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New Year, New Skills – Why learning a new skill is so good for you.

New Year, New Skills

It’s the beginning of a brand new year and many of us will be setting goals for 2019.  Things like no more chocolate until next Christmas,  20-minutes only on devices a day and go for a 10-mile hike a day. Like everyone else, I’ve set myself these sort of goals each year and then felt dispirited or that I’ve have failed as they are unreasonable challenges and impossible to fulfil. So this year I’m trying a different type of goal to achieve.

My goal this year is to try new things and start learning some new skills! This type of goal isn’t about denying myself of feeling a failure if I don’t do amazingly on my first try. It is about stretching myself, trying things I’ve always wanted to have a go at and knowing that not getting it right only means I am practising to succeed later. I’ve also decided to plan my day to make sure I have time to just enjoy the little things in life such as enjoying a walk and setting aside a little time in the day to just do something creative that isn’t to do with work.

Therefore my New Year Goals list looks a little different to previous years:

  • Finally learn to crochet! I would love to be able to make one of the gorgeous Toft animals we have so this is the year.
  • Learn a few chords on the Ukelele so I can start to join in with one of the wonderful pub and play Ukelele sessions around where I live.
  • Set aside a time each day where I get to just be creative and experiment with techniques or materials without any pressure for it to be for anyone but me to enjoy.
  • Start to practice Yoga, I must be the only one left who isn’t enjoying some form of Yoga but I am a bit terrified as I am seriously unflexible and worry about getting stuck in a pose!

 

 

These New Year goals feel pretty good to me – there is no pressure, just a chance to do some fun stretching of the mind (and body) and the results should be pretty exciting, no matter if it takes me the rest of 2019 to manage some of them, I will still have started something I have never done before and be on my way to achieving a new skill.

The benefits of learning a new skill are pretty impressive:

I’m actually really looking forward to reaping all these benefits and having some fun in the process. It also feels a much more positive way to start planning a year than denying yourself or trying to make a new “you” out of a “you” that has travelled through good and bad stuff in 2018 and has proved a pretty good companion.

So let’s make 2019 a year to discover new skills we love and fill it with all our favourite things, both old and new!

 

If you too are looking to learn a new crafty skill in 2019 then these kits are perfect for beginners, from cross stitch to quilling.

Cross stitch – Cross stitch is the perfect new skill to relax with on the sofa! These counted cross stitch kits made by Mouseloft are perfect for beginner stitchers as they are very small and have simple but very cute designs.

 

Needle Felting – This is such a relaxing craft form to try and these gorgeous kits by Alula’s Garden are perfect for beginners. There are 6 kits in this range from penguins to rabbits.

 

 

Paper quilling –  This Complete Beginners Workbox by Past Times Quilling is designed for beginners and it contains everything you need to start, including a book with full instructions.

Wooden Automata Kits – If you want to start to learn how to make wooden moving models then why not start with this beginner level kit by Timberkits. It contains everything you need to make your model – a flying butterfly and a wriggling caterpillar.

 

If you enjoyed reading this article then you might like our article on how crafting makes our life better. Or to read more of our blog posts click here.

Cre8kits Magical Christmas Gift Guide!

Whether you love shopping for Christmas presents or want it to be as fast and painless as possible, we have made this Cre8kits gift guide to help you spread a little creative Christmas magic.


Brilliant stocking fillers – Creative ideas for Santa’s sack all costing £5 or under.

  1. Mister Maker Mini Makes – These little kits are perfect for children from the age of 3+ to about 8 years old. They contain everything you need to make the kits and create very little mess. £1.99 each. You can choose from a range of different themes from pony puppets to giraffe models. 2. Mouseloft Mini Cross Stitch Kits

These gorgeous mini kits are perfect for children and adults both (8years+). Made in Cheshire by family company Mouseloft, their cute designs and quick stitching time make them perfect for stocking fillers. Between £1.44-£2.39 each.

 

3. Sass and Belle Notepads

These sweet little A6 notepads are lovely as stocking fillers for little dreamers. They all feature one of three different positive messages on the front. £2 each.

4. Little Bird Brooch

This sweet little brooch is a lovely little gift or stocking filler for both older children and adults. £2.50 each.

5. Wooden model kits

These wooden kits slot together without needing glue to form 3d models of anything from animals to vehicles. They are brilliant value starting from £2.99 each.

6. Plasticine Modelling Kits

These brilliant mini plasticine modelling kits are perfect for quick creations before Christmas Dinner or stocking fillers. Each kit contains all the plasticine you need, usually three different colours of plasticine, a box to keep everything contained and instructions to help you make your animal/character.

 

7. Positive Pencils

These lovely pencils are perfect for motivating you on to greatness, whether in an essay or while writing ideas down!

Made by Sass and Belle. The pencils are available either individually or as a pack of 6. The pencils are in three gorgeous pastel colours depending on the message with Go Girl on a pink pencil, Dream Big on a lilac pencil and Follow Your Heart on a yellow pencil.

 

8. Kawaii Cat Pencils – These super cute pencils have erasers shaped like kawaii cats and are sure to encourage children and adults alike to put pencil to paper.

9. Black Cats are always Lucky Enamel Pin – for black cat lovers – £6.50

This British made enamel pin was hand-drawn in Shropshire by Daffodowndilly and is perfect for cat lovers.

 

 

Christmas Cards – From ready-made cards to ones you make yourself.

  1. Daffodowndilly Christmas Cards – Designed in Shropshire and printed in the UK on a lovely silk card complete with white envelope. £2 each

2. Mouseloft Cross Stitch Christmas Cards

These little cards are so cute and are a joy both to make and to send. Made by family company Mouseloft in Cheshire; everything you need to make them is included inside the kit, including a specially fitting card and envelope so all you need to do is start stitching! £2.89 each

 

3. Quilled Christmas Cards – Paper rolled delights

These lovely Christmas card kits are a work of art in themselves when made. Made in Lancashire by family company Past Times Quilling, these cards are as lovely to make as to receive. £5.95 each

Decorating the Tree

  1. Felt Angels

This super sweet sewing kit is made in Cornwall by Clara Create and makes two felt angels to hang on your tree. Perfect for children and adults alike and a definite family favourite. £10.95

 

2. Merrydown Robin

One of our favourite Christmas Kits and always popular with both adults and children. This lovely robin sewing kit is created in Cornwall by Clara Create and is perfect for perching on the tree or just cuddling by the fire! Age 8+

£12.95

3. Christmas Felt Decorations

This lovely felt sewing kit is also by Clara Create and makes three Christmassy decorations for the tree. Perfect for new sewers as a first project. Age 8+

£10.95

Gifts For Creative Children

  1. Needle Felting Kits

These gorgeous beginner kits are a perfect introduction to needle felting for older children and teens. Everything is included and each kit makes two of the design. Kit designs are rabbits, hens, toadstools, penguins, snowmen & songbirds.  Age 10+ – £16

2. Clara Create Sewing Kits

These beautiful kits are made in Cornwall by Clara Create using wonderfully soft felts and fabrics and are a perfect present for beginner/younger sewers. There is a range of designs from dogs to pigeons, all are hugely cute and make lovely gifts.

Age 8+ – From £12.95 to £14.99

3. Mister Maker Kits

This is the larger range of the brilliant children’s Mister Maker kits from the popular children’s CBeebies TV
programme. There’s a  variety of different themes ranging from hand puppets to cardmaking and all the kits are low mess, perfect for playing with before Christmas Dinner!

Age 3+ – £4.99 each

4. Textile Heritage Cross Stitch Bookmarks

These Stunning bookmark kits are perfect for creative children who love to read, it’s up to whether you want to make it to give to them or give them the kit to make as an added bonus. There is a huge range of designs from lighthouses to birds to knights. Age 8+ – £7.95

5. Wooden Model Kits by Quay

These wooden kits slot together without needing glue to form 3d models of anything from animals to vehicles. They are brilliant value starting from £2.99 up to the massive XL kits which range from £14.99 to £22.95 each. Age 3+

Perfect Gifts for Friends and Family

  1. Stitching Shed Cross Stitch kits

These beautifully designed kits are perfect for friends and family who love cross stitch. Designed in Lancashire by Jayne Schofield, these kits make stunning pictures to frame when stitched. Designs range from new baby to love blooms in my garden and welcome to my home and many others. Age 8+ Range of prices from £16 t0 £26.50.

