Tag : paper

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… The ‘Oscar’ acceptance speech. (Sort of.)

This isn’t an Oscar acceptance speech – but it does kind of feel like it. I am sure that to win an Oscar – is the culmination of a dream for that person, and for this to be actually happening – feels like a dream into reality for me…

So, on with the ‘thanks’…

First of all I would like to thank… Patch The Crafty Dog. Yes, this might sound a strange one to start with – having all those friends and family who have been the upmost of supportive – however, without Patch we wouldn’t be living here today.

Living in an Edwardian open plan, characterful, small (maybe not small, maybe too much stuff) end terrace was fun when it was just me and The Husband – but when you add to the mix a bouncy and excitable Parsons Russell Terrier and a baby (and all the baby paraphernalia) and an ever expanding amount of craft and business related materials… it was time to move. However, I think we would have just about coped if it has just been the four of us (The Husband, myself, bubba and The Craft) but to add a soon to be (at that point – now actively is) crawling little one in combination with our adorable four legged friend – I might have gone crazy (gone?). So, we started to look at moving – and here we are, with a lovely house in the glorious Northamptonshire countryside and The Old Granary Studio to boot…

Secondly, I would like to thank Freddie, our little shiny, happy, smiley star. He is potentially the most patient baby I have ever had the pleasure of meeting (I *may* be biased) – he is as happy and contented play with ribbons in his walker and watch mummy arrange things prettily in the new studio, as he is anywhere else. Without his happiness and patience, I am not sure I would have been able to progress as quickly as I have done. He also seems to like sleeping between around 7pm and 1am (not so much after that…) however it has allowed many an evening since moving in to try and refocus, eat, more craft, reorganise, repeat.

Thirdly, and most obvious for an ‘Oscar’ speech, I would like to thank my Mum and Dad. They are always there. When I call sounding stressed and needing a rant – they listen. When I don’t call them, they know I am ok… (just busy) and they just accept that when I do talk to them I mostly update them on things like buttons, and beads, and fabric and what I am making with all of them… Even when we went away recently for a short break together – we had nice evenings in… with me sat making paper flowers whilst we relaxed away the evening…

Fourthly, my mother and father in law. They have welcomed me into their lives as a close knit (good craft pun right there) member of the family, and have also always believed in me. I remember when I first told my Mother-In-Law – that I was quitting my job, and going to take over the world of craft – just how excited, and happy, and supportive she was. “This is going to go in so many directions”, she said. I am not sure we both thought becoming a Craft Buyer for a shopping channel, becoming a TV demonstrator, moving house – and to have our own studio was part of the plan – but perhaps fate has intervened… Anyway – thank you – as always – for both being there. x

Next – my friends and family. I feel like I have spent the last few months in a crafting bubble. I can’t see that changing any time soon… but – if I don’t reply to your messages, or don’t call you, or cancel on you, or have to work when I should be out eating cake, thank you for ‘getting it’ and just being excited for me. I do care!

Lastly, and of course – as expected, I would like to thank the real Boss. The Husband. The one who truly ‘gets it’. He puts up with me taking over our house with various crafting stuff. And quite often is heard exclaiming – “what is this, and what are you making now?!” He is the one who listens when I am so busy and overwhelmed I need a hug – he is the one who I would ring and ask for anything. “Perhaps, darling, you could build me a bespoke unit out of scaffolding boards?” He is the one I want to share my highs with, my lows with. This moment with. I don’t think words can thank him enough to be honest. Crikey O’ Reilley – going for the totes emosh stuff today!

However, as I pause for thought – I am thanking everyone… without having actually ‘achieved’ anything! I mean, I say that – I am pretty sure keeping our son happy and alive (and me also happy and alive… sleep deprived, but alive) whilst simultaneously running a business and setting up a studio is a pretty good achievement. But – I need people through the door! A craft studio is nothing without its crafters – and to me, that is the most important thing.

I originally set up The Crafty Lass as I am passionate about craft, and that I wanted everyone else to be too. I want to get everyone else Making, Creating and Inspiring. Craft can act as a therapy, it can be a little piece of calming haven in our crazy, sometimes nasty modern world. There are too many horrible things on The News – I have had a fair few horrible things arise recently with friends and family – that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. (You know who you are if you’re reading this and I Love You.) And sometimes, I do think – why am I worrying about a shade of pink on a ribbon. Does it matter? No – it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of life – but providing a little craft ‘nest’ – a little slice of ‘crafting heaven’, ‘peace’ and a focus – does. I would like people to come along to workshops – to learn a new skill. To meet like minded people. To feel uplifted and energised and relaxed. Make. Create. Inspire.

