Saturday, December 31, 2011

Playing with paper

When you own a craft shop, sometimes it's hard just to create because you love it. There are always deadlines, samples, displays to create, and sometimes it can all be a bit too much like actual work. And that's no fun. So, to combat those post-Christmas blues and kickstart our 2012 creativity, Mum and I got together with some paper, paint and glue.

I'd forgotten how much fun it is to craft with someone else. Especially someone who gets it when you squeal with glee and clap your hands because something looks amazing (we may both have done this).

I especially love it when you get useful tips. See that little dish with my glue in it? It's a milk bottle lid. Top tip, thanks Mum.

In between having fun and endless cups of tea, we have also been planning workshops for the shop in 2012. I'll let you know more once we've finalised the details.

The next time I post, it will be 2012. Happy New Year, everyone.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 review

Hmmm....2011. Where did that go, then? The week between Christmas and New Year is, for me, always a time to reflect on the year that has gone, and make some plans for the year to come.

For me, crafting in 2011 was about new products. Some things stay with me throughout - I think scrapbooking and cardmaking will always be a part of my crafting repertoire. But this year I definitely noticed myself trying out new products and techniques, which I'm really pleased with. I feel like I've made a great start, and 2012 will be all about learning even more. So before I come up with some plans for next year, in no particular order, here is my 2011 Top Five:

1. Promarkers. I know, I know, I'm late to the party. No change there then! But I'm so glad I discovered these little beauties. My stamps have all gained a new lease of life and I love the bright, vibrant colours that Promarkers give. I will admit I was a little bit nervous in the beginning - there are a lot of tutorials and blogs out there and I had the impression that there was some 'secret' to Promarker technique. I'll tell you now - there isn't. I'm sure there are lots of ways I can improve, but even my first efforts are pretty pleasing.

2. Border punches. These aren't new either, but this year I've moved away from just using them on scrapbook pages and they've really helped my cardmaking. I love pretty trims, and I feel a bit daft for taking so long to bring these into my cards. Now that I have, I can't stop!

3. Greetings stamps. Something else that has completely changed the way I make cards. These fabulous sets of clear stamps on an A6 sheet are reasonably priced, great quality, and really versatile. I used to either write my greeting, or look for a sticker, but these stamps give me dozens of options and look much more professional. They are absolutely the most useful stamps I own.

4. Yarn! Specifically, the Sirdar Bonus range. I first started using this last year, on my first crochet blanket. Since then, Mindy has expanded the range to include almost every colour you could need. And I'm using quite a few of them in this ripple blanket. It's also deliciously soft and has beautiful stitch definition when you crochet.

5. Wooden crochet hooks. Apart from being gorgeous, they are also easy to use and much lighter in my hand than the metal ones. I've also managed to develop a new technique for crocheting which doesn't make my wrist click, so I'm hoping to avoid any craft-related RSI in future.

...and, 6. Paint Fusion. I'm sneaking this in, because it's not a product I use. But Hilary has spent a lot of this year perfecting her technique and doing some amazing paintings. It's so exciting to see someone learning something new and loving it so much - and deservedly so, because the results are amazing.

What products have you enjoyed this year? I am so excited for 2012!

Kate x

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wherever you are, whatever and however you celebrate.

May your Christmas season be happy and healthy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Working on it

This is my desk, tidied.

Gran's gift this year will be the same as last year - a selection of handmade cards that she can use for any occasion. So right now I am in the midst of bright colours, birthday sentiments and lots of flowers.

Did you make any Christmas cards? I'll be honest - mine were shop bought this year. Card making is a challenge for me (which is why it's taking me so long to do these cards for Gran) and Christmas cards were not on my priority list. I think I might have to do a batch of birthday cards for myself, that way I don't have to make any more cards for another year!

In other news - Wightcat Crafts will be the main craft supplier at the Bristol Parchment Exhibition, 24 June 2012. Exciting times!


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