Happy Friday

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Someone is happy the heating has come on…

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Un.be.lie.va.ble.

Just a quick note to share this disgusting story:

http://whatsleftoftheleft.com/2013/07/30/is-it-still-rape-if-you-kill-her-first-pub-quiz-question-from-radio-bar-glasgow/

Whether or not you believe the comment from the PR lady from G1 (the chain who owns the pub) about them being unaware of the quiz master’s particular “sense of humour” – and to be honest, you would think the patrons/staff/manager would have pulled him up on it at some point prior to this – the fact that there are people who think that these sorts of comments and jokes are acceptable, nay, actually FUNNY, is beyond my comprehension.

Makes me think of some of today’s young women who say that feminism is outdated and no longer needed. This situation clearly shows the opposite.

Lunchtime mooch

I am obsessed with TK Maxx. I mean obsessed. Pretty much every lunchtime I nip in either there or in its sister shop Home Sense. Because you never know what might have popped up overnight, like some sort of magical home decor mushroom!

Today I just thought I’d share a few things that I spied while I methodically scanned the aisles…speaking of aisles, this one might be my favourite:
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All those baskets just make me want to grab a load of them and run home and dot them around my flat. You know, like in the homes of one of those effortlessly organised people you see on American blogs. I will never be one of them. I like tat too much.

Moving on! I have been pondering my bathroom scheme, having just finished putting things on walls last night (update post coming soon!). I’m thinking a combination of whites, oranges and pinks. Might sound garish but this towel I spied made it all come together like a well-oiled squirrel:
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By the way, pardon the low-quality pics today, they were all taken on my worthless phone. Speaking of towels, I also really liked these, but alas they would not go with my chosen scheme:

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Continuing the bathroom theme, I thought this would look well cute filled with cotton wool balls:

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In the clearance section I spotted this little gent, at a bargainous £3 due to a minute chip.

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I would fill him with wine corks (ok, this is starting to sound rude) as and when bottles got drunk (quite frequently in my house…) Blatantly stole that idea from one of those aforementioned blogs.

I also spotted some fairly ghastly and, frankly, quite incomprehensible things. Oversized ornamental shoes anyone?

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No, me neither.

Speaking of American…things, TK Maxx have started doing a “craft” and “scrapbooking” (never quite got my head around that concept to be honest) section, which somehow appeals to me, on some primal level. These lovely cards just made me want to be one of those people who sit at a leather-clad desk and write grown-up notes of thanks to friends.

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Yeah, never gonna happen either. I know my limits.

Love a bit of charidee

The charity shops in Didsbury are brilliant. They’re full of books, paintings, old granny tat and general things that I shouldn’t love or want, but I do. I’m such a magpie. I went on a clueless stroll around the Sue Ryder and Cancer Research shops yesterday and ended up coming home with these treasures:

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Pot + book

Now I call that painting a treasure – someone else called it “hideously amazing”. Make of that what you will. The book I only picked up because I liked the look of it. I’m that shallow.

Book

I wouldn’t just buy a book if I didn’t like the sound of it though, so what I normally do with books is I read the first page to see if I like the author’s language and then decide. This one mentioned crack dealers and death on the first page, so I was sold. The plant pot was so gloriously 70s that I couldn’t leave it behind, and it certainly breaks up the masses of plain white Ikea ones dotted around the flat.

As I always do with charity shop finds, I started off by giving the frame a thorough clean. And it’s a good thing I did:

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When I was done it looked like Barry had had a particularly messy accident.

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I like to think that someone had this in their smoking parlour and enjoyed gazing at the palm trees while enjoying a leisurely hit of tobacco.

Once it was clean, it went up in its intended place above the radiator.

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I know it looks a bit empty for now, but I’m planning on getting some small mirrors and clustering them between the painting and the lamp, to reflect light into the “living room” part of the flat.

Speaking of lamp, something that was completely unintentional was how the frame matches the lamp base perfectly! See?

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Very pleased. I’ve not found a home for the plant pot or book yet but I will try out a few different places and let you know where they end up.

Happy Sunday!

Pretty in pink

So after living here for almost two years, I thought it was about time I did something about the drab magnolia walls. Since I live in rented accommodation I can’t go too mad colour-wise, but I’d thought about just painting two small walls – that way they’d be easy enough to paint over (back to magnolia, mmm) when I eventually move out. And like many decisions I make, something just came into my head and I went with it. This thought was ‘hmm, dusky pink? Yeah, why not’. Well…maybe because I’m not particularly, nor have I ever been, into pink? Not even as a child – if me and my sister were bought matching things, she always got the pink version and I got the blue/green/yellow. Does this sound like I’m traumatised? I assure you I’m not – apart from throwing a massive tantrum over some mittens at the age of about 8, it never bothered me in the slightest.
As usual, I digress. Back to the wall. I tried a couple of sample pots but they just didn’t do it for me. Then my boyfriend (genius that he sometimes is) suggested just sticking some swatches on the wall to see how they looked. Now why didn’t I think of that before spending 25 quid on tester pots?? Dagnammit. So I did as suggested.

