Stationery Love – Discovering Erin Condren

Stationery Love - Discovering Erin Condren by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Today I thought I would start a new little blog series all about Stationery Love! As part of my 2016 goals I want to strive to be more organised because balancing out a day job, a house renovation, life in general *and* running a creative business can be a tricky challenge and I hope being more organised is going to help. Plus, who doesn’t love pretty stationery right? (Keep reading for a money saving offer to buy stationery!)

You may have seen on the blog before that I use a Personal Filofax as my planner – the next Stationery Love post will show you how I have set it up – but also that I love stationery and really loved discovering KikkiK (see that haul here). I am a sucker for a notebook so when I started to hear things about American based company Erin Condren I was intrigued.

Erin Condren is rather famous for her Life Planner – basically a spiral bound diary and journal that comes in a few formats with different layouts. There is a huge community of Erin Condren fans who frequently share on Instagram their prettified planner layouts each week – the sales in Washi tape must have increased so much.

I was tempted by a new planner but my Personal Filofax works fine for me right now, but my fingers could not resist making a few purchases so I thought I would share my recent Erin Condren haul.

Stationery Love - Discovering Erin Condren by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

My first purchase was this spiral bound notebook, its just a little bigger than A5 in size and comes with a clip in ruler which acts as a page marker. There are 154 pages with most being lined but a small section towards the back is blank.

Stationery Love - Discovering Erin Condren by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

I am planning to use this notebook as my business brainstorming book as I just love the inspirational quote on the front. This notebook is from the Good to Go range, but there are lots of different ones where you can customise the cover. With a business notebook I like to divide it into sections and what I love about this notebook is that you can get clip in dividers that you can move about when you need to. I stated with the motivation theme and added this set of three to my order.

Stationery Love - Discovering Erin Condren by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Like most people in the Planner Community I love stickers, I like how they make my Filofax look pretty but are also functional at the same time. When I saw that Erin Condren had an ‘Always a reason to celebrate the season’ sticker book I knew I had to have this too! Each page has multiple stickers so you can decorate your planner with a theme and yet be functional – basically stickers make being organised pretty!

Stationery Love - Discovering Erin Condren by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Just like any stationery lover I do love a good pen, in particular a purple one as I find colour coordinating some notes in my Filofax or in a brainstorm helpful, this box of six funky pens was only $5!

Stationery Love - Discovering Erin Condren by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

I knew when I was shopping that I would be getting a free notebook as there was a special offer running to those who spent over a certain amount, but it was a lovely surprise to also receive a complimentary pack of decorative stickers for gift giving, and a motivational postcard which I will pop in my office space.

Stationery Love - Discovering Erin Condren by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

As a new customer I was really pleased with my Erin Condren order, postage was a little pricey from the USA but it all arrived in super fast time and in a very pretty pink box which made unpacking even more exciting! If you love stationery as much as I do and want to give Erin Condren a go then following this link you can take $10 off of your first purchase, what are you waiting for – go buy pretty stickers!!!

Take $10 Off Your First Erin Condren Purchase 

Do you use a planner? I’d love to hear how you decorate it or about your favourite stationery shops, I am always to discover a new place to buy a pretty notebook.

*This post has not been sponsored by Erin Condren, I purchased all items and just wanted to share, the post does include affiliate links*

Improve Your Photography With A Makelight Workshop

How to Improve Your Photography with a Makelight Workshop by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Can I just start by saying this is a photo heavy blog post! Last year I set about challenging myself to improve my photography for both blog posts and product photography for my online shop. I never thought I took awful photos – they have improved vastly from when I had my first online shop back in 2008 – but I felt scared of my dslr and wasn’t too sure what to do with props and backgrounds.

I had been aware of Emily Quinton for quite a while, mainly because she has a truly stunning Instagram feed, and I had completed an online course of hers in 2014. When I saw that a special photography for paper lovers one day workshop was being held at the Makelight studio I knew I had to attend – and I could not recommend it, or another course, enough.

The Makelight Studio is in south London so one night last October I headed off to my hotel for the night ready for a long day ahead of me. The studio is amazing, the natural light is something else – I can totally see why Emily loves where she works, it’s just perfect for learning about photography and she has recently created a YouTube video tour of the Makelight studio.

