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New Party Project: Decorate a Tote Bag!

Hello again!

We’re on a Bunyip mission at the moment to bring you some inspiring new workshop options – we loved hosting the Paper Piecing Patchwork sessions run by Teresa, and we’re brewing some really exciting embroidery ideas up for the next season.

But for now, we’re really pleased to confirm our newest party idea – decorate a tote bag! This was our April Creative Kid’s project last weekend and it was so much fun that we couldn’t resist encouraging more sessions! All of the children who attended went away with awesome bags that they embellished using loads of fabric, felt, pom poms, buttons, ribbons and sequins.

This class would be loads of fun for adults too – we worked on mini tote bags for this session but could easily offer a more standard size tote for a hen do, birthday party or any celebration!

The price for one of these sessions is our normal £10 per person which includes the bag, all of your materials for decorating and refreshments. You can always bring along fizz too if you’re celebrating!

To book a party you can pop into the shop, give us a ring on 01392 437377 or send us an email to info@bunyipbeads.com

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Easter Fun Times in Bunyip

Ever since last summer we’ve been loving putting on extra Kid’s workshops in the school holidays, and we’ve just decided on our Easter sessions!

On Tuesday 4th, Thursday 6th, Tuesday 11th & Thursday 13th of April we’ll be hosting making sessions around our table which will give you time to dabble in a bit of Easter cross stitch, tiny bead bracelet making and of course – decoupage! The workshops will run from 10.30am to 12pm, and still cost just £5 per person.

In the past we’ve run these classes as drop ins but (rather excitingly) they’ve gotten so busy lately that we’re now at the stage where we do need everyone to book! So if you fancy heading in for one of these do get in touch with us before so we can make sure we’ve got your name down – you can come and see us in the shop, give us a ring on 01392 437377 or click here.

We recommend these classes for ages 6 – 16, but it’s very dependant on each individual little one, so if you’ve got a young one you think would love to join in please get in touch!

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Thoughts I had Making a Kimono

 Hello!

You may have noticed (because we keep talking about it) that we’re really trying to up our making game in 2017 and my last blog post was all about making up Mattie’s Rob Ryan Clothkits skirt, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

This week I decided to pop open one of the Kimono Clothkits paper patterns that we sell and give that one a go, since it’s been my favourite since they arrived on our doorstep. What follows is part review, part nonsense – enjoy!

One of the main reasons Mattie and I get so reluctant to make anything is that we don’t like using up the beautiful stock that could be sold to someone etc etc, but since we’re trying to go against this instinct I boldly decided to use our most delicious fabric to make this kimono. In for a penny, in for a pound and that.

We call this our William Morris fabric, for obvious reasons, and it does sell at a rather exciting £20 a metre. But, and I know I would say this, it is 100% worth it – it’s the most beautiful colour in real life (we have a yellow version too!) and it’s amazingly light and soft and it just makes me all gooey, ok?

First things first, I traced the pattern out in a size small, basically because I was thrilled to make something in a size small and not have to even worry about it fitting (because it’s a kimono and clearly very loose in all sizes).

This is issue no.1 – I am not a perfectionist and so even while tracing things I get distracted and end up with real wiggly lines that I try to even out during cutting but never really managed to overcome. Important note: this made absolutely no difference to the finished kimono so there.

There’s 3 main pieces, plus 3 facing pieces. It said that the pattern wasn’t suitable for any fabric smaller than 115cm, but this one is 110cm and was fine…I assume because I made it in the smaller size.

Sewing this was pretty straightforward until the facings got involved. You do have to finish a lot of raw edges, and since we’re all still scared of the overlocker (it has blades! run away) I did a standard zig zag stitch…to be honest this was the downside of this make – I got super bored of doing zig zag stitch. It’s necessary but my god it’s dull.

Here’s the facing fun. This forced me to do a lot of standing still, staring at it, sticking my tongue out all deep in thought. I think if I’d cut my pattern/fabric out really neatly this wouldn’t have been so confusing for me but you live and you learn. Basically there were two ways these could have been sewn together and neither way looked like the picture in the instructions so I gambled and just went with one. Luckily it seemed to work out ok so I didn’t really even learn a lesson here.

Sewing the facing to the main piece was v tricky and I did purposeful slow sewing. Once that was done and all ironed to within an inch of its life, you have to top stitch basically all edges of the kimono, which again made me all nervous and sensible for a while.

And here’s the finished piece!

Conclusion: I loved making this, mainly because my eyes got to gaze upon this fabric for a whole day. It was pretty straightforward, but the same as with the skirt pattern I did feel that a certain amount of prior knowledge is assumed even though they’re aimed at beginner’s. It’s nothing you couldn’t figure out with a friend/the internet though.

