Emma & Chloe ~ A New Monthly Jewellery Subscription Box

Emma-and-Chloe-snake-rings-flat-lay---Beak-Up-Crafts

I love a good subscription box. What’s not to love about a surprise treat dropping through your letterbox once a month?

Hot on the heels of French monthly subscription box My Little Box, which hit the UK shores last year, is a new jewellery subscription service from across the channel.

If you’re a fan of gold, silver and sparkly things and up-and-coming designers with a bit of continental flair then Emma & Chloe could be for you.

I was asked if I would like to review a box ahead of the UK launch at the end of September and as a bona fide magpie I jumped at the chance. Each month features a new designer and you get to choose if you would prefer your jewellery in gold or silver (or a mixture). The company was launched in France two years ago and they send boxes to more than 7,000 subscribers each month so they must be doing something right.

Emma-and-Chloe-subscription---Beak-Up-Crafts

The box I received had a jungle theme and contained two 24-carat gold-plated rings by new designer HELLES. One was a snake, the other a serpent and together they retail for 88€.

First off, apologies, as I’m no hand model as you will see in the next few photos!

Emma-and-Chloe-snake-rings-detail---Beak-Up-Crafts

These rings are very cool but not really my style I’ve got to admit. I like taking a few risks with bracelets and necklaces (earrings not so much as I’ve never had my ears pierced!) but when it comes to rings I tend to just wear my wedding and engagement ring. I think it’s because, like I said, I’m no hand model.

Despite that, I can appreciate that these gold-plated brass snake and serpent rings are well made and I like the design. I’m just not hipster enough to pull them off really but I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store in future boxes.

Along with the pieces of jewellery, each month you also get a fashion magazine, a soft bag to hold your sparkly things and a mini print/postcard.

Emma and Chloe snake rings - Beak Up Crafts Emma-and-Chloe-snake-rings---Beak-Up-Crafts Emma-and-Chloe-snake-rings-closeup---Beak-Up-Crafts

If you’re in the market for a new kind of monthly subscription box then I would say check out Emma & Chloe. They show the jewellery from previous boxes on their website so you can get an idea of the kind of things you might get. Each box costs 25€ (£18.50) a month and there’s also a shop if you see something from a previous month that catches your eye.

So what do you think? Do you like the look of this new type of monthly subscription box? I think it’s really good idea and am looking forward to seeing what’s in store next month!

Lots of sparkly love,

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Disclaimer: I was gifted the Emma & Chloe box featured in this post for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

{Crochet} Baby Fair Isle Cardigan + Sew Crafty Sewing Journal

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Today is a double whammy review as I’ve been test driving a crochet pattern to make this fair isle-inspired baby cardigan and jotting down my thoughts in my brand new Sew Crafty Sewing Journal.

Yes, I said sewing journal and I’ve used it for crochet. Ah well, sewing really isn’t my strong point (yep, still got the fear of the sewing machine) but when the lovely Sammy from Sew Crafty gifted me one of her limited edition sewing journals, I saw the potential straight away to record things about my crochet projects.

Sew-Crafty-Sewing-journal-roses---Beak-Up-Crafts

After finishing my lion and monkey baby rattles I wanted another project to get my teeth into and I decided to have a go at making my first ever item of crochet clothing. Well, that’s actually a bit of a fib as I made a jumper for a toy bear years ago, but I’ve never made something that will be worn by an actual person.

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I chose the Sweet Yolk Baby and Toddler Cardigan by Clare Collier on Ravelry as it has the kind of look I was going for and had a professional finish.

I thought this would be the perfect project to use my new sewing, er, crochet, journal too – double win.

I enjoyed following the pattern and didn’t find it complicated at all. I did leave out the basket weave section at the bottom and on the bottom end of the sleeves because I *think* I miscounted the rows and it was looking quite long in the body already. That’s no reflection on the pattern, though, just my rubbish counting skills.

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The idea behind the Sew Crafty Journal is to record your projects and make notes on things you changed/would do differently next time. I love how I could use it for crochet  but I can see it would be really useful for sewing and knitting too.

