Sunday, 7 October 2012

Home made chalk paint and other adventures...

I love Hallowe'en. In a big way. So when I found this framed print of people in devil costumes by M. de Solar in the charity shop I thought it would be the perfect addition to my Hallowe'en decorations. Only problem was the frame which was a gaudy gold. Not very spooky. So I mixed up some matt black emulsion with plaster of paris dissolved in hot water and painted it without sanding or priming. I'm very impressed with the adhesion. I thought the black might wear off a bit when I waxed it but it hasn't. I think M. de Solar was a costumier in France and complete books of his work go for hundreds of pounds.

Last night whilst watching the X factor it suddenly dawned on me how I could finish off my mannequin seen here, here and here so I dug out this book...

Which has lots of useful styles of calligraphy in chart form for cross stitching like this

and this

and a short while later I came up with this

I explained to my husband I was aiming for the style of vintage French grain sacks and his little eyes glazed over. Bless him.
I'm really pleased I left the bottom of the mannequin cover loose so I could take it off by undoing the lacing!

I found this vintage piece of linen at a flea market, it's a nightie holder I think, but quite holey and I thought I'd turn it into a pretty cushion. But the thing that I didn't like was the yellow of the embroidery. I just thought it would be so much nicer if it were all neutral. So I got some 'Dylon Pre Dye' which bleaches the colour right out of all natural fabrics.
Wow! That stuff stinks! The kitchen smelled like 20 rotting cabbages and my poor husband was threatening to leave as his office is next to the kitchen.
And here is the result

An epic fail. Looks like the yellow is there to stay. And I still get a whiff of cabbage every time I use the washing machine...

In other vintage linen news I got a lovely old mangle cloth from Hitchins Friday flea market in the  more unusual blue colourway. If you don't know, these are what you wrapped your clothes in before you'd put them through the mangle and they're about 3 metres long and make lovely table runners. If I ever unearth the dining table I'll show you how it looks!

The only other cool thing I got this week was this globe lamp for my daughter from a charity shop in town

Yeah, it's wrecking the whole French country vibe I was going for with her room but hopefully it will put a stop to questions like, ''Is England in London?''
And we shall call the room vintage eclectic.

But the most exciting thing of all is that I have finally mastered getting photos and text on my blog exactly where I want them! Finally! ;)

Delighted to be linking with The Rose Garden In Malevik saturday show off.
And  Magpie Monday
And Ta-dah Tuesday at Faith Hope and Charity Shopping 
(My big ta-dah is managing to load the Christmas swap thingy onto my side bar. It only took me 24 hours and invoved me emailing the image to myself, not sure if there's an easier way!?)
And Coastal Charm


  1. Is England in London is nothing. On that ridiculous TOWIE programme I heard an adult asking 'is India in Paris' ????? Great cross stich and I love your halloween picture.

  2. Haha! I've never seen that show. Sounds like I'm not missing much! (But I must confess I do LOVE 'Made in Chelsea' which is equally moronic!)

  3. Love that picture Emma, looks fab with the black frame. And your mannequin has inspired me to give mine an overhaul, got two weeks off at 1/2 term so I'm looking out for suitable fabric. You are very talented!

  4. Thanks Gill! I really recommend you look at 'Corset laced mannequins' site or facebook page as you get an idea of where to put your seams! A stretch fabric (unlike mine)is very forgiving too! I made a (sort of) paper pattern first which helped.

  5. That mangle cloth is beautiful, and I love the font you chose to embroider on your mannequin. I recently found myself a light-up globe from a carboot; I'm hoping the combination of globe, scratch-map and map-covered chest of drawers in my house will help me learn where at least a few more countries are. My lack of geographical knowledge is embarrassing.

    Katie xx
    P.S. I love Made In Chelsea- can't wait for new season to start!

  6. Thanks Katie! Is there a new season? I'm always the last to know about these things! Cool! x

  7. New follower from Magpie Monday. Love your finds, I adore the French vintage look too, thrift EVERY day and never miss a bootsale come rain or shine xx

    1. HaHa! Thank you! I met you in the summer and blogged about it in my Topsham post!

  8. Thanks so much for linking up - your mannequin is amazing!!

    I've never tried the pre-dye before, and I don't think I will now LOL x

    1. Thanks for having me! A huge OOPS when I saw you're sponsored by you know who...the shame!

  9. I love that light-up globe, I longed for one as a child, what a lucky girl she is! I've never heard of a mangle cloth before, I don't recall one being used when we had one - no wonder clothes never lasted long! I've probably seen them at boot sales and assumed they were the industrial hand drying towels you get in the public toilet machines!
    I was excited about the pre-dye until you mentioned the smell! xxx

  10. Haha, I'm never using Dylon again in a machine - their machine use dye completely dyed the rubber seal on mine and even after doing several empty loads as it suggested I was still getting dye on other clothes. Bucket only from now on!

    The mannequin really suits the monogram, it's just the right finishing touch. My son has my old light up globe in his room. Sadly I'm not sure I'll ever achieve vintage chic in there!

    Sorry you had such a hard time with the badge - I just right click on any image I want and then save to the desktop before going to 'add a picture' in the layout and uploading from there.


    Faith Hope and Charity Christmas Swap - Sign up now open!

  11. Fantastic finds! Love the globe, such a winner - and your embroidery on the mannequin looks the business :)

  12. i like the print and well done with the frame and the cross stitch...i once wanted to try dylon, gosh im so glad i didnt! I like the globe lamp hehehe by the way fantastic finds :)

    blog hopping from ta-dah tuesday over at lakota's

    Susan ( )

  13. Could try a dilute wash of white chalk paint on the yellow embroidery. I guess a small art brush would do the trick?


    1. Thanks Jackie but I'd be scared it'd wash off. I have admitted defeat!

  14. Yes, I think the chalk paint would wash off. I suppose a permanent sharpie pen might do the trick, but a bit risky. Yellow it is then:-)

  15. The mannequin is a masterpiece, and what dedication to cross -sticth initials onto hessian. I am full of admiration.

  16. Never heard of a mangle cloth before. Thank you.

  17. I love the Halloween picture, that is fabulous! Great idea to paint the frame x


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