Saturday 30 March 2013

A Quiet Week

I've been doing some sketches / working on some proposals for a few new projects this week, which is always exciting (fingers crossed some of them get accepted!) but alas I can't tell you guys about any of that yet.

So, what can I tell you about? Well, to be honest things have been pretty quiet here this week as I've been slowly catching up with emails etc from my time off sick... and I've also been trying to take things easy so I can get back to feeling 100% again after this ongoing bug.

It can be quite tricky to do this when you're self-employed, as there's always a big pile of stuff that needs doing and work to catch up on and projects you're itching to get started with... but sometimes you just have to press pause and do some restful things instead!

One of the upsides to still feeling a bit worn out though is that jobs you'd usually find really really boring don't seem too bad. I've been having a mega filing session - gradually working through my archive of blog photos and product pics, getting them all neatly labelled and filed.

It's very dull, but long overdue and the perfect job for me to be working on at the moment!

I also have an extra bit of incentive, as I need to have my photos better organised so I can use them to make lots of mosaics for the fun scrapbook / photobook I'm planning as a record of all my crafting.

I'm getting there slowly!

Pssst - remember, you can get 25% off any orders from my Etsy shop or my Big Cartel shop this weekend with the discount code ILOVEFELT - and remember, postage will be going up next week thanks to the new Royal Mail parcel rates.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Thinking about Work

I've been thinking lots of big thoughts lately about money and work and happiness... about my plans for my business (and my life!) for the next few years ... and about how I can make as much of my working life fit into the middle of this Venn diagram as possible :)

Monday 25 March 2013

25% Off! Yay!

April is just around the corner and - thanks to the Royal Mail - postage prices in my shop will be going up. I am not looking forward to working out all the new rates for my products and editing all my shop listings! Such a complicated and boring job... and of course, it sucks to have to put the prices up at all. 

But if you fancy grabbing a bargain before then, you can get 25% off any orders from my Big Cartel shop with the code ILOVEFELT.

You might want to snap up some felt squares before they vanish from my shop...

... or some destashed craft supplies, or treat yourself (or someone else!) to a handmade brooch or headband or mask

Whatever you fancy, just enter the code ILOVEFELT when prompted during the checkout process and you'll get 25% off (excluding shipping). The discount can only be used in my Big Cartel shop & expires at the end of March. 

Saturday 23 March 2013

Back To Work

So, it seems the theme of March is me being ill! Not fun.

My shops have all been closed for a few days this week while I took some time off, but I've now re-opened my main shop (hurrah!), and I'm making a start on slowly catching up with all my emails, etc. My folks are kindly helping me pack and post orders, so don't worry, parcels will be sent out as normal :)

I haven't even managed to do any knitting this week, I've just slept lots and snoozed on the sofa while half-watching and half-listening to lots of DVDs. Luckily I'd just ordered a whole stack of box sets for me & my mum to watch before I got sick, so I've had plenty of stuff to keep me entertained.

I really miss making things, though! It also feels super weird taking so much time off from work (I am such a workaholic, it's the curse of being self-employed, I think?) but happily my boss (who is me) is very sympathetic, haha. 

In other non germ-related news... do you remember me blogging earlier this year about a new craft book that features a couple of projects designed by me? It's called So Pretty! Felt, it's published by Chronicle Books and it's out now. Yay! 

It's available from Amazon USA & Amazon UK and lots of other book stores.

I'll be blogging a bit more about it sometime soon - it's such a nice book, I'm so thrilled to have been a part of it :)

Also, did you see this lovely-looking new magazine, Made in Paper

It's out now and the nice people at Mollie Makes have five copies to give away (open to readers in the UK only).

[Just to let you know, the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links]

Sunday 17 March 2013

Primrose Brooches in Sewing World

I'm delighted to report that my primrose brooches have been featured in the April issue of Sewing World magazine (out now).

It's always so nice seeing my designs in the press!

I've actually reduced the price of the primrose brooches since the magazine contacted me about featuring them. The single primrose brooches are now just £7.50 each...

 ... and the primrose trio brooches are just £12 each. Hurrah!

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

Friday 15 March 2013

March Sponsors

Time to meet this month's sponsors!

The Bellwether (formerly known as Miso Funky) sells cross stitch samplers with a modern twist (and a bit of spicy language!) Their range includes wall art, coasters, needlework kits, charts & accessories and stitch-able stuff like iPhone cases & pendants.

Colour splash by Cath sells bright felt flower brooches and other accessories:

Lucky Cat Handmade sells key fobs, glasses cases, pencil pouches and purses:

And Reloved Preloved sells handmade goodies made using vintage sheets and embroidery:

P.S. Interested in promoting your shop, company or blog? Sidebar ad spaces on my blog start from just $10 (currently about £6.60) for 30 days. Your shop will feature in a sponsor post like this one and I also give new sponsors a shout out over on my Facebook page.

Click here for more info re: rates and my blog's traffic, and to buy an ad. 

Making Mosaics

I've been thinking about making some sort of scrapbook (or maybe a fancy printed photo book?) to have a proper physical record of the crafty photos I've taken over the years.

So I've been playing around with some old photos and making a few mosaics to try out possible layouts...

... it's rather fun looking through all my old photos!

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Studio Shelves

I've been having a bit of a tidy up and a sort out in my "studio" today, getting all my remaining felt squares & craft supplies organised and doing lots of boring stuff like filing. So I thought I'd take some snaps of some crafty shelves to share with you guys :)

Lots of colourful bargain bundles of felt squares...

... and here they are again. I am going to miss all that delicious colour!

