A Slice of Luxury in the Yorkshire Dales ~ Yorebridge House

Yorebridge House - Beak Up Crafts Yorebridge House - Beak Up Crafts

Earlier this month Wayne and I headed to the lush, rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Dales for a short break. The trip away was my main gift for Wayne’s 30th birthday (which was in April) but we kept it on hold for June as we had quite a few things going on earlier in the year and it gave us something to look forward to. Plus we gambled on the weather being that bit nicer in June and happily lucked out on our break falling at the start of a mini heatwave. Pass the suncream!

Anyway, I took Wayne to Yorebridge House which is a small luxury boutique hotel on the River Ure on the edge of the unspoilt village of Bainbridge. It’s a bit pricey but if you’re looking for amazing food (we’re talking a seven-course meal which was the best of my life), well-appointed rooms and places to relax, then it’s for you.

We stayed in the Rangali or ‘Maldives’ room. There are just 12 rooms and each one is individual in its style and decor. I picked this one for two reasons – it reminded me of the place we stayed at on our honeymoon and there was a private HOT TUB.

Here’s some photos of our room before we unpacked and messed it up with our stuff.

Rangali Room - Beak Up Crafts Rangali Room - Beak Up Crafts Rangali Room - Beak Up Crafts Rangali Room - Beak Up Crafts Rangali Room - Beak Up Crafts

Oh and the hot tub? Here it is:

Rangali room hot tub - Beak Up Crafts

The hot tub was a big hit, although I could only really stay in for a few minutes at a time/just dip my feet in with having a baby on board. It was so nice to be able to relax outside in our own private area in the sunshine.

The communal lounge and bar areas of the hotel are decorated in a relaxed, contemporary style. Think soft muted greys and browns with splashes of light green.

Hallway at Yorebridge - Beak Up Crafts Lounge at Yorebridge house  - Beak Up Crafts Lounge at Yorebridge house  - Beak Up Crafts Lounge at Yorebridge house  - Beak Up Crafts

We played a bit of mega dominos before our evening meal then moved to a room overlooking the grounds for a drink before we ate.

View from the lounge - Yorebridge House Flowers - Yorebridge House - Beak Up Crafts

I booked the dinner, bed and breakfast package and I’m really glad I did was the food was outstanding. I thought it was going to be a three course meal after looking at the menu, but oh no, how wrong I was. We’re talking seven, yes SEVEN courses. I’ll let the photos do the talking as they can paint a picture better than my words ever would be able to.

  1. Canapes: Black pudding in crackling crumbs, goats cheese wrapped in parma ham and a smoked salmon stack
    Canapes
  2. Amuse-bouche: Creamy onion thing (the name of which I’ve forgotten) served with sunblush tomato bread and an individual mini loaf.
    Amuse-bouche
  3. Starter: Salmon Ballotine with heritage beetroot, watercress and horseradish
    Salmon - Beak Up Crafts
  4. Main: Belly Pork with apple, rainbow chard and pied de bleus
    Belly Pork - Beak Up Crafts
  5. Pre-dessert: Lemon Posset with shortbread.
    Lemon posset - Beak Up Crafts
  6. Dessert: Apricot Parfait with roasted apricots and almonds
    Apricot parfait - Beak Up Crafts
  7. Coffee and treats: A handmade mini ‘feast’ ice lolly with popping candy, a salted caramel cup and a passion fruit pastille.
    Treats with coffee - Beak Up Crafts

Talk about stuffed!

Saying that, the food didn’t stop there. The next morning we were still able to pile into breakfast. I really enjoyed this too, and the restaurant is nice, bright and airy.

Breakfast - Yorebridge House Breakfast - Yorebridge House Breakfast - Yorebridge House Breakfast - Yorebridge House

Things to do in the area:

It might look like all we did was eat, hot tub and sleep (which isn’t too far off to be honest) but we did have time to check out a couple of sights in the local area.

Before we checked in we headed to the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes. If you love cheese, this is the place for you, as there are tens of samples to try and lots of cheese to buy.

Cheese at Wensleydale Creamery Cheese at Wensleydale Creamery Cheese at Wensleydale Creamery

On the way home we headed to Aysgarth Falls, made famous by this scene from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Aysgarth Falls - Beak Up Crafts


So there you go! I hope you enjoyed seeing my photos from our trip to the Yorkshire Dales and stay at Yorebridge House. I’m hoping that Wayne and I will go back one day in a few years, maybe for my next big birthday milestone!

Have you been to the Dales before and if so where are your top places to visit?

