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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tea And Sympathy

You´ll probably think that the changes I´ve made to my room are a little premature. I mean who needs a fire and a comfortable old armchair and a hot cup of tea in August? ME, that´s who! It may still be August and technically summer but hereabouts it´s more like October. As if that wasn´t bad enough, I´ve got a rotten cold. It started in my head and during the past week it´s done the grand tour of my body and has finally settled in my chest. I´ve lost my voice entirely but with the barking cough I have I can at least still communicate with Dora. Goodness knows what she thinks I´m trying to say though as she´s just flashed me an indignant look and stalked out of the room so I think I´d better have another dose of cough syrup before I offend her any further.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, a little sympathy would be nice. A cup of tea would be even nicer though so I´m off now to unceremoniously tip the doll out of the armchair, put my feet up in front of that blazing fire and hope that the cup contains something a lot more appetising than the foul herbal brew I´ve been forcing down for the past week. Then, after that, I´ll blow out the candle and toddle off to bed.

See you all soon...I hope.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Floral Gold

With summer already waning and autumn fast approaching, I thought you might like a little freebie which combines the flowers of summer with the textured gold of autumn. Let´s hope it´ll keep the chilly silver of winter at bay for a few months.

You´ll find this golden freebie HERE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Simply Serene

At Lajuana´s suggestion, I´d originally intended to name this new kit after the first page I posted using it. But, as is so often the case with my kits, it soon took on a life of its own and changed from being a kit you could sink your teeth into to something a little more brittle than juicy. I mean just imagine biting into the diamond glitter or that crunchy sapphire and you´ll see what I mean! Then I remembered a comment that Jean made about my succulent page, namely that it looked serene. So Jean, who said of herself, “I'm dreadful with naming, so have to leave that to others.” actually helped to name this kit.

Still, what´s in a name? Is it succulent or serene or something else entirely? Judge for yourself.

Click on images for larger previews

Friday, August 19, 2011

In A Victorian Garden

This photo courtesy of my fourth cousin, Kathy, shows her great-great grandfather, John Inglis (brother of my own great-great grandfather) and his wife, Agnes, in formal pose in their equally formal Victorian garden.

Click on image to enlarge

I´ve noticed that many photos from that era show the husband standing behind his seated wife and it´s repeated in the photo of the same couple which I´ve tucked behind the frame. I can think of several possible reasons for this. Perhaps to show the ascendancy of the husband over his wife? After all, women had few rights during that period and the man was definitely the boss in every respect. Or maybe, more kindly, to show protectiveness towards feminine frailty? My own personal theory is that poor Agnes, constricted by her stays and whalebone corset, would have been unable to stand still for long enough to have her photo taken without collapsing with a fit of the vapours and having to be revived by smelling salts.

Under the circumstances, I know I would!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dandegolds And Marilions

Deb´s recent tongue-in-cheek (I hope!) depiction of a marigold eating monster reminded me of my own personal marigold monster.

When we moved house a few years ago, one look at the garden was enough to tell me that if I couldn´t see down to the bottom of it without binoculars there was no way my back would bear up if I had to do the weeding. I had some reservations about delegating that task to Herbert who could just about tell the difference between a daffodil and a rose and only then with the help of a gardening book, so before entrusting the tools of destruction to him, I said, “DON´T PULL UP ANYTHING YOU CAN´T IDENTIFY!” and left him to it. Some time later I started to notice that the very minute my beloved marigolds began to bloom they mysteriously disappeared. I imagined a huge battalion of snails munching their way through them every night so I liberally sprinkled snail pellets around those that remained. And still they diminished. Then, by sheer chance I happened to look in the compost bin one day and was horrified to find a sad wilting heap of marigolds right on top. Confronted with the evidence, the Marigold Murderer looked shocked, shifty and uncertain then rallied quickly and said it must have been Dora. Now, Dora as a puppy was a keen little gardener but she was never quite clever enough to hide the results of her work in any compost bin and she certainly never left anything with its roots still attached. The MM´s second line of defence was to insist that he´d never ever weeded out anything he couldn´t identify and that even he knew a dandelion when he saw one. AHA! Case for the prosecution solved but not quite closed...Time passed and just as the MM thought that all was forgiven and forgotten he received this birthday card.

Click image for a larger view

Would you believe he had the brass neck to actually find it amusing? Even the fact that I´d added years to him by depicting him as a crazed and leering demented senile senior citizen didn´t bother him at all and he even hung it triumphantly inside the door of the garden shed as if it had been his finest hour! I wonder what it would take to make him feel humbled and guilty.


This page maybe?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dora In Action

I was sorting through the photos I took in Domburg recently when it occurred to me that, apart from the video, I´d also taken several consecutive photos of Dora in hot pursuit of her cork toy. Taken singly they don´t look that interesting but blended into one I think they give quite a good impression of Dora in action.
Click on image for a larger view
I used the Marbled Blue background from Jewelled Sea on top of a few grungy layers, blended in the 3 photos and then, once I´d flattened the image, I lowered the saturation quite a bit. As you can see there was a LOT of splashing going on there – one good reason to stand well back when Dora takes off! - and I´ve heightened the effect by using the Paint Daubs filter. It was a lot of work and entailed a great deal of trial and error but I´m quite pleased with the way this composite has turned out.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Sorry it´s taken such a long time to get around to posting the Nouveau Summer freebies. Here they are at last.

As you can see, there´s a poppy, an anemone and a hibiscus. The ladybird (Am. ladybug) was an afterthought inspired by Lajuana´s own little dancing ladybird which you can see among her CT layouts or HERE on her blog.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Diamond Glitter

This is my cousin´s daughter, Amanda, looking lovely on her wedding day. Her dress and bouquet are simply beautiful but I was particularly struck by the wonderful tiara she´s wearing which explains why I may have gone a tiny bit overboard with the diamond glitter in this LO.

Click on image to enlarge

I created this page using the kit I´m currently working on which includes lots of glitter and sparkle, gold and silver with the usual sprinkling of jewels and precious stones. Preview coming soon...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

An Alien In My Living Room

Don´t ask me why but I seem to be attracted to strange, eccentric and even alien looking house plants, my Whoopi plant for example. Well, nothing could be more strange, eccentric and alien looking than this weird and wonderful example of exotic insect eating flora which caught my eye and called my name in a Dutch garden centre last week. I couldn´t resist it and it´s now taken up residence in my living room much to the horror of my more conventional plants. Well, the ferns and orchids and co will just have to get used to it because, like it or not, it´s here to stay.

I´m not so sure about me though.

There´s an old movie where alien pods drop from outer space, hide themselves in closets and under beds and gradually morph into copies of the unfortunate and unsuspecting householder who harbours them. If you don´t hear from me for a while or something vaguely plant-like suddenly appears on this blog masquerading as yours truly and offering you insects as freebies, assume the worst...

I created this page using the kit I´ve been working on recently. I´ll post the preview as soon as it´s finished...assuming of course that the alien doesn´t take over before then.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oh My Ears And Whiskers, How Late It´s Getting!

Uhoh. It looks as if Alice has decided on the daisy chain after all. Let´s hope she doesn´t get so engrossed in it that she fails to spot the white rabbit and misses out on her great adventure.

Click on image for a larger view

I created this page using the wild flower meadow background and a few embellishments from Nouveau Summer. Alice is my niece, Christiane, and the white rabbit is one of John Tenniel´s beautiful b & w illustrations recoloured.

Kit freebies coming soon.