Black Friday – Love or Hate?

Whether you love or hate Black Friday, I just wanted to let you know there is a sale happening this weekend in my Etsy shop! Site wide, there will be 15% off from Friday 24 November – Sunday 26 November inclusive. Black Friday Sale 2017 - ClaireabellemakesI’ll be celebrating my birthday on Saturday and I’m not even sure what we will be getting up to! G has some plans for us and I’m just going to enjoy the weekend for whatever it holds. I’ll probably eat a donut or two though! What are your plans for the weekend?

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Laser Cut Alternative Christmas Decorations From Etsy UK

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling pretty festive quite early this year! I think because small businesses have to prepare for the Christmas season so early, that I have been doing seasonal shoots and product development since the summer! I’ve also spent the last week packing tons and tons of Christmas decorations in the hopes of some sales over the festive season.

Today I wanted to share with you some of my favourite alternative Christmas decorations that I found on Etsy. All of them are laser cut like my bicycle decorations and all are from UK sellers.Laser Cut Alternative Christmas Decorations From Etsy UK

G and I bought one of the Designosaur Roarballs a couple of years ago (in fact, it’s the one pictured below) and we love it. We go for a white and red theme on our main tree and then I have a completely multicoloured tree theme in the studio.

All of the shops are linked below, so please do check them out and consider shopping small for your Christmas decorations this year! Laser-Cut-Christmas-Decorations-Etsy-UK

Rock Cakes / Claireabellemakes / Designosaur

Hello Sunshine / Art Angel / Doodle Duck Prints

Glitter Punk Jewellery / Betsy Benn / I Like Cats

Maybe you celebrate a different holiday? If so, what decorations do you enjoy? I’d love to know!

A lot of these makers are going to be participating in the Etsy Made Local markets this year which take place over the first weekend in December. You can find a market near you if you are UK based by following this link. If you are based in the East, why not come along to the Cambridge or Norwich markets where I will be earning some pennies! More info on my events page here.

When are you decorating for Christmas?

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*This post contains links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.

British Craftsmanship From The Sofa & Chair Company

As most of my work revolves around the creative business community, I’m often discovering new makers and companies and almost always adding to my wish list in the process! After watching this video about the British craftsmanship behind The Sofa and Chair Company, I was sold on their beautiful furniture pieces and luxury style for homes.

The Sofa and Chair Company Claireabellemakes Wish List

There’s something about watching makers at work in that video that captures me. Seeing each person’s role in the process of making a chair was pretty cool. It’s the behind the scenes stuff that I love when it comes to following creative companies online – proof that all the hard work we put into social media and promoting ourselves really does help to bring attention to brands. That and CUTE DOGS on your Instagrams!

I’m working with The Sofa and Chair Company today to bring you wish list of their luxury items that caught my eye. This season I’m still loving metallic tones around my home, but also lusting after velvet fabrics, sheepskin rugs and all the plants. And I’m never going to get bored of grey and blush pink!

The Sofa & Chair Company Wish List

All items available here

I’d love to visit the West London workshop to see the makers in action, especially after learning that it only takes 6 weeks for bespoke items to go from concept to completion and delivery! Maybe I need to sign myself up for an upholstery class in the new year.

What are your luxury interior picks? Anything cosy for this season that I should be checking out?

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*This was a sponsored collaboration with The Sofa and Chair Company. As usual, all opinions are my own. All images in the post are owned by The Sofa and Chair Company.

Painting With Annie Sloan For Oxfam

This time of year isn’t the time for me to be starting new craft projects as I’m in full-on preparation mode for Christmas market season! However, I knew that a quick DIY for a painted concrete plant pot wouldn’t take me long at all. So when Annie Sloan got in touch to tell me about their new paint colour and project with Oxfam, I made some time to get creative and tend to my Pilea plant!

