Decoupage is a well known technique that everyone can use and create beautiful decoration for their homes. You can use old things you have at home. For this craft project, I used an old photo frame.
Is good to know that…
Decoupagederivesfrom the French worddécouper (=tocutout). It is the art of decorating surfaces of an object by gluing colored paper cut-outs onto it. Each layer is sealed with several coats of varnishes until the result looks like painting or inlay work. The traditional technique used 30 to 40 layers of varnish which were then sanded to a polished finish.
Decoupage may seem like a new trend, but the technique actually dates back in 12th century. Actually the first origin of decoupage is supposed to be East Siberian tomb art. From Siberia, the practice came to China, where by the 12th century, cut out paper was being used to decorate lanterns, windows, boxes and other objects. The history of modern decoupage, starts from the 18th in Europe. This art form was also known as arte povera – poor man’s art, because in the olden days those who couldn’t afford to hire an artist to decorate their furniture could obtain quite elegant effects with cut-outs pasted on and covered with multiple coats of varnish.
Materials for decoupage
Objects to decoupage onto like furniture, trays, boxes, photograph albums, plates, ceramics, shelving, frames, mirrors e.t.c.
Pictures such as newspapers, magazines, old books, printed clip art or photos, wrapping paper, fabric, tissue paper, paper napkins and so on.
Materials that I used:
old wooden photo frame
Additional materials for the flower:
orange color fabric -petals
green felt – leaves
With a pair of scissors you cut out long pieces of colorful paper napkins. Apply the glue on the wooden surface with a brush and paste the cut out paper napkins. Then cover the object and pasted paper napkin with a few coats of glue to protect it. At the end you can apply a layer of varnish.
On Easter time we were invited by family friends to a village called Melini, in Cyprus, that is close to the forest. The house is built on a hill and the nature there is beautiful, so I went for a walk around the house and I found a lot of things to shoot. Something that attracted my attention was a wasp trying to get into his nest. So I spent a lot of time there taking as many shots as I could from different angles. As soon as I got home I searched the web for more information.
Some information from Wikipedia
Paper wasps are 1.8 to 2.5 cm long wasps that gather fiber from dead wood and plant stem, which they mix with saliva, and use to construct water-resistant nests made of gray or brown papery material. Paper wasps are also sometimes called umbrella wasps, due to the distinctive design of their nests.
Unlike other wasp species, which can be very aggressive, paper wasps will generally only attack if they themselves or their nest are threatened. But if they attack their stings are quite painful and can produce a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction in some individual.
Most wasps are beneficial in their natural habitat, and are critically important in natural biocontrol. Paper wasps feed on nectar and other insects, including caterpillars, flies, and beetle larvae. Because they are a known pollinator and feed on known garden pests, paper wasps are often considered to be beneficial by gardeners.
In my effort to get better shots I had to get closer. I am so glad that the paper wasp didn’t think of me as a threat, or else I would have been stung!
When I was taking photography lessons, our instructor would always stress the importance of going out to implement what we learned. A great way to enhance your photography skills and your creativity is to give yourself assignments – something to focus on. Sometimes you venture out without having any idea what you are going to shoot. However, it is better to decide before what your daily assignment would be. This way you will be more aware of what you are looking for and will be focus on that. Create a variety of themes by choosing a different assignment each time, for example, one day shoot ‘patterns’, another day ‘color’ etc.
Themes of the assignments can be:
lines, shapes, colors
rule of third
depth of field
angle and much more
These kind of assignments will help you boost your creativity, improve your composition and your photography skills.
When you go out for a project you need an assistant to carry your things, so it can be more comfortable for you and you can be focused on taking pictures. My main assistant is my lovely husband and I should admit that he is good at his job; well, most of the time. While I’m shooting, he carries the empty camera bag and my purse that’s filled with my personal belongings. So far so good.
However, he is always in the visual field and as a result he is in most of the photos. So I have to retake the same photo without him and sometimes it is time-consuming. At other times, he is not always around especially when I need him. For example, if I need something from the camera bag, lets say the soft cloth to clear the lens, he isfar away. I don’t know how my assistant will cope, when I will acquire more gear, like tripod or different types of lenses! I am not complaining that much, am I? Ok, maybe just a little! There’s also a positive side to this. For example, he enjoys being in nature and he doesn’t complain when it takes me too long when shooting things and, plus, he keeps me company. I should also admit, that sometimes, when I think that the composition looks good, I include him in the picture on purpose. But that’s only a few times!
Another hobby of mine is crafting. And this project is one of my favourites. I decorated my living room with these yarn wrapped bottles of ‘LOVE’. We had learned this technique at elementary school in art&craft. It’s probably a kid’s craft so if you have children, this is a another way to spend some creative and quality time with them and have a good time yourself. Plus, It is very easy.
