Thursday, 9 May 2013

Cheshire Cat Cushion

That's it. When I want something I have to have it. 

I saw the most amazing cushions of Facebook the other day and I knew I just had to have one.

So I got one...

If you are interested in this Cheshire Cat design, or would like to mooch around some of the other amazing designs available pop over to:


So much cool stuff and so little in my pay cheque... always next month though!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

10 Tips for finding Mr Mojo

Uninspired and lost Mr Mojo. Fret not for I may have some tips for you.

1. The weather outside is frightful but in here it’s so delightful...
Surround your work space with pictures and things that inspire you. Print off some glorious pictures of the world then stick them up and around your work space.  

2. Have a break, have a KitKat...
That doesn’t have to be literally a KitKat. I’m more of a Haribo girl myself. However it is important to take breaks from time to time. If you don’t you’ll just run yourself ragged. Juggling lots of ‘balls’ does make you a super human... it makes you super tired. So take time out to chill!  

3. Variety is the spice of life...
So you make jewellery. Put down your beads. You knit. Pop those needles in a draw. I challenge you to take up a new craft. Something completely different from the norm. It doesn’t have to cost the earth. Try paper cutting, making some bunting, hell if your anything like me, try baking without burning it! Mixing it up can mean the difference between loving your craft and hating your work.  

4. The big night out...
Maybe you used to be a party girl before you pushed a couple out, or perhaps you were once sat between farmers who like rearing British beef yet you like big glossy musicals. Have a night out. Drop it all. Get the baby sitter in and get on the blower. Book tickets to see a show, go to a gig, see the next Fast and Furious film (you know where I am on the 17.5.13 right?) A short sharp shock might be enough to get those ideas returning.  

5. Well I could drive 500 miles...
Jump in the car. Don’t plan your journey (well plan it enough to make sure you will have enough gas in the car). Close the door, radio on and drive. Anywhere... and keep driving. Drive for a few hours. Drive out to the countryside. Take a friend. Stop of for a spot of lunch. Check out the joys of London... Liverpool... Skeg Vegas?

6. Dancing in the streets...
Maybe not literally on this one... unless you’re brave. Dust off the cds, download the cheesiest tracks from your college years, or the heaviest rock from your 20’s. Put something on that you can’t help moving to. Close the door, close the curtains, turn the volume up and DANCE. Just let it all out and dance.  

7. Dear Diary...
Go through all those loose bits of paper and tatty old books you wrote all your ideas in. If you didn’t do that then shame on you. Start now!  

8. Tidy space tidy mind...
I hate this, but it is true. Sometimes Mr Mojo just wanders off because you can’t concentrate. If you know you need to Blu the Loo or need to Hoover the carpet – do it. Do it before you do anything else. Otherwise you will sit and stew about say said stinky loo whilst trying to craft and believe it or not... clean house makes for a great working environment. Honestly.

9. Retail Therapy...
Go shopping. Go shopping for clothes, shoes, crafty supplies, gardening goodies. Shop! And you can stop moaning about the pennies you are losing. If you bank balance is tight – charity shops (don’t be a snob! It’s amazing what some people throw out). Worst case scenario. Window shop. See what the stores are stocking and know you can make better.  

10. Don’t stress...
Stressing about it is a big no no. My Mojo can often be found under the bed eating socks. I just leave him to sulk for a while. It can take days and in some cases MONTHS for me to get a real cool idea. But it will happen. If you stress about it you will craft something just for the sake of crafting and then... well I’m not saying your idea is second rate or anything *cough cough* ;)  

My top 10 tips for finding Mr Mojo.
Don’t be too hard on him if he goes for a wander. Even Mojo needs a break sometimes ;)
Kat xxx

Monday, 29 April 2013

Pikachu vs Ika

So I was meant to be cleaning...

... but I decided to frame this fella instead. Just coz!

A nice light reprieve after the lovely custom order I had the other week of Ika the Squid girl.

As you can see, so much easier LOL. Though that said I am currently tackling a 'Little Mermaid' (just for fun), a Chocobo... because they are cute and I am designing a CareBear. I think I've gone cross stitch mad... ahhh well :)

I have decided to pop along to Handmade Monday as I haven't actually done that for such a long time. I miss my blog spotting so I think I will fill my afternoon with mooching around the lovely makes of others.

Kat xxx

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Ika - That's Squid Girl to you and I

So I got asked to commission this cross stitch a couple of weeks back. I had the worst luck possible when working on this piece though. The lady wanted it complete by the 16/4/13. I started it just after my last march blog post. I finished it 10 days later... only to spill coffee all over it. I was so upset as you can imagine. I had to rush the second copy to get it out the customer on time... and ended sending it for next day delivery. That's how close it was.

