Vintage paper tree ornaments

To continue on from my last post of vintage paper Christmas decorations, I have been adding old sheet music paper to ready-made basic shop purchased wood shape decorations, plus also creating 3D paper ornaments.

revamping old decorations:

For the wooden decorations, I really simply added shapes cut from old musical scores:

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Decoupage:

With a plain wooden decoration I simply added torn up strips of old paper glued on with Modge Podge:

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And hey presto:

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3D paper Decorations DIY:

Finally, I made some 3D decorations which are really simple:

  1. Cut 8 identically sized circles/shapes.  Fold all in half with a strong crease in the middle.
  2. Glue one 1/2 side to the next piece, work your way all around until you have 2 pieces left to glue.
  3. Add a ribbon and glue shut.  Here is a really simple video tutorial on how to make them in case the above makes no sense!
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Circle shapes

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Diamond shapes

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Heart shapes

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Very simple, but very sweet I think….

I shall be trying all sorts of shapes now.  In fact my children had better keep busily moving about or I may decoupage them….

Christmas Trees Vintage Paper Tutorial

how to make sweet christmas table top decorations

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Yes, I know…. we have not even hit Halloween yet, but I am starting to make Christmas Decorations early.  These trees can be made SO EASILY!  They can use any type of paper, although I think vintage music scores or old books look best as they have a great sepia tone.  All you need is paper, card, glue and scissors.  I think they look great in groups as well.

instructions
  • Cardstock
  • Sellotape
  • Old Vintage paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Small star (optional)

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Take some card and twist it into a cone shape.  Tape up the sides and trim it so it sits flat when upright.  If the top has a small gap, take a bit of old paper and glue it over the top so there is no visible hole.

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Cut the vintage paper into strips about 2″ wide lengthways.  Then cut up into them 1/2 way so they have a layer of ‘smaller cut strips.  I have fantastic shredding scissors that do this job, but normal scissors will work (but will take more time).  I do them in bundles of 5 strips at a time to speed things up.

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Once these are done, take a piece and bend up the cut pieces so they look like frills:

IMG_1364Now take the cone, and starting from the bottom, glue the paper around the cone.  With each subsequent layer cover the top part of the below strip:

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Keep on going!  When you get to the top reverse another small bit of paper so the strips stick upwards.  Then tease and tweak all the cut pieces upwards so it looks almost fluffy.

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You can add a star if you want, I happened to have some little wooden ones around so I added them on with a hot glue gun, but you don’t need these.  Here are the cones without stars:

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And then with the stars added:

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They look lovely and you can alter the scale.  The ones I made were in a set of 3 with varying heights, and one had much older paper with a darker sepia colour.  This is the size in terms of scale that I made in the below photograph, but you can make them any size and from any paper that you want.  They would look lovely in zingy tones of tissue paper in the summer for example….

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More Starbucks Pumpkin Heads….

As mentioned previously in an older post, I had to source pumpkin heads for a shoot for Starbucks’ Instagram UK stream for Prescription Agency.

The campaign is now rolling out and here are more of the pictures, I think they are hilarious.

in coffee shop

How no one in the background looks bemused I do not know….

in park

That is my friend’s dog, he is a lovely French Bulldog.

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“Oh no!” said the pumpkin head to her friend when he told her the latest gossip.

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No one seems at all suprised to find such a traveller in their midst.

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Love these art gallery ones.

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Autumnal Walks & Sloe Gin

Autumn in all her glory

Today I went on a magical walk with my family in some Berkshire woodlands and captured some stills of autumn looking amazing.  We had a family lunch for my husband’s birthday and then headed out for a long walk.  Here are my beautiful girls who happily pottered with me and also took photographs.

The clocks changed last night, and it really felt like we are heading for winter with a nip in the air and clear skies.  This year the leaves are magical; holding onto the trees for as long as they can and turning the most amazing colours.

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Chalk Paint on Fabric – Vintage Chair Upcycle Project

FINDING THE RIGHT CHAIR

My mother appeared with a chair a few months back that she had rescued from going onto a bonfire.  It was in a pretty bad way, with ruptured springs, very dark wood which is not really my cup of tea at the moment, and a needlepoint that had definitely seen better days.  She told me I should try and do something with it, so I chucked it into a corner and sort of ignored it!

Before collage

However, I have been itching to try the chalk paint on fabric method, so decided that this should be the guinea pig of a chair, and if it did not work it could always head back to a bonfire.  On the plus side is that it is a pretty shape, and the carvings are actually very good, so it was worth a try.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it, so started out by painting the wood of the chair and sorting out the saggy seat.  I removed the very crusty edging braid and refixed all of the underside webbing elements with my trusty staple gun.

The painting started out in a buff chalk paint, it looked OK with the needlepoint, and if I had waxed it and added dark wax into the crevices it would have been very typically shabby chic.  But I felt I should push it (and myself) more.  So I left it alone for a while and had a think. Continue reading

TV Cupboard makeover

After the recent sideboard makeover, I thought it would be a while before I did another one, but then I was sitting watching TV and realised that this corner of the sitting room is really a mess.  In our old house I had a lovely huge Chinese cupboard that hid the telly, but we could not bring it with us as the dimensions were just too big, so I sold it on to the house buyers.  In this house, I usually hide the TV when it is not on by dragging an armchair in front of it.  The TV sits on an old painted trolley, and it is too big for it, and the machines/wires look plain horrid.  In fact TV’s are really ugly to the point that in both the magazine shoots of my houses, the photographers either asked them to be hidden or removed – so it is not just me that thinks it!

