3 DIYs For Uni-ball Pens & a Giveaway!

If you have watched this video on my YouTube channel, you already know about my rainbow pen obsession. So when uni-ball got in touch to ask me to share their new uni-Posca Pastel Packs, I couldn’t resist. Each pack contains Pastel Posca PC-5M pens (the paint pens that write on a ton of surfaces) and uni-ball Signo Pastel Ink pens – the dreamiest of gel pens!

BLOG- Uniball Pen DIYs and giveawayThe signo gel pens have an amazing pigment – I love love love these pens and have used them constantly since they arrived. Posca paint pens are my go to for chalkboard writing and ceramics too.
Uni-Ball-Posca-Pens-Pastel-PackJust look at these colours!
Rainbow-Pastel-Gel-Pens

The first project I used the pens for was a Bullet Journal page. I like to have a section on each weekly spread to doodle something that happened that week. I had seen a double rainbow on my trip to the craft store this week, so the pens were the perfect colour palette. Bullet-Journaling-Doodles-Gel-Pens

Using the gel pens in my bullet journal has been great as they dry quickly and do not show through each page.Pens-for-Bullet-Journaling

The next DIY was to decorate some pen and plant pots with the Posca paint pens. I went for a sprinkles pattern on this pot which is now holding all the pens too.DIY-Decorated-Pen-Pots

The paint pens dry pretty quickly too and you can build the colour by adding a second or third layer once dry. Posca-Paint-Pens-Projects

I also decorated these two cacti plant pots with a striped design.
Decorated-Plant-Pots-Paint-PensDIY-Painted-Plant-PotThe final DIY was to make some labels for my craft storage drawers. The gel pens were perfect for this, so I used gift tags and two colours on each one. Uni-Ball-Pastel-Gel-pens

These drawers are so deep I can fit tons in and now I know exactly what is in each one. I got them from Amazon from this seller if you’re interested. Shelving-Labels-UniBall-Pastel-Gel-Pens

The lovely people at uni-ball have provided a pack of the Posca and Signo pens for one UK reader, so you can try out some DIYs.DIY-Painted-PotsJust enter on the widget below to be in with a chance of filling up your pen stash! And if you win, you have to tag me in a post so I can see how you are using them 🙂 please note that the giveaway is open to UK readers only (sorry!).Uni-ball-Signo-Pastel-Gel-Pens

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Good luck!

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Crafting With Kirstie Allsopp At The Handmade Fair

Last weekend, G and I made the trip across London to Hampton Court Palace to attend this year’s Handmade Fair. In previous years I had attended as a Blogger, so it was great to go along and be involved with a talk this time! Pinterest had invited me to talk with Kirstie Allsopp about how I use Pinterest as a crafter and to share with the crafty crowd how they could use it too.

I was SUPER nervous until the moment my session started. To the point where I didn’t even finish one of the legendary duck wraps from the food stands because my tummy was in knots. Weirdly, as soon as I got set up and sat down on the stage I felt instantly relaxed.

Pinterest-Talk-At-the-Handmade-FairMy venue was the Super Theatre which was a great big circus style tent – so cool! What made it easier, was that I couldn’t see the audience at all due to the lights, so it took away the nerves of seeing faces I knew. I had my mic fitted and then we got on stage to make some DIY Envelopes (inspired by this Pinterest board) and to chat about the ways in which Pinterest is useful to crafters. I also got to bust out some stats and share the latest updates with everyone including the ‘Tried It’ feature which I love.

