Tag Archives: DIY

Hillary’s Crafternoon | Ziferblat, Manchester

Ziferblat Crafternoon Manchester

Last Saturday my eyes opened at an ungodly hour out of excitement for a really cool event organised by Joe Bloggs for Hillary’s Blinds – the infamous Crafternoon! It was my first time at one of these events, but having seen the cool stuff other bloggers get up to at them, I was super thrilled to be invited.

The focus was on the launch of Hillary’s new Jewel collection, and was to be held at possibly the coolest place I’ve ever visited in Manchester – Ziferblat. Basically, it’s a space where you pay for the amount of time you spend there, and help yourself to drinks and snacks. Even dogs can visit – perfect.

Ziferblat Crafternoon Manchester

So, I met up with Becky from Blogger and the Geek before, and we arrived just in time to bag prime seats at this nifty little space in the NQ. Our first instruction was my favourite thing ever – “Help yourself to cake!” – so we did.

Ziferblat Crafternoon Manchester

We were then put through our creative paces by Jana from The Craft Hen in task 1 – making a fabric covered jewellery box using cuts from the gorgeous new jewel range from Hillarys. I chose a muted palette for the exterior and adorned it with some monochrome buttons, then inside opted for a more luxurious, deep red cushioning. The process was surprisingly easy (but very fiddly) and we were done within around an hour! I never thought I’d be able to throw together a jewellery box in an hour!

Ziferblat Crafternoon Manchester

Anyway, more cakes and we were on to the next task – which was my favourite – the Suffolk puff! I didn’t even know what this was until Saturday, but since I left the event I’ve made at least 6 more, adorning them with basically everything I can stick down. They’re circles of fabric gathered together round the edge by a slip stich – and it makes a lovely little ruffle that can be used for… anything, really. I’m looking forward to experimenting with them.

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Sadly, I had to dart early during the Suffolk Puff stage so I didn’t get to enjoy the last hour of the event – but I had such a fun time! Who knew crafting in a group could be such fun – it’s really inspired me to be a little more creative.
I will say, though, that hot glue guns are seriously hot. Like, the clue’s in the name, but I don’t have fingerprints any more.
Because I burned them off with glue. Just saying. Tea & parkin helped, though.

Ziferblat Crafternoon Manchester

Thanks so much Hillarys and Joe Bloggs for making the event happen, and Jana from The Crafty Hen for being such a funny, encouraging instructor!
While you’re at it, read the Hillarys post about this event right here.

Do you have a favourite simple craft to work on? Share it with me!

Kitty

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Prep Your Home for Summer with 5 Cheap Tweaks

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Say what you want about the UK, but there is something very satisfying about having very clear seasons throughout the year. Spring floats breezily into summer, which melts down into a crisp autumn, then Winter steamrolls in before succumbing to the spring again. Repeat as needed. One of the frustrating things about the stereotypical seasons is that your mood and tastes can change dramatically within a 12 month cycle – and it’s not exactly cost effective to redecorate every season to accommodate those changing tastes. That’s why I’m sharing a few tips to prep your home for summer! These are quick and inexpensive tweaks you can make in less than a day to give your home an airier summertime vibe.

1. Introduce Colourful Flowers/Plants

Summer Home Ideas

Now depending on your taste, these can be fresh or faux. I like wildflowers lots this season, so I’ve been cheekily picking the odd bunch from the park bushes at the end of runs – particularly lilac and yellow flowers, which have a lovely pop.  I display  them into clean jam jars all over the house and it gives a really lovely outside-in feeling. If you pick clever you can use this method to fill your home with the scents of summertime blossom too (I don’t, I just choose beautiful weeds).

I also like to have potted plants just about everywhere, but that all depends on your ability to keep them alive! If you need a few pointers, check out my Plant Killers Guide to Not Killing Plants here.  I like to keep lavender, rosemary and other sweet scented herbs but I’ll be posting more about that soon.

2. Let In or Cheat Natural Light

Open those curtains! Not that we keep them closed in winter, it’s just nice to have a fresh face full of sunshine throughout the daytime when it’s bright out. Studies show you’re more likely to feel good if you are subjected to sunshine within 20 minutes of getting up, so there’s another good reason to peek at the street!