DIY Painted Pot -Annie Sloan For Oxfam

Watch my video below to find out more about their Seed Project and how you can get involved by using the new Lem Lem paint colour. The DIY is ridiculously simple, but hopefully you’ll enjoy watching paint dry 😉

Have you tried the Annie Sloan paints? I love them for small projects in the studio. Anyway it was just a quick one today, I’ll be back with some posts on interior inspiration and Christmas decorating soon.

Thanks for stopping by!
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*This is not a sponsored post. I work with Annie Sloan on a gifting basis so received the paint free of charge.

Life Lately #13: In The Studio

Eek I’m finding it super hard to balance all the things at the moment. It seems like when I’m back in the swing of blogging, my YouTube channel goes quiet and vice versa. I am also working a few more hours at my part-time job lately, which means a lot of my time in the studio is during the evenings. Regardless, I thought I’d share another Life Lately post so you can see behind the scenes in the studio, and what has been keeping me busy!

Claireabellemakes-DeskThe studio has been looking particularly cheery lately after a big bunch of sunflowers arrived from Pinterest to say thanks for my Handmade Fair session.
Sunflowers-Bloom-and-WildI’m feeling pretty proud of how well my Pilea is doing too – started as a baby at Christmas time last year. It lives on my desk so gets plenty of light but not direct sun.Pilea-Plant

There has been a lot of making for upcoming winter markets (see details here) and my handy pink tray from Flying Tiger has kept everything tidy when in progress.In-Progress-Making

I’m still not bored of Scrabble. Are you? And this fabric sample pack from Cloth and Candy has definitely got me thinking about more frame ideas. Work-In-Progress-Claireabellemakes

I’ve been packing up wholesale orders for lots of lovely places – the TEA necklaces went off to a stockist in Dubai and Washi Gang in Australia are now stocking the planner pins YAY!Packing-Wholesale-Orders

I had the opportunity to work with sewing subscription box company Sew Hayley Jane on an order for the SEW pins. Exciting to think there are lots more people out there wearing these now!SEW-Pins-ClaireabellemakesIn small business world we think about Christmas products in the summer. I had the tree up in the studio in October to shoot all the new decorations for the shop and I restocked the original wooden decorations too. All of the Christmas collections are now live and I’m preparing for a Black Friday sale towards the end of November too.Wheelie-Festive-Bike-Christmas-OrnamentThe lovely folks at OttLite sent me one of their Natural Daylight LED Flex Lamps to try out in the studio – they are so awesome for crafters as it allows you to see detail clearly and accurate colours. Since the clocks changed it’s been so dark – so I have used it every day!!Ottlite-Lamp_reviewIt has 3 settings for brightness with a touch button to switch on and off. I am so impressed with the lamp I kind of don’t know how I worked of an evening before it arrived! I would definitely recommend their lamps for creative studios.Ottlite-Lamps-For-CraftingIn other news, I’ve been chomping away on all the leftover Halloween sweets in the studio….as well as fruit and tea of course!
Glitter-PumpkinI had a thorough declutter and changed the stock storage to open shelving which has been so great – makes such a difference to workflow when you have lots of different products. There is still a way to go with organisation, but it’s getting there. The shelving is from IKEA and is next to my desk along with a new white board for restock reminders and money tracking.

Claireabellemakes-Studio-Stock-StorageIt has these great hooks on the end too where I can display my pin collection banners!Pin-CollectionAnd of course, Tammy is always keeping me company in the studio. She’s been a bit poorly lately (we had a severe allergic reaction scare) but after some medicine and rest she’s much better. Just lots of blood tests and vet bills to come!Persian-Cat-Tammy

I couldn’t be without her on the chillier days though – she’s my personal hot water bottle in the studio!Sleeping-Tammy-CatThanks for letting me share today, it’s been a busy few months and I’ve just had to get my head down and keep making making making!

I’ll be back soon with a round up of my favourite Etsy Christmas decorations and some planner reviews you won’t want to miss.

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*The OttLite lamp was sent to me for review purposes and as always, all opinons are my own. This site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.