Hello and welcome to my blog.
Do hope you'll stop by from time to time
and follow my adventures in all things creative!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Big Job For Little Bears

A quote by Ted Menton from  "The Teddy Bear Lover's Companion"
"Giving bears to hospital patients has long been a tradition among teddy bear lovers. Many groups do this good work, but I guess the most famous is Good Bears of the World, which has bear dens worldwide. Today, inspired by the good deeds of others, I bring bears to hospitals to work with terminally ill children. The children come from across the country for treatment; their parents and friends are often thousands of miles away. The bears and I do our best to make the kids a little happier. I tell stories, but the bears do the real work - they watch over the children at difficult times. In these kids' lives lurks a very real boogeyman, and the children all know that his name is Death. It's a big job for little bears, but they manage because they are filled with love - the love they're endowed with by children."

This is a lovely story, it's good that bears are needed in so many different ways, and can be such a comfort to these suffering children.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Something New to Try

Well its been a while since my last post and I have something new to share with you. I've joined K.C. Willis online fabric Collage Camp and have been busily working with the new ideas I've learned from it. I've thoroughly enjoyed doing this online class and can recommend it to those of you who might be considering joining.
So I've had to put aside my other projects for a little while as the excitement of creating something new has taken over. I've made a couple of small collage pieces, but want to try a couple more out before I share them with you on my blog.
This is a great opportunity to use up lots of bits and pieces I've been storing and collecting for years, such as vintage laces, doilies, buttons, fabric etc., etc. I've had so much fun going through my stash and found lots of things I'd forgotten I had.
The vintage mirror and candlesticks in the previous tutorial are not far from being finished now.
So it's back to my fabric for the moment. Have a great week everyone, will talk again soon, Robyn.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hello there!

Sorry I'll be away from my blogging for a few more days. I've had my dear Mum staying with us. We've had lots of fun, chatting, eating, lots of cake and teas and cappuchinos, more chatting and eating!! Oh dear will have to cut back again when she leaves. Lol!!

Not to mention shopping trips and making lots of purchases of those things you just have to have, even if you don't need it straight away, but might be useful one day.

 Scouring through all my craft books and mags. and getting ideas of the future projects we will make.

Catching up on watching dvds in the evening. Last night watched Mao's Last Dancer, just a wonderful movie! 
 Tonight we are going to watch Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman & Emma Thompson.

She's here to stay for one more day, then we will take her back to her retirement hostel, hopefully refreshed after her break away with us. So then I'll be back to my creative projects once again. See you soon Robyn! 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Shabby to Chic Painting Tutorial Step 6 - This is optional!

Hi again, well I just couldn't leave these lovely items without picking up my brush and decorating further with a touch of colour.
Firstly with the candles I've just painted the roses by adding Clear Glazing Medium to the paint and brushed the roses first with a pale pink and then the leaves with a soft green. Think that will do now,  they look much better and will just let them cure properly before varnishing . Just click on any of the photos to get a larger view.

With the mirror frame I've painted some small pink roses sprays with soft green trailing leaves and buds. I've also highlighted some of the existing sculptured flowers that were on the frame. That is the blue flowers and some of the green leaves. Those of you familiar with painting roses would be able to do this without difficulty. But even if you can't paint roses you could just highlight the existing sculptured flowers that come on the piece and it would still look good. I'm not finished this one yet though. More work needed on some of the leaves and a few more highlights on the roses.Then the varnishing. I'll have pics of both these items when they're completed and let you know when they'll be going on my ebay for sale. If you're interested in purchasing either one, please let me know.

Shabby to Chic Painting Tutorial Step 5

Well I've been able to find a bit of free time over the past couple of days to get on with these shabby to chic creations. Here they are now after I applied just one more coat. Yes I think that will do it. It just depends on the item you're making over as to how many coats you need and often it comes to what you like yourself. But I'm happy with this, plenty of white with only a little of the old dark areas showing through.  As you can see from the photos they look quite good now (even though I still need to replace the mirror).
So now all I need to do is finish them off with 2 coats of water based satin varnish to protect the paintwork. Whatever brand you like really, you can either use one from the art store designed for decorative painting or one from the hardware store. You could also use a gloss varnish if you prefer, but I prefer the satin.
So that's all there is to it really. Pretty easy isn't it? See I said you don't need any special skill to do this and the possibilites are endless with what can be given a make-over and the finished result is so fresh and easy on the eye.

I hope I've been of help to those of you out there who have been wanting to give this a try but didn't know where to start.      

Of course there is more to come though, you see the artist in me just can't leave it at that!! I just have to add a little touch of colour here and there so have a look at my next post for more pics!!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shabby to Chic Tutorial Continues Step 4

Step Four: Allow your work to dry thoroughly and sand lightly all over again with the paper bag. Now you're ready to apply a second coat.

These are looking good now. I think probably one more coat is need. 
But as the weather is sooo damp and cold here, I think I'll leave it until tomorrow to do that.
So this tutorial will be continued.

Shabby to Chic Painting Tutorial

Hello everyone! We've had cold rainy weather in my part of the world this week. So I've been spending some time indoors sorting through my collection of "things to be painted". I came across a couple of pieces that I've collected in my travels, that definately needed a makeover. So while I was working on these little projects I thought, why not put a step-by-step tutorial for this on my blog.

Making something look "chic" from "shabby" is a fairly simple procedure and doesn't require any great skill, just time and patience really. There a probably lots of you out there who already are familiar with this technique and have their own way of achieving it. But I'd like to show you how I do it, step by step.

The pieces I'm using are an old style mirror on a stand and 3 candlesticks, that I really thought had potential for this with all the little sculptured roses around the bottom of each one. Also the frame around the mirror, as well as the stand has some lovely sculptured flowers, leaves, scrolls etc.

Step One: First you need to clean the pieces up before you prime them for painting. I used an old paintbrush dipped in metholated spirit, or depending on the surface you can just use warm soapy water. For some surfaces the spirit is too harsh. The brush is good for getting into all the crevices. You can just use a cloth on the smooth areas.

Step Two: Now you need to prime your pieces. I used Dulux 1step primer, sealer and undercoat prepcoat. This is a great product and makes an easy job of priming. If you already have a good quality all purpose sealer on hand, you can use this also.
Step 3: As these items are quite delicate they only need a very gentle sanding. I just used a scrunched up paper bag.  Now the fun part, applying the first coat of paint. I've used Matisse White Basecoat paint, but you could use any acrylic paint of your choice, in either white or cream, or a nice pastel colour. Just a tip; If you are new to this sort of painting just make sure that you coninually keep a look out for any drips and runs of paint and smooth them out before they dry and spoil your work.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

These little Newborns are now also on ebay!


 Mum has just completed these adorable little bears that I've just finished listing on ebay.
 They've been crocheted from patterns by Berta Hesen-Minton. You can visit her website here  where you'll see the lovely bears, patterns and books she has available. You can also purchase from her on ebay. One very talented lady!