Monday, October 22, 2018

Homespun Things....DIY Decals....

Look at this bit of specialness!
Pretty retro inspired swallows gracing my pretty retro inspired benchtop mixer.
I know.You want one now don't you. Stick with me.
The instructions are at the end of this post.
It all started with this image found on Pinterest.
So pretty...
I thought I recognised the birds on this mixer, and sure enough, I eventually found them on The Graphics Fairy website.
They look like this....

So here is my mixer.
It's a Sunbeam, not a Kitchenaid…
I printed the Graphic Fairy birdie images out, trimmed them, and went to town trying to find a good position for them.
But try as I might, they didn't look right, due to the very different shape of the Sunbeam, over the Kitchenaid mixer.
I had seen another image of swallows that I liked at The Graphics Fairy.
And one that had a slightly more Chinoiserie bent to it, over a traditional European one.
Almost more of a tattoo feel...though please note I do not have tattoos... I just like the colouring of them.
Look here it is....
So I saved that one, resized it accordingly, and did another in a mirror image, because now I knew exactly how I was positioning them.

See here, where I've printed them out on paper, to finalise where they'd go.

Fortunately I had some Waterslide decal paper that I'd ordered for another project, so lickety-split, I printed them out on that.
Waterslide decal paper is available on eBay and at selected stationers and craft stores, and it's about $3 per sheet. That's really economical when you consider how much Etsy stores charge for customised waterslide decals. I've added a link below.
You need an inkjet printer, and I purchased mine several years ago for $35. The stationers all have them, and I actually think I bought this one at the supermarket. So they're readily available.
Of course, the expense is in the ink cartridges, and they do come with cartridges intact, that will last you quite some time.
I buy the replacements for mine online for about $35-$40 each for the black and the colour, and they last at least six months. And that's with Daughter printing out assignments and whatnot, and me with all of my craft projects.
So in short, you need....
Waterslide decal paper available online
Inkjet printer with black and colour cartridges
Images that you like, resized accordingly
Spray clear enamel paint to 'set' the ink on the new decals
Print your pretty images out on your waterslide decal paper, coat them with the clear gloss spray enamel, and wait for it to dry. It won't take long. An hour at the most in fine, dry weather.
Then trim your decals close to, but not right up against, your images. You need about 1cm or 1/4 of an inch, all the way around.
Apply your decals in the preferred position, following the instructions that come with the paper.
These are not difficult to apply at all, but if you've never used them before, sacrifice a practice sheet and some smaller decals, perhaps for storage jars or similar, to make sure you can transfer them smoothly. They can slide around a little for repositioning, but do treat them gently.
Keep a clean, dry cloth close by to smooth them out once applied.
Be careful, they are fragile.
That's it!
Enjoy your new fancy-schmancy mixer!

Of course, you can use these decals on ANTHING really.
They're no good on anything that needs to be immersed in water, and they're definitely not dishwasher safe. A gentle wipe with a clean damp cloth now and again, is as much as they tolerate.
But for furniture, canisters, storage jars, mirrors, boxes and most other things that just sit quietly minding their own business, they're the bomb!
Waterslide decal paper available here.
Swallow images available here.
Original Kitchenaid bluebirds on a branch here.
Have fun creating!
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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Life changes on the horizon....

Life changes are afoot friends!
Big ones!
See, there I was, in the midst of my Chinoiserie-Hollywood Regency bedroom makeover, and having a fine time painting anything I could lay my hands on, when I received a phone call.
I got dressed like this, went for a comfy chat with a friend...
...and was offered a job!
A real outside-the-home corporate one.
With money.
Well, I thought about it for a while, because, you know, I've worked pretty hard a being retired and content.
But here's the thing.
It's a job helping people. A role where I know I truly can make a difference.
And it's only for two years.
So. Why not? I mean really. I've actually already been performing this role on a volunteer basis. So why shouldn't someone pay me to do what I've already been doing for years?
I start very soon.
Meanwhile, with a commencement date looming and unfinished projects the order of the day at Maison Mimi, I'm in uber-productive mode!
I painted this vintage lacquerware stacking thing a new colour....
Look! Pretty, isn't it?
 I painted a $3 thrifted frame pink..
I painted these cranes pink too...

 Then changed my mind and painted them Hermes orange instead...

I love them now.
I scored a pair of lamps at the thrift store for $6. I embellished them with Greek Key trim.
I love them too now.

That there underneath...that's my first attempt at faux tortoisehell. More on that later. You may recall me saying I try things 27 times before I give up? Well I'm on my 19th try of faux tortoishell and by jove, I think I've got it!
These fabrics are somehow coming together harmoniously for the new bedroom d├ęcor. I think my brain almost has that one worked out as well.
Thankyou to Judy for that stunning crane print. Isn't it divine?

I admired some Blanc de Chine figurines, inwardly cursing myself for not snapping up the one I'd seen at my usual thrift store haunt for just $7.
They I remembered my collection of Willow Tree figurines, gifted over the years. I love their sentiment, but not entirely loving their colour.
So, as you do, I painted them with gloss white spray paint.

Behold a new sort of perfection...

I adore them now. Honestly, is there anything you can't learn to love with a lick 'o' paint?

Back to that tortoishell. Here was attempt number 6. It wasn't quite right either.

I gave up on that for a minute and painted my cherry stained desk, satin black.

It's rahhhhther glamorous now. Especially after I refinished the handles with a bit of Rub 'n' Buff. It comes in a tiny tube and is a thick cream. You rub it on, and voila! Gold leaf perfection!
I liked the black desk so much, I painted the chess table black too. It has this lovely carved detail.

So I looked at that, and looked at the Rub 'n' Buff, and well, you know what happened next....