Sweet-Yolk-Cardigan-and-sew-crafty-journal---Beak-Up-Crafts Sew-Crafty-Journal-notes-page---Beak-Up-Crafts

As you can see from my photo above, I added an extra row of half triple crochet stitches on the button row as I felt this made the 0-3 months cardigan look a bit more the right size. This could be to do with my tension being too tight but the overall look of the cardigan was good even thought I slightly adapted the pattern.

In case you’re wondering, I used Stylecraft Summer Breeze DK wool in Marmalade and Stylecraft Special DK in Cream and Silver for this cardigan.

As for the journal, you can pick one up from September 1 from Sew Crafty for £12.95 + P&P. There are three different cover designs (all limited edition) and you can see them all here.

Sew-Crafty-Journal-notes-page---Beak-Up-Crafts

I’d love to know your thoughts on crocheting clothes for babies, especially if you have any recommendations for wool/yarn or patterns. Also, would you use a sewing/crochet/knitting journal to record the things you make?

Lots of journal love,

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How to Design your own Baby Clothes

Customisable-babygro---Zazzle---Beak-Up-Crafts

Wayne and I are now full steam ahead in getting things ready for our little one’s arrival. Apart from a a few cross words while building some IKEA flat pack furniture (this must be the cause of so many rows across the world!) we’re doing well on getting together everything we need. Baby’s nursery is coming on well too and I’m looking forward to sharing more on that soon.

Say the words ‘craft’ and ‘baby’ to me at the moment and it’s guaranteed that my ears will prick up. I guess it was only a matter of time before I tried getting some of my squiggles and drawings on some baby clothes, but to be honest I didn’t have a clue where to start and how to do it in a baby-safe way. No nasty dyes that might irritate the little one allowed (not that I really know what they are).

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Therefore, when I was contacted by Zazzle to see if I would like to check out their range of baby gifts and I spotted there was an option to customise (or effectively design your own) baby gros, I jumped at the chance.

I thought it would be good to share how I did this in case you’re a mum to be with a creative streak or are keen to have some clothes for your little one that are totally unique. I think these would also make great new baby gifts, although if you’ve been hit by artistic block or don’t fancy your chances drawing something then there are plenty of ready made designs which you can easily add baby’s name to as well for that personalised touch. Here’s a basketball-themed babygro we also ordered at the same time:

Jump-Baby-babygro---Zazzle---Beak-Up-Crafts

How I Did It

1. Create your design

There might well be better ways to do this (and I’m no professional graphic designer so I’m not sure!) but I found a really easy way to create a design then upload it to make cute baby clothes was by drawing it in Adobe Ideas/Adobe Illustrator Draw.

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I love both of these as drawing apps, firstly because they are free and secondly because they are so easy to use. I’ve got a version on my iPad and iPhone (although it’s much easier on my iPad purely because there’s more screen space to go at).

You can either draw a picture using your finger or if you want more control you can use a stylus.

I doodled this dog with my finger on my phone. I’m not quite sure why I decided to make him blue and turquoise but there you go!

Top Tips:

  • Keep your design simple
  • Use one or two main colours to make it bold and striking
  • If you’re not that confident at drawing, you can always use a pre-configured design or just play around by making a few shapes then adding a name/text in the next step

2. Upload your design

Find the baby gro/t-shirt you want to upload your design to on the Zazzle website. I chose this short sleeved one in a six months size.

Using the options on the right you can easily upload your design, move it around and make it bigger or smaller using drag and drop functionality. Adobe Ideas saves things in PDF format, and this uploaded perfectly when I tried it, so a thumbs up for me as no messing around with different file types.

creating the baby shirt - Beak Up Crafts

 

 

You can also change the colour of the clothing itself, add a background colour or some text. This last one is great if you want to personalise it with a name, but as we’re keeping the name we’ve picked under wraps til baby is born, I skipped this step.

3. Check and confirm

Give your design and placement the once over and once you’re happy, press the add to basket option. That’s it! Your design will now be made up and shipped to you.


