Thursday, 28 February 2013

Making Buttons

Today's project...


... pretty felt scraps + cover buttons = lots of cute felt buttons!


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Crafty Destash

I'm still feeling a bit under the weather, which is no fun. I have so many projects I want to be getting on with, but they're all going to have to wait while I take the time to rest and get well. Sigh.

So in the meantime, while I'm spending my afternoons sitting on the sofa watching TV, I'm slowly sorting through lots of boxes from my studio/office and having a thorough (but restful!) re-organise and clear-out. I've been meaning to do this for aaaages so I've got lots of crafty bits and bobs to "destash"!

I've just added the first batch of destash listings to the Craft Supplies section of my shop, including these crafty goodies...



... and I'll be adding lots more things over the next few weeks as I gradually get everything photographed & weighed. You can find all the destash listings HERE.

Oh, and I've also added a few more items to the "Sale" section of my shop, including the last pack of my Winter Robins cards (now just £2)...


... and my felt camera brooches (reduced from £15 to £10).

Monday, 25 February 2013

Surprise Loveliness

Look at all the loveliness I got in the post this morning - a surprise parcel of treats from my crafty chum, Laura:


Perfect timing, as I have been feeling a bit ill and a bit "ugh" for days and definitely needed some cheering up. What a star!

You can find Laura's shop full of prettiness, LauraFallulah, HERE.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Giveaway: Embroidery Thread Storage Box & Threads

I've decided to stop selling the embroidery thread storage boxes currently listed in the "Craft Supplies" section of my shop. They're super useful things (my embroidery thread stash is sooo much easier to use since I started storing them this way)... BUT I really need to clear some space in my studio so these bulky boxes have to go! 

The last few boxes I've got in stock can be found HERE.

I'm also giving away one of the small boxes... filled with a rainbow of 36 different thread (floss) colours already neatly wound on bobbins. Hurrah!


These are the Duchess brand stranded embroidery threads I usually sell in my shops (they're out of stock at the moment but I'm hoping to have lots of packs back in stock early next month). I made up this box of threads to use in my product photos for the storage boxes... and since I no longer need it (and have plenty of this thread in my stash already) I thought it'd make a lovely little giveaway prize to share with you guys :)

The little box of threads would make a great starter collection of threads if you want to try embroidery or cross-stitch for the first time, a sweet gift for a friend you want to convert to the joys of stitching, or a nice addition to your stash if you're already an avid stitcher.


Fancy getting your hands on this box of threads? Just leave a comment on this blog post for your chance to win! I'm happy to ship internationally, so anyone can enter. Leave your comment before 10pm on Saturday 2nd March, and I'll pick the winners at random on Sunday 3rd March.

Please make sure you leave a name or pseudonym (no anonymous comments please!) and leave a blog link, Twitter username, Etsy username or email address so I can contact you

If I'm unable to contact the winner within two weeks, I will pick someone else. If you're leaving a comment with your Blogger profile, please remember that you need to have your profile set to public for me to be able to get in touch with you. If you have problems leaving a comment here on my blog, you can enter via my shop's contact form instead. 

Update: this giveaway is now closed!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Two Bits of Good News

First up, thanks to a big delivery of supplies there are now LOTS of felt squares back in stock in all my shops. Yay!

Secondly... I've written a new book! SO EXCITING.

The book is the reason I had to close up my shops for so long over the Christmas break, why the virtual shelves in my shops have been a little bare lately, why I had a big chart of tasks to get ticked off, why I've been blogging about so many secret projects, and why it's the middle of February and I've still not finished my sky blanket (or sent my friends any Christmas cards).

Basically, my days have been very book-focused recently! It's been lots of fun working on all the new projects, but very busy.

I can't tell you much about the book yet except that it's called Super-Cute Felt Animals and that it's due to be published this September... but I will (of course) be posting more about it nearer to the publication date :)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Busy Days, Quiet Evenings

It's been a busy few days here - so busy in fact that I keep on forgetting to take photos, and "write a blog post" keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the day's to do list. Tsk tsk.

Remember that mega to do list? All the tasks have now been completed, hurrah!



I've still got lots to do (there is always something else that needs doing) but it feels SO GOOD to get all that stuff finished.

I'm still trying to switch off in the evenings - turn off the laptop, stop working, do something simple and crafty to help me relax and properly wind down after a busy day - sometimes successfully and sometimes not!

Over the past few evenings I've been doing a bit of knitting (more simple blanket squares to use up that leftover yarn from my sky blanket) and clearing out some magazines while watching TV shows like Revenge & Nashville & Being Human.


