Monday, 29 May 2017

A Sunday Walk: Walborough Nature Reserve

Since moving to North Somerset, I've been going for a lot of walks. I used to do a lot of walking on my Nice Days Out but I rarely just went for a walk, the walking was a thing that happened while journeying from A to B or exploring a new and interesting place.

I've been sharing photos from some of my recent walks over on Instagram, but I thought it might be nice to occasionally share a few special walks with you guys here on my blog... starting with yesterday's outing to Walborough.

Just south of Weston-super-Mare you'll find the village of Uphill, Uphill Hill itself and Walborough Nature Reserve.

With it being a sunny Bank Holiday weekend, there were a lot of people out walking and cycling along the main path through the reserve.


Little kids on cycles and scooters, people sitting on benches and watching the cattle, dogs sniffing and yapping at each other, strangers opening gates for each other and saying polite "hello!"s as they passed by, and everyone in agreement that the guy climbing this rock face was "utterly bonkers".

This time of year is so gorgeous, all that lush green abundance bursting forth. 


I got a little sunburned but it was totally worth it.

I walked back to Weston via Uphill Village, which is really very charming. I especially love this row of cottages, which makes me want to go buy a tub of Neapolitan ice cream! The house with the yellow doors always has a seasonal wreath on the door - it's so nice seeing it change through the year.


At the edge of the village is my new dream house, aka the gatehouse of Uphill Manor (which sadly suffered a major fire last year), and Donkey Field. A few weeks ago the field was full of bluebells, but now it's a sea of long grasses and buttercups. So lovely!

For lots more pics from Weston-super-Mare and its environs, check out my Instagram: Weston-super-Magic.

Friday, 26 May 2017

A Year of Wreaths: May Felt Foxgloves Wreath Tutorial

My free tutorial series for The Village Haberdashery continues!

May's wreath features some fabulous felt foxgloves: 

This month's project was an interesting design challenge - it was rather tricky translating the shapes of real foxgloves into something simple enough to a) fit on a wreath and b) not impossible to actually make! After a couple of false starts I was delighted when I finally cracked it* and I'm really pleased with how these flowers have turned out.

The foxgloves do take a little time and patience to put together, but the individual steps are not difficult and I think the result is well worth it. (Okay so I am a little biased about this but shhh).

Click here for the free templates and step by step tutorial.

You can buy a kit with all the materials you'll need to make this wreath, or just follow the links in the tutorial to find all the individual supplies in The Village Haberdashery shop.

I think the foxgloves would also look lovely on a simple fabric-wrapped wreath - like the one I made for last month's tutorial - or a soft yarn-wrapped wreath like the one I made in March.

Click here to find all the wreath tutorials in the series.
*I may or may not have done a very embarrassing happy dance at this point. I couldn't possibly comment.

Friday, 5 May 2017

A Year of Wreaths: April Felt Flower Wreath Tutorial

Every month this year I'm designing a seasonal wreath for The Village Haberdashery's blog. April's wreath is all about bright spring flowers:

I've combined some bright and cheerful wool blend felt with a lovely neutral linen-blend fabric - I love how the felt colours pop against the plain background!

You don't have to stick to my chosen colour palette, of course, there are so many great colour combinations you could use for this design to totally change it's mood or tie in with your decor.

The individual felt flowers would also make lovely brooches or hair clips. (You know me, I love a design with flexibility!)

Click here for the full step by step wreath tutorial and free template sheet.

You can buy a kit with all the materials you'll need to make this wreath, or just follow the links in the tutorial to find all the individual supplies in The Village Haberdashery shop.

P.S. Click here for all the tutorials in this series.

P.P.S. Yes, I know it's May already! :) I have had a bad case of Blogger's Block recently but I will be back soon, I promise.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

March in Pictures: Spring Crafts & Flowers

Time for my monthly Instagram update! My March was full of the joys of spring: spring crafting, spring colours, spring flowers, spring walks. All excellent stuff.

I got crafty with this gorgeous bundle of wool felt from Cloud Craft...

 ... using it to make these felt Easter egg ornaments, decorated with spring flowers. Click here for the tutorial!

March's addition to my A Year of Wreaths project also involved spring flowers: lots of bright daffodils and narcissi.

I couldn't resist having some photo fun with the flowers before adding them to the wreath!

I went for lots of walks in March, talking advantage of the milder weather to get out and explore my new neighbourhood a bit more. It's been wonderful seeing everything come to life with the arrival of spring and I'm getting slightly addicted to taking long walks on the beach. I'm continuing to share lots of photos from my walks over on my second Instagram account; it's very different to my main account but I love it.

