Crafts

Brunskill and Grimes puppet-making workshop

Many puppeteers are also puppet-makers, or at least have some skill in making. The more I work with puppets, the more interested I am in how they are put together, what materials they are made from and what considerations have gone into the design. Hot on the heels of the devising with puppets workshop before…

Print-making at Open Studios Cornwall

I recently left the hubbub and noise and chaos of London for a slice of peace down by the sea in Cornwall. Though I’ll still travel all over for acting and puppetry work, this is the place I will be calling home for the foreseeable future. As luck would have it, during my first few…

Teaching my first puppetry workshop… in Russia!

At the English summer camp in Russia with CLASS Study and Training Centre this year we wanted to teach the students some specific theatre skills that they could use in their final devised pieces. Along with a bunch of fun drama games for team-building, firing up imaginations and encouraging creativity, I led my first puppetry…

Making a moving mouth puppet

Over our last two puppetry classes at Little Angel Theatre we have been making simple moving mouth puppets. Using electric breadknives to sculpt foam blocks into heads and hot glue guns to stick on eyes, nose and the opening mouth, we created a variety of funny-looking characters. First came the drawing part. Drawing lots of…

Christmas present fabric pictures

I do love a home-made gift, as does everyone in my family. This Christmas I got out my needle and thread and made little fabric pictures for my mum and Grandma. The wooden box frames come from Wilko and the fabric is from my sister’s bags of fabric scraps (she does a lot of crafting)….

Wilderness FarmFest with InterAct Wales

In a house by a river in Wales something is happening. People are gathering round a campfire sharing poems and songs, making minions out of clay, creating shadow puppets and mosaics, and wading through the river with sticks. These people are InterAct Wales and their guests at this year’s Wilderness FarmFest. The festival is still…

Cross stitch bluetit bookmark

Feeling on a bit of a roll with my homemade stitched gifts, I recently attempted another cross-stitched bookmark, this time for my mum’s birthday. I say homemade, but as with the puffin bookmark I made for my sister’s birthday, there was a certain manufactured element to it – I bought the pattern for it from…

Backstitch motorbike

You only turn 30 once, so to mark the occasion of my fella’s thirtieth birthday I wanted to get him something special, and what’s more special than a personal hand-made gift? He’s a big fan of motorbikes and owns a Yamaha FZ6 Fazer S2. As I’m cracking on with the cross stitch, I thought I’d…

Puffin bookmark

Now I’ve re-acquainted myself with cross-stitch, for my sister’s birthday present I decided to move on from stitching owls to sewing a puffin. I bought a pattern for a bookmark from Samuel Taylors at Embsay Mills, which included all the threads, needle, 14-point aida, felt backing and a tassle. The first thing I did once…

Pride and Prejudice cross stitch bookmark

We’ve just a week to go before the show opens, and the cast and crew of One Off Productions’ Pride and Prejudice is busy preparing to tread the boards at the Kings Theatre in Southsea. We’ve had a few cast birthdays throughout the run-up to the show, including mine today and Leigh aka Jane Bennet’s…

Individu-Owl cross stitch

The faint scraping sound of thread being pulled through aida is a familiar and comforting memory from my childhood. My mum and grandma were cross stitch crazy, forever separating threads, threading needles and working up delightful masterpieces. I tried my hand at this craft, notoriously popular with ladies of a certain age, but didn’t seem…

My creative Christmas – festive finger puppets

Now we’re well and truly into a wet and blustery January I thought I would cheer myself up by thinking back to all the lovely creative things we got up to over Christmas. I got back into cross stitching, my sister Amie tried to teach me how to crochet (let’s call that one a work…

Handmade thank you cards a là Papercrafter

With so many lovely presents this Christmas I wanted to make my thank you cards that bit special. Normally I buy little notecards, but this year I decided to give them the personal touch and make them myself, with a little help from PaperCrafter … I always make Christmas cards for my family but I’ve…

Christmas crocheted cafetière cosy

One of the fantastic handmade presents my sister Amie gave me this Christmas is this crocheted cafetière cosy. Working in an office, it’s pretty standard that I rely on my dear friend caffeine to get me through the day. At work I have a little cafetière that makes one cup of coffee (no instant coffee for…

Handmade Christmas cards and a lavender heart

It’s a tradition in my family to make Christmas cards for each other, and every year I invariably end up doing this last minute on Christmas Eve. This year was no exception, and last night I set out all my pieces of coloured card, stickers, pipe cleaners, scissors and glue and got to work. My…

Yarndale comes to Skipton

The last weekend in September saw an explosion of colour and creativity descend on the cobbled streets of Skipton. A delightful market town in my home county of Yorkshire, Skipton was home to the first ever Yarndale this year, an event where new and established creatives got together to celebrate crafts using wool, cotton, linen…

A pretty little thing

Basking in the glorious bank holiday sunshine, I wandered down the seafront today with my friend Louise, and happened upon a pretty little thing courtesy of Love Southsea. In desperate search of a breeze we headed towards the sea, sitting high on the bank above the bandstand for a while before moving on down to…

Getting crafty and creative

There’s a creative streak running in my family. My grandad on dad’s side painted, grandma on mum’s side is always cross-stitching or making cards to sell, my mum keeps beautiful scrapbook diaries, and then there’s my little sister, perhaps the most creative of us all. Amie and I were always making things as kids, not…


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