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31 October 2015

Blog Gem: New Craft Society

Woohoo, it's Blog Gem time! For those of you new to my blog, each month I find out about the face behind a favourite blog or website of mine, in this little interview series. This month I have the great pleasure of interviewing the duo team that is, The New Crafty Society!

Hello there! Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We both grew up in Germany and met at secondary school over there - we used to knit on the school bus together! We’ve remained friends ever since and decided to set up our craft blog together a couple of years ago. Around six months after setting up we won the Cosmopolitan Best Craft Blog award which was amazing. Since then we’ve moved to London and now work on our blog and business together full time. We’re currently working on bringing out our first products which is exciting! The first two will be a knicker making kit and an English Paper Piecing cushion kit.

What are your creative spaces like? 
Cluttered! We both live in quite small spaces so they’re full of fabric and wool and half-finished projects. Hannah does all of her creating in her room in a shared flat and Rosie recently moved on to a boat which has made space (and electricity for the sewing machine!) pretty tricky. Now that we have an office/studio space too though, we’ll start to do lots of our creating there.

If you had to take only one craft tool to a desert island, what would you each choose and why?
Hannah - I’d take a knitting needle so I could spear fish with it. But also knit a blanket.
Rosie - I’d take an amazing pair of scissors. You could kill stuff with them and cut down coconuts or something?

How do you both work and get inspired? 
We both read a lot of blogs and see what everyone else is making. For sewing projects we love SallyOh, What Katie Does and Ada Spragg. For other craft projects we get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest. Oh and we like trying to recreate clothes that we see in shops! One of our favourite brands is House of Hackney and we love using their fabrics to make clothes.

What top tips would you give to anyone starting a blog?
Make friends with other bloggers. Comment on their posts, tweet them, meet them in person, anything! They’ll give you the best advice and building a community of like-minded people is one of the best things about blogging.

Is there a story behind the name 'The New Craft Society'?
Rosie went to Germany to visit Hannah after we’d graduated from university in 2013. We both hadn’t really been able to find jobs and were spending a lot of our time crafting. It was on a car drive to a local town that we decided to set up a blog and were just bouncing name ideas back and forth and The New Craft Society stuck!

If you could go to a Creative Blog Award dinner with any 5 people and/or fictional characters (dead or alive), who would you each choose? 
Hannah - Sally from Sally Oh, Sophie from Ada Spragg, Katie from What Katie Does, Elisalex from By Hand London and Madalynne. Or just Patrick Grant.
Rosie - William Morris, Kaffe Fassett, Jane Burden, May Morris. I can’t think of a fifth! 

And finally...if you had to choose one song to represent 'The New Craft Society', what would you each choose and why? 
That’s too hard! Something by ABBA probably.

Aw, thanks so much ladies! It's been wonderful hearing all about your creative world! What super advice for starting a blog. There is indeed a whole friendly, community out there!

I hope you've all liked this month's Blog Gem. Catch up on all my previous interviews here.

All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of The New Craft Society. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.

30 October 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

I LOVE Spit It Out by The Maccabees. It gave me the creative push I needed on Monday and led to much dancing and singing along. There's nothing like a good dance and sing along (out of tune I hasten to add but loud, very loud, my poor neighbours) to give you a positive buzz.

29 October 2015

New Designs: Gentleman's Gift Set

New in my Notonthehighstreet shop, the Gentleman's Gift Set! Includes one handmade clip-on bow tie, matching cufflinks and pocketsquare handkerchief. I really enjoyed designing and putting this gift set together. I'm also super excited to expand the colour and pattern ranges too, so stay tuned!

28 October 2015

Three Social Media Tips

tips social media

Twitter / don't continuously follow and unfollow Twitter users. It gets noticed and sends the wrong message.

Facebook / don't want your photos to be viewed by the entire world? Go to 'Activity log' (under the triangle at the top right). Select 'Photos of you' under 'Photos' and change who you want to see your photos under the 'Shared with' drop down menu.

Instagram / Did you know you can follow Instagram's Instagram page? Well, you can! If they notice you then get prepared for LOADS of followers!

Missed my last social media tips? Catch up here

27 October 2015

Thrifty Tips: Soup

With beautiful, blustery Autumn well and truly here, I thought I'd share a seasonal themed thrifty tip.
To save those precious pennies and keep the weekly food bill down, why not pop home-made soup on the menu. It's amazing how much soup you can make with only a few ingredients and seasonal ones too like, delicious butternut squash, leeks, potatoes and of course, pumpkin! 

If you're just cooking for one, don't be put off making a big batch because you can freeze lots of portions and then have cooking free days, yay! Warm a baguette up in the oven to go with your soup and you've got yourself one tasty, comforting Autumn dish!

This tip involves putting on your chef hat and getting creative but there's plenty of inspiration out there in scrummy cookbooks and on the internet.

Happy cooking! 

26 October 2015

Creative Inspiration - Music

Lacking in creative inspiration at the moment? Check out my tips for getting your creative mojo back in my latest Simple Stylish Knitting blog post.
And don't forget to join in on Twitter too, with the hashtag #simplestylishmakes!

23 October 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

Phew, it's been a busy ol' week at Adventures and Tea Parties and as usual music has been spurring me on. One band that's certainly been helping in that department is Everything Everything. Lets just say I've had them on repeat this week. 

22 October 2015

New Designs: Girl's Autumn Gift Set

New in my Notonthehighstreet shop, Girl's Autumn Gift Set. Includes one handmade hair bow and matching hanky. Currently available in three patterns and comes gift wrapped in a cute little box!

21 October 2015

Three Social Media Tips

tips social media

Twitter / want to grow your followers? Make sure your blog or website has a link to your Twitter profile.

