Christmas Gift Wrapping with IKEA

A few months back I was invited to a festive gift-wrapping workshop with IKEA in London. It was far too early to really think about Christmas back then (I think it was June!), but the event also offered a sneak peak at IKEA’s Autumn / Winter collection (in-store now), which I couldn’t refuse!

You might remember that last year IKEA put on a Christmas tablescaping workshop for a few crafty bloggers, where I obsessed over a gorgeous black bear ornament. This time we were treated to a gift-wrapping workshop with the lovely Janine, who has a completely different creative job by day, but is a widely acknowledged ‘awesome gift wrapper’ on the side – nice to be multi-talented!

IKEA Autumn Winter DIY-203927

It was lovely to see some friendly faces in the form of Gabrielle from Design Curator and Anna from The Smell of Roses (not to be confused with The Only Smell is Roses, which I nearly wrote – too much TOWIE), and to meet some new faces too – namely Lou from Little Green Shed, Jess from The Only Girl in the House and Georgia from Flowers in the Window. As well as making some gorgeous gift-wraps, Georgia also patiently put up with a mega coughing fit from me on the train back to Essex – sorry!

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Hobbycraft Spring & Easter Craft Preview

Last week, I went along to Drink, Shop & Do near King’s Cross in London to preview Hobbycraft’s new Spring and Easter craft collections. Ever since I started blogging, it’s been an aim of mine to attend a Hobbycraft event, as I do buy a lot of my supplies from there, so I was thrilled to get an invitation.

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I tagged along after work and was greeted at the door by the Hobbycraft team. They’d split the Drink, Shop & Do floor into various stations so that you could try your hand at different crafts, and learn more about their upcoming range expansions, from sewing supplies, knit craft, Easter craft, and baking.

 

Sewing Machines

My first stop was the sewing machine station where a helpful seamstress named Amy sat me down at a sewing machine for the first time, and showed me how to do some basic stitches. Some of you might recall that I was bought a sewing machine for Christmas a few years back, and am ashamedly yet to use it, as I wasn’t really sure where to begin, so I was really excited about this opportunity.

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IKEA Christmas Tablescaping Workshop

Can you believe that it’s just six more Sundays until Christmas? I don’t know about you, but for me it feels like the months fly by quicker and quicker every year! Still, at least it’s nearly the holidays!

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Earlier this year I was invited to an IKEA tablescaping event with some fellow bloggers to preview IKEA’s Autumn / Winter range, as well as take a sneak-peak at some of IKEA’s scandi-inspired Christmas goodies. I’m a big fan of IKEA, and always try and fit in a visit before Christmas.

The event was held at 19 Greek Street – a modern white event space in Central London. I was thrilled to join some blogger friends – namely Hannah from Crafternoon Cabaret Club, Tasha from Graphique Fantastique, Rosie and Hannah from The New Craft House, and Emma from Emma Jane Palin.

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After an introduction from the IKEA bods who talked us through the four new autumn / winter trends, we were invited to have a leisurely peruse, and get hands-on with our own DIY tablescapes. A credit to the IKEA wares, we soon felt at home, and were all prepared to move in within minutes.

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All Aboard the Paperchase ‘Back to School’ Bus

Three weeks ago I was delighted to attend my very first Paperchase event! This was actually one of my New Year blogging goals back in January. As a massive stationery fiend, I was chuffed to be invited to explore the brand new ‘Back to School’ range during the Paperchase BTS Press Bus Tour.

Paperchase Back To School Collection 2016 by Shelley Makes (1)

The event was hosted on board a shiny red vintage bus, parked outside Paperchase’s Head Office in London. The bus immediately brought back old school memories, particularly as it was raining outside, and steamed up on the inside! I immediately wanted to draw on the windows, for old times’ sake.

Paperchase Back To School Collection 2016 by Shelley Makes (2)

The Paperchase team had laid out their four new school collections on the seats of both decks for our perusal. This consisted of the adorable Monsterosity range, featuring pixelated dinosaur designs in blue camouflage colours. My favourite item is probably the wooden dinosaur pen pot (£6) in the centre.

Paperchase Back To School Collection 2016 by Shelley Makes (12)

As well as the usual notebooks and pens, the range features a tonne of different back-packs, flasks, lunch boxes, and pencil cases, so you really can send your kids to school with everything they could possibly need. I can’t pretend that I was this cool or organised when I was at school! I wish.

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Blogtacular 2016: Lessons from Lisa Congdon

Oh ‘Hi’ there! If you’ve been hanging around the blogosphere lately, you might have spotted a fair few posts about Blogtacular – an annual blogging conference which was held recently in London. This year was my first ever Blogtacular, and I was not disappointed – just check out this crowd…

Blogtacular 2016

This year’s conference was held at 200 Aldergate, a stone’s throw from St. Paul’s Cathedral, opposite the Museum of London. A very kind security guard helpfully beckoned us all inside before we wandered blindly past. Once inside however, and it was clear that we’d reached our destination!

Blogtacular 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed the event, and wanted to use this first blog post to share some of the important lessons that I took away from this year’s opening keynote speaker – Lisa Congdon – author, artist and illustrator, who delivered a truly inspiring talk on the realities of blogging.

Blogtacular 2016

Re-evaluate the meaning of “success”

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The Handmade Fair 2016 – our schedule!

Craft lovers will be delighted to learn that tickets for The Handmade Fair are now on sale for September 2016! Having gone from strength to strength, Kirstie Allsopp’s three-day fair is back for its third consecutive year between 16-18th September on The Green at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey.

the handmade fair logo

I’ve gone along with my sister for the last two years, and it is invariably always a fun day out. You can read about my experiences at the inaugural event in 2014 here, and also at last year’s event here.

Picnic benches

As with previous years, your ticket price (£32) grants you access to 1x Grand Makes, 1x Skill Workshop, and 1x Super Theatre session, and additional Skills workshops (spanning Accessories, Celebrations, Home & Garden, and Upcycling) can be purchased on the day (subject to availability). You can also roam the shopping tents that are not to be missed – especially if you’re a sucker for crafts like me.

The Handmade Fair Shopping Tent Shelley Makes

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Crafty / Creative things to do in London in May

Hi gang! Here’s my round-up of crafty / creative things to do in London this May. Plenty of events and workshops occurring as always. Why not give them a go, and let me know how you get on!


Crafty Fox Market – Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May 2016 (11am – 5pm) – FREE entry

I’m a big fan of the Crafty Fox Markets which bring together hundreds of designer / makers and artists over two days to showcase their work and sell their wares. This one, guest curated by Charlotte Abrahams (design writer, author and curator) takes us back to the CFM’s original home at the Dogstar in Brixton, and there is a different line-up each day. Not only does this make it the perfect shopping destination for unique handmade jewellery, ceramics, prints, gifts and cards, but you can also tuck in to tea and cake in the Tea’s Knees team room, as well as some drop-in craft workshops.

Workshop – I Make Knots necklace workshop: Using fabric yarn and knitting needles, I Make Knots will show you how to knit a chic and unique necklace that’s sure to brighten up any outfit. Pick two colours, and with our knot know how, you’ll be on your way before you even know it. £7 drop-in.

Workshop – Make a Pajaki (traditional Polish) Chandelier: Join Bobbin and Bow and make a traditional Polish Pajaki Chandelier. Whole day workshop (11-5), £50. Pre-booking required, visit www.bobbinandbow.com to book a slot, places are limited so don’t miss out!

You can read about my first Crafty Fox Market experience here. I made a butterfly tote bag screen-print with Mr. Wingate, and made my own bunting necklace with Lucie Ellen

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