Crafty Life

Giveaway: Country Living magazine’s Spring Fair in London

  • 2 min read

Win tickets to the Country Living Spring Fair (19 - 23 March) in London

Are you excited for spring yet? I am! Warmer days are coming!

To celebrate, we’re giving away three pairs of tickets to the Country Living Spring Fair in London. (Courtesy of Country Living themselves, of course.)

The fair will be full of contemporary crafts, beautiful textiles, vintage interior furnishing, gardening accessories, stylish fashion, handmade jewellery and bespoke millinery. (Who else is getting excited?!) There’s even a very tempting selection of craft workshops.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for Mother’s Day, too, so it’s great for gift hunting. Either way, get ready to grab a friend and get inspired by the Spring Fair!

Enter the giveaway below

5 Minute Crafts Are A Lie

  • 2 min read

There's no such thing as five minute crafting

There’s no such thing as five minute crafting.

It’s an illusion that is becoming a bit of a craft blog epidemic. (And yes, even I’ve fallen into the trap of saying it.) The truth is, just reading that craft tutorial is going to take you longer than five minutes. Can I be brutally honest? I usually take more than five minutes just to choose colours, let alone make anything.

After sourcing materials, designing something, putting it all together, correcting errors, making the better design from scratch, photographing and writing a tutorial, the “5 minute” claim is so far out of the water we could wave at the guys in the International Space Station.

Let’s not even think about the hours of practise that got us to the point where we could tackle the project in the first place. Or the time it takes just to clean up.

Is following someone else’s tutorial really that time saving? I always like to put my own twist on things: my own fabric choices, or buttons, or colours. Or, on the occasions when I do follow a tutorial to the letter, finding the exact materials always ends up being a pain. (Don’t even get me started on embroidery floss.)

It‘s okay to craft for longer than five minutes. The third or fourth try might be as quick as five minutes, but that’s not the point. If you love craftingdoesn’t it deserve the time? Let yourself sneak in an hour or two. (Sans cleaning time.) You deserve it.

My top tip for bloggers + what my craft space is like

  • 1 min read

Magazine pages for an inspiring design backdrop | Crafting Fingers

Joanna of Adventures & Tea Parties shared her crafty tips and journey with us earlier this week, and I’m so pleased to say that this month I’m featured as her Blog Gem. If you’d like to know more about what gears are grinding to make Crafting Fingers happen, read the Q&A.

I’ve shared my top tip (ok, tips! as in multiple!) for bloggers. And if you want to know what my craft space is really like,  don’t miss out.

The Ups and Ows of Crafting

  • 3 min read

Reflect ¦ Crafting Fingers

Crafting can hurt. Office work and crafting aren’t two things I compare often, but as it turns out they’re both likely to cause RSIs. (Repetitive stress injuries. Or as I would call it, ‘ow why does my shoulder hurt after 5 minutes of doing anything?’ syndrome.)

I’d heard of RSIs but it’s not something I thought I was going to have to worry about as someone in their early 20s. Turns out that was a big fat lie!

Shoulders are tricky things, too. It will easily take 6-8 months for my shoulder feel good again, and that’s after physiotherapy. If I’m honest, before the doctor told me that I was terrified it would be early-onset arthritis, so this was still good news.

Long story short? My plans for 2014 have been thrown for a loop! As fun as it was, if my lifestyle in 2013 led to this then some things have to change.

If you’re a fellow computer-loving crafty type, please learn from my mistakes!

  • No matter how young, physically fit, and healthy you are it’s a good idea to stretch after crafting. (Isn’t it funny how we naturally stretch as kids? Why do we grow out of that?)
  • … and stretch after being by the computer for a long time. Smartphones and tablets count, too. (Looking at fellow Twitter lovers!)
  • Schedule in breaks. Breaks are just as important as whatever craft work you’re doing.
  • If your shoulder hurts and you can’t keep on top of email, double-triple-quadruple check that the auto-responder you set up is actually turned on. Argh!

Being Thankful

  • 3 min read

Happy Thanksgiving - 21 things to be grateful for this week

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. This is a holiday close to my heart!

(My years in America might make me a bit biased, though, especially because my birthday often fell close enough to Thanksgiving that I got my birthday off school. How awesome is that! It did make epic birthday parties hard to organise.)

The truth is that whatever the reasons behind the tradition, everyone everywhere has something to be grateful for. When we’re all rushing to make plans for the upcoming holidays, it’s nice to sit down and remember to just enjoy what we already have. No matter how long or expensive our crafts wishlist is. *cough*

This week I postponed my 21 things from Monday until today. Thanksgiving felt right to share these 21 things I’ve been making, reading, and been grateful for this past week.


November’s Craft

  • 2 min read

November's craft of the month: basket weaving

I’m 11.5 months into this 12 month journey (where HAS TIME GONE?!). What.

November’s craft of the month is basket weaving. I’ve been busy so to give myself a break from trying to schedule in solo-learning (which tends to be pushed until 12am when it’s too dark to take photos) I’ve signed up for a course at my local art charity Arts Alive.

The photo above is from my little taster of the course back in October. My basket weaving course is going to last every Monday for five weeks, and even after just one day I’m already laughing at how loose and uneven my attempt back in October was! Bah!