Wednesday 25 June 2008


I have decided to take a small break from blogging. It will be a very small break, as I'll be back next week, but it is much needed.

In the meantime I will be working on finishing a pile of works in progress, getting a few new designs sewn together and *fingers crossed* aquiring a nice shiny new camera to take pictures of everything ready to reveal and list next week. I have so many things I want to be sewing at the moment, it will do me good to go and immerse myself in it without the distraction of blogging.

I'll have lots of new (exciting) work to show off next week. Pincushions, hairbands, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, masks, all sorts of fun stuff COMING SOON.

See you next week. Lupin xxx

Tuesday 24 June 2008

Where does the time go?

Actually, I know exactly where the time goes: it gets eaten up by sitting at the computer faffing about. Nom nom, yummy spare time says my computer: check your emails! reply to them! file away those pictures! delete the ones you don't need! back them up! start your accounts! hunt around for that photo you put somewhere! look up new cameras! etc etc etc.

Needless to say, I have been goggle-eyed in front of the computer screen for the past few days. It is most dull. I still haven't replied to all my emails. I still have a meeeeeellion photos to label and file, and I still haven't really made much progress with my accounts. Sigh.

I have at least done a couple of scans of my work from this past week, to try to make up in some small way for my lack of a camera. My camera broke on day 280, but after taking lots of lovely photos (hurrah!). I am totally counting photo-taking as craftiness! Then day 281 I moved furniture around to extend my crafty workspace (and rescue my supplies from the depths of the spare room). Even if I had a working camera I couldn't show you this yet as it's still the most embarrasing mess!

So, then this week has been days 282-90 and I've been drawing many many new patterns (staying top secret until I get them sewn!), and also attending to some works in progress. I finished a big batch of doves and bluebirds, which look like this:
And I've also been sewing and embroidering LOTS of oak leaves. The finished ones look like this...... but there are more still to embroider. The leaves are destined to be lots of fun things: necklaces, bracelets, hairbands and brooches. A whole range of leafy accessories :)

Saturday 21 June 2008

Gift Giving

I continue to work on new patterns (which I want to keep secret) and old works in progress (which I can't show you as I still don't have a working camera).

So, instead of crafty photos... here are a few awesome boy-friendly Etsy treats. Each one of these items has been approved by my very long suffering boyfriend. Though he probably wishes I'd never found Etsy (I do witter on about it quite a lot) he is definitely coming round to Etsy as a place for me to to buy him nice presents! I've bought him things like cufflinks and cards in the past, but this year his birthday presents were pretty much all from Etsy...

Just like I am tea-obsessed and fill our house with tea themed things, the boyfriend adores books. Old books, new books, all sorts of books (he even blogs about them) ... but particularly Penguin Books. I'd never know what books to buy him, but this lovely little print from SpoonerGregory? Perfect:
(With my love of kitchenalia and all things domestic, I also love their peg prints and cards!)

For any book lover who wants to keep their books pristine, what could be better than bookmark notebooks from TheSherwoodPress? I like the owl one best, but the Space themed one is excellently suited to boys of all ages...Again with the book theme, when we went looking for bookplates we were quite spoilt for choice (so many fun designs to choose from!) but in the end I settled on treating him to a clever little library card design and a cute as a button kitten:
It's a kitten! Reading a book! What more could anyone want?

The boyfriend also found an assortment of ephemera suited to his various obsessions (our first vintage purchases on Etsy - I am rather scared to browse the vintage categories myself lest it develop into a very expensive habit! I find it very hard to resist nice vintage things...) and this amazing little bear figurine from PearsonMaron:
I have to admit that I really didn't get this one when I was first shown it. But I adore him now! We were both really impressed by the secure packaging required to get him safely to our front door, and having arrived safe and sound he sits in pride of place in the middle of our mantelpiece. I think it quite likely that he will be joined in future by the bear with a green yoyo and/or the bear with a red balloon (a bear! with a balloon!).

Friday 20 June 2008

Laziness and Overexcitement

First up, apologies for the lack of a blog post yesterday. I have no real excuse for it, I was just lazy and didn't get round to it. Instead I mostly spent yesterday sleeping, watching property programmes on the digital and sketching pages of new designs.... none of which I want to show off yet (sorry). I can tell you that I'm working on an assortment of fun brooches (including a range of cute little garden birds to keep the bluetit company), lots more masks (they are so much fun!), some necklaces, and (yes, I know it's only June) some Christmas ornaments.

