Make these fun wire pumpkin earrings, the perfect speedy Halloween DIY!
So I have a confession. I don’t like pumpkins, to eat that is- the only bit I like is the seeds. Many of you, especially my American friends, are probably reeling in shock and horror at this and for that I apologise. However, I love the look and shape of them and all the cute heritage varieties that you can get now are wonderful. This DIY was inspired by a wire pumpkin table decoration I saw on Pinterest and I thought I could downsize and make earrings! And the best bit is you don’t need loads of different materials and tools to do it! Read more
Make your own Textile Bug brooch with this cute DIY tutorial! Using a small scrap of fabric and some beads, create this unusual wearable soft sculpture, perfect for Halloween!
Its the beginning of autumn here in the UK, which means three things. 1. I will get sick (that happened last week, so check) 2. People start mentioning c.h.r.i.s.t.m.a.s, and 3. Everywhere is full of scary and gaudily coloured Halloween costumes. The first two, I just have to roll with, but the third I try and turn it around into something more stylish – a pretty Halloween. Think gothic, dark florals and pumpkins rather than skeletons, witches and fake blood. To get an idea of my ideal Halloween aesthetic follow my ‘Pretty Halloween’ pinterest board.Read more
Most people have heard of Leonardo da Vinci. Most will think of the Mona Lisa. But for me, its his drawings that capture the imagination. His sketches and technical drawings have a character and delicacy that just fascinates me. Da Vinci was one of the first artists whose work captured me, and it still does. Nottingham Castle is one of four venues across the UK and Ireland that is playing host to a touring exhibition of ten drawings from the Royal Collection. The drawings show the variety of da Vinci’s interests and curious nature, spanning anatomy, map making and engineering to botanicals.
North Norfolk is a place of coastline, market towns and wide open landscapes. Its is only a couple of hours from Nottingham, so makes a perfect few days getaway location. We stayed at a small self catering cottage attached to the owners own home on the outskirts of North Runcton near King Lynn in north Norfolk. It was peaceful, quiet and who can resist some pretty bunting?
We headed into Kings Lynn, somewhere we had only ever been through and never explored, and I was pleasantly surprised! The old town near the docks are a maze of historic buildings, that from the old quayside to market town to the Minster. It seems incompletely at odds with the newer half of the town near the bus station.
After a quick lunch, we got back in the car and drove out to Snettisham Deer Park. They have something quite unique- a deer safari! Not quite the Serengeti, but you are driven through gorgeous fields until you enter the paddock of native red deer. They drive around the small lake and the deer actually swim through water to get to the food we have all been given by the highly entertaining guide. Deer slobber. A lot. A thorough wash, not only of hands, but of feet and legs were required afterwards, but they were surprisingly gentle for such large beasts. They also have a barn with animals in, with lamb bottle feeding for the kids and some of the fluffiest sheep I have ever seen. We finished off the day with a visit to Snettisham beach, which is more pebble than sand, but lovely none the less.
Make these stylishly minimal silver bead earrings using a solid ring and metal beads. I was inspired by a lot of thorn and sharks tooth designs I have seen lately, and wanted to create something of a similar shape using beads.
This make involves a little, tiny, bit of a beadweaving technique called brick stitch. Normally when I use bead weaving its on larger scale beads, but I’m branching out and using 3mm beads! It is only a small section of beading, so nothing too daunting. Also, I’m using some purple beading thread and a needle in the photos purely to make it easier for you to see what I’m doing. I really recommend using a clear, monofilament thread to make these- its practically invisible and is much more stable. Read more
Make this luxe gold foil DIY cushion to brighten up your sofa! Its a lot easier to get this high-end look than you might think!
If you are really clever, you could make your own cushion cover. I’m not that handy with a sewing machine, so I popped down to H&M homeware department. I wanted my cushion to have plenty of texture, so I chose a woven, 100% cotton one. I’m going for a painterly brushstroke look with my design, but you could easily have more of a pattern, say spots or chevrons, just by changing how and where you apply the fabric glue. Read more
This seed bead chain necklace is a super simple and low cost way to create a statement piece of jewellery! And all you need are some large seed beads and thread.
Seed beads are one of those craft items that people often own, but never know what to do with! But seed beads are cheap, come in many different sizes and colours and so are a brilliant way to create some bold jewellery. This design is a variation on a bracelet that I teach as a workshop, but I fancied a necklace version! Read more
How to wire wrap a stone using the simple spiral cage technique. If you have a pretty gemstone or piece of sea glass without a hole, but want to turn it into a necklace, this is the easiest way to do it!
Quite a few people have asked me recently how to use stones without any drill holes in their jewellery making. Most ways involve wire and this spiral cage is the most straight-forward. All you need is some wire and your pliers! Read more
To me, making and repair go hand in hand. When something is handmade, you know the object has been sculpted, painted, forged, painted or hammered into existence by someone. It creates a history for things before they even fall into my ownership. It also might not be perfect, without the cookie cutter duplication of mass production. It has personality, if you like. This same philosophy applies to repairing things. I suppose I come from a family of ‘fixers’, my Grandpa and Dad especially.
My sofa cover is in need of a repair, having suffered greatly at the claws of my cat Aston. Having finally persuaded him that the scratching post is a much better option, I now need to repair the damage. Read more
A clean and simple wire wrapped ring, with a gorgeous Swarovski coin pearl bead as the main feature.
In my day job working at my local bead shop, I have had quite a few people ask me how to make wire wrapped rings. Most ways involve quite a bit of wire being on show, which is fine, but creates a reasonably chunky ring. Someone asked me if there was a way that resulted in a more dainty band and allowed the bead to be the star of the show. At the time, I couldn’t think of a single one! Never one to back down from a challenge, I set about coming up with how to a wire wrap a bead onto a simple ring band, and this was what I came up with. Read more