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BAKE IT

SEW IT

KNIT IT

Delicious

squash

Pretty

forest-print

Adorable owl motif scarf &

cupcakes

bunting

glove set

EXCLUSIVE

Cheeky

chums

GO NUTTY FOR OUR FELT SQUIRRELS!

WIN!

£1350

WORTH OF

PRIZES!

Handmade

projects

PAPER STAG’S HEAD VINTAGE TEACUP CANDLES CROCHET WOODLAND CREATURES

89

autumn

BEST-SELLERS FOR EASY PROFIT

HOW TO

START

SELLING

FROM

HOME

IN 7 EASY STEPS

ISSUE 28 OCTOBER 2013 £4.99 WITH GIFT

“MY NEW LIFE IN THE COTSWOLDS”

HOW FACEBOOK LAUNCHED CRAFT-SELLER LOUISE FIRCHAU’S DREAM BUSINESS

 

Pretty forest-print

28

bunting will make a fab addition to your stall

COVER

16

31

How cute?! Squirrels

are fantastic sellers at this time of year

Try this contemporary, stylish stag’s head

Welcome

A s autumn draws in, take inspiration from our fairytale woodland theme this issue - perfect for cosy nights in and a sure-fire hit for sellers. Try

our sweet cover stars on page 16, have a go at stitching the forest-themed bunting on page 28 and check out our cute crochet creatures on page 84. If you love spending time in the kitchen, make the most of the plethora of delicious autumn fruits with our baking section from page 43, which includes apple and fig chutney and mouth-watering blackberry and elderflower cheesecake. As always, this month’s mag is packed with advice on how to sell your makes and bakes. Our real-life story this issue (p22) follows the success of

paper cutter Louise Firchau, who proved the power of social media by building a 12,000 strong Facebook following, whilst our feature on page 79 looks at the importance of having a good blog when launching your career.

Our FREE Halloween project book is packed with spooky things to make and sell too, including a pumpkin costume, haunted house lanterns and some creepy crawly cupcakes! You can even get the kids involved with 15 easy projects for your little terrors. Have fun crafting - see you next month,

ZEENA MOOLLA – EDITOR

34 This Peter Pan beaded collar is easy to make and hard to resist

92

Vintage teacup

candles sell

everywhere!

OVER

at this

Look

£1300

gorgeous

months

papers!

OF TO PRIZES WIN!

free

PAGE 68

50

Contents

October 2013

28

76

84

 

32

43

92

16

27

28

32

34

Nutty friends! Make these lovable squirrels from felt, and embellish with embroidery 30-minute make Our wax crayon hearts are so simple and sweet, you won’t want to stop! Treetops bunting Fun fabrics add a seasonal feel to this gorgeous home decoration Stag head stunner Create a focal point for any home with this fabulous piece of wall art Pearly queen Our Peter Pan collar is a stylish and easy make for your jewellery stall

Projects

44

46

47

50

62

Blackberry cheesecake

A truly scrumptious dessert with

a touch of delicate elderflower

Spiced apple & fig chutney Use your apple windfalls to make this delicious autumn pickle Squash cupcakes The perfect sweet treat for Halloween and harvest festivals Autumn Days papers Create cards for the new school term, Halloween parties and more Mummy makes We show you how to transform simple pebbles into lovely ladybirds!

72

74

84

92

94

From junk to funk Wellies aren’t just for wearing – they make brilliant plant pots, too! Creature comforts Add owls to your knitted range, with our scarf, hat and mittens set Woodland friends Your customers will love this group of adorable crocheted critters! Make a crafty tenner Go vintage with these gorgeous shabby-chic teacup candles More ways than one Make a bag, cushion and keyring from our cross stitch camper motif

for those

to page 102 templates

Turn

all-important

8

10

12

15

22

Making news Get the lowdown on the latest crafty news and views Dear Craftseller Your chance to share all your crafting and selling success stories Pin it! Be inspired by sumptuous autumnal tones on our bronze mood board Stash it! Make the most of the woodland trend with this must-have stash Real life: Louise Firchau Louise tell us how her Facebook fans made Paper Panda such a success

38

48

68

70

79

16

Features

Seven steps to selling at home Find out how simple it could be to start your craft business from home Charity bakes Support three good causes by baking up a storm in the kitchen Fab freebies Enter now and you could get your hands on some brilliant prizes Diary of a craft-selling mum Erica has a busy month and sells her makes at Harry’s first school fair! Blog it! Find out how a blog can help you transform your crafting career

BE AN INSIDER

We want to know what you think. After all, the more we know about you the better placed we are to bring you the best magazine possible. So we would like to invite you to join our online reader panel ‘Insiders’.

Interested? Log on to www.immediateinsiders.com/ register to fill out the short registration survey and we’ll be in touch from time-to-time to ask for your opinions on the magazine and other relevant issues.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Reader offer

Special gift

Subscribe today and choose your free gift!

40

89

98

100

106

Ask us! Let our experts solve your craft- selling queries with the best advice My craft shop Find out how these three successful sellers make cash from their craft Crafty courses Choose from a range of inspiring courses to expand your craft skills Online loves Check out our favourite makes selling well on the web this month

DESIGNERS

Contributors

Meet three Craftseller designers who have created projects just for you

Siobhan Gough

Siobhan’s crayon hearts will only take you 30 minutes to make – turn to page 27

Siobhan is an avid crafter with a particular interest in paper crafting, everything from origami to paper cutting and creating beautiful paper decorations. Siobhan sells her creations through local shops and craft fairs as well as taking commissions for special gifts and wedding unique decorations.

Vicky Craxton

Vicky’s adorable felt squirrels – our cover stars – can be found on page 16!

Vicky used to join her mum selling at craft fairs as a child, then went on to study animation at university. She set up as a full-time craft seller after receiving positive feeback on Facebook about her handmade bags and owls. Bold prints, quirky designs and vintage fabrics are features of Vicky’s gorgeous work.

Emma Read

If you love pearls, check out Emma’s gorgeous Peter Pan collar on page 34

Emma started her business, Hapitat, when she couldn’t find a fascinator to wear to Ascot. Her speciality is pretty silk flowers, but generally she loves to work with silks, chiffon and other delicate fabrics to create a wide range of beautiful accessories. Her passion for eco-friendly fashion is clear to see.

A SPECIAL MENTION TO

Editor Zeena Moolla Editorial Assistant Beth Collins Art Editor Lisa Jones Publisher Alison Worthington Publishing Director Cath Potter Managing Director Andy Marshall Advertisement Director Caroline Herbert Senior Advertising Manager Jane Hendy Advertising Designer Catherine Howlett Production Director Sarah Powell Production Managers Rose Griffiths and Louisa Molter Marketing Director Jacky Perales-Morris Direct Marketing Manager Penny Clapp Marketing Executive Lucy Osmond Reprographics Tony Hunt, Chris Sutch Photography Louise Broom, Ally Stuart, Steve Sayers Distribution Frontline Printed in the UK by William Gibbons

A special thank you to contributors and designers Jo Benner, Helen Burge, Katriel Costello, Liz Ward, Wendy Massey, Anne MacGregor, Siobhan Gough, Vicky Craxton, Jessica Sharp, Jane Tooze, Annie Bellamy, Claire Watkins, Sarah Chadwick, Steve Wright, Marie Parry, Holly Johnson, Sophie Jordan, Poppy Benner, Verity Gough, Karen Dunn, Emma Read, Susanne Frank

Subscriptions and customer enquiries To place a subscription or order any of our wonderful sewing, knitting or craft magazines, please call the subscriptions hotline on 0844 844 0388. It’s open weekdays 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.

