Life Lately – May 2016

May seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. Paul and I have recently been on holiday to France and I always find when there is a holiday in a month the time goes so fast as in the run up to the holiday you are all focused on that and what you need to pack, or get done before you can relax.

Butterfly Crafts Life Lately May 2016

The month started with the Spring Gift and Craft Fair at Burgess Hall in St Ives, it was a busy fair and I am looking forward to the Christmas one – November 27th!

Butterfly Crafts Life Lately May 2016

Butterfly Crafts Life Lately May 2016

Before the holiday I filled up two categories in the online card shop – Fathers Day cards and the ever-popular Cuppa Cards – send a handmade card to a loved one and they will remember it, it shows care and attention and may just include a cuppa tea!

Butterfly Crafts Life Lately May 2016

If you follow me on Instagram you will see that I am working on my 115 pillowcase dress challenge – sewing up one pillowcase dress for every person invited to our wedding and donating them to Dress A Girl Around the World. I made up five more dresses in May, but then my beloved Janome decided to throw a hissy fit and so it now needs repairing.

Butterfly Crafts Life Lately May 2016

I treat myself to a beautiful new camera too, I have been pining over the Olympus PEN E-PL7 for quite a while but there has been a stock shortage in the UK recently. I managed to locate one in white and snapped it up. Isn’t it pretty!

Butterfly Crafts Life Lately May 2016

It was lovely to have a super sunny weekend to get outside and tackle some of the garden. We have a *big* garden, its 50ft x 100ft just from the back of the house. Im definitely what you would call a beginner gardener and I do find it most overwhelming at times, but with the sun shining, it was great to get out there for a few hours weeding and cutting things back before our first BBQ of the year.

Butterfly Crafts Life Lately May 2016

Butterfly Crafts Life Lately May 2016

It was so good to get away to France, we were both starting to feel really burnt out in the run up to our trip what with working, house renovations and various life things! In France we stayed at Les Alicourts, close to Pierrefitte-sur-Sauldre, we didn’t do too much to be honest, lots of walks around the lake, visited Chateau Chambord and the Zoo du Beauval. Lots of magazines were read, blogs planned and quite a few West Wing episodes watched (how am I only now just watching West Wing!)

How was your May? I hope like me you are looking forward to the summer months ahead.

How To Score And Fold Card In Cardmaking And Papercrafts

How To Score And Fold Card in Papercrafting by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

It’s really important in papercrafting, in particular card making, to get clean crisp folds in your card, it makes your projects look more professional and finished. If you’re making your own card blanks you need to score card well before folding it so the cards stand well.

There are a couple of ways to best score card and create really crisp folds but no matter which method you choose, use a bonefolder and hold it at a shallow angle to achieve a crisp fold and press firmly, scoring against the grain.

The simplest method for scoring is to use a craft mat and a ruler. Hold the ruler firmly with one hand and run the bone folder along the edge firmly with the other hand.

How To Score And Fold Card in Papercrafting by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

The best tip I can give for getting really good scores and folds however is to invest in a scoring board which has pre-measured lines to score accurately. My go to board is the Ultimate Pro from Crafters Companion. The score board has lines in inches on one side and centimetres on the other side and when you’re not using the score board it stores neatly away in the Ultimate Pro.

How To Score And Fold Card in Papercrafting by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

How To Score And Fold Card in Papercrafting by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

The reason I prefer to use a scoring board such as the Ultimate Pro is because the scoring tool that it comes with stays perfectly within the grooves giving a perfect score whereas a bone folder and a ruler has a higher risk of slipping and creating a wonky score, I also like the time saving element that the measurements have already been worked out!

How To Score And Fold Card in Papercrafting by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

If you’re a beginner and just learning about cardmaking and papercraft I hope this has been useful to show you what I think is the best way for scoring and folding card for cardmaking and how to get a perfect fold every time.

How To Score And Fold Card in Papercrafting by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine Review May 2016

Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine May 2016 Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Like many crafters I like to treat myself and buy craft magazines. Over the past few years I have tried lots of different titles, some only purchased once or others I’ve had subscriptions too. I thought it might be interesting to review the odd craft magazine and today it’s the turn of Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine (Issue 156, May 2016).

Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine May 2016 Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

What I particularly liked about Cardmaking and Papercraft is that it’s not just for a cardmaker, there are lots of different papercraft projects for different skill levels and all of the projects have clear step-by-step instructions with pictures. This quilling project is just beautiful and could be made into a picture frame to hang on the wall.

Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine May 2016 Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

For cardmakers there are more complicated projects such as these layered cascade cards that look amazing. I have never tried to create anything like this but will certainly be having a go. Then there is a section on quick makes that are more simplistic and ideal for a beginner papercrafter.

Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine May 2016 Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

I also found it great that there was a masterclass section with a “celebrity” crafter, Barbara Gray, who creates the most beautiful pieces of artwork with stamps and inks, this project uses Groovi Plates, a product that is totally new to me but seems to create the effect of pergamano.

Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine May 2016 Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

In many craft magazines there is always the usual Q&A pages and Cardmaking and Papercraft is no different, I always find these sections really interesting as people might ask a question that you’ve been wondering about, or something you’ve never thought about but can now understand.

Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine May 2016 Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

And then there were the free gifts…..

Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine May 2016 Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine May 2016 Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Most card making magazines always include free papers which are attached into the magazine. The ones this month are very pretty in pastel colours. My only negative, and this is with most free papers in any magazine, is they are so thin it can be hard to do much with them, and to get more included they are always printed double sided which can be a real shame. The main free gift with Cardmaking and Papercraft this month were the Stained Glass Collection of stamps by Kate Knight, these are really very pretty and there are ideas for inspiration in the magazine. I purchased this copy from Tesco and there was a bumper free gift – the Colour Therapy Colouring Stack and stamps. Colouring is a huge craze right now but not something I’ve really had a go at so it was nice to have a bonus gift. That is one tip I will give, sometimes its good to check out the supermarkets for craft magazines as often they get to include extra gifts.

Overall I would say I like Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine, it’s not necessarily something I would purchase every month, but I never stick to one magazine too long anyway. The projects, inspiration and ideas included are great for beginners but also established crafters and its always nice to get a free gift. Have you read this magazine title? I’d love to hear what you think about it, let me know….

Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine May 2016 Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Life Lately – April 2016

Yes I know, it’s already ten days into May and I am only just updating on how April was. But, the latter part of April has been super busy so bear with me! I thought I would spend a little time today sharing how April was so here is my latest ‘Life Lately’ post.

Cake at Harriets by Butterfly Crafts

Yes I had to start the month with delicious cake! I took Mum away for a weekend to Norfolk to have a bit of a break and do some crafting, it was so nice to have a weekend away. On our return we popped into Harriets in Bury St Edmunds for lunch and delicious cheesecake treats. I highly recommend.

Cuppa Cards by Butterfly Crafts

Handmade Cards for April by Butterfly Crafts

April saw a lot of creating and crafting in preparation for a craft fair in May. My Cuppa Cards are always really popular and I needed to get a lot made. I love making these cards and colouring in is always relaxing! I have also been adding to my stock of handmade greetings cards to stock up a shop I supply with handmade cards.

Washi Tape by Butterfly Crafts

I have added to my washi tape collection with these gorgeous rolls from Mrs Brimbles. I love the pink chevron pattern but just look at that glitter!

Distress Inks by Butterfly Crafts

I’ve added to my collection of Distress Inks by Tim Holtz for Ranger. These are the ink pads I turn to for a lot of stamping and also colouring in images with a water brush. See how I created a Distress Inks colour chart in this blog post.

Allison Sadler Business Mentoring Sessions by Butterfly Crafts

I travelled all the way to Birmingham to meet the lovely Allison Sadler for a business mentoring session. I have followed Allison on Instagram for a while now and it was lovely to have the chance to meet her (and MrC!) at People shop and spend a good session talking all things creative business and look at how pretty her studio space is!

