Since I started this blog I have given my creative side free reign. This year I made all my own decorations
for the Christmas tree with rewarding results. I also managed to make a lot of stuff for the school bake sale and most of it turned out pretty well, apart from the crumbly coconut ice (but cellophane and curling ribbon go a long way towards making a dodgy slice look good. ) Intoxicated by my success I thought that I would try making some home made Christmas gifts and the results where not quite what I had hoped for...
When I doing research for my post about hexagons I came across what was supposed to be a faceted hexagonal ornament, on Pintrest and had to have a go. I attempted to put the thing together but was completely baffled by the instructions and found the black on white photos really hard to understand.
Thinking it had something to do with my dyscalculia I decided to enlist my husbands help. But he soon confirmed that the problem was with the instructions and not with me. He also pointed out that the only thing that this ornament has in common with a hexagon is that they are both shapes. In my attempt to make my straws conform I had managed to glue together a hexagon anyway. My husband suggested that I ditch the shape idea and make a Tie fighter with the straws instead . After several failed attempts by both of us to get it to work most of it ended up in the bin. Apart from some straws that I selvedge and made into a star, which of course is what I actually meant to make all along.
I've been seeing those hand made beads in gift shops for a while now and I thought I would have a crack at making some. I used air dying clay because I had some handy. You can't really see from the picture but I had a lot of trouble getting the paint to stick. After a few weeks of mucking around with different types of paint. I'm quite prepared to make this down as fail. I'm not quite ready to give up on the bead making yet but I think I will give the air drying clay a miss.
I also made these ginger bread men broaches out of air drying clay, they are actually pretty cute but I wasn't able to stick the pin parts to them using my glue gun so I am going to have to get some super glue or something. They were a total pain to make because I had to give them so many coats of paint and then a coat of varnish. Also they are very fragile, I had a lot more of them but many got broken by my two year old. I might have been better to have made them out of bread dough. This would have been a fun craft if I had more time and didn't have to worry about my destructive child.
If you are keen on vintage styling then consider growing roses. With so many varieties there is bound to be one to suit every taste and every size garden. This year I have appreciated the lovely roses growing in the garden of our rented house. I have enjoyed picking them and using them for my vintage styling projects and it’s nice to gaze out my window and catch a glimpse of the lovey blooms. I’m unsure if it’s the time of year, or the climate in Geelong but whenever I am out walking I keep seeing beautiful roses everywhere. When I think I have found the prettiest I find a new type and a new favorite.
The problem with roses is that the flowers don’t last long. Wanting to do something useful with the spent blooms I recently collected them up and oven dried the petals.
The method was simple, all I did was heat my fan forced oven to 100 degrees, line some baking trays and spread the petals out on them, I then placed the trays in the oven with a tea-towel in the door to let the moisture escape.
Besides the rose petals I experimented with lavender, pansies, ornamental plum leaves, and even some little daisies (which were growing on a neighbours lawn). I also made some very cute orange peel curls. I left the trays in the oven for around 20-30 minutes, but basically I just hang around in the kitchen and shuffled the petals around every now and then and removed them when they were crispy.
I may have gone a little over board with the rose petal production. There is a public rose garden a few streets away so went for a walk with some plastic bags and came home with even more petals. What I didn't realise util I got home was that the roses were full of bugs, so I had to spend quite a while outside separating the petals from the bugs. I think I released a few hundred ladybugs, earwigs and beetles along with a handful of little spiders. (If you are squeamish about bugs then maybe this isn't a hobby for you.)
Rose petal crafts
Apart from using the petals for potpourri you can turn your dried petals into beauty products, which make great gifts or can be used for fundraising projects. I made several batches of rose petal and lavender sugar scrub and bath salts.
Rose Petal Bath Salts
Rose Petal Sugar Scurb
I bought some little plastic bags on ebay and designed and printed labels using Vistaprint, then I packaged up some of the rose sugar scrub. I donated a box of these to my sons school fundraiser and saved some to give as Christmas gifts. The little packs are a great size for putting in a stockings or for sending in a Christmas card. (note I found that the coconut oil in the sugar scrub, made some marks on the labels.)
I also bought some plastic jars on ebay. (I do recommend reusing jars that you have at home, but I didn't have any at the time.) Using Vistaprint once again, this time I made sticker labels. To finish off the jars I tied some bows and used a glue gun to attach them the lids.
Dried flower Christmas baubles
I ordered some clear plastic Christmas baubles on ebay, filled them with dried petals and attached ribbon for a very pretty result.
