Have you started your Christmas shopping yet or are you an only shop in December kind of person? I started mine yesterday and it feels good!
Meanwhile in the studio, I’ve been working hard to get the Christmas collections live for you and the first Wheelie Festive Bike Decoration of the season left the shop this week.
Talking of which, they are back in the original wooden versions, but now also as GLITTER BIKES! There are 8 colours available for pre-order now, shipping from mid-November onwards.
I still can’t decide which colour I like the best, but they are SO SPARKLY!
There are also 12 colourful Christmas card designs in the Scrabble Inspired collections with some awesome refreshed photography from Holly Booth. So there you have it! A little prep for Christmas and an update on the shop. I already have ideas for next winter’s collection (can you believe it?!) and I’m working on a new website which I really want to launch by Spring 2018. Give me a shout if there is anything you want to see! I’d love to hear from you.
Right, back to Autumn celebrations – I’m planning my fireworks night and Halloween with Pinterest at the moment.
We are well and truly into Autumn with my seasonal allergies in full swing, but I’ve been meaning to share all the fun things I’ve been up to since the summer! It has been pretty busy working most weekends and I have had a blast. Since I’m now squirreling away preparing for Christmas in the studio, I wanted to document everything that has passed!
Back in August, G and I took a mini break to Margate for a weekend of beach walks, fish and chips and some Dreamland fun. We lucked out with the weather and found a gorgeous apartment which looked out onto the sea (picture below shows the view!). G had been working so hard on his latest game release at work so my goal was to get him to relax and enjoy the break!
We visited the Turner Contemporary, Dreamland, The Old Town and took some time to paddle in the sea and take photos of beach huts. I also met up with the In Colourful Company and Lucky Dip Club gang for a day of rides and fun at Dreamland. Not gonna lie, I went on too many spinny rides and ate A LOT of sugar, but I survived the roller disco and had an absolute blast. Oh and I went on the world’s biggest bouncy castle because WHY NOT?!
Also in August was one of the most fun days I had all summer. Viktorija (who you probably all know as And Smile) came to visit Jo and I for a day of bike rides and exploring Cambridge. We ate cheese toasties by the riverside and talked about life as small business owners. We cycled all around the city, went punting and shot silly boomerangs. I honestly felt SO happy at the end of that day, we laughed so much, especially after a run in with a hammock! I made a little video here if you want to see what we got up to.
In mid September I had the chance to be involved in The Handmade Fair with Pinterest. Crafting with Kirstie Allsopp was one of the highlights of my year and I have visited the fair every year since it began, so I knew I would have fun. I wrote an entire blog post about the day here (which includes a vlog) so check that out if you want to know more!
Right at the end of September, Jo and I packed up our balloons and bikes for another Cambridge Creatives Photowalk. There was confetti, tandems, five dogs (including a pug puppy in a hoodie!) and so many lovely people to chat to. Sharing our city with new friends and creative pals is always a fun day – especially when you are introducing 50+ people to Jacks Gelato! We took a different route to last time and ended with a Food Park night market trip to stuff our faces with burgers and churros. You can see all the pictures from the day on the hashtag and here are a few of my favourites.
Thanks to Tom for capturing this one in accidental rainbow order!
Michelle and Elle also blogged about their experiences at the photowalk, which made my heart so happy! We also had support from The Cambridge Satchel Company who have kindly loaned us their beautiful collections for each walk since we started in September 2016! This yellow backpack satchel was the star of the show with everyone lusting over it.
I also had a great day out with G to Friends Fest which was held in Clissold Park in East London. It’s an amazing fan event with set tours and photo opportunities. We even got to learn ‘the routine’. The weather was amazing and we had such a great time. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the show!
You might remember me doing a workshop for Disney last year – well this year I got to work with the same PR company to run a workshop for Wicked The Musical. Kids workshops are always nerve wracking for me (I’m used to adults!), but I loved seeing them all get creative and chatting to them at the show afterwards. We made witches hats, broomstick candy bags and sparkly wands. I had the best day (even though my anxiety was pretty high due to leaving our poorly kitty at home!). Getting to watch the show for the second time was just as magical.
Finally, this month I had the pleasure of running my Etsy Educators class for a small group in Cambridge. We talked about how to set up a shop and how to get found in search, as well as marketing, photography and even packaging and shipping. Each attendee had a great product which was well developed and we are keeping in touch via a Facebook group. One person has already made her first Etsy sale which I’m so pleased about. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to work with Etsy on the class and to meet the other Educators too! I’ll share their shops on my social channels over the coming months if you are interested in finding some new work.
So it was a busy summer filled with some exciting projects and fun days! I’m so grateful for all the opportunities that came my way. People ask me how I end up doing all these projects and I always say that it comes back to the blog. Of course I keep my eyes open and apply for things that I see (Etsy Educators for example), but sharing my work and interests here has led to so many things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.
Now I need to get my head down and get making for the Christmas season! I’m working on new decorations which I am SO EXCITED about, so keep an eye on the shop and sign up to the newsletter to be the first to hear about new collections!
How was your summer?
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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!
The 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.
Just look at these colours!
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.
Using the gel pens in my bullet journal has been great as they dry quickly and do not show through each page.
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.
The paint pens dry pretty quickly too and you can build the colour by adding a second or third layer once dry.
I also decorated these two cacti plant pots with a striped design.
The 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.
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.
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.Just 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!).
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.
My 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.
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.
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!
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!
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.