Tuesday 31 December 2013

Looking Back at 2013 (part two)

So, what did I get up to in the second half of 2013?

In July I knitted lots of hats for the Big Knit, stitched together some blankets, cut out abstract shapes and stitched lots of felt birds. I wrote a crafty To Do list (much of which still isn't ticked off), added some new things to my shop, and shared tutorials for making lucky pants badges and iced biscuit brooches. I also decided to do some decluttering, and started my second Less 365 Project.



I re-designed my tutorial pages in August and shared new tutorials for making jammy biscuit brooches, leaf cards, ribbon scrap cards and felt crowns. I ticked things off lists including finishing all my little hats, sewing together a blanket and making some owl masks. I showed off my childhood badge collection, resolved to try and read more books and was thrilled when a box of copies of my new book was delivered.

I also visited the Festival of Quilts and had such a lovely, inspiring day that I decided to try and have a Nice Day Out once a week. In August I saw Kensington Gardens and lots of butterflies, and walked along the Victoria Embankment and visited the National Galleries.



My new book, Super-Cute Felt Animals, came out in September and I shared lots of fun extra tutorials to celebrate: a snake, a tropical tree, a sun, a starfish, some shells and a couple of ducks. I decided to make another big change to my business and take a break from selling handmade things. I also finished some blankets, organised my book reviews page, bought some fabric and started a new knitting project.

For my nice days out I took trips to Reading, Notting Hill and Oxford Street.



My series of free tutorials to celebrate my new book continued in October, with an apple tree, a bumblebee, a ladybird, a leaf and daisy, a cactus, a hamster and a heart and a pair of blackbirds. I started a (still ongoing!) series of posts about how to write craft tutorials for your blog, did some cross stitching, shared a tutorial for making eyeball buttons, photographed my finally finished sky blanket and blogged about a felt brooch tutorial I wrote for Tesco Living.

I also completed the first 3 months of my Less 365 Project, and blogged about all the books I'd been reading lately (so glad I resolved to find the time to read more and have been managing to stick at it!). And I went on Nice Days Out to Windsor and Eton, Cookham and Marlow, and the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.



In November I organised the Crafty Christmas Tutorial Link-Up with 30 other bloggers - my tutorial was an embroidered mistletoe ornament. I worked on some secret projects, wrote a guide to making a sky blanket, blogged about my project from Mollie Makes: Woodland Friends, and shared a pattern for making a cross stitch snow globe plus instructions for turning it into a felt bauble.

I also bought an Art Pass to help save money on my Nice Days Out and went to the British Museum, toured lots of London galleries with a friend, and visited the Renegade Craft Fair



Then in December I continued my series on how to write tutorials, shared some of the lovely things people have been making with my supplies, patterns and tutorials, tidied up my thread stash and shared some free embroidery patterns and a tutorial for making felt snow globe ornaments. I also got a new lamp for my studio, did a book sighing, blogged about books I've been reading and some much loved books from my childhood, and did some last minute knitting.

Plus I tried to squeeze in lots of Nice Days Out before the year ended, with trips to some London exhibitions, a local craft fair and a couple of museums, the V&A Museum of Childhood & the BUST Christmas Craftacular... and a couple more days I've not yet blogged about :)


I hope you've enjoyed reading my blog this year and that you'll stick around in 2014! I have lots of crafty things planned for next year, I can't wait to get started.


Manu said...

These are oh so many lovely projects, Laura! I wish you a creative-crafty-inspiring-delightful-exciting new year, even more successful than the one that's about to end :-)

Fran said...

What beautiful crafting you have achieved this year! Happy 2014.

bairozan said...

This is an impressive list! Happy New Year 2014!

Anonymous said...

I have a question about making things with felt. I spent yesterday afternoon making a pigeon from your felt animals book. It's turned out very cute and I'm really happy with it. I hung it on my tree as an ornament and he looks very at home there.

However, it did bring up a problem with working with felt that I've noticed before. I used the felt I purchased from your shop but it is similar to other felt as well that is 70% synthetic and 30% wool.

The issue I have is when it comes to sharp jagged lines - in this instance the birds beak and the zig zags of the feet. I find the felt just frays away to nothing. It doesn't keep the shape at all. When making my own patterns I have adapted them because of this problem and used curves instead of points where possible. I find the felt is just so fuzzy. It happens somewhat with small shapes too - with eyes for instance but with points its a real issue. I used some really horrible but sturdy felt I got with a magazine kit in the end, just for the feet and beak and it cut perfectly (it feels horrible though and isn't at all nice enough generally). Do you use different felt when you need to and what would you use? Do you ever get the same problem as I describe here? I would be interested to know because I am putting off making some items because of it. Thank you.

Wendy Ward said...

thanks for a great crafting blog and wonderful "day outs" -hope you have a creative and fun 2014

Pickle Lily said...

Thank-you for your amazing blog - looking forward to next year! Happy New Year x

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks for your comments & well wishes, guys! xxx

Sara - I'm so glad to hear you've been enjoying sewing things from Super-Cute Felt Animals, but sorry to hear about your problems with the felt!

The 30% wool blend felt of the kind I used to sell is very soft but because of this it does tend to fuzz along the edges. I have lots of different types/brands of felt in my stash and use synthetic or 100% wool felt when I need shapes to keep their points and/or have a bit of stiffness to them.

For very small shapes like beaks and bird feet, I highly recommend the synthetic felt you can buy at Love Paper Fish / Fuzzy Fish - see this post for the link & more details http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2013/09/where-to-buy-craft-felt-in-uk.html

I hope that's helpful! Please do let me know if you have any further questions, I'm always happy to help if I can :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions about felt. What you said is really helpful and I'm grateful for the shop link. I'm off to look. Many thanks.
Happy New Year!

Bugs and Fishes said...

No problem, Sara! Happy sewing x