Showing posts with label Hand-made. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hand-made. Show all posts

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Resurfacing...






Dearest blog readers,

Now how did that happen?! A blog silence so long that even I was beginning to wonder if I would ever find my way back to the gates of Bloglandia. As you can see, I have resurfaced, but only with the help of some recycled photos from previous autumns. My camera lies dormant in its case, and I, I neither lie nor am I dormant very much... Instead, it seems I have boarded life's own speed train, with a ticket that will last at least another few months...

As for you, dear readers, I wish you all the best, hoping you are enjoying many revitalising autumn walks and special moments with friends and family. The season for going a little candle crazy is here, so bring out the hot chocolate and the fluffy throws!

Helena



Sunday, 14 April 2013

'Purpling' the patio...again!

To see the whole image, please click on it.

Dear readers,
Some of you may think there has been a little too much of other people's gardens here on my blog lately, so it is time to 'bring things home' again, and to do it in the way I like best... the purple way...


About a week ago, I could not wait any longer. Outside temperatures were still not very impressive, but the garden-greedy colour-yearning soul inside me just NEEDED some purple violets. Yes, it was definitely a bit of an emergency.




The rest of the garden is still looking more savage than tame, but a quick sweep of the patio, some petal power and a few hastily scattered accessories, and we could welcome our Sunday lunch guests to some outdoor living... or at least to enjoy the view from the table inside, as it was far too cold to even consider lunch on the lawn!

The new three-legged metal friend was a bargain but oh-so-heavy find from a local second-hand shop, thought to have come from an industrial unit, but I am not quite sure what it actually is. In my eyes, however, it screamed 'garden table' and after a quick choppety-chop with the bandsaw, a left-over floorboard became (yet another) table top. I will probably have to find some more durable wood for this outside all-weather friend, but for now, I can just take the table top in when the rain comes.


And the purple petal pretties? Well, I am in loooove!
Purple or not, I wish you all a very pretty week!
Helena

Ps. Recently, I 'caught' the most wonderful BUG, 
and next time I thought I might introduce him to you...

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Can't keep your fingers off your eggs...?


Well, it seems, neither can I! 
Having gone just a little bit bananas with the lilac craft paper I used for my moustache-adorned egg heads last week, a few more mini craft projects took form in my spring-desperate head. So, what to do with some miniature bunting...?


Well, it quite obviously needs a sponge cake, some chocolate/coffee frosting, 
a few chocolate fingers and some mini eggs. 
In short: the bunting needs an Easter cake to go with it!

 And who am I to argue with that?

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, 
I hope your weekend is a lovely and relaxing one, 
and - dare I say it? - a warm and spring-like one too!
Helena

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Egg Heads...


No, of course I did not mean you, dear readers! 

The egg head heading refers to these three gentlemen that were the result of last night's itchy craft fingers having been allowed to play. Inspired by a photo I had seen on Pinterest (unfortunately I cannot remember where, so I apologise that there is no source stated), I dug out some old craft paper, three mini jam jars (those you often get with hotel breakfasts and which, I found out when I asked in a B&B last summer, are often thrown away and not recycled... which now makes me ask if I can take them home instead!), a black  pen and the three remaining eggs I could find in our fridge. And ta-daa, instant Easter fun! 

***

... and on the subject of itchy craft fingers... I thought I might continue the theme of 'show and tell' by showing you some wands I made for a certain young gentleman's Harry Potter birthday party a few days ago.. Welcome to Hogwarts!



I found some very easy step-by-step instructions here on how to make a Harry Potter wand that lived up to my health and safety conscious, do-not-like-any-children-to-get-their-eyes-poked-out-at-the-party philosophy. It was my first encounter with a glue gun ("What?" I hear you say, "a crafty girl without a glue gun???") and after an initial farcical few minutes that would give Mr Bean a run for his money, we bonded quite well (pardon the pun), the glue gun and I. 