Join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter Become a fan of Craftseller on Facebook or follow @craftsellermag on Twitter and you can take part in competitions, share news, tips and more.

Copyright guidelines for projects We have requested specific permission from authors, book publishers and designers so that you can recreate and sell the projects from this issue. Please credit the designer where appropriate and when it has been requested. Craftseller is for crafting enthusiasts who want to make beautiful, handmade items to sell. You can individually make as many as you wish to sell either for yourself, your local event, summer fete or to raise money for charity. You cannot go into mass production, which means you cannot manufacture in large quantities, especially by machine. Please respect one another’s copyright.

Immediate Media Company Limited is working to ensure that all of its paper is sourced from well-managed forests.

Craftseller is published by:

This magazine can be recycled, for use in newspapers and packaging. Please remove any gifts, samples or wrapping and dispose of it at your local collection point.

Immediate Media Company Limited, 9th Floor, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3BN. Tel: 0117 927 9009 Fax: 0117 934 9008

Immediate Media Company Limited is dedicated to producing the very best consumer specialist interest magazines, edited and designed to inform our readers, enhance their lives and give them the best value for money possible. Please visit www.immediatemedia.co.uk for details of our other publications. We take great care to ensure all elements of Craftseller are accurate. However, we accept no liability for any misprints or mistakes that appear in this magazine. All prices quoted are correct at the time of going to print. ©Immediate Media Company Limited.

Inspirational features, displays, workshops and demonstrations for all creative crafters

AUTUMN SHOWS

THURS 12 - SAT 14 SEPTEMBER

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Norm Oorloff/Newspix/Rex Features

CELEBS CRAFT TOO!

Its so revealed I

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Minogue

it secret Dannii

stitch.

of cross

since love

relaxing.

a kid.

I was

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CRAFTY UPDATE

Making news

Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the latest craft trends, dates and celebs…

3 things we love about

Wayne Hemingway

1 He started out by selling his own clothes – literally, straight out of his wardrobe – in 1980 at Camden

Market. Together with his wife, he had expanded to 16 stalls within the space of just one year!

2 Having sold his hugely successful Red or Dead fashion label, Wayne now works on a range of projects including

Kioskiosk, which helps creative businesses find affordable retail spaces in prominent locations, as well as mentoring up-and-coming talent for The Prince’s Trust.

SUPER

SITES

Our pick of the best from the world of online this month…

sewyeah.co.uk

A colourful blog that’s packed with ideas on

everything from felting

to crochet and DIY tricks.

stellaireblog.blogspot. co.uk Lifestyle blogger Jess shares her love of all things handmade.

sweetapolita.com Warning: do not enter this website when hungry. Recipes and video tutorials to make your mouth water!

3 He launches the UK’s first National Festival of Thrift on 21-22 September, taking place at Lingfield Point,

Darlington. He promises us a ’Life-changing, life-affirming’ event, which includes a pop-up allotment, upcycled fashion show, street food stalls and vintage vehicles!

To find out more about Wayne’s latest venture, check out festivalofthrift.co.uk, or take a look at his official website at hemingwaydesign.co.uk to see some of his newest designs.

Little Purls

8 patterns for babies from premature to 3 months

Pattern guide - all patterns available from sizes from premature to 3 months

Silver Maple Beanie &

Booties

page 3

Crochet Beanie

page 4

Bobble Hat & Booties page 5

Diamond Pixie Hat page 7

#minifashionprotest

I f you love fashion but hate sweatshops, join craft

author Perri Lewis and top TV crafters like Tilly &

the Buttons in making mini protest banners for

London Fashion Week, which will be displayed at an exhibition in the autumn. Visit craftivist-collective.

com or follow #minifashionprotest on Twitter.

Transform

a

heels

of old

knitted

pair shoe

these

with

clips!

Sienna canvas print, $120, urbanroad.com.au; Ikat bag, £49, idyllhome.co.uk; Edible Cake Paper by inthetreehouse.co.uk, £15 per sheet

Talent

SPOT

KNITTED CHIC

BEING CREATIVE is all about thinking outside the box and doing something different, and that’s why we love queen of the yarn, Jessica Biscoe (jessicabiscoe. co.uk). Proving – once again – that knitting is cool, she has been featured in various national magazines and has just relaunched her website, where you can view her contemporary takes on traditional patterns.

Love to bake?

I f cakes are your thing, or you want to meet some top baking stars including TGBBO winner John Whaite, then don’t miss The

Cake and Bake Show, Earls Court (13-15 Sept) and Manchester Central (4-6 April 2014). We have five pairs of tickets to Earls Court – visit craft-seller.com for your chance to win!

TOP TREND TOP TREND TOP TREND TOP TREND TOP TREND TOP TREND

IKAT PRINTS

THIS ANCIENT WEAVING technique has been reinvented in the form of printed fabrics, homeware and fashion accessories – and we love its retro, tribal feel! The trend is set to continue into 2014, so make sure that zig-zags and rich, vibrant hues are on your creative radar.

CRAFTY UPDATE

CRAFTY

EVENTS

Our pick of the best crafty events around this month

Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts EventCity, Manchester 12-14 September

Bluebird Events

Craft Fair

Taunton

14 September

London Design Festival Various locations 14-22 September

Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show Alexandra Palace, London 21-22 September

Festival of Thrift Lingfield Point, Darlington 21-22 Sept

Craft and

Jewellery Fair

Pavilion Gardens,

Buxton

21-22 September

Crafts Unlimited

Association Craft Fair Glasgow

22 September

Brighton Craft Fair Ship Street, Brighton

28 September

Upcycling Academy The Knitting and Stitching Show, London 10-13 October

Adriana

experimented

Dandy

with

our design

Deer

LETTERS

Dear Craftseller

Send us your latest crafting and selling stories – each issue the star letter wins a StickyTiger prize!

My dandy deer

I JUST WANTED TO express my gratitude for such

a beautiful pattern – I love this design! As you can

see, I made one in the same style as it was printed in

the magazine, then I started experimenting a little bit by adding some crochet details and changing the colours. I am looking forward to selling them online!

ADRIANA, BY EMAIL

Ed: Both your deer are adorable Adriana, and so well finished. We love the realistic bambi design.

