Tag Archives: #CraftBlogClub

Guest Post – DIY Photography Tent

Well, today seems like as good a day as any to post this lovely guest piece from Fiona – who co-hosts #CraftBlogClub with me and is hosting tonight’s chat about photography – which runs in line with this great post about a cheap and easy way to get great photos for your blog! Thanks Fiona!

Hi!, I’m Fiona from fizzi~jayne makes…. and I also co-host #CraftBlogClub with the lovely Emma.  Over on my blog (fizzijaynemakes.blogspot.co.uk) I have been doing a photography season with lots of hints and tips for taking great photographs.  I reviewed the book “The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos” by Heidi Adum and in this book there is a tutorial on how to make a light tent from a cardboard box.

If you have a blog or sell your products you know how important it is to have professional looking photos but not everyone can afford a professional photographer or have all the gear, so I wanted to see if this cheaper alternative does the job.

You will need:

1. ingredients1

Required

  • A Cardboard Box.  The larger the box/tent the more the light can bounce around.
  • Semi-transparent paper such as tracing paper or baking parchment
  • Stanley knife or something suitable to cut through the box
  • Sellotape and Double-Sided Tape
  • Thick white paper, I used wallpaper lining
  • Natural light bulb and lamp

What I used in addition to the instructions:

  • Cutting mat to protect your surfaces whilst cutting the box
  • White paint (I used some white emulsion left over from decorating last year)
  • Have parcel tape on hand in case you get carried away with cutting, like me!

Hopefully most of this you have stashed away or you can easily get hold of them cheaply.

The camera I used is my Digital SLR, a Canon EOS 600D. I took all the pictures on shutter speed 1/125.  ISO was on auto.

How to make it

Take your cardboard box with the opening facing you and cut out large pieces out of the top and side panels.  Leaving enough of the edges to keep the structure and keep the base and back intact.

I painted the inside of the box white, allowing light to reflect more.  Light picks up colour and could cause a colour cast on your product.

2. box cut and painted3. box with sides cut outReplace the sides and top with semi-transparent white paper, I used baking parchment. However, being waxy it didn’t stick well so I would advise using a strong double sided tape or use tracing paper instead. 4. Box covered in parchment inside

5. completed box from outside

Create a runway from the back of the box with the wallpaper lining. Make sure there is a curve at the back to create a seamless background.  I attached the paper with double-sided sticky tape.

6. completed box insidePlace tent near a light source such as a window, outside or lamp.

Place your product inside the tent so it is within the three papered walls.

7. product in box

As with all my photo shoots I took these pics in my conservatory, depending on the direction of the light and time of day I use a lamp with a natural light bulb to balance the light and remove dark areas. On this particular day I did not need additional lighting.

So does it work?

I was pleasantly surprised! I took the following pictures and the only editing I did was cropping the image.

Here is the image of one of my custom orders that was ready for its portrait before being delivered….

8. card image taken in box

And then I took a picture of my favourite mug….

9. mug in box

The lighting was particularly good when I took these pictures and I know not everyone has a conservatory and not every day is a heatwave! So I took more photos of my favourite mug in a darker room.

10. lounge shot I thought I might need my lamps for inside.  I took a photograph with the lights on….

11. mug inside with lights And without the light….

12. mug inside no lights The lights did help but some further tweaking of the brightness would be needed in post-production, however, this is what I would expect from taking pictures in my lounge.

Overall I think it did work as a light tent.  The problem I have is it won’t fold flat so I am not sure where I will be able to store it.  The box is also fragile, you may have seen the amount of parcel tape I ended up using, so I do not think it will last long but as a short term solution I am happy with the results.

If you fancy making your own light tent I would love to know how you get on and see your photos.

fizzi~jayne x

fizzijaynemakes@blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @fizzijayne

Facebook: FizziJayneMakes

Guest Post: The Potential of Handmade Merchandise

I’ve been an avid follower of Icy Sedgwick for quite a while now, her Friday Flash Fiction pieces are fabulous over on her blog and I was more than impressed with her latest offering, The Necromancer’s Apprentice.  Today on the blog, Icy shares her ideas on Handmade Merchandise – see she’s a pretty awesome crafter as well as writer!  Thanks Icy for appearing on Frugally Peachy and please do check out her work!

