{Review} My Little Box

My Little Parisienne Box - Beak Up Crafts

It seems like the world has gone subscription box crazy in the last couple of years. You can get weekly snacks pushed through your letterbox with graze, sign up for box of handmade treats from Lucky Dip Club and there’s a whole host of beauty boxes to pick from including Birch Box and Glossy Box.

Well, there’s a new kid on the block now too, as My Little Box has made its way over from France to the UK and in my opinion it’s the cream of the crop. Every month there’s a different theme but the box will always contain some must-have beauty products, fashion and lifestyle accessories, a mini print and a couple of surprises. Oh and the box itself is a thing of beauty and not something you’ll want to throw away.

I stumbled upon My Little Box as my friend Stephanie posted a picture of her My Little Parisienne Box on Facebook. As Wayne and I are heading to Paris in December I really wanted it. The fact that a beautiful MacBook sleeve was included and it only cost £14.95 meant it was a no-brainer.

What was in the My Little Parisienne Box?

  • A polka dot MacBook sleeve
    My Little Parisienne Box - Beak Up Crafts
  • Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – I’d been after a primer for a while but didn’t really want to spend £20 on something I was unsure of, so this was a real bonus
  • Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse – A light and silky oil with a beautiful scent. I’ve been putting this on my face in the morning and I’ve got to say my skin is so much softer than it usually is at this time of year.
  • My Little Beauty Stylo Lumiere – The company has their own range of beauty products and this complexion brightening pen is lovely to add a glow to the top of your cheekbones.
  • A My Little Box cotton drawstring bag – Great for makeup on the move.
    My Little Parisienne Box - Beak Up Crafts
  • My Little Carnet – A plain French-themed notebook (which I’m going to use as a travel journal for my trip to Paris).
  • Paris print – Paris needs no reason. It is its own reason. Quite!
    My Little Parisienne Box - Beak Up Crafts
  • Paris stickers – A really cute touch.
    My Little Parisienne Box - Beak Up Crafts

Before My Little Parisienne Box had arrived I had told myself it would be a one-off and I’d cancel my subscription. As it turned out I was so pleasantly surprised by the quality and range of goods that I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it.

My Little Parisienne Box - Beak Up Crafts

It was a good job really as October’s box is just as good. It’s a box themed all around fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg and contains some really lovely things.

My Little Box by Diane von Furstenburg - Beak Up Crafts

What is in the My Little Box by Diane von Furstenburg?

  • A DVF scarf in a hot red, pink and purple combo – This can be used as a headscarf or neck scarf or just to decorate your bag.
    My Little Box by Diane von Furstenburg - Beak Up Crafts
  • L’Occitane vanilla-scented hand cream – This is made with super-creamy shea butter and has a soft and lovely scent.
  • Kerastase Laque Noire hairspray – An extra strong hold hairspray.
  • My Little Beauty Eau Micellaire makeup remover – With Aloe Vera and orange extract making it great for my sensitive skin.
  • A DVF-branded cotton drawstring bag – I think I’ll use this to hold some of my craft bits and pieces.
    My Little Box by Diane von Furstenburg - Beak Up Crafts
  • A fashion magazine – Filled with inspiration.
  • An inspiring DVF print – Be the Woman you want to be!
    My Little Box by Diane von Furstenburg - Beak Up Crafts
  • A DVF red lips brooch – Really modern and unusual, I love them!
    My Little Box by Diane von Furstenburg - Beak Up Crafts

As well as all of this there are special promotion codes to give subscribers discounts on the brands included in the My Little Box by Diane von Furstenburg.

I think of all of the subscription boxes this is the one I’m going to stick with for a while. I can’t fault the quality, selection or brands and it’s so nice knowing you’re going to receive a box of treats every month of things you know you’re going to love.

I would love to hear what you think especially if you subscribe to My Little Box.

Lots of My Little love,

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, I just love My Little Box!

