A few things I’m totally grateful for right now.

Hey bestie people, How are you doing? I haven’t done a personal post in ages now. In fact, I haven’t done much blogging this year at all! my head has been 1000% elsewhere with the start-up of my business and getting active with selling and creativity. (Shameful AlexaJade Creates plug here)

The last few months have been the equivalent of a rollercoaster ride! with so much to do, and so much going on, honestly. I barely keep up with my own thoughts these days. So the past few weeks I have been trying to get my head back into gear with everything that I have got on my plate!

If I am honest with you, I am a queen of procrastination. Yep, big word that. And, it is so true, I am so good at sitting for hours, daydreaming about the things I want to achieve, and no lie, I have a thousand ideas in my head at the moment, it is almost like being a racing car in the middle of an F1 race but stuck in 1st gear at the moment. I’m learning a massive lesson in life right now. That lesson is the true meaning of gratitude and appreciating what I have, and where I am going in life.

My beautiful Emma.

In case you didn’t know already, Emma is my partner in crime, my fiancée, and my best friend. She has always been my complete rock, we’ve been through so much together, and it’s safe to say, that no matter what life throws at us, we get through it, as a team. I’m grateful for having such a wonderful human being in my life. You know that really cliche saying, ‘everything always happens for a reason, well my reason is Emma. Having postponed our wedding what feels like a million times now, I can’t wait for the next 11 months to hurry up so that I can marry my soul mate.
I am so grateful for everything that Emma does for me, she encourages me. Challenges me, supports me, and more. We laugh together, cry together, and best of it all. We work together. I couldn’t ask for a better team.

Our bubba

Bella turned 2 this year! We’ve had her since she was an 8-week old pup, no bigger than the size of a sky TV remote. She makes us laugh, smile, and yeah sometimes moan, but every day she is full of character. Our little fur baby makes us a family. You would honestly think she was a human! She means the world to both of us. I’m so grateful for just having her! Honestly, Bella has such a massive positive impact on both my and Em’s mental health. So she’s something I’m so grateful for every minute of the day.

Running our own business.

This is something I have mentioned a few times now, but I needed to include it here because it’s something that I am really really grateful for right now! I’ve been going through the NEA (New enterprise allowance) program with pinnacle people through the job center, and after much frustration, I finally finished the business plan and cash flow forecast stage this week! I’m not gonna lie, sitting and having that to do was just like being back at school again, with homework to do! but I got through it and it is now being sent to assessors. On Sunday I had a call to say my business plan had been approved. Literally leaving me to feel like I had just passed an exam, absolutely chuffed. The NEA will give me an allowance for the next few months to help with the setup and running of my small business. As much as it is a bit frustrating process at times, I without a doubt admit that this is such a worthy thing to do if you can access this with the job center.

Alongside this we have been so fortunate enough to be loaned money from our family, meaning we could afford to get all the bits we need to get our business really going. At the moment I am so inspired with lots of ideas and things coming soon.

Another reason I had to mention the business in this post about being grateful, is since I’ve started the small business journey I have discovered some new direction. Something that my health and mental health have been holding me back on. Having a purpose and something to focus on. Which is something we all really need in life.

our craft room/home office

We are so lucky to be able to have a whole room in our house to be able to work and create. Do you know how we all tend to have that one favorite room of the house? Well for me. It’s the craft room, It’s the room I love to spend a lot of my time in. Sat at my desk, working on whatever it is I’m doing that day. We’ve spent hours arranging the room, organizing our things to make the room not only perfect to craft in but to be able to run a business from.
I know a lot of people that have told me they would love to be able to have a specific space for this. So it’s something I am 100% grateful of.

Lilo gave birth to 3 beautiful guinea pups.

After what can only be called a ‘rocky’ start to owning our guinea pig fur babies, we discovered that our Lilo was pregnant. It felt like forever waiting for her to give birth, and worrying about her actually having the pups. the feeling of excitement and gratitude was unreal the morning that we came down to discover that she had finally done it!

The babies are now 3 weeks old this week, still so little yet so much bigger than when they were firstborn. It’s been absolutely amazing watching these 3 adorable little piggies with their proud mummy grow and be nurtured. We have had a lot of questions recently about what we are planning to do with them. Well honestly guys, we’re pretty in love with all of them, so we have not made a set-in-stone decision yet. For now, we’re just enjoying watching these little piggies grow.

Being with our friends and family again

With last year being the way it was, yanno, the dreaded word… COVID, leading us to be stuck at home for so long, a lot of us have fallen so much out of touch with being social that being thrown back into the social world is almost daunting really. I must admit that although the idea of lockdown was absolutely horrendous, it’s something we all learned to get used to, almost too much.
the past few weeks we’ve spent more and more time releasing how much we missed socializing with our friends and family with some fabulous days out and nights with too much alcohol. (Way too much alcohol).

