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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Old Treasures, My New Loves

A month has flown by and I haven't apologies. It's not as if I don't have anything to blog about either I have plenty of house things to share with you.

Today however I am going to share with you my new treasures that I have been hunting.
When on a budget you can't just pop into town and hit the high street shops, you need to be a bit more creative! But when you do go to car boot sales and reclamation yards the excitement of "will I find a bargain or a fantastic piece of treasure" is as important as the price you get it for in the end! You certainly have to be in a certain type of mood to do this kind of shopping, it's almost more of a mission than a leisurely shop. Beady eyes at the ready and no nook or cranny left unturned!

First on my list was Steptoes Yard, which is by St Cyrus beach in Aberdeenshire. I've been here only 2 or 3 times before and each time I come away with something. This time I was feeling slightly more ambitious and spent a bit more than the tenner I spent last time. Whenever I go to places like these I always have it in my mind that I don't want to pay very much for an item, however its not always junk that you do find. At the end of the day if you think its worth the price quoted and love it then why not? Let me add in here that I am USELESS at haggling! I know you should always haggle but I think my haggling gene was left out of my body. I physically can't do it! I dunno what it is, embarrassment perhaps? They quote the price and I stand there like a nodding dog!

If you have never been to Steptoes Yard before it is massive and has so much stuff! When you first arrive you are greeted by loads of crockery and plates all lined up on tables and lots of beyond their best garden equipment looking for some love. The outside is big enough but add to that a massive outhouse full of paintings, furniture and other assorted items and then a smaller warehouse full of glass and you begin to understand just how much stuff they do have. I swear some stuff has probably sat there buried for about 10 years! Still the rummaging is all part of the fun.

Steptoes Yard

The "Glass House"

Need a mirror? A painting? Delve in!

So here is what I got!

Floral Framed Tapestry

Tapestry in detail

I loved the colours in this and more so the fact that it was a tapestry. This will look really pretty in my bedroom, which is not quite finished yet but pictures will be up here when it is!

A framed old fashioned floral illustration

I was pretty happy to come across this as I have been trying to get some of these sort of prints together myself.  Last month whilst in Inverness I visited an old second hand bookshop which was an Aladdins Cave full of old books. I spent ages rummaging around the gardening section looking for floral illustrations to frame. This was exactly the type of thing I was looking for!
A 1950s Mirror

This isn't the greatest of photographs but I love these mirrors. I have seen them around quite a bit and wanted one for a while, luckily David managed to find this one at Steptoes. The best thing is there is no rust on this one like so many of the other ones!

Hand painted Glasses

I couldn't resist these two lovely glasses. Ok so I'm guessing you got the fact I like florals then?

Next up was Thainstone Mart Car Boot Sales, held every Sunday out near Inverurie, Aberdeenshire. You really never know what you are going to find here. You want some second hand toys? Clothes? Pillowcases or DVDs and books? Maybe you want an old Singer sewing machine? A radio? you will probably find it here. I never like to think I will go home empty handed when I go on "my hunt" and so far I haven't!

Here are this weeks treasures!

2 Large wooden photo frames, a glass container, 3 cool pastel stripey pillow cases and 12 old ladybird kids books!

And how much did I spend on my treasures? £5.60! I'm pretty happy with that!
The Ladybird books in particular were my diamond fine! At 20p each I even got a discount because I bought the glass container too! These were being sold for a whole lot more than that at an old second hand bookshop and Oxfam shop!

So I leave Thainstone Mart a happy chappy (or lassie) with enough money to treat myself to some Jam Slices. Delicious!!!!
Now how much do I have to spend there next week....................

Friday, 8 July 2011

The Stresses And Strains Of Being A Wedding Guest

The season is definitely upon us where the weather is (supposed) to be warmer and everyone is starting to get married. They say you hit an age when all your friends start to get married and that happened to me last summer.

Two of my very close friends got married last summer but this year I only have one wedding to go to and it is David's friend who is getting married. The wedding is fast approaching (its next week) and like a lot of other women sweeping the country the question on all our lips is "What the hell am I going to wear????!!!!" If you are a bridemaid its easy you don't have to worry about what to wear but being a wedding guest does bring some stress, or is that just me????

I am usually quite organised about this sort of thing and I started looking around the shops in preparation for the July sales. Yes a late July wedding is great for the guest as you can save a bit of money on the dress! So I though great! Monsoon here I come in July when your sales have begun and I will find something i like.
Seven dresses later.................nope I can't quite find something that 100% flatters me. The thing is I can be quite critical of myself and if I don't think I look good in something there is no way I am going to wear it regardless of what other opinions may be. I am going through a very critical phase which isn't helping the dress search!

