Tag : baby

The Crafty Lass does… COLOUR! The ‘ultimate’ handpainted playroom!

40 paint tester pots

63 triangles

5 rolls of Frog Tape

3 months of painting(!!!)

100000s of brushstrokes

1 determined Crafty Lass

1 happy boy…

 

When we moved into this new home, one of the (many) selling points, was a little room just off the hallway next to the kitchen – destined to be a playroom.  It was the first room we started to decorate – and at one point I thought it might be the last too…

We wanted it to be fun, vibrant, a real ‘playtime’ room. Basically somewhere he could enjoy, make a mess – and realistically also, somewhere all the toys could be shoved at the end of the day!!

Of course, there were many Pinterest ideas – I looked into a ‘zoo’ theme, and had visions of animals all over the walls. And dinosaurs with a similar concept – but nothing quite seemed to grab my full inspiration. Until I saw THIS image – even with the title ‘How to Create the Ultimate Playroom’ – perfect! – designed by Minneapolis interior designer Lucy Interior Design. When closer inspected – it turns out it was wallpaper… but I thought perhaps I could paint it?? God knows why… I thought it would be FUN! And it was – well the first few triangles were anyway…

With a little (let’s be realistic, alot) of help from The Husband working out angles, measurements, borrowing his spirit level/metal ruler/tape measure – we soon worked out how I would get it all to fit on the wall space. Now it was up to me to draw it all out and inspired by my new colourful go to Pinterest inspiration – and also our ‘Baby Sensory‘ classes that we attend every week – it was off to B&Q for a many a tester pot picking, and sketching out how it would work!

I LOVE colour – bright, unabashed colourful prints were my go to in my Printed Textile Design degree, and more importantly for this project – babies also love colour and pattern! We just knew it was the right choice.

Once the triangles had been drawn on to the wall, which actually took quite some time! It was ‘simply’ (ha!) a case of taping up each one, painting, allowing to dry, re-coat (each triangle took 3-4 coats!), remove tape, move to the next triangle/repeat… Hence, why this process has taken 3 months! Well, that and juggling life and many other craft projects/decorating projects/setting up the new craft workshops space… 

Now that it is done, and not wanting to blow my own trumpet – I cannot stop staring at it! I of course, can see areas that aren’t just quite 100% perfect – but in reality, who else is going to notice?? I had to draw a line (haha) under it somewhere – so it is finally, and colourfully, DONE. End of story! No more ‘I managed to paint 9 triangles today!’ conversations – now just to enjoy it. I think you can tell – of course I did this for our little one – but yes, I am also in there alot playing with him every day, and it makes MY spirits lift too!

I feel this is a style that will grow with him – it will suit him at all ages. It has taken longer than expected, there were times when I wish I hadn’t started – but equally it was a great challenge! And, would I do it again? Absolutely! Will he thank me for the countless hours working out angles, painting, pondering which colour should go where? Probably not – but at least he has somewhere he knows he can have FUN!

 

Do you have a playroom? Or somewhere you’ve painted a wall mural? I would love to see!

Categories: General Craft, House & Home, The Crafty Lass does...

The Crafty Lass does… A celebration of the discarded babygro!

Babies grow REALLY fast. Everyone tells you – “enjoy it, they won’t be like that for long…”

I heard what people were saying when I first heard this… but I am not sure I really took on board just HOW super mind bogglingly fast time actually disappears… and that some days I think our little one grows before our very eyes. One minute he is wearing that cute little star print vest I love, the next – well, not. I once even thought I had shrunk everything in a wash load – but no no, he really had grown that quickly! Almost overnight…

When he was born, and I had taken approximately 200 first outfits to the hospital in various sizes from very small to very very large ‘just in case’ (we looked pretty much like we were moving house when arriving at the maternity ward, or perhaps maybe a long holiday with 3 cases!!) … he STILL didn’t fit in to any of them. Given the size of my hippopotamus sized bump I was certainly surprised…! Anyway, one of the first jobs for new Daddy was to go out and buy more clothes – turns out we needed very very very small!

Staring at this little bundle of cuteness, who we were suddenly in charge of – and now enclosed in a tiny little babygro on Day 1 – I couldn’t imagine him fitting in to one of the actual ‘going home outfits’ that I’d meticulously and totally unnecessarily planned – let alone all the other what seemed almost ridiculously large items for future months we had at home.

Now, at only (only!) 9 months – he is out of all those wonderful first items – and marching into 9-12 months plus and onwards. So, what to do with all those leftover clothes??

