Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Jubilee wreath from recycled Christmas wreath

I don't know about you, but the time after Christmas, when all the decorations are taken down, is just too bare for me,. I decided to recycle my Christmas wreath I had on the front door and make it into a Jubilee wreath, which will come in super handy with all the festivities this year.
And it would cheer the place up no end!
This was my starting point.

I took off the pine, pine-cones and apples.
That left me with a wreath like a small coronet which I made before Christmas from willow.Top left , here below, you see dried Shasta daisies which I have in my garden and which grow like weeds.They are super easy to grow. I  had so many that I picked huge bunches last summer and dried them in case I needed some dried flowers at some stage.

I can really recommend drying any flowers you have or get as a present, once they start to fade, so you have some supply of dried flowers for craft projects ..Just tie them together and hang them upside down in a warm kitchen.Some flowers do and some don't work and dry well , but this method works very well for roses and Shasta daisies.
Here below is another vase full of dried flowers.. which I also used for the wreath...

I tied the dried Shasta daisies in bunches to the wreath with dotted ribbon - think symmetrical- then added an embroidered heart with the silhouette of Queen Elizabeth II which I had made earlier at the top of the wreath.
Making the heart is simple,-  just trace a heart shape or get a heart shape from the internet, print it off and cut the heart out and use this as a template to cut the heart from the fabric that you like.Make sure you cut two heart shapes .
Get the silhouette of the queen , again maybe from a picture of a coin that you enlarge, then cut it out and trace around the paper template on your fabric you want to embroider.Embroider with a simple sewing stitch in contrasting embroidery thread.
Then put good side on good side of the fabric, then stich it together apart from a small opening, turn it inside out, then fill with some soft stuff like polyester filling.

Add some ribbons, at the bottom and to the left and right, then make some fabric roses.You make roses by rolling up a strip of fabric, and rolling a piece of thing wire tightly around the bottom bit, and pulling the top bit out a bit like a flower.
Add those to the wreath as well , I would keep it syymetrical again, so place these again, at the bottom, then right and left.
You can use the wreath outside ( at least as long as it's out of the rain ) like here on the front door..

.. or like this indoors ..

Whatever you do, enjoy your wreath and wreathmaking!!

Have a great rest of the week!!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Valentine's day keepsake

Don't you wish sometimes you could get your loved one something more lasting for Valentine's day ( apart from your undying love ) than just a pretty card ?
So I thought to come up with a project to make something for Valentine's day that is more than a card, and can be kept as a keepsake, standing on a sideboard or table, or that can be hung on a wall as a pretty decoration.

You will need the following for this project:
An old empty picture frame.
Some paint to paint the frame.
A flat piece of sturdy cardboard to fit into the picture frame.
An old flat cardboard box ( smaller than the picture frame ) and
some plain unpatterned fabric in a pastel colour to fold around it .
Some pretty simple fabric, like gingham for instance, to fit around the cardboard  in the frame.

 Some dried roses ( either dried by yourself - the sheapest option- or bought from a florist) .
Further you will need:
pretty ribbon, an old Valentine's day card or old greeting card , sellotape,thick brown tape, paint, thin metal wire and cutters, scissors, screwdriver.

Fit the piece of sturdy cardboard in the picture frame.

Take the cardboard out and put it on the gingham fabric, and cut around the cardboard, with an extra seam.

Then secure the fabric around the cardboard with brown tape.

The front will look like this..

Paint the frame in a colour that will go with your fabric-keep it light so think pastels.I went for a simple pale blue as I had loads of that left over.

Now for the box that is supposed to fit in the frame, on top of the cardboard.
Choose a fabric that will go well with both your frame colour and your gingham .Again, put the box on the fabric and cut around it, with a seam,

 Then secure the fabric around the box with brown tape.
You will end up with this( see above) .
Now it's time to decorate.Get a heart, either cut from a new or old card .

Then print off a Valentine's day greeting, something like " Be my Valentine".

Cut this out, glue it on the heart, and glue the heart on the box covered with fabric.

Take one of the dried roses, and cut the stem quite short, then wind thin metal wire around this.

Now, using a sharp thing like a small ice pick to make a hole though the fabric and the cardboard..

..and put the wire on the rose through it.

