Monday, 26 June 2017

A Year of Wreaths: June Felt Butterflies Wreath Tutorial

Another month, another free wreath tutorial! Hurrah!

June's wreath is covered in pretty felt butterflies:

The butterflies would look fab decorated with sequins or embroidery, and you could also use the templates to make felt or paper butterflies for other crafty projects.

Click here for the free step by step tutorial on The Village Haberdashery's blog.

You can buy a kit with all the materials you'll need to make this wreath, or just follow the links in the tutorial to find all the individual supplies in The Village Haberdashery shop.

Click here to find all the wreath tutorials in the series.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, and the Pen Museum

During my week in Birmingham, I spent a lot of time in museums.

If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know this is something that happens on most of my travels! I love museums big and small, and as well as exploring their exhibits I also like to support them by eating in their cafes whenever I can.

On my previous trip to Birmingham I'd spent a very short amount of time in the main Museum & Art Gallery - just enough to decide that I had to come back to the city for a longer trip so I could spend more time exploring all the exhibits!

I ended up spending so much time there on my return visit that I actually had to abandon some of my other plans for the trip. As well as exploring the permanent collection, I was lucky to be visiting during an excellent temporary exhibition devoted to William Morris & Andy Warhol. This exhibition was so fascinating (and so packed with interesting art and objects) that I visited it multiple times during the week (and all for free thanks to the magic of the Art Pass

The building itself is gorgeous - it's well worth a visit just for the architecture alone.

If you visit the museum, make sure to pop into the Edwardian Tearooms for lunch or a cuppa. The setting is fabulous, the food delicious and the service impeccable.

At the other end of the museum-size scale is Birmingham's Pen Museum: a lovely little museum, absolutely jam-packed with interesting objects relating to the city's pen trade and the history of writing.

I mean, just look at all this fabulous stuff!

I'd expected to just quickly pop in here as I worked my way around the Jewellery Quarter Heritage Trail, but ended up spending ages looking at everything and being generally delighted by it all.

Big municipal museums might have fancy buildings and famous artworks, but nothing quite beats the charm of a small museum devoted to something rather niche! The Pen Museum is just round the corner from the excellent Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, too, so you can easily fit both of them into one day.

Missed my earlier posts about my Birmingham trip? Follow the links to read about architecture, owls and the Jewellery Quarter.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Free Tutorial: Felt Butterfly & Flower Hair Combs

The new edition of my first book, Super-Cute Felt, came out last week. Yay!

To celebrate, you'll find a free project from the book over at MAKEetc: pretty felt butterfly and flower hair combs.

These combs are perfect for summer parties (or even weddings), and can be stitched in any colours you fancy. You could also used the butterflies and flowers to decorate other things (brooches, bracelets, hairclips, purses, all sorts of pretty things).

Click here for the full step by step tutorial.

The new edition of Super-Cute Felt is out now. It's available from Amazon UK or Amazon USA, or via your local bookshop :)

P.S. You can read more about my books here and see lots of other crafty books I've contributed to here.

Please note: the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Visiting Birmingham: Exploring the Jewellery Quarter

Time for another post about my trip to Birmingham (finally!).

On the first day (well, afternoon really) of my visit to the city I mostly just walked around oohing over the architecture and photographing owls.

The next morning I headed to the Jewellery Quarter: a historic area of the city which has been home to goldsmiths and silversmiths for over 200 years.

If you're visiting Birmingham and are at all interested in history this part of the city is an absolute must-see.

I recommend picking up a copy of the Jewellery Quarter Heritage Trail leaflet (PDF) from the tourist info office - it gives you an easy to follow walking route around the area and lots of interesting information to read along the way. There's a lot to see, including some really rather gorgeous buildings.

After following the trail I visited the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, about which I'd heard great things - and it did not disappoint!

The museum is based in the former factory of a jewellery manufacturing firm, Smith & Pepper. When the owners of the firm retired they just ceased trading and locked up the building, creating a fascinating time capsule of a place.

Upstairs in the museum there are galleries devoted to the history of the Jewellery Quarter, and to jewellery made from natural materials around the world, but the highlight is by far the guided factory tour. It's hugely entertaining, packed with interesting facts and amusing anecdotes, and you get to look around this incredible place!

I'll share more photos from my Birmingham adventure soon. In the meantime...