Facebook / use an image that represents your Facebook page, so that potential new followers know what you're about when they land on your page.

Instagram / if you sell handmade products, ask your followers for feedback on your new designs.

Missed my last social media tips? Catch up on them here

20 October 2015

New Designs: Set of Three Handmade Handkerchiefs

New and exclusive to my Not On The High Street shop, a Set of Three Handmade Handkerchiefs. Available in blue and red, these are made entirely by hand from 100% cotton fabric. They are hand rolled and presented in a gift box, ready to give as a special present.

I'm currently working my little socks off on new designs at the moment, so watch this space for lots of new gift ideas!

19 October 2015

Cut Out + Keep interview and tutorials

Each day this week on Cut Out + Keep I'm sharing a crafty tutorial. So, why not pop on your creative hat and get making stuff!

There's also a little interview with me too if you fancy a read!

Happy crafting folks!

17 October 2015

Adventures in the garden: tomatoes

I didn't have much luck with tomatoes this year. I started them too late and by the time they caught up there wasn't enough sunshine to turn them a beautiful red.

I've now picked what tomatoes hadn't been mauled by slugs and pests and pulled the plants up. The little collection above is what I was left with. I'm going to try and ripen them indoors by popping them in a brown paper bag on a sunny windowsill. It's suppose to work a treat but we'll see.

Lessons learnt this year? Plant these sweet beauties earlier in a prime, sunny spot!

16 October 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

I get through a lot of music in one week and it always varies depending on the type of week I've had. This week Loud Places by Jamie xx has really stood out for me. It's gorgeous and completely heart breaking. If you listen closely to the lyrics or go look them up, you'll see what I mean.

When you've finished weeping over that song, go put She's about a mover on to give you that Friday feeling!

15 October 2015

Three Quick Sewing Tips

1. Position your pins at right angles to the edge of your fabric and you can sew straight over them or you can pull them out as you sew along.

2. Invest in a good iron for pressing fabric. 

3. When following a pattern, jot down any adjustments you make for the next time you use the same pattern.

Check out my sewing and haberdashery Pinterest boards and catch up on all my sewing tips here.

13 October 2015

Three Social Media Tips

tips social media
Pinterest / find out everything that's been pinned by a website by typing their url into the search box.

Twitter / ask questions. It's a great place to get answers, feedback or recommendations.

Instagram / stop worrying about building followers and take those snaps you want to take. Let your feed represent you.

Catch up on all my social media tips here.

12 October 2015

From the garden to the kitchen: how to freeze green beans

I finally cut down my runner bean plants the other day. They had well and truly finished producing a glut of tasty beans. I've been having them with most meals throughout the summer and I've also frozen a big batch too. If you've never frozen them before, it's really easy and today I thought I'd tell you how.

1. Pick all those remaining bright, green beans and give them a good wash. Top, tail and cut them into small chunks.

2. Prepare a large bowl of ice cold water.

3. Bring a pan of water to the boil and pop your beans in for 2 minutes. Scoop out and plunge into the ice cold water.

4. As soon as your beans have cooled, drain and pat dry. Put small portions into individual freezer bags, label and pop in the freezer and voila, you've just frozen your home grown beans! 

5. When you're ready to eat them, just boil for 5 minutes and serve. Easy peasy AND you can keep them in the freezer for up to a year! Happy times!

9 October 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

What Part Of Me from Low's new album is utterly gorgeous! Been listening to it on repeat this week.

8 October 2015

Three Quick Sewing Tips

Three quick sewing tips:

1. If your fabric is moving around alot when sewing, simply lower the presser foot.

2. You can unpick mistakes with a seam ripper.

3. The "right side" of the fabric is the brighter side.

Check out my sewing and haberdashery Pinterest boards and catch up on all my sewing tips here.

7 October 2015

Three Social Media Tips

tips social media

Pinterest / find your friends by clicking on the drop-down menu next to the little cog. Select 'Find friends' and away you go!

Twitter / To compose a new tweet on your PC, simply hit the 'N' button on your keyboard and start typing!

Instagram / did you know you can respond to Instagram comments on your computer? Simply log in online.

Missed my last social media tips? Catch up on them here

6 October 2015

Tips for Using Embroidery Hoops

Head over to the fabulous new website, Simple Stylish Makes, and check out my latest blog post on fun uses for embroidery hoops other than embroidering!
And don't forget to join in on Twitter too, with the hashtag #simplestylishmakes !

5 October 2015

Tutorial: Vintage Style Napkins

Fancy making these vintage style napkins? 

This is a great sewing project for a beginner. All you need are the following supplies:

- Sewing machine
- Overlocker - optional (depends on your hemming preference)
- Cotton / poly-cotton / linen fabric - one fat quarter makes four napkins. Alternatively, you need 10" x 10" for each napkin. You could choose different fabrics for each napkin.
- Thread - complimentary or contrasting depending on your preference
- Lace/ribbon/ric-rac

Step 1: Wash, dry and press your fabric first. I know this is boring but you'll be more disappointed when those napkins shrink in the washing machine!

Step 2: Cut out four napkins from your fabric, measuring approximately 10" x 10" or bigger depending on your preference.

Step 3: Hem your edges. Simply fold over 0.5cm of fabric at each side of the square fabric. Press and repeat, so that you've folded over 1cm at each side, like so:

Step 4: Pin your hems in place and sew around each edge. Alternatively, use an overlocker to hem the edges.

Step 5: Measure out your chosen lace/ribbon/ric-rac along one edge of your napkin. Pin in place and sew along the top, botton and side edges of the lace/ribbon/ric-rac depending on how wide it is. 

Step 6: Press, fold and ta-da! Your vintage style napkins are ready for a scrummy tea party with the girls! 


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