Wednesday, 29 February 2012

In honour of our new shed...

...I decided to create some decoration for it. I had an ornamental bird box that has seen better days. The paint that had been used originally I don't think was for external use because it was all flaking and peeling off after one winter outside. The roof wood was warping and cracking. I don't think shops should be allowed to sell things aimed at the garden unless they use materials that are all weather, or at least specify it's for interior use. Anyway, I also had some vintage plates with chips around the rims, so I decided to try my hand at Pique Assiette. Basically, it's mosaic made up of broken china, or ceramic pieces. I sanded back the paint on the bird box, cut up a couple of the plates and added the mosaic to the front of the box. I then painted the rest of the wood with weatherproof paint.

I painted the roof a shade of blue to match a shade in the tiles and artficially aged the roof by overpainting the blue finish with some green wood preservative. I'm quite pleased with the end result. For a first attempt. To be honest, I've always thought things made with the Pique Assette technique were a bit, well, twee. Which is why I've never tried it. But I didn't want to throw this bird box, or my vintage plates away, so I gave it a go. I think my bird box has a touch of vintage style about it, so I like it.

I may start making some more of these to go in my shop, but (as I always do) I want pass it onto my Quality Control department. Which means I'll be testing my one in my garden first to see how it fares.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Folksy Handmade - Shed Chic

Mosaic Aqua Heart Slate Hanging Garden Decoration
This week we had to buy a shed due to our old garden storage finally giving up the ghost. I spent hours trying to find one in the size that would fit the space (very small), within budget (very small), and that looked like it wouldn't blow away in a light breeze. Not easy, but I have finally found a tool store that is perfect. I am really looking forward to sprucing it up, when it arrives, with a lick of paint and maybe some decoration.

Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to sit in it and survey my garden (there's just enough room for a set of shelves and a garden rake). But, it got me thinking about how I would dress up a full-sized summerhouse / garden room shed.

So, this week's Folksy Friday is my pick for a complete shed makeover. Quite a large selection too because there was too much to choose from. See what you think -

Friday, 17 February 2012

Folksy Handmade - Mediterranean

Mediterranean Hearts Garden Plant Pot

Hands up who's fed up with the cold weather. Hands up who's thinking of sunnier days and holidays. I made my Mediterranean Hearts Pot because the colours of the glass hearts reminded me of The Mediterranean sea, which made me think ahead to summer. So, for this week's Folksy Friday, seeing as it's turning colder again, I've collected together a set of items that will hopefully transport you to the Mediterranean region and those lovely sunbaked days of holidays, and mentally warm you up. As usual, follow the link to see the goodies -

(p.s. I've just discovered how you get an item onto Pinterest with a price on it. You just add a price to the end of the written description when you Pin It. Add it with a sterling mark and after a comma (like - mosaic pot, £10) Simple when you know how, huh. This apparently also puts the item into the gift section of Pinterest, which I didn't know existed until researching how to get the price added. Always learning.)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Daisy, Daisy.

Aqua Daisy Mosaic Garden Metal Plant Support Stake

Aqua Daisy Mosaic with light shining through

I have been perfecting the design for these plant stakes for a while. I've come up with a decorative stake that is secure enough to be used practically too. The metal rod for the stake can be screwed into the bottom of the mosaic ball topper meaning the stake can be used at an angle without the mosaic top falling off as it could do if it was just perched on top. And it's lightweight enough not to fall over with it's own weight.

The pebble daisy design on the top is raised above the ball so the light comes through and really makes pebble colours shine. If you look at the stake from the side it looks a bit like a poppy seed head.

Blue Daisy Mosaic Garden Plant Support Stake

These plant support stakes come in two colour versions, the Aqua Daisy and the Blue Daisy, and would look great just to add interest and colour in a border or container, as well as being useful for holding back flopping plants. I have enjoyed 'engineering' this design.

Pastel Mosaic Daisy Bird Bath

I seem to have a thing about daisies at the moment because I've got my new folky daisies all over my banners and blog (not sure if the daisies down the sides of the blog are staying, I think they may be a bit distracting. I'll live with them for a bit because I like them, they remind me of vintage embroidered trim), and I've also got a Pastel Mosaic Daisy Bird Bath on my website and in my Folksy shop at the moment too.

I think I'm pining for the spring and summer. Not long now.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Folksy Handmade - Insects

Slate Mosaic Dragonfly Garden Decoration

This Folksy Friday has been inspired by my Slate Mosaic Dragonfly, which in turn was inspired by the Monthly Theme Challenge on the Folksy Forum. There's nothing not to like about that challenge. It gets you thinking laterally on a subject to start the creative juices flowing. Which usually leads to more ideas, like I ended up making a Slate Flower Pot Decoration, and I get a Folksy Friday theme too.

The dragonfly gave me the idea to collect together as many different insect as I could find (no spiders though, I hate spiders). As usual the lovely sellers on Folksy haven't let me down and there were loads of lovely bugs to choose from. Have a look at them all here -

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Goldfish and The Med.

Goldfish Pond Mosaic Garden Plant Pot

When I was painting the hearts on my denim patchwork style Bright Hearts pot I was painting an orange heart onto a blue background which gave me the idea to paint some goldfish onto a turquoise tile and have them swimming round the outside of a pot. So the Goldfish Pond Pot was created. I've added some pond grasses in matt and transluscent green, and some transluscent aqua tiles to add to the watery feel, and to add depth to the design. I think it would look great with something grassy sticking out of the top, giving the impression that the grasses are growing out of the water like reeds. It would definitely be a fun addition to the garden.

Mediterranean Hearts Mosaic Plant Pot

The other mosaic pot I've made was inspired in part by the glass hearts that are included. The colours of the hearts are aqua and mid green. They also have a very watery quality to them, so I created a tile pallete to compliment them and that, in turn, reminded me of the colours of the Mediterranean. So it became the Mediterranean Hearts Pot, which I think fits well. People always think fondly of The Med. With the terracotta of the pot as well it's got a really nice warm look to it. This pot would look really good with a Mediterraean type plant in it, like something with silver leaves, or a cactus or succulent, or a geranium. The plant and pot would then make a fab Mothers Day gift for a garden loving mum.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Wales, Slate, and Dragons (sort of).

Mosaic Dragonfly Slate Garden Decoration

February's Monthly Challenge theme on is Wales / St. David's Day. As luck would have it (again, my entry for last month was something I was creating anyway that happened to fit the theme), I had just got some slate to make another one of my Mosaic Dragonfly Slate Garden Decorations. It occured to me that the slate was perfect, with Welsh slate being world famous. It was only when I was typing up my description that the dragon bit struck me too. It's a bit of a cheat, but on the other hand, it is a dragon. Of sorts.

Here's the Pinterest board with all the entries so far - Folksy Monthly Challenge - the colours are fab. I love egg yolk yellow and tangerine orange.

Slate Mosaic Flower Pot Garden Hanging Decoration

I've added another piece of slate to my shop too. I happened to end up with a bit of slate that reminded me of a plant pot shape. So I chipped away at it to develop the shape and made it into a Slate Plant Pot Mosaic Hanging Garden Decoration by adding a rim to the top with some more slate, then decorating the front with an aqua glass heart surrounded by a pale aqua mosaic. The aqua glass heart stands proud of the mosaic so the light shines right through it from the side and makes it sparkle. I think it would look great hanging on a shed. All from a shard of slate that reminded me of a flower pot. Inspiration comes from allsorts, doesn't it.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Folksy Handmade - Natural Men

Peacock and Copper Mosaic Mirror, by JoSara

Ok, as promised last week, a collection of male Valentine gifts for this Folksy Friday. What do you get them? You can't get them things with hearts and roses all over them. So, I thought, the best thing would be something made of a natural material. There's something cosy, and warm about natural materials. I've chosen wood, leather, and wool. That's a very loving thing to give someone, something cosy and warm, isn't it?

That's my theory on what to get men for Valentines. And here's the selection -