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.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Get Acquainted with Scrapbookerry


Published in Issue 21, February 2013
Written by Kerry from Scrapbookerry

Get Acquainted with Scrapbookerry


Tell us about the lady behind Scrapbookerry
The lady behind Scrapbookerry, is Kerry. I am just 32 (wow) but feel about 22, and have been running Scrapbookerry for 2 years now. I work from home, enabling me to keep an eye on our little man Baba who is 4 years, old turning 5 this October (double wow), and we also have our little angel Rhianna, who we lost in 2012. I don’t just have Baba to look after at home. I have a collection of animals, Bob the hamster, Mr Snail the giant African snail, Stewie the Rabbit, and Buddy and Tito the beagle brothers! So if I am not being a mum I am being a pet owner, and you may wonder where I find time to run my own business as well! It is difficult especially as I also have to find time to spend with Mr L, the man blessed with all of us in his life! As well as Scrapbooking, my favourite hobby is photography, which goes together really well with my love of scrapbooking! My other hobbies are writing and I am doing a distance learning course in Creative Writing, just to make me that little bit busier. I don’t do sleep. I love to spend time with friends and family and if I am not with the family, pets, working, taking pictures, writing or studying you will generally find me on the phone having a grand old natter with either my sister or a friend. I have my own studio at home, (Mr L is good to me) and do all of my scrapbooking in there. It has been moved round lots and lots but is finally getting into an order that I can deal with and one that I can work well in. This is where all the creativity happens!

When did first begin creating your designs, and why?
I can’t even remember when I first started creating my designs. I created my first ever scrapbook with one of my old school friends while still at school, 10 plus years ago. We wanted to keep all of our favourite songs in the book, photos from school and our letters that we used to write to each other while in science and maths class. However I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time. It wasn’t until about 8 years ago when a friend introduced me to ‘scrapbooking’ at a scrapbooking home party that I realised what I had been trying to do all those years ago, and instantly I was hooked. I loved presenting my pictures in very unique albums, so personal to us, and I also loved that everything that I was using for these albums were photo safe, as they were acid free and so the pictures would not deteriorate faster than they should. Our memories could be preserved and passed on to our future generations. Since then I have always scrapbooked, gradually going through our huge mountain of photos and trying to get them all safe and organised. While I was taking this Scrapbooking journey I had come across the idea of mini albums, but it wasn’t until 2008 that I decided to take the plunge. This was because I thought that this was a perfect idea to give to our parents who were now Grandparents following the birth of Baba. As soon as these were given to our parents, people started talking about how much they liked these albums and Scrapbookerry was taking it’s first baby steps into developing.


What is it that you enjoy about your work? 
I love everything about my work! I also feel so lucky to be able to say that because it really is true. The feeling that I get when someone receives one of my albums is a great feeling and I never forget it. I love the look on their faces and the fact that I have made them something personal, unique to them and safe for their photos, never gets old. People are so grateful and they are also moved. I enable them to record their special moments and I love that. That is a unique and wonderful thing to be able to do for people.

What is your biggest crafting achievement, and why?
There are quite a few that I could think of, but it would have to be making my best friend a hen do envelope album. It was filled with letters and pictures from her friends and family with information about what we loved about her, together with advice for her future with her new husband. She didn’t even read it and she started to cry. It was probably the most personal album I had made It actually made me cry while I was making it, as I sat I sat and read through all of the things that people had written about her, knowing how much these letters would mean to her. It may seem like a little achievement but it was huge for me. My friend had seen the things that I could make but had never actually been given something that I had made and it was a gift that I know she will treasure forever.

Other than your crafting, what else do you like to do? 
Writing, reading, spending time with my family, and walking the dogs. There really is nothing better than curling up under a blanket with the family, cups of hot chocolate, biscuits and watching a movie, with the dogs around you. That is the most ideal day ever!

If you had to choose your favourite from your creations which one would it be?
My ‘BABY’ Scrapbooks are my favourite, as they can also be made into NAME albums, used for weddings, pets, and holidays. I love these and I love making them. They are unique and so simple but make a huge impact.



Where does your inspiration come from?
I am always scrolling the internet, reading books, buying magazines, and watching craft programmes on TV. I also get inspiration from family and friends when sometimes they will comment on something and the idea just flows. I have an A3 sketchbook that I scribble all my ideas in and I try to keep a constant flow of doodles in there.

If you could change one thing about what you do, what would it be?
Having more time, as time runs away with me constantly. I am regularly working into the small hours as by the time I have made the product, uploaded it, promoted it and just generally got the day to day running of a family, done it is pretty late. Being a one woman band is hard work and it would be nicer to have more time.

Do you have a favourite website?
I have a few to be honest. My all time favourite is www.aliedwards.com I love everything that she does and am a little in awe of her!

Has any person helped or supported you more than any other? 
Apart from Mr L who puts up with the endless days of not seeing me during evening, me taking over the house with craft supplies and him supporting me while I have been battling with starting up, there have been some fantastic sponsors of my business. Carol who runs Dormouse and the Teapot (http://www.dormouseandtheteapot.com/) has supported me massively, redoing my website for me and creating my logo when we rebranded last year. Anna from Creative Connections (http://www.mysticearth.co.uk) has been a massive support to me over the last year, and my good friend Emma has really pulled me through some bad spots with the business and has convinced me to carry on. Last year was a hard year. I had a long break after we lost Rhianna and I had so much support from fellow craft businesses that both Mr L and I were shocked by the support that was there for us both. The list is endless but they are just a few. 


Tell us a random fact about yourself! 
I can touch my nose with my tongue! Ha-ha! 


An Interview with Jane Cameron

An Interview with Jane Cameron


Meet the lady behind the hand painted silk and fused glass art, silk painting courses and parties.







Tell us about Jane Cameron 
I create fantastic hand painted silk and fused glass art, including a range of homewares and accessories. I also have my own range of silk painting kits and run silk painting courses and birthday parties in Surrey. I am Vice Chairman of the Guild of Silk Painters (www.silkpainters-guild.co.uk).
My website is www.janecameron.co.uk, where you can buy my work, view my portfolio and find out more about my silk painting courses and parties. I also have a shop on Folksy.




When did first begin creating your designs, and why?
I first started painting on silk in 2001 when I went to the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace and was persuaded by one of my friends to go on a silk painting taster workshop. I was immediately hooked by the way the paint travelled across the silk and staggered home laden with frames, brushes, outliners and paints! I started working in fused glass in 2005.



What is it that you enjoy about your work?
I love teaching silk painting, being able to pass on the skills I have learned over the years and inspire other people to create. Also, the excitement of opening the kiln when you have fired a new glass piece – it’s like Christmas! I love it when people buy my work, and it’s really fun to meet up with like-minded people and experiment with new techniques.

What is your biggest crafting achievement, and why? 
My biggest achievements to date are that I wrote three of the projects in a book called “Craft”, published in late 2012 by Dorling Kindersley (www.amazon.co.uk/Craft-Techniques-Projects-Dk-Crafts/dp/1409383903/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1357172938&sr=8-13). I was also filmed as part of the recent BBC Series “Paul Martin’s Handmade Revolution” and have two projects (Silk painted flower cards and “Patchwork on silk” being published in Crafts Beautiful magazine this year.

Other than your crafting, what else do you like to do?
I teach private lessons in cello, violin and piano, sing as part of London Concert Choir and we have an allotment.
If you had to choose your favourite from your creations which one would it be?
I think my favourite creation is currently my “big blue” bowl. It’s one of my newest fused glass designs, which I will be making in other sizes and colours over the coming months.


Tell us about Jane Cameron 
I create fantastic hand painted silk and fused glass art, including a range of homewares and accessories. I also have my own range of silk painting kits and run silk painting courses and birthday parties in Surrey. I am Vice Chairman of the Guild of Silk Painters (www.silkpainters-guild.co.uk).
My website is www.janecameron.co.uk, where you can buy my work, view my portfolio and find out more about my silk painting courses and parties. I also have a shop on Folksy.

When did first begin creating your designs, and why?  
I first started painting on silk in 2001 when I went to the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace and was persuaded by one of my friends to go on a silk painting taster workshop. I was immediately hooked by the way the paint travelled across the silk and staggered home laden with frames, brushes, outliners and paints! I started working in fused glass in 2005. 

What is it that you enjoy about your work?
I love teaching silk painting, being able to pass on the skills I have learned over the years and inspire other people to create. Also, the excitement of opening the kiln when you have fired a new glass piece – it’s like Christmas! I love it when people buy my work, and it’s really fun to meet up with like-minded people and experiment with new techniques.

