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Archive

All your favourite posts from my previous blog!

making everyday beautiful : summer blues

emma lamb

Oh summer, where art thou? Seriously where has it gone!? What with the thunderstorms, rainstorms and even hailstones we've had here lately it's seems that these beautiful blue skies have been replaced with that autumn greyness. Too soon, way too soon! I want more blue skies and dramatic sunsets not cosy blankets and winter duvets, at least not yet!

making everyday beautiful : summer blues | Emma Lamb

Image credits: 1. fox-and-fern, 2. KissKus, 3. **mog**, 4. venlani, 5. msialmedia

So today I am being totally self indulgent with my picks because you, my making everyday beautiful buddies, also have the summer blues but of the far more cheerful variety! Aren't these gorgeous!? Who else wants to run through a field of dandelion clocks then daydream the afternoon away cloud watching? Non-grey clouds obviously. BTW, I'm still crushing on these blue tones for everything else too - sapphire and cobalt are going to be my colours of autumn. If you can't have blue skies make your own! Right?

Emma

 

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good reads : Sew Cute to Cuddle + a giveaway

emma lamb

Good Reads : Sew Cute to Cuddle + a giveaway | Emma Lamb

Hello my blog buddies! Yes I am still here, despite some technical glitches recently - serious grrr at Microsoft! Anyhow, never mind that (for now!) because today I have another fab little craft book to share with you all plus a wee giveaway too. Yay! Sew Cute to Cuddle is Mariska Vos-Bolman's first craft book featuring a collection of twelve of her adorable 'Fluffels' plushie designs.

If you don't know of Mariska (as I didn't until I was invited to take part in this blog hop) let me tell you a wee bit about her first: Mariska lives in the Netherlands and is a mum to two young boys. She began her creative career as a 3D modeller creating graphics for the video game Killzone and after seven years of modelling guns and military paraphernalia she decided it was time for a change. That's when she bought herself a sewing machine and designed her first plushie, Zumba. Not long after she began another adventure in her life and started a family. Now that her two boys are no longer babies she has more time to dedicate to her incredibly popular 'Fluffels' collection of designs, pattern and kits which she sells worldwide through her website and Etsy shop. Her characters are adorably cute and quirky with a wee bit of a retro vibe and as you might expect her two young boys inspire many of her designs such as the lion, whale and rocket. I love Mariska's story and can totally appreciate her need for a change in career direction. It is wonderful to know that her 'Fluffles' brand is going from strength to strength and an absolute pleasure for me to be reviewing her first book today. Currently the print version is on pre-order so I'm reviewing the digital version for you today, so here we go!

Good Reads : Sew Cute to Cuddle + a giveaway | Emma Lamb

The book is organised into three main sections: 'Meet The Gang' comes first and includes clear step by step tutorials with detailed illustrations for each plushie design. The designs are ordered by level of complexity beginning with 'Joey the Bear' (bottom right in the pic below) through to 'Daron the Dragon' (middle left). So if you are anything like me and find plushie making a little daunting then the more 2D style design of Joey is definitely the place to start. I am sure though that the more experience sewers amongst you would happily dive into a project like Daron and have lots of fun choosing different fabrics and making him your own. Having read through the instructions for most of these plushies they seem very clear and well written so really it's my own confidence in my less than accurate sewing skills that would stop me from trying Daron right off the bat.

Good Reads : Sew Cute to Cuddle + a giveaway | Emma Lamb

The second section of the book is 'Tools & Techniques' where Mariska guides you through a few basics about the tools and fabrics you will need to make the plushies as well as a short guide on stitching and stuffing techniques. There's lots of great info and tips in there so if you are new to sewing and working with different fabrics it is well worth reading through before you get started. What I like most about this section though is that it doesn't come before the tutorials so if you are an experienced sewer you can dive right into the good stuff!

The there is the last section, the 'Patterns', all the templates you will need for each plushie arranged in the same order as the tutorials in the first section. Usually there's not much to comment on about this section of a book but in Sew Cute to Cuddle all of the templates are scaled at 100% so no matter which version of the book you have (print or digital) you can either print, photocopy or trace the templates directly from it's pages and get to work right away. Fantastic!

Good Reads : Sew Cute to Cuddle + a giveaway | Emma Lamb

I had planned to do a wee spot of plushie making last weekend but the aforementioned technical difficulties meant I couldn't access my copy of the book to print out my templates. However this weekend 'Emma the Girl' will be on my to do list, because let's face it I couldn't really start with anything else could I!? How cute are her pigtails and retro floral dress!? So sweet!

One thing I especially love about this book so far is the presentation. It has a slightly retro vibe that echoes Mariska's designs and the gorgeous array of cute prints and colours she has chosen to work with. Plus the fab illustrations below remind me of those that would appear amongst the pages of the Golden Hands craft magazines from the 1970s, but in this book they are beautifully updated.

Good Reads : Sew Cute to Cuddle + a giveaway | Emma Lamb

All in all Sew Cute to Cuddle looks like yet another great little craft book from David & Charles at Stitch Craft Create and I can't wait to hold the print copy in my hands. As I mentioned the print version is available for pre-order but if you order your copy through the Stitch Craft Create website you will also receive the ebook for free so you can get started with some cute plushie crafting right away! However if you are able to wait just a wee while they are also offering a print copy to one of you my lovely blog buddies!