This year I decided to get creative and embrace the ‘can do,’ vintage spirit by decorating my Christmas tree with handmade ornaments. I’ve always been a fan of the shiny and the glittery but this year I have replaced the sparkly tinsel with paper chains and popcorn garlands. Perhaps it’s just my DIY pride talking but I actually think that this years tree is the prettiest ever. It has an understated charm which I find very endearing. In fact I would go so far as to say that comparing my tree to one decorated with gaudy plastic ornaments is a bit like comparing a fresh faced bohemian girl, with Dame Edna Everage .
I quite enjoyed making my decorations particularly the watercolor hearts because my two year old was able to help me with the painting. The popcorn garlands, which were a popular way of adorning Christmas trees in Victorian times, were not quite as fun to make. When I fist thought of the idea I had an image of a happy Victorian family sitting around a cosy fire threading popcorn. The reality was me sitting on the couch staring glassy eyed at Playschool next to my two year old and yelping in pain every five minutes as I stuck the needle into my finger. For every piece of popcorn that was threaded on the string two were eaten by my son and three ended up on the floor. At the end of two days of garland making, (I had to replace a few strands when the tree got knocked over) my lounge room looked like a move theater after a Star-Wars marathon. Still I wouldn’t replace my DIY tree for all the gold glitter in the world.
1. This evening coat was made during world war one, by a mother for her son, as he was convalescing from injuries sustained in the conflict. Made from silk hexagonal patchwork, the fabric dates from the 1890s. Image, originally from the Norfolk museums collections.
2. Golden Library edition of "Mathematics: The Story of Numbers, Symbols and Space," copyright 1958. Illustrated by Lowell Hess. Posted on flicker by Calsidyrose.
3. Women wearing hexagonal framed glasses during the early seventies . Unknown source.
4. Proposal design for hexagonal student union building at the San Francisco State College, by Moshe Safdie, 1967-68. Image found on fuckyeahbrutalism@tumblr.
5. Hexagon crochet bed spread and cushions, circa 1959. Image courtesy of free vintage crochet .com.
Once you develop a taste for hexagons you start seeing them everywhere. I noticed this cute hand made hexagonal bag from the late fifties at my mums house the other week and asked to borrow it (so I could work out how to replicate it) but she kindly let me have it. (I noticed that she had a wooden hexagonal chopping board in her kitchen I wonder if she will let me borrow that too?)
This is the hexagonal peep hole in my front door. In case you didn't know I really love the original 1950's details in our house.
This platform is part of my sons school playground, it's made from treated pine and topped with fake grass, it could have been a pain old square but someone had the good sense to make it hexagonal.
Get the look
1. Mercury Glass Votive Holder -Threshold™ from Target, available in aqua, pink & blue
2. Country garden fabric from Spotlight
3. Large Hexe Wall Storage from Typo
4. Threshold™Burned Wood Tray from Target
5. Hexagon Shadow Box from Kmart
6. HÖNEFOSS Mirror from IKEA
7. Copper hexe terrarium from Typo, available in black and copper
8. Mini Hexe Shadow Box Set 3 from Typo
9. Belmondo Hexagon Eyelet Curtain from Spotlight, available in lime, aqua & charcoal
DIY paper hexagon wall art and Christmas ornaments
Hexagon wall art template, PDF
Hexagon Christmas ornament large , PDF
Hexagon Christmas ornament small, PDF
What you need
old card board boxes
a pen or pencil
removable mounting squares (for the wall decoration)
ribbon (for the Christmas ornaments)
(The same basic method makes both the wall art and the ornaments.)
1. Print out hexagon shape template, cut out your template, place a small loop of sticky tape on the back of your paper. (to hold it in place as you trace.)
2. Flatten out an old cardboard box and cut into usable sized pieces, place your template onto the cardboard and trace around it, cut out your cardboard hexagons.
3. Place a cardboard hexagon on to your wrapping paper and cut around it, leaving enough paper to cover the front of your shape and attach to the back, wrap your cardboard hexagon with paper and attach the paper to the back with sticky tape. (use enough to make the paper stick neatly.) If you are making Christmas decorations from your hexagons then attach a loop of ribbon on the back with sticky tape and hang it on your tree.
4. When you have completed as many hexagons as you want, (I used 12 for my arrangement. Arrange them on the floor until you have a design that you are happy with and take a photo so you can remember how to place your shapes.
5. Attach your hexagons to your wall with removable mounting squares.
You could try painting your cardboard hexagons, adding glitter or using fabric rather than paper.
Another idea is to personalize your hexagons by using stick on letters to spell out words or names.
I like to set myself challenges, I'm a bit wacky like that. This weeks challenge evolved from finding a set of three 8x10" or 20x25cm dark wood photo frames in the shed.
I decided that I would paint them gold because I didn't like the color. Then I wanted something to put in them, so I spent a whole day mucking around with free vintage pictures and editing them and looking for phrases to go with the images to form a set. Because I had it in mind to decorate a baby's room I thought it would be good to have two sets of prints, one for a blue themed boy's room and one for a pink themed girls room.
