Friday, 22 August 2014

Free UK delivery this weekend....

If you live in the UK, this weekend is a Bank Holiday, yay!! So to celebrate I am offering free UK delivery until Bank Holiday Monday.
Visit my Etsy shop and enter code FREEUKDEL at checkout and the discount will be automatically deducted.
If you are a Folksy customer enter the code in the "Note to Seller" and I will refund the shipping costs before dispatch.
Offer ends Monday 25th August 2014 at 23:59 (GMT)
Only available for UK postal addresses
Happy shopping!
fizzi~jayne x

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A day out of the craft den....

Last Friday, I had a fun filled day out in London....

First off, I attended the Home Business Summit hosted by Enterprise Nation at Somerset House.  I was joining the rest of the commuters and in London for 9am, I'm not used to this commuting lark!

The conference was to celebrate the 2.9 million Home Businesses in the UK. 70% off all small business start ups start in the home and contribute £300 billion to the annual UK economy.  The event was also to announce new measures by the government to back home businesses as part of it's long term economic plan, Matthew Hancock, the Minister for Enterprise, Business and Energy was there to announce this.

Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation

The Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP

It was inspiring to hear from the panel but none of us expected the Prime Minister to turn up! I thought that the security was OTT but now I know why!

The Prime Minister! David Cameron


David Cameron came to share his enthusiasm and support for home businesses and the importance not only for UK economy but the values of the country, he wants us to be a nation of entrepreneurs.  It was great to hear that home businesses are being taken seriously.
To find out more about the new legislation and the event visit Enterprise Nation's blog.

It was a privilege to be there and I came away buzzing, as I always do from these events, feeling inspired and raring to take on the business world!

After an exciting morning I went to visit the Cornershop.  It's not your normal corner shop it is an art installation by Lucy Sparrow.  It stocks all the usual items you would find in a shop but everything is made from felt!

The Artist, Lucy Sparrow
The shop stocks everything from newspapers, sweets and groceries.  Everything can be bought

It is very Impressive and if you get the chance to go, do! It took 8 months to put together and her next project is a convenience store in New York.  Check out her blog here.

I ended my day by going along to the crafty catch up club, organised by the lovely Zoe from LadyBird LikesWe met at Hawkhurst Vault a great bar that sells cake!

It was great to meet other crafters/creatives sharing experiences of being self employed/working in a creative job and our love for creating.  It's a monthly event and I can't wait for the next one.

It was not my usual Friday and it was a lot of fun to get out and about. I am feeling truly inspired and looking forward to my next day out which just so happens to be this week and in London.

fizzi~jayne x

Monday, 11 August 2014

Last in the Photography Season ~ Bookazine Review, Mollie Makes....

I came across Mollie Makes bookazine on Photography only a few weeks ago so knowing what I had planned for my blog, I had to get it!

What I like....
  • Inspiring images throughout
  • Useful "How To...." topics throughout the magazine.
  • Introduction to photography basics, such as lighting, exposure and depth of field.
  • It isn't about product photography but capturing life. I particularly enjoyed the article about "travels with my camera".  If you have kids there is an article to style a baby shoot.
  • I loved the challenges and tips to try and practice.
  • If you take pics with your phone, there is a "How to" on taking better phone photos.
  • As it is Mollie Makes it has tutorials such as this cute crochet camera cover....

  • Inspiring "Tea and Chat" articles with photographers and bloggers.
  • I liked the articles on scrapbooking, I like to keep memories in a creative way and have scrapbooked when I can fit it in.  Admittedly I still want to do one for my wedding which was 5 years ago! If you have never tried it you should!
I will have to add this photo mini book to my project list!

This is great if you are new to photography, need inspiration or you are a lover of Mollie Makes.  I will certainly refer to it to inspire my photography and scrapbooking.

So that is the end of the photography season, *sad face*, I hope you have enjoyed it. 

Before I go I wanted to share some last thoughts....

  • Whatever level you are at, challenge yourself to get to the next one. 
  • I don't think you have to be a professional to enjoy photography and take a great snap.  Utilise the equipment you have and practice.
  • Follow blogs with photography that inspires you.
  • Read the free resources available, I have a collection on my Pinterest board.
I am passionate about my photography and I love the challenge of learning a skill so I have enjoyed sharing my experiences in these posts, reading the books, learning from the guest professional and the tips shared on #CraftBlogClub.

I would love to hear from you to know what you have thought of these posts and to know if you are doing anything differently?

fizzi~jayne x
Pssst... have you missed any of the previous posts from the Photography Season?  You can catch up by clicking on the below....

Part 1 ~ My Love of Photography
Part 2 ~ A professional's hints and tips
Part 3 ~ Book Review ~ The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos.
Part 4 ~ Light Tent over on Frugally Peachy's Blog
Part 5 ~ #CraftBlogClub chat summary of sharing photography tips.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

My Month in Pics ~ July....

August has started with a bang, I was at a good friends wedding over the weekend but more of that next month, first, what happened in July?!....
I had lots of custom orders this month, thank you....
Christening Card for Chloe June/ Birthday card for Nicola / Cupcake Birthday Card / Wedding card for Rich & Yun (I drew the elephants)

Retirement Card for a Train Fan / 40th Birthday card for a friend / 40th Scrabble Card
We visited Butterfly World and gardens which is down the road from where we live and we had never been! It was a great day out and a great place to take my camera....

