In Pictures | March – June

The weather here in London might not reflect it yet, but we’re getting deeper into our summer months already! Slow down already, 2016! Anyway, here’s a quick little recap of some of the things that have taken place in the last three months; my work and life in square tiles, so to speak! :) I know y’all like photos – who doesn’t, right?

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

[D.I.Y. tutorial] Scandi-inspired decorative glass jars

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hey hey hey! How are you all doing? I know it’s so very British of me to do so, but heck…hasn’t the weather been simply divine these last couple of days? Shame it hasn’t lasted very long but its given me so much hope for the summer!

Anyhoo, I’ve been insanely busy plotting and designing for two big styled shoots coming up in a few weeks (and with only week apart from each other!) that I haven’t had much time to work on any of the fab new DIYs I have in store for you guys. So this week’s is a simple one, creating some pretty decorative jars for the home with just spray paint and a permanent marker pen – it’s THAT simple! I’ve been crushing over lots of ceramic and stone hoemware lately especially when you want to go styling your surfaces every now and then, but when you’re having to keep an eye on your purse strings, I opted to create some cheaper alternatives. I’ve been saving a few glass jars, in a few different shapes and sizes, over the past few months with the intention of decorating them so I’d have some cool jars to put flowers in and use as props for my photos. It is spring after all and the flowers need something nice to sit in!! And of course, I went for the minimal Scandi-inspired geometric, monochrome vibe again.

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As I said, all you need for these are glass jarswhite spray paint and a black marker pen.

If you can, find somewhere outdoor to do the spray painting as you don’t want your house/flat to be stinking of the stuff…and it’s not good for you to inhale. If you don’t have any outdoor space then go out into your hallway or use a room that has good ventilation (ie. lots of windows!).

Also, cover your work surface with some plastic sheet or old newspaper because spray paint can get everywhere! Lay your jars out onto the protected area, spacing them out nicely so you are able to get the paint onto them. Hold the can roughly 10cm away and spray across them evenly. The technique being a layering one where you’d apply one even coat and then a second one to get that solid white look.
MbM_DIY-DECORATIVE-JARS-02MbM_DIY-DECORATIVE-JARS-03MbM_DIY-DECORATIVE-JARS-06Once you’ve applied a couple of coats, leave it aside to dry for 10/15minutes before you start drawing on them. They key thing for this look is to keep your designs simple and minimal.If you want inspiration for more Scandinavian-inspired geometric (or folklore) patterns then click here, otherwise you just stick to lots of lines (vertical and horizontal), triangles, swirls etc. You can of course, add colours to this but if you’re a monochrome lover like me then this would be perfect…..and especially for all you lot who are pressed for time!

So what do you think? Pretty effective right, for a 30-minute DIY project? And you can dot these about the house, adding fresh (or faux) flowers to spruce up your place. I must say, I love them and will apologies in advance if you start seeing these a lot in any of my future styling posts :P

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Well, that’s all from me this week. I hope you’ll give these a go and if you do, please share them with me by uploading it on any social media platform and using the hashtag #craftwithmolu so I can find them easily.

Enjoy the rest of your week and happy crafting! :) xx
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 [Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

HAPPY EASTER

MbM_HAPPY-EASTER-15_01Whether you’re celebrating the significance of Christ’s resurrection, embracing Springtime, or just tucking into your delightful collection of confectionery around the table with your family and friends, let’s all take some time out to reflect on the true meaning of hope and rebirth that comes at this time of the year. Everywhere around you there are signs of new life so let’s definitely embrace the goodness that our lives and this world brings us.

I took this opportunity to do it a bit of styling with some eggs and wild flowers – hope you like it! Anyway, I wish you all a joyous and restful Easter. xxx

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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

[D.I.Y. Special] How to achieve a simple faux watercolour effect

MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-MAINFolks, this week’s DIY is by the lovely card-making guru Preeya of Upto Some ‘Ink who’s sharing with us in this second instalment of her quarterly series on MbM, more fabulous tricks of the trade. And this time, we have something perfect for Springtime. So, without further ado……I’ll hand it over to our expert:

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Hi Everyone! Thank you once again, Soumya for having me on your wonderful blog! It is always a pleasure to be featured here. Today, I am sharing with you a spring-themed project. No doubt you guys in the Northern Hemisphere are all looking forward to the warmer weather. I live in Sydney Australia, where we are looking forward to a little relief from the heat. I know that I will regret those words in about a month’s time!

So, in this series, I will be sharing a piece of wall art that I made using some stamps to achieve a faux-watercolour look. I found a quote by Robin Williams that I loved, and decided to turn it into a piece of wall art

MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-MATHere are the things you will need:

  • A 6”x8” piece of watercolour paper
  • Alphabet Stamps
  • Watermark pen (such as Versamarker)
  • Embossing Ink (Distress Embossing Ink shown, but Versamark also suitable)
  • Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder (Gold shown in pic)
  • Heat gun
  • Various dye ink pads in spring colours (I’ve used Stampin Up’s Crisp Canteloupe, PIstachio Pudding, Lucky Limeade, So Saffron, Calypso Coral, Strawberry Slush and Coastal Cabana – but only four shown in pic)
  • A spray bottle filled with water
  • Acrylic blocks – One with a grid is useful for lining up alphabet stamps
  • Flower stamps (I used Happiness in Bloom by Papertrey Ink)
  • Paintbrush
  • Washi tape for masking
  • Scrap paper to test out your design

MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-011. Firstly, plan out your design on a piece of scrap paper. Decide on your arrangement of images as well as your text. I drew a line down the middle of my paper, and planned the layout of the text around it. Then arrange your alphabet stamps to form your quote.

