education, Uncategorized

BritMumsLive 2016 Instagram Panel

So, this year I’m back at BritMumLive…

BritmumsLive Instagram workshop

And at 14:50 in the afternoon of Saturday 25 June 2016 I shall be joined in stage by some rather lovely friends – we’ll be talking about Instagram,

Our team:
@incredibusy – that’s me, Ali 
@redtedart – Maggy  www.redtedart.com
@coldatnight – Sian www.coldatnight.co.uk
@paintsewgluechew – Diana  www.paintsewgluechew.com

I’ve known Maggy for a long time, we are good friends and neighbours with similar creative and social media interests, and we also curate a craft blog together, click here.

Our instagram feeds are similar, yet quite different – I think this is perhaps due to the age gap between our families? And Maggy crafts and creates a WHOLE lot more than I do… Plus, I spend time creating and curating content for my clients’ instagram feeds too, so we perhaps don’t dedicate the same time to to our accounts as each other! (I’ll be wearing a couple of them – www.Po-Zu.com and www.BryonyandCo.com so make sure you follow their instagram feeds for me!!)

I was late to instagram, well, two and a half years ago I didn’t have a phone that supported the app, and experimented with my iPad – if you scroll back through my account, you’ll see I was having fun with filters and frames, and although I cringe at some of these shots, I’m loath to delete photos, as each tell #littlestoriesofmylife – and my family’s life.

This garners a couple of questions – do you delete old photos?? and do you feature photos of yourself and your kids??

Maggy and I both share an interest in themed photo challenges – we co-host #KidsCrafts101 and #SGIEW – two weekly hashtagged instagram challenges which we’d love you to join in with – go find the hashtags, and see what this week’s challenge is, we’d love you to join in!

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/kidscrafts101/

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/sgiew/

For me, this has been an amazing way of finding new accounts to follow and connect with, it’s also been a wonderful prompt for me more recently, to be creative, as my own boys have grown older, they are less inclined to ‘craft’ yet have really enjoyed creating stop motion animation – so we’ve been experimenting with that too!

It’s about evolution – your own evolution, perhaps as your kids get older, or indeed, just looking back at how your feed has developed and changed. I don’t particularly have a theme or a style, and neither does Maggy – however, if we turn to our other panelists, and look at their instagram feeds, you will see that both @coldatnight and @paintsewgluechew have definite styles, and consistent feeds…

I’ve invited Diana and Sian along to #BML16 to share their own experiences of instagram, so if you’re lucky enough to catch them ‘live’ on Saturday, you’ll find out more about them – needless to say, I hadn’t met them before the introduction of instagram in my life, and now have a little look at their feeds every morning, to see what they’ve been up to, and to say hello, good morning, and sometimes good night too! I’ve been to stay at Sian’s amazing place, Fforest {luxury camping and outdoor living at its very best} and would recommend it, an amazing space – and great for the kids….

So – at BritMumsLive we’ll be focusing on:
How each of the panel have grown their channel, their instagram philosophies and working practices
How they make their feed look fantastic plus any photo styling tips/props
We’ll be asking the panel to share their favourite instagrammer/s…
Their best tips on gaining followers. When they were growing what strategies did they use?
What they use to edit pictures
Their use of hashtags, and favourites
Which Instagram communities they love

Here’s a link to each of our panel’s most recent photo:

[ so good in every way ] #sgiew theme… #sgiew_BISCUIT ☕️ Oh we are LOVING a bit of baking at the moment, so we thought you might like to join in with this week’s #sgiew theme to join in with is “BISCUIT” – some comfort in this the first week of summer, yet we’re wearing wellies and grumbling about the clouds… 🌧🌧🌧Join in by following your hosts, @incredibusy @redtedart @willowdaygram and tagging #sgiew #sgiew_BISCUIT – PLUS, biscuity-bonus, we’re delighted to welcome an old friend to be our guest judge – @NikkiMcWilliams! Nikki will select x9 at the end of the week, to feature on the @sogoodineveryway grid – and you have until Midnight Sunday to join in, so whether it’s a cookie with your coffee, or a biscuit with you breakfast tea we want to see them! Oh and we might just have a little prize this week too; more on that later in the week☕️ can’t find the tea cup emoji but it’s something to do with that!! Thank you @teapigs 💛. . #littlestoriesofmylife #cookies #biscuits #mymonthofsundays (if you are following me on snapchat you’ll know we made these on Sunday morning!) #aquietstyle #coffeelover #string #coffeecam #coffeeandseasons #flatlaylover #flatlayforever