This messy corner irked me so much that it totally ruined my TV viewing, so I started to scour eBay for a quick solution.

I found this little beauty for a bargain £9.99 on ebay, and it was very local so cost nothing for delivery.  It is really well made, but quite old fashioned, and the mahogany was very scratched on the top.  However it does have pretty brass handles.

As I loved the effect of Graphite Annie Sloan chalk paint that I used on the recent sideboard, I whacked on a coat to the TV unit, and then clear wax to finish and seal it.  They look like mummy and baby now…

I then hid all of the wires and TV boxes inside and placed it in the sitting room corner instead of the messy trolley that had been there before…

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Phew, I can now relax and watch the TV rather than staring at the wires and mess around it……. such is the life of a slightly OCD decorating person…

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Pumkins, Starbucks and Instagram

Pumpkins, Starbucks and trying to get stylish…

Recently I was asked to come up with some fake pumpkins for a photo shoot for a rolling campaign for Starbucks and Instagram, promoting the infamous Pumpkin Latte’s which they make in the autumn.  I was asked to make 3 pumpkin heads for actors to wear in photographs.  They were to be photographed around London at a distance, in various situations, in a documentary style.  These will come up on the Starbuck’s Instagram feed throughout this month.

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We could not use real ones with the innards scooped out as they would be pretty gross,as in heavy & slimy for the actors.  So I then had a go at making one from plaster and wire so that a head could easily sit inside.  It started out fine, but the weight of the plaster made it sag overnight and it looked like a giant Physalis by morning… hmm…

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FAIL!!!!!  A really ultimate fail actually.

Not to be deterred, and always the optimist, I turned to the wonders of the web, and managed to get some speedy shipping of Funkins sorted out.  These are incredibly lifelike fake pumpkins, that can be carved, lit from within and so on.  They are actually made from a moulded hard plastic foam, and then hand painted on top.  Unluckily for our budget thought, they had to be shipped from the USA in a hasty and expensive dispatch mode.

The client wanted them to be able to sit on the actors heads, not wobble and look incredibly lifelike.  Oh and they also had to fit in a full adult sized head and cover the whole neck as well.  I measured a lot of startled adults locally to check head and neck sizes, and then ordered the biggest I could find.  They are actually really hard to carve, sort of tough and chewy, and my knife was in a sorry state by the time I had finished.  I started out by carving out the space for the head to fit in.  We then ummed and ahhed and decided not to add typical carved faces, but to leave them totally plain.  Then off they went to be filmed across London in a variety of poses.

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Definitely one of the weirdest things I have been asked to do recently, but it was great fun and the pictures looks fantastic.

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My house in ‘The English Home’ Magazine, November Issue 2015

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I am very pleased that my home has had a feature in the interiors magazine ‘The English Home’ this month (November 2015 issue).  It is a very smart glossy, and it seems like a lifetime ago that the crew appeared to photograph the house. I can safely say that I have never cleaned a house as much as I did in the lead up to the shoot, it was pristine.  Even the picture rails got a clean….

Since then I have already redecorated two rooms – the breakfast room and the spare bedroom, so it shows that I just cannot sit still when it comes to experimenting and using the house as a testing ground.

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The photographer very kindly sent me copies of the photos, as my own image capturing skills above look a bit lacking:)

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It is quite a mixed bunch of feelings seeing your home immortalised!  One one hand, it looks so grown up and calm (unlike real life most of the time!), and on the other hand it makes me itch to punch some darker colours and patterns into it.  I think I need to be braver and bolder in the use of colours now.  I had my last home featured in 25 Beautiful Homes, and it is interesting to see how some of the furniture and objects are rehoused/placed/decorated in a different way in this current house.  Plus I also can see how much retail therapy has taken place, which is a bit alarming!

Grabbing yet another bargain…. sorry OKA…

Following on from the sideboard makeover last week, I had a niggling feeling about it not being quite right in that my lamps looked a bit too small.  In fact they looked like they were lilliputian and Gulliver had lent them to me.  The sideboard is so big that it needed some REALLY BIG LAMPS. See here…. weeny!

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So I started to hunt for some that were a) big in scale and b) a bargain as is always preferred. I found these by OKA, I just love all the things that they sell and wander their shops salivating a lot and buying far too many trinkets and flowers for the house.. but they are whopping £327 each with a shade included, and I wanted a pair as I get a queasy tummy if I don’t see symmetry!  So, over £650 for two lamps, I just cannot justify it, especially with two teenage girls who have their mothers’ clothes shopping habits already!    But the OKA lamps are so lovely with the weathered wood, and I liked the neutrality of them in case I feel like moving things around in the house at a later date, (which is a dead cert really).  Here is the lamp:

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So I started the usual trawling grounds; ebay, gumtree, local charity shops.  Nothing that I liked, and certainly nothing that was a bargain if I started to count postage costs.

But then today by absolute FLUKE, I was passing a shop called The Range that I remembered had some lighting that was incredibly well priced, but with some occasional hidden gems that I think look very upmarket and well designed.  So I popped in, rooted around and found this lamp: Continue reading