My adventure in Bolivia


Despite travelling most of my life, one of the most undiscovered continents for me is South America, and I was lucky enough to experience the flavours and cultures on a recent trip to Bolivia



The trip from the UK was a long one, taking over 24 hours and 4 flights via Dallas, Miami and La Paz to reach our destination. I was amazed at the steep and sprawling capital of La Paz, clinging on to the hillside as we flew our last leg, and followed the mountain glaciers and snow capped mountains all the way.



Cochabamba was our base for the trip to meet the future in laws.  Known as ‘The city of eternal spring’,  The streets were filled with colourful and rustic buildings.



We spent many lazy days people watching, catching truffies (shared taxis), shopping at local markets and enjoying a beer at sunset.

I really enjoyed a visit to the Simon Patino Museum, which was once home to a tin baron and was furnished with ornamental doors, statues, and rich Italian furniture.



Inside the museum was an exhibition by textile designer Sandra Deberduccy I loved the rainbow of colours with a Bolivian influence.  Yarns were displayed around tubes and looked very effective (I was in heaven)



Our next port of call was the first capital of Bolivia, Sucre, which was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century where white washed colonial buildings are scattered in a valley.



We based ourselves in a lovely hideaway called the Hostel du Merced A true gem where we could come back after a long day and enjoy the sunset on the terrace.



Whilst in Sucre we took a trip to see a large collection of dinosaur prints and explored the surrounding area enjoying mountain treks and plunging in the natural waterfalls


Our next base was the sprawling metropolis of La Paz.  From here we took a 7 hour round trip journey by local bus and a boat ferry across to Copocabana.  A long and exhausting day close to the border of Peru, but one I won’t forget.



The small square was crammed with taxis being blessed with flowers and ribbons, and is host to a 16th century shrine and basilica.  Although very touristy, this was a good hub to tour Lake Titicaca which is a mountain lake in the Andes on the border of Bolivia and Peru (and often called the highest navigable lake in the world at 12,500ft) We visited a nearby sacred Inca island called Isla del Sol with ruins, lamas and a scattering of market stalls.



Our last day was spent seeing the ruins in the ancient pre Columbian city of Tiwanaku 70kms west of La Paz close to the shore of Lake Titicaca.



A Unesco world heritage site, it houses many weird and wonderful Inca ruins dating back to 900AD and includes temples, symbolic gates and mysterious carvings of strange faces.



I loved my journey through Bolivia and certainly can’t wait to explore neighbouring Chile and Peru.  My preconception nerves about travelling in South America surviving the high altitude, drug barons and kidnappings were soon dissolved.



This country was full of culture, vintage VW Beetles history and smiles.  If you’re looking for adventure this is the place to go.






Categories: Inspiration, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Making a Ribbon Lampshade

Being a ribbon designer, I am always dreaming up different ways of how to use this versatile product, and love nothing more than picking up some old junk and transforming it….with the help of ribbon!

I’ve put together this little tutorial to make this pretty pastel lampshade.  You can either leave it plain, or add some fun pom pom trim to accessorise it.



You will need your lampshade, glue and ribbon…I’ve used approximately 12 metres on this small 5″ lampshade (bear in mind you always need more than you think!).  In this project I have used our Peppermint and Pink Stripe Ribbon for the base.


I start off by taking all of the ribbon off the roll and stick the end inside the lampshade with glue. You may also find it helpful to leave a peg on the end for 10 minutes until the glue has dried.



You are then going to start threading the long ribbon around the base of the shade.  Make sure there is sufficient tension but don’t be too heavy handed.



Continue all the way round the shade, ensuring it doesn’t twist as you go along.  This does take some time so try and be patient!



When you have covered the whole of the shade, cut the ribbon and add a small amount of glue on the end, then pop a peg on it for 15 minutes.  You may have to do this several times if a multiple rolls of ribbon are involved.



You now have a classic looking lampshade which can easily be accessorised with brooches, feathers, buttons or trim.  For this project I going to add approx 50cm of pom pom trim to go around the base.



