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cloud dish

I wanted to share with you today this Paper Boat Press cloud dish I bought whilst at the Finders Keepers markets on the weekend.  Doesn't it just make you smile?  I hope so, I love it.  It is has been pressed with the pattern from vintage buttons!  I also bought some earrings from Paper Boat Press with a similar pattern on them.  In fact everything I bought on the weekend has some sort of texture to it.   

The tactile nature of an object has always been so important to me, I have to touch everything I see (started as a child, just ask my Mum!) and feel it between my own two hands. This is why I will never have long manicured nails (not that I don't love the look of a good mani, mind you), so I can always feel with the tips of my fingers. Where would we be without our sense of touch.

Talking of clouds, the skies have been amazing lately haven't they? I don't know a great deal about the names of different cloud forms, so I can't describe them, in any way but Wow! Saturday was particularly spectacular. And today was the most perfect sunny winter day I could ever imagine. 

Images: Olive & Joy

brissie finders keepers

In Brisbane this weekend?  Good!  The second Finders Keepers markets is on this Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th June at the Old Museum next to the RNA showgrounds in Brisbane.  Finders Keepers is full of inspirational designers and handmade products.  Plus there's food and music to boot!  And entry is free!!
See the pic above for all the details or go to the Finders Keepers website to peruse the designers showcasing their wares.

here comes the sun

do-do-do-do, here comes the sun and I say, it's alright. 

I love to feel the warmth of sun on my skin but I also avoid it quite a bit as, 1. I don't want skin cancer, or 2. too many wrinkles from sun exposure. I read something today that was a major revelation for me. It's actually ok to get a bit of unprotected (gasp) sun exposure a few times every week - it is actually good for you! I knew that Vitamin D from the sun was very healthy for me and my husband is always harping on about me getting more of it, but what I didn't know is that if you wear sunscreen you block the Vitamin D from entering your body. Vitamin D actually helps prevent all sorts of cancers. Of course no lounging in the sun for hours without sunscreen. But a little bit is good and I plan to get me some sun on my pasty skin this weekend - with no skin cancer guilt attached. Hopefully the weather will pretend it's not winter too, that may help.  Read more about the benefits of Vitamin D over at Goop.

Image:  Coco + Kelley

how I recovered my lampshade

I could not have even contemplated making my lampshade without using this brilliant (and beautifully illustrated) tutorial from Lara over at Kirin Notebook, it's easy to understand and a great reference to print out and keep handy whilst you are making your shade. 

Here is a little step by step on how I made my shade, in case you are interested.

Okay, I used:
*  An old lampshade
*  A sheet of polypropylene to use as your base stock - I bought mine from a plastic supply company but you may be able to find one at a craft supply store. I used 0.64mm thick sheet however I think 0.38mm would have worked just as well. The base stock gives the fabric strength and shape.
*  Fabric for my shade
*  Spray Adhesive
*  Fabric scissors to cut the fabric & general purpose scissors (or a craft knife) to cut the polypropylene sheet.
*  Pegs!

lampshade before

Original frame stripped, cleaned and ready to be spray painted

First of all if you are recovering a frame like me, you will need to strip the frame and clean it up (I also sprayed mine with some white paint to freshen it up as it was chipped). Before you strip the frame try to take it off carefully so you can use it as a template to trace around to get the shape of the base stock for your shade. My brilliant husband thought of this after I rolled the lampshade (for ages!) around trying to trace it onto my base stock.

using original base stock to trace around for my new base stock

If you have bought a new frame you can simply work out the circumference of your shade if it is a circular drum shade or if it is a tapered shade like mine above, you will need to roll it around tracing the top and bottom (easier with two people, one tracing on either end as you go. You will need to add 25mm for an overlap on one side so that your frame has something to stick to.

first go, cutting out the fabric 7mm bigger all the way around using the base stock as a template.

Once you have cut out your base stock you can then use this as a template to cut out your fabric, allowing at least a 7mm overlap of fabric all the way around. This is what I did on my first go, however I being a newbie at this lampshade making thing I found it near impossible to get the fabric and base stock to stick together once sprayed with glue, and the overlap even all the way around. Honestly do yourself a favour and cut the fabric a lot bigger than the base stock and then cut it to size once you have glued them together. There will be no tears and no wasted fabric (well just a little but it's better than if you have to do it twice like me).

take two! cut your fabric MUCH bigger than your base stock prior to glueing then trim to size afterwards.

Once you have got your fabric and base stock ready, lay them down on some newspaper or butcher's paper and give them a spray with spray adhesive.  Wait until they get tacky and place the base stock on top of the fabric and smooth out the wrinkles as you go. Once this has dried a little then trim your fabric to have an overlap top and bottom and perhaps on one side if you fabric is fraying like mine was, then you can fold this side bit over like below to have a smooth finish for the edge you will see once your frame is together. 

Oh boy, this is getting a little confusing isn't it??  Trust me, use Lara's tute if you plan to make a lampshade, and this will be much clearer - she uses diagrams, pretty illustrated diagrams, yay diagrams!

Now you are ready to put your shade together! The 25mm overlap will need to be sprayed with spray adhesive (protect everywhere else and just spray the overlap). In addition I also sprayed the top and bottom fabric overlaps including a tiny bit of the base stock (maybe 2mm)to make it a little bit sticky, this will help with the next step.

Place pegs around the frame to hold it all together whilst the glue dries

You will now wrap your frame with your fabric and base stock combo, using pegs to keep everything in place whilst the overlap dries. The reason I sprayed a little bit of the base stock was to try to keep it in place because the top and bottom bits of my frame aren't joined together (some frames are) and the bottom ring tends to want to pop out. 

Protect the inside of your frame with some paper whilst you spray the top and bottom overlaps (again).

