Crafter life – You know you are a crafter when…

When you’ve been into crafting hobbies as long as I have, there are some real tell signs that you have become a crafter. I thought that it would be a funny idea to list the signs that you know you are a passionate crafter.

You know you are a crafter when…

♡ You can’t just work on one project at any given time. You have about 10 or more on the go, but that’s ok. Your finish them all one day.

♡ When your crafting you lose all concept of time. You are literally in your own world and reality doesn’t matter.

♡ You don’t particularly like to tell anyone how much you spend on crafting supplies because you know they would not understand it’s needed not wanted.

♡ And speaking of your stash…no one needs to know just how much stuff you have. You’ve learnt how to Tetris your stash so you can fit more.

♡ You spend more time scrolling through Pinterest more than anything else.

♡ You always keep the door to your crafting space shut because, well… it’s one massive creative mess. But that’s ok it’s your creative mess and your desk is just how you like it.

♡ Trying to clean your crafting room is pretty impossible and the problem is always the size of your crafting room. You don’t have enough space and you probably never will.

♡ You own more embellishments then jewellery and you love all of them so much. So much so that your collection is still growing and your reluctance to use some things because you are waiting for the perfect project.

If that wasn’t enough, I have more…

crafter
Img Src: Canava

♡ You subscribe to crafting and homemaking magazines . . . You then scrapbook your favourite magazine pages.

♡ You believe that there’s no such thing as too much glitter. In fact, it’s everywhere. Including the floor.

♡ You don’t throw away ANY scraps. Honestly, who would do that? You might need them later.

♡ If someone asks, “Where did you get that?” and you get to say, “I made it,” You are unable to hold back the proud exciting feeling in your voice.

 ♡ You don’t understand anyone who thinks that storing their photos on their computer or on social media is “good enough.” It’s just not the same, no way.

crafter

♡ You frequently see things at the store and think, ‘I could honestly make that myself for hardly anything’

♡ Using your favourite crafting materials to create a gift for someone else is slightly heartbreaking.

♡ Your passion for the craft is constantly growing and the list of future projects you plan to do is never-ending.

♡ Your hands are covered in cuts from blades and scold from hot glue guns, but it was worth the pain and tears.

♡ If you are a vinyl crafter. You find that you get it everywhere. Even in your hair. Or maybe it’s even stuck to your face for hours before you even realise.

♡ When you pack for a holiday, the first thing you pack is your current crafting project.

♡ you own scissors, glue, and plenty of variety of tape. Yet when someone else needs them, they’re never around.

♡ your dreams consist of craft friends. Well, my friends, I mean tools (I’m honestly hoping I am not alone)

Fact – Crafting is so good for our mental health! I wrote a post about this, here.

If you are a crafter or have a passion for arts etc. Let me know in the comments what else gives us away.
Also, be sure to check out my Instagram corner for craft here.

Cricut crafts – 3D flowers in 5 simple steps.

I am really excited to be sharing my first of hopefully many more craft how-to posts, especially when it comes to the Cricut. I recently shared an Instagram post of a shadow box I had filled with 3D flowers, and a few people have inspired me to write by asking how to make these.

You may of reading my post recently about my excitement of being brought the Cricut explore air 2 recently, why I think the Cricut is any crafters best friend.
my opinion is still so strong on how much I love this crazy crafty machine.

Since I have been playing around in the world of Cricut I have absolutely loved creating shadow boxes full of colourful 3D flowers. As much as I love playing with vinyl, this is one of my favourite projects to do. These flowers are so very simple to make.

What you will need:

  • Card stock
  • hot glue gun
  • Your Cricut
  • tweezers

The time needed to make:

depending on how many flowers you are intended in to make. I would allow a few hours for this project. Individually each flower takes approximately 5 minutes.

