Tag : christmas

The Crafty Lass does… Christmas wreath!

I could have a wreath on my door all year round and with so many ideas and crafty ways to make your own whatever the reason or season, why not! However, certainly when it is Christmas, for me it is a must – and something I look forward to making every year. It provides a festive welcome at the front door, and if anything it certainly screams to the outside world – we are good to go for Christmas in this house!

“The modern Christmas custom of displaying a wreath on the front door of one’s house, is borrowed from ancient Rome’s New Year’s celebrations. Romans wished each other “good health” by exchanging branches of evergreens. They called these gifts strenae after Strenia, the goddess of health. It became the custom to bend these branches into a ring and display them on doorways.”

wp-1480875406464.jpgWhatever your style, whether natural and rustic, or full of glittery baubles, making a Christmas wreath is a lovely way to release your creativity and spend a few peaceful crafty hours making something special – and, I managed to do just that this morning. The little one had a well timed nap and instead of getting on with the chores that needed doing, I ignored the washing up and piles of laundry and decided to get the festive season crafting underway!

With ‘Jamie’s Cracking Christmas‘ for company and using a plain wire wreath as the base, I decided to go for traditional fir – with a modern twist! I added in small sections of real evergreen fir tree – simply attached with some thin wire and hessian twine to secure into place. I’ve kept the ‘direction’ of the fir going in the same way, to provide a flow of the evergreen and appear like one continuous circle. Then, to ‘jazz it up’ a bit – I have added in some glittery leaves, and some hot pink baubles to represent berries – perhaps not everyone’s taste – but I think it looks quite nice to have the combination and contrast of both modern and traditional! You can usually purchase evergreen fir from your local florist, or – if you are lucky (like me on this occasion!) your local Christmas tree seller may just have some spare – and (if you bat your eyelids!) give it to you for free! 🙂 The wreath bases can be bought from retailers online, or again perhaps your local florist may stock them – then, let your imagination go wild with what you want to add on! Cinnamon sticks, pine cones, dried orange slices, or perhaps some other bigger baubles, candy canes, ribbons and bows, glitter… Of course if you are hanging outside the only thing to remember whatever it is, might not fair well in the British winter weather – so don’t expect to get it back in perfect condition!

So, with the wreath done and proudly hanging outside on our front door, I need to crack on with the next very important tradition – the Christmas tree! We bought our (very beautiful) one yesterday (from same aforementioned seller with free fir!) – and it is patiently waiting in the hallway, ready to be adorned. The Husband has been dispatched on his annual mission into the loft to retrieve the well loved boxes of decorations, and we are just awaiting more lights to be bought before we get to make it look all charming and pretty… That is on the ‘to-do’ list for tomorrow. The tree is quite a bit bigger than previous years – basically, I want it to be the biggest and best for our little one’s first Christmas – and I simply hadn’t done the maths and factored in the need for additional lights to be purchased. You can’t have ever enough fairy lights (in my humble opinion!) but pretty sure that the (very!) short ’20’ bulb string we only have – is simply just not enough!! At least ‘200’ bulbs is a bigger and better number…

I would love to see what wreaths you have been making this year, so please send me your photos over on The Crafty Lass Facebook page – it would be great to see your wonderful creations!

Enjoy!

Categories: Christmas, General Craft, House & Home, The Crafty Lass does...

Top 10… Christmas Crafts!

Oh… the ‘C’ word. The one that no one wants to mention. Well, not until at least December is here anyway.

Me? I LOVE Christmas. I love the cold weather, the roaring fires, the indulgence and fun and high spirits. Normally, I am prepping WELL ahead of December. Usually there is a handmade advent calendar, and table decorations and handmade crackers on the go. Wreaths are being designed and made, shopping lists written, Christmas cards written, recipes being organised. This year? No. I have done very, VERY little. It’s not for want of trying – I just can’t believe the magical festive season is nearly upon us! The arrival of the (brilliant) John Lewis advert was a shock. What do you MEAN it’s nearly Christmas??

