Wednesday, 4 April 2012

All hail the wall tiles.

Howdy folks!

Well, what a busy week I've had. It's been none stop! I've got a lot of things to share with you, but first I would like to mention that the link to my website has been a tad broken for a large chunk of the last week, but thanks to a helpful techie person, all is now well, which is good news because I have some amazing new products to share with you this week!

I would like to start this week with a project I began yesterday evening on behalf of my sister. She put together a very large quantity of family photographs and tried to make a collage by sticking them on a large sheet of paper. Unfortunately a few house moves left the paper ripped and the photos all bent so they have not been on display for some time. She asked me if I could do anything with them in a colour scheme to match her sitting room, teal and orange, and then the fabulous memories will be on display once more.

Never one to turn down a challenge I agreed to take it on. After weeks of planning and searching, I decided to make a huge fabric photo frame for them to all be displayed in as a collage, and here's how I'm doing it.

You will need:

Sheets of A4 or A6 260gsm or higher card (quantity depends on the number of photos you are using but I measured the size of the photos all laid out to get any idea, and trimming is easy to do, plus some is needed for the frame shape)
A collection of family photos, new and old, trimmed down with some in different sizes. Mine are square of rectangular, however you could even use triangles if you wanted
Some good quality cotton fabric (quantity is again dependant on the number of photos, but if it is a large frame, consider your fabric width. I chose Prestigious Textiles Maple)
PVA glue and brush to apply it (I use a cheap paint brush)
Some thin canvas framing tape
Ribbon in a colour that matches your fabric (this can be any width)
String, wool or ribbon to hang it (I am using the same ribbon as above)
Something very heavy to flatten them while drying (I used two Next catalogues!)

1) I started with some 260gsm A4 white card. I drew a line down one side around 0.75 inch (2cm) in from the edge so I had a guide to the stick on another piece of card. I attached it with some canvas tape I have that is very thin, very sticky and like paper (you'll see why in a minute). On the underside, to stick them securely, I used basic PVA (from a very large container full courtesy of B & Q) and just used a metal ruler to weight it down while it became tacky and held.

2) I have only used 3 sheets of card so far and plan to just add as I get each sheet fairly full. I started to stick down the photos with PVA, and using canvas framing tape is much easier to stick to than Sellotape. As some of the photos had become bent, I had previously laid them under two heavy catalogues to flatten them a bit, and they needed holding for a bit while the glue took hold. I stood things on them like a glass on top of a ruler so I could continue working.

3) Now as you can see from the photos, that is the progress so far as I started it at 10pm yesterday! Overnight I left 2 catalogues on top of them as some of the photos were still trying to bend, and this morning they are now beautifully flat. My next steps are to continue sticking on the photos, leaving a space of around 2.75 inch (7cm) around the edges, and continuing to put catalogues on the weigh them down while drying. The photo below shows where I have drawn lines around the edges so I leave ample space to put on the frame, and the other photo is of the back.

4) When that is completed, I shall make the frame by cutting strips of card. I would like a wide and bold frame, so will do it 3inches (7.5cm) wide, but you can choose any size. I will stick the strips together in the same way I have attached the card, and when the glue is dry, I will wrap two lengths of ribbon (the length of each piece will depend on how long you want the hanger) around the frame, and knot on either side for hanging, but not tie them together at the top at this point.

5) Then to wrap the fabric around each side of the frame and secure, cutting it so each piece meets on the corners, and joining the fabric together at the back, allowing the ribbon to still hang loose. Where the fabric meets on the corner, I will wrap a strip of ribbon around and secure with PVA glue so there are no lines.

6) Now to attach the frame to the photos. First push each length of ribbon through the backing card so it then will hang out of the back of the picture. Then glue down the frame, and weigh down to dry for 24 hours.

7) When it is dry, the two pieces of ribbon for hanging can be knotted or tied in a bow and it is ready to hang! I will take more photos as I go along and of the finished product, and will post them in my next blog, so watch this space. I think it's going to look amazing!

So, after all that work, it's time to tell you you what other things I have been doing this week. I sent off for a sample of the oil cloth version of Harlequin What a Hoot from John Lewis ( I'm over the moon with it and I have been inspired. I'm thinking that will be purchased at some point and some aprons made from it. Not that I have ever made an apron before but I'm willing to learn!

I am a happy bunny today, not least because I am getting things done, but also because I have finally found a pair of curtains for my bedroom. I've only been looking for a year! With the window being only 56 inches wide, but 75 inches long, it has been extremely difficult to find some that fit at a reasonable price. Good old Next provided me with that pair, although they are too wide to go up separately, so I only plan on one going up. The minefield that is curtain buying is a complicated one with all the measurements you have to decipher, and not only that but blackouts are hard to find. That being the case I have decided I will attempt to attach a blackout lining myself (eek!). I think I'll make cushion covers out of the other curtain. Watch this space for more news on that front!

I also saw on Facebook that Sweet Treat Desserts are back in production with their mouth watering home made fudge, which is by far the best I have ever tasted. I absolutely love this stuff and have to stop myself from ordering 5 boxes at a time. There's mint choc chip (love love love this one), malteaser (and this one), KitKat, lemon meringue and many more. £1.50 has never been such a good investment. You can find it at and if there isn't any left you can rest assured that there will be more in the not too distant future.

Oh and I have found this online shop called Dot Com Gift Shop and after having a right nosy around I have discovered that they actually sell some really nice stuff. I didn't think it would be up to much and had never heard of them before. You can go to their store here Home & Garden

As I said last week, I had received a Cath Kidston fabric delivery and I have made some cute ceramic fridge magnets in a wide range of her haberdashery designs. They are 45mm square with very strong magnets on the back and they look wonderful on my fridge. This is a great way to add some colour to your kitchen without breaking the bank, and considering they can only be purchased on, a price of £7.50 is an absolute steal for 4 of them.

Since then I have been busy putting together a new range of wall tiles. If you love shabby Chic, Cath Kidston designs, Clarke and Clarke designs or Tanya Whelan's beautiful fabric then you will absolutely love this. A new way to insert some amazing style into your home, you really are getting a piece of something that is truly unique.

This first picture shows some of the first tiles I made. You will see Cath Kidston for Ikea Rosali in white, Clarke and Clarke Bird Trail in grey and pink with Cath Kidston hearts.

Clarke and Clarke Beach Hut in grey.

Cath Kidston Classic Rose in blue.

Here is the side view so you can see how they are finished.
 Tanya Whelan Delilah Buds in pink.

 Pink Cupcake.

However, these Cath Kidston designs are my absolute favourites.

Here we have from left to right, Rose Sprig in White, Rosali in blue, Mini Spot in red,Victoria Rose in grey, Tea Rose in White and Classic Rose in blue, all separated by plain white tiles.

All designs shown are available in 98mm square or 148mm square. They are fully waterproof and can be used in your ktchen, bathroom, round a fireplace if it will not get too hot, as a splash back or just to hang up as a picture. Usage in a shower is not advised however. The 98mm start at just £8.95 each and the 148mm start at £13.95 each. Hand decorated tiles start at around £15 upwards per 98mm tile, so this really is a bargain. Fabric samples can also be purchased for a very small cost through my website too. If you can't find a design or colour you want, I can also take bespoke orders for a very small fee of just an extra 50p per tile. See this page for all my shabby chic wall tiles.

You can buy things to match from Cath Kidston online.

So that's it for this week folks. Once I have finished the collage and frame I will post more pictures up. Have a brilliant week.

Kirsty x

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