Docrafts Creativity Magazine, a Gorjuss Review

This recent post I did about getting started with craft suggested that craft magazines could be a really good starting point for inspiration and free materials, they usually come with at least one freebie and ideas inside for makes, for under a fiver you get a good weeks worth of crafting and ideas to keep coming back to again and again.

I jumped at the chance to review the new Creativity magazine last month. The theme was Gorjuss, by Santoro, whose whimsical slightly dark illustrations I love.


The magazine

This is what arrived in the post, the March 2014 edition of Docrafts Creativity Magazine complete with three brilliant sets of materials and a set of vouchers for money off further materials:


The Materials


The March 2014 edition came with three freebies:

  • A Forever Friends DVDROM of printables
  • Gorjuss ribbon pack in lovely dusky colours
  • Bellissima A6 decoupage and paper pack, again in dusky pinks and blues, I really like that the decoupage pieces and tags are pre-cut to pop out for ease and speed



I love that Docrafts Creativity magazine contains a great mix of card making as well as other crafts including ideas for makes for kids, cakes, scrapbooking and jewellery making. There is something for everyone, from step by step beginners guides which hold your hand right the way through a project to more advanced projects like the Gorjuss box on the front cover. I really enjoyed the article on using mixed media to create unique storage, like this bobbin box:


The Make

I decided to put the Gorjuss ribbons and Bellissima pack together to make this little Birthday card for a friend, using some of the ideas from the mag for inspiration, and some bits from my own craft materials, I really liked the colours and the two freebies complement each other really well:


Happy crafting folks!

Disclosure: I received the March issue of Creativity magazine for the purposes of reviewing and all opinions are my own

Crash and burn

Real Life

This blog is currently being quarantined, with a chronic ear infection for our poor girl and flu for Daddy and I this book seems appropriate:


If I am being honest we are not doing very well, being poorly at the same time is less than ideal and it feels like we are surviving each day rather than living, consequently I will be taking a few days off blogging but hope to be back before long. The time off work has given me some time to take stock, I think I’ve probably been overdoing it especially the last push to get my dissertation finished, so rest will probably recharge our batteries and do us all the world of good!

Blog life

Naturally a quiet week, although my washi tape post was popular, as was my post about our experience of visiting Paris two years ago



This post by Oliver Smile has kept me going, the description of surviving illness with a child is hilarious!

- See more at:

NatStatWeek 2014 – tools

National Stationery Week, who knew?

Here’s my round up of faves from my trusty pen roll, when you work with stats and code data you need colours in your life! I love these little pegs, very handy for crafting!



These Stabilo fineliners are a must for coding data, lovely true colour ink, mine are short stubby ones and they’re in all my handbags in a rainbow of colours!


I carry one or two highlighters everywhere again for coding or for Joss to scribble with!


Obviously with a toddler these are now a must!


And washi is a big thing at the moment too:


Do you have tools of the trade that you can’t live without?

Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside…


I’ve been posting some of the Action for Happiness resources here in the hope they might inspire others to explore positive mental health. What does this one mean? It could be that we never really know what is going on with someone else on the inside, they might be like a swan, serene on the surface, paddling like mad underneath. When I am feeling anxious I’ll often think ‘why does everyone else have it so easy?’ Well, maybe they don’t? Acceptance is what this one’s about.

The outside can be very different from the inside, this week’s What’s the Story demonstrates this really well. When we were on honeymoon we’d heard that St Chapelle monument was a must, it was pretty uninspiring outside, should we queue?


Pretty glad we did!

Wonderful Washi Tapes and their Uses

Once something has a Hey Girl meme devoted to it you know it’s reached cult status, ladies and gents I give you Exhibit A:


Washi tape is something of an obsession of mine, it’s eco-friendly;, made from rice, wheat or hemp paper, and as it’s non-plasticky it’s totally repositionable, tearable and removable, so pretty adaptable too. Washi translates from the Japanese to Wa (Japanese) Shi (tape) and comes in a massive range of widths and designs, I buy mine from Ebay, but supermarkets and stationers are starting to get in on the trend.

Here’s a small selection from my own collection:


What can you do with it?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, i.e. not on Pinterest, you can’t fail to see Washi crop up in people’s pins if you look closely.

What do you suggest?

Here’s one I made earlier, I used my tapes to cover a lightswitch cover, if I decide to change it I just remove and reposition, cut bits out to add decoration, or, as it’s made from paper and biodegrades, I see no reason why I couldn’t pop it in with my paper recycling.


Sound Pinteresting?

See more ideas on my board, here
My favourite idea of the moment is from Le Jardin de Juliette, post here
Her Car track idea is ingenious and older kids could reposition it too!


Busy Bee Mumslist

Real life midlife crisis?

This week has been incredibly busy, but in a really lovely sociable way! Earlier in the week when the weather was nicer Joss and I made a half dozen trips to the park in two days! She’s discovered the joys of football (almost) whilst she enjoys carrying a ball there is a definite sense in which she would rather the ball did not get dirty in the park thank you very much, and consequently we have more photos where the ball is being toted about than kicked. WP_004143

This happened, amazing tweet!

We had a hoot the night before my birthday, I love her smiling eyes:

Then mid-week saw the turn of my 30th Birthday, a good few meals out and plenty of treats along the way, I haven’t given too much of a thought to what this milestone means yet, perhaps that’s a good thing, avoiding a midlife crisis by being an ostrich?!


