Introducing a brand new member of the Homely Creatures range… Sleeping bear cushion!! Bears are one of the cutest, coolest most cuddliest animals ever and boy are they homely (especially in the winter time). In this chilly weather we feel like curling up and hibernating too, but there is too much work to be done to make sure you get the opportunity to take one of these bear necessities home with you one day very soon. Put your order in now if you want to be one of the first to find this little guy snoozing on your chair.
How was your weekend? I spent mine moving into a great little two bedroom terrace house in Fitzroy North (Melbourne). The way I’ve been going on about it, you’d think that we bought the place, but sadly we are just renting. I knew when we applied that it was a great area but until now I didn’t realise just how lucky we are. On our corner is the super delicious Dench Bakers, which is next to a cute shop Heroes and Villains (much potential for being a possible Homely Creatures stockist) and last but not least, an awesome Piedimonte’s grocery store that stays open late and has everything we could ever need including a drool-worthy cheese deli.
I’m also very chuffed with our new home and its white walls, high ceilings and a huge kitchen and court yard. We have a long way to go before we can invite guests around for tea and cake, but I’m proud as punch of our first furniture purchase – two imitation Eames chairs in white with natural wooden legs. I found that the most affordable option was to go to the Sokol Furniture show room and pick up the chairs to avoid delivery charge. Not sure if this will save us money in the long run because by visiting Sokol I was exposed to all kinds of wonderful furniture and light fittings!! My man had to drag me out of the store and remind me that we didn’t even own a bed yet and need to prioritise. But amongst the shiny and affordable goodies in-store, this replica Tom Dixon copper shade pendant seemed just as important to me as a place to sleep…
As I patiently await to see what house we will end up living in, I spend hours online creating a wish list for furniture and homewares to full it with. Perhaps one of the most important pieces, I have put a lot of thought into what couch I would want. The colour, size and comfort of the couch need to be considered but also the look, and how versatile this look is to be a backdrop for my ever changing taste in colours and décor style.
One inspirational image I keep on going back to and drooling over is this interior with a grey couch with pink and black added for a homely but still chic look. I included it in my blog article talking about my requirements while ‘Searching for my Dream Home.’
Photographed by the Klein for Alt Interiors Magazine, the gorgeous Major Sofa has been used in the same room to create three different looks. The sofa is not sold in Australia to my knowledge, but even if it was, it’s so far out of my budget that I could only justify buying it if I could also live in it and it washed my dishes for me. So I’ll do my best to find a more affordable compromise.
Although I do like the busy walls and gold lamp of the last room, and am spotting a ‘smoky greys’ trend in the second image that I really like, the first room is my definite favourite. What’s yours?
A few years ago I developed an unhealthy obsession with terrariums. A grass and mushroom addiction of a different kind, I couldn’t get enough of creating these mini green worlds, complete with hand-crafted clay mushrooms or garden gnomes for decoration. I knew I had a problem when I had to wade through a sea of collected glass jars to get to get out of my bedroom, and friends were starting to notice the mud under my fingernails.
My friends would mock me as I demanded they pull over so I could harvest the moss I had just spotted on the side of the road. (Yes, I would carry a plastic take-away container and paint scraper around with me everywhere. So wot!!?) Moss spotting isn’t always easy, even in Autumn in the UK. Before long, all I could see was green, developing a Robocop-like ability to spot, zoom in and analyse any moss-like organism.
I became an expert terrarium architect and eventually my boyfriend’s house had no windowsill that wasn’t covered in my contained creations. My genius plan was to get rich from selling them ready made or as a ‘DIY terrarium kits’ complete with everything you need to build your own mini moss world. With no luck on Etsy, my friends and I held a market stall at Hackney Designer’s Markets where we hoped to sell hand-made cards and jewellery and, the featured product sure to steal the show… my beautiful terrariums…
Not. One. Purchase.
I hit rock bottom and tried to talk myself back from the edge by telling myself that obviously no one was ready for the trend yet but me… yes that’s right… I was way ahead of the game. Yes, my friends made fun of my crazy hobby but in the end I got my own back. EVERYONE got a terrarium or DIY kit fir their birthday and/or Christmas that year.