A photo posted by Ali Clifford (@incredibusy) on

More reading on Fforest:
fforest-gather-2016

fforest-and-welsh-woven-blankets

switch-off-enjoy-fields-silence

crafts, key stage 2, kids

How to melt crayons into a rainbow!

How to melt crayons into a rainbow!

melted-CRAYON-rainbowIf like us, the kids have got a bit bored of crayons, don’t despair – there are creative things you can do with them!

Did you know about the hashtag #kidscrafts101? Every week, Maggy @redtedart, Me, (ali) @incredibusy and Ana @babbledabbledo – set an instagram challenge, with a ‘theme’ and this week in question was rainbows – now, we have a few rainbow crafts on the blog that we can call upon, however, having teenagers and pre-teens in the house, it’s good to push and encourage their creativity, as they have become more and more drawn to staring at their screens and not wanting to be quite as creative as they used to be…

So we have FOUND A WAY and that is stop motion animation – so – check this out, we set up a tripod, take a series of photos, and make an animation! What fun…

For this particular craft, we took a square canvas* and some unloved crayons, and got busy, you can watch the stop motion in the youtube link below….

You will need:
A Canvas
Some Crayons
Hair Dryer
Glue Gun (or tape, glue gun is quick and easy though!)

ALI-TITLE-FOR-youtube-video-CRAYON-rainbowWatch the video here for instructions, basically, glue the crayons to the top half of the canvas.

Prop the canvas at an angle and start warming the crayons with the hair dryer.

Move the hair dryer to the top of the crayons, and start heating from the top so that they melt DOWN… note, the red didn’t melt as fast as the other colours, yet it still looks OK in the final result.

Lower the canvas to a smaller angle so that the crayons don’t drip off the end of the canvas, have fun, and don’t worry if the crayons ‘splatter’ that’s all part of the fun and creativity!

Let us know if you have a go too…

close-up-melted-crayons-on-canvas

melted crayons on canvas

Ali also blogs at aGreenerLifeforus.com and FunCraftsKids.com
Find Ali on instagram as @incredibusy too for other instagram photo challenges such as #sgiew (so good in every way!)

competitions

WIN tickets to The Good Life Experience

WIN tickets to The Good Life Experience

SGIEW-goodlife-prize-draw-incredibusyWho would like to win two tickets to The Good Life Experience festival? Read on!

It’s Tuesday and we are back on track post-half-term-break so let’s launch this week’s #sgiew challenge! {@sogoodineveryway hosted by @incredibusy and @redtedart} I would have posted sooner but just spent a good hour looking at our wedding photos!!!! This week the theme is #sgiew_goodlife so let’s see your photos; tag us on your festival pics; school fête photos; tea in the garden; bunting on your tents; and how about we throw in a PRIZE TOO?
We have two #GoodLifeExperience adult tickets with camping from this week’s judge @goodlifeexperience worth £198 up for grabs – get tagging!

The Good Life Experience –  A festival of Music, Culture, Food & The Great Outdoors. Curated by Cerys Matthews & others.16-18 September 2016.

Use hashtags #sgiew_goodlife to join in #sgiew

And to read more about the hashtag #sgiew click here:

 

Ts and Cs:

The prize is two adult tickets with camping, to The Good Life Experience 16-18 September 2016.
Use hashtags #sgiew_goodlife to join in #sgiew
One winner will be selected by @goodlifexperience
No purchase is necessary to enter the competition.
The competition is not open to employees (or members of their immediate families) of The Good Life Experience or any other participating company.
The closing date for the competition is Sunday 12 June 2016 at midnight. The winner will be chosen at random from all the entrants who have used the hashtag #sgiew_goodlife
We will notify the winner by DM on instagram. If we do not get a response to the note within two days, the prize will be offered to a runner-up. You can find out who has won a particular competition by contacting Ali at @incredibusy. The Good Life Experience’s decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

crafts, FREE printables, kids

FREE downloadable Butterfly Mandala colouring sheet

FREE downloadable Butterfly Mandala colouring sheet

butterfly mandala colouring sheetThe mini beast invasion is here! And you’ll love this wonderful FREE downloadable Butterfly Mandala colouring sheet – CLICK HERE to download!

