Monday, 28 November 2011

Christmassy makes - from an unusual source

Before I spent so much time commuting, and tired, I wasn't a big magazine reader. Things have changed. I've always been fairly voracious as a reader.  I'm one of those people who doesn't get travel sick if I read, and if you've ever eaten breakfast with me, you'll know I can't resist reading the packet of cereal back to front. I also have an MA in comparative literature, so freebie supermarket magazines are somewhat outside of my usual reading material as a bit of a literary snob (although I've bought the National Enquirer every Friday since October 1999, and had a shameful six-month affair with my then-flatmate's Take a Break collection, so that does go a little bit against the grain of what I've just said...)

However... I really enjoyed looking at the craft projects in the latest freesheet from Tesco, and even had a facepalm moment when the solution to a problem I'd been mulling over for a good 12 months literally stared me in the face. I've been designing a range of mobiles and couldn't decide what to hang the hanging bits from... of course I didn't even consider using the inner part of an embroidery hoop, and I even have a few of them upstairs to choose from!

With the sheer mind-numbing meh that regular commuting and early mornings bring, my attention span is shot. Maybe it's time to revisit and expand my zine collection for something to read when my mind's not all there...

Recommendations for magazines (any subject matter) or zines to read are welcome - hopefully I'll find a whole load of new zines to search out and buy after my trip to the zine exhibition at the Salford Art Gallery and Museum on Friday!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Something caught my eye...

...these handknit napkin rings are popping up in my etsy activity feed all the time, and I think they've graced the UK front page at least once.

My eagle eyes spotted that the yarn used by maker The Feminine Touch is the very same yarn from the blanket I made for Amelia earlier in the year - looks stunning with that shade of turquoise, doesn't it?

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Wishlist Wednesday

My wishlist intersects perfectly with my to-do list this week. I need to get to work on my Christmas card list asap, and this festive collection is great inspiration to get started.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

New zine project - do you want to be involved?

I know, I know,  I still need to get to the printers with the elusive Issue 8 of Answers on a Postcard BUT great new ideas can't wait!

I’m starting a new writing project and I'm looking for contributors. After my experiences of 'meeting' amazing crafters with Answers on a Postcard, and the fun of producing a monthly black and white booklet so I thought I would quite like to do it again next year, but start looking for contributors now.

The new project is called ‘Three days in...’ and can refer to travels you’ve been on, or talking about your home town, or a place you’ve researched that you’ve always wanted to visit. Basically I’m looking for either an itinerary of things you can’t miss out on if you were going to visit a place for the first (and potentially only time), or a reflective piece on three days you’ve spent somewhere, like a diary entry or essay, or a collection of photos/drawings/illustrations or even scans of ticket stubs and so on from a specific place that when you link the images together, they tell a story and build up an image of the specific place.

Each entry or submission will be categorised into groups represented by a little icon - a suitcase (traveller), house (home town/living there) or an armchair (somewhere you’ve planned a visit to without actually going there yet). I can’t afford to pay anyone for their contributions as I’ll never make any money out of it – they’ll be on sale through my etsy shop to cover production and postage costs and anyone who contributes can have a free PDF version to print off at their leisure.   I'll also be submitting copies to a number of zine libraries I'm in contact with, to spread the word!  You get a byline photo and links to your blog/business next to your name as a promotional opportunity, and of course I'll be on about it all the time on my blog.

I don't have any fixed views on word count etc, especially if people want to add their own photos or scans of ticket stubs etc, but it should all fit into 2-8 sides of A5, ideally.

Have a think about it and get back to me if you fancy getting involved, and have a place in mind.   I'd need a firm commitment by the end of the year so I can keep in contact about your piece during 2012 - I'd like to get this project finished before the end of the world, at least :)  If this isn't for you, but you know someone who would like to contribute to the project, point them this way!

My email address is katy AT and you can find my previous zine series, Answers on a Postcard, at or on display in my home town of Salford as part of this exhibition.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Last day of my Crafty Attic feature

A quick reminder that today is your last chance to stock up on Girl Industries goodies for a bargain price over at Crafty Attic.  See my blog post here for more details.  Happy Shopping!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Wednesday wishlist

Today it's all about me! You can buy everything you see below with a deep discount via website Crafty Attic. Go and check it out!

