Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Craft Swaps

I've recently been welcomed into the world of swaps, I have been very very spoilt by some fantastic, kind and talented people recently - I'll be sure to post full details here soon.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Terranium Make Over

I recently found this little 'plant greenhouse' in TK Maxx, it was cute as it was but a little young for me perhaps! The shape is lovely and I knew I would be able to find a use for it.

so I took out my trusty Annie Sloan chalk paint and got to work

I slathered every inch in the beautiful paint (after removing the Perspex windows)

The windows got a dose of leftover gold spray paint

and voila! My beautiful new make-up house was born!

Weekly Wants - The White Queen

I don't know about you but I have been hooked by The White Queen currently showing on Sunday nights on BBC One.
It's far from the best drama, or even programme on TV on the moment, but it's pure escapism and a real visual feast. I can't get enough of the brocade fabrics, dark rich velvets, dark panelled rooms and giant pinky rings. So here's my White Queen inspired Weekly Wants.
M Missoni Brocade Dress - £599 available at Harrods
Montegrappa - Gran Teatro La Fenice Fountain Pen - £3,375 also at Harrods
Solid Gold Royal Crown Derby Candlestick - £1,575 available at Amazon
Faux Coyote Rug - £59.11, available at Fur Accents
Excuse me whilst I stalk Max Irons...

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Pink and Gold Chevron Sewing Box/Table Tutorial

Chevrons are all I can think about at the moment. I dream of Pink and Gold colour combinations and Annie Sloan is fast taking over Martha as my new life crush. There can only be one solution.

To give your unloved furniture a Chevron make-over, you will need;

- Base colour paint - I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and highly recommend you do too.
- Acrylic colour of your choice for the chevrons, nothing fancy just normal acrylic craft paint
- Paintbrush
- Bin liner (to cover your painting surface)
- Clear spray paint sealer - only required if your surface is going to be heavily used, as the acrylic may wear down.

This 1920's wooden sewing box belonged to my grandfathers mother, it has been passed down the generations and I've had it for a couple of years and I love it, but it looked totally out of place in my bedroom and to be honest, in a horrible way I started to resent it. I wanted to keep it because it's a beautiful piece of furniture and it's history with my family was so great but I really, really didn't like it!

After checking with my mum that she was okay with me tampering with it I decided to bring it into the modern age and make it loved again (I think my family members past and present would be okay with that)

If you haven't tried Annie Sloan paint, I honestly can't describe to you to how amazing it really is. It goes on ANYTHING (I mean anything) only needs one coat, dries super quick and I'm pretty sure 1 tin would cover the great wall of China. For this project I went with Antoinette which is a lovely dusky pink shade.

I didn't need to sand or do anything else to the wood, I literally just got stuck in!

I decided to leave the inside as it was originally, I love the contrast of the dark wood and the pale exterior.

I left this to dry overnight - although Annie Sloan paint is touch dry in less than an hour, this needs to be bone dry to decorate.

The next morning I taped a chevron pattern with normal parcel sellotape (masking tape, or even better frog tape would have worked better)

 (I had to make the colours in this photo much darker so you could see the tape!)

Once I had checked the tape was pressed flat with no air bubbles and creases I got to work with my gold paint

 I left this to dry for a minimum of two hours - otherwise the paint will lift off when you pull back the tape. Then...voila!

 It was a very nervous few seconds when the tape was coming off I can tell you!
I'm thrilled with how it turned out - and I'm sure it's past owners would be glad that it's being used and loved again.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Washi Tape Holder - Tutorial

I don't know about you but storing my Washi tape for me has been something of a dilemma. Too beautiful to hide, too tricky to store and display nicely.

I recently spray painted a plain wooden kitchen roll holder with baby pink spray paint, it did the job nicely and looked okay

 I was quite happy with it until I received this awesome parcel of American Craft glitter Washi tape from the lovely Lynne at Paper Mash (check her out on Instagram as well for her amazing #WashiWednesday competitions) these bloody gorgeous new additions to my Washi collection presented me with a new problem - the bloody holes in the spools are too narrow for my Washi tree!

I searched high and low (on the internet for the 10 minutes my attention span would allow) and came to the conclusion I would have to make my own - it can't be that hard can it?
Surprisingly enough, it really wasn't!
To make your own Washi Tape holder you will need.
  • Wooden Dowel - I got mine from B&Q, they sell various diameters and various lengths. I chose one very narrow and one quite wide and they were less than £2 each with plenty to spare
  • 1 length of wood - again I picked up mine from B&Q, a plain pine half length plank which was less than £3
  • Tape measure
  • Small handsaw (or get the folks at the hardware shop to cut for you)
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Spray Paint of your choice (I went with Vaspar in Gold which was under £4)
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Sandpaper
  • Patience!
I started by getting all my Washi tapes out and stacking them onto each dowel so I could work out what length I would need to hold all of them, plus spare room for new additions.
I marked this length on the dowel with a pen and then using a small hand saw, cut to the desired length. I marked out on the wood where I wanted the dowels to go, and drew around them ready for gluing
I should point out this stage went horribly wrong for me. I had drawn the dowels very close to each other, not actually allowing enough room for the tape to go around each one, I didn't measure the middle of the plank so they were all off kilter. Just generally very rubbish - learn from my mistakes!

