Thursday, 23 October 2014

#CraftBlogClub Challenge Reveal Part 2....

In my post revealing the #CraftBlogClub Winter challenge I said I had set myself the challenge of making two items. The first completed item can be seen here, The second item, my beanie hat, is now complete!!  To recap I used the crochet pattern from Happy Green Frog and used this wool....

and this is the result....
The only change I made to the pattern was I added a Pom Pom with the left over yarn.

I took it out on its first outing on the hottest day in October but I was determined to wear it!....

fizzi~jayne x

Sunday, 19 October 2014

October Craft Fairs....

What a busy few weeks! I've attended three craft fairs, three weekends in a row. 

I started them off by going back to the Little Fox Market in Rickmansworth.  This was my second time here.  I love this market, you can read about my first time and why I think it is fab here.  I wanted to have a home for fizzi~jayne to be seen regularly and I think I have found it, yeah!  (As long as they will have me back!!)
My stall at Little Fox Market, Rickmansworth

I also went back on tour to New Milton, another favourite. I went to their Spring fair and immediately applied for their Autumn fair. This will be another venue I will return to in 2015.

I was next to a seller of fabulous bags and I have been treated to one of them for my birthday! It was hidden away before I had a chance to take a photo so like me, you will have to wait! In the meantime you can check out her stuff here

I was in Harpenden last Saturday, this was my third time here.  I haven't done so well at this one so I won't be back there for a while.  It doesn't get the footfall the others do and there are too many other card sellers. I did get an order by another stall holder for bunting based on the design I have for my stall, which is exciting and flattering.  This could be the start of a whole new range?!... 

My stall at Harpenden

I had a new display of Christmas decorations and my new chalk boards had their d├ębut.  My focus this week will be to add my new products to my Folksy and Etsy shops as they are starting to look bare after my craft fairs.

I have a weekend off before I do three more in November.  Next Month it is all about craft fairs in places that begin with an "R" (coincidentally!).  I am back in Rickmansworth, then in Royston and then Radlett for their Christmas Craft Fairs.  I've not been a stall holder at Royston or Radlett before so I am excited to be going to new venues as well as go back at the Little Fox.

For more details on future craft fairs I will be attending please go to my Events & Craft Fairs Page.

fizzi~jayne x

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

#CraftBlogClub Winter Challenge Reveal....

craftblogclub badge

It's time for the reveal! Full details of the challenge can be found here, but to summarise the theme for this challenge was Winter, which came about following a Twitter chat.  It was a very open theme allowing everyone to interpret the theme in whatever way they fancied crafting. 

So what did I do?....

Well I set a challenge for myself to make 2 items! If you follow me on Twitter you will have seen a few pics for one of them but the other is a gift for someone, The pressie I made is a blanket for a friend's new baby. The baby was due on 20th September so plenty of time to make the blanket and give it before the reveal, or so I thought!  However, my friend's baby wasn't ready to make an appearance until 5th October. (So if you are said friend please do not read any further!)

I chose a yarn based craft as I can't go by a week without hooking something and with a new baby on the way, this challenge was perfect timing to crochet a blanket!

I crocheted this blanket using a pattern from Love Crochet Magazine.  It is a giant, cute granny square using treble crochet stitch.  It took a few weeks to make but I think that is because I am a perfectionist!  I would be happily crocheting and if I saw a stitch too loose or just not right, I'd have to unravel a section and start again.

I used Sidar Snuggly DK yarn in neutral colours, pearly green (0304), lemon (0252) and Hayfield Baby Bonus DK yarn in cream (0855).

The pattern recommended a 3.5mm crochet hook, I didn't have that size, I had a choice of 3.75mm or 3mm. I did a test square with both sizes and decided to go for a tighter square by using a 3mm size crochet hook. After a while it was hurting my hand so I treated myself to a new hook and it was so much better....

These Armour Crochet Hooks are definitely my favourite, they are so comfy to work with.

I can't wait to meet the new arrival and give her my gift, I hope she likes it and it keeps her warm in the winter months.

This theme inspired me to make my second item, I want a new hat for the Winter and I found this crochet pattern for a beanie hat on Ravelry and I found this perfect yarn on holiday....

Purple and pink are my favourite colours and this yarn was in the sale, result!

I've got this far...

I'll hopefully finish it soon and I will show you when it is done.

I can't wait to see what you have created, so what are you waiting for?! The linky is live below and ready for your posts. I will keep it open for 3 weeks, so no need to panic if your post or challenge isn't ready to share yet!

