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This week I've been working on birds and lots of Christmas projects and eating A VERY LARGE QUANTITY OF LEBKUCHEN. There's a new pattern in my shops, a whole bunch of craft ideas up on my blog, and I've got a whole bundle of behind the scenes snaps and lovely links to share with you all... including a sneak peek of an in-progress project I started eleven years ago!

New in my shops:
felt greenfinch brooch
felt robin and greenfinch brooches
greenfinch embroidery pattern

I'm on a roll with the new pattern launches at the moment! This week's new addition to my shop is a tutorial for sewing lots of lovely greenfinches.

The printable PDF file includes a step by step guide to sewing felt greenfinches, which you can use to make brooches or ornaments or other bird-themed projects. There are three easy-to-print sizes of the templates, so you can get crafting straight away without faffing around re-sizing things. Plus there's a greenfinch embroidery pattern, too!

You'll find the new pattern in my Etsy and Folksy shops - shop before December 21st to buy it at the bargain launch price.

On My Blog This Week:
DIY Christmas Cards

This week on my blog I've been sharing lots of fun and easy ideas for making DIY Christmas cards with patterned paper, washi tape, and other crafty bits and bobs.

Follow the links to find all the ideas in the series: washi tape, simple shapes and crafty scraps, joyfully simple lettering, Christmas trees, and baubles.

Remember you'll find lots more free festive project ideas in my tutorial archive!

If you use one of my patterns, please do let me know. People have shared lots of their makes with me recently and they've put a huge grin on my face.

Behind The Scenes:

I feel like I've been juggling too many things not entirely successfully this week, but I have nudged a few projects forwards and had some very happy crafty moments.

Thanks to an unexpected bit of decent light one morning I managed to take a whole bunch of step photos for different makes, including those masks which are destined to eventually be freebies for my newsletter subscribers (I'm trying to get ahead of myself with my free patterns so I'm not constantly scurrying around trying to catch up!).

I also managed to take the final photos for my greenfinches pattern so I could get that DONE and in my shops. I've added these birds to my pile of "things to take new photos of in the spring when the light comes back" because even on a sunny day the light isn't perfect at the moment... but it still feels great to have my second bird pattern launched.

I'd hoped to have a new flower pattern ready to launch this week, too, but the greenfinches were closer to the finish line so I worked on them first then ran out of hours. I'm hoping to have the flowers ready next week, but we shall see what happens. You've gotta go with the flow sometimes!

I've been working on Christmas projects, too. These cute embroidery patterns will be included with the tutorials for these felt ornaments when they're retired from my blog and start their new life in my shops. I'm really pleased with how they stitched up, quick and easy but super cute.

I've mostly finished sewing the sample version of my winter candle design - doesn't it look fab in felt?!

I also had a brilliant OH MY GOD THAT IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF IT BEFORE moment this week.

When I launched my new Fabulous Flowers pattern I joked that this was a truly terrible time to be launching floral designs, because I should be focusing on Christmas things, right? Well, one of my lovely followers commented that the big pink flower I'd stitched looked a bit like a poinsettia and something went PING in my brain and I realised that this pattern would make PERFECT POINSETTIAS.

I dropped everything and went to stitch a sample immediately and I am so ridiculously pleased with how it turned out. I basically want to invent a time machine so I can whisper this idea in my ear back in the days when I used to make felt brooches to sell because OH MY GOSH I think these would sell like hot cakes, I just adore them.

Obviously I'm now working on a small update to my Fabulous Flowers tutorial so it includes how to make these poinsettias, and will email the extra file to anyone who's bought the original tutorial. If you want to make poinsettias in the meantime, just buy the main tutorial then message me and I'll send you a quick how-to :)

In other crafty news: I've been thinking about my old bird designs a lot this month.

The first felt bird I designed was a robin, which was swiftly followed by a bluetit (because I love bluetits). It's fun looking back at these old sketches and seeing how the designs developed from a page of doodles done during my then-day-job!

I sketched lots more British garden birds (a greenfinch, a bullfinch, a coal tit, a tree sparrow, a chaffinch, a greenfinch, and a great tit) and cut out the felt pieces on the last day of my Crafting 365 challenge (doing something crafty and sharing a photo of it every day for a year) in September 2008.

But two of those birds never got stitched...

... until now! I'm not sure exactly what's put me off finishing them for so long, but all of a sudden this week I could wait no longer. So I dug out the little felt pieces I've had tucked in a box for ELEVEN WHOLE YEARS and made a start on finally sewing them.

The tree sparrow is going to look cute, I think, but not particularly like a tree sparrow as the colours just aren't right. I'm going to finish up this little guy as he is then revisit this pattern with an eye to making it a bit more accurate for the final version (he obviously deserves to be a pattern asap after spending so long unfinished!).

I'm much happier with how the great tit is looking. He just needs an eye and a beak and he'll be good to go. Hopefully I can find a bit of time to get him and the tree sparrow finished next week so I can share pics with you guys!
Lovely Links:

Have you discovered Thornback and Peel yet? I particularly love their Blackbird & Bramble mini tray (I love a mini tray and it's 15% off at the moment), and these cake tins are gorgeous. I've also got my eye on this Rabbit & Cabbage tin. Just the right size for sewing supplies, right?!

I love these cute stitchable wooden ornaments, particularly the little jumpers.

Betz White continues to be a felty genius: the final design for her seasonal Lil' Felt Village Make-along Club is so, so lovely. Her Holiday Ornament Workshop designs are super cute, too!

I really enjoyed this blog post about the development of The Linen Cat's new mice ornaments (which are so charming, oh my goodness).

My new illustration crush? The work of Brie Harrison - especially her lovely botanical drawings!

This shop is full of so many awesome pins and patches. I particularly love the moving Harry Potter pins!

These countryside-inspired embroideries are just gorgeous.

This isn't the usual thing I link to in this newsletter but if, like me, you work from home and need cosy layers to help keep down your heating bills I highly recommend the heattech range from Uniqlo. Soooo good for layering! I also love an old fashioned thermal vest, too, not gonna lie :)

This clear snow globe sticker is so cute!

Finally, I love this blog post about how to spend time with purpose. It felt like exactly what I needed to read at this busy time of year and as we're approaching a fresh new decade.
See you next week,
Laura x

P.S. Got any comments, something awesome to share, or just want to say hi? Click reply to send me an email!
Visit my shop for printable sewing patterns.

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Copyright © 2019 Laura "Lupin" Howard, All rights reserved.

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