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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Ibiza bliss 2

More gorgeous snaps of our little break. It seems super sunny and I have to confess it was greyer than it appears but we took it easy, played dominoes, collected shells and skimmed stones. Perfect.

Ibiza bliss

Half term week in ibiza was utter bliss. For those who follow on Instagram some of these pics may be familiar and for those who don't here's what we got up to...

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Birthday girl turns four!

Mini turning four was a momentous occasion and so Grandma Eve and Papow gave her four princess dresses, complete with crowns to commemorate the event from Dress up by design. Mini opted for an Elizabethan Queen for the event at the gorgeous retro party shop R.S Currie & Co
Of course there had to be a princess cake for the occasion, and i had fun staying up and icing it all night. Needless to say the kitchen was covered in pink cream cheese frosting and matching glitter.
Ottilie was transfixed by the party and wore her  I Love Gorgeous pink dress and matching bow from her Godmummy Annabel to celebrate in style.

We decorated the party with gorgeous glitter crowns, masks and bunting from my new favourite decoration site My Little Day 
And all the pirates and princess loved playing games with Princess Belle and her pirate consort. Happy Birthday Mini! And Happy Fourth Birthday to Mini's Fashion File.

Birthday Bike

Mini's pretty sharp when it comes to her birthday. When her big bro Phin got a new bike for turning six from his grandparents, she knew his old red bike would be winging its way to her. Little did she know, however what i had in store for it. A big old make-over. Off I headed to our local Cass art store to pick up a few cans of Montana Gold spray paint.
The first thing i got Mini's papa to do was dismantle the bike. I had thought of masking the entire thing but in the end it seemed simpler to just spray paint the frame and tape off the chain (that was before he tried to reassemble it post paint - tougher than we expected). First came the white, which was necessary anyway as the bike was a deep red. The best tip when doing this yourself is to let one side dry completely, this may seem obvious but I'm a tad impatient and if its still tacky it will stick to the newspaper underneath. It doesn't take too long, maybe a couple of hours. Then turn the bike over and spray the other side. In order to get the polka dots I bought white stickers from Rymans. I placed these on the bike and then sprayed it pink. Once it had dried I picked off the dots, revealing the white underneath. It has a matte finish rather than the usual pearlised bike finish but we love its originality and suits Mini to a T.
A very happy birthday bunny

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


This post has taken me quite a while to put up I'm afraid as unpacking boxes had almost got the better of me. But i wanted to do a longer more detailed post on how i designed and made mini's fairytale forest bedroom. For all of you who saw her room emerge on Instagram here's how i did it!
I rarely draw or work out a design, instead it sits in my head and i work out the puzzle inside. I knew however that i wanted to create a forest in Mini's new bedroom and i wanted her to sleep under a canopy of leaves and stars. Mini has a steel beam running across her back bedroom wall and i felt this gave a sort of separation to the room, making a natural sleeping area at the rear near her window. So i thought a tree either side of the wall, with the branched curling along the beam would delineate this even more whilst also obscuring the beam. Of course i couldn't do this all alone and enrolled my set designer Barry Cox who also designs many of Red's fashion and cover sets to help me get the job done. Every woman needs a man whose handy with a power tool.
First we set about mounting polystyrene blocks on the wall and screwing them in place and then sawing off the edges to give a rounded more tree like form. Next came layer after layer of hessian strips and plaster to help shape the trees and build a hard sturdy base. I had originally thought of doing it in papier mach but quickly realised this would not be durable enough for clambering children.
The lovely Barry and Sam now attached ropes to the tree columns. These would become branches. They were all drilled into place to secure them.
The texture of the trees were purposefully left bumpy with ridges to give the effect of real bark.
Then we covered each rope branch in more hessian and plaster. It drys quite quickly so it doe ant take too long, especially when you get help! Thanks to Sam and Savyna.

the trees are done and I'm quite tempted to keep them white. they look incredibly still and magical just like this.

We then got down to painting. First a light wash of a dark brown, followed by a thicker paler green and finally using sponges we dappled the bark in lilac and pinks

one side...

and the other...

we then bought plastic leaves and dappled them in more autumnal shades

we added fairy lights from home base and connected them to the 5amp system so they would come on when the lights were turned on.

I then bought net butterflies from DZD a fantastic shop in London which sells shop and display decorations. I bought their white net ones and decided to dye them with watercolour inks.

I also bought feather flying birds, net ladybirds and tiny robins to add to the tree. i added these using a glue gun.

We also dabbed paint onto the wire of the fairy lights just to conceal them a bit.

A few more leaves and the trees were finished.

We finally gave Mini's old bed a lick of pink paint from The Paint and Paper Library and her Fairy Forest was finally finished.

I worked with my carpenter on designing the cupboard, dresser and Toy unit and then had them custom sprayed in a selection of Paint and Paper Library colours.

The wicker linen lined baskets i bought from The Holding Company which makes for easy storage and Mini can just pull them out and start playing.

I also used a table and chair set from Aspace and just painted that my own colours too.

Mini's curtains finally arrived yesterday. A gorgeous linen with trees and flowers and leaves adorning it.  Making her bedroom a truly Fairy Forest fantasy.