Tips for iPhoneography with Shutterhub

Tips for iphoneography workshops with Shutter Hub by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

On a gorgeous sunny day in Cambridge last week I joined a bunch of other creatives at a Shutter Hub Workshop with Sara Tasker all about iPhoneography. I’ve always wanted to get more out of using my iPhone and it’s camera because its really handy to have in my pocket so I thought a workshop on iPhoneography would be perfect.

So what is iPhoneography I hear you ask? Well, as Sara explained, it’s a new movement of photography taking and processing pictures on your phone rather than a dslr or other camera. It’s much quicker and easier to take photos in this way when a job or family life can get in the way and take up more time.

To some, taking photos with your iPhone might seem amateur but even professionals use it and now there is even the annual iPhone Photography Awards  

Sara spent the first part of the workshop talking to us about why iPhoneography has become so popular.

  • Simplicity – there are limited settings and little learning needed meaning the emphasis is on the subject rather than technical specifications.
  • Accessibility – Most people (especially me) always have their phone with them making it super quick to capture a moment as it happens, this then makes photos more relatable.
  • Style – iPhoneography definitely seems to have taken more of a retro style but is also more forgiving as it doesn’t capture quite as much detail as a dslr photo might.
  • Community – The rise of networks such as Instagram amongst a young and diverse audience.
  • Shareability – The quick processing and relatable subjects mean its easy to share instantly on social media rather than put photos on a pc, edit them and then share.

After getting us all to take a photo as a baseline before we learn anything, Sara shared a few basics about using your iPhone camera such as you can swipe up from the lock screen and the camera is there, tap the screen to focus or hold it down and it will lock the focus, hold down the shutter button and it will take a burst of ten photos, always use the grid lines and finally that you can use the volume buttons on the side of the phone, or on headphones as a shutter button.

Tips for iphoneography workshops with Shutter Hub by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

After taking photos of our hands or feet (including part of ourselves puts us, and our audience, in the moment we are experiencing) Sara shared some tips on getting the best from our photos.

  • Composition – this is something that you can’t fake or fix at a later late and follow the rule of thirds, using the grid on your phone helps with this
  • Angle – A top down photo, or ‘flat lay’ puts your audience in the moment with you, or get down to your subjects eye level, but always keep straight lines straight.
  • Balance – Think about negative space and what backgrounds you use so they are not too distracting from your subject
  • Texture – Showing texture can make a photo tactile or sensory, it also shows how life can get messy

Our final challenge of the session was to take a ‘selfie’ as putting ourselves in the picture helps add to the story you want to tell and even just a part of you is enough to convey your message. The top tip Sara gave for this is to NEVER us the front facing camera but find something to rest your iPhone on, and get familiar with the self timer.

Tips for iphoneography workshops with Shutter Hub by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

With a few photos now taken we had a quick practice at editing on our phones and what apps are good to use. There are so many options out there but Sara recommended VSCO and has a beginners guide on her blog (I didn’t find this particularly intuitive to use) and A Colour Story (good for bright and colourful photos) I also use PicTapGo which I find really simple to use.

It was really good to spend a couple of hours thinking about photography and getting some tips using a camera I carry around with me all of the time. I am trying really hard with my social media sharing lately, in particular Instagram, and so I will be trying to put into practice some of the tips I picked up.

If you want to find out more about Sara then you can follow her over on Twitter, Instagram or take a read of her Me and Orla blog. Shutter Hub is a collective and resource, created and maintained by photographers in the UK. One of the aims of Shutter Hub is to provide information and advice for photographers (or budding photographers) and the workshop is just one of the ways they do this.

Tips for iphoneography workshops with Shutter Hub by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Sainsbury’s Summer Stationery Haul

Sainsbury's Stationery Haul by Butterfly Crafts

If you’ve followed me for a while, especially on Instagram, you will know that I LOVE stationery, always have and always will, and so I jump at the chance to treat myself to something new. Enter Sainsbury’s range of “Impressionist” stationery new for the Summer. I happened to be in store recently looking for something else and noticed the beautiful stationery and I decided a treat was needed.

Sainsbury's Stationery Haul by Butterfly Crafts

These notebooks are A6 in size and come as a pack of three, they are all lined. I think they are super cute for their size and will be great to tuck into the pack of my Erin Condren Life Planner to keep a small notebook to hand.

