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How are you guys holding up?

I'm having good days where I'm feeling pretty chipper, and am getting lots of work (and other things) done... then days when I feel like a sad slug and do a lot of staring into space and not a lot else. My emails and messages are still piled up largely un-replied-to (sorry!) but I'm getting there slowly.

I'm in a good patch right now (yay!) so I've been getting lots of tasks ticked off my To Do list. I've got loads of fun things to share with you guys today, including new stuff for sale and free stitchy projects...

New Paper Packs:
New paper crafting packs!
New paper crafting packs!

I've put together a whole bunch of new paper packs! Each pack is made up of clippings and pages from vintage books and magazines and other interesting bits and bobs, there are £5 packs and bumper £10 packs with bigger and more pieces, and some bargain bundles, too. I was so thrilled with the response to my first batch of paper packs, I hope you guys will love these ones - they were loads of fun to put together!

In other excellent news: I'm now able to post internationally again, thanks to some kind friends sending me their spare customs labels. There are bound to be delays with the mail at the moment due to all the COVID-19 disruption, but if you're happy to wait I'm happy to send things.

Click here to see all the paper packs available, and for more info.

Vintage Bookplates & Other Loveliness:
Vintage Bookplates
Birds Jigsaw Puzzle
Floral Designs Book

As well as the new paper packs, I've also got a whole bunch of other lovely things to sell this week: gorgeous colour plates from a 1950s encyclopedia, plus books, jigsaw puzzles, and fabric.

Head to my blog to see all the new stuff! (You'll find more bookplates here, as well!).

Never want to miss when I list vintage stuff and craft supplies in one of these sales? Follow my sales page on Instagram or join my Facebook sales group.

Super-Cute Felt:
Super-Cute Felt cover
Cat, Mouse, & Cheese finger puppets
Teacup Mug Cosies

Did you guys know I wrote a book? Well, two books, actually, but Super-Cute Felt was my first and remains the most popular. It's been a while since I sold copies of it directly from my shop, but I've decided to order some copies in from my publishers and give it a try again (lockdown is making me get creative about possible new income streams!).

Super-Cute Felt first came out back in 2011, then a new edition was released a few years ago. I'm still hugely proud of it and all the projects and still struggle to choose my favourite (though those cat and mouse and cheese puppets are definitely high up the list!).

There are a massive THIRTY FIVE felty projects in the book, everything from a big butterfly cushion to little pansy hairclips and gingerbread cookie Christmas ornaments. You can also easily mix and match the motifs and adapt them to make other things: the teacup on that mug cosy would make a cute brooch, right?

When the books arrive from my publisher I'll be selling signed copies for £12.99 + postage (UK postage will be £3.10)... but before they get here you can pre-order a copy for £14 including UK postage, or £12 + international postage costs. Send me a message via my contact form or just reply to this email if you'd like to buy one for you or a friend - I can include a card with a gift message if you'd like, and am happy to write special dedications in the books when I sign them.

New Free Projects:
Flower Embroidery Patterns
Felt Weather Mobile Tutorial
Stack of Books Embroidery Pattern

Last week on my blog I shared NINETEEN little flower embroidery patterns. You can stitch one solo flower or embroider a whole bouquet of floral loveliness! I've also included instructions for using these patterns to make pretty embroidered felt flower brooches.

Then the week before that I posted the final parts of the weather mobile tutorial: sewing fluffy felt clouds and assembling the mobile.

I've also finished stitching the next freebie for my pattern newsletter subscribers: a stack of books embroidery pattern. I had high hopes of getting the pattern drawn up neatly, scanned, and emailed out to everyone last but - alas! - so much of that week got sucked up with slug days I ran out of time to get it sorted. Fingers crossed it'll be sorted and sent out very soon.

Psst - if you're not yet subscribed to the pattern segment of my newsletter and want to get this project in your inbox, you'll find a link to update your preferences right at the bottom of this email.

Behind the Scenes:
Felt projects in progress
Paper packs in progress
Aaaaall the postage stamps
Social distancing on the beach
Posting parcels

I know this isn't exactly an original observation, but time feels so weird at the moment, doesn't it? The hours and days all roll into each other while also somehow taking ages to pass, and things that happened a week ago feel like they're off in the distant mists.

Since I last sent a newsletter I've packed and posted lots of paper packs, made soup, had a flash sample sale over on my Instagram (I'm planning a proper sample sale for later this month - watch this space!), baked cookies, ordered lots of packaging supplies (and had a bit of a stress meltdown in the process), made a paper rainbow for my window, put together lots more paper packs, tidied up all the papery mess, listed a whole bunch of new stuff for sale and blogged about it, finished a very difficult jigsaw puzzle, had the OH GOSH WHAT IF NO-ONE EVER BUYS ANYTHING FROM ME EVER AGAIN fear, posted a bunch more parcels, decided to order some copies of my book... and been on many socially distanced walks on the beach.

