Hellebores in the Studio 

I have wanted to paint a mural in my home for as long as I can remember but landlords don’t usually take kindly to such thing so I had to wait until I had my own house.

Then what to paint?

Flowers seemed obvious given the subject matter in my artwork. I love all flowers and paint a wide variety, but my favourite flowers of all time are Hellebores. Helleborus niger. 

I’ve loved them since I was a child and my mother grew them in her rose garden. She called them Winter Roses and they would bloom when her beloved roses weren’t.

She would often pick them and put vases of them on our dining room table, sometimes with snow drops or daffodils or freesias or whatever else was blooming in her garden at the time.

I return to these gorgeous and unusual blooms time and again in my artwork so I felt they were a fitting choice for a mural. Now painting in a large format or on walls is not within my comfort zone, so I spent some time sketching simple hellebores in preparation.

I will probably go back and turn these sketches into paintings later I think!

So after my sketching session I pinned them up on the inspiration board in my studio, grabbed a soft graphite stick and made a start on the wall, loosely drawing outlines of the petals and leaves.

Next, I began to fill in the shapes with colour and added some detail.

Once I’d filled in the details and outlined the flowers and leaves I was done!

Next came tidying the studio, which is a regular job that never seems to get easier. I’m a messy artist and tend to shift the clutter aside to continue creating instead of putting it neatly away, so a regular tidy every few months is needed.

I also decided to hang a bunch of my hellebore paintings in here to compliment the mural. 

I’m delighted with the results! The colours really liven up the yellow walls. Just when I was thinking of repainting them I’ve fallen in love with the colour all over again.

What do you think?

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Upcycled Metal Tray

I’ve had this tray for months, waiting to decide what to do with it.

When I spied this pretty paisley fabric in my local haberdashers I thought it would be nice decoupaged to the base of the tray.

I cut the fabric to fit and went to the cupboard for the Mod Podge.

Dammit!!! I was out of it.

I did have some regular PVA glue, so I decided to use that.

Unfortunately the PVA isn’t quite as effective as Mod Podge and caused some air bubbles under the fabric which I couldn’t smooth out. ☹️

Anyway, it still looks funky! I sealed the top with a coat of acrylic gloss spray varnish and it was done.

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Cloisonné Inspired Box

A few years ago at a community quiz night, I won a scented candle and aroma reeds set that came in this very sturdy cardboard box.

I’ve kept it all this time because I knew one day I’d do something decorative with it, and that day has arrived!

I love the look of Chinese cloisonné, and I figured with a little bit of paint and a gold paint pen I could come up with a cloisonné design for the box.

Firstly I painted it black.

Once it was dry I scribbled a floral design on it with a white pencil.

Then I filled in the design with acrylic paints.

Once the layers of paint were dry I outlined the flowers with the gold pen.


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Window Treatment Inspiration

I was recently perusing Instagram and came across some new images of Stylist Debi Treloar’s home. Apparently, it is up for sale – if I were rich and lived in London I would be queuing at the door of the real estate agent : Light Locations

I have watched Debi transform her home in many different variations and have loved every single one. She is a true style icon and most recently has imbued her home with a lovely translucent quality with boggins of white and accents of pale  greens and blues. One thing that hasn’t changed is her love of the colour turquoise.

When I spied this image of her dining area I was entranced with the turquoise curtain rod:


I had been wondering what to do with the window treatments in my sitting room, especially when a friend visited the other day and pointed out (much to my intense embarrassment) that I needed to replace the bamboo blind because of the horrendous damage Frodo had done to it. (Thanks Mia, despite making me feel like I was living in a hovel, you spurred me on to update my curtains/blinds!)

So when I saw this, I remembered the wooden curtain rods I had taken down when I installed the blinds, which due to my hoarding nature were still in the shed! Yay!


Perfect for painting blue!

Off to the hardware store for paint….a sample pot of British Paints “Tempted Teal”.

I also needed some wooden curtain rings. The curtains that were in the house when I bought it were tab top style and no curtain rings were included. No dramas, the hardware store had those too!


Once painted I hang up the mandala curtains, but I still needed something to replace the tatty bamboo blinds. I had picked up a pretty crochet tablecloth in the op shop a while back, and a partially cut lace tablecloth was given to me by a friend. These pieces would work nicely as lace curtains! Debi uses lace tablecloths on a lot of windows and has inspired me to use them in the past, so it was almost a given.

I do still have one panel of window yet to be covered, but I have had plans for a while now to make a lace curtain out of doilies, so there’s my next project!

As always, photographing my windows is difficult given the fact I am not a professional photographer nor do I have a proper camera. My iPhone usually does a damn good job, but it doesn’t quite get the perfect image when it comes to my windows. So please excuse my not-so-brilliant photographic skills here……

I’m very happy with this new arrangement!!!!! It has also reminded me how much I love the colour turquoise, so expect to see it creeping back into home!!!!

I’m thinking now of hanging some thrifted white vintage table cloths as curtains…. what do you think?

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Latest op shop treasures

Another cute little brass vase for my collection.

An adorable leaf plate (sadly a bit damaged/loved)

Some lace doilies… the top one is an odd shape….I’m thinking maybe an antimacassar?

These two sweet brass cats- perfect for the Boho CCL!

This rosy vintage tray that looks perfect in my kitchen!!!

And a gorgeous round silver tray.

Merlin apparently approves of it.

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Tie Dye Tea Towels 

I’ve always been a hippie. That probably comes as no surprise to you readers, but there’s no getting away from it.

I love gypsy skirts, crochet vests, beads, brass bangles, Indian textiles and tie dye. Lots of tie dye in all its myriad forms. It’s been in and out of fashion since I was born in the 70s, but I have been steadfast and true to my passion for it. I love the daggy rainbow tie dye of the 70s, I love the more sophisticated Japanese Shibori styles that are currently fashionable. Can tie dye be sophisticated? I think it can, and that’s what I attempted to do here.

Sophisticated tie dye. Wish me luck….

I found three plain white tea towels in the op shop (score!!!) that I knew would be perfect for dyeing. $1 each, so no biggie if it all went disastrously wrong, and trust me when I say that is always a possibility when dyeing things! I’ve been doing this for 30 years and still have disasters!

So I decided I wanted an inky brown-black colour. I dug out what packets of dye I had and chose black with a dash of brown to warm it up. (In hindsight more brown was needed to approach the colour I had in mind, but you live and learn.)

I played with different shapes for the tie dye.

A traditional spiral/circles type first.

Then what I refer to as “spanakopita ” tie dye because you fold the fabric as though making cheese and spinach triangles (yum… now I’m hungry)….this produces pretty patterns that remind me of a big Snowflake.

Then I tried a “parcel tied up with strings” style which in theory produces more of a soft grid pattern.

Then into the machine with the dye and salt….

I have a habit of trying to see what’s going on during this process and I never can. You’d think I know that by now, and yet….

When the machine stops is when I get nervous.

Little black lumps. Time to pull off the zip ties and reveal success or failure!

Excuse my laundry in the background, it was sunny and windy so I took advantage by doing a heap of washing!!!

No failures as such, although my Spanikopita (right) is much more subtle than I’ve ever come across.

The traditional circles (centre) have turned out more diamonds….I think I like that!

And the parcel shape (on the left) which lost two of the zip ties during washing is nothing like I expected. It reminds me of storm clouds somehow!

After drying and an iron (shudder, my most hated household task!), I’m not unhappy with the result.

Do they look sophisticated? Or am I just a dreamy bohemian that will never change?  Either way I’m a happy little hippie!!

#sorrynotsorry #bohemianforever 

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Tapestry Cushion 

I found this tapestry kit in my local op shop for $3.99, and figured I’d give it a go!

Surprisingly quickly I had it completed.

Next was making it into a cushion. I wasn’t sure exactly how to do this given the stiff backing it was made from, but Google is always my friend. The key tip I gleaned was to tack the fabric to the backing before running it through the sewing machine. It worked like a treat.

I used a piece of cream wool felting my mum gave me at Christmas to make a back for this cushion. I simply hemmed two pieces to recreate the “envelope” method I usually use for cushions, then sewed it to the tapestry. Trimmed the edges, turned it back inside out and stuck a cushion insert into it.

OMG I love it!

I’m really proud of this, it’s my first tapestry, and it worked really well! I will keep an eye out for kits in the future (I’ve since discovered they are really fricking expensive to buy new).

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