3 quick and easy Valentines card ideas

January is drawing to a close and perhaps your thoughts are turning to Valentine’s Day? Why not send your hearts desire something a little more personal this year than the over priced commercial tat filling the shop windows. You don’t have to be crafty to make these quick and easy valentines card ideas. Plus you can write your own special message inside!
three handmade easy valentines cards on a whitewashed floor Continue reading “3 quick and easy Valentines card ideas”

7 ways to master embroidery

The new year is a great time to start a new craft. We are still in the midst of Winter in the UK and often look for something to keep our mind stimulated. When the warmer weather arrives I often find myself leaving the crafts as I’m lured out into the garden. So if your looking for something to keep your hands busy with over the winter months, maybe now is the time for you to master embroidery.

pile of embroidery thread on a whitewashed floor with title 7 ways to master embroidery Continue reading “7 ways to master embroidery”

My top seven go to Craft Books

As a crafter I am also a hoarder of things. I have drawers and tins stuffed full of supplies and a bookshelf rammed with reference books. However, having spent the last few years earning very little. I have not be buying more stuff and now have come to love having less stuff. So I have been whittling down my hoard and now am close to having refined my reference collection. These would be my seven go to craft books.craft books Continue reading “My top seven go to Craft Books”

Beginners guide to cross stitch

I came to love cross stitch quite late. It is often a craft introduced to children as it is a quick and easy one to pick up. Yet I only started it when I was in my late twenties. I was looking for something I could work on whilst watching the t.v and wanted something I could make for gifts. Since then I have stitched hundreds of patterns and designed many more. So how did I get started? If your keen to have a go here is my beginners guide to cross stitch.beginners guide to cross stitch Continue reading “Beginners guide to cross stitch”

5 Christmas Eve crate ideas

As I’ve said before we celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve night and so we avoid the night before Christmas over excited kids as they’ve had the whole day to run this off. I do know that a lot of my friends have turned to Christmas Eve boxes as a way of calming the kids down and making Christmas eve a special and magical night in itself. So here with the help of this beautiful North Pole Delivery crate from Vintage apple crates. I have compiled 5 great Christmas Eve crate ideas for young and old.christmas eve crate ideas Continue reading “5 Christmas Eve crate ideas”

5 amazing wrapping paper Christmas uses

I love Christmas and all the trimmings that come with it. Happily spending hours wrapping Christmas presents to pile under the tree. I love that time before Christmas when it’s full of expectation and wonder. But have you ever thought of what else you can do with your wrapping paper apart from simply fold it round a box? These are my five favourite wrapping paper Christmas uses.wrapping paper christmas projects Continue reading “5 amazing wrapping paper Christmas uses”

How to make your own teacher gift

This year is my youngest first year in school and therefor his first year of wanting to give a present to his teacher at Christmas. He is very crafty and wanted to do something extra special for his teacher. So we decided to make his own teacher gift this year and fill it with some treats.

how to make a teacher gift

 

We were sent these Rosey Nosey Rudolph Kraft bucket kits from little crafty bugs and they were the perfect make for my four year old. Simple enough that he could manage it on his own but made with quality materials so the final outcome looked really cool. Continue reading “How to make your own teacher gift”

Creative corner – Twysted Roots wire sculpture

This week in Creative corner I’m featuring a craftswoman whose wire sculpture work caught my eye. Exceptionally intricate and beautifully detailed. Clair from Twysted Roots is the next person to take part in my interview series.wire sculpture

1. Introduce yourself.wire sculpture

This part always feels like I’m standing up at some group confession! Hello, my name is Clair and I make bead and wire sculpture trees. I’m also a mum, a carer, a home educator, dog walker and home baker just to name a few. I have also been recently diagnosed as Autistic.

2. Tell us a bit about your business.

wire sculpture

I launched Twysted Roots at the end of April this year (2017) and I sell handmade tree of life bead and wire sculpture. I have a large range of both bead and wire colours and welcome custom orders as well as create ones ready to buy.

