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.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Review: Shall We See




SIMPLE ELEGANCE

By Katy Handley
The Big Little Homemade Gift Bible


Katy Handley believes that parenthood goes beyond raising children. Its everything in between that we often find most challenging, such as the perfect teacher present or the perfect way to say 'thank you'.

Katy has found a way to show that with a little time and imagination, you can being a little sunshine in to the lives of all of your friends and family.

This delightful book spans a very wide selection of things ranging from various craft projects, cooking and recipes (right down to stocks and preserves), pet delights and gift hampers.

In the introduction of the book we meet Katy herself and learn about her family and her reasons for writing it. A couple of lines immediately struck a cord with me:

‘What better way is there for a child of family to say 'thank you' or 'Happy Birthday to something; than with something made by them?

'Watching your child hand over their figt that they made is one of the most magival moment you will ever find'



Now we launch ourselves straight into the book after a brief explanation from Katy about all of the projects and recipes being simple to do and not complicated. And she’s spot on! Most, if not all of the creations in the book could be easily done with your children and don’t seem scary at all!
There is also quite a vast selection so there should be no trouble finding something to suit your mood or budget. I will certainly be trying some of these myself with my own children. Here is a quick taster from the contents:

Crafts
Dried Fruit Charms
Felt Stitched Hearts
Beaded Key Holder
Homemade Gift Book
Summer Sweet Bag

Recipes
Chicken Pie with a secret
Savoury Muffins
Peppermint Droplets
Biscotti
Super charged Spiced Raisins

Hampers
The Birthday Emergency Hamper
The Get Well Soon Treats
The Never Too Old Hamper
Child’s Birthday Hamper
Dinner Party Kit


So my verdict on this book?
I really like it. One of the best bits for me is that at the end of every item whether it is a craft project or a recipe there are ideas for how to turn it into a gift. If I had to find one thing to complain about it would be the fact that there are no images in this book! As many of the pages have blank spots on them after the text I do feel a bit let down by this but I’m still very pleased to have it in my collection.
Reviewed by Anna (Editor of Creative Crafting)

http://creative-crafting.com/march_2014.html

Grab the full issue here

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Interview : Beadwork and Coe.


Tell us about yourself

Well, I am in my mid thirties *cough* and a stay at home mum of two - my son is 6 and my daughter is 4.
I was born and grew up in Germany with a little sister that is 14 years younger than me. All women in my family are very crafty and love DIY. My grandmother knitted, crocheted, painted and wallpapered amongst other things and my mother's ambition was to become a mechanic. She didn't make it as it was just not the thing to do for a young woman in that time, but times change and I actually trained as a Vehicle Electrician. After completing my apprenticeship I went to university for a degree as Technical Author and worked for Volkswagen and Bosch. Still in Germany I met my husband who served there with the army and as we moved around from posting to posting our little family grew. After my son was born I was a bit lost at what to do with the time I had at hand and went into a craft shop, hoping to find something interesting to do. They had seed beads and some free instructions to make a bead woven necklace. People that know me can confirm that I usually jump right in with both feet and my way of thinking is "How hard can it be?", so I took the instruction leaflet and bought the needed beads ... In 2011 my husbands time in Germany ended and we relocated to the Midlands where he is originally from. To give the children and us enough time to settle in I decided to stay at home and because my beading skills had developed quite nicely I got registered as self employed and opened my Etsy shop www.BeadworkAndCoe.etsy.com
So here I am now.

Your work looks very intricate, does it take a long time to create?The time varies a lot really. Of course it depends on the size of the piece and the detail, but especially the unique designs can be very time consuming. When I start I have a picture in my head of how I want it to look finished and then it usually develops a life of it's own. Sometimes a new piece is nearly finished and I decide “ That other bead colour would have been much better there!”. At that point I'll take it all apart again. It's a luxury I take for myself to not care too much about the making time and if I consider it necessary to get a
more satisfying result I will start over again.
What is it that you enjoy about your work?
I find it very relaxing, almost meditative and I forget everything around me. Sometimes my husband will touch my shoulder after the fifth attempt to talk to me and I jump. Also I am absolutely hooked on the endless possibilities of beads. With the same beads and the same thread I can either make a really romantic design with lots of flowers and fringe or they can become a minimalistic geometric shape – which is definitely more my style. The choice in colours of beads available is another thing that keeps amazing me. Just a change of
colours can make such a difference to the overall feel of a piece. You see, there are so many reasons to love and enjoy what I do ...

