The Crafter’s Guide To Packaging Handmade Products

Book 1

Author: Viola E. Sutanto
Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts.
Published: February 2014
Pages: 176

When this book caught my eye, I was instantly intrigued. While I have hundreds of books on craft projects, I haven’t before seen any on packaging them. I thought that the concept seemed really interesting and it was something that I hadn’t thought about before, so I was interested in what the book could contain. When it arrived, I was thrilled to see how much was crammed into this little book, and I was surprised just how much I had to learn about packaging!

Book 2

 

As soon as you open the book, you are greeted with an adorable but accessible book. I love the way that the contents page is divided into three sections, which are identifiable from the tags at the top of the page. The first section, ‘Materials and how to use them’ is a section examining the different packaging resources that are available to you, and what different forms they come in that you can use. Section two, ‘Designing Your Packaging’ shows you some fun and simple ways to package your goods with the materials that you have selected from the first section. It uses some wonderful designs to inspire you to get creative with your packaging. The third section is a bundle of resources that you can use, including templates and useful information. This book follows a logical layout that enables you to progress through the book from choosing your materials to designing and developing stunning and unique packaging for your handmade gifts in an easy and leisurely way.  Continue reading

Craft Show & Sell: Expert Tips for Confident Craft Selling

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Author: Torie Jayne
Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts.
Published: January 2014
Pages: 144

When I first chose Craft Show & Sell as a book to feature on my 2014 Lust List, I knew very little about it other than the brief online synopsis that I had read. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to review a copy of the book, and I am so glad that I did! This book is absolutely crammed full of professional tips on how to run a craft company, whether it is online or at craft shows, covering everything that you ever wanted to know from organising your craft room to taking professional photographs.

Following a brief introduction, the book features five chapters, covering; Getting Started; Branding; Selling Basics; Selling in Person; and Marketing. No matter whether you are a complete beginner when it comes to craft selling, or an old had, this book has a fantastic showcase of tips that everyone can benefit from.

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One of the unique features of this book is the fact that it literally covers everything from the very first stages of setting up a craft business, but it covers the things that you might not consider such as how to organise your craft space in the most efficient way. Many of the pages are pretty text heavy, but the advice is very clear and easy to understand, and the pictures throughout the book are stunning. Continue reading

Reviewing January Goals and Looking Forward to February

Since the end of the month is almost here, I thought it would be a good excuse to look back on what I have achieved throughout the first month of 2014. Early on in January, I set myself some targets that I wanted to achieve, and I am pretty happy to say that I managed to achieve most of them! 

The first goal that I completed was to finish the pair of beanies that were in the set that my Grandma got me for my birthday. These were a pretty quick make and I really enjoyed doing a small project for a change!

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Next I could cross off completing James’ Valentines’ Day present, but I can’t share that yet because I want to keep it a surprise! I can share the next couple of projects with you though, I completed my ‘January’ square of my Fairytale Sampler in just a few evenings, so I am on track for completing each square on time each month, although I do have some more work to do on the border as I go. Continue reading

What I’ve Been Up To Recently…

Well, yesterday I handed in the final essay of the semester, which gives me two weeks off before I start semester too (that’s ignoring the fact that I have 30 books to read for next semester but still…) so I am enjoying (relative) freedom, around the reading and my overtime at work. Since I have been so bogged down in essays though, I haven’t had chance to share my recent activities on my blog. I have been doing quite a bit of crafting in general, and I have been making small steps towards some of my 23 before 23 goals.

Getting Organised/Having a Clear Out:

So, two of my goals were part of my aim to get myself organised and de-cluttered! While these are likely to take a long time to achieve completely, I have been making a start! I scoured Pinterest for some ideas on room organisation, and I created my Organisation Board, to get me in the mood. It certainly worked, because last week I had the urge to start my sorting with my wardrobe and drawers (which I generally hate…) I try to sort out my clothes pretty regularly, but they were well overdue. After a couple of hours pulling things out and trying things on, I was left with a bin bag for the tip and two boxes for the charity shop! There wasn’t masses to get rid of, but just clearing out some of my unnecessary stuff felt incredibly satisfying. I didn’t just stop there though…oh no! I put some of my Pinterest tips into practice to make my clothes storage work better for me. I began by adding some drawer dividers into my socks and underwear drawer, to prevent it from being such a free-for-all when I was getting ready in a morning.

