make: neon and gold crown

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crown 2

There’s festivals everywhere at the moment and at each and every one of them stalls are doing a roaring trade selling all sorts of head dresses and hats (I mean when else can you bedeck yourself in pom poms, glitter, feathers flowers and fluff? (obviously when ever you like but festivals seem like their spiritual home))

In case you hadn’t noticed Ros Badger and I are running crafty workshops down at the Port Eliot Festival later this month, but for those of you who won’t be making their way down to Cornwall here’s a little instructional on how to make this super cute neon and gold pleather (how often can you find a reason to wear gold pleather?!) crown. It’s simple to make and if you don’t have gold pleather (why not?) then any stiff fabric or felt or paper will work and if you don’t want to sew, some fabric glue or a stapler will do the trick (quite frankly there’s No Excuse not to make one!)

headress instructions

Click here to download instructions

festival for 1

Here  it is expertly modeled by me at a little Festival For One I had on my way to work to other day! Part Statue of Liberty part Disco Game of Thrones.

getting in a festival frenzy!

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HEADRESS1

So we are half way through festival season, some big ones have been and gone (and got washed away) and many are yet to come. This year all eyes (well definitely mine) are on Port Eliot festival in lovely Cornwall where as mentioned in my last post Ros Badger and I are running The Badgers Sett craft tent.

felt flowers

On Friday through to Sunday we have a range of workshops and events for festival goers to come and Get Their Craft On. From making paper and fabric floral headdresses to learning to crochet there’ll be something for everyone and we are hoping our little yurt (right by the Fortnum and Mason Tea Rooms) will be a oasis of crafty calm.

garlands2

Ros and I have been busy busy busy working on project prototypes and thinking about how we are going to decorate our yurt. We have some very glamorous neighbours – Anthropologie, Barbara Hulaniki, Simone Rocha and Luella Bartley to name a few* – so we need to be flying the craft flag loud and proud.

boat

All of our workshops are free and all materials provided (still looking for scissor donations if anyone knows  a scissor maker with a couple of dozen going spare!!) We have a few pre-bookable slots (email us on heybadgers@gmail.com or fill in the form at the end of this post to get your name on the list) or you can sign up when you are at the festival or just pop in.**

THEBADGERSSETTLOGODATES

This is what we will be up to:

Friday
11-12pm       Glorious garlands, soar-away streamers & big ol’ bunting
2-3pm           Fabulous festival headdresses
5.30-6.30pm  Paper boats flotilla
7pm              Candle lit regatta on the estuary

Saturday
10-11am             Pom-tiddily-om-pom-pom  making
11.30-12.30pm    Fabulous Festival Headresses
1. 30-2.30pm       Fantastic fabric and felt flowers
3-4pm                 Beginners crochet
4.30-5.30pm        Perfect Paper pinwheels      

Sunday
10.30- 12pm        Sunday morning craft chill out

For more information on each workshop click here to download the whole programme and use the form below to reserve a place stating what workshop and when you’d like to come along.

HEADRESS 2

*Oh and of course there’s music and food and readings and dancing … but who’s going to have time for all that?

**Obviously you have to have a festival ticket to take part in any of these events but you can still buy them here. Booking a place on a workshop does not give you entry to the festival.

 

BADGER LOGOS

introducing … The Badgers Sett @ Port Eliot Festival

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watercolor-badgers-set

 

Very exciting plans are afoot this Summer. The lovely Ros Badger (Author of one of the Simple Makes books: Hook, Yarn and Crochet and supreme knitter) and I are running the craft workshops at the beautiful Port Eliot festival down in Cornwall between the 24th and 27th of July.

I’ve always wanted to go to this festival and we are so excited to have been asked to participate. Over the three days we will be running several workshops a day. We still have to finalise what we are actually going to be doing but there’s definitely going to be headdresses, garlands, pom poms, paper boats and crochet involved. Click the image below for more information.

port eliot website

One of our ideas is to have a Paper Boat Regatta at twilight down on the estuary. (Ideally candle lit if we don’t set fire to the boats!) I’ve been busy practicing different ways of making boats … with varying levels of success!

paper boats

I’ll be posting more experimentations and details on here so stay tuned!!

book review: The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own Wardrobe

