Morning everyone! I'm going to be selling my designs at the fab Duckie Christmas Market today, from 2pm-9.30pm. If you're in town, pop by, it'd be lovely to see you! And just to tantalise those taste buds even more, not only is there deeeelicious food on sale, there are also over 60 stalls of handmade goods AND workshops to satisfy those creative urges. Come, it'll be loads of fun! :-)
One week to go until the Christmas holidays begin, woohoo!!!! If, like me, you've still got a few presents to buy, wrap and post, why not come down to the Duckie Christmas Market for some last minute shopping. I'm going to be there on Sunday 18th selling my wares. It's a wonderful market, with loads of lovely stalls, workshops and peformances. Be great to see you there!
Today's the day! The start of the fab Duckie Christmas Market. With over 60 stalls, great crafty workshops and shows to go see, it's going to be a winner! And for those that like their taste buds tantalised, here are few* snaps of some my new designs, all available to purchase. And and and, tickling taste buds continued, for those few lucky people that dare to ask me what's in my cake tin, you might just get a sample of a new recipe I whipped up yesterday! That's if it makes it to the market! ;-)
One of many new purse designs!
Bird flaunting her new red Christmas outfit! Why that goes nicely with those polka dots Bird! And you're sure to cheer anyone up when they need to use this fun handkerchief!
My new fabric button range!
And my new fabric brooch range!
Adios amigos and hopefully see you all at the Barbican!
A super, fab, indie craft market is starting this Saturday (10th December) at no other than the Barbican in London!! It's going to be absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! Not only will there be wonderful stalls, flaunting original, handmade designs, crafts, and vintage wares but you can also get your hands dirty at some crafty workshops. If only I wasn't behind my stall I'd be having a go!
I'm going to be there on the opening day - Saturday 10th December, from 2pm - 9.30pm. I'll also be back on Sunday 18th. You can see some of my designs I'll be selling in my Etsy shop but remember this isn't the half of it! I've been saving back some new designs, which I'll post some pics of tomorrow, so stay tuned...and come to the market!!
Hey and welcome to Blog Gems! This is a new monthly post looking at great and inspirational creative blogs out there in blogland. Not only will you get a link to a fab blog but you'll also hear direct from the blogger's mouth! Yep, you heard right, with a few Q&As we'll all get an insight into their creative heads, spaces, what drives them, tips & advice and which creative tool they would take to a desert island if they could only take one! I'm wondering now if that question's going to be a tough one! Not sure I can answer it! ;-)
Right, lets kick off with a fab friend of mine, whose blog was the first I ever read on a regular basis. She got me hooked on blogs!! Who can blame me, when she produces such witty words and amazing card designs. Just look at this one...
Hey! I'm Amy Wanford but I'm known as Aimes. I'm addicted to tea, toast, paper, ink and stamps! I get a buzz from paper-crafts - especially stamping - and focus primarily on making cards in my spare time. Although that's when my spare time isn't eaten up by preparing resources for getting grumpy teenagers excited about literacy (that's my day job by the way!), playing football (when I'm not injured!) and being a secret geek with my openly geek-chic guy, Chris! I'm originally from Wirksworth, Derbyshire but now I live with my guy, Chris on the outskirts of Sheffield. We're a stone's throw away from the Peak District - just the way I like it! :)
What's your design space/studio/work area like? A mess! Ha! I share our spare room with my guy so it contains a mix of our hobbies. I have a fab, white Expedit unit and desk from IKEA which stores my crafty stash, whilst next to me sits Chris' guitars and amps. Very often you'll find me stamping away whilst listening to my guy play guitar, and although sometimes I can't resist the urge to pick up a guitar and play along too, I've never caught him wanting to play with my stamps!
If you had to take only one of your crafts to a desert island, what would it be and why?
Seriously? Just one? Eeek! It would have to be my stamps and ink (oh and some card to stamp on too of course!) I love that a single stamp can be so versatile: you can use it as a singular focal point, create your own patterned paper with it, play with different inks to achieve different looks, experiment with embossing techniques - the possibilities are endless!
