Tuesday, 27 September 2016

All about the detail

I've used Instagram now for a number of years, but mainly as a quick and easy editing/ 'share with a few friends' kind of a platform, never as anything more wide reaching. Recently though, a fellow crafter (the lovely Liz at Baytree Boutique, go check out her IG feed it's lush) started posting some really stunning pictures of what she makes and has started getting some great feedback and sales even. 

It's such a simple platform to use that I thought I may as well have a go for Thisel & Bean so I created my own published IG feed. So far it has been a fantastic experience, not just for the comments that people have posted or the sales (and yes I have noticed a pick up in that), but for the fact that I have started finding joy in the little details again!

When I started blogging it wasn't about selling, it was about the enjoyment of making and the thrill of finding something pretty/unexpected that I would be inspired by, be it a vintage leather button (a post about which I even found on Pinterest today and gets huge amounts of traffic!?!) or a beautiful fabric or a great color combination. Don't get me wrong, I am really happy that I have been able to share what I make and make a small amount of pocket money for myself, but the simple joy I used to get from buttons, bows and colours has gone a little in recent years. 

Enter Instagram...which from where I am sitting is all about the picture. Now I don't churn out enough crowns to be posting a new crown daily, but what I do have a ton of is all of those little bits that make the crowns special. So that's what I have been focusing on and sharing. And it has brought me a whole new level of happiness and excitement!

Friday, 2 September 2016

I could get used to this!

So as it turns out, sitting in a field, with your stall full of special things you have crafted, watching the world go by as you do a bit of sewing and a bit of selling is a pretty pleasant way to spend your day! Taking aside the stress of singlehandedly setting up a stall outside for the first time, with gusty winds blowing your carefully planned stall set up over so many times that you simplify madly of course!

But it was lovely! I would highly recommend the Tribal Hearts Festival if you have a young family as it was a setting full of magic and adventure for children and had a beautifully chilled out vibe all day.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Tribal Hearts

Since child #2 has come along, unsurprisingly, I've had even less time to craft! Shes very snuggly and pretty good fun though, so I don't feel too bereft...most of the time!

As shes about 18 months now (the eldest is 4.5 yrs and off to school next week! Eeek, where did THAT time go!) I began feeling like I should make a bit of an effort to get back into the swing of things...cue the wonderful Tribal Hearts Festival

It was a LOT of fun to prepare for but also A LOT of hard work of trying to figure out from scratch what on earth I should be taking for the stall, how to deal with the stall if it was sunny, rainy, worst of all- windy, and what people might want to buy at a festival!?!

I ended up plumping for woodland items...

feathered items...

and summery folksy items...

In typical 'last minute makery' fashion I didn't have time to photograph many things that ended up selling on the day. Doh! The upside being that I kept seeing children darting about across fields and woodland wearing Thisel & Bean crowns which was incredibly heart warming!

Monday, 22 February 2016


I'm always a bit sporadic with my use of social media, so have been trying to work out how to get a bit better.

If this has worked, it's a photo edited via Instagram that i have used for an Etsy shop update and shared to here, Twitter and Facebook! Ta da! :-)

Monday, 14 December 2015


This week has been all about dinosaurs (well in crafting land anyway)! This week in 'real life' has been jobs, stress about jobs, lots of work, cleaning, Christmas decorating, more thinking about jobs, woodland walks, more cleaning and more Christmas decorating. Its been nice in places but mainly just bit exhausting, so I've been very pleased to spend time in my crafting corner later at night working away on my final few pre-Christmas makes...and that has been all about dinosaurs.

This custom made crown is on its way to its owner today and several sets of dino bunting will be making their way this week too. :-)

I have to admit I find it really gratifying when I have a design that people really like (to a point anyway). The dinosaur crown gets a good few likes on Thisel & Bean' etsy store and after selling a set of the dinosaur bunting recently, I had a run of other people wanting it too which has been awesome! Hilariously (well actually not hilarious at all) someone liked the design that much that they copied a photo of the bunting and posted on their Facebook page as their own work! Grrrrr! They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but I cant say I'd ever imagined someone actually trying to copy my work! Anyway, that has managed to take the shine off the dinosaurs for me a bit. It also means that I am having to think a bit more about how I present my photos online. I have a watermark that if I remember to I'm going to try to use. It annoys me a bit to be honest as it makes me feel a bit suspicious about peoples intentions when I know that a lot of the online crafting community is lovely and friendly and wanting to help each other out rather than anything else.

Speaking of lovely communities I'm linking for the first time in a very long time with Handmade Monday held on Lucy Blossom Crafts

Monday, 16 November 2015


Oh my poor neglected blog! 

