DIY - feather baubles

Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas making has taken over my life and I love it! Any spare second I have, my hands are being kept busy making wreaths, finishing bracelets - I can't stop. The up/down side is I have to keep projects speedy and simple, like these soft focus  diy feather baubles (I'd really love to undertake a big project sometime). These baubles were intended for our Crafting The Seasons party but arrived a week late, instead of sending them back I kept hold of them because despite looking at bit plasticy in the packet I knew they had potential. The first set I made were for the Christmas tree in my lounge, I made them in bright jewel colours and they look gorgeous mixed in with my Liberty print Christmas tree and tassels. For this set I went soft and romantic for my dining room, which I am planning on decorating this weekend, here's how I did it.
You'll need - clear plastic baubles, feathers, glitter, a glue gun and a selection of ribbons and fabric. 

Step 1. Add a few feathers to one half of the bauble and a pinch of glitter. Add the second half of the bauble to close and give it a shake to mix the glitter.

Step 2. Glue a line of ribbon around the centre of the bauble, covering the join. 

Step 3. Add a loop of cord or ribbon so your bauble can hang 

Step 4. Take a selection of ribbons, use a mix of soft chiffons, lace and metallics and tie around the ribbon/cord loop. Glue into place.

These are so simple, I've used a mix of feathers I collected throughout the year alongside some ostrich feathers I had in my collection. I really love the softness the duck feathers bring to these decorations. I think they would look really amazing if you used glass baubles but with an extremely naughty cat in the house these are just the ticket. 

I hope all your Christmas prep is going well, I still have presents to buy and make so I need to get cracking. Until next week, Happy making! x

Book Review - Bead & Wire Fashion Jewelry by Jessica Rose

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

One of the highlights of the year has been working with Jessica from the London Jewellery School on her online venture Jewelry From Home. She's such an inspiring and talented lady and so lovely with it.  When I found out she had written a book I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy and I haven't been disappointed...
The first section is full of techniques that will teach even the newest jewellery maker how to do the basics as well as giving the more accomplished maker new ideas a techniques to try. I really want to try these clasps out. The instructions are clear, very easy to follow and accompanied by photo's so you can really see what to do.

The rest of the book is full of wonderful colourful projects using a mix of wire and beaded techniques. From statement necklaces to feathered earrings as well as gorgeous cocktail rings and beachy bangles, its so jam packed with good stuff, you'll want to start making immediately! I really love the wire projects - especially the statement rings and bracelets.

When I first got into jewellery making I read so many books, of course blogging has my heart but still nothing beats sitting down with a cup of tea and having something tangable to read and be encouraged and energised by. If you're looking for a last minute gift for a maker (or yourself) then I'd definitely recommend this book its a perfect mix of techniques and fun projects.

The book is available to buy here .

Disclosure - this book with given to me by the publishers to review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

DIY - fabric gift bags (two ways)

Monday, 15 December 2014

Happy Monday! I'm so glad to be sitting at my desk for the first time in weeks to share more Christmas making with you all (apologies if its too much for some). I'm feverishly getting all my Christmas projects made and uploaded before next week. The beauty of these bags is they can be made for any time of year, they use my printed gift bag tutorial as a base but this time I have gone for different embellishments. They are perfect for wrapping any awkward shaped gifts or adding a hand-made touch to a shop bought present. 

 For this version I used calico for the bag and embellished the ends of the ribbon with lace, tulle and some metallic fabric and then added a few gemstones. Remember to tie your ribbon in a bow and cut to the desired length before you start to decorate. You get extra points if you co-ordinate the ribbon to the gift inside! 
For these starry versions, I used white linen I had in my cupboard and hand cut gold stars from Bondaweb backed fabric and then ironed them to the front. Make sure you place the stars where they can be seen, I avoided putting any at the top or where the bags are tied. I finished these with simple white tags and some metallic cord. 
But what about the gifts inside I hear you ask?! I made the necklace using this crystal statement necklace tutorial. The decorations are made from air dry clay covered with gold leaf, I gave these to my friends instead of cards this year. I'll definitely be making more of these this week as I finally get around to buying/making the rest of my gifts. Have a good week and happy making! x

DIY - jewel box clutch

Thursday, 11 December 2014

'Tis the Season to get sparkly so a special party inspired DIY it is today. I just love this jewelled clutch  (or minaudière if you're being fancy). It's so simple to whip up and reuses old jewels like nothing before! When I moved, along came 6 (very large) boxes of accessories, it was completely ridiculous. Not being able to part with stuff that had potential I gathered all the broken, odd and unloved earrings, necklaces and bracelets. They sat around for a few months whilst I found a project for them and this is it, an easy tutorial that looks far more expensive than it is!
You'll need - hard case box clutch, E6000 glue, jewels
Step 1. Gather your jewels - I went for a blues, golds and greens. Cut the backs off any earrings with pliers to prepare
Step 2. Have a practice, lay all your jewels on the front of the bag to get an idea of the design. Sometimes it helps to take a photo.
Step 3. Glue into place, E6000 is perfect for this it dries really quickly but isn't runny so you don't get trails of glue everywhere.
Step 4. Leave to dry, if you can over night if not a few hours will do.

