Category Archives: General

Embroidered Lamp – Mollie Makes Embroidery Magazine


Embroider your own lampshade!

It is so good to at last be able to share with you a new embroidered lampshade project I made for the brand new amazing (and awesome) Mollie Makes Embroidery Bookazine which comes out today. It has been edited by the incredible Lara Watson aka @laramcspara and is full of wonderful hand embroidery projects. There are so many fun and creative ideas to try out from pillowcases, banners and clothing to trainers! I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

I am very proud to say I have TWO projects in the issue for you to make, an embroidery hoop AND an embroidered lampshade project. I got my copy in the post today and I have to say it’s brilliant!!

So many fab projects and really good info, really inspiring. Go buy now!

You can order a copy here –

and here’s a little peek inside! (This is just a sampler)

If you need to brush up your embroidery skills why not sign up to my free online embroidery course today – hours of videos teaching you over 30 hand embroidery stitches.

PS A big thanks to Charlotte Eve for taking the beautiful photos for me. Xx

Hand Embroidery Retreat – Thread Therapy

Mindfulness and Embroidery aka Thread Therapy

Just a few weeks ago we said hello to some wonderful guests at our spring Thread Therapy retreat. Three of them came all the way from AMERICA just for it!!  We’ve added a few photographs from the weekend we spent stitching and relaxing in the beautiful village of Lealholm in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

Everyone made really rather a lot of very cool stuff, lanterns, wall hangings, a large lampshade, various hooped art. You see you don’t have to simply make a lampshade you can make anything you want. I have so many projects for you to chose from and all the materials here to do it. We concentrate on hand embroidery (no machines are there as it’s not part of my process), I am there to teach you, guide you and inspire you to create what makes you happy, so you can come time and time again and always get something new from the experience.

People travel from across the country as well as internationally safe in the knowledge that we will do everything for you to make your stay amazing and an experience you will cherish and remember.

Before you scroll through all the pretty prictures from our March retreat, here’s what one of our guest’s felt about her weekend of Thread Therapy.

“I was expecting sewing, I was expecting to meet new people and I was expecting (or at least hoping for) a bit of me time! But what I wasn’t expecting was how hugely therapeutic the whole weekend was. It was emotional. It was educational (but not only in a ‘learn these stitches’ kind of way.) It was fulfilling, and it was a start to discovering more about myself and where I am right now. Which I really didn’t expect. Marna is so right calling the retreat ‘Thread Therapy’ because that is truly what it was.”

You can read her full blog post about the experience here.

We still have a few spaces available on our Thread Therapy hand embroidery retreats in 2017, you can find out more by clicking below and also sign up for our free online hand embroidery course.
Find out more about Thread Therapy retreats for 2017

Thread Therapy March 2017

A little glimpse of our latest hand embroidery retreat… bliss!

hand embroidery mindfulness thread therapy

Hand Embroidery and Mindfulness – Thread Therapy

hand embroidery mindfulness thread therapy

Thread Therapy – How to use hand embroidery to relax and relieve stress

Hand embroidery is the perfect way to relax and practice mindfulness.  Once you have learned the basic stitches (click here for your embroidery lessons) you can use hand embroidery to unwind and increase your feeling of well-being.

thread therapy hand embroidery and mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

The word mindfulness has become the catch-all word for taking time to focus on yourself.

“Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”

The operative words for all mindfulness techniques are time and focus, especially focus on the here and now. Craft, particularly the act of stitching, seem to offer more than simply a distraction and can have a positive effect on your mood. Taking time for yourself and allowing your subconscious time to relax and process stressful thoughts can help your overall feeling of wellbeing.

With hand embroidery you cannot rush, you have to take the time to carefully pull the sharp needle through the fabric. The art of making tiny stitches forces you to carefully focus and as you become more accomplished with your stitching you can allow yourself to access an almost trance-like state.  It can be easier for some to access this calm state with embroidery,  or repetitive motion crafts like knitting and crochet, than simply meditating using breathing techniques as the focus.

thread therapy embroidery retreat
Relaxing with hand embroidery at the Thread Therapy embroidery retreat

The science behind mindfulness and thread therapy

The repetitive action of stitching has been secretly offering us mindfulness therapy for thousands of years.  We’re still using just a simple needle and thread and while we’re certainly not suggesting that stitching and hand embroidery is a panacea for anxiety or depression, it can help you to relax your mind and take the focus away from your everyday worries.  For more information on the science of mindfulness through embroidery, read this interesting research by Mindful Stitch: Generating dialogue in and around the threads of wellbeing by Emma Swinnerton which offers an in-depth look at thread therapy.

