I hope you have all had a wonderfully crafty weekend. I think I am getting back to normality now. Last week was a busy one for me; this week is not looking quite so manic. You will have seen on the blog a few holiday related posts. You can read my top travel tips for crafty jet setters here, or if you want to read all about my trip to the USA, you can do that here. Anyway I have a lot to cover over the last seven days so buckle up and let’s get on with it!
Monday 28th October
I am hoping I have finally kicked the jet lag to the kerb now! I was up at 8 this morning to get up and get to Stanwick Lakes.
I spent the morning making the final preparations for the first of two Settlers Jewellery workshops. Tomorrow is the children’s workshop, and to avoid the agony of multiple children choosing seven beads for one bracelet (it’s a lot more painful than you think!) I have prepared kits for each of the four projects. All the children have a bag with their four kits in, I have cut up tissue paper for wrapping the finished projects in, I have set the tables out with beading mats and tools and all the booklets have been neatly stapled together. I am quite proud of myself and the room looks beautiful. Fingers crossed it looks as good at the end of tomorrow!
I got home at about two in the afternoon and I was so cold! The weather here is certainly a lot colder than California! After lunch I spent time answering questions for people on our social media channel and started writing The Craft Journal for this week. After this I will start on a round-up of the holiday for the blog.
Later I will be going to do the food shop and I will be picking up Stone Age Willow to go in the barn tomorrow for the workshop!
Tuesday 29th October
I am exhausted. Today I have led my first jewellery making workshop, for children! Those of you who know me will be aware that children are not my favourite thing. I feel like I have earned at least one glass of wine today. I feel like I have been hit with a car!
All being said the jewellery workshop seemed to go down very well with the children. We had fifteen sign up and four no shows. In five hours everyone managed to make a wire wrapped ring, a braided bracelet, a pair of earrings, a set of paper beads and a necklace to take home. We talked about the history of jewellery and how we can preserve the Nene Valley for future generations. However the crowning achievement for the day goes to me for not absolutely losing my mind after five hours of hearing nothing but “will you help me?”, “I’ve lost my beads/clasp/mind” and, my personal favourite, “do I have to make jewellery out of these beads?”.
A big thank you should also go out to all of my wonderful helpers, in no particular order: Helen, Hilary, Di, Sylvia, Becky and Neil. I couldn’t have done it without you!
Next Tuesday I will be doing it all again with the addition of two more projects for the adults jewellery making workshop, for which sixteen people have already signed up.
Now I’m home I just need to wait for my head to stop spinning so I can get ready for the market tomorrow.
Wednesday 30th October
I am so cold! I have been sat outside in Kettering Market Place all day selling jewellery. Kettering Borough Council have finally discovered that no one is using the town centre, because…well…Kettering is an armpit. So to get people to use the town centre, the council have come up with a series of free events in the school holidays called “Play Days”.
The basic idea is that each Play Day has a different theme and there are activities available on the day based on the theme. There are a few problems with this. Firstly no matter what the theme is of the day the activites always seem to be the same, so I can imagine people will soon realise this and will stop coming to the events. Secondly the people attending the Play Days are there for free entertainment for their children. That means they are not there to part with their money and are not keen to buy anything from the traders that are there! So today was a very long and cold day for the sake of taking £30, which doesn’t include the cost of the pitch in the first place.
The next few fairs I have coming up are the Christmas light switch on and the late night market. Hopefully people will be in more of a spending frame of mind at these events. But I definitely won’t be signing up for any more of the Play Days!
Thursday 31st October
Today I had hoped to have a bit of a rest and catch up on some of my crochet. I have two flower squares of the Blaithin CAL to complete before next Monday and I really want to get the first of the Christmas jumpers finished. Unfortunately I was so tired from all the activities over the past few days I slept in a little later than planned.
When I finally woke up the mess that the house was in was making my brain itch so I ended up tidying up instead of doing my crochet. After I had done the house work I didn’t much feel like doing any crochet, so I made a few pieces of jewellery to go in the Folksy store. I really can’t decide which piece is my favourite. I love them all. I have made three bracelets using real gemstones; one in black obsidian, one in aquamarine and one in blue jade. If you want to take a look for yourselves click here.
After I had the jewellery made up I began to take some photos for the online listings. Then we had a last minute visitor. By the time I came to actually listing the bracelets it had gotten quite late and I wasn’t happy with any of the photos I had taken. So I started over and took more pictures and finally got the bracelets listed on folksy and shared on social media.
Friday 1st November
Another early start, this time I was going to the NEC with Mum for the Creative Craft Show. We had booked to workshop sessions and we were both looking forward to the day. Neither of us had ever been to the NEC before but it was only about an hour from my house. We got there in plenty of time to drop off our coats at the cloak room and get a cup of tea and a pastry before heading to the craft stalls and our first workshop. The first workshop was not so much of a success, but there will be more on that in a post later in the week. We did a bit (a lot of shopping) and then headed for our, far more successful, second workshop. There was time for just a little more shopping before heading home with our crafty haul.
In the evening I couldn’t resist having a play with some of my new crafty goodies and I had a little practice at wire wrapping some large agate beads to make pendants. I have to say I am very pleased with how the results!
Saturday 2nd November
In the evening we had a trip to Essex planned. We are now well into the birthday season. As soon as October hits it is a wild ride of birthdays for myself and Mr Crafts all the way through until early March. Then we have a slight reprieve until May before we can rest until next October! It’s a little insane for us in the autumn/winter months to say the least!
Anyway as we had been away and I had been slightly busy since returning from America I had to make a few birthday cards before we left. The first card was made with a Tonic studious robot die, cut into two colours of blue mirri-card with a heat embossed background reading “Happy Birthday”, coloured with distress inks. The second card was made from the Tonic Studios adorables stamps and dies. I stamped the background and coloured it in with pencils. Then stamped out and cut the hedgehog characters and other embellishments, coloured them in and stuck them down.
We had a lovely evening with at Mr Crafts’ mum and dad’s house playing games, being covered in confetti and eating lovely cake.
Sunday 3rd November
Wow, what a week. Now we are into November I am well and truly thinking about Christmas. I still have so much to do! I have one jumper to finish and two more to start! I also have lots more Christmas cards to make, as well as crackers, Christmas angels, a Christmas cake and many more things that I can’t think of right now!
I had planned to make some Christmas cards today but then I remembered I needed to finish the Wedding scrapbook for our friends who got married in April. I spent most of the day doing this and by the time I had finished it was getting a bit late to start a completely new craft. So I made a start on my South Africa Scrapbook. I can tell this is going to be a hefty tome! We saw so much on that trip, I think I could do a whole scrapbook just on the safari. Anyway, I managed to get three pages of my scrapbook done before I fell asleep in front of an episode of Jonathan Creek!
I’ll be sharing more with you next week! Until then crafty friends, keep sharing your makes on our social media pages!