Monday, 23 April 2012

One Man Band

Mr B is, among other things, a musician. His main instruments are his voice and piano, but he's one of those annoyingly talented people who can pick up pretty much any instrument and manage to play something with it swiftly. Last year for example, he bought his first guitar and was playing like a pro before we knew it. As a result of all this musical prowess, he seems to gather instruments as he travels through life, either because he finds them on his adventures or because people donate them to him in the hope that their trusty old instrument will find a new lease of life. Here are two of his recent vintage acquisitions.

This Lorenzo organ sounds like an accordion on the flat. It came from a junk shop in Melksham, and for the bargain sum of £40 it has a fab sound and is a real story telling instrument. And it all parcels up beautifully into its case, with the legs unscrewing and attaching into the lid.
My stepdad declared his brass days were over and passed on his beautiful Louis Armstrong antique trumpet. The trumpet is, unusually, a lovely silver colour and is covered with delicate engravings. Mr B can now just about get a scale out of it.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

For My Beau

For Mr Biddle's 30th birthday, there had to be a little homemade goodness in the mix of presents alongside the remote control helicopter and other boy gadgets I bought him. Here's what I came up with.

A guitar cushion to sit on the new sofa in his music room. I love a bit of rick rack - it's like manly ribbon isn't it?
 And a little embroidery for the music room too. The words are the title of a song Mr B wrote for me in the early days of our courtship, and still remain true seven years on.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Chair Story

When Mr B and I had been dating for a couple of years but hadn't yet decided to move in together, I took him on a magical mystery trip to Sussex to visit an aviation museum (my boy loves planes), head to the seaside for fish and chips, visit a British vineyard, and see a good friend in a play in Chichester. After a beach walk in West Wittering we came across a junk shop and I spied four Harris Lebus chairs which I convinced Mr B we'd regret not buying. Now bear in mind that this was their original seat covering ...
... Absolutely hideous, eh? But I loved the wood and the shape, they were only £20 for the four, and I knew that with the help of a trusty staple gun, we could work some magic. So Mr B agreed - the proviso was that if we could fit them in the back of our ancient and tiny Peugeot 205, we'd get them. They fit. Hoorah. And they've been one of our best ever bargain buys. For the last five years they've been covered in one of my favourite ever thrifty fabric finds, a beautiful green floral print which came from a charity shop in Scarborough. But since our move in January, we've noticed holes appearing in the fabric through wear and tear, and it felt time to give the chairs a face lift (I will of course be salvaging the green floral to use for something else).
Taking our inspiration from Little B's Tripp Trapp highchair which is a vibrant fire engine red, we decided to use a mismatching red theme and picked out the following fabrics from my stash.
A retro Windhams fabric I picked up at the Vintage & Homemade fair last summer ...
This vintage rulers print from Country Threads in Bath ...
And a red floral print which was once a vintage skirt I bought which was far too big for me but I bought because I loved the fabric so much ...
There's still one chair left covered in the green floral for now which sits at my desk. I'll be a bit reluctant to say goodbye to that fabric altogether. But we're very pleased with how half an hour with a staple gun has given our kitchen a new look.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


My gorgeous, kind, talented, caring husband is now thirty. Phew - I am no longer dating a twenty-something! To celebrate, I threw him not one but two surprise parties and treated him, among other things, to the remote control helicopter he's always dreamt of. I think he was chuffed that even though he's now a proper grown up / husband / father, he can still play with the odd toy! Here's some pics from the prep for the first of his two parties, which took place on the actual day.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


Having moved in January, we are slowly but surely filling up our house with new treasures to turn it into a home. Here are three new (and bargainous) things to find their way into our place over the last couple of months.

1. Coffee Table
After a lovely morning catching up with Nell and meeting little baby Josephine, I popped into the nearby charity shop where someone had just dropped off this vintage coffee table which I promptly snapped up for the grand sum of £12 - I literally couldn't hand over the cash fast enough as I didn't want any one else to nab it. It is utterly perfect for our front room as we needed something more long and thin. Plus it has rounded corners so it's happily baby proof.
2. Sofa Covers
Having bought a cheap 3 seat Ikea Karlstad sofa, I found the fantastic Bemz company online from which you can order covers for any Ikea furniture, current or discontinued. They will happily send you five free swatches so that you can check the fabric colour and quality before you buy, and when our covers arrived we were bowled over by the gorgeous texture and colour of the fabric we chose. Now I just have my eye on some Pretty Pegs although I think that might be an Ikea hack too far!
3. Mini Cabinet
After a morning meeting in Clevedon, we popped into a nearby furniture project store and found this cutey pie little cabinet for £4.95. Our mouths literally fell open when we heard the price and before we knew it, it was in the boot. I love it, although I still need to work out where's best for it to end up.