Resounding success

I RECENTLY STARTED SEWING cushions, then I

expanded to lampshades, and now I also repaint

and reupholster furniture. I was so inspired by your magazine and the wealth of information inside that I decided to see whether I could sell some of the things I was making, so Mols & Tati-Lois was born. I was so taken with your article in the June issue on outdoor selling, that I even ventured out.

I followed your tips and, I have to say, the day was

a resounding success. So huge thanks all round, to you and your brilliant mag.

NATALIA PRICE-CABRERA, MOLS & TATI-LOIS

Ed: Wow, so much success in such a short time – congratulations, Natalia, we’re really impressed!

Ian’s signs are fab quality and make for great gifts

CRAFTY

BLOG

joythebaker.com

My favourite blog is a baking blog called joythebaker.com. It’s full of beautiful photos of some of the most weird, wonderful and imaginative recipes, both sweet and savoury. Until you have tried Joy’s chocolate peanut butter pretzel brownies, you haven’t lived!

SHERI THOM, EXETER

It’s my party

FOR MY LAST BIRTHDAY I invited lots of friends to my house for a vintage tea party. Your pattern for the Drink Tea Here sign was a perfect addition, even if I did finish it with only an hour to spare before my guests started to arrive! It looked fabulously festive sitting next to my teapot-shaped birthday balloon.

JANET NUTTER, TRAWDEN, LANCS

Ed: Happy (belated) birthday, Janet! Your sign looks great – we think you chose a fab colour. Hope your guests loved it, too.

Star

BEST MAG

I WAS REALLY EXCITED when I picked up Craftseller recently, and I was amazed at the amount of content and useful information inside - I don’t know how I’ve gone without it. I am looking forward to working on my craft space, and I’ve already started making use of all the hints, tips and advice. I wanted to say a big thank you for one of the best craft magazines in the UK.

AMANDA TROUGHT, REALITYARTS.CO.UK

Ed: Your makes look great, Amanda! Here’s

£45 to spend on crafting and selling supplies at

StickyTiger. StickyTiger. Happy Happy shopping! shopping!

LETTER

Amanda loves crafting with our free papers

Star letter prize!

This month our star letter writer wins £45 worth of vouchers for stickytigersupplies.co.uk

Jill has been making matryoshka dolls, ahead of the trend

Matryoshka heaven

Ma

I’M A SEMI-RETIRED school teacher, and your mag

gave me the push I needed to have a go at selling my

felt creations. After going through CE testing, I’ve

felt cre

gave m

I’M A S

just created a Facebook page - Bobosunbeam - and

just cr

started selling at local craft fairs, too. When I saw

the lovely matryoshka doll in the August issue I had

to write, as they’re one of my favourite things to make. I thought you might like to see one of mine.

th l

started

JILL HOLLIDAY, NORTH EAST LINCS

Ed: Your matryoshka is really sweet, Jill. The hand

embroidery dery gives gives her her a a lovely, lovely, professional professional finish. finish.

Little cutie

THIS IS THE BUNNY I created using the pattern in issue 24 of Craftseller. It’s the first time that I’ve ever followed a written pattern, so I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Thanks so much for such a great design – I loved it!

CHARLOTTE HEGGIE, BY EMAIL

Ed: Your bunny really is adorable, Charlotte! We love Liz Ward’s simple patterns – keep reading Craftseller for more of her designs, and turn to page 84 in this issue for some really simple and very cute woodland creatures for you to try your hand at.

Search for Craftseller

@craftsellermag

yourletters@

on facebook.com

craft-seller.com

LETTERS

CRAFTY

TALK

Here are some of our favourite posts and tweets this month…

Loving Craftseller’s July

Top Tips

to Launch your Crafty

great

advice!

article

Career

10

@TRINKETS123

My dog brooch was spotted on @folksy and featured in @CraftsellerMag

@KAYLEIGHOMARA

@CraftsellerMag Loving my new #Craftseller mag, it makes me #Smile :)

@FUSSYBITCH1961

I think @CraftsellerMag is quickly becoming one of my favourite magazines!

@LAURENASPENCER

@Craftsellermag loving the Russian doll make.

@SONIKMUMMY

Dear Craftseller, 9th Floor, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3BN

PIN IT

1

3

2

Bronze

4

Autumnal copper and bronze colours are

abundant a in nature at the moment, so start

adding a these rich shades to your crafts, too

5

6

8

7

9

1 John Robshaw Fig Ikat Cushion, £79,

idyllhome.co.uk 2 Starburst Metal Wall Art, £75, very.co.uk 3 Cirque Round Cushion, £12, isme.com 4 Deco Jewel

Structured Cuff, £15, accessorize.co.uk

5 Loose Leaf Brass, £5.95, anniesloan.

co.uk 6 Handmade Pillar Bronze Candleholder, £140.86, felicityandlee. com 7 Copper Sunflower Tea Light

Holders, £21, maudinteriors.com 8 Beaten Copper Tray, £60, bitten.myshopify. com 9 Goddess Metallic Maxi Dress, £220, coast-stores.com 10 Literary Terms Bronze-Effect Cufflinks, £30, theliterarygiftcompany.com 11 Metallic Bronze Sequin Film, £4.50, josyrose.com

12 Early industrial light by GEC, similar

available from skinflintdesign.co.uk

13 Black and Gold Brass Bowl, £19.99,

oscarandeve.co.uk 14 Copper Milk Pail,

£14; Copper Casserole Dish, £125; Atelier Table, £599, johnlewis.com 15 Rose C Crepe de Chine, £49 per m, liberty.co.uk

16 Joy and Sorrow A Crepe de Chine, £49

per m, liberty.co.uk 17 Metallic Ginger Glow Edible Silk, £2.50, justbake.co.uk

14

10

17

12

13

16

15

11

PIN IT

Image: Jan Beaney

The definitive events for anyone with a love of stitch and creative crafts. Supplies, workshops and textile art.

Alexandra Palace, London • 10th to13th October RDS, Dublin • 31st October to 3rd November Harrogate International Centre • 21st to 24th November

Book at www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com or call 0844 848 0132 Groups of ten or more call 020 7688 6830

NOW

WIN IT!

ON 68

PAGE

SHOPPING

S tash it!

s

Inspiring ideas for your crafty makes

Animal Party Forest Fun Fabric Natural Lime, £3.30 per Fat Quarter, frumble.co.uk • Deer and Woodland Friends Fabric-covered Buttons,

£4.25 for five, Den Uartige Kat on etsy.com • Rusty The Fox Iron-on Patches, £3.95 a pack, dotcomgiftshop.com

did

bi

dB

John Lewis Glitter Edged Ivy Leaves, £12 for a pack of 10, johnlewis.com • Fairy Retro Off-White Sewn-on Love Birds Motif, £1.29 each, myfabrichouse.co.uk • Squirrel Cookie Cutter, £1.70, Sugar Fox Shop on etsy.com

Set of Wooden Owl Stamps, £8.99, pandurohobby.co.uk • Enchanted d Forest Forest Fabrics Fabrics, £11 £11 per per metre, metre thefabricloft thefabricloft.co.uk co uk Leaves Clear Tape, £8.95 for set of two tapes, papermash.co.uk

MAKE A

PROFIT!

