Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Tired of boxes so I sat down to read...

Sorry for the absence my lovely reader people. I have had to make myself scarce in order to view new properties and the joys that are work.

With the Landlord giving us the boot we have had to look around for something affordable and pleasant. No easy task in this area of London. Strange how everyone just baulks when you go - oh and I have two cats too. Stupid Landlord types. You make enough money as it is - no need to panic over pets.

However, good news. We have a new house *cheers*. Better still it's a two bed house *cheers louder*. Nice place with a garden. I'm happy. The down side is between now and the move I have 3 days off. Today not included I spent cleaning and touching up paint work as the estate agent is round to 'value' the property (I carefully made sure I didn't clean the black mould off the living room wall, the bedroom wall, most of the bathroom walls and the hallway). Once she leaves tomorrow I need to get some crafting done though. That leaves me two days to pack, get my Sky sorted, order and have a fridge freezer delivered and generally organise chaos. Fun times ahead :/

On the up note - have you read you issue of Craftseller this month? I have and look who I found on the 'Your Letters' page:

A not so good photo of the magazine

The original

I just sent the photo in as a laugh via email thinking it looked kinda cute. Everyone loves cute so I figured it would make someone go 'Awwwww'. Must have really made someone go awww if it appeared in the mag. Either that or there weren't that many reader letters that month...

So tomorrow I will be posting the next part of the Plan. This time I will be talking about managing your time. If you are interested please pop by. I have some makes that I will post up for you soon too. Over all I am one busy bunny.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Halloween Craft Swappers Needed!!

Right guys, as some of you know I have been organising a Halloween Themed Craft Swap. It was all going so well... until some of you naughty people then told me you had other commitments to attend (tut tut you naughty craft people ;) kidding). So I am keeping my dates open for another week.


Here's what I need from you:

1. You must be over 16
2. You must have a Blog/Website/Facebook page to display your swapped wares
3. You entry MUST be handmade by you!
4. You need to stick to a budget of £5.00
5. ANY craft can enter - paper crafts, knitters, sewing fanatics - any craft at all!
6. Your deadline for posting the item will be 17.10.12 - that's two weeks before Halloween. Plenty of time for you swap buddy to get their hands on your hand crafted goodies :)

Still want to have a go?


You now need to email the following details:

Your postal address
5 crafty likes (and the reason why)
5 random dislikes (and the reason why)
Main profession
Blog/website/Facebook url where you will most likely upload the photos from your crafty swapper. (You can offer more than one url/site)

You can send these details to me here:

On your marks, get set, GO!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Bottle bags, hearts and something in pink

First of all, as I will be linking in with the Handmade Monday crowd, I need to apologise to those of you I didn't get round to visiting or writing a comment on your blogs last week. A weird week as things go (I won't bore you all with the details) but it hindered by bloggy time. So once again, sorry!

That to one side, and last weeks weirdness carefully place in an empty box, it was in fairness a productive one. I have been busy getting together the old Christmas stock. Not as much as I would have hoped, but as with everything, I should be grateful I got a handful of things done right?

There are 3 lovely looking bottle bags sitting very close to me right now... the down side? The photos I took on my phone this morning before leaving Derby are fuzzy, out of focus and just generally bad quality. So rather than put my name to shame, as I am off on Wednesday I will make sure to take to snaps to show you all. Even after spending some time with our friend, PicMonkey... nope. Really not doing those bags any justice!

So then there was project number two. Some little heart decorations just for a tree. No buttons, no beads, no sequins, just lovely materials. Plain and simple. As I do a lot of work with felt these are a little different for me. They aren't prefect, but I am quite impressed! Just need to trim the cord on the gingham guys.

Then there was a chainmaille marathon. My sisters birthday was on Friday so it was a quick couple of nights away from London up to Derby to see the family. So I thought I would make her a lovely champagne and pink chainmaille bracelet (which I stupidly forgot to snap). I then got a little carried away as I then made a white and blue necklace in the same style. I have yet to get pics of that as I could do with clearing the work surfaces to get a good shot. Another later in the week job. But then to top it off I had some pink rubber O rings which were just crying out to be used... so here is a pic of that :)

Rubber O ring Chainmaille available here
So over all a weird and busy week... with a severe lack of cameras and no photo taking. If that is the least of my worries I would be one happy Kat.

Enough of the woes though. Today sees us into another Handmade Monday. You know the rules. If you haven't checked it out, you need to check it out. If you don't? There may be some virtual stick poking ;)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Let's start with the basics... The Why.

If you are regular reader you will know that I have recently decided to go from part time craft hobbyist to full time craft seller. If you aren't a regular read, I poke you with my virtual stick. No not really :) However welcome to my blog!

A couple of lovely people have asked me to share my experiences and learning curves as I go through the process of what I have decided to call, quite simply, 'The Plan'. You see I can't afford to just drop my full time job from hell and follow my dream. Finances simply won't allow it (however I do I have lottery ticket in my purse so next week I may be writing a whole different post).  I have had to lay down a plan to be able to achieve everything I want and need to be able to wave 'ta-rah love' to the rat race.

