Sunday, 27 April 2014

Mixed Media

This weekend has mainly been about making things with Hama beads, banging nails in the wall and moving pictures around. Lots of time has been spent hanging small groups of small things on the walls, in various different parts of the house. Faffing about. Pottering.

I still find those Hama beads endlessly appealing and inspiring; the grid, the counting - it's like cross stitch. I had fun first drawing a Dala horse onto a grid on paper, then recreating my image with beads. The kids love making things with them, and our "pictures" are quick to make and so bendy, wipe-able and generally indestructible as to make them almost useful. We've got quite a lot of "mats" now.

Angus claimed the Dala horse and I hung it on the wall in their bedroom, in between Darth Vadar and Angus's drawing of a diplodocus.

It's not often I am drawn to a Cath Kidston print these days, but I always liked her flamboyant rose motifs and I especially like them in this pixelated form. It makes me want to make a giant patchwork quilt made up of single-colour squares, one huge version of a kitsch rose.

This was an enjoyable little project and they do make handy mats to go under wet vases of flowers. (The other mat depicts a floral cross stitch motif from Alicia Paulson's book Embroidery Companion.)

The collection of pictures in the dining room has been bugging me. I like them all separately but I think they are not right at the moment. Not wrong, but just not quite right. 

Too much white and paleness on the left hand side, maybe. Something needs to go above the lamp, and I'd like to continue this display over the whole wall, maybe even above the door to the kitchen, just to the right of the lamp, but the dining room is a darker part of the house and I don't know if it might all start to look a bit cluttered. 

But there is one gorgeous new addition to my picture wall, and that is this hoop-framed embroidery:

Isn't it sweet? I was lucky enough to win it in a blog giveaway held by Helene of Petite Laine. It arrived over Easter and what a parcel of goodies it was; bunting, stationary, postcards, notepads - so many lovely things.

I liked the look of the fabrics in the bunting straightaway but when I opened it up I realised it said "hello"...

So sweet. Thank you, Helene, I love it, and you are very talented and generous.

Right, I am off to put the hammer away. It's time to step away from the picture walls and leave them be for a while.

Wishing you all a lovely week. 


  1. Hama beads are such fun, aren't they... At all ages :-) !

  2. Love all your arrangements and the beads of course! x

  3. looks like you have had a lovely weekend pottering about. Love all the wall hangings.

  4. Your home is so pretty. I love the hama beads, you're really good at designing pictures for them! I'm always playing around with wall arrangements too. I find new things to add all the time and then I have to reconfigure. It's an ongoing process for me.

  5. We definitely need to get things hung on our walls (although we need to decorate them first...). I love your collection of frames together but I wonder if it's the rectangular and round which isn't working? I don't know but try swapping the two bottom round ones for something square or rectangular and see :-)

    I still need to get onto Hama beads, the Cath Kidston print works really well with these. It would probably work well with cross stitch too!

    My favourite thing of all has to be Angus' diplodocus drawing, it's so cute!

  6. I think your home is beautiful and I love hamma beads too.

  7. Lovely arrangements Gillian!! Last week I bought Alicia Poulson's embroidery book and I think it is
    lovely. I can't wait to have a bit more time to try some of the projects. I love the pillow cases...
    It's a great idea to use embroidery patterns with Hama beads. My girls love the beads and me too.
    Have a nice evening! Pati x

  8. I like the picture arrangement as it is but if you are not happy with it, why not trying to swap the alphabet picture with the sunshine one, and move the round picture below the sunshine over the lampshade. So many possibilities! I have two walls like these, with an eclectic mix of pictures. Every now and then I "need" to change the arrangement. Angus's diplodocus is just super and I love the way you use Hama beads. Have a lovely week Gillian.

  9. The picture arrangement looks great. Maybe as Christina says it's just a case of swapping a couple of things around? I'd love something like this here. We have very strange walls that are desperately hard in places yet 'crumbly' in makes for interesting picture and curtain pole hanging! I love seeing little snippets of your home, have a lovely week.

  10. You're such a talented homemaker Gillian, your home has such a lovely feel to it. Your pictures are looking wonderful together. I'm working my way (very slowly) through that Winterwoods sampler as well. Haven't done any for a while, but seeing it looking so nice on your wall is inspiring me. I really like what you've been doing with Hama beads. We like them here too. I hope you have a good week, CJ xx

  11. Lovely post Gillian, with lots of gorgeous photos. Ooh, what pretty gifts in that giveaway. Lucky girl! Have a great week and take care.

  12. My daughter and I have been using the beads to moshi monsters. I know my partner would love the darth vader design. Your pictures always look so fab all hanging together. You've got a really good eye xx

  13. It's a lovely bunting! I've been wanting to try those Hama bears for a while now. You've just given me some ideas :)

    Sophie xo

  14. I love the way that you have worked out your Hama bead designs so carefully! They look really great. Glad that you had a good weekend. xx

  15. Another lovely post Gillian, filled with so many goodies. I love how you and the children are making so much with the beads, and very well done too, and all your sweet ornaments and hanging 'things', adding to the beauty of your elegant home. I love your clean, clear pics and think your gifts from Helene are super as well as most generous! Have a happy week Gillian, love, Joy xo

  16. Hi Gillian :)
    Lovely pictures .
    You sure know how to keep a decorate a house .
    I love the litlle corners with all the frames :)
    Love the fact that you always have fresh flowers somewhere in your cosy and beautifull home :) :)
    The post about crochet is out if you want to have a look ;)
    Thank you for helping me on this
    Have a great Monday

  17. Isn't the bunting lovely? I love the Hama beads. I've never tried them, do I need to wait for youngsters to be around? Or shall I just not tell anyone and get some just for myself?

