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 Ready For Easter With Cricut*

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


Now that we’re into April, it’s all about getting up to Easter! This is a great excuse for some cute craft projects, and I thought I’d try out some of the different things I could make with my Cricut Maker!GettingReadyForEaster Continue reading

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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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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Valentines, Kay at Home Blog Post my desk - kay at home 2019 scrapbook (1)

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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If you really liked this post, I’d love it if you took the time to share on social media, or pin this image on Pinterest: Valentines Gifts, Handmade With Love, with Hobbycraft, KayAtHome.wordpress.com

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

gifted items have been clearly marked with an *

 

An A-Z of the Craft Room

I had a bit of a tidy up and sort out in the craft room recently, and it got me thinking about how individual a space it is! I wondered how I would go about doing a room tour post, and I decided I would do an A-Z which might give you a little more insight into me, if you’re new to the blog, or just feeling nosy! So here we go and A-Z of the craft room!

A – Alice in Wonderland

I’m a big fan of Alice in Wonderland, and she’s found her way into the craft room more than once! Both handmade by me, handmade FOR me and other gifts too! alice in wonderland - kay at home

B – Books

I don’t read as much as I used to. There are more shelves out of this room, but I do have a couple of shelves in here for some of my more “random” books, as well as craft books of course! bookshelf - kay at home

C – Craft Cupboard

I did a whole post on the upcycled craft cupboard, this is a really upcycled and repurposed space and I LOVE that. This cupboard is home to a lot of my craft supplies, from cross-stitch supplies and kits, my scrapbooks, some papercrafting bits and pieces, crafty tools and yarn. You can read the post here. craft cupboard - kay at home

D – Disney

I’m a BIG disney fan, and this shelf has become a bit of a feature over time, complete with my Minnie Ears from our Disneyland Paris holiday, a Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary Tinker Bell Tsum Tsum and even a traditional Czech Pinocchio style puppet from Prague. There are of course some other random things here too. A couple of years ago Stu even found a close match to the plush Minnie Mouse I got on my first Disney trip when I was 7. I’m also a BIG collector of Snow White things, and I love my Animators Collection doll! disney shelf - kay at home

E – Everything to Hand

When we made this space, and it really was made, I really tried to think of how I can have things I need to hand, This little drawer unit (which I want to replace at some point) holds all my pens and adhesive, and in front of me as I sit at my desk, are lots of little things I need to hand. The ink pads DO need to move though. I need to sort that…everything to hand - kay at home

F – Favourite Things

This room is very much somewhere for a lot of things to live. But among the crafting, there are some personal mementos, like this picture which was drawn when I was about 7-8 years old:drawing - kay at home

My Thumper cuddly toy, which I’ve had since I was 10 (clothing added at some point later), and my Hard Rock Cafe Paris bear: favourites - kay at home And photo albums from the day I was born onwards!

G – Gorjuss

A recent (ish) love of mine is Gorjuss by Santoro, I have a few things here in the craft room, like my The Hatter clock, which also ties in with Alice in Wonderland, and of course my Gorjuss stamps, and even a little mug which holds those little random bits until they get put away properly!

 

H – Hammock

I collect cuddly toys, on days out, holidays etc. Though I now have the sense to (mostly) pick up smaller keyring size teddies, I do have this hammock, to mostly hold them all! teddy collection - kay at home

I – Inspiration

It wouldn’t be a craft room without being an inspiring space! I have books, and cutouts in a folder, as well as notebooks filled with all manner of project and blog post ideas! Then of course there is all the fun stuff that gives me ideas at random!

J – Just Me

This is my room. While the door is rarely closed (unless I’m trying to keep the cats out!) it’s very much my personal space, and it’s really nice to have somewhere I can come and sit and just get on with things sometimes. Though I will admit, I do most of my crafting sitting on the sofa watching something on the TV.

K – Knitting

Of course, when you do a lot of different crafts, like I do, it’s important to stay organised, while I have bits and pieces stored in the cupboard, I do also have a project bag, which is always to hand, purely devoted to my current knitting project.

