Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Animal (and Alien!) Headbands in Sewn Together

Today I'd like to introduce you to fun crafty book: Sewn Together.

This new book from Lark Crafts features 25 projects to make with your kids, to introduce them to the joys of sewing. Aimed at kids aged 6-12, the book includes hand sewing, some easy embroidery plus simple machine sewing.  

You can make Woodland Puppets, a Drawstring Game Board, a Pennant Name Banner, a Patchwork Throw, a T-Rex Tote and more...

... including some cute felt headbands, designed by me! :)

These are easy to sew and soooo much fun to wear. You can dress up as a lion...

 ... a deer...


... or an alien!


I had a huge grin on my face when I made these and tried them on. I hope people will enjoy sewing them with their kids and will have many happy hours of creative play while wearing them!

Sewn Together: 25 Fun Projects to Sew with Kids is published by Lark Crafts. It's available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK and many other bookshops.

P.S. Talking of books, I am sooooo excited that the new Christmas craft book from Lark is already out in the US and will be out very soon here in the UK. 'Tis the Season to Be Felt-y is the follow-up to the awesome Fa La La La Felt (which has a special place in my heart as it was the first book to feature my work, way back in 2009!). 

'Tis the Season to Be Felt-y includes 8 projects designed by me - I'm really looking forward to sharing pics of them with you guys and seeing all the festive felt loveliness stitched by the other contributors. You can see a preview of some of the projects in the book here, buy it on Amazon USA here or pre-order it on Amazon UK here.

P.P.S. Also coming soon from Lark Books: Sew Sweet Creatures. This features 16 "plush" creatures with cute accessories and it looks completely adorable. I stitched four of projects for this, including the bunny on the cover and a superhero pig. You can take a peek at the pig and some of the other creatures in this preview (I am especially in love with that llama!).  

Sew Sweet Creatures will be published later this autumn/winter, and is due out in the USA in October and here in the UK in December. I can't wait!

[Please note: The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links]

Monday, 31 August 2015

My Childhood Shell Collection

I collected a lot of stuff when I was a kid. If it was small and inexpensive I probably collected it at some point!

Postage stamps, erasers, badges, thimbles, weird looking rocks, novelty soaps, teeny little ornaments, pretty buttons, stickers, bath pearls... and much, much more. Some of my collections didn't last long, other grew and grew.

One thing I amassed quite a large collection of was sea shells:

Most of these were collected on days out at the beach, but a few were (I think) bought in gift shops at places like Butlins. You can probably spot the fancy bought-in-a-shop ones!

I found these 200+ shells in a box while doing some decluttering a while back. I don't "need" or even really want a box full of shells anymore, so these will be finding a new home very soon.

I'm going to keep a few to remind me of my shell-collecting days and many happy hours spent walking along beaches, and I'll have these photos to help me remember the whole collection.


They look rather pretty all laid out together, don't they?


Fancy a peek at some of my other childhood collections? I've also taken pics of my sticker album, my badge collection and my huge collection of novelty erasers.

Friday, 28 August 2015

The Big Hoot: Owl-Spotting in Birmingham

For my summer holiday this year I spent a week in Birmingham. I'd planned lots of fun stuff to do during my trip (including visiting lots of museums and spending a crafty day at the Festival of Quilts)... but what I wasn't expecting was for the city to be full of giant owls!


It turns out that Birmingham has been fillwed with a flock of owl sculptures, for an art trail called The Big Hoot. Just like the Shaun in the City trail that I've enjoyed following in London & Bristol this year, the Big Hoot is a free trail of quirkily-decorated sculptures to raise money for charity.

89 giant owl sculptures are on display across Birmingham until 27th September, along with an assortment of smaller owls decorated by local schoolchildren (as part of The Little Hoot).

I resisted the urge to spend half my holiday following the trail (I know from my experience Shaun-spotting that I'd get hooked all too easily!) but I couldn't resist taking photos of all the owls that I spotted on my travels during the week. It was really lovely to see the different designs - they cheered up even the greyest of days - and it was great to see so many people (young and old) owl-spotting and takings lots of happy owl selfies.

Want to see some more giant owls? Of course you do! :)

As well as Wise Owl, New Street Flyer, Active Owl and Swirly Whirly Birmingham Owl-land (above), I also saw... 

Alf the Penguin Owl: 

Jewellery Owl and Ozzy's Owl:

Tick-Tock and Big Brown Inky Owl:

Re-tail and Our Happy Hospit-owl:


Lots of Little Hoots on display at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (so much fun!):

The Ship:


I See a Darkness and G'owl'd:






(I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I was a bit baffled by that owl being called "Selfie" but, of course, it's decorated just like the famous Selfridges store behind it. I clearly needed some more caffeine that morning!)

Starlight and Unity Within Diversity:


So many fun and colourful owls.

My favourites were this delighful two-sided design, The Owl and the Pussycat (so cute)...

... and the pretty, patterned, Bejewelled Owl (you guys know I'm a sucker for anything turquoise).


The Big Hoot runs until 27th September. Visit the website to see all the owls, get more info about the trail and download trail maps or the Big Hoot app so you can do some owl-spotting of your own!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Stitching a Heart for the Craftivist Collective & Mollie Makes

If you're a Mollie Makes fan, maybe you've spotted the little something I stitched for the latest issue?

It's a felt heart for the Craftivist Collective's new Heart on your Sleeve campaign!

This campaign is such a fun idea: asking people to stitch green hearts with what they love, wear them and share them online as part of a positive, inspirational, creative conversation.

It was quite tricky choosing what to stitch for my heart, but after a purr-filled kitty cuddle during my tea break I realised I had to pick my cats! I love those little furballs so much.

Mollie Makes #57 is out now. You can read more about the Craftivist Collective on their website and you'll find them on social media as @craftivists.


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