A bit glam, right?
No, not me. This is me in some new corporate wear. Different?

In the midst of all that painting and Rub 'n' Buff-ing, I trotted out this Hatchimals cake for Granddaughter number two.
It's true my love for the Grandies knows no bounds, nor limitations of imagination or creativity.

Here's version 5 of the faux tortoishell. Kinda nice, but not quite the look I was after either.

This faux tortoishell with gold overlay got my attention though!

 Leading me to Version 18 of my attempted faux tortoishell, which, if I hadn't sponged like the tutorial said, would have been almost perfect.
Of course with Rub 'n' Buff in one hand, and an old etching stencil in the other, I had brainstormed a way to replicate the above look, no worries at all.
I'm well on the way with that project now.
This needs to be glazed, embellished with flourishes, and preserved under a glass top, and I will be in heaven.

In other news, work has commenced on a She-Shed!
The slab was poured just this morning!
It's not a pretty back yard one.
Mine is under the house.
But it will still look a little like this...

...and this...

Feast your eyes upon my pewter shantung bedspread.
$6 thankyou very much.
I had admired a similar one for $450.
Happy me.

And this wee box?
I was about to donate it, when inexplicably, one almost identical, showed up in my Pinterest feed.
I think it's valuable.
Either way...I've rescued it from the 'donate' box and given it pride of place on my bedside table for now, until I find out more about it.

So that's all my news.
I'm sorry to have kept you in suspense.
Life changes. But it's all for the good.
What's changed in your corner of the world lately?
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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Motherly Advice...stay busy...

Some days I struggle to get anything done.
Other days I'm a whirling dervish. I don't know what that is exactly, but Mum used to say it a lot.
Mostly, my mantra is 'do one thing, then do one thing more'. Mum said that a lot too.
But still, some days it's harder to do even 'one thing'.

I do it though. Doing one thing, then one thing more is how I stay busy and productive.
Some days I choose which sort of 'one thing' I'm going to do.
Some days, cleaning and decluttering just ain't my thang, you know what I'm saying?
That's okay. I find other things to do one of, then one more of.
Yesterday I was supposed to be sewing and finding a new desk. But I didn't. I just didn't. I fluffed around on Pinterest a bit. I did a couple of loads of washing. At least I did that one thing.
Husband and I had a Thai inspired baked fish for lunch. Isn't it pretty? He's home on Tuesdays so we always try to have a particularly delicious lunch.

Other things I've baked recently, include Bacon and Egg pies, and Custard. Such simple things, yet so comforting, and full of memories.
Other things I have kept busy doing lately...
I looked at lots of tassels on Pinterest. I hate and love Pinterest in equal measure. You sit down at 11am, and the next time you look up it's 3pm. Well, not really...but it's a vortex for sure. Handle with care is my Pinterest mantra. Set the timer, Pinterest away until it buzzes, then get up and walk away.
I liked these buckled tassels so much, I made some myself.

I prefer my diamante buckle. I have no idea where to put this. But I love it, so for now, it's laying elegantly on my desk.
Other tassels I admired were these fuchsia ones on a delectably emerald lamp. Adding that to my list of Chinoiserie Things to Do.

 I admired the graceful lines of this pretty vase...

...and the Springtime colours on this antique planter...

..then found a vase the same shape, with a design in the same colours at my local op shop...lucky me!
I'll be filling it with a suitable floral arrangement today. I just looked in the garden, but it's sadly bereft of anything suitable. The Bromeliads have all finished for a minute, the Clivea are just starting, and I missed out on my heirloom Gerberas because I wasn't watching. My friend Jane says I should get some Frebeesia.
Here's the pic she sent me.
Janes' great. She's helped me appreciate my tropical garden, and weaned me off pining for the roses I am destined to be incapable of growing. I think we have some Frebeesia actually. I'll ask Husband later. We have lots of things in the garden that he just plants and waters and we have no idea what they are till they flower. Gardening in ignorance might sound strange, but it's loads of fun.
Speaking of fun, I also admired lots of things on Pinterest that I cannot possible afford.
This Italian Chinoiserie inspired sideboard caught my attention. I didn't even click on it because I just KNEW it was expensive. I'm going to have a go at making something look like it though. How hard can it be, right? A bit of gold trim, a decal or two, some faux bamboo?


I loved this fabric since I first laid eyes on it. It's out of my price range too. For now. I have a chair just like this. I'm not sure I could bear to cover it in this fabric though. Where does the eye look, really? Chair or fabric? Fabric or chair? It's a bit confusing. Mine is dark wood and dark green leather. I found it in a thrift store for $50. Bargain. I think it's staying green.

I saw this brass shell planter on Pinterest.

I wished one into my life. $6.50. You know where from.

Tassels...I love them. I do not like the price of them. I found a curtain tieback at the thrift store. $3 and with the makings of all kinds of fun.
I pulled it apart.

I got two tassels, and the makings of two more out of it. That diamante buckled tassel I made, above...that's the hollow slide adjuster from this curtain tieback, some costume fringing rolled up and wiggled inside it. I'm nothing if not inventive.

I beaded a bit of florist wire and put a loop on it to tie onto my bedside table.

 I added a potential DIY artwork to my ever lengthening list of things to help me stay busy. Because really, if you have to do just one thing, then one thing more, then surely sometimes that should be something you LOVE to do.
I tried to persuade Husband to add a Chinoiserie inspired bookshelf to his list of things to do. He wasn't convinced. He has a long list as well.

We both love being busy. We both love having a long list of things to choose from when we have a day where we just need to do one thing, then one thing more.
It's a great strategy.
How do you stay busy, when busy ain't your thing?

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