Winters in England can be pretty brutal – grey skies day after day, freezing temperatures but seldom snow to make it pretty, rain, going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark, did I mention the rain?
I can think of two things that can help make Winter better wherever you are though – hot pyjamas straight off the radiator and going to bed with a hot water bottle! The pyjamas you can probably figure out for yourself but I’m excited to share my new and improved quilted hot water bottle cover sewing tutorial today! Continue reading
I made these fluffy pom poms recently for an upcoming DIY project and was so pleased with them I thought they deserved a tutorial in their own right…
Most of my DIY projects are born out of necessity. When my optometrist advised me to spend 20 minutes lying down with a heated eye mask every few days I didn’t need much convincing. Later that day I had my finger poised to order a £12 rice filled eye bag from Amazon when I had a lightbulb moment and realised that I could totally make it myself!
I decided to make a tutorial as I think everyone should experience the delight of a warm eye compress. This tutorial is simple to follow and contains a free template that you can download as a PDF. The finished eye mask is generously sized and just the right weight – it even doubles as a warm neck/shoulder compress too! A heated eye mask is really good for the various ducts and glands in your eyes as well as being super relaxing. I like to take mine to bed and pretend it’s a spa treatment…
This DIY wrapping paper couldn’t be simpler and is perfect for some relaxed weekend crafting before the final Christmas countdown…
Beeswax candles have some pretty amazing properties – did you know they clean the air as they burn? They also smell amazing and best of all, are easy to make at home! Round about this time every year I make a pot of tea, dust off the record player and spend an evening making a big old batch of these DIY candles to see us through winter. There’s no hot wax involved so you can even do it with one eye on the TV! They’re easy to make at home and I’m going to show you how in today’s tutorial…
A few weeks ago my Aunty (the very creative and inspiring hand weaver, spinner and textile designer Madeleine Jude) very kindly spent the day giving me a little glimpse into the alchemy of indigo dying. Working with natural dyes is quite daunting – I’m so glad I had someone to show me rather than trying to figure it out for myself from a book. Today I’m sharing some photos of the dye making process along with the recipe we used for our indigo vat. Next time, I’ll be taking a closer look at my finished shibori dyed muslin squares and the folding techniques I used so don’t forget to pop back next week!
Here’s an easy DIY that’s perfect to kick off the festive season! For those not already familiar with it, needle felting is the art of jabbing wool repeatedly with a tiny, barbed needle. As the little needle works it’s way in and out of the fibres, it gradually compresses and tangles them together so the wool becomes more and more compact. It’s suprisingly easy to mould the squishy wool into whatever shape you would like and oh so satisfying to do because it fuses together really easily – you can layer up the colours as much as you like and attach one shape to another with a few jabs of the needle. I’ve gone for a round robin here because it’s an easy shape to start with and cute too!
You will need…
- A handful of white wool
- A small bit of brown wool
- A smaller bit of red wool
- Needle felting needle
- Two black beads for eyes
- Needle for hand sewing
- Black thread to sew the eyes on with
- Fancy thread to make a loop
Roll the white wool around into your hand, working it into a rough ball. It will still feel fairly loose but as you jab it all over with the needle, it will gradually become a solid ball (really!). Just remember to rotate the wool regularly in your hand so that it felts evenly all over.
Grab your brown wool and tease one end into a point. Use your left hand to place it on the white ball and hold it in position while you jab it a few times with the needle to secure. This point will be the robin’s beak.
Shape the brown wool up in an arch either side of the beak and felt into position. You can leave the remainder of the yarn at the back as a fluffy tail! Felt the brown wool across the robin’s back, head and beak, making sure all the edges are felted securely and neatly.
Take your red yarn (you’ll only need a tiny bit) and tease it out so it’s fluffy with no big lumps in the middle. Place it on the breast of your robin and felt into position. Try to make the edges of the red wool quite diffused so blends nicely.
Sew on the eyes and watch your round robin come to life!
Finished! You can trim the tail fibres if need be then your robin is all ready to rock on the tree!