If you would like to add an image and link to the Pinterest board I created for the challenge please leave your Pinterest tag in the comments below and I will add you as a pinner.

We will be revealing our creations in the chat tonight, whether it is finished or work in progress. So if you don't have a blog you can still share your lovely makes over on Twitter, don't forget to use #WinterCBC as well as the usual #CraftBlogClub.

We would also love to know what you thought of this challenge, please leave comments below or join in the Twitter chat.

Chat starts over at 7pm (GMT) tonight over on Twitter.

fizzi~jayne x

Psst.... Want to know more about #CraftBlogClub? Find out here.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

and the results are in.....

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete my surveyI really appreciate your feedback and it will help me shape my blog in the future. 

I thought I would share some of the insights but I guess you want to know who won the £15 Etsy gift voucher first, right?!

Everyone who left their details on the survey were entered into the list randomiser and the winner is..........


Congratulations Anthea! Your gift voucher should be in your inbox. Happy Shopping!

So what did you all say?....

Check out these pie charts, I managed to do these by myself!

Everyone loves reading my craft techniques and want to see more, thanks guys! I have fab, craft techniques planned and I will try and fit more into my schedule in the future.

You want to see more of behind the scenes, I better tidy up the craft den so I can show you!

I won't neglect the other areas you enjoy and want to read more of, but it is so helpful to know what you enjoy and what I need to focus on.

I also learnt that Twitter is your number 1 social platform! The rest were placed....
2nd Instagram
3rd Facebook
Joint 4th place Pinterest and Google+

A huge thank you for the kind and supportive comments you gave me in the survey. They were lovely to read and I feel reassured that I made the right decision to start this blog and you like it! *big smiley face*

If you missed the chance to complete the survey and you want your chance to tell me what you think, you can still give me your feedback, but I'm sorry you won't be entered into a giveaway! The survey has only 10 questions which I would really appreciate it if you could take the time to complete.  It should take no longer than 3 minutes, please enter the survey here.

Thank you again for taking the time to complete my survey!

fizzi~jayne x

Psst.... I have a craft fair on Saturday if you are in the Rickmansworth area it would be lovely to see you.  For more details go to my Events and Craft Fairs page

Monday, 29 September 2014

The Handmade Fair ~ Upcycling with Chalk Paint workshop....

In my last post I mentioned I attended an Annie Sloan Upcycling workshop at the Handmade Fair. I'm giving it it's own post as I learnt some great tips that I wished I knew about when I first used Annie Sloane's Chalk Paint.

Annie Sloan
Chalk Paint adheres to almost any surface and doesn't require priming or sanding. Annie Sloane is an artist and developed it 20 years ago when she had young children and didn't want to have to wait for things to dry and was frustrated with the lack of paint options available at the time.  It is called Chalk Paint because of its velvety, matte finish.

We were given a large candle stick to paint with Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint.

It is a different approach to normal paint. I like paint strokes in the same direction and when using chalk paint for the first time I didn't realise the technique is to move the paint brush in all directions. So when I was slap dash in the workshop it was much easier....

One coat painted
When I first used the paint I kept getting air bubbles, to stop this I need to have shorter, slow strokes and not be aggressive or slap the paint on.  So when applying chalk paint you need to relax, be liberal and lavish with the paint and not be a perfectionist!

Chalk Paint is thick so you shouldn't need more than one coat and you can also create texture.  If you prefer a smooth finish just add water and apply in the same direction as the grain.

We needed a little longer for the paint to dry but we were running out of time so when I applied the wax where the paint was wet it did rub away, so make sure the paint is dry before waxing. 

When waxing use a cotton rag, work small areas at a time and don't apply too thickly. The wax becomes touch dry very quickly but the 'curing' process takes 5-21 days depending on the ambient temperature. 

To give a distressed look, we removed a little of the paint using sandpaper after waxing.

The finished piece!

I was really happy with the finished candlestick, I just need to find a place for it at home.  I was even happier that I managed not to get blue paint on my white top, phew! 

There are more ways to use Chalk Paint, you can apply two coats in different colours for a two colour distressed look. You can also mix paint to create a new colour so there are endless shades available. This paint does give you a lot of creative freedom.

Annie Sloan only supplies and supports independent stores, which I think is great.  Most of these stores run workshops to learn all the different techniques you can do with this paint. This workshop at the Handmade Fair only touched the surface!

Have you used chalk paint? I'd love to hear about the projects you have used it for.

fizzi~jayne x

Psst.... Tomorrow is the last day to enter my giveaway! To enter click here