The next day I went to Office Works and had my images printed out as 8x10 photos. It cost me $17 for the six images. I decided to get them printed as photos because I wanted them to be thicker then they would have been if they had been printed on regular paper, plus I thought the colors might look brighter. (But there is no reason why you couldn't just use a color printer, which would be cheaper, I'm sure they would still look good.)
Yesterday I finished painting the frames and decided to set myself a baby's room bookshelf styling challenge using items from around the house.
The lace I used on the shelves came from the bottom of a dress that was given to me recently, but which was too small for me to wear, so I used a quick unpick to remove it, but you could find something similar from a haberdashery shop or you could use doilies for a similar look. I bought the wooden letters about a year ago from typo, they cost $4.95 each. The greeting cards came from phoenix trading.
11 time traveling television shows
Don't have access to your own time machine or TARDIS? No Drama, I've got 9 time traveling television dramas for you(and two comedies, so really it's not no drama, it's actually lots of drama, but not the bad kind of drama, oh you know what I mean. And yes I have watched almost all of the shows on this list, so you might even call me a bit of a drama queen.
Penny Dreadful-British/American- supernatural horror
This series set in Victorian London. When wealthy explorer Sir Malcolm Murray's daughter Mia is lost under the spell of a vampire. His ward, medium and witch, Vanessa Ives, employs the assistance of american gunslinger Ethan Chandler and Dr Victor Frankenstein in order to recover her lost childhood friend. But after a steamy liaison with Dorian Gray, it's Vanessa who needs rescuing. Is this a group united in their efforts to combat the monsters preying on the city of London, or are they in fact the monsters? Penny Dreadful has two seasons so far with a third coming in 2016.
Downton Abbey - English period drama
This series is one of the most widely watched television drama shows in the world. Set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey. The series depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era. Downton Abbey has six seasons.
Underbelly: Razor- Australian crime drama
This drama is set in Sydney during the 20's and 30s. It depicts the story of the bloody battle between the era's most feared "vice queens", Tilly Devine and her rival Kate Leigh, plus the "razor gangs" which controlled the Sydney underworld during that time. Underbelly: Razor is the forth and final season of the underbelly series, it has 13 episodes.
Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries - Australian mystery crime drama
Set in Melbourne during the 1920's, the series is based on author Kerry Greenwood's novels. (which are also very good). Miss Phryne Fisher is a wealthy, glamorous, sassy, women's rights advocate who works as a private detective and solves mysteries using resources unavailable to the all male Victorian police force. I am a big fan actress Essie Davis and every outfit that she wears in this series is to die for. I confess that Miss Fisher inspired me to dye my hair dark and have it cut into a bob. Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries currently has three seasons.
The Sullivans, mini-series - Australian family drama
The Sullivans are an average middle-class Melbourne family who are affected by the Second World War. The Sullivans is the only series in this list that I haven't actually watched so I can't give it a rating but I thought it was worth adding to the list just the same. The Sullivans has sixteen episodes.
Mad Men - American drama
Set at the beginning of the 1960s, the series is about one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies. The main character is the firm's ruthless, manipulative, self-serving, womanizing ad executive, Donald Draper. I very much enjoyed the first few seasons, but Drapers is such a cad that he started to really annoy me. I kept watching long after the story-line lost it's appeal, just because I loved the clothing and the sets so much. Mad Men has seven seasons. Personally I think it would have been better if it had been condensed.
Love Child - Australian drama
Set in Sydney in 1969. A group of young women from different walks of life form a special bond when they are brought together at Stanton House, a home for pregnant unwed mothers. The women work together in the Kings cross hospital laundry, while awaiting the birth of their babies, which they are expected to give up for adoption. Their lives become intertwined with the staff at at Kings Cross Hospital and Stanton House. Love Child has two seasons.
Puberty Blues- Australian coming of age drama
Set in Sydney in the late 1970s, the producers of this show have captured 70's Australian suburban life brilliantly.
If you only have time watch one series from this list than make it Puberty Blues. Yes it is a coming of age story but it is also a whole lot more. With the story line extending to lives of the teens parents, it tackles many adult themes, including infidelity within marriage and parenting issues. It is unfortunate that the marketing of this series gives it the appearance of being for young teens, which it is not. I wouldn't let anyone under fifteen watch it, and only then if they were a very mature fifteen/sixteen year old . The characters in this series are affected by some massive issues such as teen sex, child abuse, rape, drug use, death, sexism, racism and alcoholism in a way that is sensitive, honest and real. This series is worth watching just for the clothes, sets and fantastic 70's sound track alone. Puberty Blues has two seasons.
P.S I have put together a very comprehensive Puberty Blues sound track on You-tube.