Sainsbury's Stationery Haul by Butterfly Crafts

I’ve been searching for an A5 clipboard for quite a while as I thought it would be nice to have a sign up form for my e-newsletter at Craft Fairs so seeing this one was a definite purchase.  I love that it comes with a ‘Things to do’ notepad. I love a notepad and I always have a to do list on the go.

Sainsbury's Stationery Haul by Butterfly Crafts

Sainsbury's Stationery Haul by Butterfly Crafts

I have been using sticky notes a lot recently, they are great as page flags in books I have been reading and want to refer back to, but also for adding things into my planner that are happening at a future date – I then write it in at the start of the week once confirmed. So I love a pretty set of sticky notes and these ones come contained in a tin which is great for storage. And washi tape! The coordinating washi tape in this range is lovely, the glitter will add great sparkle to the back of envelopes which is one of the ways I love to use washi tape. For more washi tape ideas take a look at my How To Craft With Washi Tape Pinterest Board.

A supermarket might not be the first place you think of for buying stationery but take a look next time you are in one – pretty stationery and usually at very reasonable prices. I can’t wait to use these in keeping organised and with my planner.

**I have not been paid or asked to write this post, I just wanted to share some stationery I loved**

Sainsbury's Stationery Haul by Butterfly Crafts

Craft Room Tour

Butterfly Crafts Craft Room Tour

On Instagram I often share snippets of what happens behind the scenes at Butterfly Crafts and that includes snapshots of my craft room. I thought I would take a bit of time today and share my craft room set up in more detail – be prepared for a lot of photos!

When we moved into our house back in April 2014 we decided that the second reception room downstairs would be perfect for my craft room, it overlooks the garden and has great natural light. You can see the original room in the “Craft Room – In The Beginning‘ blog post from April 2015 – it was painted grey with awful carpet.  The room is painted lilac and I have tried to maximise as much storage space as possible, primarily using Ikea units and various storage boxes.

Butterfly Crafts Craft Room Tour

Butterfly Crafts Craft Room Tour

Butterfly Crafts Craft Room Tour

In the corner of the craft room are my old wardrobes which I’ve renamed my Crafterobe. They have sliding doors, one side is mainly shelves and the other is shelves and drawers which are really great for fabric storage as fabric is best stored flat and away from sunlight.

Butterfly Crafts Craft Room Tour

I have a small TV which is great for watching DVDs or listening to the radio whilst I craft. Above the TV I have a couple of shelves housing the TiVo box but also my bucket filled with packaging supplies, a mini version of my wedding bouquet and other pretty things.

Butterfly Crafts Craft Room Tour

On the back of the door I have baskets which are great for holding ribbons and rolls of ricrac. On the side of the ‘crafterobe’ I also have a pin board with loads of happy inspiration. We are thinking of changing the doors in our hallway soon meaning this door will change to one with glass which will be great for added light.

Butterfly Crafts Craft Room Tour

My final element of storage is an Ikea Billy Bookcase with a glass door. I use the top shelves for button and thread storage and my sewing kit and the bottom shelves are for my craft books, both technique and small business books.

Butterfly Crafts Craft Room Tour

The table I use in the craft room is our old dining room table, at one end I have a small 2×2 Expedit unit with storage boxes. The table is covered with oilcloth making it great for crafting as its easy to clean. I love the view from this space and the large sliding doors which I can open in warm weather and listen to the birds chirp. Behind the table is a blank wall space and I have a few ideas in mind for decorating it – watch this space!

Butterfly Crafts Craft Room Tour

I do love working in my craft room, its my place of calm and creativity, where I can spend hours just looking at fabric and pretty things or sit and watch the birds outside whilst I create. I hope you enjoy seeing where the magic happens for Butterfly Crafts, if there is anything you’d like to know about or see up close just let me know!

Butterfly Crafts Craft Room Tour

Teacher Thank You Gift Ideas

The end of term is fast approaching with most schools breaking up in a couple of weeks time, maybe you’re all organised and already have your teacher thank you gifts sorted but if not here are a few suggestions of what the teachers in your life might like to receive as an end of term thank you gift.

