Saturday, 20 November 2010

November's Christmas Class, home comforts and..the next workshop

November. Suddenly it has all gone a bit chilly, and the scarves and gloves are out, with a perfect excuse for a nice new coat. What have all you crafters been up to since we last saw you? Anyone been making Christmas cards, knitting masterpieces or scrapbooking delights?
Last Saturday was the last Christmas class, thank you to all the ladies who came and crafted.
We arrived at St Cuthbert's church at 9.15am-ish to start setting everything out, and I don't know what the weather was like for everyone else, but while we were safely inside it went from cloudy to rain to serious hailstone to blue sky and sun to rain! It's true, that saying: Britain doesn't have a climate, it has weather. Just the sort of day when you're glad you're inside arranging paper and stamping :)

Now, we are having a class on Wednesday 5th January 2011, which will be repeated on Saturday 15th January. Both classes are 10.30am - 3pm at St Cuthbert's Church, Lytham Rd, Preston. It is on the subject of birds and leaves and a general nature with a mix of winter. The class is being designed, and when designs have been made I will post them on here, as well as price. However, places are filling up, so if you would like to book a place on either of these dates, drop an email to Jennifer,
Also, if you book a place and would like directions about how to get to the church, email too. We will happily give you directions. The church has a car park and a bus route from Preston city centre stops nearby.

Here are piccies of some of the cards that were made last Saturday...

...And am very glad to be making a few of these; I got so used to making half a dozen cups of tea at a time, and cleaning the cups afterwards, that when I am in the shared kitchen here at bookland (university), I offer to make passers-by into the kitchen a cup of tea. I'm not used to making just one!

I am being a bit naughty, I've put a pic on of the class, I hope nobody minds, I made it a small piccie so as to be only slightly cheeky...

Finally, I have not yet put photos on of the little new home (this is due to shameful lack of blogging). New home contains the Body Shop lemony products, cards, pink pen and lovely blackcurrant jam that were all presents from crafty friends - you know who you are, thank ye!

New home also contains applique cushion, furry rug and patterned things to make it feel homely. There's a modern-vintage style floral duvet cover and throw, and the handmade bunting that was a present, and the spotty bag (well, you need a pretty bag to take your laundry to laundry room, a crafty must!).
And a pretty bucket for cleaning things..

Oh, and there are some of these too, have to read a few while here in bookland...

...And this cheeky characters is keeper of the keys, so I can't lose them.

Happy weekend everyone, and thank you for the comments!
Craftybird x
P.S Did anybody go see Harry Potter yesterday, on the day it opened? Not to name-drop, but we went to see it at midnight last night at Leicester Square. It's the biggest cinema in the country, so I've heard, and the film was AmAAAZing. The atmosphere was fab, everyone laughing and cheering. I recommend it!x

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Craftybird is back and blogging :)

I am ashamed. I have not blogged for...three, yes three months. Serious bloggage is required, as lots of things have happened.
So, what has happened in three months...
August was the last full month in our beloved shop, Crafty Hearts. Our last classes were of the Christmas variety (you know how it is with crafters; Christmas in August, etc), and we were madly repricing stock and everybody thankfully popped in for tea and a chat before we closed on Friday 3rd September. Then chaos began, as I (Craftybird, the sidekick in the Crafty Hearts duo) relocated to London in the third week of September, while also we were having to remove everything from our shop into our house.
So, my room was summer-cleaned, and I quietly packed my mountains of stuff and put the boxes in the other room...and then got home one day to discover these boxes had been put back into my room, because the spare room was needed for several big shop items! My room was short of space before the towels, new books and wok. I'd like to point out here that the spare room is no longer spare, it has been sneakily made into a craft room!
The Crafty Hearts duo are now 'on the road': my mum (Jennifer) is on the road in a sense that she is continuing teaching craft workshops, but in different premises. An adventure :) And I am literally sometimes on the road: I am studying in London, and have popped back to the good old North this week :)
I planned to start blogging the moment I got to London, but didn't realise how chaotic it would be! It's a bit of a distracting place :D I'm only just starting to get a routine, where I can have a time of the day where I sit and blog, or do a bit of email chatting (or ring the mother - that requires a good hour of course).
I haven't popped any photos of the Christmas class that Jennifer taught in the middle of October, and is repeating this Saturday, because it sold out straight away! It was a case of people telling us to put them down on the next class she was doing - even though she hadn't yet designed it! Thank ye all for the faith :)
Now, we are planning a class at the very beginning of January, and I will post on here the date and the samples as soon as they are available. The plan is for it to be a bird, owl, leaves and trees vibe, as we didn't get chance to do an autumnal class, and those sort of colours might brighten up a chilly January day. And I will blog about mine and chief crafter's travels until then :)
I'll be back soon for a natter,

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Christmas in August

Good evening :) Here are photos of the cards for the Christmas class on Saturday (being repeated on Sat 21st Aug too). Sadly there are no places left on this class, but for those who are already booked on it, it's a chance to have a look at what you'll be making. Hope you like! It feels weird making Christmas cards in the middle of summer, but not as crazy as Selfridges selling Christmas baubles at the beginning of August!
Plus check out the shop at the moment, as it's full of bargains to be had - EVERYTHING is priced down; I've managed to put a bit on the website, but there's plenty more within the shop.
P.S If anybody is interested in buying plastic trays (the ones that fit 12x12 scrapbook papers), email or comment to let us know...they're £2.50 a tray or 10 for £20. :)

Monday, 9 August 2010

F is for Folding, Flutterbies...and Frustration and Fizzy Wine!

The beginning of August has seen two rounds of our 'F' class: F is for Folding and Flutterbies. The following piccies are from our first 'F' class; thank you to Sheila for bringing in a surprise bottle of Perry (low volume, might I add- so everyone can still cut their cards in straight lines and then drive home ok :)). It was to celebrate, and to commemorate, our classes this year in the classroom above our lovely little shop. Although we have Christmas classes and a last Crafty Gathering still to come, it felt like the beginning of the end of an era - after September we will no longer be able to run (I say run, I leave that to mum and Meg! Ambling is allowed) up the stairs to the dotty spotty tables in our classroom and get everybody crafting. We will be teachers on the road, teaching here and there.
I hope the ladies don't mind that I added a photo of the class, but it seemed daft to just put the photo of the wine and not the celebration!

As well as F for Fizzy wine, there were also a few other Fs floating about, as we had everybody measuring and thinking, as they attempted a step card, a card with a fold-back window, and another with a big raised fold. But all in all, both that f class and the F class on this-Saturday-just-gone were very nice :) Thank you all who attended :)
P.S I will post here photos of the cards for the Christmas class very soon, although sadly no places left on it - it booked up before we even made the cards!
And a newsletter is on its way this week, via email: sadly t'will be the last one, but I'll try pack it full.
Happy crafting!
Craftybird x

Monday, 2 August 2010

Blog neglection! and chaotic open evening times

Woah, I feel bad that I have not blogged in more than three weeks, but it is starting to seem like a good plan, to blog post once or twice a month, as I now have plenty to mention :) Plenty being...a very understated word!

Now, what with the sad news on my last post, about us shutting our little shop (:-o) , we've spent July having to tell all our regulars. It's been a difficult thing to say - I managed to spread the news to many via blog and email, but there were still lots to tell outside via word of mouth ;( Many have offered to do volunteer work, a few hours a week, in order to keep the shop running. To all those who offered, both via email, post comment and whilst chatting in the shop: first of all, thank you, it's all very kind and flattering of you all. We had thought of it, but it's the hefty responsibility, that made us decide to end our shop days. It would be chaotic, organising everybody, teaching everyone how to give crafty advice (most customers ask at least one question when in). We won't miss having to continuously buy stock to keep up with the fast craft market (and never being able to get all the stock, as some brands are now so mass sold, the suppliers don't send you all in one go, or it's out of stock, aaarghh, etc etc). The idea of travelling round, teaching workshops, every one gathering together for crafty days, sounds easier, and there's the opportunity of carrying products such as stamp ranges that we might be demonstrating that month. But still a big THANK YOU for all you generous ladies who offered to volunteer.

Sooo, to begin the task of emptying our shop of all its crafty goodies, we had an open evening last Wednesday night. From that evening, all products are 20% off, even sale items (plenty of bargains :)). You never know how many people are going to turn up: not everybody you tell may be able to make it. But we were not expecting what happened: it was like the crafty equivalent of a packed out night club! The shop was packed, I suddenly turned to find there was a huge queue at the tills. Thank you to everybody who came, it was great seeing you all, and thanks to Steph for taking the photos! Just one thing: Steph, you didn't get someone to take a photo with you in it!

I must do a post showing some of the samples we made for the open evening.
I also must put do a post about Saturday's Alphabet 'F' class, but I left my camera at work, with the photos relating to my planned 'F' post :S Scatterbrain!
I noticed on Craftybeast's blog that she made a list of crafty things to do. I sooo need to do that too! I empathised so much with her post, when she said she has lists of lists, I have those too, then I lose my list and at the top of the next list is 'Find list'! How sad am I hehe.

We're currently working on the Christmas classes. Christmas is in August at Crafty Hearts- the Christmas card-making class is on Sat 14th August, repeat class on 21st August. Email if you'd like to join, but be quick - both classes are nearly full. We're also having our (*wails*) last Crafty Gathering on Saturday 28th August. 11am - 3pm, £3 inc tea and biscuits, bring a crafty project and join us (email if you're coming though, so we know the numbers).

Also, since I last did a post, I have finally begun driving lessons. I wish i could get a photo of this event, in order to scrapbook, but I am in no way a good enough driver to take a photo too! Terrified when I hit a 40mph limit road, but addicted :)

Finally (I know, this post is novel-sized), a few posts back I mentioned that my mum was making a handmade present for me for my birthday, and I would post it when I finally found out what it was. Well, t'was bunting! Handmade, with Cath Kidston fabric! Wow did she do a good job, it's really neat, and cute. It is for when I go to university, to decorate my room. But couldn't resist putting it up at the mo, too nice to just leave it in its wrapping.

Thanks for reading,
Craftybird x

Friday, 9 July 2010

E is for embossing, open evening and...sad news :(

I've neglected the art of blogging for more than two weeks :( A few family birthdays (including my own woo!) cropped up within these weeks, plus stock taking, D is for Die-cuts classes, Mint Choc class and experimenting with ideas for the next classes. Whenever I've had a free space to blog, I quickly realised that I hadn't finished projects to put on the blog, or cards had been posted off without photographs taken :S

Before I show photos of the next class, E is for Embossing, and once I've told you that the next crafty gathering is Saturday 24th July (let us know if you want to come, it's 11am-3pm, £3 tea and biscuits inc, bring crafty projects and craft away lol)...we have some sad news. It has taken much thought over the last few weeks, but we have finally decided that Crafty Hearts, our little shop, is closing by end of August/early September. I am off to university, making it harder for my mum to manage everything on her own. But even if I wasn't going, we have been starting to find we are 'meeting ourselves coming back', trying to run the shop, teach classes, make sample, advertise, blog, maintain a website, newsletter-write.....if we had plenty of pennies to pay little helpers to do each of these tasks while we just designed and taught classes, t'would be simple...but sadly not!
My mum is not sure whether she will go mobile in the future, and teach classes in local halls, or be at craft fairs. I think a holiday is on the cards first. But should she decide to go back to teaching, I will contact all those lovely ladies whose emails we have.

Sooooo, there will still be card-making classes and crafty gatherings throughout July and August.

We will also be having an Open Evening on Wednesday 28th July, 5pm-9pm. It's free, with tea and cake and demonstrations, and plenty of inspiration and bargains to be had. We're not entirely sure of our final closing date: either last day of August or early September, whenever all the craft products have gone (oh dear, it sounds sad to say it like that :-O). Come in and see us, all of you, before we go, we will miss you!

On a lighter note, here below are the samples of our next class, E is for Embossing, with techniques including embossing with clear ink, coloured ink, coloured and clear powders, resist embossing.

E is for Embossing Card-making class: Saturday 17th July

10.30am - 3pm £20 inc materials & tea & biscuits

Left us know if you would like to join (email or ring the shop, details on right-hand side).

See you all soon, and looking forward to seeing the ladies on the D is for Die-cuts class tomorrow :)

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Gathering and new magazine issue

A little post here, to say that the latest Creativity Cardmaking issue, issue 17, arrived today in our shop. It's got some lovely projects in it, complete with free Craftwork Cards papers and die-cut tags.
Also, our next gathering is this Saturday (26th), for all who would like to come along. It starts at 11am, ends at 3pm and is £3, includes tea, coffee and biscuits, and use of the tools in our airy upstairs classroom. Just bring along your latest project, be it scrapbooking, card-making, altered art, stamping, sewing, knitting...and sit and make and chat and sip tea :)

Ciao for now,

Craftybird x

Friday, 18 June 2010

Diecuts, papers and meadow flowers

I've decided to blog while England are playing, because nobody's scoring, or doing anything dramatic. On either side! I find it easier just supporting some of the other teams, because at least then there's no presenters or commentators going on about England being ready to win it, have to win this, win that. Aye aye aye :-S
Moving on, here are photos of the samples for the D is for Die-cuts class (on fri 2nd july or sat 10th july)...

It involves Bo Bunny Kitchen Spice papers (we love this range's summery burnt orange and sky blue). Instead of the main features being stamps or stickers/images, or sentiments, the focal-points are die-cuts. These are shapes, made using punches, corner punches, border punches, Quickutz, Cuttlebug and Spellbinders dies on a die-cutting machine.

It was a challenge, as we're addicted to stamping, and we had to focus more on shapes instead, but it was great! Every card takes on a different shape and layout.

Ooh, and these are small sneak peeks of just a few of the So Sophie papers, one of the latest ranges from My Mind's Eye. I think I need some of these, I'm trying to think if they've gone on my birthday wish list, I better check..

And these beautiful flowers belong to a row of foxgloves at the allotments. We nipped there to water plants in the greenhouse. On the little track that runs through the allotments, there was a line of foxgloves, daisies, forget-me-nots, soo pretty. I love meadow flowers, they're not all pristine and cloned like shop flowers (not that shop flowers aren't pretty, the rows of little colourful buds are a nice welcome sight when you walk in shops). I don't care that my nose tickles a bit with hayfever, or that people might be wondering what on earth I'm doing, flitting from one side of the track to the other, leaning on the ground, madly photo-taking. It's worth it.

Can you see the bee in one of the bells?

The first newsletter of June was released yesterday: if you want to join the newsletter mailing list, just click on the top right blog icon, and let us know.
Happy crafting!
Craftybird x

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Mint chocolate class and an elegant class

Just a quick post to show piccies of the 17th June Elegance Cards class with Kath, and an addition to the June/July class schedule: the Mint Chocolate Cards class, which is on Friday 25th June, 1o.30am - 3pm. If you'd like to join either of these classes, just email or ring us at the shop, using the details on the right hand side.
Here are snippets of the elegance cards class with Kath...

These are the Mint Chocolate cards...turquoise and dark brown papers, card candy, ink and parenthesis rectangles (bracket shaped rectangles). This Mint Chocolate range of products are Craftwork Cards goodies.

Some close-ups/sneak peeks........

Coincidentally, I am about to go finish off some Thornton's Dark Chocolate with Mint. I HIGHLY recommend it. I once read that if you have dark chocolate, just a piece, and put it on your tongue and let it melt, there are enough endorphins in it to make you feel good and not feel the need to eat any more for that day. Well, I keep trying, but I end up eating it instead, and having to go back for another piece :)

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Thick Embossing

When I sent out the latest recipe newsletter, I promised to make a post about ultra thick embossing powder. I haven't actually got photos of thick embossing powder in action to pop with the following posting without photos oof that's an uncolourful sight, it doesn't feel natural! I have no photos because the most recent thick embossing I did - well, I forgot to photograph it! Even though the camera was nearby. I got engrossed in watching it as it melted all metallicky.
I felt it needed to be made as a post subject, because I did some thick embossing in the newsletter, and I did it in a way that isn't normally done (see tip three).
Tip ONE..I know this sounds like I'm sell sell selling, but honestly as a crafter, I like the ultra thick embossing powders we have in the shop. They're metallicky and shimmery once they're melted, we have a sample of a wooden box covered in melted powder to check out too. So tip one is: if you're going to thick emboss, you gotta get some opaque metallic colourful powders. We sell Blonde Moments they're yum.

Tip TWO...always ink your surface-to-be-embossed first. Otherwise the powder won't stick. With opaque coloured powder, any colour is fine, but Versamark works best, as it's particularly sticky.

Tip THREE...Once you've applied the first layer, tipped off excess, and melted it, normally most tell you to pour the next layer on while it's still melted. But these are thick crystals, and trying to get 'em to stick onto the previous layer is difficult. Sections often cool and you don't cover all your shape. So, we have discovered it's easier to let the first layer cool fully, then re-ink your shape with Versamark. Really inked, therefore really sticky, it's easier to get a full coat of powder.

Tip FOUR...At least three layers is needed if you're planning to press a stamp into this melted powder. Otherwise, however few or as many layers as you like.

Tip FIVE...Ink your stamp ready, about the time you are going to heat your last layer. No ink on stamp, stamp sticks into powder. Damaging stamps is a sad sight! It's an unspoken rule amongst stampers, stamps must be respected :)

Tip SIX...A little carton/tray nearby to sit your shape in while you pour powder over is a good plan. As embossing powder does make a sandy beach out of your work top, if spillage happens.

Tip SEVEN....Two powders on the same shape looks real good.

tip EIGHT...stamp into a melted powdered shape while last layer is still hot and squishy. And then, piece de resistance, brush Blonde Moments Pigment Powder (it's like colourful eyeshadow, shimmery too! And watercolour possible if you want it to) into the indented stamped bit. The powder sticks to the ink you used. Especially if it was Versamark.

That's enough chinwagging for one night, I'll leave you in peace :)
Happy crafting, see you soon x

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Late May recipes and pop-up book class

The following photo is a sneak peek of one of the recipes on our late May newsletter, the most recent of our recipe newsletters. This is the vintagey recipe, there's a bright, rainbow-like recipe to contrast it.

The next photos are of the pop-up minibook class, on Saturday 19th June. Email or ring the shop if you'd like to join this class. It's 11.30am - 2pm, £20 inc materials and tea/coffee/biscuits.

What a May it's been, hope June is better! I have been quite ill througohut, just waiting now to find out what's making me ill. Had to leave my mum to teach Saturday afternoon on her own - she did it brilliantly, but felt really bad that I was not there to be her assistant! It makes it much easier, having an assistant, to help people, cut things out if anyone's not a fan of cutting out, or help solve any happy accidents (accidental slips of cutting through the wrong paper or image ;)).

So looking forward to feeling well, I miss that feeling :). It makes you appreciate things though, and realise there are lots of people out there who have lots of things wrong, who suffer from illnesses that make you think, 'wow, how do they cope with that?'.
On to lighter gatherings are friday 11th june and saturday 26th june.

Each are 11am - 3pm, £3 and inc tea/coffee/biscuits and you can use the tools in the classroom. Bring a project, whether you are a scrapbooker, cardmaker, knitter, altered artist...whatever craft. Sit and make and chat and relax.

The C classes are going on at the moment - that is, C is for Colour. They're all booked up, but the next class in our alphabet series is D is for Diecuts. That is on Friday 2nd July 10.30am - 3pm (£20 everything inc except lunch and yourself). There's a repeat of this class on Saturday 10th July,same time and price. We haven't made any samples for this class yet, as we are looking at potential new papers for it, but when we've done the samples, they'll be posted on here :)

Hope everybody's had a good Bank Holiday, what have you all been up to? I could say we've done all sorts, but that would be telling fibs ;) A walk to the shops is as exotic as I got! And lots of chilling out.
Must dash, need to check up on my mum, see if she's having any luck finding a copy of 'Eclipse' (from the Twilight saga). She kindly offered to look for it on her trip out. Well, if it's going to be a while before I get better, might as well read through the mountain of books on my 'to read' list. Anybody got any good recommendations, of must-read books?

Take care x

Friday, 21 May 2010

Saturday Gathering, Craft Stamper & Apples

Now, first things first (and second things second): tomorrow we have a crafty gathering, so if you want to carry on with a craft project, have tea and biscuits, and chat, come and gather with us :) Cardmaking, scrapbooking, knitting, crocheting, stamping, altered art...whatever you like.

We now finally stock Craft Stamper, in addition to the usual Creative Cardmaking and Creativity!Life we normally stock. There's some really creativ projects in the current Craft Stamper issue - as ever, I flick through it and think 'ooh, I want to have a go making that! ooh and that!' know what I mean?! The same goes with scrapbooking and sewing mags, so many post-it notes get placed throughout the mag to indicate things you want to try. One day I actually want to do allthe things I put post-it notes on, in a mag!

We just made samples with the papers for issue 15 of Creative Cardmaking, and then the next issue (16) arrived today. But anyway, here are the samples we made withissue 15 free papers:

Jennifer's card

My (Leanne) samples:

The papers are vintage-y, like they've been sanded. I sanded them even more around the edges. I like the vintage postage stamps and postcards, and the quirky newspaper-esque letters. Totally different to what we normally make.

We've also begun making samples this week for Father's Day and teacher/graduation cards. Working ahead of yourself all the time, always one festival ahead, means we kinda forget what month we're in, what day it is, etc!
Here are two cards I made for 'thank you teacher' theme. The stamps and papers we have in-store - it is a Stampendous! stamp set, with pencil, pen, ruler, and book as well as the stamped image used. The paper is from My Mind's Eye's Quite Contrary collection, it's nice and bright, and weather-orientated (raindrops, umbrellas, flowers, butterflies, gingham).

As ever, I tend to do quite simplistic designs, I just can't seem to get myself to mat and layer in excess or embellish like crazy. Although, don't get me wrong, the list of embellishments in the shop that I really want is not short...Papermania diamantes, i could stretch to a few o them, K &Co Handmade embellies, ribbons...I just like to use them carefully, not all at once. Save them and admire them!
Have a good weekend everybody, back soon x