#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa 2018

Though I arrange #CraftBlogClub now, I have been a part of it for so much longer, and the annual Secret Santa is one of my favourite of the regular challenges and events throughout the #CraftBlogClub year. ed2f4-craftblogclub-badge-291x300I really like giving and receiving handmade gifts, and the wide range of crafts, and talents in #CraftBlogClub means it’s always a varied and fun activity at Christmas!

Do you craft and make handmade gifts? We’re always open to new people coming to join in the chats on Tuesday evenings! You can find out more on the blog.

Arranging the Secret Santa gift swap challenge this year, was so much fun, and it was great to see so many people getting involved, both regular chatters and even some new faces! It’s always a popular challenge and you can read more here!

To remain as impartial as possible, Stu drew the pairs from two pots, in order to create all of the swap partners, including me. Aside from one case, due to location, everyone was sending to a different person, and receiving a gift from someone else. I regularly checked in with everyone to make sure everything was running smoothly, and everyone got their gifts on time.

I sent a gift to the very talented Laura Pearson Smith of A Life With FrillsSS2For Laura’s gift, I designed and made two felt Christmas decorations, and as I do every year,  added a bar some delicious local chocolate, and of course a handmade Christmas card. 1Of course, as I was the person behind the scenes, I knew who I would be receiving my gift from, but I was SO delighted with my wonderful gift from Caroline Dunkin AKA Alpha UniqueCBC Secret Santa (1)Caroline obviously did her research! I am a big Alice in Wonderland fan, and this now makes me smile whenever I walk into the kitchen! CBC SS (1)The details are incredible! I have always admired the artistry that goes in to pyrography! CBC Secret Santa (2)and of course who doesn’t love jam tarts?

Will definitely be trying the recipe soon!

My favourite part of the challenge is seeing what everybody made for each other, and reading all the blog posts! If you’d like to read more, there will be a post on the #CraftBlogClub blog in a few days time!

Do you participate in any Secret Santas or gift swaps at Christmas? Share any posts in the comments!

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Hello 2019!

HNYThe last few months have been a whirlwind of activity here on the blog, with blogmas and even before that, and I am really hoping this will continue. I’d like to begin by thanking you – without you here, reading, leaving likes and comments and sharing on Social Media, this little blog would be far less successful! So thank you for stopping by!

This year, I have a few things lined up already, I am going to carry on posting as usual on Tuesdays and Fridays, but occasionally might add one or two in the week to keep things interesting! It will be the usual mix of craft, days out, and randomness!

2019 Movie Challenge

I’m a big movie fan, and watch way more films than TV, and of course Stu and I head to the cinema fairly regularly! I have of course already spoken about the Movie Challenge for this year, which is always a nice bit of fun, and this year I’m supporting friends too!

Crafts

It’s always nice to start the year with a plan! I will of course continue to make cards throughout the year, and am planning to share my makes more often with you, so expect to see some of those every month or so!

Knitting wise I don’t have much lined up, I want to go back to working on my jumper, so that’ll make an appearance, and also I need to knit a mug cosy or two for a travel mug at some point soon! Knitting, Yarn, Lilac, Grey, Mix Yarn, Kay at Home, Patternless JumperIt feels like ages since I’ve done any cross-stitching, I wasn’t feeling it much last year, but have three kits sitting in the craft room which I want to finish by the end of the year! This may be quite ambitious!

The Scarf: The ScarfI got this kit by Bothy Threads for my birthday and I love Santoro and Gorjuss! This design is one of my favourites… I have JUST started this one, you can see here.

Love Tree: Love TreeStu got me this kit a couple of years ago, also from Bothy Threads. I’ve always loved this design, it’s just so pretty! I love all of the colours!

Charlestown: CharlestownThis one I got from Stu for Christmas 2017! From Sybilla Davis, Charlestown is one of my favourite places in Cornwall, and this kit is STUNNING! Sybilla designs and sells kits of lots of beautiful places in Cornwall and beyond, and I wanted one for ages but couldn’t choose! I would have stitched this last year but totally lost my stitching mojo for ages!

Scrapbooking, I was going to update on 2018’s book at the end of the year, but my printer ran out of ink, so yeah, no photos! I will do this asap and backdate it! But of course I will be starting a new book this month! I wonder what my theme will be!!

