Monday, 22 February 2016

Experimentation

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

Dinosaurs

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

TLC

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

Diggers

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

Planning

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!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Twitter and a #springclean challenge

I've only very recently 'got' Twitter. I'd tried using it a few times in the past, but could never find anyone to follow that I really wanted to hear much from...

That changed a few months ago when I suddenly discovered how many British crafters and crafty bloggers there were  on Twitter! What a revelation! I am now following loads of people that I really enjoy hearing from, have tuned into new blogs and conversation hours that I had no idea existed and have been part of two craft swaps!


The first swap was hosted by Emma Berry (@frugallypeachy) as part of #craftblogclub. It was their #springcleancraftswap challenge. The aim (in Emma's words) 'Create and send a gift to a fellow #CraftBlogClub-ee, using only what you have lying around at home.  I don’t know about you, I’ve had a real urge to have a good clear out recently, so I thought we could all channel our creativity and send a big load of ‘Happy Mail’ too!'.


My #craftblogclub-ee was Andrea (@forestflower23). It was such a treat to know that someone was making something for you...and then I received this 'happy mail' in the post.


This is what I found inside... Aren't they cute! Perfect for me right now. I'm going through a ton of tea! :-) 


They have been well used already!


This is what I sent her in return...


It started out life as a piece of appliqué 3 years ago that had been tucked in with my stash waiting for some inspiration. I noticed on Andreas blog that she was creating her own wall decorations from colourful materials and embroidery hoops and instantly, I knew what I'd make for her. I enjoyed doing it so much that might make one for myself now! I loved choosing the buttons. That green one has to be one of my favourites! So nice to have them on show.


Second craft swap is still in progress so news on that one later.



Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Wishful thinking

Isn't it funny how the grass always seems greener elsewhere...

This is the bottom half of my friends garden. Down at the very bottom, just poking through you can see a big ol' timber built office, workspace and storage space. She will (once its all set up and working) be able to get her morning coffee, wander down and work in this gorgeous secret type garden.

How lovely is that! Sigh...

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A busy but crafty week

Its been an eventful week or so at Thisel & Bean. My first sale to a completely unknown person was swiftly followed by a custom order by someone else...who then also bought a second custom crown! It was all very exciting. 

These were the two creations...


The first crown I made was for a little girl having her 1st birthday. The lady requested lavender with butterflies. Here's the first sketch and the colour options. 
  

I wanted the butterflies to look like they'd landed on the crown for a moment so only attached them in the centre.

The second crown was for a little boy who was also celebrating his first birthday. I was told that his favourite things were giraffes and balls, so this was the first sketch and colours.

I think my sketches are a bit on the basic side, but they seemed to give the right idea. I have to say I really enjoyed the process of discussing the options with the customer and then creating something that felt quite special.

I'm looking forward to making more!