Lots of Yorkshire love,

signature

Styling the Seasons ~ June

Vibrant-sweet-williams---Beak-Up-Crafts

For this month’s Styling the Seasons I’ve gone bright and white. When my friend Laura bought me this bunch of Sweet Williams I knew they had to be involved somehow, but as they’re so vibrant (and scream long hot summer days) I decided to keep everything else simple, white and calm. These colours make me think of the bright window boxes you see in photos of Santorini (where I would love to go one day) and despite the weather here at home being generally grey still, I live in hope for a long hot summer!

Keeping-it-Simple---Styling-the-Seasons-June

I put the jug of flowers on some lace that was left over from making my wedding dress. I’ve had it for more than a year and I still can’t work out what to do with it. I’m dying to make something from it for a keepsake but I can’t put my finger on what, so any ideas on this would be gratefully received!
Summer-sweet-williams---Beak-Up-Crafts Wedding-Lace---Beak-Up-Crafts

I added a couple of candles for a bit of calm and that’s it.

Purple-sweet-williams---Beak-Up-Crafts Bright-and-white---Beak-Up-Crafts

What does June mean to you? If you would like to get involved with Styling the Seasons, which is a monthly styling challenge by Katy of Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte of Lotts and Lots, then style a surface, take a photo and tag it with #stylingtheseasons on social media.

Lots of June love,

signature

{Five Minutes With} Fizzi-Jayne Makes

Let your dreams sail away card and envelope

Today I’m talking to crafty lady and fellow blogger Fiona, aka fizzi-jayne, about what inspires her, her craft business and what her ambitions are.

I really hope you like this interview which is going to be the penultimate one in my {Five Minutes With} series. I love helping to spread the word about small, creative businesses, but I’ve decided to give this feature a bit of a break and go in a slightly different direction.

But anyway, enough of that for now! Here’s Fiona to tell you more about her crafts along with some great time management tips for all you budding small business owners.

fizzi-jayne selfie

Hello! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for Fizzi-Jayne Makes and how long have you been in business please?

Hi! It’s great to be here on your blog, thank you for having me Kate.

I was working for a retailer in Marketing and although I enjoyed it, I was looking at Excel spreadsheets more than I liked. My journey started by making Christmas cards for friends and family which then went on to birthdays and other celebrations. From the encouragement I received and the enjoyment I got from doing this fizzi~jayne makes…. was born in September 2012. I started selling my handmade cards but now I also make home décor and seasonal decorations.

If you are wondering where the name comes from, Fizz was my nickname at school, Jayne is my middle name and I make pretty things!

The aim of fizzi~jayne is to create products that make people smile and feel positive. My inspiration comes from my love of the beach, uplifting quotes, pretty fonts and yummy food. I also have an obsession with buttons and I get very excited about Christmas!

Eat cake birthday card

What is your background in design and do you run your business full or part-time?

I have been creative for as long as I can remember, it started with my Mum teaching me to knit and sew at a young age. I went on to study at Art College and specialised in Fashion at University. I joined the rat race and spent 11 years working in Buying and Marketing roles for various retailers, I started to craft as a hobby to keep the creative spark alive.

At first fizzi~jayne makes…. was a way to earn extra money to pay for craft supplies but I wanted to be able to earn a living from something that I am passionate about. So with my marketing expertise, my retail experience and passion for craft, I took the plunge in October 2013 to be a small business owner. I have been fizzi~jayne full time ever since!

Chocolate doesn't ask questions chocolate understands

What does an average day look like for you?

The day can’t start properly until I have coffee! Whilst having my morning coffee I will check emails, schedule social media posts and respond to any comments on my blog or social sites. I love reading comments and getting to know my customers and followers.

If I’ve planned to do a run (I’ve recently been training for a 10km which I completed in May) I’ll do that in the morning to get it out of the way otherwise I’ll talk myself out of it during the day.

The rest of the day depends on what orders and craft fairs I have coming up but you will find me in my craft den (our spare room) with my music on. My priority is making and packing up orders for my lovely customers and then I make/develop new products for craft fairs and my online shops.

fizzijayne craft stall

If I have any orders to post that day I’ll pop to the post office in the afternoon. It gives me some fresh air and I can pop to the coffee shop next door, yes more coffee! It’s around this time I need to top up my caffeine levels.

At the end of the day I will check and respond to emails I’ve had during the day as well as any comments made on my social media sites and blog.

I tend to work on my blog and do any admin in the evenings and weekends. I have been known to work quite late so I don’t stick to a traditional 9-5. The advantage of working from home is I can work the hours when I am at my most productive.

Beach hut peg hooks

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I am lucky that I get to do what I love everyday which is awesome but we can all have days where we need inspiration or it seems our get up and go has up and left.

