Wednesday, 30 November 2011

And yet more painting ....

My painting obsession is still going strong and below is a tatty, tired and very black looking bowl that I picked up for the bargain price of 50p

Painting in front of the TV

One re-vamped very festive crimbo bowl showing, once again, a lick of paint works wonders.
(I think that's the reason why I'm hooked).  

Right, I'm off to see what can I paint next!!!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

How pretty ...

How pretty is this?  I could never re-create it but would LOVE it hanging on my door this festive Yule.


♥ Merry, cheesy Chrimbo ♥

As the festive season approaches my thoughts have turned to presents to give that won’t cost an arm and a leg.  On my pressie list is a ‘person’ (who I shall keep nameless) who loves all kinds of different cheeses but has complained they have struggled to find a board long enough on which to display and cut the various cheeses she laden’s her table with.  This gave me an idea ….

An off cut of 8x2 planed timber
(bought from Timm's Builders Merchants, Brize Norton)
A template that I used to draw around to mark where to cut the wood.

After being cut and sanded by my very clever father-in-law (in the absence of a handy family member a timbers merchants or carpenter can help).

I have then treated with several coats of Danish Oil.  Danish Oil is perfect for use on kitchenware, cutting boards, and children's furniture as it is food safe and non-toxic.

It was at this point my husband walked past and said "thats festive, you've designed a Christmas Cracker".  This was un-intentional and all I could see was a cracker before me until my son walked past and said "cool, a sweet"!!!  I'm not sure if this is a happy accident or a design fault?

♥ Merry, cheesy Chrimbo ♥

A lick of paint ...

I have been slightly obsessed with treating recent buys to a fresh lick of paint this week.  Below is an example of what has been revitalised with a bit of sanding, undercoating then painting with my fav colour …

Bought for 50p from a car boot sale. 

Ta Da ...
Looking much more loved

A 6x4 photo frame bought for 25p now
suitably matches the lamp base.

I have used a sample pot of paint ...

The painted items can be treated with clear furniture wax to add shine if desired.

Hannant's Wax

It's amazing what a lick of paint can do.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Like ‘marmite’ … you either love it or hate it.

Being a very traditional girl I never thought I would have the urge to make a very bright, very sparkly retro picture of my lovely Bertie the Greyhound – but I have! As I really wasn’t sure what the finished article would look like I set about thinking of a way to accomplish it as cheaply as possible. 
The items I gathered are:

An Oak frame bought from a garage sale.

A sample piece of wallpaper
A contrasting piece of wrapping paper
A photo of Bertie taken of him looking to the side
An enlarged photocopy of the photo (which was trial and error to work out the right sized enlargement, as you can see from the three pieces of paper).

I carefully cut of the enlarged photo of Bertie boy ensuring I cut around all off the little tufts and quirks to keep it looking just like him and add personality.

I then drew around the cut out photo on to the back of a sheet of contrasting wrapping paper and, once again, carefully cut out.  (It was at this point I thought I’d made a big mistake choosing a Greyhound as my subject as it looked suspiciously like the Loch Ness Monster).

Then I used the previous picture inside the frame as a template to cover with the sample piece of wallpaper I chose.

I then attempted to glue the silhouette on to the backing wallpaper, this was a mistake as the glue made the paper pucker up and dry with a slight creased look.  I quickly took it away of the backing and let it dry out.  I haven’t attempted to attach both papers together again as the glass keeps the silhouette in place.

The picture was then put into the frame and ...

The photo doesn’t do the ultra sparkly paper justice but I’m sure you get the idea – very bling.

Its like ‘marmite’  … you either love it or hate it.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Cushion covers ...

Today I attempted to sew an envelope cushion cover using a piece of (much sought after) antique French linen.  Having been told by several friends that this is the easiest way to create a cushion cover I was still un-convinced I could actually pull it off.  I turned to my trusty book ‘Homemade’ (written by Ros Badger & Elspeth Thompson) for no nonsense instructions and after much head scratching and reading the instructions over and over the penny dropped and “yes” it is a very simple way to sew a cushion cover.

The instructions are as follows:

Starting from the finished edge, cut a length of fabric two-and-a-half times longer than the cushion pad, plus 2.5cm (1in) all around to allow for seams.

Fold the fabric, right sides together, as if wrapping around a cushion, so that the edge that you want visible for the outer side of the envelope come two-thirds of the way up the length of the cushion.  Make sure, too, that this edge is inside, facing downwards, with the other flap over the top. (This is the paragraph that foxed me for a while).

Machine or hand stitch securely along the two outside edges of the cover, sewing through two and then three layers of fabric.  Turn the cover inside out, iron if required and insert cushion pad.