MAKE FOR £3

FOR £10

FELT IT

Nutty friends!

g bushy

These adorable felt squirrels, with their soft tummies and big bushy

axton

tails, are the perfect decoration for autumn! By Vicky Craxton

COVER

stars

FELT IT

FELT IT

How to make the felt squirrels

INFORMATION

Materials

* 28 x 17cm (11 x 6¾in) grey felt

* 28 x 17cm (11 x 6¾in) red/brown felt

* 11 x 10cm (4¼ x 4in) white felt

* 11 x 7cm (4¼ x 2¾in) beige felt

* 5 x 5cm (2 x 2in) black felt

* 40cm (15¾in) of 9mm emerald green and white polka dot grosgrain ribbon

* Sewing thread in black, white, brown and grey

* Embroidery thread in dark brown, grey, emerald green, pink, yellow and black

* Polyester toy filling

Size: 14 x 10cm (5½ x 4in), not including ribbon Ribbon loop approx. 7.5cm (3in) long Skill level: Easy

SAFETY FIRST This colourful make is likely to appeal to children. Make sure you sew all the different parts on securely, and make sure any toy filling is non-toxic and firmly sewn inside. Remember, if you intend on selling them, even if they are not sold as toys, there are strict regulations to adhere to. Visit craft-seller.com/ free-downloads for more legal advice on child safety.

Y our customers will go nuts over these adorable little woodland critters, especially when they see

the pretty embroidered flowers on their tummies! They're sure to appreciate the delicate blanket stitch detail, too, which gives a wonderful handmade look. These lovable characters each have a ribbon loop, so they can be hung up anywhere around the home as seasonal decorations. Make a whole family of felt squirrels and present them on a twiggy tree on your craft stall, or display them among lots of autumn leaves and acorns for your product photos.

Templates Using the templates on page 102, cut the felt shapes out as follows:

Red/brown: cut two of BODY and two of ARM. Grey: cut two of BODY and two of ARM. White: cut one of FRONT and four of EYE. Beige: cut one of FRONT. Black: cut two of NOSE and four of PUPIL.

5 For the embroidered design on the squirrel’s tummy, start with cross stitches for the flowers, a small running stitch for the stems, and single chain stitches for the leaves. Use pink thread for the flowers on the grey squirrel, and yellow thread for the flowers on the red/brown squirrel.

1 On one of the body shapes in each colour, sew the eyes onto the face using an overstitch. Then sew the pupils in place in the middle of each eye.

6 For each squirrel, fold a 20cm (8in)

length of the ribbon in half to make a loop, and sew it onto the back body shape. Use a single cross stitch to sew the ribbon in place, so the cross appears on the reverse.

We

love

the

delicate

embroidery

2 With the grey embroidery thread, sew the white front onto the grey body using a blanket stitch. With the brown embroidery thread, sew the beige front onto the red/ brown body using a blanket stitch. Only sew the top and the bottom edges of the front.

7 Sew the front and back body pieces together using a blanket stitch. Start from the feet and stop before the end of the tail. Stuff the squirrel with toy filling through the gap, then finish sewing the rest of the tail. »

SELL MORE

These squirrels can be made in lots of different colours, and personalised with embroidery

3 Sew the nose onto the face using an overstitch. Then, with black embroidery thread, sew a little smile under the nose.

FELT IT

4 With an overstitch, sew the arms onto the front so that they are resting at the top of the tummy.

SELL IT

You’ve now sell made it it,

Read our top tips to help you sell your sweet felt squirrels…

1 Make your squirrels collectable

by offering a whole family of them,

including a mum, a dad and babies.

Xxxxxx xxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxx

NOW SELLING ON

NOTHS: Tree animals by The Contemporary Home, £20

2 the tummy. Charge a higher price for

this service to maximise your profit.

Offer a personalised service, with the

option to have a name stitched onto

3 Photograph your products in a pretty woodland setting. Hang them from trees, or shoot them nestled amongst

pine cones and rustic autumn leaves.

4 Mix up your colours to cater for all

the colour of the stitched flowers.

tastes – use different ribbons and vary

5 Give your animals names. Making each squirrel feel unique will add to the value of your product and appeal to

the younger audience – you could even make them mini birth certificates!

DaWanda: Felt hanging owl by Federica Creation, £24

6 Get festive – cater for the Christmas gift market by using ribbon with a holly leaf or mistletoe motif.

7 Make door signs out of your squirrels by creating little felt plaques to hang round their necks.

8 Continue the woodland theme by presenting each squirrel in a little brown box filled with shredded paper.

9 Display your squirrels in a shop or at a craft fair by hanging them from cut tree branches placed in a vase.

10 Sew a tag into the back of your

animal to make sure people know

where it was bought from.

Wowthankyou: Woodland animals fairy lights by Button Owl, £26

For your nearest stockist and expert advice, please contact Silver Viscount on 01933 311888 or enquiries@silverviscount.co.uk

Photos: Simon Hadley/UNP

REAL LIFE

Facebook fans let me quit my day job

Paper-cutter Louise Firchau has built an army of 12,000 Facebook fans, so now she can live her dream by Karen Dunn

T ucked away in a little cottage in

the Cotswolds in the grounds of an

impressive manor house, Louise

Firchau, 37, is furiously working away with her scalpel – cutting, perhaps, the most intricate design you have ever seen. Louise, or Paper Panda as her followers know her, is a social media success story. Her (whopping) 12,000 Facebook followers, including some of the most devoted fans you could ask for, have allowed her to turn her hobby into a fully-fledged business. The only word to describe where Louise

lives is idyllic. The manor house’s gardener regularly delivers fresh veg from the country garden, there are fields all around, and a whole host of friendly pets eager to be stroked. Sat in her country kitchen, she alternates between cutting bespoke paper designs, checking Facebook and chatting with her husband Ryan, who also works from home. Modest Louise, however, insists her online fame is all a fluke… “Three years ago I was a full-time graphic designer – then one day I spotted paper- cutting on Etsy and my life changed. I ordered a scalpel from eBay, made a design on my computer and started cutting. It took me seven hours, but I was hooked.

I love typography, so my first one was

a simple phrase: ‘You are the sun in my

Sunday morning’. I was really proud of it, so I put a picture of it on Facebook. “It was supposed to be just for me, but a friend wanted it so I gave it to him. Then I

made another one and someone else asked

for it. I was so excited I went out, spent £22 on a frame, £10 on postage and only charged her £30 for it. Before I knew it,

I was selling commissions to people who

started liking my business page. It was totally crazy, and a real shock. “I had no business sense at first. I was

just so happy that people liked them, and

I made a loss on every single paper-cut I finished for the first few months!

“I was the first paper- cutter on Facebook. Even Rob Ryan wasn’t on there when I joined”

“I was the first paper-cutter on Facebook. Even Rob Ryan wasn’t on there when I joined, but after six months Paper Dreams, run by a girl called Amy, popped up. At first I panicked and thought there wasn’t room for both of us, but rather than competing we joined forces. We bought frames together, split the costs and shared tips. Joining forces made us both see what we were doing as a real business, and Amy and I became best friends in the process. We decided we’d take new paper-cutters under our wing and all work together. It was lovely to see everyone flourishing.

“Gradually I was doing more paper- cutting and less of the day job. Then, two years ago, my husband Ryan got the opportunity to take redundancy. We’d been to Bourton-On-The-Water on holiday and had fallen in love with the place. One Friday night we decided we would move down here. Within a weekend we had found a gift shop to rent and a cottage to live in. By the Tuesday, Ryan had told work he was leaving and that was it. It was a mental couple of weeks! “It also happened to be the weekend Paper Panda decided to go crazy with orders. I had 85 all at once! Cuts were going so quickly I was selling them within two seconds of putting them on my page. We decided I’d work in the shop and Ryan would freelance, but as I got busier paper- cutting, we were getting robbed blind – I was too busy to notice people were stealing things! Ryan took over in the shop, but after a year we decided to sell up and make Paper Panda my official full-time job. “A lot of people ask me how I got to over 12,000 likes for my page, and the answer is you have to throw every single minute of the day at it. Even on holiday I have to check the page, and I now have an assistant who checks it and responds when I can’t. “You have to be prepared to work insanely hard for the first couple of years. You do, however, have to learn your limitations. This time last year I was cutting so much, my hand was becoming like a

»

Clockwise from left: Louise prides herself on hand- cutting her products – it’s what makes her work so unique and a delight to own; the cottage is filled with a collection of whimsical characters that inspire Louise’s work; Louise’s very first sale was a framed cut that she sent to a friend at a loss, and these are still some of her best-selling products

REAL LIFE

Clockwise from top: Louise stays on top of her Facebook page; complex designs were almost damaging; Louise’s cottage is so idyllic

claw. The breaking point came when I got really ill and was admitted to hospital, and Ryan ended up bringing my cutting mat in so I could finish some orders! “After years of getting annoyed at people accusing me of laser-cutting my prints rather than doing them by hand, I decided to do a laser-cut range to make some cheaper cuts. I also had cushions, cards and cups printed up, using only small businesses in the UK from Facebook (mainly other mums working from home). “Having so many followers means you can find new businesses quickly – you all help each other out. My followers are pretty fearsome, too. If someone copies my cuts, they’re very quick to tell them to stop. I’ve made hundreds of friends through Facebook, which is amazing – especially since I was never popular at school!

“Last November, myself and Amy from Paper Dreams started making and selling

a range of paper-cutting starter kits. The

first batch sold out within a day, and now

“Last year I was cutting so much, my hand was becoming like a claw”

we’ve sold 1,000 kits. All the cutters who sell on Facebook after learning through our kits call themselves Panda Cubs, which is lovely. With so many new cutters on the

scene, I’ve had to diversify to stay unique. I’ve moved away from typography and am drawing my own designs, rather than using

a computer. I didn’t have the confidence to

Louise’s top selling tips for Facebook

Be nice and go the extra mile

Good customer service when you sell online is

essential. One bad review could ruin you, or at least be very damaging. You also have to be professional all the time. If a package is late I’ll always send another one out immediately

– even if it means the customer ends up

getting two. I have done cuts to incredibly short deadlines, but I always make sure they get there on time by using special delivery.

Network and make friends

There are lots of great networking groups for crafters on Facebook, like Send In The Troops and Hike Those Likes. Some people say lots of likes don’t necessarily mean gaining sales, but they really do. It’s very simple – the more people who see your work the more potential buyers there are, as you can only sell to friends for so long.

Give stuff away for free!

I do a lot of offers and giveaways and I always

make sure I’m being generous, so that the offer creates enough hype. You do have to be careful and make sure you don’t break Facebook rules, though. To be safe, I always put any competitions on my blog and link from Facebook to there. I recently ran a competition that probably cost me £50, but I ended up with 400 new likes and 800 comments, making it more than worth every penny.

do it that way before, but the support from the ‘Panda Cubs’ has really spurred me on. I’ve also just started using watercolours to paint my two favourite characters – bird and bunny – and my dream is to write a children’s book filled with paper-cuts of what they’re getting up to. “If you had told me three years ago I’d be living somewhere this beautiful, selling my own cuts, I’d never have believed you – but thanks to Facebook I have a business I could only have dreamed of.”

Louise Firchau

Follow Louise’s latest news and check out her Paper Panda ideas at facebook.com/ PaperPandaPapercuts or shop for her intricate designs at paperpanda.bigcartel.com

Take a journey into simplicity

Looking for a small, compact machine that can handle all your craft needs? Then the Pfaff Passport 2.0 is the machine for you! Packed with features you would expect in more expensive models, the Pfaff Passport 2.0 comes with the original IDT system, 70 beautiful stitches, original presser foot system and many more optional accessories. This machine will exceed all your expectations and help you create anything you desire!

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Create lots of these sweet decorations – they look fantastic in the sunshine and cost just pennies to make! By Siobhan Gough

INFORMATION

Materials

* Coloured wax crayons

* Baking paper

* Twine for hanging

* Fine grater

* Iron

* Old tea towel

Size: 7.5 x 7cm (3 x 2¾in) Skill level: Easy

1 Grate crayons to make wax shavings (the finer the better), keeping the colours separate as you do this.

2 Place an old tea towel and a piece of baking paper on an ironing board. Sprinkle a thin layer of shavings onto the paper, mixing the colours. Overlap the colours slightly to blend them.

SELL MORE

These can be made to shoppers’ needs – garlands for parties or larger individual decorations

3 Lay a sheet of baking paper on top. Iron over the paper to melt the wax. Immediately place a heavy book or weight on top while the wax sets.

4 Use a stencil to draw heart shapes on the paper. Cut the hearts out, just inside the outline. Punch a small hole near the top and thread with a piece of vintage-style twine to hang up.

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Treetops bunting

This fairytale forest-print bunting with a reversible gingham side looks perfect indoors or outside, for late summer parties By Jane Tooze

INFORMATION

Materials

* 1m (40in) cotton gingham

* 1m (40in) cotton woodland print

* 5m (16½ft) green bias binding

* 2m (80in) coloured ribbon

* Green cotton thread

* Sewing machine

* Tape measure

* Scissors

* Pins

* Iron and ironing board

Size: 246.5cm (97in) excl. strings Skill level: Easy

TOP TIP

Use offcuts of fabric left over from other projects, to keep the cost down when making bunting

T his sweet bunting with a traditional

pattern will appeal to all ages. It’s

perfect for decorating spaces at

parties, with soft colours that will look great in the garden or even at harvest festivals. You can also use it to make a child’s room extra special. The cute woodland theme works well for kids and will appeal to both boys and girls. If you sell online, think about offering a made-to-order range, personalising each string for different occasions or colour schemes. The possibilities are endless…

How to make the woodland bunting

1

Using the flag template, cut out 20

red gingham flags and 20 woodland- print flags. Draw around the template on the wrong side of the fabric. When cutting out, add on another 1.5cm (½in) seam allowance all the way around the flag.