What is your biggest crafting achievement and why?
I don't think I have a specific achievement. In general it makes me feel really good when I try something new and after a lot of effort and work it turns out well. I made this dinosaur costume for my son a few years back. To see his face when he went into school with it and the pride in his voice when he said his mum made it was just THE BEST. Or my first venture into sugar craft because he had to have a Nemo cake for his birthday and I thought “How hard can it be?” It wasn't quite what he expected in the end, but he loved it anyway. I learned that spending the money to buy a cake is probably the much easier option, but
the experience still was priceless :)
Other than crafting what else do you like to do?
I do enjoy a good book, the thicker the better. That does not mean I don't read thin books, I just really enjoy the elaborate descriptions and details which you usually just get in the thick books. At the moment I am working my way through the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon again or another one worth reading is the Avalon series by Marion Zimmer My husband is a Scout leader and a keen hiker and geocacher, so we do spend a good amount of time outdoors, either hiking or now that the kids are a bit older on the bikes.
If you had to choose a favourite from your creations which one would it be?
Ohhh, I hate this question. It is like asking which one of my children I love the most – impossible to answer. If you insist though, I think the one I am working on is kind of my favourite at the time, because until it is finished every piece is so full of possibilities and it is almost a shame to do the last stitch. Then it has the final form and is done with – closure is not always a good thing.


What advice would you give to someone starting out in the craft world?
Think it through thoroughly, what you want to sell, where you want to sell, how much competition there is, what you can charge, what you need to charge and of course all the legal stuff. Then decide whether you want to do it as a hobby to just cover cost or as a business to make a profit. Both is perfectly fine, but stick to your plan. Stepping up and turning that hobby-business into a professional business can be tricky and a lot of work without return can be frustrating - even if you start like that intentionally.

If you could change one thing about what you do, what would it be?
I wish my hands could bead faster – lol So many beads and so many ideas, but so little time.
What do you think has helped your buisness the most?
Even though I still find it difficult, networking is key. May it be in the Etsy- teams, following others on facebook etc. or reading good business tips on blogs. I intentionally don't mention any names (I'm aware that most people hope to discover the holy grail in posts like this), because I believe you have to find the ones that suit you yourself. I have followed and unfollowed many pages/people/blogs since I started and some of them are quite popular amongst other crafters. First, my time is too valuable to spend it reading every rubbish people write and sometimes even a good tip or approach that works for someone else might just not be how I want to handle my business. So I only have a few that I “connect” with and really enjoy – that makes the networking much easier too :)
Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
Everywhere! My husband took our old computer apart before scrapping it and it had some really interesting parts. I didn't know what to do with them straight away, but as I liked them somehow they went in my box with odd bits and bobs. That box is usually my place of inspiration and I dug those pieces out again when I started experimenting with bead- embroidery. So I put them on center stage and then let the creative juices
flow to find an appropriate setting.
Tell us a random fact about yourself
I cant whistle for my life! Many people have tried to teach me, but it just doesn't work



Friday, 28 February 2014

Grab our Spring 2014 Issue!

Our Spring Issue is now available!


Grab a copy as a digital download or a luxurious printed copy. 

We have been publishing crafters since 2009!



Feature: I had a stall at the 2013 Handmade Christmas Market at the 02!




It was summer 2013 and I was wiling away some time in twitterland. I chanced upon a tweet from I Love Markets (ILM) that mentioned the Handmade Market at the O2 in December and invited crafters to register their interest in a stall.







So I did!
I followed the instructions and sent an email stating what I did and that I was interested. I received a reply via email requesting my website address and was very pleased when I received a further email offering me a place.

At first I found communication with ILM to be slow and a few times I had to send the same email twice before a received a reply. This was frustrating, but then, the person I was dealing with at I Love Markets changed and I met the lovely Hollye, and communication was suddenly quicker.

There was a lot of work to be done, designing my display and creating my collection.

The event at the O2 was being run by Peninsula Exhibitions with I Love Markets working with them, having a number of stalls with which to fill. The event itself was over 3 days,

Friday 13th, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December. ILM had to balance stall holders who wanted to

have a stall for either, 1, 2 or all 3 days. Not an easy task, whilst working with Peninsula Exhibitions. During the months leading up to the event a lot of information was sent out to the stall holders, some from Peninsula Exhibitions, including an exhibitors manual and some from I Love Markets.

Hollye from ILM kept us as informed as possible, stall numbers, a layout of the stalls so we knew where we were and even photographs of the stalls as they were being constructed. Invaluable information and allowing us to make adjustments to our display before the day.

My experience as an exhibitor at the O2 was not a particularly pleasant one, however, before I proceed to
explain why, I would like to let you know that the issues faced were in no way the fault of Hollye or ILM, the blame lies with Peninsula Exhibitions.

Walking into the entrance of the O2, myself and a friend who had volunteered to help me, began looking around for signposts or directions to guide us to where we needed to go.

There were none.

However, luckily, security guards were present and they provided the required directions. It was quite a long walk and we were worried that perhaps we hadn't fully understood the directions given. Then, thankfully we spotted a sign, though a rather discreet one.

There was much still being done and metal fences were ringed around the stalls giving no obvious way
through. Again we had to ask. Then we had to ask where our stall was. The stall layouts and locations we had originally been given had been changed. Instead of the ILM stall holders being given a nice location, we were placed at the back. In fact my particular stall was facing the back wall and the row was inset so that
approaching from the entrance you were unaware that those stalls even existed.
For a Christmas market, set indoors there was no music, no atmosphere and promises had not been
kept regarding an appearance from Father Christmas and activities for children. The estimated footfall of 20K people compared to actual footfall fell so short of estimations to be a complete joke and a charge of £8 entry put off many potential customers wishing to browse.
The highlights of the event were meeting Hollye from ILM who chatted with all the stall holders booked
through I Love Markets and photographs were taken and placed on facebook. Then of course there was the opportunity to walk around the stalls, meeting the very talented crafters, enjoying the great mix of
products and styles.
In summary, would I book an event through I Love Markets again? Answer- yes! But I would not make a booking if Peninsula Exhibitions had any involvement.



Written by Tina Cook from Shinyies www.shinyies.co.uk

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Valentines Day Craft Ideas


Written by Sarah at www.craftymagpie.co.uk
 
Valentine’s Day should be a day of fun and romance, so I’ve had a look at my favourite inspiration site – Pinterest and chosen some of my favourite ideas to make your own gifts.

1. Spooning

I absolutely love this idea, such a simple yet effective present, all you need is a frame, spoons, paint, glue and letter stencils. I had a thought….if your partner is a keen baker you could use a mini wooden spoon to reflect their character!



Picture Link: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/21603273186372286/

2. Love Heart Sweet Tree

Yet another simple but great idea, and the tip would be to use your partner’s favourite sweets. All you need is a foam ball, sweets (remember you will need to fill the pot too), cocktail sticks or edible glue (depending on the type of sweets you are using), a strong stick, ribbon and a pot.

Picture Link: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/21603273186372279/
Tutorial Link: http://blog.tinyprints.com/diy/diy-valentines-day-candy-topiary/

3. DIY Man Mug

What would you say about your man? – It would be easy to get carried away and design a set of personalised mugs!


Picture Link: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/21603273186372284/
Tips Link: http://acupofgatsby.com/2013/02/14/diy-man-mug/

4. Felt Fortune Cookies

If you’re feeling extra creative and have plenty of time, these fortune cookies may be a great idea….and you can create your own fortunes…maybe a proposal?

Picture Link: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/21603273186372269/
Tutorial Link: http://www.marthastewart.com/266523/felt-fortune-cookies-from-the-martha-ste?backto=true

5. Heart Cake Pops

I do enjoy a cake pop, and with these you could also personalise them – If you have a steady hand!

Picture Link: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/21603273186372359/
Tutorial Link: http://littledelightscakes.com/heart-cake-pops/

If you’d like to see more ideas, take a look at the Crafty Magpie Valentine’s Day Crafts Board on Pinterest



Tuesday, 7 January 2014

BIG NEWS!

*** BIG NEWS! ***

We had an editorial meeting at Creative Crafting HQ yesterday afternoon and some big decisions were made.

For 2014 Creative Crafting will be changing to a quarterly magazine where we flow with the seasons giving our writers more time to submit their work and more defined issues. If you would like to be involved in any of the following issues please let us know. (Thank you to everyone who is already going to submit for our March Issue, previously Feb)

Spring Issue - 1st March (copy deadline 1st Feb) themes to include spring and Easter and other holidays through spring.

Summer Issue - 1st June (copy deadline 1st May) themes to include, holidays, summer, beach, back to school etc.

Autumn Issue - 1st September (copy deadline 1st August) themes to include autumn, Halloween etc.

Winter Issue - 1st December (copy deadline 1st November) themes to include Christmas, Winter, Valentines etc.

In between these issues we will also be releasing some Kindle Books on Amazon and other e-reader sites.

LOTS to look forward to. 


If you would like to write for us please email articles@creative-crafting.com 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas Candy Bark



Christmas Candy Bark     written by Claire from Elderberry Arts
 


This is a very simple recipe that can be made by children of all ages with minimal help. It is delicious as a treat or prefect to wrap up and give as gifts. The recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled to make larger amounts, just make sure you have a baking tray or other similar surface to spread the chocolate on once melted. 

Feel free to choose your favourite brand of chocolate and milk and dark chocolate work just as well. The finished bark can be varied greatly by adding or omitting ingredients to suit your own personal tastes and an attractive marbled bark can be made by spreading the milk chocolate and then swirling in some melted milk chocolate.

For a more grown up version dark chocolate with dried cranberries and flaked almonds or white chocolate with dried cranberries and hazelnuts are delicious. 



200g milk chocolate
100g of Christmas themed sweets such as chocolate coins, jelly beans, shape jellies etc.

  1. Line a baking tray with cling film or greaseproof paper.
  2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl. Melt the chocolate in short bursts in a microwave oven or over a pan of boiling water.  
  3. Once the chocolate has melted spread it over the covered tray. It should be only around five millimetres thick.
  4. Add your sweets as toppings, gently pressing them into the chocolate.
  5. Leave the chocolate until completely cool and hardened and then snap into pieces.