Lola loves… painting pottery

Have you ever tried painting your own pottery? I’ve noticed quite a few ‘paint your own’ places springing up across England and I can see why they’re a success. Not only is it very relaxing, it’s good for all ages and abilities.

I finally had a go during a trip to Birmingham where I was visiting a good friend of mine, Abi. We took her nine-year-old step-daughter, Orla, and honestly, I don’t know who enjoyed it most.

Coincidently, the place (All Fired Arts) is run by another friend of mine, Annie, who I know from living in Brum for a few years. It was great to see her doing something so fun and creative – although she has always been that kind of gal.

A painted Optimus, before he was fired and glossed

It can be a bit expensive (especially if you take little ones who are both enthusiastic and quick at painting!) I also wanted to paint everything – especially the cute cups and saucers and the ceramic slices of cake, but I opted for Optimus Prime for my fella because he says I never make him anything (he fibs).

The trick to this is to paint at least three layers and in fairness to the lovely ladies who work there, I was told! Somehow – with all the girl chat and concern that I was getting Optimus’ colours wrong (Mr. Lola is a bit of a geek so would certainly notice) – it took two hours just to do one thick coat. So, it’s a little patchy but I like that it doesn’t look shop bought.

The most painful thing is waiting for the thing to be fired and handed back – especially when you don’t live anywhere near the shop! But I now have him and he’s happy sitting next to the geek-porn books on our shelves. Here he is…

 

Optimus Prime in pottery and badly painted form!

Optimus Prime in pottery and badly painted form!

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Lola loves… an easy to make 1950s fascinator

Handmaking your own fascinator, 1950s style

Handmaking your own fascinator, 1950s style

As promised, here’s the fascinator I made for the recent wedding, which I blogged about yesterday. I went for a 1950s style to match my outfit (I was going for Mad Men of course, who wouldn’t).

In terms of how-tos, there’s little to tell you about this project — it’s simply a matter of choosing your colours, buying your individual items and fashioning them together.

I cheated and bought a ready-made teardrop shaped sinamay fascinator base, but next time I’ll be good and hand make one, honest!

I made a red velvet bow a la Elsie Larson for the back and attached faux (okay, obviously plastic) cherries to the back to add a fun, rockabilly element. I also stitched netting to the front and a hair comb on the underneath of the base to secure it to my hair.

What do ya think? I loved making it and have the distinct feeling I’ll be making more. In fact, I may start a revolution; let’s get women wearing fascinators more often! They’re all too easily limited to weddings and the confines of our own homes and quite frankly, it’s weird (but wonderful) wearing one while doing housework!

 Here’s another one I made recently. Have you got any tips or examples of homemade fascinators?
Here's the top of the handmade 1950s fascinator

Here’s the top of the handmade 1950s fascinator

...And here's the back of the handmade 1950s fascinator

…And here’s the back of the handmade 1950s fascinator


Lola Loves… A good old handmade wedding

There have been weddings galore within my circle of friends recently. We’re at the age that we’ve started, couple by couple, to realise we’re now adults and should grow up accordingly.

The latest wedding belonged to a couple I’ve already blogged about. They had a formal wedding earlier in the year (remember, I made this blanket for them?). This time they had a pagan wedding blessing festival for friends – and flipping amazing it was too. Here’s a pic of the lovely couple.

The happy couple at their crafty wedding

The happy couple at their crafty wedding

It was a very crafty affair. Claire, the brains and beauty behind the pretty vintage dress company, Prince Lilly, refashioned the bride’s dress into something even more stunning than it already was (the fur stole became a trim at the base of the dress and she added tiny handmade fabric roses and feather tufts).

Two other slices of genius in female form, Margarida and Elsbeth, made some of the most special cupcakes I’ve ever seen (my boyfriend got so excited about these that he stole a ‘midnight-snack stash’ and smuggled them to our room in a tea towel. Don’t worry, I told him off for it – before snaffling two in a row!).

The theme of the wedding was a suitable pagan ‘four elements’, so Margarita and Elsbeth made four types of cake, my faves were the carrot cupcakes, which were decorated with icing sugar foliage and bugs representing earth and chilli-chocolate cupcakes, adorned with fire-breathing dragons.

The bride spent hours making  amazing four elements masks, which everyone wore during the ceremony.

