It’s amazing how time flies, and I meant to write about this a lot sooner, but it was just over two weeks ago that I attended Blog Camp Create, with a small handful of other bloggers for a day of being creative, at Re-Creation London. We would have a chance to get some blogging tips (design and Pinterest) as well as get a bit crafty!
Re-Creation is a delightful creative space in Borough, South East London, and my first worry as the day approached was how I was going to get there. If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you’ll know that I suffer from anxiety, and my walking abilities are not that great, so going on the tube on my own actually fills me with fear these days. Fortunately, Blacklane came to my rescue with a luxury car service from my mum’s house in East London to the venue.
I have used them in the past, and it’s a real treat to be driven around London. Booking is really easy to do, either online or with their app – you can put in the destination, and you will be given the guide fare. They text you the details of your driver as well as their car description and number plate so you know that you getting in the correct car.
My driver arrived early, and dropped me a text to say he was there – but I was stuck in traffic en-route to my parent’s house! I was dropping my son off there so he could do some chores for them (he’s gotta work now he’s finished his GCSEs!) But my driver said not to worry, he would be waiting for me. I waved Liam off and jumped into the Blacklane car and we were on our way.
My driver was lovely – very friendly, smartly dressed and chatty, which I actually enjoyed – I hate getting in cabs and there being silence – it’s so awkward! He dropped me off, just by Disney Street (how awesome is that?!) which was just opposite Re-Creation London. When it came to being picked up at the end of Blog Camp Create, I had the same driver, which doesn’t always happen, but it meant a chatty drive home.
I was one of the first to arrive, which isn’t a surprise – I panic about being late, so always allow plenty of time for travelling. But bloggers soon started to turn up, including Leyla from Motherhood Diaries, whom I have met before at another blogger event. It was lovely to see her again, and I was glad that I would know at least one person there – another thing that panics me is being a bit of a Larry the Loner at events.
We both took some photographs of the space, which is a craft and creative dream! There are craft supplies and equipment covering every single spare bit of space here, and the colour grouping of everything pleases me more than you know!
As you can see… LOTS OF STUFF!! Re-Creation ask you to picture a place where could set your mind free, somewhere that lets you create whatever your imagination dreams up, a place where dreams become a reality. Re-Creation London is more than a place, it’s an experience. They offer drop in arts & craft sessions and workshops for adults and children from £10ph, and you’ll find this awesome space at 82 Redcross Way, Borough, London SE1 1HA. You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook.
Re-Creation is open Tuesday through to Friday between 1pm and 9pm; Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 6pm. It is closed on Mondays.
As more bloggers arrived – including Becky from The Spirited Puddle Jumper, Katy from What Katy Said, Lindy from Squidgyboo and Tots100, Keri-Anne from Ginger Lily Tea, Vicky from Being Tilly’s Mummy and Helen from Fuss Free Flavours (there were other bloggers, and I’m sorry that I’ve forgotten your names… I also know I didn’t get a chance to talk to everyone, so my apologies that I’ve left you out here…) – we were offered breakfast in the form of coffee and pastries… I resisted the pastries, that was tough – they looked lush! But I saving myself for lunch!
We had a choice of crafts to do, and I chose to do some ceramic painting. I enjoy doing crafts that will have a use after I’ve finished, and I will always use a mug! The other choices were painting on fabric bags, and making bead bracelets. I would love to go back at some point and make something else!
Since I’m always dreaming of the sun and holidays abroad, I thought I would paint a palm tree onto my mug – which then turned into a fully painted masterpiece with the sky, beach and sea!
To paint on ceramics you need ceramic paints (which you can buy in craft stores) – this is so that they don’t fade when washed up. I started off drawing my design with ceramic marker pens, and added the bulk of the colour with the paints, using a different brush for each colour. By the time I went around the whole mug – which I kind of absent mindedly did whilst chatting with Leyla and Becky (who’s creations you can see below too!) – I thought the handle looked very odd, so continued the sky and the beach onto it. I LOVE how my mug turned out! Once I left it to air dry for 24 hours at home, I placed it in a cold oven and then baked for 35 minutes at 150C to make it dishwasher resistant – awesome!
In between being creative, there was lots of blog chatting going on, it was lovely to be in a small group in a relaxed atmosphere. Katy gave us some of her blog design tips:
Blog Design Tips
- Have a clean header- use Canva to create your own
- Make sure your header explains your blog- do you need a tagline?
- Have an about me, contact me and a work with me page (or somewhere that brands can find examples of work)
- Is your blog easy to navigate? Can you categorise posts?
- Clean up your sidebar- no unnecessary clutter!
- If you have ads, make sure they aren’t too distracting to the eye
- When writing, have paragraphs to break up the text
- Make sure your photos are large and centred
Mel from Le Coin de Mel gave us some of her Pinterest tips, – as well as the opportunity to join in with her Pinterest challenge in the week – which I’ve listed below, and is a great way of putting your Pinterest account to good use!
- Pin stuff you love & do not pin anything related to your blog!
- Check all your boards. Are they all relevant? Focus on cover photo, description, category. < I spent ages doing this – I have over 100 boards!
- Focus on Pins – check all boards. Remove irrelevant pins & those that lead nowhere. < This one is going to take me a while, I have over 10K pins!
- Give enough information, be specific in your pin’s descriptions, remove hashtags.
- Follow! Check pinners you like for inspiration. Who do they follow?
- Join group boards & make sure you follow the rules!
- Have a Plan! Got a business account? Have a blog board, pin at weekend when users are most active.
We were also treated to a fabulous and very tasty lunch from a local Turkish place (we’re near Borough Market after all – a foodie heaven!) and it went down really well with everyone. I must find out where they ordered the food from and pay a visit on my next outing in Borough! There were platters of dip, salads, meat, olives, bread and vegetarian options like falafel. I really should have taken a photo of the table before everyone tucked in!
The day went by very quickly, always does when you’re having a good time! I could have easily sat there for a few more hours, chatting and creating with my fellow bloggers. I thoroughly enjoyed Blog Camp Create and thank Tots100 and Re-Creation London for hosting this event. I hope that there will be more of this sort in the future!
Lindy took a photograph of all of us with our creations, and whilst it looks like I’m holding a mug with a Minion on it, it actually belongs to and was painted by Vicky!