Follow Lella Loves with a daily email

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Framing Up (Posters and Prints)

Hello there and welcome to Wednesday's post.

Yesterday I spoke about scrapstores and local recycling projects/art clubs. Today I want to show you a very large, 16'' x 24'' poster which I picked up on my last visit to my 'scrappy-do'.

It is a lovely print, but with a huge crease along the bottom, and would have been damaged or maybe even torn sooner or later.

Lella Loves... Prints

Having brought the kettle and pumpkin print home a few weeks ago, I was wondering where to site it and I was even considering trimming it completely and putting it on my cork boards as a main backing print.

However, that was not meant to be. Last Thursday, I wandered into a charity shop whilst waiting for my husband. To my surprise, the charity shop had loads of photo frames and larger framed prints under the table.

I bought this very large framed print for the bargain price of...

Lella Loves... Framing Up

...three English pounds. Yes, £3 for a solid wood, glazed 16'' x 16'' frame. What a bargain  :)

Lella Loves... Framing Up

I took it home and whipped off the back. After taking out the print and the mount, I used the glass as a template over my kettle and pumpkin poster. (Remember, the print was free from the scrapstore.)

Lella Loves... Framing Up

And this is what the print looks like now. All framed and glazed and sitting happily in my kitchen. 

Lella Loves... Framing Up

This whole project came about because of the joy of scrapstores and the thrill of a charity shop visit.

If you like having things on your walls, you cannot go wrong with a rummage in a charity shop. Be open to buying frames before you have anything to put in them. 

Have a lovely day and don't forget to have a look at yesterday's post if you are interested in the idea of joining a scrapstore.

Lella xx

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Embellishments (Cushions)

Today's project is an easy one.

All you need is a nice cushion which you want to make into a fabulous cushion.

Before you ask, I did not make these lovely cushion. (I wish!!  ;) They are from Laura Ashley and were £30 each. However, what I have done is to simply jazz them up. They are very pretty to begin with but I added buttons, beads and crocheted flowers.

Lella Loves... Embellishments

No cushion with cupcakes could escape my bead and buttons treatment!

Lella Loves... Embellishments

This is the cushion as purchased but I wanted to add a little touch of 3D to the appliqued cakes.

Lella Loves... Embellishments

This crocheted flower came off some knitted slippers from last Christmas.

Lella Loves... Embellishments

Sparkly little flower buttons such as these were 12p each and the teeny-tiny green flower is a bead.

Lella Loves... Embellishments

Crocheted flowers, satin roses and little buttons were salvaged from slippers and worn out clothing. I have been saving old buttons and trimmings for years.

Lella Loves... Buttons

Vintage buttons are a pleasing item to collect. I buy them whenever I see them as they are usually really cheap. I found these at a large second-hand goods market.

If you like the idea of this, start collecting flower-shaped buttons, crocheted flowers and satin buds. The best way is to stop at a haberdashery shop or pop into a market once in a while and allow yourself to spend £1. Yes, just £1 and you could buy a cute selection of little flower buttons or satin roses.

Have a lovely day and treat your cushions to an up-do.

Lella  xx

Monday, 29 August 2011

Scrapstores and Recycling Arts Projects

Hello there and with the start of a new week, I want to tell you about a fabulous resource that is most probably within 10 or 12 miles of your house and you didn't even know it:  Scrapstores.

Yes, scrapstores are the future! They are recycling warehouses, often funded by your local council and they sometimes go under the name of a Recycling Arts Project/Club.

I have included photographs to show you some of the items I have discovered and brought home on my trips to my local arts project. They are an example of what can be found. All of this fabric came from my local scrapstore - for free!

Lella Loves... Scrap Fabric

I promise you that if you went to a scrapstore, you would be amazed at the range of products available to you for free (once you become a member, of course.)

Lella Loves... Buttons

How it works:

Business offer their local scrapstore non-toxic, clean waste and, as such, the scrapstore's 'stock' varies from week to week. The scrapstore staff/volunteers collect the useful 'scrap' from local companies and make it available to their members - for free! All you pay is a joining fee and you are then able to take whatever you need for craft projects, school plays, after-school art activities and so on.

The other good news, on becoming a member, is that you are doing something positive for the environment.  Reusing and upcycling clean, commercial waste is another way to bring different items into your craft room.

To give you an example of the items you might find, my local scrapstore collects cardboard tubes from a printing press, fabric sample books from high street stores and designer manufactures, greeting cards and over-runs from a local printer as well as foam, kapok, and wadding from an upholstery firm.

Last time I visited they had bolts of fabric, loads of zippers, promotional pin badges, old posters, ceramic tiles, bubble wrap, rub-off foils, plastic containers, tins, bottles, picture frames, ring binders and so on... 