So What Did I Think?

I did my doodle, uploaded it to the site and placed my order on a Sunday afternoon. There’s free delivery (which I thought was a real bonus) and I received the babygro a week and a half later along with a pre-done design. A blanket I ordered got lost in the post which was a bit frustrating (and it means I didn’t receive it in time to include it in this post) but a new one was sent out to me with no quibbles, which was great.

Customised-illustration-babygro---Zazzle---Beak-Up-Crafts

Positives

  • Simple step-by-step process to upload your design
  • Free delivery
  • As you can see from the finished customised baby gro, the design came out in the right proportions and how I had drawn it which was good. I wondered if there would be room for error but it turned out not to be the case.
  • The quality and size of the babygro seems to be good, but obviously I won’t be able to test drive this for a good few months yet until baby arrives.

Negatives

  • I was a bit disappointed about the colours on the babygro when compared with my original drawing as they aren’t quite as vibrant.
    Design-and-print-on-babygro---Zazzle---Beak-Up-Crafts
  • The babygro isn’t quite as soft as other ones I have bought, but I haven’t washed it yet as this could make all the difference.
  • At £14.95 per customised babygro, it’s quite expensive compared with high street prices for ready made designs, but for a one-off or a new baby gift that you can make your own I think that it’s OK.

I hope you enjoyed this post and review. Have you ever had a go at making or designing your own baby or children’s clothes? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Lots of babygro love,

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Disclaimer: This post is written in collaboration with Zazzle. I received a gift voucher to purchase the items featured in this post but all opinions are my own.

{Five Minutes With} ThatAgnes

Adore Delano, RuPaul's Drag Race - ThatAgnes - Beak Up Crafts

Today I’m talking to a designer-maker who has a passion for vintage fabrics and drag! Meet ThatAgnes, a graphic designer with an obsession with all things old-fashioned. If you can imagine something could be on the set of Bless This House, chances are she will love it!

Agnes adores vintage material and has collected it since she was a child. With a keen eye for design and very strident opinions over what looks good, Agnes makes sure that she only use fabrics of the highest quality and doesn’t use vintage for the sake of vintage.

So enough of the intro, let’s dive in and find out a bit more about what makes Agnes tick, along with how she set up her business.


Hello! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for your business and can you tell us what it’s all about please?

I’ve always had an obsession with vintage fabric, having collected it from family members, charity shops and eBay since I was a child. My opinions on what looks good have always been very forthright, so I would only get the best patterns I could find. My big bugbear is shops who sell vintage for the sake of it, regardless of whether its a good example of what the era had to offer.

graphic cushion - ThatAgnes

I’ve always been creative, but lacked the know-how, and I never really knew what to do with my suitcases of fabric. Two years ago my husband finally grew exasperated with the piles of old curtains lying around our flat, so bought me a Bernina sewing machine and an Intro to Sewing course at Sew Over It, which is luckily 5 minutes round the corner. From there, a daily crafting habit was born! After filling our house with cushions and bunting, I decided to give a market stall a go.

Realising that vintage chintz is not everyone’s cup of tea, I also used some cute and graphic animal prints I had found in local stores – flamingos, dogs and rabbits – which sold really well. I had so many requests for cats, but I couldn’t find any fabric that I liked (have I mentioned I’m a design snob?). I remembered that my day job has been as a graphic designer for eight years, and if I want a job doing, its worth doing yourself! As well as a design snob I’m also a horrid control freak, which is why everything, from the bags themselves to the labels I attach to them, is made by me at home in Brixton.

ThatAgnes cat bag

How long did it take for you to design/create your range of products?

Its been a work in progress since last summer. I’m always trying new methods and styles, so even though I’ve only been doing this since August 2014, my products have evolved and changed dramatically. And when I decide to try something on a whim, I act on it straight away. So my Bergie and Bumbles cat bags were researched, designed, printed (by Woven Monkey in Derby) and made within three weeks back in January.

My own moggies, Bergerac and Columbo (awesome names! – ed), have been my very patient models and inspiration, so I’ve named it after them! I channeled my love of old haberdasheries and mid-century ephemera, emulating the repetitive offset printing style of the 50s and 60s, and I’ve used those drawings on all of my packaging so its become a signature style.

RuPaul Drag Race fabric

I’ve also launched a very different type of fabric, influenced by another of my sidelines – illustrations of contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’ve been drawing my favourite queens whenever I have had the time, which I also sell to some very passionate fans on Etsy. Its a crazy, technicolor explosion of eyes and lips that happened by accident when I was mucking around in Photoshop, but I’m very proud of it as I’ve been able to combine two of my biggest loves – drag and sewing!

How do you manage your time with the business? Do you work on it full or part-time and what are your plans for this for the future?

I’ve worked in book publishing as a designer since 2007. I quit my job to work for the window-dressing department at Fortnum and Mason for a couple of months, but I wasn’t a fan of retail and I missed the worthiness of books.  So now I’m a freelance graphic designer, specialising in print; I typeset books, do photo repro, design posters and brochures and leaflets; basically, anything you can hold in your hand!

Its great because if my Etsy or stall have a quiet month, there’s always a book that needs to be put to page or vice versa. And some days I’m in the mood for illustrating, some for books, some for sewing, and this allows me to pick and choose what I’m going to spend my days doing!

ru paul drag race

What is it you love most about having a creative job?

I used to work for an art publisher, which sounded perfect for me, but it was basically moving paper from one store to another; about as frustrating and uninspiring as you can get. I’ve found a way to incorporate the things that I am passionate about – essentially, the way things look – into my everyday life. This means I have something that I have made with my own hands at the end of each day. I finally feel that all my formative years collecting magazine pages, knitting patterns, old film posters and packaging have finally had a point! And even better, it has helped me meet other people with a love of all things vintage or fabulous drag queens, frequently both!

What has surprised you the most about running your own creative business?

How hard it is. Having seen other people do it online, its easy to think that you write about something on Twitter and you instantly get a few hundred sales. Its difficult to get the balance right between letting people know about you and your product and not making everyone utterly exasperated with your waffling. Its the same as on a market stall; some days you’ll practically sell out, others you’ll be lucky to make your pitch rental back. Its really difficult to tell what type of day its going to be, and can be very disheartening sometimes.

Close up of at material - ThatAgnes

If you were to launch your business again tomorrow, what (if anything) would you do differently? Is there one piece of advice you would give to yourself back then that you wish you had known?

Oh, that’s hard. I’m not sure I’d do anything dramatically differently simply because I think its all a learning experience. I’d perhaps be slightly better at selling myself; I get terribly embarrassed and British when it comes to bigging myself up and hate making a nuisance of myself. I fear I may have missed out on a few opportunities because of it. Increased shamelessness is the plan for summer 2015!

Finally, do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

Yes! Use BEAKUP15 for 15% off anything in my Etsy store, which is valid till 2nd September (which also happens to be my birthday).

You can also find me @thatagnes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and find my products in my Etsy Store.


Agnes’ Quickfire Questions:

Matte or High Shine – Matte

Summer or Winter – Summer

Ice Tea or Ice Lolly – Ice lolly

Jam or Marmalade – Marmalade

Steak or Chips – Chips

Beach or City Break – City Break

Sun or Moon – Sun

Flowers or Foliage – Flowers

Netflix or DVD – Netflix

Instagram or Pinterest – Instagram


I love Agnes’ drag race prints. They really make a statement!

I hope you have enjoyed this feature. It will be back again in a couple of weeks to showcase another talented designer-maker, so see you then! (Although please do pop by in the meantime!)

Lots of vintage fabric love,

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{DIY} Dip-Dyed Faux Denim Tote Bag

Handmade-faded-denim-tote-bag---Beak-Up-Crafts

I’ve recently started doing ante-natal yoga as I’m possible the least flexible person in the world and anything that can make my body a bit more prepared for giving birth to a small human in a few months’ time is A-OK by me.

