Sunday, 31 March 2013
Last Year we blogged about the art of decoupage and carrying on that idea we started making papier mache eggs to decorate the house with this Easter. Whether you are creating an artistic collection of delicately painted eggs in a pastel coloured wicker shopper or in my case stringing up strange oblong looking shapes with interesting daubs of paint with the help of my little helper.
Creating these little decorations is very apealing. With the crazy British weather of the last week (snow/rain/sun/rain/blizzard/rain and more rain...) we have been confined to the house. With boredom creeping up we thought in a vain hope we would really celebrate this lovely long weekend in the face of failed bbq'ing attempts with forecasts, frosts that are to due to wreak havoc with the first seedlings we have ever planted and our enduring germs! So with bunches of daffodils in blue and white jugs and cherry blossom in clear vintage vases we are spreading our Easter Eggs around the house, and hopefully distracting from the lack of painting we have done recently and the torn gaps of wallpaper, which my decorator son has taken to stripping off the walls...
You will need some balloons, newspaper and/or tissue paper (depends on whether you want a background colour or not..) PVA glue and a brush...ooh and possibly a apron, which I needed rather more than my little man!
Decide how you would like to paint your egg, polka dots are fun and quick or you might want to paint it white and decorate with a beautiful intricate chain of flowers.
Blow up the balloon and tear long strips of newspaper about 3 cms wide.
Dip the strips into the glue and smooth over balloons. 3-4 layers should be enough. Leave to dry on a rack.
If it's sunny outside, leave to dry in the Spring sunshine.
(You can add an extra layer of tissue paper or white paper for different effects).
Paint the egg it's background colour, it might need 2 layers. Decorate how you would like and I think the more garish the better. We have started polka dot eggs, but now graduating to glitter, ribbons and finger painting!! For a more vintage look you could add vintage typefaces and prints to the outside.
Have fun and for more hints and tips come and visit us at www.duckeggdesigns.com
Any other tips on Easter treats then we could love to hear from you?
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The Duck Egg Book Club - Book Review: Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
The Snow Child is set in the 1920’s, and tells the story of Jack and Mabel, an childless, older couple who have risked everything and moved to a remote homestead in Alaska. The couple have moved to such a remote part of the world to try and get a fresh start following the stillbirth of their child. Mabel is clearly very haunted by the death of her baby and it has placed their marriage under considerable strain. At the start of the novel they are barely on speaking terms.
One night, a heavy blizzard starts and, in an attempt to rekindle the fun times of their courtship, Mabel persuades Jack to build a snowgirl with her.
Shortly after this a young girl appears on the edge of their homestead, Faina. Mabel is convinced it is their snow girl come to life as in a Russian fairytale her father used to read to her ‘Little Daughter of the Snow’.
One of the more interesting things about is this story is that you are never really sure whether Faina is in fact the snow girl come to life. At certain points you feel sure that she can’t be but then in the next moment your certainty begins to waver. I felt as though Ivey really kept the reader guessing right until the end.
Eowyn Ivey’s description of Alaska is beautifully haunting. I could really understand that it was such a desolate wasteland but such a stunning backdrop at the same time. Purely based on her descriptions I have added Alaska to my long long list of places I really want to visit. It was perfectly chosen for this part-fairytale, part-reality story.
The thing that frustrated me the most about this otherwise lovely tale was the ending. At several points during the story Mabel talks about how her life seems to be interlinked with the fairytale but then suggests that everyone can write their own ending, which hints that perhaps the story will not end in the same way. There is a twist, which makes a difference, I won’t tell you here as I think that would spoil it but essentially, Faina does disappear from their lives at the end. I felt quite disappointed by this ending and had hoped for more.
All in all however I think this is beautifully written and very enjoyable.
Review by the wonderful Duck Egg Book Club Editor, Jessica McGlynn.
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Sunday, 24 March 2013
With March here, Spring has officially arrived, and with it, it brings a whole host of beauties to feature in your home. Beauties that come in a massive array of colours, shapes and sizes. Whether it is bright jewel shades that you favour, or something a little more subtle like pastel shades, Spring certainly offers it in abundance.
Out of all the seasons, its probably Spring which offers the widest and varied of floral selections, all of which mix beautifully with each other and will undoubtedly create the most graceful display in any room of your home.
Probably the best known and widely recognised Spring flower is the humble Tulip. A masse of these simply arranged in a cut glass pitcher looks understated and elegant without being over the top. My personal favourites are a pale pink variety. The effortless, handpicked look of an arrangement such as this lends itself perfectly to the Tulip. Once cut, Tulips continue to grow and lean towards the natural light source, creating a wayward, pretty, natural looking display.
