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Do you own a small craft business? Are you fed up of friends and customers thinking it is just a hobby? Join us now and receive your unique registration number, certificate and badges for your website to show just how serious you are about being a working crafter. Help us to elevate the status of handmade gifts and take advantage of special Guild Discounts from craft suppliers.

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CHAT Creative Connections is sponsored by

THE TEAM Editor and Ad Sales - Anna (The Crystal Lady)

CREATIVE Technical Editor - Avril (Sprinkles Sparkles) Proof Reading- Martina (Sparrow Primitives)


ell here we are again! Only this time it is rather special as it is our

3rd Anniversary Issue!!

FEATURE WRITERS Tina - In the Garden Tracey - Wowthankyou Claire - Elderberry Arts Sally - The Bead Bounty Jamie - Mr X Stitch

Can you believe it? No, neither can we! What fun we have had, what creations we have made since October 2009. So dive right in and join in with the Halloween fun in this bumper fun filled issue. Actually, before you head in, I would like to warn you that we have some major Halloween themed items between these pages so if you are feint of heart don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Silvia - SlowLane Handmade Kerry - Scrapbookerry Flick - Perfect Patchwork Gill - Personal Space Interiors Martina - Sparrow Primitives Kerry - Crafts from the Heath Maria - MsBittyKnacks

As usual we have been joined by your regular favourites plus a few new crafters to keep you on your toes. We have projects and recipes and interviews and interesting features galore! For those that don’t know, the Christmas CRAFTfest online Craft Fair is also gaining speed over at Creative Conections. So if you haven’t heard of it go to and have a read. It is a wonderful experience and you will meet lots of new friends and gain oodles of marketing experience. What are you waiting for?

Bridget - Inkahoots

We are looking forward to creating our Christmas issue next an if you would like to take part please email us at

The Creative Crafting Team Organisers of

CRAFT fest



Raising the profile of the crafting community Your Creative Team

Anna - Editor Avril - Technical Editor 3

Visit our site using your mobile QR APP!

Get in touch! We always love to hear of your crafting experiences and read your feedback for Creative Crafting. Email us at:



Pumpkins are for Life, not just for Halloween! Fabulous recipes by Gill from Personal Space Interiors.


Recipes from the Slowlane Silvia is with us again. This issue she shares her recipe for A Molehill or Graveyard Cake.

10 Halloween and it’s origins Fascinating Halloween history with Martina from Sparrow Primitives.

12 Make your own Halloween Mini Bunting Clever project by Kerry from Crafts from the Heath.

15 Voodoo Doll Tutorial Fashion your own voodoo doll with Maria from MsBittyKnacks.

20 Make a Trick or Treat Lollipop Pendant Another wonderful tutorial by Claire from Elderberry Arts.

21 Millie-Mae & Mummy Makes … Ghoulish

Hangmen Bird Feeders! A very ghoulish offering from Millie – Mae and Tracey this issue.

24 An Interview with … Helen Rose Glass Helen creates beautiful glass in the Essex.

27 Crystal Magic

This issue The Crystal Lady has found handcrafted items in beautiful Obsidian.

28 Upcycling makes the world go around Learn all about upcycling with Bridget from Inkahoots.

30 Wedding Wonders with No Wonga Part 2

See how Kerry is getting on with her crafty wedding preparations




Tina in the Garden Tina is with us again from her beautiful English garden Create a Crystal Band Watch with Tassle Sally-Jo from the Bead Bounty is with us again with another stylish tutorial.



An Interview with … Auli’I Beads So many beautiful bracelets!


It’s Christmas! Don’t panic but you MUST be prepared! Tracey and the WowThankYouteam are here to help.

41 37



An Interview with … Nanuk Jewellery Meet Louse as she tells us about her adventures in Silver and Goldsmithing.

48 In the Spotlight with Mr X Stitch

Yes, he’s back! This time he has brought Olisa Corcoran with him.

50 How to create your Candle Cup A vintage project from Bridget at Inkahoots.

52 Perfect Creations Designed for you …. This issue Flick from Perfect Patchwork shows us how to make a Log Cabin Effect Pincushion.

54 Crafters Directory



here has been a real American popular culture invasion over the last few years. High school leavers are celebrating their graduation with a school prom, and ”Penny for the guy” on November 5th has given way to “Trick or treat” on Halloween as the most popular autumnal outing for children of all ages. Growing up in the North East, Halloween for me meant hours of gouging a rock solid swede to make something vaguely resembling a Jack O’Lantern. So, the advent of the pumpkin arriving on our shop shelves was something of a revelation. We may not be quite up to the American standard of pumpkin carving…

Image source:

…but at least we’re trying. But, what happens to all the forgotten pumpkins when November 1st arrives? Whatever you do, don’t throw them away, unless of course your little ones have rendered them not fit for eating. Remember, you’ve already scooped out the seeds, so you’re already half way there! The aroma of roasting pumpkin and the glorious colour greeting you as you bring it from the oven is enough to lift the spirits on any cold, rainy autumn evening. 6

There are so many delicious recipes out there, so why not try something different and give that pumpkin a new lease of life!

Roasted pumpkin soup: serves 4-6 Delicious and soothing, this soup has such a rich flavour you’d be forgiven for thinking it had loads of ingredients and took an age to prepare. In fact it’s so cheap, quick and simple, it’s sure to become a regular feature on your weekly menu.

· · · · · · · ·

One medium pumpkin or squash, cut into large wedges A good drizzle of rape seed oil One large onion, finely chopped A knob of butter 1 litre of Vegetable or chicken stock 250ml milk Salt and pepper Freshly grated nutmeg

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Preheat the oven to 220oC (425oF, gas mark 7) Place the pumpkin wedges on a large, solid baking tray lined with foil and drizzle liberally with rape seed oil Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Bake for around 40 minutes, turning the wedges over during cooking to make sure they brown evenly Meanwhile, heat the butter and another drizzle of rape seed oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and fry until golden and caramelised around the edges Add the roasted pumpkin to the onion along with the stock and milk Season well with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg Turn the heat as low as possible and simmer gently for 20 minutes Blend to a velvety puree – if you really want to you can sieve the soup too, but that’s purely a matter of choice. If you think the soup is a little thick, add a little extra stock or milk. Serve in warm bowls with a garnish of grated gruyere cheese and crispy bacon pieces

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.


Pumpkin risotto with gorgonzola and walnuts: serves 4 Risotto has always been one of my favourite dishes; relaxing to make and comforting to eat. This vegetarian version is packed with robust flavours and textures. I promise meat eaters won’t be disappointed.