If I could wrap it up with a nice bright Fairisle scarf, a hot water bottle and a mug of hot chocolate to let it know I haven't forgotten about it I would! But I cant...as its a blog. So instead instead I wrote a little ditty! :-)

There once was a girl called Katie
Who tried to maintain a blog
Full of colour and craft
but she felt quite daft
as it ended up being a slog!

But the girl called Katie loved blogging
She knew the love would come back
When she had more time
It would all become fine
So she decided to take a new tack...

For now posts would become short and snappy
Not the meandering posts of old
She would post when she could
and she certainly would
as blogging can feel like pure gold!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


One of my recent favourites orders has been this crown and bunting order. The little boy this was made for was turning 3 and loves vehicles (especially diggers) and bright colours…

So vehicles and bright colours it was…

I have to say it was pretty hard to give away, as there was a little boy in this house who would have loved this crown and bunting too! 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Woodland Photo Shoot

Am sitting in the car outside of my house with child #1 asleep in the back and child #2 making my stomach leap so wildly that the laptop (which is precariously balanced between my baby bump and the steering wheel) is increasingly hard to type on. But one has to get things done as and when one can, so on this dismal drizzly day, in my hours worth of compulsory confinement, I figured I’d post a bit on my long neglected blog. I've been meaning to post for an AGE about the little woodland photo shoot I did during the summer...

I’d been wanting to take photos of children enjoying the crowns for a while to use on here, in any promotional bits I might create etc, but hadn't managed to get round to organising anything. Then I was talking to a friend who runs a woodland playgroup who suggested I went along with the crowns to get some pictures at one of their sessions. So I did and it was perfect! Here's a selection of my favourite shots...

The woods were a lovely backdrop for the photos and the children just got to carry on as normal whilst I chased them with the camera. It was actually really fun. I didn’t worry too much about the pictures I was getting at the time and kept clicking away until everyone got bored but I was really pleased with the final results.

What do you think? I used a few of them at a craft fair I did the other day and they fitted in beautifully.

Joining in with Handmade Monday

Saturday, 20 September 2014


For some reason rather than hunkering down, resting, nesting and winding down on the possible craft business front ready for baby #2, I seem to have done the complete opposite: 
  • I have applied and been selected for a local show (hurrah!)
  • I finally got insurances sorted out
  • I have looked into CE testing (and yes I have to do it - boo - but am ready to start getting that sorted)
  • I have taken some promotional photos of children actually using my products for marketing (post on that soon)
  • And have finally ( after many months of ummming, ahhhhing and online stalking following several logo designers) have finally commissioned a fellow Etsy seller to design my branding!
Phew! I'm exhausted from even looking at that list! Added to which I managed to wangle 5 half days this month of child care for Owen that I could devote ENTIRELY to Thisel & Bean business. SUCH a luxury! I have loved every second of the time spent planning and making (mainly factory line style making for Christmas), making and planning. I have such a sense of achievement about it all at the moment but still have a way to go...

My master plan (if you could call it anything so grand), is to have myself in a position that from a legal and marketing point of view I am ready to ramp up my selling. I'm aiming to have everything in place for my first proper big fair on November 8th (more about that soon), where I'll also be promoting my Christmas wares properly for the first time. Then as my maternity leave kicks in and we (hopefully) adjust splendidly to life with to live with 2 children, that if I have the opportunity, I can use the base I have already built to start making and selling more!

How lovely it would be to get to the end of my maternity leave knowing that I could maybe pay for myself to work one day a week or something on Thisel & Bean!

Chances are admittedly slim, but a girl can dream! Wish me luck!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Its been a while

I probably have about five posts with a similar name as I seem to be either fully 'on' or the complete opposite with my crafting/ blogging/ tweeting in recent years. My most recent excuse is pregnancy...again!

The happy news is that all being well, we are expecting baby Thiselton #2 at the end of December (stellar timing eh!). The not so happy news is that I've been feeling sick as a dog (where does that expression come from? I've never even seen a dog being sick!?!) and therefore totally un-inclined to craft, write or even read about crafting. I have unopened copies of Molly Makes sitting on my desk still in their cellophane :-o

Its also been a bit of a concious choice to stay away from both craft and keyboard for a while as last time I was pregnant, I made a few things/wrote a few posts and even now, feel nauseous when I look at them: a weird pavlovian response that I didn't want to re-create this time.

All that being said, I'm actually starting to feel more human (hurrah!). This morning I was awake from 5am and couldn't stop thinking about new crowns to make and whether I should be planning for a Christmas stall. So I guess I'm somewhat back for a while...fingers crossed!

In the meantime I have had the odd order or two through the shop. One of which was to create some coordinated felt bunting for a dinosaur duvet cover for a little boys room. This was what I made...

and this was the inspiration...

I was rather pleased with the result. By all accounts he was too! :-)

Joining in with Handmade Monday - yay!