Featured - Materially Crafted: A DIY Primer for the Design-Obsessed, Victoria Hudgins

Friday, 22 May 2015

I'm always so flattered when anyone asks to feature my work - whenever I think of a new project I always hope that it will inspire someone, somewhere to add a little more creativity into their day. So imagine how excited I was when Victoria from A Subtle Revelry asked to feature my painted fabric gift bags in the book she was writing. The request came in so long ago I almost forgot, It was only when I was looking on her blog a few weeks ago that I remembered, I hastily ordered my copy from Amazon and there the tutorial was on page 159 (if your interested).

I love it when people turn their blogs into books, having something to physically hold onto, turn pages and mark projects makes me so excited. I've been reading this book before I go to bed, I love how it is an extension of her blog and not a rehash of old projects. Each craft area has it's own selection - concrete, paint, plaster etc - with a straight forward introduction and explanation as to what material does. This definitely makes each project feel more achievable and definitely inspires that "I want to try that feeling"-  I'd like to give the concrete section a go. 

It really is a prefect DIY primer and I'd really recommend getting yourself a copy or if you know a crafty friend get them a copy, I know I'll be referring to this book for years! 

Thanks  to Victoria for including my project (you can find the original post here and jazzy version here) and well done on such a fabulous book! Have a super weekend everyone xx

To make! May

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

I feel like the humble seed bead is having its turn in the spotlight once again - I keep spotting so many inspiring projects on my travels around Pinterest. It must be the glimpses of summer we've been having lately that get me dreaming of jewel stacked wrists and summer makes, here's what's currently inspiring me...

Gold and silver tassel bracelets - these look so simple to make, using stretch elastic faceted beads and a simple tassel.

Precious stone bracelet - I really love the idea of adding a precious stone to these simple bracelets.

Multi-colour bead bracelets - The summer feel of these bracelets is so pretty, they look fab layered together

Black and white bracelets - I really love the gold and pink of these bracelets from I Spy DIY

Long necklace - This necklace reminds me of the very first bead necklaces I made when I was about thirteen, I really love the new take by adding tassels to fasten, I think I have just the project in mind for this one.

You can follow my To Make! board here

Monet's Garden, Giverny

Friday, 15 May 2015

Some floral goodness today for your Friday, I couldn't wait to share these photos from Monet's Garden with you all. Its such a beautiful place, seeing the light and colours you completely understand why he (Monet) painted like he did. As a very keen beginner gardener I loved seeing plants I recognised and have the possibility of growing myself - tulips, daffodils, forget-me-nots, poppies, peonies etc. I've since  bought forget-me-not seeds and am planning some serious tulip-age for 2016! If gardening isn't your thing then go for the colours and light alone, I filled my head with colours, patterns and textures - its such a good place for the soul. 

My writing can't really do it justice so I'll leave you with pictures. I have put all the travel details at the end of the post, it's really easy to get to the gardens from the centre of Paris but will need a little bit of planning as train times are quite strange!!! Have a great weekend everyone. x

How to get to Monets Garden from the centre of Paris.

Take the Train from Gare Saint Lazare to Vernon - I checked the times using this site . Make sure you put the station name as Paris. It costs 12.50 Euro each way.

Once at Vernon follow the footsteps to the bus stop (it makes sense when you get there). The bus runs with the traintimes and costs Eight Euros return.

You can pre-buy tickets (my dad got ours and from the sounds of things it was a bit of a faff) but it meant we could queue jump and go straight into the gardens once we got there.

Any other questions give just drop me a note.

DIY - silk wrapped statement earrings

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

To apologise for the lack of DIY's around these parts I've come back with a cracker. I intended to make these silk wrapped statement earrings for a wedding I was going to on Friday but unsurprisingly I ran out of time to finish. Whilst I realise they might not be everyone's cup of tea I hope you can be inspired by the colours or use the techniques in your own way.  This lime and soft lilac reminds me of India, I've only just become a fan of lilac shades I think they feel really fresh. Here's how to make.
Step 1. Cut two lengths of silk fabric 1 cm wide and approx. 25cm long. Tie a knot at the top of the earring connector and wrap around until the base is covered. You want to use a connector that is quite wide, like these. If yours have loops at the bottom then cut them off before you start. Tie a knot to fasten and stick the end of the fabric down with glue. 

Step 2. Cut two lengths of fine chain 8cm long. Stitch onto the base of the earring making three loops of chain.

Step 3. Stick gems with E6000 glue to gold stamping discs and leave to dry. 

Step 4. Prepare beads onto headpins, making loops at the top.

Step 5. Fix your discs to the chain using 3mm jumprings. I like to use tiny jump-rings for earrings as I don't like the findings to look too loopy. I purposely placed the discs randomly rather than evenly spaced as thats how I like things to look.

Step 6. Now add your beads and little flower bead caps onto the chain using 3mm jumprings. I always complete one earring then copy on the other earring BUT make sure you mirror design so they look even. 

