Mamas & Papas’ New Collaboration with Liberty London

Liberty Musical Cot Toy and cushions -- Mamas and Papas - Beak Up Crafts

I was invited to an event in London this week for the launch of Mamas & Papas‘ new designer collaboration with Liberty London. That’s right – mega children’s brand meets stunning Liberty prints to create beautiful interiors collection AND a range of very covetable prams and strollers. Yes please.

Sadly due to work I wasn’t able to attend but I thought I would share some details of the collaboration if, like me, you’re very much interested in crafts, Liberty, decor and baby things.

Liberty Cushions - Mamas and Papas - Beak Up Crafts

There are six different Liberty prints used in the new range and one of my favourite things are these star cushions (above), which cost £30. I love how these are so classic but feel modern at the same time and would really suit a contemporary nursery.

I’m also a big fan of this slightly more expensive rocking horse:

Liberty Rocking Horse - Mamas and Papas - Beak Up Crafts


We’ve already bought our pram, but if you’re currently pregnant, haven’t picked out your baby’s first set of wheels and fancy a bit of a heritage twist, then check out the pretty Liberty prints on these bad boys:

Liberty Caesar Urbo2 Range - Mamas and Papas - Beak Up Crafts Armadillo Flip XT Carrycot Liberty Caesar - Mamas and Papas - Beak Up Crafts

Pretty nice, right? This little musical cot toy is cute as well (and I think reasonably priced at £15) if you fancy a bit of Liberty love but without the heftier price tag of some of the items:

Liberty Musical Cot Toy - Mamas & Papas - Beak Up Crafts

So what do you think? Are you a fan of this collaboration? If you are, the collection launches exclusively with Liberty and Mamas & Papas on September 7th.

Our nursery is pretty much finished now (and I feel this collection is more geared to girls if I’m honest – we’re having a boy) so I’m going to resist making any purchases, but here’s some more price info if you’re keen to indulge:

  • Liberty Musical Cot Toy, £14.95
  • Cushions, £30
  • Doll, £30
  • Cot bed Quilt, £99
  • Cot bed Bumper, £69
  • Liberty Musical Cot Toy £15
  • Liberty Rocking Horse £130
  • Liberty Doll £29.95
  • Liberty Cushions £30

Lots of Liberty love,


{Make it Quick} T-Shirt Yarn Crochet Necklace


Ages ago I got a skein of T-Shirt yarn and a lovely 15mm wooden crochet hook when I subscribed to Mollie Makes magazine. Until now I’ve never got round to doing anything with it but I rediscovered them in my wool stash and decided to try making an idea I’ve had bubbling away for a while.

This DIY to make a crochet necklace is really quick – it takes about 10 minutes  – and has the added bonus that it’s totally baby proof. Yeah, I know, I’m sneaking in another baby-themed make, but hopefully you’ll like it if you’re not a mum or mum-to-be!

What You Need:

  • T-Shirt Yarn (mine is from We are Knitters, as is the hook)
  • A 15mm crochet hook.

How to Make it:

UK crochet stitches

  • ch – chain
  • htr – half treble crochet
  • sl st – slip stitch
  1. Leave a long tail (this will make one end of your necklace) then attach the yarn to your crochet hook using a slip knot.
  2. ch 12. Turn.
  3. htr into the third ch from the hook then htr across to the end of the chain. Turn.
  4. sl st back across to the other end of the piece. Fasten off.
  5. Cut a tail to make the other end of the necklace.


You can always add a couple of wooden beads if you like or just tie the necklace and wear it.

I hope you liked this quick necklace DIY. I’m off to go and plan some other fun crochet projects using T-Shirt yarn. I’ve got to say I enjoyed using the large hook (although I think it will take a bit of getting used to!).


Have you make anything with T-Shirt yarn either knitting or crochet? I would love to hear about them.

Lots of T-shirt love,



Our Garden Makeover: Before and After


This summer has been something of a whirlwind when it comes to house things. We’ve sold a house, remortgaged, turned a junk room into a nursery (more on that soon) and most recently we’ve transformed our garden from an eyesore into a place we enjoy spending time.