Everything in my shop is included - that's gift tags, supplies and zines (the above image is not clickable, as I made a private treasury - I have a feeling that making and publishing treasuries which only feature your own products is probably frowned upon)
You can still buy in time for gift giving and dressing up your Christmas presents. My last posting dates for the UK will be 15 December (due to family commitments, so I'm a little earlier than the published Post Office dates) and for the rest of the world, I'm in line with the Post Office guidelines

Table from the Royal Mail website

Monday, 14 November 2011

Can't wait to see my zines!

I somehow forgot that aaages ago, I sent some zines off to the Salford Zine Library. This blog post over at Postmodern Pain reminded me, and reminded me that I'll be able to go and visit them in person when I'm visiting my parents at Christmas as the exhibition runs until 29th January. It also caused me to kick myself because the exhibition started on 15th October, which means I could have called in two weeks ago when I was eating at the McDonalds JUST ALONG THE ROAD from the gallery 2 weeks ago, when we stopped off en route from Norfolk to Alloa on the way home from our holidays!

Photo via Postmodern Pain blog
Isn't it bizarre how a photo can instantly jolt you back in time?  The Art Gallery and Museum in Salford has loads of memories for me.  It's the first museum I ever visited, and spent a lot of time there as a pre-schooler.  The reconstructed street, a bit like the one from the Transport Museum in Glasgow (now the Riverside Museum), holds tons of memories, especially the tiny little old-fashioned curly-toed shoes (I'm making a mental note to remember to take photos, you won't believe what you're seeing).  I can't wait to show Amelia, although I do remember what a scary place it could be, the lights dimmed to preserve the exhibits, and the spookiness of the dummies and empty shop doorways. 


At one point, my parents nearly bought a home converted from part of the old fire station across the road.  It was so exciting because it was tall and thin and had THREE FLOORS, and we would have had a little bedroom to share at the very top of the house.  It's funny how things turn out, because that almost completely describes our house now!  Except the only thing it's converted from is a loft in an existing house, and it's my craft room up there in place of me and my sister, but there you are.

Photo via Trovit homes - my mum's old office is the window at the top right of the photo!

My mum worked just along the road from the gallery in the former Salford Royal Hospital (now converted into apartments, are you seeing a theme?), I was once in an episode of Coronation Street that was being filmed at the pub next between the hospital and the river, and I got my first ever job at the Sainsbury's just around the corner on Regent Road (opposite Salford Lads' Club), walking past the museum when I jumped off the train at Salford Crescent.

I know my zines are definitely there because I read this.  Can't wait to go and visit them!  A huge thanks as well to all the contributors to the series, it'd be nothing without you :)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Window-shopping Wednesday

I'd be so happy to receive any item on this list, but I particularly love that coin purse.  And the wonderful brooch!  And the bear plate!  And... and... who am I kidding? I love them all.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Come and find me on facebook

I did it, I created a Girl Industries facebook page!  Come and join me!  I am not sure of the next step!  But I'm having fun getting there :)

Friday, 4 November 2011

Jolly red gift tags, now available

I somewhat absent-mindedly relisted a set of gift tags from last year's collection, and was spurred into action when they sold almost immediately!

Inspiration struck when I spied a handful of hanging files on clearance in my local supermarket, and a few quick punches later, I backed them up with offcuts of gorgeous linen paper, and strung through some bakers' twine.   The end result is these beautiful tags.

I even finished a set with embroidery thread just in case of the inevitable bakers' twine backlash (if it's not already here, I'm sure it's on its way). Just let me know when you check out which thread you prefer.

I also had these Christmas tree shapes in stock from a couple of years back and I've decided they really must be used.

Ditto for a set of plain tags that I hadn't found the right project for yet.  Suddenly it all just fell into place.  These particular tags are very limited edition and I only have the one set of four, so don't hesitate if you like the look of them!

How are you preparing for the festive season?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Window shopping Wednesday

Better late than never, here's a very wintry treasury I put together earlier today.  Phew it's been a hectic week, so I deliberately drew on a restful palette to try and slow down a little.

There are some beautiful items in this collection, and how enchanting is that secret door?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Hangtag bag

Photo by Coach NY

 How much do I love this new bag for next season, from Coach?  The answer is: a lot.

Check out the detail:

Photo by Coach NY

Of course if you're looking for hang tag style at a fraction of the price, you can always treat yourself to a set of my photographic gift tags