2

Pin together one gingham and one

woodland piece of fabric, right sides facing, and sew around the two sides of the triangle, leaving the top edge open. Repeat until all flags are sewn.

3

Trim off excess seam allowance and

snip across the bottom point to make turning easier. Turn and press each flag.

4

Fold the bias binding in half along the

length, and press, creating a channel to pin in the flags. Pin the flags at 3.5cm (1½in) intervals. Sew in place and press. Sew a length of ribbon to either end for hanging.

SHOW US ON FACEBOOK!

We’d love to see your pretty bunting on the Craftseller Facebook page

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S eamstar have recently launched Craft Club, a great community for crafters everywhere! Every month subscribers receive a bundle of

gorgeous craft products through their letterbox. Included in every bundle

is a ‘Monthly Makeable’ so you can get crafting straight away.

Here’s some more reasons to get involved with the Craft Club:

1 Crafting can be expensive. The Craft Club is a great way of getting small amounts of craft products without having to buy big packs or pieces of fabric.

2 The bundles are suitable for all levels of ability.

3 You get a lovely surprise through your letterbox every month! All of this for just £9.99 per month.

If you are interested head over to Seamstar as they only create a limited number of bundles each month. Word is, there will be some great Christmas ‘Monthly Makeables’ to get stuck into over the coming months too.

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Stag head stunner

This piece of minimalist wall art will stop your customers in their tracks. It’s definitely got the wow factor! By Annie Bellamy

INFORMATION

Materials

* 2 x A1 sheets of thick white mountboard

* Sharp craft knife

* Strong glue or double-sided tape

* Ring-pull (from a drinks can)

Size: 20.5 x 23.5 x 33cm (8 x 21 x 13in) Skill level: Easy

W love the look of a statement

e

stag head, and have created

a

minimalist design that looks

very classy in any kind of setting. This traditional trophy is usually associated with country houses and the hunting-shooting- fishing crowd, but our majestic mountboard beast brings the wall hanging into a new century. Gone are the glassy eyes that follow you round the room – this sleek and simple version is made from layers of mountboard to create a stylish 3D sculpture. Stand head- and-shoulders above the competition by offering coloured or découpage versions!

How to make the stag

1 Cut out the shapes from mountboard using the templates on page 102.

Cut along the dotted lines to make the

slots that hold it all together. You will need to make sure each slot is wide enough to fit the width of the card into it (2mm), but narrow enough that the board is held tightly together – so start small, then enlarge.

2

Once all the pieces are cut out, you

can begin to build the stag’s head. Start off by slotting in the very first nose piece and then the last piece, to give the finished shape some structure.

3

4 One by one, add in the other pieces

until your stag head is complete.

Make sure that you add the antler piece one

section in front of the ears.

5

Being careful not to cut through the

mountboard, add two score lines to the back end of the main head piece, and bend them to create a flat edge. Add strong glue or double-sided tape to the folded ends, and mount onto a final piece of board. You can use an oval shape that will sit discretely behind, as we have done here. Alternatively, why not experiment with a more elaborate shield shape?

6

Now bend the ring-pull a little, and

glue to the finished stag with the ring end bent slightly away from the flat board, so that it is easy to hang on the wall.

TOP TIP

Use a self-healing cutting mat if you can. Alternatively, a surface like a bread board will work

MAKE IT

MAKE IT

MAKE A

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MAKE FOR £3.50

FOR £20

MAKE IT

Pearly queen

Keep fashion-conscious buyers happy, with this stunning g pearly Peter Pan collar By Emma Read

MAKE IT

INFORMATION

Materials

* Square of beige/cream felt

* 1m satin ribbon

* Cotton thread

* 2 long fixed pearl necklaces (or approx. 220 large pearls)

* 2 loose pearl bracelets (or approx. 120 small pearls)

* Copydex or strong fabric glue

* Size: Adjustable

* Skill level: Easy

P eter Pan collars are popular on the

high street at the moment, but who

needs the mass-produced ones?! Our

hand-crafted version will instantly turn a plain dress or top into a cute vintage outfit that oozes femininity. It can be made in an evening from odd beads and buttons, and you can really use your creative talents to offer customers a unique look. This example uses a couple of long pearly necklaces, plus smaller pearls to fill in the gaps. Once you get the principle of making the collar, you’ll be amazed at the effects you can achieve.

NOW SELLING ON

TOP TIP

Scout charity shops and car boot sales for old beads, vintage buttons and lace to add to your collars

How to make the Peter Pan collar

Etsy beetrims on etsy.com

Folksy Hollybird Beads on folksy.com

1

Using the template on page 102, cut

two felt collar shapes. Cut the satin ribbon in half, widthways. Take one felt collar piece and machine-sew one ribbon end to one tip of the felt, and the other ribbon end to the other – see photo for guide. This will be the underside of the collar.

2

Take the front felt piece. If you’re using

a pearl necklace where the pearls are fixed to a thread, keep them strung to the thread and lay in place on the felt. Sew a stitch through the thread in between each

bead. If the beads are loose, sew them on individually, first sewing the beads around the edge of the felt, then working evenly into the centre. Next, fill in the gaps with the smaller beads.

3

Stick the back felt collar piece to the

front collar piece using a thin layer of Copydex or strong fabric glue. The ribbon ends will be sandwiched in between the two layers. To seal the ends of satin ribbon and stop them from fraying, quickly and carefully sweep them over a naked flame.

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SELL IT

7

easy steps

Milkgirl, Lucy Anne Harding, uses her milkround customers to inspire her work

to craft sellıng from home!

So you’re ready to take the plunge and start selling your wares from home? Great! All you need now are our top tips to help take the fear out of going it alone… By Sophie Jordan

You can see all of Jane Booth’s pretty pottery at madeby handonline.com

Y ou’ll be relieved to hear that setting up a business from home is relatively easy and cheap. Almost all small craft businesses began with talent, a work space, understanding of free marketing and a place to sell. Just be

prepared to work hard, stay focused and disciplined! Our tips, expert advice and

quotes are here to hold your hand while you take those first, tentative steps…

1

Become an expert

If you’re a multi-crafter, choose the skill you love and become

exceptional at it. Find local courses to learn the latest techniques, like

Katherine Pentney from thecannysquirrel.co.uk: “I enrolled on an evening textile design course… My eureka moment came when I was shown machine embroidery. I took to it straight away!”

2

Know your market

Check what’s on the market and make something that

fits the trend, but has a unique spin. Hand out potential items to family and friends and ask for honest opinions. If you give out a short feedback form, you’ll have something to refer back to later. “I think you have to understand your market thoroughly,

and have a good price range within your collection,” says screenprinter, Lucy Anne Harding from madebyhandonline.com.