Before getting pregnant I wasn’t really one for going to the gym, which means I’ve not got a nice bag to carry my clothes/water/bits and pieces to and from class.

With spring well and truly here and summer around the corner I thought it would be a nice idea to try and jazz up a simple cotton tote bag to use when I go to get all stretchy. I like how this turned out and looks like faded denim, which I think works really well with the copper lettering.

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This DIY can be a bit messy so it’s best not to wear your best clothes but dyeing things really can be fun (as I found out!) and once you start you might start searching for other things to transform.

What You Need:

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  • A white/natural cotton tote bag
  • DYLON Fabric hand dye in the colour/colours of your choice. I used this one in China Blue.
  • Table salt
  • A bucket
  • A glass jug
  • A coathanger with grips (like you use for trousers/skirts)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Some metal utensils
  • DYLON Copper Fabric paint
  • Paintbrush

How to Make it:

  1. Put on your gloves, roll up your sleeves and mix the dye in the jug according to the instructions on the packet. Fill the sink with warm water and add the salt. Then add the dye to however much water is needed in your sink (only if stainless steel, if not I would use a bucket) as stated on the packet.
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  2. With the DYLON dyes you have to make whatever you’re colouring damp to start, so do that now.
    Make-the-tote-bag-damp---Beak-Up-Crafts
  3. Submerge the bag fully under the dye and use the metal utensils to weigh it down. I realised I had to do this as otherwise bits of the bag kept poking through the water, which was pretty annoying! Leave for 20 minutes.
    Weighing-down-the-tote---Beak-Up-Crafts
  4. Fasten the coathanger to the top of the bag and tie the tote’s handles around the hook so they don’t fall into the dye.
  5. Dip the bag into the sink/bucket so only the top third is out of the dye. Let it soak for about 20 more minutes.
    Dipping-the-tote-bag-in-the-sink--Beak-Up-Crafts
  6. Pull the bag out of the bucket so only the bottom third is still submerged by the dye. Let it soak for another 20-25 minutes for a slightly deeper colour.
    Dipping-the-tote-bag---Beak-Up-Crafts
  7. Still wearing your gloves, wring out the excess dye from your bag.
  8. Wash it in clean cold water, then warm water then hang it out to dry on the line.
  9. Once dry give it an iron on a low heat if needed then you’re ready to go!
  10. I decided to jazz up my bag further by painting on some words in a metallic copper fabric paint. I use wrote the words in black marker on a piece of paper and slipped it inside the bag so I could see it as a guide, then painted over the top.
    DYLON-fabric-paint---Beak-Up-Crafts Painted-tote---Stretch-it-out---Beak-Up-Crafts

You can even try mixing it up with different colours or illustrating your bag with a fabric marker/Sharpie for that extra bit of personalisation if you haven’t got any fabric paint.

I hope you like this DIY and if you give it a try I would love to see your pictures on Instagram or Twitter. I’m @beakupcrafts on both so please tag me in!

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I’m off to go and think up some more ideas of things I can do with dye.

Lots of ombre love,

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Disclaimer: I was gifted the DYLON dye and fabric paint for this post.

My Favourite Pieces of Handmade Statement Jewellery

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I love, love, love me a piece of statement jewellery. Say the words ‘Tatty Devine’ sale to me and watch my bank account shudder. (Well I imagine it would if it were a real person).

The bits and pieces of statement jewellery I’ve collected over the past few years are all handmade and I thought it would be nice to share them here as I’m a big fan of supporting indie businesses. Plus I don’t really do me in front of the camera posts (as I’m a bit shy like that) so here’s probably as ‘fashiony’ as I’ll ever get.

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So first up, the aforementioned Tatty Devine. I LOVE their stuff even if it can be a bit pricey although I guess that’s a result of being one of the first in the laser-cut acrylic field and a constant leader in the style stakes.

I have a few of their necklaces and last year I was even lucky enough to win this sweet limited edition Easter Egg necklace (there’s only three in the world with this colourway!)