So last night 5pm came I rushed out of work and headed into town, 13 dresses later I'm still not 100% sure!I've been to about 5 different shops and now I'm starting to run out of options and the stress levels are starting to rise a bit. There is also the thought that since all the sales are on everyone else will be hitting the shops and buying the same dresses. There may be a fleet of people in the same lilac monsoon dress I pondered over at one point!

So now what? I stop and start to think back to all the dresses I've tried on.
 Do i got for the £99 Pink Maxi Coast dress that I tried on in a rush after work on Tuesday? or the Classic style floral Laura Ashley dress that was £85 and a bit more "me".

The rational Camilla decided to make an appearance and think "Atleast with the Laura Ashley dress you will wear it more than once" so unconvinced and a little deflated we headed back to Laura Ashley to get the dress. I suppose I should now explain that I do like the dress but I don't LOVE the dress, I usually prefer to LOVE a dress before I buy it!

So I walk into Laura Ashley and head to the rail. Where is the dress????? Maybe it is still in the changing room???? Nope not in there either. So talk about bad luck! In the one hour I was gone someone else has bought it!!!! (Let's hope this person isn't going to the same wedding as me!) Now its 8pm and all the shops are closing...............

Weighing up the option I decide to head to the Laura Ashley website (thank you online shopping) and there it is sitting waiting for me to buy it. But could I stop myself from clicking on other dresses? pretty summer dress. I didn't see you in the shop...........

So now I have 2 dresses on order, but I've missed next day delivery option so we still opted for next day delivery but it'll come Tuesday instead! Still with standard delivery it may not have even come in time! I fully intend to return one dress when they arrive!! So I guess I am sorted and can relax now???
Not quite.................. there is still a wealth of things to think about! Shoes, handbags, jewellery, make up, fascinator...............a bit tricky when I can't decide what colour to accessorise with. So now I've opened up another can of worms but this time I need to go shopping not quite knowing the exact colours............the joys of being a female!

Maybe I should have just worn the dress I wore to one of the weddings last year afterall????????? Hmmm...........................

Monday, 4 July 2011

New Stock and Teaching Classes!

This week's blog post is just going to be a short one. (Sometimes I think I rattle on too much)

I wanted to really showcase my new work on my online shops and spread the word of Camilla-Erika, plus I have some exciting news to share with you!

I am currently in the middle of photographing and uploading my new work onto my Folksy and Etsy sites. So far I have concentrated on Folksy, so if you would like to go and see any of my items click on this link!

Most of my new work has been made with Shrink Plastic and Resin however there are lots of other lovely bit and bobs in there too. Here are some of my new lines!

Seen something you like? Don't delay! Get onto for a closer look.

The exciting news that I wanted to tell you was that I will be teaching some jewellery classes at I Heart Art, The Galleria Shopping Centre, Aberdeen next month!

Have you ever fancied making jewellery out of your grannies button collection? Or thought that you would love to embed a little charm or your favourite fabric swatch in resin? Or has the idea of drawing your own design on plastic and making it into a necklace grabbed your attention????

Well the good news is you can do any of it (or all of it) and I will be showing you how!

I will be running the following classes:

Resin Jewellery with Camilla-Erika
Wednesday 10th August 6pm-8pm
Wednesday 17th August 6-8pm
Price tbc

This is a 2 week course where you will learn how to make your own resin jewellery. You will be able to mix and cast the resin in moulds and embed any little trinket you like. Got a favourite button on charm? Love glitter? Or have a favourite fabric swatch? You can bring them along to be included. Week 2 will concentrate on finishing off your resin jewellery by transforming them into a ring or whatever else you fancy.

Button Jewellery with Camilla-Erika
Saturday 20th August 11am-1pm
Price £20

Come along and turn some of those buttons you have lying around the house into a beautiful piece of jewellery! If you have some favourite buttons bring them along, if you don't its ok I will be taking some along!
You will be shown how to make rings, earrings and other pieces.

Shrink Plastic Jewellery with Camilla-Erika
Thursday 25th August 6pm-8pm
Price tbc

This class will allow you to draw your own designs onto shrink plastic which you will heat up and magically transform into a pendant or earrings! Don't worry if drawing is not your thing we will give you some help and ideas!

