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New Stock Alert: Craft Hobby & Stitch International 2018

ribbons at SE simons

It’s that time of year again! CHSI 2018 – the trade show we attend in February each year to choose buttons, touch all the fabric and have a little cry in the Rico stand. This time we took a whole squad of people and stayed overnight in the much envied ‘Willow’ room at the Arden Hotel. It’s a glamorous life!

We’re really excited about the new products we chose that’ll be winging their way to us in the next couple of months, including beautiful books, awesome patterns and of course – a whole pile of new cotton fabrics. It’s also so exciting to say we found a supplier of Sashiko equipment! So keep an eye out for workshops and kits in the gorgeous art of Japanese folk embroidery soon.

Here’s a little run down of how we spent our two days at the Birmingham NEC – enjoy!

bunyip team at CHS

We set off at a painfully early time with the thought of a Gloucester services breakfast keeping our sprits high. Rachel, first time visitor of Gloucester services, had this to say of the experience: “It was fine.” Either we bigged it up too much or she is immune to it’s majesty and wonder. If you know, you know.

bunyip gang at CHSI 2018

For the last couple of years Mattie and I have been attending the show solo, so it was lovely to have fresh eyes on everything from Rachel and Lisa. Lisa was of course choosing beautiful wool to bring back for her concession and she was soon weighed down with free samples (why are samples of wool so weirdly heavy? And WHERE were all the fabric samples?!).

ribbons at SE simons

A big part of the show is meeting a lot of our suppliers face to face. Although some of them pop in to the shop and say Hi, there’s some that we only get to lay eyes on once a year! It was great to see our friends from our favourite Bristol based ribbon supplier and their quite frankly, outrageously beautiful display.

(I’m never 100% sure if you’re allowed to take photos at these things so you will notice a lot of nervous blur in these as I was worried about getting arrested. By the craft police.)

I sadly was the first to succumb to the first hysteria of the day, brought around by this page I flipped open to in a book entitled ‘Crazy Cat Lady Crafts.’ I don’t think I need to explain why.

It’s no secret that we’re a little Rico obsessed – I’m started to theorise that I’ve actually been brainwashed by them as surely I shouldn’t be enjoying every thing they do to quite such a hysterical extent? We made a vow to all meet up at their stand together so we could all witness the fitness together, but I did manage a sly walk past to photograph this, quite frankly delightful, poster.

If you think we peaked at furry cat skirt and unicorns, then please think again and add wine. One of our suppliers literally gives you booze (also weird bits of cheese on a stick but the less said about that the better) while you look at the fabric. Heaven is real.

So much fabric to choose from! We had to sit down for a post-wine coffee to gather our thoughts before we were ready to order. Eventually we managed to narrow the ridiculous choice down to 10 beautiful cotton prints to arrive in the shop soon – bears were a particular winner…

knitted fireplace

Here’s another peak: a knitted fireplace! We find it’s best not to ask ‘why?’ too often at these things.

fabric samples

We finally made it to Rico! I just fell totally in love with everything in the entire stand, as is the custom, and we were so excited to order some leather-look-metallic-paper that you can sew with. The stand had loads of stuff sewn with it, including gold make up bags with glittery lettering on that I’m so keen so try when it arrives.

rico stand CHSI

I’ll take one of everything thank you please.

portraiture

With day 1 done, we took ourselves off to the ‘British Craft Awards’ which we were eager to attend because we love British craft (the free bar is just a happy coincidence) and had our silhouettes cut by this amazing artist. I managed to snap this photo of Lisa, professional model, demonstrating her extreme professionalism and poise. Check out the finish portraits on her Instagram!

We kicked off day 2 of our craft adventure with a trip to one of our most eclectic suppliers where Mattie chose some awesome new haberdashery, including more feather trim and GIANT pom poms! Squeal.

We’re also thrilled to say we ordered a gorgeous range of Tilly and the Buttons patterns! Set to be in the shop in the next 2 weeks, Rachel is a huge fan of these and it’s going to be awesome seeing her make through the whole bunch.

mickey mouse fabric

We moved back in for another go at fabric come Monday afternoon and ended up failing to resist this Mickey Mouse print collection! We’ve got two of these coming when they go to print, along with some more amazing Disney prints. Exciitttting…..!