 

  1. Shove them in the loft (just in case they are needed for later…??)
  2. Or, give on as hand me downs? – especially as most of them had been worn for what felt like all of just 5 minutes and in great condition!
  3. Give some to charity?
  4. Or – how about doing all the above but also craftily repurposing some of them?

 

Some of those clothes have memories engrained in them. Little laughter and magical moments woven into the fibre of their cloth. Forever to be captured on camera and shared into the Instagram #babyspam. The sleep suit on his first car journey home, on his first Christmas day, when he first smiled, and rolled over. The first time in a jumperoo, and at a baby sensory class. The special outfit at his first wedding – and the first time he met his grandparents. The list goes on… all those milestones that suddenly happen, you grab your camera and BAM – that’s what he was wearing when ‘that’ happened…

I can’t look at some of those beautiful little items without smiling, crying, remembering and rejoicing! If they are going to be made into something they need to be CUT UP… So they need to made into something that will be used, loved, cherished.

On this note, we are now starting to plan a 1st birthday party, which I cannot quite believe – but what would a party be without decorations? And in particular, BUNTING.

And so… I have spent this evening, going through the no longer used, but still very much loved, clothes – the cute little fabrics – selecting, remembering, and cutting triangles. The triangles won’t match, there will be colours, stripes, prints and patterns galore. It will be fun! And memorable. Personalised – a year in the life of our little man. I’m not going to lie, a few tears have been shed tonight – happy tears – but I repeat – how can he be growing so fast??! 

This craft might take some time, there are plenty of triangles to be cut and sewn, and they won’t be perfect, this bunting will have poppers and seams galore… but what a project!! So enjoyable to plan and make… and so exciting to see the outcome.

I look forward to it being hung, resplendent at his first birthday party!

And if this clever (even if I do say myself) crafty idea – could get any better… my plan is to now do this as time goes on. I will add to it, every year, whenever a new celebration that of course requires bunting is needed – with the next batch of discarded wears so that by the time he is 18 it could no doubt be hung to the moon and back!

I will of course, as always, take photos when it is done and share on the socialstratosphere – here, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Right, I’m off to see what else he can sadly no longer wear, do some more remembering, and to cut triangles…

There are more memories to be made tomorrow, who knows what the day will bring. I hope he is wearing a nice printed outfit!! 

Enjoy. x

Categories: Birthday, Business, Crafty Kids, General Craft, House & Home, The Crafty Lass does..., Workshops

The Crafty Lass does… Too much!

I really wish there were two of me. Or, if we are going for ideals – perhaps even three or four…

Right now, there is simply just so, so, (SO) much whizzing round my mind. Multiple, multiple tabs open that often sends my brain in to overdrive. I actually started to write this blog post at precisely 1.45 am (!) – instead of divulging in gentle slumber and taking advantage of the fact my little one was (finally) snoring contentedly, I decided then would be an opportune time to start writing a blog post and plan workshop ideas…

So many crafts, so little time. I have to say though, I’m not complaining – I do actually much prefer having a lot on. I am not someone who thrives on boredom – I need projects, plans and a purpose to get going! I like deadlines, pressure and things to be doing.  Right, here goes – to give you just a taste of what is going on inside my (too full) mind… 

So obviously my primary role is to be a mother, and a wife, and (try and) find time for a social life… We have just moved house, so there are rooms to be decorated, boxes still to be unpacked, chores to be done, dogs to be walked (although The Husband is a star for this one!), Freddie’s weaning ideas, our dinner to be cooked, eaten… I’ve started a new part time role, working from home – it’s great and of course helps to keep the bills paid before The Crafty Lass takes over the world… I have crochet to be done, sewing projects on the go, product ideas being designed (!), commissions to be made, various new crafts I would like to try and taste. 

Obviously within all of that – the main thing is getting the new ‘craft space’ up and running and those (very exciting) workshops planned. I need to practice, cost, time, prepare. I need to think about how everything will be laid out, and when this will all happen… And sometimes I might relax and sleep…

 

I recently have a new sewing machine, which doesn’t help with the brain activity – as that in itself is like a dream come true. My old one served me well – it had gone through college, uni, various house projects over the years. I went to get it serviced – and the answer was a big fat crafty NO – it was time to give up the ghost, and send it into haberdashery heaven. I was sad, but being realistic and honest – wahey! – A NEW MACHINE. Without sounding old and past it – wow, hasn’t technology changed?? I can now have the machine thread the needle for me?? And a ‘top-loading bobbin’ – basically, no more faffing around with it… it sews neatly, consistently, basically the best thing I could have done was to finally invest in a new one.