Twirl the wire into a few big horizontal loops paralel to the surface , once it's at the back, a couple of times so it prevents the rose from falling out.
Just make some big loops.Attach more roses this way in a pattern you like, you just need to play around with it a bit.Put the roses here and there till you like your composition.
Once you are done, you will need to assemble your parts.
Put the cardboard backing, now wrapped in gingham, in the painted frame.

Attach the cardboard to the frame with brown tape ( your keepsake is not going to be very heavy so that should be OK.).
Attach a wire at the back so you can hang your display up.
You will now have this once you turn the frame around:

Attach a pretty ribbon under the heart on the smaller cardboard box and tie it in a bow...

Then using a glue-gun, glue the cardboard box wrapped in fabric with the roses attached, on the cardboard you have wrapped in gingham, in the middle of the frame.
You can either hang your Valentine's day keepsake on the wall...

.. or put it on a table or dresser for a table display..

Whatever you do, I hope you will enjoy your craft project and have a fabulous Valentine's day!

Have a great week!!

Monday, 23 January 2012

On www.houz.com ideabooks and an update

 Hi there- sorry for the radio-silence- it's head down and full steam ahead at Modern Country Lady HQ for the Country Living Spring Fair I am attending in March !!Just had an email from one of the editors from www.houzz.com ( the largest collection of interior design and decorating ideas on the Internet ) that one of my ideas and pictures from my blog has been used in today's " idea-book" !! Who-ah!! Here's the link : http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1006984/list/10-Ingredients-of-a-Beautiful-Winter-Garden
It refers to this Spring blog post which  you can find here..
How super exciting!!

Have a super fabulous week, people!!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Valentine's Day Card Craft project

With Valentine's day coming up, and maybe some old calendars gathering dust in a drawer, it seemed a shame not to re-post this old  blogpost and have you crafting your own cards for no cost whatsoever!!!So today I wanted to show you how you could use old calendars to make your own Valentine's cards.
Valentine's day - by the way- for people who are single is very often a day that  makes them feel miserable and alone and left out.
As there is an old tradition  to send Valentine's cards anonymously, you can always send one to someone you like( but not fancy )  who you think would be terribly cheered up by getting a card.They don't need to know it's only from you!!
I did that once to two people I worked with who were both single and miserable and unhappy because it was Valentine's day. It cheered them up no end- and they actually married each other.They never knew where the card was from !

So get crafting with your Valentine's day cards- and then you can do some good deeds .
Here is how:
Get an copy-right free image from the Internet that you like that is related to hearts ,one heart or entwined hearts( as it is for Valentine's day ) .Trace this image or draw it freehand on card, then cut out with scissors so you have a template as above.
Get a page of an old calendar that you like and which has a colour you think will work- I chose a page of pink roses- as below. Put the template on the calendar page, draw the image using the template as guidance.
Cut out with scissors .

Get some white card, about A3 size which you fold double and double again as below, just as you see as cards are done which you buy in a shop.( Here below).
Glue the cut-out hearts on the front.Add ribbon.Now you have the outside of the card done and dusted.
Now for the inside.
Get an copy-right free sihouette image from the Internet that you like that is related  Valentine's day.This could be a dancing couple, or a man on his knees declaring his love, whatever you like

Trace this image or draw it freehand on card, then cut out with scissors so you have a template as below.

Get a page of an old calendar that you like and which has a colour you think will work- I chose a page of a herbaceous border with  hot pink - as below. Put the template on the calendar page, draw the image using the template as guidance.
Cut out with scissors .Cut some small hearts form the same page.
Glue the cut-out silhouette on the inside of the card on the left.
Print a page with a Valentine's greeting or poem if you are so inclined- or just a simple " Be my Valentine".
Glue this page inside the card on the right hand side.
Glue the small hearts you cut out around it.
 And here is a detail.
And your Valentine's card is done!! Happy crafting!!And go and spread that Valentine's luurve- anonymously if you have to, to cheer people up!!

Have a great week people!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Sweet as candy

In my parallel life, where I am absolutely loaded, carefree and  have several abodes, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to have one of the older paintings ( from circa 2000) from Will Cotton  like this one, titled " Sweet Nothings" on my wall- ideally filling the whole wall space.
I am not that fond of the direction he is taking with all the nudes covered in ice cream and what have you nowadays,,but the older paintings, particularly the creepy gingerbread house on this one from 2008 called "Alpine ruin" is sheer genius.

Check this chap out on his website for any more eye candy and news- he does sculptures too.

This is the kind of cake I would love to have - no calories!
Mmmm-mmmm !:-)