So – with my heart on my sleeve, and ambitions getting achieved – what next? Well, there are PLENTY of new and exciting things in the pipeline for this Crafty Lass (would you expect anything less?) however right now – I need YOU! If you would like to come along – have a nice, sociable, crafty time – then please check our WORKSHOPS page and see if you’d like to book and come along to something! Tell your friends, your colleagues, your family, your milkman! “Did you know The Crafty Lass now has a dedicated (FAB!) crafting studio? She is proud to serve a proper brew (Yorkshire Tea, of course – what else would a ‘Lass’ serve!), she’ll more than likely serve you a good slab of cake too…. it’s also based in the beautiful countryside! (Crafting heaven…) Basically, amazing… you get the idea. Go forth, tell all. Craft! (…and book tickets!)

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

The Crafty Lass does… Nautical Cake Topper!

Inspired by my recent blog post on the birthday cake topper I made for my dad’s birthday – someone saw this and asked me to make another nautical themed version!

Their daughter Nadine is apparently mad on boats and sailing… So, this is just what she got! 🙂 All handcrafted out of paper and card – a yacht, with personalised ‘Nadine’ bunting, a little anchor, the ‘ferocious’ sea – and a little seagull keeping watch at the top too!

If you’d like a personal, handmade, different cake topper – then please get in touch! 🙂

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

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

The Crafty Lass visits…The Women’s Institute Centennial Fair!

What a gloriously sunny day yesterday was! Well, it certainly was in the beautiful spa town of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

I love Yorkshire – I am fortunate to have married a Yorkshire lad, so we do get to visit this beautiful part of our country fairly regularly – but it never ceases to amaze me when we return just how stunning the scenery is – picture perfect rolling green hills, idyllic little villages, the lovely Yorkshire stone buildings.  Just delightful.

I don’t of course need an excuse to visit Harrogate – but, what better reason to than to go and see The Women’s Institute Centennial Fair – 100 years of Women’s Institute history!

With plenty to see and do – demonstrations, talks, book signings, workshops, places to eat – and certainly BUY (the Christmas shopping has begun – and yes, I know it is only September!) I would like to detail all the purchases I made – but certain people who I know read this blog may just be getting something, and I know they would know it was for them! Ha!

Anyway, apart from having a lovely look around lots of lovely stands – I also booked myself in for the ‘Origami Teacup’ workshop with Clare Gage later in the afternoon.

It wasn’t actually what I expected – but not in a bad way, as I am not actually sure what I did expect! However, it was brilliant! Very inspiring – and really got me thinking about what creative skills I, and we all do, have, and how these can cross into new ways of looking/making/doing/trying new things. Clare used the term creative ‘hacking’ – which is just a perfect explanation really. For example knitting – well instead of using ‘normal’ wool – why not giant wool, or tiny needles – or knitting with something entirely different, like wires – or plastic! Thinking outside the box.

We started out with just a few squares of sugar paper, ready to be ‘origamied’ (is that even a word?) into a little, simple cup design. Next we translated this into different scales – seeing whether it was easier to make the same shape with a very small piece of paper, or very large. I actually enjoyed the tiny pieces of paper, having to try and make super delicate folds to keep the cup design shape. Once we had the hang of that… we moved on to different types of materials – tissue paper, crepe paper, cellophane, fabric, stiffened fabric… and finally clay! Each one responded slightly differently to the folding techniques and the final outcome of a little shape, some better than others – but all unique and individual.

My clay attempt – was actually the hardest part – and, I know it looks a little ‘clumsy’ (you can see in the photo’s below) – but, I had fun – which, I think with craft – it is often the most important part?? – making a little handle, decorating it by stamping out button shapes… We actually only had an hour to make all of these little trials – and so I think quite a lot achieved! I would love to give the clay another go actually – try a bit more creative hacking!

After the workshop – I was desperate to buy a beautiful mug from Clare’s stand in the fair – and, I spent a considerable amount of time trying to pick my favourite…but with the aforementioned already purchased Christmas shopping – I decided not to. However, it was this morning – when I made my morning cup of Yorkshire (of course!) tea, I stood there thinking – how much nicer would this have been in a beautiful textiles inspired piece of delicate porecelain? So – it is on my Christmas wish list for sure (please take note friends and family members – and just to be extra clear – Clare’s website is HERE. And after much deliberation, my piece of choice is THIS stunning Patchwork teacup. I love just how gloriously delicate it is in the pure white – but really feels like a mug you could have a proper brew in! Deeply textured ‘fabric’ porcelain. In Clare’s own words from her website “It’s comforting, passionate and nostalgic”.

Anyway, enough of my Christmas wishlist – the time spent with Clare making the lovely little cups – made me really think about my own craft and creative workshops- and how to best deliver them – and of all the exciting The Crafty Lass things to look forward to…and of course Christmas, and my new cup! (ahem!) 🙂

Categories: Places to Go & Things to See

The Crafty Lass does… Children’s ‘Owl’ Decoupage Workshop!

Today was great – in fact it was a ‘hoot’! (Haha! – hoot, get it?)

We had lots of lovely brightly coloured paper, feathers, little shiny gems, googly eyes, plenty of pva glue – and some cute owl photo frames to decorate.

