Shelley Makes is Highly Commended! #UKBA16

For those of you who have followed my journey as a Finalist in the Arts & Culture category of the UK Blog Awards 2016, I wanted to let you know the great news that, after all of your votes and support, Shelley Makes was Highly Commended at the #UKBA16 awards ceremony in London last week!

HC - individual

I must admit, the awards ceremony was so much bigger than I was expecting! Held at the Park Plaza Hotel near Westminster, just a stone’s throw from Big Ben and the London Eye, there were over 500 people in attendance, including around 360 shortlisted bloggers, and their supporters. Expecting a much smaller affair, I had decided to go solo, but was quickly adopted by some fellow bloggers – namely the lovely Janey of Slice of Slim, Film Doctor, and the inspirational Hayley from Down Side Up.

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Finalist in the UK Blog Awards 2016

I’m delighted to announce that I am officially an Arts & Culture Finalist in the UK Blog Awards 2016! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. The awards received 73,000+ votes in total!

Over the years, I’ve seen the awards recognise some exceptional UK blogging talent; when I wrote my blog post In it to win it, I never imagined that I’d end up as a finalist, and I’m thrilled.

finalist_instagram_Shelley Makes picIntroducing the 2016 Arts and Culture Finalists…

There are ten finalists in the Arts & Culture category, including Aditi’s Pen (personal, fictional, and travel tales), Blazing Minds (film, theatre and event reviews), Film Doctor (a script and film consultancy), HCMOVIEREVIEWS (film reviews), Hello Emma Kay (theatre reviews), Hookedblog (street art blog), Making A Scene (community arts project), SLM Pickings (cultural events and entertainment), Shelley Makes (me!), and Urban Kultur Blog (street art, underground dance music, and urban culture).

If anyone needed any more proof that the blogging community is the best, I found out that I was a finalist via some awesome blogger friends (and previous winners) on Twitter – what sweethearts!

Thank you once again to everyone who voted for me. I’m thrilled to be waving the flag for UK arts and crafts, designer-makers, and creators, and am honoured to be a finalist in this category.

Thank You Facebook

The overall winners will be selected by a panel of judges over the next few weeks, and announced at an awards ceremony on the 29th April. I can’t wait to attend, and meet the other finalists!

Until then, stay tuned for #BlogHour which runs on Tuesdays at 9pm. The next chat (2nd Feb) is co-hosted by Hills Balfour, and we’ll be discussing press trips, social media and periscope!

The UK Blog Awards 2016 – please vote!

Hello chipolatas. A few weeks ago you may remember that I told you I was entering the UK Blog Awards 2016 – ‘Art and Culture’ category. You might also remember that I told you I might have to light-heartedly harass you to vote for me in January? Well… it is time!

votenow_shelleymakespicture

The public vote is now open until the end of January, and I would really appreciate your support! You can read my full entry here, and it takes just a few seconds to cast your vote.

If you’re really keen, you can even vote daily. Thank you in advance for your support – it means a lot!

2015 in Review and Blogging Goals

Happy New Year all! I hope you enjoyed last night’s celebrations. I’m just starting to feel more human, and have been reflecting on the past year of blogging! I’ve really enjoyed blogging this year, and achieved a lot of firsts. Apparently, my blog has been viewed around 13,000 times this year – which equates to five sold-out concert performances at the Sydney Opera House – nice!

According to the number crunchers at WordPress.com, my most popular posts of 2015 have been: 

1. DIY: Easy Origami Leaf Card

2. DIY: Air Dry Clay Christmas Stars

3. DIY: Happy Birthday Banner Box

4. EVENT: The Handmade Fair 2015

Thanks to all my lovely followers and fellow crafters for your support and feedback this year – I hope to keep crafting and blogging throughout 2016, so watch this space =)

My personal 2015 craft highlights have been:

My blogging goals for 2016:

Whilst I blog for fun, and intend for it to stay that way (fun), I do have some blog aims – I can’t help myself – I always like to improve and do better! Here are some of my 2016 blogging goals:

  • Head to the one and only Blogtacular in June
  • Attend events by my fave brands e.g. Paperchase, Hobbycraft, Cath Kidston and West Elm
  • Collaborate with more bloggers – anyone fancy guest blogging, and visa versa?
  • Write more regular blog posts – forward planning ahoy!
  • Join in with more weekly Twitter chats – let me know if you know any good’uns
  • Try more new crafts e.g. crochet, knitting and learn how to use a sewing machine
  • Help to promote independent makers and markets

What are your crafting or blogging goals? Let’s hope we can make more marvellous things in 2016!

