Friday, 28 June 2013

June Paperchase Haul

I really LOVE Paperchase! What I love even more, is their sales! If you're not from the UK or are not a stationary addict then you may not have heard of the shop before but it's full of top quality craft supplies, amazing stationary and cute gifts. So today I received a little parcel through the post full of goodies which I want to share with you! (Better still they were all in the sale!)

 Was £4.00   Now £2.00

 The first thing I got was a really nice writing set containing 20 A5 sheets and 10 lilac envelopes. I've needed some nice writing paper for ages now so this is perfect. As you can see it's got this really nice fan and floral print in purple, lilac and black and the writing side is a faded version of this pattern. So now I need a penpal....

Was £2.75  Now £1.35

I go through phases of things quite a lot and when I like something, I tend to buy quite a lot of them! So at the minute I'm really interested in printing (DIY Tutorial coming up soon on how to make your own stamps!) and I saw this and loved it. It's just a really simple 'ampersand' which I will most likely use to embellish scrapbook pages and gift tags etc.
Was £1.00 Now 70p

Who doesn't love stickers? There's a whole 'Cloud' range which is all 30% off at the moment so if you like these patterns, have a look as they have everything in this sort of pattern. I just think they're really cute and fun and will look great decorating envelopes and scrapbook pages.
 Was £3.00 Now £1.50

If washi tape is on sale then I obviously am going to buy it. The one I orinigally wanted sold out but this was my second favourite so i got it anyway. Is it strange that I saw it and thought about how I'm going to wrap this years Christmas presents? anyway, It's a little bit thicker than any of the other washi tapes I've got from ebay so I'm looking forward to seeing how it works in scrapbooking and when wrapping presents.

So in total I spent £5.55 which I think is a bargain! They Ship internationally so you don't have to miss out on the wonders of Paperchase. Let me know your favourite Paperchase items!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Whats on my bookshelf?

Like all things that I do, I like to make informed decisions and do some research before I do it. So blogging was no different. I had tried it before on Wordpress and although marginally successful, it was more of a 'uni blog to get me points' rather than a blog that I was really passionate about. So before I embarked on a potentially ill-informed quest to make a good blog, I needed a book.
I ordered Blog Inc by Joy Deangdeelert Cho after trawling amazon for accessible, yet knowledgeable books on blogging. The book had rave reviews (and I'm not going to lie I liked the look of it. I'm more likely to buy a book if the aesthetic is nice) so I bought it and when it arrived almost read it cover to cover in one sitting. 

It's a book of many sections, taking you from the conception of your blog idea, through to starting it, developing your ideas and expanding your audience. Cho has been blogging since 2005 when she started her blog Oh Joy! to document a new chapter in her life. Although it initially started out as a personal blog for friends and family to keep track of what she was doing, it rapidly turned into a design-focused site, attracting people who were interested in the projects she was doing.  So who better to write a book about blogging other than a highly successful blogger herself?

What I like about it the most, despite the nice quality paper and rounded page corners, is that her writing isn't pretentious or bragging in any way. It's not a book about how successful she is, it's her sharing her tips and stories on how we can be successful in blogging too. It's also really easy to understand and doesn't need a computer jargon dictionary to go with it.

So if you're thinking of starting a blog, already blogging but you want to improve or are a fan of everything Cho does this book is a must! 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Week in Pictures

  1. Where there's tea there's hope
2. Crafternoon - Tutorial for handmade stationary coming very soon!
3. Crafternoon - Making Rubber stamps - Tutorial coming soon!
4. Love this Washi tape that says 'handmade with love'
5. Mixtape Preperation for next weeks roadtrip
6. I can never decide on what to pack let alone what to wear.
7. This weeks DIY Tutorial - New home decoration (find it in the post below!)

Friday, 21 June 2013

DIY Tutorial: New Home Decoration

Ok so I'm a little bit delayed on doing this project (We moved into our new place in March!) but Finally, I have had time to sit down and make my little momento of our first flat together. I got this idea from Pinterest  and managed to trace the original source back to In the Little Yellow House whose is far neater than mine! None the less, I'm going to show you how I made mine.

(The paper above is part of an Amy Tangerine scrapbook set I got from TK Max. So many nice papers for just £7.99!)

Things you will need:

1. Greaseproof baking paper and an oven tray
2. Sculpey Oven bake clay (I got mine from ebay for £1.75)
3. Your new front door key
4. Cocktail sticks
5. Scalpel

 Preparing your shape

1. Cut your clay in half and wrap the half you're not using up in clingfilm so that you can use it for another project.
2. With clean hands, roll the clay between your hands to make a smooth ball.
3. Roll out the circle bit by bit until you get the shape and size you would like.

Making the imprint

Press your key into the clay in the position that you would like it. If there are any logo's on it, I would advise pressing the plain side into the clay so that it gives a cleaner print.

Tip: To make a good print you need to push it in quite far and that means the key is likely to get a bit stuck. Use the tip of your scalpel to ease it out rather than your fingers to avoid prints.


Hanging it up

Like the original I wanted mine to be a hanging ornament so you need make a hole for ribbon or string to go through. This is easily done with a pencil and it's the neatest way of doing it. If you don't want to hang it then miss this step out.



