Tag : the-craft-channel
So what exactly is ‘inspiration‘? And, what is YOUR inspiration?
Big, open questions – and where I suspect there are many, MANY different answers.
Some people are inspired by nature, or photography, or music, or colour, poetry, their family, their own personal desires and wishes etc. The list goes on.
The dictionary defines inspiration as:
- the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
- a sudden brilliant or timely idea.
For me, it does come along in many different forms, at many different times – and sometimes, not at all. Sometimes it is for things and ideas you would expect yourself to focus on, and somedays not.
I often use Pinterest to start my inspiration for whatever the current project or theme is. Other times I listen to calming chillout music, or will be already crafting up a project – and new ideas will start popping into my head – one, after the other – like a domino effect. Almost as if inspiration breeds inspiration. Other times it will be the middle of the night – a multi-tabbed brain frantically writing down ideas at 4am and my pen can’t keep up with my the words and thoughts and designs tumbling out of my brain.
However – there are days where I totally lack inspiration AND its sister key word – motivation. Sometimes, I will have just ‘lost my mojo’. But, who doesn’t? And, I am learning that that is OK. Because inspiration shouldn’t be there ALL the time, it needs to strike – in a moment of glorious ‘aha!’, ‘lightbulb moments’, a sudden glimmer of ‘what if…’ genius, thought provoking brilliance. And THEN, you need motivation to take over to drive the thoughts into reality. Ideas are nothing without execution.
Now approaching 32 weeks pregnant – I do have inspiration and motivation – but for DIFFERENT things than ‘normal’, of which I am not used to.
The Crafty Lass used to be my sole focus. Of course yes, there is The Husband, our lovely doggie Patch, our great friends and family, work at The Craft Channel… But the late at night googling, the jotting notes in the diary, the Pinterest boards being created – were all totally craft related. Even before The Crafty Lass – for our wedding (the last M.L.P – Major Life Project) this was hugely craft focused! Prior to pregnancy, I would be inspired with hundreds of craft ideas, design ideas, imagery, product ideas, The Crafty Lass is going to take over the world ideas. They are still there, but recently – being honest, are dampened down and pushed aside by the new priorities of finish the nursery, making sure my hospital bag is on with being packed, booking antenatal classes, and that we have bought and researched everything we require. Motivation for (and the actual need) to sleep lots! Motivation and inspiration for a different, new and exciting kind of future. There are certainly crafty nursery-based inspirations (of course there are!) – there is the crochet Elephant, the knitted comforter, the pompom rug, the handmade mobile, the tags and bunting and… I could go on!
When I first started to spend more time looking at buggies rather than how to create paper flowers, or researching car seats instead of yarn types – I felt guilty. Absolutely no doubt about it. And, being honest – I even visited my lovely Life Coach – to question – ‘where has my mojo gone?’ And ‘why am I no longer focusing on the business as 110% as I was before?’ She comforted me, reassured me, encouraged me and yes, motivated me – thank you – and told me what I already knew. And, although it has taken me a while to understand – it’s natural to have a new shift in focus. It’s a big step in life, and actually these moments are precious, and need to be treasured. It sounds absolutely bleedin’ obvious now I am writing it down! Of course I knew that – but it is nice to be reminded when you feel the balance is wrong. Emotions aren’t always that straight forward are they? When you work hard at University, you work hard in lots of different places and types of business – finding and drawing your own life path – you spend so long developing and focusing on your career, for that focus to suddenly wane, for me it is a new and different concept. You cannot FORCE inspiration in a certain direction. You CAN make motivation happen. And, stuff will get done. The Crafty Lass commissions will be made. Future business proposals will be written. Those end of year financials will FINALLY be submitted. Just in what priority order? And does it matter in what order, as long as it all gets done. There is the internal battle of where the inspiration and motivation should be focused towards. However, IT IS OK to currently not be as driven in a certain direction than I once was.
I’m learning that when inspiration does strike – you need to write those ideas down, you need to bottle them up, start that Pinterest board, fire up the computer and get on with designing the next creations – before it’s too late – before the moment has gone. Motivation wise – I suppose everything needs to be balanced. Inspiration strikes whenever, in whatever direction it likes. You might NEED to do something, but do you WANT to, are you INSPIRED to do it? Of course, sometimes we all have to try and focus on what we NEED to do, not just on what we WANT to – whether we like it or not. The world would be an amazing place wouldn’t it, if we could just all do what we want, rather than need!
Once I accepted this new phase in inspirational focus, and the guilt shifted away – actually, the ideas came flooding back, and I now have TWO The Crafty Lass notebooks on the go, sketches being made, new Pinterest boards being created and some exciting business ideas in the pipeline. (Watch this space!) I am just learning it is about BALANCE. It is ok to work hard AND then have a well deserved and needed 2 hour nap – and then, perhaps continue with your crochet for little bubba’s new toy. Perhaps before, my focus was actually too much in The Crafty Lass favour – and this new stage is the ‘correct’ (if there is a right and wrong) balance for the future.