Lavender Owls by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Super Cute Felt Owls by Butterfly Crafts

Teacher Thank You Gift Ideas from Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

A6 Notebook Trio by OhNoRachio

Natural Handmade Soap Bars by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Natural Handmade Soap Bars by Butterfly Crafts

Teacher Thank You Gift Ideas from Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Hand Stamped Personalised Key Chain by LaurieBale

Fabric Bow Handestitched Brooch Pins by Butterfly Crafts

Fabric Bow Handmade Brooch Pin by Butterfly Crafts

Cuppa Cards by Butterfly Crafts

Cuppa Cards make perfect Teacher Thank You Cards by Butterfly Crafts

I hope these will help with a little inspiration for what to gift a teacher at the end of a busy term – or even buy ahead ready for Christmas!

Life Lately – June 2016

Just like May, June has flown by in a blink of an eye, but oh my what an exciting month it has been, there has been fun, travel lots in between.

Life Lately June 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

I knew that June was going to be a super busy month and so I wanted to start off on the right foot with the husband and we went off to Norwich for the day for a treasure hunt, I just loved these colourful market stalls! This was part of our first wedding anniversary gifts which you can read about here.

Life Lately June 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Life Lately June 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

The month also ended on a travel theme with an amazing trip to Iceland. It was bloomin cold not getting much higher than 10c but the scenery was astounding, waterfalls, volcanos, mountains and lupins. Oh the lupins. I got to practice my photo jumping!

Life Lately June 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

The days off continued with a great visit to Gardeners World Live with Mum, it was my first time at the show, have you been? I would definitely recommend it if you have a garden, or even just a window box. Just look at that pink tool shed.

Blogtacular-Creative-Conference-2016-Image-Courtesy-of-Mollie-Makes-©-Will-Ireland-276

Image Courtesy of Mollie Makes © Will Ireland

Where do I start talking about Blogtacular? Aside from Iceland, I think Blogtacular would be the highlight of June. I am still processing the day in my head, the people I met, the inspiring talks I got to listen to and the ideas that came from it all. I wrote my first post, 5 Tips To Help Prepare For A Conference If You’re Anxious, and there will be a couple more to come later this month.

Life Lately June 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

In preparation for Blogtacular I got busy in the Craft Room and made up some very special tags to give out with my business cards. I just love this Kitchen Aid inspired stamp and I have plans for it in the future, watch this space.

Life Lately June 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Badges and pins are having a huge rise in popularity, I remember they were when I was at school as I covered my bag in them! I’ve started my collection with these from (L-r) Sew Crafty, JillyJilly and OhNoRachio. Have you started to collect pins? I’d love to see what they are.

Life Lately June 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

June also saw me feed my stationery addiction with a few new purchases. Heading into London for Blogtacular meant we just HAD to visit KikkiK and I picked up a box of adorable quote cards and a set of pens. My love of Erin Condren has also expanded with a new sticker book and just look at the pretty hearts on my new planner – this one is for 2017 so I have to wait a little while to use it. Sob.

How was June for you? Did you discover any new indie stores or go on any adventures? I look forward to telling you all about July and then it’s my birthday!

5 Tips To Help Prepare For A Conference If You’re Anxious

5 Tips To Help Prepare For A Conference If You're Anxious by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Image Courtesy of Mollie Makes © Will Ireland

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending my first blogging conference – Blogtacular – the conference to go to if you are a blogger in the creative field. It has taken me quite a while to even begin to process all that I learnt and everyone who I met on the day. Not to mention a good rummage in the goodie bag afterwards! I plan on writing a few posts about Blogtacular – what I learnt, my actions afterwards and of course the goodie bag reveal. However I wanted to start with a short post on preparing for attending an event such as Blogtacular if like me, you suffer from acute anxiety and you get nervous in these sort of situations. So here goes with my five top tips for preparing for a conference:

Network beforehand – One of the fantastic things with Blogtacular is the weekly #blogtacular chats on Twitter (9pm every Wednesday) and also the Facebook group. I was anxious about meeting people on the day but by interacting with them during the Twitter chats and commenting on posts in the Facebook group meant I already had some idea of who people were, what they blog about and to my relief….many were nervous to. A big conference often has a # for social media so why not put a post out on Twitter asking who else is attending your event?

Arrange to meet someone on the day – If you have been able to network in advance or you know someone else going to the conference, arrange to meet them on the day, either in the lobby area of the venue or if you don’t think that’s possible then at the first break time you have. If you are super anxious, it can be helpful knowing that you are going to meet a friendly face and be able to talk with someone during the networking sessions rather than hide away in the loo or a corner of the room on your phone.