Materials you will need:
glass bottles or jam jars
yarn or thick thread
white adhesive (mod podge)
for the details – leather cord, ribbons, buttons, zips, piece of cloth, flowers, wire e.t.c
Apply the adhesive with the paint brush on the bottle. Start wrapping firmly the thread/yarn around it, until the bottle is completely wrapped. At the end you can decorate your bottle with flowers, letters, butterflies and other things you like.
As photography is one my passions, buying a good dslr camera has made the bucket list. There was nothing wrong with my Nikon coolpix s2600, but I wanted to take it to the next level. I wanted to be more creative and it was about time. For the last year, I have been taking intensive online courses in order to get better and learn in depth the world of photography.
As of January 2015, I am using my new DSLR Nikon D3300 with nikkor 18-55mm kit lens and I am very satisfied. Most probably I will need more types of lenses and some additional gear. The good thing is that we are a ‘Nikon family’ – my father, my sister and I – we can borrow and use each other’s gear. At the end I will see what gear I will use or need the most and I will write it first thing in my bucket list!
No offence to other manufacturers; I’m pretty sure that their cameras are as good as the Nikon but as I said above – it’s a family thing!
Every time I am visiting Slovakia or Czech Republic, I always buy these handmade traditional corn husk dolls. Not just for me, but I give them as small gifts to friends and family. I like them very much. They are cute, interesting, small and very light-weighted, so its easy to carry them with you home. You can use them as a home decoration and a small souvenir to remember the country you had visited.
A little bit of the background
I didn’t find much information. Just that during the second half of 20th century, the production of corn husk dolls had developed and turned into a traditional industry in former Czechoslovakia. As the name implies corn dolls, are made of dried corn husks which are joined together with thread – all made by hand. Some of them even carry small objects like flowers, basket, bread – made with real dough e.t.c. Slovak rural life was a big inspiration when creating the dolls, so it became the main theme. They are sold in souvenirs and folklore shops.
My mum has a lot of corn husk dolls. She created a small miniature village with corn people on a shelf in her living room! These photos are from her collection.
I don’t have space in my apartment to place them – as small as they might be – so I keep them in a drawer. I know, not a good place to keep them. They should be in plain view. Some day I will find them a place! But I have a corn lady bookmark that I use when I am reading a book.
I should admit that I’ m not a big fan of tea! I only drink tea when I’ m sick, when I don’t find anything else to order or when I visit friends and they offer tea. However, if I am going to have tea, I do prefer herbal green tea or fruit flavoured.
We are often going to this cafe – Coffeeshop Company – close to our apartment next to a shopping mall. I think is an austrian cafe branch here in Bratislava.
The other day we went there for a coffee and I saw a leaflet of their new fresh herbal tea. It looked fantastic and it seemed like the kind of tea that I could drink. I was curious so I gave it try. It was savouring!
Of course the same evening I had a sore throat and I got a flu. So I realized that this was the reason why I wanted to have tea at the time. Needless to say that I passed the next days at the Coffeshop drinking tea! Without a doubt, it was the best tea I ‘ve ever had!
When I was walking around Bratislava, I passed through a small pedestrian bridge – before the entrance of the old town at Michael’s gate. On the railings I saw a lot of lockers with some initials and hearts on them. I saw the same thing on a platform near the river Danube. So I took some pictures and as soon as I got home, I searched for information about that habit.
And here’s what I found
A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which couples lock to a bridge, fence or a gate to symbolize their love. Usually the names or initials of the couple are written on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable and everlasting love.
The history behind that tradition comes from a sad tale located in Serbia at least 100 years ago, and it refers to the Bridge of Love (Most Ljubavi) in the town of Vrnjačka Banja.
And the story goes like this:
Nada, a local schoolmistress, fell in love with a Serbian officer named Relja. After they committed to each other, he went to war in Greece (World War I), where he fell in love with a local woman from Corfu. As a consequence, they broke off their engagement. Nada never recovered from that devastating blow and after some time she died due to a heartbreak from her unfortunate love.
So young women from Vrnjačka Banja who wanted to protect their own love, started writing their names together with the names of their loved ones on padlocks and place them to the railings of the bridge where Nada and Relja used to meet. The keys are thrown into the river below, so they cannot be found ever again. And evidently the bridge acquired the name Bridge of Love.
In the rest of Europe, love padlocks started appearing in the early 2000s.
This year I created a bucket list with my goals – which I haven’t done for many years. One of those items written in the list, was to create my own website. So it seems that I ‘ve made the first step and here I am trying to make it work!