New Jewellery Making Workshops - Tea & Crafting, Camden

Friday, 19 August 2016

Happy Friday lovely people - an exciting post today as I'm back teaching jewellery making workshops at Tea and Crafting in Camden, London! I know jewellery making is a niche but its a brilliant one and one I'm 100% passionate about. After a few tricky years and many job changes jewellery making was the one thing that sparked my creativity again, its lead to so many wonderful opportunities and I promise isn't that intimidating once you get going. 

I provide all the materials in both gold and silver options plus all the beads, charms and other wonderful bits and pieces I have in my collection. I bring a full selection of colours so even if my usual brights aren't for you, there will definitely be something that is. 

The first class I'm teaching is Beautiful Bracelets on 13th September 19:00. I'll be showing you how to make some of my favourite tutorials including this leather charm one and this tassel one plus a few more,  you'll then be able to decide which bracelets you want to make. Its a really fun class and one I adore teaching, it's a great introduction to jewellery making so make sure you come along and bring a friend or two (or three!).  
The second class I'm teaching is this Brooch Statement Necklace on 6th October 19:00 . Just before I went on maternity leave I taught this class and it was wonderful. You will need to bring your own selection of brooches (at least seven) and I bring the rest of the materials. It's a perfect class for any treasure hunting magpie but also anyone else who loves a statement necklace and wants a simple introduction to jewellery making. 

I really hope to see some (or all) of you at one of my classes, they are great fun and full of creativity.

Have a great weekend and feel free to share this post as much as you like ;-). xx

Styling The Seasons - a farewell

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Its with a mix of immense sadness and pride that I write this post. Two years after announcing we were starting Styling The Seasons Katy and I have decided to finish the project. Its been incredible, we have nearly thirty thousand posts our the instagram hashtag (#stylingtheseasons) and six hundred blog posts - wow (you can see them all on our Pinterest board

Personally I've learnt so much about photography, my home and how I live my life through taking time each month to reflect what it means to me. I know, quite possibly for the rest of my life, I will continue to celebrate the seasons and reflect them in my house - one of the greatest joys over the past two years has been to take notice of how the seasons change. 

When we started Styling The Seasons Katy and I were both in different places, Katy had just left her day job to blog full time and I recently dropped a day in my (dull) office job to concentrate on setting up workshops and get more creative fulfilment into my life. Our directions have changed again, I've decided not to return to my office job following maternity leave and Katy has her own adventures ahead. 

It's been an amazing two years - a huge thanks to my wonderful co-host Katy, all the brands we've worked with and most importantly to every single one of you who have shared the stories of your homes and inspired with such energy and creativity. You'll never know how much it has meant reading all your posts. Before I start crying into my coffee here are my highlights... 
Crafting The Seasons - we hosted a magical afternoon at Liberty with all our original Styling The Seasons Bloggers. It is still one of my best days. 
Spring Wreath Making Workshop with at {mine} and Bloom and Wild - Following the success of Crafting the Seasons we held another blogger event where we made beautiful Spring Wreaths. Its was such a pretty day and full the most beautiful flowers and it was great to meet so many monthly participants. 
Working with brands - We had some great competitions along the way, working with Loaf, Holly's House and Makelight. My favourite collaboration was with Laura Ashley all the posts showed so much imagination I was (and still am) humbled by all the effort that went into each post - who knew you could do so much with wallpaper?! 
January - of all the months I learnt that January is my favourite. Maybe its the feeling of starting over, the promise of spring or maybe its just because every one of January's posts were just gorgeous?! You can see all the posts here -  January 2015, January 2015 review, January 2016, January 2016 review

Of course Styling The Seasons won't be stopping completely the hashtag will live on and you can still write Styling The Seasons posts whenever the mood takes you. I hope you have enjoyed reading and taking part as much as I have, its been an experience to treasure. Thank you once again for supporting this amazing project, lots of love xxxxx 

Fresh flower gift wrapping

Friday, 29 July 2016

Love is in the air this week, my best friend got married yesterday and I'm feeling all glowy. Inspired by her nuptials I've created a special summer wrapping project using beautiful paper from Lonetree , fresh flowers and hand dyed silk. Lonetree kindly sent me a selection of their beautiful papers to wrap with each design printed in the UK by the first carbon neutral printed in the world. I really love the delicate natural patterns and gorgeous soft shades each the papers come in. 
Using the papers as my guide I wanted to create wrapping that incorporated fresh flowers and also silk that I had dyed previously using avocado skins and pips. To dye silk, bring a large sauce pan of water to boil add the skins and pips of approx. three avocados and 1 metre of silk fabric let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until it has turned pink. Rinse and dry.

Wrap your present, if its an odd shape then I recommend putting into a box. It'll make the flowers much easier to work with and you'll be able to see as much of the paper as possible. I used this paper

Wrap the silk fabric around the centre and tie in a knot. My fabric was 45 x 90 cm. you want the fabric width to be quite full so you get get lots of texture. 
Using the techniques I shared in my supermarket bouquet I created a mini bunch of flowers using hydrangeas, peonies and jasmine from the garden. Remove as many of the leaves from the main flowers as you can, put them together so the main buds face upwards and fasten together using florists wire. Leave ends of the wire free so you can tie onto the fabric. 
Position the flowers over the knot and wrap the wire under the 'bow' so that it can't be seen. You might need to play around with the position of the flowers so that everything lies in the right direction. 
I love this so much, of course it probably won't travel too well (!) but for a local special occasion it is really gorgeous. If you wanted to create something similar then you could substitute the fresh flowers for really good fake ones and create the same effect. Happy making! x 

The wrap for this paper was kindly supplied by Lonetree, project, styling, photos, thoughts and opinions are all my own. 

Packing a craft bag

Monday, 25 July 2016

The summer holidays are here and I know many of you will be whizzing off for some time away. As a maker finding the time to make is one of the biggest challenges, I always take some of my craft supplies with me when I go away so if a spare moment pops up I can get on with a few projects. I packed a really successful craft bag when I went to Mallorca so thought I'd share my craft project packing tips with you today.

Depending on the length of trip I recommend two or three projects that can be completed in under an hour or one long project that can be picked up and put down like an embroidery.

Separate your projects into bags, I put each of mine into glassine bags with all the materials I needed for each project in them. This way I didn't over pack.

Always take a notebook, I always come up with new ideas when I'm creating.

Keep the project simple, I save anything complicated to when I get home.

If you need some project ideas then I really  recommend these.

Leather and Charm Bracelets 

Rose Gold and Semi Precious Stone Earrings

Silver and Agate Ring 

Most importantly where ever you go enjoy and save enough time to let your mind wander. x

Mollie Makes Pink Ombre Macrame T-shirt

Friday, 22 July 2016

If you're looking for a craft project this weekend then I really recommend this pink ombre t-shirt. It's my latest tutorial for Mollie Makes and I absolutely love it. There really is nothing more enjoyable than spending an afternoon watching t-shirts, tablecloths, pillowcases change colour. For the full tutorial make sure you pick up a copy of Mollie Makes issue 69, it has the prettiest cover and is full of really great summer projects. Have a super weekend my friends. x 
If you want more pink projects then you might like this tie-dye pink tablecloth tutorial. 

Travel - Alcudia, Mallorca with a baby

Friday, 15 July 2016

Last month we took Stanley on his first holiday aboard - we had 9 days in Alcudia, Mallorca and it was fantastic. Dan and I have been lucky enough to travel to brilliant places in the ten years we've been together - India, Brazil, Costa Rica, The Philippines, Morocco to name a few. But it was Mallorca where we first came a few years ago that we were most excited to return.

I was a little anxious about how travelling would be but it all worked out ok. Some tips I would suggest are.

Travel from your closest airport, we flew EasyJet from Southend which is only a 10 minute drive away, cut down on pre airport travelling as much as possible. 

Try and get flights around nap times. We had morning flights both ways so did breakfast and milk as soon as we got on the plane which meant (after a bit of coaxing) he fell asleep for most of the journey. 

Don't try and fly too far if you don't need to. The flights were just over two hours and that was enough.

We stayed in Alcudia Old Town which was a really pretty place - all castle walls and winding cobbled streets. We hired this Finca just outside the walls of the town which was ideal. The pool was a great size for Stanley to splash about in and we had separate rooms so we didn't disturb each other. The best part was the amount of private outside space, the garden was lined in olive trees and there were so many lovely plants scattered about, there was also plenty of space under shade for Stanley to roll around whilst we had breakfast and lunch. He grew so much during the 9 nine days - having a little bit of freedom was so good for him. 

It's fairly English in Alcudia Old but not as bad as Port D'Alcudia which we stayed away from. There is a great market on Sunday and Tuesday which sells the most amazing produce plus so many cafes and restaurants to pick from. We found eating dinner at lunchtime worked best for us, it was much easier to keep Stanley entertained before he got too tired and wriggly. Instead we popped out for a drink and ice cream in the evening which was enough time to wear him out before bed. 

Before I move onto beaches, we found this great shop which sold everything from craft supplies to bbq coals, beach umbrellas to tin mugs, head for Placa Porta de Mallorca and you will find it! 
We were told about two beaches north of Alcudia  - Playa de St. Joan and the one next to it (who's name I've forgotten). We only ever went to the latter as it was easy to access (via a slope) with the pram. It was perfect for a few hours, the sea was shallow and calm and there was a bar and a loo which is all you need really! 

A second place in the similar area and definitely worth going to is 5 Oceanos Chillout. Its an Ibiza style bar which serves delicious food and has loads of day beds so you can lounge around for as long as you want. 
About a 20 minute drive from Alcudia is Pollenca. We went there once in the day for coffee and lunch and then again in the evening for a drink and look around a gallery we'd seen the day before. This was definitely my favourite place, it had all the classics - weathered shutters and open squares but also some lovely shops with well merchandised windows! I'd recommend popping into Galeries Bennassar to see which artist is on display - I loved the paintings by local artist, Amara Dacer
The final place near Alcudia that is definitely baby friendly is Pine Walk, Port D'Pollenca. We met friends and their children for lunch, then went back for an evening stroll and then again for a morning coffee which turned into lunch as we were having such a good day. The beach is perfect for little ones   - so calm and shallow it's like a bath and and the trees provide plenty of shade so if you end up having an impromptu beach day there is no need to worry about forgetting the sun umbrella, there are also lots of shops selling baby food too! Our favourite place was Cappuccino Grand Cafe, not only did they serve the prettiest lattes and each time we had a drink there we managed to get at the front over looking the sea which was perfect. 

Going on holiday is with a little one is of course very different to when it was just the two of us. Instead of cramming as much into each day as possible we selected one activity and made the most of it. Watching the sheer enjoyment Stanley got from going to the beach for the first time, splashing in the sea was the absolute best and made this holiday so special. 

If you want to see more Baleric posts then I've written these travel posts too - Soller, Es Trenc and Ibiza. I love these islands so much the light is just magic and the way of life definitely suits me!  
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DIY - silk tassel bracelet

Friday, 8 July 2016

Happy Friday everyone! You might have noticed that my beloved jewellery making posts have been a bit thin on the ground lately, its definitely not through lack of ideas, I'm just a bit short on time these days. When I do get a spare minute to make I want a quick project with plenty of impact like the silk cord and tassel bracelets. When it comes to a simple project like these its always best to focus on quality materials like this silk cord or these beautiful silk tassels - there's something about using silk that gives even the simplest project a little magic. Here's how to make...
You'll need - 4mm silk cord, silk or cotton tassels, E6000 glue, 5mm cord ends, bolt rings, 4mm & 7mm jump rings 
First cut the cord to your exact wrist measurement. Add drop E6000 glue to inside of each cord end and insert the cord, leave to dry. If any glue oozes out clean off with a cloth, I love this glue as its so easy to clean any spillages.

Using a 4mm jump ring attach the bolt ring to one end of the bracelet and a 7mm jump ring to the other. To open a jump ring take a pair of pliers in each hand and really tightly clamp the jump ring in one hand (I'm right handed so do this in my left hand) With the opening facing up take the second pair of pliers in your other hand (right) and put them at a 45 degree angle to the opening. Gently open the jump ring by pushing the opening in opposite directions. Thread on your findings to each jump ring before you close. To close push the sides of the jump rings back together in the opposite direction to how you opened it.
Open a 7mm jump (as previous step) and thread on a tassel, close the jump ring. Do this with all your tassels. I used two tassels per bracelet but there are no limits! Now thread all your tassels onto one 7mm jump ring and keep open...
Now add the tassels to the bracelet and close the jump ring. 
Tah-dah - make as many of these bracelets as you can and watch your bracelet stack grow! I have to mention the little print in the background, its by the wonderfully talented textile designer Sarah Fennell, I follow her on Instagram and she has the BEST colour palettes around. You can read more about her here and see some of her gorgeous designs here (I'm totally getting one of those pillows). Have a great weekend and happy making. xx
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