Tag : flowers

The Crafty Lass does… ‘Paper’ 1st Anniversary Commission

Having studied Art & Design – specialising in textiles for A-Level, BTEC Foundation in Art & Design – specialising in Textiles and then going on to specialise in Printed Textile Design at University – you’d think my go to medium of choice, would always be fabric. Of course, I would never turn my back on the beautiful warps and weft of material but it is sometimes nice to try something new. 

I have made many flowers out of fabric before – making HUNDREDS of hand cut petals for our wedding. Sewing these into large ruffled flowers that adorned the tables, the chairs, the corsages – and have since held several flower corsage craft workshops teaching people how to make these. 

It was only fairly recently that I started to explore making flowers out of a new material – paper.

Paper, with all its varying weights, styles and colours provides incredible flexibility to create texture where perhaps fabric cannot to the same degree. Paper, when you fold it, it often stays where you put it – you can roll it up, cut it up – without fraying, it can be stretched to create shape (in crepe paper certainly) it can be crumpled up to create folds and definitions. It can be delicate (tissue) and strong (card). It provides a whole wealth of inspiration and ideas. Of course there are delicate silks and structured chords and denims to explore with fabric, but paper somehow feels more tactile, more instantaneous texture. I have always been more focused on the graphic design ON the fabric – colour, the pattern, the print of the fabric, not necessarily the texture.

Colours – I’ve always been inspired by nature and the amazing palletes it brings. What could be more invigorating than looking at the colours of a glorious sandy beach against cool blues of the sea? Or, the remarkable russets, greens, golds and oranges of an Autumnal tree? Or the pastels, brights of a floral summer garden?

Using real flowers as the most obvious starting point, when making paper flowers – I like to try and recreate the styles and shapes and as close to nature as possible… but equally it is quite nice to give a nod to – that the recreation IS paper. For example, peonies – I’ve been known to hand paint crepe paper to specific shades of pink to replicate the imperfect colouring in nature of real peony petals. I have been told that people didn’t realise that it was paper, they looked THAT real! (Mission accomplished!) However, with daisies – I tend to cut the paper into little straight strips. Thus giving square edged petals – they look like daisies, but just not quite. 

Flowers can of course, be built into extraordinary displays and bouquets – and what a choice! From tiny little delicate ‘baby’s breath’ to huge ruffly roses and sunny sunflowers. Often interspersed with foliage and leaves building up layer upon layer of colours and textures.

As beautiful and striking as real flowers can be – they do not – very sadly – last.

However, fabric and paper – very happily – does.

I have been honoured to be asked to make various paper flower commissions – primarily for people’s weddings – and most recently, I had a very romantic request – for a first ‘paper’ anniversary gift, to replicate his wife’s wedding bouquet, so that she could keep it! (He’s a keeper!)

Using a wedding photograph as inspiration and lots of secret messages between myself and the groom to make sure it was just right, after weeks of paper folding and making – he gave her his thoughtful gift within the last week. I’m really glad to say she loved it. (Mega brownie points for hubby, right?) Yay! 

Looking forward to 2018, I plan to launch paper flower craft workshops for people to come and learn how to make them… in the meantime, if you – or someone you know would like a paper flower commission – please do get in touch!

Enjoy!

Categories: Business, The Crafty Lass does..., Valentines, Anniversaries & Lovey-Dovey Stuff, Weddings, Workshops

The Crafty Lass does… Wedding commission!

Going back to the beginning of 2016, The Crafty Lass was asked to make something special for a couple’s beautiful wedding – I was honoured to have been allowed to make something for their big day! After discussions on colours, themes, styles – we decided on making some paper peonies in pinks and creams – and some bunting for various areas of the big occasion to attach to some lovely vintage wicker baskets.

I had quite a few months to get everything made and ready, but I was keen to get started! To make sure everything looked as realistic as possible – I mean, in nature – flower petals are not all exactly the same colour – I set about hand painting special florist’s crepe paper with come watered down paints and inks to allow a soft blended effect in both pinks and white-creams. It gave the crepe paper a lovely, deeper wrinkled surface that I think enhanced the lovely texture of this material. Due to the folds and crevices within the crepe – it allows you to really mould and sculpt – so that at first glance, they can resemble real petals. Well, that was intention, anyway!

