Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere to share the ups and downs of starting a craft business, with plenty of tips, mishaps and the odd glass of wine!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Crafting for the Six Nations

It's that time of year again... Six Nations time, which in our house is very contentious - the husband is Irish, I'm English and the kids were born in Wales!

So I've made a few different things 6 Nations related over the years:

Shamrocks for the Irish fans

Daffodils for the Welsh 

English Roses for the best team ;-)

And finally a leek!

The leek was part of my felt food exploration earlier in the week (all of which turned out faaaar too large!) A friend saw it and asked if she could buy it to wave during the Wales games!! Her husband was very bemused when he picked it up earlier... All he'd been told was there was something to collect... He wasn't expecting a leek!

Need to try and create a thistle next for the Scots :-D

Monday, 2 February 2015

How to find a truly personalised gift

We have a friend who's 40th Birthday is coming up and I asked my husband yesterday what we should get him for his birthday, to which my husband replied "What do you get the man who has everything?"

A very good point. We quite often have presents to get for people who have a high disposable income (lucky things!) and who buy the things they want as they see them... makes for a difficult pursuit looking for the ideal present.

Well I've had some customers who have tackled that by having something truly personalised created for their loved ones:

This Supreme Dalek Figure was made for one lovely customer's 40th Birthday as he's a real Dr Who fan!

The Supreme Dalek Toy my version was based on.

Another customer wanted a large Subaru Impreza Car Cushion to give to her son as he was having to sell his beloved pride & joy due to an expanding family!

Felt Subaru Impreza Car Cushion (Complete with personalised number plates)

Having seen the Personalised London Bus that I sell a great number of, asked if I could make a New York City Bus, with personalised plates:

New York City Bus, based on the photos sent by the customer

A completely lovely, but puppy-crazy friend and wonderful customer asked me to replicate her two Chinese Crested Powder Puff dogs in cushion form:

Holly & Noodle - the gorgeous puppies who got their own cushions... they were supposed to be for their owner, but they both claimed their cushion and refused to be parted!!
Finally, the first real custom item I was asked to create, was this enhanced VW Beetle, known as a Baja Bug and used for off-roading, requested by a customer in Germany for her brother, who had once owned this car:

Hope you enjoyed that little round up and feel free to contact me if there is something wild and wacky that you'd like to see immortalised in felt!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Fairies and Elves

Hey lovelies,

I've been having a bit of a blogging writers block recently, mainly I think because I wanted to up my blogging game this year... so immediately my mind goes blank!!

But I did want to share these gorgeous Fairies and Elves doors that a friend of ours made for the kids.

I'm so chuffed with them and the kids adore them. Simon (the lovely friend who made them) is hoping to set up an Etsy shop, so watch this space if you like the look of them.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Resolution #1 - Bloglovin

I've decided that 2015 is going to be the year I get my blogging act together.

To that end, I'm trying to be more pro-active with using Bloglovin.

If you click on the link below you can follow my blog through Bloglovin.

To be honest I'm not entirely sure where we go from there... but as I find out I will come back and update this post!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Recent Creations

Happy New Year!

I know, I'm a little late with the greeting, but I've been a little busy.

I had a flurry of orders over Christmas, which was lovely, but as I was taking a break from work, it meant when I came back to it this week, I had a full on timetable.

So I just wanted to share with you a couple of recent creations and then I'd best get back to it. Hoping to get a tutorial written up next week or the week after (Tax Return avoidance!)

George Pig Hand Puppet

Penguin Hand Puppet

Yoda Hand Puppet

Fiat 600 Hanging Ornaments
Felt Angel Christmas Tree Topper

Monday, 22 December 2014

VAT Rule Changes - VATMOSS and how it will affect Small Businesses

As some of you will already know the EU are changing the VAT (Value Added Tax) rules for Digital Products on the 1st January 2015.

This has proven to be a very complicated change, which means that instead of the VAT being dependent on where the seller is based, the VAT will now be charged at the local rate of the buyer. So if I am based in the UK and I sell to a customer in the UK, I would only charge VAT if my turnover was more than £81,000 (I wish!!) as that is the threshold for the UK. However some countries within the EU do not have a VAT threshold, so as soon as I make even 1 digital sale to someone in an EU country with no threshold (such as Spain or Sweden) I would have to pay VAT on that product.

