Shabby chic delight!

Over the past couple of months I have been busy creating a stock of shabby chic styled wall art.

Inspired by my daughters love of all things shabby chic and the wallpaper canvas art I created last year (see here) I decided to set about making some canvases using pretty shabby chic fabric.

Over the past few months I have built up a stock of pretty fabrics, ribbons and embellishments. Some I have bought new but I love hunting out interesting pieces in charity shops.

As I work full time it has been quite slow going. Although it doesn’t take too long for me to create each piece, I rarely have spare time to dedicate to doing crafty things! This bank holiday weekend has been a blessing and I have worked hard to get the items finished and ready for sale.

I have managed to create six pieces so far and today I decided to list them for sale on ebay. I’m very nervous as I’ve not tried to sell anything like this before. I normally just make pieces for myself. The feedback I have received from friends/family/colleagues has been really positive (but would they dare say anything different?!!)

Shabby Chic art

Shabby Chic art

Shabby Chic art

My favourite!

These can be bought via my ebay listings [click here]

I have also created a magnetic memo board in a similar style. I only finished it this morning so it wasn’t quite ready to be photographed/listed today. I’ll be adding it soon. Photos to follow……

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Willow creations and a dash of sunshine

It’s been quite a hectic week, hence the lack of blogging!

The weather has been glorious. It seems to have got warmer and sunnier as the week has progressed. Today was fantastic t-shirt weather and definitely ideal for hanging the washing out (hence the photo of my pegs on the washing line)!! It really feels like summer is coming now. I just hope that this fantastic weather stays with us for the half term holiday which started today.

Pegs on the washing line

I have also appreciated the sunshine during Forest School. We’ve had a couple of lovely sessions this week. On Monday with the year 6 class we made willow platters. When the task was being demonstrated to the class it looked really complicated. I envisaged the children encountering difficulty with the task, but actually they embraced it and produced brilliant finished pieces.

Here’s my sons willow platter:
Willow Platter

WILLOW PLATTER INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. You will need approx 6 – 10 pieces of willow.
  2. First you need to create a hoop from the willow. Starting with the thick end, twist it into a small hoop (approx 4″ – 6″ diameter) and then weave around the remainder. Tuck in the end piece to keep it neat. Then you need to cut two centre “braces” which are about 1″- 2″ longer than the diameter. These will sit across the centre of your hoop – initially they will be loose but as you weave in the willow they will become steady. You might find it easier to use just one brace at first, until you have woven in a few pieces.
  3. You are now ready to start weaving in willow pieces. Cut off lengths of willow that are about 1″- 2″ longer than the diameter of the hoop. Starting in the centre, weave the first piece over the hoop edge, then under the centre braces, finishing off over the hoop edge again. The next piece will then weave under the hoop edge, over the centre braces and back under the hoop edge. Carry on weaving in pieces alternating each one.
  4. It will start to look like this.
    Willow Platter
  5. As you go along push all the pieces together, keeping them tightly packed together.
  6. Carry on weaving in pieces until there is not space to add any more. It should now look like this.
    Willow Platter
  7. Finally, you will need to neaten it all up by trimming off all the excess willow using a pair of secateurs. Leave about 0.5″ around the edge, following the line of the hoop.
    Willow Platter
  8. Now after all your hard work you can grab yourself a drink, which you can place on your willow platter!
    Willow Platter Coaster

On Tuesdays Forest School session we made willow “fish mobiles”. These are a bit too complicated for a novice like me to provide instructions! I had a go at making one. They are quite fiddly and the children (year 4) found it quite frustrating. They required quite a bit of assistance (which was hard for me as I didn’t really know what I was doing either)!

Here is my finished mobile, now hanging outside the back door along with my daughters:

Willow Fish Mobile

Toy chest makeover.

My children had an old toy chest in their bedroom that I originally painted years ago to fit in with my son’s bedroom decor at the time. It had become quite battered and wounded – definitely distressed (!) and my daughter had also decided to write on it with marker pen. Why???!!! I was fed up with the school bags just being dumped on the floor by the front door and needed somewhere to store them. I remembered the chest so decided to put it to good use and give it a makeover.

