Thursday, 21 May 2009

I've Picked a Winner!

Umm, yes, I know, I am a bit late in doing this. I don't know why life is so hectic at the moment, but it is. So anyway. I used random number generator to pick a number, and the winner is...mandapanda. So mandapanda, please get in touch with me and let me know your address so I can post your prize.

I've been busy with a lot of different things lately. There are "in the house" jobs, and when the sun shines, there are loads of gardening jobs to be done.

One of my in the house jobs at the moment, is helping to develop armadillo magazine

This is something I have been involved with for a few years as a book reviewer, but now I am in on the web design side as it has recently changed hands. Our web editor Louise has just started a blog. So if you have an interest in children's books and writing, please add this to your favourites as I am sure there will be some interesting posts in the future . (As you can see, I've been playing with my watercolours to make the blog header).

Friday, 15 May 2009


Somebody - who shall remain nameless, decided to pick all the tulips from the container outside my kitchen door. She then left them - with their very short stems propped back in the container - probably because she realised that she had done wrong and was trying to cover it up. So I stuck them into this crystal rose bowl. To quote the culprit who was trying to look on the bright side - "They look very pretty though!" - and they do. How could I be cross?

PS. Don't forget to enter my 100th post giveaway.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Pot Project

As if I haven't got anything else to do with my time, I decided to revamp an old plantpot. It was one I had picked up at my local auction and had peeling blue paint on it. Sorry - I forgot to photograph the "before".
I gave it a rub with a wire brush to remove the old paint, and then a scrub, and about 4 coats of cream masonry paint, and it was ready for a bit of stencilling. This is something you could do to jazz up any plain plant pot. It's really quick and easy.

I rummaged through my stencil collection - I didn't want to go cutting a new stencil this time.
My stencils have been used for many projects over the years. Walls, furniture, fabric, home accessories etc. Some are made from the kind of acetate that you use for overhead projectors and others are recycled out of shiny card used for the cover of sales brochures and other similar types of card. I simply draw my design and cut out with a sharp scalpel. Mind your fingers!

Here are my tools. I have a number of stencil brushes, but also sometimes improvise a little sponge pad out of a six inch nail and a bit of foam. I wrap the foam around the head of the nail and fix either with a sandwich tie, or a an elastic band.

There are various methods to stencilling, but I prefer the repeated stabbing motion method. I place a little paint in a tub - I reuse milk bottle lids for small amounts of paint (and mixing glues and all sorts of other uses). I load my brush, and then on a spare bit of card or paper - or in this case a scrap of wood, I pounce my brush to remove most of the paint, and then I do the same pouncing motion over the stencil, reloading my brush when needed, until the whole area is covered. Then I remove my stencil and tada, a lovely crisp pattern is left (or nearly crisp as it was a bit of a rush job). I use masking tape to hold my stencil to the pot. Low tack masking tape is best, but if you take a bit of high tack stuff and stick it o your clothing a few times first, it loses some of it's tack and then you have just made your own low tack version!

I will post it again once it is planted up.
I hope this inspires you to give some new life to an old pot.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

100th Post Giveaway !

Well, here it is as promised is my blog giveaway. Sorry I am a bit slow with the posts these days. I've been very busy getting my studio ready for my parents to come and sleep in for the week. I've been making curtains, and painting and clearing out all the junk I collect.
To be in with a chance of winning my 100th post giveaway, please leave a comment on this post. If you want to be in with 2 chances of winning, then please post about this giveaway on your blog and then come back here and leave a second comment on this post.
And now without further ado...the winner will get...

This hand illustrated scented sachet filled with Provence lavender. It would look really sweet hanging from a door or a hanger - or you could place it in your drawer to sweetly scent the contents.
These lovely translucent glass bead earrings which will come in a pretty little handmade box. I hope you like them!
I look forward to seeing who enters. Perhaps I will discover your blog for the first time.
The drawing will be in one week from now - May 15th at 12 noon. (UK time)