Thursday, 13 August 2015

Geting your Exam Results - What Happens Next?

Image from

Here in the UK it's A-Level results day, the day that most 17-18 year olds get the piece of paper that will help to decide their future and in a lot of cases, whether they get into University or not. Most results will have been received by now and the news is already reporting a higher pass rate overall but the lowest number of high grades achieved in a long time (they like to put a downer on things don't they?)

You might be wondering why I am doing a post about this. Well, 7 years ago I was the one going to get my results with my friends and I know I did well overall but there was one exam which I was disappointed with. Turns out my whole class didn't do well but that's a different story! I remember how nervous I felt and finality of it all. It was the last time I was ever going to walk through my school gates, see my teachers and see a lot of my peers. Luckily for me I had an unconditional offer to the University of my choice but that never stopped me from revising for weeks on end to make sure I did the best I possibly could in my exams.

I am also going back to University myself in September but more on that later! 

So what happens next?

If you got the results you were expecting then congratulations! I hope that whatever you have chosen to do afterwards is what you really want to do and are looking forward to it. If you didn't get the results you hoped for and this has affected your University place then you need to head over to the UCAS website and go through the 'clearing' process.

Things to remember:

  • Have all of your information to hand
  • Don't panic and pick the first University that will offer you a place
  • Don't panic in general. Some people I know loved the University they ended up at rather than the one they initially picked. 
  • If you haven't already, complete your student finance asap.


Sunday, 9 August 2015

A very Grey wishlist...

Most of the things in my life are very colourful. My wardrobe, my bedding, my it's come as a surprise that the latest colour I'm obsessed with is, Grey.
Images from Pinterest
I'm not talking about the 50 Shades saga (although if you think about it there are lots of lovely shades of grey on offer) No, grey seems to be quite in right now in home decor, accessories and even weddings. I particularly blame Pinterest for this recent obsession, showing me endless chic, relaxing rooms bereft of colour. It's not just me though, check out just a few of my favourite monochrome home items. 

1. Floating frame - ASDA - £7.00
2. Ampersand ornament - ASDA - £10.00
3. Laser Cut print bedspread - Primark - £9.00/£11.00
4. Love you Forever Cushion - TK MAXX - £14.99
5. Coasters - H&M - £1.99
6. Iron wire basket - Wilkinsons - £8.00
7. 3D layered wall art - Debenhams - £22.00 
8. Le Cocktail two seater sofa - Oliver Bonas - £585 

What colour are you loving right now? Le me know! 

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Summer Holidays

Just got back from a week in Spain so I thought I would share a few holiday snaps with you. The main place we stayed in was called Torrenostra, just over an hour from Valencia and not touristy at all! 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Month in Pictures

May was such an amazing month! I can't believe all of the stuff I managed to cram into one month, friends, Disney, nieces and more friends!

1. Vintage caravan dreaming at a country fair
2. Celebrating my favourite Irish's Birthday in Liverpool
3. New Business Cards, Labels and branding for Sally Makes Art on Etsy
4. She may only be 2 1/2 but she loves a selfie!
5. All ready and packed for our Disney adventure
6. The most magical place....Disneyland!
7. A bit of casual sightseeing on a Thursday afternoon
8. First BBQ of the year. Glowing in this picture...Not glowing the next day.
9. Posting pictures of pretty flowers and not wanting to go to work!

I don't have much planned for June so it's going to be a lot calmer. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not?! I love seeing so many of my friends and I'm making the most of it before next year when I am totally swamped with work from my new Uni course. More on that later! 

Goodbye May, you've been amazing!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Disneyland Paris

I've been back just over a week from my trip to Disneyland Paris and I thought I would share some of my photos and best bits with you all. It was so much fun (and very tiring!) but I loved it all. The attention to detail is amazing, everything from the staff who work there to the bins in each area, are themed!

Main street in the Magic Kingdom
The closer you get the more magical it is! Inside it amazing too!
Prettiest ride of them all....

It's a small world.

The parade! So amazing when the characters acknowledged the kids!

