Monday, 6 June 2016

May in Pictures: Secret Sewing, a Vintage Funfair, Mini Blanket Squares, and Royal Ice Cream

Time for another round-up of pics from my Instagram feed. What did I get up to in May?

At the start of the month it was straight back to work after my trip to Northumberland, as I had a couple of looming deadlines. These are some of the leftovers from a few hours hard stitching. One pair of scissors is for cutting paper, another for fabric and another for threads and small pieces of felt.

It can be frustrating not being able to share what I'm making, but at least I can show you some of the yummy supplies I've been using! Working on a couple of embroidered pieces means choosing just the right shades of thread (floss) - luckily I have lots to choose from:


One project involved this cheerful rainbow of felt, floss and thread.


After meeting one deadline, I got to stretch my legs and blow out the cobwebs with a happy morning spent exploring Bristol (one of my very favourite places). There's always interesting street art to see in Bristol!

I also went to see an exhibition at the city museum, and visited a really gorgeous little church: St John the Baptist, which is known locally as St John on the Wall because it's built into the old city walls. I lived in Bristol for years but had never been inside this church before - it's no longer used for services but it's opened by volunteers so visitors can look round. I loved this fading rose on one of the outer walls:
That weekend Carters Steam Fair was in town, which proved a perfect post-deadline treat. Carters is a vintage travelling funfair - all the equipment they use (the rides, caravans, lorries, etc) has been lovingly restored and beautifully hand-painted. It's a really magical experience! Click here to see where the fair will be visiting this summer.


With those deadlines met, I had a bit more spare time for crafting in the evenings and devoted some time to working on my happy rainbow blanket

Having nearly finished the blanket I was itching to start something new. I have approximately a gazillion projects already in progress, you understand, but I cannot resist the siren song of a new project! This vintage pattern (from a 1950s craft magazine) was originally designed for use with tapestry wool, but I'm thinking about using a mix of felt and embroidery to make something really colourful. I just need to pick a colour palette... decisions, decisions...

Now that I'd finished knitting the rainbow blanket squares, I also needed a new go-to easy project to pick up at the end of a long day when I want something simple and relaxing to work on. So, I've started knitting the many, many white squares I'll need to complete my mini patchwork blanket. Someone on Instagram commented that this looks like a T-Rex and you know, I totally see it!

My resolution to send more Proper Post is going well. I couldn't resist this sheet of cute postage stamps to cheer up my letters. These animal shapes are designed to fold over the edge of an envelope so they look like they're clinging on. Super cute, huh? These will be so much fun to send (and, I hope, to receive!).


In the middle of the month I had a super busy Nice Day Out in London with a friend. We went to so many places! And saw so much cool stuff! I'll be blogging about all the awesomeness we saw another time (sooooo much awesomeness) but I couldn't resist sharing a few snaps. London is filled with so much amazing stuff.


I also took an impromptu trip to nearby Windsor to visit Windsor Castle with my dad. As local(ish) residents we get into the Castle for free, but my dad hadn't been for years and years. Windsor is always a gorgeous place to visit, and we arrived just in time to see the changing of the guard ceremony (complete with bagpipes!). Before heading home, we treated ourselves to some ice cream and I was delighted by how fancy the tub was (just look at that gold! plus: ice cream from royal cows!).

My dad laughed at me a lot for taking this photo :)

In the evenings I continued to work on finishing my happy rainbow blanket, and I finally finished sewing in all the yarn ends! Hurrah! I am beyond thrilled with the finished blanket and really need to try and get it photographed asap so I can share some pics with you all. Blankets are such a pain to photograph - I am used to making and photographing much smaller things! - but I will get it sorted soon, I swear.

Now that my rainbow blanket is finished my go-to relaxing project is my mini squares blanket (the one with the colourful chart, above). I have a LOT of white squares to knit before this baby is finished but - luckily - the joy of this project is the process. Simple, repetitive knitting (and then sewing, when the squares get joined together and all those ends get woven in) is just the ticket at the end of a long, busy day. I switch my brain off and let my hands get making!


Instagram - and blogging, and all the other places we share our crafty photos online - is so often about the carefully curated photograph. Take the mess out of shot, artfully arrange things, crop and edit carefully. So it was lovely to see the #DSCandid hashtag pop up in my feed - a challenge from Grace Bonney of Design Sponge to share an unedited, honest photo from your creative life.

So, I took a photo of the view from my desk of my slightly overcrowded studio/office. Lately my space has been serving as a bedroom, laundry room, TV room and storage space for DIY supplies, packing materials and lots of kids toys rescued from our attic. It's also where my niece sleeps when we're babysitting. I still have space to work and make stuff, just a lot less than usual! :)

Right at the end of the month my making was focused on flowers, specifically poppies:

If you're a long-term reader of my blog you'll recognise this design as one I used to sell in my shops. I've been meaning to get the pattern written up for simply ages, and have finally made a start on doing so...


... with a furry fellow keeping me company while I work!

Then BAM it was June!* 2016 is going by so fast it is slightly scary.

Wanna follow me on Instagram? I'm lauralupinhoward over there!

*I also took part in a "Day in the Life" challenge at the end of May... but I'll blog about that another time because, frankly, this post is long enough already :)

UPDATE: My poppy design is now available as a sewing pattern! Visit my shop to see all my printable PDF patterns