Filofax Inspiration #7

It’s already number 7 in the Filofax Inspiration series! Today I thought I would update you on my planner, rather than sharing inspiration from elsewhere.

I am still using my A5 Domino Filofax planner in pink. I like this planner as it has an elastic closure (meaning it can be stuffed really full) and it also lays flat when opened.

I change my planner style every few months. At the moment it is decorated with kawaii stationery starting with this Rilakkuma bear charm I received in my Kawaii subscription box.


Plain notes are just boring, so I got some Rilakkuma sticky notes for the front section of the planner.


Artbox is a great shop for stickers and notelets. I like to keep a selection in a stationery box on my desk for planner decorating (usually on a Sunday for the week ahead).


How cute are these cat stickers?! I’m honestly never going to stop loving stickers. So childlike haha! I told G that if he wanted to just buy me a load of stickers for my birthday this year that would make me happy. STICKER NERD ALERT.


I don’t do Project Life journalling, but I do buy the cards as the selections are great and they can be used for all sorts of things. I like to stick one Project Life card in my planner per week to either write a list or quote on. Hobbycraft have some themed packs on sale at the moment.


I usually use washi tape to decorate my Filofax planner and stick with a theme and colour scheme each week. I’m getting back into practising gratitude by writing a list of “happy things” for the week. I find this really useful for positive thinking.


Pens of choice at the moment are the Pilot Frixion Erasable Rollerball and this flowery black fine liner which I think I got from The idea Owl.


I no longer write a weekly to-do list for the planner, but instead have a seperate notebook for Bullet Journalling. It’s my first month trying this task management system so I’ll let you know how I get on. I may integrate this back into my planner at some point.

As always, please link up any Filofax Inspiration in the comments below and if you are a Bullet Journaller please let me know any tips or tricks!



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Posted in Craft & Handmade, Stationery | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Purl Alpaca Visit

Last week I visited Purl Alpaca with my WI group, for an evening of yarn squishing and alpaca feeding. We were lucky enough to be a trial group for the event, which has now been released to the general public here.

Upon arrival we were greeted by these happy faces and some wonderful cloudy lemonade and homemade cookies.


The ladies at Purl Alpaca (Tracy and Kari-Helene) gave us a very warm welcome and talked us through the history of the business and showcased the latest knit wear. We were able to try things on, buy the kits and finished samples, or just purchase some yarn to add to our stashes.


Alpaca yarn is particularly soft and to avoid the scratchy feel of some natural fibres, Purl Alpaca are particularly strict with the grading of their fleece. The yarn is not dyed and all the colour ways are natural (although some blended), making each lot unique.


The visit inspired me to pick up my knitting needles again, after neglecting them for my crochet hook for some time.

Purl-Alpaca-Yarn Selection

This pom pom scarf was the softest thing I have ever put around my neck!


The garments were just beautiful.


After said yarn squishing, we ventured outside (THANK YOU ENGLISH SUMMER) and met the alpacas for some apple feeding and stroking.


We learnt that you must hold onto your apple very tightly!! Alpacas are friendly creatures and will not spit unless they are very very annoyed. If they are in distress, they will usually just sit down.


They are sheared once a year in the Spring. These alpacas were all female.


I came away with a very reserved haul of yarn, the chunky for a cowl I imagine. It’s been a while since I made anything for myself (this jumper was the last thing).


The visit was as relaxing as a spa day! Alpacas really are calming creatures and yarn shopping is always good therapy too. A much needed visit after a crazy few weeks, I may have to go again.

Big thanks to Purl Alpaca for a lovely evening. You can read their blog post here.



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Posted in Cambridge, Craft & Handmade | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Papercutting At The V&A

Last week I had a lovely invitation from the folks behind The Handmade Fair to spend an afternoon papercutting with Kirstie Allsopp and Poppy Chancellor and the V&A.


I escaped from the day job and hopped on the train to London knowing I would need some pocket money for the V&A shop too.


Poppy is a fabulous artist. She showed us some great tips for papercutting (press hard and mark all the ‘negative’ space on your design first) and was patient and utterly lovely when we shared our first, slightly wobbly attempts.

We worked on some paper cut bunting that Poppy had designed.


A bit rough around the edges, but here are my bunting flags! I’d love to know in the comments if any of you have tried papercutting.


Delicious cakes were provided by The Hummingbird bakery and I was very pleased to learn that a cake break was a scheduled part of the crafternoon.


