asking for trouble

End of the month update: February

Despite being quite better now, I haven’t quite recovered myself completely. My sleep patterns are all wrong so I seem to have spent February stumbling around half-asleep still wearing my pyjamas. Oh well. I hope to be more awake in March.

Reading, Watching, Playing

How to Enter the World of Textile Design by Lizzy House
An e-book by ace fabric designer Lizzy House. It’s full of excellent information about the ins and outs of designing a fabric collection and getting yourself a contract. I’m not sure I could handle the pace of a proper textile designer but loads of good pointers for my Spoonflower dabblings. You can buy a copy here.

Answers on a Postcard zines by Girl Industries
With my patchy track record of zine making, I am well impressed with Katy’s plan for putting out a zine a month this year! Having interviewed a bunch of crafty folks (including me!) about all kinds of things, she’s pulling the answers out into a series of themed zines. It’s all very interesting, except when I discovered I’m the ONLY PERSON who likes working in silence. I can well believe it though, considering how much noise everyone surrounding me makes. I’ve got copies in my shop, if you’d like a read yourself (you should!)

Margrave of the Marshes by John Peel and Sheila Ravenscroft
Yes, I only just read this. I don’t really buy new books and this was the first time I’ve seen a paperback copy in a charity shop. Obviously John Peel was a major instigator in my love for music – we used to listen to his shows religiously and send off for records he played. He also once said I had “a lovely name” on air. Aww. Anyway, the whole book is hilarious, written exactly as he spoke and full of all kinds of amusing anecdotes. Sadly John only managed half the book before he died but his wife Sheila finishes it off in a similarly amusing and affecting way. Lovely stuff.

Nobody’s Girl by Sarra Manning / Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
Two Young Adult (horrible name) writers who consistently write better novels than than 99.9% of adult books aimed at actual adult females. While covering the general YA teen themes of well, boys, they’re both smart, funny and dark enough to not be fluff while still being fun. UK Sarra’s latest is a love letter to Paris and holiday romances and the joys of exploring without guidebooks. US Sarah’s is a darker tale of insomnia, new babies and first impressions. When I say I’m inspired by teenage girl’s magazines it’s ones written by people like these guys (the long defunct Just Seventeen, Sassy and Elle Girl, sigh)

At last! I hate you Disney. While Ponyo has been out so long in Japan it’s on the TV schedules, the UK finally gets a cinema release. And they wonder why piracy is such a big issue these days. No option to see the original subtitled version but the dubbing was mostly fine (certainly nowhere in the league of Valley Girl Princess Mononoke). As with all the Ghibli movies, I was pretty much sucked in the whole time – there’s not a huge amount of plot but it’s all so cute with some glorious scenes like Ponyo running over the waves made by giant fish. I suppose it’s a cross between Totoro and How’s Moving Castle which is alright by me. Looking forward to the DVD.

Ahhh, how I missed you! Now replaying for the third time. Hope someone buys me 3D Picross for my birthday.

iPhone app of the month

As blogged here. Also the eBay app (thanks Alice for the tip) which helped me snag some new Rocket Dog shoes for £10!

Resolution update

– Two zines completed! That’s one resolution done anyway.
– I have a whole bunch of new patterns almost ready for swatch ordering on Spoonflower.
– Also, a resolution I forgot to post but have started on is clearing out my room. I have so much stuff. So I’ve given away a ton of books on Bookmooch this month.

Websites I’ve been enjoying

– Formspring! (I’m having lots of fun answering questions (ask me more!) and it’s so interesting to read other folks’ answers. Favourite people include Design*Sponge, Gemma Correll, Twinkie Chan, Lizzy House and Miso Funky.
Recipe Look (illustrated recipes!)
Loyal Army Daily (daily cartoons from the kawaii designer)

Things to look forward to in March

– My birthday! As mentioned above, I am kind of drowning in Stuff just now so if you are stuck for gift ideas, I suggest Spoonflower gift certificates so I can buy fabric, and of course my Amazon wish list. Or something I can eat.
– Getting my hair cut for the first time in two years. Yeah, that will be interesting.

Online sales

Items sold on Shopify: 45
Items sold on Etsy: 19
Items sold on Folksy: 12
Items sold on Dawanda: 17

And sales are up again, helped by Valentine’s Day.


Hello! I’m Marceline Smith, the designer and owner of Asking For Trouble. I create illustrated stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii. This is my business and personal blog where I write about my creative doings, inspirations, travels, Japan trips and daily life. Read more »

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