If you like coloring, have a go at downloading this fun template – a colouring sheet with a fabulous repeat pattern of a butterfly, logo courtesy of ethical shoe brand Po-Zu.com

And perfect for a our instagram photo challenge theme this week – #bugsandbutterflies #kidscrafts101 theme with @buggyandbuddy ! Check out co hosts @babbledabbledo @redtedart and @incredibusy for more ideas too!
🐛🐝🕷🐞🐜🐝🐛🐌🐞🐜🕷🐝🐛🐞🐌
Find out more about the conservation of butterflies, moths and our environment over on the Butterfly Conservation website – formed by a small group of dedicated naturalists in 1968 following the alarming decline of many beautiful butterflies.

kidschaos-Logo-Repeat-butterfly-colouring-in-sheetMost British butterflies remain a cause for concern, with three quarters of our native species in decline. Four butterflies and over 60 moths became extinct last century. We aim to halt and reverse these declines. Our vision is of a world rich in butterflies for future generations to enjoy. Butterflies are beautiful and intrinsically valuable. Together with moths, their sensitivity to environmental change makes them valuable indicators of the health of the countryside.

Falling numbers are an early warning to all wildlife that cannot be ignored. We have more than 25,000 members in the UK and 32 volunteer Branches throughout the British Isles. We employ over 50 people including many highly qualified scientists, making us the world’s largest research institute for butterflies and moths.

Reference:

Po-Zu.com

butterfly-conservation.org

Uncategorized

Chaos writes:

So who knew, pop-up books have lasting appeal! We received a couple of lovely things through the post this week, one of which was the THE SUPER SCIENCE BOOK by Kate Petty and Jennie Maizels.

Well, 10yo couldn’t put it down, initially he rushed to look through it, turning each page with a smile, and a twist of this, a turn of that, as each spread revealed with pop-up wizardry and fabulous illustrations, the principles of Physical Science.

An hour later, he was back, pouring over each little illustration and

Molecules, atoms, elements and compounds have never been so much fun. This is a fantastic book, whether your child wants to be a scientist or not – he or she will love it!

crafts, kids, life

Anyone who knows me, knows what a massive fan I am of Jennie Maizels…

I became aware of Jennie’s iron-on patches when I was working with Green Baby – so quite a while ago now!

So when I found a love for instagram, I was delighted to catch up with Jennie again and to tell EVERYONE I knew to take a look at her fabulous visual sketchbook holiday diaries.

Jennie Maizels sketchbook spread 3

Recently I have started a weekly instagram photo challenge #sgiew (more on that here) and asked Jennie if she would be a guest judge – we were delighted when she agreed, and I asked her to tell us a bit more about herself and her new #sketchbookclub:

Jennie in the StudioWe asked Jennie what had influenced her early days as an artist:

Jennie: I grew up just outside London, my parents are both Artists too, so it was a very creative childhood (we didn’t even have a TV!). Growing up with two artists could not help but inspire me. My parents run the Outsider Art Magazine, Raw Vision

My father is also an art collector, so our house was crammed with sculptures, paintings,
murals and mobiles. I cannot think of a more creative environment. My parents receive
coach loads of visitors who wish to see my father’s amazing Outsider Art collection, so I
feel very privileged to have grown up surrounded by such inspiration!

