Monday, 22 September 2014

Feather print artwork...

DIY
"Learning to fly"...


One of the micro trends I've become aware of recently, is feathers! Feather art and print, on cushions and used in wall-hangings, as well as in fashion....I love the look of feathers!



At first I played around with some images I shot of some feathers me and Little miss Moo picked up one day when we went for a little walk in the woods...using apps on my phone:

Made using sketch maker app

Made using 360sketch app

But when one of my favorite, arty bloggers. Alisa Burke posted this tutorial about different ways to get creative with feathers, I knew I had to give it a go!

In particular I wanted to try to print with feathers!
So today I want to share this little arty tutorial I made of my attempt to do some gelatin printing using feathers!


You'll need:
A baking tray (or similar) to fit A4 paper
Gelatin
Water
Paper
Paint
Brushes
Brier
....and of course: Feathers!



Mix up enough gelatin and water to fill up your baking tray.
Use more gelatin in the mix than instructed for an extra hard jelly.
Leave to set...


When it has set properly get your paints and feathers and paper ready!
Apply paint directly onto the jelly...mix up the colours and patterns of your paint as you'd like!


Gently place the feathers on top of the painter jelly surface...




Place a piece of paper on top, and use the brier to roller gently over the surface!
(If you haven't got a brier, using your hands will work as well)


Peel the paper away to reveal your feather pattern...repeat for a different expression, changing the colors and patterns as you please...Have fun!!


You could even "pull" a print of the paint left behind where the feathers were...


Even the feathers themselves look lovely, all covered in paint!!


When you've had fun pulling feather prints , and your sides are covered in pieces of paper...enjoy going through them, choose one or two and whack a frame on:
Voila: Feather art!!

I liked how this mint/gold/pink version came out....but if I change my mind I'll have like, ahem....20 more to choose from!!


And I had some great fun in the process! Even Little Miss Moo got in on the action!!

I have another arty project coming up soon, as my living room makeover is now starting to take shape, I am turning my attention to the details: Art, lighting and furniture!!
It's going to be quite a transformation!!

Keep popping by to see more creative projects for your interiors!

xxx
June

Please spare a minute to give me your vote for best DIY blog in the Amara interior blog awards...just click on the image below!! Thank you! xxx
amara interior blog awards



Thursday, 18 September 2014

100%design

London design festival

So yesterday I went to the 100% design exhibition in Earls court, London....
Wow...sensory overload!!
So much eye design candy, it's hard to know where to start!!
I came back with 2 shopping bags full of leaflets and brochures ...it's going to take some time going through that lot!! So much inspiration!!
So for today, I am just sharing a few pics I snapped with my phone, and mentioning a few of the designers and trends that's stuck in my mind!!

Top left: origami concrete paperweights from desinere, recycled glass citrus press and egg cartons in the super design market, and modular concrete shelving, table with built in vessels for plants and concrete/wood mix pendant lights from bentu.
There was no way that I could see it all, so I concentrated on the Interiors and emerging brands sections....and boy was there some interesting stuff:
There is a definite focus on exploring new materials and processes, and also on recycling and the sustainability of new product and design..
There was quite a lot of designs in concrete, often mixed with other materials such as wood...

From top Left: Image from the emerging brands section, "cumulus" cloud light by daisuke mingle , ceramic light pendants from Estonian design house, Cork finish ,and bench by Lewis Nelson

Colored glass ware and mixed metals seems to be a big trend, as well as decorative porcelain ,marble and cork.There was fun designs exploring materials in a new way, such as the lightening clouds above.
 Pale wood was an obvious trend and furniture looked modern, but with a hint at mid-century design...

From top left: Mexican product design by shift, "Kai" Powder coated steel chair by Daniel Lau, wooden pendant lights by hope&hammer, modular storage by MoModul
Rustic wood was also having a moment, but in the form of wood-chip and plywood as well as oak and beech. There was a lot of modular furniture, especially when it came to storage, and powder coated metal in geometric forms also seems to be a big trend in furniture

Table lamp and turned oak table and planter in one by hope and hammer, patterned wall paper by Camilla Boler and baskets and throws by The makings.uk
It seemed to be all about textures and materials, and the general color palette was muted pastels and grey's...Geometric prints and kaleidoscope graphics seemed to dominate textiles, soft furnishings and wall paper (along with photographic textures like weathered wood and bricks.).

Here's a few other furniture/design ranges that impressed me:
Loic bard

Emko design

Furniture by Lozi


Pinch design
There really was so much loveliness to look at....much too much for one post!
So no doubt I'll be blogging about some of my new-found design discoveries in the near future...
I also went to Heals in the evening yesterday for their new design range launch, and quite frankly: I am currently experiencing an overload of inspiration....so before I share anymore, I need to divulge all the visual information from yesterday...LOL!!
I have a 101 ideas floating around in my head right now, and I am getting very excited about some possible future projects!!