I really love this and can't wait to use over the next few festive weeks. There are so many variations on colours combos and options, I love the idea of going tropical for the summer or doing a really vintage version with pearls and old many ideas! I really hope you give this one a go its perfect for beginners or those with little time on their hands. Happy Making! x

Photos - Siobhan, Bless The Weather

Clutch accessorised with - Jeans - New Look, T-Shirt - Cos, Jacket - Dorothy Perkins, Nails Essie, Watermelon

Travel - Amsterdam

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

A break from Christmas crafting today, to share a few snaps of my weekend adventures. Dan and I had a sneaky trip to Amsterdam, it was so good to get away and actually see each other for more than three seconds. We wandered, looked up at all the beautiful buildings and made quite a few stop offs for apple cake - it was perfect. 

I didn't take a huge amount of photo's but there was plenty of inspiration to be had - I have returned with scribbles of projects for next year and so many little touches to add to my home. I love it when a trip makes you feel refreshed, energised and ready to go! 

Here are a few of my recommendations if you're heading to Amsterdam soon.

We rented this Air B'n'B apartment. It was really central and in such a lovely area - there are fab places to eat, drink and shop close by

Make sure go stop at Winkle for a slice of apple cake - it was the highlight of the trip.

For beads, Beadies (full post coming soon)
For beautiful basics, Anecdote,
For Vintage, Laura Dols
For random Mexican things. Kitsch Kitchen

Anne Frank Museum, it's such a moving place and so import to our recent history

Happy travels! x 

DIY - Liberty print christmas trees

Friday, 5 December 2014

Starting the first of my Christmas tutorials today, here is my very lovely Liberty Print Christmas tree. This is a really simple tutorial that can be made over the course of a few days if you are pushed for time or at once if you have an hour to spare. Since making this I have been leaving a trail of colourful confetti fabric around the house as I started it at my desk then moved downstairs when it got dark! Here's how to make...
You'll need - a polystyrene Christmas tree (mine was kindly donated from The Homemakery), a selection of Liberty Print Tana Lawn ( I used a mix of Betsy, Capel, and Tatum, supplied by a Liberty) and  pins.
Step 1. Cut strips of fabric approx. 5cm long and 1.5cm wide and then muddle them up in a pile. I did mine by eye so use your judgement.

Step 2. Starting at the base of your tree fold the fabric strip in half and pin, you want the fabric to overlap the edge by 1cm, covering the white base. Pin the second piece of fabric overlapping the first piece by 5mm. Repeat this step until the whole row is complete.

Step 3. Repeat the above step with the second row, you want your fabric to overlap the first row by about 1cm. Keep repeating this step until your whole tree is covered.

To display my tree is used this lovely little dish from Decorators Notebook, you could use any fancy dish/small flower pot that you have around the house, ideally something that can give a little bit of height so you can see the beautiful fabric.
After completing the tree I wasn't done so went on to make a bauble version, these were a little trickier but so sweet. I started by overlapping three pieces of fabric at the base of the bauble then layered the fabric over as I had done with the tree. For the first few rows I occasionally added pin hidden in the fold of the fabric to make the fabric lie flatter and then stopped after three rows so the rest of the fabric could puff outwards.

As you can see I have used more than three Liberty prints not all that I used are available online but I would definitely recommend Sheona Rose and Ciara in fact I think I might purchase some of the Ciara as I love it and it reminds me if summer gardens.

A bit of a bumper post today, I really hope it inspires you to add a little handmade magic to your Christmas. Have a super weekend. xx

A huge thanks to Kate at The Homemakery (if you haven't been on her site then you should, pronto) and to Liberty for the beautiful fabric.

Styling the Seasons - December

Monday, 1 December 2014

I can't believe we're in December and this is the fourth Styling The Seasons month. Time has gone so fast.  

This Christmas feels extra special, it's our first Christmas in the house. I remember last December vividly; the rain pouring through the ceilings, random radiators leaking into light fittings and an extremely dodgy fire-escape removal. Its been an exciting and at times daunting year, so for this festive season I really want to enjoy and celebrate all the good things I have around me. 
I won't be putting the tree up for another few weeks but I wanted to create a nod to Christmas in my dining room. I gathered branches and sea glass from my local beach and added pine cones I collected in Mallorca  to create a wispy tree and then made the rest of the decorations. 

I love to make decorations at Christmas and have done so for most of my life. This year I have incorporated lots of Liberty Print fabric kindly supplied by Liberty at our Crafting the Seasons event with other materials I had in my supply cupboard - gold leaf, air dry clay, string. As the dining room houses my collections of stuff gathered on holiday I wanted to created a travelled, whimsical style with my decorations. 

I made the tassels, tree and baubles over the last few weekends and will be sharing the tutorials over the  next couple of weeks. The tree and baubles are really simple to make and are an ideal project when you are cuddled under a blanket watching Strictly or in my case at my craft table surrounded by fairy lights listening to Christmas Boney M songs! The tassels weren't so simple and were definitely a labour of love but to me they were so worth it. The last DIY I have incorporated is my gold leaf jar. I have seen a few tutorials on this but it is so simple, I added some string around the top with a hot glue gun as I didn't want to see the top part. 
In a nutshell December for me is all about creating and celebrating, I can't wait to get the rest of the house decorated over the month. I also can't wait to see your Styling The Seasons for the month. It is open to anyone who wants to join in all you need to do is share and tag your pictures with #StylingTheSeasons so that Katy and I can see them. Have a wonderful month everyone. xx
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