At claireabellemakes you will find Handmade accessories and gifts including Bicycle accessories and Scrabble Inspired gifts and jewellery. This blog filled with DIYs, my favourite finds, crafts and recipes. Lastly, Claireabellemakes also includes my adult workshops under the name of Cambridge Craft Parties.
It’s been a while since my last baking post so today I wanted to share twist on my original macaron recipe with the help of the guys at SelfPackaging. Keep reading for a Rose and Vanilla Macaron recipe and to see some super cute packaging ideas. These macarons make great thank you gifts or wedding favours and with a bit of practice, they are not too difficult to make, I promise!
Begin by sifting the ground almonds and icing sugar into a bowl. I whizzed them in the food processor to get a fine mix.
Whisk the egg whites until holding soft peaks. Some argue that aged egg whites are not necessary, but I find that it does make a difference to the texture of the macaron and the feet. (You should aim to separate the egg whites and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days before baking.)
Gradually add the caster sugar, vanilla paste and rose water continuing to whisk until the meringue is glossy and stiff.
The next step is to fold in the almond and icing sugar mixture in 3 portions until throughly blended. Cut and fold until the consistency is shiny and thick. At this point you can also add a small amount of food colouring and fold in.
Pipe onto your baking sheet in 32 rounds using a plain nozzle (these will be sandwiched to make 16 total).
I use a nifty silicone mat with baking paper on so I have a guide when piping. I’d highly recommend them (this one is from Squires Kitchen).
The next step is important as it ensures the macarons are even and without air bubbles. Tap the baking tray firmly onto your work surface a couple of times.
The macarons must now be left to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. This will allow them to form a ‘shell’.
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius (325 Fahrenheit / Gas Mark 3). I baked my macarons for 6 minutes in a fan oven. Leave the macarons to cool for 10 minutes before peeling off the baking tray.
Assemble the macarons by sandwiching each one with the vanilla buttercream.
Next up, it’s time to box up your macarons! SelfPackaging have some great single macaron boxes that are easy to assemble and come flat packed for delivery. The food protection sleeve keeps the macarons in place for gifting and they are easy to fold and secure with the tab, just as the box sleeve does too. The ribbon and tags were a great excuse to practice my brush lettering to give the boxes a final finish. Now I’m going to confess that macarons never last long in my house! However, they usually have a shelf life of 2-3 days if you store the individual boxes in an air tight container. Now, who is ready for a macaron party?! A big thanks to SelfPackaging for sponsoring today’s post and keeping the blog side of my business going. I loved having an excuse to bake and share their boxes – now I’m thinking about all the handmade gifts I want to make so I can try out the rest of what they have on offer. Be sure to check them out and let me know if you have any ideas on what I can make next!
It’s time for a bank holiday sale here! I am hoping to make some space in the studio for new stock, so everything is on offer at 30% off. Even the new glitter collections and card/pin bundle deals are included!
Grab a bargain in the Claireabellemakes Etsy shop here. Have a super bank holiday if you are in the UK!
It’s time for another stationery review! Over the last year, I’ve seen traveler’s notebooks become a huge trend in the planner community. From classic leather midori notebooks, to handmade fabric TNs, there are so many to choose from.
Today I’m sharing a Traveler’s Notebook from new indie stationery brand The Nomad Factory These guys take their packaging seriously. It’s simple, eco and classic. The notebooks are handmade from full-grain leather which is sourced from Yorkshire.
The accessories are right up my street – metallics and cute tins for all the clips! You can click on my review video to hear my thoughts and to look at the strings in detail! I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have ever tried a traveler’s notebook? I am going to be using mine for creative journaling and memory keeping. Let me know if you’d like to see my progress!
The Nomad Factory Traveler's Notebook Review - YouTube
The Nomad Factory gifted me these products. As always with reviews, all opinions are my own.
It’s almost time for the Royal Wedding! I love how involved us Brits get in celebrating and embracing the Royal Family. This week I’ve been hearing about schools throwing parties, neighbourhoods organising street parties and I’ve seen bunting aplenty being displayed already! In Cambridge there is a house which always goes completely all out for any Royal occasion, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they do this time! It’s definitely been something cheerful to think about instead of Brexit and sad news across the world.
So in celebration of Harry and Meghan, I’ve teamed up with Amazon Handmade to share the launch of their new wedding section! It’s filled with tons of sellers sharing their wares for planning a wedding or gift ideas for the happy couple. Keep reading for my top picks and to hear my favourite parts of being a wedding guest.After looking at the Amazon Handmade shop, I’ve been thinking about essential items for a wedding, whether you’re a guest or the bride and groom. One thing I love for all celebrations is confetti! You can’t beat those photos when everyone joins in – there is something about throwing confetti that just makes everyone smile!
An inventive save the date always gets me more excited about weddings. Whilst Harry and Meghan have to make formal announcements via the Palace, I love items that remind you on more than one occasion like these pencil save the dates or fridge magnets. Mind you, you can’t get away from reminders about the Royal Wedding once the media know in the UK! I can’t imagine how that must feel to have so many people publicly excited about your special day. We’ve been to a lot of weddings where the couple ask for honeymoon donations as they have already been living together a while and have no need for domestic items. As well as an experience, I also like gifting a sentimental keepsake to mark their special day, such as a colourful personalised wedding print or one of my Scrabble frames.
