Marianne North….

This week I have been making a mess… sanding off layers and layers of paint and papers from an IKEA chest of drawers which has seen many finishes.

Then, when I had a nice blank canvas I got to work with these absolutely gorgeous Marianne North wrapping papers which are sold in a book form at Kew Gardens.
If you don’t know who she is, then get yourself to Kew to see her paintings and or watch the documentary (link on Kew’s web page) I think you too will want to know more about this fascinating woman,

When I saw these papers I just had to have them and this is what I did….
The papers are all gorgeous and it took me a while to choose which I wanted to use, I ironed them with a cool iron to remove the centre creases by the way.

As you can see the paper wasn’t quite wide enough for the drawer fronts and all the papers are portrait but I added a strip of just foliage down both sides and I think it works? I stuck the papers on with a good PVA glue from Hobbycraft and left to dry before trimming. (It really is worth letting it dry before neatening up, it tears and ruches up if still wet)
Next the top – I used two different papers P1050859
I cut around the big white flowers and their leaves and overlapped another sheet… not botanically correct I’m sure but I like it  – it actually can’t really be seen as I have more drawers standing on top.
A couple more sheets adorn each side 1 and that is that…

I also finally got to use these fabulous bird handles which I bought simply ages ago at The Ideal Home Show from Sass & Belle
and then didn’t know what to do with when I got home. P1050859

Here’s my finished drawers in situ, I love them and they even have got the seal of approval from my husband! P1050879
Thanks for reading, (I have swept the floor – sorry I didn’t before taking the pics!)


Love Rosie    P1050880.JPG





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A trip to the V&A Museum…

My husband and I recently planned a Saturday out, we both love visiting the wonderful museums and galleries in London and this day we had planned to go to the National Portrait Gallery, a firm favourite. The exhibition was photographer Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things. Unfortunately we had misunderstood the website and publicity in newspapers and were disappointed to discover that this exhibition is not on until next year, we’ll be going then though!
So we headed off to Kensington; to the Victoria & Albert Museum and went to the newly opened Photography Centre. There was plenty to interest us both but one exhibit inspired me for a Littleton’s story line.
The exhibit was a watercolour painting and photograph combination.
Long before 20th century Surrealists adopted collage, aristocratic Victorian women embraced the technique of combining photographs with watercolour drawings for whimsical effect.  Assembled into albums, these photo-collages show Victorians at their most playful.
This one shows a crab grasping a portrait of a young man dressed for a boat race is perhaps a reference to the phrase ‘catching a crab’ which in rowing means getting an oar stuck in the water, it’s by Catherine Mary Wood. IMG_6512

I needed to ‘make’ a few props for my miniature watercolourist
and this is what I did…

I had this little table already and also this little glass bowl,
which I half filled with glue.

Then I selected a little plywood and cut a rectangle. I then pressed a modelling tool into the wood to make the little indents for filling with paint pans (blobs of paint) and coloured the whole thing with a silver marker.

Now, some brushes, I made a few from cocktail sticks – cutting the point off the end for one but the others are nice fine watercolour brushes. As you can see I coloured the brush part with a fine felt pen, added the metal bit with silver and then a darker colour for the rest of the brush handle.

So next was the scrapbook – I used a thick piece of paper, coloured it with a nice rich blue and wrote on the cover and edges with gold marker.
I then cut some thin papers for the inside and stitched them together and into the cover with a needle and cotton.

So, Mrs Littleton is ready to start her new hobby!

Thanks for reading, back next week
love Rosie


Posted in 1/12th scale, Arts & crafts, Book, calligraphy, crafting, creative, Doll, Dollshouse, Drawing, hand made, Hand-made, Instagram, Miniatures, Museum, painting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monkey Puzzle Tree…

I recently spent an afternoon walking around Kew Gardens all by myself, there’s something about being alone that makes you take more notice of your surroundings I find.
I came by a lovely big Monkey Puzzle tree and stopped to really look at it….

There was quite a bit of new growth and it was such a bright green! I heard on Gardener’s World that humans can see more shades of green than any other colour, well I think I saw as many as there are, that afternoon!

I vowed to sketch a section of the Monkey Puzzle tree – or to give it’s proper name Araucaria araucana some time, and today, a slightly chilly, grey June Sunday morning seemed a good day to do so.

The branch is made up of little leaves which are green, spiky, stiff, leathery, glossy and triangular-shaped. They are thick and broad at the base and sharp at the edges and tips. They are arranged in a spiral around the trunk, which is really quite fascinating if you take a good look.

Looking at something close enough to draw really focuses the eye, this is such a fascinating tree…take a look if you see one!
Thanks for reading
Back soon Rosie

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Hanging baskets….

My mum recently gave me this book.. crochet 20 projects for friends to make  

and I have got ‘hooked’ on making hanging baskets – the pattern includes pom-poms hanging from the bottom but as I have been using jute and cotton yarn I thought a tassel would better suit.

Did you ever try Macramé? In my time working in a craft shop I helped instruct so many people with that craft but, I actually could not get it!
I have always struggled with tying and knotting… all credit for my new found crocheting skill goes to the patience of a friend and colleague who got me started and then to the wonders of YouTube.

So, when I saw this pattern I thought I’d have a go and I love it.
So far I have made about 5 of these baskets… here’s some pics of a few of them!

This one was made with a little £1.00 spool of jute string from Flying Tiger

These two were in white cotton – yes they are different sizes – I tried to memorise the pattern and missed out a couple of rows but it fits the little IKEA plant just fine!

Thanks for reading, and do please let me know if you like them or think that Macramé is worth learning for hanging baskets at least!

Back soon
Love Rosie

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Ivy growing over the house….

Continuing the decoration of a new-to-me dollhouse which I plan to use for my Instagram story of the Littleton Family.

I recently painted the front of the house ….


A nice lick of paint to brighten it up – the window frames had a coat of white too

I had taken some time researching how I would add the ivy, should I cut the leaves from paper? You can buy miniature cutters but as I show the house in black and white on Instagram and mostly focus on the inside; I wasn’t sure how much need there was for such painstaking precision.

Then I thought about painting, but realised that it would be again, very time consuming to paint each leaf individually…

I can’t remember how I came up with the idea but I decided to ‘carve’ an ivy leaf into an eraser on the end of a pencil, using a scalpel and ‘stamp’ the leaves on the house.

This seemed to work but my husband suggested carving one into soft wood might be better and less likely to distort. I took his advice and had a go but try as I might the wooden leaves didn’t look so good and also the printing wasn’t as effective. (I am no carver – I’m sure if you’re more used to using the tools it would have worked!)

So I used a few pencils with erasers in the ends and carved a few leaf patterns to use…

I then mixed up few shades of green acrylic paint. I also added a little gel to the paint, this helped add a little texture. The gel I had was silver but the green paint seemed to absorb it well..

and then painted the ivy …. it was with trepidation that I made the first dark green blob of paint on the newly painted wall, but once I’d started I just kept going!
16 and here it is all finished…

Click here to see a post featuring a little film of my ivy growing…
Thanks for reading.
Back soon, love Rosie


Posted in 1/12th scale, Acrylic Paint, Arts & crafts, crafting, creative, Dollshouse, Dollshouse Emportium, hand made, Hand-Decorated, Hand-made, Hand-Painted, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flower loom…

Whilst staying with my mother last week I was given a few bits and bobs that were not needed by her … I tried to use this little loom with a flat cotton yarn and it didn’t seem that great, but before passing it on to someone else I decided to try it with a baby soft chunky wool which I had previously crocheted into a bedspread…. finished it and hated it so, unpicked.
When I tried this wool on the loom the flowers looked good
P1050520and now I’m unstoppable, making flowers on the bus or train to and from work P1050519and then when home stitching them together, I’ve made loads more flowers than I have so far stitched together, that’s not such a fun activity but I will continue and hopefully, will get enough to make a throw for my bed.
p1050517.jpgSometimes completing a rather mindless task is nice and relaxing, this flower loom is just that, once you’ve got the knack you’re off and I love it. They are still available if you fancy joining me.
I’ve kept this very simple as I want to do so many, but there are so many ideas for more complicated patterns. I can see this little loom is going to prove very handy!


(They do lay flat – I’d just gathered them up to have a little tidy when I realised I hadn’t a taken a photo for this!)

Thanks for reading, back soon,
love Rosie

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Handkerchief decoration…

I’ve just spent a few days with my mother who lives by the coast, I had a lovely time but didn’t prepare my little blog before I went away, so I’ve been looking though my photos to see what I have made but not yet blogged about and I came across these handkerchiefs.
When my niece got married I thought I’d be original and decorate these hankies for the day – oh how daft I am, there’s a whole industry out there!
But I had fun decorating these anyway…

Mother of the Bride

This was for my sister…

For my sister’s handkerchief I drew on the lettering in pencil, then added the flowers to the large letters with Sharpie fabric pens and when dry added the purple colouring to the letters, then added the smaller writing and the date. I tried to match the colours of the wedding group.


Decorated by my daughter…

The bride’s big sister is a pilot, my daughter decorated this one for her cousin. Using fabric felt pens is such a great way to personalise items, and a white handkerchief is a blank canvas for your design.

Mmmm…. I’m realising that I didn’t do much with these! I presume I did one for the bride but can’t locate a photo of that one… my daughter did this one for her grandmother – who is obviously also the bride’s gran!




The ribbon added a nice touch I thought, I purchased enough for the wedding gift wrapping too.
I’ve also used this for significant birthdays and went through a phase of presenting little jam jars of artificial flowers with a personalised ribbon tied around the neck of the jar…

Well, I’m already busy making something so should have something new to blog about next week!
Love Rosie


Posted in fabric, fabric painting, Hand-Decorated, Hand-drawn, Hand-Painted, handkerchief, hankerchief, Uncategorized, Wedding, Wedding Day, Wedding Gift | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment