Life's Big Canvas - unique gifts from Chloe McGenn

The Inky Kitchen

A trainee tattooist who cooks - there's no wonder I chose Nancy as my blog of the week this week!

The cheese and broccoli lunch muffins look delicious, and I'm enjoying watching her back piece get filled in.

There's even a recipe for arancini, something I read about years ago, and never actually made, and then lost the recipe for.

I had a trawl round yesterday trying to find nice new supplies for both me and the shop.  There's an exhausting amount of crafty places to buy online. I'm not going to lie to you, lots of them have the same items, some are overpriced, some are just plain dull.

I did, however, find 3 which I will definitely go back to, so I'm sharing them here. I placed and order at the first website this morning, so I'll update you on their service after it arrives, the second one will no doubt be getting an order very soon (when I've done my month's ends) and the third one is just so unusual I wanted to share it.

Liz's Craft store

Nice selection of card making and jewellery supplies, laid out easily and very competitively priced. There's an option to get yourself a wholesale account (minimum order £50) and I managed to find tons of stuff I wanted to buy. Also accepts Paypal, which seals the deal. What I really liked was the 'craft gift' section - lots of children's craft kits I haven't seen anywhere else.

I got myself a wholesale account and so far the service has been tremedously fast, and I seemed to get loads for my money. Postage is definitely fair as well - just over £5 for a big box of treasures.

Fabric Rehab

If you like nice fabric, don't click the link unless your bank balance can stand it! Quirky prints, retro prints, and bundles of fat quarters which match. Perfect for making little toys, quilts etc. Reasonably priced again, especially the big bundles.

Paper Artsy

Really unusual dies, papers, charms etc, including some altered art supplies which are dirt cheap. Even though I'm not working on anything which requires this sort of stuff for, I will definitely come back if I am, and it's even given me some inspiration. It's also the only place I've seen anything like their jewellery findings; copper chains, silver chandeliers and plain wooden beads.

I've been looking round on Etsy more often, and found lots of nice new sellers. I've finally found a bit of time to, so I can give them the time they deserve!

Clarissa by Treachercreatures

I can make a monster out of socks, no problem. As long as it doesn't have to look like something, I'm your woman. If you want a sock monster that looks like the real animal, and is beautifully made, then check out this fairly new seller from nearby York. The flamingo and the crab are my favourites.

Octo-plushie by Jaynedanger

Oh these octopus toys are so cute! And he has a moustache. Want want want...

Alice at the Door print by Everybodyelse

There's something very charming about this illustration style. You may think it's not my usual thing, but the backgrounds are beautifully rendered, and the facial expression achieved with minimal lines is what first attracted me.

Popsicle dish towel dress by Klosti

What a great idea! There's not much else to say about it really, which seems to do it a disservice, as I audibly gasped when I first saw it.

Bird Swing apron by Myeconest

There are quite a few handmade aprons on Etsy. Mostly they are overpriced, and uninspirational. Not so this organice cotton one from My Eco Nest. If you've got children or babies to buy for, she also has some really cute bibs (and burp cloths, which I am confused by, not having children of my own).

Body made entirely out of socks - it measures about eight feet tall
Bloodbag, octopus, and various 'marine' objects
No theme this week, just some stuff I've seen which is cool!
Art Doll by bloomsburygroup

Monster Kwar print by wispywilds


Koi Fish print by NicoleFitzGibbon

Roly-poly Panda by naviwing


Ok, I'm having a raffle to raise funds for Ovacome!Entry is £1 (at least, you can give more) and everyone who enters will get a greeting card as a prize. The prizes below will be distributed in order of names pulled out of the hat.

1. Life is like a Big Canvas paperback book

2. Twin cat paintings

3. Octopus pin badge

4. Cupcake Hairclip

5. Small blue sock monster

6. Those Ralph Kidson zines which didn't get given away last month

I've chosen these as they're cheap to post. Each one is worth more than a quid, obviously, so you're getting a bargain.

This raffle will run for the whole of May, so I'm sorry if you get sick of me plugging it. HOWEVER I thought it was the cheapest way for people to get stuff, and also a good way to get funds for Ovacome, with everyone getting a prize.

Please repost, retweet WHATEVER to get this going better than the last one.

Click here to donate - please make sure your address is included (it usually is with Paypal) and that you donate at least £1 - if you want to enter and donate less, that's fine, but I won't be able to send you a greeting card.

I finally got round to photographing everything I have left. I'm really pleased with how hard I've worked myself to get some new and exciting stock in.
I also made a new tablecloth for the market to stop everything blowing off. I just sewed ties to the corners of a white sheet, and then sewed on a poster, plush star (for badges) and put another coloured sheet on top. Pretty happy with it.

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