Promotion time! To celebrate the launch of ‘The Crafty Lass’ online Etsy greeting cards shop – there is now a lovely 20% discount off all orders between now and the 30th September!
Simply use this promotional code at the checkout…
Go check it out now! 🙂
The moment you have all been waiting for… well, what I have been waiting for pretty much my whole life.
Today is a big day in The Crafty Lass journey.
It has always been my absolute dream to (a) start my own business (b) this be in craft and/or design and finally (c) have my own online shop selling greeting cards.
Greeting cards are a really important thing to me – we all send/give them regularly – and they mean an awful lot! Just how special do you feel when a little brightly coloured envelope lands on your doormat and you know that someone has taken the time and effort to 1. select a card, 2. hand write it and 3. send it to you – maybe for a special occasion, or perhaps just to say ‘hey’, ‘sorry’ or ‘I miss you’. Even better when it is hand delivered! Whatever the reason, whatever the words inside – it is always special to receive a card.
With today’s multitude of ways to communicate – texting, emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp (to name just a few!) – there is still a love and desire to send a REAL bit of post. A hand chosen card, with a lovely little note inside – it means far, FAR more than just sending a quick text message.
The GCA Greeting Card Market Report 2014 reinforces what a huge and successful industry this is with £1.29 billion spent on single cards in the last year – more than tea and coffee put together. More cards are bought per person in the UK than in any other country – 31 per person an astonishing 884 million single greeting cards were bought from retailers of all shapes and sizes in 2013.
For more simply amazing Facts and Figures about the UK card industry, check out the Greeting Card Association’s website!
The Crafty Lass greeting cards are simple, (but effective!) modern designs, all lovingly created (over the last decade!) on Adobe Illustrator, by myself and printed on heavy, white Omnia board within the United Kingdom.
All cards are left blank for your own lovely message – your own words always mean far more!
In addition to my new online store – The Crafty Lass greeting cards are also now stocked at The Old Hall Bookshop, Brackley! Exciting times. 🙂
Well, it’s that time again – where exactly has the Summer gone? To be honest, we haven’t had much of an actual ‘Summer’ have we? It’s the 27th August and I am sat here writing this with a hot cup of tea, wearing a warm and cosy woolly jumper looking out on to a grey sky!
So, it’s back to school time! I always loved the start of a new term – sad, I know – but I loved getting my new uniform all ready, packing up my pencil case with lots of lovely new stationery. (Yes, I am definitely a life-long stationery addict!)
I loved the thought of all the new possibilities and opportunities with the term ahead. And you’d get to see all your friends everyday (albeit in Maths or Science!) Even now I sort of feel like September is the start of a new ‘term’. I do like sunshine, but September means it’s nearly Autumn! I look forward to the colourful leaves, the colder nights bringing with it hearty stews, cosy blankets, hat scarf and boots fashion combos – and then even better – Winter and my favourite time of year – Christmas!
Well, in the meantime while I am apparently wishing what is left of our Summer away – love or loathe school – why not start the new year with some great creative ideas with my Top 5… Back to school crafts!
1. Ombre Notebooks.
Look cooler than cool with your own ‘Ombre Notebooks‘. Simply add spray paint…
2. Milk Bottle Lunchboxes!
This DIY is MEGA cool – reuse and recycling at it’s absolute best. This tutorial talks you through turning a 4 pinter milk jug into a lunchbox! Sounds crazy, but it does actually work and looks pretty nifty too.
3. Felt pencil ‘roll’.
A simple, but very effective – and useful! – creative project. Making a little ‘pencil roll out of felt and ribbon – a lovely and easy craft to make! This link is in Greek – but hopefully ‘Google Translate’ will work it’s magic for you. If not – there are some photos that make it a very helpful and thorough tutorial.
4. Flower topped pencils!
Simply cut out different shaped flowers, punch out a hole, and add on to pencils! This little tutorial shows just how effective this can look!
5. Ribbon page markers!
Never lose your place in a textbook again with these clever ribbon markers. All you need are paper clips and ribbon…!
Make, create, inspire!
Today was great – in fact it was a ‘hoot’! (Haha! – hoot, get it?)
We had lots of lovely brightly coloured paper, feathers, little shiny gems, googly eyes, plenty of pva glue – and some cute owl photo frames to decorate.
Held at Elaine Marston’s Studio at Turweston, Brackley – across a two hour workshop we spent the time choosing colours, tearing up the paper, and sticking on to our hearts content!
As you will be able to see from the photos every one was different – some with pinks, some with blue, some patterned, some without feathers, some with LOTS! After the owls were complete, as we had a little bit of extra time – we moved on to creating some lovely drawings and collages to go into the frames.
