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... 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


  1. Love those lampshades

    Julie xxxxxx

  2. Great ideas! I love them all, I think the box is my favourite.

  3. Those lampshades are fantastic! I'd never have thought of dyeing lampshades.

    Poor old dolly. At least she gets to sit among the flowers now.

    I don't want to think of the awful state of my garden...

  4. Geraniums .... my favourite. A nice reminder of my nana.
    I'm drooling over your lampshades and laughing at your dolly but only because the legs have just fell off mine :-)

  5. How lovely is your garden, Liza, it really puts mine to shame. If it was wild before we went on holiday, we came back to a true jungle. Those lampshades are gorgeous, and what a great idea of dyeing them with fabric dye. I've got a couple of old lampshades in the basement, which we were planning to give to charity, but now I'm tempted to try and revamp them! xxx P.S. Love the dolly!

  6. Love the lampshades! what an ace idea. The garden is looking lovely.

  7. Cute ideas! I especially love the lampshades. I had no idea you could dye old lampshades!

  8. Like everyone else has said, those lampshades look awesome! Great transformation. The dolls head also gave me a good laugh. Is the head quite large and hollow? It could make a fantastic little planter and give dolly an interesting hairstyle! :D

  9. Those lampshades are wonderful! I might have to nick that idea for next year's festivals!
    The doll's head is ace, I wouldn't have left her behind either. xxx

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  11. Love it all! That's some serious garden craftiness goin on there. Those lampshades are lush and the head is wondrous. I'm glad I'm not the only one with dolls heads in the garden! She was probably someone's pride n'joy once and maybe only came out on Sundays for the children not to play with!xxx

  12. Love the lampshades and deliciously bizarre doll's head, even though dolls give me nightmares.


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