Winter Favourites 2017

I usually start these favourites post with an experience I have enjoyed that month, but it’s been a strange old start to 2017, so I wasn’t sure what to share. However, we have spent a lot more time with friends in January and February and it’s been so nice. We spent the weekend just got with some of our best friends watching films and relaxing in our slouchy clothes. It was the first full weekend I had taken off in months and it was gooooood.

Now onto things. I had to snap up the last monthly Lucky Dip Club box and I loved this Smile necklace that was included. The theme of the whole box was positivity!
Smile-Necklace-Lucky-Dip-Club

I decided to make 2017 a year of finishing projects because I have a habit of starting multiple things at once. The first project I finished was this Stitch and Story chunky knit hat. The merino wool is so soft and cosy and it’s a really quick knit as it only uses knit and purl stitches. Stitch and story hat

I like to change the art in my studio depending on the season. This print was a Christmas gift and is a collab by Oh Squirrel and Pup Tart. I love it!Makers-Gonna-Make-Glitter-Print

Another gift I’ve been enjoying is this essential oils diffuser which I tend to have on when I work in the studio. The Lemongrass oil is good for pain relief so I have been using that for migraine days and the lavender before bed. It has a soft colour changing light too which I find relaxing. Essential-Oils-Diffuser G and I came across The Amazing Chocolate Workshop when we were Christmas shopping and ended up buying a few gifts from their stand. Then he was sneaky and got me the chocolate scissors, pen and cheese!
Chocolate scissors

Super cool aren’t they?! The chocolate was amazing quality too.Chocolate-Pen

This month Taylors of Harrogate sent me their new coffee blend to try which is a collaboration with William Morris – how beautiful is the print?!

William-Morris-Taylors-Of-Harrogate-Coffee

I have had some lovely gifts from friends lately and I’m so grateful! One of them was this amazing monogrammed glitter bag from Hannah (Pup Tart) which she sent me as a surprise. It feels pretty special and I’m gonna use it for brunch outings and every day because you don’t need to have a party excuse to wear glitter!Pup-Tart-Glitter-Bag

I couldn’t pass up on the Nikki McWilliams sample sale in January as I have had a pin banner on my wish list for so long. I also snapped up a passport cover too. A few other makers were having January sales too so I added to my pin collection. I am planning a separate update post on my pin collection soon, so keep your eyes peeled if you are looking for new designs!
Nikki-McWilliams-Pin-Banners

My final favourite is a swap that I did with a market stall neighbour at Craftacular in December. Little Tulip is a handmade candle company run by Lette. I have been burning this candle almost every day for 2 months and it’s still not finished. The scent is excellent and impressive for hand poured soy candle – it’s strong which I love. Glow-Candle-Little-Tulip

So there you have it! My winter favourites which were mostly gifts ha! Maybe I should have titled this post “what I got for Christmas”…..anyway, tell me what you’ve been loving this winter. I’m off to enjoy a blanket and cat cuddles – more favourites!

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Instalife January 2017

I’m not gonna lie guys. January was tough. I had at least 2-3 migraine days a week  (sometimes more!) and the world news got me down. My usually positive mindset was certainly challenged. But, as usual, creativity kept me going as well as lots of time with friends and some quiet days at home with G. Here’s what I got up to via my Instagram photos. Claireabellemakes-Creative-Projects-Instalife-Jan-2017

A fun scissor shot – one of these is chocolate! / Working on a new hat for fun

DIY Copper Foil Planter / A jewellery DIY for We Make Collective
Claireabellemakes-Customer-Photos-Instalife-Jan-2017

Awesome customer photos of the bicycle pins and phrase necklaces!

See more customer photos in my Facebook album hereClaireabellemakes-Shop-Instalife-Jan-2017

I spent a lot of time working on the Glitter Heart Pins – more colours coming!

Valentines cards are in the shop for the romantics out thereClaireabellemakes-Planners-Instalife-Jan-2017

I shared lots of planner updates including my choices for 2017 & a dashboard

The Peony Planner launched and I started Bullet Journalling
Claireabellemakes-Cambridge-Bikes-Instalife-Jan-2017

As usual, lots of bike spotting happened around Cambridge

….and Tammy kept me company in the studio

Thanks for letting me share an update today. I hope February will be better for my health so I can get back to regular blogging again. I miss it! Do let me know if there is anything you would like to see or any projects I should try.

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October Favourites 2016

I usually always start my favourites post with the best experience from the month. Even though I didn’t take many photos, I had a month of time with friends and family and it was really great. Mostly because it was time where I didn’t feel guilty about not working and it allowed me to really enjoy the moment!

Now onto the ‘things’. The first item I have been loving is the new Paintbox Yarns selection. The wonderful people at Love Knitting sent me the cotton dk to work with and I started a crochet star shaped rainbow baby blanket. I better hurry up and finish it though as said baby is due very soon (not mine)! It’s been a really lovely pattern to work on because it’s a good one to memorise and do infront of the TV or on the train.

baby-star-blanket-wip

Before I quit my day job, I treated myself to a new fitness tracker after I had accidentally washed my Fit Bit in the machine oops! I decided to go for something that looked a bit nicer and was recommended the Bella Beat. The Urban Leaf in Rose Gold is a new release and can be worn on the bracelet, as a necklace or clipped onto your clothing.

It tracks sleep, steps, activity, stress levels, menstrual cycles and even has meditation programmes built into the app. So far I really like it and it’s certainly making me get out and walk more. bella-beat-urban-leaf

My beauty favourite this month was a treat that I got with a voucher because I wouldn’t usually spend almost £25 on a face mask. This Origins Active Charcoal Clay Mask is probably the best clay mask I’ve tried and it has really helped my oily skin. Highly recommended!

I’m also loving the little posy vase in the background which I got from Dot Com Gift Shop. It’s the perfect place for some eucalyptus sprigs which I’ve been enjoying lots throughout October too.origins-clay-mask

It’s safe to say that I am one of those people for whom Christmas begins early! Mostly because I make Christmas products for the shop and need to think ahead, but also because I LOVE the festive season! I want to decorate now! G tells me I shouldn’t until my birthday is over (25 November in case you are wondering) and I know he is right.

It doesn’t mean I can’t get festive with photo shoot props though! This bauble set has been my little Christmas injection to keep me going until 1 December 🙂christmas-baubles

Continuing the Christmas theme, my friends at Bluebird Tea Co sent me a box full of their festive blends to share with you because they know so many of you love them too! Look at these flavours, the Tea Christmas Crackers and Mulled Wine Tea Candle too!!

I’m super excited about another product they have released too, but that deserves a whole other post next week…..watch this space!

bluebird-tea-co-christmas-blends

Finally, I can’t write a favourites post without mentioning pins! You all know my pin obsession is going strong so I’ve continued to swap with fellow makers to grow my collection. I may also be designing some more pins for the shop too, but I want to get them just right, so I am taking my time!new-pins-claireabellemakes-october

Hello Sunshine / Nikki McWilliams / Daphne Rosa / Heidi Henry Shop

Thanks for letting me share my favourites today! Do let me know what you’ve been loving in the comments below.

I’ve also been busy planning lots of content for the blog and YouTube channel right up until the end of the year. There will be festive posts, gift guides and DIYs to see you through as I really want to get back into the swing of blogging regularly. Wish me luck!

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Instalife September 2016

OK, so September was pretty awesome. It was filled with fun things and lots of emotion, as it was the month I left my day job to make my creative career the only career! Here’s a look at what I got up to via my Instagram feed.claireabellemakes-instalife-shop-september-2016

The new phrase necklaces were released in the shop

A feature in Caboodle Magazine / Sew Crafty print collection

Makers Gonna Make Notebooks / Updated Pins / New prints for planners!claireabellemakes-instalife-planner-september-2016

Sharing planner spreads each week in the kikki.K Lavender Pink Plannerclaireabellemakes-instalife-blog-september-2016New pin from Zeena Shah / Visiting The Handmade Fair / Hole punch review

Learning to brush letter / Celebratory cards from friends / DIY Colour Block Tray
claireabellemakes-instalife-cambridge-september-2016The Cambridge Creatives Photowalk

Bike spotting in the city

Enjoying the Autumn sunshine / Decorating for Autumn / Cow photobombs
claireabellemakes-instalife-tammy-september-2016And Tammy has been SO cuddly lately, I think the change in temperature really affects cats – she wont leave us alone at the moment. I’m not compaining, look how cute she is!

I hope you had a great September. I’m looking ahead now to Christmas – I know it’s early, but you’d be suprised how many buy my cards in October! I’ll also be taking some time to adjust to my new working life and to enjoy some ‘time off’ at weekends which I haven’t had in years.

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September Favourites 2016

I LOVE September because Autumn arrives and I can’t tell you how excited I am to have all the pumpkin things and make our home all cosy. It’s definitely my favourite time of the year!

I usually start these posts with a favourite experience from the month past and this month there were so many things to choose from – including leaving my day job! But the day I had the most fun was probably our Cambridge Creatives Photowalk day. Being able to work with The Cambridge Satchel Company was really great too.

cambridge-satchel-company

I’ve been wearing my Periwinkle Blue Large Traveller Bag so much since, it has definitely become a firm favourite in my collection of satchels and especially as it can be used as a camera bag.

periwinkle-blue-traveller-bag-cambridge-satchel-companyAs always, I’ve been enjoying the new autumn range from Bluebird Tea Co and I’m thrilled the Spiced Pumpkin Pie tea is back. It’s soooo good.
autumn-teas-bluebird-tea-co

Of course I added to my pin collection last month with some swaps, gifts and a purchase. Bit of a mint theme with these ones!claireabellemakes-enamel-pin-purchases-september

I also got the chance to try out some of the new colours from Paintbox Yarns which is an exclusive brand from Love Knitting. There are 60 shades to choose from and I’m loving this rainbow palette which I made into a short video. I was thinking about making a baby blanket like this with it. What do you think?

Sticking with the autumn themes, I’ve been loving the new collections at Lush – it all smells SO festive!

autumn-lush-collections

I’ve shared a closer look at these bath bombs and melts in the Autumn shopping haul video on my You Tube channel, as well as some home decor items I picked up in Homesense.

So there you have it, lots of seasonal favourites this time! What have you been loving?

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