In my craft room

Crafting with Felt Balls - Part 2 of 2

Felt necklace

Felt necklace 2

Part 1 of the crafting with felt balls can be found here.

I have a storage basket full of jewellery making beads and findings that I bought when I had a jewellery making faze, we all have those right? And it didn't last terribly long, again that happens to all of us, yes?

This little necklace was made using embroidery floss, small beads, felt balls and a magnetic clip. It's a delicate piece and probably not meant for every day wear.

Again I won't go into a detailed step by step as there are so many on the www for your reference.

Top tip:
If you're new to 'knotting' take some time to do a little research before you start. I have a few pins on my JEWELLERY MAKING Pinterest board that are worth looking at.

The felt balls came from Wool Felt Company. They really do have a great selection of colours, and the variety pack is worth buying if you're just starting out, (that's what I did).

Pinterest is full of fabulous felt ball crafting ideas and I'm so looking forward to more making during the year.

C xx


One Little Word - January and February

OLW 5
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OLW 5

I am so enjoying documenting my OneLittleWord 2017.

January was all about getting to know our word and documenting intentions. Putting words, thoughts and ideas down on paper have made my word and what I plan to achieve in this year very real. I have spent too much of my life living without seeing my real potential and being the person I want to be. Although I am very focused on my physical well being and changing my body this year, the real change is going on inside. Because everything I am doing is for ME. Spending 90 minutes a week on my treadmill is for ME, it is time to be by MYSELF. No social media and no chores. Time at my craft desk doing my OLW album is for ME. Time spent watching my TV series and knitting is for ME.

These things are MINE. These things make me HAPPY. These things make me SHINE.

In February we looked at practice. Finding something we want to do regularly and documenting making it reality. I started the Couch to 5K running program last September and kind of got lost in the process because of one thing and another. I knew that I wanted to do it in 2017 and this prompt came just at the right time. You can see from the last photo that I didn't quite get to doing 3 days a week, but it was good practice to finding the routine. Since the 27th of February I have been on the treadmill 3 times a week and will be completing week 6 of the program this weekend. On the back of that calendar page is a reflections section which I used to document the difficulties in setting my routine and how I overcame them during the month of February.

More later :)

C xx


Crafting with Felt Balls - Part 1 of 2

Felt mobile 1

Felt mobile 2

Felt mobile 3

Felt mobile 4

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Felt mobile 6

I have only recently discovered creating with wool roving and felt. And I am thoroughly enjoying it.

In December I made a little needle felted Santa to go in a mini wreath and after Christmas I sat down to make some gifts (yes I'm good at making Christmas gifts after Christmas!!) with felt balls. I wanted to make the balls myself but having found Wool Felt Company I discovered that it was cheaper and easier to buy them!

For these hanging mobiles I used:
Felt balls (20mm)
Embroidery thread
Beads
Driftwood (bought off eBay)
A drill (thank you dear husband for drilling the holes for me)
A thin, sharp, long needle

Top tip:
If you're new to 'knotting' take some time to do a little research before you start. I have a few pins on my JEWELLERY MAKING Pinterest board that are worth looking at.

I won't reinvent the wheel by doing a step by step as there are so many wonderful tutorials and videos on the internet already. However any questions, please shout and I will help!

I didn't want to bundle too much on one post so look out for a part 2 project next month.

Happy day.
C xx


One little word - A year long journey

One little word 2017 2

Do you know Ali Edwards? If you don't, you need to! I have long admired her style of memory keeping and life documenting and although I have joined in by choosing 'one little word' each year, I haven't ever documented the journey. When she offered a REALLY good shipping rate on the one little word kits I thought it was a great opportunity to do just that. So I signed up for the class, ordered my kit and set about choosing my word.

For me the process usually starts in October, when I watch the garden die back and the leaves fall off the trees, I reflect on the year that has passed, and what changes I want to make to the way I live my life. Sometimes the word is influenced by a book, one year I chose Gratitude as my word after reading The Secret, and wrote one thing I was grateful for each day in my diary. Boy did that make me realise just how many good things I have in my life! 2016's word came to me after I started seeing a counsellor at the end of 2015.

This year my word came about as a sat with a pen and paper and did some word association, starting with my 2016 word, ENOUGH. After being drawn to a word, I thought I would mull it over for a few days. And then when I started to see it everywhere (!!) I knew it was the right one for me.

SHINE!

For two years running I have also worn my word. Last year I had a hand stamped silver pebble on a chain and this year I have a silver bar on a chain. Both are from the online shop Tiny Silver.