The fur stole was sewn onto the trim of the wedding dress to make a trail

The fur stole was sewn onto the trim of the wedding dress to make a trail

One of the amazing masks, which the Bride hand-crafted

One of the amazing masks, which the Bride hand-crafted

Two of the delicious homemade cupcakes

Two of the delicious homemade cupcakes

Obviously, I didn’t want to be left out of the craft fun. I did my bit during the day by styling the bride’s hair (why she let me, I still don’t know) but beforehand I made these crafty gifts. I gave the bride a dual-pendant necklace, the groom a pair of cufflinks, and each of them a keyring. They are really just a bit of fun and a memento of their first and official wedding, when they chose 80s comic book character, Lion-O, and Star Wars’ Princess Leia as wedding cake toppers.

The bride and groom's first wedding cake and toppers

The bride and groom’s first wedding cake and toppers

Crafty handmade cufflinks using polymer clay and resin

Crafty handmade cufflinks using polymer clay

Lion-O and Leia pendants made with polymer clay and resin

Lion-O and Leia pendants made with polymer clay and resin

Handmade and personalised keyrings made with polymer clay and resin

Handmade and personalised keyrings made with polymer clay and resin

Handmade gift boxes

Handmade gift boxes

Cross stitched personalised sampler wedding card

Cross stitched personalised sampler wedding card

I also handmade the card boxes using a template I found here. I secured it with a bit of garden sting and some oh-so-cute ribbon that was free on the cover of Mollie Makes (issue 15).  I also stitched a wedding sampler and made it into a wedding card

Tomorrow, I’ll post on the fascinator I made for the wedding day. And in the meantime, I’ll think of what to make for the wedding next month – any ideas?


Lola loves… making rings!

I have a bit of a thing for rings. I change mine everyday and I’m always on the look out for more. It’s an expensive habit so making them is that bit more rewarding.

This black asymmetric ring was easy, if a bit fiddly to make. Here’s how I did it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I primed a piece of black polymer clay, warming and rolling it until it was malleable. (I wrapped the rest of the clay in cling film to stay soft). I then cut a quarter of it and rolled it to 2mm thick. I then cut a strip and wrapped it around my finger, slid it off and smoothed the edges. I then baked it at 150C for 30 mins. This gave me the ring base from which I could sculpt the finished project.

Once cool, I primed the rest of the clay and worked it into a rectangle and smoothed that on to the base ring. Using a sharp scalpel  blade I cut the clay at irregular angles and then worked it smooth with my fingers and the flat surface of a table.

I then baked it again at 150C for 30 mins.

Obviously, once you’ve done the base, you can create any shape and chose any colour. I know I’ll be coming back to do more as I’ve already worn this ring lots!


Lola loves… Fabric bird decorations

This is just a quick post to show you a couple of decorations I made a while back. I originally made these as Christmas decorations (I went for a country cottage look which to be honest, was a bit weird in my London flat). Anyway,  I loved these little birdies so much that I couldn’t bare to pack them away.

They’ve now moved to the kitchen and go much better with the décor. I have a thing for birds and love a lot of the bird decorations I see in shops but these sweet things are so much cheaper.

I found a simple bird shape from the Internet and used it as a template. I marked up two pieces of scrap fabric, laid them with the faces together and machine-sewed the edges leaving a small hole for the filling.

I then turned it the right-side out (if you’re going to try this, make sure the shape of the template is simple and the tail and beak aren’t too small or you’ll have trouble turning it right-side out), filled it with stuffing and hand-sewed the hole adding a loop of ribbon or garden sting to hang it with.


Lola loves… Learning how to quilt a baby blanket

Here’s my first foray into quilt-making! It’s obviously a beginners’ job but I’m still pretty pleased with it. I made it for my little god-daughter, who is still tiny so thankfully I didn’t have to make it any larger! Still, I had a lot of fun doing it and I’m already thinking ‘king-size double’.

So, here’s how I did it….

I chose medium-weight plain pink organic cotton to embroider on and chose iron-on designs from Sublime Stitching: Hundreds of Hip Embroideries and How-to (a book I reviewed here), it has a lot of cute baby designs like the crib, rattle and stork I used.

I divided the pink fabric into six sections giving plenty of room for seam allowance. (I recommend not cutting the fabric before embroidering because it may not fit in your embroidery hoop!) I then ironed on the designs and started to embroider over them using as much variation in stitch types as I could muster, plus a bit of applique.

 

 

Once I’d embroidered all the designs I made a card frame two centimetres thick as a template.

