Tag : love

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… Pillowcase Cushion Cover!

When it comes to fabrics – I am certainly a bit of a magpie! Particularly if vintage – so they have a bit of history behind them. Or an unusual print or pattern. Or colour, or weave… Who am I kidding – any fabrics that might have a use! I often buy them if I like them, to keep ‘just in case’… (Otherwise known as a classic craft hoarder – much to The Husband’s dismay!)

This time, with a specific project in mind – I was on the look out for some ‘Rose’ fabric – to craft up a present for one of our lovely friend’s little girl’s 1st birthday present. I had kept a sneaky eye out on eBay for anything coming up, and hunted in my normal ‘go-to’ fabric haunts – and I was tempted to go for something such as the Cath Kidston Antique Rose design until, I suddenly, unexpectedly stumbled upon some beautiful vintage roses pillow cases in Brackley Antiques Cellar. Bingo!

I had planned to make a cushion – which may sound a strange first birthday gift – however the bright floral colours, and an idea for potential ribbon details to play with, I am hoping it will be an item loved for years to come in her nursery/future bedroom!

I was already intending to make a simple ‘fold over’ style cushion cover (where the back overlaps) – and my first thought with my new found treasure – was to simply just cut away all the seams of the pillowcase, and then use the fabric as per normal. However, when I started to look at and measure the cases, I realised size wise – it was near as perfect for the cushion inner I had in mind. Wouldn’t it be silly to rip out perfectly already achieved craftmanship, just to redo them all over again?? So, with that in mind – after washing and ironing – I decided to embrace the pillow case as part of the design! Here is how I achieved the final look…

 

  1. Semi ignoring the above, I cut away the end seam to allow me to attach some ribbons for tieing up the case/cushion at the end! (If you see the photos this will make sense!)
  2. Turned the pillowcase inside out.
  3. Pinned said ribbons inside along this newly cut edge, and then re-machine sewed – and the ribbons into place.
  4. Turned the pillowcase back the right way out.
  5. Inserted the cushion inner to check measurements.
  6.  Lined up the ribbons on other edge of pillow case – directly opposite the previously sewed ones and pinned into place.
  7. Removed cushion inner.
  8. Added a simple running stitch along the edge, to sew ribbons on.
  9. Re-added cushion inner.
  10. Folded pillow case back over and tied ribbons together to hold cushion cover together!

Et Voila!

Have you ever upcycled a pillow case into a cushion cover? I would love to see!

Enjoy x

Categories: Birthday, 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… aims to live The Dream…

It’s June. JUNE.

I’m sure I start every blog post on a comment about time, or very British – the weather, but I seriously do not understand where time goes…

Our little one is approaching 8 months. For those good at maths, that’s two thirds of a whole year, (what??!!) which to me is literally, crazy… time flies when you’re having fun!

Well, my blog posts have certainly been bare, and my Facebook feeds empty – but I have literally been having ‘too much fun’… Well, I have been busy anyway… We have moved house. Which I can tell you, is no mean feat with the compious amounts of furniture and rubbish stuff we own to move, a dog, a baby… (note: we could NOT have done the house move without our wonderful parents physical help on the day… I know they will read this, and very important for the acknowledgement! We made such a great team!!)

 

The Crafty Lass – despite being on a slight back burner due to concentrating on the move, and mainly on our forever growing and developing little man and being on maternity leave – is never far from my thoughts. In fact, at the minute, it feels like it is all I think about. I hinted in my last post, 6 weeks ago, that there are ‘big plans’, and I sort of wondered whether to even say anything back then, let alone now… if you admit out loud your deepest thoughts, your dreams, and plans that are coming to fruition – you are vulnerable, but – you are honest. This house move, was for our family. But, it was also majorly for me, The Crafty Lass. 

 

Now, don’t get me wrong – our new home, is a very long term, family home in the beautiful British countryside – but it has the added benefit of a (majorly-exciting-all-consuming-any-spare-thoughts) OUTBUILDING. Which, is currently in the process of being converted to be able to run said workshops from it… The Crafty Lass, used to be mobile – and still will be – however, it will have a new stable base, a lynch pin, a HOME.

