Lola loves… Handprinting scarves

It’s supposed to be summer here in the UK, but April, which traditionally is the rainy month, just will not give way to the sun. So, all those beautiful summer dresses I’d bought at discount rates during the winter and stockpiled for summer are just hanging limp and forlorn in my wardrobe.

Instead, of all things, I’ve found myself wearing a scarf. It’s not what I’d planned for my summer attire  but the fact that it’s adorned with some pretty cool sugar skull images means I still manage a smile when I wear it.

I’d had this scarf for years and liked the colour but always felt it was a little bland so it seemed well suited as a canvas for fellow blogger, Slyvita Handmade’s cool stamp. Slyvita makes a range of hand carved rubber stamps of characters including The White Stripes, The Beatles, killer bunnies and cute pugs. I chose a female sugar skull because I’m particularly fond of them.

What you will need:
An old scarf to print on
Fabric ink (I used black ink by VersaCraft)
A rubber stamp (I used one by Sylvita, you can buy her stamps at Etsy)
A hard surface and plastic bag or cardboard to protect it
An iron

To print the image, I used the same method when stamping my geometric t-shirt and bird tote and I stick by the simple tips I told you about then:

  • Make sure you’re stamping  on to a hard surface as this will make for a better print.
  • Remember to protect the surface from ink that could bleed through. To do this, place a card or a plastic bin liner under the fabric.
  • Practise makes perfect! You might want to do a few trial stamps on a scrap bit of fabric.
  • Let your stamps dry fully and then remember to iron both the front and reverse side of the fabric to fix your ink to seal the ink

Here I am, mid June, still with a jacket and scarf – but also smiling! It’s a shame that the fabric is a little too dark to show off the print but I know I’ll be using the stamp on plenty of other projects (I’m already planning a Halloween party just so I can use it to make some amazing invites and perhaps I can rustle up a sugar skull print summer dress for the beautiful sun we’re owed later!)


Lola loves… Making a DIY tattoo swallow necklace

I love a bit of jewelry and if you’ve read my other blog posts you may have worked out that I also love tattoo designs. Add a bit of craft into the mix and I’ve got a recipe for happiness.

Yup, this necklace includes many things I love and (being a bit lazy) it’s also great that it’s quick and easy to do!

What you will need:
Embroidered fabric with your choice of design
Black felt
Multi-purpose glue
Chain
4x Jump rings (1x large, 3x small)
1x Lobster clasp
2x Pairs of pliers
Metal cutters

I made this simple necklace using an iron-on embroidered bird, which I’d bought previously.  You can buy these on-line or in craft shops in a huge variety of designs; flowers, dice, animals, letters. Using the iron-on bird meant making the necklace was super quick, which was what I needed, but next time I will embroider the design myself – I’m toying with the ideas of cross-stitched pendants. I’m also considering selling a few on Etsy – what do you think bloggers, would it go down well?

I backed the bird to make it sturdier by gluing black felt to the back. I then trimmed all the edges with embroidery scissors. (If you do this, be careful that you don’t cut into the embroidered design while you’re at it.)

Next, measure and cut your chain; you will need two pieces of equal length. Drape the chain around your own neck to find the right length but remember to accommodate the width of your pendant, otherwise your necklace will end up longer!

Once your embroidered pendant is dry, pierce the bird with a thick needle in the place you want the chain to hang. (It is good to experiment with where you want the holes as this will effect the way it hangs). Next, hold a small jump ring with one set of pliers. Take the other half of the ring with the other set of pliers and twist to open the ring.  Using just one set of pliers now, ease the opened ring through the hole you just made with the needle.  Also thread one length of chain onto the ring before closing it using both pairs of piers and the same method as before.

Using the same method with your pliers, fix a lobster clasp to the other end of the chain using a small jump ring to attach it.

Now repeat this process for the other side but add a large jump ring the end of the other piece of chain instead of a clasp – this is what your clasp will latch on to.

Then, enjoy your lovely new necklace!

 


Lola loves… Making Girl Guide badges for a retro glamping experience!

Well wow-ee, what a fun weekend I’ve had! I spent it glamping in East Sussex with a bunch of lovely ladies celebrating a friend’s hen do. Just in case you haven’t heard of the craze, glamping (or glamorous camping) brings a whole new, and much classier, interpretation to slumming it in tents.

Our ‘tent’ had a butler sink, eight-seater dinning table and proper beds that are better than the one I have at home. We all had an amazing time, though the bad thing about glamping is that there’s no going back; I will never have the same relationship with a normal tent again.