I do have a great excuse though… I have been so focused on our new little one, and even just what day of the week it is, that well, Christmas, and planning for it has gone slightly off plan. My days – that would normally around this time of year – be filled with planning the perfect mince pie recipe or working out just how many gold baubles does a girl need for the new colour schemed tree? Have been swapped for planning the perfect nights eat and sleep routine and counting how many nappies in a day. Times, have, changed.

I’ve got some of the priorities sorted anyway – Santa knows what bubba would like under the tree and even our little doggie has his gifts all sorted! Our dog even has a (rawhide) advent calendar himself this year… and a dog BEER. Yes, you read that right. I am one of those people that buys the naff Christmas items at the Pets at Home till. Apparently it is not really ‘beer’ – pretty sure it is chicken flavoured water or ‘moisture’ as the label attractively lists on the ingredients! The Husband was NOT impressed at first when I showed him – ‘What gave you been buying now?!’ – however, I think he is secretly excited to have a beer with his four legged pal on the ‘big day’. Talking of The Husband – he does NOT have any presents… yet, and there is a general shopping list in the go… I just need to action it, and perhaps work out how to get the pram and car seat adapters to actually fit together and man up and attack the shops. Or, just crack on with 3am online shopping. God bless the internet!

So, my new focus instead of Christmas and all the wonderful things it brings (mulled wine, aforementioned presents, and our lovely family – in that order! 😉 ) is our little man.

He is now 6 weeks old. Amazing. But, where has that time gone??
We have just been treated to his wonderful first smile, and as most babies at this developmental stage – he just LOVES lights! So, we need to get our Christmas tree up ASAP and I plan to simply COVER it with lights – he will be mesmerised. And, I am sure this will bring plenty more delightful smiles. They literally make my heart melt, and me cry. Bloody hormones!

Anyway, enough about me and – if unlike me, you have time to start making anything (there is no doubt I will… I can’t NOT have a crafty Christmas, I’m The Crafty Lass!) here are my top 10 Christmas crafty links for you to try, with a little something for everyone! And, if I don’t manage to post again before – have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

 

1. Decorations!

How about this for a simple, but very effective craft! All you need is ribbon, and plenty of baubles to make a bauble garland! Beautiful.

 

2. Wrapping Paper!

How about making your own wrapping paper? I usually spend time (far too long) picking out the right one to go with the ribbons and colour scheme I have chosen for this year… but perhaps, as shopwalkinlove.com shows us – all we need is some plain papers, pens, some inspiration and to have fun with it! This is certainly going to be on my to do list this year 🙂

 

3. Table Decor!

A very clever idea for lovely place cards – mini ‘wreaths’ made from cranberries and greenery! You could even try this with beads and ribbons if you wanted to make them reusable for next year – but, nothing screams Christmas more than a cranberry or two! 🙂

 

4. Advent Calendar Ideas!

I’m going to put this out there – I HATE advent calendar chocolate… Now you can get seriously luxurious calendars and they don’t all taste like plastic like they did when I was a kid (please note a Hotel Chocolat advent would be lovely, thanks Husband) – but why not countdown to the big day with doing something different everyday? Here is the ‘Ultimate Advent Activity List‘ to give you plenty of festive ideas to get into the holiday spirit!

 

5. Kids Crafts!

Just how cute are these clothes peg snowmen! Something you can make together and you could even use them to hold up any Christmas cards received!

 

6. Crochet!

Love crochet? How about making these amazing elf slippers!

 

7. Sweet Eats!

Give everyone a surprise and a smile with their after dinner coffee – and why not turn normal ‘Malteasers’ into mini Christmas puds?! Simply pipe on melted white chocolate, and decorate with small coloured icing/toppings. Clever!

