Creating a Living Wall – Pinterest – the Real Life Edition

I love plants in my home – they add such colour and life – and I hear they do something nice for the air too! Ahhh… deep breath 🙂 I’m sort of running out of places to put and hang them however, so after re-vamping our front door entry which isn’t roomy enough for a hanging plant, I decided a “living wall” would be the perfect solution.

Big and small, inside and out, these vertical gardening systems are all over Pinterest and interior magazines at the moment. Mostly, they are fairly simple – a pocket based system that you put soil in, add plants and water manually. Although if you want to be spendy, there are all sort of fancy watering systems to be found!

Here’s the idea: Nice huh?
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More info at Wooly Pockets or Vertical Gardens NZ

365267122Since mine is going to go outside, I didn’t search around for anything that was watertight, I found some simple pockets on Trademe made out of recycled felt – 2 planters with 4 pockets for $15.

 

 

 

How to: Step By Step

1. Materials

All the information online seems to revolve around pretty pictures of finished pockets with cascading plants – and lot’s of mention of the words “simple” and “easy”. I also found the “spill, fill and thrill concept”. Basically choose plants from each category and do the following:

Use the “Spill” plants, which drape down, to cover the edges of the Pockets. Next add the “Thrill” plants as focal points and to create a dynamic visual composition. Finally, use the “Fill” plants to fill in and cover the Pockets between the other plants. Use big, full plants!  The wall should look as full and lush as possible immediately upon planting, with as little Pocket showing as possible. 

Yay I love simple and easy! Ummm not so much. Firstly, I couldn’t see any of the plants on the lists at the garden centre. Or at least not in my low budget. Secondly, the pockets are SMALL. How to fit these various plant categories into one pocket exactly?

So, I thought of my own system. I bought some dangly, some eatable, some smelling nice and some little cheap and pretty. I also got some secret weapon – certain to cure my houseplant killing tendencies – Crystal Rain. This is magic dust that mixes with water to make goop, which you add to the dirt and keeps them from dying if you forget to water them.

2. Putting it together

I mixed up my magic goop and added a few spoonfuls to each pocket of soil and stirred well! FYI – you are supposed to do this an hour before!

I added potting soil and put 3-4 small plants in each pocket. I tried to put cascading type things on the edges and things I thought would be bushier in the middle – due to the pocket shape there is more soil here also! I used a mix of baby house plants and herbs (thyme and parsley) as well as transplanting some wandering jew from my garden (When I say garden, it grew after I tossed it out the window and is now ideal for cuttings)

Oh and making sure there is as little pocket showing as possible? Still not sure how that is supposed to happen!

3. Water

According to the internet, one is supposed to water the “tongue” which after some searching I discovered is the BACK of the pocket. This way the water will wonderfully wick it’s way down the tongue and perfectly disperse water to the plants without drowning them. Clever! In real life? It is actually impossible to water the back of the planter. Especially with a hose. I hope my plants like extra moisture. And I now understand what that fancy expensive watering thingy with the long spout is for. TONGUE WATERING. Of course!

So here is my finished product! I am hoping when it grows it will fill out a bit… and I’ll just replace anything that doesn’t survive 🙂 Not QUITE what I had imagined, but it has some potential! I think I will wait and see how things take before I hang it outside our front door or plant the other one… I will post an update on how it grows!

Final thoughts? This is a cheap and YES, EASY way to add some greenery to a wall inside or out! It doesn’t need to be complicated, just pick up a few things that don’t cost too much and have a go 🙂 Personally, I like combining a few edibles in there – thyme is handy and smells delicious and parsley is always nice to have!

Lorelei xx

Love copper? 5 budget ideas friendly ideas for under $30!

I just love metallics in home décor! Gold, brass, bronze and especially copper! I love the warm tone of copper, with that hint of red, it really draws the eye and adds something a little different. Copper pieces will fit well into existing décor and can look great mixed up with other metallics. Here are some gorgeous bits and pieces, as well as some DIY ideas, to get the look for less!

1. Wooden picture frame with painted copper design
Grab a test pot of metallic copper and create a design on a plain wooden frame.
Here I have used Resene Copper Fire to create a slightly abstract geometric effect (that means I free handed haha!) on a simple $12 wooden frame from the Warehouse. I purchased this awesome mid century inspired digital print from House of Print Shop on Etsy ($7.50)and printed it on textured card stock to use in the frame.