Good Reads : Sew Cute to Cuddle + a giveaway | Emma Lamb

To enter this giveaway and be in with a chance of winning a print copy of Sew Cute to Cuddle when it is officially published in September all you need to do is pin or share the picture above then leave a comment below telling me which plushie you would make first or a few words about your top plushie making tips (because I'm going to need them if I'm making Emma this weekend!). And that's it!

This giveaway is open worldwide so everyone is welcome to enter and I shall pick a winner from the comments in two weeks time. I know lots of folk might still be on their summer holidays right now so I'm keeping the giveaway open a wee bit longer than usual for you all.

Lastly, be sure to check out the rest of the reviews (and giveaways) from the other blog hop members listed here.

Emma

 

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summer in the lakes

emma lamb

Summer in the Lakes - it's all hills, water, drystone walls and super cute sheep! | Emma Lamb

Yup, once you get into the heart of The Lake District that's about all you're going to see - and it couldn't be more perfect! Of course you have to be able to brave driving the piddly little roads you need to travel on to get there - barely wider than regular single lanes but with two way traffic, no white lines to mark your territory and only occasional 'passing places'! It's a wee bit of a shock to the system for city drivers and non-driving city passengers I can tell you!

But my Man did a sterling job getting us to Crummock Water and Buttermere during our wee summer visit. He tailed a local bus on the way there knowing that sticking to it like glue would get us safe passage to where we wanted to be and it did, phew! All we had to do when we got there was hope for a little sunshine, admire the view and dip our toes and wee paws in the water. It turned out to be the most perfect day! Oh and on the way back my Man drove like a Lake District pro, no fear!

Summer in the Lakes | Emma Lamb
Summer in the Lakes | Emma Lamb
Summer in the Lakes | Emma Lamb
Summer in the Lakes | Emma Lamb
Summer in the Lakes | Emma Lamb
Summer in the Lakes | Emma Lamb
Summer in the Lakes | Emma Lamb
Summer in the Lakes | Emma Lamb
Summer in the Lakes | Emma Lamb

Did I mention super cute sheep!? These are possibly the best sheep I think I've ever seen! I so need a yarn in these colours, how amazing would that be!?

Summer in the Lakes | Emma Lamb

Emma

 

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making everyday beautiful : summer hues

emma lamb

Happy Monday folks, how was your weekend? Hopefully everyone in the UK didn't suffer too much during Bertha's wee visit? She's still hanging about the east coast of Scotland right now so the summer feels like it's taking a little break right now. But no matter because this morning I have the most wonderful job of moderating over 700 of your fabulous summer submissions to our making everyday beautiful Flickr group. Wowee, what a treat indeed!

making everyday beautiful : summer hues | Emma Lamb

Image credits: 1. Hello Twiggs, 2. Silvia Raga, 3. lydiafairy, 4. M. Valbom, 5. cafe noHut

While sifting through so many of your pretty pictures it was easy to spot a few lovely summer colours trending. Sky blues, pink petals and energetic brights always feature highly throughout the summer but it was lovely to see lots of lilac, terracotta and apricot tones in the mix too. My absolute favourite today is this delicate mix of blushing apricot, sky blue and geranium pink with just a hint of dusty mauve - such a stunning combination! Light & airy. Delicate & pretty. Absolutely perfect summer hues!

Emma

 

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trying to get started again

emma lamb

A few summer Instagram's - follow me as emmlamb.uk | Emma Lamb

Omg, I don't want to though! It's too nice out there. I just want to play in the sunshine ALL the time! I hadn't planned to be away for so long but since gorgeous summer day after gorgeous summer day just kept arriving in these parts - and they can be so rare some years! - there was nothing else for it, I just had to unplug and go outside. And I unplugged completely! Even my new found love for Instagram was ditched in favour of walking and sun lounging!

Inevitably the post holiday blues have kicked in a little after all that unplugging and I'm totally lacking motivation this week, especially for blogging! I started back to work on Monday and here we are on Friday afternoon when I've only just got my butt into gear to pull these few words and pictures together. Ha! I've got tons of ideas, summer pics and pretty stuff to share but it's always that first post that's the real pain, right!? Not knowing where to start then blog tweaking and procrasto-pinning until it becomes stupidity on stilts... 'Stupidity on stilts' is the best phrase of the week and my new fave along with 'procrasto-pinning' which I just thought up. Probably not original, I haven't checked, but I love it nonetheless! Who else is a total procrasto-pinner!? Ironically if you take the hyphen out and pretend there are two 'p's in there is says 'stop pinning'. Pfft to that!

So yes while procrasto-pinning yesterday I found this pin which jolted me into action. Sadly I couldn't find an original credit for the image so won't share it here - if anyone knows who it belongs to do let me know. Instead I decided to spend the whole of yesterday afternoon faffing in Photoshop with fonts and whatnot to create my own graphic with those inspiring words: 'Don't start later, start right now!'

Don't start later, start right now! | graphic by Emma Lamb, suitable for all your procrastinating habits!

So here I am, starting right now and totally getting my butt into gear! What about all you lovelies, how do you curb you procrasto-pinning ways? Please do share your words of wisdom in the comments, I have an inkling I might need them too ;)

Emma

 

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