Tag : toddler-life

The Crafty Lass does… Halloween!

I know, I think I'm crazy sometimes too. I could have just bought a costume... But I WANTED to make one. Little Freddie has suddenly become very interested in Mummy's sewing machine - and thinks it is magic that I can take fabric and turn into something 'for you'. How perfect then, to make him a little 'wizard' outfit for Halloween!

CLOAK

Ingredients:

Fabric

Ribbon

Thread

Tools:

Sewing Machine

Scissors

Iron and Ironing Board (optional)

Method:

  1. Choose your fabrics! I have used a crushed stretch velvet for one side of this cloak and a fine netting with shiny stars on for the other. But, you could of course do both sides the same! Both of my chosen fabrics are by Visage Textiles from Hobbycraft.
  2. Measure. In terms of what to measure and cut out: the basic shape is a large rectangle. You will need one in each fabric (or the same fabric if you plan on doing the same on both sides.) You would need to adjust the size based on who you are making this for - but I measured the height of Freddie down to his mid-calf length and then used the full width of the material to give you a guide. You may want yours to be longer, narrower etc - but that gives you an idea! Just enough to go around the shoulders and down to the ground.
  3. Assemble. Lay out your two fabric rectangles right sides together and pin around the edge to secure into place.
  4. Ribbons.  I have used two strands of ribbon as the ties at the front of the cloak. Start by finding the mid point across one of the longer edges of your rectangle. Then, working outwards from this mid point insert the ribbons equally apart and pin to secure so that they are sandwiched inside your two fabrics. For Freddie's cloak they are about 20cms apart. It will need to just be enough of a gap for the wearer's neck.
  5. Sew - construct. In a simple straight stitch, sew all the way around the edge allowing a 1cm seam allowance. Leave a small gap for turning out the right way along one of the edges.
  6. Turn out. Turn out the correct way and if required, press with an iron.
  7. Sew - decoration. Sew around all four edges to secure everything in to place - I have chosen to use a decorative stitch for this, but it is completely up to you!
  8. Ribbon edge. As an optional extra finish I have folded the two edges of ribbons over and also stitched them down - this was purely as the ribbon I chose to use (a satin ribbon) was fraying alot, your ribbon may not need to be sewn down.

Et voila - one cloak! If you decide to give this a go, and need further help or ideas, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Drop me a message on any of The Crafty Lass social media.

HAT

Ingredients:

Fabric

Interlining/strong Interfacing Fabric

Thread

Tools:

Sewing Machine

Scissors

Method:

The main concept of how to make this hat - was from this 'MakerFreak' video: "10 Minute Harry Potter Wizard Hat"... It did take me longer than 10 mins! But, in time if you were making quite a few of these I can understand how it is a very quick make indeed. This tutorial also only shows how to put fabric on the outside of the hat - I decided to line my one also. So, follow the video as far as the final stage, but I also separately made a slightly smaller triangle (this will make sense once you watch the video!) for the inside and then before sewing around the bottom edge to secure, I pinned everything into position tucking all raw edges neatly inside.

The other thing to note is that for this to match Freddie's cloak; I layered up the fabrics: The crushed velvet with starry netting over the top for the outside in a double layer. Then it is the interfacing as the main structure, and just the crushed velvet on the inside. Again, I have chosen to do a decorative stitch around the bottom of the hat just to make it look extra special - but it doesn't alter the make if you wanted to just do something plainer!

PERSONALISED BUCKET

Ingredients:

Bucket

Cricut Holographic Vinyl

Cricut Transfer Tape (Optional)

Tools:

Cricut Maker Machine

Method:

Using the Cricut 'Design Space' app I have simply made some star shapes and then font for 'Freddie's Treats'. Using the holographic foil setting on the Cricut Maker* the shapes and text has been 'kiss cut' out and I simply added on to a plain small black bucket. A simple make - yet I think it is effective - and Freddie loves he has his own personalised sweetie container for Halloween!

*The Cricut Maker was gifted but all opinions expressed are my own.

 

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

Who’s The Crafty Lass? Oh yes, I remember now – that’s ME.

The Crafty Lass… who’s that? Who is she? Oh yes, I remember now – that’s ME. I had almost forgotten.