Once painted, dried, and the petals all cut out, moulded – they were ready for bringing all together into the flowers. I opted to use florists wire, florists crepe and a hot glue gun for the delicate operation! It was a case of gently building them up into multiple layers, before adding on some ‘leaves’ and et voila! Paper peonies… 🙂

Next up – the bunting. ‘Favours’ (for the guests to collect from the designated area), ‘Cards’ (for guests to leave their lovely greetings to the happy couple) and ‘Blankets’ (as it can be cold in Britain, even in Summer!!) in a navy blue and cream theme. With the bunting attached on to the wicker baskets with the flowers – there was a lovely vintage, soft feel to everything. I shouldn’t blow my own trumpet, but I think they turned out great! 🙂

I really enjoyed making these and I wish the happy couple all the happiness in the world! 🙂

If you’d like something for your special day, please do get in touch!

Categories: General Craft, The Crafty Lass does..., Valentines, Anniversaries & Lovey-Dovey Stuff, Weddings

The Crafty Lass does… Commissions!

Looking for a way to personalise your wedding with some unique handcrafted decor and favours? Looking for a special personalised gift? A new baby celebration? Throwing a party with a difference?

If you have an idea, want something creative, have an event you would like to make extra special – see if The Crafty Lass can be of help. 🙂

  • Wedding Commissions
  • Wedding Favours
  • Personalised Handmade Paper Bunting
  • Handcrafted Paper Flowers
  • Birthday Commissions
  • Events and Party Decor

Please contact for further information and pricing.

Categories: Birthday, Business, General Craft, The Crafty Lass does..., Valentines, Anniversaries & Lovey-Dovey Stuff, Weddings

The Crafty Lass does… Spring Wreaths!

They’re not just for Christmas you know…!

“Step into Spring with the Crafty Lass!

Join Paula, as she shows us how to make these beautiful wreaths.

Guaranteed to brighten the darkest day.”

This Thursday 14th January, you can tune in at midday on Sky 679 or watch online at www.thecraftchannel.tv to see ‘The Crafty Lass Spring Wreaths’ show – lots of flowers, butterflies, beautiful pastel papers, ribbons…  something to brighten this dreary January!

 

Enjoy! x

Categories: General Craft, House & Home, TV

Jay Archer Floral Design – Motivational Business Talk

IMAG0029So today, on a Sunday – on a day I normally reserve for not traipsing across the country, racking up extra mileage in my little Smarty – a day I normally associate with crafting in my little office, food shopping and the general chores (the boring stuff!) to try and get ahead for the week…not this week – this week I had much more exciting plans.

I went whizzing down to Odiham, Hampshire – to listen to Jay Archer Floral Design‘s Motivational Business Talk at her Flower School – and boy was it worth it. Yes – she is a florist, and so yes – different to my business model – but there were so many similarities. So many things she said resonated with me and made me think – yes, I want to be like that – yes, I want to try that – yes, I will put that on my ever growing to-do list – basically, yes – I want to be like you! (Yes, I presume I have some sort of creative led can-we-be-friends-girlie-crush!)

Girlie crushes aside – Jay is genuinely such a talented lady – her rustic, vintage, relaxed floral displays are stunning. You can see why she is being nominated for and winning awards put it that way! From the first moment I met her at WIBG (Women In Business Group) I felt she emanated being very relaxed (apart from a few nerves at the start of her talk then, and today – but nerves are good, they show you care!) very self-assured in a ‘I know my business is the best it can be’ way – but not in a cocky way – just a fresh, very open, and very brilliant business woman way. She has grown her business from almost nothing – nothing except an incredible amount of spirit, passion and ideas. With support from her equally lovely husband who I met briefly today – he wasn’t there at the workshop to hold her hand – he was there as someone who was also genuinely interested to listen to what Jay had to say! 🙂

She talked very openly about her struggles to get the business going, her strict make it or break it 18 month deadline – her visions, her dreams, but also importantly the reality of being a young, self-employed business woman – and how much work really goes into it. From the 4am flower market starts, the midnight wedding clear downs, to the working through the night for an 8.30am ceremony – however, as I am starting to learn – all those hours aren’t a true hardship when you simply love what you are doing! It is no longer work, it is purely what you simply ‘do’.