Stay tuned!
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

How to: Whitewash wooden flooring


for that Scandi-chic look...

Yes , I did eventually get out of the kitchen the other day....Remember when I posted here about the effortlessly chic-ness of Scandinavian style whitewashed wooden flooring??
I was stuck in the kitchen waiting for the floor wax to dry!

Well, it's now finished....and I am oh-so pleased with it!!
It has really brightened up our living room, and completely changed the feel of the space!!
In today's post I will show you how I transformed our worn and yellowing pine floorboards into a lovely pale whitewashed wooden floor....but I'm not revealing too much yet of my new look living room, as I have a few projects to do still in this transformation...


I have finally turned my attention to giving our living room some much needed TLC:
And I am planning on transforming this dingy and dated room into a Scandinavian style retreat for the autumn...as ever: On a tight budget...I will share with you all the little and larger DIY projects I undertake to achieve this look over the next few weeks, as well as some budget busting shopping guides to getting that Scandinavian /mid-century style for less!!

But the first BIG element essential to this transformation was sorting our flooring out!!
As mentioned before: I love the look of wooden flooring, but ours was looking grim and grubby!
We had decided earlier in the year to splurge on some nice pale laminate flooring, but as life would have it: we had to abandon those plans for financial reasons...I was gutted!!


However: Lack of money should not equal lack of style....and with pure willpower and grit and determination....and a lot of elbow grease (Yes...all that!!) and a very limited budget, I have done it:
I've finally got my pale whitewashed scandi floors....and for less than £50!!

Here's how I did it:


The first thing I HAD to do, was get rid of the old wax finish on the pine flooring!!
Yes...I am talking about the dreaded sanding!!
This is important because when you come to whitewashing your floorboards, you basically want to stain the wood, and that's not going to happen unless the wood is raw and bare!!
I'm not going to lie: it was hard work: And very dusty!!

You can of course rent a big sander to sand down your wooden flooring, but that was money I didn't have...so I stuck with my trusted palm-sander and some 40 grit sandpaper and on my hands and knees I sanded that floor down ....down town!!

I would highly recommend that yo remove all furniture from the room before starting this....but as I was on my own, I had no chance of moving the bigger items out of the room, so I just covered the sofa etc. with old sheets before I got started. Of course this meant that I could only do one area at the time, before moving the furniture around to get to the next bit! This actually worked out alright for me, because each day I only had so many hours to work within, before having to clean up all the dust and put the room back together before I hat to go and pick up Little Miss Moo from school....

If this sounds like a long-winded process: you are right!! Working like this throughout this project, meant that it took me almost a week to finish the floors...(I told you: determination!!)
So if you can pack the kids away(if you have any!!) and move all your furniture out before trying this at home, it should only take you 2 days to whitewash your floors.


Can't you see the steely look of determination in my eyes??
(Of course I wore a dust mask whilst sanding the floor: highly recommended, unless you want dusty lungs and bogeys the size of mountains!!)


When I'd finished sanding down those floorboards I spent a good few hours cleaning and getting rid of all the dust. Don't underestimate the amount of dust you WILL create when sanding down your floor...Have a hoover ready and sweep regularly during the process.

I then painted a layer of wood bleach on to the floorboards to even out the coloring of the bare wood...taking extra care to cover any stains and darker areas in the wood! 
To be completely truthful, I am not entirely sure how much of a difference to the final look this made, and I wouldn't blame you if you miss out this step entirely (unless you have some very unsightly stains on your wooden flooring)..


So this is what my stripped down and bleached wooden flooring looked like at this stage: Already a big improvement, but not yet that pale Scandinavian wood look I was after.


For that I needed a whitewash!!
Traditionally whitewashing wood is done with lime, but I decided on the more accessible and easier (read: cheaper) solution of watered down paint!
I used some leftover white emulsion paint, mixed it up with water until I got the right milky consistency! I kept trying the mix on an inconspicuous are of the floor (IE: A corner of the room usually covered by furniture) as described below,adding more water/paint until I was happy with the finish it gave!
As a guideline, the mix i used was approximately 1 part paint:4 parts water...
Make sure you mix up enough to cover the entire floor....you don't want a different finish in half the room because you had to make two different mixes!


Working in small areas at the time I then painted the paint/water mix onto the floorboards with a brush, then using a rag/ old tea-towel wiped off the excess as i went, rubbing the white stain into the grain of the wood, until you get an even finish! (If you think the whitewash is too dense, just use a wet rag to thin out the finish)


I worked quickly, slightly overlapping the areas, and really taking care to get an even finish!
Always work WITH the grain of the wood...if not the whitewash will come out looking streaky!


