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PINK SATURDAY WEATHER REPORT

 

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All images from http://weheartit.com/

Weather report… what do I mean? Not the weather outside: we all know it’s gloomy, cold, snowy etc…

No – I mean MY weather report. And I’m happy to report the outlook is sunny. I just got the results of my biopsy and it’s clear - so it’s a case of ‘carry on with the meds and see me in 6 months’. Excellent!

Earlier, I was feeling like this: pretty dire…

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Now, I’m more revived… in the pink…

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You just cannot beat a good cup of tea as a pick-me-up. Now it’s time to put on my lipstick, get out and face the world again!

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Add a dab of my favourite perfume… and there you are… ready for anything!

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My motto this week is Think Positive, brought to you by PG Tips (my favourite tea bags) and the colour Pink.

I’d just like to add that I will visit as many blogs as I can – I still need to take frequent breaks from the screen due to my eye, so please forgive me if I don’t get round to visit everybody.

pink saturday

Don’t forget to visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound to see all the other Pink Saturday posts!

THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING SPELL CHECKER

 
Copyright-free image from Art-e-Zine

Terri left a comment for me re Blogger's new editor and the disappearing spell check facility. I know a lot of people are missing it!

I decided to investigate a little, and took a look on the Blogger help groups etc, and the concesus seems to be that you either download IE or Firefox's own spell checkers, or revert to the old Blogger editor. NOT satisfactory!

Personally, I'd hang fire for the moment as Blogger seems to be adding new widgets all the time - the New Page facility appeared out of nowhere just over 2 weeks ago. And there are thousands of complaints about the spell check disappearing.

Meantime - the solution!

If you download LiveWriter: for PC or for Mac - it has a spell check facility built into the programme (click Tools on the top toolbar when in LiveWriter) which saves a load of headache.

Hope this helps!

FOOLPROOF PHOTO POSITIONING IN BLOGGER

cafe girls

Want your pix to go where you want them to, and the text to behave itself and not move around when you hit Publish?

So do I – which is why I finally worked out how to do it. My new tutorial is here.

Hope it helps!

WE’RE ALL WHITE NOW

Copyright-free pic from Tack-o-Rama

It may be something in the water, or it may be because it's Spring... when the redecorating bug hits me, it hits hard!

We've decided to redecorate throughout (we HAVE to do the bedroom due to the condensation and damp - more of that in another post when I have some photos for you). Although it's only a one-bedroom flat, so it's no big deal, really.

Meantime, being broke as usual, it's a case of makedo and mend, repurpose, recycle - and some inspiration and brilliant ideas.

So, to paraphrase Mick Jagger:

I'm all 'white' now, in fact it's a gas!

Sarah at A Beach Cottage shows what to do with old suitcases, to recycle them into coffee tables etc.

Photo copyright A Beach Cottage

Go here to see a dresser/shelf unit makeover - another Sarah triumph!

Photo copyright A Beach Cottage

And here Sarah tells you exactly how to recover and repaint a sofa. It's a great step-by-step video and she also talks you through the hows, whys and wherefores. Well worth bookmarking for future use for any type of makeover.

Copyright Songbird

Maraianne at Songbird has a wonderful talent for staging vignettes, and as I just finished our black&white bathroom and now need to titivate and add nicknackery for the perfect finishing touches, you can see where I'm heading...

Copyright Songbird

And Marianne has her own interpretation on the white suitcase idea (above) by positioning hers on top of an unwanted coffee table, and treating them as one unit.

Only one thing holds me back, here - knowing me, there would be tons of essential stuff IN the suitcase, then a ton of stuff on TOP of the suitcase - which of course would all need clearing off the top surface for me to get into it. I'm famous for getting in my own way!

And of course the desired effect is to stage a little vignette - just a FEW well-chosen objects. Unfortunately, I'm a maximist and not a minimalist, no matter how hard I try!

Copyright The Lettered Cottage

And here's a great how-to with stepped photos on transforming a huge dark brown wood dining table to a distressed, shabby chic white wonder from Layla at The Lettered Cottage. This is about the only successful paint job for a large table that I've seen (I've seen a lot of failures in junk shops).