Step one:

Cricut mat, 3D flowers

You will need to print your flower swirls from the Cricut projects. You can use the flowers guide that’s available in the projects here. I have opted to only print this one of the three in the project as it makes rose flowers, which is my favourite. For this shadow box, I have used A4 card stock, and fitted 6 swirls to a sheet, this did result in the flowers being quite small, however, you can make these any size that you like. Why not try experimenting with sizes?
If you don’t own a Cricut you could try making a stencil and cutting these out with scissors, unfortunately, it will take some time though.

Step two:

Cricut craft

Remove the excess paper from your rose swirls. So that you are left with just the cut-outs… now it’s time to turn the swirls into flowers! I keep a craft knife by me ready to cut anything that may not have cut completely with the Cricut. It depends on the thickness of the card most of the time.

Step three:

Cricut Craft

I prefer to use slim tweezers to start turning. Grasp these to the very end of the swirl. (Leaving the centre bit for last) twist the card around the tweezers basically rolling up the card until you read the end.

Step four:

Cricut craft, 3D flowers

Once you have finished turning your swirls, You will need to position the centre at the top so that you can secure your flower together.

Step five:

Cricut Craft

Add a pea-size amount of hot glue to the bottom of your flower and press this down with your fingers for about 20 seconds…

My top advice would be to be careful with your fingers. I have burnt my fingers making roses many times.

What to do with them…

there are plenty of things you can use these beautiful flowers for. As I mentioned before my favourite is a shadow box, and then vinyl on the glass. But you could also use these to decorate the outside of frames and mirrors.

I have recently started an Instagram page for me to share all my crafty shenanigans on called crafty hearts corner, so if you would like to see more of what I am up too with craft, give this a follow.

Meet the blogger – Jack Deyes

In case you missed it, back in December I posted my first meet the blogger segment with SarahTradeMark.
In this ‘Meet the blogger’ I am talking about the wonderful Jack Deyes. Jack is a lifestyle blogger who is very passionate about the blogging community.

My favourite post from Jack…

Jack has written an open post on his own experiences with autism. ‘I have autism’. Jack really goes into detail about his autism, and how it affects him on a day to day basis. I feel that anyone who reads this post will gain more of an understanding of autism.

If you would like to follow Jack on Social Media he is on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Here are the questions I asked blogger Jack

What Made You Start blogging?

I started my blog because I wanted something that I would see my self doing for a long time. Down to me reading loads of blogs like I do today blogging seemed like the perfect thing to do

What advice would you give to the new bloggers out there?

Keep up the outstanding work on your blog and blog posts. The work you are putting in is absolutely incredible. Make sure you make your blog you’re own and don’t let anyone tell you how you should be running your blog. After all, you made your blog for you and should continue to be that way. Also sometimes you may feel like giving up but don’t give up because your blog is amazing and so are and I believe you. When you feel lost in the blogging community or something towards your blog talk to a blogger because at the end of the day you’re apart of this blogging community and we all help and support one another and that includes you.

Where do you see your blog in 5 years time?

I hope to see it continue to grow and have even more fun posts on there for people to read. 

I really appreciate Jack taking part in my Meeting the bloggers’ segment.
If you would like to take part, send me an email to thealexajadeblog@gmail.com

What I am changing in 2020.

As we are now over a week into January I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about what I plan to change this 2020.
This year I am not setting any new year resolutions, just life changes that I want to keep too. We all set New Year’s resolutions but after a while, we seem to forget about them and no longer stick to them. This is why I do not want to call the resolutions this year. This year is all about life goals!

My happy planner this year to keep me on track!

Routine.

Last year my health caused my daily routines to make a major hit. In honesty, I completely lost all concept of what a routine even is or should be. One of my main goals right now especially is to get myself in a routine again. The past few days I have been setting my alarm for 9:30 every morning, which is a start since most days I had not been getting up till the afternoon.
Currently, my iPad and iPhone are acting more of a PA then anything else, as I am finally setting constant reminders, events, shared notes with Emma etc. Apparently this method seems to be working most for me, as I have started planning my day hour by hour.

Confidence.

