Friday, 26 September 2014

Lacy Switch Surround

I fitted a new light switch when I decorated my pretty pretty bedroom, but it looked so blank and bare all on its own. There are lots of switch surrounds you can get to help define your switch and protect the wall from grubby fingerprints, but I do so love to find alternate uses for things, and so I set my heart on a paper doily.

I knew the crisp lacy whiteness would look lovely against the dove grey wall, and it ties in nicely with the lace window coverings I mentioned here a while ago. I found these doilies in Lakeland after quite a search for the most perfectly pretty lacy ones.

It goes without saying that you must be extra careful around electricity. I turned off the power at the mains to unscrew the switch from the wall. After cutting out the centre of the doily I was just about able to slip it over the switch. I had to make a little snip in the doily but it doesn't show when pasted down. You can use spray adhesive to mount your doily but I prefer wallpaper paste ~ I find it sticks better, it's repositionable, and it's easy to remove if necessary. But I say again ~ be careful around electricity!!!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Monkey In The Hole!

This is a recipe I've been meaning to make for such a long time and just hadn't got around to it. I'm sure you've all heard of Toad In The Hole, right? That delicious British dish of sausages cooked in a tray of huge puffy batter? Well this is the pudding version of that ~ Monkey In The Hole.

I know, you can thank me later. For now, here's how you make it:

4 bananas
4 eggs
200ml milk
200ml plain flour (about 140g)

Preheat the oven to 220C / 425F / Gas 7

Put a knob of lard (or tablespoon of oil if you prefer) in a small roasting tin and put on the top shelf of the oven to heat up.

Put the eggs, milk and flour in a jug ~ you want equal quantities of each so it's easy to increase or decrease as appropriate ~ and beat thoroughly. You can leave the batter to stand for half hour if you have time but it doesn't matter too much. Peel the bananas.
As soon as the fat is smoking hot put the bananas into the roasting tin and pour the batter quickly over. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes until the batter is puffed and golden.

Serve drizzled with caramel or toffee sauce, or golden syrup, and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Lovely Lacy Window

When I was designing the look of my bedroom, I did a lot of research for alternative window dressings. There are some beautiful ideas out there, but a lot of them were just impractical for a bedroom. I'm not bothered about blocking light, I rarely struggle to get to sleep, but I do like my privacy ~ bare windows freak me out, but I find net curtains can be a bit frumpy, while plain muslin or voile blocks a little too much light. Then I came across a fabulous idea on Pinterest ~ covering your windows in fabric using only cornflour?!

Yes, that sort of cornflour!

It turns out it's not just for thickening stews and sauces, it's also brilliant for a funky new way to dress your windows! (it also turns out that it doesn't matter if yours is 4 years out of date!)

I didn't know how well this might turn out but for such a cheap and easy project (Ikea do a beautiful lace for only £1.50 per metre) I figured it was worth a try. Fancy giving it a go yourself?

All you need is:

2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons cold water
400ml boiling water
enough lace to cover your window
a plastic mixing bowl
large paintbrush

First measure your window and cut your piece of lace (or whatever fabric you're using) to size ~ you're better off cutting it a little larger than trying to be exact, you can trim off excess when it's dry. Iron it to ensure you have no creases, you want it to lie flat on the window.

Now mix your paste. Put the cornflour in a large plastic bowl and mix to a paste with the cold water, then add the boiling water and mix well. This made a much looser mix than I expected, about the consistency of . . . um . . . runny wallpaper paste? I don't know, just don't let it worry you, it'll be fine!

While the cornflour mix is cooling, clean your window. Thoroughly. I don't just mean cleaning the glass so it sparkles, make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies around the edges too, because you can guarantee any of those little bits of muck will find their way out when you're painting gloopy cornflour mixture all over.

Now it's time to go for it! Put some old towels down before you start, I had lots of splodges and drips and I didn't want my new carpet ruined before it had been down a week. Paint your cornflour gloop on the window, right into the edges, then place your piece of lace on top and paint with another coat of gloop, smoothing out any air bubbles or creases as you go. Make sure everything is evenly coated right into the edges.

That's it, done! All you need to do is wait for it to dry and trim off any excess with a craft knife. The cornflour gloop gives a cloudy translucent finish to the lace which still lets plenty of light in while keeping my boudoir privacy intact ;-)

I also had enough left over to cover my transom light (I had to look that up, "window-above-the-door" didn't sound very professional!)

I'm quite pleased with the effect, especially as both windows cost me less than £2 to do! But if I wasn't, or if I get bored of it, I can sponge it off with warm water, wash the lace and re-use it for something else.

But you know, I think I'll be keeping it.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Beautiful Budgies

Things have been cra-a-zee round here lately, and I've been very lazy about blogging ~ sorry!
I seem to have been spending every spare minute decorating my bedroom, and yesterday the bulk of the work was finally finished. I'll share some of the more hand-crafted details with you as they get added in, but for now here's a little peek at the view I woke up to this morning: 

Isn't in beautiful! It's Chirpy by Blendworth, a gorgeous wallpaper based on a 1950s design. As soon as I saw it I fell in love, and knew it would go perfectly with my vintage candlewick bedspreads and my love of shabby chic and handmade goodies.

It manages to be crisp and fresh and colourful all at the same time. The tones are perfect, and I love that the budgies are all roosting on blossom branches ~ it lends a tranquil air that is perfect for the bedroom. I've got lots of plans for adding personal touches and accessories, and if they work out as well as I hope then I'll be sure to share tutorials with you.

Until then, I think I might go have an early night ~ it's going to be next to impossible to leave my cosy nest in the morning!