I will of course also share any seasonal makes that pop up too!

House

I don’t currently have anything planned at home, though I’m SURE this will change before too long! Generally it needs a good clean and tidy post-Christmas and I want to sort out my craft room. If there’s anything you’d like to see be sure to let me know in the comments!!

Days Out and Holidays

There is SO much more of Cornwall I would love to share here on the blog, and I still want to share somewhere every month, so hopefully that will continue! If there is anywhere you think I should check out be sure to get in touch.

At the moment we have no holidays planned, but I will keep you posted with any updates! Our list of places we want to go is HUGE but it’s a question of when and whether we can get time off as we’re both pretty busy!

#CraftBlogClub

ed2f4-craftblogclub-badge-291x300I am still very much running Twitter chat #CraftBlogClub as well as the CraftBlogClub blog, and social media accounts. We’ve even been nominated for a UK Blog Award!

Honestly I look forward to every chat. There are SO many wonderful, talented people involved. We have SO much fun lined up for this year, including chats covering various themes & topics, challenges and giveaways! Do stop by if you are interested in crafts, no matter your ability or experience, we’re a friendly welcoming group! You can find out what we’re up to in 2019 here.

Date Night

As a couple, Stu and I have loved the response to the Date Night posts, and this year we want to shake it up a bit, while we love the tags (feel free to call out to us!) we want to also share some local places and things we love, as well as other randomness!

If you want us to do a Q&A at some point this year, just drop a message on Twitter or Facebook and make it clear it’s a Q&A question – when we have a bunch, we’ll do a post!

Social Media

I will be sharing different things on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too so be sure to follow! I love a good chat too, and if there’s anything you want to see either on the blog or one of the other platforms, be sure to let me know! I know some people wanted to see more ME on Instagram stories, so I’ll have to brave video a bit soon!

If you blog about anything similar to any of the content here, and would like to write a guest post, be sure to get in touch! Same goes for if you’d like me to write a post for you too! I am also open to reviews etc, so if in doubt contact me, my details are below!

Thank you so much, again. I’m really looking forward to another fun year here on the blog!

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Traveller Notebook – For a Blogging Journey

I am a self-confessed stationery addict. I have notebooks all over the place, but recently have been utterly lost because my handbag sized notebook ran out, and I hadn’t got round to buying one! I just couldn’t find one that suited what I needed…

And it’s used for a lot, mostly blog planning and social media, but now I’m also running #CraftBlogClub, I note down chat plans too. And then there’s day-to-day to-do list stuff.

Chatting on #CraftBlogClub fairly recently Sarah was sharing her handmade Traveller Notebooks from her site: Adventure Accessories. Which are utterly beautiful –

Photo stolen from Sarah on Twitter (@AdventureWildCR)

Knowing Sarah makes custom notebooks, as well as the gorgeous map designs, we discussed a Lord of the Rings themed book, because, well, I’m a nerd. But of course, copyright. It couldn’t happen.

Copyright has come up before, when I shared a Disney themed project on  a Facebook group, and they said they couldn’t share it because it breaches copyright, which is wrong actually – the only reason being the items are not for sale. If it’s not sold, it doesn’t breach copyright. It’s just a fun bespoke themed gift!

This weekend, unexpectedly, something dropped through my letterbox. Seriously you should’ve seen my face! It’s SO perfect! It’s SO me! It fits in my bag! Seriously, the pocket size is ideal, it’s not too bulky or too heavy to carry around.

Suffice to say I am utterly overjoyed, and so happy to be able share Sarah’s handiwork, because this notebook is amazing. Loads of pages, beautifully bound, great size for many scribblings and it looks fabulous! 

I can safely say this is a great gift idea too, when Stu saw it, his exact words were “Wow! That’s awesome!”

What is not to love, honestly, faux leather exterior, gorgeous map of middle earth inside, loads of pages, and I love the detail of the wrap tie to close! Believe me, I have already got list upon list in there, because I want to use it! I think I’m on to something when it comes to having a notebook I am kind-of obsessed with looking at!

Does this need a disclaimer? OK, as stated this item was a gift.

All the opinions and photos are mine, except the pic I stole from Twitter.

