Friday, 30 June 2017

Then and Now...

So today I am going to rewind 13 years when Crafting at Ally Pally was first held at its present venue and I first started going with Paul.
Paul has always embraced my hobby which eventually turned into my career, little did we know that would happen at the time.
The show at Ally Pally has completely changed since then too and I rarely get chance to visit these days due to work commitments.
That feels very strange the thing that spurred me on even more in crafting not being so accessible with work in the industry taking me elsewhere.
Anyhow at the early shows I attended it use to be jammed packed full of such variety.
I watched a demo using Art Impressions watercolour, wood mounted stamps and was completely wowed by the technique and results.
I've always had a passion for watercolour but never really tried to master it.
My dad although he never took up any craft as a hobby was just fantastic at understanding the techniques involved and explaining the basics and skills involved, so I always remember the things he taught me.
I purchased a few of the stamps and really loved using them with the techniques I'd been shown.
Recently I've been moving craft stuff around, I know we all have so much but when it's your job too, oh my word it just expands before your eyes. Stock, class materials, personal stash, the list goes on!...
I rarely dispense of any of my stamps because I feel they always come back into fashion!
I bought them for a reason and that usually ends up being the reason I go to use them again in the future.
I didn't buy too many of the Art Impression stamps but I discovered them recently all in fantastic condition, packed away in a box labelled as such and it was like Christmas when I opened them and the memories of the early days of using them and crafting at Ally Pally came flooding back.
I've been running classes at The Meeting Place for over 2 years now.
TMP serves as a Community Interest Company set up to provide a friendly, relaxed meeting place for residents and visitors of the local area in the form of a coffee shop within the library.
During that time I've met lovely new crafters who have become really good friends and we thoroughly enjoy these crafting session together, they provide a much needed few hours away from daily "life" we chat, drink coffee and indulge in wonderful cakes baked by Toby, a young local resident who's a highly talented baker.
I know these ladies pretty well now and on "discovering" the
Art Impression stamps again I knew they would make a great subject for these crafty sessions so I've been rediscovering them for myself.
It's so relaxing to do and I really love using them, I've added some different techniques and with my own take on these I have finished a couple of samples.
Have you got any of these stamps buried away or maybe it's a technique you like using...
Looking forward to these classes very much.
Love and crafty Hugs xKx

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Tea treat gift cards

A quick blog catch up, lots going on here behind the scenes but today I head off with my daughter to Wembley to see Adele in concert.
Yes it's finally here and we are so excited, rain or not!
We had a lovely time yesterday at The Meeting Place tea room and library making tea treat cards.
Variations filled with envelopes for teabags and or the addition of a bookmark.
Such lovely gifts were made for those who love a cuppa and a relaxing treat, just perfect and really pretty work created.
I'm sure many of you will be inspired to create your own versions,  they've been very well received.
Looking forward to the next classes before we have a bit of a summer break during holidays, demo work and planning for events coming up.
Love and crafty hugs xKx

(stamps used, mainly from Crafty Individuals)

A glimpse of some of the wonderful makes...

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The gift of friendship, dream catcher

I spent last weekend in Coventry with two best buddies at the 
One Big Show.
We started our journey with AFCIUK back last year where we first met, each of us with different goals and aspirations and bought together at one event. We chatted in the day and at the evening networking event we gelled together and firm friendships were made.
I never though that a year on I would have the opportunity of displaying my work at such an event.
A selection of pieces from my last 3 - 4 years of workshop project samples and some demonstration pieces were on display.
A big thank you to everyone who stopped to chat and look at my work, for all the wonderful feedback and the further opportunities that have presented themselves as a result. 
Joint forces and friendships within the organisation provide support, help and encouragement to develop businesses and help independents reach goals and aspirations.
The resources and advice available at the show from experts in the industry is invaluable and I felt so privileged to be part of it.
We not only met up with friends we made last year and followed up on how we had all progressed and 
achieved goals but, we welcomed newcomers who will now be doing the same.
One amazing highlight for me was meeting Stacey Caron, owner of Stacey Caron Designs co-founder and president of Spellbinders Creative Arts, and and her husband Jeff.
Stacey was a Keynote speaker and spoke very openly about her craft journey as well as giving hints and tips.
They were both lovely and very generous and giving of their time, tips and advice, Stacey had also organised a beautiful make and take which sums it all up, friendship and dreams.
Every time I look at this hanging up in my house I will remember the happy time spent with friends old and new and doing what we all love together, enjoying our craft.
Just look at what this wonderful gift and kit created, I love it!

A blast from the past! 
I had one of these when they first came out and still have it!
Never thought one day I'd meet the creator and be doing what I'm doing today.
Reach your goals, take a series of tiny steps...
A big thank you to everyone else involved and especially my two best buddies along with Craig and Sarah who are both so giving of their time and the fantastic opportunities that Craig has presented to us like going to Creativworld, Frankfurt.
Love and crafty hugs xKx 

Friday, 16 June 2017

A quick catch up

Hope you're enjoying the wonderful weather we are having at the moment, it looks all set to be a fantastic weekend too.
A quick round up of a few recent makes, firstly a peek at a craft class where it gave the ladies a chance to experiment and have a play with distress oxides.
Then we decorated some bags and made some cards, we did get messy but hey, it was great fun and delicious cake as always and a great catch up too.
Here's a glimpse of what was going on

Next there's another sample I did at one of my last Docrafts demo's, it uses the new mini Peacock feather and Folk bird dies along with the new Floral Alphabet dies and script die sets.
I really love these mini dies, they are so useful and versatile and now in the next kit we have the storage folder and sleeves that's absolutely ideal for keeping them all safe.

My next lot of kit has arrived and is awaiting my attention when I return from a weekend away this weekend. I will be working on this for my July demo's...

I've been busy prepping and packing for One Big Show AT Ricoh arena this weekend.
Last year I met some wonderful people who have become amazing friends and together we made excellent networking contacts so there's lots of exciting things happening. 
We got the opportunity to visit Frankfurt with them earlier this year too which has led to great opportunities.
So I have the fantastic opportunity to showcase my work this weekend at the event and I'm all packed and ready to go as we are also helping set up tomorrow before the show starts on Sun and Mon.
Can't wait to see everyone and have a great weekend.
Well I must dash and get myself ready.
Hope you have a lovely weekend 
Love and crafty hugs xKx

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Time for Tea - Guest DT post Imagine Design Create

Just popping in quickly with a gift idea make using
this super stamp set from Imagine Design Create - Time for Tea
This would make a super little gift and the possibilities with this stamp set are endless.
Hope you feel inspired, thanks for stopping by.
Crafty Hugs xKx

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

June demonstration samples for Docrafts

A roundup of my samples so far using the new release products from Docrafts
using new X-Cut dies, Metallic Capsule Elements and Santoro Gorjuss stamp sets
More to follow at the next demo.
Thank you for visiting
Crafty Hugs xKx

Please feel free to ask any questions -

Friday, 2 June 2017

Who am I and what inspires me...

I have a very personal and special post to share today.
It's a culmination of my crafting history and what inspires me to craft.
From a very early age I utilised my love of crafting and loved nothing more than creating cards, gifts and keepsakes for family and friends.
Keepsakes that still hold special memories and are treasured and loved in the same way as they were given, from the heart and with the great pleasure I had in creating them.
The early creations may well have been assembled with crepe paper, cotton wool balls, empty toilet rolls and such like but this is where it all started.
My family have always supported my love of creativity and I have also enjoyed the immense learning curve as I developed my craft and eventually turned it into my career.
In more recent years I have learnt and developed techniques from those who inspire me, there are so so many talented people out there!
My passion for craft and these techniques have all come together for this project, it is decorated to tell the story of building the family tree. Putting pieces of the puzzle together bit by bit and it was my gift to my daughter for her 30th Birthday our "Family Tree"
Discovering who we are and unlocking the information over time, the wings represent those we have lost and my dad being in the Royal Air Force, each element has it's place and together tells the story.
This is what I like to do, capture stories and recreate them in my art.
I wanted the colour to be fitting for this keepsake, rich and decadent and it had to be in Jennifer's favourite colour of purple.
Imagination Crafts  Starlights and Alchemy Waxes worked just perfectly.
I commissioned a friend of mine, Krisha, who is a genealogist and runs her own business -
Ancestor Finder  to research our family history.
Wow! The discoveries are fascinating and it's very addictive!
It has also been a very emotional journey as it started back last year before mum passed away so the timing was even more poignant.
Krisha put in hours of research and I have to thank her so very much for doing such an amazing job of discovering "Who we are as a family"
The history that has unfolded for us is really special and will be treasured always.
We will never take for granted the poverty and hard work, time in the workhouse, the tragedy, WW1 respect and recognition and we will always treasure the memories, happiness and love.
Today I share an insight into these very special memories all contained in a folder I created along with the hours of research printed off, the family tree in book form, which I assembled, along with family photo's.
Have you researched your family tree, I'd love to know...
Thank you so much for visiting
Much love and hugs xKx