52 card pick up

For my birthday this year I received this cardmaking kit:

It was a very thoughtful present. I do love making cards and I got it in plenty of time to make them for this Christmas.

But.

I didn’t really like it.

My aesthetic is vivid colours, simple lines, and minimalist embellishments.

But this kit has busy, busy papers in quite muted colours, and the embellishments contain possibly my least favourite thing ever: cutesy vintage.

No judgement, I know there are people in the world who find these adorable. I’m just not one of them.

Now, I’ve written before about Jess Crafts videos where she uses one paper pad to make lots of cards. Example here. After watching a few of those I had the thought that if I whack out cards like that, I can use up the kit and maybe sell the end results. Because it’s a birthday present so I can’t just give it away unused.

So I chopped all the papers into backgrounds, squares, and strips

Then went to it, churning out cards like I never have before. It’s quite freeing having all those pieces ready to assemble, and not having to think and plan a unique card every time. And it turns out I actually quite like some of them!

Another life lesson for me; don’t dismiss something outright just because you don’t like some aspects of it.

Hannah

xXx

A little help from my friends

I had yet another sort of my yarn stash this weekend, thanks to some new storage donated by a friend of mine.

This sort out was much more thorough than the last one and I’ve ended up with a bag of teeny tiny scraps and leftovers. It’s great having them all neat(ish) in one place, but I have absolutely no idea what to do with them.

So I’m appealing to my bloggy friends for some ideas. Do you know of anything I can do with all these odds and ends? It can be crochet or knitting (bearing in mind I’m a new knitter), useful or decorative or downright daft – I just want to get them used up!

Please, please, please pass on your wisdom, my crafty friends. If you can drop suggestions into the comments I will be eternally grateful. Thank you in advance!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 16.08.17

Current WIP count:10

I managed to untangle the massive yarn knot, hooray!

And I only had to take my scissors to it once when I realised that I’d somehow pulled the other end into the knot, so no matter which way I pulled I was always tightening it in one direction or the other.

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I make no comment on whether this will be ready for Friday or not.

I’ve also been working on an idea I had a few weeks ago. You can’t tell yet, but it’s going to be a granny square basket!

It will just be a small thing even though I’m using chunky yarn. I imagine it being used as a little gift bag, for a candle maybe, or some chocolates.

And this is the star garland blocking away!

 

That’s all the progress I have for this week. What’s everyone else been working on? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

A cure for insomnia 

I’m not a brilliant sleeper. It usually takes me over an hour and 15 different positions before I finally get to sleep, and the slightest noise can have me wide awake in a second. But generally I still manage to get the 7.5 hours sleep I need to not bite everyone’s head off the next day.

Then there are the nights like last night. 2:00am was the last time I checked the clock, and then I stopped looking.

You may as well do something useful while you’re not sleeping, right? My initial plan was to get my existing cards listed, but as you can see from these photos the light was not even close to good enough for photographing stock.  Maybe I should invest in some spotlights for next time insomnia hits!

Birthday bird cages

Emma from Puddleside Musings introduced me to Jess Crafts and her “1 paper pack, x cards” youtube videos (go check them out, she got 27 cards out of one paper pack!), and that was my inspiration.

Octagons

Obviously I didn’t make it to 27 cards, but then I don’t like making multiples of the same design so it took me a little longer.

Birthday leaves

This one if my favourite of the batch:

ILY

I also made these three earlier in the day

 

 

Including previous makes (the butterfly cards), that’s 11 I’ve made from this pack so far and I’m nowhere near finished. I’m enjoying the challenge of using the same elements in different ways.

What do you think of the cards? Not bad for a sleep-deprived and cranky crafter, right! What’s the highest number of cards you’ve managed to make from one paper pack? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Still here

Hi there *waves*. Despite appearances, I am still here!  A lot of rubbish, Life stuff has been going on, which took my blogging mojo away.

Thankfully my crojo has been unimpeded, and I’ve even managed some tangling as well:

I finished my virus shawl

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It’s meant to be for the shop, but I’ve kind of fallen in love with it…

I made a card for Kelleys DIY giveaway.

