Friday, 30 August 2013

Upcycled chest of drawers for sale.

My boyfriend & I are selling this chest of drawers/bureau.  We're asking £500 for it.  I know that's a lot of money but my boyfriend has worked incredibly hard restoring it from a slightly shabby, nondescript item to this.  He's really poured his heart and his soul into this project, agonising about the correct colours & handles and spending hours re-doing the paintwork & the interior until it's perfect.  I can honestly say, without bias, it's a work of art.

We're trying to start up a little business selling upcycled furniture and this is our first item.  I like the concept of upcycling.  The hippy part of my soul finds something depressing about dwindling natural resources being used to churn out identical, mass produced goods designed to fall apart after a couple of years.  Upcycling's about taking an item that's past its prime and turning it into something that's unique, something you really won't find anywhere else.

The workmanship is flawless

He's taken so much care to choose a wood stain that enhances the beauty of the wood.

The drawers are beautifully lined with sable coloured suedette.  They're done in such a way that it's easy to replace the lining.

To arrange a viewing or you need more information, do email me on

If you don't want to buy it, fair enough but I'd really, really welcome advice on how to sell this, either in the comment section or email me at the above email address.  In fact, any feedback at all would be amazing.   

Finally - a big favour here - could people share this on social media etc so that as many people as possible see it?  I can't tell you how grateful I would be! x


Height; 84cm 
Width; 84cm
Depth; 40cm

The frame of the piece is stained in dark walnut and the drawers are painted cream.  Each drawer has 2 dark metal handles.  The interior is lined with sable suedette.

The cost of delivery in London & the South East will be between £20 & £60, depending where you live.  For delivery costs in the rest of the UK or the world contact me on  Obviously, if you come and pick it up yourself, delivery costs are nothing.  Email me if you have any questions at all. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

August Bank Holiday roundup

Well, it's been and gone.  The last Bank Holiday of the year, that is. Very nice it was too.

Well, I could have done with a little less rain & a little more sun but you can't have everything.  Oh, who am I kidding?  All that rain on Saturday enabled me to sit indoors, all snug & warm & dry, looking at pictures of the mudfest that was Leeds Festival and feel very smug that I wasn't working there.  I've worked on muddy festivals for years so I feel I've earned the right to be feel pleased with myself.  The stories from friends who were working on it sounded horrific.

Anyway I'm rambling...

Friday was lovely.  We went to the BFI to see this film.  It was an odd film - a compilation of training videos from West Germany covering every aspect of life from birth to crossing the road to stripping - but there was something compelling about it.  It was a really thought provoking insight into life back then.  Was everything so controlled or does it just seem like it with hindsight?  Is that where health and safety started?  Who knows.

Afterwards we went onto Le Pain Quotidien and ate & drank far too much.  It was great.

Saturday was devoted to taking it easy & the aforementioned smugness.

On Sunday, we met up with friends in Shoreditch.  We went to a Vietnamese place on Kingsland Road (very nice) then on to an 'Alternative Burlesque Evening'.  This was probably the most disappointing part of the weekend.  It was Sunday evening, remember. Even though it was a Bank Holiday, the public transport was still Sunday service.  This means transport finishing early, so the promoters, in their wisdom decided to start the show at 10 o'clock and then of course, they were running late!  In the end, we saw one act before we had to leg it to get our trains.  Luckily the tickets were free otherwise I'd have been asking for my money back.  I know it's all 'decadent' and 'cool' to have these things late but surely the worst thing is to have your audience walking out half way through the show.  It's extremely dispiriting for the performers and frankly a waste of time even putting it on.

Shoreditch is a funny place.  I love it and hate it in equal measure. There are some fascinating, quirky bars & restaurants there but the incredibly self aware nature of the place does start to grate after a while.  The funniest person on Twitter, Mangal 2 (a kebab restaurant in Dalston incidentally!) put it very well.

I can't help feeling that the Shoreditch 'scene' is starting to eat itself. About ten years ago, a friend of mine worked for an artist's studio around there.  The reasons they rented space there, as did many other artists, were cheap rents and the area's proximity to central London. The hipsters got wind of the art scene and started moving in in their droves.  Of course, the inevitable happened, rents started going up and the artists, the creators of the scene, couldn't afford it anymore & started moving out, leaving just the hipsters.

On Sunday, my boyfriend and I decided to go out to the country to do some star gazing.  Yes, we're both nerds.  I have the Night Sky app which enables you to identify stars and other objects like satellites in the night sky (Lyra!  Arcturus!)  It was great fun and quite romantic sitting in the dark with a blanket wrapped around us looking at the stars.