Plan your sessions – often with conferences, as with Blogtacular, the schedule of speakers is shared before the day. This is great as it gives you time to think about what sessions you would like to attend, perhaps think about questions you might like to ask and also do a little background research on the speakers so you are familiar with what they do. One tip is not to be too fixed on what sessions you want to attend just incase there isn’t space in the room on the day.

Give yourself time to travel – Because I was busy earlier in the week I was unable to join the Blogtacular Craft Party at West Elm the night before, meaning I would be getting up much earlier than I liked and travelling into London the morning of the conference. I was a bit anxious about getting there on time and walking into a room filled with people [hello imposter syndrome!]. If this is something that makes you anxious either plan to stay close by the night before if your budget allows, or, make sure your allow plenty of time for travel and potential delays. If in London, it’s always handy to have an alternative tube route in case there is engineering works on the line you need.

Pack your bag in advance – you don’t want to be rushing around the minute you are supposed to be leaving on the day trying to find your favourite pen or a notebook. Have a think about what you might need on the day and pack your bag in advance. Do you need a cardi if the air-con is likely to be cold, do you need to take a packed lunch (I always do, I have food anxiety), what about a pen and notebook – ALWAYS an excuse for stationery shopping!! And don’t forget your business cards.

Anxiety can be horrible, especially in a situation such as a conference and so by taking a few steps to prepare beforehand you will hopefully reduce the level of anxiety on the day. But one final tip to bear in mind, with a conference about a specialised subject, such as creative blogging, everyone is attending for the same reason and so you will always have something in common with everyone there!

Keep an eye out for future posts about Blogtacular, I have a few planned for the next couple of weeks. Were you there? I’d love to hear from anyone who was, or share a tip about how you prepared for the event.

 

5 Tips To Help Prepare For A Conference If You're Anxious by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Mollie Makes Photography Special

Mollie Makes Photography Magazine Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmad Emporium

I love a good craft magazine and Mollie Makes is no different so I was super excited to find that the people behind the monthly magazine had released a few special editions. Photography is something I am working hard to improve, I’ve already written about attending a Makelight Workshop, but it’s good to have something to refer back to and so I picked up a copy when it came out (ok so it was published in 2014) and have finally had a chance to sit and read it cover to cover.

Mollie Makes Photography Magazine Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmad Emporium

Now that I’ve treat myself to a new camera (Olympus PEN E-PL7) and also have a dslr camera I would like to learn more of the technical aspects of photography, rather than just ‘point and shoot’, but I find it rather daunting. The magazine includes loads of tips about the technical parts of photography in a factual way but also with practical examples, such as the ‘Find Your Light’ spread above.

Mollie Makes Photography Magazine Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmad Emporium

I love that the magazine makes you think about your photography style and how to develop and change the way you take photos beyond your usual angles. The ‘Location, Location, Location’ piece in particular was interesting in challenging you to go on location for a week, change your perspective and not to get wrapped up in the small details. I hope to take myself on a photo walk of my town as a way to practice.

Mollie Makes Photography Magazine Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmad Emporium

There are SO many ‘apps’ out there now to help edit your photos or create special effects, especially if you use the camera you keep in your back pocket. But it can be confusing which ones to use, paid or free, and so the ’12 of the best apps’ feature was really interesting. I love my iPhone for taking photos, the camera on it is great and it’s fab for updating social media quickly with a quick edit in an app. I use PicTapGo and Live Collage at the moment.

Mollie Makes Photography Magazine Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmad Emporium

I wasn’t expecting to see craft tutorials in a magazine special about photography, but I loved the craft elements of the magazine. I never would have thought to take an old camera and turn it into a lamp base, and the felt camera bag tutorial was beyond cute. I also found it inspiring to read the various interviews and snippets with people who make a career out of photography, who share prolifically on social media, or who just have excellent photography styling and see what tips they had to share.

I am not sure if you can still pick up a copy of the magazine as it was published a little while ago now, but, if you do happen to see one I would say grab it! Have you read the Mollie Makes Photography special? I’d love to hear what you thought of it, or if you have any other photography tips please do share, it’s something I am always striving to improve.