We’re going on holiday…

EEEEEE. Following on from being grateful about the time we can now spend together again, comes some pretty big excitement. As I sit and write this I’m completely buzzing! Tomorrow we’re off on a group holiday with our friends to the Isle of Wight! 7 days of fun, heading this way! we have a chalet booked in the Nodes, Parkdean Holiday resort! It might not be a tropical Island, but it might as well be, I’m praying the news of a heatwave is actually true as well! 🤞🏻Keep your fingers crossed for us, hey!

Having a diagnosis

Sometimes in life, it takes longer to accept things than you actually realize. However, I have been doing a lot of thinking recently, and it made me realize. I am actually really grateful for being able to have a name for what is wrong with me.

A few months ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. After a very long time of not being able to tell anyone what is wrong with me. For months I would have to tell people I didn’t know why I am in constant pain and sick all the time. Having fibromyalgia means I have something to relate to, something to sort of understanding, and I do say that loosely.

My health has definitely been a nightmare for me especially the past 3 years. But I’m now with the pain team and I’m going to be receiving help with pain management really soon! So I’m hoping that things will become easier to manage really soon.

well that’s my gratitude ramblings for now 🥰 what are you grateful for? Leave me a comment below.

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Tips for packaging your small business items

AD – This is a paid advertorial but all thoughts are my own.
Photo by Ekaterina Belinskaya on Pexels.com

So you have decided to start your very own business doing what it is you love to do. Now, you have so much to think about. What your selling, what your charging, Promoting, taking photos, branding, packaging orders, the lot.

It is so exciting when it comes to getting your very first order as well. You do a little happy dance as soon as you get that notification… Once you’ve done that, it is time to sort out the order and its packaging. The packaging alone can give you so much to think about.

We all know how it feels to have the excitement of the postman coming. Especially when you know you have something exciting due to come to you very soon. But what is it that really makes getting your order extra special?

Well I don’t know about you, but for me, its the effort that has gone into actually packaging my items.

So lets talk packaging…

Want to know more about sustainable living? read more in my post, here.

Some things you should consider when choosing your packaging

Does your packaging fit in with your brand?

The over all look

When you are choosing your packaging, you want it to fit in well with your over all business brand.

There are so many options for you to get creative with what your customer is going to receive when they receive their order from you! and nowadays there are so many more options available for you to be able to do this as well. We have moved away from the times of brown paper and cardboard boxes, the plain and simple, no-fuss methods. Now you could have packaging designed and printed with your logo and in your brand pallet. Packaging has become so much more of a bigger deal. It is a massive part of making your business rememberable.

More and more small businesses are turning to bespoke packaging, to give their packaging a more personal touch to suit their business. Including your completely unique branding and keeping your designs sleek and bold are actually pretty key elements for any piece of product packaging. Although it is absolutely important that not only does your package that you send out still have its Functionality that it is meant to.

Remember it is a customer experience

You are providing your customer with an experience from the minute they receive their package. So having your packaging aesthetically pleasing is important. However, so is remembering the experience you are giving your customer when they order from you. The way that you are actually presenting their

Are you environmentally friendly?

Biodegradable packaging

sustainable products and packaging are a hot topic for any business right now.
Looking after our planet is so important and we can ensure we are doing our part in making our packaging eco-friendly! Packaging is something that without a second thought gets thrown away quicker than it is received.

Make your eco-friendlyness known!

Be loud and proud about your packaging, your packaging isn’t going to affect the planet by leaving a carbon footprint! so make sure your customers know that use stickers or maybe a little note to tell your customers that they can either recycle or place into a compost bin! doing this is giving your customer clear instructions on how to dispose of the part of the order that isn’t going to be kept.

Want to know what you can do to support a small business, without spending money! check out my post on it, here.

Is your packaging cost effective?

Think about the cost

When you are running your business. Finances come into absolutely everything. How much it costs to make your product. How much it costs to send and package the order.

have you ever received an order from a supplier for example and the very small item you had ordered came inside a massive box? And you laugh at it and moan why on earth are they wasting such massive packaging and cost?
it’s a really good point. So, if you are sending out a small item. Would you use a shoebox-sized parcel knowing that it would cost less to send in a smaller-sized packaging?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Are your products actually safe?

The last thing you want to hear is all of that hard work you put into your product has been ruined because it didn’t arrive at its new home safely!

Honestly, that is every creator’s worst nightmare!

Think about the materials of your product.

Take a minute to think about your product that you are sending out. Would your fabric product reach its home undamaged in all weather conditions?