Life on Mars- English surreal crime drama
After being hit by a car in 2006, Sam Tyler awakens in 1973 to find himself working for the predecessor of the GMP, the Manchester and Salford Police, at the same station and location as in 2006. An enjoyable show that leaves you guessing right till the end. Life on Mars has two seasons.
The Carrie Diaries- American coming of age drama
Set in the eighties, The Carrie Diaries tells the story of a teenage Carrie Bradshaw, yes the one from sex and city, and her close friends. Personally I found the parts of the series which focused more on Carries friends kind of boring. But it was Carries bottomless, amazingly over the top eighties wardrobe, which kept me watching, right till the end. Oh and the 80's sound track was pretty good too. Sometimes you just want to veg out and watch something light and puffy, that you don't have to think about and this is a good series to do this with. The Carrie Diaries was canned after just two seasons which left a bit of an annoying cliffhanger. I suppose one would have to read the books to find out what happens between Carrie and love interest Sebastian, but clearly they don't end up together since he's not in sex and the city. I also wonder how Miranda and Charlotte come into Carries life since she hasn't met them in this series.
Okay so Seinfeld and Friends were not set in the past like the other shows, they were set in the late eighties and early nineties because that's when they were made, but hey the nineties was a long time ago now so I'm including them in my list.
Seinfeld- American sit com
The show about nothing went from 1989 until 1998. If you were too young to have watched Seinfeld when it was on TV then you should watch it. If you watched Seinfeld when it was first on TV then you should watch it again. Because it's just a classically funny show. There are nine seasons of Seinfeld to enjoy.
Friends - American sit com
Friends went from 1994–2004, it follows the lives of six 20-something friends living in Manhattan. I was talking to my hairdresser last week and the topic of friends came up. She told me that if she has had a bad day or has watched a scary movie then she likes to watch an episode of Friends before going to bed, Friends, she said is her happy place. And that sums up why you should watch friends, because it's a happy place. There are ten seasons of friends.
This lovely no sew hankie bunting is fun and super easy to make and it should be sturdy enough to hang up anywhere, even outside in the garden. It is a great way to have something unique, vintage and upcycled. And by purchasing hankies from an opp-shop you are giving to charity. It’s win, win, win!
As many vintage hankies as you can get your hands on. 10mm craft ribbon (I ended up using over six meters of and still didn't have enough, so I joined some short pieces together using the hemming tape.) Scissors, no iron hemming tape, iron, ironing board, iron aid spray.
Iron the hankies flat then fold them into triangles and run the iron over them again to help them keep their shape.
You don't have to use an ironing aid spay but it will help them keep there shape better and I did enjoy the smell it gave my room when I hug the bunting.
lay your flags out so that you experiment with how you order them. Some of my hankies were part of a pack so they there were some repeats in style, so doing this allowed me to spread them out make sure that I had more of a mix of color.
Place your ribbon across the ironing board, leaving enough to tie the bunting position your hankie . Line the ribbon up with your ironed crease cut a strip of hemming tape and stick it the ribbon to hankie. Peal off the baking paper (this part can be fiddly and it does help if you have long fingernails.) If you are planning on using your bunting out side I would recommend that you use more tape to help keep your hankies in place if it gets windy.
Place a second strip of tape at the bottom corner of the hankie to help it stay closed . Fold the hankie over and smooth down to help it stick. leave a small gap between hankies and continue on this way making your bunting as long as you like. Don't forget to leave a bit ribbon at the end to tie your bunting.
I really love the house we are living in at the moment. It was built in the late 1950’s and still retains it’s gorgeous original features. The bathroom is probably my favorite room because I adore the blue basin and bath set. ( I think the tiny little plug for the sink is super sweet.)
As a child I spent many happy hours swishing around in a blue bath almost identical to this one, pretending that I was a mermaid and playing with a blue plastic wale toy at my grandmothers house.
When styling this room I couldn’t help but be inspired by the beautiful assortment of 1960’s roses blooming in our front garden. Between you and me I edited out the aphids which came out of the orange rose and crawled all over the soap holder. I have a large assortment of vintage crystal vases which I collected from opp-shops, markets and second hand shops. I love to group them all together with a single flower in each one. The ones on the bathroom shelf are a small part of my collection. I do advise caution regarding the use of glass in bathrooms when you have children.
I like using pops of orange because they contrast so well with the pastel blue. No bathroom is complete with out cute bath toys whether you have children or not.
I have been working on a decorated photo frame tutorial and I decided to make two sets of prints suitable for a nursery, child’s bedroom, or play room to go in my finished frames. One set is aimed at boys and the other at girls. I combined some trending elements like hexagons, quotes and pastel colors, with vintage children's images. To create two sets of images which are on trend and vintage too. Enjoy
Sailor boy with telescope pdf
Sailor boy jetty
Girl with dog
Girl with cat