                       Ta da .... after

After making the above I got adventurous (cocky) and immediately set to making another one.  This time I did bite off more than I could chew as the fabric I used was patterned.  As you can see from the photo below there is a knack to making sure the fabric is central and I haven’t mastered this yet!! 

To finish my linen cushion off I’m hoping to sew a square of the beautiful Cabbages and Roses fabric on to the front.  My mission now is to try and track down a piece of the below …. Keep your fingers crossed, I think I could be looking for a while!!!

Cabbages and Roses designer Hampshire

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Buttons .....

Something very quick and easy to do in front of the TV during these long, dark winter evenings is to thread buttons on to garden wire, then bend into what ever shape takes your fancy.

Coloured or shiny buttons look bright and cheery if you wanted something to stand out and be seen.

50p’s worth of prettiness

After picking this lovely little pot up of 50p I immediately knew the exact place for it – in the bathroom as a toothbrush holder!  Our toothbrushes are now suitably pretty.

Monday, 21 November 2011

House to Home.

I'd like to share with you my latest obsession ... it's a website called House to Home.  It's a great place to go if you are a magazine junkie like me.  It has the publishers of the top home magazines and when you click on your favourite the latest edition is displayed including photos of their feature homes, house tours, hot topics and shopping tips. It's the kinda web site you enter, lose all sense of time and re-surface wondering where the last hour went.

Enchanting table setting | Country-style Christmas table ideas | Christmas table settings | Country Homes & Interiors
Country-style Christmas table ideas.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Louise likes ....

After really wanting a personalised print from a very well known mail order company but not able to justify £38.00 for an un-framed copy plus postage I have had to improvise - very naughty I know – and below is my version of their version.  My ‘likes’ have been suggestions by my husband and children which makes them extra special and raises a smile every time I look at my little boys pronunciation – priceless (literally).


More crimes against hedges ...

Once again I have been committing crimes against hedges and have raided them for their beautiful autumnal delights. I have tied tiny pieces of left over ribbon on to the stems of these lovely little things to add colour, then placed them in a tiny Bonne Maman jam jar to make a sweet little space filler.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Damsel’s in distress with a Chaise…

After fruitless years of glancing in post office and shop windows in the hope that they will contain an ad for something lovely imagine my excitement when, during my usual Wednesday trip out with the lovely Suzanne,I saw advertised a Chaise Longue free to a good home.  I couldn’t dial the telephone number quick enough and less than an hour later I was driving home with it crammed in to my car (helped by two very lovely builders may I add ;) 

It pay's to always keep one eye open as you never know what’s waiting for you to find it.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The way forward ....

Heart Home ( ) is a new online interiors magazine, published quarterly - what a fab idea.  No trips to the newsagents and then parting with best part of £4.00 required - enjoy.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

I want one!!!

Just came across this restoration ...

Now ... where can I find me one of those???

One mans trash is another mans treasure.

I can’t go past a skip without secretly wanting to jump in and have a good rummage.  Sadly I’m far too reserved so pass on by looking at it longing – that is until several months ago when thrown on top of a skip was a very warped, very purple and very un-loved cabinet.  Most desperately wanting it but too over come with shyness I begged my husband to knock on the door of the person who owned the skip to ask if we could take the manky cabinet perched on top.  Later that day my lovely husband arrived home with a very sorry looking piece of furniture, it felt like all my Christmas had come at once.  One mans trash is another mans treasure.

All hands on deck.

Ta da !

Achieved by sanding, undercoating, glossing and using a scrap of material as a curtain costing less than £10.00 in total – yippee.


Monday, 14 November 2011

Baby apples.

Whilst walking Bertie the dog the other day I came across the dinkiest of apples growing in the hedgerow, immediately I needed baby apples in my life and before they new it they were gangling around in my pocket.  Like most things I need in my life, when I got them home I wasn’t too sure why or what purpose they could serve other than being sweet – after racking my brain – ta da!
Things growing on hedges can make perfect autumnal centre pieces !!!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Autumn is my favourite time of year, every time I walk Bertie the dog at the moment I can't help bringing home bits of hedge and fallen leaves.  Not sure what to do with some beautiful red leaves I scavenged the other day, I wrapped them around a candle with a glass outer, secured them with an elastic band then covered the band with twine (99p for 6 balls from the 99p shop).  When illuminated they look stunning and as they dry out and start to curl at the edges they seam to look better and better with each passing day.

My very own blog.

Hi, welcome to my blog.  Due to living in a small West Oxfordshire village I am always looking for ways to keep myself busy and these include attempting to make all kinds of crafts, constantly re-vamping my home with bits and bobs and visiting lovely Oxfordshire countryside - all of which is done on the strictest of budgets.  A friend suggested I start a blog posting snippets of what I get up to whilst trying to create a world full of lovely things on a shoe-string.  So here goes .....