Like this?

Tardis (2) DLP May 2017 (30) EK Punch Pieces img_7551

 

#CraftBlogClub Upcycling Challenge 2018 – Reveal

The #CraftBlogClub upcycling challenge was launched at the end of March, and you can read about it hereThis challenge is always good fun, and last time we had the challenge in 2016 I was really pleased with what I did, which of course I revealed in this post.

Once again I decided to get out my sewing machine and alter not just one, but two items from my wardrobe! And then some more….This Dress, which I actually bought in H&M in Prague… and wore this one time in Cheddar, with the straps tied at the back…

And this top which was so cheap, around £5 or something in Sainsbury’s, I don’t do floral, but I am a sucker for paisley and genuinely loved the elephant pattern! I didn’t have a photo, so found one online (if I find one I’ll add one in), which I have worn once or twice, before I altered it, again with the straps tied… Both suffered from the same problem, the straps on both the dress and top were far too long, and not adjustable, and so other than tying them to shorten them, they were virtually unwearable, and I loathe tying my tops in knots, so I decided to simply change both to halter style straps.

This was in essence fairly simple, cut the straps, and alter the back slightly, which is exactly what I did with the dress, though the top had a tie front which you can see in the photo, so I did away with the straps entirely, and refashioned the sides and back to make a low scoop-back halter-top instead! Perfect for summer!

I didn’t take photos, because it was such a quick job, I forgot! But all I did was cut the back of the top and the dress to shape and roll, pin and stitch a new hem. Both took just a couple of minutes to run through the sewing machine! This was such a quick fix and now I have two items of clothing I can wear again!

amusing photos taken by my friend Kara at the hotel pool in Spain this May, much to the amusement of people sitting outside the bar at the time!

 

 

If this wasn’t enough I also made some adjustments to a cheap pair of flip-flops, plastic toe posts are a little too uncomfortable for me, so some braided fabric and a few beads later, I made these:  I can do a tutorial on these if anyone is interested… a super easy project! Just comment below if you want me to post one!

And last but not least on what ended up being a very upcycled month! I also finally got around to turning “ugly Belfast sink dumped in the back garden for three years” into “bright cheery planter!

This was done on the bank holiday at the end of may, as you can see, we didn’t clean it up beforehand. The sink is straightened out with some random rocks found at the edge of the garden when our neighbour re-did their fence, and we part filled the sink with some more rocks, to help the drainage (of course being a sink, there is a plug-hole still!Some time later with a bit of a clean, and some growth! It does a great job at brightening up a corner of the garden, and the sink has been used too! (It’s quite tempting to decorate it… what do you think?)

Have you done any upcycling? Comment below! Share a link to a blog post if you have one, I’d love to read!

#CraftBlogClub CBC Summer 100 Challenge

*Copied from CraftBlogClub*

New challenge time!

(There is an overlap, the Upcycling challenge is still ongoing and ends on June 25th).

The CBC Summer 100 is a 100 day Instagram photo challenge beginning SUNDAY June 3rd and finishing 100 days later on MONDAY September 10th! So all the way through summer! If you don’t use Instagram you can of course still take part on whichever social media you choose, or even on your blog! Let us know where to find you in the comments!

This post contains all of the squares which will be shared on a weekly basis through the challenge, during the Tuesday evening chats. If you miss a chat, it will be here for you to find!

Feel free to share on your social media, but please do credit #CraftBlogClub and if possible link to this page.

We’re sharing them all now in case people want to get ahead with photos, but of course there is no obligation to complete all 100 days, of course we’d love everyone to do that, but honestly, just pick the prompts you want to photograph, share and of course use the two #’s #CraftBlogClub and #CBCSummer100, we’re all about supporting each other on Craft Blog Club so of course liking each others posts while not mandatory is encouraged! You can of course follow the #CBCSummer100 on Instagram to keep an eye on what other CraftBlogClub-bers are up to this summer!

If you’re taking part do let us know over on the NEW #CraftBlogClub blog!

What’s Happening – April 2018

Hey!

So it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these random chatty posts but as of last night things are occurring! So I have something to waffle on about for a change!

