Friday, 30 October 2015



To those of you who follow me on facebook you'll have noticed lately I haven't been my usual chipper self. Follow a totally amazing and crazy year I was feeling a bit burnt out (and it's not even Christmas yet!) Many of you who are crafters yourself will be familiar with this feeling, so me and Mr Felt had a discussion about what would make life a little bit easier for me and decided that the studio needed the interwebs!

We've been connected for a mere 2 days and already I feel a world of difference! I've been able to get about 50% of my Christmas set up sorted (yep I'm behind!) and sitting next to a little heater supplied by the lovely Eva and staring at the boats while I work has made a world of difference... it's a little thing but to me it's the difference between feeling isolated and feeling connected!

So Christmas this year, new designs have been made in the form of some owl and wild bird decorations, not to mention penguins (which you can chose to have with or without hanging ribbons!) these are available across all my shops now.

I have limited early bird Rainbow Doodle Bird Gift Bundles in the webshop at a bargain price of just £30 for a tea towel, tote, mug, notebook and print. Grab em while you can they won't be around for long!

I'm getting my wreaths all geared up to rephotograph too... hopefully they will be sorted by next week and then all I have to do is panic wildly until December 20th (my last posting day) and it'll all be fine...


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Kickstarter Advice Part 2 - Building Your Campaign

Hi Guys! Sorry it's been so long... it was my intention to write this a month ago but apparently my body said no and decided to shut down for a few weeks after sorting out the studio! But I'm back yay!

 In part 2 of my Kickstarter advice I want to talk about building your campaign, this means writing your Kickstarter proposal, making your video and the things to do before you go live!

Writing your Kickstarter Blurb
Before I wrote my Kickstarter proposal I spent a lot of time reading other people's blurbs and thinking about what I liked about them, what I didn't like, what made me back one project and not another so this is what I found.

  • Be clear and conscise (what do you want? what are your offering in return for backing?) too much info and I tend to switch off... sorry, I have a short attention span and if I do chances are other people will too, same with your video keep it short and sweet,
  • Make sure you bullet point your rewards as well as having them in the sidebar, you can go into more detail, include pictures of the rewards
  • Be yourself... I'm nuts, so I kind of went with being a little crazy. Remember you aren't standing in front of the Dragons in Dragon's den, you can talk to people like you would your friends... although probably with less expletives. Oh and try not to go too far the other way... don't be too nuts! I'd like to know what I am paying for, if you are dancing around in a tutu and waving a wand when you want to be selling a new line of greetings cards I'm probably going to cross the metaphorical street and pretend I can't see you. 
  • Don't be negative... even if you are doing it for comic effect, it doesn't always translate. At the end of the Kickstarter page there is a section on risks and challenges. Be honest about the risks but say how you will over come them, emphasise your experience... "I have X years of selling online and 100% perfect feedback scores on Etsy" you can even include a link to your etsy feedback. Let people know you will keep them in the loop.
  • and what was that last thing? Oh yeah ASK FOR SOMETHING!!! I've read dozens of Kickstarters where you get to the end and your not exactly sure what they want from you. It's know as a "call to action", if you feel uncomfortable asking people to back you well get over it... you want their support! You can ask people to share your project on their social media... don't be so blatant as shouting "GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONEY!" but you shouldn't be shy about asking for support both you  and your readers know it's what they are there for.
I started by breaking my blurb down into section headings and planning it out that way.

Introduction- who am I? What's the project about?
Why a tea towel - What am I selling? Where did the idea come from?
A product description - Sizes, stats, pictures
Rewards - Break down of the rewards, pictures of all the rewards
Stretch goals - I had a couple worked out but I wish I had planned for a best case scenario instead of the the opposite and had more planned out in advance. This would have helped me stay focused and not blow my budget by screwing up postage adding more things later on!
Call to action - Please back me, please share!
Risks and Challenges

So once it's written check it for spelling mistakes and then get a bunch of other people to check it to make sure it makes sense and check for spelling and grammatical errors.

This advice also stands for making your video... yes... you need one... but no you don't need to put your face in it if you are terminally camera shy. I just made a slide show with a voice over because some days I hate my face and videos are not my thing! (I tried... it was awful! Panda eyes!) Be your self, mine was slightly clumsy but I still thought it was cute and most importantly it was me (despite being unable to say tea towel). Don't ramble on too long... again... my attention span is about 90 seconds long but make sure you say everything you need to say and don't forget to ask for something. (You can flesh it out in your blurb) practice, write it down, edit, re edit, re record... take your time and get it right... or as right as your abilities let you!

Upload your shiny video or slide show.

At this point the pressure to click the big green launch now button will be immense but don't! Live with it for a couple of days so you can edit further, polish it till it shines and decide when to launch. you can ask a member of the Kickstarter team to look it over before it goes live which is worth it just to make sure you aren't breaking any of their rules.