I once ordered a T-shirt for my partner for Christmas. It arrived on a horrendous day, pure 24 hour downpour. Unfortunately the sender had placed the T-shirt into a cardboard envelope. Meaning the brand new T-shirt i received was completely soaked. Not ideal hey?

and this does go for all items. A fragile item could be broken in transit. So ask yourself what could you do to prevent this from happening? Well, I would suggest wrapping anything fragile into bubble wrap. You can now buy environmentally friendly, biodegradable bubble wrap. I would certainly check this out. Another method I absoloutely love for protecting an order is shredded tissue paper. Not only does it look look, but it also has a lucky dip feel when your customer is taking there items out of the box!

I want to hear from you

We are all different, and there are so many unique businesses out there! I want to hear from you with your tips and tricks. As well as any experiences you have had with packaging, wether its sending or receiving!

Leave a comment for me to read in the box below and tell me your thoughts!

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Running my first ever craft stall at Bursledon Windmill.

Good morning you beautiful people, I thought it was about time I came on and shared with you my experience with my first ever craft stall. I’m not going to lie, this post is really overdue. The stall was a few weeks ago now, and I am now preparing for the next one.
I realized that lately, I have been a bit neglectful of my blog, as I really have been working on my AlexaJade Creates business. Which has taken up a lot of my time recently. So as well as getting back to posting, I also wanted to start sharing with you all, my journey with my small business.

As well as opening my online store on Big Cartel, I have been busy writing business plans, creating stock to sell, and as the title suggests, doing my first ever stall at a craft fair.

my first ever craft stall

I’m gonna be completely honest with you. Running a stall with my handmade items was a goal I have had for a while now! however, when I received a message to see if I was interested in holding a stall at a craft fair, I did panic and say no. We had a commitment that weekend, so I didn’t think at the time it was going to be possible. I gave myself other reasons why it wouldn’t work. Then my partner and family pulled me into line and told me to get back in contact and say I would. Actually, I am really proud that I did.

Although that meant, I was then faced with 3 days to get everything I have made in order and prepare. The presentation and packaging of the products, I have created was my first task! I designed jewelry backing cards, printed them, and got them all cut out. Luckily Emma was very happy to be put to work on this too!

Want to know how to support a small business, without paying any money? Check out my post, here.

Although since the craft fair, I have been rethinking my branding and packaging, I am still pleased with the outcome. We achieved so much in a short time and it all looks so good! Plus having my creations displayed like this made me feel proud of and satisfied with everything I have achieved.

So, running my first ever craft stall… The actual day.

On the day, I got my mum to came to pick me up and we loaded all of the bits into the car. I didn’t think I was going to have enough, but it definitely filled the car. My mum has always been an inspiration to me when it comes to crafting. I remember when I was younger she ran many craft stalls selling her paper creations. I grew up in her footsteps exploring my own ways to be creative. At this point, there are not many crafts left, I have not tried my hands at!

my first ever craft stall, Bursledon windmill

I had never actually been to Bursledon Windmill, considering that it is only a 10-minute drive from where I live, I did not know how beautiful the place was until we got there.

It didn’t actually take me long to set up my stall. I spent a lot of my setup time faffing around with how the stall looked! Knowing now, that I need to invest in some baskets and holders for the stalls, to display my stock.

Making lots of sales wasn’t even something I was focusing on for the day. I said from the set, that I would have been happy to have sold 1 item. I honestly, was nervous that I wouldn’t sell anything. Actually, I was just nervous in general! Originally I thought running a stall felt outside of my comfort zone. However I did it! and as the day went on, and I started speaking with other stallholders, my confidence grew, and really helped me. Being able to network with others really inspired me on what to do for future events.

I was pleased that I sold a few of my items on the day and I did make a profit. Actually, I would not have managed any of that if I didn’t have such a supportive family, and partner. Of course, I am so grateful. That they all came to support me and help me organize for the day.

Have any tips for running a craft stall?

Experience always trumps any planning and learning in this case, as well as many others. However, I love to learn from other people, so, if anyone has any tips for running a craft stall, I would love to hear them. So, leave a comment below.

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What I’ve learned 6 months into making Resin art.

This post contains affiliate links and that if you choose to purchase from them. It will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Honestly, I love being able to play with different crafts. I found resin art a long time ago and then I spent actual months looking at resin art and wanting to have a go with this stuff. When I finally managed to get my hands on the set up, that was it. I was completely obsessed with what you can actually create with this stuff. Especially since having more space to do things like this in the craft room.

My first beautiful resin make!

What the actual flip is Resin?

When I say resin, I am actually referring to Epoxy resin.

Basically, Resin starts in a liquid form, of 2 different compounds. When you mix the 2 together, it creates a solid form (after curing for a few days). Once the resin has cured the end result is a high-gloss and durable product with a clear surface. Epoxy resin is not a new thing, It has been used for years for a multitude of things such as floors, tables, and industrial reasons. Not forgetting resin is used for resin art.

So, How do you make resin?

Mixing your resin up is really simple. It will depend on the resin you have purchased. most resin is mixed at a 1:1 ratio, but to be certain make sure you are checking the instructions from the manufacture.
The 1:1 ratio literally means half part a, half part b. So if you are mixing 80ml of resin, you need 40ml part A and 40ml part B.
if you have purchased a resin that is a 1:2 ratio, you are pretty much doing the same thing, except it becomes 60ml and 20ml.

making resin art
Using cake sprinkles to decorate my trinket trays!

Is creating with resin expensive?

This is a bit of a hard question to answer. I wouldn’t say that Resin for a hobby is the cheapest thing, however depending on how much you are creating, and your purpose for creating, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Amazon, & eBay have some amazing starter kits, to help get you started on the resin journey, however you do need a few bits before you can start creating.

What you should have to make resin art, A full list.

Epoxy Resin

The main ingredient to making resin art, you will need your epoxy resin. I highly recommend Dr. Crafty Resin starter kit. I regularly buy this one, and I have had no issues with it!

Silicone mat

I have a silicone mat to protect my work surface! it really has been a godsend having this, because no matter how hard you try not to drip your resin it does have a tendency to managing to get in places you don’t want it to be.

Safety bits

So like I have touched on already, You will need safety bits to keep yourself safe whilst playing with Resin Art.

Make sure that you have Vinyl gloves and a respirator as a bare minimum. But you may also want to get some protective goggles.

Measuring cups, and stirrers

Annoyingly it took me ages to realize that there are reusable measuring jugs! and they are honestly the best thing I have discovered for resin, you just use your jug, and allow it to dry, then peel the excess resin away! and clean, then you have a cost-effective and manageable resource. You can do exactly the same with silicone stirrers to mix your resin with.

Thinking of other ways to be creative whilst stuck indoors? check out this post, here.

Mica powder & Inks

Mica powder is what you use to add the colours you want to your resin mix, there are hundreds of pretty colours to choose from and this dont seem to be too expensive considering they will last a long time. you only need a small amount of mica powder to colour your resin.

Alternatively, you can also use Alcohol Inks to color and create amazing effects! This is something I haven’t yet tried! but I am currently waiting to buy this set of alcohol inks.

Other pretty things.

There are lots of things that you can use in your resin art. Glitters, Dried flowers, small embellishments, anything you fancy including in your resin art.

Silicone moulds.

Moving on to the most addictive purchasing part of Resin Art. Buying Resin Moulds.

The silicone moulds are what you pour your resin mixture into, the mould will shape your resin. So you can buy moulds for a variety of things. So if your planning to make a trinket tray, you will use a desired trinket tray mould.

The reason I say that this part is the most addictive part or resin make purchases is before you know if you have loads of moulds and still want more!

TIP: Wish and SHIEN have Silicone resin moulds to purchase and they are ridiculously cheap!

Heat gun

A heat gun is actually used in a few ways, one key thing for having a heat gun near by when creating your resin art, is to use the gun to remove any unwanted bubbles from your work.

making resin art
My most recent resin haul!

Keeping it safe.

Resin is a totally fun craft to get your hands on, however, one important thing to remember is to make resin, you are playing around with chemicals.

Epoxy Resin has been known, to have effects on peoples breathing, especially overtime. I would highly recommend to anybody before they start doing resin to do plenty of research in to safety before starting using it.

Another thing I would really recommend you looking into is the Facebook group ‘Epoxy is not my friend

Tips and Tricks (I’ll update this the more I learn)

  • Make sure you are wearing PPE before you start the resin process
  • Clean up any spills straight away, Resin is hard to remove from a surface once this has set.
  • Use a heat gun to remove any bubbles that you have in your pour. (once in your mould)
  • Plan what it is your doing! don’t just wing it.

What are your thoughts on Resin Art?

I would love to know what your thoughts are on Resin art, What do you love and what don’t you love about Resin?
Leave me your thoughts in the comments below! I would love too hear all of your opinions.

Before I go…

Want to support me with my small business journey? I have started selling my Resin products in my online store, here. I have been creating resin products, Stickers, jewellery and a few more pretty bits for you guys to check out!

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What I’ve been up to so far in 2021.

Good morning you beautiful human you and happy Monday!! Im starting this week exactly where I wanna be 💛

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting to my blog as regularly recently. I’ve still been posting but I haven’t really said a proper Hi to my beautiful readers and It been a long while since I’ve given you guys an update on what’s been going on in my life, So I wanted to do a post naming all the exciting and non-exciting things that have been happening in the past few months!

We postponed our wedding again.

So, you may remember my post from last year, Why we are postponing our wedding due to COVID and Although the good old Borris road map should have meant we would be ok to get married this year, we have made the decision to do what’s best for us.

Although it would be great to continue with our plans for this year, being stuck in lockdown for the past year has really affected the plans we had made as well as well as the things we still needed to organize. Planning had become impossible!

Furbaby love in this household has grown!

Stitch & Lilo

We have new fur babies! We decided to home these beautiful little Guinea pigs. They are so cute and love being handled!

Were very lucky that these 2 have got on so well together. We originally got stitch with another little Guinea, who I had named Minnie. Unfortunately Minnie didn’t survive. Which was heartbreaking. We did get Lilo soon after as we didn’t want Stitch to be on his own!

I’ve been finding myself a bit…

Mainly when it comes to the blog and creating my small business.

I registered as self employed 2 years ago, and I started with an eBay business. When it came to actually running the eBay store, my health and motivation ran dry after a few months. I was basically doing something that I had no enthusiasm for just to earn pennies.

When we moved in to our new home, I stopped the eBay and was concentrating on earning through my blog, but if I am honest with you! my income is only just starting to improve from the blog, and I needed to come up with what I wanted to do alongside it. Hence I have been spending the last few months, organising myself, motivating myself and launching my business.

Branding has arrived on my things.

Branding is something I have been putting off for way too long! But I am finally getting on top of it! and making my websites and shop branded with my style!

I have never had a logo that I have been 100% happy with before. It feels only right that I have a rainbow in my logo! since I love rainbows, bright colors! and of course Rainbow pride. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜. I’m finally getting the hang of branding.

I recently wrote a blog post on tips for updating your digital branding, so if your thinking of getting busy and creating your brand, check this out!

The blog has been having a bit of a make-over…

So with that being said about Branding it goes without saying I have been giving my website a bit of a make over, and concentrating on what it is I really wanna focus on. Which of course is mental health and being creative. No major change! Its just the creativity posts that you guys are going to see more of from now on! 💛

24/7 Creating.

Like I’ve said, It’s taken me long enough now to find my feet with my small business. So now that I have my business plan in action I have been a busy crafter/creator creating lots of pretty things for you to buy and check out on my store.

Ive been creating lots of beautiful Resin products, Jewellery and Stickers. I would love your feedback on what I have been creating! make sure you have a look in the store to see everything!

Digital illustrations are available.

How many hobbies can one person have? Well Clearly not enough.

As well as getting crafty I am still constantly using procreate and drawing. My Instagram has become very populated with my creations recently. So I have decided to accept commissions, So if you would like an illustration done! I would love to help. Pop me an email to Alexa@alexajade.co.uk

And that’s that…

Thats pretty much everything that has been going on in my world at the moment! I would love to hear your guys thoughts and any advice on getting there with small businesses. 💛 But for now! have a beautiful week!

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Tips for updating your digital branding.

AD – This is a paid advertorial but all thoughts are my own.

It doesn’t matter if you are a blogger, a Grammer, A YouTuber, or even a small business, if your thinking about taking your hobby to the next level, you need to think about digital branding.
Updating my own digital branding is something I am currently in the process of doing, so this topic seems so relevant to me right now! that I am super excited to be sharing the tips that I am currently using ready for my rebranding launch.

digital branding
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Do your digital branding research

Before you start rushing in to creating your brand, do a bit of research first. Have a look at what others use and include, Have a look around, I recommend searching on Pinterest, It is useful to get an idea of what kind of things look good, and see what Popular themes there are. Obviously don’t just steal there’s, come up with your own.

Decide what your style is

I know this is such a tough one if you not used to brand schemes, however, deciding and finding your own style and becoming familiar with it is such a good thing to conquer as soon as possible. It goes without saying that your digital branding should reflect you, and what it is you are doing.
Once you have found your style it is going to be a lot easier for you to come up with your brand scheme.

Pick a color scheme

it’s time to choose your favourite colours for your scheme. This is one thing I struggle with but I am working on at the moment.
your colour scheme can be whatever you like. But it is nice yo pick colours that actually go together.

At the moment, my colour scheme is all over the place. Which is one of the things I am working on at the moment. This is something I also am enjoying the process of the most at the moment as my current task is messing around with my favourite colours and seeing what suits my personality. especially as I’ve been working on digital art so much more recently! Personally. I’m in love with pastel and burnt colours at the moment. Pastels more so.