Learn Basic Hand Embroidery Stitches Online

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thread therapy online hand embroidery lessons



Let’s Face Facts

hand stitched fairy tales by marna lunt

What’s your earliest memory?  Mine is from nursery. I was tracing triangles when a classmate (who’s name I’m omitting) vomited her free milk on my feet. This then made another 4 classmates puke in what I suppose could be called ‘Human Vominoes’. (Trademark still pending)

 I’m still not a fan of triangles.

Apparently babies can recognise faces as faces before their eyes are fully developed. That explains the perplexed/bemused/is she windy/mildly terrified look we’ve all experienced during moronic delivery of coochies and coos.

Ask a young child to draw a picture and the majority of them will instinctively draw a face or a person with huge emphasis on facial features.

They say that world leaders obtain their power as they excel in ‘using their face’. It makes sense really as if the masses listened to them we’d have no leaders.

The most famous painting in the world is a face and almost all of the great artists have a collection of well known portraits.

embroidered portraits by marna lunt

We love looking at faces, our own, our loved ones and strangers. Its something we never grow out of – like finding the passing of wind funny or when people fall over.  We see faces in things all of the time – and we find it reassuringly comforting.

Commissioning a portrait is a very emotive thing. Remember Helen Daniel’s painting of Mrs Mangle? – she wasn’t happy!

Its all about the artists style and the customer’s faith.  It is the artist’s interpretation you are commissioning.

I went to see Soundgarden in 1997 and they essentially played their current album in order. It was very disappointing as I could have just listened to it at home and not had a bottle of urine thrown at me. (Assuming my nan hadn’t been on the whiskey).

 Marna has a distinctive style and has been reluctant to take portrait commissions until now. Why? She is now much more confident in her ability than she was 5 or 10 years ago and in the last 3 years she has honed her hand stitching skills which when complemented by her free hand drawing ability and eye for colour, texture and beauty means that she can create custom portraits which are truly unique.  And the great thing is that she enjoys them so much that she stitches with a smile on her face hopeful the recipient’s face will also light up on delivery 🙂

flowers in her hair stitchery by marna lunt

But as well as the portrait commissions she has also been working on a new way of bringing her portraits to a larger audience and that is through her new range of fairy tales. She has started with Rapunzel and will include many more, each takes about three and a half months to produce and are quite large & detailed. They will be produced into prints and ceramics so what this space. The first is now finished, we hope you love it. Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy.

marna lunt textile artist

close up of stitches hair by marna lunt


fairy tales by marna lunt

hand stitched portraits by marna lunt

embroidery portraits by marna lunt

rapunzel by marna lunt

Revert to Fawn

blog old cushion

Sometimes the case for coincidence is a hard one to argue for.  For example:-

1. When you put you washing out in Spring or Autumn, it will rain.

2. The minute you sit down and put the TV on after 12 hours of solid work at home your other half will walk through the door.

3. Window cleaners only come to collect their payment within 2 minutes of you getting in the bath.

We’d love to hear yours by the way?

But the one I wanted to address is that the word (and specifically the colour) fawn, rhymes with yawn.

 If you look around most show homes they tend to epitomise the interior design equivalent of vanilla ice cream.

Don’t get me wrong, vanilla ice cream is ‘nice’. But when faced with the option of mint choc chip, raspberry ripple, rum and raisin and banoffee, choosing vanilla is, well its a bit safe.

When we named Arthur we would often get an awkward silence as a response to his name. Or we’d get a genuine ‘oh I love all of the old names’. We chose his name for family reasons and that we loved it. We weren’t trying to be different – just ask our daughter Pomegranate.  But I’d rather we evoke emotions in the things we do than apathy.

People like what they like but if artists like Marna don’t challenge paradigms we’re doomed to live in a giant tub of vanilla ice cream.  That actually sounds quite nice but eventually I’d long for a burst of cherry or a hint of Baileys.

bettys in harrogate

I personally find over 90% of modern art repulsive. But I also applaud (most of) it. If you strip away the layers of pretension the artists are trying to express something. And we all know there is no accounting for taste.  I welcome people trying to nail ‘Sarcasm is a Bin Bag’, ‘The Strife of Lemons in Modern day Lesbianism’ or ‘Why the Nazis Never did Brunch’. Eventually you find a gem in the fog of awfulness and its worth the hunt.

Fawn is a great background colour. Marna sometimes uses it in what become beautiful pieces.

Marna has wondered though: ‘where do I fit in’ in terms of her work and we haven’t found an answer, unless it is amongst those of us who simply do what we do and hope others like it.

But one thing is for certain,  Marna’s work isn’t vanilla flavoured and she’ll never ‘revert to fawn’. She simply hopes you continue to enjoy the taste sensations that are her pieces of work for many years to come.

twinkly lights in the windows

“Hello this is Marna adding my two pence worth, as if he could shut me up.

This weekend I went to the private view of the wonderful Anniversary exhibition at unit twelve at which I have three lampshades exhibited. I was having a chat with a fab friend and discussing why I was scared of letting go and just being me. I think I have spent a long time with the Little a name and have a certain reputation for light, bright, cutesy makes which are pretty and crowd pleasing and I know that works and sometimes I like making that. But because of that I am nervous to let the darker side  of my imagination out, every time I start darker I tend to dilute it by being too nervous. This exhibition gave my the impetus to finally start making my way to the darker side without makes excuses. Like my personality I often like to be bright and breezy and colourful but there has to be a balance with that darker side that experiments with different subjects.

So in conclusion, I’m not going to be quite as scared anymore and just do stuff I like (until the next crisis of confidence)”

the cotton mills

Desert Island Disks

Marna spends half the time in her studio working in silence – a much needed quiet space away from the chaos of parenting I’m sure many can relate to.

Last Christmas I bought her a digital radio and she now enjoys BBC Radio 4 and has since become a fan of The Archers and any crime series she can find.

Little a Designs 2013 January (low res) (35 of 48)

As a teenager Marna was a fan of New Kids on the Block, then she moved into Britpop culminating in seeing Oasis at Knebworth. The first gig we went to together was Belle & Sebastian in Preston.  I think the last was Fireman Sam live – times change.

The current soundtrack to our lives is the fabulous album from Teleman which if you haven’t checked out we couldn’t recommend it more. Its melancholy, dreamy but upbeat melodies epitomise Marna’s contagious character.

I wondered if I could come up with some songs that summed up Marna and her work. Certainly anything by Rage Against the Machine would describe her response to her Macbook not doing as its told!  Or maybe it better describes the fact that she doesn’t use a sewing machine in her work?

Anyway – this top ten is a bit of fun which we hope you enjoy…..

10. Lampshade by Beck

Marna’s lampshades are becoming instantly recognisable and she has been delighted with the response.  Did you know that the Liberty Lampshade took more than 70 hours of work!

9. Material Girl by Madonna

‘My name is Marna and I’m a fabricoholic’.  Leaving Marna alone in a fabric shop is very dangerous. She is seeking professional help.

8. New York, New York by Frank Sinatra

We went to this iconic city for our honeymoon and we’re still smug that we were mistaken for locals 4 times meaning we are almost certainly cool.

new york shade by marna lunt

7. School by Nirvana

In 2001 Marna was so ill she wouldn’t leave our flat. 13 years later she is delivering workshops around the country and industry speeches to over 100 strangers.  #Proud

 6. All or Nothing by Small Faces

I chose this one for 2 reasons. The first is that Marna doesn’t do anything by halves I’m sure you’ll agree. The second is to recognise her newest product – hand stitched portraits.

small faces

5. Needles and Pins by The Searchers

Marna has described her needle as her paintbrush and her thread as her paint. Although she has referred to me as a tool on many occasions these small pieces of metal are equally essential to her.

 4. Buttons by Pussycat Dolls

Another of Marna’s addictions is beautiful buttons and they have also become somewhat of a signature, particularly on her earlier work such as her Family Tree cushion.

 3. (H)Oops Upside Your Head by The Gap Band

Okay so I’ve taken some poetic licence here but this was slightly harder than I thought, even with me being a music nerd.

2. Liberty Song by The Levellers

Marna has both a professional and personal relationship with Liberty of London. And who couldn’t adore their fabrics?

liberty lampshade 1. Innovation III by Kraftwerk

Marna strives to innovate and what better song title and group than this?  Originality and innovation is something I’d like to touch on again in more detail in a future post.

If you have any maker/crafter/artist related song names or bands that you can relate to Marna’s work we’d love to hear them pop pickers.

Uk Handmade Spring 2015

Arghhhh! Look it’s my face on the cover of a magazine.

Front cover of Uk Handmade Spring 2015
Front cover of Uk Handmade Spring 2015

Yeah I can pretty much guarantee that I was never expecting to say that in my lifetime!!

I’m stuck in-between being royally freaked out (because my face is quite intensely looking at me, that doesn’t happen expect in the mirror too early in the morning so it’s a bit out of context) and loving it a lot. I can’t quite explain it feels to see your face in your social media news feed unexpectedly. I’m not a lover of my face but I am incredibly proud of this piece of work. Took a while, had a bit of a battle, we fought into the wee hours, wrestled, it could have gone either way, I won though ha, but that struggle is what makes it a greater victory. Who’d have thought embroidery could be so violent.

olive portrait

The cover looks incredible though and I am so honoured & totally over the moon they would chose my work to do that. I mean wow wow wow.

A n y w a y, I’ve been a big Uk Handmade fan for some time, they celebrate all that is good in the industry and help us artists in so many ways. It’s a great read and would recommend it regardless to whether I was in it or not, but pop over to the website too because it’s mint.

I have quite a large interview in which I tell you all sorts of stuff and things and doings…. you’ll have to go over and read it sorry I can’t give it all away. Look go see.


Predictive Text Fun

‘Thank you for pointing out the typo in my Facebook post’ said no one, ever.

Humans are amazing. We can fly, cure horrible diseases, clone living things, discover planets, genetically modify vegetables, design and create amazing lampshades and tolerate Shania Twain’s music.  Some of us can even roll our tongues and even less of us can see those bloody magic eye pictures – although most of us pretend we can .

A tiger – perhaps?

We solve difficult problems – we’re up there with dolphins intelligence wise. (Although I’ve never seen a dolphin complete a Sudoku).  But we also have flaws – one of them is that we have a habit to solve problems that don’t exist.

I like watching Dragons Den for this very reason. My favourite ‘problem solving’ inventions were knickers with a condom pocket and ‘knee wheels’ – wheels to make kneeling tasks quicker. (The products are not linked).

I’d like to talk about predictive text and typos this week  I’m not saying that predictive text can’t be useful, it can, but only for those of us who have tiny pixie thumbs and/or time to proof read every single text or post.  I’m pretty certain we’d all manage without knee wheels, condom knickers and predictive text.

Marna’s hand stitched work is renowned for its attention to detail. She is her biggest critic and has learned over the years how to not ‘over work’ a piece – a skill in itself.

She runs a business and a house, amongst many other things and maintaining Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instragram can be very time consuming. This can mean that some of her posts end up in what we call ‘Minglish’. Marna’s childhood nickname was ‘Min’ so it seemed fitting that her version of predictive text English is ‘Minglish’. And let’s not forget her dyslexia.

We’ve lost count of the times she’s had to ‘get on with some wang (work)’ or the time she bought a really tasty ‘cock’ (cake) from the deli.  Let’s hope she never posts the need to work off the cake she’s just eaten at the gym!

If we were all pedantic and looked through our feeds we could find so many versions of Minglish that if we read them out loud we’d sound like the policeman from Allo Allo.


Good moaning

But let’s give each other a break. We’re all so busy that what harm is a good old  wang every now and again?

Below are a few of my favourite predictive text fails to enjoy but I’ll leave you with a little joke:-

How do you console a pedant?

‘There, their, they’re’


99 Problems and a Stitch Aint One.

I’m the husband of an artist.

I’m not particularly “arty” myself.  Part of my job as a Director of Sales and Marketing requires some creative flair but this is usually in the form of a brief given to someone much better qualified to implement as part of a campaign.

I, like many “blokes” am not a fan of shopping.  My shopping filter works like this:-

Buying Chart

(By the way – this artwork is purely my own work)

I don’t find much pleasure in many material things – unless they are practical or necessary.  I’m not miserly or cheap but “nick-nacks”, ornaments or soft furnishings just don’t feature on my radar.

Most of us have our the daily crap to deal with e.g.

04:05 Up with kid 1 – nightmare management

05:07 Kid 2 – early rising syndrome

06:01 Sod it I might aswell get up now

06:23 Realisation I’ve got into the shower and there is no towel in the bathroom

06:47   Kid 2 – suspected diarrhoea (“can we get away with sending her into school anyway? – everyone else does it…..”)

07:01 Mouldy bread and no cereal – improvised breakfast with googly eyes from the craft drawer and a carrot

07:40 Teeth cleaning tantrum (children not adults)

07:55 Missing shoe – damn it why aren’t they ever both in the shoe rack at the same time!

I could go on and easily get to 99 problems, then I could address the after lunch issues….

I’m the one missing out though – my wife not only creates beautiful pieces of art, she also adores them herself.  They bring her pleasure (much more so than the 83 year old bloke over the road who is essentially an intermediate courier for all of the “nick nacks” etc she buys online but is never in to receive from the courier).

And you – reading this blog, you are enlightened.  You enjoy beautiful things surrounding you.  They enrich your life.  For every missing plimsoll or unexpected car part invoice you seek solace in a bespoke cushion, unique landscape lampshade or embellished print – I salute you.

If it wasn’t for you many of us would live in soulless houses with 1 in 10 of the barren walls defaced with an IKEA print and sofas without a cushion in sight.  We’d never have candles to light for ambiance or receive “ooh where did you get that amazing x?” comments from guests.

And we’d miss it.

For all the problems we all have, I for one have realised that I need to embrace “the stitch” as it not only enables my wife to channel her artistry but the things she creates are nullifying school head lice warning letters, chipped windscreens and broken nights sleep around the world – in the form of beautiful pieces of unique artwork.

Mr Marna Lunt – Textile Artist Husband

Mollie Makes Issue 38

Whhhoooooo hoooooo I can’t contain my excitement and pride at being in the latest issue of Mollie Makes. Like so many of us in this field we have seen Mollie Makes magazine explode on to the news stand and changed the way most of the public looked at craft and making. It was certainly a dream of mine to be in their pages and it is such a pleasure to tell you I AM.

A few months ago I was contacted and asked if I’de like to make some of my embroidered hoops for them as a how to project and as I don’t have time to make them anymore I thought this would be great. I make them now and again for friends and then get them printed into cards so they are available in my website shop so buy and send or frame, but now you get to see how to make them yourself.

So pop out and buy a copy now. Here are some of the photos I have of the finished acticules. Enjoy. xxxemboirdered hoops hoops liberty hoop close up of mollie makes hoops

Vintage embroidered hoop for Gathered magazine

Last month I was thrilled to be featured in the Gathered weekly digital magazine by Mollie Makes. I was absolutely over the moon as I do so love to get my weekly craft fix and subscribe to lovely lovely edition. I was very sad that it was to be the last digital edition they are to publish. It will still survive as a newsletter that you can get for free weekly on a smaller scale so it’s not all bad.

hoop close up

It’s always been a bit of a dream for me to see my work in print. Whether that be in magazines, papers, books, I think it must be for more artists, it’s a thrill. I enjoy thinking of new projects and plaint with all sorts of materials to make things that simply make you smile. Art and craft and making in general is such a hugely important tool in all round wellbeing and I have relied on being creative to act as a therapy to get me through tough times so to be able to give others ideas of things to make is just the most ace-est thing.  So when the Mollie Makes team got in touch and offered to pay me for it and open up a whole new avenue for me I said yes please.

SONY DSC The whole thing has been so great that I would like to do it again and again and am looking at contributing as much as people would like. After the Gathered article went so well they have asked me back to feature in the magazine in the next edition so watch out for that and you may se mer popping up again I a few months, so keep those yes peeled.

Obviously if you want to see the whole tutorial then  you need to buy the weekly but here are some photos of it to see what you’re missing;)




The time has come to tell you all who are the winners of the raffle in aid of getting Arthur equipment to put in a planned sensory room.

I have to thank you all so so much for your donations of money and prizes. The support has been truly incredible and has touched our whole family. Every penny will make such a difference and  will keep you up dated on all plans. We are planning an extension to our house to provide Arthur with a special area where he can have space to do his phsyio, where he can feel safe and where he can relax and have peace and quiet. It’s going to make a massive difference to his life. We hope to have everything completed by next summer due to planning etc but you will be the first to now all the details.


We have raised in total £1754 which will get us a long way with providing the specialist lighting and padding we need. I will be hosting more raffles in the future and networking events in aid of Arthur (if necessary) but also to raise money for an autistic charity called Daisy Chain who are our summer holiday lifeline.

I will email all winners and request there address so that the donator can post you your prize. If you don’t hear from me in the next few days please check your spam folder and get in touch so you get your prizes. If I don’t get any response from you by the end of the month (July 2013) then another name will be drawn. any queries then please get in touch by email to marna(at)


Again thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

Right lets get to it then, the winners. The names will be as they were shown from Paypal so if you used your partners account it may have his name on. A few made me giggle, Anna from Buttonsy Jewellery won a buttons picture, heheh. xx

loula belleLoula Belle at Home

eclectic teaEclectic Tea

jessica sherrifJessica Jewellery Design

LTD-multipack-1Artwork by Angie

lucky stars black and whte 800pixArtwork by Angie

Who Ate My Crayons Floral Heart A4Who Ate My Crayons

Grammar Poster - GrandmaWho Ate My Crayons

Sleeping Beauty 1 printGracie’s Garden Bazaar

second sleeping beauty printGracie’s Garden Bazaar

elm tree studioElm Tree Studio12″
winner TIA LUSH

vintage pixieVintage Pixie

moo and mouseMoo and Mouse

jojoandiJojo & I

handcrafted home
Handcrafted Home


crafty lou2Crafty Lou

crafty louCrafty Lou

poppypatch craftPoppypatch Crafts

eversoamyEver Sew Amy

shakespeare canvasLittle a Designs

Mandycrafts UK

button inloveButtons In Love
winner ANNA DAY

little love vintageLittle Love Designs

mum wants onemum wants one
winner EMILY FOX

winner SOFIE KAY

buttonsyButtonsy Jewellery
winner JO GRANT

buttons and butterfliesButtons and Butterflies

gemma esprey designsGemma Esprey Designs
winner S HEGGIE



imageHens Teeth

imageSheena Spacey Ceramics

imageEleven Feathers Jewellery

imageEleven Feathers Jewellery

imageFanciful Things

imageFanciful Things


003Forever Flossie

imageLove & Buttons

imageLove & Buttons


imageLove & Lovelier

imageKate Creates


383374_10151667111585491_78249166_nThe Dotty Tree

421325_327172700659909_91892029_nLittle White Cottage

heart hanger for marna IMG_1923Sarah Edgar Designs

IMG_4838Handmade by Amber

lavender smallJenny Arnott Textiles

Marna charity collage logoHeart Felt Handmade

photoCheryl-ann Taylor Made in England

photo-2Cheryl-ann Taylor Made in England

original_personalised-vintage-letter-rubber-stampSkull and Crossbuns

imageIsobella’s Tutu

IMG_0626Janet Bell Gallery

fairy doorBrambleberries
winner S MASON

image-1Simply So Mimi

workEmma Boyes Papercuts

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100Copper Creations

smile cushion2Kindred Rose

973418_10151722247464468_789245602_nLapin Blu


photo-3Handmade By Martha

imageThree Little Hearts

imageDaisy Frames

imageKirsty Elson Designs

imageFrame The Memory

imageJane Ormes Printmaker

imageLou Tonkin

imageThe Lemon Pony
winner KAY LOYND

imageLittle Burrows Designs

imageSarah Hardaker
winner ANNA DAY

housesignMy Little Loves

IMG_1135Typically English

20130717_095857Jackie Reynolds Designs

Janet Bell’s donation

As I’m away on holiday this week instead of the usual artist interview I want to share a favourite artist of mine and something wonderful she’s doing.
Janet Bell has a beautiful gallery in Beaumaris in Anglesey. I went there on holiday last year and it was scrummy, highly recommended if you’re near there. I first came across her work about five years ago when I found greetings cards of her stunning colourful coastal painting and fell in love with the joy that they showed. The colours bounced out at me and just made me smile.
Since then I’ve been lucky enough to chat to her a bit on Facebook and she is ace, war is even more ace is that she has asked to donate a fabulous framed print to the Help Arthur Smile Fund.
If you follow Janet’s Facebook page (please do) then you will see that she has been doing a bit of filming with the BBC. Tomorrow night she will be appearing on CountryFile painting this bluebell scene. I can’t wait to watch it.

