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!

Continue reading

Somerset 2019 (Part 3) – Barrington Court

Recently we spent the weekend in Somerset, just to get away for a couple of days! We’re on a bit of a budget at the moment, and so we decided to check out a couple of nearby National Trust sites, as we are members, so get free entry to lots of sites in the UK, which of course we haven’t explored before!

After a morning at Montacute House in Somerset, we hopped into the car and drove the — miles to Barrington Court a Tudor Manor house near Ilminster. Somerset 2019 - Barrington Court (6) 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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