 

8. A Different Tree!

If you don’t fancy the traditional fir tree – why not make one out of cardboard? Yes, you read that right – cardboard! This clever link shows you how to make a ‘stackable’ tree!

 

9. Peanut Garland!

A really lovely idea for (believe it or not!) decorating PEANUTS into little characters! Paint, glue – let your imagination go wild! These could hang above the fireplace, on the tree – anywhere you want to make that little bit festive in the home! 🙂 You could even drape these around the table as part of your table decor on the big day.

 

10. Santa Logs!

Get creative with your garden decor and jazz up some logs into Santa! Simply cut into shape, paint and add to your doorstop to welcome all your visitors! 🙂

 

Enjoy!

Categories: Christmas, Crafty Kids, General Craft, Top 5

John Lewis and Waitrose Head Office – Fabric Wreath Workshops!

IMAG0219LasIMAG0168t Wednesday and Thursday evening I had the pleasure of holding craft workshops with the John Lewis Partnership Craft Club to make some lovely festive fabric Christmas wreaths!

Starting on Wednesday at the Waitrose Head Office in Bracknell, where 19 of us were not only making our fabric wreaths – we were singing along to some festive carols and music, there were mince pies, Cadbury’s roses… it certainly felt like Christmas!

With so many of us, and all nattering away, tearing up the fabric, and methodically and therapeutically knotting onto our wreath bases – at times it felt like we were in some sort of factory production line! 😉

The event was even filmed for the Waitrose Advent Calendar (a daily internal video highlighting what partners at Waitrose have been up to!) and, I have been lucky enough to be allowed to also use the video in this blog post. Check out here how we got on!

 

Thursday evening, I was at the John Lewis Head Office at London Victoria – where there were 8 of us making wreaths – and I actually also made mine tonight too! 🙂

It always amazes me, that each person starts out with very similar fabric selections – but the range and array of the results – are all so different and individual! We had ‘Italian flag’ wreaths where they blocked out colours, we had pastels only, very ‘natural’ holly-style looking wreaths, all stripes, all plain – amazing! Have a look through the photos below for all the different versions! 🙂

I had a really important moment over the last two days – with the magical mood, festive music, and lots of people enjoying themselves…it felt like – this is it! I am really doing it – The Crafty Lass workshops are really happening. Of course, I have done other workshops pre-these, but perhaps it was just the festive atmosphere, lot of smiley and happy faces – it just felt very special and I can’t wait for 2016 and all the craft workshops of the future!

If you would like a The Crafty Lass workshop in your place of work (or at home, or in a local venue!) please do get in touch!

 

Categories: Christmas, Workshops

Christmas Trees!

One of the most special times for me at Christmas, is the decorating of the tree.

IMAG0152As a child – I really used to love the magic of it all – it meant if we are putting the tree up, the big day must be nearly here! Untangling the lights, looking over each bauble, the handmade decorations made and collected over the years, placing each one carefully on the branches! Mum and dad always kept everything as well – even now, I am sure they have some pinecones wrapped up in some red wool that I made as a toddler at nursery…clearly very crafty from a young age!

I love putting the tree up – but NEVER the taking down. Poor Mum used to always get that job, and Dad to put everything back into the loft.

For the last few years, we actually have had a potted tree – and yes, the same one! – we bought it one early December from the side of the road for only £15 (I haggled the seller down from £25!)… We took it home, prettied it up, and then come the New Year – we just put it in the garden to see what would happen. At some point later in the summer, I noticed – it was GROWING – new sprouts had appeared, so we thought let’s see if it will make it til Winter… Sure enough, it did – and as a special treat for us not having to buy a new one – we even bought it a new lovely ceramic pot! Now part of the family of course – it even had a name…Ned! We didn’t think it would surely get to the following Christmas but sure enough – it did – and it survived for 4 years!

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However, last year – either it decided to be naughty, or we were very unloving parents and didn’t look after it well enough, but… well, it had 1000’s of bugs growing on it, that we didn’t know about until they were all over the floor in our house. I tried to remain calm, but they were EVERYWHERE – and that was it – poor Ned – banished to the garden on Christmas Eve! Naughty Ned.
Having held a few lovely craft workshops at Claydon Christmas Tree Farm this year, I was determined to get a nice shiny and new, and certainly real one… there were so many to choose from! Part of me wanted to get a HUGE tree (for our not so huge house, so that wouldn’t have really worked) but another part of me wanted to get a potted one and try and keep this one again for a few years. As much as I wanted loads and loads of lovely huge branches to decorate, we went with a lovely small potted one. And yes, this one also has a name – Buddy!

Every year, I try and keep a ‘theme’ to the decorating – and I always think I will try something new – but invariably, I always end up with ‘Skandi’ type Christmas with reds, whites and a few golds, just continually adding to the collection every year. However, this year – I have finally done something different – new year, new start – and gone with some lovely naturals – greys, whites, and some beautiful gold birdies and large gold stars. When I went to put the tree up this week – I realised we didn’t have our normal lights – they also went into the great Christmas tree sky with Ned as they were COVERED in sap, and bugs (eww, gross!) so although I could have waited, gone out and bought some more – I didn’t of course, it had to be decorated straight away! – and so I managed to dig out some IMAG0149actually ‘Moroccan’ themed ones from a few parties back…which actually kind of work – so, there aren’t as many lights as normal, but Buddy looks beautiful (even if I do say so myself!). I keep referring to ‘I’ and ‘Me’ in all of this – it is of course mine, AND ‘The Husband’s – and although he doesn’t like Christmas perhaps as much as me – he is just happy that I am happy, and having a potted tree in our living room does seem to make me happy!

On that note – when you actually stop to think about it…why do we bring in a living tree into our front rooms, shove it in a corner and adorn it with lights and baubles?! There is some great history on it it all – here at www.history.com and also, all the different traditions of it all – all around the world.

This isn’t my last blog post before the year is it out, I am sure – but wherever you are, and whether your tree is real, or fake, and whether you like neutrals or reds, or crazy multicoloured, or anything and everything in between – I hope you have a magical and crafty Christmas and a creative New Year!

Categories: Christmas

Christmas Wreath Workshops!

IMAG0064What a festive, and almost magical weekend of Christmas fabric wreaths making!

Saturday truly started the Christmas season for me – holding craft workshops at the brilliant Claydon Christmas Tree Farm. Until earlier this year, I hadn’t ever heard of this place – despite living in the local area for a few years now! However, I am so glad I now know… Absolutely stunning Christmas trees (British grown) – all very lush, and such variety! Real reindeer – who live on the farm all year round, and are part of the family there! There is a beautiful Christmas decorations shop full of every Christmassy thing you could imagine, a lovely little cafe with delightful bakes, cakes, teas/coffees… Santa himself is even due to visit there soon! Coming up in the next few weeks – I will be there at the following times for FREE Christmas craft ‘drop-in’ sessions…

 

Saturday 5th December 12-2pm – ‘Origami Stars’ and ‘Christmas Card’ making!IMAG0084

Sunday 6th December 12-2pm – ‘Reindeer Christmas Crackers’!

Saturday 12th December 12-2pm – ‘3D Paper Christmas Tree’ and ‘Christmas Card’ making!

Sunday 13th December 12-2pm –  ‘Reindeer Christmas Crackers’!

 

The workshops were so much fun! Everyone had a choice of fabric colours – and it never fails to amaze me that you give people the same fabrics, and yet their wreaths still always turn out different!

Some people had brought along little decorations to add into their designs – like dried pinecones, little ceramic toadstools, fake berries… just lovely to see the inspiring ideas!

It was cold, boy was it cold in the big beautiful barn – but we had plenty of tea, mince pies and festive spirit to keep us warm!

