Monday, November 28, 2011

That's Armoire!

It's my last post from Venice and I've got lots of ideas for getting creative with cabinets!

Martha Stewart, domestic queen, you never fail to inspire me! Here she puts two different cabinets, striped back and painted the same, on top of each other to create a DIY armoire. 

image found here

And here's a lovely tutorial from Fresh Home Idea. It's a step-by-step guide with handy tips to keep us all on track! Have a look at the 'before' picture too... to me the diy effort gives the cabinet even more vintage charm!

image found here.

Now, if you're feeling handy, this might be the project for you! With a full on set of instructions, Ana White guides you every step of the way and literally shows you how to make a corner cabinet from scratch! I'm really keen on this idea... maybe add some patterned wallpaper and vintage door knobs into the mix?

image found here.

Then there is Miss Mustard Seed at Mustard Seed Interiors who has taken a new approach all together and painted the whole wardrobe with black-board paint... a lovely idea for storage to double up as a memo-board in a cafe, for example.


image found here.

And, just for good measure, I've thrown in this image...  The colours, pattern, shapes are all just garishly brilliant!

image found here.

I probably wouldn't be able to sleep at night if this was the decor in my bedroom, but I think it would be fun in a dinning room or something. Bold can be quite brilliant!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Headboard benches

There seems to be hundreds of tutorials and ideas on how to repurpose an old headboard into a bench, but as they are all so different, I'm quite keen on the idea myself!

The great thing about 'how-to' tutorials is that they give you a basic structure and help with the technical aspects of the build, but there is so much scope for you to do it your way. Take this idea as an example- a bench from a headboard sounds like there would be a one-rule-for-all kind of system but, as headboards come in all shapes and sizes, your starting point will be unique and so there is no reason your whole project can't be!

This one is from Mallie + Posh- a clean and delicate structure with fun to be had in choosing fabrics for all the cushions! Interior designer Mallorie Jones has posted a simple set of instructions which are great as guideline. Find them here

image found here.

Moving on to The Lettered Cottage for a more in-depth tutorial!
Kevin at The Lettered Cottage has posted a step-by-step account of how he made a rather robust structure for the bench. There is even a little video showing how it was done. Find it all here.

image found here.

 And now for a slightly bolder approach- a lilac garden bench from Pretty Handy Girl. This blog also has a really helpful 'how-to' and pays great attention to detail. Find it here.

image found here.

And just one more link before you are able to construct one of these blindfolded! eHow Home have another list of instructions for construction here. Sadly they don't have any images but I suppose that will allow you to use your imagination!

I'm keeping my eyes peeled for an interesting, abandoned headboard now! Watch this space...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Off the wall!

I like a neutral wall- a clean, blank canvas that allows a personal injection of fun. Whether it's pops of colour, an eclectic mix of ornaments, vintage frames or, in my case, sets of brass flying ducks!

I've come across lots of inspiring and unusual approaches to wall art on my travels through the Internet and here are three examples that really grabbed my attention:

Whilst browsing Lonny magazine's wonderful website, I found this image by interior designer Lisa Sherry.

image found here.

A large frame (that would take up most of a wall) hosts little doodles of photo-frames in different shapes and sizes. Within these drawings found images, feathers and real photo-frames feature to create an opportunity for an ever-changing and personal mood-board and feature. It is a relaxed structurethat leaves plenty room for creativity.

Next up, inspiration from Funkytime.

image found here.

Inspired by Kari Herer's illustrations, Sibylle at Funkytime decided to make a piece of wall art for her bedroom. She literally only used 2 black pens, some faux flowers and a bit of glue. Find the 'how-to' here. It's a simple idea but it really adds a new dynamic to a plain white wall.

And last but by no means least, Payton Cosell Turner.

image found here.

Featured in ELLE Decoration's September issue, Payton Cosell Turner creates wall art installations from individual stickers! Click on the image and you will see that it's made up of everything from apples to ladders to bears! This was a commissioned piece for a bedroom and its a wonderful alternative to wallpaper... All you need to do this yourself is a crate load of pretty stickers, a steady hand and the patience of a saint! Payton, I take my hat of to you.

An alternative to wallpaper; these are quite literally 'off the wall'!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wood you think of this?!

I've got a vision of the house that  I would like one day... and in this vision there is not a piece of wood veneered MDF or lino insight!

I came to terms with the fact that I wouldn't be able to make this dream a reality until I've made my millions, but maybe cheap wood effect panelling isn't so bad after all... Maybe all it needs is a little bit of character building!

image found here.

This is a picture of interior designer Sarah Tuttle's own kitchen. Apparently she was sick of living with a brown linoleum floor so she mapped out painter's tape to form 18" squares then painted the flooring with two coats of carport paint.

A nice, fresh twist which also makes the room feel more spacious.(I love the navy walls too!) 

Find a full tour of her beautiful house and insiders tips on iVillage here.

This, on the other hand is a design by Michael Iannoe and is made from organic kirei board which sounds to me like an environmentally friendly form of MDF... 

image found here.

Although I don't think I would buy something like this new, I am intrigued by the idea of stencilling a design onto another wise minimal, generic piece of furniture. (This is not to say Michael Iannoe's design is generic- I love the green choice of materials but the shape of the wardrobe would not be my first choice!)

I've taken note of how Iannoe has painted the 'negative space' white and leave the desired shapes untouched. The standard approach would be to stencil and then colour in your pattern but that wouldn't look as innovative as what we see here.

Now time for another Design Sponge revelation!

images found here.

Another Ikea special... but with a bit of sanding, painting and added decoration, all Ikea simply provides a basic structure then we can add do what ever we like to breathe some life into it!

Find the how-to here.

So maybe cheap can be cheerful after all... all you need is a bit of imagination!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ladder Love!

Got an old ladder kicking about and a room thats looking for a revamp? How about you use your ladder for displaying your bits and bobs?

Sheterness is a great site for diy inspiration and they've sourced 20 ideas on how to use a ladder as a display. 

images found here.

This one has got me thinking... It's a great idea for a craft stall display.

This one is a really unusual way to utilise a 'dead' space behind a sofa!

Here's the link for more ladder ideas.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vintage photo tinting

I visited the Museo Correr in St Mark's square in Venice yesterday and amongst the wonderful paintings and relics there was a small display of old photographs that had been coloured by hand. 

Also, when I went to the Palazzo Grassi here in Venice, my favourite works on display were hand painted negatives by Ukrainian artist Boris Mikhailov.

a view of the exhibition. image found here

Here's a few close ups of Mikhailov's images: 

I'd like to make this a project of my own when I get home; tinting the photographs that I have found and inserting them into frames that I'll make.

Here's a website giving a bit of a tutorial on ways to do it : Vintage Image Craft

Monday, November 21, 2011

Song-spiration: Lucy Rose

On a different note (excuse the pun), I love getting inspiration from music. It's always nice to be inspired by the atmosphere that a particular song conjures and from this I get the urge to make something material which matches it.

Lucy Rose is a singer/ songwriter who I discovered through her doing some backing vocals for Bombay Bicylce Club.

I love her voice and lyrics... this is the kind of setting that I think matches this song:

Beccy Ridsel ceramics

Beccy Ridsel's ceramics are the epitome of uncovering something unexpected in the everyday object.

images found here.

She adds a performative element to her work through the suggestion of dissection and discovery; mixing the medical with the decorative.

I am drawn primarily to the aesthetic of the ceramics and this has inspired an idea to crush patterned crockery to make my own kitchen tiles and possibly add some to a table top or the top of a chest of drawers... Let's see what happens!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

poodle brains

I am not the type of person who gushes over pictures of animals (although I did just buy a tacky ornament of a cat that looks just like mine...) and this blog will not become pet orientated. BUT everyone in Venice has a dog and even though I have a beautiful one at home called Jeff, I'd like a little fluffy puppy to keep me company here!

With dogs on the brain, I have been discovering lots of crafty, up-cycling pooch related projects which are beginning to convince me that a dog would help inspire my creativity... and is therefore a necessity.

I found this make shift dog basket here on Better Homes and Garden's 'Furniture Transformations' slide show... it used to be a bedside table! Everything else on the slideshow is pretty inspiring too...

A crochet garland for above the dog's basket... awww. It would probably start to smell quite bad quite quickly but at least it looks pretty! I found this on Bees and Appletrees blog here

And what dog is complete without a custom made lead?! The how-to was found on Purl Bee's blog here.

Ok, before you think I've gone barking mad I'll stop.

(but for the record this is the one I want!)

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Oh how I wish this was my idea first!

REcreate is a South African based company set up by interior designer Katie Thompson and in my eyes is the pioneer of up-cycling furniture. Nothing is as it seems; everything has a subverted function... I would really like one of these suitcase chairs:

 And how about this for your bathroom cabinet?:

It just goes to show that even when an object is quirky in it's own right, with a bit of imagination you can transform it into something completely unexpected and absolutely fabulous

A Venetian Story...

Whilst in Venice we have all been given the challenge of creating some kind of art-related social event or project.

Out and about throughout my time here, I have found 5 different old photographs of Venice and Venetians. As I was keen to make some collages out of my finds I invited friends around to have a shot too and make a lovely post-dinner event of it!

Here is what I came up with: 

1. ‘In the Pocket of Every Great Man Lives a Great Woman.’
2. ‘For the Love of Venice’
3. ‘Shallow’

Read more and see everyone else's Venetian stories here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I ♥!

Being in this limbo period of not being able to get stuck in and start making until I get home, I've got lots of time to trawl through DIY blogs and get inspired. I want Ziggy Sawdust to be about up-cycling vintage furniture as well as making retro inspired pieces myself so I got a bit excited when I came across Design Sponge's DIY project page.

An Anthropologie store has recently opened on George Street in Edinburgh and my friend Sylvie and I spent an afternoon looking at all their beautiful things, planning what our homes will look like when we become rich and famous... and with the odds of that happening anytime soon being pretty slim, discovering a way to make this side table myself has made me really happy!

Would you believe that this started out as on of these cheapo Ikea mini chests?

Find out how to do it all here!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

my little Venice inspired collage...


I've got an idea for making something out of vintage cowboy boots!

I'm a big fan of cowboy boots and I even invested in a pair of Old Gringo's when I was in New York. They are amazing objects in themselves so I only want to change their function without harming the aesthetic... what a good excuse to do some shoe shopping!

I'll let you in on my idea once I've followed it through!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

... ideas for a little stall

Welcome to my online sketchbook!

To kick things off I'd like to tell you a bit about me... I'm currently in Venice working at the 54th International Biennale as an Information Assistant for the Karla Black show. I am having a great time and it's such a wonderful experience. On the rare occasion that the gallery is quiet I have not much else to do but think... I've been doodling in my notebook and I have realised that when I get home I really want to pursue my creative skills in the form of my own little business. I want to begin the venture as a hobby at first but work as hard as I can and see how far I can take it.

Although my background is in Fine Art, I have always been drawn to furniture and quirky bits 'n' bobs. I am certainly not afraid of a saw so I want to combine my eye for finding objects with a bit of character together with my creative flair and hands on approach to make one of pieces for the home.

I'll be sad to say goodbye to Venice (I've been here for 7 weeks and only got 2 left to go!) but I'm really excited to get home, get my hands dirty and start making!

Stumbling through blogs and websites I've come across loads of inspiration to get the ball rolling.

Lushlee is a particularly pretty site and although I am keen to source unusual, ornate knobs and handles for up-cycling furniture, it just goes to show that a little paint and some sanding can work wonders!

Martha Stewart eat your heart out.