The Winner of the Dotty Bobbin cushion covers is…

Dotty Bobbin Cushions

Hello everyone,

It’s just a quick post from me today to announce the winner of the lovely autumnal Dotty Bobbin luxury cushion covers. These two gorgeous chocolate-coloured beauties will look great now that we are well and truly in autumn.

The lucky winner of this prize is….

Kat L

Congratulations!

I will be in touch to get your address and then the lovely Saskia, the owner of Dotty Bobbin (who runs some fab sewing classes and made these cushion covers herself – please go check them out) will send you your prize.

Dotty Bobbin

Thanks again to everyone who entered and I hope you check out Dotty Bobbin if you live in the Hemel Hempstead area and want to try out sewing for yourself. There’s also loads of inspiration on the Dotty Bobbin blog if you’re keen to try a sewing project but are not sure where to start.


I can’t believe we are more than halfway through September already. This year is really whizzing by at a rate of knots. Good job I’ve been cracking on with plenty of Hallowe’en and Christmas ideas – talk about wishing your life away! I’ll be back soon on Friday with a big old dollop of inspiration for the weekend.

Until then, lots of September love,

signature

Pattern: Retro Granny Stripe iPad Mini Case

Granny stripe iPad cosy - Beak Up Crafts

Any spare time that I get at the moment is being used to make things for the craft fair I’m doing at the start of December. I’ve got quite a few things on my “to make” list and I know I’ve got to make them in sufficient quantities to fill a craft stall (with a bit of backup for if/when I sell things).

One thing I’ve really enjoyed making are these retro Granny Stripe iPad Mini cases. They are really easy to do and once you get into doing the granny stripe there’s no counting at all. That’s my kind of crochet project – nice and easy and on autopilot!

Granny Stripe iPad cosy - Beak Up Crafts

I’ve not posted a free crochet pattern on here for a while so I figured it would be nice to share this one! I hope you enjoy it and I would love to hear if you make any of these cases for yourself or for gifts.

What You Need:

  • Different coloured Aran wool/wool scraps
  • A 4.5mm crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle
  • Two large buttons

Pattern:

  1. Ch 33
  2. Htr into third ch from hook. Htr 29 times. Turn then htr 30 times.
  3. For the first row of the granny stripe: Ch 3, 2 tr into same st. *Skip two sts then 3tr into next st. * repeat until you get back to the ch 3 you started with. SS to join.
  4. Change colour. Ch 3, 2 tr into same st. *Skip two sts then 3tr into next st. * repeat until you get back to the ch 3 you started with. SS to join.
    Repeat this another 13 times (but check to see if you have done enough rows by putting your iPad mini into the case and see if it is covered).
  5. For the flap: Starting at one end, ch 3. tr in each st across. Ch 3, turn and tr in each st across. Fasten off.
  6. Make hooks for buttons (do this twice): SS into sixth st from edge. Ch 8. Skip two st then SS to join. Repeat from the other edge to make a second button loop.
  7. Sew the buttons on the front of the cosy.

That’s it, you’re done!

Granny Stripe iPad Cosy

I hope you like this quick and easy make. I love how it has a retro feel to it despite holding an iPad! If you try this pattern I would love to hear your feedback.

Lots of hooky love,

signature

 

 

 

* Please do not reproduce/write this pattern out in full and distribute it as your own. A link back to this post is all I ask! I’m happy for you to make and sell cosies made from this pattern, but a shout out is always welcome. Thank you!

You’re Invited to the Yorkshire Crafty Meetup!

Yorkshire Crafty Meetup

Hello everyone,

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my posts about a Yorkshire Crafty Meetup. If not, don’t worry, as I’m going to give you all the details now!

For craft bloggers, crafters and people who love to make things, the Yorkshire Crafty Meetup is a get together for like-minded people to have a chat, get to know each other and make new friends and connections. I thought it would be nice to organise something up north as most other meetups seem to be focused in or around London. Plus I live in Yorkshire and really wanted to go on one, and thought other people might like it too!

Anyway, after confirming the date of November 22nd last week (which quite a few people have already said they can make, hurray!) I can now also tell you that I’ve booked a venue… *drum roll*

The Yorkshire Crafty Meetup will take place at the Tetley Bar & Kitchen in Leeds city centre from 2pm on Saturday November 22. This is on the site of the old Tetley Brewery (which is now no longer there) but the listed part of the buildings were preserved and converted into an art gallery, bar and restaurant, which is where we are going to meet.

