Behind the Scenes of Hochanda TV!

Hochanda is a brand new exciting TV channel, the new home for hobbies, crafts and arts. It can be found on Sky 663, Freesat 822, Freeview 39 (6am-4am) or you can watch on the live stream on their website,
Hochanda launched on 27th August 2015 at midday and from now on we can expect lots of shows from cake making, to card making, to DIY!
I interviewed Hochanda’s first Technical Operator, Claire Dennis, about her experience of launch week at Hochanda.
What do you do at Hochanda?
I am a technical operator, which means I deal with any technical issues such as getting microphones ready for guests and presenters, organizing the equipment in the studio, operating the equipment, monitor the output and general running around like a crazy person!
What is a regular day at Hochanda like?
There’s no such thing as a regular day at Hochanda. I start at 8am, we go live at 9am, so I have to get the studio ready to go live. Then anything can happen from there! It can be quite a slow, no emergency day and I’m chilled out or it could be a day where I have to be in 5 places in the building at one time! This goes on until 9pm, when the live day is finished, I have to close down the studio and make sure the overnight output is broadcasting.
What challenges do you face as a Technical operator?
Trying to be in 5 places at once! If one thing goes wrong then I have to be in the gallery, and the studio and the office and backstage because of the knock on effect technical difficulties can have!
What has been your favourite product so far?
The Oekaki sewing machine, it’s awesome!
Who is your favourite presenter and why?
Lee is my favourite, he is very easy to get on with and I have worked with him before so we just fell back into our stride again! All the presenters are equally as lovely though.
Who is your favourite guest and why?
Hayley West, for a similar reason to Lee, I have worked with her before and I always get a great big hug from her when she walks into the studio!
What do you love about Hochanda?
I like the variety of products and the high level of demonstrations. I’m a crafter myself so I enjoy learning new things each day!
What made you want to work in the TV industry?
From a very young age I was always interested in TV and how it worked so I started pursuing that interest in college and university. It all just went from there! It took a while but it was worth it.
What advice do you have for people wanting to work in the industry?
Make yourself available! All the time! Experience is what counts!
What do you think your first Hochanda purchase will be?
I have come quite close to buying a few things actually because the call centre is in the same office! I think I’ll be getting something from Creative Expressions first!
Hochanda are live 9am-9pm and can be found on Sky 663, Freesat 822, Freeview 39 (6am-4am) or you can watch on the live stream on their website,

The C Word!

No, no, no! Not the rude word.. I’m talking about CHRISTMASSSSSS!
Last week at Ideal/Create and Craft towers, the Christmas trees appeared in reception, decorative scattered baubles and Santa Claus was hanging around the green room.
Basically, Christmas crafting mania has started and this year I’m going to go with one of my all time favourite craft brands, Craftwork Cards.
I saw the kit teased on Facebook by Julie Hickey (who I recently met at work and is absolutely lovely and talented) and it is stunning and SO me! One of my favourite Craftwork Cards kits is the chalkboard collection and they’ve done a Christmas version! Perfect! And the price is very affordable, which always helps!
You can catch what all the fuss is about and watch Julie’s demos this weekend at  9am onwards on Create and Craft.
Which Christmas craft collection will you be going with this year? It’s never too early for crafters to think about the C word! 😉

A very quick Heidi Swapp!

I had so much to do today (including a cheeky overtime shift) but my Heidi Swapp stamps arrived in the mail and I was desperate to try them after waiting for long for them to arrive from the states.

First of all I got some old backing paper and put it on a 15cm by 10cm card stock. Next I folded and scored in half and I was ready to decorate.
A girl at my craft class last weekend was saying she was ‘scared of stamping’ as one mistake could ruin a whole project. I recommend stamping on scrap pieces of paper that are plain. Stamping on pattern pieces of paper can distract the eye, especially if it’s text, it can become unreadable.
This simple happy birthday stamp went on great and was really bold and the beautiful traditional Heidi Swapp font is to die for.
I topped it off with some bunting made from We r Memory Keepers bakers twine and Dovecraft bunting die cuts with Heidi Swapp bunting stamps in the background to give t that 3D effect.
Finally I added a little flower with some bling and my card was complete! It took around 10 minutes and it looks so sweet and simple!
I really recommend ALL of Heidi Swapp’s products.. Her stamps are great, her project life cards are beautiful and I just LOVE that font! Don’t we all?

Comic Relief Crafternoon

On Sunday, I held a Crafternoon where friends and friends of friends came over to mine and I taught them my skills in crafting and got them to make a Mother’s Day card, gift bag, gift tag and gift box.


We used a variety of products and they were persuaded to bring their own craft stuff too, one lady nearly brought her entire craft room which was lovely as some of the things were unopened as she had no idea how to use them, and helping her was fab.


There was even a gentleman crafter who put us all to shame and set the creative bar high!
We made so many lovely things and ended up making £40 for Comic Relief/Red Nose Day which is fantastic!
They even said they want to come again! Maybe this is the start of something new and exciting as I’ve always wanted to teach craft classes!
Watch this space 😉

Monthly Make – Craftwork Cards Wreath


Well the festive ribbon and toppers are safely tucked away for another year and it’s time for January’s monthly make!

