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Category Archives: Arts and Crafts

Crafty Gal Needle Felting Workshop


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On Monday I went to a day long needle felting workshop with Crafty Gal! I requested it from Mr. Mew as an anniversary gift and was soooooo excited!

The workshop was being held out Bonds; a gorgeous antiques centre just outside of Stratford upon Avon. I love going there anyway and the cafe is lovely! They have a special room at the back for craft tutorials and mine had lunch included too.

Denise Immediately put me at ease and I felt like I already knew her! Unfortunately for her, the other ladies had to cancel. Fortunately for me, that meant I got a 1 to 1 session! I decided upon creating a hare as I loved the over-exaggerated ears. We started the tutorial off with a run through of the equipment and wools and then started on the body. It took an awful long time to felt down the mass of wool fibres and I suddenly realised that this was the reason why we couldn’t do a whole animal for our Crafter’s Club tutorial in September. After a good 40 minutes we were ready for the next steps and we were on to the waistcoat. Well…I was in my element! We chatted and sipped Earl Grey as we stabbed at our creations and the time flew by. After a lovely lunch it was on to the head. Suddenly my hare was brought to life and I knew exactly who he was and what he did.

I would like to introduce you to Walter Shipdown; a local Am Dram director and former star of the stage, known for his stunning performance in My Hare Lady.

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I couldn’t believe the workshop was over. I could’ve stayed all night, whether she liked it or not. Luckily Denise was selling Crafty Gal goody bags of wool, needles and foam pads, so I got one to give to Ma and we did our own little felting tutorial together on Thursday. She is creating a fox and I am creating Walter’s leading lady…stay tuned!

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Snitterfield Summer Fete 2018


This year’s Snitterfield Summer Fete them was ‘flower power.’ Originally stemming from the protestors of the Vietnam War, the flower children handed out flowers, danced, making the protest demonstrations into more of a peaceful performance piece.

There was less of the history, more of a loose hippy…60’s/70’s theme. I wasn’t singing this year, but was busy enough manning the Snitterfield Community Crafter’s Club stand. I wanted to show what we do, sell some items and get the word out. I managed to sell a pincushion cup, wrist corsage and paper rose card. Also, there were a couple of ladies that were really enthusiastic about the crafter’s club and knew others who would be too! This was my main aim for having the stand, so I was happy.

I decided to pull inspiration from Frida Kahlo. Yes, she died in the 50’s, but she was an amazing artist (fitting in with our arty stand) and wore amazing ethnic fashions and hair flowers. She was ahead of her time in fashion. I decided to leave behind the monobrow and upper lip hair that made her ‘natural’ look famous. I spend enough of my time trying to eliminate these things from my face.

It was hilarious seeing people dressed as Wombles and the dancers were awesome. They did a great demonstration afterwards and I joined in with much gusto!

I didn’t get to see much else I was mostly on the stand, but looking forward to meeting any new club members and to next year’s Summer Fete theme!

Kirstie Allsopp Presents The Handmade Fair


Hello Catnips!

Yesterday I went to Ragley Hall for Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair! I created a blog post on my craft club blog, so you can read it here.

If you haven’t seen my other blog then please take a look around.

K x

Steampunk Mary Poppins and Stratford Comicon 2018


Well this April Stratford Upon Avon hosted its very first Comicon! I ended up using this as an excuse to create a costume I’ve wanted to do for years…Steampunk Mary Poppins!

I have always loved the Jolly Holiday scene in the movie and couldn’t wait to start my project. On a very tight budget I managed to get a blouse, petticoat, overskirt, boots and corset. The corset, although XL, was small and the underbust certainly wasn’t ‘under’. I ended up having to cut the shoulder straps, add eyelets and add red cord to lengthen it! It is just a fashion corset and not for tight lacing, so wore my trusty waspie under the outfit for a bit more nip and pull.

The boots were black and white, so I painted them with acrylics and sprayed with an enamel top coat. They looked super and just about lasted the event before cracking across the toes. It was hitting, but there was nothing online that was right (she wore pale pink and white boots, not red and white). I also didn’t have enough money for leather which I could have permanently painted. Ah well, they did the job!

I cut down the hoop petticoat as it was ankle length originally and did the same with the tulle overskirt, chopping out the attached underskirt too. Adding the signature red velvet bows tied it into the movie.

The hat was an 80’s wedding hat! I cut down the depth of the crown and reattached the top, covering the whole thing in tulle that I had trimmed off the skirt! No waste!

Onto the exciting bits! I created the rocket pack in homage to Mary Poppins’ carousel horse and painted it in similar colours, with the same flower and swirl pattern. The pressure dial was inspired by her yellow measuring tape and the bottom of each rocket by her parasol umbrella.

I had bought a couple of papier-mâché vases ages ago in the hopes of creating a rocket pack for myself, so that was great! The carousel horse head was created from a papier-mâché unicorn and the dial from a cardboard gift box. I used craft foam for the rocket cones and parasol bases.

Next up, my emergency cup and saucer holster! Whether there is a tea duelling contest or just the need for a morning Earl Grey, this is the perfect accessory. I ended up creating the template around a silicone cup and saucer (the type you bake cupcakes in) as I wanted something very light and non-breakable (incase I had to carry Betsy). I had some very old scrap leather pieces that I used for the holster. These were easy to cut with standard scissors. I hot glued the edges together and painted it with acrylics to match the rocket pack.

Finally the leather wrist gauntlet! With a glass vial of ‘medicine’ and another full of sugar (to help the medicine go down) it is the ideal emergency kit for sniffly children. I mixed bubble bath, food colouring and glitter for the medicine before hot gluing the cork on. The strap were made from antique leather children’s belts that had dried out. I massaged some moisturiser into the leather and theft them overnight. The main gauntlet was made from the same scrap leather as the cup holster, hot glued onto a piece of craft foam lining. I used acrylic paint again and a special raised outline gold paint for detailing. I sprayed everything with a clear top coat to protect the paint.

On to the event! It only took about 1.5 hours to get round, so it was small, but for a first offering (and £5 entrance fee) it was expected. There was a good mix of stalls, illustrators, an epic cup cake stall, a replica Dalek exhibit and a large Simpsons sofa photo op.

Over the other side were the ‘celebrities’ and a green screen photo op. We went first thing in the morning and there were about 100 of us.

I made my way to an illustrator’s stall and then carried on around. The celebrity guests were sat looking a little bemused. I stood and chatted for quite a long time to Paul Warren and Julian Seager, who were very pleasant. I felt awful as I wasn’t interested in purchasing autographs from them and felt like they were friendly but also trying to butter me up to purchase something! Hopefully that wasn’t the case! I talked briefly to Virginia Hey as she needed to borrow glue for her nail and Chris Barrie who I had met previously at Goodwood Revival in the VIP area. It was rather amusing seeing Mr. Brittas back in a leisure centre!

I did have a photo taken with Betsy on the green screen, but it was just a shame that Betsy and my leg disappeared on the photo! Ah well, it was a nice memory and souvenir!

The good thing about the show is that it is walking distance to the town and park. You can come and go as you please, so can go for a wander and then pop back.

It would be nice to see some photo op lookalikes there, such as UK Negan, a Q&A stage (this could also be used for people to introduce their cosplay costumes), more food stalls and maybe a Jolly Comicon host to keep everyone up to date. There could be a screen with projected live Tweets from their Twitter profile, or new movie previews… maybe some of these ideas will reach the creators!

I have to say though that my husband’s Mugatu costume seemed to steal the show! He has worn it before, but I managed to alter a dog toy to make into Mugatu’s poodle and found some sunglasses to finish the costume off. He looked hilarious!

It was a great little convention to meet up with friends and I’m so glad that we finally have a Comicon of our own. It will get bigger and better I’m sure, but this was a good start!

Contemporary Arts Fair in Stratford upon Avon


Today (04/11/17) we just nipped into this free Contemporary Arts Fair at the town hall, in Stratford upon Avon. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area. With free admission (which is very rare with anything nowadays), there’s jewellery, paintings, ceramics, leather, wood work and more.

Upstairs there were more vendors, but also a wonderful pop up tea shop serving yummy cakes, tea and coffee. They had the most beautiful gold tea sets and the cakes we sampled (chocolate and some Stollen) were really fresh.

My highlight was Becky Paton and her gorgeous mosaics. As well as the larger pieces to break hearts and bank accounts, there were more purse friendly items such as Christmas decorations, brooches and clips. I bought this wonderful dragonfly!

The show is open today and Sunday, with more info available HERE.

Circus Themed Baby Bedroom


It didn’t actually start off with this theme! We had a seaside idea in mind, but I got over excited in Ikea after spotting the bed canopy and everything else seemed to fall in place! You may recognise the awesome metal suitcase shelves that we used to have in the bathroom of our previous house. They are perfect in Betsy’s room and are now adorned with vintage Ladybird books and toys! The bedding set is from Asda Living and came with a quilt, bumper and a couple of sheets. I adore the retro lion and tiger cushions, mini suitcases and melamine plates! They are from Dotcomgiftshop and tie everything in together! The elephant cushion was a recent buy from Sass & Belle. It is so funny and they do a zebra wearing a cowboy hat too!

After scouring the internet for a hot air balloon light, I decided to make my own. The ones I found were either too expensive or had teddy bears, bows and pearls everywhere. I am so pleased with how it turned out that I am now taking commissions! I even made little peg people of Richard, Betsy and I! If you would like one with your choice of theme (Imagine a steampunk version!), then message me for details.

So here it is, I hope you like it! Her room is very small, but I tried to fill it with lots of cheery things and sensory objects!

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Corpse Bride Wedding Dress


I thought I would do this blog post quickly before packing up my computer! We are moving house and I should be hard at work, packing boxes and stuffing bags!

Although mostly known for my 1940’s singing and burlesque, one of my most popular blog posts is actually about a Corpse Bride Halloween Costume I made some years back, based on the Tim Burton film. The original wedding gown was donated to me by a good friend and I set to work re-working it and creating accessories.

A lovely bride-to-be by the name of Mira got in touch earlier this year after seeing my dress, asking whether I could do the same for her. So she sent me some images of a few wedding gowns to choose from and pounced on a sweetheart bust, lace overlay number which she sent to me to work on. Over the coming months it went through 4 hand dyes.  I added lace, vintage pearls, snipped the train, hand painted some detailing and hand stitched the slit, created a veil and headdress and even the bouquet and button hole to match!

I was not only eager to get it finish in time for her wedding, but was also rather pregnant so it was getting harder to pick up things if I dropped them on the floor! I was so proud of the dress and took pictures all the way through to show progress.

Miia’s wedding went beautifully and she sent me some pictures to show you all of her big day. Hopefully I will get to do more of these up-cycles and finger’s crossed some other themes like steampunk or Day of the Dead too!

Gothic Wedding Bouquet

I sprayed the bouquet with enamel paint, added jewels, covered wire and antique lace before adding hand painted accents.#

 

Corpse Bride Wedding Veil

Corpse Bride Wedding Veil. I made this out of natural muslin and sprayed and hand painted it.

 

Corpse Bride Wedding Gown

The gown and headdress. The headdress was handmade using covered wire and little flowers that were sprayed and painted.

 

Corpse Bride DressIMG_9426

 

tim burton corpse bride dress

Mira in the dress!


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