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Hello! Hooray! blog

I really believe that it is so important to take time out to be creative, so here on my blog you will find lots of ideas of things to do in your creative time.

We spend so much of our lives focussing on our day jobs that we often miss out on time for making, but finding even small amounts of time to create something with our hands can have a big impact on our productivity and well-being.

Introducing…Less Grafting More Crafting!

By Clare Albans / May 3, 2013 /

I mentioned a long time ago that I had begun working on a new crafty venture with my fab friend Daria. Well, it has taken a while but we’re super excited to have announced it to the world today! We believe that everyone should take time out to be creative, and through Less Grafting More…

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Possibly the best fabric shop in the world…

By Clare Albans / May 2, 2013 /

Whilst shopping in Madrid, we found the best fabric shop ever! Situated on Gran Via is the Julian Lopez shop, and I think that Beth and I could have spent about a week in there. They had the most amazing selection of fabrics and then a home section upstairs too! It was simply beautiful –…

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Chorizo Bean Burgers

By Clare Albans / May 1, 2013 /

Before I went to Madrid, I asked Tom if he wanted me to bring anything back for him – he asked for chorizo. I didn’t fancy putting one in my suitcase (which, considering what happened to the suitcase in question, was probably a good thought to have had!) so I decided to chance it and…

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A weekend in Madrid: El Rastro

By Clare Albans / April 30, 2013 /

On Sunday morning, Beth took me to El Rastro – the most popular market in Spain. The atmosphere there is amazing, an if you’re planning a trip to Madrid then it’s a must see! Be careful with your bag though, as pickpockets are everywhere. I bought a few things at the market – a couple…

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A weekend in Madrid: Retiro Park, the Crystal Palace and some tapas

By Clare Albans / April 30, 2013 /

Last weekend I visited my gorgeous friend (and bridesmaid) Beth, who has recently moved out to Madrid. We needed to go bridesmaid dress shopping and Madrid seemed like a good place to go to do that! The dress is all sorted but I can’t show you just yet – but I thought I’d share some…

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Tutorial: How to make envelopes

By Clare Albans / April 25, 2013 /

  It’s National Stationery Week this week, and to celebrate I’m giving away my trade secret – how to make your own envelopes! They’re super easy and make really great gifts, although if you choose paper that you love you might not want to give them away! But as my friend Emily put it, envelopes…

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National Stationery Week 2013

By Clare Albans / April 23, 2013 /

This week is National Stationery Week, celebrating all things stationery (with an ‘e’) and with the aim of ‘getting Britain writing’. Last year there was a National Stationery Day, which was such a huge success that Chris Leonard-Morgan and his super team of stationery enthusiasts decided to turn it into a whole week – and…

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Tom’s Cassoulet

By Clare Albans / April 22, 2013 /

Tom is making his recipe debut on my blog today – he quite often makes things up when cooking, and this is what he made up for dinner tonight! A yummy cassoulet which was carb-free (great if you’re trying to eat healthily). He left the sausages whole so that there would be leftover veggie stuff…

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Tirii Pottery

By Clare Albans / April 21, 2013 /

Whilst on Tiree, we visited the little pottery there and it was a really inspiring place. It must be an amazing place to work – making gorgeous pottery and chatting to people who come to visit. The pottery has a very distinctive style and takes inspiration from the island.

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A day in the garden

By Clare Albans / April 20, 2013 /

Today we’ve spent the whole day in the garden, which has been so lovely! The weather was sunny but not too hot, which meant that we could tackle some of the jobs that we’ve been meaning to do for ages. This involved a lot of digging! The first job was digging up the strawberry patch,…

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Beachcombing on Crossapol beach

By Clare Albans / April 17, 2013 /

Beachcombing is one of those things that I could actually do for the whole day. Every beach is different, and every day is different, and that is the beauty of it. Sometimes you end up with loads of finds, sometimes the haul is not so good – but our walk along Crossapol beach was rather…

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Honey Cake

By Clare Albans / April 16, 2013 /

I’m trying to be super healthy at the moment, because operation wedding dress is officially on! But I did make this yummy cake for Mum’s birthday, which doesn’t count (that’s what I keep telling myself anyway!). It is a James Martin recipe from the BBC website and is really easy to make – I actually…

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A wonderful week on Tiree (part 2)

By Clare Albans / April 15, 2013 /

These photos were all taken at Scarinish Old Harbour on Tiree. I love the contrast of the blue sea against the little red boat here, and the sunny weather just makes the scene look even more beautiful.

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Making wedding waistcoats

By Clare Albans / April 14, 2013 /

A few weeks ago, I started working on the waistcoats for our wedding with the help of a crack team of people – my Mum, Helen and our lovely friend Hilary (who was the only person with waistcoat-making experience!). I decided to make the waistcoats because we couldn’t really find anything that we liked in…

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A wonderful week on Tiree (part 1)

By Clare Albans / April 9, 2013 /

We’ve spent the last week on the small Scottish island of Tiree, as we had the pleasure of travelling up there to celebrate a wedding (this explains my lack of posts over the past week or so as there was no signal and very limited WIFI access!). But to make up for it, I’m planning…

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Hello Spring!

By Clare Albans / March 30, 2013 /

Apparently, it is spring…but you could have fooled me! It is snowing as I write this, and as I look out at my garden it seems as though spring is on hold. The bulbs have half come up and have realised that it is far too cold to contemplate flowering – I just love how…

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Hot Cross Buns

By Clare Albans / March 30, 2013 /

Hot cross buns are my favourite Easter treat by far – in actual fact, I love them so much that I tend to eat them all year round! (They do sell them all year round in Marks and Spencer, which is very helpful.) I did once ask Tom’s Dad, Keith, if he would like a…

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Orange and Almond Cake

By Clare Albans / March 22, 2013 /

Whilst I was doing some sleepy baking last night (see yesterday’s post!), Tom was making another cake. His looked much better than mine and it tasted amazing too – possibly the moistest (is that a word?) cake I’ve ever had, and really zingy too. Tom is getting a reputation for being a star baker at…

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Holstee Manifesto

By Clare Albans / March 15, 2013 /

Photo credit: http://shop.holstee.com/pages/about If you haven’t read the Holstee Manifesto, then this post is for you. If you have, then it will serve as a reminder to live each day to the fullest. I first read it last year but a friend posted it on Facebook this week and after a pretty stressful week, it…

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Online tutorials: How to make bunting

By Clare Albans / March 11, 2013 /

Photo credit: glorioustreats.com Last week, I wrote a post about the variety of online tutorials available on how to make bunting, but for some reason it wouldn’t upload and then it deleted itself! So now I’m going to try to recreate it…I really want to have a go at making some bunting for our garden…

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A sunny day on the Quayside

By Clare Albans / March 2, 2013 /

Today was such a beautiful day! We had a day catching up with friends and also had a bit of time to have a potter around the Quayside. Despite the fact that we work in the town centre, we don’t actually get down to the Quayside too often – although every time we do I…

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Mary Berry's Lemon Victoria sandwich | Hello! Hooray!

Mary Berry’s Lemon Victoria Sandwich

By Clare Albans / February 17, 2013 /

Mary Berry’s Lemon Victoria Sandwich recipe was specially commissioned by the GDST for the 140th anniversary of the Girls’ Day School Trust and appeared in issue 12/13 of Verve Magazine (also available online here). Mary Berry is a GDST alumna, and all girls were given a postcard with the recipe to celebrate the Bake Off…

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Luscious Lemon Curd

By Clare Albans / February 17, 2013 /

I absolutely love lemon curd – sweet and tangy, it goes really well with so many things. It tastes amazing on a toasted hot cross bun! It is one of those things that is so much better when you don’t buy the shop-bought stuff. Previously, I’ve tried to buy it at places like coffee mornings…

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Making our wedding invitations (part 2)

By Clare Albans / February 14, 2013 /

It has been quite a while since we’ve worked on our wedding invitations. I remember lots of my married friends telling us how fast the time goes once you hit the year of the big day; I knew they were talking sense, but didn’t quite realise just how fast time would fly!   We have…

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A little bit about me and my blog

I have certainly found that being creative has helped to improve my mental health over the past few years. I find that when I have the space to take time out to be creative, I feel like I am working on something positive for me. Craft can't fix everything, but it certainly makes me feel good!

 

I am passionate about being creative with my children as well as working on my own projects, so some of my posts will discuss how we juggle our family time with running a small business and everything else in between.

 

Do feel free to get in touch, either by commenting on a post or by completing the contact form.

Clare Albans Hello! Hooray!
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