And now it's Tuesday.  And I'm trying to drum up some more work. Joy.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Hurrah for summer!

Yay!  It's nearly the weekend!

I've worked very hard this summer so I've decided to give myself the rest of August off and enjoy the remainder of the (hopefully) good weather.

It's been absolute bliss not having to wake up to an alarm clock, wearing pretty girly clothes, cooking nice food and catching up with friends.

We're seeing a film at the BFI this evening and on Sunday we're going to an alternative burlesque evening in Shoreditch.

What are your plans for the weekend?  I'd love to hear them.  x

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Hero Beauty Product - The Body Shop Hemp Moisturising Hand Wash

I really, really love this one.

Previously I'd been using a godawful Radox hand wash which dried out my hands so much they were cracking & splitting & bleeding.  I have to wash my hands more than normal.  Besides the usual daily activities, I get very dirty at work and occasionally I deal with dangerous chemicals but my hands were so painful, I was avoiding washing them unless absolutely necessary.  Unhealthy and potentially dangerous I know so I was desperate to find something to solve the problem.

The Body Shop's Hemp Moisturising Hand Wash was recommended by a colleague so I decided to give it a go.


What a relief!  I could actually feel the difference from the first use. My hands didn't have that painful desiccated feel that they used to have after using the Radox hand wash, they felt soothed and supple and, most importantly, my hands had time to heal because they weren't being stripped of moisture every time I washed them.

There's an faint, slightly medicinal aroma to it but I've decided that I quite like it. Ha, ha, maybe this smell has become linked in my mind to relief and comfort?  Who knows?

It's certainly pricier than regular handwashes - currently on sale for £3.50 for 250 ml (usually £5) but in my book, it's worth every single penny and I'm definitely going to continue buying it.

If you suffer from very dry skin, I can't recommend this highly enough.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A round up of Useful Things, Beautiful Things news.

As you can see I've gone for a bit of a blog re-design in an attempt to make it clearer looking on the page.  It's not one of those major re-designs where I pay someone to come and do it for me, then have a 'reveal'.  It's just me playing around with Blogger templates but hopefully it gives it a fresher look.

Here's a round up of the myriad ways you can now follow Useful Things, Beautiful Things.

Facebook -  I'll use this to post links to new blog posts as well as occasional links to things that I think people may find interesting.

Pinterest -  I use this to collate images that inspire me.  Yes, there's a dark side to the internet but there's also so much gorgeous stuff out there and I want to be able to keep hold of it & remember it.

Bloglovin -  A blog reader service but then I'm sure you already knew that.

I'm considering adding an email subscription service but I'm not sure I could keep up.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A sunny afternoon in London

My boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of the very un - English, warm, sunny weather we've been having here recently and go exploring London.

We started off at the Southbank.  It's one of my favourite places in London.  I think the mixture of highbrow sophistication (the National Theatre, the BFI cinema & the Royal Festival Hall) coupled with the street culture of the skate park & the food market gives it a unique atmosphere.

Once we'd had our fill of people watching, we boarded the river boat at the London Eye pier and off we went...

Naturally I had to take a picture of the Tower Bridge, even though I know it very well...

We disembarked at the O2 (North Greenwich Pier)

I must admit, I find the whole Greenwich peninsular a little soulless. It's just full of generic restaurants which you could find anywhere in London.  I wanted to show my boyfriend The Pilot pub which is a very old pub in the only Georgian terrace left in the area but they'd closed in order to catch up on their glass washing!!  Okaay...  We ended up in a branch of Wagamama's which was fine but completely indistinguishable from every other branch of Wagamama's I've ever been to.

After we'd finished our food we caught the cable car over the river.  

The views were fantastic

We could see the Thames Barrier

The sun actually started setting on western side of the cable car

The journey ended on the north side of the river, near the Excel Centre

I loved the birds living on the base of the cable car pylons...

... and the illustrations of local history


The nerd in me was fascinated by the planes coming in to land at London City Airport.  Those planes were close!

See those beige strips in the middle right of the picture?  Those are the runways for City Airport.  Yup, they're on the river.

After a brief wander around the Excel Centre, (not much to see there) we dropped in on my brother who lives near Canary Wharf. This is the view from his kitchen window.  Seriously.

After supper with him, it was getting late so we caught the tube home, tired and happy.  A great day.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Facebook page poll - the results

I asked you, my lovely readers a while ago recently about your thoughts on a Facebook page for this blog as well as a poll on your opinion.  The results came back as an overwhelming 'yes, that's the way forward'.

So without further ado, here's the link to the Facebook page for Useful Things, Beautiful Things.

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to comment and vote.  x


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