asking for trouble

Goodbye 2013

Well, that’s another year gone. 2013 was a bit of an odd one, but it was mostly good. Let’s have a look at what I got up to.

january 2013 wallpaper


I started the year off with a plan to post a free desktop wallpaper calendar every month and surprisingly made it with a minimum of delays and last minute panics. January was a good one. I also got some lovely surprise gifts (a pillow from DENY and an Aranzi Aronzo purse from a reader) and made a cool frame box to display badges. Most excitingly, I became an actual Amazon author with my Japan zines available as ebooks.

What I Wore


A quiet month, but I had time to do my favourite outfit drawing of the year. I still wear all this stuff all the time. I also shared a bit of my process making stamped notebooks.

Finished Expedit with Spoonflower decals


March was much busier as I celebrated my birthday and my 5 year freelancing anniversary with a trip to York. I designed the Meal Planner notepads, which became one of my biggest sellers and got a bit crafty, finishing off my type drawer and designing decals for my Expedit unit.



I finished a new zine this month, all about food, especially for a book market in Edinburgh. I also started selling my badges pick and mix, which turned out to be a good move, and made some very useful recipe scrapbooks, which started me on some new fruit and veg characters.

View over Windermere from Blackwell Terrace


Those guys turned into my 5 A Day characters and turned up on seasonal charts. I also designed loads of new on-demand products including water bottles. I did some cross-stitch projects and even managed to fit in a wee trip to the Lake District, thanks to my dad.

iron throne


June was pretty busy – I designed some new fabric patterns and some new sticky notes, which were promptly discontinued by the printers, booo! I went over to Belfast for the weekend and got to sit on the Iron Throne and I started my Ask Me Anything series of blog posts – send over any questions you’d like me to answer!

It's a sitting in the park kind of day.


I designed some new 5 A Day tote bags this month, started making a simple quilt and wrote an epic post of blogging tips. But mostly it was really hot so I played a lot of Animal Crossing, sat in various parks and decided to take August off. This turned out to be a very good plan…

Angel Bunny in the sand


August 2013 will forever be known as the month I was supposed to be speaking at the Folksy Summer School and instead ended up in hospital. Luckily, it turned out not to be anything long-term serious but at least I was tested for all kinds of health issues that I now know I don’t have, hurray. It took me quite a while to recover, but at least I’d managed to have a brilliant summer holiday up north first.

zazzle kawaii wrist watches


Things started to get busy this month as I was accepted for the Renegade Craft Fair and had loads to do. Zazzle added some cool new products like wrist watches and wallets, but we had to say goodbye to sticky notes.

asking for trouble polymer stamps


October was a little crazy as I continued to prep for Renegade as well as Christmas. I designed new birthday calendars and 2014 5 year diaries and calendars, and added a little ghost to my Halloween range, who turned out to be so popular he stayed all year. I also signed up with Not on the High Street, which brought me so many Christmas orders, and I launched my first collaboration of the year – polymer stamps! I’m surprised I had time to leave the house, but I did make it round the corner to the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust on Open Doors Day to have a look at loads of old buses.

Renegade panorama - my space with The Bellwether


Renegade finally happened and we had an amazing time. I shared with The Bellwether and we launched our cute cross stitch kits, alongside the Look Around coin purses I made with my mum. I also designed a new banana brooch just for fun, as well as lamps for Zazzle. I finished off the month with a sample sale and free shipping offer, which started weeks of order shipping madness.


December was mostly about packing orders, and I broke all my previous records. I did manage to find a few spare hours for fun events, like the gymnastics and ballet. I also bought some amazing things, designed some free printable gift tags and posted the last free wallpaper of the year. I got my personal Christmas cards finished in the nick of time and then got a train up north to spend Christmas with my family. Phew!

I hope you all had a good year, and if not that 2014 is much better!


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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