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

Archive for April, 2015

Monday Mood Board


It is difficult to avoid being inspired by the sea and the countryside around here, especially in spring and summer.

Budleigh Sept 14(1)  Spaniel on Beach

Dartmoor1  Winter skies 2

Dartmoor4  Flowers by the Sea

Budleigh Sept 14(c)  Estuary 2014

With the longer days I’ve been spending even more time outside, and the sunshine and brighter colours after winter are so cheerful. It’s also very nice to be able to sit in the garden when undertaking craft projects.

We’ve been enjoying some lovely warm weather in Devon this month, and it even stayed dry (and sunny) on the day that all of the boats were craned back into the water. The craning-in starts very early in the morning (it has to fit in with a very high high-tide) and takes a few hours, and usually seems to be a guarantee that it will both rain on that date, and be 10 degrees C colder than the day before!


Monday Mood Board


Some teeny-tiny spring flowers from the garden…


…snow drops, heather, cherry blossom and grape hyacinths.


Monday Mood Board

Some lovely 1950’s fashions from a vintage sewing magazine, one model is sporting a rather unusually-shaped hat…!


An advertisement from the same vintage magazine is shown below: it’s amazing to think that such a widely used piece of haberdashery as the zipper actually hasn’t been around for very long (just over 100 years). Apparently the name is onomatopoeic, referring to the sound made when the zip is closed or opened (interesting fact courtesy of Wikipaedia). I can’t believe that that had never occurred to me before…

Vintage-sewing -magazine-adverts-page

DIY Decorative Labels

Here is a very quick DIY craft project- making fancy decorative labels for presents. I think Washi tape (colourful Japanese adhesive paper tape) can probably be used to decorate almost anything…


Materials needed:

  • Cardboard (or shop-bought plain luggage labels)
  • Washi tape
  • Decorative twine such as paper twine or striped bakers twine
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Small round adhesive labels, or those designed to re-enforce hole-punched paper (optional).


First cut out your labels and punch a hole in the top of each one. You can buy pre-made luggage labels, but making your own offers a wider range of colours, and you can cut them to exactly the size and shape that you wish.


Re-enforce the punched hole using a piece of Washi tape or two labels (one on each side of the tag), and then attach a length of twine.


The final (and most fun!) stage is to decorate the labels using Washi tape: the tape can be placed diagonally or parallel with one of the edges, different tapes can be placed randomly all over one side, or you can decorate both sides if you wish.

The finished labels can be used for all sorts of purposes; larger ones can be used as invitations, or you could write a letter in tiny writing on one and post it to a friend. Think outside the box!


I’m off to write some tiny letters…


Monday Mood Board

Yellow is such a happy colour!

Yellow-daffodils Yellow-flowers Daffodils


Happy Easter!


Happy Easter!

Some more Easter pictures can be found on my Easter Pinterest board.

DIY Easter Egg Decorations

Easter is my favourite time of year: spring is here (and summer is on the way!), the days are getting longer, and the world is starting to look a little brighter with the appearance of flowers in the countryside- what’s not to like!


I like to bring flowers in to the house for Easter, and also to hang up some decorations on a bunch of white (spray-painted) branches in a vase on the kitchen table. Most of the decorations are painted eggs, with happy memories attached; including the ones my mother bought when I was a small child, and those that I have decorated over the last few years with family and friends.


Egg forms are widely available in craft and discount stores at this time of year: the most widely available ones are made from wood, hollow plastic, papier mache or polystyrene. The wooden eggs are often quite small, but are easy to decorate using paint (see picture above).


The polystyrene eggs don’t have a very smooth or attractive surface, so look better if they are completely covered (using decoupage or feathers for example). Hollow plastic eggs- particularly if an attractive colour- are suited to partial decoration, such as a cluster of fabric flowers around the top (in the picture above two of the plastic eggs are finished, and the other three have yet to be decorated).

I’m off to finish decorating the three plain ones above…!


Happy Easter!

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