Mickey and Minnie <3
All of these photos were from the first day when we went to Disneyland Park. I'm trying to pinpoint my favourite bit and I think it was the Fantasy Land area which has the smaller rides but it's all based on fairy tales and stories such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Jack and the Beanstalk. The decoration everywhere was brilliant! I mentioned at the top of the post about the little details and it really is true.

The one thing I didn't like was that they didn't really have characters walking around. I don't know if I'm getting Paris and Florida mixed up from when I was a child but I seem to remember just being able to walk up to a lot of characters. I think we saw 3 out and about and they couldn't really stop to take pictures with people which some of the kids wanted. As far as I could work out you had to book to see the Mickey and Minnie and the Princesses but people were still queueing too. We couldn't do that with 41 children! My hopes of a picture with Minnie were dashed but that's my only criticism!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Travel guide and wishlist: When in Paris......

I'm off to Paris tomorrow on a school trip and I can't wait! Most of the kids have never been to Paris and many have never been abroad so it's going to be great to experience it with them and show them some sights. I first went to Paris when I was 21 and loved it so I thought I would put together a little guide of things that you MUST have which will make any trip easier! 

1. A travel guide and map
So, I was quite naive when I first went to Paris and thought the instructions to find the hotel were simple when it said on their website 'go straight out of the station door, turn left and follow the road'. What I didn't realise was that there were 5 exits at the train station and many crossroads in the area! A map is essential to have in your pocket and helps you plan what you want to see while you're there. The guides also have lots of tips and things you can easily miss otherwise.

2.  Travel Document Wallet
When I travel, I need to know that all of my important documents are there. There's nothing worse that getting to customs or needing your ticket and you have to root around in your huge bag to find the tiny bit of paper. A travel document wallet usually has little sections for your passport, currency, tickets and booking confirmations. They are like large purses and are easy to spot so you can keep everything organised. Perfect!

3. A good bag
You need a good sturdy bag for travelling. Firstly, to put all of your things in while you travel to your destination. Secondly, while you're there you have your map, various cameras, bottle of water etc and you need it to hold all of your essentials. Of course it helps if it looks nice! I love these vintage canvas backpacks that have come back in fashion. I always feel that backpacks can be quite bulky and I'm quite small but these ones fit everything in, are super comfy on the shoulders and they look cute too!

4. Comfy shoes! 
This ones  pretty obvious but you need a good pair of comfy shoes. I have learnt the hard way by wearing shoes that look nice but in fact have left me with blistered, sore feet. Not what you want from your first day out and about. If you are off on a city break, especially somewhere like Paris. you are going to do a lot of walking. Converse are the perfect answer if you aren't a fan of proper trainers and they still can be worn with shorts and skirts too. Win win.

5. A Notebook
This might not be everyones cup of tea but if you like scrapbooking or keeping your memories then you definitely need a little notebook. There have been so many times when I have got home and started to scrapbook and I have no idea what the hotel, restaurant, street was called or which day we went where. You don't to keep a full on diary but it's always handy to have some writing material with you.

6. A Camera
 This is an obvious one. Whether it's a Polaroid like this one, an SLR, a compact or just your phone, I can't stress how important I think a camera is. I love photos anyway and there have been holidays where I have had up to 4 cameras on me (don't judge, they are all different in some way!) If you experience these things and want to remember them then make sure you invest in a good camera. Saying that, there have been times when I've been having such a good time that I have forgotten to take any pictures and that's OK too!

7. A Padlock
OK. So this is exclusively for Paris trips and it's not essential as such but I love the idea! The Pont de l'Archeveche  bridge, also known as the Love Locks Bridge is a highlight for any couple or romance lover. The tradition is that you attach a padlock to the bridge with you and your lovers initials on them and then throw the key into the river, sealing your love forever. Romantic ay? It would be a fun thing for any couple but I'm not sure how good it is for the environment or the bridge itself anymore....

