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30 July 2014

Guest Post Tutorial: How-to upcycle a jar to store your craft supplies

Hi everyone! Today, the super talented Hannah from Rose Tinted Crafting is guest posting with her awesome upcycled craft supply jars tutorial. Just look how cute those jars are, awww! I can't wait to give this a go! So, without further ado, it's over to Hannah!

I am trying to get organised with my craft supplies at the moment as I spend far too much time rummaging through boxes and draws looking for things. One of my favourite ways to store my bits and bobs is using glass jars with decorated lids. I like the fact I can actually see my supplies when they are in jars, nothing gets lost and I know if a supply is running low. They are especially good for storing small items in, such as paper clips, buttons and elastic bands. 

Instead of using the expensive glass jars you can find in department stores, however, I upcycle food jars I have at home. 

If you would like to make an upcycled jar you will need:

a glass jar with screw lid (such as a jam or pasta sauce jar 
I used a pesto jar because I liked the small size). 
fabric, big enough piece to cover the outside of your lid
glue, such as PVA or Modge Podge
a paint brush or sponge to apply the glue
• scissors


1. Start by washing your jar. If the label doesn't come off easily, soak in warm soapy water until it peels off.

2. Once dry, apply glue (thinly so it doesn't seep through the fabric) to the outside of the lid, to the top and around the edge.

3. Lay your fabric on top of the lid and smooth out and over the edge of the lid. The fabric may need to be snipped in places around the edge and glued down if it doesn’t lay flat. Cut the fabric around the edge, leaving a little extra fabric allowance to fold over the rim.

4. Hold the fabric in place whist it is drying (I used mini pegs to keep the fabric glued down but you can just glue a little at a time and hold down with your fingers if you don’t have any pegs). Allow time to dry.

5. When the lid is dry your jar is ready to be filled. 

As a decorative touch after I had filled my jars, I also added some twine and a label. 

Tip: If the fabric you are planning to use is a very light colour and you think the writing on the lid and colour may show through, go over the lid first with a white pen or paint. Alternatively, glue some white tissue paper to the lid first, allow to dry, then glue the fabric on top. 

Thank you so much, Hannah! What a fun and easy tutorial! I especially love the twine and label as an extra touch!

I hope you've all enjoyed this tutorial. Do send me your pics of your finished masterpieces! And stay tuned as we have more tutorials on the way!

Happy crafting!

All the photos and tutorial instructions are the copyright of Hannah from Rose Tinted Crafting. Please do not use without seeking permission first, thank you.

28 July 2014

Summer Sale! 15% off everything!

It's summer sale time! 

Get 15% off absolutely everything in my Etsy store only until the end of August! Just enter the following in the coupon code field when ordering: SUMMER

Happy shopping!

25 July 2014

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

With the music festival season happening all around the country, my dukebox is all about summer tunes and bands I'm going to see. This weekend I'm off to Simon Says Festival in Leicester and I'm especially excited as my friend Jinnwoo is playing. Jinnwoo has the most incredible voice I've ever heard. It's magical and hauntingly beautiful. And after listening to this it's not hard to see why the Independent newspaper gave him a full star rating in their music reviews. He's one major, creative inspiration to me.
What's been on your jukebox recently? Anything that inspires you to create? I'd love to hear what you've been listening to!

23 July 2014

Adventures in the Garden: Flower Close Ups

If you didn't already see, I've started a new blog series called, Adventures In The Garden, which follows and documents my creative pursuits in my garden. Today I'm sharing some close up shots I took of flowers from my flower border, which is currently bursting with colourful, floral goodness!

Are you a fan of gardening and flowers? What's your favourite flower in the garden? I'd love to hear, so please do share all your gardening or floral thoughts in the comments below :-)

21 July 2014

Five Top Sewing Tips

Here are some handy sewing tips I've picked up along the way, which I thought I'd share with you all.