Except – I am now obsessed! So many lovely fabrics to turn into projects – and fun accessories for our boy! Dribble bibs being the starting point… love that a simple splash of fun fabric can update even the most basic of babygros! I wanted to buy him lots of different designed bibs – and then I had a lightbulb moment – why not MAKE them. I am The Crafty Lass afterall…! Yes, they will get messy – but he can look cool and I can have fun with it too!!? 

To help with my (ever growing) list of things to do, ideas to be realised and dreams to be achieved, my mum is currently here for a few days. (And, yes, it is simply amazing having her here!) In reality – what I could have done this afternoon, is have a (very well deserved) nap?

But no – I made a ‘tag blanket’ for workshop practice, and for little one…

Again, a simple little sewing project – but it has given much joy today… for both me, and Freddie! Fun nautical inspired prints from ‘The Craft Cotton Company’, different coloured and textured ribbons – great fun! 🙂  Keep your eyes peeled for a craft workshop on how to make them for yourself, coming soon… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Business, Crafty Kids, General Craft, The Crafty Lass does...

The Crafty Lass does… MUSH!

I love my little one – more than I can describe. You only need to look at my Instagram feed for #babyspam!

However… sometimes – there can be very hard days that don’t always make the Instagram feed and filters! 90% of days are brilliant, but there is the other 10% that don’t quite cut the rose-tinted-glasses mustard…

Watching him heart warmingly giggle as Mummy saying ‘Boo!’ over and over (and over!) again as it is apparently the new best-thing-ever is great… But singing the same song over and over (and OVER!!) just to stop him fighting sleep only for the door to knock, and have to start again – is certainly not!

I am very fortunate to have a very loving, supportive Husband, family and some fantastic friends – but with young kids I think it’s pretty true that you can never have too many local friends – who can drag you out of your comfortable home – get out, get talking, get cake! – and who also know that whilst being a mum is amazing, it’s also bloody hard work, with some really long days and sometimes not enough adult company… Well not any more!

So…Calling all mummies!

The Crafty Lass is helping to promote a new app called MUSH – basically a local mum-friend finder (think Tinder, but for playdates!!)

It’s completely free and connects mums with other local, like-minded mums who have kids the same age for friendship, play-dates, group meet-ups, maybe the odd week-day pub lunch… There’s also a local ‘hub’ for a place to find/set-up events and some (very!) amusing blog posts!

The MUSH mission is to make the lives of mums more sociable and fun by enabling meet-ups with other mums for friendship, fun, solidarity in the face of toddler tantrums and the 3am club, and possibly even a glass of wine!

#mushmums #nomumalone

Download now! 😀 

MUSH

Categories: Business, Crafty Kids, The Crafty Lass does...

The Crafty Lass does… Motherhood!

Firstly, thank you for all your love and well wishes, our beautiful bubba arrived over three weeks ago now, and we are doing remarkably well. But… THREE WEEKS??!
It already feels that our new little boss has been here forever. But it also feels like HOW have we ALREADY got to 3 weeks since he was welcomed in to the world? How is he nearly one month old?
Everyone tells you it goes fast, well ain’t that the truth… It’s gone, in the blink of an eye. Crazy times, before we know it he will be treating the house as a hotel and asking to borrow the car!

I am trying to just take it all in, the days and nights merging into one constant stream of feeding, sleeping, nappy changing, repeating… He is changing already too, each day bringing something new – his eyelashes being that little bit longer, his eyes that little bit brighter and open longer. It is an amazing and fascinating journey. Mummy meltdown moment today as he suddenly no longer fits into his first babygros! Eek!

I recently asked the question when does the ‘staring and crying because I can’t believe he is here and so amazing stage’ stop? I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t think it does! Yes, there is no doubt an element of hormone induced rose tinted glasses in this – but, in a few weeks we will see those ‘it’s just wind’ grimaces merge in to a real smile, we’ve got crawling, walking, talking… Milestones that will bring such joy and excitement. Lots to learn and discover together. There are the other important milestones too – like being able to sleep longer than four hours in a row, to be able to have a conversation with The Husband that doesn’t revolve around shades of poo colour or to be able to pee/shower sans baby again! Time will inevitably bring all of this and more, but for now I wouldn’t rush this for the world. A delicate balancing act of wanting him to grow up – big, strong, and experience life – in contrast for him to stay this warm, tiny, beautiful bundle of joy that is most content snuggled into mummy’s arms.

