Monday, 14 July 2014

Welcome Trolley

Today I thought I'd share a little makeover project that completely has my HEART!

This project was totally inspired by this DIY feature by A Beautiful Mess. I read the post last year and it was love at first sight and I knew I had to create a Welcome Trolley for my guests, and to give my Guest Room an extra special touch.

First off I searched on eBay for a reasonably priced retro drinks trolley. You really have to use your imagination at this stage as some of the trolleys available are just, well, horrendous. Like, I can't even think about having that in my house, kinda awful.

But seriously, you gotta get past the puke stage and know you can totally get all up in the spray paint stage.

I got this rather charming number for £13. I then spent £12 on 2 cans of spray paint, so all in all this was a bargain of a project.
1. First up I taped off the wheels as I didn't want to get any paint on them. I just used sandwich bags and masking tape.

2. I prepped the area I was going to use to spray in - I got a large dust sheet and covered as much of the space as possible.

3. Next up I sprayed a light coat of spray paint all over the surface of the trolley. You want to keep the first coat light as otherwise you can get streaks and drips form.
4. Let the first coat dry completely (this only took an hour or so with the type of paint I used) and then spray again, keeping it light and making sure all sections are covered.
5. Keep adding coats until you're happy with the coverage and colour. I used 4 coats in the end.

6. Finished! Unwrap your wheels and get ready for the fun bit - stocking the trolley!
For the items on my trolley I wanted to keep it useful and fun.

I included:

 - Snacks
 - Drinks
 - Glasses
 - Towels
 - Spare toiletries for guys and girls
 - Guest Book (complete with personalised pencil to write with)
 - Tissues
 - Magazines to read
 - Wifi password

Our first guests were James' sister Charlotte, her partner Andrew and their cat Coombsey, so to add a little personal touch, I added a little cat basket complete with Dreamies, a ball of wool and a little 'Pet Travel' magazine that had them in stitches.
There are so many options for things you could add to the trolley. My intention is to personalise the trolley every time we have guests to stay. Other ideas of things to add I've had are:

 - Disposable camera for your guests to take a snap with, rather than a Guest Book
 - Leaflets of things to do around the area
 - Spare chargers for phones
 - Sleep Mask/Ear Buds
 - Cocktail menu for your guests to select what they'd like to drink

And there you have it! The cutest little Welcome Trolley around!
 What other items would you add?

If you decide to take the plunge and make one yourself, don't forget to tag/tweet me so I can see!!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Life Lately According to my iPhone

Hi everyone!

It feels like forever since I did one of these posts! My iPhone has been wailing at me to delete some photos to free up some storage (apparently 2,439 is a lot?) but I'm a total photo hoarder and seem to collect and collect rather than ever upload or deleting.

So I thought this was a good opportunity to both stop said iPhone wailing, and also give you guys a little insight into the last few weeks, iamjessw style.

Summer is well and truly upon us here in the UK! The sun is out, the ice-creams are flowing and the first sunburn of the year has occurred. Joyous times all round.

The last few months have been super exciting, with loads of changes and finally getting used to living in our house. We've loved it! Piece by piece each room is coming together and I've loved watching each one evolve.
After hiding ourselves away for the last few weekends and generally being house hermits, we made a bit of a pact to explore the local area a bit more each weekend. So last weekend we visited Bowood House and had a picnic in the beautiful gardens overlooking the lake (the sunburn incident occurred here), and this weekend we decided to visit Stonehenge! It was super cool, I highly recommend a visit if you're considering going.

We've also managed to squeeze in a few birthdays, catch ups with friends, a few TV shows and a little bit of DIY :)

I can't wait for the rest of the Summer!

Have a great week everyone!

P.s much of a washi tape obsession?

Monday, 26 May 2014

And..... Breathe.

Hi everyone!

Ergh I know, I know, Jess where have you been?

This is the longest I haven't blogged for and it has felt really strange. Life has been crazy recently and I'm afraid to say blogging has taken a bit of a backseat amongst the moving and sorting and organising that seems to have been my life for the last few weeks. 

I thought renovating a house took up a lot of time?! Well moving, decorating, and finishing one is a whole other story. (Who am I kidding finishing?!)

So I just wanted to check in and let you know things might be a bit slower here for a while, but that I'm not going anywhere, and I still love you guys, and this definitely isn't a 'break'. 

I just want to make sure I'm blogging my best, and that I'm creating interesting and inspiring things for you to read, and in order to do that I need to slow it down and kick back a bit. 

Happy Jess = Happy Blog. 

However, the good news is so many things are gradually coming together and I'm loving the direction our house has taken. Lots of little projects and DIY jobs have been going on around here and (although some of them reaalllllyyy boring) they all add together to feel like a lot of progress. 

I'm spending today focusing on the direction I want my blog to take, the content I want to cover, and planning lots of exciting things I can't wait to share. 

Thanks for sticking with me guys, and thank you for all your sweet words of encouragement and lovely questions. I love you guys. 

As always, you can always find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest (all @iamjessw), as I snap, pin, chat and tweet my way through this amazing life of mine. 

Now, let's all just take 5 and have a margarita. 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Crafting with: Camilla from the MØ blog

Hi everyone! Today I'm sooo happy to welcome my super cute Instagram friend Camilla to my blog to share one of her aaaamazing craft projects with us! Take it away pretty lady...

'Hello, I’m Camilla. You can usually find me sharing my projects and random thoughts over at the MØ blog, but today I’m very excited to be sharing my latest craft project here at i am jess w.

I’d been admiring Jess’ truly inspiring Instagram account for a while, when she kindly asked me if I wanted to do a guest post. My instant thought was “Yay, fun!!!”, before my brain got all “Oh no, what on earth is a cool enough project to show off on Jess’ blog??”. After a moment of debating with myself, I remembered that Jess and I had recently talked (a.k.a. commenting on one of Jess’ Instagram photos) about patterned trousers; and so I decided to finally make the polka dotted trousers that’d been stuck in my idea book for too long.

It turned out that it wasn’t too complicated to make these trousers at all, so if you’ve been dreaming of a pair of patterned trousers too, just keep reading.
When you’ve assembled all your supplies (the trousers should be washed and completely dry), follow these steps to make your polka dotted trousers:
1. Mix your paint. I mixed in a little bit of black into my white, so that my polka dots wouldn’t look too white compared to the dark grey trousers.

2. Use small post-it flags or notes to make your polka pattern. This way you get a much better feel to how your end result will look like.

3. Start making dots! Simply remove your post-it flags as you go along. If you spill some paint where it shouldn’t be, you can just wipe it off with a damp cloth right away.

4. Do one side first, let it dry, and then do the other.

When you’re done painting, you have to fix the paint. How you do this may vary with what kind of fabric paint you’re using, so read the instructions. For my paint, I had to wait until it was completely dry (I waited 24h just to be sure), and then I set the paint by using an iron.

I placed some white fabric between the painted trousers and the iron to protect it, and ironed each polka dot for three to five minutes with the steaming function off and the setting wheel set to cotton. When I was done ironing, I waited another 48h before I washed the trousers and started using them.
So, how do you like the final result? For me, these are the ultimate trousers: they’re stretchy and super comfy, and they actually make me happy. That might have something to do with my love for polka dots, but hey; whatever makes you happy, right? So go on! Make your own patterned trousers, and take a leap into the big world :)'

Thanks so much for sharing Camilla! If anyone needs me, I'll be in my craft room making patterned trousers. 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

DIY: Kitchen Notice Board

Today I thought I’d share the story of our metal kitchen notice board.

You may have seen this post on Instagram a good few weeks ago (ok months)… so today I thought I’d share the story behind it.
When James and I were designing our Kitchen we decided we’d love to have an exposed brick wall. Our house is a red-brick Victorian Town House and I adore the red brick on the outside and I really wanted to be able to bring the look and feel inside as well.

Turns out we needed to get some work done to our preferred wall anyway, which involved taking the plaster off and I was absolutely over the moon when we saw the bricks underneath. They were 100 times better than I expected.

Yey! 

Unfortunately there was a strip down the far right hand side of the wall, floor to ceiling, where the bricks were crumbled and really damaged. Our builder thought that way back when the house was built there was probably a copper cooker there, and you could actually see a few black marks on the brick from the old soot.

Unfortunately the bricks were a little too wrecked to keep on show, and were probably more ‘building site chic’ than the ‘industrial chic’ I was going for. (Yeah, there’s a difference).

Bummer.

So we decided we’d have to somehow repair or cover the bricks.

We decided to try and cover them to avoid one patch looking noticeably different to the other. 

After lots of discussion with plasterers and builders (all who I've found can actually love a bit of crafting when given the opportunity), we settled on the idea of a metal panel to cover it to tie in our stainless steel Kitchen appliances.

My goddess of a Mum (yes, I have to give her credit for this one) then threw into the mix that we could make it magnetic and have it as a notice board.

Genius. I LOVED that idea.

Only problem now was finding the metal. Now, you may think that sounds easy, but the search went on for about 6 months. We considered a few options but I had in my mind a smooth sheet metal, to match our stainless steel fridge. I had a trip to a metal yard, and got slightly strange looks when we started poking and taking pictures of their metal workshop doors…

But still no joy.

After getting truly fed up with the whole thing dragging on and on, I decided to look on eBay as a last resort.

I was toying with the idea of buying a roll on film that you could cover your fridge with – at least it would look the part even though it wasn’t magnetic. But also not as cool.

And THEN, I fell upon a little shop that sold pre-cut stainless steel notice boards. That were MAGNETIC. 

I held my breath and dropped them an email seeing if they did bespoke sizes, and hallelujah they did!

Cue notice board party. 
Those holes at the bottom of the wall are where the joists for the floor used to be years ago - I love them!  They always make me think of whoever lived in our house almost 100 years and seriously, how high was that floor?!
It really was easy to attach (I say easy because I didn't do it... but Gripfill is the answer!) and it completely transforms our wall. 

I am so pleased with how it has turned out, and it’s brilliant to see an idea we floated while BBQing late on a warm summer evening when we didn’t even have a kitchen, is now a reality and one of the finishing touches in our kitchen!

I think it adds to the overall look of our kitchen, and it meant we got to keep our original exposed brickwork.

I've now covered it in Sticky9s (naturally) and I love stopping by to look at it. 
I hope this inspires you to think outside the box and see that solutions to problems always exist, it’s just a case of talking it through, sticking to your guns and a whole load of eBay magic.

What do you guys think?
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