Saturday 22 January 2011

Felt Coasters Winner

The winner of the felt coasters is... Amy!

Things might be a bit quiet here on the blog this week as I've been a bit under the weather... I'm feeling much better now but have lots of emails and parcels and other work to catch up on. I'll be back very soon I promise :)

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Spring Secrets

I'm working on some more things this week that I can't show you yet... but here's a peek at some of the supplies I've been using (the fab flower buttons are from BigFish):

I'm loving those pretty springtime colours at the moment! (I don't know about you, but I am quite ready for winter to be over now thankyouverymuch)

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Bundles of Inspiration

With dreams of making some patchwork things this year, I treated myself to some fabric scrap packs from Manda (Treefall Design) on Etsy.

Each pack contains a random assortment of scraps from 2inch strips upwards, and each scrap is a different pattern, so it was really thrilling unpacking them and seeing what patterns there were! These are just a few of my favourites...

... but they're all quite lovely! Now, what shall I make...?

Saturday 15 January 2011

Pretty Pastels in Sew Magazine

A kind comment left on my blog yesterday (thanks Siân!) reminded me about a nice press mention my pastel felt squares pack got recently in Sew magazine.

I got a copy of the January issue of Sew in the post just before Christmas, and was so busy I completely forgot to blog about it!

My pastel felt squares were included in a shopping feature on pastel sewing supplies:

It was a lovely end to what was a really exciting year for me press-wise :)

P.S. All my shops - my website, my Etsy shop, my Folksy shop and my DaWanda shop - are now up and running after my Christmas break, hurrah!

Friday 14 January 2011

January Giveaway: Felt Coasters

We've been having a bit of a clearout at home after Christmas, and one of the things we're clearing out is a set of these felt coasters:

They're lovely, but we don't really use them so they've got to go... and I thought they might tickle the fancy of some of you felt-loving folks, either just as coasters or to re-purpose for some crafty project.

The coasters are made from thick black felt, and are about 13cms (5inches) square. We've hardly used them so they're in good condition, and I think they were originally purchased from John Lewis.

One lucky winner will receive the set of 6 coasters. As always, I'm happy to ship internationally, so anyone can enter. Just leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win! (If you're reading this on my Facebook page please click through to the original blog post to leave your comment).

Leave your comment before 10pm on Friday 21st January and
I'll pick a winner at random on Saturday 22nd January.

Please make sure you leave a name or pseudonym (no anonymous comments please!) and leave a link or email address so I can contact you, or make sure to come back to see if you got picked.

Update: this giveaway is now closed.

Thursday 13 January 2011

Printing Packaging

One of my "getting back to work" tasks this week = stocking up on packaging after the madness that was Christmas.

Not at all exciting, but very important. And I am rather looking forward to ordering a giant roll of bubblewrap...

Wednesday 12 January 2011

A Great Big Sale!

Etsy recently launched multiple currency options - so sellers can list items in their own currency, and buyers can view items in their own currency and see a preview of what will actually come out of their bank account before they get to Paypal.

I've been very much enjoying being able to browse items in pounds instead of dollars, but ummed and aahed about switching over the currency in my shop. But eventually I decided to take the plunge!

Hopefully this will save me many many hours of editing my listing prices whenever the pound/dollar exchange rate fluctuates, and it will mean the prices in my Etsy shop are always accurate and no-one will be charged extra just because the value of the pound changed.

To celebrate this big change, I've re-opened my shop a little earlier than planned and am having a big spring sale. Lots of items have been added to my sale section, and most of them are only £5 (which, at the time of typing this is a mere US $8.03).

These are some of the goodies now on sale... when they're gone, they're gone as I need to make room for new things! Click here to visit my sale section and grab yourself a felty bargain.

Shipping will resume next week when I'll re-open all my other shops (on 17th January).

Some of my shop categories look a little empty as I'm busy re-stocking designs sold out during the busy Christmas period... if an item has sold out that you're interested in, please do get in touch! The "choose your own colours" felt packs will be back in stock in early February, but I've got lots of colour bundles available in the meantime.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Postal Hiccups and a Wonderful Parcel

The Christmas post this year has been just awful.

Lots of my customers are still waiting on parcels, and I've heard from many of my fellow online-sellers that they're in the same boat. Packages to the USA seem to have been particularly affected (apparently there's been a big increase in security at customs?) but the bad weather we had here in the UK in the run up to Christmas seems to have caused delays all over the place.

I have my fingers very tightly crossed everything will arrive at its destination... and that this won't happen again next year :(

I've also experienced my own postal hiccup recently as a package I ordered from the lovely Lisa at lil fish studios got lost for 3 weeks in my local delivery office. I paid the customs charge on it, and then it just vanished! I knew it existed but no-one seemed able to find it...

Luckily they found it eventually, and the postie delivered it yesterday (hurrah!). There's nothing quite like thinking a parcel has been lost forever to make you giddy with excitement to actually be opening it!

And it was well worth the wait - just look at these gorgeous sewing-pattern-wrapped bundles...

... and the woollen goodness within!

