Thursday, 29 March 2012

Its a wrap!

I had such fun making buttons for Donna Flower out of some of her amazing vintage cottons. There was a superb mix of ditsy prints from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Donna is making a great job of identifying and naming them all in the new Button Department  of her shop that I'm sure they will be on every fabric lovers wish list.

But what to do with the fabric scraps left over? Button machines - even Little Arthur- show no mercy when it comes to munching their way through fabric and the scraps left behind are akward and uneven sizes. I couldn't part with them however and so I got to wrapping.....
Ghost Lampshade frames from FollyandGlee Fabric from Donna Flower
Yep there is nothing new in the idea of wrapping a "ghost" lamp shade frame. I did a little round up here on the blog sometime ago of some inspirational ideas but I'd never had a go myself.

Lampshade frames from FollyandGlee

Obviously "Ghost" lamp shade frames make the perfect stucture for a beautiful mobile but take the right precautions and there is no reason why you can't use one as a fully functioning lampshade on a floor or table lamp or as a ceiling pendant.

Tulip Frame from FollyandGlee
Here are a few thoughts if you are planning to have a go.
  • I wound a  narrow double sided adhesive tape around the frame. The top pull away top tape stayed in place until I was ready to wrap that section. It gave me a great adhesive surface for the fabric to stick to smoothly without any mess what so ever. It made joining in and finishing ends of fabric a doddle with no bulky knots  to tie. I would reccomend a tape that is heat resistant and "resistant to plasticizers"  ie sticks well to the plastic coating of the wire frame.
  • Don't take any risks and do treat the fabric you use for wrapping the frame with a Fire Retardant Spray. There are lots of the market and a little goes a long way. They won't stain the fabric and are quick to dry. Look out for the fire retardant spray most suited to the type of fabric you use ie cotton or manmade fibres.
  • Be sensible about the bulb you use in your shade. Use low voltage light bulbs which do not get so hot yet emit as much light as normal bulbs. Also make sure that there is enough distance between the center of the bulb and the shade - the so-called "critical radius".  The smaller and steeper sided the shade the more important it is to ensure there is enough clearance and that you are using a low wattage bulb. Personally in a fabric wrapped shade I will only be using compact fluorescent light bulb - not only do they last 8 times or more longer they are a lot less of a fire risk because they give off far less heat for the same equivalent wattage as a conventional light bulb. 

FollyandGlee Lampshade 42mm holder and adaptor 28mm

  • Make sure you are using a lamp shade frame and a bulb holder that fit one another. I had a horrible experience some time ago having rescued an old but beautifully shaped shade that needed recovering. After many hours of work I had a great shade but being an older one it had the old UK standard aperture fitting but I had bought at some expense the newer European standard lampholders  with coloured flex. I had no way to hang my shade. Aaaaaah. FollyandGlee lampshade frame have a European 42mm fitting as standard but all come with a removeable converter to the old 28mm just in case!

  • If you'd like to add some extra bits to your wrapped shade _ I added butterflies and flowers - to this one for my niece - do make them out of a fire retardant material or just back them with one. I cut the butterfly templates out of lampshade laminate or PVC which is self adhesive so it was easy to add some gorgeous vintage fabric.

  • Lastly this is one occasion when you can really go to town on what fabric you use. Personally I really enjoyed mixing the colours up but I did stick with similar dress weight cottons for this one. They were all left over scraps from the button project but you can buy "patchwork" offcuts and scraps from Donna Flower in the "quilters corner".
I have one or two more versions in the pipeline which...with the help of some other very craft folk....I hope to show you soon.

Happy wrapping!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Lofoten fishing lodge anyone?

When its so cold and grey outside you'll forgive me for daydreaming about our summer holiday. As yet we have no firm plans but a certain piece of fabric has got me researching the Norwegian archipelego!

