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Find A New Craft for 2020

Choose a craft you’ll want to continue with my four P’s rule…!!

With so many exciting new creative projects to choose from and enticing new skills to learn if, like me, you’ve promised to be more creative in 2020, it can be difficult to know where to start. One glance at Pinterest and I feel confused by the sheer number of possibilities. To avoid overwhelm and choose a craft you’ll want to continue, follow my four P’s.

1. Practicality –  does the craft suit your lifestyle in terms of space and time? Can you accommodate bulky equipment or materials? If you are time poor and like quick results, a mindful craft that takes time to progress might be good to relax with but is unlikely to stand the test of time.

2. Price – think carefully about investing in pricey tools or materials, in the early days at least. If these new skills don’t suit you it will be even more disappointing to have spent a fortune on redundant equipment.

3. Persistence – most creative skills, if they are worth mastering, will take time and effort to become proficient in. An expert might make it look easy but you can be sure that ease will be the result of many years of practice. See early mistakes as learning opportunities…!!

4. Pleasure – being creative is in our blood. For our ancestors it was a means to survive but we have the luxury of choosing to make something for pleasure. If you’re not enjoying learning new skills, try something else!

I’ve made the TOP TEN !!

Woo hoo…!! My most enormous thanks to everyone who asked Santa for my ‘Silver Clay Workshop’ book. And to you if you bought a copy for your friend, sister, mother, brother or creative work-colleague. I can hardly believe this but thanks to you my little book is now in the Top 10 books in Jewellery Design on Amazon, which is absolutely incredible. Thank you again x

NEW Online Shop…!!

I’ve taken the big step of opening a small online shop.

I’ve just taken the big step of opening a little online shop. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while about but hesitated because a) it’s not really what I do and b) I see a lot of online ‘handmade’ items of possibly, slightly questionable origin that again, really isn’t me.

Which is why I’m delighted to be working with Numonday who champion British makers and small creative business. I love their ethos of supporting only truly handmade products and selling the most beautiful range of unique gifts.

I’d really urge everyone to support small makers who put so much care and love into everything they do. Whether it’s online, in person or at a fair. Even the smallest purchase is so much appreciated, you won’t regret it.

Pop over to my ‘shop’ and have a browse – here.

I’d love to hear your experiences of buying handmade. Do you enjoy meeting the makers in person or have you ever bought a special handmade gift online? Drop me a line  info@melanieblaikie.com

 

Kindest

Melanie x

NEW Gift Cards Now Available

It’s the perfect, instant present solution. Buying a gift card is quick and easy…!!

I’m really thrilled to announce we’re now working with Gift Up! a leading online gift voucher specialist to offer easy and instant purchase of gift cards for our classes. I’m so excited because this is something I’ve wanted to do for ages but I knew it had to be quick, super-easy and flexible enough for you to choose the amount you want to gift – no fixed amounts. Also, because special occasions are well, special, when your card arrives, it has to look the part.

After weeks of research, I’m delighted that buying a gift card will be quick and easy. It’s completely online and only takes a couple of clicks. It’s also totally flexible, you choose the exact amount you want to gift. And most importantly, a beautiful e-gift card will be emailed with a personal message from you. Recipients can choose from any of our Ipswich based classes and start their own creative adventure – thanks to you!

If you’re a super-organised type, buy now for Christmas or if like me, you tend to leave it till the last moment, it’s the perfect, instant, present solution.

Order your Gift Cards Here

Autumn Inspiration

Brighten the dull days of Autumn with bold, bright, jewellery.

They may be getting shorter but don’t let the grey days of Autumn dull your accessories. I’m a big fan of colourful costume jewellery – think Prue Leith – bold colours and simple shapes. Polymer clay (or FIMO) may not spring to mind here but in fact it’s perfect for creating colourful, wearable jewellery designs. Even better, it’s easy, inexpensive, fast and great fun. There’s still time to join me for a luxury, all-inclusive creative break at Denman and start making your own fabulous designs. You’ll soon have enough beads, bracelets, brooches & necklaces to brighten your Autumn and kick-start your Christmas gifting list!

We love Prue’s jewellery style. Read more about her inspiration and amazing necklace collection here.

NEW Jewellery Maker TV Projects

This week I loved presenting these two new projects for Jewellery Maker TV

I feel very fortunate to have been invited to appear as a guest designer for Jewellery Maker TV several times now. Being part of a live TV show is always daunting.  So although I still feel nervous, I’ve done it enough times that I know what to expect. I know which camera to look at, how to prepare my demo pieces and how to answer questions from the audience. Years of teaching mean I’m comfortable with explaining tricky techniques or knowing which parts of the creative process might cause problems. And because I love sharing my jewellery making skills, being part of the Jewellery Maker UK family and meeting a worldwide audience via the small screen is just amazing.

Metal clays are still very new to most people so I’m trying to keep all my projects suitable for beginners. However, there’s one form of silver clay that seems to capture the interest of everyone I talk to, it’s the syringe-type silver clay. It’s simply a slightly softened form of silver clay in a syringe applicator that can be extruded freehand or over templates to create the most exquisite, filigree designs – I love it!

So, this week for Jewellery Maker TV, I presented two new syringe projects which went down a storm.

       

If you missed the show there’s still time to catch both projects here (fast fwd to 2.00pm when I start the first demo). Don’t have the materials to try these at home? No problem. There’s actually very little you’ll need. Email me for a silver clay syringe, costing only £15.00 and either of these designs can be yours – tomorrow!

If there are any techniques or designs you’d like to see me make on Jewellery Maker TV do let me know. I’d love to hear your ideas…!

Melanie x

Interview with Mollie Makes magazine

I’m passionate about the benefits of sharing creative skills so it was fabulous to be asked for my thoughts by one of my all time favourite magazines – Mollie Makes.

I was completely delighted (and slightly start-struck) to be interviewed recently by Mollie Makes magazine on the subject of teaching creative classes. I’m passionate about the benefits of sharing creative skills so it was fabulous to be asked for my thoughts by one of my all time favourite magazines. It’s true that nowadays we all want to spend on experiences to savour rather than just buying more ‘stuff’. We’d much rather tell friends where we’ve been and what we made rather than what we bought. Social media has been a huge driver behind this and the ‘experience economy’ is now the fastest growing retail sector. If you’re a maker and finding it tough selling on Etsy or in galleries, it’s worth considering how hosting a pop-up class might introduce you to an exciting new audience. If you’re already interested in teaching why not spend a day with me learning how to plan, price and promote your classes. Email me for more information. Read more about how I prepare for my classes and why teaching can be a great boost to any creative business, Mollie Makes summer issue out now of grab a copy of my book ‘Teach What You Do’.

NEW Class: Summer Special – Bees & Roses

If you’re quick, there’s still time to join me for this summer special class learning new techniques with silver clay. There’ll also be strawberry’s and cream for tea and a glass of fizz to toast our success !

If you’re quick, there’s still time to join me for this summer special class on Sunday 11th August – learning new techniques with silver clay . On the day you’ll learn

  • How to create a delicate filigree rose using silver in a syringe.
  • How to make a ring from silver clay – that fits!
  • Forming a super cute little bee to adorn your ring

There’ll also be strawberry’s and cream for tea and a glass of fizz (alcohol free of course) to toast our success….!

Book your place now – click here