Saturday, 17 August 2013

Goodbye to Summer (Blog Tour)

Yesterday was the end of this summer's Blog Tour. I've been following the bus as it tours round some really talented makers.

I'm really sad it is all over but it was brilliant to see so many fantastic crafty blogs - I shall be popping into regularly to find out what they are up to.

Thank you so much Anna at Creative Crafting and we are looking forward to the next one!

So picking up from where I left off last time, here is a run through of the last week at the Creative Crafting Blog Tour. If you've missed any of the earlier stops,  I've listed them all on last week's post.

First up is a fabulous Christmas story on from Lilly My Cat - had a cute little Scandinavian Christmas Elf tutorial. I'm just itching to make one.

On to the next - Amanda Addison - and its back to summer. or should I say spring - with a great Tulip Crazy Craft Competition. I'll be having a go at this too!

Ok, so maybe I won't be having a go at what Cassiefairy is up to. Not that I don't want to - I'd really really love one - but I've nowhere to put a refurbished vintage caravan workshop! Wow - what a project - I'll be keeping an slightly green eye on her progress.

Next up was Bridgit's Bell with some gorgeous little peg dolls all dressed up in lovely wool felt. And guess what, she got some great little Kings and Angels - just perfect for Christmas!

Which brings us to yesterday's blog stop. Silent Companions little bears are pretty gorgeous when first made. But wait until you see how they insist on having their own personalities.....

Well, that is it for this time. I'm off on a little holiday and am looking forward to a bit of sun, relaxation and inspiration.

Before I go - I haven't forgotten my Christmas swop from my own Blog Tour post. If you've signed up, can you message me on my Facebook page so I can contact you easier when I get back. Don't worry if you are not on Facebook - I'll pick you up from your blog or google account.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Creative Crafting Blog Tours - I'm running for the bus

Hiya all. I thought August was supposed to be a quiet month. You know - wind down, enjoy the lovely weather, catch up on some reading. And do some sewing!

No chance - my day job is really hectic. A public finance accountant by background, in recent years I've got involved in developing the skills of finance staff working in the NHS in Wales and I'm getting more involved in some wider public sector staff development projects with local authorities, police and fire services and Welsh Government.

I'm in the middle of developing a website for finance staff development and I'm looking at using social media - twitter, blogging etc - to find better ways of getting the students and younger members of staff involved. Can I say a huge thank you to everyone who is a part of the Creative Connections community - all the IT & social media promotion skills I learned helpoing out at Craftfest are paying huge dividends in my new role.  

Creative Connections logo for Blog Stop Tour
So, between work commitments, holiday visits to family, auditions for the kids and a couple of big commissions, I've barely had time to enjoy the fantastic Creative Crafting Blog Tours.

Well, today is a ME day. I'm going to make some aprons and start on some Christmas makes. And order some fabric for patchwork quilts I'm going to make in September. But before then, I've been catching up with the blog stops I missed. I've had a great couple of hours - there are some great stories and lots of offers and giveaways - which I think are open until the end of August.

If like me, you've missed a couple, the list so far is - in reverse order ...... (just click on the name to go to the blog.)

  Pastelesta - amazing drawing of German Shepherd dog and a giveaway

  Berrybakewell - fantastic crochet tutorial and a giveaway

  Beaded Bazaar - gorgeous new jewelry ideas and a giveaway

  Personal Space Interiors - great picnic accessories, a delicious fruit flan recipe and a discount voucher

  Arlenes Crafts - brilliant embroidery app update and a giveaway

  Glasspirations - beautiful fused glass hot off the kiln - and a giveaway
  Stitchers Anon - clever cross stitching and lots of giveaways

  Vicky Myers Creations - great recycled shirt drawstring bag and giveaway

  Susses Spindehjrne - huge love of spinning and a giveaway

  Loopys Place - pretty recycled bag tutorial and a giveaway

Close up of embroidered felt snowman by The Old Button
Detail from Christmas Stocking by The Old Button

My own blog stop was Blog Tour Number 1 - back on the 1st of August where I suggested the idea of a Christmas Swop - where crafters would be paired up and make each other a gift that showcases their talent and skill.

I have had loads of interest which is really exciting. I am currently making a list (and checking it twice) and will be in touch with everyone shortly to get contact details from you and give you the info you need to get started.

I was originally looking for up to 10 swappers - which we've got - but I'm happy to add on a few more - so don't feel you've missed the bus. Either comment here or on the original post.

So now I've caught the bus up, I'm looking forward to reading more blog stop posts over the next week or so. Hope you can join me. You can find out where the other stops are on Creative Crafting Blog Tour list or check out Joy's daily status updates on Creative Connections Facebook page.

PS Accountants in the NHS are nothing like those nasty creatures portrayed on the TV programmes such as Casualty. We do a brilliant job trying to balance getting the best value from the public purse at the same time as helping clinicians provide the best care for patients. OK, off my soap box now!

Picture of child actor Ioan Lloyd appearing as Sam Turner in Casualty TV programme
Ioan Lloyd as Sam Turner in Casualty

PPS - I've nothing against Casualty - I love it. In fact my son even appeared on it a couple of years back. If you fancy taking a look, you can watch a short video clip by following this link.
BBC Casualty Series 25 - Deception

Although I'd love it more if they offered him another job........

Bring back Miriam Turner .... and her step grandson!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Creative Crafting Bus Tour Stop Number 1 - Welcome to the Old Button.

Hello. And welcome. Come on in. Hope you had a good journey. Of course, you haven't come far yet - I'm the first stop on the Creative Crafting Bus Blog Tour.  Although maybe you have come a long way to join the tour.

Everyone in? Sitting comfortably? Good.

So, is anyone up for a Swop? What's a Swap? you say......

Swaps are a great way to share your talents with others and to let others inspire you.

Basically, a swap is an exchange of something you have made, using your special skills and techniques. And you swop it with someone else. Simple!   OK, there are a few rules - a sort of swop etiquette - but it's pretty easy really.

I'm going to give this Swop a Christmas theme.

I do hope you're interested - if so just sign up by the 1st September - I'm looking for between 6 and 10 volunteers.

I'll pair you up pretty randomly and send you your swop partner contact details.

You make something using Christmas  - or Winter Celebration - as your inspiration and send it to your partner by the 1st October. You can use any materials - metal, felt, paper, wood, fabric, wool, found items, glass..... And any techniques - patchwork, card makings, jewelry, felting, soap making, weaving, painting.......

It's not exact, as it is the love of crafting we are sharing, not a monetary value, but I'm setting a guide of around £10 - £15 on the Swop - that the price you might charge if you were selling it, not the cost of the materials!

And you have to be able to post it, so no huge willow reindeers or king size quilts please - if you usually make big things, think about how you can do a mini version.

And if you want to send me some pictures and a little story of your Swop, I'll feature you and your makes on my blog - and your shop link if you sell your crafts - great publicity for you in time for Christmas.

So are you up for it? If so, comment here or pop over to my Facebook page and send me a message. I'll send you all the details - and I'll give more info in my next blog post too.

I won't say goodbye, as I'm coming on the tour with you. Lots of stops - places to see and people to meet.  I'm really looking forward to it. Onwards Bus Driver to our next stop........