I am very lucky, I live in heart of the beautiful Hampshire countryside in a village called
“Braishfield’ with thatched cottages and a village pond. It is classically English and we love
it! I have a studio on a remote farm, it’s incredibly peaceful but very hard to find, we have
to string up balloons and signs every time we have a visitor so they can find us.
Primarily I am an illustrator but I also hold online courses and run my small business where we supply my Pop-Up Books, Stationery and Iron/Stick-on Patches to the world…

Jennie-Maizels-pencils

My studio is crammed full of sketchbooks, paint and of course pencils. I have always had a real love affair with coloured pencils and keep them in colour coordinated tins, I use a
brand called Prismacolor that I have shipped from the States, so I have a vast collection!
Sketchbook Club started as a result of my complete obsession with Sketchbooks.
I keep prolific holiday journals, I find them so absorbing, relaxing and fulfilling, I now can’t
go on holiday without completing one.

Jennie Maizels sketchbook spreadI am a complete Instagram addict, I love how it connects people, an instant snapshot of
what people are up to, both creatively and domestically, I find it fascinating. (it also appeals to my nosiness!). Illustration can be quite an isolating profession, so being able to show the world your work in progress is incredibly positive and a great way to gauge future reactions to your published work.

It was through Instagram that Sketchbook began. I was posting images of my holiday
journals and also of the work I was teaching in my Sketchbook Club here in my studio and
was overwhelmed by peoples responses. This lead to an huge demand to hold an online
version, so the Online Sketchbook Club was born.

Jennie sketchbook studio
It’s been absolutely amazing, so fabulous to see the community growing. Each module has a hashtag so people can show/comment/advise etc. on pieces of work. Have a look at the first model #SketchbookclubHouses and you’ll see what I mean.

Jennie Maizels sketchbook spread club

I actually get quite emotional when I scroll through the feeds, I can’t believe so may people
are taking part!
Sketchbook Club Course two is launching in a few weeks and I can’t wait to see what
people create from it.
I truly believe that given the right tools and guidance, anyone can draw.

It is all about having the fear of the blank page taken away, I never start to illustrate without knowing what I am about to draw, you wouldn’t bake a cake without a recipe, or play the piano without music, so I don’t see the difference. I am just giving people the ‘recipe’ to create something they will be enjoy creating and be hugely proud of.

Jennie Maizels sketchbook spread 2

I have kept sketchbooks since I was a little girl and encouraged my children to do the
same. there is something a little bit magic about them. No pressure (just turn the page and
start over if you are not happy), portable (I never leave home without one) and completely
addictive.
People who have literally never drawn before, have got involved with my Sketchbook Club
and are now drawing as their main crafting hobby. It fills me with indescribable pride and
makes me happier than I have ever felt before in my career.

online club Jennie Maizels

Check out Jennie’s website here:
and don’t forget to follow her on instagram here @jenniemaizels, and me too!>> @incredibusy and fellow #sgiew host @redtedart

Uncategorized

Milk Carton Skull Lanterns

So with much delight, we introduce our latest invention, the Milk Carton Skull Lanterns!

I really wanted to have a go at making some skull lanterns, and thought the milk carton would be perfect for this, and it wasn’t until I started planning the graphics for it that I realised how brilliant it was that the handle itself created two brilliant indentations that were perfect for the skull’s eye sockets!!

We’ve since made LOADS of these are they are so easy to make, you can either print off the FREE printable here, or use marker pens, like these * affiliate links which work really well on plastic bottles – for full instructions watch the youtube video here.

For the PRINTABLE Skull’s face template click here

For more FREE printables for Halloween click here for Pumpkins
and here for brilliant Witches Hats
Some fab paper skull potato print Halloween party bags
How about Toffee Apples!
And some wonderful FREE printable, Skull Bunting

Ali also blogs over on aGreenerLifeforus.com and FunCraftsKids.com and is a lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!

baking, key stage 2, kids

September means birthday cakes in our house, and every year the boys put in their requests for party fun and cake style and flavour… from a Star Wars themed Yoda, to a Dragon (same food colouring, so that was OK!) through to your standard Lemon Drizzle Cake… This year however, the party request was for trampolining, ‘free jumping’ and his OWN chocolate cake recipe! So 10yo-soon-to-be-11yo spent the evening before his birthday MAKING and BAKING his own cake, and a quick dash for some Maltesers in the morning, decorated it himself before we bundled five of his friends off to Acton for some bouncing action over at Oxygen FreeJumping.
RB-cakeWell, we couldn’t be more impressed – all of us (five boys, and two mums) LOVED it – we started off with a game of dodge-ball – this was a great introduction, as we weren’t quite sure where to try first – the Oxygen FreeJumping staff were lovely and organised a game, explaining the rules, so we got stuck straight in! And guess what? I won!Acton-oxygen-dodgeballthis-place-is-jumpingThe design of the venue is stunning, the bold bright blues and yellows are really striking – loved the strong graphics – this place really IS jumping.

