New cards – I did it!

Hello there

I still buzzing from the deliveries I received last week, I will write about the other delivery in another post. I printed some of my photos as greeting cards. I found a printer who does a small print run of 25. I narrowed down my photos to 6 and asked the opinion of some friends on the photos. They were honest, as always and I sent my order. One photo didn’t make the cut.

The size and orientation of the cards was limited, but that didn’t matter. The fact I could choose more than one design in such a small print run won me over.

I chose to include kraft brown envelopes but didn’t arrive. The customer service I received was great and the envelopes should be with me soon.

The cards are on sale locally and will go into my Etsy shop hopefully by the end of the week.

Now here are the cards let me know what you think?

The cards are A6 in size and an envelope will be provided each card. I will let you know when the cards are live for sale.

Thank you for reading.

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Stepping out of my comfort zone

Some of you might know when I am not working, sewing, knitting and taking photos I officiate basketball games. I have blogged about my experiences with wheelchair basketball and those can be found in my archives.

Yesterday was cup final day for the WBBL & BBL leagues. It’s the first silverware of season.

These games took place at the Arena Birmingham, not a small venue by any means!

I was asked to do the Swiss timing. Swiss timing, what’s that? I asked the same question and still wasn’t sure until I spoke to the floor manager! At this point my anxiety levels went sky high. But I was taken through the equipment by Alfie, when I looked at the equipment it was the same equipment I used at Paralympics 2012. This scoring equipment is made by Omega and would be shown on the BBC coverage.

Poppybead Creative Blog

I made notes of what I was shown and got on with it. I felt more comfortable in the 2nd game but my legs shook. It was far from perfect but I survived & hopefully didn’t mess up too badly.

I am always looking to step out of my comfort zone and improve my confidence. This brings me onto my new crafting idea.

I take a lot of photos and keep meaning to print them, well I have placed my first order for some cards. There will be five designs and here are two of them.

These cards will be for sale and supplied with a kraft envelope.

Best Nine and Make Nine

In 2015 I came across the best nine app.  I entered my Instagram account name and it picked the most liked nine photos from my feed.  When I look back at my Instagram feed, it has really developed.  Here are those first nine photos. 

These nine shots all relate to knitting and food.  I have set up a separate Instagram feed for my food called poppybeadfood.  The sock yarn blanket hasn’t grown much in two years and I love knitting colourwork. 

 Fast forward to 2016 and I had really embraced photography.   

Five of the nine photos above were taken when I attended a long exposure workshop with Ross Jukes.  I had no clue about long exposure and learnt so much.  All of the photos were taken with my Canon 1300D camera, it was a real year of learning and discovery. 

2017 has absolutely flown by.  This year’s nine show a different development.  I am still taking lots of photos but you get to see a little more of me, I had stopped hiding as much behind the camera as much.  I have been sewing a fair bit more this year, catching up with old friends and returned to officiating top level able bodied basketball. 

I have continued to look into puddles for a beautiful photo and get outside for night time photos.  One big difference this year was the camera I used to take the long exposure photos.  I bought an Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II, it’s a lot smaller and lighter than my Canon.  It also has image stabilisation built into the camera body.  I am struggling with it but every once in a while I capture some stunning photos.

Now on to my makes.  On Christmas eve I came across the hashtag #2018makenine, a gentle challenge on making nine things throughout the year hosted by Home Row Fiber Co and a blog gives you more information.  I noticed some people had posted sewing or knitting specific grids of nine, I did both.  I attached three aspects to them, make some new things, finish projects that have been hanging around for a while and re-make some things I enjoyed making before. 

From left to right, top to bottom. 

