The book launch for The Homemade Home for Children at Liberty was a very special day for me and thank you to all who joined me to make it that way. I know there were friends who would have loved to have been there but just couldn’t make it on the day, so I thought I would show you the details that helped to make my corner of Liberty so cosy, so you too can join in and feel as if you were there.
I had two dusky green coloured trestle tables pushed together to create a making area on one side of the atrium on the 3rd floor, by the entrance to the Little Liberty children’s wear department. I brought some of the actual projects from the book along with some items I had made especially for the launch. The Floral Wall Hanging project from the front cover of the book was hung above an original fireplace – the perfect place for it – and on the mantlepiece I added the Bowl of Goldfish Mobile project, one of the dolls I made for the Vintage-style Doll project, a variation of the Graphic Boxes project and also the Butterfly Table Lamp project. I made the flower pots especially for the event too.
Above the trestle tables I hung an adaptation of the Enchanted Branch project. I made a much larger version especially to hang over the tables using more leaves cut from Liberty print fabric.
In the centre of the tables was a pile of vintage books – props from the Liberty prop cupboard. Plant pots were balanced on top , a bird cage and vintage patterned china acted as vessels for the fabric and materials I had prepared for guests to make with.
I wanted my guests to be able to join in and make something from the book so that they would have a little gift to take home with them.
The Flower Hair Band project seemed an obvious choice as it could also be made into a brooch too. I spent the week before the launch preparing, cutting out the circles (100 in total) that the base of the flower is made from, leaf shapes, flowers for the centres and fabric strips, to save time for my guests. All were a little mismatched but Liberty fabric is perfect for this, it works brilliantly with different patterns jumbled together. So my guests just had to decide which patterns they liked. The results were really lovely and I hope people were happy with their little fabric flowers. You can see some the broochs here. If you would like to have a go at making one you can follow the Liberty video that we made.
Another simple project was the Wishing Board project. Guests could make a wish by drawing on a card tag and hanging it on the wishing board. I cut up thin strips of Liberty fabric and had a pile of labels and Muji fibre tip pens with little bits of washi tape wrapped around them. One such tape was a much-loved Merci for Liberty tape. Once the wish had been drawn the tie was threaded through and the drawn wish could be taken home or added to the wish board.
I loved that everyone got creative with these and started stitching on them and really making them personal. The full illustrated instructions for each of the projects can be found in the book which is available through CICO Books and at Amazon.
The idea behind the wishing board is that it isn’t material things children should wish for, not Playstations or Barbie dolls, but things that can make you happy; a bunch of flowers, a holiday, a pony, even a rocket to the moon. As one of the gorgeous girls who modelled in the book, and came along with her mum, said on her tag “I wish I had a Hamster”. So sweet. I think I had the same wish when I was eight.
I hope all your wishes come true. x
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 18 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
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