Thursday, 31 December 2015

Our Year in Review

Hi bloggers, I can't believe 2015 is almost over and what a year it's been, 6 workshops, a wedding, St Ives Craft Retreat, a Christmas Craft Party, two amazing Christmas craft fairs and we can't forget meeting the queen of altered art.....Wendy Vecchi! We really feel like we have achieved something this year and progressed further than ever before so we can't wait to see what 2016 brings us!

In this last post of 2015 we want to remind you of all these great moments and we will include links to the relevant blog posts if you've missed out at any point throughout the year.

So let's start with our 6 workshops from 2015:-

Wow, six fantastic workshops and I don't even think we could possibly pick a favourite as they were so much fun to design and teach! Let us know which was your favourite.....

Handmade Wedding

So at the beginning of the year not only did we need to think of new workshop ideas but we also had to start planning for my sister's wedding as last Christmas they finally announced the date of their wedding..... 3rd June 2015. Collectively we designed invitations, decorations, bouquets and more. To take a look back at our handmade wedding, take a look at our Wedding Series from June and July.

Make Art with Wendy Vecchi

 Another massive highlight from this year has to be meeting Wendy Vecchi in London for her 'Make Art' workshop. What an amazing and talented woman! This experience goes right up there with when we met Tim Holtz back in 2011 and was a pure pleasure. Take a look back at our day on the blog here.

St. Ives Craft Retreat

So this has to be the main highlight and biggest achievement from 2015. We finally organised our first ever Craft Retreat and in what better place than sunny St. Ives. In terms of weather, we had the perfect week and I think our guests probably thought the same of our projects and accommodation. We organised two main projects and then also a couple of evening projects as well. Add some shopping, food and laughter and it made the perfect getaway. Same again next year?? (We're already making plans!)

Click below to review the fun we had:-

Christmas Craft Party

So by the time December rolled around we were looking back at an amazing year and we wanted to celebrate with our crafters and thank them for all their support throughout the year and coming back to our workshops again and again. So what better way to celebrate then with a Christmas Craft Party.

Take a look at the fun that was had here...

12 Days of Christmas 2015

We finished off the year with our 12 Days of Christmas, including some wonderful decoration and home decor ideas. If you missed our countdown to Christmas, take a look back here.

Thank you to everyone that has supported us this year by attending our workshops, buying our handmade items at craft fairs and also all your lovely comments and emails. We are truly thankful and know that we wouldn't be able to do what we do without all of you.

Happy New Year Everyone! Bring on 2016!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Christmas Workshops Review

Hi bloggers, welcome to our Christmas Workshops Review. Whilst writing our 12 Days of Christmas we realised that we hadn't posted about either of our Christmas workshops from October and November (mainly due to the fast pace nature of the season!). So before the year is out we decided that we should provide a brief overview and share some of the finished results from these workshops.

The first of our Christmas workshops was called Ornamental, where our guests could come and make 5 decorations each with a photo element inside. The idea of this workshop was that you could either create some beautiful decorations for yourself to capture your own memories from the year or perhaps frame some beautiful photos of loved ones and give as a gift.

Here is a look at some of the finished results.....

The second of our Christmas workshops was called Vintage Luminary and involved making a small scale lantern (made from Tim Holtz Vintage Luminary Bigz XL dies). Our guests had 4 different colours to choose from which seemed a big enough challenge in itself but everyone's turned out beautiful. Here are the 4 colour choices they could choose from:-

 Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of everyone's individual lantern, however I was lucky enough to have found a picture of Jane's lantern who completed the project on a separate day. Jane added a lovely flower to the front of her lantern which looked great against the festive foliage behind it.

 So there you have it, another year almost over, finished off by two superb workshops and the ideas are already flooding in for Christmas 2016.....

Make sure you stay tuned to the blog for our Year in Review post on New Year's Eve.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

12 Days of Christmas Day 12: Vintage Luminary

Hi bloggers, it's our final day in our countdown to Christmas and today we are bringing you our favourite project from our workshops this year, our Vintage Luminary. This adorable lantern is made from a thin chipboard which has been painted and embellished with festive foliage, bells and ribbon. We designed these lanterns in four different colours so make sure you check these out below.

If you were lucky enough to attend one of these workshops then why not try hanging it on your tree tonight with an LED candle and snuggle up this Christmas Eve. 

We hope you enjoyed our 12 Days of Christmas 2015 and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

12 Days of Christmas Day 11: Christmas Crackers

Hi bloggers, today is our penultimate post for our 12 Days of Christmas and today we have decided to share with you some beautiful vintage crackers.

These crackers have been made using a Tonic Studios die set, which makes the cutest little crackers which are just big enough to fit in a tiny little treat. I found some vintage style Christmas papers and then used some lace to tie the two ends of the cracker.

Finish by adding a tag with a sentiment. I used some of Tim Holtz chit chat word stickers to finish it off and then you are ready to gift. These look great on the tree or keep them hidden away until Christmas dinner and give everyone a personalised Christmas cracker. These crackers don't have a snap band in them but these can be bought in craft stores if you still want the added 'bang' element.


