Tahlia’s quilt

The latest baby is my life is beautiful little Tahlia! I recently made her a quilt, which you can see her modelling in the photos below. She only lives a couple of streets away so lots more baby cuddles coming up!  Tahlia's Quilt Tahlia's Quilt Tahlia's Quilt

 

 

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A colour update

A few weeks ago a lovely lady called Tiffany got in touch. In 2013 she commissioned me to make a length of bunting for her son’s nursery. Her family recently had the horrible misfortune to lose their home and all their possessions in a flood and in an effort to rebuild her son’s bedroom and restore a bit of normality she decided to commission another piece of bunting. We updated the colours and I made it the same length as the original piece. It’s on its way to America and I hope that it helps in a tiny way to make things a bit better.

Mini felt bunting

Mini felt bunting

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DIY : String Art

It was our second wedding anniversary this year and I wanted to get Matt a gift that followed the traditional pattern. Last year it was paper and we found each other a map and a lino cut. This year it was cotton, which actually made choosing a gift really difficult, because there are so many things you can make from cotton! I loved the idea of using cotton thread in an inventive way and finally settled on something that I have been wanting to try out for ages, string art! I settled on our surname as my word and got to work!

DIY : String Word Art

DIY : String Word Art

String art is one of those crafts that is really simple in principle, but you need the right tools and quite a bit of time to get your project looking how you want. Essentially you are wrapping cotton or yarn around nails that you have positioned into a design. To make your very own piece of string art like mine you will need a nice piece of wood, your template on paper, some nails, a hammer, a pair of long nose pliers and some nice yarn. I spent some time sanding my piece of wood to make the grain show nicely.

I found and downloaded from dafont.com a lovely script font called Lilly Belle. Then I experimented with different sizes so that it fitted nicely on my piece of wood. I also tried out 6 different types of nail before I found my favourite type! The nail you pick needs to have enough of a head for the string to stay put but not so huge that you can’t get a nice outline around each letter.

DIY String Art

So once you have your template printed out, spend a bit of time arranging it onto the wood. Once you have started hammering in those nails there is no going back! Secure the edges of the paper down with some easy to peel off tape. Use the pliers to hold each nail in place, exactly where you want it to be. Gently hammer it down, straight through the paper. Keep going until you have completed the whole outline and also any middles of letters, like in the centre of the ‘e’, ‘a’ and ‘d’. Try and keep the nails as evenly spaced as you can.

DIY String Art

Once you have completed your outline you can peel off the paper. Any pieces of paper that get left behind can be picked out with a pair of tweezers.

DIY String Art

DIY String Art

Now you can start to wrap your string around your letters. Tie the piece of string to one of your nails at the start of your word. Leave a tail and wind this in too. If the tail doesn’t get hidden then use a tiny dab of fabric glue to hold it flat. Start winding your yarn around the outline of the word first, then go back and fill in the middle. The beauty of this craft is that if you don’t like the look of a section, you can simply unwind and start that bit again.

DIY String Art

DIY String Art

When you get to the other end, tie the yarn tight and stick the end down with another small dab of fabric glue.

DIY : String Word Art

Happy making!

If you fancy trying out my DIY you can buy some useful supplies from Amazon. If you purchase anything through the links in my post you are helping to support my blog as I get a small referral fee from Amazon. Thank you!

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The Boutique Haberdashery, Fareham

I visited a shop recently that has been on my list to visit for ages! The Boutique Haberdashery in Fareham, which can be found at 162b West Street, is an absolute gem of a shop. It is packed full of everything to keep a crafty person happy for hours! They have some lovely fabrics, a great selection of yarns, a whole section of books, and walls full of haberdashery and useful tools. It is owned by the lovely Kimi, whose leaflet to advertise the shop tells you that she believes in yarn coveting, love at first sight, giving it a go, finding something new, fabric stashing, a can-do attitude and most importantly, you. What a great place!

The Boutique Haberdashery, Fareham The Boutique Haberdashery, Fareham The Boutique Haberdashery, Fareham The Boutique Haberdashery, Fareham The Boutique Haberdashery, Fareham

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Bella’s Birthday Cape!

I love making something handmade each year for my niece Bella’s birthday. The choice of what to make her this year for her fourth birthday was very easy as she requested I make her a cape! More specifically she had her heart set on a pink cape, so I set about finding some suitable fabric and added some iron on sequin stars for good measure.  I even made a matching cape for one of her toys, inspired by Swoodson Says!