 

L – Lighting

This can be quite a dark room, but I have some alternative light sources in here, this reading lamp is so great for working at my desk, especially at this time of year, I love that I can move it around. While function is important, I have some more fun lights too, including a USB lamp, a light up K and my light box! lighting - kay at home

M – Movies

I’m a huge movie fan, and that has of course spilled over into the craft room! You can spot all kinds of things in here, here’s just some of what you can find on the bookshelves, notice that many of the books seem to have a movie theme too…

 

N – Notice Board

This was a really fun project, which you can read about here. I needed somewhere to keep things, though at the moment it’s still pretty clear, as I’ve tidied. I also think it’d be great for photography potentially, and it’s far better than the notice board being sat in a corner not being used! I also love how upcycling it with a bit of paint brightens up the room!notice board - kay at home

O – One Day

Because this is very much a handmade and upcycled space, there are bits that aren’t finished. This corner is something I really want to tackle this year! And I’d love to find some sort of cupboard or unit to go here, as opposed to my printer living on an old cupboard door!

 

P – Paper Crafting

My paper storage is something I got for Christmas years ago, simply because I wanted something big enough for 12×12 scrapbook paper. It’s got a good number of drawers and means all of my crafty paper is in the same place.

I did buy the white unit a couple of years ago, which sits next to the plastic drawers. It’s a great size for moving around the room if necessary, and is just where I keep those odd bits that don’t really have anywhere else to go. Though the bottom drawer has become home to smaller paper stacks, just because they fit nicely in here! paper storage - kay at home

Q – Quiet.

I ended up swapping rooms a couple of years ago, as this room is on the adjoining wall to the neighbours house. It’s a room I try to keep fairly quiet, while I’ve been known to play music on my laptop, I’m not usually in here very late.

It’s nice to keep it as a chilled space too.

R – Rocking Chair

I wanted a rocking chair for years. I don’t even really know why!

For a long time this held onto a couple of large dolls, but now they are gone, and this is one of my big plans for the year, I want to revamp the cushions, probably in Alice in Wonderland fabric, and really make the rocking chair useable, instead of being a bit of a dumping ground! It also hides all the sins in the corner, so it’s dual purpose! rocking chair - kay at home

S – Sewing

I keep my sewing bits in a box on top of the cupboard, (along with Christmas crafts and some mementos etc) and the sewing machine lives on my desk, simply because, if I need the room it’s easy to move it, also I actually use the dining table to sew, as there is more space! boxes - kay at home

T – Tea

There are several mugs in the craft room. And there’s usually another one on the desk! I’m never too far away from a cup of tea! my desk - kay at home

U – Upcycled

I love the upcycled nature of this room. It’s functional, but quirky and is in itself an inspiring space. That being said, it means it’s always a work in progress! And of course there are parts of the room which are bought for purpose, and there will probably be more, but so much in here is incredibly functional considering it’s not it’s original intended use! From my pen holder, to my desk!

V – Versatile.

The idea when creating this room, was that it is a versatile space. As you’ll see when you get to Z. Most things in the room are mobile, and can be swapped or moved around (even the craft cupboard could be spliced back into two cupboards if it was necessary!) The thing with doing so many crafts, is that I have no single focus, so this space needs to work for many things, and at the moment it’s perfect for that, and though I want to move some things around, it’s a really workable space whatever I’m doing!

W – Wine Racks

I love my purple cubby holes, and in fact they are wine racks! Saved from skips, I have two, which are slightly different heights, both laid on their sides. They are the perfect size for various crafty storage, like my peel offs boxes, and even my ribbon jar! stickers - kay at home

X – X-Stitch

My cross-stitch supplies used to be in one big box, and it’s been gradually condensed to a couple of shelves in my cupboard. It feels SO much more organised, and I know where everything is now!

I swear by these boxes, which are sorted by colour at the moment, though not by shade. Maybe eventually!

 

Y – Yet to Come

Plans, plans plans! 

I have a few things I want to do in here this year. I’d like a shelf or two, and that will mean I can rearrange things slightly. As I said earlier in this post, I’d like to replace the grey plastic drawers by my desk, but they would need to be the right size. I also want to sort the corner and the rocking chair out too. I would LOVE to have a unit for the printer to sit on, though I wonder if that’s a bit ambitious for this year. So that may have to wait!

Z – ZzzzZzzzzz

So… what is under the blue sheet?

A bed. Well, a fold out bed. This is why I’d like a unit put in. Ideally a cupboard which the fold out bed can sit in. This will mean it doesn’t have to be covered with a sheet! And will make the room look nicer generally! The cupboard could then double up as storage for any guest staying in the room! hidden secrets - kay at home

This room doubles up as a spare room, on the very rare occasion we have a single guest. We do also have a sofa that folds out too, but it’s nice to be able to give someone a space properly, so if it’s only one person I move things around a little bit and this room becomes a quite nice guest room. I’d have done it, and taken photos, but yeah, lazy!

I hope  you enjoyed this little tour of the craft room! Feel free to ask me anything if you want more information, I can try my best ot remember where things are from etc!!

Do you have a crafty space? What would your dream space be like?

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#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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Handmade Cards – Thanks

This time of year especially, it is nice to send a little note of thanks to certain people. Of course I make all of my cards, but even if this is not the usual, it can be a nice personal touch to thank somebody for a gift.

Here are some cards I have made: JAL 1Sometimes there doesn’t have to be a grand gesture and you simply want to send a little note, this 3x3in card went in a bunch of flowers for a personal touch.Just For You Tag Card (2)

I have a thing about layering elements, as these two cards show! I love the addition of buttons and sequins, just because they’re fun! I always seem to collect little stickers like these dragonflies, leaves and ladybirds! Layered onto plain or patterned paper with some ribbon, and you get a fun card, that isn’t too complicated to make!Smile Thank You Tag CardMy craft stash is pretty monumental, and I am working my way through the paper and sticker sheets, as I want to use more stamped embellishments – they are reusable and mean that all parts can be recycled unlike some sticker elements on cards otherwise.

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I did make the top cat fuzzy because I have a long and short hair cat…. Obviously!

 This cute “Little Meow” stamp set from Papermania, works together as a card in itself, or I can use pieces separately for other things, or use different sentiment stamps in the frame. I like stamping cards, as you can make them look as formal or informal as you like, this one is far more fun than some cards I make!

Do you give Thank You cards?

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Blogmas 2018 – Handmade Decorations -Past Projects

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Christmas crafting is something I have done for quite a long time, and I thought now would be a great time to share some older projects featured here on the blog, for those who haven’t seen them before.

My “main” craft for a very long time, was cross-stitch, something I have plans to get back into more next year. A lot of my handmade decorations feature cross-stitching, so here are some posts to share:

Quite a few of my handmade decorations are from kits with various magazines, which is (as anyone who subscribes, or like me, has subscribed in the past) quite heavy on Christmas projects, here are a couple featured on the blog:

BaubleStocking baubles

These are really cute, and so easy to make! You can find out more in this post.House Bauble

Festive Houses

These are still some of my favourites! A nice combination of cross-stitch and Christmas fabric, they were super easy to make from the kit, and I ended up making another one later because they were so much fun to make! You can find the post here.10Sock Snowmen

These were something I saw online loads and really wanted to try out! They are versatile and so incredibly cute! I made far too many of these, including the three above, and made different hats and scarves, as well as a variety of fun buttons to decorate them!

You can read the post here.

The Cross-Stitch Advent Calendar

This was such a huge undertaking in the end. It took me far too long to get finished, but I got there eventually! 24 individually cross-stitched squares, stitched to felt pockets on a fabric base. The Advent Calendar, or The Big Project as it became famous among my crafty friends and me over the years it took for me to complete it, finally got finished last year! You can read about it, and see more here!

I hope you enjoyed this look back at some of my past makes!

Have you got any handmade decorations? Share below!

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