We had a Girl Guide theme, so I made these badges for the hen to dish out to the girls. I printed images of real Girl Guides badges I found on the internet, which I then transferred onto fabric using the same method I did here. I then backed them with felt and sewed a safety-pin on the back so the girls could put them on straight away.  They looked pretty much like the real thing, which was fun. (Okay, so the DJ badge (headphones) is not an original Girl Guide badge but it was so cool I couldn’t leave it out!)

I also made tags from garden string and thin cardboard, on which I wrote the name of the badge and a suggestion for what a gal might have to do to earn it…  For example, the little blue bird badge is ‘bird watching’ and was awarded to the person who kept an eye over the gals.

I also made a guide belt with purse for the hen to keep the badges in. Another friend made the hen a Girl Guide hat and we each wore vintage scarves and toggles.

Here’s a picture of the delicious afternoon tea the ladies at the campsite laid on for us. (I would love to tell you where it is but selfishly won’t for fear of it getting booked up – I can’t wait to go again!) Ah sigh, if only
we could have stayed there forever!


Lola loves… A DIY Poncho

My make today is a DIY poncho – an idea I pinched from A Beautiful Mess’ Kinsey and Elsie. There’s a lot of scope for variation, which is what I like about this project. Kinsey added tassels and suggested embroidery and I went for a mix of over-grown buttons. You could also try personalising your poncho with fabric stamps or paints.

I travel a lot and always pick up those blankets they hand out on long-haul flights. Even my cat now owns (and ignores) four and I’m running out of reasons to pinch them (the ultimate reason is of course that the cost of the flight warrants pinching anything that’s not bolted down. It’s a quiet, civilised style of protest and I do it as a favour to all frequent flyers). Anyway, now I have something to use them for. For this I used a soft fleece blanket that doesn’t fray so didn’t even need hemming!

You can see the very easy instructions already drawn out for you by Kinsey and Elsie. After this, I simply cut the fabric on one side and added three buttons and buttonholes.

I’m going on a glamping hen do at the weekend and with the dire UK weather I think this’ll come in handy!


Lola loves… Cross stitch cards

Hello peeps, I’m ba-ack! Well, what a break it’s been – I’ve felt pretty bad not being able to keep up with the crafty blog but I’ve still kept busy. During my writing lull I’ve turned 30; been spoilt rotten with spa treats, cakey eats and posh champagne; had a holiday and been to a festival in Barcelona; FINALLY resolved my lifetime ambition to see Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia; found new band crushes, made new friends and still managed to fit in a few craft projects.

So now I’m slowly resurfacing from all that hedonism, it’s about time I got back to posting on my makes.

Today I’d like to tell you about the father’s day card I’ve made my dear old Pops. It’s my first try at cross-stitch since my early teens. While it’s far from impressive it has rekindled my fondness for the little x’s and I’ve piled up a ton of cross stitch projects to work on in the future. I’m loving Wee Little Stitches, which is where I got the pattern for this make, and I’ve also bought their cross stitch pattern for Star Wars characters (both on Etsy). If you haven’t seen them, check them out – they do the greatest patterns!

This one was stitched on 16 count aida (as I bought the wrong kind) and it’s ended up pretty massive. Next up, I’ll try stitching a wedding card on 14 count.

After stitching, I fixed the aida to piece of card folded in half. I stuck it on using spray-on glue, folding and gluing the edges on the reverse side. As this was inside the card, I then neatened it up by cutting a piece of matching wrapping paper of the same size and stuck it over to cover it.

My dad’s a huge Bob Dylan fan and collector, which is why I went for this. Though it is slightly strange for a Father’s day card, hopefully he’ll still appreciate the effort.

Just to share, here’s a few pics from my time off. The street art was down an alley in Barcelona and the yummy cakes by Fiendish & Goode were a birthday gift from a friend (okay, one is missing but you can see why I couldn’t wait!)


Lola… is off to Barcelona (sorry for the run of bad bloggin’!)

What a bad blogger I am! There was no post on Friday (oops, I’m sorry) and I’m only posting this time to tell you that I’m off… again! This time it’s on holiday though! WHOOP! I’m back to Barcelona for Prima Vera music festival. I’m not sure how much crafting I’ll get done but at least I’ll have a bit of time to survey the place and will be sure to report back with any creative gems I find. I’ll be on the look out for street art, jewellery ideas and foodie inspiration! After that, I’ll be back to my usual blog schedule – I promise!

XxX


Lola loves… Crafty Estonia!

