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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

"Look Daddy, it's a pretty tent!"



We spent a very wet, although fabulous weekend at the Green Man festival in South Wales. I couldn't pitch a tent at a festival without even a little bit of crochet, but as we put up our tents up in the rain Thursday evening I felt that my decorations may not make it out of the rucksack. BUT, Friday morning, standing in the drizzle eating beans straight from the pan I thought, why not? 

After my second sleepless night (how can people snore so much?!) and tetchy from the aforementioned I was getting pretty fed up with every person trampling past the tent, chatting full volume....shouting at their mates across the camping field..... then I heard a little voice...."look Daddy, it's a pretty tent" as they weaved there way past our tents. It made my day :-)





Tuesday, 18 August 2015

NEW PATTERN: Alice Hat

Well hello!

I would like to announce that I have FINALLY published my Alice Hat pattern. You may have seen this floating around on my Facebook page, oh, maybe a year ago but it is finally available for download from Ravelry NOW


A few more details about this hat:


  • Its is amazingly soft and warm mostly due to the amazing yarn, Fine Aran by Libby Summers (easily my favourite yarn!) but also due to the colourwork technique. This hat uses stranded colourwork meaning that when a yarn is not in use it is carried across the back of the work. This adds extra thickness (and therefore warmth!) to this hat.
  • Most of the hat is crocheted into the back loop only. I hope to produce a tutorial on this soon.
  • This hat is named after my sister, I think she knows about it.......

So, if you would like to have a go at this hat head on over here for the full pattern.

Happy crocheting :-)

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

5 minutes with Fiona of fizzy~jayne makes



Hello, I would like to introduce you to Fiona of fizzi~jayne makes. Take it away Fiona....

Hi, how are you today?


Hi! It’s great to be here on your blog, thank you for having me Sally.

Let me introduce myself, I’m Fiona also known as fizzi~jayne, I live with my hubby in a pretty village in Hertfordshire.  I am a crafter, blogger,  co-host of #CraftBlogClub and I'm also the designer, and owner of a creative small business called fizzi~jayne makes….

fizzi~jayne makesis a craft and handmade brand selling greeting cards and home d├ęcor.

Everything is designed and made by me. My inspiration comes from my love of the beach, uplifting quotes, pretty fonts and yummy food.  I also have an obsessionwith buttons and I get very excited about Christmas!

I write a blog which is a place to share my experiences of running a creative, small business along with demonstrating my favourite craft techniques and to share with you what goes on in fizzi~jayne's world!

You did a number of markets and craft fairs last year. How did you find them? I found markets a very steep learning curve, what would be your one top tip for surviving your first market/craft fair?

It’s difficult to choose just one top tip so I have a blog post with lots of tips to help you prepare and survive a craft fair.

If you have been thinking about attending a craft fair as a stall holder my tip is to just do it! You don’t know what success you could have unless you try. I have spoken to a few crafters who want to sell at fairs but have concerns and doubts.  Last year I did a variety of events, some were a success and some I didn't even cover the cost of my stall, but I learnt from all of them.  By trying lots of different markets I have found out which products sell well and which craft fairs are the ones for me.

I have recently written a blog post about how success at craft fairs isn't always measured in sales (which you can find here).  They are great places to advertise
and let people know who you are, meet customers, test new products and meet other stall holders.

Most of all enjoy them!  A well organised event should be fun.





Tell us about a normal working day for you at fizzi~jayne makes HQ

The day can’t start properly until I have coffee! Whilst having my morning coffee I will check emails, schedule social media posts and respond to any comments on my blog or social sites.  I love reading comments and getting to know my customers and followers.If I've planned to do a run I’ll do that in the morning, otherwise I’ll talk myself out of it during the day.


The rest of the day depends on what orders and craft fairs I have coming up but you will always find
me in my craft den (our spare room) with my music on.  My priority is making and packing up orders for my lovely customers, then I will make and develop new products. If I have any orders to post that day I’ll pop to the post office in the afternoon.  It gives me some fresh air and I can pop to the coffee shop next door, yes more coffee!

At the end of the day I will respond to the emails I've received as well as any comments made on my social media sites and blog. I tend to work on my blog and do any admin in the evenings and weekends.  I have been known to work quite late so I don’t stick to a traditional 9-5. The advantage of working from home is I can work the hours when I am at my most productive.

Every so often I do try and get out of the craft den to be inspired. This can just be a change of
scenery by working on my blog in a coffee shop or going to a gallery. I am lucky that I can get into
London easily and visit one of the many exhibits going on.  I also like to meet up with fellow
crafters/small business owners at events or for a cuppa and a chat.

What is your favourite craft and how did you learn it?  

I love many crafts and my Mum taught me to sew and knit as a child but my favourite has to be Papercraft.  My favourite technique is stamping, I'm a stamping addict! When I came across stamps it catapulted me into the world of papercraft.





I can draw but I don’t enjoy it as much as colouring so stamping allows me to get on with the fun bit. I love giving a 2D image dimension and texture to make it look 3D.  Stamping also allows me to create my own backgrounds, all I need is white card, ink, some stamps and I’m happy!

I don't just use stamping techniques in papercraft, I use the same skills for my range of coasters.





Most of what I know is self-taught through trial and error but I did go to a Scrapbooking class a few years ago where I picked up hints and tips. I’ve also picked up techniques from various papercraft and stamping magazines as well as Pinterest and blogs.  My favourite blogs for techniques are Barbara Gray from Clarity Stamps and Hels Sheridan's blog, Inky fingers 

What current crafty project(s) are you working on? 

Customised orders have been popular for me so I am working on a range of cards ready to be
personalised based on the popular designs I have sold.




I am also working on a new range based on my love of the beach and the south coast which can be seen in my shop now.



#CraftBlogClub has regular challenges and I am taking part in the current one
which is to give old clothes (or anything in your wardrobe) a new lease of life, you 
can find out more about this here.

There is a lot going on in my craft den at the moment!


Is there anything in the pipeline for fizzi~jayne makes?

2014 was a huge and exciting learning curve and I had great success with bespoke orders. My focus this year is to relaunch my online shops and grow that side of my business.  A part of this is a new website that I have designed myself and I am excited to have just launched it! Please check it out at it - www.fizzijaynemakes.com

Now I am working on new product ranges and getting ready for Christmas! I don’t want to mention the C word but I need to start early so it is ready for my busiest,
and my favourite, time of year.


You can also find me in all these places….

Blog – Folksy Shop – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Pinterest

Thank you Sally for inviting me to spend five minutes with your readers, I hope you have enjoyed it!

Thanks so much Fiona, I've loved getting to know a about more about you and see more of your lovely work. Congratulations on your website- it looks great! Do go and have a look :-)

To celebrate opening her shop and her spangly new website Fiona has very kindly offered SallyStrawberry readers 10% discount when you use the code STRAWBS10 at the checkout. Go take her up on this amazing offer :-)


Until next time,


SSxx

P.S you can read "5 minutes with Emma" from EmmaMade here