Tuesday 29 March 2011

Spring has Sprung

I think it's finally safe to say that spring has sprung here in the Highlands- we're always a bit behind everywhere else!  It's thrilling to see the signs of new growth in the earth, and the promise of much beauty to come. 

I have been busy with the decorating and clearing out and spring cleaning. I have much to do, but seeing the blossoms and having the lighter nights is giving me a little more energy. 
I am thankful! 

(Naomi, my older daughter took these pretty photos.)

Tuesday 15 March 2011


Here's an easy peasy craft. Silhouettes are all over blog land just now, so I know I'm doing nothing new, but I thought I'd share my method in case you want to give it a try my way.

I've been meaning to do a silhouette of my little girl for a while now, little did I realise that trying to get a decent side-on photo of her could be so tricky! So, this is your first stage. Get a good profile shot against a light coloured wall.

Once you are happy with your image, adjust the contrast with your photo editing software and print out one the right size for your mount. You might need to experiment a bit to get this just right. 
I have to admit, once I had decided on this image and tried to cut it out, I realised it would look better if her mouth was closed so I printed a few more images until I was happy with the result.

I carefully cut around the edges of the picture rounding off the neck area in traditional silhouette fashion.
I then flipped it over and while it was held it in place with a tiny bit of double sided tape I drew around it onto nice quality black paper with a white sharp pencil.
Then I cut out the black paper, adding some wisps of hair with fine cuts made with tiny decoupage scissors from Tonic Studios. They are ideal for this. I also used my knife to cut out a few bits in the pony tail to make it look more authentic.When I was finished,  I flipped over the black paper and it was the right way round again.

Now it was time to decide on papers for mounting my silhouette. I chose some scrap booking papers and a page out of a vintage encyclopedia. I used the oval Shape mates to cut the apertures for the mount. I decided to do a double mount.

I wish I'd had the Shape Mate a long time ago. I once overpaid to get an oval mount cut for a vintage photograph. Now I can do it myself. (Do remember to use acid free card if you are going to mount old photographs.)
I laid it all out until I was happy with the result and then stuck the lot  together with double sided tape.  

I had an old frame that was a bit scruffy. It was once gold but now faded to a dull brown, so I gave it a couple of coats of artists acrylic black paint. 
I'm quite pleased with the result. I might try a few more now.
Someone else thought it wasn't too shabby either. I do wish I'd brushed her hair before I took this photo !!!

Friday 11 March 2011

A Time Waster!

I was just checking my website and realised I still had this silly fishy pairs game I made from my  fish doodles. Click on the image to take you to the game. Have fun!

Wednesday 9 March 2011

The Long Haul/hall - the reveal

The hall is finally finished! Yippee! 

I've been taking a trip down memory lane. When we started renovating this house, I did not think to take before photos of everywhere, so all I have managed to find are a couple of photos of my kids. I don't think they'll thank me for posting these. Here is my son quite a few years ago standing in the hall. (He's 19 now, 20 this year). We started ripping things out of the hall a long time ago, then I had a baby who will be 5 this May, and things never got done until very recently. 
By this time we had ripped off a fancy border, taken down a picture rail and party removed some damaged crown moulding. It was looking really pretty!

We've been living with it looking like this for so long, that we got kind of used to it. People would visit and ask if we were in the middle of decorating and I would answer, "Well, sort of "... this went on for several years!
Here's Naomi who is now 17. Awww wasn't she sweet. Looking a bit bedraggled here after a day at primary school.
So now, very thankfully the hall looks like this.....
That's better, I've been waiting a long time for this. Oh, and a big thank you to Leslie who showed me the wonderful beadboard wallpaper which covered up my terrible walls very well! 

Friday 4 March 2011

Face to face

I have spent a very pleasant morning with a lovely lady I met through blogging. Monika from Red to White. We have been in contact with each other on and off for some time now but this is the first time we have met face to face, and it was wonderful to meet this amazingly talented lady in person. 
I encourage you to check out her myriad of fabulous felt creations, many of which are available at her Etsy shop.  I love to read in her blog how she goes from inspiration through the processes to reach the final created garment. This lady is a true artist!

It's the first time I've ever met up with a bloggy friend and I'm pleased to say it was a delightful experience. We had much in common and had no trouble finding things to talk about. I forgot to take any photos of our meeting I'm afraid, but here she is modelling one of her fabulous cowls.
I am now also the delighted owner of one of her beautiful hydrangea brooches. Thankyou Monika! I love it!  It was so good to finally meet up with you.  I look forward to the next time :-)

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Vintage Leather

I finished this chair yesterday after I finally found the piece of leather I'd been looking for (while looking for something else of course). The cushion is one I made a long time ago. It is crazy patchwork and incorporates some hand drawn butterflies. It is trimmed with my favourite red pom poms. I love pom pom trim! Sad, but true!

Here it the chair in it's before state. 

It was another one of my £1 auction bargains.  I think it looks quite "gentleman's study" now. I love the look of the vintage leather, and I only bent a few of the brass upholstery nails in the process! 

I had a little scrap of leather left over, so I upcycled an evaporated milk tin and made a nice pen pot to go with the desk mat and the chair.
I cut the leather to size and then ran it through my "ready for a service" sewing machine before glueing it onto the tin. It's an easy make but looks quite classy. If you have any scraps of old leather, this would make a nice gift for the man in your life.