Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at a DIY Craft Bloggers event?
Well in this post I will share my experience with you. Not only was I able to network with a lot of other bloggers who have blogs in similar niches but I also actually had the chance to take part in some really fun creative workshops.
It’s been a while since I posted, life has been crazy busy for me which meant that for my sanity I needed a break from the blog.
Things are getting a bit back to normal now so I decided to pick things up again and share my latest projects and ideas.
What better way to get my creative juices flowing again than with a special bloggers event for DIY & Craft Bloggers?
Disclosure: The event written about in this post was sponsored by Viking Direct
Despite not having posted for a while, I was over the moon when I received an invite to a brilliant bloggers’ event in Amsterdam (thanks to Viking Direct NL who kindly sponsored this event).
We were treated to 3 creative workshops.
Food Styling Photography with Lucie Beck, Wood Burning with Lus Creatieve Workshops, and Modern Calligraphy with Oh Pretty Paper.
Blogger Event Location
The event took place a couple of weeks ago at the Crazy Kitchen restaurant in Amsterdam – @crazykitchenamsterdam
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which I think you may find useful – any purchases made via these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep the blog up and running.
It’s one of those places that you have to know about, tucked away on an industrial estate it makes it really easy and cheap to park (it was free on Saturday).
It was so great to network and meet other bloggers from similar genres.
I think sometimes in real life it can be quite a lonely world with nobody really getting you and understanding why you do this. That’s why it is so good to attend an event like this and get to get together with other like-minded people.
With plenty of coffee, tea, and freshly squeezed juices on arrival, we were set to enjoy a day that consisted of 3 workshops.
Styling & Flat Lay Photography Workshop
The first one was a photography workshop with Lucie Beck who is a talented photographer who specialises in food, interior, and product styling. She also runs lots of workshops to help other bloggers and photographers improve their photography skills.
With an impressive portfolio and many awards under her belt, she certainly knows her stuff. You can see her portfolio over on her website mylucie.com
Lucie started by showing us lots of different ideas about how to create and capture well-styled food and product flat lays.
She also talked about the ‘Gulden Snee’ (in English the golden ratio or Fibonacci spiral) which I had heard of before but never took the time to think about it and how I can use it in my photography.
Another thing that I think I have been doing wrong is using more than one light source, normally I always play about with the light trying to get the best shot I can.
All in all, there were quite a lot of other tips and tricks that I learned and I really couldn’t wait to get my camera out again to try some of them out.
Lunch At The Crazy Kitchen In Amsterdam
After Lucie had finished we were treated to the most delicious lunch. The Crazy Kitchen is one of those venues where they have got their menus spot on.
The lunch was absolutely delicious, it was beautifully presented and offered a fab variety of sandwiches, wraps, and salads.
Pyrography / Woodburning Workshop For Beginners
Next, was an introductory pyrography (wood burning) course. I always fancied having a go at this but had never gotten around to it.
This course was run by Ilse Verhoef from luscreatieveworkshops.nl. Ilse started by letting us see some examples of her work. She showed us some of her lovely wooden chopping boards which were all decorated beautifully. I couldn’t wait to have a go.
First, we needed to get used to using the wood burners.
There were a number of different-sized tips which could be changed with a pair of pliers (they are scary hot so you need to be very careful).
We were able to experiment and practice our strokes on some wooden sticks to get used to using the tool.
And I’ll tell you now, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be! Getting the right amount of pressure and the strokes flowing evenly is not easy!
Once everyone was a little more comfortable and had had a little play around.
Getting Started With Pyrography
Little wooden boxes and text templates were handed out.
After choosing a design we were now ready to start our masterpieces.
The chosen design was traced and transferred onto the top of the box.
Pyrography (Wood Burning) Is Harder Than It Looks
I tried really hard, but being ever the perfectionist, must admit I was a bit disappointed in myself.
It wasn’t too bad but I did think if I wanted it to look a little less like a child’s handwork it was clear that I would need to work on my technique.
Having had a little taster of this craft, I think I am going to treat myself to a wood-burning pen.
I have lots of new project ideas that I would like to do with one of these.
And maybe, just maybe, with a bit more practice (ok then …. a lot more practice) I can improve my technique a little.
Modern Calligraphy Workshop For Beginners
The last workshop was modern calligraphy with Manon from Oh Pretty Paper.
Calligraphy was another thing I always wanted to have a go at but never got around to.
I have always had a problem writing neatly, I don’t know why but my handwriting is not the best.
It’s not too bad when I write really slowly. But when I speed it up to a normal rate then it sort of looks like a spider fell in a pot of ink and walked across the page.
I remember as a child having a really strict teacher. I was the only one in the class who was not allowed to have a pen and had to write with a pencil.
At the time it was quite upsetting 🙁
Needless to say, I also found this workshop very challenging.
Manon also showed us some beautiful examples of her work.
She offers a calligraphy and brush lettering service for things like wedding invites and baby announcement cards.
And she also regularly gives workshops showing people how to get started with modern calligraphy.
Tips For Beginners
We were given an oblique calligraphy pen which I had never seen or heard of before. The oblique calligraphy pens have an extra bit attached that held the nib to the side. Manon explained that this made it easier for beginners to get the correct slant on the nib.
We had a number of drill sheets to practice the strokes and I admit that it did not come naturally to me. My wrist simply did not want to work with me and bend to the angle required to make the beautiful flowing strokes that you need to make.
All the other ladies seemed to get on much better than me with this one and I think this is another activity that I need to practice some more.
Despite not being very good at it, actually having the chance to have a go at it has made me want to take this further too.
Practice Makes Perfect!
When I got home, I popped into the local craft shop to buy a calligraphy pen. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the angled one so I bought a traditional wooden one with a selection of nibs.
I have also found a number of sites online where I could download different drill sheets to practice on.
After sitting quietly for a few hours and practicing, I think my technique is actually improving.
The bug for hand lettering and calligraphy has definitely got hold of me and I have now managed to find and order the slanted oblique pen online.
DIY & Craft Blogger Event Summary
So all in all, it was a top day!
We were really spoilt and the attention to detail was great. And at the end of the day, we even got a lovely present (a really cool tripod for my phone – which my daughter is trying to steal from me).
It’s always great to try new things so I was very grateful that I was able to take part in this super fun and creative event. So thanks once again Viking Direct for letting me take part 🙂
You can find photos and read about the other ladies’ experiences of this DIY Craft Bloggers event over on Instagram just search #creatiefmetviking to find them. (oh and if you don’t already follow me on Instagram you can find me here —> A Happy Home In Holland )
As I mentioned earlier, having had the chance to try these activities has piqued my interest and I really would like to learn more about them and carry them on at home.
So if anyone has any advice, tips, or ideas about how I can take these activities further please do let me know.
Oh yes, and I was also wondering if you have tried any new creative activities lately. How did you get on? I’d love to hear about your experiences too.