Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Remember to take part in my contest

Which closes in just a couple of days!

In the meantime, have a look at these little notebooks I made, when I recently attended an introductory course on bookbinding.

It's really addictive, and the repetitive nature of cutting pages and sewing bindings is very relaxing. I'm looking forward to getting my own awl and doing a lot more practice. If you're based in the central belt, and fancy learning a new skill, then have a think about the lessons at the Owl and Lion Gallery in Edinburgh. Attendees at the taster session (including new Glasgow Craft Mafia member Frayed at the Edges) were warned that their courses are for learning and working, not drinking tea, eating cake and having a bit of a try at something. So your money will be well spent. And as they are based in the lovely Grassmarket, you can always go for cake and tea, or something a little stronger, afterwards!

Since attending that one session I've been experimenting with colours, papers, and threads for binding. I can't wait to learn more!

Monday, 26 April 2010


We're off to take a look in Habitat shortly, and have been browsing the Crown website this morning (yes, things sort of changed for the better with the house situation, phew!), so I thought I'd take a quick browse of some fun housy-type things on the internet.

First up, via the popular lifestyle blog A Cup of Jo, this fantastic bedside table:

Not quite a house, but I expect at least one room in our new place will be quite industrious, I'm delighted to see that Pearson Maron have a sale to celebrate their third Etsyversary. And I just had to pick up my own miniature factory what a lovely thing!:

I've been busy starting to make change of address cards using these fantastic and repurposed house stickers from Answers on a Postcard contributor, Swirlyarts. I just hope I can find my address book once we start to unpack!

I was so thrilled when I found the new home stamp at my local Hobbycraft because our new house has three storeys, so it matches perfectly!

The range of non-human houses on Etsy never ceases to amaze me. We can't have birdhouses in our garden because of the furry predators living in our house, but if I could pick one, it'd be this work of art from Reedsbeachbirdhouses - I almost want to move in!

And let's not forget dolls houses - I'm more used to Barbie's pink plastic dreamhouse, so I would have loved to have had a friend with one of these amazing creations from Adobedollhouse's shop instead. What a sense of place and history in this perfect scale model!

Him indoors is really looking forward to having a shed again, so I'd love to invest in one of these mugs for him to take with him while he's doing whatever men do in sheds, from British artist Esther Coombes:

Esther uses ceramic paint and her modern urban illustrations to add new direction and purpose to her charity shop finds. She takes custom orders and I'm really enjoying her style, so maybe she would take a commission for a set based on the front of our house...

I'm off before I get started on decor, wall art and furniture. That's a post for another day!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Cheerful post!

I love getting surprises in the post, and so I was delighted to receive these buttons from my crafty friend Josie last week. She had been to the V&A exhibition on quilting (lucky girl!) and was kind enough to think of me and send me a little souvenir from her trip.

The photos really don't do these beautiful buttons justice, but I wanted to show off the bright colours of the card, too.

I'm wondering if I have time to squeeze in a trip to London town before the start of July...

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A little contest...

I'm currently working on putting together the next issue of Answers on a Postcard and thought of a fun little contest. I originally had just over 12 questions to ask the contributors to the series, and some questions have been more popular with our correspondents than others, which means I think I'll have to double up on some issues to make sure my customers are getting lots of answers for their money, every time!

However, this will still leave me with a few additional issues to publish towards the end of the year. Before I write out to current contributors to ask them to think about some new questions, I'd appreciate your help...

Email me at katy (at) girlindustries (dot) com, or leave a comment on this post with your idea of a fun and interesting question to ask. I'll randomly pick an answer from the list to win a prize of a four month subscription (January - April, to help you get caught up) to the zine series, or a refund on your original purchase if you've already bought a subscription.

If I pick your question to be a theme for an issue of the zine, not only will I send you a copy of the issue in question as a little thank you, I'll also credit you as a contributor in the zine and online.

Of course I'm always looking for new contributors to get involved, so email me or leave your email address in the comments here if you haven't answered any questions yet. You get access to the contributor rate for subscriptions and zine issues, and the chance to impart your pearls of wisdom around the world - with copies so far being sent to the US, Europe and all over the UK.

You have until the end of the month, Friday 30 April, to get your thinking caps on, and leave your comments here. I can't wait to hear your questions and comments, so don't be shy!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Hot news about Hatastic!

Chloe Hayward designs chic, wearable and eco-friendly millinery pieces for a range of occasions - going by the name of Hatastic! I first heard about Chloe via Handmade UK and was thrilled when she agreed to answer some questions as part of the Answers on a Postcard zine project.