Today will probably follow the same sort of pattern: getting lots of rest, and continuing to work through my gigantic pile of scribblings attempting to translate them into workable designs. However, I will also occasionally be making a high pitched "eeeee!" noise as my glasses disguise got a lovely mention over on the Urban Outfitters blog!
I have genuinely never been this hip.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Recharging My Batteries

Boy am I tired. I've been crashed out on my folks' sofa all day, even out-snoozing the cat!

I definitely needed these few days a way to catch up on some sleep & generally get a bit of rest & relaxation.

It's also (already) nice to be thinking about my crafting without being able to get on and do it, if that makes sense. I can make plans, but there's no pressure to get started on any of it cos all my supplies are elsewhere and I can't access my files or my photos or my accounts or anything like that. It's just me, and my head, and thinking about things. Which is rather nice.

Two things have come up already:
1) how much time supplies selling has taken up over the past couple of months (and how much space it takes up in my spare room!)
2) how many designs I have sketched and scribbled on scraps of paper awaiting sewing

These two do seem to be vaguely related. The supplies thing was a bit of an experiment and I definitely want to make being creative my priority, devoting as much time in my week as possible to actually making stuff.... so I think I'm going to cut back on the felt squares available in my shop sometime soon. I'm definitely going to carry on selling my 60 mini squares packs for the time being because I love them, but the 9 inch squares will probably disappear once my current stock runs down (I'll put a proper announcement about it in my shop & my felt listings soon). I love sending out little bundles of colour to crafty people, but I have to be selfish and make my own crafting a priority.

Crafting-wise, I have been sewing together a bundle of bird ornaments that have been in my wip box for at least a year I think. Three of them won't be coming home with me as my mother has already nabbed them for her tree (an early Christmas present!). I've also started turning lots of those roughly scribbled designs into pattern-ready drawings to work from when I get back home.

Oh, and one of my brooches was on the Etsy front page last night (or was it early this morning? while I was asleep at any rate). Thanks so much to lazygiraffe for including me in her sunset-inspired selection and to fivedot for letting me know & for the screenshot!
(oh, and belated thankyous to Munieca and Bombus for sending me screenshots of previous front pagers - lovely Etsy people one and all!)

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Travelling + Visitors

Today I packed and I travelled and I arrived at my destination a little worn out.
Upon checking my email on arrival though (internet addict that I am) I was greatly cheered to discover (thanks to Quincy at PearsonMaron) that my new disguises and masks got a sweet mention over on Craft this afternoon! Yay.
Turns out the eyepatches got a mention today, too, over on a Turkish website that also recently featured perhaps THE most awesome bags EVER:
Hello to anyone stumbling upon my blog from those places :)
I will be back tomorrow with a longer post. Scouts honour!

Monday 16 June 2008

Packing Up

Yesterday and today I have been working on a list of crafty projects (and the necessary supplies for said projects) to take away with me on holiday this week. My actual packing (clothes, useful equipment etc) will be done at the last minute - I figure I can always wear clashing clothes for a day or two with no bad consequences, or buy a tube of toothpaste when I get there, but not having remembered that certain shade of felt I need? Disaster! :)

I'm just going to visit my folks, leaving the boyfriend in charge of watering the plants (poor plants!) ... and there will be plenty of relaxing time to sew (not least because they have a television, and the wonder of digital channels, so I will probably be glued to the box for the first 24 hours and need something to keep my hands busy!). Last time I went away I got stuck with no internet at the same time, so I was seriously productive, making lots of batches of brooches - see them here and here. This time I'm concentrating on bigger projects that have been stuck in my WIP box for ages because I'm forever being distracted by other things. Like taking a serious novel on your hols, I'm hoping the absence of lighter crafting will force me to get stuck in and get them finished.

In other news: I have been doing a most egotistical bit of google-searching this week, tracking down mentions of my blog, shop and flickr in preparation for a shout out to various lovely people who've given my work a mention over the past couple of months. The most recent of these is Craftershock, who featured my work today & gave my Crafting 365 group a mention (though I don't think they guessed that it's actually my group! hehe). Looking back, I remember starting my own project in frustration at having done nothing crafty for a whole month and then tentatively setting up the group on Flickr in the hope that one or two people might join in... I googled "crafting 365" to check if it was being used already somewhere and hardly anything came up. Today google gave me 21,300 results (okay so it's only about 200 when google removes the "similar results" but still...), and our group has 653 members. So much crafting!

