Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer holiday : : Copenhagen part 1

Town Hall - Copenhagen
Town Hall - Copenhagen

I promised I'd share some photos from Copenhagen, and here is a small batch. I actually didn't take loads of pictures in Copenhagen, because it was so so hot and I was more focused on staying in the shade so I wouldn't melt completely! ;-)

Tony and I wandered down Strøget to Kongens Nytorv where we met my friend Sara. She lives in Copenhagen now so it is very rare that we see each other - Copenhagen is several hours' drive from where my parents live.

If you want to see exactly where these places are, click on this here link. :-)

Nyhavn - Copenhagen
Then we walked to Nyhavn, a picturesque street by a canal. I've been to Copenhagen many times before but somehow I've never seen this particular part of it. It is very pretty. Lots of crooked colourful old houses.

We found a place in the shade and just chatted for a while. Catching up and talking about...stuff. So nice.

Nyhavn - Copenhagen
By chance I took two pictures that fitted together almost seamlessly to make this panorama shot of Nyhavn. The houses on the other side of the canal are a lot less colourful.

Nyhavn - Copenhagen
I really like this neon sign on the old building. Such a cool contrast. :-D

Nyhavn - Copenhagen
Lots of ships in the canal, among them this lightvessel.

Marmorkirken - Copenhagen
Despite the heat we decided we would go for a little walk to see a few sights. First we went past Marmorkirken. We didn't stop to go in, but maybe we should have. Churches are usually cool in the heat!

Amalienborg - Copenhagen
Then we popped down to Amalienborg to see if we could spot any of the royal peeps. Nope. But we did see some of the guards. I like how the square between the palaces is just part of the city. Anyone can walk in. Or cycle through it. I think you can drive through it as well if you like.

Tivoli - Copenhagen
After we said goodbye to Sara, Tony and I wandered back along Strøget to Tivoli where we met my parents for dinner.

Next post: photos from inside Tivoli. :-)

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Our house :: Bedroom makeover part 1

Last week it was 1year  since we moved into our house and I realised that I've not shared the re-decorating we've done to it! So far we've done our bedroom and the bathroom. Both were actually done before Christmas. ;-)

Both rooms were in dire need of a makeover - as you will see! Let's start with the bedroom.

Bedroom before
Horrible wardrobes that were only slightly larger than cupboards, and our bed wouldn't have fitted in the gap anyway. So that had to go. As did the paneling on the walls. They didn't fit the room at all, only made it feel smaller.

Bedroom before
Another space stealing feature: a fake fire place. Seriously, what is it with fake fire places? That had to go too!

Bedroom before
As well as all the 'decorations' on the ceiling and that ghastly chandelier.

On the left here you can see part of the 'wardrobe' which is actually not a wardrobe at all, but hides the chimney breast and some kind of water boiler. We had to keep part of this structure, but we were able to get rid of some of it to reclaim a bit of extra space.

Bedroom tear down
The tear down began the day we moved in - since we already had the big van, it made sense to use it to haul all the debris to the dump. First, those wardrobes. And then we discovered that the wooden floor had been put down after the wardrobes and so there were gaps in the floor under them.

The floor was otherwise in good condition so we had planned on keeping it for the time being. But because of those gaps we thought we'd have to replace it sooner than we'd expected. Boo.

Bedroom tear down
Oh hello, layers of ancient wallpaper, paint and stenciling under the fake fire place. Of course, there were also gaps in the floor where the fake fire place had been. Brilliant.

When we had ripped out everything - and I mean everything,the only thing left was the radiator! - we spent about a week steaming and scraping off layers of wallpaper and paint. So boring. So many rubbish bags filled. I'm sure I took pictures of that too, but I can't find any right now - you'll just have to imagine the fun...

Bedroom makeover
Then it was time to have the whole thing re-plastered, walls and ceiling. I kinda liked the look of the plaster, but we did paint it properly.

Bedroom makeover
First layer of paint going on. Oh and that bed is not one that was left behind. ;-)

Bedroom makeover
Just look at that big gap left by one side of the wardrobes. Because we thought we had to replace the floor, we weren't being particularly careful with the floor during the redecorating process. Gloopy bits of old wallpaper was left to fall down onto it, plaster splattered onto it and there were paint drips etc.

But then! When we emptied the shed in the autumn, we found a few bits of leftover flooring that were still in usable condition and there was enough to patch the gaps! So then we could keep the floor for now as we had planned.

