Tag : ideas

The Crafty Lass does… COLOUR! The ‘ultimate’ handpainted playroom!

40 paint tester pots

63 triangles

5 rolls of Frog Tape

3 months of painting(!!!)

100000s of brushstrokes

1 determined Crafty Lass

1 happy boy…

 

When we moved into this new home, one of the (many) selling points, was a little room just off the hallway next to the kitchen – destined to be a playroom.  It was the first room we started to decorate – and at one point I thought it might be the last too…

We wanted it to be fun, vibrant, a real ‘playtime’ room. Basically somewhere he could enjoy, make a mess – and realistically also, somewhere all the toys could be shoved at the end of the day!!

Of course, there were many Pinterest ideas – I looked into a ‘zoo’ theme, and had visions of animals all over the walls. And dinosaurs with a similar concept – but nothing quite seemed to grab my full inspiration. Until I saw THIS image – even with the title ‘How to Create the Ultimate Playroom’ – perfect! – designed by Minneapolis interior designer Lucy Interior Design. When closer inspected – it turns out it was wallpaper… but I thought perhaps I could paint it?? God knows why… I thought it would be FUN! And it was – well the first few triangles were anyway…

With a little (let’s be realistic, alot) of help from The Husband working out angles, measurements, borrowing his spirit level/metal ruler/tape measure – we soon worked out how I would get it all to fit on the wall space. Now it was up to me to draw it all out and inspired by my new colourful go to Pinterest inspiration – and also our ‘Baby Sensory‘ classes that we attend every week – it was off to B&Q for a many a tester pot picking, and sketching out how it would work!

I LOVE colour – bright, unabashed colourful prints were my go to in my Printed Textile Design degree, and more importantly for this project – babies also love colour and pattern! We just knew it was the right choice.

Once the triangles had been drawn on to the wall, which actually took quite some time! It was ‘simply’ (ha!) a case of taping up each one, painting, allowing to dry, re-coat (each triangle took 3-4 coats!), remove tape, move to the next triangle/repeat… Hence, why this process has taken 3 months! Well, that and juggling life and many other craft projects/decorating projects/setting up the new craft workshops space… 

Now that it is done, and not wanting to blow my own trumpet – I cannot stop staring at it! I of course, can see areas that aren’t just quite 100% perfect – but in reality, who else is going to notice?? I had to draw a line (haha) under it somewhere – so it is finally, and colourfully, DONE. End of story! No more ‘I managed to paint 9 triangles today!’ conversations – now just to enjoy it. I think you can tell – of course I did this for our little one – but yes, I am also in there alot playing with him every day, and it makes MY spirits lift too!

I feel this is a style that will grow with him – it will suit him at all ages. It has taken longer than expected, there were times when I wish I hadn’t started – but equally it was a great challenge! And, would I do it again? Absolutely! Will he thank me for the countless hours working out angles, painting, pondering which colour should go where? Probably not – but at least he has somewhere he knows he can have FUN!

 

Do you have a playroom? Or somewhere you’ve painted a wall mural? I would love to see!

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

The Crafty Lass does… A celebration of the discarded babygro!

Babies grow REALLY fast. Everyone tells you – “enjoy it, they won’t be like that for long…”

I heard what people were saying when I first heard this… but I am not sure I really took on board just HOW super mind bogglingly fast time actually disappears… and that some days I think our little one grows before our very eyes. One minute he is wearing that cute little star print vest I love, the next – well, not. I once even thought I had shrunk everything in a wash load – but no no, he really had grown that quickly! Almost overnight…

When he was born, and I had taken approximately 200 first outfits to the hospital in various sizes from very small to very very large ‘just in case’ (we looked pretty much like we were moving house when arriving at the maternity ward, or perhaps maybe a long holiday with 3 cases!!) … he STILL didn’t fit in to any of them. Given the size of my hippopotamus sized bump I was certainly surprised…! Anyway, one of the first jobs for new Daddy was to go out and buy more clothes – turns out we needed very very very small!

Staring at this little bundle of cuteness, who we were suddenly in charge of – and now enclosed in a tiny little babygro on Day 1 – I couldn’t imagine him fitting in to one of the actual ‘going home outfits’ that I’d meticulously and totally unnecessarily planned – let alone all the other what seemed almost ridiculously large items for future months we had at home.

Now, at only (only!) 9 months – he is out of all those wonderful first items – and marching into 9-12 months plus and onwards. So, what to do with all those leftover clothes??

 

  1. Shove them in the loft (just in case they are needed for later…??)
  2. Or, give on as hand me downs? – especially as most of them had been worn for what felt like all of just 5 minutes and in great condition!
  3. Give some to charity?
  4. Or – how about doing all the above but also craftily repurposing some of them?

