Thursday, 30 June 2011

Look what we made!

With the help of Vonnie, at the Life Craft, Amelia took part in her first ever bit of crafting! Like mother like daughter, she likes a bit of stamping, but in Amelia's case, she is so resourceful (and doesn't get spending money yet), she has resorted to using her hands and feet as stamps!

We came away with some lovely grandparent gifts - the ones in the traditional colours - and a lovely teal version for Amelia's newly-painted green and teal bedroom. If you haven't had the chance to get along to the Life Craft yet and you're anywhere near Glasgow, do get yourself or the kids along for some crafting, cake and coffee. It's on Great Western Road next to the Post Office, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Botanic Gardens, on the same side of the road as Oran Mor. As well as drop in pottery painting, a great selection of crafting supplies and of course, amazing home baking, you can get booked on a range of different crafting courses all taught by local experts.

Monday, 27 June 2011

PIF of the week

This week you can get my TP in the park brooch for just the cost of shipping and my Etsy listing fee. My day job colleague Emily helped me come up with this idea to celebrate Music Festival Season (because you can never have too much loo roll at a festival), and as this year's season is in full flow, this is my gift to you!

Buy it now in the Girl Industries Etsy shop.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Handstitching on the TV

I was banned by my parents from watching TV channels with adverts when I was little and I'm rebelling by allowing Amelia to watch this show on Channel 5. It's called Hana's Helpline and it's about animals in Wales with problems, they phone a duck called Hana and she sorts them out, with help from Owen the Owl and Beti the bat. Like all the best kid's TV, it's stop motion but this time made with felt puppets, which are exceptionally cute and the attention to detail is fantastic - my favourites are Owen the Owl and Ernie the Eagle! It doesn't look like it, but these are photos I took directly of our TV during the programme - I'm pretty impressed and just a little smug that I didn't even have to pay for it - it was a free gift last summer in place of my usual mobile phone upgrade - the first time I've ever owned a TV larger than a portable and our first flat screen, too. Very swish for us!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Strange coincidences

So I was getting ready to send out the latest zines from the Answers on a Postcard project to one of my subscribers, as well as the winnings from my recent Haunt contest and I was looking for a postcard to write a little note on.

Would you believe that the first one that came to hand was one from the same area where Haunt is based? I visited the Catskills in 2000 on the most amazing rickety old Adirondack Trailways bus out of Port Authority with my room-mate Sophie for a fun weekend out in the wilds.

Photo by:

Also, I was randomly browsing Etsy and this pencil case by seaoats leapt out at me from someone in my Circle's favourites list... The photo the designer has used to make the screen print for the fabric shows the skyline of Exchange Place, a swift glance to the left from where I used to live, and a very familiar sight from days when I would take the World Trade Center ferry in to work. I tried to find out if the ferry still runs (it doesn't) and this led me to the PATH website, and their photographic archives, which are available for sale. I love this shot from 1912, the railroad has only added a handful of stations in the last 99 years.

And now I feel all homesick for NJ, so I put together this treasury to help me wallow in it then feel better. Enjoy!

Next time, I may bore you with places I have lived in Edinburgh... or Paris maybe.

Monday, 20 June 2011

PIF of the week and a zines update

As I clear out my craft room I've found a lot of projects that I simply ran out of steam with, and decided not to continue. It's all good stuff that I've put time and effort into, so I've decided to offer it in my Etsy store as a PIF of the week. If you haven't come across a PIF before, or you have but don't know what it stands for, it's Pay It Forward, and it means that the buyer only has to cover P&P and your Etsy listing fees to take it off your hands. So I'll update you here every Monday about forthcoming PIFs of the week, and hopefully you'll find a bargain that's just up your street!

First up is this set of hand-cut upcycled luggage tags. I was originally going to use them as part of my packaging, but changed my plans once I realised no two of my sales were alike, so different packaging solutions were called for every time. The tags are unstrung, blank kraft on the reverse and are just shy of business card size - around 3 x 5cm

More sale-type action can be found over at Pushpin Zines with a special offer on the Answers on a Postcard series - with THREE new zines added to the series. The new issues are exclusive to Pushpin until the end of August so grab them while they're hot! Find out more about the new questions and answers over at Pushpin by clicking on details of #9, 10 and 11.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Some good news and some bad news

Well, I'll get the bad news out of the way first. I wasn't lucky enough to be picked for a Heartsy deal, gaining only 18% of votes from potential buyers (the usual threshold is 28%) but I think it was a pretty valiant effort and I certainly won't be deterred from trying again with a different micro range to test on people. Some sad news, too, Answers on a Postcard zine contributor Titchables (Issue 8, Crafting Spaces, still to be printed!) is closing down her supplies shop on Etsy. Use the code sale40 for a generous additional 40% off her already reasonable prices.

The good news is, I have a fantastic new online stockist over at Scotland-based where the ethos is very much on the reclaimed and recycled...primarily with clothing, but also with gifts, which is where I fit in. Head over there to take a look!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


My lovely husband brought me a little present with the weekly shop on Saturday morning, the first edition of this brand new glossy magazine. Even better, it was presented with the thoughtful comment 'this is not because I think you need help to sell things, I just thought it was more interesting than getting you Hello magazine or something'. Ahhhh.

I really enjoyed looking through this magazine and hope it progresses to give lots more advice and support for those of us selling crafts in person and online. At the moment it's very focused on how to set up a business, and gives lots of patterns which the designers have given permission to sell - very unusual for a craft magazine! I don't think I'll be making anything directly from the magazine but it does have lots of great tips for suppliers and supplies, packaging, photography and presentation that I found really useful. I did get a bit huffy when I noticed the 'monster knits' tutorial for a phone pocket (on the bottom right of the photo) was very similar to how I remembered the DS pouch I made as a gift in 2009, but then I always have to remind myself that four people invented photography at about the same time and my monster was a home-made version of a well known Japanese creation so who am I to criticise!

