Friday, January 27, 2012

Finding a focus

Twelve months ago I opened my store on Etsy, Cotton And Card. Even with the massive amount of stores on Etsy, I managed to make sales, and my store has steadily grown.

Over the past couple of months though, a few issues have caused me to feel a little dissatisfied with Etsy. Over the year I have sold a bit of everything, but not enough of any one thing to help me to direct my focus...some items in my store take months to sell, often resulting in a lack of motivation to make the item again...photographing many different items of all shapes and sizes has been a headache...and I haven't been able to create a consistent look and feel that I am happy with.

As much as I enjoy sewing and crochet, it was my love affair with paper and card that started me on this path many years ago, and is often what gets me the most motivated to 'make'.  For quite a while I had been considering adding some handmade paper-craft supplies to the mix at Cotton And Card, but I hadn't done so as I felt that it would only make the shop window look even more random and inconsistent.

And then, a couple of weeks ago I discovered Craftumi, a site especially for selling (handmade) craft supplies, and I knew instantly that it was what I was looking for. 

Two days later, Paper :: Cotton :: Love was born!

Paper :: Cotton :: Love sells handmade embellishments, die cut card, card and gift tag blanks, Kraft card and other unique and sometimes quirky 'bits and bobs' for craft projects.

There is something really satisfying about selling my handmade craft supplies, to other crafty folk, who will make something nice, maybe even something they can sell in their own shop!

While I might not be getting a lot of sleep right now, the constant flow of ideas swimming around in my head at 2am is making sure of that, I am focused. And focus is what I was looking for. I know exactly what I want to make. I am enjoying the complete process from start to finish, and I am completing projects quickly and easily despite the constant (usual) interruptions from Master R and Miss A! 

It's only early days, but it feels good, and it feels right for me. Maybe I have found my niche. Only time will tell. I have definitely found a focus, and that is making me happy for now.

I hope you are focused and happy too xx

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Signed, sealed, delivered...

"A sweet little card...
to hold and feel...
sealed with love...
a hand scrawled message...
delivered with a hug...
received with a smile...
to be saved and cherished"

Oh the joy of a real, tangible, greeting card!

More often than not, we are so caught up in our digital world of connecting with friends and family via email, text messaging and Facebook that we forget about other super nice and simple ways to show someone we care, send our good wishes and brighten up a day...

My little trio of mini cards are finished! I loved making them! You can find them in my shop here.

Hope your day is 'sweet' xx

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday captured

Yesterday was one of those really nice Saturdays...the ones where everyone wakes up chirpy...

there is a morning activity planned and everyone knows the routine to get ready...

and then the afternoon is left free for relaxing, pottering, crafting and playing.

Our morning activity was a trip to the new Heath Ledger Theatre to see Charlie and Lola's best bestest play, an extremely ever so wonderful stage show.

Before we left Miss A got dressed into her Charlie and Lola tee, of course, but was having trouble finding anything  to wear in her hair to match, which wasn't surprising as the tee is an interesting shade of orange (probably why it was on clearance at the ABC Shop for $5!).

So Miss A and I got creative with some very nice dotty orange fabric and our cover buttons...

and made up a pair of hair elastics...

so she could wear her piggy tails and feel super coordinated and stylish (very important at four years old).

The Charlie and Lola stage show really was the best bestest play, full of unexpected surprises that kept us all entertained. (Highly recommend it if your children are fans.)

And then the afternoon...I worked on some new products for the shop...and played with Instagram a lot...for the first time...hence the varied filters on these photos!

And after being inspired over here, I really did dust off my bike and take it for a bit of a spin, something I had been planning to do for quite some time. It was a big novelty for Miss A and Master R to see mum ride her bike. I don't think they believed I knew how!

Hope you are having a happy weekend  xx

Friday, January 13, 2012

A crochet hook cosy...for me

For Christmas I made my mum a fabric crochet hook cosy...see it here...and for Christmas my mum gave me a whole set of crochet hooks.

I was also given the book 'Cute & Easy Crochet' by Nicki Trench, and so with a whole set of new hooks needing a cosy new home, the obvious first project of choice was the Hook Holder.

This hook holder took a little longer to make up than the previous one, but was still an easy project, combining crochet and sewing. The previous cosy folded up like a wallet and secured shut with a button, this one rolls up and secures with ribbon tied in a bow. I like them both!

I used two co-ordinating pieces of fabric to make the inner lining/pockets. The grey and white dotted fabric was an off-cut saved from a previous project, and the grey and yellow patterned piece is from my new bundle of fabric.

My hooks are cosy...well, organised at least!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ready for school?

The beginning of the new school year is fast approaching, and we have been shopping for school supplies this week. Miss A and Master R are beside themselves with excitement...they have run around the house with new school bags on their backs, tried out new water bottles and lunch packs, chosen name labels, and had many discussions about what they will do at school.

But while it is all very exciting for them, it is very emotional for me, with my big boy heading off to Year One, and my baby girl separating from me for the first time to begin Kindy.
They might be ready, but I'm not sure I am!

 In the spirit of 'Back to School', two cute pieces from my fabric bundle have begun happy new lives as library bags...funky forest trees for girls and racing cars for the boys. The bags are lightweight, have a drawstring closure, and a spot for a name label on the inside. You can visit the library bags over in my shop.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

A peek...

A bundle of pretty fabric...

a growing collection of yarn...

two crochet projects in progress...

and (experiments with) tissue paper pom poms!

This is just a tiny bit of what is inspiring me right now, and what I have been working on.

What are you working on or inspired by?

Enjoying holiday mode

Christmas was wonderful...and we are still very much in holiday mode here, with my man on leave for another week or so, and school holidays in full swing.

It has been a relaxed fortnight of family and friends, parks, playgrounds, swimming, ice creams, toys, games and craft...

just the way school holidays should be!

With my man at home there has been time to add some finishing touches to our home renovations (photos soon.) We have been painting walls, hanging curtains and de-cluttering. It feels good!

And with an organised home and a relaxed pace, I am finding inspiration for new craft projects everywhere! My to-do list of crafty stuff for 2012 is steadily growing, and the obsessive crafter in me is just itching to get stuck into all of it right now...however I am reminding myself of  my goal for a more relaxed, mindful approach to my craft, and life in general. So one project at a time it is.

I hope you have been able to enjoy extended time in holiday mode too x