Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

Lighting design gets personal

Coral provided the inspiration behind this pierced sculptural light form

This prototype is designed to allow user input into the final design, so they can inject their own personality into the light as they take it from flat-pack to 3D.

The flat-pack bamboo blades slot together around any standard light fitting (pendant, lamp base or standalone with just a bulb on a flex) with a low energy bulb.  The light can be left in its raw natural state for a clean graphic look, or embellished with any wool/string/leather/thread or whatever takes your fancy.

"Coral" bamboo ply flat-pack light by bower & beyond

"Coral" bamboo ply flat-pack light by bower & beyond

"Coral" bamboo flatpack light with wool by bower & beyond

"Coral" bamboo flatpack light with string by bower & beyond


Ruffling a few pages

It was destined to be donated. To sit dusty and unloved in the charity shop.

The breathtakingly boring subject matter couldn’t be helped.

But these pages still had ambition.

They yearned for something more out of life. To escape the narrow confines of their dull grey cover.

A flurry of folding and form triumphed over function –  it’s now a medieval ruff of printed matter ready to take flight.

Underground, overground, wombling free..

I’ve been wombling free on holiday, and now it’s time to commence 2012 in earnest.

I’ll be keeping the Wombles’ words of wisdom in mind, making good use of the things that I find, things that the everyday folk leave behind.

Pallet Pockets

Shelves made from recycled pallet

Pallet Pockets

This is a pallet full of pockets that I made to hang on the wall, the first edition in a series of recycled ideas that have been circling my head.  I envisaged recessed box shelves nestled into the rough-hewn surface, and took my cue from the shape of early TV screens to create a modern/industrial/rustic vibe.

The pallet had a grubby work-worn look when I picked it up from the roadside. I gave it a serious exfoliation to bring out the wood grain but left the surface raw, then sliced out the recesses with a jigsaw and inserted narrow shelves made of eco-ply off-cuts.

It’s the perfect home for wee precious things that need their own personal gallery space

Chunky woolly moves

Chunky circular scarf

I’ve been knitting with some fat snow-white wool and my gigantic ebony knitting needles.  I followed youtube instructions for casting on, chucked on a random 50 stitches, and embarked on a knitting journey with no known destination.  After a few evenings of clicking and clacking, I’d produced a length of wooly net that said to me it wanted to be a scarf.  The cautionary tale of Isadora Duncan (hung from flowing neck scarf caught in convertible’s axle) and the large open stitches susceptible to life’s protrusions led me to make it circular.

The result is a soft little cloud for winding two times around the neck for cosy comfort, which is also low risk when driving convertibles. What a shame I drive a mamma-wagon.

Stitch and bitch

Being allergic to pernicious princess/fairy pink and purple over-embellished polyester frocks that are everywhere, I decided to whip up a simple frock or two for my little girl.  I found some fabric, invested $6, and spent a couple of happy hours drawing up a pattern on the kitchen bench whilst she ate the dressmaker’s chalk, then making a dress whilst she slept.  All good. 

Little frock for my little aromatherapist

I was repaid by the same little treasure waking at midnight and crying for 3 hours for no particular reason I could fathom.  Nothing lonelier than holding a crying baby at 3.00am in the morning, in the dark, wishing your husband wasn’t on the other side of the planet. 

She capped off her appreciation by stealing the Chinese 5 spice powder from the pantry this morning, and spreading it all over my formerly white bedspread.  Aromatherapy by one year old. 

There will be no more frocks for her.

Time to move on from destination scrolls

OK, at first I liked them.  The old-fashioned text, the curled edges, the destinations imbued with meaning, the evident pride of place in displaying the local instead of Paris/London/NY clichés. But now there’s a plague of destination scrolls, they’re reproduced in bulk on teatowels and wall hangings, and I’m falling out of like with them. 

But I do still like the idea of recording a personal journey – something that looks like an interesting typographical display to the casual observer, but means so much more to those involved. 

On my 5th wedding anniversary I wanted to celebrate the journey so far, so I drew up a list of places we’ve been together, consulting my passport so they were in chronological order.  After some heated cursing at my bungled attempts to make it look just so, I outsourced to a talented graphic designer friend who twirled them into a beautiful nautilus shape for me.  

The journey so far...

I particularly like the fact that future destinations can be added so that the spiral can just keep on growing through the years (assuming we get game enough to put our small humans on a plane some day… or leave them behind, perhaps).  Happy travels.