Crafts · create · Painting · She Shed · studio

She shed or We shed? decor

Come into my studio…..

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It was a lot of fun deciding what to put in my new shed/studio. I wrote  about the construction in a previous post here

The furniture was made to my specification and was  painted with @DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint. The colour used is called Everlasting, a very soft white.

This paint is so easy to use and gives excellent coverage when updating furniture and accessories. The best thing is no priming or sanding is required; this saves lots of time and effort.

To seal the pieces and add durability I then brushed on two coats of Americana Matte Varnish        

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Now for the accessories…..

I love the trolley/cart purchased from @Hobbycraft and painted some accessories to match it using DecoArt Multi Purpose Paint in Soft Jade – what a great match!

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This chandelier was in the attic for around 20 years! It was really rusty and, to be honest looked ok but not quite the look I wanted.

I removed the original drops and replaced them with a selection of coloured crystal ones. I didn’t have any purple ones so I coloured a few  with a purple Sharpie to co-ordinate with the velvet sofa (you could also use DecoArt Glass Paint). After painting it with the Soft Jade paint I sanded it in parts to give a more vintage look.

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The piece de resistance for me is the armoire. It was made to my spec and holds lots of my favourite things, including pointe shoes I decorate with hand crafted silk ribbon roses. The bottom drawer holds fabric and embroidery hoops.

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I found this garland @The Range at a bargain price of £10.99 and glued on a few more roses for effect. You can never have too many roses!!

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I have some lovely antique lace I wanted to keep tidy so I printed off  images from @thegraphicsfairy,  photos of roses in our garden and some I had painted, and made the shaped cards. The lace stencil, and the image on my paint storage cupboards are both from http://www.decoart.com

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Some of my hand painted cards

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I have had this book  for almost 70 years! It is huge and I can only imagine how I must have felt owning this book that was probably taller than I was!

Some of my felt hearts embellished with embroidery and tatting

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This lovely girl was painted for me by my very dear Facebook friend, Laurie May

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A get well card from my headmistress and school friends when I was 14!

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French linen cushions – I painted the front one with with DecoArt So-Soft Fabric Paint. This amazing paint really is soft and can be washed time after time. The little angel is an image downloaded from the Graphics Fairy 

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Every craft room needs a pin board – I may decorate this at a future date, but don’t want it to look too fussy. It currently holds an eclectic mix of fabric painting, embroidery, tatting, silk ribbon flowers and hand made jewellery.

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The best artificial flowers ever are from Bloom UK – this is their meadow flowers arrangement. Apart from the fact that it’s the wrong time of year I would defy anyone to notice they are not real.

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Finally the furniture…….

I knew exactly what I wanted and was very lucky.

The lovely velvet chair and sofa are from TK Maxx (TJ Maxx if  you are in the US) and fit the bill perfectly. I feel that adding them makes this a place where I can tidy away my craft stuff and use the shed as extra living room. My husband Bill and I often sit in the evening with a glass of wine – hence the name She Shed – We Shed

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I feel so lucky to have this place to create, relax and display all these little things that mean so much to me.

Thanks for visiting – please leave a comment and come back to the shed soon!

Crafts · create · Silk ribbon

Decorate a ballet shoe competition

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Two of my  favourite thinks, apart from raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, are  being creative and watching ballet.

I embellish pointe shoes with silk ribbon roses. The ribbon is hand dyed to give an ombré effect and I use all kinds of things to make each one different. This can be antique lace, Swarovski crystals, pearls, feathers, fringe etc

I love the little Giselle book in this photo. When I was a child in the late forties/early fifties we were only allowed to read it if we were unwell, as a treat. I never saw an actual ballet until my husband and I visited St Petersburg for our silver wedding and we were lucky enough to have been booked a box at the Kirov. The ballet, of course, was Giselle. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

I was delighted when @Grishko recently used a photo of one of my decorated pointe shoes to start a competition for others to decorate a shoe.

The link, if you wish to enter is #Xmasgrishkodecor

Good Luck

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Crafts · create · Painting · She Shed · studio

She Shed? We shed

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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I am so happy with my new she shed/we shed – most of the time it is for my use but already my husband Bill and I are sharing nice times in it……hence the name.

There were so many considerations when designing the shed and we were lucky to find Allan, a top notch tradesman, who had done work for us about 15 years ago. Allan is one of these hard-to-find guys who work in tandem with you and is happy to make changes as the work progresses. He even made a bespoke armoire and paint storage table from scratch (pictures will be in my next blog).

This is a really solid shed as quality wood was used and there is 5” deep insulation in the ceiling, walls and floor. Although this greatly added to the cost it means it will be more comfortable to be in.  I can design projects, create and paint here with all my books and materials to hand. I have been teaching various crafts for 20 years so have a lot of stuff!

The colour used on the outside is Seagrass by @Cuprinol. As soon as the weather improves I will paint the window boxes in a contrasting colour.

The fun part was, of course, deciding how to decorate the inside and I will share pictures in my next blog. All I can say us I am delighted with the result

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Silk ribbon

Pointe shoes…..

 

 

BA2C4462-B224-468F-A7FB-86F8DFB433F8“Can beauty make you cry?”

This is what I asked my husband when we were in a very special place. 25 years ago we visited St Petersburg to visit our daughter who was at university there. We had a marvellous time…..Maxine took us to the Hermitage, the St Petersburg Jazz Club, the Philarmonic Hall and last, but not least, the Kirov Theatre, previously called the Maryinski.

It was the first time we had been to see a ballet and it was such an unforgettable experience.  We sat in a box just below what had been the Tzar’s box. We were handed pearlised opera glasses and, incredibly, did not pay a deposit!  The intermission was so civilised with tiny little bars dotted around selling champagne and caviar.

