Thursday, 20 September 2012

Crafty DIY : Easy Stencilled Sign

Jibber jabbing ends all wars. Jibber jabbing can bring peace to all play fights. By jibber jabbers I mean that pointy elbow to the rib cage or the sly, but quick prod to the throat. Gently of course. It's my only defence being only 5'5". The way of the jibber jabbers has helped me win many an attack. This is why I am always so bruised. Thirty years old and I cannot give up play fighting. And to celebrate, I made my beloved other half a warning sign as a gift.

I recently found a good technique over here for stencilling without cutting out the stencils and it has made my life a great deal easier. I found a beaten up plank of wood which was ready for the tip, but instead I saw it's potential and so cleaned it up, gave it a white wash of paint and then came the magic. I laid the printed stencils on top of the wood and with a ballpoint pen, drew around the letters. The pressure on the pen leaves behind a dent in the wood which produces a natural barrier, so as you paint between the lines, it will not run over the dent. Wonderful trick.

I then drilled two large holes each end and threaded through a length of old rope to hang it by. This literally cost me nothing and the other half seemed pretty happy with the outcome. Other than the jibber jabbing that occurred right after the gift giving...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Crafty DIY : Cake Flags

Cupcakes rule, I have known this for some time. A small portion of cake with a mental amount of butter cream, enough to make you sick for hours afterwards - bring it on. But I have always been weary about making my own as I didn't think they would turn out like the shop bought beauties. Wrong. I am happy to announce that I am getting the hang of icing with a squirting device and my cake to icing ratio is pretty much spot on. Don't get me wrong, I still have a long way to go, but hey, homemade cupcakes are a regular occurance in our home now.

But all cakes look prettier when decorated. Spinkles, glitter, grated chocolate, sugar treats, oh and flags. I love cake flags. So I made my own by creating the designs below (you can use the graphic to print your own if you fancy) and with the help of a little pritt stick, wrapped them around tooth picks and then triumphantly staked the peaks of icing, very satisfying. I have a whole batch in the cupboard now, just in case.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Whitstable Sunset

We've been spending a few evenings at the beach in Whitstable recently and enjoying the tremendous sunsets. The skies have dominated the scenery with their theatrical displays and it's been wonderful to just carve a botty shaped hole in the pebbles and sit and appreciate. Although frisbee has played quite a prominent part in our evenings too, so it's not long before we're straining our eyes and running around like loons.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Crafty DIY : Tea & Coffee Caddies

Want to make a chocoholic happy? Make some storage caddies. Asda sell some rather tasty chocolate wafers for 99p which come in a rather nice tin. When the other half had finished inhaling the contents, I didn't want to throw the tin away and thought I might make a tea and coffee caddy instead, but that meant I needed another one. The other half thought Christmas was already upon us as I encouraged him to finish the contents so that I could have the tin. Not much encouragement was needed really, I'm fairly certain I hadn't finished my sentence and the tin was empty.

I started by washing them out, although, fair play, he even polished off the crumbs. I then painted the tins with three light layers of white spray paint. I cut out the stencils from plain A4 paper as I needed it to be thin enough to wrap around the tin, using a little repositionable spray glue to hold it in place. I then spray painted the TEA and COFFEE stencils onto each tin with silver paint and voila, nice new drinks caddies for free.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Crafty DIY : Stacked Pebble Display

Ok, so you know about the beach combing obsession. Well, I was lucky enough to be given a lovely mini alpine garden in a very chunky stone pot for my birthday, which beautifully compliments my many pebbles from Cornish beaches. So as a little soppy reminder of our holiday in the West Country, I created a display on our doorstep by placing a large oval slab of slate underneath the alpine garden, adding some pretty pebbles riddled with white lines and a homemade stack of flat balanced pebbles. Easy peasy, but quite striking. I was a little nervous about the rabbit taking an interest in such a precarious arrangement, but he's actually more interested in the succulent leaves... as you can see by the mildly nibbled tips.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Crafty DIY : Round Chalkboard Menu

This little project cost me all of 50p. I found this glass picture frame at a charity shop in the basket labelled 'nobody wants this hideous item so let's mark it down to ridiculous prices that even the most hardened of bargain hunters cannot resist'. Their marketing ploy obviously worked.

I stripped out the glass and was left with the smooth chipboard back, so painted that with chalkboard paint. And then spray painted the rather gloomy green frame with an uplifting white I had leftover in the garage. Sorry about the scrawl. It's a tight month this month, so still no chalkboard pens, but one day you will see nice handwriting on one of my blackboard projects. It probably won't be my handwriting though...