Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy Old Year!

Pavonia/Newport PATH Station (12.31.08)

Photo by The Jersey City Independent via Flickr

What a year 2009 has been! So much has happened that I hardly know where to start for a recap. But first of all I want to say thank you to everyone who has read my blog over the last year, joined in on a challenge, left a comment, subscribed to be notified when I post, or been inspired by one of my tutorials. Thank you to my fellow bloggers who have invited me to write guest posts, featured my work or arranged great collaborations for the New Year.

My stats show that over the year, more than two and a half thousand people have visited my blog, and about a quarter of my visitors have actually come back more than once! Wow! So hello to you, if you're reading this in New Westminster, Beverly Hills (seriously?!!), Lisburn, Queensferry, Groningen, Princeton (Jersey represent!), Kópavogur, Obregon, Doncaster, and yes, even you, Brooklyn.

In terms of Etsy sales, I started off the year just doing my thing, testing things out and seeing what would work. My sales really started to take off towards the end of this year, and I've been listing a few pieces on Folksy, too, where there's been quite a bit of interest but no sales as yet. Next step will be setting up my own site and shop, but I'm putting that on the back burner for a little while as I have so many projects lined up for next year, I want to try to focus on doing a few things well rather than a lot of things, um, acceptably. I've been interviewed on BBC Scotland (radio) and I've co-presented a craft segment on STV, our local TV channel, and I'd love to do some more of this in the New Year.

On top of all this, I've been plodding away at the day job, I planned and did a whole heap of crafting for my own wedding, and I had the most amazing honeymoon in Seattle, Portland, Astoria, Mt. Hood, Vancouver and points in between.

I can't help but compare where I am and what I'm doing now to where I was and what I was doing ten years ago. I was lucky enough to be working in New York for a business incubator, which financed and supported tech start ups with business advice and contacts. I don't think I appreciated at the time quite how much that environment fostered in me the actual mechanics of running a business. I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but because I wasn't brought up around anyone who was self-employed, I never really thought it was for me. Working in NY around the time of the dotcom crash also instilled in me the very real prospect of great ideas going horribly wrong, or being way before their time. If you ever get the chance to see the movie, you should. It's very much of its time and what's more, it's based on a company some of my friends worked for, too, so a very real slice of life.

This very day ten years ago, I was getting ready for a big night out, much in the same way I'm getting ready today. Except then I shared an apartment in Jersey City with five other girls, and now I just have to contend with the cats and the husband - not quite as much getting ready fun. It was frosty outside (same as today) and we were going to a restaurant (same as today). We'd considered doing Times Square but being British and sensible, we were a little wary of crowd situations and personal safety, plus the fact that we thought something was bound to go wrong, severe weather causing cancellation, security threat closing the area, millennium bug causing panic/crushing...

I think we had a fab time, but it was so long ago I honestly don't remember too much now - I do have some photos tucked away which I will post at a later date - that's another thing about this year, we are very much trying to move house as soon as possible so lots of things are packed away in storage right now. I also have some amazing black and white photos that I took the next day of our apartment building from the obs deck at WTC, we took a ferry from the marina outside our apartment over to WTC and made a real day out of it, good times. Some of the fall out from that weekend was that we had to leave the apartment and move somewhere else... but that's another story for another day!

So inbetween that new year and this new year so much has happened. I finished up the first year of my MBA and came back to Edinburgh, in the UK and continued to work in business, this time for a major retail company. After a period of illness I gave it all up to use my brilliant young, dynamic business mind to improve the NHS... that particular project is ongoing, shall we say? All the while I was making stuff in the background, and when I bought my first flat in Glasgow, I started to build my crafty stash in earnest, still making things for a hobby and wondering if there would ever be some kind of market for what I do. Eventually I met my wonderful husband, around the same time that I travelled to Tennessee and saw first-hand how it was possible to make a living from craft and spend all your time doing something you love. I signed up to Etsy later that year and set about making it happen. I couldn't have got as far as I have without belonging to the Glasgow Craft Mafia, too. It's going to take a while before I experience success on a large enough scale to even do this for a living part time, so I can't quite quit the dayjob yet (which, I must admit, I do rather enjoy), but I've hugely enjoyed this great experiment so far, and long may it continue!

With good luck to all of us for a happy and crafty 2010! I'll be back early in the New Year (possibly tomorrow...) to give you an update on my plans for 2010. Whatever you're doing tonight, I hope you have a wonderful time. And thank you again for reading, shopping and sharing over this past year. It has been a real pleasure to get to know you all.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

10.25pm update

I've DONE the re-make of the lost in the post order.

The security paper tidy-up session is DONE.

I haven't managed the book reviews or the thank you card making. Jobs for tomorrow, I think.

Goodnight everyone!