How do you work and/or get inspired?
Designing is like playtime: it's no fun to go to the park and know exactly what you're going to go on and for how long for...so for designing it's no fun to head straight to my desk and know exactly what I'm going to do! I like to go on a creative adventure! Therefore, I tend to design as I go along; I often have a simple idea in my head of what I'd like to start with and then go from there - playing with colours, changing elements etc.... It's rare that I head to my desk knowing exactly what I'm going to create and then simply make it (unless I have a tight deadline!)
I get inspiration from everything! From walking past someone who wears something that catches my eye to a tub of pencil crayons at work! I carry my phone everywhere to note down and take pictures for future ideas and I'm even known to note down stuff in the middle of the night - sometimes it's hard to switch my brain off!
One amazing source of online inspiration is Pinterestwhich contains pure inspiration collected from people around the world! I follow people on there and see what inspires them, as well as keeping my own boards of inspiration for when my creative mojo feels stuck in a rut.
What top tips would you give to any novice bloggers and/or those thinking of selling their designs/crafts? WARNING: Blogging is addictive!!! :) Firstly, don't be put off or dis-heartened if you feel like no-one is reading you! It takes a while to build up a following of readers and the only way you're going to do that is by continuing to share your thoughts/creations and by commenting on similar blogs. People aren't going to find you unless you show them where you are! I don't sell my cards unless I receive a request from someone. However, if you fancy selling your own designs and crafts I'd definitely recommend setting up an online shop using something like Etsy/Folksy. It's super easy to do and is already aimed primarily at your target market. Craft fairs are also a great way of getting your work out there as well as giving yourself a chance to network and meet like-wise folks too...
Is there a story behind the name 'Crafting Confessions'?
What can I say? I'm a sucker for alliteration! :)
I like the idea of having a confessional of what I've been up to - documenting what crafting capers (see, alliteration again!) I've been up to when I probably should have been ticking off jobs which have a higher priority!
If you could be given an award for your designs by any person/fictional character (dead or alive), who would it be?
Hmmmm....there are so many talented people I'm inspired by so any nod of their head in my direction would be an honour! In the realm of stamping, my stamping heroine is Maile Belles: she ooozes a clean and simple style that I adore and really thinks outside the box when looking at her supplies. That type of style mixed with genius has my jaw hitting the floor on a regular basis!
And finally...book & tea or film & wine? Most definitely book and tea! (Can't live without my tea and let's face it, the book is always better than the film!) Can I have toast with that tea too, please?!
Ha ha, you certainly can have toast with your book and tea. In fact, I think I'll join you on that one! Thanks so much for being my first Blog Gem Aimes! It's been great getting an insight into what goes on behind the scenes of Crafting Confessions!
Stay tuned for my next Blog Gem and until then, keeeeeeeeeep blogging! ;-)
All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Amy Wanford. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.
Aren't these designs wonderful! I particularly like the Robin card (being a fan of robins), the floral and tiny houses cards. If you have a favourite, then post up here. You could even win something, just for leaving a comment! Go for it! :-)
Well, over at Mollie Makes blog, they've put together a list of craft fairs on this weekend and it's growing judging by all the comments. Isn't it fab that pretty much every weekend across the country there's a craft fair on!?! Loads of beautiful, handmade and unique designs. Much better than the high street! :-)
My lovely friend Amy requested some custom made lavender bags recently. I've just added them to my Etsy shop and thought I would share a few pics with you all. The little birds have been hand embroidered using cotton threads and based on the same bird design you can find in my shop.
The blue polka dot fabric is soooooooo soft, I just love it! One of the main reasons I use this fabric in my handkerchief designs is that it's super kind on the ol' nozzle! That and polka dots are just so darn cute! :-)
I think this blue striped linen fabric is chic yet simple. Two of my favourite combinations in fabric.
Ahh, they can't be separated!
Oh polka dot, how I love thee! And buttons, how I loved choosing thee! ;-)
The lovely retro look of this striped linen makes me think of paper bags of sweets I use to get as a kid.
