On-Demand News

Mini Pillows Cut & Sew Fabric at Spoonflower

kawaii fabric mini pillows

Thanks to everyone who picked up one of my sample mini pillows at the weekend! There’s still a few left over on Etsy.

cut and sew mini pillows

For those of you who like to sew, all the designs are now available in my Spoonflower store as easy cut and sew patterns. There’s 15 characters altogether and I’ll probably add more later so let me know if your favourite character is missing.

cut and sew mini pillows

They all fit on a swatch, which is just $5 for any base fabric. For a cushion, I’d recommend the linen cotton canvas as it has a nice weight and is more hard wearing than the quilting cotton we used for the samples. There’s lots of fun fabrics to choose too including fleece, minky plush and faux suede.

kawaii fabric mini pillows

I’ve also picked out some matching and co-ordinating repeat patterns that you can use for the back of your mini pillows. You could use fabric you already own instead or even make a double-sided character pillow! Sun & Planet or Bunny & Panda would be great combinations.

I hope you’ll give it a try and please do send me a photo if you make one!

Travel

Oban Holiday: Around Argyll

Continuing the posts about our Oban trip. The best thing about visiting Oban, for me, is that I don’t even have to leave the county! Argyll & Bute is a pretty big area and includes a lot of lochs and islands so there’s loads to explore. We drove around a few places on one of the sunnier days so here’s what we got up to.

inveraray - marcelinesmith

Inveraray

I’ve passed through Inveraray on the bus before so it was nice to get a chance to explore. We only stopped briefly but I’d like to go back sometime as it’s a nice little town, if very touristy. It also has a ridiculously photogenic view from the seafront!

crarae garden - marcelinesmith

crarae garden - marcelinesmith

crarae garden - marcelinesmith

Crarae Garden

Our main stop of the day was Crarae Garden, a National Trust garden just down the coast a bit. There weren’t a lot of flowers to see but the walks and views were pretty good. Let’s not talk about how my own family ditched me for half an hour at this viewpoint – at least I had something nice to look at until they came back!

kilmartin museum - marcelinesmith

kilmartin museum - marcelinesmith

kilmartin museum - marcelinesmith

Kilmartin Museum

We stopped at Kilmartin Museum for lunch and it was really good – look at that plateful! There’s an entire goat’s cheese inside the focaccia. It was such a nice day that we didn’t visit the actual museum part – there’s also lots of monuments in the area that would be cool to hike around if you have more time.

angus's garden - marcelinesmith

angus's garden - marcelinesmith

Angus’s Garden

Our last stop of the day was Angus’s Garden, a wild, natural memorial garden near Taynuilt. It’s not as well-kept as some gardens but I think that adds to the charm. We managed to follow a walk all around the lake and you get such different views from each end. It was also almost completely deserted so definitely worth checking out.

coos at taynuilt - marcelinesmith

And some bonus Coos! We took a very long and very windy road to Taynuilt and these guys were almost blocking the road. I took a couple of short videos that came out really well.

Coos near Taynuilt

Coos near Taynuilt

There’s lots more photos from Oban and Argyll on Flickr too. Next time: the isle of Mull!

Crafts, Sales & Offers

Mini Pillows Sample Sale

kawaii fabric mini pillows

A rare Sunday blog post as there’s a mini pillows sample sale happening right now! Me and my mum have been sewing and stuffing a whole new range of cut and sew mini pillows for my Spoonflower store. Now that they’ve been tested and photographed, I’ve putting all the samples up for sale. Except the Ghost – I’m keeping the Ghost!

kawaii fabric mini pillows

Each pillow is around 6″ in diameter with one of my kawaii characters on the front and a matching repeat pattern on the reverse. They’re lightly stuffed with polyester stuffing and hand-finished.

kawaii fabric mini pillows

If you fancy a squishy new friend to add to your sofa or display shelf, go grab one for £6. They’re only listed in my Etsy shop so that you can order more than one and pay the same shipping cost (Shopify is not great with calculating shipping costs for light but bulky items).

I won’t be making more of these myself but you can sew your own from a swatch of fabric. I’ll blog more about the patterns later this week.

Crafts

Making Sunae Sand Art With Naoshi

naoshi at hannah zakari

I’ve been following Naoshi‘s cute and colourful sunae sand art for a long time so when I heard she was doing a workshop at Hannah Zakari, I had to go. I tend to avoid Edinburgh during festival time as the crowds are horrendous but I’m glad I made the effort. Look how cute Naoshi’s window display is!

naoshi sunae at hannah zakari

Once inside, there was a small table set up for sunae with a selection of Naoshi’s kits to choose from. I decided to go with a cute cat in a backpack. There was only room for three of us at a time so we all got plenty of attention and it was fun to see what the others were making.

naoshi sunae at hannah zakari

Naoshi had brought lots of extra sand colours so we were able to make something more unique. I already loved the colour choices in the kit but added a few extra colours too.

naoshi sunae at hannah zakari

I’ve made a simpler sunae kit before and this one looked a lot more complicated but was actually still pretty easy. You basically peel off the design piece by piece and the sand sticks to the backing card.

Naoshi sunae workshop at Hannah Zakari

Here’s a little video of me finishing it off.

naoshi sunae at hannah zakari

Once I finished, Naoshi packaged it all up prettily! I’m not sure what to do with it yet – I might make another kit and then frame them all together. We also had a really nice chat about Japan and my designs – there’s quite a hilarious amount of my products for sale in the shop.

naoshi pins

Of course I had to do some shopping in Hannah Zakari and picked up these cute Naoshi pins. I love her ghosts and need to get a ghost kit to try next.

hannah zakari zine

Naoshi’s designs also grace the cover of the new Hannah Zakari zine, which is full of fun features. It’s free so pop along to the shop to pick one up or send them an email and ask nicely. You’ll find a little piece from me in one of the articles.

You can buy the sunae kits in person from Hannah Zakari or online at Naoshi’s Etsy shop.

Travel

Oban Holiday & Isle of Kerrera

In 2009 we celebrated my dad’s birthday by going to Oban for a week and last month we did the same again! Despite some very changeable weather, we had a great time so I have a few blog posts coming up.

Oban - marcelinesmith

We had the most glorious weather for the first couple of days. If Scotland was always like this in the summer I would never bother going anywhere else. Oban is one of my favourite places in Scotland and I could happily live there. It’s fun just sitting by the harbour watching all the boats and ferries coming in and out.

Oban - marcelinesmith

However, Scotland is definitely not always to be relied upon for good weather. This was the day we left which was mostly torrential rain.

Oban - marcelinesmith

I very quickly resumed one of my favourite hobbies – photographing the Calmac ferries. This is probably my favourite of the trip, taken from Dunollie Castle.

Dunollie Castle - marcelinesmith

And here is the castle itself. There’s not a lot of it left but it’s a nice walk and  worth visiting for the views.

Kerrera - marcelinesmith

For my dad’s actual birthday we took a tiny ferry to the isle of Kerrera, just off Oban. The weather was wet and windy so it was just us and the postie!

Kerrera - marcelinesmith

There’s nothing much on Kerrera except sheep, cows, a handful of people and a cafe. The cafe is a good hour’s walk and mostly uphill but they had put up encouraging signs along the way – next stop cake!

Kerrera - marcelinesmith

Look at the difference once the sun came out! We had some soup and cake in a byre, which kept us going for the walk back.

Gylen Castle - marcelinesmith

We did the extra walk to see Gylen Castle too – this is like some idealised view of Scotland.

Kerrera - marcelinesmith

The walk back was much more pleasant, not least for being mostly downhill with lovely views back to Oban.

Kerrera - marcelinesmith

The ferry was actually full when we arrived but they came straight back for us.

Next time: around Argyll