  18. What a lovely prize. Lucky Girl!
    Jacqui x

  19. Hello Gillian,

    Arranging pictures on the wall can be a very time consuming activity. It is difficult to get it just right and, somehow, the eye tells one when an arrangement is satisfactory or not. We agree that the balance has not yet been found for your mixed arrangement.

    We find that when we are gathering a number of smaller items together it helps to arrange them on the floor first. Then, moving them around to find a final solution with which one is happy is easier. Perhaps the problem with the current arrangement is that there is no fixed point for the eye to rest. It all appears rather random. Lining up the bottoms of the frames or the tops and then filling in the gaps might produce a more harmonious grouping.

    Whatever, you have some lovely things to display and how much nicer it is to decorate the walls with them rather than hiding them away in the attic!

  20. I loved looking at these photos and at the styling in your home - I wish I had such a good eye! And your bunting is really lovely - what a nice gift to receive in the post.
    Arranging pictures/objects is quite tricky, and I agree that it is perhaps not quite right, is it because there are several circular lighter objects to the left and heavier square/rectangular ones to the right? But I am certainly no expert - these are just thoughts, I'm sure you will come up with a display that looks great.
    Caz xx

  21. A lovely post. I would love to have a collection of different art pieces together on a wall, but sadly we seem to be lacking any free wall space. It looks so lovely what you gave done. I love your hama bead art too. It looks such fun. I used that Cath rose to make a pixelated crochet blanket last year. It ended up being HUGE, just made up of small crocheted squares. It was so much fun to make though, i'm sure you'd love making a quilted version of it. It's as fun as an actual cross stitch seeing the image all come together.

    Have a wonderful week

    Vanessa x

  22. I think you can quite definitely say that your home is where your heart is - its lovely. I think you are a real homemaker like me.
    Such a lovely package to receive - how gorgeous is that bunting ?
    Have a good week,
    Kate x

  23. Hello Sunshine :-) I love seeing corners of your gorgeous home. I once had a wall collage of framed photographs on the wall - it took FOREVER to get 'just right', and it still bothered me afterwards so needless to say I haven't attempted it again....yours looks great, you could even just move the two little hoops on the bottom left to above the lamp in the meantime to balance things out - kinda like the arrangements you have for Angus's wall rather than totally square........that giveaway is just gorgeous!!! x

  24. Hello that certainly looks like a happy house of fun things. What a giveaway! that is brilliant. Jo x

  25. I love your picture clusters so much more effective than just being dotted about - I agree with Lance and Jane arranging them on the floor first gives you a clearer picture of what they will look like once on the wall.

  26. Every photo is just lovely, love the art work and all your displays...

  27. Wow, you guys are serious about those beads - drawing a grid beforehand!? The pretty yellow card looks even prettier in the white frame - I'm all about framing pretty things that aren't technically "art" but that look just as beautiful or even more so than an expensive piece of art. The bunting is very sweet. What a great Spring gift.

  28. The charming little print with the cups/ that by Angie Lewin? It looks like her style.

    1. Hello - it's by Jeremy Speck and it's called Four Mugs

      Gillian x

  29. Hi Gillian, there's nothing like a good faff and a potter - sometimes at weekends it's the only thing to be done. You've created some lovely images with your Hama beads and your picture group displays on the walls look great. Have a good week.
    Jane x

  30. Gorgeous photos - am loving your home xxx Fab win too xxx

  31. Thank you so much Gillian for your very kind words and beautiful photos and for giving pride of place to my little things in your beautifully decorated home, I am very touched and honoured!
    I love your home, it always looks so cosy and creative and I like that your displays change with your mood or with the seasons.. Very inspiring!
    And I love those Hama beads too.. Never had any at home because I never thought of buying them for my boys.. Is it wrong to buy them for myself!?
    Anyway I'm so glad you liked my little package! Have a lovely week. Xx

  32. Lovely post. I really like all your Hama bead art! It looks great, I like the dala horse especially. Beautiful giveaway gifts too.
    Marianne x

  33. Lots of gorgeous corners of your lovely home Gillian ... the dala horse is great ... and I love gallery walls ... so many pretty little works of art ... Bee xx

  34. this whole post makes me smile:) I used to love making those beaded things as a child but i never realized they could be actually pretty and even useful (as a coaster?) such a great tip!

    I'd love it if you could also check out my blog! xx

  35. Oh I do love a good faff, and your faff was wonderful, love your little groups! I might just do a little faffing later after I've read a few blogs! :) x

  36. The fabric bunting is very pretty as is the embroidery. I really like the bead pictures, especially the pixelated rose. Looks like you had much fun with the hammer!

  37. The bunting is sweet, very lovely. Maybe you could paint one of the frames in a colour?...random is difficult I think. I'm not sure if I really like the frames I have put together either! I think it needs to carry on a bit more to the right! maybe another hoop or a dangly something, have fun, Heather x

  38. I love your mantel display! Fresh flowers are the best! I also love the pretty bunting. The gallery wall in your dining room is fabulous! And I really like the idea of continuing it over the whole wall, and above the kitchen door. Your dining room is such a nice space, and the bookcases give it such a cosy feel.

  39. Angus's diplodocus drawing is just too lovely! Your prize is great. Love that bunting. x


Hello there! Thank you for leaving a comment. I read them all and I always try to answer questions, although sometimes it takes me a while.