Pre-shrink your fabric
If you're sewing something that is going to end up in the washing machine, always pre-shrink the fabric before you even think about switching that sewing machine on. Cotton is especially prone to shrinking. As soon as you get home from the fabric shop, pop it straight in the washing machine and wash at the temperature you would wash that type fabric at normally. If you're not sure, check the recommended washing temperature for some clothing you have in the same fabric.

Read the manual
I cannot emphasise this enough! For getting to know your new sewing machine or trouble-shooting or simply to find out things you never knew your machine did, read the manual. It saves tantrums, tears and throwing in the towel on sewing!

Sharpen those tools
I remember a whole day of sewing that was a complete and utter nightmare. It felt like my sewing machine would not work, despite trouble-shooting every little part of it....except checking if the needle was blunt and ahem, it was. I might as well have been sewing those hems with a large knitting needle. So folks, remember to check the needle on your sewing machine is sharp enough and that you have spare needles in different sizes (see below!). 

Also, remember to keep those sewing scissors clean and sharp...and no cutting paper, it ruins them! Want to know how to keep them nicely sharp? Check out Claireabellemakes fab tip for sharpening scissors.

Different size needles
Did you know that different fabric requires different sized needles? Check your manual for guidance on which size needles to use for different fabrics. I remember the first day my Mum said "Have you tried a different needle size?" as we were going through a list of possible problems. It was like getting the right key for the lock. It worked. I now make sure I have a range of different size needles...and spares too!

Clean the machine
Try and clean your sewing machine/overlocker on a regular basis. It's incredible how much fabric and dust builds up...and that dust can cause some time consuming problems, like birds nest. Haven't heard of birds nests in sewing? It's that little bundle of thread and dust below your feed dogs that builds up and basically stops you from sewing.

Do you have any other handy tips for sewing? Please do share in the comments below.

Happy sewing!

18 July 2014

Tutorial round up!

Hola, it's Friday, woohoo!

I'm looking at the weather forecast and thinking hmm, if I wasn't already excited about friends coming over for the weekend, I reckon I'd be getting my craft on! On that note, I thought I'd do a little round-up of crafty tutorials featured on my bloggity blog.

Japanese Bookbinding produced by Vicki of By Me For You
Card Bunting
Fabric Covered Notebook/Diary
Dried Chilli Display
Birthday Card by Simone of Vintage With Me
Kilnar Jar Flower Display
Lavender Pin Cushion
Bead Embroidered Earrings by Megan of Megan's Beaded Designs
Gift Wrap Ribbon

And oooh, what's that? Yup, if you haven't already heard the news, I'm looking for guest bloggers who would like to feature their craft tutorial on my blog. If you know someone who would be interested or if you fancy a go, then please do pass on the word and get in touch! There are more details here.

So, back it to it being nearly the weekend. What's everyone got planned? Anything crafty or maybe a break from craft? I'd love to hear!

16 July 2014

New Series: Adventures in the Garden: Before and After

If you follow me on Twitter and especially Instagram, you'll probably have got the hint that I luuuuurve gardening, plants, veggie plots, flowers and generally growing stuff! Soooo, I decided I love it so much that I'd not only keep a record in my trusty notebook but I'd also keep a record on my bloggity blog! 

The kind of things I'm planning to include in the series are: veggie plot progress (and failure!) reports, queries about gardening in general, garden photography, and my feelings and passion for all things flora and fauna! If that sounds like your cup of tea, you can follow me on Bloglovin, so that you never miss a post!

Righto! Lets get digging! 

This is the first garden I've ever owned, i.e. I have just bought our very own home. I've been here since August and well, lets just say, the garden didn't get much love from the previous owner. Here's a before and after shot. If you look closely you'll see a gorgeous, brick work edging all around the lawn. This was so overgrown I had no clue it was there until I started digging the borders. And the shed, well, why on earth would you put a shed in the sunny corner of the garden? And a shed with holes in the roof. Several hours and lots of hammering later, that bad boy was brought down! Ahhh, much better!

