Monday, January 26, 2015

The Truth in a Moving Rumour {Bright Leafiness for a Dreary Outdoor Wall}

I can verify the truth of rumour I've heard. Putting your house on the market suddenly means that you make time to do so many of the tweaks that you've been meaning to do for years. 
That's us for sure.  
It's been fun.  
It's been HARD work. 
It's been so satisfying!

A project that's been on the cards was to do a simple botanical stencil on a small/boring/green/outdoor wall in our back yard.
Completing the quick project has significantly upgraded the view from my kitchen sink!
This is how I did it:
  1. I thought it would be great to use leaves that actually came from my garden, so I picked 5 that were fairly simple shapes.  I scanned the leaves and printed the shape out, using scrap A4 paper. 
  2.  I cut the leaf shape out - forming  a paper stencil.  Cardboard or thin plastic would be a good idea if you wanted a firmer stencil.  
  3. I took a couple more scrap A4 sheets to act as spacers between the stencil shapes.  
  4. Using masking tape, I positioned the stencils on the wall, starting with a row just above eye height, and then working systematically up and down from there.
  5. I only needed a tiny bit of white paint.  I used a small foam roller, with a thin layer of paint.  I rolled the roller in the paint on a recycled polystyrene tray to distribute the paint evenly, then carefully rolled the paint in the stencil gap.  I had to be particulary careful with the fern stencil. 
  6. I turned some of the stencils over for their next printing in order to get the leaf facing in a different direction.  I used my hairdryer to dry any paint on the stencil, which may have marked the wall.
  7. This is what my tools looked like:
All that was left to do, was to get Charlie the English Springer Spaniel to pose in front of the wall.  He's a very clever dog, but he didnt understand that I wanted him to sit there and look beautiful.  A few tasty treats helped to keep him in the vicicnty while I quickly snapped the results.
And now stepping outside my back door is definitely prettier! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Window on 2015

 We have made a huge decision - to put our house on the market.  With that has come a mix of emotions  -  the heartache of leaving a much loved home full of memories behind and the excitement of the adventure of finding something new.  

It has also resulted in action, action, action - cleaning, tidying, throwing out and decorating.  
My goal is to make the most of this 30-something year old lady abode.  There are some bits of her that could do with a makeover, but basically she's clean, solidly built and well maintained.
I'm keen to show you some of what we've been doing to highlight her good features

I am starting at the far end of the house - my bathroom and dressing room.  We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and have a large garden.  So I've picked a variety of leaves and placed them in bottles along the window sills of these 2 rooms.      
A bright new mat from Mr Price Home was a perfect accessory for the neutral bathroom.
The bar of Rondavel soap looks delicious in this  basket 

Amongst all of this, I have been migrating my freshly found website to one that I can manage myself.  As I write, I have no site available online at all.  Rather nerve-racking, but I am hoping all will be sorted out today. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

3D Still Life - Painted Gondwana Blooms

Proteas from a couple of gift bouquets I received were left to dry for a few weeks.... - and then brought back to life again with a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
I painted the petals with Emperor's Silk Red and then dipped the centre stigmas into a thinned down solution to add some colour.
Long lasting and colourful! 
Did you know? 
  • The Protea was named in 1735 after the Greek god Proteus, who was able to change his form at will.  It seemed an appropriate name to portray the huge variety and diversity of flowers and foliage in the family.
  • The ancestors of the Proteaceae family grew in Gondwana, 300 million years ago. Proteaceae is divided into two subfamilies: the Proteoideae, mostly found in Southern Africa, and the Grevilleoideae, hailing from Australia and South America. (Africa shares one genus with Madagascar, whereas South America and Australia share many common genera, indicating they separated from Africa before they separated from each other.) Source - Wikipedia

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Batch Satisfaction

There's something immensely satisfying foir a handcrafter - to see a huge batch of their handwork all together.  
This is the feeling I had yesterday just before taking another load of vintage brooches to the KZNSA art gallery Buzzart Christmas Fair.  

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Mini Paint Project

I've been doing a number of small paint projects at home, using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®.  According to the website, it is very easy to work with and rarely requires any prep, such as sanding or priming.  It can be used on just about any surface - from wood to metal, and matt plastic to terracotta. 
I bought a small can each of red, blue and yellow, with a can of white too, and have been putting the many surface options to the test.  These vintage wooden bowling balls were a good place to start.  I painted, mixed, thinned, washed and layered as the mood took me and I am so happy with the cheerful result. 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Textile Pendants

A new range of textile jewelry has been in the making -  Rescued pieces of  vintage embroidery have been mounted as pendants and framed and hung with a delicate cord of twisted cotton  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Buzzart Happening

Freshly Found is delighted to be a part of the amazing Buzzart Exhibition at KZNSA Art Gallery opening this evening and running until the middle of January!
Crochet Leaf Bracelets abd Chunky Textile Necklaces
We've launched some new products and brought back some old favourites.
These are some of the Freshly Found goodies you will find there.
Vintage Embroidery Brooches and Solid Crochet Bracelets

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shibori Shirt

The last in a 3-part series of bleaching experiments.  This t-shirt was treated in the same way as the previous experiment, but had quite a different result.  It reminded me of the Japanese technique of Shibori dyeing.  
I started with a dark brown t-shirt which had bleach stains.  That meant I either needed to throw it away or try to redeem it. I concertina folded both the body of the shirt and the sleeves, and tied them up with thick string.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Taking the Colour Away.  Reverse dyeing! Welcome to part 2 of a 3-part series of experiments I did using bleach to rescue some items in my wardrobe.
This partially smocked T-shirt was a favourite of mine, and I was disappointed when it was spoilt by some bleach splashes.  
So I decided to tie-bleach it.  Once again, much like the previous bleaching project, I was pleasantly surprised by the tender tangerine under-colour that emerged

Friday, November 07, 2014

Taking The Colour Away

I have often used dye to transform or freshen up clothing in my wardrobe.  Lately I've been experimenting with bleach - and taking the colour away. This brown stripey T-shirt had a pleasant surprise in store for me.
It was a little too dark for me, so I decided to experiment on it.  
Once the colour was stripped, a gentle terracotta stripe remained ☺