What is your biggest crafting achievement, and why? 
My biggest achievements to date are that I wrote three of the projects in a book called “Craft”, published in late 2012 by Dorling Kindersley (www.amazon.co.uk/Craft-Techniques-Projects-Dk-Crafts/dp/1409383903/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1357172938&sr=8-13). I was also filmed as part of the recent BBC Series “Paul Martin’s Handmade Revolution” and have two projects (Silk painted flower cards and “Patchwork on silk” being published in Crafts Beautiful magazine this year.

Learn more about Jane on her website www.janecameron.co.uk


The Power Of Love


Published in Issue 20, December 2012
Written by Tracey from WowThankYou

The Power Of Love


With St Valentine’s Day upon us again what do you know about this very famous saint? Was he a great lover? Was he nice to his mother? Or did he suffer from a serious case of unrequited love? Here I will briefly examine what lies behind this day where love and romance take precedence and cards, chocolates and flowers fly off the shelves to help declare love everlasting.

St Valentine's Day, which is more accurately described as the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a saint’s day observed each year on February 14. Today Valentine's Day is celebrated in the majority of ‘westernised’ countries around the world, although it is not normally a day off. This festive day began as a church celebration of around three early Christian saints all named Valentinus. The most popular story associated with Saint Valentine was that he was confined for performing weddings for soldiers, who were forbidden to marry by the Emperor Claudius, and for spiritual ministration to Christians who were victimised under the ruling Roman Empire. During Valentinus’ imprisonment he is said to have cured the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, of blindness and just before his execution he wrote "from your Valentine" as a farewell to her. In addition, as a true Christian, Valentinus was constantly converting pagan Romans to Christianity and as a result not making himself too popular with the Emperor. Valentinus was said to have cut hearts out of parchment and used these as a secret symbol for the converted who wanted to listen to his lessons and get married. There is therefore some evidence to connect Valentinus to the modern symbology of the St Valentine’s Day celebration and also the endurance of love and romance.


Officially St Valentine’s Day was first associated with the concept of romantic love by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which love was expressed by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greetings. Valentine's Day symbols still used today include the heart, doves, and the winged Cupid. Since the Victorian age handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. Now St Valentine’s Day is a big money spinner and a welcome halfway point between Christmas and Easter for retailers. St Valentine’s Day 2013 will hopefully provide some respite for the restaurant trade as well as florists and chocolatiers.

For your valentine this year, why not make it extra special with something personalised and unique? It’ll be worth it ;)





Custom glass - for the obsessed, fascinated or just plain gorgeous!

Published in Issue 21, February 2013
Written by Sally from The Bead Bounty

Custom glass - for the obsessed, fascinated or just plain gorgeous!


Why buy ‘off the shelf’ when you can have custom designed so easily?









For as long as I can remember I have had a fascination for glass. I love it’s many and varied colours and the ways in which it can be formed and manipulated to create wonderful objects from the practical to the decadent.
When I was a youngster I remember visiting the Victoria and Albert museum in London on a trip from boarding school and the one thing that sticks with me from that visit, is the glass that they had on display. I remember being mesmerised by its beauty. I even bought a post card with a picture of a gorgeous red glass goblet I had seen, as a reminder of the experience. The post card is, of course, long gone but my memory of that stunning goblet is as vivid as ever.
I have even earlier memories of my joy and delight where glass is concerned.
My family moved quite a lot and one of the houses we lived in for a short time near the Pennine hills in England, before we crossed the pond to Africa, had the most spectacular stained glass arched window. It reached from the cellar to the fourth storey attic and when the sun hit it, it cast the most beautiful colours down the stairs and hall ways. At only seven years old, I can remember being awestruck on more than one occasion when I saw the light dancing and bathing everything, including me, with the most glorious rainbow of colours.
As a designer I love to produce original one of a kind pieces of art work and over the years I have tried every craft that has been available to me, but never found anything that truly fulfilled the thing that I was obviously looking for. I came close once with pottery. The way glazes melt under extreme heat fascinates me and with my wheel and kiln, I have made many a pot that has had an amazing finish to it, but even that did not hit the spot, so to speak.

Five years ago on the 14th of February, having spent many years making jewellery, I decided to go for broke and set up “The Bead Bounty”. The concept was to bring glass beads, bead making products and handcrafted designer jewellery to the public. After a short time I became frustrated by the lack of quality and the fact that the beads were mass-produced and too commonly available. I decided to do something about it and learned the art of Lamp work bead making. The skills I had acquired over the years helped and once I bought the equipment I needed, I started to produce good quality beads I could put my own designs into. I had finally found the thing I had been looking for.
I was now able to offer my customers one off, good quality originals, that only they could own. A whole new world opened up.

I started to receive orders for bespoke pieces of jewellery.
One customer saw the beads on a bracelet I had made and ordered a large Hole European style bead for a silver bracelet in that design.
I have had Order requests for jewellery to go with prom, wedding and special occasion dresses.
One lady even requested a bracelet to match her team colour at school. One of the pieces I am currently working on is a child’s bracelet with pink and blue beads. The mother wants her daughter to have a keepsake that she can treasure forever and that will be unique to her.


The beauty of Lamp Work is that I can produce, within reason, any style or colour of bead that is requested.
One of the most exciting requests I have had was to make a full range of jewellery for a local museum, to accompany an exhibit that they were about to put on show. A Saxon Princesses grave had been un-earthed at Loftus in North Yorkshire and was the first Saxon Royalty to be found in England. The museum wanted to have jewellery to sell to mirror the colours of the main gold and garnet pendant that had been found in the dig.
I produced many pieces of jewellery for the museum and named it “The Princess Collection” as my name means Princess.
I never know from one day to the next what exciting ideas my customers will come up with and ask me to produce for them. That is one of the true pleasures of my job.
As well as making the beads into jewellery I also produce beads for the customer to make into their very own one of a kind pieces.

Which ever pieces I sell, be it ready made jewellery, bespoke items or loose beads, I feel greatly privileged that people part with hard earned cash to purchase my products.
There is no feeling like it and I would like to thank customers past, present and future for their appreciation of just what an amazing art lamp work is.
It is a joy when people understand that they are purchasing something truly unique.






Wedding Wonders With No Wonga


Published in Issue 20, December 2012
Written byKerry from Scrapbookerry

Wedding Wonders With No Wonga

Mr L proposed, I said yes and now we are trying to get the wedding of our dreams with the least amount of money possible. Some things we are making ourselves, some things are being given to us, others we are getting through hard labour and lots of rooting around for bargains and other things just can’t be budged. So we will try some haggling instead.
If you are interested in helping us along the Wedding Wonders with No Wonga journey then please do contact us at weddingwonderswithnowonga@gmail.com

Centre Pieces Centre pieces can be very simple or really elaborate. They can range from the traditional to the quirky and even to the slightly insane. They can be
handmade or they can have a lot of money spent on them. But one thing is for sure they are a bit of a minefield to be honest.

We have been looking for centre pieces for a while now and we are in a land we really don’t understand. We want something that caters for both of our tastes but also will fit in with our wedding. It doesn’t necessarily have to fit in with our theme of Vintage Tea Party but it does need to work with us and how people know us.

Traditionally and most popular for weddings centrepieces are flowers, and we have seen some beautiful ones. They have ranged from very expensive and elaborate displays, to the very simple and easy to do. You can have low displays or high displays, ones just in tin cans or jam jars and others in fabulous displays that cover the whole middle of the table.We have also seen unusual flower displays, with flowers around fish bowls, or a couple of lilies stuck in a box of elegant stones. All of these are beautiful and they are lovely but we are not really flowery people.

The only flowers we would be tempted to use would be lilies and these really are not cheap flowers when trying to do something on a budget.
We have seen some lovely candle displays, some with just candles in a row,
some with candle floating in bowls and others with the more traditional candelabras. These are all lovely and we could buy the candles in the exact colour scheme of the wedding, (which has actually changed from cream and brown to aqua blue and brown) which would be lovely.
However safety could be an issue and as we have a lot of children on our wedding list and potentially could have some very small children attending the wedding, neither of us think the candles, however lovely, are really the best idea for us.

We have considered using sweets. We have been to a few weddings which have had bowls of retro sweets as table centrepieces, and we both love this idea. But again we have to consider the number of children attending and we don’t think it would be such a good idea to have a massive bowl of sweets on the table, especially when they should be eating their dinner. We are going to have sweets but we think it will be best to have a specific sweet table, rather than sweets as the centrepieces, as then they don’t have to all be put in one bowl and we can separate them into different old glass jars and that way people can see what they are taking.
After looking around for a while we seemed to come up with an idea that we both really wanted as centrepieces. Mr L really wanted something fun and silly, a small game or something for people to play with while sat at the table, as he really is a great big kid and it shows his personality.
While he wanted something silly, I really wanted something sentimental, specifically something to do with paper, as everyone knows my love for scrapbooking. I want to keep as many things from my wedding as possible and I would really like to include the centrepieces if possible.