2. Copper spray paint – so many options – only limited by your imagination!
I picked up this metallic copper spray paint from Super Cheap Auto for the bargain price of only $6.99!225339

Use tape to create a design on a plain white plate, then spray. Or give an old wire basket a makeover. Give jars, glassware or plain wooden items either an ombre or dip dyed effect!

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3. Copper toned glass vase – The Warehouse $12

9417648932388_eI love this, it looks amazing on its own, or with some simple foliage or a single flower. A real bargain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Wire storage basket – Bed Bath and Beyond $25

20150513_181011I love copper wire baskets, but they can get a bit pricey! This one is a steal at only $25, and there is a range of sizes as well!

 

 

5. Copper wire seed lights – Solarnights.co.nz

copper_seed_lightWire lights look amazing strung just about anywhere. Solarnights, link above, does a 50 light strand powered by AA batteries for only $15.

 

 

 

 

 

Well I hope you enjoyed this post and are feeling inspired!

Lorelei xx

 

 

 

A DIY Bar Cart Project – practical glamour on a budget!

I confess… I have a Pinterest addiction. So incredibly useful and inspiring… but also so easy to waste hours in the guilty pleasure of browsing what is essentially, DIY porn. Anyway, when searching for a suitable project to undertake as a wedding gift for my brother and his beautiful new wife … thanks to my Pinterest habit, I knew a bar cart would be the perfect fit!

I wanted to create something special, not only a lovely piece of furniture, but all the bits and pieces that would turn that into a useful and beautiful part of their home! Not to mention, styling is one of my favourite things and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this!

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Pinterest inspiration

Firstly, I needed a colour scheme! I wanted something with a retro feel that would still fit into a modern home, and with a touch of glamour! Personally, I gravitate toward bold and bright colours, but I thought this would be the perfect excuse to expand my horizons, so I chose a lovely mint colour, Resene “Fringy Flower” (I admit, the lame name nearly put me off!), with accents of copper and apricot.

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Resene “Fringy Flower”, “Copper Fire” and “Apricot”

I found this old oak tea trolley on Trademe and it fit the bill perfectly! Small and simple and the wood (oak) still in excellent condition.

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BEFORE

Part 1: Creating the Bar Cart

I removed the wheels first and sanded back the entire piece. Since my plan was to distress the wood after painting, I did not use an undercoat – I wanted some of the lovely oak grain to show through. I applied two coats of the mint colour (a semi gloss enamel).

I then used a copper spray paint to create a “dip dyed” effect on the legs. Finally, I distressed the mint slightly with sandpaper and rubbed the entire piece with a dark furniture wax, to accent the distressed parts and add a layer of protection.

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Under mount wine glass rack

I also used the copper spray paint to apply several coats to the 2 racks I had sourced – both stainless steel. Both were very inexpensive! The one the left was to attach directly to the trolley to hang wine glasses on, the other was to store liquor bottles.

 

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Finished trolley with racks

Part 2: Outfitting the bar!

I had so much fun with this! I sourced pretty and practical accessories from a wide range of places. Some vintage, some new, some I added some colour to myself. Here are a couple of basic items I jazzed up to match the colour scheme!bar cartAnd here is the result (everything but the wheels which were still being restored when I took these!)20150427_102211 20150427_102149 20150426_181820 20150426_181456

Sources:
Trademe  – second hand trolley, new mounted wine rack, vintage decanter set, vintage placemat and coaster set
Resene – paint mint “Fringy Flower”, metallic “Copper Fire” and various metallic test pots
Freedom – wooden bowl (painted in metallic accents above), white plate (painted copper), faux Protea
Look Sharp – Coloured straws, napkins, faux lemons
Collected – Copper hook, copper metallic Washi bag
Spotlight – Marquee letters
Warehouse – Cocktail shaker and matching ice bucket, glass copper vase, gold tea light holder, glass water jug, tea towels
Stevens – Cocktail measure and muddler, small bamboo chopping board (hanging)
Paper Plus – cocktail book
Kmart – Wine rack

I hope you enjoyed this post and are maybe even inspired to create your own beautiful “after 5” station (isn’t it 5-o-clock somewhere!). And, if you have created your own bar area at home, I would LOVE you to share with me!

Lorelei Louise xx

Marvelous Marquee Lights: Where to find, and how to make them!