I'm excited to hear that Hatastic! is making its catwalk debut in the next 24 hours, so if you're in or around London, head on over to Spitalfields to see these beautiful pieces up close and personal. You might even snag some goodies if you're an early bird!

Full details are available on, or hear hot news from the horse's mouth at, and you can snap up your own showstopper just in time for wedding season in the Hatastic folksy shop.

More info:


19th APRIL 2010

presented by Alternative Arts
19 - 23 APRIL 2010
Spitalfields Traders Market, Crispin Place, Brushfield St, London E1 6AA (Liverpool St Station)

HATASTIC! the home grown label from Surreys own Chloƫ Haywood (launched in March 2009) has been selected out of hundreds of applications from independent designers, to show her first collection on the catwalk at Alternative Fashion Week on Monday 19th April at 1:15pm at Spitalfields Traders Market accompanied by The Really Tight Corsettes a live contemporary Jazz band.

THE COLLECTION is called RECREATION and as is typical of AFW, original and recycled textiles are a major feature. The collection is 10 headpieces/fascinators made out of old games such as playing cards, jigsaws and even lego!

HATASTIC! a label aware of the environment and therefore is an eclectic range of unique handmade hats, fascinators and hair accessories inspired by the beautiful bits and bobs sourced from remnant boxes and junk shops. Elegant, witty and timeless - everything a hat (and a woman) should be! The bridal range is also incredibly popular. Bespoke service also so COMMISSIONS WELCOME!

ALTERNATIVE FASHION WEEK is where all the best new designers are to be discovered.
It provides a genuine alternative for them to present their work directly to the press, public and the fashion industry. Designers come from all over the UK and other parts of the world including Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Serbia, India.

THE FASHION MARKET that surrounds the catwalk from 11am to 5pm each day is a shopping sensation with stalls selling an exotic range of clothes, textiles and accessories.
Hatastic! will be there all week, and will be able to get a LIMITED EDITION Diamante Domino Hairclip until stocks last.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

So what am I working on?

I've been really tired after work lately and everything seems a little bit in limbo with our impending (or not, who knows?) house move. It still doesn't feel like it's particularly real, we haven't had any formal confirmation in writing that it's definitely going ahead, the house we have supposedly bought is all still being advertised online, and our solicitor is on holiday. We haven't been told it's all fallen through or anything, but it all seems a bit odd. Having said that, I think that could be that I'm leaving all the legal communication to my husband because I sorted out all the finance communication, and I'm finding not being in charge of absolutely everything just a little bit frustrating.

So I haven't been creating as much for the shop as I have done lately, but instead I've been doing what some of us highly effective people would call 'sharpening the saw'. I've taken part in a pincushion challenge, to reinvigorate my inventive streak. The recipient from this swap is still to receive her package, so I can't post any photos yet, but I will soon!

I was inspired to unearth the sewing machine again and put together a little birthday gift for my soon-to-be-2-years-old niece. I was going to make her a new bedding set to go with her new big girl bed, but then I decided to make her a present she would actually appreciate playing with - a colouring kit! There are little notches on the front of the bag for easy access to single crayons, and larger pockets on the back for other all important supplies. Then the colouring books go inside the bag itself simples! I used a tutorial from a sewing book that was meant for a paintbrush roll to get the gist of how to do the outside. When I say 'used', I mean, looked at with my eyes for a minute and worked it out. And the bag itself was something I learned at my sewing class last year, using a boutique paper bag as a template to make it a little more child sized. While my machine doesn't really understand what tension is, and my sewing skills aren't that great, I'm sure it will go down really well with the birthday girl. Love this red hippo fabric from the Ikea remnants bin!

I've also been catching up on a lot of things I've been meaning to do. Like take advantage of the Etsy Moo offer, order up lots of lovely supplies, keep up to date with everyone's blogs, and enter lots of competitions to win more lovely supplies. Twitter is great for hearing about the best giveaways first. And I've been spending way too much time on Twitter! If you're thinking about investing in a pack of Moo cards, my top tip is to line up your own additional text on the reverse of the card so it's higher up than the Moo advertising they put on the front - one of the stages handily shows your front and back view side by side. That way, when they arrive, you have the option of doing the snippy-snip over the Moo information. Simples!

I'm kind of obsessed with house motifs and I'm thinking of a bit of house-shaped embroidering next - especially after reading over on Craft about handstitched wedding invites... maybe an embroidered change of address card is on its way...

