Books & Zines, News

New! Craft Fair Zine

craft fair zine

What feels like a billion years ago, me and Claire started planning a hilarious craft fair zine to share our terrible experiences and help people avoid making the same mistakes. We actually knuckled down and finished it this summer. It’s called The Other Side of the Table and it’s so amazing to finally have it up for sale!

craft fair zine

It was worth the wait as printing prices are much cheaper now and it’s a full colour thing of beauty on nice quality recycled paper. You can buy a copy now for just £4 and the first 5 orders from each of us come with a free ‘craft fair survivor’ badge!

craft fair zine

There’s lots of fun stories inside and lots of helpful tips too. Best of all is the pull-out fun section with colouring page, quiz and Craft Fair Hell Bingo. Buy a copy and you’ll never be bored out of your mind at a poorly-attended craft “fayre” again.

Digital copies will be available next weekend and you can pre-order the ebook now on Amazon.

On-Demand News

New On-Demand: Society6 Backpacks

society6 backpacks

It’s been a while since my on-demand partners added a really cool new product but Society6 now have backpacks! I’ve added my patterns so far and they look so cute.

society6 backpacks

The backpacks are made of a hard-wearing poly fabric and include an interior laptop pocket and a front pocket for accessories plus padded adjustable straps.

society6 backpacks

They’re not the cheapest backpacks at $69.99 but Black Friday is coming and there’s sure to be big discounts. I need to get one for myself and see what they’re like but how to decide on a pattern? Check them all out at Society6.

Ask Me Anything, Guides and Tutorials

10 Things I’ve Learned From Running My Own Business

I think this kind of post is legally required for a ten year anniversary!

asking for trouble 10 year anniversary

1. You need multiple sources of income

Retail is a very unstable industry so it’s good to make sure I have money coming in every month, even if I’m sick or on holiday. Some of my backups include freelance design, on-demand sales, digital downloads and advertising/affiliate schemes.

2. My time is my most precious asset

When I think back to some of the things I used to spend time doing in the early days, I want to slap my past self. Nowadays, I try to use my time more wisely for things that only I can do and outsource/automate other tasks. I have another post coming up of the best investments I’ve made in my business.

3. It’s okay not to be ambitious

We all dream about being stocked in Liberty or having our own storefront but big opportunities also come with big changes. I’ve come to realise that I don’t want to have to hire staff or deal with everything that comes with breaking the VAT threshold, let alone taking on investors. I’m happy staying small and that’s fine (as is the opposite, obviously, if that’s what you want).

4. Keep to a regular schedule

Working from home means I have a lot of freedom, but this is also a job and so I prefer to have a regular schedule for each day of the week so I know what I’m doing and don’t waste too much time. I do my best work in the mornings and at the weekend so I set my alarm early every day and then leave afternoons for easier tasks like packaging products and photo editing.

5. Work with other people

Even if you’re a one man band like me, it’s good to get some help. Collaborating with other makers can give you a whole new product range – my fabric pencil cases and polymer stamps wouldn’t exist otherwise. Taking on staff writers at Super Cute Kawaii was a bit daunting but they all have skills that I lack, making the blog so much better.

6. Don’t compare yourself to others

It’s easy to feel like everyone is more successful and popular but we all know that social media isn’t a true picture of someone’s life and you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. My two top tips – unfollow/mute people that really make you unhappy with their constant amazing achievements and try to imagine living their life and whether you would really exchange it for yours. You can’t just take their good stuff and add it to yours – the bad stuff comes too.

7. Adapt or die

I rely on social media, SEO, Etsy, apps etc. to run my businesses but I have little control over them and sometimes they make huge or frustrating changes. However annoying it is, they have their reasons and there’s little point in hoping they’ll change it back. Instead, I do my research and figure out how to work with it. Sometimes it’s actually better in the long run!

8. Find someone to brainstorm with

I’m usually pretty sure of myself but sometimes I need a sounding board or some reassurance. Mostly I rely on Claire who is always good for a DO IT! or to listen to me unpick a problem until the answer presents itself. A single trusted friend is much better than the opinions of a random bunch of people on Twitter (who will always vote 50/50 for whatever you ask).

