Sunday, 25 August 2013

Random Acts of Decorating #1

I recently acquired a beautiful hi-gloss white buffet from my father to store my dinnerware.  I've tucked it behind my couch, but being a modern piece it has a black glass-covered top that is visible over the top of my sofa. And that bugged me a bit because that sort of incongruity always does.  So I collected a few things that I have run out of space to display or store, a lot of them gifts, and just chucked them together on the buffet top - and it actually sort of works!

Red and black have become the dominant colours in my living room, not by design but because I think I've been taking subconscious cues from the Steinlen poster on the mantle that I've had since university.  They are both really strong colours so the challenge is to find a way to harmonise them in a way that is subtle and doesn't overpower the room.

I've done that firstly with the cushion colours and with the runner I used to cover the black glass on the buffet. It's from Laos and I've had it in a drawer all these years, unsure of where it fit because the house has such a European aesthetic.

A way in which I've kept the red and black combination toned down is to emphasise white, which in turn lightens the room.  The white lettering "UV & Co" used to sit on the mantle but it's now so much more visible on the buffet and a nice focal point for the room (my husband's and my initials, in case you were wondering), reinforced by the white orchid (a good-quality fake, because I'm an orchid killer unfortunately) and the tealight candle holder.

I threw in the vintage photo of an Indian dancer from this lovely blog and the candles from my Candle Makeover to tick the vintage boxes, and a gorgeous glass tea set from my brother which, er, didn't fit in my cupboard but also mirrors the glass on the steamer trunk coffee table.

So although it was a random collection of objects, it actually ended up tying together everything that's going on in my living room nicely!

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Monday, 19 August 2013

Handmade Cards 101

I've been hand making all my cards lately and experimenting with a few different styles.  These three are my favourite and I wanted to share!  All are made with the same combination of metallic gold paper and some beautiful Japanese paper.


Step 1 - Cut the two papers into strips
Step 2 - On some gold backing card, place some double-sided tape along the top edge.  Leave some space along the side for some more tape
Step 3 - Stick down all the of the gold strips along the top edge of the backing
Step 4 - Stick some double tape down the side of the backing card
Step 5 - Stick the Japanese paper strips down and weave them in between the gold strips

After weaving all the strips through, I stuck the result to a folded piece of gold card with a window cut out of the front.


Step 1 - Make a card out of gold paper and stick some patterned paper on the edge that is about a third of the width of the card
Step 2 - Using my paper pom pom tutorial, I created a mini version of those pom poms using baking paper (wax paper) instead of tissue paper.  It's a little harder to work with but firmer than the tissue.  I pulled half the sheets upwards and left the other half flat to create the flower shape.  In the centre I glued a strip of twine wrapped in a circle to hide the staple and make it look more like a flowe.


Step 1 - Grab the smallest version of my free quatrefoil stencils.  I printed the image on a piece of card, cut it and have been using it as a stencil but it the image could be transferred directly from printer paper by tracing over it and creating an impression on the card or using carbon paper
Step 2 - Once the image is transferred or traced, cut it out using an Xacto knife
Step 3 - Stick a square of Japanese paper to gold backing paper and stick it behind the quatrefoil lattice

I'm hooked on hand made cards now! Hope you enjoy giving these a go.

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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

DIY Candle Makeover

This is one of my all time favourite posts because it brought out my inner law nerd! Have a close look at the text on the candle that I madeover.  That's's a Hansard excerpt, or in other words, a transcript of Parliamentary proceedings.  And it was just so easy! I have to credit this video for the idea.

My only significant investment was a heat gun which I bought from the scrapbooking section of Kmart (pictured above) for $35.

Step 1 : Grab a pillar candle.

Step 2 : And some printed tissue paper.  I found this awesome Hansard gift wrap tissue at Typo. It's apparently easy to print any image on white gift wrap tissue using your home printer (by running the tissue paper through stuck on a piece of card or wrapped around printer paper) but my Epson Stylus did NOT like my attempts to do so unfortunately.

Step 3 : Cut the tissue to size and wrap it around the candle.  The paper needs to be cut so that the width is slightly smaller than that of the candle, and so that the ends of the paper don't overlap when wrapped around.

Step 4: Turn on the heat gun and work your way around the candle.  As the wax melts it seeps through the tissue and effectively 'seals' the print onto the candle.  You might be able to make that out in the photo.  The paper disappears into the candle wax and only the print is visible.  So frickin' cool!

Don't get too close to the candle with the gun because if the wax melts too fast it starts to bubble and pool under the paper.

LOVE the result!

Apparently these candles are OK to burn but I'm not sure I would recommend that....I think they're too pretty anyway!

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