We have come across a couple of game ideas, e.g. having Scrabble in the centre of the table, and using the word boards for the guest’s name places. Or having Jenga in the middle and getting all the guests to write their own wedding messages on the wooden pieces for us to keep a very sentimental Jenga game for life.




Then Mr L came up with the idea of Lego! He decided that it was the play thing that both adults and children would love, and that he wanted a huge bowl of Lego on each table for everyone to be able to make their own Lego piece.

It has been discussed in length with his Ushers and Best Man and it seems that he is set on the idea of Lego. It is original and something that we can add to gradually as the months go on preparing for the wedding. So unless his ideas change, it looks like he will be having Lego!

 
I was still set on my idea of having some sort of Scrapbooking sentimental items on the table as well as Mr L’s silly play things. I have been finding lots of different things which would fit into this category. I have thought about giving all guests a little accordion book, but then decided that this would be too big for each individual.
Then I found a perfect idea! We had no idea for what to do for our Table Numbers until I came across this idea of using books with the table numbers on. We can decorate the books by putting the table number on the cover and then every person on that table writes a message with advice on how to cope with that year of marriage. So table one writes advice for the first year, Table two writes advice for the second year. Table three writes advice for the third year, and so on. It means that we can keep these books throughout our marriage and can always look back at the messages that our friends and family have written to us.
So it seems that we have two ideas that we both really want, Mr L with his Lego and my Table Number advice books. I think both of them will make the tables a little bit different to anything else that we have seen, but will also completely work with our personalities which is just we want.

If you are interested in helping us along the Wedding Wonders with No Wonga journey then please do contact us at weddingwonderswithnowonga@gmail.com

Photo Credits
Tin can flowers http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/231015/50-great-wedding-centerpieces/@center/272419/youre-engaged#103584

Fish bowl with flowers
http://www.wedding-flowers-and-reception-ideas.com/fish-bowl-centerpiece.html

Candles http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/231015/50-great-wedding-centerpieces/@center/272419/youre-engaged#177196

Jenga http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenga 

Lego http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego

Monthly Craft Challenge - Meet the Design Team


Published in Issue 21, February 2013


Monthly Craft Challenge - Meet the Design Team

Creative Connections recently started a Monthly Craft Challenge, where we set a theme for a challenge and leave it open for the month for all the members of Creative Connections to enter.
It is great fun and really gets people crafting ideas that they haven’t thought about before.
We have over 100 members in the Monthly Craft Challenge Group where everyone puts their entries and can see the new challenges. It is a great opportunity for people to see how others craft.
Once the month is up, we have a designated Design Team who go through all the entries and decide on the winner for that month voting for their top three entries.
These winners are then announced in the Group and via a blog post, and have the opportunity to send some information about the business to get a little shout out on the Creative Connections Blog, on Creative Connections Facebook page and a little mention in Creative Crafting.
The Design Team are made up of a selection of different crafters all specialising in different crafts so that we have as varied contributions for each theme as possible.
We wanted to ‘meet’ the design team so that you know who they are all are and what they all do.
So we asked each and every one of them a few questions about themselves and their business;


Nikki Killinger from Fairy Elephant Design
I run Fairy Elephant Design, creating Mixed Media, Resin and Art Jewellery and Polymer Clay designs.
I’ve created jewellery since an early age, I used to make real fossil jewellery incorporated into polymer clay brooches and pendants, and my dad was an oil painter, so I have always liked to create. The mixed media and resin jewellery is king of where Fairy Elephant Design’s started two years ago.
The thing I enjoy about my work is not knowing the outcome of a piece of work, and experimenting with new ideas.


My biggest crafting achievement is being featured in Making Jewellery Magazine’s Reader’s section, August 2012. I’ve had an advert in Vogue (June 2012) but am most proud of being in Making Jewellery magazine! My favourite creation is my resin and mixed media spoon pendant, ‘the man in the spoon’. As opposed to ‘the man in the moon’
Where do I get my inspiration from – my inspiration is my imagination. Whether that’s a good thing or not I’m not entirely sure!!

