Monday, 16 December 2013

Laser Cut Brooches

I have some really exciting new designs to share with you. A few weeks ago I commissioned Kris from Shore Cottage Studio to produce my felt fox design as a laser cut brooch. 

Yesterday I traveled up to the Wirral to collect my first batch of the finished brooches and visit the studio. 

Here they are, in a choice of three different colours:

The design process started with a pencil sketch which I scanned and traced in Adobe Illustrator (very badly) and sent to Kris. Having never really used Illustrator before some of my lines didn't match up perfectly, which is very important when laser cutting so Kris worked with me to help turn my sketch into something that worked with the laser cutting software.

I'm really pleased with how they've turned out, Kris has done a fantastic job. If you're thinking of getting something laser cut I can definitely recommend commissioning him.

Check them out in my shop HERE -  They're available individually and as a set of 3 brooches.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Christmas Posting Dates

Wow, this year has seriously flown by! My custom order book is filling up super fast already with Christmas orders so it's time to share those all important last posting dates.

Make sure you order early and allow 3 - 5 working days you your order to be made. I will also be offering a special "Rush Order" upgrade with a quicker turnaround time (1 - 2 days) and signed for / tracked delivery for those last minute shoppers!

I've also made a few changes to my Etsy shop I now accept Etsy gift cards and you can checkout directly on the site with a credit / debit card without having to go through Paypal (unless you want to).

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

DIY - How to make your own scratch cards

I've just started to run out of the cool discount cards that I printed a few months back on the letterpress course I went to, so I decided it was time to design some new ones to send out to customers with their orders. 

I wanted something a bit more interesting and memorable than plain cards with a code on, so after seeing loads of different scratch card tutorials on Pinterest I decided to have a go at making some of my own. 

I started by designing some business cards in Photoshop and had them printed by Vista print. Alternatively you could print a design yourself or draw something directly onto some card. 

I have to admit my first attempt wasn't very successful and I was beginning to wish I hadn't ordered 250 cards with the words "scratch here" printed on them! However, after a bit of experimenting with different materials and techniques, I managed to perfect them. I'm going to share a few tips in this tutorial so you can get them to work perfectly first time!

To make the scratch cards you will need the following materials:
The first batch I made using a cheap own-brand washing up liquid and no sticky back plastic and they didn't scratch off, so I'd recommend using something like Fairy liquid as I know that works. The sticky back plastic also protects the card and stops it from becoming soggy once it's painted.

You can use any coloured acrylic paint that you'd like, but I'd recommend using a dark colour like black so that your message underneath doesn't show through. I chose turquoise to fit with my branding as the rest of my packaging is that colour, but it took about three coats of paint to conceal the discount code.

Here's how to make them:

1.  Measure the area of your card / design that you want to be scratch-able, and cut a piece of sticky back plastic to size using scissors or a paper cutter. 

Alternatively you can also make the strip slightly bigger if you need to line it up precisely with the edges of the card (like on my design). This gives you a bit of room for error when you stick them onto the cards later. 
2. Prepare your mixture. Two parts paint for every one part washing up liquid. Mix it well but be careful not to get too many bubbles in it. 
3. Paint all the strips of sticky-back plastic. Use thin even layers of paint and then leave them to dry before applying a second coat. 
4. Peel the sticky-back plastic off of its backing and carefully stick it into position on your design / discount cards. Start by lining up one edge and then slowly lower the plastic down onto the card until it's in position. 

5.  If you've made the sticky back plastic strips bigger than they need to be, cut off the excess using scissors or a rotary cutter, use the edge of the card as your guide to help you cut straight. 

6. Once they're stuck down if you notice that some of your message is showing through or some paint chipped off whilst peeling the plastic from it's backing, you can touch them up with another coat of paint. 

7. Woo hoo! You're finished, grab a coin and scratch one off to check its worked!
Here are my finished scratch cards ready to send to customers :)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Fox and Owl Pendants

Remember last weeks works in progress, well here they are as finished pendants.What do you think?

I've also been experimenting with a few different background for my photos, I usually take product photos on a plain white background in a light box but I thought I'd try something different with these. I quite like the colour of our handmade coffee table with the colours in the necklace, but I'm not sure if it draws attention away from the design. Hmmm, undecided.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Travel Card Holders

A new addition to the shop, fox travel card holders / business card wallets.

Friday, 1 November 2013


Hello everyone! I'm back and I have lots of new designs and works in progress to share with you on the blog over the coming weeks.

The first of which are these little guys, officially the smallest things I've ever sewn, measuring only 3 x 4cm! The idea is to set them into pendants and turn them into necklaces. Hopefully all will go to plan, even though I've never attempted any form of jewelry making before! So if you have any tips please do share them. I'll show you how they turn out next week...

(note to self remember to sweep biscuit crumbs off of the table before taking photos)

Friday, 30 August 2013

Sewing Machine Surgery

Unfortunately my sewing machine has been broken for a while now. I accidentally snapped the socket that the foot pedal plugs into off of the machine, which rendered it pretty much useless. It's still under warranty but because I'd bought it from Ebay, the company said I'd have to send it back to them and they'd then send it on to Singer for repairs. Which was frankly way too much hassle! So I found the replacement part online and decided I'd try and replace it myself (well with a lot of help from my very lovely boyfriend).
It was really interesting to see what the insides looked like (and totally made me realise how I know nothing about how most electrical devices actually work!) Getting the plastic casing off was a complete nightmare. After unscrewing everything it just didn't want to come apart, but after a lot of swearing and brute force we finally managed to get it to produce a horrible snapping noise and got one side off.
We then eventually managed to get the replacement part in and wired up properly and put it all back together (with several screws left over, I'm sure they weren't important anyway...)

It's so nice to have a working sewing machine again, now I can finally start work on the card wallets I've been planning on making!