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

12 Days of Christmas Day 10: Christmas Tree Train

Hi bloggers, Day 10 is something truly special. It's been a dream of mine for several years to get a train to go round the bottom of our tree and this year I finally got round to buying one. Now if you are a fan of the film The Polar Express you may share the same excitement as me when you see a train set, especially one that is covered with snow and has a Santa and reindeer riding on the back of it.

Now I have to say my pictures definitely don't do it justice, so please watch my video below as the train travels round the track playing Christmas carols.

Monday, 21 December 2015

12 Days of Christmas Day 9: Kilner Lid Decoration

Hi bloggers, today we have some more photo decoration inspiration, this time in the form of a kilner lid. Have you ever used kilner jars as candle holders and wondered what to do with the lids? Well definitely don't throw them away as you can make these fantastic decorations with them!

Grab a photo, some acetate, Christmas embellishments and ribbon and make yourself a photo scene decoration. These are great because you can make the picture come to life by adding three dimensional elements, such as trees and snow!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

12 Days of Christmas Day 8: Photo Charm Decoration

For Day 8 we have this gorgeous charm decoration made from some bead wire, beads and one of Tim Holtz facet pieces. What a stunning way to personalise a decoration for loved ones and it looks so elegant hanging on your tree and can be a continuous reminder of a special occasion, such as weddings, birth of a child, anniversaries etc.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

12 Days of Christmas Day 7: Christmas Cushions

It's time to add some Christmas charm to your living room with these beautiful Christmas cushions for Day 7 in our Christmas countdown. These make a lovely decoration to your sofas and if you don't have time to make your own then there are plenty of alternatives on the High Street.

If you are going to make your own then why not add a more personal touch by adding a photo of loved ones at Christmastime, a memory you can get out and treasure every Christmas.

Friday, 18 December 2015

12 Days of Christmas Day 6: Church Snowglobe

Hi bloggers, we are halfway through our Christmas countdown and today we have returned to some tree decoration inspiration. This stunning snowglobe features a beautiful 3D church with a bottle brush tree encased in a glass dome. The shape of these domes are slightly different to our other snowglobe creations that you would have seen on Day 1 and a have a touch of elegance about them.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

12 Days of Christmas Day 5: Fabric Heart Decoration

Day 5 brings you some inspiration for your home decor at Christmas. Simply make yourself a padded heart using some calico and stuffing and then decorate with vintage Christmas images, lace and berry embellishments. Add some rustic wire to the top and then hang up around your home. 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

12 Days of Christmas Day 4: Christmas Craft Party

What better way to celebrate this festive time of year then throwing a Christmas Craft Party. For us this was the highlight of the year and definitely had to be included in our countdown to Christmas.

This year we decided to throw our crafter's a Christmas party, but not just any party, a craft party! The party was set to include scrumptious food and drink, party games, a Secret Santa Surprise and of course a mini Christmas craft project! We've managed to gather up some photos from everyone who came to give you a brief overview of the fun that was had by all.

The house was decorated from head to toe to make it feel all Christmassy, even the bathroom had some flowers and Christmas lights!

We had some gorgeous festive treats made by my talented baker of a sister, Joanne, with snowman macaroons, cookies, chocolate cupcakes, chocolate lollies and more. We even had some delicious donations made by our guests including a large victoria sponge cake, chocolate chip shortbread and some gingerbread.

The first of our party games was a bit of a creative challenge. Each person was given a paper plate and a pen and were told a list of instructions to draw a Christmas scene, however they had to draw the image onto the plate on top of their head. This created quite a few giggles and even more so when they saw the final result. However we did emerge with a winner - and the secret to winning is all in adding some decorations to your tree!

Throughout the night, our guests had the chance to make a beautiful hanging heart decoration. We placed bowls of lace, bows and pre-stamped images so that all they needed to do was decide how they wanted to decorate their heart and then stick it down. 

To thank everyone for their continuous support we wanted to give everyone a little something, so hidden inside each pack was a ticket with a number on that related to a present that we had presented in a suitcase as shown below....

To continue with the gift giving theme we asked everyone if they wanted to take part in our Secret Santa Surprise which involved them bringing a present that was either handmade or a craft related item to put in Santa's sack. Everyone then picked out a number from Santa's hat that corresponded to a present. This was a lovely way to bring everyone together and show off some of their skills they had learnt throughout the year.

Andrea and Aileen with their Secret Santa gifts.

To finish off the night we played a last game of pass the parcel with a circle as big as the length of the room!

Hidden away within the layers were a mixture of chocolate coins and also some scratch card tokens with money off their next workshop.

I have to say that this party was some of the most fun I have had in a long time and was such a pleasure to organise. We want to thank everyone who came as their support means so much to us as we wouldn't be able to do what we do without them.

I'll finish off with a few other pics from the night. If you have ever thought about throwing a Christmas party for your crafty group of friends then make sure you do as it's such a fun night and whip out those classic party games as we are all still young at heart!