August 31, 2017

Taking a Short break...

I have entered an intense period illustrating my latest book. Consequently, I've realised I'm not superwoman and I just can't do everything! So I'm taking a break from the blog for a few weeks, so I can concentrate on this book. I'll be back soon! Here's a sneak peak:

See you soon,
Jules :)

August 19, 2017

Painted Doilies as Wall Art

Hello creative souls!

I have a craft tutorial for you today to make some wall art using doilies. The fun thing about this one is that it's easy to do but looks really effective. And if you're a craft hoarder collector like me, you might just have some doilies lying around waiting for the perfect craft to upcycle them!

This tutorial recently appeared on Alisa Burke's blog. I like to post my tutorials here too so that you can find all my crafty projects under the one roof, so to speak. 

So, here's how you do it...

Painted Doilies as Wall Art

I had some lovely friends share their doily collections with me for this tutorial. It's great when others share their stashes with you for crafts sake!

For this project you will need:

-A collection of crocheted doilies
-PVA glue
-acrylic paints

The original doilies before receiving their make-over

First, I dipped my doilies into water and then wrung them out so that they were damp when I painted them. This makes them easier to paint. If the doilies are dry when you start they will just draw so much of the paint and water out of your brush that you will find you are forever adding more paint.

I watered down my acrylic colours to make them work more like watercolours. You’ll get a feel for how runny to make the paint once you start. Keep in mind your doilies will really lighten as they dry too, so even though my colours looked quite strong as I was painting them, they really lightened to pastel tones when they dried. You do need to use acrylic paints because we want those colours to be waterproof for the next step, and acrylics are waterproof when they are dry.

Paint all of the doilies, filling them all up with colour.

Once painted, leave them to completely dry.

Next, make a 1:1 ratio mix of water and PVA glue and stir well. Dip each doily in, saturate it with the glue solution then gently squeeze each doily out and lay flat on a sheet of plastic to dry (they won't stick to the plastic). You don’t want to squeeze them out too tightly that you are not left with much of the glue solution in the doilies, but you also don’t want blobs of glue in the little gaps either.

Now leave them to dry completely.

Once dry they can attached to a wall and will hold their shape. I think they look great in clusters. The more the merrier. I must get my hands on some more!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Jules :)

August 09, 2017

Home Decorating Book Review: The New Bohemians

I love home decorating books! I'm chatting "The New Bohemians: Cool & Collected Homes" today here on my creative blog.

This post contains affiliate links (see bottom of post for explanation).

Justine Blakeney has divided this home decorating book into different themes of boho. The modern bohemian, the folksy bohemian, the romantic, the earthy, the nomadic... and the maximal bohemian. Each section showcases various houses along with snippets of the lives of the people that reside within them.

The book explains the bohemian decorating style as it is seen today, which aligns with a shun-the-rules, creative, and free spirited state of mind. Best of all, it's an affordable way of decorating. I'm so glad I really love the boho home decorating style- can you imagine the damage on the credit card if I was into designer furniture!?

Bohemian decorating is about mismatching, displaying your collections, celebrating the sentimental and being intuitive rather than following rules such as "your rug needs to extend past the edge of your sofa by 'x' centimetres" kind of ideas that would stop people in their tracks with decorating because they feel like they don't know what they're doing.

This is one of those books that helps give you the confidence to shun the rules and just make spaces you totally love.

It was fun to look through the book and choose which bohemian style was for me. It was Maximalist, hands down! In the book it states that the maximalist boho "includes a whole lot of everything" and "decorates wild". Uh huh.

So much yes. What a gorgeous outdoor area...

I love how within the boho style Justina Blakeney has whittled the boho decorating style down and categorised each section. Each different category could so very much be it's own separate spin off book. I have a good friend who I would order The Earthy Bohemian for, and I'll back order The Maximalist Bohemian, thank you!

The book includes practical tips and hints to achieve certain looks, as well as some DIY projects too. There is an "adopt an idea" section, where she has zoned in on a detail of home decor and explains how to recreate the effect in your own home. The DIY projects go into more detail with step by step instructions.

And a boho home ain't a boho home without plants so The New Bohemians includes a handy guide  for the best indoor plants to use & their care. (My tip: Want to decorate boho? First fill your house with cushions and plants and you're almost there!)

Best of all The New Bohemians is full of lots of juicy pictures to gain inspiration from.

Overall I really enjoyed The New Bohemians. I think it's a fabulous coffee table book chock full of home decorating eye candy for the free spirited, the wanderers and the dreamers...

Find The New Bohemians on Amazon here.

Jules :)

*Affiliate Information: Affliliate links help me earn small commissions on products (at no extra cost to you), which helps support my love of blogging and sharing creative things. I only ever recommend or link to products that I'm genuinely into.

August 01, 2017

Creative Life Round Up

Hello creatives :)

It's been a few more days since my last blog post than usual. I have quite a bit on at the moment so posts may be fewer and further between, but rest assured I'm still here. I'll get a bit more regular with my posts when things calm down a bit here with my workload.

Time for a creative life round up! These posts are bits n pieces type posts, showing things I'm working on or thinking about or planning. Kind of like the blog post equivalent of all the left over veggies you have in your fridge that you turn into a soup :)

I feel like I haven't been achieving much because I have a children's book I'm working on brewing in the background that is taking most of my time, but gathering some images today and thinking about other projects that are happening and I'm not yet showing here, I realise I actually have got a bit of other creative work done!

First up is a dragon painting that has been requested of me. It's in it's final stages now. Nearly done, I think. It's acrylic on canvas.

I had one of my plaster birds hanging up on a wall and the hook fell off the wall! So a wing chipped. I thought I may as well make some more whilst I'm in the process of mending one. So I now have some plaster birds and hearts ready to be painted up. I have our local Arts Market to think about coming up later in the year which will be here before I know it.

As well as commissions and tutorials and artwork I'm supposed to be doing, I also love to create for the sake of creating. Creating art that has no owner waiting for it or no purpose in mind for it. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Therefore, I'm free to just be as strange as I like and explore. That's when discoveries and growth as an artist happens (which is why I think working in sketchbooks is so valuable). 

Speaking of sketch books, here's a recent entry. Mixed media.

This cement water fountain sculpture that I made years & years ago is having some repairs done. Unfortunately the first layer of cement I added had gone off and didn't set, so I had to hose it all off and start again. It's a very time consuming project. Cement works in weird ways; it's hard yet sloppy, grainy but then you can make it super-smooth. It's heavy and subject to gravity, and it's so hard when cured but so delicate when unset. Knock a bit before it's set and it's gone! But I enjoy using it. I like it's permanency and the fact that you can put cement creations outside in the weather.

I have two tutorials nearly finished. One involves cement and the other doilies. Coming soon! I've also been dabbling with mosaic pieces out in the garage, but I might save those for another blog post. Nothing exciting to see yet. Just grouting some of the kids' old works. 

I'm now counting down the days to winter ending. I am tired. I feel like lying in bed watching movies and reading books and truly hibernating till the end of this month. It's not mega cold here or snowing or anything like in some parts of the world but I'm still feeling it. And where has this fatigue come from!? Bring on Spring!

Jules :)


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