Create a clear logo

Having your own unique logo is a brilliant way of standing out from the crowd! your Logo should be something that reflects who you and your brand is, as well as being clear and identifiable. Something that you will be proud to see on all of your beautiful sites and things.

Thinking of starting your own blog, how about reading my how to post, here.

Choose a preferred font style

when you are deciding the brand scheme you want to be consistent with as much as possible. this includes your font style. I would highly recommend using font freebies online, and making note of what fonts you are using. There are so many beautiful available fonts out there. Using a font that is bold and quirky will really make your brand stand out! which is of course want you to need to achieve to be able to grow.

Be consistent

consistency is so important when it comes to growing your brand. Your brand should be what you most use across your website, digital stationery, and all of your social media. The more you stick with being on brand, the easier consistency will become throughout.

Don’t rush! And definitely don’t give up!

If coming up with your brand is something you are struggling with at the moment. I would honestly take your time until you have something that you are happy with. The happier you are, the more your brand will shine. Also, your brand is something that you will be used continuously, so if you are not happy with this from the start, it will annoy you throughout.

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What to know before buying a Cricut setup.

This post contains affiliate links and that if you choose to purchase from them. It will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.

When it comes to what we have in our craft room, without a doubt, my favorite equipment, is my Cricut setup. I know that I have posted about my Cricut machine before, about why I love the Cricut so much, So I thought it was about time I did a more detailed post. I have received a lot of questions about buying a Cricut recently, So I am going to include everything I possibly can in this post! I’m creating this post as a 2 part series, as I will be posting again soon, on what to know once you’ve brought your Cricut.

buying a cricut

What actually is a Cricut?

Well other than one of the best crafting tools ever… Ok Jokes aside, the chances are if you are already considering making a purchase and buying a Cricut machine, then you already know a bit about what a Cricut is… Don’t worry if you don’t I am going to tell you anyway!

The Cricut is essentially a cutting machine, with the ability to cut a large variety of materials (some depending on the type of machine that you have). The machine is able to cut images by using the Cricut design space which is the software that is compatible.

Is the Cricut actually worth it?

Honestly! my answer to this question is always going to be yes! because the Cricut machines give you the ability to expand on what it is you are making.

You are either considering buying a Cricut as a Hobbyist, or a business investment.

What machine is best?

There is literally no right or wrong answer when it comes to what the best Cricut machine is. It is all down to your own user needs what would be the best machine for what you want to be able to create.

The question is less of which machine is best, more which machine is going to suit my user needs best?

Cricut Explore Air 2

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is the machine that I currently own. I have been using this version of the Cricut for over 2 years now! and oh my goodness, I absolutely love this machine! To be honest, I would say that the Explore is the middle-sized machine of them all.
The Cricut Explore Air is perfect for anyone who will be working with Paper/card-stock, or the various types of vinyl.

Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker is the largest machine in the family. One that I hope to own in the future. The Cricut maker has the ability to cut even more materials, such as wood leather, fabric, and way more. As well as being able to be adapted with other blades, and an engraving tool that looks badass! As I don’t personally have a maker at the moment, this machine Is something I won’t be speaking about too much as I only write from my experience! so hopefully one day I will be able to afford and talk about the Maker as well.

Cricut Joy

The Cricut Joy is the baby cutting machine of the family! and honestly, it is such a cute little device! perfect for small and fiddly projects or anyone who is wanting to make labels etc.

The Joy machine cuts the same kind of materials as the Explore, however, the particular difference of this machine is smaller in size. The mat size for this machine is 6x12inches. Therefore, if you’re looking to cut bigger projects, I would say you need to at least look at getting the Explore Air 2.

I am probably in my corner right now! cutting something out!

Is buying a Cricut worth the expense? and how expensive is it in the long run?

So let’s be real about the cost of the Cricut, and what comes after.

Depending on what machine it is you are thinking and what your purpose is for wanting to invest in this beauty, expense is always something you. No, the Cricut is not a cheap machine to buy at first, however I would always say that the decision to purchase should be based on your personal passion and user requirements.

Once you have brought your Cricut, there is an optional subscription cost that allows you access to the wide variety of images in there library as well as a few other perks.

The only other cost is your materials, to be able to create, and any upkeep of the machine, such as replacing mats and blades, however if you are not using your Cricut machine every day, then this will not effect you too much.

Where can I buy the Cricut machines?

The Cricut may have originated in the US, however, it is becoming increasingly more easy to purchase here in the UK. I would always suggest that you search for deals and bundle options, as these change all of the time.

I personally purchased my Cricut through Hobbycraft, however, since then, I buy most of my supplies for using with Cricut from Amazon.

What is this Cricut subscription stuff about?

There is one more expense you should consider before you purchase your machine.

Cricut have a subscription for their design studio, which costs £7.49 (converted from dollars) called Cricut Access.

