Link for the week: The Blogcademy

This weeks link might just help some of you who are bloggers yourself!

H was at a wedding at the weekend and it turns out so was Kat from Rock n Roll bride! So I thought I would share with you the link for The Blogcademy she is a part of and of course her own website. We can only wish she came to our little vintage event in the summer, but she couldn't make it unfortunately.

They have had to add a second set of dates to their Blogcademy as the first lot sold out! Well done girls!

Love it 

Link for the Week: Autumnal Soup from Rosalilium

Recipe for Mexican Chicken Soup

This weeks link is a foodie one again! With winter coming it is definitely soup weather and H has been trying out new recipes to keep from having the same old same old soups.

I saw this one Mexican Chicken Soup recipe on The lovely Rosalilium's blog this morning and so I think I might try it out this week, so I hope you will too!

Elizabeth's blog is definitely worth a read too!

Make it

Love it: Christmas Tilda

Wow, so October flew by and November is going the same way, don't know about you but I am getting that Christmasy feeling!

I have always been a fan of 'alternative' Christmas colour pallet. our current tree is black, A couple of years ago we had a pearl and gold 'CHANEL' themed Christmas tree and last year we had black, gold and red. you will see that I use quite a lot of the same decorations and just add some new ones to jazz it up every year.

This year I am splashing out on a new tree as the cats have broken almost every branch on our black one by climbing up it, and I think it's going to be a white one!
So I needed a new colour pallet to go with... with our new delivery of fabric my questions were answered. We have just had the newest range from Tilda come in to Sew Crafty, not particularly Christmas you might think but I love the idea of a pastels and white with lots of sparkle!

Take a look at these images from the newest Tilda book, I'm dreaming of white sparkle snowflakes, grey floral dresses for peg-doll angles and china blue and mint green hearts with velvet ribbon.

What is your favorite Christmas colour combination, are you a traditional red and green person, or a retro red and mint green, blue and silver or purple and gold??  Why not try and mix it up this year and mix in a new colour with some of your old decorations. maybe have a go at making some of your own.
Loving that its almost Christmas
Sammy xxx

Who's Who: The Craft Closet

After a bit of a Hiatus, our Who's Who interview is back, so if you would like to be featured in the future, please do send us an email us at

So, to kick off the new season it's the turn of the Craft Closet. I had the privilege of work with both of these lovely girls when I did my stint at The Make Lounge in London.

They have started up their own business and have managed to get themselves in a book and plenty of magazines since they got going, so they are definitely doing something right!

So let's see what they have to say ...

What is Craft Closet?
We are The Craft Closet and our aim is to inspire and encourage that crafty side in you! The Craft Closet provide the finest materials in each of our unique craft kits so that you can make a beautifully designed gift for yourself, friend or loved one. The designs and instructions are simple, easy to follow and most importantly the kits are great fun!

The business is run by myself (Nicola) and Rebecca. We both have a creative background and a multitude of experience.  I have a degree in Fashion and Textiles specialising in Knitwear design and have worked within the Retail Buying Industry since graduation. Rebecca has a degree in Contemporary Decorative Crafts and experience of working for the V&A and various Artist Studios.

I had always dreamt of starting my own business, using my design and buying skills to create my own brand. Rebecca similarly wanted to create her own niche business in the creative world incorporating her experience, skills and passion for crafts, so after far too many tea and cake catch ups we decided to join forces and take the plunge!

Where do you sell your work?
We have a busy Christmas planned with a string of market dates around London, which are always great fun as it's fantastic being able to chat with our customers.

Upcoming Market Dates:
Saturday 10th November - We Make London Market at Spitalfields (also Inspired:London Book Launch)
Friday 16th November - Greenwich Indoor Market
Saturday 17th November - Designer/Makers Market at Spitalfields.
Saturday 24th November - Greenwich Indoor Market
Sunday 2nd December - Greenwich Indoor Market
Sunday 9th December - Designers/Makers Market at Rotary Walk, Clapton
Saturday 15th December - Designers/Makers Market at Spitalfields
Sunday 16th December - BUST Craftacular at Bethnal Green

We are also currently stocked in 3 London boutique craft shops and of course have a shop on Etsy -

Or find us in the following shops:
The Make Lounge, Islington
Love 13, Enfield
Creative Biscuit Cafe, South Woodford

What do you sell?
We have a range of 10 Craft Kits which currently include Knitting, Sewing and Cross Stitch.

We are busy working on Crochet and Embroidery Kits for our Spring range which we're really excited about!

Anything coming up that we should know about?
We're really excited about the launch of the new book; Inspired:London which has been created by We Make London to showcase over 150 handpicked London designers and includes a feature on The Craft Closet. The public launch event was on Saturday 10th November at Spitalfields Market where we also had a stall, so you may have seen us there!

What does the future have in store for Craft Closet?
Lots! We have a long list of new Craft Kits we would love to create, so we'll gradually be working on these and bringing our a few new one's in the New Year.

We would also love to reach a few more people out side of London by finding a few boutique craft shops a little further afield to stock our kit range. We're also hoping to start a Blog soon called Tea, Cake & Make which will be full of all our favourite things!

We both love London, it's such an amazing city and the craft and handmade scene has really exploded. It's great to be able to be part of such an exciting and inspiring community, so the future really is looking very exciting for The Craft Closet!

Find us online:
Facebook - The Craft Closet
Twitter - @CraftCloset

Or drop us an email!

So, please do go check them out, they have plenty of stock for fun Christmas presents, I particularly like the knitted purses, but I think I am going to have to get my knitting skills up first!

Live it.  Love it.  Make it

Link for the week: Movember

Photo courtesy of
This weeks link is all for the great cause Movember.

Now if you haven't heard of it you have probably been under a rock or you will now understand why men seem to have unlikely moustache's in November!

Anyway, it is a great cause for Men's health and more information can be found here:

Love it

The Future of art in our schools

On Why We Need to Decrease the Amount of Testing: | 27 Awesome Straight-Talk Quotes About Teaching:
Now I know we don't normally use our blog to spread the word of any really serious issues, but an email into my inbox this week was hard to ignore and it brought about my sad face.

So, what it means is that the next best thing the government has planned is to stop any arts education for children!  It basically means that it will not be part of the curriculum and so therefore making the arts obsolete in schools.

I can't imagine what I would have done without taking my art and graphics GCSE and I know Sam feels the same, she even changed schools so that she could do just that.  And this also means that Drama and performing arts are in just as much danger, where would we be without all the brilliant actresses and actors we have without their grass roots education?

For a country which once prided itself in being at the forefront of design and the arts, leading other countries to want to study and work here - we are now saying that teaching our children about the arts just isn't important!  They are being told that the academic subjects - which of course are really important - are the only way to learn - which is of course not true.  We each have a very different way of learning, whether it be visual, auditory or kinetic, so one size DOES NOT fit all - are you listening Mr Gove.

If children do not have a balanced and informative education then what chance do they have to be the next Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Hockney or Vivienne Westwood.  We limit their options by making them hunt out for places they can take part in a different education.  And lets face it schools are not for everyone anyway - I hated mine - but at least I had the opportunity to get lost in art and pottery, try my hand - and fail - at being in a play and sand down a piece of wood to within an inch of its life in woodwork all while trying to remember my maths equations and geography cloud formations.

Ok, so I work in a museum in education and so this is something which I guess I would feel passionately about.  But I just think that children must be given the opportunity to explore as much as they can and not have their different paths limited for them - especially by people who are not their parents!

So please do read the article and do what you can if you feel just as passionately as me about it.  I would hate their to be a world where the only education is one sided and relies on academic rather than experimentation skills.

Live it

Make it: Up-cycled Jewellery box now a Sewing box

I love little trinket boxes, my husband will tell you boxes in general float my boat, he finds it hilarious that I have an obsession with storage. But I cant help it from jars to dishes to boxes, if it stores something and looks cute whilst doing it, it is in our home. Another of my loves is making things that are a little sad, look pretty again, So when I saw this old jewellery box in our local charity shop it just had to come home with me, I knew with a little I could give it a new lease of life.

I started by removing the glass from the lid, and the knobs from the drawers, and giving the whole thing a good sanding. I took all of the lining out of the top and the drawers, and put them to one-side to use as a template for the new lining so I knew what size to cut without having to measure everything, it also meant I could re used the wooden dividers from the top section.
I used a tester pot of moonlight white paint that I had picked up from Laura Ashley to do three coats of paint all over the body of it and the drawer fronts, I decided not to do the inside runners of the drawers because they always get scuffed when pulling them in and out. I left the paint to dry over night each time before applying the next coat.

Next I used the lining I had removed to cut new ones from scrapbooking paper. I used Tilda design because their papers are really good quality and have a really velvety texture, and I also knew I had the co-ordinating fabric that I was going to use for the lid pin cushion.
I cut the shapes from the templates, scored the folds and glued them in place with Guttermann HT2 glue. after the glue had dried I replaced the handles on the drawers and glued them in to position.

To make the lid in to a pincushion, I used the glass I had removed from the top and cut a piece of mount board the same size to create the base. I then covered this with two handfuls of poly stuffing and wrapped it in muslin, to hold the stuffing in place. I laid that on top of my Tilda fabric and marked and then cut out a piece 2" bigger all the way around.

I then used a needle and thread to pull the fabric tight over the cushion base, starting from the middle on the long sides and working my way to the edge, then the same with the two shorter sides.
then I used the screws and washers that had held the glass in place to insert the pincushion in to the top. As this didn't look very tidy I used some more of the paper to cover the underneath of the lid and glued a coordinating trim around the edge. 
I added a few cute pins in the top as a finishing touch.

Why don't you have a look round your local charity shop at lunch time, or this weekend, wouldn't an up-cycled trinket box make a great Christmas present!

Making it 
Sammy xxx