Monday, 31 March 2014

Millennium Gallery Craft Fair

On Saturday I had another lovely day at one of the Millennium Gallery's craft markets right in the heart of Sheffield. The fairs here always attract lots of customers who come to browse the work of talented local artists, makers and designers. This is the second time I've had a stall there and I have to say it's now a firm favourite!

Millennium Gallery Craft Market

The market takes place on the upper floor of the gallery and I was lucky enough to have a stall along the windowed wall so I had lots of lovely spring sunshine and a great view across this part of the city.

I had a chance to take a look around the other stalls just before the market opened (once it's underway it's busy so this was the only chance I'd get!). There were a whole range of treats and gifts to be found including jewellery, art, cushions, decorations, cosmetics and stationery. I'm always amazed at all the talent in Sheffield and how there's always someone new to discover along with some well loved favourites. I bought myself this vintage style pin brooch with hot air balloons on it from Mia Peony.

Then it was back to my stall to meet the all the lovely customers and chat about what I make. I love to hear people's comments and suggestions and it's particularly nice to hear stories and associations people have with particular books or maps that I use in my work. 

The only disappointment is that this event only takes place twice a year and I have to wait all year until November for the next one. If you happen to be in Sheffield on that day it will definitely be a place to visit and do a little shopping!

pink flamingo handcrafting

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Easter Egg Greeting Card Tutorial

I love to find inspiring sites full of ideas, tutorials and general craftiness. And I like it even more when I get to be part of that site!

Rook No.17 is just this kind of place with lots and lots (and lots and lots....) of crafty inspirations including cake art, recipes and craft tutorials to name just a few.

*Rook No. 17:  recipes, crafts & whimsies for spreading joy*
Over on the site you can now find my step by step Easter egg card tutorial. It's a simple way of creating a one of a kind greeting using scraps of vintage paper and a few basic craft supplies. As with all my tutorials, it's easy to follow how to with each step having full instructions and photos to follow.

If you'd like to make one (or a few) yourself, head over there now!

Just of a few inspirations you'll find over at Rook No. 17

This cake art brings a whole new meaning to the dish 'crab cakes'!

A retro recipe revamp - Pecan penuche with chocolate and sea salt

Sour dough grilled cheese sandwich - sounds delicious!
Make some pom pom sheep to go with your Easter card!

Retro clip art - and it's free to download and play with in your own non-commercial crafting!

So what are you waiting for? Head over and say 'hello' to Jenn (the genius behind Rook No. 17) and get crafting!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Competition time!

Yes! Every crafter's dream... free supplies! It's Pink Flamingo Ephemera's first competition which is being kindly hosted by Crafting a Green World.

Crafting a Green World logo 

If you pop over to their site you can find an interview with me about my work and why I love eco friendly crafting. Oh... and the competition too where you can win any 3 packs of ephemera of your choice from my shop. And there are 8 chances to enter!

It's also well worth staying and having a look around the site for lots of crafty inspirations with an eco friendly theme. You can find:

  • advice on running your own craft business
  • tips for making your crafting more eco friendly
  • tutorials for upcycling everyday objects
  • kids' crafting ideas
  • home decor ideas
  • beauty products to make
  • ideas and makes for weddings
  • reviews
  • gift ideas
as well as lots more fun and useful ideas.

And don't forget to enter the competition! You can win ANY 3 packs of your choice. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Some of my Sheffield Inspirations

Maps are something I can't bear to throw away. No matter how tatty, torn or drawn on they've become I'm happy to spend the time pouring over them to rescue the good bits.

I've been making use of my old maps for a few months by creating cards of Sheffield, the city where I've lived all my life. Lately I've also found some new uses for them by turning them into keyrings, magnets and book marks too.

When I'm looking through the maps I like to choose recognisable places that are familiar to people in the city and hold good memories too.

