Sunday, 31 August 2014

#CraftBlogClub challenge launch....

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We haven't had a challenge for a couple of months whilst we enjoyed the summer holidays, if you went away I hope you had a lovely break. Now the kids are back at school and we've had the last bank holiday until Christmas it's time to lift our moods and set a challenge.
It may only just be September but there is certainly a nip in the air and I have even been tempted to put on the heating! (But I have resisted so far) so as we put the BBQ away and find our winter boots at the back of the wardrobe the theme for this challenge is Winter! Thank you to @kay_O who came up with the idea of a winter theme following a chat about knitting on #CraftBlogClub. 

The rules....

1. There aren't really rules as you can interpret this theme how you like.  If you knit, crochet or sew, you may be inspired to make a winter garment/accessory or use a wintery colour palette to create something for a project of your choice.

I have set up a #CraftBlogClub Winter Challenge board on Pinterest to inspire you if you are stuck for ideas. If you would like to add your inspiration to the board let me know so I can add you as a pinner.
2. Present your lovely project in a blog post by 7th October. 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 month and use our #CraftBlogClub hashtag to keep up to date and also #WinterCBC.
I hope you will join in and I can't wait to see what everyone makes!!...

fizzi~jayne x
Ps. If you are thinking you like the sound of this challenge but don't know what #CraftBlogClub is let me tell you, it is a chat on Twitter which takes place every Tuesday from 7pm (GMT) about craft and blogging, why not join us we are a friendly bunch....


My Month in pics ~ August....

August has been an busy and exciting month, it started off with a wedding of some dear friends....

Cards I made for the happy couple ~ An order from a friend for the couple on the right and the card from me on the left.  Both were designed based on the invitation.

I loved the table centre pieces, so much of the wedding was beautifully handmade.  An arty shot of the hubby's button hole, he was one of 5 best men all of who were called Matt, seriously!

A friend of mine is having her first baby soon and to celebrate I hosted a baby shower for her....

The theme was afternoon tea. Other than the date and time the whole event was a surprise.

All the guests contributed by baking and bringing food.  A friend had a vintage tea set from her wedding, which made it look so pretty!

I made a book for her, I asked everyone to send me photos with their messages for the Mum to be and I put it all together.  It was a big job but so worth it and she loved it!

Inside the book.
I gave everyone party bags full of Jelly babies
I was so surprised when these gorgeous flowers arrived the next day as a thank you from the Mum to Be! I am so pleased she had a good time, phew!
I can't believe it has been a year since the Folksy Summer School! It was here that I decided to start this blog and decided I could make a business out of my passion!
I still think it is pretty cool that the Prime Minister turned up at the Home Business Summit
I am still in awe of the Corner shop.  You can read about my trip to the shop made of felt here
 I had another day out of the Craft Den ~ Wedding Dress Exhibit at the V&A/ Poppies at the Tower of London / The Cock at Trafalgar Square outside of the National Gallery. Read more about my day in London here
Custom orders have been keeping my busy this month ~ New Home card/ Happy 8th Birthday Fearne / Belated Birthday card for Janie 

 1st Anniversary Card / Congratulations to Sharan and Sean celebrating their wedding / 1st Anniversary card based on a New York theme.

Before I go here is some work in progress from Instagram....

September is set to be an exciting month, can't wait!....
fizzi~jayne x

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Crafty technique ~ Shrink plastic....

Shrink plastic never ceases to amaze me! Never heard of it?  As the name suggests it's plastic that shrinks but let me show you more about it and why I think it is so cool....

You can buy shrink plastic from most craft stores and websites, it is sometimes found in the kids craft area and it is something you can do with the kids but with supervision.

You can buy it clear, translucent and in black, for this demo I used translucent 

I've written Live and Laugh and cut them into rectangles before shrinking.

I use a heat tool to shrink the plastic on a heat proof surface. To stop it from blowing away I used the end of a paint brush to keep it on my mat.  You don't need a heat tool instead you can use an oven, the instructions are on the packet, but not a hair dryer, it's not hot enough and a heat tool's air flow is more intense.

Don't Panic! it will shrivel up but as it shrinks it will go back flat.  Just make sure it doesn't stick to itself, if it does use a tool to gently separate or snip with scissors, don't use your fingers, it's hot!

And it's shrunk! It won't go completely flat but you can use a book to rest on it whilst it is still hot, again I speak from experience, don't use your hands, ouch!!

The "Live" has shrunk from 13cm to 5cm, it's magic! It is also thicker and I find the writing looks neater too.

I used these letters on a wall hanging.  These hangings have proved popular at craft fairs and this one is now available in my Folksy  and Etsy shops .

You can also stamp on to shrink plastic.  You need a StazOn ink which is a solvent based ink designed for non-porous surfaces.
To avoid slipping you can gently sand the plastic to give it more grip.

I coloured the flower with Promarkers but any alcohol pen will work.  I cut the flower out and shrunk with my heat tool as before.

Oops! Make sure your heat proof surface is clean so there is nothing for the plastic to stick to otherwise this will happen!

There is so much you can do with shrink plastic! I have been using it for wall hangings and card embellishments but next I want to make jewellery with it.

Shrink plastic is cool! right?

fizzi~jayne x

Monday, 25 August 2014

Another Day in London....

I had another day out in London last week, unfortunately it isn't a new weekly thing, I had another crafty meet up so I took the opportunity to make a day of it. 

I was meeting Laura from Bugs and Fishes in the afternoon so I visited the V&A's Wedding Dress exhibit in the morning and it was AWESOME! If you like wedding dresses or you are interested in fashion history, or if like me you love both, then this is a must see!

The exhibit showcases wedding dresses and documents the history from 1775 to the present day. If you like celeb weddings they have dresses from Gwen Stefani, Kate Moss and Dita Von Teese.

You weren't allowed to take pics so I had the excuse to buy the book so I can revisit the gorgeous-ness of the dresses and swot up on the history, I'm a geek for history especially if it is about pretty dresses.

My favourite dress was called "The Flower Bomb" I am trying to convince my hubby to get married again just so I can have this dress, so far no success!

The Flower Bomb

I didn't have enough time to visit the rest of the gallery otherwise I would be late meeting Laura at the National Gallery. After the obligatory tea and cake we had a wander around the gallery, it was nice to just amble and chat about art, creative things and life. I love being self employed and working from home but it can feel isolated so I think it is important to meet other crafters/small business owners to be inspired and share the challenges of running a creative business.

Before heading home we visited the Tower of London to see the poppies.  You don't have to go into the Tower to see it, just get off the tube to Tower Hill and follow the crowds.  It's an amazing and thought provoking sight....

After having a couple of inspiring days out in London it's time to get my head down in the craft den.  I'm getting lots of custom orders and I am working on Christmas ranges.  I have lots planned for this blog too, I can't wait to share it with you....

fizzi~jayne x

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?

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

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