Search results for

the small things

cardboardcities colour love – tan

colour love by

i thought when i chose the colour tan, that there’d be a good variety of items to choose from, just like other colours. it was actually surprisingly hard! similar with silver, in that most things i was finding was jewellery, chrome plated things and such. with tan it ended up being that the largest percentage of things were bags and shoes. maybe there’s a gap in the market!

for the next few weeks for my colour love posts i’m going to be doing colour combinations i love; for example, cobalt and gold. i will of course be going back to one colour, but i thought it’d be nice to mix it up for a bit!
read this post

snapshots of my week – 7th june

snapshots, collage by

i’ve actually done lots this week! it’s nice to be properly productive and actually feel useful. i think the nicer weather has definitely helped. even if i don’t go out all day, just it being lighter makes me feel better and more positive. i’ve actually done a lot more than this this week but i don’t want to bombard you all with photos.

vintage opera glasses/binoculars from charity shop
articulated wooden hand with broken thumb
gold bowl next to small purple flower

at the beginning of the week i found these fantastic opera glasses/binoculars, an articulated wooden hand (minus the thumb) and this cute little golden bowl. i was a bit disappointed at the hand being thumbless, but it was reduced to a price i could easily afford, which is a lot less than buying one new.

the golden bowl i’m going to speckle the inside with some black or dark grey paint, which i think will make it look just that bit more special. so nice to add your own touch to things, isn’t it!
vintage french orange bottle

i just love this vintage french orange bottle i won from vintage actually via peta’s vintage boutique. i’m forming quite a bottle/jar addiction so this is a perfect addition to the collection.

sister at cosmeston lakes in penarth
hand holding fern
laura redburn at cosmeston lakes wearing primark belt and floral crown

on monday i went to cosmeston lakes with my sister. it was a lovely sunny day, and it was so nice to go out somewhere different and take photos. i really wish i had a bike so i could go out and explore for for free and take photos.

abstract colour collages by laura redburn / cardboardcities

i also made some collages! more will be on the way, and some originals will be added to my etsy shop, as well as prints from society6.

room for improvement

home decor by

last week i got an email from moneysupermarket asking if i wanted to take part in their ‘room for improvement‘ competition. they give you £50 to improve/decorate a room in your house. i desperately needed some storage in my room as i had piles of books, folders and fabric sprawled over the room and ..well, it just wasn’t organised, and i often tripped over or knocked over things!

so, this came at the perfect time! ideally if i’d had more time and a bit of extra to spend myself (on travel/delivery mainly as i don’t have a car) i would have loved to gone around some antiques places or car boots/jumble sales and gotten some midcentury or vintage furniture. alas, that isn’t something i can do at the moment. also, we’re not allowed to paint the walls, so that is a bit of a downer as i hate this textured wallpaper and would love to have an accent wall at least!

i tried to be a mixture of thrifty and getting the best i can with the money. i ended up getting two main pieces from ikea, a bookshelf type thing (i’m not quite sure what to call it!) and a small table, as well as a rug to make the floor look a bit more homely too well as cover up the horrible brown carpet a bit. i’ll detail everything at the end of the post.

so, here’s some before pics, and as usual, some after pics too! i’ll give a bit more info with some of  those.


before shot of television and ikea drawers and art on wall

this is opposite my bed as it was before. just a chest of drawers and a tv mainly. i don’t like these drawers either, but our landlord has no other place to store them, so we’re stuck with what’s here with this and other furniture in the house.

most of the books that resided below it. there was nowhere else in the house suitable for them really, and although it took up a bit of walking space, it was better than randomly piling them somewhere. to the left is just some of my folders with collage bits in.

framed bird photo on a pile of books

some of my fabric pile underneath my wardrobe. once again, always being tripped over!

painted sticks in wool spool, on pile of fabric with yashica camera in background

before photo of folders and boxes on scanner

a rather precarious pile of folders and other bits above my scanner. just looks messy mainly, as well as a bit annoying to access my scanner when i need it.

before photo of bed with bunting in background

the bed wasn’t bad before, but we only have a couple duvet covers. they’re quite pricey (to me anyway) so i decided to just buy fabric and make a new one. results below..