I left the swatches (that’s four of each kind taped together, then blu-tacked onto the wall) for a few days, to see how they looked in different lights and which ones I liked best. The middle one was a clear winner from the beginning, and remained so.

Because this wall is so small, I only had to buy one litre of paint, so it wasn’t a particularly costly project (not counting the tester pots…). This (embarrassingly messy) picture from when I first moved in somewhat shows the wall in question:

It was literally only the alcove behind the bed that I was painting, so it didn’t take long. Well, it shouldn’t have taken long, but I started quite late on the Saturday, and because I wanted the first coat to dry properly, I didn’t finish it until the Sunday. And here’s the finished product!

At first I really wasn’t sure if I’d strayed too far from my personal anti-pink principles, but I’ve grown to really like it. The opposite wall will eventually be a green-y mushroom-y colour, but they’re far away from each other to not clash or look weird (I hope!).

Next project – chest of drawers. Here’s a sneak peak of what it has looked like since I “rescued” it from a communal hallway about…oh, five years ago?

Any wild guesses as to what fate awaits it?

Hanging out with the King

I borrowed a sewing machine to take in some trousers (since I’ve lost 23lbs since last summer – go me!). It took me about three weeks to actually getting round to using it, but today it’s all done! Three trousers taken in, one bikini fixed and – drumroll – one cushion cover made! That probably makes it sound more impressive than it was – I only used about six pins and sewed one straight seam. But still, I’m dead pleased. Especially since it was made using a pillowcase that’s been wasting away at the bottom of my bedding box for a good few years. I bought two Elvis pillowcases years ago in Swedish shop Lagerhaus (amazing shop – even if you don’t understand it since the website is in Swedish, just look at that fox cushion and you know it’s good), but the weird thing is that Swedish pillows are generally a lot smaller than the ones we have here, so I haven’t been able to use them since moving to the UK. Still held on to them though – you never know when you “might need” these things…well, I’m glad I did!  Here it is before:


I had a cushion cover that I no longer liked, so I thought I might as well use the inside cushion for the new cover. I started off by turning one Elvis inside out and using the current cushion cover as a measuring tool. Like so:

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Then I pinned down the side, turned Elvis inside out, and simply sewed a straight seam down the pillowcase.

Hey baby…how you like my seam?

I made sure I measured the current cushion cover on the same side as the pillowcase’s opening, so that I could use the overlap to hold the cushion in. So once I’d stitched down the middle of the pillowcase, it was simply a case of turning it inside out and putting the cushion back in. Done!

Look how impressed Barry is. Actually I think he’s knackered after all the measuring and sewing going on today.

I might try dyeing the cushion cover a light to mid-green, hoping that the outline of Elvis will still be visible. If it doesn’t work, I have another pillowcase so I don’t need to worry about this one being ruined.

 

The man of the house

Ther’s an expression in Swedish that translates as ‘a loved child has many names’ – well, meet Barry Maurice Balthazar Lionel Simpson. How much love is in those five names?

Barry…how does one describe you? The best way is probably through this picture:

That’s some serious cat loving right there. That’s our weekend morning tradition. This loving tableau is usually shortly followed by Barry impatiently biting my hand because I’m being lazy and won’t get up to feed him.

Barry came into my life in May 2011. I wasn’t even going to get a cat, I was just casually going to a rescue centre “to have a look”. And then he wouldn’t let me go home without him. I mean, how can you leave without someone who manipulates you like this the first time you meet?

I realise that I’m going to sound like ‘one of those’ cat ladies, but he is an important part of my life, so he deserves his own place here. Even if he doesn’t do much physical work around the flat, he’s always sat by my side watching me potter about, or cook, and will often-times make his displeasure (over not getting enough attention) known by trying to climb up my body for attention. Like so:

Attention – now, bitch.

So while he may not have opposable thumbs (but apparently his kind are working on it) and therefore can’t hold a paint brush, measure a wall-space for furniture, or even pour me a nice glass of wine after I’ve been at work earning the dough, he….well, actually…he doesn’t do anything. He just sits and watches.

Any suggestions for even more love-filled names for him? What does he look like to you? If you have a pet, how many names have you given them?