Tatty-Devine-Easter-Egg-necklace

The first one I bought was the sunburst necklace in the sale but the one I probably wear the most is the forget me not necklace (a birthday present from Wayne) followed by the shell pendant.

I made the crown one at a Tatty Devine pop up jewellery shop in the Royal Festival Hall during a trip to London so if the jewels are a bit wonky that’s totally my fault!

Another firm favourite of mine is Ladybird Likes and I wear my two wooden butterfly necklaces loads in the summer. I bought the golden glittery bow tie on a bit of a whim (as I love bow ties) and I’m annoyed to say that I’ve only ever worn it once. I can’t quite work out what sort of outfit it will go with – any suggestions please?

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While not so out there as some of my other necklaces, I love the Golden Donut necklace by Lucky Dip Club and wear it a lot. The ice cream necklace got an airing on holiday in Tenerife earlier this year (on a very rare sunny day!) and I will definitely be wearing it when I next head to Scarborough and the excellent Harbour Bay Ice Cream bar – retro chic.

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Finally, it’s maybe not-so-statement but I still love my tiny gold dragonfly necklace by Alex Monroe. I’ve had this for years and it’s one of those pretty necklaces that goes with so many things. I bought it when the bee necklace craze was going wild and I’m glad I went for the dragonfly as it doesn’t feel anywhere near as dated.

Handmade-jewellery---Tatty-Devine---Beak-Up-Crafts

Do you wear pieces of bright and bold jewellery? I would love to hear about any designers you love!

Lots of statement love,

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Two Ways to Make a Shellac Manicure Last Longer

Shellac geometric nails cover up - Beak Up Crafts

Getting my nails done is still quite a recent thing for me as I’ve only been doing it for a year or so. I love how neat, well-manicured nails with a fab polish can just make your look so much more pulled together, even if like me you sometimes forget to brush your hair before leaving the house.

For years I painted my nails and got *so* frustrated when they chipped after about a day. That was until I discovered Shellac – now my lovely nail polish can last for up to three weeks with no chips. It’s like a miracle or something.

This all sounds great, but three weeks means regrowth, and something I discovered after a few Shellac treatments is that my nails apparently grow QUICKLY.

So how can you keep your manicure looking good while you wait for your next appointment? Fear not, as I’ve got two ways to hide the regrowth and give your manicure a new lease of life.

1. Geometric Cover Up

DIY Geometric Shellac Nails - Beak Up Crafts

This takes a steady hand but you can cheat with washi tape!

What You Need:

  • Nail varnish in a contrasting colour
  • Washi tape
  • Nail varnish remover
  • Cotton wool buds

How to Work it:

  1. If you’ve not got a steady hand then stick a strip of washi tape on each finger from one edge, just where the regrowth is starting to show. Stick it in a diagonal line.
    How to make geometric nails - Beak Up Crafts
  2. With your nail varnish, paint the area that’s still showing.
  3. Clean up any areas where you go onto your fingers with a cotton wool bud dipped into nail varnish remover.
  4. Carefully pull back off the tape and let your new nail varnish dry.

Now you’re set to work your new angular nails. They’re pretty cool I think.

2. Glitter Ombre

Glitter Ombre nails - Beak Up Crafts

This is so easy to do and instantly hides your nails’ regrowth while mixing up your manicure with a bit of sparkle.

What You Need:

  • Clear nail varnish/top coat
  • A small brush
  • Glitter in one or two shades

How to Work it:

  1. Paint the bottom half of your nail with the clear nail varnish/top coat and let it dry for a minute or so.
  2. Dip your brush in the glitter and dab it onto your nails. Mix it up by using two shades of glitter for an even more ombre look.
  3. Let the nail varnish dry then add another layer over the top to seal in the glitter.

That’s it – sparkle and shine with your new ombre glitter look.


So what do you think? Are you a fan of Shellac or gel manicures? Have you got any other ideas or tips for making your manicure last for longer? I would love to hear them!