Thank you for reading this! Hang out with us on facebook, twitter and instagram for first peek at our next make.


 

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Clothkits Pattern Review

 If you haven’t heard of Clothkits before (I had no idea of anything more than the name until about a year ago) here’s a bit of history – they’re a British company that’s been printing awesome sewing kits since 1968 that were hugely popular in the 1980’s. Their speciality is patterns that are printed directly on to fabric, so you don’t have to arse around with too much cutting out. After spotting them at a trade show last year we’ve been selling their paper patterns in the shop – the first patterns we’ve ever liked enough to stock! We’re fussy like that.

A few years ago Mattie acquired one of their fabric patterns, a Rob Ryan printed skirt. It has ever since been living around the back of Bunyip and it’s only now 3 years on that we’ve managed to commit the time to making it!

The first thing we did was trace over the pattern so that we could keep it for next time! Smart. I’m hoping to make a shorter one in our amazing peacock fabric, but considering this took 3 years to start I’m not getting my hopes up until around 2020.

Plus points: obviously I really enjoyed not having to mess about with patterns too much. You just join up the cutting lines to the size you want and voila – cut it out. The fabric the design is printed on was beautifully thick and printed in the UK which obviously fills our hearts with joy. There were also only a few pattern pieces, meaning the whole process didn’t feel too overwhelming and there was less chance of losing any of it.

The whole skirt from cutting to finishing only took us about 2 afternoon sessions in the shop which is pretty good going!

My only criticism of the kit was that some of the instructions were slightly confusing and I had moments of standing looking at the pattern for too long trying to piece together what they were trying to tell me. Considering that the pattern is meant for total beginner’s some of the processes are really brushed over and I think I would have struggled slightly if it had been the first garment I’d ever made. Also the photos they used to demonstrate said instructions were really hard to see! I know it’s hard to take photos of sewing lines but even so…

That being said, we actually stock almost the same pattern in our paper range, so we cracked it open to see if they’d updated it at all and – they have! Instead of photos there’s lovely illustrations, and they’ve changed almost all of the instructions that I had any complaints about. So even though you’ll have to cut the pattern out yourself you may find the process even more enjoyable!

 

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January Inspiration & Making

One of my favourite things about January, a month with a pretty bad rep, is that everything feels new and fresh. It’s a time for cleansing, reevaluating and figuring out where to start now, especially  after being Christmas centric for about 3 months.

Our Bunyip new years resolution for 2017 is to make more, not something you’d think we’d generally be behind on but it’s surprising how much our day to day shop lives can leave us with little time to actually be creative! So this year we’re changing that, allowing ourselves more time to do what we love and take time to put our inspiration into action. This blog is a little look at all the wonderful things we’re feeling motivated by, and the beautiful trends we can’t wait to take ahold of our making in the next few months….enjoy!

Greenery

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So Pantone’s colour of the year is Greenery, news to which I think I made a dissatisfied grunt about the first time I heard it. However, being the easily influenced person I am, I am already starting to pursue a bit more of this shade into my everyday life & making. You can see the connections between this and the ever growing enthusiasm for plants – I can barely scroll through instagram without seeing many a beautiful botanical scene.

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I had a wonderful time picking out all our green beads and buttons for a magazine project recently, and Mattie’s been working on a fern necklace that’s got us all pretty joyful…

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Embroidery

This is one of those trends that’s almost left the runway shows now but is continuing to dominate the high street. I’ve taken one of our botanical embroidery books home with me so that I can spend my Sunday’s in bed stitching mini cacti on to a plain t-shirt I picked up – so satisfying and really eliminates my Netflix binge guilt.

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Once I’ve finished this project I’d love to start embroidering something sheer, like these ridiculously beautiful dresses that would maybe not look as amazing on a normal human but still make me really gleeful to gaze upon. We’ve recently ordered in a lot more sequins to the shop, so I’m hoping to start using more of these alongside our tiny shiny beads to embellish shirt collars, etc.

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Mattie grabbed a plain sweatshirt recently that she’s planning to embroider geometric shapes & patterns on to – I can’t wait to see!

Tulle

tulle

Wearing mid length flowing tulle skirts makes me feel so happy and glam and I can’t wait for more of that in 2017. We’ve only recently added tulle to our fabric selection in store and immensely enjoyed making up a no-sew tutu for the window by knotting long strips around a piece of elastic. We’re moving on to proper tutus next and I’d love to really embellish a long sheer skirt…maybe I could adorn it with green beads and combine all these lovely trends into one really intense garment? Yes please.

Thanks for reading! For more crafty beauty and nonsense join us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

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2016: Happy Highlights!