6 months later, I've replaced the fence (the picture doesn't quite do it justice but lets just say it was ready to collapse), weeded both borders, planted LOADS of flowers, filled the greenhouse with seedy goodness and created a veggie patch. Here's a little before and after shot. Due to the size of this sunny corner, I created four plots, with a pathway around them, so that they are accessible and easier to manage. I've planted a load of seeds and covered them to protect them from the birdies.

And ooh, did I mention? I have a little pond. It's teeny tiny but has about 15 frogs in it. How do I know this? Well, I previously empted the whole thing, rescued all the froggies, with the aim of them being adopted by a fellow pond owner. Life then got in the way, it rained A.LOT, the pond filled back up and the frogs jumped out of their temporary home and back into the pond. They seem to be happy, so rather than put them through that ordeal again, they're staying put...for now.

Ribbit ribbit!

In my next post, I'm going to be sharing some flower close ups, so stay tuned if flowers and photography are your thing!

Do you have a veggie plot? What do you love about gardening? I'd love to hear all your gardening thoughts and tales, so please do share in the comments below!
With lots of flora and fauna love,

14 July 2014

Ice cream anyone?

The talented Fran, from Not Your Grandmother's Handmade (awesome blog name!),
has been putting together some gorgeous collections of handmade finds, including this Ice Cream themed one. Recognise anything? ;-) Hee hee, yup my Ice Cream necklace has been featured. 

Thanks so much, Fran!

As well as putting together lovely handmade collections, Fran is also an illustrator and has just opened her very own Etsy shop; it's full of gorgeous cards. I love this Talk Nerdy To Me postie! Pop on over to Fran's blog and shop for a look-see at some handmade loveliness.
Happy Monday!

10 July 2014

My first Terry's Fabrics Tutorial: Envelope Cushion

Hurrah! My first tutorial for Terry's Fabrics Blog is now live! Woohoo!
I've not written many sewing tutorials and especially not for someone else, so this was a rather scary project! But, I think, and I hope, I'm finding my confidence with it and will have another tutorial to share with you all soon.
In the mean time, head on over to Terry's Fabrics Blog and give my envelope cushion tutorial a go. It's super easy but do shout if you need more guidance!
Happy sewing!

8 July 2014

My first days of working for myself

This is the second week of working part time on my day job and part time on my business and it feels straaaange!

Last week, I woke up on Monday morning and immediately felt guilty. Shouldn't I be racing around the house, packing up orders, tweeting, eating breakfast, half writing a blog post, packing my bag, shoving some washing on and all before dashing out the house to my day job as a Librarian? My second thought was, is this actually happening? Have I dreamt it? Did I get my days confused and should I actually be at work? Nope, it was and is happening!

So far I've only had 3 days at home working on A&TP and I've quickly realised three things:

1) Time flies when you're doing something you love

2) There isn't enough time in the day for doing the job you love

3) Even with the extra time to focus on the business, it feels like there's more to do and the to-do list currently looks ridiculous!

I've been running A&TP for well over a year now, have learnt loads along the way and with that, I thought I'd be fully prepared for going part time. In actual fact, I didn't realise quite how daunting it would be! It feels like there is more to consider. 

Soooo, I'm trying to put together a 6 month plan of things I want to achieve and things I've got to consider to make working part time work for me and my business. I'm also going to start planning my weeks more effectively, allowing time for spending quality time with friends and family, relaxing, exercising and keeping up with my hobbies. The theme therefore at the moment in this new adventure is getting myself ORGANISED!

Do you work freelance or run your own business? What do you do to keep focused and organised? 

6 July 2014

This Is Your Kingdom: Scarthin Bookshop

In my latest This Is Your Kingdom adventure, I visited the sublime Scarthin Bookshop in Derbyshire. It's a favourite place of mine, which I always go to when I'm up in the 'shire, seeing my Mum. 
We pretty much always nip in for a spot of lunch and browse, after a long heavenly swim. I love going with my Mum, especially as she instilled in me from the word go, a passion for reading, books, and the written word.
On this particular visit Mum and I took my trusty camera, Beryl. It felt rather special taking pictures of my most favourite bookshop ever.
If you're a bit of book worm and are in the area, pop on in to Scarthin's. You won't be disappointed. And if you fancy a read of this particular bookshop adventure, you can read my little review here.
Happy reading!

4 July 2014

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

I love making mix cds for long car journeys, so that I can sing at the top volume driving along the motorway. This one was on my most recent mix cd. Love it, especially as I was less familiar with it. It's now a favourite!

Happy Friday!

3 July 2014

Review: Riverbank Revels Paper Pack by Eccentric Fox

Last week I shared a super easy bunting tutorial, with gorgeous card bunting and twine supplied by  Eccentric Fox. I also hinted that those lovely guys sent me another goody to share with you and ta-da, here it is! A pack of  6" x 6" Designer Paper Pack. Super cute, right?

Inside are 48 sheets of paper, with 12 different designs. The paper weight is 150gsm, which, if you're less familiar with paper weights, is a good quality weight. It's not too flimsy but is firm enough to both craft and write beautiful letters with.

Just look at that wodge of beautiful paper!

Six of the designs are linen textured, which makes the paper more like a card and is literally textured to touch. They're pretty darn cool if you ask me!

Here's a close up, where you can just make out the textured pattern. I totally love the gingham one!

Also included were six different paper designs, with a pattern on the front and plain white on the back. The Blue Tit design is my favourite!

Here's a close up of the froggy one. I love the detail and I would have loved this when I was a little girl to write letters to all my penpals with.

After cooing over the designs, I decided to get my trusty stamp out and see how both types of paper reacted to a bit of ink!

On the textured paper the stamp gave, well, a rather textured image! I absolutely love the effect!

On the smooth paper, the stamp produced a nice, clear image. 

I'm planning to use these not only for letter writing but also for crafting and for writing personalised notes to all my Etsy shoppers with. They're just too cute and have to be shared with you guys! Plus, it means I get to use my stamp on them. 

Are you a paper fan or a letter writer? What stationery do you have to use when crafting or inking a letter to a friend? I'd love to hear all about it!

Before I head off, I just want to thank Eccentric Fox for supplying these goodies!


Disclosure: I reviewed this independently and wasn't sponsored to write this post.

1 July 2014

Blog Gem - Bunny Bosworth

Hello July and hello Blog Gem time! This month I'm over the moon to be interviewing the incredible, creative lady behind Bunny Bosworth! Her work is goooooooorgeous and I want to buy the whole lot! Just look at these beautiful bracelets and necklaces below, aren't they devine! Soooo, wanna know more about the person who creates these? Me too!