The pile of knitted squares at the top left are the squares I'm knitting with all my leftover sky blanket yarn - I've been slowly knitting quite a lot of squares but there's many more still to knit.

The tin at the top left is full of felt tip pens and coloured pencils. The set of small drawers is filled with office-y things like staples and highlighters, and then the rest of the shelf is full of scrapbooks and notebooks and craft books and my index box of crafty ideas.

As you can see, my stock of felt squares is shrinking rapidly...

... I've got no idea what I'm going to use this bookcase for when all the felt is gone!

Closing up my supplies shop has also freed up lots of other shelves around my studio, meaning I've got more room to fit in all my other crafty stuff without it being crammed into every nook and cranny and - most pleasingly - I've got lots of shelf space for my ever-expanding collection of craft books.

I've even got a whole shelf just for "craft books I need to review" which makes a nice change from keeping them in a pile on the floor by my bed :)

Fancy a nose round the rest of my studio space? You can see more pics here and here.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Retail Therapy

As I mentioned yesterday, Royal Mail's postage prices are going up quite a bit in April (boo). Bad times for small businesses and designer/makers who sell online, but a great excuse to do a bit of shopping before the rates go up!

I've treated myself to one of these gorgeous lavender bunnies from Pouch...

... and an awesome tray from Hazel Nicholls.

If you've bought something from me lately your parcel may well have been sealed with some of Hazel's sticky tape (which I blogged about last year), her designs are so much fun. Hazel is actually having a spring sale at the moment - enter the code MARCHMADNESS Update: enter the code MMADNESS at checkout to get  35% off your order until 9am (UK time) on March 15th.

Monday 11 March 2013

Big News: Farewell Felt Squares

I've got some (slightly sad) news to share today: I've decided to stop selling felt squares & craft supplies in my shops.

I've really enjoyed selling supplies - especially all that colourful felt! It's been a big part of my business identity for years now, and I've loved sending parcels out around the world and seeing what people have been making with the felt, etc.

But it's been increasingly hard for me to juggle the handmade side of my business (and my writing work) with the demands of running the supplies shops. My parents have been helping out in busy times this past year but I really need my business to be something I can sustainably run myself as a single lady without making myself nuts from overwork.

And while I currently have the space to store lots of felt squares etc because my parents are letting me run my business out of their spare room...  I'm not likely to have that space for much longer. I'm not sure exactly what my life is going to look like in the next few years, but I definitely want it to involve moving out of my parents house and into a shared flat or a small place of my own and needing space for loads of felt & other stock definitely makes that plan a lot more complicated (if not impossible!).

I'd been thinking about this stuff for a while and had been planning on gradually putting more time and energy into the other parts of my business and then winding up the supplies side of things in the next year or two, but in recent months the cost of my supplies have gone up and there have been some quality issues... and then the Royal Mail announced their new prices, and it turns out that the majority of supplies-filled parcels I post will be more than doubling in price from April (the rate for that size & weight category is going up by almost 110% which is just crazy!)... so, well, it just feels like a good time to make a change.

So, if you want some bundles of felt or any of the other supplies I've got listed, grab them while you can! The biggest selection is available in my Big Cartel shop, HERE.

I'm sad about saying goodbye to this bit of my business, and I'm sorry to be disappointing any of my regular customers...  but I hope you guys will support me while I make this leap into new things! And once all of my stock has sold, I'll be doing a post with lots of links for alternative suppliers for felt squares so my old customers can find new supplies shops to buy from.

I'll still be blogging and crafting and making handmade items and writing tutorials, and when the supplies shop is closed I'll have even more time and energy for all that stuff (hurrah!)

This sort of change is scary, but exciting too and I have lots of fun crafty things planned :)

Sunday 10 March 2013

Hello Again

Being ill is rubbish!

I've been stuck in bed for a few days with a nasty bug, so I had to close up my shops for a bit & take a short break from blogging while I focused on a) sleeping and b) getting better. 

I'm still feeling a bit under the weather (ugh) but am happy to say that I'm feeling lots better and that my folks have kindly agreed to help out with packing & posting shop orders while I get back on my feet... so all my shops are now back open, hurrah! 

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Giveaway Winner: Rainbow of Embroidery Thread

Finally, it's time to announce the winner of the box of embroidery threads...

The winner is: Alyssa who said "Oh, me! me! Those look really useful."

Congrats Alyssa, and thanks to everyone who took the time to enter xx

Monday 4 March 2013

More Buttons, More Destash Bits & Bobs

I've been busy making more felt buttons - they are so addictive! I'm planning on putting some packs of these together & adding them to my shop in the next week or so.

I've also been busy listing some more "destash" craft supplies, including colourful buttons...

... felt beads...

... felt ric rac...

... and lots of useful bits and bobs like grip seal bags:

You can find all the destash supplies HERE.

I've also listed some sets of "not quite perfect" buttons...

... and this afternoon / evening I'll also be adding some more bargain bundles of "not quite perfect" felt squares HERE. UPDATE - the felt bundles have now been listed, hurrah!

Unfortunately, with all this photo-taking and listing, I totally forgot about the embroidery thread giveaway! Oops! I'll pick a winner & announce it tomorrow :)

Friday 1 March 2013

Bargain Felt Bundles

I've added some bundles of "not quite perfect" felt squares over in my shop.

Each pack is made up of squares that have a small mark on them / are smaller than the usual size / have some other imperfection which means they don't meet my usual quality standards... so I've listed them at a bargain price. Each bundle of 40 squares is just £12 instead of the usual £21.

You can find the bargain bundles HERE. UPDATE: these bundles have now all been sold.

I've also added some more "destash" listings to the Craft Supplies section of my shop, including lots of cute buttons.