In terms of business and The Crafty Lass, my brain hasn’t COMPLETELY switched off. I’m not going to lie, watching back to back episodes of ‘First Dates’ with a little bundle of cuteness for company is pretty lovely – but there are lots of ideas for the future! The 3am Pinterest sessions aren’t for nothing! But, right now I am certainly enjoying mastering some new craft skills in the job role of ‘Mummy’. My new boss is a bit hardcore – very demanding. He expects me to be wide awake at all hours and be completely intuitive and understand his needs without him saying anything (weirdly, as a new mummy, you just do, don’t you – how does that sixth sense kick in?!) Anyway, I am becoming a dab hand at the art and craft of changing the nappy of a flailing screaming octopus at two in the morning. I am enjoying the creative aspect of choosing just which cute little outfit can we put him in to today and have certainly upped the multi tasking stakes – I am now able to feed him, eat my own breakfast, watch TV AND apply my makeup AT THE SAME TIME. Certainly personal skills to add to the CV! My cuppa tea now goes cold, the bags under my eyes are getting bigger, our washing machine is wondering what on earth has happened with its new daily usage routine and I’m having to learn to eat one handed, but I just wouldn’t change it for the world.

In terms of projects made throughout pregnancy, the clouds and stars mobile now proudly hanging in the nursery, does prove to be a source of fascination for bubba at changing time. The yet to be used crochet elephants are here ready and waiting for their little buddy-to-be, to be chewed, sorry – played with. The cloud Pom Pom rug, is sadly yet to be finished BUT it will get done…
I will try and update this blog as often as I can with REAL craft updates and new projects, but in the meantime you may just be treated to a few personal indulgences of new mum and baby updates, as for now, in reality that is all I am currently thinking, dreaming, focusing on. Our own little new mum and baby bubble, where he is simply the best thing I have ever made.

Categories: Business, Crafty Kids, The Crafty Bump

The Crafty Lass does… The Nursery!

So, the cot is built. The car seat has been bought (and fully test run in the car) and finally – the nursery is done! The jobs are being crossed off the list (or highlighted as complete on my spreadsheet – such a geek!)

This. Just. Got. Real.

I will be 37 weeks pregnant on Sunday – I cannot believe where time has gone! Part of me feels like I have been pregnant forever – another part of me feels like it was only 2 minutes ago I was able to see that line on the test and finally experience that sensation of, oh WOW – we are going to be parents…! Either way – 37 weeks and onwards is considered ‘term’, and I feel like I am now playing the waiting game… Every little twinge, every niggle – ‘is this it?’ ‘is this what it is like?’ (pretty sure I will know when it is!!!) I am ready… Well, I think I am ready. I am not sure you can ever be 100% prepared – but I am excited to know we will meet our little boy within the next 5 weeks (they don’t really let you go beyond 42 weeks)… Eeeeeek!

Being The Crafty Lass that I am, it was of course important to me to have a creative and crafty nursery. Pretty sure that our little one won’t know/care til a little bit older – but a happy mummy = happy baby, right?

I have had a Pinterest (secret!) board for the bubba for years now, way before a kiddiwink was even on the agenda – slowly adding to it whenever I saw something inspirational or creative for a new baby or their room, or any useful suggestions. So much so, with so much inspiration, when it came round to actually deciding on a ‘theme’ – it was a little harder than I thought. So many pinned and exciting ideas, only one room!

It really helped knowing we are having a little boy. I don’t want to specifically ‘gender stereotype’ but equally it steered us in a direction that felt more suited to our future son to be… Adventure!

However, I also think our theme could be tailored to a little girls room… as I could be quite a tom boy growing up when I wanted to be! And, once the main painting had been done, and various ‘boy’ items bought – I also convinced myself it could still be a girls room, should the unexpected happen…

Early on, no matter how many times I have heard it is a boy from the sonographers when in an ultrasound scan, there was always the – but, ‘what if you are wrong!!’ Pretty sure (again gender stereotyping…) I would have added in some bright pinks – but I would also have added in the phrase – somewhere hand painted on to the wall – “Leave her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains”. Contingency plans right there…

We did however – have a recent very late scan, and there is no doubting really – that he is a lovely little boy – which allayed any ‘what ifs’!

 

The Theme – Adventure

So, an ‘adventure’ theme… Colours started out with mainly greys, with the additions of bright greens, yellow, turquoise, orange. There is an overall colour scheme that focuses around these, but – it is quite relaxed really – nothing HAS to match – just lots of fun and brightness!