The lavender bags behaved so well in the photo shoot, that I reckon they could have a second career as models if all else fails in the lavender industry!?! ;-)
Have you made something for a friend recently? If so, I'd love to see the finished piece, so please feel free to post below!
Yay, I finished it and just in time too! Here are the last new things I did. Ok, so some of them are totally birthday related but why not!
No.22: Had champagne on a train at lunch time. Come on, it was my 30th we were celebrating and what better way to do it!
No.23: Went on a treasure hunt round Brighton. The prize? See number 24.
No.24: Treated to the most delicious surprise meal by Mike, in which I tried skate for the first time. It was absolutely gorgeous, mmm! For those that live in Brighton or fancy a day out, I recommend going to the Meadow Restaurant.
No.25: Despite loathing the stuff, I tried a coffee (allbeit with lots of sugar and milk in!), drank the lot and enjoyed it!
No.26: Had a stranger walk into our hotel room in the middle of the night!!! Apparently he had the wrong key! A little frightening to say the least! Has that ever happened to anyone before?!?
No.27: Hotel manager gave us a bottle of red wine to apologise for no.26. Hmmm? No, that doesn't really make up for it. Letter of complaint going their way? Yes indeedy! Maybe it's wrong to add this and no.26 as new things but they were, so on they go!
No.28: Saw some new comedians at the Komedia and probably embarrassed those around me by laughing raucously! Excellent stuff! :-)
No.29: Bought myself a birthday present - a beautiful bright reddy orange coloured coat, complete with hood! I love it and now have the look of Little Red Riding Hood about me! :-)
No.30: Turned 30 years of age!!!
Yay! All done and my conclusions? It was fun, got me to be a little adventurous and I would totally recommend playing it! BUT next time, if there is indeed a next time, I might give myself just a little bit more time! ;-)
I'm sorry to say this one's rather boring and unexpected but I'm grasping at straws here to get my 30 new things done before Sunday, eek! Anyway, the new thing being...I had to walk into, what I thought was a big scary meeting, to hand over some information (I'm a Legal Librarian for those of you that don't know already). It wasn't big or scary, in fact rather uneventful. BUT, in all my years as a Librarian I've never had to do that before, so it's one more to chalk up! Oh and yes, that's how dramatic it is being a Librarian ;-)
Entered a new blog giveaway! Ok, so technically I have entered a blog giveaway before but this is a new giveaway, so I'm counting that as a new thing!
Following on from entering the giveaway, I promptly blogged about it! Now I've never done that before and now I've gone and blogged about it twice, never done that either!
Ok, I think seeing as it's VERY close to the wire, I should do some calculations.
2 days and 4 hours left to complete 9 new things! Me thinks I'll have to be slightly creative with these ones! Stay tuned to see what I get up to! It might be a little special! ;-)
Check out Hiphopsideproject's great interview with Debbie of 'From the imagination of lady snail'. Not only are her designs super cool and beautifully made but she's a Shaun Tan fan too!! I LOVE Shaun Tan!! One of my favourite artists. If you've never heard of him, I urge you to go check him out after you've checked out Debbie's designs first and entered her competition giveaway!
Ok, so it's a little close to the wire with 30 new things. In fact I have 15, yes 15, new things to do and I've got exactly 4 days and a matter of hours left. Eeek! Why have I left it so late? Well, I do have a good reason. I've been ill for over a week and I'm still recovering :-( . BUT! I won't be defeated!
Right, lets think about this. Have I done anything new whilst being ill? Yes! I watched the entire series 3 of Black Books in one sitting. Well, lets face it, I wasn't going to be watching Jeremy Kyle while off work, Gok Wan perhaps, not Jeremy!!
Ooh I have another one, I contacted one of my favourite bloggers, Hiphopsideproject. This is another new one for me. Yay!
One more, even if this is scraping the bottom of the barrel! I just learnt a new fact. Did you know that the dot above the letter "i" is called a tittle? I honestly never knew that!
Ok, lets chalk these beauties up!
Stay tuned for my mad dash to complete 30 new things before the 13th November!