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Who’s already missing the Sewing Bee? Who’s missing clever clever Chinelo and lovely Sheila? Oh and Claudia, I can never get enough Claudia. Fret not as there are two lovely Sewing Bee related books out this Spring to help fill the Patrcik shaped hole. Already on bookshelves is The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own Wardrobe (surely a contender for the longest book title of the year award, lets call it GBSBSYOW from now on) and out next week is Season 1 contender Tilly Walnes’ Love at First Stitch.

great british sewing bee

When I first saw the GBSBSYOW book I was excited that you got a free pack of patterns but slightly confused as I thought it meant that you got only patterns for 5 of the garments in the book; What if I didn’t want to make any of the 5 garments chosen? I don’t necessarily need a teddy bear onsie or a prom dress but I would like to imagine one day I will make the beautiful 1950′s coat. Fortunately it doesn’t mean this at all (which you lot probably gathered), fortunately you get all the pattern pieces for all the garments. Granted on first look they do seem a touch confusing but once you zone in on what you’re making then all is cool.

dress pattern 1

simple t shirt

As I only had a couple of hours spare I chose one of the easier projects, the Simple T, literally a front and a back and some bias binding. The book suggests using a polyester crepe but I thought this a good opportunity to use one of my many many hoarded offcuts of fabric. I used a beautiful bird print silky chiffony thing (which was a bit of a pig to cut but falls well AND folds up to nothing so perfect for summer holiday packing!).

dress attern 2

I traced the relevent pattern pieces onto some newsprint and set to work. The instructions were clear and the book is full of helpful tips and tricks. I’ve never finished a top using bias binding for every raw edge and I love it, it’s such an easy way to make a neat edge, I will definitely use this method again. The blue of the binding was so pretty that I wanted to leave it on show (the book gives instructions for doing it like this and hiding it completely).

finished top sewing bee

I think this will now be my new summer top shape of choice and I am planning on making many more. I reckon that by just extending the length of the top and making a belt I can create a cute summer dress … I’ll let you know how I get on.

The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own Wardrobe (£25) is published by Quadrille Craft. For more information click here

Tilly Walnes Love at First Stich (£20) is also published by Quadrille and is out on the 8th of May. For more information click here

interview: when Elias met Christine

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I have a friend. Elias is his name and socialnesting.com is his game blog. Whenever we get together a mutual love/craft in happens and we coo over each others latest projects and ideas. He popped over at the weekend for lunch and a gossip (bringing a delicious plum and almond pudding – ignore his opinion of it on his blog post here as it was truely yummy).

Here is an excerpt from our chat …

CLheadon

With her fourth solo book (seventh when you add three collabs), a busy career as fashion-bible designer and a house in transition towards craft wonderland, Christine Leech takes time to talk to Social Nesting about getting fresh, her favourite kit and channeling Snow White, South-London style…

Hi Christine. How are you?
I’m well, thank you. I’m trying to impress you with the one and only posh salad I can make but failing miserably as I don’t know how to make this salad dressing.

Forget dressing. You are not allowed to be good at everything.
Now, did you ever dream that you would be the reason that people are getting busy with their hands? Not in a rude way, of course, but with glue and scissors and ink…
Not at all! It’s so lovely that I have been able to share my ideas with people. If I wasn’t writing my books I would be making all these things anyway. It just so nice that they are getting a wider audience and I have a greater reason for doing them.

Your latest book, Fresh Prints, is deceptively not about how Will Smith’s life got flipped (turned upside-down), but about tackling printing at home. Did you purposely set out to fool the public? (I am kidding, of course)
I think that is my most favourite title for a book yet. It makes me smile (and sing the Fresh Prince theme tune) everytime I see the cover.

You have done a great job of making contemporary crafting approachable. Who did that for you?
My original inspiration for the Simple Makes books were Japanese craft books and catalogues, especially by homeware/clothing/crafty brand Felissimo. I love their clean and crisp Scandi-Japanese aesthetic. I wanted to make home made things that didn’t look home made, just simple and stylish.


If you were stuck in a deserted car park in Norwich with only five things from your kit bag, what would they be?

- Bondaweb, for joining two pieces of fabric together;
- Scallop-edged scissors;
- Scapel/10a blades and metal ruler for no-nonsense cutting;
- Glue dots and sheets for no-mess gluing;
- My jar of  bits and bobs – a collection from my mum and my nan’s button boxes, plus sequins, beads, tiny bits of things that-will-come-in-useful-one-day-I’m-sure. (Keep telling yourself that.)(Christine has printed hares on her stairs – just imagine what she would do to a car park.)

