In the run up to Christmas it usually gets a bit manic, Christmas shopping, school holidays, office Christmas parties and trying to work out how to squeeze 12 family members around a 4 seater dining table for Christmas dinner. I may not be able to help you cook the perfect turkey, but I can help with the Christmas decor around your home.
I've curated the Crafty Alchemy Christmas Decoration Sewing kits into co-ordinating, themed collections for you to make choosing new decorations for your Christmas tree or elsewhere around your home easier.
All of the Christmas Decoration Kits contain everything you need (except scissors) to make a set of 3 decorations, the easy to follow instructions also make this a perfect gift for people who have never picked up a sewing needle before or who are a sewing superstars!
This week is Tradtional Christmas so there's lots of red and some classic Christmas icons in this collection of DIY decoration kits.
First up is the Christmas Heart Decorations Kit. This sewing kit contains everything you need to make these 3 heart decorations for your Christmas tree, shown here in the Traditional colour scheme of Red, Biscuit & White. This heart sewing kit is also available in pastel colours.
The next kit in the Traditional Christmas Collection is the classic Gingerbread men decoration kit. The gingerbread men are smiley little fellas with big hearts. The instructions are really easy to follow, even if you've never picked up a needle before.
I couldn't put together a Traditional Christmas Kit Collection without including the Gingerbread House Decorations Kit, after all, the Gingerbread Men need somewhere to live. These mini felt Gingerbread Houses are adorned with white felt icing, colourful buttons and look really sweet on your Christmas tree, especially alongside the Gingerbread Men Decorations
And the final kit in the Traditional Kit Collection is one of the most famous Christmas stories - Santa's Reindeer! This DIY reindeer decoration kit has all you need to make 3 cute reindeer decorations with large, red noses, these guys will look so adorable hanging from your Christmas tree.
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when you purchase something from a creative or independent business? Well, wonder no more, grab a cuppa, come on into my studio & I'll tell you all about it.
So, you're shopping, it could be a gift for someone or a payday treat for yourself, you come across something you love online, you pop it in your basket, pay for it at checkout & Ta Dah! It either drops through your letter box or a postie or courier will knock on your door (hopefully) if it won't fit through your letterbox, it arrives, you open it, you love it and all is good.
Now, this is what happens in between you clicking the "pay now" button and saying Thank You to your postie.
Our phone will go ping, ding or kerching alerting us to your purchase (seriously, Etsy makes a kerching noise on your phone when someone buys something from you shop, it's awesome!).
We smile or grin & do a little happy dance (we even happy dance in our dreams if you place an order with us whilst we're sleeping**) as every single order means so much to us.
If your item is handmade to order the shop owner will make it for you first, then when it's ready or if it's a ready to post item we will wrap them up with love & care. This is actually my favourite part of the whole process, I absolutely love to receive packages that someone has taken the time to wrap up nicely like a gift and you also get a glimpse of the actual, real person behind the business. So I've always taken the time to wrap each order & write a little note to my customers so that they know that their custom is important to me and that it is greatly appreciated. Hopefully they get the same warm, fuzzy feeling I get when receiving and unwrapping a carefully wrapped package.
We then pack up your parcel securely and hand it over to our postal service or courier of choice and trust that they will deliver it to you safely. I promise you, hand on heart, that if your parcel does go astray we are just as annoyed & miffed about that as you are. It really knocks the sprinkles off my sundae when, on rare occasions, a parcel doesn't make it or is damaged in transit, but we'll always do everything we can to rectify the situation and ensure you're a happy customer.
I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse behind the scenes of a small, creative business. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Working from home is the dream right? You can choose your own hours, wear what you want and a whole load of other plus points but it can be so easy to get distracted, "I'll just do the washing up" or "I'll just check Facebook" 2 hours later you're still on social media, before you know it most of the day has gone and you haven't actually finished anything - Can you tell I'm speaking from experience with this one?
Some people will say that all you need is strong self discipline, others will say that if you aren't hustling 24/7 then you're not working hard enough. I say find the way that works for you.
Today I'm sharing the 5 methods I use to get things done in my studio, these small tweaks and changes to my routine have completely changed the way I work and I've seen a large increase in both the quality & quantity of work I'm creating.
1. Have a creative ritual or routine that you carry out before you start working.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy or complicated just something simple like lighting a candle in your studio before you start working, doing something like this before you sit at your desk to do something creative tells your brain that it's time to be creative and if you do this often enough it soon becomes habit. My creative ritual is turning on my wax melter in my studio, putting my hair up and putting on my glasses & apron. One of my friends uses "hair up, sleeves up" and another friend of mine favours lighting her favourite scented candle then meditating for a few minutes before tackling the days tasks.
2. Wear work clothes.
I don't mean all suited & booted, but it's good idea have some "work jeans & work tops" seperate from your normal wardrobe. If you make wearing work clothes part of your routine your brain will start to make the connection between the work clothes and the work. When I started wearing jeans instead of joggers I quickly noticed that I did a lot more lounging about when I was in comfy joggers and a lot more work when I was in jeans. And of course you can still work in your pyjamas some of the time (one of the biggest perks of working form home).
3. Set a timer.
Choose a task to complete. Set a timer either on your phone or one of those kitchen timers for 1 hour and work until the hour is up, then go get a cuppa or have lunch. This also works really well if you have some sort of deadline looming. Because you're focusing on one task for a set amount of time you give it your full attention and consequently get more of it done. If you've got a really big task that is going to take a few hours to deal with break it down into hour long chunks with breaks in between and it's much easier to remain focused on it.
4. Have a plan (and stick to it!)
I know I bang on about planning a lot but it really is one of the most useful things you can do, you need to know where you're going to work out how to get there. Make a to do list and use it, for years I made lists in a book yet I didn't achieve half of the things on the list, why? Because I couldn't see it, out of sight, out of mind. Now I have an A4 weekly planning sheet* on my desk and a dry wipe board so no matter where I am in the studio I can see the list without rummaging through a book to find the list. On a Sunday I map out the week and I get most of it done most if the time, there's always going to be weeks when that doesn't happen but that's life, it happens. This was the change to my routine that made the biggest difference to my work processes.
5. Set up your workspace.
Where possible, set up your workspace the night before, get the things you need to do whatever it is you are doing, put them on your desk and remove the things you don't need. This method has a few plus points:
A. Because you have set your desk up you know what you need to work on, your subconcious mind taps into that so when you go to sit down at your desk your mind is already prepared for the task at hand.
B. You don't need to spend time gathering/finding the things you need for that particular job so you can just get straight on with it.
C. You're not getting distracted by all of the cool things you found on your desk when clearing some room to work on your desk.
So those are my 5 ways to get things done when working from home, I hope you find them as useful as I have. If only one or two of them would fit with your work and goals that's absolutely fine, it's all about finding what works for YOU.
If you give them a go I'd love to hear how you get on. I'm always really interested to find out how people work and what makes them tick, do you have any tips, tricks or techniques that you use? If so what are they?