Once I'd sorted in my head where I wanted them to got my trusty glue gun and secured each dowel in place with a blob of glue.

Next I marked out how long I wanted the plank to be, cut this to size as well and sanded all the edges so it would be nice and smooth when painted with no possible splinters!

Now for the fun painting bit, I took mine outside (NEVER spray paint inside, I have learnt this the hard way with a pastel pink laptop and a very angry dad)

I gave it (and some plants..oops) a good going over with my lovely gold spray paint.

Here's where I noticed another thing I had overlooked - the glue holding the dowel in place had left an ugly rim of blobiness that the paint only exaggerated. It was too late to do anything now without having to remove the dowel and start again, so I hoped and prayed that the Washi tape, once in place would cover these bits! If you're planning to make one - glue and sand, glue and sand, is my advice!

Thankfully! I was right and the tape totally covers any ugly glue blobs (thank the lord) and I can't tell you how thrilled I am with how it came out.

I think it looks AMAZING, the gold colour that you can still see the wood grain through, the Washi tapes all on show together, the fact I made it! Swoon. See for yourselves...

This took me about half an hour to get the pieces together and ready to be painted, an hour to paint and leave to dry and a few days to look at lustfully.. Enjoy!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Gift Guide - LunaDesigns

Continuing the gift guide theme my next find is a first for me in terms of jewellery. I tend to wear earrings and big chunky rings because I find that necklaces irritate me and bracelets can get in the way while I type at work. Enter LunaDesigns...
Emma at LunaDesigns recently sent me one of her bracelets and it was something of a revelation! The thin cord and simple charm are small enough to not get in my way, but quirky enough to still make a statement. Emma sent me the 'You're just my cup of tea' bracelet which normally sells in her shop for £3.25 which is an absolute bargain! The bracelet I got was red, but when purchasing you can choose from many colours and even add more charms if you would like.
The bracelet came on a card with the saying as do all of her pieces and it really put a smile on my face. I can just imagine receiving this as a gift from a friend and it totally making my day!
One of the reasons why I love LunaDesigns is that there a lot of items with a gothic feel, and very topical pop culture references that will have everyone interrogating you as to where you picked up your quirky bracelet. Here's some of my favourites:
Harry Potter - It Does Not Do to Dwell on Dreams
I used to be an adventurer till I got an arrow to the knee

PS I Love You
I really urge you to check out the shop, because I guarantee you'll find something you really want for less than a fiver. Win!

Gift Guide - Karen Walk Design

After my recent hiatus I'm back with another Gift Guide post. My profuse apologies for the delay in getting this up here.

Karen Walk is from Bristol, a former Graphic Designer and now owner of Karen Walk Design.

Karen recently sent me one of her personalised hanging bird decorations and I absolutely fell in love with it. It's a gorgeous pink and white polka dot fabric, in a kitsch litle bird shape, stuffed and hand stitched with a gorgeous lace motif with my name on it and can be hung on it's cream satin ribbon. The stitching is so neat and it's just a really lovely decorative item, currently hanging on one of my cabinets in pride of place. People visiting always admire it, and ask where they can get one!

This is just one of the many prodcuts that Karen has available via her Etsy shop, here are some of my favourites;

Personalised hand made fabric covered mini notebooks (would make perfect wedding favours)
In your choice of fabric - £3.50
Baby bunting personalised card or invitation (contact Karen to get yours tailored for your event!)
Baby personalised heart ornament
(a gorgeous gift for a new mum, or even a birthday gift for a child already with us)
All of Karen's items would make fantastic gifts, or treats for yourself and your home. I really can't urge you enough to check out her shop here. I would also point out that if you have an idea of what you would like that you can't see in the shop, get in touch with Karen and see if there is something she can do for you!


Friday, 15 March 2013

Crafty Creatives - Box 9

(if you're a bit slow like me!)
I have to say, this isn't my favourite. I'm not a massive fan of Steampunk and some of the things in this months box are not to my taste. BUT, saying that, the last few boxes have been amazing so I'm not jaded in anyway and from the tweets I've seen there are many many people for whom this is their favourite so far, just goes to show you can't please everyone!
Apologies for the very rushed and badly lit photo's!
I am in love with the tweed and leather, and will definitely be decoupaging my box with some bits I've already got. It still amazes me how they fit this much in each box, I can never re-pack it!
What did you think of Box 9 and have you made anything yet?