She painted four in total but the one she paints in the actual show is the one we have a framed print of which will be £90 rrp usually. The original painting will auctioned off for another charity Reuben’s Retreat, starting on monday 17th June on eBay with the beginning bid of £750, exciting stuff, I hope it makes tonnes for that very worthy cause.
So all in all this painting is going to be doing some amazing stuff for some great people, my Arthur being one of them, thanks Janet for your generosity. So people get buying those raffle tickets for more of a chance to win this incredible prize amongst so so many stunning donations from a bunch of talented people that really have blown my mind. Click on the Help Arthur Smile button at the side for more info and click below to donate.
Artist interviews will resume next week along with anything else I come up with on my holidays.
Thank you and have a lovely weekend peoples.

Help Arthur Smile news

Just wanted to show you a few of the fantastic things donated to the raffle, many things are being donated all the time and I’m uploading them onto the page whenever I get the chance. It’s not to late to give prizes or money. The draw happens on the 22nd July so plenty of time to get things going.

click to donate

So this is the news so far. I am making an formal complaint and will be getting in touch with my MP, actually one of you lovely lot have already contacted him for me. I’m sorry I haven’t emailed everyone back yet, I’m trying to get it all done but I’m a bit swamped and doing everything I can. If you haven’t heard from me you will promise but please do remind me if you are concerned I may have forgotten you.

So formal complaint being made, I know you’ll be glad to hear, and I’m at last glad and not scared to do it. I have also found out the reason why I can’t use the other hospital near me and that is because they don’t have the necessary facilities. My doctor referred Arthur there last year and we have now found the letter explaining so I have a reason at last. I have been in contact with a department in the hospital which deals with any help you need seeking second opinions. Not looking hopeful but at least we’re onto it.

I have found that the only option I have is still definitely the private way and I have been in touch with a private therapy practice. They have reviewed Arthurs needs and have come up with a first assessment plan. This includes a visit at home and at the practice, supervision, and a consultation. It’s going to be £625. So tomorrow I’m booking the appointment. I’ll let you know what happens. Now that the ball is rolling I need your help more than ever because I need that cash in the bank ready to pay them for everything and treatment.

I can not believe the support you’ve given us already, I’m stunned and deeply touched by peoples generosity. We finally stand a chance of understanding Arthur. But due to the fact he has incredible complex needs it may take a few assessments before we get anywhere. His needs are truly unique and to get a diagnosis may take some time. But thankfully now we have decent specialists on board who treat people with basic respect I have hope we are going forward after nearly three years of struggling.

Here are some of the stunning prizes up for grabs, you’d be mad not to enter…..

Love & Buttons
Hens Teeth
loula belle
Loula Belle At Home


Thank you so much everyone.


The Little a Rosette Tutorial

I’ve been making these rosettes from a number of years now and I’ve given workshops on them and done talks about them. This time last year me and my rosettes were featured in Good Homes magazine and I’ve been inundated with orders particularly for weddings ever since. I am emailed and messaged every week by customers telling me they’ve been copied which is a shame, but we live in a world where this happens frequently. Rather than let it upset me any more I thought I’d share with all of you just how to make them, it’s not hard. Just takes a bit of time and a good sense of colour and fun. I’ve been supported hugely by you all and so I thought I’d do this tutorial to say thank you. You can use this to make your own styled rosettes and make them your own, customise them, add bits and experiment. Thanks for supporting me and spending your hard earned cash buying from me over the years, kissy kissy.