Each of the projects are rated for skill level and most of them are easy, so if you do fancy having a go, I can recommend it. There is the usual blend of inspirational success stories from established craft entrepreneurs and advice from Etsy UK staff, too. There was a free gift of 'professional stickers' to finish off your crafty creations but I they were all pastelly colours and they wouldn't have tempted me to pick up the magazine any more than the content. I think a more useful gift would have been advice on how to design your own packaging and a link to some free collage sheets or fonts or similar but then, I am sure those new to crafting may have found a quick fix even more enticing. All in all, a good read, and I'll be interested to see if the magazine develops to cater for crafters at a more advanced stage of making and selling their own self-designed wares.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Postcard pals

I took part in a really cool snail mail swap organised by Claire of Miso Funky last month. I was so excited when my post card arrived! Molly sent me a tea and flowers themed card - you can never have enough of either tea or flowers in my opinion, so I was delighted to receive it and will be putting it up in my craft room to remind me to take a break now and again.

I also made a new Twitter friend when Liz, cake maker extraordinaire, received my geeky Popeye fold and mail notelet, too. I used to love sending letters to my penfriends Martine, Elin and Olivia when I was a teenager - although I cringe to think what I must have written. Yikes! Luckily I'm still in touch with them via Facebook so it can't have been that bad :)

I hope Claire does another swap soon - I still have a huge postcard and notepaper collection that I'd love to put to good use. Not too mention a good few upcycled envelopes... You can find one or two of my favourites in each of my paper destash boxes. It's all good stuff in there!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Quilting for beginners

I had a little go at making a quilt today! My niece received a baby doll for her 3rd birthday, along with cot, pram, all the good stuff, but I got a call to say that her dolly was getting cold at night because she only had a tea towel to use in her bed. Well that wouldn't do at all, would it?

I grabbed a couple of vintage pillowcases from my stash (the furry sort of deep-piled cotton ones, what's that stuff called again? Is it flannelette? That doesn't even look like a word, does it?) and set to work. Luckily my sewing machine had just been fixed by Jen at The Life Craft, so I was all ready to go. I had a little bit of a fleece blanket left over from making a blackout blind/wall hanging so that went in the middle of one of the pillowcases, which I trimmed to tea towel size and turned inside out to sew up all the edges, leaving a gap to turn it back right side out again and closed up by top stitching all around. I then did a few lines of top stitching to keep the fleece in place, giving a very amateurish (but just fine for dollies) quilt style look. I then made a pillow out of a bit of old sheet, stuffed it with toy stuffing, sewed it up and made a matching envelope-style pillow case. The whole thing took me about two hours and was the most fun I've had with my sewing machine in ages! Not a swear word was uttered, something of a miracle.

Here's A's toy elephant testing it out! I have a feeling there will be many more photos of this kind to come and that makes me very happy indeed.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Pushpin Publishing goes live!

My answers on a postcard zines are now also available from new Glasgow-based zine distro Pushpin is brought to you by the talented designer behind Asking for Trouble and stocks a range of zines from around the world. There's a section for reader reviews, and I'm hoping readers have kind things to say about my attempts at zine-making!

There's a fab travel section on the website and I immediately ordered up this zine about Portland, OR, where Phil and I spent a few days on honeymoon. If I ever visit again, I think I'll do a ton more research before we go, as we didn't really make the most of the places we could have gone to, and didn't enjoy nearly as many of the microbrewed local craft beers as we should have. We did have the most amazing time at the zoo, though, and my husband got to ride on a yellow school bus for the first time - between the offsite car park and the zoo itself - which was one of his highlights of the whole trip. Yes really. Sigh... Anyway, I digress, but I am looking forward to reading the zine and also posting a review. Hurray!

One of the things that makes Pushpin such a great website is that support is also offered should you want to get into making your own zine. A bespoke service is available, to help you with all the design and layout issues of making a zine, amongst other things which you can ask Marceline all about, or if you just want to dip in a toe, you can invest in Marceline's Let's Make Zines minizine, which is a bargain at just a pound. After being involved in writing, design and making zines for oooh, about 20 years at a guess, there is a wealth of knowledge contained in this little zine. In fact, I defy you not to find something you love on this website. Happy shopping!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Buttons galore!

I've just done a big button update in the shop, but there are plenty more where these came from. There is something lovely about sorting through my big bag of buttons (you can get your own over at askingfortrouble) and carding them up. I hope you find something amongst them that is just perfect for a lovely project - much better than having them languishing in a bag in my sewing chest.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Swirlyarts and Gniwle are winners! has chosen a pair of lucky winners. A Pear lip lust is on its way to Lynsey of Swirlyarts and Gniwle has won the Bettie lip lust - Gniwle I need your address so I can put your winnings in the post - email me at katy at girlindustries dot com to get things rolling. Thank you everyone for playing along and if you wish to treat yourself to anything in my shop, have yourself a little WINNER discount code for 25% percent off, which is valid until 10 June.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Another Hank purchase

I knew this gorgeous bag reminded me of something when I saw it in the Made by Hank shop...

The view just around the corner from our house as I drive towards the motorway! It's hard to get the full effect here, but with all the bunches of greenery on the landscape I always think of the tough ruffles on my Made By Hank bag.

With all the rain we've had recently, it's looking extra lush and gorgeous, don't you think?

I almost can't believe those blue skies are real, given the bad weather we've had recently (Force 8 gales nearly destroyed our roof!) but I assure you, I really don't have the photoshop skills :)