Monday, March 31, 2014

Crafting holiday in France

'Hobby holidays' have become very popular over recent years, whether it's cycling trips, yoga retreats or cookery courses abroad and I've noticed recently lots of craft-based holidays popping up, where you can spend a few days somewhere stunning, while making and crafting alongside like-minded people. Great for people who love getting away but get bored just lying by a pool all day!

If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know I got married last summer in the Dordogne region of France, and have family down there, so I was excited to see Les Soeurs Anglaises run textile craft courses not too far away.

Les Soeurs Anglaises craft holidays in the South of FranceLes Soeurs Anglaises craft holidays in the South of FranceLes Soeurs Anglaises craft holidays in the South of FranceLes Soeurs Anglaises craft holidays in the South of FranceLes Soeurs Anglaises craft holidays in the South of FranceThey offer residential courses in textile collage, bookmaking, and stitched calligraphy to name a few, with classes instructed by established designers such as Julie Arkell, Janet Bolton, Jessie Chorley and Rosalind Wyatt. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Dordogne countryside, you stay in their luxurious accommodation with heated swimming pools and stunning gardens, with classes taking place in an amazing newly converted studio with lots of space to get creative.

Les Soeurs Anglaises craft holidays in the South of FranceLes Soeurs Anglaises craft holidays in the South of FranceLes Soeurs Anglaises craft holidays in the South of FranceLes Soeurs Anglaises craft holidays in the South of FranceLes Soeurs Anglaises craft holidays in the South of FranceLes Soeurs Anglaises craft holidays in the South of France
From personal experience, I cannot recommend this part of France enough for a summer holiday, and how fabulous to combine it with a few days crafting in a beautiful setting, while also getting a chance to enjoy some relaxation by the pool and some fantastic food and wine?! bliss!

Ray Stitch haberdashery in Islington, London
Katie and Susie, the sisters who run the workshops in France, are teaming up with the fabulous Ray Stitch haberdashery in Islington, and have plans to run some dressmaking courses in collaboration with them next summer. But in the meantime, they are holding an event at the Ray Stitch shop on Monday 14th April where you can pop by and meet some of the Les Soeurs Anglaises tutors, ask any questions you have about the courses, receive 10% in Ray Stitch haberdashery and discounts on the courses if you are interested in signing up, all while enjoying some drinks and nibbles! You can find out more about how to register for this event on the Les Soeurs Anglaises blog.

Would you fancy a crafting holiday such as this? I think it would be a lovely trip for a mum and teenage daughter to take together don't you?

Post sponsored by Les Soeurs Anglaises - Visit their website for more info. xxx

Monday, March 24, 2014

DIY: Mothers Day gift boxes

It's Mothers Day in the UK this weekend, 30th March. These little gold-gilded gift boxes are the perfect way to present a little gift to your mum, whether it's some artisan chocolates, a piece of jewellery or a gift card for her favourite shop.

I've shared the full DIY tutorial for these over on the AO at Home blog and don't forget you could always scale it up if have a larger gift which requires a bigger box.

DIY tutorial for gold gilded gift boxes, perfect for Mothers Day or birthday gifts
DIY tutorial for gold gilded gift boxes, perfect for Mothers Day or birthday gifts


DIY tutorial for gold gilded gift boxes, perfect for Mothers Day or birthday gifts
xxx

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Homemade baby bibs using Heals fabric

A little while ago I was sent some fabric samples from the folk at Heals. They've just launched their first fabric collection since the 1970's, working with both established and up and coming designers to create the range.

Heals new fabric collection
With the samples I received, I wanted to make something useful, and obviously at the moment, I have got babies on the brain, so I decided, as the fabric is quite sturdy, that perhaps some little bibs would be nice. I like the fact that the patterns aren't childish either, but I thought would still look super cute as teeny tiny bibs.

I've had a really busy few weeks in the run up to publishing the latest issue of 91 Magazine (which went live yesterday!) so I decided this morning that I'd take a few hours to do something for myself, so this is what I did.

Baby bib DIY project using Heals fabrics
What you need: pieces of patterned fabric, approx 9 x 14 inches / toweling fabric / disappearing ink pen / snap fasteners / sewing machine

I found a great pattern over at Purl Bee for making these, so you can find the template you need and the instructions for making them here

And here's how they turned out. They were really simple to make, so I'll definitely be making some more as I have lots of toweling fabric left.

Baby bib DIY project using Heals fabrics

Baby bib DIY project using Heals fabrics

Baby bib DIY project using Heals fabrics

Baby bib DIY project using Heals fabrics

Baby bib DIY project using Heals fabrics

Baby bib DIY project using Heals fabrics
 What do you think?! Probably quite an unusual project for this type of fabric, but I really like them, and I reckon as the fabric is thick and good quality they should wash quite well.