Camomile tea and a vanilla cupcake for me.


Around 50 people made buunting flags which were strung into a colourful display at the end of the afternoon.


Super pretty eh?! The bunting project was a nod to the V&A Wedding Dress exhibition. I will definitely be giving paper cutting another go as it was very therapeutic, although I had to concentrate hard.


There was a short Q&A with Kirstie after the craft session. I asked her what she wanted people to get from attending The Handmade Fair. She said a sense of community and achivement – like when you bring something you have made home from school, as we don’t often get that feeling as an adult.

What I found most inspiring was that she said she wanted to be a platform for talented designers (such as Poppy) to thrive and grow.


I met some fabulous ladies at this event (Hello Laura, Claire, Lindsey and Michele!) and it was a great example of the wonders of our creative community. Here’s a super video of the day.

Are you going to The Handmade Fair this year? I’ll be there on the Sunday so give me a shout if you are as I’d love to see some of you.

After the event I rushed back to Cambridge to meet some alpacas. More on this tomorrow!

This weekend I also continued the paper crafts theme and went to a bookbinding workshop in Cambridge. We learnt the Japanese stab binding technique. I think I’ll use my book for calligraphy practice.





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Posted in Craft & Handmade | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Craft Bomb Your Bike

If you are a subscriber to the Claireabellemakes newsletter you will have found out about my secret project last week. Now, I’m super pleased to share it fully with you all here on the blog….at long last!

Last year I was approached by a publisher and asked to contribute to a new book titled Craft Bomb Your Bike! As an avid cyclist and a huge fan of DIYs, I was really excited to be asked and to be included alongside other craft bloggers whom I follow and admire.


The book includes 20 makes for you and your bike including some fantastic crochet wheel guards and even leg warmers for cycling.

My projects include these pretty ribbon and lace handlebar streamers.


A pom pom bike basket garland….(I just HAD to do a pom pom project).


And circular fabric bunting for your bike basket.


The book is now available for pre-order on Amazon and is released on 29 August. If you can’t wait, the patterns are also available as pdf downloads on the Stitch Craft Create site.

I hope you will agree this is a really exciting project to be involved in and what a perfect book for me! I’ve been bursting to tell you all, especially as people keep linking me to the book as they “thought I would like this” ha!

And it’s great to see people talking about the book on Twitter before it is even out!



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 All images in this post are credited to Stitch Craft Create.

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Posted in Bicycles, Craft & Handmade | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

DIY Watermelon Shoes


I’m pretty excited about today’s post! These DIY Watermelon Shoes are inspired by this pair from Mod Cloth. But why buy when you can DIY?!

I started with a pair of white canvas pumps which I purchased from Primark for £4.


You will need good quality fabric paint and some embellishments and glue. Links to all products are at the end of the post.


Start by painting the back section of your shoe with the green fabric paint. I did two coats using a foam brush to prevent stroke marks.


Then move onto the front section of each shoe and paint it red. The espadrille edge on the bottom of the shoe was a bit of a pain as it kept getting caught in the paint! So finding some pumps without this would be ideal.


Once your shoes are largely dry you can begin to add the watermelon ‘seeds’ by applying a small amount of glue to the rhinestone and lightly pressing them onto the shoe. Leave to dry for an hour or two.


A super simple DIY right? I’d love to know if you make these watermelon flats. I have already worn mine and they got the thumbs up from G who said they were awesome.


I haven’t worn them out in the rain yet, but I figure they are more of a summer flat so I think they will last this season if the UK thunderstorms behave!


Want to make your own pair? Here’s what you’ll need once you’ve got your flats…..

You can also find most of the supplies on the Hobbycraft website and they have a sale at the moment! Just click the icon below to see what’s on offer.



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Posted in Craft & Handmade, DIY | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Watermelon And Strawberry Smoothie

In the summer I adore watermelon as a snack. Especially when the weather is a hot and humid as it has been in the UK!

I thought I’d share a quick and easy recipe for a Watermelon and Strawberry Smoothie with you today. It’s super refreshing if your fruit has been stored in the fridge beforehand.



  • 200g Watermelon (chopped and de-seeded)
  • 60g Strawberries (chopped)
  • 60g O% fat Greek Yoghurt


  • Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until smooth. Easy!
  • If you need to, add a tbsp water to loosen the mixture.
  • If you prefer, you can add more strawberry and less watermelon, depending on your tastes.


My preferred yoghurt brand is Total as it has a high protein content and is completely natural. You could also add flax seeds for an antioxidant kick too.


