Friday, 14 August 2015

DIY Retro Crochet Edged Garland

A few weeks ago I discovered (via Pinterest, because that's pretty much where I spend most of my life at the moment) this amazing tutorial by the ridiculously creative Silly Old Suitcase whose blog has since become one of my favourites. I decided to make my own version, and share the process and result with you lovely lot!

Firstly I cut out circles from a piece of vintage wallpaper I've been hoarding for years, just waiting for the perfect project. I traced around a glass to get the right size circle, but you can make the circles as big or as small as you like really. I also glued the wallpaper on the some white cardstock as it was too thin on its own.

 Next I marked dots around the edge of each circle around 1cm away from the edge, and approx 1.5cm apart. Then make a hole on each of the dots - I used a teeny hole punch but you could use an awl or anything pointy and sharp! I completed one circle, and then used it as a template for the others.

Gather up your holey circles and some mercerized cotton in coordinating or contrasting colours. Taking photos of said supplies for Instagram is optional but always encouraged.... I bought my cotton from eBay for less than £2 per ball, and used a 2mm hook with it.

Blanket stitch around the edge of each of the circles using the mercerized cotton and a tapestry needle. Make sure you pull these stitches fairly tight, but without ripping the card. You will crochet into these stitches.

 Crochet a decorative border into the blanket stitch - there are hundreds of stitch combinations you can use to give different effects. For this dainty scalloped border into each stitch I did a slst, sc, hdc, dc x5, hdc, sc, slst. Repeat this combination in each stitch.

Finally I used mini wooden pegs to clip the scalloped circles on to a length of white cotton and VOILA a super quick and easy garland. You can use any image or piece of patterned paper or card for the circles (if using a thinner material make sure to back on to card for stability) and edge them in any colour thread in any crochet border that you like. The possibilities are endless and easy to customise to suit your personal taste.

I'm a bit obsessed with adding crochet borders to everything now so will be sharing some more of my projects over the next few weeks so watch this space!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

My First Papercut Piece

This year one of my biggest goals has been to try new crafts and learn new skills, and one of the things I've been wanting to try for years is papercutting. I adore paper and ephemera so paper crafts have always been very near to my heart, but I'd been put off trying papercutting as I cannot draw to save my life, so wasn't sure how I'd go about creating a design to cut out. Well, a few weeks ago I somehow stumbled across printable papercutting templates on Etsy! Created by a huge range of papercut artists from all over the world, there are designs to suit any style. Obviously I immediately purchased this one, and then got stuck in. Basically you just print the design out on to whichever paper you choose - I used 120gsm white printer paper which seemed to work well. The design is reversed, and the areas to cut away are grey. Simple!

 I thought I had picked a fairly simple design which would be easy to complete - I was very wrong! Curves are THE hardest thing to cut and, as you can see, this design is made up of mainly curved lines. You live and you learn though. The flowers were all meant to have cut out centres, but I took the creative decision to only cut out some of them and leave others solid (basically it was too fiddly for my below average scalpel skills and I was worried I'd mess it up!)

 I'm actually really pleased with how it turned out - it took me an evening to complete, during which I listened to half of the Serial podcast (seriously, how good is it?!) My lines are pretty wobbly and I don't think I changed the blade as often as I should have because I felt like I was being wasteful just throwing them away. But I've already bought about half a dozen more templates, and am excited to get stuck in and (hopefully) improve along the way!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Mim's House Tour part three

I definitely saved the best for last with Mim's house tour - her kitchen and living room space was my favourite room. Looking into the garden, it was so full of light, and there were so many things to look at. It was also the room we spent the most time in, chatting and gossiping away.

The living room is basically my dream room - Mim has such an incredible eye for putting together colours and patterns that I wish I could borrow! My favourite parts were probably the vintage plates displayed on the walls, and also the vintage French educational posters that Mim picked up whilst on holiday. That was another thing that made the house tour even more special - hearing Mim's stories about where she picked up different items, how much they cost, and why she was drawn to them.

Mim and her husband David even made us lunch - sandwiches and homemade cake and all the tea you can drink, all served on their collection of mismatched vintage crockery.

I've been lusting after vintage kitchen larder units for years - my grandparents had one many moons ago and I've always wanted to have one myself. Mim's beautiful aqua cupboard set my heart a flutter, especially as it was filled with an impressive array of vintage plates and cups.

Thanks again to the oh so wonderful Mim for allowing us to invade your beautiful home, and for being such a kind and gracious hostess! Be sure to follow Mim over on instagram @madebymim

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Mim's House Tour part two

As promised, here is the second blog post featuring Mim's beautiful home! There is one more post to come, which will be up tomorrow morning, so please make sure to check back then for a final peek inside this inspiring space.

The second room in the upstairs attic conversion space has been turned into a bedroom for Mim's granddaughter to stay in when she visits. All I can say is a) I am so jealous that this is not my bedroom, b) Mim does not look anywhere near old enough to have a grandaughter, and c) she is one cool grandmother though! It's such a perfect room for a little girl - pretty but without being too girlie and pink, and obviously full of vintage treasures.


The room in the photos above is one of two reception rooms - I could have spent hours just in this one room. I loved the three ceramic donkey planters - I have a collection of pastel coloured planters (a clown, a bear, and a train) and they reminded me fondly of these.

Finally a few snaps from the downstairs hallway, where that shelf of cameras naturally caught my eye. And the sewing patterns/cat ephemera are on the wall in the downstairs toilet room (yes, there are treasures in every single square inch of this house.) Plus Mim's two cats, just because they were too cute not to snap a photograph of!

Stay tuned for the third and final installment guys, and in the meantime be sure to follow Mim on Instagram @madebymim to see more peeks into her life.