8. An Umbrella (waterproofs!)
The weather can be totally unpredictable and despite your best efforts to keep up to date with the weather forecast, it can often be wrong. When I went to Paris for the first time it was the middle of July so I pictured myself waltzing around the streets in pretty dresses and sandals. I couldn't be more wrong and more unprepared. I have never seen rain to heavy on the first day and I spent the rest of the trip cold and trying to look casual, not frozen, in all of my photos.  An umbrella or a waterproof coat is always a good idea to have in your bag (another reason for a good bag!)

I hope you have found my travel essentials useful! Some may be obvious but I'm speaking from experience of sometimes getting it really wrong and finding myself stuck in a foreign country. 

Happy Travelling Mon Ami!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Q&A with Claireabellemakes: Talking Creativity, Crafts and Cambridge

Following National Stationery week and with the Just a Card campaign still playing on my mind, I wanted to talk to a crafter and blogger who I admire about what they do and why. The first person who sprung to mind was Claire from Claireabellemakes who makes Cambridge and Scrabble
inspired cards, jewellery and artwork. Here's what Claire has to tell us about her business, her shop and the need to constantly make lists.

Congratulations on recently celebrating your 3 year blog birthday! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you started your blog?

Thanks Sally! Well, my name is Claire and I run the creative brand Claireabellemakes. I joined the blogging world because I really loved reading blogs and I felt as though I wanted to be part of the community. Now I can’t imagine life without my blog and business and I wonder what I did with my time before it!! I live in Cambridge in the UK which is my dream city and I pootle around on my bicycle most days visiting the yarn shop or grabbing frozen yoghurt. Well that’s about once a month if I manage to have a day off! Mostly I spend time in my home studio which is usually a mess, despite what you see on Instagram (the mess is all on the floor!!). It’s here I write my blog posts and work on projects for book and magazine publishers.  My Persian cat Tammy is usually curled up with me and causing trouble with my beads and yarn.

You also run a successful Etsy shop and Cambridge Craft Parties. For people who aren’t familiar with your Etsy shop and products, tell us a little bit about what you make and where you get your inspiration from.

My Etsy store is a mix of all things that inspire me about my city. I make bicycle themed accessories and Scrabble inspired gifts and jewellery. One of my most popular items is the Scrabble inspired wall art pieces. The backgrounds are made with custom fabrics which makes them a little different.  I’ve recently added stationery products to my range too as I’m a massive paper geek and I love creating cards and postcards.
Cambridge Craft Parties is another part of my business where I get to share my love of crafts with others.  It’s a workshop with a party feel where attendees work on a project to take home at the end of the day. The next workshop I am doing is exclusively for bloggers and we will be working on flower crowns and marbling projects. I can’t wait!

Custom Scrabble Artwork - Etsy
Have you always wanted to run your own handmade business?

Actually no. I wanted to be a dancer, so I trained for years and years and even worked as a performer for a while. I soon realised the money wasn’t all that great and it was a competitive industry to work in. Although tons of fun!! It wasn’t until I completed a Masters in Arts Management in 2011 that I really discovered my entrepreneurial spirit and love for handmade. This led to a blog which in turn led to the shop, and then came the craft parties and freelance writing work. Now I’m doing this I feel like I’ve found my THING and this is exactly what I was meant to do. 

What was it like setting up your own blog and business? Did you have to learn any new skills?
IT WAS HARD WORK. I am someone who always works as hard as I possibly can. Everything I have learnt through setting up a blog and business has been through trial and error. I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who works with computers, so he has shown me some basic coding for my website, but has largely left me to it and guided me along with huge levels of support and encouragement. I researched a lot of creative business advice and prior to my launch and made an effort to immerse myself in the creative community.  I had to learn bookkeeping skills which I still find really boring and not the most fun part of running your own business.

Is there a particular moment or achievement that stands out for you as the proudest?
I think the first time my work was published in a book was pretty special to me. It was a bit surreal to see my crafts and name in print. Another fun moment was when a Sewing Bee contestant wore one of my Scrabble Inspired pins on the TV and I didn’t know until she popped up on the screen. I made the bf pause the TV so I could take a photo. It was very exciting.

