Friday, 1 May 2009


While I was labouring over the ironing, I stumbled upon a televisual experience which at first seemed right up my street - the Kirstie Allsopp homemade home. Our home-grown home guru renovates her new abode on a budget (undisclosed!) making many of the essential accessories herself or sourcing them from local reclamation yards. If you're posh or possibly just a mug, these particular finds are called 'architectural antiques'; if you're not it's just a load of old junk. Our Kirstie being a switched on sort of gal about town makes sure she's not swindled by Steptoe's grandson and picks up a couple of tidy bargains for under a tonne (although you never do actually get to see the moldy curtains swish gracefully at her windows, nor strangely does the garden gnome ever see the light of day again...).

Feeling suitably virtuous with her recycling, she then heads off to tap into the talents of some local crafting talent. As she fashions a poker from recycled steel, pulls together a purple lampshade to revitalise an antique lamp and knits herself a draught excluder, we the viewers are expected to wish to follow suit. Indeed, Channel 4 have kindly provided links to courses in 'quilt-making' and 'how to become a blacksmith without burning down the shed'. We sit at home enthralled as Kirstie's new home takes shape. She really has created a delightful home, but what she seemingly fails to acknowledge is that she has had the HELP of the experienced artisans to create her 'homemade' joy. Pity the poor souls (in every sense of the word) spending the next year in night school learning all these myriad tricks of the trade and worse still forking out vast quantities of cash buying all the kit to make this stuff ... My advice? Go shop on Etsy.

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