· · · · · · · · · · · ·

One small pumpkin or squash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks A good drizzle of rape seed oil One large onion finely chopped A knob of butter One large juicy garlic clove, crushed or grated 500g Arborio rice One large glass of dry white wine One litre of vegetable stock, hot (you could use chicken stock if you prefer) A sprig of rosemary, finely chopped 75g walnuts (halved or chopped) 100g gorgonzola, in small pieces Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 220oC (425oF, gas mark 7) 2. Dry roast the walnuts in a small frying pan for a couple of minutes and set aside 3. Place the pumpkin / squash chunks on a large solid baking tray, drizzle with rape seed oil and bake for around 20 minutes until golden and just softening 4. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan heat the butter and another drizzle of rape seed oil over a medium heat, add the onion and fry until golden and caramelised around the edges 5. Add the rosemary and garlic and fry for another minute 6. Add a little more rape seed oil to the pan and add the rice, stirring well to make sure every grain gets a nice coating of oil 7. Add the wine and stir until absorbed . 8. Gradually add the stock, one ladle full at a time while you continue to stir the rice. As the rice absorbs the stock, add another ladle full. This should take around 20 minutes 9. Add the roasted pumpkin / squash, walnuts and gorgonzola and stir gently 10. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 11. Pop a lid on the pan, turn off the heat and leave the risotto to sit for a few minutes before serving in warmed bowls. Written by Gill from Personal Space Interiors 8

Written By Slowlane Handmade


Molehill Recipes or the m o Slowlane Graveyard Cake October the 31st…AllHallows Eve or as we know it Halloween. Ghosts, Goblins, Witches and their familiars coming out to play! How about you? Do you decorate and celebrate? Why not surprise your guests or the Kids with a nice ‘Graveyard’ ! This cake can be made on a baking tray or as I do in a 26cm Springform. Decorate it to your hearts content…..make it ghoulish and scary but above all make it tasty!! Ingredients 5 Eggs, separated 140g Butter 200g Sugar 10g vanilla sugar 100g Flour 2tsp Baking Powder 100g grated chocolate 1 large tub of double cream 1 tinned/fresh fruit of your choice (if using tinned drain well) When the cake is done set it aside and leave to cool. It is important for the next step that the cake is completely cooled down!

Step 1. Separate the eggs, whisk the egg white till stiff and set aside. Step 2. Mix together the egg yolks, sugar, vanillin sugar, butter, flour, baking powder and grated chocolate. Step 3. Carefully add the egg whites. Step 4. Line baking tray or Springform with baking parchment and bake on a low heat for about 50 minutes. 5.

Step 5. When the cake is cool, take a knife and cut a circle. DO NOT push the knife all the way down into the cake! Step 6. Now take a spoon and very carefully scoop out the middle of the cake. Set the crumbs aside. Fill the cake with your choice of fruit. I used black cherries but you can use mandarin’s, bananas or any manner of fruit you fancy. Step 7. Whip the cream till it’s nice and firm and top the fruit ‘building’ a little mount! Then take your cake crumbs and top the cake, 7. covering the cream filling. I added some icing sugar mixed with cocoa powder to give it that muddy look. Now you can decorate the ‘Grave Yard’ to your hearts content. I simply pushed some square biscuits into the top to represent Gravestones. 9


Halloween and it’s origins I love Halloween. I grew up celebrating it and have continued the practice with my children. However I have been surprised by the number of people I’ve met who have not realised that Halloween has its origins here with the Celts and is not an American invention. Many cultures have days for the dead e.g. The Buddhists have The Festival of Souls – Obon - celebrated in July in Japan and August in China, Mexico has El Dia de los Muertos -celebrated between 27 October and 2nd November and China has Qingming festival to name but a few. I won’t bore you with reams of history but thought you may like a brief overview of Halloween’s history and customs. It is generally believed that Halloween has it’s origins with the Celtic peoples. They celebrated four main festivals : Samhain, Imbolc, Beltainne, Lughnasadh. The Celtic year began with Samhain (now commonly referred to as Halloween). Stories have it that all the hearth fires in Ireland were put out and then re-lit from a central fire kept by the Druids near Tara. To the Celts, time was not linear but moved in circles. Samhain was celebrated around 31 October and it was believed that the veil between this world and the land of the departed was thought to be so thin that the dead could return to warm themselves at the fires of the living, and some of the living would be able to enter the otherworld through the doorways of the sidhe, especially at the Hill of Tara in Ireland. Some historians believe that food was left on the table to welcome the the visitors from beyond (the Treat part of Trick or Treat ). The Celts did not believe in demons (or the devil) but they did believe in the sidhe. The Sidhe were known as the people of the mounds as they were believed to inhabit them and also the land of Tir Na n’Og. (The sidhe are now often called fairies.) Many trees and mounds were believed to be under their protection and if a human destroyed or damaged these, then he and his family were believed to be cursed. Because the veil between the two worlds was believed to be so thin at Samhain, it was understood that some fairy folk would roam the countryside creating mischief (the trick part of trick or treat). At this time of year, the Celts brought their cattle in for the winter, and in Ireland the warriors, the Fianna, gave up fighting until Beltainne and there is historical evidence that playing boardgames was popular! So how did the Celtic Samhain become our present day Halloween? In the 4th and 5th Centuries, Christianity arrived in Ireland. The early Church officials soon found that the Celtic people were extremely reluctant to give up their deeply engrained traditions, so the Church adopted a practice which had worked elsewhere – impose a church holiday on to an existing tradition e.g. the Germanic Yule became our present day Christmas, the Celtic Imbolc became Easter and Samhain became All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween. Some believe that the early Church used fear to make the Celts adhere to the new religion and so the Faeries became demons, the much loved dead became ghosts and ghouls and the Church introduced the concept of the Devil (and evil) to the Otherworld. Many believe that the early church used the Celts’ superstitions to their advantage and transformed what was a Harvest thanksgiving, an honouring of departed loved ones and an offering for protection through the long harsh winters into a frightening picture of hell fires, demons, rotting corpses and the like. All Saint’s Day and All Hallow’s Eve were reintroduced by Pope Gregory III in the 7th Century and to put it all in a nutshell, rather than bore you with loads of dates, it is commonly believed that All Saint’s Day (Hallowmas – a mass to honour the Dead) was moved to 1st November because the Celts stubbornly stuck with their Samhain celebrations, particularly that of the large bonfire. The 31st of October became All Hallows Even (evolving into Halloween) and the church taught that the bonfires would keep the Devil away. The Church later introduced All Souls Day on 2nd November – a day to pray for souls stuck in Purgatory. At the time of the reformation, Luther and Calvin, among others, tried to call a halt to these Catholic observances but the Protestant communities continued to hold autumnal festivals where many of the old practices continued. 10

Funny to think that we can thank the Church for continuing with the ancient practice of remembering the dead and associating it with a festival, bonfires and the like! But all of this is a long way from our modern Halloween celebration, with it’s customs, games, witches, vampires, bats and things that go bump in the night! Try to imagine Halloween without Witches…How have they become synonymous with our present day Halloween? Once again it is widely believed we have the Church to thank. There are many theories as to the origins of the word “witch” and how it became associated with evil, but a commonly held theory is that it is from the Anglo-Saxon word “wicce”, meaning Wise One. The Church, as we have seen, incorporated many traditional festivals and customs in order to keep the locals happy. However the patriarchial church had no place for the Wise Woman of old and so she was persecuted. Think of the infamous Witch Trials, burning at the stake and reign of terror which occurred. The last official documented Witch burning in the UK took place in Scotland in 1722. It was only in 1952 that the Witchcraft laws were finally repealed. Somehow the association between Samhain (now considered evil) and Witches (also evil) came about. Finally we are getting to the Halloween we all recognise! Colonial life in some of the new American states kept alive many of the old folk beliefs and traditions. These were not just Irish traditions but those from England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Poland, France – and we must not forget the influence of the large slave population. Many beliefs and customs had overlapping elements e.g. Mischief Night,community parties to celebrate harvests and so on. The traditional symbols of modern day Halloween have their roots in this melting pot of Folklore. The Jack ‘o Lantern is believed to have orginated with the Celts who used to carve out lanterns from vegetables. The spooky faces became associated with ghost tales, and may have come from the natural phenomenon of “ignis fatuus” – decaying matter releasing combustible gas in marshes and swamps (will ‘o the wisp; corpse candles etc) How delightfully spooky…all mists, eerie gases…and creepily carved lanterns As we have seen, the Celts left food out for the returning ancestors. Door to door begging was common practice in many cultures – often involving a song or poem in exchange for a treat. In Scotland, the guisers would dress up in horrible costumes and masks, carry lanterns and go door to door singing in exchange for apples, nuts or coins. I used to go out at Halloween asking for “Any apples or Nuts?”, hoping that no-one would be so mean as to give me any…I wanted coins! There are plenty more historical and cultural examples – and no Halloween would be complete without bats, vampires, black cats and ghosts – but they will have to wait their turn as this is getting too long!