Mainly, it focuses around a hand painted mountains scene wall mural! There are clouds – a handmade painted mobile, a ‘grass’ (basically a green and fluffy!) IKEA rug. Some beautiful BABY ‘bunting’ handmade by our lovely friend, Verena. Thank you! An upcycled bit of furniture, some homemade ‘tags’ for the baby clothes, a hand painted piece of artwork… and LOTS of other ‘necessary’ baby paraphernalia you collect along the way! There is a ‘globe’ for him to study when he is older and dream of the far away places he may visit. The Husband had a globe when he was little, that he also used to look at – and now, he is a ‘dab-hand’ at geography – you definitely want him in your pub quiz team for the geography round!

It isn’t the largest room, but really I suppose it doesn’t need to be at this stage. (It used to be the main The Crafty Lass office!!!) I really wanted the room to feel like a view point – a ‘scene’, somewhere both calming and inspiring – yet vibrant and exciting – and hopefully the colours, the eclectic mix of both bright and graphic, crafty and handmade, upcycled and new brings this all together.

The Nursery! The Nursery! The Nursery - Squirrel! The Nursery - Mountains, The Cot! The Nursery - The Cot!
The Nursery - The BookshelvesThe Nursery - The BookshelvesThe Nursery - Mountains!The Mountains

Believe it or not, the mountains – I freehand painted straight on to the walls, I didn’t have a set ‘plan’! I had done a bit of ‘Pinteresting’ to gather some inspiration of other people’s mountain-esque nursery’s – but also looking at mountain and hills photography. I then personalised by just ‘freestyling’ how I thought it should be… Even to the point that the green hills were a later addition! And all the better for it I think – it would have been ‘too grey’ otherwise, if that’s such a thing! Grey appears to be my favourite colour – but perhaps a bit wrong to have many (say near to fifty) shades of grey (!) in a nursery… Most of the paint is ‘matt’, with the lighter grey a ‘silk’ finish to add depth and a bit of a sheen in the background. The largest mountain, we do now actually refer to as ‘Everest’ and I think it was important to try and get the right ‘balance’ of height, depth and perspective to the mountains and foreground hills.

 

The Mobile

I was determined to make my own mobile. There are so many beautiful ones out there, but I just wanted to personalise it, and work out how to hang it – and now to see it gently twisting and floating in the breeze above the cot, it makes me happy! (Picture the scene on ‘The Great British Bake Off’ where the camera shot pans out to see the contestant longingly staring at their creation… I think in other words (and don’t always say this word!) I am proud of it… it became a labour of love! Hand painting each piece  – the clouds in just normal household emulsion in whites and greys, and I have added some glitter on top of some of them – clouds with a silver lining – to reflect in the light and glimmer in the glow of the newly bought ‘nightlight’ and the sunshine in the day. The yellow hoops, and the turquoise hot air balloons are basic acrylic that you can pick up from any art store. The hot air balloons, I have added on some buttons – reminiscent and a nod towards the film ‘UP‘. (If you haven’t seen it, you absolutely must!) Our wedding theme had little touches of this film, and it felt nice to try and incorporate this into the nursery somehow too.

The base MDF shapes started life as part Becky Seddon from The Craft Channel’s ‘Amongst The Clouds’ MDF shapes, part ’embroidery hoop’ for the top main support – and then the addition of some other larger clouds that were simply picked up from eBay.

Each piece is delicately tied on to the hoops using threads from my grandmother’s sewing basket – which is just so lovely to feel she is a part of this too – and using strong ‘girl guide learnt’ secure knots to try and make sure nothing can fall off!

Everything is then held together with some ribbons in grey and turquoise and supported by a mobile cot arm from Sigikid – a little birdie aloft watching over everything!

The Cloud Mobile Close UpThe Cloud Mobile

The Cloud Mobile with Hot Air Balloons

The Organisation…

I know for an absolute FACT this organisation won’t last. No matter how hard I try! Each pull out fabric box – has a label – one for blankets and bedding, one for toys, and one for all the different sized baby clothes we have either bought or been very lucky to have been given already. Ask me in 3 months when I am just shoving them into wherever they will fit! But for now, a tidy room, a tidy mind…

The MDF tags I again just picked up on eBay – and have started out by painted them in blackboard chalkpaint. I have then personalised each one with some wipeable chalk pens – so in the future, I can adjust accordingly to whatever will now be stored in the boxes (or ideally like to be!)

The TagsThe Tags

The TagsAdventure Is Out There!

