Archive of ‘Create’ category

5 tips for working on a year long craft project

5 top tips for taking on a year-long craft project

At the beginning of 2014 I began a sky blanket. Inspired by Laura’s blog, the concept is to knit a square for every day of the year based on the colour of the sky at midday. I have a pallet of five colours to work from and I work with two each day. I’ve been recording the colours in a notebook and have slowly (and sometimes painfully!) been making the blanket this year.

5 tips for a year long craft project - This Little Space of Mine

With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the lessons I’ve learnt through the year while working on this year long craft project. It’s not easy, but the sense of achievement is huge.

  1. Don’t fall too far behind

    Perhaps easier said then done, but try and pace yourself and work little and often. That way, even if you do fall behind you’ll still be in reaching distance of being able to catch up.

  2. Have other projects on the go

    Having a balance can only be a good thing. The sky blanket is knitted, so I opted for a couple of cross stitch and small sewing projects.

  3. Remember the time of year!

    My one main lesson from the sky blanket is that knitting in the summer is horrible. No other way around it, when it’s hot the last thing I wanted to do was knitting and feel even more hot and bothered. Summer is for sewing and knitting is for winter.

  4. Get other people involved

    It’s going to be a long year if you haven’t got people around you who are interested in what you’re working on. My sky blanket requires me to check the sky colour at midday everyday and I love the fact my work colleagues also look out the window and sometimes help me decide on the colours to use.

  5. Make it something portable

    Thankfully I’ve been able to take my sky blanket squares with me, so even when I’ve been on holiday I could take it with me and work on it in quiet times. Nothing better than knitting on holiday! I think I would’ve fallen quite far behind had I not been able to take it around with me.

    And one for luck…

  6. Don’t underestimate how much time it takes

    I naively underestimated just how much time it takes to make a blanket. I thought about the time for knitting a square but never even considered the time it takes to sew the squares together or tie in loose ends. Had I known, I probably would’ve made each square much smaller.

Here are a couple more photos of my sky blanket, including a special appearance from Freds the cat. For more insight into my sky blanket and how it’s grown head here.

5 tips for a year long craft project - This Little Space of Mine

5 tips for a year long craft project - This Little Space of Mine

5 tips for a year long craft project - This Little Space of Mine

Are you thinking of taking on a year long craft project? While my sky blanket has been a labour of love, I’m so pleased I stuck with it and I can’t wait to see how it looks once we go into 2015.

I doubt I’ll do another lengthy project for a while, I’m looking forward to being able to freely work on projects, but don’t let that put you off – it’s a good challenge to have.


DIY: Dashwood Studio Advent Calendar

If you’re in full-on Christmas craft mode these days, this Dashwood Studio Advent Calendar is just what you need. I’d been on the lookout for an Advent calendar to make for a while and instantly fell in love with this; often Christmas fabrics can be so old fashioned, but this feels modern without being over the top.

Dashwood Studio Advent Calendar - This Little Space of Mine

As far as craft projects go, this was an absolute joy to put together – it made for a really enjoyable Saturday afternoon. I sit in the beginner category of sewing and while this tested me, I learnt so many new skills that I can use elsewhere. Such as…

  • More experience using my sewing machine
  • Working with wadding
  • Using my rotary cutter
  • Sewing on bias binding to create a border

Don’t worry, The Homemakery’s tutorial walks you through each step of the way.

Dashwood Studio Advent Calendar - This Little Space of Mine

I bought everything from The Homemakery and the tutorial over on their blog gives you everything you need (including the material shopping list); really easy to follow, even for something that on first glance looked complicated.

The best bit about making this Advent calendar? It’s something that I’ll hopefully be able to treasure for years to come. I took my time over it and it paid off. I can look at it and think “I made it” and feel rather proud. It’s now filled with Celebrations for my housemates and me, ready for next Monday.

Dashwood Studio Advent Calendar - This Little Space of Mine

So the 1st December is next Monday, but there’s still time to get everything ordered and make this. You’ll be able to put it together in an afternoon, so go for it!

Just a month to go until Christmas day! Are you working on any Christmas projects? Share them with me in the comments below – I’d love to see them.


A chat with Allison from The People Shop

When I was developing the concept for This Little Space of Mine the feeling I wanted to put across more than anything was inspiration. We can be inspired by all kinds of different things and each of us will be inspired differently. Interviewing Allison from The People Shop is something I’ve wanted to do since day one; having met Allison at Blogtacular in May it confirmed that she was the most optimistic and happy person I’ve ever met. Plus she gives amazing hugs and always has the biggest smile on her face.

So who is Allison? Allison runs The People Shop in Birmingham with her husband Mr C. They sell a gorgeous collection of clothing, gifts and home accessories – mostly designed and made by this creative duo.

So grab a cup of tea, find out more and be inspired by Allison’s world. Allison – I’m delighted to have you here.



What does a typical day in Allison’s world look like?

There really isn’t a ‘typical’ day for me as my work involves so many different jobs and so each day is a little different which I love! I usually start my day with a lovely cup of peppermint tea which I have while checking all of my emails and social media stuff. I may pop a lovely image on Instagram to say good morning to my lovely followers!

Then depending what has landed in my inbox the morning is spent catching up with those before I head to my shop for a couple of hours working there with my gorgeous husband Mr C! I may have orders to ship out, or deliveries arriving which I have to display nicely around the store, this is one of my favourite parts of my work, I LOVE making everything look beautiful. Sometimes I spend a couple of hours styling a new window display, or designing a new dress with Mr C, or I might be making a new collection of cushions or having a nice chat with my customers (over tea and cake!).

