Tag Archives: home decor

Buy my indie pillows at UK-based Ohh Deer’s online shop

9 Oct

I have great news to share with you today…

My pillows are being sold at Ohh Deer up until October 29. So grab your Paypals and come shop for some botanical pillow love!

Check these two links to take you directly to the pillows:

The image on the pillows is originally hand-painted. I used water-colour, acrylic, and ink over old book pages to create the look.

The pillows are Vegan and made with a super soft faux suede and come complete with the fibre insert. They’re completely machine washable at 30°c and hand made In UK. The cushion has a stone coloured back cover – and zip fastening. They measure 43 x 43cm a smashing size! They cost £25 each.

This is my first online sale ever. I have been active in craft shows, but kept on postponing taking the online plunge. So, I’m really excited about this! The pillows are a limited edition and are being sold for a limited time: 3 weeks starting yesterday. So, don’t miss out on this special sale!

Happy shopping, all :)

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In Love with the Colour Green

8 Oct

Green, and the different shades of this beautiful colour, are my newest love.

Green is the symbol of rejuvenation, vitality, and freshness. It’s the colour of nature, happiness, healing, new beginnings, goodness, generosity, and good tidings. I think it is the original colour of love, romance, beauty. Most beautiful scenery is beautiful because it enjoys an abundance of greenery.

Green is the colour of plenty, prosperity, wealth (in the physical sense and the spiritual one). And of course, it is the colour of herbs that we so love, and many vegetables, and leaves. And it is said to repel envious energy emanating from jealous people, although blue seems to be the official colour.

Green invites cheerfulness, lifts one’s morale, defeats depression, and changes one’s mood. That’s why people with depression or anxiety are advised to keep in close proximity to nature, so that eventually the colour green with all it’s hidden attributes will heal their souls, minds, and beings.

Green is the colour of inspiration, creativity, and artistic ability. Throughout history, artists, writers, painters, and millions of creative people found their muses while being in the arms of nature.

Here are some of my favorite photos from Pinterest, celebrating the colour Green.

Green & Gold…
Artichoke Green…

Source: etsy.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Botanical plate…

Source: williams-sonoma.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Garden accessories…
Grass-like carpet…
Vintage Green…
Source: etsy.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest
Botanical-print pillow…
Green bottles…

Take care :)

My 2 cushions at Ohh Deer’s ‘Pillow Fight’ competition

15 Sep

I have two cushions taking part in a cool competition called Pillow Fight. The authors of this idea are none other than Ohh Deer, an absolutely inspiring & intelligent British online/offline shop that sells quirky illustrated gifts, from pillows to T-shirts, and, in between, gift cards and stationary.

First, I’ll talk about my cushions, then a little bit about Ohh Deer.

A personal cushion story

  • This cushion is called: Nature v.s. Psycho-analysis. You can click here to see the pillow and to read the brief I wrote about it.

Technique-wise, this pillow “carries a photographed image of one of my hand illustrations using watercolor and acrylic,” and I forgot to mention, ink. So… a bit of recycling went into this pillow’s original illustration.

I’m not going to copy-paste the full brief, but I will quote myself  with: “This year, I started making botanical illustrations over yellowed book pages from my large library of New Age books. This is to celebrate the triumph of simplicity, and the return to nature, over complexity…  In other words, this pillow carries an intentional twist, where the botanicals signify the triumph of nature over 21st century melancholy.”

  • This cushion, below, is called: Triumph of Nature over Psycho-analysis. You can click here to see the pillow on Ohh Deer, and to read the brief.

This pillow is basically about: “Return to nature and you’ll find happiness.” Love the way the paper grain is showing around the psychoanalysis type and the watercolor/acrylic/ink illustration.

About Ohh Deer

Ohh Deer is about “Quirky Illustrated Gifts,” illustration and photography that can be so cute at times and outright vulgar, at others. This is basically what stuck in my head from the brief I read on their About Us page.

Here’s a quirky example from their online store, a card dubbed Emotional Baggage by Gemma Correll, followed by 2 Pillow Fight competition entries; the first one is called: Audio Cassette – By Simon Pilkington… and… The pillow called: Huntress – by Sandra Dieckmann:

To view some of my favorite designs and pillows from Pillow Fight & Ohh Deer’s collection, visit my Pinterest boards:
  1. Artisan’s Scrapb◎◎k
  2. Pillows.Cushions

Ohh Deer Blog…  & Pillow Fight

If you visit Ohh Deer’s blog, you will find delightful surprises. My most favorite post, so far, is called “Something a Little Different.” It comes with images from a recent Ohh Deer booklet design that carries their concept, a concept of growing together and being a role model for others once we have matured ourselves. So beautiful!

This is exactly how Ohh Deer runs their endeavor, it takes care of you as an artist, and you take care of them, in the spirit of love. They offer you 25% of purchases from your artwork -  once you have won the competition and became part of their contributing team. But before that they do promote you on their website just by entering their competition.

As for Pillow Fight, the deadline is September 25, so if you are interested, please click here to read the specifications and to enter! Good luck!

I learnt about this competition through fellow WordPress blogger, “London Drawings.” Please visit this lovely illustrator’s post where you can find 4 pillow designs by merchesico. Here’s a lovely example:

DIY Table-setting Placemat | Pompom | Handpainted Floral & Botanical Design

6 Sep

I have a special thing for placemats. They can be made by hand, that’s one of their major attractions. And you can customize them to look exactly the way you want them to. You only need some basic sewing skills, some fabric colors, and a bit of imagination.

I have been dreaming about making my own placemats for quite some time, really. Recently I felt I was ready to make them since my sewing skills became a tad-bit better than they used to be.

The ingredients for making these cute placemats are:

  • Cotton fabric
  • Pom-pom trim, and individual pompom balls
  • Fabric paint and markers (I actually used more than one brand, but they all have pretty much the same ironing, and laundering instructions)
  • Sewing machine with the ability to sew a straight line
  • Flatware to trace around

I started by sewing the hems with the pompoms at one go.

Then I freehanded the word “eat” on a paper with pencil, while keeping in mind I wanted it to look like the vintage American Pop font.

I then traced the word on both placemats after taking measurements and centering it, also with pencil I used a basic image transfer technique using charcoal, for more ideas go here). I used the round lid of some cookie canister to trace the plate shapes. I then got me a real spoon and fork and traced around them (with pencil), that’s how I got the fltawre shapes. Once I was done with the basic outlines, I used a black fabric marker to outline them again, then I painted and sketched flowers and herbs to fill the plates.

The inspiration for making this specific design came from different places, which all have one thing in common: A vintage feel.

Inspiration: Table-setting placemats

I found a few table-setting placemats that I really liked. Here are a few ideas. The one above is so lovely, it has a vintage French feel, while the one below is a bit whimsical, especially that lace was used to create the place-setting utensils and plate shapes. So, if you don’t want to invest in fabric paint, you can simply applique the shapes.

Or you can use your basic embroidery skills to create this beautiful and simple placemat by Yellow Spool.

Source: u-createcrafts.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

And of course, you can always upcycle a jean pocket to create a one-of-a-kind placemat.

Source: todaysnest.typepad.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

You can actually use the pocket on its own, like this one below. All you need is cut the jean, then place the flatware inside for a cool table arrangement.

Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Here is another pocket placemat idea…

Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

And, finally, a cute picnic placemat with multi utinsil pockets.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. If you have any interesting placemat ideas, or, better still, if you have made your own placemats, please do share your link in the comments section below. Take care for now… K

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A glimpse into my atelier

9 Aug

I have been patiently tidying up – & crafting – my work space. I finally got around to put together a nice mood corner & desk. Here is a little glimpse.

I see myself as organizationally-challenged, but I am slowly & very patiently learning how to put everything in its place. You have no idea what this used to look like… and, em, no, I don’t think sharing a “before” photo is a good idea (ehem)… believe me,  imagine the worst ciaos and that would be “it”  –   hehe!

The challenge in putting together this atelier is that almost everything is handmade, and so it took some time to finish creating. The handmade items are:

  • Mood board (right): I used burlap, which I glued (using glue gun) on a piece of cardboard, and added the ribbon. At the bottom I stuck a piece of cork behind the ribbons.
  • Chicken wire mood board (left): I basically rolled some chicken wire around an old canvas frame, that I actually had since school. I didn’t staple or glue anything, just scrunched it round the frame.

