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Edinburgh

Edinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsIf you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve spent this past week in Scotland with James! Our first stop was Edinburgh, and we spent two days here. On the first day, I had a look around the University and walked around the city. In the evening we had dinner at David Bann followed by drinks and board games at BrewDog. We actually had plans to sample a couple of bars, but it was so cosy and relaxed in BrewDog we decided to stay – there’s such a nice vibe there and I can’t wait to return!

James doesn’t love having his photo taken, so I’ve noticed I have a lot of photos of the back of his head. I do know him, and I’m not stalking him, I promise!

Edinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsWe spent the second day in the National and Modern Scottish National Galleries. Although they’re a little walk from the town centre, both buildings are really beautiful and they have some nice exhibitions – my favourite was Louise Bourgeois. I think I prefer small art galleries like these because I can take most of it in without feeling overwhelmed. We ate a lot this day (at Hendersons and Hula) and I even tried a deep-fried mars bar, which was delicious! We definitely needed longer to explore the city properly, so hopefully either me or James will be living in Scotland doing a Masters next year. I loved Edinburgh – it’s full of history, beautiful buildings and cool places to eat, drink and shop whilst being a relatively small city!

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10

Autumn Stitching Club #11

Pattern eleven of Wild Olive‘s Autumn Stitching Club is this cute smiley leaf! Colourful leaves are probably one of my favourite things about autumn, although they are looking a little more soggy and a little less crisp at the moment. I don’t think it’s autumn anymore!

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I only have two more of these patterns to stitch until they become a cushion cover. At the moment, I stitch these in front of Homeland on a Sunday night. I’ll have to find something else to occupy me when both of those things are finished! I hope your week is off to an excellent start 🙂

7

Handmade Letter Writing Paper

There’s nothing better than receiving a hand written letter in the post, am I right? Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to contact people immediately on social media, but letters are much more intimate and they demand your attention in a way that a tweet cannot. One of my favourite parts of writing a letter is the decoration. Here are four ideas for decorating your own letter paper. Are you and a long distance friend in need of a catch up? You should write them a letter this weekend 🙂

I wanted to use recycled paper, and the paper I used comes from the Exotic Paper Company. I chose to buy recycled banana paper, but you can also buy paper made from elephant poo. How cool is that!

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You will need: Paper, Ink or watercolour paint, paintbrush (small and large), jam jars, rubber, craft knife

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Rubber print paper

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To make this rubber stamped paper, first put a little ink in a jar and add the same amount of water • Use your craft knife to carefully cut a shape out of the rubber. The simpler your shape, the better! • Paint the rubber with your water/ink mixture and use a spare piece of paper to dab off the excess • Use your rubber to print onto the paper. Don’t worry if it’s uneven, it adds to the charm!

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Bordered Paper

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If you want to border your paper, you can use any illustration you like, but the most effective designs are simple and abstract. I just used a combination of curly lines, swirls and yellow dots! Before you paint onto your paper, experiment with different amounts of ink and water on your brush, different sized brushes and a variety of pressures to decide which marks you like the most!

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Ombre paper

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Fill two jars with water, and add a couple of drops of different coloured ink to each jar. • Make sure you wipe the excess water off your brush before painting – you don’t want there to be puddles on your letter paper! • Roughly paint a different colour wash on each end and blend in the middle

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Illustrated paper

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First paint a background onto your paper by dabbing a watered down ink onto your paper with a large brush • Use a small brush, and black ink straight from the bottle to paint a simple design in the corner. If you paint your design whilst the paper is wet, the ink will bleed a little, which I think looks cool. If you want a crisper line, wait until the paper is dry.

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So there are some ideas for decorating paper! Which is your favourite? Do you write letters to your friends, or do you have a penpal? I’d love to hear how you decorate your letters!

13

Archie Embroidery

It was my Dad’s birthday at the start of the month, and he is so difficult to buy for. Instead of buying him something he doesn’t want or need, I decided to stitch a picture of our bunny Archie for him. It was a time-consuming project but not a difficult one. If you like the idea you could follow these steps to make an embroidered picture of anything – but pictures of pets are the best!

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I looked for some embroidery inspiration online and most patterns used solid stitching for the whole picture. I prefer embroidery that looks more like a drawing than a painting (if that makes sense!), so I stitched most of Archie using the spaced out stitches that you can see. I think it makes him look fluffy, and this method is much quicker! I just did some occasional solid stitching to emphasise his features.

You will need:
Linen
Embroidery Hoop
Embroidery Needle
Embroidery Floss ( I used black, white, light grey, dark grey, light orange and dark orange. It’s nice to have some different shades of the same colour.)
Scissors
Paper
Pencil

Step 1: Sketch out your design onto paper. Then put your linen in the embroidery hoop and pull tight (if you’re new to embroidery, check out these embroidery basics by Wild Olive for help!) Transfer your pattern onto the linen.

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Step 2: Start filling in the pattern using these randomly spaced stitches. I made sure my stitches went in the same direction as Archie’s fur. I overlapped the colours a little and made sure the stitches were shorter where his fur is shorter.

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Step 3: Fill in prominent features with solid stitching! Archie’s eye, nose, the inside of his ears, and his tail are all filled in with solid stitching. I also stitched a line around his four feet, his ears and his nose for emphasis.

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Step 4: Add some tone! At this point, I used my dark grey and dark orange floss to bring the picture alive. Right at the end, I also stitched his whiskers.

Step 5: Cut the linen an inch or two away from the embroidery hoop, and glue to the back of the hoop (I used my glue gun for this.) This way, the embroidery hoop becomes the frame for the picture.

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What do you think? Have you ever stitched a picture?

13

Experimenting with Fabric Paint: Painting a Scene

Last week I shared some potato printing I did using fabric paints, and this week I’m going to show you my jungle t-shirt! This was a complete experiment but I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out. The fabric paint was hard to paint on because it was difficult to control – the paint kep bleeding through the fabric – but I adjusted my method to make up for that, and I’ll show you what I did in case you fancy a go yourself 🙂

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You will need:

Something to paint on (e.g. cotton t-shirt)
Fabric paints
Paint brush
Paint Palette
Water jar
Pencil

Step 1: Pencil on your design. I find it easier to do big bold designs rather than small fiddly ones. Since the paint doesn’t always stay put, it’s hard to get the sharp lines required for small fiddly details.

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Step 2: Paint on your design! I went for a jungle scene with flowers, leaves, bamboo, a frog and a parrot! The paint did blend together well so I did a little bit of blending on the leaves and flowers.

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Step 3: To make my shirt look a little fuller and more colourful, and also to hide some of the fuzzy edges, I mixed some green paint with water and I painted grass onto my shirt. I also  used some kitchen towel and potato prints to blob flowers around the top of the shirt.

Step 4: Leave your shirt to dry overnight, and then iron it underneath some greaseproof paper for a couple of minutes to fix the paint.

Phew, all finished!

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Archie’s stealing the limelight in my photos again.

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What do you think? As you read this, I will be in Paris for my boyfriend’s 21st! I’m so excited. I’m lucky that we like to do the same things on holiday (wine, art and food) and I’m sure I’ll be squeezing in plenty of vintage shopping.

p.s. If we usually keep in touch but you haven’t heard from me for a while, don’t worry I’m still here but my laptop won’t let me comment on any blogs with capatcha. Grrrr.