3. What made you start your own business?

When I moved to Cornwall nearly 4 years ago I discovered that leaving everything behind that was familiar to me, that created a routine, it had a negative impact on my mental health. I knew I needed to have something that was not reliant on other people so I started exploring my creative side again – I have so many paints and art materials I could probably open my own shop!

I was also learning guitar around this time and in the process of restringing and making loops with the old strings, it made me think wire art might be fun to try. That sparked off a search and purchase mission over the course of months for wire and beads to try out different ideas. Actually that part hasn’t worn off yet – I’m still buying wire and beads and trying out new ideas, only now they’re tree related! After many months of trial and error in making self supporting trees (and having lots of positive feedback), it was a natural progression to start thinking about the possibility of making it into a small business, and after a lot of research, that’s what I did.

4. Did you have any formal training for wire sculpture or are you self-taught?

I took higher Art and Design at school but that’s as far as it goes in terms of formal training. For wire sculpture I’m entirely self taught. I find self directed learning works best for me; I struggle with other people’s explanations at times and find it really frustrating when I don’t understand something. Frustration in turn causes mental blocks so learning in my own time means I can take breaks from it and try again once I’ve mulled it over. With doing it this way, I’ve found out practically what works best; wire thickness, bead size, lengths of wire needed, tools and their different uses, and of course putting it all together.

5. Explain your creative process.

For new ideas, I’ll rough sketch what I envision the end result to be, what shape I can make the leaves or floral bunches to make a certain visual effect, or how I’ll assemble each branch. Sometimes I’ll take photos of trees when I’m out walking the dogs.

I gather up all my chosen colours of wires and beads and start threading the seed beads onto the wire in order to form the leaves. The height of the tree is dependent on the length of wire used so I use my lap tray as a rough guide when measuring out. Again, dependent on size, I’ll do as many leaves as needed and once I feel enough have been made, I’ll then twist them together to form the tree.

This varies slightly for larger trees, because they require a thicker wire core to add stability. This is needed to hold the weight of the beads as the more there are, the more top heavy the tree becomes. There is nothing more soul destroying to have spent hours on something that you can’t get to stand up! Once the tree has been formed, I will spend around one to two hours on the roots, twisting them together then making the intricate patterns to create a pleasing finishing effect and also strengthen the root base.

6. Describe your typical day.

I take the dogs out as soon as I wake up. Once I’m back in I have a cup of tea or two while checking emails and catching up on anything social media related. The rest of the day depends on what my boys are doing but it generally involves more dog walking, cooking at some point and house related stuff. I make use of the daylight and paint during the day when I have that to do, and at some point I’ll spend at the very least, 2 hours on tree making. Bed around midnight,sleep any time from 2am -4am and repeat the following day.

7. What’s your biggest seller?

Being a new business plus because I make ‘one off’ creations I can’t really answer that one. Everything has been received really well and I’ve had a lot of positive responses, the most popular being this one due to a recent feature on Deviant Art. wire sculpture

miniature trees

Use the code: Tree4Me at the checkout to get a 20% discount for the first 20 people

8. What have been the high and low points of running your own business?

I get ridiculously happy after finishing each tree. I wondered if that part would wear off or I’d become less enthusiastic after going from hobby to business, but I still love it. Meeting other creative people through doing this has been fantastic and the support that I’ve experienced within the crafting community has been incredibly touching. And of course that literal happy dance after each sale – I don’t think that will ever wear off either.

The lows for me have been the anxieties in the run up to opening up the business and after it was launched because I’m not a naturally outgoing presence online or in life. The day I announced it on Facebook, notifications came flooding in and it was so overwhelming I burst into tears. Not because that was anything bad, just the thought of all those people looking at something I’d done… it was the equivalent of walking into your house after a long day and having 100 people jump out and yell “Surprise!” (I hate surprises. Run away!!) The other downside is the inner critic and the self doubt which I think everyone feels to some extent at some point. Perfectionism is a double edged sword; it drives you to be better but it can also render you stuck and unable to move forward.

9. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?

Do lots of research! Creating things is just one part of it. Getting your work out there takes time so be prepared and know what you’re getting into. It can feel overwhelming when you start out but each thing you accomplish gets you that bit closer to your goal.

Take good photos. Nobody is going to know what you’re offering if your product shots look like you took them in a dark room as you ran past, or if you hide it behind three house plants and a candelabra.

Love what you do. You don’t have to love the paperwork but love what you create. Even if I never sold another tree, I’d still make them.

An important tip is don’t be scared to ask for advice if you feel stuck with something. It’s ok not to know a thing and you’ll often find you’re not alone in that. A support network can be a huge help!

10. What are your aspirations?

I’d quite like to stock some of my trees in a physical high street shop. I’d also love to do more tree wedding cake toppers. My dream would be to create something really big, person sized big, just because I love massive projects. I think I’d need a lot more in the way of arm strength for that though.

11. Where can we find you?

https://www.twystedroots.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/twystedroots/

https://twitter.com/TwystedRoots

https://www.instagram.com/twystedroots/

 

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Creative corner Interview – Eweniverse

I love a good pun. The cheesier the better in my case, which is why I was so pleased to have Craig from Eweniverse kindly take part in my Creative corner interview series.creative corner interview

1. Introduce yourself.creative corner interview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, I’m Craig and I’m the guy behind the sheep (that sounds wrong) of Eweniverse. Originally from Wales, I now live in Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire with my amazing wife and 2 boys and a very strange cat called Bert.

2. Tell us a bit about your business.creative corner interview

I create funny, punny illustrations and funny/cute gifts and have a lot of fun doing so. I create and sell prints, coasters, badges. Jigsaw puzzles & more!

3. What made you start your own business?

Working a boring finance/IT day job can be hard work – I needed to make something of what I love doing. So why not challenge myself and set up my own brand!

4. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?

I studied at Art College in Wales as a mature student but always had a love of art and in particular cartoons and illustration. The old Beano and Dandy comics are a huge inspiration!

5. Explain your creative process.

My work usually starts as either an image or a pun/play on words. I will then develop it as a pencil & ink sketch then scan into a digital file to draw & colour digitally. Although a few are painted with watercolours or acrylics.

6. Describe your typical day.

Sort and pack orders from the previous night. Open the sketchbook, put some good music on, some coffee and then get creating. This usually happens when the kids are out of the way! A lot of the time, the evening is my most productive time!

7. What’s your biggest seller?

The Ewenicorn is possibly my most recent big seller – a cross between a sheep & a unicorn! The enamel pin badges went down really well!creative corner interview

10% off code “EWE2017” at checkout!

8. What have been the high and low points of running your own business?

Highs – seeing people enjoy something of completely your creation – when people “get” your stuff it’s a brilliant feeling!

Lows – The amount of time in a day – someone needs to do something about this!

9. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?

Don’t get hung up on competing with other creatives. Never compare yourself. Always do your own thing – it’s unique and is yours alone. Also challenge yourself and take that leap of faith!

10. What are your aspirations?

To turn Eweniverse into a household brand and my full-time job.

11. Where can we find you?

My shop

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Creative corner interview giveaway!

Craig has kindly offered the chance to win one of his Chocolate Baaa! Ltd edition pin badges

You can enter multiple times using the entry options shown.  The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter. The Winner will be contacted by Eweniverse to send them the prize. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

One  Chocolate Baaa! Ltd edition pin badge –  no monetary exchange available

The contest will close Midnight Wednesday 4th October

Distribution of  prizes is the responsibility of Eweniverse, Craft with Cartwright cannot be held responsible for lost prizes and all winner decisions are final. The winner has 48 hours to claim or a new winner will be drawn
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