On Saturday me and Mike made our very first pizza, including the dough! Although the emphasis should totally be on Mike as I was pretty much sofa bound what with being greeted with a nasty sore throat, headache, and temperature, urgh. What I can claim is that I helped put a couple of toppings on, i.e. lifted some chopped pepper and placed on pizza. Pretty much all I was capable of this weekend.
Anyway, we were so proud we took a photo:
Yep, it's on a tray. It felt appropriate to eat our first home-made pizza off a tray in front of the tv! Plus, my 'contribution' (see above) to pizza making had pretty much worn me out! Cue violins please.
No. 15 means I'm exactly half way through the '30 new things' game and I've only got 12 days to go, eek! Going to have to get my thinking cap on if I want to complete it. Any ideas are warmly welcome!!!
After nearly 3 hours of photographing (in bad light!), uploading, and playing around with various photo editing tools last night, I had one BIG headache!! As you can imagine, me and the computer were starting to full out and the bin was looking like the best new home for all technical devices within a 4cm radius of me!
Luckily, to save the day, in walked a technical super hero.......Mike! And what happened? He managed to fix no.12 of my new things within 20 minutes!!! Boy was I a happy bunny, especially as it gave me the chance to put my feet up and watch Kirstie's Handmade Britain on a technical device more favoured at that point!
After some inspiring creativity from Kirstie, it seemed me and the computer still needed some time out before no.12 was completed.
We've now kissed and made up and I can finally present to you no.12 of my new things: a new shop banner, ta-dah! I hope you all like it!
My first custom made order is winging its way as I type to my friend on the Isle of Wight! As she doesn't know what the design looks like, I'm not going to ruin the surprise in blogland but here's some photographic evidence of sorts - the enticing parcel of goodies!
I've made the photograph all smokey to add to the air of mystery! I used a brilliant free resource called Piknik to create this effect. For those that have been following my '30 new things', you'll understand that after no.12 I've well and truly learnt to love the computer again! ;-)
No, I've not entered X-Factor 2012 (and for those that know me, there's no doubting that as my singing is...well, lets say I wasn't the best in the school choir!). The X-Factor reference is actually to Paige Richardson who I saw in Spittafields Market this lunch time! I'm counting it as no.11 on my 30 things - a new celebrity spot! Ok, ok, so it's not exactly George Clooney but it's still a celeb and it's all chalked up on the board!
Lots of new things in the bag due to a lovely weekend away!
No.8: Greet a complete stranger The first new thing on Saturday was in the bag before the sun came up! Due to catching an 8.30am train from the other side of London, we were out of our flat rather early and, much to the surprise of Mike, I decided to cash in on a new thing straight away. It's one I've been wanting to do since I started this game: say hello/good morning/good afternoon etc to a complete stranger.
If you're reading this and live in a village, you're probably wondering what the fuss is about. I grew up in a village and unless your fence sits half a centimetre over your neighbours garden, then it's part of daily life to greet everyone you see. In the big smoke however, it's not so much part of daily life to say hello when passing a stranger in the street. Though in defence of the big smoke, there are a huge number of people, so to greet every stranger you pass would give you a little jaw ache to say the least! On the flip side, London is like a mish-mash of villages all stitched together, so it shouldn't be too hard to say the odd hello in your London neighbourhood should it?
Anyway, that's exactly what I did at 7am on Saturday, said good morning to two street cleaners and was pleasantly surprised as they returned it with an equally cheery hello!
No.9: Visit a new geographical location in the UK The weekend away took us to Chichester and West Wittering, thanks to a lovely invite from friends holidaying there. Neither of us had been to either place before, so it was a mini adventure! And how happy do we look with our adventure lollies! LOL!
The few hours we had in Chichester were lovely, especially as we got to visit the beautiful Cathedral gardens.
West Wittering was also stunning, the lovely weather being a bonus! We managed to get two trips to the beach, watch some crab fishing and have fish and chips for tea. Perfect weekend away by the sea!
No.10: Learnt a new game Our lovely friends taught us a great game called Yahtzee. Brilliant if you like a board game or two!
Another double-whammy! That rocky moment from yesterday must have geared me up. Although the first new thing of today was complete chance....