Happy Halloween! Written by Martina from Sparrow Primitives 11

Halloween Mini Bunting

Orange cotton fabric Black/white polka dot fabric Black cotton fabric Black bias binding tape 19 or 25 mm 140 cms long Felt –orange, green, black, brown, white Sewing thread Pins Sewing machine Triangle template shape 12 cm across x 12 cm down [middle to point] Scissors Pencil Iron Step 1 Cut 4 triangles using the template from each of the fabrics – you should have 12 triangles to make 6 double sided bunting flags. Step 2 Cut out your Halloween felt embellishments to go onto your bunting flags. I decided on a ghost, witch & pumpkin but you could also choose a spider, spider’s web, skeleton, or anything Halloween themed.

Step 3 Pin your embellishments onto the right side of the flags [front side] & sew around the shape securing it to the flag – this is also the time to sew any additional features to faces or shapes.

Step 4 Once all the embellishments are secure, pin your flags with right sides together. Taking a seam of about 5 mm, sew down one side to the point and stop. Then keeping your needle down in the fabric, turn and sew up the other long side. Do not sew top edge. You can sew all the flags in one go. As you get to the end of each flag allow your machine to sew a few stitches without fabric, then introduce the next flag. This saves time and thread! Then just cut the thread between flags when you have finished sewing them all. Remove pins.


Step 5 Cut away excess fabric at the point of each flag, making sure not to cut through the stitches. Now you can turn the flags the right way. You can use a pencil to gently push the point out fully. Press the flags with an iron to make them neat. Step 6 Cut 140 cm of bias binding. Fold it in half lengthwise (you may want to press it with an iron). Pin your first flag 20 cm from the start of the binding & space the flags out leaving approximately 6 cm between each flag. ,

Step 7 Sew from the end of the bias binding to just before the first flag, through both sides of the binding – this will form a channel to hold the flags as you sew along. Next slot the top edge of first flag into fold of binding. Sew through binding and flag and stop, needle down, when you have sewn all along the top edge of one flag. Repeat with all the flags until all are secure. Make sure the flags face the right way with all the embellishments facing the front. [Try to sew as close to the edge of the binding as possible making sure that the top fabric of the flag is secure.] Now sew to the end of the binding – you should have approximately 20 cm either side to tie the bunting .

Now hang your bunting & admire with pride ! 13

Larger bunting with different design. You can make larger bunting using a larger template & longer bias binding. I usually use a template of 15 cm across by 20 cm drop & 3M of binding with 8-9 flags.

Written by Kerry from Crafts from the Heath


Voodoo Doll Tutorial By: Maria River



Here is a simple and fun tutorial on how to make your own Voodoo Doll! Instructions and materials listed are to make an 8 inch doll like the one on the picture; of course colors and materials can be changed to your own liking. Now lets have some fun! Some Materials: Fabric (Burlap and black Cotton) Felt Sheet (black & red) Yarn or Embroidery thread (black and red) Polyfill Stuffing Scissors Pins Tracing Paper

Using the tracing paper, sketch a person. Mine was about 9 inches. Remember to leave as minimum a 1/4 in for later sewing. Don't worry if it isn't perfect, follow the tip to the right for cutting ;)

We are using 2 different fabrics: burlap for the outside and the black cotton for the inside lining. Using the paper pattern just made, secure it to the fabric with some pins and cut. But, read the tip below first!


Using the black thread, I do recommend a crafts or heavy duty one; secure the 2 fabrics together along the edge. I used the most basic stitch, a running stitch.

Put aside the little dolls. Using the felt sheets cut out 2 circles (for eyes) and 1 heart.

Secure the felt eyes and heart to the dolls with pins and using matching color yarn or embroidery thread sew in place. Note: you can use a running stitch or a back stitch, your choice* With the black yarn free hand the mouth of the dolls. I used basic XXXX and the classic stitched mouth look.

Now we put it together. Secure the doll with a few pins, right side up. Guiding yourself with the previous stitch done (from step 3) fold the fabric edges towards the inside and sew the 2 flaps together. You will notice the burlap may begin to loosen some fibers, try to tuck them in as best you can, don't worry if some stick out, remember this is a Voodoo doll it's supposed to look raggedy. PS. don't forget to leave a hole for stuffing, I do recommend the top/ head part.

Copyright 2012 MsBittyKnacks Whimsical Decor & Designs




Written By Elderberry Arts

Trick or Treat Lollipop Pendant

Craft knife Small amounts of black and green fimo Cocktail stick 2 x 1/2 inch eye pins 1.

Step 1. Cut off a small piece of each colour clay - around 1 cm will be fine. Condition clay to soften and roll into balls.


Step 2. Roll each ball into a thin sausage approximately 15 cm long. Step 3. Wrap the sausages around each other and cut the resulting sausage in half. 2.


Step 4. If you like, you can roll the sausages a little to blend the twists. Step 5. Take one sausage and coil it. Press down the end to secure. Now repeat with the second sausage.



Step 6. Cut the cocktail stick in half and push into the bottom of each lolly. Insert an eye pin into the top of each lolly to finish. Step 7. Remove the cocktail sticks carefully and bake according to the manufacturers instructions. You may need to use a little glue to secure the sticks back in after the lollies have cooled.



Written By Tracey from WowThankYou

Millie-Mae & Mummy Makes ‌ Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where they strung up a man they say murdered three. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree. Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where the dead man called out for his love to flee. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree. Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where I told you to run so we’d both be free. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree. Are you, are you Coming to the tree Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.


When you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a BIG surprise! We’ve gone all Spooky this month – yet practical too – and have made some hangman bird feeders, ready for the wintering birds packed full of nuts, seed and fat. Warning – this is a very messy project!

Large Saucepan Some old baking trays Greaseproof paper Wooden spoon Large gingerbread man cutter Red food colouring Wire sandwich bag ties (for ‘skeleton’) ‘Rope’ (we used paracord) Scissors Lard (we used 500g beef dripping) Bird seed (big bowl full)

1. With adult supervision,

2. Once melted, take off the

3. Keep adding the seed until

place the block of lard into

heat and carefully pour

it gets quite thick. Then

a large saucepan, and

the bird seed into the

leave to cool for a good

over a low heat allow it to

liquid. Mix well.

30-45 minutes.

melt entirely

4. When the fat starts to set (turn white), place the gingerbread cutter on a piece of greaseproof paper and fill with the bird mixture. Pack it down well.


6. Carefully remove the cutter

5. Take the wire bag ties and make a ‘spine’ for the

and then place in a fridge

hangman (this will add

while you make the noose!

strength); we also added a loop to attach to the noose later!

