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It’s been framed: thrifty home decor

My tea towel. I love it. I bought it in a Faversham charity shop for 50p and knew instantly that it’s destiny had changed. It was not going to end up drying soapy water off Nutella jars disguised as cups. It would be art. Hung with great joy upon our kitchen wall.

I bought the frame for £12 from another charity shop (ripped off I know, it is just an Ikea one) and painted it white. It now sits on our brick wall and adds a massive oomph of Old Skool England into our rather Frenchy kitchen.

There is a thrifty principle here. (Although you have clearly realised this is just an excuse to show off my tea towel.) If you see something pretty and it is kind of flat- frame it! Prints are expensive, framed prints even more so, we have only TWO actual arty prints in our whole house, but our shelves and walls are filled with nice bits and bobs stuffed into frames. Here are some things I’ve framed.

Photos (hahahahahahaha, just kidding)

Record Sleeves

Buttons

Wrapping paper (Map prints/ London underground prints)

The graphic from a reusable bag (the bird – a native NZ Tui – here)

A swatch of fabric

Obviously some of these things are more to provide background depth to a collection of things you have on a shelf (like the fabric) and others are more to be a central piece on your wall.

Just for example, a retro tea towel would work quite well:

Keep your eyes peeled for anything lovely that captures you, and always buy good frames if you see them in charity shops. Especially big ones as they are hard to come by. I nearly always end up giving my frames a lick of paint. White frames can be overdone these days but sometimes a white frame just provides an unobtrusive way to show off your goods.

This tea towel is so old it is Made in the UK – when did we last have a tea towel industry here?!

Done anything thrifty lately? Why not get on board with #ThriftyThursday! Or tell me about it in the comments box…

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It is all about cross stitch… (no, really!)

I had a dream this week where all my friends, old and new, were at a cross stitch party and they were all better at it than I was. Dreams are so boring to hear but it is still so impossible to refrain from sharing your own eh? I’m sorry. And I bet that dream sounds like THE MOST BORING EVER! A crossstitch party?!
But actually, while dreams are boring, cross stitch is not. Nope. It has been transformed by the ranks of subversive stitchers and now it is The Absolute Best.
It was the Craftivist Collective who first got me in to it – they cross stitch gorgeus social justice messages and leave them in prominent places such as this one I found last week at the Occupy LSX camp at St Paul’s.

However my first cross stitch was a bit of a fail as I liked it so much I kept it and put it on my wall. (Don’t tell them.) How un-world changey of me. And now I am unstoppable. (Sort of, I do a few a year.)

One thing I like about crossstitch is that it has a rep for being one thing (antiquated and quaint) but has now become something else (cool and even edgy) kinda like if Katy Price was to picket the upcoming Miss World (cool) or if Bono (justice warrior) was to become a tax dodger (ah, yes, done. And so not cool.)

I love words and sentences and my house is covered with them, like this lamp and this wall. But crossstitched words and sentences are completely Next Level. 

Another thing I love about it is that it is so thrifty; a few bits of cotton and the canvas bit you sew on to will set you back a couple of squid and last FOREVS. Giving cross stich words epitomises the goodness of thrifty gifts- it is cheap but not cheapskate- the time and effort put into crafting it up can far outweigh the flashy beauty of a bought thing.  Something like this from this epic selection would be ideal for new babies on the scene: 

And you may have picked up that I love quick craftiness- while crossstitch does need a bit of patience it can be picked up for the odd five minutes here or there, or taken with you so you can do it on the hoof. The Love one below was done on a train journey while Ramona slept. Chucked in a cute old frame it sets off this bookshelf rather deliciously.

This post is sponsored by NeedlePointer; Camberwell’s favourite needle supplier. JOKES. When I was about 11 me and my cousin and my sister spent several hours making up a melody and beautiful harmonies to a song about Needle Craft- we had seen an ad on telly and for some reason it seemed like a grand way to spend a morning. The tune has been running through my head this whole time. Bonkers. I’ll have to sing it to you one day. As a treat. Maybe I could also tell you my top ten weird dreams too.