26 June 2015

10 Question Interview With a Self-Employed Handcrafter

Today I will be sharing with you an interview with Michelle, the creator of Hearfelty (a self-run sewing business) and Heartfelt Illustrations (a self-run illustrating business). Michelle is a self-employed felt craft artist and illustrator based in Staffordshire. If you're thinking about starting your own handcrafting business or you are looking for a handcrafter to buy personal gifts from, then this post is for you. Let's get onto the interview...

1. Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I find inspiration in the natural world by using shapes, textures and colours of plants and flowers. I love watching the seasons change.

2. How do you advertise your products?
I find that the best ways of advertising are to use social media websites such as pinterest, g+, facebook and twitter which I update regularly with my new creations and updates.

3. What is the best part about your job?
The best part of my job is having creative freedom, being able to work from plans and designs of my own making.

4. What is the worst part of your job?
The worst part is not having a consistent and predictable income, not always knowing how much I will make one week to the next. That's the hardest part.

5. What have you learnt as a handcrafter?
I've learnt to be patient and not to rush even if I have a short deadline because mistakes are easily made but not easily rectified (for example, I once made a personalised order and completed the whole creation with one letter missing and I had to start over)

6. What is your bestselling product?
It depends on the time of the year. The best selling products are often the ones connected with a special occasion. 

7. How do you decide on a price?
Pricing can be tricky. First you need to find out how much the product costs you to make  (including the time it takes you to make) then you need to consider what a fair price would be for the customer, leaving room for a decent profit.

8. What gets you in a crafting mood?
Getting a new idea for something I've heard or seen. For example, song lyrics seem to inspire creation.

9. Why did you choose to be a handcrafter?
I sort of drifted into it form having creative hobbies for instance, cross stitching. Once my career path changed, I found I had more time to develop my hobby into a business.

10. Who is your target audience?
People who appreciate handmade goods, a special dedication goes into handmade items that you just can't find in ordinary shops. My customers appreciate that personal touch. 

Michelle says...
I sell my work online through social networks and websites. I also have my work in gift shops of pottery museums and a high street shop. I occasionally sell on my stall at local events and I have previously ran my own craft fair events. I additionally run workshops for adults who want to learn how to sew their own items.

Here are some of Michelle's links you may want to check out:

In the next few months, one of heartfelty's items will be featured in a GIVEAWAY on my blog! So keep reading my blog to find out what else I'm giving away! I hope you have enjoyed today's post, it was a little different but I thought it was interesting post! Enjoy looking at heartfelty/heartfelt illustration's items! Bye for now!

22 June 2015

The Poll Results!

Hi guys! Recently I've been holding a poll on my blog asking you what post you would like to see soon. The poll has now closed and the results are in! The winner is...a book review! The majority of you have voted for this post so I will be uploading it soon! I'll choose one of my favourite books and tell you what I love about it and who I think it would be perfect for! Hopefully I'll persuade you to start reading one of my favourite authors books. :)

Although this is the what I will be uploading for you, I may also use some of the other ideas that were featured in the poll. There was only a difference of one vote between the winning post and how to draw zentangle so I'll probably upload that at some point this Summer too! Here is an example of how you could use the zentangle drawing technique (this is the sort of thing you would learn how to draw):

I may make another poll soon for you to take part in because it was fun hearing your opinions on what my blog should include! If you share what your feedback about my blog is more often, then I cna try to make my blog the best it can be for my readers. Why not give me a great idea for a blog post (that fits with my creative lifestyle theme) in the comments? I'd love to hear what you think!

20 June 2015

Friends Inspired Father's Day Card

Looking for last minute father's day ideas? Oh no. Luckily for you, today I've got the perfect card idea for a dad who is a big fan of the comedy, friends! Hopefully I will inspire you to make your own card! 

1. To start off making my my card I looked up Monica's peephole frame on google images and printed it off so it would be a decent size on my card
2. I then cut out the frame and glued it onto the front
3. For the typography I looked up the friends logo then copied the style to say FATHERS DAY. The whole text says The one with the Fathers Day 2015. Every episode title starts with the words 'the one' so that's why my card starts with that.
4. I looked up quotes that Chandler (my Dad's favourite character) said and wrote them in bubbles on the left side of the inside of the card
5. I then wrote my message on the card (on the right side of the inside, obviously)
6. I looked up an image of a quote that seemed fitting and stuck it on the bottom of my message

So that's it! It's quite easy but very fun to make and will be appreciated more than a shop-bought card! :D If you make this yourself- of course it doesn't have to be exactly the same so here's some ideas on how to change it up a bit:
. change the special occasion it is for-
you could change this card so it could be for a birthday, Christmas (or even thanksgiving if you're American). These special occasion cards can be adapted so they are real episode titles too (for example the one with the birthday is an actual episode where it is Rachel's birthday). 
. change the quotes that you use-
I only used Chandler quotes for mine because he is my dad's favourite character but you can use any friends quotes you want. If the person you are giving your friends card to has a favourite character, you can use those! If not, just use a mix of quotes that are awesome!
. change the picture quote at the end-
Choose a picture quote that matches your card! For example if you change it to be a birthday can you could use this: 
Here are some more photos of my card:
The Quotes

The Photo Quote
I hope I helped you make your very won friends card today! I love the comedy friends just like my dad so if you have any cool facts, favourite moments or hilarious quotes from the show let me know in the comments! 

14 June 2015

Notice Something Different?

I've been wanting to change up my blog style for long time and I've finally got round to achieving this goal! With help from other bloggers, my family and the internet, this has been made possible within literally one day! So if you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll definitely have noticed a massive difference!

Let's start with the in-your-face massive difference that probably shocked you on your way in today...the background! I absolutely love this pineapple patterned design and it just pops as soon as you see it. I went from a plain pink background to a fun, tropical one that catches your eye. Pineapples are a big trend at the moment in most high street shops and they're a trend that I love! You may be thinking that it's a bad decision to choose a trendy background for my blog because when the trend fades away, people won't be interested anymore. Well, I think I'll keep it even after the trend has gone away because I love fruity patterns-and I think you guys will like it too!

You might not have noticed the fonts straight away but they're new too! I've chosen some fun fonts that I think work well with the scheme, I used to just have plain ariel which was alright but didn't stand out from the crowd.

To help organize my posts, I've added labels which are similar to tags or hashtags because they are categories that you label each post as. You can search all the labels by clicking on one that is listed on the right side of the page. I've categorized my writing so that it is easier for you to find what you're looking for. Not all of the posts have a label.

I have finally created a vital page for my blog, an About Me page. There you can find out a bit more about me and my content and can learn what is in my blog for you. Tell me in the comments of this post if you want to see a post filled with random (more personal) facts about me. I'll share my likes, dislikes etc in that post if you would like to see it.

Tell me what you think of my blog's new look in the comments. I hope you like it! :D

13 June 2015

Cathy Cassidy Quiz

Cathy Cassidy
Hi guys! Today I've got some exciting news for you! Recently I got in touch with the author Cathy Cassidy and asked if I could help write a guest post for her blog (you can find  her blog       here- http://cathycassidydreamcatcher.blogspot.co.uk/ ). I had requested if I could write a post about my own blog just like I have seen other people write before and she said yes! I've now finished planning and writing the post all about my experience of blogging and it should be published at some point this month (June)! Please keep checking Cathy's blog to see if it has been uploaded because you can hear lots about why I started blogging and even more (I can't say too much about it because I don't want to tell you everything before you read it). :D

I decided that since my post will be made public very soon, I would create a special post about Cathy Cassidy. However, this isn't just an ordinary post, today's post is a quiz about Cathy and her books! I think this is perfect for fan of Cathy Cassidy's books to have a go at but even if you haven't read her books, it'll still be fun to have a try. If you want to learn more about Cathy Cassidy (and want to read up on her before you take the quiz) you can follow this link to her official website- http://www.cathycassidy.com/ .

I used a website called online quiz creator to make my own interactive quiz about Cathy Cassidy. I think this is a great resource for bloggers (or perhaps even teachers) to create tests, quizzes and assessments that other people can use. You can choose whether or not you want to pay for your account depending on what you're looking for, I signed up for free because I don't need anything extra if I'm only making a few quizzes for fun.

Here is the link to my quiz about  Cathy Cassidy- https://www.onlinequizcreator.com/site/index.php?r=quiz/countdown&id=101869&language=en ! I really hope you enjoy taking part in my quiz, if you do, please let me know what you think of it in the comments of this post. Is there any other subject you would like me to make a quiz on? By the way, even if you don't have an account on the website, you can still play the quiz (I think there is a small button that says play without an account).

Remember to check out Cathy Cassidy's blog and come back to see if my post has been uploaded on it! Enjoy my quiz!

PS: I was just testing out my quiz once I had created it so that's why the highscore has my username on it (if no-one has beaten me yet)!

08 June 2015

The New Poll

You may have noticed the new poll in the top left corner of your screen. I've recently added a poll gadget to my blog so that for a limited amount of time you can vote your answer to my question. I have asked you what you would like to see on my blog soon. This poll gives you the chance to see what you want on my blog. Just tick a box next to the answer you want me to read and click vote. It's that easy! There are 4 options that you can choose from that I have been thinking about writing for quite a while. After about 2 weeks, the poll will be closed and I will see which answer the majority of people voted for then make a post for it. By the way, the answer that you choose might not be the actual titles of the post I will upload, they are only examples of what the post will be about. Please vote in the poll, your opinion matters. :)
PS: You may not know that zentangle is a detailed and calming drawing technique that is generally carried out with fineliner pens.
PPS: For the book review (if it gets the majority vote) I will review one of my favourite books

05 June 2015

Fimo Clay Review+My Creations

In my last post (Read With Your Cuppa' #2) I mentioned something called fimo clay so today I'm going to introduce you all to the craft supply in more detail and show you some of my creations.

So what is fimo clay?
Fimo clay is a  particular brand of polymer clay which is basically oven hardening clay. This is different because normal clay is air hardening and has a completely different texture. Polymer clay is more like a play dough texture except more smooth whereas normal air hardening clay is quite dry and almost fluffy as you tear it apart.

So why have I written about Fimo clay rather than another brand of polymer clay?
Fimo clay is the only type of polymer clay I have tried and tested so I decided to post about this so you can get an honest opinion on what I think about the product. It is also quite a well known brand of clay so more of you may know it.

What don't I like about fimo clay?
I find it quite difficult to work the clay before I can start to mould it. I think the consistency should be softer so it is easier to shape without it snapping. Most of the time that I take making something out of fimo clay is used warming it up which can be annoying when I'm trying to quickly create something.

What do I like about fimo clay?
I love the bright colours of this brand and the range of glitter clays that they have on offer. I think fimo clay is a fun craft yet it reminds me of when I used to play with  kid's plastecine. This is a really great activity to do in your spare time and the possibilities are endless! Whether you make an animal, a container or your favourite character, you're always having fun!

Now let's have a look at my new creations

Here is a group photo of all 3 creations that is going to be featured today. I have made a kawaii inspired unicorn, a duck and a ring bowl (or small trinket holder). I'll giev you a small description of each model next to it's photo. :)

Kawaii Inspired Unicorn
I've recently been interested in kawaii style things so I decided to make a unicorn...for some reason that seemed kawaii to me at the time. :) I used mainly pastel colours to create this model because I thought it fitted with the theme. To make the the mane and tail I rolled orange, baby blue, pastel pink and glittery silver clay into individual sausage shapes then laid them next to each other. After they were connected, I twisted the whole piece of clay all the way down. I then worked it a bit more before shaping it into a mane and tail.


To make this cute little fella, I followed a youtube tutorial (I think it was created by SoCraftastic) which was really helpful! I love the bright colours and I think it closely resembles a rubber duck! Also, the clay became slightly more transparent after I cooked it for some reason (it kind of looks cool though).

Ring Bowl

I made this multipurpose mini bowl out of the same mixed clay I used on the unicorn model except I worked it more. I twirled the clay into a flat spiral then pinched each side slightly to give it a bowl-like shape. This tiny, decorative bowl is perfect for storing your rings or another small item!

The verdict?
Overall I give the fimo clay 7 out of 10 stars. I knocked off three stars because it takes up way too much time to heat up the clay and start to work it. On the other hand I love this product because of the fun colours and the wide range of tools you can buy alongside it. There are plenty of moulds to choose from and there are even some texture sheets you can buy. I would recommend you buying this type of polymer clay or perhaps you could try a few to compare them. Making models out of fimo clay is a great activity to prevent boredom.

I hope you liked today's post. I thought I would do something a bit different today so please let me know in the comments whether you would like to see more reviews. :)

04 June 2015

Read With Your Cuppa' #2

Quote of the Day

I'm not sure who said this, but today's quote is all about thinking positively. It means that good things can't happen without the bad things so you've just got to sit through the bad things and  remember that something good will come out of it. Whether it be a lesson to learn or d, good things come from the bad.

Fun Activity

Fimo clay is a brand of oven hardening clay that you can mold into whatever shape you want. Why don't you make beads, models of your favourite animals/characters or something even cooler? The possibilities are endless. I will be uploading a post with pictures of my models very soon so come back to see if I have uploaded it.

Interesting Fact

Hedgehogs can hibernate but not all actually do.

Fashion Trend

Gingham is a big trend this year and it can make a sophisticated outfit into a bold statement. Black and white ginghams really pop but there are plenty of colours to choose from-why not the classic red or blue? There's many more unique shades too.


Image result for party rings

Biscuit of the Day

Party rings are a really fun biscuit, perfect for parties! However, you can have them whenever you feel like. They were first created by a British company, Fox's Biscuits in 1983 and are still being sold now with more variations than before! The bright colours and wobbly lines are great for kids but these are still delicious even if you are older!

I hope you all liked my second Read With Your Cuppa post. Thanks to some readers for their feedback and requests (I hope you like what I did with your ideas by the way). Tell me your thoughts about this series of posts in the comments and I'll try my best to use some of your ideas!

PS: I know it's the evening when I'm uploading this post so you're probably not having a cuppa' in the evening but you can save this for the morning-I just wanted to upload it! :D