Every so often I do try and get out of the craft den to be inspired. This can just be a change of scenery by working on my blog in a coffee shop or going to a gallery. I am lucky that I can get into London easily and visit one of the many exhibitions going on. I also like to meet up with fellow crafters/small business owners at events and I have made friends that I meet up for a cuppa and a chat on a regular basis.

I also have my goals on the wall next to my workspace which is useful to focus my mind and tasks.

tea and coffee coasters

How do you split your time effectively between designing/making and doing admin/finances and do you have any time management tips?

This has been a challenge and I can’t say I have always got it right but I do like to plan. I love a list! I plan for the week and I have my top three tasks for each day. I know there are loads of Apps that can help to be organised but I love my trusty Filofax and pen and paper.

I do have a weekly planner on an Excel spreadsheet to plan blog posts along with any product launches and craft fairs planned.

With all the aspects of running a business, a blog and the amount of product ideas I have, in order to prioritise I have clear goals for the year and if they don’t help support these goals they go on a “nice to do list”. With everything else I fit into the following….

  • Urgent and important tasks – Must do first
  • Not urgent but important tasks – by focussing on these tasks they don’t become urgent, reducing last minute panics!
  • Neither urgent nor important – Do I really need to do it or should it go on the “nice to do list”?

I wrote a blog post about my tips on time management on my blog here.

live love laugh 3 hearts wall hanging

Finally, do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

Yes, I’d love to give your readers a 10% discount at www.fizzijaynemakes.com. To redeem enter the code BEAKUP10 at checkout.

You can also sign up to my monthly newsletter for future news, events and discounts by clicking this link.

Thank you for having me on your blog Kate, I hope you have enjoyed finding out more about fizzi~jayne!


Fiona’s Quickfire questions:

Cats or Dogs – Dogs

Instagram or Facebook –I like them both for different reasons but my favourite is Instagram.

Spring or Summer – Spring

Friday night or Sunday morning – Friday night

Killer heels or Flats – Flats

City break or Beach holiday – Beach

Book or Film –Book

Cake or Crisps – Cake, no crisps, no cake especially if it is chocolate cake!

Wool or Wood – Another toughie, as I work with both, so I have to say I love them both equally

Fruit or Veg – Fruit


How lovely is Fiona or should I call her fizzi-jayne?! I love her time management tips too along with her lovely handmade cards – think I will try to streamline my time a bit more effectively!

Lots of creativity and inspiration,

signature

 

 

 

If you would like to find out more or follow Fiona on social media, then here are the all important links:

{Make it Quick} Crochet Stitch Marker

DIY-button-crochet-stitch-marker---Beak-Up-CraftsA couple of weeks ago, Wayne and I found out that we are expecting a baby boy. This now means (among a lot of other things!) that I can now get my crochet hook out in earnest to make a baby blanket. I’ve already picked out the pattern – this beautiful Fantasy Blanket which you can download a free pattern on Ravelry – and I’ve also picked out my wool for this project. Nothing too pastel blue but not too girlie either!

Wool-for-the-baby-blanket---Beak-Up-Crafts

fantasy blanket

Fantasy Blanket picture source, copyright Anna Contreras

One thing I’m really looking forward to is tackling the different stitches and patterns in this blanket and I think changing things up every few rows will really stop me from getting bored and not finishing it. I’ve got to admit, I’m so over my massive ripple blanket which is still a work in progress. Doing the same stitch repeat over and over again gets a bit dull, at least for me! Still, I’m determined to finish that too as it’s going to be a play blanket for baby.

I’ve planned out the colour order and even thought ahead and made a colour chart, as I know that once I’ve taken the labels off the wool I won’t know which is which. I’m a bit stupid like that.

wool-chart-and-order---Beak-Up-Crafts

But before I start the Fantasy Blanket I wanted to make myself a crochet stitch marker, as in all my time of crocheting I’ve never had one (instead just using a contrasting bit of wool). I want to get this blanket right, though, so while I might not *need* a stitch marker, I wanted to have one handy just in case. So I decided to make one!

button-stitch-marker-close-up---Beak-Up-Crafts

It’s really easy to do and here’s a step-by-step guide.

What You Need:

  • A lobster claw
  • A bead or button
  • A jump ring
  • An eye pin
  • Two pairs of pliers
  • A wire cutter (although you could use scissors if you’re careful!)

How to Make it:

  1. Thread your eye pin through your bead or button. If you’re using a button, twist it to create a loop then close/fasten at the top of one end.
    Eye-pin-through-the-button---Beak-Up-Crafts Thread-the-button---Beak-Up-Crafts
  2. Trim the end off then squeeze together with the pliers to make a solid loop.
    Make-the-loop---Beak-Up-Crafts
  3. Open a jump ring and thread it through the loop on your button and the lobster claw.
    Jump-rings-on-stitch-marker---Beak-Up-Crafts
  4. Close the jump ring.

That’s it, you’re done!

Button-crochet-stitch-marker---Beak-Up-Crafts-

All you’ve got to do now is clip your new stitch marker to your project and crochet the day away without worrying about counting.

Have you got any crochet projects on the go at the moment? I’d love to hear about them.

Lots of hooky love,

signature

{DIY} Jingly Owl Toys ~ Hillarys Crafting Competition

Jingly-owl-toys-header---Beak-Up-Crafts

You might have noticed a bit of a theme when it comes to my DIY posts lately. They’ve all been pretty baby/children focused and that’s continuing today as I’ve got a sweet and simple tutorial to make these cute jingly owl toys.

I know it’s going to be a while before our baby starts crawling around and playing with toys, but there’s no harm in being prepared I guess! When I found out about the Hillarys Crafting Competition I had a think and came up with the idea to make these soft plushie owls which all contain a jingling bell which are perfect for small hands to play with. Here’s a quick demo so you can hear what they sound like:

Jingly Owl Toys

The idea was simple – make something you wouldn’t expect from a piece of fabric from Hillarys Blinds’ new Roman blinds and curtains collection. I chose the pretty Safi Turquoise design as I’m a big fan of blue and aqua and I love the botanical leaf pattern. So here’s my entry – I hope you like it!

Owl-toys-close-up---Beak-Up-Crafts

What You Need:

  • Fabric
  • Embroidery thread to match our fabric colour
  • Scissors
  • Something circular to draw around. I used a dinner plate for the small owl and our washing basket(!) for the larger one
  • Pins
  • Needle and thread/sewing machine
  • Small scraps of white, black and yellow felt
  • White, black and yellow embroidery thread
  • Fibrefill stuffing
  • Cat toy ball with bell
    What-you-need---jingly-owl-toys---Beak-Up-Crafts

How to Make it:

  1. Iron your fabric.
  2. Draw around your plate (if you want to make a small owl) or something bigger if you want a larger jingly plushie. In these photos I drew around a plate which makes a small hand held size, but for something bigger simply scale up the circle and follow the same instructions (like a bin/wash basket!)
    Draw-round-your-circular-item---Beak-Up-Crafts
  3. Cut out the circle and fold it into quarters.
    Cut-out-the-circle-of-material-for-the-owl---Beak-Up-Crafts Mark-the-edge---Beak-Up-Crafts
  4. With a pen, mark the edge about 1cm from one of the folds. (This is for a plate size. For a bigger circle, try to make the mark at a 5 degree angle – the quarter of the circle is 90 degrees).
  5. Unfold the circle and cut from the mark to the centre. Then cut from the centre along the other fold to the edge. This forms your biggest piece.
    Size-of-the-first-piece-needed---Beak-Up-Crafts
  6. Cut another wedge out of the circle. This should be a third in size of the bigger piece. I turned this over so the wrong side would face outward, so the belly of the owl was a different colour for a bit of contrast, or you could use a different colour fabric.
    Cut-out-pieces-of-material---Beak-Up-Crafts
  7. With the correct sides together, sew the two pieces of fabric together up the sides.
    Sew-the-two-pieces-together---Beak-Up-Crafts
  8. Turn the fabric the right way round. At the top, fold down a triangle of the fabric. This is going to be the beak. Stitch it in place.
    Turn-the-owl-the-right-way-round---Beak-Up-Crafts Fold-down-the-beak-and-sew--Beak-Up-Crafts
  9. At the bottom of the owl, do a running stitch with some embroidery thread. Pull together and leave a small hole in the bottom and long ends on either side but do not fasten off.
    Sew-the-closure-on-the-bottom-of-the-owl---Beak-Up-Crafts
  10. Cut out eyes and a beak from the felt and stitch in place. I used a blanket stitch to do this as I think it looks best and also makes sure they are securely fastened.
    Blanket-stitch-for-the-eyes---Beak-Up-Crafts Sew-on-the-beak---Beak-Up-Crafts
  11. Stuff the owl from the bottom and add the cat toy to make the owl jingle.
    Stuff-firmly---Beak-Up-Crafts Add-in-the-cat-toy---Beak-Up-Crafts Stuff-the-owl---Beak-Up-Crafts
  12. Pull the threads tight and fasten off.
    Drawstring-owl---Beak-Up-Crafts
  13. Sew a small circle of fabric over the bottom of the owl to close the hole fully. Snip a small cut from the edge then fold over to avoid raggy edges of the material, then stitch this to the bottom of the owl.
    Bottom-of-the-owl---Beak-Up-Crafts Sewing-the-bottom-of-the-owl---Beak-Up-Crafts

That’s it! You’ve just made a jingly owl toy.
Big-owl-in-the-hand---Beak-Up-Crafts Handmade-jingly-owl-toys---Beak-Up-Crafts

I hope you like this DIY! I would love to hear if you have a go at making some jingly owls for yourself. You can also check out the other entries in the Hillarys Craft Competition on their Pinterest board here for more inspiration.

