Posted in Random Utterings

Vote For Pedro

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About 10 years ago, my best friend Jo made herself a cross stitch pattern to stitch up Napoleon Dynamite. It was simpler times, and cross stitch software wasn’t quite as sophisticated as it is now (ho ho). Anyway, it was a labour of love, but about half way through, she put it aside to start something else and it got forgotten.

A few years ago, we randomly got to talking about it and I said I’d take it and finish it. I did a little of it, then our nomadic lifestyle of the past while took over, I put it in a box and I had no idea where it even was for a long time.

It was Jo’s birthday recently and a few weeks before, I came across the abandoned project again and thought it was the perfect time to finish him off. So, I did, and made him into a cushion and presented him to the birthday girl. I’m pleased she loved it, and I think we’re both happy to finally finish this project after 10 whole years!

Posted in Making

An Open Letter to NYC

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Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen

-An Open Letter to NYC – Beastie Boys

I have literally been working on this cushion for years. It’s not that it took forever to make so much as it just took a long time for me to finish it as something else kept getting in the way. I’m pleased with how it turned out. Once I got to freestyling that skyline, it was a breeze to finish it off, as I was excited to see how it turned out. It’s funny how you can have something hanging around for so long, and then finish it off quite quickly in the end. Over-thinking, I suppose.

My love of the B-Boys knows no bounds. I remember a friend gave me a loan of Ill Communication on CD not long after it came out, and I was hooked. Um, sorry, Darren, I still have it. I’ve only seen them live once, but it was a definite highlight of my gig-going career.

This cushion is now available to purchase here and will be re-produced intermittently in small numbers.

Posted in Making

Crazy Cat Lady

 

 

 

I think I’ve retired from retirement, just about. I missed the making stuff and selling it game, so I’ll probably be back to full strength soon. I’m still thinking through what I’ll do, but I’ve enjoyed designing and making some new things recently, including these two cross stitch hoops:

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I know several in each camp. I also have a new line in something different coming up very soon which I’m pretty excited about. I have loads going on at the moment, but hope to be able to unleash it this week.

In the meantime, the Crazy Cat Lady and the Dog Botherer are both available to purchase as ready-made pieces at my Not On The High Street store.

Posted in Random Utterings

Last Minute Makes

If you’ve suddenly realised you’ve under-gifted this Christmas, there’s still time to whip up a quick handmade gift, you know.

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As well as my own quick and easy cross stitch patterns (and don’t forget, there’s 25% off them before they disappear), there are a few places I’d recommend to hit up, if you’re of the stitchy persuasion:

Satsuma Street

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Really, these are a joy to behold. Jody is a very talented designer and I just love her style. These Christmas ornaments would be a great gift if you’re going to someone’s house for dinner, for example, or for a little extra stocking gift. The chart can be downloaded as a PDF instantly and features 6 different small Christmas themed designs.

Check out her Pretty Little… charts for more elaborate designs, too. Look, here’s the New York one I did, after I was gifted the chart for Christmas last year:

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What Delilah Did

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Sophie’s style and packaging are really appealing to me – kind of Victorian-y, kind of contemporary, kind of awesome. I have bought one of her kits in the past and only just gotten around to starting it recently – a no-sew cushion is really my kind of cushion!

Her charts may not be around for too much longer thanks to the VAT law changes, so check out her collection of patterns before it’s too late. I may have snaffled one to make as a gift for someone in the process of writing this…

Floss & Mischief

Amber_Bee_hoopla_PREVIEWGenevieve, the brains and beauty behind Floss & Mischief has a deep affection for creepy crawlies and taxidermy, reflected in her collection. I love this bee, and also the pastels of her feather range. Really pretty! Her charts are all here – again, not sure how she’ll be tackling the VAT stuff, so buy now to avoid disappointment.

Capes & Crafts

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If geek-stitch is more your thing, Capes & Crafts, another Scottish designer (yay!) have a whole host of TV, sci-fi and geek inspired patterns for you to choose from. I don’t know what half of them mean, but I am sure you will!

Wee Little Stitches

il_570xN.206788626The pixel people cross stitch charts are quite legendary – and also quick to stitch – the perfect last minute gift!

Happy stitchmas!

 

 

 

Posted in Indie Business

#VATMESS

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Image from Knowledge Computing

Did you know that on the 1st January 2015 there are changes to the VAT laws within the EU which are going to cripple small businesses who sell e-services? No, of course you didn’t, because they’ve seemingly been rushed through and no one had heard anything about them until last month.

People are not happy about it. I’m not happy about it. So many  people are being royally screwed over, businesses will close, people will be out of work.

Basically, instead of VAT being charged in the country of purchase on e-products and services, it will now be charged in the country of sale, meaning UK micro-businesses will have to be VAT registered if they sell a single PDF to anyone in the EU. Sophie over at What Delilah Did wrote a heartfelt post about it  and an update here that gives you more background on how it affects pattern sellers.

The extra admin, expense and effort this would take for most micro businesses, including mine, is so ridiculous that many of us are just going to have to stop selling our e-services. So to that end, all of my PDFs will be coming off the virtual shelves on the 31st of December.

Until then, you can get 25% off them all by using the code 25PDF at the check-out. Shop here.

Way to stifle the creative industries and the little guys, law-makers, you fucktards.

 

Posted in Giving

Loosely Christmas Themed Giveaway

Are you all giveawayed out yet? I hope not, there is still more to come…

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This time, the little bundle comprises a small selection of loosely Christmas themed decorative items, including one of my very own puddings.

To win this bundle, simply follow me on Instagram (@tinyotterpaws) and leave a comment with your username.

Leave your comment by 12 noon on Thursday 4th December and remember to check back to see if you’ve won!

Still hanging in there? There’s one more to come! Stay tuned!

 

Posted in Giving

A Million Things To Give Away

I’ve been such a bad blogger this year. I’ve just been flat out busy and I haven’t had time to devote to the frivolity of chronicling my life. Lately, I’ve been working a lot, helping my friends open their new business venture in Glasgow, travelling, doing custom work… despite ostensibly closing up my business in July, I’ve actually been busier than ever!

One thing though that I have been quietly doing in small stages is shedding extraneous possessions – a whole car load went off to the charity shop last month and I’ve been ebaying clothes and books and all sorts of fancy unguents I’ve never used. I find it quite cathartic.

Whilst I’ve been parting with things, I’ve found quite a large stash of stuff I’ve been saving to give as gifts, or things people have given me that I couldn’t bear to part with but have come to realise I am never going to use (please don’t be offended if  you gave me any of these things, I just want to pass them on to someone who will use them rather than hoard them magpie-like, as I do). To this end, I have a whole series of giveaways lined up and this is numero uno!

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The first prize pot is pictured here, and includes:

  • Knitted Cakes and Everything Oz books.
  • Jonathan Adler bee notebook.
  • Kawaii burger cross stitch by me.
  • Anthropologie push pins.
  • An array of stickers, badges and sewing notions.
  • Tiny sugar/trinket pot

Would you like a little parcel of joy in the mail? This could all be yours – just leave me a comment below and I’ll add your name into the hat. I’ll draw a winner once I return from the States – I am going to spend Thanksgiving with my family there, exciting!

Leave your comment by 12 noon on Thursday 4th December and remember to check back to see if you’ve won!

Do feel free to Twitter about the giveaways – the more, the merrier! And I have a bunch of other giveaways lined up in the coming weeks – so stay tuned!

Posted in Making

Imagination Admin

My colleague Chris got married to a beautiful lady called Zenobia recently. It was a lovely day and a really fun wedding to attend. We danced to an amazing proper disco band and laughed lots.

I wanted to make them a sampler to commemorate their day, but was pretty short on time to design something myself, so I took to the internet and found Imagination Admin.

il_570xN.617671852_dge3I thought this was particularly fitting because the bride is a librarian, so I bought the chart, which the lovely Ashley customised for me and sent over really quickly. Great service! I tweaked it a bit to fit the frame I had chosen (I knew they were having a gold theme for the wedding which fitted well with my classic frames) and came up with this:

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I added a wee Issued By bit, too:

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I’m pleased to say that the happy couple seemed to love it! Hooray for love. And cross stitch.

Posted in Making

Cake Or Death?

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Totally forgot about these. I made a bunch for Renegade last year and then forgot to add them to the shop. I say, forgot, I mean, didn’t have bleeding time for anything. Gah. Anyway, they’re there now. Regardez,

Do you like my Alsatian? He’s an old Cadbury’s chocolate box. He’s the height of kitsch. It’s pink and gold. I know.

And something else in the works – an Orange Is The New Black inspired get well card:

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I can’t wait for the second series.