Let me know if you try this recipe! Or share your favourite in the comments below.



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Posted in Tea & Baking | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Watermelon Wares

It’s watermelon week on the blog! Today I’ll be sharing some fruity finds and on Wednesday you can try out an easy watermelon recipe. Stay tuned for Friday when I’ll be sharing a watermelon DIY that I’m pretty excited about.

The most recent Lucky Dip Club subscription box was Tutti Fruity themed and included a cute watermelon pin and card.


They have also released a shop section on the website where I picked up this watermelon tote bag.


These cute watermelon drinking glasses were 50p each from Tiger. Bargain!


Anyone else change their phone case with the seasons? I picked up this case online for a few pounds.


I needed a new lunch bag for work and found this summer one in Marks and Spencer for about £2.50.


After spotting this watermelon shoulder bag on Instagram I found it on sale via Romwe. They also offer free shipping worldwide and 15% off for new shoppers so it was a steal.


Anyone else addicted to those fizzy watermelon sweets?


Are you crazy for the watermelon trend? Please link up your finds in the comments below!



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Ask Her Friends: July Panel Giveaway

If you are anything like me, you take your summer holidays and then end up dreaming of another break soon after. G and I take a spa break once a year and I’m already thinking of when we can go in the winter for a bit of cosy relaxation. Maybe I’m just lazy ha!

My Ask Her Friends Blogger picks for this month definitely reflect my desire for indulgence and a bit of pampering. Keep reading for the chance to win £50 to spend on Ask Her Friends – a great site for gift searching and shopping.

Ask Her Friends July Panel Giveaway1. The Cornwall Hotel and Spa by Secret Escapes; 2. Time To Drink Champagne Poster by The Contemporary Home; 3. White Chocolate Chunks by Rococo Chocolates; 4. Abahna Vetiver And Cedarwood Bath Foam by Sorella; 5. Cream Organic Cashmere Pashmina by Ella Georgia

I hope you like my picks! I think any chocolate that is served in ‘chunks’ is an absolute must.

You can check out the other bloggers picks and enter the competition here



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Cambridge Bicycle Sculpture Trail

In celebration of the Tour De France, Cambridge Bid organised a bicycle sculpture trail called Recycle Le Velo. 13 innovative sculptures were made by local artists and placed in different locations around the city.

I took to my bike and completed the trail this week. By the end of the trail I felt truly inspired by the artists of Cambridge and uplifted by the pride our city has for cycling.









It gave me an opportunity to try out my new camera too! I think bicycles are fast becoming my favourite thing to photograph (Tammy aside).


She had a haircut this week. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.



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Posted in Bicycles, Cambridge | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Kawaii Stationery Haul

I’ve recently been getting more into kawaii themed items, specifically kawaii stationery. There aren’t many physical UK stores selling decent stationery (anyone else bored of Paperchase and WH Smiths?!) and I’m constantly getting jealous of the goodies some US bloggers find! Target dollar bin especially.

However, I recently came across the Kawaii Box subscription service. The boxes contain surprise goodies from Japan and Korea and are delivered monthly. The June box contained some great kawaii stationery and little trinkets.

The burger sticker went on G’s plate when it was turkey burger night in our house!


I also frequent The Idea Owl’s feed on Instagram. Donna allows you to put a package together by commenting on items you wish to add. It’s a dangerous way to shop, but the items are too good to miss.


Page markers are a must for my Filofax and if they are sweet themed I’m happy.


I think I will never grow out of my sticker obsession.


I like to keep my writing paper collection well stocked.


Donut sticky notes?! Yes please. I also got some Rilakkuma post it notes but I cannot find where I put them!


I also recently topped up my craft punch collection as Hobbycraft had a great sale. The mini pencil stapler was about £1 from Staples. Did you see my recent post with tips on how to sharpen craft punches?


This little fella was in the Kawaii box. Too cute. I’m sure if I ever visit Japan I will need to save for a year, just to buy stationery and plushies.


Pocky is a major obsession in our house. G got loads when he went to Tokyo a few years back. One of my favourite things in the Kawaii box was this little pill pot. It makes taking migraine meds a lot easier and cheerier!


The subscription box also included some pretty lace shoe laces. I think they look pretty nifty in my mint converse, don’t you?


Have you found any good Kawaii stationery stores? Please share in the comments below. As if I need any more excuses to shop!



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Posted in Stationery | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments