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 15, 2011

Coincidence of the Carolling Cats Christmas Card

Those of you who´ve read my earlier post, A Christmas Carol, may remember how I said that my new kit of the same name was triggered off by the cross stitch picture of carol singers I showed you. Well, it seems that the trail of coincidences keeps right on going...

...A couple of days ago I received a charming Christmas card from my cousin´s son, Michael, and was quite amazed by the motif on it which depicted a room full of carolling kitties grouped round a piano complete with a sheet of music. Not only was the subject reminiscent of my new kit and the picture which inspired it but even the night sky glimpsed through the window reminded me irresistibly of one of the background papers included in the kit. As you can imagine, I felt as if I just had to drop everything and create a layout from it. Here it is.

Thank you, Michael, for unwittingly adding to this strange story with The Coincidence Of The Carolling Cats Christmas Card.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Twelve Dogs Of Christmas

Having a hectic run up to Christmas? Feeling stressed out? Got nothing much to laugh about?

When I feel like that I just have to watch Dora´s antics and I feel a whole lot better. So, all of you without a Dotty Dora to cheer you up, take a few minutes from your busy day to lean back, relax and enjoy the 12 short videos which feature the hilarious antics of The Twelve Dogs Of Christmas.

(Make sure you´ve got the sound on.)

There now. Don´t you feel better already?

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Christmas Carol Preview 2

Here´s the second preview of A Christmas Carol. All in all I´m pleased with the way this kit turned out though it was a lot of work and I was really tired by the time I´d finished it. So tired in fact that it wasn´t until I viewed the second preview with fresh eyes the following morning that I noticed something that sent me racing to Photoshop to alter one of the elements. Strange how something that looked like a spatter of sparkling holly berries one day could look so remarkably like a trail of blood the next day, transforming a Christmas kit into something more suitable for Halloween! As you can see it´s now a scattering of glittering blue gems which coordinates nicely not only with the single sapphire shown on the right but also with the jewelled Christmas tree and of course with the many background papers in this kit.

As I´ve said before, it blends in well with Noel Nouveau but with its 16 backgrounds, 41 elements and 10 frames it´s certainly large enough to stand on its own so it´s more a coordinating kit than an add on.

Hope you´ll like what I´ve shown in this second preview.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Christmas Carol Preview 1

Here´s the first of two previews of my newest Christmas kit, A Christmas Carol, parts of which are at present scattered around this blog. As I´ve said before, it arose from a series of coincidences. The fact that it coordinates so well with Noel Nouveau may or may not be a complete fluke. I´m not even sure myself. It could just be that I like the contrasting colour combination of cool snowy blue and warm festive holly berry red and you´ll probably know by now that I love gold and silver too and I´m also a great fan of festive bling. I can´t think of a single kit which lacks a scattering of glittery bits. However, A Christmas Carol is by no means simply an add on kit as it comprises 67 items with no recoloured duplicates so it can well stand on its own. Here´s the first preview. I hope you´ll like it.

Now for some really – to me – exciting news. This kit will be the first to be available in the very near future followed by, among others, my as yet unreleased kits. Well, with the exception of one. I have plans for the exception which I won´t reveal just yet but I hope you´ll all take part in something I have in mind for that particular kit. I´m sorry to seem so secretive about this but it´s still in the planning stages. However, I have done this kind of thing before, and if you think about it for a moment, you may even guess!

I´ll be back soon with the second preview.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not So Shabby

You may have noticed that my room is looking more chic than shabby at present. Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true of me. I went to bed last night with a scratchy throat and a dry cough which by the wee small hours had developed into a full-blown cold complete with stuffed up nose and aching joints. I got up and wandered about the house for a while groaning and rattling my chains like the ghost of Christmas future then decided to brighten my spirits by brightening my room. It´s now a sort of pre-preview of my latest kit, A Christmas Carol. I´m pleased with its new festive look and I think the doll is too, especially now that she has some company. I´m sure the angel will read her to sleep at night, the robin will wake her in the morning with his song and I think she´ll have to move over soon to make room for the little girl when she arrives with presents to fill her Christmas stocking.

I´m beginning to babble so I´m off back to bed to catch up on my 8 hours of which, so far, I´ve only had about 40 minutes. Hope to be back soon with more previews of A Christmas Carol.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Christmas Carol

I´ve got to tell you about a coincidence which inspired me to create another Christmas kit, something that I hadn´t even considered doing. A couple of nights ago I was suffering from one of my periodic bouts of insomnia and 4 am found me sitting in my workroom sorting through my Christmas cross stitch pictures looking for something to scrap using Noel Nouveau. One of carol singers gave me pause for thought as it suddenly reminded me of a group of three little girls who somehow didn´t manage to charm their way into the kit. As is usual with me, one thing led to another and that picture and the background I made for my recent angels freebie were the basis of an add on kit for Noel Nouveau.

The double frame you can see in my layout I´ve had for quite a while though only in b & w. A vintage gold effect seemed to be called for and when I turned it around and laid it on its side it also accommodated the two smaller companion pieces. I find it amusing that the carol singer on the far left seems to be tilting his head to avoid having it covered by the swirl on that frame. A further coincidence? After that I really felt I was meant to create a kit around that picture and even name the kit after it. No prizes for guessing what I´m going to call it!

Yes, I know I haven´t yet shown the previews of the kit I was working on recently but there´s a reason for that which I won´t divulge just now. Anyway, you´re probably wondering what´s the point in having 5 brand new unreleased kits so I´ll at least tell you that they may all soon be available for sale. I´m just not sure exactly when but you´ll be the first to know so, if you´re interested, watch this space...

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Flight Of Angels

I haven´t been around much lately because I´ve been busy making Christmas cards. I used to find the joy of the festive season was marred by the frantic last minute rush to get all my preparations done so nowadays I make an early start. So far I´ve bought, and in some cases made, all my presents though I´ve only wrapped those which have to be sent abroad, and I sent those off yesterday. Our Christmas tree is up and trimmed and the living room looks particularly festive with all the lights and sparkling dingle dangles though I have to admit to having flaked out for quite a while to recover from that 5 hour marathon. After that there wasn´t very much left to do apart from the cards. I used to make them for practically everyone but that was in the days when I had no Internet access. (Didn´t we all have more time back then!) Nowadays I only make cards for family and friends but always try to make even the bought cards special by making festive stamps and stickers for the envelopes. My favourite motifs are Victorian angels and while I was working on some this morning, I thought that you might like a few to get you in a festive mood so here´s a flight of little angels for you. By the way, these angels also make pretty cards and gift tags, especially with a little additional glitter.

If you´d like this angelic quartet, you´ll find it HERE.

PS I´ll be back before Christmas so I won´t wish you a happy one just yet. I wouldn´t want you to get in a panic thinking of all the work you still have to do before you can sit back and enjoy it! As for me, I´m off to clean my workroom. Even Christmas has its down side...