A totally different concept – but the lessons behind it are the same:
I have just started maternity leave, deliberately early – to focus on getting organised – for the baby, for The Crafty Lass – to get ready (will we ever be ready?) – but to also have some selfish ‘me’ and ‘just us’ time before our world dramatically changes for a new chapter. (SERIOUS NESTING PHASE ALERT.)
So, for those of you who might be in the same position – try not to be too hard on yourself when your inspiration and focus changes and wanes sometimes. As long as you still have that deep, underground fire in your belly, and the ideas are there – just bubbling away under the surface (with brief glittery shows of ‘look I am here!’) – they won’t go away. That natural instinct to Make, Create, Inspire – it is still there. It just might be postponed for a little while.
And, that is OK.
Where does time go? It is a common question I ask – from one day to the next, one week to the next, suddenly from New Year’s Day we see Valentines and Easter in the shops, suddenly the clocks are springing forward, we are planning summer holidays, it’s BBQs, Autumn, Christmas… And so repeats the cycle.
It is already the middle of May. MAY. And, my blog posts have been a little (ahem, severely) lacking of late, which I apologise for, and predominantly relates to the aforementioned ‘biggest project’ of The Crafty Lass’ life in the title, which – I shall come back to.
May means – that one whole and first financial year of The Crafty Lass is complete! I say where does time go, but when I look back – an awful lot has actually happened in that year! When I handed my notice in to my full time employment, it was exciting – but ever so scary – I didn’t quite know where this was going to go, and what the future would hold – except, that it felt right. And so far, it turns out it WAS right. I miss the full time paycheque – but with less money, and more life I feel uplifted and incredibly lucky.
So, in that year I’ve gone from full time, to part time employment. I’ve held workshops and events locally, at both the Waitrose and John Lewis head offices, at Hobbycraft, at a Christmas Tree Farm dressed as an elf with real reindeers. I’ve been featured in my first magazine article (Papercraft Inspirations), I’ve been featured on The Guardian’s website as part of their Start Up of the Year competition, I’ve built the website up from scratch, created and sold my The Crafty Lass Greeting Card ranges and as part of this, created an Etsy store, created exciting commissions – from bunting, to fabric buttonholes, to paper flowers, feather painting, cupcake making, graphic designing, party decorations and even a bridesmaid dress into cushions! I’ve met lovely, brilliant people and companies. I’ve learnt that when you are following your dream, everyone wants to help you and are behind you. Which, in fact is incredibly humbling. Importantly, I followed up on a simple tweet about a new Craft Channel – which quickly followed to working in London planning and featuring in my own shows on Sky and working with them part time as a craft buyer…
I don’t simply list all these achievements in a ‘wow, look at me’, ‘aren’t I amazing’ kind of way… I mean, of course – it is nice to reflect, and think – yes I HAVE achieved a lot in just 12 short months. And no, it isn’t just a glorified hobby (which sometimes I wondered if it might end up being) but, I just mean that if you think about what you want, even if it means less money, less sleep, more working hours – you’ll make it work no matter what. I am incredibly lucky to have the emotional, logical and financial support from The Husband – but, at the end of the day it only takes ME, to get out of bed, get out of the pjs, go to the office (across the hallway) and carry on working till midnight if needed. (Although sometimes the getting out of the pjs part is optional!) It has been hard at times, but overall – the right decision.
So now, what is the future for The Crafty Lass? Well, as the title of this blog post suggests, I am about to undertake the biggest project of my life. In a recent, now too long ago post, I discussed my ‘new recruit’, Patch – who over the last 3 months has brought sunshine into our lives. Yes, there was the jumping on to the table (Patch, not me 😉 !) to steal my breakfast resulting in: ‘bacon-sandwich-gate’, there was the rolling in unprintable stuff down the park – 5 minutes before friends arriving – resulting in bath time craziness, there was the let’s eat a WHOLE BAG of doggie treats (very silly error by myself leaving them on the table when out…) resulting in a very happy followed by a temporarily poorly little doggie for an evening… However, these moments have been VERY few and far between. Mainly, it’s cuddles on the sofa, playtime with his beloved tennis balls, learning to understand his language, plenty of ‘walkies!’, watching him snuggle into his (it was mine!!) fluffy blanket… He is simply put – just SO CUTE!!!! There are still things to learn, more skills he needs to develop (like being able to cope and see other doggies!!) However, the home wouldn’t be the same without his four little legs tottering around, ‘helping’ you in the kitchen (I mean watching you intently in case you should happen to drop that roast chicken sort of helping) – he is there for you when you get home, he is part of the family.
So, aside from Patch – there is the little matter of, the pitter-patter of, little, tiny, feet…The Crafty Lass is expecting a baby! In fact today, I am 17 weeks along on this incredible journey.
Being honest, the lack of recent blog posts speaks volumes – my head in the last few months, normally filled with fabrics and buttons and paper craft ideas has been replaced with scans, appointments, nursery designs, names… I just can’t concentrate! I haven’t been the wellest of bunnies over the last few weeks – but, I am now feeling stronger and ready for the challenges ahead! I am still very much involved in various exciting projects – future workshop plans, expansion projects, ideas for products, more branding, events… BUT from a personal perspective it is the most special time I have ever experienced. Again, it is another scary but exciting time – and just when I handed my notice in ‘I don’t quite know where this is going to go, and what the future will hold – except, that it feels right.’