 

Things will take time, things will need to be planned, bought, delivered, practiced – but The Crafty Lass will be expanding its workshops offerings. There is the new house to make a home too, and of course (!) there are various ‘The Crafty Lass’ projects to complete there too. There are blinds to be made, walls to be painted and murals to be designed. There is only one of ‘me’ (thank goodness I am sure ‘The Husband’ thinks…) and my brain is on design and Pinterest overdrive with ideas and ‘vision’ for spaces and the future.

 

I will, of course, keep you informed of anything majorly exciting in regards to workshops… but I hope you will join me on this new journey and adventure of turning our outbuilding into the new The Crafty Lass HQ. And of course, once this seriously starts to get real… I will be singing from the rooftops that I am holding workshops from here, and then I will need your help! Like, Share… Attend?

 

With the most recent happenings in our broken world, nothing speaks stronger to me than – do it. If you want something to happen, just do it – if you can. But, life is far, far too short to hold back. The last eight months with little man, and the changes that have occurred in that short time… I wonder where we, and the world will be in another 8 months time. I am a big believer in fate, and the minute I walked into this house, I just knew. I had to stop myself from crying in front of the estate agent (stiff upper lip and all that…) apart from imagining where our Christmas tree would go (sure fire we need to get this house moment) I could see fabric, passion, sewing, happiness, creativity, the future…

 

So, without being a preacher – if you want something don’t let anyone, or yourself (!) hold you back. Go out, do it, live the dream. I’m not quite there yet, but the day I have people here for a workshop, and they leave creative, inspired and happy… I’ve won. I’ve lived the dream. And, now, the next stage is to MAKE IT HAPPEN. Make, Create, Inspire.

 

What is your dream? Are you actively pursuing it? How does it effect your life? I’d love to hear. xx

 

Enjoy!

Categories: Business, General Craft, House & Home, Workshops

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...

Top 5… Valentine’s Crafts 2017!

So it is nearly February 2017… seriously – where do the days and weeks and months go? One minute I was writing a blog post about welcoming our little one into the world and now he is just over 3 months old and nearly doubled in birth weight! 

I always seem to start blog posts about where time is going – but it really does fly by when you are having fun! Valentine’s this year will mark one whole year since we welcomed our four legged friend, Patch into our ever expanding and busy household – and nearly a year to the day we discovered we were expecting our little bubba! Crazy. As you can imagine, I’ve not been really thinking about craft recently… I’ve not exactly had time! However, I have been back designing (when I can!) and I have a few projects on the longer term horizon – but, mainly I’ve just playing with our new little buddy and making sure to keep him happy (and alive!) for the day!! 

I know it can be commercial, but I think there is something lovely about Valentine’s Day – The Husband always says he can say I Love You any day of the year (awww) but – I think it is a nice excuse to just show someone you care. And of course – to get crafty and make something! That will mean far more than any shop bought gift… (Well, unless it includes diamonds…!?!) Anyway, here are my top 5 Valentine’s Day crafts to get you inspired to make something for your beloved!

 

1. Valentine’s Party Poppers!

Who says that crackers have to be just for Christmas?? This clever idea for Valentine’s photo party poppers would be fun to make and to give as a cute gift! 🙂 

 

2. No Sew Cushion!

A very simple but effective idea, that will brighten your home and say I Love You all year round! 

 

3. Heart Pretzels!

These are MEGA cute, and look really simple to make! Mmmmm tasty! And what’s not to love about chocolate pretzels?!

 

4. Heart bunting!

Who doesn’t love a bit of bunting?? A lovely tutorial here for some rustic heart decor!

 

5. Strawberry Roses!

Love roses? Love strawberries? Why not have both with this tutorial for an elegant fruity crafty idea!

 

Enjoy! x

Categories: Top 5, Valentines, Anniversaries & Lovey-Dovey Stuff

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

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day! However especially to my own wonderful Dad, but also to a fantastic Father-In-Law! Have a lovely day both of you and see you soon!
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Categories: General Craft

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