Monday, 20 August 2012

Here's what I just made!

I don't like carrying paintbrushes in my pencil case so decided to make a waterproof roll for both brushes and pencils using laminated cotton fabric from our MIAMI shop. 

I'll be posting the instructions for this on the website shortly - but I'm very pleased with the result - and made from just a quarter metre of fabric plus some cotton fabric for the edging from my stash - and a couple of buttons.
So now I'm all set for my painting holiday in the Scilly Isles next month - can't wait!

We'll also be offering a pencil case kit to make shortly - all ready complete with instructions and supplied by our MIAMI Shop partners RU Craft. More news on this soon!

Clare F

Friday, 17 August 2012

The best things in life are free...

Well derrr….you don’t say?  There are moments in life when I wonder about the value of research – and I say this as a researcher!  Do Sainsbury’s need to spend a vast amount of money to realise that children prefer the simple things in life? 
Sainsbury’s have created a ‘pleasure per penny index’ by asking children aged 5 to 11 to rank their favourite holiday activities according to how happy they make them feel and how special and memorable they are….and guess what? -  playing in the garden or park, water fights or building a den come out on top, while expensive day trips out are way down the list. 

Contrary to popular belief, children value time spent with friends and family over material entertainment. Intuitively this is something we parents already know, but the problem is that we're conditioned to feel guilty that we aren’t doing enough for our children if we don’t take them out to theme parks and fast food restaurants.

Newsflash!…if left to their own devices children don’t get bored! They might have a few moments of whingeing, but they very quickly find something to do and can entertain themselves for hours.  A little  boredom is actually good for kids as it helps them develop their creative skills.  If we constantly force-feed them entertainment, we're denying them the chance to learn to enjoy being alone and find ways to entertain themselves. 

Even on a rainy day there are plenty of things to do.  Give them paper and paints, or salt-dough, or let them build a den and they'll be happy for hours.

So back away from the theme park, keep your hand away from your wallet and give your kids a summer holiday they'll remember!

We've got lots more ideas to keep the kids happy over the holidays

 >> Great ways to entertain the kids in the holidays  
 >> Recycled crafts for kids
  >> Get the best from your holiday

Hilary B

Friday, 3 August 2012

Advance copy of our new book arrives!

The first advance copy of Make it and Mend it, our new book, arrived today.

The book is already pre-selling on Amazon in both UK and USA as well as other online bookstores, including Waterstones and Blackwells. It will be in the shops around about October - just in time for you all to buy it for Christmas gifts! - or add it to your wish list.

The illustrations are beautiful - thank you to the lovely photographer Sian Irvine.

Here are a couple of spreads - snapped on my kitchen table - shown here are Stained glass biscuits and how to make a cake stand from old plates - both of these were Hilary's creations.

Clare F