Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Interview on Phoenix 98FM...Continued

You can no find me on the Phoenix 98FM blog.

I am working hard to find a way to post the audio of the interview onto my website. I should have it up by the weekend!

The Website is Live!

Hello all!

It is official on the 20th October was launched!

I have tried to make it feel light, accessible and ultimately fun! Why not come along and have a look!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Interview on Phoenix 98FM

Hey everyone Tomorrow (20th October) at 3pm I will be being interviewed by Gabby Clarke (@mindful2move) Who does the Drive time show between 3-6pm weekdays. She also runs Mind Health Movement offering services in personal training,diet management, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and group exercise. 

You can listen and watch live, but if you can't get to a radio or computer I will be posting the interview on my blog and my website. 

Monday, 17 October 2011

Interview with Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness

How did Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness start?

Beautiful Things was launched in March 2010 as an offshoot from my card making hobby business.  My Mum bought me a small sewing machine for Christmas with the idea being I could sew on my cards, which was the fashion at the time.  I soon realised I could make things with it too and started making bunting and basic items.  Since then I have self taught myself how to make all sorts of things and the cards have taken a back seat.  I do still make them to order for some of my old regular customers though.

How did you get into crafting?

I have been crafty since I was tiny, my Mum will tell you I often went off into my bedroom for hours on end and appeared with something creative.  One of my best creations was an entire plane made from cardboard boxes and a Biggles hat made from a bobble hat with socks stuck in the sides for flaps!  Mum and Dad have a picture of me flying my plane in the garden somewhere but I’m not sharing that with you!  Professionally I have been crafty for about 10 years, starting with cards, then glass painting, moving onto contemporary works of art, Soap making, back to cards and then onto sewing.  Let’s just say I get bored easily!  I am sticking with sewing now though as there is so much variation with it and I love that I can create almost anything I like.

How often do run craft classes and what do you teach?

 I run classes on an as and when basis.  As long as I have enough people interested in learning something I will put on a class.  I hope as word spreads and when my website is finally finished (watch this space) I will be running a lot more.

When did you start the Knights way community market?

The Ingrave Community Market was started in September 2009 as an opportunity for me to promote my wares locally and encourage other like minded crafty types to sell theirs.  I gave it up after 2 years simply because I had a new addition to the family and my business had grown.  Something had to give and I couldn't give the market the time it needed anymore.  The Community Centre is keeping it running for now though so hopefully it will continue on to be a success still.

Tell me about the collections you have coming up for Mesh and The French Quarter?

 I have some new scarves coming soon to MESH as well as hopefully some re-purposed clothing in the new year.  French Quarter are getting some lovely winter bags as well as some luxury evening bags too.

Do you have any other projects do you have coming up for different shops?

No projects planned, but I have my fingers crossed on a few more that I have approached recently. Obviously if you own a shop and are reading this and think I could make something for you, do get in touch!

Where can we catch you next?

 My next craft fair is at the Reading Rooms in Billericay High street on Sat 29th October and then I will be at St Marys Church Craft and Gift Fair, also in Billericay High Street on the 12th November. That’s my last event for the year then as I am then off on an extended holiday until mid January so it will be the last chance you have to buy from my stall.



This weekend we had one of our best friends come down from Liverpool to stay with us for the weekend.

On Sunday it was soooo lovely and sunny that we decided to take a little trip to the sea side with her and another friend from University.

We didn't fancy the bright lights of Southend and so headed to a place we had never been before, Leigh-on-Sea.

Leigh is a beautiful little fishing village on the Thames estuary full of tea rooms, cockle stands, pubs and crafty shops. In other words, Heaven!

As we walked trough the streets of Leigh we came across The Old Foundry. This is a beautiful crafty shop, selling childrens books and clothes and products from Kath Kidson and Orla Kylie

However I think the best thing about this shop was it's amazing product display featuring an old bus!

I also found these little tins featuring well known brands including KitKat, Heinz and Coleman's.

We then stopped off and got a well deserved ice cream before taking an accidental stroll to Southend, we didn't realise they were so close!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Making Bookmarks With The Brownies

As some of you may know I am a Brownie leader at a group in Enfield.

This week it was my turn to run an activity with the unit. I decided as I had acquired a cuttlebug machine that this was the perfect time to test it out.

I saw this die and thought that it would be perfect for making bookmarks out of felt.

I did spend an evening cutting out 30 owls from different coloured felt but it was so worth it. The result meant that the kids were able to make gorgeous multi-coloured owls.

Plus we heard some of the funniest comments like "my owls face has fallen off" or "so and so squished my beak".


Monday, 10 October 2011

Shamballa Bracelets

This Saturday I went along to the Brentwood Bead Shop to learn to make Shamballa bracelets.

I was my usual self and managed to turn up 5 minutes late! After being greeted by the lovely Nina I went up stairs and met Nina's mum Carol, who was teaching the class, and the three ladies who would be learning with me.

I sat down to find that Carol had already written out a list of the items that I would need to make the bracelet (I used this bit of paper to write my notes on).

I must admit that the bracelets look complicated, they do take a little bit of time to get used to but when you get the hang of it it's easy!

Using a clip board to clamp the bracelet is really useful but I also found that using some pins to attach the main body of the bracelet to my trouser leg also helped.

Carol is a fantastic teacher and the girls I was learning with were lovely. If you do live in Brentwood or near by keep an eye on their Facebook page for classes. They are also on Twitter @brentwoodbeads.

After the class I was so pleased with the fact that I could make these complicated looking bracelets that I bought enough for two more! And here they are...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


The Salamis Roman ruins, in Famagusta (Mağusa) Northern Cyprus, are amazingly impressive.

They are in wonderful condition and due to the nature of historical site management in Northern Cyprus it meant that we could walk freely among the ruins and get a real feel for how the Romans lived in this area.  

In 1100BC Salamis was the capital city of Cyprus. Over hundreds of years the island was occupied by the Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians and Romans. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 76AD and rebuilt.

Some of the most amazing sights at Salamis include the 15,000 seat theatre, along with the Roman baths and the remanence of mosaics, headless statues (after the Romans converted to Christianity they beheaded gods from previous religions) and beautifully tiled floors.

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the Salamis ruins.


So other than getting a new job I have also been silent because I went on holiday.

My lovely boyfriend decided to pay for us both to go away for a week to Northern Cyprus for my birthday present back in June.

As well as relaxing and seeing a few sights we also saw some of his family too.

Here are a few pics from our holiday.