I will share my pages and story on the blog and also instagram under hashtag;cjmonelittleword throughout the year.

One little word 2017 3

The kit has arrived and it is FAB! I have printed off the first lesson. I'm ready to GO! Ready to SHINE!

C xx


Mini Christmas wreaths

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Christmas wreath 4

I have spent way too much time out of my craft room over the past few years, but this autumn I felt a pull back into it. Maybe it's the reshuffle of the room reminding me about the really cool crafting supplies I own, or the many hours I've spent on Pinterest pinning really cool stuff that I wanted to make. The creative juices have been bubbling over and I've loved every minute.

In an attempt to use up some of my odd half yarn balls I thought yarn wrapped polystyrene rings was a great idea. Embellishing options are endless and I was torn between pom poms, needle felting, crochet snow flakes and knitted robins. Actually I'm really keen to make seasonal and occasional wreaths so I can just change them up every few months!!

So here is some detail:
The polystyrene rings are from Hobbycraft.
Yarn is Rowan cocoon (grey and green) and Rowan creative focus worsted (red) left overs.
The bells came from eBay and the ribbon from my stash.
The santa is needle felted using wool roving from Art Van Go in Knebworth
The little tree is from Tim Holtz Christmas collection adorned with tiny beads individually stuck on (!!!)

Christmas wreath 5

Thank you Pinterest for the inspiration! And thanks for visiting.

C xx


Craft/Office/Gym room *progress*

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I wanted to do an inspirational post about the reorganisation of our craft/office/gym room, with before, during and after photos, but in truth I'm not sure if this room will ever be totally done. Things go out, things come in, projects are started and there is always some activity going on. So I thought I would just share the room as it is now, and please note that this is after a big change up to fit the new gym equipment in.

Pinterest has literally changed my life when it comes to getting organised. There are so many great ideas out there and I love to gather lots of information to work out the best plan for organising. I did this for our coat cupboard (small/tiny room off the entrance hall) refit that we did earlier this year. We lived with a very UNfunctional space for our coats and shoes, for over ten years!! It was only when I had gathered ideas and planned what I needed to buy and how much work was involved did we start work. That cupboard is now SO functional and has stayed neat and tidy since it's refit.

Now, the coat cupboard refit was easy in respect of the stuff that needed to be organised. My craft room is not easy AT ALL because my stash changes (and grows) all the time. In the autumn I can't resist buying yarn to add a couple of new shawls and jumpers/cardigans to my woolly wardrobe. I also buy scrapbooking supplies that will convert into a Journal Your Christmas album. So stash needs to be stored before being converted and some will move out the room (knitted items) and some will stay but in a new 'form' (album).

One of the organisation products I love, especially for yarn, are the Drona boxes that fit in my expedit unit. Both are from IKEA and although they don't make the expedit any longer they do have an alternative, Kallax. At £2.50, the Drona box is so affordable and surprisingly strong. We have one that is packed with CDs, and although we do carry and move it carefully, the bottom hasn't fallen out of it! I would also like to get some Flarra mini chests to separate out supplies for needle felting and embroidery. And I would like a slightly larger desk!

As I work on optimising the space and functionality of my scrapping corner, especially as I will spend time here making over the festive season, I'll be sure to share more detail and ideas.

Until then, happy creating!
C xx


A Floral Brooch Bouquet

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Last year I made a Brooch Bouquet. I love the idea of having an everlasting reminder of a wedding day that can be displayed in the home and become a family heirloom.

There are two types of Brooch bouquets. one made entirely of brooches (usually collected over time from family members and friends - this is a great idea if you start collecting after the engagement), and one with brooches added to a faux floral display. I love both ideas and as I love to actually wear brooches I opted to buy diamante embellishments from The Handmade Card Company.

Choosing flowers and brooches can be a bit horse and cart as you need the brooches to try against the flowers but before you buy the brooches you'll want to know how many and what size you need. I was very lucky to have won a lovely selection of brooches from the THCC so I had a starting point. Some of the brooches don't have hols to thread wire through so make sure you can borrow (if you don't own) a glue gun.

The first step is to wire your brooches, I used some florist wire that I bought off eBay. I chose a good weight (thickness) wire on my first try. Your local florist or Hobbycraft will have.

Brooch bouquet 9

I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to buy faux flowers online and am lucky enough to have a lovely shop that stocks an excellent range. Be warned, good quality faux flowers (ie ones that don't actually look fake!) are quite pricey. I took my wired brooches with me when I chose the flowers.