Everyone seemed to have a fun and creative time and with a few little bits of feedback direct from the attendees of ‘Let’s do this every week!’, ‘Can we do decoupage again?!’ and ‘I’ve really enjoyed myself’ – I personally am of course, pleased as punch!
From starting out on this creative journey of becoming ‘The Crafty Lass’ as a business – today, the moment a parent walked back in to collect their children – to be met with a ‘Mummy! Look what I have made!’ moment – it was very special, and one that I am certain, I will never become tired of.
A great and rewarding morning’s work! 🙂
If you’d like The Crafty Lass to host a creative party or workshop – why not get in touch. 🙂
I am excited to announce that The Crafty Lass will be holding a workshop in the Hobbycraft at Milton Keynes store – come and have a go at ‘decoupage’ letters!
Saturday 26th September 2015 – and it will be running as a ‘drop in’ session between 11am and 3pm.
Simply choose and buy your letter base on the day (prices start from £1 up to about £5) or, if you so wish choose from whatever other decoupage bases you like (they have a lot to choose from!)
Lovely papers, and all other equipment and materials will be provided.
This lovely craft has no age limits – so is for both adults and kids to enjoy! Hope to see you there!
It’s been a busy week of celebrating some special birthdays – my dad turned 70 and one of our close friend’s Mark turned 40!
What better way to celebrate than to have some delicious birthday cake…and topped with a The Crafty Lass cake topper!
For my dad’s birthday, we had a wonderful Carrot, Cardamom and Pistachio cake from Cotswold Baking. It was so light and moist – scrumptious… clean plates all round, even after a three course lunch!
For the cake topper, I went with a ‘nautical’ theme – he loves sailing and can’t get enough of the summer sunshine – so a lovely little yacht, floating on the crest of a wave with a big bright yellow sun. Birthday bunting, and a little anchor completed the look. 🙂
For Mark’s 40th, we celebrated with some vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Mark is very into cars – and so using Adobe Illustrator I fashioned some road and speed signs to celebrate Mark’s special day. I am not sure I would be able to re-create the speed signs for commercial sale as the original British road sign designs are Crown copyright. However, for a small friend’s gathering – I am hoping this was ok! The road signs aren’t quite the same – but you get the feel and the idea! The yacht design was entirely my own design and creation 🙂
Happy Birthday Dad and Mark!
If you would like a personalised birthday cake topper handcrafted out of paper and card – why not get in touch! 🙂
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!
Yesterday was the first day I had the pleasure of being a mobile Crafty Lass – meaning, I was not working in my little office in Brackley, Northamptonshire – but a rare visit to the beautiful Isle of Wight. I sat working at a lovely big oak table, with the bright sunshine pouring in through the window and the sounds of seagulls in the not too far distance. I had only been here about an hour – and already had a very English start to my visit with some lovely tea and some sticky ginger cake; in the evening a BBQ, and the promise of a ‘trip out’ somewhere later today. Delightful doesn’t even come close!
The ferry crossing over was lovely, the sun warm and a lovely gentle breeze. For those of you who haven’t been to the Isle of Wight from Lymington to Yarmouth, and for those that have been will know – it’s so peaceful, you can feel all your troubles and worries disappear from the moment the captain of the ship ‘welcomes you aboard’.
So, inspired by my little trip to this island, here are my Top 5…Nautical Crafts!
1. Make a Paper Boat!
An oldie, but a goodie – but, this from ‘Big Dot of Happiness is a lovely tutorial – and with plenty more fun ideas for the same paper craft – from kiddies party hats, to little boats on straws, it is a great one for plenty of nautical themed ideas! 🙂
2. Make ‘Sand Bowls’
Just how beautiful are these? Tel aviv student Leetal Rivlin has created these sand and glue masterpieces – why not give them a go yourself? There is a tutorial as to how to do – here at Serendipitous Discovery. They’d make lovely little jewellery dishes, or filled with some shells as a decorative feature!
3. Rope vases!
What a lovely idea! You start out with a plain glass vase – and basically weave the rope around them – glue, and voila! You can even go one step further by adding some dye to make a colour wash effect. The full tutorial is over here at Style Me Pretty. You could even do this around empty glass jars, or tins to keep the cost down. Lovely!
4. Knot Jewellery!
Another rope craft here – but just how cool do these bracelets look? This tutorial from Etsy takes you through ‘how to’ step by step – looking forward to making this as an accessory!
5. Clay Pot Lighthouse
This is a lovely tutorial how to make a little Clay Pot Lighthouse. This would look lovely in the garden with a little tea light inside. All you need to make this is some clay/terracotta flower pots, glue, paint and some time and patience! 🙂