1001 Ways to Use Mason Jars: Controlling the Pinterest habit

  • 5 min read

How Pinterest makes you feel bad - and ways to stop that

Have you heard of Pinterest? … Well, really, who hasn’t?

Pinterest is a big reason this blog happened, but the inspiration wasn’t in the form you might expect. Pinterest didn’t inspire me to craft. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

If you’re a crafter and use Pinterest you probably know what I mean. Bombarded with hundreds of brilliant craft ideas, tutorials, patterns, blogs, and even shops, it’s a wonder any of us get anything done. ‘Pin now, read later’ is a common comment on the pins.

Are you really going to read it later?

How many of us actually click through to the link before we repin something? Has anyone else noticed how so many of the ‘brilliant’ Pins are actually reposted images on spam websites? How many of us have repinned the same thing multiple times without even realising?

(I know I’ve been guilty of that. Whoops.)

But no, no, no – it’s a good thing, of course. Hoarding ideas is a fast way to become brilliant yourself, right?

Yet there you sit, an hour of pinning later, no more productive than you were before.

Gathering stitching inspiration

  • 2 min read

Embroidery sketches

Some sketches playing around with the stitches I’ve learnt so far

After getting a couple weeks of experience in embroidery, I think it’s time to share some of the things that have been inspiring me along the way:

For magazine lovers, the gorgeous CrossStitcher mag + blog
I love Bo’s work, from lazydoll, esp. this bunny girl coin purse 
The Sublime Stitching blog – ‘this ain’t your gramma’s embroidery’ ;)

Brace yourself, spring is coming!

  • 2 min read

Pussy willow branches; spring is coming!

My husband came home from a week away just in time to catch my cold. We holed up for the weekend, warm blankets and tea keeping us company.

We drove to the shop today, finally snivel-free and bright-eyed, and I spotted some daffodils growing by the side of the road. The tired grass here on our little peninsula in Chepstow is still browned with winter. The dark green daffodil plants were stark against the grass and easy to spot, even in a car going 40 MPH. I imagine they’ve grown rogue, having originated at some point or another from someone’s garden.

Daffodils: Winter is dead

It all reminded me of a poem I read once, about daffodils:

No, *YOU* are Amazing

  • 2 min read

AMAZINGSUK

I can’t think of one person I know who hasn’t learned something incredibly useful from an older person in their life, whether that person may be a relative or a stranger. Our lives, all of them, are built upon the choices and knowledge of the people that came before us.

Which is why The Amazings project in London is so fantastic. The premise of the company is simple; it offers variety of courses offered by amazing people over the age of 50. But it’s so much better than that. The Amazings wants to offer courses from real people with real experiences.

February’s Craft Announcement!

  • 2 min read

Ooh, I’m excited! February’s craft of the month is the beautiful, varied, and well-established craft of embroidery!

(If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me mention it earlier this month.)

Embroidery didn’t catch my eye until I worked as a photographer for my grandmother’s business (website in Finnish). She sells printed linens and cloths for DIY embroidery, amongst other wonderfully crafty things, and wanted to set up a website. Spending so much time with the embroidered linens helped me appreciate their elegance and the beauty of hand-embroidered pieces.

Now, I look for vintage embroidery in second-hand shops and love the often bright and geometrical styles of contemporary embroidery.

So here’s the confession: other than half-finished kits I’ve never done embroidery. It’s on my long list of ‘loved but never tried’ crafts, much like crochet was. So in the spirit of my craft-a-month project, here goes!

What to expect this month:

January’s Simple Pleasures + Other Highlights

  • 3 min read

Country cottage inspired bouquet

It was beautiful in Chepstow today. The morning started out grey, but by midday it was breezy and bright and the earthy smell of spring was in the air.

The local florist shop smelled heavenly of lilacs when I stepped inside. You could call today’s bouquet a treat for having kept to my 2013 goals so far, but honestly I just thought they were too beautiful to miss. (Insert naughty self-satisfied giggle here.)

Whenever I see creamy pink roses I dream of bringing them home to a magazine-esque country cottage filled with vintage floral prints and the smells of home-made bread and wild flowers.

… We can all dream, right? ;)

My Project 365 is so far a success. I’ve taken just over 700 photos. That’s more than I took in the entire year of 2012.

Don’t worry! I’m not going to share all 700, just some highlights: