Homemade Christmas

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Christmas is such an amazing time of year and I really love making homemade decorations. It’s a lot of fun; the children can get involved and they are inexpensive and unique. This year I have formed a bit of a close relationship with gold metallic spray paint and have had to rein myself back from spraying almost everything in sight. My absolute favorite brand is Krylon Metallic Gold. I’m very impatient – so the fact that it is simple and quick drying is a winner with me.

Daughter 1 and 3 got involved shaping the air drying clay. We used all our Christmas cookie cutters and made lots of  chunky stars, little feathers and other shapes to hang on the tree. Daughter 1 then sprayed everything gold and we hung them on gold thread. We used some of them to hang on our clip chain above the fireplace together with some sprigs of pine and they look really pretty.

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Air drying clay stars

clay decorations gold feathers stars pine

Mantle decorations

Craft shops stock little wooden alphabet letters and these are great to stick on little miniature boards. First glue the letters or numbers on to the surface and then paint or spray them. Use them as part of a display or add ribbon and hang on the tree.

 

25th christmas numberart antler wooden letters festive black gold

Antlers can be found reasonably cheaply and this year I painted some white and then sprayed the tips gold. They look really cute hung at the side of the fireplace or piled up in a basket.

 

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Stars in the sunlight

 

I LOVE stars!! I would have them all over the house all year round in all combinations.

Hobby Lobby sell really inexpensive paper mache stars so I bought a heap and (again!!) sprayed them gold and gathered them up in bunches on string. They also look really nice left neutral or sprayed black or painted white.

 

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Again… it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t play around with all the decorations and do a bit of Christmas ‘prop styling’. I used an old canvas that I had lying around, sprayed it black and then painted a simple white Scandinavian folk-style Christmas tree on it. Then added a few of my decorations including a gold sprayed twig star that we made last year and there you have it!

 

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christmas black gold homemade stars twigs antler joy 25th festive propstyling

All these ideas are really easy to do, fun to make and as you can clearly see, its the playing around with the props at the end that I especially love.

This year is a very special one for our family. Daughter 2 is coming home for her first Christmas in two years……. These stars are for you sweet girl.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

Txxx

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Little Yellow Frame

This week I found a little battered yellow bamboo picture frame lurking in the corner of the thrift shop.  I dusted it off, paid my two dollars and  took it home. Once I had removed the strange looking  picture of a koala from behind the dusty glass it became the centre piece of my little Autumnal mood board. I hope you like it.

It’s usually one item that triggers an idea in my mind – and this little frame was it.


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A few days later my friend Lucia came running over to me at the school bus stop waving a carrier bag full of goodies that she ‘thought I might like to use’. How sweet and perfect timing! As if by magic the bag contained, amongst other wonderful things,  a gorgeous little brass autumn leaf, an old door knocker and some really stunning seed pods. Thank you Lucia – what great choices.

 

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Vignettes are something I find really exciting to put together and Autumn is really ‘my thing’ – the colours, the textures the fallen pieces of nature, feathers, crumpled leaves, bare branches….. I love it all.

So, go and find something quirky or interesting that catches your eye and create something wonderful around it. Hope you like it.

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Tina

xx

 

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Good Vibrations

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The months have flown by and its time to start writing my blog again. It’s something I have missed and really enjoy doing so what better way to kick things off than getting the chance to ‘trawl’ through my friends wonderful belongings and take some snaps.  An interesting ‘chick’ (as she would say) with an interesting house to match. She recently asked if I would do her a favour and take some photos of her yoga studio. Of course…….. but to be honest it was her house I had my eye on. Her Houston home is full of interesting little displays that tell a story of her travels and gorgeous objects that show off her love of different cultures. It just made me want to rummage around in all her cupboards for more. Beautiful books dotted around, original artwork and vintage posters adorns her walls. Here are just some of the beautiful pieces in her home.

 

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There is a intuitive feeling that undoubtedly kicks in when we enter certain houses.  A ‘gut feeling’ that tells us we are comfortable, peaceful, calm and that we are happy to stay, or not, in some cases. Is the owner responsible for this ‘good feeling’ maybe without even realizing it? Is it the squashy sofas, friendly chat or cups of coffee on tap?  The thing is….. that ‘gut feeling’ is often present even when viewing empty properties that haven’t been ‘fluffed’ around with and haven’t yet been filled with welcoming people, comfortable chairs and caffeine.

It’s almost as if a part of us ‘just knows’ it’s the right house for us – that feeling that seems to bridge the gap between instinct and reason. Although it leads you to believe it’s an internal feeling, the experts tell us that it actually begins with your perception of something external. So, what is that external ‘something’?  Well, I’m still not totally sure but this particular house has it.

