international craft awards

International craft awards are not easy to come by, but for the second year, Keep On Crafting, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk has made it through to the voting stage of the International Craft Awards in the Best Independent Craft Retailer in South East England category.

This is absolutely wonderful for shop owner Mandy Shedden because it is the army of faithful customers who nominated Keep on Crafting in sufficient numbers to get to this stage.

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The European Style paper bead making tool is especially designed for creating big hole beads (BHB's as they are known).

Beads made with the 5mm European style paper bead making tool can be easily fitted with silver cores that will give your beads a beautiful finish.

European style paper beads made with this tool will fit Pandora style bracelets and other larger stringing materials such as leather cord.

Make European style paper beads with this tool Click To Tweet

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Julie Driscoll
Southwold Beach Huts by Julie Driscoll

"Julie Driscoll...she sounds really familiar...where do I know that name from?"

That was the response I got from a friend when I said Suffolk artist Julie Driscoll was the next painter to be featured here.

Then...

"Oh my goodness! Julie Driscoll - that 60s singer! Wow - she paints now? And lives in Suffolk?"

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These are just a few of the many paintings Julie Driscoll has completed.

Her work hangs in homes and offices all over the country and this is a just very small sample of what she has produced.

Julie is a prolific painter and continues to produce new work for the many exhibitions she participates in.

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making a living as an artist

Making a living as an artist - if you are a ‘starving artist’, those words may make you smile.

Having spoken to a few working artists lately, I realise there is a huge difference between making a living as an artist and making money from your art now and then.

In my next few posts, I will be showing you the work of artists who are making money out of their art and who are working towards the ideal of making a living as an artist.

There is a huge difference between making a living as an artist and making money from your art. Click To Tweet

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sweet poppy stencils

Sweet Poppy stencils are absolutely beautiful, especially when combined with Sparkle Medium.

But what is the best way to use them?

And how can you get the stunning effects you see in the pictures here?

Sweet Poppy stencils are absolutely beautiful, especially when combined with Sparkle Medium. Click To Tweet

 

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craft awards

Craft awards don't come easily to the shops that receive them.

They are earned by the hard work of the craft shop owners who provide their customers with great service and products.

Last year Mandy Shedden of Keep On Crafting in Bury St Edmunds was given an award. When we spoke to Mandy this week about her hopes for this year she said:

"Thanks to the support of our loyal customers in 2015, we won the Silver Award in the International Craft Awards Best Independent Retailer in the South East"

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paper bead workshop

This week, I ran a paper bead workshop at a popular West Suffolk craft shop. 

Thanks to the artistic skills and dexterity of Mandy, Beryl, Sonia, Clarissa and Alison, the workshop ran really smoothly and was good fun.

They were a brilliant group who picked everything up really swiftly; that meant there was plenty of time for a tea break and time to set the world to rights!

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Paper Bead Cuff

Paper bead cuffs are my way of using my own art to create pieces of jewellery.

To create the paper bead cuffs, I do an abstract painting in acrylics on a sheet of paper slightly bigger than A4 (US letter size roughly).

The paper I use is usually quite thick and sturdy to create chunkier beads.

To find out more about making paper beads and the tool I use, click here to see a previous post that explains the process.

To create my paper bead cuffs, I do an abstract painting in acrylics on a sheet of paper slightly… Click To Tweet

 

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Alcohol Ink Pendants

Make beautiful 'Moon Glow' alcohol ink pendants using kitchen tin foil.

Alcohol ink pendants are my latest arty happening!

After seeing someone online doing crafty things with ordinary tin foil, I thought it would be fun to try and make some jewellery using that technique.

My previous post was also about using alcohol inks - you can find it by clicking here.

I have been making bottle cap necklaces for years and so I was inspired to use the bottle caps I have in my stash of resources to create some alcohol ink pendants.

Alcohol ink pendants - so easy to make and sell at craft fairs. Click To Tweet

To help you create your own alcohol ink pendants, I have made a YouTube video.

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