Mollie Makes Photography Magazine Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmad Emporium

Cuppa Cards

Cuppa Cards by Butterfly Crafts

Lately there has been a resurgence in the sending of happy mail – think PostCircle, Ladywriters and other similar groups. I think it’s always handy to have a supply of blank greetings cards in your stationery supply to use for happy mail but also incase you need to send a belated birthday card, wish someone get well wishes, say thank you or just a note to say hello. Enter Cuppa Cards.

Fruit Tea Blank Cuppa Card by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Cuppa Cards are a card I designed a few years ago now to send a friend a cup of tea just to say hello as I missed catching up with her, you know how life gets, and I thought they would be a great addition to the online shop.

Pure White Tea Blank Cuppa Card by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

A6 in size they are great to send a note and all designs are blank on the inside making them suitable for any occasion you need. The teacup is hand coloured to compliment the background paper and include either an individually wrapped teabag or two coffee sachets.

Decaf Coffee Blank Cuppa Card by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

The tea Cuppa Cards have a little greeting – “Have a cup of tea while you think of me, I will have one too while I think of you” and the coffee Cuppa Cards say “A little something I can share to let you know I really care”

Pure Green Tea Blank Cuppa Card by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Cuppa Cards are in stock now and cost £3 each – why not get one and send a friend a cup of tea! You can see the full range in the Cuppa Card category online.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas 2016

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Fathers Day is fast approaching and so if you haven’t already, it’s time to think about a gift and a card for your Dad. I thought it would be fun to share a few gift ideas that I have found for your Dad or the Father figure in your life.

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

If your Dad is the DIY kind then how lovely is this Personalised screwdriver set from Auntiemims on Etsy.

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

How adorable Personalised Cufflink Dish from DianaParkhouse on Etsy

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

I love the quirkyness of the parenting T-shirts from Parent Apparel

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Perfect gift for a biscuit lover Dad – Biscuit cushions from Nikki McWilliams

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

And don’t forget about a Father’s Day card either. A handmade card is a personal touch for your Dad, I have card designs for gardeners, car enthusiasts, a good fry up and more. Take a look in the Fathers Day Card category in the online shop.

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

If you get really short of time, or you have children and need ideas for something for them to give their Dad, why not get crafting? This Fathers Day board on Pinterest has lots of ideas to try out too, take a look.

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2016 by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Pocket and Pins Monthly “Habdash” Subscription Box Review

Pocket and Pin Habdash Box Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Monthly subscription boxes are really popular at the moment, you can get stationery boxes, lucky dip boxes, craft boxes – so much choice. When Sarah from Pocket and Pin launched the monthly Habdash box I knew that it was the box for me.

Pocket and Pin Habdash Box Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Each month a lovely little box arrives on your doorstep filled with crafty goodness, there are no instructions or ideas of what to make so you can use your own imagination, or if you’re like me, spend ages just looking at the pretty felt bundle!

Pocket and Pin Habdash Box Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

The boxes are themed each month and contents do vary slightly from month to month but on a general basis you will receive a bundle of six felt pieces all in complimentary colours, buttons, a wooden bobbin wound with embroidery thread, ribbon and a fat quarter. The contents are wrapped in tissue and the box is tied with twine which I reuse for packing up my orders.

Pocket and Pin Habdash Box Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

There are a few options for purchasing boxes, you can give a one of box a try for £15 including postage (international is £21), or you can buy a three, six or twelve month subscriptions which include a bit of a discount. If you have a crafty friend then you can buy a gift subscription too.

All the pictures so far have been from the April box, but here are some more from previous themed months, just indulge me at sharing pretty felt and fabric!

Pocket and Pin Habdash Box Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Pocket and Pin Habdash Box Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Pocket and Pin Habdash Box Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Pocket and Pin Habdash Box Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

Pocket and Pin Habdash Box Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium

What I love about the Habdash box is that it includes felt, buttons and fabric. Enough said? But aside from that, you are completely left to make up whatever you like with the contents, be it patchwork with the fabric, embroidery, or fun animals with the felt. You can search the #habdash hashtag on Instagram for seeing what other people make with their goodies. If you love sewing and felt or fabric crafts then why not give it a try, I’d love to see what you make.

**I was not asked or paid for this review, I did win a three month subscription  but have purchased other boxes**

Pocket and Pin Habdash Box Review by Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium