Categories
Craft Inspiration Notebooks Stationery

An introduction to bullet journals

Hand bound good ideas notebook

If there’s such thing as a natural bullet journaler, I am one. Long have I been a lover of lists; a maker of orginised notes; an extravagant underliner; a margin doodler.

What is a bullet journal? Well, it’s pretty much whatever you want to make it. Start with a notebook, something to write with, and get creative. A completely blank notebook is my personal favourite, as it’s the most versatile; however some people prefer gridded or lined paper.

Leather spine key bullet journal

Though it may have started that way, it’s actually not just lists of bullet points. There’s a trend for people using notebooks to create a personal space for them to write and draw and catalogue. Layouts and doodles. Headers, banners and frames. The best thing to do is to try a few things out – just get going and you’ll soon get a feel for how you want to go and what you’ll use your journal for. A few bullet-pointed lists and a few doodles to go with them. Take inspiration, but have a go at making your own systems so that they work for you. What to put in it? Lists, logs, plans, charts, dreams, goals… I actually started with a list of the lists I wanted to make.

Bullet Journal list of lists

Leaving enough space for bigger projects is essential, so think about what you need in advance. A new one for me this year is a garden plan; I’ve laid it out so that I’ve got space for each month, and within that month space for a list of jobs that need doing and things that need planting. I’ve a small garden, so I didn’t need a huge amount of space:

Bullet Journal garden plan

 What else is there? Pens? There are so many! Sharpies are good for bold, solid lives. Stabilo fineliners are my favourites for a wide choice of colours and a slim line. And the Uniball Eye in black is the best I’ve found for your everyday black pen.

Stabilo set

As for blank notebooks, head on over to my etsy store to browse handmade notebooks, sketchbooks or journals in a selection of covers and sizes – there’s bound to be something to fit your bullet journal needs, and if not, email me for a custom order!

Blue floral coptic main

Categories
Craft Inspiration Origami Paper Tutorial

DIY Halloween decor

Halloween orange & black paper garland
Halloween orange & black paper garland

Crafters around the world have been busy working on their Christmas stock for quite some time already – but hold up! We have Halloween to go first!

If you have enough time on your hands, it’s really easy to put together these simple ideas for a seasonally spooky home. I’ve been scouring the web for ideas and I think this list shows a great range of different styles to suit any house this Halloween:

tapehand

 

There are some fab easy makes on here – my favourite is the cardboard zombie barricade!

These pretty pumpkins are so simple. If you’re not a fan of carving, this one’s for you.

fancy-pumpkins

Loads of ideas here for a frighteningly good Halloween party for any age group! Pumpkin ice buckets, orange jack-o-lanterns and more. How about these ribs?

ribs

I hope these sites have given you some inspiration. Don’t forget to check out my seasonal page over on The Craft Fantastic etsy shop, featuring my handmade Halloween garlands and spooky fang charm notebooks.

Categories
Craft Gifts Inspiration Notebooks Stationery

Argh! Panic! Last minute Father’s Day ideas

Father’s Day is Sunday 19th June – that’s THIS SUNDAY people – and if you haven’t got anything yet, there’s not much time left!

If you’re thinking of ordering something handmade made from Etsy or Folky, I’d say you’ve got until Wednesday 15th to guarantee delivery in time. And if you’re not sure what to get, never fear! The internet is here to help!

Any online store will have a search facility, and of course that’s the ideal place to start; but head on over to Esty and they have a Treasury section. This is where lovely Etsy members have done the hard work for you and hand picked a selection of relevant goodies. For example:

Father's Day treasury

You can also head over to Folksy and take a peek at their Father’s Day Gift Guide. I really like this Superhero Report:

Dad's Superhero report

This Beer Time key ring/bottle opener:

Beer Time

And this fancy schmancy Shaving Bowl:

Shaving Bowl

Last of all, what kind of craft business woman would I be if I didn’t plug my own shop a wee bit? I’ve got a range of compact hand-bound notebooks in my Etsy store, perfect for the back pocket of your dad’s jeans. My favourite is this one here which fastens using a pencil – so you’ve always got something to write with to hand:

Dad's pocket notebook

I hope that’s given you last-minuters some good ideas! And if you really leave it too late, take him out for ice cream 😀

 

Categories
Craft Inspiration Origami Tutorial Weddings

The Wedding Season – DIY finds and alternative ideas

Wedding sweet table

I love a handmade wedding, I really do –  and I know I’m not alone! So many people are now realising that they can contribute to their own weddings to make them unique and personal. The great thing is you can do as much or as little as you can; it’s still just as satisfying.