Jay Archer Floral Design recently opened her Flower School – and I won’t be personally attending the practical courses, simply as I don’t wish to become a florist! However, if you are – then I would say it is IMAG0027a must do for either start-ups or already existing florists who want to learn – something new, or simply refresh your ideas – it would be well worth a trip!

I think the best thing about this workshop was, and is with her other workshops – is just how open and honest Jay is with other florists – about costings, about how to make sure you set the right margins, the social media, the PR, the marketing, the everything really. Embracing the competition – not shunning them away.

“Peace and Love”!

Whether I have a new girlie crush, or whether I feel like we are kindred spirits – I feel that I have the same vision as Jay – but in The Crafty Lass. After today, I feel empowered, ready to take on the world and all it holds for the future. I have already started brainstorming ‘big plans’ for The Crafty Lass – some are perhaps pipe dreams, some perhaps not – but if the last 12 weeks with has taught me anything – sending one tweet to The Craft Channel and now in the buying team and presenting on it – is “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do.”

Today, I will take away a few things – apart from the new found ideas, visions and dreams I have whizzing around my multiple-tabs-open brain, are just to be confident, have a strong vision of you and your own branding “You are your own business card”, and to always remember… “Fake it til you make it babe!”.

Thanks Jay. x

Categories: Business, Places to Go & Things to See, Weddings

The Crafty Lass does… Vintage Floral Wedding Bunting!

One of my most recent projects was to create this vintage florals inspired, romantic bunting for some friends getting married. What started out with just some ‘plain’ bunting in their pastels colour scheme, quickly escalated into little daisies, peonies, roses – all fashioned from just ‘normal paper’, and some wall paper off cuts! Massively inspired by a lovely how to guide by Debee Ruiz in The Handmade Fair guide book, it really got me thinking how I could create some of my own lovely flowers and add them to the bunting.

I had an awful lot of fun making it – time just seem to stand still (a good few hours and no lunch passed by when I got stuck in!) I seem to be fascinated creating little petals and shapes out of what almost looks like nothing! Curling the paper up, making the little centres, making them look as real as possible…Even better that it is to celebrate a beautiful wedding.

 

I am pretty sure this won’t be the last set of paper florals you see on this blog… I have grand visions of a whole wall covered in these – no specific event in mind!! – but I think it would look amazing! I’d love to decorate giant letters covered in them too… We’ll see what the future brings!

 

If you would like your own personalised floral bunting, please get in touch! 🙂

Categories: General Craft, The Crafty Lass does..., Valentines, Anniversaries & Lovey-Dovey Stuff, Weddings

Brackley SEWcial – Fabric Flowers Corsage Workshop!

The Crafty Lass wants to get Brackley SEWcial!

Do you love craft? Do you enjoy (or want to try!) sewing? Fancy meeting local people, or a night with friends? Want to handmake a new accessory?

I am holding a ‘Fabric Flower Corsage Workshop’!

The Green Room, Brackley – Thursday 20th August 6.30-8.30pm.

Tickets are limited and are available for purchase from The Green Room. So book yours now to avoid disappointment! They are £17.50 per person and include a glass of prosecco*!

Any questions, feel free to ask! 🙂

*Soft drink alternative available.

150727 Brackley Sewcial Green Room Event

Categories: Places to Go & Things to See, Workshops

The Crafty Lass does… Fabric Flower Corsage Workshop Part II!

Fabric Flower Corsage WorkshopTuesday 21st July was the second lovely creative workshop at the John Lewis Partnership – Waitrose Craft Club.

Everyone decided to go for the ‘spiky’ look with the ‘dandelion’ shape… but with lots of different fabric colour choices, ribbons, buttons and trimmings everyone’s turned out all very different and of course all very lovely! One of the attendees was planning to wear to an upcoming wedding as a handmade accessory – tailoring the colours to a planned outfit! Another added it to her lovely tan leather bag as a new bag charm. 🙂

Some had lace, some had long ribbons, some ribbon ‘leaves’, some without – but I think you’ll agree – they all look fabulous!

 

Please click the photos to browse through the gallery. 🙂

Categories: General Craft, Workshops

The Crafty Lass does… Fabric Flower Corsage Workshop!

Fabric Flowers

Tuesday 14th July was quite a big day for The Crafty Lass…I held my first ever craft workshop! The John Lewis Partnership Craft Club recently asked whether I would run this on ‘Fabric Flower Corsages’ at the Waitrose Head Office!