Apprentice_coverPublishing used to be much more straightforward. A publisher took on your book, and their marketing department would swing into gear, getting the word out and getting the cover in front of potential buyers. Nowadays, even getting a traditional deal with a publisher is no guarantee that it will receive much of a marketing push, unless you’re Lee Child or E. L. James, and a lot more of the onus is placed squarely on the author. It’s even more of a challenge if you sign with an independent publisher, or if you decide to go it alone and publish yourself.

I’ve got two books out, although my marketing strategy currently places the emphasis on the more recent title – The Necromancer’s Apprentice only came out in March, and while I’ve been undertaking the usual such as tweeting the occasional link (careful not to spam), conducting blog tours, writing guest posts (such as this one), and even holding a book launch in my hometown. That’s all well and good, but I can’t help thinking I can do more. So this is where my idea of merchandise comes in.

Merchandise is nothing new. In the movie Spaceballs, Yoda-like figure Yoghurt explains that merchandise “is where the real money of the movie is made”. Think of all the lunch boxes, colouring books, action figures, video games and clothing that accompany major Hollywood releases. Literature isn’t really as ‘hot’ on merchandise – books like the Harry Potter series, Twilight and Lord of the Rings only really have merchandise as a tie-in with the movies. True, there is a plethora of literature related jewellery on Etsy, but little of it is specific to titles, or designed to promote the books – they’re more to promote the wearer’s love of literature. So is there any way of making merchandise to sell a book? I’ve seen it done before, as my friend Synde Korman makes jewellery to promote Carrie Clevenger’s Crooked Fang novel, but I did start to wonder if I could make something to promote The Necromancer’s Apprentice. After all, people who find my goods on Etsy might be interested enough to then read the book, while people who read the book might decide to support it further by buying associated products.

MummiesI started off with these little guys – a pair of crocheted mummies. The mummies in the book are bloodthirsty and far from cuddly, but these two cute critters accompanied the paperbacks at the book launch in June. They’re not listed on Etsy just yet, but I’m hoping they’ll help pique interest. After all, I love to knit and crochet, so why not combine my love of crafting with my love of books?

I also decided to make a bottle pendant, using coloured resin, to tie in with the bottled enchantments that the book’s villain, the Necromancer General, keeps in her vaults.

BottlePendant

I made these anatomical engraving pendants some months ago but I’ve decided to absorb them into my Necromancer’s Apprentice range as I think they really fit the book.HeartPendant I’ve also got plans to design sigils to add to pendants as the use (or misuse) of sigils is an important part of the plot, and I’d like to crochet some more of the figures. There is a lot I can potentially make.

I think that’s also hopefully part of the appeal. These products aren’t just handmade – they’re handmade by the author of the book. I also hope that they have value outside of the book, so you don’t need to have read the book to necessarily appreciate them – they’re just a bonus if you have.

What do you guys think about the idea of handmade merchandise tailored to specific book titles? Would that be exciting if you’d read the book, or might it pique your interest if you hadn’t?

Bio

Icy Sedgwick was born in the North East of England, and lives and works in Newcastle. She spends her non-writing time working on a PhD in Film Studies, considering the use of set design in contemporary horror, as well as knitting up a storm. Icy had her first book, a pulp Western named The Guns of Retribution, published in 2011, and her horror fantasy, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, was released in March 2014.

Links

Website

Amazon

Etsy

#CraftBlogClub – ‘You Complete Me’ Challenge Reveal…

craftblogclub badgeSo, I have a little confession to make before I get into trawling your wonderful makes!  I haven’t completed my project :(.  I feel like the worst host ever, but I was inadvertently left without a table on which to use my sewing machine for nearly three weeks, which has inevitably left me very little time to complete ANYTHING I need to.  I’m behind with my sewing projects already BUT, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Here’s my WIP so far…

The Scrappy Patchwork Chair

chair 1The purpose of ‘You Complete Me’, was to bring to light just how many WIPs us crafty lot have and really take the time to get ONE thing finished.  I blame external incidents for my unfortunate half-finished masterpiece, that and a particularly nasty delivery driver.  BUT, it has been fabulous to see so many of our #craftblogclub crew working so hard on projects they had near forgotten about, over the last few weeks – my Twitter feed has been littered with lovely WIP photos and posts and I can’t WAIT to see some finished projects.  So please, do link up below and share your work!

