The #CraftBlogClub Upcycling Challenge 2019 – Reveal

I’m a big fan of upcycling, and even before I ran #CraftBlogClub over on Twitter, I took part in a couple of upcycle challenges in the group.

For the challenge back in 2016 I used my regained interest in sewing to update some old jeans:

I still love these and wear them quite often!

For the 2018 challenge, I did a few things, updating a top and a dress before going on holiday, and because I’d already done clothes, the biggest hit was of course my Belfast sink planter… Garden 2018 (1)Which is somewhat responsible for this years garden project, so as you can see, these challenges can be very inspiring!

This year, I wanted to do something a little different, and as I was already working on ideas for the garden project, which will include even more upcycling (I did say I was a fan!) So, for my challenge I came up with something incredibly easy! CraftBlogClub upcycle 2019 (8)If you have a sweet tooth, you may have already tried the desserts that come in these little jars… CraftBlogClub upcycle 2019 (2)If you’re unfamiliar they are Gü jars. (I am a big fan of the lemon cheesecake if anyone’s interested). They don’t come with lids, which is a bit of a pain, if you can’t leave things open, as if you search for ideas for reusing them, a lot of people use them as trinket jars, or even craft storage, (though this can be solved with a bit of fabric and ribbon) but I did love the idea of using them for candles. The only trouble is, I LOVE candles and have loads already. Though I do have citronella tealights for when we spend time outside, and I was of course planning on some garden content anyway, so I decided to add a dash of colour, and use them to make bright candle jars.

I may even attempt to use them for homemade candles at some point, as the jars are such a good size, though I’m currently working with what I have.

What I needed – CraftBlogClub upcycle 2019 (3)

  • Gü jars (some kindly given to me by a friend),
  • some permanent markers,
  • glass beads,
  • and you can’t make a candle jar without candles.

I should point out here that normal Sharpie will fade over time, and can of course be washed off. It can also be removed with rubbing alcohol or by writing over it again with permanent marker and simply wiping away.  If you want a more permanent result use glass paint or pens designed for writing or drawing on glass. I wanted to use things I have laying around, and generally these won’t be handled much so it should last a while. CraftBlogClub upcycle 2019 (4)I coloured in the sides of the glass using pen in alternating colours, finishing with a metallic colour around the edges to make the colours stand out. CraftBlogClub upcycle 2019 (5)Leave them to dry for a bit, and then add glass beads (mostly to fill the jar, and add a little weight as they’ll be used outside) and your tealight candle. CraftBlogClub upcycle 2019 (6)And there you have it, some pretty candle holders in bright colours, just right for spending summer evenings outside! CraftBlogClub upcycle 2019 (7)This was so easy, and of course it’s great fun to play around with the colours!

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Project Garden (Part 1) – Pots of Pretty

I’m somewhat new to the idea of gardening, and considering we rent our place, there is only so much you can do to create an outdoor space that is really what you want… right?

Wrong! I have begun June with a mission, to make the garden a fun, welcoming space we want to spend time in, so, join me this month for some fun creative ideas to add some joy to the outside of the house!

BBQ 2018

I don’t have many photos from the garden, as we don’t spend much time out there, so to show the utter lack of colour, enjoy this photo of me… with some wine!

To begin, let’s add some quick and easy colour!

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Getting to Know the Cricut EasyPress 2*

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.



I will be completely honest, I have never given much thought to iron-on projects. This isn’t to say I’ve never had the idea, I just assumed it was too complicated or fiddly for me, as well as something at risk of being a bit of a fad, that I’d pay out for, before becoming bored with it, not using it or getting distracted with something else. This being the case, I haven’t really been aware of products to do this at home, though of course I know you can do certain projects at home with an iron. I don’t know the first thing about materials or methods.

This seems like a strange way to begin a post about a product designed for iron-on projects, but I wanted to stress that I am a complete novice here, it’s unexplored territory for me! Cricut EasyPress 2 KayAtHomeI was contacted in the new year by the lovely people at Cricut, asking whether I would be interested in working with them. You can read my post all about the Cricut Maker in this post. I was sent a brand new Cricut Maker, lots of accessories, materials for projects, and a Cricut EasyPress 2 (9x9in) in raspberry.

