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CREATIVE CRAFTING By Crafters for Crafters

Issue 9

Join our friendly Social Network And make lots of new crafting friends

Creative Connections Crafter’s Network Become part of a wonderful community

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Join in the fun on the forum Upload photos and videos to promote your creations Customise your own profile page Spend time in our chat room and host your own chat events



Anna - The Crystal Lady

Avril - Sprinkles Sparkles Senior Features Writer Diane - Peggy’s Knits Feature Writers Tina - In the Garden Tracey - Wowthankyou Claire - Elderberry Arts Hannah - Surf Jewels Dianne - Heartmade Gifts

Mirjam - Mirribeads

How many craft projects did you undertake last year? Did you try any new crafts that you hadn’t done before, how did it go? All fantastic questions and we would love to hear about your crafting year. You can contact us via emails, our website, Facebook, Creative Connections. We are always about so why not get in touch. Back to this issue, we have some interesting new people for you to meet. Also, some beautiful projects to have a go at. Over the next few issues we are hoping to bring you lots of new ideas, we have new articles in the pipeline that we think you will enjoy a lot. As always, our favourite part of this issue has been getting to know new crafters. This year may prove to be another challenging one in the world of the small crafter so we will try and bring you as much information as we can to build up your business. Sit back, make a nice hot drink and enjoy! Anna x

Diane - Senior Feature Writer

Avril - Technical Editor




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1st April 2011

Anna - Editor


Look out for our Easter issue on

Your Creative Team


Dolly - Made by Dolly

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Victoria - Little Wren Pottery

Welcome to our first issue of 2011!

Technical Editor

In this Issue ...... Page 12

Recipes 31 Valentine Truffles Yummy Valentine Truffle recipe from Surf Jewels. 37 Chocolate & Pistachio Macaroons Unusual and delicious. Try this recipe from Little Wren Pottery.

28 Tina in the Garden Another visit with our favourite green fingered friend.

13 Crystal Magic

Regular Features

Page 31

A selection of handcrafted gemstone products selected by our Crystal Lady.

6 Crafters Directory The best place to go when you are looking for that special handcrafted item.

47 This Months ...

10 Online Street .. Best Picks

More winners of our Blog and Shop awards and the all important ‘man of the month’.

A wonderful selection of handcrafted items, handpicked by Sprinkles Sparkles.

Page 19

Special Features

19 Weird and Wonderful Crafts Discover unusual and forgotten crafts with The Crystal Lady. This issue we find out about Rug Hooking.

12 Stitch London Peggy’s Knits discovers a community encouraging people to ‘knit yourself’.

16 Why we love what we do!

42 Budget & Luxury Sprinkles Sparkles finds more craft items from both ends of the price scale.

Tracey from WowThankYou talks to Crafters about why they love their work.

Page 38 Page 24

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Page 40

Projects & Tutorials 20 Catch the Love Bug Make beautiful bugs using glass beads with Mirribeads.

Interviews 22 Beaded Wire Heart Set

Page 22

14 An Interview with Dark Elegance Designs If you like the darker side of jewellery, don’t miss out on our interview with Rachel.

24 Tealight Votives from Recycled Materials. A fantastic Mothers Day Gift project from Dianne from Heartmade Gifts.

26 An Interview with Ostlund Custom Works Meet Ron Ostlund Jr from Indiana. Find out his inspiration for his amazing designs.

32 Make a 3 strand Bracelet Elderberry Arts is with us again for a beautiful Mothers Day gift idea.

34 Meet Dave from turning time tells us how crafting has changed his life.

40 An Interview with Booties by Dannie

A lovely jewellery project by Gemma from Beads Unlimited.

38 Make a Valentine Tea Cosy An original Valentines idea from Made by Dolly.

Page 26

It’s not all about the Bootie!

43 An Interview with Tiny Gems Find out how Sarah loves all things vintage and old fashioned.

Page 34

Page 16

Custom made Healing Jewellery ‘Just for you’

Lemonade and Lamingtons

Crafter’s Directory The perfect place to find beautiful gifts

Handcrafted items are becoming a popular alternative to mass produced items. Lovingly created and often surprisingly inexpensive! Browse through our directory and click on the links to visit a world of beautiful craft shops.

Peggy’s Knits Quality knitted items If you would like to be featured in our directory please visit our website.

Crafter’s Directory The perfect place to find beautiful gifts

Handcrafted items are becoming a popular alternative to mass produced items. Lovingly created and often surprisingly inexpensive! Click on the links to visit a world of beautiful craft shops.

Averilpam Design

Handcrafted one of a kind jewellery and bags.


Elderberry Arts

Hand crafted unique and uncommon silver, gemstone, glass, gay and bisexual jewellery.


Jinja Jewellery

Original handcrafted jewellery and gifts for all tastes.



Gorgeous Handmade Jewellery & Greeting Cards at affordable prices.


LauraFaye Crafts

Lovely Handmade Beaded and Resin Jewellery


Laura Groom Jewellery

Unique and quirky jewellery thats fun to wear. Custom orders undertaken


Lola Kade

Genuine Hand made Jewellery using Semi Precious gemstones, Swarovski Crystals and much more, Plus Spiritual Dragons too!!!


Lorraine Dowdle

Spoil yourself with artfully interesting artisan lampwork jewellery creations.


Madam CC

Something old, Something new.


Marthamoo Beads

Contemporary and unique handcrafted jewellery.



Mirribeads resets vintage beads in fashion jewellery.


Mystic Earth

Gemstone Healing Jewellery, personal matching service available.


Purple Shmurple

Vintage Glass, Wood & Miniature Jewellery.


Snow Queen Trinkets

Kiln Fused Dichroic Glass Jewellery.


Sprinkles Sparkles

Bespoke, Handmade Jewellery and Accessories.



Original artwork and handmade costume jewellery; one off pieces made on Isle of Bute.


The Jewellery Angel

Cute, Colourful and Kitsch Jewellery.


Victoria's Polymer Clay Art

Handmade Polymer Clay Jewellery, Buttons and Home Decor.


The Vintage Jewellery Box

Hand-designed vintage-inspired jewellery with a modern twist offering a fresh alternative to girls who like to wear something a bit different!


Ann Chandler Originals

Unique bags and accessories in unusual fabrics, including vintage kimono Folksy silks, funky cotton prints and upcycled clothing.

If you would like to be featured in our directory please visit our website.

Crafter’s Directory The perfect place to find beautiful gifts

Handcrafted items are becoming a popular alternative to mass produced items. Lovingly created and often surprisingly inexpensive! Click on the links to visit a world of beautiful craft shops.


Juice Bar just got a new meaning.


Paulines Passions

Handmade cards and wedding stationary, also provide a bespoke service.


Radiance Crystals

Bespoke Bridal and Occasion Jewellery.


All things Nice

The home of unique affordable arts and crafts.


Bits and Bobs Crafts

Beautiful handmade knit, crochet and fabric accessories and gifts.


Caractacus Pots

Fun and functional handmade ceramics. Come and browse in my shop for some unique gifts.


Diomo Glass

A range of Stained Glass Gifts by a Stained Glass Artist. I recycle glass to Folksy create gifts and other novel little items of interest, fun and meaning.