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My second drawer holds my t-shirts, hats, scarves and gloves, now nice and accessible. Continue reading

My First Finish of 2014!

I’m am very happy to say that I have finished my very first craft project of 2014! If you saw my post about the lovely birthday presents that I received, you might remember that my Grandma bought me a crochet kit to make two beanies. Well, I put it to good use and made a start on the first beanie on the 3rd of January. I started on the woman’s hat first, and I made myself an oversized, baggy beanie. I had finished it by the 5th! On the 7th January I started the men’s beanie so that James could have one too, and I finished it yesterday on the 8th! Here are the finished items:

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Crochet Boutique: For the Next Crochet Generation

Crochet Boutique 1

Author: Rachael Oglesby
Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts, Crochet.
Published: 2012
Pages: 128

Considering I am an avid crocheter, my bookcase is surprisingly sparse when it comes to crochet books. I think that part of the problem is due to the lack of books aimed at a ‘younger’ crochet audience. While many of the crochet books that I have experienced have some lovely patterns in them, many of them are for items that I wouldn’t need, or for dated clothing and accessories. Crochet Boutique is definitely not one of these books though!

I first heard of this book when I read a review of it on another blog (shamefully, I can’t remember where it was…) but just the post, I was struck by how ‘modern’ the designs were, and how fashionable they appeared. When my Mum asked me to choose some craft books for Christmas, this was one of the first ones to pop into my mind!

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My 23 Before 23!

Happy New year! I hope you all had a great one 🙂

Right, I have finally finished deciding on my 23 items to complete in the year before I am 23! It seems an apt time to share them since everyone is sharing their resolutions at the moment! Here they are:

1. Make a dress.
Yep, this one is a hangover from last year. I have already got the fabric, the thread, the zip and the pattern, the only thing that I am lacking is time! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this one will come off this year!

2. Complete ten cross stitch projects.
I’m aware this may seem strange, as it is more ambitious than one that I didn’t complete last year! Last year I wanted to complete seven cross stitch kits to clear through some of my stash, but I didn’t manage it. This year, however, I am not just limiting myself to ‘kits’ but to ‘projects’. I have an abundance of patterns, books and magazines that I have never used, so I have cancelled my subscription with the intention of spending my time stitching the designs instead of just admiring them! I haven’t picked 10 specific projects for the year, I will just stitch what I fancy although I already have a few in mind and in progress. I have also gone through all of my magazines and put sticky notes on all of the designs that I want to stitch! But those will keep me busy long after 2014…

3. Read 20 books of my choice.
Last year I amazed myself at how well I did with this one. Not that reading 20 books is the challenge…it is finding time to justify reading 20 non-university books! This year my teaching finishes in May, then I officially leave university in September (eek!) so it won’t be long before my university reading is at an end forever, which might help me get a little closer to my goal this year!

4. Learn how to knit socks. Continue reading

Christmas Goodies! And a Christmas Miracle…

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I had a great couple of days off work where I spent time with my family and ate far too much food! Since then I’ve been back at work so this is the first chance I have had to share my presents with you! Here is just a quick look at some of the goodies that I got! Please excuse the poor quality photos, they were taken rather hastily on my phone on Christmas morning!

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First of all, James got me a Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutter! I have had a quick play with it already but I am looking forward to experimenting with it some more yet! I also ordered some dies in the Hobbycraft January sale which are due to arrive any time now!

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My 22nd Birthday! 22 Before 22 Review

So last week was my 22nd birthday! I had a great time and I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone by! My birthday also marked the end of my 22 Before 22 challenge, which I will summarise after I have shared my presents with you and said a huge thank you to everyone who made my birthday special, sent me a present or wished me a happy birthday!

I want to start off by showing you the amazing cake my Mum made me!

Yes I still want a princess cake when I'm 22...

Yes I still want a princess cake when I’m 22…

And now for the presents:

A snugly snood and purse from my Great Aunt and Uncle!

A snugly snood and purse from my Great Aunt and Uncle!

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