2. Textile Heritage Cross Stitch Bookmarks

These Stunning bookmark kits, made in Scotland, are perfect to either give to make or make to give, to book lovers. There is a huge range of designs from lighthouses to birds to stain glass windows.  Everything comes with the kit except scissors for ease of making. Age 8+ – £7.95

3. Felted Wristwarmer Kits 

These lovely felting kits are designed in Somerset by Andrea Coleman and each kit makes two pairs of gorgeous wristwarmers. There are two colour styles available – blue and red (separate pairs) or dark blue and grey (separate pairs) Both pairs are reversible. Age 8+ £15.95 a kit (makes two pairs)

4. Deirdre the Owl Scissor Keep Kit

This is definitely the cutest scissor keep and needle case ever and comes with its own pair of pretty embroidery scissors. Designed by CharlieDuckDesigns and with lovely plumage colours this kit, once made, will help keep your essential sewing equipment together. The kit contains all the felt, buttons and thread you need to make the kit. Age 8+ £13.95

5. Felt Corsage Flower Kits

These mini corsage flower kits are adorable and made of a beautiful soft felt in 4 different colour schemes – greens, blues, pinks and burgundy. Made by The Button Company in the UK. Age 8+ £7.95

 

6. Redhound For Dogs  – Dog Jumper Knitting Kits

These wonderfully designed soft warm knitting kits are perfect for friends with dogs that feel the cold. There are 3 main types of body shape catered for – Dachsund, Terrier and Whippet, with each shape available in either pinks/purples or blues. There is also a Christmas jumper option for Dogs who like to look extra snazzy on the 25th.

Age 8+ Range of prices from £24.99 – £32.99

7. Crochet Bags by Hoooked

The effortlessly stylish Hoooked Zpagetti range of crochet bag kits use yarns made from textile remnants from the fashion industry which means that these kits are sustainable with recycled fabric and packaging. There are three designs to choose from and many of the designs come in different colour schemes for maximum versatility. Prices from £20 to £30.

8. Toft Crochet Kits

Made from luxury and incredibly soft DK weight 100% wool yarn from The Toft Alpaca Shop, the wool used in these kits are made from the finest British fleeces and spun in Yorkshire. Designed by Kerry Lord as part of her Edward’s Menagerie collection or their wearables collection, these gorgeous kits make a perfect gift for both adults and children and it is almost impossible to stop at making one, they are addictive! Choose from animals, dinosaurs, wristwarmers or scarves.

A range of prices starting from £22.95.

 

Gifts for Model Makers

  1. Vintage Model Company Planes

The Vintage Model Company is a small manufacturer of laser-cut, model kits based in Bakewell, Derbyshire. This new range of Magnificent Flying Machines features accurately drawn building plans, precise laser-cut parts and all basic materials required to build a rubber-powered model aircraft that really flies. These kits contain accurately printed plans, laser-cut parts, tissue, rubber motor, decal sheet, detailed instructions, propellers and PVA wood glue. The model has a real airframe, built up from laser-cut balsa sheet and strip parts, covered with lightweight model aircraft tissue to ensure the best possible flying performance. Age 8+ Range of prices from £24.99

2. Timberkits Wooden Automata Kits

Timberkits is a wonderful family firm created in 1993 and based in Mid Wales. Their wooden automata kits are hugely popular, coveted by adults and children alike and make the perfect gift for model makers – both beginner and experienced. There is a huge range of designs and types to choose from including a Ballista, a Stephenson’s Rocket or a ocean scene so have a browse through to find your perfect gift.

