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Reorganising My Craft Room | How To Organise Craft Supplies

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A rare sight in my unusually tidy workspace!

Some mornings I step into my office and have no idea where all the stuff has come from. I have craft supplies flowing out of draws, boxes of fabric and units full of paint. Every now and again, I like to pull everything out and start again. It feels so good to make my space in a good order again and also I feel like it re-inspires me. Nothing gets you motivated to start some new projects like finding supplies you completely forgot you even had!

Whilst rummaging through my treasured supplies, I found gorgeous fabrics that had fallen to the bottom of the pile that I really want to make use of. It definitely gave me ideas for some new DIY's!

I also rediscovered a huge amount of scrap book supplies. I love scrapbooking but I never seem to put enough time aside for it. I'm definitely going to get going with it again and will do a post on here once it's updated.

So I worked through, section by section, pulling out all my draws and making piles of things that are getting binned, going back in or that were in the wrong place. 

I definitely still feel like I'm no pro with craft organisation, but here are a few tips that have helped me no end...

Tips for Organising Craft Supplies

• Look for cheap table top draw units. I bought a set from WH Smith's a little while ago when they were buy one get one free, I stack them on top of each other and use them to store small fiddly bits such as washi tape, beads and ribbons. 

• Use zip lock plastic wallets to separate your papers and patterns. These are so great for any patterns you have made and are worried you will lose! I also find these very useful for scrapbooking supplies such as sticker sheets and craft paper.

• If you can't put up shelves- buy a cheap bookcase. This has been a lifesaver for me. We are currently renting so as much as I would like to fill the walls with shelves, it's not something I would be able to do. I bought a cheap bookcase from Ikea, it's small enough to not get in the way, but instantly adds so much storage space. I use it to store sketchbooks, canvases, craft supplies and baskets of finished projects. 

• If all else fails, pop your bits in a basket. I have baskets of all sizes in my office. They are great when you are working on something and want to keep all the bits together, for example if you are sewing and have pulled out the right colour threads, have loose pattern pieces and pin cushions galore. It's helps you feel tidier than you actually are! 

Have you got any tips for organising craft supplies? I'm always looking for new storage solutions so let me know if you do!

Katie x


Bullet Journal Set Up | June 2017 & Time lapse Video

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It's June already, can you believe it?! June is set to be an exciting month, it not only is the official start of summer but I'm also going away for one of my girl gang's hen do's! How exciting! I'm hoping it will also be filled with lots of creative productivity, lots of painting and crafting and a few new tutorials to be made as well. And if all goes to plan, this blog will have completed its makeover and be ready for its next chapter.

There is something so positive about the start of a new month, having a bullet journal is such a nice way to celebrate it. I love sitting with my monthly spread in front of me, ready to fill the little squares with plans and schedules, nothing feels better than a good old bit of organisation.

Goal setting is also a really important thing for me to establish at the beginning of a month. I like to set in place objectives to work towards and even if I don't get them all completed, it is very satisfying to look back and know what you are working towards.

This month, I used acrylic to paint my opening June page and painted strawberries, to celebrate the ones that have started growing again in the garden. You know you're getting old when you get excited that your strawberry plant has grown tiny fruits again but alas, this is me! Now the sun has been shining our whole garden has come alive, flowers have shot up from our succulents (who knew that would happen?!) and all our plants are looking greener than ever. Fabulous!

I used my new Tombow brush pen to write my June title, I don't think I've quite got the hang of it yet as I thought it looked too thick and I inevitably painted over it and started again. I have been practising in my sketchbook though, so hopefully it will become a welcome addition to my journalling stationery. This month, I also reintroduced stickers to my journal to add a nice bit of sparkle to my monthly spread. I really love seeing journals that have a scrapbook feel to them, so maybe this is something I will incorporate more in the future.

I write in my journal with a Staedtler fine liner, for colour I use Crayola Supertips and the washi tape I used this month was part of a set from Primark.

What are your favourite pens to use for your journal? 

Watch my time-lapse video below to see my set up for June:

Katie x

Crisis of Creative Confidence

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I've had one of those days in which nothing I have made has progressed the way I saw it in my mind. Basically, it all looks pretty crap. The problem with these 'off' days is the knock it takes to your confidence. Now, confidence in my work has always been something I have struggled with but this doubt has always been (kind of) balanced out my ambition and will to keep pushing forward. However, some days, the doubt wins.