I was asked in a consultant doctor’s appointment the other day what my job was – seeing as we had only just met and he needed to establish my general day to day ‘activity levels’ this seemed like a sensible question – but without pausing for breath he then followed up with “…Mum?”

Now, seeing as I had an 8-week-old baby with me, this seemed like a sensible presumption. Presumption! My first initial (internal) reaction was – ‘No! I am not JUST a mum.’ But then I bit back at myself and thought ‘Actually, I AM at the minute ‘just’ a Mum.’ And that is a great thing indeed! There is nothing wrong with being ‘just’ a mum. However, that isn’t my JOB title as he was actually asking. I told him I ran my own business, explained about the studio, teaching… I am pretty sure he didn’t actually care want or need to know these details – he wanted to fix a health issue, not learn craft skills! – but I felt like I needed to ‘justify’ myself somehow. I wasn’t annoyed at WHAT he had said – I was more just annoyed that he had automatically presumed anything about me from a 20 second prior introduction. A very stereotypical presumption of a mid-30’s woman and my life.

With that in mind – I am very much enjoying taking some ‘time out’ of my normally hectic crafty world – getting to know our new baby, his quirks, these early days fly fast. However, being honest: my mind is already ready to return to crafty thoughts. Now don’t get me wrong – life is STILL hectic! There is absolutely never a dull moment in our household, there are a million and one things to be done, as with most busy modern day family lives. There is a super intelligent (but often challenging) toddler to stimulate and placate and enjoy. There is a baby who is smiling and trying to laugh and is starting to react to this world around him. There is a dog to be played with, fed, walked. There are the chores. House stuff. The LIFE stuff. But – I suppose understandably – I am still also craving the craft world. But, with what time? I can’t have it both ways… or can I? Projects and ideas and workshops. To re-establish my true identity as BOTH a mum AND ‘The Crafty Lass’. ME.

It’s a funny thing maternity leave – a constant battle between wanting to spend as much time as possible with your baby and new family unit whilst also trying not to feel guilty for wanting to get back to your ‘normal’ life – and all whilst juggling and muddling through the baby brain. A real head fog that has certainly descended into my life in recent weeks and months!

I think the main thing I need to accept is – that I am always too hard on myself. My boss (e.g. me) drives a hard bargain. I expect to be able to achieve everything and some.

I forget that I haven’t just been ‘off’ doing ‘nothing’ – I have grown a whole person. I gave birth to said human. I am now sustaining said human with milk that I am somehow (the human body is amazing) producing. I have battled and overcome Sepsis straight after giving birth. (Yes, for those that didn’t see that on social media – that was a pretty scary time…). I am trying to be a good mum. Trying to be a good wife. Trying to be a good friend. Trying to remember The Crafty Lass. I am trying to muddle through – I am trying. And, being completely honest at times that is very hard! To balance it ALL! Life can be hard. I have always been very honest that what you see on social media isn’t always (totally) what you get: I deliberately choose what I want to put out into the world – and for me, having a positive ‘feed’ is a great reminder that no matter what the daily struggles you face are, there are good days – GREAT days – and so on bad days – tomorrow is another day. (I just sometimes need to remember this.)

I also forget that when I had Freddie and I was on maternity leave the first time around: when he slept – I worked. Sometimes I slept too… “sleep when they sleep”. But, more often than not – I was crafting, planning, moving house and studio, organising, working. Now – when Freddie sleeps, or is at nursery I either NEED to also sleep or I am looking after little Rupert and trying to just… function. TWO kiddiwinks is a TOTAL game changer. When would I have time to do things?! How can I ever get back to fully working?

Well, the fog is slowly starting to clear, time somehow is balancing out and I am discovering that I CAN do things – we are nearly 9 weeks into this new life dynamic, and the brain cogs are starting to turn. I attended the Craft Cotton Co Bloggers event a few weeks ago (I am a guest blogger for them and now have super inspired ideas in the pipeline, I just need to action them!) The Pinterest App has been open. I have checked my emails. I have had enquiries on Christmas workshops. I am putting some ideas into action (watch this space…) and importantly, I am starting to remember what it’s like, I am starting to be Ready with a capital R.