7. To tie a noose, or more accurately ‘the hangman’s knot’ – we have to say we cheated and found a guide on Google. It’s frighteningly simple to do. Millie-Mae had a go at making one, but it wasn’t something we want her to remember, so we made most of them ourselves, following this simple image:

9. You’ve finished! Hang outside on the trees – very effective in a row of several during twilight!

8. Once made, put the rope over the head of the bird man, take a small brush and add some ‘blood’ in the form of red food







Millie-Mae (aged 6) and Toby (aged 3) are the children of Tracey Kifford, owner of the marketplace WowThankYou


Creative Crafting speaks to Helen Rose Glass

Tell us about the lady behind Helen Rose Glass I am a glass artist living in the Essex countryside just outside Chelmsford. I’ve worked with glass for 8 years now and while fusing is my main skill, what I create is constantly changing and developing as I learn new glass techniques. Over the last few years this has included stained glass, lampwork beading, glass casting, printing on glass and restoration work. I find it interesting to see how these techniques can work together to create something new and exciting. I am currently in a period of major change where my crafting life is concerned as I’ve just left classroom teaching after 11 years to do this full time. I was starting to find that opportunities were presenting themselves and having given more hours than I’d care to remember to my school and going part time last year, I decided it was now or never. So here I am all excited and scared about my future crafting career.


Perhaps unsurprisingly considering my teaching background I run various glass fusing workshops which take place in my home studio and at ‘Handmade’, Colchester and ‘Make, Do and Mend’, Chelmsford. I sell my work at ‘ , ’, Billericay, Essex, ‘ Colchester, Essex, via my website and at local craft fairs. I am a member of The Guild of Essex Craftsmen and regularly attend their craft events. When did first begin creating your designs, and why? I first discovered glass fusing at a local craft fair and after buying huge amounts of it over several months, I decided to learn how to make glass for myself. I’d been looking for a craft to do at home that was completely different from what I spent my days as an Art Teacher doing, so this was ideal. I found a day course in London and loved it. That was it, I was hooked. I signed up for their evening classes. For 10 months I took the journey from Essex to the studio which involved 2 trains and a 20 min walk. I loved going so much that it didn’t seem like a huge effort. What is it that you enjoy about your work? I love being creative. When I don’t craft I just don’t feel like ‘me’ so can happily spend hours making glass, printing, felting, sketching ....pretty much doing anything arty or crafty. Being creative is so relaxing and it’s the ultimate compliment when someone else likes your work enough to buy it. I am so thankful that I am now able to do this full time. What is your biggest crafting achievement, and why? Last year I learnt how to do traditional leading with a view to making my own design for the kitchen/hallway door. So not doing things by halves, this was my first project in a new technique. I decided to have a peacock as the image and designed it to include elements of glass fusing alongside the traditional leading. I even melted my own sheets of mixed coloured glass in the kiln to create the peacock ‘eyes’. It took around 6 months of evening classes to complete and then with the help of my Dad, I installed it into the door. The peacock design was perhaps more adventurous than I’d first envisaged but when I see the light come through it every day I am glad I took on the challenge. Other than your crafting, what else do you like to do? I recently joined a choir with very friendly people, in Chelmsford, called ‘Waltham Singers’. We sing a range of classical music and so far I’ve been involved in 2 concerts. I was incredibly nervous for the first one as I’d not sung with a choir in over 13 years and we had professional soloists/musicians joining us, so there was a lot to live up to. I absolutely loved it though and came home buzzing so much that I couldn’t sleep. 25

Rehearsals can be pretty full on as the music is always challenging and the conductor is extremely strict but it’s one of the best things I’ve joined in years. If you had to choose your favourite from your creations which one would it be? I love my koi carp coffee table. For ages I’d wanted to make a wood and glass table for my house for ages but finding a piece of wood with a hole was trickier than I’d realised. Thanks to Ebay though I found a company in Scotland that had the perfect piece. I made a template for the hole, spent hours shaping the clear glass and began experimenting with ways to create the various elements of the design, whilst also keeping a sense of the movement of the fish. I’m pleased to have such a unique piece of furniture in my home that I can proudly say I made. Where does your inspiration come from? I find inspiration in many different things and keep sketchbooks of images I like, postcards from artists, photos I’ve taken etc. As someone who studied design at university, it’s a process I’ve always followed and even as a glass novice couldn’t follow pre made designs in books. I just didn’t find it inspiring enough and the process of creating my own work always starts with design and experimentation. I’m currently exploring ways of combining printing and textiles within my glasswork. At the same time I’m also using nature within the imagery e.g. prints of leaves, peacock feathers, shells. If you could change one thing about what you do, what would it be? I’d like to be working alongside other like-minded people in a craft studio but at this stage when I’ve only just stepped into the full time craft world it’s an expense that I can’t justify. For now I’m going to work at home and pop into visit friends in their studios instead. Do you have a favourite website? I know most people use Facebook to stay in touch with friends but I also find it great for coming across new and exciting crafters on a regular basis. I’ve found loads of inspiring designers via people who tag them in their posts or pictures. This year I visited ‘Art in Action’ and managed to talk to several people whose work I’d only ever seen online before which was fantastic. Has anyone helped or supported you more than any other? There are 2 people who have helped and supported me more than any other but each in vastly different ways. Jan Waller of ‘Love, Make, Think’ and Caroline Weidman from ‘Glass from the Past’. I first met Jan when we worked together as art teachers and she helped me through my first years in the classroom. Since then we have been firm friends who support each other emotionally and artistically. We can openly discuss our ideas/designs and give each other encouragement at the points when doubt starts to creep in. I know I can call Jan for advice whenever I need it and thanks to Skype we can still do this even though she’s now in USA. Caroline has been a kind of glass mentor after I randomly met her in a car park at a craft fair! When she opened her glass gallery I was honoured to be asked to display my work for the 1st time. Caroline has taught me copper foiling, traditional leading and has now taken me on as her studio apprentice where I am restoring stained glass windows. The experience is invaluable and one I am very grateful for. Tell us a random fact about yourself! I grow lots of my own fruit and veg in the back garden. 26

Golden Obsidian Cuff Bracelet Beaded Snowflake Obisidian Necklace Created from glass seed beads in shades of black, frosted grey iris and grey pearl, framing a beautifully polished snowflake obsidian cabochon. on Folksy

The swirls in the wire are inspired by Aztec culture - to which the spiral represented the cycle of life. on Etsy



Dragon Necklace ‘Storm’ Abeautifully detailed oriental style dragon curled around a 16mm genuine Snowflake Obsidian gemstone. Obsidian Snowflake and Hematite. on Folksy

Obsidian blades were used in Palaeolithic times. In antiquity it was supposed to drive demons out.


● Mentally -Dissolves shock, fear, blocks trauma. Protects from psychic attack. Expands the consciousness. ● Physically - Obsidian dissolves pain, tensions and energy blocks. Improves circulation and warms extremities.