Copyright Susie Jefferson

Here's my original post on transforming an Ikea wardrobe and bedside tables. Nearly two years on, they still look as good, I'm very happy to say. The trick was to change the awful handles - these are white china and antiqued brass (£3.50 each, and that was on sale!) The handles cost as much as the two bedside tables.

Now it looks like I'm going to have to lose that wonderful (very expensive) wallpaper behind the bed due to the damp etc - so whilst I mourn it, it's onward and upward with the next brilliant idea!

FABULOUS FREEBIE EASTER/BIRTHDAY ANYTIME DECORATION

I just came across House of 3's blog - they have some great projects and tutorials.

Birthday Fun with Heidi Swapp shows birthday banners, invitations, cards and mini books.





DIY LOLLIES shows how to make giant lollipop decorations which will sit perfectly in a vase etc. A very nice little video, very clearly explained by Rhonna Farrer.




DIY Lollies (as seen at Spark) from Rhonna Farrer on Vimeo.

I can see every-occasion and year-round possibilities for this one!

Aren't these fun?

ROLLED FABRIC FLOWERS - again by Rhonna, who is using an inkjet-printed silk organza.












These would work beautifully with the fabric flowers in my last post. (I just happen to know where I can find some scraps of silk, furnishing fabric etc). I'd advise stitching rather than glue if it's for cushions etc.


Rolled Fabric Flower Tutorial from Rhonna Farrer on Vimeo.

Fabulous, or what? I can really feel some soft furnishings and stuff coming on!

(All projects, images etc copyright House of 3)

FABULOUS FREEBIE CUSHION PATTERN












Thanks to Nancy at Linens& Laurel, I came across this great link to share with you from The DIY Dish on how to make your own cushions with flower embellishments - there's a video and stitching guide as well!














Nancy has great advice re fabric: read her full post here.


Click here for the full article and the downloadable pdf which has the patterns for you.

There's also a great post by Amy of Keep'n The Sunny Side on using the felt flowers for a bag.

Other ideas: barettes or hair slides, headbands, brooches, tie backs for curtains.

NEW BLOGGER TUTORIALS FOR YOU

Brassai - "Bijoux"

I've been busy, trying to catch up with things, and have put more tutorials on my Computery blog.

These included how to customise your headers, and just under the header you'll see a new page: Tutorials. This has all my tutorials listed by degree of difficulty.

Hope this helps!

FABULOUS PHOTOSHOP TUTORIAL



Great news - Amanda of Kevin&Amanda is writing Photoshop tutorials!

Here's the first of a series.

Even if you don't use Photoshop, you should get a lot out of the tutorial no matter what graphics programme you have.

Other great tutorial links (all levels, different styles):
The Pioneer Woman
Photoshop Lady
Misty Cato
Creative Nerds
Tutorial9
Shimelle Laine

MY LATEST HEADER








Wonderful, generous Nancy of Linens & Laurels did a giveaway a little while back, and offered one of my headers as the prize.

CC at Lace'n'RibbonRoses was the winner, and is a biiiig Sunbonnet Sue fan. That's what she wanted for her header, and so that's what she got! I hope I captured the flavour...

Both ladies are really pleased, so that makes me a happy bunny too!

PINK SATURDAY VALENTINE

As it's Valentine's Day on Sunday, I have made a downloadable Valentine's Card for you.








All you have to do is left-click on the picture to bring it up to full size, then right-click to copy it to your computer. Print it out on a heavier weight of paper (or photo paper) then layer onto a folded card.

I hope you like it!

 
Copyright-free image from MagicMoonlight

A special memory - my husband, as some may have gathered, is a bit of a joker (and as soppy as they come). It was quite a surprise one year when I not only got a Valentine's Card from him, but also one from next door's cat and also one from the squirrels in the park nearby. He also cooked dinner, bought wine and flowers (which he arranged - well... rammed into a vase...) and followed up with ice cream and chocolates! Plus I got breakfast in bed. Can't be bad...

