craft

Craft: Make A Scrapbook Memory Jar – Collaboration with HelloBexa

Making a scrapbook memory jar – collaboration with HelloBexa. 

I was looking to add a little more craft to my blog, and I needed some inspiration. That’s when I turned to my blogging friend Bexa. HelloBexa is one of my ultimate blog-reads. It’s a little bit of craft, a load of positivity and the cutest photographs on the internet. Not to mention Bexa’s sunny personality. 

If any blog could make me feel creative it was HelloBexa. There’s something special about her approach to craft. She never makes it feel like a chore. The crafts she suggests are all about self-care and spreading positivity and I can’t think of a better approach to crafting. Check out her blog here. 

So what did I decide on for my first craft? 

Autumn is here. The leaves will fall and Christmas will be upon us and once again we’ll be looking to the new year. Whether we care to admit it or not, 2018 is winding to an end.

And oh the memories!

Last week, I was looking for a way to display my memories from the NYA Festival and the spin-off event in August. I have always loved journaling and papercraft but there is something final about a scrapbook. Scrapbook pages can’t be unstuck. There are bookmarks and charms which I might want to use in other ways. 

Then I heard about memory jars. 

A memory jar is essentially a scrapbook page inside a jar. It can be added to and reorganised and this exactly fitted the way I wanted to display my bits and pieces. 

You can decorate the jar any way you like – and there are heaps of pictures across the internet – but here are some ideas to get you started. 

How to washi-tape a jam jar lid: 

Washi-tape. What doesn’t it improve? Washi-tape has been one of my happy discoveries of 2018 so it only seemed fitting to incorporate it into my jar. 

Here are some tips:

Stick the tape on in straight lines. Fold it carefully over the sides then cut off the overhanging tape. Do not fold it in. 

Start in the middle and work outwards in both directions. The final pieces you fold will be a bit messier. Do not worry. Just stick one strip of washi tape around the edge. This will hide all your trimmed ends. 

My tape was a little see-through. I was happy with this because I wanted blue and white, but you might want to do a test-strip before you start. 

Finding decorations to fill the jam jar: 

It was my wish, as far as possible, to use objects from around the house. I thought I might need some sand or glitter to fill the bottom of the jar. Then I thought of my bath petals. Regular readers might remember that I won a haul of bath goodies back in the Spring. The bath bombs have long since been used but the petals were so pretty I kept them on display. 

In fact, they were so pretty I felt terrible tearing them up. Until I saw them in the jar.

Using bits from around the house is not only eco-friendly, it adds to the memory theme. Those bath petals not only look pretty, they are another happy memory from 2018. 

Write a secret message:

img_7008At the first NYALiterature Festival back in March, author Alwyn Hamilton gave a piece of advice which had changed the way I approach plotting for the better. 

You don’t need to know everything but know your ultimate destination. It is hard to plot a course without knowing how the story ends. 

This piece of advice has seen me finish and edit a 42,000-word manuscript. It will see me plot my next work, and my next one and just knowing other people have found their way through the plotting stages gives me courage. 

I wrote this in my best left-handed-scrawl on a sparkly gift-tag. Nobody looking at the jar would know it was there except me. (And … you guys. Sssh!) 

The Finished Jar:

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Here’s my finished jar. It contains:

  • A photograph of me on the day. I love this picture – I’m wearing the crown knitted by my blogging friend Charlotte and have a unicorn painted on to my cheek.
  • A candle 
  • A secret message
  • A badge
  • Blue – the hall was decorated with blue balloons 
  • A unicorn charm – to represent the unicorn facepaint 
  • Other charms. I made this necklace years ago and sourced charms which related to imagination. See, there’s a crown, a unicorn, and keys to magic kingdoms. 

 

Making my jar was a pleasure and I can’t wait to make something else. Which crafts would you like to see? What would you put in your memory jar? Let me know in the comments below. 

Thanks to Bexa from HelloBexa for joining me. This was such a lovely collaboration and I can’t wait to see your jar. Make sure you check out Bexa’s blog and find her memory jar post. 

 

Chat

10 ways to keep Christmas alive

christmaseverydayWish it could be Christmas every day? While some people are pleased to get back into their daily routine, others would wear a Christmas jumper every day if only it wouldn’t spoil the magic of it. My Mum, sister and I have almost elfish levels of Christmas tolerance. My sister’s room has affectionately been called ‘the grotto’ for the past six weeks, while I wrap every one of my tree decorations in tissue paper and bubble wrap to ensure they are safe. Every single one.

Would it be Christmas if it came every day? The good news is you don’t have to decide. If Christmas is something you enjoy, there are ways to bring festive sparkle to even the dullest January.bird

Christmas tree farm in Iowa.Keep a live Christmas tree – this is a great idea for people with garden or patio space. My neighbours in London had a live tree. It was waist-high that first year, and the cutest thing is the new growth looks different, so you can see how much it has grown. I have a patio cherry tree which I bought eight years ago. I love watering and tending to my little tree. It isn’t high-maintenance, but encourages me to potter in the garden.

 

Keep a decoration out – A Simple one. It wouldn’t be special if we had them all out everyimg_4607 day, but why not keep one decoration out of the box? In my experience one misses the box, and it makes me smile to see them through the year. I have also wondered whether to keep my synthetic flowers out for bookstagram purposes.

 

Craft – start in the next few weeks, and you should have enough handmade cards for Christmas 2018. From cross-stitching to card-making to papercutting, many crafts have a back catalogue of Christmas patterns available.

 

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Gingerbread person DNA.

Enjoy your food – If you enjoyed cooking or baking for Christmas, why go back to ready-meals? A three-course meal isn’t feasible every day, or even on a weekly basis, but whether it is baking on a Saturday, hosting a dinner party or starting a foodstagram account, you can turn food into a fulfilling hobby.

 

Visit a donkey sanctuary – When I lived in London, my favourite place to visit was Redwings Ada Cole in Essex. I sponsored a donkey for years, until he died. I kid you not, the sanctuary host birthday parties for their adoption club residents. You can sing happy birthday to a donkey and watch them eat donkey-friendly cake. I’ll never forget Ada Cole. It is a super-special place.

 

11781267186_ccfca86bbd_bBecome a visual merchandiser – Use your decorating skills to promote brands and make shops beautiful. As well as thinking up decorative schemes throughout the year, you will never have more fun than at Christmas. (Who did you think did the Liberty window? The Christmas Elves?) Check out entry routes and qualifications here.

 

Louise Nettleton

Would you like more Christmas in your year? What do you do throughout the year that keeps Christmas alive? Let me know in the comments below.