In it to win it! The UK Blog Awards 2016

It’s that time of year again when bloggers in their masses flock to enter the UK Blog Awards – one of few annual awards that recognises a huge span of categories, industries and individuals.

I’ve entered Shelley Makes into this year’s Arts and Culture category which is quite diverse, featuring everything from theatre and film reviews, to sculpture and craft tutorials – ever so broad!

ukba16entered

Over the years the UK Blog Awards has recognised some fantastic blogger talent. Last year, the unstoppable Natasha from Graphique Fantastique, whom I greatly admire, was Highly Commended in the Arts & Culture category (and the year before that she won Best Young Persons’ blog).

My good friend and old colleague Lauren, and her blogging partner Felicity, won the Fashion and Retail category in 2015 with Pretty, Posh, Oh My Gosh. Back in the day, Lauren and I would head to the local park on our lunch breaks to do an impromptu photoshoot for PPOMG. My claim to fame!

I was also really pleased to see the wonderful Faya from Fitness on Toast as the Lifestyle finalist, having worked with her (in a PR capacity) on brand campaigns in the past – a worthy winner!

Entries are open until 29th December, and then the public vote will commence on the 4th January, at which point I might light-heartedly harass you to vote for me (if you’d like to!)

Until then, stay tuned every Tuesday between 9-10pm for , courtesy of the @UKBlogAwards.

Back in the New Year!

Hope you’re all having a pleasant Christmas. In case you are wondering why I’ve gone quiet, I am just in the process of moving house! Never fear, I will be back in the new year with some new DIYs.

In the meantime, check out the Christmas tree we got from B&Q for £1 on Christmas Eve…

Christmas tree

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

National UK Blog Awards 2015 – Please vote!

As some of you know, Shelley Makes launched in Feb as a belated New Year’s resolution to achieve more in my evenings and learn new skills. Just eight months later, and I’ve already blogged 50+ times. Ranging from inspiration posts featuring my favourite DIY’ers, to event write-ups (such as The Handmade Fair), Shelley Makes documents all things crafty, including my own tutorials.

I’ve always taken a lot of inspiration from those around me, and blogging would not be half as fun without the blogging community that comes part and parcel with it. I have loved learning from you all, and won’t be leaving the blogosphere or Pinterest any time soon. It’s a wonderful place.

Whilst I’ve enjoyed following the rise of many of my favourite bloggers through amazing award programmes like The MAD Blog Awards and Company Blog Awards etc., I was excited to learn about the UK Blog Awards, whose inaugral awards ceremony took place last year.

The UK Blog Awards are the only Blog Awards that recognise a broad range of industry professionals across the UK, with award categories in 12 different sectors including Food & Drink, Lifestyle, Travel, Arts and Culture and Education etc., as well as ‘Individual’ and ‘Organisation’ categories.

You can vote for me in two categories: (by clicking the links below)

Voting opens from midnight tonight and will remain open from Monday 10th November – Monday 1st December. If you enjoy reading Shelley Makes, or just like the look of it, I’d appreciate your vote!

Do check out who else is up for the awards too! #UKBA15 #BeBold

UK Blog Awards

Liebster Award Nomination!

During the week, I was chuffed to learn that I’d been nominated for a Liebster Award by Nataly at Kittencrafts who blogs ‘mostly about kittens… and crafts!’ – what a winning combo!

The Liebster Award is a badge of recognition which passes from blogger to blogger to highlight up-and-coming blogs. It’s a great way of putting the spotlight on worthy reads, and means you can find out more about the people behind the blogs – what drives and inspires them!

Liebster Award

Those who are nominated for the award answer a series of questions about themselves, and then pass on the chain. I’m not sure why the number 11 features so heavily, but there you go!