 

So, last Tuesday evening – I set off to Bracknell, Berkshire – and I’d like to think, it went very well indeed!

 

“Great class, lovely instruction 🙂 “

Ribbons

Everyone had a choice of whether to make a Carnation, Daisy, Cornflower, Dandelion or Geranium fabric flower (whether the types of fabric flowers actually resemble the real versions, not 100% sure, but it is what I have decided to call them!) Then, they could choose from a rainbow of fabrics, threads, buttons and ribbons. Everything was hand sewn and we went through each stage together. At the end, people seemed very pleased and happy with their handiwork! A very creative and flowery time all round.

 

“I can’t believe I made that!”

 

FabricsWe did have one ‘comedy’ moment… towards the end of the workshop – suddenly (and inexplicably) over the main speakers in the offices – on comes the ‘Hartbeat’ ‘gallery’ theme tune…which some of you may remember was with Tony Hart. So, there I was teaching people how to put the corsage together – with this music playing in the background! We couldn’t stop laughing…! However, it was lovely, and we all seemed to start sewing in time to the music…it was only briefly on, but a funny moment!

 

 

The workshop, when originally advertised was such a sell-out success – we are following up with a second workshop next Tuesday 21st July – so wish me luck!

If you, or you know someone that would be interested in holding a The Crafty Lass Fabric Flower Corsage workshop, then please get in touch.

 

“Thankyou very much… Amazing!”

 

Please click the photos to browse through the gallery. 🙂

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

Afternoon Tea Garden Party!

What a glorious day yesterday was – the sun shone from morning til late evening – and good job it did too – we were invited to an afternoon tea (and prosecco!) garden party, and so rain wasn’t really part of the agenda…! (We were very lucky as both Friday, and today have been horrid!)

There were scones, plenty of clotted cream and jam, typically British sarnies, cakes… we didn’t leave hungry!

Aside from prosecco, delicious food, music, good company – every good party needs some decorations! And that is precisely where The Crafty Lass stepped in.

The brief was simple… make anything you like! But mainly the colour purple.

So, I set about making personalised bunting “Happy Birthday Amee” and “Time For Tea”, paper roses, tissue paper flowers, a party hat and rosette for The Birthday Girl, little cupcake flags, and heart confetti in hot pinks, purples, naturals and creams. (Alot of crafty fun was had!)

 

If you are looking for something that little bit special for a celebration – why not get in touch to see if The Crafty Lass can be of help. Or, alternatively – coming soon are the creative workshops where you can come along, be inspired and get involved to make these lovely crafty things for yourself! 🙂 Make. Create. Inspire.

Tissue Paper Flowers Cupcake Flags Party Hat and Rosette The Birthday Girl Personalised Bunting Personalised Bunting Personalised Bunting Paper Roses Personalised Bunting Paper Roses

 

Categories: Birthday, Business, General Craft

The Crafty Lass does… Paper Flowers!

I was bought a truly amazing birthday present – something really REALLY brilliant. A glue gun.

YES!

Today – I was planning to go to the gym, do some needed food shopping – but no, no today became a lovely crafty filled day of tea, leftover birthday cake, and paper flower making!

I have wanted to try and make these paper flowers ever since I saw this pin on Pinterest… but without a glue gun, it was a no-go zone… until now!

They are remarkably easy to make, and I think would look fantastic at a wedding – imagine giant ones, small ones, all scattered over tables in pastel shades, or whites, or whatever your colour scheme really! They could be used at a dinner party as a table centre piece, imagine at Christmas in reds and green, or silver and gold. I plan to use mine as a decoration on a friend’s birthday present next week.

A nice and easy to follow tutorial on how to make these – can be found here on the love, pomegranate house website.

 

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Categories: Birthday, General Craft, The Crafty Lass does..., Weddings

An explosion of colour!

This time last year, I was knee deep in petals, and panic.

It’s coming up to our first wedding anniversary – where does time go?! Of course I can’t help reminiscing about what a wonderful craft proj… I mean, day it was! 😉

Our (who are we kidding, my) colour scheme… I couldn’t decide. So, in the end – I settled on not settling and going for a rainbow palette. A vibrant riot of royal blue, canary yellow, emerald green, cerise and bright orange. They clashed, they sang and due to the very-very-very fortunate early spring (hot!) sunshine we had in March, they absolutely shone.

