Saturday, 31 August 2013

Pretty in the City: Shoreditch + Guardian Coffee

Last week we took a walk to our old stomping ground, which has changed somewhat in 3 years, but Shoreditch is clinging to its former glory, despite feeling more and more like the West End. There are many nails in the coffin (Topman, Pret a Manger, a block of flats called the Avant Garde Tower, I could go on) but there is still just about enough roughness and dirt to feel honest, so it isn't dead and buried quite yet. As always, there was some wicked art on the buildings to be seen:

A little walk on round the Boxpark popup mall (eugh, hate that word) brought us to the Guardian Coffee Shop, set up as a "data driven" spot to sup your morning caffeine, tables have an ipad attached to catch up on your daily news, and of course wifi means there are a bunch of people on their laptops for the day - though it's not the most comfortable of choices. Serving fairly decent coffee from Nude Espresso (though somewhat cold, and expensive). I was obviously more interested in the deco.

All fittings were made by Unto This Last, furniture makers around the corner in Shoreditch, we own a table and a sideboard from them, and love their stuff, and where they are coming from, so I was pleased to see their bent ply curvy stools and minimal, mid-century-esque tables and benches. The industrial lighting was pretty cool, and I'm willing to bet was supplied from Historic Lighting (if not, you can certainly get similar vintage inspired light fittings and a great range of coloured cable from them).

I also loved the bespoke toile-effect wallpaper, particularly the teal-blue shade of the design, though I haven't been able to find out who designed it.  Find more contemporary (and arguably infinitely cooler) toile urban scenes from Timorous Beasties.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Monday, 5 August 2013

I Made That: Decoupage Canvas Letters

So I'm pretty pleased with how this worked out, because I'm always a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda gal, and this was my first decoupage, which I'll admit doesnt really require any special decoupage skills - being one piece of paper and all. But I was making it up as I went along. For anyone who is interested, here's how:

1. Find the three small canvases you bought approximately 10 years ago with a view to 'doing something' with them.

2. Congratulate yourself on subsequently naming your son with a 3 letter name.

3. Dig out the acrylic paints you've had since sixth form and realise the black one solidified in the 90's

4. Find a MASSIVE pot of dark brown acrylic which you can't imagine why you bought so much, and decide that will do. Or if it doesn't do once you're done then decide to buy more black. But never NEVER actually go out and purchase anything when something else Will Do.

5. Paint the edges and around the edges on the top of the canvas - in case your pictures don't quite align with the edge (see no 8), you don't want a streak of white canvas sticking out.

6. Select some images from the internet which you think would look cool on a canvas - preferably search for large images if you're using google search. I needed to print these out at 20x20cm - so it's a good idea to have an image much larger than that digitally, then print it out smaller, you'll get a sharper image.

7. Send to printer

8. Return to printer at least 8 times because a cartridge has expired, then because a cartridge runs out, then because it prints too small, then because the printer will only print on a wonk of approximately 20degrees. Decide that Will Do

9. Cut out your images

10. Stick them to the canvas with PVA glue nicked from your son's crafty box. Watch the image doesn't wrinkle too much. Then paint all over the top of the image with the same glue. Let it dry. The glue did make the ink run ever so slightly, but I like that the finish is kind of grungy, it suits the images I used.

Bob's your uncle, you have some rocking canvases for your first-born's wall. Or your own wall. Or a friend's wall.