Monday, 23 November 2015

Home Decor "Trade Secrets"Final Guest
Meet Mitra Pratt from America
Learn how to alter Found Treasures!
Plus a Bonus Glue Review!!

***Please note this is the personal intellectual property
 of Helen Tilbury & Mitra Pratt.  Sharing is caring 
but please credit me & link back to my blog if you do ***

Hello everyone & HAPPY MONDAY to you all!
Today I am very happy to introduce you to my 3rd & final guest
in my Home Décor "Trade Secrets"  Series - Mitra Pratt!!  

Mitra is an absolute MASTER of the Off-the-Page project!  
She LOVES "treasure-hunting" at second-hand/charity stores - 
stores that are a rarity here in South Africa - so I do love to follow her
 adventures ''antiquing'' & seeing her fabulous makeovers come to life!!

You can view my last guest post HERE {Featuring Yvonne Yam} 
my original post HERE {Featuring Ingrid Gooyer}.
You can see the very first in the series, by me!  HERE.

These "Trade Secrets" posts have been VERY popular so I intend on 
continuing with them in the new year.  Right now I know you are all
busy organising your holiday plans!  Please remember to leave
 us a comment & SHARE YOUR OPINION on what you think the
 topic for the NEXT TRADE SECRETS SERIES should be!!

Now over to the sweet lady herself...

"Hey Bloggers!!  Wishing you a fabulous Monday from Upstate New York!
We will soon be heading into Winter here, which means I get to spend more
time in my craft room!  I am always on the lookout for something to
 alter. In fact, I have a weekly date down at the second hand stores
 most Tuesdays & some weeks I end up there twice! 

I'm always searching for something metal, something slightly grungy & funky,
 or, even better yet, vintage craft supplies! Most anything can be improved
 with spray paint!  Flowers make everything better as does glitter & a little 
splatter!  I can’t bear to spend large amounts of money on impersonal, store
-bought things, so I make a lot of things for my décor & also for gifts!

I'd love you to take a look at my blog HERE & if you're a fellow 
crafter I would love for you to friend me on Facebook HERE."

Let's take a look at Mitra's work below & if you are impressed please
sign up to follow Mitra's blog in her right-hand sidebar of her blog HERE.

Wow!  Will you look at that!!  This mirror has every aspect of gorgeous!!

Mitra's advice to us all is :-

1.  Get to know your adhesives! What works best for metal, plastics, wood & stone. 
Choose from what is available & local to you. While the brand names usually live
 up to their reputation there are often unheard of brands that do a fantastic job
 too!!  Become a regular at your local hardware store & get chatty with the staff 
any of them worth their salt may have their own recommendations for you!

2.  Be patient!  Keep paring up your “finds” until you get things that work well together.
No need to rush into anything - keep your hauls in one place & after a while things
should start looking good together & ideas will start percolating in your mind
when you get everything out & handle each item individually.

3.  Be committed!  If you are fortunate to have second-hand stores or markets 
close to home pay them a weekly visit at least.  Treasure hunting takes time 
& "new" goodies come in at any time so the more you pop in the better...

 4.  Treat yo-self!  When you've really scored a bargain & converted it into a marvellous
Home Décor piece just think of all the money you've saved & buy yourself some
 lovely fresh flowers or a coffee out - yup DIY deserves a reward!!

5.  Spray paint is your new BFF.  There is SO much it can do & with a little practice
you can pull off a good job!  Start collecting cans now but test the brand first!

6.  Be Bold!  Try several spray paints together for a nice spatter...
you can always repaint if you don't like the way it looks first time round.  

7.  Learn from someone in the know!  If you happen to have a partner or
relative who's handy with tools ask them to help you put your piece together
& learn from them.  Often only the most basic tools are required & once
you've done it you have a new skill under your belt & can do it alone!

Mitra has kindly also included a GLUE REVIEW for you all - I have added in my
own thoughts too so it's a collaboration - I am also GLUE CRAZY & have an
entire drawer dedicated to adhesives. If you love crafting then it's important
to learn as much as you can about glues.  There are SO many on the
 market - & for good reason too - because there are so many different
 materials & projects... & yes, there is a glue for them all!! 


HOT GLUE - an absolute MUST - no need for a large glue gun - smaller are 
more handleable - only prerequisite is that it gets REALLY HOT!  Try to
buy the extra long glue sticks - makes changing the stick less frequent
therefore you can work faster & it's less frustrating!

If you don't own a glue gun yet & are buying one head to the hardware
store - they're hotter & cheaper than fancy crafting ones & work better!
Cordless glue guns can't heat up hot enough & chew through
batteries from my personal experience.  

Hot Glue works great for attaching 3D soft/fabric things like flowers & ribbon.


Super Glue - Great for smaller items that are heavy, like metal feet.


Modge Podge - A must have glue for paper & collage.  Soft Gloss Gel is 
the Prima equivalent & a lovely light medium that also doubles as a
 base for adding pigments, glitters, etc so it's an all rounder!


Epoxy Glue - those are the stinky ones suitable for really heavy duty work!


Glitter glue - Mitra loves this to use as grouting to fill gaps & add sparkle!
I have a great SPRAY glitter glue that adds a little bit of magic to anything!!


Staples - staples are fantastic!  A stapler should be one of the most used tools
in your arsenal.  Long handled staplers are the best but if you can't afford
 onejust your regular stapler will take you a long way!  Staples can be
 hidden really easily under layers & they are flat & residue free.  

Staples can also add a really cool, grungy 'industrial' look to your projects 
so you don't always need to hide them!  Remember you can recolour
 them to any colour you want by colouring over the entire set of
 staples with your permanent markers once stabilised in your
stapler tracks.  That's a tip I learnt a while back :)


So what do you think of Mitra's pearls of wisdom?!?  
Pretty thought-provoking yes??

Thanks so much Mitra for joining me as my guest!  Remember to pay Mitra 
a visit on her own blog HERE & show her some lasting support by 
signing up to follow her on Google Friend Connect HERE.  

If you enjoy reading my articles I would really appreciate you checking that 
YOU are a follower via Google Friend Connect in my top right side bar 
HERE & signing up if you are not - I'd love to reach 1 000 
Google Friend Connect ''official" followers!!

You can find my Facebook Artist Page HERE & my  Instagram HERE.  
I LOVE social media & share a lot in both places :-p


Janette said...

What an interesting and very informative post, you make some wonderful creations, thanks so much for sharing..x

Lizzyc said...

I have been popping into Mitras blog for a long time and always come away inspired by her originality and humour and magnificent creating skills! Thanks for sharing Mitra!

Margaret Mifsud said...

Fabulous post Helen!! I am always inspired when visiting your blog and with your lovely guest I just got a double dose!! Thank you both so much for sharing your talent and experience .. very informative!! xx

Lisa said...

I am a big fan of Mitra's work... I found her a couple months ago and already have learned so much... I have to admit though... I do need a spray painting stump... sigh... I'll have to settle for my box... great highlight and thanks for the glue tips!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Mitra is pretty amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lizzy Hill said...

LOOOVE Mitra's creativity and fabulous funky projects....LOVED the glue review....hadn't thought about colouring the staples like that...THANKYOU....great run down of ideas!!!

Kathy Bradley said...

I have loved these articles and so glad to hear you have plans for something similar in the new year. Mitra's designs are all totally lovely with touches of whimsy! I will be following her to learn more. And, the glue information was helpful as well. Thank you so much, Helen!!

Sandi Clarkson said...

Such great creations! Love the inspiration!