And, well, that's not a bad list of things, overall, is it?

I've been working really hard to not beat myself up for not doing "enough", or to judge myself against some of the people I see on Instagram who are doing amazing creative work right now and selling (apparently) huge quantities of new products and booking up loads of online workshops and so on. Doing something is enough. Getting up and being a person is enough. Keeping going is enough.

My routine at the moment is to start my day with a bit of focused work. Sometimes this means setting a timer and forcing myself to complete a small task. Sometimes it just means sitting down and happily working for a few hours in my PJs, getting tasks ticked off my list or stuck into a big project. I'm trying not to set myself deadlines (though that's a hard habit to break!) and to remember that every little bit of work I do helps and moves things forwards.

For example, one thing I've been making myself do even when I'm not remotely in the mood for it is to make sure I have my current in-progress projects prepped and ready to photograph for the next sunny morning that rolls round. Then when that sunshine shows up? I make myself take a batch of step photos no matter how much of a boring slog it feels in that moment. Then, voila, a whole bunch of projects "magically" moved forwards a step!

I'm taking step photos for projects destined for my blog, my newsletter, and my shop, and they're all sitting waiting for the next time I have the energy and/or inclination to sit down and do a bit of tutorial writing. It feels great to be banking all these photos to work on in the future, even if I don't feel like I have the focus for it right now.

I've also been making slooooow progress on the new paper packs and now they're all done and neatly stacked up in my spare room and people have been buying some already! Hurrah! It feels so great to have them all finished, and also (let me be honest here) to finally be able to see the carpet in my flat again after living in a sea of paper for a couple of weeks.

I feel so ridiculously grateful to have these different little income streams keeping me afloat at the moment. Thank you so much to all of you who have bought things from me lately - a PDF pattern, a paper pack, a jigsaw puzzle, a vintage bookplate. All these little bits and pieces add up to something that means so much at a difficult time and is literally putting food on my table and keeping the lights on in my home. Thank you, thank you, thank you xxx
Lovely Links:

I'm able to ship internationally again thanks to deliveries of customs labels from three of my wonderful crafty pals: Marceline from Asking for Trouble, Clare from Mint Maker Studio, and Debbie aka LadySnail. They all sell fab things you can use to send your own happy post! Marceline has a range of cute stickers and other adorable mail supplies, Clare has ace "Thumbs up for your Postie" stamps, and Debbie has loads of ace cards - I just bought some of these lovely sunshine ones.

Looking for something new to read that has nothing to do with the news? The Met have loads of really interesting looking art books available to read for free online.

Pencil jewellery! Yesssss.

Sew a cute felt mermaid with this free pattern & tutorial.

It's my birthday next month and I've started browsing for possible treats to buy myself. I really like a nice tray so now have a whole stack of them bookmarked to choose from. I think I'm leaning towards a couple of small ones from Thornback & Peel, but how amazing is this butterflies one? And these owls??

It's lovely seeing all the "Me-Made May" posts popping up from the dressmakers I follow on social media... but have you guys heard about "Stitch Maynia", too? It's a big thing in the cross-stitching community, it seems, where people start a whole bunch of new projects which they then work on through the rest of the year. Some people start a project a day! Some do 10 or 15 new things, 20 projects for 2020, etc, and other people just join in the stitchy fun by working on and posting some of their current WIPs (works-in-process). I've discovered soooo many gorgeous new-to-me cross stitch designers browsing the #stitchmaynia hashtag this week!

Stitch lots of fruity things with this fab free project round-up.

If you love caffeine and cute stuff, do check out my pal Fiona's new t-shirts, available for a limited time only.

The new volume of Little U from UPPERCASE looks great! "With childlike wonder, Little U explores making, designing, illustrating and living. Highlighting children's books, surface pattern design, clothing and product design for young folk, and arts and crafts inspired by and/or made for children, this publication inspires and informs professional creatives and families alike."

Finally, over in my free tutorial archive you'll find a guide to making a fabulous foxgloves wreath for May. Now would also be a great time to sew these easy spring leaf brooches (everywhere has just exploded with green lately, hasn't it?), stitch a button butterfly brooch, or sew a heart to send to a friend. You'll find lots of floral projects in my archives, too, and my spring flower brooches pattern is proving popular in my shop at the moment!
See you soon,
Laura x

P.S. Got any comments, something awesome to share, or just want to say hi? Click reply to send me an email!
Visit my shop for printable sewing patterns.

Check out my blog's tutorial archive for lots of free crafty projects.

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Copyright © 2020 Laura "Lupin" Howard, All rights reserved.

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