Here are some of my 'familiar places' and favourite areas in photo form to match the 'I Love This Place...' Sheffield range:


Hillsborough is an area to the North West of the city centre and is near to where I grew up. The park in the picture below was always a nice place to visit for the playground, feeding the ducks and visiting the library.

And in keyring form:

Damflask reservoir

Damflask is a reservoir on the outskirts of Sheffield on the way to Bradfield. It's been in use for nearly 120 years. It's a lovely place to take a walk around on a sunny day!

And in magnet form:

Sheffield city centre

There's always something to find in the city centre. The Peace Gardens next to the town hall is a lovely green space right in the heart of the city, complete with water features. I love to sit and each lunch here on a warm sunny day.

And you can find it on a keyring too:


Broomhill is an area to the west of the city centre and is full of lovely shops and cafes that are always nice to have a look around. It's also home to Sheffield Country Markets on Saturday mornings where some weeks you'll find Pink Flamingo's Sheffield items!

And it can be found on this keyring too:

You can buy the I Love This Place ... Sheffield range by Pink Flamingo Handcrafting from:

Bird's Yard, Chapel Walk, Sheffield
Frankly My Deer, Vintedge, Sheffield
or directly from Pink Flamingo on Etsy

Friday, 21 March 2014

Let Me Introduce You To...

Vintage, handmade, upcycled. Three words that I love to hear! To me it suggests unique and thoughtful and that's exactly what I've found with these two shops from the same person.

This post is in no way sponsored or influenced. All opinions are my own and any quotes are taken directly from the people I'm writing about.

This week I'd like to introduce you to...



Both Camp Wilder and May Tree Ark are the work of Catherine. It started with her handmade bags which are made with 'fabrics (which) are local and collected from great sources over time' and grew into other vintage finds which can be found in Camp Wilder. 
Camp Wilder vintage shop

I love looking at vintage items and discovering lots of unique finds. What I particularly like about Camp Wilder is the sense of fun that goes with them (Catherine calls herself the 'Camp Director'!) and the beautiful way the items are photographed to show their personality. The shop is a place for an eclectic mix of finds as Catherine says, 'I can't chose between lace, melted steel or rugged military, so I don't. I let myself enjoy it all...' Although there is a wide range of finds, they have a similar feeling of nostalgia mixed with a modern taste to create a well curated collection; you can dress yourself and your home to match!

May Tree Ark is where it started for Catherine designing and making one of a kind bags. She had a problem that needed to be solved - where to keep her ID. She made a 'little fabric pouch that fit only my ID which I tied around my hips' meaning it was kept safe and she had her hands free too. Catherine says she's always been a 'practical organizer' and so as her needs changed so did the shape of her bag to store her phone and other items. This practical creation grew into her Hipshack, 'an ergonomic, useful utilitarian hip pack' as well as other beautifully created and unique bags. 

So if you're looking for vintage finds or vintage inspired accessories, you have two places to look!

Find out more

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Make a unique decoupaged gift or storage box

Decoupage is a great way create unique pieces and use vintage papers and ephemera in crafting. And it's simple to do too! If you use old boxes and book pages, as I've done in this tutorial, it's also a thrifty way to make special gift boxes or storage boxes for your home.

Decoupage tutorial - Pink Flamingo Handcrafting

Obviously, the final use of the box depends on the size you choose to decoupage. Here I use a small box that was originally a gift box for a purse. It's a nice one to use as it's plain apart from the original logo on the front so I've just covered the lid. If you wanted to create a very fancy piece you could cover the whole thing!

You will need:

how to make a decoupaged gift box
decoupaged gift box tutorial

  • A cardboard box (whatever size you need or have)
  • PVA glue
  • a brush to glue with
  • scissors
  • water
  • a book to cut up or a pack of vintage paper embellishments

Step 1

If you're using an old book, cut out the pictures you want to use to decorate your box. If you're using a bought pack of embellishments, choose the pictures you'd like to use.

