asking for trouble

Goodbye 2016

While 2016 was undeniably a bit of a disaster for humanity, it was a great year for me personally and professionally, not least because I went back to Japan! Let’s have a look back at what I got up to.

This is the prettiest my garden has ever looked. Almost enough for a snowman!


I started the year with some actual snow plus some snowflakes adorning my first free wallpaper of the year. I showed you around my studio and revealed my newest limited edition brooch – Cotton Candy Ghosts! I also continued my Planning for Japan series of posts as I got ready for my trip.


Bucking the trend, February was about ghosts with two new patterns that turned into some fun new products and a lot of cotton candy ghosts being posted out. I showed off the first batch of cute photos from happy customers and shared a day in my life for Made by Mrs M plus some recent purchases.

Glow in the Dark Ghost Brooch


March is my birthday month and I brought back my very first characters in a new Afternoon Tea pattern and on cute coin purses. Glow in the dark Ghost brooches also made their first appearance and have been almost as popular as the original ones. I was busy working on secret surprise things for Super Cute Box and also redesigned my blog.

rug design


With only a few weeks left before my Japan trip I published a new guide book sharing all my favourite shops, cafes and more. I invested in a new camera and squeezed in a quick visit to my family up north where I ended up inventing a cute rug design, thanks to a kids activity sheet! I also managed to add a few more products including fabric pencil cases and Afternoon Tea gift wrap.

star pins


May was a quiet month on the blog as I spent most of it in Japan! I did reveal the exclusive items I made for the galaxy-themed Super Cute Box and added my designs to some fun new on-demand products.

tokyo donut


I returned from Japan at the beginning of June and spent most of the month sharing quick recaps of what I got up to. I also shared some of the new crafty projects on my to do list after picking up some fun supplies in Japan, and shared some of your creative makes using my fabrics.



July brought even more Japan blogging as I finished my recaps and posted some longer articles including a trip overview, details of my hotels, the Design Festa event and all the souvenir stamps I collected. I finished making the cute bunny pincushion kit I bought in Japan, shared a new summer garland printable and started selling cards with Thortful.

mt fuji enamel pin


August was an exciting month as I worked on my first surprise box and enamel pin. It was so much fun designing Japan-themed items for the box and I hope to make another one soon. I had a little summer holiday up north including a visit to Dalgetie Castle and spent some time trying out sashiko, which I loved. There were more Japan trip posts too with the adorable Usagito bunny cafe, my indispensible Pocket Wifi and a couple of new additions to my Tokyo Shopping Guide.

giant's causeway


In September Asking For Trouble turned 9 years old and I also got some cakes in the post for Moo’s 10th birthday. I showed you what was inside my surprise boxes and gave my polymer stamps a cuter new look. I spent a weekend in Belfast with my mum and sister including a trip to the Giant’s Causeway and stitched up my Mt Fuji into a new sashiko design. My Tokyo Shopping Guide got a few more updates plus I shared my visit to JAXA Tsukuba Space Center.

glow in the dark ghosts


October is ghost month and I sold a lot of these little mischief makers! The month started with a brand new bears pattern and finished up with my site running out of bandwidth meaning I couldn’t blog and had to bump up the big web hosting move I had planned for the Christmas holidays. I also spent two days on beautiful Iona and started thinking about 2017 with my new calendar design. My Japan posts swung between a mini guide to Hiroshima and my favourite kawaii donuts!

christmas pudding


November was my busiest month by far and I added so many new products I had to devote a week to sharing them all. Mostly I was kept busy moving my blog but I also designed a paper cut Christmas window display for Penny Black and worked on lots of 2017 calendar products for my on-demand partners. No time for Japan posts but I did show off my growing enamel pin collection.

etsy made local


I finished off the year with another busy month, taking part in the amazing Etsy Made Local market in Glasgow and Meet The Maker Week online, plus managing to add a few last minute products. I eventually got some free time to put up my cute Christmas decorations and also looked back on my year of designing monthly patterns. And then it was time for a well earned break!

Thanks for following along with me this year. I’d keep this blog going even if no-one read it but it’s always lovely to read your comments and feedback on social media. Look out for lots more blog posts in 2017!


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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All text, photos and illustrations are © Marceline Smith 2007-2024 unless credited otherwise. You may repost my images with full credit and link. However, do not reproduce full posts without my permission or use my images or writing for commercial purposes. Thank you!


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