Wooden Scrabble Inspired Brooch - Etsy
You have a series on your blog called Productivity for busy people. What are your 3 tips for being productive and staying organised?
I actually work a full-time job alongside Claireabellemakes so my life is currently filled with around 80 hours a week working time. Hence I need to be super organised with my life or else I’d never wash my hair, have a date night or see my friends! My top 3 life hacks for keeping organised are –  1) Gmail canned responses; if you’re sending the same email responses out all the time, set up canned responses to save time. 2) Get a slow cooker if time is short, batch cooking is perfect for busy people and I’ve always got a tasty stew in the freezer for my working evenings. 3) Get a planner! If your life involves lots of different things like business, work, childcare etc, get a filofax and divide your life. Each Sunday I plan for my week and use bullet journaling as a task list for being productive. My goals for 2015 were to be positive and productive. These 3 things are the main ways I keep on top of those goals. 

What are your can’t-live-without craft-room essentials?
My glue gun, my single hole punch (once you have one it is surprising how much you use it!), my SLR camera, hand cream on the desk, slippers, blankets and good lighting. Oh and a bit of Taylor Swift cos everyone needs a dance party break every now and again.

Have there ever been any negatives of running your own handmade business?
Exhaustion. It takes a lot of dedication to really make it in the handmade world and sometimes that means working really hard. I still strive for a better work life balance and many of my self employed friends say the same. Because you love your work it can be hard to switch off from it sometimes. I burned out after Christmas and it was tough to recover from. I had my busiest month ever for the store though!

Bronze Bicycle Necklace - Etsy

In a society where cheap mass produced items are available at the click of a button, why do you think it’s important for people to buy handmade?

To me handmade items are often an expression of someone’s personality. When I make something, I am choosing a style or colour that appeals to me, I am creating an item that speaks to my humour or I am making and remaking until it is perfect.  Sharing that with someone and having a customer part with money for my handmade item is a truly special feeling. Knowing where your item came from often makes you want to take care of it more. A cheap disposable item which can be easily replaced is not always treasured in the same way. I truly believe you are buying a story or a feeling when you buy handmade. I guess it’s about value and collecting useful and beautiful things that have meaning. 

What have you learnt about yourself throughout this whole process?
I have learnt that I love learning. That I am determined. That I love lists. That I need my monthly dinner with girlfriends to remind me to keep a balanced life. I have definitely learnt to dream big.

Lots of people, myself included, find you and your blog inspiring. If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering starting their own handmade business, what would it be?
Thank you so much! My best advice is to connect with those people who inspire you. I receive weekly emails from people who tell me they have inspired to start their own blogs and I can’t tell you how amazing and proud that makes me feel!  It’s great to hear that our community is growing. We are privileged to have a free voice through blogging, and sharing that with other people who relate to you is a special thing. I definitely think embracing the creative industry and the people who drive it is one of the most rewarding and motivating things you can do. Without people supporting me, my business wouldn’t exist so I appreciate and enjoy that every single day. 

Scrablle inspired postcards - Etsy
Do you have anything exciting coming up that you could tell us about?
I’m super excited to be a vendor at the BUST Summer Craftacular in London on 17 May. My friend Kate and I will be heading to Bethnal Green to sell Claireabellemakes goodies and we can’t wait. I know I’ll have a few fan girl moments with other vendors and will be spending way too much of my pocket money if I get a chance to speed shop.

Unrelated to my business – I’m also off to Disney later this year. Expect Mickey Mouse related vlogs on my You Tube channel! 

Be sure to check out Claire's Blog and her Etsy shop for  all of the products listed and much more! You can also find her on all of the usual social media sites so do go and say hello!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

National Stationery Week: Just a Card Campaign!

“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card we’d still be open.”

  This is the opening line on Artist and Designer Sarah Hamilton's website, Just a Card. 
It's more than a website though, it is a movement. I have only recently discovered the Just a Card Campaign and as it is National Stationery Week it seems like the perfect time to help to spread the word (or more importantly the cards!)