I’ve created a Pinterest board (how I wish it was around when I was planning my wedding!) full of wedding inspiration, ideas, tutorials, and, let’s be honest, stuff I just love the look of. I’ve also included some of my wedding items which you can find in my Etsy store, along with other great handmade items you can buy.

Here are a few of my faves from the board so far:

  • Wildflower confetti – make cones out of a sheet of paper and fill with pretty petals.

Petal confetti

  • Looking for musical inspiration? This book contains some great song suggestions, plus a few hints and tips on the big day. Includes a foreword from Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride’s very own Kat!

Wedding music book

  • Try your hand at making these gorgeous wedding favour lollies – get the tutorial here.

DIY wedding lollies

 

If you’re looking for something simple to make with inexpensive materials, I’ve got a tutorial here for you – origami heart cards. They’re very quick to fold once you get the hang of them, and can be used in various way. Hover over the pics in the gallery below for step-by-step instructions:

 

These would make nice simple (and cheap to post!) save the date memos:

P1040401

You could use these to decorate the tops of your favour boxes (simply glue together if you don’t want to use as a card):

Favour box decorationOr, use them for a place setting – or a place setting/box topper combined. You could even write a personal message on the inside:

Place setting

 

The nice thing about these is you don’t need to get special origami paper – you can even cut down bog standard printer paper into squares. This is great for getting the exact size you want – just experiment!

 

Enjoy x

 

Categories
Craft Craft fairs Inspiration

Craft stall displays: DIY & inspiration

The late May bank holiday will be my first craft fair of the year, a two-day event set in the lovely Castle Ashby Gardens. I’ve got my stock, I’ve got my table cloth, I’ve got my usual little baskets and things I’ve always used to try and display my wares appealingly; but I feel it’s time for a change.

Flore stall 3
A rather flat notebook display!

Now I’m doing this full time, I really need to step up my game – I actually have time work on the appearance of my stall and I intend to make the most of it. First stop – Pinterest! Obviously. I mean, where else?

My main issue is height – I sell mainly notebooks and want to have them all stood up so you can see the covers or the spines at least. This would take up a lot of space, so I started searching for ideas for little shelves or boxes for my books to go in/on. Height is great for any stall display, creating a more focal point for the browser. Remember, they’ll be going past rows of stalls and if everything you have is laid down flat on the table, they may well just walk on by; you need to get something in people’s eye line.

So. What did I find?

  • Stack ’em up! Cute little crates:

Coloured crates

 

You can often pick these up as leftovers from market stalls/supermarkets, if you’re on a budget, and paint them up or leave them plain and rustic. Even one would create a great feature, and could be used to display things inside as well as on top for that extra level.

  • Vintage Suitcase:

Vintage suitcaseThis person has done a great job of using the suitcase to maximum effect, creating levels of different items. The little sign strung across the top will catch the customer’s eye! If using a suitcase, be sure to make sure the lid is sturdy and doesn’t flop back.

  • DIY display stand:

DIY stand

This blog post is a great tutorial on how to make your own display stand – with just a few everyday craft tools and some cardboard.

  • Stacked trays and candlesticks:

Stacked trays

The initial costs for this one may be a bit higher, but this tiered stand made from painted trays and candlesticks will really stand out! (Click here for a little how-to from the creator)

Want more? I’ve just created a board on Pinterest dedicated to craft stall inspiration. YAY! Here it is.

Categories
Craft Gifts Inspiration

New talent on etsy

Etsy

There’s so much talent online at the moment it can be a bit overwhelming when searching for handmade things. Making your brand stand out can be a real challenge, especially when you’re just starting out. Having opened my own etsy shop at the end of January, I know how hard it can be; so I thought it would be a nice idea to give a shout out to other people in the same situation!

Here, then, are a handful of recently opened etsy shops – show them some love and support! I got a huge response in my request to feature on here and couldn’t include everyone (much as I’d have liked to!), so at the bottom you’ll find a ‘further reading’ list 🙂

  • Homespun Wonders – this mother-and-daughter team create beautiful knitted, crocheted, felted and embroidered things. They have quite a range up there so grap  cup of tea and go take a look!
  • Rosie Freckles makes baby quilts and play mats as well as very pretty notice boards. I really like the whole look of this shop; the name and logo fits really well and compliments the range of products sold.
  • Wee Sleepy Bee Crafts is super cute. My favourite items are the kawaii puffy star charms. Oh and the mermaids. And the ponys! And… well, most things really.