Lella Loves... Picture Frames

A is for Aladdin's Cave:

Scrapstores are the Aladdin's Cave of creative crafting and 'Lella loves' creativity! :) 

You are only limited by your imagination. These hidden gems offer individuals as well as schools, clubs and play groups, a wide array of clean, reusable waste, and it is waste that you and I would otherwise never get the opportunity to salvage.

Lella Loves... Old Signage

I say to you today: look up your local scrapstore and pay them a visit. If it is not for you, no harm done!

However, if you are like me and you love fabric, buttons, old frames, paper, trimmings and so on, then do please join the hundreds of other members and benefit from being a member of a scrapstore and for a (usually) very low annual membership fee.

Here is the link to the list of scrapstores in the the UK.

Visit a scrapstore this week and remember, half the fun is that you never know what you might find there.

Please let me know if you went and joined and feel free to post a comment. 

Lella  xx

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Old Scales (Wooden Vegetables)

Old scales and vintage weights are becoming quite collectable as people are enjoying the search for kitchenalia of their grandmother's day. I will hopefully be able to upload a few photos of my various scales for you over the coming weeks.

I collect four types but, in reality, I will happily buy anything which falls into the balance scales and weights categories.

Today I have chosen just the scales which have wooden vegetables in the pan. They are something I like to use as a display medium as it shows the scales at work.

This first set with the hand-made wooden onions are a set of spring scales.

Lella Loves... Old Scales

They are called spring scales simply because they have a bowl, known as the pan, resting on a single spring which measures weight by the distance the spring deflects under the pan's load. These were given to me by a good friend who had them in her loft. 

This next set are called equal arm scales. 

Lella Loves... Old Scale

The wooden carrots have been here about 12 years. I bought them from a man who had just started a woodwork course as a hobby and he sold them to me for about 30p each. I can remember being so pleased to find them and then, to see he was so pleased when I bought them all! I thought his first efforts were lovely.

Similar weights can be found in charity shops. I wouldn't purchase weights online unless you are able to collect as the postage could be prohibitive. 

I think old scales compliment any kitchen and mine are on display on every window sill. The choice of whether to have something in the pan is up to you.

Happy hunting. What you buy and how much you spend is all a matter of scale! (Sorry...)

Lella  xx

Saturday, 27 August 2011

China and Glass (Trays)

Hello there. :)  Rain or no rain, everyone loves a day off.

It is a Bank Holiday weekend and I hope you will find yourself in a big field browsing through other peoples' tat at some point over the next 3 days. The reason being is that one man's trash is another man's treasure. 

With a little bit of imagination, you can make good use of an item which was made for another room in the house and use it in your kitchen. I am referring to a ceramic tray which I bought at a table-top sale a few weeks ago.

It is a Limoges tray, most probably part of a beautiful (and very expensive dressing table set). 

Lella Loves... China and Glass

I expect it would have originally had two matching candlesticks, a ring holder, a lidded pot and another tiny tray, all of which sat on this bigger tray.

There are no chips, no cracks and I just had to have it! 

Lella Loves... China and Glass

Clear factory back-stamps are always a good sign of quality. 

Remember to gently ping the edge with your fingernail and listen for the 'ting'. All ceramics and glassware should have a lovely ringing sound to them if there are no cracks. If you hear a dull thud, the item is cracked, the ring cannot go around the item and it cannot ring 'true'.

Lella Loves... China and Glass

Lovely gilded edge with pink roses. I couldn't believe that something so pretty was still sitting on the lady's stall at 11am. After a little bit of negotiating, and along with some other items, the lady charged me £4 for this tray. 

Lella Loves... China and Glass

I am always thinking outside of the ordinary and here is a saucer from a doll's tea set which makes a handy rest for the small butter knives. I bought 6 saucers for 10p each.

Lella Loves... China and Glass

The tray is now my lovely new serving platter for bread and rolls. I think it looks so elegant and would encourage you to always think sideways when out and about bargain hunting. 


Before I found the Limoges, I have been using this delightful glass example for my bread. This is a tray from an Edwardian dressing table set.

Lella Loves... China and Glass

This beautiful tray is an incredible 80 years old. It was most probably made around the 1930s and is very thick glass. The flowers and butterflies are etched on the underside of the tray.

I have always liked glass and I bought this tray with its original candlesticks and lidded pot - with a beautiful butterfly finial which I broke! - in about 1996. 15 years it has been with me and over those years I have used this tray for all sorts. It has cradled calligraphy pens, odd change, been used as a ring tray and also to stand plants on.

Next time you visit a table-top sale, please buy something you love to look at and if you can make the item work for you in your home then all the better for it.