However the hard work paid off. It was a gift for her daughters birthday who is a massive Squid Girl fan (I love my anime but that is one I have never heard of). I was told she was very happy.

The piece has 30 thread colours and is 10"x7".

I'm not working on a Chocobo for all your Final Fantasy fans out there. I hope it turns out just as good if not better. 

Kat xx

Monday, 22 April 2013

To watermark or not to watermark...

I have had so much business sent via my facebook page that my blog once again has become neglected. However I guess I should not complain right?

The world that facebook opens to you is a strange one indeed and over the past 6 months I have read all sorts of weird and wonderful things. Some are just truly amazing, others just down right nasty.

But that one question I keep seeing all the time - should you watermark your images.

Now this is something that up until selling via facebook I had never thought of. My reasoning is quite simple - as a customer nothing irritates me more than seeing a company name printed in faded writing across the centre of the image. Talk about off putting. I always thought the aim of the game was the show the product off. Make me want to buy it. Not make me go - 'urgh, someone thinks highly of their business'.

Now from a professional side of things I fully understand the need to protect your images. The need to ensure what is yours remains yours. So yes, objectively I can safely say 'thumbs up on the watermarking'.

I am sure that there are those of you out there that are avid facebook followers. I am sure you, like I, will sit there for hours on end looking at others crafty creations and ponder on whether or not spend your hard earned pennies with a person you've never met, and a product you've never seen in person (a blog post for another time I feel). In amongst all that I am sure you have read a handful of posts by sellers who have fallen victim to the buy and resell. You know the story. So-and-so just sold a necklace for £15. The person she sold it to is now selling the same necklace at £20 and passing it off as hers. Worse still... the photos weren't watermarked, were downloaded onto the buyers pc and uploaded as her own image. Naughty!

Now I could go on about the obvious there (another post again) about the buyer 'stealing' the item. But no, today I am contemplating whether watermarking is the way to go.

So I played around with some of my images and came to one conclusion.

If someone really wants to get their sticky mitts on your goodies and they want to try and selling them on at a higher price - they will. More fool you for not pricing your items at the correct selling price to begin with (harsh but true). So in essence someone could just buy your items and take their own photos. I know I am not the only customer out there that doesn't like the bold but noticeable statement of the company name scrawled over the products picture.

I myself have settled for a happy medium.

Since looking at things from a business point of view means a) the watermark is my company name, when googled in images my company is highlighted, b) What's the harm in taking some precaution? These images can still be altered but at least it becomes harder for our would be thief. Besides, I can still see the product and my customer senses don't get offended ;)

Long and short of it people - if you want that image to remain yours - watermark it (right across the middle in faded print and larger than me). If you feel that perhaps you will be a lucky one, go for it. Leave it blank Or if you are like me and are offended by print over the items - make it subtle, but there.

Remember, just because you jumped one hurdle, you now need to get ready for the next.

Kat xx

Saturday, 23 March 2013

If Rabbits could Talk

Well according to the calendar it's meant to be spring.

According to the weather it's still very much the middle of winter. Fine by me, but I know many of your are looking forward to sweaty sticky summer evenings using a fan to help you sleep ;)

So I've posted some pics of my Chicken Little - who rightly said the sky is falling. So I thought I would post you a couple of pics of some lovely Easter Bunnies.

Now, here in the With U in Mind house hold, we have a rabbit. She lives in her hutch outside and comes inside every day for several hours. Cute right? Nay, you are wrong. Yuffie (that's our rabbit) is the leader of all evil deeds. Not only does she hate everyone (with the exception of my hubby whom she views as her human/rabbit partner) but she hates everything. It became a bit of a joke but my Husband said a few years ago that I should write a comic strip with Yuffie and our two cats being the main characters. An interesting notion and one I plan to play with over the next year or so.

At the end of that slightly random tangent what I am saying is all rabbits are evil... apart from these guys.

Will shortly be available in our Folksy and Etsy stores

Will shortly be available in our Folksy and Etsy stores

Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Sky is falling...

Still struggling without internet but had to share my Easter chick with you :)


... so I downloaded the app to my phone :D

Where there's a will there's a way.

Oh, and chicken little is available via my Folksy store, my etsy store and my facebook page.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Brownies Little Mascot

The past few weeks have been a nightmare for the geek in me :(

It started when I realised that somehow certain keys on my keyboard weren't working. No biggie - buy a new keyboard right? Wrong... this (touching wood) is my third and final attempt to getting a functional keyboard. They were faulty or just plain rubbish.

Then for the past 2 weeks I have been limited to only a couple of hours of internet per week. Our connection is shocking and Sky says it's fine. When my computer tells me there is no connection and every check in the world doesn't work - it's not fine. If I hear 'Ok so if you could just click the router off, leave it for 5 minutes and then turn it back on again' one more time this week there will be reports on the news about how some 'innocent' call centre worker at Sky got straggled with a flexi cord.