At the beginning of this month, I posted about bringing confidence into 2020. Which as I said there I plan to step out of my comfort this year and become more confident we’re possible.
For me, I know that this is not going to be easy! But I am determined to try.

Learning to love myself for who I am

My self-employment.

Becoming self-employed is a big deal for me this year. I am finally starting to push myself in many ways to get organised, focused and motivated. 2019 left me with way too many months that I didn’t feel motivated at all, I am promising myself that this is not going to be the case this year.

Getting married. 04.09.2020.

Well, this is less of a goal and more of something that is definitely happening this year. With less than 9 months to go till September now and still so much to do. Our wedding is a massive focus of the year! I am so excited. This year I get to become Mrs Taplin to my beautiful fiancé Emma. One of our many exciting adventures this year.

Healthy lifestyle.

Having said about the wedding, this now fits in pretty well. This year I’m taking a particular interest in my health and lifestyle. Having had a bad year health-wise last year, I am hoping that by the wedding I can get myself into better shape then I am now. There are wedding photos to think about of course!

Moving house.

This is a given for us this year as well. This year, probably in the next 6 months I and Emma will be moving into our own place. That’s right, 2020 is a new house and a marriage!
how scary is this right? And so bloody exciting. We started this week, house searching. Already we are overwhelmed with the number of viewings and searching we have planned this week. I am excited and nervous about the challenges me and Emma will face by living on our own!
You will probably see me blogging about this a lot this year. I warn you now :).

Will 2020 be the year for using my camera more.

Now, this is really an ironic ambition for me this year. Honestly, I am a photo obsessed personality. I constantly have my phone out taking photos. Over the past few years though it’s constantly photos on my phone. Not my actual camera, which I spent so much money on.
It really annoys me that I’ve become so lazy when it comes to my DSLR, especially when it’s one of my prize possessions. So I am planning to get it out of its bag every chance I can.

Last but not least. Happiness.

I know that right now I am so lucky! I have an amazingly supportive partner, a wonderful family, a lovely place to live, amazing friends and so many wonderful things that are happening this year. 2020 is going to be a busy and amazing year for both of us.
Unfortunately, I sometimes allow my depression and anxiety to affect me way too much. So this year I want to try and improve by leaving myself happy messages and notes to find. Reminders. Things like that.
It is so easy for any of us, no matter what our situation, to forget how lucky we really are.

So this is my list of what I want to change (and what will be changing) in 2020.
What is it that you would like for your year? I hope you all reach your goals.

Confidence building. How to bring confidence into your life for 2020.

What is January other than an opportunity to start afresh! It is the time of year, that we are all praying for a fresh new start. We have the opportunity to leave any negative thoughts, feelings and experiences in 2019 behind.
My biggest new years resolution for this year is CONFIDENCE. One of the biggest things for me, and I know so many others.

we’re officially 5 days into January! the big 2020. I’m currently filled with positive vibes and a hell of a lot of motivation. I can’t wait to see what this year brings. I know a lot of things are happening this year for us both. So, I’m hoping to keep this up all of 2020! this is why confidence is so important to me right now.

So why is confidence so important?

Confidence has a massive impact on our happiness, and mental health. To be honest, though it’s a sucky business, honestly, it is. It comes and goes and sometimes is never there when we really need it.
Some are lucky, their natural persona is full of confidence with no issues, but it is not as easy for all of us.

So what should we be considering in order to make 2020 the most confident year for us all?

There are so many things that we can work on to help make this year go the way that we want it too. Confidence can affect the way we do things in life. I personally allow my anxiety and lack of confidence to win so often.

So today I am talking things to focus on that can help us build our confidence.

Confidence, new year, 2020
Rock it likes its 2020.

Remember your worth

This is something that is so important to each and every one of us, yet it’s also easy to forget. Now listen, You are amazing and you are beautiful. Everything about you is unique! and there is no other person on this planet that is an exact model of you! So take an opportunity to realise how valuable you really are!

