How to Make: Buttons the Cute Glove Puppy

puppy1

The school summer holidays are well and truly upon us so I’ve decided to include a DIY project which you can get your children involved with if you’re looking for something to fill a crafty afternoon.

If you don’t have kids then this make is still fun (especially if like me you’d love to have a real life pooch of your own). The bonus of this little guy is that you don’t need to take a plastic bag with you if you go out on a walk…

I called this little character Buttons – hardly original I know as he’s got buttons for his nose and eyes but it sounds better than Glovey I reckon! I used to love making things like this when I was little, way back when in the 80s, and thought it would be nice to resurrect making toys out bits and bobs.

Anyway, this is a really easy make but does involve some cutting and sewing but there’s nothing too difficult and it doesn’t take long at all. The instructions are coming up in a handy downloadable PDF document to make things nice and easy!

Buttons

Click the link below to see the instructions, which you can print off.

Instructions: Buttons the Glove Puppy

I would love to see your pictures if you end up making Buttons yourself. Have you made any other toys from a pair of gloves? I would love to see those too!

Lots of woofs and tail wags,

signature

 

It’s The Blogcademy Eve (and Friday Link Love)

Hello everyone,

I hope you’ve all had an amazing fun-filled week! Today’s post is an all-round excitable joy-fest as I have such a brilliant fortnight coming up I feel like I might actually burst.

First up is my trip to London tomorrow to go to The Blogcademy. I’ve been waiting to go on this super-charged blogging course run by Gala Darling, Kat Williams and Shauna Haider for SO LONG and now it’s finally here in all its glittery and positive glory I cannot WAIT! Saying that, I am a bit nervous too. So many amazing women in one room along with little old me… I’m hoping I’m not going to be mega shy…

Then, as soon as I get back from London, Wayne and I are heading up to Glasgow as we’re both covering the Commonwealth Games for work (in our everyday guises as sport reporters). We were both lucky enough to cover the Olympic Games in London two years ago and if the Commonwealths are half as good as London 2012 it’s going to be amazing! Keep your eyes peeled as I’m going to be doing a ‘Behind the Scenes’ post about the Games while we’re there…

Anyway, there has been an absolute truckload of brilliant posts doing the rounds this week so I decided to share the love with a link roundup. Here are my top links of the week:

Crafty bits and pieces:

Other cool things

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Lots of glittery love,

signature

 

 

 

Photos from The Blogcademy Instagram page

 

How to Make: Scrappy Fabric Bunting

Fabric bunting

I’m going to say something a bit controversial so I’ll do it in a whisper.

*I don’t like bunting*

(Looks over shoulder, checks that I haven’t been struck down by the crafting gods)

Don’t hate me! Maybe it’s because I saw so much of the traditional triangle-shaped bunting on a load of wedding blogs in the run-up to mine and Wayne’s wedding earlier in the year. Maybe it’s because it’s been pretty much everywhere for what seems like ever. I love vintage and all things kitsch but I just don’t love bunting that much anymore.

Saying that, I an absolutely LOVING tassels and fringing right now. Garlands made with tissue paper strips or brightly-coloured plastic in an ombre effect get a big thumbs up from me.

This got me thinking – why not do this with pretty fabric? It would look lovely AND there would be absolutely no sewing involved. (I’ve got to admit, this is something that totally puts me off running up a few metres of bunting. Yeah, I’m still very much eyeing up my mini sewing machine with total suspicion…)

Bunting

This scrappy fabric bunting is not only easy peasy to make, but it would look as great at a wedding as it would on your bedroom wall. You could work an ombre effect going from lighter shades to dark, go with pinks or blues for a baby shower or a nursery. The choices are endless! As there is no sewing involved it would also be a great craft project to work on with children.

Anyway, enough of the chat, here’s how I made it.

(more…)

Get a Free Beak Up Crafts iPhone App Icon!

Get the Beak Up Crafts app!

Hello everyone! I wasn’t going to post today but I’ve just done something which is pretty cool (well, I think so – nerd alert!).

I’ve just made an App Icon for Beak Up Crafts which you can add to your iPhone’s home screen! This means if you ever want to check out the blog, all you have to do is click the icon on your phone and it will take you to the site straight away. Super quick and easy with no typing. HOW COOL IS THAT!

All you have to do to get this super slick shortcut is follow these steps:

Get the Beak Up Crafts App!

  1. Using Safari, go to http://www.beakupcrafts.co.uk on your iPhone and press the share button
  2. Press the ‘Add to Home Screen’ button
  3. Press ‘Add’

That’s it! The new icon will appear on your iPhone and lots of crafty news (and my random ramblings) will be at your fingertips!