For examples you can have a look above or on my folksy page to see what kind of wonders you can create!

If you are interested in booking onto any of the course please contact I Heart Art on 01224 905909

For more information check out the list of Classes and Workshops I Heart Art do.

I look forward to seeing you in my classes! :)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

New Week, New Crafty Skills

This past week has been all about me learning some new skills! Some crafty skills and some DIY skills.......throw them into a mix and what do you get? Well you get this..........
For a while now I have been admiring people upcycling and making old furniture a bit more jazzy. Moving house is the PERFECT opportunity to start dabbling in all sorts of crafts so when we went to go and buy our kitchen table and chairs I knew I wanted to treat them to a lick of paint. In fact you could say I have gone a bit nuts for spraypaint!
I have been spending so much time in B&Q lately choosing wall paint, choosing wood paint and spray paint but I still feel like a bit of a novice. No better way to learn that just to dive straight in!

Project one was this standing lamp that I bought at a furniture charity shop! I knew I wanted to duck egg blue it up and luckily I found the perfect colour. I didn't quite realise until I began painting with it that it was an oil based paint. This meant that it was a bit gloopy, it was smelly and it would take a while to dry. Oh well lets soldier on!
First task was to get all the lamp sanded down. Its a bit tricky with all those nooks and crannies! Then time to prime it and finally get the colour on!

Sanded down lamp
The duck egg blue lamp!
Voila! Didn't buy a big enough lamp shade though.....oppps


For my first chair I decided to use spraypaint.
Rustoleum Painter's Touch. It comes in such a range of colours but I fell in love with this French Lilac colour.
First job was to sand down the chair to "key" it, basically for the paint to stick to something. I also decided to spray on a coat of primer. Primer acts in the same way it provides a surface for the paint to adhere to.
The spraypaint dries quite quickly with a 20 minute drying time which comes in handy when the Aberdeen weather decides to go from sunny to pouring with rain.


David helping me sand
The primed chair with its first spray of Lilac!

Next stage once the primer was dry was to apply the French Lilac colour. I find spray painting a bit addictive. You begin your project and you come to love the results and just want to keep on going. It is so easy and easy to get to all the hard to reach bits too! All you need is a bit of newspaper on the ground and voila!





Doesn't it look nice? I was in two minds whether or not to distress it a bit but to be honest i love the solid a colour! The lovely cushions are courtesy of my mum they go so nicely!

Chair number 2 is currently in progress so will feature very soon, a nice Guava Green it will be too.

Alongside spraypainting furniture I also had a go at soap making for the first time with the girls from my knitting group. I couldn't believe how simple it was! Simple = good = I want to do more. As I am writing this I am planning a trip to Hobbycraft to see what supplies they have. Soap is a very pretty, quick gift. Just find a box get some fancy paper and you can make it look really brill. This could be a good contender for Xmas 2011 presents. You have been warned!

How to Make Soap

Firstly you need to cut up the soap blocks and melt them. You can do this in an old pan or in the microwave. We did ours in the microwave. We had two types of soap opaque and clear.
Make sure you keep stirring the melted soap, you don't want a skin to form and it starts to harden quite quickly. It is a good idea to have all your materials ready before hand.

You can put whatever you like in soap. We had special scents and colours that we got from a soap making suppliers. Whilst you are stirring your melted soap add in your chosen colour and scent and keep stirring!
We had a choice of Honey, Sea Breeze, Lavender and Rose scents to choose from.There was also a lot of glitter flying around the table.

Once it is all mixed up nicely (like a cake) you can pour it into moulds. We had silicone soap making moulds but you could also use cupcake cases (we started using these once we run out of moulds!) However if you use the cupcake moulds you won't get such a defined finished shape.

I decided to add some buttons into my soap, not exactly practical but pretty! I was going for the more decorative soap that sat in a bathroom. However I suppose you could use it and as the soap wore down you got some buttons to donate to your next craft project! You can also add dried flowers such as lavender, rose buds, poppy seeds etc.

Once you have poured your soap into the mould and everything is added in you need to leave it alone to harden. We were a bit impatient and took them out earlier than recommended! But keep an eye on it and you will see how long it takes. The recommended time to leave them is 4 hours.

 Not quite 4 hours later this is what we had......

My clear button and glitter soap before its ready......

...And once it has hardened!

This was the opaque soap with some buttons inserted

And buttons added on the top

Fancy giving it a go? Go for it! It is so easy and the results and well worth it!