I have a pile of decorating to do at home now that the whole roof/loft/window saga has come to an end.  It’s not *big* decorations, per se, but certainly a good coat of paint in 4 rooms and the hall, plus a tiled splashback to add in the kitchen, and a complete tile/shower screen replacement to take place in the bathroom.  There will be a minor furniture change in the bathroom, and the spare room needs a new bed, bedside table and some shelves.   I will also push the boat out and replace the living room curtains with some roman blinds I intend to make with the fabric goodies I bought in the market on Monday, which in turn will allow me to swap out the nasty old curtains in the spare room with one set from the living room.

With all this in mind, I’ve picked up a couple of magazines which are more aimed at decorating the home than crafts specifically, including Homemaker, issue 6, which I couldn’t really do the usual quick flick through that I like to do, what with it being all sealed up, and the woman in WH Smiths eyeing me suspiciously…

Will I be picking this up again?  Well, no, but let me tell you why…

Firstly, the editor thinks a lot of herself.  I don’t think I’ve ever read another magazine where the editor gets much of a mention, let alone sending herself on the best assignment for the issue, a cake decorating class with Mich Taylor at the Savoy, having declared herself ‘a bit of a cake decorating fan’ with, she ‘confesses’, ‘a flair for it’.  Right.  She has humbly then added the label on the finished item ‘Ed Lizzie’s finished cake looks fantastic’.  It doesn’t.  She also appears in a photo on her newly decorated storage unit as a wee girl, with an arrow to specifically point it out, just in case you cared.  I’m not even mentioning the Snickerdoodles.  Perhaps she would have better turned her editor’s pencil to the label on the Make Of The Month that reads ’Skip ahead to page xxx for more unique floristy ideas to make the x of xxx offferings’

Secondly, the only apparent places one should ‘save the date’ for are south of London:  West Sussex, Tonbridge and Brighton & Hove, oh, I’m sorry, and Kingston, so a little west as well.  Amazingly even the Londoners don’t get a look in!

Thirdly, there is the cost aspect of things (excuse me, this section is long, I flicked from one page to the next gulping more and more deeply):

• The summer garden party gaily suggests you go out and buy a ton of vintage tablecloths to cut up into bunting, and had lovely old glass bottles for vases – I’m not sure what it’s like round your way, but I’m not overly endowed with opportunities to pick up the kind of quantities required for this, let alone the money to do so.
• Then there’s the decorator’s diary where they suggest you wallpaper your stairs…  The suggested inspiration has one measly Homebase £11.99/roll offering, and the rest are from £32 – £56.95 per roll.  I have to ask, who on earth has that kind of money?!  Actually, I know who has that kind of money, and I strongly suspect they are hiring a decorator themselves rather than reading ‘Homemaker’.
• Incidentally, you can also paint your curtains with paint that is a mere £32.50/2.5 litres, and throw in some ‘quick fixes’ on the decorating front with vases that are £81, a cushion cover that is £42 (yes, that is for one, not a set), and a set of ceramic bowls at £46.50 (which really ought to belong in the kitchen rather than the living room)
• In the ‘stylish mood board’ you can add floral fabric that is only £43/metre, or a blind at £98.  They have once concession to cheap though, with artificial flowers from Dunelm Mills at £4.99 each…
• Perhaps you want to set up your kitchen with a new dresser at £898, upon which you can add a jug for £62, and a dinner service that doesn’t even have a price on it (if you have to ask…)

Fourthly, apparently all at Homemaker are Apple fans, since the only apps for baking that they could recommend were suitable for the iPhone or iPad.  Jolly good, just ignore the large percentage of Android users then, there wasn’t a single one they could find?  Or did they just not bother their backsides? (I know which I suspect)

Finally, having previously read through all the other magazines I’d brought with me – Mollie Makes and Making being the main two, I had a distinct feeling of déjà vu with Homemaker, as they had the same interviews with the same people, but at least an issue behind (and the preview of the next issue showed there would be more duplication coming up)

Back to just winging it on the decorating front then!

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