I buy objects which have had a life, long before me, and they 'tell a story'. Their original use might not be so obvious if parts are missing but it doesn't matter.

All I need to do now is bake my own bread!   Mmm...      :)

Lella  xx

Friday, 26 August 2011

Silk Flowers (Small and Pretty)

Hello there and welcome to another Floral Friday :) Every week I aim to share with you the delights of using silk flowers around your home. 

Last Friday, Foxgloves were the display of the day and to balance out their expense, today I am showing you a few options if you want to spend less than £5 or £6.

The first display uses a single rose and a recycled glass herb container. The cork lid was wedged inside but that didn't bother me as I handed over my 50p.

Lella Loves... Silk Flowers

Lella Loves... Containers

I brought it home, prized out the lid and soaked off the shop's price ticket which was still on the base. Using just one, very large, very blousy, dusky pink rose, I trimmed it to about 4 inches. The greenish hue of the recycled glass harmonises with the greenery on the rose. 

Lella Loves... Silk Flowers

The single rose was £4.99 and I used my own rule of the single stem's flower head must be larger than the circumference of the container. This would make a pretty gift.


My next arrangement is one of my favourites to date as it cost me less than £3 and it is a little cutie. It was one of those occasions where I saw the bowl and knew which flowers would suit. Having previously bought a selection of mixed anemones, I had only used the pink and purple flowers so the white were ready and waiting!

I took three white anemones and trimmed the stems to two inches. 

(NB: The white anemone pictured here is to show you the price ticket. When you see the display, my white anemones have black stamens. Same flower, same price, different store.)

Lella Loves... Silk Flowers

This delightful little bowl was one of three different bowls I bought at an evening table-top sale for about £1 (for all three bowls).

The flowers on the outside mirror the anemones. What a fabulous find. Just darling!

Lella Loves... Pretty Bowls

It is no bigger than a satsuma and when I saw it, I knew straightaway what I was going to do with it. The anemones are perfect.

Lella Loves... Silk Flowers

This little display could sit happily in a bathroom or by your telephone. I love it, and all for less than £3.


The last idea is still on a budget and uses an Edwardian lemonade glass, a pre-tied bunch of flowers and some snips.

Beautiful vintage glassware can be found at almost any collectables market. Be choosey [when buying your glassware] but don't be too picky if you are buying with flower arranging in mind.

Lella Loves... Vintage Glassware

This glass cost me 25p because there are a few 'nibbles' on in the rim. The tiny chips don't bother me as I am not intending on using it to drink from. 

I love the fact that this glass might well have been made before my lovely grandma was born.

Here is the pre-tied bunch of flowers which I deconstructed. They are a bargain at £2.99 from Dunelm.

Lella Loves... Silk Flowers

Lella Loves... Silk Flowers

Taking each stem, bend it back and snip at the join. I cut them all free of the main stem as I wanted to use different flowers for different displays.

Lella Loves... Silk Flowers

The pink hydrangea is about 50 pennies worth of the pre-tied bunch once you have separated all of the flowers.

Lella Loves... Silk Flowers

In total, this little display cost approximately £5. The glass was 25p, the pink hydrangea was about 50p and the white flower is an everlasting Dill (herb) flower head which was about £4.

If you have seen anything you like today, feel free to leave a comment. The flowers came from either Dunelm or Home Interiors : 

Keep an eye in your local paper for jumble sales and other charity bring and buy events. I do hope you find yourself in amongst the flowers this weekend.

Love, Light and all things floral.

Lella  xx

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Cork Boards (Memory Wall)

Today's blog post shows you that a few cork floor tiles and some seriously strong adhesive are all you need to create yourself a 'wall' for your own personal memories.

Facebook folk should love this project!  :)  Yes. It's a noticeboard with a twist.

Lella Loves... Cork Tiles

My cork tiles are behind the door in my craft room. It was an unused space where the car boot table and the coats used to hang.

To make your memory wall, here is what you need:

Pack of cork floor tiles
Epoxy adhesive (Buy the twin set for wood and cork)
Drawing pins or pretty pin studs.

Lella Loves... Cork Tiles

Start by fixing a pack of 6 cork floor tiles to the wall using an epoxy glue. (I used blue Araldite.)

Lella Loves... Cork Tiles

Take one large image - I used a print from an old frame -  and, once in place, start to pin up your treasured pieces such as photographs, letters and postcards from friends. Let them overlap slightly. Build your wall with the items you have and then let it grow naturally.

Lella Loves... Cork Tiles

Working in a methodical way, add more pictures and other items you have kept such as gig tickets, maps and business cards. Pin up items as the days pass.

This might well be a gradual layering over time so don't worry too much about their positioning. Right angles and straight lines is not the look you should be going for.