Why don’t you try to make a list of things that you love about yourself! and write down exactly why you are an awesome person. Even if it includes things that appear to be silly like you like your hair or something like that. These things aren’t actually silly, there just as important to remember.
Look at the list every time you feel unconfident about yourself! and let the positive vibes work its magic.

Fake it till you make it?

This is a well-known phrase, and I do agree sometimes we do just need to fake it, literally. I am not telling you to fake who you are, definitely not.

Learning to be confident by practising confidence even when you do not feel it. It isn’t impossible, and nothing is. I believe the more you fake it the more you believe in your own confidence. I also believe in growing genuine confidence! that is a key thing. We are just learning how to get there.

Find your thing and pride your self on that.

We all have something, your thing could be anything… For example Blogging, social media, craft, athletics, fashion, makeup or music, It really doesn’t matter what it is. The fact is you have a thing that you are passionate about in life. and that thing makes you awesome! you could be a beginner but you are still rocking it! I know it for sure!

Finding what you are passionate about and using that to help your confidence grow. Whilst showing off your amazing talents. We all have something that not everyone will be into or good at. It is one of the unique traits we have. We can be confident at things that others won’t be.

So whatever it is you have. USE IT. Be confident in what you are doing, and rock it like you want to.

Record your progress.

Remember the last time you looked at photos of yourself from a long time ago? and Sitting there, reminiscing about how life was then to how it is now? Do you remember how good it felt? Seeing change?
Your progression is an amazing feeling and can grow confidence in your work and abilities. You are also giving yourself the opportunity to improve.
Recording your progression in tasks, and life can really help. Being able to see how far you have come, and what you need to do to go further.

whether it is taking photos of your work. or recording data of what you have done! having it led out in front of you can make a massive difference to how you see your own work.

Visualize yourself as the confident person you want to be.

it is no surprise, that sometimes in life we need to just take a break. We should use this time to imagine exactly what it is you want. Growing up and experience new things, impacts our decisions. Its how we choose to act on these decisions that get us to where we want to be.
Feeling unconfident can stop us from moving forward and reaching where we want to be. For example not having the confidence to attend an interview for your dream job.
So what can we do about it?

Take the time to plan what it is you want out of life. Visualise exactly what you want and how you are going to get there. We may still have obstacles to face but we can plan how we are going to deal with these.

Now tell yourself that you can do this! you are confident enough! Focus on your goals and go get them.
I would suggest creating something like a mood board. Focusing on what you want to achieve. You could create a mood board for any of your goals. Organisational skills can help your confidence whilst working on goals because you will feel more confidently prepared to face anything.

Doing things that scare you can build your confidence.

This may sound like an odd thing to say. In other words, why would you naturally put yourself in a position that you don’t want to be in, why? Because for each fear you conquer the adrenaline and positivity that this leads to that proud achievement feeling.
The feeling of you did it, it’s amazing and leads to your confidence blaring. Your confidence will naturally grow by you achieving things that are outside your comfort zone. It could be something small, but regularly finding things that are outside of your comfort you can grow your confidence.

Treat yourself to build your confidence.

Have you ever stood in the mirror having brought yourself new clothing and felt really positive?
Just by treating yourself and looking after your image and mental health, you already feel a bit more confident.
Treating yourself shouldn’t be considered as naughty! It is needed, so you are looking out for yourself.

keeping reasonable goals.

One massive thing that affects each and every one of our confidence levels is a failure. When we fail, we lose confidence in ourself and our abilities. It honestly happens to us all.
We all have aspirations and dreams that we want to reach, but we set our goals too high!

we need to break our dreams down into smaller goals, they need to be achievable. Goals that are too hard to become overwhelming and leads to the risk of becoming overwhelmed. Basically it all gets too much.
we need to set ourselves reasonable goals and that we know are achievable. Protecting our confidence and make our dreams a possibility.

positivity, confidence, positive

like I mentioned at the start of this post, confidence is a tricky and hard business. I promise you that I will be taking these steps this year to increase my own confidence. I believe the more my confidence grows, the more I will grow, mentally.
So, what do you think? do you have any other ideas that will help our confidence grow?