Hello there, who be the face behind the blog?
I’m Natalie, or Bunny, and I’m a designer-maker and sometime costumier. I live in Liverpool with my boyfriend and our two cats but I’m originally from East Yorkshire. I came to Liverpool to study Theatre and Performance Design in 2004 and stuck around after graduating, working as a freelance theatre costume designer, scenic assistant and model maker. I’ve been making and designing my own work as Bunny Bosworth since 2010, originally just as a way to a) use up all the fabric I didn’t have space for and b) to keep myself creative while the theatre jobs were thin on the ground. ‘Bunny Bosworth’ is now my passion with the theatrical work taking a back seat. Over the last couple of years I’ve been building my brand and streamlining my range of designs, focussing on my collection of Liberty print knot jewellery. I’ve been getting my designs stocked in different shops across the country, teaching craft workshops and writing my blog, and it seems to be going quite well!
What's your creative space like? 
I have a room to myself in our flat, it’s packed full and getting increasingly harder to move around in. I’m trying to make it a bit more Pinterest worthy, but it’s a work in progress, I just love stuff too much, particularly books.  Having my own space is great as I can leave it in a mess and not worry about it, but it’s also the only room in the flat that doesn’t get any sun so on very nice days I upsticks to our little balcony and work outside. We’re on the second floor of our building, and there’s trees on every side so when the leaves are out it’s like living in a tree house, just green everywhere you look. And when the leaves are bare it’s great for spying on the neighbours…
If you had to take only one art/craft tool to a desert island, what would it be and why? 
A crochet hook. I love crochet but don’t do enough, and it’s such a versatile craft, you don’t need to have a plan, you can just start and see what happens. And I’m sure I could fashion some yarn out of palm leaves and make myself a hammock.
How do you work and get inspired? 
With my knot jewellery I spend ages choosing my prints for that season, it always starts with colour. There’s so many knots and braids so I like to play around with them and see what they lend themselves to, whether it’s necklaces or earrings, if they look good in two or three strands, or if I can combine prints in one piece. I love Liberty fabrics and can spend hours on their website, or when I get the chance wandering round the fabric department in their store, it’s impossible not to be inspired. For this summer I’m going to be playing around with hand dyeing cord as well, combining colours with textures.
When I’m crafting and sewing for myself, or making bags and purses, I tend to get all my fabrics out on my desk and see what goes together. I like surprising combinations, pairing delicate prints with heavy duty fabrics, or using traditional skills and techniques with modern designs. My costume and theatre background is always playing a part, I love historical dress and particularly surface decoration, like braiding and embroidery, that’s where my book addiction comes into play! 
What top tips would you give to anyone starting a blog and online shop? 
Jump straight in! With online shops like Etsy you don’t lose anything by trying, and if you don’t get it right to start just keep on tweaking things until you’re happy, you won’t get instant results but there’s always something to learn. Make use of other peoples experience, there are makers who can give you tips, and seller forums full of great advice, just take the time to look at what works for other people and make it work for you. Product photography is a big part of it, but it doesn’t have to be complicated, I’ve done shots on my phone before and know plenty of people who do too. Make the most of what you’ve got and don’t worry too much.
I’m a bit hit and miss with my blogging, but I find it easier to do the busier I am. Getting out and about is great for ideas, and images are so important for craft blogging so keep taking photos! I like to share the things that interest me, like exhibitions or other work I’m inspired by. As a general rule if you’re passionate about it other people will be too.
Is there a story behind the name 'Bunny Bosworth'?
Yes, it’s something a few of my friends from university call me. We all had alternate identities within an imaginary country club (I can’t even begin to explain how that came about); Bunny, Fifi, Minky, Binky, Muffy and Dickie, mine was the only one that stuck. It’s interesting for me because people get such different ideas of what I’m like when they hear the name, I’ve been told it’s like the name of a WW2 fighter pilot, a burlesque star or a tweedy old lady!
If you could go to a Creative Blog Award dinner with any 5 people and/or fictional characters (dead or alive), who would you choose? 
Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire. She was the youngest of the famous Mitford Sisters and always seemed the most likeable, I’d be fascinated to hear more about her family and her life at Chatsworth.
Barbara Hulanicki, the creator of Biba. I read her autobiography not long ago and it was incredibly inspiring. The store is legendary and her creativity and determination had such a huge part to play, I think I could learn a lot from her.
Lucy Worsley, because I love her documentaries and she seems like a thoroughly good egg.
Bernard Black, from Black Books, for entertainment value, and he’d be sure to bring the booze.
And finally Paul Lowe, aka Sweet Paul, the Norwegian food stylist, crafter and blogger. I love his approach to all things food and craft, incredibly simple to do but totally stylish, and he seems so full of love for what he does. I’m also hugely jealous that he lives in Brooklyn so I’d be asking him all about that!
And finally...book & tea or film & wine?
That’s the hardest question of them all! Can I be greedy and have both? But wine with a good book by Margaret Atwood or Michael Chabon, and a cup of tea with a nice Wes Anderson film, that would be perfect. 

Thank you so much, Natalie! It's been absolutely wonderful hearing all about your creative world! I couldn't agree more about just starting an online shop and blogging. Your tree top balcony sounds fabulous! A great place to sit and read one of those gorgeous books and be inspired! 
I hope you've all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem! Stay tuned for more!

All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Natalie at Bunny Bosworth. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.


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