Giselle was a beautiful ballet and I will never forget the Willies gliding across the stage like beautiful dolls.

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7BE83E81-695F-4148-A2FB-28114A6D922CI don’t think anything else will ever have the same effect on me, and that is why I asked if beauty can make you cry.

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25 years later, I still love ballet and have managed to combine it with my creative side. I love to decorate pointe shoes in my own style; I buy pure silk ribbon, dye it and sew roses. Each rose is unique with different colours and shape.  Adding braid, ribbon, rhinestones and pieces of vintage jewellery adds to the look.

Thank you for visiting and Merry Christmas,

Gill

 

 

Crafts

All wrapped up for Christmas

 

 

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For me, wrapping a gift is a really satisfying thing to do. There are so many options available, with beautiful paper and trimmings available. I tend to use embellishments I already have – these include foliage & herbs from the garden, brown paper and twine (great for gifts for the men in your life). For ladies I sometimes embellish with broken jewellery pieces, recycled ribbon, scarves etc.

Last week I had a necklace to wrap to give my daughter. I did have  a black box the right size but it was too plain and had writing on it.  I glued a piece of lovely flocked wrapping paper from @Costco on the top then added red velvet rose trimming I purchased in the amazing Garment District in New York. I then wrapped the decorated box with the same paper and felt this made it really unique, she can throw away the outer paper and keep the box (below) with the necklace in it.

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If I am buying paper I like to get it from Costco, the fact that is has squares marked on the back makes it so easy to cut and crease. A few years ago I was featured in the Costco Connection magazine and using the the lovely paper and ribbon they provided made wrapping an absolute joy. May I add I am not being paid for this post.

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Here are some of my gift wraps from Christmases past

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My top tips for wrapping are:

Always work on a hard surface

Place the gift in a box for easier wrapping

Use the seamless method whereby the paper join is on a long edge and doesn’t  show

Keep a stock of brown paper and white tissue paper in the house and you will never be stuck

Learn basic Furoshiki wrapping – great for wrapping bottles and books

Learn how to tie a classic Tiffany bow using double sided satin ribbon – add a rhinestone brooch and make a statement!

Thanks for visiting. I hope you have a peaceful and happy Christmas

Gill

Crafts

Painted roses

Who doesn’t love roses?

 

 

I love growing them, drying them, sewing them with silk ribbon and painting them

This  was card made with this Sizzix On The Edge Die and I could not wait to make some with painted roses.  The lacy edge combined with pale roses is stunning. I love painting on black  and the cards look amazing with either coloured inserts or a greeting written with white ink

 

If you would like to learn decorative painting it is easier than you think as you build on your skills stroke by stroke…….it is similar to the way you learn the alphabet or a musical instrument, rather than being born with “artistic talent”.  I believe everyone is born with some creativity but often lack of confidence and self doubt gets in the way of it! I didn’t start painting until I was 55 and many good painters only take it up when they retire.

I teach arts and crafts on cruise ships, and one of my favourite things is seeing passengers who have just completed a craft project for the very first time.

I also run workshops in my garden studio near Edinburgh.

If you want to start painting there are many helpful links with ideas, tips and projects. 

There are hundreds of projects for all skill levels on the DecoArt site

I painted these cards with DecoArt Americana Paint on black card. …….it is a quality paint with a smooth consistency and  comes in a wide range of colours

 

 

 

 

Give it a try…….you will love it!

 

Painting

Canal Boat Painting is fun

I have been working on some new designs to teach on  cruises later this year.

One of my classes will be canal boat (narrow boat) painting for beginners.

Traditionally oil based paint was used for this technique, but I will be using DecoArt Traditions. These are really good quality acrylic paints which will more than stand up to any uses my students will have for their finished items – not much chance they will be painting canal boats!

There are many books available……I really like this one by Anne Young

This style of painting is not too difficult if you are prepared to practice stroke work.
Happy painting
Gill
Uncategorized

How to stiffen tatting

I first used home made stiffener many many years ago when I crocheted baskets, snowflakes and doilies.
I made my own stiffener by dissolving sugar in boiled water. Although this did work it had certain disadvantages such as it being sticky and messy. There was aleays the risk of burnt fingers too! Also the sugar can attract pests……not a good look!
Another method you can use is making up a mix of white glue and water, but this entails measuring, mixing and mess.
I was delighted to test  DecoArt  Fabric Stiffener and it worked a treat on my tatting  – no more messy pots, bowls, measuring or burnt fingers!
Americana Fabric Stiffener can be used to shape and stiffen silk flowers, appliqués, lace, fabric, ribbon, crochet and tatting. It gives a long lasting finish and dries clear. You can add paint to it to change the colour if you can paint it when dry.
To use it simply either pour some into a bowl and immerse the item or apply to both sides with a small brush.
I prefer the brush method for tatting as it so delicate and the spaces could get clogged.
 Although one  coat   would suffice I applied two coats to each side allowing it to dry overnight
You can see on this two layer piece how well it worked and how the centre stands up nicely.
I am not posting before and after pictures as it would be difficult to show how stiff the pieces are.
These hearts are a tatting pattern by Decorama

I stiffened pieces tatting with cotton crochet thread and c-Lon nylon thread and it worked well on both

This product is:
water based
Non-toxic
Non-flammable
Soap and water clean up
If you have never tatted before but would like to try there are lots of tutorials and videos online. It is a very nice craft to do and I like the fact that it is so transportable (is that a word?)
Please feel free to contact me if I can help with links etc
Gill