This bit was very trial and error and as I have NO floral arranging experience it was very daunting. But you just need to trust your eye and look at ready made bouquets for ideas. A hair band is a very effective tool for this job as you can quickly tie a bouquet together to look at it from all angles and swop hands without it falling to bits. Also don't forget to take photos of each arrangment because you'll kick yourself when you think that the third one you tried was perfect and you're now on 349 and can't really remember what it looked like!!

Once you're happy with your arrangment (and again don't rush this bit, live with it tied in a hair band and keep coming back to it in different lights and times of day), wrap the stems together with florist tape (another eBay buy) and secure tightly so the centre blooms don't slip.

Top Tip: Wind the brooch wires around the flower stems to keep them secure.

Then wind ribbon over the tape and tie off. I chose a simply gingham ribbon with a bow.

Just a note: I looked a countless brooch bouquets online and thought I could make it for less. My supplies did cost less than a ready made one but I spent a LOT of time on it. If you're not crafty or don't have the time to make your own then consider buying it. Etsy has some really beautiful ones!

The internet has lots of ideas and video tutorials (so I didn't bother making another one!), which are a great help if you choose to make your oen bouquet.

Happy crafting!

C xx


Overwhelmed

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All crafters can relate to the feelings of being overwhelmed. I am often overwhelmed, and feeling that way right now.

Crafters collect stash, and I have done a good job over the past 13 years of paper and yarn crafting to amass a serious amount of stuff. I have a craft area, in a spare bedroom, which I share with my dear husband, our treadmill and various desks and shelf units.

It's a mess. An area of chaos.

And it's time to clean up!

I am one of those people that needs a tidy system. It takes me months (maybe years) to come up with a practical solution to a storage/organisation problem. And if I've factored in all elements it works. Two big projects I have tackled and succeeded in this year are my coat cupboard and herb & spice storage (I'll blog them later in the year). Both took a lot of planning and foresight and the reason they succeeded is the elements (ie shoes/coats/herbs and spices) don't grow at the rate that yarn craft stash does.

And this is what I am battling to get a hold of. I know I will never catch up with the projects on my TO MAKE list but I keep adding more than I finish in a month. This has a direct impact on my yarn storage because an added project is also accompanied by a bag of yarn. Yes I am impulsive and when I want to make something I print the pattern and buy the yarn.

The idea of taking the elements (yarn) and deciding on the best storage solution is just not viable. This is an ever changing growing stash.

So i'm posting these photos on my blog to hold me accountable and encourage the eventual successful solution to this storage and organisation problem.

Stay tuned (although I may be a while) for the result!

C xx


Preserving memories and photo printing

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Back in 2015 I posted about my journey into uploading my phone photos to snapfish and creating photobooks. I love that I can still preserve memories in a creative way even though I no longer scrapbook.

However during 2016 I have combined my love of daily diary writing with creativity and memory keeping. I will talk more (in September) about how my Carpe Diem planner has evolved into a memory book but for now I wanted to talk about the company I use to print photos from my phone.

They're called Cheerz and they do the cutest instamatic style prints in such great quality! I have tried a few of the phone app printing companies and so glad I found these guys. (PS. not receiving anything for these words, they are my own and I pay for all my prints).

So it's easy peasy, you just pop the app on your phone, allow it access to your photos, upload what you want printed and pay. It takes a couple of days to get to you and VOILA, you have memories in your hands! As I take most of my photos square for uploading to instagram I love that I don't need to alter them to fit the instamatic style that Cheerz uses. I also love that their app is pretty user friendly, cause I can't do over complicated!

My plan is to get into a habit of uploading and printing photos every two weeks so I can keep on top of it and not worry about printing doubles or forgetting to print.

I hope you have good results with Cheerz if you choose to use them!

C xx


Easter egg gifts

Easter egg assortment

Easter bunny bowl

Easter egg cones

Easter bunny poop

Easter bunny poop close up

A bit of Easter egg gift inspiration today. I wanted to do something completely different this year but left it too late to buy supplies (and I needed to deliver one parcel on the weekend) so thankfully I had plenty cone shaped cellophane bags left in my stash.

We usually buy large bags of eggs and split them up. This is cost effective and gives each kid (some of them big kids) a bit more variety. It was also great to get a few crafting supplies out for the Easter bunny poop bags. I did 'Easter bunny tails' using marshmallows a few years ago (never photographed) and they went down a treat. I hope these do too!

I'm so looking forward to Easter, the break from work and the time with family.

Ciao xx