Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Love 'n' handmade silk flowers

It's the middle of September guys, where has this year gone? Did I sleep through the summer cos I sure as hell missed it!
Seriously we've hardly been able to string together one week of nice warm days over the last few months here in the Highlands. I am desperate for some warmth and with Xmas only round the corner I don't fancy my chances of getting any  - there's only so much these coastal views make up for - I need a holiday somewhere warm, preferably the Carribbean!

Anyway with the weather being so damp it's taking my furniture much longer to dry and cure. Unfortunately my workshop has but one piddly window and that faces North so we get no sun in there and the wind has blown in every direction except the one I need - typical.
I simply refuse to give up on the outdoor projects and stay indoors doing all manner of crafty goodness (remind me exactly why I am refusing this), I'm just having to learn a bit of patience (and 'a bit' is as far as I've gotten) and let nature take its course -though I am considering giving it a helping hand by wheeling a big dryer into the workshop. There's no way I can work like this for much longer.

Righto I must stop this whining.
I have at least managed to finish one project! yay! A tad small though and really should only have taken a day or so but with the damp air......... there I go whining again.

I found this cute 'Love' sign at our local  factory shop (local to me is 20 miles away) and whipped it up for £3 bargain!

The first thing I did was trace the letters onto some MDF, never know when I may need another one!
Initially I had planned to paint the back and decoupage the front of the letters in something to match our bedroom. In fact this was one of the rare times that I actually did  'plan', but in typical 'me' fashion I  changed my mind mid paint and completely deviated from the plan. And that is why I don't usually plan!
I painted it cream as per 'plan' and then sponged the edges as per' plan' ready to let it dry and decoupage it.
However, it looked like this

Yuk! This is the first thing I've ever sponged the edges of and so I wasn't really brave doing it but even so........
I them decided to paint it the purply plum colour I've used on other furniture for the bedroom and see what that looked like.
Once it had dried though I didn't like seeing the brush strokes in the paint so I started to gently sand it down - I say 'gently sand it' however when the sand paper you use is high grit it kinda defeats the purpose, but oh well.
As the edges became worn with the sanding I found I really liked the effect so decided to keep it that way.
This is what it looks like now

Not everyones cup of tea but I 'love' it!

Most of you know that we recently moved into a brand new home, every bit of it built by my husband with as much help as myself, Stacey & Leanne could muster and I really wanted as much of the inside to be hand made or renovated by myself as possible - my contribution if you like!
When it came to our bedroom I had bought the bed linen months in advance - a range called 'Rosina' by Catherine Lansfield - I fell in love with this range for 2 reasons - 1), it's sooooooo pweety and 2),Rosina is my middle name.
Anyway when it came to the curtains I wanted to stay within the same design range because there are too many variations of 'Plum' and I wanted to ensure the curtains matched. Problem was that for full lengths curtains I was looking at alot of money for two windows, so I decided I'd buy one set of curtains at 90" x 90" giving me the full length I wanted but would also be able to halve each curtain therefore giving me two pairs of full length, lined curtains (and saving a packet).
But I was halfway through sewing up the final curtain when I realised I'd only have one set of tiebacks - duh!
Having never made tiebacks before I was dubious about trying but I had some cream fabric that matched the cream in the curtains beautifully and actually managed to produce 4 tiebacks.
This left me  looking at the lovely Plum satin type material that the  original tiebacks were made of and trying to come up with something I could make that would enhance the new tie backs I'd made.

Ta da!

Fiddly but definitely doable and worth it.
I cut each tie back into 4 strips and singed one of the raw edges over a candle. This not only seals the raw edge from fraying but gives it that darker edge too, plus singeing with candles is reeeeally therapuetic.
I then ran the other edge of each piece up the sewing machine on a long straight stitch and then gathered the strip by pulling on the end of the thread, as each flower uses two strips I gathered the one to be used first a little tighter as it would form the centre of the flower.
I wrapped the first strip round a piece of wire, gathering it as I went and added pleats or folds as necessary and then the second strip was added much more loosely. Once at the end I wrapped it tightly with masking tape and took it off the wire. I then added another strip of cream in the same fashion as the others because I wanted a bigger flower than I was getting with just the Plum strips.
Once I had fluffed each flower to my liking I attached them to the tiebacks  by cutting a slit in the top piece of fabric (these tiebacks are 2 layered) next to the hook and inserted the taped end of the flower and set it in there using 'Fixsal' glue.

These tiebacks really do look lovely and for a first attempt I'm really chuffed with them.

Now I shall give you a little peek at what I'm working on at the moment:
I fell in love with this chest of drawers at a charity shop in town. Going for £20 I was too tight fisted to buy it at the time but soon regreted it and talked hubby into taking me back the next day to buy it.
I spent the entire journey there praying no one had bought it and kicking myself for not snapping up in the first place.

Don't like the handles or those plastic feet but it's well built and is going to look fabulous with a transformation.

A few days later in the same charity shop (a rarity for me as I hardly ever go out let alone into town) I spotted a side unit. Bit funky looking and I hate the sliding glass doors but I know exactly what I want to do with it and where it's going to go. well actually I bought it for the dining room but it's now going in the living room - once it's been transformed of course!

And only £5!

I've been wanting to make a couple of coat hooks for a while now and what I really wanted was some Iron hooks mounted onto wood but the cost of iron hooks is ridiculous, especially for a back hallway never to be seen. So for £1 each I got these

Ugly huh? Have some faith though, they're gonna look great!

I'm also working on a really old wardrobe which has so far in this current makeover changed colour 4 times - no wonder it's taking so long. But there's been good reason for it and I will share the whole sorry saga with you once it's finished.
Plus I'll introduce you to Lita - be prepared to be cutified by her cutiness.

Thanks for popping by and come back soon.


This post is linked to

'Tip Junkie - Tip Me Tusday'
'not just a housewife'
'Ginger Snap Crafts'
'I'm Topsy Turvy'
'Funky Polka Dot Giraffe'
'Nifty Thrifty things' 
'The Creative Institute' 
'JAQS studio'


John Clark said...

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Silk Flowers

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