We like to imagine that when Claire sits down to start a new project she has a cup of tea and some biscuits by her side. From her gorgeous crochet project to her whimsical accessories (and one totally awesome R2-D2), we love Claire's multi-talented and eclectic maker style!
My name is Claire AKA Claireabellemakes and my DIY weapons of choice are my glue gun, crochet hook and self cover button tool.
When I am looking for inspiration I read blogs, get lost in Pinterest and open my craft book collection (which is ridiculously out of control!).
After a long day of making things I like to snuggle up with my persian kitty, watch trash TV and write lists in my many notebooks. In a typical British fashion I also like to have a cup of tea and a piece of cake.
I got started making when my grandmother took my sister and I into her sewing room as kids, to be fitted for clothes she made us. The fabric, the buttons, the knitting baskets – such a delight!
When I think about starting a new project I go through my fabric and yarn stash, make sure I have every type of glue and then I get my notebook out. I am a compulsive list maker!
The best part about running my own business is getting to know other creatives. I am often overwhelmed by how rad the craft community is! I’ve met so many people who are chasing the same dream as me and have been lucky enough to experience nothing but support. It’s humbling.
My advice to anyone looking to start their own business is do you research. It’s hard work and there are times when it doesn’t seem worthwhile financially. Keep at it and make short and long term goals – absorb yourself in the creative community and most of all have fun!
If I wasn’t a crafter I would love to be the owner of a cat rescue center. I am a self confessed crazy cat lady and would love to take care of kitties that need a home.
The first thing I do when I wake up is SNOOOOZE the alarm! Then I find the kitty curled up in the craft studio and give her a morning hug. Then it’s on to my breakfast and then to cycle through the streets of Cambridge to my day job at the University.
The movie that can cheer me out of any bad mood is Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. The dance they do to Time After Time is just hilarious and the fact they make their own clothes is awesome.
My favorite word is: Super!
My least favorite word is: Raisin. I don’t know why it just sounds a bit odd!
I most relate to people who are chasing their dreams. I never understood why people stay in jobs they hate. Do what makes you happy and if you can make a living from it that’s a bonus.
My favorite makers/bloggers are: Erica from Caught on a Whim (she’s super nice and so creative), Rachel of Ohnorachio (awesome illustrations & a Pinterest worthy blog) and Julie Ann Art (check out her Etsy shop – her cards will make you howl with laughter). These guys all inspire me!
My favorite thing about making is learning! That sounds so cheesy, but I love picking up new skills. A year ago I couldn’t crochet and now I feel I’ve mastered it. The journey of finding out how to make something is the best part. All the mistakes are part of the fun.
To me, DIY means making something your own. Creating, experimenting and sharing what you’ve made. DIY is a way of life.
The first thing I made was a really messy swatch of knitting in garter stitch. I think I was about 8. Eventually it turned into a scarf with tons of dropped stitches! I was proud of it though.
Three words that describe me: Passionate, positive and driven.
Three words that describe my work: quirky, affordable (!) and fun.
Best creative advice I ever received is that it is OK to make mistakes! Often, the biggest craft fails are the ones you learn from.
One fact about me that’s embarrassingly awesome is that I used to be a Bollywood dancer in London!
My DIY secret weapon is tweezers. They are so handy when you are picking up seed beeds or doing something intricate.
The biggest DIY mistake I ever made was probably that scarf project I made first!
My next project is a half apron made with some gorgeous French patisserie print fabric! I’m looking forward to sharing that one.