  • Thumbtacks: Made those using several materials… including coins. Added a dab of E6000 to plain tacks and glued on some coins, plastic things from broken things, a bear’s face…
  • Chicken-wire lampshade, which I shared in a previous post right here.
  • Other handmade items are: White wire basket (for the pencils) and a mini wire-sculpted chair. Mini Chalkboard and chalkboard stand (a tutorial is on it’s way, hopefully!). Mini wire birdcage. Hand-painted tins (the ones under the lamp). Handmade flower magnets (using corn flour dough). Cement votive (it’s next to the tins, which are under the lamp). The botanical watercolor sketches are also mine. And other stuff.
  • Handmade bunting: Recycling old fliers I had into rectangle bunting, and there’s the mini paper flower garland, too.

So basically a bit of recycling, painting, and re-styling, went into there. What helped to tie the whole look together is the neutral shades of burlap, wood, and cork. As for the theme,  I went for a bit of British-chic in celebration of the Olympics.

Please do share links to your mood-boards, ateliers, or craft rooms if you feel like it.

Have a lovely day

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Inspiration: The Laura Ashley floral fever

5 Aug

Source: flickr.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

When I was a teenager (a few years ago, hehehe), I grew up with a few Laura Ashley skirts and floral accessories, and up until this day I continue to associate pretty pastel florals to this wonderful brand. Florals are now witnessing a big come back thanks to the school of ‘vintage-chic,’ which is celebrating everything beautiful my generation has seen the last drops of. We’ve been through the ‘ugly’ eighties, but we’ve captured the last offerings of the glorious 70′s, and florals seem to have managed to make their way into our lives up until the early 90′s.

The above pic shows a few Laura Ashley floral fabrics. They go together so well, although the motifs are different.

Below is a vintage-style bedroom with a country, yet contemporary, twist. The chest of drawers is from Laura Ashley as well as the vintage-style floral patterned accessories.

For more Laura Ashley accessories, I picked this floral mug  for you…

The vintage-chic style is probably the most among other trends that is celebrating florals in a big way. Vintage-chic stylists and bloggers are showing us ways to mix and match, and stack up on  florals upon florals in one location, in one room, which is exactly what I am liking recently. Look at this…

Source: flickr.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Source: poppytalk.blogspot.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Florals, which are a staple of the British aesthetic and the prairie trend, have also seen a come back into fashion lately. Belts and little floral details have appeared in this year’s spring/summer clothes and accessories.

Another brand name that celebrates full throttle florals is  Cath Kidston, whose take on florals is a bit different than the classic Laura Ashley line, but all the same I love them both (I did mention this earlier in a previous post). Here is an example of Kidston’s accessories.

I also found florals from other brands,  such as this mug, which ultimately reminds us of Laura Ashley’s style.

Finally, this is my biggest floral crush… vintage floral cards. Yum.

And this one here….

Source: umla.tumblr.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Ok, then, I’ll leave you with a flowery and sunny day, hopefully, and see you next time,

K

DIY Prettier Magazine Files

30 Jul

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In the spirit of continuing the theme of pretty organizing, I noticed that when I place things in beautiful containers and storage solutions, they get an instant promotion around the craft room: From being a merely functional “thing” to a piece of “love” that you want to place in a prime location.

In this DIY, I basically upgraded 3 magazine files by attempting a wall-paper look. This is inspired by the lovely bird magazine files that are at the bottom of this post, and which I mentioned previously.

This is how these poor black files got their promotion up into a much nicer shelf at my workspace. The files are a bit unsteady since they are old, and I did stack up more magazines than they could hold, so they are puffy at the edges.

I had a difficult time deciding whether to decoupage the files or paint them. I had some nice damask wall-paper, but it looked too patterned, too well-finished for the look I was looking for.

So I decided to use:

  • Acrylic paint (white, pink, green)
  • Foam stamp (Motif: Grapes)
  • Brush

Method:

  1. I started by free-handing the shape of a pink bird, as if perched on a branch. I found an illustration of a bird and placed it in-front of me to help me keep the proportions right while I painted. I decided to paint the bird on two magazine files (I just had to hold them real tight as I sketched the shape). This is so that the final image would give the impression of a whole big painting that was cut into 3 parts (just like the original wall-paper idea was).
  2. I stamped the grapes around the bird arbitrarily after dabbing acrylic colors on the foam stamp (pink on the grapes, green on the leaves), but the lines were too thin, so I decided to take advantage of this and add a vintage-y touch by dabbing paint here and there, on the leaves, around the grapes themselves, and around the bird.
  3. I touched up some areas with light pink or white to hide mistakes.