One of our suppliers had a giant roll of thread with a secret office in on their stand, but this is CHSI so no one was even bothered. However, we were very bothered to find Sashiko sets! Ever since Mattie visited Japan last year we’ve been trying to get our hands on Sashiko equipment, and we’re so excited to have some winging it’s way to the shop soon!

button stand by Jones

And with a final visit to Mattie’s favourite button supplier, we were done for another year. Head into the shop soon to see all this ridiculous goodness arrive – and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Insta for many, many photos of it all.

 

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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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Spring 2017: New Stock Heaven

It may be presumptuous to call this ‘Spring’ but my theory is if we all keep saying it then it’ll eventually become true and I can open both the shop doors and generally live our best lives. Deal?

Every year we head out to Birmingham NEC for the ‘biggest craft trade show in Europe,’ Craft, Hobby & Stitch International. This is essentially as mad as it sounds but it does present our best opportunity of the year to peruse the crafty offerings from our main suppliers for the year to come. It also presents the trends for the year and I can sum up 2017 in one perfect, magical word: UNICORNS.

In the last 3 weeks we’ve been over excitedly welcoming the majority of our orders from the show into the shop, which has required mass reorganisation of basically all corners of Bunyip. I’ve snapped a few of my favourite new things to entice you in to see soon – hope you like!

Awesome iron on patches – some of the designs have sold out already! There’s loads to choose from still, including this fairly amazing rollerskate.

This feather trim  is the softest, most wonderful thing to touch and I just need to be sensible and decide what I’m making with it before I buy it all. There’s also a light pink and a black version in stock.

We normally hold off on sewing boxes until a certain festive time of year, but these were so delicious that we just couldn’t stop ourselves.

Our main aim of the show this year was to buy a much bigger range of fabric -and we’ve definitely achieved that! As well as almost 30 new bolts we’ve also got a whole load of new fat quarters in – this colourful range gives me crafty giddiness.

We’ve had to move all of our buttons across the shop since they were bursting out of their previous home! There’s now a wonderful new ranges of wooden, metal and plastic buttons available now – including this ace anchor style.

Last but absolutely not least: cards with shiny unicorns on. Words can not express the joy.

And that’s just scratching the surface of what we have in the shop! There’s plenty more to come too – so stay tuned on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for constant craft updates.

See you soon!

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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

pantone-greenery

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.

embellishment

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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Close Up with Our Christmas Fabric

Hello!

Please beware if you don’t like discussing Christmas in October that this post is extremely festive and full of season’s greetings and therefore probably should be saved until December if you’re that way inclined…if not -yay! Heat up that mulled wine and read on.

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So we started getting asked for Christmas stock in June this year, and although that did seem sliiiiightly to early even for the festive-inclined amongst us we gave in around August and started dripping our lovely Christmas goods into the shop, one snowflake button at a time. Now that it’s October, we’ve just had a beautiful selection of Christmas fabrics delivered and they’re so joyful that I thought we would all benefit from a closer look.

This year we have 9 Christmas fabrics on the bolt, which is more than we’ve ever had before! We’ve reordered our favourite woodland scene bolts that we also had in 2015, but the rest are new additions to the collection.

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My personal favourite is this navy stag head cotton, which isn’t TOO Christmassy but is still pretty festive all the same. Mattie teased me by suggesting we make stockings out of this with a white fluffy trim around the top, and now that’s pretty much all I can think about.

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We’ve also got these two reindeer prints, with a perfect big repeating pattern for your larger christmas makes…

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There’s also this cotton print, which we had reservations about when ordering (since we don’t really do beige, shock) but I think it’s brilliant in really life. The snowmen are the best…

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Then there’s these lovelies, that make great simple additions to the louder patterns…

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We’re also very happy to have loads of Christmas fat quarters in stock too! These come pre cut at approx 45cm x 55cm, so are a perfect way to pick up lots of patterns if you’re making a mixed xmas bunting…

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And we know these aren’t the most obviously Christmassy fabrics, but they’re pretty festive all the same!

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And last but not least, who can resist a classy Christmas tartan…

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There you go! In conclusion, do pop in and have a thorough rummage through our fabrics – there’s a brilliant amount of choice at the moment that we’re really excited about!

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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