A few years on and I have almost kicked the habit completely. It’s a good thing too because the terrarium trend is finally in full swing and they are everywhere! In San Francisco they have totally got on board the T-train, and there isn’t a shop in Australia that could claim to be cool or quirky that doesn’t have at least one living arrangement in a jar.
So now that I won’t be considered quite as weird, and in one last ditch attempt to make all of those hours spent landscaping with a spoon almost worth it, I bring to you this DIY tutorial asking for only one thing in return… Be aware of the warning signs of terrarium addiction, and remember: “If you’re seeing green, you’re way too keen.”
1. Some stones or pebbles for the bottom layer. (Those of you who develop a serious addiction like I did will trespass on neighbours front gardens and driveways for these.)
2. A cute jar or glass vase.
3. Some soil, preferably new (not from the garden) unless you want all kinds of interesting weeds growing in your terrarium.
4. Some activated charcoal. Sounds strange, but this helps your terrarium stay healthy and alive for longer!
5. Some moss! You can collect moss from damp, cold places like walls or slopes. If you use a spoon or spatula to scrape it into a container it will stay intact. Alternatively you might want to plant some succulents or short grass seeds.
6. Decorations! These can be anything from clay mushrooms to mini animal ornaments. Use your creativity!
Step 1. Wash your stones well with tap water and create a layer of them in your jar no more than an inch high.
Step 2. Tap the jar to settle the stones and use a spoon to push them down/arrange them.
Step 3. Sprinkle little layer of charcoal to keep your mini ecosystem happy.
Step 4. Now for a layer of soil – it should reach about half the height of your stones.
Step 5. Sculpt your soil layer with stones or more soil so your landscape looks interesting (not flat). Push it down gently with the back of a spoon.
Step 6. Trim your moss into sections and add it piece by piece. Press the edges down with a spoon. Don’t forget to clean any mud off the remaining jar walls.
Step 7. Finally, add your decorations!
Congratulations on creating your own wee world! Now to keep it healthy for as long as possible, read on…
Top Terrarium Tips…
- Sprinkle or ideally spray/spritz your terrarium with water once every week.
- Keep your terrarium in a bright room but out of direct sunlight.
- If condensation builds up inside your jar, loosen the lid until it clears up.
So, I’ve done it. I’ve made the move to Melbourne! But all this packaging and digging out coats and scarves has made me reminisce of days in London. I have never missed her more than I do right now, so I thought it fitting to post about the perfect place I used to live in East London – a safe oasis of lush living called ‘Bow Quarter’.
My boyfriend and I couldn’t believe our luck when a good friend invited us to rent his small but amazing flat after he flew away to Australia. Bow quarter used to be a match factory before it got converted into seven hundred and something flats. When taking us on the tour of the historic gated community, he had barley made it past the duck pond and into the mini grocery store before I decided that I wanted to live there. So you can imagine my excitement when I laid my eyes on the stunning high ceilings and huge window in the original exposed brick wall.
Sure it was small. The bedroom looked over the living area (mezzanine style) with the open plan kitchen below and the small bathroom behind it. But it’s not the size that matters, its what you DO with it that counts! And with a bar and gym in our very own building (yes they cancel each other out) I felt like our home extended far beyond our little front door.
I tried my best to work with the furniture that was already there which included a brown corner couch, glass coffee table and some light pine tables and desks. Lots of natural colours, soft textures and plants helped me make the place feel cosy and homely. We got a really affordable shaggy rug from Argos which really helped, and a floral quilt my mum painstakingly made just for me was one of the final touches.
The kitchen had a lot of stainless steel industrial looking appliances which I really liked so I put them on display. Everything had to have a place because of our lack of space, but we quickly got used to this and attempted to keep everything tidy, cause as soon as you mess one area up, the whole space is affected because it’s practically one big room.
There was nothing nicer than coming home to Bow Quarter, having a key to big iron gates that let me through castle-like brick walls, walking past the pretty manicured gardens, collecting parcels from the post room next to the iconic red telephone box and saying hello to all of the resident’s pet cats that wander the grounds. As a freelancer who works from home, having a constant supply of affectionate kitties to play with just outside my building was invaluable!
In the spring time the trees bloomed with white flowers. Autumn brought stunning red and orange leaves that would fall leaving gorgeous red cherry-like bunches on the branches. Even in the depths of seemingly never-ending winters, Bow Quarter made it okay. The heated pool and spa was there if we could ever be bothered to use it, and we often didn’t even need to use our heating as the flats either side of us gave our flat a big warm hug. London snow became less of a pain and more of a treat, turning Bow Quarter into a winter wonderland.
Okay well I have successfully made my self even more homesick for London now, which doesn’t help when I’ve just had to say goodbye to awesome Brisbane friends. Now on a mission to find a cool place to live in Melbourne, I regret being spoilt by beautiful Bow, as I doubt that anywhere could hold a candle to 327 Manhattan Building, Bow Quarter.
A little surprise for you today – that’s right, I’m giving away my trade secrets! The Homely Creatures fawn cushion is one of our most popular products but today I am walking you through how to make your very own cute creature cushion!
You will need:
At least 60 x 110 cm piece of cotton canvas material
A pencil and some A3 paper
A black Sharpie pen or fabric paint
10-20 safety pins
A sewing machine, complete with white cotton
Stuffing / wadding
Needle and white cotton thread
1. On an A3 sheet of paper, sketch out your character. It might not be a fawn – maybe your favourite animal is a cat.
Tip: If you aren’t the best drawer in the world then maybe you could trace a photograph of your pet and then blow it up to A3 using a photocopier. The other option you have is to find some fabric that already has a large animal printed onto it that you can simply cut out. Or if you are really serious, you can get your design digitally printed onto some fabric.
2. Using pencil, transfer the drawing onto half of your fabric, making sure there is at least 8cm of room between the edge of your character and the edge of the fabric.
3. On the other half of your fabric you will need to transfer the design as a mirror image. You could do this by tracing the design on the opposite side of the paper your original sketch was on.
4. Once your design is on the fabric in pencil you can trace over it with a black Sharpie pen (which doesn’t fade or come off) or paint it on with fabric paint.
5. Arrange your two pieces of fabric with the outside designs facing in and line them up perfectly. It helps to hold the fabric up to the light so you can see if the two characters are perfectly lined up.
6. Pin the two pieces of fabric together using about 10 safety pins so that the design stays lined up and won’t slip. Put the pins in the middle so they don’t interfere with sewing.
7. Use a pencil to lightly draw a shape around the character about 2-3cm offset from the edge of the character.
8. Using a sewing machine set to a normal straight stitch, sew along this line but be sure to leave a hand-sized hole so you can stuff your creature later.
9. Cut around the creature shape about 1cm away from the sewing line.
10. Turn the cushion cover inside-out so the design is on the outside. You might need to use a long, thin implement to make sure the ears are right.
11. Stuff with hobby stuffing or be green and stuff with recycled materials like fabric scraps or plastic bags. Don’t over-stuff!
12. Sew the hole closed by hand, being as neat as possible. Maybe you want to add a label at this stage?
13. Welcome your newly adopted creature to the world and introduce it to your couch!
I’d love to see a photo of your DIY creature cushion result on the Homely Creatures Facebook Page.
If you aren’t into delayed gratification, you can buy yourself a fawn cushion for $25 AUD (postage varies on your location) by getting into contact. Normally there would be some for sale in the Homely Creatures Etsy Shop but everyone keeps buying them before they even make it online! So get in quick.
I couldn’t resist but to share with you this antique store find. I was visiting Ipswich the other week for a day of shopping with Mum. There are loads of fantastic antique stores, homewares and handmade gift shops dotted around the historic town, and while at the Ipswich Antique Centre on Roderick St I spotted this delightful necklace pendant. It has a mint-coloured bakelite doggy head mounted on a square of glass that has a gold trimming! Isn’t it unusual?