I made a few changes to the original instructions and used two sheets of paper, one rolled inside the other, for stability, and I did not use any primer or paint several coats - instead I used a couple of tester pots in black and two different shades of brown and slabbed on the paint a little haphazardly, trying to achieve that distressed look. The wands were surprisingly easy to make,   and even if they will not last a lifetime, at least they are safe and proved very useful for the spells and potion making the little wizards undertook at the party...

Happy Sunday, everyone, and may it be a magical one!
Helena

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Purple peace and pretty purchases...


Dear readers,
I thought we might talk cushions for a moment. 
Cushions, I confess, is one of my weaknesses.
Cushions, I would insist, 
(although some family members, strangely, seem not to understand this...) 
you simply cannot have too many...
I say this, as I tend to make most of them myself, 
re-using the inner pillow and often using scraps of fabric to make the cover.


Like the peace sign cushion here...
...made from an old purple top of mine that was past its glory days in fashion, to put it mildly,
together with a peace sign cut out of some linen fabric and then painted with a thin layer of metallic paint, just to give it a modest shine, make it come "alive"...

But here comes confession time.
Cushion confession, that is.
See the other two patterned cushions?
Well...

If one happens to fall head over heals in love with a cushion one happens to see on the cover of one of one's favourite Norwegian magazines, Vakre Hem, and one then by complete coincidence happens to stumble across those very cushions at half price on a work trip to Sweden, one wonders if, perhaps, one is not meant to, maybe, well... buy them?

Well, one did. 

And one is quite happy one did. 

The sofa in the TV room (our TV is hidden away in one of the cupboards under the stairs) is now a little more colourful than before, and together with the fairy-light-stuffed ex-greenhouse heater in the fireplace, and my beloved, cheerful ceiling light, this window-less corner now seems a little bit brighter!


Wishing you a bright and colourful Sunday!
Love,
Helena

Monday, 5 November 2012

Lollipop love...

To better view the larger photos in this post, please click on the photos.

***

 - It's very dead, isn't it? 

The man in the house nodded towards what used to be a delightful olive tree, but what had, for a long time, been a rather sad sight...

- A-hem...well...

Having for some time refused to accept the sad state of my beloved tree, I was trying to buy time, not sure where this conversation was going.

- Isn't it about time you bought a new olive tree, because that one is really not pretty...

This ought to be good news, as there was an actual suggestion for the introduction of another olive tree in the house, but as I was busy feeling quite defensive about the attack on my green friend's appearance and knowing fully well I would not be able to find a new one this time of the year, I was not singing and dancing.

- Don't throw it away! I have a plan...

Now, this is not the first time these words have crossed my lips, and they were met with no surprise, even if I think I may have caught, out of the corner of my eye, the man in the house rolling his eyes...

***


So, armed with a bag of fresh moss, I set to work... and now, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce my new friend, the Green Lollipop! 

(I used the "skeleton" of the old branches and twigs of the olive tree and simply stuffed it with moss. To "reinforce" the lollipop against attacks from various paper aeroplanes, I used some this green sewing thread, but most of it seemed to stay in place just with the help of the little twigs on the tree.)


On one of the side tables rests the result of another nature walk recently: a star made from fallen down twigs. Could I possibly be getting into the Christmas spirit already...???

The tea light holder on the other side table is still one of my favourites, even though I am sure it will not  appeal to everybody in its rusty, quirky glory: an old chimney cap (to protect birds from falling down the chimney) with a small votive dangling in a rusty chain..


Otherwise, nothing new in the dining area...


 Even the walnuts are last year's harvest...

The last image was captured from the car on my way to the forest. Beautiful old stone houses climbing the green hills... through my Swedish eyes a VERY English view indeed!

Wishing you a great start to the new week and hope you stay 
warm and safe from hurricanes and treacherous icy roads!

Helena

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Recycled autumn...


Dearest blog readers,
Most of you know by now that I am a big fan of recycling material when decorating...


I therefore hope you will allow me to also 'recycle' some old photos from two years ago...


...as time is not on my side at the moment, but I still wanted to 
offer a little autumnal ambiance here on the blog...


Two years ago, there was a lot growing in the Swenglish garden and green house...

(Borlotti beans)

... some of which  (↑) I was more keen to devour with my lens than my palate...


Autumn walks in 'Conquers Land' made one Swenglish 'gatherer' very happy...


... and there was no stopping my desire to create little seasonal corners...


For now, I 'gather' ideas and try to be patient (not my strongest virtue...) 
until life offers the time and head space to create more corners and 
harvest the fruits of my create-hungry mind...

Thank you so much for visiting and a special thank you to Judita 
with the lovely blog Välkommen Hem! (=Welcome Home!), 
who gave me an award recently!

All the best,
Helena

Friday, 20 July 2012

My benches and I...


We seem to have a special relationship, my garden benches and I...


They put up with my "pimping" and pottering practices without as much as a sigh or a grunt. Same thing when  they see me light up after a decorating brainwave and I rush to get my camera. No rolling of the eyes, no scraping of the feet...


The newest family member in the bench clan looked a little naked at first...


... and I did my best to - at least partially - cover her sensually curved, slender-limbed torso 
(hm, a torso has no limbs, but you know what I mean...)...


...with some cushions in the only fabric that seemed 
appropriate for this delicate lady: vintage-looking florals...

(The bunting also has some "flags" from an old pink shirt, donated to my sewing cupboard by the man in the house when the collar started fraying. Many are the handsome male shirts in the Swenglish Home that have met  the same recycled fate!)


(Click on the image to view the whole image.)

I found the fabric in one of the very few remaining fabric shops in Bath. I asked for vintage floral and they pointed me in the direction of some not-in-the-slightest-vintage viscose. Hm, I thought, I think I need to do what I do best, rummage-rummage-rummage and sniff the air like a bloodhound for what I crave... and there it was, the faint scent of something similar to the idea in my head, coming from the almost hidden-away curtain fabric section upstairs. Sniff-sniff. Yep, that will do, some wannabe vintage florals for a wannabe vintage bench. A happy marriage, it seems. So far.

***

Our home in Landhaus


One of my blog friends in Switzerland mentioned yesterday that she had seen our home in the German magazine Landhaus. This was a complete surprise to me, and I have not yet seen it myself, but to my German readers who may be interested, I think it is in the July/August issue of the magazine. (The Editor-in-Chief has now kindly posted a copy to me, so in a few days I may be able to see it myself...!)

Wishing you all a really, REALLY lovely weekend!
Helena

Friday, 6 April 2012

Having the Easter blues...


Fewer and fewer are the new decorating details that come over my threshold these days... I like to try to either recycle/upcycle  - such as this former sweet corn tin, now with a new coat of a magnolia paper napkin glued on with découpage glue - or find second hand treasures to play with...


... or simply find pretties in Mother Nature's own treasure chest to decorate with...


However, I must confess to having a certain weakness for pretty tea towels, and when I stumbled upon this blue hen towel, my heart started beating fast enough for my wallet to jump out of my bag and land on the shop counter, just next to the money-hungry till...

After a quick deliberation, the banana bread jury also gave the thumbs up to this new member of the Swenglish tea towel family, and as you can see, this particular banana cake seems to enjoy being snuggled up in the cosy, clucking embrace of its new blue coat.

(For those of you wondering just for how long this banana cake was allowed to stay wrapped up like this before passing through the greedy jaws of yours truly and her offspring... well, I could not possibly reveal that without tainting my reputation...)


Having seen many different and creative "eggventions" in magazines and blogs lately, I thought I might have a go at a particularly cuddly, fluffy one (inspired by Hanna at Sjarmerende GJENBRUK, made from catkins), but I think my patience was not doing me any favours that day, and the result was not nearly as fluffy and fine as Hanna's. Next year I think I might try her pretty "popcorn eggs" instead. At least I can then eat any "failed attempts"...


The same napkins (as above on the tin) were used two years ago, 
also then involving Easter decorations...


And with these photos from our little town...
(Click on the images if you want to see them larger and sharper.)






... and a particularly pretty blue beauty...


I wish you a peaceful and lovely Easter weekend!
Helena