6.45pm update

I have messed about on the internet, played a bit with photoshop, chopped up some carrots and onion, eaten an apple turnover and located the yarns in my stash to remake the thing that went missing. Now I have to find my 'ideas' notebook with my notes of how to make it and then I'm all set.

With ten friends/family weddings ahead of me in 2010, I am very tempted to sit and make more confetti. Must resist urge...

Dinner - a delicious pork casserole is in the oven and almost DONE!

I have also had a glass of lovely Italian red wine.

4.30pm update

Package etsy orders - DONE!

Clean kitchen and bathroom, the two rooms with least stuff in them! - Kitchen DONE!

Go to Post Office and shops (got a couple of things to buy, a couple of things to return) - Post Office DONE! It was full of drunk/drugged people (well, it is a Tuesday) and a man who passed wind loudly and then informed everyone that it was all down to last night's Chicken Bhuna.

I failed to buy new pyjamas for my husband at the M&S clearance store, Asda, Next Clearance, Burton or River Island. They either didn't have any in stock, or the ones they had did not have pockets. Husband wants them with pockets. I'm thinking of treating him to a CK pair from Frasers or the CK shop in Glasgow once the sales madness goes away. I don't mind paying extra if it means I stay out of jail for not attacking ignorant shop zombies.

I also learned that most places now don't do exchanges/credit notes/refunds without a gift receipt. And I've had a very patronising explanation of what a gift receipt is, which would have been useful to me if a) I had no common sense whatsoever, b) I bought my own presents, and specifically chose things I didn't like but wilfully refused to take a gift receipt or c) hadn't spent six years working on a returns counter and later going on to manage what was at the time the largest shop in Scotland. Having never shopped at the place I was trying to return something to (they had a reputation when I was growing up for selling counterfeit goods), I'm certainly not going to spend any money there in future. Poor customer service is usually all down to poor manners, and I'm a total manners snob. Not in a 'you're using the wrong fork' kind of a way but more in a 'let's all treat each other like human beings' kind of a way. This is why I don't usually bother with the shops until February. Staff are angry and take it out on customers, which means we get angry and take it out on the internet. Grrrr!

While I'm at the PO, request yet another lost package form - DONE! Sort of. Would you believe I have a supply of them in my stationery box, so I decided to make things easier on the poor guy helping me in the Post Office and stock up another time.

Dig out relevant proof of posting sheet and complete claim form - DONE! Luckily I had kept all my proof of postings in my wallet from last month and this month, so it was easy enough to find. Now I need to print off my correspondence as proof that the item wasn't received, and keep my fingers crossed that I actually do get a refund. Last time, I didn't. And I lost a weekend of my time, a sixty dollar payment, and fifteen pounds worth of supplies. Oooh, I can feel myself getting angry again.

Make dinner - meat defrosting in the kitchen for a lovely pork and apple casserole. Hmmm, wish I'd picked up some cider now....

Getting organised

I love this time of year, all relaxed in the post-Christmas glow, but with ideas and thoughts and plans whirring around in my mind.

Unfortunately, this being me, it also leads to procrastination - what to do first? My flat looks like a bombsite, I have partially completed projects everywhere (including the Pay It Forward challenge), I'm supposed to be writing my MSc dissertation, but I have orders to send out (and one to remake from scratch as it disappeared in the post), I've been chasing up submissions for my Answers on a Postcard project - still time to take part - email me if you're interested - and I'm due back at my day job in less than a week!

So, inspired by the beautiful organiser above from the wonderfully tidy Sewing Momma, I've come up with a list to get me through today. Tomorrow I would like to start on my dissertation work in earnest, as I've kind of written it off for today.

So today's list is:
  • Package etsy orders

  • Clean kitchen and bathroom, the two rooms with least stuff in them!

  • Go to Post Office and shops (got a couple of things to buy, a couple of things to return)

  • While I'm at the PO, request yet another lost package form

  • Dig out relevant proof of posting sheet and complete claim form

  • Replenish stock of security envelopes from where they are hiding ALL OVER THE FLAT

  • Make dinner

  • Remake lost order - this will be lovely and relaxing so I don't mind

  • Two book reviews for the first issue of the Answers on a Postcard zine - due out at the end of January

  • Make another batch of thank you cards, as the flurry of etsy orders this week has almost used up my stash
And I'll try to put thoughts of new products out of my mind until I've cleared out my shop a little more. Have you seen the bargains to be had?

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Post-Christmas Clearout

Hey everyone!

I'm on my sixth turkey dinner in as many days, I've been out making snowmen and I've had some lovely presents, as well as lots of quality time with my husband and our family.

I hope you've had just as lovely of a time as I have - and well done to my friend who knew I would love some more fabric transfers!

To celebrate the season, and to get ready for some exciting new products in my Etsy shop for 2010, I'm having a clearout of supplies, festive items and lots more bits and bobs. You can even get some bits and pieces for a dollar! A dollar!