Add the trim with small amounts of glue, ensuring it is fairly straight around the base.  You can also add the trim to the top of the lampshade if you prefer.


Here’s the finished lampshade which will look fantastic in any room (including a children’s bedroom). You could do several in different colour ribbons and add them on to a chandelier… a favourite vintage look of mine.



In this project, I have used some Navy and Cream Stripe Ribbon which looks very nautical and fresh.  You can also add a zig zag of ribbon on the base as an alternative.  A small lampshade will take around 40-60 minutes to make including drying time, and is a wonderful addition to a home.

Here’s a handy little recap if you need some help on the way…………….Happy Crafting folks!…






Categories: Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Spring, Summer, Tips + Techniques | Tags: , , ,

Wedding Decorating Ideas

I have always loved beautiful presentation whether a shop window, dinner table or displays at a local farmers market or craft fair.  I especially love all of the effort and small touches that go in to a wedding and even ran my own wedding courses several years ago after styling many weddings and parties for friends.

We all love nothing more than a good wedding.  Lots of fun, laughter, new people to meet and a day full of beautiful dresses, hats, delicious food and wine in stunning surroundings with lots of additional touches, the cake, favours, gift table, flowers…the list goes on…



Recently I did the WedCraft event at Lincolnshire Showground and ran through several ideas in my decorating seminars and covered everything from DIY projects, table plans, bunting and even dressing the very important toilets!



Vintage milk bottles are wonderful for a few stem of flowers tied with raffia or pretty ribbons.  They can also be used for sweets and cocktails if you want the vintage twist.



They can also hold paper straws for children which always go down a storm.  I’ve also tied on a brown tag with some contrasting ribbon.


There are always plenty of flowers at weddings and I love to use the left over ones.  A small jug of flowers can be placed on the present table, on the bar or with a basket of toiletries in the loos.

Ribbons is a great versatile item to use. It can tie wedding favours, place settings and tags and can also make cutlery look really special.  Here I’ve tied some cutlery and placed them on a contrasting blue napkin. You can also pop a single flower or ivy leave in too to give it an extra dimension.

I love to incorporate lace too.  The romantic element can be introduced in to wedding stationery, place settings, ring cushions and flower arrangements.


I particularly love to tie in scented foliage and fresh flowers.  If you are trying to prepare before hand you can use dried lavender as an alternative.



I love it tied in to gifts too, and here I’ve used our Lavender stitched grosgrain ribbon to highlight the theme.



Dried rosebuds are a fantastic medium to use.  The can be scattered on tables, placed in shot glasses or a large vase and can easily be glued on to favour boxes and tags.


If you are wishing to give vouchers or tokens to friends and relatives who have helped on the big day, place the item in a pretty envelope and tie on an artificial rose.  This is also a lovely idea for favours too.



I love this heart shaped candy, and these too can be scattered on tables as a decoration, placed in glasses as a feature or glued on to labels and favour boxes.


As a kid I loved ‘Love Hearts’ (and still do!).  These can be used as an alternative to heart shaped candy and rosebuds and make a fun and nostalgic decoration.


Paper flowers are extremely useful for wedding styling.  I have glued them on to a photo frame for a table plan, as well as use them on favour boxes and place settings. You will usually find these in a good bakery or sugar craft shop.



They are a great embellishment if you are wrapping wedding gifts.  On this project I have wrapped a luxurious body scrub for a bride to take away on a Caribbean honeymoon.


Washi tape is a real must for decorating and you can add it to anything from photo frames, furniture, wrapping paper and tags.


Whatever the style of your big day, the one thing I always remember along from the great company, gourmet food and stunning venues are the small touches.  Photographers are always quick to pick this up too and for many more tips and ideas, check out my wedding board on Pinterest.


Having just got engaged myself, I will be putting lots of ideas together for my forthcoming wedding in September, and will keep you posted on developments!











Categories: Projects & Demos, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tags: , ,