Obsidian Arrowhead Earrings

Obsidian Tomb Necklace

Gorgeous black Obsidian Arrowheads are edged in 24K gold on Etsy

An obsidian pyramid resides in a handmade rose gold vermeil beze. on Etsy


c i g a M Crystal Items discovered for you by The Crystal Lady from



ma k




the w s e


come along for the ride‌. I

t's quite possible that we are in the midst of a new craze sweeping the nation‌ No, it's not the pursuit of celebrity or trying to beat Usain Bolt - it's a much quieter pastime that's crept into our culture gradually over the last few years. Now is the time to start shouting about 'Upcycling' and appreciating the amazing results that can be achieved with a little time and skill! If you've never heard of it, you won't be alone, but put simply it's the act of taking something that you would otherwise throw out and finding a way to make it into something else, something better or more beautiful. Or, as I would say 'taking something a bit naff and turning it into something that someone might actually want!' So, why has it become so popular? There are lots of personal reasons why people do it, but the main themes are an interest in eco-living and not wanting to leave an huge footprint on the environment. Doing things like shopping locally, reducing energy consumption, saving precious resources and doing your bit by recycling and in all its forms. The recession has played its part too, people are looking to save money and the planet - Upcycling does both. A book by William McDonough & Michael Braungart, 'Cradle to Cradle - Remaking the Way We Make Things', published in 2002, brought the topic into the fore by getting people to rethink the way they used things. It was only last year I discovered that Upcycling was the word for what I'd been doing for the last 5 years! The fantastic thing about Upcycling is that we can all do it and we can do it at home, in our lounge whilst watching telly or at the kitchen table. It's so satisfying to see something transformed from a very ordinary thing (or even a horrible


thing!) into something that is unique, a one-off. Your options are endless - you can redecorate by using paint or decoupage, or change it completely, such as using an old jumper to make a doorstop or turning an unwanted children's game into hanging decorations. You'll find that lots of the handmade products, sold on Etsy and other craft sites, are made with Upcycled items. In fact, the number of products on Etsy tagged with the word 'Upcycled' rose from 7,900 in January 2010 to 167,000 in October 2011! The craze is here, without a doubt, but is it here to stay? It seems we are hooked on Upcycling. It's a bit like our obsession with vintage - that harking back to another time. Everyone recycled and upcycled during the wars - 'Make Do & Mend' wasn't something invented to go on tea towels! There are opportunities too, for mums like me, to set up a business and work quite happily from home, using a personal website or bigger craft websites, like Etsy or Folksy.

Also, it doesn't have to cost much to get started, you basically need glue, a bit of left over paint…. and there is inspiration everywhere you look on craft websites, magazines and Pinterest. There are even blogs and videos to show you how to tackle specific projects. I think that we've all got a little 'Upcycler' in us - the only thing to do is have a go - you never know what hidden talents you may discover. I'd like to see Upcycling Clubs spring up in our local communities - places where folks can go to be creative and artistic, swap ideas and finished products, sell their creations and, of course, do it over a cup of tea and a big wadge of cake…. now there's an idea…!

Written By Inkahoots


Wedding Wonders

with No Wonga! Part Two

The first plans. These last couple of months we have been trying to work out exactly what we want from our wedding and have been having to look at some of the things that we do need to pay for! The dates, themes and venues have been at the front of our minds! As soon as Mr L proposed, I knew right away that I wanted to get married on the last weekend in August. I didn’t really care what day of the week it was, it just had to be that last weekend. Luckily Mr L knew that I would want that and was happy to go along with that date as well. The date is important to me. My own parents were married on the 1st of September and my sister and brother in law were married on the 29th of August, so it just seemed right to get married in between them. Once we looked at the diaries we saw that in 2014 the 30th of August falls on the August bank holiday and it is Saturday as well. It must hve been destined as it was perfect for us, so within days we had the date set. We have had many discussions about what we wanted and our ideas for our wedding. Everything we have been thinking and talking about has been put into our Wedding Art Journal so we can record all of our ideas. Our ideas usually end up being the same! We are both country people in our hearts and we both want that to be reflected in our wedding. We thought we would have a quiet wedding and a reception in a field. We didn’t want anything fancy. We wanted a vintage feel with old style tea sets and a nice simple hog roast for the food. We had various ideas for colour combinations, but eventually decided on brown and cream. It is a colour combination which suits all of our immediate family. As I am strawberry blonde, Mr L is brown and Baba is ginger we needed something that suited us all. So we were raring to go….


But we came unstuck with the field. We have gone over this idea for the last few weeks, trying to decide whether it is truly what we want. It is something that we both would love, but and it is a big but, we are both very nervous of the great British weather. We can’t afford to have massive marquees and were thinking of having tents instead. Our next hurdle was trying to find a field near us. We live in an area with lots and lots of fields around us. However finding one that we wanted was a different matter. We began looking into village halls instead and some of them near us were remarkable. We have managed to find a fantastic hall we can hire for the whole weekend and can decorate to our own specifications. It has great grounds, so we still have space for our hog roast and it has a playground for the children. It looks fantastic. There are car parking spaces and it isn’t too far from the church. So all in all it is perfect and the best thing is that it is undercover and the price is great! A really good deal for the whole weekend. We are set on having vintage china sets and we have narrowed it down to two options. We can either go hunting ourselves searching car boots, eBay, charity shops and jumble sales or hiring all the china from a company. Like Dormouse and The Teapot This company hires enough china out for a wedding of 80, which would be perfect for us.

They have a stunning range and it is just what we are looking for. But at the moment it is still a decision to be made - whether, to hire or to buy ourselves?

We are planning far in advance so we decided that we wanted to make some Save the Date cards. Nothing too complicated as we wanted the cards to fit in with the simple theme of the wedding itself. We could go with a very simple Save the Date card, where we would fill in all the details, but this could be time-consuming, or we could opt for a more personal photo Save the Date card. This is more us and fits in well with my scrap booking. Plus once it is made it can easily be reprinted to send to all our family and friends. The card is more in keeping with a wedding and more in line with what we are wanting for the rest of our wedding. So it has been decided that these are going to be our Save the Date cards and the rest of the wedding stationery will be based on a similar design! If you are interested in helping us along the Wedding Wonders with No Wonga journey then please do contact us at


Tina in the Garden


i! I’m Tina

Glad that you could all get here today as it is a beautiful sunny day. Yes I agree, one of the few. Shall we have our tea out in The Garden and take advantage of the sunshine? It really is looking spectacular at the moment. The hydrangeas are better than ever before and so are the rest of the plants, thanks to all the rain. There are a few more weeds as I have not been able to be as diligent with the weeding. It was just too wet even for me. Perhaps I should mention that this visit is in the last week of August so it will not look like October when it appears in the magazine, but I hope the bright colours will help to cheer up the autumn for you all. However we could have an Indian summer, you just never know! First of all, do you remember the new everlasting sweet pea the snails were chomping on? Well it defeated them in the end and although the lower leaves are shredded, it has now reached the top of the trellis and is producing so many beautiful flowers.


The hanging basket has also excelled this year. Shall we go around the garden first and enjoy our tea on our return? The patio is looking good and the rain has certainly saved me from all the watering I would normally have to do in the summer. There is always a plus side to everything, don’t you think? Do you like the new flower bed that my better half made in the autumn last year.?It is great, and has been made from a spare piece of window sill left by the fitters when we had our windows replaced a couple of years ago. He really is wonderful and can always come up with some material when I ask and make a good job. The plants seem to thrive as they have more soil than when in pots and the Agapanthus looks so exotic. This patio rose was originally one of four miniature roses which I bought from the reduced plants section of the garden centre. It is my favourite department as with a little TLC, the plants have a new lease of life. But I digress. About three years ago I set these small roses out one summer as they did not seem happy indoors. Unfortunately I lost the other three over the following winters but this one is a fighter and so pretty.

The Honeysuckle and the Passion Flower are both doing well on the fence.


This lily is so beautiful and the perfume is wonderful. Do you remember the Acanthus last year? It is just as good, if not better, this year. It’s leaves have such a lovely shape and are a beautiful lush rich green. Do be careful on the steps as the Montbretia is hanging over and still very wet. Talking of this plant, it really is the most wonderful one I have in the garden. I move it all over and it also spreads like crazy, but just look at the colour of it at this time of year.

Another plant which spreads is the Day Lily and these flowers take your breath away. They, of course only last for a day, but if you dead head them they will continue to produce further flowers for a considerable time. They have lasted longer this year because of the weather. The roses are still flowering as well as ever.