Photo from thomascook.com

I’m going on holiday! (That’d be vacation to some of you) my very, very good friend, whom I have known since college, has invited me to join her for a week of theme park fun, and beach lounging, in sunny Spain! In just over two weeks! So obviously I have SO much to do!

I want to do a little altering of a couple of bits clothes-wise because they’ll be perfect to take once I can wear them, because, non-adjustable straps are NOT helpful when they turn you into an accidental flasher… I don’t know what proportions I’m meant to have but anyway! I want to make some things wearable without resorting to tying knots in straps. So sewing on the cards! 

I also have my #CraftBlogClub upcycling challenge project to do, which is really exciting! I’d wanted to do one project anyway, and it’s great timing now I’m also heading for the sun!

I’m all for upcycling, and this challenge is always great fun,  you can still take part as the closing date for the challenge is June 25th, you can find out more information here, and of course in the weekly chats on Twitter, every Tuesday evening at 8pm-9pm, just search for the # to take part!

I took part when the upcycling challenge was running a couple of years ago, before I was a co-host, and you can see what I made here!
In other fun, at the end of last month, you may have seen if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I LOVED Coco when it was released this year, and was overjoyed when I received this amazing giveaway prize from Skip to the End, which is an absolutely brilliant podcast, and I genuinely haven’t missed an episode in about two years! They talk all things film and entertainment, regular reviews both new and old, have excellent giveaways and hilarious goings on generally! If you’re into film you should definitely check them out, you can find them on all of social media, and Apple Podcasts, Podomatic etc as well as their website!I know I talked about some sewing projects earlier, but I also have some other fun work I need to do! I’m really excited about a project I have planned, even though I can’t discuss it yet as it’s a gift, and basically have no idea at the moment whether it’s even going to work! But I’m looking forward to seeing if everything comes together as it does in my head!

And of course, there will be the usual fun this month, depending on where we go out to explore one weekend with our National Trust membership! So lots to come!

In the meantime, feedback is always good, so, if you have the time and fancy helping a girl out –

Do people want a travel prep post? do leave a comment, or tweet me or whatever it can be done! What sort of thing would you like to see?

Do you miss the cards? I make cards all the time but it felt repetitive posting them all the time, but I could do one post a month (or so) to share makes?

Is there anything else you miss? Even if I haven’t mentioned it, if there’s anything you want to see  (or not see) on the blog, just leave a comment, or get in touch by email or social media! I’m always happy to hear from people!

Until next time!

x

#CraftBlogClub Upcycling Challenge 2018

Reposted from Fizzi~Jayne Makes-

Upcyling challenge….

Spring has finally sprung in the UK which makes it a perfect time for another #CraftBlogClub challenge!

We’re going to be upcycling!

Spring is a great time to have a clear out and find old stuff.  Instead of throwing things out why not upcycle?

What you choose to upcycle and the craft techniques you use are up to you.  It could be revamping an old pair of jeans, turning that sad looking plant pot into fab crafty storage container or refurbishing an unloved piece of furniture.

  • We will be revealing our upcycled projects in our Twitter chat on 25th June 2018 and If you have a blog also present your lovely project in a blog post by this date.
  • Please mention #CraftBlogClub in your blog post and link back to this page.
  • Let us know how you’re doing throughout the challenge on Twitter. Don’t forget to use our #CraftBlogClub hashtag.

Anyone can join in the challenge, don’t worry If you’ve never joined a #CraftBlogClub chat before, everyone is welcome!

I hope you will join in and I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!!…

#CraftBlogClub Chat – Bloggers on Blogging

This is a recap of the fab #CraftBlogClub Twitter chat from January 23rd

Bloggers on Blogging

Some of these are repeated throughout but for ease of reading, here are the points given:

Top Tips:

  • Have a blog that looks good in all formats; both desktop and mobile especially!
  • Blogging should be a pleasure not a chore – write what is really interesting to you.
  • Blogging takes times, do not expect immediate results.
  • Write about what you love, love what you are blogging about – it shows.
  • Plan Ahead
  • Write about what interests you, it will be easier to think of what to write about and people will engage more with your writing
  • Be consistent!