Obviously every girl, gets excited about her dress, and shoes (mine were bright green!) and of course gaining a husband too – but there were so many little crafty touches to the day, that had built up over the course of the year and thought about to the nth degree. I was also just really excited to see it all finally come together in one explosion of colour. In a term used regularly by my mother-in-law, it was “Paula Planned”.IMG_0966

We made seed packets as our favours… “Let Love Grow!”, handmade all our table runners out of hessian and ribbons, napkin holders for every guest out of matching hessian, ribbons and lace, the big table plans, giant posters of our story, the d.i.y cake topper out of a clothes peg, 100 (yes 100!) metres of bunting, moustache and lips straws. Then collecting and turning hundreds of empty jars with coloured raffia into tea lights, a ‘Dan and Paula’ crossword (and prizes), kids party packs, oh – and – the marathon of flowers…

Each table had 7 flowers (there were 11 tables), the aisle had 20 flowers, then 9 corsages, there were spare…lets guess at 10, the bridesmaids had them on their shoes or on their wrist – each flower had 18 petals…that’s 2,304 little circles of fabric. Cut out, by hand.

Phew, what a mission…and boy was it FUN!

PDM-JS-IMG_0018_136You may be thinking I am crazy, or you may be thinking – that just sounds like a standard craft lovers wedding! I think I am just both – slightly crazy and definitely a craft lover. I just couldn’t BUY stuff, I KNEW I could make. It would be cheaper for one thing, but also nice, thoughtful and would be exactly as we would want, no compromises.

Once I came up with the ‘Wedding Grand Plan’ (yes, there was of course, a spreadsheet involved – multiple infact) it was easy to get stuck in…and I honestly used to think – what did I do BEFORE the wedding…Where has all this additional time come from to make stuff! To be honest, I still don’t really know or understand that part. I think I went out less, and definitely slept less!PDM-JS-IMG_9893_120

There were days where I’d do nothing – then there would be evenings where I was practically doing cartwheels as I had managed to make 6 or 7 whole flowers AND watch ‘Location, Location, Location’ (we do LOVE a good bit of Kirstie and Phil!)

Everyone said to me – ‘What will you do afterwards?!’, ‘You’ll get the post-wedding blues’… Swept up in a whirlwind of fabric and lace, Pinterest and decisions to be made – I thought, ‘Ah, no I won’t, I will be excited to have a new life as Mrs Milner, I will be fine’.

Once the big day had been and gone, the family had dispersed back to their own homes, the dress hanging back in its protective case (which, I might add is still hanging up in our room, I just can’t bring myself to put it away for good yet!) I remember very distinctly the first day I came home from work. The house still looked thPDM-JS-IMG_9865_110e same, all our wonderful cards, presents. I made a cup of (Yorkshire) tea, I sat at the table and thought… Now what?

And although I was so happy and grateful – I was also sad, no two ways about it. I missed the focus, the countdown, the opportunity to just absorb myself away into something creative and that had a wider mission and purpose. I enjoyed the fact there wasn’t a time pressure of course, and actually it was rather nice to have a rest, but I missed it all the same.

It has taken me a whole year, to realise – it doesn’t need to stop. There doesn’t have to be a reason to make stuff, plan to make stuff, PinterePDM-JS-IMG_9569_045st about what you want to make, do, what you love. I am sure both sets of parents would love there to be a new major event on the cards to plan for – and I am sure that this time around the colour scheme would be just pink or just blue (yet to be decided) – but for now there is not. And in the meantime – I am going to be throwing myself into lots of making and baking, of all sorts, for all seasons and reasons.

So, it’s really out of one major event of a wedding, and one year of feeling that something is missing to invent this blog, and The Crafty Lass.

Over the the next few weeks, I am going to be looking back at the wedding projects on this blog, and also with birthdays for myself, the husband (it’s a big birthday for him!), there is Easter coming up – and then summer, with the long evenings and bright sunshine , there really is plenty of craft and inspiration to look forward to!

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PS

After the wedding…I submitted some snippets of the-big-day to Brides Magazine – who chose us as ‘wedding of the week’… All very exciting of course! The link to which I would love to share with you – however Brides magazine have since removed that section of their website! 🙁

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: General Craft, Weddings

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