I'm also offering free international shipping on all purchases over $25, until further notice. I can hardly wait to show you my newest invention for the shop, but all in good time. First of all, we need to make some space.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Getting carried away with fabric transfers

I've been customising t-shirts for my niece and couldn't resist 'updating' a few hankies for my husband.

What do you think?

Thursday, 17 December 2009

A new treasury

In a timely coincidence, my seascape gloves are featured in this treasury. I've been working on pairs in a new blue/grey colorway over the last few days, so keep your eyes peeled for them in the shop over the weekend.
Thanks to for the feature!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Getting away from it all

A selection of photos from my weekend in the countryside - would you believe this is all a half hour drive from my flat in Glasgow?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Recap on where to buy...

Did you catch me on STV's The Hour last week? If not, don't despair, you can catch up on their online player service, here. I'm in part three, and you can watch online until the end of the year.

I showed off a few of my Christmas shopping gifts on the TV, and here is a recap of where to buy. First up is Sarey Poppins, with this perfect idea for a Christmas pressie...

If you pop one of my lavender sachets inside, your bedding smells all dreamy and relaxing as it heats next to your hot water bottle.

And how about an unique and original little something from embroidery genius Angharad Jefferson?

I know a telly addict who'd love one of these...

I also managed to show off some lovely notebooks from Pumpkinsputnik, I am addicted to her work and simply can't stop buying them any time I need a gift!

You can find the perfect gift wrapping embellishments in my etsy and folksy shops, and watch this space for details of how to make your own! I'll be sharing tips with you via Glasgow Craft Mafia in the next few days.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Etsyversary giveaway update

Nancy - I think you won the lot! Let me know where to mail your goodies to (and which ones you like) via my email address, katy at girlindustries dot com. And do it as soon as you can so you can get them some time over the holidays.

Be warned, though, I may not send you the supplies given our hoarding track record ;-) Only if you really want me to!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Off to market today!

Come and meet me today at Inver Cottage at my last Glasgow Craft Mafia handmade haven of the year!

We'll be there from 12 until 5 and we'd love to see you.

I'll be closing the shop today while I'm away as I've taken my Christmas goodies with me, so please bear with me until around 7pm this evening (that's 2pm EST) and I'll get the shop updated. Then normal service will be resumed.

Hope you are having a fun weekend so far!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Etsyversary giveaway

Welcome to the final day of my etsyversary giveaway. Today we’re giving away something from me - one of my bumper paper crafting packs, with something for everyone.

To enter, simply sign up to follow my blog or retweet the contest on Twitter. Let me know which prize you'd like in the comments box on any page of the giveaway over the next few days. And let me know if you tweeted or joined up. I will check!

I hope you've enjoyed this week of celebrations and special deals - I know I have. Look out on the Glasgow Craft Mafia website for even more fun giveaways into the New Year.
Also, if you missed me on TV this evening, you may be able to watch me at the STV website.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Etsyversary giveaway

Welcome to the third day of my etsyversary giveaway. Today we’re still going for a positive vibe - with this inspirational scrabble tile from - not just an ace crafter, but an all round lovely person to shop from.

To enter, simply sign up to follow my blog or retweet the contest on Twitter. Let me know which prize you'd like in the comments box on any page of the giveaway over the next few days. And let me know if you tweeted or joined up. I will check!

Remember that you can still get 20% off everything in my shop this week, refunded via PayPal after I've processed your purchase.

Oooh, and you can catch me on STV tomorrow afternoon at 5pm, as part of their daily magazine programme, The Hour. I'll be showing you crafty ways to dress your Christmas presents, so have your scissors and sticky tape at the ready!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Etsyversary giveaway

Welcome to the second day of my etsyversary giveaway. Today we’re commemorating a bit of a local celebrity, Susan Boyle. She’s been immortalised in this stamp from, which you could use to decorate your gift packaging if Susan is on a friend or relative’s Christmas list!

To enter, simply sign up to follow my blog or retweet the contest on Twitter. Let me know which prize you'd like in the comments box on any page of the giveaway over the next few days. And let me know if you tweeted or joined up. I will check!
More goodies to come tomorrow...

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Etsyversary giveaway

Now I like to do a fair bit of shopping on Etsy, as well as selling, and sometimes I receive little extras that I can't possibly use or keep. So I'd love to pass on some of these unusual and quirky extras to my loyal followers. Every day this week, there'll be a new little something for a new home... maybe with you!

To enter, simply sign up to follow my blog or retweet the contest on Twitter. Let me know which prize you'd like in the comments box on any page of the giveaway over the next few days. And let me know if you tweeted or joined up. I will check!

On offer for today is this epic dog scarf from An ideal stocking stuffer for a dog lover, and or a great gift for your pet.
More goodies to come tomorrow!