Hello and welcome to my belated first blog post of 2018! I think all bloggers and podcasters experience periods in their lives when updating their areas of cyberspace fall by the wayside for one reason or another. I have definitely gotten out of the way of blogging the way that I used to but my working year has changed so much since I first started my little cottage industry and the focus has definitely been on the making as opposed to the marketing.
I have been extremely busy behind the scenes though. I had a hugely successful 2017 with a variety of events starting with Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March, a few craft fairs and a highland games during May and August, Perth Festival of Yarn in September, more local fairs in October and finishing up with The Handmade Show and The Loft at Ardross in November. Keeping stock levels up for these events is a full time job plus I run my online shop and supply a few local gift shops and galleries as well. I do take a bit of a break in July but 2018 is going to be even busier!
It all kicks off mid March with a return to Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I was SO delighted to be selected to exhibit at this wonderful event again. It is way over subscribed with vendors and it feels like a great privilege to be exhibiting again in 2018. It is a three day event this year running from Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th March. The Thursday is advance tickets only and is sold out already. If you haven't got advance tickets for the other days, you can still show up on the Friday or Saturday and if you are prepared to queue, you will get it.
I have been working hard on getting some new images ready to have produced as gift items. Already in stock are these sets of four luxury coasters.
'Drying Day at the Bothy' has been a favourite image since I created it in 2016 and was really successful as a printed card so I have added it to the coaster set and to the pouches. Mugs will be also available soon and it is back in stock as a card.
Multi-purpose Pouch £7.95
This year I decided to add more A5 notebooks to my range. I have usually gone for the small square format but found that these designs worked will as A5. The pages alternate between plain and ruled and I have managed to keep the price at £5.95.
My Lens/Screen Cloths are back in stock and available in six different designs. I have had to put the price up to £4.50 though as my supplier has put their prices up but it's still affordable and a great gift idea plus they really are good at cleaning!
I had all these bags made and put them in my Etsy shop last week and two of the designs have sold out already but I plan to have them all available again at EYF.
Living in an old cottage surrounded by trees and fields, you really notice the subtle differences as the wheel of the year turns and we start to experience more light and the first signs of Spring. If I had time to go and arrange a nice photo I'd share with you the lovely way the sunlight comes in through the kitchen window at this time of year. We have really deep windowsills and don't get the sun coming in all year round, only at this time in February and later in the Autumn. Time is short though and staging photos involves dusting so you will just have to use your imagination! :D
The point is that I was inspired to needle felt some Spring lambs onto these keepsake boxes and as I am impatient to see the daffodils, I embroidered some of them as well.
Keepsake Box £45
I'm hoarding my stock of these to take to EYF and should have about six available, all slightly different. I will also have other keepsake boxes in various sizes.
New for 2018 are these little needle felting kits featuring my Pretty Bird and Dolphin designs. The kits contain a needle felting sponge mat, needles, fibres, threads and beads plus the design drawn out on a wool base fabric as well as written instructions. I hope to have a third kit available soon which will be released at EYF.
Available now on Etsy
What's keeping me the most busy is building up my stock of needle felted earrings, brooches, pendants and shawl pins in time for Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I'm trying to make as many as I can in all different colours.
I've added a slightly larger brooch to the range with the cottage and sheep design on it and will have a few with highland coos too!
The cow and cottage brooches take so much longer to make though so there won't be as many of them available but I'm trying my best to have a good few ready for EYF.
Highland Cow Brooch £22
Just six weeks after Edinburgh Yarn Festival I will be taking part in Open Studios North Fife for the 8th time! I can't believe it's 8 years since I first took the plunge and applied to take part in this event. I think it really helped me in lots of different ways to build my creativity into a full time job.
I will be using the venue at Ladybank that I always use and plan to have lots of kits and fibre packs available this year as well as my full range of artwork and jewellery etc.
For full details about this event visit the website here
Hot on the heels of Open Studios will be Aberdeen Yarn Fest on Sunday 13th May at Double Tree Hilton in Aberdeen! I'm not sure how I will cope with having a stall at this just 6 days after Open Studios but it's a great opportunity and a chance to take my wares to Aberdeen where I spent 4 years back in the 90's as an art student.
Later in the year on August 17th and 18th I have been invited to exhibit at EWEfest which will be Scotland's first wool festival of it's kind. It's to be held in Dundee at Slessor Gardens which is on the water front near the new V&A museum. This looks like an exciting and ambitious event that I am very excited to be involved it!
As you can imagine, there is a lot of work involved in preparing for these events hence the lack of blog posts! I do try and keep everyone up to date with what I am making via Facebook and Instagram so do pop over and say hi if you use either of these. And if you are coming to any of the events mentioned above please introduce yourself! It's always lovely to meet people in real life as well as online ♥