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I realised I’ve done this star wrong. Again.

I had to go all the way back to the green bit in the centre! Now I’m back out to the pink and so far it’s still behaving itself. 

I also made a start on a couple of ideas I’ve had:

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Can you tell what it is yet?
I’m taking steps to sort all this Life stuff out, and hopefully I’ll be back to blogging as normal soon 🙂

Hannah

xXx

My first octopus

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Photo from My Nomad Home

You may have seen or heard about these preemie octopi. Octopods. Octopussies. Whatever the plural is.

They started off in Denmark, where a study found that babies in incubators did a lot better with an octopus friend –  the tentacles remind them of the umbilical cord, and baby can grab onto them instead of pulling at any vital wires. They also help lower baby’s heart rate, provide companionship, and all sorts of other good things.

Of course I wanted to join in straight away. Combining crafts with helping people is one of my favourite things in the world! But at the time there were no UK hospitals accepting the octopoms, so I filed the idea away for later and got on with other things.

Fast forward to this week, and an email went round saying the wife of one of my colleagues had given birth 8 weeks early. Baby was okay, but would be living in an incubator for a wee while.

Ding! went the lightbulb above my head.

Enough time has passed that some Scottish hospitals will now allow an octopus in with incu-babies, and (I figured) even if this particular hospital won’t allow it, baby can still have it when he gets out.  So here we have my first ever preemie octopus, Oliver:

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Isn’t he the cutest!

I had a brief look over this pattern, decided I didn’t quite like the shape of the body, and went off and did my own thing. I think it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

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Making friends

Oliver will be handed over to his new family next week, so I’ll have to wait and see what they think of him. In the meantime…. I’ve had a thought.

There are a few Etsy shops I like that offer a charity matching option, for example you buy a blanket for yourself and the shop donates a blanket to a hospice.

What do you all think of Quiet Water offering this with preemie octopodes (obviously I will learn the correct plural term before setting it up)? You get a cute little curly wurly octopus and I send one to a hospital that will accept them, to help a little baby feel better.

What do you think? Would you go for Oliver with an added bonus? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

Thanks to Oh Yes They Did for nominating me for the Liebster award!

Here’s how it works:

1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 11 blogs.
5. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
6. Give them 11 questions to answer

First up – the questions given to me

1.What prompted you to start blogging?

I first started blogging way back in high school, just as an online diary. Nobody read it!

I also have a Body Positive blog that I started to help me work through what I was learning.

And finally this blog was created because I wanted to share the process of setting up/opening/running my Etsy shop, and the things that I make.

2. What is the best advice you would give to new bloggers?

Don’t do it for the stats; do it for the community.

Sure it feels nice when you log in and see you’ve had 100 views, but the very next day you can be right back to 0 again. The community and friendships you make will last much longer, and ultimately be more worthwhile.

3. What is your favourite season and why?

In England my favourite is Spring – it’s sunny (mostly) but not too hot, and everything is growing and looking beautiful.

In Scotland it’s Summer, because there’s nothing like three months of solid rain to help you appreciate those two days of glorious, scorching sunshine.

4. Who has had the biggest influence in your life?

Hmm that’s a tough one. Considering how like her I am, I’d have to say my Mum. We’re both introverts, both readers, admin-minded, kinda stubborn, creatives. We believe in doing a job properly and accurately, we cry so easily, and we’re pretty darn good at baking!

But I also have to mention The Militant Baker. This blog led me to take my very first steps into Body Positivity, which has grown into positive changes in every aspect of my life.

5. Do you have any pets?

Not yet, but I’ve finally moved into a flat where pets are allowed so soon I will have a cat! At last!

6. What new skill would you like to learn in the future?

Oh there’s a list. Tatting, felting, whittling, sword fighting, chocolate tempering, archery, deadlifting, knitting in the round, weaving, speaking several languages… there’s just not enough time in the day!

7. What is your dream vacation?

Somewhere warm and sunny with a pool and without any children, and with beautiful hikes to discover when I get bored of lying on my sun lounger.