An eclectic mix of handcrafted items using mixed media elements, from Folksy Altered Art to Papercraft, from vintage to distressed, shabby chic to new.

Lemonade and Lamingtons

Homewares & accessories, fresh & exciting!


Little Wren Pottery

Contemporary handmade English dinnerware for your table.


Made by Dolly

Sweet, unique and quirky items for your children and home.


Scottish Princess Designs

Designer and creator of unique, stylish, hand crafted jewellery and bespoke creations.


Neate Crafts

Painting, Knitting, Pyrography & lots more.


Painted Ghost

Handmade accessories for baby and child, home of the Bibbla!


If you would like to be featured in our directory please visit our website.

Crafter’s Directory The perfect place to find beautiful gifts

Handcrafted items are becoming a popular alternative to mass produced items. Lovingly created and often surprisingly inexpensive! Click on the links to visit a world of beautiful craft shops.

Abstract Cat Crafts

Colourful, high quality hand-dyed and hand-painted knitting yarn.



Joyknitt Knits.


NOfkants Curios

Hand Knitted and Crocheted Unique Handbags.


Peggy’s Knits

Quality knitted items.


Wharfedale Woolworks

Hand painted yarns and custom knits.


Buttercup Boutique

Unique textile gifts and accessories.


Kelso Kreations

Handmade Gifts for that special occasion.


Little Scruffs, Miniature Mohair Artist

Bears with loads of character. Vintage style, collectable.


Lola Kade Creations

Unique and special hand made Spiritual Dragons made using clay and Semi Precious Gemstones. Find your perfect companion!


Moody Cow Designs

Unique handmade handbags and accessories.



Ipad Covers, Purses, Handbags - Designer, & Funky Fabrics.



Handmade chocolate truffles, a perfect Valentine's gift to show someone Website how much you love them.


Unique, bespoke handspun newspaper yarn cards & framed art; Eco knitted brooches and more....



Artisan lampwork beads made in my kitchen studio. Commissions taken.



Description: Quality satin ribbon printed with your words or message. Promote your craft business for just 99p per metre (£1.49 p&p).


The Little Bead Box

Beautiful Beads and Jewellery Supplies.


The Prickly Pear Gift Company

Beautiful ribbons perfect for a range of craft projects, from interior design to cardmaking and gift wrapping.


UK Craft Store

Novelty buttons and more.


If you would like to be featured in our directory please visit our website.

Online Street Favourite finds from around the crafting community This months focus is Valentines & Mother’s Day! Click on the images to take you to their store!


Valentines Heart Key Ring / Bag Charm Buttercup Boutique £7.00

Large Bath Heart Hearts and Homespun Handmade Soaps & Bodycare £2.50

Leaves and Pearls Silver Heart Pendant Ali Bali Jewellery £48.00


Love Hand Cut Greetings Card Quite Contrary Crafts £5.30 (inc p&p)

Shabby Chic Decorative Heart Embellished Cushion Amethyst Creations £16.90 (inc p&p)

Domed Silver & Enamel Heart Ring Wendy Penrose £69.00 (inc p&p)

White, heart, pearl & bow earrings Expressorizeureself £6.00

Heart Shaped Blackboard Me and Thee £14.95


Door Stop with Applique Linen Heart Ticketty Boo £25.00

All prices correct at the time of publication

Best Picks Favourite finds from around the crafting community This months focus is Valentines & Mother’s Day! Click on the images to take you to their store!


St. Valentines Card BeBonDeSign £1.20

Porcelain Textured Heart Pendant Caractacus Pots £5.49

Cushion-Love Heart Gingham MissLucyLu £12.95


Pink Heart and Roses Hand Painted Frosted Glass Votive Cup A stroke of jeanne-ius £4.49

Whimsical Pink & Red True Love Photo Frame fantizziedesigns £12.85

Lady Bug Valentine Heart Door Decoration Mosscreekmercantile £14.12


Silver Hearts Charm Bracelet, Beads and Buttons in Pink CTStudios £12.51

Roses Mothers day Card Valmade £2.19

Valentine heart Ponytail Holder hair set Bluemanatee £5.00

All prices correct at the time of publication

Knit Yourself! Featuring Stitch London Stitch London are a great stitching community that encourage absolutely anyone to enjoy crafting. Last year they held a stitch yourself event which was promoted in the Science Museum in London. There were so many, they were from all over the world and from all walks of life.

Here at Creative Crafting we are asking if you would like to Stitch Yourself too! Just send photos in to the magazine and we can forward on the pictures to Stitch London. Here is the link for the patterns and you just customise them to make them look like yourself.

They can be crocheted, knitted or whatever you craft you decide to use. We can’t wait to see what you all make. Make sure you send a picture of your little knitted self into us so we can show them off in the next issue! You can upload your pictures at our web site Here is a link for more pictures for all of the little selves and more information on what they did, please be aware though that they are not taking anymore as it was last year this event happened. You can find more pictures of the event here on Stitch Londons blog here 02/stitch-yourself-night/

Written By Peggy’s Knits

Mother Nature has provided us with wonderful Healing Gemstones and Minerals. For this Issue, discover the beauty of

Lapiz Lazuli (Na,Ca)8[(SO4/S/Cl)2/(AlSiO4)6+Fe

Lapis Lazuli was used in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt as the ‘stone of rulers’ and for cult purposes. Mentally - Wisdom, Honesty, Peace, Friendship, Bonding. Physically - works with: the neck, larynx and vocal chords. Lowers blood pressure, regulates the thyroid gland. Chakra - Throat, Third Eye, Crown.

£40 Gemstone Wire Work Lapis Lazuli Necklace


£35 Macrame and Lapis Lazuli Necklace

Chione Earrings

If you would like more information about Crystal Healing Jewellery, you can contact The Crystal Lady at: or visit

£24 Lapis Lazuli & Tanzanite Earrings

£15 Darcy the Peace Dragon

$23 Love of Lapis

I live in Bristol, England, a very beautiful city with gorgeous countryside, lots of beautiful architecture, things to do and brimming with history. I have three fur children, Maia cat, Chloe cat and out adorable little chihuahua called Bellatrix who is only a year but knows so many tricks I lose count.

I've always been crafty. Over the years I could never find clothes or jewellery I wanted so I started making my own. My first memory of finding jewellery magical was my grandmothers velvet jewellery box, when I was a child. If I was good she would let me look through it. :)

I think it was a velvet choker with a rosebud.

I love walking my dog in the countryside and woods where we live, travelling, reading, cooking (anything spicy is yummy) alternative music and events.

I would like to have more time to make new designs, I'm kept so busy with current ones and I think my head might explode with all the new ideas in it.

I love all my pieces equally.

Books, children’s fairytales, legends, memories and history. As we get older we learn the difference between fantasy and reality but it's important to also learn to hold onto dreams. I hope my jewellery reminds people of when they believed in magic, faeries and falling down rabbit holes if they weren't careful. After all 'somewhere over the rainbow' .. ‘dreams really can come true'.

I love working with all the charms I have. I have 4 charm boxes each jam packed with 48 sections so I have hundreds of adorable little charms from tea pots to owls. I can look through those boxes for hours. They are like tiny treasures. because they have a large range of clothing from corsets to skirts, bags to shoes, fantastic customer service with super quick delivery.

