Monday 6 August 2018

Felt Bead Making Workshop

I'm pleased to share that I will be running some workshops in the Essex area! If you are local to Essex, or fancy making the trip (I can recommend some really nice places to visit if you wanted to make a day of it before the workshop), join me and learn how to make felt beads using a combination of wet and dry felting techniques. I love making felt beads, it's such a fun process and the beads can be used to make garlands, decorations, jewellery and much more and it's a great introduction to felting if you haven't tried it before. The price includes all materials, tea/coffee and cake- my fave combination for an evening of crafting! Please do get in touch if you'd like to come and join me.

Sunday 10 June 2018

New Patchwork Embroidered Heart Brooches

I've been busy making some new pieces and I'm pleased to say that they are now available in my Etsy Shop! Introducing my new patchwork embroidered heart brooches! Each heart is made up of a patchwork of fabric scraps, hand stitched with gold thread. Along side the fabric scraps I have used pieces of a vintage embroidered tablecloth, overlaid with my own hand embroidery. They are backed with soft felt and a brooch pin.

I came up with the idea when I was experimenting with different ways of using fabric scraps and I have really enjoyed the process of developing these. I'm looking forward to making more of these brooches- each one is unique and one of a kind, so it's a bit like making lots of different fabric collages!

Now I'm off to make one for myself!

Monday 14 May 2018

Tilly And The Buttons Bettine Dress

We've had a spell of such lovely weather recently and I was so glad to be able to start wearing summer clothes again after what feels like the longest Winter ever. This is my favourite time of year and I pretty much live in dresses when I'm not at the day job and the sun is shining. So with that in mind, I was determined to finish my Tilly And The Buttons Bettine dress!

These are the most sensible photos you are likely to get of me I'm afraid- I'm not a natural at having my photo taken and have to resist the urge to fall about laughing..!

I am really slow at dress making- mostly because I start something and then leave it half finished on a shelf- and with this dress I'm ashamed to say that through lack of time I left it on the shelf for what must be two years. I was determined to finish it so I could wear it during this lovely weather and also during our upcoming holiday in France.

It's been that long since I started the dress that I couldn't find the original photos I took of me cutting out the pattern etc- they must be lost on my laptop somewhere. 

Working in a craft shop I've always got my eye on a pretty roll of fabric or five (it is a dangerous place to work, I always say they may as well pay us in fabric and yarn) and I love this pretty floral fabric I picked for making my Bettine.

The Tilly And The Buttons patterns are so comprehensive- as well as the pattern itself you also get an instruction booklet complete with colour photos to guide you through the process of making your garment. There are even in person and online workshops to go with some of Tilly's patterns, so if you were new to dressmaking there is a lot of support. Although I have a degree in fashion and textiles, the majority of my degree was spent making knitted textiles and working on surface embellishment, so dressmaking is an area I would like to work on and the TATB patterns are perfect for this.

I'm so pleased with the dress, it's so comfy and easy to wear and I feel really proud that I made it! I'm now looking into making some Bettine tops, inspired by this Bettine Hacks blog post.

Have you made any Tilly And The Buttons patterns and are there any other lovely patterns that you'd like to recommend?

Wednesday 11 April 2018

New in my Etsy Shop- Fair Isle Brooches

I'm just stopping by today to tell you that I've just added some new pieces to my Etsy Shop! I had a great photo shoot last week with the always fab Hammonds Photography Studio and I'm gradually adding the pieces to my shop. I hope you like them!

The first pieces I have added are these three Fair Isle triangle brooches. They are hand knitted in Shetland wool to my own Fair Isle design and they are finished with a pom pom. I love making these, they are so much fun to create! I have made Fair Isle brooches and necklaces in a lot of different colour combinations but these are my favourite so far. I'd love to know what you think!

Saturday 31 March 2018

Easter Bunny Treat Jar How To...

Hello to you all, wishing you a lovely Easter Bank Holiday weekend! What are your plans? Mr Writer and I have the coming week off so we're looking forward to relaxing.

I thought that this would be the ideal time to re-share the Easter Bunny treat jar that I made a couple of years ago. I always make a cake for Easter and it's nice to have some pretty jars and tins to store baking bits and decorations in, such as chocolate mini eggs, and they also make great gifts. Read on to find out how to make them...

You will need:

A clean jar with lid, model rabbit or other model of your choice, spray paint, glue gun or other strong glue

1. Make sure your jar and the lid are clean and dry

2. Spray paint the lid of the jar using light coats, allowing each coat to dry, building up the colour until completely covered. Repeat this process with the model rabbit/your chosen model

3. Glue the model to the top of the jar lid. You could add other decorations of your choice and create fun jars with different themes

Fill with treats and enjoy!

Happy making and have a fab weekend!

Louise xx

Sunday 28 January 2018

Holiday On The Isle Of Mull, Scotland

Last April Mr Writer and I went on holiday with two good friends to The Isle Of Mull in Scotland. I've been meaning to share some of the photos of this beautiful island ever since, so I'm pleased to be sharing them today! I hope you don't mind this photo heavy post- I think you'll agree that it is a stunning place...

After flying to Glasgow and them driving to Oban, we took the ferry across to Mull, where we stayed in a little village called Salen. 

This was the view just a couple of minutes around the corner from the cottage we stayed in. From here we watched birds and seals resting on the banks in the water.All of us who went on the trip are nature lovers but one friend in particular is a very keen birdwatcher and "wildlife follower," for want of a better word! I shall call him "Mr Nature." We saw all sorts of things because he pointed them out- sadly I don't have good enough eyesight to identify things! We were really hoping to spot otters as Mull is great territory for them, but sadly they alluded us this time!

We stayed in this  lovely cottage, looking out over the water

Views from the cottage. One evening we looked out to see a stag in the garden! We later saw him several times in a field near the cottage with a group of doe deer!

The island is so unspoiled which was lovely to see. Driving along the scenery was beautiful and it was rare to meet anyone else on the roads.

What struck us was the remote way of life- you could drive for miles and miles and come across a house and then drive for miles and miles and miles before you came across another one. There was a small but very well stocked Spar shop near to where we stayed and from there the only supermarket on the island was in the town of Tobermory, and when I say supermarket, it was what I'd call a local shop size. Truly a different and very lovely way to live

We visited the main town of Mull, Tobermory, several times.With its colourful buildings, it is famous as the location for the children's TV program Balamory ( if you remember the programme you may now get the theme song stuck in your head, as we did!). We wondered how the locals felt about their towns association with the program, but several of the shops seemed to celebrate it with displays in their windows.

We enjoyed fish and chips, a tour of the whisky distillery and a meal at Cafe Fish, which is hailed as one of the best fish restauants in Scotland. 

We went on a woodland walk and there was a lovely view of colourful Tobermory in the diustance across the water

This beautiful beach is in the stunning Calgary Bay. The sand was so white and the water so clear and turquoise blue. We spent time exploring rock pools and walking on the beach. We then drove up the (very!) narrow and winding road up the cliffs to see the views

We went on a Mull Charters boat trip to see White Tailed Eagles and we had the most brilliant views of these magnificent birds. Mr Nature took these photos on the trip and he and his other half, who shall be known as Miss Lovely, gifted us one of the photos as a housewarming gift.

I was hoping to be able to find some traditional textiles on Mull and we found out about the Ardalanish Isle Of Mull Weavers. We drove out there and found Ardalanish Farm down lots of tracks with lots of cows roaming all around. Some of them were pregnant and absolutely huge!

It was brilliant to be able to have a glimpse behind the scenes at the weaving process. They spin yarn from the fleece of their own sheep and then weave it into beautiful fabric using traditional processes. I bought some offcuts of Ardalanish Tweed while we were there (I will eventually make some purses from this!) and we also bought a wrap to use as a throw on the back of our sofa. 

The view from Ardalanish weavers

We saw a lot of sheep!

Ooh and highland cows! Casually chilling here by the road. I wish I'd managed to take a video, we drove past a filed of Higland cows, big and little ones, all charging around!

We traveled all over the island and there was not a single bit that wasn't breathtakingly stunning. I hope it stays so unspoiled

And finally our friendly donkey friends who lived in the field across from the cottage we were staying in. They were very cute and came over to say hello whenever we left the cottage.

Phew, well that was a little taster of our visit to Mull, thanks for reading if you made it this far! I hope it's inspired you to visit this amazing island.

Have you been away somewhere recently? I'd love to hear about it, share your recommendations in the comments and we can all add some places to our must visit list!

Tuesday 23 January 2018

News and New Products

Hello to you and Happy New Year! I hope 2018 has got off to a good start for you. Here's how 2018 is developing here so far...

This year I'm really determined to grow my small business and that's why I've chosen "Grow" to be my word for 2018. This is not something I've done before but I was inspired by this Makelight Advent video to choose a word to focus on in 2018. I've actually knitted the word "Grow" and I'm going to frame it to go on my desk and serve as a visual reminder of what I'm striving towards achieving in 2018.

Mr Writer and I are working on organising the craft/work room in the new house- we have shelving units now and I have a desk. We're getting there gradually! I'm looking forward to having a dedicated space to work in again and also to being organised and knowing where everything is!

This is a "before" picture- looking forward to sharing the "after" photo!

I looked at a lot of desks but chose this one in the end as it has a lot of storage space. It's called the South Shore Artwork Craft Table with Storage on Amazon if you are looking for a desk

While I am extra super determined to work hard and really push myself this year, I have also decided that 2018 should be the year when I take more time to rest and do more non-work activities that I enjoy. I feel guilty to admit if I am spending time not working, such as when I posted this photo on Instagram yesterday of me with my feet up enjoying a coffee and sewing up a little jacket I've made for my niece. Life is to be enjoyed and I realised that it's silly for me to feel guilty for doing something I enjoy and taking life a bit slower. So less feeling guilty this year!

I've been making some new Fair Isle jewellery pieces and I had them photographed by the brilliant as always Hammonds Photography Studio. I'm gradually adding them to my Etsy Shop so they should all be up in the next week! 

I'm looking forward to sharing more plans and new work as the year unfolds. What have you been up to in January?