The Uppercase Compendium

Much excitement occurred around these parts just before Christmas, when my copy of the Uppercase Compendium of Craft & Creativity turned up (all the way from Canada). You can see why….

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Not only is is beautiful, but it smells amazing too (readers of Uppercase Magazine will be delighted to hear that it smells the same!). That was only part of the excitement though, as I’m in it!

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Back in the spring of last year I applied for a free place in the book – they only had a few. I wasn’t in a position to hand over any money to be included, but I was familiar with the magazine, and thought my work would fit in nicely with it’s aesthetic, and with this book. I applied, crossed my fingers, tried to forget all about it (as I was sure I wouldn’t be selected) and waited until the summer.

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I nearly exploded (but thankfully didn’t as that would’ve made a nasty mess) when I received an email from Janine Vangool, the editor/creator of Uppercase Magazine, letting me know I’d got in! Then began the real wait while she spent months pouring over all of the content and producing this wonderful book.

The Compendium showcases 66 makers over a whopping 384 pages – most of us have 3 double page spreads like mine shown here. I actually plan to read the whole thing (although it’ll take me a while!) as it contains so many inspiring stories and beautiful images from around the world (oh and of course I’ll take any opportunity to bury my nose in it’s pages!!).

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My pages share my designs, and images from this blog along with more about my background and how I ended up doing this – I love the way Janine has put it together – it reads so beautifully and makes me sound rather good!

You can get hold of a copy of the Compendium here and I think there are plans for some European stockists (presumably some of the same places which stock the magazine, but you’ll need to check with them). I’m obviously massively biased but I think everyone needs a copy of this book on their shelves!

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Grow Your Handmade Business – Book Giveaway

I haven’t run a giveaway here for a while, and as my recent business posts roundup was so popular, I thought I’d give away a copy of one of the books I recommended…

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Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin. You can read the original post here. 

All you have you do is enter via Rafflecopter (using the link below). The only thing you must do is join the mailing list first (which you can do via the link on the right). The giveaway ends at midnight next Wednesday 13 January and is open to UK READERS ONLY.

Good luck!

THE GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED – YOU CAN VIEW THE WINNER HERE.

Month in the Life – December

I had such a good Christmas this year (or last year now of course!) and I’m sad it’s over! Lots to look forward to in 2016 though!

Here are my December highlights…

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Packing lots and lots of orders…

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Crafty Fox Market

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Making masses and masses of travelcard wallets!

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New glasses.

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Barbican Centre Christmas Market

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Wrapping presents with the little man.

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Festive theatre trip to town with him and my parents.

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Christmas itself (of course!).

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Blustery post Christmas trip to Brighton.

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Upcycled Wreath Tutorial

I tend to have mixed feelings at this time of year. The Christmas decorations have been up for long enough (and need to come down soon anyway) but the place is always left feeling so bare, and cold…

Mr M likes to have a real wreath for the front door each year, and depending upon how it’s been made, we often end up with one of the metal wreath bases left. I decided to brighten up my post-Christmas hallway with a little upcycled fabric wreath made using one of these and some fabrics from my stash.

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To make the wreath you will need:

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Metal wreath base (mine measures 26cm in diameter)

A selection of fabric scraps – I’ve used some of my old 60’s floral fabric alongside offcuts from recent dressmaking projects and a few pieces of Liberty print. If you’re anything like me you’ll probably find that most of your scraps sort of go together anyway.

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Start by choosing your first fabric and cutting into strips – the length and width of these is really up to you and depends upon the overall look you want to achieve. I started with longer pieces as I wanted to cover up as much of the metal base as I could with the first few strips.

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Start by tying a strip on to the out edge, then wrap each length around it it as so…

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One you’ve gone as far as you want to go, or as far as the fabric will allow, tie another knot.

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Once you’ve done one, add another directly opposite it and continue in this way so the wreath looks reasonably even.

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Then start adding the next fabric in the same way.

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Once I’d covered the outer ring of the wreath I started using smaller pieces and just tying them on (but working around the wreath as I did before to ensure it was even). Keep going until you’re happy you’ve added enough.

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Then tie a ribbon or long strip of fabric around the wreath at the top to hang it from, and you’ve finished!

 

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Brightens things up no end!

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope your hangovers are minimal and your festive seasons have been fab!

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Just a very short post from me today. I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions but I thought I might stand a better chance of achieving some of my business plans for this year if I write them down, and share them with the world… So, here we go…

1, New website – I may move platform, I may not. Either way it’s due a refresh, and I’d really like to set up shop on here rather than just redirecting everyone to Etsy and Not on the High Street. This is a plan for the early part of the year while it’s quiet – hence first on the list!

2, New designs – this should go without saying, although I’m looking at a slightly new direction (only slightly mind…).

3, Fewer events. I say this every year. I love doing events but they’re increasingly getting quieter and quieter and for the time and money I spend, are often not worth it. I still plan to do some though, partly because working on your own can be quite isolating and it’s good to get out!

4, A scary one – some public speaking. I had a few offers which I had to turn down last year as I didn’t have childcare. Determined to find a way around this in 2016.

5, Further improving my photography and styling. I think this will come with the more I do – I’d also quite like to do another photography course and maybe attend a Makelight workshop with Emily Quinton.

6, Increase subscribers to my mailing list. This is the hardest thing ever – especially as the Data Protection Act won’t let me harvest my Etsy customers – if anyone has any useful tips please let me know – although I feel like I’ve read thousands of blog posts on the subject!

7, Finally – and probably most importantly as, in all honesty, my business may not make it through to 2017 without it – get more press. I’ve already seen the wonders great press can do for my business but I need a lot more of it. So, look to points 1, 2, 4 and 5 above which may help, oh and maybe picking up the phone more often – eek!

What are your plans for 2016? Don’t call them resolutions, too much pressure!!

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And that was 2015…

The years are going too quickly!! I’ve had my annual trawl through the stats to see which were the most popular posts this year and here’s a little roundup. All of these posts continue to get lots of views, in some cases many months after they were published, which is nice! Enjoy having a read through the best bits and have a very Happy New Year – I’ll see you in 2016!

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Everyone loved my dressmaking exploits this year and these posts were my most popular by far! Here are my attempts at Tilly & The Buttons’ Mathilde blouse and Miette skirt. You were also interested in the Merchant & Mills Sewing Book.

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The tutorials went down a storm this year too. You can find them all here.

Once again, everyone loved the Day in the Life series – do let me know if you’d like to be featured next year (image below from Illustrating Rain).

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I attended quite a few events, but my shopping trip to Renegade in November was popular as was Blogtacular (probably less surprising!).

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My most popular post of all time continued to get lots of attention – Craft Fair and Market Tips from 2014… Maybe it’s time for me to update this one again!

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I had a great selection of guest bloggers join me over the summer and the series of trade show posts by Claire Brown (this one in particular) continue to get a lot of views.

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Thank you to everyone who has read, shared and supported my blog this year – it’s been my best yet by far! If you’d like to be featured in 2016 (either a day in the life, studio tour or just a post about you and your work) or would like to write a guest post, please do drop me a line!

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Further Reductions…

I hope you’ve all had a great time over the past few days! Just a quick one today to let you know that I’ve added some more items to the sale…

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In stock cushions are reduced by 50% to £20 each…

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There’s over 30% off mugs…

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And more than 40% off pencil cases/make-up bags.

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I also have 25% off in stock lampshades. 

Plenty of other bargains in the shop including fat quarters from just £2.50 each.

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