Thursday, September 29

Arty Farty Stuff

My lovely mum bought me some watercolour stuff for my birthday, thought I'd share what she got me plus a few other bits and bobs.

This is my "old" watercolour set, its a 12 half pan which is great for painting on the move but I really wanted a larger selection of colours so I didn't spend half my time mixing to get the right colour. Excuse how messy it is (and one of my hairs that seems to have jumped into the paint).

This is my new set, which my mum bought be for my birthday, the little box at the bottom is my old one from the picture above.

Look at those colours! There are 40 different colours! Really pleased with it :D It wasn't very expensive as it was half price which is always good.

I did a swatch thingie, writing down the names in the order they are in the box so that when one runs out I know what colour to buy.

I have a few extra blocks (that came with it, didn't see the point in opening two of some of them), all are colours I will probably end up running out of first too.

I have some tubes of watercolour paint as well, these are years old but after playing around with them last night are still in perfect condition. I wouldn't mind building a collection of the tubes as well as the blocks as they are great for making large quantities of paint for things like washes.

Mum also got me a few other bits which I'll show you as well, first up my sponges -

The natural sponges are amazing - they smell like the sea! I gave one a sniff (yeah, I sniff new stuff lol) and oh my goodness! The SEA! In my nose! Was like I had dunked my head in the ocean.

This is my paint pot, something I wasn't completely sure I would like but knew even if I didn't I would use it - turns out I love it! It's great, I can store my brushes without bending the bristles at all and it has these ridges in one side that make it really easy to clean the brushes too. Excuse the colour of the water in the pics, I had just finished doing the swatch thingie.

Mum also got me some new brushes, a size 1 Round, size 2 Script Liner and a 1/2" Short Flat brush. I have a nice little collection of brushes now.

And last but not least, the very boring but ever so important gumstrip (for stretching paper).

Couple more arty farty things -

Paper, not all of it but my three "best" pads.

The board I use for stretching paper (plus a random bit of watercolour paper...), really need to get a few more of these!

All my stuff together, how it sits by my chair :D

Seeing as this is an arty post, here's a photograph of another mini painting I've done. Thank you all for the lovely comments about the little painting I showed you on my last post!

Thursday, September 22

A Little Painting

I havent done any painting for a long time, GCSE art put me right off but I've been getting the urge to paint so I went through all my arty farty stuff last night and had a play around with my watercolours. Wanted to share the little painting I did, its only simple but I reckon its quite cute! 

Just a quick post from me today, must do me and my other half some dinner, I'm starving!

Saturday, September 17

Autumn Decorations Galore! Part One

As we're well into September, the harvest and Samhain isn't far away I've been looking through Etsy at some of the wonderful handmade Autumn decorations and thought this would be a perfect time to share some of the things I've found, as I wanted to post so many I decided to post it in two parts, the next part will be posted soon so keep an eye out!

Pumpkins are a must at this time of year - autumn wouldn't be the same without those colourful squashes with scary faces! Here are some amazing felt and fabric pumpkins I found on Etsy -
Autumn Pumpkin 4x5 Waldorf Inspired
This 4x5inch needle felted pumpkin is a Nushkie Designs creation, capturing the wonderful orange colouring of the much loved Halloween decorations. Pumpkins aren't the only thing that Nushkie makes either - check out Nushkie's shop to see a enchanting collection of needle felted fairies that would make wonderful additions to any ones home all year round.

The second pumpkin I'd like to share is again a needle felted one, a different style to the first but just as beautiful - 

Orange Pumpkin - Needle Felted Halloween Decoration
This one is made by Felttess who currently has an amazing array of Halloween themed designs for sale in her shop. Felttess also does custom orders so don't hesitate to get in contact with her via Etsy.

Here is the last, but not least, pumpkin I wanted to share with you -

Farmhouse Fall Decorations Halloween Thanksgiving Decor Harvest Pumpkin
Perfectly described as a "Farmhouse Pumpkin" this is made and sold by Miss Hettie who specialises in all things vintage, from furniture to children's clothing as well as one of hand made items, such as this paper mache pumpkin. I love the use of the raffia! Check out her Etsy shop for some amazing finds!

Wreaths aren't just for Yule ladies and gentlemen and this next Etsy listing I'm going to show you will prove it! 

Beautiful, Cornucopia, Thanksgiving, Fall, Door, Wreath, Harvest, with FREE US Shipping

Look at those colours! It really does capture the colours of autumn in such a fantastic way! This wreath is one of many made and sold by Sherry Buckner in her shop, Petal Pusher's Designs. Sherry also has a website and you can follow her on Twitter @werpetalpushers and don't forget to check out her Facebook Page!

And now for one of my favourite type of decorations - a garland.

Spooky Halloween Decoration Garland Vintage Inspired
This spooky garland is made by the lovely Christine and sold in her shop, Flappergirl
this is just one example of an amazing collection of retro paper garlands so make sure you check out her shop - there are also some cute little aprons that I've fallen in love with! Christine has a blog and a Facebook page where you can keep up to date with her latest retro designs.

