Tag : present
Tag : present
The Crafty Lass now sells gift vouchers! What a good idea for a crafty Christmas present?
Vouchers can be bought in denominations of £5.00 and can be used against any of The Crafty Lass workshops*.
Vouchers will be personalised for the recipient – you can even include a little message! A PDF copy will be sent to you via email after purchase for you to print or send on to your crafty loved one and they will be valid for 1 year from purchase.
The 2018 The Crafty Lass workshop calendar is going to start being released VERY soon for our workshops held here in The Old Grain Store workshop studio in Lower Boddington, Northamptonshire… but will be initially including: Valentine’s, Mothers Day and Easter events, Paper Flowers including Paper Roses, Peonies, Origami, Decoupage, Sewing Fabric Flower Corsages, Basic Introduction to Needle Felting, Spring Wreaths to name just a few of the exciting workshops on offer… with LOTS more to come.
The crafty recipient(s) would need to contact The Crafty Lass directly for redemption prior to ticket purchase of a workshop booking with their unique crafty code.
Please get in touch to purchase your gift voucher now!
*Excluding 3rd party, external branded events.
Categories: Birthday, Business, Christmas, Crafty Kids, Easter, General Craft, House & Home, Places to Go & Things to See, The Crafty Lass does..., Valentines, Anniversaries & Lovey-Dovey Stuff, Weddings, Workshops
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…
Have you ever upcycled a pillow case into a cushion cover? I would love to see!
Yesterday was a bit of a ‘road trip’! One of my closest and dearest friends had her birthday recently – and as she is also very creative, and we mentioned AGES ago about doing something like pottery making, or decorating – my gift to her was to visit the brilliant, and iconic Emma Bridgewater factory in Stoke-on-Trent. We were booked in for both a factory tour to see the makers and creators in all their skillful glory… and then to go and decorate our very own pieces in their studio. Exciting!
It was a horrible drive up – the weather was typically Britishly grey, rainy, horrid visibility – but when we pulled up at the factory the clouds were on the turn – with blue skies and glorious sunshine just around the corner. A sign that our day was about to be on the up!
Despite the horrid journey, we did arrive quite a bit earlier than planned. But – this actually was a genius move – plenty more time to spend in the factory shop! Winning.
Although marked as ‘Seconds’ you sometimes struggled to work out exactly why it was just that – and ‘Seconds’ – the odd mark here and there that perhaps was ‘out of spec’ but nothing that didn’t stop each piece certainly being a delightful piece of exquisitely handmade piece of pottery here at the very factory in Stoke. Bargains galore – I really did have to reign in my desire and the true definition between ‘want’ and ‘need’… Beautiful mugs normally £19.95 – instead… £11.90 for two anyone?? A true sign of the high quality standards that the factory obviously strives towards.
They are very proud of the fact they are in Stoke – and, that everything is made on site – and so they should be! They are one of the largest employers in the area – around 185 people – and it is just so exciting to see such an industry still in good old Great Britain.
Although I knew they were made in Stoke, and yes perhaps hand decorated – I had no idea, that Every. Single. Piece. is TOTALLY handmade. Hand moulded, hand finished, hand checked, hand well – everything – from beginning to end – each mug, bowl, tureen is completely hand created. And, due to that – on the finishing at least, one will never be exactly the same as the next. Each very talented painter – will of course, have to keep to a certain spec, but it will always be their own. Our delightful factory tour guide ‘Julie’ explained that some people that collect Emma Bridgewater pottery – will ONLY collect certain artists pieces. What a compliment! You may be thinking – but how do they know!? Well, underneath each item, the artists leave their little ‘mark’ – usually their initials, and in the romantic eyes – it gives credence to the artist – which, of course it does – but, also it is a part of the quality control system – but either way it certainly shows it was hand created by a person, and not a machine!
Next we headed over the cafe for some well earned (ok, not really – but well desired) tea and scrumptious-moist-really-not-needed carrot cake. What a place! With (as expected!) everything served on in house wares – a now famous ‘polka-dot design’ adorned Aga in the middle, the walls covered with quirky posters and shelf upon shelf of mugs, plates… Just lovely! A fun, relaxed environment akin to the branding and designs of the Bridgewater pottery.
We didn’t actually have long, so we wolfed down our treats – and headed on over to the decorating studio.
We knew we were doing this – but it wasn’t until we were actually inside that we thought about a) what we wanted to decorate and b) what we wanted to decorate it with! Blank pieces started from as little as £6.00 and luckily there were a wide selection of stamps and paint colours – so it wasn’t long before we were inspired and raring to go!