i wish i’d remembered to take a shot of the room as a whole before!


after photo of tv and art on walls, with ikea shelving unit

new shelf by the tv, along with lots of things that were scattered around before. the fabric that was previously on the floor is now in the striped box, which i bought from a charity shop. also i bought that pastel blue cup to store sunglasses in. ideally i’d like to paint this shelf white and maybe paint a subtle design on it too, but i don’t have paint for that at the moment.

the books and pile of folders (as well as my lovely orla kiely box full of paper) are now neatly shelved away! so much more room to walk, as well as much easier access to things.

folders, orla kiely box, and books on ikea shelving unit

after photo of scanner on ikea lack table

the folder/scanner pile is now reduced to much less and looks much neater on (as well as under) a table. access to my scanner is much easier now! plus it provides a nice little area to take photos by the window now too. the plant wasn’t a necessary item as such, but having plants in the room makes me feel much happier. seeing as my bedroom is also my studio, it’s always good to have that extra bit of happiness, isn’t it?

after photo of bed with duvet cover/bedding made from ikea fabric

nice having another bed cover! makes the room look lighter too. love the pattern, both retro and modern looking.

black and white ikea rug

the rug. it’s so nice having something in that big brown expanse of nothingness! i really wanted a nice big fluffy rug but they were way out of my budget. love the pattern on this one though. dots!

talking of dots, i bought some adhesive copper tape and decorated my lovely yellow plant pot with some dots. i just used a hole puncher to make the circles.

jade plant in yellow plant pot with diy copper dots

i did remember to take an after shot of the main part of  room though! it’s so much better organised and easier to walk through. feels so much bigger too!

after shot of whole room with diy improvements

total spend // £45.28

(plus bus into town, a bottle of water and a little food to keep my energy up!)

shelf unit – £13 – ikea
table – £6 – ikea
rug – £9 – ikea
fabric – £6 – ikea
plant – £3.75 – ikea
floral wrapping paper – £2.15 – john lewis
adhesive copper tape – £1.09 – ebay
striped box – 80p – charity shop
pastel blue cup – 99p – clas ohlson

yellow wicker sbasket – £2.50 – john lewis

outfit post – polka dots and collar pops

fashion by

polka dots! i own so many clothes with polka dots. i love them. they look good in every colour, and with everything. i think i prefer smaller ones over big though, i think for some reason they can look quite dated? kind of 80’s perhaps? not my thing!

i rarely wear loose fitting tops, but i really like this one and was instantly drawn to it when i bought it ages ago. i think it’s more the sleeves i find a bit much. as i’m short i have proportionately short arms and as this is a top for a ‘normal’ person the sleeves almost cover my hands. which i think is why i nearly always go for 3/4 sleeves when i look for sleeved ..things.

outfit post - red polka dot top from topshop, black and gold peter pan collar, and primark skirt
outfit post - close up of lips and nails in dusky coral colour

i realised my nails are the almost exact same colour of my lipstick. i love the colour, both the lipstick and nail colour. kind of a dusky coral pink. so pretty and i think it really suits my skin tone.

outfit post - close up of black and gold collar and red polka dot blouse from topshop

this collar. i love it! it was sent to me by the lovely katie betty. i’ll put her shop link below but you can follow her on facebook if you would like, i’m sure she’d appreciate it!

it’s a two tone black and gold leather collar, that can be attached by the clasp at the front. i thought it’d be really fiddly but it’s actually really easy if you look in a mirror. or does everybody do that anyway? what’s extra fantastic about it, is that it can be worn two ways like this (obviously the better and intended way!) or flip it over and have the two black sides. i don’t know if it’s meant to be worn that way, but hey, gotta be thrifty! also, it smells lovely. i can see me wearing this a lot as the black and gold ensures it’d go with so many things.

outfit post - red polka dot top from topshop, black and gold peter pan collar, and primark skirt
black and white pattern, white on red polka dot pattern
laura redburn holding tortoiseshell cat

half way through taking photos, ava popped in to say hello! excuse my face though.

top // topshop
collar // *katie betty
belt // charity shop
skirt // primark via charity shop
lipstick // mua in ‘nectar’
nail varnish // mua in ‘amaretto crush’