Friday, 30 September 2016

How to make: Laura Ashley Embellished Tote Bag - with R&B Designs



Last week some fellow crafty bloggers and I spent the most wonderful afternoon at the beautiful Laura Ashley Manor Hotel. I had no idea Laura Ashley had a manor hotel, did you? well it is gorgeous let me tell you. We had a lovely time exploring the grounds, which was followed by a delicious afternoon tea and an afternoon of crafting. The fun and fabulous design duo Russell and Bawden (Amanda Russell & Juliet Bawden) led the workshop, and with their expertise and guidance we made some gorgeous Tote bags - using the latest Laura Ashley Fabric. I haven't used my sewing machine in a while so it was lovely dusting off the cobwebs. Here is my finished Tote bag, along with R&B's step by step instructions on how to make this lovely bag. I accidentally cut one of my shoulder straps so I made it work for me by adding fabric handles! I also embellished the bag using beads from old pieces of jewellery.




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Thursday, 22 September 2016

How to age, antique and distress furniture (using two colours and dark wax)

When you’re browsing thrift shops and furniture shops have you ever wondered how they make pieces of furniture look so old, faded and shabby? painting and distressing is one way to go about it, but it doesn’t necessarily make it look old. So what is the secret I hear you ask? well as you're all so lovely I will tell you. It’s DARK WAX! Now I know the thought of smothering your beautiful piece of furniture with what looks like black shoe polish is a daunting idea, I was reluctant myself but it really does work wonders. So to give you a demonstration I've made over some of my dining chairs, and I used the opportunity to experiment with two-tone furniture distressing too! Once you've tried this you'll realise just how easy it is to transform your furniture. Read on ...


How to age, antique and distress furniture using two-colours & dark wax


Two-colour distressing technique

Two-tone distressing is when you use two different, one on top of the other couple - then sand back to reveal some of the colour underneath. It can be a strong or subtle affect depending on the colour and type of paint you use. I wanted a subtle affect for these chairs so I painted these chairs white - followed by a light grey, and it worked perfectly.



Annie Sloan painting technique - before and after


Ronseal recently sent me some of their chalk furniture paint to use for this project which I was really impressed with (along with their precision paint brushes). I especially love their shade of Dove grey, it's the perfect shade of grey. I’m now looking around the house for other things to use it on, but Ralphy won’t sit still for long enough :-) Please note: That was joke ... no doggies were harmed in the making over of these chairs.

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Thursday, 8 September 2016

How to make: Pressed flower lampshade + using hydrangea petals



As we near the end of summer I decided to make use of some of the flowers I pressed earlier in the year. Hydrangea petals are ideal for making pressed flower projects because they are so pretty and delicate. I don’t know about your hydrangea bushes but mine are still in blooming, so if you fancy making this pretty pressed flower lampshade you should still have time! Simply pick the petals, make sure they are nice and dry and lie them flat in a press or inside a heavy book for a week or two, then you can begin.



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Friday, 2 September 2016

A month in pictures - August




Hi Folks, well it's the end of August. Boo! Actually you I don't mean that, you know me well enough by now to know I love the autumn and the cosiness it brings, but I shan't be wishing away what's left of our summer just yet. I know August can feel like the end of summer for many .... kids are back to school, mums everywhere heave a sigh of relief, and the word 'Christmas' starts popping up in conversations but here in the UK September is such a beautiful month too, so I'm happy to stay in the moment for a little while longer. We've had a lovely August here at AHC. Ralphy and I had a birthday and although we haven't escaped for a holiday yet we've had some lovely days spent with our friends and family, and the good weather also meant I could tackle some bigger craft projects! Here's out month in pictures .... 

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