Why Changing Your Blog Theme can Change Your World

iPad still life - Beak Up Crafts

Last week I took the plunge and totally shook things up with my blog. I bought and installed a new WordPress theme and changed all of my branding. I did this because while I liked my old theme I was started to feel a bit restricted by it. I know looks aren’t everything (good job as I’m no supermodel!) but it had started to feel a bit clunky and it didn’t do things I wanted it to. The layout was fine but it wasn’t slick, there were some features I couldn’t change without mastering how to code in CSS and it just didn’t look, well, as good as I wanted it to.

Once I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about something I tend to fixate on it until I do whatever it is I’m obsessing over, so I just skipped to the end, found a theme I LOVED and piled in. And do you know what, I’m so glad I did.

Here’s why you should change things up if you feel like your blog theme just isn’t working for you anymore.


A New Theme = A New Start
I’m not saying your existing content will suddenly get 1,000 hits a second as a result of your new look (although I’m sure that must happen for some big websites) but a new theme, one that looks and feels how you want it, could help open you up to some new ideas. I had hit a bit of a creative roadblock using my old theme but since making the switch I’ve had ideas for a couple of brand new regular features which I’m really excited about. I’ve also hit upon an idea to take my Etsy shop in a whole new direction – I’ve got to say this is a lot to do with my site looking more ‘me’ and professional. It’s true what they say: A change is as good as a rest.

iPad still life - Beak Up Crafts

Take a Holistic View
I realised while in the middle of changing all of my headers/cover pages and branding across social media and my shop, that the old branding wasn’t as consistent as I thought it was. An old header version here, an out-dated tagline there. Take the chance to get your new look consistent everywhere you appear online and get it right from the start.

Sort out a Naming Convention for your pictures – and USE IT!
While you’re making a new start, it’s also a great time to set yourself a new naming convention. After installing my new theme I decided to make my pictures ‘pinnable’ to Pinterest as it’s something that was severely lacking before (and I know if your pictures are pinned, the word about your blog will spread). I realised I hadn’t been naming my photos with anything search engine friendly AT ALL, just leaving them called image1.jpg. This isn’t great, as search engines won’t find them and when the image is pinned the text description will say ‘image1′ and not anything remotely searchable.

Lace flower brooch

I’m not saying to go through all of your old pictures and rename them (but do if you have time!) but start a naming convention and stick with it. Now I always include a short description of what the picture is in the Title and Alternative Text field and suffix it with ‘- Beak Up Crafts’ so it’s obvious where the photo originated from. Much better.


Things to be wary of:

Downtime
Be prepared to have things looking a bit messy for a while as you sort things out with your new theme. You might want to consider putting up a static front page for a day or two to tease your new-look site while you get busy behind the scenes.

Grace and Gable Coming Soon static page  - Beak Up Crafts

Formatting
Changing my blog theme threw my formatting out as columns didn’t work anymore and anywhere I had added a line to break up content just said [line] – not quite what I wanted!
I would recommend you set some time aside to go through your most popular and most recent posts to start off with and make sure your formatting is all fine. And while you’re there…

Photo size
This is something else you should consider when changing your blog theme. I found that when I made the switch my photos weren’t wide enough to fit the screen. This is because the blog post width had increased and it left my post looking a bit messy, with text wrapping here, there and everywhere. It look a bit of time to fix but I did so by either changing the size of my pictures from ‘Large’ to ‘Full Size’, or as a workaround, to giving them a central alignment. How your photos look is again something I would advise you check out on at least your most popular and recent posts.

iPad still life - Beak Up Crafts

Plugins
If you’re using WordPress.org, changing your theme could also be a great time to go through your plugins and work out which ones you don’t need anymore while also adding some new ones.

