Sunday, 29 April 2012

Finding my voice

I have been feeling frustrated with my blog recently and getting all bothered about how many visitors I am getting, how many comments, how many followers etc, and concluding that it's not many.  So I have been reading up on how to improve your blog and get more hits.  Most say that you need to find your own voice and be authentic and I am finding it a real struggle to find my voice.  I read other blogs and think to myself I want to be more like Elsie on Beautiful Mess and not reveal much about my private life, my feelings and just focus on the crafts, doing posts that are fun and quick and easy to read, not too meaningful, fairly light, with lots of pictures, but then I think but that's not me, I am deeper than that,  if I try to be like Elsie then I am not being authentic or using my voice.  So then I think I know I will be more like Kelly Rae Roberts and be really descriptive about my feelings and gush and be all about the love and the art, but that isn't really me either, I don't like to gush and I don't speak like that and I do lots of other things than just art. Or maybe my blog should be more like Elise Blaha and be like an online diary of everything I do, a document, but then I don't have time for that and don't want to share some things. I get very confused and muddled and I lose myself in the sea of other peoples voices.  I have conversations with myself that go something like this; I know, I will just focus on crafts for my blog, but then I want to include bits about my life too, and my life is also about Art and and photography and my new baby and friends and family and days out and Christianity, and I want to include all these things too, but then my blog looks muddled and doesn't come across as cohesive, I am too eclectic to focus on one area of my life only, maybe I should have lots of blogs, one for each aspect of my life/personality, but I can't separate them, they are all intertwined, the craft inspires the art and the photography reflects life and so on, plus I barely have time for one blog let alone five or six. I want my blog to be a true reflection of me, but I also want followers, I don't want to put people off by being too opinionated about things or focusing too much on one aspect of me that might put people off, like my faith or my baby, no one wants to hear someone gush about their baby all the time, and for goodness sake don't mention politics, but that's me too, I have an opinion, I am educated, I have a degree for crying out loud I need to express who I am in a true way, not in a way I think people will like, but am I brave enough to do that? Can  make that commitment?  Do I even have time? And I don't come to any sort of real conclusion and so I just carry on blogging about whatever and sometimes not blogging at all then feeling sad that I only had 5 visitors today or whatever.  What do you think? What should I do?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Green Glass Bottle - New item in the shop

A green glass bottle is the newest item added to my shop.  I have recently just been renewing items but have finally got round to photographing this little gem.  I have six of them and they would be perfect for commercial use with cosmetics or perfumes, or for decoration in a shop or around the home.  Wouldn't it look lovely with a posy of flowers coming out of the top? I love the antique/vintage style and the Victorian look, I can see it sat in a Victorian Pharmacy window!  What do you think?

I have a few more items to list in my shop in the next few days, including some fantastic vintage suits inherited from my Grandmother-in-law, to check back soon.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Easy Up-cycled Plant Pot Tutorial

Plastic plant pots, what could be more ugly?  And yet they are very useful and not to mention cheap, in face I acquired most of my plant post for nothing, so rather than fork out for expensive decorative pots, why not up-cycle your own?  Here is a really easy tutorial to improve the appearance of a very uninspiring pot:

1. You need: A plastic plant pot, some thick twine (mine is made from hemp), scissors, a glue gun.

 2. Begin by putting a line of glue along the base of the pot and place the end of the string along the line of glue, add more glue and line the string up along it, careful not to burn your fingers on the glue.  Don't cut the string yet because you won't know how much you will need.

 3. Continue all the way round the put then begin another layer on top of the first.

4. Keep glueing and wrapping the string round the pot, try to push the string up as close as possibly to the row below so that none of the pot shows through.

 5. Keep going...

6. And keep going till you get to the top of the pot.  To finish off put a line of glue around the very top edge of the pot then cover with the string so that the top edge of the pot is covered.  Finish off by cutting the string and gluing the end slightly inside the pot so you don't have an exposed end.

 7. Admire your handiwork!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

1950s Kitchen at Basildon Park

My lovely parents came to visit at the weekend so the hubby and I thought it would be nice to take them on an afternoon out to the beautiful Basildon Park.  Basildon Park has an impressive Georgian Manor surrounded by glorious parkland. The property was restored in the 1950s by Lord and Lady Iliffe.  Sadly hubby and I didn't get to see the interior of the house because the little Mr was being fussy, he didn't want to be carried and we weren't allowed to take the pushchair in, so we strolled around the gardens while my parents looked round the house.   When they came out my mum excitedly told me about 1950s kitchen in the house and said that I would love it, I couldn't leave without having at least a quick look so we went it the exit and up to the kitchen. It was the best thing ever!  Complete with a woman dressed in a 1950s apron baking biscuits!  I whizzed round taking photos of the vintage loveliness and now I want to paint all my kitchen cupboards green and attach aluminium handles.

Fantastic picnic hamper, I actually saw one of these in a charity shop once but couldn't justify buying it when we have such a small house and no where to keep it.