Lots of pretty nail love,

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{DIY} How to Weave a Colourblock Pouch

Woven clutch bag with sewing stuff---Beak-Up-Crafts

Last month I set myself a list of things I wanted to learn or achieve this year. Weaving was one of the things on there and after a really wonky first effort (hiding holes with fancy knots!), I’ve kind of got into the swing of it. Weaving is seriously addictive and I love playing with different types of stitches to make lots of lovely textures.

So far I’ve made a few wall hangings (which I’m going to start putting in my Etsy shop) but  in this post I’m going to share with you how to make a pouch/small clutch bag (which is also great for storing craft bits and pieces) with some wool and a loom. It’s really easy and if you don’t have a loom hanging around you can either make one using some cardboard or from an old picture frame.

Closed-woven-pouch---Beak-Up-Crafts

What You Need:

Weaving-a-clutch---what-you-need---Beak-Up-Crafts

  • A small loom – I used one like this
  • Chunky wool in two colours: I used white (A) and green (B)
  • Double knitting wool in white/cream
  • Fabric for inside of your bag
  • A blunt darning needle
  • A needle and thread
  • A ruler/strip of strong cardboard
  • Two magnetic closures
  • Felt/fusable interfacing
  • Glue gun (optional)

How to Make it:

  1. Create a warp for your loom using the double knitting wool. This is wool which you wrap around the hooks of your loom which run vertically. Make sure they have tension but a little bit of give.
    Warping-the-loom---weaving-a-clutch---Beak-Up-Crafts Preparing-the-loom---weaving-a-clutch---Beak-Up-CraftsIf your loom has a shed stick, weave it up and under your warp. This will cut your weaving time in half as you can just pass your darning needle through easily from one side to the other.
  2. Slot your ruler/piece of card under then over the warp wool in turn then push it to the bottom of the loom. This is to give you longer ends to weave in your warp threads when you take the piece off your loom later.
    Use-a-piece-of-cardboard-for-a-base---weaving-a-clutch---Beak-Up-Crafts
  3. Cut off a 4ft length of wool A and thread it through your darning needle. Start weaving this up and under through your warp. When you reach the end, return the other way, making sure you are doing an over stitch where there was an under stitch on the previous row and vice versa.
    How-to-weave---Beak-Up-CraftsTOP TIP: When pulling your needle through, move it up and across, not just straight across, as if you do the latter your tension will become too tight and result in an ‘hourglass’ shape – where the middle section of your weaving goes in at the sides. You can always gently tug the row you have just made before starting on the next to make sure it lines up with the previous one and that the wool hasn’t been pulled too tight.
  4. If you run out of wool. simply leave a 10cm tail hanging on the back of your weaving, and start from the next ‘over’. You can gently tie the two ends together if you like. These will be weaved into the back of the piece and hidden by the fabric, though.
    Weaving-the-clutch-bag---Beak-Up-Crafts Push-the-weaving-down---Weaving-a-clutch-bag---Beak-Up-Crafts How-to-rejoin-wool---weaving-clutch-bag---Beak-Up-Crafts
  5. Continue weaving until you are three quarters of the way up your loom, then cut off wool A. Finish on an ‘under’ and tuck a 10cm tail into the back.
  6. Change to wool B and weave the final quarter before finishing off as in step 4.
    Change-to-green-wool---weaving-clutch-bag---Beak-Up-Crafts
  7. Carefully take your weaving off the loom and tie knots with each warp thread to stop them falling out. Weave in the threads on the back of the piece.
    Finished-weaving-on-the-loom---weaving-a-clutch---Beak-Up-Crafts Weaving-a-clutch---off-the-loom---Beak-Up-Crafts Tie-knots-in-the-ends---weaving-a-clutch---Beak-Up-Crafts
  8. Weave in any ends by feeding them through your darning needle and pulling them through the stitches on the back of your weaving.
    Weaving-in-the-ends---Beak-Up-Crafts
  9. Measure out your fabric so that it is about an inch bigger than your weaving all the way around, then fold over down the edges on each side and iron so they are nice and flat and the fabric is just smaller than your weaving.
    Cut-the-fabric-just-a-bit-bigger-than-your-weaving---Beak-Up-Crafts Iron-folds-in-the-fabric---Beak-Up-Crafts
  10. Work out where you want your magnetic closures to be. Place a small piece of interfacing/felt underneath where you want the snap to be at the top of the purse (the green area).
    Mark-for-the-closure---Beak-Up-Crafts
  11. Lay the snap onto the fabric and cut two small holes. Fix the snap in place before you sew the fabric to the weaving. Likewise, fit the other part of the closure through the weaving before you sew in the fabric liner. Make sure they line up! Use your scissors to flatten the prongs of the snap down. TOP TIP: Add some felt/fusable interfacing to the back of the closure to give it something to hold on to.
    Put-the-washer-over-the-prongs-of-the-magnetic-closure---Beak-Up-Crafts Put-the-other-half-of-the-magnetic-closure-through-the-front-of-your-weaving---Beak-Up-CraftsFold-down-the-metal-tabs-of-the-magnetic-closure---Beak-Up-Crafts
  12. Pin and hand sew the fabric to the back side of your weaving. (I’m hand sewing it because I still don’t know how to use a sewing machine and the weaving is pretty thick!).
    Pin-the-fabric-to-the-weaving---Beak-Up-Crafts Pin-the-fabric-in-place---Beak-Up-Crafts
  13. Fold the bottom half up and with some wool and a darning needle, sew the sides together as shown. Weave in your ends.
    ewing-the-pouch-with-wool---Beak-Up-Crafts Sewing-the-sides-of-the-pouch-with-wool---Beak-Up-Crafts
  14. That’s it! You’ve just made your own woven pouch!

