Tuesday, 1 December 2015

A Shop Update! Plus, Last Order Dates for Christmas

I've been adding a few new things to my Etsy shop, but first it's time to talk about last order dates for Christmas.


If you've got your eye on something in my shop for Christmas, please order before these dates to give your parcel a good chance of reaching you in time:

EASTERN EUROPE & countries/regions not listed below: order by Friday 4th December

GREECE, NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA: order by Monday 7th December

WESTERN EUROPE, CANADA & USA: order by Friday 11th December

UK: order by Friday 18th December

I will continue to post parcels after these dates but your order may not arrive in time for Christmas :)

Right, onto the much more interesting part of this blog post: new stuff in my shop!

There's a set of felt Christmas pudding ornaments:


And an assortment of embroidered felt baubles:


These are all samples I stitched for blog tutorials, so I've listed them at bargain prices over in my sample sale.

I'm also having a clear-out of my fabric stash!


I'll be selling all these lovelies, and gradually listing them with my other destashed crafty supplies this evening. If you make a purchase then see something else you'd like to buy that's listed later, I'll post both orders together and refund you any excess shipping :)

UPDATE: all the fabric has now been listed HERE.

Not new but also worth a look if you're doing some Christmas shopping:

... there are lots of bargain felt brooches still left in my sample sale...


... and more Christmas ornaments, too!


You'll also find a selection of fabric, felt beads, buttons and other craft supplies...


... plus pompom gift-wrapping packs.


Just £2 for a pack of 6 fluffy pompoms + coordinating yarn to decorate your gifts this Christmas. I think these would look especially awesome combined with silver wrapping paper!

Click here to visit my Etsy shop to see what's currently in stock.

Friday, 27 November 2015

How To: DIY Advent Calendar With a Twist!

Please note: this is an advertorial and I received a fee to create a Christmas craft idea for www.tescoliving.com

The lovely people at Tesco Living got in touch a few weeks ago with a fun challenge: could I come up with a twist on their 25 Days of Handmade Christmas advent calendar tutorial?

I do love a crafty challenge!

The original project is a tutorial for making a DIY advent calendar from mini envelopes, mini pegs and a large embroidery hoop - click here for the step-by-step how to. Nice, huh?


And here are the materials I used for making my version - including my all time fave craft material: felt (of course!).


Wanna see how my advent calendar turned out?

Click here to see my twist on this DIY advent calendar project :)

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

How To: Simple Stripy Scrap Cards

A couple of years ago I'd been thinking about making paper flowers for my sister's wedding. She ended up going in a different direction with her decor, so the crepe paper colour swatch I'd bought went in a drawer and sat there unused... until now!

I have no plans to order more crepe paper any time soon, so when I re-discovered the swatch this week I decided to chop up the samples and use them to make some colourful, stripy cards:

Aren't those colours just gorgeous? Ah, bright colour makes me so happy.

The texture of the crepe paper is also rather wonderful.

Making your own striped cards is a quick and easy crafty project, and a great way to make use of any delicious scraps of colour in your paper stash.

Okay so you probably won't have a crepe paper colour swatch sitting in a drawer, like I did, but if your crafty stash is anything like mine you've probably got lots of colourful paper scraps which you've kept because they're too nice to just throw away.

To make the cards: 

Cut your scraps to an even width (mine are about 5.5 cm across), then cut them into sections of differing heights (I cut mine between 1-3 cm). I used a pencil and a ruler to make sure all my rectangles were straight and neat, drawing the lines on the back of the paper.

Arrange the scraps on white card blanks, with a mix of colours and sizes.

I made some tall stripy cards...

.... a stripy postcard...

... and some mini stripy cards to send with my parcels (using up some scrap bits of white card in the process, hurrah!). Add a hole and a piece of coordinating twine and these would make great gift tags.

Once you're happy with the arrangement of your scraps, stick them in place with double-sided sticky tape or a glue stick. I used tape to stick mine, it's less messy than using glue and I was also worried that pressing the glue stick along the flexible crepe paper would stretch and distort it. Whatever method you chose, line up your rectangles neatly and press them down firmly.

On the mini cards, I cut the cards to be slightly narrower than the paper scraps (5 cm wide) so the paper went up to and over the edges. If you like this look, once you've stuck the paper in place turn the cards over and trim the excess paper with scissors for a lovely neat finish.

So simple, so stripy, so good.

I can't wait to send these little stripy bursts of colour!

Monday, 23 November 2015

A Trip To Bristol: Shaun in the City & Climbing Cabot Tower

Time for another summer Nice Day Out flashback!

I love Bristol and miss living there and don't get back half as often as I'd like thanks to the steep train fares (I miss my student railcard, too!). This summer I realised it had been over a year since my last visit so I splashed out some cash on some advanced tickets and booked myself three Bristol day trips.

I spent two of the days catching up with old friends and meeting up with new ones, but the third was free for me to do whatever I wanted in the city. After a bit of umming and ahhing I decided to spend the day following the Shaun in the City trail.

I'd really enjoyed the London leg of the trail earlier in the summer. All the Shaun the Sheep sculptures were delightful, tracking them down was like going on a treasure hunt, and the sheep-hunting was a great way to tour the city (and get some exercise!)

I got into Bristol nice and early and spent a long, busy, happy day working my way round the map - I did a lot of walking and managed to see 31 out of the 70 Bristol Shauns (told you it was a busy day!)


It was a gorgeous, sunny day - perfect weather for a day wandering round the city, ticking Shauns off the map and enjoying the sights along the way. The bright colours of the harbourside were looking particularly lovely in the sunshine!


I also squeezed in a quick visit to the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (one of my favourite places in the city) to see this awesome temporary exhibition, and made my first ever visit to the nearby Georgian House Museum. At the Georgian House you can step back in time and see how the house might have looked in the 1790s - it's free to visit and well worth doing so! 

Another Bristol attraction I'd never visited before was Cabot Tower. The tower was built in the late 1800s and looms over the city from the top of Brandon Hill (a lovely park, conveniently located near the museums). When I actually lived in Bristol I wasn't that interested in sightseeing so I'd never been to Cabot Tower and had no idea you could actually climb it until I read Polly's blog post about her own visit earlier this year.


The landscaping around the tower is totally charming with winding paths, a little waterfall, and lots of semi-hidden spaces to explore. Some of the paths up to the tower are very steep!

The views across the park and the city are rather special from the base of the tower...

... but if you're feeling brave you can climb up the tower for some even better views. Cabot Tower is 105 feet (32 metres) high and has two viewing platforms. The higher platform is apparently 334 feet (102 metres) above sea level!

The spiral staircase up the tower is quite steep and narrow - you have to get quite cosy with anyone going up/down the stairs in the other direction! - but the views are wonderful. It was delightful to spot so many familiar places and to look down at places I'd visited earlier that very day as I followed the Shaun in the City trail.

P.S. You can read more about Cabot Tower and see its opening times here. The Shaun in the City trail has now finished but you can read more about it here and buy lots of Shaun-themed goodies in the fundraising shop here. Until late December you can also buy raffle tickets for the chance to win a giant Christmas-themed Shaun sculpture!


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