You can clearly see the subtle difference the whitewash makes to the look of the wood in the picture above.
Leave the floor to dry completely before finishing it with a layer of protective wax.


I chose this hardwax oil with a hint of white in it, to enhance the paleness to the whitewash, but clear wax would've been fine as well!! I simply painted it on, making sure it covered the floor evenly..


It went on quite shiny at first, but as it's dried and cured, it's got a matte finish!
See how you can still see the grain of the wood through the whitewash?
I love that! And I even love all those imperfections in the wood that was bothering me before, now that it's got that paleness to it!!


I should perhaps mention that it might be a good idea to add another layer of wax if it is a particularly high traffic area, but I didn't want to spend any more money that I had to (besides, I don't think my poor creaky old knees would be able to handle another day crawling around on the floor), so instead I've introduced a "shoes off" policy...proper Scandinavian style!!


I absolutely love my "new" whitewashed floor: it really has done what I hoped for the room: Made it more bright and airy!!
I really had to resist showing you more pictures of my living room at this stage: the light is so different...so lovely in here now: Whitewashing the floor was a great decision: A huge improvement to the feel of the room! But I am saving that for my big reveal later!!
But here's a peek into the hallway...same angle as the picture at the top of this post:


It does feel as fresh and clean as it looks...and for less than £50, a highly recommended home improvement DIY...even if it was a LOT of hard work!!

I have another busy week here at Nostalgiecat: It is the London design festival, and tomorrow I am heading to the 100% design exhibition  at Earls court, as well as an event at Heals, so in my next post I will be reporting from there, before tackling my next DIY project: The fireplace makeover!!


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Ps! Please spare a minute to give me your vote in the Amara interior blog awards for best DIY blog...just click on the image below:
amara interior blog awards



Saturday, 13 September 2014

White washed floorboards...

...Inspiration

OK, so as I'm typing this, I am actually stuck in the kitchen...
...I have been spending this week whitewashing our living room floorboards, and I applied the final coat of wax this morning....So now I am stuck, waiting for it all to dry!!

I love wooden flooring, and it was one of those things that made us choose our house in the first place: But our living room, being at the back of the house, is quite dark....not helped by the original,yellowing pine wooden floorboards. And as time has passed they'd become a bit grubby and worn, leaving me longing for those beautiful Scandinavian style whitewashed wooden floors!

Earlier this year, Mr. and I decided we would invest in some new Laminate flooring, but as faith would have it, we had to abandon our plans for financial reasons...
I was gutted!
But determined to make the best of what I had to work with, I have now , as mentioned above, given our battered old floorboards a new lease of life, by whitewashing them myself...A how-to post on this is coming soon!!
But for today, I will show you some images I found on Pinterest that inspired me to do this in the first place!! (I have tried to credit the original sources where I could):

Image via uncovet

I just love the way you can , just about, see the original grain of the wood through the whitewash:
It looks so elegant and effortlessly chic...Not to mention how it makes a great canvas for colored and textured rugs!

Image via apetycznewnetrzearpe
We have white walls in our living room, as I am a big fan of the Scandinavian all white interior look...with the whitewashed floorboards it looks bright and airy! By adding lots of different textures to the room , you can avoid it all looking too stark and cold.
(I just loooooove the textures in the image above....and that sofa cover!!)

Photo cred: Hemma hos Larsons
Some people worry about the upkeep of whitewashed wooden flooring, but if it's finished correctly with a good hardwood wax, it is actually surprisingly easy to keep, by just mopping it down with a damp rag once a week...and it looks so nice and clean!
Image via blackbirdstyle
Whitewashed floors comes in different looks and finishes: You can get a barely there look by just lime-washing the wood or a more dense look by using paint. It can be as smooth and finished as you'd like, or maybe a bit distressed looking....it all looks beautiful to me!!

Image via the marion house book
Maybe it's because I'm Norwegian, and I have that yearning for all things Scandinavian....or maybe it's because it is a trend that has been brought to the forefront of my mind, as I keep seeing more and more of these beautiful whitewashed floors in magazines, on instagram and various interior blogs... but I am absolutely in love with this look, and am feeling rather pleased with myself that I have just given our living room this treatment...
As mentioned above, I will post  how-to whitewash your wooden floorboards next week, along with a little sneak-peak on my living room Scandinavian style makeover!
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Friday, 12 September 2014

Today is international "Make your bed day"!!

...did you know that??
I know, right...there's a day for everything!!
But this is one I can get behind!!