 

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Houses that have given me that ‘good gut feeling’ have often been full of kicked-off wellington boots, dogs, newspapers, cups of coffee, children, books, open fires and usually mild chaos. A general feeling of comfort and contentment and slight disorder. Well, trust me, there is not a single kicked-off welly boot or a messy pile of books in sight in this house and yet it evokes the same wonderful feeling of comfort.

The more spiritual among us would call this gut feeling ‘clairsentience’ – meaning a very ‘clear feeling’. Like that sense that someone is behind you,watching you or even an unexplained feeling of discomfort about a person, a room, a space or a home. It’s intuitive.

 

 

Bally Poster by Bernard Villemot and Original canvas of Shirley Maclaine by Houston graffiti artist’Article’ aka Philip Perez

 

Throwing off all Yogi stereotypes, there is not an an incense stick (well, okay, maybe a scented candle or two) scatter cushion, Bob Dylan vinyl or rubber plant in sight. Clean lines, masculine in subtle ways with vibrant splashes of colour, her home is incredibly fresh and is peppered with artifacts and artwork that tell a story of her travels and indeed, her own personal journey.

 

Original canvas by Di Kazakis taken from the book 'Buddhist Offerings for 365 days'.

Original canvas by Di Kazakis taken from the book ‘Buddhist Offerings for 365 days’.

 

An ordered space of calm, always a delicious smell in the air, wonderful fresh coffee brewing and the most awesome breakfasts ever!!. That’s the Australian in her I am sure!  Unique in itself, this home still manages to wraps it arms around me whenever I go there and I’m really grateful to her for letting me have lots of fun with this.

 

 

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………and always happy to eat her yummy breakfasts of course……

 

 

Those of us lucky enough to attend her incredible yoga sessions leave our troubles at the door (along with our flipflops) and let her home fill us with peace and calm if only for 90 blissful minutes. Soon to be returning to her home in Brisbane to continue spreading her magic, I shall miss her.

I am sure this is one home that will continue to exude ‘good feelings’ for many future owners.

Thank you for reading and Namaste.

Tx

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‘The intuitive mind is a secret gift and the rational mind, a faithful servant’ – Einstein.

 

All photography by Tina Hunt.

 

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Designing a creative workspace

 

 

Everyone needs a space of their own to be creative, whether its the kitchen (not me!!) or the garden, an art studio, craft area, workshop or garage. My current house has a study but it doesn’t feel personal enough and yes, I’m a bit selfish about my creative space. I want my own.

So, what does make a space inspiring, relaxing and organised?  Newandimproved.com explain that people do actually learn and think better in a physical environment that suits their personal preference and getting this environment right can actually stimulate creativity. Apparently, Schiller, the poet, filled his desk with rotten apples as he liked the smell when he was composing. Proust (novelist) had to work in a cork-filled room as a kind of sound-proofing of the world outside and Kant (philosopher) worked almost always in bed with his blankets specially and strategically arranged around him.

Well, thankfully  I’m a little more easily pleased than these people so just a space with a roomy desk and some inspiring bits and pieces keep me happy. Rotten apples?? No, maybe a few Starbucks empties instead.

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Think about how to moderate your space and what environment works best for you – light, music, design, temperature, views? One things for sure for me, the phone is a huge creative distraction. If I leave it on my desk, within seconds I’m googling something totally unrelated to what I set out to do.

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With my perfect environment in mind, I decided to hijack the dining area, an unused space at the end of the lounge with lots of windows and light. I had a vision! I set about my work, purposely ignoring husbands said grumblings of ‘What is going on NOW?’ in the background. If you live in a rented house, you sometimes have to be a little bit more inventive. You can’t just get rid of textured wallpaper or dodgy light fittings and carpets but you can make the best of what you’ve got if you’re inventive.

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So, out came the old kitchen table from the garage – perfect pushed up against the wall to use as a desk. Black chalkboard paint is perfect to give the legs a new lease of life. I thought about painting the surface too but just now I can’t bring myself to erase the years of paint stains and scribblings from three little mischievous daughters. The simple act of painting, rearranging, reorganizing, is like letting in new energy and a breath of fresh air through the house and I love changing things up. Over the years, my friends have got used to coming in to my home and looking confused  while muttering ‘errrr… wasn’t that there before?…… and where did that cupboard go that was there?’. As a child my bedroom was rearranged on an almost weekly basis. Once I get an idea, I’m off!! Have often been  known to drag heavy furniture up stairs single-handedly and even lay on my back on the floor to push heavy wardrobes along with my feet. Determined, yes! and impatient, yes!

Nothing so drastic this time….

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To cover the ‘dodgy’ white textured walls I attached four large pieces of black card. These can then be used as display/pin boards; great for pegging and clipping things to the edges and sticking inspiring little bits and pieces all over them. I’ve used pictures I like, quotes, little sketches by the children, memories of travels.

 

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I like to surround myself with the things I love and collect and things that I find inspiring. I found some really sweet little vintage wooden drawers to sit on the desk, some wire trays, a lamp, a vintage fan and together with my bits and bobs the job was complete.

 

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Now to actually stop procrastinating and get on with creating something!!

Tx

 

(All photography and styling by Tina Hunt)

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Neutral and natural – Staying true to your style.

 

 

natural neutral vignette flat lay moon cake mold wooden beads coral sea urchin wood sisal string rock antler star brown and cream collection

A natural collection

 

A little late but Happy New Year and here’s to another year of trawling for treasures! My garage is fast becoming a great space for me to indulge my passion for collecting and hoarding, arranging and then….rearranging my ‘stuff’ so that I can take my snaps and create something interesting. I’ve been playing with clever little backdrops by using my artwork, painted canvasses, card or fabric.  Basically having lots of fun creating little styled vignettes and brainstorming ideas for future projects. Lots of fun for me – not so much fun for husband who cant understand why I wont throw anything away!

This funny little hobby of mine has suddenly kind of grown into something that I am really  loving. What began as a childhood habit of trawling jumble sales and second hand shops to find that unique treasure has grown in to something I am absolutely loving. It gives me great personal pleasure. Not just the ‘find’ but the creative outlet that I have been stifling for years. I think I’ve finally found my ‘thing’. Just need to stop drinking coffee with my friends and spend more time trawling, reading, snapping and creating. So much to learn and the more I look and read about the styling thats out there, I realise I need to learn, look, network, trawl and also brush up my photography skills – and get my hands on lots more interesting treasures of course.

Creating can sometimes be frustrating too – some days it works and others its a disaster – but that’s okay. It’s easy to get swayed by so many talented designers, stylists, artists and bloggers out there. Some with their vibrant, young, colourful styling or those with their stylish, monochrome images. Without a doubt, they offer a lot of inspiration and it’s great to see. However,  the most important thing to me is staying true to what I know I like.  I have always known immediately what I like and what will work for me. If nobody else likes it then thats okay too. Its like a painting – If you copy someone elses work then it loses its appeal as it hasn’t come from the heart. That’s the point with any art for me  – that feeling of being able to express your own ideas and that shines through. There is no right or wrong – Its personal, its yours and its the precious ability to be able to create and have a voice. Just like music, films and fashion – its your eye – nobody elses and its important to stay true to that.

My eye has always been attracted by natural materials and neutral tones. I have tried my best in the past to get to grips with colour, both in my clothing and my home and I just can’t.  The introduction of a colourful cushion in my room or a brightly-coloured shirt in my wardrobe feels like an angry baboon sitting in the corner. I just cant rest until I get it OUT!! Thats not to say I don’t like colour or appreciate it – I just can’t work with it.

With this natural and neutral palette in mind, this blog shows you some collections (‘trawl-hauls’) that  I have put together. I love items with a past, the quality of the materials, the aged patina of time, but its not essential. Its more about colour and texture contrasts for me – Sisal, bone, wicker, ceramics, wood, glass, corals, shell, feather, stone, aged leather, textiles and everything in between.

 

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My ‘Shelfie’

 

Aside from this little ‘shelfie’, my latest purchases have been a cloche (great for displaying any little treasures), some white wooden beads, a vintage clipboard and more antler (a girls can never have enough antlers!?).

 

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Vintage clipboard

 

 

I love still life and capturing a cross section of a collection or  various items that catch the eye and captures a mood. That’s why I am always collecting things and squirreling them away for a rainy day.  Alongside Pinterest and Instagram, my inspiration comes from many places and is constantly evolving. Hans Blomquist is an amazing art Director/stylist who has a passion for creating displays and has the most amazing eye. His work is what sparked my interest in styling in the first place and I could sit and  look at his books all day. Also, Hilary Robertson is such a talented stylist. Igigi Store and Kara Rosenlund  have been huge inspirations also. Take a look at their work if you are interested.

 

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Natural elements look great together with the old tin tray as a backdrop.

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Neutral ceramics, wood, glass cloche, bone and galvanised tankard – add a little bit from the garden – voila!

I had a bit of a sort out this week and found nice fabric I had forgotten I had. Fabrics add a nice softness to what sometimes can be harder and more masculine materials. This fabric I bought in the Middle East complete with little bells looks nice against this big vintage leather suitcase.

 

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With bells on …….

Natural and Neutral - Blog Jan 20152

Thats it for now. Lots of ideas for some actual renovation projects with lots of black paint!! and Im setting myself the challenge of creating a neutral Valentine and a new work space for me! Should be fun.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram

 

Love

Tx

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