Tuesday, 30 October 2012

R You Ready?

Way back when, 2009 to be precise, when No.1 (and only) Son was born, I bought a letter 'A' to hang in his nursery. Because, although I tend to refer to him on here as DC, his name actually begins with the letter 'A' (DC stands for Darling Child, or Devil Child as a friend of mine once suggested), so the letter 'A' seemed appropriate.
Then it dawned on me that perhaps I could spell out his entire name. The only issue is that there are 6 letters in his name and at £10 per letter, that would have set me back £60 (math brain) and I am WAAAAAY to cheap to be spending that sort of money on a few measly letters.

Fast forward at least a year and I stumbled across this little letter 'h' in a vintage store in Lyme Regis. It cost a whopping £4.
Fast forward a little more and I found this letter 'T' at one of the regualr vintage fairs held in Somerton. I think it cost £2 or £3.
A little while later I found myself in the shop of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (in Chicago, funnily enough), where I spied this rather impressive letter 'r'. I think it cost $16 or so.
A few days later I was in New York and found this letter 'U' in Urban Outfitters. It cost $8.

So, that's an A, H, T, R, U.... can you guess what it is yet?

But still, I was missing one letter. And no matter where I looked, I couldn't find that letter anywhere. So, in the end, I decided to make one.

I took the 'R' I already had and drew round it on three peices of card.
Then I cut them out and glued the three pieces together to make it a bit thicker and sturdier.
Then I got hold of one of DC's old babygros that I'd been keeping for just such a crafting opportunity.
Cut out a piece from the back.
Laid my 'R' on top.
And started glue-ing.

Til it looked like this.

Then it was time to nail/stick all the letters on the wall in the right order...

It's only taken three years.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Bat-tastic Branches

With Hallowe'en fast approaching, I took inspiration from this photo seen in one of the many home magazines I read each month. I feel awful for not being able to properly give credit for it, but it's from one of several possibles including, but not limited to, Country Living, Period Homes, Country Homes and Interiors, coast, Martha Stewart Living, etc, etc.

Adamant that this should be a no-cost bit of Hallowe'en crafting, I hunted high and low for some black card in the house - even going so far as to rifle through the recycling bin, but to no avail. However, in one of the many boxes/crates that I keep my crafting tat in, I did find some black tissue paper, so that had to do.

I sat down to draw a bat shape and my mind went blank, so I pulled out my copy of Martha Stewart's Hallowe'en book and used this template
 with a slight amendment.
Then I folded the paper concertina-style, drew round the first bat and cut out the shape; lo and behold: more bats. They're all a bit odd looking, but odd looking is what Hallowe'en is all about, non?
Then I glued a piece of black cotton to the back of one of the bats and hung him on a branch. And that was a total disaster; the cotton/tissue paper weight imbalance was too much and the bat was left hanging horizontally. Time for a rethink. Clearly the bat's body needed some extra weight to keep it vertical. Another look in the recycling bin and I found the perfect bat body material:
Cut out a basic bat body shape, affix cotton to one side
affix body to bat.
Et voila; success!
Hang all bats from branches and invite small child to 'blow' so that the bats flutter around.
Instead, he decided to give one a kiss (or perhaps wipe his snotty nose on it.)
Ta-daaaah. Bat-tastic branches with bats that flutter in the breeze.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Little Table Makeover

Quite some time ago I rescued this sorry looking table-cum-plant stand from the rubbish heap. My mum was about to throw it out but I, being the consumate hoarder that I am, said 'No! Don't throw it away. Let me have it.' And a plan to give it a little overhaul hatched in my brain.

I think it's fair to say, he's not really a looker.
Come, admire the faux-leather centre circle and the peeling varnish.

First job was to take him (yes, it's definitely a him - for the time being) to pieces.
Unscrew the tripod legs.
Unscrew the pole in the middle. 
 Et voila.

Then I ripped off that horrendous piece of faux leather, which was like tearing off a plaster, without any of the pain.
Then it was time to give all the pieces a good old rub down with some sandpaper.
Before slapping on some primer.

And a couple of coats of paint - Laura Ashley Water Based Eggshell in Eau de Nil

Et voila.
But what to do with that still grotty looking centre circle? You can see in the photo above that where I'd ripped off the faux leather sticking plaster, it had left a nasty mark/dent in the varnish (you can see it as a slightly different colour in the paint on the bottom of the centre circle.)

Well.... It just so happened that part of my master plan involved this little off cut of wallpaper that was left over from our bedroom and living room way back when at our house in Reading.
A lovely bit of Cath Kidston Antique Rose.
Luckily, I had kept the nasty bit of faux leather for just this moment, so I drew around it on the back of the wallpaper (and then took great delight in throwing it in the bin), and cut out the circle.
I merrily slapped some trusty Mod Podge on the table and the back of the wallpaper, then stuck the two together.
 Then a coat of Mod Podge on top for a little extra protection.
 And here we have it, a real pig's ear of a mess complete with bubbles and ridges.
However, the next morning when the Mod Podge had properly dried, it wasn't looking so bad.
And there we have it, one totally transformed table-cum-plant stand. The only trouble is that there's actually nowhere for it to live in our house. And Mum doesn't want it back either...