I'm from Scotland, I've lived in 3 different countries in the past 2 years, Scotland, England and Holland. I do believe in faeries at the bottom of my garden. :)


Why we love what we do! “Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do ... but how much love we put in that action.”

What drives the artist, the crafter, artisan or small producer? Hopefully it’s not always a case of “ ” Surely there must be an element of loving what you do and a sense of satisfaction at producing items that are unique, personal and brilliant? What makes you get out your sewing machine/sketch pad each day - why do you do it? For some there is an element of breaking free from the mundane day job and entering the freedom of doing what you want to do. For others who have already made the jump and given up the day job there must be a sense of liberation and excitement, of course tempered by the need to pay the bills. How do you feel about what you do? Is it therapeutic ‘chicken soup for the soul’? Does it provide some useful pennies? Does it give you more quality time with your family? The crafters on WowThankYou have told us their reasons for doing what they do and these range from being able to spend more time with the kids to feeling more at one with the universe. Ley Holloway from the Vintage Beadery says she works intuitively “If it feels good do it ... I make it up as I go along”. Ley adds “Sometimes the best bit about creating is being able to surprise yourself with the result ... and it is not what you set out to accomplish but is just great all the same”. Ley recently produced a fabulous piece from the accidental mixture of two sets of beads that occurred simply because she had not cleared away a previous project, “untidy is sometimes good and some of the best work comes from this type of spontaneity ... producing something totally off the wall is sometimes the best way to start a new trend or brand.”

Visit Ley on WowThankYou here Martina Macklin of Sparrow Primitives has a more primeval need to create something new; she says “

” She gets a real sense of satisfaction from creating her products and ends by saying “ ”

Visit Martina on WowThankYou here

Pandy Grenville-Evans of Princess Kitten has a more earthy view of crafting and grafting telling us that “ ” I suppose one could call this the shear organic joy of creating something unique and escaping into your own world just for a little while. Visit Pandy on WowThankYou here Lisa Galvan-Reyes of Craft on Canvas is an artist and a talented interior designer and uses her skills to do the things she loves. “ ” She loves the colours and the challenge of producing a unique design to give an individual look. She sums up her love of crafting, “

” Visit Lisa on WowThankYou here Charlotte Hupfield is a talented ceramicist producing wonderful contemporary pieces, which she markets through her own studio and shop. She loves the idea of having her workshop/studio at home and only a few paces away so that when inspiration strikes she can act immediately and produce that ‘killer’ piece. She says “ ”

Visit Charlotte on WowThankYou here

There are of course added perks to working from home, as Helen LloydHoare from Moonstone Glass enthuses, “


Visit Helen on WowThankYou here

Gaye Milton-Weekes from A&V Designs is of the opinion that most crafters do not do it for the money. She has such enthusiasm that she says “ ” She loves all her items, and feels this is important, “

” She concludes, “ ”

Visit Gaye on WowThankYou here So there you have it - crafters do what they do for a variety of reasons: Immense satisfaction being a great start, an enjoyable hobby that brings in a modest income that can be carried out around being a parent, a ‘release’ from the everyday stresses of modern life ... they do it because they love it and can give over part of themselves in what they do, producing articles from the heart of their creative imagination for the rest of us to admire, appreciate, purchase and cherish. Happy Valentine’s Day from WowThankYou. I started on a quote, so I’ll end on another one: “Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.”

This article was written by from

Tracey has asked a very interesting question. We would love to hear more of your reasons for doing the crafts that you do. We have a forum thread on our Social Network, please join us and inspire us with why you love your crafts.

There are a lot of different crafts to choose from. This series of articles will discover some of the more unusual and also some old world crafts that may have been almost forgotten.

Rug Hooking This always looks fantastic fun to me but rather time consuming to make the whole rug. The rug is made by pulling loops of yarn or fabric through a stiff woven base. If you have been watching the Edwardian Farm series that has been on BBC 2 over Christmas you will have seen one being made with strips of fabric and an old sack. It took ages so I applaud the crafters that have the patience to create some of the beautiful pieces that I found while surfing the craft sites. I would love to have a go at some point though. If you are interested in trying this wonderful craft, you can find a wealth of information online. Youtube has a number of video tutorials and there are also some magazines dedicated to the craft as well as various books that you can purchase. Making Rag Rugs is a very topical craft these days as it is a Recycling Craft and we all love those.

Horse Rug Thread-Bare

If you would like more information on rug making, Heather Ritchies Website is a great place to start. There are some incredible designs on there and also lots of videos to help you get started. It also seems to be a very versatile craft as you can see by the wonderful idea Rags, Rugs and Baubles on Folksy has had with their Rag Rug Bags. Girl Teddybear Rag Rug Crocus Angelica Crafts

Also, Stripedpebble with their colourful Proggy Cushions.

Rag Rug Bags Rags, Bags and Baubles Spot Rug Ragtag Rugs

If you have an unusual craft that you would like to share with us please get in touch. You can email me at Proggy Cushions stripedpebble This article was created by

The Crystal Lady

Feeling all giddy? Is your stomach filled with the fluttering of butterflies? Oh yes, you’ve caught the love bug all right. With valentines just around the corner, it’s high time you pass it on to this special someone that’s making you float on cloud nine. To help you, I’ve created a gorgeous love bug, for you to make. This is what you need: 0.315 mm thick coloured copper wire in dusky pink or red: Ÿ 3 pieces of 7 cm for the legs Ÿ 40 cm for the body 1 flat oval red glass bead, 2 cm long, 1 cm wide 2 crystal AB glass hearts, 1 cm 1 red AB glass heart, 8 mm 12 red bugle beads, 7 mm 6 facetted red AB 4 mm fire polished beads 11 size 8 metallic peach seed beads 16 size 11 silver lined clear seed beads Cutter for the copper wire Step 1. The body Take the 40 cm piece of wire and fold it in half. Thread on one size 8 seed bead through one end and let it sit in the fold. Through both ends pushed together thread the oval bead. Push it up to the seed bead.

Step 2. The wings Take one end of the wire and thread through one of the 2 larger hearts, pointy end first. Now take another size 8 seed bead and thread it on. Now thread the wire back through the heart, making sure it is pushed tight to the oval bead. This is your first wing, now repeat with the other wire end.

Step 3. The head Put both wire ends back together again. You can twist them round each other for about 5 mm to secure the wings. Now thread on the red smaller heart, pointy side first. Push it tight towards the wings, so they are firmly in place. Split the wire ends again and, on one of them, thread 8 size 11 seed beads. Finish off with a size 8 bead. Push the beads right up to the heart. Loop the wire round the size 8 bead, then push it through again. Snip the wire as close to the bead as you can. Now repeat with the other wire end.

