July was pretty busy! Let's take a look at what I got up to...
At the start of the month I went to Windsor and walked all the way along the Long Walk and back. It was a rather long way (and, I'm not gonna lie, I kinda regretted the decision two thirds of the way along) but 100% worth it for this fabulous view back to the Castle.
I wrote some letters and cards to my friends and penpals and shared a pic of some of the lovely snail mail I'd recently received (is there anything nicer than getting a bit of happy mail?).
I went to London for the day and came back with treats: a gorgeous mini tray from Liberty (in my all time fave Liberty print) and a book from Daunt Books. I was supposed to be sticking to a tight budget in July (and mostly succeeded!) but couldn't resist these lovelies, both of which I've had my eye on for simply ages.
In the evenings, I was working on a couple of personal projects including a tiny scarf for a polar bear! The bear is one of Alicia Paulson's charming felt ornament patterns. I've been slooooowly making these since buying a bundle of her kits a few years ago (too many projects, too little time!) and have re-started them in the hope that I will actually have some finished in time for Christmas this year.
Those super skinny knitting needles belonged to my late grandmother. It's always quite moving using her old tools to make stuff - I actually wrote about this a couple of years ago.
I also started something new: an embroidery project inspired by the late great website The Toast. I have a friend who loved the site, so I decided to stitch her something inspired by one of its unofficial mottoes. I had so much fun stitching this and posted lots of in-progress pics... I'll be blogging about it in more detail soon :)
In the middle of the month I went to see the incredible Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the Victoria Miro gallery. The mirror rooms were particularly amazing. You only got about 30 seconds in each room but it was totally worth it (and I was lucky to visit when the exhibition was quiet - I heard people were queuing for over two hours in the final week!).
This piece is called "All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins". "Chandelier of Grief" was also amazing.
Later that week I went on a photo-taking-tour of London with Kate and friends. We visited lots of Art Deco stations on the Piccadilly Line oohing over architectural details, taking lots and lots of photos, and generally having a lovely, happy, nerdy day out.
This is my favourite station of the day, the gorgeous seven-sided ticket hall at Hounslow West. The staff were most perplexed by us all showing up with our cameras, so it's clearly a hidden gem
Back at home, the garden was looking lovely in the sunshine. How amazing are these hydrangeas?? Like the hydrangeas, I wilt a little in the heat and neither of us was especially happy in the mini heatwave we had in late July. I spent a lot of time in the shadiest place I could find and ate a lot of ice cream!
The new issue of Mollie Makes came out, which was exciting because it includes three projects designed by me (yay!). Click here to read more about my makes for this issue.
I spent a lot of July working on felt flower patterns for my shop. I will, of course, be blogging about the patterns when they're ready for sale... in the meantime there's lots of felt to cut out and sew, photographs to take and edit, instructions to type up and proofread, templates to draw and label, etc etc etc.
Cutting out lots of flower pieces means a big pile of colourful felt scraps! I love the sculptural look of these.
In between working on my new patterns, I took a day off and went to Cookham to visit the Stanley Spencer Gallery (click here to see a snippet from my train journey through the countryside!).
I spent a very relaxing couple of hours exploring the village (expect a blog post as soon as I've got my photos edited!) and discovered that (contrary to my previous belief) you CAN have too much ice cream when I accidentally ordered the world's largest Mr Whippy (oops). I tried to finish it but, sadly, it defeated me.
At the end of long days of crafty work you might think the last thing I'd want to do is more crafting, but you'd be wrong. In the last week of July I kept myself entertained in the evenings by adding some more stitches to my ongoing "using up my scrappy leftover bits of embroidery thread" cross stitch project...
... and sewing together some of the white squares for my mini patchwork squares blanket. I've got lots more squares to knit (then sew together) - I must remember to buy some more white yarn!
I finished the month working on more flowers. These are just some of the samples I'm stitching for my new patterns. I want to make my tutorials as useful as possible so I'm including lots of variations and project ideas along with the basic pattern... which means lots of pieces to cut and sew.
I'm really pleased with how these patterns are coming together, I can't
wait until they're finished so I can do the big reveal and finally get
them listed in my shop (and get started on the other ideas I've got in
Knitting, sewing, cross stitch... art, walks, architecture... flowers, nice post and tasty ice cream. All in all, July turned out to be a pretty good month :)
I'll share another Instagram round-up next month. I'm lauralupinhoward on Instagram - click here to visit my page and follow me.