Blogging bits

I’ve really pushed myself to blog everyday, sometimes twice a day this week. My favourite post was the hardest by far, a tutorial. Making this little fabric picture was lovely, but I lost track with photography a little along the way so I’ve learned that it’s important to split the work up into small tasks photographing as you go, it was a good experience and has had positive feedback so far!

From this:

To this:


Something I wanted to mention and perhaps pick other’s brains about is the random popularity of posts. This Tagxedo tutorial I did last year gets a lot of traffic.
I realised that search engine traffic was driving this interest, but was uncertain about why this was the case as the software package offers its own ‘how to.’ It was then that I spotted something, a happy accident that I had spelled the software wrongly on my original post, a common spelling mistake has been driving this traffic! I don’t really know what to do with this info beyond more frequent misspelling, but I guess it’s made me think about the importance of blog post titles?!

Inspiring posts

I’ve saved a few things to re-read this weekend, one thing I want to explore more is Pinterest, so this Reading Residence post looks invaluable! I spotted some great ideas on this list from Snowing Indoors, 50 prompts to beat the bloggers block, and there are some total blogger gems of tools here with this blogging crash course that I must return to read some more of!

And one last thing, a plan! This week I plan to make a list of the linkies I join, including this one to keep myself right!


- See more at:

“Put on my shoes and I’m ready for the weekend”


Somehow I have created a child obsessed with carrying things in bags. Occasionally you take a photo that’s too blurry for your liking but you can’t help thinking that the moment it captures makes it perfect. She can’t keep still, wearing a stacking ring bangle, my only going out bag, her Joules horsie horsie bag and her horsie top she looks quite the thing ready for, well…anything!

I love that this outtakes linky by Mama Geek lets me share the photos taken through the week that are perfect to me but not quite making the cut, like this one under our fave cherry blossom, a little too dark but nothing some careful editing won’t fix!


This one though, this one needs some explaining, this is a photo Joss insisted on taking in the park the same day I snapped her here, she’s got some learning to do but she got that spider in the shot!

Amazing achievements: turns out she can use a straw!

Today I turned 30 and although I was at work it was a lovely day, Joss decided Mammy needed to enjoy a LONG birthday so the celebrations commenced at 5:30 am! Breakfast in bed from my favourite bakery and a mega fruit salad were followed by a lovely cuppa and when I arrived at work I was greeted by this!


I won’t bore you with the details but it’s been a really lovely day, followed by tea at Wagamama with Mr B and Joss, here comes this weeks small step, we were really amused to learn that Joss will not have milk or water from a straw but juice is a whole different thing! She never ever gets juice unless it’s freshly squeezed like this, and she wasn’t giving up that glass for anyone, what a treat!

And finally, my birthday present, I adore Classic Hardware jewellery and look at this beauty!

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Talk Talk TV Tribes: My Viewing Pleasure

You know I’m a researcher so I’m gonna start with a stat! The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) estimates 26.8 million private domestic households (approximately 97% of households) in the UK own televisions. Clearly it’s a big part of all our lives. In the years that British homes have been watching TV, our viewing habits and the programmes we love have changed dramatically, my own experience reflects this. TalkTalk surveyed the nation to discover how we’re watching TV today, find out where you fit in the TV Tribes test here

My tribe is:

T h e S o c i a l N e t w o r k e r

“I watch quite a bit of television, of all kinds, but always with one eye on my computer screen or smartphone. I like to watch television as it is being broadcast whenever possible, and I take part in live debate on Twitter or Facebook, and go online to see what other people are saying about a programme. I also use the internet to look up information. I like to share my opinion and comment on the opinion of others”

6% of people belong to this TV Tribe – as a researcher this is bang on for me, especially using the net whilst I watch!

I’m going back to the eighties to share my viewing memories, when I looked like this:


We had a big old TV, one of those wooden veneer ones, classic eighties style, I’ll see if I can find a pic, OK found one, it was exactly like this:


My earliest ever memory is of that TV, you’ll have spotted Bert and Ernie in my photo, I LOVED Sesame Street and even then would have half an eye on my toys and half an eye on the TV, so I guess I was a Social Networker even then. Sadly that blooming old TV used to cut off at key times and I’d miss bits of the show. My parents realised that if you tapped the side of the TV to get a connection back doing what it should’ve been the TV would come to life again and that awful grey screen buzzing would stop and up would pop Big Bird and the Cookie Monster! So yes, my earliest memory is of whacking the side of the TV really hard to bring back my favourite show!

Sesame Street Big Bird

Thirty years on not much has changed, I have my own TV whacking tot, our flatscreen works just fine thank you very much, and Big Bird has been replaced by In The Night Garden and Big Barn Farm but the proximity and chance to get up close and personal with the characters hasn’t changed and she has to be reminded to look but not touch just as I did!


Look at those sticky finger marks! (She looks like we dressed her like John Mclaine from Die Hard here too!)


I like documentaries best but often feel that there’s not enough available on our current package, I thought C4s Fabulous Fashionistas, about ageing and fashion was amazing and the Twitter chats around it were so engaging but its not often I see something so thought provoking!

What tribe do you belong to?

This is my entry into the Tots100 Talk Talk TV Tribes competition!