What witch doesn't have a love for candles? These candlestick holders would be wonderful additions to any ones autumn decorations -

Thanksgiving Home Decor Fall Harvest Candle Stick Holders Rustic Chic Distressed Wood Set of 3
These Morgan Hill Design Candle Stick Holders are brought to you by a husband and wife team (the perfect kind in my opinion!) and sold in their Etsy shop, BraggingBags. I've never seen a better set of autumn candle stick holders and might have to buy them for myself!

I have to say, this last autumn decoration I'm going to show you is my favourite - this little evil mouse witch Gwendolyn has stolen my heart! Wort's 'n' all!

Halloween Witch Mouse Ornament felt rat hamster mice cute gift for animal lover or collector by TheHouseofMouse - Gwendolyn
You must, must, must read Gwendolyn's interview in the listing, its adorable! The creators of this wonderful little mouse, as well as more mice than you can count, are Naomi and Anna and to get your hands on one of these little mice pop along to their shop, TheHouseofMouse.

I hope you enjoyed the photographs and that you will be whipping out those PayPal accounts and clicking your way on over to Etsy. It truly is a treasure chest!

Monday, September 5

Not a Happy Bunny

Summery of the day: I nearly had to crap in a bin.

Background: Last year, god knows when, our boiler broke. Just stopped working one afternoon. We tried to get hold of the landlord but no luck - turns out that his house flooded and his mobile phone (the one we have the number for) was destroyed and he only rarely checks his emails so it wasn't until two weeks later that he got in contact. Someone came out, the boiler was fixed and all was well. A month or so later the boiler broke again but a couple of weeks later magically started working again. It was OK for a while but then broke again. Contacted the landlord (again) who got a plumber out and he fixed it - this was just before last Christmas. We then get the winter water bill - it had gone from about £60 a month to £250 a month. WTF? Turns out the "fix" that the plumber did was only meant to be temporary and the landlord was meant to get a new one installed ASAP. The temporary fix meant that the boiler was using massive amounts of electricity but not doing much with it until finally the boiler tripped all the electricity in the flat - this was in Feb.

From February until recently we have been attempting to get hold of the landlord with no luck - he wasn't replying to emails or anything. When he finally did get in contact again he said he thought that the boiler had been properly fixed the last time the plumber came out. Bearing in mind we had repeatedly emailed him telling him that it wasn't.

Anyway, back to present day. Landlord bought a new boiler - was going to be installed last Wednesday but the one delivered was damaged. Fair enough, things happen. So, a new one gets delivered today, I haven't been feeling well so I stayed in bed and let my other half deal with it. At about 1pm (the boiler arrived at 10:30am) I woke up and stumbled out of the bedroom and into the hallway (where the boiler is) to find the boiler cupboard doors propped up against the wall (fine, would had been hard to work around them) and a plumber drinking tea and looking over the instruction manual of some sort by the new boiler. The shiny new boiler. Oh how I have wanted a shiny new boiler for soooooo long.

Guess what the landlord didn't ask for or get (hadn't even occurred to me to be honest)? Measurements. Of the cupboard. The one where the shiny new boiler will go.

So, this is the result -

Doesn't look bad does it? From this angle, nope, looks fine!

From this angle? Can you notice what the problem is?

Those runner thingies above it are where the doors are meant to fit into - the damned boiler sticks out so much you cant put the doors back in. I measured it - its 5inches too long. Wide. Whatever.

I now have a monstrosity of a boiler for everyone to see as soon as they walk in my front door (the door you see is my front door, I live in a flat). Lovely.

Just for added decoration here are the doors (ignore the metal panels, they will be fitted onto the front of the boiler once its finished).

So, it's just gone 1pm and I realise I need to go to the loo. In both senses of the word. The water is still off, I cant go round to the neighbours (I don't know them) and obviously I cant use the toilet. I thought, bugger this, I'm off back to bed.

I wake up again at about 4pm, the water is still off and I'm busting to go to the loo. I kept looking at our bedroom bin wondering if the plumber, or my other half, would hear me if I did my business in there. Thankfully, my wondering lasted just long enough - the plumber put the water back on before I took desperate measures. Wonderful! I don't have to crap in a bin.

I go into the bathroom, at a leisurely pace of course and sit down. My eyes wander to the bath which had a hose pipe in it. Ok... God knows what the plumber was doing with that. Then this little pile of dust/dirt catches my eye.

I'm puzzled and look up to find two holes in the tiles. I think my eyes bugged out of my head for a second.

A close up of the big one of the left -
I finish up in the bathroom and go straight into the living room where my other half is and glare at him. I did one of those shouting whispers, you know the ones I mean, saying that there are holes in the bathroom tiles. He says, "I know" with this look on his face that either meant "I don't care" or "Nothing I can do about it". Poor man had only had one hours sleep so I didn't get grumpy.

Apparently, when the plumber had been drilling in the cupboard, my other half went into the bathroom and saw the holes, he shows them to the plumber who pulls his glasses down his nose, looks at the holes then pushes his glasses back up and says, "Those walls are thin" and went back to work.

Yes, the walls are thin. Now I would have thought he would have realised he had drilled right through the wall the first time but nope, he did it twice. I can't say anything more on the matter otherwise I will end up smacking my head against the table I think.

After all this do we have hot water? Don't be silly! Course we don't, we have to wait until someone else can drill holes through our walls first! 

Well, what a wonderful day.

Please excuse the rant and the amount of pictures. I'll have a happy, harvest themed post for you soon.