Putting-thread-into-the-woven-pouch---Beak-up-Crafts

I decided to use my woven bag to hold my crochet hooks and bits and pieces but you could use it as a small handbag or even to hold your passport and tickets when you go on holiday.
Woven-clutch-bag-closed---rainbow-pins---buttons---Beak-Up-Crafts

I hope you enjoyed this DIY. I’m off to dream up more things I can make from my weavings! I would love to see your photos if you make one of these so please tag me in on Twitter or Instagram – I’m @beakupcrafts on both. Have you tried weaving before?

Lots of handbag love,

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A Rainbow of Winter Warmers

Rainbow Winter Warmers

 


There’s a definite nip in the air now and with December fast approaching it’s reached that time of year when I’m thinking about upgrading my winter woollies. I’ve just finished making a pair of crochet mittens (as I needed a break from making things for the craft fair I’m doing!) which you can see over on my Instagram page, but I’m also coveting this colourful array of hats, scarves and mittens. Who said just because it’s winter you can’t be bright?

Do you embrace bright colours in winter and have you got your eye on any new cosy knits? If you’ve already got yourself sorted for this year, maybe the things I’ve chosen might inspire you for someone else’s Christmas gift? Or if you see something you like you can always drop a hint to someone else…

Lots of rainbow love,

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{Fashion} Wool is the Word

Wool is the Word

 


Wool is having a real moment this Autumn/Winter season, which is great if you’re a wool geek like me. Yep, even granny squares are hitting the catwalk after being transformed into skirts, tops and cardigans. (I’m sure I’ve got some knocking around somewhere – now I can get rid of them AND be on trend!) If all this wool in the shops isn’t enough for you, the fact that this week is Wool Week tells me that it really IS of the moment.

I’m absolutely loving all of the woollen capes in the shops at the moment, especially this purple one from Pinko Skin and I can’t get enough of Orla Kiely’s wool crepe pleated skirt. Maybe the price tag not so much. Either way, now is the season to wear wool from head to toe, and I hope you like the cosy winter warmers that I’ve picked out. The weather is already starting to get a bit of a chill, so I say either head to the shops or crack out your knitting needles or crochet hook and whip up something super toasty. After all, right now, wool is very much the word.

Are you going to be wrapping yourself in wool this season?

Lots of cosy knit love,

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