The Cricut access subscription gives you access to 1000’s of cut & print and cut images to use from their library!

What is Design Space and do I need it?

The Cricut Design Space is the software that you will be using to create your projects. So basically yes, you do need it! and it is something you will learn to love to be able to create with your Cricut machine.

This is what Design Space looks like…

Design space pretty much looks the same wether you are on a Mac/Windows, a Phone or Tablet.

What is included when buying a Cricut?

So this is what to expect when you open your box, obviously, I am basing this on opening the Cricut Explore Air 2. The box includes your Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, Design Space software (app and details), German carbide premium blade, USB cord, and power cord, an accessory adapter, 100+ free images, 50+ free project ideas, a guide to getting started, a pen and cardstock sample and a 12 x 12 inch Light Grip cutting mat.

The card stock you receive in the box will help you create a cute little card that helps get you used to use your machine!

What else do I need to be able to use my cricut?

There are a variety of things you may, or may not need when it comes to Cricut projects. So when you are buying your Cricut there are a few other things you may want to have a look at as well. Again it does depend on the type of crafting that you are planning to do, I mean If you are a paper crafter already! the chances are you have a ton on card stock and paper stock that you can dive in with, but if you are planning on expanding what you can create with vinyl projects, you will need to consider a few little buys.

The Cricut has the ability to draw with pens for you as well, there are pens that are compatible with your machine like these.

Why not check out my post on how to make 3D flowers with Cricut, here.

If you are planning to use Vinyl or HTV (heat transfer vinyl) you will need some weeding tools. (tools for removing the excess vinyl from your project). I highly recommend using the Cricut basic toolset. Or a toolset similar to this. You will also need some transfer tape, to be able to apply your adhesive vinyl to your canvas, (you won’t need this for HTV projects) Unless you have a lot of patience for attempting to apply without this! Not having transfer tape isn’t something that I would recommend.

Another accessory I 100% recommend having if you don’t already own one is a craft cutting mat. I use mine to weed my projects on as I tend to use a craft knife and tweezers a lot to take away the excess viynl, this protects my desk from taking a beating too!

Speaking of Craft knives, I thought I would mention that the Cricut knife particularly this one, has been my favorite craft knife that I have owned throughout the years. Cuts so nicely and smoothly. and the blades seem to be really durable.

What can I make with a Cricut?

The question is, what can’t you? Since owning the Cricut machine I have expanded my crafting capabilities majorly! Personally, I use my Cricut Explore Air 2 to cut a variety of card stock, stick paper as well as a mixture of Vinyl projects.

When buying a Cricut machine there are a few bits that come with the Cricut to help you get started. This is a small project to test your machine out on.

What does the Cricut actually cut?

The Cricut machines can cut a large variety of different materials. From paper and card stock to vinyl, foam… All sorts, honestly!

The Cricut Maker can cut materials up to 2.4mm thick. So definitely a tougher machine if your planning to be doing a lot of cutting with thicker materials!

Can the Cricut machine print?

The Cricut machine is not a machine that can be used to physically print. However, if you own a printer then you will be able to create things with the print and cut option. This would involve printing your image with a printer, then placing it on your Cricut mat to be cut out.

Do I need a computer or can I use a tablet?

You do not have to have a computer system to be able to run a Cricut machine. In fact you can use your Cricut machine with any phone or tablet device. I tend to use both my laptop and my iPad to create with Cricut. However, it is mainly down to user preference.

There are some features I find easier to use from a laptop, but it definitely isn’t the end of the world if you do not have a computer system.

Any money-saving tips?

Firstly, it is always good to make sure you do some reasearch and shop around before making any kind of purchase, but when it comes to Cricut, I would always suggest, to ensure you are purchasing your machine from official Cricut stockists.

There are some brands that provide Cricut compatible tools, such as mats, pens, blades, etc. One brand particularly that I have noticed being used with Cricut, is Nicapa, Their resources are very reasonable and work perfectly!

By taking some time to learn some ‘Cricut hacks’ as well will also help you along your Cricutting journey. I often see videos on TikTok and YouTube showing really cool hacks on how to keep mats clean, so they last longer, and how to sharpen your Cricut blades! Definitely have a search.

Still have questions?

If you are thinking of starting your Cricut journey but you still have a few I am always happy to help! Leave a comment in below, or send an email to thealexajadeblog@gmail.com

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The Craft room tour!

Hello again beauties I hope your doing well! This post has me absolutely buzzing. I have been planning to write this for months! honestly! I do not know why it has taken me so long! Today I am giving you a little peek into my creative space! with a craft room tour! eeeeeee.

not only is the craft room our creative space and office. It’s definitely my happy room of the house.