Those girls in the factory are really so talented – they make it look ‘easy’… I had grand visions of all sorts of complicated designs – but in the end settled for some lovely and very ‘The Crafty Lass’ hearts and stars in a repeat pattern around the edges of the iconic Bridgewater mug – in green and pink too, of course.
I love those mugs – we were bought the also iconic ‘Mr & Mrs’ mugs when we got married – and although they have a special meaning of course – they are such lovely mugs to drink from. Heavy, but still actually useable. Thick and solid, but still somehow delicate. It’s crazy – but my morning cuppa of Yorkshire tea, always tastes better in that mug than any other.
Anyway – back to the decorating – we soon learnt that the paint dries very quickly, and that’s quite handy – as if you make a mistake, you can sandpaper it back off! We were fortunate that the scheduled groups after us – weren’t so large, and so with plenty of space – we managed to hang around longer than the normal allocated time. We were so absorbed in our new found love of pottery painting – we hung around in the studio for 2.5 hours…! And due to that – not only did I complete two mugs – one for myself, and one for The Husband but also a ‘Crafty Lass’ inspired matching plate with my now well used ‘Make. Create. Inspire.’ “catchphrase”! I have delightful and rose-tinted visions of my morning tea and toast with them to literally inspire me onwards in my The Crafty Lass days. The only deadline that curtailed us short of moving in and staying there all day and night and decorating pretty much everything – was that the cafe stopped serving lunch at 3.30pm… so we managed to put the paintbrushes down, pack-up, pay and get over there for some more delicious food. (A pesto, mozzarella and tomato toastie and a Ham, Cheese and Piccalilli bloomer – both with salad and plenty of homemade coleslaw incase you were wondering. Delicious!)
The final pieces need to be glazed, fired, cooled – and so they will be sent on to us in just a few weeks time. I cannot wait for the knock on the door the day that parcel arrives!!!
A final mooch around the shop to buy more items that I probably don’t need, but feel that my kitchen is greatly improved by – before back in the car, and off home. A long day – but happy, content and I actually feel like we had a therapeutic, creative and world-away from the day to day stuff – just, put simply – a truly lovely day trip out with my dear friend.
I left feeling inspired. Emma Bridgewater started the company simply because she couldn’t find the right present for her mum. Spotted a gap in the market – and et voila! They now produce 1.2 million pieces of pottery every year.
If you hadn’t already guessed by my above review – I would highly recommend a visit here to anyone. So, if you are ever Stoke way, or fancy a bit of a road trip – head on up there! Your bank balance won’t thank me for the recommendation, but your soul and kitchen certainly will.
I love Christmas. I am sure I will say that more than once over the next few weeks, but it really is my favourite time of year. I even like the wintery weather! Apart from the obvious – ‘big day’ – I love the build up to Christmas, perhaps even more than the main event. The planning, the little surprises, the Christmas concerts and carols, the food shopping, making, baking and eating! And of course – crafting! 😉
As a child (and still as an adult) I absolutely love advent calendars – every single day opening up the little door to see what was behind and knowing 1 day less till Christmas! I wasn’t even that bothered about the chocolate, I am more a savoury than sweet girl, but of course I still always ate it! That weird ‘advent calendar chocolate’ that tastes bit like plastic, you know it is rubbish – but you eat it anyway!
You can of course get ‘luxury’ calendars – that are filled with the highest end of beautiful Belgian chocolate, or even different little gifts, and on this slant – how about making your OWN and choosing your own little delights to put inside! I did this a couple of years ago for The Husband – all together now – awwww – I put a little chocolate in each one, and also a task for the day! Like, “Learn how to say Merry Christmas in 5 different languages” or “Lets make mince pies tonight!”. I know, too cute. It was certainly fun to put together, and although The Husband doesn’t like Christmas as much as me – he isn’t a bah humbug scrooge – but he certainly isn’t like Elf from the movie like me – he did really love it. Who wouldn’t love 24 little parcels to be opened up!?
On that note… here are my Top 15 advent calendar ideas! Normally I only do a ‘Top 5’ but there were so many inspirational ideas out there, I had to share them with you!
1. The Crafty Lass on the Craft Channel
Well of course I am going to say that 😉
This year I have already made mine… and it will be featured on The Craft Channel next week…make sure you check it out in our Weekend Wonder promotion shows – just some clever little way of turning some ordinary packaging into some fun advent ideas! 😀 latest schedule can be found on www.thecraftchannel.tv
2. Advent in a Jar
3. Advent Street
4. Advent Baubles
5. Envelope Advent
6. Painted Advent
This is certainly a different and contemporary idea – painting jars in colour coordinated paints and popping little gifts inside. Beautiful!