If you liked this post be sure to check out some of my others. And take a minute to follow me on Instagram here.

2019: Looking back at a crazy year

Hey Guys! firstly I want to say I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas 2019. I’ve seen so many people share on Facebook this week, the lovely presents that they have received and so many smiling faces. Christmas has been different for us this year, but every moment of it has been wonderful, we definitely let the lack of funds get us down when it came to be able to afford Christmas this year, but when it came down to the day nothing actually mattered, we had done so well for each other, and the family that everything just seemed to fall into place so well!

At this time of year, it’s hard not to get nostalgic about the year we’ve just experienced. I am certainly spending a lot of time right now thinking about the past year, what’s to come next, and how I feel about everything. So I thought I would share with my readers a sum up of 2019 for me.

Disney land Paris

If I haven’t mentioned it enough already this year, (sorry, not sorry) back in February we took the most amazing adventure to Disney Land Paris. It was the true highlight of this year. Both I and Emma had an amazing time! Meeting the Disney characters was my favourite, oh and Disney highlighted Emma’s new obsession in stitch this year.
I really want to go back already, the atmosphere of Disneyland is amazing. From the minute you wake up and you are in your led in bed in the colourful Disney hotel room, the adrenaline gets going. Fast.

Getting engaged

well, Emma did well didn’t she? This year she made my dream proposal situation a reality! 1000 brownie points for her as she popped the question at Disneyland. Making me her fiancé. I joked that I went to Disney with a girlfriend and left with a fiancé.

so as we head into 2020, the venue is booked, the saved the dates have been sent and there is still so much more to do. I can’t wait for the future.

2019 Manchester trip

Even with my health being absolutely shite this year, we made it to Manchester for another amazing trip. This time sharing the trip with my parents, which was absolutely lovely.
Manchester is such an amazing place to visit whether you are wanting to go sightseeing or shopping and like us want to take a trip to Chester which is a driving distance nearby to visit the world-famous Chester zoo.

Our best friends wedding

our amazing friend Amie Got married this year, and it’s fair to say the build-up to the wedding was very involved for us, especially as the reception was held here at the farm.
from painting signs to helping set up the venue, it was definitely a long week, and it all paid off. the wedding was amazing, and Amie looked beautiful.

Health and surgery

As I have mentioned probably too many times already, this year has not been good for both myself and Emma when it has come to our health. 2019 has been a year full of constant trips to the hospital, multiple surgeries and as many scans and tests you can think of.
unfortunately this year my PCOS has been at its worse and Back I’m may I needed surgery to clear fluid and infection from my Fallopian tubes. Unfortunately, that hasn’t helped. As of yet.
I am really hoping that 2020 is a much better year for health, as I have a lot of goals and plans to achieve and I don’t want anything getting in the way.

Bringing home Bella

One of our favourite things to have happened this year. Second, to getting engaged of course has been bringing Bella the Jackawawa home.

Bella has Brought both myself and Emma so much change. Boosting our confidence, helping us with anxiety, and bringing so much happiness.

FYI – Bella has her own Instagram, Of course.

Bella the jackawawa turned 6 months old Christmas Day.

Meeting the meerkats

Another lovely day that we had this year was using the voucher Emma received for her birthday for a feeding experience, and to meet some cute little meerkats. I mean it’s not often that you get to have a meerkat sit on your shoulder is it?
Millets farm centre is a beautiful place to visit and we really did have such a good day. Even when we weren’t with the meerkats the adventure of walking around the centre was brilliant.

Choosing a new path

This is one of the biggest things to have changed with me this year. Due to a massive amount of leave I needed to take due to my health. My full-time position at work was compromised. everything happens for a reason, right?
well, I have taken this as an opportunity to take a new path as of this week I am officially and legally self-employed! I am currently a seller, and I plan on expanding my business even more in the new year, I will surely update you about this more so later on.