For now, lots of fabric love,

signature

{Free Phone Wallpaper} June Blooms

June blooms wallpaper - Beak Up Crafts

With summer hot on spring’s heels I decided it was high time I injected a bit of colour (and flowers) into my phone’s screen. I squiggled away and came up with this month’s free download for June Blooms, which will fit both your phone and tablet. I hope you like it!

I got my inspiration for this month’s theme after thinking back to my friends’ Andrew and Laura’s wedding this time last year. They tied the knot at Grays Court in York on the day of the summer solstice and we were treated to a hot sunny afternoon in a beautiful garden which was brimming with roses, rambling flowers and lots of other blooms which I don’t know the name of!

To download the wallpaper just click the link here and then save the image to your device.

What does June mean to you?

Here’s hoping for lots of sunny, flower-filled days.

Lots of June love,

signature

 

{Five Minutes With} ThatAgnes

Adore Delano, RuPaul's Drag Race - ThatAgnes - Beak Up Crafts

Today I’m talking to a designer-maker who has a passion for vintage fabrics and drag! Meet ThatAgnes, a graphic designer with an obsession with all things old-fashioned. If you can imagine something could be on the set of Bless This House, chances are she will love it!

Agnes adores vintage material and has collected it since she was a child. With a keen eye for design and very strident opinions over what looks good, Agnes makes sure that she only use fabrics of the highest quality and doesn’t use vintage for the sake of vintage.

So enough of the intro, let’s dive in and find out a bit more about what makes Agnes tick, along with how she set up her business.


Hello! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for your business and can you tell us what it’s all about please?

I’ve always had an obsession with vintage fabric, having collected it from family members, charity shops and eBay since I was a child. My opinions on what looks good have always been very forthright, so I would only get the best patterns I could find. My big bugbear is shops who sell vintage for the sake of it, regardless of whether its a good example of what the era had to offer.

graphic cushion - ThatAgnes

I’ve always been creative, but lacked the know-how, and I never really knew what to do with my suitcases of fabric. Two years ago my husband finally grew exasperated with the piles of old curtains lying around our flat, so bought me a Bernina sewing machine and an Intro to Sewing course at Sew Over It, which is luckily 5 minutes round the corner. From there, a daily crafting habit was born! After filling our house with cushions and bunting, I decided to give a market stall a go.

Realising that vintage chintz is not everyone’s cup of tea, I also used some cute and graphic animal prints I had found in local stores – flamingos, dogs and rabbits – which sold really well. I had so many requests for cats, but I couldn’t find any fabric that I liked (have I mentioned I’m a design snob?). I remembered that my day job has been as a graphic designer for eight years, and if I want a job doing, its worth doing yourself! As well as a design snob I’m also a horrid control freak, which is why everything, from the bags themselves to the labels I attach to them, is made by me at home in Brixton.

ThatAgnes cat bag

How long did it take for you to design/create your range of products?

Its been a work in progress since last summer. I’m always trying new methods and styles, so even though I’ve only been doing this since August 2014, my products have evolved and changed dramatically. And when I decide to try something on a whim, I act on it straight away. So my Bergie and Bumbles cat bags were researched, designed, printed (by Woven Monkey in Derby) and made within three weeks back in January.

My own moggies, Bergerac and Columbo (awesome names! – ed), have been my very patient models and inspiration, so I’ve named it after them! I channeled my love of old haberdasheries and mid-century ephemera, emulating the repetitive offset printing style of the 50s and 60s, and I’ve used those drawings on all of my packaging so its become a signature style.

RuPaul Drag Race fabric

I’ve also launched a very different type of fabric, influenced by another of my sidelines – illustrations of contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’ve been drawing my favourite queens whenever I have had the time, which I also sell to some very passionate fans on Etsy. Its a crazy, technicolor explosion of eyes and lips that happened by accident when I was mucking around in Photoshop, but I’m very proud of it as I’ve been able to combine two of my biggest loves – drag and sewing!

How do you manage your time with the business? Do you work on it full or part-time and what are your plans for this for the future?

I’ve worked in book publishing as a designer since 2007. I quit my job to work for the window-dressing department at Fortnum and Mason for a couple of months, but I wasn’t a fan of retail and I missed the worthiness of books.  So now I’m a freelance graphic designer, specialising in print; I typeset books, do photo repro, design posters and brochures and leaflets; basically, anything you can hold in your hand!

Its great because if my Etsy or stall have a quiet month, there’s always a book that needs to be put to page or vice versa. And some days I’m in the mood for illustrating, some for books, some for sewing, and this allows me to pick and choose what I’m going to spend my days doing!

ru paul drag race

What is it you love most about having a creative job?

I used to work for an art publisher, which sounded perfect for me, but it was basically moving paper from one store to another; about as frustrating and uninspiring as you can get. I’ve found a way to incorporate the things that I am passionate about – essentially, the way things look – into my everyday life. This means I have something that I have made with my own hands at the end of each day. I finally feel that all my formative years collecting magazine pages, knitting patterns, old film posters and packaging have finally had a point! And even better, it has helped me meet other people with a love of all things vintage or fabulous drag queens, frequently both!

What has surprised you the most about running your own creative business?

How hard it is. Having seen other people do it online, its easy to think that you write about something on Twitter and you instantly get a few hundred sales. Its difficult to get the balance right between letting people know about you and your product and not making everyone utterly exasperated with your waffling. Its the same as on a market stall; some days you’ll practically sell out, others you’ll be lucky to make your pitch rental back. Its really difficult to tell what type of day its going to be, and can be very disheartening sometimes.

Close up of at material - ThatAgnes

If you were to launch your business again tomorrow, what (if anything) would you do differently? Is there one piece of advice you would give to yourself back then that you wish you had known?

Oh, that’s hard. I’m not sure I’d do anything dramatically differently simply because I think its all a learning experience. I’d perhaps be slightly better at selling myself; I get terribly embarrassed and British when it comes to bigging myself up and hate making a nuisance of myself. I fear I may have missed out on a few opportunities because of it. Increased shamelessness is the plan for summer 2015!

Finally, do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

Yes! Use BEAKUP15 for 15% off anything in my Etsy store, which is valid till 2nd September (which also happens to be my birthday).

You can also find me @thatagnes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and find my products in my Etsy Store.


Agnes’ Quickfire Questions:

Matte or High Shine – Matte

Summer or Winter – Summer

Ice Tea or Ice Lolly – Ice lolly

Jam or Marmalade – Marmalade

Steak or Chips – Chips

Beach or City Break – City Break

Sun or Moon – Sun

Flowers or Foliage – Flowers

Netflix or DVD – Netflix

Instagram or Pinterest – Instagram


I love Agnes’ drag race prints. They really make a statement!

I hope you have enjoyed this feature. It will be back again in a couple of weeks to showcase another talented designer-maker, so see you then! (Although please do pop by in the meantime!)

Lots of vintage fabric love,

signature

Our Holiday on the West Coast of Scotland

Beach-life-at-Craig-Tara---Beak-Up-Crafts

The week before last Wayne and I spent a few days on the west coast of Scotland, just south of Ayr.

We were pretty lucky with the weather to be honest, after almost being put off making the five hour car journey due to the iPhone app telling us to expect rain upon rain. However, I’m glad we weren’t as it was really sunny, although the stiff wind coming off the sea stopped us in our scatily-clad sunbathing tracks.*

*I’m joking. I don’t do sunbathing, least of all in anything remotely skimpy.

Blue-sea---Craig-Tara---Beak-Up-Crafts Craig-Tara---Beak-Up-Crafts

Anyway, we stayed at Craig Tara Haven site and it was really good, save for the up-the-hill slog we faced to get back to our van after walking to the beach/shop/pub/in our search for free wifi.

Some people can be a bit sniffy about caravan sites and I’m annoyed I totally forgot to take photos of inside our van while we were there as it was really nice. For starters, the bedroom had a massive walk-in wardrobe and I don’t know anyone who has one of those at home!

Castle-on-the-beach---Beak-Up-Crafts Ayr-from-the-beach---Beak-Up-Crafts

We didn’t do that much while we were there apart from a couple of walks on the beach, a trip into Ayr for a nosy/food supplies and to try and fix my waterlogged phone (now sadly deceased), and lots of relaxing, eating and sleeping.

After driving back home we had another four days off which was really good. I enjoyed splitting our time off into time away and time at home as it really helped us to recharge our batteries. Saying that, the other night I went for a casual lie down at about 9pm and promptly fell asleep until 7am the next day.

I’m not sure when we’re going to be able to go back to Scotland again with the autumn arrival of our little one, but it’s a place I really like, especially after our time in Glasgow last summer where Wayne and I covered the Commonwealth Games. If you’ve got any top tips of places to visit for the future, though, I would love to hear them!

