Sunday 28 August 2011

Journal Cover Gone Wrong...Made Right

Recently I decided I needed a nice new journal cover to inspire me. I had a pattern in mind that I've been wanting to try, but when I gave it a shot, it turned out terribly! The pattern and instructions were from a book that will not be named, and the pic of the finished product had looked so cute and inspiring. Unfortunately, the instructions were conflicting, contradictory, poorly-written, incomplete and just plain didn't work.

Once I'd realised that, I got to work on figuring out how I could alter it to make it work for my purposes. I am pretty happy with the finished product.

Sometimes the projects I like the best are ones that start out as one big mistake, and then morph into something else.  :)

Wednesday 24 August 2011

How Fun Is This - An Envelope Needle Book??

So Pinterest is apparently causing inspiration that actually results in making! I recently found this gorgeous tutorial on Pinterest. Wow! I found it so irresistible that I just had to make one for my crafty friend Hannah's birthday. I had actually gone searching for needle book ideas, as she has been storing hers in the awkward, hard-to-use turn-then-try-to-shake-the-needle-you-want-out case that the needles had come in. This tutorial looked perfect!

The tute is well-written, with a downloadable pdf pattern and instructions, as well as lots of lovely pics all available from the website. I tweaked a few things, like sewing the stamp and address lines on by hand with embroidery thread, and adding a name in embroidery also. Here's the finished product:

I enjoyed making it so much that I had to go on and make one for myself as well.

 So there you have it. Now I know you're itching to go try one for yourself so off you go. Have fun!

Monday 22 August 2011

First items for sale on Etsy

I'm finally taking the plunge and listing some items on Etsy. You can find them here.

It's a bit exciting!


Friday 19 August 2011

Childcraft Make and Do

I am currently reminiscing about my childhood. We had a set of Childcraft Encyclopedias at home, which we loved very much.

One of my favourite volumes was 'Make and Do'. How I loved to pour over the bright, colourful pages full of promise and inspiration. The idea of creating things from simple everyday boxes, toilet rolls, paper plates, and wool would create a sense of excitement and anticipation.

Last time I was home, I had to drag hubby to the encyclopedia collection and locate the much-loved 'Make and Do' volume to share my childhood excitement with a fellow project-lover. Flicking through the book, I realised that I cannot actually remember which projects I actually made. But I guess that was not the point. The fun was in the inspiration and the creating process, the outcome was only a bonus that probably got thrown out when I had forgotten about it a few weeks later.

I am finding the same sense of excitement and inspiration with Pinterest at present. The photos, the concepts, the possibility of 'I could make that!'. What remains to be seen is if I will actually make and cherish any of the projects I am pinning...

You can see my Pinterest board here:

Thursday 18 August 2011

To Sell Or Not To Sell

I've been thinking a lot lately about the pros and cons of selling the crafts that I have made. I can't believe how much I am deliberating over this.

On the one hand, the idea of getting a little something back to pay for the craft supplies I buy is so appealing.

But on the other hand...I do craft because I enjoy doing it - without the pressure of having to have it 'good enough' to sell or having to put a price on it. I make stuff to give as gifts because I like putting thought and effort into presents, and I know how special it is to receive a gift that was made especially for me. I do craft for relaxation and enjoyment, for self-expression and a sense of personal satisfaction. I am a little concerned that trying to market and sell my handmade stuff will detract from that element of fun, freedom and relaxation.

Also, I don't really enjoy mass-producing things. It's one thing if it's for a small Christmas gift I'm giving to lots of friends, like the Christmas tree ornament I made last Christmas. But it's different if I'm making in order to sell. To me, that is a whole different mindset. I tend to get sick of making the same things over and over. Once I've mastered one thing, I want to try something new. Otherwise it just does not feel satisfying.

Another thing that trips me up with the idea of selling my stuff - ego. If my stuff does not sell, I am concerned that I will feel hurt, that my sense of self-satisfaction may be diminished, and that in turn will steal some of my motivation to keep making.

So my current stance is this: I will continue make for enjoyment, relaxation, pleasure, self-expression, and gifts for other people. If I get excess stock lying around, I can put it up on my Etsy store, and see if any of it sells. If it does not sell, I will be ok with that. I will use it myself, or keep it for gifts in the future - but not in a 'this is a reject no one wanted so here you go, you can have it' kind of way. As it is, I only make stuff I like, so if I like it, hopefully I can think of a friend who would also like it. :)

Friday 12 August 2011


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