  • Before---View-from-the-house---Beak-Up-Crafts

Wayne and I can’t take all of the credit for how it looks now as we had to call in the experts to landscape it, but all of the painting of walls, fences, the outhouse, assembling furniture, the BBQ, the fixing up of trellises and potting of plants has been done by us. Well, it’s been done by Wayne (with a bit of painting and the potting of clematis by me). He’s been a total trooper and spent hours upon hours of doing DIY while I’ve either been at work, resting or laid up with pregnancy aches, in order to get everything ready for when our baby arrives in October. Without wanting to sound all sickly and vom-inducing, he’s been an absolute star and I can’t thank him enough.

  • Before---From-the-bottom-of-the-garden---Beak-Up-Crafts

So onto the makeover, and I’ll start by saying that gardening really isn’t our thing. However, with a back garden that measures more than 100ft it was something we knew we had to get on top of. The only problem was, over the years (and before we owned the house) the garden had become a mismatch of areas, with a cracked old patio with weeds poking through, a concreted corner and a gravelled area where a vegetable patch used to be which had since been taken over by weeds.

Before---Gravel-area---Beak-Up-Crafts Stepping-stones-in-the-back-garden---Beak-Up-Crafts

It seemed like an insurmountable task. No way were we qualified to lay a new patio (or dispose of the old one) and moving the tonnes of gravel ourselves just didn’t bear thinking about. We didn’t have the skill, knowledge, equipment or time. Plus, I know that no matter how hard we tried, it would never look as good as if we got professional landscape gardeners in, and we would probably hate the garden by the end of it if we tried to do it ourselves.


Sometimes you’ve just got to know your limits and call in someone who knows what they’re doing! We chose Landmark Yorkshire and after a visit to talk about what we wanted, a sketch of ideas and a quote, we were all systems go.

It took quite an outlay to transform the garden but we couldn’t be happier now it’s done. We actually want to spend time out there and it’s actually nice to look at through our French doors for the first time ever!

Purple-Clematis---Beak-Up-Crafts Mini-lemon-tree---Beak-Up-Crafts

We’re so pleased with it and next year we’re hoping to add a summer house or more seating to the bottom of the garden too as that gets the sun for most of the day. I hope you like these before and after photos – I still can’t quite believe the difference and I’m glad I took some pictures before the work to remind me just how awful it was!

Before---Weeds-on-the-old-patio---Beak-Up-Crafts Edging-and-plum-slate-border---Beak-Up-Crafts

After the landscapers had wielded their green-fingered magic, Wayne and I painted some of the fences ourselves using Sadolin wood stain and re-painted our outside walls using Sandtex masonry paint in Cornish Cream. I really love the colour of the natural wood stain and the bright but soft colour of the masonry paint. I think this newly-painted corner especially adds a nice separate area to our garden.

  • Before---Corner---Beak-Up-Crafts

Painting the old breeze block wall was a bit tough as it took a lot of paint to cover it and it took two coats due to its rough texture, but the brick wall was so easy and the paint didn’t drip at all. The breezeblock wall took more than a 10l tub on its own because of its surface but that’s no reflection on the paint which was smooth and just the right consistency. With a second mega pot of Cornish Cream paint we had enough to finish that wall off, paint the other outside wall and the inside of the outhouse too, which was a nice bonus.

Fingers crossed now that we have a really sunny September so we can make the most of our new garden! Are you planning a garden makeover, big or small?

Lots of green-fingered love,





Disclaimer: We paid for the garden to be landscaped ourselves but the Sadolin and Sandex products were gifted to me for review purposes.

{Crochet} Baby Fair Isle Cardigan + Sew Crafty Sewing Journal


Today is a double whammy review as I’ve been test driving a crochet pattern to make this fair isle-inspired baby cardigan and jotting down my thoughts in my brand new Sew Crafty Sewing Journal.

Yes, I said sewing journal and I’ve used it for crochet. Ah well, sewing really isn’t my strong point (yep, still got the fear of the sewing machine) but when the lovely Sammy from Sew Crafty gifted me one of her limited edition sewing journals, I saw the potential straight away to record things about my crochet projects.


