Monday, 31 October 2011

A different kind of pumpkin


Happy Halloween!! It's still time to get your pumpkin out and make yourself a splendid Halloween pumpkin so this is the perfect opportunity to re-post this ( sorry about the lack of new posts, peoplr, I am busily working away on products for a gift Fair I am attending in  November )... ! I just wanted to get away from the ghouls and ghosts this year and was looking for inspiration to do something different.I just loved Lindsay Alker's design " Battle Great Wood" which was featured in the August issue of  " House and Garden " . The jumping stag seemed quite a good motif- you don't always have to go for an angry or scary pumpkin face!!

I hope I have inspired you to go out there and create your own fabulous pumpkin ...:-) Get creative and get carving and cooking!!( Pumkin soup and pumkin pies are fabulous )...
Have fun!



Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Pretty present wrapping with recycled Christmas cards

It's that time of year again, so I thought this would come in really handy for you as an project idea- so I will re-post this super simple and fun project.....Today I wanted to share how you can make use of old Christmas cards .
If you have a present, say, a couple of books,  first  get a cardboard box ( cat food box will do) .
Put the books in the box and wrap the box  in simple brown paper as below.
 Fold the corners neatly like this.
And make into a neat brown parcel like this.
You are now ready for the decorating bit.
Get a heap of old Christmas cards and sort them in colours-like for instance  red, green and gold like here below.
Decide on the colourscheme you want to go for.
I decided to go with gold as I has quite a lot of cards with gold bits on them.
Draw a silhouette of a seasonal Christmassy shape, for instance, a star, Christmas tree, reindeer,  or use a cookie cutter to help you to get the silhouette- draw this silhouette on a white sheet of paper.
I decided to go for a stag, stars and Christmas trees.
Cut the silhouette out with scissors so you will be left with a piece of white paper where the silhouette is cut out of, of your chosen shape( the stag in my case.)( see below)

Put the white piece of paper with the "open" silhouette shape on top of a Christmas card on a bit that is purely colour-and draw with a pencil , using the white paper with the silhoutte, as a guide to help you draw the silhouette on the coloured paper.
Cut the shape you drew on coloured paper,  out.
You will now - in my case - have a stag- or whatever shape you chose- in gold.
To the right in the picture here above you can see what I mean about the white paper with the silhouette left out.You will use this to put on bits of Christmas cards which you have grouped together so that the gold bits overlap and you only have gold card .
Play around a bit with the cards that you have and the white paper that has the silhouette so you see what it looks like and what looks best, then cut out your shapes and glue them on the brown paper.
You can let your imagination run free and go for whatever design you like.
Here you can see the top of the box- I used cookie cutters as a shape to guide me to cut the Christmas trees.The trees are all gold, but are from different cards, just play around a bit and see if it looks OK.
Add a couple of ribbons that go with the rest of the colours and you're done .
And there you are : a re-cycled gorgeous piece of present wrapping for practically for free ! I just love that, don't you !
I will show more wrapping ideas soon,  until such time- enjoy your wrapping- see you then!
Have you wrapped all your present yet?? I look foward to your comments!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

A room with a view

If you are going through a bad time, it sometimes helps to look at the positive things in your life and to count your blessings.And when you have counted them all , you will sometimes be surprised how blessed you are !

Some years ago, I was feeling rather sorry for myself after some medical treatment and was reading the local paper when my eye fell on a small notice  put in by the editor.

" Artist wanted for mural" it read. The story that followed was kind  of heartbreaking.The nurse of a patient in a care home had gone to the paper to ask if they could help.She looked daily after a woman of about my own age.The patient not only had a degenerative disease, and was in a wheelchair .She was so ill that she was completely dependent on her carers for everything.On top of all that, her room that she spent most of her time in, looked out on a stone wall. The care home had no money for any decorations or paintings.The mural had to be done on panels as the wall was part of a historical building and was not supposed to be altered.The care home could afford to repay the paint and the wood, but could not afford an artist's fee.The nurse and the patient hoped somewhere, someone was able to help them.

What the patient liked most of all would be to have something to look at that would cheer her up.
She had been a caterer in her young and busy life with a young family , and going to the markets and looking at market stalls full of glorious and colourful produce, and walking along the busy crowds was something she really missed.
I remember looking at myself , my healthy arms and legs, and feeling ashamed of my good fortune.
I could have been that person , sitting in a wheelchair and looking at a bare wall. Instead , I was healthy and could do loads of things.
I also felt grateful, that in this case , I did have the talent to paint so I could actually do something for someone else who really needed my help.
I could not give her her life and her health back, but I could certainly give her a room with a view.
I called the nursing home and the rest is history.
Joan ( that was the patient's name )  did get her flowers and vegetables, and her room with a view.
This is part of the right hand side of the mural.I painted it on three panels.

The panels were painted in separately away from the site and and then later installed on the wall.
I came to inspect the whole thing, and the colours came up to greet you .
The whole corridor was filled with colour.
But more special than anything, was how happy she was .I will never forget the look of  happiness on her face.

So if you feel bad about yourself or your life, do something good for someone else.You won't regret it.
I never did.I am grateful I could help.And yes- it is better to give than to receive- honestly.
Have a fabulous weekend.

linking to
Inspiration Friday
fancy this friday
show and tell friday
frugal friday
feature yourself friday
feathred nest friday
tickled pink friday
weekend wrapup party

Friday, 7 October 2011 ...

A new look to a bathroom does not have to cost a I thought to show you how I managed to get a new look in one evening....I did this in about four hours-I started at eight in the evening and finished at midnight.( I allow myself to do this stuff only at night as I am very busy working at the Modern Country Lady home ware collection during the day and I need to stay focused !! ).
This was the before of the storage and the wall next to the idea why I painted it this colour.
I would lie in the bath and get worked up about the colour of the panelling and how horrible it all was..
And the fabric on the foorstool was also a " I have no idea what to do so this fabric might as well be on here" sort of situation. :-)
Then the door had a curtain that was too short  and- without the curtain:  glass panels .Note the drab green walls ( again ).

And the wall on which you looked at from the bath was like this:

I painted the panelling with a leftover bit of cream paint then painted the walls a bright white.
I made a curtain from an old lacey table cloth for the door .
Here is the door " before".

..and here is the door " after".

Then I tidied the storage rack and  cleaned it.
I then rescued and cleaned a fake orchid lying covered in dust from the garage and got that in for a bit of cheerful greenery.
This is the wall storage before.
This is the wall storage " after".

And underneath it the towel rack .Rescued from the dump and re-painted so zero cost!
I had 4 letters spelling out " L-O-V-E " lying around which I had  had no idea where to put. I had tried all over the house and it looked cheesy everywhere, hahaha .
I figured it would not bother me too much when I was lying in the bath and it would cheer the wall up a bit..
So this is the wall seen from the bath " before".

And this is the wall " after".

Fits in perfectly between the prints and the panelling.I guess I can deal with looking at the word " L-O-V-E" without getting too annoyed by it's slight cheesiness when I only see it from the bath.It might even give me some good and noble thoughts.
Then it was the footstool's turn.I repainted it cream and re-upholstered it with red ticking.
This was the stool before..

The cushion bit pops out so it's super simple to upholster.. Just wrap fabric around it and staple it to the back..

.. and you're done.This is the footstool after.

Here you can see the two walls together to get a bit of an idea..

And here is another and last shot.. - darling !! ... don't you ? :-))
Have a fabulous weekend!!

linking to
Furniture friday
Feathered nest Friday
Tickled pink friday
metammorphosis monday
brag monday
masterpiece monday
making the world cuter monday
show of your cottage monday