Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Busy busy busy!

Well, I just can't belive where the time has gone.  My weekend just flew past in a blink of an minute, 3 great days ahead to ponder what to do and the next .....the weekend was over!....Saturday was going to be a baking day...but it just didn't happen......  because I found out that our local garden nursery was due to close and everything was going for a mere snip of the original price....Sad in one way that we were about to lose such a great store but grateful of an opportunity to buy some more basic materials for more of our outdoor projects at knock down prices.

This is how my weekend panned out:

Saturday: food shopping, bargain shopping at the nursery, off to the river to pick up some more rejected bits of driftwood, back home to build a step (with my recycled materials which were previously collected) for outside the Cottage Craft Studio (photos to follow), back down the river to take the dog for a walk, putting on a few loads of washing, cooking dinner and then an evening crashed out on the sofa!

Sunday: Breakfast, taking the dog for her morning walk, in the kitchen putting up a cabinet and some hooks, then out in the afternoon and evening for a family party!

Monday: Going back to the nursery for some more bargains (had a second thought on how much we needed) a bit of cleaning, out the front starting the front garden renovation....weeding, then out in the car to get some horse manure to  build up the flower bed....Hmmmmmn that was a smelly job!  Pressing Apples from our tree for lovely delicious juice and after a bit of blackberry picking. Ades dad came for dinner....then again a bit of down time chilling on the sofa.

Phew! a Busy weekend.  Most of this week has been spent tidying my Craft Studio again! A job which I really wished I never started but its one that just had to be done...and now it is I am really pleased at the result.

This weekend and next week is going to consist of some more crafty creative sessions for me I think! I have got plenty of things to do so hopefully I'll post lots of photos of what I've been making.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Wake up with a Smile!

There's always time in the morning to make something delicious and packed full of goodness!  Most mornings I create a quick thick fruit milkshake as part of my "five a day " fruit and veg consumption.  It always makes me smile when I drain the glass of this most scrummy liquid breakfast epsecially when it leaves that tell tale milky lipstick mark and you have to tidy yourself up afterwards....Hey I guess I must be drinking it too fast!

All you need is:       Frozen fruit, I used a mix of red berries, natural yoghurt, honey to sweeten and milk. (you can also pop in any fresh fruit you have too)

Just pouring the milk in!  Then take a kitchen hand blitzer tool and blitz until the fruit is broken up, the one you use to blend soup with, or you can also use a mixer blender.  (I use the hand held tool as it can go in any tall jug and blended in seconds.)  I don't over blend as the frozen fruit keeps that chilled thick shake consistency.

All finished off with a natural yoghurt heart.  Made with love!  Now thats gonna make you smile.

Have a great, happy day....enjoy and make new happy memories! 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

My Clock Makeover

I am having a busy day today sorting out my dispaly stand of crafts for the WI (Womens Institute) open evening which I happily volunteered to do a small display table and now I learn I am the only one doing something??? Hmmmn Shame on you WI members (no, just kidding).  Anyway, I popped into my craft room to get some bits together and an hour or so later I suddenly noticed my clock had stopped.  I promptly changed the battery and for some unexplicable reason my thoughts suddenly turned to how boring it looked.  I asked myself that oh so familiar question "how could I up-date this out of character pink clock" (which I think I paid £1 in a charity shop some years ago.)  Well, here's what happened:

My pale pink clock which really didn't go in the cottage and just ended up in the craft studio.

With the glass covered with scrap paper I sprayed it with Montana Gold spray in a taupe colour (its called Flesh # 8190) I had these spray cans left over from some artwork I did.

Looking good so far,  next came a quick layer of Adirondak Alcohol inks...Mushroom and Expresso applied on one pad at the same time.  Had to be fairly quick with this as the ink dried quickly.

Next came a little bit of guilding wax.  I used Metallic Rub-Ons, Deep Gold, I had to go gently with this as it was best to apply it in small amounts and just a tint it on the edges and a small amount on the inner curves.  Lovely!