I've been tearing out nice images from a whole bunch of old magazines (like The Simple Things, which is always lovely to look at), and adding them to my "inspiration" scrapbooks... and I've also been making up a "press clippings" book. 

I've collected a stack of magazines over the years in which my work has been featured, and I have FINALLY got around to actually tearing the relevant pages out of the magazines and making a proper book of press clippings. It was quite nice having the actual magazines to flick through (we jokingly refer to the shelf on which they were kept as my "ego shelf") but not especially practical, and I am very glad to have cleared out a bit more space in my studio for fun things like nice craft books. I know this is technically "work" but it's pretty mindless and relaxing, so I think it counts as a "switching off" task?? 

Friday, 15 February 2013

February Sponsors

A day later than usual (oops), please meet this month's lovely sponsors!

Miso Funky sells cross stitch samplers with a modern twist (and a bit of spicy language!) Their range includes wall art, coasters, embroidery kits, charts & accessories and stitch-able stuff like iPhone cases & pendants.


Lucky Cat Handmade sells handmade key fobs, glasses cases, pencil pouches and purses:


And Reloved Preloved sells handmade goodies made using vintage sheets and embroidery:


P.S. Interested in promoting your shop, company or blog? Sidebar ad spaces on my blog start from just $10 (currently about £6.45) for 30 days. Your shop will feature in a sponsor post like this one and I also give new sponsors a shout out over on my Facebook page. Click here for more info re: rates and my blog's traffic.

A Little Book of Positivity

I was having a sort out through some old boxes this week and I came across this...


This "little book of positivity" is a small notebook I kept when I was a not-very-confident teen. It was sort of like a diary, but only with awesome stuff in it: happy things, compliments people had paid me, things I'd achieved, etc. I had a great day hanging out with so-and-so! I did well on that big test! So-and-so said XYZ about my writing! So-and-so said they thought my outfit was cool! All that sort of teenage stuff :)

It's a bit embarrassing to look back at it now but it really worked wonders to boost my confidence. It was even followed by a second (bigger) book of positive things:


I highly recommend it if you're someone who has trouble with confidence issues, or who finds it easy to get stuck thinking about all the things that are rubbish in your life instead of focusing on the good stuff. Get a little notebook, decorate it if you like (I filled the inside cover with stickers and other fun stuff) ...


... and start filling it up. There are no real rules except when good stuff happens or you do something awesome or someone gives you a compliment, even if you think it's only a small thing or a bit silly (all those small things add up!), you write about it with no negativity allowed. You can add tickets and photos from happy afternoons, or inspiring quotes or cheerful photos if you like.

Then when you're feeling rubbish, you flick through the book and it's like having someone to give you a pep talk and remind you that things aren't always gloomy and that - whether you believe it or not right now - you are awesome xxx

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Keeping Secrets

Oh my goodness, you guys, I have been making soooo many fun things over the past few weeks!

But because I'm designing & making things for projects run by other people (rather than designs for my shops or projects for my blog where I am, obviously, the boss) I can't tell you anything about them. So you keep on getting teasing snaps of supplies for secret projects and slightly cryptic posts about me being busy or having a deadline looming, etc.

It's great having lots of work on but it can be quite frustrating to be busy crafting but not being able to share all that craftiness here on my blog. I guess as a blogger I've grown used to having a super short gap between "making" and "sharing"... and it's hard to adjust to having to keep things secret!

Sometimes the delay between making and sharing isn't too long... for example, back in November I blogged about some works in progress and included a snap of these colourful supplies...


... and then in December you got to see the Christmas stocking I made with them for CraftTuts:


And November and December I blogged about doing a bit of research...


... and choosing threads...


... and in January I revealed the wren embroidery pattern I'd been working on for &Stitches. 


But sometimes the wait is a lot longer!

These scraps I blogged about in the summer of 2010...



... were leftovers from these projects I made for Stash Happy Felt, which came out in the autumn of 2011. 



And these scraps from March 2011...


... were leftover from this mobile I made for Heart-Felt Holidays which came out a year later in March 2012.


I can hardly wait to show you what I made with these threads way back in the summer of 2011! (Yes, you read that right: 2011!)



For the moment though, please believe me when I say I'd tell you all if I could... and I promise that there is lots of crafty goodness being worked on behind the scenes that you'll get to see at some point whenever I'm allowed to spill all the beans :)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Back to Work!

