Wednesday 25 April 2018

Flashback: 11 Years of April Crafting

I've been blogging for over 11 years now - since January 2007! I've made a lot of crafty stuff in that time and I thought it might be fun to have a look back and see what I was making this time each year...

In April 2007 I designed an Army Bear (commissioned by a friend), made tea-themed brooches and cake-themed brooches, and stitched a whole bunch of ninja brooches for the UK Etsy Sellers' design challenge (that month's theme was, as you might have guessed, ninjas).

In April 2008 I was in the middle of my Crafting 365 challenge (doing something crafty every day for a year and blogging about it) and had also decided to start a "design a day" challenge... which didn't last long as I got sick (ugh) and then our internet stopped working for several weeks (thank goodness for kind neighbours who let me pop round to use their computer and manage my shop orders during those weeks!).

I did design a whole bunch of new things that month, though, including cupcakes and sailboats and a whole bunch of felt flowers

I'd also just started selling felt squares in my Etsy shop the month before, and was busy making up lots of colourful packs of mini squares. (I know this doesn't technically count as "crafting", but I can never resist these kinds of colourful photos and selling craft supplies was a big part of my creative life for many years).

In April 2009 I announced that I'd quit my "day job" (scary) then took two weeks away from the internet for a proper holiday so didn't blog that much!

I got some lovely new office shelves (which probably never looked this neat and tidy ever again), bought some gorgeous recycled felt (made from plastic bottles!) to try, and made lots and lots and lots of felt poppies.

In April 2010 I had a work experience student working with me for a few days, which made me feel very fancy. I was also busy finishing lots of works-in-progress, including forget-me-not brooches, flower headbands, a massive floral brooch and some snowy owls. I ended up setting myself a challenge to clear out all the half-finished projects from my workbox, which was hard work but very satisfying.

Oh, and this month I also shared a tutorial for sewing felt raincloud brooches, and stitched a couple of political brooches for my then-boyfriend, who had election fever!

In April 2011 I made delicate felt primrose haircombs, big, bold layered flower brooches, soft beaded corsages and fun teapot badges. I was also still stitching poppies, still had lots of boxes full of WIPs and my felt stash was still slightly out of control.

In April 2012 most of my blog posts were about books, as I had an extended "book week" sharing lots of the great craft books I'd been sent for review. (I should do that again sometime soon, as I've got quite a few books in my "to review" pile right now!).

I also shared tutorials for sewing a felt raincloud mobile and pretty felt butterfly brooches, blogged about the progress of my sky blanket, and finished up a batch of bird brooches.

In April 2013 I got to announce the exciting news that I'd written a second book (yay!), and got another exciting book in the post: a photobook I'd put together with six years of my crafty photos. I shared a cross stitch pattern to remind you to just get on with it, worked in my office with my furry assistant for company, and worked on a whole bunch of stuff behind the scenes that I couldn't share yet.

I also stitched a lot of felt owls and a LOT of cherry blossoms!

In April 2014 I shared a lot of felt scrap photos and other teasing snippets as I was busy working towards a bunch of deadlines - I'd decided to stop selling handmade things at the end of 2013, to focus on designing, blogging and writing, and one of the side-effects of this was not being able to show off my WIPs as often as I used to.

This month I also made a boiled egg look like Marilyn Monroe as a project for Tesco Living's website (so much fun), and foolishly described this quilt as "nearly finished" (I have not worked on it since).

In April 2015, I stitched a felt flower and shared it as a free embroidery pattern, I made a box of sunshine to celebrate the release of Annie on DVD, and I blogged about my (abandoned) project to record the weather in the medium of fluffy pompoms.

In April 2016 I was busy working on my rainbow blanket, and I finally got a smartphone and joined Instagram! I also shared tutorials for making a felt hot air balloon tape measure cover, and a 3D felt flower picture, and got to show you guys the projects I'd made for a new craft book: Banners, Buntings, Garlands & Pennants.

Then in April 2017 I designed a spring flowers wreath for The Village Haberdashery and attempted to do The 100 Day Project, making something felt-y every day for 100 days. Life threw a lot of distractions at me that spring and I didn't stick the project out for very long, but looking back at the stuff I did make - from a felt washing up sponge, to a felt barn owl - makes me very happy.

April itself was so hectic I actually blogged about those things in May but that's one of the ways blogging has changed in the past decade - it used to be all about daily updates, but now we've got social media for that.

I hope you've enjoyed this time-travelling journey through my blog archives; it's been weird but fun looking back through all these old posts!

UPDATE: Lots of my old designs are taking on new lives as sewing patterns! Visit my shop to see all my printable PDF patterns


Kay said...

This is fascinating. I run a book group and sometimes we look back at what we were reading that month in each year, looking back brings great memories and sometimes things we have even forgotten about. x

bairozan said...

I've been following you for a while and most of the projects look familiar but that army bear is so cute and neatly stitched, love it! This recap is a fun idea!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks! It was fun going poking around in the archives!! :D

Barbara said...

What wonderful ideas! How do you make your blanket stitches so tight and straight? Mine always look messy and loopy around the bottom of the stitch, even when I pull them tighter.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks, Barbara! Sorry for the slow reply to your comment - I usually find the trick to neat blanket stitches is to stitch SLOWLY. Generally I highly recommend looking on YouTube for "how to" videos when you're having trouble with embroidery stitches, I find it makes a huge amount of difference being able to see people doing the stitch vs following diagrams/photos.