3 Know the law, and the industry

Be aware of legal dos and don’ts for selling, read the Sales of Goods Act and Distance Selling Regulations in the business section at tradingstandards.gov.uk. Join national forums like craftsforum.co.uk to get an insight into the world of craft selling, plus don’t miss all the great advice on craft-seller.com.

4 Set up a workspace

If you’re serious about your business set up a craft area in your home. Potter, Jane Booth, adds: “I’m pretty happy with my own company at home most of the time, because I am doing what I love, but sometimes I do miss the social interaction of a workplace, so I make time to meet up with other makers regularly.”

Petra Boase products, like these quirky cards, are always carefully costed

Katherine Pentney’s Royal Highland Show cushions look great on display together

6 Write a good story, take great pictures!

Develop a story for your business. Talk about who you are, what you love and why you

started out. Passion will always attract attention and hopefully sales. Back up your story with good pictures of you, your workspace and your products. Terri Leahy from terrileahy.co.uk

suggests, “have your range professionally photographed, unless you are really good with a camera. You’ll use these photos over and over. Get cut-out images for press features too!”

Terri Leahy’s Best In Show toy range is full of fun characters with personality

SELL IT

5 Cost your products wisely

In order to make a profit, you need to know exactly what you’re spending, so get a notebook (or even a spreadsheet) and write it down! It’s important that you give everything a price, even if fabrics/materials were recycled – consider how much they would cost to replace. Designer, Petra Boase from petraboase.com advises: “Be realistic about how long it takes to produce your items. Include materials and your time – you don’t want to end up not earning anything from all your hard work.”

7 Market and sell

Even if your business is tiny, put

together a business plan. Include what you hope to achieve for the first six months, then the first year, and how you plan to achieve it. It will keep you focused on your goals and you’ll appear more professional. Make the most of free social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest). It’s great for ‘word of mouth’ and can give your business a friendly voice, which helps with branding. Katherine Pentney from thecannysquirrel.co.uk, says: “Test the waters by selling items at craft fairs too… you will get valuable feedback about how you can improve your range.” Just make sure you get some business cards printed to take with you and give out to browsers.

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BAKE IT

Seasonal bakes

Autumn is a bountiful month with plenty of natural ingredients in season, so pick your own and harvest a healthy return! By Jessica Sharp

We love

Using

ingredients in

season

M FOR A K £6 E

FOR £2

PER

SLICE

BAKE IT

W e’ve got three sensational

bakes for you this month,

using the best ingredients

autumn has to offer. Make the most of food in season – it’s much cheaper, so you’ll see profits start to climb. This rich blackberry and elderflower cheesecake is a sumptuous dessert, and no one can resist a savoury pickle with a chunk of good cheddar, so don’t miss our spiced apple and fig chutney. Finally, try our amazing squash cupcakes. Tell passers- by that they’re made with vegetables – they’ll be so intrigued, they’ll have to buy!

Blackberry and elderflower cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

For the base:

* 300g (10½oz) digestive biscuits

* 140g (5oz) butter, melted

a saucepan and put on a moderate heat.

Bring the mixture to a boil, while stirring and

mashing the blackberries. Cook for 5-10 mins, until the blackberries have broken down and the consistency is thick. Push the mixture through a sieve, add the elderflower cordial and leave to cool. This can be made up to two days in advance and stored in the fridge.

For the filling:

* 250g (9oz) caster sugar

* 900g (2lb) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

* 50g (1¾oz) plain flour

* 3 large eggs, at room temperature

* 200ml (7 fl oz) soured cream, at room temperature

* 1 tbsp elderflower cordial

4

To make the filling, beat the cream

cheese and sugar together, using an electric whisk or a freestanding mixer fitted

with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs, flour, soured cream and elderflower cordial and beat until smooth.

For the blackberry sauce:

* 150g (5¼oz) blackberries

* 1 tbsp caster sugar

* 1 tbsp elderflower cordial

Special equipment:

* 23cm (9in) round springform tin

5 Pour half the filling onto the base, then dot over half the sauce using

a teaspoon. Top with the rest of the

cheesecake mix, then dot the remaining blackberry sauce over. Use a metal skewer to swirl the sauce into the cheesecake.

Time: 2 hours (plus cooling time) Makes: 12 slices Skill level: Moderate

6

Place the cheesecake in the oven

and bake for 10 mins, then lower the temperature of the oven to 110ºC, 90ºC fan,

gas mark ¼ and bake for a further 30 mins.

1

Preheat the oven to 180ºC, 160ºC fan,

gas mark 4. Place the biscuits in a food processor and pulse until they resemble breadcrumbs (or put them in a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin). Add the melted butter and mix thoroughly.

2

Press the biscuit mix into the base of

a 23cm (9in) round springform tin and bake for 10-15 mins, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin.

3 Meanwhile, make the blackberry sauce. Place the blackberries and sugar in

7

After this time, turn the oven off and

leave the cheesecake inside for one hour. Remove from the oven and run a sharp knife around the edge of the cheesecake, before covering with a large mixing bowl – these measures should prevent the surface of the cheesecake from cracking, but don’t worry if it does. Once completely cool, place the cheesecake in the fridge to set.

8

To serve, remove the cheesecake from

the tin and slice it into 12 pieces. To achieve a nice clean cut, dip the knife into hot water and wipe with kitchen paper between each slice.

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FOR M A K £5 E

FOR

£2.50

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Spiced apple and fig chutney

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients

* 1kg (2¼lb) tart eating apples, eg Granny Smith

* 2 large onions

* 200g (7oz) dried figs

* 350g (12¼oz) granulated sugar

* 425ml (15 fl oz) malt vinegar

* 2 tsp mixed spice

* 5cm (2in) piece of fresh ginger

* 1 tsp salt

Time: 3 hours Makes: Approx. six jars Skill level: Easy

1 Peel and dice the onions into a large saucepan. Peel, core and chop the

apples into the pan and top with the vinegar.

2 Chop the figs, and peel and finely grate the ginger. Add to pan with sugar, spice

and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 2-2½ hours until nearly all the liquid has reduced. Stir occasionally to stop it sticking.

3 Meanwhile, sterilise six jars with airtight lids. To do this, wash in hot,

soapy water then rinse and place on a baking tray in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC, gas 4 for 10 mins. To sterilise the lids, place in boiling water for 10 mins and dry on kitchen paper.

4 Remove jars from oven and fill with chutney. The jars must be hot when

TOP TIP

Ask to see if anyone has an apple tree. They’re bound to have a glut of apples to sell or swap

you add the chutney so they don’t crack. Wear clean oven gloves to screw the lids on. Allow to cool completely before covering and labelling. Store for at least a month before using, to allow the vinegar flavour to mellow.