It’s a really lovely, bright and airy place with big leather sofas (which are in the area I’ve reserved!).

Here’s a map in case you don’t know where it is, but it’s right next to a huge pay and display car park and a 5-10 minute walk from Leeds train station and the same distance from the bus station. (Please click the picture to launch Google Maps).

tetley map

Everyone is welcome to come but if you are going to attend please can you reply to the RSVP on Facebook which you can find here, or if you’re not on Facebook please email me on kate@beakupcrafts.co.uk.

Thanks so much and I really hope you can make it. I’m excited and really looking forward to meeting you!

Lots of craft love,

signature

Eight things I Learned from Teaching my First Crochet Class

crochet class  pack - Beak Up Crafts

Earlier this week I did something I’ve never done before – taught my first ever crochet class. It was really good fun and I loved it (after being a bit nervous beforehand!) In this post I’m going to share my experience if you’re thinking of holding a class yourself or even if you’re planning on attending one to learn how to crochet.

I’m by no means a crochet expert and I don’t profess to know everything about it, but my work’s Sports and Social had been on the lookout for more crafty things to host so I decided to put myself forward. Deep breath!

Granny Square - Beak Up Crafts

In the end I needn’t have been worried as the two-hour class flew by and in the end people “got it” and seemed really pleased with what they had made. At that point I felt quite chuffed – it was so nice to pass on something I’ve learned and love to do to other people, and the fact I hadn’t totally put them off was a bit of a relief!

I decided to teach how to make a crochet staple – a granny square – as it’s the first thing I learned how to make and it’s one of the things people think of first when they think of crochet. Although saying that, my first ever granny sqaure ended up looking more like a circle… I told this on the night and I think it helped people to relax!

The class was held in one of the meeting rooms at work to keep costs down and I provided all of the materials for the course (which work then kindly paid for out of the Sports and Social budget).

Seven ladies came along – it was supposed to be eight but sadly one lady was ill that day and had to go home – and only one of the attendees had done crochet before.

I was a bit nervous about teaching people but I wrote a handout document (which included lots of pictures) for everyone that they could take home and refer to which also helped me on the night.

granny square in progress - Beak Up Crafts

I covered basic things, like choosing the right wool and crochet hook, how to hold the hook and how to “hook” it. We then covered the chain stitch, slip stitch and the UK treble/US double crochet stitch for the granny square itself.

I got some lovely feedback both on the night and the couple of days after the course from the ladies who went on it which made me smile, as when I got home I did the whole “I don’t know if it was any good and if they liked it” thing! I’m hoping I’m going to be able to do some more in the future, and maybe outside of work, too. Fingers crossed. The ladies who went on it also seemed keen on a montly craft/Knit and Natter/Stitch and Bitch night too which would be great I reckon.

Here are some of the nice things they said:

I thought the class was great,  you must have the patience of a saint though. I had another go when I got in last night while it was fresh in my mind. Not brilliant but finally got my head around that treble stich and very nearly managed to finish the first square. Thanks for taking time to show us. ~ Gemma

I really enjoyed the class, it’s really helpful learning something new with someone there as they can help me when I (often) go wrong! I thought the class was great and the handout to take home was a good idea as I’ll no doubt get stuck when I start it again! I’d definitely be interested in a follow up session! ~ Jodie

Hi Kate, I loved it thanks! Thought you did a great job too considering you’ve never taught it before! If you’re doing any follow up courses I’d be interested! ~ Emma

I did learn a few things after doing my first class which might be helpful for anyone else who is thinking of doing one which I thought I would share:

  • Smile! Even if you’re nervous remember that people are there to learn something from you and crafting is fun!
  • Without it sounding weird, you know more about whatever you are teaching than they do (probably – I mean, why else would they be at the class?) so be confident in yourself.
  • Prepare well. Know exactly what you’re going to be doing and have a handout for everyone to refer to in the class, including an extra copy for yourself.
  • Take some spare wool/hooks and whatever else you need, just in case something goes missing. And double check you have everything you need for the class before you set off (I must have checked things at least 10 times!)
  • Have a fixed start and end time and location.
  • Make sure you take some water with you and wear something cool. I never realised before but two hours of talking made me very hot and gives you a really dry mouth!
  • I bought everyone Stylecraft Special DK wool because of the lovely range of colours, but the next time I do a beginners class I think I will get the Stylecraft Special Aran as this is that bit thicker and easier to work with for people starting out.
  • Keep numbers small. There were seven people on the class I did and I would say seven to eight is the maximum one person could teach if everyone is an absolute beginner. Maybe I will go for five or six next time to make sure everyone gets the one-on-one attention needed to learn the stitches, but seven was fine if a bit more challenging for a newbie teacher.