Here are some plugins I use and love:

  • Frizzly – To add Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook sharing buttons when you hover over your images
  • Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin – to make your blog search engine friendly
  • WP Super Cache – to cache your site and make pages load much quicker
  • Jetpack – To add a load of features, including subscription boxes and sharing options
  • Ninja Forms – Versatile and customisable contact forms for static pages and blog posts

Top Tips for finding a kick-arse blog theme:

  • Find some sites whose look and layout you love and plug their URLs into What WordPress Theme is that? Hey presto, unless it’s a site whose design is written from scratch or heavily customised you can find out what theme they’re using and go and check out the designer/get the theme for yourself.
  • Have a look on Etsy. There are so many talented people on there. I found 17th Avenue Designs there and fell in love with one of their themes but there are lots of others too. (In case you’re wondering, my old theme was the Isabelle theme by Blu Chic.)
  • Use Pinterest to gather ideas of colour palettes and fonts that you like. If you’re going down the route of having a new theme designed just for you this will be invaluable when talking to your designer.

So what do you think? Are you tempted to take the plunge and go for a new blog theme? I hope this post hasn’t put you off as it can really revitalise your site and I really do thing that finding the right look and feel for you is worth a bit of effort.

Also, I hope you found my tips and tricks helpful. If you would love to see more content like this every so often please let me know!

Lots of bright new theme love,

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(Disclaimer: I’ve written this from a self-hosted WordPress.org point of view as that’s what my blog is, but a lot of points still stand for WordPress.com, Blogger and Typepad too.)

{DIY} Fallen Leaves Picture

DIY Fallen Leaves Picture - Beak Up Crafts

I’ve always been a bit obsessed by the paint colour cards you get in DIY stores and I’ve always wanted to think of a creative way to make something with them. Wayne and I were in our local B&Q the other day on the hunt for paint samples to give the feature wall in our bedroom a new look and I took the chance to snaffle a pocketful of orange and coral shades.

(Side note: I still think that the job of coming up with names for lots of pretty paint shades is one of the best in the world – along with choosing road names – and for years I seriously wanted to do that as a career. What a job!)

DIY Fallen Leaves Picture - Beak Up Crafts

Anyway, I had a few vague ideas floating round in my head about what I could do with the colour cards but I finally had the flash of inspiration I was looking for when suffering from a bout of insomnia at five in the morning. Who says nothing good happens after 2am anyway?

Here’s how to make this pretty and bright Fallen Leaves picture which will add a seasonal splash of colour to your home!

What you need:

DIY Fallen Leaves Picture - Beak Up Crafts

  • Paint colour cards
  • A craft knife
  • A self-healing mat
  • A pencil
  • Glue dots/glue
  • A picture frame
  • A piece of white/cream paper

How to make it:

  1. Collect your colour cards and on the back draw a selection of leaf shapes. Try to mix them up for an interesting look.
    DIY Fallen Leaves Picture - Beak Up CraftsDIY Fallen Leaves Picture - Beak Up Crafts
  2. Once you’re happy with your pictures, cut out the leaves using the craft knife. You can add texture and interest by cutting out the stems or making the edges a bit jaggy. TOP TIP: Cut out the stems first and if you’re cutting a jagged edge cut the card to the point. Also, it’s easier if you turn the card as you work so you’re not cutting at a funny angle!
    DIY Fallen Leaves Picture - Beak Up Crafts
  3. Stick the paper to the back of the mount using wash tape.
    DIY Fallen Leaves Picture - Beak Up Crafts
  4. Place your leaves onto the background paper and decide on your layout.
    DIY Fallen Leaves Picture - Beak Up Crafts
  5. When you’ve decided what you’d like to go where, stick the leaves in place using glue or a glue dot.
    DIY Fallen Leaves Picture - Beak Up Crafts
  6. Set the picture aside to dry before framing it and hanging it on your wall!
    DIY Fallen Leaves Picture - Beak Up Crafts

I hope you like this bright and colourful DIY. I love autumn but I think this would look great all year round.

