Friday, August 29, 2014

An Old Beauty With A New Look And A Little Secret ..

Hello my dear friends,

I have always loved to create and I have always love old things too.
 The only thing that would change is the style and look I would like. When we lived in the England I started to collect old pewter and tin coffee and tea pots. Some of them just to look at and some of them I turned into lamps.

I had been sorting through cupboards and boxes, saying good-bye to many unneeded things and just making space and feeling very good about it recently and whilst de-cluttering I came across some of my old teapots again and I knew right away that they were not going to leave the house but be recreated for me to use again.

I had bought all of them when I was into the primitive style where black was 'the' color and therefor painted them all black! Back then it was what I liked but now I am literally kicking myself for doing so. All that beautiful patina and age now covered in black spray paint. Such a bad idea really!

 This is actually my first coffee pot I bought many years ago in the Netherlands at an amazing indoor flea market in a place called Cuijk. It was a guilder or two and it had been repaired many of times but it was exactly what I wanted. In those days I didn't take any before pictures unfortunately, so I can't show you what it looked like before I spoilt it.
 I have kept it as a lamp but I gave it a makeover to a style and look that is more appealing to me these days. The wiring needed to be changed because it was European and it wouldn't work here in Canada properly and the painted wooden heart had to go as well but I kept the antique key. I was now left with a 'blank canvas' to work with. A visit to Home Depot and Michaels and I had some of the supplies I needed. Everything else I was able to find in one of my boxes or drawers. The last thing that was needed was a new lampshade. Of course there had to be a hiccup somewhere along the line with this creation. Since I wanted a smaller lampshade the only one I could find that was the right size didn't have the attachment so it could be used with a lamp harp (this lampshade would hold onto the light bulb) but that wasn't something that would make me give up. A pair of wire snips, pliers and a metal washer and the problem was solved.

 I am not really good with colors these days, I prefer neutral and soft shades like creams and off-whites, but I decided on a very pale blue shade of paint called 'Wind Speed' from Behr and it looks very nice and almost like a duck egg blue. After a coat of primer, two coats of the blue shade followed. Once that was finally dry I 'dressed' the pot with a coat of  'One Step Crackle' which I love using and is a favourite of mine. I wanted to give the illusion of old cracked glaze just like you would find on an antique piece of old crockery. To make this happen, I covered the entire pot with a water based stain and wipe all the excess quickly off again. That is when the lovely aged and used look slowly appeared and  that was exactly what I was looking for.

The hardware and wiring was quickly done and then it was time to turn my attention to the lampshade. I had purchased a very plain light beige lampshade because I wanted to be able to work with it without over decorating the entire look of the lamp. I had wanted to use a piece of old lace curtain at the antique store just recently but that turned out to be the wrong piece. Luckily I didn't cut it up too intense so I will still be able to use it in a different project. In the end I chose to recover the lamp shade with a fabric called Osnaburg. I must say, I was slightly worried because I had never recovered a lampshade this way before and so I am happy that it did and that perfectly too. All that was needed now was a few special pieces to embellish the lamp with and I was done and very happy with the result too.

And this is my old 'new' lamp!.

I love the look I have given my old coffee pot but this is not the best part of this creation.

It's new home is on the table next to the window in my creative place and ...
... once it becomes dark outside and you pull on the little key to turn the lamp on, the light then reveals the lamp's little secret!

And this is it ...

... a hidden message!
It took me several attempts and hours to get the writing cut out neatly using tiny scissors and without ripping it. I also had to make sure it wasn't too visible through the shade at day time but in the end it all came together just lovely.
I hope you have enjoyed my latest creation?! It took me some time to make it but I enjoyed every minute of it.
Thank you for stopping by and visiting me here at Todolwen again.
I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.
Have a peaceful and creative day.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Another Critter Rescue ..

Hello my dear friends,

I have a story to share with you today. Thankfully it has a happy ending but unfortunately, it also has a short nasty part to it. When you read it, you will understand what I mean.

I went for a walk with my two daughters and son-in-law on Saturday morning and on our way home, I noticed something laying on the sidewalk close to the grass. At first it looked like a wet brown leaf but taking a closer look, it turned out to be a little brown bat. The poor little thing was lethargic and barely could lift it's head up.

Not being able to touch it as it was, we hurried home to get a box, some water, garden gloves, and to also give our local wildlife rescue center a quick call. We were told that we could bring him to them. They would try and find a wildlife rehabilitator for him but if they couldn't find anyone who could take him, they would try and set him free. If he was to badly injured, they would have to euthanize him though and we totally understood that.

Off we went, this time with the car to where we found him. The little critter was still laying on the sidewalk and still no activity at all. I put a little water in the bottle cap, moved it towards his little face but he was scared and sort of hissed at me and showed me this sharp teeth to make me stay away.

Isn't this a cutie?!

 I put a little water onto the ground right in front of him and suddenly he began to drink ... and drink and drink. Five more times I gave him a little more water and he just didn't seem to want to stop drinking it and I was so glad about it. He also became a little more active too because when I tried to pick him up and place him in the box, he tried to crawl away. But he did end up in the box and on his way with us to the Wildlife Rescue Center.
On our arrival, we walked into the building and told they receptionist why we had come. We were told that they would have to have an 'animal technician' look at the bat first. A young woman was called and after hearing it was about a bat her reply was: "Ew, ew, ew!" (in disgust) "Because of bats, we have rabies!" (I know she had a point but other animals like rats, foxes, squirrels and raccoons can carry the virus too.) She continued to tell us that she needed to know where we found the animal, my contact information and that we would have to sign the animal over to her. She would then call the health office and after that euthanize the little critter! Now that isn't what I was told on the phone! Where had the part of trying to release the animal if it turned out to be OK, gone? Suddenly her whole attitude towards us changed. My younger daughter was now angry and had left the room. And I decided to follow her. I pick up my box with the little brown biter and left as well. I was very angry to have been given deceiving information about what was going to happen to the bat.

On our way home we had to drive past one the city's main rivers and we remembered a parking lot where we have fed geese a few winters ago, and that is where we headed to. We stopped next to a larger old maple tree and I carefully placed the box next to it. As I slowly opened the lid, the little brown bat looked up at me and then started to climb out of the box and up the tree trunk. As he got just over a foot high, he turned himself up side down. Still a little shaky from the whole experience, he caught himself a bug that was next to him. After that he pulled his wings over his head and fell asleep. We happily left him there and headed back home. 

Now it was up to Nature if this little creature would survive or not. I know, I did my best with my daughter Caylagh's help to give a little helping hand to save it.

Is that the end of this story? ... No, not quite yet. Come later today, I am going to call the wildlife rescue center and speak to who ever is in charge to make a complaint about what happened.
I hope you don't mind that I shared this story with all you lovely bloggers but it was important to me. Many people out there go out of their way to help animals and others that are meant to do so, don't even stop and think and do then the wrong thing.
I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Special Rainy Day 'Momento' ~ My Newest Tutorial ..

Hello my dear friends,
today I am sharing my newest tutorial with all of you lovely blogger. It took me a little longer to put it together but it is finally done and I hope you will enjoy it!

Of course you will never really know if it might rain on a special day or not but if it does this is something so neat to keep in mind that you could create. No worries, it is quite easy and doesn't require too many fancy supplies.
You will need the main thing ...

... your rainwater.

(I had stored my water in an empty bottle until I was ready to make this creation.
 Please note, before using your rainwater I advise you to boil and filter it using a coffee filter to ensure it is very clean and without any nasty tiny bits and let it cool fully before using it.)

Once you have that, you will also need the following ...

~ A small glass bottle with a stopper ( I prefer the stopper to be glass too)
~ Seam binding in a shade of white ( or in the color of your choice)
~ Silicon sealant (I used kitchen and bathroom sealant)
~ Glue (E6000 and Fabri-Tac)
~ Card for the tag
~ Funnel
~  Ruler
~ Pencil
~ Eraser
~ Scissors
~  Fine black marker
~ Lovely little things to embellish the tag or bottle (if you wish to do so)
~ Paper punches and hole punch

And now let's start ..

You can use crinkled seam binding or as is off the roll. I used the crinkled seam binding for mine. If you want to crinkle yours, you will find my tutorial here ...