This is the one phrase that I really do associate with the film ‘UP‘ and I wanted to try and paint a picture, or a quote that would sum this up.

The base for this – actually came out of our loft! The previous tenants had left an old bit of wardrobe up there, and instead of just tipping it like we planned – I set about turning it into a new piece of art:

The same as the organisation tags, I have started out with a base of chalkboard black paint, and then painted the quote with Uniball chalk paint marker pens.

The font and layout inspiration came from Momo Digital on Etsy – I cannot claim that as my own – but I did freehand draw this on to the board, and added my own personal touches of the arrows, flowers, leaves and stars.

Without wanting to sound too disney-fied – I hope it will inspire our little boy to know what a wonderful place the world can be, that he needs to go out there and grab adventure with both hands!
Adventure Is Out There! Adventure Is Out There! Adventure Is Out There!

 

All in all, I am happy with the finished result. Obviously, I would like to point out I did generally consult The Husband on all colours/purchases/ideas… but sometimes, I just got on with it… However – when the mountains were complete, after two days of full painting – the best reaction I have had to date was himself – coming home from work, and excitedly but sadly saying “But, I want it to be MY room!” 🙂

It may not be to everyone’s taste – it is quite bold! Some of the ideas I pinned/researched were far more delicate – with silvers, whites and creams. Or lovely ranges of traditional baby blues. Who knows, I may tire of this in a while – but for now, I do really love it. It makes my heart sing, and it is my calming place that I sometimes – in the last few weeks, I just go in to and ‘sit’. Contemplating, dreaming, planning – just as I hope our little boy will do too.

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Crafty Kids, General Craft, House & Home, The Crafty Bump, The Crafty Lass does...

A new focus, a new direction, a new chapter. A new inspiration!

So what exactly is ‘inspiration‘? And, what is YOUR inspiration?

Big, open questions – and where I suspect there are many, MANY different answers.

Some people are inspired by nature, or photography, or music, or colour, poetry, their family, their own personal desires and wishes etc. The list goes on.

The dictionary defines inspiration as:

  1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
  2. a sudden brilliant or timely idea.

For me, it does come along in many different forms, at many different times – and sometimes, not at all. Sometimes it is for things and ideas you would expect yourself to focus on, and somedays not.

I often use Pinterest to start my inspiration for whatever the current project or theme is. Other times I listen to calming chillout music, or will be already crafting up a project – and new ideas will start popping into my head – one, after the other – like a domino effect. Almost as if inspiration breeds inspiration. Other times it will be the middle of the night – a multi-tabbed brain frantically writing down ideas at 4am and my pen can’t keep up with my the words and thoughts and designs tumbling out of my brain.

However – there are days where I totally lack inspiration AND its sister key word – motivation. Sometimes, I will have just ‘lost my mojo’. But, who doesn’t? And, I am learning that that is OK. Because inspiration shouldn’t be there ALL the time, it needs to strike – in a moment of glorious ‘aha!’, ‘lightbulb moments’, a sudden glimmer of ‘what if…’ genius, thought provoking brilliance. And THEN, you need motivation to take over to drive the thoughts into reality. Ideas are nothing without execution.

Now approaching 32 weeks pregnant – I do have inspiration and motivation – but for DIFFERENT things than ‘normal’, of which I am not used to.

The Crafty Lass used to be my sole focus. Of course yes, there is The Husband, our lovely doggie Patch, our great friends and family, work at The Craft Channel… But the late at night googling, the jotting notes in the diary, the Pinterest boards being created – were all totally craft related. Even before The Crafty Lass – for our wedding (the last M.L.P – Major Life Project) this was hugely craft focused! Prior to pregnancy, I would be inspired with hundreds of craft ideas, design ideas, imagery, product ideas, The Crafty Lass is going to take over the world ideas. They are still there, but recently – being honest, are dampened down and pushed aside by the new priorities of finish the nursery, making sure my hospital bag is on with being packed, booking antenatal classes, and that we have bought and researched everything we require. Motivation for (and the actual need) to sleep lots! Motivation and inspiration for a different, new and exciting kind of future. There are certainly crafty nursery-based inspirations (of course there are!) – there is the crochet Elephant, the knitted comforter, the pompom rug, the handmade mobile, the tags and bunting and… I could go on!

