Friday, 22 May 2020

100 Days of Studio Scenes: Days 1-10

The basic idea of the 100 Day Project is very simple: you choose a creative action and you do it once a day for 100 days.

I've attempted it a few times now and each time I've been overambitious and not taken into account how overcommitted I already was... and I've not lasted very long as a result! 

This year I'm keeping things nice and simple with #100daysofstudioscenes, a daily, honest behind-the-scenes update from my home studio. Works in progress, craft supplies, peeks at my workspace, plus the ups and downs and messes of running a creative business during these weird times. 

I've been skipping a day here and there but am over 30 days into the project now and I'm loving how it's turning into a little diary of the day-to-day running of my business. I'm going to collate them into posts here on my blog in blocks of 10, so those of you without Instagram can follow along and so I'll have a nice record of the project to look back on.

DAY ONE:

"At the moment I'm keeping the pressure off myself by working on lots of projects simultaneously, picking up whatever I feel like working on, avoiding setting myself targets, just gradually nudging everything forward bit by bit. Most mornings, if the light is good, (which it has been a lot lately, hurrah!), I take a little batch of photos. 

This is what I had lined up ready to photograph this morning: lots of in-progress projects for my blog, newsletter, and shop, waiting to be photographed so I can then sew the next step... ready for more photos tomorrow!"


DAY TWO:

"Yesterday I took photos then stitched loads of stuff ready to take more photos today... and today I have taken no photos. What I have done is sit on the spare bed in my PJs working at my laptop all day (working in timed blocks with short breaks to do some of my lovely new jigsaw puzzle) (I call this variation on the Pomodoro Technique the Puzzle Technique, I find it both relaxing and motivating!!) 

I've scheduled FOUR blog posts (not from scratch, mind) and edited a whole bunch of photos, including some for my next newsletter freebie: a tutorial for sewing cute felt teacup and teapot brooches 

I'm so pleased with how these snaps turned out, they show the project off really nicely and I hope they'll tempt lots of people into signing up for my newsletter I'd hoped to be posting this pic saying "I just sent out this tutorial to my subscribers! Yay!" but, alas, I'm not quite there yet. That's top of the To Do list for tomorrow.

In the meantime, I thought you might like to see how this photo looked before I edited it (swipe to see an unedited pic from the same batch), I don't have any fancy editing software but it usually does the job."


DAY THREE:

"I'm having a day off! I often end up doing a bit of work even on my days off but today I am trying to be very strict with myself (I'll let you know tomorrow whether or not I succeed!) My main creative project today = finally sorting out some happy snail mail to send to my pals"


DAY FOUR:

"Some proper messy realness for you today! I'm mostly working in the spare room at the moment, in part so I can close the door on all this chaos at the end of the day. Please note that there's stuff on the floor as well as the spare bed, I've got a pile of laundry in here too (top left) and in my commitment to showing you the unvarnished truth I haven't even moved that snotty tissue out of shot, haha."


DAY FIVE:

"I'm having trouble balancing self care and self-employment at the moment - maybe you guys are, too? Today I've thought a lot about all the work I could and "should" be doing right now (like finishing up this new pattern, destined for my newsletter subscribers) but instead of doing any of them I've mostly just sat about feeling stressed and overwhelmed and guilty about not getting anything done. 

I also baked a cake though (delicious!) and went for a walk (sunny!) and that's not nothing. Fingers crossed for more productivity (and cake, and sunshine) tomorrow."


DAY SIX:

"After a couple of days of feeling very unmotivated, yesterday I got LOADS of work done. Hurrah! I finished the teacup & teapot brooch tutorial, sent it out to my newsletter subscribers, and got all of this lot prepped for their next set of step photos. It's too gloomy today for taking decent pics but the moment the sunshine comes back I'll be ready for it."


