Monday, October 31, 2011

Hollywood Invades Stormy's Castle.

Once again, it's been a very busy time at Stormy's Castle, and I haven't found much time to do anything else other than organising events at home or at school.

Since last time I posted, it was my Son's 8th Birthday Party, and I set about creating the Union Jack guitar cake I promised him. I agonised for days over how I was going to create the Union Jack aspect of it, whilst keeping the lines neat and the whole thing 'mostly' geometrically correct!

I was lucky to find a picture of a Union Jack guitar on the internet and enlarged it. I then traced it to make the guitar template, then used the template to cut out sections for the icing. I left the white parts until last and piped them on in between the red and blue sections.

The pick-ups, volume knobs and tuning knobs were made out of fondant, and the frets on the neck were piped. It wasn't difficult once I worked out the 'how to's', but it was time consuming!

Next party in the family was my own. It was a 'big' birthday, which is why I decided to have a party! Once I had chosen my theme of "Hollywood", I set about coming up with something a little different...then having to execute my decisions at a relatively low cost!!

Firstly, I had to have a "Stormy's Castle" sign out the front in true Hollywood Hills style! I found a Hollywood font online and printed the letters out on A3 paper, then cut them out and traced around them onto white cardboard (which was actually an old polling booth from the last election!). I then used large bamboo skewers taped to the back to stick it into the ground.

The "Hollywood" sign strung between the lights was from Lombards. I grabbed a couple of packets of various sized cardboard stars from Riot Art and spray painted them gold to decorate the front door and around the house. So much cheaper than buying already gold stars. The larger gold star with "VIPS" written on it was cut out of gold wrapping paper (I also had one for the "CLOAK ROOM", "STAGE DOOR" (a.k.a The powder room!) and the "BAR".

I hired a 10m roll of red carpet to put up the hallway, and bought a $20 pair of red curtains from IKEA to have at the end, tied up with gold ribbon. I used a light weight curtain rod, which was nailed in place to the top of the architrave above the door, which, now removed, you would never know was there.

I found a roll of film strip at Lombards and decorated the stairs with it, as well as the fairy lights I use at Christmas.

I decided to 'construct' a cupcake tower with a small cutting cake on top, as I had done for my Daughters 10th Tea Party. I spent most nights in the 2 weeks before making cupcake toppers out of fondant.

I had stars, film strip, cameras and clapper boards.

A Hollywood party wouldn't be complete without a few Oscars and a clapper board, which made great props for the photos!

So, how does one dress to their own Hollywood 40th Birthday Premiere? Marilyn, of course! I'm in disguise, so I think I can leave this here... :-)

PS: If you have good eyesight, you may have spied some dining chairs! They came in and were picked up the day before the party....but that's for another blog post, as the matching table hasn't arrived yet!

PPS: Diamonds are a girl's best friend! ;-)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's Been a While...Again!

As the title suggests, life has been a little crazy lately, and I feel I'm so behind in everything. It's actually been a somewhat relaxing day today, though, catching up on some things and enjoying some internet time (ie; me time!).

My Mum celebrated her 70th Birthday in July, and I decided to make a cake for her. Well, Hubby actually made the cake I did all the decorating ;). It's a little out of proportion, and the pier is not built to Australian standards by any stretch of the imagination....but you get the idea!

We then spent 5 days away in Canberra in early August. I was going up for a conference, and the whole family decided to join me and make it into a little family 'roadtrip' getaway. We crammed in as many places as possible, and gave me a little chance to take some photos.

Once we got back I was tied up helping to organise the annual school disco (what a night they had!), and once that was over and my back and feet felt better (perhaps near 40 year old's shouldn't 'shuffle'), I then had to think about my Daughter's 10th Birthday celebration. No rest for the wicked!

I thought it might be her last 'girlie' party, so I quietly went to town on the pink and green! It was just a family get together...but that in itself ends up being for 24 people! It was a 'Tea Party' theme, and I had a white tablecloth with a mint green tulle decoration down the centre. I had 4 of my apothecary jars filled with pink, white and green lollies, fairy bread, a selection of hot canapes and a cupcake tower!

As well as having the cupcakes, I also wanted to do a small cutting cake on the top of the tower, where I could fit a candle and more decorations. The actual tower itself, is made from 3 silver cake boards from the local cake supply shop, separated by 2 crystal dessert bowls blue-tacked onto the bases! The bottom base was then placed on a glass cake stand to raise it off the table. A cheap and effective alternative, and it then will break down to store in the cupboard!

The top 'tier' I didn't stick down, so I could lift it off to be 'cut', otherwise the whole thing would probably have toppled over! It worked a treat!

I usually use clear cellophane bags for lolly bags to take home, but decided to do something a little different this year and personalise white bags instead....

...I then carried that idea onto personalised small bars of chocolate. Thanks Aldi! Not even the old Cadbury Furry Friends come wrapped in silver foil and paper anymore!

I would have loved to have 'staged' the photos a little better, but I was just a tad you could imagine. I even forgot to take a photo of the adorable pink and white striped straws for their pink and green milk shakes!

...never mind.

So in amongst all that I did manage to complete 1 of 2 butterfly orders for a customer in Perth.

I still have 1 order to fill, which is about 70% completed, and I promise, Kylie, you will get it shortly!

