Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Dreaming Tree lampshade

Last week was my first full week with both girls back at school. Bunny loves being in secondary school, she was ready for the challenge of a larger school and all the new subjects and extracurricular activities and that it offers. 

She’s even looking into the school orchestra – I’m not sure they’ve ever had a harpist!

Little Flower is settling in nicely into Reception/Kindergarten. She loves being there, but Wednesday morning last week the novelty wore off – you know how it is with small children, they love donning their school clothes, carrying their backpacks and lunch bags, staying all day...

...until Wednesday, when they realise that this is actually the way of life now, and the lazy days of summertime are over. So the rest of the week I had to contend with tears when I dropped her off. The crying stopped about thirty seconds after I left each day (luckily the teaching assistant is a good friend of mine, so I have a first-hand account!) as she got down to the business of playing. I know the waterworks are just for my benefit. Hmph.

I have filled my calendar with craft workshops. Not taking them, but teaching them! I’m very fortunate that local haberdasheries and craft workshop venues are including me on their course rosters. In addition to the crochet courses I’ve been teaching for a good while, I’ll be holding workshops ranging from beginner’s embroidery to simple cushion making. I am so excited to be spreading the crafting love!

I spent a good part of my bloggy break developing these workshops, creating projects, writing handouts and running some mock-courses with friends acting as crafty guinea pigs to make sure all ran to schedule.

Last week was the first lampshade workshop at The Cotton Wool Store in Petworth. Part of the fun of teaching here was that we had the shop full of amazing fabrics to choose from!

I made one in advance using the “Wee Wander” range by Sarah Jane Studios for Michael Miller. I love this enchanting line! I could make an entire bedroom set with the fabrics in this range...

Look at that sweet boy sitting in the tree, you know he’s imagining all sorts of magical adventures...takes me right back to the crab apple tree I spent hours in as a child.

I wanted to highlight this whimsical tree for the lampshade. Embroidery is perfect for this, lending just the right touch of embellishment. 

Lazy daisy stitches are ideal for the leaves, and as I started rummaging through my floss stash I realised that I didn’t have to choose one colour, I could make a rainbow!

No need for ribbon trim with the focus on what I’ve dubbed The Dreaming Tree, but I encouraged the class participants to choose pretty trims for their shades. They had such fun!

Guess which workshop participant made this doozy of a shade? None other than Naomi from Redeem Creations – you might recognise her work here:

Photo courtesy of Redeem Creations
She’s the cover star of Mollie Makes Issue 43! It was so lovely to meet her, she has such a creative flair (and she makes *fabulous* bags!). The room was brimming with inspiration!

Naomi and others left with extra kits to make more lampshades at home. The possibilities are endless – embroidery, patchwork, trims galore...and all bespoke. Hooray for handmade!

Happy crafting!

Chrissie x


  1. Chrissie your shade is a stunner,
    Simplicity and fresh colours are my "key" words for beautiful things, your shade ticks all the boxes....
    Good luck with your classes!
    D x

  2. I wish I would live nearer to you - I would love to learn how to make a lampshade ! I have undertaken several attempts at making one, but I never succeeded in producing a "nice & tidy" one...
    Love the embroidery you did on yours !!

  3. Good luck with all your classes. Hope your little one settles down soon.

  4. Oh I love your dreaming tree - the embroidery picks it out beautifully - what a talent you are Missy Chrissie x Jane

  5. That bit of embroidery is enchanting. Looks like great fun. Jo x

  6. :) I recall Matt declaring a week or so after starting school that he didn't think he'd bother going every day. As you say the harsh reality kicks in quite soon after the initial excitement. I hope it goes smoothly next week. Good luck with your classes. I didn't realise you were in Sussex! x

  7. Your lampshade is beautiful. They all came out well, and how exciting to have a crafty celebrity in your class. I am glad to hear that the girls' school year is off to a good start. When my daughter started preschool, we had a few hard weeks of fussing when I'd drop her off, but so far this year in kindergarten, she seems like she can't wait to ditch me. :) I'm sure your little one will be just fine very soon. Take care and enjoy your workshops and teaching, it all sounds wonderful.

  8. Your girls are getting os big, the little one will soon adjust to the longer days in school without her Mum. So excited for you teaching all these wonderful classes. If I lived near by I would be there for sure.
    Hugs to you,

  9. Anonymous7:52 am BST

    Your lampshade looks really cool! Did you start with a metal frame or cover an existing shade?

    1. Glad you like it! It is built from a kit, which comes in all sorts of sizes, even tea lights! That's my next make...Cx

  10. Beautiful lampshades! New routines can always take a while to settle into, have a good week :) xxx

  11. Hello dear Chrissie!

    I love the Wee Wander fabric designs; so whimsical, and your embroidered touches enhance their beauty perfectly.

    I know what you mean about the little ones taking time to get used to the regular routine of school. Despite the fact that my two youngest are very happy with their teachers - they know them well - they seem a little tired still after two whole weeks at school.

    Warmest wishes,


  12. your lampshades are fabulous, I love the touch of embroidery. Did you know you've gone no-reply again? Damn Google+ !

  13. The lampshades look lovely. My daughter lives in Petworth and I love that shop when we visit her. Good luck with all the courses

  14. Oh my I love your embroidered shade, what a beautiful idea.

  15. Aw some neat tidy and smart in there uniforms. Great shade x

  16. Oh, I wish I could have come to that, it looks fantastic! I've never made a lampshade but I'd love to. I really like the way you embellished that tree with some of your beautiful embroidery. x

  17. Love your gorgeous lampshades, Chrissie! And the added embroidery is inspired! Your classes must be such fun to attend. Your girls look very smart in their school uniforms. The first few days of a new term can be so tiring!
    Happy week to you all.
    Helen xox

  18. The embroidery embellishment on your lampshade looks fabulous. I really like the idea of making your own lampshades.
    jane x

  19. Those uniforms are absolutely adorable! I can hardly stand it!

    And I absolutely LOVE that embroidered lampshade! You know I love rainbows, it's amazing!

  20. I love what you did with the lampshade - it's just beautiful - you are very talented. x

  21. Hello Chrissie. It's lovely to find you blogging again now I'm back from my hols. And that lampshade ... it's exquisite!

  22. Your girls look so smart in their uniforms. Hope everyone settling into their new routines okay? Would have loved to have come to your lampshade workshop! Looks great fun and I adore the shade you made with the beautiful embroidery.
    Marianne x