All The Feelings (and some news)

This month has been quite overwhelming. I’ve felt so many things. I’ve been scared, excited, anxious, doubtful and much more. Making big decisions is never easy.

If you follow along on social media, you will have seen me share that I have quit my day job at the University of Cambridge to work on my creative career. When I first started there 5.5 years ago, I was still dancing (that’s another career change I’ve yet to share!) and I was also studying for my masters in London whilst working full-time. So I have always been someone with multiple things on the go at once.

Having a steady and well paid job enabled me to explore my passions. I started Claireabellemakes with this blog in April 2012. A hobby which has grown into much more than I originally envisaged. In doing so, I have been able to really find my passion and for the first time in my life I knew who I was and what I wanted. For so long and as I approached my 30s, I wondered if I would ever realise what I wanted to do. It bothered me, and I was always a little envious of G who has known since he was a child what his career would be (and he’s bloody good at it too).
University of Cambridge

We all have the ‘big dream’. Something in the distance that would be great to achieve one day. Until last week, mine still felt like that, even though I had been taking clear steps to move towards it.  Nothing felt real until I actually handed in my notice and began to tell people about the change. It’s been pretty surreal and 100% scary. My anxiety levels have been high, but I needed to take a risk.

Many people are telling me that I will be able to achieve so much more now. That isn’t my goal. As much as being highly productive and working really f**king hard are big goals in running my business, some personal goals are now a priority. I want a better work life balance (one job instead of two!) and to take care of my health. I want to learn new things and be creatively challenged, whilst keeping self care a priority. I also want to make things just because.

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So, I am taking a big deep breath right now. You may have noticed that things are a bit slower here on the blog lately and it might be that while for a little longer. I hope you can bear with me whilst I plan for the change ahead. A friend recently text me to ask “Are you OK? You haven’t blogged for 10 days?”……it made me chuckle, but it also made me realise that my output has been so high for so long It’s OK to rest and to absorb what is happening. I don’t want to look back on this period and realise that I was overwhelmed with anything other than the anticipated feelings of a career change in my 30s.

So what can you expect in the future? From the beginning of October, I’ll be continuing to blog, release products for the shop and to work with my creative friends at We Make Collective, Homedit and Simple Stylish Makes. I’m also going to be styling shoots for Copper Boom Studio clients which I’m pretty excited for.

Thanks for always being here. I’m so grateful I finally get to do what I love. Don’t forget to give me a little vote for the Interior Blog Awards below if you have enjoyed my posts. GOTTA END ON THE SELF PROMO BEFORE I GET EMOSH!

nominated

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DIY Colour Block Pinboard & Enamel Pin Collection

I’ve always collected something. As a kid I liked hedgehogs so collected anything to do with them. I obviously collected pens too as my stationery obsession started young. Now as an adult, I collect (and sell) enamel pins.

Today’s project is an idea for enamel pin display – a simple DIY Colour Block Pinboard.

BLOG- Colour Block Pinboard

Here are the supplies I used:

This project was so simple. I taped off the geometric design I wanted and then painted in a block of pink and a block of grey. Lighter colours will need a few more coats of paint.Colour-Block-Enamel-Pin-Board-Project-Claireabellemakes

I then simply hot glued some word tiles onto the top of the corkboard and finished with washi tape to add some detail to the paint design.

Having my pins on display is great as it’s much easier to decide which ones to wear now. Most of them are from differerent Etsy sellers, but leave me a comment if you are interested in finding out where they came from!

DIY-Painted-Enamel-Pinboard

I also subscribe to the Lucky Dip Club who are running a pin project this year in each of their boxes. Of course my bicycle pin is my most treasured!Rose-Gold-Bicycle-Pin-Claireabellemakes

I’ve recently been doing some pin swaps too and I’m so happy to now have a few from Nikki McWilliams Biscuit Pin range!Biscuit-Pins-Nikki-McWilliams

What do you think of my collection? Would you like a post or video with close ups of each one?Colour-Block-Pinboard-Enamel-Pin-Display

Since I photographed my enamel pin storage for this post, I also did a few more pin swaps with some Instagram buddies. Here are some of my new favourites! Shops all linked below – make sure to check them out!Enamel-Pin-Collection

Bike Pin, Cards & Pizza pin – Angela Chick

Envelope pin – Nutmeg and Arlo

Bee pin – Rosebud Casson

Jammy Dodger pin – Nikki McWilliams


I am hoping to work on another pin design really soon. In the meantime, keep an eye on my newsletter for details of a new product release next week – and a coupon code!

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*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates. Read more about my disclosure policy here.

DIY Gold Painted Crockery

Are you guys watching the Olympics?!! I cannot believe how talented Team GB are! The ‘Gold Rush’ has definitely inspired me this week to work towards my goals, but also to bring a little more gold into my life. You can never have too many metallics right?

