3 Things to Jumpstart Your Crafty Year

  • 3 min read

3 things to jumpstart 2015 | Crafting Fingers

Crafting Fingers is two years old today. What a ride it’s been! To kick off 2015 I wanted to share these goodies you might have missed from elsewhere on the web.

Get the most out of your camera

Blogtacular’s debut event was a huge success last year, and now Kat M & Kat G (both super talented behind a camera) have released a FREE photography ebook to help you go beyond the automatic settings of your camera. These ladies know what they’re talking about.

Download ‘The Unmanual’ here | Blogtacular

Reflect on what’s been and what’s to come

Time to put last year to rest and get excited about what this year will bring. The fifth edition of Susannah Conway’s free workbook will help you do just that. It’s like a printable life coach. Go dig out your favourite pens and dream big! No one has to see it but you.

(Psst. What’s your word for 2015? Mine is persist. Or better put, ‘just keep swimming’!)

Get your ‘Unravelling’ workbook here | Susannah Conway

Focus on getting better, not ‘being good’

This was my biggest lesson in 2014. After completing my journey to learn a new craft every month in 2013, I felt a bit lost. Then anxiety set in. What if, despite all the progress I made and the things I had learnt, I was just some crafter wannabe? Social media makes it even easier to compare and feel like a failure. But it’s not about them. It’s about your improvements. Take it one stitch, loop, and snip at a time!

Getting Better vs Being Good | 99u

What I’ve been making this week

  • 5 min read

Crafting Fingers blog hop

It’s blog hop time!

What better way to blow the dust away from this blog than to tell you all what I’ve been up to recently? I love sneaking a peek into other peoples’ crafty lives. (And if social media’s popularity has anything to say about it, so does just about everyone!) Being nosy is just part of the human condition.

Kate of Made By Mrs M has invited me to join in on a dual blog hop.  She’s shared snippets of her life on her own blog. If you love mid-century design or textiles, be sure to check out her work!

Blog Hop #1

What have you been making at your desk this week?

Can you feel the pressure of the holidays yet? I’ve been practising techniques I want to put to use in my own Christmas decor this year. My latest make was a ruffle-edged panel curtain to practise (you guessed it!) sewing ruffles. Away from my desk I’ve been getting more and more passionate about cooking and baking, too. I’m cooking a (hopefully) romantic Christmas dinner for two and that means lots of recipe testing.

Where am I currently finding my inspiration?

I’m focusing on deliberate consumption. Pinterest is strictly an indulgent treat. Instead of photos (that don’t tell you much about the effort involved) I’m focusing on the people who do work I aspire to do.

5 Lessons Learnt from Crafting

  • 3 min read

lessons-learnt-from-crafting

Making isn’t always straightforward. A lot of my projects (especially the ones I design from scratch!) are bumbled through. It’s a journey, not a process. There’s always more to learn, even if some things are easy to pick up: take it slow, measure twice, and check colours in daylight!

Here are some of the other lessons I’ve learnt from crafting.

1. Handmade doesn’t always = better.

Handmade doesn’t mean it’s ethical, well made, eco-friendly, or local. And crafting isn’t cheap. Or easy. And it’s NEVER done in five minutes. (And, technically, handmade can be just as systemised as machine production.)

That’s why beautiful, ethically produced, and quality handmade design is so worth investing in. Even better if the materials are eco-friendly and the designer is local.

All the more reason to make something yourself!

2. There’s more than one way to be rich.

There is only one universal currency: time. Crafters need a lot of it. It doesn’t matter what the materials are or what the craft is, you need time. Time to learn, time to design, time to make.

To craft, you need to be rich in time. Not money. (Although the latter does help when you binge-buy fabric!) Let yourself take it slow. 

Wooden Bread Bin Makeover

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A bread bin needing some TLC gets an Annie Sloan makeover | Crafting Fingers

This bread bin (which may or may not have been stashed in my craft room for well over a year while I figured out what to do with it) was in desperate need of some TLC.

When I spotted the bread bin in its sticker-covered, scribbled-on, and scruffed up glory I knew it would be perfect for a makeover. It is pictured here after most of the cleaning and sticker removing had been done.

But this weekend I got off my bum and figured out what to do with it. I needed something quick, easy, and most importantly gentle on my shoulder. And it turned out, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® was the answer! Take a look at the photos below to see how it turned out.

(And let me know what you think about my super professional painting set up!)

Say hello to the Sizzix Big Shot Machine

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Win a Sizzix Big Shot embossing/cutting machine! Ends May 17. | Crafting Fingers

Can we officially say it’s summer yet? Nature seems to think so.

Changing seasons are so inspiring to me. When the view from my craft room window is different from day to day, it’s so much easier to really pay attention to things and dig into enjoying the moment. Looking through my stash there are just so many possibilities!

The Sizzix Big Shot is an embossing, cutting, crafting machine. It’s the perfect tool to get your craft on this summer! Tweet and comment for your chance to win. (Details below.)

Disclosure: The Sizzix Big Shot is courtesy of Hobbycraft. Giveaway is UK only.

A new way to buy handmade

  • 6 min read

Claire Leigh of Two Ducks | on Crafting Fingers

It’s an amazing and fun new way to buy British design.

Last November I was invited to the Two Ducks launch party. Claire Leigh is on a mission to share her love for British designed goods, and it was so much fun to experience her shop launch. I’m so excited to share the story of that night with you and a quick interview with Claire about how this crazy little idea came to life!

Wine and a browse

Photography below courtesy of the lovely Jo de Magneval. 

Wading through the crowd in Woking’s Jubilee Square is tricky with heels in late November. There’s a brisk wind but the excitement for the lighting of the Christmas tree is tangible. Yet the festivities aren’t the attraction I’m heading for tonight. Down a little alley and just a few steps from Woking’s train station lies the Cellar Magneval Wine Bar.

Two Ducks in Cellar Magneval in Woking

Claire Leigh loves crafts and British design. She dreamed about a fun, low-pressure way to share her passion. Tonight, that dream is about to come to life.