Monday, 21 August 2017

June & July in Pictures: Colour & Crafting amongst the Chaos!

I spent a hectic few weeks this summer living out of a suitcase, travelling back to my flat from time to time but mostly staying with my parents and helping them prepare to move out of our family home and across the country to their new house. You might have noticed that I rather dropped the ball on the blogging front (oops!) while all this was going on... but I still managed to squeeze in some crafting and other fun stuff in between all the packing and general moving prep.

So... what did I get up to in June and July?

My friend Kate visited Bristol and we met up for a day's sightseeing and photo-taking (you can read about her trip to the city here and here). It's always a joy to show people round my favourite city, and Bristol was looking pretty darn gorgeous in the summer sunshine.

I was nearly late to meet her in the morning, though, as I was busy taking photos of this fabulous wall! (Instagrammer problems, man...).


For my birthday one of my friends surprised me with this awesome "Making Things" print and I couldn't resist taking a photo of it surrounded by some of the crafty supplies I'd been using that week.


I made things with this wonderful marbled paper (click here to see what I made with it!)...

... and made lots of felt butterflies for June's "A Year of Wreaths" Wreath tutorial (follow that link for the free tutorial).

The shiny new edition of my first book, Super-Cute Felt was published (prompting an Instagram post full of feelings)...

... with a free project from the book available over at MAKEetc...

... and the pear needlebook tutorial (delightfully) featured in Prima Makes magazine.


I blogged about some fabulous fog, my visit to Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, a trip to Lichfield and a magnificently quirky museum: the Birmingham Pen Museum.


I confessed to sometimes preferring unused skeins of yarn and embroidery thread to finished projects (there's just something so appealing about those soft loops of colour!)...


... and had a hilarious dream in which I went on a date... not to a bar, or a café, or the cinema, but to a giant branch of Paperchase! The way to my heart is clearly via nice stationery (or haberdashery!). Naturally, I couldn't resist obeying my subconscious and visited the big Paperchase on the Tottenham Court Road when I was in London a couple of weeks later. Mmm... so many colours...


I shared a photo of my much beloved Dorcas pin tin - which it turns out is something a lot of people have in their sewing kit, and treasure (maybe you have one too?). This tin belonged to my mum when she was at school. I also have a larger one which I inherited from my grandmother, along with the rest of her sewing box.


I do love things which are pretty but also practical... although sometimes I buy so many of them that they're not quite so practical any more. Like mugs - I definitely have way more mugs than I technically need but there are just so many lovely ones! This one is my current fave: a recent gift from a kind friend who knows just how much I love a pop of colour.


Finally, July turned into a month of colourful selfies as I visited the WALALA X PLAY installation (a maze of mirrors and bright patterns that's perfect for taking photos)... 


... then got inspired by Instagram's "Weekend Hashtag Project" photo challenge and ended up spending a chunk of a Sunday afternoon lying on the floor covered in blankets (which is a perfectly normal thing to do, right??).

That week's challenge was #whptalentshow, and I got thinking about how my creative talents are things I've inherited from my parents, and which were encouraged and nurtured by them when I was growing up. Which (naturally) led to me taking selfies while sandwiched between the blanket my mum knitted for me when I was a baby, and the blanket I'm knitting for my new flat.


(Psst - for more blanket-y lols, check out the outtakes!).

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.               

Friday, 18 August 2017

8 Easy Paper Crafting Projects

Sometimes you want to spend days, weeks or even months making something detailed and complicated and (eventually) impressive... and other times you just want a quick, crafty fix!

I talk a lot about the joy of felt crafting being quick and easy, but I'm also a big fan of a bit of simple paper crafting. Patterned craft papers make it especially easy to quickly make something fabulous.

Inspired by a fab new range of paper pads stocked by The Village Haberdashery I've put together a blog post with instructions and templates for eight easy paper crafting projects.

I used a marbled pad for my projects, but there are lots of different coordinating patterns to choose from!

You can make greetings cards...

... create envelopes and notecards (DIY envelopes are so much fun to make and send)...

 ... wrap gifts...

... use scraps for colourful gift tags...

... whip up some party decor with classic paper chains...

... or mix and match bunting and garlands...

... make some helpful labels for party treats...

... or use the diagrams included in the blog post to make little gift boxes!

Click here to see all eight paper crafting ideas.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Lovely Lichfield: Exploring Lichfield Cathedral

During my years of travels in the UK and Nice Days Out one of my greatest surprises has been just how much I enjoy exploring churches and cathedrals. I'm not at all religious, spent very little time in churches growing up, and honestly thought I'd find it a bit weird to visit them when sightseeing but - oh! - what interesting buildings they can be!

History and meaning and craftsmanship and beauty and incredible architecture and oh so many details to discover... all crammed into buildings which (more often than not) are free to visit and an oasis of calm in a busy town or city.


A few weeks ago I blogged about my trip to Lichfield, including Erasmus Darwin House and the Cathedral Close. Lichfield's Cathedral was the main reason I'd decided to visit the city and it did not disappoint.


It's an impressive Gothic building with three spires and a vast array of carved figures of kings, queens, and saints - and there's no shortage of interesting things to see inside, as well.


I spent a long time looking round and ended up chatting to several very friendly volunteers who filled me in on some of the building's history and pointed out fascinating things I'd missed.

Naturally (because I'm the world's slowest travel blogger and am only just now blogging about a holiday I took two years ago) I've forgotten pretty much everything they told me but the memory of the beauty of this place and the warm welcome from the volunteers is still a very strong and happy one.

For more info about visiting Lichfield Cathedral click here.

You can read about the rest of my trip to Lichfield (including the charming Cathedral Close) here. I visited Lichfield as a day trip during a week's stay in nearby Birmingham, which I loved. Follow the links to read about Birmingham's excellent architecture, museums, and Jewellery Quarter.

Monday, 14 August 2017

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath Tutorial

A Year of Wreaths continues!

For July's wreath I made colourful pinwheels, inspired by days spent building sandcastles at the seaside...

These felt pinwheels are so fun and easy to make, I kind of want to make dozens of them from felt and/or paper and stick them everywhere. As well as decorating a summer wreath, they'd make great party decor or gift toppers for summer birthdays.

Click here for the free step by step tutorial on The Village Haberdashery's blog.

Follow the links in the tutorial to find all the individual supplies you'll need in The Village Haberdashery shop - I particularly love those colourful paper straws!

Click here to find all the wreath tutorials in the series.