Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Thank you and wishing you a very Happy New Year

Wow, Happy New Year! Hands up if 2014 flew by for you too!

What a year it's been...

I added extra colours to my Harris Tweed collection

My big goal for the year was to really develop the Make Do and Mend/Recycling ethos of the blog and I'm now using British made materials alongside too.

I'm so enjoying working on the blog, thank you for reading! I'm having a bit of a blog revamp in early 2015 and I've got lots of craftyness planned to share with you throughout the year, so lots to look forward to coming up!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and crafty 2015, here's to making it a great year!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Louise Dawson Design Published in Green Craft Magazine!

Before I sign off for a blogging break over Christmas, I have some exciting news to share with you... 

Early in 2014 the lovely Editor of Green Craft Magazine, Devon Warren, got in touch to ask if I'd like to write an article about my work to appear in the magazine and I'm chuffed that it has now been published! 

Green Craft Magazine is an American magazine showcasing the work of artists and designers who use up-cycled and re-purposed items in their work. In my article I explain why I choose to create jewellery using up-cycled materials, particularly Harris Tweed, alongside some great images of my work that the magazine shot. 

I'm delighted to be featured alongside many inspiring artists and designers I'd like to say a big thank you to Devon and all the team at the magazine for making one of my big goals possible. I'm so happy to have my work in print!

Here are some peaks at the article, "Crafting Slow Fashion with Recycled Materials."

I'm having a short break from the blog over Christmas but I will be back before the new year to share some new year plans. I have lots to share with you in 2015!

Thank you for your support as I continue to grow this blog. I'm grateful to everyone who reads, follows and comments and supports behind the scenes- without you I wouldn't be able to do this. Wishing you all a very happy, creative Christmas

Friday, 19 December 2014

DIY Crafted Christmas Tree Jumper How To!

This week I've made a DIY Crafted Christmas Tree Jumper! Everyone at work at my day job has started wearing their Christmas jumpers and I don't have one, so I thought I make a customised version!

It was really fun and thrifty make. All you need to make the Christmas tree design is a handful of green buttons, a few brown buttons for the trunk, a star button or gem and some red and gold bead string trimmings. This is a good way to use up odd buttons from your button tin, or an inexpensive bag of mixed buttons from a craft store and the trimmings could be recycled from gift wrap decorations. 

Grab yourself an old jumper, a needle and thread, put on some Christmas music and get crafting! (Add Mince Pies and it would make the ultimate festive afternoon!)

Starting with the top of the tree, stitch the green buttons on in rows. Leave a small gap between each row of buttons so there is space to add the bead trimming later on. I found that it helped to lay out the button design on the jumper first and take a photo, so I had a plan for the design

Add an extra button on each row, eg. row 1 has 1 button, row 2 has 2 buttons, row 3 has 3 buttons, etc

Continue adding rows of buttons until your tree is the size you would like. My tree has 7 rows of buttons

Stitch rows of brown buttons to create the tree trunk

Now the tree is complete, dress your tree with the bead trimming! Stitch it in between the rows of buttons, securing it every few centimetres with a few over stitches between the beads. 

Finally, stitch your star button or gem to the top of the tree!

So there you have it, a very unique and thrifty Christmas jumper that you can wear every festive season! If you make one I'd love to see! Happy making 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Handmade Christmas Gift Ideas

If you'd like to give some handmade gifts this Christmas it's not too late to get making! Here are three simple How Tos that would make lovely gifts and each of which you could make in an afternoon. Happy making!

Fabric Wrapped Bangles

Great to give as gifts and you could make them in the recipients favourite colour!

Coasters made using old CDs and Lace

A set of these unique coasters would make a great gift for a tea or coffee lover

Coconut Macaroons with three variations

Wrap these in cellophane and tie with festive ribbons to give as a yummy gift (if you can resist eating them yourself!)

Friday, 12 December 2014

Last Christmas Posting Dates, a Christmas Sale and New Year Plans!

Hi all, I just wanted to let you know that the last posting date for UK orders is Thursday 18th December and if you would like to place an order for a Christmas gift or as a treat to yourself, I am having a Christmas sale and offering 25% off all orders in my Etsy Shop until 17th December! Use the code CHRISTMAS2014 at the checkout for 25% off your order!

I'm looking forward to getting stuck into new projects in the new year- I've got lots planned that I'm looking forward to sharing with you, including a fresh new look for the blog!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Handmade Christmas gift idea: Earl Grey and Ginger Shortbread Recipe

I don't know about you but I love shortbread and it's a great handmade gift idea for Christmas. I may have mentioned a few times that I love Earl Grey tea and it was while enjoying a cup recently with a piece of shortbread I thought up the idea of combining the two! Mr Writer suggested adding the stem ginger for a Christmassy flavour. The Earl Grey flavour is subtle but you could leave it out if Earl Grey isn't for you. Enjoy!