Here on my blog I shared the final project in my felt fruit tutorial series (click here for all the tutorials) and was delighted when a gorgeous Instagram account (candyminimal) shared my felt kiwi photo.

I also blogged about the joys of decluttering (and how important it is to listen to your feelings), a London photowalk, a trip to Birmingham, lots of Instagram hashtags for colour lovers, and the new book Mom Crafts which features three of my projects.

Behind the scenes, I've been working on some colourful new things - and getting distracted playing with embroidery threads. I posted this thread photo the day after sharing the photo below (an old snap of the gorgeous flower shop at Liberty) and it's spooky how similar the colours are!


I've also spent some cosy, quiet evenings knitting squares for my random mini squares blanket. I've still got lots of squares to knit but I'm making progress...

Want more colourful, crafty updates? I'm lauralupinhoward on Instagram - click here to visit my page and follow me. You'll also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, 3 April 2017

The 100 Day Project 2017

Have you heard of #The100DayProject?

It's a global art project which anyone, anywhere can take part in.

You choose a creative action, do it every day for 100 days and share the results online. You can read more about the project and how to take part here. This year's project starts tomorrow (April 4th) and I'm joining in for the first time.

It took me a while to choose what I wanted to do for my action: something quick and simple? or something more complicated? Trying something new? or developing existing skills?

In the end I decided to opt for something challenging but flexible: I've decided to do #100DaysOfFeltStuff - recreating one "real world" object in felt each day.

Choosing "stuff" rather than something more specific means I'll have lots of creative freedom and can choose something small and quick on busy days (and bigger, more challenging things on my days off!).

I'm really looking forward to this project: flexing my creative muscles, solving a whole bunch of design problems, and making a daily space for creativity in my schedule. I also can't wait to see everyone else's projects and follow along with the project hashtag on Instagram.

I'll be sharing daily photos on my Instagram Stories, and posting updates in my main Instagram feed - as well as on Facebook, Twitter and here on my blog. So if you're keen to see what I'm making but don't use Instagram don't worry, you won't be out of the loop.

Here's to 100 days of felt-y goodness!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Introducing: Mom Crafts

I've got a fun new book to show you guys today: Mom Crafts: DIY Crafts for the Expectant Mom.

It features 20 projects to make for new babies and their expectant parents... including three projects designed and stitched by me!

The book includes projects to knit, embroider and sew (hand sewing and machine sewing). The "Mom" section includes a maternity pillow, a nursing bag and a lavender eye pillow. The "Baby" section includes burp cloths, bins and that adorable strawberry hat and booties. Then the "Nursery" section includes lots of decorative items to brighten up the nursery and celebrate the new arrival.

My three projects all involve felt, of course! (You'd probably guessed that, hadn't you?)

There's a night sky mobile to hang over the crib.

Then there's colourful and customisable hoop art (look, it's baby me! wasn't I cute?), which you can make with felt or some simple embroidery.

My favourite project of the three though has to be the whale pillow/cushion which doubles as a photo prop for marking those important milestones!

I showed my dad this book and pointed out my projects and he said "You made a baby? Just for a book? How much were they paying you???", haha.

Seriously though, how cute are these little people? Such sweet pictures!

Mom Crafts is published by Lark Crafts. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and lots of other bookshops. Please note: The Amazon and Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links.

It's always a joy working on projects for Lark Crafts titles - I've contributed to quite a few over the years! Do you have any of these? :)

Sew Sweet CreaturesBanners, Buntings, Garlands & Pennants

Craft CampSewn Together

Doodle Stitching: The Holiday Motif Collection'Tis the Season to be Felt-y

Heart-Felt HolidaysFelt-o-ween

Stash Happy: FeltFa La La La Felt

Saturday, 25 March 2017

5 Free Felt Fruit Sewing Tutorials

I hope you guys have enjoyed the series of free felt fruit tutorials I've shared over the past couple of months!

Felt faux fruit

I thought it would be helpful to collect the links to all 5 tutorials so you can bookmark and find them easily for future crafting. Do let me know if you make any of these - or the whole set! :)

The fruit would look awesome displayed together in a bowl, and individual pieces would make cute ornaments or pincushions. You could also adapt the tutorials to make fun stuff like kiwi slice brooches.

Please note that the finished felt fruit is intended for decorative use only - it is not a toy and should be kept well out of reach of young children.

Felt faux fruit

1. Apple & Pear.

Felt apples and pear

2. Apple & Orange Slices.

 Felt apple slices
Felt orange slices

3. Strawberries.

Felt strawberries

4. Watermelon Slice.

Felt watermelon slice

5. Kiwi Fruit.

Felt kiwi fruit

Want more free tutorials? Visit my crafty tutorial archive.

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

Free DIY felt fruit sewing tutorials