Some movement in the pinterest graveyard

So I’ve been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks.  There has been movement on the polystyrene cat blind pinterest graveyard. Whoo hoo!

When I say movement I do have to warn you that it is particularly slow and painful movement but it is definitely movement.

No, I haven’t made the blind. I was waiting to do that before I posted but that could take forever.
What I have got is some cat covered fabric.
image

I know it doesn’t look much but trust me it took some getting to. After making the stamps from a load of old rubbish against the advice of my nearest and dearest I took a breather.

When I finally felt up to the job I found the fabric I thought would work and cut it to size. The fabric is an old French linen cot sheet that my mum gave me. I have a bit of an obsession with vintage linen and my mum always looks out for old sheets at sales etc. If you’ve never tried full on vintage linen you have never slept. Honestly, vintage linen is like sleeping in a fairy-tale. If you find some then buy it buy it buy it.  Unless you are near me at the time, then hands off – it’s mine.

However for some reason the sheets my mum gave me are more nightmare than fairyland. Perhaps they’re just a bit too vintage, or too rustic or perhaps french people hate their children. I don’t know. Whatever the reason these sheets, while being a seamstresses dream – heavy and high quality – they are super rough. I wouldn’t want to sleep in them let alone make a child sleep in them.

That said they are perfect for window covering.

I washed and ironed the sheet to make the stamped shapes as “clean” as possible. Then I froze. I was so scared of making a mistake that I couldn’t bear starting the stamping. A quick pep talk from Chris and my big sis and some advice from Dali- have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it! Got me over my many barriers.
I measured
image

I stamped
image

And stamped
image

And stamped a few teatowel sized sheets for luck
image

And dried overnight spread all over the flat

Then … I covered with a plain sheet and ironed.
image

Now. I have to say, this was the grump inducing bit. To “fix” the fabric paint and prevent it washing off you have to iron it on a hot setting for 1-2 minutes. Although i do hate ironing this sounded well easy and I saw myself getting through it in about 20mitutes tops.  On reflection I got a bit nervy.

First I had a large area to cover with about 50+ cats on it. Did I have to iron each cat for 2 minutes? That’s like 2hours of ironing. !?!

Second what if I burn a cat. Surely I can’t just hold the iron down on one spot for 2 minutes. That’s the behaviour that fire safety “scare your kids in the 80s” ads are made of.

Third, If I move the iron do I have to increase the time spent on an area to make up for the time the iron spends not covering each bit.

Fourth, what is very hot? I want figures. As in very hot 40 degrees? 100 degees? 3000 degrees!?!?

I guess hotter = better fix and longer with iron on one area = hotter. But hotter and longer both increase risk of roast cat which = rubbish blind and much sorrow.

I’m basically a recovering scientist. I’m used to precise instructions such as iron at hottest setting for 1minute × the area to be covered measured in cms or something like that.

Instead I came up with my own psueudoscientific rules and decided I would iron two cats at a time for 2 minutes total.

I even used my work mobile to time 2 minute intervals (something I consistently fail to do every circuit class I run)
image

I hoped that if I didn’t manage to fix the dye properly at least the effect would be the same accross the whole blind.

Now, anyone with basic mathematics and minimal interest in the topic has probably worked out something that took me about 20 cats and 21 minutes to clock. I was facing a good hour of sodding ironing in tiny 2 minute patches constantly freaking out that I was singeing a cat or letting the cloth temperature drop below an unspecified “hot heat”.

That did not go down in history as the most relaxing evening entertainment. Let me tell you.

Finally I washed the fabric again and then hung it up to dry.
image

This is the point that I got so excited I had to take a little break. A week and a half later I’m still waiting for the final push to get this blind well and truly off the pinterest grave yard.

Unfortunately I’m aware that the next job in the blind making instructions is to iron the fabric again!  Gah!

Street found Cupboard

With all the fabby sunshine going on we’ve been right slack about all things flat related. No time for DIY, blogging or if I’m honest even much cleaning when there is so much picnicking, sunbathing and river splashing to be done.

However, with a few days of downpour we finally had a chance to finish a few projects that have frankly been cluttering up our lives.

First up a cupboard I found on the street. It was ugly and a bit sorry looking and sat atop a bin. What’s not to love about that?

Street found cupboard

It even came with someone else’s rubbish! Bargainacious.

Opened up to find more discarded stuff

Opened up to find more discarded stuff

I started well. Only days after I picked it up I got painting. Unfortunately me and paint aren’t the best of pals. I’m less scared of paint than I am of my glue gun (my glue gun freaking terrifies me – I still have a gluey knee patch on a favourite pair of £1 jeans)
I’m great at paint prepping. I wash, I dry, I sand, I clean and then it all falls apart. I never prime. Never. I’m just too overexcited to mess about with some dull grey primer. I want to get my chosen paint on now, as in, right NOW! and I’m always positive I’ll only need a coat or two.

If I’m honest it’s not a great recipe for happiness. In fact if you also find some random pots of paint abandoned in your flat from the previous owner and decide to use them it’s more a perfect way to precipitate misery. 4 million coats later having run out of one colour then found the next colour didn’t cover the first colour and then that the second colour looked mank and that the third colour needed 6 coats (well almost)  to cover the second colour I had a cupboard I quite liked.

I should have stopped there. I should have got that cupboard on the wall and started using it. In fact i tried. I cleared out our original bathroom cupboard and moved it to the spare bedroom… and then my energy ran out. All the endless coats of paint had broken me. So for he past 2 months the street cupboard has sat on our living room floor and we have had almost nothing in our bathroom. Only what will fit piled precariously on the edge of the sink or bath.

My great idea was to borrow a lulutastic trick of spray painting through lace to make a cool negative pattern bit I didn’t want to buy a new can of gold paint – Aerosol cans being so superwasteful. I was sure someone I knew had a half empty can sitting about unused and unloved… I just didn’t know who.  Last week my mum turned up trumps arriving to visit with a mountain of fruit (long story) and a can of gold paint.

I squeaked, gave her a hug and got spraying. Then I reflected and asked Chris what he thought. It turns out that he thought that he quite liked the cupboard pre gold-spray.

Shit.

Then I asked myself what I thought. It turned out I thought that I also preferred the cupboard pre gold-spray.

Double shit.

I guess lulastic has the magic touch and i just have my mums gold spray paint. Sigh.

Still, being half way through gold spray I decided that I liked the cupboard fully sprayed rather than halfsprayed. And no way was I going to paint anymore coats on that cupboard just to cover the gold.

After all that I have now decided that since I can’t face any more painting or spraying or general faffing about the cupboard is perfect. Lacey gold and all.

With a lot of help from Chris it is on the wall and it’s staying there.

Street found cupboard

Even better. Two months enforced minimal bathroom has meant that I’ve managed to declutter a few more bits and bobs. The less I have the less I use and the less I feel I need to buy. Better still the less I have, the less i have to clean. Whoop whoop.

Slimmed down toiletries

Slimmed down toiletries

All in all I’m liking the street found cupboard even if Chris does occassionally ask when I’m planning to paint over the gold. Err, that will be never! I am categorically never painting anything ever again.