Bedroom makeover
But since most of the floor now looked like this, it had to be cleaned. Thoroughly. I spent the better part of a week on my hands and knees, scrubbing every inch with nail polish remover with acetone. Then cleaning it with soapy water and finally putting on some kind of wood polish.

It took forever and it was really boring but it was so worth it in the end because it looked almost like new. Apart from a few scratches, which are hidden under our bed now anyway, you'd not think it had been covered in all that.

Next post I'll show you the finished bedroom. :-)

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fat Quarterly Retreat recap

Fat Quarterly Retreat 2014
Happy quilting obsessed people. That's what last weekend was about at the Fat Quarterly Retreat. Too much fun. ;-)

And a delicious goodie bag with pretties from Moda Fabrics, Riley Blake Designs, Makower, Dashwood Studios, Soak, and Korbond.

Oh but wait! I don't think I actually mentioned that I was going to FQR this year - if you were there and I missed you, I'm sorry! I wasn't supposed to go this year, but on a whim I entered a competition in a recent issue of Love Quilting & Patchwork magazine and don't you know, I friggin' won! I never win nuthin', so maybe I was the only one who entered?! ;-) Anyway, thank you LQ&P for this unexpected gift!

Fat Quarterly Retreat 2014
All the workshops were great, but my favourite was screen printing with Karen Lewis of Blueberry Park. I have a few books about screen printing, but they are all using fancy materials that are either costly or require a lot of space, so I've never actually tried it. But in this workshop we used some almost household items so screen printing seems a lot more achievable.

I could easily have spent all day printing any available flat surface! I'm definitely going to have a screen printing day in the near future. You know I love Spoonflower, but to print fabric with my own two hands, that's just awesome. :-)

Karen has written a book called Screen Printing at Home and I am definitely going to add it to my collection at some point. :-)

Fat Quarterly Retreat 2014
This is from the last workshop I took, making a quilt top from Amy Smart's book Fabulously Fast Quilts - and it was taught by Amy as well. The small squares in her example quilt top were from Denyse Schmidt's new fabric line, Hadley. I didn't have fabric envy at.all. ;-)

I didn't finish any of the projects in the workshops, but that's fine. The best thing about the workshops are all the little tips and tricks you pick up from the teachers - and the other participants! I'm not a very experienced quilter so there's lots to learn and everyone does things differently which is really interesting.

All in all a great weekend, with nice people, lots to learn and hot-hot weather, phew! Thank you to all the FQR crew for an inspiring weekend!

*Book links are Amazon affiliate links, yo!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Back from Denmark

Copenhagen - July 2014
We're back from our holiday in Denmark! We had a great time and great weather. Too great, almost. Phew, it was hot!

While there we spent a couple of days in Copenhagen, which was lovely. I pretty much only took photos in Copenhagen for some reason... I'll show you some more next week!

Right now I'm still sort of catching up on all.the.things because this past weekend I was at the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London so I feel like my feet have barely touched the ground. ;-)

Nyhavn - Copenhagen - July 2014
Nyhavn in Copenhagen. So pretty.

Dronningens Gobeliner - Copenhagen - July 2014
Tapestries in Christiansborg ('Borgen'), made for the Danish Queen's 50th birthday. Pretty spectacular.

PS: The Christmas in July sale is still on in my shop!
If you spend under $20, there's a 15% discount with this code: XMASJULYBLOG15
If you spend $20 and over, there's 20% off with this code: XMASJULYBLOG20

Valid from July 3rd to July 31st. Applies to digital items only. Not valid for physical items or the Tip Jar category.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fabric designer crush: Leah Duncan

Leah Duncan fabric crush
I have another fabric designer crush: Leah Duncan. Oh my. She's a fairly new fabric designer, as far as I know, but I do hope she'll keep doing fabric because what she's done so far with Art Gallery Fabrics is so beautiful.

I don't have loads of her fabric, but I am keeping my eye out for sales. And I *may* have panic stashed those in the photo. Just look how pretty they are! Love, love, love. They are from the Meadow line and I just love the selvedge, see:

Leah Duncan fabric crush
Pretty, right?

I can't wait for her next line, Gramercy, to come out. It too looks gorgeous. And is a great mix of floral and geometric designs.

Dear Art Gallery Fabrics, won't you send me some? I'd make something really pretty, promise! :-)

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Please write comments in English - or any of the languages below. For other languages than these I won't be able to tell if the comment is nasty or spam, so I'll have to delete it. I don't want to delete legitimate comments! Thank you for understanding! xo, Carina

Languages I can read: Danish, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch.
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