After finishing my lion and monkey baby rattles I wanted another project to get my teeth into and I decided to have a go at making my first ever item of crochet clothing. Well, that’s actually a bit of a fib as I made a jumper for a toy bear years ago, but I’ve never made something that will be worn by an actual person.


I chose the Sweet Yolk Baby and Toddler Cardigan by Clare Collier on Ravelry as it has the kind of look I was going for and had a professional finish.

I thought this would be the perfect project to use my new sewing, er, crochet, journal too – double win.

I enjoyed following the pattern and didn’t find it complicated at all. I did leave out the basket weave section at the bottom and on the bottom end of the sleeves because I *think* I miscounted the rows and it was looking quite long in the body already. That’s no reflection on the pattern, though, just my rubbish counting skills.


The idea behind the Sew Crafty Journal is to record your projects and make notes on things you changed/would do differently next time. I love how I could use it for crochet  but I can see it would be really useful for sewing and knitting too.

Sweet-Yolk-Cardigan-and-sew-crafty-journal---Beak-Up-Crafts Sew-Crafty-Journal-notes-page---Beak-Up-Crafts

As you can see from my photo above, I added an extra row of half triple crochet stitches on the button row as I felt this made the 0-3 months cardigan look a bit more the right size. This could be to do with my tension being too tight but the overall look of the cardigan was good even thought I slightly adapted the pattern.

In case you’re wondering, I used Stylecraft Summer Breeze DK wool in Marmalade and Stylecraft Special DK in Cream and Silver for this cardigan.

As for the journal, you can pick one up from September 1 from Sew Crafty for £12.95 + P&P. There are three different cover designs (all limited edition) and you can see them all here.


I’d love to know your thoughts on crocheting clothes for babies, especially if you have any recommendations for wool/yarn or patterns. Also, would you use a sewing/crochet/knitting journal to record the things you make?

Lots of journal love,


Styling the Seasons ~ August


This month I decided not to style a surface as such but chose to share a spot in our home which has taken on a whole new meaning for me in the past few days.

These photos are of our landing windowsill where we have a print that was gifted to us on our wedding day along with a photo of Wayne and I on one of our happiest days. I love this small nook of our house as it’s just the two of us and happy times.


As my due date approaches – and maybe this is pretty obvious – I’ve realised that in two short months (or maybe even less!) it will never be just the two of us ever again. There’s going to be a third mini penguin in the picture and everything is going to change.

The thought of family can mean different things to different people, and after things that have happened to us in the past few years, Wayne and I starting our own little family feels both amazing but overwhelming at the same time.

As the months of my pregnancy have ticked by and as we get the house ready for our new arrival, I’ve seen a whole other side of Wayne and just how caring and loving he is. I mean, he was both of those things already but it feels different – better – like our relationship has been taken to a whole new level. I know he’s going to be a brilliant dad and it makes me emotional to think of Wayne and I as someone’s parents. I know we are going to love our son more than anything in the world but it still seems too big to comprehend that there really is a new little person growing away in my belly and he will be here soon.

So yes, this windowsill might have looked like this for some time but this month it signifies how everything is changing. I’m nervous and excited and can’t wait!

Lots of August love,



{Crochet} Free Lion and Monkey Baby Rattle Pattern


After finishing my crochet baby blanket and enjoying making it so much (and then making another one for baby’s pram!) I was itching to get another project on my hook and use the stash of wool I had left.

On a shopping trip with Wayne’s mum I loved some soft plushie baby rattles that we saw and I figured I could have a go at making some myself, crochet style.

So here they are! I ordered a pack of five rattle inserts from everyone’s favourite auction site, which meant the chances of me stopping after making just one rattle were pretty slim. Plus, as a self-confessed fan of amigurumi, making rattles was a nice excuse to go down that route AND have a practical purpose at the end of it all.

I’ve written up the free patterns which you can get below. All I ask is that you don’t republish the patterns on your site and instead provide a link back to this post. Thanks!

What You Need:

Lion Rattle:



A – Saffron (Head and ears)
B – Apricot (Mane and snout)
C – Charcoal (Nose and mouth)
D – Aster (stripe)
E – Cloud Blue (alternative stripe)

Abbreviations (UK crochet terms used throughout)

ch = chain
dc = double crochet
dec = double crochet 2 stitches in front loops together
inc = double crochet 2 stitches in same sc
sl st = slip stitch
st(s) = stitch(es)
tog = together

Head (Worked in rounds, so it’s recommended to use a stitch counter!)