I laid this on the fabric and marked round the inside and outside with chalk to create a cutting line and sewing line with 2 centimetres seam allowance.

I then did the same with two pieces of red and white checked fabric and with four pieces of patchwork print fabric, which added to the patch effect. I arranged the squares how I wanted them, pinned a row in place and machine-sewed them one row at a time.

Then, I sewed the rows together, turned them over and ironed the seams down flat. I then had my top sheet. (I made a major boo-boo here and placed the milk bottle and moon up-side down. I think I must have been a bit over-excited because I didn’t notice until I’d finished. I tell myself it means some are facing baby and mummy!)

I backed the top sheet with a natural, antimicrobial soya-cotton blend quilt wadding (a little wobbly as you’ll see) and trimmed it with pink checked ribbon. Then it was done!

The blanket went down a treat and will hopefully be a nice momento for mum, dad and baba. Picking something small was greater for an introduction to quilting but I’d love to get really good at this. So, if anyone out there has any tips or tricks please let me know!


Lola loves… Easy-to-make plant markers

There are lots of great ideas for plant markers on the web, from re-writable chalkboard ones to hand pained ones. These are very cheap and easy to make – all you need is oven-hardening polymer clay, paint (which is optional) and an indelible pen.

Roll out your clay so it’s flat, even and large enough for your shapes. Score a mark every 1cm with a sharp knife at both the top and the bottom making enough to suit – I did five.

Cut out your shapes, then cut a V-shape at the bottom of each one and round off the tops of each one too.

Cook these at 150C for 30 mins.

Once they were cool I decided to paint them using white gloss paint to make them just a little brighter and cleaner. I then wrote on the names of the herbs I needed to mark (yes, I should have been a doctor with that handwriting).


Lola Loves… Rosie Music’s Shy Boy embroidery pattern

Yay! I love completing a project and am really happy that I’ve finished this Shy Boy embroidery pattern, which was designed by Rosie Music and is available at Sublime Stitching. The best bit is that I still have the matching ‘Shy Girl’ to complete (the ‘doing’ is just as fun as the ‘having done’).

I love this design – there’s something very quirky, modern and intriguing about it.

I tend to sew on my commute (though I do get a few stares) and this was a great commute project, which I completed in no time at all. All I used was simple back stitch, stem stitch and a few french knots.

 

 

In my haste to get it up on the wall, I decided not to iron it and convinced myself that the few wrinkles would drop out — so apologies for the slightly shabby state.

Next up I’ll try these Ryan Berkley designs (above) – I’m going for a ‘gallery’ wall of embroidered portraits. After that I’ll start on some ‘family portraits’ of the fella, myself and our cat.

I’ll also frame printed fabric in embroidery hoops and will start with this beauty by Melody Miller (Ruby Star Rising). Her fabric is gorgeous and I can’t wait to make a phone case and travel card wallet with the left overs!

 

 

 


Lola loves… to make jewellery!

Hey fellow bloggers! Today’s post is a bit of a deviation — usually I offer a ‘how to’ on my craft projects but this time I’m keeping schtum as I’m planning to sell some of these in the near future (no one likes to kill the mystery!

So this is basically just a show and tell of some of the things I’ve been up to. It’d be great to hear what you think and whether you would wear any of these! (p.s. please excuse the lairy pink in the ‘photo shoot’, I’ll try harder next time!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lola loves… Making clothes pegs fridge magnets

 

 

Pinspiration day!

 

On Pinspiration day, I take an idea from Pinterest and use it to make a home DIY project. Today I’m making some clothes-peg fridge magnets first posted by blogger, Concretemoomin.

Original post

Original post

My version

My version

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to admit that I think Concretemoomin’s are far cuter (even if I had taken a better picture) but I’m still pleased I made them, especially as they’ve proved so useful already and hold much more than my other magnets. At the moment, they are holding up some lovely wedding invites.

 

What you will need:

Clothes pegs
Paint in a variety of colours (I cheated and used Tippex for the white)
Two part expoxy resin glue (or other strong glue)
Small magnets
Scissors, including pinking shears if you have them
Scotch tape

 

Paint your pegs in whatever base colour you choose. I stuck to blue as they go with my kitchen, but I love the choice of colours on the original. Once dry, cut and stick Scotch tape to create a masked area. For the zig-zag effect, cut the tape with pinking shears first. Then apply your second colour.

Leave to dry and remove the tape. Then stick a magnet to the back using strong glue.


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