Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Spring Egg Shell Floral Arrangements

'Easter Flowers' Tutorial

Spring has finally arrived and with Easter just around the corner, I decided to create some adorable floral decorations.  I simply painted empty egg shells in a variety of soft pastel shades before planting them with little viola bedding plants and then displaying them in a variety of egg cups and containers.

These ones are housed in an antique egg cruet set which I picked up at a car boot sale last summer.  It cost the princely sum of £1.50 and is late Victorian / early Edwardian. Some of the original plate has worn off but this gives it a wonderful shabby chic feel!  


The plants need quite a large hole in the top of the egg so don't 'blow' your eggs.  Instead gently tap a raw egg on top to crack it and then peel off the desired amount of shell.  Place a bowl beneath the egg and shake to release the white and yolk. Wash the shells out thoroughly and place in a warm place to dry.

Once the shells are dry, paint in a variety of soft spring colours.  I used tester pots of emulsion (vinyl) paint but acrylic craft paint would work equally well. If your eggs are quite dark, you will need to give them at least two coats of the light coloured paints.

Once the painted shells have dried plant them with your choice of spring flowers or use them as 'vases' to display delicate bunches of cut blooms such as mini narcissus, crocuses or irises . How fabulous would they also look at a country wedding or summer baby shower!

Aren't they gorgeous?

Happy Spring!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Craft Stamper Magazine ~ SewforSoul Feature

Speckled & Embossed Clay Songbird Eggs DIY

April's issue of Craft Stamper Magazine is available in shops now and my clay speckled bird's egg tutorial is featured!

The children and I had great fun making them and you can see lots more step-by-step pictures in this post.

We embossed ours with devotional words to reflect the season of Easter but they would also make an adorable birth announcement personalised with a name and date! 

Craft Stamper Magazine is available from most High Street branches of  WHSmith or can be ordered direct from Traplet Publications with free UK P&P. 

Monday, 2 March 2015

Vintage Linen Bunting Tutorial

Antique Embroidered Garland  

Now I'm not known for being overly sentimental but there is something about antique embroidered tablecloths and tray covers that makes me want to swoon!  I think it's the combination of their great age and the hours and hours of work that first went into creating such gorgeous works of stitched art. I don't know how ladies in the 1940s and 1950s found the time to produce them, although the lack of television and internet might have been a contributing factor!

Vintage linens regularly turn up at car boot sales in all kinds of condition and I find that table cloths often show the most signs of wear, particularly in their centres, where crockery, cutlery and hands would have constantly rubbed against the fabric. However the edges, where the embroidery is normally to be found, is usually in far better condition having hung below the edge of the table top and therefore avoided such friction and wear.     

Once the centers are full of holes they're clearly no longer suitable for covering a dining table and besides, in our house, a tablecloth would need washing and ironing after every (messy) meal!  

Instead the perfect project is to stitch up some gloriously shabby chic bunting - Every upcycled garland produced is totally unique and it feels so good to breathe new life into these forgotten treasures!

If you're feeling inspired, I've written an easy to follow tutorial, with step by step photos, over at the Cuddly Buddly blog

Vintage linens are also perfect for pouches and purses.  This kitsch 'Crinoline Lady' was too large for a bunting flag but she works really well on a little patchwork makeup bag.

I love the Spring colours, and they still look as fresh as the day they were first stitched.

You can read more about it here, and having watched episode three of 'The Great British Sewing Bee', I'm feeling very grateful that my sewing is done on a modern Bernina machine, although those antique Singers are so charming. Do you think Mr Larkin would approve of me buying a fifth sewing machine because 'it's pretty'?!

Another string of my upcycled vintage bunting was featured in Reloved Magazine.

The full blog post is here.

The original stitched designs on the tablecloths I used were each so different but I love both sets of finished bunting equally.  I gave one set to my mum and the other is hanging in my kitchen where it reminds me of English summers full of village fetes and weddings!

Happy Repurposing!