Friday, 30 March 2018

CHSI Stitches 2018.....

Last month I attended the CHSI Stitches show at the NEC.  CHSI Stitches is a free event for the creative craft industry.  It is across two halls: fabric, yarn and textiles in one hall with papercrafts, art materials and hobby crafts in another.

It is a great opportunity to see what the trends are, here is what I spotted....

In recent years there has been a resurgence in people learning, what were once considered traditional crafts such as, knitting and crochet.  There is no sign of this trend slowing down, I saw cute Amigurumi every where.  Amigurumi is Japenese for crocheted or knitted (ami) and stuffed doll (nuigurumi).

Other "old" crafts like macrame are being revived and reinvented.  I've seen this trend coming through on my Instagram feed and I definitely want to try this again.

Tropical brights are still strong with flamingos, llamas and pineapples look like they are hanging around for 2018, which I think is great news because I love this fun trend!

Felting was a craft that I saw a lot of at the show and I saw these guys which were a fun take on taxidermy without the cruelty

The event is for the trade you can't buy anything on the day and suppliers will generally have a minimum order requirement. However if you are not trade it is still an interesting event to see the future trends and be inspired, especially if you go along to one of the seminars or workshops.  I attended a talk on Social media for business and came away with Warren Knight's top 5 tips:

1. Get started
2. Prepare and research
3. Know your customer
4. Be consistent
5. Have a plan.

These are only my highlights of the day and most of the exhibitors will also be at a lot of the craft shows coming up throughout the year which are open to the public.  Will you be going to any?

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Upcyling challenge....

Spring has finally sprung in the UK which makes it a perfect time for another #CraftBlogClub challenge!

We're going to be upcycling!

Spring is a great time to have a clear out and find old stuff.  Instead of throwing things out why not upcycle? 

What you choose to upcycle and the craft techniques you use are up to you.  It could be revamping an old pair of jeans, turning that sad looking plant pot into fab crafty storage container or refurbishing an unloved piece of furniture.

  • We will be revealing our upcycled projects in our Twitter chat on 25th June 2018 and If you have a blog also present your lovely project in a blog post by this date.
  • Please mention #CraftBlogClub in your blog post and link back to this page.
  • Let us know how you’re doing throughout the challenge on Twitter. Don't forget to use our #CraftBlogClub hashtag.
Anyone can join in the challenge, don't worry If you've never joined a #CraftBlogClub chat before, everyone is welcome!

I hope you will join in and I can't wait to see what everyone makes!!...

Monday, 19 February 2018

what's new in fizzi~jayne's HQ?....

Well, it's been a while since I've posted on here. It wasn't because I was sat in front of Netflix eating my body weight in chocolate, although I do like that idea! The reality was the run up to Christmas was super busy, January was playing catch up and I'm just one person.

The good thing is I've been missing the creative process of writing and sharing my creative life with you so I plan to make more time for blogging and get ahead with scheduling posts, so when life does get busy there will still be regular posts. That's the plan, anyway!

So, what have I been up to?

January was a chance to take a step back and see what I have achieved so far and what I can improve on in the year to come.  I haven't got any new year resolutions as such but my goal is to grow and improve on what I started last year.

The last few months of 2017 were busy with the build up to Christmas, making stock, attending craft fairs etc. Even during this time my number one sellers were still the Scrabble Birthday cards.  

designed and handmade by fizzi~jayne makes....
available in various ages in my shop

In October I re-opened my Etsy shop just to see if it was worth having and the result is, it's staying open! 

fizzi~jayne workshops....

craft workshop Christmas box

My biggest achievement last year was that I taught my first workshop and we made Christmas gift boxes. 

This was something I wanted to do for a long time and I finally ignored my fears and did something about it.  I was worried I wouldn't be good enough to teach, that no one would enjoy the class, basically self doubt reared it's ugly head.  However, I loved it! I forgot I was teaching and was in the moment enjoying it and everyone else seemed to have a good time too!

I have more classes booked for February and March at No3 Royston (see the details here) and I'm looking for a second venue to teach at too. 

New products....

Last year I took steps to grow my business by finding a manufacturer to produce my designs on coasters.  It was a big decision to move away from hand making them but it was a process that was not efficient and with a lot of waste.  They are still my designs and I have found a manufacturer based in the UK, which was also important to me.

Gin and tonic coaster

Beer coaser

By using a quality producer means I can grow my business and give me the opportunity to design other types of products in the future.

As a February treat I have reduced my coasters to £3.50, usual price £5, until 28th February and they are available in both my Folksy and Etsy shops.

I've started to sketch new designs and I'm also attending an evening course on Adobe Illustrator so there is lots of creativity and experimentation going on behind the scenes.  I hope to have something worth showing soon.

In order to create new designs and improve my illustrations I have been drawing more regularly just for fun and been sharing them on Instagram under the hashtag #fizzidoodles. 

This has been great to get the creative juices flowing and giving me some stress free me time.

It hasn't all been about work....

Weight loss has been on my "to do list" for a while and I hadn't gotten very far but back in September I joined Weight Watchers and so far I've lost 32 pounds!

My weight loss has helped improve my fitness which is good as I've signed up to do a half marathon in March!! I signed up for the half before I joined Weight Watchers and although I've always been a runner, this will be the furthest distance I have ever run! I will be running in memory of my Nan who we lost last year, raising money for the Alzheimer's Society.

As part of my training I ran the Winter 10KM in London and here I am with my medal....

I've set up another Instagram account @fizzijayne_runs, specifically for my running and weight loss progress.

My plans for the rest of this year are to...
  • teach more workshops
  • create new designs and add new products to my range
  • get back to weekly posts on my blog.  
  • continue with my health and fitness journey. 
  • being creative, just for fun!

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

#CraftBlogClub challenge ~ crafty resolutions...

It's time for our first #CraftBlogClub challenge of 2018!

The challenge is.... "Crafty Resolutions".

Following the popularity of this challenge in previous years, we thought it would be perfect to start 2018 challenging you to learn a new craft or technique.

Whatever your crafting resolution, this challenge is hopefully the motivation to get you started.

The Rules....
    • Learn a new craft, or,
    • Try a new technique within a craft you already enjoy, or,
    • Use that new machine / craft tool you haven't taken out of the box yet, or,
    • Pick up a craft you haven't done in a long time.
  • We will be revealing our makes in our Twitter chat on 20th March 2018 and If you have a blog also present your lovely project in a blog post by this date.
  • Please mention #CraftBlogClub in your blog post and link back to this page.
  • Let us know how you’re doing throughout the challenge on Twitter. Don't forget to use our #CraftBlogClub hashtag.
As it is a new craft/technique and the thought of having to complete a project may be terrifying, don't worry, the whole point of the challenge is to have fun learning a new skill. If you don't have a completed project we still want to see your work in progress.

If you don't have time to learn a new craft or don't have one in mind, why not go back to something you haven't done in a while? Dust off those sewing machines / crochet hooks / knitting needles / paint brushes etc and get crafting.

Anyone can join in the challenge, don't worry If you've never joined a #CraftBlogClub chat before, everyone is welcome!

I hope you will join in and I can't wait to see what everyone makes!!...

Psst.... If you don't know what #CraftBlogClub is and you like the sound of this challenge, we'd love you to join in and you can find out more here.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

New Craft Workshops....

Back in January I decided this would be the year I would start teaching workshops, well I have finally got a couple of dates in the diary before the year ends, yay!

I will be teaching how to make this exploding Christmas gift box at No3 Royston....

The shop has expanded upstairs so they can now offer workshops and I will be teaching the first one on the 18th November in their new space, eek! 

Workshop details

Learn how to make a Christmas gift box with the surprise element!

Whether you are a complete beginner or you’re already a paper-crafter, it will be a fun class learning skills to construct an exploding gift box from a piece of card.

You will leave the class with a gift box for someone’s Christmas present or you can keep it as a decoration by using it with a battery operated tea light. Both options will be taught in the class and you will go away with full instructions so you can make more boxes.

Class size: There will be a maximum of 8 people in the class which is small enough so I can help every student as I guide you through the process step by step.

Materials: All equipment and supplies will be provided but if you are already a paper-crafter and have a paper trimmer or score board you can bring these along with you if you’d like but not necessary.

Skills needed: No previous experience is required. This class starts at the beginning so is suitable for beginners. The class is only suitable for adults.

If you are interested you can book via the shops website here as well as see what other classes they have planned.