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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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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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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August Favourites 2016

I feel like we have had a great summer in Cambridge this year with lots of sunshine and long evenings. I always start my favourites post with my favourite day and this month it was my first time kayaking on the river with friends. Sharing a double kayak with your loved one is definitely a test of patience and communication! It was a beautiful day and we rewarded ourselves with burgers and some baking afterward.Kayaking-River-CamI made the decision to leave my day job (read more about that here) and received so many lovely messages of support I was overwhelmed! One of those messages was inside this awesome card which was designed by Daphne Rosa.
YAY-Card

I had a stall at Bust Craftacular Summer market again this year and managed a quick trolley dash whilst my pal Kate helped man the stall. I picked up this beautiful screen print from Basil and Ford who were by far the busiest booth on the day! Let-Love-Grow-Print-Basil-and-Ford

As you will know by now, I’m working on my enamel pin collection. I picked up a couple more at Craftacular and also did some pin swaps with Instagram buddies which is my new favourite thing. Lots of happy mail! All the pin designers are listed below so do check them out.Enamel-Pin-Collection

Angela Chick Illustration / Liz Mosley
Basil & Ford / Nikki McWilliams / Pup Tart
Yoyo The Ricecorpse / Nathalie Moore / Fox & Rose

I added them to my colour block pinboard which I shared the DIY for here.

Enamel-Pin-Collection-and-Display

One of my regular favourites is Bluebird Tea Co and I was thrilled to hear they had some limited edition candles and bath products on offer. The soy, vegan friendly aromatherapy candles have a subtle scent and the lavender bath bar is perfect for migraine days. We are still enjoying lots of their tea as cold brew too!
Bluebird-Tea-Company-Candles

Sticking with the handmade toiletries theme, Lush is still a firm favourite. This basket in my bathroom used to be filled with migraine pills, but is now full of lovely smelling products hurrah!
Lush-Favourites-Claireabellemakes

Most of these items were gifted to me by a friend who works at Lush (THANK YOU!) after I asked online if anyone had any product recommendations for oily skin. I love the Herbalism cleanser as well as the Ocean Salt mask followed by the Tea Tree Water. It’s definitely helped and the bathroom smells amazing.Lush-Products-For-Oily-Skin

This book is still on my nightstand as an in-progress read, but already I love it. I’ll be sharing a review here on the blog soon. It feels like a good time to read it as I’m going through some changes in life.
The-Life-Changing-Magic-of-not-giving-a-F

And a surprising favourite this month is the stationery section in Primark of all places. I picked up this copper stationery set for a fiver and the pencil case for only £1.50. It’s the perfect size for a few pens, a tape and my USB stick.Copper-Stationery

A big thanks to Love Crochet this month who sent me some of the gorgeous Mila Mia Naturally Soft Cotton yarns to try. They are sooooo nice! Any ideas for a project to try?
Mila Yarns

What have you enjoyed throughout August? I’m looking forward to Pumpkin Spice Lattes and more crochet time in September!

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July Favourites 2016

Oof it’s been tough to keep up with blogging lately! I’ve been busy having a big sort out in the studio, working hard in the day job and taking some time for my health. But today I’m sharing my July favourites with you as there have been lots of lovely moments and things!

I always start posts in this series with my favourite experience of the month. July was filled with lots of time with friends including picnics and BBQs and of course the Cambridge summer tradition of punting (basically summer hasn’t happened until I’ve been punting). On the first day of the month I took a day out to enjoy ice cream and hang out with some of my favourite creatives on the river. Thanks to Jo for this cheery snap from our day!Creatives-Punting-Day

My enamel pin collection evolved in July with some from Nutmeg and Arlo, Sew Crafty, Nikki McWilliams, Tiny Grey Cat and Rock Cakes. Watch this space for a pin storage DIY soon!Enamel-Pin-Collection

I also did a pin swap with Kim from Little Wren Loves who makes these gorgeous unicorn pins! Give me a shout if you also make pins and you would like to swap. I already planning out my next (stationery themed) pin design which I can’t wait to make!Unicorn-Enamel-Pin

I picked up this Pusheen Backpack from John Lewis which is now my picnic bag 🙂Pusheen-Backpack

Staying with the bag theme, I worked with the George team from Asda this month to pick some favourites from their summer dresses and accessories range. This floral tote bag is really good for days out and post runs!Floral-Tote-Bag-Asda

I am still a dress girl (even though I do actually own some trousers now!) so it was good fun to try out George’s Dress Selector tool to find out which styles suit my body type. You can vote for my selection and the other blogger’s looks on the George blog here.Asda Dress Selector Claireabellemakes 2

I was also really chuffed to work with Bluebird Tea Co again to try out some of their summer teas for cold brew! I always have a bottle of cold brew in the fridge during the summer as it’s so refreshing. We’ve been trying the Strawberry Split flavour….
Cold Brew Tea….and the Sangria tea! Cold brew is brewed over a longer period of time giving a sweeter and more intense flavour and releasing more antioxidants. Definitely my favourite drink at the moment and it’s helping me drink less of the chemical filled diet coke!
Cold-Brew-Sangria-Tea

The recent UK heatwave has been pretty tough on my health as I’ve had to sit in an office without any ventilation at the day job. It’s been 30+ degrees each day even with two fans and the doors and windows open. I have felt mild heat exhaustion on many days so my blog and business has been put on the back burner whilst I focus on my health a bit. The studio hasn’t been too bad though so I picked up this mini copper fan from Wilko which is perfect for the desk. Copper-Mini-Fan

Continuing the health theme, I have an update on my migraines. I have now been med free for almost 4 months which feels like a huge deal. Towards the end of last year, I wanted to focus on alternative treatments so began acupuncture and decided to reduce my medication and eventually stop. I soon discovered the Cefaly device which treats migraines through transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. I wear the headband device for 20 minutes a day (or longer if I am suffering with an attack) and it treats my condition by relaxing the trigeminal nerve where migraines begin.

So far, I really feel like this is working for me (I’m 4 weeks in) and I am starting to see a difference in being able to abort attacks without any pain meds at all. It is a truly bizzare sensation (think SUPER intense pins and needles all over your head for 20+ minutes), but it’s nothing compared to the discomfort of multiple migraines a week. It’s been my biggest favourite this month and I’d be happy to share more of my experiences with the device if anyone would find it useful.

PLUS. I COULD DEFINITELY CRAFT HACK THIS INTO A WONDER WOMAN HEADBAND NO?!

Cefaly-Migraine-Device

Anyway, back to cute things! Hello Harriet relaunched her website this month with the cutest animal illustrations. I picked up this Doge pad for G (love that meme!) and some kitty washi for my planner. All so cute.
Hello-Harriet-Stationery

And finally, I decided to start a craft project just for me, as an excuse to have some downtime every couple of days. I still really struggle with time off, so this crochet bobble blanket project will help! I’m making it in yarn colours that are close to my brand so it will probably live in the studio once complete and help me stay cosy in the winter. Watch this space for updates!Crochet-Bobble-Blanket

So a real mishmash of favourites this month, with a few updates thrown in. Do share with me what you’ve been loving!

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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.