May 19, 2011

To book, or not to book?

That is the question I'm pondering today.  It's probably long overdue, but if I'm going to do another craft book, I need to pull my finger out and knuckle down to writing that book submission.  There are ideas, but in all honesty, writing a book is a long job, and I need to weigh up the return against plans like PDF patterns, or even kits.

In the meantime, I'm going to add a few pieces to the Etsy shop later,

a new retro Owl,

the other retro Owl I made a few weeks back,

and an Otter.

May 18, 2011

Quilt Market,

I may not have been able to be there in person...

but I was there in spirit!  Thanks to Katy for the photo.

May 17, 2011

Sewing class...

I'm teaching a sewing class!  My first one, very exciting.

Sew a Baby Barn Owl

Saturday 18th June 2011, 10am - 1pm

at Catmose College here in Oakham, Rutland, UK

The college are supplying sewing machines, I'm supplying most of the materials (and of course the expert tuition!), all that's needed is a basic sewing kit, pins etc.

There are more details here and also the contact details to book a place.

May 14, 2011

Mollie Makes by Lucykate Crafts...

Years ago, around the time I was at college studying textile design, there were a fair amount of craft and sewing magazines around.  This was the era of Changing Rooms and everyone was going crazy for the idea of DIY.  It was a bit of a fad, and once the moment had passed, many of these magazines either folded or changed direction towards other crafts, in particular scrapbooking.  Fast forward to now, and this cycle is repeating itself.  The age of recession brings with it a new era of make do and mend, and along comes a fresh influx of craft and sewing magazines.  In the UK over the last few years there's been Selvedge, Sew Hip, Sew, Making, and Cloth joining the already well established Crafts Beautiful and Sewing World, then most recently Popular Crafts relaunched followed by the brand new titles of Simply Homemade, Handmade Living, and Mollie Makes.

I'm not even sure I've got them all in that list, there's so many.  And yet in my opinion, there is still a gap in the market.  How can that be?

My theory is it's because for most of the magazines listed, I'm not the target audience.  What I, and many of the UK craft bloggers (I know, because we've discussed this on Twitter many times) are looking for would sit somewhere between the giddy heights of Selvedge and the likes of Making and Cloth.  I can cope with a few project patterns thrown in but it's the textile eye candy and inspiration I'm after.  So many times, new magazines have appeared and made exclamations of 'we're new, we're different' but then a few issues down the line, not really lived up to those claims.  

This week I bought the first issue of Mollie Makes.  Cover looks lovely, they have indeed been checking out our American counterparts for ideas on styling.  The inside is a pleasant surprise, the projects are cute with a quirky edge (yay, no tote bags or pillow case dresses), and the articles appealing.  I won't say it's spot on (I'm hard to please) but it's pretty darn close!

The published crafting world is in danger of becoming flooded (says she who has just released a book!).  It is becoming harder and harder to stay original, but there's still space to give it a go.  It says in the top corner of the Mollie Makes cover 'for people who love the crafty life'.  If they can stick to that mantra, I will be watching this magazine with interest. 

May 13, 2011

Sneaky peek,

Apologies for the slight blog break, I've had trouble logging into Blogger over the past week so am posting via Safari instead of my usual Firefox.  Maybe Firefox and Blogger have fallen out!

Anyway, here's a little sneaky peek of my contribution to the book Countdown Calendars, which is due out later this year.  

Can you guess what it is??

Edited to add - as with all Blogger blogs, this post temporarily disappeared.  It's back now, but the original comments are still missing.  Hopefully Blogger will be able to sort the problem.

May 4, 2011

The day trip...

It's not often I blog about personal stuff, but today I'm making an exception as I've just got back from taking Lucy & Luke down to London.  For those who don't already know, my husband is a portrait painter and also the President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters who hold their annual open exhibition at the Mall Gallery every May, and today was the private view...

Alastair giving his speech, 

Luke hiding behind Daddy,

Lord Julian Fellowes giving his speech (I didn't dare ask him about Downton Abbey, I bet everyone asks about Downton Abbey these days!),

Alastair, Lord Fellowes and Cornelius Fudge Robert Hardy,

feeding time at the zoo (poor things, they were a little overwhelmed by it all),

and 'Hmm, who is this one by?  I recognise the name'

'It's Daddy's!'