DAY SEVEN:

"I'm putting together some paper crafting packs!. I started assembling them yesterday from a whole bunch of lovely vintage books, maps, and other paper-y bits and bobs (see my paper pack highlight for a sneak peek of the contents!) I'm also adding a few fun extras like colourful yarns for making gift tags, and vintage buttons. Each pack will be £5 + postage (UK only at the moment, sorry, as I can't get to the Post Office), let me know if you'd like me to message you when they're available!"

 

DAY EIGHT:

"Yesterday I decided that my paper crafting packs needed a few vintage buttons... luckily I had a small selection to choose from, haha!

I bought this massive stash of button-y goodness last month, back when the idea of lockdown was just a faint possibility. It feels like a lifetime ago now. I really enjoyed finally having a rummage through these, I think vintage button packs might be coming soon. WATCH THIS SPACE."


DAY NINE:

"Aaaand the paper packs are go! Each pack contains a different assortment of pages and clippings from vintage books, plus a vintage Cluedo card, two reproduction trading cards featuring trains, 10 vintage stamps, some yarn, and 3 buttons (see my paper packs highlight for a closer look at the contents). Each pack is £5 each, 2nd class UK postage for 1-2 packs is £1.40, and there are just 11 packs left! Message me if you'd like to make a purchase, let me know your email and the quantity you'd like and I'll send you an invoice via PayPal asap. First come first served!

In other excellent news: I've found a local postbox where I can send bigger parcels, so if there's anything listed at @lauralupinsells you're interested in, too, let me know and I'll send everything together. P.S. I can also post to countries in the EU, just ask and I'll give you a quote for the postage."


DAY TEN:  

"Thank you so much for your amazing response to the paper packs, you guys! I love them and am thrilled you're excited about them, too, and I can't even begin to tell you how nice it feels packing up and posting parcels again!!

It's also a huge relief having a bit of extra money coming in during this stressful time xxx

(I took this photo this morning but spent yesterday sorting out paper pack orders and parcelling them up so I'm counting this as yesterday's #100daysofstudioscenes pic)."



More updates soon, or you can follow along on Instagram HERE.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

A New (Old) Direction: Wool Blend Felt Squares + Craft Supplies

Hey, guess what?

I've decided to start selling felt squares again! Yay!

https://lupin.bigcartel.com/

I'm selling the same brand of lovely 30% wool felt I used to sell many years ago - it's gorgeous and soft and comes in so many great colours. I use it A LOT in my own crafting, I love it and I hope you guys will too.

https://lupin.bigcartel.com/

I've re-opened my Big Cartel shop to have my own little corner of the internet to sell stuff - click here to visit and see what's for sale!

As well as felt, I'm also going to be selling other colourful and useful crafty supplies: lots of stuff for sewing, of course, but also some paper crafting supplies, stationery, and other crafty goodness. I've added a few bits and bobs already and there's more coming soon. You can also buy my PDF patterns (these will be emailed to you within 24 hours as I sadly can't do automatic downloads via my shop).

Oh, and I've added my recent vintage and second-hand finds to the shop, as well. There's crafty stuff like second hand books and vintage fabric, as well as lovely stuff like vintage book pages and gorgeous plates. 

I'll be adding some of my felt and craft supplies over in my Etsy shop as soon as I have time, but my full range will be stocked in my main shop. This is partly to save time (duplicating all those listings and managing stock levels in multiple places is a lot of work!) but mostly to save money, as some items just won't make financial sense to sell via Etsy due to their listing and sales fees.

Please note: at the moment my shop is just set up to ship to addresses in the UK. I know there are a lot of delays with the international mail at the moment and don't want customers buying from me then getting upset when their order doesn't arrive quickly! If you live outside of the UK and want to place an order and are happy to wait several weeks for your parcel please do get in touch.

I'm a bit nervous about dipping my toes into this new (old) venture, but excited about it too! Wish me luck, and go have a browse of all that crafty goodness...

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Archive Update: Retiring Patterns

Last year I decided to retire a few old tutorials from my blog, polish them up nicely and add them to my shop as printable patterns - putting them to work helping to pay my bills.

