June’s Inspiration Challenge update ~ and the new theme for July

Last month we all worked hard on our pieces of art inspired by the theme of beach huts. I’ve enjoyed seeing all the progress tweets and couldn’t wait for all the contributions to come rolling into my inbox!

inspiration challenge for june beach huts

Founder of the Inspiration Challenge Lucy from Lucy Loves Ya blog sent in her sewing project; a fabulous beach bag for carrying bits n bobs – towel, suncream etc – to the seaside and I desperately want to copy this design for myself this summer! I especially love the bright colours and bobbly trim around the top!

inspiration challenge beach hut bag by Lucy Loves Ya blog

One of my favourite writers Amanda Addison,  author of the must-read novel Laura’s Handmade Life has very kindly contributed a wonderful piece of prose for the Inspiration Challenge, taking beach huts as the starting point for a new story:

Samantha hangs up her wetsuit. The wind’s getting up and whistles in through the gaps in the wooden walls. Impatient and still breathing heavily from her swim, she turns her head and drips water from her sandy coloured hair onto the patchwork, forcing her to grab the beach towel and rub her hair dry before she can begin. She moves the fabric around on the little white plastic table and tacks another section of the pale blue cotton – whose former life was a bed sheet – onto the patchwork.

She shivers, throws a fleece on over her jeans and tunic and gets up and lights the Primus stove. Whoever composed the motto a watched kettle never boils must have been making a brew whilst camping, or in a beach hut. She returns to the quilt and is a couple of stitches away from completing another panel when the kettle whistles and she starts.

‘Matty!’ gasps Sam. With one hand she pours water into the mug and with the other she rummages for her phone and keys in a text. He’d be proud of his mother’s skills, both holding the phone and texting with one hand. She clicks send, knowing full well she shouldn’t fuss her son, he’s almost an adult. He is an adult. She wonders what she’s doing sending him reminders to get to work on time. Is she being a hypocrite? She’s usually one of the first to join in the conversation about incapable teenagers, how young they all seemed these days. But like many parents she’s tried to make up for things. To make up for her own youth, her own incapable mother.

Copyright Amanda Addison. I can’t wait to read more and I will share the rest of Amanda’s story in another blog post soon, so watch this space!

Lovely Katy from Etsy shop Ella Betsy Boo has moved away from her upcycled book paper creations and has experimented with fabric to make the beach hut picture below. A great choice of fabrics and I really like the hand-written quote ‘Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside’, which reminds me of beach holidays as a child and the cheeky bird on the roof is a cute touch!

inspiration challenge beach hut picture by katy ella betsy boo blog

Artist Andy Greenacre painted this pretty watercolour of a striped beach hut in the sand dunes. He usually creates ink drawings and photographic artworks but Andy enjoyed trying out a different technique for this month’s Inspiration Challenge, using a delicate pencil outline and watercolour-wash which gives the painting a watery coastal feel. Check out his art blog at

inspiration challenge beach hut watercolour painting by Andy Greenacre

I spent a very enjoyable afternoon at my sewing machine and created this coastal scene cushion. I started by making a ‘picture’ with the beach hut shapes and used this Porto fabric from Abakhan for the lighthouse, before using my sewing machine to outline all of the shapes with white thread. I especially enjoyed making the sea with layers of patchwork fabric and sparkly ribbon trim. I backed the picture with fleece and popped in a squishy cushion 🙂

inspiration challenge for June beach hut cushion by cassiefairy using abakhan porto

I’ve been very impressed with all the pretty ‘makes’ that have resulted from last month’s Inspiration Challenge and I can’t wait to see what you all come up with next month with July’s theme: Maneki Neko.

inspiration challenges for July maneki neko

If you’re a long-term follower of my blog, you’ll know how much I love lucky cats and oriental design, so it’ll come as no surprise that I’ve chosen my collection of lucky animals above as the starting point for July’s Inspiration Challenge. Please join in, tweet me with your progress and send me your projects by email or twitter @CassiefairyTutu by the end of July 2013 – it’s just for fun and a good excuse to get creative over the summer holidays! Plus I’d love someone to send in a starting point suggestion for August too so please email with your ideas for next month’s Challenge. Happy making!

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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