Here we have the Hydrangeas. They have done so well this year and what a selection of colours! As the flowers open, the colours change, as you can see. As I have mentioned before, the colour depends on the type of soil. These are all cuttings taken from four plants which in their original position, produced only pink flowers.

How do you like the Artichokes? They are spectacular this year. When we first arrived here, I found one plant in a pile of rubble and they produce more every year. I just keep splitting the plants and moving them to a new position. I think it might be time to have a look at that in the spring as they are getting quite big. The Phormium are planted on a slope as they love well drained soil; they do hate wet feet, as do we all.


Here is the pond. It does look quite good now. It did need a good clean after the winter but is so small it was not much of a job and the water was soon clear again. I am a little disappointed that nothing has taken the opportunity to make it’s home there, as I was very careful when cleaning it. I still live in hope for next year. Now we are at the bog. My better half has made a path a little way into it so you will not all disappear. As you can see, he is in the process of making a natural pond. It is still in the early stages but maybe the wildlife will be more at home here than in a shower tray. Well we will make our way back to the patio and enjoy our tea, and as we have had a little exercise, maybe some scones and jam. That will inspire us as we make the walk back as it is uphill. I would like to thank you all again for visiting, and I hope you enjoyed an end of summer visit to The Garden. Your green fingered friend,



Written By The Bead Bounty

Crystal Band Watch with Tassle This piece was inspired by the beautiful colours of autumn and is perfect for the party season ahead.

Approximately 56 Crystals for the bracelet (I have used 4.5mm x 5.5mm doughnut beads) 7 x 4mm contrasting bi-cone Crystals for the tassel and chain dangle Size 11 seed beads for the tassel 2 x wire protectors 2 x 4-5mm jump rings 1 x eye pin 1 x head pin 1 x clasp

1 x 50mm piece of chain 1 x 12mm end cone 2 x 50cm lengths of fishing/fire line Beading needle and beading thread Glue or clear nail varnish Scissors Round/Flat and side cutter pliers Beaders watch face Beads and watch face used produced a 7 and a half inch band. 37











Step 1. With the first piece of fishing/fire line, thread on a wire protector and position it at the centre of the thread Step 2. Thread on first crystal crossing the threads through the bead hole and positioning the bead centrally to the wire protector. Step 3. Pick up 2 beads on one thread and 1 bead on the other thread. Step 4. Pass the thread with the one bead on through the second bead on the first thread so that the threads cross again and pull the threads tight. Step 5. Continue this process until you have added 28 beads in all. Step 6. Pass the threads, one through each side, through the hole on the watch. 38

Step 7. Pass the threads through the first bead on the strap and then back through the hole on the watch and once more through the first bead on the strap. Step 8. Run the threads back through the length of the strap in the same way as before with the threads immerging at the same place just above the wire protector. Step 9. Tie a good knot and add a dab of strong glue or nail varnish. Step 10. Run the extra thread up through several beads, tying knots as you go and adding glue then cut off excess. Repeat the above for the other side of the strap. Step 11. Add a 4mm bi-cone crystal to the head pin.

16 & 17.





Step 12. Bend the pin to a 45 degree angle. Step 13. Shorten the wire to approximately 6-8mm with wire cutters.


Step 16. Attach the other end of the chain to one end of the bracelet. Step 17. Using a jump ring, add the clasp to the other end.

Step 14. Using the round nose pliers, make a loop. Step 15. Attach the loop to one end of the 50 mm chain.

Step 18. Thread the bead needle with approximately 50cm of thread and tie one end to the loop of your eye pin.


Step 19. Pick up 20 size 11 seed beads. Step 20. Pick up 1 4mm bicone crystal and 1 seed bead. Step 21. Pass the needle back up through the crystal and pull the thread so that the crystal meets the seed beads. Step 22. Now pass the needle up through the 20 seed beads and the loop on the eye pin. Please read N.B below before you continue with 23. Step 23. Repeat this process 5 more times and tie the two ends of the thread together. Add a dab of glue and trim the excess thread.

Step 24. Put the bead cone on to the wire of the eye pin and over the top of the seed beads. Now repeat step 12 – 14 above to make the loop for your tassel. Step 25. Using the second jump ring, attach the tassel to the Watch Band.











Tell us about the lady behind Auli’i Beads So, a bit about me ... I've always loved jewellery and you could frequently hear "not more bracelets? " being said in my general vicinity. A colleague asked just how many bracelets etc I had, as I always seemed to have different ones on and they always seemed to be colour co-ordinated with whatever I was wearing. What can I say I like jewellery! When did first begin creating your designs, and why? I began creating my designs in the last 18 months. I'd bought some beading elastic to repair a bracelet which had broken and had quite a bit left over. I was going out and I just couldn't find a bracelet to go with the outfit I was wearing and I remembered the left over elastic. I decided to get some beads and make myself a bracelet as I'd be able to get exactly what I wanted then. I was pretty much hooked after that. What is it that you enjoy about your work? I've always wanted to be creative but really didn't think I had it in me until I started making bracelets and getting positive comments. I love designing new items. There isn't anything about it I don't like (except having too many ideas at one time). What is your biggest crafting achievement, and why? I think my biggest achievement to date has been making a bracelet a friend's boyfriend. It was one of the first woven bracelets I'd made, so I was a bit nervous. Not only that but it was the first time I'd made something for a man, my designs are usually for women. The bracelet was a surprise for my friend's boyfriend and I'm pleased to say he was delighted with it. Other than your crafting, what else do you like to do? Other than crafting I love watching films, reading and I'm a big Rugby League fan.



If you had to choose your favourite from your creations which one would it be? I would be hard pressed to choose a favourite from my creations but if I had to at the moment it would be one of my charm bracelets "Rouge Noir". I just love it. Luckily I have very tiny wrists so I can't keep this one for myself! Where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration comes from all over the place. It can be something I see while I'm out, something in a magazine, a book or on tv.

If you could change one thing about what you do, what would it be? If I could change one thing about what I do, it would be to give myself more hours in the day to work on my designs. Do you have a favourite website? I don't have a a favourite website but love looking at anything bead related. Has any person helped or supported you more than any other? I'm lucky that my friends and family have all been really enthusiastic and supportive of my jewellery making. It's lovely that they all get excited for me.

Tell us a random fact about yourself! A random fact about me - I have an 8 year old long haired chihuahua called Tito.


Written by Tracey Kifford of


ll?’ Well, fair n the immortal words of Slade’s Noddy Holder ‘ enough if you aren’t, but for the craft designers among us now is the time for making preparations for the festive season. The watchword is to start early; taking a leaf out of the supermarkets book, late August/early September is the time to start. You need to decide what your best selling items are, build up your stock, plan for craft fairs and markets, source packaging and raw materials early so that you don’t run out and press gang as much help as possible. Remember the run up to the holiday season is when customers come out of the woodwork and spend, spend, spend. Just think when you’ve sold out your entire stock and counted the profits you can sit back, pour a drink and take a well-earned rest over the Christmas holiday! Maybe it’s not quite as cut and dried as that but you can still dream J WowThankYou asked a group of sellers what their Christmas preparations are like – when do they start preparing and what the pitfalls are. The talented Samantha of Manfymoo produces delightful purses and bags with cow and pig prints and she has written a little poem to sum up the Christmas experience for busy craft designer/makers everywhere… Christmas is a busy time for us crafters, Attending craft fairs with my fellow grafters. Hoping customers will spend lots of pennies, Bags of sewing, wrapping and sending. All my goodies are delivered by Royal Mail, So let’s hope there will not be too much wind and hail. Drink Milk with Santa and leave a carrot for Roo, Make someone smile at Christmas with Manfymoo!