For my ‘You Complete Me’ challenge, I decided to challenge myself with some new crafting ideas and creating something of a statement in my lounge.  These old chairs were given to us me by some relatives who had no use for them anymore.  Though they were specifically ‘conservatory chairs’, at the time I really liked the shape of them and the comfort too – plus the footstool would be a great added extra for lazy knitting evenings sat in front of the TV.  They did, however, need a lot of TLC and I thought our ‘You Complete Me’ challenge would be the perfect time for me to get to grips with covering them.

patchwork close upAs I’m in the midst of painting and DIY-ing my house at the mo, I decided to try and make this chair a real statement in my lounge.  I had already painted a red accent wall and decided to trawl through my fabric and see how little I could spend patchworking the chair.  I had a lot of teals, turquoises and blues, which I felt would blend in really well with the red.  To finish, I decided to contrast the footstool by knitting a stripy cover using the same colour palette.  This would blend in with the blue hues on my sofa cushions and I even have a couple of knitted squares, ready for a sofa throw in the same palette too.  What could go wrong, thought I?  Well, to be honest, I’ve never patchworked a thing in my life.

Being the renegade crafter that I am, I thought starting off with big patches measured, ironed and sewn into place, couldn’t be too difficult – luckily I possess a lot of the ‘how hard can it be’ attitude, so the effect is already really starting to look great on the chair.  Being quite the sewing novice still, I decided to sew each of the top cushion sections and leave an open end on both.  I’m toying with the idea of hand-sewing press studs to secure the cover in place, but it does seem to fold and sit quite nicely without, footstoolwhich I’ll be thankful for when it comes to washing the covers!  I’ll get there, just not this month.  I did have to purchase a little more fabric, but the total spend on this project was just £11.98 – though I should replace the foam at a later date too.

I’m planning to get this baby finished as soon as I can, then I’ll post some finished photos and updates on my new lounge.  It has been a great way of working with patchwork and I do feel I’ve created something really unique for my home too.  I think it has a charm to it, the not-so-perfect patches, there is something quite fairytale-cottagey about it, which I think I quite like!  Just nod and smile.

So what about you guys?  What have you been up to and DID you manage to complete this project on time??  Stay tuned, I’ll be setting up a #CraftBlogClub makes board on Pinterest to showcase our wonderful work!

armchair 1Stay Peachy x

Come Join Us..



Sherwood Art Week and A Crafty Meet-Up

bannerLast weekend sort of flashed by in a yarn-bombing blur and, to be honest, much the same is to be said for this week so far.

On Saturday, I had the great pleasure of finally meeting my wonderful two #CraftBlogClub co-hosts, Katie and Fiona, in Nottingham.  Since the two lovely ladies hopped on board the good ship Craft, they have been such a huge help and it was lovely to finally meet up and talk big plans for driving #CraftBlogClub forward.  More on that to come, in the meantime we were all busy updating the Twitter account and brainstorming new challenges and topic ideas for our weekly chat.

We spent the majority of the day at the Nottingham Contemporary – a perfect gallery venue with a cafe bar, freshly prepared food and child friendly too.  We chatted about all things craft, business and The Tudors (that was mostly me, lowering the tone).  It was so wonderful to meet the ladies I have been chatting to, and who have provided such great support for my idea, in ‘real life’!  Both Katie and Fiona are passionate about craft and passionate about the community we have built, I look forward to sharing more information with you all soon – but a huge thanks to Fiona and Katie for such a lovely day and, if you haven’t already, please check their blogs out!

CraftBlogClub ladiesSundays in Sherwood tend to be pretty quiet, but with the lovely weather and the tale end of Sherwood Art Week, Little D and I decided to take a walk up to the community centre to check out the Remarkable Recycling Gala; a fab day featuring recycling workshops, lots of interesting info and some lovely craft stalls.  D was a little young for most of the workshops, but it was fantastic to see lots of local children getting involved with craft projects and learning new skills.