Sarah, who is a successful artist herself, started the campaign after reading the above line in a statement from a shop owner who had had to close their gallery. In the hope of saving other independent shops, makers and galleries from suffering the same fate, Sarah started Just a Card to remind people to buy handmade and from independent sources rather than the high street.

Now I hold me hands up and say that I don't always buy handmade and sometimes it's OK to grab a card from the shop that has been printed 1000 times before. However, as a card maker myself and a handmade enthusiast, I understand just how important each and every sale is. My handmade business is not my only means of work so for me it's nice to be able to share my handmade items but for some people this is their life. What if buying one more card from shops on Etsy and Not on the High Street meant that someone could stay at home doing what they love rather than having to get a well paid, yet soul destroying job? It may sound dramatic and you might think that one card won't help anything but it will! 

Here are a few of the AMAZING cards that can be found online! Wouldn't you rather receive a lovely card rather than a text where the only personality is a well placed emoticon?

It's important to support these makers and in the process you will brighten someones day and make them smile. Check out the Just a Card website and spread the word #justacard

From top left across 1. Freya Art  2. Shortbreak and Champagne 3. Oh Squirrel 4. Little Low 

Make sure you check out all of these amazing makers! These are just a few of my favourite so get buying and posting!

Monday, 27 April 2015

National Stationery Week: My Top Stationery Picks

If you didn't already know it's National Stationery Week and if you follow my blog or have taken a look at my social media accounts you will notice that I am a stationery addict. I remember as a child always being taught to look after your new pens and pencils and never to write in a notebook until you had something of value to write in it. I'm not ashamed to say that I have taken these lessons into my adult life and have a stack of beautiful notebooks that deserve more than my scribbly handwriting and erroneous spelling.

With that in mind, I am never far from the stationary section and am often stroking paper and cooing over the perfect notecard. I thought I would kick off the week by showing you some of the items I'm lusting after at the moment from online and highstreet stores!

1. Postcards from Penguin - Waterstones £11.34
I don't know why I love these boxes of postcards so much but I currently have 3 (One of them was bought for me so you can let me off!) This box holds 100 postcards of famous Penguin book covers  which I think would be good for any book or stationery lover. Out of the 3 boxes I have I have only ever sent one postcard only because I know the person would have appreciated it!

2. Mark's Tokyo camera Stick Notes - The Fox and Star £4.50
I came across the Fox and Star website when looking for some hard to get hold of washi tape and I instantly began browsing their stationery sections. They have tons of pretty notebooks and other stationery pretties that I could reference but I have never seen post its that look like this before. Gone are the days of plain yellow post its. This is a roll that you pull out from the camera like an old film. Novel and practical!

3.  Emma Bridgewater To Do Pad - Amazon £7.00
I think that stationery and organisation go hand in had so naturally I love these to do pads. They are the perfect desk/life accessorie and really help to plan your time and not forget about anything when you have a  busy week. What I liked about this one though is that you have a nice big space for general notes and jottings and then down the side you have a space for each day to put appointments and things to remember. So you can list and plan at the same time. Perfect.

4. Indigo Dreams Luxury journal - Paperchase £12.50
Remember what I said at the beginning of the post about stroking paper? Well a trip to Paperchase wouldn't be complete without feeling the notebooks. I'm aware this is making me sound really weird but I am going to have faith that there are other Paperphiles out there who understand this necessity. These are not ordinary notebooks. They are hand stitched, fabric, jewelled notebooks with the most beautiful covers. I narrowed it down to this one as I love tea and this one has a very British style but they are all lovely. I challenge you to go into Paperchase and not touch the notebooks, go on, I dare you!

5. Kraft mixed notecards - Paperchase £4.00
I couldn't compile a stationery list without some sort of card so I opted for this cute box of mixed cards from Paperchase (I'm aware I just mentioned them but not many retailers have their cards online!) I am pretty obsessed with brown card right now and these designs are playful and they made me think of spring.