My maternity leave ‘officially’ ends in January 2020, but I am being flexible… who knows what opportunities are around the corner? I have some ‘keep in touch’ days to start dipping my toe into the crafty water with across the next few months. And, it is a good job my brain is starting to get in gear as I have a very exciting and BIG event to be ready for! Go big, or go home? I might as well start with featuring as an ‘Expert’ at Kirstie Allsopp’s The Handmade Festival at Hampton Court Palace in a two weeks’! It’s only teaching 100 people at a time…

But, I am Ready. I am excited. I am Ready to be The Crafty Lass, AND a Mum too. I can do this, I CAN do this, I CAN DO THIS! The fog will clear… (crosses fingers and toes.)

Hereendith my self-motivational blog post. Hope to see you there!

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

The Journey

People keep asking me, what is next?

There are lots of exciting things happening, but the one thing about this journey - it is all about putting yourself out there, and seeing what happens. Saying 'yes' to things perhaps I wouldn't normally do... and also learning when you actually can say 'no'. There IS such a thing as tooooooo busy. So in answer to that question, who knows what is next - anything could happen! You just got to keep going and put yourself out there...

I have always tried to please everyone - and not always myself within that. I always do things for other people, even if it is to the detriment of my own time and happiness... and actually, being self employed, with a busy family life and within that 'managing' a (nearly!) 2 year old MAKES you decisively choose! I would LOVE to do it all... but you just can't.

Although, obviously, being in my nature - I sometimes (often) think it CAN all be achieved. I set myself too high standards and then get annoyed when I 'fail'.

I am often 'plagued' by 'mum guilt' - am I too busy? Am I doing 'enough'? Am I working too hard?! The answer of course to all of these, is - yes. BUT - in reality, he comes first over all else! He is clothed, fed, healthy (most of the time - teething is officially the devil's work) has a fantastic imagination, loves 'self play' and books - and is a happy, normal, cheeky, boundary testing little person who rules our whole world. But, within all of that - I hope that when he is old enough to understand why Mummy (and Daddy!) work ALOT, is firstly - our bills and life need to be paid, but part of it is to make him (and ourselves, of course!) PROUD!

British people don't DO proud. We say thank you for a compliment occasionally, normally with a slight little smile - not really wanting to accept open and honest praise. However, in the recent weeks with so many exciting things happening - I have had to just accept it and take it all in! I have been absolutely overwhelmed with the emails, Instagram messages, Facebook comments, even a lady stopping me in the street to say 'well done' - she is in the WI...

So, for those of you who don't know - as of yesterday I officially graced the cover of the Women's Institute national magazine, WI LIFE. This goes out to just under a quarter of a million members! And, in addition to that, there is an additional 3 page interview inside that includes some glorious photos by Jenny Stewart with the fantastic words by Eleanor Wilson. How she turned my likely nonsensical answers into a coherent and factual account I have no idea, but for that I am grateful. Upon first reading, her words truly made me shed a tear. LOTS of tears! Maybe that emotion was proudness? I am British - I wouldn't know!

With all these exciting things happening, workshops and a gorgeous toddler to capture on 'film' - I am constantly taking photos. ALL THE TIME. The Husband does get 'quite' annoyed. He even refers to me as #InstagramGeneration. #OLD?!

Anyway, the point being I am also CONSTANTLY fighting with my phone for storage space. This sounds like a boring quandary to be writing about - but it had to get sorted and has actually brought about something very interesting indeed.

I don't know about you, but in addition to taking lots of photos, I do often also scroll back through the 'feed' to see all the moments and treasure them! However, maybe only for a month or two - nothing further back than that unless I am desperately seeking a specific moment in time, or a particularly 'special' shot to include with a blog post or Instagram story!

Today - while having a 'I am DONE with this phone, it is UNUSABLE with such little storage space' (due for renewal soon - YAY!) with basically bulk transferring old photos to a back up... I discovered some absolute GEMS of pictures.

These are the studio BEFORE we bought our house! I couldn't believe it! These represent the moment I basically told The Husband come hell or high water we WERE moving here! I had a vision. it was covered in cobwebs, dust, piles of wood and various household paraphernalia - but it would be a STUDIO.

Well, the rest is history as they say... but it was a reminder that we have achieved SO MUCH in 12 months! It was this time last year we were wondering if we would be able to even get Christmas workshops out... NOW we are already majority SOLD OUT on our advertised festive workshops...

Maybe I am, just a little bit, proud.

 

Categories: Business, Christmas, General Craft, House & Home, Places to Go & Things to See, Workshops

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