2016 was a packed year for us at Bunyip, from substantial business changes to awards ceremonies, we had all the fun and hope you did too! Whether you’re a customer, a friend or a follower we’re really grateful for you getting involved with Bunyip Craft in the last 12 months and can’t wait for a suitably crafty 2017.

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Customer parties

In 2016 we hosted three parties for our customers and enjoyed it so much that we briefly considered new lives as party planners. Our summer shindig was a crazy 2 hours of craft hecticness that flew by in seconds, with 60 + customers enjoying Pimm’s, hair braiding and goody bags!

For Christmas we decided to split our celebrations across 2 evenings, meaning it was a bit easier to browse around the shop and to have a go at mini wreath and pom pom making. Having lots of our regular & loyal customers join us for a glass of fizz was one of our favourite points of 2016, and we can’t wait to start planning our 2017 shenanigans.

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Shop Merger
A vital part of the business this year was obviously when we merged Bunyip Beads with Otton’s Haberdashery in April, with us slowly but surely implementing our ‘Bunyip Craft’ rebrand. This has allowed us to spread our craft joy into new territories, since we were no longer bound by the beads & buttons branding. We’re really happy that the haberdashery side of the business is flourishing under it’s new investment, and we hope to carry on expanding into new areas of crafting this year.

The Contemporary Craft Fair
Pimms, deck chairs, Punch & Judy and the most beautiful craft you’ve ever seen – I don’t think I need to explain further!

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Parties & Workshops
We booked in more parties and workshops than ever this year which was wonderful! I couldn’t keep count of how many Children’s birthday parties we hosted and there were a huge array of adult get togethers too, with keen people learning everything from tote bag making, to decoupaging letters, to charm bracelets and we even made half a wedding dress for a halloween costume!

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Fore Street Flea
This year we helped organise the first ever Fore Street Flea, which was an awesome success! A gorgeous sunny day in September saw the road fill up with traders, friends and treats – we flogged our old party dresses, munched on greek street food and my dad even got his vinyl collection out. Our second flea market was slightly chillier but with even more wonderful goodies to choose from – we’re holding out for some May sunshine for the next potential event. (Spot Mattie below…!)

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Award Nominations
In April we were lucky enough to attend two awards ceremonies, as Otton’s Haberdashery was nominated for Best City Centre Business at the E&E Business Awards, and Bunyip & Otton’s was nominated for Best Retailer at the Exeter Living Awards. Sadly we missed out on both awards, but we had the most fun getting dressed up and sipping (glugging?) fizz at the ceremonies – Mattie was even a judge for the Exeter Living Awards! Just getting nommed for both of these was a real boost for our confidence and we still have our ‘shortlisted’ stickers proudly displayed…

Little Wool Shop
Back in early Spring the wonderful Lisa opened up her Little Wool Shop concession in the shop and has been part of our crafty family ever since! We get just about as excited about her orders turning up as we do about our own and her workshops and knit and natter groups are ever growing – she even made us pumpkin pie with added rum!

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How to: Bubble Collar Necklace

These awesome laser cut shapes make the perfect chunky collar necklace, simply because they’re so light! Ideal if you require constant drama in your jewellery but can’t deal with your neck aching at the end of a party (a consistent problem in my life….)

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We sell these plastic shapes in cream or black (sadly we’re out of stock of the blue) and these necklaces are wonderfully easy to piece together, providing you have access to the following:

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6 Bubble Connectors 

42cm of Wide Link Chain (with openable links)

1 Medium Lobster Clasp

Flat Nosed Pliers

First off, use the pliers to open and remove 12 links of the wide chain. We’re going to use these in place of jump rings, as the oval shapes makes them a lot more subtle as connectors. If your chain doesn’t work for this, just use a large jump ring!

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Use the links to piece together your connectors in your chosen way so that they all sit beautifully together and flat on your neck. This may take a bit of experimentation, but is worth getting right…

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Split the remainder of your chain in half by opening another link.

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Attach one piece of chain to either end of your bubbles.

Finally, pop your lobster clasp on one end by – you guessed it – opening up a link, popping it on, and closing it again!

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This can obviously be done with any kind of shape you can find, plastic or otherwise, the struggle comes with getting them to sit right. But like I say, worth the effort for such an easy statement piece.

Have fun! x

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How to: Chunky Crystal Necklace

This awesome necklace design came into the world because of what I can only describe as a…slight excess….of certain colours in our crystal hexagon range (also know as: we have one million orange crystal hexagons dear lord let’s make something with them).

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Despite this creation of convenience, this is one of my favourite designs that Mattie has ever come up with, essentially because it is massive and heavy and looks super cool in all colours….I photographed the blue version here, but I hear that the orange is particularly beautiful.