  1. The lonely tree shawl by Sylvia McFadden.  I made it for a dear friend and enjoyed it, so will make another at some point. 
  2. Santa’s Laundry Line by Eleonore von Castelmur.  I started this decoration a few years ago and picked all of the easy items to complete first.  I have nearly finished the socks, just leaving the mittens and longjohns.
  3. The Secret Garden Shawl by Sarah Rose is not far from being finished and I am due to start the lace section. 
  4. Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart.  This pattern is one of the easiest patterns to follow, it gave lots of interest and tracked how far you had got through the pattern.
  5. Stories From Snoqualmie Valley by Annie Rowden will be a lovely cosy shawl when I finish this project.
  6. Baa ble Hat by Donna Smith has been a popular pattern amongst knitters and I knitted mine in two shades of grey.
  7. Andes Cardigan by Jenny Watson was one of the first patterns I started knitting seven years ago.  Yes I know seven years is a long time but I got bored.  Again, there isn’t much more to do.
  8. Bluebird of Happiness by Sara Elizabeth Kellner, is a small make that I intend to make again.
  9. Hopscotch by Wieke van Keulen is a crochet project that needs to be finished. 

As for sewing with I don’t think I am particularly good but I keep trying and some of the things I make are wearable. 

      Pictures 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9 are from simplicity NewLook.  Picture 8 was a prize in an Instagram competition with The Crafty Pinup.  Picture 3 is the Molly dress is My Capsule Wardrobe from Sew over It. Pictures 5 and 7 are dresses from Tilly and the Buttons, I have heard good things about her patterns and so I have treated myself to Love at First Stitch and the Bettine pattern.

      I will also be learning how to use an overlocker and hope that will help with my sewing.  As for my photography I am still hopeful. 

      Enjoy your creativity. 

        Card Making

        Poppybead creative

        It’s been a while since I last made a card.  Like most of the crafts I do, I haven’t felt the motivation to create.  But that is changing.

        So here are some cards I have made previously, do excuse the quality of the photos.

        Poppybead creative

        Poppybead Creative Blog
        Poppybead Creative Blog

        Watch this space for some new cards, maybe including my photography.  If there is any of my photos you would like to see on a card please let me know.

        Poppies 

        Poppybeadcreative

        Social media and technology reminds us of what has happened in previous years.

        In years gone by I have frantically been crocheting poppy brooches to raise money for the Poppy appeal.  Unfortunately this year I won’t be able to.

        This fundraising all started after visiting an ice sculpture installation in Birmingham city centre.  I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to capture some photos.

        Minimum monument

        This experience was really emotive and wanted to do something creative to raise money.

        Poppybeadcreative

        Poppybeadcreative

        I also visted the poppies at the Tower of London and that was when I started to make poppies.

        At my old day job, some colleagues helped by knitting and crocheting poppies alongside me.  I would be up until the early hours of this morning making poppy brooches, as I would hand stitch beads on.  This made each poppy unique and personal.

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        This became really stressful & so I only made a few the following year as seen in the photo above.  This year I haven’t made any due to changing my day job at the same time as I would of started making the poppies.

        I hope people who still have their poppies will still make a contribution to the appeal.

         

         

        My week in photos 

        For some time I have been choosing 9 photos I took in the previous week.  Then I post the collage on social media and wish everyone a lovely weekend.

        Today I thought I would share the meaning behind the photos.

         

        Last Saturday I met up with my friend Imogen and went to the seasonal markets at the Bond Company.

        Poppybead Creative

        I took this photo as I love routemaster buses.  Growing up in London they were everywhere and they remind me of being a child.

        Poppybead Creative

        Being gluten free going food events does make me anxious.  So when I saw The English Indian stall and it was clearly marked gluten free I squealed.  I went for half and half which was a piece of fish, a piece of halloumi, chips and spiced mushy peas.  Oh my goodness, it tasted great and I would definitely recommend it.

        Poppybead Creative

        Also at the seasonal markets was Pip and her hot sauces.  She makes great sauces if you want to add some spice to your food.  Check her out.
        Poppybead Creative

        Wheelchair basketball and basketball have played a major part of my life and my officiating season started last week.  So there will be many weekends spent in sport halls around the country between now and May.

        Poppybead Creative

        A friend asked if I would take some profile photos for her.  The location was beautiful and autumnal, hopefully she was happy with photos.

        Poppybead Creative

        I have been sewing a fair bit and I didn’t have any Tilly and the buttons patterns so to cheer myself up I treated myself to the Bettine dress pattern.  Unlike commercial patterns there is only a dress pattern with 2 options and generally it’s a summery dress, I am looking forward to cutting this out.