I have attended weddings with traditional cake, donuts, cheese wheels and cupcakes – anything goes these days! The cutting of the cake is supposed to symbolise the bride and groom’s union. However, many years ago, the cake was originally intended to be distributed among the guests by only the bride because consuming the cake would ensure fertility. A fun wedding fact for you there! Whatever the cake may be, it always looks good with some floral decorations and a cake topper.
After watching the Royal Wedding this Saturday, I will be enjoying the wedding of Jo and Will in the afternoon – who definitely announced it before the Royal couple! I know that they have planned lots of handmade touches for their festival style wedding, so I’m really looking forward to celebrating their special day and seeing all the detail they have worked hard at. I’ll be wearing a polka dot dress, probably subconsciously inspired by my confetti obsession! Are you going to be watching the Royal Wedding? Or perhaps you’re also attending a wedding this weekend? I’d love to hear your top wedding picks and finds too!
This post has been sponsored by Amazon Handmade. Some links are also displayed as affiliate links.
In a perfect world, I would have a place for everything in the studio, but it’s definitely a work in progress for me! Today I’m sharing some storage ideas for National Stationery Week – hopefully they will be helpful to some of you.
As well as stationery and craft supplies, my studio is also full of stock for my shop. I needed a good solution for accessing everything easily, so I can pack orders and find supplies. I use this IKEA Mulig open shelving unit with added boxes and drawers. These plastic drawers from Amazon are really deep – perfect for stickers, tapes, punches, ink pads and stamps, clips and cutting tools. The bottom left drawer hols so many pens and pencils, it’s brilliant! I also use these ombre drawers on wheels for stock and over flow!
Pen pots, dishes and trays are also a must on my desk! I actually buy plain plant pots or jars and decorate them to suit my style. By now you’ve probably guessed that I have A LOT of pens. So as well as the drawers and pots, I use this amazing zip up pen storage case. I love it so much I filmed a full video review post for it here. Washi tape. In 2017 I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t buy any new tapes because I had so much I wasn’t using! I lasted about 9 months. Before my collection was too big, I used these We R Memory Keepers Washi Dispensers. I actually have two of these for sale at the moment as I’ve moved to a new storage system (shown below). If you’re interested do send me a message!The washi tape is now stored on my pegboard where I used two wooden dowels from the hardware store attached with hooks. This means I can now see all my tapes at once and they are getting used regularly.
Card storage is important for me as I sell them in my shop! I use this rack from HEMA which i spray painted pink. I’m not sure if it’s still available, but they have loads of cute storage options! I’d love to hear your stationery storage ideas!
For National Stationery Week today, we’re sharing our desk spaces for the #workhappy hashtag! You can find out more on the NatStatWeek website here – there’s a chance to win some goodies from Mustard if you can share yours.
Seeing as the rest of our home is neutral and mostly grey or monochrome, I decided to make my studio the most colourful place it could be! It keeps me inspired and happy when I’m working.
Rainbow Light: TK Maxx
I try my hardest to keep the desk clear as I know it helps my work flow, but it’s a constant struggle! Anyone else a messy creative? ‘Tidy studio’ has been on my list for over a year now oops!
Having the pegboard has been brilliant though! It keeps everything I need regularly all tidy and accessible. The guys at The Workbench Shop built me a custom stand for it, which dismantles to take to craft markets too. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a few storage ideas from my studio, linking to helpful products that I use to keep my stationery goodies in order.
Are you a messy or tidy desk person? Where do you get creative in your home? I’d love to see your spaces!
My recommended stationery event: You Got Male: Card marking at The Paper Haven, Leeds.
* Some links shown above are linked on an affiliate basis. Items purchased via my links will earn me a small amount of affiliate commission.
I’ve been pondering what to share for today’s post because as well as National Stationery Week, it’s also World Stationery Day! Even though there are a ton of amazing stationery brands all around the world, I really want to celebrate 5 of the best British stationery companies because we do stationery really really well here!
One of my first ever planners as a teen (besides the FunFax) was a pink Filofax pocket with a matching pen. Many people may remember Filofax as a traditional brand with classic leather colours and styles. However, their latest collections and notebooks draw on beautiful pastel tones and on-trend metallics. In short, they’ve nailed it! Check out the Filofax website here.
Photo credit: Filofax
I’ve spoken about Hello Day many a time here on the blog, but Kirsten works incredibly hard to bring the most stylish planners to her customers every year. Can you spot my Planner Junkie pin below too?
Photo credit: Hello Day
Martha Brook is an award winning London based stationer, who specialise in foiled and personalised notebooks, planners, calendars and more. It’s all SO pretty, so well worth checking out.
Photo credit: Martha Brook
If you’re ever looking for tongue-in-check pencils (Don’t be a knobhead is one!), personalised pencil cases and a fantastic range of handmade greetings cards, Oh Squirrel has to be a first stop. Katie has such a passion for what she does and a great eye for print, colour and sometimes glitter. Plus she’s an absolute sweetheart and always up for a chat at markets.
Photo credit: Holly Booth for Oh Squirrel
And my final pick for the best of British is the Old English Company. They are typography experts and have just created a line of planners that look so classy! They are also running a competition to win a set of planners right here so I agreed to share it with you – my fellow stationery addicts!