Step 4. The legs Take one of the 7 cm lengths of wire. Thread on one of the facetted beads. Push it towards the end of the wire and then loop the wire through the bead again. Snip off any excess wire at the back end of the bead. Thread on 1 bugle bead, 1 size 8 seed bead and another bugle. Now wrap the wire round the base of the head of the love bug, pulling the beads as tight as you can to the bug. Thread on the third bugle, another size 8 bead and then the last bugle bead. Put on a faceted bead and push all the beads as close as you can to the body. Thread the wire in a loop through the facetted bead again and snip off as close as you can to the bead. The love bug now has its front legs. To create the other four legs, repeat this process, making sure you wrap the legs closer to the oval body rather than the head. Step 5. Finish off Shape the legs and wings in the position you want them to be. To attach this bug to a brooch, you can take another piece of wire and wrap the bug with it to a brooch base. Alternatively you can hang it on a piece of chain by using another piece of wire to loop round the head and shape a loop with it, to thread some chain through.

I hope you will enjoy your love bug and pass it on to someone special.

Written by Mirribeads

Beaded Wire Heart Set

Win this necklace and earrings set. See our web site for more details

Make this simple wire work jewellery set to impress your friends and loved ones on Valentines Day

Gemma is inspired by everything around her, from colour and form to the materials she uses, and by using many traditional techniques with contemporary ideas she creates jewellery with her individual style. What you will need: I used Beads Unlimited products in the following quantities to complete jewellery set. 6 x 5 mm glass lamp bead transparent rosy pink (GLTR0512) 4 x 7 mm glass lamp bead transparent rosy pink (GLTR0712) 1 x pack of 1 mm silver plated wire (SPW10) 1 m of trace chain silver plated (CHTRSP) 1 x 25 5 mm jump ring silver plated (JR5SP) 1 x pack of 12 headpins silver plated (HPSP) 1 x pack of 6 long ballwires silver plated (LBWSP) 1 x trigger clasp silver plated (TRGSP) You will also need a pair of multi pliers (CRMT)

Step 1 Using the cutting part of the pliers cut a 3 cm length of wire. Using half way down the round nosed part of your pliers, bend a loop in the end of wire and squeeze closed. Thread on a 7 mm bead and bend the wire in the opposite direction to make a loop. Make one more and two using 5 mm beads. Set these aside.

Step 2 Cut a 13.5 cm length of wire. Using half way down the round nosed part of your pliers, bend a loop in the end of wire and squeeze closed. With the pliers and your fingers start to shape the wire heart.

Step 3 Use the round nosed section of the pliers to create a loop so that the first half of the heart is approximately 3.5 cm. Thread two 7 mm beads onto the wire followed by a 5 mm bead.

Step 4 Bend the wire around with your fingers and the pliers to create the second half of the heart. Bend the end into a loop in the same way as step 2. The heart should be asymmetrical.

Step 5 Cut two 10 cm lengths of trace chain, two 7 cm and one 9 cm length. Attach a jump ring to one end of a 10 cm length. Add another jump ring to the other end and join a 7 mm bead section that you made earlier. Close the jump ring.

Step 6 Join a 7 cm length to the other end of the beaded wire with a jump ring and a 5 mm bead to the other end in the same way. Next attach the 9 cm length of chain followed by a 5 mm bead, the 7 cm length, a 7 mm bead and the remaining length of chain. Attach a jump ring to the end with a trigger clasp and close the jump ring.

Step 7 Attach a jump ring to the beaded side of the heart and attach to the centre section of the chain so that the chain goes through the jump ring and moves freely.

Step 8 Make the hearts for the earrings in the same way as the necklace using a 7 cm length of wire. Open the loop of the long ball wire and attach to the larger side of each heart so that the hearts are mirrored when they hang, close the loop.

Step 9 Thread a 5 mm bead onto a headpin and trim 1 cm above the bead. Bend the headpin into a loop, attach to the loop on the bottom of the heart and close the loop on the headpin. Repeat to attach a headpin to the other earring and finally add a beaded headpin to the heart on the necklace.

Designed by Gemma from

Would you like to be the proud owner of this stunning beaded wire heart necklace and earrings set? Visit the Creative Crafting web site to enter!

Tealight Votives from Recycled Materials for Mothers' Day Treat your Mum this Mothers' Day to a pretty tealight votive made from recycled materials. Quick and easy, but effective and endlessly adaptable, you could make a set of co-ordinating votives in an afternoon. Make some for your Mum, some for friends ‌ and a few for yourself! The basic idea is very simple: 1. Make holes in an opaque base material to create a cover 2. Place this over a translucent lining material 3. Wrap around and attach to a small glass or jar You can use any size jar, but baby food jars are perfect for little tealights. Cut a piece of paper so that it will wrap round your jar (with an overlap of about 1cm) and be slightly taller than your jar. I have used the card from the inside of some Christmas wrapping paper here, but plain brown wrapping paper works well and you can experiment with all kinds of paper, card, fabric or foil for example. Use a punch to cut shapes from your base material. Cut a slightly smaller piece of lining material (tissue paper or organza, for example) and glue to the back of your base material. You can leave your votive cover just like this or decorate it in any way you like. Try writing something in metallic pens or paints. It's a good idea to practice on a scrap of your base material first. To ensure there won't be any smudging or bleeding and to get your spacing right.

Glue some foil sprinkles, confetti , glitter or small gems to your base material. You might also like to glue some on the inner side too. Glue the overlap and form into a tube around your jar. You can fill the gap around the top with tissue paper, making sure it is securely tucked below the rim. You could also fill the gap with tiny glass beads or sprinkles. Slip a tealight into your votive and it's ready to wrap and give to someone special.

Heartmade Gifts

If you don't have a paper punch, you can cut simple shapes with scissors. Or for some intricate images or fine detailing, try using a very sharp craft blade. Try designing your own letters, or using an existing font (you can find hundreds of different fonts online or use all kinds of signs or a magazine for inspiration.) If you don't want to cut shapes out, try layering thin paper or fabric. Add mini pictures, stickers, ribbons and beads or This layering gives a lovely effect; the different textures are highlighted by the flame. Swap your (opaque) base and (translucent) lining by gluing shapes to your jar and covering in tissue paper or thin fabric. You could prick a pattern into a foil wrap for an alternative effect. Try using different tools to mark your pattern. The tip of a wooden skewer lets you create a number of effects, but a screwdriver or fork might produce interesting results. Place your foil on a piece of foam to make it easier. I have used two layers of kitchen foil but you could use a piece of tin foil tray or an empty drink can or layer foil sweet wrappers. If your Mum isn't particularly girly, try combining simple colours and shapes with favourite motifs. Glue buttons or a fabric symbol onto a tissue background. Use natural fabrics and materials, including found items from a favourite nature walk, for example. You don't have to use glue to attach your votive cover; try ribbon, wire or string. The simplest hessian wrap is very effective when lit from inside. Wrap your votives individually, in pretty paper and ribbon, or put them in a gift bag or box. Or you could arrange a few in a wicker basket, with scented tealights and some pampering bath treats.