When it came to me and Emma searching for our own home, having our own craft room/office was the top things on both of our lists of what we would like in our home. I mean, Ofcourse… It would be right?

having a separate crafting room/home offices dream is something I am so grateful for. Especially as in this household, we live for creative lifestyle and making. I know many people who don’t have the space to do this so again. I am grateful for this beautiful space that we have.

we used to have as much of our craft supplies as possible in an otter man and boxes. It was so inaccessible that it really unmotivated us to peruse our hobbies and talents!

The craft room is where we spend alot of time, particularly myself. so we have been reguarly adding to it, and making changes where possible over the past year! (oh my goodness I cant believe its nearly been a year since moving in already).
we have so many more ideas and wishes for the room still aswell.

anyway. Let’s get into what we actually have.

So about the craft room…

Our craft room is where most of the magic happens! If not all. It’s where I go to sit and concentrate on blogging, planning and the most obvious thing and the things I am most passionate about Creating. Making. Crafting.

so obviously I’m gonna start with my corner. Especially since sometimes I pretty much live in that corner!

my desk is close to all of my sublimation printer, Cricut and my heat press. Which I love because although it may look snug! I have plenty of room and my laptop cables reach the machines.

Next to my desk I have this beautiful creative chaos. my craft cart! which is where I hold all of my go to stationery supplies, my happy planner stash and pen palling stash. Its my very own colourful chaos. And I promise it is more organised than it looks.

Both myself and Emma are spending a lot of time at the moment focusing on our small businesses. Emma is currently running EmmaCraftsGB, as well as running BAE Boxes with me. Ofcourse my focuses are still my blogging, and running a small stationery and sticker business! Which I am posting about on my instagram a lot now!

So one thing we have a lot of in the room is storage. I love our drawers! Although I would like to replace the clear set with block colour! As it can look messy! (the drawers have a-lot of supplies in)

all of our drawers are organised by the craft or the project we are doing, which makes finding things so much easier.

Finally here’s a little peak at where the magic happens with Emmas beautiful creations. She has a bit of a theme with her desk, can you tell what it is?

I would love to hear any storage tips that you use in your craft room and how you set up your work space. Where do you go to work?

If you would like to support me in the creative journey to run my small business check out my Etsy store, or give me a follow on Instagram!

Lots of love!

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Facing our mental health during lockdown.

There is a lot of posts and talk about mental health during lockdown right now. As someone who has been feeling the drain that lockdown has been causing, I am sympathising with you all right now.

I have been feeling in a bit of a hazed fog lately, wondering why I wasn’t finding it very easy to be inspired when it came to my blog and everything else. Shockingly for me, I posted once during January and although January slugged by so slowly. Time really had just disappeared from me.

We all knew that a lockdown during the winter would be alot harder. I mean during the summer we had the benefit of being able to relax and enjoy our gardens. Drinking cider and lighting the BBQ to keep us sane. Something that you cant do during the crappy weather that we have been enduring.

I don’t think that anyone expected to be starting 2021 with yet another lockdown, but it’s happened, we are here.

mental health during lockdown

We’re all in this together.

Not once during 2020, or even now have we been facing this alone, although sometimes a lot of the time it can feel like it.

Mental health during lockdown has become a massively important topic for both adults and children. Together the whole world has been struggling for over a year.

Stop feeling guilty for feeling down.

When you are in a slump of being unmotivated, guilt is bound to follow you somewhere down the line, especially when you know that there is plenty of things that you could be doing, but your motivation and inspiration is on such a low, that your clouded on what to do. It is OK! You do not need to be productive 24/7. Know your limits, and be proud of the things you have achieved, not what you haven’t.

It’s ok to have a lazy day.

Allowing yourself to enjoy having lazy time is something I have battled with, however its not a lazy day!

It is about rejigging you’re thinking to be able to remind yourself, that a lazy day is something that we all need at times, Like I said above, you do not need to be on the go all the time. It is

Surround yourself with things that make you feel positive.

My message to this, is literally as bluntly put as I can make it. Fuck what everyone else is doing. Surround yourself by the things that make you feel positivity. Each person is different, so it does not matter if something that makes another happy, does not make yourself happy. It is about learning what it is that makes you feel complete happiness, and filling your life with that thing.

For me, surrounding myself with creativity and craft is one thing I am absolutely passionate about, and there are so many ways to stay creative especially whilst staying at home.

Be kind.

Remember there are so many people struggling to get by day to day right now. We all have different circumstances, and we are all going through different things whilst being stuck in lockdown.

Kindness really does go a long way in this world. You never know how your kindness is going to effect someone in a good way. Either it is a simple smile at a stranger, that gives a welcoming friendly vibe.

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