8. If you could choose to have a super power, which one would you want?

Teleportation. I’d have so much more time for that list of skills!

9. What is your favourite movie?

There are a few that rotate: The Book of Life, Moulin Rouge, Mulan, Scott Pilgrim, Stardust.

10. What was your favourite toy as a child?

I had a huge, fluffy pink bunny called Sammy. She had her arms open wide like she was constantly asking for a hug.

11. What is your comfort food?

Marshmallows

 

Okay 11 facts about me…lemme think

  1. Due to my colouring, people have assumed I’m from Spain, Italy, India, Greece, Pakistan, and Portugal
  2. But I’m actually as British as they come – my Nan did our family tree and for at least 5 generations back we’re only English, Scottish, or Welsh
  3. I’m currently learning to speak Welsh and Spanish, just for funsies
  4. Last September I sprained my knee at pole dance class, and it still hasn’t fully recovered
  5. I made it to 26 years old before breaking my first bone – my little finger
  6. I have modelled for a life drawing class, and it was really fun!
  7. When I was in New Zealand, which is utterly fabulous, I still missed Glasgow
  8. In year 11 I briefly considered becoming an Occupational Therapist
  9. Before moving to Scotland I had weekly flute lessons. I love the flute, but I didn’t like my teacher and spent the whole day dreading it
  10. I got 100% in my Grade 1 music theory test
  11. But just barely passed my driving theory test

So now you know.

 

I’m going to nominate 11 blogs, but none of you have to do this if you don’t want to.

Twinklehook

Curly Girl Crochet

Crocheted By Tess

Kick Arse crochet

Snail of Happiness

Ocean’s

Mrs Craft

Imperial Crochet

Emma Crafts Design

Fogknits

Samphorea

And here are my questions if you feel like answering them

  1. What are your hobbies?
  2. What’s your favourite colour?
  3. When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  4. Lunch and dinner, or dinner and tea?
  5. Do you speak/sign any languages other than English?
  6. Do you have a favourite number?
  7. What’s your favourite smell, and why?
  8. Are you a book sniffer? (I know I’m not the only one!)
  9. Do you blog to a schedule or just whenever the muse takes you?
  10. Would you rather be rich or famous?
  11. What’s your favourite type of weather?

The end, well done if you’ve read this far!

Hannah

xXx

What’s in a name

You may have noticed that I haven’t had a tangle of the week post for a couple of weeks. That’s because I’m moving to a new flat this weekend, and I just haven’t had time for tangling! I’m hoping to get back to it in April. In the meantime have a post about my shop name.

***

I find names really interesting. Where they come from, what they mean both lexically and personally, whether people like their name or not, what name they might have had. It’s just so interesting!

For example, my first name is from the Bible, and means ‘God has favoured me’. If I had been a boy I would have been called Samuel (from the same Bible story). One of my middle names is my Mum’s name, and the other is the name of a family friend so close we may as well be related. I love the stories and the ties created by all of my names.

I’m also a writer, and a good chunk of time before I start any story is spent working out the names of my characters. I find that if the name isn’t just right, the characters will not work with me.

So basically, names matter to me. A lot.

Now let me tell you a secret: Quiet Water Craft was not my first choice of shop name. In fact I took a while to be talked into it. What I really had my heart set on was ‘Bäsksele’.

Just look at it

Bäsksele

 

It’s a Swedish word that, aside from looking lovely, is chock full of meaning for me. During my gap year I spent 4 months in Sweden helping a couple of missionaries from my home church. They lived in a teeny tiny village (99 people) called Bäsksele. The people were super friendly and welcoming, I learned so much and became strong in so many ways, it was really a pivotal point in my life. So it’s a word that’s important to me.

The word itself translates roughly as ‘quiet water between two rapids’. Being an introvert and suspected Highly Sensitive Person (wow you’re learning a lot about me today!) this idea of quietness in the midst of noise and busyness appeals to me in ways I can’t even explain. Silence is my nirvana.