Check out the rest of the new fabrics from Heals as well some of their ready made products in these patterns if you don't fancy the sewing part! ;)

Monday, March 17, 2014

91 Magazine issue 8 is now online!

Hurrah! Issue 8 is here! For the price of a takeaway coffee, you can purchase our latest issue for just £2 to read as many times as you like on your tablet device or computer. Or why not sign up to our yearly subscription? £7 will get you all four issues for 2014. What a bargain!

Cover of issue 8 of 91 Magazine - www.91magazine.co.ukIf you want to have a little peek inside before you buy, you can view the preview here. As always, our pages are packed with gorgeous interiors and styling tips, crafty ideas and we chat to some fab creative business ladies.

The magazine is currently available via the Magzter.com website and is compatible with many more tablet devices than before - Apple devices (iPads, iPad minis, iPhones), Google Play devices (Android Tablets and phones), Windows 8 devices and Kindle Fire.

Unfortunately I have heard from Magzter today that Apple take up to 7 days to approve new magazines, so it is not yet available on iPads & iPhones, although will be soon, so you can download the free app in preparation for this. Download the Android app here. If you purchase the magazine on the website, it will be available via your account on your other devices too (when available).  Once you have purchased the issue, it is yours to read as many times as you wish, and can be archived if you wish to save memory on your device.

Here's a few spreads to whet your appetite! 

Inside issue 8 of 91 Magazine - www.91magazine.co.uk

Inside issue 8 of 91 Magazine - www.91magazine.co.uk

Inside issue 8 of 91 Magazine - www.91magazine.co.uk

Inside issue 8 of 91 Magazine - www.91magazine.co.uk

Inside issue 8 of 91 Magazine - www.91magazine.co.uk

Inside issue 8 of 91 Magazine - www.91magazine.co.uk
With 106 pages of loveliness packed into this brand new issue, all that's left to say is, dive right in and enjoy! Do let us know what you think by leaving a comment or via Twitter. Tweet us at @91magazine

xxx

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Important news about 91 Magazine

Today I just wanted to announce some changes that are taking place with 91 Magazine, and to also give you insight into the reasons for these changes, so please do bear with me, it's a bit of a long one, but I'd love to hear you thoughts on it all once you've had a read.

I set up 91 Magazine back in October 2011 and as with most things I do, I jumped in feet first, while the creative momentum was flowing fast, and just went for it. There was no huge, detailed business plan, it was just something I had the urge to try and see where it took me. I was still working full time, and created the magazine in my evenings and weekends, and was constantly overwhelmed, each time a new issue went live, at the wonderful response I received from readers, bloggers and my peers in the publishing world. Many couldn't believe how I managed to do everything pretty much single-handedly - from commissioning features and photography, sourcing images, doing all of the page layouts, editing, selling advertising, PR and marketing etc. But hey, when you're passionate about something, somehow you just find the time.

I think the one thing that shocked most people about it, was the fact that I wasn't making any money by publishing the magazine. Yes, we sell a small amount of advertising space, but I've always been adamant I wanted to keep this affordable for the small businesses I want to support, so this has only ever been enough to cover running and admin costs. I have been so blessed with the continued support of the members of my team and our contributors who have worked voluntarily to help me create the amazing content that we try and pack into each issue... and it truly is a case of - without them, this wouldn't be possible.

Two years down the line, and I've tried to continually improve on each issue and fill it full of things that I know I would want to see in a magazine as a reader - gorgeous interiors that are achievable on realistic budgets, fun craft ideas that are straight forward, and that you actually want to make and features that are well written, informative and inspiring. Our reader figures increase with every issue, so I am hoping that you agree that we are achieving this! :)

But this year, brings a pretty big life changing event for me - the arrival of our first baby is happening this July - and with this in mind, I've really had to take a step back and look at where things are going and what I will realistically be able to manage in the coming months and years. Having a passion for something, as I do for 91 Magazine, does not necessarily pay the bills and as my hubby is always saying 'babies ain't free'! I started to panic that maybe the time and effort I put into the magazine was not worth it, and that perhaps I should just turn it in and focus on my paid work... running the magazine is not the same as running my blog, there is so much more responsibility involved, and it's not so easy to put it on the back burner when I'm busy with other work, I constantly need to stay on top of things and be planning ahead etc.

The other issue I've had throughout, is that I've always hated the fact that I have never had a budget available to offer payment to our contributors or to be able to invest in the content or any other aspects of the magazine such as the website for example.

With all of these things in mind, I've been weighing up the options for a while now. The option to just pack it up and close the magazine just made me want to cry, not only because of my own love for it, but because I'd feel like I was letting down the contributors who'd put so much work into it over the last few years, our advertisers and all the bloggers who've supported us, and of course the readers who have come in their thousands to read a magazine that I've been creating in my spare room! (soon to be baby room!)