Eh Voila! A lovely old rusty looking vintage clock. I know what you're thinking the face looks a bit white, well I may vintage that up a bit later.

The lovely old look of patina!

I love that rusty old metallic look.  This took me half and hour which included the paint drying!  It just goes to show theres new life in any object it just needs a bit of vision and a few craft supplies. (I may add a coat of matt varnish to protect it beause it may chip off in time but as this is going to be on a wall it should be ok)

Hope you enjoyed my mini makeover, back to work for me now!  You are welcome to pass it on if you think your friends may like this post.

Have a lovely day.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Treasured Junk Sale Finds

An early start for me this morning, with family in tow (and I must admit there were a few moans and groans...but they did volunteer to come) we headed off to our local Junk Sale or Boot Sale as they call it here.

This was my first purchase from a really sweet lady with a great sense of humour, she knew exactly my concern when I asked how heavy it was and without any hesitation she reappeared from the back of her van with a rusty old red sack barrow.  Thank god for that I thought. My next job was to gently break it to Adie that he was needed and it really wasn't as heavy as it looked. It all went very well really, a swift jaunt back to the car and job done!  It is now in situ in the front of the cottage...I would have liked something a bit more ethereal but it'll do for now. I may well use it to seat fairies?  I just love the sound of running water!   

This cushion really caught my eye, I am a sucker for french writing!

Just cant resist a lovely piece of china and the shabby roses on this bowl and the gold printing are just so pretty.

I thought this was so unusual, as soon as I saw it I snapped it up.  The lady I bought it from said it was from the 1950's.  I'm not sure how clear the photo is....It has a a larger display plate on the bottom then a rack of 6 small dishes as all part of the one stand.  Not sure where its going to go in the cottage...It'll be interesting to see where it ends up.

I think this noticeboard was originally from BHS ...I love it but I may revamp it a bit as I am not sure if I like the pink ribbon.  I have some cream grosgrain ribbon which I think may look better.

Well, this one was a bargain ....£1 .  It is so sad that somebody's hard work is valued at so little as this was all handcrafted..  You can just see the rest of the canvass on the edge it was obviously a piece that was finished but not displayed.  I am so pleased I have the chance to showcase somebody elses talent in my home and it wont go to waste. I may use it to reupholster a stool.

These great crochet pieces were sold as one lot, just jumbled in a bag.  I had a sneaky peek and saw a couple of pieces I liked but when I got the bag home and took a look I was overjoyed to see a fair amount that I really liked.  Most of these are silk thread pieces and I am now thinking of a multitude of uses...oooooh its so exciting I can't wait.

I am getting the feeling, though, that I am collecting so many things but nothing is being acheived yet, so I may be a bit quiet next week. I have a hectic week anyway although I am on holiday from work but hopefully I'll make a start.

Hope you all have a good week.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Never One to Miss an Opportunity!

As you know I really am never one to miss a good opportunity when it comes along and slaps you in the face right between the eyes.  A quick visit, early this morning, to the supermarket has just come up trumps!  The journey back was, as you would expect, quite run of the mill, chatting with Adie about how much we'd spent on food and how much we'd saved going to Aldi's, the cheaper superstore (don't tell my mum....she really is a food snob and just scoffs at the thought of "shopping at that cheap place" as she calls it) .....when ....wham!  there it was, a glorious yellow skip jam packed full of slate roof tiles...."woooo" I cried, "stop the car!"   Adie being Adie did no such thing so it was then left for me to convince him that this sort of find doesn't come along too often and how wonderful it would be to re-style the front garden with new shrubs and lovely slate chippings!  Eventually after a lot of discussion whilst hurriedly putting the shopping in its rightful place he relented and gave in to my whining. Off we went, car protected with blankets and gardening gloves in hand.  On arrival we asked politely if we could offer her slate tiles a new home and gratefully agreed.

Well, 2 car loads later and here we are, a heavenly supply of lovely grey slate, ready and waiting for another of our projects.

