Got an Ipad? Need a new case for it? Well, if you buy a copy of Making magazine this month you will get this nifty little project taken from Felt Sew Good. See it as a kind of ‘try before you buy’ opportunity, though really you should just BUY!
Here is a book. A book called Felt Sew Good. A book I spent many hours last summer creating; dreaming up, making, writing and illustrating the 30 or so projects and it’s finally here and though I do say it myself it’s really rather nice. It looks, feels and smells good too. Above is a little taster of what’s inside and if you head over to Amazon now you can use their nifty ‘look inside’ feature to find out more!
Oh and you know that thing about buses and how you can wait for ages and two come at once? Well, apparently it’s the same for books as here is Felt Sew Goods sister title Little Sew and Sew. Also by me, also rather nice and also available to buy now!
Over the following weeks there’ll be some free project downloads, some interviews and other exciting things. Cool.
The other half of the dynamic crafting duo that is Hannah and Christine (ie: not me) has been so very hard at work writing her first solo book Girls Night In, Crafts, Cakes and Cocktails for the Ultimate Party. It’s full of inspiration for different sorts of parties with delicious recipes, gorgeous crafts, hair and make up tutorials and cute games perfect for any soiree from a quite night in with the girls to a full on blow out.
And the brilliance of Hannah means not only has she created the book but also made a website to support it, here you will find more info on the book, playlists and video tutorials AND as today is launch day there’s even a competition to win a luxury hamper worth over £200. Click the picture below to find out more …
Tonight is Launch Party Night. I should probably start getting ready now!
It’s that time of year again, when it snows and we freeze and Fashion starts to tell us what we will be wearing when it stops snowing and we thaw out. Over at Marie Claire we’ve been slaving away to make another delicious edition of our fashion bible Runway.
Inspired by next seasons trends and also the 60′s design movement known as Supergraphics this issues design is bright, bold and striking. I made this Pinterest board for inspiration.
Like fashion Marie Claire Runway is …
educational (er, i’m sure you can learn important life lessons from a skirt)
informative (again, trousers have a lot to say if only we’d listen)
Unlike fashion Marie Claire Runway is in the shops for a limited period from today so go get yours NOW!
This is what I have been working on all summer. The first two books in Quadrille Publishings new Simple Makes craft series. They’re both full of lovely little projects …
Felt Sew Good has 30 projects made from my most favourite of materials; felt. From cushion covers and ipad cases to dancing elephant mobiles and forest friends finger puppets I have tried to showcase the wonderful versatility of felt. Lots of projects for beginners and seasoned crafters alike.
Little Sew and Sew has loads of embroidery designs from simple one colour patterns to much more elaborate embroidery and they’ve all got their own sewing project to go with them. You can try your hand at ribbon embroidery on a beautiful wooden handled tote bag, make a birdcage tea cosy complete with multi-coloured love birds or make personalised pillowcases, dolly bags and wall hangings.
Thing is they’re not available till next May so they might not make this years Christmas list.. but you could pre-order if you like?
To Celebrate the launch of our neeeeeew book, Everything Oz, The Wizard Book of Makes and Bakes I am sharing with you this project from the book. It’s one of my favourite makes. I’d always wanted to make a Hot Air Balloon and toyed with the idea of making one using a spherical lampshade and covering it in green material with a fabric basket, but I think this paper craft one is more unusual. It makes a beautiful alternative to a mobile in a bedroom or if you make lots of them they can be a stunning aerial display over a wedding or party table.
Here’s how you make it …
YOU WILL NEED
• Various sheets of plain and patterned scrapbook paper: For the largest balloon, you will need enough sheets to cut 30 x 26cm diameter circles (the balloons work best if the paper is all of a similar thickness.)
• Craft knife or pair of scissors
• Pinking shears
• Double-sided adhesive tape
• Hot glue-gun or superglue
• Coloured or metallic embroidery thread
• Gems, buttons or paper shapes for extra decoration
• Bradawl and cutting mat
• Strong thread, such as a button or bookbinding thread
• Large needle
• Invisible fishing wire
To make the basket
For the basket base, draw an 8.5cm diameter circle onto a sheet of paper and cut out with an extra 1cm all the way round. Score around the drawn circle with the blunt edge of a craft knife or pair of scissors. Make small snips into the outer 1cm, about 5mm apart, around the circumference of the circle to make little tabs. Fold these tabs upwards.