You will need (to make an 18″ necklace):

120 x crystal hexagons (we sell these in the shop in bags of 30 for £1 – BARGAIN)

1 x chunky toggle clasp

1 metre of tiger tail

4 x crimp beads

Flat nosed pliers

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The technique here is very similar to that of the wave necklace I wrote about before – it’s a straight forward tiger tail necklace, made special by the way the beads all sit when they’re tight together.

First off, pop 2 crimp beads on the end of the tiger tail. Put on half of the toggle clasp on next, and then feed the end of the wire back through the 2 crimps. Use the flat nosed plier to give the crimps a damn good squishing!

We’re using 2 crimps here instead of the normal one because it just adds a bit of extra safety to the necklace, necessary because all that crystal does have a bit of weight behind it.

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Now you can thread your beads on, pushing the first few over the end of tiger tail that will be sticking out near your clasp to cover it.

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Continue threading beads on until you’re happy with the length, try holding it up around your neck to double check where it’ll lie.

Once you’ve reached your desired look, thread on your remaining two crimp beads, and the other half of your clasp. Again, thread the end of the wire back through the two crimps and through a few beads at the end, pulling everything together tightly so that you don’t have any unsightly wire sticking out. Squish your crimps! And trim off your wire.

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Tada! All done. These are so cool, I just can’t get enough of a statement necklace. And ridiculously, they cost less than a fiver to make. Madness!

Thank you for reading 🙂 And come hang out with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, if you like.

 

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Creative Kids Line Up!

Hello!

So a couple of weeks ago we finally achieved one of those jobs I’ve been putting on the back burner for months – writing a beautiful organised list of all our Creative Kid’s sessions for the next 12 months – hurrah!

These sessions run on the 3rd Saturday of every month, and you normally find amazing Amber teaching Jewellery Making between 10.30am and 12pm, and Lily (me!) teaching sewing between 2pm and 3.30pm. It costs just £5 per person, which includes all your materials and some kind of tasty biscuit (I’m convinced some of the children are just coming for the snacks…) You don’t have to book, you can just rock up on the day and squeeze in around the table (but if you do book, you will guarantee yourself a space!)

If you fancy booking you can do by clicking here, or give us a call on 01392 437377

So here you go, a full schedule up until August 2017:

September 17th 2016

10.30am to 12pm – Friendship Bracelets

2pm to 3.30pm – Ribbon Brooches

October 15th 2016

10.30am to 12pm – Button & Bead Necklace

2pm to 3.30pm – Mini Cushion

November 19th 2016

10.30am to 12pm – Earring Making

2pm to 3.30pm – Decoupage Letters

December 17th 2016

10.30am to 12pm – Christmas Decorations

2pm to 3.30pm – Christmas Decorations

January 21st 2017

10.30am to 12pm – Charm Bracelets

2pm to 3.30pm – Mini Pouches

February 18th 2017

10.30am to 12pm – Button Necklaces

2pm to 3.30pm – Happy Owls with Felt

March 18th 2017

10.30am to 12pm – Wire Animals

2pm to 3.30pm – Cross Stitch

April 15th 2017

10.30am to 12pm – Knotty Necklaces

2pm to 3.30pm – Embellish a Bag

May 20th 2017

10.30am to 12pm – Decoupage

2pm to 3.30pm – Sew with Felt

June 17th 2017

10.30am to 12pm – Seed Bead Bracelet

2pm to 3.30pm – Strawberry Pin Cushion

July 15th 2017

10.30am to 12pm – Button Hearts

2pm to 3.30pm – Paper Bunting

 August 19th 2017

10.30am to 12pm – Tiger Tail Necklace

2pm to 3.30pm – Mini Tote Bag

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Fore Street Flea!

We’re getting really excited now about the very first Fore Street Flea Market! Taking place on Sunday 18th September, we’ll see the road being closed from the Co-Op down to the Boarding House & loads of traders spilling out on to the road selling their treasures…

We’ll have second hand goodness from a fabulous mix of people, as well as food trucks, live music, and even one of The Real McCoy’s £1 yard sales inside the McCoy’s Arcade! There’s going to be so much lovely stuff going on, I’ve got no idea when I’ll have time to actually sell anything.

The event will be taking place from 12pm to 4pm, and lots of shops (including us!) will also open up for the day – so you can stock up on crafty goodness on your way down to the authentic greek food truck….

And we’ve still got room for more! If you’d like to have a space to sell anything you like (no guns or puppies), or you’re a busker who’d like to come down and entertain the shoppers for a while, please get in touch on forestreetflea@gmail.com, and I can book you in. This is our very first event of this kind, and we’re really keen to have lots going on so we can figure out our best plan for the next one in November…

Exciting! x