Have fun experimenting with various materials you have lying around, with various ways of cutting out or layering and attaching to your jars. Explore the infinite combinations of colour and texture. You can use anything that isn't highly flammable (I even had some votive covers without the jars while photographing) just remember to remind people never to leave candles

This article was written by Dianne from Heartmade Gifts. Join Heartmade Gifts on Facebook

My name is Ron Ostlund Jr and I work in retail, but I am really an artist. I live in Fort Wayne Indiana USA with my wife Carissa my new son Liam and two feisty dogs, Tiko and Petey. My art for the most part consists of building one of a kind pieces of home decor. I am really known so far for my clocks and lamps, but i am looking at doing much more. I have plans for everything home decor, tables chairs, couches etc. Creative Crafting would like to congratulate Ron and Carissa on the birth of son Liam on 12th January 2011

I started building things as soon as I knew how to use tools, thanks to my dad. I used to build a lot of my toys and just loved to tinker with things. I would get toys and take them apart and build what i wanted out of the parts. When it really got serious is when I started looking at home decor and liking alot of the modern styles. That was around 2003 and I built a few clocks in a small shop in my apartment living room and tried to get some kind of a business going. Well it fell apart and I never sold anything. Then again in 2005 I started building stuff again mostly clocks and again nothing came together. Couldn't seem to sell anything at all so I just dropped it and it remained a dream. So many years went by and then in 2010 a good friend of mind told me about and i decided to give it a try. I opened shop on April 2 2010 and just pulled my old work off and dusted it off and listed it. I started building as fast as I could after that and just tried to crank out work to fill space in my shop. I now have a small and cramped shop in a garage i rent from my apartment complex. It shares space with my workout area and storage. I am amazed at the kind of work I am able to do in this small and cluttered space of a shop!

My first item I made to sell was a very simple clock that started what I then called my "industrial waste" line. It was a simple piece of aluminium that was a cast off from a machine shop. I bolted it to an oak base and popped a clock movement into it and listed it. It took awhile for it to sell and I sold many other pieces before it finally sold. I would have to say my biggest crafting achievement in not necessarily a piece of work but a transition into what I consider real art. I started as an "art hater" I wanted nothing to do with it. I said "I just build stuff" "this is not art its a candle holder" Well things changed and I now love and embrace art and my best work has happened since then! Its been an amazing improvement in my work and who i am. And now I have plans to be in 3 different local art galleries! As well as running an Etsy shop that is growing in exposure and sales.

First and foremost I am a husband and father, mountain biker and fitness nut, and also am a pretty advanced weightlifter. I mostly do the weightlifting or bodybuilding in the winter during the cycling off season. I hate riding in the cold! I have raced in the past and love doing it, and have plans to continue doing some racing in the years to come. More specifically endurance racing like 12 and 24 hour solo races. I also enjoy researching natural nutrition and believe it is the way to a happy, healthy disease free life.

In 5 years I would love to be successful and doing this full time. I would like to have work in art museums around the country and be working with top interior designers. I really love to just let my creativity flow but I would also like to work with clients one on one to design and build a piece that fits them perfectly. My wife and I are buying our first house and I can imagine myself still working out of a two car garage. I would really love to be able to provide for my family enough that we can live a comfortable life without my wife having to work. With the path i am on now I really believe that it’s possible to do!

I would have to say that my inspiration mostly comes from just feeling the energy of a piece or an idea. I just love to match up materials so that the end result is more powerful than the combined energy of all the pieces involved. A synergy of art! I love to just wander the scrap yard or dig through the scrap bins at machine shops and imagine a new life for what is there. I would have to say that the one person I know that does this better than anyone is Sayaka Ganz. She is an amazing artist, that I humbly have the pleasure of knowing. She takes everyday plastic junk and turns them into the most amazing and vibrant sculptures. To me I can just feel the energy and they feel alive. Seeing her art was a turning point for me. My good friend Julie showed me her website and I was so moved by what I saw I almost cried. ( Julie Wall Toles is another person I admire and gain inspiration from. She has to be one of the most confident and well spoken people i know and her art of print making is stunning. I have yet to see this process but it’s on my list of things to do. She has described it to me and I am shocked at what is involved. She has work that I will own someday! Julie is also the one person i credit with my transition from "art hater" to artist! My favourite materials are metal and wood. I like aluminium the most out of the metals because it’s easy to work with and it’s shine. And I like regular plan ole oak! Its a relatively cheap hardwood and is hard and stable and easy to work with as well. It has a wonderful grain pattern and can even be found naturally felled really easy. I have built pieces out of wood from friends properties that have oak trees. I also like working with some of the exotic woods as well, mostly for the interesting colours and grain patterns. Also in the mix is coloured glass, which can really set off a piece and bring it from boring to amazing! Almost all of the metal I use is scrap metal from machine shops. I go to a scrap yard and several machine shops and look for interesting pieces of cutoffs and castoffs. I also find all kinds of interesting junk at the scrap yard and just use my imagination to figure out what to make with the parts.

Honestly, I really don't have a favourite shop online or anywhere for that matter. I just like too many things! If it really came down to it I would have to choose the cycling website they are my go to for bike parts.

I would have to say that no one person has really supported me in some grand way. Most of my drive comes from myself. My wife is a great supporter as well as many of my friends, artists or not. I just use their collective support to help drive my own ambition to succeed in this. I am a mutant! well that’s what my brothers call me and some of my friends!

in the Garden Hi I’m Tina, I hope that you all had a great Christmas and New Year. The white stuff that came down was very seasonal. if a little cold. Now, it’s nice and warm in here, the kettle is on for a good warm cup of tea. Maybe today a nice shortbread biscuit, but remember we must not over indulge.

The Magnolia Plantation

I am so pleased that you took the time to come and join me again in The Garden. It is a little grey and wet today and the Garden is still enjoying its winter sleep, so there is not much going on yet so I thought you may all like a little Sunshine. I would love to share with you a trip which my better half and I took in October to a most wonderful and unusual garden. The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens are just outside Charleston in South Carolina U.S.A.

In the past it was an old rice plantation, but the rice fields have long since been claimed by the natural plants. The main bushes were Camellias , they were smaller flowers than the ones we have in the garden and of course were flowering at a different time of year, but they were such delicate blossoms. Rice Fields


The house was beautiful but not as I expected, as thinking plantation I expected to see something of the style of Tara from Gone with the Wind But not so, although it did have its own beauty. As it says on the plaque there have been three houses on the site over the years. The first house 1680-1811 burned down, the second 1811-1805 was burned down by General Sherman’s troops, and the third house has been altered in 4 phases to make it as it is today.

The Plantation House


We then toured what was my very favourite part which was the Swamp Gardens. There was much more water of course than our bog but I checked to see if my better half was making notes for the future. It would be just great to have something like this, if on a smaller, drier scale. However there were some residents which I would not welcome in the bog, no thanks!


Here is a beautiful photo of the bridge over the lake. the Spanish moss is just wonderful like silver cobwebs, we were told that it does not harm the trees at all, they live in perfect harmony. Alligators

Another special feature is the large river that runs through the property. This was used in days gone by to take the rice by paddle steamer into Charleston. You can see from the photo just how tranquil it looks on such a beautiful day.


The River

What about this gazebo? I did draw the attention of my better half to this, maybe he could knock one up for me in his spare time, not that he manages to get much as I always have the projects lined up.

I have not written so much this time. More photos are better than my ramblings and there will be so much next time as Spring will really be with us and lots should be happening in The Garden. Now, I will clear away the empty cups and send you out again into the dull wet weather, but I hope you will take with you a little sunshine from the photos of Magnolia Plantation.