Not only does this mean that I would be losing out on income, as some of all my EU sales would have to go to the VAT Man, but it is also unbelievably complicated in terms of filing a tax return, the amount of data that needs to be collected and stored about each sale and then there are the dispute issues, such as what if a customer lives in one EU country, but is travelling and makes a purchase whilst in another EU country?

HMRC does not have answers to these questions yet. The likes of Etsy & Craftsy do not have answers to these questions yet. It's nearly the end of December and time is running out to get answers.


I had decided that I would simply stop selling digital patterns on the 31st December 2014, which is a real shame as that was the direction I was trying to push my business towards. It would mean that I cannot grow my business in the way I want to.

However. I have just this morning discovered this from HMRC:

Examples of electronic supplies and whether or not they are ‘digital services’

ServiceE-service?Electronically supplied?Covered by the new rules
Pdf document manually e-mailed by sellerYesNoNo
Pdf document automatically e-mailed by seller’s systemYesYesYes
Pdf document automatically downloaded from siteYesYesYes
Stock photographs available for automatic downloadYesYesYes
Live webinarNoNoNo
On-line course consisting of pre-recorded videos and downloadable pdfsYesYesYes
On-line course consisting of pre-recorded videos and downloadable pdfs plus support from a live tutorYesNoNo
Individually commissioned content sent in digital form e.g. photographs, reports, medical resultsYesNoNo
Link to online content or download sent by manual e-mailYesYesYes
So this does mean that my Craftsy and Pattern Mart shops will have to close on the 31st December 2014 as they do not currently support anything other than automatic downloads.

But the good news is that you will still be able to purchase patterns from my Etsy shop as I will simply be removing the automatic download option and will email the pattern out, in PDF format after it has been purchased.

This means only a tiny bit more work for me, but luckily no increased cost for you or me! Yay!

It's not an ideal solution, but it is a workable solution for now.

If you want to read more about this subject, Rosie Slosek's Blog One Man Band Accounting is very informative and full of useful info and tips on how you can help make a difference.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Christmas Inspiration from Pinterest

Now, we all know how much I adore whiling away hours on Pinterest, looking up cool new things to make... and usually, like most people, I pin away and never actually find the time to make things!

But this year I promised myself it would be different... so when I found some fun and easy pins, I made time to make them too....

What do you think? I don't think I failed too badly ;-)

Source - Pinterest

My version

Source - Pinterest
My version, with more candy canes and a sack full of chocolate presents!
Source - Pinterest
My version (please excuse all the kids artwork - the mirror is in their playroom!)

I had so many others that I wanted to try out, like these:

Source - Pinterest
And this one:

Source - Pinterest
But as usual at this time of year, I have totally run out of time.

I'd love to see some of the creative things you've made for Christmas, especially if they were inspired by something you've seen on Pinterest!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Christmas VW Cuddly Campervan Giveaway... And the Winner Is.......!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Cuddly VW Christmas Camper Giveaway:

And the Winner is......

Well done Joanne :-D

I'm sorry that you couldn't all win, but I will do another giveaway in the New Year - maybe a sewing kit... watch this space!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Christmas VW Campervan Giveaway!!!

As I mentioned in my last post (somewhat belatedly!) I should have run this giveaway at the beginning of October :-/

Still... better late than never, right?!

Here's what's up for grabs - A Christmassy VW Cuddly Campervan!

I will post worldwide and the giveaway will run until the 3rd December (just in case someone from New Zealand wins as that is the last posting date for NZ from the UK!) and I would love as many shares & shout-outs as y'all can manage!

Here's the entry bit:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Confessions of a Craftaholic!

I have a confession.

It's not a life-altering, want to hang my head in shame kinda confession (I'm sorry - if that's what you were hoping for, there might be racier blogs for you than this one!)

It's an 'Ooops, I was planning something and I totally forgot all about it' kinda confession!

I have just passed, well actually Grace's Favours has just passed it's 3rd Birthday! Whoop!

Which means, the giveaway I was going to hold to celebrate my/our Birthday didn't happen.


I wanted to do one on the scale of the other Giveaways I've held - like the Rainbow one or the Christmas Wreath one.

However, to make up for it... I thought I'd run an 'It's now the end of November, which means nearly Christmas Giveaway'!