2. Dust your entire piece of cardstock with corn starch and then stamp onto the watercolour paper using Versamark ink (Cornstarch prepares the paper for embossing, by removing any static or oils from your fingers so that the embossing powder will only stick to the Versamark, and not in places where you don’t want it to stick!)

MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-02 MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-033. Sprinkle with embossing powder and shake off the excess back into the container. Heat with heat gun until the powder has melted and looks all shiny and pretty.

4. Next, write on any parts of your text that you wish to hand-letter using the Versamark pen. Apply embossing powder and heat like before. Now that you have your quote down, you can set about adding your images to frame it. Get your plan out, and use that as a guide to lay your images down.

5. To get that faux-watercolour look, ink up your stamp using a dye ink. Spritz the inked stamp with water once or twice and then stamp onto your paper. Repeat with other images in other colours. Things to note: Unless you want colours to blend (and you may depending on the style you are after), stamp images which are far apart first, taking care that they are all dry before stamping other colours over the top or immediately next to the ones you have just done.

6. If you are using a multi-step set like i am, where there are many images to layer on to of each other to achieve a more detailed flower, make sure the first layer has dried completely before inking, spritzing and then stamping the second layer.

MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-04 MbM_PREEYA_MARCH-15-05At this point, I was pretty much finished, but I thought that I would like to add a blue sky/ background to my quote. Mostly because I love watercolouring over heat embossing, as the colour pools within the details of the text! Love that look. But it’s up to you. If you prefer a more clean and simple look, feel free to stop there and call it done! But if you want a border:

7. Mask off a little border around the top part of your paper, and add a wash of blue going over all your heat embossing etc. You can either use proper watercolour paints for this but in this case I used a blue ink that I LOVE (Stampin Up’s Coastal Cabana). Seeing as the blue pigment is in an inkpad form, I needed to make it accessible to a paintbrush. This is done by pressing the inkpad face down onto a large acrylic block, and then using a wet paintbrush to pick up the colour from the ink pad, mix and water it down onto the acrylic block…..essentially the acrylic block becomes a palette.

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And, you are done! Let the piece dry completely before framing it, and hanging it up on the wall for all to admire!

Hope you’ve found some inspiration to go and create something beautiful for your spring time decor. Of course you can use the techniques outlined here for card-making and scrapbooking too! Have fun and do share your creations with us on Facebook by tagging Up to Some ‘Ink and Made by Molu.

Until next time!

Preeya x

 

 

[D.I.Y. Tutorial] Faux Billy Buttons for your home!

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Hey folks – I hope you’re having a lovely week so far! Mine’s been pretty busy since last week, with lots of exciting projects on, which thankfully vary in style and content (from sign-painting to wedding stationery to branding jobs) which definitely keeps me challenged and the creative juices going! Who’d have thought, that I’d finally be able to say…I LOVE what I do!! :)

Well, to add to the varied bunch of creative projects this week, I’ve got a fun little DIY for you, creating your very own faux Billy Buttons (aka Craspedia). The idea for this came from…well, not having any at home when you badly want them and not having great florists near me that sell them. I’ve been a huge fan of them for its sheer minimal appeal and vibrant pop of colour. You’ll probably see many of these bad boys bracing many lifestyle and design blogs and magazines. They really are the best and great to have both fresh and dried. So, when you’re frustrated with not having any at hand……you go make yourself some….obviously! ;)

Unlike the cute felt ones I’ve seen out there, these are made out of sugar. Yep, SUGAR and lots of styrofoam balls!

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What you’ll need:

  1. Sugar (preferably white granulated sugar)
  2. Styrofoam balls (1/1.5 inches in width) which you can get off eBay or Amazon
  3. a little dish to mix the glue and water (and another one for the sugar!)
  4. yellow spray paint
  5. PVA glue
  6. wooden skewers or anything to prop the styrofoam balls during production
  7. paintbrush

(I forgot to include the following in the supplies image)

  • large sheet of plastic or lots of newspaper to lay down on your working surface
  • steel wire (anything between 0.6mm to 1.0mm in thickness)
  • florist tape
  • wire cutters
  • vase of your choice

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What you need to do:

Start by inserting the skewers into the styrofoam balls (some come with holes in them, if not just puncture it ever so gently) This will make things easier for you when it comes to applying the glue and paint without getting your hands messy! Once they’re all set to go, take the PVA glue and squeeze some out into the dish and add a touch of water to it to thin it down a little – this is just to make it easier to cover the surfaces without any thick clumps. Pour out some sugar in a separate little bowl/dish.