Oof. After that bit of technical fun, I’m off for a lie down.

Oh and a big shout out to Dana at The Wonder Forest who wrote an excellent tutorial on how to do this which you can find here.

Lots of bloggy iPhone App icon love,

signature

 

 

So what’s the word on Lucky Dip Club?

Lucky Dip Club box

Morning everyone! I hope you’re all ready for a brand spanking new week.

To kick things off on the blog today I wanted to share an interview with the super-talented Leona Baker, the crafty one woman thrift-tastic mastermind behind Lucky Dip Club – a new take on the monthly subscription box. Do you love handmade, vintage and surprises in the post? Then Lucky Dip Club is for you!

It’s probably best if Leona tells you all about her brilliant new company herself, so without further ado, here’s Leona…

(more…)

How to Make a Bow Tie Necklace

Bow-Tie-necklace-header

Morning everyone, I hope you’ve had a brilliant week. If not, the weekend is now bearing down on us like a two-day mecca of relaxation (with any luck!) so it’s not all bad!

Anyway, following on from my earlier post about handmade jewellery (click here to check it out and to also win one of four beautiful gemstone bracelets) I decided to have a bash at making some myself.

I’ve never tried jewellery making before and to be honest the whole thought of it is quite scary. I’m talking about wielding pliers, mysterious things called jump rings and the expense of doing it. But then I had an idea. I’ve quite fancied having a bow tie necklace for a while; Tatty Devine had some gorgeous glittery ones a few years back and Ladybird Likes makes some pretty ones from wood, but I don’t know how to laser cut acrylic or anything like that.

What I do know how to do, though, is crochet, so after watching a couple of YouTube videos relating to the jewellery bit and buying this cheap jewellery set from eBay, I decided to try my hand at making a crochet bow tie necklace.

I’ve got to say I’m pretty pleased with it (and it’s hot pink brightness, naturally) and thought I would share it in case anyone else would like a try!

You will need:

  • Basic crochet knowledge
  • Wool (I used hot pink neon in DK (double knitting) weight)
  • Crochet hook (to fit the wool you are using)
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle
  • Four jump rings
  • a chain
  • A clasp
  • Pliers (although you could use your fingernails, if you don’t mind them breaking!)

How to:

  1. Make the crochet bow tie first.
    To do this, ch 23.
    Tr into the third ch from hook. Tr to end then turn.
    Ch 3. Tr into the third ch from hook. Tr to end then turn. Repeat six more times.
    Finish off and leave a long end for sewing.
  2. This will give you a rectangle. Fold it in half lengthways and stitch together.
  3. Make the tie bit.
    To do this, ch 13.
    Tr into the third ch from the hook. Tr to end then turn.
    Ch 3. Tr to end and fasten off leaving a long end for sewing.
    Stitch the two short ends together.
  4. Slide the tie over the middle of the rectangle make in steps one and two to make the bow tie. Put this to one side.
  5. Measure two lengths of chain measuring 8.5 inches and cut. I used scissors, which worked fine, but be careful for little bits of chain flying around!
  6. With your pliers (or fingers!) open up the jump rings. There’s a video which shows how to open and close them here:

    How to Open and Close Jump Rings

  7. Slide a jump ring through a loop of your bow tie in the top corner. Feed the jump ring through the chain too before closing the jump ring. Repeat at the other side.
  8. Add a jump ring to the chain at the other end and slip on a clasp. Close it up.
  9. Pop a jump ring onto the end of the other chain – this is where the clasp will fasten.

That’s it, you’re done!

In the end my first foray into jewellery making wasn’t so bad after all.

I hope you like my super bright pink bow tie necklace!

Lots of dapper love,

signature

WIN! A Pretty Handmade Bracelet by Megs Broken Wings

Megs-Broken-Wings-header

Good morning crafters and handmade lovers!

Have I got a treat for you today! I’m a massive fan of anything handmade (that’s probs pretty obvious by now I reckon) and that’s why when Megs from Megs Broken Wings got in touch I was super keen to share her beautiful handmade jewellery with you.

Megs is based in the United States but ships all over the world and before setting up her own website she sold hundreds of items through Etsy. Megs makes a gorgeous range of jewellery, from personalised pendants to stacking gemstone bracelets, spiky necklaces, Verdigris patina earrings and chunky jasper rings to name but a few.

Her story is really inspirational as she came through a difficult childhood to become a successful businesswoman and designer, with wings becoming her positive emblem.

All of my work is handmade, even the antiquing methods for my metals,” Megs said.

Jewellery and making things that share a sentimental connection became an avenue for me in separating difficult times in my childhood – never having anything new or pretty – and somehow wings always give me comfort.”

Seriously, if you’re after some jewellery with a heart and something that’s a bit different I would recommend you check out her website. I’m totally loving the Dark Angel Spike necklace – so cool.

Now for the really exciting bit – I have FOUR gorgeous semi-precious beaded stacking bracelets with beautiful wings motifs to give away*. These are really lovely pieces of jewellery and can be worn on their own or stacked together for more of a statement.

The bracelets are elasticated meaning they are comfortable to wear and each features Megs’ signature wings. I think you will agree they are perfect for the summer!

All you have to do to enter is fill in the Rafflecopter giveaway below where you will:

  1. Subscribe to Beak Up Crafts
  2. Follow Megs Broken Wings on Twitter
  3. Follow Beak Up Crafts on Twitter
  4. Comment on this post saying what gives you inspiration.

    PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU DO ALL FOUR OTHERWISE YOUR ENTRIES WON’T COUNT!!!

For example, if I were to enter I would say my biggest inspiration comes from walking in the park on a sunny day, mostly because it means I can take about 1,000 photos of flowers (as if I don’t have enough already). Either that or I would go snapping pics of seagulls sitting on a roof. Yeah, I’m still obsessed about all of the gulls from Sussex

Back to reality, you can enter the competition here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and don’t forget to make sure you fill in all four of the entry criteria.

Lots of beaded love, 

signature      

 

 

* Entry only to UK residents. You must subscribe to Beak Up Crafts, follow Megs Broken Wings and Beak Up Crafts on Twitter and comment on this post to win. One entry per person. Competition closes on July 23rd at 12pm. Winners will be chosen at random and contacted by the email addresses used to enter the giveaway.

Summer Holiday in Sussex: Five Favourite Things

Camber Sands

Hello! How are you all doing?

Wayne and I went to Sussex for a few days last week and it really is a stunning part of the world. We had such a brilliant time but I don’t want to bore you by waffling on about my new obsession with seagulls (hey, a bit weird I know, but the ones on the south coast were proper characters). Instead, here’s my five favourite places and favourite things from the trip.

Camber Sands

Dingys

  • We ate: Gammon sandwiches from our cool box
  • We drank: Overpriced lattes
  • We played: Hoop toss (Wayne won – boo)
  • We listened to: Squarking seagulls and laughing children
  • We got: Sandblasted by the wind!

Hastings Old Town

fun fair

  • We took in the view: From the East Hill
  • We drank: Warm water we had taken with us (turned out the walk was further than we thought!)
  • We didn’t go on: The funfair. But it looked nice.
  • We got: Attacked by dive-bombing seagulls. Down, Gully!
  • We didn’t like: The new town so much.

Bexhill

icing dome

  • We ate: Proper chips with a million tons of salt ‘n’ vinegar
  • We checked out: The white icing-like domes in front of the De La Warr Pavilion
  • We wanted a snooze in: The pretty white beach huts
  • We looked up: And checked out the fancy sea-front buildings
  • We shooed away: The seagulls that had started to stalk us. Back OFF, Gully!

St Leonards 

Beach huts

  • We walked: For miles and MILES. Ten minutes from our accommodation? I don’t think so!
  • We struggled to walk: On the pebbly beach. It really is bloody hard work in slip on shoes
  • We felt: Like the youngest people there by about 40 years!
  • We liked: The colourful beach huts
  • We would have liked: A bit more going on. It was SO quiet

Rye

Rye

  • We watched: The filming of a new BBC drama ‘Mapp and Lucia’ (and got yelled at by the director for not moving out of the shot. Oops)
  • We ate: Mint choc chip ice-cream (me) and a granola bar (Wayne)
  • We wished we could have stayed at: The George Hotel. Swanky.
  • We didn’t have enough time to visit: The castle. But we liked the cannon outside.
  • We didn’t see: Any seagulls. Boo.

 

Seagulls on a roof

So have you been to Sussex? What did you think?

I hope you liked my sort of review – I thought it might make it a bit different and do I love a good list (or five).

So where are you off to on holiday this summer?

Lots of seagully love,

signature

 

 

 

Five Best Creative Art and Photography Apps

Creative-Apps

I don’t know about you but I love cruising around Instagram to check out beautifully-filtered photographs. Everything looks so much better with a Mayfair filter, right? Or are you more of a Valencia fan? The blogs I tend to follow all have one thing in common too: Stunning pictures. Making my photos look all that more polished is something I’ve been working over over the last couple of weeks and today I wanted to share the apps I use and love (outside of Photoshop) to try and jazz up my endless pictures of flowers or whatever project I’m working on.

Rhonna Designs

I’ve been a BIG fan of Rhonna Designs for quite some time. Have you got a photo you want to add an inspirational quote over the top? Then Rhonna is for you. Want to add a pretty frame to your photos or create something with a gold sequinned background? Then head on over.

I bought the app from the Apple App store for £1.49 a couple of years ago and I’ve used it regularly since. The pictures above are just a selection that I’ve made using Rhonna Designs – the options are pretty much as limitless as your imagination. It’s also useful if you’ve got a photo that you want to post to Instagram as a rectangle not a square, as you can crop and resize then share with the app. Bonus.

Afterlight

This is a pretty new app for me but I was sold after playing around with it for five minutes. Afterlight is kind of like Instagram+, with a much wider range of filters, textures (read dusty photos and faded snaps) but my favourite bit is the selection of light leaks. Want to add a flash of sunshine across your snap? No problem. Or do you want to make it look like the sky is on fire? Easy peasey.

This app costs £0.69 in the Apple store, which I think is an absolute steal. You can also share your edits to Instgram, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and of course save to your camera roll in three different resolutions.

Doodle Snap

Have you got a photo which you want to quickly jazz up with love heart doodles, stars, flowers or arrows, to name but a few? Then have a look at Doodle Snap.

The app is free but you will have to pay for more doodles although you do get a basic set to use for free, which you can change in size and colour really easily. Again you can choose to save your edited pictures or share directly with Instagram.

Adobe Ideas

I only use this on my iPad although there is an iPhone version. It’s free, and for what you get with this drawing app, I think that’s pretty amazing.

I’ve used this so much since I downloaded it: I drew the illustrations for my Tea Lovers cards on it freehand then treated myself to a Wacom Bamboo stylus and progressed to doodling flowers, footballers and random other things. I think it’s great if you want to try getting a bit arty but don’t want to shell out any cash, although it is much more responsive with a stylus, especially if you’re drawing something that’s pretty detailed.

Instapic Frames

This is a bit of a fussy app and the pop-up ads in the free version are a bit annoying, but it is great for creating collages of photos which you can share to Instagram or your blog or wherever. I can cope with the ads purely because the app was free.

There is a really good selection of different frame styles and you can add photos from your camera roll or take them live. The pictures are easy to crop and yep, you can share it straight to Instagram and there are some basic filters.


So do you use any apps to make your photos pop? I would love to hear if you have any favourites or if you have tried the ones on my list.

I hope this post has been helpful. I always think it’s nice to share a bit of ‘how to do’ things every now and then, as I’ve been asked in the past how I’ve created collages and what I use for my illustrations.

Anyway, I’m off to go and take some more photos of flowers. My poor husband despairs of me!

Lots of bright filtery love,

signature

 

DIY Flowery Flip Flops

Flowery flip flops

Hello everyone,

So today’s post is another flower-filled summer fest following on from my floral hat top tips earlier in the week.

I don’t know about you, but once the sun hits the sky I pretty much live in flip flops. Sadly, my trusty old black pair took their final steps the other week, meaning I had to go and find a replacement. However, this time, rather than just leaving them plain I thought it would be nice to add a splash of colour and personalise them. What better for the job than a load of brightly-coloured mini roses!

Roses

This is as really easy make and even with taking pictures it took me less than half an hour so if you want to jazz up your flip flops this is the tutorial for you!

What You Need:

  • Plain flip flops (I bought mine from Primark for £1!)
  • Superglue (please be careful and be sure to following the pack instructions)
  • Flat back plastic flowers (I used these)

How to:

  1. Make sure your flip flops are clean and dry. If you’re using a new pair you should be OK but if you’re brightening up an old pair give them a quick wipe down and dry them off.
  2. Decide which order you would like the flowers to go on the bar of your flip flops. You can either place them on the sandals (although they might fall off!) or on the floor, changing the order of the colours until you are happy.
  3. Using the superglue, put a tiny dot of glue on the back of the rose you want to go at the top of the V. Stick this one in place on one of the sides (not across the V as this won’t work) then work outwards, evenly spacing the flowers.
  4. Make sure you hold each flower in place for a few seconds to make sure it is stuck in place.
  5. Don’t forget you can always add more flowers at the end. I added an extra one on the outside part of the strap as this bit is longer than the bit that goes over the inside of your foot, if you know what I mean!
  6. Let the glue dry for a few hours.

And that’s it! You’re ready to go out and show off your new sandals to the world!

Flowers

I hope you liked this tutorial. I would love to hear if you’re thinking of giving it a go.

Lots of flowery love,

signature

1 2 3 9