A fun day in blogland

Today is a fun day in the part of the crafty blogworld that I spend most of my time.  The Facebook crafting group the ‘Crafting Cafe’ is having its first ever bloghop, and I’m about halfway round at the moment.  There are some lovely projects on there so far.  It’s the first bloghop I’ve ever boinged around on, and I just wish I’d organised my time well enough this week to contribute too.  Hopefully there’ll be another one soon!  If you want to join in, the starting place is my friend Nikki Smith’s blog.

Today is also the start of the 31 day sketch challenge over at the docrafts Creativity Club, and I’m busy planning my project for the first sketch so I can get busy with some paper later.

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Making the most of things – Time

As you may have seen me whinge before, motherhood has drastically curtailed my crafting exploits.  There are opportunities for creativity though, I’ve just had to get a little flexible, and a lot patient…  Step one has been to rediscover cross stitching.  I’ve always taken kits on long journeys, as it’s not too hard to do with all the car jiggling, takes up very little space, and doesn’t need lots of setting up/packing away.  We don’t do many long journeys at the moment, but we do take Molly to the woods every day for walkies, and that’s almost 10 minutes each way.  Sometimes Bob really doesn’t want to be in the car seat, so I have to sing Old Macdonald and play with rattles, but then again, sometimes he falls asleep on the way and I have to sit in the car park for a while, missing part of the walk.  Anyway, here’s what I’ve managed to achieve by reclaiming almost a month’s worth of previously wasted 10 minuteses.  They’re from docrafts So&Sews card kits from a few years ago and they aren’t *quite* finished – I didn’t think it was wise to try to sew on the beads in the car 🙂

When I do miss part of the walk because Bob is asleep, I could do something that isn’t jiggly car friendly, so my next plan is to stick some decoupage, stamped images and my watercolour pencils in the car too.  This could also be the way I tackle one of my new year resolutions – learning to knit!

Shoptastic – Blog prompts 23 and 24

Today’s blog posts are brought to you from here 🙂

I’ve got a bit more behind than usual this week, as little Bob has just learned to crawl forwards. He’s getting quite speedy now, so needs a lot more watching when he’s playing on his mat, as we appear to live in a death trap, full of inappropriate things to chew and hard pointy corners to fall onto. Ah well, I may not have been able to spend time on my laptop, but I know nearly all the little songs on Bob’s Fisher Price pretend smart phone by heart now 🙂

Anyway, to business. Blog prompts 23 and 24 were “write about your favourite craft shop” and “do you prefer online or bricks-and-mortar shopping?”.

Picking my favourite bricks-and-mortar craft shop is easy. Demoing in shops from Surrey to the West Midlands and from Berkshire to the East Coast, I’ve been to a lot of craft shops! I also see them from a different perspective, as I’m neither staff nor customer (OK, I confess I am often a customer too!). The store that has always stood out for me though is In2Crafting in Wickford. They’re everything a family run craft shop should be – friendly, well-stocked, helpful, and all really keen crafters. And they make a really good cup of tea 🙂 I’ve really missed my demos there while I’ve been off with Bob, there’s a lovely group of regulars and the atmosphere’s always relaxed and fun. My favourite online shop is one that specialises in die cutting – Country View Crafts. It’s run by two of my bestest friends, so I know I’m biased, but I also get to see how hard they work. What they don’t know about die cutting really isn’t worth knowing, and they’re always happy to share that knowledge too.

As for the second question (online or bricks-and-mortar), I enjoy both. When I know what I’m buying, online is so easy, and of course you can keep an eye on what you’re spending before you get to the checkout. What online shopping can’t do though, is give you a sense of the quality of an unfamiliar brand, you can’t be sure about the colours, and of course there’s no ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ feeling of being surrounded by crafty loveliness, or the happy feeling of finding something you didn’t know you wanted needed. Online shops also don’t generally offer demos, and my own crafting didn’t really take off until I went to my first docrafts demo, and that experience was what drove me to be a demonstrator myself.

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