Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Q&A with Tadpegs

 Just a little post to direct you all over to Tadpegs' blog where the lovely Zoe has just featured a Q&A  between us about opening my Etsy shop! So if you fancy learning the ins and outs of why and how I did it, follow the link above or click the picture below! It was my first collaboration with another blogger and I loved it. I am making a new resolution for the year to do more collaborations and meet new bloggers!

Zoe's blog is full of crafts, sewing and recipes. How she has such a vibrant and full blog while looking after 3 little children and having a job as well amazes me. People like this really inspire me!


Sunday, 26 January 2014

DIY Tutorial: Bunting (with no sewing involved!)

It's been a long time since I've done a DIY Tutorial that wasn't Christmas related so what better way to start the new year than by making some birthday bunting for my best friend! This is a great thing to sent to someone who you won't see on their actual birthday because it fits in a card and when they open it they will have a nice surprise!

What you will need:

1. Different coloured card or thick paper
2. Craft Scissors
3. A hole punch
4. Twine
5. Pencil
6. Scalpel
7. Ruler

Time to make: 20 - 30 minutes

Firstly you need to decide what shape your bunting is going to be. I have gone with the traditional triangles but you could keep the paper a rectangle shape to make it easier or go for something tricky like circles or hearts. To make a triangle I measured halfway along one edge and joined the dot to each corner.

Make as many shapes as you need in order to spell out your message. My banner will say 'Happy Birthday' plus one extra flag for a gap in the middle of the words. Lay them all out in front of you and play around with them until you are happy with the order.

I drew my lettering free-hand but there are templates that you could use online if text isn't your expertise. I laid my triangles close together so that I could roughly line them up and make them the same size. It's not an exact science but it worked for me!

Then you need to start cutting! I found it easier to use a scalpel but if you are not used to using these or find it easier to use small scissors then do that!

Once all of your letters are cut, you need to make two holes in the top corners using your hole punch. Once you have done this start threading your twine through. You should be working under and over so will end up with something like the bottom photo.

Tip: Don't cut your twine to a length until you have finished making your banner. You don't want to measure wrong and run out of twine. Instead, start threading your bunting starting with the last letter and then working forward. This will ensure you have enough twine when you get to the beginning of your phrase.

And it's as simple as that! No sewing, no gluing and anyone can do it! Why not try leaving it blank? Or adding a name? Make sure to leave plenty of twine at either end to hang it up. I hope my friend likes it when she opens it on her birthday!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

January Wishlist

1. Cushion - £11.25 - bestlove2u on Etsy
2. Pineapple Lamp - £70 - Urban Outfitters
3. Washi Tape - £9.57 - Roby Ryan on Etsy
4. My Future Listography - £11.99 - Amazon
5. 'Enjoy the little things' plate - £1.99 - H&M
6. Cat print tshirt - £20.00 - Topshop

So it's been a little while since I did a 'wishlist' post so I thought I would do a new year/January one as everyone knows after Christmas you don't have any money to actually go shopping; So this really is a wishlist!

I spotted number 1 (the cushion) while browsing through Etsy and it stood out to me because I had seen this quote (and instagrammed it!) last month when I had just got my new job. This seems to sum up exactly how I have felt for the last month or so, I am finally starting to make the progress I want and it's because all of my effort and hard work is beginning to pay off.  

There are a few other homewear bits like the pineapple lamp which really is quite gaudy but for some reason I love it! I like quite unusual lamps and this one definitely is that! It's really expensive though at £70 so on the other end of the spectrum is the little H&M plate which I think is really cute. I only discovered H&M homewear last year because it's not generally sold in their shops, just online. I love so much of their stuff, if I were to redecorate then H&M would be where I would head for accessories. I also love a good phrase so can't go wrong really can I?

Rob Ryan is always on my wishlist so I don't need to say much else about that! The tshirt is just something I thought was quite cute and casual. I am rubbish at mixing prints so the fact that this tshirt has done it for me would save me the stress of trying to pull off effortless cool.

Last but not least is the book My Future Listography by Lisa Nola which is essentially a blank book with different titles and prompts to get you thinking about a certain topic or aspect of your life. The book then gives you the space to list all of the things you have come up with. So if like me you live your life through lists, why not carry on and get one of these books? There are different versions like Travel Listography or Love Listography which are obviously quite narrow on topics so this one seemed fitting that it was all about your future and what you want to achieve, see and do in life. This is on my wishlist ready to be purchased at the next opportunity!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Craft Haul - January Sales

I got some great bargains in the January Sales - mainly stationary from my favourite place TK Maxx! This is only a little haul with a few items as some of the things I got were presents and have already been sent or wrapped!

