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A Gardeners Crafting Diary January 2024

Updated: Apr 15

In preparation for when I upgrade my website I will be posting a monthly diary blog, compiled of a short note and a photograph. At the end of the blog there will be details of the new things in the making and details of developing new ideas. These diary blogs will ensure I am using the website regularly, keeping it very active without bothering subscribers every five minutes!

Monday 1st January

Hoppy New Ears!
So, it's a new year of new ideas, thoughts and wonderings. After the crazy of last year, you'd think we'd be due a great year, but I see this year being even crazier, so buckle up, it's going to be bumpy!
For me, it has already been 'grrrr' as I have been searching for these photos of pom poms so I can add them to the website shop. The whole file isn't visible on my memory stick so as always, 'make good of a bad thing'! I will set up the studio lights and retake new photos of not

only the poms but also my lavender wands, as those photos are due for a refresh.
 

Wednesday 3rd January

I spent some time today researching Loons otherwise known as the 'Northern Diver'. I have loved Loons all of my life since seeing them on Northern Canadian lakes when I was a nipper. Everyone knows the sound of a Loon, as their call is incredibly haunting and used in many TV shows and films. I've included a link to a sweet video, you'll instantly recognise their call. Loons are a very important symbol to Native Americans and are associated with the creation of the Earth.


They must be really special as 40 years later I can still remember the emotions when I first heard and saw them on a lake similar to the video.
I also came across this video which is equally as fabulous as the call of the Loons. This chap conducts an audience to create the most harmonious and beautiful sound I have ever heard. If you fancy a bit of spiritual uplifting or a reminder that we are all One, this clip is a little treasure!
 

Friday 5th January


I have been spending hours setting up my shop on my website and here is a peek at what it will look like. I have chosen to keep to muted colours so my photographs stand out! As I have already got successful listings on Etsy, I know what words to use to attract the right people to my products and so writing these listings for my own website was easy. It felt really different writing for myself rather than on the Etsy platform, and there was a sense of pride that I had built Cat's Punky Stuff slowly with minimal financial input, to the point where I am branching out alone. It's a bit scary, but very exciting!
 

Monday 8th January

At last! I had the idea for Winter and Summer Solstice tote bags ages ago, maybe this time last year. I knew how I wanted them to look and the sort of 'feel' I wanted them to convey. After much thought and messing about, I finally settled on the Sunflower design for the Summer Solstice and my classic Pagan Saturnalia tree design for the Winter Solstice design. I had dithered with including decorative keyrings and dangly tassels, but the decorative jute twine does the perfect job of a pretty embellishment.

By the time you read this, they will already be on Etsy!

EDIT: The three I made instantly sold out so I'm frantically getting in extra supplies

 

Thursday 11th January

All week I have been redoing my pom listings so they are more appealing to the higher end of the market. I have always shunned my loose craft poms as a bit of a side-line as they do well with little effort on my part. Having retaken a lot of photographs I then added text using Photoshop and reduced the amount of listings from 18 to 7. Instead of different listings for each size, poms of the same style are now all under one listing. Originally having lots of listings on Etsy helped me be more visible, but now not

only because I am downscaling my Etsy shop, but also because I have plenty of listings without bulking out my shop with similar listings. Plus one listing for each pom style will seem more successful with all the sizes under one listing rather than spread out over many.
 

Saturday 13th January

Big revelations this weekend and decisions made. I have catalogued all the different pom poms I make into a huge visual blog, aimed at making the shopping experience easier. The blog has photos such as this one of my yellows, each numbered. The number corresponds to a link directly back to the listing on Etsy!

I'm going all out on making amazing pom poms!


 

Monday 15th January

Stella was really unhelpful while I was taking photos. She likes to follow me around the house and because I wasn't giving her enough attention she jumped up onto the back of the sofa and was threatening to jump onto the table! Because she is so little she gets into the smallest places, and because she is so loving she is always under our feet. I've not trodden on her yet though as she always tugs my sock or puts a paw on my foot as if to say 'Mind me!'

 

Thursday 18th January

And so the new wheel turns and the garden starts to come to life! This little primula has been flowering since October, she clearly wasn't too sure what the weather was meant to be. Once her flowers were spent, I deadheaded her and here she is again! Because she has worked so hard with just a few months rest, I have treated her to some bunny poop. Bunny poop has been proven to be the best manure for the garden so I'm hoping my roses will be quite fabulous this year. Looking forward to some warm sunshine
 

Monday 22nd January

This is what 80 pom poms look like. I took this photo as a precautionary measure, just to show I did make 80 in case any issue came up. These poms are destined for a super yacht, palace, opera house and such, as the company I made them for makes very high-end lamp shades. Working with these people was incredible, though I didn't know at the start where we were heading. They were so organised, firstly ordering my colour match service where I send out wool samples. They then ordered 4 small poms to see which one

would match their very specific colour palette. This was the kind of job I had set Cat's Punky Stuff up for and it was great to see that the service I offered allowed this company to get very exclusive and bespoke pom poms. I don't make my things for validation, but it's really fab to know that having been given 5* reviews for their three orders, my poms are good enough for the high-end market. I already make poms for the costumiers at Lapland UK, another high-end event at Christmas, and so it's wonderful to be going in the right direction, giving me the incentive to find more of the same!
 

Wednesday 24th January

I'm slowly working my way through all of my Etsy listings in preparation for my website shop, retaking photos, re-writing listings, checking on trends and working the listings to suit the current shopping styles. With my newfound interest in appealing to companies where cash flow isn't a problem, I have started running photos through Photoshop to add an air of professionalism to them, so long as my spelling is right, look a fool if I get it wrong.
 

Friday 26th January

I just found this old drawing and thought I might be able to use it for a card, if I really got my finger out I could use it for this Valentine's. I don't do normal Valentine's as the market is flooded and I'm not prepared to pay for advertising, but I do have a 'will you marry me' card idea and this may work. The drawing was actually for a friend's wedding invite and since it's been about 6 years I think it'll be ok to use it


 

Sunday 28th January

Anyone who crafts knows there are two sides to making things. There's the actual creation of fabulous things but they can only be fabulous if you have some wonderous supplies. Over the years I have bought pretty things before I have actually needed them, but it is so great to already have materials in when I get a new idea.

So bearing in mind most crafters probably have a propensity for collecting stuff here is my collection of scissors from huge bladed wallpaper scissors for cutting rolls of brown parcel paper, to tiny, very sharp mini snippers for detailed work. I have just had a major tidy up and put all my scissors into a box and it was at this point I decided to have a little control and restraint when next out supply shopping!

New products just out

£15.00 each

(As the Sunflower has sold out, subscribe to my website and when I have made some I will send you a little discount voucher to say sorry for the inconvenience!)



 
Small £9 each
Large £18 each


Going to be making more draft excluders in crazy colours!
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