just an old-fashioned girl

Hello and welcome. I'm glad you dropped by. If you´re looking for something a little nostalgic of bygone eras with a timeless elegance and a little modern twist – in other words, something slightly “retro” – then you should feel right at home here in my shabby chic room. Month by month, there will always be something new to see so I hope you´ll enjoy your stay and come back again soon.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dora´s Snow Angel

I sent Lajuana a photo recently to show her how much snow we have here in Germany while she´s basking in the Texan sunshine and she sent back this lovely LO which she created using my freebie snowflakes and Noel Nouveau. I think the doggy paw prints are a nice touch and Dora would too if she wasn´t too busy trying to wrench that stick out of my hands to notice anything! Thank you, Lajuana. At least it was sunny enough for me to need my sunglasses that day even though it was so cold I had to be muffled up to my chin and down to my eyebrows.
By the way, if you missed the Christmas presents, you´ll find them HERE

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Who Needs Snow?

It may look pretty decorating my robins Christmas card but I´ve had enough snow to last me a lifetime. In fact I´ve got so much this winter I´m giving it away so if you´re not feeling chilly enough already, get your woolly hat and mittens on and shovel it up HERE!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pretty Peggy

When I look at this photo I wonder what prompted Peggy to dress up just to go down and sit on the harbour wall unless it was for the sole purpose of having her photo taken to display her new clothes. She´s certainly dressed in the height of late 1940´s fashion and wouldn´t look out of place in Hollywood so she must have looked quite exotic on a small island in the far north of Scotland. Look at those chunky peep toe shoes with the ankle straps! And the lacy gloves. I think her dress is beautiful and couldn´t resist adding a little colour to it and painting her lips to match as I can just imagine that dark red lipstick. (Click on the photo for a larger view.)
I´ve added some gold swirls to give her a little Hollywood bling and I had fun experimenting with the gilt-edged frosted glass frame on various backgrounds. I like the way it changes to mulberry against the dark pink to set off Peggy and her lovely dress. I love this photo of her. She looks so young and carefree and happy on that long ago summer day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lerwick Cousin

This is my mother´s cousin, Margaret Peterson aka Peggy, one of the many relatives she used to visit in Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Isles. I scanned this photo at 2400 dpi because I wanted to get enough detail to create a portrait but I´m also going to scrap the entire photo sometime as it shows so much of the fashion of the era. Even if the date - 1948 - hadn´t been written on the back, just the hair style alone would have given it away. In the full size photo you can see that she´s wearing a dress with a floral pattern which wouldn´t look out of place today.

Again, as in the earlier page of my aunt, I´ve used backgrounds and elements from the kit I´m presently working on. Couldn´t resist playing with the butterfly swirls again! At least I´ve added a bird although he´d have no trees to perch on as they don´t grow in Shetland.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Preview the Angels of Helen's Noel Nouveau to this wonderful rendition of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!

Summer Past

My mother´s older sister, Lucas, had a large collection of family photos. For many years after her death nobody knew what had become of them until my cousin, Neville, discovered them in his brother´s attic. This is one which I restored recently.

I don´t know exactly when it was taken but it must have been in the early 1930s, probably in her home town of Glasgow, and judging by the blouse and sandals my aunt is wearing, it was during the summer. I´ve given the photo an appropriate floral setting using backgrounds designed especially for it plus some jewelled insects and swirls left over from Flight Of Fancy. If they morph into a kit I think Summer Past would be an appropriate name for it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Getting Up To Scratch

It sounds like something Dora would do but I´ve been doing it recently with some of my old photos and in many cases getting them up to scratch is definitely worthwhile. Take this one for example:
Scanned at 1200 dpi and seen close up it looked as if the family cat had sharpened its claws on it. Getting the scratches OFF was more to the point! If you´ve never tried to restore a photo you should give it a go. It can take a while but it´s easier than you´d think. All you need is time and patience and Photoshop although other software can also do the trick. In this case I used only the Spot Healing Brush Tool and the Clone Stamp Tool and this - eventually - was the result:
And if you think that looked daunting, how about this:

At first glance you might think it would take all day...but you´d be wrong. It took just one click on Auto Levels to restore the colour and after that I used the same 2 tools mentioned above to recolour some stray pixels here and there which resulted in this:
A lot of work? Maybe. But for scrappers there can be no better way to spend a cold dreary winter afternoon when afterwards you have the satisfaction of having restored a family treasure to something you can be proud to add to your heritage scrapbook.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Blessing of Friendship

And, suddenly on my computer desk there appeared a package from Germany. Inside was a “thank you” gift from Helen and this wonderful handmade Christmas Card! After a chorus of oh my and oh my goodness, I opened the blog and these angelic figures greeted me! Instantly I was driven to scrap a page.I have been truly blessed by this lady known first as Retro Designs, then Helen, and now my friend! 
I am totally amazed with the punching technique used by Helen to make the pattern inside the star...it was hand not computer generated! The thank you gift for helping Helen build her blog is a pocket-sized notebook with a lovely cross stitched floral pattern added to the cover...thank you my friend for such a special gift!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Angelic Trio

These are some of the angels from my collection of Victorian ephemera which I´ve used as Christmas cards over the years.

I´ve also made angelic postage stamps for my Christmas card envelopes. With a little added glitter they make lovely stickers and page headers. But I´m sure you´ll come up with ideas of your own, so if you´d like them to decorate your own Christmas projects, you´ll find them HERE.
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cross stitch cards

Embroidery and cross stitch have always been among my favourite hobbies and I enjoy creating not only large pictures but also small greeting cards for special occasions. Here are just a few of them.

I made this mouse for a friend whose birthday is in early September. I couldn´t resist making it look 3D by using various glass beads for the blackberries.

The angel is my favourite Christmas motif. I´ve used it not only for cards but also for Christmas tree decorations. Sometimes I stitch the heart onto plastic and sometimes, as here, I make it out of Fimo.

Of these three the bear is the only one I´ve kept so far. I must say he was easier to stitch than extract!
The frames are from my nostalgic Christmas kit, Noel Nouveau, which you´ll find HERE along with an early Christmas present.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fooling The Birds

With the first snow and winter fast approaching, I thought it time to replace the autumn garland of apples and berries on my front door. It´s made of lacquered polystyrene and looks remarkably real, so real in fact that it seems to have fooled even the birds! Not only did they peck large holes in the "apples" but they even tweaked out some of the berry twigs and scattered them on the steps. At least the wooden snow angel which replaced my nibbled garland should survive to greet another winter!

The bird pendant and frames are from my kit, Vintage Patina, which you can see HERE, and also pick up a freebie or two.

My table centrepiece, on the other hand, IS real AND edible though I don´t think the birds would enjoy those hot chilli peppers!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

After Deco-Pages

After Deco-Pages closed its doors I had nowhere to call my scrapping home until Lajuana aka scrapladyandmore offered to design a room for me to display my work until all the former DP members get back together again under one roof. Here it is at last and all thanks to Lajuana – with a little hindrance and interference from yours truly. As you can see, she also helped me to move some of my furniture and knick-knacks. At present they´re all from part 1 of my Shabby Chic Rooms Collection but the great advantage in having a virtual room is that it can be changed at whim. Since the entire collection consists of 196 items, the permutations are endless...Here´s part 1. Hope you´ll like it enough to call back again sometime to see the other 2 parts of the kit and maybe pick up a freebie or two.