Found my making mojo

Hey everyone! Apologies for yet another hiatus from me! I’ve been concentrating so much on Nine Dots Creative, I’ve got to admit I’ve kinda neglected Linziloop. At the end of 2016 however, I did get back to making, in the way of beanbags! I made one for little loop for her Β 3rd birthday (I know, where did the time go?!) and I enjoyed getting back to the sewing machine so much that I decided to make a couple more to sell. I’m taking custom orders too, I’ll see how it goes!

I’m also itching to get back into making some clothes for myself. I’ve got so many ideas at the moment, it would be a shame to not make any of them. The fabric stash is alive and well so I’m sure there’s something suitable amongst it all for me to make something to wear.

Anyway, I just though I’d show you some pics of my beanbags and tell you they’re available on Etsy if you would like one. They’re great for kids up to about 11/12 years of age, reversible, washable cover, and can be custom made in any theme you (or your kids!) like.

IΒ really want to pick the Linziloop reigns back up though… I do enjoy the escape from the computer screen when I’m making, and I’ve got a whole studio to myself at the moment (anybody wanna join me!?) so I’ve certainly got the space!

I’d love to hear in the comments what you’ve been up to so far in 2017, and what your plans are for the year! Any new projects you’re starting?!

Hopefully I’ll be back soon with an update on more making πŸ˜€

Linziloop Patterns

I’m working on an exciting project at the moment, and even though I’m only in the very initial stages, I wanted to share it with you. You may remember that years ago I did a pattern making and garment construction course at Liverpool Community College. Since then I have made various bits of pieces for both myself and Baby Loop.

In that time, I’ve often drawn my own patterns for something because I simply could not find exactly what I wanted as an already existing pattern. I started wondering if maybe I should offer the patterns I make for use by other people. This of course meant I would need to grade them, so I’m currently looking into software that would help me do that, but in the meantime I’ve got to designing! Here is the first illustrations of my first idea – a kids hooded dress pattern!

Hooded-Dress-Mockup-1

I absolutely LOVE hooded dresses, I might even make an adult version. What do you think?! I also have plans for harem trousers, a waistcoat, some skirts and tunics too. I’m really enjoying doing the designs, and I’m drooling over all the different possible fabric combinations I could use!

Would you be interested in testing out my patterns?! Let me know in the comments and I will add you to my email list when I’m ready to send the pattern out!

It’s been a long time…

It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post – nearly 4 months in fact! So I thought I would just check in and say all is well, I’ve just had a lovely summer of being with my little family and occasionally getting some time in to make things, but not quite enough time to sit and write blog posts.

Giraffes are at home in the sand, right?! #sophiegiraffe #baby #beach

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I’ve not abandoned you my lovely readers, and things will be coming more often soon enough! I’m due to go back to work very soon (booooo, end of maternity leave!), but I will only be going back part-time (3 days a week) because I can’t bare to spend more of my week at work than with my little one. I do however need the money otherwise I probably wouldn’t be going back at all, as great a place as it is to work. This change in day to day life has got me thinking of ways to get organised so the days I do have with Baby Loop are spent with her rather than catching up on chores or all the things I want to get made, or shopping and things like that. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’m becoming an organisation machine haha! I will say that using the slow cooker and my evenings to maximum capacity feature a lot in this plan πŸ˜€

In terms of what I have been up to creatively, well, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you might have seen the dress that I have made for Baby Loop. I gotta say, I’m absolutely in love with it and was totally flattered when we were at a soft play center and another mum asked where I got it from πŸ˜€

I’m thinking of making these to sell but I need to work out how exactly to fit the making of them into the already very busy schedule!

I got a die cutting press for my birthday, with which I plan to make some really cool appliques for the kidswear I plan to make (yes, no just dresses!)

Made my first #owl with my #sizzix #bigshot, how cute is this little guy?! #diecutting #crafting #scrapbooking

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I made my first ever wreath, and nope, it wasn’t a Christmas one, it was a Halloween one! Christmas one is next πŸ˜€

Aaaand I got my hair done for my birthday, which I am feeling totally super about, it’s amazing how much a new hair cut and colour can make a difference to your confidence πŸ˜€

Birthday curls πŸ˜€ New cut and colour #abouttime

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I’m sure I’ve been up to PLENTY more but doesn’t your mind just go blank when people ask that ‘What have you been up to?’ question?! This is just like that!

Craft stall checklist

Craft stall checklist image

In my craft room I have a box. In that box I keep almost everything I might need when I run a craft stall. It took me a few attempts before I got it right, there was always something I forgot, but having it now all in one place should I ever decide on a whim to do a craft fair again, makes the idea seem a little less stressful! I thought therefore it might be helpful for me to share with fellow crafters my checklist of things to take when running your craft stall, especially if you’re preparing for your first one, because lets face it, there’s a lot to consider!

Here we go:

  • Your stock (the most obvious thing to not forget, but I’m sure someone, somewhere, has done)
  • A float (no, not a pool float, but some change so you can serve those all important first customers without embarrassingly having to ask the stall next to you for change of Β£20)
  • Price tags (if they’re not already on your stock, but it might be an idea to do this before you go. Still, I always carry spares in case some fall off)
  • Pen, paper – keep track of what you have sold
  • Business cards/flyers
  • Table cloth/covering
  • Any stall display items (this may include boxes, hangers, shelving, mannequins, vintage suitcases, etc.)
  • Tissue paper (for wrapping)
  • Paper bags (Some customers do prefer a bag, especially for larger items)
  • Stall sign
  • Cable ties and duct tape (there aint nuffin’ that can’t be sorted with a combo of these haha!)
  • A lamp (I’ve turned up to my space once and really needed extra lighting. I had to ring my mum to bring some. Now I keep a small lamp in this box)
  • A table (obviously only if one is not being provided by the event – definitely worth checking!)
  • Chair (if you need to take a table, chances are you’ll need a chair too! Don’t forget one for any helpers you have roped in!

Do any of my fellow crafters have anything to add? Anything you can’t live without when attending craft fairs? Anything you have a habit of forgetting?! Mine is always my float; made ten times worse by the fact most craft fairs I have done have been on Sundays when the banks are closed so I end up frantically asking random shops on the way to change some money for me, or turning up at my dads and raiding his change jar!

A little late to the party!

Ok, I’m a little (ok, a lot!) late to the party and I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t do this sooner but I recently signed up for Instagram. It’s a great way of me quickly sharing little snippets of what I’m up to – crochet work in progress, days out, baking, finished projects, doodles etc. so if you’re enjoying my blog then please consider finding me on Instagram and following me on there too! I’m on there as ‘linziloophandmade

Instagram Page

I’m quite enjoying seeing other peoples creations, works in progress and even snippets of their commute to work (a friend of mine gets to go on his bike on the ferry across the Mersey, that’s MUCH better than a drive down the M6 any day!) so if you’re on there then please do leave a link in the comments section xxx

A new blogging venture

I like blogging, I like getting things out of my head and written down, I like sharing thoughts and experiences with people, I like providing help and tips for fellow crafters, and I like chatting to people in the comments section. Even so, it’s not always easy to think of a subject for a blog post, and I would hate to let my blog go stagnant, so recently when I was reading MommaTwo’s blog, I spotted something that I thought might like to participate in – blogging assignments for brands. It’s a nice concept – you apply to review a product in exchange for some kind of reward – usually getting to keep the product. You will only get accepted to review products that are relevant to, and fit with, your blog; so for example I might get accepted to review a handmade soap, but not a new shaving foam for men. It gives me something to write about, I can hopefully find some new products my readers might love, and I get some freebies haha!

Reviews are something I look at all the time, nearly always before purchasing something (for example the organic tinted moisturiser I bought yesterday, or every single place we’ve ever gone to stay on holiday), so I know the importance of them, have appreciated them many times myself and think it’s good that I get to contribute to that community. I already write reviews when we stay at hotels, use garages, find somewhere good (or not!) to eat etc. so this shouldn’t be such a far jump for me.

I’ve already applied for and been accepted for my first assignment, and it looks like this one might see me doing some baking, yum! So watch this space, and if you’re lucky you might get a slice of cake ;p

Handmade for babies

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my favourite handmade finds with you, and with the new addition to the family I thought it only fitting that I should share some of my favourite handmade items for babies.

Organic long sleeve baby top

As we’re not massive lovers of pink (some shades are ok but some shades are just too girly girl) we’re always on the lookout for gender neutral clothing, and I just absolutely love this! I’d wear this myself. I always said kids get the best clothes!

Dino onesie

This is already down as something I am getting Baby Loop for Christmas this year – she will have not long turned 1, hopefully be walking, and look super cute and be snuggly warm for winter in this!

Blue beetle baby grow

I love organic fabrics and I’m sure this bodysuit would feel divine on a babies delicate skin. The beetle illustration is also very cool if you ask me. A bit too cold for baby loop to wear at the moment, but certainly a summer buy!

Nursing teething necklace

At the moment when I’m feeding Baby Loop her hands are grabbing onto anything and everything, shes really exploring! This might help her not grab my skin so much haha!

Ninja harem pants

I think I had these in my Etsy faves before I even got pregnant. I totally love them, I’m a fan of this style of trouser on myself, have a bit of a thing for prints with stags on, and find the colour really aesthetically pleasing to look at. They’ll look so cute on a little wobbling toddler!

Fox coat

Finally! Someone who makes adults versions of their adorable and fun kids clothing! Now I CAN have something fun too! Yay!

Rainbow sorting buckets

We want to avoid buying any plastic toys for Baby Loop, they’re so bad for the environment and break so easily, so we’re keeping an eye out for beautiful, educational but versatile toys like these buckets.

Found something cool or sell something yourself for babies on the handmade marketplace that you’d like to share?! Please do so in the comments!

Do they make a lovely couple?

If you’ve never shopped for mannequin heads you wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to find a decent male one. I’m still not completely convinced that I like the one I have, he’s a slightly funny colour and looks really intense, but he was the best of a bad lot to be honest, the choice is abysmal, especially if you’re on a budget! The female one however, I’m well chuffed with, she’s super, looks amazing. If they were a couple I reckon my male mannequin would be punching above his weight ;p

Mannequin Heads

Anyway, they are both fine for the purpose of helping me with my shop photos to show off my hats etc. on both a male and female face. I haven’t quite managed to take any shots of my products on them yet (man do babies take up a LOT of your time!), but I’m sure I’ll get there eventually. Might have to go out in the garden in the daytime to get the best light, the neighbours might think I’m a bit bonkers. Oh well, I already think they’re bonkers… but that’s another story.

So, it’s 2014 now, what are my plans? Well, pre-baby I had grand plans of having lots of time to make lots of lovely items whilst baby slept. But then baby arrived, and Baby Loop doesn’t sleep as much as I thought she would! Clearly, she does not take after her mum in that department… I can sleep for Engand! Therefore, my plans have no slightly amended to “Lets just see what I can get done when I get a chance”, meaning I hope to be making new items to share with you, and I’m sure I will, the frequency may just not be as often as I would like πŸ™‚ Perhaps quite predictably, I am finding myself wanting to make more baby items, but I still want to make more male items too as I still feel that is a rather under represented area in the handmade world.

I also have grand plans of running my own craft fair. I’m currently hashing out ideas to make it a little different and attract a wider audience than just other crafters (which was one of my main gripes with craft fairs I’ve done in the past). I don’t even want to call it a craft fair actually, I think that puts about 50% of the population off (the blokes!). So if any of my readers are based in the North West UK and are interested in signing up to be notified when my plan is coming into fruition, then please leave a comment.

My website is still under construction, I’m sure I’ll get back around to it eventually – the purchase of the mannequin heads was something that needed to be done for the website anyway, so I can have consistent product photos.

I’ll be back soon with a post containing some of my favourite handmade baby items. Until then, take care, and do leave me a comment and let me know what you have all been up to this year and what grand plans you have!

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