Inspiration

EMB_COVER_FINAL_adj.indd    I know crochet has been a ‘thing’ for quite some years. While I love crafting and making many things, crochet has not really been something I’ve been inspired to take up…. until now. I’ve been introduced to the world of Edward’s Menagerie: Birds. The book released by Kerry Lord, founder of TOFT a British DIY knitwear and wool company, features 40 patterns for quite frankly the cutest collection of amigurumi (Japanese art of crocheting very cute stuffed animals) birds I’ve ever seen.

stork_bird_dk_amigurumi_crochet_edwards_menagerie_kerry_lordtoft_british_crochet_workshops_amigrumi_pattern_robin_edwards_menagerie_birds_kerry_lordflamingo_bird_dk_amigurumi_crochet_edwards_menagerie_kerry_lordThe patterns are split into sections for 1. beginners, 2. intermediate and 3.advanced, so even a novice crocheter like me can attempt to make one! What I love so much about these birds apart from their obvious adorable design, is the indiviudal personalities and identities each bird has. From Florian the Ostrich ‘who works in fashion’ to Tricia the Silkie Chicken ‘who is a middle-aged, self-employed aerobics instructor thrilled that so many women are still so bad at getting fit and staying thin’, each bird has its own kooky name and personal backstory written by Kerry. Once you’ve read about their likes, dislikes, daydreams and delusions, you can get a sense of their personalities; then you can crochet a bird for each of your family and friends. The birds can even be crocheted in four different sizes, making over 160 different pattern possibilities.

I cannot wait to make one for my girls! I’m already planning which amigurumi bird I want to make for Littlelish and Tinylish and while I’m at it my nieces and nephews AND the rest of my family and friends. I’m thinking they will make the perfect maternity leave project and I have a feeling if I get hooked, everyone will be getting one for Christmas!!

private_bookings_knitting_crochet_craft_experience_british_alpaca_wooltoft_alpca_farm_views_landscape_country_trips_british_countrysideTOFT-Open-Day-Alpaca-Banner

To celebrate the book release, Friday the 28th of August will be a family- friendly celebration at the Toft Alpaca Shop in Warwickshire http://www.thetoftalpacashop.co.uk. From 11am-3pm you can visit for FREE farm tours, drop-in workshops, and a 2pm short talk about the process of designing the book. RSVP is essential though so please email help@thetoftalpacashop.co.uk with the number of people attending!

inspirationbluesmallerback garden beachwaltons summer house

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This summer we’ve spent some time at one of our favourite places to be, the beach. It’s quite a drive from our house though and on our last visit Littlelish came up with a good idea. She would collect lots and lots of shells for us to try and recreate a beach in our own back garden. You see we are lucky in that our new house has a large garden with quite a few hidden areas. These hidden areas are a little overgrown at the moment but once we’ve cleared them it could be the perfect spot for our own back garden beach. Ok it’s never going to quite live up to the real thing but imagine going down to the bottom of the garden to have a magical breakfast in your beach hut or chilling out with a magazine and your feet up while the little ones play in the sand and with the shells, even organising a romantic dinner for two for your loved one on your own private little beach! Sounds heavenly to me!!

I’ve entered a competition from Waltons.co.uk who make beautiful and very reasonably priced summer houses, outside offices, log cabins and sheds. We’ve always discussed the idea of having one in the garden but can’t decide on who it would belong to. Would it be my home office / craft room or my loves gym / fitness space? Well this way it can be for us all to share… ok maybe it is a little bit more mine, I just love the beach so much!

To enter the competition I had to follow Waltons on Pinterest and set up a board called ‘My Dream Garden ________ ‘ I found loads of gorgeous inspiration for my beach hut including decor and colours and ideas of how to create a backyard beach. Check out my entry here:

Follow ♥ Lish Concepts ♥’s board My dream garden beach hut on Pinterest.