Sherwood WIFor me, the real magic of Sherwood Art Week lies in the installations that pop up along Mansfield Road – this year there were some amazing Yarnbombs and some wonderful installations celebrating local artists in the shop windows.  So, with that in mind, what kind of renegade craft-blogger would I be if I didn’t share some of these with you?!  Check out some of these lovely images from our stroll on Sunday – I can’t wait for Sherwood Art Week next year!

benchyarn bikebike close upcaterpillar

Stay Peachy x

#CraftBlogClub June Challenge – ‘You Complete Me’!

craftblogclub badgeWith May well and truly out the way, it’s time to dust off those sandals (not that I own any) and look forward to a Summer of Love…and Crafting…mostly crafting in my case!

We had a staggering amount of wonderful challenge entries for the last challenge – the Spring Clean Gift Swap, so I thought it was high time to set up another challenge, to keep our crafty fingers ready in the sun!  Fancy joining in with this one?  Read on….

‘You Complete Me’

Whilst the Summer air is busy blowing away the cobwebs and sending us fresh motivation and ideas for home, hearth, wardrobe and whatever else, my lovely co-host Fiona, came up with the idea of trying to finish something we have left!

So….let’s take June to dig out those Christmas presents you’ve stashed away, pick up that knitting that’s gathering dust, or get on with that home improvement project you’ve been dreaming up.  Summer’s here and the time is right…for finishing things!  Starting today, go forth and finish, then drink a cool glass of Pimm’s, or five, and bask in the glory of your crafty triumph!

Them’s The Rules…

1. Not much to this one, pick a project you’ve been meaning to finish in, well, forever, and use June to finish it!  If you’re one of those commendable types who has, in fact, finished EVERYTHING, why not pick a dream project to do, or something you’ve not tried before but have always wanted to? (Within reason, I don’t want anyone getting all Belle Du Jour on my watch)!

2. Present your lovely project in a blog post by June 30th…as ever there will be a linky set up on THIS BLOG to showcase your makes – and do take some time to have a gander at the other posts, it’s lovely to see some of the amazing creativity we have in our #CraftBlogClub!

3. Let us know how you’re doing throughout the merry month of June – use our #CraftBlogClub hashtag to keep up to date and also #YouCompleteMe – you know, just cos!

That’s about it..what are you thinking of doing?  I’m pushing myself to the limit for this challenge, I just hope it turns out well!

Stay Crafty!

x

Hello June!

mainThis is it…my Frugally Fabulous Year is hitting the halfway mark – and WHAT A YEAR IT HAS BEEN SO FAR!  I guess, like everyone, there have been some great bits and some not so great bits!  But I’m really excited to see what the rest of the year brings…

May: The Month That Was…

So that was May – a month of accent walls, true colours, larking back to my teenage years, wanting to be Mrs Emma Reznor all over again, the world’s biggest knitting needles, DIY Gardening, lovely bloggers, big changes and exciting developments!  I often find myself holed up making big plans and half-starting them, May was definitely a month for that as well!

I got back into the reading flow this month too – I’ve set myself a challenge over on Goodreads to read 20 books by the end of the year (not including such avid titles as ‘The Little Go-To-Sleep Book’, ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’ and ‘That’s Not My Fairy’) – which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can be difficult to squeeze some time in for relaxing and reading – but it remains one of my most favourite ways to wind down!  Anyway, May saw me complete my 6th and 7th titles this year:

booksThe World According To Bob by James Bowen: Having had the pleasure of meeting this loveable and unlikely duo, I was really excited to follow more of Streetcat Bob and James’ journey from Big Issue sellers to stars in their own right.  A heartwarming tale of hope, survival and the most incredible journey for a most unlikely pairing.

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Zafon is, without a doubt, a huge influence as an author.  His poetic writing and magical stories are second to none.  The Prince of Mist was his first published novel, written for a YA audience.  Zipping through this in just a few days, I found the gritty and fantastical story of Max and his adventures that lead him to the grimacing and frightening Prince of Mist.  Moody, atmospheric with a tale of innocence and love interwoven in the reams of fright, this is a must-read.

Currently Reading: Moranthology by Caitlin Moran: Hilarious, poignant in places and a most unglamorous interpretation of a seemingly glamorous career – Moran keeps it real, whilst keeping it hysterical!

I’m definitely feeling as if the blogging mojo is returning a little, after a slumpy period, I’ve started making plans and even getting more creative!  I launched my #Project34 last month – an opportunity to get back some creative time and start making bits and pieces for myself and the home.  Check out my mini tutorials for the Novice Drawstring Bag and Rustic Garden Tealight Holders, not to mention my Cross Stitch Poetry.  Not only that, I embarked on a little secret project/challenge that I’ll be able to share more of later this month!