The rules for nominees are as follows:

  • Create a post about the award on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back to their blog
  • Share 11 facts/interesting things about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions that you were given by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers (/ blogs you rate)
  • Create 11 interesting questions for your nominees to answer
  • Inform your nominees by posting your nomination on their blog

11 things to know about me:

  1. I’m an Essex girl without the Essex accent (I do dance around my handbag)
  2. I love craft because it makes everything more personal and meaningful
  3. My first pet was called Biscuit, and my second pet called Cookie… (I like food)
  4. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a whopping eight years
  5. I’ve travelled to America and Africa, but want to see much more of the world
  6. When I was little, I was terrified of Edward Scissor Hands, and Jumanji
  7. My favourite quote is about lemons and lemonade…
  8. One day, I want to buy an old house and renovate it completely
  9. I work in Consumer PR at a London agency, looking after some cool brands
  10. My middle name is Marie – named after my Grandma Maisie
  11. I love art, photography, illustrations, upcycling and DIY

Answers to Nataly’s questions:

1.   If you could describe yourself with only 5 words, what words would you choose?
Calm. Fair. Pragmatic. Discerning. Kind.

2.   What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done?
I once told a client on email that I wore my ‘willies’ to work, instead of my wellies…

3.   What song would be the theme tune to your life?
Either T Rex – I Love to Boogie, or Europe – The Final Countdown

4.   If someone was going to play you in a movie, who would it be?
Either Kristen Wiig from Bridesmaids for her self-deprecating humour, Jennifer Lawrence from Hunger Games for her humility / insanity, or Kristen Stewart from Twilight for her general moodiness!

5.   What is the one talent you really wish you had?
I idolise people who can create things – designer / makers – who have the skill to not only come up with concepts, but to make them too. Anyone who has started their own business, and made something happen from nothing, really get a big thumbs up from me! It’s talent + guts = glory.

6.   What is the most interesting/strangest fact about you?
I can dislocate my thumbs?! Next question...

7.   How has receiving this nomination made you feel?
Delighted! I’m thrilled to be inolved in a network of such cool, interesting and talented craftspeople. I’m also proud to spread the word about other unique bloggers!

8.   If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be and why? Taking a break – on a beach – listening to the waves and watching the trees in the breeze

9.   What things make you laugh?
I have quite a dark sense of humour so slap-stick comedy makes me laugh. There are a load of YouTube videos that make me laugh, such as Chicken Goat, Alan! Alan! and Charlie Bit My Finger. I love Graham Norton, 8 out of 10 Cats, An Idiot Abroad and GoggleBox, as well as the old classics like Allo Allo (I shal say ‘zis only once!), and Only Fools and Horses – Del Boy!

10.   Who is the most important person in your life and why?
I don’t think there is just one person – I wouldn’t be who I am without my mum, sister, dad, and boyfriend, but likewise I wouldn’t be who I am without my wonderful friends & colleagues!

11.   If you were stuck on a desert island and could take only 1 luxury item, what would you take? I’d become Captain Jack Sparrow and take rum!

My nominees for a Liebster Award are:

  1. The New Craft Society – Friends Hannah and Rosie blog about old crafts for the new generation
  2. Fall for DIY – Francesca blogs about fashion & DIY – from jewellery to wall hangings
  3. The Crafted Life – a craft blog that is all about making DIY fun & accessible
  4. The Sweetest Occasion – established lifestyle blog featuring DIY tutorials & inspiration
  5. My Deer Rabbit – a cool craft blog mingled with inspirational travel posts
  6. Ali Does it Herself – Ali’s adventures in grown-up living featuring posts about home and crafts
  7. Make and Do with Perri – the musings and escapes of a journalist-turned-creative director
  8. Bradshaw & Sons – a life-affirming blog about simple family life in the country
  9. My Name is Yeh – an established blog featuring food and amazing photography
  10. Little Cotton Rabbits – a blog about knitting and living with an autistic son
  11. Amaryllis Log – a crafter, proflific photographer and animal lover

For more suggestions of blogs to follow, do check out my blog side-bar and inspiration page, where I frequently feature the work of my favourite crafters – they make the world go round!

Questions for my nominees:

As above! (If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!)

Thanks for the nomination Nataly!