Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Vintage Style Handmade Cards

I have a lot of birthdays coming up in June, so I decided to be proactive and make some vintage style cards.  It's so much easier to have a selection of cards on hand than to try and buy or make a card at the last minute.  I think a hand made card really shows the person how much you care.  I am always touched when I receive beautifully made cards.

I bought a pack of plain cream cards from the craft store and these are the cards I made.

I stamped the damask scroll and placed a small crystal in the centre.

For this card, I cut a scrap of beige linen fabric and frayed the edges by pulling out threads.  I used spray adhesive to attach it to the card and then pinned this lovely vintage style butterfly brooch through the card.  I think this is a lovely gift all on its own.

For this card I thread a chocolate brown velvet ribbon through a square diamante buckle, then glued it to the card.

I picked some small twigs from our garden and thread one through the shank on the back of this diamante button.  I attached it to the card with a hot glue gun.

This is one of my favourites.  I traced a bird stencil onto some 'script' scrap booking paper and glued it to the card.  I then broke off a piece of twig so it looked like a tree branch and glued it under the bird.  I used a black felt pen to draw in some feet so the bird was perched on the branch.

This is more of a cute fluffy bird.  Again I cut out a bird shape from patterned paper, then attached a collection of feathers to the wing and a small self-adhesive crystal for the eye.

Lastly I made a Happy Birthday swing card.  I stamped the script dress and coloured in a strip across the waist to look like a belt and added a little crystal.  I also stamped the Happy Birthday and then threaded through a piece of organza ribbon.

I have a small selection of stamps that have different greetings on them such as Happy Birthday and Many Thanks, so I can quickly stamp inside each card when I write on it.

Happy Birthday to all my Gemini friends.

The Lettered Cottage
Todays Creative Blog

Monday, 30 May 2011

Girl's Weekend Hamilton Island

I am incredibly lucky.  I have just spent the weekend with three of my dearest friends at the stunningly beautiful Hamilton Island in The Whitsundays. 

We all met when our boys (all our eldest children) started at the same school in Prep (Reception).  Our boys are all now at different schools, but we have remained friends. 

We don't see each other every week or spend hours talking on the phone - we just pick up our friendship from wherever we last left it.  There's no "Why haven't you called me?", just lots of squealing, laughing, talking and hugs.

Your friendships with your girl friends are unique.

I will cherish the memories I have of this weekend, as I cherish my friendships with these lovely ladies.

I have made them all a Thank You card with this photo inside.

Thanks for a great weekend!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Customising A Bed Valance

I needed a plain white bed valance to hide the bed ensemble in the guest bedroom.  That was until I saw this photo in a Pottery Barn Catalogue.

Image from Pottery Barn
Those simple buttons sewn at the top of the box pleats make all the difference.  So off to Spotlight (craft & home furnishings shop) I go and purchase a plain white queen size box pleated valance for $36.  I search through my button jar and find 5 pretty mother of pearl shell buttons.

I've sewn the buttons about 10cm (3 5/8 inches) from the top of the pleat, being careful to keep the pleat lines straight as I sew.

I'm happy with the results.  I think the buttons add a small touch of special to what is otherwise a very plain and basic item.  Thanks for the idea Pottery Barn.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Stylish Setting - Adding a Special touch to the smallest room in the house

We have a small bathroom downstairs called the 'Powder Room' on our house plans.  Basically it's the loo that your guests use.  As it is the one room in your house where your visitors have time to notice the decor, I wanted to make it pretty and give them something to look at.

I wonder how many curious visitors are tempted to open the little medicine cupboard hung above the toilet and look inside?

This pretty collection of china belonged to my grandmother and her cousin, Isabelle.  The little framed flower was from Target (yes, during their shabby chic phase) and the small flower in the shot glass is by Sia in London.

I found this pretty botanical print in a discount store, and painted the frame white giving it a little rub back so it looked old and loved.

I had this love heart toilet roll holder made by a local wrought iron maker.  I painted it the same colour as the walls.  Sometimes it's the little touches that make a room special.

Linking today at

Monday, 23 May 2011

I'm Grateful for Fresh Flowers

I love fresh flowers.

Lavender at Kew Gardens, photo taken by my son on a school excursion

In Melbourne and Sydney all the high street greengrocers have buckets of fresh flowers out the front.  In London, Northcote Road had a number of flower stalls filled with beautiful flowers, especially peonies.  Here in Brisbane if you were to put fresh flowers outside your shop they'd be wilted from heat and humidity very quickly.

Rain forest Flower at Mt Tambourine, photo taken by my husband

When my husband and I lived in Sydney I would often by flowers from the street stall on the way home from work or on a Saturday morning when I walked up Glebe Point Road. I would do the same in Northcote Road, but back here in Brisbane I've barely bought a bunch. 

Daisies at Kew Gardens, photo taken by my son on a school excursion

When we eventually get around to re-planting our front garden beds, I want to fill them with flowers that I can cut and bring inside.  In the meantime I will just have to treat myself to some bought flowers.

Lilies from Suzi

I like simple floral arrangements, not the overly fancy ones you see in florists.

Take time out of your busy life to stop and smell the roses, or gardenias, or whatever flowers you enjoy.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Scrabble Letter Magnets

I like making words with scrabble tiles.  I remember playing scrabble for hours on end when I was a child.  I mentioned to Mum that if she ever came across some scrabble tiles in a charity shop, could she pick them up for me, and sure enough she did. 

They sat in my drawer for a couple of weeks as I wondered what I would do with them, and then it came to me ... I'll turn them into magnets.  So I grabbed some scissors and a roll of Xyron magnetic tape and stuck small squares of tape onto the back of each tile.

In about 20 minutes I had my Scrabble Tile magnets.

Then I had some fun with them leaving little messages around the house.

A message for my kids

A message for my husband

Friday Night Drinkies

Now how many points is this word worth?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

It Made My Day

When you receive an unexpected act of kindness it can really make your day.

It was my birthday last week and when I went to the letterbox yesterday this is what greeted me.

It was from my dear friend Sophie, in Kent.  Can you imagine how great I felt receiving such a lovely present?  It made my day.  Here is the beautiful card ... quintessentially English.

And I can't forget another dear London friend, Paula who sent me a new iPhone cover earlier in the week.

How lucky I am to have such beautiful friends.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Stylish Setting - Dining Room Dresser

I love our dining room dresser.  It belonged to my husband's grandmother, and when she passed away my in-laws stored it in a garden shed.  Many years later, my mother-in-law offered it to me and I jumped at it.  During the 15 years or so that it was in storage the dresser distressed itself.  It looks as though I have applied crackle medium to it, but that's just the way it is.  All I did was change the drawer knobs, add some tassels, and painted the inside white so I could store my table linen in it.

It fits perfectly into the little alcove in our dining area.  I often change the display on the top to suit the season, otherwise the blue and white china remain there.

I love the big French style clock that hangs above it.  It was from French Dressing.   Unfortunately when the removalists unpacked it when we moved back into our house, the pendulum that swings behind the circle cut out must have got caught up in all the packing paper and has disappeared.  Oh well.

The dresser holds all my table linen, spare cutlery and bits and pieces I use to decorate the table.


This post is linked at A Beach Cottage

Stylish Setting - My Hat Rack

This is the hat rack tucked down our little hallway. 

My husband and I keep our collection of straw hats here so they are easy to grab when we head out to the garden.  I hang whichever handbags I am using at the time here so I can grab it on my way out the door.  I am too lazy to go upstairs to get them.  As you can see I have a thing for 2 tone bags.
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