Tag : ideas

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

The Crafty Lass does… Pinterest!

Isn’t Pinterest amazing. That is just one of those facts of life.

Seriously – what did we actually do without it before it existed?! I can while away hours (literally) exploring and searching for new ideas on whatever I happen to be thinking of at that moment in time.

If you’ve never used it (A – Why not?? and B – I am obviously recommending that you do!) and you want a place to visually document ideas, suggestions, dreams and new projects – put simply, an online search engine kind of mood board – this is the place for you. A online, creative, inspirational dream. And no, I am not being paid by them to write this!!

At this time of writing, I have nearly 6,000 pins… which at first glance, seems a huge amount. You’re thinking – perhaps you are a Pinterestaholic – but in reality that is small fry in comparison to some of the accounts I ‘follow’! It is a mood board, but also a social media tool. It can of course, also be an advertising medium for lots of companies to drive you to ‘click through’ the images, on to their websites to ‘buy the dream’. However, as long as you aren’t buying EVERYTHING you pin (wouldn’t that be great!) it is a useful and creatively satisfying tool. You can keep up to date with what people and companies are looking it, being inspired by, (advertising!), or pick up tips and tricks for generally winning at life. I have ‘boards’ for foodie delights – from savoury-health-inspired-detox recipes to over-the-top indulgently sticky cakes and probably will never get around to but would love to make recipes. I have ‘boards’ for holiday destinations I would love to go to, for style inspiration, for the house and home, the garden, for things that make me smile and for all manner of crafting inspirations (of course!)

Apart from it being a useful tool for bookmarking things to remember – I think what I love about it most – is it is a place to visually indulge in your wildest dreams. Yes – alongside that useful and must make ‘best shortbread in the world’ recipe – you can dream, you can visually ‘bucket list’ your life. I will have that £100k glass extension to our next house, I will drive that Aston Martin, I will visit that tropical island and I WILL with a bit of effort look that good in a red bikini…

‘Secret’ boards are the ultimate indulgence. A place for only you to see. It was simply the BEST tool for wedding planning – a place to document, fine tune and make decisions. A place to keep all our exciting plans under wraps before the big day. A ‘THE dress’ board, a ‘Bridesmaids’ board, a ‘Ceremony’ board… You get the idea!

I don’t mind (now) saying that I have had a secret ‘baby’ board for about 3 years… No one needed to know that in addition to all the NON-secret pins about ‘how to make paper flowers’ and ‘oooh, that beef stirfry looks good’ I was also saving ‘100 exciting and new nursery ideas’, ‘breast feeding advice for new mums’ and ‘top children names for 2016’. It was my little go to for future and very hopeful plans. It was my lovely treat – and being honest, at times – after the days, weeks and months ticking by – actually sometimes NOT such a happy-to-see board – but above all, my little secret place to document my thoughts.

Now that I am in the extremely lucky and happy position to be expecting a little bubba – I can finally look back through those 100’s of pins. Ready to use the advice, and ready to pick and choose which projects I am actually going to put into action! (There is quite obviously about 90% craft related baby projects…!) So far, I am inspired by (and have actually started!) a pom-pom yarn rug, knitting a lovely little soft and cosy blanket, a mobile, a cushion idea, some artwork and designery poster plans… I have umpteen nursery inspirations… I think with all the will in the world, and the no-doubt-expectations to have a ‘creative’ nursery (!) …the ideas are obviously there – but whether I get round to finishing them all – who knows – but at least I have been able to indulge in my dreams, I am being inspired and being of course, being crafty!

You can check out The Crafty Lass on Pinterest HERE 🙂

What projects have you been inspired to make from Pinterest?

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

The Crafty Lass does… Spring Wreaths!

They’re not just for Christmas you know…!

“Step into Spring with the Crafty Lass!

Join Paula, as she shows us how to make these beautiful wreaths.

Guaranteed to brighten the darkest day.”

This Thursday 14th January, you can tune in at midday on Sky 679 or watch online at www.thecraftchannel.tv to see ‘The Crafty Lass Spring Wreaths’ show – lots of flowers, butterflies, beautiful pastel papers, ribbons…  something to brighten this dreary January!

 

Enjoy! x

Categories: General Craft, House & Home, TV

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

Jay Archer Floral Design – Motivational Business Talk

IMAG0029So today, on a Sunday – on a day I normally reserve for not traipsing across the country, racking up extra mileage in my little Smarty – a day I normally associate with crafting in my little office, food shopping and the general chores (the boring stuff!) to try and get ahead for the week…not this week – this week I had much more exciting plans.

I went whizzing down to Odiham, Hampshire – to listen to Jay Archer Floral Design‘s Motivational Business Talk at her Flower School – and boy was it worth it. Yes – she is a florist, and so yes – different to my business model – but there were so many similarities. So many things she said resonated with me and made me think – yes, I want to be like that – yes, I want to try that – yes, I will put that on my ever growing to-do list – basically, yes – I want to be like you! (Yes, I presume I have some sort of creative led can-we-be-friends-girlie-crush!)

Girlie crushes aside – Jay is genuinely such a talented lady – her rustic, vintage, relaxed floral displays are stunning. You can see why she is being nominated for and winning awards put it that way! From the first moment I met her at WIBG (Women In Business Group) I felt she emanated being very relaxed (apart from a few nerves at the start of her talk then, and today – but nerves are good, they show you care!) very self-assured in a ‘I know my business is the best it can be’ way – but not in a cocky way – just a fresh, very open, and very brilliant business woman way. She has grown her business from almost nothing – nothing except an incredible amount of spirit, passion and ideas. With support from her equally lovely husband who I met briefly today – he wasn’t there at the workshop to hold her hand – he was there as someone who was also genuinely interested to listen to what Jay had to say! 🙂

She talked very openly about her struggles to get the business going, her strict make it or break it 18 month deadline – her visions, her dreams, but also importantly the reality of being a young, self-employed business woman – and how much work really goes into it. From the 4am flower market starts, the midnight wedding clear downs, to the working through the night for an 8.30am ceremony – however, as I am starting to learn – all those hours aren’t a true hardship when you simply love what you are doing! It is no longer work, it is purely what you simply ‘do’.

Jay Archer Floral Design recently opened her Flower School – and I won’t be personally attending the practical courses, simply as I don’t wish to become a florist! However, if you are – then I would say it is IMAG0027a must do for either start-ups or already existing florists who want to learn – something new, or simply refresh your ideas – it would be well worth a trip!

I think the best thing about this workshop was, and is with her other workshops – is just how open and honest Jay is with other florists – about costings, about how to make sure you set the right margins, the social media, the PR, the marketing, the everything really. Embracing the competition – not shunning them away.

“Peace and Love”!

Whether I have a new girlie crush, or whether I feel like we are kindred spirits – I feel that I have the same vision as Jay – but in The Crafty Lass. After today, I feel empowered, ready to take on the world and all it holds for the future. I have already started brainstorming ‘big plans’ for The Crafty Lass – some are perhaps pipe dreams, some perhaps not – but if the last 12 weeks with has taught me anything – sending one tweet to The Craft Channel and now in the buying team and presenting on it – is “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do.”

Today, I will take away a few things – apart from the new found ideas, visions and dreams I have whizzing around my multiple-tabs-open brain, are just to be confident, have a strong vision of you and your own branding “You are your own business card”, and to always remember… “Fake it til you make it babe!”.

Thanks Jay. x

Categories: Business, Places to Go & Things to See, Weddings

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