Cam Blog Meet

It’s the weekend!!!!!!!!!

I’ve had an exhausting week, but I’m super excited to be sharing an extra Saturday post with you to let you know about the creatives blogger meet up on 2 March. Dubbed #CamBlogMeet (always grateful for a hashtag) it’s going to be a super social event and we’re all a wee bit excited!


The majority of you have sent your RSVP’s and it’s now time to confirm where and when!

Saturday 2 March, 12 noon at Ta Bouche Bar/Cafe. 10-15 Market Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PF

If you’d like to come, please leave a comment below so we can make sure we have enough places reserved! If you’re coming from out of town, do contact me for directions or to meet up beforehand.

It’s going to be a relaxed social event and a chance for us to put faces to names. There may even be some treats in store for those attending!


Valentines: Sheepish Heart Bomb

Yesterday I shared a preview of my crocheted hearts ready for the Sheepish Heart Bomb day organised by Meredith of One Sheepish Girl. The idea was to ‘share your heart’ by hanging a yarn heart somewhere in your town or city with a note to brighten a stranger’s day. I love yarn bombing. I’m all up for random acts of kindness and participated in the last Sheepish Yarn Bombing Day, so I was excited about taking part.

I made a heart garland from cotton yarn (which shrivelled a bit in the typically English rainy weather!) and hung it on a fence along the river in Cambridge.

Sheepish Heart Bomb

I chose a bicycle tag for the message which read “Happy Valentines!” and the hashtag #sheepishheartbomb. You can use this on Twitter and Instagram to search for other people’s yarn bombs!

Sheepish Heart Bomb

During the afternoon I was contacted by a local news reporter who said he wanted to run a story on the Sheepish Heart Bomb day!

He was keen to know why we had participated and what the purpose was. He even asked me if I did it to try and get a date somehow!!

Sheepish Heart Bomb

I hope the hearts around the city brightened people’s days. A fellow yarn bomber had left hearts on lamposts for people to take away and one thoughtful soul had written paper heart notes to stick on bicycle seats at the train station.

We had a great valentines having a nice indulgent meal and cosy night in. We ate sweets from jars and I gave G some comedy show tickets and a geeky cross stitch I had made him.

Sweetie Jars

Robot Cross stitch

He gave me an awesome gift to celebrate 10 years(!) together which I will share on the blog next week. I was SO excited I had to share a sneak peek on Twitter and Instagram.

What did you get up to for Valentines Day?


Sew Chatty

Cath Kidston Heart Garland

Last night I had the pleasure of joining some friends (Crafty Glitten and Miss Dotty) at a Cath Kidston craft evening which started with cake, YUM!

Cath Kidston Cake

The craft evenings are always super popular so Crafty Glitten and I teamed up to try and get through on the phone to book places. The project is kept a secret until the night which I like as I always wonder if we will be sewing, gluing or generally making a mess!

We each made a Heart Garland of our own selecting Cath Kidston fabric and backing it with sticky felt to give it some structure. Who knew that sticky felt existed?!!! Not me!Cath Kidston Heart Garland

The butterfly fabric is part of the new ‘teen’ range, but we all swooned over it. I chose the blue provence rose fabric. Once all the hearts were made (after a few sewing machine jams), we strung them onto embroidery thread.

Cath Kidston Heart Garlan

Cath Kidston Heart Garland

Pretty huh?! I am going to be hanging mine in my craft room as we already have a heart garland I made this week in our fireplace.

A lovely evening as usual, full of chatter, relaxed crafting and a little bit of sneaky shopping!


Claireabellemakes in the shops!

I’m writing an extra post this week to share with you some exciting news! If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have heard me mention that I was working on wholesale orders over the last two weeks.

Claireabellemakes in the shops

I am super pleased to have been approached by Cambridge Folk Museum who are supporting local makers in their shop, which includes handmade jewellery, stationery, wooden children’s toys and home furnishings. Building a network in Cambridge is very important to me, as I love living here and know there are a ton of talented makers in the city.

In addition, one of my favourite stores; All the Fun of the Fair (on Carnaby Street in London) asked me for a large order of accessories to sell amongst their fabulous collection of yarn, trinkets and craft goodies. I have blogged about the store before (here and here) and feel so happy to have started a business relationship with them as well as being a customer. Creative Director Buzz is one of those people you could natter all day to!

Although I hadn’t planned to try for wholesale until next year, I’m very grateful for these opportunities and hope they will be the start of bigger things ahead. I am still keeping my Etsy store well stocked and always welcome feedback on my makes – good or constructive!

If you have a handmade business and are thinking of gaining wholesale orders, please check out this fantastic e-guide from Indie Retail Academy. It is well worth it and is free!


Reflections for Claireabellemakes

The Christmas season has been rather frantic for claireabellemakes and it hasn’t even really begun yet! I am working on wholesale orders which I am very excited about. More on this soon.

The first two weekends of December were occupied with craft stalls, each varying in success. I thought it might be nice to share some images of my stall set up and new display cards.

Button earrings were a best seller at the community Christmas fair and many people bought them as stocking fillers (£3.50 each).

Button earrings and Christmas deorations  | claireabellemakes

The gingham Christmas decorations were the most popular – I must make another for our lounge as I like that one the best!

The Fabric doorstops were made with Clarke and Clarke furnishing fabrics which I have a huge soft spot for. There are still some of these left and a healthy supply will be stocked at Linda Kirkbride’s Handmade Studios in Rowlands Castle. She has gathered together a collection of work from some super talented makers, so I feel so honoured to be included with such wonderful people.

Flower hairslides and fabric doorstops  | claireabellemakes

These flower hairslide sets are a best seller and I will be listing more in my Etsy store this weekend. Just in time for last minute orders before final deliveries on 17 December!

My ring display box was made from an old towel which I cut up into strips and rolled. I then squished them into this lovely wooden box in rows and pinned calico fabric over the top. I think it looks pretty effective for a DIY ring display!

Ring Display claireabellemakes

I very much enjoyed my first craft stalls, especially the second one which was hugely festive and I did alongside friends.  My top tips for hosting a stall included taking sweetie supplies and having plenty of change in your float tin! It was great to chat to people about their interest in handmade items.

As we near the end of 2012 and I look back on the first 6 months of business for claireabellemakes, I am humbled by the wonderful people I have met along the way, be it in person or online. I’ve learnt that I thrive when I am busy and that creative people are generally amazing. I have been truly inspired by a number of people and I plan to let them know they have contributed to my creative journey in some way.

Thank you to everyone who has followed my blog and shop so far. I appreciate each and every one of you!

I’ll be taking a small blogging break over Christmas to take a holiday in Canada visiting family and friends. However, it wont be silent here as I have some super guest bloggers lined up!