I'm going to break up 'The Plan' and walk you through it, post by post, week by week. With a little luck if you are thinking of leaving the rough world of pain and no gain, I may help you out with something you hadn't thought of. Otherwise I at least hope to vaguely entertain the masses with my lacking comedic value ;)

So what's the first thing you are going to do?

Work out why you want to become a full time crafter.

The second thing?

How are you going to get there.

Now the why should be the easy part, the how may take sometime to understand (hence the posts that shall eventually follow).

So, you work in an office where Tracy had been giving you the evil eye for the past 6 months. She reckons you're having it away with the boss man and she has spread evil nasty rumours. You feel down, depressed and most of all you wouldn't touch the boss man with a barge poll. Anyone that wears that amount of aftershave has something to hide. Or you work with James, Pam and Eve - the check out chicks with attitude. Oh they invite you to their house parties and they let you sit with them at lunch, but you know they have spread a nasty little lie. Tut tut you getting all drunk at the Christmas party and coming out of the toilets with 'white' power round your nose. Your compact broke, they don't believe you, but they won't say it to your face. Or maybe you just work alone, all hours god sends, no time to be with the kids. Up in the dark, home in the dark, living off takeaways and coffee just to keep going.

Whatever your reason, you are reading this because you have a gift or talent for the old crafts! You might be a papercrafter, a knitter, and painter, a jewellery maker - it doesn't matter. You love what your hobby is. You've sold a few items to friends and family. You recently jumped onto the Etsy band wagon. You sold a few more items. You have a little extra cash flow.

Halt right there.

Hate to break this bad boy to you - but just because you sold a few bits doesn't mean you can go and tell James, Pam and Eve where to carefully insert it. Nope. You need a plan.

You know why you want to leave. You don't want to work in a thankless environment where the only people that get the praise are the people who don't  have families, who don't go out at weekends, who generally just live at work. You want to make you own hours. You want to be able to take a day off to spend time with the family. You want to make Sunday baking day and wrap jar tops in gingham fabric.

You do have to consider one more thing.

Only a lucky 1 in 1000 of us will make it big. That one person will be able to open a store, employ others and make enough money to have two holidays a year. The other 999 of us? We will make money but our hours will be long, probably longer than what you work now. The pay will be less. Sorry, but at the very least you £22k a year salary is a goner (unless you're that one don't forget). You will need to budget for every last thing. From where you will buy the new school uniform, where you will do your food shopping, how much you will spend on materials, bills....the list is endless. Due to cut backs you are going to have to work out if you can leave your job, and most importantly when. I will go into more detail on that at a later date.

Here's the crunch point. You want to leave your job. You want to sell what YOU make full time. Will your family and friends support you? Most of the time this is a yes. However every cut back you make, every day you spend working away until midnight, every time you get stressed out because you are scared you can't get the order out on time - these things effect your nearest and dearest. You might have the why, but make sure you have their support before you go any further!

I would advise you now to consider your whys. I would advise you to speak to the significant other. Once you have done that if you are still in the same place - the 'If I don't do something now I never will' place - pop back later.

Budgets are important - however next time - it's all about time. Time is your friend and your enemy! If there is one thing I have learnt when working in sales and retail for the past 12 odd years it's how to manage your time. Even if you already own your own craft business I may be able to pass on a gem or two to you ;)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

A little rumble before the Christmas storm?

So the last week has been an interesting week.

After trying a couple of different networking techniques, my Facebook page has seen a surge of interest and I've had a surge of orders. From custom pieces, to items I've made for friends but never for the general public to just general sales and interest. I know much of this is to do with the big 'C' being just over the horizon, however, I can't believe it. Part one of the plan seems to be falling into place. Such a happy little bunny.

So if you have purchased something from me in the past couple of weeks (or at all for that matter) a huge thank you. Without your support I wouldn't be able to start turning a hobby into the dream job.

You are all...


(do you like the 's at the end there)

In fairness I don't have many photos to show you as I have been busy making and packing out just to ensure I keep up on orders. However I would like to share this with you. I've never tried making Chainmaille like this. I need to revisit a couple of the links to just smarten them up, however very autumnal don't you think? A lovely little seasonal bracelet. 

Available in my Folksy store - Autumnal Flower

Someone also asked me for some Stitch Markers too. Nothing fancy just something simple. The photo doesn't do much justice however they are quite cute I can assure you.

Stitch Markers
I have a list of things to craft and create, and I am part way through writing a cool post which will be going out later this week. Need to get it submitted over tomorrow - but I can't tell you more just yet :D

Over all this week has been a fun and prosperous one. Our Landlord has decided to sell out flat however that hasn't dampened my mood much. It will mean finding somewhere with higher rent, but hopefully more space... which means more crafting. Complete excellence if I do say so myself.

I will be nipping over to the Handmade Monday weekly to join in and see what other amazing things other lovely crafty people have been up to. If you haven't already... you really need to check it out.

P.S. If anyone is interested I am looking to host a Halloween swap and would love you all to join. If you are interested read my previous post or contact me on for more information.