Saturday, 28 May 2016

Another Month Gone! Ennui, websites and newsletters!

This year is just flying by... I had plans which I wrote down then lost, then found again and now can't make head nor tail of. Surprisingly in these plans was absolutely nothing about making a bird a day or holding auctions... or should that be unsurprisingly as I'm not the most organised person in the world!

The good news is the Feltmeupdesigns Newsletter has now got over 100 subscribers, you can join up here on my website. The newsletter gives you automatic entry into all my giveaways so you will never miss one and subscribers get discount codes for my shop delivered straight to their inboxes!

Now I have found the plan I am hoping to get back on track with things, I've been to the studio this week for the first time properly in 2 weeks and I am nearly on top of my gallery orders. Since closing down my Inkmeup shop I still haven't re photographed all my prints so that's priority one. Many of them I only have one of so they are going into my Etsy Shop where stock control is easier.

Priority 2 is rephotographing everything, updating all my product listings and having a cull of products that just don't sell anymore. This is a hard one for me, I'm incredibly attached to some of the designs but I need to be realistic and if they aren't selling I need to move on. It's also hard on another level as since the beginning of 2014 I am basically making everything to order, so to rephotograph things they need making first.

I've started slowly with prints and the big owls, you get some funny looks walking through the woods with an owl and a camera!

My website is also in dire need of an update and I am looking around for other options to my webstore. The hardest part of running this business is having to be a jack of all trades, you have to be maker, photographer, designer, accountant, web designer... and a hundred other things which totally get in the way of the fun stuff!

If you've been following me a while you'll know this year has been a tough one for me, so I bit the bullet and went to the Doctors, waiting on some test results but the verdict is they will all be negative and I have stress related depression (again). I've struggled with depression my whole life so it's a blow to be back here again, I'm hoping that things will improve as the summer arrives and the weather improves so I can be at the studio more. The leaking roof at the studio really was a blow, not being able to use the space as intended for so long was heart breaking and really put a dent in my plans. Fingers crossed it's fixed now and I can move on.
 I'm hoping to launch some new designs next month... watch this space for updates!

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Blue tit Giveaway

I've been a busy little bird over at the Felt Shack, Printing blue tits on notebooks and prints on vintage music paper. My facebook page is about to tip over to 7000 followers (which is very exciting!) so I am celebrating with a giveaway. Head on over to Facebook giveaway  for a chance to win a blue tit goody bag, with prints, a note book and a baby blue tit.

If you don't have facebook you can still enter by leaving a comment on this blog post or signing up for my newsletter here:

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Bird a Day Challenge Auctions

Bird a Day Challenge Auctions

If you been paying attention you'll know that I've had an exciting month here at Felt Towers, at the beginning of March I set myself a challenge to create a bird a day. The rules were simple, each bird had to be needle felted on to a 3 cm felt bead and take no more than 1 hour to make and I had to make one every day for the whole of March. Having made the birds I then had to make sure to photograph and blog each one in turn.

As you can see, I made it through all 31 days! It was a challenge but I didn't miss a day and in the end I had 31 beautiful birds and had learned a lot. You can read about my experience in my Final Thoughts post.
To end the challenge I have decided to auction the birds (except for one which I made for my mum for Mother's Day!) with 5% of the proceeds going to the RSPB to help then continue with the great work they do to preserve Britain's countryside to make a better home for nature and protect our birds and wildlife.

The auction goes live at 7pm on Sunday 10th March (UK time) and will run for 7 days (lots of time to pick your favourites and bid!) you can find all the listings here . Each bird shall be accompanied by it's own individual Certificate of Authenticity, signed by the artist (me) and numbered with the day it was made on.

I'll be around to answer any questions you might have (even the silly ones like if you were a cupcake what would you be? The answer's salted caramel and choc chip BTW) and you can email or facebook me if you have any queries.
Thanks for reading, I hope to see you at the auction


Saturday, 2 April 2016

Bird a Day Mini Exhibition

 I had thought I had collected all the birds together for a group pic but Mr Felt has hidden the vulture and I misplaced the Floofy bird! Oops!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Bird a Day - Final Thoughts

So the Bird a Day Challenge is over... here are a few questions I've been asked over the last week.

How do you feel now?

It's finally over... it's a strange feeling to be at the end of something, I do feel a sense of achievement at having done what I set out to do and I am tempted to make it a regular thing in my crafting as it forces me to be creative.

Doing something creative everyday has had a positive impact upon my well being and peace of mind too. I feel a lot better than I did at the beginning of the year, when I felt burnt out. People find it strange when I talk about not feeling creative considering the job I do but sometimes even a creative job starts to feel like a bit of a slog. I do feel more invigorated... things are starting to feel normal again.

What were your favourite birds to make?
My favourites surprised me! They were the ones that were most challenging initially but turned out the best. I'm very fond of the Spoonbill, Pelican, Dodo and the seagull... but my favourite is the Tree Creeper, because I saw one in the park and he caught the feeling of him perfectly!

Was it hard to make a bird in an hour?
The felting part is the easy bit! Making them tiny and starting with the bead cuts the time down... It's the photographing and blogging that really takes up time! I didn't take that into account when I set out to do this so it ended up taking up 2 hours of my day rather than just 1... next time I think I will find a better way to just snap a quick picture. 

Did you miss any days?
I didn't miss out a day of making but sometimes there just wasn't time to photograph things or I was too tired. That just meant a couple of days when there were double posts. 

Are you sick of looking at tiny bird feet?

Wait next time? You're going to do this again?
Yes... but maybe not for a while... or on a weekly basis rather than daily.

When will the birds be up for sale?
I'm hoping to get them up for sale by monday... I will keep you posted.

What Advice would you give to anyone taking on a challenge like this?
Go for it! Even if you think you might fail... you should go for it. Find something that works for you and make sure you find a way to share it as being held accountable by others is great motivation. II have to admit... I tried something like this once before and didn't share it and I failed, sharing was the best thing, it's hard to work in a vacuum. You'll be amazed how supportive people can be! 

Also... make the time to do it, it could be anything, make a bird a day, a drawing a day, write something, bake something... it's worth it, you'll feel like a different person at the end an you will want to keep being creative!


Thursday, 31 March 2016

Bird a Day: Day 31: Last Day Dodo Bird

Bird a Day: Day 31: Last Day Dodo Bird
It's the last day... which has me feeling kinda sad... mostly because now I might have to get back to doing some proper work and I have to do my accounts next week. Mostly I am feeling a little sad because it's been good fun... hard at times but good fun too. There are so many more birds I want to make, I'm really hoping that I can keep my creativity flowing and come up with some new designs to offer in my shop now!

I decided to finish with the Dodo partly because someone requested him and also because he's a warning from history. The Dodo bird was the first species we know to have been made extinct by humans... it's the bird that was too naive to run away and too tasty for sailors.

Poor Dodo!

he Dodo used to walk around,
And take the sun and air.
The sun yet warms his native ground—
The Dodo is not there!

The voice which used to squawk and squeak
Is now forever dumb—
Yet may you see his bones and beak
All in the Mu-se-um.

by: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)