I am looking forward to visiting with you all again in the next issue, and sharing with you the awakening of Spring in The Garden. Your green fingered friend,


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Each Christmas, birthday and occasion comes around and you have the same problem of what to buy, why not this valentines make the person you love a present. Making something for someone shows you care in a way a bought present never could. And what does everyone love? Chocolate of course. So why not make them some truffles. Not as hard as it sounds and actually quite a lot of fun, if not a little messy! All you need for a basic truffle is some cream and chocolate, simple. Of course you can add all sorts of things to them to make them even better, but lets start with the basics.

Valentines Truffles INGREDIENTS An equal amount of chocolate and cream (so if you use 100ml of cream, use 100 grams of chocolate.) Icing sugar Cocoa powder, biscuit crumbs, coconut, nuts (optional) Orange or mint flavouring or coffee granules (optional) METHOD 1) Warm the cream in a pan, add the chocolate and melt. Stir on a low heat until all combined. Once this is done, put the mixture in a bowl and put in the fridge for about an hour or until firm and thick. 2) Get the mixture out. Scoop a bit out with a spoon and use icing sugar to coat them and to stop it sticking to your hands. Roll them in to balls and you have a simple truffle. 3) If you find your mixture is sticking to everything just use more icing sugar until it stops sticking. Once this is done you can begin to experiment with coatings and flavours. You can rolls these truffles in cocoa powder, biscuit crumbs, coconut, nuts or whatever takes your fancy. You could add flavours to the truffle mixture once you have taken the cream and chocolate off of the heat, such as orange or mint flavouring or coffee granules. You can also dip the truffles in chocolate to coat them. Just melt the chocolate (very easily done in the microwave for a couple of minutes, just make sure you stir it after a minute and keep an eye on it as sometimes it looks unmelted when it’s not, it somehow seems to hold its shape). Then put the truffle on a folk and dip away. I then dry the truffles on a tray in the fridge and you are done. These can then be wrapped, boxed or put in jars to make a lovely present. Written by Surf Jewels

Mother’s Day Gift Idea

3 Strand Bracelet This style of bracelet is great for using up oddments and beads leftover from other projects. You can use any beads you have to create a variety of styles to suit any occasion and every bracelet will be totally unique.

Materials I have used 8 shell chip beads 4 Peach aventurine chip beads 6 Strawberry Quartz chip beads 2 4mm pink Jade beads 1 6mm pink Jade bead 2 Rose Quartz 6mm oval beads 2 4mm garnet beads 2 8mm Amethyst beads 2 8mm Rose Quartz beads 1 6mm Moonstone disk 3 red Jasper chip beads 10 glass chip beads 10 4mm Rose Quartz beads 3 Garnet chip beads

30 3mm pink seed beads 20 3mm purple seed beads 5 purple 8mm bugles 4 6mm glass flowers 4 6mm red glass beads 15 6mm crackle glass beads in pink/purple/clear 5 6mm clear glass beads 8 4mm Rose Quartz beads 2 6mm Amethyst beads 3 4mm white Jade beads 5 4mm silver plated round beads

7 4mm silver plated daisy spacers 2 6mm Hematite heart beads 20 4mm bicones in pink/purple/ clear 3 6mm red glass pearls 4 metalised rose beads Nylon beading cord 2 Silver plated calottes Silver plated lobster clasp and clasp tag

Step 1. String the beads in a random order on the nylon until you have a 7 inch length of beads. Step 2. Cut the nylon leaving a tail a few inches long at both ends. This is used to finish the bracelet and fit the clasp later. I tie these ends together in a loose knot to avoid the beads coming off.

Step 3. String a second 7 inch length of beads, cut the nylon and knot the ends as in step 2. Step 4. Repeat step 2 for a third time so you now have three strands of randomly strung beads.

Elderberry Arts Step 5. Take the three strand, undo the knots and lay them next to each other.

Step 6. In one end knot the three lengths of nylon together and pull the knot tight. Cut off any excess nylon. The knot can be secured with a drop of super glue if you like. Step 7. Place one calotte over the knot and squeeze it shut.

Step 8. Push all the beads down towards the calotte. Loosely braid the strands of beads. Step 9. Pick up the strand by the unknotted end and rearrange the braid if needed so the strands and beads sit correctly.

Step 10. Tie a knot as in step 6 a few mm from the last beads. Do not tie the knot right next to the beads because if you do the calotte will not fit on properly. Trim the excess nylon and add the second calotte as in step 7. Step 11. Using the jump rings attach the clasp to one calotte and the clasp tag to the other.

Written by Elderberry Arts My Name is Dave, I am married to Jo and live in Kent. I have always liked woodworking but unable to secure an apprentice when I left school in the early 70’s I ended up working in an office. Over the last 30 years I was chained to a desk and although it enjoyed it (most of the time) I never really had the opportunity to do much more than DIY around the house. After moving into a rundown property during the last recession most of the DIY was not exactly creative but was still a big learning curve that kept the urge to create something at bay. Eventually we got to the end on the major renovation and I was able to throw out the last of many pairs of cement laden jeans. But what now, ok the garden helped but I still had a need to do something creative. By chance my uncle moved house a few years ago and decided he no longer wanted a lathe so he offered it to me. By now I had a bit more time and money so decided to build my own workshop at the end of the garden. A few months later and I had the lathe up and running and was able to do some turning that I had always loved doing during school. This was the slippery slope to where I am today. I was made redundant in August 2009, my late mother was having treatment for cancer and so my wife and I decided that rather than returning to a 9-5 job it was time to do a bit more of what I like doing and have the freedom to be where I needed to be. One of the first items I produced on the lathe was a pen. I also like making clocks which was the inspiration for the name of my web site as well as my outlook for ‘turning time into something useful’. This is how began in earnest. Wood working is a good therapy for me. It gives me the opportunity to be creative and is always a challenge. I have not had any lessons since school as I tend to like learning from doing it myself and finding alternative ways to achieve a similar result. Obviously you have to know the basics but I found it was a bit like riding a bike – yes I had a few bonfires from experiments that went wrong but I also had a lot of fun. I first sold a pen on ebay and that gave me the confidence to start looking around for ways to sell the items I make. First I created a shop on my web page, but soon after I discovered Folksy and decided that I would not have the time and money to market my own shop. I prefer to take the wood from as near to how it came off the tree, this means having to store and dry the wood or doing what is called ‘green turning’. I prefer to use dry wood so normally buy it in plank form and cut it to the size I need when I need it. To do this I have added a band saw, table saw and a thicknesser/planer which helps reduce the plank to a basic shape that can be mounted on the lathe. I rarely use a plan as I tend to ‘feel’ the shape of the piece I am turning. It may sound strange but each piece of wood has its own characteristics. Maybe that is also an excuse for the item finishing nothing like the plan J I like to make sure that the wood I use is from a managed source as the care for flora and fauna is close to my heart – I will often use recycled wood and have friends that will call me to ask if something is any use. The last being timbers from a building that was built with old wooden Royal Navy ship timbers! There is a good network of suppliers for turning equipment and project supplies. My favourite haunt is Styles and Bates who are based In Dover. As they are reasonably close I visit the shop when I can, this way I can rummage through their wood store for myself. Recently I added a laser cutter/engraver to my collection of tools. Think of it as a scroll saw with much more capability. It allows me to cut veneer and create what I like to think as more decorative clock faces with veneer shapes I would not be able to cut by hand. I could only have done this with the support of my lovely wife who has to put up with me either in the workshop, staring at a computer screen or watching the laser cut the latest idea. I do try to push the vacuum round for her once in a while ;-) Random fact – I once met the Queen who was very sweet Visit

e Dav


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Mention the word Macaroon and you're likely to think of soft almost cakey pillows made from almonds and coconut. I've never been keen on coconut, its difficult to eat and to cook with. So in going for an alternative I chose one of my favourite flavours - pistachio. Macaroons are similar to Italian amaretti biscuits having at its core a meringue base and are related to the Italian word ‘ammaccare’ meaning to crush or beat. The earliest recorded macaroon recipe are a type of almond meringue from the 1500's baked by Italian pastry chefs. Here's my recipe for chocolate and pistachio macaroons. I hope you'll agree that the bitter tang of dark chocolate helps to counterbalance the sweetness of the icing sugar.