Prepping and Regular Posting:

  • Keep things consistent so people know when you post.
  • Brainstorm-Prep-Do
  • Write regularly – if you type things up when you think of them, you’ll always have posts!
  • If possible plan ahead, if you have post ideas already – you have a jumping off point!
  • Plan your titles and work towards them.

Blog Features:

  • Regular features can be good, though can stand out less than individual posts.
  • Behind the scenes sharing interests people
  • Share your process, it makes you more human and approachable
  • Photos help break up walls of text.

Blogger Problems:

  • Lighting for photos – Light boxes, and daylight bulbs are handy alternatives for dingy days.
  • Photography – outside or by large windows usually works best.
  • It can be hard if you write about a niche topic, to be individual and stand out.

Beginner Bloggers:

  • Post regularly, at the same sort of times, people will be able to find your content more easily.
  • Share your posts on social media, and via email – but too often can be annoying
  • There are free stock photos available online to use – do not steal images from others not in the open domain.
  • Start small
  • If looking for ideas, check out daily prompts on WordPress, or social media

Blog Exposure:

  • Follow your stats, to see when people are most engaged with you and your content.
  • Post regularly and consistently
  • Share across social media.

#CraftBlogClub 2018 Challenge 1 ~ Crafty Resolutions

Post copied from Fizzi~Jayne Makes

It’s time for our first #CraftBlogClub challenge of 2018!

The challenge is…. “Crafty Resolutions“.

Following the popularity of this challenge in previous years, we thought it would be perfect to start 2018 challenging you to learn a new craft or technique.

Whatever your crafting resolution, this challenge is hopefully the motivation to get you started.


The Rules….

    • Learn a new craft, or,
    • Try a new technique within a craft you already enjoy, or,
    • Use that new machine / craft tool you haven’t taken out of the box yet, or,
    • Pick up a craft you haven’t done in a long time.
  • We will be revealing our makes in our Twitter chat on 20th March 2018 and If you have a blog also present your lovely project in a blog post by this date.
  • Please mention #CraftBlogClub in your blog post and link back to this page. (you can also add a link to the comments this post too to double your sharing!)
  • Let us know how you’re doing throughout the challenge on Twitter. Don’t forget to use our #CraftBlogClub hashtag.

As it is a new craft/technique and the thought of having to complete a project may be terrifying, don’t worry, the whole point of the challenge is to have fun learning a new skill. If you don’t have a completed project we still want to see your work in progress.

If you don’t have time to learn a new craft or don’t have one in mind, why not go back to something you haven’t done in a while? Dust off those sewing machines / crochet hooks / knitting needles / paint brushes etc and get crafting.

Anyone can join in the challenge, don’t worry If you’ve never joined a #CraftBlogClub chat before, everyone is welcome! Chats are every Tuesday 8-9pm UK time, just search for the #! 

I hope you will join in and I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!!…

Psst…. If you don’t know what #CraftBlogClub is and you like the sound of this challenge, we’d love you to join in and you can find out more here and here.

Happy New Year – 2018

So it’s a whole new year, a whole new to-do list and a time for resolutions (cue all the “New Year-new me” posts everywhere!)

I make no such promises, they are so easily broken, we don’t know what the year will bring yet!

Hopefully everyone has had a lovely Christmas, and some at least are still vegging with the last of the snacks still hiding in the cupboards. (Please don’t say it’s just me! Haha!)

So, no resolutions, though I am however hoping to get lots of projects finished, to begin some new ones and to continue blogging (maybe a little more frequently!) one such new project is #1YearOfStitches over on Instagram (Kay_At_Home if you fancy a follow!) where I shall add some stitches every day to one hoop of fabric- unlike many taking part, making it a little more “me” by cross-stitching my year! I’ll be posting a photo a day on Instagram so everyone can follow my progress, and I’ll do a post here once a month to share on the blog too!

So it begins!

I shall of course also continue with #CraftBlogClub over on Twitter with its usual runs of weekly chats, challenges and general good times! We welcome all crafty blogger types to join in on Tuesday evenings, so do follow the # and @CraftBlogClub to keep track of what’s going on and when.

There will hopefully be some new things coming up on the blog too which I’m quite excited about, as well as the usual handmade goodness I have been creating and sharing!

For now, I will leave it there, wish you all a very happy new year, and I hope it’s a prosperous one for us all!