Tuesday 28 February 2012

Fresh take on the old eggs box

I have had this little eggs box for some time now. It used to sit on the kitchen counter, fulfilling the purpose it was created for...housing eggs. But, I grew tired of it and decided to have it on my craft desk instead, and eggs were soon replaced with staples, picture hooks and other odds and sods. But, I didn't like it anymore than before. What it needed was a makeover. Funny how sometimes you just grow out of things...

But, I wanted to live by the following motto, which, let's face it, seems more true these days due to the demands of our economic climate: 'Make the most of what you have, where you are.' I didn't want to spend money on materials to facilitate the little box's makeover, but decided to rummage through the cupboards to see what I could use that I already had. And guess what? The very lovely Cath Kidston came to the rescue! I have quite a few old catalogues that have piled up over time as I'm a bit of a fan. I love the prints of all her fabric designs, and as I haven't had the heart to send the old catalogues to the recycling bin, I cut these up to decoupage a patchwork effect on the box.

After sanding it, I painted the box in a creamy buttermilk from a tester pot that I had knocking about. I then cut out squares from the old magazines to glue onto the box using diluted PVA glue. As I love things to look aged, worn and a bit shabby, I took sandpaper to my newly decorated box to distress it. A few coats of varnish later, and it was complete!

Staples have now been replaced with lovely bits of lace...

Have you given something old a new lease of life of late? I would love to hear from you! Do share your projects or ideas with us! Would love to be inspired!

Wednesday 15 February 2012

A Family Valentine

Waking up....

A Hearty Breakfast...

Sticky ribs...devilled

Memories made...

                                  Hope your day was love-filled too!

Monday 13 February 2012

Little I love you's...

How do you say 'I love you'? Do you like big gestures, long sentences, maybe warm hugs? Every year Valentine's day comes, and I look the other way, ignoring it as if it's an irritating nag. I don't like the commercialism surrounding it, and certainly won't be told when to indulge in romance. I get bored easily with the predictable, and so choose not to participate in the supermarkets' idea of romantic gestures. But, this year I've decided to embrace a little of the sentiment behind it, and to use the 14th of February to show  my loved ones that they're loved, in a fun and inexpensive way! I have spent pennies on a few treats for the kidlets, and have crafted them into something a little more interesting, and decided that hubby would be treated in the same way! Some ideas have come from the lovely online community out there, and some are just my own silliness, but I'd like to show you that 'I love you' doesn't have to be accompanied by big expense. Here are some of the treats they'll be enjoying throughout the day. I have decided to hide them in places where they are bound to find them...pants drawers...inside their shoes, hanging on the key rack...etc. You get the idea!

Treat no. 1...

Banana sweets in cellophane bags...'I'm bananas for you!'
 Some Millions....

'Million's' made into butterfly, saying 'You're one in a million!' (I made blue butterflies for the boys)
Nothing says 'I love you' like flowers...well, lollipops do just just as well!

Hubby likes nuts...

Some chocolate of course!

And what about some jaw-breaking fireballs to spice up your love life?

I added a little love note saying 'Come on baby, light my fire...' (Cheesy enough you think?)

So, saying 'I love you' need not break the bank! All the little treats have been eagerly hidden for the kiddies and hubby to wake up to. I'll let you know how it all goes down! Night-night! ♥♥♥

Sunday 12 February 2012

Affairs of the HE♥RT

As Valentine's day is fast approaching, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to talk hearts! I'm sure you all know by now that I'm partial to this symbol of love, and have quite a few dotted around the house. Today I thought I'd share some old ones, and some new ones that I have made to add some loving cheer to just about every nook and cranny in our house! Firstly, one I made today...

I painted a plain wooden heart using a stippling effect. Once it was dry I simply decorated it with some lace and transfers that I had in my scrapbooking stash. I added a button for a little dimension. Done!

I made this one a little while ago,  also using transfers. I did also use a stamp for the word 'Celebrate', and added some tiny gems...

A stitched variety....

A selection of hearts on a wooden stand...These are not just for Valentine's day, but stay up all year round!

Will you be making some hearts? Let me know which gets your blood pumping! 

Monday 6 February 2012

A 'no-sew' Valentine Quickie

For those of you who don't cringe at the mention of Valentine's day, I thought I'd share a little project with you, which in all fairness, might 'deck the halls' all year round as I like it so much! Who doesn't like hearts? I personally love them, and have quite a few scattered around the house. I wanted to make something for Valentine's day that could go in the kitchen. I always have a wreath hanging on the door (that's inside!), and so needless to say I thought of making one for the 'month of love.' The best thing is, it only took about half an hour! it's not a complex, time-consuming work of art and craftsmanship, but that's what's great about it! Anyone can do this! So, a list of goodies needed:

  1.  One polystyrene wreath base, size...whatever tickles your fancy! It really doesn't matter. I used one that measures 30cm diameter. 
  2.  A pair of knee-length socks or tights in your choice of colour, pattern or designer. I really don't think it matters whether they're from Ralph Lauren or Poundland! As long as they're clean!
  3. Scissors: For cutting the toes off the end of the socks. (I believe cutting the ends off Ralph's socks hurts more!)
  4. Pins...LOTS!
  5. Co-ordinating papers in your choice of colours and patterns. I used some scraps I had left over from previous projects. TIP: Never throw good, usable scraps away! You just never know when they'll come in handy!
  6. Ribbon, to make a bow
  7. Lastly, and this is where your 'quickie' can turn into a saga:  I used a Big Shot die-cutting machine with heart dies to cut out the hearts. If you don't have anything like this handy, you simply have to cut the hearts out by hand! It might take a little longer...okay, it will take a little longer, but it will be worth it!
So, method...