I sit in my office surrounded by half finished paintings, sad scraps of fabric tested on and then tossed aside and an open journal with my goals page staring directly at me. It's mocking me I swear. And the unused blobs of paint squished on my palette are making me feel very guilty (that shit ain't cheap). Time feels so precious at the moment so each hour that I haven't produced something that give me hope for my artistic future, petrifies me.

So, how are we supposed to combat these days and these feelings? Ideally, I would hide under a blanket and watch Game of Thrones theory videos on Youtube to try to preoccupy my mind but as tempting as it is, it won't make my work any better. I think the best thing to do is step away from any pieces that are stressing me out and start something new, no pressure but just to keep creating. I opened my sketchbook and scribbled down some ideas. I also decided that maybe my main focus today would be to edit my up coming bullet journal video for June. Maybe I just need to change my direction a bit and be creative in other ways. The day doesn't have to be a complete right off then.

My plans for the day may not have worked out the way I wanted but at least I have produced something. A slight shift of focus definitely feels like the way forward.

Failing that, I could always just do the housework I have been putting off all day.

What are your tips for staying motivated on rubbish days? Am I the only one who gets like this?! Let me know!

Katie x

Bullet Journal May 2017 & Video Time Lapse

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This year is going so quickly it's terrifying. So here we are, May already. To be completely transparent, I'm writing this on the 9th so it's not like I should still be shocked by this. I try to set up my bullet journal the weekend before the new month begins so I can feel organised and know where my head is at going into another fast moving period. However, this month...not so much. One week in and I'd only just picked up my fine liner.

There is something so therapeutic about bullet journalling, writing out all of your plans and giving yourself a good hour to get your head around where the next month is going to take you. I must admit, I envy the people I follow on Instagram where every page in their journal is like a work of art; mine will just never be like that. As the month goes on, the messier it becomes. It ends up being a place for me to dump ideas and frantically make lists for my next day off. However, when I initially set it out for the month, I now take pride in decorating a title page so there is a touch of something artistic in my methodical plans. 

This month, I introduced acrylic paints on my opening page, mainly because I had just finished a painting and didn't want the left over paint to go to waste! I really enjoyed painting in my journal, it took away the pressure of trying to create a polished painting because it was just in a note book. It's actually really inspired me to start a sketchbook for quick sketches and paintings just to get myself into the rhythm of practising more care free work again. 

Watch the time lapse of setting up my journal below:

If you're interesting in learning more about bullet journalling and the choices I have made for my pages, check out my playlist of videos where I talk through my monthly layouts below. I challenged myself to make a bullet journalling video for every month this year, so far I have stuck to it... Even if this month is a little later than usual!

Thanks for popping by, 

Katie x

Shiny New Blog Layout & Update

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Motivational scribbles in my bullet journal using a fine liner and Crayola Super Tips

Dear blog, I have neglected you, I'm sorry...Please forgive me.

It's no secret that creative projects are time consuming. Over the past few years, I have been working on developing many creative endeavours and have honestly struggled to find a balance between life, work, trying to find my creative forte, learning new creative skills, selling work at craft stalls and online as well as making online content and tutorials. I've often felt like maybe I should hone in on one area and give up chasing my ideas, but I just don't want to do that. I enjoy it all too much.

So, instead of feeling swamped by failing ideas, I'm rejigging a few things and giving myself a big kick up the backside. I've spent a lot of time recently painting, which has reignited a passion for it. It has been like finding a lost love after many years, although less romantic and more frustrating (I'm sure I used to be better at this?!) All through my childhood, teenage years and even during my degree, painting was what I lived for. I completely lost my confidence with it after I graduated and took to learning crafts and other creative outlets. This year so far has made me realise the importance of pursuing what you love (however cliché it may be) and so that's what I'm going to do.

Going forward, I'm working on some re-branding, stripping it back to basics and making work that I love and am excited about. I'm still embroidering and sewing, I'm hugely passionate about crafting so I will never walk away from that. My focus is going to be using this blog (with its shiny new layout) and Youtube channel to keep teaching crafting techniques as well as talking about all things creative and building a community of crafty folk.

In my Etsy shop, expect to see lots of new work incorporating fabrics as well as painting. I'm working on a few wedding projects that I'm really excited about and hope to roll out after this summer.

So, to conclude my ramble: I'm going to be blogging more about all things creative and I have SO many DIY tutorials to share! My shop and other social platforms are getting a re-vamp and I'm generally really excited about what's to come.

Onwards and upwards,

Katie x


HOW TO: The Basic Embroidery Stitches for Beginners Video Tutorial

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I made a new video over on my Youtube channel of the basic embroidery stitches that I use the most and a break down of how to do them. I thought a video like this may be useful to refer back to when you are taking on a new embroidery project and want to try some new techniques out. Below I have listed what the different stitches are useful for with examples of my own work for reference, let me know if you use any of them differently! Which embroidery stitch do you use the most?