For the basket sides, cut a 30cm x 6cm rectangle from the same paper. For a decorative edge, use pinking shears. Place double-sided adhesive tape along one long and one short edge of the rectangle. Peel off the backing papers. Join the sides to the base by fixing the rectangle to the cut tabs of the circle, pressing down each tab. Once attached to the base, press the short edges of the sides together to secure.
To decorate the basket cut swag shapes from thin paper, score through the middle of the swag and pinch together slightly to give a 3d effect (the book has a template for the swag, maybe you should buy it here!). Using a hot glue-gun, fix the swags evenly round the basket so they just touch, about 1cm down from the top edge. At each point where two swags meet, glue a 20cm length of embroidery thread (these will attach your basket to yoiur balloon so make sure they are going upwards!). Cover the joins with a decorative gem, button or paper shape.
To make the balloon
Cut out 30 – 40, 26cm diameter circles from various coloured and patterned papers. The more circles you use, the fuller the balloon will be. For smaller balloons, use fewer paper circles.
Fold each circle in half. Make two equal stacks of semi-circles. Place the two stacks next to each other to form a whole circle. For the stitching guide, measure and mark the points 4cm down from the top edge and 4cm up from the bottom edge of each semi-circle. Make another mark 2cm further in. Repeat at the middle.
Take one of the stacks and unfold the circles so they lay flat with the marked circle facing upwards. Using a bradawl and a cutting mat, make holes at each mark through all the circles of paper. (For the hanging loop, using a bradawl make a hole 1cm down from the top edge of each stack of circles.) Using strong thread and a large needle, stitch the circles together. Repeat for the second stack of circles. Place one sewn stack on top of the other and stitch together to make one big stack. Make sure the first half of the circles bend one way, then the second half bend the other way. Run a length of invisible fishing wire through the top hole. Suspend your balloon at a height
where it is easy to work with. The paper leaves will naturally fan out to create a sphere. Fix the basket to the balloon by stitching through a different paper leaf for each string. Spend time finding the right leaves so the basket hangs straight. You can temporarily fix the basket strings in place with glue dots whilst experimenting with different positions. If you want to add a tail then cut a length of thread and decorate with bows or bunting.
Hang from the cealing, have a little sit down and watch the balloon sway in the breeze…
If you’ve enjoyed this make, please feel free to share it but please mention Everything Oz, The wizard book of Makes and Bakes by Christine Leech and Hannah Read-Baldrey published by Quadrille when you do.
And if you want 49 other such lovely projects head over to Amazon. Right. Now.
Today is the official release date for the next book in our Everything range of craft books; A series of books creating craft and cookery projects inspired by well loved classic tales. This time last year Everything Alice, The Wonderland book of Makes was released with over 50 projects inspired by Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and now it’s the turn of The Wizard of Oz …
(I’ve borrowed this image from Hannahs Blog Couture craft, click here to head on over there to see what she’s been up to recently and to see us fighting over a pair of sparkly slippers)
We had great fun coming up with the craft and cookery projects for this book. Hannah yet again has done some beautiful illustrations and I got all inspired by vintage circus and fairground posters for the typography and design of the book. One of my favourite pages from the book is the contents page; a right labour of love. Go visit my Pinterest page to see my inspirations.
This is my bookshelf, my beautiful colour coded bookshelf, the shelf above has the blue and green spined books and the one below the black and white. On this bookshelf are some useful sewing books, some useful fashion reference books, my lovely Couturier catalogues as previously discussed here and a couple of international editions of our book. There is also one book on the bookcase that I have had for almost a year but have only had the briefest of flicks through. It’s the lovely big fat one called Design*Sponge At Home full of inspiring interiors, home makeovers and general lovliness. It’s written by Grace Bonney and is based on her awesome blog Design*Sponge
I bought it when I was in the midst of moving house and was looking forward to using it as my bible when redecorating The New House. Sadly The New House never materialised (though I live in hope that one does turn up soon)and as I’d made a pact to myself not to open the book till I was in said (or any) New House the book has remained shut…
Last Friday I visited a house that totally deserved to be within the covers of this book and is now my number one inspiration for The New New House. Owned by my friend Megan the house is full of quirky little knick-knacks, bold colour choices and eclectic bits of furniture that all work together to create a warm, welcoming, sophisticated home. That I really really want. Whilst poking around Megan’s blog the-colonies.com I found out she also has an Etsy shop selling stuff. Good stuff. Stuff that I am totally going to buy when I finally get The New House. (I wonder if she’ll sell me the elephant puppet? Love him.)