Last of all, it reflects the way I feel when I’m crocheting or zentangling, or just creating in general. I have a full time day job in a busy open plan office; it’s all go, all noise, all the time. After work I go home and have choir or salsa or pole dancing, shopping, and cleaning, and laundry, and cooking, and and and. Then I pick up my crochet hook or fine liner pen, and suddenly everything stops. The rapids are rushing by on either side of me, but in my wee bubble of creativity the water is quiet and calm.

I really wanted Bäsksele for my shop name. But a wee focus group of people who have never met me (so hopefully unbiased) pointed out all the problems with it:

I’m based in the UK and will probably have mainly English and American customers, so a foreign word could put some of them off.

It makes it more difficult to remember, especially as people were not sure how to pronounce it (say ‘best seller’, but replace the ‘t’ with a ‘k’. That’s close enough).

It didn’t really give an idea of what I was selling. Even when I made it ‘Bäsksele Crafts’ they weren’t buying it.

So I admitted defeat and went for a somewhat watered down version of the name I super wanted. Thus Quiet Water Craft was born.

What do you think of the two names? Does your name have an interesting story behind it? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Ideas

Have you ever heard of the 100:10:1 method of generating ideas? It’s really simple.

  1. Quick as you can, preferably within one day, write down 100 ideas. Quality/feasibility/sense don’t matter at this point. Just write.
  2. Choose the top 10 ideas and develop them
  3. Then pick the 1 best idea from those 10 and develop it fully.

The end

100

I decided to do this to generate ideas for crocheted goodies to sell in my shop. I numbered a couple of pages in my notebook 1 to 100 and then spent a few minutes staring at that number thinking “I’ll never get that many!” But you have to try, don’t you.

It was halting at first. 1-5 done, think for a few minutes, 6, 7, 8, think for a few more minutes. 9. 10.  It was tough and I really thought I wouldn’t manage, but then I hit 36 and the floodgates opened – my brain was supplying ideas quicker than I could write, and right now I have 112 ideas sitting on the page.

The difficulty is in narrowing it down to 10. Some are obviously ridiculous and can be crossed off immediately e.g. cable ties, beards. But the rest…it’s difficult to choose.

A general idea I have for the shop is that I want to sell useful things, not just dust-collectors. That means pretty much all of the clothing options could go into the top 10. Bags are also useful, as are tea cosies, bookmarks, coasters, door stops. But I like pretty things too, so I could also add necklaces, earrings, hair slides and badges.

On the other hand, some of the not-so-useful things really appeal to me on a nerdy level: pokeballs, Nintendo characters, the feminism symbol, cuddly bacteria, Mjölnir.

How to narrow it down?

If I put on my practical head for a minute (it must be around here somewhere) and consider the fact that I’ve already spent almost £100 on this shop without making a single penny back yet, I should go for things that I can make with materials I already have. So badges and earrings are out.

Also things that wouldn’t cost too much to post out, so no doorstops. Preferably quite quick to make so I can get stocked up asap.

How about this:

  1. Hats
  2. Gloves
  3. Scarves
  4. Door mufflers
  5. Bookmarks
  6. Necklaces/chokers
  7. Bags
  8. Slippers
  9. Coasters
  10. Nintendo goodies (I just can’t resist!)

Of coursre, I’ll probably end up making most or all of these for the shop at some point, but for the point of the exercise the one idea I’m going to focus on is the first one; hats.

I’ve bookmarked a few patterns for different kinds of hat, beanies, floppy brim, tulip hat etc. I’m also fairly confident I can work out a pattern for a simple hat myself, so you can look forward to posts about that in the near future.

Has anyone used this method for generating ideas before? Think you might give it a go now? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

 

Welcome

Hello world!

I love crochet, zentangling, and creating greetings cards. I love them so much I decided to open my very own Etsy shop; Quiet Water Craft. It’s not quite up and running yet, as I’m still stocking up and sorting out bits and pieces like a logo, but hopefully I’ll be open for business by the end of this month.

This blog will be a wee behind-the-scenes space, where I talk about the shop, my products, new ideas, and anything else that might be interesting to people. Or just to me. Whatever 😉

So welcome, feel free to have a look around and let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see that isn’t here.

Hannah

xXx