Bella's Cape 009-Bella's Cape (web)-07432

 

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The Sculpture Park, Farnham

On the second day of my birthday mini break, we paid a visit to The Sculpture Park in Farnham. We are always looking out for new sculpture gardens to visit, after discovering Broomhill four years ago.  It was well worth the wait, the site itself was stunning and the sculptures were so varied. Everywhere you looked you saw something new and it was fantastic to see such variety, in both medium and subject matter. The website says you need at least two hours to walk the trails, we were there for five hours and could have happily stayed even longer! I would really recommend a visit to this beautiful, ever changing, outdoor art gallery.

The Sculpture Gardens, Farnham

Matt photographing a beautiful slate sculpture by James Parker.

The Sculpture Gardens, Farnham

My favourite sculpture, by Martin Fildes.

The Sculpture Park, Farnham

The Sculpture Gardens, Farnham

This pack of wolves by Sally Matthews was stunning.

The Sculpture Gardens, Farnham

I loved the reflections in the water cast by this stainless steel sculpture, ‘Allium’ by Ruth Moilliet.

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Tea tip : Giant knitting!

This tea tip (learn something new and useful in the time it takes to make and drink your cup of tea!) will show you how to complete a giant knitting project without getting into a giant tangle!

Giant Knitting

Giant knitting needles mean that you can work with multiple balls of wool to make something super chunky but this can also be tricky. I tried lots of different ways to stop the yarns tangling and I’ve now worked out a way of knitting with nine balls of wool at once!

Tea tip : Giant Knitting

Simply pop each ball of wool into its own bag! I tried all sorts of bags but found these see through bags with a seal top the easiest. That way you can easily see when a ball is about to run out and you can keep the top mostly closed so your ball doesn’t pop out. Then pull each strand of yarn one at a time and peg them together. This holds all the strands in one place and makes it very easy to complete your giant knitting project with a minimum amount of tangles!

Tea tip : Giant Knitting

Happy knitting!

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Kew Gardens

For years I have wanted to visit Kew Gardens, so when we decided to go away for a couple of days for my birthday, this was top of my list. Even though it rained and sometimes poured, we had a wonderful day! We spent time in the humid Victoria Palm House, marvelling at the exotic plants and the stunning building they are housed in. We found the the Bonsai House which is tucked behind the School of Horticulture and shows the ten seasonal best trees, some of which were over a hundred years old. By far my favourite was the Princess of Wales Conservatory, which houses Kew’s collection of cacti. I was astounded not only by the quantity of plants but also the variety. I’m already looking forward to another visit!

Kew Gardens, London

Kew Gardens, London

Kew Gardens, London

Kew Gardens, London

Kew Gardens, London

Kew Gardens, London

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Hawksfield Cultural Centre

When we were on our way to Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens we spotted an interesting looking place on the wonderfully named Atlantic Highway. We had an hours drive ahead of us so kept going but decided to pop back one day later on in the week. When we got home we looked it up online and discovered that it was called Hawksfield Cornwall. They have a contemporary art gallery with resident artist John O’Carroll, an interiors shop called Jo + Co Home, a vintage emporium called The Goose Shed, Wadebridge Flowers who also sell succulents and lovely pots to grow them in and The Arc which sells artisan food and drink. To complete a perfect set of independent shops, you will find Strong Adolfos Cafe at the end, perched up above the road. They have great coffee, tasty food and amazing views!

Hawksfield Cultural Centre

Hawksfield Cultural Centre

Hawksfield Cultural Centre

 

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Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

Even when its raining, we love being outside and exploring somewhere new! When we went to Cornwall on holiday a few weeks ago, it rained on a few of the days, but we still made the trip to visit Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. It was well worth the hour drive!  The gardens are set in a beautiful valley, the trail takes you along wooden walkways through woodland and then out onto a grassy hill.

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

Every sculpture garden we visit is unique and Tremenheere has the largest permanent installations we have seen. There are several viewing platforms so you can enjoy the amazing views and even a camera obscure where you can view the landscape and skyline in complete darkness.

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

I was thrilled to find a nursery there too, where I found a succulent that had been on my wish list for ages! The little shop also had a great selection of cacti and unusual pots. I also bought two shallow terracotta pots which had been hand thrown in Cornwall for some new succulent arrangements.

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

The cafe was also fantastic and we enjoyed a very tasty lunch there. It was pretty busy so booking a table is advisable. Another lovely sculpture gardens to add to our list!

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

 

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