ChicnTrendy’s Helene and Suzi have a love for natural products, producing a range of painted wooden and pottery products as well as felt and hessian bags. Christmas is one of their busiest times of the year. Helene explained how they prepare for the Christmas rush. We start thinking about Christmas in earnest during early September as that is when we spend a week together on a sort of craft retreat in France. There are just two of us as well as my husband and dogs so no intrusions just time to spend thinking, planning and crafting – sharing hints and tips we have found in our experimentation/product development from earlier in the year. Our main preparation is planning what to make especially for Christmas – this year (2012) we will offer more products in hand made felt including bags, a new range of decorated and gold leafed glass and a larger range of natural wreaths and Christmas decorations. At this point we also plan which Christmas Fairs to attend – based on last year’s experiences which were pretty positive (we have only been trading for just over a year). In fact our success at the Christmas Fairs last year was an impetus for us to take it more seriously and now we have also taken to using a number of craft website to sell our items as well. We have realised though that our product range is best appreciated when it can be touched and seen in detail. The disadvantage of this is that we have to attend the fairs in person and as much of our product is breakable and heavy (pottery and now glass) we spend hours packing and unpacking at arrival and departure from the various venues.


One of the main differences about our Christmas prep compared to the rest of the year is planning the logistics of the targeted Christmas Fairs as we do not go to fairs during the rest of the year. This year will also involve setting up a special Christmas section in our on-line shops with Christmas specific gifts and decorations and we will be doing this during October. Another new idea is to start offering small ‘make-it-yourself’ parties and workshops locally to us during October and November. Sandra of Sandy Mitchell Jewellery produces some fantastic contemporary necklaces, brooches and bracelets. One of her best times of the year for sales is Christmas and here she shares her preparations in the lead up to festive season. As a designer and maker of contemporary jewellery who sells both wholesale and retail I have to start thinking of Christmas back in August when most people are lying on a beach sipping a cocktail! I send out a newsletter to the shops and galleries who stock my work in September and then start my retail promotions via events, exhibitions and through my website at the end of September. I usually offer some kind of incentive to customers to place an order early - such as 10% off for orders placed before the end of October or free shipping. This makes a huge difference and spreads the work out more evenly in the months before Christmas. I usually end up working on individual orders right up until about 10 days before Christmas – there is no point in taking orders beyond that because you are then at the mercy of the Post Office! I try to design something 'sparkly' for this time of year or something that will go with the LBD (little black dress) to wear at parties. Last year my best seller was a Christmas Sparkle Bracelet – this year I am launching a Christmas Sparkle Sphere Necklace. By about 18th December I start to wind down and I usually take my holidays over Christmas and New Year as a well-deserved break. Catherine of Little Memories Keepsakes produces a fabulous range of keepsake jewellery including finger, hand and paw print cufflinks and key rings and pendants. Here she explains how Christmas is different to other times of the year for sales and work and how her craft business fits into her busy schedule. Typically my keepsake business toddles along for much of the year with a relatively steady turnover each month. January is quiet along with the summer holidays and during these periods I only get a smattering of orders (which suits me as I have two boys at home). I set up my business nearly three years ago and on average I make 60% of my entire annual turnover between September and December. I now make sure that by the time it gets to mid-September I've ordered all the business stationery I'm likely to need (to give out at events) and have ordered as much stock as I can afford. The last thing you need when you've got 15 pairs of cufflinks to make is to be thinking about ordering promotional postcards and gift boxes on a three week lead time! I keep my social calendar as clear as possible without offending anyone. The last two Christmases I've tried to take orders right up until mid-December and it's meant late nights and early mornings to ensure the work gets finished in time.


I used to attend events all year round, now I concentrate mainly on September to November with a couple chucked in around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. If you're at an event lasting 5 hours there are inevitably quiet periods so I try to plan my work in the run up to the event so I can take bits and pieces of jewellery that need polishing by hand with me. Plus I use these quiet periods to arrange appointments and contact customers about finished jewellery so that no time is wasted! This year should feel slightly easier as my youngest is now in nursery every day so I'll have some more ‘free’ time to turnaround the jewellery. Of course I still need to find the time for my other part time job, housework, Christmas shopping and running the house! January is then for updating the website, doing my tax return and booking our summer holiday with the profits! Laura of Kozmic Dreams produces a brilliant range of knitted owls and cats as well as some fantastic baby hats. Here she explains how Christmas affects her work schedule and what she has to do to make the festive season a success for her. Most crafters think about Christmas on and off all year round, which can be quite disconcerting when we're in the middle of Summer! I tend to attend a lot of local craft fairs from September onwards and sell a wider range of goodies to include hats, scarves and stocking fillers. I try to target as wide a range of potential customers as I can. I have lovely postcards that promote my goods and lead everyone to my WowThankYou shop. I love going to craft fairs as well as selling online; the Christmas fairs usually have a great atmosphere and even if I don't sell anything, I love chatting to other crafters. It's also the best way to do some market research and get feedback on my products. People also tend to pick up my postcards and hopefully this leads to future sales. Beverley of Just Bev Soaps loves Christmas but has to start preparations in the middle of the year to keep up with her sales and craft fair commitments during the festive season. Here she explains how she manages her time and resources. Christmas for me begins in August if not July. In July I have to think about what I am going to make and from what. August is the month I need to make soap. All cold press soaps have to dry for four to six weeks before being sold anyway and so that is one of the big hurdles for me. Around this time I also have to source fragrances from suppliers and that can be a big delay if their Christmas ranges are not ready. I sell at farmers markets and fairs quite regularly throughout the year and so around about September time I take samples of Christmas products to gauge what my regular customers need for Christmas. September is also a time for wrapping and making up boxes/bags/ baskets etc. ready to sell. When we get into November we have so many fairs that we really do not have time to make new products or wrap gift boxes anyway. I also make sure to look back at the previous year’s sales so that we are stocking our previous Christmas best sellers. One of our biggest winners at Christmas has always been chocolate orange soap made with real chocolate! This I demonstrated at a fair two weeks ago and people were amazed that we actually used real fair-trade chocolate! So there you have it. How do you prepare for Christmas? Start early with your preparations, plan your work load accordingly, go to some selected craft fairs to sell and fly the flag. Make sure you have enough reserves of stock to cover the Christmas rush and above all keep smiling and have a drink or two, you deserve it. May we be the first to wish you a very Merry Christmas from the WowThankYou team J


Have you heard about …

Tell us about the lady behind Nanuk Jewellery My name is Louise, and I set up Nanuk Jewellery about 3 years ago to start selling my own hand made jewellery designs. I studied Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery at Kent Institute of Art and Design, and a couple of years after I finished my degree I began to make and sell my own work.

What is it that you enjoy about your work?

When did first begin creating your designs, and why? I have always enjoyed making things and trying new crafts, and eventually got into beading and jewellerymaking, but Nanuk jewellery really kicked off once I left university. After some time working for a local jeweller’s and making a few pieces for people in my spare time, I set up on my own making and selling my designs.

I love being able to make the ideas in my head into actual objects – although they often end up quite different from the original idea! – and seeing people wear and love something I have created. I especially love to work on commissions, when I have designed something especially for that person.

What is your biggest crafting achievement, and why? I have been very pleased with some of the wedding jewellery I have been lucky enough to work on lately. I also recently made a moongazing hare pendant which someone had asked for, and I was thrilled with how it turned out (as was the customer!), so much so that I am planning to make some more, including my Nanuk bear in a similar design.


