Monday, 22 July 2013

DIY Fantastic: Fabric flowers

Following on with the celebratory wedding themes, today we have some gorgeous etherial fabric flowers for you. Now I know I've recently got engaged, but I promise I had this post all ready to go way before that was announced!! And although we whipped these these gorgeous fabric flowers up as more decorations for Claire's wedding, they're not just for nuptials, you could use them for any occasion that calls for a few extra petals!

These are the key ingredients we used:

1. A fabric of your choice. We went with a light gauze material in purple, to fit in with Claire's wedding theme. But you could experiment with all sorts of different textures and materials
2. All the usual sewing kit including scissors, pins, needle and thread
3. Cord/string/ribbon for threading the flowers together
4. Mixed buttons or big sequins to decorate

To kick us off I cut out a long narrow shape out of the purple material - I went for about 5 inches wide and about two thirds of a metre long. Again these are very vague, but that's the beauty, you can choose different sizes and lengths depending on the look you're going for.

Then fold the fabric in half length wise, to make an even narrower long strip, and start a running stitch from one end.

As you make your way down the material, start to slowly gather the running stitch as you see fit. The length of the stitches you go for can create different effects - a longer stitch will give 'bigger' waves in the fabric, whereas smaller stitches will give a tighter more wrinkled effect. (Hmm nice!)

You will find that as you gather, the material will slowly start to curl in on itself to create the shape of a flower. See, it basically makes itself!! :)

Arrange the curled layers into a flower shape that you're happy with and then flip them over to sew up from the back. A few long stitches across the back should keep it secure.

Finally, add a cute button in a contrasting colour in the middle of the front and hey presto! I found it was fun to sew them along a pretty coloured cord to almost create a flower garland.

So if like us, you have a tree in your garden that simply refuses to flower, don't sit around waiting for it to bud, just make some instead! Oh and you can add the fairy lights to it too, if you're feeling fancy! ;)


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Knicker Elastic Travel Fantastic: New York - Part II

You lot didn't really think I could fit ALL my NYC pics in a single post, right? Too right I couldn't! So, I've collected together a few more of my favourites to share with you below.

Straight to the top of the Rockerfeller for magic hour and the usual spectacular views:

Lunch of oysters and champagne in Grand Central Station, yum! Such a vast array of different types of Oysters, where to start??!

Trying to look like I'm not posing in front of this giant USA flag in Williamsburg!

The Yankees stadium in the Bronx! I LOVE the stripes of the grass. Dad would be drooling with envy if this was the neighbour's lawn!!

More views of New York's unique perspectives. Colourful murals from the high-line above and below the inside and outside the MoMa. 

Central Park cherry blossom and the ubiquitous American flags on each street corner! 

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gig at Terminal 5

Oh and I have some super duper exciting news! On the last morning of our trip Mr Fantastic-to-be got one step closer to the real deal and proposed!! Here we are looking very excited celebrating with a breakfast of blueberry and bacon pancakes and mimosas! :)

Now I promise not to let wedding prep take over this entire blog, but I'm sure there may be a few decisions that need mulling over and a few bits and bobs here and there that need a diy makeover! :)


Saturday, 6 July 2013

DIY fantastic: Feather birds!

These little fellas are gorgeous, super cute! I helped a friend make them as part of the decorations for her wedding day. It was so lovely to be able to contribute to her big day, even if just in this small way. They were used to decorate the wishing tree, where people could write wishes and messages to the happy couple. But, they could be used for anywhere where a dose of fluffy cuteness is the order of the day!

What I used: 
1. Polystyrene balls in various sizes (small ones for the head and bigger ones for the body!)
2. Feathers in any colour combo you fancy
3. Scissors. I actually found that sharp nail scissors worked the best - sharp and precise!
4. Glue. Be sure it's the sort that doesn't eat up polystyrene - we got through a fair few polystyrene balls before we found one which worked!! :s
5. Beads or sequins for eyes and facial features

(This is what the giant bag of feathers looked like before we sorted them! So much fun!)

Start off with two polystyrene balls, of different sizes. Think about the dimensions you want for your birds at this stage and pick out a body and head that look about the right proportions. Take the scissors and shave off a small section to create a flat surface to glue onto the body. Use a small amount of glue and hold together until they are bonded.

Next I used a small piece of wire and glue it into the base of the body - this is super useful to hold when   we get to the gluing bit!! Once you've decided on your colour combo for your feathered friend, trim your feathers and split into the fluffy bits and the smooth silky feather bits!

I used the fluffy bits on the underside to represent a soft fluffy tummy and then the smoother feathers onto for a sleek look. Starting at the back and working forwards dab a small amount of glue onto the balls and add the feathers bit by bit.

Next find your best big feather for the tail and glue it on to the back letting it arch up and backwards. Now, shake yer tail feather!! ;)

Finally I started using the smooth feathers to cover the top of the body. Work from back to front, covering the area and keeping the feathers in the same direction

Almost there now! To finish this fella off and give it a bit of character I used some sequins as eyes and a pair of triangles of foam to conjure up something along the lines of a beak! This is an area where we can give our creativity completely free reign and see what you can find around the house to put to good use!

These guys look fantastic in all sorts of crazy colours and can be big small, sleek, fluffy, proud, shy, cute, mean or just down right crazy:

Or you can model them on real life birds. Here's Claire (the blushing bride!) making a blue-tit, I'm afraid I didn't have a picture of the final article but rest assured he was fluffy and EPIC!! :)