How Cute is this book!? I have gone a little bit 'schooly' (I'm not sure that is a word) recently after getting my new job as a teaching assistant and this reminded me of the books that we used to have and how I loved writing in them. Writing your name on a new book was a pretty big deal but the first page...phoar! I loved the neatness, the ruled lines and for some reason the thought of new possibilities. This book however is way prettier and was only £1. That's right, 1 single pound!

You may have started to pick up on my obsessive habit of buying pretty paper pads from TK Maxx. Every time I do it I say, 'Right, this is the last one until I get round to doing some scrapbooking'. And every time I find myself saying 'just one more' because I can't resist the paper! So to my delight this one was a little bit reduced (hurrah for a bargain!) and was only £2.99 rather than £3.99. I know what you're thinking, only a pound off right? Well I need some justification to make me feel better so really I think I had to buy it. Unlike other papers I have which are vintage or pastel colours, this is quite jazzy and bright so I thought it would be a nice mix to have...

This scrapbook is the best bargain of them all at only £3.00. I LOVE scrapbooks and always buy them as and when even though I don't always have a reason to fill one yet. This one is A4 and hardback and I had recently bought a friend one for Christmas at full price and really wanted to keep it so I was pleased to find a similar style one but for half the price. I can't wait to fill it - perhaps it will be a 2014 scrapbook?

Last but not least is this cupcake themed writing set for the lovely price of £2.00. Anyone that knows me knows I love cake. I also needed some new writing paper so my penpals don't get bored of the same old stuff so lucky me found this little set amongst the notebooks. I love writing letters and cards to people, I think everyone should send more mail these days so what better way to do it than on cute paper?

I think it's safe to say that I have a stationary problem. My next problem is where to store all of these jems! How do you store your stationary and craft supplies?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

My Etsy shop is now open!

 I am proud to announce that my Etsy shop is now officially open! Hurrah! If you have visited my blog before or follow me on instagram then you will know that I have been working on a 'mystery project' for quite some time and revealed it was my own online shop back when my blog got a makeover

I have been working really hard these last few months to come up with ideas, research, photograph, plan and make all of the products. Not to mention learning all about Etsy and creating my little shop. I have loved working on it and have really enjoyed the process - especially making tons of things which I'm hoping you will all take a look at. I have made quite a mix of things at the moment to test the water in a few different areas but the map cards and artwork, handmade envelopes and train ticket cards are the main things I hope to develop.

 So now when you click on 'Shop' at the top of my page you will see a screen shot of my Etsy shop, a direct link and a new little icon to the right so it's easy to find. I'm kind like that you see.

I would love to know what you all think of the products and the page. I have received lots of lovely comments from friends and people on social media so feedback is always welcome.

Do any of you have Etsy shops? Leave the links below!


Saturday, 4 January 2014

14 Resolutions for 2014

I haven't made any resolutions for years, mainly because I know that I will never give up biting my nails and there's only so long I can go without chocolate so why make them if you break them!? This year though I thought I would come up with 14 goals, resolutions, tasks whatever you want to call them and try and achieve them this year. They're mostly things that I can physically do rather than trying to change myself so we will see how I get on and I can tick them off as the year goes by!

1. Fill 4 scrapbooks
2. Write more letters
3. Blog more - at least once a week
4. Read at least 6 books (my reading has taken a back seat lately to my computer!)
5. Sell something in my Etsy Shop (Coming soon!)
6. Do a craft fair
7. Worry less - a constant problem of mine that is unhealthy!
8. See more of my friends, at home or around the country
9. Visit somewhere new in England
10. Learn some new recipes from scratch
11. Making something on my new sewing machine
12. Go abroad
13. Host a giveaway
14. Be grateful for what I have. I spent a lot of 2013 looking at other peoples lives and wishing for better things but when I look back, I have a lot to be thankful for and need to put things in perspective more.

What are your New Year Resolutions?

Friday, 3 January 2014

Month in Pictures

So as my first post of 2014 I thought I would introduce some changes to my blog. When I first started my blog back in May I was doing a weekly round up of pictures. I kept up with it for quite a few months but the more I blogged, the more hours I put in at work and the start of work for my shop I started to struggle to keep up with it. So I figured a monthly round up would be more manageable and probably more interesting!

So here is my December in Pictures!

1. Making and photographing products for my shop
2. I put up our first Christmas tree in our flat!
3. I got my first custom paper cut order from a lady at work
4. Visiting Winter Wonderland  in Hyde Park
5. Set myself the challenge of doing '12 Days of Craftsmas' - I managed 11 before illness struck!
6. I got a new job! Hurrah!
7. Christmas day was full of food, family and novelty clothing.
8. Getting ready for 2014 - It's going to be a new year!
9. Ringing in the New Year in London with my love