UNBOXING

Much like the Cricut Maker, the EasyPress 2 comes incredibly well packaged, the box contains the EasyPress 2, a rest for it to safely sit on, instructions and a project with materials to get started.

THE EasyPress 2 – FEATURES

Something I am coming to realise about Cricut is how user friendly everything is! As I said above I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to iron-on, so I was a little apprehensive when I began the first project, but it was SO simple, the EasyPress 2 has a simple settings area, for power, time and temperature, as well as the start button, and you head to the website to find the settings you need, which is really simple to understand and gives you the temperature, time and pressure needed to create your project!

The Easypress 2 is nice and solid feeling, not too much heavier than an iron, with a lovely square 9×9 inch surface area, perfect for clothing and similar projects. You can also get the EasyPress 2 in 6x7in and 12x10in sizes, depending on the projects you want to use it for, you may want to consider a different size.

TOOLS

The EasyPress 2 does not come with tools though I was gifted some things, and after creating one project, I can recommend a few things I used, which you may want to add to your shopping list. Cricut EasyPress KayAtHome (7)

Cricut iron on vinyl, I was gifted some pink glitter iron-on so that I could use my Cricut Maker and my EasyPress 2 to make a project. Though I am aware other products exist, I love how the Cricut products are clearly labelled, and there is a huge range available to suit many kinds of projects. The vinyl is the perfect size for the Cricut Maker cutting mats and of course the Cricut Maker cuts them perfectly.

The 9×9 (or whichever matches your EasyPress size) EasyPress Mat, which is designed to be the perfect size for your EasyPress 2. You can use a folded towel, though it was so handy to have this to hand, as it takes up less room, and I knew that my craft-room desk was safe and protected, as well as the EasyPress 2 and my project. Cricut EasyPress KayAtHome (9)Weeding tools – I would really recommend picking up a weeder, I chose something quite fiddly when I got going with my first project, but having a great weeding tool made things far easier than it could have been!

MATERIALS

To use the EasyPress 2, you do of course need Iron-on vinyl. Do not use anything not designed for iron-on projects with your EasyPress 2.

There is a huge range available in a variety of colours, patterns and textures from holographic, to glitter, great for lots of projects! And of course iron-on isn’t just for clothing and accessories, you can iron onto anything you can iron – from notebooks to canvasses and even wood!

The Cricut Maker

The EasyPress 2 comes with a pre-cut iron-on glitter vinyl Cricut “C”, and a canvas bag for a simple first project; as I’d never done anything like this before, this is where I started. Cricut EasyPress KayAtHome (5)If you have a Cricut Maker, you can create a design on the Design Space, find a pre-existing project and customise it or use your own images and text. It really opens things up to create truly unique projects, and I genuinely have a ton of ideas after just one day of playing with the EasyPress 2!

GETTING TO KNOW THE EasyPress 2

After making the free starter project, which of course doubles up as a great storage bag for your EasyPress 2, I decided to work on something just for me. Cricut EasyPress KayAtHome (6)I thought a nice starting off point would be a T-shirt, though where do I begin?

As you will know I host #CraftBlogClub over on Twitter, and I thought it would be fun to make a T-shirt with our “slogan” Authentically Awesome! And so I took to the Design Space and using a couple of the free fonts, I came up with a simple slogan tee. Cricut EasyPress KayAtHome (8)Remembering to mirror my image (Design Space does remind you!) as I was working with iron-on vinyl, I cut out my design, got weeding, and transferred it to my T-shirt. Cricut EasyPress KayAtHome (9)(There are some very handy tips on the Cricut YouTube channel for lining up your projects, and it’s well worth checking out!) Cricut EasyPress KayAtHome (10)Setting up my EasyPress 2, I quickly and easily got my design onto the tee, and it looks amazing (if I do say so myself!)

What do you think?

What is also great about the Cricut Design Space is all the pre-existing projects available and I have SO many things saved to my favourites now.

As I said in the beginning of this post; I had never considered iron-on projects as something I could do from design to making, but the EasyPress 2 makes it so incredibly simple, and has opened my eyes to a whole new area of creating I cannot wait to explore further!

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Knitting in Brights – Summer Jumper Project

A quick one for you today, as I’m very busy, but it’s a bit of colourful fun!

