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.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nature Notes

Here´s the finished - maybe - grungy kit I´ve been working on recently. I say "maybe" because there´s always a temptation to keep adding on bits. It´s pretty big already with 70 items consisting of 17 backgrounds, 10 frames and 43 embellishments, none of which is a recoloured duplicate. As I mentioned in an earlier post, because the hands of the clock and also the seasons are in separate files, the time and/or season can be changed to suit any layout. There´s also a grungy floral caps alpha which I´ve added just for fun. So perhaps "maybe" ought to be "definitely" and I´ll keep all the other bits and pieces for an add on later.

As for the name, I was tempted to call it Pretty Grungy just because it goes so well with my Pretty Shabby kit but there are so many nature elements in it I think Nature Notes is probably better and Pretty Grungy can keep for another time. On the other hand, if anything more appropriate occurs to me I may change it to something else. Hmmm. What I need isn´t another name for the kit. What I really need is someone to slap my wrist, give me a good shake and say, "For goodness sake, stop dithering." Anyway, Nature Notes or not, here it is. I hope you´ll like it.

Click on images for larger previews

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Aversion To Green

With St. Patrick´s Day in the recent past maybe now´s not the best time to admit that I don´t like green. I´m not sure why this is, maybe because there are so many shades of it which make me with my Nordic complexion look - to quote an expression of my mother´s - "like death warmed up." My husband, on the other hand, looks great even in bottle green, a particularly unpleasant colour to me, but then he has green eyes which probably explains it. Brown is another colour that´s never appealed to me. Ditto the quote from my mother. Again, it suits my husband which is annoying because it means I can never borrow his sweaters. So, given my aversion to these colours, isn´t it strange that I should choose to create a green and brown kit? Well, the answer is I didn´t. Choose, I mean. It just sort of happened. And this isn´t the first time either. I can think of several green/brown kits in my collection including my most recent as you can see for yourself.

This is a kit that started off grungy brown and then took on a life of its own when it told me it needed something to relieve the drabness of all those earth tones. The obvious choice was, needless to say, green. I´ve also livened it up with a little bling so that what started out rather grungy has ended up a lot more elegant than I´d originally intended! I´ll post the previews soon and you can judge for yourself.

The above photo is one of many found in an attic by my cousin, Neville, and shows himself and his mother in what is obviously a studio portrait. Judging by that pout he was none too pleased about it and there only under protest. Maybe the photographer should have captured his interest by saying, "Watch the birdie" as my dad always did before snapping us children. I´ve added the "birdie" but far too late to change that petulant pout.

This was, and still is, a very spotty photo though it was a lot worse when I first got it. It still needs a lot of painstaking work with the PS healing brush/clone stamp tools though in this small format its most glaring defects aren´t so apparent.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Time To Play

Dora doesn´t need a clock to tell her what time it is. There´s only one time of day for her and that´s play time. Even dinner time can´t compete though it might if she could eat her dinner without dropping her toys. Now that spring is here she´s happy to be let out again into her beloved garden where she has space to play her favourite games, most of which need my cooperation. Chase-me-round-the-rhododendron was the first one she ever taught me. The rules are simple enough for even a human to understand. I have to chase her around it until I get dizzy which I always do or else I actually catch her which hasn´t happened yet. She has others but the three-ball-game is her favourite. It´s pretty simple too. I throw three balls, Dora chases them, scoops them up and brings them back. I´ve tried to vary this game by throwing only two but Dora can count to three and always waits patiently until I notice that I still have one in my hand. This is one game she never tires of and neither do I as it always brings a smile to my face to watch her bounding towards me with her cheeks bulging on either side.

The kit I´ve been working on recently is almost finished and I´ll post the previews soon. There are over 40 embellishments in it but the clock with the optional hands/seasons is still my favourite. I´m also fond of the various birds and I´ve used one here. Well, Dora herself is a little cuckoo after all!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning

It´s that time of year again when the sun shining into my living room is strong enough to show the faint patina of dust on the treasures in my china cabinet.... and could that shadow in the corner be a cobweb? But before I tackle those tedious tasks I thought I´d rather give my virtual living room a little spring cleaning....
That didn´t take long but after I´d dusted off the marble bust, the photo album and the picture frame and set a vase of roses on the table - yes, I know they´re out of season but you can have anything you like in a virtual room - I thought I´d invite a guest to tea and who better than my elegant aunt who looks so at home on the couch that this room could have been designed especially for her. (I have actually designed an entire room for her which you can see HERE.)
This time I´ve used backgrounds and elements from the third and - so far - final part of the Shabby Chic Rooms series which you´ll find HERE along with a little gift or two.
Off now to put the kettle on. Mustn´t keep my visitor waiting for her tea...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dora Gets The Bird...Or Vice Versa!

"to get the bird"
a) to be fired or dismissed
b) (esp. of a public performer) to be hissed at, booed or derided

We drove over the Dutch border yesterday to buy some plants in a garden centre in Venlo. On the way in, a little pottery bird tracked us with its motion sensor and twittered at us in such a friendly way I simply had to buy one. When we got home, while Dora was out with my husband, I put batteries into it and set it at the front door next to some spring flowers. Later I heard the front door open with a resounding crash and Dora burst in frantically as if she had a wasp under her skirt and headed straight for the safety of her bed. Apparently the bird´s friendly greeting had startled her so much that she´d dropped her ball and bolted into the house through the half open door.
This morning I watched with amusement when a little ginger cat strolling casually past the door shot off like a rocket when the bird said good morning. Of course, being a cat, it had to come back to inspect the twittering monster by which time I´d got my camera pointed at the glass door.

It´s now 10 am and the postman is due. Let´s hope he´s more like the cat and less like our dog or I´ll be collecting my mail from the PO in future...