Promarker Pen Storage Ideas

ProMarker Pen Storage Ideas
If like me you love papercrafting, it is quite likely you have a lot of pens of one brand or another and you need to find the best way to store them. It can be frustrating and time consuming when you have to search around for the colour that you need because of lack of organisation.
I dont have a lot of room for craft storage (this will change in our new house!) and so I took to searching online for different ideas for storing my ProMarkers.

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This fabulous storage tower has been handmade using cardboard and mount board, it must have taken ages to make and to have all of the colours in the right place. I like it for easy access however it does seem to take up un-used space whilst a collection grows and what if more pens were added in the range?

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This storage box has been made from a travel CD box with smaller individual boxes made to go inside so that colours stay in rows. I think this is a good option as the pens are stored with the ink flowing into the nibs and it is easy to transport around if necessary.

Thinking about the different options for storage that I have, I decided that my ProMarker collection is not huge (because I also have Spectrum Noir) and so a couple of clear boxes would be plenty for me. Something I have picked up on from looking around Pinterest for Craft Room ideas is that it is a good idea to put coloured dots on the end of the pens so it is easy to work out what you are looking at.

So I got a couple of packets of small white labels and then coloured them in and popped them on the fatter pen lid. I have two boxes arranged in colour schemes - one for blues, greens, greys and the other for pinks, purples, reds etc. Ok so I can't see the pens instantly like these two examples above, but it does help more than just randomly being in a box!

How do you have your pens arranged?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 | 0 Comments

DIY Lavender Bath Salts

With Valentine's Day approaching and Mother's Day not too far around the corner why not make your mum
or loved one a jar of Lavender Bath Salts so they can relax at the end of a hard day. These bath salts only have a few ingredients and so they are super easy to make!

First of all you need to find a suitable jar - it needs to be airtight once sealed, I love the Kilner style jars from Ikea - and sterilise it (I do this in the dish washer)

Judging from the size jar you have you need to add roughly 1/3 oatmeal, 1/3 Epsom salts and 1/3 dead sea salts to a food processor bowl and give it a good whizz until it is the consistency you desire. I have mine fairly powdery but so that you can still make out the grains of salts and oatmeal.

Once it is blended, add in your fragrance. I have used lavender but you could add what ever you choose, and just keep adding a few drops at a time until you have the scent you would like - take it steady here, you can always add more to make it stronger but you cannot take it away!

To make these lavender bath salts even more "lavendery" I added some dried lavender flowers which I grow in my garden, when added to the bath the dried flowers float and enhance the scent.

Once all mixed, cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and leave to sit for a few hours, then spoon into the jar and seal.

I think these bath salts would make a great gift for Mother's Day or for a guy to give his girl at Valentine's Day along with a big box of chocolates to enjoy in the bath!

Friday, 17 January 2014 | 1 Comment

The Craftivist Collective - Crafting with a Purpose

Way back last year I learned about the Craftivist Collective and their #imapiece project with Save the Children. 

The #imapiece project was put together to help Save the Children in their quest to tackle hunger, which remains the biggest cause of child death globally, killing 260 children an hour. The idea was to ensure that David Cameron used his G8 presidency in 2013 to push world leaders to invest in life-saving interventions that will save millions of lives.

Since the launch in October 2012 and until March 2013, craft lovers across the UK got busy stitching hundreds of handmade jigsaw pieces with their messages about why tackling hunger and malnutrition is so important to them, this is my #imapiece above.

On Friday 1 March last year, Craftivists Collective held their first #imapiece installation at the People’s History Museum in Manchester. Over 600 hand-stitched jigsaw pieces came together as a breath-taking installation- a clear message to the Government that the craft community wants them to take action on hunger.

I can hear you wonder why I am posting this months after the project finished - well, the #imapiece project may have ended but the Craftivist Collective is an ongoing organisation which "exists to facilitate and encourage craftivism across the UK and around the world." Their manifesto is simple: “To expose the scandal of global poverty and human rights injustices through the power of craft and public art. And so if you are a crafter and would like to use your craft skills in a positive way, why not take a look at the various projects which are currently running, you can read all about them on the Craftivist Collective website or their Facebook page.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 | 0 Comments

Oatmeal, Choc Raisin cookies - My Favourite Cookies...Ever!

This Christmas gone I made up some jars of cookies for family as gifts and one of the cookies included were Oatmeal, Choc Raisin Almond cookies and I have to say, they are my favourite cookie to bake...ever! I thought I would share the recipe here with you all for you to enjoy and if you need a lovely handmade gift that is quick to make why not make a batch up and put in a nice jar or gift box.

This recipe will yield around twenty five cookies depending on the size you make.

You are going to need:
1 1/3 cups of plain flour (all purpose flour)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1cup of cookie oats
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flaked almonds (if you want nut free cookies, substitute the almonds with sultanas)
1tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
1/2 cup slightly melted butter

And this is what you need to do:
1. Combine all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir well to combine,
2. Add the slightly beaten egg and stir,
3. Add the vanilla essence and the slightly melted butter and stir well into a dough,
4. Divide the dough into balls about 5cm in size and place on a parchment lined baking tray,
5. Bake in an 180c oven for ten-twelve minutes

Friday, 10 January 2014 | 0 Comments

Five Tips for Staying Organised

I like to think of myself as an organised person, the 'to do' list is my friend and I feel lost without a notepad in my bag and staying organised helps me feel in control when life spins out of control.

Life in the land of Butterfly-Crafts is a bit hectic at the moment, we are selling our flat, trying to find a house to buy, planning the wedding and me dealing with long term pain in my back and so it feels like we are having a lot going on, and when that happens it is easy to forget something important or feel lost with your aims. I am no expert on being organised but I thought I would share my five top tips.

1. Carry a notebook with you at all times - I do this to keep my to do list with me but it's also good for writing down things people say to you  or if you need to brainstorm. I like to treat myself out to lunch at times and my notebook is a great way for me to brainstorm ideas.

2. Have a diary or calendar you can share - I have my beloved purple Filofax but also we have a shared calendar in the kitchen, I write down everything I need to remember on both along with phone numbers for appointments etc. Every so often we also sit down and "merge" diaries so we both know what we are each doing, and make plans as necessary. Keeping control of my diary is super important.

3. Birthdays and Anniversaries list - this is something I started last year and it helped! I like to send handmade cards to my friends and family and I don't like to suddenly have to make something so I found a printable birthday list on Pinterest and have it on my pin board, I can see immediately what birthdays are when and what cards I will need to be making, I then make them when I feel creative and keep them in a box for when needed. Even if you are not a crafter, keeping a box of birthday cards ready can be time saving, especially if you remember at the last minute.

4. A Place for Everything - When I get stressy I clean and tidy and I find it helps to know that there are places for all of the "things" and we don't just have a dumping ground area. Our possessions might not always be in their place, but its good to know where to put them back to rather than just moving things from one location to another. If you are finding that you are in a particular messy stage, it can help to tell yourself you can't leave a room without putting something away.
5. Blog Planning - This is something that I tried (and failed) at last year but a business focus of mine for this (free) printable blog planner which is hopefully going to help keep me organised, if you are a blogger too then take a look.
year is better blog planning and so I found a great
I have a board for Organisation on Pinterest if you would like some more ideas. I would love to hear how you help keep organised?

Tuesday, 7 January 2014 | 0 Comments

Handmade Christmas Gifts

Last year I set the aim to make as many of the gifts I needed myself, or to buy handmade where possible and this extended to my Christmas gifts. I don't have a huge amount of gifts to send and so I thought making them would be a good challenge.

I didn't make everything, Barbies are rather difficult to hand make, as are picture books for my nieces, but aside from those and a couple of t-shirts, everything else was made by my own hands. You can see here what I got up to, I plan to write a few tutorials over the coming months for some of the gifts in case you would like to have a go yourself.

Cookie Jars, Oven Gloves and Apron Set, Car Tidy

Lavender Scented Hearts, Padded Coat Hangers

Decoupaged Tea Box, Lino Print Tea Towel
Decopatched photo frame, Tea Cup Gardens

Sunday, 5 January 2014 | 2 Comments