I also got to grips with some advertising space on the blog – if you fancy being one of my ‘beautiful people’ check out my sponsor page and get in touch!

And to top off a fantastic month, we had another amazing turnout for our latest #MidsBlogMeet.  What started off as a conversation between the wonderful Kelly from To Become Mum and I, has led to us organising and hosting two fabulous meet-ups with some wonderful bloggers from around the Midlands.  Our latest was a beauty-focused meet which took place in Birmingham, read all about it tomorrow.  A huge thank you to everyone who came along and to our lovely speakers Jo and Suzie for their informative and wonderful talks!

May: The Month That Was….Instagrammed

I’ve been keeping myself so busy lately, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll be aware that I was on a NIN-countdown for most of the month (my absolute favourites) and, let’s just say they didn’t disappoint!  Totally worth the 15 year wait to see T-Rez live!  So, with that in mind, I thought I’d take my favourite Insta-pics from the last month and let them speak for themselves!  If you’re on Instagram – be sure to give me a follow!meanddaisy

leanoradrzhivagomeladybirdninttingT-rezSo…June?

Well, this month I’m in full swing with making and shaking for the wardrobe and the home.  Plus, I’m very excited to share with you that I am going to be part of White Tree Fabric’s Blog Team.  Keep your eyes peeled for more posts and info about this coming up – but I’m excited to be working with them and I’ll have my first White Tree Fabric Post coming shortly!

Not only that – a new month can only mean one thing, a new #CraftBlogClub challenge! All will be revealed TOMORROW EVENING!

That aside, I’ve been getting stuck into some interesting articles, falling back in love with my sewing machine (though I think she needs a name…) and getting more creative on a tiny budget.  Fancy it?  Then be sure to give us a follow on Bloglovin to be kept up to date with all the latest Frugally Peachy news!

I’m also planning to take a break in July to complete #PeachysWritingMarathon, and I’m still looking for a couple of guest posts – fancy it?  Give me an email at missemmaberry@gmail.com with your ideas!

I think that’s about it for now folkies – as ever thank you for reading, let’s smash the hell out of June, shall we??!

Stay Peachy x

#CraftBlogClub – Spring Clean Gift Swap REVEAL!

craftblogclub badgeSo….this one is a little late, I fell out with Linkytools – but we got there in the end!  May I proudly present our latest #CraftBlogClub challenge!  Read on to find out more!

Back in March – a staggering 22 people signed up to be involved with the next #CraftBlogClub challenge – a Spring Clean Gift Swap!

The aim?  Create and send a gift to a fellow #CraftBlogClub-ee, using only what you have lying around at home.  I don’t know about you, I’ve had a real urge to have a good clear out recently, so I thought we could all channel our creativity and send a big load of ‘Happy Mail’ too!fiona card finished

 

fiona stampI’m so excited to see everyone’s gifts….I received this INCREDIBLE crocheted gift from the wonderful Fiona, from Fizzi-Jayne Makes, in the post today! crochet daisy Fiona recently decided to teach herself crochet – one on my crafty wishlist also!  So, armed with a fabulous flower crochet book, she created this gorgeous Daisy card AND made a retro Daisy brooch for me!  What a gorgeous idea and a great chance to show off a new crafty skill – Fiona I LOVE it, I can’t wait to wear it with pride, providing the real Daisy doesn’t grab it first!  I hope Fiona loved her handknitted teapot I made for her – who wouldn’t love a cosy teapot made from bits and pieces from my yarn mountain stash?!

fiona teacosySo, what are you guys waiting for?  The linky below is LIVE for your Spring Clean Gift Swap posts and I will keep it open for 2 weeks – I know how the post can be!  I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with!  Our next challenge will start in June – if you have any ideas I would LOVE to hear from you!

If this sounds like something you would like to be involved with – why not join our Twitter community on Tuesdays 7-8.30pm GMT – lots of crafty chat, blogging inspiration and more challenges to come – 2014 is shaping up to be exciting for us!

Come Join Us


 

#CraftBlogClub – I Re-Love You Challenge REVEAL!

craftblogclub badgeTuesday evenings are, undoubtedly one of my favourite times of the week!  Even if I’m not hosting, I love watching lots of crafty types getting together from across the globe to discuss all things craft and blogging!

