Free as a bird…

Just a quick post about a little 10 minute trick I did to spruce up my downstairs toilet. I always feel you can go a bit ‘out there’ and quirky in a room like a small toilet as it’s not the be all and end all, plus you don’t spend all your time in there. Well, if you are female anyway!

So, I found myself in the wallpaper aisle at the weekend, and took some samples for inspiration. I’m not currently decorating .. but we still have a bathroom, office and possible 4th bedroom to do up so it’s always nice to get ideas.

My fave… wow

I have three frames which I’d originally put a cocktail menu in as a momento from a night out, as much as I loved them, I needed to brighten up the January blues in there.

My cocktail menus

So, anyway.. I lined up my inserts inside the picture frames against the wallpaper sample I’d chosen would fit best, cut out and added them in. So simple!

The key to this is not to be right on centre of the pictures, but to almost grab a random ‘snapshot’ so there’s no need to be really particular about having a centred image. Once I’d popped them all back on my wall I was really happy with the results! I may even buy the wallpaper and put on the other wall in here too, I love it that much!

LB Xx

Hanger Appeal

So this little gem.. I found in Mothercare. Sadly because it’s closing down they were selling off all their shop fittings too.. I had to hold back on packing half a dozen male mannequins in the car.. ‘ I can definitely find a use for these!’ But I was swiftly held back. I had been after a rail for the nursery for a couple of years, so you can’t say it was an impulse buy!

The sweetener on this was that it cost £10! Ok I looked a little ridiculous walking out the shop with it under my arm, (or rather my mother did …) but I didn’t care, I was ecstatic!

Below is just what I did to ‘pretty’ it up to match the room..

‘Before..’
Hobbycraft

Decoupage is so easy to do.. just choose the pattern you like, I bought mine from hobbycraft for about £3/£4 along with the decoupatch gloss glue £5 ish.. nail head strips for about £2 off eBay, and specific furniture paint is a must as most the time you don’t have to prime it or any of the faff of sanding ..

Starting off with the painting..
Then to decoupage the bottom ..
Then to just hammer in the nail strips.. and it’s done
Et voila … !

LB . Xx

Floral Hoopla

I saw on Pinterest a beautiful way to make the area above my bed a little less boring. I had a frame up there, with family pics in, but as much as I love them.. it was all a little bit dull for my liking!

So I popped to Hobbycraft and purchased some floral hoops, twine and searched for silk flowers in Homesense and got making! Its a little fiddly if you are all fingers and thumbs, but with a bit of patience it becomes fairly easy.

Allyou need to do, is place your stems where you’d like them to go and then with your twine wrap it around to attach to the hoop. I did not mind so much that you could see parts of the twine as it gives it a more rustic look… or so I tell myself!

When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower

Alexander Den Heijer

Annnd I’m back

After an unintended year off for many a reason, including the birth of my third and final child.. I am back. After 10 months of being in a fog of motherhood, I’ve started the year a lot clearer than those gone by.

Credit:Pinterest

I mainly attribute this to becoming a non condescending, non preachy vegan. Now, to be honest.. I’ve never liked vegans. Shoving facts and figures into my meat eating mush and projecting a thousand images of screaming carcasses into my brain.. however much it isn’t all that nice to eat animals, that’s not what I’m doing it for. It’s for the planet. Ugh.. sounds so much worse. Ok, it’s for the kids, and also to drop a few pounds.

Credit:Twitter

I feel bad that my kids may not have a planet left in their lifetime due to the agricultural farming, so as a family, we are doing something about it. Unfortunately the facts don’t lie, so as much as I do love a Big Mac, it doesn’t make logical sense to consume one anymore. I also have a good ten pounds of mother tyre around my midriff and eating a solely plant based diet is gonna do wonders for that, or so I thought. I found the vegan chocolate cookies on special buy in Aldi today. Mother of god they are good.

It’s been 2 weeks since I ate any meat or dairy and man alive do I feel good! My head is clearer, I feel happier, lighter, less anxious, and my clothes are getting looser. All wins.

In the ‘blog break’ I’ve honed my furniture restoration skills and made and sold a load of floral wreaths, so it’s been a busy one. All of which I’ll begin to upload over the next few months, including me trying to find good vegan recipes that I can push on the kids, without them throwing it back in my face.. literally. And any other creative things I find exciting! So, I’m looking forward to it!

One of my chair projects I refurbed.. it’s so pretty!

Happy 2020 everyone! It’s good to be back! LB. xx

Pimp my table..

With all the chaos of Christmas, buying and wrapping presents, spending time with family and friends, cooking on Christmas Day can be quite the task! Furthermore.. what comes way down the list of things to do is how your table looks on the day;

Below are some very simple yet incredibly effective ideas to make your table look stylish, festive and a real conversation piece. Not a paper napkin in sight!

Whether your table is round or rectangular, investing in a runner will always create a more finished look. Two runners crossways on a round table create a centre point where you can place you chosen centrepiece. This could be a large vase such as this one below. Fill the bottom with baubles, apples, oranges or fir cones and put in foliage and flowers to finish the look. To achieve this year after year, artificial flowers are ideal. Shop around for faux snow topped berry stems and cones for a wintery display.

For a long table, you have more room to play with. One long hessian runner, fresh conifer or Christmas tree clippings (take from the bottom if using your own tree to hide any gaps!- you don’t need much) Place all the way down the runner, to finish the look adorn with tealights dotted in and around like below.