I chose to launch just after a giveaway as lots of people were hanging around my facebook waiting for the winner to be announced so there was a buzz there already. Sunday nights around 6 are a good time as many people go online then too but chose a launch time that is when people will be around online... probably not best to launch at midnight as this means your project will end at midnight too, chose a time that is good for you and that you know you will able to be around when you campaign ends so you can bring in the last few backers (or drive everyone nuts with a count down!)

My Kickstarter campaign looks nothing like it did when I started out. I edited it as things progressed and goals were met. You have to treat it like a living breathing thing and update as things change to keep it fresh and keep the backers you have interested and engaged as well as being able to attract new ones.
So this seems like a good place to stop... next time (hopefully not in a month this time!) I'll talk about what to do during your campaign.

You can read Part 1- Things to do Before you start here:

Or check out the original campaign page here:

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

News from the Studio!

Hellooooo... don't worry Part 2 of the Kickstarter Advice Blog is coming soon, once I have recovered from the last few weeks of chaos!

I had my first ever open studio last week, thank you to those who were brave enough to fight their way the bank holiday crowds and the drizzle on monday. It was a wonderful experience but I won't be doing it again for a while! I'm taking most of this week to try and reassemble my brain into something that works and catch up with my first gallery order for Christmas! (Yup it's that time of year again!)
 Her's a view of the studio as it is in kind of sort of finished mode... I'm moving everything around next week to get my packaging table in! There are still a million small jobs that need doing... the door needs a little weather proofing to keep the rain on the correct side of it and I'm still working out where the best place for everything is and half my stuff is still at the flat but we're getting there.

So until my brain works again here's a picture of a teacup full of penguins and head over to face book where I am going to be running a giveaway very soon!


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

New Studio Update

News Flash... moving studios is hard work, who knew? Well... yeah, ok, everyone who has ever had a studio will know that even a minor change means a whole military operation to get it done! Couple the stress of moving with the fact that I can't close my shops as I really do need to pay the rent this month and this felt maker has turned into something resembling a brain dead lump of jelly! But hey, it's all gonna be worth it!

So this it's what's happened, the back of the studio has had a coat of white paint to be better for taking photos (cue feltmaker getting over excited and wanting to paint everything!) I fitted a carpet... well kind of,  I threw down a bit of carpet and hacked at it with a stanley knife until it kinda sorta almost fit and some stuff has arrived.

The big shelves are in, ready to be filled with box mountain and all my packaging. I've also made a display area in case I have visitors, the red dresser/sideboard thingy is acting as my display area for my stock (of which I have very little!)  and dad will be nailing (doing something complex involving all the screws in the world and 12 drill bits!) a rather nice dresser top to the wall next week so I can have a bit of height to display birds and stuff on.

I have a nice little sofa, coffee making facilites and have even made my first bird in the studio and got the gocco out to make some Inky cate notebooks... I do like my little space, especially now it smells inky!

In between all this I managed to list my penguins in the webshop... I'm only listing what I have in stock at the moment but once things settle down there will be more penguin shenanigans!

I also managed to grab some pictures of my totes, which I am adding to the website today... all this activity is kinda of burning me out so tomorrow and Friday are days off (in which I will catch up with admin!) I will be in the studio on Saturday from 10-4 and the door will be open but if you do decide to visit please bear in mind I'm not ready yet so don't expect lots of birdies!

The studio is located in the first building on the West Pier in Scarborough, on the balcony in the building with the clock on (right opposite the Harbor bar!) come up the stairs and say hello if you're out and about!

Yours Tiredly

Friday, 14 August 2015

News From Felt Towers... A Studio!!! A Studio!!!

If you are here expecting part 2 of the Kickstarter advice sorry but...



It's been a funny couple of months, kickstarter ended and then before I could sit down and process everything I managed to get my mitts on a new work space. I'm just sprucing it up a bit and moving all my stuff in slowly but I'm hoping to have a grand opening in a couple of weeks.

The studio itself is on the balcony of a Grade 2 listed, Victorian building on the West Pier in Scarborough. It's a bit bigger then my current space at home and has amazing sea views! I'll keep you posted on the progress as me and Mr Felt work on getting all the junk... er... necessary crafting and packing stuff situated.

 We do already have all the essentials tho!

Squeeeeee... can't wait to get in there and get making! I'm so tired right now, I'm going to crawl into my massive hamper and have a nap!


Saturday, 8 August 2015

My Kickstarter Advice - Part 1 Before You Start

A lot of people have been asking me about Kickstarter for their projects... so I thought I would get my thoughts down in blog form so I am not repeating myself. I should say this is just my experience, this is by no means how you should run a kickstarter and it's not a guaranteed win. This blog I'm going to talk about things you'll need to think about before you start a Kickstarter campaign, the next one I'll talk about the actual running of the campaign.