When I first started to spend more time looking at buggies rather than how to create paper flowers, or researching car seats instead of yarn types – I felt guilty. Absolutely no doubt about it. And, being honest – I even visited my lovely Life Coach – to question – ‘where has my mojo gone?’ And ‘why am I no longer focusing on the business as 110% as I was before?’ She comforted me, reassured me, encouraged me and yes, motivated me – thank you – and told me what I already knew. And, although it has taken me a while to understand – it’s natural to have a new shift in focus. It’s a big step in life, and actually these moments are precious, and need to be treasured. It sounds absolutely bleedin’ obvious now I am writing it down! Of course I knew that – but it is nice to be reminded when you feel the balance is wrong. Emotions aren’t always that straight forward are they? When you work hard at University, you work hard in lots of different places and types of business – finding and drawing your own life path – you spend so long developing and focusing on your career, for that focus to suddenly wane, for me it is a new and different concept. You cannot FORCE inspiration in a certain direction. You CAN make motivation happen. And, stuff will get done. The Crafty Lass commissions will be made. Future business proposals will be written. Those end of year financials will FINALLY be submitted. Just in what priority order? And does it matter in what order, as long as it all gets done. There is the internal battle of where the inspiration and motivation should be focused towards. However, IT IS OK to currently not be as driven in a certain direction than I once was.

I’m learning that when inspiration does strike – you need to write those ideas down, you need to bottle them up, start that Pinterest board, fire up the computer and get on with designing the next creations – before it’s too late – before the moment has gone. Motivation wise – I suppose everything needs to be balanced. Inspiration strikes whenever, in whatever direction it likes. You might NEED to do something, but do you WANT to, are you INSPIRED to do it? Of course, sometimes we all have to try and focus on what we NEED to do, not just on what we WANT to – whether we like it or not. The world would be an amazing place wouldn’t it, if we could just all do what we want, rather than need!

Once I accepted this new phase in inspirational focus, and the guilt shifted away – actually, the ideas came flooding back, and I now have TWO The Crafty Lass notebooks on the go, sketches being made, new Pinterest boards being created and some exciting business ideas in the pipeline. (Watch this space!) I am just learning it is about BALANCE. It is ok to work hard AND then have a well deserved and needed 2 hour nap – and then, perhaps continue with your crochet for little bubba’s new toy. Perhaps before, my focus was actually too much in The Crafty Lass favour – and this new stage is the ‘correct’ (if there is a right and wrong) balance for the future.

A totally different concept – but the lessons behind it are the same:

Some days you eat salads and go to the gym, some days you eat cupcakes & refuse to put on pants.

It’s called balance.

Love that!

I have just started maternity leave, deliberately early – to focus on getting organised – for the baby, for The Crafty Lass – to get ready (will we ever be ready?) – but to also have some selfish ‘me’ and ‘just us’ time before our world dramatically changes for a new chapter. (SERIOUS NESTING PHASE ALERT.)

So, for those of you who might be in the same position – try not to be too hard on yourself when your inspiration and focus changes and wanes sometimes. As long as you still have that deep, underground fire in your belly, and the ideas are there – just bubbling away under the surface (with brief glittery shows of ‘look I am here!’) – they won’t go away. That natural instinct to Make, Create, Inspire – it is still there. It just might be postponed for a little while.

And, that is OK.

Categories: Business, General Craft

The Crafty Lass does… Biggest project of her life!

Where does time go? It is a common question I ask – from one day to the next, one week to the next, suddenly from New Year’s Day we see Valentines and Easter in the shops, suddenly the clocks are springing forward, we are planning summer holidays, it’s BBQs, Autumn, Christmas… And so repeats the cycle.

 

It is already the middle of May. MAY. And, my blog posts have been a little (ahem, severely) lacking of late, which I apologise for, and predominantly relates to the aforementioned ‘biggest project’ of The Crafty Lass’ life in the title, which – I shall come back to.

May means – that one whole and first financial year of The Crafty Lass is complete! I say where does time go, but when I look back – an awful lot has actually happened in that year! When I handed my notice in to my full time employment, it was exciting – but ever so scary – I didn’t quite know where this was going to go, and what the future would hold – except, that it felt right. And so far, it turns out it WAS right. I miss the full time paycheque – but with less money, and more life I feel uplifted and incredibly lucky.