On the day, we started with introductions about who we were and why we were on the course, many with the same thoughts and feelings – intimidated by a dslr, is it ok to just use an iPhone, how to style for a blog post, how can I take good photos of paper products when they are just flat objects etc.

How to Improve Your Photography with a Makelight Workshop by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Firstly Emily talked a lot about light and how important it is to have natural light so to make the most of it on good days and on not so good days just hope you have a good bank of photos to continue to share online or to make blog posts with. We learned about taking photos by windows and how to never have a light on in the room you are taking photos in. Then we were off to have a practice with the various props and stagings that are in the studio – oh the stationery love was impressive and Emily had clearly loved shopping for props!

How to Improve Your Photography with a Makelight Workshop by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

How to Improve Your Photography with a Makelight Workshop by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

After lunch from the cafe downstairs (included in the price) we talked more about visual social media, how it’s always good to take photos for Instagram square and use the grid on your phone, and we got technical with our dslrs. All of us had bought along some of our own products which Emily had suggested so that she could answer questions we had about styling and we were off to take more photos.

How to Improve Your Photography with a Makelight Workshop by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

How to Improve Your Photography with a Makelight Workshop by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

A highlight of the day was seeing the ‘master’ of the flatlay at work creating one of her famous Instagram flatlays and trying not to giggle whilst she did it as a live Periscope film!

How to Improve Your Photography with a Makelight Workshop by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

How to Improve Your Photography with a Makelight Workshop by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

The day ran over but only because we were all asking questions and soaking up the advice whilst we could. I headed back to the car, and the M25, tired but with my head buzzing, and hopefully capable of taking better photographs to use on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook but also in blog posts and for product photos.

How to Improve Your Photography with a Makelight Workshop by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

If you have a goal of improving your photography, whether you are a blogger, a creative business owner or just want to take better photos of your family life I do recommend going on a Makelight workshop. Being able to ask questions and get practical advice is extremely useful and has made me feel more confident behind the camera lense.

How To Make A Felt Heart Valentine’s Day Card

How to Make a Felt Heart Valentine's Card by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Valentine’s Day is just a couple of weeks away now so why not get your craft on and make someone a handmade Valentine’s Day card? This card is super simple and quick to make, but giving a card you have made shows real love!

All you need is a blank card, either purchase a ready folded one or just cut a piece of card to the size you want, two different colour felt sheets, a button, needle and thread, heart template, glue or double sided tape, ribbon and a sentiment. The sentiment shown here is one I stamped and layered on to three different layers of card.

How to Make a Felt Heart Valentine's Card by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Firstly you need to cut out the templates you want to use, I always use this free printable heart template which I found on Pinterest, you will need three separate sizes. Draw around the templates on to your felt and cut out, I have used two colours but you could use three shades of the same colour if you like.

How to Make a Felt Heart Valentine's Card by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Next take your needle and thread and sew the hearts together in the centre and finish with sewing the button on through the centre

How to Make a Felt Heart Valentine's Card by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

How to Make a Felt Heart Valentine's Card by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Once you have sewn your hearts together, using glue or double sided table fix a piece of ribbon across the front of your card and attach the sentiment of your choice – you could always print something off with your computer and printer if you don’t have rubber stamps. Then using either wet glue or double sided tape, fix the large heart to the front of your card. Done!

How to Make a Felt Heart Valentine's Card by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

I hope you will enjoy making this simple Valentine’s Day card, I love crafting with felt and its so simple it would be great to craft with children but sending any handmade card to those you love is always a good thing in my book.

An Ohnorachio Goodie Bag

OhNoRachio Goodie Bag Review -Butterfly-Crafts-Handmade-Emporium

I’m a little late in the game at sharing what Christmas gifts I received, but I thought better late than never right? I think it’s always nice to treat yourself to a gift in the run up to Christmas and when Rachel at Ohnorachio offered a limited run of goodie bags with mystery contents then I knew I had found the gift for myself. Although the goodie bags are not available, Rachel is having a cracking sale right now and some of the individual items are available in the Ohnorachio sale. I thought I’d just share with some photos the lovely products included in the goodie bag, for a stationery lover like me I was very happy with what I received.


I love a good notebook!