Age 8+ Range in price from £14.99 to £39.95

 


As well as using the links embedded in this post, many of these kits and cards can be found on our website in the Christmas section on the front page but if you would rather order by email or have any questions about any of the products or about Cre8kits then you can also send across your order or questions to: customerservice@cre8kits.co.uk

We hope you like this year’s guide and all that’s left to do is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with creativity!
The Cre8kits Team x

 

8 Embroidery Instagram Accounts We Adore

Embroidery on Instagram

Instagram is a powerful tool to find artists and makers who inspire you. In fact, this is one of the main reasons I love Instagram, I use it to “bookmark” people whose work I want to learn more about. It also makes it a perfect place to find beautiful art you love and see what is happening at the cutting edge of makery.

You could call embroidery an evergreen craft, it has been consistently popular and likely always will. However, this doesn’t mean that the styles stay the same (although you can be sure that everything goes around, even 90’s double denim)! Even the way we display or use embroidery is different to 30 years ago. Now we tend to display embroidery in hoops – a ready made super quick frame that happens to look amazing on the wall. Another use is to embroider our clothes, which is a much more traditional use, but we use modern designs.

Embroidery is thriving among all ages and is something you can start relatively cheaply; learn as you go and can easily take anywhere to do.  Therefore there is no reason we can possibly think of not to start!

These accounts on Instagram are brilliant places to explore and get the bug or find the type of embroidery that suits you! Some like @petronella.art and @_charleshenry_ also lead online embroidery courses if you love their style and want to learn more about their process.


So here are the 8 embroidery accounts on Instagram we adore:

@petronella.art

Who is she: Originally from Falsterbo in Sweden, Elin Petronella now lives mostly in France and embroiders buildings, landscapes and landmarks that she sees on her everyday travels. She hand draws out an intricate sketch and then converts that drawing into an embroidery pattern to stitch. She travels with her fiance, another embroidery artist called Charles Henry and together they have a website called Le Kadre. From Le Kadre you can buy finished pieces, patterns and online courses; they also have a joint Instagram account as well, @thetravellingartists.

Embroidery Style: Architectural embroidery of street scenes, landscapes and landmarks. She uses vibrant colours and a strong outline with particular attention often paid to objects like bikes or vegetation which add to the structure of the scene. Her pieces are almost always created and displayed in wooden hoops and are designed with a circle viewpoint in mind. 

Instagram Style: Expect beautiful photos of her travels with both urban and coastal landscapes; gorgeous progress photos of embroidered pieces being made and videos of her process. You will also be treated to amazingly envy making photos of places she sits to relax and embroider such as sun-drenched beaches or in front of stunning landmarks. You won’t just find embroidery though as she also knits and makes her own clothes and bags.  She also regularly posts about her life with Charles Henry (see below) as they work and travel together. 

Why should you follow her: If you love architectural style embroidery and beautiful photos of France and the Continent then this is your sort of account. Her account has a very happy vibe and is a perfect place to learn more about architectural embroidery.

 

Links

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/petronella.art/?hl=en

Instagram for The Travelling Artists: https://www.instagram.com/thetravellingartists/?hl=en

Facebook page for Le Kadre: https://www.facebook.com/lekadre/

Le Kadre website: https://lekadre.com/

 

@_charleshenry_

Who is he: He is a Paris born embroidery and illustration artist who like his fiance, @petronella.art, embroiders landmarks and street scenes, he also stitches portraits. As the other half of Le Kadre, they lead workshops, create patterns and sell their work all over Europe and beyond. He hand draws out the pattern first and these sketches are usually just as brilliant as the finished embroidered piece. 

Embroidery Style: His pieces switch between black/blue line stitched outline embroidery with no other colour apart from vivid multicolour skies or seas. His other embroidery style being architectural where he uses many colours and lots of texture. Like @petronella.art he uses hoops to display his pieces but sometimes he also converts stitched pieces into prints.

Instagram Style: Similar in style to @petronella.art in that you can expect lots of beautiful embroidery pieces in progress interspersed with photos of him stitching in front of beaches or famous landmarks. He also shows what life as half of a travelling artist couple is like with regular photos of the two of them. Both of their feeds show a deep appreciation that we should all try to love the little things in life and he often posts positive messages or something to make you think.

Why should you follow him: You will be seeing real-life scenes and people being literally sewn in front of your eyes though progress shots and videos. It is also really good that both he and @petronella.art show the location or scene they are stitching as well as the finished piece as it gives you a real insight into the finished likeness. and can get a really good feel of what architectural embroidery consists of. You will also love (and suffer huge jealousy pangs for) the shots of him stitching in front of gorgeous locations.

? The embroidery is finished !☄?❤ It's not easy to finish a piece, I always had this problem in art school or even in my old job, I was never satisfied with my work. After 1 month and a half to embroider on this piece, I'm happy but there are always details that can bother me. With the experience I learned to hold my choices and to know how to say stop, the piece is finished. This piece was a memory of Paris, my hometown, which I was happy to leave for new adventures, it will always remain a city of my heart, and we will come there from time to time because my mother lives there. Each city has its own state of mind, that's how it is, that's why we often have preconception about the people who live there. I have tried it but I never really had the spirit of #Paris. Nature, the ocean, the small communities is more my kind of spirit. But without Paris maybe Elin and I would not be here at the moment of today making our passion a lifestyle. This #embroidery is located at Quai des Orfèvres not far from the Pont-Neuf, it is a place known for this large anti-criminal police station, and also known for its history and its majestic architecture. I now feel ready for the next piece, full of ideas in mind, I hope you'll be there! If you are interested in purchasing "Quai des Orfèvres" please email : hello@lekadre.com ? . . . #lekadre #broderie #bordado #handembroidery #handmade #needlework #needlepainting #diy #closeup #manbroidery #artistofinstagram #artstudio #artforsale #embroideryartist #seineriver #sky #paintingoftheday #artoftoday #contemporaryartist #needleart #patienceiskey #dmcembroidery #vangogh #tribute #menstyle #detailedart #finearts #fineartist

A post shared by CHARLES HENRY (@_charleshenry_) on

 

Links

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_charleshenry_/?hl=en

Instagram for The Travelling Artists: https://www.instagram.com/thetravellingartists/?hl=en

Facebook page for Le Kadre: https://www.facebook.com/lekadre/

Le Kadre website: https://lekadre.com/

 

@kirikipress

Who is she: Kiriki Press started when Michelle Galletta, actually a printmaking graduate from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Canada; wanted to make an embroidered doll for her niece. She couldn’t find a pattern gorgeous enough, with existing ones being either too simplistic or too old-fashioned. After learning how to embroider she then designed and made a trio of embroidered owls. She has featured in a whole host of craft blogs, magazines and books and continues to create new designs featuring embroidered animals, characters and samplers.

Embroidery Style: She uses a myriad of different stitches to create the looks she wants for each character with colours suited to whichever character she is currently embroidering, each of the animals is very realistic and very cute. The simplest creations may only feature a few different stitches while advanced pieces may almost completely cover the fabric to create a fully textured piece.

Instagram Style: As you would imagine it mostly shows her creations in various states of creation and with lovely backgrounds. It also features characters made by people who have followed her patterns to create their own pieces. It is brilliant to see when she shows the original sketches for some of the designs as it is always really interesting to see how people design their work and how it differs or is similar to other artists.

Why should you follow her: If you love cute embroidery and sumptuous backdrops then this is perfect for you. 

 

 

 Links

Website – https://www.kirikipress.com/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kirikipress/?hl=en

Facebook – facebook.com/kirikipress

Twitter – twitter.com/KirikiPress

Pinterest – pinterest.com/kirikipress

 

@brynnandcoshop

Who is she: Amanda Bryde is Canadian by birth but now lives in Queensland, Australia. She runs her business, Brynn & Co, alongside having a young family and working full time. Having always been creative with photography, writing, crochet and sewing; she then fell in love with embroidery and started her business. Her dream is to be able to support her family by selling patterns and kits of her designs alongside sewing aids.

Embroidery Style: Positive words left as blank fabric then beautifully surrounded with embroidered flowers and plants. She also uses occasionally uses black outline stitches with a pop of colour to show off a feature.

Instagram Style: Think clean, beautifully lit and posed photos of her work, both finished and in progress. New ideas for her projects and collaborations with other artists.

