Fennel is not in our mail order catalogue yet but can be found with other new designs on our website.
Fennel is not in our mail order catalogue yet but can be found with other new designs on our website.
Our home is open once a month for tours of it's stencilled rooms. I am late in getting the dates published this year but check in next week and they will be posted along with more information about the tours. Throughout the coming year I will feature many of the stencilled rooms on this blog and wherever possible a project will accompany it. The tour starts with the Arts & Crafts style dining room.
The stencils used in the dining room are mostly found in our Arts & Crafts Collection. Water-based household paints were used to paint and to stencil both the floors and walls. The repeating pattern on the walls was stencilled using a foam paint roller.
The rollers were also used on the floor. The smaller pink flowers were applied by brush because precision was needed. The first rule of decorating floors is to try and get someone else to do it, it saves wear on the knees that way. My husband Chips did most of the stencilling and gilding on the floor. If you click on any of the images they will come up larger to show detail. Tile designs were used on the centre section of the floor and an enlarged border surrounds them. Chips found a quotation from the 1600's about sinless people eating and drinking well, then shuffling off to paradise. It is reproduced in copper leafed lettering and lies within the border.
On completion, the floor was protected by five coats of water based varnish. Apply that with a foam roller too and start in the far corner then varnish your way out of the room. It is usually dry enough to do a further coat in 45 minutes or so but follow the instruction on your chosen product.
Copper transfer leaf was used to make the panel shapes on the lower wall. A lily design was stencilled onto them with acrylic paint. If the paint will not key to the leaf then add a little soap based detergent to the paint. A tiny amount!!
Yahoo News, courtesy of Reuters headlined with a story about stencilling this morning. A famous mural by British artist, Banksy was white-washed by Transport For London's graffiti removal team. One man's art is another mans social decay it seems. I thought the stencilled mural cheered up a very depressing slice of London's cityscape. It was estimated to be worth 25,000 pounds (that's double in dollars!) and depicted John Travolta and Samuel L.Jackson in a scene from Pulp Fiction. Instead of guns, each of them toted a banana. I do not usually like graffiti but find wit and beauty in many of Banksy's works. I bought his book Wall and Piece, it is a very funny read and I came perilously close to writing a fan letter. I would love to share with you his advice for making stencils but copyright prevents me and besides they are rather rude. if you would like to know and see more about him visit www.banksy.co.uk. I particularly like the two old ladies knitting in the 'indoors' section. We have been asked for graffiti style stencils for children's rooms. We don't do them unless it is a custom design but in response to requests for non-girly designs we produced the Bad Attitude Range a few years ago. I am tempted to stencil the barbed wire in silver over black furniture. The boot prints could add a humorous, yet decorative touch to walls and ceiling. The same could be said of the tyre tracks. I like the idea of the camouflage in several shades of pink. Oops I'm getting girly again. H.
I woke the other day to see all our cherry blossom trees in full bloom (almost as if they had popped out overnight). There is something about the cherry blossom flower. It signals the beginning of warmer weather and the colours of pinks, whites and pale yellows are so fresh and crisp. Last year, a Japanese customer of ours sent us a photo of the "Sakura Matsuri" (cherry blossom festival) in Japan:
She asked if I was familiar with cherry blossom which made me laugh until I scrolled down to see the photo she had sent. I was not familiar with cherry blossom on that scale! Huge trees full of glorious blossom. It is no wonder that people travel to Japan at this time of year simply to see it.
Cherry blossom is the unofficial flower of Japan and shows up time and time again in their decorative art. When we were researching Japanese design for our Japan range of stencils, we knew it would not be complete without several cherry blossom stencils. Our cherry blossom designs have been a most popular seller for a while now. We have everything from motifs to all-over repeats to a design that comes in sections so you can "grow" cherry blossom in any direction you like. Here are a few examples of our cherry blossom stencils:
This is our JA138 Cherry Blossom motif stencil. It is a single bough of blossom at 15" (38cm) tall x 18" (46cm) wide. Here we have stencilled it in traditional colours of pale pink and white with brown branches on a wall painted in pearlescent green. We have created an all-over repeat by repeating the blossom in rows up and down the wall. We also make this stencil in larger sizes including one at 300% (45" x 54"). Homes and Gardens magazine used this large version over a bed in an issue of their magazine. Contact us about ordering special sizes.