In the meantime, I'm still enjoying this beautiful wedding present every time I look at it

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Last minute market news!

I’m delighted to have been accepted as a vendor at this weekend’s Charity Spring Fayre in Bearsden. The charity in question is Concern Worldwide, and they have been doing sterling work in aid of the people of Haiti and Bangladesh, supporting the humanitarian relief effort in the aftermath of catastrophic natural disasters.

With homebaking, facepainting, crafts for kids, as well as hand crafted jewellery and gifts for sale, this promises to be a fun Saturday morning for everyone involved. Entry is a donation of £2.50 (adults) or 50p (kids) and this includes tea/coffee and a slice of cake. There will also be a raffle during the day, with prizes including a week’s accommodation in Nice and a night out in a top Glasgow restaurant with travel by limo. I’ll be there with a kid-friendly selection of my homewares, knits and gifts, and I’m wondering if I can get away with turning up to my bookbinding class in the afternoon with a tiger face on!

Come one, come all this Saturday morning from 10-12 at Bearsden Baptist Church, 14 Roman Road, Bearsden G61 2SL. If you can’t make it along on the day, you can also make a donation to this worthwhile cause at

And keep your eyes peeled for a Toyota-driving tiger loose in central Glasgow later on in the afternoon!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

I hit 100 sales!

Photo: Digital Tech/Flickr

I'm so excited to have reached a milestone with the Girl Industries Etsy shop - 100 sales! I was particularly delighted because it was a subscription to my zine project that ended up being number 100, from an interesting and highly creative local crafty type who has contributed to many of the upcoming issues.

Thank you to all my customers over the past 18 months since I got started. Hopefully this is just the beginning.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

500 things in 50 days challenge update

Wow! I'm more than halfway through my personal challenge to get rid of 500 things out of my house in 50 days and thought it was high time for an update.

One of my most successful destashes so far has been creating these gloves. Alright, so I was already onto a flyer when I made three new things out of four old things - but the good news is that one of them sold the minute I finished stitching it up, at last month's Handmade Haven organised by the Glasgow Craft Mafia.

I did pretty well at the market and said goodbye to 71 things. Although I am being a pedant as 50 or so of those things accounted for buttons from my button pick'n'mix. Thank you to Rhubarb Crumble for all the lovely photos!

I've also been keenly destashing my bathroom and using up my travel sizes, samples and partially finished toiletries and cosmetics (another 23 things, gone, and my skin and hair is looking pretty good, so I'm glad I made the effort to pamper myself!). I've also destashed a fair few untouched or lightly tested items on eBay.

I've now sold 58 lots on eBay, and that actually accounts for 95 things. I also used up two boxes full of pre-used packaging materials, only having to buy 25 new bubble mailers - success! As far as this post goes, that's a total of: 28 + 95 + 23 + 71 + 1, or 218 more things. I think I might be in some danger of hitting my target at the end of this month. In the meantime, we are still waiting for the purchase of our new place to be confirmed, but I'm not going to let that slow me down.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Claire Payne's Pincushion Swap

I signed up to do this swap recently, and was thrilled to receive my pincushion in the post over the weekend. Unfortunately the chocolate eggs did not last long enough to be photographed, but I got great sunny shots of everything else and posted them to my flickr for you to look at.

Thank you for Paula of Diddle Dumplin Crafts (I can't find her anywhere online so would be grateful for a point in the right direction!) for my wonderful new pincushion, and thank you to Claire for organising the swap. What did I make? Well you'll just have to wait and see...

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

It's my birthday on Monday, so I've decided to celebrate with 10% off all items in my shop. Just convo me BEFORE you buy and make sure you wish me a happy birthday. I'll set you up with a custom listing, including your discount.

Also, because I'll be out enjoying myself for at least some of the day on Monday, I'll honour your birthday wishes whenever I hear from you - right up to 5am BST Tuesday, so that's midnight Etsy time. But I'll probably process the sale on the following day. Afternoon. Once I get back from the spa!

As an added bonus, the person who purchases item number 100 from my shop will get an extra little present from me, too.
And why the envelopes? Well, I've finally managed to organise myself into updating my flickr! You can see the full set of all the wallpaper envelopes I currently have in stock here.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Stitching with Penguin and Fish

I love Etsy seller Penguin and Fish's animal alphabet, especially K for Koala! I've tested out a couple of her kits with encouraging results and thinking about adding a few animal squares if ever one day I get around to making a quilt - my latest crafty goal...