Monday 31 December 2012

2012 Craftiness: July - December

So, following on from yesterday's blog post, what did I get up to in the second half of 2012...?

In July I did lots of knitting while watching the Olympics, getting caught up with my sky blanket squares and making squares from random balls of leftover yarn:

I also went on some day trips, bought Jubilee souvenirs, updated my working wardrobe, stitched some poppies...

... and worked on some secret things I still can't share with you guys (sorry!)

In August I blogged about a whole bunch of owls people have been making with my tutorial, about lots of the tins in my studio, about my growing sky blanket, and about the giant granny square blanket I'd finished the previous autumn:

I bought more grey yarn for my sky blanket, as there had been so many grey skies that I'd run out!

And I added some PDF patterns to my shops:

In September I started my festive craftiness early, with tutorials for felt snowmen ornaments, felt angel ornaments, an angel Christmas card and my first embroidery pattern:

I revamped my blog, visited London's Renegade craft fairbought some ornament kits to keep me busy during the winter, and made lots of mini thank you cards to send with my shop orders:

I also did a bit of knitting from a book I'd been sent to review, weaved in loads of yarn ends on my sky blanket, had my first Making Day in ages, and stitched some cherry blossom and forget-me-not brooches:

In October, I blogged about autumn leaves, discovered that my book had been published in German, and  reviewed some business cards from Moo:

I shared tutorials for snowflake bunting, glitter-y snowflake cards and a get well soon card, blogged about some of the lovely things made by my customerssketched some new ideas, stitched a secret project, made some felt birds, bought some suppliesworked on my sky blanket, and finally finished the knitted cushion covers I'd blogged about way back in January:

I also tried something new, adding some cards to my shops including these winter robins:

November was Book Month! I reviewed lots of craft books, and also shared a free tutorial from one of the books. I also blogged about a local crafty pop up shop, my thoughts on Kirstie's Vintage Home, some yummy vintage glass baubles, assorted works in progress, and the German edition of my book:

I shared some more fun things my customers had been making (they've been a busy bunch this year!) and posted tutorials for some Christmas cards and some felt Christmas tree ornaments:

And my sky blanket just kept on getting bigger!

In December I bought new tape for packing my shop parcels, and a cool vanishing ink pen and wound embroidery threads as my thread stash expanded... and updated the colour trends felt pack in my shop to include colours for 2013. I also blogged about some works in progress, the gorgeous winter weathermy mother's growing felt ornament collection, and the felt Christmas stocking I designed for Crafttuts:

I stitched some squares for an old quilt, fell a bit behind with knitting and sewing together my sky blanket squares, and managed to finish my first cross stitch design: a snow globe.

And I adapted my felt owl tutorial to make felt owl ornaments!

Phew, when I read all that through 2012 seems like a very busy year! :)

UPDATE: My poppy, robin, and angels designs are now available as sewing patterns! Visit my shop to see all my printable PDF patterns

Sunday 30 December 2012

2012 Craftiness: January - June

These round-ups of what I've been making during the year are one of those things that I think maybe no-one but me cares about... but I so enjoy looking back over the year and at past years' round-ups that I'm gonna keep on writing them anyway, ha ha. (If you do like these posts & fancy a blast from the past, you can check out my "review" posts from 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 if you like)

I've taken quite a bit of time off this year thanks to family stuff & a nasty patch of creative block, but looking back over the year I still seem to have squeezed in quite a lot of craftiness. I remember reading somewhere that it's a good idea to keep a "done" list as well as a "to do" list so you get to see how much you achieve instead of always feeling like there are so many things still to do. My blog is my own personal "done" list, I guess!

In January I blogged about my Less 365 Project (any of you folks give that a go this year?). I dug out a whole bunch of old projects, including some knitted cushion covers and a quilt I'd started when I was at University...

... I started my sky blanket....

.... and I shared some crafty projects for Valentine's day including a garland of love notes and an owl-themed Valentine's card.

The Valentine's Day craftiness continued in February, with a cross stitch heart brooch and an embroidered heart hoop. I also had a couple of Making Days dedicated to just, well, making things instead of being distracted by emails and admin and all the other other necessary-but-not-exactly-creative tasks that usually dominate my schedule.

I made new primrose & auricula brooches, owl masks, and cherry blossom & forget-me-not brooches...

... and I organised my embroidery threads, winding them onto bobbins and arranging them in a rainbow.

In March I stitched lots of spring flowers...