Sadly I don’t have any photos from the night as I totally forgot to take any, although my friend Becky who came along snapped this picture mid-granny square:

beckynewham

I hope you found this post helpful if you’re planning on holding or attending a crochet class. Have you ever taught a craft class and do you have any top tips? Or have you been on a class and have and feedback from the other side of things? I’d love to hear from you.

Lots of hooky love,

signature

 

{Free} Autumn Leaves Phone and iPad Wallpaper

Autumn leaves wallpaper - Beak Up Crafts

Autumn is my favourite time of year and a lot of that has got to do with the golden leaves and bright blue skies. Last week I shared five craft ideas for the new season but today I wanted to give you a small gift – this autumnal wallpaper.

You can download it for your phone here (this is for the screen dimensions of an iPhone 5 but will fit most phones) and for your iPad/tablet here).

Autumn Leaves wallpaper on iPone - Beak Up Crafts

I hope you like it.

I’m off to put my boots on and go and kick some leaves at the park. All round to mine for a game of conkers!

Lots of autumnal love,

signature

 

A Crafty Afternoon in London

St Paul's

The other weekend I had a Saturday afternoon free in London so I decided to take myself on a bit of a craft-related sightseeing tour. Wayne and I had headed to the capital the night before to see two of our friends who had just had a baby. The following day Wayne was covering the Challenge Cup rugby league final at Wembley and it meant I had a bit of time on my hands. It was a glorious day so I decided to take myself off and do a bit of exploring.

Here’s what I got up to:


Stop 1: Wembley Stadium

I went to Wembley Stadium with Wayne as we had to move the car in order to get a quick getaway that evening. It was super sunny and we had a bit of a wander around the ground as fans started to arrive and before an al fresco breakfast at the Pret a Manger next to the stadium. When it was time for Wayne to head to work I took the tube from Wembley Park to my next destination.


Stop 2: Big Ben

You’ve got to do a bit of sightseeing when you’re in London, so I got off the tube at Westminster (and a very crowded Westminster Bridge) to gawp at the Houses of Parliament.


Stop 3: The South Bank

To be honest this was my first real destination and after battling over Westminster Bridge and past the iconic London Eye I had a nosey around the Festival of Love (which has now sadly finished). It was a riot of colour outside the Royal Festival Hall and down the River Thames, with neon ribbons and street performers everywhere. There was also a big second hand book sale under one of the bridges if you’re into reading.


Stop 4: The Tate Modern

If I’m honest I’m not a massive fan of art galleries as I find them a bit dry (I’m such a heathen) but I did pop into the Tate Modern. Admittedly this was mostly because I needed to use the toilet but I did have a look in the massive Turbine Hall.


Stop 5: Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral

Next up I did my best power walk across Millennium Bridge as I pretended I was a contestant on The Apprentice (Hi Lord Sugar). This bridge is really cool as you get a great view of St Paul’s, the Tate Modern and The Shard. When I got to the other side of the Thames I headed for the underground again (as my feet were a bit achy and I fancied a sit down on the way to my next stop).


Stop 6: Old Spitalfields Market

Craft and handmade central and only a five or so minute walk from Liverpool St Station, which is only a couple of stops east from St Paul’s on the Central Line. I wanted to have a look around Old Spitalfields Market to get some ideas and inspiration for how to present a craft stall as I’m planning on doing one in a couple of months. It was nice to have a wander round and have a nosey at all of the different crafts on display. There is also plenty of places to eat and drink too.

 


Stop 7: Brick Lane

I wanted to visit Brick Lane as I love Tatty Devine jewellery and I’ve never been to one of their shops before. I was pretty surprised just how small their shop was if I’m honest, and it was away from the main hustle and bustle of Brick Lane. After eyeing up all of their fab necklaces I checked out the Backyard Market for more craft wares and inspiration and I wolfed down a bargain bagel with cream cheese (only £1) from Beigel Bake which is apparently open 24 hours.


Stop 8: Selfridges stationary department

I didn’t really have a massive urge to take on Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon (after all, I quite like not to be pick-pocketed or crushed by thousands of shoppers) but I went anyway just so I could feed my stationary addiction at Selfridges. Rifle Paper Co! Moleskine! I could have bought it all but instead I just got a small treat for Wayne and myself before heading off for my final stop.


Stop 9: Hampstead and Hampstead Heath

abbey road

I had arranged to meet my friend Nav at Hampstead on my way back to Wembley and I was going to get the tube when a bus pulled up just outside of Selfridges’ door. After riding the bus with Wayne from Fulham to the centre the night before (and taking in plenty of sights including a lit-up Harrods and South Kensington) I thought it would be a great way to see another bit of London. And the bus went right past Abbey Road, made famous by The Beatles – I never knew! Nav and I had a drink at Starbucks then had a chat as we walked around the Heath. It was really great to have a catchup but sadly my phone had died at this point so I don’t have many pics.


Stop 10: Wembley Stadium (again)

After Hampstead I got the tube and headed back to Wembley to meet Wayne. I’ve got to say my legs were aching after walking for miles but it was a great day and I saw so much of London.


Have you spent an afternoon wandering around the capital? What places can you recommend for the next time I’m there?

Lots of London love,

signature

 

Five Craft Ideas for Autumn – Let’s Get Autumnal!

autumn leaves in howden

As soon as I turn my calender over to September I always start to feel like summer is stepping aside to make way for the gold and orange tones of autumn. I love this time of year – no so much when it’s raining – but more the crisp blue skies, fallen leaves and long walks all wrapped up warm with a hot cup of tea waiting on your return.

The colder (and inevitably more rubbish weather) also means a lot more time inside, which for me means craft time. I thought it would be nice to put together some seasonal crafts, so get the kettle on, curl up under a blanket and have a look at these five autumnal craft ideas featuring leaves, gold tones and pine cones.


Fallen Leaves Garland

fallen leaves

Decorate your house with the colours of the season by making a pretty autumn leaves garland. Simply take a needle and embroidery thread and join together some leaves that you’ve scooped up while you’re out and about, or alternatively you could use these pretty and realistic fabric ones. For the tutorial please click here.

Fallen leaves


Pretty things up with Fallen Leaves buttons

button leaves

Staying on the leaves theme (can you tell I love them!) you could quickly jazz up a cardigan or bag with these lovely buttons. Think I might have to snap some of these up myself – love them!


Autumnal Crochet or Knits

The Homemakery Autumn Leaves

Crochet is still my favourite craft and as the nights start drawing in the thought of sitting and making a blanket in front of the TV is becoming increasingly appealing. If you’re thinking of doing the same and are inspired by the colours of the season, then have a look at this beautiful yarn pack by The Homemakery. It’s just begging to be turned into a cosy blanket and I think this colour combination would look lovely using this free Ravelry pattern.


Autumn Luminary Lights

autumn luminary

After discovering the joy (and ease) of using Mod Podge in my glittery jewellery dish tutorial I’m a a bit of a lover of Mod Podge crafts and this one by Education Possible is fab. How pretty are these autumnal lights? They look so effective but are simple enough to make with children and would look great at a harvest festival. You could also make these with real leaves instead of tissue paper.


Gold Leaf Pine Cone Garland

diy-gold-leaf-pine-cone-garland

How pretty is this? The gold leaf makes this garland look super luxe and if you live somewhere with oodles of pine cones you could make so many decorations for not very much at all. If you think that using gold leaf will be expensive, then think again as I found this which would do the job perfectly for only a couple of pounds. Bargain!


Are you ready to embrace the new season and are you planning any autumnal crafts? I’d love to hear if you’ve found any other great tutorials or inspiration.

Lots of new season love,

signature

WIN! Luxury Handmade Cushion Covers by Dotty Bobbin

WIN - Dotty Bobbin Cushions

Hello everyone,

Have I got a treat for you today! I’ve teamed up with the lovely Saskia over at Dotty Bobbin to host a giveaway of these two gorgeous cushion covers. Made with a luxury fabric, these cushion covers in beautiful autumnal colours will really add some warmth to your lounge and help to cosy things up for the changing seasons.

Saskia teaches people of all ages to sew through Dotty Bobbin as well as selling beautiful handmade items and vintage sewing machines in her online store. If you’re interested in either checking out her lovely handmade things or if you live near to Hemel Hempstead and would like to learn how to sew then head on over to her website. There you will also find tutorials and inspirational blog posts by Saskia and her children.