Hey peeps! Well, I’m back from my business trip to Tallinn, Estonia. It turns out those button chairs I posted about were just a hint of the cool things you can find there and I’ve been busting to tell you all about it!

Tallinn is a mecca for crafting, its specialties are amber jewellery, wood-work, felting and knitting.

In just a few hours off to look around, I found everything from hand-carved wooden spoons to felted jewellery and knitted wooly socks. The best however, were giant doilies that’d be great as rugs (I really wish I’d bought one!)

Another thing I wish I’d bought was this gorgeous printed cross-stitch apron.

But, I did manage to bag some pretty crafty finds, some of which I’m sure you’ll see in future projects.

 


 

 

 

1. Felted blanket stitch soles — I’ll use these to make slippers for my fella, 2. Buttons in Juniper and Apple wood, 3. Cinnamon honey — as delicious in coffee as it is on toast, 4. Russian style stacking dolls — great to store jewellery findings.

Tallinn is small but beautiful; its architecture is backlit by blue skies (it was only dark for around four hours each night while we were there) and its history gives it an intriguing personality.

Estonia is similar in many ways to its Baltic neighbours yet its occupancy by Soviet Russia during World War II also had a profound effect. This is clear in its architecture and history books; 25% of Estonians died during the Nazi regime, more than any other country in Europe.

The Estonian Museum of Occupations in Tallinn, charts all this through video and found objects. It’s a great way to understand the history of the country and the effect of the Nazi regime on smaller countries often overlooked. Separate to this important message, I found the exhibition very interesting in terms of 1940s and 1950s design and thought I’d share a a few of the photos I took   

1. Local propaganda magazine from the 40s, 2. A prison door with Russian writing, 3. Suitcases of those killed by Nazis, 4. A very intriguing telephone, (unfortunately little was said about this. Why no buttons? Was is a prototype? Did it only call one person, and who?) A telephone box with Russian writing.


See you in a while!

Hey blog peeps! Apologies for the brief interlude but I’ll not be posting for the next few days as I’m busy in Tallinn, Estonia. Just thought I’d leave you with a picture of these gorgeous button stools and table I saw five minutes after landing at Tallinn airport — I already like this place lots!

 


Lola loves… jazzing up with elbow patches

I’m all for jazzing up old clothing especially if it means a quick project turns something you don’t wear much into something you love.

I gave this chunky wool knit cardy a bit of extra personality simply by changing the buttons and adding custom-made elbow patches. (The elbows were fine, I just like the extra detail).

I chose chunky brown buttons to match the knit and used heavy weight grey material for the elbow pads.

Use a template to get an even shape (I used a soap dish) and cut two pieces from your material plus two matching pieces from iron-on interfacing such as WonderWeb.

I added a little extra detailing to the edges of the grey patches by machine sewing round the edge without loading any thread on the machine. This creates little holes that you see in the patches you can buy from shops. If you fancy being a bit more adventurous you can use contrasting dark or bright thread. Bright vintage or floral fabrics also look great as patches.

Place a piece of interfacing onto the reverse side of your material and pin this to the arm of the cardigan where you’d like to patch. It’s best to try it on now to check it’s in the right place. Iron on to adhere as the instructions direct you to (pressing firmly with the iron and making sure you don’t move the fabric).

Bingo, you have a customised cardy within an hour!


Lola loves… Comic strip washi tape

How have I not been using washi tape for years? It’s so useful and versatile. You can use it to decorate cards and presents, storage boxes, note pads, broomsticks, pigeons, dust, metaphysical science… Well, very almost everything.

This easy comic book washi is great for adding colour and personality. I made mini washi strips (more like stickers) using speech bubbles, faces and small scenes and longer pieces that are perfect instead of sellotape. For projects that need even longer strips, I used polka dot wrapping paper in both green and red, both of which go well with the comic book’s bright primary colours.

I have to say, it is a bit addictive and lots of my other scrapping paper has met a sticky-back plastic end.

I’ve done this before using sheets of sticky-back plastic but I recommend using a roll of it as I did this time (see the picture below) – that way there’s no need to measure. Simply peel off the sticky-back plastic and stick it on the back of your image. (Tip: I found it easier to make a template of the tape and trace it onto the front over the image, then cut out roughly, apply the tape to the reverse side and trim the edges. This makes it easier to see where to place your tape).

I also placed some tape directly onto the image (front side) and cut out to make washi stickers that I could use to decorate the inside of a glass jar – this became home for the rest of my washi tape.


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