asking for trouble

Goodbye 2017

It seems hard to comprehend that 2017 was somehow even worse than 2016 on a global level, but here we are. It was another good year for me personally though so let’s have a look back at what I got up to.

ipad pro


I started the year by showing off some of the handmade Christmas gifts I sewed up and revealed my new monthly challenge – paper crafts! Two big purchases arrived: a cosy comforter from Society6 (much-used all year) and an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, which gave me a new way of working. My first new products of 2017 included sticker sheets and some new additions to my range of polymer stamps.

pancake paper cut tutorial copyright marceline smith


February brought my first monthly tutorial as I showed you how to make a cute Pancake card. I shared an update on how selling on-demand was working for me, plus a look at my reading challenge. My iPad purchase already started to pay off as colouring in my own colouring book led to some new patterns, and I invested in new packaging that was well worth the money.



March is my birthday month and I spent the weekend in Edinburgh in a book-themed hotel room. It’s also Meet The Maker month, which had some fun new challenges. I found the time to  decorate my mantelpiece for springtime and sew a felt daffodil brooch. This month’s paper craft tutorial featured a new Lucky Clover character that also turned up on some new products in the shop and on-demand, along with some new Easter patterns.

kawaii bumble bee paper cut tutorial copyright marceline smith


Easter was in April this year and I went up north for a break and to give my mum one of the wooden Angel Bunny brooches I made. Spring was in the air as my paper craft tutorial involved tiny bumble bees and I went on my annual blossom hunting walk. It was coming up to a year since my last Japan trip and I got back to blogging about it with a post about Miyajima.

kawaii wooden brooches - askingfortrouble


May was a very busy month for blogging as I caught up on my Japan trip with posts about Osaka, Arashiyama and Nagoya plus guides to seasonal flower hunting and Tokyo layovers. My paper craft tutorial was for Peapod cards and I also shared a guide to promoting your on-demand stores. One of my favourite new products was released – printed wooden brooches – and I also worked hard on improving my product photography.


A year after my most recent trip to Japan, I published an all-new Tokyo Shopping Guide ebook full of all my favourite places to visit, plus blog posts about my favourite gardens, Tokyo Sky Tree & Solamachi mall. I got back into enamel pins with a new Peapod pin, and my paper craft tutorials took a fun detour as I made a planets mobile! I also took part in Colour My Every Day, a really fun photo challenge.

DJ Domo - marcelinesmith


July was a busy month with two holidays and I didn’t have a lot of time for blogging. I went down to London for the first time in ages and had a lot of fun at Hyper Japan, as well as meeting the 10 Downing Street & Foreign Office cats. My paper craft tutorial started out as Mt Fuji and grew to include a mountain and a cute volcano that I loved. I also created a new pattern with my Kawaii Skies characters. For fun, I played with Amaziograph, a kaleidoscope drawing app, and painted a cork board for my enamel pin collection. I’ve already outgrown it!

tobermory - marcelinesmith


August was catch-up month as I shared my summer holidays with posts about Kew Gardens, Oban, Argyll and Mull. I even got to make sunae sand art with Naoshi in Edinburgh! Summer continued with an ice cream garland tutorial and some new products, plus I designed loads of new cut and sew mini pillows and sold them all in a sample sale.

10 year anniversary paper crafts - askingfortrouble


In September Asking For Trouble turned 10 years old – quite an achievement! I celebrated with a new surprise box and some fun posts including 2007-2017 product comparisons10 things I learned running my business, and paper crafts. Almost as old were me and Claire’s plans to write a craft fair zine and we finally managed it, getting some great feedback from fellow craft fair survivors. It was also a very sad month for me and some of my best online friends as closed down the app.

little ghost acrylic brooches


October is always a favourite for me as it involves lots of ghosts! I created two new limited edition brooches this month – a sparkly Golden Ghost and – oh no! – Little Ghost’s Evil Twin. I also decorated my mantelpiece for Halloween and showed you how to make your own ghosts for cards and decorations. I revealed what was inside my surprise boxes and my 2018 calendar design, plus released some really fun smiley face stamps, thanks to a customer suggestion.


November was weirdly quiet for sales this year – Black Friday has really changed the retail calendar, for the worse. That did mean I had time to design lots of new products including Gingerbread Man broochesEarth & Fuji coin purses, 5 A Day shopper bags and the 2018-2022 5 Year Diary. I also showed you how to make Happy Star cards and decorations and reviewed a chocolate advent calendar featuring my characters!

Etsy Made Local


I finished off the year taking part in another amazing Etsy Made Local market in Glasgow and ended my monthly tutorials with a round-up of Christmas crafts.


And here’s my ‘best’ (most-liked) nine photos on Instagram. Ghosts and pins and food with faces!

I published 170 blog posts this year, along with 184 at Super Cute Kawaii! This was actually a less prolific year for me though. I’ve been really busy lately with an exciting project and can’t wait to share it with you next year, and get some time back for blogging.


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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