6. Big Band Theory Pencils - Ohh Deer £3.75
My obsession with pencils with novelty writing on started back in summer when I found pencils with the Mean Girls quote' None for you Gretchen Weiners' on. I have held back until recently and I currently have some Blair Waldorf pencils on their way (oops!) and then I spotted these! I love The Big Bang Theory but more importantly Sheldon Cooper. Featuring the favourite quote ' BAZINGA!' and other nerdy genius, these would be a fun addition to my collection. 

7. Binder Clips - Ikea £2.00
 This is a bit of a random one but I just wanted to add it in I the only one who didn't realise Ikea do ALOT of stationery? I'm currently a Teaching Assistant, soon to be training to be a teacher so I am looking at practical stationery in a different way. It doesn't need to be boring! The kids love it when I have novelty post its or cute paper clips and I'm getting known for it so why not carry on. These are super cute, come in a handy pot and are ridiculously cheap.

I'm going to be posting some more this week as part of National Stationery Week so look out for posts featuring handmade businesses and my own collection. Until then, happy paper hoarding!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Giveaway! Win a Custom Map Heart!

To celebrate 100 sales over on my Etsy shop I'm giving away a Custom map heart of a town or city of your choice! 

To enter via Facebook

1. Like my Facebook page, Sally Makes Art
2. Like and share the picture for the giveaway

To enter via Instagram 

  1. Follow me on Instagram
2. Like and share the picture for the giveaway. Use the hasthtag #sallymakesart100 so that I can see you've posted it.

One entry per person. Winner will be announced via Facebook, Instagram and here on my blog on 30.4.15.

Good luck!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Month in pictures

I can't believe it's already March and Easter is on the horizon! This last month has been a busy one and has been full of celebrations and love. I can't wait for the coming months and all of the plans that are yet to come!

1. New cards in my Etsy shop to celebrate the month of love 
2. First ever engagement party for the loveliest couple 
3. Winter sunsets are the best
4. Charity cake sale and pink day at my school to raise money for the local cancer unit. Overwhelmed by peoples generosity and kindness
5. Valentine's day in Cambridge
6. My love
7. Organising my project life cards and scrapbooking supplies over half term
8. Celebrating one of my best friends 25th Birthday
9. The amazing cake for her birthday!

I hope you've all had a fabulous month!  

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Whats on my bookshelf?

I am a real fan of coffee table books. If you don't know what I mean then it is a book which is mainly pictures or a short amount of words which you can pick up and dip in and out of rather than reading a whole story. My first ever coffee table book was PostSecret by Frank Warren which I got in 2007 when it first came out.

PostSecret  was a project founded by Frank Warren in November 2004. It began by Warren inviting people to submit postcards anonymously with a secret on that they had never told anyone before. Soon enough decorated postcards began flooding in and he started a blog, uploading 10 new postcards every Sunday. It was then that the postcard collection was turned into a book.

The secrets are loving, sad, dark, funny or just down right strange. The ones that strike me the most are the saddest. People pour their heart out onto a postcard and anonymously submit it, knowing that at least one person will know their secret. There have been postcards about suicide and murder and one that have made me laugh out loud. You never know what you're going to get on the website but the books are a collection of what was, I imagine, the best mix. It's amazing to read some peoples secrets, knowing that you will never know who the secret belongs to. Many of these secrets will go with these people to their graves and some of them should! Maybe putting them out into the world, even anonymously, makes us all feel a little bit more connected and I would be lying if I said I hadn't seen some postcard which I can relate to.

Check out the website which is updated every Sunday with new cards!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Getting started with Scrapbooking

After my last post on my most recent scrapbook, I was asked by a few people where I get my supplies from and where to start. It's a bit of a minefield starting a new hobby and you can easily go out and buy lots of things that you probably will never use or need. I thought I would show you some of the thing that I think are essential to start scrapbooking! 

1. Good quality scrapbooks

In order to fill your scrapbook with lovely photos and journal cards, you need to have a top quality scrapbook or album with thick pages. I can't stress this enough! I have bought a couple of scrapbooks without feeling the pages inside first and they can't hold the weight of everything I want to stick on them. I would also recommend hardback and spiral bound so that they can expand and still hold shape when they are full. The best ones I have found are still Paperchase ones.

