Thursday, March 26, 2015

Do You Pin?

Do you keep scrap books? I've been filling up mine for a few of years now and their number has swelled to 7, which includes a very fat juicy one about double the size of the others! 
It's a joy to look back through them when I need inspiration, or just to while away a half-hour with a cuppa.  
In my mind, they are the forerunner to Pinterest! I admit to being a Pinterest addict/obsessive and prefer to spend my switch-off time pinning, to watching TV. 
I always thought I was quite selective about what I pinned, being sure that the image truly reflected the board I intended to add it to. But seeing that I've now clocked-up over 10,000 pins on some 62 boards, maybe I'm not as discriminating as I thought! :)
My criteria when I find an image I love, is usually:
Do I love it? - Am I likely to tire of it?
Is the image of a good size (these poor peepers of mine aren't what they once were! ;-))
I don't want it if its heavily watermarked. 
I'm not keen on too much of a description written underneath either. 
Does it link back to an original source (not always possible, but I try my best - So, if ever I have a pin that belongs to you and I've not credited it as such, I'm always happy to add the link back to you - just let me know!)
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For instance, this is one of my most popular pins - it's a photo I took for my blog of our kitchen. It got lifted from my blog at one time and now doesn't link back to me for the photo credit on Pinterest.
Do you go through any thought processes before pinning a pic? (Ha! maybe I'm just a bit strange like that?)


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I regularly look through my boards to enjoy all that I've collected. If a photo no longer gives me joy, then I delete it. It's good to have a clear-out now and then - Occasionally I find a photo I've added twice to the same board, so one of them also get the boot!
 

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So, do you pin? 
I understand that Pinterest now ask visitors to their site to become members, before all that is shared on-line becomes available to them. As a visual person, I wouldn't be without my Pinterest boards. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys looking at beautiful photographs, o
r use it to collect recipes or tips and 'how-to's.  Pinning them all in one place makes them easy to access and also to build up a community of like-minded followers. 

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And it's perfect if you need to advertise your small business, or if you just want to share pictures that you've taken.

What ever your reasons - "Happy Pinning!"
Niki x

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Clean

What a beautiful weekend it was...
Perfect for getting lots of chores done in the garden.
We'd ordered a dumpy bag full of bark chips, so after weeding the whole bottom corner of our garden, we spread the mulch around the plants and under the apple trees...
An impossible task to achieve later in the year, when the area should look like this!
Isn't nature amazing?! 

The gunnera has started to emerge after it's winter sleep and it won't be long before he's engulfing this area again (that's him on the left, below).
Yesterday I filled in gaps with easy to grow seeds, such as nasturtiums and marigolds, popping them in their planting position all the way down the side of the garden. 
The other long flower bed always looks a bit like Steptoe's Yard at this time of year with my collection of antique chimney pots dominating the scene...
But again, hopefully in a few months time, it will be unrecognisable. 

The bird table was cleaned up and filled with food - the visitors to it seem to be ravenous just now...I guess they have lots of hard work ahead of them...

Hubby gave the lawns their first cut of the year and all immediately looked a lot tidier. 





Then it was time to enjoy the flowers that are working hard just now too. 
Hope you had a good weekend,
Niki x

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Miss Havisham II

I've been working on another Miss Havisham fairy...She's the perfect character to create when I want to work with beautiful antique tattered lace...
A disintegratingly, fragile silk bow here...
and tarnished charms there. 
She has a tiny metal tiara in her hair and discoloured sequins embellishing her sleeves.
A crumpled lace veil hangs down her back.
After creating her, I was going to box her up in the usual way, but then remembered a faded velvet Victorian picture frame I had in my workroom. 
It would have once been a rich olive green, but now has an old gold look about it, with most of the velvet pile rubbed smooth. 
Also, I was recently given some lovely scrapbooking papers from my friend Belinda - This lace printed paper (entitled 'Granny's Lace'!) was perfect for the background. 
Thanks Bee! x

To finish, I gave her a tiny French mirror, which would have been part of an elaborate antique Globe De Marie many years ago (Oh' how appropriate! :))
And the once beautiful butterflies are pinned into position like antique specimens...
frozen in time like the tragic Miss Havisham. 
I also singed the hem of her dress to represent her sad demise (as in a previous artwork.)
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I have one more version of Miss H to work on soon, after buying some wonderful old lace pieces that came from the attic of a French Ch√Ęteau, I've been inspired to use them before they are lost forever...some so fragile, they wouldn't survive another laundering...
Enjoy your weekend,
Niki x

Friday, March 20, 2015

Freaky Friday

Spring Equinox...
A super moon...
And a solar eclipse this morning...
What a way to welcome the new season! 
I'm taking it as a good omen for positive things to come!
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And to continue this freaky Friday, I thought I'd show you what I've been making this week...(My daughters have never understood my fascination for old doll's faces and heads and the word 'freaky' was often bandied about when they were younger ;-))
These wonderful little boudoir doll faces have been in my supplies for a while now - It's taken a bit of courage to use of them in my work as they have remained unused for the whole of their lifetime. They date from around the 20's and so needed a sympathetic touch, I felt. 
I decided to team them with some beautiful pristine antique French ribbons that I've also had stashed away for years
The heads are of a smaller size to those I've used in the past to make flapper head hat stands...so a different idea was required...

This little c1930's child's coat hanger hangs in my granddaughter's bedroom and was just the inspiration I needed. 
The faces I had weren't childlike though, so I was going to create a more sophisticated style like this one. 
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Here is the result of a few hours work...






Three of them will be coming with me to the Vintage Bazaar, Frome (less than a month away now :)
Having set myself the challenge to bring a whole new collection of stock with me to that event, I am excited to be building up a good range of items. 
One is staying with me and has joined my collection of boudoiry bits in a cabinet...It's unlikely I'll ever come across more of the little faces, so I'd like to hang on to one for posterity...you never know, one day my girls might actually appreciate all my doll's heads and faces around the place! ...there's lots for them to inherit! ;-))
Have a lovely weekend,
Niki x