 

Sunday, it was the turn of the Brackley Christmas Craft and Food Fair at Brackley Town Football Club. The cold, rain and almost gale like conditions at time seemed to deter some of the punters – but we still had a steady turn out especially in the morning – and I always think at these kind of things – of course you want hundreds of people and lots of sales – but it is also about meeting like minded people – and was lovely to speak to all the other stall holders. I even picked up a few little pressies for Christmas myself! We were making wreaths on our stall (I had a lovely helper Elf with me on Sunday!) and I was also selling make your own wreaths kits – with the fabric, frames, baubles for people to take away and make their lovely wreath at home! I am looking forward to seeing the photos of their finished results!

 

Hopefully see you soon at Claydon Christmas Tree Farm!

Categories: Christmas, Workshops

Black Friday!

Everyone loves a bargain right? Well The Crafty Lass is celebrating Black Friday by offering 25% off ALL greeting cards (not just Christmas!)

All you need to do is simply use code TCLBF15 at the checkout! Code expires Sunday 29th November.

Get your order in while you can!

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheCraftyLassDoes

Enjoy!

🙂
ALL CHRISTMAS

Categories: Christmas, General Craft

Top 15… DIY Advent Calendars!

I love Christmas. I am sure I will say that more than once over the next few weeks, but it really is my favourite time of year. I even like the wintery weather! Apart from the obvious – ‘big day’ – I love the build up to Christmas, perhaps even more than the main event. The planning, the little surprises, the Christmas concerts and carols, the food shopping, making, baking and eating! And of course – crafting! 😉

As a child (and still as an adult) I absolutely love advent calendars – every single day opening up the little door to see what was behind and knowing 1 day less till Christmas! I wasn’t even that bothered about the chocolate, I am more a savoury than sweet girl, but of course I still always ate it! That weird ‘advent calendar chocolate’ that tastes bit like plastic, you know it is rubbish – but you eat it anyway!

You can of course get ‘luxury’ calendars – that are filled with the highest end of beautiful Belgian chocolate, or even different little gifts, and on this slant – how about making your OWN and choosing your own little delights to put inside! I did this a couple of years ago for The Husband – all together now – awwww – I put a little chocolate in each one, and also a task for the day! Like, “Learn how to say Merry Christmas in 5 different languages” or “Lets make mince pies tonight!”. I know, too cute. It was certainly fun to put together, and although The Husband doesn’t like Christmas as much as me – he isn’t a bah humbug scrooge – but he certainly isn’t like Elf from the movie like me – he did really love it. Who wouldn’t love 24 little parcels to be opened up!?

On that note… here are my Top 15 advent calendar ideas! Normally I only do a ‘Top 5’ but there were so many inspirational ideas out there, I had to share them with you!

 

1. The Crafty Lass on the Craft Channel

Well of course I am going to say that 😉

This year I have already made mine… and it will be featured on The Craft Channel next week…make sure you check it out in our Weekend Wonder promotion shows – just some clever little way of turning some ordinary packaging into some fun advent ideas! 😀 latest schedule can be found on www.thecraftchannel.tv

 

2.  Advent in a Jar

What a fun idea – simple but effective – instead of little gifts this provides little messages and ideas of what to do! This idea from Poppytalk also provides free printouts! 🙂

 

3. Advent Street

A beautiful little advent street – and again, this lovely idea from Mr Printables – does exactly as the name suggests, provides free printouts!

 

4. Advent Baubles

An advent calendar and decorate your tree in one swoop! A cute idea putting numbers on to baubles and add one to the tree each day 🙂

 

5. Envelope Advent

A lovely idea simply using envelopes – clever that it is also is in the shape of a tree…! A fun way to turn average stationery into something special!

 

6. Painted Advent

This is certainly a different and contemporary idea – painting jars in colour coordinated paints and popping little gifts inside. Beautiful!