Take one of your cocktail sticks and carefully write the date into the clay. Be careful not to press too hard and drag excess clay up around the edges. As you can see on the close up of mine the edges are slightly raised. I don't mind it like this because I wanted it to look a bit rustic but if you want you can use the cocktail stick to smooth the edges down. Alternatively, you can paint the date on after you've baked it.



Once you are happy with the finished result, carefully put it onto greaseproof paper in the middle of a baking tray and put in the oven. Pre-heat your oven to 275 °F  (or 130 °C) and bake for 30 minutes per 1/4 in  (6 mm) thickness. The packet says 15-30 minutes but mine took the whole 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it throughout. When it's ready, take it out and leave it on a flat surface to cool.

Finishing Touches

To finish it off I found a piece of ribbon in my craft box (remember what I said about keeping ribbon?!) and tied it in a loop with a little bow at the top. It now sits pride of place on our bedroom door as a little reminder or when we moved in together!

You could do these for each house that you live in or as a gift for people who have just moved homes! Play around with shapes and colours and even adding paint!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Week in Pictures

 1. Treated myself to some scrapbook paper and a pantone notebook from TK Max
2. Not wanting to go back to work.
3. Back to Orchestra after being away a while
4. Organising my artist book collection
5. Cute illustration on the back on an Marks and Spencers card
6. Always fun playing with our nieces 
7. My new obsession: Pantone.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Whats on my bookshelf?

 I've had this book for a really long time now; a time that all I knew about Tim Burton was that he made The Nightmare Before Christmas. I think it was a combination of someone recommending it to me and it being the bargain price of £3 that made me grab it one day in HMV. Good job I did as I love it and still read it now!

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories was published in 2004 and is a little navy paperback full of illustrations and bizarre poems. Like most of Burton's work it is well illustrated, off the wall and dark. The title sets the president for the book and however melancholic it may seem, parts are actually quite funny. Characters such as Pin Cushion Queen, Staring Girl and Melon Head are all accompanied by a poem about their often tragic life. Burton does a good job of making you sympathise with these fictional outcasts and the illustrations are both morbid and cute. So if you're a fan of Tim Burton's work, why havn't you got a copy yet?

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Week in Pictures

 1. Being a tourist
2. This is the strongest suncream I have found to date. Seems to be working for me! 
3. Morning ritual on my week off
4. London is one of my favourite places
5. Some friends we made on a walk
6. Happy to be off work in the sunshine
7. The weekend view wasn't bad

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Crafting on a Budget: 5 Free Craft Materials


So you want to start making things, scrapbooking or doing home DIY projects but you are put off by how much it's all going to cost? Well you're not alone! Everyone is on some sort of budget so you need to figure out how much you can afford to spend on this particular project or material and stick to it (It's easy to browse websites and add to the cart - always re-assess before you hit pay!)

Those who have been crafting for a long time will tell you that they have large collections of things that they use the most whether this is paper, washi tape, string etc and they continue to hoard in the event that it may come in useful. Now I'm not suggesting that you become a hoarder but if you're on a budget you need to be resourceful and this means looking at everyday objects in a new way.

So here are 5 completely free things that I have collected in my craft box that can have many uses.

 1. Old Film

If you've owned a film camera you will know that every now and then disaster strikes and the film jams. If you make the decision to take it out and start again you can re-use the film for scrapbooking and gift wrapping. It makes an excellent backdrop layered up with photos in your favourite album or adding detail to a present for an photography enthusiast. 

2. Old playing cards

Again, over time you may lose the odd card and then the deck becomes pretty useless but don't throw them away! Playing cards make great scrapbook cards, gift tags and place settings. Try incorporating the images and suits into what you're using it for. For example, using the picture cards for different guests at the table or using the numbers for the ages of birthdays.

3. Stamps

When I was little my mum and dad never let me throw an envelope away with a stamp still on because charity shops used to collect them. So I lovingly took each one off and put it in a pot and I guess the habit has followed my into adulthood and now I can't throw one away. I would use them mostly for scrapbook embellishments or making a present look like a proper parcel but be imaginative!

4. Shells

Perfect for all of those holiday travel journals, photo albums or scrapbooks, shells bring a little piece of your destination home with you. These tiny ones are from a holiday in wales a few year ago and I had a nostalgic moment of searching for the prettiest shells. I also find that old film boxes are perfect for storing little gems like this and keeping your craft box neat and organised.

Note: Please make sure you are allowed to take a couple of shells from the beach as some don't allow it anymore!

5. Ribbon

I don't remember the last time I bought ribbon! I have very creative friends who know how much I love gift wrapping so pretty much every present I receive usually have some sort of bow and frills on it. I see people scooping it up with the paper and throwing it away all of the time and then going and buying more ribbon to wrap someone else's present in! If you can pull it off intact, find a new use for it!

I'd love to know what your crafting tips are for when you're on a budget or free materials you use and collect!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Week in Pictures

1. Gerberas from my cousin.
2. Bringing back Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 from 2002
3. Outfit Dilemma
4. Bank Holiday day out
5. Boughton House
6. New regular Blog feature! Whats on my bookshelf?
7. Exciting parcel of amazing maps rescued by my Brother whose uni was about to throw them out.