Those of you who've followed along with my crafty adventures for many years will know that this isn't so much an exciting new direction as it is an exciting return to an old love. I sold craft supplies for many many years, loved it, and only stopped doing it because it didn't fit into how my life was looking back in 2012/13.
I wasn't really expecting to go back to it, but with the paper packs I've been putting together and the vintage crafty bits and bobs I've been selling this year I've started thinking about other ways my business could develop and re-opening my supplies shop just seemed like the right fit. I'm excited! I'm terrified! I can't wait to share all the awesome stuff I've ordered!
I'm stocking the same range of lovely 30% wool felt I used to sell many years ago (maybe you bought some from me back in the day?), and sourcing lots of other colourful crafty goodness, too. I'm planning on selling many of the tools and materials I use regularly in my work, because they're great (and because it'll be wonderful to be able to link to my own shop when I do tutorials!) and I'm also buying a whole bunch of stuff that simply makes my face become a heart-eyes emoji.
Basically, if it pulls at my craft-loving, colour-obsessed heartstrings then I think maybe you guys will love it, too? We shall see. There's going to be lots of stitchy goodness, of course, but also stuff for paper crafting and a few other crafty bits and bobs as well.
Oh, and I'm adding my vintage finds to the shop, too! It makes sense to have everything in one online space (where, if you're in the UK, you can shop for one flat rate of postage), and there's bound to be a lot of overlap going forwards as I love hunting for vintage craft supplies.
I'm only taking orders to UK addresses via the shop at the moment because I'm worried about international parcels being delayed due to COVID-19 and buyers being unhappy. If you're based outside of the UK and you're happy to wait for your package, please do get in touch (you can use my shop's contact form or just reply to this email) and we can sort out your purchase securely via PayPal.
Free Pattern News:
I've finally caught up with the "monthly" free patterns for my pattern newsletter subscribers - hurrah!
Last week I sent out tutorials for sewing pretty felt peony brooches and a fun felt swan mask, plus a stack of books embroidery pattern. These freebies are only shared with people who've subscribed to the pattern segment of my newsletter but don't worry if you've missed out on this month's update! You can edit your preferences via the link right at the bottom of this email and I'll include these three patterns as an "in case you missed it" in the next update.
I was thinking moths for May but I've become distracted by a floral project instead, so this month's freebie is still a bit of a mystery! There should be something fun pinging into your inboxes by the end of the month, anyway.
I got a wonderful email from someone this month (or maybe it was last month? Time continues to be weird) letting me know they'd made loads of my happy sunshine boxes to send to their friends and family they can't see in person right now... and oh my gosh, my heart! It's always magic hearing from people who've been making stuff using my patterns but when it's for something so meaningful? All the happy feelings.
My little flat is slowly filling up with craft supplies! I'm spending lots of time standing on a stool in my bay window taking photos of new products, then working out where I can find the space to store said products.
I think I'm going to need to buy some new shelves, and maybe some storage boxes, but with the current situation that's going to be a little complicated (and my budget is pretty tight having bought all this new stock) so at the moment I'm trying to make do with what I have and organise things neatly enough that I can a) find everything easily and b) not trip over stuff.
I've also been spending lots of time starting at my laptop screen editing photos and writing product listings and generally working hard to get my new shop set up. This can be a very boring process, especially when you're working on a big batch of stuff all at once, so I've been trying to break it up with physical tasks like housework and fun things like playing with craft supplies.
Yesterday I had planned to photograph some new stock but realised when I went to turn my camera on that my battery had died... because I'd forgotten to charge it earlier in the week, like a muppet. So I changed my plans and decided to do some shop tinkering instead.
I've got lots of things in my new shop which I'd also like to list in my Etsy shop (so people browsing Etsy for craft supplies will find my shop and hopefully buy stuff!) so I thought I'd put some time in working on that. What actually happened though was that I started doing that, couldn't focus, decided to take a "short break" to do a bit of sewing... then suddenly it was 1am and I was surrounded by crafty mess!
It was so nice sitting down to just sew stuff in a relaxed way, and to get a whole bunch of new things out of my brain and into felt and thread. I've stitched a few "sweet tooth" -themed embroidery patterns which I'll be sharing on my blog this summer, taken photos for a pocket hug tutorial that I'll be sharing next week, and made a start on the floral project which might end up being May's newsletter freebie.
One of the things I really love about sharing free projects via my newsletter and blog is the chance it gives me to experiment with new ideas, to think "ooh... what if I made X?" then just making it on a whim if I want to rather than having to do the kind of careful planning and prototying that goes into a new product. It helps feed my creativity (very important) and builds my skills, too!
It feels particularly important to have this kind of relaxing creative outlet at the moment with *waves arms around to gesture broadly at the state of the world* everything that's going on.
My main non-work sewing project at the moment is making masks for me and my family (or "face coverings" as our government calls them, to distinguish them from medical masks). Even though sewing is something I generally find enjoyable I'm finding this such a stressful task. It's sad and upsetting and surreal that we need to make them at all, and it feels like a lot of pressure being the person responsible for making them for my loved ones.
I got really intimidated by the idea of it and put it off for ages, then finally started a batch, felt better, then got stressed about it again and they're sitting half-finished in my living room. (I have finished a couple, which we've been using on grocery shopping trips and visits to the doctor's office). Maybe you've been having a lot of these weird feelings, too?
I shared some info over on Instagram about the process of how I've been hand sewing my masks. I think you'll need an Instagram or Facebook account to log in and view them but people on Insta have messaged to say they found my notes helpful so maybe you guys will find them useful, too.
ANYWAY, enough about stressful things. Let's go look at some lovely links...