Most of the slate will be made into chippings for the garden but some f it is new slate (offcuts from the new roof I think) and I will be making some shabby chic plaques to go around the cottage and garden.  Would love to hear your ideas for any other uses for this great material.

Have a great weekend.

My thought for the Week

Its better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all

Having had to go to a funeral yesterday I feel this is a quote that can at least put a tiny amount of perspective in a very sad and traumatic time in ones life. 

Friday, 19 August 2011

An Empty house!

Aaaah, Rache (my daughter) and Adie (my hubby) have gone to work, Phil has just left for the V festival  and the dog has been walked and is now settled. Calm has now enveloped Autumn Cottage.  Bliss!  My coffee is poured and I now have time to chat for just a short while.   

I have a huge task ahead in my Craft Studio.  It is just bulging at the seams and cannot take another craft morsel being put in there. So todays challenge is to tidyup. (sorry WC makeover will now be a bit delayed)

In fact this could take me all of next week.  I love this room but its just not pretty enough for me ...if that makes sense.  A feeling of shabby chic elegance needs to be introduced.  Visions are now wofting from my mind, a spotty or floral oil cloth on the table,  cafe curtains at the windows, the clutter cleared into pretty baskets,containers and bottles....oh yes, thats sparked a bit of interest.  I am now thinking this may take me more than a day and I may need to go shopping for some vintage containers.

Whilst I was in there this morning I came across a small box of these, scented rose petals.  I made them for a craft event last year and had a few left.  They make great little pressies for girl friends, home dried rose petals gift packaged with love (I sometimes add a liitle extra rose essential oil to give that aroma that just oozes from the bag) . Sometimes its nice to pop a basket of these in your WC with a little note "please take one for your home"  Its surprising how many friends love a little unexpected gift and can't wait to come again!   You'll never be short of friends!

I also came across my template for my bird house, I just adore this little thing, its a shame its not weatherproofed as I would hang lots of these from my apple tree...Hmmmmn I wonder if I could do one thats weatherproofed, now that another thought for a project.   These are pretty to hang around the house for storing pot pouri in and also mini versions are great ornaments for the christmas tree or if you have a summer party and just want add something to the bunting hang a few of these nearby ...just delightful!

Coffee's finished so my time is up and I must now depart the cyberworld for some serious work.

Have a lovely day and please leave comments to let me know you are there and if you have any crafting ideas for those outdoor parties or gifts for friends.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Its a Bloomin Good LIfe!

Just stopping by for a short while to put a few photos on.  Its a cold miserable day here in the UK and I feel the need for a quick boost of happiness!

My Salad basket from last year, Practical and looks good.

This is a hibiscus, close up.  The middle looks a bit like a yummy flavoured chocolate.

I love taking photos of flowers and plants as they are so architechural and make great pieces of artwork for the cottage.

How dreary our lives would be without plant life, can you colourful blooms or lucious foliage.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The WC makover

After lots of days out I now have to get on with some work for the Cottage makeover.  The smallest room is the first to get a bashing around then a glamorous new look.  I just have to decide on the look I want which is usually where I have to really have to stop my mind from wandering off in all sorts of different I go for the white and neutral or perhaps the shabby chic chintzy look or be a bit bolder with a colour and make a statement.  Hmmmmn not sure at the moment so I'm going off to do some research read a few mags and take in a few blogs to get a feel for where I'm heading.

This is gonna need a repaint and I am thinking of changing the panel for something repurposed ....something with a bit more character.  This needs to stay as it hides the pipes for the underfloor heating.

As you can see there's not too much to this room but as is my way I want to make it special. The natural light is not great here as its on a north facing wall but that shouldn't be too much of a challenge.  The challenge I have got is a crack that appears in the wall above the radiator cover. It goes right up the wall and I guess its one of those that'll just keep appearing.  So any ideas would be great.  I have thought about the wood panelling and taking it three quarters of the way up the wall and then incorporating a small shelf.    In fact I need as much help as I can get so all ideas would be very welcome. 

Burnham up-date

Had a fabulicious day yesterday in Burnham, relaxed, a bit chilly, a bit windy, lovely lunch and met some lovely people.  I poodled on in to 2 great shops and I snapped a few pics of their lovely things (lots of naurical bits plus fused glass and jewellery... but I wont post them till I have the owners permission, so keep posted on that one.

Saw the most yummy dinghy which would look just perfect in by small walled garden...Hmmn..I think just under the apple tree with lovely striped cotton ticking cushions for a nautical sunbed. Will not have to source one for myself but it may take some time!

and how about this for a wonderful beach house and it is up for sale....and yes I have taken a look on line and yes it is a dream house with a dream house price tag! That reminds me I must buy a lottery ticket this week!

I have taken this picture from the Agents listing.  Click here to take a look     If I had the money I would buy it!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Again another fantastic morning.

The sun is out again and the car is loaded.  I am off on another trip for day, this time going to Burnham-on-Sea to take in the scenery and the village life there.  I am hoping, perhaps I may pick up a good junk find but I am not sure how I'll get it in the car as I am taking my father-in-law, my mum and Rache (my daughter)...could be apacked trip on the way back.  They have some lovely bespoke shops there as well a quaint river front place packed with locally crafted items...hhhhmm can 't wait...the excitment is building! I am hoping to take some unusual photos for future artwork.  Heres hoping.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Great day Sketching by the River

I feel like a happy girl.  Adie and I have just got back from a day on Wallasea Island which is very near to where we live.  There's not a great deal on the island but we sat on the shore overlooking the town of Burnham-on -sea which is always buzzing with activity.  The marina thrives and bursts to the full with gleaming white yachts and cruisers and we were quite happy to watch the comings and goings of the sea fairing traffic.  (our gaze followed a police boat that raced out after a speed boat obviously going beyond the permitted speed limit.  A tame chase I guess, as the police boat was really no match and it seemed they were not going to stop for anyone.)

The idea behind this trip was for Adie to start his first piece of artwork for our Home Gallery and for me to hunt for more goodies which have been graciously coughed up by the foaming sea.  It was indeed a success. Adie enjoyed his pencil sketch but it came to a halt when unfortunately a wasp decided to indiscriminately target his knee for a good place to plant a sting.  They are so mean wasps there is no rhyme or reasons behind why they sting....they just do!  In the mad panic we both leapt to our feet and flapped our arms, as one does in these situations, before regaining a calm and dignified pose.  It was only then that Adie realised he had lost his pencil rubber.  His arty time was scuppered and he called it a day.

Well as you can imagine this left me with a dilemma....was this now a good time to tell Adie I had found some rather nice boards very near to where we found our posts yesterday.  (and before you ask....these had been put there intentionally and had previously been used and we were ok to rehome them).  Adie gave me that look as he does then reluctantly gave in to my pleas as I scrambled down the bank to retrieve them.

Then came the long walk back to the car ...Thank god my lovely hubby can carry a fair weight....but I did my bit too I carried all the chairs and picnic stuff and 2 pieces of wood....well done me I say!   Eventually we arrived at the car and both sank into our seats exhausted but pleased again with our haul.    Oh happy days....more materials for yet another project. Life is good! Life is full of unexpected surprises!

These bits are for my next sculpture, apart from the tennis ball...thats for Millie!


Tiffany Stained Glass & Mosaics - My Work

Here are just a few photos of my Stained Glass work and Mosaics.   This is a real passion for me and I just love to tinker with scraps of glass and china to see what I can come up with....all in the name of ART of course!

I love this bird which was just a painted ornament that has now been revamped with mosaics...unfortunately some of the pieces are loose now as it toppled over in high winds.

Its amazing how satisfying it is to take a hammer to some china and give it a good beating and end up with something so one of a kind!

She's one of my favourites but she was a challenge to cut and put together but I just adore her!

Can't Sleep

 I was up eary this morning, I woke up and just couldn't get back off to sleep!  I thought I'd pop a few crafty bits on the blog, that I have done in the past, to get me thinking of my renovation. Hope you like them: