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Original, unique and made with love

As with most craftisans I am always thinking four months ahead. This year's Festive cards are already selling, the drafties and wreaths have great interest and the continual migration of my birdies to their forever homes hasn't let up all year. The regular orders for bespoke, festive pom poms that are destined for stage costumes or winter wonderlands have been made and sent by the next day of ordering, ensuring my reliability for very quick deliveries is consistent.

For my cards this year I have started to offer a more general range along side the Saturnalia and Solstice cards (above). Simply by substituting a Pagan charm with a snowflake or stars and leaving the inside blank I have opened my cards to a greater range of people. I have always been cautious about entering the realm of mass producing my cards as this would defeat the whole point that all of my Stuff is suppose to be unique and clearly 'made with love!'. I don't think I would have much love for my cards if I were on a deadline of 50 a day, every day! Each card from start to finish takes an hour, but by concentrating on one task in batches, I was able to get it down to 45 minutes per card:

1 watercolour drawing 1 day

Photoshop the drawing into a transfer design 4 hours

8 metres of natural linen torn into 12 cm squares 48 hours

700 squares frayed edges and straightened if distorted during the tear 96 hours

700 squares ironed 96 hours

Embroider stitched edges of squares 40 a day

Iron on the transfers 30 an hour

Sew on the charm and bow 4 mins each

Glue onto card 30 an hour

Many of these tasks can be done whilst sat in front of a pile of DVD's and so there is no rush just plenty of time to make with love. Once all of the 700 squares have been sewn they are stored in organza bags in a box full of dried lavender. I make batches of 20-30 cards, ensuring I always have a few of each, and at festive times like Ostara and Saturnalia I make sure I have 30 of each design, fully made, with spare finished squares stored in the lavender box for commission cards. Knowing how long the process is for making these cards, you can understand why I wouldn't want to be selling hundreds a month, it just wouldn't be possible all year round. This is why I make a batch of festive cards way ahead of time, as at peak it could get to the point where I cannot make enough to keep up with demand!

The quietness of New Year is a great time to create new Stuff. Whilst birdies and cards sell really well and regularly, it would be really great to make some huge pieces. I have been thinking about rugs. It is a complimentary choice to my wreaths and drafties as I have learnt making Stuff of a similar genre is more successful that dabbling in different things. My rugs would be based on colour, as with all of my wool things, with the endless possibilities of pom poms, tassels and hooking wool.

As with everything I do, the very first port of call is to check out Pinterest and Etsy. Pinterest is the the greatest thing ever on the internet. If they ever pull the internet switch, I would genuinely miss Pinterest! I search for the thing I want to make but if I find the market is flooded with my idea, I then either develop the idea into something unique or dump it. I don't want to be making something that has already been done. As an example, the wreaths pictured above look like any other pom pom wreath. The difference with these is that they are the same on the back and front, so they are great for glass front doors or windows. I struggled to find double sided wreaths, so I made some!


I noticed with rugs that set sizes were offered, and yet how often do you find a rug the size you want? I will make a 2 ft x 1 ft panel as a sample of the finished rug for the photographs on Etsy, but they will be made to any size. The panel will take 3 days to make, then a day to put a backing on and finish off, so you can imagine how long a rug sized rug would take! They won't be cheap, but what fun! Pom Pom rugs would be all about graduated colours, but a hook rug can be created from cross stitch patterns or even pixilated photographs.

Having such a great supply of wool I think I may be able to create some really amazing rugs using advanced colour theory and keeping within a rustic mindset. The design possibilities are endless, so I have lots more 'Pinteresting' to do to ensure I am making something original, unique and made with love!




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