 

So, in that year I’ve gone from full time, to part time employment. I’ve held workshops and events locally, at both the Waitrose and John Lewis head offices, at Hobbycraft, at a Christmas Tree Farm dressed as an elf with real reindeers. I’ve been featured in my first magazine article (Papercraft Inspirations), I’ve been featured on The Guardian’s website as part of their Start Up of the Year competition, I’ve built the website up from scratch, created and sold my The Crafty Lass Greeting Card ranges and as part of this, created an Etsy store, created exciting commissions – from bunting, to fabric buttonholes, to paper flowers, feather painting, cupcake making, graphic designing, party decorations and even a bridesmaid dress into cushions! I’ve met lovely, brilliant people and companies. I’ve learnt that when you are following your dream, everyone wants to help you and are behind you. Which, in fact is incredibly humbling. Importantly, I followed up on a simple tweet about a new Craft Channel – which quickly followed to working in London planning and featuring in my own shows on Sky and working with them part time as a craft buyer…

I don’t simply list all these achievements in a ‘wow, look at me’, ‘aren’t I amazing’ kind of way… I mean, of course – it is nice to reflect, and think – yes I HAVE achieved a lot in just 12 short months. And no, it isn’t just a glorified hobby (which sometimes I wondered if it might end up being) but, I just mean that if you think about what you want, even if it means less money, less sleep, more working hours – you’ll make it work no matter what. I am incredibly lucky to have the emotional, logical and financial support from The Husband – but, at the end of the day it only takes ME, to get out of bed, get out of the pjs, go to the office (across the hallway) and carry on working till midnight if needed. (Although sometimes the getting out of the pjs part is optional!) It has been hard at times, but overall – the right decision.

So now, what is the future for The Crafty Lass? Well, as the title of this blog post suggests, I am about to undertake the biggest project of my life. In a recent, now too long ago post, I discussed my ‘new recruit’, Patch – who over the last 3 months has brought sunshine into our lives. Yes, there was the jumping on to the table (Patch, not me 😉 !) to steal my breakfast resulting in: ‘bacon-sandwich-gate’, there was the rolling in unprintable stuff down the park – 5 minutes before friends arriving – resulting in bath time craziness, there was the let’s eat a WHOLE BAG of doggie treats (very silly error by myself leaving them on the table when out…) resulting in a very happy followed by a temporarily poorly little doggie for an evening… However, these moments have been VERY few and far between. Mainly, it’s cuddles on the sofa, playtime with his beloved tennis balls, learning to understand his language, plenty of ‘walkies!’, watching him snuggle into his (it was mine!!) fluffy blanket… He is simply put – just SO CUTE!!!! There are still things to learn, more skills he needs to develop (like being able to cope and see other doggies!!) However, the home wouldn’t be the same without his four little legs tottering around, ‘helping’ you in the kitchen (I mean watching you intently in case you should happen to drop that roast chicken sort of helping) – he is there for you when you get home, he is part of the family.

So, aside from Patch – there is the little matter of, the pitter-patter of, little, tiny, feet…The Crafty Lass is expecting a baby! In fact today, I am 17 weeks along on this incredible journey. 

Being honest, the lack of recent blog posts speaks volumes – my head in the last few months, normally filled with fabrics and buttons and paper craft ideas has been replaced with scans, appointments, nursery designs, names… I just can’t concentrate! I haven’t been the wellest of bunnies over the last few weeks – but, I am now feeling stronger and ready for the challenges ahead! I am still very much involved in various exciting projects – future workshop plans, expansion projects, ideas for products, more branding, events… BUT from a personal perspective it is the most special time I have ever experienced. Again, it is another scary but exciting time – and just when I handed my notice in ‘I don’t quite know where this is going to go, and what the future will hold – except, that it feels right.’

So, watch this space as whatever happens whether it be work life, or personal – there are clearly exciting times ahead 🙂

The Crafty Lass, Patch and now – Bubba Bump x

 

PS – And yes, I am doing some crazy ‘bumpies’ including the relevant sized fruit or vegetable relative to the ever growing bubba over on Instagram… why not check it out! 🙂

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Categories: Business, General Craft

The Crafty Lass does… Royal Birthday Celebrations!

With a V.I.B. (Very Important Baby) on its way within the next week or two – what better way to celebrate than a cup of (Yorkshire) tea and a cupcake (or three)! And so, why not get crafty with some creative baking?

Royal blue, pillarbox red, and brilliant white to represent the gloriously patriotic Union Jack with bunting and flags a-go-go!

I made these cupcakes three years ago now in 2012 for the Queen’s Jubilee – but with the fourth in line to the throne about to be born, I thought it would be a welcome return for some spiffingly British crafty inspiration!

PS – Be warned, too much of the blue icing and it’ll leave your tongue turning blue, so easy on the colouring 😉 !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Sweet Tooth Scrumptious Stuff!, The Crafty Lass does...

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