asking for trouble

Goodbye 2009!

I can’t remember anything I did this year so good job I have a blog and Flickr eh? Let’s see what I got up to.


Super Cute Kawaii sticky notes

I was clearly feeling the inspiration this month as I designed my first badge set and sticky notes, plus the Jammie Dodger valentine card, which was mega popular (I’m working on a new 2010 design right now!). I also opened shop on DaWanda and was interviewed by The Little Red Suitcase. Other than that, I did rather a lot of web design projects, including fancying up my own shop.



February brought lots of snow, and also some daffodils for my favourite Christmas gift – the bunny vase. I was still churning out the new products with the Prettify badge set, Cakeify notebooks, Cakeify & Friends felt brooches, postcard sets and acrylic bunny brooches all making their debut! Valentine’s sales were pretty good but I got a bit bored of making book hearts and put up a tutorial so you could make your own. My mum joined the business as Chief Translator which helped my DaWanda shop no end, and a I made a pancake pizza.


Gocco printing

March was good as I’d officially made it through a whole year of self-employment and it was also my birthday – I had a tea party and got lots of awesome presents, including a rice cooker which has kept me full of Japanese rice all year, nom. It was also Claire’s birthday, and I got Siansbury’s to make her a superstar Hi-De-Hi monkey which is still one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I was in two exhibitions this month, for UK DIY, which was pretty exciting. I did lots of printing, both gocco and rubber stamp, which turned into lots of cute mini cards and notebooks, and I also did lots of hand-sewing with new purses and brooches in the shop. I started selling on, but it wasn’t hugely successful for me so I ended up putting my account on hold at the end of the year. And the craft markets started up again, with the first of many Sundays spent in Mono in 2009.


Me and Cakeify

April started off in a good way, with our alter-egos at Super Cute Kawaii getting to be guest curators on Etsy. I made a lot of random prototypes that never made it to market, and some Cakeify felt toys, which have been bringing people over to aww at my stall ever since! I did some more gocco printing and came up with the hand-drawn mini-bags, which I still love making. Other than that, a quiet month!



In May I opened shop on Zazzle, which let me hone my product design skills and create bunny shoes. No-one has bought any shoes yet but I did make enough money on Grr Bear tshirts and Bread Slice aprons to afford my own pair of custom shoes. But what to design?! I let you have a peek in my sketchbook to see how my scribbles and doodles turn into new designs, like the Cutie Fruity Friends, who I invented during a deathly quiet craft fair. I also started making clothes out of vintage pillowcases again – #3 is my favourite so far. My laptop started dying this month, so I did a lot more non-internet stuff, designing new cards and rubber stamps and drawing my favourite felt flower brooches. Most importantly, I gave up 2 days of freedom a week in return for some steady income and started working (from home) for the lovely people at 5pm.


Stamped Notebooks

I got my new rubber stamps in the post and promptly started stamping everything I could think of, including notebooks, cards and felt (which turned into one-off pincushions and keyrings). I bought a new shiny MacBook when the battery on my old MacBook Pro died completely and it’s been a gem, even if I do really miss the massive screen. I did loads of craft markets, my favourite being Bungo in the Back Lanes where we got all sunburnt selling outside in the sun all day. I finished up the month by finally producing a PDF version of my Tokyo Shopping Guide, which has been much appreciated by last minute travellers, some folks even buying it the night before their flight! I also became Chair of the Glasgow Craft Mafia, which has kept me even busier than ever this year.


Ferry to Mull

Another big product month as I came up with two new sets of characters (the Forest Friends and the Bears) and tried drawing on mugs, though this soon became Too Much Work. Instead I started focusing more on printed stationery with lots of new card designs. I finally got to leave the house for a trip, as my dad celebrated his 60th birthday by taking us all to Oban for a fun family week. We had an amazing time, going on ferries and boats and miniature trains to tiny islands and ruined castles, seeing seals and puffins and otters and eating more cake than even I would think is necessary. Good times.


August was a busy month! I seemed to be making stuff non-stop for markets and shop orders, in my usual ramshackle way (see my ‘workspace’ above). I made a few new things for the shop too, including handpainted hello cards and the Fruity Friends magnetic fridge pad. Spoonflower had another free swatch day so I quickly got some new fabric designs printed. I did a Pay It Forward on my blog and then never managed to get it together to send anything. Definitely on my to-do list for January, promise!


September 12th

September continued to be busy and I spent a lot of time picking up and posting packages. I got mugs printed and designed some matching coasters and my new fabric designs arrived, all looking great. I spent a lot of time making mini washi notebooks for a custom wedding order and was soon sick of the sight of them. I did some design work for Miso Funky and was paid in my favourite barter style with a card spinner for my stall. Craft fairs have never been the same since. The Glasgow Craft Mafia met up with Enterprise Nation on their Home Business Road Trip which then led to lots of great press opportunities. I had The Scotsman round to photograph me and it all got a bit surreal. At least I was able to relax a bit by drawing fun pictures of my outfits for the What I Wore Today Flickr group. It was also Super Cute Kawaii‘s first birthday – it was so awesome to see it grow so much in a year that we did a mental week of birthday posts and giveaways.


GCM at Inver Cottage

In October, we made our first trip out to Inver Cottage for a fun (if freezing cold) market and some amazing pie. I made a load of new brooches just in time for the offer of a magazine feature for them and my new spiralbound notepads arrived. I also designed tons of new stationery including my Christmas cards and calendars. Spoonflower’s marketplace finally launched meaning everyone can now buy my fabric designs direct! Lesson of the month was learning the anguish of keeping secrets as I signed my first licensing deal. Three months later and we’re still waiting for samples, let alone the final product launch. Aargh!


Glasgow Green fireworks

After Fireworks Night, Christmas was truly upon us and November was a flurry of craft markets, shop updates, restocking and supply purchasing. I did find the time to take on two new stockists and get Sarey Poppins to make some lovely clasp purses with my fabric. I got some great press, including an interview on DaWanda and a nice feature on Print and Pattern. I designed a beautiful website for pumpkinsputnik, and immediately got loads of enquiries wanting one the same. I made it down to London for the Enterprise Nation conference and some shopping, and gave you all a peek in a day of my life. Most importantly, I caved in and bought an iPhone. We’ve been surgically attached since.



December was a bit of a write-off. I got myself a grim cold and spent the best part of the month as a zombie. I still managed to attend two craft fairs every weekend and post an almighty amount of orders but I don’t remember much about it. Sadly things like buying Christmas presents and sending friends and family cards before the last posting dates didn’t quite work out. I officially gave up on the 19th after the most ridiculous craft market of my life, where myself and Claire basically ended up paying money to sit around in sub-zero temperatures watching water drip on our stock. At least it snowed. I went Up North for Christmas which was fun but uneventful and spent a lot more time than I would have preferred sitting on freezing trains looking at amazingly deep snow. It’s now the 31st and I am ending the month by ignoring my inbox and eating as much chocolate as possible. Roll on 2010!


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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