 

7. Advent ‘Cake’

This is a FAB idea from Daisy and Dots on Etsy – but sadly I can’t find their shop anymore. They had provided a very clever idea of using little cake slice boxes as an advent calendar! 🙂

 

8. Santa’s Beard Advent!

Great idea for the kiddiwinks here – turning santa’s beard into a calendar! Give him a ‘shave’ every day to reduce the length of his beard! 🙂

 

9. Elf Advent

What a CUTE elf idea for advent – turning toilet rolls into cutie pie elves! 🙂 These would be cute with or without the numbers, a great Christmas craft for a snowy Saturday afternoon.

 

10. Clothes Peg Advent

Not just for hanging up the washing – turn clothes pegs into your new advent calendar! Simply tie little gifts up with ribbon and hang on!

 

11. Punch Board Advent

This would be ALOT of fun every morning! A DIY ‘Punch Board‘ advent calendar! 🙂

 

12. Santa’s Present Sack Advent

This is really beautiful. Love the cute little Santas holding their present sacks, ready for you to fill with a little chocolate or gift – lovely.

 

13. Cushion Advent

A different homeware idea – making an advent cushion! Tuck little gifts behind each number space 🙂

 

14. Advent Bunting

Everyone loves abit of bunting! How about turning it into an advent idea with these cute boxes!

 

15. Embroidery Hoop Advent

A really clever idea using embroidery hoops to create a little wall display idea as little fabric pockets! Fun!

 

Enjoy x

Categories: Christmas, General Craft, Top 5

The Crafty Lass Christmas cards… As seen on TV!

Today is the start of The Craft Channel’s new FOWO (For One Week Only) promotion – a fantastic crystal card kit, a very therapeutic the-crafty-lass-christmas-cards-with-gems-563cc87d35ed2-product_fullcraft – almost like ‘painting by numbers’ except more crystal glueing by numbers and letters…Some amazing designs and good value too!

As part of the FOWO programme myself and Katy John look at all manner of card creations including some simply amazing pop-up cards – you can actually decorate a 3D Christmas tree and send in the post! Some laser cut greeting cards that you can ‘bling up’ with glitters and gems to your hearts content… and lastly (but not leastly (is that a word?!)!) – The Crafty Lass greeting cards also feature in this programme! A new addition of 650 self adhesive gemstones in vibrant pinks, turquoises and blues are also included to personalise them for yourself and add some glittery bling! And of course, colour coordinating envelopes too.

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I really like this idea – that you don’t have to take a greeting card at face value – if you like a design, but think it needs something extra – just jazz it up with some additional decoration! Now of course, I am going to say this – but I think The Crafty Lass Christmas cards, are lovely just as they are – but I do also like them with a few gemstones here and there to make extra EXTRA special.

 

 

The FOWO programme is airing at multiple times across the week – please check out our latest schedule on the below channels. Enjoy!

SKY 261 & 660
FREESAT 402 & 808
FREEVIEW 254

www.thecraftchannel.tv

 

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Categories: Christmas, General Craft, Stationery, TV

The Crafty Lass does… TV!

Wow.

 

That’s all this post needs. If you had asked me 1 month ago a) would I work for a shopping channel on Sky in the buying team and b) would I do the on air demos?? I would have laughed in your face.

In fact, what I will do instead is tell you to tune in to Sky 660 at various times across this weekend for The Craft Channel’s ‘Festive Weekend Wonder’ with The Crafty Lass. Crazy right…??

Once again, I apologise for the lack of recent blog posts – but in reality I basically have enough time at the minute to make sure I am eating, sleeping (albeit less!), commute to London to The Craft Channel, try and stay in touch with loved ones, and of course some crafting… And the odd bit of gym/socialising/nails being done for the camera (!). The point I am trying to make is my schedule has become ‘complicated’. Ha!