Before You Start

First off you need to decide if  Kickstarter is for you... read the gubbins on their site, at the bottom in the creator section here:

The Creator Handbook and FAQS will answer most of your questions... and those they don't there are a million blog posts out there which will.

I feel like I had Kickstarter coming out of my ears after all the research I did! Mostly I would say research, research,research because about 50% of Kickstarters fail... what I did was look up the projects similar to mine (there were 8) half succeeded and half failed and I analysed what I thought the successes did right and what the failures did wrong.

It's also worth backing a couple of projects if you never have before just to get a feel for how the site works and so you can talk potential backers thru the process if they struggle. 

Ask yourself what you want to get out of Kickstarter. Do you want to get rich and move to a hot country and drink cocktails on the beach? Well you need a millionaire boyfriend not a Kickstarter! Do you want to produce a new range of products? Fund a new studio? Get a book printed? That's more reasonable... you can't just shout "FUND MY DREAM" and expect people to be queuing up to  give you cash (hey it might happen if you have a 100 or so people who love you deeply and want to fund your dream but that's the exception, not the rule)

You need to give people something in return... something they will want, it doesn't need to be a psychical object, it can be a download (music, video, ebooks, PDFs) or an experience (a VIP invite to your gallery opening, a class in your new studio, a plaque on the wall of your new amazing what ever that you built with their name on it)

I would say do a small project first to test the waters and see if you have an audience out there who will back you but mine got a bit out of control and ceased to be small after the first 48 hours... I was lucky! If I had been smarter I would have done something even smaller to test the process, I made a lot of mistakes which cost me but I came out on top in the end and I learned a lot from the experience which I can apply to my next project.

 Getting down to the nitty gritty... The Money Bit

So you've decided it's for you, let's get serious... a lot of people have looked at what I made on kickstarter and said "wow you've made 3 grand!" well yep... I have but this included postage (about £600 of postage if your asking) packaging, producing the tea towels, prints, mugs and stickers. I didn't come out of this with a lot of profit... but I do have a new product line and the stock which will turn in to profit over the coming months...which was the point.

Do your costing first, then do them again then get a pal to check them... I screwed up on postage on somethings (kickstarter includes postage in your target which I didn't realise) but it evened out in the end. Include about 15% for kickstarter and credit charge fees and backers who drop out at the last minute (it happens, don't worry too much about it... if you work it into your budget it's not the end of the world).

Even consider doing your costing by working out a unit price for every single item and adding them up... and don't forget to add tax on... chances are most or all of your funds will be used to produce your project (if you're reading this you are probaly doing a crafty project right?) but if you do have profit then it will be counted as income and taxed (oh yay government!)

So what's the minimum you need to make to fund the thing you want to do, add 15% then add 20% for tax then add a safety net for any unseen/missed expenses... an oh yeah... profit! You may want to make some of that at some point weather it's future profit in the form of stock or actual profit at the end of your Kickstarter... this is work people! You want to get paid!

(This is getting a bit long so I will do a separate blog about creating your project)

Building the Buzz 

The best bit of advice I got is that Kickstarter is all about your mailing list/facebook fans/social media contacts/fans/friends/ family... these are the people who will get you to your initial target and help spread the word so don't be bashful about contacting them and asking them to share you project/back you.

If you don't have an audience already (look at your facebook, twitter, instagram etc do you have a lot of screaming fans or is it just your mum and your Auntie Ethel) the you need to start building it. Do you have a mailing list for your business? Have you repeat customers you can contact who might be interested.

Start a press list of blogs you want to contact, paper press, local news etc... you might want to contact these people before you go live as they are busy people... lots of blogs have a schedule worked out in advance so you may need to contact them early.

If you can build a bit of a buzz before you even launch reaching your target will be made easier as you may even have people waiting for your project to go live... wouldn't that be awesome?

You can read my Kickstarter story on my website here:

Or check out the original campaign page here:

Next week I'll fit in a blog about writing and planing your campaign. Watch this space!


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

That's All Folks!

Kickstarter Rewards Posted Out

 Well that's it then! I've spent a hectic few days working hard and packing like a demon and it's all over and done with! We've taken 8 MASSIVE bags to the post office, used 6 rolls of tape and more than 300 various stickers.

Every single last reward has been posted (except 1 address I'm still waiting on) and I can see the floor in the studio again.

All that's left to do is say one final huge thank you to everyone who supported, pledged, backed and cheered me on!

Special Thanks to Mr Felt for putting up with my crazy for the last couple of months, Eva for cutting out a few hundred stickers, Tina, Karen and Rich my Kickstarter support team buddies and Iona for putting the idea in my head in the first place! (I put "those suckers" on a tea towel!)

I've been blown away by the response to this project and I'll be back next year with another exciting project! You can follow my day to day adventure over at Facebook or if you don't want to miss out on the news then pop over to my website , scroll down, sign up for my mailing list with the box on the bottom right of the screen. (or follow this blog!)