I joined the Creative Connections Monthly Craft Challenge to interact with other crafters, pass on some knowledge if I can and a gain a platform for my work.
My other hobbies other than crafting, are I love photography, and cardmaking, but then that’s crafting…
My tip to fellow craft business owners is to keep at it, and believe in yourself.
You can find Fairy Elephant Designs at www.fairyelephantdesign.co.uk or blogging at www.fairyelephantdesign.blogspot.co.uk and their etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/FairyElephantDesign






Claire Maelotti from Maelotti 
I run a business called Maelotti where I make bespoke jewellery and reproduce Giclee fine art prints of my husband’s artwork. I live in the East Coast of England and am married with two children.
I started crafting over 30 years ago when my Nan taught me how to crochet. Since then it has just snowballed. I started making jewellery about 9 years ago for family as gifts and it grew from there. 
As most of my items are created for the individual person I enjoy the challenge that each new piece brings. 
I would have to say selling my first piece to a lady in Canada who has become a regular client has been my biggest achievement so far.
My favourite creation is an onyx, cracked quartz and Swarovski crystal bracelet.
I have a collection of semi-precious stones which I use to create my designs with and I find that these give me the inspiration for my work. I also consult with clients on what look they want to achieve and what type of colours or stones they want in their piece. I try to make each piece unique to them and include them in the whole process so they have input and are constantly updated on the progress.
I applied to be on the design team as I love to get creative but never seem to find the time so this makes me find the time. 
As well as crafting I love to read and have several other crafting interests which include bobbin lace making, drawing, knitting and cross stitching for a charity called Love Quilts UK who make quilts for terminally ill children. 
My tip for fellow business owners would be to try to get customer service right as this will keep customers coming back if they know any problems are rectified without issue.
You can find Maelotti at www.maelotti.co.uk on her blog www.maelotti.blogspot.co.uk and on Twitter www.twitter.com/maelott 



Louise Oakes from Elsie May and Bertha
My business name is Elsie May and Bertha (named after my two grandmothers). I make lots of things with fabric, lavender and rose scented hearts, pillows and sachets, pincushions, needle cases, cushions, Christmas Decorations. With wool – scarves, shawls, ponchos, and slippers. For my arty side I make fabric pictures and mixed media collages. I hope to do more of these this year.
My name is Louise Oakes and I’m 45 (yikes) and I have chronic fatigue. I took redundancy in 2010 (jumping before I was pushed, chronic fatigue and full time work don’t go well together!) and set up EM&B to earn some money from my craft. I’ve yet to do that bit! Even though I set up in 2010 I have been making things since I was little. Making is my most favourite thing. Even when I’m ill I still have to have something at hand to do (though I may not do anything, it being there counts). My husband complains that I never rest because I’m always doing something, I can’t just sit there and ‘relax’. But I find making relaxing. Taking fabric, thread or yarn, using simple tools – needles – and creating something, that’s just it for me. The ‘why’ is hard to put into words J
I don’t think I have created my biggest crafting achievement yet. I want to do more of my ‘art’ side of my making this year - creating pictures out of fabric etc and mixed media collages. This side of my work will probably produce my ‘best’. My favourite creation is probably the latest item I’ve made – it’s hard to put over what I mean in words – that’s not my usual standard work, things that are made up from the different four elements either out of fabric or paper.
My inspiration comes from books, other people’s work, the internet, pinterest etc. Or the materials I am using. I can spend hours going through my stash imagining what I can make with things.
I joined the Creative Connections Monthly Craft Challenge as it is nice being part of something with other people. Its good having something with a regular deadline and it also makes me do things that I may not have done otherwise. For instance, I’ve been meaning to start to learn crochet for ages, but the January challenge of ‘NEW’ gave me the impetus to start. My other hobbies include reading, something else I have enjoyed since I was little. I like to watch TV too, and I craft when I’m doing that. Cooking and eating are favourites too.
My advice to fellow craft business owners is too charge ‘proper’ amounts for your work, there’s nothing worse than being at a fair and the stall next to you is charging pennies for work you are charging pounds for and it’s your living. If you can, have some money behind you, I haven’t and it makes living and making very hard!
You can find Elsie May and Bertha at www.elsiemayandbertha.co.uk on their blog www.elsiemayandbertha.blogspot.co.uk on Facebook www.facebook.com/ElsieMayBertha and on Folksy www.folksy.com/shops/ElsieMayandBertha



Anji Smith from AnjiKrafts
My business is AnjiKrafts which came about purely as a play on words. I make anything I want; when the inspiration grabs me by the neck and will use any medium I can lay my hands on.
I started working for myself after getting very stressed out at my previous job where I was being sent all around the country and being given very little travel time. Everything these days seems to be target-led instead of quality so I decided to go for lifestyle change and buck the trend.
I’ve been crafting since my grandfather taught me to knit when I was 4 years old. My father was a carpenter at the local docks so I also had a plentiful supply of handmade boxes and picture frames which I would decorate with shells, pebbles, feathers etc with gay abandon. Gran taught me embroidery when I was 6 years old and I’ve been creating ever since. I also love attending local events where I can chat to other people who are interested.
To me my business isn’t work. Even when I’m sitting down doing nothing there’s knitting needles or crochet hook in hand.
I don’t have just one creative achievement. That honour goes to each and every successful creation using a different craft or medium. The latest is my first ever water colouring painting, it’s not perfect but I’m proud of it. My favourite creation is probably my kitchen witches because each and every one is different and I have to admit to talking to them while I’m finishing their outfits.
My inspiration comes from everywhere but I do have a lot of old craft books picked up from charity shops. It’s amazing how some crafts have withstood the passing of time whereas others have faded away.
I joined the Creative Connections Monthly Craft Challenge because sometimes I need a really big kick up the… to get me moving and need a challenge to kick start the mojo.
My other hobbies, most of my family will say – talking! If I’m not crafting or talking I’ve probably got my head stuck in a book. I only cook out of necessity and the only cake I bake is the one at Christmas.
My advice to fellow craft business owners is go for it but make sure you’ve got your living expenses covered. Most of all make sure you enjoy it as much as you did when it was a hobby. You will not make your best if it becomes a ‘job’
You can find AnjiKrafts at www.anjikrafts.com on her blog www.anjikrafts.blogspot.com on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/Anjikrafts on twitter www.twitter.com/AnjiKrafts and on pinterest www.pinterest.com/anjikrafts


If you want to know more about the Creative Connections Monthly Craft Challenge then please pop on over the Challenge group on Creative Connnections http://creative-connections.ning.com/group/monthly-craft-challenge you need to be a member of Creative Connections to join this group, both memberships are free. 

The February challenge is live and the theme for this month is LOVE. To add your entry then please go over to the Monthly Craft Challenge group on Creative Connections.



Beaded Bead Necklace


Published in Issue 21, February 2013
Written by Sally from The Bead Bounty

Beaded Bead Necklace 



You will need
Beading thread
Beading needle
Size 11 seed beads
Size 6 seed beads
Scissors
A clasp if you wish to add one, but this necklace works well as a continuous piece that just slips over the head. 

Method
Step 1. Thread the needle with approximately 2mt beading thread and pick up 3 size 6 beads.  Pass them down the thread and leave a 6” tail.  (This will be used to tie off the necklace later).

Steps 2 & 3. Pick up 2 size 11 beads, 1 size 6 bead and 2 size 11 beads and pass the needle through the first 3 size 6 beads to create a loop .

Steps 4 - 7. Pick up another 2 size 11, 1 size 6 and 2 size 11 beads and pass the needle through the first 3 size 6 beads again to create another loop.

Repeat this process until you have 7 bead loops with the original 3 beads at their centre.  This is your first beaded bead.


Step 8. Pick up 10 size 11, 1 size 6 and 10 size 11 seed beads.

Step 9. Now start a new bead by repeating steps 1-7 and making sure that you keep the first 3 size 6 beads tight up against the 10 size 11 beads so that no thread is showing.  Add another four beads in this way so that you have 6 beaded beads with bead strings in between. 

Step 10. At this point for the necklace shown, I added 7 beaded beads with 1 size 6 bead in between each one to give a central focal point.

You can continue to add beads and bead strings for an even longer necklace. 
Tie the ends together and thread the ends through several beads to tidy them up. I always run a second thread through the length of the necklace to add strength. (Just make sure that you have the same spaces between the beaded beads)

To make it the same way as I did, only do four beads at point 6 instead of 6 and add a clasp. 
My necklace measures approximately 20 inches long (you will need to add an extra 10 size 11, 1 size 6 and 10 size 11 seed beads to each end to keep it even before you add the clasp). Either way will give you a very attractive and pretty necklace to wear or to give as a gift.