Tag : papercraft

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

Top 5… Valentine’s Crafts!

I love Valentine’s Day.

Yes, I know it can be commercial, and yes it can sometime’s can also be tacky and yes – just an excuse for you to HAVE to spend more money on your dearest loved one. But, that is kind of the point? I feel I can say I love you to The Husband on any day of the year – and, I do buy him little gifts for random meanings and occasions (and yes, he is lucky, right?) and not just because it’s a ‘special day’. However, I do like that it is a very specific romantic day of the year where, should you desire – tell the person you love, secretly – or not, declare the reasons you’re with that important person in your life, just make someone feel loved and special.

I wouldn’t EVER go to a restaurant for it, or in fact at the weekend’s around then – they cram the tables in, put on a ‘special’ menu, charge over the top, you are sat with everyone trying to have a personal and private moment – and you invariably are sitting so close you can actually hear what the other people are saying. I usually opt for cooking The Husband dinner – and occasionally – him cooking one for me. Gifts? I don’t NEED an extravagantly purchased item to make me know that I am thought about… perhaps just some flowers? Even from the garden… haha! Or just my favourite chocolate bar? Damn – shouldn’t really be writing this! The Husband usually reads the blog… and so with that in mind – of course if he would really like to spontaneously cave into the commerciality (unlikely!) then please do dearest! Those Alex Monroe earrings would be pretty special… 😀

Anyway – one thing I do always feel is important is to give a card. Now I know what you are thinking – well, you would say that – you sell your own greetings card range! But, precisely – that is part of the reason I designed greeting cards in the first place. They aren’t just a bit of paper – they allow you to express your thoughts and emotions inside! (By the way, you can get a special offer at the minute – FREE delivery on all orders on The Crafty Lass greeting cards on our Etsy store with code TCLVAL16!!) Enough of plugging the promo, and back to the real point. I just think that the opportunity to pen a few lines to your other half, your special one, your snugglekins (!) can be a special moment.

I wouldn’t ever expect a blank card to be completed with “Dear Janet, Love John x”… What, that’s IT?? You need to put some effort into it! Maybe I should be grateful of a card at all – and it certainly sounds upon reading that I am a crafty little Valentine’s diva – but I certainly keep my ‘special’ cards in a shoe box for ever more, to be annually, or perhaps decadely reviewed every now and again with an ‘awwww’ and fuzzy feeling moment – so you had best be writing something that little bit more emotive!! For those that already do this – high five. Just take the opportunity whenever you can to just make someone your focus and let them know you care, however that might be.

Whatever your thoughts on the big February 14th, presents or no presents, card or no card, here are some suggestions of cute little crafty ways to make it special. There is a bit of a ‘hearts’ theme going on…

 

1. DIY Heart Card

If you are planning to MAKE a card how about this lovely DIY embroidered card idea!

 

2. Heart Gift Wrap

Craft knifes at the ready! If you are buying a gift for the special someone – what a simple, but ever so effective hearts gift wrapping idea with the red and brown paper. There are two ideas in one here, as they also offer a creative stamping effect too – simply using a pencil eraser!

 

3. Heart Garland

Another gift wrap idea here, but could also be used as a decoration garland afterwards! Cute, again – simple but effective!

 

4. Chocolate Shortbread Heart Cookies

If baking is your thing (you can’t beat a bit of baked goodies to certainly make someone smile) what about this lovely chocolate shortbread and sprinkles idea. There is also a good US measurements converter here at Good To Know. You’re welcome!

 

5. Heart Cheescake

Still on the baking theme – just how amazing does this hearts cheesecake look?? It must be SO satisfying to make that swirl… wow!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Categories: Foodie Delights, General Craft, Sweet Tooth Scrumptious Stuff!, Top 5, Valentines, Anniversaries & Lovey-Dovey Stuff

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 does… Christmas Craft ‘drop-in’ sessions!

I know it’s abit early to be talking Christmas – but I am excited to announce that The Crafty Lass will be running Christmas Craft ‘drop-in’ sessions at the wonderful Claydon Christmas Tree Farm this year.

You can come and meet the (real!) reindeers, have a look at their huge array of trees, decorations, lovely bakes… and try a new craft!

Dates for your diary:

Saturday 5th December 12-2pm – ‘Origami Stars’ and ‘Christmas Card’ making!

 

Sunday 6th December 12-2pm – ‘Reindeer Christmas Crackers’!

 

Saturday 12th December 12-2pm – ‘3D Paper Christmas Tree’ and ‘Christmas Card’ making!

 

Sunday 13th December 12-2pm – ‘Reindeer Christmas Crackers’!

 

These are all FREE (yes, you read that right!) however a small donation towards the two charities Claydon Christmas Tree Farm are collecting for would be appreciated.

Cancer Research UK and SSNAP (Support for the Sick Newborn and their families, The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford)

Claydon Christmas Tree Farm, Stone Court Barn, West Street, Steeple Claydon, Bucks, MK18 2LJ

Categories: Christmas, Crafty Kids, Places to Go & Things to See, The Crafty Lass does..., Workshops

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

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

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

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