No.6: Was busy working away this morning, when I looked up from my desk to see a helicopter (outside the office, thankfully). Now I see helicopters most days, what with working on the 14th floor in a city skyscraper, but this seemed closer than ever. It even got me to move from my desk and get a closer look and lo and behold it was going in to land! And this wasn't any old landing, it was landing on a roof of another big city building! Maybe some of you have seen hundreds of helicopters land on roof tops but not me, whic,h deservedly so, produced a little yelp of joy! Oh dear! Anyway, as this is a first, I thought it should be a new thing - a new sighting! However, this doesn't end here. When I told my boyfriend he said it was pretty cool and made a change from his daily view, which he kindly sent me a picture of....
Ha ha ha haha!
No.7: Finished a new bag design I've been working on. Think it needs some tweaking but still it's another new thing for the board.
Up early tomorrow (on a Saturday as well!) as off for a 24hour holiday to a place I've never been to before, so hopefully that'll produce a weekend of new things!
No.4: Finally checked out two new pieces of sculpture that have been sitting in the foyer of the building I work in and they're amazing!
The first one I saw is a frog mid air, leaping. It's reflected in a mirror to give the impression of two frogs. Might not sound too impressive but it's certainly better in the flesh so to speak!
The second one I saw is definitely my favourite and I'm going back for another look. In actual fact I've been walking past it every day for a little while now but until you're up close you don't realise that it's actually an optical illusion of a face. Simply walking past, you would be fooled into thinking it's just some random bits of clay, hanging from the roof of the display box. However, if you walk up, following the 3 steps towards it, a face immerges as if by magic. Absolutely brilliant! Oh and forgot to add, the string holding these pieces of 'face' are held by clay fingers and thumbs. Maybe you can read something into that but for me, it's all about the optical illusion.
Ooh I've really enjoyed no.4 of my new things today!
No.5: I'm not sure I can even bear to write this down, it's so boring in comparison! BUT, it's new, so lets have it. I've created a new email signature for my Harry and LeeLee gmail account. I told you! That's it, no optical illusions, no faces, no clay, just a new email signature.
Right, moving swiftly on, lets chalk these up on the board and do some sums.
Five new things completed, twenty-five to go and twenty-four days left to do them in. I feel a Rocky moment coming on! Eye of the tiger, la la la la....
Yep, that's right folks, it's a double-whammy of new things!
No.2: Found out today that my first Christmas market stallholder application as 'Harry and LeeLee' has been successful! I'm counting that as a new thing because it's a totally new experience. Woohoo!!!
No.3: Finished a new knitting pattern tonight - a hot water bottle cover:
For those who want to know what type of wool I used, it's Debbie Bliss 100% wool, No. 4 in the Soho range. Unfortunately this particular colour is discontinued but I managed to purchase 12 balls of the stuff, secondhand, from Spittafields Market. I'm sure there are more hoarders out there selling wool, so it might be possible to find some in all the discontinued colours of this gorgeous Soho range.
Stay tuned for more of my 30 new things!
YAY! Good news! My first stallholder application for a Christmas market as 'Harry and LeeLee' has been accepted!!!!!!!!! [Cue crazy dancing!]
This is going to be a great market, full of amazing designs and pressies to buy in prep for Christmas, so pencil the dates in your diaries! I'm going to be there on the 10th and 18th December selling my wares. I'll also be showcasing some new designs to purchase, so come along to find out more.
My first new thing is.....a new recipe! Chocolate and banana muffins have been chalked up on the board!
Here are some pics of the muffin process in action!
And to celebrate the start of the game, I etched the figure 30 in the pie I was making for dinner. Why not?!
Mmmmm, which one to eat first?
For those of you who want the muffin recipe, it's a Nigella one, which you can find here. The pie is Ithaca pie, which I got from Sarah Raven's In Season cook book. Click here for a slightly different version as I can't find her recipe online. It may sound like it's a sludge of green hidden by pastry but it's actually super tasty and not sludgy in the slightest!
Stay tuned for No.2 of my 30 new things!