Monday 30 November 2015

Handmade Christmas Gifts From Louise Dawson Design

This Christmas I'm trying to make and buy handmade gifts as much as possible to support fellow makers as well as to give more personal gifts. After Christmas I'm going to write a post on the handmade items I have given as gifts!

If you too are looking for unique, hand crafted Christmas gifts, I'm currently offering 20% off in my Etsy Shop until 18th December, just enter the code HAPPYCHRISTMAS20 at the checkout. All of my handmade jewellery pieces arrive beautifully presented in a hand decorated gift box, making them ideal for gifting. Check out my shop here

The last posting dates for Christmas are 7th December for Asia and the Far East, 10th December for Australia and New Zealand, 15th December for the USA and 18th December for the UK. Happy handmade Christmas shopping! 

All items arrive presented in a lovingly hand decorated box, making them ideal for gifting

The ideal gift for a knitter!

Wednesday 25 November 2015

DIY Crafted Christmas Jumper How To...

It's nearly December and I'm starting to feel very festive! With Christmas Jumper Day coming up on 18th December I thought I'd re-share my DIY Crafted Christmas Tree Jjumper How To  that I made last Christmas. It's a really thrifty make using just buttons and bead trimmings and you'd be sure to have a fun festive afternoon making it. Happy making! If you've made your own Christmas jumper I'd love to see, share in the comments!

Sunday 22 November 2015

Weekend Walks

Things are very busy here and I 'm working toward something I can tell you about soon, but in the mean time I've been getting out for weekend walks as it really clears my mind to get out in the fresh air.I don't know about you, but I find it helps to have a change of scenery for a little while when life gets hectic. I live in a little town in Essex near my local park which has the river flowing beside it- here are some photos from my late afternoon walk along the river last weekend where I snapped some of my favourite views...

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Blog and Buy Sale Christmas Wish List

Have you made a start on your Christmas shopping? If, like me, you like to seek out individual and handmade gifts for your loved ones, do check out the Blog and Buy Sale Christmas Wish List. It's packed with work from a talented bunch of artists/designers and makers so you are sure to find a special gift.

I'm super excited that three pieces from my Fair Isle jewellery collection were chosen to be included in the wish list this Christmas! I hand knit each piece using British wool and they make the ideal gift for a knitter.

There are some brilliant pieces featured in the wish list from a fab line up of Designers and Makers- I'm definitely going to be making some purchases!

I absolutely love this Laser Cut and Engraved Wooden Christmas Jumper Brooch by Hello Sunshine!

This Grey and Peach Geometric Sterling Silver Necklace by never spent is so elegant and each piece is made to order

How cute are these Christmas Sprout Tree Decorations from SewSew?! I can see them adorning many a Christmas tree this festive season- I definitely need one (or three) of these in my life!

I hope that gives you some festive gift inspiration! Check out the full Blog and Buy Sale 2015 Christmas Wishlist here!

Sunday 15 November 2015

Small Project Challenge- Fair Isle Knitted Baby Hat

For my latest Small Project Challenge I have made a Fair Isle Knitted baby hat! A friend has recently had a baby boy so I thought that this would be the ideal chance to put my Fair Isle skills into practice on a larger scale.

To make the slouchy beanie I used three shades of beautiful Drops Merino Extra Fine DK, which was so lovely to knit with and has knitted up into such a soft fabric. The pattern is from King Cole Baby Book 7, which is full of such sweet knitting patterns for boys and girls from birth to seven years- check it out if you're looking for a project!

I started off using a denim blue, mid blue and a steel grey, but I found the steel grey a bit lilac in tone so a lovely friend came to the rescue with a spare ball of cream (thank you) !

I've just got to hope it fits him now, but if it's a little big at least he can grow into it!

I really enjoyed Fair Isle knitting on a larger scale, although I had an awful lot of ends to sew in at the end! The next step in challenging my Fair Isle skills will be to knit a Fair Isle jumper or cardigan, but perhaps I'll make a baby version to practice before I make one for myself.

What have you been making lately? I'd love to see your craft projects, share in the comments below!

Wednesday 11 November 2015

New In My Etsy Shop- Hand Knitted Fair Isle Brooches!

I've just added some new hand knitted Fair Isle brooches to my Etsy shop! I love working with British materials so I have hand knitted each piece in beautiful British wool to a Fair Isle pattern of my own design.They are a lovely way to wear British wool and are the ideal Autumn/Winter accessory to brighten up your coat or cardigan, Take a look at these and my other Fair Isle brooches and necklaces in my Etsy shop here

Each brooch is aprox. 4cm x 4cm and very light weight to wear. They are backed with greyfelt and a round, gold toned brooch back

Fair Isle brooch hand knitted in pink, grey, blue, mustard and cream British wool

Fair Isle brooch hand knitted in pink, blues, mustard and cream British wool

Fair Isle brooch hand knitted in pink, blue, mustard and cream British wool

All my jewellery pieces arrive presented in a hand decorated box, making them ideal gifts

Sunday 8 November 2015

Poppy's Place Winter Fair Photos

Thank you to the lovely guys from Poppy's Place Animal Rescue for hosting such a fab Winter Fair in Marks Tey, Essex last weekend. It was a busy afternoon and I chatted with lots of lovely people- hi if you stopped by for a chat! Thank you also to my Mum for helping me out for the afternoon and keeping us supplied with hot chocolate. I forgot to take my camera (d'oh!) but here are a few pics from the afternoon I took with my phone...

I made some Christmas cards to take along to the fair- there was a definite festive feel to lots of the stalls

Harris Tweed, Knitted and Denim Button Rings embellished with upcycled fabrics

My home town is Maldon in Essex so I was delighted to meet The Maldon Soap Company at the fair. They use local ingredients to make their soaps, creams and bath products which are all made by hand. There were too many lovely things to choose from but I did buy a hand cream which is really helping my very dry hands. I'm looking forward to trying some more of their products!

Another favourite stand of mine was from Home Harvest Gardens who were selling a lovely selection of herbs, bulbs, seeds and English tea- right up my street!

Thanks again to everyone at Poppy's Place Animal Rescue for organising such a great Winter Fair- I hope you raised lots of money for your great cause. Find out more about Poppy's Place and how you can help here

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Bead Embellished Gloves How To

Tomorrow night, 5th November is Guy Fawkes night in the UK and I know lots of us will be enjoying bonfire and firework party celebrations. I first shared this How To for these bead embellished gloves back in chilly January and I thought I'd share them again as they'd make the perfect accessories for sparkler waving at bonfire night parties (that's my favourite bit, apart from the food!). They would also make a lovely gift idea if you're thinking ahead to Christmas and are a thrifty make as you can use beads from your stash. Happy making!

Monday 2 November 2015

On Instagram In October

So here we are in November already! October was a busy and hectic month which started off with lots of lovely sunshine. Autumn is now well and truly upon us though, but the dark evenings are the perfect excuse for crafting I think! Here is a look back at goings on in October through my Instagram photos...

Nelson cat enjoying the early October sunshine. The poor boy hasn't had the best of months- he was bitten on the leg by another cat and having recovered from that, he has now developed a cyst in one of his eyes. He is having treatment for this and is going for regular visits to the vet so they can monitor him. We're hoping it will heal and he won't have to have surgery. In the mean time, he's not allowed outside until his eye has healed so he's enjoying lots of pampering and cuddles. I'll keep you posted, fingers crossed.

Finishing some new hand knitted Fair Isle brooches

My niece is three and a half and she loves to "help"me craft! She's so sweet, she call beads "marbles"!

Work in progress- this month I finished a range of Harris Tweed Button Brooches in new colours. They are now available in my Etsy Shop

I had a fab photo shoot with Hammonds Photogrsphy Studio for my new jewellery pieces. Take a look at some more shots from the shoot here

Mr Writer turned 30 in October and every year I make him a bithday cake. For the last few years he has requested this Earl Grey Chocolate Fudge Cake from Gizzi Erskine's Kitchen Magic book. It's a really lovely recipe and perfect for tea and cake lovers as it combines the two! Happy Birthday Mr Writer

I'm putting my Fair Isle knitting to practice on a larger scale and I've started to make a Fair Isle baby hat for a friend whose little boy is due very soon. The pattern is from King Cole Baby Book 7, which has some beautiful patterns for both boys and girls, if you're looking to do some baby knitting. I'm using Drops Merino Extra Fine DK which is so lovely to work with. The beautiful softness of it aside, I'm quite a loose knitter and this feels a little on the thicker side of DK compared with some of the baby yarns out there, which makes my life a bit easier! I'll share a pic when it's finished!

I've been making some handmade Christmas cards for craft fairs I've got comingup. I find it quite therapeutic!

There were so many lovely colours in the countryside throughout October

I can't take credit for the pumpkin carving, this is my Mother In Law's creation! As well as the assortment of squash outside the door she also hung bats in the porch and decorated the front lawn with wooden toad stalls and a witches broom!

November is my birthday month (I'll turn 30, eek!) so I'm hoping to be able to get out and about this month for some birthday celebrations.

What did you get up to in October? Have a lovely November!