London Calling!

I had a fab time visiting my sister and her boyfriend in London. It's one of the best places to be inspired and refresh your batteries even though walking around ALL day can get tiring!
It was my first visit to the shop Liberty and it was amazing!
Really pretty things although it's quite pricy but a great place to wonder and take in this unique shop.
I LOVE Irregular Choice shoes so was very pleased when I came across this shop on Carnaby Street. There were some truly gorgeous shoes and a great sale! Whoop!
One of my favourite places in London is China Town. I love the cute little shops, exotic bakeries and yummy restaurants. Sooooo good!
I found this cat jumper in the shop Joy, I love it with it's peter pan collar!
On Sunday we spent all day at the many markets on Brick Lane including this vintage one. These markets are a bit dangerous for someone like me!
I picked up these fab buys!
The tee and kitten scarf are handprinted by a fashion student and I love her cat prints, they are gorgeous!
And I picked up this powder blue tiger print vintage jumper for £5! Wow!

I had a fab time, it really inspired me to design some new jewellery collections and I'll show them off soon!
XXX

Giveaway! - Valentines

Its giveaway time again! Whoop!
Valentines day is just around the corner and to celebrate I'm giving away these super cute heart earrings from the new I.L.C 'LOVE' collection and velvet lilac ribbon from Liberty's London (2m).



RULES FOR ENTERING

1. Leave a comment here telling me what your fav item from the I Love crafty site is with your contact email for 1 entry.

2. Like me on facebook, this will give you 1 extra entry.

3. Follow my blog (comment to say that you do) for 1 extra entry.

4. Twitter tweet, starting with @ilovecrafty (comment to give link) for 1 extra entry.

WANT MORE CHANCES TO WIN?!
5. Link to this giveaway on your facebook for 3 extra entries! Comment with the link and make sure you make it open to everyone or I won't be able to see it! :)
6. Blog about this giveaway for 3 extra entries! Comment with the link.

GOOD LUCK!!!
Winner will be picked: 12th February!!
XXX

Something for the Weekend - Macaroons!

I've got a bit of a sweet tooth at the moment so my mind is fixed on...
Pretty Macaroons!

I'll be trying to bake some of these pretties, the last time I tried it ended in a lot of mess and burnt macaroons! So I'll let you know how I get on. Heres the recipe for these gorgeous Strawberry Macaroons!

Ingredients

  1. 50g ground almonds
  2. 140g icing sugar
  3. 2 large egg whites
  4. 1 tbsp caster sugar
  5. Pink food colouring paste
  6. 3 tbsp good-quality strawberry jam

Method

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  2. 2. Sieve the ground almonds and icing sugar together into a large bowl. Put the egg whites into a separate bowl, and using an electric hand whisk, beat to soft peaks. Add the caster sugar, and whisk until glossy. Fold into the almond and icing sugar mixture, along with a very small amount of the pink food colouring. Mix until just combined and evenly pink – the mixture will reduce as the air bubbles in the meringue burst.
  3. 3. Put the mixture into a disposable piping bag, snip off 1cm from the end. Pipe small blobs (about 1 heaped teaspoon each) onto the baking paper, spaced apart, so you have about 50 in total. Set aside for 10 minutes to dry – this is important as it gives the macaroons the correct texture. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the whole sheet of paper over – the macaroons will be stuck so won’t fall off. Bake for another 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
  4. 4. Peel off the baking paper from the macaroons, then sandwich 2 together with a tiny blob of strawberry jam in the centre. Repeat to give you 25 in total.

And I'm also off to London this weekend to visit my sister, shopping on Brick Lane, getting inspiration at the V&A and hopefully visiting Liberty's for the first time!
Have fun this weekend, what do you like to do in London?

XXX

Pom Pom's at the ready!


It's a new year and I'm getting into a redecorating, reorganising kinda mood so here's some ideas and inspiration for if your feeling the same! (Pom Pom shaped)

1. Homemade Glitter Ball!

2. Fabric Pom Pom's

Supplies:

fabric of your choice

scissors

hot glue gun

chinese lanterns
Step 1: Cut circles out of fabric.

Step 2: Fold the circle in half and put a little hot glue on the center, then fold over to secure.

Step 3: Apply more hot glue to the bottom of the folded circle.

Step 4: Press the bottom of the folded circle with the hot glue onto the chinese lantern.

Step 5: Repeat these steps until the whole lantern is covered. Once finished, attached some fabric to the metal frame of the lantern to hang.


3. Pom Pom Necklace!



Amazing Pom pom necklace from here!


XXX

Doggy Draft Excluders!

Take a look at these cute doggie draft excluders I made! £25 each to a good home!
(And they help keep you warm!)

Roma
Florence
Abby
Audrey

XXX

Bye Bye Crafty Shop Bristol

Wow, what a roller-coaster ride it's been having a shop! Now my little shop in Bristol is closed I thought I'd write a post all about it from beginning to end.
I hope you find it interesting and inspiring, it's been the best and hardest journey I've done so far so enjoy!

What made you open a shop? I get asked this a lot and it's been a toughie to answer. There's lots of reasons but here's just a few:
  • I'd always wanted to have a shop (since a little girl)
  • I wanted a place where customers could always find me (I'd sold at markets before that)
  • Because I wanted to (I'm one of those people who need to do things rather than wonder 'what if". My mum always said "theres no gain without risk" and life's too short for regrets.
So after selling at lots of markets, and they ARE hard work, I decided to open I Love Crafty Shop Bristol. I wanted to keep my cute, kitsch style like I had created on my stalls such as this one.


With the help of my sister who's a production designer in the film industry we started looking for inspiration for shop design.


I loved this shop front with it's grass, cute exterior and windows full of lush goodies!



When I was on my honeymoon in San Francisco I came across this charming tea room called, The Crown and Crumpet which had a tiny gift shop which I fell in love with. It was soooo beautiful and full of handmade trinkets, a true feast for the eyes.
For me, to make my shop look half as sweet, quirky and interesting as this one would have been a dream come true!


This is the mood board I made for the shop. I knew I wanted pastel colours, as they are my favourite and reminded me of Disney, another HUGE inspiration. I wanted the shop to feel like an experience, not just be a space with products you could buy. I wanted to grab peoples attention and create a space like no other. I hope I did this!


This is my sister Kate's design, we wanted to paint a sky on the celling so we'd always have blue skies and it was very important for me to have a tree in the shop. I was inspired by a photo shoot by Tim Walker. We made one from a old shelf unit, chicken wire a plaster of paris and after a hour of auguring about how to make it we did!


So we open on the 14th August 2010 thanks to all my family helping with the painting, cleaning and getting the furniture in. It was a great day, and I felt very lucky and tired!


You can see the edge of the tree with baby clothes hanging from it in this pic.


As well as selling my own crafty work I wanted to sell other local artists work. I was amazed by the amount of lovely, talented artists there are in Bristol and here's a few of them in front of the shop. Thanks to all of you who made the shop what it was!


We had our 1st birthday in 2011 and I hung bunting from the celling. it ended up looking like the inside of a circus tent and was sooo pretty!


Just before the new year, my little shop closed for business. I was very upset and it was a really hard decision. I'd loved having my shop but times are hard and in the end I had to decide to close.


So after a month of planning, 2 weeks of decorations and a year and a half of being open it took one day to clear out. I didn't feel sad, I found it quite therapeutic like it was the end of that particular chapter of I Love Crafty and my life.


The tree was the hardest thing to get out! It's now got a new home in a shop on the road where I live so I see it all the time, weird!


As much as I loved my shop I felt like it wasn't the right time to dedicate all my time to it but I'm soooooo happy and proud that I did. I met soooo many amazing people and friends through having the shop.
I don't regret having it or closing it, I'm just thankful for what's come out of it!

And now you can visit I Love Crafty in your own home on our online store here as well as selling at local markets and happily my jewellery is now on sale in shops around the country.
I've got lots of plans for I Love Crafty, this is only the beginning!

Thanks for reading this! Hope you like it and remember, I Love Crafty loves you!
XXX

My 2011


Time to look back at 2011 as I make pans for 2012. What a busy year!
What was yours like?
XXX