Monday, 30 April 2012

Monday shout outs and fun photo projects.

Well after the weekend dampness, today's sunshine was wonderful.Fingers crossed tomorrow is just as good as I am dying to get into the garden to start on sanding back my "door" seat ready for summer!
I have a couple of shout outs today and also a couple of how to's on some photography tricks I have done that people have asked about.

First shout out goes to...
Poppy Lauren Vintage. I have only just found this blog but think it is worth a shout out as the things she sells in her concession in What the Butler Saw are gorgeous! I am actually the proud owner of one of her vintage tins, purchased today! I saw it last week and fell in love and decided to bite the bullet and go and get it today. It looks just perfect in my kitchen and I am very glad I got it. I could have spent hours browsing through all the little vintage bits and pieces but alas school run beckoned and I had to drag myself away, maybe when I have a few hours to my self I'll pop in and have a coffee and have a proper look then!

My vintage flour tin! Love it!!

Second shout out goes to...
Heavens Walk. I have looked through this blog a few times and each time I find another little gem. It is full of cool how to's and gorgeous photos. As an avid repurposer myself I love getting inspiration from people on what to do with"treasures" I find and this blog has a few great ones!

The third shout out goes to...
The Graphics Fairy. I LOVE this blog. It is packed with FREE downloadable pictures. From vintage wallpapers to French ephemera I have used the graphics from this site in countless projects and there are some fantastic DIY ideas too. What makes this site even more amazing is that everything is free, which is such a rare thing now days!


Some of the things I have made using graphics for The Graphics Fairy.

Only 3 shouts today as I have a couple of photography ideas to share also.
I did this shot for the April Photo a Day challenge with Fat Mum Slim and got so many comments and requests to share how I did it I've decided to do a short tutorial on how to achieve this simple yet effective photo.
What you will need:
1 hard cover book
1 ring or ring shaped object
1 mini torch
A teeny bit of blu tack if the rings needs help balancing
A darkish place to take the photo
Some sort of photo editing software to convert the photo into black and white
And of course a camera (You don't need a big flashy camera to get good results, I used my iphone for one of these shots and my DSLR for the other)

Stuff you'll need
Balance the ring between the open book pages
If it won't stand on it's own put a small bit of Blu Tack under it to help it balance


Hold the torch above the ring and slightly back and shine the torch's beam at the ring on a slight angle .

Take the picture, it doesn't matter if you do get some of the torch or your hand in this sot as you can always crop it out later.

A ring with a setting in it makes an interesting shadow.

Crop and change the colour on your photo using
 your editing software
I used the PictureShow app on my
Iphone for these photos. It is my favourite photo app
and I use it all the time.

The next is where you use different objects to look through with your lens. I used the middle of a CD for some photos I took recently which gave a cool view point plus you got the reflection from the CD which also added a bit to the picture.

You can also use a squished loo roll made into the shape of a heart.

These pictures are courtesy of Pink Paper Peppermints.

Well I hope that Monday has been good to everyone and do hope you try out some of the photo ideas I've posted about, I'd love to see your results! 
xx P xx

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Country show fun-Norfolk country show time.

On a weekend break at the Norfolk show with the family There is something about country shows I really love. The colourful collection of people you get going to them makes for excellent people watching- one of my favourite past-times The weather this year was not nearly as good as last year and did make dragging the sproglets round a bit of a trial but was a fun day out. I got myself a few nice treats, saw some interesting displays, got the kids a few "quality" show items and gorged myself on hog roast rolls... it's all good! It was not a long day thanks to the weather- no sitting in the All Bar One tent sipping on a Pimms in the sun- oh how life changes when you have kiddlets but was an enjoyble day non the less and we will definitely be back again next year! Now at home sitting in front of the crackling fire sampling the local cider from the show. Kids should be tired out in a couple of hours after playing with their show toys so will be a night of grown up chat and relaxing tonight! Gotta love weekends away!
Merry-go-round fun
Osk happy with his camo lollipop purchase
Machine gun alley!
One happy Osk, one tired out Oly

Monday, 23 April 2012

My Monday 5 shout outs!

I have decided to make a regular thing of Monday shout outs on my blog. Not working full time and having some spare time (although not as much as I need/would like) I get the opportunity to read so many fantastic blogs and meet so many wonderfully talented, inspirational people that I feel I should give a shout out to them in some way - to tell everyone how wonderful they are. I get a lot of my crafty ideas from these blogs- and my house is filled with homemade goodies thanks to many of them.

1.Mondocherry- This is a blog/website of a dear friend of mine so I am a little biased towards how amazing it is. It is 2 sisters and their mum- and they have to be the most talented family I have ever met. Their paper and fabric creations are stunningly beautiful and their online store is well worth a visit. I have to say I have "borrowed" an idea or two from them- they are so inspiring!

2.Cherry Menlove- Even the name of this blog is great. I found her about 2 years ago and became a follower straight away. This lady is amazing and her ideas are beautiful. She writes about her day to day life from raising twins to her husbands recent illness and recovery with such openness and honesty that you actually feel as if you are chatting to a close friend. It may sound a bit silly but my absolute highlight this christmas was a comment I got from her about a flower wreath I made and posted on her facebook page...hehe I was so chuffed that someone as talented as her noticed  enough to comment on something I had made. This blog is a must visit/follow!

3.Fat Mum Slim- I am just a recent follower of this blog but love, love love it. The writer is an instagram addict like me so I was instantly attracted to her! She has started up this totally addictive photo a day challenge that changes each month and the new lists are posted on her blog at the beginning of each month to an eagerly waiting audience of followers. I have just started this challenge this month but will definitely be carrying on-its so much fun! There is also loads of great tips on photography etc. A great blog to visit for cool tips ,ideas and the odd yummy recipe.

4.Funky Junk Interiors.- I want this ladies house! This is a blog by an amazing lady who has the enviable ability to turn absolute junk into something beautiful.Apart from her brilliant tutorials the blog is also full of inspirational quotes and stories. 

5.A Beautiful Mess- I only found this blog 3 days ago but have visited and read through it dozens of times already. The tips on photography are GREAT! I found and subsequently downloaded the iphone app PictureShow and have to say it is rivalling Instagram in the favourite photo app stakes! The author of the blog is so beautiful and has filled the blog with dozens of neat tutorials and ideas.Her style is vintage and she gives tips and ideas on everything from styling your hair or home, creating the perfect vintage look outfit to recycling old stuff into great stuff . There are tips for new bloggers and small business owners, recipes and camera guides. It is a blog with something for everyone.  I am definitely going to try out her recipe for coffee syrups, mmmmmm.

Well there is my first 5 Monday shout outs...I'll keep on surfing to find many more hidden gems to blog about next Monday, until then hope everyone has had a great Monday.
xx P xx

Sunday, 22 April 2012

April photo a day updates and dabbling in taking self portraits

All dark and mysterious

I have been dabbling with self portraits. I suddenly realised that I have NO photos of me at all, as I am always the one behind the camera...and as I have noone who can take pics for me I have been taking them myself. I got some ideas from a great blog I stumbled across A Beautiful Mess. The writer is so creative and the blog is full of amazing photos and ideas. Here are a few of my first attempts...I am fairly pleased with my efforts so far.

Thought the colour filter on this was really cool,
 I used my Pictureshow app for this.

                                             Lolly and Mummy

Love the colours on this

Here is an update on my pics for the April photo a day challenge from Fat Mum Slim. This has been the first time I have really done anything like this and it is quite addictive. I have had the opportunity to use some awesome apps for my phone- 2 all time favs have to be Instagram and Pictureshow. Will do a post about these maybe to show off my experiments!
I am really looking forward to seeing the May list that will be out tomorrow!

April 15th- Sunset- love the effect I got using one of the Instagram filters- it blacked out the "ugly" details from the houses and just left this great silhouette.

April 16th- Flower. This is a ring I made a few years ago from felt- I really love it and get a lot of comments whenever I wear it.

April 17th- Something I don't like- GIANT piles of washing to fold and put away!  They seem to breed in my house!

April 18th- Hair. My mad haired family...curly, curly, curly.

April 19th- Orange...squashed all over me just out of shot!

April 20th- Bottle, a bottle full of love!

April 21st- Something I drew. Did this while I was sitting with my class during art. They were doing portraits of their family and learning to use oil I had a go too!

April 22nd- Te last thing I bought. Yay my very own domain exciting (for me anyway)

Well hope everyone has had a great weekend and is ready for the week ahead.
xx P xx

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Pretty shoes tutorial... OH how I love Mod Podge!

 It is so great when you wear something that people comment on asking where you got it, commenting how lovely it is etc etc. It is even nicer when you can proudly say that "I made this!"
I LOVE shoes and have "several" pairs in my wardrobe! I love quirky, different, pretty, one of a kind shoes (ala- Irregular Choice,Rocket Dog, Jimmy Choo) but unfortunately could never afford to own a pair as they are so expensive... sob sob!
Not being one to let a little thing like no cash stop me from owing something everyone would comment with jealousy on, I decided to make my own shoes! I am a Mod Podge junkie (if it sits still I'll mod podge it!) and knew it would be the perfect to use for shoes, I had used the outdoor one on a few other projects so knew it was amazingly waterproof and durable. After pouring over sites on handmade, fabric covered shoes getting inspiration I grabbed the glue and some scraps of material and got to work.
These were the first pair I made. I started with £4 shoes from Primark in an odd brown colour. I used different scraps of fabric and leather and added felt balls and felt leaves to the front. I get masses of complements from people when ever I wear them... I really love these shoes.

 These were my wedding shoes- but when can you ever wear white satin shoes again??? I covered them using torn up tissue paper and covered them with several layers of Outdoor Mod Podge to keep them weather proof. I haven't worn them yet, not too sure what outfit to match them with? 

I thought I would share a tutorial with you on how I created my latest pair of shoes.

Step 1
Get an old pair of shoes. These can be newly purchased shoes or old ones you no longer use, it doesn't matter either way, in fact charity shops are great for cheap shoes cause it doesn't matter what they look like to begin with. Mine had flower decorations on them that I simple snipped off.

Step 2
Trace out a template of you shoe onto paper. I used tissue and laid the shoe on to the paper and roughly traced round it. You don't have to be too accurate as you'll trim the excess off later anyway. Then cut your template out of fabric, like you would with a sewing pattern.

Step 3
Cover shoe in Mod Podge (I used the Outdoor type ) and place fabric on top and move about til it fits well. I then pushed the fabric into the rim of the sole with the end of my unpicker, but anything with a small sharp end would be fine.

Snip little tabs into the fabric round the instep of the shoe and glue down. I held the tabs down with mini clothes pegs but again clippy anything will do.
Step 4
Repeat the steps for the back of the shoe. I didn't cover the heel on this pair but have with previous shoes.
Step 5

When the glue has dried completely trim the excess fabric off using a very sharp craft knife (it goes without saying please take special care when using sharp knives!)

All trimmed up


Step 6 
Now decorate! The sky's the limit here so go mad! I used lace, ribbon and small wooden hearts with super glue to stick them on to make sure they didn't come off. I finally gave them a couple of coats of Outdoor Mod Podge to make sure they were weather proof.... and here they are!

Looking forward to being able to wear these as soon as the weather warms up...whenever that may be!

Hope you are having a great Wednesday where you are.
xx P xx
Oh Mod Podge how I love thee!