Sunday 15 June 2008

Photo Shoots and Fathers Day

I totally forgot to send my dad a card for Fathers' Day. What a terrible daughter I am!
However, three of my pins got featured over in the Dawanda Fathers' Day "My Father the Hero" gift guide so it's not all bad news, hehe...
My camera is still dead (no camera zombie as yet but it may happen) so still no crafty photos.

I can however show off some of the shots from Friday's photo shoot (my camera's final blaze of glory) ... Lots of masks:
Some hairbands:
And my newest ventures, floral bracelets and necklaces:Hurrah! Look out for these pics and more popping up in my Etsy listings over the next few weeks. (PS many many thanks to my lovely models: nothing beats seeing these things actually being worn)

Saturday 14 June 2008

Neglecting the Washing Up

I did make stuff yesterday, but as my camera is well and truly busted I'm going to leave off the crafty updates for today and instead present a few Etsy finds.

It has been so sunny today! Just gorgeous. I have been enjoying myself in the sunshine and neglecting chores like the washing up... (tsk tsk). My Skinnylaminx mugs teatowel and I really need to spend some "quality" time together, but instead of actually doing the washing up I've been procrastinating by searching Etsy for new teatowels. As I've said before, I do love a nice teatowel. They're that classic "beautiful and useful" thing and cheer up both your kitchen and that most dull of chores, doing the dishes.

Some designs that caught my eye this evening...

After my long hot day, this fab lolly design from MrPS really makes my mouth water:I can't get enough of kitchen-themed fabrics, so I am totally jealous of Beaky for finding such a great pattern. Just perfect for a teatowel:
This handwoven towel from KindredThreads has the most darling bit of trim: I love the styling of this picture, too:Finding this "filigree" teatowel in FlowerPress's shop makes me very happy indeed, especially as apparently there are lots more teatowels to come! So, so beautiful and going on my "to buy" list pronto:Then finally more cake in the form of these sweet cupcakes from DizzyDezign (whose botanical designs are also very pretty):Other lovely places to shop for teatowels on Etsy include GloamingDesigns (always so subtle and chic!), MasseyandRogers (lovely modern birdie prints) and AshfordTrading (an Etsy shop in need of their first customer!).

I'm actually going to go wash up now... honest...

Friday 13 June 2008

Being Busy (365, day 279)

Yesterday I finished a whole bundle of things...
A custom pale pink poppy brooch, a custom Lily of the Valley ornament (I love making special ornament versions of my brooch designs), an assortment of poppy bracelets, and two new masks: a white rabbit (with seriously lopsided ears) and a brown bear. I also made my first flower necklace but foolishly omitted it from that picture. I went to take a quick snap of it to put up on this blog, and DOOM! my camera had died again!! Argh. So far giving it a good whack has not fixed it. Not good :(

I suspect I will be buying a new camera next week, even if it does spring back to life. I have so many new things I want to photograph and list, these delays are just too annoying. Luckily, I did manage to get some fab shots this morning of my masks and hairbands being modelled out in the sunshine. Ooh, that reminds me, I still need to edit those... better go do that really... (I also might try whacking the camera again, you never know, it might work, right?)

UPDATE: My poppy design is now available as a sewing pattern! Visit my shop to see all my printable PDF patterns

Thursday 12 June 2008

Shiver Me Timbers! (365/278)

I may have made a couple of eyepatches...
(I made a plain black one as well - you know, for that utilitarian look - but I couldn't really be bothered to take a picture of me scowling in that one as well!)

Next time International Talk Like a Pirate Day rolls round I am sorted. Arrr!

Wednesday 11 June 2008

Seeing Spots (365/276)

Last night was mostly taken up by a staff meeting for my "proper job". I did manage to squeeze in a bit of sewing after dinner though, decorating another pincushion top: this time hot pink circles on grey:
I love the bright colour on the more muted background. Sometime soon I shall have a binge of sewing and stuffing pincushions - I certainly have lots of felt scraps to fill them up with!

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Masks are Fun! (C365/275)

UPDATE: Want to sew your own fun felt masks? You'll find a tutorial for sewing a felt bird mask (and lots more) over on my Patreon page.

Subscribe to get instant access to a growing library of PDF embroidery patterns and craft tutorials, and updates when I add something new!


Simply ages ago, when I was working on my first nerdy glasses disguise I made it a bit wrong and it turned out more like a mask than real glasses. "Oooh, masks!" I thought and went about taking the stitches out and re-sewing it to work better. Many months down the line, I actually acted on this inspiration and made some masks! Rather appropriately, I was spurred into action by having finally finished another pair of felt glasses... ... they've been languishing in my "work in progress" box for weeks now, so it was great getting them finished (two still languish half finished but I'm sure I'll get to them eventually!). Full of enthusiasm, I then tried a basic "bandit" style mask (ideal for bank heists, etc): Trying it on I had that same slightly gidding excitement I had trying on my first felt moustache: such hilarity! I couldn't resist trying animal masks, starting with a cat and a fox... ... and then venturing into three dimensions with a beaked tropical bird: I am loving the 3D thing, I've got to try some more of those. The basic design needs a teeny bit of tweaking (I may make them slightly larger, for starters), but I'm essentially happy with it and cannot wait to start playing around with more ideas or to get all these ones properly photographed and into the shop!

Monday 9 June 2008

Sewing and Selling (C365/274)

Yesterday I crashed out in the heat (gorgeous weather here at the moment) and appliqued some pincushion tops:
When they're finished, the pincushions will look like these ones. They were born out of my growing mountain of felt scraps - the small scraps are used to decorate them, and the tiny scraps used to stuff them. Felt as a stuffing material makes for a lovely firm and chunky pincushion, great for sinking lots of pins into.

I also had a small overnight flurry of sales in my Etsy shop. The UK-US time difference can be a nuisance sometimes but it is so delicious waking up and finding you've sold stuff while you were sleeping!

I sold a couple of medium poppies, no doubt because of the exposure they got from their week rotating atop the front page. In about a week I think they got around 1000 views (I don't know for sure because once they've sold the view count goes down to an unhelpful 1) and my shop seems to have been a bit busier than usual in terms of views, people marking it as a favourite, etc. I definitely see now why some sellers make all their listings white knockouts: the free exposure is pretty darn awesome.

Ooh, maybe I was wrong about that: turns out another of my red poppies (my poppy hairband) was on the front page last night in this lovely treasury, so maybe that was it? Mysterious mysteries...

UPDATE: My poppy design is now available as a sewing pattern! Visit my shop to see all my printable PDF patterns

Sunday 8 June 2008

Taking Stock

Where does the time go? The whole of yesterday got swallowed up by an assortment of tasks and a variety of entertainments, leaving no time for blogging whatsoever. So it's time for another mini catch-up...

Day 272: I took a small break from my accounts to work on sewing pastel mobile pieces onto their ribbons:
Then yesterday (day 273) I finished the mobile:
I also did a stock take. Counting, labelling, tallying, listing, tidying, photographing, planning, plotting, scheming. Working out what I've got listed where, writing lots of to do lists, and generally covering the house with a big pile of felt. I couldn't resist taking photos of all my brooches (well, most of them anyway)...
... and then there were so many flowers they needed their own picture!
It's pretty cool seeing them all together like that, and very satisfying. I love making all kinds of random things out of felt, but I'm also trying very much to develop my own style, and cohesive "collections" of designs that work well together. Getting everything out and looking at it every now and then is an incredibly useful part of that process. So many things to do...

Friday 6 June 2008

The Joys of Pattern

Following on from my crafty chores, last night I attended to all kinds of sewing "odd jobs": cutting out this pattern piece, sewing on those sequins, finishing this, starting that... including making a start on a batch of Lily of the Valley brooches:
I'm making a batch of 10, so that meant cutting out 60 of the little white flower shapes! Phew.

Then today I've been breaking my brain by doing my accounts. Ugh.
I actually quite like writing things down, adding things up, making charts, etc (I especially like a nice bar chart) but staring at the computer all day! Yich.

Even my eyes going a bit funny doesn't stop me from checking out my blog favourites though... At the moment I am totally addicted to the visual feast that is Print & Pattern, and it's got me thinking about all the bits of pattern in my life, my favourite patterned things and why I love them. So, I'm going to do a little mini series blogging about them: lots of little patterned corners of my life to cheer my blog up amidst all these dull admin-ish tasks I've been doing lately.

First up: the most awesome drawer liner from our blue 1960s breakfast bar (itself not a very stylish feature!). It's just one little drawer, and mostly buried under cutlery and coasters, but its geometric cheerfulness makes me smile every time. It has also made me a total convert to the idea of decorating the insides of things: so many of my bits of furniture could do with an internal makeover...PS my tree stump brooch got a sweet mention over at Rare Bird Finds yesterday, hurrah!

Thursday 5 June 2008

Chores (365/270)

Yesterday was a day for chores. Crafting-related chores, but chores all the same.
(How many times can I use the word chores? Chores chores chores. Ahem.)

First up, I had to place an order for some more felt as my stocks had been running reeeeally low. Unfortunately, my supplier is out of a few colours, but at least I've got 56 colours instead of the 45-and-running-out-of-more-every-day that I was at before.

Secondly, I had to have a bit of a tidy up as my sewing and assorted debris was starting to spread over the house again...

And then third I needed to pay some attention to my mending pile. Utilitarian sewing like sewing buttons back on or mending tears is sooo much less exciting than creative crafty stuff, so my mending pile grows and grows until it starts falling over and I have to actually do something about it. Case in point: I mended a cardigan last night which has been in my mending pile for so long I blogged about buying the thread to mend it LAST MAY (I then went on the use the thread to sew some of these instead, as I am easily distracted by shiny things!). It's nice to have it back in my wardrobe at last! Here it is atop my giant box of felt:

Wednesday 4 June 2008

Nice Things

Last night's craftiness? Sewing more layered flowers: It's so relaxing cutting out lots of petals, layering them and seeing what they turn into...

In other news:

I am really behind in shout-outs to the sweet people who have mentioned my work on their blogs etc... I will try to do a proper post about this sometime soon (even the smallest mention really makes me smile), but for the moment I must mention that my pansy brooch was a "Sunday Indie Find" over at BlommaFinds and my moth brooch got a mention today on Cuteable in a selection of fun "Dawanda Finds". Yay.

Lovely though it is to have people mention my work, nothing (and I mean nothing) beats the thrill of seeing people actually wearing it! My most recent customer appreciation photo comes from Clothcat, who has kindly agreed to be an official moustache disguise model for my Etsy listings... how great is this picture?

Tuesday 3 June 2008

Felt flowers + real ones too

First up: confessions. I didn't get anything crafty done on Sunday (for shame!) as I was far too busy stuffing myself with cake (yum yum). On Saturday though I finished my first attempt at some honeysuckle (day 267) ...... it needs a lot of work before I'll actually be happy with it, but it's not a bad start. I just need to redo the pattern, choose different colours, adjust the scale (do the whole thing over basically, haha). It at least looks like honeysuckle, which is something!

Then yesterday (Monday, day 268) after going "eeeee!" a lot about my poppy, er, popping up atop the Etsy front page I watched several episodes of Australia's Next Top Model and cut out lots of bits of felt freehand, experimenting with layered flowers. Unfortunately my camera had a hissy fit taking pictures of this, but hopefully you'll get the idea even from this shockingly bad photo:
I'm aiming for a soft, layered flower bursting with petals - large roses or peonies - and I think it's getting there (in pink that one would make a cracking peony I reckon). It's interesting working in more of a 3D way instead of my usual flat applique. Lots of the gardens round me are starting to come into their summer bloom and it's very inspiring! Even my own little potted patch of green is starting to look rather nice... my first dahlia bloomed this week...... as did my very own lupin (how could I resist growing a lupin??) ...
My little "garden" is still looking a bit bedraggled after an aphid infestation last month (pesky aphids) and all the high winds and heavy rain we've been having lately havn't done it much good either... but it's not looking too bad now the flowers are coming out...

Monday 2 June 2008


I've not been too well today, and was expecting to skip yet another day of blogging and opt instead for curling up with a nice cup of comforting tea and some trash telly on youtube... when I logged out of Etsy after adding a new listing and saw this:
My medium poppy got picked up by the robot that looks for "knockout" listings to rotate at the top of the Etsy homepage! Eeeeeeeeee! So exciting, and so unexpected as I didn't think any of my images really counted as proper "knockout" white backgrounds. That one was just an accident of a very sunny day!

I am going to do a small happy dance now. And then go watch me some youtube...

UPDATE: My poppy design is now available as a sewing pattern! Visit my shop to see all my printable PDF patterns

Sunday 1 June 2008

Cake and Balloons

It's finally June: which mean's it's my birthday this month - hurrah!

I can't invite you all round to my house for birthday tea (& cake & balloons & party games) but I am running a special birthday offer in my etsy shop - a free gift with every order all this week (until midnight on 7th June). If you do buy anything this week, please give my blog a mention and I'll send you two gifts instead of one :)

I'll be off enjoying birthday tea etc today, but I'll be back blogging tomorrow...