Lovely range cooker,

 Original 1950s recipe books,

 Fabulous mixer,

 1950s house wife? loving the apron,

Look at the cupboards, just look at them, love love love, the colour is fantastic, they were metal and beautiful,

 How fun is this mixer cover?

A cupboard full of 1950s goodies,

Love this tea set, and is such beautiful condition,

There was also a 1950s living room set up in the stable block, how awesome are these chairs? Actually saw some like this in a junk shop a while ago,

Do you love the 1950s?  I would love to go back there, except for the sexism of course.  What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Featured Crafter - iheartbuttons

You may remember a few days ago I blogged about a fantastic wedding I attended and included this photo of a stunning button bouquet. 

I have to say I was pretty impressed with the bouquet myself, I hadn't seen anything like it before.
Anyway, as luck would have it, the talented maker of this bouquet stumbled upon my blog by googling "button bouquet" and she was kind enough to leave a message for me.  I visited her website and sent her an email and asked her if she would be so kind as to answer a few question for the interest of you, my lovely readers, fortunately she said yes!

Hi Lesa, thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview please do tell us a little about yourself and your business:

Hi Helen, thanks again for blogging about I Heart Buttons, it's a pleasure to answer some questions for you, I am flattered that you think your readers will be interested in my business.  In 2010 I moved to the Isle of Wight to bring up my two children. I happened to see a photograph of a button bouquet on the internet and it was love at first sight. I researched how to make them, bought some buttons and other materials and gave the result to a friend. One of her friends saw it and asked me to make one for her wedding. From there I opened an ebay shop, launched a website and started getting lots of enquiries.

What/who inspires you? 
I can't say there is a particular person or thing that inspires me. I 
get a lot of inspiration from the beautiful vintage brooches and jewellery I find for my bouquets. Most recently I found the most 
gorgeous pair of vintage gold and blue/green leaf earrings. Then when in my local haberdashery shop I saw a material in a colour that would go perfectly and my "Tiffany's Treasure" bouquet was created.

What motivates you? 
The thought of creating unique bouquets and I love the reactions from the lovely people who follow and support my work.

What are some of your favourite websites/blogs that you like to visit? 
It is so busy at the moment that I struggle to have free time to surf the net but I do have a penchant for cars and belong to a couple of car forums. I also love looking at online wedding sites such as Ideal Bride, Ice the Cake and you have to love Kat Williams Blog, RocknRoll Bride.

Who are your favourite artists? 
Being honest, I am not from an arty background so have never really 
followed any artists. Although I do now belong to the Isle of Wight Arts and there are some fantastic local artists here on the Island.

What are your goals/plans for the future? 
When a bride considers a button bouquet, I would love I Heart Buttons to be the first company that is thought of or recommended. I have lots going on at the moment so watch this space :)

How do you come up with ideas for your designs? 
They just happen. As soon as an idea pops into my head, I write it 

Can you recommend places to buy tools and supplies for someone who wants to make button bouquets?

Craft shops would sell the tools. Fantastic buttons can be found in shops such as Funky Poppy in Plymouth and on Facebook/Ebay.

That's there serious questions over with, now for the stuff we really want to know!

What is your idea of the perfect day? 
A track day in my car at Oulton Park would be a fantastic day. Even 
better if it was in someone else's car (just in case lol). Or out sea fishing in the Maldives... 

What is on your wish list? 
A Lamborghini Aventador. I will have an I Heart Buttons Lamborghini one day, it may not be an Aventador but we shall see.

Do you collect anything? If so what? 
Betty Boop and Buttons! I started collecting vintage Betty Boop 
memorabilia back in 1999. I built up quite a collection which I am now selling off in my shop here in Ryde. Buttons, well that comes with the 
territory lol.

Who would you like to sit down to dinner with? 
My husband. It seems a rare occasion now we have any time together to sit down and eat dinner without interruptions from the kids or him being at work on the mainland. 

Do you have any guilty pleasures? 
Curries. I love making and eating curries from scratch.

Thanks so much for answering all my questions Lesa, it's been great talking to you.

All photos are from Lesa's website:
You can also visit Lesa on her Facebook page.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Spring time Mori Girl

It's early spring, and sometimes there is still a chill in the air in the morning, by the afternoon the sun is warming your back so the Mori girl needs an outfit that is versatile and practical as well as stylish. The combination of a tapered leg trouser with and vintage boot is an effective pairing, style with chunky socks to create a unique look.  Team neutral tones with olive green as a token nod to the season.
Spring time Mori Girl

Isabel Marant belted jacket
$730 -

Hope slouch pants
$189 -

ZOHARA opaque hosiery
€19 -

AllSaints summer shoes
$295 -

Alexander McQueen disc jewelry
£125 -

Yellow gold jewelry
£9 -

Janavi cashmere shawl
£550 -

Oasis lace hat
$27 -

H M braided belt
£3.99 -