Celebrate Easter With An Easy DIY Bee House

Bee House

Happy Easter!

To celebrate the warm springtime weather we’ve been having… I had a go at making some new bee houses.

These little hole-filled boxes provide safe sites for lots of insects, especially solitary bee species, who love to lay their eggs in the pre-drilled tunnels.

Using some spare wood, I drilled holes using a 7mm drill bit to about 6 cm in depth. I fixed a small bracket to the back, so that they could be securely hung outside.

In order that they looked extra smart, I painted the sides and a border in Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon. I took care not to get paint anywhere near the holes, as although this paint is very low in fumes and nasty bits, I didn’t want to take any chances.

As soon as I start to see little leafy/muddy stoppers in the end of the holes, I’ll know that the bees have started laying their eggs.

If you want to know more about these bees and their habits, have a read here…

The Garden Smallholder – Mason Bees

Inspiration Green – Insect Hotels

Mother’s Day DIY – Kitchen Blackboard

finished chalkboard

This may seem familiar to you…

I posted this DIY way back in 2012, but in the meantime, I made one for last year’s Mother’s Day (to give to my Mum) and it went down a treat.

If you fancy making something unique and creative for your gift… here is the how-to…

chalkboard step by step

  1. Take initial measurements and cut some plywood and beading/edging to the correct size that you would like. I wanted my finished board to end up at about 2 foot by 14 inches.
  2. Paint both sides with 2 coats of a suitable primer/undercoat – I used normal white matt emulsion as it gives a nice even finish.  Leave any bits that are to be glued, unpainted.
  3. Once dry, paint the back of the plywood and the edging strips with a suitably stunning colour.  I chose Blackened, No.2011 by Farrow and Ball.  Paint the face of the blackboard (the other side of the plywood) with blackboard paint. Most places like Homebase and B&Q sell it. Again, I needed 2 coats of both paints.
  4. Once dry, glue it all together and fasten it to the wall, either with a lovely bit of rope (in which case, you may need to drill two holes at the top) or screw it into the wall in the four corners.  I chose this way as I didn’t want it to wobble as I wrote.


How To Make a Chicken Doorstop

Easter Chicken Doorstop

The chickens are getting in their springtime groove with all the new buds that are appearing.

So, I thought that I would re-post this pattern for making your very own chicken doorstop…

…perfect to embrace the spring-like joy and Easter’s arrival (which is just around the corner, you know).

This pattern has had lots of clicks, so I’m wondering if there are lots of chickens like this one, adorning doors all over the world… I’d like to think so… it gives me the warm and fuzzies.

Stanley Chicken Pattern

Decorating The Mantlepiece

Decorating the mantlepiece

If your home is not yet looking quite as Christmassy as you would like, but you’re not convinced about draping tinsel around every available object, then consider an evergreen mantle arrangement.

This design is a quick, easy and cost effective way to Christmas-fy your home…

…and can be created on narrow ledges, mantlepieces or windowsills.

You can use trailing and tree ivy, spruces, firs and of course festive holly to build a draping display with real impact.


Scented Christmas Coaster DIY

scented Christmas coasters

This idea comes from a very close friend… and believe me it’s fab!

She (and her scrummy little boy) followed these steps to make their creations:

First, they made two felt squares, for a back and front.

They then decorated the front of their coasters with stitching and felt shapes (robins, snowmen, stars).

Using blanket stitch, they sewed round three sides and before closing it all up completely…

…they stuffed the insides with cloves, cinnamon and Christmassy spices.

When a hot drink is put on top of the coaster (can you guess)?

A wondrous, festive scent is released!

What a completely perfect activity for a chilly afternoon! 

Personalised Packaging

personalised packaging

I have been looking for ways to personalise my wrapping and packing for ages…

…and as there are lots of bits and pieces being sent out from the Finca in the next few months, I felt it was time to dive in!

I really wanted some pretty bespoke ribbon, but wasn’t 100% sure about colours and therefore was reluctant to order 500m of something – argh the thought!

Luckily, I came across The Ribbon Reel, where you can choose from a variety of fonts, colours and widths. Best of all, I was able to buy a 5m length to start with.

My next mission is to find transparent round or oval stickers to personalise, and then… who knows?

Please let me know if you have any brilliant wrapping/packing tips… I could get quite addicted!

Farrow And Ball’s Cornforth White

cornforth white

The Finca’s sitting room has been transformed – hurray!

However, it took us a long while to choose which exact hue of grey would bring out the exposed brickwork, give some depth while still keeping the room nice and bright.

A big wish list…

There were lots of Farrow and Ball’s beautiful neutrals that made the shortlist, but in the end there was a clear winner.

No. 228 Cornforth White

After two coats the walls looked incredible. When the sun is shining, the colour takes on a real grey, pebble tone. However,  late in the afternoon, or when overcast there is almost a slight pinky-purple tinge.

One thing’s for sure. It is very sophisticated.

We now need to measure up!