English Stamp Company Stamp Butterfly Crafts

Following the session with Allison, one of the first things I did was order a new stamp from The English Stamp Company. I have always stamped the reverse of my cards with a branded stamp but it never truly matched my business branding. I have been recommended The English Stamp Company and was so impressed with the turn around time and accuracy of the design I created.

How was April for you? Did you treat yourself to any lovely new craft products or did you get to create something lovely? I’d love to hear about it.

Erin Condren Stationery Haul (April)

Erin Condren Stationery Haul Review by Butterfly Crafts

If like me you love stationery and using a planner then you have probably heard of Erin Condren, I wrote my first blog on discovering the brand back in February (Discovering Erin Condren). I was really impressed with the quality of the stationery products and so was easily tempted to make a further purchase this month.

Erin Condren Stationery Haul Review by Butterfly Crafts

Erin Condren recently had a “For Crafters” bundle and it included a fab bunch of products, this bundle is no longer available but individual products are. The bundle arrived all contained within the designer vinyl clutch which is made of sturdy clear vinyl, I plan on using the clutch to store all of my planning stickers in for my Sunday evening planning sessions.

Erin Condren Stationery Haul Review by Butterfly Crafts

I love stickers and was excited to see that the bundle included two separate packs of the designer sticker sheets booklets. The booklets included were Gemstone (above) and Nature. The sticker sheets can be used in so many ways, they are 6.35″ x 5.25″ in size and full sheets than can be cut or punched out however you like. I think they would be great cut in strips and used as borders or dividers on planner pages. There are two sheets of each design so plenty to use. How beautiful are the succulent pages from the nature book?

Erin Condren Stationery Haul Review by Butterfly Crafts

Alongside some sticky dots the craft bundle included two gorgeous rolls of washi tape. The designs are the classic Erin Condren design of braided hues along with metallic asterisks. I can’t wait to use them in my planner.

Erin Condren Stationery Haul Review by Butterfly Crafts

As well as treating myself to the bundle, I also picked out a dashboard to use in my notebook I previously bought. The dashboard is clip in which is great so I can move it as needed, I picked the productivity dashboard to use for a to do list. I just need to pick up a fine dry wipe pen to use with it.

Erin Condren Stationery Haul Review by Butterfly Crafts

Finally I added the chalkboard compliment cards to my basket which I thought would be great to pin on my pin board in the craft room or by my desk space but also to pop in envelopes with my happymail and Postcircle.

Erin Condren Stationery Haul Review by Butterfly Crafts

I’ve been really impressed by the quality of the products I’ve purchased from Erin Condren, postage from the USA is pretty quick and everything is packaged really well. I am already making a mental wishlist for my next purchase. If you would like to try Erin Condren for yourself this link will take $10 off of your first order – discount code is emailed to you.

$10 off your first order with Erin Condren

*I purchased all products reviewed in this blog post, none were given as gifts. Link to $10 off Erin Condren is an affiliate link*

Erin Condren Stationery Haul Review by Butterfly Crafts

Making The Most Of Instagram – Six Top Tips

Making The Most Of Instagram, Six Top Tips by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

I love Instagram. Fact. I can easily get lost in the sea of beautiful visuals of crafts, flowers, interiors, holidays and koalas – yes, there are koalas. But my goodness it can be like a rabbit warren to get lost in and suddenly lose track of an hour before you know it. Whilst that might be great to break up the monotony of the commute to work, waiting to pick your children up from after school club, or lazing in bed on a weekend morning, it’s not great to waste time if you are using Instagram for your creative small business.