Then sometimes I may work from my craft room at home, writing and styling tutorials for magazines or organising props for a styling shoot or display, or I maybe prepping for a workshop or teaching. There is never a quiet moment, my days are always busy and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

A chat with Allison Sadler from The People Shop - This Little Space of Mine

There is never a quiet moment, my days are always busy and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

What’s the idea behind The People Shop? How did you come up with the concept?

We decided to open The People shop because there were no other independent stores in Birmingham at that time offering what we wanted to sell, a lifestyle concept combining our love of fashion, interiors and accessories. We also needed a retail space to sell our collection and a studio space to create our designs that worked together. We have created a space that works beautifully for both.

Owning a business must keep you busy; how do you keep yourself calm in stressful moments?

I’m a real homebody so down time is always spent at ‘home’ with my gorgeous little family, Mr C, my best boy Milo and best girl lil Miss. We like to snuggle up on the sofa watching some trash TV and eating popcorn, or we cook lovely food and dance around the kitchen! or if its holiday time, then we pack up our things and head to Cornwall for the ultimate relaxing time out. Mr C is also very good at keeping me feeling nice and calm, he always knows exactly what I need at just the right time and If I’m having a meltdown he’s always there to cuddle me through it! All of these things and a nice chilled glass of Prosecco works every time!

A chat with Allison Sadler from The People Shop - This Little Space of Mine

Tell us more about ‘Make it Sewcial’; where did the idea come from?

Make It Sewcial is a hashtag that I created through Instagram. I started it to Inspire and motivate crafters and makers to connect and to create a community of like minded people who love all things independent and handmade. It works like an online craft social club, with followers sharing their work and ideas, inspiring each other, chatting and making lovely connections. It now has nearly 10,000 posts in the gallery from makers worldwide

I started it (Make it Sewcial) to Inspire and motivate crafters and makers to connect and to create a community of like minded people who love all things independent and handmade.


How do you find inspiration for your makes, home and business?

I am inspired by everything around me; fashion, interiors, music, food and people. I love watching the world go by and finding inspiration in everyday things. I create everything I do straight from the heart and soul and always stay true to the things I love that mean something to me. I love my work to reflect my personality, that makes me feel good and happy!

A chat with Allison Sadler from The People Shop - This Little Space of Mine

What’s the key to a happy life for you?

The key to a happy life to me… is 100 % keeping it real, doing the things that you love, your way! with mr C and my lovely kids by my side of course.

If you weren’t the owner of The People Shop what do you think you’d be doing with yourself?

I started my business when I was just 17 years old (25 years ago…. sshh, don’t tell anyone, I’m getting old!) so I really can’t imagine doing anything else, being my own boss is in my bones, I really couldn’t do anything else, I’ve run market stalls in Birmingham and London and sold my designs to several shops up and down the country before opening The People shop 15 years ago. I love it and enjoy being a bricks and mortar shop owner every day, its a huge part of my life. There will always be a People shop! Me and Mr C wouldn’t have it any other way!

A chat with Allison Sadler from The People Shop - This Little Space of Mine

The key to a happy life to me… is 100 % keeping it real, doing the things that you love, your way!

To anyone reading this and wanting to start a business, what’s the one piece of advice you’d offer them?

Throw your whole self into it with all of your passions and every inch of your heart and make it a lifestyle choice because you will need to love, live and breathe life into your business 24/7 to make it work

What does the next few months hold for The People Shop?

Christmas, Christmas and more Christmas until we close for a well deserved break on Christmas eve!

And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive)?

Minnie and Mickey mouse!



So there you go – what an inspiration she is. If I could be half as happy as Allison I’d be more rounded and optimistic lady. I hope you’ve loved this read as much as I have.

If you’d like to see more of Allison, you can catch her over on Twitter and Instagram too.

I’m on the lookout for more independent creative folk to interview, so if there’s anyone you’d love to read more about let me know.

Have a great Thursday!


Creating a home ideas scrapbook

Knowing I might buy a house next year is hugely exciting. Before I get there I regularly daydream about what my future home might look like; magazines, books, blogs, brochures etc. are full of fab ideas and I regularly say to myself “oooh, I like the look of that”. So I’m starting my own home ideas scrapbook.

Home ideas scrapbook - This Little Space of Mine

I was given a scrapbook for my birthday earlier in the year and starting to stick images in has reminded me of when I was 10 years old and stuck any news clippings about the Spice Girls into a scrapbook. Like any. I loved them, obsessed you might say. Did anyone else used to do this as a kid?

Regardless of what you might scrapbook about, I’m really enjoying using my various washi tapes with images I’ve been cutting out. I’m not being overly neat, but washi tape is oh so forgiving. It’s like a real life Pinterest and it’s my way of documenting ideas I see on my travels. It doesn’t matter if they never come into existence.

I contemplated having themed pages and structured sections but you know what? As an adult there is just too much structure in life, so I ditched that idea in favour of adding in pictures as and where I want to.

Home ideas scrapbook - This Little Space of Mine

Home ideas scrapbook - This Little Space of Mine

If you’d like to create your own home ideas scrapbook here’s a little list of things to get you started.

Things you’ll need to start a scrapbook
  • A scrapbook – Paperchase have a good, varied selection of sizes.
  • Washi tape – as much as you can get hold of! Fox and Star have a fantastic selection.
  • Magazines, brochures, print outs, catalogues etc.
  • A selection of coloured pens.
  • Scissors.

Home ideas scrapbook - This Little Space of Mine

…of course you can really go to town with scrapbooking; in fact the industry is huge. However, I’ve opted to keep it simple on this occasion.

What do you think? Fancy giving it a go yourself?

Home ideas scrapbook - let's get crafty - This Little Space of Mine


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