Ohnorachio Goodie Bag Review, Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Fun cards!

Ohnorachio Goodie Bag Review, Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

A pocket mirror, glitter wallet and patch

Ohnorachio Goodie Bag by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

How cute is the glitter wallet as a business card holder? Notebooks will be great for planning sessions

Whilst talking about Ohnorachio, I received a lovely gift for Christmas! I often struggle with anxiety and confidence problems, knowing this, Paul bought be a super lovely gift for Christmas, and I am looking forward to having this beautiful print above my new desk when it gets built later this year – I do believe this print is also included in the Ohnorachio Sale, along with other designs.

Ohnorachio Goodie Bag by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Did you get any lovely gifts or even treat yourself to something special for Christmas?

Keeping Organised – Printable Birthday and Anniversaries Calendar

Printable Birthdays and Anniversaries Calendar from Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Be honest, have you ever forgotten a friend or family members birthday or anniversary? How about a free printable calendar to keep you organised with important birthday dates? Well, here you go.

I am generally thought of as an organised person and am frequently asked how I stay organised with having a day job, renovating a house and running a creative business. Having a handmade card business it should come as no surprise that I love to send friends and family birthday cards and so one way I like to keep myself organised is to keep important dates in one place and here is where my free printable birthdays and anniversaries calendar comes into play!

When we were in Australia on our honeymoon I treat myself to a great gift set from Kikki K, the box is a great size and I use it to keep my birthday cards for friends and family in for the year ready to send, I just love how it says ‘Filled With Stationery Love’. When I have an afternoon free I like to get creative in the Craft Room and start to make the cards I need for the year, even if you don’t craft you can still follow this idea and gather cards you will need for the year, or even a few months in advance, and store them in a box ready for when you need them. I also keep a pen and stamps in the box so I have everything on hand ready to write and send off.

Printable Birthdays and Anniversaries Calendar from Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

The birthdays and anniversaries calendar is great as you can fill in the dates you need and then use it year on year, it will print out as A5 so you can print a couple and keep them where you need to. Just click the link below and you can download the calendar.

Free Printable Birthdays & Anniversaries Calendar by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium
Printable Birthday and Anniversaries Calendar from Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Butterfly Crafts 2016 Goals


I have been reading so many great blog posts in the past few days about bloggers setting their goals for the year but also sharing them as a way to stay accountable because as we all know, once it’s out on the Internet it has to happen.

I recently blogged about 2015 and a look back on a busy year  and although I talked a little about my ‘words’ for 2016 (Family; Craft; Business) I wanted to take a little longer to think about specific goals for the year, and whether to share them here or not. I decided to share them because putting fingers to keyboard has actually made me think hard about what I would like to achieve this year, staring with my personal goals

Tackle my Pillowcase Dress Challenge

I set myself a challenge to make 115 pillowcase dresses following our handmade wedding back in 2014, so far I am only eight dresses in and have a long way to go

Finish my knitted blanket

A good few years ago now I collected a magazine called The Art of Knitting with the intention of teaching myself to knit. Life got in the way and I only have a few squares of the patchwork blanket down. There are 91 squares in total and I would really like to think this will be the year it is finished.

Finish a Knitted Blanket in 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Decorate our living room

2014 was a crazy busy year with getting married but also buying a house that needs top to toe renovation. We are working our way though it, and are blogging about the process over at Our Mini Money Pit, but Paul and I have said 2016 will be the year we finally rid our living room of its apricot orange paint and pub carpet. It will be a mamouth and expensive project.

Create an office hub

Following on from the above goal, I would like to set up an office hub for myself. We each have our ‘own’ rooms, I have a Craft Room and Paul has his office/mancave. My computer and desk used to be in the office but it wasn’t working out, so I would like to set up a new office hub for myself and it will be a pretty #BCHQ.

Reduce our monthly outgoings

I think a lot of people review their finances at the start of the year, particularly after the spendiness of Christmas. We do pretty well at not spending more than we can afford but I know we can make savings and this is something I want to look into.

Use up my toiletries stash

I have a lot of toiletries! I actually have over four large plastic boxes filled with products waiting to be used. Last year I challenged myself to not buy anything new unless I specifically had run out of something and I still hardly made a dent in the stash so this year the #buylesssavemore challenge will continue.