Instagram is the fastest growing social platform with over 300 million brands and consumers in its user base. For us small business owners and bloggers, Instagram is the perfect way to share your story and interact with your audience but, it is good to learn some tips on how to use it in a better way. I love using Instagram for Butterfly Crafts and here are my top tips for using Instagram as a small business:

  1. Post Regularly – With feeds changing very quickly, especially if you follow lots of people, it is important to post regularly, at least once a day ideally, so that your audience know to expect photos from you. It can be useful to keep a consistency in the time of your posts if you do only post once a day, for example you might make a post in the morning to catch your ‘morning’ audience, or at lunch time to capture lunch time browsers. Worried that you don’t always have something to post on your Instagram feed? It’s great to try and keep a back up of photos ready to share for days like this. I have a folder on my phone for just this, it contains some close ups of craft materials or snippets from blog posts so I can promote them, behind the scenes photos are great to keep as back up.
  2. Post Great Photos – Please don’t get all anxious and worry if your photos are good enough. I’ve been there and done that and worn out the t-shirt. But, Instagram is such a visual tool you need to have the best photos possible to share with your audience. In the first instance don’t post photos that are blurred or out of focus. Sometimes a small detail of something is better than the whole, crop images and edit them, a simple app I use on my iphone is PicTapGo but there are loads of apps out there for editing. Along with posting great photos, think about what you are actually posting in the first place. If your Instagram feed is a reflection on your business, does your audience really need to see what you made for dinner last night? I was guilty of this in the early days of me using Instagram for Butterfly Crafts but I now have a personal account where I can share my baking and holidays and mess of a garden as much as I like.
  3. Post a Consistent Style – Yes it’s important to use great photos but its also important to post with a consistent style. If you think of Instagram as your business portfolio, what words would you use to describe your brand? Quirky? Fun? Colourful? Minimalist? Does the picture you are about to post reflect your brand, does it help to tell your story? What’s even better is if you can post pictures using your brand colours. The best person I know at this is photographer and Queen of Makelight Emily Quinton.
  4. Engage with your audience – Don’t just post and run and hide under a rock until the next time you want to share a photo. Instagram is a social network after all and its great for engaging and building up a relationship with your audience. At the very least respond to comments you receive on your posts, but, also like and comment on photos of people you follow and grow the number of people you follow each week by searching out new Instagrammers. Look for people who share your style or your interests and also those who might be your ideal customer. You can search using the search tool but also click through to people who comment on photos you like. Spend five or ten minutes a day engaging as best as you can and you will see it pay off.
  5. Hashtags! – The use of hashtags can divide people in opinions but basically if you want to use Instagram for business you need to get comfortable with that little # symbol. When you post a photo and add a # it will post your photo into the grid of images under that particular tag, you need to post the tags fairly quickly as those first few seconds after posting a photo with a hashtag are the most important at bringing in potential new followers or audience, after that, your photo is lost in the sea of images under a certain hashtag. One top tip is to keep a note in your photo with a block of the hashtags you use so you can copy and post as soon as possible – I have separate blocks based on subject area eg planners and stationery, crafts, small business etc.
  6. Use the clickable link – Any links you post in your photo posts are not clickable so its really important to make use of that one clickable link in your profile. At least have it clickable to your blog or website, but the great thing about that link is its easy to edit to something new. Written a blog post and sharing images from it? Change the link to the post post url, either post it directly or create a bit.ly link to track clicks, or if you are promoting a product change it to that. Help direct your audience to exactly where you want them!

If you use Instagram and have more tips to share I’d love you to leave a comment below, but also come and say hello over on my Butterfly Crafts Instagram feed  – there is much paper crafting, crafts, haberdashery and stationery with a few other bits thrown in for good measure. You can fine me on Instagram under @butterflycrafts_uk or just click through here

Making The Most Of Instagram, Six Top Tips by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

How To Make Paper Envelopes – First Anniversary Gift Idea DIY

Today marks 18 months since I married Paul, I can’t believe how time has flown by! For our first wedding anniversary back in October I knew I wanted to make something, especially as a first wedding anniversary gift is traditionally paper and well, I’m a paper crafter! I came up with the idea for an anniversary gift that would last all year – a paper envelope each month with a little gift inside that Paul would open on the 18th of each month taking us to our second anniversary. I put all the envelopes in a box tied with twine and when Paul opened it, he loved the idea and always remembers each month that he has a new envelope to open.

How To Make Your Own Paper Envelopes DIY First Anniversary Gift Idea by Butterfly Crafts

I think it’s a great idea for a first wedding anniversary gift as it doesn’t need to cost you a fortune and you can get really creative with the ‘gift’ ideas – ours will be listed at the bottom of the blog and I’ll update each month as a new envelope is opened. Some months haven’t cost anything monetarily, others have but were not too expensive, Groupon has been my friend.

Want to have a go at making your own paper envelopes? Simply gather some scrapbooking paper as this is thicker than printer paper, an envelope the size you want to make, a ruler, double sided tape, a pencil and some scissors.

How To Make Your Own Paper Envelopes DIY First Anniversary Gift Idea by Butterfly Crafts

Firstly, carefully unstick the envelope you want to replicate and use this as your template. Draw around it on the scrapbooking paper and carefully cut out. I stuck mine down with a little washi tape.

How To Make Your Own Paper Envelopes DIY First Anniversary Gift Idea by Butterfly Crafts

Using the ruler as a guide, fold the side flaps in of the envelope and then the bottom. Fix the bottom piece to the sides with some double sided tape, or any glue.

How To Make Your Own Paper Envelopes DIY First Anniversary Gift Idea by Butterfly Crafts

Carefully fold the opening flap of the envelope ready for sealing when you are ready.

For our anniversary gift I used my Cuttlebug and a frame die from Crafters Companion to cut out twelve decorative cards and I used a nice pen to write out what each gift is. One month needed additional information so I popped that in its own envelope. I also needed to label each envelope and used a label die for that.

The great thing about this idea is it doesn’t just have to be for a wedding anniversary, how about writing your child a note to open if they have moved to college – one for a day they’re sad, another for a day they need motivation etc. Or why not simply make some super pretty envelopes for sending your happy mail because let’s face it, it’s far more exciting to receive a pretty envelope through the letter box than a plain white one.

So the gifts I have included are:

October – Cambridge Ghost Tour
November – Movie Night at Home with homemade icecream (I had to watch the first Star Wars film!)
December – Kindle Voucher
January – Voucher for local independent cake Shop, Tom’s Cakes
February – Wii Night
March – West Wing Marathon

You’ll have to check back to see what else gets added. I wonder what to do for our second wedding anniversary of cotton…..?

*This post includes an affiliate link, you can read more on my disclosure here*

How To Make Your Own Paper Envelopes DIY First Anniversary Gift Idea by Butterfly Crafts

Simply Stylish Washi Tape Magazine

Crafting with Washi Tape, Simply Stylish Washi Tape Magazine Review by Butterfly Crafts

If you’re new to the craft world, or have been hiding out on a desert island you many not know what washi tape is or what to do with it.

Originating in Japan, washi tape is a type of removable adhesive paper on a roll, a little like pretty masking tape, that sticks and unsticks very easily and can be repositioned. Washi tape comes in a variety of patterns and colours and you can get different width rolls from 5mm narrow rolls up to 10cm wide mega rolls! If like me you use a planner, washi tape may become your new friend!

To jump on the band wagon of crafting with washi tape, Simply Stylish magazine have bought out a new weekly Washi Tape magazine, I happened to spy it in Tesco a couple of weeks ago and thought I would pick up a copy to review – plus the free tapes were cute!

Crafting with Washi Tape, Simply Stylish Washi Tape Magazine Review by Butterfly Crafts

The magazine is hole punched so that it can be separated and kept in the folder which comes free with a later issue and this would be divided into sections. In tthe first edition the projects include decorating drinking glasses, making geometric jewellery, hexagonal frames, upcycling a wooden chair and creating a noticeboard.

Crafting with Washi Tape, Simply Stylish Washi Tape Magazine Review by Butterfly Crafts

Crafting with Washi Tape, Simply Stylish Washi Tape Magazine Review by Butterfly Crafts

The introductory magazine cost £1.99 and I believe future issues are £3.99 a week, each will have free gifts including rolls of washi tape and tools such as a cutting mat and set square.

As I wanted to write an honest review, I think the magazine is just jumping on the bandwagon of crafting with washi tape. At £1.99 for the first issue I thought it was ok in price for what I feel is very little content, given there were three rolls of washi tape included. But £3.99 a week? Nope, sorry, I wont be paying that! Ok washi tape may cost around £1.50-£2 per roll and so you could say it’s value for money just to build a tape collection but to me, the projects are just a bit odd.

Personally I’d much rather have a look on Pinterest for ideas on using washi tape and then source different rolls from some of the great sellers on Etsy! I’ve created a board on Pinterest for Crafting with Washi Tape if you’d like some ideas…and not buy the magazine!

**I purchased this magazine myself, I have not been asked to write this review**

Crafting with Washi Tape, Simply Stylish Washi Tape Magazine Review by Butterfly Crafts

#MarchMeetTheMaker Instagram Challenge

If you are a user of Instagram then you may have seen various challenges that do the rounds, the idea is you have a prompt and share a photo a day for that prompt. I have seen many challenges but none have appealed to me as much as #MarchMeetTheMaker organised by Joanne Hawker.

The idea behind this challenge is to give an insight into the face behind the business, what goes on behind the scenes and to tell the story of what goes into making and running a creative business.

March Meet The Maker Challenge Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

I’ve really enjoyed this challenge as a way to focus my thoughts on Butterfly Crafts but also a brilliant way to discover lots of new creative businesses and to hear the stories and see the faces behind them. If you’re not an Instagram user don’t worry, you can see the photos I have posted in this Facebook Album.

March Meet The Maker Challenge 2016

These are the prompts that we were given at the start of the month and if you search the #MarchMeetTheMaker hash tag over on Instagram then you will find lots of lovely creative businesses that took part.

Kikki K Haul (March 2016)

KikkiK March 2016 Haul by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

When we went to Australia on our honeymoon back in 2014 I totally fell in love with the lifestyle and stationery brand Kikki K (I wrote about my Kikki K Australia haul in this post). You can imagine my excitement when not one, but two stores opened up in London at the end of 2015. Last week we were in London for a trip to the Ideal Home Show and I just had to make the most of the train fare (how much???) and make a visit to treat myself a little.

KikkiK March 2016 Haul by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Im not a tea drinker but I have a thing about tea pots. When I saw the new Svenska Hem Homewares Collection released in March I totally adored the tea pot and knew it needed to be added to my collection. It’s a pot for two cups and isn’t it adorable? There are a couple of different tea cup options in the collection and I loved this one with the little saucer as it matches in with the pattern on the pot. I have to say, I’m really impressed with the quality of the homewares range and I can see me adding to my collection in the future.

KikkiK March 2016 Haul by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

A trip to Kikki K is nothing without a stationery purchase! The quality of the notebooks and journals are great and although I could always do with another in my life I managed to side step them on this trip and instead headed straight to the stickers! My eye was drawn to the Inspiration Sticker Book because look at how pretty the gold and peach cover is! In total there are 140 tags and stickers which will be great for use in my planner when I get organised, and to use the tags on gifts and presents – the gold foiling is lovely. These are just a couple of the sticker pages….

KikkiK March 2016 Haul by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

KikkiK March 2016 Haul by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

KikkiK March 2016 Haul by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Having a good browse around the store I definitely spied a few products to add to my wishlist for the near future. I really like the look of the gratitude journal as a way to record what you are thankful for each day; the Write Your Tomorrow Quote Cards would be a great additional to my office space or a shelf in the craft room; and finally the Write Your Tomorrow Sticker Book would provide even more beautiful stickers for my planning sessions.

Have you discovered Kikki K yet, if so what have your purchased I’d love to hear about it. If you’re in London and near Covent Garden then I definitely recommend a visit to one of the stores, but you can also order online so you don’t miss out.