Friday, 27 April 2012

Buy Handmade Gifts.... Just Because!

So, as some of you know I love the idea of either buying handmade presents or making presents for people.  It's my aim this year to do just that, buy or make as many handcrafted gifts as possible.  I've been looking into ideas and on my search I have come across some truly talented crafters (some of whom will be interviewed over the coming months)!  And whilst I am going to be doing a "buy homemade for Christmas" post in November, I just had to showcase some of the great crafts and products I have already found on facebook! 

This is just a small proportion of crafters, I'm thinking I may have to do a few more posts like this over the coming months as handmade presents shouldn't just be for Christmas!

Why not check out these products, I've linked to their facebook pages or websites so you can visit them to see more of their fabulous work......


Coffee Lover Clock by JewelOri - £15

JewelOri


"Apple for Teacher" thank you gift by Holly-blues and Quirky-birds - £5.49

Holly blues and quirky birds


Phone sleeve by Beautiful Bags by Bellus Pera - £10
 
Beautiful bags by Bellus Pera

Selection of Gourmet Marshmallows (Raspberry, Key Lime Pie and Triple Chocolate!) by Burgh Bakes - £3.25 (price varies depending on flavour)
 
Burgh Bakes

Basil and Blossom cushions by The Sherbert Patch - £12.95 (each)

The Sherbert Patch

 Well, I hoped you liked them as much as I do.  Will feature some more soon as I can't believe how much fantastic talent there is out there!!

If there are any types of gifts you'd like to see, e.g. for men, for the home then leave your suggestion in the comments and I'll try an put together a feature.

Until next time

Amanda x

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Spitalfields Market and Photography Challenges

Hello all!

So, exciting times ahead for Water Lily Wishes!  Having just been granted a place at Spitalfields Market (huge market in London town!) for the 9th June, I am both excited and nervous!  I've never sold at such a big event before and needless to say my weekends and evenings will be spent building up my stock ready for it.


Old Spitalfields Market - London (image courtesy of their website)

This event is being organised by Fifi's Contemporary Markets and I've sold at one of her fairs before (just off Birck Lane!) which was great fun.  So when this opportunity came up I knew I had to take the plunge and put my nerves aside, I mean, imagine the exposure it will give my cards!

Fifi's Christmas Market - Brick Lane
So.... Put it in your diary everyone! If you are in London on the 9th June then please stop by to say hello, I might even conjur up some kind of offer for all blog readers who come along and mention this post!

The other thing that's happening in the world of Water Lily Wishes is that I am going to start concentrating more on my photography.  I love taking photos and I feel like my camera has been a little neglected recently.  H2B (hubby to be!) is also considering getting an SLR so we will become a photography dynamic duo!!

So, the plan is to get out and about using our cameras more, the Digital Photography School set a weekly photography challenge and we're going to have a go at this and I'll post our pictures as and when we take part.  Hopefully you'll enjoy seeing our photos, here's a sneak peak at the first one (the assignment was "Urban Landscapes")


As you can see it was a very sunny day when that was taken, where did that go!?  It's now throwing it down with rain so I don't think I will be venturing outside anytime soon!

Well, that's all the chit chat from me for now.

Until next time...

Amanda x

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Featuring... JewelOri

This is the first of my monthly “Featuring…” posts where I will be interviewing a fellow crafter who I’ve had direct experience with and think they are fab!  I’ll be finding out what they do, where they draw their inspiration, and because I love going on holiday – where their dream holiday would be! 

So without further ado, here is the fabulous JewelOri……


Q.  Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Hello! I am a full-time student studying MSc Occupational Therapy and also a part-time care worker. In my spare time I love crafting, and I will try anything I discover e.g. knitting, jewellery making, decoupage, crochet and paper-sculpting.  I relish watching craft programmes such as the ones by Kirstie Allsopp and also reading craft books and magazines, my current favourite is Simply Homemade magazine.

Q.  And what is JewelOri and how did it come about?

JewelOri combines my passion for glitzy bits and jewellery making (Jewel) with paper and paper-crafts (Ori – from origami).  Initially I went to an origami club at University as a joke but really enjoyed it; my sister bought me a book which merged origami and jewellery together. I then expanded to other paper-crafts and paper sculpting, I began to design home decorations, gifts and Christmas decorations alongside my jewellery. I started to sell at craft fairs and via Facebook as a hobby business.  From there I have now started to blog, Tweet and have an online shop on www.tosouk.com.

Q.  Your designs are gorgeous, where or what do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspirations mainly from the seasons and my current surroundings.  I love anything bright and bold, quirky and unusual, along with a bit of sparkle every so often.  I like to see what others are doing in their work (fashion, home d├ęcor etc) and design my items to compliment current fashions and trends, as well as more unique tastes. Well you have to have something to suit everyone!

