Repurposing Christmas Decorations

Hello!

A little while ago I was inspired by Patience Brewster to repurpose some holiday décor! Patience is an artist and illustrator who designs, among other things, beautiful and unique Christmas decorations. I was introduced to Patience’s work, and challenged – how can I repurpose my Christmas decorations for use all year round?

Let’s face it, we all have lots of Christmas decorations which are beautiful, sometimes quite pricey and even handmade – and they spend 11 months of the year gathering dust in the loft or cellar. There is nothing more exciting than dusting off the decorations and carefully unpacking them at the beginning of December, but isn’t it such a shame that something so beautiful is packed away for the majority of the year? Now I’m not expecting everyone to keep their Christmas tree up 365 days a year (that would obviously spoil the fun…) but what if you could sneak a little bit of Christmas into your everyday decor? Surely the odd bauble here and there would brighten up your dark evenings when you get in from work? Plus you wouldn’t have to hide away those beautiful decorations all year to only see the (dim) light of December days!

Rising to Patience Brewster’s challenge, I have come up with a few projects to get the most out of my Christmas decorations, by incorporating them into decor that will last the whole year round!

Beads

 

The first ornament I opted to repurpose was beads. We have several strings and varieties of beads that we hang on the tree every year, and they seemed like a very versatile decoration to start with! I picked out a vase made from recycled glass and filled the vase with the beads. I decided to place a candle on top of the beads to decorate our dining table, but it would also be a great way to display artificial flowers. Continue reading

Advertisements

23 Before 23 – The Review

For those of you who have been with my blog for a while, you will know that for the last few years I have done a challenge every year, setting the same number of goals as the age I will be on my next birthday. Last year I turned 23, so after my 22nd birthday, I set my 23 before 23 goals. As we all know, 2014 was absolute chaos for me, so I didn’t end up dedicating any time to my goals at all! However, I am going to review them all the same, but I’m not expecting any spectacular results!

1. Make a dress – This one is still on the list! I’m ashamed to think of how long I have had the supplies ready and just not made any progress with it! It is a little more tricky now, as never having made clothes before, I want my Mum to help me through the steps to make sure I’m doing everything right (Mum’s know best of course!) but now that I have moved out, we haven’t yet managed to arrange a day when she can come over and help me through it! I’m hoping to get a day arranged soon though so I can make a start on all of the dressmaking projects I have in mind!

2. Complete 10 cross stitch projects – Looking back at this, ten projects was probably rather ambitious! At the beginning of the year I was on a bit of a roll and manage to complete 4 projects, which you can see in my 2014 Project Gallery, and at the end of the year I went on to finish my Once Upon A Time Sampler and my Liberty kit, which can be seen in my 2015 Cross Stitch Projects post. I don’t think I completed anything in between that I haven’t included, so I’m going to say that I managed 6, which I don’t actually think is that bad! This year there is no way I will achieve 10 as the projects I am working on are so big. However, if I can finish all of the projects that I have got planned for this year, I will be very happy to call that an achievement.

mothers-day-card

Continue reading

My 23rd Birthday

Wow, my break from blogging really did last longer than I expected! Apologies for going AWOL for a few months, 2014 was a HUGE year for me – moving out of my family home for the first time into a house with James, starting a graduate job, finishing my masters dissertation – just to name a few! Because I had so much going on it has taken a few months to get into a regular routine around working different shifts and arranging a housework pattern, as well as fitting in hobbies and voluntary work. I am hoping that I have managed to strike a balance which is now going to allow me to get back into a blogging routine! I’ve got so many things to share with you since I’ve been away, starting with my 23rd birthday presents ( I’m only two months late, I don’t think that is too bad!)

My 23rd birthday was back in December and I really wanted to share my presents with you but…well, you know what December is like! The run up to Christmas got really chaotic and I never got round to sharing my presents with you but hey, better late than never!

Anyway, to kick it off, here are my crafty presents from James! I picked my first present as I had been eyeing up this adorable Disney cross stitch for a while. After visiting Orlando in 2013 and Disneyland Paris in November I was hooked on anything Disney-related, so what can get better than Disney-related crafts! I really wanted to get a large Disney cross-stitch, ideally of the castle, so when I saw this one of Mickey and Walt Disney I knew it was perfect. The pastel colours are really pretty and I love the level of detail in the design. I can’t wait to start it but I have quite a lot of projects keeping me busy this year! (More on that in a future post…)

Blog Edit 15

Another crafty gift from James! He picked out a sewing kit for me from Liberty when he was recently in London with work (he is well trained!) He bought me this patchwork cushion kit which I couldn’t wait to make a start on – I’d sewn it together before I even got a photo of it in the packet! It is a simple 9 square design with an envelope close at the back. James picked the kit with lovely blue fabrics in it to match our sofa – I couldn’t have picked better myself Continue reading

2014 Photo A Day Challenge – January

As part of my 23 Before 23, I set myself the challenge of taking a photograph every day in 2014. I have been using Instagram to share my photos every day, but I have put together a short video of all of my photos from January for people who don’t use the social media site. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you have a favourite photo too…I’d love to know what is popular!

Continue reading

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

Edit 1

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.

Edit 3

 

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!

edit 1

 

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.

Edit 1

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