Now once your frame is together and the side overlap has dried, you will need to place some paper inside your frame to protect it whilst you spray the top and bottom overlapping fabric. Once you have sprayed top and bottom (the more glue the merrier, it needs to be extra sticky for this part) carefully take out the paper and wait for the glue to get reeally tacky. 

Once the glue becomes tacky you can roll the fabric overlap over the frame, top and bottom.

You may need to cut some little slits in the fabric for the vertical rods you can see above. Then you are ready to roll the overlap around the frame, tucking it underneath. Once you have tucked the fabric overlap top and bottom you are pretty much done. YAY! We made a lamp!

Any questions?  Ask away below, I'm no expert but happy to help if I can :)

Images:  Olive & Joy

before and after: op shop table lamp

This op shop lamp had good bones, I could see its potential and at only $15 in my local Lifeline store, I snaffled it up pronto a few weeks ago. My husband was a little unsure at first but encouraging as always. He loves it now - he walked past the lamp the other night not long after I had finished it - pointing at the lamp, and in the loudest voice, he said "That is @%$#ing awesome!". Totally cracked me up that he was so passionate about a lamp, of all things. 

But it is amazing how much of a difference a bit of paint and a newly recovered shade can make.  Bye, bye terracotta - I've got nothing against you, but my lamp looks so much nicer in glossy white. And the new bamboo print shade is so lovely with the light filtering through it at night time. I was going to put the lamp in our guest bedroom but it does add a cosy, warm glow to this little corner of our living room. 

Later in the week I will post on how to recover a lampshade in case you may like to try your own lamp makeover or recover an old shade you have become bored with. It's cheap, it's easy(ish), and will be one of a kind. Got to love that.

Images:  Olive & Joy

house tour

Good morning! Our home is featured in a House Tour over on the Rearranged Design blog today so I would love you to pop on over and visit us here

ps. My lamp makeover is finished. I'm really happy with how it turned out - will reveal all tomorrow, yay!

design for life

Last night I stumbled upon a tv show on ABC2 called Design for Life. Have you seen it? It is basically a reality tv show where 12 British design students travel to Paris and try to impress the pants off Phillipe Starck to try to land a 6 month placement working for him. If you are interested in the design process or just want to see Phillipe (love the way he talks!) in action take a look, it's on ABC2 8:30pm Wednesdays, you can even view last nights episode here if you are interested. I was a little embarrassed for the students on last nights episode, the quality of most of their concepts were not at the level I would be comfortable presenting to someone like Phillipe Starck. It should be interesting to watch their progression as the weeks go on.

Image: Starck

sneak peek at lamp revamp

A little peek at the progress of the op shop lamp I have taken on the task of revamping.  You may remember the lamp base was a tuscan terracotta number that looked like this.  A few coats (quite a few coats!) of spray paint and it is now a beautiful, glossy white basketweave lampbase. That was the easy part. 

Tracking down the elusive polypropylene sheet that you glue the fabric to, to give the lampshade shape and strength - that, my friends, was a task in itself. But find it we did, at a plastics supplier, although it is probably not the right colour or thickness (too thick, not opaque enough) it will do for now. It is just a pity I stocked up on 4 sheets of it! 

I was planning on using the fabric above for the shade but do you think I can get the pattern to sit correctly on my tapered shade? Nope. I think I bit off more than I could chew for my first foray into lampshade making with this pattern so I have decided to be kind to myself and use a fabric with a more forgiving pattern. So, the green bamboo fabric it is - I think it will look great with the base, don't you?

I've cut my base stock (polypropylene) to shape using the original shade as a stencil so tonight I will cut the fabric to this shape also allowing a little extra to fold over the edges. I am going to give the original lampshade frame a spray with new paint as it is looking a little worse for wear. When I have finished this project I hope to show a little step-by-step tutorial on how to make a lampshade.  I found a great tutorial that I will also link to, which I have used as a reference for making my shade. Hopefully it will turn out ok, wish me luck!

Images:  Olive & Joy

our chase

Chase - my baby, my protector, my best friend. You helped us through many tough times and we shared many, many good times. We only knew you for the last 4 of your 12 and a half years but it felt like we had known you forever. We miss you buddy. The girls miss you not so much, especially Bella. I can't believe it has been a year since we had to say goodbye. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do. But we told you to let us know when you had had enough and you did. Those old man bones of yours just didn't want to work anymore. 

Love you Chasie boy.  

See you in another life.


sliding doors

My husband and I have planned to install a sliding door to the entrance to our TV room downstairs for the last year or so. We had extra supports put in the wall when we were building the house so that the door could hang from the top of the wall.  It is going to be quite the large door - 1.75 metres x 2.4 metres - so the extra support was very much needed.  We would like to make a feature of the door, which will face onto our main hallway near the front door and stairwell. One idea I had was to have a pattern laser cut into some kind of material, say MDF, and have a contrasting backing panel on the back. I stumbled across this image from Lonny again which gave me the idea to put mirror on the back. Sneaky isn't it, I only just clued onto the fact that was mirror behind the lattice pattern. 

I quite love this pattern too. I contacted a company yesterday who does laser cutting and had some quotes with laser cut MDF (which would then be spray painted to whatever colour I select), with either an acrylic back or painted MDF back. I also had a quote with the pattern on both sides with an acrylic or MDF core (are you still with me, sorry I know pictures would help!) But that was not within our budget, though I know it would look amazing. 

But seeing this image above this morning, I'm quite loving the idea of a white painted laser cut panel with a mirrored back. I will have to see if the company can do this for us.  

ps.  Here are some of the patterns I have been looking to choose from.  I would love to know which one is your favourite? 

Images:  Lonny & CutOut