As I mentioned at the start of the month, I took a short break from posting orders to help me focus on a deadline... but now I'm back to posting orders as normal & all this month's orders have been sent out, hurrah!


I've unfortunately run out of a lot of the shades of wool blend felt I sell in my shops, so the "choose your own colour" bundles are temporarily unavailable... but I should have them back in stock in a week or two. I'd hoped to order them this week, but I've been a bit ill (ugh) and haven't had the time. I'll be sure to shout here on the blog & on Twitter & Facebook when they're back in stock :)

Monday, 11 February 2013

Scrapbooking

Sorting through pretty pictures I've saved to stick in my scrapbooks = the best kind of filing!


Saturday, 9 February 2013

DIY Valentine's Card: I Love You More Than Tea

As I mentioned the other day, I've been doing a bit of tea-themed crafting. Here it is... an easy DIY Valentine's Card:


These are pretty simple, but lots of fun to make!

You can make your card with the message "I love you more than tea", or cross out the "more than" and write a cheeky "almost as much as" instead. You could also swap "tea" for "coffee" if that's your drink of choice :)


1. First, print your message on a piece of plain card. I used Word and set up an A5 page divided into two columns, with the page margins set to "narrow." I added my text in the right-hand column and centred it and played around with font sizes until I was happy with the arrangement. I printed out some test prints on paper...


... and then when I'd got everything set up how I wanted, I printed two versions on white card.

I printed two copies so I could show you guys two variations, but actually I think it's not a bad idea to print a couple of copies so you can choose the final version that turns out best as the later steps can be a bit messy.

2. Test making tea rings on a scrap piece of paper. I put the piece of paper on a tray, and filled a saucer with black tea. I then dipped the bottom of a small mug into the tea, and used it to make prints on the paper. I found it was a good idea to check underneath the mug for any bubbles that need bursting, and also to hold the mug over the saucer for a second or two to allow any large drips to drip into the saucer and not onto your piece of paper.

4. Now the fun bit: decorate your card(s) with tea rings. I placed my cards on pieces of paper towel (kitchen roll) on a tray, with the saucer on the tray next to it. Try to avoid the printed text if you can, as the tea will make the ink run. As you can see from the second picture, this can't always be helped - I placed my tea rings to avoid the text and still managed to drip a big drop of tea on it! Oops.



If you wanted you could always decorate the card with tea stains first and then add the text - the tea distorts the card so it probably wouldn't print very well, but you could hand-write the text instead.

5. Leave your card to dry and then fold them. My cards ended up looking like this when they'd dried:




6. Add the "almost as much as" text if you want to. I'd recommend writing this on one of your paper test prints first to test the position & size of your handwriting & get the finished result exactly how you want it.


7. Finally write your message inside, pop it in an envelope (a brown one would be nice, to go with the tea theme but it's not essential) and give it to your loved one this Valentine's Day :)



This would also be a sweet card to make for an anniversary!

You may borrow a few photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

I Sew, He Snoozes

My studio assistant (a.k.a. my parents cat) is very "helpful".

He sits on the printer helps me print out paperwork, demands attention when I'm working helps me take photos, steals my seat on the sofa keeps my seat warm for mewakes me up demanding food helps me get up earlier... and kindly keeps me company when I spend the day sitting sewing on the sofa:


What a hard worker he is! I am considering giving him a raise :)

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Tea Rings

Here's a peek at a bit of tea-themed crafting I've been doing...



... as you can see, it involves actual tea!

I'll be sharing the finished project (a tutorial! yay!) here on the blog later this week :)

Monday, 4 February 2013

Work & Wildlife

I am still busy working - with lots of breaks for tea and cake, of course :)


Most of my own mugs are packed up in boxes (along with the rest of the stuff from my old flat), so I've "adopted" a couple of mugs from my parents cupboards (it's not just me who likes to use the same mugs over and over, is it?). This is an old one that belonged to one of my sisters when they were at school or University, I think... it's from a time of many essays and exams, anyway. It reads "I hate work I hate work I hate work I hate work" and every time I look at it I feel happy because I actually LOVE my job. Even with the occasional crazy deadline!

While on my tea breaks I have been enjoying staring out of the window at all the birds on the bird feeders. As I mentioned last month, lots of birds visit my parents garden.... and I was lucky enough to be sitting right next to the window with my camera when this lovely woodpecker paid us a visit at the weekend:




Which has reminded me that a few weeks ago I managed to get some snaps of a couple of deer sitting around in our neighbours' garden - just chilling out, thinking deer thoughts, planning their schedule for the day, etc. Aren't they lovely?

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