Image from Laura Thomas Linens
(this is a sponsored post, and all images are from Laura Thomas Linens)
I make my bed every day...it's true, I do....but sometimes I don't get around to it until maybe 5 o'clock in the afternoon...LOL! It doesn't matter: it just makes such a difference come bedtime, when you peel your bedding aside, and get in....AAAAhhh! 
The only thing better is the feeling of getting into a FRESHLY made bed, with new bedding!!
They say you should always buy the best bedding you can afford....and I agree!
There are few things as important as a good nights sleep, and getting into bed at night should feel like a treat!!
So when Laura from Laura Thomas Linens sent me out some of her gorgeous organic cotton pillowcases earlier this summer, I was in heaven!
Not only is the quality superb...(like nothing I've ever had before...because up until now I've been a cheapskate when it comes to paying for bedding!!) but knowing that Laura has taken the care to make sure that all her products are fair trade, ethically produced and in keeping with the GOTS (Global Organic Trading Standard) meant that I could go to sleep with a clear conscience...No more "made in china" bedding here!! Oh no seree!!


I love it when blogging gets me in touch with people like Laura: Passionate, fair and with a great sense of style. 
Scottish lass, Laura dreamed up LTL after she had an "epiphany" whilst living in Edinburgh:
 "my bedroom window overlooked Edinburgh Castle.  While supping on a cup of tea one Sunday morning in bed and looking up at the Castle, a thought popped into my head.  What did the Kings and Queens of yesteryear's bedding look like?"

She started the company whilst living in New Zealand in 2012,where she has been living for the past 9 years , and aimed to supply the market with good quality, mid prized bedding and sheets that were both ethical and affordable:
Non of her products are mass produced, they are all unique one-off designs. Laura ensures prices are kept down by working directly with her suppliers in countries like India and Vietnam, but as mentioned above, with strict criteria on the workers daily conditions:
"I currently deal with a Vietnamese Commune that supply beautiful hand embroidered bed linen and have actually seen images of the lovely ladies who stitch on my detailing!"


Laura also runs the beautiful and inspiring lifestyle and interiors blog laura thomas interior design, featured in my blog roll...do check it out for some beautiful images of inspiring interiors as well as great DIY ideas!


Until I got the "interior bug", I (as previously mentioned) never gave bedding much thought....as long as it was clean: But having discovered the joys and beauty of quality bedding through LTL, I am now a true convert: It's got to be 100% cotton or linen and preferably organic...
...its a luxury, I know...but one I can safely say that I deserve!!

So go on...get to it: make your bed: It'll be sooo worth it!!

Our bedroom is ALMOST finished...only the chest of drawers left to fit, before I can show you all my new haven!! It's been a long time coming, I know...but stay tuned!




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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

AMARA interior blog awards


WOW!
I am so happy to announce that Nostalgiecat has been nominated for yet another Blog award!!
This time its the more industry specific AMARA interior blog awards.

For the first year running, hosted by the  leading worldwide luxury retailer Amara , this is set to become a heavyweight of an Award specifically aimed at Interior bloggers!!

The Vitra. range at Amara
The Amara team says that they believe that bloggers are an integral part of the interior design community and that they wanted to create the Amara interior blog awards to "award them for all of their amazing work."*
More than that they promise to
 "bring you the largest, most glamourous blog awards you’ve ever seen. With the award ceremony set to be hosted at the lavish Rosewood Hotel in London, sponsors such as Missoni Home..."*

And with judges like Martin Waller of Andrew Martin international , the founder of the pinnacle of the interior design industry: The international interior designer of the year awards and the man behind  "the bible of the interior design world", the interior design review  I believe them!!


Image from Andrew Martin

So I feel absolutely honored to be nominated for BEST DIY BLOG...(if not a little out of my debt as well) . The competition is stiff, and I am in very good company, so if you enjoy all my projects and tutorials for the home here at Nostalgiecat, please spare half a minute to give me your vote...just click on the image below:



amara interior blog awards

There are 11 other categories as well: Best architecture blog, Best colour inspiration blog , Best designed blog , Best design inspiration blogBest fashion inspired blog , Best international blog , Best luxury blogBest newcomer blogBest organisation blog and Best stylist interior designer blog...So if you love interior design, you might want to check out the other categories....who knows you may find your new favorite blog among them all!!
Finally, there is The editors choice awards:
"a special award for someone who the judges think really stands out as an exceptional interior blogger. Any of the final shortlisted blogs can win this award and will even walk away with an extra special prize!"*
So if you enjoy Nostalgiecat, please don't hesitate, give me your vote now, so I'm in with a chance of making the shortlist!

I also just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for all your votes for the Cosmopolitan blog awards, where I am up for best interior blog...You are all superstars! Voting is now closed for the Cosmo awards, and all I can do is dig out the glad-rags for the award ceremony in October and keep my fingers crossed !
 I really wasn't expecting to be in the running for yet another award....this year is turning out to be amazing for my little blog, thanks to YOU: my amazing readers!!  I hope I have your continued support for The AMARA interior blog awards!!
You can vote for me here!
I adore you all!!
Signing off with extra kisses today, again:
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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*extracts from the Amara interior blog awards website