If you fancy entering the competition too, it’s open until the 8th of September 2015. All you need to do is pin your dream garden space to win. Create a pinterest board dedicated to your perfect garden room, think colour, decor, furniture, inspiration and you could win a brand new Waltons Helios Summerhouse PLUS £250 vouchers to bring your idea to life.

waltons comp

How to enter

  •  Follow Waltons on Pinterest (https://uk.pinterest.com/waltonsgarden/)
  •  Create a board called “My dream garden ___” – fill in the blank with what type of room it will be e.g. My dream garden craft room.
  •  Pin your favourite garden building from the Waltons site.
  •  Get pinning!
  •  Enter your board here

Terms and Conditions

  • This competition is for UK Residents only.
  • You must be over 21 years old to enter this competition.
  • This is a one off competition to win a Helios Summerhouse
  • There is no alternative prize or cash alternative.
  • In order to be entered for the prize you must follow the entry instructions: Follow Waltons Garden Buildings on Pinterest, create a Pinterest board called “my dream garden” and fill in the blank of what type of room it will be. You then have to pin an image of a building from the Waltons website. Once you have created your board, submit the entry using the form. Users can only enter this competition once.
  • There is no cost to entering this competition and it is not endorsed by Pinterest.
  • The winner will be announced on the 8th September 2015 and will be announced via email and on Facebook.
  • The winner has 48 hours to reply. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours the prize will be transferred to another winner.

style-pinkI’ve always loved watching interior design programs on tv, inspired by the transformation of a standard house into a beautiful dream home. I often wondered whether I would be brave enough to do a ‘grand designs’ of my own and actually design and build my own dream house, hmmm perhaps if money were no object!

Back in the real world, we’ve just embarked on our own project ‘ Dream House’ and have purchased an Edwardian property from around 1910, that is very much in need of renovation. It is a beautiful house with a wonderful homely feel, it just hasn’t been touched in about 60 years or more! Think old 70’s carpets and curtains, embossed wallpaper, oh and lots of spiders webs and spiders.

front-room

Viewing the house – carpet had to go, curtains had to go, fireplace had to go…

bathroom

Our lovely retro bathroom ;)

kitchen

Out dated pine kitchen

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Beautiful large garden

When we viewed the property I fell in love. It had all the lovely proportions of a period house, high ceilings, bay windows, large skirting boards, stained glass, wooden floors (albeit hidden under dusty old carpets) and I knew it had the potential to be a wonderful family home. The garden was a great size, perfect for our expanding family to enjoy plenty of outdoor fun. So we took the plunge. Many might have thought us mad (we know you did and still may do!), moving from a perfectly finished new build to a old rundown property that requires so much work but we just knew it was meant to be our home.

We’ve been here for about 3 weeks now and it feels great, we settled in right away, well as soon as we did a thorough clean, ripped up the dusty old carpets and moved our furniture over. We’ve started painting the kitchen cupboards in Annie Sloan Old White and we are busy rewiring before the real decoration starts. It’s a long road ahead of us to get the house to the finished state but we’ve so many ideas and exciting plans for our new home.

painting-kitchen

Sprucing up the kitchen cupboards with Annie Sloan paint

playroom

Adding our furniture makes it feel like home already

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View to the lounge – we’ve exposed the tiles and wooden floor. Now the pelmet and curtains need to come down!

The goal is to uncover or restore the beautiful original features of this Edwardian property while transforming it into a house suitable for a modern family. We love the old tiled floor, but want to set it against a crisp white backdrop so that it really gets a chance to shine. The wooden floors will all be sanded back to create practical beautiful flooring. We will open up the light in the rooms by getting rid of the heavy drapes and installing roman blinds in the large bay windows. The walls will be stripped of their wallpaper, newly plastered and freshly painted. We plan to add a log burner into the main fireplace of the house for a practical and modern addition, the smaller bedroom fireplaces will be lovingly restored. In the longer term we want to add a lovely extension to the back of the house where our kitchen / diner / family room will be and maybe eventually tackle a loft conversion in our large roof space.

Decoration will be fresh, homely and practical. I’m a big fan of light, bright spaces, wood and beautiful detail as well as a touch of fun so no doubt there will be splashes of colour and some nice quirky touches. I’m constantly gathering inpiration on my pinterest board and am so excited to get going. First stop Littlelish’s nature inspired bedroom (at her request) and the nursery for our new arrival.

dreamhallway

Dream hallway – our plans for a light, bright hallway (image via Pinterest)

beautiful bathroom

A fresh, modern bathroom (image via Pinterest)

lounge inspiration

A stylish, elegant lounge (image via Pinterest)

bedroom dream

Follow my inspirations over on Pinterest and the transformation as it happens over on Instagram!

Follow ♥ Lish Concepts ♥’s board Lish ♥ House renovation on Pinterest.

Wish us luck, we may need it! x

This post is written in collaboration with Direct Blinds

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