Thursday, 20 July 2017

The Garden of Crafty Delights

I'm back - just about! This year isn't going to my most prolific for blogging...or for knitting! I think I'm just about managing a post per month, but at least its something.

So - what have I been doing apart from work stuff? 

Well, a lot of gardening and hacking back the undergrowth, which I do enjoy especially with all the good weather we've had. This effort has been reaping rewards as the garden looks very tidy for a change and even our lawn, which is usually a crisp, brown fringe at this time of year, is in vivid green health.

Although I've been a bit more circumspect in my charity shop purchases and old tat in general, I just had to have this Victorian doll's head and knew instantly where I would put her...


...in the garden! 

She must have been a beautiful doll once; being made in Germany by Armand Marseille. However, the poor thing has endured a degree of blunt force trauma at some point, leaving her with a rather damaged bonce. Hence the reason why she was so cheap at under a fiver.

Being outside has given me the chance to catch up on some upcycling of old things that we found in the neighbours' shed last year and had stashed away until inspiration (and good weather) struck! 



First to have a makeover was an old shelf, which I covered with a few coats of chalk paint. This was the first time that I had used chalk paint and I really like the way it covered the wood and its texture. The shelf still looks like its old and knocked about, which is how I like it. 



The shed also housed a lot of boxes that had been roughly hammered together from various scraps of wood and also some old metal stencils that had been previously used to number egg boxes before the war. So with some leftover fence paint, I painted the front of one box and stencilled our house number onto it too.

I also got creative with an old roof slate and chalk pen, making made a sign for the vestibule...


I originally wrote "Please walk round to the back gate" underneath the "Welcome" as Monkeychild was having a glamping sleepover birthday party (she's discovered Pinterest for party ideas!) and I wanted all her friends to go straight through into the garden. 

After the party I though it would be shame to not use the sign any more, so I just added our house number instead. A handy tip that I thought of was to use hairspray as a fixative and it seems to have worked; though I doubt it would stand up to a heavy downpour.



 As part of the glamping theme, I also upcycled some charity shop lampshades into outdoor lighting. Luckily I had brought some fabric dye in a closing down sale years ago and added them to the crafting hoard. I hand-dyed the shades in a bowl and then left them to drip-dry on the washing line.



Once fitted up with solar-powered bulbs threaded onto some i-cord that I knitted over a couple of evenings, they added a bit of boho-glam to the girls' chill-out area...
  


I've got a few more ideas that I want to get stuck into over the summer, including my wind-chime made out of beer bottle-tops!

So on that crafty note, have a great and hopefully hot summer and I'll see you sometime in August.


Happy hols everyone xxx


Thursday, 8 June 2017

Bath: Bloggers & Brollies


Here's a very artistic display in one of Bath's popular shopping areas and very apt with all this rain we've been having, but I wasn't in Bath on Saturday for some artsy farty display...



...I was there to meet these two fabulous ladies...

Yes, we finally got it together and Mim (aka Crinoline Robot), Emma (aka Ivy Black) and myself all met up on Saturday morning next to Bath Abbey for a day filled with gossiping, laughter and of course...truffling out old stuff!

First of all, Mim headed us off in the direction of a great cafe where we had a leisurely catch up and also swapped pressies. Emma had made me a gorgeous bracelet with pictures of 1920s Hollywood beauties and Mim gave me a perfect Pyrex platter that she had brought for me a while ago, but was saving until we met up.



One of the first shops we went into was Anthropologie, which was full of lovely things and a touch quirky too, such as this shop display...any idea what its made from?



PEGS! 

Yes, the humble utilitarian peg has been promoted! 

It looks like the pegs have been dip-dyed and then simply pegged onto black plastic netting, which has been threaded through with cotton cord to give it the drape-factor! I'm seriously thinking of giving this crafty idea a go!

On to the shopping - obvs we did the charity shops, Mim brought a fab green dress from the Julian House chazza. Then we walked up Walcot Street and found a proper old school vintage shop - y'know the sort; the one which is crammed to the rafters with great stuff that you have to have a good old rummage about in! I love it, its like going back in time to the 80s and 90s - just like secondhand clothes hunting used to be!


Don't get in their way - they're on a mission!

After lunch in the riverside park overlooked by the abbey...



...Mim took us to one of the best fabric shops I have been to for a looong time! Two rooms full of the most colourful and tempting bolts of fabric...



...we ooh'd and ahh'd like kids in a sweet shop and swore to come back next time with lists of our fabric wants.

It was such as brilliant day and a real joy to be with like-minded people who don't think you're mad when you can enthuse about the joys of a polyester maxi dress!

Roll on our next Bath meet-up...August anyone?


Bath booty: a mug from Anthropologie and gorgeous fabric






Thursday, 27 April 2017

Old Things Redisovered

I was having a clear out of our shed and found two stained glass panels that I made about twelve years ago and had forgotten about. I used to be really into this and even made some window panels for our house, but lead and unborn babies don't mix, so I gave it up when I discovered Monkeychild was on the way and haven't touched my soldering iron since. However, after finding these I think I should pick it up again.



I repainted the wooden frame around the fish panel and hung this and other one on some tree branches in the orchard; its like like having an outdoors gallery.



When Husband was clearing out our former next door neighbour's shed for them he found an old washstand complete with its marble top. As our neighbours had said that we could have whatever we wanted from the shed, these came back with us.


   
As you can see the wash stand looked very shabby - no wonder after living in the shed for fifty-odd years! 

After a sand-down, I reached for my faithful standby: garden paint and gave it a few coats of purple paint and the change is totally satisfying.


I've been sloshing the paint around quite a bit recently as we decided to turn our tatty summerhouse into a temporary office space for me, whilst our new neighbours' builders renovate their house. Needless to write, that these works are rather  noisy and not ideal when trying to write reports and the like.

So - cue more garden paint and me painting the inside of the summerhouse ; it took a whole weekend to do - longer than I'd anticipated!



Afterwards came the best bit - kitting it out with all the essentials: desk and chair, retro kitchen cupboard and cooker. Luckily, I didn't have to buy anything new, just took a few things from the house and in doing so, made more space!



Its really made a difference, as I can now make a brew when I'm in the garden and also have the perfect writing space - all for the price of a large tin of paint and a few hours work.



During my shed clear out I also found a(nother!) washstand that I brought years ago and had the brainwave to put it on the decking next to the summerhouse, so I now have somewhere to wash my hands after gardening and before I brew up! 





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