Napkin Decoupaged IKEA Autumn lamp

After the success of my last old Ikea lamp I thought I would try another. I chose this Autumn themed one because I liked the colours. The strange strobbing effect is caused by the lightbulb and doesn’t show up in real life. In real life fewer imperfections show, thankfully. I still need to tidy up the edges.  Now you realise what this means don’t you? As I have a winter scene and now an Autumn one, I need a Spring and Summer to make a set! But I 2014-08-29 23.40.4820140829_234451don’t have any more lamps, and find the price of them shocking. (Rather like pots!) So, the hunt is on to find another lamp at a car boot or Jumble sale. My experience is when you are looking for something you never find it………….

The ridiculous price of pots!

As I have some leftover paint in Annie Sloanes tester pots I thought I would have a bash at painting some outdoor pots. I also thought it would be a good chance to try making my own chalk paint as well for comparison, to see how it stands up. I went to B and Q and they wanted ridiculous amounts for the most basic pots, including over £20 for a larger plastic one! Ceramic ones were often £30 or £40 each, or even more! Can you imagine, if you have a reasonable sized garden you could end up with several hundred pounds worth of pots sitting outside!  It wasnt even a fancy plastic one either! I am not paying that!  I stomped off to the recycling dump to drop off some stuff and bought this lot of old pots for £3. Now thats a little more like it! I phoned up the shop I get Annie Sloanes paint from to cross check that it was true you didn’t have to seal them for outside. This goes totally against the grain bearing in mind our climate. I have got to know the woman who owns the shop and she told me that she had cross checked this with Annie herself, because it does seem unbelievable. Apparently you shoul2014-08-21 13.36.18d NOT seal it after painting but buff it up and it should be fine against the elements. I thought about this afterwards. If the basic ingredient is Plaster of Paris that does seem correct, after all, they dont varnish your arm after putting a plaster cast on do they! I need to get my skates on planting these pots with Spring bulbs and will give you an update  on how they come out.

Snowscene Napkin Decoupage

Isn’t it funny how we have certain scenes which attract us? I particularly like snow scenes and any sea images. This is an old plain Ikea glass lamp I bought a few years back -when I found a napkin with a snow scene I just had to think of somewhere to put it and this lamp has an uneven surface which reminded me of an ice cube. I must admit trying to attach 1 ply tissue onto glass is not exactly easy and at the moment I am alternating between trying to paste the glass directly or pasting the reverse of the tissue on a piece of cling film and then using that to transport it to the item an to provide a surface to smooth down. You may recall I have not done decoupage for over twenty years and so techniques like using napkins is completely new to me. What is exercising my mind at the moment is how to protect the decoupage after it has been attached. I have wrap around varnish but am not sure if it will leave a residue on the glass.  I will have to think about it and have tried it anyway. In the meantime I like the snow effect on a light. I have covered all four sides.  I hav2014-08-21 22.15.15e another Ikea glass light I was thinking of using stained glass offcuts on. I will have to think about that as well……I am conscious of the fact I still havent found the green wool…………. In the meantime I am sure there are people out there who a great experts on this, please remember I am not!

Onward and Upward!

Following on from the rediscovery of decoupage, I decided to have a bash at a tray. This is all the more surprising because I never use trays, I am rarely that organised. I am sure it is a matter of habit…I just carry the plate along moaning that its hot! Undaunted by this fact I still got one, specifically because it had a flat surface and was in a charity shop! The paint is Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in English Yellow and the image is from http://thegraphicsfairy.com/. I would have liked the image to have been larger but I can only do something up to A4 size! I gather you can do larger images in sections but that seems a mile away in terms of my current capacity right now. I used Polyvine Dead Flat Wax Finish varnish to seal it. I suppose this means I will have to try using a tray, I did have the novelty of carrying a plate back from the garden with it, it felt most odd and rather superflous! As you can see Annie Slaon’s paint is flavour of the month at the moment. I have been watching US Videos where people complain about how expensive it is, someone was saying it $40 a pot? Of course it is imported, over here its £18 95 a tin ( around $31), although I find it economical in terms of coverage. I havent tried making my own yet. Incidently this colour was very fashionable when it first came out in the 18th century,  you can see it at Brighton Pavilion (see  2nd pic)- the favourite retreat of the Prince Regent. A hugely unpopular man. If anyone is interested in the use of synthetic yellow in the Royal Pavilion at Brighton a good description of their use can be found here….http://www.scholarshome.org.uk/mdb3/royal/paper4.htm