I have always been crafty (as we know on this blog – the clue is in the name!!) and I have in the past been into theatre – a regular in the local am dram scene where I grew up in Sunbury-on-Thames at Riverside Arts Centre – however, I am not sure I was prepared for TV! Well, perhaps prepared is the wrong word – expecting?? – basically, it felt natural, but I do also feel – how did this happen??

For those of you who don’t know this story – I basically sent ONE tweet to The Craft Channel simply saying:

The Crafty Lass ‏@craftylassdoes Sep 7 

@craftchannelTV how do you get to be on The Craft Channel?? Only (part) joking. What sort of programmes will you show? x

 Before I knew it, the following week – I was in The Craft Channel offices having a meeting with Head of Buying – quickly on the same day (about 20 minutes after arriving!) had a screen test – then the following week a follow up meeting – during which, I was offered a job in the buying team… and the rest is history. I now work for them 3 days a week, with the balance The Crafty Lass time…So what started as a quick almost throwaway tweet as now landed me a dream job! If you don’t ask you don’t get…

So, if you are interested in craft, and you are interested in me, and you are interested in TV… check out The Craft Channel and this weekend’s Festive Weekend Wonder featuring a 1 hour show with The Crafty Lass! There are plenty of opportunities to see across this weekend (and order the beautiful laser cut greeting card designs with embellishment gems!)

It’s the start of things to come….

 

Sky 660, Freesat, FreeviewHD & online www.thecraftchanneltv

Saturday 24th Oct 11pm
Sunday 25th Oct 7am
Sunday 25th Oct 1pm
Sunday 25th Oct 9pm
Sunday 25th Oct 11pm

 

Also featured on Christmas at The Craft Channel show on Sunday 25th at: 10am and 6pm

Make. Create. INSPIRE.

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Categories: Business, Christmas, General Craft, The Crafty Lass does..., TV

The Crafty Lass does… Christmas Cards!

Ho ho ho! Meeeerry Christmas!

Ok, it is only October… however, why not get ahead and get your The Crafty Lass ‘Graphic Brights’ Christmas Cards…on sale via my Etsy shop NOW!

🙂

All cards printed on thick, luxurious ‘Omnia’ board.

**Special price for Christmas!**
Cards only £1.80 each (normally £2.20)
Multipack of 6 (1 of each design) only £9.50… therefore only £1.58 per card!

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheCraftyLassDoes/

ALL CHRISTMAS

 

Categories: Christmas

The Crafty Lass does… Christmas Craft ‘drop-in’ sessions!

I know it’s abit early to be talking Christmas – but I am excited to announce that The Crafty Lass will be running Christmas Craft ‘drop-in’ sessions at the wonderful Claydon Christmas Tree Farm this year.

You can come and meet the (real!) reindeers, have a look at their huge array of trees, decorations, lovely bakes… and try a new craft!

Dates for your diary:

Saturday 5th December 12-2pm – ‘Origami Stars’ and ‘Christmas Card’ making!

 

Sunday 6th December 12-2pm – ‘Reindeer Christmas Crackers’!

 

Saturday 12th December 12-2pm – ‘3D Paper Christmas Tree’ and ‘Christmas Card’ making!

 

Sunday 13th December 12-2pm – ‘Reindeer Christmas Crackers’!

 

These are all FREE (yes, you read that right!) however a small donation towards the two charities Claydon Christmas Tree Farm are collecting for would be appreciated.

Cancer Research UK and SSNAP (Support for the Sick Newborn and their families, The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford)

Claydon Christmas Tree Farm, Stone Court Barn, West Street, Steeple Claydon, Bucks, MK18 2LJ

Categories: Christmas, Crafty Kids, Places to Go & Things to See, The Crafty Lass does..., Workshops

The Perfume Studio

The Crafty Lass does… Signature perfume!