One of things I love most about setting up #CraftBlogClub, are the challenges we do.  I always try and come up with interesting ideas that members can really challenge themselves on, or can ultimately show what they are capable of.  So, for our first challenge of 2014 and, of course, in keeping with my self-imposed frugality; I set an upcycling challenge on something you have around the house (or something you have purchased – if easier).  Wanna see mine???!!!

toy box 2

BEHOLD!  This is one of my first attempts at furniture upcycling!  As Daisy turns One this month, I had the brainwave a while ago that I wanted to do something memorable for her.  I love traditional wooden toy boxes and, after a bit of Pinteresting, decided that I wanted to paint a toybox for her Birthday.

After searching the length and breadth of eBay and Gumtree – I FINALLY managed to find a blanket box, going locally, for £20.  It was a little smaller than I originally hoped for but, upon arrival, it looked ideal for Daisy’s bedroom.

toy box 1

 

 

Being a little rusty with furniture painting, I took myself to Homebase to find the sort of paint I felt would work easily on the box. Paint brushes I found some gorgeous Dulux Satin Wood ‘Willow Tree’ green furniture paint, priced £14.99 and supplemented with a primer – priced £6.95.  My paint choice apparently needed no undercoat and, while the box wasn’t antique, I wanted to make sure the ‘mocha’ colour would cover easily.

I painted one coat of primer and two of the green to get an even, covered result and I am pretty happy with the colour!  I toyed around with different ideas and colour ways – D’s nursery is a pale pink Beatrix Potter theme; but I felt I wanted to paint something timeless, that she would continue to use as she gets older.  So, along with the decision to ‘go green’, came the decision to scrap my original idea of scripting her name on the box, replaced with tiny dotted vintage-inspired daisies instead.

Now, I don’t claim to be an artist or painter of ANY description, so this was the part I was most worried about!  To aid in my questionable cack-handedness, I decided to use the other end of two paint brushes to make my yellow and white daisy dots to make firmer, striking dots. toy box close up The result was pretty good, they aren’t perfect, but I think that’s part of the charm.  I decided to create the daisies in the corners of the lid, rather than cover it completely.  Once this last pain-staking part was done, all that was left was to give it a quick clear varnish.  The box came with the lovely horse paper inside, which I decided to keep, in keeping with the ‘vintage’ feel.

What started off as one idea, has become something simple, sweet and hopefully a lasting memory for D as she gets older!  I’m pleased with my handy work AND from a frugal point of view – I used less than a third of both the paint and primer, meaning this Birthday make totals in at £27.31 for the box and paints plus a little extra for brushes.  Compared to a personalised toy box price of around £70 minimum, I’d say we’ve done pretty well!

I’ve definitely got the bug and I’m eyeing up my next piece of work that I really think will suit the colour of my paint.  But you’ll have to stay tuned to see how that turns out!

For now, let me say a huge thank you to all the lovely #CraftBlogClub tweeples who tirelessly take part in my challenges and produce such gorgeous work!  I’m always truly inspired and I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with.  I’ve popped the Linky below and I’ll be sharing these great posts in the coming weeks!  Fear not, if you haven’t quite finished – the link will stay open for two weeks!

toy box 3

The question is…..are you ready for another challenge??

THE BIG SPRING CLEAN!

In true Spring style, I’ve suddenly had the urge to have a huge clear out and get to grips with some of those left over crafty projects that have been building up!  So…due to the success of our Secret Santa, I thought we could do a ‘Spring Clean Gift Swap’ – make a gift using only products and materials you already have or by finishing off an old project you’ve left.  Fancy it??  Here are the rules..

1. To sign up – please drop me an email at missemmaberry@gmail.com to be added to the swap list.  All entries must be in by Wednesday 12th March.  I will then pair up gift swaps and email everyone with their swappees name, address and Twitter handle.

2. As this is a little more complicated, we will run the challenge over a two-ish month period.  All gifts should have been received by their recipients and posts ready to go by Tuesday 22nd April.

3. Unlike the Secret Santa, you only have to write a post about the gift you RECEIVE and it would be wonderful to link back to your gift maker’s blog!  You CAN tell you recipient who you are or even pop a little letter in there for them – it’s up to you!

