
8: Old glass bottle with dried flowers, poppy heads and grasses.
9: Fabric covered tea-light box (you can see how I made it here)
10: Large lamp made with Dannells kit using Spoonflower fabric with base sprayed in matt blue paint.

The large square gorgeous thing on the wall is a beautiful Liberty silk scarf the lovely Dr B gave me on our 12th wedding anniversary that I had framed. I adore it.

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Monday Moodboard: Tiles

Monday Moodboard Tiles First things first, an apology. I completely forgot about my Monday Moodboard last week. That’s because I got completely absorbed in working on creating tile designs for an upcoming Posca pen project for the company’s display stand. So welcome to my world! This was exactly the kind of thing I was looking at last week. Don’t worry I’ll share my take on tiles in the coming weeks.

I’m currently going through lots of trend reports at the mo and patterned tiles are most definitely in. I’ve always fantasised about a bathroom made up of mismatched tile designs, a lovely med-inspired blue and white kitchen with a ornately patterned tiled splash-back and one of those hallways with an intricate luxurious tiled floor. I best get saving.

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Bag a Freebie! Win a Gorgeous Thornback & Peel Tote

Thornback & Peel Bag Summer Essentials

Are you a freebie fan? Get your hands on a gorgeous Thornback & Peel tote bag. For your chance to win, simply tweet me  or leave a message on my Facebook wall with the #TandPTote hashtag telling me what you’d put in yours. I’ll be announcing the winner on 25th June.

I’m a big fan of Thornback & Peel – the celebration of fine illustration and choice of colour ways makes for elegant pieces without being overly stuffy or fussy. So I was very pleased when the company sent me this Mums & Roses tote, especially as it comes in blue and white; the colour-combo of the summer. For more designs check out the rest of the collection at the Thornback & Peel website > here.

Thornback & Peel Bag Summer Essentials

This tote is simply perfect for my alfresco watercolour painting jaunts over the summer.

At this time of year the light is so beautiful where I live, especially in the mornings.  I often spend the start of the day with my paper pad and paints at the ready to capture the Essex estuary landscapes and the flora and fauna therein.

Thornback & Peel Bag Summer Essentials

I’m filling my tote with my summer painting essentials. The bag is just the right size to fit two A3 pads comfortably with ample room for brushes and paints plus a bottle of mixing water, making it a practical as well as stylish choice.

Thornback & Peel Bag Summer Essentials

Whatever you’re doing over the summer, why not stash your seasonal essentials in a stylish tote?

Even if you’re not the lucky winner of my comp, you can get a 15% discount on one of these shoppers until 29th June 2016; just visit the Thornback & Peel website and quote ELLASPLACE at the checkout.

Thornback & Peel Bag Summer Essentials the comp via my >Twitter or >Facebook

Check out Thornback & Peels totes >here

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Getting smart with Sharpies: Mexican inspired coasters

Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston

I’ve recently got obsessed with all things Mexican. There was a reason for this, myself and the good Dr B always cook something nice on New Year’s Eve and this year we fancied a feast of Mexican style veggie food.

As I was researching various tasty vegetarian recipes* to prepare for us, I kept coming across some beautiful Mexican tile designs. They were absolutely stunning. Not only did I want these tiles in my kitchen and bathroom (when we get round to doing them up) but I was so inspired that I needed these designs in my life straight away.

Although many of the tiles came in a gorgeous array of different colour combinations, I was really drawn to the blue and white ones (you know me, I love to keep designs simple when I can help it). So I got out my Sharpie pens, grabbed my spare mdf coasters from my old Shibori coaster project and set to work on whipping up these beauties.

Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston

Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston

First I gave the mdf squares a lick of white acrylic paint. Once they were dry I drew out my designs freehand on the coasters in pencil. I didn’t want to trace the designs directly as I wanted to add my touches to them to make them my own. I also opted for freehand because, and I know some of my design friends won’t like this, I don’t like it when everything is straight on and symmetrical. I like to keep things wonky every now and again – for me it’s more fun that way.

Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston

I’m going to give them a little varnish so I can actually use them (I was in such haste to draw the designs on and then get them shot that I clean forgot) but I thought I’d share them with you now as I’m chuffed with them. Can’t wait to get them out now.

The whole exercise has got me thinking of my own pattern designs, can I be more ornate? If I keep my colour scheme simple, can I go to town on the motifs? This project has inspired me to have a bit more of a play and to come up with some new work – watch this space for what I do with this.

Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston

Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston
Mexican Coasters (c) Ella Johnston

*Spiced roast cauliflower and chickpea tacos with a yoghurt lime dressing and salsa plus nachos with black bean chilli and guacamole with a side order of red cabbage slaw and smoked paprika roast potatoes, if you’re asking. No, we couldn’t eat it all and it lasted through to the next day and beyond. I did take pictures but the light was rubbish and to be honest we were too intent on scoffing rather than blog stuff – sorry!