Claireabellemakes-Handmade-Fair Claireabellemakes-Kirstie-Allsopp-Handmade-Fair-2017

Claireabellemakes-Handmade-Fair-With-Pinterest

I got all the supplies for our DIY in Hobbycraft so will link to them below. We used a fantastic set of metallic watercolour paints which Kirstie fell in love with. We had a Q&A with the audience with some great input from them and then the 45 minutes was up! It went by in a flash and we finished with some beautiful envelopes. Making-DIY-Envelopes-with-Kirstie-Allsopp

After some great chats with Keith Brymer Jones and his wife about selfie culture(!), G and I had some time to enjoy the fair and catch up with my Mum – No.1 fan! We met friends, looked at all the amazing stalls and enjoyed some Churros.
Friends-At-Handmade-Fair-Claireabellemakes

L-R, me with:
Lizzie from Pinterest / Zeena Shah / Fuz from Cloth and Candy

 

I managed to vlog the day (with some help from G and Lizzie) which you can watch here or by clicking the video below. It was so much fun to be involved with the fair – it’s a great event which really celebrates the supportive, encouraging side of our community. On the journey home my head did start to hurt, but it was totally worth it for the experience!

Here are links to the supplies we used to make the DIY envelopes and to the awesome wooden template I found. I’m never buying envelopes again once I’ve used my stash!

Metallic Watercolour Pan

Permanent Tape Pen

A4 White Card Pack

Metallic Ink Pads

Wooden Envelope Template

If you were one of my followers that came along to support or someone who sent me a good luck message (lots of you lovely folk did), THANK YOU. It meant tons to have everyone’s support and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had this year.

The next month is looking pretty busy. I have two exciting workshops coming up in October, one of which is the Etsy Educators course for new sellers in Cambridge. If you know anyone who might be interested, please do share the event with them! I’m super stoked to be working with Etsy for it and to share what I’ve learnt.

I’ll be back here soon with some round ups from summer, behind the scenes in the studio and a stationery giveaway tomorrow!

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I’m An Etsy Educator!

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Etsy HQ for a training session to launch the Etsy Educators programme. Etsy have selected 9 sellers around the UK to pilot the programme before it is launched globally and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!

So who are the Etsy Educators and what will they do?

We are all experienced Etsy sellers who have been tasked with running a workshop in our local area to help new sellers set up their shops during the month of October. We had the freedom to design our workshops in a way that suits us and our community.

Etsy Educators_group image 2

Back row: Ruth, Rose, Christina, Sarah, Nikki
Front row: Rachel, Jilly, Becky and Me

 

The Cambridge workshop will take the form of a day course on Saturday 14 October 2017. It will be held from 10am-4pm at The Edge Cafe, Mill Road. You can find more information and tickets here. It will be a small group so lots of opportunity for one-to-one support!

Etsy-Educator-Programme

I know that not all of you who read the blog are Cambridge based, so let me take this opportunity to share with you the rest of the workshops taking place across the UK (some are online and therefore not location dependent):

If you are an established seller on Etsy and you are interested in training sessions at an intermediate level, please respond via this form to express an interest in future sessions!

Etsy_Educators_2017_Oscars_Selfie

It was great to brainstorm and develop ideas with such an inspiring bunch of creatives who just get it! Ajeet (our Etsy support) has encouraged us all to connect with each other as much as possible so we can use it as a learning experience too.

Our attempt at an ‘oscars selfie’ makes me smile every time I look at it!

Thanks for letting me share today. And if you know anyone that might be interested in taking the leap to open an Etsy shop, please do share this post with them.

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Summer Sale – Lucky Dip And More!

How is your summer going? Even though we’re all enjoying days out and occasional sunshine breaks, I’ve been planning Christmas products and scheduling markets for the festive season. It’s a bit weird, but I’m kind of willing the cooler months and cosy times.  Plus I’m super excited to share what I have been working on!

However, I have launched a summer sale in the Etsy shop! The phrase necklaces will be on sale for £10 each (usually £14) for a couple of weeks.

SHOP- Summer Necklace sale

There are also a limited number of Lucky Dip bags available! Choose from 2 surprise options:

£5 for 1 print and 2 greetings cards

£15 for 1 phrase necklace and 1 pin

Claireabellemakes-Lucky-Dip-Bags

I’m also clearing out the studio to make room for fewer craft supplies and more products. Take a look at this destash Facebook album if you want to grab a bargain and help me make space!

Want to see a studio tour once it’s properly in order?

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Toffee Apple Upside Down Cake: #PinkLadyPassItOn

Claireabellemakes-Pink Lady Toffee Apple Upside Down Cake

It’s been a long time since I shared any baking posts here on Claireabellemakes, but this weekend I had the chance to try something new for the Pink Lady ® Pass It On campaign!

The idea behind the campaign was to encourage four bloggers to pass on their skills to another and take time for ourselves. Each blogger is from a different niche (crafts, illustration, beauty and food) which has been fantastic for discovering new people to follow!

So, why the Toffee Apple Upside Down Cake? My parcel was put together by the lovely Laura from Wholeheartedly Healthy who writes a beautiful food blog with a ton of nutritious recipes. We had to include apples in our projects for one another and as Pink Lady ® are actually the only apples I like the flavour of, I was excited to bake with them.

Toffee-Apple-Upside-Down-Cake

Laura’s recipe was pretty simple and doesn’t require any fancy mixers or equipment. Hurrah! I love a cake that just needs a wooden spoon and a bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Pink Lady ® apples
  • 25g butter (or margarine)
  • 85g soft brown sugar
  • 180g plain wholemeal flour
  • 110g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 80ml sunflower oil
  • 180ml water
  • 1tsp vinegar

Pink-Lady-Apples

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 180c and grease and line a large baking dish
  • Grate 2 of the apples and set aside
  • Melt together the butter/margarine and 80g of sugar in a pan over a low heat

Toffee-Apple-Upside-Down-Cake-Recipe

  • Pour the melted mixture into the baking dish and top with slices of apple from the remaining apples

Apple-Cake-With-Pink-Lady-Apples

  • Combine the remaining sugar, flour, cinnamon and bicarb in large bowl
  • In a separate bowl combine the water, oil vinegar and grated apple

Baking-with-Pink-Lady-apples

  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, quickly and throroughly
  • Pour the cake mixture on top of the caramel and sliced apples
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out upside down!

Toffee-Apple-Upside-Down-Cake-with-Pink-Lady

My oven runs pretty hot, so I baked my cake for around 20-25 minutes. The consistency was lovely and sticky and the caramel topping felt like a real treat!

Even though I have a Kitchen Aid mixer, I haven’t been baking as much as I used to, especially as I’ve been trying to watch my weight and eat a bit cleaner. The wholemeal flour and apples make this recipe feel less naughty and the crisp flavour of the Pink Ladies still comes through.

Finished-Toffee-Apple-Upside-Down-CakeOne of the things I loved about this was that it was an upside down cake. I can’t remember making one before, so it was quite the novelty waiting to see how it would turn out! You could also change the way the apples are sliced to make the top look a bit different. Pink-Lady-Pass-It-On-CampaignObviously I had to taste test my creation and it was thoroughly enjoyable! A nice moist treat that feels like a dessert rather than a sponge cake. I reckon it would be nice served warm with a bit of ice cream on the side for a real treat. Pink-Lady-Apples-Pass-It-On

A big thanks to Laura for sending such a great parcel! It felt a bit like Christmas as the contents were a complete surprise.

I had an absolute ball making my parcel for Sarah from the Temporary: Secretary blog. I got to make a kit to share one of my favourite DIYs and did some hand lettering for the instructions and labeling. Packaging is one of my favourite things – so I went to town on making her parcel as pretty as I could. Check out Sarah’s blog  post to see what she ended up making.

I hope you enjoyed a little change from the norm here today! Let me know if you end up trying the recipe and what you think of my attempt. It’s definitely made me think about doing more recipe posts here on the blog again. Would you like to see that?

And don’t forget to check out #PinkLadyPassItOn to see everyone’s parcels and creations!

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This post was sponsored by Pink Lady ®.