At this stage you may note that I have not posted up any more of my Woodland Wreath. There is a simple reason for that, I can’t find the green I was using for the acorn cups……I will probably find it in the car or something. Its possible that Bella, my cat, has gone off2014-08-16 12.56.24 with it. Like all cats she never plays with the toys I get her, she much prefers my wool. If and when I find the green I can attach the next stage of leaves and move on!

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Revamped Needlework Box ( this has taken a year)

It shouldn’t have taken a year but I ran out of steam after I had finished prepping it. You can see from the first pic that it was covered in the ubiquitous 40’s varnish. Some kind person gave it to me from Freecycle. In fact it was SERIOUSLY covered in ubiquitous 1940s varnish. I spent several weeks with varnish remover and sanding down before I could even think about painting it. At the time I chose a tester pot of emulsion ( latex )  paint but by this time I was knackered and there is sat in the dining room looking at me repoachfully. Now recently I have discovered chalk paint. …reputed not to need sanding down. More about that in another post, but at this stage I hadn’t even heard of it. Having recently discovered chalk paint I then rediscovered decoupage. Now before anyone says anything about the finished products I am doing, I have to say in my own defence that the last time I did decoupage was in the mid 1980’s.As I discovered it has moved on a lot since then. I was really put off decoupage by the dreadful decoupage sheets sold in places like Hobbycraft. Its all a matter of taste but I find them utterly foul, I dont want teddy bears holding hands surrounded by hearts, or ‘vintage’ motor cars, I am a grown woman living on my own. …and how many cards do I need to make?

I have however discovered   http://thegraphicsfairy.com/. Her collection of printable graphics are of much better quality, the only drawback being many of them are American, which is to be expected as she is in America, but does mean that there are few British ads, for example. Nevertheless, she has a lovely collection of images and I was inspired to use some. I only have an inkjet printer, although may splurge out on a laser one if  I end up doing it regularly.  The swan was from her site. With the internet and a better range of supplies decoupage has certainly got a lot easier than it used to be. So I am LEARNING and lesson number one, is having the cope with ubiquitous 1940s varnish! What I will say is that stuff was a lot sturdier in those day. I got sea coloured glass handle off Ebay, and had to get some new hinges as the old ones were very rusty. That took a bit of a while because an Imperial Decree from Brussels dictates that everything has to be Metric these days, and of course it was made in Imperial measurements. ( I stick to Imperial measurements out of principle when I am buying anything, bloody cheek!)   This has been patinated and finished off with Annie Sloane’s clear wax, which is beautiful to use and removed the excess patination very well.20140816_1251322013-08-08 12.46.29 All in all its cost me £10, plus a good deal of swearing.

Oh Dear, getting a pot of paint out is always fatal.

I was supposed to be weeding the garden! This is Annie Sloanes Chalk paint and I find it so user friendly I am completely sold on it. This is duck egg blue.

I’ve heard a lot about it so thought I would give it a try. We don’t have Mason Jars in the UK we have Kilner Jars. My daughter, who has never painted any furniture before also  bought a pot and finished a chest of drawers in an evening. You can see how much paint it took.  I seem to take longer, but perhaps I am either very fussy or getting old! I am supposed to be trying to get my mosai2014-08-02 19.48.52IMG-20140801-WA0001 (1)IMG-20140801-WA0000 (1)IMG-20140801-WA0002 (1)cing done while the weathers nice.. not to mention the housework….I dont know! That then made me start to think of decoupage which I havent done since the eighties, but which I am going to start again…oh dear…..