9. Be generous and share

This gets more difficult every time someone demands information or doesn’t bother to say thank you but I keep at it. Whether it’s writing a series of blog posts about selling on-demand, making free printables and zines or just taking a minute to answer a question on Instagram, I try to pay forward all the help and resources that made it easier to build my own business.

10. Have fun!

I’ve seen a lot of creative friends and bloggers shut up shop or move in a new direction over the last ten years and while it can be sad, it’s usually for the best. Working for yourself is hard and if you’re not having fun then what’s the point. You could be doing something else that you actually enjoy! Luckily, I’m still having an awesome time so you can expect me to be around for a while yet.

Creative Work

New: Anniversary Surprise Boxes & Ghosts

Thanks to this hideous cold and a couple of product delivery delays, I decided just to launch all my new products on the same day!

surprise boxes

10 Year Anniversary Surprise Boxes

It’s a whole year since my Japan surprise box but I really wanted to do another one. It contains ten limited edition and exclusive treats featuring a mix of all my original characters. I’ve drawn a character on every box and one even includes a golden ticket, which will win you a mug of your choice. Buy >>

kawaii fried egg enamel pin

Fried Egg Enamel Pin

As with the last box, the main item is a new enamel pin, which you can also buy separately. Fried Eggs make a great meal any time of the day and this one is happy to hang out with you on your coat or bag. I really enjoyed making the backing card for this one. Buy >>

little ghost acrylic brooches

Evil Little Ghost Brooch

Halloween is coming up so I have lots of new ghosts! Most worryingly, Little Ghost’s evil twin has appeared! He’s made of black acrylic and faces the wrong way and that can’t be good. Thankfully limited to 48 pieces but don’t blame me if something terrible happens after he arrives. Buy >>

golden ghost acrylic brooch

Golden Ghost Brooch

On a happier note, the other new limited edition ghost is golden and sparkly! I should probably have kept these until Christmas but I was too excited. They’ll add a little touch of glam to any outfit and the faces are engraved instead of cut out so you can wear it on any colour. Buy >>

kawaii ghost enamel pin

Little Ghost Enamel Pin

I can finally put last year’s smudgy disaster behind me as Little Ghost enamel pins are back and looking perfect. These are a bit more hard-wearing than the acrylic brooches and can’t wait to meet the rest of your pin collection. Please tag me in your photos! Buy >>

halloween special offers

Special Offers

I love my Ghost Gang collectors so if you have your eye on a few of my new ghosts, I have gifts! Buy both new limited edition acrylic brooches and you’ll get a free hand-drawn storage bag (while stocks last). If you’re picking up an enamel pin, you can pay an extra £2 for a surprise bag with 3 spooky items.

Happy shopping!

Guides and Tutorials, Paper Craft Tutorials

10 Year Anniversary Paper Crafts

No full paper craft tutorial this month as there’s so much else going on (plus I’ve been struck down with the cold). Instead I have an extra idea you can try with my previous tutorials.

10 year anniversary paper crafts - askingfortrouble

Anniversary and Birthday Cards or Decorations

My circular characters are perfect to replace zeros for anniversary or birthday celebrations. I’m celebrating Asking For Trouble’s 10 year anniversary but it works every decade from 10-100.

10 year anniversary paper crafts - askingfortrouble

All I did was measure the height of each paper cut character and then type a 1 at the same size. For a nice rounded font, I use Quicksand Bold. If you don’t have a program that lets you resize fonts in mm, just eyeball it by laying your character on a sheet of A4 paper and making the font take up a similar amount of space on screen.

10 year anniversary paper crafts - askingfortrouble

Print onto card and cut out, then you’re ready to glue them to a card or stick up as decorations! Let me know if you try it.

(I haven’t shown you how to make an apple but it’s pretty easy to do – just cut a circle and then add a short strip for a stalk and a leaf or two.)