National Stationery Week 2013

22 – 28 April is National Stationery Week in the UK! It seems like every week is a National-something-week at the moment, but this one is right up my street and aims to “Get Britain Writing”. Having just joined Anna’s Post Circle (along with 170 others), I now have another excuse to buy pretty stationery.

Here are my fave finds in the lovely world of stationery….

Rose Digital Collage Sheet P…


Large Plain Notebook – The B…


Modern Stationery Set . Hell…


120 Handmade Tandem Bicycle …


Pink, Linen, Aqua Garden Jap…


Map Envelopes A2 with Labels…


Medium Aqua Chevron Paper Ba…


Vintage WOOD QUILL or Dip Pe…


Rubber Stamp – Enjoy laser c…


Button Rubber Stamp


Wooden Rubber Stamp Set – Al…


Typewriter Print: You’re…


Treasury tool supported by the dog house

I also want to recommend some great stationery subscription boxes:

The Green Gables Eco Stationery Club which fellow craft blogger Hannah Ackroyd has reviewed here.

Green Gables Eco Stationery Club

The It’s Paper Dear stationery subscription box by Zie of Darling Dear is a fabulous surprise box of goodies including notebooks, pencils, stickers, journalling cards and more. I love getting this as a treat and reviewed a box on my blog here.

It's Paper Dear


I also want to give another shout out to Vivid Please, one of my favourite Etsy shops for stationery and quirky gifts. You can read my interview with them by clicking the image below.

Vivid Please Prints

Lastly, what do you think of my stamp bunting card? I tried hard not to cut into the Queen’s head!

Stamp Bunting Card

Any finds you’d like to share with me? Post in the comments below!


Creative Inspirations: Vivid Please

Morning all! Today I am sharing very exciting interview with an amazing creative duo as part of my Creative Inspirations series. Vivid are an arty duo living and creating in Edinburgh, Scotland, with a passion for eco-friendly and quirky gifts. They write a stellar craft blog and stock illustrated stationery, prints, bags and accessories in their fabulous Etsy store. One of my favourites for sure! I’ll hand over to Vicky now…..

Vivid Please Prints

Tell us a little about yourselves and Vivid Please! How did it all begin?

Hello hello!

We are Vicky and David, the creative duo behind Vivid Please, and we’re so excited to be hanging out with you today! Well, we first met whilst working at an advertising agency. We’re both quite little people and are pretty quirky so naturally we were drawn to each other! We found we had a lot in common; we liked creating and designing and made a lot of our own stuff outside of working hours and eventually we decided to take it to the next level and started to make stuff together. It started small with cool things we’d thought up and wanted that we couldn’t seem to find in the shops and it grew from there. We found our little projects were getting a lot of attention and decided to grow our hobby into our business. It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s a total dream!

Working as a duo must be fun?! What roles do each of you play and what’s your favourite thing about working this way?

Working as a duo is the best thing ever! We have the same sense of humour and can finish each others sentences, so it works out phenomenally when we’re working on something creative and one of us gets stuck! Having said that we do have our own roles that naturally work to each of our strengths. I (Vicky) am the one who illustrates, works on the blog posts and does a lot of the photography side of things, whereas David is the brains of the operation! Haha 😉 He does all the hard work, like designing our beautiful blog and packaging and a lot of the admin side of things. He loves a good spreadsheet!

Do you have a dedicated work space or studio?

We’re currently in a bit of a state of flux on the studio at the moment. Vivid HQ is getting a little too large for the current situation so we’re going to get a little studio space soon 🙂 Nothing lavish, just somewhere to type in peace!

Vivid Please Stationery

Because I’m a bit nosey, I love learning about people’s creative processes. How do you begin to work on new design concepts? Are you inspired by anything in particular?

Ooh! Tough question! This is the kind I love to read and hate to answer hee hee 🙂 For us, a lot of our work is based on our ridiculous sense of humor, so a lot of products derive from going out and living our lives (often in the pub!) We find it impossible to come up with something if we’re drawing a blank so there will be periods we take a break and do something else. I love looking though cookery, arts and craft books for inspiration and we both love to wander the supermarkets and check out the branding. Simple things like typefaces and colour combinations can be really inspirational if you look at it in a different light (namely not when hungry!)

When lightning strikes it will start out as a quick scribble in one of our notebooks and we take it from there. Knowing our strengths is really helpful because I’ll often think of something I can’t make, but I know David can. As we have similar tastes in graphic design, he can translate my jargon thoughts into something beautiful!

Vivid Please Pug Card

I’m a big fan of your art print cards and engraved pencils – what are your best sellers?

Aww! Thanks Claire 😀 Our little pug is everyones bestie! He’s such a little charmer that at fairs everyone wants to take him home. Our spectacular glasses cards would be a close second with our I Love You A Latte in at 3rd. They’re a lot of fun to sell at markets because people are really expressive when they look through the collection. It’s so great when they laugh out loud – we know we made it happen! As for our pencils, it’s gotta be our set that includes our “Feeling Notey”, “Yeah, Write” and “Words Are For Nerds” pencils that get the best reaction, but our new “Awesome” and “OMG” ones have been going down a real treat too! During Valentines our “Wood You Be Mine” ones get really popular too. It’s incredible how many pencil puns there are 😀

Vivid Please Brooches

Is there anything exciting ahead for Vivid Please? Can you share any secret plans for the future?

We’ve been keeping it a bit of a secret, but we’ve just been the first artist box for an awesome new crafty subscription service called Goodie Goodness. They’ve just launched this month and there has been a lot of excitement and wonderful feedback from it already. People have been blogging our products like crazy and someone even put the opening of the box on Youtube – hands down the best video we watched all year! We’re hoping to be doing more fun and creative stuff like that soon. In this business anything is possible and it’s always and adventure!

And lastly, a silly question…if you could be super heroes for the day, what powers would you have and why?!!

Best. Question. Ever.

I think my powers would be the ability to time travel. I’ve always thought I was born in the wrong era (I love the 50’s) so I would love to go back, nab me some awesome dresses and bring them to my current lifetime!

David on the other hand says he always feels he needs to be in more than one place at once. A duplicate Davey to work his day job and one to help me with the fun stuff at Vivid HQ would be ideal!


Thanks SOOO much for sharing your story guys! I’m totally with you on the 50s dress thing and I shall be noseying at the Goodie Goodness box asap!

Be sure to check out the Vivid Please Blog here and favourite their Etsy Shop if you like!


Through The Letterbox

It’s no secret I’m a big post fan. In my previous posts about post(!) I discovered I’m not alone and that many others find joy in receiving something through the letterbox. Whilst having a declutter recently, I found years and years of letters from various penpals – it was great and sometimes funny to read back over them.

Anyway, I have sent and received some fabulous things in the post lately, so I thought I’d share them with you.

A lovely cross stitch card from Hannah of Spans Studio and some great Canadian stamps on a letter from my penpal which included cute pics of her new baby 🙂

Canadian Stamps

I made no secret of my love for Canadian Brand David’s Tea in this post, but discovered they don’t deliver to the UK, boooo!

Then, Marina, a lovely lovely blog reader emailed me to say how much she enjoyed following my musings (how nice is that?!) and we got chatting about tea. We agreed to do a tea swap as she could get the famous Birthday Cake tea delivered to the US. It has sprinkles in the tea and tastes of ice cream. AH-MAZING.

Naturally the swap also involved sweets so I found some union jack boiled sweets and Marina kindly sent some Easter treats too. Best of all, were the cute illustrations she included – check out her Etsy store Retro and Rubys, it is so cute.

Retro and Rubys

I’m also one of around 140 people that have joined Anna’s #PostCircle. In short, we are placed with a group of other post loving geeks to send and receive letters and small gifts if you want to.

I am making use of my wooden stamp set for decorating my Post Circle envelopes.

I got this lovely tea themed coaster from Knitnrun4sanity (who cross posted from another group!) and these lovely bunny clips from a blog giveaway (mentioned below).


My first person to post to said they liked ginger animals, so I made another needle felted cat and send it with a handmade tea themed card and a knitting pattern.

Needle Felting

This month I was also lucky enough to win a giveaway on Katie’s blog Hook, Line & Sink Her. Katie writes the wittiest blog I’ve ever read and is fond of posting Johnny Depp pictures and crafty pursuits. What more could a girl want!

The giveaway prize included lots of cool treats like the bunny clips above, fun tapes, a bird pin and this awesome hand decorated mug from Katie’s Etsy store. It was blimmin’ awesome.

A very kind Twitter friend also sent me some crafty bits as she was destashing to move house. This lovely vintage cross stitch book was included. I’m looking forward to exploring the designs.

Hand Drawn Mug

There were even more lovely sympathy cards and treats sent to me this week. I never tire of the endless support and kindness that the craft community provides. It’s been a tough time lately and I’ve felt pretty low, but these thoughtful gestures and all your lovely comments have kept me going.

Thanks for following and keeping me cheerful.

Make sure you keep checking back to the blog over the next few weeks as there will be 3 giveaways throughout April! In one of them EVERYONE wins by getting post!!


It’s Paper Dear: Stationery Subscription Box

I’m a stationery geek. A full-on paper loving weirdo.

Since I started blogging, I have discovered it’s not all that weird and there are people like me out there! People Like Zie who runs the stationery subscription box It’s Paper Dear.

Zie amazes me. She runs It’s Paper Dear, whilst juggling school as an illustration student amongst many other things. Even her recent house move didn’t stop any orders being delayed.

It's Paper Dear on claireabellemakes

So, let me share with you this super cute box of stationery goodies, with supplies all hand selected by Zie herself. All for a very reasonable $20 (around £12.95 with a little extra for postage).

It's Paper Dear on claireabellemakes

Cute little notebook and pen…..always room for more notebooks in my life!

It's Paper Dear on claireabellemakes

Super quirky greetings cards from Paper Sparrow. Not something I would usually choose, but that’s what I love about subscription boxes!

It's Paper Dear on claireabellemakes

Gorgeous moleskin notebook and magnet from print maker and visual artist Jessica Gowling. The notebook is just beautifully made and designed. I can’t wait to use it.

It's Paper Dear on claireabellemakes

Polka dots! Chevrons! Paper bags and scrapbooking card 🙂It's Paper Dear on claireabellemakes

These journalling cards are designed and printed by Zie herself and are probably my favourite thing in the box. This spotty box will definitely come in handy. There was also a clicky pencil, but unfortunately, mine hadn’t survived the trip from the US.

It's Paper Dear on claireabellemakes

Cute envelopes, cards, buttons, sequins and washi tape. Such a cute little selection!

I was hugely impressed with the box. It came with a handwritten thank you card and was packaged in pink tissue. I’ll definitely be ordering again!

It’s Paper Dear is available in one month or three month subscriptions. As I’m saving for Christmas holidays this year, I’ll be buying a box as a treat every now and again.

Be sure to check out Zie’s blog over at Hello Darling Dear!

claireabelle x

I Love Post

Postcard blanks - set of 50 - 4x6 soft white


These past two weeks have been epic for post. It’s no secret that I love receiving a parcel or letter and I’ve recently learnt that I’m not alone in this love of post. I’m not quite sure why, but ever since I received my Canadian penpal in Brownies 22 years ago, it’s become a bit of an obsession. I’ve even gone so far as to change all my bills to e-billing, so I only ever receive awesome post. My penpal and I still write to this day (and skype too!) and she is now my oldest friend. I was even maid of honour at her wedding 🙂 It’s amazing what a 7 year old’s letter and some coins from your home country taped to a card can lead to.

Anyway, I digress. The whole point of this post is to share with you my great week of post. I appreciate this might not be as exciting for some of you, but stick with me if you’re a craft fan or just nosey!

This stationery set comes from one of my favourite stationery sellers Fawn & Flora (why are all the best things Canadian?!). It’s perfect for me as it has both sewing machines & bicycles on. Of course I had to order washi tapes too.

Fawn & Flora Stationery

Next came Everything Oz. I can’t tell you how much I love this whimsical craft/baking book. I may have to do a separate post on it. Thanks to Alison from Art of Crafts for selecting me in the giveaway! I never win anything (unsuccessful at every bingo game I’ve ever played) so this was an amazing post item.

Everything Oz

Then mid-week my postman obeyed my secret-hiding-place-for-parcels note and I excitedly opened my Crafty Creatives Box 1! I blogged about it here – it was a fantastic surprise box of crafty delights.

Crafty Creatives Box 1

Some of you will know I am preparing for the opening of my Etsy shop and boy have I had fun exploring packaging options! These two stamps from Norajane on Etsy are going to feature I’m sure. Thanks to Suki from The Owl Club for recommending them!

Bicycle & Button Stamps

Later in the week I won another giveaway (yay) for this great card from Leanne at Ello Designs. I was already a regular customer, so was dead chuffed to receive it. I know exactly who I am going to send it to.

Ello Design Card

Then, this big stash of yarn was left in my secret-parcel-hiding-place, but I can’t tell you what it is for just yet. Let’s just say it’s for a fun project featuring 10 other bloggers and I’m working on it this weekend. More to follow!!

Home Crafts Yarn

After a crappy day on Friday, I came home to a marvellous package from fellow blogger Caroline. I’d recently sent her a test of my Etsy products and some crafty treats and she kindly returned the favour with this fab collection of fabric squares, ribbon, soap and beads. How cute is the card? Thanks Caroline!

Please do have a look at Caroline’s blog here. She has some fab DIY projects and fashion posts and was recently the guest blogger for Look Magazine.

Burkatron Gifts

I also received supplies for my Etsy shop items (eee!) and a mint green H&M skirt which I ordered ages ago and completed forgot about. The sun has finally arrived here in Cambridge, so I may twirl about in it this weekend if my milk bottle legs are up to it.

I Love Post.

What have you received in the post lately? Do share!

claireabelle x