I may have mentioned before, I LOVE lighting! One of my favourite things are vintage style marquee lights and retro illuminated signs. I love the old timey, name in lights feel with the almost industrial edge and anything that lights up is double the fun to me! I became particularly obsessed with these when planning our recent wedding, especially sourcing New Zealand based sellers and DIY options, since at the time, this type of thing was either very hard to find or very expensive. Lately however, there seems to be many new places selling these types of lights and easier to find sources of DIY materials, I’d like to share some here.

Some New Zealand based sellers of Marquee lights and light boxes:

Junk and Disorderly – One of my favourite stores, bases in Northcote – a HUGE haven of vintage treasures, hardware and furniture galore – mixed with a big range funky new items for your home! They have lightboxes (illuminated signs with interchangeable covers) with a variety of different covers and signs and some great large sized metal marquee letters. If you get a chance, try the cinnamon brioche from the retro coffee caravan parked right inside – divine!

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Light Viking – A Tauranga based business that makes wicked custom marquee lights as well as other vintage lighting and it’s a great place to shop for loads of other retro and industrial style goodies!

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Typo – An Australian company, Typo is a shop found either in malls, attached to Cotton On, or online. They are a great source of reasonably priced, on trend homeware and decor and get new things in often – well worth checking out! I bought several of these A4 sized lightboxes (with interchangeable letters to spell whatever you like!) to display at our wedding, and now they are also fun and easy to mix it up home decor. Recently, I spotted they are also stocking metal marquee lights in all the letters of the alphabet!

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Light boxes at Typo

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DIY options: Can’t afford the price tag? No worries!

Who doesn’t love Pinterest!? Unfortunately, sometimes materials for DIY projects that are easily purchased from a local hardware or craft store overseas can be a little harder to find in our corner of the world!

One easy method is to use cardboard or paper mache letters and fairy lights. I started this for our wedding but ran out of time! There are many cool tutorials online, and both cutting out the “front” part of the letter or hiding the fairy lights inside the hollow shell and poking them out the front look great – here is the excellent tutorial for making the the sign below!

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This is a project I did myself for our wedding, I wanted a Vegas style sign to hang above the arch where our ceremony would take place. It was a fairly straightforward and inexpensive project.chapel of love signMethod: I traced a template onto cardboard – printed out on mulitple A4 sheets using an online tool like this one here. I then traced this onto a piece of plywood and used a jigsaw to cut out the banner shape. After sanding and painting, I glued ready made painted paper mache (from Warehouse Stationery, or Spotlight) letters on to the banner shape and drilled holes where each light would poke through. Globe shaped Christmas lights can be bought cheaply from Mitre 10, simply remove the glass globe carefully from each light, poke through the back of the plywood shape and secure with a dab of glue, then replace the glass globe. Each string of lights had 10 bulbs, so I bought 3 – one coloured and two clear sets. I used 2 strings, and so had extra bulbs to choose the selection of coloured and clear bulbs for the final piece!

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Total cost – Less than $80 including all paint and materials!

Lastly, I am very excited that Spotlight is starting to stock these awesome DIY marquee light kits! Retailing for $25 a letter, including the battery operated lights and a template to make a background for your letter, all included. I can’t wait to try these out!

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Whether you would buy one ready to go, or craft your own, there is plenty of inspiration to get you started getting a retro light art work for your own home! As always, I would LOVE to hear feedback and see pictures of your own projects!

Lorelei Louise xx

 

Pinup DIY! Installing a floating shelf step by step

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Have you got a good shoe collection? And excess of hat boxes? Need a place to display your collection of ceramic cats? In this post I am going to take you through an easy “DIY” project that requires minimal time and tools and is an inexpensive way to create more space for storage and display! Not only to these “floating” shelves create a pretty display, they are great for creating a practical little shelf space pretty much anywhere, and are especially handy for those little thought of areas – like above doorways and closets, above beds and wall mounted TVs. I also love how they add depth and texture to a wall arrangement and allow you to show small collectables and interesting objects alongside framed art.

Here are some of the different kinds available and different ways they can be used! They come in many colours, styles and sizes and could even be custom painted in any colour.

In my lounge, there are some to display old books (these are a metal bracket but are installed exactly the same way)  and shelf in a crown moulding style above the TV “wall” for family photos (Yes I love colour, and yes I have a lot of stuff!)

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I have put one up next to my daughter’s top bunk since a bedside table would be impossible! And of course, in my room I have quite a few for shoes 🙂

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P1010327Above my closet is a great spot since they make an out of the way display and I can see my favourites! I also have one as you walk in the front door as a landing pad for lipsticks, keys and other easily lost bits and pieces.

This is the shelf I am going to put up, on my side of the bed! Since I decided to re-arrange our bedroom and move the bed against the wall to accommodate more of my vintage obsessions…as a trade off, I got stuck with the wall side – fair enough! So, with the lack of a bedside table, a wall mounted shelf is the perfect solution. I have decided to go for a corner shelf in this instance, here it isP1010319

It cost $22 from Mitre10, and comes with all the necessary hardware to put it up.

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Here is the view from the back, which shows how this “floating” business is accomplished! The 2 wooden “installation blocks” attached to the wall, and the decorative shelf fits onto them, with some small hidden screws on top to hold it firmly in place. Simple and brilliant! Because it is hollow, the shelf is also light weight.

Materials

With the shelf comes the 4 long screws to mount the blocks to the wall (as well as 4 wall anchors if needed), 2 small wood screws and 2 matching shelf coloured stickers to conceal the screws from the top.

As well you will need

P1010318Necessary –
Tape measure or ruler
Phillips screwdriver(s)
Pencil
Level

Nice to have-
Drill with correct size drill bits for both the large screws and wall anchors
Rubber mallet to tap the wall anchors into place
Stud finder (To find your wall studs… I wish this did something more exciting!)

Important! If you are attaching your shelf to your average “gib” wall, you will NEED to anchor it with wall anchors, otherwise it will fall off! If you have a stud finder or know where your wall studs are located – great! But unless blessed by some divine intervention, not all of your screws are going to line up with studs anyway. The ones included with this shelf require a drill. BUT if you don’t have one, don’t despair 🙂 You can buy these cheaply at a hardware store
20141023_100959These simply screw into the wall and don’t require any drilling. They DO make a rather large hole in the wall however, so make sure that’s where you really want that shelf or there will be some serious patching required! If you are going to use this method, just select the size that fit’s the screws provided with your shelf, and make sure you have a Phillips screwdriver for both the large mounting and small wood screws.

Instructions

1. Decide where you would like to place your shelf and hold it up against the wall. Using a pencil, lightly mark at both ends, and both sides for a corner shelf.

2. Using your level (I couldn’t find my small one so have used this simple picture hanging tool), lightly draw draw a line between your marks, just a few mm below (so your fitted shelf covers the pencil lines)
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3. These floating type shelves are designed so the block is shorter than the space it fits into, to allow you to position it to maximise stud positions. Mark the position of the space at the back of your shelf along your ruled line using the tape measure so you can position the block within that space. If there is a stud available in that space, you won’t need the wall anchor. Otherwise, just centre the block approximately. Holding the block against the line, mark the screw holes using a this sharp drill bit or screwdriver.

4.  I’d suggest flipping the power off to the room you are working in at your fuse box, just to be safe! Especially if you are drilling into the wall without checking the wiring behind. Electrocution might slow down this quick project! Drill your holes marked with the correct size drill bit for the long wood screws (mine was 5/32″). If you do not hit a wood stud, re-drill with a larger drill bit the size of the wall anchors (mine was 1/4″) – or screw in the non drill wall anchors. Tap in the wall anchors (if needed) with the mallet.
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5. Mount block onto the holes using the 4 large screws, using either the electric drill or your Phillips screwdriver. Make sure it is firm against the wall without over tightening.
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6. Place the shelf onto the blocks, and attach using the small screws and a small Phillips screwdriver. Cover the screws with the coloured stickers provided.
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And that’s it! My kind of DIY… simple and satisfying 🙂
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Hope you enjoyed this post, as warmer weather warms my lazy bones I have may more DIY projects coming up I can’t wait to share!

Lorelei Louise xx

 

 

A Pineapple-tastic Aloha 1950

There’s almost nothing I like more than dressing up for a vintage theme party! So when I found out that Rock and Roll C20140630_104446ircus were holding an Aloha 1950 themed burlesque and cabaret evening I was pretty excited! I had been to one of their fun events previously and had a fantastic time, so I knew it was going to be a great event. I was going need an amazing outfit!

 

I decided to wear one of my favourite summer dresses, a gorgeous Hell Bunny halterneck swing dress with colourful pineapples and parrots on it. And my mint Hell Bunny petticoat would be perfect underneath. I planned the rest of the outfit around the pineapple motif from the dress, I love pineapple prints!

 

I had recently met the lovely Miss Creep Cake – the creator behind Pop that Cassette – a range of hand crafted and fabulously fun vintage accessories and knew that one of her delightful and different hair pieces would be the perfect crowning glory to my outfit! She also does custom designs so I sent her a picture of my dress and other than asking for it to include a large pineapple left it up to her artistic flair 🙂 The result was this beautiful creation! It was absolutely perfect and I couldn’t wait to wear it!

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Pineapple Crown from Pop That Cassette

Now I love an excuse for getting crafty, so for the rest of my accessories I decided to have some fun 🙂 I did some hunting around $2 shops and found some leis, fruity fridge magnets and hibiscus hair accessories and a cheap brown stretchy waist belt with snaps in the back (with some hideous embellishments on the front) I had previously bought an assortment of novelty buttons off etsy… and of course some pineapple ones! I took apart the $2 shop bits, did some strip down on the tacky belt and was ready for assembly. A bit of hot glue and some thread with a strong needle held everything on nicely. I think it turned out well!

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I also made some shoe clips out of some ribbon, the same pineapple buttons and the backs off some old clip on earrings. And I merged some hibiscus earrings from the $2 shop with some pineapple earrings I already had. Quick and easy! I’m really keen to make some more shoe clips, they are such a fun way of giving shoes a new look.

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I decided to treat myself as hubby-to-be and I were having a child free night out (party time!). I had my hair and makeup done by the lovely and talented Rose from Decadia Vintage Beauty and Style. She did an amazing job! I also recently did a vintage hairstyling course taught by Rose which was a great experience. I might not have completely failed beauty school but I am still need quite a lot of practice… so for a stress free evening it was much better left in the capable hands of the expert 🙂

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So with my outfit, hair and makeup all sorted I was ready to go…

And I was not disappointed! The venue at the Winchester Tavern was perfect with plenty of room and seating… I hate being crammed into a space like a sardine and a place to perch when wearing heels is always a bonus! The show was fabulous, with a variety of very different and talented performers putting on some very unique, hilarious and sexy acts.

A nice surprise was getting asked up on stage to have the audience vote for best dressed… which I ended up sharing with another lovely lady… definitely a great night!

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Photography – Peter Jennings

 

I am very much looking forward to the next Rock and Roll Circus event, the Cat’s Meow!

Natalie xx

A few of my projects

So every blogging virgin has to start somewhere! I thought I’d start with a few of my favourite projects. Being a pack rat, who can’t resist a junk store (and I ALWAYS find something!), storage can be an issue in our small home. So clever and attractive ways to display treasures and hide and manage clutter are something I am quite obsessed with.

Both hubby-to-be and I are big on our music. As well as a large vinyl collection, we have a huge digital music collection. So with that comes a separate computer, extra hard drives and a mixer to be able to change easily between turntable, CD and computer audio inputs. And of course a ton of cables. I really can’t stand the look of either cables or well, any sort of modern equipment! So the retro stereogram I found cheap as chips online was the perfect solution! After stripping the guts out of it, it became the perfect home for a digital music centre, controlled by a wireless keyboard and touch pad. All hides away nicely and the unit fits great into the look of our lounge!

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Like any vintage lover, I have a fair few handbags and jackets! And in our busy household, clutter likes to accumulate by the front entrance to our home. But we also lack much landing area as you walk in the front door. I needed to think of something wall mounted that would organise our hallway area… so I headed to our local demolition yard to look for some inspiration! I found the perfect solution in an old mirrored door, which cost a grand total of $15. And here is the result

hall organiser

I used an assortment of hooks and knobs (I always pick these up if I see nice ones, they come in handy for so many things!). A section of pink blackboard paint makes a place to write notes and some paint test pots make up the rest of the colour palette. And no more lost keys! The mail organiser and floating shelf I picked up new, the small cupboard with hooks at child height is vintage. Every girl needs a place to check and fix her lippy on the way out the door, so the mirror is perfect. This has really worked well for us!

These are just a couple of my favourite recent projects, believe me there are plenty more! Don’t even get me started on the unfinished ones… or the garage stacked with old furniture in line for a makeover, since I can’t pass up a lonely retro piece crying out for a new life! Everyone needs a hobby (or obsession!) right?

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