I've been a fan of Lisa's work for years and I thought it was high time I bought some of her ornaments for my Christmas tree! I'm very glad I did. These lovelies will be taking pride of place and may have to be displayed somewhere in the meantime as I don't think I can bear packing them away for another 11 months.

Saturday 8 January 2011

Spoilt Rotten

I have been thoroughly spoilt this Christmas. Among other assorted lovely things I'm now the proud owner of...

... some gorgeous teatowls from New House Textiles, including two teatime-themed designs by Charlotte Farmer. I know, I know, I don't exactly need more teatowels, do I? but they are so very nice... (images taken from the New House Textiles website)

... some adorable owl print fabric by Cloud9 Fabrics, much admired and finally purchased from Saints and Pinners thanks to some Christmas money.

... brilliant brooches from Made By Anna - another Christmas-money-funded treat - an oak leaf and an ampersand, so nice and both total bargains. I'd been oohing over Anna's brooches for a while but when she added the ampersands to her shop I could resist no longer! (Images taken from Anna's shop)

Plus - thanks to the boyfriend, who I think regards it as an investment in "a bit of peace and quiet" - many happy hours of Agatha Christie fun:

I should be able to get quite a bit of sewing done while watching / listening to that lot! :)

Friday 7 January 2011

Green and Orange

I'm not knitting anything very exciting with this green and orange yarn, just some blanket squares, but oh how I love this colour combination!

I've been knitting with these colours every evening this week - making some blanket squares for one of my "big projects" for the year.

Is there a craft more relaxing than knitting simple blanket squares? I doubt it. I've blogged many times about my lack of prowess in the sphere of knitting, but after many years just sticking to the basics I can (almost!) knit these with my eyes closed and feel the stress click click clicking away with every row...

Thursday 6 January 2011

Pretty Patterns

I'm working on some secret projects this week... one of them involves lots of pretty patterned felt:

I've been feeling a bit under the weather this week, but those bright spring colours are really cheering me up!

These are all sheets I've bought from various craft stores, some online and some local (the large polkadot prints are from Hobbycraft). If you want some patterned felt of your own, try searching Etsy for "printed felt"... I've got some of this heart print felt on my wishlist at the moment.

Wednesday 5 January 2011

A New Flickr Group

Have you made something from one of my crafty tutorials?

I always love seeing photos of what people make using my tutorials, so I thought I'd set up a Flickr group as a place for everyone to show off what they've been making!

You can visit my Flickr group here - you can share your own photos if you're a Flickr member, just join the group and then add your photos of the things you've made from my tutorials to the group pool.

There's also a discussion section, so if you've got any questions about the projects (e.g. where to source materials, etc) you can start a discussion topic about it. I'll be adding links to new tutorials here too, so you won't miss any projects. Hurrah!

Tuesday 4 January 2011


After a busy Christmas season, I've got lots of designs that need restocking... so I've made a list and am gradually working my way through it making batches of the out-of-stock items.

So far I've finished some camera brooches...

... some sunflower brooches and headbands...

... and lots and lots of poppies which I started before Christmas:

Making things in small batches makes me feel very efficient (and it probably saves lots of time, though I've never actually timed it) but I don't like making bigger batches than about 10 or 12 at a time, as I start to feel like a robot working in a factory repeating the same steps over and over and over until I go a bit mad.

At the moment I'm quite enjoying the restful processes of these smallish batches, drinking tea and listening to the Agatha Christie audiobooks I got for Christmas while I sew, but I'm sure it won't be long before I go a bit creatively stir-crazy and get the itch to design some new things!

UPDATE: My poppy and sunflower designs are now available as sewing patterns... and will soon be joined by my camera design, too! Visit my shop to see all my printable PDF patterns

Saturday 1 January 2011

Crafty Resolutions for 2011

Happy New Year!

We saw the new year in very quietly - I was actually sitting on the sofa knitting when the clock hit twelve... start as you mean to go on, eh?

This time last year I made a New Year's Resolution to "maintain a balance between my crafty life and my crafty business" and I've worked really hard to keep it, though to be honest I've not always succeeded!

I'm going to be trying to keeping up that balance this year, and I'm also making two more crafty resolutions... to spend less time on the computer, and also to finish a couple of large crafty projects that have been languishing under the spare bed for years.

Running an online shop, with customers in different timezones it can sometimes be really hard to switch off the computer, or to leave those emails until tomorrow. The internet (wonderful as it is) is also full of time wasting distractions when I'm feeling lazy, and far far too many amazing talented people making amazing fantastic things when I'm feeling full of self-doubt.

Basically, I just need to turn off the computer more, and make things instead!

I've got a big to do list of things I want to make this year, but I'm also determined to make stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with work, and have a crafty project to help me relax like I did when this was just a hobby...

And lo, when I was tidying the spare room, what did I find? A box containing two small bags of blanket squares and one pile of little fabric squares cut out for a quilt many years ago. Perfect!

Two blankets to knit and a quilt to sew will keep me busy for ages (not least because I don't own a sewing machine so I'll be sewing the quilt by hand!). I'll take some photos soon so you can see what I'm working on :)

Have you made any crafty resolutions for this year?