Other than your crafting, what else do you like to do? If I’m not making jewellery, I’m usually making something else! I love to draw with pen and ink, making cards and decorating notebooks and things, and I am hoping to begin introducing some of these into my Nanuk range. Other than that, I love to read when I have time, and get out and about taking the dog for walks.

If you had to choose your favourite from your creations which one would it be? I tend to switch favourites whenever I come up with a new idea I like! However, I think my Leaf Dragons, the pendants and earrings, are my all-time favourite designs, and I would like to create some new dragon-themed ideas.

Where does your inspiration come from? I get most of my inspiration from the illustrated books of fairy tales I had whilst I was growing up, featuring the work of artists such as Kay Nielsen and Edmund Dulac. I love all the detail and colour, and I like to use a lot of stones and beads and wire-wrapped details to represent this in my work. I am also inspired by the stories themselves, which had led to the mythical creatures and dragons featured in some of my work. If you could change one thing about what you do, what would it be? I would definitely get someone to do my finishing for me! All the emerying and polishing can be time-consuming, and very fiddly on some of the more intricate designs. Do you have a favourite website? My favourite site at the moment is probably Folksy (, which I sell my work through. There are some amazingly talented people selling their work on there, and so many beautiful things, I have to try not to get too distracted browsing through them! Has any person helped or supported you more than any other? My family and friends have all been very supportive of my endeavours, but my sister in particular is my biggest fan. She is always willing to tell everyone about my work, and she has helped me with craft fairs and by letting me bounce ideas off her. Tell us a random fact about yourself! I have a slightly freaky ability for remembering completely random/useless facts and words – very helpful for crosswords!!

Website: Folksy shop: Facebook page:!/NanukJewellery


In the Spotlight with

mr x stitch This issue we meet:

Name: Olisa Corcoran Medium: Hand embroidery and textile art What's your story? I was a fairly serious amateur photographer and writer for many years. During a difficult time in my life, a friend taught me how to knit in order to help take my mind of my troubles. Unlike toiling alone at my computer or working in the darkroom, I found making things with my hands to be incredibly immediate and satisfying. Although I enjoyed knitting, given my background of writing stories and shooting photos, I sought a medium that allowed me to make items with my hands but also tell stories. Through various knitting blogs, I found my way to hand embroidery and fell in love with the creativity and the narratives the artwork captured. I signed up for a beginning embroidery retreat at the John C. Campbell Folk Art School in the Smokey Mountains. I remember the crazy magic I felt learning the chain stitch. I instantly became hooked. The textures of threads and fabric, the combination of colors and the opportunity experiment with design and story were addictive. In particular, I’m attracted to transferring sharp, simple designs into soft, wonky stitch. Thing like hazard and prohibition signs (both real ones and that I’ve made up with oddball meanings of their own) and various typefaces are very appealing to me. I also like playing with self-portraiture. I’m a constant and ready subject for my own photography and stitching and I can tell myself what to do! I started blogging about my work in 2010 ( This has allowed me to connect with other embroidery and textiles artists around the world, which is something that I love. Through sites like Mr X Stitch and social media networks like Twitter and Flickr, I’m exposed to work of other artists who are pushing the boundaries of textiles on fiber arts.


What's your favourite piece of work thus far? Two pieces that I made early on are still my favorites. I stitched “Turntable” for a Phat Quarter Swap on flickr. I was quite inexperienced when I signed up for the swap and I had no idea what I’d gotten myself into when I designed it! It took me ages to finish. For weeks, I would come home from my corporate day job and spend hours stitching. Through that piece I learned how much I love working with heavy fill stitch. I’ve continued to use this thick, shiny texture on many pieces since then. I also like my thread-sketch self-portrait called “I Am an Oak.” It is the opposite of the Turntable piece; I sketched it and stitched it very quickly in simple back and split stitch. It allowed me to explore a recurring dream I have of discovering my own face in the surface of an oak in the forest. What do you find challenging? Finding time to work on all of the art projects that I have in process. My house is filled with hoops of works in process and sketchbooks with images I want to explore in stitch! Any advice for newbies? Don’t be afraid to look beyond traditional patterns for inspiration for your stitching. I spend as much time looking at art exhibition catalogs and in museums for ideas as I do in classic pattern books. Do something unexpected, like, say, look at a Giacometti sculpture and imagine how you would transfer than into stitch. Keep playing!


How to create your Candle Cup Vintage/pretty coffee or teacup Length of 1" wick Wick fastener Small long-nosed pliers Wooden skewers Wax (block or beads) Scented oil Patterned paper Ribbon Small saucepan Plastic jug Scissors

Written by Bridget from Inkahoots

Step 1 Wash & dry cup. Cut a length of wick. Make sure it's long enough to reach the base of your cup from the rim, plus enough to tie a knot. Step 2 Thread wick through the wick fastener until there's a small end left on the flat side. Pinch the raised collar on the top side tightly with the pliers to secure the wick.

Step 3 Balance a wooden skewer across the top of the cup and tie the loose end of the wick to it, so that the wick fastener lies flat on the bottom of the cup with the wick taut. Make sure the wick is central.

Step 4 Melt the chopped wax or beads in a saucepan over a low heat until clear.

Step 5 Pour a small amount of wax into the jug and then into the bottom of your cup to fix the wick and it's fastener in place. Let it solidify. Keep the rest of the wax melted in the pan over a really low heat. Step 6 When ready, pour the wax into the jug and add the oil - the more you use, the stronger the scent! Stir in well.

Step 7 Pour the remaining wax into the cup, keeping the wick central. Don't fill it to the top - leave room for topping up the wax as it can shrink a little when cool. Let it cool and solidify. Top up the wax, using the same method as before, if you need to. Again, do not fill the cup to the rim, let it cool and solidify.

To finish, cut a pretty paper topper, poking a hole in the middle for the wick and place on top of the wax. Tie a coordinating ribbon to the handle‌

‌. and there you have it, a really pretty present for yourself or a friend! You can make so many lovely variations with different scents and styles of cup - I tend to do mine in batches like little cakes. Have fun!

Log Cabin Effect Pincushion


Small picture fabric for centre (approx 1 inch square) 2 inch strips for surround Calico for mounting (4 inch square) Batik for backing (4 inch square) Ribbon (6 inch piece) Toy Stuffing General sewing thread Pins Scissors or Roller Cutter and Mat

creations designed for you’

Step 1. Seam allowance is Âź inch. Centre the picture fabric on the calico and stitch around all four edges, to secure.

Step 2. Fold the 2 inch strips in half width ways and press. Take the strips of colour 1; attach the top and bottom strips with the fold towards the centre, then attach the side strips. Step 3. Complete round two with the second colour, and round three with colour 1.


Step 4. Trim 1/8 inch from the last round of stitching.

Take the length of ribbon and fold in half; centre at the top of the pincushion and stitch in place (very close to the edge). Step 5. Lay the finished piece face down onto the backing fabric and stitch, leaving a gap at one side of approximately one and a half inches. Trim the backing to fit, and trim the corners to enable neat turning.

Step 6. Turn the pin cushion to the right side. Fill the pincushion quite tightly, and stitch the small gap to complete.

This design can be modified by using wider strips and a larger centre square picture to make a full size cushion.

This pattern is designed for personal use only, and not for resale. ŠPerfectPatchwork 2012 all rights reserved. 53

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Don’t miss our christmas issue out on 1st december 2012

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