What hasn’t been designed yet that would make your life easier?
Self-sweeping floors… There are always loose threads, fabric fluff and scattered sequins all over my floor. Maybe I could try and befriend the animals as Snow White does to help me clear up after projects, though living in South London, the wildlife would be a bit more like the ones in Enchanted.

taken from blogs.disney.com

taken from blogs.disney.com

Fresh Prints, published by Quadrille, is available to buy now on Amazon or at bookstores smart enough to have snapped it up.

We chatted about many more things, Icecream, Target superstores and my future plans. To read the full interview click here


To be in with a chance of WINNING A SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK either visit and ‘like’ my facebook page here or if the facebook is not your thing simply answer this question in the comments below …“When crafting what’s your favourite snack?” (Mine’s a big jar of nuts and seeds, rainsing and chocolate covered cranberries… though I pick out all the cranberries first)

Three of my favourite Elias projects

(click on images for instructions)

PlateBowl-Final

plate and bowl planter

Cement-Jewels-Final

cement jewesl hangers

drawer-lamp-1

Library card drawer lamp

see I said he was good.

WIN! a signed copy of Fresh Prints

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freshprintsbookv2

To celebrate the release of my new book Fresh Prints I am giving away a signed copy to one lucky recipient. To be in with a chance of winning simply visit my new facebook page by clicking here and clicking on ‘like’ within the page. (if you really do like please also share the page with your friends). I’ll be picking a winner next Thursday.
For more information on the book click here.

make: twine birds nest

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simple birds nest

This little nest was actually a happy accident I made when tidying up the mess created from a very satisfying job of fraying the edge of a hessian table runner. You could also use wool, string or twine. A rough string or twine such as  garden string works best as it holds together better.

MAKE AN EASTER NEST

click to enlarge and download

Happy Happy Easter, have a lovely long weekend, I’m reupholstering a sofa … but first I have to go to Ikea to get the fabric … can I face it?

new book Fresh Prints … out soon

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Fresh Prints delivery

Today I got an exciting delivery in the post … A lovely box of hot off the press copies of my new book Fresh Prints. This is my fourth book for Quadrilles Simple Makes series (and maybe my fave, but then I say that about each one I do! Definitely my fave title. Thanks for the inspiration Will.)

Print was my favourite medium to work with when I was at college and the print room was my favourite place to be so I loved getting my hands dirty and smelling of printers ink once again to make the 20 + projects for the book.

I had lovely photographer Keiko Oikawa shooting the pictures and yet again she made all my projects look lovely, clean and fresh.

I think my favourite project was this one …

ALphabet cards

circus letter wooden postcard

or this one?

Botanical cards

botanical greetings card

or maybe this one ….

gift boxes

but then this one is really nice.

mushroom mayhem cushion

Mushroom cushion all photos copyright Keiko Oikawa

Here’s a little more information about the book and to ‘look inside’ visit amazon.co.uk (maybe you’d like to buy a copy too?)

FRESH PRINTS

click to enlarge

 

make: Easter bunny bag (ideal for egg hunts)

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Bunny head bag

Easter is really soon although I feel like it’s been and gone as I had my Easter weekend in February. Back then I spent four days working on a big home entertaining and craft shoot for Homes and Gardens magazine for Easter 2015 – Yup that’s how organized they are. Unfortunately it means that not only do I have 14 lovely craft projects that I can’t show you till next year but I also have had my fill of mini eggs, chocolate Shredded Wheat nests and Hot Cross Buns. (Actually I can never have my fill of H.C.B’s.)

Even though I feel Easter is So Over I did dream up this little chappy the other day. He’s a cute way to store your precious mini eggs and other findings from an Easter Egg Hunt and simple to make using a little felt, fabric glue and embroidery thread.

bunny head bag 2

I was too tired to put the computer on last night (and too engrossed in Masterchef) to write up the instructions in the usual fashion so I’ve done a cartoon style step by step instead.

bunny instructions

Download the template here

If you (or your little egg hunters) need to keep the bunny close at hand sew a long ribbon to the back of the head in a loop and wear round the  neck or over the shoulder

For more Easter projects visit these other blog posts. (Click on image to see post)

flower garland

MAKE FELT FLOWER WREATH

HOW TO MAKE FELT FLOWERS

HOW TO MAKE FELT FLOWERS

circus egg decorations1

FREE PRINTABLE EGG DECORATIONS

bunny egg cosy

BUNNY EGG COSY

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NICE NEON EGGS

from brit+co

EGG DECORATING IDEAS

 

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