What Are The Different Stitches Good For?

Running Stitch
Running stitch has multiple uses but I use it most for keeping an appliqued piece in place, if I'm layering felts or fabrics, it's the stitch I use the most to attach them. Another stitch which is good for this is whip stitch. I didn't actually include this in a video but it might be worth looking up if layering is something you intend on doing a lot.

Running stitch used around the green layer of felt

Back Stitch
I think the embroidery stitch I use the most is back stitch. It's really good for making straight lines so great for outlining an image, lettering or making mouths on Kawaii plushies. I've been using it a lot lately for embroidering names on to personalised Christmas decorations.

Back stitch used to outline the leaves

Satin Stitch
Satin stitch allows you to fill in a shape that you want to solid and not have any gaps. I personally like using this for flowers and leaves but again, it has multiple uses. The patches you see artists making all over Instagram mainly use this technique.

Split Stitch
Split stitch is a more decorative way of creating a complete line, similar to back stitch. However, because the shape it creates is more unusual, it is perfect for creating vines, flower steams and a lace effect outline.

Satin stitch used to create the leaves and split stitch is used for the vine

French Knot
A lovely decorative way to fill an empty space or great to use in a lace-type design. French knots are a pretty and simple way to add some interest to any piece, they are much easier to do than they look!

French knot used in the middle of the strawberry

Chain Stitch
Another decorative way to create a line in embroidery, chain stitch is an easy way to add something unusual to your piece. It is also great for creating flower petals.

Blanket Stitch
Blanket stitch is perfect for going around the edge of two pieces of fabric to join them. I use blanket stitch more than anything and if you have watched any of my plushie DIY videos before, you will be well aware of this! I personally think it looks very pretty and is the most professional way to hand stitch a plushie or decorative item. It's also very easy to learn but look pretty damn fancy.

Blanket stitch around the edge of the pumpkin
If you liked the video, please subscribe over on my Youtube channel, I'm trying to upload regulary at the moment! Also, my example images of the stitches are taken from my Instagram, if you are interested in seeing daily updates of my projects, make sure you are following me on there! Instagram: kateskraft

Much love,

Katie x


New Season, New Beginnings & Monthly Memorable Quote

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In my bullet journal, (which I will probably make a post about soon) I have a monthly goals page in which I include a 'quote of the month' orrrr 'monthly memorable quote' -it sounds better! A few words that I want to have at the back of my mind every day of that month. With all the change going on in my life recently, I felt that 'celebrate every tiny victory' was perfect. It's very easy to look at all the things that aren't going your way, however, we win small battles all the time, they are the things we should be focusing on!

It is now officially Autumn, my favourite time of year. I can't wait for the weather to get that little bit colder, for the nights to get longer and to start getting ready for Winter. I've been burning candles, switching on the fairy lights and snuggling under blankets already.

For me, this change of season also brings other new exciting opportunities. In July, I made a very challenging decision to leave my job, to go on to try something new. I handed in my notice with nothing lined up,  just a small amount of self belief that I had been missing for quite some time. I had to stop sticking with the safe option and believe that I could find something better and more suited to what I needed in my life. It's strange because the time was so turbulent, scary and daunting but it really made me ask myself some big questions and made me realise how little self esteem I had. It was the first time in ages that I realised I just needed to put my happiness first and I wasn't happy, so things needed to change.

And so they have, marginally at this point but it is very much a work in progress.

I have tried to take each day as it comes, believe that things will work out and stay positive. It hasn't been easy, I've had to fight off negative thoughts and really try to not let myself get tangled up in a web of worry and negativity. I assure you, I have been there far too many times before! And I think it's working. Things are looking up!

I start my new job this week, which is better hours allowing me to still fully immerse myself in crafting and see where that can take me. It also offers more experience in lots of different areas, so hopefully I will develop lots of new skills from it too. Everything feels pretty good.

I've updated my Etsy shop and I have lots of new things I'm working on, which I can't wait to upload. I've still been attending my local craft and farmers markets and as we approach Christmas, I hope I will be super busy working on lots of exciting projects.

So, I guess the moral of this post is believe in yourself, take risks and keep working hard and it will one day pay off. How very philosophical!

Check out my Etsy shop here:
Kateskraft on Etsy

I'm uploading a new video to my Youtube channel this week, so make sure you are subscribed here:
Kateskraft on Youtube

Much love and positivity!

Katie x

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