Bring back the good old magazine…

What or who inspires you?

Where is your ‘go to’ source when the mojo is lacking? Is it the likes of Pinterest or do you still prefer a good old magazine?

I used to love nothing better that sitting on the sofa, having a mooch at some magazines, especially the home interest titles like Ideal Home, House Beautiful and Living etc. dreaming up ideas for the next room that I wanted to re-decorate in our home. I’d buy them off the shelf from time-to-time, often meandering to the magazine aisle when food shopping!

I was also an avid subscriber of those scrapbooking and paper crafting titles – who can remember the likes of Scrapbook Inspirations and Scrapbook Trends, and more recently, the inspirational title Scrap 365?

It was like subscribing to a kit, the anticipation of the postman delivering that monthly title through your letterbox, getting home from work hoping that it had been delivered, so you could grab a cuppa and chill! The disappointment when it hadn’t arrived, yet knowing that it would be here any day soon!

With so much free digital inspiration available, it’s no surprise that these scrapbooking titles simply didn’t survive in a niche market! The paper crafting titles still remain strong, Papercraft Essentials is on issue no. 150, Die-cutting Essentials has been going for about 2 1/2 years and Simply Cards & Papercraft has been going over 13 years!

My ‘go to’ source for inspiration has to be Pinterest, along with scrapbooking blog idols! However, being all digital, I do wonder whether that has had a detrimental effect on mojo. I often hear ladies saying that they have lost their mojo… This can’t be for lack of inspiration as we have more visual sources than ever before! Saying that, I’m starting to wonder if going paperless has had a detrimental effect on creativity?

If you enjoy Pinterest, then you’re bound to spend much of your time pinning image after image! But how many of us actually go back and study what we have pinned? All too often, I find that familiar notification telling me that I have already pinned that pin, which just goes to show how long I look at these images!

If like me, your mojo wains from time to time, why not dig out those scrapbook magazines from a few years ago and see if that helps?

In fact, why not join me in a campaign to ‘Bring back the good old magazine!’








Girls just wanna have fun…

If I had to describe myself as a song title, one of the most apt would be ‘Girls just wanna have fun!’ by the iconic 80’s singer, Cyndi Lauper…

In fact, I’m sure that many of you could have this as your song title too?

I look back on my late teenage years and early twenties, when I was living it up in bars and clubs, having studied textile design at Nottingham Trent University. Apart from not managing to cope with the late nights like I used to and indeed the alcohol consumption, I want to have as much fun now as I did then!

I found this phrase on Pinterest recently and it certainly resonates with me! If you’re feeling happy, you glow…

Having recently discovered snapchat, I seem to be a bit addicted to it! Each morning, as well as checking in on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, I now have to check to see what’s new on snapchat…

Now I thought snapchat was just a means of sending free photos of yourself to others, little did I know that it was so, so much more!

From horsey faces to girls with pigtails, if you haven’t yet discovered it, you seriously need to!

Doesn’t every girl want big round eyes?

Or cartoon bow and ears!

Taking snapchat photos has become my guilty pleasure!

And it doesn’t have to be single selfies – many snapchat filters are for two people, perfect for friends or an agreeable husband!

We failed miserably at trying to get our doggy tongues to appear together… this was the best we could do, but oh did we laugh!

Serious bunnies?

A sleepy teddy?

These candid photos are brilliant for scrapbooking, especially if you struggle to use ‘random’ ephemera!

Equally fun photos can be impulsive rather than candid – what could be better than taking in the great British wet weather?

Or sitting on a plane with your besties, waiting to fly to Paris… What do you do? Sit there board, or take silly photos?

At the end of the day, we all ‘just wanna have fun!’

So if ‘Girls just wanna have fun!’ isn’t the song title which best describes you, what would be your song title?



Amy Tan is coming to the UK!

OMG, goodness knows how we’ve done it, Amy Tan is coming to the UK to exclusively teach for Birds of a Feather…

Can you ‘Adam ‘n’ Eve’ it? (Amy, for your benefit, that’s cockney rhyming slang for ‘believe it’)

We can’t wait to see what Amy designs for all you lucky ladies… We certainly drool over her beautiful, hand painted phrases!

We simply can’t believe it’s happening!

Amy has a captivating style and such an engaging way! Having looked at some of her recent IG posts, it seemed apt to include this post – hope you don’t mind Amy?

As well as being able to bring the lovely Amy to the UK, we’ve managed to secure the most impressive of locations, ideally positioned just a short distance from junction 5 off the the M5… the Chateau Impney

Tempted to book?

All you need to know is on our workshops page…

In the meantime, check out the advert for more details.