Held at Elaine Marston’s Studio at Turweston, Brackley – across a two hour workshop we spent the time choosing colours, tearing up the paper, and sticking on to our hearts content!

As you will be able to see from the photos every one was different – some with pinks, some with blue, some patterned, some without feathers, some with LOTS! After the owls were complete, as we had a little bit of extra time – we moved on to creating some lovely drawings and collages to go into the frames.

Everyone seemed to have a fun and creative time and with a few little bits of feedback direct from the attendees of ‘Let’s do this every week!’, ‘Can we do decoupage again?!’ and ‘I’ve really enjoyed myself’ – I personally am of course, pleased as punch!

 

From starting out on this creative journey of becoming ‘The Crafty Lass’ as a business – today, the moment a parent walked back in to collect their children – to be met with a ‘Mummy! Look what I have made!’ moment – it was very special, and one that I am certain, I will never become tired of.

A great and rewarding morning’s work! 🙂

If you’d like The Crafty Lass to host a creative party or workshop – why not get in touch. 🙂

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

Date for your diaries…!

I am excited to announce that The Crafty Lass will be holding a workshop in the Hobbycraft at Milton Keynes store – come and have a go at ‘decoupage’ letters!

Saturday 26th September 2015 – and it will be running as a ‘drop in’ session between 11am and 3pm.

Simply choose and buy your letter base on the day (prices start from £1 up to about £5) or, if you so wish choose from whatever other decoupage bases you like (they have a lot to choose from!)

Lovely papers, and all other equipment and materials will be provided.

This lovely craft has no age limits – so is for both adults and kids to enjoy! Hope to see you there!

Categories: General Craft, Places to Go & Things to See, Workshops

Top 5… Nautical Crafts!

Yesterday was the first day I had the pleasure of being a mobile Crafty Lass – meaning, I was not working in my little office in Brackley, Northamptonshire – but a rare visit to the beautiful Isle of Wight. I sat working at a lovely big oak table, with the bright sunshine pouring in through the window and the sounds of seagulls in the not too far distance. I had only been here about an hour – and already had a very English start to my visit with some lovely tea and some sticky ginger cake; in the evening a BBQ, and the promise of a ‘trip out’ somewhere later today. Delightful doesn’t even come close!

The ferry crossing over was lovely, the sun warm and a lovely gentle breeze. For those of you who haven’t been to the Isle of Wight from Lymington to Yarmouth, and for those that have been will know – it’s so peaceful, you can feel all your troubles and worries disappear from the moment the captain of the ship ‘welcomes you aboard’.

So, inspired by my little trip to this island, here are my Top 5…Nautical Crafts!

1. Make a Paper Boat!
An oldie, but a goodie – but, this from ‘Big Dot of Happiness is a lovely tutorial – and with plenty more fun ideas for the same paper craft – from kiddies party hats, to little boats on straws, it is a great one for plenty of nautical themed ideas! 🙂

2. Make ‘Sand Bowls’
Just how beautiful are these? Tel aviv student Leetal Rivlin has created these sand and glue masterpieces – why not give them a go yourself? There is a tutorial as to how to do – here at Serendipitous Discovery. They’d make lovely little jewellery dishes, or filled with some shells as a decorative feature!

3. Rope vases!
What a lovely idea! You start out with a plain glass vase – and basically weave the rope around them – glue, and voila! You can even go one step further by adding some dye to make a colour wash effect. The full tutorial is over here at Style Me Pretty. You could even do this around empty glass jars, or tins to keep the cost down. Lovely!

4. Knot Jewellery!
Another rope craft here – but just how cool do these bracelets look? This tutorial from Etsy takes you through ‘how to’ step by step – looking forward to making this as an accessory!

5. Clay Pot Lighthouse
This is a lovely tutorial how to make a little Clay Pot Lighthouse. This would look lovely in the garden with a little tea light inside. All you need to make this is some clay/terracotta flower pots, glue, paint and some time and patience! 🙂

Categories: General Craft, Top 5

The Crafty Lass does… Paint Swatch Bunting!

Been decorating recently? I bet you have lots of random left over paint swatches – and rather than just shoving them in that drawer in your house that ends up collecting all the random stuff (everyone has one of those!) what better way to use them up than being crafty and making some bunting! Inspired by my recent Easter crafts blog post, and the Modern Parents, Messy Kids Easter bunting – I thought I would make it an all year round decoration with some lovely hearts!

 

All you need is a craft ‘punch‘ to cut out your chosen shapes (I would also love to do stars!) or patience to cut them all out by hand of course… then, just sew them all together on to some thread. It certainly brightens up my new office door sign. 🙂

 

And yes, my office door does have a sign that says – ‘OPEN – Tea and Biscuits Welcome’ and on the other side – SHUT HAPPENS. Definitely with a ‘U’ 😉 !

Even The Crafty Lass needs to stop being crafty sometimes!



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

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