This month I’m making a flower wreath from a Craftwork Cards kit that is currently a members offer on the Create and Craft website at the mo, so if you’re a C&C member get your paws on this before it disappears!
In the kit you get enough to make 3 wreaths. Included in the pack you get ribbon, 3 chipboard rings with precut holes and loads of die cut flowers! (Which may come in handy for other projects if you have left overs!)
First of all, pop out a chipboard ring and cut 6 pieces of ribbon, 5 inches in length.

Thread these pieces of ribbon through the pre-punched holes and tie a knot. 
You will notice there are 2 holes closer together. This is the top of your wreath. I used different ribbon to tie in these holes to create a hanger loop, but you can use the ribbon that’s provided if you wish. Make sure you have enough loop so you can hang it on a nail or something around the home when it’s complete.
Next pop out your die cut flowers and get creative! I used an embossing tool to make the petals stand up a little so it was more 3D. Go crazy! Mix and match colours and make some wild flowers!
Next you’ll need to stick your flowers on your wreath. 7 flowers should be a perfect fit but there’s no limit! Obviously the less chipboard showing the better.
And there you have it! A gorgeous shabby chic wreath to hang around the home. I made one of these for my mum for her birthday and she has it hanging on a notice board in her kitchen which looks great! They’d also be great valentines/Mother’s Day gifts.
If you’re not a C&C member or missed out, you can buy the Craftwork Cards 2 piece wreath kit here:

Project Life and being a Working Mum

Happy new year, happy holidays and all that madness. Many of us find January as a month of looking back on the year we have just had and finding changes we can make within ourselves in order to be on the road to happiness whether it be a new hobby, new job, losing weight or just thinking more positively.

I have found that I share so much on social media, however not a lot in my scrapbooks. Over the years I have collected scrapbook upon scrapbook and never found the time to sit down, lay them out and stick it all together only to be unhappy and rip it all out. However, one of my Christmas presents this year was the ultimate in scrapbooking, Project Life.

Project Life is a pocket scrapbooking company, developed by Becky Higgins. It is recognised all over the world, you might have seen them in Hobbycraft, on Amazon or even on Create and Craft TV. The binders are colourful, the pockets come in all different shapes and sizes and the cards are stunning with some beautiful sentiments on them, or lined for your own.


Starting Project Life has had a personal effect on me however. Since going back to work, I have battled with myself as to whether working 12 hour shifts and missing out on my little boy and his rapid development is the right thing. However, completing Project Life has helped me get out all the photos that I would normally just post on Facebook and forget about, look and remember those happy family moments we have every month. Completing the scrapbook helped me take a step back, stop, and view my life from the perspective of someone else and helped me realise that all those hours of work are worth it for those happy family moments we can afford to do. We have a happy, healthy little boy, who is developing well and has had so many amazing holidays and days out to remember forever, now the memories are being kept in my Project Life scrapbook.


Also for Christmas I got an Instax Camera so I can instantly capture those special moments and not just post them online and forget to get them printed, I can slide them into the pockets and write about that day immediately without guessing dates or places.


A lady at work said to me once that it’s the quality of time with your children that matters, not the quantity and this has really become clear while completing my Project Life pages. We don’t often have time in our busy lives to take a step back and remember the good times but this has really given me and so many others the chance to.

So thanks Becky Higgins and her team for making me realise that actually I am a good mum, all those tiring hours are worth it and memory keeping can be an emotional journey of reminiscing, not just a fab, fun hobby.

Bowtiful Bows with Fantastic Ribbons

Have you got all that ribbon in the bottom of the box that’s too short to do anything with? Or maybe you’re like me and have lots of pretty ribbon that’s ‘too pretty’ to stick on the average card. Fear not! The bow maker is here and it’s going to save you loads of money in the festive season and make you look well posh. 

This is my Embellishment Attic Bow Maker and beautiful ribbons from !
First! Choose your ribbon. This is difficult especially if you keep a close eye on the website and want to buy everything.. Come on, it can’t be just me.. At the moment they have a fantastic bumper pack including my favourite thing of all time WASHI TAPE and a gorgeous bow wreath kit! Ahh! Watch this space, payday it’s just about the corner and it’s only a matter of time before I treat myself.. again.
Now I have both the bow maker and the big and bowtiful.. You can use one or the other or both! But on this occasion I used the smaller one.
Slide your ribbon into the slot in the bottom..
Decide what width you’d like your bow and put the ribbon across to the right and down the appropriate slot.

Bring the ribbon behind and over to the left slotting it into the slot the same number of slots away from the end as you did the right one.. If you don’t get this bit right you’ll have a wonky bow with a knot off centre. I know some people have numbered the prongs to avoid confusion.

Now your ribbon is back at the front, take it down the hole so it’s at the back again.

Then bring the ribbon up the back and down the middle slot.
Next unattach your tail that you put in first on the left and tie a knot with the two tail ends.
Make sure this knot is super super tight it is the core of the whole bow! Don’t be afraid to use all your strength!
Finally when you’re all secure push the bow up and off the bow maker and you’re done!
There’s tons of different variations on the dvd that comes with the bow maker that is demoed by the lovely and very talented Steph Weightman and Nancy Watt.

Keep an eye on the Mama Makes and Bakes Facebook page Instagram lots of bow inspiration over the festive period!
The bow maker can be purchased here: for £15.. Highly recommended from me! You’ll never make a bad bow again!