Before:

Old toy chest

It was a gorgeous sunny day yesterday so it was perfect for a spot of painting and makeover madness. My son was off school as he has conjunctivitis, so he was around to lend me a hand. We both sanded down the chest – sat outside in the sunshine. We quickly got on with applying the first coat. I’ve now realised it would be easier to have just painted it myself as my son managed to get paint on just about everything! I can’t knock his enthusiasm though! I left a couple hours between coats and it has given a lovely finish.

After (1):

Old toy chest after makeover

After (2)

Old toy chest after makeover

The fabric was an end of roll bargain, costing only £2.00. The paint colour is called “chocolate” and is B&Q’s own quick dry Satin. I needed to do two coats. I think it cost about £5.40 for a small pot. The paint does actually look like melted chocolate as you apply it – very Easter! The fabric was stuck on with spray adhesive – which is quite hard to work with as it gets everywhere (and is incredibly sticky) – my son even managed to get some in his hair after walking around with the cushion on his head!

Pop art skirt

Craft - pop art skirtLook what I found!

The design on this skirt is absolutely freakin’ awesome! I’m not so keen on the skirts shape though. It’s been created by a very talented craftster member. The pop art design is really similar to my style of drawing. I would never have thought to do my designs onto fabric. The creator has used Scribble and Polymark fabric paints on this project. I think I’d be too scared to wear this skirt though!

Currently my designs are confined to my sketch book or card. I can see a future project of mine involving a white t-shirt and some fabric pens/paints!

Details on this sewing craft project and more photos are available on the craftster forums.

Recycled paper – Garbage bin.

Recycled Paper - Garbage binMy blog is starting to lean towards “recycled” crafts. This is not an intentional direction, but I am fascinated by what can be made from every day items we have lying around home and would normally throw out. I try to recycle as much as possible, so combining recycling with crafting is right up my street!

I saw this recycled paper garbage bin on my favourite craft forums – craftster and think it’s looks absolutely amazing.

It has been constructed from rolled up pages of magazines and held together with glue!

Very time consuming to make, but I think it’s worth the effort because of the uniqueness of the finished article. It looks like a piece of art.

Recycled crafts and projects

Recycled craft project - neck tie bag

I stumbled across an interesting site tonight with details on craft project ideas for recycling old household objects.

A few examples are a bag made from ties and a mini greenhouse made from cd cases.

Recycled crafts - CD Case greenhouse.

See more for yourself at Acorn studios

Another interesting site of a similar nature is ‘RePlayGround‘. They also list a few easy DIY craft projects including a CD Suncatcher, carton catchers and umbrella skirt!

They also have an Etsy shop too where you’ll find some very unique and interest items including reconstructed t-shirts:

RePlayGround - reconstructed t-shirt

If you’re looking to do some recycled craft projects with the kids then I can highly recommend All Free Crafts- Recycling crafts ideas. They have a variety of craft projects and you’re bound to find something that you can do with items that you would normally just throw out.

My children had quite a collection of unused and broken wax crayons so rather than bin them (or for them to be crushed into the carpet) I was delighted when I discovered this wonderful recycling idea for Crayon Nibbles on Crafty Daisies Blog.

Making our rainbow crayon chunks
First we had to set about “stripping” the crayons of all the paper. This is actually quite tedious and we discovered that certain colours peel easier than others!

Warning, cover your eyes….. Naked wax crayons!

Naked Wax Crayons

We then broke up the crayons (this was the fun bit and a great stress relief) and placed them into the cake tin, trying to create some good rainbow colour combinations.

Broken Wax Crayons

Then we put them in the oven to cook. And “Ta da!” our very own recycled chunky rainbow crayons!

Chunky crayons

I have found that some crayons (possibly cheaper ones) didn’t seem to melt as well as others so you can still see whole bits of crayons in some of them. Also if you bake them too long you don’t get as good a ‘marble’ effect.

Now if only I could find a craft project for the milk carton caps that I’ve been saving for no apparent reason…