Soooo.... how would you like to win A Merry Christmas Cuddly Campervan???

The giveaway post will go live within the next couple of hours... keep your eyes peeled!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Christmas Crafty Tutorial Link Up

Yesterday I posted a Christmassy Tutorial - A Mini Teddy Bed as part of Laura (Lupin) Howards' Crafty Tutorial Link Up:

And today I've got the other bloggers' makes to show to you too.

If you click on the links below that will take you directly to the individual blogs with their tutorials.

Mini Teddy Bed - Grace's Favours

Shiny Reindeer Embroidered Hoop Art - Candyfloss Ramparts

Teeny Tiny Snowman Pendant - i ManuFatti

Nativity Bunting Tutorial - Hoogally

Floating Pompom Garland - RetroDelicious

Printable Colouring-In Snowflake Labels - It's Organised

Patchwork Christmas Bauble - Made by Mrs M

Upcycled Jumper Christmas Stocking with Robin Appliqué - Halcyon Threads

Felt Christmas Mouse Ornament - Molly & Mama

First Flake, Snowflake Ornament - Betz White

Gingerbread House Ornament - Shiny Happy World

Mod Winter Table Runner - Tumus / Little Red Thread

Shabby Christmas Denim Heart - Cocojude 

Fairy Lights Christmas Cake - Cupcakery

Washi Tape & Button Christmas Card - The Lilac Linnet

Christmas Card String & Pegs - Fizzi Jayne Makes

Felt Christmas Stocking - Vicky Myers Creations

Felt Holiday Wreath - The Felt Store

Penguin Pocket Friend or Ornament - Lulu & Celeste

Saint Nick Ornaments - Homemade at My Place

Modern Felt Advent Calendar - Hugs are Fun

Felt Christmas Ornaments - Marc's Treasure Basket

Hope you all enjoy all these fab tutorials - I'm off to check some out now with a cuppa - enjoy!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

How To Make a Mini Teddy Bed - Free Tutorial

I know today should be Wordless Wednesday, but instead I've got a little Christmassy tutorial for you. Last year I took part in Laura's Christmas Tutorial Link Up and my submission was the Felt Gingerbread Man Gift Tag

Well, this year Laura's running another Christmas Link Up and this time round, I've created not one, but two makes!

The first, which is going to be in the Link Up is this Mini Teddy Bed:

You Will Need:

A mint tin (if you want to use the templates I've drawn, it'll need to be an Altoids Tin)
2 Pieces of Red Felt - 2.5" x 2"
1 Piece of Seasonal Material - slightly larger than your mint tin
1 Piece of white Fleece (or felt) - 3.5" x 3"
1 Piece of Ribbon - 4" long
White & Green Embroidery Threads
Small Piece of Wadding or Small Amount of Stuffing for the Pillow
Pinking Shears
Scissors & Pins


Either using the template provided, or by drawing round your tin, cut out the bottom sheet from your seasonal material, using pinking shears to prevent fraying - if you've drawn round the tin you will need to cut just inside the line to get a good fit.

Next cut out 2 pieces of red felt and if you are using wadding, cut out a smaller rectangle, so the wadding sits nicely in between the 2 pieces of felt.

Using 2 strands of white embroidery thread, back stitch round the pillow shape and tie off your thread neatly at the back. If you are using stuffing, make sure you leave a small hole for stuffing before you close up the pillow.

Cut out the blanket from the white fleece (or felt) and using 4 strands of green embroidery thread, add a decorative bit of running stitch, about 1/4" away from the edge.

Then add the ribbon, making sure you fold the edges over behind the blanket so the sides are near and sew onto the blanket using a running stitch. I have used white thread, but if your ribbon is another colour, use a matching thread.

And Viola! You have a Mini Teddy Bed! Yay!

Now all you need is a mini teddy for the bed.... like this one! I will be putting up another tutorial to show how to make the Mini Teddy next week, so don't forget to check back for it.

These Teddies in a Tin would make a GREAT stocking filler and my two munchkins LOVED theirs when they spotted them yesterday (so much for keeping them till Christmas!)

You can make the beds (and teddies) in any colours you like.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. Please feel free to make as many as you like for personal use, but please do not either sell the end product, or the pattern and if you do wish to refer to the tutorial, please do borrow a couple of photos, but please link back to this post somewhere too.

Happy Crafting!

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