Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The scene is set...

A few more of our Hallowe'en decorations. Hallowe'en gives me a chance to be theatrical and childish. 

                         There'll be other years when we can be scary. The princess phase won't last...(we nicked    this idea from Pinterest)

 These are some of my ancestors. I feel a bit guilty using them as Hallowe'en decorations but they look great! (Er, the photographs below, not the skull!)

There's an old gin trap on the mantelpiece. That was a car boot sale find. You can see the Devils picture in the background. Er, and a hairbrush. Actually that's probably the scariest prop in the house at the time being!

Sparkly sign from Wilkinsons
Spider web tablecloth from ebay

Have a good one! Linking up with Faith Hope and Charity shopping

Monday, 29 October 2012

Head injury, head lice and Hallowe'en witch shoes

It's been quite a full on half term already. I was called to my daughters school on Friday afternoon as she'd had a collision with a bench and had a huge egg between her eyes. Poor thing. We went to A&E to get it checked and everyone around us in the waiting room seemed to have gastroenteritis. I wanted to scream at my daughter to not touch anything in there as sick was cleaned off floors all around us. Ugh! I wanted to leave children's A&E and go and sit with the drunks.
Anyway after a few hours we got seen and were sent home with the head injury leaflet and had a thorough hand washing! Her swelling is going down and she has two lovely black eyes. That'll save on face paint on Hallowe'en!
Then yesterday we found head lice. Great. We used the Hedrin once treatment which suffocates everything in 15 mins so you can comb them all out. It is fab! It's a silicone spray and I used it on my dry damaged hair after I'd done my daughter and I reckon my hair sucked up all the silicone as once it was washed it looked fantastic, like I'd straightened it when I hadn't! I think I'm going to use this once in a while, as it's like silicone implants for your hair!
We are now gearing up for the arrival of my dad and my daughters classmates for our Hallowe'en party. I've been stealing ideas off of pinterest!
This one is really cool although I probably haven't done it justice.
Marilyn Girling from Seeing things that aren't really there invented this technique and kindly gave me permission to write about her. Her blog is full of spooky touches and theatrical ideas and I love it.
Here's what we did.

We found some shoes from a charity shop. (They look like new but one has lost the bottom of the heel.)

We stuffed the toes and covered them in papier mache. Apparently yellow pages are better than newspaper as you get a finer surface. But we didn't have any.

We did three layers, the last being white paper. Then I set my daughter to work painting them red. I'm a firm believer in child labour.
Once they were dry I fell over one and broke it and had to start the process again to repair it. This post should have been done last week! (Yes, my daughter gets her clumsiness from me!)
Once they were dry for the second time, We covered them in PVA and red glitter and put stuffed stripey socks into the shoes.
Now, really these legs should be coming out from under the shed but the weather is not being helpful today so we propped them under my daughters bed.

Aren't they fun? We're looking forward to scaring her friends on Wednesday night. We could have made them more authentic with the correct bows on the front but the party goers are 6 years old and I doubt they are movie buffs.
And Marilyn's version is here.
Happy Hallowe'en everyone!

Linking with Carter's Cottage

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Mindless vandalism... and car booty

I'm very sorry to share with you the disturbing news that our fairy garden that we worked so hard on, has been vandalised. Remember when the Blue Peter garden was vandalised, introducing the nations children to senseless crime? This is worse.
Because our delicate fairy garden has not only been dug up and the meandering sea glass pathway scattered hither and thither, it has been shat in!
Obviously this is upsetting and shocking. We live in a nice area.
Now, we didn't see who did this disgusting thing but I have my suspicions. More of that later...

On a lighter note, I scored this unusual 1940's foil and mercury glass garland at this mornings car boot sale! It was in a bag of tinsel marked 50p. It's almost 6 yards long and in fab condition!

I wrapped it around a jiffy bag to stop it getting tangled. I love this time of year when the charity shops and boot sales are starting to have vintage Xmas goodies.
I also found three nice old baubles, just in case I don't have enough.
It wasn't all good news though, I picked up three strings of vintage fairy lights in their boxes, none of which work!
You win some, you lose some.

And the vandal?  I think it's one of these guys. Note how they're desperately trying to look endearing here. A sure sign of guilt...

I'm onto them.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Bauble audit...

You know when I said, ''There's no such thing as too many vintage baubles''?

I lied.

Er, I have a 'thing' for vintage Xmas decs. This is just the baubles....

Most are destined to leave but I need to look at them altogether so I can decide what goes and what stays and what goes with what. Luckily my husband is out. He finds this sort of behavior quite worrying.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Car boot sale finds and a fairy invasion...

After spending time googling Fairy garden images, my daughter and I decided to have a go at building one. We had this old shallow sink type thing  in the back garden that I'd never known what to do with. We managed to move it without breaking it but it weighs a ton. Then we hit the garden centre looking for tiny trees. The results of our hard work?

It's a work in progress! We need more plants and a fairy house but it was a lot of fun!

The path is sea glass and the patio is stone tiles...

The fairies are very happy. My friend enquired as to whether we were opening a new attraction for half term.

I said either that or calling Rentokill. 

It was a good boot sale on Sunday and I managed to score this wire and linen noticeboard for £1. 


I love it!

It's got this beautiful twisted wire all over it. This is SOOO me!
And I got a lovely old fishing creel. This one is very big.

 I had a smaller one and my daughters Disney princesses figures lived in there but they have outgrown it. It's nice to hide them away! The old creel has moved upstairs as a home for loo paper.
I will no doubt do a paint effect on this, like I did with the old one but it can wait for warmer weather as I do it on the lawn. Here's the old one I did a Farrow and Ball wash on...

  I love that pale basket look but it's very messy to do. The newer creel has an aged patina anyway so there's no rush.
The most exciting news I have to share as that we had our first flooring guy round! Woo hoo! I will share how disgusting our floors are when the flooring is done. Which should be before Xmas! It's been a long wait..

Friday, 12 October 2012

How to create an illusion for a photo shoot...

This is a good tip for staging things that you might want to sell on ebay. Because people WILL judge you on your carpet!

Take a good wall in your house. This is newly painted and panelled and as yet remains undinged. But oh dear, look at that ugly lino!

Luckily we have a loft full of off cuts of new carpet from my old house!

Oh look, now we're in a spacious luxuriously carpeted bedroom! Probably in Sweden. (Would be even better if I could crop out the bottom of the kitchen door!)
Shh! Don't tell anyone!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Bedside/Telephone table in milk paint

Remember this?
A shabby little bedside/telephone table from the Salvation Army shop.

A bit of milk paint (Homestead House in Canada - Champlain) and waxing and now it's like this

Roses for Hakan! (David Austen -Queen of Sweden) I think they may be the last blooms of the year.

I had trouble with the distressing as there was something lumpy on the sandpaper and it scratched weird marks in the paint. I had to repaint it. Once you embrace the fact that you're not going to get an opaque coverage then using the milk paint is fine. And once the wax is on it always looks so much better.
I like to stipple the dark wax on with an old paintbrush as it adds another dimension to the final texture. A kind of speckledy finish.
And as usual, in my haste to finish it, I dark waxed at night and spent this morning scrubbing half of it off. I can hear my mothers voice. ''A monkey would've learnt by now!''

Delighted to be linking up with
From My Front Porch Yo Yours

Miss Mustard Seed

The Rose Garden in Malevick; Saturday show off

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