Tuesday, 7 August 2018

A bit patchy

I wanted to have a go at doing a fabric decoupage lampshade after seeing a few in a gorgeous little cafe in Dolgellau recently.



Anyway, I found a lampshade in need of a bit of tlc at a boot fair recently. It cost me 50p so if my little project didn't work I hadn't really lost much money wise. I have plenty of fabric scraps and pva glue so last night I set to. I very slightly watered down my pva and started sticking fabric squares to my shade. Part way through I ran out of glue so a quick rummage in the shed and I found some more. This I watered down more but it wasn't a good idea as when I popped down stairs this morning to check on it, the squares that had been stuck on with the watery pva had bubbled badly. The squares with the thicker pva are nicely stuck and flat. I've gone over it all with Frenchic Finishing coat to try and get the fabric that has bubbled to stick. It is now drying so we'll see how it looks in an hour or so. I could kick myself. Grrr



I will update when it's dry.

Saved from the tip and chalk paint.

I've been doing a bit of upcycling. Mostly of chairs for the cafe at Whittington Castle. We're trying to make it look more homely. Getting there slowly but in my endeavour to upcycle chairs I've been trying different types of chalk paints. Not all chalk paints are created equal by any means.
I first came across chalk paints when I lived in Scotland and the one I liked to use was by Autentico. It's a very smooth paint and goes on easily. Lots of colours to choose from - 150 I believe.
But I found another one by a company called Frenchic and it is to die for. Ok, the colour range is much more limited but it is such a beautiful paint. Their Al Fresco range, which is designed for out doors and totally waterproof, is amazing. It sticks to anything. I have just painted all my kitchen cupboards in it and fire place. This colour is called Duckling.  A bit of a misnomer really. It's a lovely blue grey  and seems to change on the light conditions. It doesn't need waxing or sealing as it already contains a sealant.



This is one of the chairs I did. This is a mix of Autentico paint and Frenchic.  I had a pot of dark blue Autentico paint left from a previous project and the decoupage bit is a napkin I have had in my glove compartment in my car for several years. It was pretty and I acquired it from somewhere and kept it for that perfect project.

I tried Rustoleum paint too and whilst they do some lovely colours, the paint isn't nice. Very gritty. Annie Sloan is ok but again, not my favourite.  I did come across another paint by a company called Sarah Jayne. This isn't bad either. It contains a wax already in the paint so all you have to do is paint, let it dry and buff it. Autentico and Frenchic also do paint like that. 
My first choice of chalk paint would be Frenchic by miles followed by Autentico, then Sarah Jayne with Annie Sloan and rustoleum way down the list. Annie about half way down and rustoleum at the bottom.

Next project is a lampshade.

#frenchicpaint #savedfromthetip #chalkpaint #alfrescopaint #autenticopaint #hastobeFrenchic 

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Happy New Year 2018

I would like to wish everybody a happy new year and hope 2018 is kind to us all.
I can't  believe how fast last year went. I swear someone stole 6 months of it.
This year I am on a mission the declutter,  organise and finish things I've  started.
My first accomplishment is this little fella or girl. Tend to think of it as a 'he' even though he's  pink. He's  been crocheted in the anigurumi style, which is a continuous spiral. Very easy, until the stitch marker falls off or breaks. He has been named Rosie, so he is a she.


Rosie


I've  just started a Bina Bear doll, designed by Lydia from Lalylala. It could take a while. So far, I've done the head.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Bell Tents, Pyramid Tents and Embroidery Machines.

A tad late to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New year so I'll dive straight in with this year's musings.
First off, the Bell Tent was a disaster. It was a lovely tent but far too big for me to put up on my own. It damn near killed me. I think I was a bit too ambitious. Nevertheless, it has gone to a new home with my brother. It will be erected in his woods somewhere.
I opted for a much smaller Dutch pyramid tent instead. Still waiting for some dry weather to try it out. Being canvas I really don't want to get it wet just to try it out. I can still make bunting and cushions and stuff once I know if I can manage it on my own.
Pyramid tents are designed to withstand high winds and storms. Perfect for good old UK.





Not my tent but it gives you an idea of what they look like. It still has one centre pole but has a rectangular door front rather than an A frame but it has an amazing rear. Swept out. If you pitch with the back to the wind it is guaranteed to stay up in high winds. Not actually planning on testing that bit though.



Cool eh? I'm hoping I can try it out fairly soon. These tents will also take log burning stoves the same as the bell tent does. Not sure yet if that is a route I will go down. Electric hook up sounds safer.






Now, just before Christmas I treated myself to a new embroidery machine. I have one already (a Husqvarna Designer 11) but she's getting old and I can only transfer the designs to the card with Windows 7, and as I'm now on Windows 10 on both PC and new laptop, it's starting to become a problem. I do have an old laptop running Win 7 I can use until that conks. Anyway, although it's been a bit of a learning curve it hasn't been too painful as I'm not new to machine embroidery.
I must admit, apart from horrid bobbin tension issues to start with, she has sewn or should I say embroidered, like a dream.
Everybody kept telling me that the bobbin tension should never need to be adjusted and it must have been my fault as I'd threaded it wrong etc. Well, it was the bobbin case that needed adjusting, by a full one and a quarter turns to loosen it. Works perfectly now, but shhhhh, she might hear me and start playing up.
What machine did I buy? A Brother Innov-is V3. And what a gorgeous bit of kit she is. I hope I don't die tomorrow as I used my funeral funds. Oops, kids will have to bury me in the garden.
I have sewn my first 'In the Hoop' coin purses, pencil toppers, hanging Christmas ornaments, made two cushions, all of which I will take photos of.



She is a huge machine but gorgeous. I would have loved a multi needle machine but they are sooooooo expensive. At the moment I am just getting back into using an embroidery machine after a huge gap of several years.

Back to the machine. Bye for now. x

Monday, 26 September 2016

Glamping and stuff

I have decided, and I'm sure I must be quite mad, that I need a Bell Tent. Those gorgeous, canvas tents. I had a go at camping for a few days earlier this month and it was a bit of a disaster. Not my fault but everything got very wet. I took my two man tent and was quite dry in that if not a bit cramped as no room to cook or stand up etc so, some friends, who had a VERY big tent said I could use theirs as they were going to sleep on the canal boat as it was warmer. First night was fine but there was no rain, second day it rained and rained and rained. I thought the water in the tent was mostly condensation until I moved the bedding and realised the tent leaked like a sieve. All the bedding was soaked wet through. Good job I was only 3 miles from home. I dumped everything in the car and went home for the night. Kitchen looked like a Chinese Laundry for days BUT I really enjoyed myself nonetheless.


Anyway, I spied some gorgeous, canvas bell tents for sale and looked into them a bit more. It appears you can even get wood stove burners for them. How cool (or should I say warm) is that. If nothing else it should keep the damp at bay. Nothing worse than getting into damp bedding. AND people decorate them with lots of bunting. Now I adore bunting. So, a bid has been made for a second hand SoulPad Bell Tent. Just waiting on the guy to post it.


Image result for Bell tents


Not my tent but aren't they just gorgeous? I can't wait to get mine. First up I NEED bunting and pretty cushions and girly stuff.


They actually come in really pretty colours too.





If I win the lottery I'd love a Lotus tent, they are really funky but very expensive. Not sure if I could put one up on my own though.





I'll update on this bell tenting milarky once I have it and get it set up.


Bye for now. x

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Back on Track...... Maybe!

I can't believe it's been a whole year since I last updated my blog.  I haven't been idle in the last twelve months at all. I've been busy getting my life, my head and my direction back on track. I think I'm as good as I am going to be for the foreseeable future.

I bob along on the surface of life. I feel like a swan most days, all calm on the surface but paddling like hell underneath. I know what my panic and anxiety attack triggers are and do my best to avoid them. It doesn't always work and sometimes the most surprising things can set off an attack. I often feel like a fraud as I try to be very happy and positive on the outside but very often I feel like I'm drowning and want to scream on the inside. I'm sure most people would never know how I feel inside. Oh, the masks we wear. Learning to live on my own has been a very hard lesson. I am ok and can manage all the things I need to do but the loneliness is a different matter. I am so glad I have my dog.
 
I'm not sure what direction my blog should be taking though. Is it OK for me to just ramble and put snippets of my life out here or should it have a real purpose and be more interesting? For the time being, it will remain a platform for me to ramble on.
 
What have I being doing in the last twelve months? Hmm, well, I started doing some voluntary work at Whittington Castle, I still do that. I work in the gift/second hand book shop. It means I get to look at all the new books as they come in and snaffle the good ones.

Original photo by AtticTapestry
 
I also found the most amazing space not four miles from home.  I took a detour on my way home one Saturday, as I'd heard there was a canal local, The Monty, as she is affectionately called. Not only did I find the canal but also the most amazing thing, a horse drawn canal boat. And, ever since I've been a voluntary member of the crew. It has helped me get into my 'Happy Place' more than the rest of the crew could ever realise. The gentle sounds of the canal, the water, the clip clopping of Cracker's hooves on the tow path, the birds, the sights and the smells. What more do you need? The boat, The Countess of Maesbury and Cracker are run by Tim and his dad, Dave from Bywater Cruises. Gill and Mike and their little dog, Daisy, are also volunteer crew. They have an amazing wealth of knowledge about the canals.
 
And, there is an amazing café right at the side of the canal. Canal Central, run by Iain and Fiona. Fiona makes the most amazing cakes and scones, all fresh, every day. The scones are served warm, with butter, cream and locally made jam. Tea is brought out in tiny teapots with the cutest tea cosies.
 
 
I have loads more to share but for now, this will do. More to follow in a few days.
 


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Shameless Plug

I am currently working my way through an online Photoshop course called Awake! Living the (Photo)-Artistic Life. The designer of this course, Sebastian Michaels, has created an online Digital Art magazine and I have a bit of a write up in issue 2.


 
 
I'm on page 65.
 
 
 
I feel very humbled being a part of such a talented group of artists. The magazine is well worth a read, not because of my work but because there are some stunning pieces of work in there.
 
Off to create more art. :-)
 

 
 
 
 
 
 


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