Lofoten Vintage Barkcloth

Photo:Robert Walker

Lofoten lampshade by FollyandGlee  
Photo:Robert Walker
Lofoten Large Drum Lampshade 
Photo: Robert Walker
Now I maybe completely wrong at this 1950s barkcloth was not inspired by the beautiful rugged landscape of the Lofoten Islands and its characteristic fishermen's lodges. Regardless I am so happy to have discovered a part of the world I never knew existed. 
If you find yourself with a moment I'd really recomend hopping over to the Lofoten Islands online pages. The stories of the generations that have lived there through good times and bad are quite amazing......oh and the landscapes. Promise me some sunshine and you can book me straight in.

Where has your fabric taken you lately?

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Homage to the Crochet Hanger

For those of you who have been lucky enough to beg borrow or s**** of copy of Homespun Style you'll probably have spotted it is rather a homage to that most wondrous of objects - the crochet covered coat hanger.
All images: Selina Lake, Homespun Style - photography by Debi Treloar
Now if there was ever a bit of Homespun Style you should try for yourselves then this is one. You'll find a quick search online reveals all manner of vintage patterns, newby creations, video tutorials and even translations of the most gorgeous Japanese floral hangers.

 A couple of the hangers my uber talented friend Anne made for the book were adapted from our favourite tutorial by Dottie Angel.

Dottie Angel's Happy Hanger How-to
 Dottie has been at the forefront of the crocheted hangers resurgence for many years. Early shots of her gorgeous altered slips show their slippy straps slip free atop wooly sleeves of hanger.
Dottie Angel
I haven't yet spied any crochet loo roll covers amongst the Homespun homes but I'd keep an eye on the Mossy Shed cos if anyone can make one look stylish Dottie will.

Psssst. Shameless plug ...if you have trouble ( we did) finding plain wooden hangers the right "old fashioned" shape we have new stock arriving in the shop on Monday and they are only £1.50.

Selina Lake's Homespun Style

After a very challenging week (don't ask!) you cannot imagine the pleasure of returning home to a parcel containing a copy of Selina Lake's new publication - Homespun Style-.....and a cup of tea.

 Now I'm guessing you guys have already been buzzing about the loveliness within. I am late to the party as it were but boy was dancing on the table when I spied that FollyandGlee are referenced as a source.

When Selina enquired about our home way way back our little family had truly battened down the hatches for a bit and the time was not right, but I was delighted to send Selina some of  homespun details from the shop eg coloured bakers twine, crochet hangers etc. I couldn't have imagined then the thrill of seeing them again captured in the wonderful photos of Debbie Treloar.

All images: Selina Lake, Homespun Style - photography by Debi Treloar
 Homespun Style beautifully captures the essence of all that is good about making your home your own by bodly celebrating what you love and making the best of what you can afford. Selina has sought out stylish homes that have tremendous charm, warmth and unpretentious, welcoming and truly lived in.

I'd be hardpushed to pick a favourite from the book but I did find this shot of the home of Lill Skagen particularly inspiring. Wowzer said I - that's a styled studio shot. Could anyone really have such a beautiful room - it must be a mansion for such a characterful corner to be claimed by its funky owner?

All images: Selina Lake, Homespun Style - photography by Debi Treloar
Further investigation on Lill's amazing blog that yes this really is Homespun Style in the flesh. maybe that phone's not plugged in above but not only does this lucky family use the space every day but it appears to be a small stair well not a mansion size room.

Lill Sgagen's hallway
You might recall I'm a big fan of pink and orange around our house but I have never ever thought of combining it with black. I just love the contrast of those black frames. Not being a lover of black  we are sadly lacking any black paint ....unless that is I raid the boys airfix painting box....ummmm.

And this for me is what so fab about Selina's book. It is full of inspiration an unceremonious, achievable way. You can buy a signed copy in Selina's etsy store or alternatively come and meet the lady herself.

Yes unbelievably there is more amazing news. Clever chops that she is Selina appears to have invited not just the home owners from the book but also a veritable crochet of homespun lovelies to parade their wares at the book's launch. Selina will be hosting the 'Homespun Book Party and Homespun Market Event' on Friday 13th April (2pm - 8pm) at Hanbury Hall near Brick lane in the heart of the Spitalfields -5 mins from Liverpool Street. 

And you can come too! For a full listing of who will have goodies for sale and to RSVP check  Selina's event facebook page. Hope to see you there....if I haven't fallen off this table.


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