Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

I recently popped into the Natural History Museum for a quick visit when I was in London for the day. I usually enjoy having a leisurely time admiring objects, hunting for inspiration, and making lots of sketches, but I only had time to look at some of the Asian and Islamic exhibits and snap a few photos.

I have roughly bunched the pictures into three categories: figures (above), patterns and metalwork.

The patterns made using inlaid mother of pearl, and those painted onto Islamic tiles, were particularly intricate and eye-catching.

The metalwork is particularly impressive considering the age of the exhibits, and the simple tools that would have been used to make them. The sheer opulence of some of the Indian pieces is stunning!

Even such a brief trip to the museum was inspiring, and there is always something new to see. Being able to admire such beautiful objects certainly makes me feel inspired to make things, and to learn new techniques and push my abilities.

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Some vintage finds awaiting use in a collage or two…

VINTAGE-EPHEMERA

I have a collection of small vintage finds such as these that I upcycle or use in craft projects. The interesting items range from keys, watch faces and tape measures to engravings, photographs and medicine labels. Some of the finds are worthless on their own (e.g. a key with no lock, or a single domino), but can tell an interesting tale in a collage, or form a useful part of an upcycling project (for example the domino could be made into a drawer pull/handle).

The downside of collecting these little things is that I sometimes feel that there are so many things to make, and too little time!

There is a cabinet of lovely old lace fragments at my local museum, which always serves to remind me that it is good to tackle a more complicated craft project every now and then, and that it is amazing what craftsmen and women could make with their hands before machinery started to do it for us.

These pieces of handmade lace are so delicate and intricate, and must have taken an immense amount of time to complete: they certainly show the benefits of patience and dedication.

This gallery contains 3 photos.

DSC_3575

A recent museum trip provided lots of inspiration- I particularly enjoyed looking at the textiles and natural history exhibits. As you can see here, there were some interesting bird displays, with a wide variety of species from all over the world displayed together.

Monday Mood Board

PINK-FLATLAY

The pink cherry blossom is out in the garden now, making pink my colour of the week!

Small Storage DIY

Small, plain wooden trays are often used as packaging for small items such as tealight candles or craft items, and are useful for organising small items. The trays are very plain, and sometimes only roughly finished, but it is quick and easy to turn them into decorative and useful drawer or desk-top organisers.

PLAIN-WOODEN-BOXES

First use some sandpaper to smooth off any rough edges. I simply decorated these trays by cutting felt inserts to sit in the bottom of each compartment- this is a useful project for using up fabric odds and ends.

WOODEN-BOX-INSERTS

The compartments were measured, and squares of different coloured felt cut out and fixed into the bottom of each compartment using a small amount of glue.

The trays could alternatively be lined using leather or decorative papers, or be decorated using paint. I have these trays in the bottom of a shallow drawer in my jewellery bench, and they are perfect for holding jewellery making materials and semi-finished items.

FELT-LINED-TRAYS

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