Thursday, 16 May 2013

What Can I Do ?

For a while now I've been running the shop from home as an online business., but I've been making more and more to be creative. So I've started to think if or how I can build my skills into an income stream with the help of my mentor Erica Douglas .

Here's a list of what I consider to be good at, enjoy or I'm passionate about.

1. Any sort of DIY - wallpapering , painting, paint techniques, building shelves ect

2. Revamping old or second hand furniture by upcycling into something new. I even make my own stencils.

4. Anything artistic - pencil drawing , acrylic and water colour painting, mixed media & collage - especially of   flowers and landscapes.

5. Tarrot card reading and spiritual drawing

6. Paper craft - I like to create handmade cards and other things using paper - I like to do this by myself or with my teenage kids . I also enjoyed holding classes for adults and children when I had the shop.

7. Sewing - I love using old denim & other reclaimed fabrics to make into bags and eventually other things.
I can do this happily with or without patterns
I use my small scraps to make flowers and possibly brooches, and I have other ideas to use the even smaller scarps so there will be very little or no waste .

8. Gardening - ever since I was a child we had an allotment and growing my own plants was and still is like watching a miracle happen every time. I believe in using foods and natural remedies to heal and boost myself and my family rather than harsh chemical medicines. I don't use any chemicals in the garden or in the home.
I encourage as much wildlife into the garden as possible by leaving the bugs and wild flowers for the birds and bees.

9. Buying and selling pretty vintage items as they are or by upcycling into something new - this is also something I've done since I was a child which has continued into adult hood with the use of ebay and bootsales. I've never really seen it as an income stream before.

10. Home shopping consultant - I really enjoyed working this way for two companies in the past. I enjoyed working the hours that suited me, meeting new people and selling nice products -  but these companies no longer full fill my personal ethical criteria

From my list I can see that I very much enjoy using creativity as a way of expression and relaxation. I'm willing to make more time to do these things as I also enjoy sharing ideas, holding classes & helping people to find their own creative self !
But to full fill my inner being - my own creativity must be produced using reclaimed or second hand craft materials, be unique, not mass produced and must be made from the heart !

This is the first bag I made from reclaimed denim and fabric - you can view more of my handmade items
on my face book page

Friday, 19 April 2013

Fabric Scrap Flowers

Last week while listing all my haberdashery , buttons and lace  I became aware of how inspired I was becoming and how much I was missing making things. I decided that I must make time to be creative at least once a week. So first I made another bag from and old pair of jeans, then I sat and looked at all the scraps and thought what a waste it would be to just throw them away. I'm a stickler for that. I hate any kind of waste and recycle and upcycle as much as I can.
Then I suddenly remembered seeing some pretty fabric flowers and set about researching how to  make them. I couldn't believe how easy they were to make. So I spent a whole evening making fabric scrap flowers .
These ones I intend to finish with a button in the center - but I also have some ideas for using up some of my lovely lace too !
Then last night I remembered that I had a huge box of fabric scraps tucked away in the anix, I thought how many lovely scrap flowers I could make. So I dragged out the box and had a rummage to find some pretty pieces.
I was about to throw my empty needle case away when I thought it was the perfect size circle for making these flowers.
So last night I sat for hours just cutting out lots of pretty fabric scraps ready to make my next batch of flower.

The great thing is I now have a pile of even smaller scraps that I can use for another project that Ive been waiting months to try - So I will keep you updated with that soon !

Monday, 18 March 2013

Taking my first creative steps

My baby steps last week started with a proof reading of a book about about a craft I had not heard of called smash books.  The wording was simple and read almost like a diary or blog post, and the projects were very creative and inspiring . I could see that I had the potential to do these kind of things if only I could focus and started doing projects for myself and not to please anyone else.
So I started  to create a commissioned bag from a pair of jeans and a top that the customer had given me to play with, while posting pics and comments on my face book page along the way.  I also got out my crochet hook out and  started to teach myself the basic stitches but using a pattern - so far I've made two flowers for a scarf and started a basic blanket. I also took a few items I had made to a friends for some feedback and sold a recycled t-shirt picture, a pin cushion and have 2 orders for special cards.
The best thing about this was taking time out for me to do something I enjoy, without feeling guilty that I wasn't working.
I noticed that when I set my mind to do something and plan in advance, taking it one step at a time I can achieve these tasks.  It's also taught me that starting a creative project early in the day or early in the set time scale, gives me a chance to experiment and enjoy it without being stressed about meeting the deadline because I've left it until the last minute.
I realized that I dont need to have constant reassurance or approval from anyone to enjoy being creative and that if I just get on and do it, with a little more time and research I could potentially find a market for my creations and make a living from them too.
So this week the baby steps I am committing to are - getting organized and selling more of the stock,
so I can make space for a permanent studio / sewing room . 
making time everyday to do something creative
write a catalog wish list for John Lewis in my next blog post
Plus take steps to build my own self esteem by helping my friend test a course she would like to start to run for mums !