Similarly, if you have the chance, let in some fresh air. The smells and sounds of outside are a mood boost!

3. Simplify Everything

The pomp and circumstance of festive décor is lovely, by the time summer comes around, you need a rest. Simple geometric patterns or blank, crisp designs work well for me in summer. I tend to switch to plain or light scatter cushions and buy brighter, more vibrant flowers. The most detail in my house over summer is our monochrome Ikea rug, and I like it like that.

Like patterns on fabrics, physical clutter is distracting and makes everything feel stuffy. Decluttering really helps achieve a “fresh” feeling, and its especially nice in Summer. Its the sort of nice that, for me, inspires feelings of creativity. Which in turn creates clutter, which requires decluttering. It’s an ongoing business to remain sane.

4. If in doubt, choose White.
If you’re planning on making an investment on any home accessories, the best advice I ever got is to always choose white. You can accessorise it until the cows come home and make it work for every season with a few tweaks. In summer in particular, white crockery, bedding, throws and accessories feel clean, cool and classy. In winter, they’re snow-tipped and always work as a good backdrop to other colour schemes.

5. Have Ice
Seriously this is such a simple act of self kindness that it often goes unrecognised. Make or buy ice in large quantities, and keep it available at all times. You cannot underestimate the power of a properly cool drink, or the relief that can be achieved from a tiny cube of frozen water. Have ice available at all times, and you can thank me whenever.

Do you have any great tips for getting your home summer ready?

Kitty

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DIY Advent Calendar Project with HobbyCraft.

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been feeling really creative, which I often find is a symptom of the approaching festive season for me. I’ve been researching tons of great Christmas projects, and will be sharing them over the coming weeks.

As if by divine intervention I was contacted by HobbyCraft whilst I was planning these projects and invited to DIY an advent calender to show my readers just how fun and easy it can be to DIY a Christmas masterpiece, with just a little help from them.

I was sent the advent calendar shell, some acrylic paint and some wooden advent numbers and let loose to perform a christmas miracle – and I honestly think this was the perfect project to re-introduce me to the wonderful world of crafting after a semi-lengthy hiatus.

 When I received the items I was really impressed with the quality of the calendar. I had expected it to be thick cardboard but its actually more like MDF, and very sturdy! Well worth the £12.99 RRP, especially considering it’s a lovely Christmas decoration which can be brought back out year after year – and it looks way less tacky than the horrid chatacter themed calendars (which despite being 25 and 33, we still have).

First of all I had to decide how to arrange my colour scheme. I had been sent gold and a glittery green glue, but I like a very traditional red, gold & green décor over Christmas so I picked up a tube of red & green too, and I was good to go. Deciding how to distribute the colour is hard, and I was totally spoilt for choice. After much deliberation I decided to opt for a green background as the dark would help the red & gold drawers pop – and I was right!

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 I love the mish-mash of colours over Christmas so I wanted a few different designs for the drawers. I toyed with the idea of doing each drawer a different colour or pattern, but aside from being time consuming, I wasn’t sure if it would flow if I did that. Instead I opted for red & gold drawers, with a handful of tricolour spot print ones – all with contrasting handles. My theory was that if it looked bare after that I could always pattern over the plain drawers, but now it’s finished I’m glad I went for a simple design instead of a more complex one – I just love the simplicity of it.

The fairy lights are just pinched from a house plant, I wanted to give an impression of twinkly christmas lights without actually putting up my tree (I’d love to but Mr K won’t allow it yet).

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 I haven’t totally filled it up yet (I have like.. a month!) but I have made a start. The drawers are actually pretty deep so can fit a reasonable amount of bits inside – I’ve currently got some mini lindt christmas bells, hot chocolate sachets and even a few alcohol minis – but I’m not divulging everything because I don’t want to spoil the surprise! I still have about 15 days to fill up so if you have any ideas please share them!

 Want to try your own Advent Calendar? You can shop HobbyCraft’s whole Calendar Making collection here:
http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/christmas/advent-calendars

 The plain calendars are the cheapest I’ve seen listed by far, and the quality is great!
Kitty

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