This picture shows our JA47 Cherry Blossom repeat. It comes in two sizes: the small with flower heads of about 1" diameter and the large with flower heads of about 2" diameter. It is designed to repeat all-over for a full wallpaper effect, but works well as a motif or a horizontal or vertical border (as shown here). We have simply stencilled this version in black and grey and as an added touch, have stuck silver sequins into the centres of the flowers. Our designer cherry blossom (DR2) stencil is perhaps the most fun to use. It is a sheet of component cherry blossom parts: flowers, leaves, branches and a trunk that you can use to build a cherry blossom design in any configuration you like. You can either have a realistic looking tree or just a design that ambles about as shown here. The stencilling was done in silver and pink onto a black wall. For the lacquer effect, the whole wall was covered with high gloss varnish after it was stencilled. The beauty of this design is that it is perfect to use in awkward areas and also that no two people are ever going to use the stencil in the same way. Recently this stencil was used to great effect in Better Homes & Gardens Creative Home magazine (Spring 2007 issue). DR2 was stencilled in white onto a hutch and dining table showing just what a versatile stencil it can be.
If you are unable to pop over to Japan to revel in cherry blossom, there are several cherry blossom festivals throughout the US at this time of year as well. Or you can just create your own cherry blossom grove on your walls, furniture and fabrics to herald that spring is well and truly here. R.
Hello, I'm back. Tanned, relaxed and ready to create! I enjoyed reading the posts that Rachel has written over the past month and hope that you did too. I have been staying in Seychelles in the Indian Ocean hanging out with fish and turtles, revisiting old haunts and friends and generally having a nice time. I have been inspired to decorate some beachwear with batik and stencils. These are some of our designs that are typical of the islands and will find their way onto garments. Fish stencils, gekko stencils and turtle stencils can all be found in our Cameo Range in our budget collection.
His likeness can be found in the Animal & Bird Stencils range, code number CO12. It has multiple layers of stencil to build up a lifelike image. The giant imperial harp shell (CO4) and the bubbles (a polka dot stencil CO17) are part of the same range. By stencilling the edges of the shape and not the centre the bubbles appear to have a transparency to them.
I have holidayed in Seychelles many times over the last ten years, in many hostelries, and on many islands. I have found two hotels that I particularly like and are not usually found in brochures or travel magazines. They are Beachcomber Resort on Anse Soleil, Mahe and Patatran Hotel, Anse Patate on La Digue. Both have wonderful, friendly staff, great snorkelling, fabulous locations and are good value. I will share with you the views from my room on both locations. Many island make up the Seychelles archipelago. The three main ones are hilly, granite islands. Others are coral and some are nature reserves that allow you to share space with giant tortoises, turtles, and birds. Information on these islands can be found at www.seychelles.com
My view from the Beachcomber on Mahe. The lionfish lives amongst those rocks. Mahe is the main island. It's capital city, Victoria is the second smallest in the world. From there you can fly or sail to the other islands.
I love the rocks outside the Patatran Hotel. These smooth boulders are typical of La Digue. The medium size rock in the centre has a wide, Helen-sized groove scooped out of the top and many a lazy hour has been spent loafing in it. By the way, the waters are warm and there are no killer spiders! H.
My sister is moving! A few years ago, my sister relocated to rural New Jersey with her husband and daughter. They purchased a really sweet (and small) 1950's cottage in the midst of the most glorious (and historical) New Jersey countryside. My sister is very creative and likes to inject her decor with colour, humour and vintage style. It was not long before I was induced to fly over and help her paint and stencil her cottage from top to bottom (or rather side to side as it is all on one level). The house consists of a kitchen/dining room, a bathroom, a living room and two bedrooms. I was there for three weeks and managed to get every room stencilled in the time I was there. I quite like planning schemes with her because she has such vision and is not afraid to play with colour and pattern. As they pack up this house to move south to Florida, I thought I would showcase their current stencilled home.
You enter the front door straight into the kitchen/dining room. My sister loves Art Deco style. She discovered Clarice Cliff pottery from the 1920's and 30's and it was this that inspired the theme and colours for this room. The walls were painted a pale grass green colour. Then we stencilled our Art Deco style house (DE340)in bright red, orange and black as a repeat along one wall. My sister collects vintage tablecloths and crockery so the bright colours complimented her collection. The door entering the house is opposite this stencilled wall. There were plain white blinds at the french doors and we don't do plain! It was a morning's job to take the panels down, stencil them with our CO17 Polka Dot stencil (from our Contemporary range) in red and black and hang them back up again.
The kitchen/dining room runs directly into the living room. Inspiration for the scheme in the living room was drawn from vintage travel posters. Also, because the large doorway is open between the two areas, the colours needed to be complimentary. Due to the height of the room, we decided to put the main stencilling over the chimney breast which would carry the whole room. My sister chose an Art Deco repeat (DE322) with trees and swallows (as their house is in the woods) and it was simply stencilled in graphic black.
Perhaps the most fun room to do in the house was the tiny bathroom. My sister has always loved our 313 Chorus Girls stencil. She loves the glamorous style of it and her husband was not at all adverse to having rows of scantily clad women in his bathroom. There were only two walls we could put this stencil on. A single row of girls were stencilled around the vanity. And on the opposite wall, several rows of girls were stencilled over the entire wall for a full company of chorus girls.
My niece is now 3 1/2 years old. I had decorated her nursery by stencilling large panels of fabrics with stencils from our Japan range including large blossoms and butterflies. At the time, my sister was living in a rental so could not paint or stencil the walls, but by stencilling up fabric panels which could be hung on the wall, matching blinds and other accessories for the room, the whole nursery looked decorated with colour and pattern. When they moved, all the panels and fabrics moved with them and they are still being used in her room today. Of course, now we could also paint and stencil the walls. Because the fabric panels were bright, we kept the stencilling on the walls quite muted by taking one of the Japanese butterflies (JA125) and stencilling it in silver scattered all over the blue walls and ceiling.
My sister has recently been making and selling fantastic hand embroidered items (including childrens' clothing and home accessories) with vintage designs. Her range perfectly compliments her style. I love the variety of designs she has and one of my favourite possessions is a set of pillowcases she embroidered for me using pin-up girl designs (which I think is a fair exchange for my stencilling her house). Her online shop is called Melys Baby. She happily makes custom items as well.
Now she begins a new chapter in her life as she packs up and prepares to move to Florida where her landscape architect husband has a new job. She is sad to leave her stencilled cottage, but I reminded her that soon she would be in a new home with loads of bare walls ripe for new stencilled schemes. I also told her that it wouldn't take much inducement (well, maybe a few Melys Baby items) to get me to come over again when they were in their new home to help plan and stencil the new house. No doubt, it will be featured in a future post. R.
As Easter is nearly upon us, I figured many people will have eggs and ducks on the brain (mostly of the chocolate variety), so I thought I would stay with the theme and show ducks and eggs of the stencil variety (100% non-fattening).
This first photo shows our DE315 Duck Repeat stencil from our Art Deco range. It is an all-over repeat stencil of simple ducks. It looks great in a child's room and due to its design of single lines is a more modern approach to the traditional duck design. Here we have stencilled it in tone on tone colours. It also comes as a border which can be found at here.
Did you know that eggs are a symbol of new beginnings and birth and are therefore are supposed to bring luck for new homes, new babies or other new things? The first photo shows our huge CO3 Egg stencil from our Contemporary stencil range. It is a three layer design and is 19" x 14". The first layer is the egg shape and the subsequent layers are the speckles. To stencil a variety of different eggs, you can use layer number 1 on its own, or with one or the other, or both of the other layers.
This second egg photo shows the CO3 Egg stencil as well as the NC8 Eggs stencil from our New Century range in the Budget Stencil section. They were stencilled onto a black canvas covered frame to make a painting that now hangs in our hallway. We were inspired by the egg collections one sees at museums and the correct way "up" for an egg is with the small end pointing downwards (as seen in Victorian nature books). Eggs do come in a variety of wonderful colours so we decided to do our eggs in colours you would actually find them. The numbers resemble the catalogue numbers you would see in a collection. The numbers stencil is MS88.
For those of you who have time off over Easter, have a lovely (and creative!) weekend. R.