Sunday, 26 June 2016

All change!

How do all!  Sorry I didn't post last week, it's all been a bit manic, up in the air and all change here!
The first bit of news is that after much soul searching I have decided to stop creating my monthly boxes. I was finding each month was becoming so stressful, particularly on the marketing front but also on deciding what to create.  If you have had a box from me, firstly thank you so much, but you will know that the boxes I used were large letter.  Until you have to design new tutorials and gifts every month that can only fit in a 2cm deep box it is hard to imagine how restricting that is and my ideas really were running dry!  I have too many ideas which require more space and I didn't want to increase prices for the odd larger craft or gift.
Marketing...oh marketing, how I hate thee!  I don't know about you but I find this the hardest aspect.  I have learnt loads but it seems that I really need to focus more and spread myself a little less thin!  Any tips??

Anyhow, onwards and upwards!  I have had plans for alternative boxes for some time now so I thought I would share the latest and most exciting news with you!  I will be launching two new boxes.

The first is the Crafty What Nots craft and gift Season box.  This box will be a quarterly box and I will be collaborating with other designers to bring you 3 beautifully handmade gifts to keep or give as presents.  There will also be 4 craft kits, these will include a Jewellery making, papercraft, needlecraft and a mystery kit!  The format will be different too and although there will be some bonus craft supplies they won't dictate the box theme in the same way and will just be added extras to build up your crafty stash.  The boxes will also be delivered in small parcels too, so extra room for extra goodies!  I'm so looking forward to working with other designers!  I have two already lined up and just need to seek out another for the Autumn box.  If you have products that you think might work in one of the boxes please do let me know as I have space in the Spring and Summer ones and one in the Autumn.

The Seasons box will be £40 plus postage but there will be a payment plan (which offers 10% discount) and there will also be the odd code on my Facebook page!  In fact there will be a discount code for the first box on the 1st July when I launch so don't forget to call by to find out more!

The second box (and this is one I have been planning for years but never had the time.) Is a brand new Children's mystery box!!!!

I have been writing stories about these lovable characters for years and now they are going to have their own box!  I'm going to start with a pilot box and depending on it's popularity I may make more that are quarterly, bimonthly or even monthly.  Each box will come with a story book (written and illustrated by myself!) and craft kits relating to the story.  There will also be a newsletter included tell you all about what the characters have been up to between boxes.  I have set up a Facebook page as well so that children (with parents permission of course) can catch daily highlights of what Pip and Custard have been up to.  (each post is aimed at a young audience so no promoting other pages, causes or memes to make you laugh, just the characters)
I've not launched this quite yet as I have a few things to still iron out but I am hoping the first boxes will go out at the beginning of August ready for summer holiday entertainment!
Order books won't be open very long for this pilot box so if your interested feel free to let me know and I will make sure you are the first to know!

Here are some of the illustrations for the first box story!

Well I think I may well have bombed you with rather too much info (and so much more to tell but that can wait!)

I will be popping by Handmade Monday as always so do pop by and say hi!

Love Jen xx

Monday, 13 June 2016

Trying to be a Good Parent ~ The Crafty Way #4

In my garden I have a beautiful decked area which up until this year I really hadn't utilised.  It is quite new as the old one had rotten through.  It has been so lovely to wander onto but not so practical for the kids to be unattended.  Don't get me wrong, there is loads of space to run around but the handrail had large spaces underneath which meant littlest could go plummeting off the edge in her baby walker (not good!).

I wanted to share with you my practical (and possibly not so practical) solutions for the space under the hand rail.

Giant abacus

String art

Beaded wire things (sorry that wasn't v technical!)

Lastly this is my latest creation, a water play station,  We had been saving plastic bottles for ages and I had this vision and I'm actually really pleased with how it turned out.  What do you think?

I hope you have a lovely week. 

I will be popping by Handmade Monday as usual so do pop by and see some lovely blogs xx

Saturday, 4 June 2016

A little Dylusional fun!

Recently I treated myself to a few Dylusions paints.  Oh my, the colours were so beautiful and after watching numerous videos on You Tube and the new Hochanda channel I was all set to paint, paint, paint.... well nearly!  In fact it took me a few days to pluck up the courage to try them.  I love colours and my favourite place in any department store or shop has always been the stationary department.  You can keep your shoes, I can walk straight past the bags, turn my nose up at the perfumes and head straight to my favourite place! And why? Because I love the colours and variety.

Well Dylusions paints hit me the same way, the colour range was wonderful and the things people could do with them were amazing! How on earth could I top these creations! 

Well I plucked up the courage to open the pots.  I learnt some great tips, these are ...

  • -Give the pot a good shake and then tap it a few times on the table.  remove the lid and work from there rather than dipping brushes or sponges into the pot itself. (great if you accidentally contaminate it.)
  • - have a mist it handy full of water.  When you have finished with your pot, give a quick spray on the paint and close it up.  Sometimes it is worth doing this before you use it (just give it a shake again after)
  • When starting out go for colours that fit well together, ones that sit on the same side of the colour wheel.  I instinctively wanted to use green and purple but don't!! try greens and blues or yellows and greens etc and start by working with three colours
  • When you finish what you are doing then dab your sponge or brush on a clean sheet of paper or journal page until the paint is all gone.  The more you get off the sponge the more use you will get from it without the need to wash it! Also you can create some great paper to use for backing sheets later on!
  • A little goes a loooooong way!
So I thought I would share with you my first video.  I am using my Crafty What Nots colour application tool kit to create a journal page.  Hope you enjoy!

My Wholesaler is now stocking the whole range of paints, that's 18 beautiful colours!  I am selling them on my website with a great discount so if you fancy some do pop by and visit.  I will be releasing more videos on how to get the most from the paints and also using some amazing other products with them such as gesso and mica!

The colours really can depend on vibrancy depending on the surface you are using.  I used them to paint my door guard so they really are versatile!

Well I hope you all have a lovely week!  I will be revealing the contents of this months Crafty What Nots boxes and have a few lovely reviews to share with you.

I will be popping by Handmade Monday to share my blog so do pop by and see who is around!

Jen xx