Chocolate and Pistachio Macaroons INGREDIENTS 140g pistachios 250g icing sugar 2 egg whites 100g low fat soft cheese 25g 70% dark chocolate melted METHOD 1) Heat your oven to at least 160C. 2) Put 25g of icing sugar and the pistachios in a blender and mix until fine. With a wooden spoon mix the nut paste with 175g more icing sugar. 3) In a large bowl whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add 50g icing sugar and whisk again until thick and glossy. 4) Fold in the nut mix to the whipped egg whites. Spoon into a piping bag or use a spoon to form small rounds of the mixture on parchment lined trays. Each one should be about the size of a 10 coin. 5) Leave them to dry for 30 mins before putting them in the oven, bake for 12-15 mins or until golden brown. 6) Beat together the cream cheese and melted chocolate, use this mix to sandwich the macaroons together. 7) Serve and enjoy with someone special.

Written by Victoria Baker

Make a Tea Cosy

for Valentines or Mother’s Day

Everyone loves a hot cup of tea, so why not make this simple tea cosy to give as a gift on Mothers Day, or wow your lucky partner with breakfast in bed on Valentines Day! You can embellish this as much as you like, if you are into embroidery or screen printing, or you can just use a fun print as I have done here.

What you will need: A piece of paper 30 x 20 cm 2 pieces of fabric: 1 for outer cover, 1 for lining. Both at least 60 x 20 cm A piece of interlining, wadding or similar material also 60 x 20 cm Ribbon or pretty bias tape at least 60 cm long A button or other embellishment. Sewing essentials (Needle, thread, pins, scissors, iron) Sewing Machine. You can sew this by hand but I prefer to use a machine - it’s a lot quicker! Make your pattern: Take your piece of paper. I have stated 30 x 20 cm here as this fits a medium sized teapot. However, if possible, it might be a good idea to check your teapot before you proceed. Fold the paper in half across the middle and round off the corners. You should end up with a shape similar to this:

Step 1. Fold over the fabric you intend to use. Pinning the pattern you have made to it, cut around it carefully so that you have two identical pieces. Repeat this for the lining fabric, and again for the interlining/wadding. You should end up with 6 identical shapes, two of each material. Step 2. Taking the two pieces you wish to be the outside of the cosy, now is the time to embellish them with embroidery or ribbon as you wish. To add ribbon (I have put on polka dot bias tape) first cut two lengths 30 cm each. Pin these to the fabric about 1 cm above the bottom edge. Machine or hand sew on as preferred.

Step 3. Pin together right sides facing one cover and one lining piece, and stitch along bottom edge only. Open out the pieces and press seam towards lining. You should have two identical pieces.

Step 4. Now you are going to make a sandwich! Place the two fabric pieces together, right sides facing. At the end where the cover fabric is, add the interlining/wadding on either side – like the pieces of bread in a sandwich. Pin it all together.

Step 5. Now sew all around the inside edge of your pinned together sandwich, making sure that you leave a gap of around 5 cm at one side of the lining pieces. This is for turning it all back the right way out. Don’t forget to do this!

Step 6. Turn your cosy right way out, and slip stitch the opening in the lining shut. Then tuck the lining fabric into the cosy. Press lightly, as turning out tends to crumple the fabric a bit.

Step 7. Now you can sew on any button you might like to add. I sewed mine onto the braid which does look pretty.

Step 8. Ta Da! Enjoy.

Written By Made By Dolly

My name is Danielle Mansell but I prefer to be called Dannie and my craft is crochet. I'm married to Brett for ever, over 8 ½ years and we have a 2 ½ year old named Sebastian (Seb.) I live on the sunny Essex coast of Clacton on Sea.

My mother taught my to crochet when I was about 10. She also tried to teach my knitting but it was difficult as I'm left handed and she isn't! My work space is my sofa although my storage area is in our conservatory.

I THINK the first thing I ever made was my Mary Jane baby booties but I can't quite recall as I went through a mad making spree early on because my fingers we excited by crochet again.

Well if by biggest you mean time consuming then it is this dress, which was also made for the same customer as the booties. Size 3-6 months. This was made over 4 or so evenings.

I am a bit of a twitcher. I love going bird watching and have gone to many RSPB sites in the past although the time for that these days, sadly, is a little less than it used to be.

I would like to be earning a full time income doing what I love and I hope that in 5 years I will have a well honed/well oiled “machine” making baby and adult knitwear.

My inspiration comes from what I love and what I see around me. My favourite type of knitwear is chunky and the colder winters have allowed me to play with more fun textures like what I have made with these hats. I have always loved knitwear and I think that stems from my mom always making things for us and people we knew.

I love any yarn that I can get my hands on. Sadly, because of the type of things I make I can't splash out on Merino, Rowan or any other make of high end wool

That's SUCH a tough question. I love so many places and so many different things but if I had to choose right now it would be because their shop had such a prevalence in my house this Christmas. Two gifts for my son, one for my niece and a surprise gift for me! :)

My husband has always been great through this (even as my love for yarn takes over the house) and fully supports what I do. He has also been a great sounding board for some of my ideas.

I am originally from a small city in Upstate, New York and moved to the UK when I was 20 to live with my husband.




Budget Pretty handmade valentine card with quilling roses Roses and sentiments handmade greeting cards and keepsakes £4.50

Vintage Teacup Candle – Shabby Chic Roses Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness £10.00 (inc p&p)

Rosalie earrings- maroon Chain of Daisies £9.50

Red and pink fymo rose bracelet Crystal Utopia Craft £6.50

Red roses valentine romance flea market/slouch bag large Ajourneyyettocome £9.05


Click on the images to take you to their store!