... and shared a few tutorials, including how tos for making simple flower and four-leaf clover cards. I also updated my shop packaging, blogged about lots of lovely things my customers have been making, and I made tea-themed rosettes:

I was also delighted to have my bird brooches featured in Mollie Makes, and to be able to tell you guys about a new book called Heart-Felt Holidays which includes 6 projects designed by me. The pirate parrot is probably my favourite :)

In April I shared tutorials for making butterfly brooches, and a cute raincloud mobile...

... and reviewed lots of crafty books during Book Week.

And I blogged about my sky blanket, which was up to day 106 and was starting to actually look like a blanket!

My bad patch of creative block began in May, which wasn't much fun!

I blogged about a lovely surprise parcel, and I did some baking...

... and I made a fun collage of photos to celebrate the approach of my 30th birthday:

I also set up a brand new shop over at Big Cartel, which is something that'd been on my to do list for ages. I'm very glad I got round to it as I'm really pleased with the new shop, I find it very easy to manage and hopefully my customers find it easier to use as well.

The creative block continued in June, but so did work on my sky blanket which was now almost halfway to being finished:

... and miraculously managed a teeny bit of sewing too, working on some of the things in my "in progress" pile.

... the rest of 2012 continues tomorrow! :)

Saturday 29 December 2012

Holiday Reading

I thought you might like a peek at some of the crafty books on my reading list at the moment...

... I'll be reviewing all of these titles here on my blog in the spring. In the meantime, I'm just enjoying getting lost in the pictures and dreaming of potential future projects.

Did any of you guys get any nice craft books for Christmas this year? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Friday 28 December 2012

Snowy Owls

Here's a quick snap I took a couple of weeks ago and forgot to share with you guys - I was sewing a whole bunch of snowy owls and realised that the movie I was watching at the time was rather appropriate!

Thursday 27 December 2012

The Quilt is Growing... Slowly

Hello again! :)

Remember the hand stitched quilt I started when I was a student and then abandoned, many years ago? Well, this is what it looks like now...

It's a bit hard to take photos of quilts, isn't it? Especially in the winter!

Anyway... as you can see, it's actually starting to look like a quilt now. I still think it's a bit ugly, but it turns out my mum really likes it so it's going to have a loving home to go to after all. Hurrah :)

I've got to fill in the missing section (the squares in that corner really didn't match up with the rest of the quilt, so I've taken it out to use for a cushion or something similar) and then add a few more rows, maybe five, depending on how many squares I've got left in my stash.

And then, of course, I've got to turn it from a big piece of patchwork into an actual quilt! Lots of sewing to do before I reach that stage though.

Sunday 23 December 2012


Happy Christmas, everyone! See you in a few days xx

Saturday 22 December 2012

Winter Skies

A while ago I blogged about my sky blanket and said something like "I'm determined to keep up to date with the squares so I can finish the blanket by the end of the year". Keep up to date with a project in my busy season?? Foolishness!

There's just a few more days to go before I stop recording sky colours for the blanket (the last day = the 25th, which I know isn't the actual end of the year but it's the only way to get a blanket that's a rectangle) but I've not sewn a square onto the blanket since mid-late November, and am also quite a way behind with knitting the squares. I'll get there eventually :)

Friday 21 December 2012

Winding Threads

As well as knitting simple blanket squares when I was a little under the weather, I wound lots of skeins of embroidery floss onto bobbins and filed them neatly in my thread boxes. I've bought quite a few new colours lately, so my thread collection has expanded from one box to two:

There's a big rainbow of "random" floss from all sorts of different shops and brands, and then the colours to the right of the second box are all DMC threads with the bobbins neatly labelled with the shade numbers.

I love how pretty and cheerful the boxes of thread look, and having the thread wound on the bobbins makes it much easier to find the colours I want in my stash and to use (and store) the thread without it tangling.

I'm also slowly winding bobbins with the shades from the embroidery thread pack I sell in my shops, so I can use them in some new product images in the spring...

This is one of those jobs that's been on my to do list for ages - it feels great to be finally getting on with it!

Thursday 20 December 2012

A Surprise Parcel from DaWanda

I got a surprise parcel in the post last week... a whole bundle of goodies from DaWanda (where I've had a shop since 2008).

There's bag for me to keep...

... and a big stash of branded bits and pieces (postcards, stickers, badges and paper bags) for me to use when sending out my DaWanda orders.

Nice, huh?

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Empty Shelves

Once I'd decided to close up my shops for a few weeks, I let my stock levels run down... so the shelves in my studio are looking a little bare at the moment!

Don't worry though, these shelves will be full of colourful craft supplies again in time for when my shops re-open on the 14th of January :)