2. Stamps

This might not seem essential but this gives you a really nice uniform look to your pages. It also helps it your handwriting isn't great and you can't do hand lettering! (If you can do all of the things I've just mentioned, skip to the next part!) The set in the wooden box is my most recent set which I got from ebay and it's really helpful having numbers for dates. The top right was from Paperchase about 2 years ago and I know they don't sell it at the moment. The ones I used the mots are the Dovecraft sets (bottom left) and they are so cheap off ebay that I bought a few different ones. The two at the front are both my Amy Tangerine and I got them from TK Maxx which is a bit hit of miss (I've not seem them in there for a long time!) but you can get them off ebay or in Hobbycraft I think.

3. Mod Podge

If you plan on doing a lot of sticking then Mod Podge is your new best friend. I am yet to find a glue that is as strong which dries clear, quickly and spread easily. I used to think just plain old PVA would do but I bought some Mod Podge off of ebay when I started my Etsy shop and since then I can't use anything else. A must have!

4. Scrapbook Paper

I bought my first Amy Tangerine scrapbook pad a couple of years ago when I wasn't even into scrapbooking, simply because it was so pretty! Since then I have become mildly obsessed with these paper pads and any decorative paper for that matter and to me it is an essential. Without these lovely papers I wouldn't have nice backgrounds, borders or themes to my pages. They really do make everything so pretty! In the picture above I have a variety of small and large ones which are Amy Tangerine, Studio Calico and DIY Shop. There are also some ones from a UK shop called The Works which have really embraced crafts and scrapbooking in the last year and you can often find their own brand versions which are great too.  Check out Hobby Craft, Amazon, TK Maxx and Ebay.

5. Washi Tape

Washi tape is great for lots of things but scrapbooking is what it was made for. It's helpful to add details and also if you have quite a few layers and the glue isn't holding the corners, you can used it to hold it down while being pretty at the same time. I also couldn't do without plain masking tape. It's great for laying up and you can tape photos down without it being seen too much.

6. Journaling cards

Now these might not seem like an essential but I can't do without them now! The ones pictured above are Project life cards which I got off ebay. I would love to do project life but at the minute I can't afford the initial outgoing of buying all of the basic supplies. If you do fancy it I know Claireabellemakes did a geat blog post of getting started with Project life. However, I use them for either the phrases like you can see above or to add my own notes with a nice border or illustration. Other crafting companies like Studio Calico, Smash and Amy Tangerine also make journaling cards or various sorts which you can pick up on ebay or if you're in England TK Maxx often has them.

7. Collect everything!

I have a little plastic wallet where I collect lots of little bits of paper or anything interesting I could use for my scrapbook. If you've been away for the weekend, keep the train ticket. If you've been to a gig, keep the ticket! All of these little bits make it very personal, they usually have the date on and it's a nice way to keep sentimental things in one place. I also keep off cuts of larger bits of paper, leaflets, old birthday cards etc and they all come in handy when you a have a little space to fill.

I hope this has been helpful and if you are thinking of starting scrapbooking. Don't panic, it takes time to build up supplies. Don't rush out and buy everything all at once other that some decoration, a good scrapbook and some Mod Podge! Happy Scrapbooking!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Month in Pictures

I haven't done a month in pictures for agesssss! It's mainly because some of my months I didn't take any pictures other than of craft things and then as I put it off the months snowballed. I am hoping to get back on track now and the month of January wasn't filled with the usual blues!

1. There's nothing better than starting a new diary on the 1st.
2. School trips are a perk of the job
3. It's been a while since we have been on a country walk together like we used to.
4. Finally finished my scrapbook of the last 3 years!
5. Using my new Oh No Rachio book with the perfect sentiment. It's about moments and people not things and money.
6. This month has been a major scrapbooking month!
7. The first time I visited Emma at uni 6 YEARS AGO!
8. Starting early for Emma's 25th birthday.
9 Nottingham girls!