A Pink Saturday blog I haven't visited before, which I recommend you take a look at: BethieJ's Blog - lots of cards, scrapbooking style. Very, very sweet.

Finally, don't forget to visit Beverly's site - How Sweet the Sound - to see the rest of the Pink Saturday posts!

GEL TRANSFERS

Copyright Susie Jefferson
I love these!  Very easy to do: use a gel medium (matt preferably, although I have used semi-gloss and gloss successfully) and smear onto the receiving surface (paper or a smooth fabric, eg: muslin, calico) with your finger - not too much!

This method works with: inkjet prints, newsprint, cheap (toner-based) photocopies.
 
This method is not very successful with glossy paper (ie: High Fashion magazines, travel brochures).

Place your image face down onto the wet gel and burnish well with the back of a spoon.  Work quickly, as this takes only around 30 seconds to start bonding.  Keep lifting an edge of the image to see whether it's "taking", and whip away the image as soon as it looks OK.

Copyright Susie Jefferson
And if you have enough of the transfer left over on the paper, you can collage this on the opposite page for (faded) reverse image. Two for the price of one!

If you have left it too long, and can't get the image off ... don't worry.  Allow it to dry completely, then wet the back of the image, using a sponge, and rub away with the pad of your finger.  Keep rubbing until you have all the "spills" removed - rewet if necessary - and the image will show underneath. If you allow it to dry and it's a bit cloudy, this means you still need to wet and rub - just a little longer.

This method is very hit & miss, but it's part of the charm!

Another way to make this work: photocopy or print onto an inkjet transparency. Use matte medium or gel medium on your substrate (receiving surface) and lay the transparency face down and burnish well. Leave alone for a couple of minutes, then peek to see if the transfer has taken.

RECYCLING OLD SKETCHES

The third brilliant YouTube video I found today, from Christy at GulfSpr1te

This one is very interesting to me, as it shows a complete journal spread (in 3 minutes!) showing a recycled sketch. Torn out of a sketch book, this is then turned into a complete journal spread (in 3 minutes) incorporating gel transfers as well.



As someone who has a pile of odd things doodled here and there (and that pile of huge life drawings still in a folder under the bed, as there's nowhere else to put them) this really has given me an idea of how to use them up.

 
One of my typical journal entries - planning my new website layout. (See why my scribbles need livening up?)

I have a lot of half-started sketchbooks, and my worst is the pile of journals (several where I tore out ALL the pages, meaning to re-bind them) which is around 8 inches high. Which I just didn't know what to do with. So here we are!

And - now I have the sewing machine out (having just done the kitchen curtains in yellow gingham - can we say YeeHah?) I may just sew some of the pages onto some decent paper.

This was when I was in my "Artists' Way" phase and journalled on just one side of the page (stream of thought, get it down on paper, write any old rubbish). My genius idea was then to turn the journals around and use the other side of the page - again, going in the same direction. So I have upside-down writing on one side, sketches, ideas, quotes etc on the other. All in non-waterproof gel pen. So you can just see the problem re glues and paint...

These videos have really given me some great ideas! Hope they inspire you as well.

Note to self: wonder if you could use one of those cheap web cams to do these little films?

REALLY EASY REVAMPED JOURNAL/ALBUM

Here's a sweet little video (just under 2 minutes) from Beth at wildgooseberrydotcom showing how to alter/recover a ring binder journal.



Revamp the cover, use cheap files for the pages - magic! and now you can use some of Traci's journalling ideas too (video in the post below).

I just adore YouTube (sigh...)

NEW TRACI BAUTISTA VIDEO ON YOUTUBE

Don't you just love YouTube?  Here's Traci Bautista demo-ing at CHA 2010, showing art journalling.



For those of us in the UK who can't easily get all this stuff, anything will do as a stencil! Try the hardward department at your local DIY store as well.

PAGES - A NEW BLOGGER WIDGET

There's a wonderful new widget on Blogger for adding extra pages to your blog. Read all about it in my new tutorial.


Isn't this great? I'm so excited!

ANNE'S HEADER


Anne at El Milagro Studio won a header from me in my last giveaway.