Using A:

Rd 1: 6dc in magic ring (6)

Rd 2: 6inc (12)

Rd 3: Dc, inc (18)

Rd 4: 2dc, inc (24)

Rd 5: 3dc, inc (30)

Rd 6-12: Dc around (30)

Insert the safety eyes.

Rd 13 3dc, dec (24)

Rd 14 2dc, dec (18)

Rd 15 Dc, dec (12)

Sl st and fasten off, leaving long tail.

Ears (Make two)

Using A:

Rd 1: 6dc in magic ring (6)

Rd 2: 6inc (12)

Rd 3: Dc, inc (18). Sl st and fasten off leaving long tail.


Using B:

Rd 1: 6dc in magic ring (6)

Rd 2: 6 inc (12).

Sl st 1 and fasten off, leaving long tail for stitching to the head. Attach to head.


Using C and a darning needle.

Stitch the nose and mouth and fasten off inside the head


Using B:

Ch 45 (or however is long enough to go around the head, not covering the hole).

Rd 1 Sc around (45)

Rd 2 *Dc, 3ch, dc in 2nd ch and 3rd ch, 2dc*. Continue until end.

Fasten off and leave a long tail. Place the mane around the head and attach using the tail of the yarn.

Once the mane is attached, position and attach the ears in front of the mane.


Using D:

Rd 1: 6dc in magic ring (6)

Rd 2: 6inc (12)

Rd 3: Dc, inc (18)

Rd 4: 2dc, inc (24)

Fasten off and change to yarn E.

Rd5-9: Dc around (24).

Fasten off and change to yarn D.

Rd 10: Dc around (24).

Rd 11: 2dc, dec (18).

Rd 12: 3dc, dec (15).

Rd 13-14: Dc around (15).

Fasten off and change to yarn E.

Rd 15-19: Dc around (15).

Fasten off and change to yarn D.

Rd 20-25: Dc around (15).

Fasten off and leave a long tail to attach to the head.


I advise you line the inside of the rattle (both head and handle) with fabric and then stuff that. Although working with tight stitches, as the rattle is for a baby it will help to ensure that no stuffing comes out in between the stitches.

I just cut a circle of fabric for the head, pushed it inside (but left the edges peeking out) then added the stuffing and rattle insert before stitching the fabric closed. For the handle, I stitched a simple rectangle then turned it inside out before stuffing it and putting it inside the crochet and sewing it closed, as shown in the pictures below.

Stuffing the lion with the fabric filling - Beak Up Crafts

Once the head and the handle are firmly stuffed, sew them together.

That’s it, you’re done!

Monkey Rattle:



A – Wisteria (Head)
B – Sherbert (Snout and ears)
C – Charcoal (mouth)
D – Bright green (stripe)
E – Spring green (alternative stripe)


Using A, follow the head pattern for the Lion.


Using B, follow the snout pattern for the Lion.


Using a darning needle, stitch a smile onto the snout.

Ears (Make two):

Using B, follow the ears pattern for the Lion.


Using D and E, follow the handle pattern for the Lion.
Note: for Rds 1-4, I used both D and E together.


Complete in the same way for the Lion rattle, lining with fabric to avoid the fibrefill stuffing coming through any holes.

Once stuffed, sew the handle to the monkey’s head.

That’s it, you’re done!


I would love to see your baby rattles if you make any from my patterns. Have you made any toys for your little ones? I’d love to know and might have a go at making some other things myself!

Lots of shake, rattle and roll love,


Rob Ryan: Listen to the World Exhibition ~ Yorkshire Sculpture Park


On Saturday I took a trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park with some of my friends to see an exhibition by artist Rob Ryan.

Rob Ryan is famous for his quirky and beautiful papercuts and having never seen any of his work in real life before, I was keen to check out the exhibition while it was in Yorkshire.