Another idea is to fill 4 or 5 small glass vases with water, fresh cranberries and small tree clippings and line them down the table for a very festive feel that also smells amazing.

Next are the place settings can be so simple and cheap to do. You don’t need expensive charger plates and place mats for your table to look like it’s come straight out of a magazine.

Put wine glasses at each place setting and turn them upside down, fill with baubles or flowers/ leaves then for added atmosphere place candles on top of the base of the wine glass, you can always use battery powered for safety if there will be kids around the naked flames.

Candles holders for your table don’t have to be expensive candelabras to get the desired wow factor. Tapered candles into the top of wine/champagne/Gin bottles look amazing! Shave the end with a potato peeler so they fit just right and don’t wobble about!

The same matching leaves/foliage or flowers from your centrepiece can be used to tie around your napkins at each place setting using twine or ribbons to bring the whole look together. Cinnamon sticks on napkins or side plates are a wonderful festive delight to the senses that will also look beautiful for your guests.

I hope you have a wonderful time over Christmas and look forward to writing again in the New year.

Laura Basnett

Wedding centrepieces – all the pretty without the pounds

I recently put on my instagram about how I got here, by here.. I mean to the point where I wanted to do a blog and open an online store selling faux flowers.

The starting point was my winter wedding.

Most brides are on a budget, and even if you think you have got a big one… once you get to decoration, it’s all gone on the dress, the suits, the venue, the food and the band.

We had a runaway wedding to cornwall with just a small gathering of family, and it was December. So no peonies, my favourite ☹️saying that, peonies mean pounds and decorating the table was proving to be difficult and expensive. So I ended up doing it myself.

I used masses of conifer clippings from my garden, which smelt amazing. Tall £10 vases from @dunelm, that I filled with faux flowers from @homesense.. who by the way, have an incredible selection all year round.

I also dropped by marks and Spencer the morning of my wedding and picked up about 5 bunches of white flowers, mainly roses and eucalyptus and laid them all on the table. Fairy lights from @tiger for £2 were entwined into the conifer.

A few weeks before the wedding I went to a local hotel and asked for 15 wine or prosecco bottles to be kept to one side instead of throwing them in the bin, bless them they washed them for me too! Adding tapered candles from @tiger I placed these down the table also, bought fake make your own snow from @hobbicraft, which feels and looks like the real thing and it was complete! The room smelt of fresh flowers but the main attractions were faux! Plus.. I still have all the faux flowers around my home and they haven’t gone to waste.

There are so many ways to make your tables look pretty, mason jars are one way however they have had a revival recently so prices have gone up for these. Wine bottles like I did from your local, or start saving them from home now! Are very effective as you can see below. Also @ikea have some amazing glassware and vases starting at £1 which you can add real or faux flowers to yourself from the local supermarket.

The ideal thing about wine bottles is that you can’t find that many flowers in them to make them look full. So a few stems maximum will create the best effect.

Above is purely foliage, leaves, ferns and small votives which creates a lush romantic feel for next to nothing! If the candles are scented, even better..

It doesn’t have to be just wine, get the gin down you and start stocking up on those spirit bottles too! Great excuse 😀

Saving the wine corks to fill up vases like above is also very effective and at no cost, apart from a few good nights on the wine!

And finally, you don’t only have to use flowers for your wedding. Focusing on foliage is just as pretty and effective for creating a beautiful room. Conifers, ferns, grasses or succulents look so stylish. Collecting old glassware and decanters from car boots, your grandmas cupboards or antiques stores for little or no money is also a great way to achieve a very unique look. All joined together in the middle exhibits a very elegant feel to your wedding.

Get creative, don’t stress and enjoy the planning! LB xx

Smells like…. Starbucks

We get through candles like hot dinners in our house. Constantly drowning out odours of all the smelly boys that live here (I love them all dearly, but you know how it is..)

After using up all candles and no ingredients for my special lemon and rosemary freshener found here, I turned to this very cheap and easy way to make your home smell like your favourite coffee shop.

All you need is a tray, plate or even a wooden chopping if you are struggling. Some real coffee beans (this bag was from Aldi, £1.69) tealights and a lighter. It’s very simple and the pictures below are self explanatory.

The end result.. it looks gorgeous, rustic, stylish and for next to nothing. Within minutes the heat from the candles will waft that coffee bean smell through your home… delicious!

LB XX

Rustic garden decor

This month, we have taken full advantage of the gorgeous weather and been working in the garden. From one of our deliveries there was a pallet left over from some turf which had mysteriously found it’s way into the skip. Much to my husbands dismay, (‘how on Earth does your mind work, it’s a dirty pallet’) he watched me struggle and drag this thing back into the garden one evening and claim it as my own.

So below I have used only one half of the pallet, whilst my mind goes into overdrive, relentlessly searching Pinterest as to what to do with my other half. (Pallet, not husband)

This is a very simple, easy and effective afternoons work. All you need is a pallet, waterproof marker, sandpaper, waterproof paint, screws and a drill.

Once the paint and marker pen are dry, it’s good to just sand off the top layer, to give it a more rustic edge. ..

Et voila! All the places we have been together so far, in order.. and how far they are away from our home.. with plenty more to come! This is something you can add to over time. Great way to personalise your garden for next to nothing!

LB XX