I thought this would be a great way to see in Spring and, perhaps, all get to know each other a little better too!

I really hope you all want to take part – be sure to email me your full name, address and Twitter handle so I can pair everyone up efficiently!

And, in the mean time, don’t forget to link up your ‘I Re-Love You’ post below!

Stay Crafty x

 Come join us!


#CraftBlogClub – Q&A Session with Rascal and Roses

craftblogclub badgeWell, with our current #CraftBlogClub upcycling challenge well under way – I Re-Love You – I felt we needed a little Q&A session about furniture restoration. I, for one, would LOVE to get more clued up on upholstery and furniture upcycling; I have about a million pieces of furniture that I want to re-love and I feel a little clueless about where to start!

Let’s face it – upcycling perfectly good pieces of furniture is a little scary for the novice. So I was so pleased when Verity from Rascal and Roses, offered to do a Q&A session on furniture restoration.

If you have a spare few moments, I would strongly suggest heading over to Verity’s blog and looking at some of her wonderful creations. I first came across Verity quite a few months back, when we were both contributing to the same online magazine. She’s one of the original #CraftBlogClub babes and I was delighted for her to share some of her expert advice, especially as I’m attempting a furniture upcycle for this month’s challenge. And it HAS to be amazing!

It seems as if the whole world is going crazy for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. And why the heck not? Annie’s genius invention requires little to no prep on wood and can even produce lasting, great looking results on even modern, plastic trimmed furniture. It’s worth checking out a couple of tutorials on finishing with soft wax, but this paint looks pretty fail-safe for novice furniture ruiner restorer.  Annie Sloan paint comes in some absolutely gorgeous colours, and make perfect base colours for vintage-inspired creations! What are you waiting for?  Go marvel at Annie’s website right now!

#CraftBlogClub chat was full of fabulous ideas and Verity gave us some brilliant advice – a glue and staple gun are now on my crafty wishlist! We talked stencilling, upholstery and I would strongly recommend keeping up to date with Verity’s posts, as her work is spot-on and she knows her stuff!

I hope our Q&A session was helpful – each week we try to rotate areas of crafty interest and I thought this chat was particularly useful for our ‘I Re-Love You’ Challenge.  I guess all that remains is to see how I get on with transforming this…….

blanket box WIPStay Crafty! x

#CraftBlogClub Challenge: I Re-Love You

craftblogclub badgeOooooh look – a cheeky #CraftBlogClub post!  It has been a while since I launched a #CraftBlogClub challenge and a while since we have done one!  So, for February, may I introduce our crafty challenge….

‘I Re-Love You’!

Since the heady days of our Secret Santa challenge, #CraftBlogClub has gone from strength to strength and we have welcomed aboard some lovely new members!  I wanted to set a challenge to ease us all in to the New Year – I toyed with a Valentine’s theme and wanted to do something a little different. 

Before Christmas, we talked about what we would like to incorporate into future #CraftBlogClub challenges and the word ‘Upcycling’ came up A LOT.  So, with frugal in mind, February’s challenge is to upcycle and bring new life to an old piece of furniture or homeware!

Them’s The Rules.

I’ve kept the rules pretty basic – you can either purchase something or use something you have lying around the house.  I haven’t placed restrictions on this – but keeping to a budget would be advisable, for your own sake!

By furniture or homeware, I mean exactly that, furniture or homeware.  You can use a craft method you are already familiar with, or try something new.

As usual, when you have finished your piece, it would be great to write a post on your challenge and I will upload a post and provide a Linky for you to link your posts to. 

The deadline for ‘I Re-Love You’ is March 4th – so we have a month to upcycle and write a post on it!  

If you fancy joining in, to test your upcycling skills and get involved with some truly crafty talent, then we would love to have you!  Our challenges have been a great success so far and I am already looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!  Challenge posts and WIPs are also welcomed – just use the #CraftBlogClub hashtag and also #IReLoveYou to show everyone how you’re doing!! 

P.S The amazing new logo at the top of the page was designed by the lovely Icy Sedgwick and JUST as soon as I’ve worked it out, it will be the official badge of #CraftBlogClub for you all to display, proudly, on your blogs!  Once the teccy bit is all done – I shall pop it up for you all to grab!!

Stay Crafty x