Some of these have been added to my shop already, but others needed a bit more work before they're shop-ready and I've not got around to retiring them yet. It felt mean taking them off my blog before I was ready to start selling them, just because I'd announced I'd be removing them on a certain date.

But: the finish line approaches!

So, you've only got a short time left to grab these projects before they vanish from my blog and re-appear in my shop...

This set of Christmas ornament tutorials:

https://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2019/11/heads-up-im-retiring-few-more-tutorials.html

(It's been quite a bit of work updating these tutorials as I didn't have any step photos for them... and there are eight of them, as you can see! I've also been working on matching embroidery patterns to include in the PDF version, plus some designs for a new co-ordinating ornament set! I can't wait to show you).

And the mistletoe embroidery pattern:

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2013/11/how-to-embroidered-mistletoe-ornament.html

(I'm working on a matching felt version of this! They're going to look so cute together)

I've also decided to retire the penguin ornament tutorial:

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2014/07/christmas-in-july-felt-penguin-ornament.html

And the matching penguin embroidery pattern.

All of these projects will be removed from my blog on or after June 1st, so if you'd like to make them for free please get any instructions and templates/patterns printed out or saved before then!

Monday, 18 May 2020

Felt Swan Mask: Free Sewing Tutorial

The third project in the trio of freebies I'm sharing with my newsletter subscribers at the moment is a tutorial for sewing a swan mask:

http://eepurl.com/dvfYO1

The tutorial includes templates and step by step instructions for sewing the mask... which I'd normally say would be great for wearing to costume parties and festivals but we can't really go to those at the moment, can we?

Dressing up can bring a lot of fun to lockdown life, though, I think: why not wear a swan mask on your next Zoom call? or disguise yourself as a swan to do the washing up? Everything's got to be more fun when you're a swan, right?!

http://eepurl.com/dvfYO1

You could also make this mask in grey felt...

http://eepurl.com/dvfYO1

... and there's loads of possibilities if you want to make a pretty swan princess mask. You could add sequins or those little sew-on gems, stitch a bit of embroidery, or even add a little crown to the top of the mask!

As well as the swan mask tutorial, if you sign up to my newsletter this month you'll also receive a stack of books embroidery pattern and a tutorial for sewing felt peony brooches.

http://eepurl.com/dvfYO1
 http://eepurl.com/dvfYO1
 
Click here to read more about my newsletter and subscribe! Make sure you select the pattern newsletter option if you'd like a monthly (ish) free project pinging into your inbox.
 
Click here to visit my tutorial archive for lots more free patterns and other crafty projects.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

New Flower Brooch Tutorial: Sew Some Felt Peonies!

Wanna sew some pretty felt peony brooches?

http://eepurl.com/dvfYO1

Sign up to my newsletter and you'll receive the pattern and step-by-step tutorial for free!

These layered felt flower brooches would look really lovely pinned to your jacket or cardi this summer. You can make them in one or two shades of peony pink, or just pick your fave colours or one that matches your favourite outfit.

http://eepurl.com/dvfYO1
 http://eepurl.com/dvfYO1

The flowers would also look great on a headband, or you could make a few of them (maybe printing out the templates at different sizes?) and add them to a wreath.

They're quite easy to make, but you do have a few layers of felt to cut out. I think they're actually a perfect project to try if you feel your cutting skills need a bit of practice. It doesn't matter if peony petals are a bit wobbly, does it? However messily you cut out these layers the finished flowers will still look great.

Remember I always recommend investing in a pair of embroidery scissors to help you with cutting small or fiddly felt shapes - the small, narrow blades make it so much easier than using standard sewing scissors.

http://eepurl.com/dvfYO1

As well as the peony brooches tutorial, new subscribers to my newsletter will also receive a stack of books embroidery pattern and a tutorial for making a fun felt swan mask (I'll share some snaps of that tomorrow!).

http://eepurl.com/dvfYO1

Plus, if you sign up to to pattern segment of my newsletter you'll get a new free project in your inbox for every month you're signed up! Sometimes I don't quite manage the "monthly" part of the schedule, but I always get caught up in the end :)

Click here to read more about my newsletter and subscribe!
 
Click here to visit my tutorial archive for lots more free embroidery patterns and other crafty projects.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Lockdown Crafting: 12 tutorials for these troubled times

I got a really wonderful email last week from someone who'd been browsing my blog, stumbled on my box of sunshine tutorial and made a whole bunch of them as gifts for her friends and family. Such a lovely thing to do!

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2015/04/how-to-make-box-of-sunshine.html

It feels particularly appropriate for this weird moment we're all in right now as rainbows have become such a powerful symbol of hope and care here in the UK. Sending a little rainbow box full of love to a friend or loved one you can't see in person seems to me to be a very powerful, wonderful thing.

Handmade gifts are wonderful things under ordinary circumstances, but at the moment they feel extra special. The power of a craft project to sooth and calm and distract and entertain also seems stronger and more important than ever while we're stuck at home amidst such stressful events.

So, here's a little round-up of projects from my blog that you guys might want to make right now. Click on the links or the photos to visit each tutorial. You'll also find lots more free crafty goodness in my tutorial archive and I share special freebies with my pattern newsletter subscribers, too.

Make a box of sunshine.

My box of sunshine tutorial includes templates and a step by step tutorial for making and assembling a rainbow box, and sewing a felt heart to go inside it. You could also use this box for gifting other things like a small brooch. This would be a great project to make with your kids, as there's lots of colouring involved and the sewing is very simple.

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2015/04/how-to-make-box-of-sunshine.html
http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2015/04/how-to-make-box-of-sunshine.html
http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2015/04/how-to-make-box-of-sunshine.html

Sew a felt rainbow.

I shared this felt rainbow tutorial just a few weeks ago as part of a tutorial for making a weather-themed baby mobile, but I think the rainbows are a lovely project on their own. You could make these as brooches or ornaments, or sew them as they are and pop them inside a card to send to a friend.

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2020/04/felt-rainbow-tutorial-weather-mobile.html

Stay home and stitch a cute house.

I find embroidery so relaxing and really enjoyed stitching my recent Stay Home pattern. Stay home, sew stuff, save lives.

https://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2020/04/stay-home-cute-house-embroidery-pattern.html

Or sew a felt house!

If embroidery's not your thing, why not sew a felt house instead? I think these would be a really sweet thing to send to a friend (from your house to theirs), or to commemorate our year of staying at home.

https://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2016/07/how-to-sew-cute-felt-houses.html

Embroider some self-care and positivity: be kind to yourself...

This is something I struggle with, especially when things get stressful! Stitch my Be Kind embroidery pattern for yourself, or send it to a friend who needs a reminder to look after themselves as well as other people.

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2014/09/be-kind-to-yourself-free-embroidery.html

 ... and remember that you're stronger than you know.

I bet you know someone who needs to hear this, too.

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2016/05/you-are-stronger-than-you-know-free.html

If you're spending a lot of time on Zoom lately, maybe you need some cute new brooches to accessorise with?

How about some plant lady brooches?

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2019/07/plant-lady-felt-monstera-leaf-brooch-tutorial.html

Or some fun cross stitch brooches?

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2014/06/how-to-cross-stitch-sampler-brooches.html

You could also make a headband!

Bring spring to FaceTime with felt flowers...

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2020/03/daffodils-headband-spring-flowers-craft-tutorial.html

... or go for more of a "I can't go to a party so I'm going to have one in my house" vibe.

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2019/05/diy-festival-hairbands-headbands-crowns-tutorial.html

Finally: sew a heart for someone you love.

There are lots of heart-themed projects in my tutorial archives for you to choose from but I think a heart brooch would be a particularly nice thing to make and send to a friend right now. They're small and easy to post, and your pal can pin them to their sweater or something in their house and think of you whenever they see it.

How about a mini cross stitch brooch?

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-cross-stitch-heart-brooch.html

Or a pretty layered heart, which I seem to have shared at a time when I was posting TINY photos on my blog. This sequinned heart would also make a cute brooch!

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-felt-heart-brooch.html


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P.S. Subscribe to my newsletter for a monthly(ish) free pattern and visit my crafty tutorial archive for lots more free projects.

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Tuesday, 5 May 2020

More Vintage Enyclopedia Pages

I've been busy taking and editing lots more photos, so I now have some more of those lovely 1950s enyclopedia pages to sell - hurrah!

There's such an interesting mix of topics in these pages, it's been fascinating to see which ones have been snapped up so far. Apart from the large fold-out page, all the pages are approx 17.2 x 24.8cm. You can see more photos, and all the currently available items I'm selling, over on my Instagram sale page or in my Facebook sale group.

"Some of the important breeds of poultry", illustrated by E.C. Mansell. £4 + postage.


A large, fold-out colour plate featuring lots of beautifully illustrated birds. "Migration of British Birds", illustrated by E.C. Mansell. Approx 24.8 x 32.6 cm. £6 + postage.


3 wildlife-themed colour plates from a 1950s encyclopedia. "The queer frilled lizard is ruffled", "Tawny owl, night-watchman of the woods, and "Harvest mice at home in a wheatfield". £1 each plus postage.


Beautiful illustrations of classic stories! Peter Pan, The Arabian Nights, The Blue Bird, Rip Van Winkle, Robin Hood, & The Odyssey. These aren't colour plates, but thinner standard pages from a 1950s encyclopedia. Still wonderful for framing! £2 each + postage.

"Wendy in the Boy's Home in Neverland", illustrated by Gordon Davey. "Aladdin finds the wonderful lamp", illustrated by Eric Hall. And "Moonlight cavern in the palace of night", illustrated by Hazel Frazee. Rip Van Winkle and "Odysseus lured by the sirens' songs", both illustrated by Eric Hall. "Straight flew the arrow to the very centre" illustrated by Hilda Hanway.

 
3 travel-themed colour plates from a 1950s encyclopedia. £1 each + postage. "World famous but sinister landmark of Venice", "Magnificent cataracts of the Victoria Falls", and "Mirrored splendour of the Taj Mahal".


"Queer cactuses and their lovely flowers", illustrated by E.C. Mansell. £3 + postage.


"Some British wild flowers" illustrated by E.C. Mansell. £4 + postage.


"Some decorative examples of Scots tartans", illustrated by E.C. Mansell. £3 + postage.


"Priceless treasures of the Crown Jewels". £3 + postage.


The song "Sur le Pont d'Avignon", illustrated by Yunae Bateman. Please note there are some slight marks on this page, but it's still a lovely thing! £2 + postage.


"Male pheasant's splendid plumage", illustrated by E.C. Mansell. £3 + postage.


"Badges to be earned by Boy Scouts" (on the back: "Badges of merit for senior Scouts"). Please note that both sides are slightly marked. £2 + postage.

 
3 more wildlife-themed colour plates, £1 each + postage. "One of the world's largest yawns", "Glorious display of the peacock's plumage" and "Mandarin drake and his dun-coloured mate".


"Characteristics of many familiar breeds of dog", illustrated by E.C. Mansell. On the back: "Dogs of the farm, field, and home". Both sides are slightly marked. £2 + postage.

 

3 more lovely colour plates: Joan of Arc, Bees, & The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. £2 each. "The peasant girl who saved France", painted by Dudley Tennant. "Worker bees seeking nectar and pollen", illustrated by F. G. Mories. And "Hanging gardens - a marvel of ancient Babylon", illustrated by Marjory Whittington.


Then the last one for now: "Some of the familiar edible and deadly fungi", painted by Marshall Smith. £3 + postage.


Get in touch if you're interested in making a purchase or would like a quote for international postage.  If you're in the UK, 2nd class postage for one of these pages will be £1.40. I'm happy to ship internationally at the moment if you're prepared to wait for your parcel (there may be long delays due to COVID-19 disruption).