For Megan’s shop click here
To get your own copy of Design*Sponge At Home or for more inspiration pop on over to here
I was lucky enough to go to Tokyo a few years ago and whilst there I discovered two amazing things (well three if you include the fact that dogs are wheeled around in prams dressed as babies).
- 1. Daiso Harajuku on Takeshita Dori.
This shop is the Japanese equivalent of a 99p store known as a 100 yen store (and when I was there 100 yen was around 70 pence.) Now I love a UK 99p store but a Japanese one is extra special as everything in it has that extra sheen of ‘being foreign’ and therefore a little bit more cool (Although sometimes I find things lose their coolness at some point on the flight home). I took two trips to this store in the four days I was in Tokyo and spent £100 which as anyone good at maths will have worked out is …. errrrrr… 141 products? Somewhere in my photo album that is my computer I have pictures of all my spoils, one day I shall dig them out and share them with you.
- 2. Felissimo Catalogues.
I’d read lots of crafty blogs looking for tips on good places to shop for fabrics and bits and bobs before I went to Tokyo and while I didn’t manage to get to many of the shops I’d tracked down I did find something that blew my little crafty brain box! Whilst browsing in a bookshop two magazines caught my eye; Couturier and Minnk. They are both more catalogue than magazine but do have little visual (thank god as my japanese isn’t brilliant) step by step guides to the different crafts they are selling.
Couturier is stuffed to the gills with different craft supplies ranging from papercraft to embroidery to jewellery taking in the more unique Japanese crafts of tiny ornate cakes made from felt and other delights whereas Minnk has more homeware and clothing.
They both have simple stunning photography and are beautifully designed, I use them a lot not only to inspire me with craft projects but also in my design work.
Thing is, I want all the stuff in them but can’t get my hands on any of it due to the small fact of, ooh about 6000 miles and a translation problem… UNTIL NOW! Recently I have discovered that Fellissimo the company behind Couturier and Minnk have put all their magazines on line so you can browse to your hearts content AND you can also buy things and have them shipped to your door. I feel there may still be a bit of a gamble with the things you order as there’s not that much English translation on the site so it might be hard to tell if you’re buying 1 or 100 cross stitch monogrammed hankies or if the paper doily is 10 cm or 10 meters but with products this beautiful will it really matter?
Go see for yourself… Right here… Go now!
I can’t believe it’s practically been a whole year since I held my first proper published book Everything Alice The Wonderland Book of Makes. That was such an amazing moment when Hannah and I opened up our brown jiffy bags simultaneously so neither of us would see the book before the other and we saw the result of all our hard work. Well, now our sequel Everything Oz The Wizard book of Makes and Bakes is available to pre-order from Amazon. It has over 50 craft projects and recipes all inspired by the children’s classic The Wizard of Oz. Here is a little sneak peak of what went into making the book…
We had fun times making this book; shooting in a studio on one of the hottest days of the year thinking the air conditioning was broken as It Just Kept Getting Hotter and being told on the last day that we had it set to heat not cool, then though it had not rained for two months when we went to shoot on a farm it rained solidly for two days making our trip down the Yellow Brick Road decidedly soggy and see the picture of me bottom right? Well I’d just been rung up and told I’d been made redundant from my ‘proper’ job, so this shot for me was a complete blur as I lost all ability to concentrate properly from that point on. Ugh.
The book has some beautiful craft projects in it. From Giant Paper Poppies to the obligatory Ruby Slippers. There’s possibly the dandiest Cowardly Lion Glove Puppet you ever did see and the Emerald City Sweet Cart has a feast of treats and goodies everyone will love.
Our inspiration for the look and feel of the book came from L. Frank Baum’s love of traveling theaters, sideshows and the spectacle of early movie making. Hannah has done some amazing print and papercut illustrations (I love her cover illustration, it’s so bright and engaging) and for the design I looked at many of the sideshow and circus posters of the period and of course the original book illustrations by W.W.Denslow were lovely to work with.
So if you love the Wizard of Oz, love crafting and love bargains head over to Amazon and order your copy now!