Oooh la la! The new June issue of Ideal Home is in the shops now, and it’s a cracker! Bunting fans will be especially chuffed to discover we’re giving away some gorgeous printed bunting with this issue, covered with pretty vintage-style floral patterns fresh from the pages of the lovely Reprodepot Pattern book: Flora.

It’s so easy to make – all you need is a ribbon and some staples or glue – and it looks great draped around the garden for a summer party. Stick it to your shed, tie it to trees and bushes, wrap it around your garden furniture – instant summer chic! Also, if you’re keen to get hold of the Reprodepot Pattern book: Flora and the joyous accompanying CD of high-resolution printable patterns for craft, we’re running a special offer in our June issue, which means you can get your sticky little mitts on the book for just £9.99 as opposed to £16.99 – you can’t say fairer than that. – Ellie



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Scrabble-tastic

December 7, 2009

Scrabble cushions, Scrabble wall art…who’d have thunk it? My favourite game is finally cool. Of course, I usually get stuck with seven vowels while my opponent scores 96 on a triple word score square with ‘opaquer’ or some other RANDOM word that I didn’t even know existed, but HEY – losing aside, I do LOVE Scrabble. Check out these fabulous Scrabble cushions from Rockett St GeorgeMaybe this trend started a while ago with Stephen Reed’s Scrabble cushions installation for the Bloomberg offices in London? I’ve got a bit of a thing at the moment for vintage black Scrabble tiles with white lettering…ever since I saw some in Vintage Heaven‘s Halloween display back in October. I bought the letters ‘LOVE’ (cheesy, I know) and they’re in a grey rack in front of my old typewriter – how pleasing…

Sometimes, it’s as if the lovely people at Rockett are reading my mind…

These cushions look so cool on a white sofa in front of a dark grey wall (REALLY need to get this dark grey thing out of my system soon!) If you prefer the traditional cream tiles, check out this stylish Brigitte Herrod artwork, also from Rockett:

This is lovely, but I can’t help thinking you could make your own…vintage Scrabble sets are cheap as chips on eBay, and some shops (such as Vintage Heaven!) sell old Scrabble tiles for pence. A trusty IKEA Ribba frame, some super-glue, and job’s a good ‘un. Right, I’m a bit Scrabbled-out and still recovering from the opening party of the fabulous London pop-up Drink, Shop, Do…(Smack my Stitch up, anyone?) so let’s see if those lovely pics from Sibella Court’s new book,  Etcetera, have arrived yet…oooooh, they have! – Ellie


Typefaces treat

October 28, 2009

Obsessed with Helvetica? Got a thing for Wing Dings? Fancy a bit of Futura? If you’re a typefaces geek like me, check out this gorgeous new book: Type, A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles. It’s a beautiful hard-back book, crying out to be cooed over – the kind of tome that deserves pride of place on your coffee table stack.

typography3Apart from the fact that this is a fascinating read all about the history of fonts and a lovely visual book to own and cherish, there’s another reason why I love it. Each copy comes with a unique access code to a huge online library of high-resolution graphics and typefaces, which you can download and use for free!

typography1Perfect for cheap wall art – I’m going to print a few vintage typeface specimen sheets out and frame them. And imagine the Crafting Potential! I plan to use the downloads to make some personalised stationery, vintage-style Christmas cards, cute labels for homemade jam…and some of the downloads feature vintage chemist labels, which you could print out and glue to jam jars or glass bottles for cheap yet lovely bathroom accessories. Hurrah! – Ellie

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Push ma button

October 6, 2009

Buttons – useful little blighters. And not just for clothes – oh no. There’s a whole wide world of button CP (Crafting Potential) out there, just waiting to be discovered. Rejoice. Unless you’re koumpounophobic. (Word of the day. Possibly word of the year.)

button craftYou could super-glue them to magnets (available from Hobbycraft) and use them to fix notes and photos to the fridge…way more classy than plastic fruit/food magnets, and not as annoying as word/poetry magnets, which: A.) Tempt friends and family to write the rudest sentence they can muster with the given vocabulary. B.)Have a tendency to fall off and get lost in the fluffy depths of the sub-fridge region – and it’s usually the important words such as ‘AND’ that go astray. C.) Are a complete nightmare when you want to clean the fridge door/move house, and you spend half a day picking all the little words off the fridge, only to put them back on again. That way, insanity lies. ANYWAY…back to the buttons…

craft buttonsYou can use buttons to create your own gorgeous artwork. Download the designs here, then use glue to stick on a few buttons for cute-folky-kind-of-homemade-well-they-definitely-ARE-completely-homemade-if-anybody-asks prints.

crafty button fun2Finally, it’s been done before, but it’s always a winner – pick some pretty buttons and tie them to coloured ribbons to make napkin rings. Bitten by the button bug? Wanna buy buttons? Try Claire Grove, Knit and Sew, or The Button Queen. – Ellie

Bow down to Charlene Mullen

September 30, 2009

Making her debut at 100%Design last week, Charlotte Mullen is a textile designer who’s going places. Her unusual hand and machine embroidery cushions and accessories are inspired by…deep breath…Elizabethan blackwork embroidery, English lace, Eastern European textiles and urban landscapes…in Charlene’s own words: “from Victorian Christening gowns to prison tattoos – nothing is taboo.”

charlene mullen2Her eclectic range of influences means that she achieves her goal to create modern designs within a historical context – and many of her pieces have an intricacy that can only be achieved by the human hand, making them extra lovely.

charlene mullenI like the fact that Charlene doesn’t take herself too seriously – from the little UFO flying above St Paul’s to her quirky ‘Boy with a Coif’ cushion, there are touches of humour everywhere – her designs are tactile, elegant, but human. Her website features some of her lovely work, and I think it’s a great example of how a website can work when it’s designed well – it’s really beautiful.

charlene mullen3Charlene’s little red and white name tapes were sewn to her press releases at 100%Design and looked so cute. Bethan in the office has just found a fabulous website – GB Name Tapeswhere you can buy 144 name tapes for £5.85 – so I’ve ordered some “with love from ellie x ones to prettify presents, jars of home-made jam and generally anything that sits still long enough for me to slap a pretty name tape on it. As Bethan said, just think of the Crafting Potential (CP) – the possibilities are endless! Tragically, I’m almost as excited about these name tapes as I was when we discovered the amazing free butterfly and insects online image library – ah, happy days. – Ellie

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