The gardens were amazing with sculptures and different themes....
Garden designed as a bedroom / huge flower pot with spider web sculpture

Large plant pots and key / Thyme Garden

My Nan's neighbour kindly gave me this book from 1981.  I hadn't heard of Broomstick Crochet before. I haven't got my head around it yet but looking forward to doing more and showing you the results.  I particularly like the image of this Fluffy Sleep Cape, I think I might make these for Christmas presents!
My current crochet projects, I have also started working on Christmas ideas! (more about the one on the left next month).

This doughnut pin cushion is in Simply Crochet Magazine and it is definitely on the project list!

I attended the launch event for Go and Grow online.  After the success of the recent seminars (read about them here and here) there are 12 months of events planned to help you go and grow your business online.  Visit their website here to find out more.
I saw this and it made me smile
fizzi~jayne x
Pssst.... You can follow me on Instagram here

Thursday, 31 July 2014

#Craftblogclub chat ~ Photography hints and tips....

craftblogclub badge
I hosted #CraftBlogCub this week and in keeping wth the current theme on my blog the chat was about Photography....

I started the evening off with asking, "What camera do you use? a DSLR, compact, iPhone...."
@Amy_Christa - I rely mostly on my iPhone then editing on my iPad
@youngonesfive - my phone mostly. Samsung Galaxy 5, fab camera
My hubby has that phone, it has similar settings to a DSLR and dare I say, I think it has a better camera than an iPhone!

@mypapercrush asked for "any tips for getting the best of your photography if you've only got your iPhone?"

A top tip I got from A Beautiful Mess is to wipe the lens. You can check out all their top tips for iPhone photography over on their blog here

@eyrea  -  I don't know about iPhones, but my Android lets you take photos by voice command. Helps avoid camera shake.
That is very cool, I asked Siri and he took me to the camera but he wouldn't take a picture for me! Unless there are other settings on the iPhone, I don't think it can take pics by voice command.

I am still amazed how technology has evolved and how it is possible to take a quality photo with a phone! My first mobile was only capable of calls and texts, O and playing snake (who remembers that??!) 
@Creative_Mine - I  just recently got myself a new camera, I am on the lookout for any tips that can be useful. Thanks, :).

My top tips are ~ I would play and try all the functions and see what results you get. Also re-read your camera instructions, I re-read mine after a year and found all sorts of info I missed

What's your #1 photography tip?
My tip is to use natural light
@Kay_O - I'd love natural light but currently my house isn't ideal for that! I've got better at positioning under artificial though!

I'd highly recommend a natural light bulb, it can help.
@Kay_O - One thing I'd recommend is taking loads of pics from different angles! Sometimes the strangest things work!

@ForestFlower23 - My top tip is learn to use macro settings for close ups and invest in a mini tripod to keep camera steady!
I also would recommend a tripod, stops the shakes!

What photography apps do you use? I love instagram!
@ForestFlower23 - me too - I actually asked for a smart phone for my birthday JUST so I could have instagram!
@Kay_O - I use the insta editor but though I have the app I don't actually use instagram!
@eyrea  - The GIMP for editing -- it's great for photos destined for the web, it's full of features, and it's free! 

@FlutterbyButton - I resisted Instagram for a long while as I felt it was just another social media platform to get bogged down in, now I love it! Also use Afterlight, great app

 @Amy_Christa - I use VSCO to edit most of my photos but I love the in app edits Instagram has as well.  My favourite photography app is TimerCam, I did a post about my love for it

@Baking_Betsy - I use also VSCO  for all my phone edits. Really lovely the app with great filters and a whole lot of editing control.
I need to check out VSCO, I was recommended Snapseed which is a free App. It has lots of editing features but I've not had a chance to use it much

We had a great question from @Kay_O " Does anyone have a favourite PC/Laptop based photo editor?
I use a Serif program which was free and I love 

@Kay_O - I've used picmonkey a bit, loving at the moment, I did all my current new photos on the blog using them!

Is there a blog whose photography you admire?
@Kay_O - I admire too many to mention, I want to take nicer photos from now on! It wasn't something I'd really thought about before!

I am so pleased this chat has inspired @Kay_O!

I've mentioned them already but I'm currently loving A Beautiful Mess and I love the clean and crisp photography of One Sheepish Girl
@eyrea reminded me of another great blog for photos  - "Attic 24, Always has fantastic light, pleasantly bright but not harsh. Hard to duplicate in my apartment".

I asked @eyrea if she has tried taking photos outside to get the natural light ~ "On my balcony, in the shade :-). I've started using the local park when weather allows." 
I wanted to know if this has made a difference ~ "Certainly enough to venture out again. I've also used local cafĂ© tables."
I'm impressed with the effort it just shows that if you haven't got the right light at home there is a way around it.
It was a great chat, so thank you to everyone who joined in.
#CraftBlogClub is every Tuesday from 7pm, join us for a friendly chat about blogs, craft and everything in-between!
fizzi~jayne x

Psssst.... If you have missed any of my posts from the photography season click on the images below....

Part 1 ~ My Love of Photography
Part 2 ~ Guest Post by a professional photographer

Part 3 ~ Book Review

Part 4 ~ Making a light tent from a cardboard box (over at Frugally Peachy)