If anyone would like to think about a butterfly frame, or gift tags for Christmas, please email me directly ASAP, as it might take me until November to complete at this stage! I still have various school activities to organise, my Son's Birthday in less than a month, my 'big' birthday in October....and I still haven't started that blue ottoman or thought about painting the other bookshelf in the family room!

Life is crazy at times!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ave Maria.

I completed one of three recent orders yesterday. It's a little bit different to what I usually do, with the inclusion of the title of the sheet of music I used for the Butterflies. I aged the edges slightly, and I'm happy with the way it turned out.

I'm going to have to create some more in this style, I think! I do recall flipping through one of the vintage sheet music books I have and finding a song with either my name, or my Daughters name in the title...perfect personalised artwork!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exciting Sunday at the Melbourne Boutique Markets.

I had such a wonderful day last Sunday, at the launch of the Melbourne Boutique Market, as I had the privilege of meeting the gorgeous A-M from The House That A-M Built. I have been following her blog for over 3 years, so to finally meet her was such a thrill! I can't wait to catch up with her again next time she visits Melbourne, there's sure to be many a laugh!

I also met up with another fellow blogger Mrs B from Decorating a Modern Home. I have known Mrs B for almost 4 years and have met her several times before, so it was wonderful to catch up with her again. We all chatted about houses, Melbourne, blogging and The Block. We all had our photo taken with our phones to commemorate the occasion, something I will treasure forever!

I also met up with another house builder and decorator 'Trying To Decorate' whom I have known for several years through blogging and forums. It was wonderful to meet her too, but unfortunately, it was just as we were leaving. I hope to catch up again soon when we have a Decorating Forum catch up in Melbourne later in July. It's so wonderful to actually meet people and talk to them in person instead of just online.

The launch of the Boutique Market in Melbourne was fabulous. I have always read about this market in Brisbane through several blogs from Queensland, and to find out that they were starting one in Melbourne was exciting! I knew I had to be there and see in person the beautiful work from the Mondo Cherry Girls, whose blog I have been following for a while too. Their work is exquisite!

Apart from catching up with several friends, I was in awe of the beautiful work the market stall holders produce. I could have spent a fortune there, and many things I have added to my Birthday and Christmas list.

I did come home with a fridge magnet from Almond Tree Designs which sits proudly on my fridge, and a gorgeous owl made from recycled blankets from Quirkie Su.

My Daughter named him 'Blueberry' and since coming home with us on Sunday they have not parted company once! He's even been Wii dancing and to the Pub for dinner!

I have had such a busy time lately, but I have managed to fit in some more crafty things. I have made another butterfly frame for a girl's bedroom in pinks and mauves:

Another set of 'keys' to sell in a shop on the Mornington Peninsula:

...and something a little different in my vintage tags collection:

I'm currently working on 3 butterfly frame orders, another slightly different design in a bird theme and a vintage style Eiffel Tower, all of which will be revealed soon!

I still haven't managed to find the time to paint the other bookcase in the family room white, start on my blue ottoman or create the 5 piece canvases for my Daughter's bedroom. There never seems to be enough hours in the day! With lots of school events during the day, my evenings at the moment are tied up with dividing my time between Masterchef and The Block!

Go Katrina and Amie !!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Beauty of Glass.

I decided to do a 'head count' of my apothecary jars (since buying another for a bargain at Target during a sale!), and was surprised to see I have 7. Is that too many? Definitely NOT! I actually have my eye on another smaller one that's in Provincial Home Living for $20...I'm tempted, but I might have to wait until some of my butterfly frames have sold :-)

So, here they all are!

I've been 'collecting' them for about 3 years. From left to right, this is where I purchased them from: Target, Provincial Home Living, Freedom, Target, Freedom, Bed Bath N Table, Target.

This is what I have in them currently, but I do swap them around from time to time, especially at Christmas! Lemons, corks (not all mine...I promise!), paper mache and ceramic decor balls, a DIY nest, lemongrass soap, small birds eggs, and rolled up vintage sheet music.

So which is my favourite? I honestly can't decide, but I love the look of the vintage sheet music in this one:

How many do you have, and what have you got in them?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hoot Hoot.

A quick post on a few little things I've been working on.

I was asked to create an owl picture for the shop where I sell my butterflies, so this is what I have come up with:

If it sells and I decide to create another, I might add 'feet' as it looks a bit empty on the bottom, and I may add jewels for the eyes too. I'll see how this one goes, anyway!

I also made a few more vintage music gift tags, but added black and white stitched gross grain ribbon instead of the string. We'll see how these go too! Easy peasy and relatively inexpensive to do.

I'm well and truly stocked up on vintage sheet music now, thanks to another quick trip to the Op Shop! I also scored myself a rattan trunk for $17 which, after little TLC, should look great! It's just a tad 'orange', but for the price, I couldn't resist it!

Not a good match for my French Grey trunk, but for the price it had to be mine!

So....Remove the leather straps (will rivet them back on after), spray paint it with Zinsser BIN Primer, and then perhaps the same satin acrylic as the desk and shelf. Ideally, I'd love it to be the same as my other one, but I couldn't physically scrape off all the existing stain and varnish, so paint it will have to be.

What will I use it for? Perhaps to hide some of my crafty stuff which seems to be stacked next to the table, or even a dirty clothes hamper at the top of the stairs for the kids. Not sure yet, and I'll wait and see how it 'turns out' after I've painted it.