Step 7. Add your earring hooks to the main earrings, I added a coloured bead between the hook and the main part using a eyepin.

Step 8. As one last step I added a few gems to the fabric but feel free to skip this step if gems aren't your thing. 
 I'm so glad I got around to finishing these they are the perfect pick-me-up for spring outfits. Happy making! x

Styling The Seasons - May

Monday, 4 May 2015

Welcome to May, I feel like I have been waiting for this month since March! The blossom has opened, tiny seedlings are rapidly growing and my once neglected garden is turning into a place of real inspiration. For this months Styling The Seasons, I couldn't resist taking a table outside have having a play around with all sorts of vintage pretties. I've used a tablecloth found in a charity shop, a new to me enamel jug and little flower pots that were hiding in the greenhouse (I'm so thankful for these as new old pots are so expensive!) The flowers are a mix of garden picked and spares from our Styling The Seasons wreath making event, kindly supplied by Bloom and Wild.

I always like to have a handmade element to my posts so used this table my dad made for me using off cuts from our banisters, it moves around the house and is so handy when you need an extra table. I have positioned it here underneath the apple trees which are currently so pretty and really low so I get a good view of all the blossom - I'm planning on putting a bench in its place at some point.

I've had a week off from my day job to spend time teaching and hosting some wonderful workshops.  The change of scene and pace has left me full of positivity, I've met so many lovely people that have topped up my confidence and given me a new sense of purpose to try new ideas and  keep pursuing a creative life. I love hearing how Styling The Seasons has been encouraging people to pick up their camera's again or for the first time and start creating. You can see a brief snippet of the Styling The Seasons and at {mine} floral wreath making event on Katy's blog here. We had some official photo's taken so I will share them with you all in a few weeks (sorry I didn't do any last week, my laptop was in for repair). 
Katy and I would love to see what the month means to you and your home. Style any surface in your home to reflect what the month means to you and upload to your blog or any social media using the #StylingTheSeasons hashtag. There are always so many gorgeous entries that are guaranteed to give you and your home some spring time inspiration.

Have a fabulous month!


Monday, 27 April 2015

I feel like I need to apologise for the lack of DIY's since the beginning of March, everything has been such a whirlwind I haven't had a chance to sit at my making table and actually create. That's not to say I have been resting on my laurels, far from it! Trying to manage a full-time (non blog related) job, home renovations, plus blogging and doing general life things keeps me more than busy. When people say they don't have time to be creative I never really believe them, there is always five minutes spare that can be used creatively - even putting a few flowers in a vase is a creative process if you let it.
I thought I'd share a couple of little creative bits that I have been up to recently, that don't require loads of time. 

A cheat's birthday cake - Making a birthday cake for my mum was a last minute thing, instead I bought a pudding from Cook and decorated with fresh fruit, it took me five minutes and looked really fancy!

Modern Calligraphy Practice - Taking a Quill, Modern Calligraphy Workshop has been one of my best things I've done this year but lack of practice time has left me a little frustrated. Another DIY for my mum's birthday, I hand lettered the details of the trip we booked for her. It's definitely not at a professional standard but meant I got some practice in. 
Gardening - Sorting our garden has become an obsession for Dan and I, our greenhouse and soon to be vegetable patches are looking pretty amazing. Every night when I get home, I do a lap of the garden to see what's growing and loving tend to my seedlings. I always thought growing plants and flowers was such a arduous task - it's so rewarding and teaches even the most impatient of us (me) to slow down and let nature do it's thing. 

I guess there's one big DIY that's going on behind the scenes...I'm having a baby! I'm rather superstitious about putting too much on the internet in case something happens. I promise it won't turn too baby-fied on here but I'm looking forward to maternity leave and discovering new crafty avenues!

If you do miss my posts, then I can usually be found taking flowers on Instagram (@Lottsandlots) this week is going to be particularly pretty as we have our Styling The Seasons workshop happening on Wednesday - I'm so excited!!!   

book review - DIY Statement Necklace, Erin Pruckno

Thursday, 23 April 2015

For those of you in jewellery making circles I'm sure you've come across Erin's wonderful blog Thanks, I Made It, I've been a fan for years and she has always been is so sweet and supportive with her comments (you may remember this guest post).

Anyway, Erin has written a book - DIY Statement Necklaces:Create Your Own Customizable Jewelry-For Less! It features all of her amazingly creative projects from her blog plus a few new ones. I really love the rope and cord section, there are so many unusual projects to try.
Obviously blogs are amazing sources of free tutorials but there is something about having a book in your hand to work from that makes me want to try out a new project even more. I love this rope necklace above and can't wait to give it a spin!
Writing a book is definitely on my list of things to achieve. Blog posts themselves take more time than you know to write and publish so I'm in awe of anyone that writes a whole book. Erin has done a wonderful job writing projects for beginners and experienced makers alike. 

If you are looking for a modern jewellery making book then make sure you snap up DIY Statement Necklaces:Create Your Own Customizable Jewelry-For Less!

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