I have been working on a simple DIY for this Gold Painted Crockery and I love how it turned out!DIY-Gold-Painted-Bowl-and-Mug-Claireabellemakes-for-Homedit

Come and take a look at the full tutorial over on the Homedit site here to see which surprising stationery supply I used to help me create the DIY Gold Polka Dot Mug and Gold Scalloped Bowl!DIY-Gold-Polka-Dot-Painted-Mug

Porcelain paint is fast becoming one of my favourite supplies. The gold paint especially – it makes a £1 white bowl look really classy don’t you think? Check out the food safe porcelain paint brand I discovered here.DIY-Gold-Painted-Scalloped-Bowl

I hope you enjoy this gold DIY today! More to come this week when I share another painting DIY for enamel pin storage. My collection is finally on display and growing fast….

Oh and one last thing! Don’t forget to sign up to the Claireabellemakes newsletter as I’ll be launching some new products very soon with a discount code for subscribers.

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*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates. Read more about my disclosure policy here.

Claireabellemakes Has Been Nominated!

Wow there has been a lot happening here lately! Lots of clearing out in the studio, product development days and working on some new projects which I will reveal more about soon. I’ve also been trying really hard to get some balance back in my life with evenings and days off to work on my health. Besides my loved ones and friends, the constant in my life is always this blog. It’s a place for me to share my thoughts, passions and projects and somewhere to connect with you all.

I’m pretty proud of this space. It’s been quite the journey over 4 years but I still get excited when someone comments. I still feel nervous about publishing certain posts. I love that some of you have been here reading since day one and I love that new people are finding me here each day.
Amara Blog Awards 2016

It’s funny how an online journal can develop into something so important in ones life. I can’t imagine my life without blogging now. It led me to find my passion after I felt lost for so long.

So when I can tell you the blog has been nominated for an award I feel proud. And thankful that you guys appreciate this space enough to think it worthy of a nomination!

Voting for the Amara Interior Awards opened this week with Claireabellemakes included in the Best DIY and Crafts Blog category. Some of my best blogging friends are also nominated so do cast your votes for as many as you love to read!

Vote for Claireabellemakes here!

Thank you for all your support. And if you write a blog – leave your link in the comments below so I can check it out 🙂

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Paper Home Book Review

Today I want to share with you Esther Thorpe’s book Paper Home. As many of you know, paper crafting is a big passion of mine, but origami is something I have only dabbled in occasionally. After seeing a lampshade a friend made at one of “Origami Est’s” workshops, I knew Esther would be one to watch for making modular origami accessible.Paper-Home-by-Origami-Est-Book-Review

The book begins with an introduction to Esther’s background in graphic design and her passion for 3D modelling with paper. She talks of her inspiration in Bridget Riley and how her fascination with geometric pattern began. I always love this part of a creative book as it gives a great insight into how the author’s passions began.

There is a brief section on the importance of paper (use a guillotine not scissors for cutting!) and some simple images for learning the basics of Japanese paper folding; diagonal, mountain and valley, and inverse folds.

The projects are split into three sections; hang, shelf and wall. The first one that caught my eye was the DIY Party Diamond, one of Esther’s creations I had actually purchased from her shop recently!
Origami-Party-Diamonds

I really love the design of the book – of course for a book about paper, the pages are beautifully printed and heavy weight! And there is a lot of white space around the instructions and images which pleases me for some reason. It’s cleanly laid out with step-by-step images for each make. I know when I’ve tackled origami in the past, a lack of images has always been an issue, but each make is easy to follow here.Paper-Home-Origami-Instructions

The skill level ranges from simple, such as this star garland project, to more advanced projects such as a lampshade which uses according folding. It would have been great to have an indication of skill level for each project in the book, but I guess it’s a case of getting stuck in and trying them out to see what works for you!
DIY-Origami-Star-Garland

The origami vase project is created using sonobe modules – a classic unit of modular origami. Each pyramid is then interlinked to create a structure for your blooms which sits around a glass or cup. I’ve not seen anything like this before, so I was really impressed!DIY-Origami-Vase

The book makes modular origami accessible with supplier lists on the last pages and references to the exact papers Esther has used in each project. I love the copper accents she used in my party diamond which hangs proudly in the studio.Origami-Diamond-Claireabellemakes-Studio

I have to admit, some craft books do get left on my shelves and are rarely opened after a first look. I think Paper Home will be a book we revisit time and time again to create gifts, items for our home and to generally enjoy my love of paper. Plus G likes origami too, so it’s a craft we can both enjoy in our house! I’m definitely interested in Esther’s workshops too after seeing the book.Paper-Home-by-Origami-Est

Paper Home is available in most bookshops and on Amazon here. I hope you enjoyed my review today!  

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*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates. Read more about my disclosure policy here.