Lots of fallen leaves love,

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{Five Minutes With} Sophie Davies ~ Oh My Clumsy Heart

Oh My Clumsy Heart - Beak Up Crafts

Today I’m launching a brand new and shiny feature where I speak with creators and makers who run their own business to get tips and advice. I love hearing success stories of people who have given up their day job to pursue a creative career and thought it would be interesting (and very helpful) for other people who are hoping to do the same to see how they went about it and what pitfalls to avoid. Everyone’s story is different and what works for one person might not work for another, and while going out on your own is undoubtedly a very scary thing, I hope this series and the inspirational women I speak to will help to show that you CAN do it!


The first amazing designer-maker to be featured is the super-talented Sophie Davies of Oh My Clumsy Heart, which is a small independently owned and run online jewellery brand located in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Sophie is originally from Kent but moved to an apartment and studio in Birmingham where she spends her time making pretty things, growing plants, reading lots of books, and blogging.

Sophie does everything from designing, making, packaging, posting, and promoting all the lovely things you see in her online store so she is one busy lady, but she took some time out of her hectic schedule to tell me about her story and  share some words of advice.

Sophie Davies - Oh My Clumsy Heart - Beak Up Crafts

How did you come up with the idea for Oh My Clumsy Heart and what steps did you take from the ideas stage to launching your business?

Oh My Clumsy Heart started as a hobby shop on Etsy and evolved organically into a fully-fledged business.  I had never intended to start a business; I was enjoying making things and being involved in the handmade community. It was only when the shop started getting more attention and orders increased, that I realised, if I worked really hard, this could become my job.

How difficult was taking the step from running as a hobby business to a full-time operation and how did you do it?

It was A LOT of hard work; I worked a day job alongside working on the business in the evenings.  I didn’t know anything about running a shop so alongside designing, creating, and making products, I also had to learn the logistics of how to run a business.  I spend a lot of time teaching myself the skills I would need to make Oh My Clumsy Heart a success.  I wrote a post on how I quit my day job if you’re interested in reading more about Oh My Clumsy Heart.

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

Part of me thought a little bit of magic would be lost when you do the thing you love as your job but it doesn’t. It just gets better and better.

Oh My Clumsy Heart - Beak Up Crafts

What does an average day look like for you?

I’m an early riser so around 7am I wake up, shower, get ready, and sit down with a cup of coffee but I don’t start work until 8 or 9.  I take a bit of time out in the mornings to catch up on blogs, listen to the radio or podcasts, and read whatever book I’m currently reading.  Then I write a daily task list, answer emails, work on admin, and prepare customer orders.  At noon I go to the studio and work on customer and wholesale orders, prep new products for photography shoots, and deal with any other studio-based tasks. Around 3, I finish up in the studio, take orders to the post office, and return to the apartment to check emails and finish any admin work.  My work day ends somewhere in between 5 and 7pm, when I turn the computer off and relax for the evening.  Working two jobs for several years made be realise how important it is to enjoy time off and get enough sleep.

If you were to launch your business again tomorrow, what (if anything) would you do differently?

I would write a business plan.  This is something I didn’t do until last year and it made an unbelievable difference to the way I view and run my business.

What are your plans for the future with and what targets have you set yourself?

My Big Plan was to quit and become self-employed and that happened a lot sooner than I had expected!  So I’m still working on what the next big step is.  There are a few questions I need to ask myself: how big do I want the business to grow?  Do I want to hire a team?  Do I want to be stocked by major retailers?  Right now, I don’t know the answers but I’m working on it.  I have both personal and business goals; I’m someone who likes to set goals and achieve targets.  In 2015 I want to increase Oh My Clumsy Heart’s stockists two-fold and introduce a new range of designs.

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

Yes, if you sign up to the mailing list you will receive a 10% discount on all orders.

Oh My Clumsy Heart - Beak Up Crafts


Sophie’s Quickfire Questions:

Tea or Coffee – Coffee

High fashion or High street – High fashion

Autumn or Spring – Spring

Tropical or Ice – Tropical

Main course or Dessert – Main course

Silver or Gold – Silver

Book or Film – Book

Hallowe’en or Bonfire Night – Hallowe’en

Wool or Cashmere – Cashmere

Flowers or Foliage – Foliage


I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the life of Sophie and her business. Her minimalist jewellery is absolutely gorgeous (as is her studio – just look at that light!).