Q.  If you had to name a favourite piece that you’ve made, which would it be? 

My favourite piece has to be the first necklace I ever made. It is created from 64 individual pieces of paper entwined together to create a starburst effect. It takes a lot of patience and time to create but I think it really is worth it!





Q.  How can people get in contact with you and see your beautiful products?

Twitter - @JewelOri
Email – jewelori@hotmail.com

Q.  Random question – what would be your dream holiday?

My dream holiday would be to return to Townsville, Australia I had an awesome time there.  However to address my childish side I’d love to visit the Harry Potter theme park at Disney, Orlando!!

Q.  And last question, what does 2012 hold for JewelOri?

2012 is rather hectic personally as I’ve just started my degree, but I have a few craft fairs lined up including the Norwich Makers Market on the 17th April. This year’s main focus is to be on networking with my blog and online-shop and to raise my profile with Twitter and Facebook

Thank you JewelOri 

I hope you’ll all go and visit JewelOri on and take a look at her designs, I’m especially excited as I’ve ordered 100 origami roses for our wedding table centre pieces and origami roses for the guys buttonholes!

Take care and until next time….

Amanda x


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

DIY Crafts - Flower Arranging

So it’s another “first” post, this time I’m doing a DIY craft feature where I hope to impart a newly acquired skill or give away a freebie download.  This time, I’m going to show you how to arrange flowers!

For Mother’s Day weekend; my sister (and fellow blogger – JewelOri), her other half (I’ll call him J) and myself set about making a flower arrangement to give to our Mum’s.  I was very surprised at how well they turned out, so much so that J’s Mum didn’t believe he had made it!!!  See for yourself…


So here’s how to do it.

What you will need:

-          Florist oasis (can be bought online or at most garden centres)
-          Knife (to cut the oasis )
-          Florist scissors
-          Greenery (can be taken from garden – in our case it was Mum’s garden!)
-          Flowers (we used supermarket flowers, each arrangement used one small bunch)
-          Sturdy flower put (i.e. not plastic)
-          3 Sticks for the trunk of the arrangement (we used twisted willow branches, again from Mum’s garden)
-          Bowl or sink of water

Step 1 – Cut your oasis

You will need two cubes, roughly 4 inches by 4 inches (10cm) with the edges and corners rounded.  It doesn’t have to be perfectly spherical.  Then place these into a bowl of water and let them sink.  Do not push them into the water otherwise you’ll get air bubbles.



Step 2 – Pick your greenery

You’ll want something leafy so that you can cover the bottom and fill out the flower ball on the top.  The end result is to have something that looks like a topiary bay leaf tree.



Step 3 – Assemble the trunk

Place one of the oasis balls into the flower pot and push the 3 sticks into the oasis so that it is firmly in place but not pushed all the way through to the other side of the oasis.  This creates the base and trunk of your arrangement.

Step 4 – Cut your greenery

Work with small sprigs of greenery at a time, two or 3 leaves on a stem.  Cut away any stray stems that look unsightly


Step 5 – Arrange your base greenery

Push the sprigs of greenery into the base oasis until you can no longer see the oasis.


Step 6 – Select your flowers

We decided to go for two colours within our arrangements, but you can use more colours or just one colour in yours, it is entirely up to you.  


Step 7 – Secure the top oasis

Carry your arrangement back over to the sink and whilst holding the trunk of the arrangement push the second oasis ball onto the top of the sticks.  Don’t worry about the water coming out of the oasis, this is normal – just make sure you have a towel to hand! 


Step 8 – Add the flowers

Now you can start adding the flowers to the ball.  You don’t need a huge stem on the flowers, about an inch (2.5cm) will do.  The aim is for the top to be spherical, so depending on how round your oasis is, you might have to push some flowers in more than others.


Step 9 – Keep adding

Keep adding flowers and greenery until you can no longer see the oasis ball beneath.  Don’t forget the underneath of the top ball, it is a good idea to stand back and look at your arrangement from all angles to make sure you don’t have any bald spots.


Step 10 – Stand back and admire!

And there you have it, a beautiful flower arrangement that costs under a tenner to produce, now all you have to do is decide who to give it to.


Until next time…

Amanda x

Monday, 2 April 2012

Meet the Raving Robots Gang!


My latest range of cards was inspired by some robot paper I bought for H2B’s (husband to be!!) birthday presents earlier in the year.  I wanted to create a range of cards that had character and so the Raving Robots were born. 

With the help from my facebook page’s fans we came up with these 4 characters

Clink - fun loving and loves to play pranks on her fellow robots!!


Coil - highly intelligent, he is the brains behind their operations!


Sprocket - loves to break out the dance moves, whether there is music playing or not!


And last but by no means least.....
Widget - a high flyer who is constantly on the look out for exciting new adventures they can go on.
 

These cards can be bought from my online store - www.water-lily-wishes.co.uk and I'll also be expanding the range to include new characters and maybe even some matching gift wrap! 

Until next time....

Amanda x