Why should you follow her: If you like gorgeous embroidery flatlays and innovative ways to use embroidery in everyday life then this account is perfect.

 

Links

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/brynnandcoshop/?hl=en

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com.au/amandalbryde/

 

@timesnewromance

I can’t find very much information about this artist but her work is fabulous so enjoy!

Embroidery Style: Brilliant innovative black outline portrait embroidery with hair features added beautifully using threads. Faces are spot on and I just love the texture that the threads give to the hair on the portraits. Some pieces she creates are huge and almost life-sized while others are tiny.

Instagram Style: Pared down images of in-progress and finished work always against simple backgrounds. Occasional shots of her stitching and her inspirations.

Why should you follow her:  So creative and innovative in how she frames, poses and stitches her portraits, it is a joy to see what she does next.

 

 

Links

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/times.new.romance/?hl=en

 

@tessa_perlow

Who is she: Tessa Perlow is from New Jersey in the USA and creates upcycled clothes and textiles by filling them with colourful embroidery art. She sells these pieces as unique one-off clothes.

Embroidery Style: Bold, vibrant and modern embroidery that veers from florals to human hearts and geometric patterns. Each garment or textile she creates is unique from any of her other pieces and all are brilliant. She also stitches hoop art, mostly featuring eyes in some way.

Instagram Style: You can expect lots of vibrant in-progress and finished images of her upcycled pieces with her either wearing them or in the hoop being created. Images of her gorgeous cats, plus dreamy photos from her trips.

Why should you follow her: The sheer variety and imagination of her work mean each piece is different and it’s exciting to see what her next design will be. If you love bold, modern embroidery and upcycling then this is perfect for you.

 

~Pure heart contour tee~ #embroidery

A post shared by ⚡️Tessa⚡️ (@tessa_perlow) on

Links: 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tessa_perlow/?hl=en

 

 

@rachelwinters_sewing

Who is she: Rachel Winters is from Georgia in the USA and creates flower-rich embroidery hoop art. She sells her designs as PDF patterns and as finished hoop art.

Embroidery Style: She uses a variety of different stitches to create gorgeous floral pieces, sometimes with beautifully stitched birds, both for hoop art and for embroidering on clothes. Love the way she creates brilliant texture on some of the flowers using longer lengths of thread.

Instagram Style: Gorgeous close-ups and flatlays of her embroidery both finished and in progress plus sketches of her designs being created.

Why should you follow her: Her feed is gorgeously full of embroidered flowers and birds and if you love nature- inspired embroidery then this is the feed for you.

 

✨New hand embroidered hoops are now on my Etsy Shop. Link in my profile ✨

A post shared by rachelwinters_sewing (@rachelwinters_sewing) on

Links:

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rachelwinters_sewing/?hl=en

 

@defnegunturkun

Who is she: Based in Istanbul, Defne Güntürkün designs fabric patterns featuring nature-inspired themes so when she developed a love for embroidery it made sense that these themes would make their way into her embroidery. She has been designing fabrics for over 15 years so this experience helps her to choose colour combinations that work well together as well as decisions on how to incorporate new plants or objects into her pieces. She sells her embroideries through her website and through her studio in Istanbul.

Embroidery Style:  Nature-inspired pieces featuring beautiful floral filled initials; realistic character filled portraits and lots of cacti! She also creates stitched pins and buttons in a variety of designs. Her portraits are mostly stitched on felt.

Instagram Style: Videos of her work being stitched, allowing you to see her process. Photos of her work finished and in progress plus photos of her gorgeous studio.

Why should you follow her: Her portraits are gorgeous to watch being created and if like us you love watching the stitches transform the blank fabric and create a work of art, then this account is for you too.

 

 

Links:

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/defnegunturkun/?hl=en

Website – https://www.defnegunturkun.com/about

 

 

All these artists are inspirational, innovative and hugely creative talents and will fill your feed up with brilliance and loads of stitchy goodness. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this post then have a read of some of our other posts here

Or if you want to have a browse of our craft kits then you can find our home page here 

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