The inspiration

Yes, here it is… the beautiful inspiration that got me thinkin’ about changing the look of my files.

The design of the files in the above pic is by British stylist Marie Nichols, whose blog  is so inspiring.

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Organizing 101: Ideas for pretty storage

18 Jul

Sometimes when we embark on organizing our drawers, we end up putting our “inner” house in order. I once read a book that taught me a very important lesson about taming inner confusion… start with your surroundings!

Twelve years ago I used to take 3 bags to work (in addition to a big pile of newspaper clippings, files, and documents). I was a big mess. I was zero at organizing anything, and I had a bit of an OCD challenge back then (OCD = Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I actually found out about the possibility that I might be a little bit “special” when I read an article – in the UK edition of Cosmopolitan – about a woman who suffered from OCD.  She couldn’t throw anything away (not to mention give out things for charity), she even kept clothes tags, and empty perfume bottles, thinking that she might need them one day. Which of course, added to the cluttered house (and life she led).

Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

So, from that day onwards I consciously  started working on my clutter problem. I started sorting out my room, files, bag. And up until this day, I am always looking for solutions for organizing life.

Later on in life I read a book by a women who managed to change her life, get rid of toxic relationships, and start anew, by starting to de-clutter both her immediate physical space, and her mind’s and heart’s inner space.

Organizing can go much farther than offering your guests a tidy living room. It’s a way of being.

That said, I hope you enjoy the few ideas I have collected over the past few months. I did manage to pull a few off :)

Tip: Pretty makes you want to organize

I’m in a new stage now. It’s not about just organizing and stacking things the right way, it’s also about pretty storage, this makes the whole organizing journey so much more fun!

This (above) is my number one favorite -  for creating pretty storage. The idea of decoupaging magazine files with pretty wallpaper  is by British stylist Marie Nichols.
I wish you all a de-cluttered life and much love to come your way…

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How a parrot and a Tunisian cage taught me to fly

7 Jul

I love birdcages. Probably they are more popular around this time than ever, but I have loved them all my life. When we were kids we had a beautiful white-and-blue cage from Tunisia – like the one above. I learned from this cage that cages were not permanent; that’s how I fell in love with them.

It was decorative. The cage.

Every time we tried to convince our parrot – back then – to consider it home, it managed to use its beak to bend some of the handmade cage wires and get itself out.

It was great fun seeing my parents,  who were usually gloomy and very serious, run around the house while trying to catch the crazy bird. He was very colorful, and he left a good impression on me about birds in general, which I grew to love over the years.

The cage, too, is a staple of my psyche. It’s amazing how we, as children, form  our own imaginative world – our hidden psychological and figurative treasures – from things around us, in ways nobody else seems to notice.

Although I was very little back then, when we had the Tunisian cage,  I actually have a very good memory of it; how could I forget it when its image stayed with me for almost all my life?

Source: wafi.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

The Cage of Freedom

I don’t know how I can explain this, but the cage for me is actually a resemblance of freedom. As a kid, I never saw a caged parrot, I saw a bird succeeding to break free from that cage every single day we had him.

This bird set an example for me.

He taught me an early lesson about hope, that’s why all my life I believed with all of my heart that I could break free from any cage anyone could put me in.

All my life I carried that Tunisian cage with me, with its easy to bend wire frame, and it helped me get out of the worst life scenarios you could ever imagine.

Till this day, I see parrots in a different light than everybody else. I view them with great respect, because one of them was an early mentor of mine, who taught me at the age of 4 that I,  too, can fly.

And I flew.

 

The reason I’m remembering this is that the lady who gave the cage away as a gift to a Queen, yes, a literal Queen, broke my heart today. I had to remember the cage! It was she who gave it away, when  my childhood was still clinging to its white wire skeleton and blue dotted beads. She broke my heart too many times, this woman. She, not once, saw life through my eyes or understood where I came from.

But just so that you would know. I saw the cage again. Back in 2000. I saw it at the Queen’s parlor. I know this sounds unbelievable, but it did happen. I saw it and I said nothing about where it came from.

“That cage used to be mine when I was little,” I could have said.

But I didn’t. I was way too grateful to be in the presence of both, the cage and the Queen.

People who travel through life with a knife in their hand, can never capture a child’s little shining world. They will continue to live through life abruptly, insensitively, and quite selfishly. But they can never ever stop the white wire frame of a Tunisian cage from bending open for a resilient parrot, who will always be free!

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