7. Advent ‘Cake’
8. Santa’s Beard Advent!
Great idea for the kiddiwinks here – turning santa’s beard into a calendar! Give him a ‘shave’ every day to reduce the length of his beard! 🙂
9. Elf Advent
10. Clothes Peg Advent
Not just for hanging up the washing – turn clothes pegs into your new advent calendar! Simply tie little gifts up with ribbon and hang on!
11. Punch Board Advent
12. Santa’s Present Sack Advent
This is really beautiful. Love the cute little Santas holding their present sacks, ready for you to fill with a little chocolate or gift – lovely.
13. Cushion Advent
A different homeware idea – making an advent cushion! Tuck little gifts behind each number space 🙂
14. Advent Bunting
15. Embroidery Hoop Advent
A really clever idea using embroidery hoops to create a little wall display idea as little fabric pockets! Fun!
I know you’d think that creating your own perfume is only an experience for the rich and famous, or the haute couture, or well trained perfumers – well this is not actually the case!
Yesterday, myself and my mother-in-law (it was a last Christmas gift from us to her!) attended The Perfume Studio experience at Salus Natural Therapy in Stratford-upon-Avon.
I was quite skeptical as to whether I would be able to create something that didn’t smell like a duty free perfume counter – basically just too much going on – however, you are taken through slowly step by step to understand the different ‘levels’ of smell, and you slowly pick and choose and adjust what you think would be in your perfect signature scent.
Starting with the ‘base notes’ (5 to choose from) it was very quickly obvious which ones you did and definitely did not like! Each scent was given to you on a little perfume ‘stick’ which you basically had to waft back and forth in front of your nose so you picked up everything it had to offer. You also get a little bag of coffee beans to sniff between perfume scents – which almost acts as a ‘nose reset’! It allows you to differentiate between them all. You then settled on one of these base notes (maximum two) as a starter of what you’d like to use. So far, so good.
However, it started to get all rather more complicated when you then began to add in the ‘middle notes’ (9 to choose from) as suddenly combining things together – some of the base notes you had discarded – when blended together with these new middle ones – actually ‘worked’. But slowly but surely, you started to eliminate/select what would be nice combined together.
Just when you think you’ve cracked it – you also had the ‘top notes’ to also select from (4 to choose from). You can add as little or as many of these smells together (average is about 5-7 in total) and you don’t HAVE to have top notes also – but, in the end I did to give it an overall balance – alongside 2 base notes, and three middle. A total of 6 combined together to make ‘Daffodil’. (Yes, you also get to name your new scent!) And, in case you are wondering – the name ‘Daffodil’ comes from my nickname from my lovely Mother In Law – she calls me Daffodil.
My new scent, is very fresh, quite floral but also quite ‘musky’ – there are roses in there, ‘fresh florals’, ‘ocean breeze’, ‘cucumber’… It is the sort of perfume I could wear everyday and not get bored!
We were in a small group, and Sara from Salus Natural Therapy was very patient, very thorough and giving us plenty of time to pick and choose/play around with the combinations. With 18 scents as a maximum that could have been combined (although I wouldn’t recommend – as then that really does smell like a Duty Free perfume counter!) – it was amazing to see just how different the end results from the other ladies were. Some were ‘spicy’, some ‘vanilla’, some ‘herbal’ and some ‘citrus’. All lovely, but all very distinctly personal.
We then got to select which perfume bottle you’d like to put your new magnificent creation to be in – with a choice of colours, some with ‘bling’ some without. I actually paid slightly extra to have mine in a beautiful, heavy and luxurious glass bottle.
The interesting thing with this – is according to the Fragantica website, my normal perfume of choice ‘Chanel Chance’ – which I do normally wear every day, and absolutely LOVE – was a completely different direction to what I had selected. In fact, it is predicted to be made with some of the base notes that I immediately did not want! However, that goes to show you just how complicated making a perfume can be – and that they must include various other levels, at varying quantities to just make it classically, distinctly ‘Chanel’.
We now get to wear our lovely new perfumes and of course await that magical moment of:
Friend/family/work colleague: “Oooh I love your perfume, what is it?”
Us: “Oh, this? This is MY own perfume, created just for me, by me!”
The other great thing is about this experience – is you can reorder your signature perfume whenever you like – they keep absolutely everything on record – so when you are down to the last drop, you call up – quote your name, and perfume name and et voila – they will post that out to you! And, in comparison to other perfumes out in the market – it is not at an unreasonable price. And, in reality – I would be happy to pay it, knowing it is still your own ‘designer’ fragrance.
I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who wears perfume, wants to learn about perfume or just fancies doing something that little bit different!
PS I did look a little bit odd later that day wandering around Tesco picking up a few bits for dinner and occasionally sniffing my wrists! But, I needed a hit – I just totally do love it!