Whilst waiting for it to dry you can move on to working on the next step of this creation.

First make sure to wash your glass bottle thoroughly before you pour your rainwater into it and let it dry fully.

Using a funnel carefully pour your rainwater into the bottle. Try not to get the inside of the  bottle neck wet and place aside.

Now apply the a thin line of silicone sealant around the middle of the glass stopper but do not place into the bottle just yet.

Using E6000 dab a few drops of it above the silicon sealant. Make sure you don't use too little or too much, a medium amount is just right and ...

... now insert the stopper into the bottle carefully and press down but not too harshly and again place aside until the sealant and glue is dry. Once dry turn the bottle upside down and around to see if it is sealed completely. If not using a toothpick add a little more sealant by using a toothpick and add all around the bottle neck.

For your tag measure and draw the size of your tag on your card and ...

... cut it out and make sure you erase any pencil lines.
I made my tag 2 3/4 inches by 1 1/2 inches.

Now you can ~ if you wish ~ embellish your tag.

I used a corner punch that was used for my daughters wedding and ... 

... also I used a hole punch to punch a hole for the ribbon.

The next step is to write your message on your tag with the fine marker.
You could write the date or name or a lovely little quote, it depends what you like the most.

Now take a piece of seam binding approx.16 inches long and fold it in half and feed the loop through the hole in your tag and then the ends through the loop and pull taught.

After that tie a knot so that it is close to the tag.
This will make your tag able to hang better instead of  'standing off ' the jar.


Next tie your tag around the bottle neck so that it close to the where the tag is.

Now cut a length of seam binding long enough for it to go around your hand twice leaving a little tail either side. My sweet friend Dawn from 'The Feathered Nest' has a great tutorial on how to make a really lovely bow and you will find the link on how to here ...

Instead of cutting an extra piece of seam binding to tie and hold the bow together, use the two end that were used to tie the tag to the bottle and secure your bow with them and at the same time you are attaching your bow to the jar.( I hope this makes sense?!)

And to finish the tag off, you can now embellish it with some lovely little things if you wish to do so. I used a little old crochet pansy and a vintage rhinestone to add that special little touch.

Your bottle is now completed!

I also created a lovely box to place the bottle in using a wooden cigar box with a sliding lid to hold the bottle.

This is what you need for this project ...

~ A cigar box with sliding lid
~ Small piece of sandpaper
~ Gesso
~  Paintbrush
~ A piece of the same card used for your tag for the label
~ Fine black marker
~ Fabri-Tac glue
~ Scissors
~ Pencil
~ Eraser
~ strong double sided tape (not shown in the photo)
~ Little bits and pieces to embellish your box (if you wish)
~ Seam binding
( I am showing a lot of seam binding I ended not using more than about 3 inches of it)
~ White tissue paper (not in photo)

(I made this tutorial over two days and for some reason I forgot to place items that were needed not into photos I took. Must have been a 'dizzy' day of mine. I just hope I haven't forgotten anything else.)

And this is how you do it ...

Clean the box from any stickers and ...

... then painted with roughly with Gesso.

Once thoroughly dry, sand the edges.

Measure and cut a label for the lid from the same card that you used for the tag. The size depends on how you would like it to look. I made mine slightly smaller that the lid. Don't forget to erase any pencil marks.

You can now write a message on the label.

To give the label a special look I used the same punch as I did with the tag for the bottle.

... and then using your double sided tape to glue it to the lid of the box.

You can embellish your box with a few vintage lace pieces and another piece of sparkle. The small 'doily' is a section cut from a larger one.

For the inside of the box, take your tissue paper and fold the first piece to fit the bottom of the box and place inside. Do this once of twice more to build the 'bedding' for the bottle.

Take one more piece of tissue paper and fold it so that it is larger than the bottle, place the bottle in the center and hold it. Then fold the paper to the size of the box, folding the paper towards the back,  so that the bottle can rest safely inside it.

Now place it together into the box and replace the lid.

Now you are all ready to gift someone with this special creation!

 Maybe you will be able to use this tutorial on day and I hope you will have fun creating with it.
I as always, have loved creating this how-to for you! I work very hard to make my tutorials well so that they are understandable and for any one to use but if you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.