About Me

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antrim, antrim, Ireland
Hello and welcome to my blog. If you like flowers and gardens, housey stuff, food and banter, then this is the place for you. I am a decorative artist, florist and maker of things. I sell painted furniture, plants and crafts, through a local retail shop, in my native Ireland, and wedding flowers from home. I am married to a lovely patient man and have a smashing little girl. I blog for the fun of it. Thank you for listening.

Friday, 28 December 2012

It's Shoe Time!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and are looking forward to your New Year celebrations?

The run-up to Christmas was especially busy for me this year, as I decided to make a lot of my decorations and presents. I had decided on a shoe theme, and so I set about making decorations from card and paper, fabric and wool. The Grapic's Fairy was a wonderful source for vintage shoe images, which I printed off, and then hand-painted or added glitter and other embellishments.

I then drew an exagerrated design of a boot, and cut some out of fabric, stuffed with wadding and added a little scented oil for a pleasant smell on the tree. I embellished again with buckles, buttons or bells.

It was a lot of work, but I enjoyed it, and I didn't miss my traditional red and green decorations at all!

My two little neices received homemade slippers, which went down very well with them, I was relieved to hear.

Aren't they cute, the design for the slippers came from one of my Tilda Christmas books, and of course I embellished! I must admit when I realised that funds were very tight this year, and I was going to have to make a lot of my presents, to feeling a little sorry for myself, and for the recipients. However when I began to really think about who I was making for and what they would love, I began to realise, that this was actually much nicer. I could put loads of love and time into making something so personal and special.

 My sister-in-law received a little sewing bag, complete with needle case and pin cushion. She likes to do cross stitch, and wants to try patchwork, but always complains of not having any time. The bag is embroidered with the words 'Take time to sew'. I saw her yesterday and she told me it was the best present she had received, it made me feel really good. I got the patterns for these from a lovely book called 'Stitch with Love' by Mandy Shaw.

My brother got a new Christmas jumper, much to the relief of the family, he has been wearing one that I made, must be 20 years ago now, and it was beginning to look rather sad, but he just loved the tradition of putting on his Christmas jumper on Christmas day! There were other things, I made phone and tablet covers for my husband, make-up bags for my neice, a knitted snood for my brother-in-law, but I ran out of time for photographing and had to get them wrapped!

 Oh yes and there was the stocking for the newest member of the family 'Florence.' Also some more wreaths and table arrangements. Needless to say when Christmas day came, after all the cooking, I felt a little bit tired!! So, I took it easy on Boxing day and the day after, and today!

Lemons and ivy for my front door, together with a black ribbon with gold bees on to remember those who died in Connecticut, and some neighbours who passed away this year.

 A plain evergreen wreath for the gate.

 A natural table arrangement with chillies, pomegranate, oranges, fircones and poppy seedheads.
Two smaller arrangements with a little mini Poinsettia, apples, lemons and chllies.

My dear friend Gill from Gillyflower blog made these lovely hearts from old linen and ticking, I gave 2 as presents and kept 2 to remind me of Gill.

I would like to wish all my readers and followers a very Happy New Year, full of peace and promise. Thank you so much for all your wonderul comments over this last year. I have now been blogging for 2 years, which has been a very enlightening experience for me. Much love to you all, Linda x.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Wreath making.

I have been wreath making. I love wreaths, for every occasion and season. They signify the circle of life. I love circles, spots, curving lines, but I know people who love straight lines, symmetry, nothing flowery or fussy. I find it fascinating, also I find fascinating the thing about how you apply your lipstick. Mine is always rounded because I turn it round as I apply. My mum's was always pointy as she applied it the same way every time. What about you? How does your lipstick look, and do you love straight lines or curves? It must say something about us, but I am not sure what.

I have been working on bringing in a little Christmas business by having wreaths in a few local shops .
I have finally decided my theme for the Wedding Fair in February. I am going for the Classic Country theme, but with a period feel, think 'Tussie Mussie' bouquets and Empire line dresses, ribbons and roses. This is my inspiration collage, but I don't want to give too much away, so I will leave it at that.

I also have been re-discovering Annie Sloan paint. I have used it about 25 years ago, when I used to paint for the Paint Magic shop in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Back then when people were so interested in paint effects I was using so many different kinds of paint, American Milk Paint, Chalk Paint, Linseed Oil Paint, Distemper, Limewash etc. I even remember making my own with egg yolks and pigment. So needless to say, Annie Sloan got forgotten about. It has featured so heavily of late on so many different blogs, that I thought I needed to try it again. As luck would have it I discovered that a  shop in a local village was selling it.Vintage in Vogue.

I must say I absolutely love it, it is so chalky and soft and yet it sticks like glue to whatever you paint and distresses beautifully. What really sells it to me is that you don't need a primer and it covers so well in a couple of coats...hurrah! So this is what I have been painting at home.

My kitchen has had a few more lavender touches added, I made the curtain for the back door, the lampshade and recovered the dining chairs. The far wall in the kitchen, I have never been totally happy with as it always seems a bit blank, I felt it needed a large piece of furniture. So I repainted my chest of drawers, using Annie Sloan 'Pure' and also a plate rack that was in the hall. The display needs to be worked on a little, but I am happy with the overall look.

My egg basket got a little makeover, I added a heather trim, which will just dry, and stay looking good for a few months at least.

My table top, which was a plain charcoal grey, has been prettied up with a little hand painting.

I added a little plaster decoration to my larder cupboard, which has a lovely scent and little lavender flowers on it.

So inspired was I with the kitchen that I gave the hall a makeover also. The panelling and doors were painted 'Paris Grey', and then I decided it was all looking quite 'Gustavian', so I needed to do something with the floor. It was already painted with a stone coloured wash, so I added some little black tiles.

I really dislike my doors, which are those awful preesed things that reverberate through the whole house when you shut them. However, I don't mind them like this, especially with a little wreath added.

This year, for Christmas I am going for a shoe theme. I don't know what has come over me, I am not one of those people who has a shoe fetish. I do however love baby shoes and I saw some adorable ones with little Christmas puddings on, and I think that is what set me off! I normally am very traditional, red and green, and bring my old faithful decorations out year upon year. This year though, I wanted a change, so I have made a lot of shoe decorations, which I shall show you in a later post. I didn't want to spend a load of money, so I have just found lovely images on the internet and printed them, or made them from scraps of fabric. The image below is from http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com.which I printed and then glued to cardboard and added some ribbon and rhinestone decoration and a little Paris tag, also from Graphic's Fairy.The joyeux noel is handwritten by me unto an old ledger page, I printed and distressed with coffee. It has been fun. I just hope that when the tree goes up I won't be missing my old faithful's!
Sorry, this is a bit of a long post, but I had a little catching up to do. Welcome to my new follwers, and wishing you all a stress free and wonderful week. With love, Linda x.

Oh I nearly forgot, and Lois would not be pleased! Lois (my 10 year old daughter), made the arrangement with the fir and frosted pinecones, sitting on the hall table, ALL BY HERSELF!!