[caption id="attachment_102" align="alignnone" width="480" caption="Paperwhites and Muscair"][/caption]
Narcissi are little gems when it comes to Spring arrangements… these teeny tiny daffodil type flowers are Spring personified and can’t fail to make you smile. Coming in a limited palate of whites and pastel yellows they look fabulous with blue and white china… perfect for a Dining room or Kitchen display. Because of the small nature of these blooms they mix well with other small Spring flowers such as Muscari. The china blue variety, more so than the white, look gorgeous with Paperwhite Narcissi or a pale lemon Narcissi, in little vessels dotted about your home, but particularly so on the windowsill of your kitchen! Grab an empty jam jar and pop them in… it really is as simple as that.
[caption id="attachment_103" align="alignnone" width="550" caption="hyacinth bulbs"][/caption]
If you are wanting a more bold Spring statement in you home opt for the Hyacinth. These highly fragrant bell shaped florets are densely packed onto thick fleshy stems and come in a fairly limited colour palate but are available in a range of shades, from whites and pale pinks to, my favourites, deep china blues! Again, because of the short, stocky stem length, its difficult to use these in general, everyday vases. As a cut flower they would work nicely in a glass cube vase, but I think displaying them as a potted plant looks sensational. Your florist should be able to provide them as a potted plant and depending on how much you want to spend, you can buy these already potted up beautifully in a wooden trug box or basket. The Real Flower Company do a version in their beautiful hatboxes. This would look sensational in a drawing room or study.
The final flower that I think deserves a mention is the Ranunculus. One of the loveliest of Spring blooms around, that has infinite ruffles of paper thin petals that are packed tightly together to form a perfect rosette. They come in a gorgeous array of jewel and soft pastel tones and can adapt to both low and tall arrangements. Again, you can mix these with the aforementioned Narcissi and Muscari in a simple jam jar arrangement but they can also look equally elegant in a taller, footed vase arrangement or glass pitcher. The soft stems of Ranunculus can lead to top heaviness as the buds open, resulting in a wayward, natural looking arrangement. For this reason they look great mixed with tulips and Anenomes. An arrangement such as this would look so pretty gracing a console table in a hallway.
[caption id="attachment_104" align="alignnone" width="584" caption="Ranunculus"][/caption]
I hope you agree, Spring florals are a fantastic way of bringing a little sunshine to your life after a long, cold winter. Now is the time to splash out and brighten up your home. Whether it’s a simple bunch of tulips from your local supermarket, or a choice selection from your florist, Spring blooms will undoubtedly add a pretty, and cost effective lift to your home.
Guest Blog Post by Stephanie Saunders - www.stephaniesaundersflow
Duck Egg Designs Website
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Friends of Duck Egg
I hope you are all well and enjoying the ever changing weather at the moment.
We have some exciting news and have been flat out on a number of projects and meeting more and more inspirational people to collaborate on the Duck Egg Designs adventure. One of the most enjoyable projects was sourcing all the furniture, mirrors, lighting and little trinkets for a gorgeous couple in Battersea. It was a full on project with a sharp deadline but the couple contacted us through a recommendation on twitter and loved our style so gave us a budget and we were off sourcing beautiful items from all over the country and adding special finishing touches to a few to make sure it all worked beautifully with their new home. Through our contacts we saved them a huge amount of money and time rather than them going down more traditional methods. We love working closely with people and know how important every home is!
So what's new?
SO MUCH!! We have launched our Poster Prints Range and we couldn't be happier. Below are a few examples:
The Glass is Half Full
All posters start at £14 for A3 and £18 for A2. All posters can be personalised to the colours and shades you want to ensure it goes perfectly with you interior spaces. To see the complete range then go to: http://duckeggdesigns.com/Duck-Egg-Designs-Poster-Prints
DUCK EGG DESIGNS BESPOKE BUTCHERS BLOCK
We also have produced our first bespoke piece of kitchen furniture which can be painted to the colour of your choice and handmade by our trusted team of highly skilled craftsmen. We haven't even had time to put it on the website yet but just for you is a first look at the Butchers Block.
For more information on the sizes and cost of the Butchers Block then please contact us on email@example.com
We are busy in the workshop creating more products and very excited about commencing on our long awaited Summerhouse / Shed Project which we will update via our blog, twitter account (@duck_egg) and facebook (search for Duck Egg)!
As always thank you all for the support and spreading the word, we love your input and feedback on all the projects and have started doing more and more one offs for our friends (you guys!).
Looking forward to catching up again soon!
Don't forget our Book Club!
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Team Duck Egg
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