Mermaids

  • The Crafty Red Button shop sells quality envelopes and letter sets – really unique and interesting! There are some sweet buttony items too 🙂
  • Slada Home does ‘pretty little things for your home’. And they certainly are. There are just a few things in stock at the moment but I can’t wait to see more!

Illustration

  • Ip Dip Design is home to fun, colourful prints sporting fun slogans like ‘When in doubt doodle it out’ and ‘Creative Cat Lady at work’ (yep, that’s me!). The lettering on these are superb, the layouts and designs original and fun. Keep up the good work!
  • Over at Makka Beads you’ll find some unusual and wonderfully detailed beaded delights. Clearly a lot of hard work goes into these creations.
  • Silvicultrix Shop has the start of what will clearly be a fantastic range of illustrations. The style is very personal and unique, and though there are only a few up at the moment, the style and quality of these means they’re sure to take off.

Dragonfly

  • Canvas Magic by Melanie creates beautiful hand-lettered canvases, wall art and more. Her style is really beautiful and she offers custom orders too!

And the rest… well worth checking out and sorry I didn’t have time to write about all of you… but crafting calls!

www.elistonbutton.etsy.com

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/byLiiL

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/KayeHTextiles

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/POGOandCo

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MADEtoPLAN

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AtlanticRose

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/OlofsonSkincare

www.oscarblaiseart.etsy.com

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HazImagination

www.biscuitandsusie.etsy.com

www.etsy.com/shop/ooodledoodle

penguinspaperchains.etsy.com

Www.littlebluegirlco.etsy.com

www.pixiesmagichook.etsy.com

Moongazerglass.etsy.com

www.DeborahBeckJewellery.etsy.com

http://etsy.me/1SkmKIW

https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/matildasworld15

www.maggiebaggagemakes.etsy.com

Categories
Craft Inspiration Tutorial

All Things Spring! Crafts and Inspirations

Spring is one of my favourite times of year. There’s so much newness going on it’s hard not to get inspired! From colour palettes to tutorials, I’ve started scouring the web to find the best ideas of the season. Here are a few of my favourites:

  • Painted twigs

Spring twigs

So pretty – and such a simple idea!

  • Edible flower lollies

Lollies

Adding edible flowers (e.g. rose petals, lavender) to your homemade lolly molds looks gorgeous. Hopefully it will be warm enough for ice lollies this spring…

  • Pom pom bunny

Pom pom bunnies

Because pom poms. And because bunnies. Tutorial found here.

  • Spring weekly planner

Spring planner

Oh planning, I love planning. This pink spring set is available from WendyPrints over on etsy. Time to get those to do lists looking fabulous!

  • Plant shelves

Spring ladder

This idea of using an old ladder as shelves for your potted plants looks stunning. A great way of adding some spring colour to even the smallest garden.

You can follow my spring Pinterest board here for more ideas.

Categories
Craft General Inspiration

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year

 

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 🙂

Categories
Art Craft Inspiration Origami Paper

Weekly Inspiration – Origami as Art

It is said that origami (from the Japanese ‘ori’ (folding) and ‘kami’ (paper)) is the art of folding paper. Without getting too philosophical, does that make all origami art?!

Well, no, but some of it certainly ticks that box. Personally I like making things that either look pretty or are functional (flowers, hearts, boxes – the usual, in fact); while other people have actually challenged themselves. Go them! Note to self: challenge accepted.

Of course there are some really great articles to be found already on this subject- see here for one such article from the Huffington Post.

Here, though are my favourite finds and inspirations from the wonderful world wide web.

This awesome Parisian street ‘graffiti’:

Origami Street Art Graffiti

This cosmic 3D project, using folded paper, tape and lights:

3d-origami-art

This epic elephant, folded by Sipho Mabona (with a little help!) from a specially-made single sheet of paper:

origami-sculpture elephant

This totally fabulous dress:

Origami dress

And finally this great example of jewellery from the linen cat:

Origami necklace

Categories
Inspiration Notebooks

National Stationery Week 2015

It’s back, baby! It’s back and it’s SOONER THAN I REALIZED.

NSW - GBW 2015 (sponsors horiz’)

NSW 2013 with date and website and partners (no website)

Also, part of the National Stationery Week deal this year is ‘7 Days Of Stationery’ – and guess what? Thursday is notebook day!! Woo!

7 Days of Stationery

That is just all kinds of awesome. And… freeze-frame jump for joy!