The 'Original' Creative Crafting Magazine written by Crafters, for Crafters

Creative Crafting magazine began in August/September 2009, when a group of crafting friends on the Creative Connections network decided that it would be a good idea to raise awareness of the crafting community. From this point they started work and the first issue of Creative Crafting was published in October 2009 and are still publishing today.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Spring Clean Your Crafting Business

Spring Clean Your Crafting Business
Published in our June 2011 Issue
Written by The Crystal Lady


If you are finding your craft business a little slow right now, try not to let it get you down too much. Everyone is in the same boat in the current financial situation. A lot of small crafters are giving up and calling it a day, this is a huge shame as so much work goes into creating products and marketing them. (The latter can often take more time than actually making the product in the first place). It can be extremely depressing when days/weeks/months go by without a sale but there are things that you can do to lift your spirits a bit. Look at it as a fantastic opportunity to Spring Clean your business.
Look at your current stock of products. Are any of them looking a bit tired, if possible could they perhaps be revamped into something new?
Scour the Internet and other sources looking for fresh inspiration. Create a new product line or update an old one.
Does your Website/Folksy/Etsy shop etc need a facelift? Sometimes changing a colour scheme or moving things around can work wonders when getting people to find your store.
Could your images be better, or more uniform. With a bit of time on your hands you could perfect those all important sales pictures.
Blog, twitter, Facebook. This all takes time so make use of it while you have it.
Contact previous customers and ask for Feedback. This can not only be very useful but also reminds them that you are still there and may cause them to revisit your sites.
Join groups or get together with other crafting friends, share the marketing, more blogs, Facebook pages, twitter accounts reach more people.
It is very easy to feel that the world has forgotten you and it is easier to just give up. Try and remember why you were attracted to crafting in the first place, how much you enjoy creating. The vast Crafting Community will continue to support each other ready for when things take a turn for the better. One thing that I have always found is that there is always someone willing to offer a kind word and inspiration when you need it. You only have to ask.

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one."Elbert Hubbard


Thursday, 23 February 2012

How to make a Wine Cork Notice Board

How to make an AmyOrangeJuice
Wine Cork Notice Board
Published in our June 2010 Issue
Written by Amy from AmyOrangeJuice

I have been making these for a few years now and they go down very well as
presents for the blokes in my life! So if you want to give your Dad something to
stick pins in this Father’s day, this may be just the thing!

This is a very simple project to do and looks really effective. The whole thing only took me an hour or so (with sometime for a cup of tea while the paint dried).


You will need: Lots of old cork wine corks (the plastic ones are no good).
I got a huge amount from the local Scrap Store in Exeter, but you could ask your friends or the local pub/restaurant to save some for you. My friends are always turning up with small bags of corks for me and every time I have a big enough stash I make a new board!
Strong Glue, undiluted PVA will be fine
Sand paper
A small hacksaw
An old picture frame, the size you require
Paint or spray paint
Step 1
Remove the glass from your old picture frame, and recycle the glass.  You need the stiff backing to stick the corks onto and the frame itself will give a good edge for the corks and is the secret to keeping it straight and giving a professional finish.
Step 2
Quickly sand down the frame so that the paint has a rough surface to get more adhesion to; this a couple of minutes will do the trick, just to rough up the surface of the frame.
Step 3
Paint the picture frame and leave to dry. It doesn’t matter if you get paint on the backing as the corks will cover this. I used the left overs of a tester pot of emulsion paint mixed with a little PVA glue to give it a better purchase on the wooden frame.
 
Step 4
Stick your corks down in neat rows, or make a pattern with them, as you wish. Push the first row right up to the edge of the frame and keep the rows tight without gaps.  If you have some bigger corks cut them down with the hacksaw so that the corks are a uniform size. If at the end of the row there is a gap which is less than the size of the corks, again cut them down to fit the gap. And just keep building up the rows. Cork cuts quite easily with a hacksaw, just remember to hold it firmly (or if you have a vice use that) and keep your fingers out of the way. My Dad’s top tip for sawing things: is to let the saw do the work, just make a gentle constant action and don’t push down on the blade. He is right, works a treat!

Step 5

Let the glue dry and then get the drawing pins out!

To personalise the board as a great gift pin some special treats to the board, some tickets to a special event, some lovely photos, some packets of seeds or some specialty tea bags that come in their own little paper envelopes. Or do what I have done and hang it in your house! Mine is in the Kitchen.


How To Zen Doodle

How to Zen Doodle
Published in the June 2011 Issue
Written by Zoe Ford from Top Floor Treasures

Do you doodle while you’re on the phone? While you’re writing lists? When people ask me what I sell they look at me like I’m crazy. "How can you be selling doodles?" they ask. What they don’t realise straight away is that the doodles I sell are not like the doodles you might draw while on the phone. They are weird and wonderful works of art!

I used to doodle hearts and stars and boxes, but when I came across the concept of Zentangle™ http://www.zentangle.com/about-what-is--1.php my doodles morphed into something completely different.

I don’t draw all of my doodles in the prescribed Zentangle™ way. Some of them are inspired by Zentangle™ though, so we call them Zendoodles or Zentangle-Inspired-Art. People usually only see one of my completed Zendoodles, and they often comment that it looks very complex and must have taken a really long time. I’m here to show you that it doesn’t have to take a long time, and it’s not as complex as it might first appear.

Start with a blank piece of paper. I like to use watercolour paper or card, but the back of an envelope will do! I use professional-quality black fineliners in different nib-sizes but a felt tip is fine to start with if that’s all you have to hand. I sit and look at the paper for a while and think about how I’m going to start. How about a simple pattern to start off with:



Whilst repeating the pattern you may find yourself relaxing, almost in a Zen-like state. It clears the mind, just letting the pen go where it wants to go. Doodling in this way is a great stress-reliever!



Add in some finer details and expand upon the first pattern. Not sure what pattern to draw next? Try searching for doodle patterns or tangles on Flickr for some inspiration – there’s a whole world of doodlers out there!





Keep on adding patterns until you run out of space.






It really helps to give depth and form to your doodles if you shade them with a good pencil when you have finished doodling. Get the shading right and it can look really 3D.


And that’s it! Sometimes it’s good to have a shape to fill with doodles. You could draw around a series of round objects and fill in the spaces or perhaps draw the outline of a letter and fill that.
This one is standard trading card size (3.5 x 2.5 inches) but you can go as big or as small as you like! My smallest is a 1 x 1 inch square while my biggest Zendoodles so far are A3 (approx. 17 x 12 inches – huge!) I hope lots of people will have a go at Zendoodling; I’d love to see what you create.





Wednesday, 1 February 2012