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FOR

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Squash cream cupcakes cheese icing with

INGREDIENTS

For the cupcakes:

* 225g (8oz) squash, peeled and coarsely grated

* 100g (3½oz) caster sugar

* 50g (1¾oz) soft light brown sugar

* 2 eggs

* 125ml (4½ fl oz) light olive oil

* 1 tsp vanilla extract

* 150g (5¼oz) plain flour

* 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

* 1 tsp ground cinnamon

* 75g (2½oz) pecans, chopped

* Zest of one orange

For the icing:

* 175g (6¼oz) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

* 125g (4½oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature

* 400g (14oz) icing sugar

* Zest of one orange

* Orange food colouring

Special equipment

* 12-hole muffin tin & cases

* Electric whisk

Time: 2 hours Makes: 12 Skill level: Easy

1 Preheat the oven to 180ºC, 160ºC fan, gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin

tin with paper cases.

2

Using an electric hand whisk or

freestanding mixer, beat the sugars with the eggs for a few minutes. Still whisking, slowly add the oil and vanilla

extract, followed by the orange zest. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in another bowl, then add this to the wet mixture, whisking until just combined.

3

Using a large metal spoon or rubber

spatula, fold in the pecans and grated squash. Divide the mixture between the cake cases and bake for approximately 25 mins or until risen and lightly browned. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4

To make the icing, beat the butter and

cream cheese together using a hand whisk or freestanding mixer until combined. Add the icing sugar in three batches, beating

between each addition. Add the orange zest and colouring and mix briefly. If you want the frosting to have a rippled effect, stop mixing before the colouring is fully dispersed.

5

Cover and refrigerate for up to two

days before use, remembering to remove the frosting from the fridge about 30

mins before you wish to ice the cakes.

6

To ice the cakes, spoon the icing into a

piping bag fitted with a wide, star- shaped nozzle and pipe onto the cakes in swirls. Keep the cupcakes refrigerated and eat within three days.

GOOD CAUSES

Charity bakes

From tea parties to cupcake competitions, get involved and help raise funds for these three worthwhile charities

Concern

Worldwide

Bake up a storm in the kitchen to help poverty-stricken people around the world

Be inspired in the kitchen this October and join the Bake a Difference campaign. This fun, annual event calls on keen bakers and cake decorators to join forces and bake and sell treats to raise money.

“Make safe, nutritious food available to all ”

Bake a Difference raises money to fund Concern Worldwide and help create a world where safe, nutritious food is available to all. It works with communities on solutions that help save lives and build livelihoods. Treat friends, family and colleagues to a feast of sweet creations. You could bake scones for a cream tea, decorate cupcakes and biscuits in a ghoulish, Halloween theme, or host a baking competition or bake sale. Gather any friends who are handy in the kitchen, then sell tickets to your event or ask tasters for a minimum donation on each purchase. Make sure you have buckets so people can offer their change! Hold your event during October – just email bakeadifference@concern.net and visit concern.net to download a free starter pack including a sale poster and price tags.

Everyone can take part in Bake a Difference

Try Eric Lanlard’s lemon and coconut cupcakes at your sale

How you can help

For more info on Concern Worldwide, call 020 7801 1850 or visit concern.net

Blind Veterans UK

Take a break from biscuits, brownies and cupcakes – bake tarts for the troops!

Put your baking skills to good use this summer and throw a Tarts for Troops party. Blind Veterans UK is behind this tasty initiative – they’re asking crafters to create a range of mouthwatering treats and sell them to raise funds to help improve the lives of blind veterans. The charity believes that no one who has served our country should battle blindness alone, and offers lifetime practical and emotional support, getting ex-service men and women back on their feet and helping them to live an independent and fulfilling life. Whether it’s a Bakewell, lemon or savoury cheese tart that tickles your tastebuds, get baking to help this fabulous cause. It’s easy to take part. Decide what sort of event you want to hold – it could be a bake-off between colleagues, a Tarts

Rainbow Trust

Take advantage of that extra hour – get your craft club baking when the clocks go back!

When the clocks go back this October, put that extra hour to use and join The Big Hour Cake Sale. The campaign, run by Rainbow Trust, aims to inspire people across the UK to get baking to support the families who understand how just precious a single hour can be. Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity provides care and support to families when their child has a life-threatening or terminal illness. It offers emotional and practical help to families around the clock, helping them cope with the present and prepare for the future. Rainbow Trust relies almost entirely on voluntary donations, and that’s where your baking skills come in.

Host a Tarts and Tea Party to raise much-needed funds

and Tea Party at your craft club, a coffee morning in your community or a gourmet tart dinner party for your sophisticated friends! Once you’ve chosen a venue, date and time, put up posters, promote it on social media and send out personal invites. Now comes the fun part dust off those cookbooks and get baking! You can find a whole host of delicious recipes on tartsfortroops.org.uk for inspiration.

So, whip up an old favourite or try something new, then hold a Big Hour Cake Sale. Get your craft club together for an extra hour and sell cakes to members, or turn it into a coffee afternoon. Share photos of your event on Rainbow Trust’s social media pages, @RainbowTrustCC on Twitter and facebook.com/rainbowtrust. Heather Wood, chief executive of Rainbow Trust says: “Many of us lead busy

GOOD CAUSES

Have fun with friends and bake Tarts for Troops

How you can help

Find out more about Blind Veterans UK at blindveterans.org.uk

Make your bakes colourful to appeal to children and adults

lives and an hour can pass without noticing. For families who have a sick child, time is so precious. I think baking a cake is a great way to show your support.”

How you can help

Find out more at Rainbow Trust’s social media pages, @RainbowTrustCC on Twitter and facebook.com/rainbowtrust

MAKE A

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Happy Halloween

Be prepared and make sure all the local kids have a funky card to take to Halloween parties next month. By Annie Bellamy

INFORMATION

Materials

* Craftseller papers and tags

* White card or blanks

* Orange ink

* Orange, red and brown card

* Coloured pencils

* Lace scrap

* Brown embroidery thread

* Scissors and glue

* Size: 10.5 x 14.8cm (4¼ x 5¾in) and 14.8cm x 14.8cm (5¾ x 5¾in)

* Skill level: Easy

H alloween hasn’t always been a big

celebration in the UK but with more

and more Brits joining in the fun

every year and the global reach that many online marketplaces have, there are plenty of reason to stock up on a batch of these quirky cards for the October festivities. We’ve used our autumn-themed apple papers as the backdrop for this greeting but if you want to add some truly spooky crafts to your range there are plenty of scary papers on sale. Plus turn to page 59 for the cutest Back to School card for anyone who’s enjoying their first day at school this month. Good luck!

TOP TIP

Practise drawing your pumpkin a couple of times before you cut out a final version to add to your card

How to make the ‘Happy Halloween’ card

1

Cut a piece of white card to a finished

size of 10.5 x 14.8cm (4½ x 5¾in) and cover the with apple paper. Cut a square of white card, round the corners and ink the edges in orange. Stick to the card.

2

Cut a simple pumpkin shape from

orange card and draw in some detail using a pencil, stick to the white square.

3 Cut a stalk shape from brown card and add to the pumpkin. Trim the bottom of

the card with a length of lace.

Print out the words ’happy halloween’

using a spooky font and orange colour. Cut the words into a strip, colour the edges using matching ink or crayon and then stick down, overlapping the white square. »

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