101 Dalmatians Light Up Canvas

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This is such a quick and easy DIY, you’ll be making them for everyone!

What you’ll need:

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  • Deep edge canvas
  • Fairy lights
  • Pencil
  • Black felt tip
  • Black fine liner
  • Sellotape

Step 1

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Draw your design onto your canvas using a pencil.  You can find a downloadable version of mine here: dalmatian drawingdalmatian

Step 2

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When you’re happy with your design, go over your pencil marks with a fine liner.  This will prevent your felt tip from bleeding on the canvas.

Step 3

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Colour in your design with your black felt tip.

Step 4

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On the reverse of your canvas, arrange the fairy lights and sellotape the wires in place.  Remember to leave the switches for your battery box accessible.

IMG_8098 copyVoila!  One light up cute as a button Dalmatian canvas!

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Valentine’s Day Gift Tutorial

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At Ava Kitsch HQ, I’m busy getting ready for Valentine’s Day.  Here’s a quick DIY tutorial to make your very own Valentine’s Day gift.

What you’ll need:

  • photo frame (mine’s from IKEA)
  • red card or thick paper
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue
  • letter stamps and ink pad
  • small key charm

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Step 1

Remove the backing and glass from your frame.  Draw around the glass on the red card and cut out.

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Step 2

Stamp on the message “YOU HAVE THE             TO MY HEART”.  Remember to leave the gap so you can add your key.

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Step 3

Glue the key charm into place and allow to dry.

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Step 4

Reassemble into your frame.  Depending on the frame you use, the glass may not fit back in, but it looks great without too!

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Wrap in some cute paper and gift with a card and some chocs and you’re S.O will definitely be feeling the love this Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Tutorial: No Bake Cereal Bars

Warning!  These are seriously scrummy!

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Yup, you read it right – no baking skills required!

These are perfect with a cup of tea, mid morning snack or lunch box sweet.

What you’ll need:

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  • margarine (for greasing)
  • wooden spoon
  • metal baking tray
  • scales
  • mixing bowl
  • small pan
  • cling film
  • blender/food processor
  • space in your freezer

Ingredients:

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  • 225g jumbo rolled oats
  • 50g plain or chocolate rice pops
  • 85g sultanas
  • 85g dried mixed fruit (chopped small)
  • 100g agave (from the sugar aisle)
  • 100g peanut butter
  • 125g runny honey

What to do:

  1. Lightly grease your baking tray and line with cling film.
  2. Blitz the porridge oats in your food processor/blender until slightly powdery.  This is important or they won’t stick together.
  3. Pour into your mixing bowl, adding the sultanas, dried mixed fruit and rice pops.  Stir well.
  4. Heat the agave, peanut butter and honey in a pan over a medium heat until melted.  Top Tip: when measuring out the wet ingredients, use the pan as your measuring bowl to save on the mess!
  5. Pour over the oat mixture and mix with a spoon until it has cooled slightly.  Then get in there with your hands to make sure the oats and fruit are well and truly coated.  Top Tip:  lick your hands clean!
  6. Tip the mixture into the lined tray and spread evenly.  Lay another piece of cling film over the top and press down firmly
  7. Leave in the freezer for 1 hour until set.
  8. Remove from the freezer and take off the top layer of cling film.  Turn out onto a chopping board and remove the rest of the cling film.  Cut into 24 bars (or less if you want a nice big piece, which you will).

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These will keep if you wrap in grease proof paper and store in a sealed container in the fridge.  They can also be kept in the freezer, but let’s be honest, they aren’t going to last that long.

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Free UK Postage

Ava Kitsch is now offering free UK postage on all orders from the folksy shop.  Call it an early Christmas present from me to you, a thank you for all of your support and love.  Without you, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m so passionate about.

Don’t forget, I do custom orders too.  If you have something specific in mind I can collaborate with you to make just what you’re looking for.

Please visit my shop https://folksy.com/shops/AvaKitsch and have a gander.  And don’t forget, only 57 days to Christmas!

Upcycling and Repurposing

Ava Kitsch Jewellery holds a strong belief in upcycling and repurposing.  But just what do I mean by that?

Repurposing is defined by google.com as to “adapt for use in a different purpose”.  With a strong influence from the steampunk and dieselpunk genres, I often utilise vintage watch parts and pieces of hardware in my designs.  By using vintage components, the pieces I create are given a history all of their own.  With a thousand stories to tell, each piece is truly unique.

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Upcycling is to “use (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original” (source: goggle.com).  You will often find vintage components from broken pieces of jewellery incorporated into my designs, giving them a second life as something entirely new.  This often means the pieces I make are entirely bespoke, unique, one of a kind pieces that are never to be replicated.