I know you’d think that creating your own perfume is only an experience for the rich and famous, or the haute couture, or well trained perfumers – well this is not actually the case!
Yesterday, myself and my mother-in-law (it was a last Christmas gift from us to her!) attended The Perfume Studio experience at Salus Natural Therapy in Stratford-upon-Avon.

I was quite skeptical as to whether I would be able to create something that didn’t smell like a duty free perfume counter – basically just too much going on – however, you are taken through slowly step by step to understand the different ‘levels’ of smell, and you slowly pick and choose and adjust what you think would be in your perfect signature scent.

Starting with the ‘base notes’ (5 to choose from) it was very quickly obvious which ones you did and definitely did not like! Each scent was given to you on a little perfume ‘stick’ which you basically had to waft back and forth in front of your nose so you picked up everything it had to offer. You also get a little bag of coffee beans to sniff between perfume scents – which almost acts as a ‘nose reset’! It allows you to differentiate between them all. You then settled on one of these base notes (maximum two) as a starter of what you’d like to use. So far, so good.

However, it started to get all rather more complicated when you then began to add in the ‘middle notes’ (9 to choose from) as suddenly combining things together – some of the base notes you had discarded – when blended together with these new middle ones – actually ‘worked’. But slowly but surely, you started to eliminate/select what would be nice combined together.

Just when you think you’ve cracked it – you also had the ‘top notes’ to also select from (4 to choose from). You can add as little or as many of these smells together (average is about 5-7 in total) and you don’t HAVE to have top notes also – but, in the end I did to give it an overall balance – alongside 2 base notes, and three middle. A total of 6 combined together to make ‘Daffodil’. (Yes, you also get to name your new scent!) And, in case you are wondering – the name ‘Daffodil’ comes from my nickname from my lovely Mother In Law – she calls me Daffodil.

My new scent, is very fresh, quite floral but also quite ‘musky’ – there are roses in there, ‘fresh florals’, ‘ocean breeze’, ‘cucumber’… It is the sort of perfume I could wear everyday and not get bored!

We were in a small group, and Sara from Salus Natural Therapy was very patient, very thorough and giving us plenty of time to pick and choose/play around with the combinations. With 18 scents as a maximum that could have been combined (although I wouldn’t recommend – as then that really does smell like a Duty Free perfume counter!) – it was amazing to see just how different the end results from the other ladies were. Some were ‘spicy’, some ‘vanilla’, some ‘herbal’ and some ‘citrus’. All lovely, but all very distinctly personal.

We then got to select which perfume bottle you’d like to put your new magnificent creation to be in – with a choice of colours, some with ‘bling’ some without. I actually paid slightly extra to have mine in a beautiful, heavy and luxurious glass bottle.

The interesting thing with this – is according to the Fragantica website, my normal perfume of choice ‘Chanel Chance’ – which I do normally wear every day, and absolutely LOVE – was a completely different direction to what I had selected. In fact, it is predicted to be made with some of the base notes that I immediately did not want! However, that goes to show you just how complicated making a perfume can be – and that they must include various other levels, at varying quantities to just make it classically, distinctly ‘Chanel’.

We now get to wear our lovely new perfumes and of course await that magical moment of:

Friend/family/work colleague: “Oooh I love your perfume, what is it?”

Us: “Oh, this? This is MY own perfume, created just for me, by me!”

The other great thing is about this experience – is you can reorder your signature perfume whenever you like – they keep absolutely everything on record – so when you are down to the last drop, you call up – quote your name, and perfume name and et voila – they will post that out to you! And, in comparison to other perfumes out in the market – it is not at an unreasonable price. And, in reality – I would be happy to pay it, knowing it is still your own ‘designer’ fragrance.

I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who wears perfume, wants to learn about perfume or just fancies doing something that little bit different!

PS I did look a little bit odd later that day wandering around Tesco picking up a few bits for dinner and occasionally sniffing my wrists! But, I needed a hit – I just totally do love it!

Categories: Places to Go & Things to See, The Crafty Lass does...

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