Hope you all had a good festive season! Yes? No? Get up to anything crafty? New Year resolutions? FAB.
It’s all go here at The Craft Fantastic HQ – I’m now officially a full-time crafter! WHOOP! I’m VERY excited, as you can imagine.
First things first: this isn’t a decision I made lightly, and I’m aware that I’ll need to work hard to get this business off the ground. With that in mind, I’ve taken a few steps to make sure I stay on target.
GOAL LISTS. The idea is to have one list for each month – so far I’ve written Jan and Feb and I’ll keep adding as I go along – I’m still figuring out how much time things will take.
THINGS TO DO EVERY DAY. This is a list of activities I’m going to do every. single. day. It’s a good mix of work, work work and downtime; things like exercise, read, craft, write, catch up on emails and social media, housework etc.
Ok – so only two steps! I’m just getting started though, learning as I go- lots more hints and tips on starting out to come 🙂
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about turning our teeny tiny bedroom into a craft room. The hardest thing is coming up with ideas. Where to start? The internet, of course. Just had a quick image search to get some inspiration and thought I’d share my favourites!
Book lovers of the world, rejoice! For today is World Book Day.
But what does it actually mean? Surely every day is World Book Day? Well, according to their site “It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading.” Take a look here to find out the full story.
It’s a fantastic incentive to get kids all over the world reading. Children can get £1 books via special book tokens and there are plenty of events on so head on over to worldbookday.com and check it out!
Right about now is the time you may want to think about panicking if you haven’t yet bought all your Christmas presents. It’s 2 weeks to Christmas! Just 2 weeks! Quick! Get the things! Order the stuff!
Whatever stress you may or may not be feeling about finishing your Christmas shopping, rest assured there’s still some time. And if you don’t relish the thought of fighting your way through crowded high streets and shops, but you still want to feel like you’ve taken the time to seek out a unique gift, then have no fear: the internet will save you.
While under normal circumstances I don’t condone buying gifts online instead of supporting wonderful local and independent shops, there are several fantastic and well-established websites that specialise in peddling the homemade, hand crafted wares of creative individuals. Here are my favourites:
Etsy was where it all started for me. The realization that you could buy things that had been made by other people from around the world – and indeed sell your own things – was a very exciting prospect. They’ve been going for a good while now and their online shop of “all things handmade, vintage, and supplies” is chock full of unique gifts to browse- like these mini kaleidoscopes:
Folksy is similar to Etsy; it hasn’t been going as long, but is really making a name for itself now as the online home of modern British craft. You can buy some really amazing crafted products on here!
Not On The High Street is basically what it says on the tin. It was founded in 2006, their ideal being “to hunt out the most original items from the best creative small businesses, and bring them together in one place, making it easy for people to browse and buy.” Huzzah!
Hannah Zakari is a beautiful boutique full of the cute, the quirky and the unusual from independent designers. If you’re after something a bit different then head here for pretty jewellery, bags, accessories and more.
Bottle Green Homes. This London-based company sells only things made 100% in Britain. Well done chaps! This should be your first port of call for great homeware gifts.
So there you go- now you’ve no excuse! Handmade gifts all round! Happy shopping 🙂
‘The Diary Of A Nobody’ – the title caught my attention almost as much as the cover, which I spotted on Wikipedia’s homepage today:
First published by Arrowsmith in 1892, with the above cover, it’s a comic novel written by George and Weedon Grossmith- and it’s also illustrated.
I really love the colours of this cover, not to mention the little banner at the bottom! If this excerpt from the preface is anything to go by, it sounds like my kind of book:
“Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see—because I do not happen to be a ‘Somebody’—why my diary should not be interesting.”
It’s officially drawing time, as the 2013 Big Draw – The Campaign for Drawing – kicks off. Well, technically it’s already kicked off, as the official start was October 1st – but panic not, most of the events and key dates have yet to happen. Phew. And relax.
The Campaign for Drawing’s Big Draw is taking place in 15 different countries, from 1st October to 3rd November. They’re an independent charity and the basic aim is to encourage everyone to draw – as they state, drawing is a tool for “thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement.”
Want more info about them? There’s plenty to be had here.
Golden Images at the British Museum, London, October 26th. It’s free and it’s for all ages, so there’s no excuse for not joining in!
Imagined Cities at the National Gallery, London, October 4th. In this free workshop you get to help create a futuristic paper city!!
Autumn Glory: Half Term Family Fun at Harewood House, Leeds- various events from October 26th to November 3rd, including Children’s Crafts, a Literature Trail and a Carved Pumpkin Display.
Sandal C’ART’stle at Wakefield Museum, Wakefield, October 30th. This event is for ages up to 11 and they get to create their own shield designs on cotton fabric, using examples from the history of Sandal Castle as inspiration. Awesome.
Frankenstein’s Workshop at York House Centre, Milton Keynes, October 5th. An all day workshop for all ages – help transform York House into Frankenstein’s Workshop!
Draw Like A Fashion Designer at the Fashion Museum, Bath, 28th, 29th and 3oth October. “Draw your favourite fashions.” ‘Nuff said.
Hopscotched at Cambridge University Sidgwick Site, Cambridge, from October 17th.
Signage populates our urban spaces, guiding us, affecting our movements around the city. We are told to ‘push’, ‘pull’, ‘return’, ‘access’ or ‘stop’ as though the city choreographs us in a dance. Claire Weetman, an artist based in the North West, will select verbs and symbols from signage around Cambridge, then jet-wash them into the pavement of the University’s Sidgwick Campus. There, you’re invited to be led through the public spaces in a playful way as though you’ve stepped into a board game, or found a new way of playing hopscotch.
Your Park, Your Big Draw at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, October 12th. One of the main events, this fun-filled day for all ages is packed with DIY and art activities!
If you’re unable to get to an event, you can always take part online.
Here are some key dates for your diaries – join in if you can and don’t forget you can donate anytime:
1st October: Big Draw Starts
5th October: Big Draw Day!
18th October: Family Arts Festival Starts
3rd November: Big Draw Ends- last day of Family Arts Festival
I was lost in Forbidden Planet, searching for a new comic book. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted, but boy did I know it when I saw it! Pink, skulls, eye patch, roller skates and guns? Yes please!
I haven’t actually read Carpe Diem, which is what this cover’s taken from (there are three stories in there), but visually it looks good and I’m looking forward to it.
Now, the first thing you come to is The Weirding Willows, which I instantly fell in love with! It’s a complete mash up of well known, well loved stories and tales. Centred on Alice- you know, The Alice. I will definitely continue buying this series.
Picked up a great little paperback copy of ‘War Of The Worlds’ at lunch!
I love the illustration on the cover – and the font! Everything, in fact. This particular edition is from 1967. I found the image here, a fabulous page dedicated to War Of The Worlds covers dating back from 1898.
It’s a 21st Century Bestiary. “Ranging from the depths of the ocean to the most arid corners of the earth, Caspar Henderson captures the beauty and bizarreness of the many living forms we thought we knew and some we could never have contemplated, and invites us to better imagine the world around us.”
You can take a sneeky peek at the introduction on Amazon – you won’t regret it.