        I love drinking tea and a few years ago I was introduced to Yogi tea.  Each tea bag label has something meaningful on it.  There can be a lot of hate and that can take up a lot of energy so I posted this on my Instagram feed.

        I caught a cold during the week and all I wanted was soup.  So I made some chicken and vegetable soup from scratch, it was just what the doctor ordered.

        I love knitting it’s like my zen and I don’t knit to sell.  So taking myself out of my knitting comfort zone, I have joined a knit along organised by Sitting Knitting in the West Midlands.  As a dyslexic I find reading patterns really challenging but I managed to crack this one.
        This was the meaning behind my collage of photos.  I hope you had a good weekend and have a good week ahead.

        Birmingham Online Seller Meetup 

        Poppybead Creative

        After my listing some of my stock on Ebay and not doing very well at all, I decided I need to do some research.

        I got some really honest feedback from my previous post about Ebay.  Also the realisation that the amount of items I have to sell at any one time makes me a very little fish in huge pond.  For some time I have participated in online networking hours across the West Midlands.

        A week last Sunday I came across an online sellers meetup event in Birmingham via #BrumHour.  I headed over to eventbrite and signed up.  The event was free and so had nothing to lose.

        The weather in the evening was very different and I did think about going home to be dry and warm.  There was an opportunity to network before the presentations.  First was Abdullah from Plentymarkets and then Prabhat from Online Seller UK who organised the event.

        Another realisation I made was I don’t know much about online retail.  I spoke with a guy who does drop shipping and yes I did Google it when I got home.  I spoke to another man who sold headscarves and a couple who sell body stickers. I did speak to some other people and I was prepared with my business cards.  I was able to pull up some of my product shots and got some nice feedback.  I was also asked by a lady who does video production how do I manage what I do alongside my day job?  I don’t know!  I think if you enjoy what are doing, you will make time.

        I learnt a lot about selling on Ebay and Amazon and at this point in time they are not selling platforms for me. I will revisit them in the future. For now I will go into the sunset with my 105mm lens to take more photos.

        Poppybead Creative

        Ebay items for sale, that don’t sell.

        I was meant to post this blog last week and never got around to it.  In the meantime the following items expired and didn’t sell.  So I want to ask the question, what makes you buy a handmade item?

        Skull stitch markers were listed at £5

        Heart shaped stitch markers were listed at £2 as they are slightly marked.

        Poppybead blog - earrings

        Blue & brown earrings were listed at £2

        Red beaded drop earrings were listed at  £2

        Is Ebay the right place to sell?

        Do you pay attention to the description of an item?

        How important are the quality of the photos?

        Please leave some feedback and help me out.

         

         

        My Current Crafting Project 

        I am well known for starting and working on lots of projects at the same time. 

        At the moment I’m working on a crochet baby blanket for some friends.  I have become a monogamous crafter and thought I would give flat lay photography a go.

        Poppybead blog

        In this first photo I used a patterned fabric as the background.  It seems too busy so I tried again.  

        Poppybead blog

        In this second photo I used a plainer background, what do you think? 

        Yarningham – Birmingham’s New Yarn Festival

        This weekend Stirchley Baths were hosting a new yarn festival called Yarningham.  It has been organised Stiches and Hos.

         

        I will be honest, I didn’t look at who had stalls and I don’t need any yarn. Famous last words from any crafter.  I wanted to go with an open mind as this was a new festival and the first in Birmingham for sometime. 

        When I got to Bournville station I noticed some lost looking faces and I asked if you were going to Yarningham and the answer was yes. These ladies had travelled from Lincoln and Hull.

        Once the queue on the door had passed I was in and thought this was small but I think this is more because I used to going to larger shows. 

        Myself and a friend made be line for the button stall and I got the following buttons to make necklaces. 

        As I already mentioned I didn’t need any yarn and saw so many things I wanted but didn’t need.   I was rather restrained and got some mini skeins for the sock yarn blanket. 

        It was nice to see and feel yarn from different dyers. It was also lovely to have something on my doorstep.  The vendors were very friendly and attentive, even though it was busy. 

        This shawl pattern is by Anniken Anni on the Fab Funky Fibres stall.