This feature is going to run fortnightly on Mondays, so tune back in then for some more business advice and inspiration.

Lots of savvy love,


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All photos copyright of Sophie Davies
 

{Fashion} Wool is the Word

Wool is the Word

 


Wool is having a real moment this Autumn/Winter season, which is great if you’re a wool geek like me. Yep, even granny squares are hitting the catwalk after being transformed into skirts, tops and cardigans. (I’m sure I’ve got some knocking around somewhere – now I can get rid of them AND be on trend!) If all this wool in the shops isn’t enough for you, the fact that this week is Wool Week tells me that it really IS of the moment.

I’m absolutely loving all of the woollen capes in the shops at the moment, especially this purple one from Pinko Skin and I can’t get enough of Orla Kiely’s wool crepe pleated skirt. Maybe the price tag not so much. Either way, now is the season to wear wool from head to toe, and I hope you like the cosy winter warmers that I’ve picked out. The weather is already starting to get a bit of a chill, so I say either head to the shops or crack out your knitting needles or crochet hook and whip up something super toasty. After all, right now, wool is very much the word.

Are you going to be wrapping yourself in wool this season?

Lots of cosy knit love,

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{Make it Quick} DIY Lace Flower Brooch

Lace Flower Brooch - Beak Up Crafts

Hello everyone! This post is the first in a new series which will run every couple of weeks called {Make it Quick}, where I share a DIY or make that takes less than half an hour to do. Sometimes you just need a quick and easy craft hit and if so, then this is it!

This pretty floral lace button brooch is so easy to make and I think it will look great pinned on a coat, scarf or jumper as the winter months approach. You could also add it to a bobby pin, hair clip or headband too!

What you Need:

Lace Flower Button brooch - Beak Up Crafts

E6000 Glue - Beak Up Crafts

How to Make it:

  1. Take the lace and fold it over to form a corner.Lace Flower Button brooch - Beak Up Crafts
  2. Turn the lace and keep folding at an angle, holding it together in the middle.
    Lace Flower Button brooch - Beak Up Crafts
  3. When you get to the end, put a couple of stitches through the middle to hold it together.
    Lace Flower Button brooch - Beak Up Crafts
  4. Cut off the end following the pattern of the lace so you don’t have a blunt finish.Lace Flower Button brooch - Beak Up Crafts
  5. Sew on the button.Lace Flower Button brooch - Beak Up Crafts
  6. Add some strong glue to the brooch back and hold it in place. Let it dry overnight.Lace Flower Button brooch - Beak Up Crafts

And that’s it! You’ve just made a pretty flower brooch in super quick time!

Lace Flower Brooch - Beak Up Crafts

I hope you liked this quick and easy DIY and if there’s anything you would like to see as part of this new series I would love to hear from you!

Lots of lacy love,

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A Fresh New Look

Bright New Thing - Beak Up Crafts

Hello and good morning everyone! You will probably have noticed something a bit different around these parts if you’ve been here before as the blog has been given a totally brand new look.

While I really liked my old blog branding and layout it wasn’t quite working for me and I felt things were getting a bit stale. So yesterday (in a quiet moment at work) I had a look around for a fresh new theme – and I found this little beauty. Do you like it? *does a twirl*

As with quite a few things I do I decided upon this change on the spur of the moment, and while I think I’ve got most things working, a few things might be a bit wonky until I iron out the creases. I’m hoping to do that over the next week or so (as well as adding some fun new features) before I start working on another exciting side project. I had the idea for that like a lightbulb moment while searching for a new look for my blog. (Well, they say ideas are like buses, right?)

Therefore, as I’ve been playing around with fonts and bits of HTML code my post for today has been put ever so briefly on the back burner.  I hope you don’t mind, and normal service will be resumed on Wednesday!

I hope you like my blog’s new look. I would love to hear what you think!

Lots of bright and shiny new look love,

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{DIY} How to Make a Paper Hallowe’en Pumpkin

DIY Paper Pumpkin

As we’re now in October I’ve decided to do a few Hallowe’en-themed DIYs on the blog to get us in the spirit for all things spooky. Plus if you are planning on a party or going trick-a-treating you will have a bit of time to make them!

This is a really simple but effective DIY to make paper pumpkins. I’ve used pumpkin orange and ghoulish green paper to show you how it works, but you can go full-on orange or add a dash of black or purple if you fancy to ramp up the spook factor. These paper ornaments would look great on their own (you could even do a massive one for a life-size pumpkin!) or strung up in a garland.

What you need:

What you need - Paper Pumpkins

  • Coloured paper (both sides) in Hallowe’en colours
  • A pencil
  • Thread
  • Sellotape
  • A stapler
  • Scissors
  • Glue dots
  • Wool/twine (if you want to make a garland)

How to Make it:

  1. Draw 12 circles on your coloured paper, six of each colour if you’re mixing and matching.
  2. Cut the circles out then fold them in half.
    12 coloured circles - Paper Pumpkins DIY Beak Up Crafts
  3. Stack the paper circles in alternate colours so they are like this:Stacked circles
  4. Staple the circles together along the crease. You can also add extra strength by taping them together using clear tape (I used coloured washi tape so you could see it but it’s best not to use this as you will see it in your finished pumpkin).Hallowe'en Pumpkins
  5. Once you’ve done this, tie your thread tightly around the crease and knot it at the top, leaving some dangling from each end so you can string it up later. Paper Pumpkins DIY Beak Up Crafts
  6. Time to crack out the glue dots. Stick one to a circle at about 4 o’clock (as shown here by the scissors): Paper Pumpkins DIY Beak Up Crafts
  7. Fold down the circle on top and press down so it sticks to the glue dot.
  8. Stick a glue dot at 2 o’clock (as shown again here by the scissors). Again, press the circle on top down so it sticks together. Paper Pumpkins DIY Beak Up Crafts
  9. Repeat steps 5-7, alternating the position of the glue dots from top to bottom.
  10. When you get to the last dot, stick it on with care, then plump out your pumpkin.
  11. You can now string it up on a wool/twine garland or use it as contemporary Hallowe’en decor, it’s up to you!

 Paper Pumpkins DIY Beak Up Crafts

 

 Paper Pumpkins DIY Beak Up Crafts

I hope you like this tutorial. Are you planning on doing any crafting for Hallowe’en? I would love to hear what you’ve got up your spooky sleeve.

Lots of ghostly love,

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{Crafty Advice} 10 Ways to Get Your Creative Mojo Back

Fresh air and blue sky

This past couple of days I’ve felt a bit listless and as a result my creativity has taken a bit of a hit. Maybe it’s the inevitable comedown after 10 lovely days off work (and building up to the return to the office) or maybe it’s because a bit of rest makes you realise just how tired you really are. Or it could be the fact that healthy eating has well and truly gone out of the window during holiday time (another burger, anyone?) and left me feeling, well, a bit bleurgh.

Here are 10 ways I’m using to get myself back on track:

  • Stop putting pressure on yourself to be creative. Sometimes you just need to cut yourself a bit of slack. In the back of my mind I know I have to crochet lots of things for my first craft fair (which is in December!) and ridiculously I’m putting myself under a bit of pressure to do it. Crazy I know. I crochet for fun so that’s what I’m going to make it be again – fun.
  • Go out and get some natural light and fresh air. The temptation when you’re feeling rubbish is to stay inside under the duvet and drink lots of tea. While this is soothing too I always find some sunshine and fresh air works much better in perking me up.
  • Cut out the crap. I eat WAY too much bad stuff and always more when I’m on holiday. Right now my body feels really sluggish so to kick-start it (and make me feel better inside and out) I’m going Clean and Lean. Today is my third day without sugar so please tread carefully!
  • Drink lots of water. It’s refreshment for your tired brain and being dehydrated never helped anyone.
  • Step away from your crafting. Go and do something different. I know it’s a massive cliché but inspiration can be found in the strangest of places.
  • Try something new. After you’ve had a break, is there something you’ve always wanted to try but never have? It could be just the thing to reignite your passion. For me I really want to have a go at weaving but I can’t find an affordable beginners loom. Maybe I’ll start looking for one…
  • Meet up with other creative/crafty people, just for a chat if not to craft. Sometimes someone else’s enthusiasm can get you out of your funk. (If you’re interested, I’m hosting a Yorkshire Crafty Meetup in Leeds on Saturday November 22nd – everyone is welcome so feel free to come along!).
  • Hit up Pinterest and Instagram for a bit of off the wall inspiration. Try typing some random words into the search box and see what comes up.
  • Declutter. If you’re anything like me your desk will be a bit of a mess (but if not, then props to you!) Having a good old tidy up could help trigger your creative juices once more. An uncluttered desk leads to an uncluttered mind (maybe). Or something like that.
  • Switch off your computer/laptop/phone/tablet/TV. Sometimes a screen break and time away from the glare of technology works a treat. Our eyes and brains are assaulted by so much information every day that a bit of calm (with a nice walk outside) can do wonders. Once you’ve had a look at Instagram and Pinterest, obviously…

How do you unlock your creative side if you ever find yourself in a bit of a rut? I would love to hear your top tips!

Lots of creative love,

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Gloriously Glitzy Tatty Devine Workshop

Tatty Devine workshop

Sparkles, mini crowns and a cocktail stick covered in beeswax: What a way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Wayne and I were in London for a friend’s secret 30th birthday celebrations this weekend but before the big surprise in the evening (a brilliant night at Wimbledon dogs) we both took the opportunity to do something a bit different.

For Wayne, that meant watching Leeds play Brentford (and tick off Griffin Park from his list of football grounds he’s visited) while I spent some time playing with gemstones and creating my own piece of Tatty Devine jewellery. While Leeds came away empty-handed and on the wrong end of a 2-0 defeat, I left with a cool sparkly crown pendant so I think I got the better deal to be honest.

Tatty Devine workshop

I’d wanted to go on a Tatty Devine jewellery making class for ages but always seem to be a) busy or b) unable to afford the ridiculous train fares to London when they are on.

However, this September marked 15 years since Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden launched the British brand, which has brought banana pendants and oversized sparkly lobster necklaces to life along with countless other brilliant conversation pieces. To celebrate, each Saturday and Sunday in the month they offered the chance to decorate your own necklace in their shop at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank.

Tatty Devine workshop

There were five designs to choose from but I picked the crown and off I went, showering myself in sparkles like an over-zealous magpie.

How it worked:

Armed with a mock-up picture of my crown and blob of beeswax on the end of a cocktail stick (the secret weapon for picking up the mini gems) I set about creating my design. Too much sparkle, so little time.

Tatty Devine workshop

Once I was set on my design, it was glue time. The glue took 15 mins to dry so there was chance to move things round a bit using the pointy end of the cocktail stick. Handy really as it can be a bit tricky to get them in the right place.
The only other thing needed was a bit of patience as some of them gems are really mini, but I think it did OK!

Tatty Devine workshop - my finished crown

I’m really pleased with my crown and I’ve added it to my ever-increasing Tatty Devine collection.

Sadly these workshops have finished now but if team Tatty ever decide to do anymore I would really recommend it as it’s great fun, you get a piece of jewellery that’s unique to you and at £15 it’s a bit of a bargain. I’m not-so-secretly keeping my fingers crossed that they decide to take their jewellery making classes on the road, like to Leeds for example…

Have you ever been to a Tatty Devine jewellery class or do you fancy going to one? I would love to hear all about it!

Anyway, I’m off to pretend that I’m a queen in my new crown necklace and practice my royal wave.

Lots of regal love,

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