Friday, 30 September 2016

Upcoming Class: Make a Felt Baby Mobile

As you might remember, I'm teaching some sewing classes at The Village Haberdashery in London this autumn.

On Saturday 29th October we'll be making rainbows...

https://www.thevillagehaberdashery.co.uk/classes-and-workshops/classes/make-a-baby-mobile-out-of-felt-with-laura-howard

... and happy little felt suns...

https://www.thevillagehaberdashery.co.uk/classes-and-workshops/classes/make-a-baby-mobile-out-of-felt-with-laura-howard

... and lots of clouds, then combining them all to make weather-themed baby mobiles!

https://www.thevillagehaberdashery.co.uk/classes-and-workshops/classes/make-a-baby-mobile-out-of-felt-with-laura-howard

All the materials you'll need to make the mobile will be provided in the class fee. After learning how to make all the pieces and assemble the mobile, you'll get a copy of the pattern to take home so you can make more mobiles or cute things like rainbow brooches.

(It took me a while to perfect my rainbow-making method - I'm so pleased with how they turned out!)

 https://www.thevillagehaberdashery.co.uk/classes-and-workshops/classes/make-a-baby-mobile-out-of-felt-with-laura-howard

Click here for the full details of the baby mobile class, and to sign up. 

This autumn I'm also teaching classes on making a felt autumn wreath, and colourful Christmas ornaments inspired by vintage baubles - click here to see all the upcoming classes at The Village Haberdashery.

https://www.thevillagehaberdashery.co.uk/classes-and-workshops/classes/make-an-autumn-wreath-out-of-felt-with-laura-howard

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Have a Very Mollie Makes Christmas

The third edition of Mollie Makes Christmas is out now!

This year's edition of this festive bookazine contains over 100 crafty projects - gifts to make, festive decorating ideas, and more.


Did you spot a familiar little birdie on the cover...?

Yup, it's my Partridge & Pear wreath! (The wreath originally appeared in Mollie Makes #59).


It's lovely to see the wreath back in print, and peeking out from newsagent shelves once more. It was a total joy seeing the wreaths people made popping up on social media - if you make one this year (or even just a partridge or pear ornament) do let me know!

My wreath is in excellent company as the mag is jam-packed with fab, crafty projects from past issues of Mollie Makes.

 

I especially love this blanket cape...


... and these snowy mountain mittens!


There are also some exclusive notecards and gift tags to use for your winter gifting. 


Mollie Makes Christmas is in newsagents now, or you can buy it online here. The digital edition is available from Apple Newsstand (in the Mollie Makes app under ‘Special Editions’).

Thanks to the team at Mollie Makes for sending me a contributor copy of the mag! xxx

Monday, 26 September 2016

Friday, 23 September 2016

Childhood Crafting: Sylvanian Families Furniture

As well as making felt fashions and lots of mini fake food for our Sylvanian Families when we were kids, we also decorated our homemade Sylvanian houses with handmade furniture. Here are some of the things I made for mine (recently rediscovered in a box in our attic).

Kitchen cabinets and an oven!

 

Shelves made from matchboxes, old tissue boxes and the trays from chocolate boxes; beds made from card with faux-woodgrain sticky back plastic headboards; mini cupcake cases for lampshades; off-cuts of carpet and fluffy fabric for doormats; a sofa made from tights packaging; and pillows made from scrap fabric sewn round cotton wool balls.


I think you would call this look "recycling box chic". I had a big box in the bottom of my wardrobe full of little cardboard boxes and other stuff I thought might come in handy for making stuff... and this is the sort of stuff it became.

The kitchen units are particularly adorable. The happy hours that must have gone into making them!

The counter-tops are made with off-cuts of vinyl flooring from my parents' DIY projects, and the cupboards are all decorated with faux woodgrain sticky back plastic.


The oven has an extractor hood (another bit of vinyl flooring) and cardboard hot plates on the hob (there were originally four, one seems to have fallen sometime in the past 25 years). The doorknobs are brass fasteners from the stationery department and the doors open and close.


The cabinet is made from an old toothpaste box, the drawers in the cabinet are made from two matchboxes stuck together...


... and there's a matching chopping board, too (made from a rectangle of vinyl covered in yet more sticky back plastic).


The kitchen sink is a little cardboard box lined with foil and sunk into the top of the cabinet. The foil looks quite thin (not like kitchen/baking foil), so I guess I must have saved it from something like a KitKat.


Who needs a store-bought dollshouse when you have a fancy kitchen like that?

Missed my earlier posts about this box of treasures? Click here to see my Sylvanian Families collection, and here to see the food and fashions we made for our Sylvanians when we were kids. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

100 Gift Wrapping Ideas, Part One: From Pompoms to Hydrangeas to Old Photo Negatives!

I recently set myself a challenge, to share 100 crafty gift wrapping ideas over the coming weeks and months. And... I've just completed the first 10 ideas! Hurrah!

collage of gift wrapping ideas

I know I'm only a little way through this challenge, but I'm really enjoying it so far and I hope you guys are too.

I've started with a plain, brown paper parcel each time. I love the simplicity of brown paper (it's a great blank canvas!) but you could use any plain gift wrap you fancy.

1. Pompoms.

gifts decorated with pompoms

2. Beads.

parcel decorated with wooden beads and yarn

3. Lavender & Washi Tape.

gifts decorated with polkadot washi tape and lavender

4. Buttons.

parcels decorated with pastel buttons

5. Hydrangeas.

brown paper parcel with a hydrangea bloom as a gift topper
three gifts decorated with hydrangea blooms

6. Painted Leaves.

simple parcels decorated with painted leaves

7. Feathers. 

parcel decorated with colourful craft feathers

8. Woven Threads. 

parcel wrapped with a grid of woven threads

9. Yarn. 

gifts wrapped with bright and colourful yarn scraps

10. Photo Negatives. 

parcel decorated with old photo negatives



And now... my challenge continues! You can follow along on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I'm sharing the gift wrapping ideas under the hashtag #100giftwrappingideas as I slowly work my way up to 100.

You'll also find lots of creative gift wrapping ideas in my archive of free crafty tutorials (scroll down to the bottom of the page, you'll find card and gift wrap ideas below the Christmas tutorials).

For even more crafty goodness, check out my books: Super-Cute Felt and Super-Cute Felt Animals.

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.htmlhttp://bugsandfishes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html

100 Gift Wrapping Ideas: Part One

Monday, 19 September 2016

Friday, 16 September 2016

A Trip to Seville: The Cathedral

One of the highlights of our trip to Seville a couple of years ago was the gothic Cathedral.

 
 
 

It's a beautiful building - and a huge one!

The story goes that the local clergy said "let us build a church so beautiful and so grand that those who see it finished will think we are mad". The end result is the third-largest church in the world and it impresses with scale and detail. I've visited a lot of churches and cathedrals over the years but I've never been anywhere quite like this.

 
 
 
 
 

Here's me and my mum by one of the huge doors:

 

The Cathedral was built on the site of a former mosque, and the minaret was converted into a bell tower. The tower - know locally as La Giralda ("she who turns"), after the weather vane at its top - can be spotted from all over the city.

 

There's a replica of the weather vane in the courtyard as you enter the Cathedral:


The outside of the building is pretty amazing, but it's well worth paying to go inside - there's just so much to see, it is a really special space.

We spent ages exploring the (vast! spectacular!) interior of the Cathedral and dropping our jaws at all the treasures and incredible craftsmanship, then we climbed the bell tower...


... for wonderful views over the rest of the building...


... and out over the city.


It's a long climb, but a gentle one and - when we visited, at least - a slow one as it's so busy. It's also it's quite a wide space so doesn't feel claustrophobic in the slightest (unlike some towers I have climbed!!).

And of course, once you've climbed to the top and back down you'll definitely deserve to treat yourself to a delicious coffee or an ice cream from one of Seville's many cafes.

Planning a trip to Seville? You might also enjoy my posts about the Mushrooms, the Plaza de España, and the Alcázar.