Mollie Makes - Beaded Diamond Earrings

Friday, 17 March 2017

I realised that I did quite a few projects for Mollie Makes magazine at the end of last year but never shared them here (which is a bit silly). My first project of the year are these really sweet beaded earrings. Seed beads are the first beads I remember buying, I used to buy them by the scoop in my local haberdashery and still have them all in their tobacco tin. They are quite often over looked for  fancier counterparts but it's always fun to get back to using them. They come in so many different hues I quite often buy them just because the colours make me happy. If you're in the UK I think the best place to buy them is The Bead Shop in Covent Garden, they have all the colours I usually manage to add a few more tubes to my collection every time I go in. 

The inspiration for these earrings came from a peyote design however, as I'm unable to follow sensible beading techniques I came up with a simpler version which I think anyone can do. For me its really important to create projects that as many of you can enjoy. Jewellery making is such a great hobby (I promise), I always want to encourage anyone to give it a try without being intimidated by a complicated method. For the full tutorial find yourself a copy of Mollie Makes Issue 77 or download here

What to do when you're not inspired

Friday, 10 March 2017

I've written a few posts over the last year about how to stay creative when you're busy and/or have a baby. Today I want to talk about what to do when you feel your creativity and inspiration has left the building. I personally find this time of year really hard on my creativity - lack of light, frequent colds and a general sense of 'meh' does nothing to inspire me to start any new projects. I've been taking a new approach this year,  being kinder to myself and not trying to push ideas out for the sake of it. Here are a few tips that I'm finding really helpful...

Firstly, don't panic - you've had ideas before and you'll have them again, so don't worry. A lack of ideas often means you need a rest, listen to your body and take it easy. A garden isn't always blooming. 

Have a sort out - I know when there are piles of stuff and personal admin to attend to I can't think of anything great to create. I've been slowing working through my piles of accumulated things and feeling much more inspired when each one disappears. I'm always so much more inspired when my craft room is clear and I often find tidy up makes old materials resurface which generates an idea or two. 

Get outside - I've made it a rule to get outside any day the sunshines. Now I'm at home with Stanley we go to the beach or into the garden. When I was office bound I'd invent an errand and get outside for a while. A dose of sun does so much for the winter blues and you never know what you're going to see. 

Do something completely different - I have a pending item on my to do list of "blog post ideas" instead of forcing myself to sit down and try and come up with some half hearted DIY's i'm ignoring it and tending to my seedlings. By doing something completely unrelated my mind can wander to new ideas, sometimes you need some space from what you want to do (if you're not as seedling obsessed as I seem to be you could bake, run, nap instead!). 

Don't get caught up in other peoples goals - The internet seems to be awash with goals and positive/aggressive memes about pursuing your dreams. Personally I find these totally counter productive and am left feeling a bit empty - "what if I'm not pursing my dream today and just doing the washing - am I failing?" I keep re-reading this article, it makes me feel much better.  

Take a class - I taught a jewellery making class on Saturday and although I didn't feel like if I'm honest (there are some personal things going on and I had a cold) it was the best thing I could have done. Talking to new people , sharing ideas and getting out the house sparked loads of new ideas (beware new jewellery posts could be coming...). You might not be in a position to teach but you could organise a crafternoon or take a workshop just for fun doing something different and meeting people is always a good idea.  I'm teaching beautiful bracelets on Thursday if you're free. 

Inspired, March

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

I feel like everyone should be given a compulsory party popper for when March arrives - it's definitely a month of celebration and optimism. I love the feeling of winter ebbing away and Spring arriving. The garden is starting to come alive, these narcissi and daffodil are freshly picked and smell so fresh (I didn't realise they had a scent) I planted the bulbs last year after they finished flowering and to my delight they have sprung right back up again. 

This happy yellow is my main inspiration for March, I've felt a little lacklustre lately so these bright shades are making me feel inspired again. Yellow and coral are one of my favourite combinations so these paper fans from Tiger and these cotton tassels seemed like a perfect pairing. I've been into London a few times in the last week and these bright hues with a slight dull edge are everywhere usually on a darker background but I needed a white backdrop today and to have a sense of newness. 

My creative plans for the month are; to keep sewing seeds (my window ledges are getting full), I have some jewellery making classes to teach - one this Saturday and another at Tea and Crafting on 16th March and to maybe get a new DIY up on the blog, my time is so limited at the moment having a second to do anything is becoming harder (but I will persist!) 

Have a great month everyone. xx 

DIY - Spring time beaded hoop earrings

Thursday, 23 February 2017

If you're looking for a spring time DIY then may I suggest these beaded hoop beauties? I put this beaded hoop tutorial together for Lisa Comforts lovely new blog. I cannot wait to give mine a whirl with my new yellow coat that I've been saving for spring! Click here for the full tutorial, happy making! xx 

The garden - then and now(ish)

Friday, 17 February 2017

Apologies for the motley selection of photo's - these have been taken over the course of three years on various camera's. They aren't that pretty but they are truthful...My latest preoccupation is the garden, yes I still have loads to finish inside but after being cooped up all winter I want/need a change of project. The leaking roof, rising damp and no working kitchen or bathroom paled into insignificance when we saw the garden of our house, it was big for the area and had so much potential - the veg patch! The wood oven!The cut flower garden! The roses! We fell in love and got carried away with our dreams. Our dreams are still very much dreams but I have been sneaking in roses over the summers and Dan has a working veg patch so we've taken baby steps. 
To make things more complicated/exciting the garden is split into two halves the front part (above) is west facing and the back part (below) is north facing. 
Like with so much of the house we've had to get in professional help, we really want to do it all ourselves but with weekends being so precious we've had a great garden man in this week to cut back the out of control ivy, sort the trees and replace the broken fencing. I'm beyond excited as new pockets of the garden have revealed themselves and now I feel like we've got a blank canvas to play with. As we're heading into our fourth summer (which I can't believe) I thought I give a little recap of what we've done so far. 

Year one - we (Dan) cut back all the grass and I removed some of the plants which we really didn't like, mainly conifers. 

Year two - Dan started to build his veg patch, I cleared the greenhouse and began to plant seeds and buy plants for the beds ( I was pregnant throughout the summer so couldn't do that much)

Year three - Dan finished his veg patch and got totally obsessed with broad beans. I weeded and mulched all the flower beds as brambles and bindweed had started to take over. I didn't do too well with my seedlings as I tried to do too many at once but some of the plants I'd brought really started to flourish.  

I've learnt so much over the last few years and drink up any information I can. This year I feel much more confident about what I'm growing and hope there's a bit of budget left to start investing in some really lovely plants. 

I'm not sure how interesting these posts are to you so I'm mainly writing for myself and to keep a record of what I've learnt. I'm a total novice when it comes to gardening but I love experimenting and seeing what works and what doesn't. I'm finding the best way to learn is through trial and error the above was a trial that went right I used a Sarah Raven seed mix for shady places and got a glorious carpet of colour for very little work. I'm definitely going to get some more of these for other beds, I really don't like seeing bare patches of ground so might try one for sunny spots to fill in the gaps whilst I work out what other plants to invest in. 
Now that the garden is clear, my plan for the next few months is to give the above bed a good feed (its south facing and so dry), give the rest of the beds a weed and get my seedlings started. With seedlings I'm trying to plant a few every couple of weeks so I don't get over whelmed and not plant the whole packet, less is definitely more. 

If there are any books, websites or Instagram accounts you recommend then I'd love to hear them - I'm trying to gather all the knowledge I can, have a great weekend. xx

Inspired, February

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Happy Valentines Day! I'm not normally one to celebrate but as Stanley is at my MIL's for a few hours I treated myself to a coffee and almond croissant whilst looking at the sea and didn't have to share any of it - what a joy! 

So onto February, I personally find this time of the year so hard - dark days and waiting for spring really drag my motivation levels right down. After a busy few months I needed some time away from the computer and to not be making just for the sake of it. I think its important for anyone creative  to know when to stop and take a step back. Instead of being inside I've been spending any good weather day outside by the beach or in the garden. I'm finding it the best remedy for the 'Februaries' and if you can I recommend ignoring your to do list and getting outside for a blast of fresh air. 

This month I'm really inspired by the garden, its so full of life - bulbs are popping up everywhere and the seeds I have been 'wintering' are looking really strong. Using the hope of brighter days and signs of spring I put this moodboard together using fresh and pretty colours, it's made me feel so positive! 

On a slightly separate note if you're looking for some new craft supplies I really recommend a trip to The Works, I don't normally rate their craft supplies but their new range is fab. I came away with new metallic string (pictured) and a spool of flamingo ribbon (because who really has enough ribbon?!). 

Have a great rest of month and don't forget to get outside. xx

The Neon Finca - Colourful homeware for January days

Friday, 27 January 2017

Anyone fed up of winter yet? I love candles and fairy lights but I like being warm more. Anyway I thought your eyes might need something bright today so here are some gorgeous textiles my friend is selling in her Etsy shop, The Neon Finca. We took these photo's at the beginning of December and it was a good day, I love anything textile and tassel related so I was in my element shooting these pics. 

I'm always inspired by spending time with my friend, we met whilst we were pregnant (our babies were due the same day) and she has always been so full of support and encouragement. Her energy and can do attitude is so refreshing, no waiting for everything to perfect or i'll do it tomorrow excuses she just gets on with it (she also has a design job and runs a beautiful shoe company, Merle and Morris). I think so many of us (me 100% included) get scared to try something new or just get too comfy that a little more getting on with it is the sentiment we need to start a new year.  

I hope you all have a good weekend, these pictures remind that I really need to finish painting this room! 

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