We have an engineer coming out today... so my theory is the internet will now sort itself out of its own accord.

As a result, no blogging as I've had to use what time it did work doing the customer service side of the business.

Of course when things go wrong, that's when people want to buy your goodies right?

Business is business so I ain't gonna complain there.

I do have this guy to show you though. He is off to a new home in a few days. Apparently he is a gift for a Brown Owl over at a Brownies club (not sure which Brownies club but a Brownies club nonetheless). Just been asked to add a brown fringe to the scarf and he can fly to his new home.

I have quite a few other makes I would normally share with you... however I won't tempt fate with the internet right now!

I'll be back in a few days and show you some more goodies. Hopefully with a stable connection too! Hmmmmmmmmm....

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Rustic Kitchen Wreath

So you may remember me posting this bad boy earlier this week...

Well here's its twin... ish... kinda... maybe...

The is the more rustic, natural feeling brother. Whadda ya think?

I'm thinking I love wreaths. There should be more wreaths. Wreaths for the whole year round. 

A wreath invasion perhaps?

Friday, 11 January 2013

The old fame

I never expected for the mini monster guys to go so well. Over Christmas I was having to churn out custom orders - which was fantastic. 

I started to experiment during the middle of last year with making them into plush toys but one thing lead to another and the patterns and furs got shoved into a bag and hidden from sight. I have been inspired to pull the bag out again to give them another go. My only concern is the eyes. I would love the get some good quality glass eyes but everywhere I look they seem to be really expensive. I guess I must have missed a trick somewhere so if you know a place that sells them at a reasonable price I would love to hear from you.

These bad boys are up for sale at the moment, and I have a collection of others half finished. I have started to do some more interesting designs now - including a cute pair as a Mr & Mrs. Just thought they would be fun to create :) I'll post the pics when I'm done.

Most of these have sold but yet they still breed.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Wicker Heart Wreath

Over the years wreath seem to have become more accepted to keep up through out the year. I have a lovely one hanging in my kitchen which I purchased from a garden centre a couple of years ago. It has autumn shades running through it and is basically cotton leaves on a wicker base. Very pretty!

With a bit of experimentation this bad boy was created. It's been kept nice and simple as I can't be doing with fussy designs. I think the wicker wreath should really be the focus rather than trying to hide it behind materials, buttons and lace. What do you think? A friend of mine suggested it had a Valentines feel to it. I guess it does but that was not my intention. However, I will be popping this into my Folksy and Etsy stores and we will see what happens. 

Monday, 7 January 2013

You're never too old to game!

I recently got into a conversation with one of the customers where I work. I currently work for a Self Storage company and this guy basically runs his own business. He sells those pre-printed phone cases for the iphone as well a selection of questionable tshirts. Anyways, to cut the story short we got to talking about what it is a do in my spare time so I explained about my slowly building empire of handmade goodies. I showed him some pictures and he was suitably impressed.

Now whom it was who started the craze again I shall never know - however thanks to the likes of arcade games and the original Nintendo I find myself often pushing out a number of retro game designs. He asked me for a phone sleeve which I am currently part way through making so I thought I would share with you the picture of what shall be on the front. Since then I have been asked for a couple of designs based on our retro buddies and as a result I guess they will be made up and stocked. Fine by me - I don't think you are ever too old to game ;)

The feature of the phone sleeve. Mario Mushrooms.
I need to source some fabric that will match the blue or the yellow/green, then I can get to making up the sleeve itself. Thankfully the guy is in no rush.

I'm on the look out for other retro designs. Any first gen gamers out there who would like to pop down there ideas for me?

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

I don't know about anyone else but I have a very good feeling about 2013. Last year was good, but this one is gonna ROCK!

I think even Garfield thinks so with that grin...

I completed my first piece of the year. Well I say completed, the hard work is done. Now it needs a cold wash, an iron and then I'm gonna frame it before putting it up for sale. Not for everyone I know, but I love the design of this little guy!

I have so many ideas for this year, including getting some actually branding sorted. One of those jobs that I kept putting off but considering my sales over the last couple of months I guess I can't ignore it any more. I would like to start running a regular feature too. A share of my favourite blogs to read - featuring links to my favourite posts, stores and items. Give something back to you guys! If it wasn't for you I wouldn't be doing this in the first place. I have also decided to launch a newsletter. I hear some people have success and others aren't too happy with the results. If you have had any experience I would love to know about it, good or bad.

I have another couple of Cross Stitches I need to finish off so excuse me as I rush back down stairs. Besides I can smell the chicken in the oven and it's making my mouth water...