Friday, 27 June 2014

Lampshade Making Workshop at Creative Biscuit

handmade lampshades from lampshade making workshop

I love doing workshops. Not only do you get to learn a new skill but it means that I actually have time in my diary dedicated to making something. It's all too easy to let it slip down the to-do list at home. A friend introduced me to Creative Biscuit in South Woodford, a lovely crafting cafe that serves great tea and cake where you can paint ceramics which also runs some brilliant workshops. So last Thursday night, after a few glasses of wine nearby, a friend and I went along to the Lampshade Making Workshop to join three other girls and the super nice teacher Karen who also owns the shop. It was very friendly and informal; we were offered tea or coffee when we arrived and two of the girls were drinking Prosecco that they'd brought with them so I knew I was in the right place!

attaching fabric to plastic to make a lampshadelampshade making kit at Creative Biscuit workshop

We started off with a lampshade making kit each and initially I think we were all wondering how we'd manage to make lampshades that would look as professional as Karen's. But the good news is that it was incredibly easy. It is a little bit fiddly in parts and you can definitely do with another pair of hands for some of the steps but the end result is well worth it. Everyone's material looked lovely once it had been stuck to the backing and we were all very pleased with our final lampshades.

handmade lampshade made with Michael Miller Retro Rocket Rascals

I chose to make one for my little man's bedroom. It's surprisingly difficult to get an interesting, stylish lampshade that isn't too babyish, too twee or just too expensive. I used the Michael Miller Retro Rocket Rascals fabric that I have used in the past to make lots of bibs and baby gifts for Stars and Buttons. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and it was a really enjoyable way to spend the evening; making something in a relaxed atmosphere while catching up with a friend. You can buy lampshade making kits online and you could probably find some instructions online too but I think that you can't beat having someone experienced to show you their own little tricks and shortcuts.

The owner Karen told us that she is planning some more workshops at Creative Biscuit in the future so I'll be keeping an eye on the website for the next set of dates - past classes have included wooden jewellery making, screen printing, vintage tea cup candle making and embroidery.

Visit the Creative Biscuit website.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Happy Birthday to the little man

I know everyone says it, but I really can't believe how quickly the last year has gone. We've been celebrating the first birthday and yet again we've been overwhelmed by the generosity of family and friends.

I am also breathing a sigh of relief, as to be quite honest, I wasn't sure how this whole motherhood thing would pan out. The good news is it's totally awesome and we are lucky to have a happy, smiley little boy who makes us laugh every day. The second best thing is that when people say things like "you will never be the same again once you're a mother"  I've discovered this is mostly bullshit. I was pretty damn happy with who I was before so this kind of worried me. Turns out that after you emerge from the crazed, sleep-deprived fog of those first few months you're just you, but with the added bonus of a cool little person. Life goes on, you can have fun, go out for drinks, return to work - you just need good childcare and a partner who understands your need to go out and be you again. I know I'm very lucky, so this week I'm celebrating that as much as anything else.