Spring planting.......French update!

I've got an update to my spring planting using recycled and quirky old homewares items.  My dad read my recent post and sent me these images he took a few years ago whilst living in France.  He was driving around Caylus, South West France, and came across this cast iron bed festooned with hanging pots outside the owners house.

What a fabulous way to recycle an old bed frame - and doesn't it just look gorgeous!  It just goes to show what you can do with un-loved utilitarian housewares items and a little bit of creativity.

Thanks dad!  My dad has his own very lovely blog full of his paintings from time spent living in France and Ireland that you can see here:

Spring planting

I've been struck down with the lurgy this week - yuk, so I'll cough and splutter my way through this post!  A few weeks ago I made the most of the spring sunshine and spent the weekend in the garden which was just lovely.  I had collected an assortment of second-hand saucepans, kettles and old teapots (you might remember the post I did previously about these here) and I finally made time to turn these into garden planters.
A cluster of second-hand saucepans, kettles and teapots transformed into makeshift garden planters
Drainage holes were drilled through the bottom of the vessels before planting with various types of succulents.  I also bought some marigolds to inject a splash of colour - and I just love seeing the vibrant orange against the various shades of blues and greens from the succulents.
China patterned teacups compliment the stainless steel teapots and kettles
And as usual my trusty little side-kick was on hand to oversee the process from her sheltered spot underneath the bag of potting mix! 
I also included some of my garden pictures in the recent guest blog I wrote about recycled design for the wonderful Design Files.  You can see my garden entry here

Me Old China - new Willow jewellery (finally!)

I've finally had time in between a few other jobs I've had on the go, to finish making some new Willow jewellery and upload onto my Etsy shop

I always underestimate how much time is involved to create the pieces and get everything listed, but there is such an immense sense of satisfaction when they are all finished and ready to go.  I have some other plates cut and ready to be transformed into jewellery (including a gorgeous Clarice Cliff design) but these will have to wait a while to begin their evolution!     
The image above shows an example of a Willow plate once I've decided where the pieces are to be cut, and the individual pieces removed - so you can see the jewellery really is crafted from discarded dinner plates!  You can see more jewellery at my shop here

'My World Series' - vintage children's book collection

I spied this collection of 'My World Series' vintage kids books a few weeks ago - and couldn't resist snapping them up!

The books are part of an Australian educational series consisting of 32 book in total (sadly I don't have the full collection and am missing a few) with titles including; My Friend The Policeman, Nursing, The Post Office, Our Happy Family, Engines at Work and Frogs! 

The books were published from the early to late 1960's - and are a real sign of the times!  Not only are the illustrations all hand drawn which I just love (no photography or CAD images in these books!) but some of the subject matter and descriptions are obviously now quite dated. 

The books are all Geelong Teachers College Library books, printed in Melbourne.
The images above are from 'Fishing' (published in 1965).  They've even included whaling - with images of men hunting the whales!!  Thes images below are from 'Wheat' (published in 1963)

These images are from 'Susan's First Flight' (published in 1965).  Calling an aeroplane 'aircraft' hasn't caught on (read below) but I think the uniforms were certainly better in the 60's!
And lastly here are some images taken from 'Electricity' (published 1963).  I love how they've included pictures of the trams in Melbourne - and you can see the style of cars that were on the street at the time.  Cute!

Guest blogging on The Design Files!

I am very excited to be writing a guest blog post for the fabulous The Design Files all this week! 

My guest blog is a bit of a round-up of some of my favourite old and current designs and products created from second-hand recycled or re-purposed materials (a subject very close to my heart!).  I'm a huge fan of The design Files, so I'm very excited (and a little nervous) to be writing a post for such a well-read blog.  Gulp!

Do head over and check out the post - it will be running all week, with a different theme each day.  Today's theme is focusing on homewares!  Enjoy!!

You can view the guest blog posts here:
Monday - Homewares
Tuesday - Furniture
Wednesday - Textiles & Paper
Thursday - Jewellery
Friday - Garden


I've been having fun in between freelance jobs continuing to sketch and paint some of my favourite second-hand ceramic plates, teacups and saucers.

I like working in a sketchbook as I find the pressure is instantly removed to try and paint perfectly.  Instead there is a sense of freedom, an allowed margin for mistakes and imperfection, and an opportunity to experiment with different styles and mediums.

The more I paint, the more I want to continue painting and explore different styles.  So, I have a continous list in my head of objects to paint - and new ways to capture the subject manner.  So much experimenting......so little time....

Flirting with florals....

I've been busy working on some freelance commissions over the last couple of weeks, involving lots of hand painted floral artwork which I love doing!    I've been painting in gouache which is quite different for me, and the finished artwork has such a different look compared to the fluid watercolour illustrations I normally produce. 

With the artwork I didn't do any pencil sketches or outlines first - but simply painted directly onto the paper and let my paintbrush decide the finished result. 
Once the artwork is finished I'll create designs that are in repeat ready to be translated onto fabrics for cushions and homewares!  These are some of the works in progress.... 
All designs copyright Lucy King Design 2010