To enter this giveaway all you have to do (via the Rafflecopter widget below) is follow Dotty Bobbin on Facebook or Twitter (or both – you get an entry for each!) and then answer the question. (BIG CLUE: You will find the answer on the Dotty Bobbin website).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This competition is open to UK entrants only I’m afraid due to postage costs and the winner will be sent the cushions minus the fillings (as that would make one mega-sized parcel!).

Good luck!

Lots of dotty love,

signature

 

 

 

*UK residents only. Giveaway closes on Wednesday September 17 at 11.59pm. By entering this competition you agree to join the Dotty Bobbin and Beak Up Crafts mailing lists.

EXCLUSIVE 20% Discount off the New Glitter Gems Collection!

Hello everyone!

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you might have seen that I’ve been making some pretty glittery gem necklaces.

I started making them during a break from crocheting various things for a craft fair I’m planning on doing and I’ve got to say I really enjoyed it. I must have been a magpie in a previous life as if there’s anything glittery and sparkly then I’m there!

I make each gem by hand and I can do any colour/shape combination. There’s also the option to personalise your glittery gem necklace with an initial for no extra charge. Each glittery gem comes on an 18 inch silver-plated curb chain.

After a bit of thought I decided to add them to my Etsy shop and because I think you’re all lovely I wanted to give you a special discount code.

To get 20% off everything in my Etsy store, please enter the code GLITTER at the checkout. The special discount code runs out on September 9 so don’t leave it too late!

I hope you like my glittery gems.

Lots of sparkly love,

signature

 

#craftyaugust – Highlights from Week 4!

beakupcrafts - Stay Crafty

I can’t believe that August has been and gone. While I love autumn it’s always a bit sad when summer starts to fade away. This August has been even more special thanks to all of the lovely and creative people over on Instagram who have been taking part in #craftyaugust – a month long photo-a-day challenge on some crafty prompts.

I’ve been so blown away by the number of people taking part and I’ve ‘met’ some great crafters. As a result I’m hoping to organise a Crafty Meetup in Yorkshire sometime in the next few months – watch this space for more information!

This post is the final #craftyaugust roundup and it’s going to be a bit different this week as I’ve only picked one photo for each prompt. I’ll admit this is because I’ve been a bit pushed for time this weekend so apologies for not being able to share more, but if you would like to see them you can search for them all using the hashtag on Instagram.


Day 22: Best Craft Resource

books

Hannah chose books for this post, lots and lots of them. Kind of wish I had some more crafty books now!


Day 23: Top Etsy Pick

claireabellemakes

Claire chose this beautiful floral backpack. I think this is perfect for taking summer into autumn, and backpacks are a ‘thing’ right now so they tick the fashion box too.


Day 24: Summer

nicolajdodd

I love these fabric stars that Nicola posted. I so wish I could sew!


Day 25: Dreams

Dreams

This was my favourite quote from Dreams day. Take action and reach for your dreams! Thanks to Michelle for this lovely picture.


Day 26: I Wish I Had Made

littlemaldod

Lowri chose this gorgeous dog made by her Mum. I love everything about it! I wish there were some for sale!


Day 27: The Great Outdoors

beach

There were so many lovely pictures today but this one from Corina just makes me want to go walking on the beach.


Day 28: Why I Love to Craft

I love to craft

I loved the creativity of this picture from dottydollydolls, who loves to craft to escape the world of work and have something fun and frivolous. I think that’s true for a lot of people who have been taking part, including me.


Day 29: Brights

thisislullaby

Mint is one of my favourite colours and I can’t get enough of this clock posted by Vicky.


Day 30: Something Pink

flamingpot

Who doesn’t love a pink granny square? This one is by the very talented crocheter flamingpot.


Day 31: Future Plans

beakupcrafts - Stay Crafty

Whatever your future plans are I hope they all work out and you all keep crafting!


A big thank you again to everyone who has taken part. It means so much to me that so many people have got involved and enjoyed posting pictures for what I thought was a bit of a daft idea I can up with one random afternoon at work. When I hear stories of people making new contacts and growing their businesses as a result of #craftyaugust it makes me so happy.

Maybe we should do it all again sometime?

Lots of crafty love,

signature

 

 

 

 

1 2 3 11