I'm all ready for Santa!
Makes 8 pieces 


150g Plain Flour

100g Butter cut into small cubes

50g Caster Sugar and a little extra for sprinkling

4 balls of Stem Ginger chopped into chunky pieces

4 Earl Grey tea bags- tea removed from tea bags


Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees

1) Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the butter and sugar

2) Rub the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs

3)Stir the ginger and Earl Grey tea through the mix

4) Bring the mixture together as a dough and add to a greased 8" round tin. Press the mixture down with the back of a spoon, ensuring an even layer. Sprinkle with caster sugar and lightly score slices with a knife

5) Bake at 190 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden

6) Leave the shortbread to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then slice, remove from the tin and leave to cool completely

These biscuits look lovely as gifts wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon. Make some for yourself too, they are really moreish! 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

On Instagram in November

Wow, so here we are in December! I can't quite believe it, this year has flown by! Today I'm looking back at my birthday month of November through my Instagram photos. If you would like to, you can follow me on Instagram here

It was a super busy month preparing for The Renegade Craft Fair in London, so I was very busy knitting, stitching and planning. I've been a little quiet on the blog front in November while getting ready for the fair, but I'll be back in full swing from now on!

I like to watch iplayer or listen to music when I'm working. The First Aid kit album is my favourite at the moment, love their folky sound!

The Renegade Craft Fair was such a great weekend! Such a lovely atmosphere. Hi if I met you there! I chatted to lots of lovely people

I discovered the lovely Pompom magazine at the fair. I spent a few evenings relaxing after the fair weekend, so magazines, knitting and tea it was!

I live close to the water in Essex and I love getting out for walks by the river. It's pretty even when it's grey and chilly

Thank you to Mr Writer, as part of my birthday present he bought me this fab tea Advent Calendar from Nothing But Tea! Such a lovely idea, 24 different teas and a chocolate for Christmas day! My favourite so far has been a Black Tea and Roobios blended with pear and marzipan- it tasted like cake! Do love a good cup of tea

Lovely Nelson cat. Sadly his sister Daisy passed away earlier in November, so it has been very sad, but Nelson is enjoying lots of cuddles (even at 5.30am when I took this pic!) 

I hope you have had a lovely November. I'd love to see what you've been up to!

I feel re-energised now after a very hectic month and I'm ready to get festive! I'll be back later in the week with some Christmas gift ideas.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Louise Dawson Design featured in the Blog and Buy Sale Christmas Wish List!

I'm so happy that some of my Fair Isle jewellery pieces have been included in the Blog and Buy Sale Christmas Wish List! There are some beautiful products featured on the list from a great selection of Designer/Makers. Check out the list here and find some beautifully unique Christmas gifts

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Thank you Renegade London!

Over the weekend I had a stand at The Renegade Craft Fair at The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane London and had such a lovely time! Thank you to everyone who took the time to visit my stand, what a lovely bunch of people I chatted to! Over 12,000 people visited the fair over the weekend- I'm so happy so many people appreciate the handmade.

Thank you also to Mr Writer who came to help, dressed for the part in his Harris Tweed jacket!

It's the second year that I have taken part in The Renegade Fair and I enjoy it so much because there is such a friendly and appreciative atmosphere among vendors and visitors alike. Thanks to the Renegade Team for a great fair!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Louise Dawson Design at The Renegade Craft Fair in London 22nd and 23rd November!

It's all go go go here today as I get ready to head off to London to take part in The Renegade Craft Fair this weekend, 22nd and 23rd November! I'll be there showcasing my new Fair Isle brooches and necklaces, as well as my Harris Tweed brooches and rings in new colours! 

If you're planning a visit, I'd love to say hi, I'm on stand 59. Find the fair at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, just round the corner from Spitalfields and a short walk from Liverpool Street (find more details here). The fair is open from 11-6 on Saturday and Sunday and there will be a great selection of makers selling their handmade work- it's a great place for Christmas shopping! Hope to see you there

Monday, 10 November 2014

A Roundup of my How To Blog post series this year so far!

Today I thought I'd share with you a roundup of my How To... blog post series from this year so far! One of my goals for the blog this year was to start a How To feature, creating lovely things using thrifted, recycled and inexpensive materials. I wanted to inspire others to create things from the materials they already have at home- from coasters made using old CDs, lace and paint tester pots, fabric wrapped bangles embellished with broken jewellery and a fabric scrap photo frame, I hope my How Tos inspire you to get crafting. Happy making!

This has been my favourite How To... so far, I love using these coasters!

You see lots of these trays in the charity shops and this is a great way to give them a new life

A triple wammy of a recycling How To... Old bangles, broken jewellery and fabric scraps

A handy way to use up remnants in your fabric stash

(The perfect excuse to have desert! Nom nom nom...)

A really easy and effective way to customise an old t-shirt

I used the beads and gems I already had to give a suggestion here but there are no end of possibilities for embellishment! Give those expensive embellished jumpers a run for their money!

Inexpensive to make and a good way to use up fabric from your stash

Great for using up small scraps of fabric