Lella Loves... Cork Tiles

I have kept some lovely things and some odd things over the years. The sleeve of a Madonna compilation VHS reminds me of a time working in that industry, a greeting card with a cow jumping over the moon and a 3D moon decoration remind me of holidays long past.

Lella Loves... Cork Tiles

Your memory wall will soon look like this and once you have started it, simply add as you find things. Look upon your wall as an open scrapbook and take time to enjoy the creative side of this on-going project.

Lella Loves... Cork Tiles

I like the shape of the jukebox cocktail menu from a birthday party outing. Memories are precious and to cherish them, photos of my cats who have gone to spirit are there as well as interesting bookmarks, magazine clippings and anything which I like to look at.

Lella Loves... Cork Tiles

Keep on adding. One cork wall is never enough and you might end up with two.

Am I too old to wear a button pin? Who knows? However, a humorous pin badge went straight on my wall!

Lella Loves... Cork Tiles

This little project will continue on if you want it to. I have had mine since February/March 2002 and I still add to it as well as removing things which no longer raise a smile. Editing is important as your wall will evolve with you: it reflects you and your life so enjoy it.

Have a lovely day and make space for a pack of cork tiles :)

Lella  xx

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Old Pine Box

Today's project uses the wooden box I spoke about the other day. The lovely pine box you see here cost me £15 and I couldn't pay the dealer quickly enough.

Lella Loves... Old Pine Boxes

With the chilly nights creeping up on us, I intend to store fleece blankets and a throw in this box. Splinters are to be avoided so today's blog-make is a picture diary explaining how I lined it with some pretty paper.  

The roses wrapping paper was already in hand as, years ago, I had made the mistake of folding the  sheets of wrapping paper instead of rolling them. This meant I could no longer use the paper as gift wrapping because it looked like I had salvaged it from a received present. Not to worry, I thought, and so it sat, waiting for the perfect project.

If you wanted to try this for yourself, simply find a lovely wooden box and set aside an hour.

You will need:

Wrapping paper  (You could use scented drawers liners if the fragrance was pleasing.)
PVA glue. 

Lella Loves... Old Pine Boxes

Find a suitable place to work and when you are ready to start, drizzle the PVA glue all over the bottom boards. 

Lella Loves... Old Pine Boxes

Be generous with the glue. This is the only time you will put glue directly on to the wood.

Lella Loves... Old Pine Boxes

Take your paper and, cutting from the straight line at the top, measure out two pieces to fit across the base. If your box is wider than the wrapping paper, make sure you cut two of every piece so you can paste in a mirrored fashion at each end, working inwards.

Lella Loves... Old Pine Boxes

Continue to cut and paste the paper to fit each section (sides) of your box. Work with bigger pieces of paper at the bottom and overlap every piece, every time. If you choose a pretty print, there is margin for error as pattern is forgiving. 

Lella Loves... Old Pine Boxes

Always glue the back of the paper and use the tips of your fingers to position the lining. I call it, 'tickling the mice'. Be gentle and, with the lightest touch, encourage the paper to slide into position.

Lella Loves... Old Pine Boxes

Work up from the base. When you get near the top of the box, take a straight edge of the paper and work downwards. Overlapping your lining paper by a few inches is better than a few centimetres.

Lella Loves... Old Pine Boxes

Continue to glue and line the box until you are satisfied. Use any left-overs to add another layer to the base. I lined mine twice as I wanted to build up a thicker, protective lining.  

*Tip: Lining twice is better and it is much easier to line it all at the same time than it would be to reline  in six months' time when your paper gets torn.

Lella Loves... Old Pine Boxes

It took me about an hour or so to cut out the paper, apply the glue and line the box completely, twice. I took photographs as I went along. The glue is ordinary, non-toxic PVA glue which I bought in Morrisons for £2. Use children's glue as it is safe, it is tacky within seconds and it dries clear within minutes.

Lella Loves... Old Pine Boxes

Ta...dah!   Here is my finished box. Fabulous, isn't it?

I am really happy with the way the box turned out. It will be perfect for the living room and will store several blankets and a few extra DVDs.

Scented drawer liners would have been lovely if I were storing socks or smalls but are not appropriate for this project.

Lella Loves... Old Pine Boxes

If you enjoyed this post, please leave me a comment.  I write this blog with ideas and creative projects which are easy and fun to do. Shopping on a budget and time spent being creative is something I am happy to share.

Three cheers for flea markets!   Hip, Hip....   

Lella :)  xx

Lella Loves... Books

All books are free postage and are shipped from Amazon UK.

Click on any book to see price and availability.

Usually delivered within 48 hours.

More books to browse