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The beauty of upcycling and repurposing is that many of the pieces I make are truly bespoke.  Combining the old with the new, unique pieces of jewellery are made that transcend time.

That’s Ava Kitch’s philosophy: repurpse and upcycle to make something truly unique at an affordable price.  And I like to think I’m doing a little bit of good too, saving something that would otherwise be thrown away.

Vist my folksy shop by clicking an image above or visting folksy.com/shops/AvaKitsch

A Hint of Steampunk

When people think of steampunk, they think of this:

And as wonderful and amazing and epic as this is, it’s just a tad much for the everyday.

If you want to ease yourself into steampunk, keeping it simple and classic and subtle, then I have the solution:

vintage steampunk beaded necklace (1)

A simple silver tone necklace featuring vintage beads, a diamante finding and just a hint of steampunk in the form of a vintage watch movement.

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Understated, simple, yet stylish.  This is a bespoke piece, handmade by Ava Kitsch Jewellery.

Priced at £15.00, this is available to buy from my folksy shop: https://folksy.com/items/6731636-Vintage-Steampunk-Beaded-Necklace

Boho Victorian Style

Boho has been big this season.  It is every year when the festivals roll around.  But how to do it in a Victorian style when you’re all about the classic era?

Well, I’ve been working on it and I’ve come up with a beautiful necklace and earring set:

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Made from vintage turquoise glass beads on antique bronze effect chain, it’s a little bit of boho but classically styled.

So what do you think?

Available to buy now from my folksy shop https://folksy.com/items/6729083-Vintage-Boho-Glass-Bead-Necklace-and-Earring-Set

Reflections and Plans

Since the launch of Ava Kitsch Jewellery at Easter it has been an exciting adventure and a learning experience and I can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring. I’ve enjoyed spending weekends selling at the Helping Hands Maker’s Market, it can sometimes be lonely working on your jewellery at home, so it is wonderful to meet up with other crafters, share ideas, and just see what else is out there, lots of beautiful items, it is difficult to resist buying everything. With each craft market I reviewed what worked and what didn’t work for me. One of the main issues I faced when I first started selling was the time it took to set up and how to display my jewellery. There is a lot of competition with lots of styles of handmade jewellery, so I needed to find a way to catch peoples attention.

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One of the items I introduced was Joan my handmade mannequin, she added height and colour to the table. The other solution, that is cheap and has worked best for me is the large pin boards, I can pin jewellery to the boards the night before and wrap them up, it means I can take my time at home playing around with the arrangements. The above picture was taken at the last Helping Hands Maker’s Market and this is the Christmas themed table and I used the middle board to feature a Christmas promotion where I used an empty cracker as a gift box. Since my first craft market the range of jewellery has grown and I’ve had to find new ways to pack and transport the items not already on the boards. I designed my own jewellery cards, the first design was a clip art frame, the new design features my logo and it more simple allowing the jewellery to speak for itself. The cards are just printed out on regular white card on my printer at home and it does minimise the tangles and avoids having to use lots of little plastic bags, which is what I did when I first started selling. For 2013 I am going to make more of craft markets and will be trying some new ones in different locations to see how my jewellery does across the region. I’m looking forward to venturing out and meeting more new people. When I first started selling my jewellery I started selling on asos marketplace and I’ve continued to sell on the website, I’ve had lots of positive feedback from customers, and I continue to try and find the best way to photograph my jewellery and write descriptions. This I have to say for me is the boring bit of making and selling jewellery, I find it very time consuming and I haven’t added anything to my collection online for a long time as I’ve been focusing on craft markets. It is difficult to find a balance, between work, craft markets and listing items online, that doesn’t even factor in the time to make the items. I’ve finally found a style that works for me and hopefully moving forward into 2013 I will find a quicker more efficient way of cataloguing my jewellery to go online.

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This year I also opened my shop on etsy, this hasn’t been as successful as I hoped and I will be reviewing what isn’t working for me. I love the freedom that it gives me to brand my shop and the stastics are great but I want to know why I’m not turning views into sales. I’ve also started experimenting with new crafts, I’ve made a lot of crochet items, jewellery, blankets, toys, flowers…

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I’ve also just got a sewing machine so I will be expanding the Ava Kitsch brand for 2013, I’m also designing a website so here’s to an exciting 2013. Happy new year.

Star Earrings

I love making earrings, they are a great piece of jewellery for expressing your personal style, coming in all shapes and sizes. To see more of my handmade earrings why don’t you visit my shop https://folksy.com/shops/AvaKitsch

Don’t forget that I also do custom orders, so if you would like a special pair of earrings making for you, send me a message.