Spend more time with family

That’s what life is all about really isn’t it? When things get super busy at home with us both working and freelancing and renovating a house we often forget to take time away from it all and be with friends and family.

Take care of my back

In 2013 I was diagnosed with Sacroiliitis in my spine and pelvis which can be excruciatingly painful in a bad flare up. I have worked with a physio for chronic pain and am learning techniques how to manage the pain and to reduce future flareups. It’s something I need to be mindful of even more.

I am very fortunate to be able to work part time in my day job and spend the rest of my time working on Butterfly Crafts. This year I want to learn more about running a business and start to make my little acorn grow. My business goals this year are

Increase blog readership

My blog readership has grown slowly since I first posted but I would love for this year to be a year of growth and I feel I can work towards this by working on the next two goals and creating content that you want to read and want to share.

Create blog content more regularly

This goal goes hand in hand with the goal above. I do enjoy blogging but it is something that I have struggled with asking myself many questions about why I blog and who I am blogging for, questions that have actually stopped me from blogging in the past. My biggest goal this year is to blog more regularly and consistently sharing craft tutorials, diys, business tips and a few things in between. I’d love to hear if there was something you’d like to see me blog about.

Learn about and implement a Social Media strategy

Social media is such a huge part of having a marketing strategy for a small business because it’s free or super low cost. I love using Instagram and Twitter and am dipping my toe into Periscope a little. I would like to be more cohesive with my social media and learn about its potential.

Develop my Craftea Workshop offering

I have really enjoyed teaching Craftea Workshops and spreading the love of craft. This is something I would really like to develop further this year.

Stay on top of accounting

Can you show me one creative business person who is truly on top of their accounting, as it not behind at all? No? Thought not! I tell myself every year that ‘this year will be different’ and it’s not.

Contain craft mess to the Craft Room

I am so fortunate to have my own craft room and I love it, it is painted lilac after all! I do tend to spill out from it though with personal crafting such as my knitting or if I have a fair to prep for I take over a bit too much of the living room and hallway. I need to work a bit harder on containing the boxes.

I will strive to check in throughout the year to update on how these goals are doing, that way I will be accountable to them. I’d love to hear what goals you might have set yourself this year?

Making Gift Tags With Old Christmas Cards

Making Gift Tags fro Christmas Cards by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

This time of year after Christmas we often start to think about small ways we can save money and one way to do that can be to take your lovely Christmas cards, and upcycle them into gift tags to use next Christmas. It’s a super simple way to save a few pounds buying new tags and is a fun papercraft to do with children.

Making Gift Tags from Christmas Cards by Butterfly-Crafts Handmade Emporium

To make fun Christmas gift tags you will need cards with suitable tag images and then either a craft punch, craft die and cutting machine or simply some decorative edged scissors.

Making Gift Tags from Christmas Cards by Butterfly-Crafts Handmade Emporium

If you use decorative scissors, simple cut around the images you want to use. You don’t even really need special scissors, regular ones will work just as well too. These scalloped scissors work great here with the edge of the image.

Making Gift Tags from Christmas Cards by Butterfly-Crafts Handmade Emporium

There are hundreds of types of craft punch on the market, this one is the Woodware Lever Punch – Super – Gift Tag 2″ 5cm which is perfect for this project. I always turn the punch upside down to check where the cuts will be and then turn the punch over to push the handle down.

Making Gift Tags from Christmas Cards by Butterfly-Crafts Handmade Emporium

Like punches, there are hundreds of metal dies in the craft market to use with a die cutting machine and that makes creating tags super fun as you don’t need to stick to one shape. The machine above is my Cuttlebug machine. Follow the instructions for making up the correct “sandwich” and cut – that simple!

Making Gift Tags from Christmas Cards by Butterfly-Crafts Handmade Emporium

I used a hole punch to put a hole in each tag, I haven’t added ribbon or twine to the tags as I find it more useful to do this when I actually wrap a gift so I know how long it needs to be. But aren’t these so cute? I think I might make some more later in the year with old birthday cards as having birthday gift tags is always useful with so many people in our family to gift at Birthdays.