 

Some of those clothes have memories engrained in them. Little laughter and magical moments woven into the fibre of their cloth. Forever to be captured on camera and shared into the Instagram #babyspam. The sleep suit on his first car journey home, on his first Christmas day, when he first smiled, and rolled over. The first time in a jumperoo, and at a baby sensory class. The special outfit at his first wedding – and the first time he met his grandparents. The list goes on… all those milestones that suddenly happen, you grab your camera and BAM – that’s what he was wearing when ‘that’ happened…

I can’t look at some of those beautiful little items without smiling, crying, remembering and rejoicing! If they are going to be made into something they need to be CUT UP… So they need to made into something that will be used, loved, cherished.

On this note, we are now starting to plan a 1st birthday party, which I cannot quite believe – but what would a party be without decorations? And in particular, BUNTING.

And so… I have spent this evening, going through the no longer used, but still very much loved, clothes – the cute little fabrics – selecting, remembering, and cutting triangles. The triangles won’t match, there will be colours, stripes, prints and patterns galore. It will be fun! And memorable. Personalised – a year in the life of our little man. I’m not going to lie, a few tears have been shed tonight – happy tears – but I repeat – how can he be growing so fast??! 

This craft might take some time, there are plenty of triangles to be cut and sewn, and they won’t be perfect, this bunting will have poppers and seams galore… but what a project!! So enjoyable to plan and make… and so exciting to see the outcome.

I look forward to it being hung, resplendent at his first birthday party!

And if this clever (even if I do say myself) crafty idea – could get any better… my plan is to now do this as time goes on. I will add to it, every year, whenever a new celebration that of course requires bunting is needed – with the next batch of discarded wears so that by the time he is 18 it could no doubt be hung to the moon and back!

I will of course, as always, take photos when it is done and share on the socialstratosphere – here, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Right, I’m off to see what else he can sadly no longer wear, do some more remembering, and to cut triangles…

There are more memories to be made tomorrow, who knows what the day will bring. I hope he is wearing a nice printed outfit!! 

Enjoy. x

Categories: Birthday, Business, Crafty Kids, General Craft, House & Home, The Crafty Lass does..., Workshops

The Crafty Lass does… Workshop planning!

My mind is bursting to the brim full of ideas, my Pinterest page is certainly busy – but what is best? And what is achievable?

A little while ago when I first started to plan for The Crafty Lass, I sent out a little ‘Survey Monkey’ questionnaire for some feedback as to what people would like to learn, to Make, to Create and to be Inspired by. Some of those workshop suggestions are still very relevant, some ideas have developed, but I took all those points on board. It may have been a while since I have been able to action on them – but, it is all there, ready and waiting to be put into place.

The dream and plan is very much more real and actually achievable now… what being a mobile craft workshops business provided in flexibility with location – it was hindered by what I could physically offer by carrying equipment and materials by myself!! With an actual ‘The Craft Space’ workshop plans in full swing – the furniture is being made, the chairs have arrived, the vision is strong for the final finishing touches… but none of it is worth while without the actual workshops, and you…!

I have some great workshop plans already in fruition – but:

What would you like to learn or make? What do you want to try? Or, do you just want to come along for a social crafty gathering with like minded people, for a cuppa and cake?

Sewing? Crochet? Decoupage? Christmas makes? Weddings? Papercraft? …Something entirely different? … I would love to hear from you and your ideas! 

Get in touch. 🙂

Categories: Business, Christmas, Crafty Kids, Easter, General Craft, House & Home, Places to Go & Things to See, Stationery, The Crafty Lass does..., Valentines, Anniversaries & Lovey-Dovey Stuff, Weddings, Workshops

The Crafty Lass does… Too much!

I really wish there were two of me. Or, if we are going for ideals – perhaps even three or four…

Right now, there is simply just so, so, (SO) much whizzing round my mind. Multiple, multiple tabs open that often sends my brain in to overdrive. I actually started to write this blog post at precisely 1.45 am (!) – instead of divulging in gentle slumber and taking advantage of the fact my little one was (finally) snoring contentedly, I decided then would be an opportune time to start writing a blog post and plan workshop ideas…

So many crafts, so little time. I have to say though, I’m not complaining – I do actually much prefer having a lot on. I am not someone who thrives on boredom – I need projects, plans and a purpose to get going! I like deadlines, pressure and things to be doing.  Right, here goes – to give you just a taste of what is going on inside my (too full) mind… 

So obviously my primary role is to be a mother, and a wife, and (try and) find time for a social life… We have just moved house, so there are rooms to be decorated, boxes still to be unpacked, chores to be done, dogs to be walked (although The Husband is a star for this one!), Freddie’s weaning ideas, our dinner to be cooked, eaten… I’ve started a new part time role, working from home – it’s great and of course helps to keep the bills paid before The Crafty Lass takes over the world… I have crochet to be done, sewing projects on the go, product ideas being designed (!), commissions to be made, various new crafts I would like to try and taste. 

Obviously within all of that – the main thing is getting the new ‘craft space’ up and running and those (very exciting) workshops planned. I need to practice, cost, time, prepare. I need to think about how everything will be laid out, and when this will all happen… And sometimes I might relax and sleep…

 

I recently have a new sewing machine, which doesn’t help with the brain activity – as that in itself is like a dream come true. My old one served me well – it had gone through college, uni, various house projects over the years. I went to get it serviced – and the answer was a big fat crafty NO – it was time to give up the ghost, and send it into haberdashery heaven. I was sad, but being realistic and honest – wahey! – A NEW MACHINE. Without sounding old and past it – wow, hasn’t technology changed?? I can now have the machine thread the needle for me?? And a ‘top-loading bobbin’ – basically, no more faffing around with it… it sews neatly, consistently, basically the best thing I could have done was to finally invest in a new one.

Except – I am now obsessed! So many lovely fabrics to turn into projects – and fun accessories for our boy! Dribble bibs being the starting point… love that a simple splash of fun fabric can update even the most basic of babygros! I wanted to buy him lots of different designed bibs – and then I had a lightbulb moment – why not MAKE them. I am The Crafty Lass afterall…! Yes, they will get messy – but he can look cool and I can have fun with it too!!? 

To help with my (ever growing) list of things to do, ideas to be realised and dreams to be achieved, my mum is currently here for a few days. (And, yes, it is simply amazing having her here!) In reality – what I could have done this afternoon, is have a (very well deserved) nap?

But no – I made a ‘tag blanket’ for workshop practice, and for little one…

Again, a simple little sewing project – but it has given much joy today… for both me, and Freddie! Fun nautical inspired prints from ‘The Craft Cotton Company’, different coloured and textured ribbons – great fun! 🙂  Keep your eyes peeled for a craft workshop on how to make them for yourself, coming soon… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

The Crafty Lass… aims to live The Dream…

It’s June. JUNE.

I’m sure I start every blog post on a comment about time, or very British – the weather, but I seriously do not understand where time goes…

Our little one is approaching 8 months. For those good at maths, that’s two thirds of a whole year, (what??!!) which to me is literally, crazy… time flies when you’re having fun!

Well, my blog posts have certainly been bare, and my Facebook feeds empty – but I have literally been having ‘too much fun’… Well, I have been busy anyway… We have moved house. Which I can tell you, is no mean feat with the compious amounts of furniture and rubbish stuff we own to move, a dog, a baby… (note: we could NOT have done the house move without our wonderful parents physical help on the day… I know they will read this, and very important for the acknowledgement! We made such a great team!!)

 

The Crafty Lass – despite being on a slight back burner due to concentrating on the move, and mainly on our forever growing and developing little man and being on maternity leave – is never far from my thoughts. In fact, at the minute, it feels like it is all I think about. I hinted in my last post, 6 weeks ago, that there are ‘big plans’, and I sort of wondered whether to even say anything back then, let alone now… if you admit out loud your deepest thoughts, your dreams, and plans that are coming to fruition – you are vulnerable, but – you are honest. This house move, was for our family. But, it was also majorly for me, The Crafty Lass. 

 

Now, don’t get me wrong – our new home, is a very long term, family home in the beautiful British countryside – but it has the added benefit of a (majorly-exciting-all-consuming-any-spare-thoughts) OUTBUILDING. Which, is currently in the process of being converted to be able to run said workshops from it… The Crafty Lass, used to be mobile – and still will be – however, it will have a new stable base, a lynch pin, a HOME.

 

Things will take time, things will need to be planned, bought, delivered, practiced – but The Crafty Lass will be expanding its workshops offerings. There is the new house to make a home too, and of course (!) there are various ‘The Crafty Lass’ projects to complete there too. There are blinds to be made, walls to be painted and murals to be designed. There is only one of ‘me’ (thank goodness I am sure ‘The Husband’ thinks…) and my brain is on design and Pinterest overdrive with ideas and ‘vision’ for spaces and the future.

 

I will, of course, keep you informed of anything majorly exciting in regards to workshops… but I hope you will join me on this new journey and adventure of turning our outbuilding into the new The Crafty Lass HQ. And of course, once this seriously starts to get real… I will be singing from the rooftops that I am holding workshops from here, and then I will need your help! Like, Share… Attend?

 

With the most recent happenings in our broken world, nothing speaks stronger to me than – do it. If you want something to happen, just do it – if you can. But, life is far, far too short to hold back. The last eight months with little man, and the changes that have occurred in that short time… I wonder where we, and the world will be in another 8 months time. I am a big believer in fate, and the minute I walked into this house, I just knew. I had to stop myself from crying in front of the estate agent (stiff upper lip and all that…) apart from imagining where our Christmas tree would go (sure fire we need to get this house moment) I could see fabric, passion, sewing, happiness, creativity, the future…

 

So, without being a preacher – if you want something don’t let anyone, or yourself (!) hold you back. Go out, do it, live the dream. I’m not quite there yet, but the day I have people here for a workshop, and they leave creative, inspired and happy… I’ve won. I’ve lived the dream. And, now, the next stage is to MAKE IT HAPPEN. Make, Create, Inspire.

 

What is your dream? Are you actively pursuing it? How does it effect your life? I’d love to hear. xx

 

Enjoy!

Categories: Business, General Craft, House & Home, Workshops

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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