I just couldn't do it. So, the upshot of this long winded blog post and my hours and hours of agonising over the decision, is that from Issue 8, publishing next week, we will begin charging a small fee to read the magazine. It's been a tough choice to make, as I know that it may be an unpopular change as generally, we have become conditioned to enjoy material online for free, but I do hope that our readers will understand the hard work, time and effort that goes into creating each issue, and that you will agree that a few pounds - less than you might spend on a takeaway coffee or a glass of wine at the pub - is worth the enjoyment and inspiration you can get from reading the magazine.

I really do hope that with your continued support, we can to take 91 Magazine to a new level, by investing in the content while also avoiding the road of selling advertising to companies that do not fit with our brand, and compromising our aesthetic. It's a big step, but one that I hope will see the future of the magazine secured and it's development an ongoing success.

So here is a peek at the new cover of Issue 8!

91 Magazine issue 8 cover The nitty gritty of the changes are as follows: Our new issue will go live on Monday 17th March, but you can already view a short preview of what's inside here: PREVIEW ISSUE 8. The full version will no longer be available on Issuu.com (although our back issues will remain here) but via Magzter.com, where you will be able to purchase the individual issue for £2, or a year subscription (which is 4 issues) for just £7. You can either download Magzter's free app and access the magazine (and many others!) via this, or you can do so via the website. It will be compatible with many more tablet devices than before - Apple devices (iPads, iPad minis, iPhones), Google Play devices (Android Tablets and phones), Windows 8 devices and Kindle Fire. Once you have purchased the issue, it is yours to read as many times as you wish, and can be archived if you wish to save memory on your device.

If you would like to win one of 10 free copies we have available, all you have to do is sign up to our mailing list here between now and 7pm on Sunday 16th March to be entered in the draw. If you are already on our mailing list, then please email me to info@91magazine.co.uk - with the subject line "I'd like to win a free copy of 91 Magazine" Winners will be selected at random and notified on Sunday evening, and then sent a link to access their free copy on Monday 17th March once the issue is live.

I would love to hear your feedback on this change, good or bad, and what your thoughts are on buying content online. And of course if you do buy our latest issue next week, I'd love to hear what you think! :)

Lots of Love,
Caroline
xxx

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

DIY: Wire cloud decoration

Spring seems to be gradually showing it's face here in the UK, but we are never usually far away from a cloud are we?! I created this cute and easy cloud decoration DIY tutorial for AO at Home blog - super simple and costs next to nothing. Great for a rainy afternoon project!

Full instructions are here.

DIY tutorial for wire cloud decoration


DIY tutorial for wire cloud decoration
xxx

Friday, March 7, 2014

eBay collections

eBay has been around for a long time now, and I've bought and sold lots of things on there in the past, but it still amazes to discover some of the things you can find on there! I've bought everything from furniture to vintage bus tickets (yeah random, I know!) to craft materials for my wedding. It really does seem to be a never ending resource for anything you might need or want!

I was recently contacted by the team running a campaign at the moment, asking me to create some 'collections' of eBay items. So as someone who browses eBay probably on a weekly basis anyway, this seemed like a fun idea. A bit like Pinterest but on eBay!

So I set to work gathering together products fitting some of my fave themes, from industrial style, to quirky lighting to my latest fave topic, kid's room decor!

Here's a little snippet of some of the collections I've put together, but you can see the full collections by clicking on the collages or links below, or why not view all 10 of my collections?

Items found on eBay for Weddings
Wedding ideas collection


cushions found on eBay
Cushion crazy collection
Items found on eBay for stylish kid's rooms
Kid's room collection

Monochrome interior accessories found on eBay
Monochrome collection
What do you hunt for most on eBay? Do you prefer the thrill of the auction or the security of the Buy it Now purchase?! And are you surprised at any of the items here that you wouldn't have expected to find on eBay?

You can find out more about eBay Collections here.

 xxx

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Art prints for the nursery

Following on from my last post about wallpaper for children's rooms, I've also been keeping my eyes out for gorgeous artwork for the walls. I've kind of got in mind a pink, grey and mint green colour palette for the room, so these are a few prints which have caught my eye...

I do love the Pirum Parum poster by Fine Little Day, although I do feel like I see it everywhere these days, so I am looking out for prints that I haven't seen so much of... it is a beauty though, and fits so well with the colour scheme.

For some reason I am having a thing for elephants at the moment, and love both of these illustrations below. The first one is by Ez Pudewa of Creatures Comforts and the second is by Kerry Layton of Seventy Tree fame.


Freya Ete's lovely, cheerful prints with sweet sayings always put a smile on my face too... I love this one called 'The Dreamers'.

I really love Audrey Jeanne's work, a lot of which features cats! This little poster and the 'My Daily Melody' one below are favourites.  The seal print below is also a definite on the wish list! This is from Swedish shop Isa Form.


And last but not least, is this pretty print from another of my favourite Etsy shops, Studio Meez.
Which is your favourite?! I can't decide! I might well end up buying all of them!
I feel a gallery wall coming on! ;)

xxx
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