Manual The Crystal Needle: A Christmas to Remember

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I still love it. I think I like the preparations more than the actual day really. I love thinking up ideas, making all the cards and the presents, although I do love giving people their presents too. At Christmas I love to make things and making presents and gifts is a great way to save money, but also to give something totally personal and something that a lot of time and thought went into.

How to survive family Christmas

I love to make jams and chutneys, biscuits and sweets everyone loves food. These packaged in nice boxes or jars look lovely and make great presents. If you are feeling a little more ambitious then why not try making stockings, these make a great alternative to wrapping presents, they can be reused and they save on waste and paper too. You can also make Christmas decorations that will make a great addition to your tree each year and make cards yourself, which a really nice personal touch.

If you are like me, and I love to make things all year around, then you could well have other skills that could be utilised at this time of year. I like to knit and crochet, so often people get knitted socks, scarves or the like from me. I also make jewellery, so this is something else people may receive. Issue number three - Christmas has lost its magic. I find I make so many things that making them as gifts mean they have a nice home to go to.

Why not learn how to make a stuffed teddy or toy and give these away as gifts? On Christmas day when everyone receives their gifts it will make all the time and effort you put into them worth the while and make Christmas this year a little more special. Tell us about yourself. My name is Al Brydon. I live with my partner in Sheffield. This is situated in the North the cold bit of the UK. I am a Photographer specialising in fine art landscape imagery. When did your crafting begin, and why? I was given an ancient film camera by my father around the age of five or six.

I used to put model dinosaurs in the garden and try and make them look like the stills from Sinbad the Sailor films. Fast forward eleven years and I enrolled at Art College.

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I spent my first year smoking cigarettes and trying to pick up girls, as young men do, but then completed a photography module which got me hooked, I then spent the last year at college studying photography specialising in portraiture. The next step was University and a HND in Photography a two year course which gave me the grounding in photographic technique I lacked. This was followed by a post graduate course at the Picture House in Leicester.

I started my own business about a year and a half ago and began selling prints online about 8 months after that.

Step 1: Start With a Square

And here we are today. What was the first item you made to sell online? The light was really rubbish and after three hours standing on a rock in the wind I packed up and went home. On the way I saw a gnarled tree suddenly illuminated and pulled the car over safely to make my photograph. And then some kind soul bought it. What is your biggest crafting achievement, and why? It has to be leaving a full time job and starting my own photography business. It was a huge decision for me and very scary. Where would you like to be in 5 years?

I would like my business to evolve over time and would love to run starter courses for people with an interest in making pictures and obviously continue my own education. If it got to the stage where I am making a comfortable living and still evolving as an artist I will be happy. Where does your inspiration come from? My main inspiration comes from my surroundings. I can drive for twenty minutes and be out of the city into amazing scenery. There is a ruggedness and drama to the Peak District that I find extremely compelling.

I also get a lot of inspiration from fellow photographers, some professional and some amateur. I would like to point out that the distinction between amateur and professional is certainly not talent. What are your favourite materials, and why? I use both film and digital cameras.

Film has a unique, almost organic, quality and I still love the anticipation of getting films back from the lab. Digital is great and very convenient. I just seem to have more fun with film. I bought a plastic Holga camera a few years ago and use this for my film landscapes. It adds a dreamy surreal quality to my images which compliments the ruggedness of the surrounding area. Has any person helped or supported you more than any other? My poor long suffering partner Jen has to be mentioned who I tricked into liking me over 5 years ago. She is a star. Whenever I fall over she picks me up and dusts me down.

He makes amazing images. Loads of drama. You can visit Al Brydon through his website or his Etsy store and see more of his beautiful images. Make your own Step 2 Cut a piece of wrapping paper big enough to go all the way around the tubes. Wrapping paper. Cut it a little longer at each end, so that you can glue the ends under Step 4 Use some ribbon to tie in place not forgetting to put in a little gift!

The opportunities are endless. You can use all kinds of paper, from brown to something colourful. If you want your crackers to go off with a bang, you can buy cracker snaps online or in art shops. You can decorate with ribbon or string, Written by Surf Jewels - Handmade Ethical Jewellery even use holly and ivy for a natural finish. Snowman Earrings What you will need 2 x 10mm white glass beads 2 x 6mm white glass beads 2 x 6mm crystal rondelle 2 x 4mm hematite disk bead 2 x 3mm hematite cube bead 2 x 2 inch head pin Pair of round nose cutters, side cutters, and flat nose pliers These snowman charms could also be used to make pendants add a jump ring and thread onto a chain , key rings, bag charms or as bracelet charms.

How to Make 6-Pointed Paper Snowflakes

Step 5. Attach an earwire to the hoop. Step 6. Repeat steps 1 - 5 to create a second snowman. Step 4. Fold over the headpin. Make a loop in the end, trimming off any excess wire first if needed. I am 22 years old and have a 4 year old son who always wants to "help" make necklaces. I have a small but supportive family that keep pushing me to go further with my craft.

I make Jewellery and get so excited with new beads and shiny things. I live in the beautiful City of York that has some great historical buildings and dwellings, it gives me a lot of future inspirations for my pieces.

The Crystal Needle by Daniel J. Peyton

I began making jewellery just over a month ago and I honestly do not know where the idea stemmed from, I've always been quite a creative person but so far never found that one thing that just suits me so well, until I began making my Jewellery. Ever since then I have found a true love for this craft and feel genuinely at home when I have my boxes of supplies sat in front of me. The first ever item I made was a simple pair of earrings made using ab shell hexagon pieces that came in 3 different colours.

Someone asked for one of each colour and right at that moment I realised I was making saleable items and uploaded the earrings to eBay straight away. What was your biggest crafting achievement, and why? My biggest crafting achievement so far is a beautiful necklace and bracelet set I made from a bunch of de-stash earrings.

I fell in love with this item the moment I made it and was adamant to sell it.

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I decided I would wear it one night out, so then it was not for sale. The night out ended in someone liking the set so much that they offered to buy it there and then. To me that was my biggest achievement as I was out on a night out, not as a jewellery maker who sold items, yet I still managed to make a sale. Other than crafting, what else do you like to do? Barring when I have my head stuck in my supplies boxes, I enjoy spending valuable time with my young son, my wonderful family and friends and my amazing partner.

In past times I have enjoyed writing poetry.

Currently I am thinking of things I can do or make to include poetry in, so I may need to open another shop one day if I do think of something. In 5 years I would obviously love to be sat behind the counter of a little shop stocking my jewellery and other handmade items with my name above the shop door. My inspiration comes from a lot of things.

I love different cultures, styles, colours. I like to think I don't have one style of jewellery and try to make a difference in all the pieces I make, whether it be vintage, colourful or even bizarre. I find inspiration just from looking at things outside the box rather then their original use. My favourite materials at the moment are Faux pearls, shell beads and anything antique and vintage looking.