Im not worried about telling my ‘secrets’ because when you buy from me you’re buying not just the product but my knowledge of colour, my choice of fabrics and vintage buttons and pearls? So this is how I make my rosettes, all you have to know how to do is back stitch. And if, once you’ve seen this tutorial, you want to buy some of my colour choices and button selections then you can buy one of my rosette kits from my shop;)

So lets get started.
What you will need:

A selection of fabric
A selection of ribbons
Pearls or buttons
Fabric glue
Fray stop
Blue water soluble pen
Badge pin
Needle and thread

When choosing your fabric you want a piece of felt to use as a base, a backing piece to cover your workings, and four to five different patterned fabrics for layering. It’s up to your personal choice. I often use a plain one, one with spots, stripes and vibrant pattern and a softer coloured piece. I find the vibrant patterns work best with slightly toned down, less busy, fabrics. The darker colours to the back and the less vivid to the front or your writing won’t be seen.
Your ribbons want to compliment the colours of the fabrics, I use a lot of ribbon, I just think its more lavish. You can find many of the ribbons I use in my supplies shop. I love textures, thick velvety with soft satins and cotton.

How you make the rosette:
1/ Place the felt at the back and chose what order you want your fabrics to go. Then cut them into circles with the larger being at the back.

2/ Arrange you ribbon on top of the felt and glue in place.

Place the fabric on top of the ribbon and glue in place.
3/ Write on your rosette with the blue soluble pen whatever you like, I chose kiss me because its valentines day coming up, but can also be used on New Years Eve too.


20130213-194903.jpg Now glue on your pearls.
4/ At this point I let the glue dry before then stitching everything in place. I use glue as well as stitching because then I know everything is fixed very firmly and you won’t find pearls pinging off left right and centre. A badge gets a lot of wear especially when made for special occasions, there’s much hugging and jumping around generally or at least there should be!!
5/ I hand stitch all my products but if you don’t feel comfortable doing this there are may others ways in which you can achieve a lovely finish, they’re lots quicker and easier and just as much fun. You could machine all the items together, you could just stick with the glueing (sorry about the pun;)), both work fine. With the writing you could use fabric pens or stamps with fabric ink.
I like the effect of hand stitching, I like thick layers of lavish fabric and lashing of ribbon dripping down from a colourful gem like circle. I don’t like the stitching or the rosettes to look too perfect, to me they’re a bit soulless and look shop bought or factory made and and that’s not my style.



I don’t use a bond a web fixer on the rosettes because I like the fabric to have a lip around the edges, for them to curl up and move and be flexible, I find them to be more jolly that way. I want the wind to ruffle them.
6/ I use a hand dyed woollen thread when stitching the words, again I do this for a reason, I like the way the texture works against the rest of the fabrics. When I make something I think about every tiny detail, there’s always a reason for these little touches and a choice of material used and the suppliers I chose. The threads are just the right shade to go with the ribbon and fabric, i often use vintage silk thread too but only when that precise colour is available. I think I may sound a little deranged, well that wouldn’t be far wrong, I don’t always get it right, if only I was perfect (do not tell my children I’m not, if they sense weakness I will pay;)). When things go wrong, I just start again, swearing as I go;)
7/ Now for the backing. You don’t want all those workings showing, not pretty, so I use a plain piece of fabric to cover it, just glueing it in place, then glue or stitch on your badge back and cover that working again with a smaller piece of the same backing fabric.


8/ Now turn your rosette to the front and give it a squirt of water to get rid of the pen marks.
9/ Fray stop time! Some of the fabrics I use have a very lose weave, like the Harris Tweed and linen. I love these textures and want them to look a tiny bit shabby but to too much, they’ll just fray too much and look shabby in a not so cool way if not treated, so I coat these edges with lashings of lovely stinky fray stop, cor it’s a bit pungent. Works beautifully though.

And there you go once its all dry and gleaming you can pin it on and wear it with pride.
I hope you really enjoy making this and have lots of fun wearing it. They are gorgeous things to make for your kids, or fun hen nights but to name a few uses.
If you want an extra special one from me I’m always happy to oblige, hopefully from seeing this you’ll see the time and thought that goes into producing these and that I want every one of them to be very special and unique.

I have created this free tutorial for use at home and not for resale, this design has been registered officially and the copyright belongs to me. By all means use this for gifts and personal use but please don’t profit from my hard work and time. If you want to reproduce any information or photos please ask permission first. Thank you.