Take the lid off the box. Without gluing them - place the pictures over the box lid to see how many you'll need and the best way to arrange them.

paper ephemera tutorial

Step 2

When you're happy with where the pictures will go you can start to glue them down. Spread PVA glue over the back of the picture and press it in place where you'd like it to go on the lid. Don't worry about using too much glue as it's important they're stuck down well. If glue splurges from under the picture you can either cover it with another picture or brush it out as you'll be sealing the box later.

decoupage using paper ephemera

Let some of the pieces hang over the edges of the lid. These can be trimmed later. Fill in small gaps with smaller pictures or leave some of the original box lid showing through.

decoupaging with vintage paper tutorial

Keep going until you're happy that the box is completely covered.

how to make a decoupaged gift box

Step 3

Turn the lid over and use your scissors to trim away any overhanging papers.

paper ephemera craft project

Step 4

Now you'll need to seal the pictures. To do this mix some PVA glue with a little water (I use a mix of about 5 parts glue to 1 part water, but it's not an exact science!). Take a brush and spread this mixture over the lid of your box. Make the layer thick enough to create a glaze but thin enough to not soak the box.

sealing decoupage

Leave the box to dry. I like to then give it a second coat with the glue and water mixture. Leave this to dry completely before using your box.

And there you have your unique decoupaged box. Try them in different sizes and with different papers to use in a variety of ways.

Decoupaged gift box tutorial - Pink Flamingo Handcrafting

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sheffield Up Market

A new vintage and craft fair has been taking place at the University of Sheffield over the last few months and is quickly becoming established as a fun place to shop. The Sheffield Up Market is a range of traders selling various vintage and new items including clothes, bags, shoes, jewellery, books, tea, art... and Pink Flamingo's items!

Pink Flamingo's stall at the March Sheffield Up Market

The most recent market took place last Thursday right in the heart of the Students Union building and was its usual eclectic mix. Here are just some of the things you might have found there...

If you followed the signs you would have found...

Lots of clothes to choose from!
Vintage Clothes and accessories

Leather bags


Pink Flamingo's Sheffield pictures

The next Sheffield Up Market takes place on 13th May in the Foundry/Fusion/Studio at the University of Sheffield.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Let Me Introduce You To...

This week I found another shop through the Upcycle UK team on Etsy, it's a great place to find lots of crafters who make new treasures from old objects. I love to look at all the different uses people come up with to make give still beautiful objects a new life.

This post is in no way sponsored or influenced. All opinions are my own and any quotes are taken directly from the people I'm writing about.

This week I'd like to introduce you to...


Little Dotty Designs has a simple ethos - 'to bring a smile to your face'. And that's exactly what finding lovely objects made with vintage pieces does for me! The shop is the work of Sam who makes jewellery and stationery (and one or two other things) with old toys, game pieces, books and other interesting items to create unique and fun pieces.

Sam likes to create her unique pieces as she believes 'we are each unique, and that is a wonderful thing' and her pieces let your individual side show. How many other people would you meet in a day wearing a Good Luck Bear necklace? I think these pieces would make great little windows into your personality, especially if worn with a more grown up outfit. Little Dotty Design's pieces let you 'treasure & rejoice in your individuality' and using items with memories of childhood attached to them let you do just that - it's a piece of your past that helped inform who you are.

As well as creating uniqueness, Little Dotty Design is also about upcycling and 'a careful & deliberate practice of seeing the beauty in items which would often be discarded', which is something I like to do in my own creations too. There are so many beautiful pieces around that lay hidden and forgotten about so it's wonderful to discover and use them afresh, whether for their original purpose or in a new way. Sam even likes to quote Confucius to help explain the use of vintage objects in her work: " Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it", but Sam likes to work to bring the beauty to everyone's attention.

Sharing beautiful objects is more than just selling for Sam, 'it is not just a transaction, but rather, a gift from me to you'. Obvious care and thought goes into each piece and it's this gift of artistic ideas and rescuing of treasures that comes with the pieces.

You can discover more about Little Dotty Designs here:

Shop on Etsy
On Facebook