I fell in love with the look of this yarn in Poundland and tried to talk myself out of it, assuming the quality would be awful… Summer Knit (1)Of course a couple of weeks later, I gave in, and picked up three 50g balls for £2 (3 for 2) and decided I’d make a loose knit, lightweight jumper for the summer, because I’ve seen a few around, and I thought the bright colours of this yarn gave a fun summer, festival vibe.

At this point I’ve done one side, which has been incredibly quick and easy to knit, as I’m using 9mm needles. I’m still working on it though, and unlike my other jumper I may actually finish it in the near future!Summer Knit (2)

It’s actually really nice, I balled the yarn to check for any issues with it, and the first ball was completely fine, and the second (which I’ve by now balled too, had one part knotting two ends together, but it’s fine for what I’m making. Quality wise it’s not bad at all, and hasn’t gone too fluffy or had any other issues, considering the price I am pretty pleasantly surprised!

I ended up using just over one ball for the side, and so, I am assuming I’ve got enough with the three I bought, though I may have got Stu to pick up three more when he was in town, because even if I have enough, I just LOVE the colours and might make a shawl or something!

Suggestions are welcome – feel free to comment with any ideas below. kayathomelogo

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Getting to Know the Cricut Maker*

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut.The opinions and text are all mine.

If there was any craft item on my ultimate wish list. It would be the Cricut Maker, the ultimate smart cutting machine! For someone that does as varied a selection of crafts as I do, it is truly a must-have, for so many reasons.

The hard thing for me, is that it doesn’t come cheap, so is it something I could make the best use of? Is it right for me? I don’t really know what it can be used for. I’m sure there are others out there who feel the same way. If that’s you, read on! GettingtoKnowFBI was contacted in the new year by the lovely people at Cricut, asking whether I would be interested in working with them. Once I had pinched myself, confirmed that it was real, and had a cup of tea to recover, I of course sent a very enthusiastic response!

Soon after came some extremely exciting post, a shiny new Cricut Maker, accessories and more! So here we are with the first of many posts sharing my honest thoughts, experience and of course projects using this phenomenal machine!Cricut Maker Kay at Home (2)

Unboxing

First of all, the Cricut Maker comes so incredibly well packaged. When you open the box, this is what you will find:

The Cricut Maker – Features

This machine has definitely been created with the user in mind, and considering its sleek appearance, it is incredibly clever!

The storage cup on the left side of the machine is divided into two sections, one side shallow; ideal for storing smaller tools and pen lids. One deeper, great for keeping longer tools and pens to hand! The bottoms of both of the cups are lined and so you won’t damage the points of your Cricut Tools either! Definitely designed with the user in mind!

When you open the Cricut Maker, there is a space for you to rest your phone or tablet, as well as a USB charging port on the right hand side of the machine. The lowered door also opens to reveal another storage space! Perfect for scrapers and other tools! Cricut Maker Kay at Home (2)

Tools

Speaking of tools; included with the machine, is a Premium Fine-Point Blade and Housing, and a Rotary Blade and Drive Housing, a Fine-Point Pen, 12x12in FabricGrip Mat and 12x12in LightGrip Mat, plenty to get started with!

The Cricut Maker has a huge selection of tools including Scoring, Rotary and Knife blades, and other handy craft tools, you can purchase separately, enabling you to design and create nearly any craft project you could think of. Cricut Maker Kay at Home (1)This smart cutting machine can cut hundreds of different materials from light, delicate fabric without interfacing, paper, vinyl, cardstock, leather and even wood. After only weeks of owning the Cricut Maker I have to say, this is an incredible machine for any kind of crafter, whether you create projects for fun, or for a business. The quality and finish of everything I have tried out so far is amazing.

Materials

Some of the popular materials that the Cricut Maker can cut (using the correct blades) are:

  • Paper – Everyday paper, cardstock and vellum
  • Craft Materials – Washi tape, craft foam, glitter paper
  • Fabric – Including craft cotton, polyester, silk, felt, and denim
  • Vinyl – standard, craft and heat transfer vinyl for iron-on projects!

As well as thicker materials such as canvas leather and even balsa wood!

