Last week I was invited along to a workshop at the Makers & Friends pop-up shop on Dundas Street in Edinburgh.

Before the workshop kicked off we got a chance to have a look round the shop and Zen our host for the evening spoke to us about her motivation to set it up. As a maker herself Zen was fed up going to craft fairs where there were very little people buying and a lot of products that didn’t look at all handmade. Zen came up with the idea to have a curated craft fair in a shop, an opportunity for people to see the products up close before buying them.

We were asked to pick two different colours of wire to work with. I went for a bronze colour and then with pink as an option it was a no brainer that would be my other colour. First off we were asked to write out the first letter of our names and to practice making it with the first colour of wire. Then we were let loose with the other piece of wire to spell out our whole names. Once I got past the “y” in my name I was flying! I had so much fun, every time I do something crafty it reminds me just how much fun I find it!

As well holding workshops, there are some great ideas for Christmas gifts. Not only will you get to give something totally unique but you’ll be supporting a small business. The pop-up is here until 19th December, get yourself down to 17 Dundas Street to check it out!

Photographs taken by me

Last week I wrote about my first experience if using Dylon Wash & Dye to turn my Alexa dress from white to black. I must admit, I’ve caught a little bit of a DIY bug and I’m completely sold on the idea of giving clothing a new lease of life just by chucking them in the machine with a wee sachet of dye. Such an easy (and cheap) way to get a new item of clothing!

This week I tried out the Jeans Blue dye to make some of my denim a bit darker. The jeans I’ve had for years and love. But I’m always on the hunt for a pair of darker jeans that you can wear casually but also easily dress up with a nice top and some heeled boots for a night out. I don’t lack lighter coloured casual jeans so I decided this trusty pair would be perfect to dye.

As with the dress the process really couldn’t be easier. Because I was dying two things and denim is a bit heavier I had to pay a bit of attention to the weight. With 600g of fabric you will get the full colour but with a heavier amount the colour will be diluted (this increases the higher the weight gets). The dress and jeans together came to just over 700g so I was confident I would be happy with the results.

This dress started life as a really light denim pinafore, much more of a summer dress. But I like a denim dress you can pair with black tights and boots for the winter. The blue achieved on this is a slightly different shade from the jeans and this will be because it started out lighter. I have gone from having a dress that wouldn’t get much wear from to one having one that I will wear loads! And the joy of a pinafore dress is that you can style it in so many different ways.

Again I’m really happy with the results achieved. The only consideration when using the Dylon Wash & Dye is to make sure you have time to do it, you need to run two full 40 degree cycles back to back on your machine (no quick eco washes) and on my machine this means I need to have around three hours to do it.

I have a few more colours to try out and some other items of clothing I’m looking forward to revamping so keep an eye on the blog and my Instagram page to see more. I’m also running a competition to win a Dylon hand dye in Burlesque Red – the perfect winter (and Christmas shade). Check out my Instagram or Twitter page to find out more.

Photograph taken by M Richardson

A few months ago when the first Alexa Chung collection was on sale in M&S I purchased a few items including the white Harry dress. I didn’t really have much intention of wearing it while it was white because lets be honest, it’s practically the same colour as my legs! After a recommendation from one of my friends at work I purchased Dylon Wash & Dye in velvet black.

I was assured it was a really simple process, but was still slightly nervous. Especially putting black dye in my washing machine, but the process was super easy and I’m pretty happy with the results. Even with the couple of unexpected touches.

So, is it really as easy as it claims to be? In short, yes. It couldn’t have been simpler. As the instructions told me to I put on rubber gloves, emptied the dye into the machine drum, chucked the dress in and hit start. The only time-consuming part of the process is that you have to allow time for 2 full washes on your machine – no eco washes allowed.

I must admit I was a bit nervous when the machine was on. I mean, the water was black! But I followed the instructions and just made sure the next load I washed was black too. Thankfully no loads after this have been dyed so I feel confident using it again.

The results were not quite what I expected (Dylon works best on cotton, linen and viscose and while the dress is 100% cotton I didn’t really factor in the trimmings) but for my first attempt I’m pretty happy with them.

I actually quite like the white stitching and think the contrast works well. The orange fastenings I really didn’t like when I first looked at it but when the buttons are done up you don’t really notice the orange. Plus if at some point I decide I don’t like them then I can always take the dress to an alterations place to get them changed.

I’m completely sold on Dylon, so much so that I have a few more colours to try out! Keep an eye on the blog and social media to see what I do next.
Photograph taken by me

A few weeks ago I headed through to Glasgow to get my craft on with some other bloggers and Laura Ashley.  I absolutely love crafty activities so this was right up my street!

The setting for our fun afternoon was The Butterfly & The Pig on Bath Street.  We were greeted by the lovely people from Laura Ashley and The Crafty Hen and directed towards the tea and coffee (of course served in vintage crockery).

Once everyone arrived we were given our decoupage kits.  The kit contained everything you needed – letters making up the word ‘home’, a love heart, paintbrushes, adhesive and a selection of paper.  There are also instructions if you are unsure how to decoupage.

The room fell silent as everyone became completely engrossed in decorating their letters.  I managed to get through one letter and my love heart before we broke for a cake break.

After cake we moved onto craft number 2 – needle felting.  I did needle felting at college and it was so much fun, I was in my element.  Needle felting is done using a barbed needle and wool.  The process results in the wool fibres being tangled which bonds it together.  You can make felted beads, brooches, anything you want really.  You can also felt onto another fabric, whether it be felt or a knitted item.  It is also really therapeutic, had a bad day at work?  This will help make you feel better!

I was a little bit rusty but still had fun making my felt pieces.

Laura Ashley has been around for over 60 years starting off designing tea towels, napkins, placemats and headscarves before moving into fashion.  The craft kits are a new addition to Laura Ashley range for this year.  These would make a great gift for anyone creative in your life.

I had a fab day, thank you to Laura Ashely for inviting me to come along, to The Crafty Hen for helping us with our crafting on the day and The Butterfly & The Pig for the cups of tea and for the delicious cake!

Laura Ashley also blogged about the day, you can read it here.

Photographs taken by me

After many un-creative years I have recently caught the crafting bug again! Sometimes there is nothing more relaxing than sitting for a few hours and getting totally engrossed in something with an actual end result.

I recently bought some cheap black ballet pumps from Primark that I decided were seriously in need of a wee spruce up!

What you will need:

-shoes (I picked mine up in Primark for £4)
-paper & pencil
-fabric glue

First thing to do is make your template with the paper, I opted for a heart shape. The best way to get a perfectly symmetrical heart is to fold your paper in half and draw half a heart shape and then cut it out.

Once I cut out the paper template I pinned it onto the felt to make my heart shape. Then comes the messy part!  I covered each heart in fabric glue and sprinkled plenty of glitter over the top.

Leave for a while to allow this dry before shaking any excess glitter off.The next step was just experimenting and hoping it would work but the results were actually pretty good.  Anyone who has ever done a craft project with glitter, or owned anything with glitter will know it literally gets everywhere!  Even after shaking off the excess there was still glitter coming off so I gave each heart a healthy spray of hairspray.  Amazingly this worked!  It helped set the glitter.

I attached each heart to its shoe also using fabric glue and ta-da!  Boring black pumps are now super glittery and eye-catching!