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Throwing away the schedule

On Friday disaster stuck as the power cable broke for my laptop !  What was I to do with no other proper way of working online ? Well I turned this into an experiment. I even turned off the internet on my phone to see if  I was more or less productive when I'm not continually checking in online.
The first day was awful - I was pacing up and down , worrying about organizing a courier for a collection , worrying about my customers trying to contact me , worrying about how I could continue my business, worrying about how I would write the book revue and the catalogue wish list that I had promised 2 clients. Then I stopped and took a step back, just for a minute to re access the situation - I realized I had lots to do away from the computer it just wasn't all connected to the business.
So I took the time to have a major tidy up around the house and especially the kitchen - where lots of work had been over taking the dinning table for weeks. We could finally have family meal times again which I was badly missing. It also made me feel refreshed, it uncluttered my space and in a funny way started to un clutter my head.
So in gusto on Saturday me and the youngest daughter started to un clutter her bed room. Giving her and her sister more space and also gaving us some un interrupted one to one time, where we talked about so much and re connected. The rest of the afternoon I spent sorting through more of my clutter -  my craft magazines and books that I no longer wanted or needed. In the process of flicking through pages it filled my head with inspiration, new ideas and future projects.
Sunday being Mothersday was already a planned day off for me so I could forget about work for the day.
You don't know how excited I was when I received a new spade, recycled seed pots and tray  and peat free compost and seeds. It made me remember why we had invested in a house with a huge garden - and the fact that being a work from home mum means I can now dedicate some time to creating my recycled cottage garden with fresh fruit, veg and herbs, a bigger fish pond and maybe even some chickens. While all the time I can spend time with my children encourage them to be part of a greener way of life and encourage wild life to thrive too . Something I think we all take for granted a little too much some times !

All the business side of things worked out in the end too - I borrowed my mums computer to print courier label and post a brief honest note on my face book page about the laptop cable.
So all in all a very productive weekend !


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

My "Golden Ticket" Moment

I've just had what I now call my "golden ticket moment".  While working through the mindset questions Erica Douglas set me as part of my personal development course , I found I was eating at least one chocolate bar and drinking one small bottle of coke a day! Now was this to keep me going ? or was it comfort eating / loneliness- or just a treat because I'm working so hard these days ?
Either way I suddenly thought well if that's costing me £3 a day what does that work out a year. On the back of the wrapper I quickly scribbled down my calculations

So on the other side the golden side of the wrapper I wrote the total again to re affirm it to myself .
Then I wrote it on a nice big ticket size piece of pretty gold shiny card so I can pin it up and remember it every time I go to reach for chocolate or fizzy drink

So that's my golden ticket moment ! keep watching to find out where we go and what we get up too !

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Getting organized

Well after a long hard day of shifting and sorting boxes , the anix is starting to look a lot more organized.
My desk is now ready for sorting and creating cardmaking and paper craft kits ready to sell in my huge sale thats taking place on my  facebook page .
I have just one left now of  my huge Hunkydory Mother's day kit on special offer for just £26  which would be great to make cards or as a mothersday gift for a crafter.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Trying to Decide

Now I am at home full time I'm trying to descide what I want to do with my life and where I want to be .
The trouble is being at home is opening up so many more possibilities that I just dont know where to start.
1. Do I want to continue with craftyhobbies
2. Does craftyhobbies fit in with my ethical beliefs as it stands as a buisness now ?
3. How could I make craftyhobbies something unique ?
4. Would it benefit me to find another path or return to work so crafting is again enjoyable as just my hobby ?
So I have taken a leap and signed up to be a tester for a new " live changing " course thats being developed by Erica Douglas. Its already got me thinking more deaply about all my questions above and I'm only on lesson 3 .
Then I signed up for a course with  Grace Marshall called 40 days of baby steps. After my 20 minute brainstorming call with Grace last night I was raring to go.
For the first time ever I had a real plan in black and white - even if it was only for the next few days I know what I'm doing and when.
I come to the realsiation that although I try to be organized I try to squeeze far to much into each day, with no real time for myself or time to be creative .
So my plan is
Today - sort and reorganize all these boxes - so the large table underneath can be used for sorting stock into kits and for packaging orders
Also count how many boxes of stock I have left so I can keep track of how much is selling in my

Then on Thursday I'm taking a whole day for time to make a comissioned bag that a friend has ordered .
Then on Friday I'm taking an actual day off to spend doing something fun with the kids

So my thoughts for the day are that its better to look at the tasks I have, break them down and work out a plan in advance. So for me I know what I am doing and when !