Design Space

When you start your machine for the first time, you will need to set it up online, and here you will meet the Cricut Design Space, if you have never had a Cricut machine before. Here is where you will create your projects, with access to fonts, images and if you’re stuck for ideas, check out the Ready to Make Projects section! Cricut Maker Kay at Home (3)You can access Design Space from a computer, and connect via USB or Bluetooth, as well as from your phone or tablet! Great for coming up with ideas on the go!

While you do need to be computer literate to navigate Design Space, there are lots handy tutorial videos available, and I would especially recommend the Cricut channel on YouTube, and generally it is easy to navigate your way around projects, whether you are creating from scratch or making an existing project.

You can create your own designs, using your own system fonts, or the fonts included with Design Space, as well as images, patterns and even photos. It is easy to move things around, and see how the sizing works, though there are also templates included. Cricut Maker Kay at Home (4)

Getting to know the Cricut Maker

When I had my first free day with the Cricut Maker, I invited Stu’s mum Helen to join me, and we both agreed it was simple, and clear to produce a project, though found a great deal of the available content in the Design Space, somewhat specifically targeted an American audience. Though many items are customisable and given the amount of content, there is still plenty to choose from aside from these.

We played around with different types and thicknesses of paper and cardstock as well as fabrics, which cut evenly, with an incredible finish!

I already know this will be great for making handmade cards (which I do all year) as well as producing elements for scrapbooking and other craft projects. Also there are already several projects from Design Space I want to make!

You get free access to 50 projects with your machine, including sewing patterns, as well as a trial for Cricut Access, which I have also been gifted, and trust me, it’s SO worth it; there are so many projects to choose from, as well as fonts and other images which are perfect for cards and gifts!

Butterfly, Bee, Flower and shapes created with the Cricut Maker using Design Space

All of these were cut with the Cricut Maker all using free images on the Design Space from different papers, fabric and cardstock.

Believe me; you aren’t limited to papercrafts with the Cricut Maker! There are so many different types of materials you can cut, which means you can make all kinds of things, from home décor items, party decorations, clothes and accessories, toys and gifts, as well as handmade cards and embellishments!

Honestly, I have spent hours checking out the Design Space, and there is so much I want to make and try! If you are into sewing or quilting or are a keen papercrafter, I would seriously recommend a Cricut Maker, I can’t wait to explore it further and share some more projects!

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Craft Month Instagram Challenge

I have a habit of giving myself challenges it seems! If the 2019 Movie Challenge wasn’t enough, I have decided to give myself a creative challenge too!

March is National Craft Month, and to make things a little interesting, I thought I would give myself a little Instagram challenge, if you don’t follow me over there already, you can find me here.

The Challenge:

IMG_0339

Feel free to pin/copy this image, without removing my information

Let me know if you decide to take part!

It’s pretty simple, each day is a number, for each number share that number of craft related things, whether it’s supplies, projects, tools or a combination of things!

So here is to a month of creative fun!!

If that’s not all I have some great crafty content coming up here on the blog too!

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2019 Scrapbook – January

One month finished already! 2019 scrapbook (2)I don’t know about you, but I have come to love looking back on the month. It’s a nice chance to reflect, and plan for the future!

I love to create the pages in my chosen scrapbook each year. It’s so nice to have the books to flick through, and there’s a fun mix of serious and not so serious photos and memories on each page!

January was a fun month, if a little cold! 2019 scrapbook (1)I have already posted an introduction to my chosen book for the year in this post.

I wanted to keep the pages of my scrapbook quite simple this year, so I have decided that I will have a colour for each month, and simply tie the double page spread for each month in with that colour.

Here is the double page for January: Scrapbook2019 - January - KayatHome.jpgLooking back, January was rather food based! No bad there of course!

We really enjoyed visiting the National Maritime Museum, which we shared in this post, and of course celebrating Stu’s birthday too! Of course there’s very little surprise that most things in the book also appear here on the blog!

Do you journal or save mementos from the year? Scrapbook or memory box?

I’ve been doing it so long, it’s almost habit now!

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Valentines Gift Ideas – Handmade With Love*

I was gifted some of the products within this post from Hobbycraft,

gifted items have been clearly marked with an *

Valentines Day, is something neither Stu or I take very seriously, though we sometimes give fun gifts to each other anyway! It’s only a couple of weeks after Stu’s birthday, so we’re usually pretty relaxed about it.

It is however a chance to do a bit of crafting here on the blog, though I would say that although some are Valentines products, they could be made and given for many occasions, from birthdays, anniversaries to Mothers Day (March 31st UK readers),  and of course weddings!

Do you do any seasonal crafting?
Valentines, Kay at Home Blog PostHere are three cute handmade gift ideas made with some products I was kindly gifted from the lovely people at Hobbycraft. I of course worked on some content here with them over Christmas, and though these items were gifted, I do also frequently shop there myself!

Striped Heart Hoop Cross Stitch Kit*

Striped Heart Cross-Stitch Hobbycraft £8.00Hobbycraft Valentines Cross Stitch Kit, kayathome.wordpress.comI’ve loved cross stitching for years. This heart design is bright and modern, and the kit* is complete with everything you need to stitch it yourself, with needle, threads and aida, as well as a detailed, full colour pattern, and an embroidery hoop. Valentines, Kay at Home Blog Post 2It took me about a week to stitch, working in the evenings with the TV on. I found the pattern generally good, though whoever designed it, doesn’t know what 1/2 cross stitch is, some of the fractionals were a bit of a pain, and I almost ran out of the cream colour thread, but overall it was quite a nice relaxing project, and the finish was good. I think it would be a fab project to receive as a gift, or even to make for Mother’s Day or similar.

Heart Shaped Craft Punch* Love Hearts

Hobbycraft Craft Punch Heart Shape 1 inch £4.50Valentines, Kay at Home Blog Post 5There are several variations of the project I made using the heart punch*, it’s a really simple idea, punch or cut out a bunch of shapes using paper or thin card, write messages or something on the pieces, put them in a jar, and the idea is it’s something cute to last beyond Valentines Day (or birthdays). I chose to write some things to do! So whenever we have a free day and no idea what to do, we can pick something! Instead of a jar, I reused a plastic heart shaped bauble from a gift I received!Valentines, Kay at Home Blog Post 6The punch* worked well on different thicknesses and types of paper. I own other Hobbycraft punches, which I’ve bought myself and I consider them a must have in my stash!

Colour in ‘Love’ Canvas*

Love Colour in Canvas Hobbycraft £4.50Valentines, Kay at Home Blog Post 3I chose to colour in the canvas using only a few colours, trying to stay away from the norm of pink! I wanted to end up with something vibrant and fun. Valentines, Kay at Home Blog Post 4It was really easy to colour in the canvas, and the sharpie ink covered it well, it didn’t come with any hooks for hanging, but you can get hold of them easy enough, we haven’t put it up anywhere yet, but we want to redecorate the bedroom this year, so it might go in there then!

Handmade Valentines Cards

I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a few handmade Valentines card ideas too! I make all of my cards, and have done for years now.Handmade Valentines Cards, KayAtHome.wordpress.comI have been trying to use up my stash for my cards this year, so all of the papers are from stash, I used the heart shaped punch* from above for two of the cards, some cork stickers for the third. Valentines, Kay at Home Blog Post Cards 2For the backing of this card I used a lilac and white heart print paper. I made the envelope on the card from some cardstock, colouring the inside with a glittery pen, filled it with punched hearts, tied it with a ribbon before sticking it to the card with double sided tape. I added a handwritten sentiment, and another heart for decoration.Valentines, Kay at Home Blog Post Cards 3I LOVE this paper, the denim look inspired me to use a glitter pen to draw a stitch type edge, adding the cork stickers, and stamping the sentiment in bronze ink, colouring it in with coordinating blue pen.Valentines, Kay at Home Blog Post Cards 4This might be my favourite make. I stamped the lettering (Disney, Minnie Lettering) in black ink, colouring them in with pink pen, leaving the polka dots white to match the backing paper. I cut them out, sticking them on plain black cardstock, layering onto two different polka dot papers, and finishing with pink, on a plain white card. I added more punched* hearts to embellish. I love how bright it is! Hot pink and black is one of my favourite colour combinations for cards.

Will you be making something by hand for Valentines Day? kayathomelogo

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I was gifted some of the products within this post from Hobbycraft,

gifted items have been clearly marked with an *