The boys’ absolute favourite activity was the Gladiator style jousting area over a large pool of blue foam… they spent AGES battling and giggling, and tumbling into a pit of spongy foam blocks.

I personally loved bouncing on the trampolines around the basketball hoops, probably because a simple bounce helped you score with EVERY throw!

Every participant wears a pair of ‘jumping socks’ which caused some amusement, and then delight that they got to keep them – and it was great to see the kids having such a brilliant time on the expanse of trampolines – we so want to go again!

socks-at-oxygen

jump-at-oxygen

Acton-oxygen
A big thank you to the team at Oxygen FreeJumping, for their fabulous facilities, great family fun, and to the cafe staff who also made us so welcome with great coffee too.

Find out more here:
www.oxygenfreejumping.co.uk


Ali also blogs over on aGreenerLifeforus.com and FunCraftsKids.com and is a lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!

Uncategorized

BritMums Live 2015: Social Media Optimisation – doing it all at once (yes, you must!)
Facebook tweaks its algorithm and suddenly nobody sees yours posts anymore. Pinterest fiddles with its feed and your referrals go from 1,000 to 100. It’s no longer good enough to be excellent on one social platform; you need to be working them all.

social media optimisationSocial Media Optimisation

Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, G+, Twitter all at once? Yes, you must! The why and how

Social media is constantly changing. We don’t *own* our social media platforms, third parties do. To effectively use social media for your blog or small business, you must keep up and evolve with the platforms. Myself, Ali Clifford; and Maggy Woodley, Red Ted Art presented a session at BritMums Live, 2015 focusing on Social Media Optimisation.

We shared our strategies and talked about how to cope with the various platforms, use the right tools for the job and make the time you spend on social work for you. CLICK HERE for a slide show of the presentation

BritMums Live! is the UK’s biggest and best social media conference and blogger event, where lifestyle bloggers and social influencers gather to meet and socialise, network with brands, improve their skills, and fire their creativity. BritMums Live has grown out of BritMums, the UK’s largest parent blogger community, made up of nearly 8,000 influential bloggers who create content about lifestyle, crafting, food, health, travel, education, tech, style and more.

Uncategorized

I have always loved my Mum’s old typewriter – it was amazing to us to see her tapping away at full pace, she filled us full of wonder, glancing quickly at her shorthand notes and slamming the carriage return.tribe originals

The boys and I have been over to her house to start clearing as she’s moved to a care home closer to us, and they’ve delighted in the old Imperial’s discovery and have been typing amusing sentences to each other – and I’m so glad it’s in my life, as look, what an amazing photoshoot prop for my full collection of Tribe Originals! Pictured here are my new Maverick sunglasses, Coast watch which we are giving to Daddy for his birthday next week, sssshh, and Oak Wooden Cardholder which you can **WIN** {click here}.

Responsibly sourced, Tribe Originals are also offering an exclusive 25% OFF on their Wood Wallets (one of which you can win here)
Wood Tribe Originals Sunglasses – just love all of the designs, Maverick is so ‘me’ though – retro-chic!
Wood Watches – loads to choose from – pictured here, the Coast Hybrid Watch combines a tough stainless steel casing with real wood dials, to create a new generation in watch styles. We love how each dial is totally unique and will tell its own story…..
and Hollow Balsa Wood Surfboards – for 25% OFF use the code **incredibusy** at the checkout until 29th August 2015 here http://tribehq.co.uk/

Coast-crate Maverick-sunglasses-2 Oak-Cardholder-001-312x312

Ali also blogs over on aGreenerLifeforus.com and FunCraftsKids.com and is a lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!