Monday, 31 December 2012

DIY photo frame upcycle

I'm really excited to have written my first ever guest post, do pop over to claireabellemakes to have a look at my easy photo frame upcycle.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Reflections on 2012

Back in January I made some resolutions for the year ahead, how did I get on?

1) Apply for a shop window exhibition with Changing Spaces -  Well 2012 was the year that crafting took over my life while painting only got a very small look in. I've barely picked up my paint brushes in the past 12 months but I did get some new brushes for Christmas so no excuses for 2013. While I didn't apply for an exhibition space I did set up my Etsy shop and even made my first sales.  

2) Hold my shop window exhibition and host a private view
- Since I didn't hold an exhibition I couldn't really have a private view, but a private it view is just an excuse for a party, right? So with a rather tenuous link, in August I joined the Etsy craft party and met some brilliant local crafty people. We had drinks and nibbles and got creative, even better than a private view.

2) Blog more often - I definitely did this!!! It took a few months to get going but I certainly picked up the pace in 2012. My blog moved house in June  and I actually began to share it with other people. I started to get a better grasp of how Twitter works and I have enjoyed meeting some of my Twitter friends in real life.

4) Reach 100 ‘likes’ on facebook
- Erm...not quite, I haven't been very good at sharing or using my facebook page and have instead focused on Twitter but if you'd like to help me out in that respect pop on over.

5) Visit an exhibition or craft fair at least once a month for a boost of inspiration and motivation - Probably not, but then I wasn't keeping a very good record. An improvement on the previous year though. I went to the wonderful David Hockney exhibition in April and blogged about it here. I also visited lots of Open Studios and managed a few craft fairs. 

craftypainter: 2012 highlights

Other things that happened in no particular order, some crafty and some not....
  • I joined a brand new WI group in Cambridge and then went even further and joined the Committee taking over the blog for Cam City WI. I was really nervous about going along to the first open meeting but I'm so glad I did, it's been a great way to meet lots of new people. 
  • I reached my 50 runs at Cambridge parkrun and was rewarded with my wonderful 50 club t-shirt. Also on running, I ran 201.2km during March to raise money for the NSPCC. I've been taking things pretty easy over the past few months but am looking forward to gearing up for half-marathon training in the new year. 
  • I finally finished the year long project of re-upholstering two 1960's Parker Knoll arm chairs, see how they turned out!!
  • I held my first ever giveaway to celebrate the new Make and Craft Magazine
  • I entered my first craft swap.
  •  I joined Pinterest and Hellocotton (perfect ways to lose an entire evening!)
What was your highlight of 2012? 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Crafting with Ro

Some weeks ago now, I spent a Saturday afternoon with my friend Ro. Usually this means an exhausting day of shopping but this time we decided on a quieter afternoon of crafting and tea drinking. First of Ro gave me a needle-felted owl decoration made in my favourite colours. 

I hadn't even heard of needle felting until I discovered the wonderful blog of Mrs Plop. I love trying new crafts and like to work out how things are made so that I can have a go myself, but I had no idea how needle-felting worked. Ro gave me a quick demo with the most vicious looking needle I have ever seen (a slightly serrated triple pronged scary thing) and then I had a go myself.

You start with a piece of felting fleece and roll it into a very basic shape, you then stab it repeatedly with the scary needle which binds the fibres together. Somehow I managed not to injure myself and I made this cute robin. Not quite in the same league as Mrs Plop, but I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt.
Ro was on a mission to use up fabric scraps from her stash and set to work making a quilt while I drank lots of tea and admired the handy work. By the end of the afternoon Ro was well on the way to having completed three squares and by the time I got home she had finished nine!
I'm in the processes of saving up pieces of my favourite fabrics from my stash to make my first ever quilt and I really love the design that Ro chose as it's a great way to use up thin strips of fabric and the colours are wonderful!

Here is Ro's finished quilt!

Have you discovered any new crafts recently?

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