Crafts · DIY

Seashell Wreath

My lovely friend Agnes went to the beach a few weeks ago (when the weather was still lovely) and collected loads of seashells. Being the awesome friend she is, she brought me a bag full of them – some still attached to both halves.

Saying I was excited is an understatement. I am in the process of creating a little oasis in the back of the house for myself (with lots of help from my amazing husband) and was looking to add a little DIY to the fence above my little herb bed.

A seashell wreath was just the perfect idea. I got the styrofoam ring from Vibes & ScribesIMG_2961 for €1.75 – everything else I had already at home. I have a nice selection of paint samples (when Little Miss Sophie comes over, we do a lot of painting), old jewellery that I was thinking of throwing out and some beads from other projects and broken jewellery. And who hasn’t got a glue gun at home?

I love the result and it looks great on the fence (I just need to hang it a bit higher as my bunting is too high). Here is a little video of the project. Enjoy xx

Disclaimer: There are NO affiliate links in this post.

Crafts

DIY Birthday Cards

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This year, I am trying to send birthday cards to friends rather than just sending texts. Modern technology has let us become quite impersonal with messages on Facebook and text messages.

I have four birthdays coming up next week and thought, why not make cards – I still have a lot of cardstock and stamps at home, so it didn’t cost me anything other than the stamps to post them.

This is a very simple design but can be customized to all colours. I am using butterflies as a motive but you can use flowers etc. if you don’t have a butterfly punch.

Inserts for the cards are also easy to make if you have a printer – the internet offers loads of sayings and as long as you don’t sell your creations but use them for personal use, you can use them.

Enjoy

 

Christmas

Crochet Snowflakes Christmas

I was looking into creating a gift for a lovely friend of mine. She is a very talented crafter herself, so I needed to come up with something she hadn’t done herself already.

Thanks God for Pinterest – I am actually addicted to it and keep collecting ideas for later. One of these ideas was crocheted snowflakes – just loved how filigree they were lookings. I had some mini baubles and a piece from an old artificial Christmas tree laying around so the idea of creating a decorative hanging was in my head.

I crocheted five different snowflakes I found on PinterestIMG_1324.jpg (unfortunately, I am not creative enough to come up with my own designs) and needed to stiffen them. For that I purchased a bottle of fabric stiffener – I had never used it and wasn’t sure how it will turn out. The first batch of snowflakes turned out nice but I stretched them on a wooden board I had with nails I had in my ‘toolbox’. That wasn’t such a good idea as the timber stained the snowflakes where they touched the board after being sprayed with the stiffener and the nails left dirty marks on the tips. So the first batch wasn’t usual for what I had planned.

So, off I went crocheting five new snowflakes (the beauty of them is that each only has rows between 3-6 rows so you can do them quickly in an afternoon). This time I used a cork board covered in plastic and sewing pins. I pinned the snowflakes tight enough to keep them off the surface (just in case) anIMG_1325d sprayed again with the stiffener. Left them to dry overnight and the result was stunning.

I hung the snowflakes on white yarn I used to crochet them on the piece of old Christmas tree and added mini pearl baubles to the mix. I love the look and getting ready to crochet more snowflakes for my own window – just use hooks with suction on your window and hang the snowflakes in different heights and hey presto, you have a stunning window decoration.

I used white as I had lovely cotton yarn in my collection of wool but you can use any colour really. I recommend using cotton yarn rather than wool to give you clean edges.

 

 

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The Final Result

What I learnt:

  • Fabric Stiffener is quite wet so make sure you dab off the excess. PVA glue thinned with a bit of water does the same trick.
  • Leave the snowflakes at least overnight to ensure that they have dried properly
  • Pin opposite sites to ensure an even stretch
  • Using a spray – make sure you are not near anything as it sprays wide. My phone looked a bit funny after being misted.

 

Christmas

Christmas Glitter Ornaments

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 11.33.20Christmas is such a magical time and I love to go to the big department stores like Brown Thomas and Harrods in London. The imagination that goes into the dIMG_E1305ecorations of these trees is simply stunning and I am always jealous when I see how luxurious the trees are.

As I don’t have the budget to buy the larger ornaments, I am always looking for ideas on how to add that vavavoom feel to my own tree.

This year, I came across masks in Mr Price – a great source for craft material – for just €1 each and couldn’t resist buying a few. The shop also has bulk paint and glitter and styrofoam baubles – basically anything I needed for my glitter extravaganza.

The tinsel yarn (that’s what it’s called) I found in Aldi at one of their craft special buys. It came in a pack of four balls (didn’t even need one for five baubles). I crocheted strings of chains to make the yarn a bit bulkier (I am known to have not much patience) and fill the baubles better. PVA glue is a universal glue, also called wood glue. You can buy it in craft shops or DIY stores.

I think my Christmas tree looks quite stunning this year and could stand in Harrods on its own.

Enjoy xxx

Disclaimer: I am not connected with Mr Price or Aldi and have paid for all my material. This is not a sponsored post.

DIY

Jewellery Frame

I am not a jewellery person but you might be forgiven to display some disbelief. I was looking for a certain pair of earrings the other night (one of these rare nights when I was able to persuade Mr Make! to come to a function with me) and opened my little box of treasures. Everything was tangled up and it took me ages to find the matching earrings.

Being fed up with something is the best motivation to change things. And the fact that I remembered that I had some old (and I mean old) frames lying around. I went to an auction once (since then I am not allowed to attend any auctions anymore as I don’t seem to have any self-control) where I saw the old frames offered as a lot and I thought €50 is a bargain (husband didn’t think so).

But said husband comes in quite handy sometimes as his van and shed can be a treasure throve. He happened to have chickenwire and all I needed was a bit of patience.

This is my first jewellery frame and I have learned a lot from it (in case I get another notion). First, I would have added all frills before I attached the chickenwire – makes life so much easier.

Anyways, here is te result (and I noticed that I have much more jewellery than I thought I had (and a lot has already been sorted out and brought to the charity shop). It is all costume jewellery and things I found at craft markets etc.

When I took the frame and turned it around (I haven’t touched the box of frames since I bought it) and found this amazing label – I made sure that I didn’t take it off when I cleaned the frame. I tried to do a quick research into the business but came up empty – might do it more seriously later.

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I could have painted the frame but I love wood as it is (saying that, some upcycle I have seen were awesome) and I wanted to preserve the details on the frame. They were quite loose in some places and completely missing in others. I carefully glued the pieces back into their rightful place and cleaned carefully. I haven’t waxed it yet but it’s in the planning.

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Next, I stapled the chickenwire to the back of the frame – and here is the mistake, I should have added the wire last after I added the rod for the bracelets and the cotton lace for the stud earrings (also, I will be adding a second rod in a few days for the rings).

I am not showing you the back of the frame with my sorrow attempt to staple – I have an electric stapler but for some reason it decided not to cooperate and the staples were half hanging out so I had to hammer them down.

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Next I attached the cotton lace on top of the frame (again, I should have started with the rod). After I attached the rod (with two srew-in hooks), I didn’t have enough space on the top, so I attached a second ribbon of cotton lace.

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Now it was just a matter of sorting through my assortment of jewellery (and I should really stop calling it jewellery as it has no financial value whatsoever).

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Enjoy xx

Christmas · Crafts

Beaded Christmas Star

With Christmas approaching fast, my thoughts are going to my Christmas decorations. Every year, I am trying to add something new to the tree.  My theme is quite classic with gold tones and warm white lights. So when I am looking at things to add, they need to match the theme I already have (no mix and match here).

My friend Susanne, who lives in Germany, came last year for a visit and in her suitcase she had some great goodies, including a pack of wired star shapes. We mixed some beads and sequins together and started wrapping beaded wire around the star shapes. The result was stunning. Susanne uses her on her tree but I tend to use mine as napkin rings.

Word of warning tho – it is tricky getting the beads etc. onto the wire and you might loose the will to live. Either watch telly while doing it, or better, do what I did, have your friends arounds for a craft session.

I got these star shapes from Germany (Susanne sent me a care package) but you can easily shape strong wire yourself to use.

Beads, sequins etc, are available in Vibes & Scribes in Bridge Street as well as the Cork Craft Supply shop in Paul Street Shopping Centre.

Enjoy x

Craft Business · Uncategorized

Craft Fairs – The Display

Going to craft fairs is one of my favourite activities. I love seeing new trends, talents and get some inspiration for myself. I also try to make connections with crafters to invite them to my Christmas Craft Fair that I organise every year in Blarney. I love introducing new crafters to the visitors at the fair.

As I see crafting as a business, I always look at how people display and sell their ware. Some items are harder to display then others. For example, hand-knitted baby clothes, cards and jewellery can be very difficult to arrange nicely.

Below are some of my thoughts on a good display.

  • Don’t overcrowd

    • You want to get as much on the table as possible – but keep in mind that too many items can be confusing to potential buyers. Can each item be seen properly? Do people have space to pick up things without anything collapsing? You have space under the table, store your items there until you have space again. You don’t need five of the same – if people are interested but want it in a different colour – they will ask.
  • Build up

    • Laying everything flat on the table doesn’t look very attractive and it will look more like a carboot sale than a special craft stall. There are different ways of displaying your items. Below are some examples for different items. (Photos taken from the web)
  • Display Prices

    • Ensure that your prices are visible as not everybody will ask you. Most people have a price point they won’t overstep and having to ask for prices might lead to an embarrassing experience for both sides. Seeing the price ensures that people who stay will consider buying. Displaying your prices also ensures that there is no need for you to know all your prices by heart. It has happened more than once that I was quoted a price for an item while my friend a few moments later was given a different one for the same item. That can offend some people and they will avoid your stall in future.
  • Business Cards/Leaflets

    • I have mentioned this already in my previous posts about craft business – some craft fair visitors might just browse and won’t make a decision on the spot but would like to ponder about a purchase. If you don’t have leaflets or business cards displayed with your contact details, you are loosing a potential customer right away. Stallholders have come back to me, saying that they were contacted after the fair for a purchase. So, make it easy to be found and contacted.
  • It’s handmade – Proof it!

    • One of my favourite things to do at craft fairs is to watch crafters making things at their stall (saying that, always be aware when visitors are at your stall). It is firstly proof that the items are really handmade but it also opens communications up as people might feel more relaxed watching you and asking questions etc that can lead to a sale. Secondly, it also shows that items can be personalised.
  • Smile – The Best Display

    • You are part of the display – an extension of your craft. And your smile and openness is the best advertising for your stall. In case you are having a bad day – leave that at home. It has nothing to do at the fair – just think how you feel when you are going shopping and have a grumpy sale/shop person ruining your day. Same applies here. This is your business – and your smile is your sales agent.

Most of all – have fun and enjoy the experience