I was trying to capture the flavour of New Orleans, where Anne is based, and I hope I got it.

I finally finished the header tonight, and Anne says she's happy with it - I'm so pleased! It was great fun to do, and she sent me some great images to work with.

KITCHEN & BATHROOM UPDATE

I’m very happy to report I finished the bathroom (all I need now are matching towels) and also the kitchen! How’s that for hard work.

I promised you pix – so here are the bathroom “before” photos. I still have to photograph the “after”.

Panning around the VERY SMALL bathroom, starting just inside the door (my back to the window).

Bath01

Shower over bath, medicine cabinet at top of wall.

 

 

 

 

Looking down at the bath.Bath02

Panning to the right, looking at the loo and sink (where I was standing to take the photos).

Bath03

Panning up to show the window. Towels to the right.

Bath04

Hand towels and hanger. Door to the right.

Bath05

Door closed, showing position of towel hangers. Window at top lets light into the hallway.

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And back to where we started, having turned in a full circle.

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Me, painting (the other pix were even worse). Which shows that you can use a roller to paint a door.

Bath08

I have to say this picture upset me! I never realised I looked so fat – and so old. Or that I still had bruising from the eye op of a couple of weeks ago (the left one, that you can see). I think I will start wearing a brown paper bag over my head when in public!

More pix to follow in my next post (I’m trying out Windows LiveWriter again, so let’s see how it looks first).

THE BIG REDECORATION PROJECT

Somehow, the light really is different as we're heading towards Spring (can't be too soon for me): everything looks dingy and drab, and I immediately get the urge to redecorate.


Saturday, I zoomed off and bought paint rollers etc and made a start on the bathroom. Being a tiny room, it only took me Sunday afternoon to do it all! First, ceilings (the bath is in a kind of alcove, so a bit of ceiling in there and another bit in the main part) in brilliant white, then walls in Moonlight White soft sheen. This sounds more than it is as the bath is entirely tiled, which saved a lot of work.

My worst job: painting pipes. I hate painting pipes; given half a chance, there will be nothing but drips.

I also did the first coat on the door, skirtings and surrounds, and towel holders and little cupboard and shelves. In fact, as I used eggshell (brilliant white again) it's such a soft powder effect, it covers a multitude of sins, so it was the ONLY coat on the surrounds and skirtings. Yah boo that I had to do a second coat on the door, shelves and cupboard today.

I love white with white with white, the play of different shades and textures.

My biggest decorating tips:

Buy self-undercoating eggshell or gloss, then you don't have to sand.

Although, if the paint is in lousy condition or covered in nicotine or grease, it's worth washing down with sugar soap first, rinse well and allow to dry naturally THEN sand if you really need to.) As I'm just freshening up, I got away with it.

Paint rollers are your best friend:

When doing doors, use a roller so you don't get drippy paint or brush marks (or stray hairs).

I use a small roller especially for gloss and toss the sleeve away when finished (considering the cost, I'd spend more in white spirit trying to clean it).

Thin coats are better than thick, and give a much better finish (think nail varnish).

If you can, remove any door furniture or else paint round (cut in carefully) with a small brush (I use a 1 inch brush) then use the roller. I have tried masking tape in the past, which can work but Sod's Law says the paint will still get underneath somehow.

Ceilings are easy if you use a small roller.

I can't use a large roller anyway as they are just too heavy when full of paint, and my arm feels on fire (I have RSI). So a small roller is ideal and easily controlled. Cut in first with a small brush then switch to the roller. And as the tray is also small, it's easy to hold in one hand whilst painting with the other, so less reaching etc.

Stick to small rollers in restricted spaces.

Pipes and radiators are a nightmare to paint behind and around, so keep going with the small rollers - forget brushes except for cutting in where ceiling and walls meet, and to blend paint on the front of the pipes if it needs it.

Rollers are cleaner, faster and easier to manouvre - if you buy the smallest size. You can buy sleeves for emulsion and gloss - I buy several packs and then throw them away when they get nasty. In fact, I also throw the trays away when finished (they're so cheap and washing them out is miserable).

Pictures to follow shortly (when I find the lead for the camera).