Getting the Cricut

Speaking of business opportunities, this year Emma brought me the Cricut Explore Air 2. It honestly has been another highlight to the year 2019. Encouraging my crafting passion and growing it in so many ways, I am hoping to start selling the things I have been making next year too, including our glasses that we make with our Dremel kits.

2019 to me…

well, really this year has been a rollercoaster of emotions, happiness and dreams have come and are coming true. Enough tears have been shed to fill a lake. The crap and drama of the year have not broken me though. Just encouraged me to fight back.
I am so lucky to have such an amazing and supportive fiancé and family. What else could I possibly want?

Anyway, as I have always liked to think, a new year is an opportunity to make the next year even better than the last. Next year will bring a wedding, and a house move, as well as a growing business, and many opportunities and adventures to come… so what’s left to say, but 2020… BRING IT ON! & Happy new year…

Christmas gifts at the last minute for your loved one.

Can you believe it? It’s that time of year again! It’s December and there are only 4 days left till Christmas. The shops are starting to become unbearable and every single shop is getting more and more hectic by the minute. The stress levels are going up and we’re all trying to get prepared for the biggest day of the year, Christmas Day. We all have similar ambitions for a perfect Christmas Day. But picking the perfect Christmas gifts for our loved ones is not always the easiest and worse yet. We’re running out of time.

If you are done with your shopping how about checking out my 24 festive activities post, for some ideas to keep you busy this festive season.

So here’s my list of Christmas gift ideas perfect for your loved ones and easy to buy at the last minute.

Christmas gifts
Img Src. Stock free images.

Smellies are the perfect Christmas gifts.

Starting with a nice simple option. I’m sorry but really who doesn’t love getting a range of lovely Smellies for Christmas gifts. From Perfumes to bath things. I mean really it’s an essential day to day thing. I would definitely be happy with a set of bath bombs and things to use when relaxing.

Christmas Gifts in the form of hampers.

Hampers are such a lovely option. A bundle of small gifts but ones that are really thought out. A hamper is such a personalised option to go for. You can buy already made hampers in a range of places, but I would always suggest adding your own touch to these.

Something they can use for their hobbies.

Sometimes having a hobby can be so expensive. Especially for crafters like me. I am always needing (ok, wanting) new supplies for my hobbies. Craft and hobby supplies make the perfect stocking fillers, and you know for certain this will be very much appreciated by whoever you’re gifting them too.

Gifting a bottle of their favourite alcoholic beverage.

Since It’s Christmas and a time for cheer and to be merry, what best to get a drink to be drunk around the tree. Or of-course saved for later. But a bottle of their favourite drink is a lovely Christmas gift.

And! You don’t even need to spend tons of money on the stuff, there are so many different drink gift gets available.

Personalised Christmas gift.

Christmas gifts that have been personalised are just so thoughtful and kind. It could be a glass with their name or a specially printed photo. As long as it has been thought about and created with love, it will make a lovely gift for a loved one.

An experience

I actually believe that this is the best Christmas gift that can be given. Less materialistic but giving and sharing the opportunity to make memories, experience new things. From animal encounters to sky diving. There seem to be no limits to the perfect experience.

Gadgets & Gizmos

We all have gadgets on our wish lists in this day and age. Whether it’s a new phone, a games console or whatever technologies you know up your loved ones desire. You can always have one of these for the main present!

winter comforts Christmas gifts.

Finally, some winter comforts. I mean things to make your loved ones feel nice and cosy during the winter season. Slippers, candles, hot water bottles, blankets and comfy PJs. Everything you need to stay cosy.

Remember this though…

Christmas is only one day, it’s about family, friends, partners and memories. It’s not about who gives the best presents. Make sure you are not spending so much money you get yourself into debt, because at the end of the day. You can gift your loved ones any time of year.

If you enjoy reading my posts, please take a minute to follow my social media accounts, I promise you that I appreciate this muchly.
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