So, watch this space as whatever happens whether it be work life, or personal – there are clearly exciting times ahead 🙂
The Crafty Lass, Patch and now – Bubba Bump x
PS – And yes, I am doing some crazy ‘bumpies’ including the relevant sized fruit or vegetable relative to the ever growing bubba over on Instagram… why not check it out! 🙂
They’re not just for Christmas you know…!
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!
I am very excited to announce that on Thursday 25th February 2016 – I have been asked to do a talk at The Women In Business Group!
The location is TBC – but likely to be in/around the Basingstoke area… get the date in your diary!
“Paula will be talking to us about how she went from quitting her standard 9-5 job, to both running her own business and working on The Craft Channel. She will also provide us with a brief, fun craft workshop/demonstration.”
Once full details are confirmed, I will let you know so that you can book your tickets! 🙂
To read more about it, please go to the WIBG website:
How exciting! The Craft Channel interviewed me this week, to learn all about The Crafty Lass, and how I set the business up! 🙂
You can read all about it here, on The Craft Channel’s blog!
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
3. Advent Street
4. Advent Baubles
5. Envelope Advent
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’
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
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
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
15. Embroidery Hoop Advent
A really clever idea using embroidery hoops to create a little wall display idea as little fabric pockets! Fun!
Today is the start of The Craft Channel’s new FOWO (For One Week Only) promotion – a fantastic crystal card kit, a very therapeutic craft – 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.
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
Wow, what a week! The Crafty Lass is busy, busy, busy… you might have guessed by the very severe lack of blog posts over the last few weeks! Sometimes I wish there was two of me – not sure my husband would like twice the nagging, but I would certainly get a lot more done (both chores and crafts!!!)
For those of you who don’t know – I actually started a new job this week in addition to The Crafty Lass. I joined The Craft Channel buying team (very exciting) and potential for ‘on air’ demonstrations (VERY exciting!)
Anyway – just want to put this out there: I LOVE AUTUMN. I think it may actually be my favourite season. The cold nights drawing in – suddenly allowed to have multiple accessories – the woolly hats, my beloved mittens that come out year after year, boots, patterned tights, I do own about 100 scarfs (no joke)… Anyway enough about my wardrobe. It’s not just an egotistical fashion drive – it’s the glorious colours in nature, the warming winter food, large glasses of red wine and cups of hot chocolate – the knowledge that it will soon be Halloween, bonfire night and then CHRISTMAS.
My new (did I mention exciting?) role, does however have one down side… a drive to London. However, I have decided that actually, it is only a ‘downside’ if you think of it that way. I can chat to friends and family (handsfree of course), listen to audio books, and look at the wonderful scenery! As much as yes – it is long – and something that for me, will certainly take some time to get used to – it has certainly made me think – wow, our countryside is BEAUTIFUL. I am fortunate that the majority of the commute is straight down the M40 – with lovely rolling green hills, villages and towns passing me by as I whizz down the motorway in my little (“SMARTy Pants”) Smart car – otherwise knows as my Pocket Rocket… “ROCKY”!
The sky this week, can only be described as EPIC. Not sure if the ‘blood moon’ has had anything to do with it – but the sun has somehow been ‘yellower’, the clouds vibrant in brushstrokes of oranges and reds across the sky. Combined with low lying mist, and the fact I have been seeing both sunrise, and sunset on the motorway – the days are certainly getting shorter…it made me think AUTUMN IS ON IT’S WAY!
Anyway, enough about me, my new love for driving to London and Autumn – here are my Top 5… Autumn Crafts!
1. Leaf Placecards
Wow – just how stunningly effective are these! Leaf ‘placecards’ – gold ‘dipped’ and covered in beautiful calligraphy… It sounds time consuming, but worth the extra effort! You’ll not see your Autumnal walk in the park in the same way again…!
2. Glitter Leaves
Sticking to the ‘leaf’ theme – you can’t go wrong with a bit of glitter… ALOT of glitter. Such an effective garland! The guide advises to use artificial leaves – however, I am sure you could use ‘real’ ones, if you allow them to be pressed/dried out beforehand.
3. Pine Cone Garland
This is so beautiful – it would look fantastic at Christmas on your tree, or hanging on the mantelpiece. I already have a small hoard of pinecones from last Autumn in the loft… (you never know when they will come in handy!!) So this is certainly a craft that I will be trying!
4. Stick Crown
A craft for your little ones here – they’ll have so much fun making this crown with you! You can go on a lovely woodland walk, collect twigs and et voila a new fancy dress accessory!
5. Ombre Pinecones
What a fun craft! You have to agree – they look pretty beautiful painted! This would be lovely coordinated with another place setting idea here – where you simply saw them almost in half and add in your name card. Almost makes we wish we’d got married in Autumn and not Spring!