English Roses Heart Cushion House Proud Cindy £19.95

French Beaded Cream & Pink Sweetheart Rose Fleurs de Perles £25.00 (inc p&P)

Roses Kimono Calla Lily £70.00

Rosa - White Pearl and Silver Rose Necklace Indivijewels £73.00

Hair Comb - Olive Green Rose Ribbon Hairband Aurorarose £16.60

Rose Wax Mini Melts 6pk nikkicandles £2.62

By Sprinkles Sparkles All prices are correct at the time of publication

My Rose GardenStatement Necklace w/ Satin Flowers & Vintage Pins Solbijou £86.61

My name is Sarah Marks I have been married to my husband Chris for 3 years and we have an 11 year old black Labrador puppy (I say puppy as although he has arthritis and is going deaf he still thinks he’s a puppy,) called Travis and a 13 year ish old black cat called Salem, I say ish as I got him from the RSPCA when he was a kitten so I’m not certain of his exact age. We live in a little village of only 3 roads in Wirral, Northwest England which is about 30 minutes away from both Chester and Liverpool so we have great shopping opportunities to be had in all directions. The proximity is exactly what every woman needs for retail therapy. I make handcrafted jewellery and tiaras and love finding new materials and trying new ideas all the time. I especially love charity shop finds of broken and damaged vintage pieces of jewellery, cleaning them up, repairing them, and giving them some tender loving care. Then redesigning them and creating something new to be re loved by a whole new generation. I have always loved crafting and there are many pictures of me as a child with bits of tape hanging from my mouth or trying to learn to knit all with the same look of utter concentration on my face. I first got a jewellery making kit in 2009 and did it in the evenings as a form of stress relief and relaxation from a very busy job. In June 2009 I was put at risk of redundancy along with a lot of friends and colleagues and was actually made redundant at Christmas 2009, which as you can imagine was a very worrying time. However, having worked with the company for 14 years I decided that it was now or never and I should seriously consider becoming self employed doing the craft that I love, and that’s exactly what I did. I have not regretted my decision once and it is the best thing I have ever done.

Crafting does take up a large part of my time but when I do have time for anything else I love book keeping, only joking that has to be my biggest pet hate it is so time consuming and I’m always thinking of what I could be doing during that time. I love reading and my reading material varies greatly I love anything from classics like Pride and Prejudice and Rebecca to Harry Potter and Charlaine Harris’s True Blood series. As well as, Matthew Reilly, Michael Connolly (especially his Bosch novels) and the Twilight Saga books. I love spending time with my husband and our boys (dog & cat) and weather permitting we love spending time in our garden growing our own vegetables, you can’t beat our home grown potatoes and peas they taste so much nicer knowing all the work you’ve put into getting them onto your plate. When I get time I love to bake, although last year I only managed to make some mince pies and shortbread biscuits at Christmas as I was just too busy, they went down a storm so maybe that’s the idea, bake once a year and then everyone gets very excited and you feel really popular and clever! I used to enjoy playing tennis with my husband but again don’t seem to have the time lately. I also like watching films as I’m sure most people do, gossiping on twitter and facebook and playing games on the wii.

The first item I made to sell online was a tiara called Emily (named after my eldest niece). It was made using Swarovski pearls around the band, with Swarovski Jet, Clear and Clear AB crystal stalks and black Swarovski Pearls, all made on a silver tone tiara band. A lovely bride to be loved the tiara and asked for one to be made to match her colour scheme. She sent me a picture of her stunning lilac dress and we had lots of discussions around her likes and dislikes. This allowed us to adapt the style of the tiara to suit her personality and colour scheme perfectly and together we created the Stargazer tiara. This was a beautiful tiara that combined her love of stars with Swarovski star shaped crystals on the peaks of stalks consisting of clear and tanzanite coloured Swarovski crystals along with the same crystals on the band. It is always a true honour to be involved so closely with the happiest day of people’s lives. I love weddings and I think that comes across in my passion and excitement when discussing ideas.

Reworking a vintage brooch and hand making a chainmaille and crystal chain to turn it into a pendant is my greatest crafting achievement to date. It involved replacing the stones in the brooch and gently cleaning it up to remove many decades of grime and dust. Then I fiddled around with single jump rings and wire wrapped some crystals to create a very intricate and if I say so myself beautiful chain to suspended the pendant from. It was one of those do a bit and leave alone projects that lasts many, many days to complete, but the feeling a satisfaction upon completion can’t be described.

In 5 years time I would love tiny-gems to have its own little boutique shop selling my handcrafted jewellery and tiaras but also a wide variety of jewellery making supplies with the ability to offer courses and guidance in the shop. I’d also love my website to be large enough to be able to employ other enthusiastic jewellery makers to make up my designs with me and us be featured and noticed by the larger companies. In a nutshell I really want tiny-gems to carry on going from strength to strength as it has been doing this year.

Being a fan of all things vintage and an old fashioned country girl at heart I believe a lot of my inspiration comes from Hollywood glamour and nature. There is such beauty all around us, I was inspired to make a stunning necklace after seeing the effect of freezing fog on the trees around my village recently and that was from just looking outside my front door. I don’t believe you have to travel far and wide to see beauty you just need to open your eyes and take the time to take in your surroundings. My parents and brother inspired my attitude to work, seeing them work so hard was a true inspiration and made me the woman I am today and I shall be eternally grateful to them for that. They also gave me the confidence to believe in myself. My friends inspired me to make a life changing decision and to be brave they also gave me my stolen motto of:- try it, what’s the worst that can happen?

My favourite materials are Swarovski Crystals I am a bit of a magpie and they are so sparkly and well made, true quality really does shine through in this case. The majority of my pieces tend to be in silver tones of metals this is purely due to my personal taste though I do try to incorporate gold tone’s, however, it is hard when you’re always drawn to what you like. Another favourite material is polymer clay a non toxic very versatile material for making lots of various shapes and colours of beads the possibilities are as endless as your imagination. I have a strange obsession with buying wire, another really versatile material; I have every gauge of wire you can imagine and in lots of different colours. I use it for making rings, making jump rings to make chainmaille, wire wrapping gemstones and beads, I have even been known to knit and crochet wire to make necklaces and earrings which did look very effective and was very light weight.

My favourite online shop at the moment is the advice and information is amazing and since I discovered the website I have bought lots of skin care from them and my skin is amazing I read her blogs religiously and follow her on Twitter too. I also love the old faithful ebay always amazed at what you can and can’t find on there.

The person who has helped and supported me more than any other would be my husband. He is a very logical person so he keeps me down to earth and makes me think things through rationally, a great calming influence and keeps me sane forcing me to take a break now and then. He also provides me with copious amounts of tea and coffee while I’m working. If he didn’t feed me I’d probably forget to eat while I’m shut away in my office for hours on end. He always knows just what to say to cheer me up if I’m down his belief in me spurs me on.

A random fact about me is that I have travelled all over the world; however, I have never been to my countries capital of London. Weird but true.




This Months... This months ‘Shop of the Month’ award goes to Fleurs de Perles. A delightful secret garden filled with elegant and fanciful beaded flowers and houseplants. Each petal and leaf is handcrafted by Megan using the traditional French Beading technique with wire and delicate glass seed beads. The result is a one of a kind piece that will delight the eye and brighten any room for years to come. This months ‘Blog of the Month’ award goes to Lorraine Dowdle creating gorgeous glass beads and incorporating these original gems into wearable creations. Follow Lorraine at

This months ‘Man of the Month’ is Craig Horner. Chosen by Angela from Angel Crafts

This months ‘Lady of the Month’ is Venus (the goddess of love). What a perfect choice for Valentines Day chosen by Kelly Johnson from Kokokelli



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Creative Crafting Valentine Issue 2011  

The Valentines 2011 Issue of Creative Crafting Magazine. A friendly publication created by Crafters to raise the profile of the Crafting Com...