Lots of Scottish love,

signature

20 Things No one Tells You about Being Pregnant

Its a boy - Beak Up Crafts

Last week was pretty exciting as Wayne and I found out that we are expecting a baby boy. We had our 20 week scan which was great as we got to see our baby again (and find out that he is OK), although we have to go back to the hospital again this Friday as the sonographer couldn’t get the views of his heart that she needed. Yeah, baby was way too comfy laying on his belly and no matter what we did he refused to turn over – already stubborn!

I’m now at the halfway point of my pregnancy, give or take a few days, and I’ve been thinking about how things have been changing and stuff I’ve found out as my bump starts to grow.

Maybe I was just a bit clueless as a first time mum-in-the-making but quite a few things have happened to me and my body which I never imagined. Some of which have been a bit gross. Plus I went a bit crazy for a while, but more on that in a bit.

Therefore, if anyone else is expecting their first baby I would love to hear if you’ve felt the same things, or if you’re an experienced mum and have any advice on what’s to come I would really appreciate that too.

20 weeks - Beak Up Crafts

Don’t get me wrong, this post isn’t about moaning as I love being pregnant and knowing I’m growing our baby in my belly. When I think about how all that is happening by itself it amazes me. How does my body just know what to do?

But here’s 20 things I’ve discovered about myself and my pregnant body in the last few months, which I had kind of wish I had known before. I hope you find them helpful/funny/useful in some way!

  1. I became a psycho-crazy symptom-spotting nutjob
    Yeah. I’m not proud of this but even before I got a positive on a pregnancy test I was stalking symptoms on the internet like a wacko. If you had seen my Google search history at that point you would have thought I had lost it. But that continued until my good friend Kate lent me the What to Expect When You’re Expecting book just before our 12 week scan, which I’ve got to say has been a revelation. Now if I’ve got any questions I can find out the right answers easily. Maybe I’ve just got used to things being a bit different too – after a frantic few weeks now I just tend to take each new symptom with a pinch of salt, provided it’s not mega painful or involves bleeding down there, which touch wood hasn’t happened.
  2. Internet forums don’t always tell the real story
    Sure, they have a lot of information from a lot of ladies who have been through the pregnancy mill before, but if you want to freak yourself out like I did then they’re the best place to start. I had almost convinced myself something had gone wrong with our baby ahead of our 12-week scan (which was actually at 13 weeks five days and three weeks after our last scan at the EPU). Maybe it’s because getting pregnant had been a bit tricky for us, but the words ‘missed miscarriage’ haunted me for weeks. I think the problem here is, people are more likely to write about the bad things that happen to them and not the good, meaning there are more horror stories out there when in actual fact the chances of something like that happening remain very small.
  3. Poo can be a real problem
    Apologies if you’re tucking into your Shreddies (and you might want to skip this one if you’re easily offended) but what the hell is going on with the number two situation? Sometimes earlier in my pregnancy I couldn’t go for days, then at other times I might have well just taken up permanent residence on the pot. It’s those hormones isn’t it? And don’t talk to me about the colour either. Let’s just say I could write the script for a new film, 50 Shades of Shit.
  4. Morning sickness isn’t all about hugging the toilet
    I guess I’m lucky as I haven’t been sick once during my pregnancy but instead I had what felt like a three-month stomach bug. Funnily enough eating is the only thing that seemed to get rid of it – I read that it’s a combo of hormones and low blood sugar – but I always thought that morning sickness was just that, having a nice casual vom every morning. Guess I was wrong!
  5. I look fat rather than pregnant
    I follow a few ladies on Instagram who are pregnant and have lovely bumps. And they have them when I look at their pictures from when they were the same point along as me. Except I don’t have a bump yet, really. I’ve got a bit of one but I’ve always had a belly, so instead I just look like I’ve been mainlining the chocolate eclairs. Which is annoying. Hopefully my bump will pop out soon.
  6. Exhaustion really is a thing
    Before I got pregnant I never really believed that it could be so tiring in the early stages. I mean, essentially you’re not hauling round a massive stomach and for all intents and purposes you can’t see anything going on. How wrong I was. The first three months of nausea and growing a baby totally wiped me out. It also made doing things I love seem like a chore too but I guess my body’s priority was growing a mini person and not finishing off that crochet blanket.
  7. Feeling hot, hot, hot
    And not in a sexy way. If I didn’t know any better I would have put the random hot flushes down to an early menopause. Hormones can be so FUN, right?
  8. My underwear has become a nightmare
    Yeah, another one that’s a bit ick. Some of my bras have been relegated to the back of the drawer for fear they will cut me in half, while down at the other end I’m mostly sticking to dull cotton pants due to one thing – d-i-s-c-h-a-r-g-e. It’s a horrible thing to talk about but apparently it’s all normal, so hey, whatevs.
  9. Battle of the bloat
    I got really excited at about the eight week mark as I thought I had the beginnings of a baby bump. Then I would do an almighty fart and it would all be gone. Also see having no belly at the start of the day and a massive one by the end, all thanks to my not so best friend: trapped wind. So fit.
  10. I developed an unhealthy obsession for potato waffles
    Or anything potato based. And I went with it for the early months because that was about the only food group that seemed to make my nausea sod off. Although it wasn’t the most balanced of diets, which leads me to…
  11. Watching the scales has become a morning ritual
    One thing I’m concious about is making sure I put on a healthy amount of weight both for baby and me during my pregnancy. After piling on 5lbs in the first 12 weeks (the top end of the advised amount after only being able to stomach carbs) I’ve been taking care to eat a lot more healthily now I don’t feel sick anymore, so lots of fruit and veg, yoghurt and nutritious stuff. But I am stepping on the scales everyday (especially if I have the occasional pizza) and I know I need to scale back on this as weight isn’t the most important thing.
  12. H&M maternity leggings are my friend
    They are SO comfortable. Sure, wearing them makes me look like Simon Cowell after he’s been given a wedgie as they come up so high, but so what? No one can see what’s going on under my t-shirt.
  13. Accidentally touch my boobs and I will punch you in the face
    Yeah, they hurt. Well not so much my boobs, more my nipples. Give me a hug that bit too hard? I will whelp like you’ve just stood on a puppy. Open the door into me then barge into my chest? You will get a swift knee to the nuts, as that will hurt what I estimate would be a similar amount.
  14. Speaking of boobs, why haven’t they grown?
    I’m still an A cup and waiting for the growth spurt everyone else seems to talk about, which is a bit of a bummer.
  15. I’ve started crying at ridiculous things
    I kind of had an inkling I might be pregnant when Wayne and I were coming back from Tenerife in February as I started crying when I saw a smiley old lady that reminded me of my Grandma getting on the plane. I was about a week pregnant then. Since that time I’ve got emotional at TV ads and just randomly at work, which is a bit embarassing.
  16. I now totally understand why pregnant women rub their bellies all of the time
    I’ve got to say I didn’t get why they did this before I became pregnant, and even though my bump is still small I find myself rubbing it a lot. Why? Because it aches/feels a bit sore quite a lot of the time with all the stretching that’s going on down there, and I find a warm hand really helps.
  17. Tell me I can’t have something and it’s all I can think about
    Runny eggs, lots of caffeine and McDonald’s McFlurries. All things I can’t have and all things I really want all of the time now so thanks and that.
  18. Sleep? Who needs that anyway?
    I’m guessing it must be my raging hormones again but on average I wake up two or three times in the night then ping awake bright and early at 6.30am. Every morning. Maybe it’s just my body’s way of getting me used to having a baby and being up in the night. If so, very clever.
  19. Turns out I have the worst posture in the world
    So my yoga teacher tells me. That’s probably why my back’s been giving me some problems as my centre of gravity starts to shift and my shoulders feel like rocks after a day at my desk. But hey, still got a baby in there so no biggy.
  20. My appetite is about as predictable as the British summer.
    12:31pm
    Wayne: Kate, are you hungry?
    Me: Nah, not at all. It’s only been a few hours since breakfast.
    Wayne: OK, I might have my dinner in a bit.
    Me: OK.
    12:32pm
    Me: Oh-my-god-I’m-starving-I-need-my sandwich-now.
    That.

So there you go. As I say, I’m not complaining as becoming a mum is so exciting and Wayne and I can’t wait to be parents. It’s just odd what goes on with your body when you’re pregnant and stuff I didn’t think I would be doing/feeling are everyday occurrences now.

If you’re a mum or are expecting can you add anything to this list? I know every pregnancy is different but I’d love to hear what yours have been like.

Lots of baby bump love,

signature

 

 

Styling the Seasons ~ May

Handmade-fabric-roses---Beak-Up-Crafts

I’ve just about managed to sneak in under the wire for this month’s Styling the Seasons. I decided to get a bit crafty for May with these fabric roses which I’ve used to decorate a jam jar vase.

Fabric-flower-decorated-jar---Styling-the-Seasons---Beak-Up-Crafts

If you would like to have a try at making some yourself then check out this video, as it’s the one I followed to make these. Practice makes perfect and my first couple were a bit wonky but keeping the fabric pulled tightly together seemed to do the trick. I then sewed them to some silver ribbon and slipped them over the jar.

Fabric-flower-decorated-jar---Beak-Up-Crafts Lace-jar-with-fabric-roses---Styling-the-Seasons---Beak-Up-Crafts Fabric-flowers---Styling-the-Seasons-May---Beak-Up-Crafts

Lots of fabric flowery love,

signature