Take each styrofoam ball at a time and cover it thoroughly with the glue using a brush and quickly twirl it around in the sugar. Make sure you get the sugar all over and avoid any bald spots! Place them aside in a jar until it dries completely. This should take 10-15minutes. In the meantime, lay out plenty of sheets of newspaper or large sheet of plastic sheet (even bin liners) across the worktop/work surface for the spray-painting stage.

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When all the sugar-coated styrofoam balls are dry, take them one at a time and gently apply your yellow spray paint onto them, giving them a nice even cover. Hold the spray paint can at least 10cm away from the ball when spraying. Again, set them aside to dry. You’ll find that the pray-paint acts as an additional adhesive coat to hold all the sugar together. Don’t worry if you have a few dropping off during this course of the stage, which is why it’s always good to get plenty on early on.

Once they’ve all been spray painted, the next step is to create its stems out of wire. Now, you can use the wooden skewers as the stems (obviously, replace them with new clean ones!) but I do prefer the wire ones as they’re more malleable should you need more flexibility in the way you arrange them later.

MbM_DIY-TUTORIAL_BILLY-BUTTON-03So yea, get some of your steel wire (if you have thin ones then just double it up a couple of times to make it to the right thickness you need) and cut them down to your preferred lengths. I’d suggest about 20cm and if they need to be shorter at any time (because you change vases) or want to have a slight play in height, you can just bend the ends. Now, cover the wire completely in florist tape and then replace the skewers with these. You can add a touch of glue to the ends before you insert it in just to give it more support when they’re dried. Do be gentle when you handle the sugar-coated styrofoam balls at this stage to avoid knocking any sugar off.

Place the into your vase….et, voila! You’ve got yourself some funky DIY Billy Buttons for the home and for all those cool styling shots you want to photograph :) I’m pretty certain they’ll be making an appearance in my Styling the Seasons posts over the next couple of months or on some of my social media images :)

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I’ve got say, I’m pretty please with them even if they may look like cheese ball crisps in these photos (the lighting was shocking at the time and I tried in vain to edit it). Why don’t you have a go and let me know how you get on? Go style that surface at home with these amazing, DIY, sugar-coated Billy Buttons! You’ll be surprised at how effective they look with springtime right around the corner!!! :D

Enjoy the rest of your week folks and really hope you liked this xxx
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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

{20.03.2014} Welcoming springtime with floral crowns!

MbM_PrimeveraCrowns_MAR 20 aAfternoon folks! It’s officially the FIRST day of of Spring today!! I hope you’re out celebrating this beautiful season!!

Well, I’m not one for ‘selfies’ (or any photos of myself on here for that matter) unless they are VERY subtle glimpses (I’m quite a private person and you’ll soon notice I’m quite anonymous on here unless you actually know me personally) so this creative ‘springtime’ challenge conjured up by the Bethan of Decorator’s Notebook and Michelle of MY Creative Photography was totally out of my comfort zone but it may just be the thing I need to feel more comfortable with them. As an excuse to fully embrace springtime, the #primeveracrowns challenge is an interactive project that encourages bloggers to get involved by posting photos of themselves wearing a floral crown they made.

Of course, while I was uncomfortable with the idea of posting mugshots of myself, I was really keen on making the crown and joining in on the fun! :D Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time on my hands nor access to any pretty flowers or foliage so I did what I do best…..making stuff out of what’s kicking about at home. In this case, I made my crown out of crafting felt and ribbons! It’s amazing how limited resources actually spur you on to being more creative! :D   
MbM_PrimeveraCrowns_MAR 20 bWhat do you think?

I’m actually loving it….well the idea of wearing a floral crown that is, as I’d probably would never have had the courage to do so but guess what…..I’ve got it on as I write this!! :D This challenge may be good for me in many ways than one! ;) Well this took me just under 30 minutes and I’m thinking I’ll probably show you how its done in next week’s DIY Tutorial – would you like that?

Anyway, you guys all have time to participate as this goes on all day. All you have to do is make a floral crown,  take pictures of you wearing it and post it either on your blog or any other social media platform you’re on. Just remember to add the hashtag #primeveracrowns and tag @DecoratorsNotes and @MYCreative in your post. Bethan has some cool tutorials on her post if you need any help.

You can go stalk more on IG but here are a few links to other bloggers who participated and made some amazing crowns: Michelle, Bethan and Emily

Enjoy!!! xx

Happy Friday!

MbM_FLORAL-FRIDAY-2b [Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

Ohhhhh I can feel signs of spring drawing near and I am so excited by it already. We’ve had quite an atrocious few weeks on the weather front so I know for a fact that we shall fully welcome Springtime with wide open arms!!!! :)

Anyway, wherever you are, I wish you all a wonderful Friday and a fun-fuelled weekend!

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want —oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! —Mark Twain

Hello May!

may_springtime WEBWow – I can’t quite believe it’s May already! I can definitely say I’m super happy to see the sun shine more these days which is always a plus seeing as we’ve had the weather play games with us over the last couple of months! Even our orchids are bloooooooming! :D Anyway, I do hope it’s a sunnier and happier month ahead for all of you….wherever you are!! Much love x x x x