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A Look Back on 2015

A Look Back on 2015 Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

What a year it has been! At the end of last year my husband Paul and I said we hoped 2015 might be a little calmer and not as hectic as 2014 given in 2014 we sold a flat, bought a house project, redundancy, chronic back pain, wedding and honeymoon. 2015 was going to be quieter right? Wrong! Its been such a busy year, it seems to have flown by like lightening but it’s also been a lot of fun. I thought I would give it a little review.

Work – I started the year off continuing my career break, and this actually carried on until June when I began a new job. Unfortunately it became clear this wasn’t the right job for me and so in mid-November I left. I have a lovely new job lined up for January and I’m really excited. It has been fun having time off at home, especially with so much renovations to be doing, but I am also looking forward to getting back to work.

House – the #orangehouserenovation continues and you can read more about it on our Mini Moneypit blog. I love having a craft room and it got a lot of use last year for wedding preparations and then Christmas presents which meant at the start of the new year it was very messy. I decided to have a good clean out and reorganise and it was much better (I think it needs a bit of a tidy in January too.) We have completed our kitchen and the latest project has been the bathroom and cloakroom for which I am learning tiling. I also surprised Paul and decorated the bedroom whilst he was at work one day!

Business – its been a crazy year for Butterfly Crafts trying to get back on track from taking most of 2014 off. I have attended a brilliant photography course with Emily Quinton and that got me all inspired to take new product photos which I get to do in the craft room with loads of natural light, I have worked hard on lots of new products such as the super cute owls, fabric bow brooches and of course lots of new cards and soap. It has also been a lot of fun developing the Craftea Workshops and teaching people new crafts, and eating homebaked cakes! I have tried to blog more but this is something I have always struggled with. I have booked a ticket to Blogtacular 2016 and I am super excited about this so I hope in 2016 you will see more blog posts from me but also come and say hello on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I got back into the swing of fairs this Christmas season, it’s always lovely meeting customers in person.

Life – I have battled with chronic back pain this year but it is getting under control much better. I have learned that living with anxiety doesn’t help my back and so I try to manage my anxiety as best as I know how, it is hard but I have a wonderful support network who hug me when I need it. It has been great to spend more time with friends this year, they always seem to appreciate cake and my baking and it’s good to socialise. The biggest ‘life’ change has been the challenge to lose almost 28lbs in five months, I feel so much better for it. We have also managed a few trips away, to our favourite Wassenaar in Holland, the Cotswolds for my birthday and a trip to Centre Parcs. This year we are already looking forward to a trip to France and a weekend spa break in Suffolk.

So where does this leave me for 2016? Well, I used to make a big long list of resolutions but I never would complete them all and then feel like I have left myself down. So, I have three words for the year:

‘Family’ – I want to spend more time with my family and extended family of friends, I cherish every moment I get with my nieces and loved ones.

‘Craft’ – I have lots of craft projects I would like to complete for myself such as my 115 pillowcase dress challenge or my knitted blanket I’ve been working on for a few years. I love craft but I have to realise that I am allowed to make things just for me or just because, not everything has to be for my business.

‘Business’ – I have so many plans in my head for Butterfly Crafts of products to develop, blog ideas to write, bigger plans to make my little acorn of a small business start to grow into a sapling of a tree. I am such a big supporter of independent businesses and it’s time I start to believe even more in my own!

Another year over. A new one just about to begin. Let’s hope 2016 will be amazing!

Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub Tutorial

Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub Tutorial by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

With Christmas fast approaching you may be thinking about last minute Christmas gifts or how to keep to a budget with your shopping. Handmade gifts are so personal and show the recipient you care about them. This is a simple tutorial to make a Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub which would make a super gift for someone who loves gardening.

To make this lemon sugar scrub you will need 2.5cups of granulated sugar, 1 cup of extra virgin olive all and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice – that’s it!

In a bowl, mix the sugar with the olive oil using a metal spoon, it will take quite some stirring but will eventually become a gritty paste. Then add in the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Once the scrub is all mixed together transfer it to a jar with an airtight lid. I used 0.5L jars from Ikea but any jar would do.

I find it a good idea to keep the jar with a spoon so that it can be stirred before use and making it a little easy to scoop into your hands.

Both Mum and my sister in law are keen gardeners and I think this scrub would make a great gift for them at Christmas, tied with a ribbon and with a spoon.