  1. Firstly, you cut through the wreath with a scarp knife to create an opening. This is where you'll thread the socks onto the wreath.
  2. Cut the toes off the socks, and feed the socks onto the wreath. You'll have to play and fiddle to get it looking tidy. I pulled the socks tight for a smooth fit, but you could also use two pairs to create a ruched effect.
  3. Cut out hearts in different sizes.
  4. Pin the hearts to the wreath. Let your imagination run wild!
  5. Use the ribbon to create a bow. Add a bow to the bottom, or top, or not at all. It's up to you.
  6. Hang it up, stand back...and gasp in admiration of your handiwork!
I hope you will have a go at making one yourself. Come on, give it all your heart! Lol...till next time!

P.S. It goes without saying that pins are sharp, and therefore dangerous. Take care when using, and put out your wreath out of reach of children and those bearing a grudge!

Sunday 5 February 2012

Snow much fun!

Well, who would have thought? At last, winter has arrived in all it's glory in the UK with a decent enough sprinkling of the fluffy white stuff for us to play in! I just wish we could push the rewind button, and synchronise the snowfall with Christmas! That would be lovely! Some pictures...

And what else does one do on a chilly day, apart from frolicking in the snow? One sews...

I found these words of wisdom on Pinterest, and they have stuck with me. I thought I'd make a little reminder to hang somewhere in the house.

What else? One drinks tea...

...whilst listening to Classic FM...and one reads...

...and then maybe a it was 'Calamity Jane'...

Of course REALITY hits home and you're faced with this...

...and this...

But, there is always tomorrow. Today I am grateful for Sundays, rest days, play days. Hope your weekend has been a restful one too!

Friday 3 February 2012

Sew a little love for Valentine's

I have never really been one to get caught up with Valentine's day and it's sugar coated commercialism. But, as this time of year is grey, cold and miserable, I thought I might indulge in it just a little in order to add a bit of colour and warmth to our home life. I won't be celebrating it in the traditional way with roses and chocolate, but I think it is a good opportunity to show the special people in our lives that we love them in a fun and creative way. And to get me started, I thought I'd make a little fabric collage for the photo wall, inspired by a little Valentine's memento I saw in a shop a little while ago. I took a picture of the framed picture in the shop as I liked elements of it.

I loved the words, and thought it would be a perfect element to add to our family photo wall. I used fabrics that I liked to create a collage to stretch over canvas. I embroidered the words onto the fabric in a  non-regimented, casual way, as I wanted the finished  product to look naive and 'handmade'. And perhaps more so because I'm not that great at embroidery! But, that's what I love about it being naive and a little haphazard. It adds to the charm! My favourite things in the whole world is lace and vintage buttons, so needless to say I used these for interest. And, although it's not a needlepoint masterpiece, I am really pleased with the end result. It now has pride of place on our photo wall. Why don't you have a go at creating a collage, and share it with us? I would love to see your creations! Here is mine...

Hope your weekend is a warm, cosy, happy one!

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Our little wall of fame

Do you also love looking at photographs, and reminiscing about days gone by? I do. Having been a keen scrapbook enthusiast for some time, I often get the albums out and pour over the pages, taking a little wander down memory lane. But, unlike some home stylists who keep photos confined to album pages and drawers, I like to display them in our home. For a long time now I have wanted to create a special space, a wall of fame (or shame, depending on how you look at it!) in our home. As we finally got round to giving the stairs and landing a fresh lick of paint, I thought it the perfect opportunity to turn the wall on the upstairs landing into just this! It has slowly evolved over the last couple of weeks, and I'm not quite done yet, but I thought I'd show you how I'm getting on. The first step was to move my beloved blue French cupboard upstairs. I used this, and a beautiful large multi-frame that I was given for my birthday last year as the focal point. And so I set to work...

Our little wall of fame!

I decided that I wanted to display more than just photos on this wall, to add more visual interest. So I've added a few of my favourite things!

Handmade mosaic art tile, made by my daughter

Giant altered peg
I found this delightful giant peg at Hobbycraft. I painted it, decoupaged and distressed it, and added embellishments. Voila!

Pictured in black and white photo: Hubby and I
Photo in colour: Hubby's grandparents, Gogo and Poppy
 The glass 'frames' used above are actually small glass serving dishes from Ikea. I merely glued the photographs to the back of the dishes using acid-free, clear drying glue around the edges. I was very pleased with the result, as you can't see a trace of glue through the plate! The delicate flower in the little frame was a thrifting find.

This gorgeous mirrored frame was a gift from a friend. I adapted it slightly to fit in with my chosen colours, by opening it up at the back, inserting some ribbon, and re-gluing it shut. Tied into a bow it looks very girly. Just the way I like it!

I added a hand sewn set of wings for interest to the wall. I love using fabric, in any shape or form I can, because it softens the look and adds a cosy touch.

Multi frame focal point

The mini garland has found a permanent home. For now at least...

I painted the two small wooden frames, distressed them, and then joined them using fabric ribbon stapled to the back. Again, a little fabric love!

A few finishing touches...hand sewn cupcake, strawberry, handmade boat and Tilda angel.

And finally...the birds...Hopefully a little friendlier than Hitchcock's variety!

So, our photo wall is coming together. I'm sure to share a little more with you over the coming weeks as I add to it. Hope you've enjoyed taking a peek! I would love to hear what you do with your beloved snaps! Do leave a comment below.