But don’t delay – snooze you lose… and spaces are limited!

Looking forward to seeing you there…

Jackie, Sam and Sheena xxx

The mad cow loves stats!

What can I say? This Birds of a Feather mad cow loves stats!

It’s three weeks since we embarked on our first retreat and we are still buzzing from the truly wonderful weekend you guys made it xxx

Thank you to all that completed the feedback form – it really goes a long way into shaping the way forward with our future events… And some of the feedback will be actioned as early as this November.

We’re not a threesome that shies away from the truth, so in the order that the questions were asked, here is the feedback:

Comfort of the bedrooms scored a massive 91.4%.

Now I for one didn’t get to spend much time in mine, but I have to agree that those mattresses are fairly super. And I do love a decent shower in the morning – only wish our pressure was as good at theirs!

Food scored 66.1% – everyone loves the accessibility of the hub, but felt that a sit-down evening meal simply took valuable scrapping time away. We are looking into this for November. Equally, the Sunday carvery scored top marks – guess we all like a bit of tradition!

You scored the crop space as 87.6%, with over 66% of you giving it 5 out of 5 – sadly no matter how hard we try we can’t make those tables grow!

The comfort of the crop room scored a great 88.5%, with over 62% of you giving it 5 out of 5. Personally, I see this as one of our best achievements –  do you remember how hot it was that weekend?

The classroom space achieved a score of 86.6%, although a large number of you felt moving to the classroom unnecessary – again something that we can act on for November.

So how did our class kits do?

100% OF COURSE – a truly fabulous result. We are thrilled with this feedback and it seems to make all the stresses of trying to locate 30 Maggie Homes Chasing Dreams 12 x 12″ chipboards a minor blip – after all whats the world wide web for if it isn’t for locating 12 x 12″ chipboard!

And equally our kits didn’t fair too bad either scoring an overwhelming 99% in the feedback results!

And so the burning question… how did we do overall?

We were given a truly magnificent score of 95.7% and better still 100% of you would recommend us!

Perhaps that’s why we’ve now filled all retreat spaces for November and March 2018.

It goes without saying that all of this isn’t possible without your support and friendship!

After all, Birds of a Feather (and the odd mad cow!) flock together!

1st Retreat – was a Blast ….

And as usual the retreat went far too quickly … but  I wanted to share with you what an amazing fun packed weekend we all had at the end of May.

Be prepared for photo overload of the weekend, and over the coming weeks we will be showcasing the classes and layouts that some of our delegates completed.

The weekend consisted of the amazing Wilna Furstenberg teach two classes via video, showing the delegates various techniques using watercolours and acrylic paints, as well as Sam and Sheena teaching classes in person, I did two layouts that was self-paced class that the delegates could complete over the weekend.

So here goes, we set up and eagerly waited for our delegates to arrive.

As a welcome gift Sam had hand finished aprons for each delegate, we chosen aprons as a gift as we knew we would be using paints with Wilna classes, and they were gratefully received.


Once the delegates had arrived and settled into there places, the lovely Hey Little Magpie shop opened for business, and as true scrappers it wasn’t long before we where in there, seeing what we needed, like true Scrappers we need it all – lol.

The format for this weekend was to have as relaxed as possible craft retreat but at the same time having some fun.

So after we had our evening meal it was back to the crop room for a party game.  Which involving rolling a dice, dressing up, inflating a palm tree and putting up a deckchair – which was so funny.

With the lovely Jooles was our winner.

After the game the delegates had an evening to themselves, and to get ready for  the following day where we had planned 3 classes, including one video from Wilna.

The delegates all got struck into the classes – which we will share in another blog post,

and I just had to take a selfie, which was photobombed by Penelope – lol x.


We also had my son, James helping out, and he was made-up that Starbucks was on site and he could nip down for one or two during the weekend – lol.


And to finish off Saturday, we had the lovely Elaine attend from Stix2 to demonstrate their products with two lovely make & take gifts.

Sunday followed the same format, after breakfast we had 3 more classes, raffle prize draws, challenge winners and of course a photographs of us all in our aprons, and like I said the weekend ended far too quickly, and it was time for us all to head home.

But before I sign off,  I wanted to share an extra photo of us and Wendy in our Paris Cardigans – Wendy had attended our Paige workshop in March with this lovely cardigan, and as we were going to Paris shortly afterward, Sam set herself the task to locate Paris cardigans for us – love them.

Well thats all for now, but we want to thank each delegate for attending our retreat, all the lovely feedback we received, and we are looking forward to seeing all the delegates again in the future.

Come back soon to find out more of what we are up to.

Jackie xxx