Rob-Ryan-Listen-to-the-World-at-YSP---Beak-Up-Crafts Rob-Ryan-Wallpaper---Beak-Up-Crafts

The sculpture park (which is just south of Wakefield) is well worth a visit on its own too. It covers a huge area and is filled with work by Henry Moore and has some gorgeous walks and views across the moors.


One of the things I love the most about Rob Ryan’s papercuts is the words he uses and the unique font he has developed in his work. Quite often when we read what was written in the papercuts, we couldn’t help but going ‘Aw’ as so many have really lovely sentiments.


The Rob Ryan: Listen to the World exhibition is upstairs in the main centre at YSP but I’ve got to admit it was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. Most of the papercuts are displayed in a long, thin corridor, which made it a bit tricky to look at them for any length of time as there was always someone trying to squeeze past!

Rob-Ryan-pictures---Beak-Up-Crafts Listen-to-the-World---Rob-Ryan---Beak-Up-Crafts Rob-Ryan-four-papercuts---Beak-Up-Crafts

There wasn’t quite s many papercuts as I had expected to see either, although I guess that’s because each one takes so long to do! Saying that, some of the works on display were screen prints rather than original papercuts and all were available to buy. Prices ranged from £120 for an unframed signed and numbered print to an eye-watering £20,400 for There is Only Time. Anyone want to buy me a present? Anyone?

Rob-Ryan-four-papercuts---Beak-Up-Crafts Rob-Ryan-walking-papercut---Beak-Up-Crafts

My favourite original papercut on display was this one:


There were also some lovely things to buy in the shop afterwards. I bought a card which I think I might frame.

Rob-Ryan-Tiles---Beak-Up-Crafts Rob-Ryan-Listen-to-the-World-decorations---Beak-Up-Crafts Rob-Ryan-goodies---Beak-Up-Crafts


If you’re a Rob Ryan fan then this exhibition is worth a visit but I would advise you to try and team it with a nice day and a picnic so you can make the most of Yorkshire Sculpture Park while you’re there. There are quite a lot of sheep knocking around in case that kind of thing freaks you out, but they all seemed to keep themselves to themselves and didn’t appear to be on the hunt for quiche.

Are you a fan of Rob Ryan? If so then this exhibition is on until November 1 2015.

Lots of papercutting love,



My Nine Favourite Creative Instagram Accounts


Instagram continues to be my favourite social network by a long way and in my opinion it just keeps on getting better and better.

Recently I’ve found some fantastic new accounts which are both inspiring and beautiful to look at. I thought I’d share them in case you’re in the market for pepping up your Instagram feed. Also, you can find me here if you’d like to take a gander at my gallery *waves!*



Sketchinc is fun by Becky Kemp, who is an illustrator and creates beautifully handpainted Kokeshi dolls. I love her use of colour and the styling that goes into each of her photos, and her Kokeshi dolls are absolutely amazing.



Ilovenoodoll’s feed is packed with fun and quirky design for big and little ones. I love all of the toys – I’m sure I must be able to use bump as an excuse to get some in preparation



Rhiannon is an event planner, stylist and floral designer and also a mum-to-be. Her feed is so pretty and full of beautiful blooms and lustworthy decor ideas.




We Make Collective is the brainchild of the lovely Fran from Fall For DIY and aims to bring together makers and people who want to try out their creative streak. She’s just launched a Kickstarter to raise money for a new monthly subscription box. It sounds fab so go and check it out!




If like me you love beautiful modern calligraphy and typography then this is the account for you. Laura creates stunning lettering and really inspires me to have a go myself (although I know it would take years of practice to become halfway as good!)




Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, nectar and stone is the account for you. Delicious desserts and treats, each one more beautiful than the last.




Lots of lovely nursery and children’s bedroom ideas and inspiration here. Step away from your credit cards!




Jessica is a brand stylist in Los Angeles and her feed is bursting with colour, which I love. From palm trees to typography (main image) her gallery always brightens up my phone.


ingrid petrie design


Last but by no means least is Ingrid Petrie Design, with an Instagram gallery packed with cool art prints for children. This one is my absolute fave.

Do you have any favourite Instagram accounts you would like to share? I’m always after new ones to follow!

Lots of IG love,


{DIY} Little Star Pennant


I can’t quite believe that the third trimester of my pregnancy has caught up with me. I guess it means that pretty soon things are going to GET REAL (but I’m not thinking about the painful bit yet!).

Instead, I’m back with a pretty quick and easy DIY to make this Little Star pennant which I think would make a cute addition to a nursery or child’s bedroom.


What You Need:


  • Twine or string
  • Felt (a big piece for the main background colour and different colour for the letters)
  • Embroidery thread (in colours to match your felt or contrasting colours if you’re feeling jazzy) and needle
  • Glue
  • A short piece of wooden dowling
  • This downloadable template for your text
  • A small bit of fibrefill stuffing

How to Make it:

  1. Download the template and cut out the letters.
  2. Trace around these on the back of your felt and cut them out. I chose to use different colours of felt for the letters but you can go for all of the same or match them to your colour scheme if you wish.
  3. Cut out the pennant shape. I made a template by folding a piece of paper as shown below.
  4. Lay your letters onto the pennant and glue into place. Don’t forget to leave a big enough gap at the top to allow folding of the top of the pennant over the wooden dowel.
  5. Let the glue dry then blanket stitch around the edge of your pennant.
  6. Put some glue along your wooden dowel and fold the pennant over the top. Stick it down and allow to dry.
    Glue-pennant---Beak-Up-Crafts Glue-to-back-of-the-pennant---Beak-Up-Crafts
  7. While this is drying you can make the little plushie stars to hang on each end. For each star, cut out two pieces of felt using the star template. Blanket stitch these together then stuff firmly with fibrefill stuffing.
  8. Measure the twine by placing it over the pennant and adding a couple of inches on each end (for wrapping around the dowel).
  9. Cut a length of twine and tie a knot in one end. Attach one stars by threading through the twine using a darning needle.
    Attach-the-felt-stars-to-the-twine---Beak-Up-CraftsAt the other end tie a knot to keep he next star in place and thread it through. Slide the final star onto the twine and tie a knot in the end of the twine.
  10. Add a bit of glue to the back of the wooden dowel. Wrap the twine around so the felt stars hang on either side and there is room for hanging.
    Back of pennant - Beak Up Crafts

That’s it, you’re done! Now hang and display your new pennant with pride!

Little-Star-nursery-pennant---Beak-Up-Crafts Felt-star-detail---Beak-Up-Crafts Little-Star-Pennant-hung-on-door---Beak-Up-Crafts

If you fancy something a bit different you can always cut out and stitch different words to your pennant, or even personalise it with your baby or child’s name. I hope you like it and I would love to hear what you think of this DIY!

Lots of starry love,


My Favourite Baby Buys


Raa T-Shirt: Marks and Spencer

Aside from the brilliant and comforting feeling of our baby Riverdancing in my belly while I try to drop off to sleep (pretty much every night!), the thing I’ve been enjoying the most about his upcoming arrival is all of the cute bits and pieces we’ve been picking up for him.

I have been really excited seeing his nursery coming together but it’s the cute outfits that really get me giddy. Soon our baby will be wearing these things and everything is SO CUTE in miniature.

Therefore I wanted to share some of my favourite clothes that we’ve bought/been bought for baby. Some of the clothes are in bigger than newborn sizes as we snapped them up in the sale for next summer but I’m sticking with the line that it’s saving us money down the line. Plus we couldn’t resist!

We’ve bought a lot of white vests and sleep suits for the early days but here’s some of my favourite fun outfits:


Lion all-in-one: Tesco


Stripey romper: ASDA


Hippo and stars: Tesco


Trainers: Nike Outlet

Tesco-Whale-trousers---Beak-Up-CraftsSeaside leggings: Tesco


Penguin romper: H&M; Stars vest: Tesco


Mr Men tops: ALDI (via eBay)


Jungle animals sleep suit: ASDA

We’ve got about two-and-a-half months until baby’s official due date and from now until then we just need to get a few practical things. It’s all starting to feel very real!

If you’ve got any top tips of things you found invaluable when you had a baby I would love to hear about them please, so feel free to drop me a line in the comments as I’m sure there will be some things we’ve missed or not thought about!

Lots of baby love,