asking for trouble

11 Years of Blogging: August

Continuing the series, let’s see what I was doing every August since 2007!

snail tote bag


A whole 2 posts for August 2007! I had forgotten about these Animal Dreams tote bags I made. This snail dreaming of salt was my peak, after a cat dreaming of a fish and dog dreaming of a bone. I also announced my inclusion in the Gifted exhibition in an actual museum – there will be more about that when I get to November.

diskant in 1998


Well, August 2008 is QUITE the nostalgia trip, OMG. I had just put on an event to celebrate 10 years of my old website which means…I have been doing website stuff for twenty years, where is my pension etc. You can still download our celebratory zine, for free! If that wasn’t bad enough, I wrote a post about what I was doing ten years previously in 1998, just out of art school. That was a good year. *dies of nostalgia* Years ending in 8 are clearly big ones for me since I’m currently working on some big things for SCK’s 10 year anniversary next month. In other less-terrifying news, I launched the first print edition of my Tokyo Shopping Guide and summed up my first four weeks on Folksy.


August 2009 is much less interesting. I did share some amusing photos of my “workspace” (my bed). Thank goodness I now have a studio (plus FOUR other rooms – hurrah for being an actual adult). Also amusing: my craft fair stall setup, consisting of a bathroom display shelf, a plate rack display I acquired by dubious means and a number of plastic tubs and cardboard boxes). The end was also nigh for my popular invention of Book Hearts as Paperchase stopped selling the metal clips. It shows how much things have changed, that if that me was in 2018, I could easily figure out how to design and order my own version. That does not mean I’m bringing them back – far too much work!


August 2010 has a couple of big things. My Sew Cute rain boots went on sale, though I hadn’t seen them in real life yet. The second run is still available, and currently half price! The other thing was my first zine workshop with Jen Collins. That was such a fun day and it’s so cool looking back at the zines everyone made. I like to believe I started Neil Slorance on his comic journey – he turned his ghost zine into a real comic that he still sells. Emma also published a couple of Japan zines later – and has a nice recap here. I only got to do one more zine workshop but I would love to do it again sometime – hit me up, event people! Also, a visit to the newly-opened Hannah Zakari shop in Edinburgh (still going strong!) and I will always have a soft spot for the first Ghosts badge set.

pusheen bookmarks


August 2011 was when Claire and I visited Bute, and I saw the Waverley for the first time, as recently mentioned. These posts have an uncanny way of lining up with things that have just happened or I’ve been thinking about – another case in point: my first table at a convention. I didn’t have a very successful time there but it’s something I’m considering again, now that kawaii is so much more popular. I shared some photos of how I ship orders and I should totally do that again as it has changed so much. I was also teasing a new product, which was my first 5 Year Diary, and….ooh, who’s that cat? Yes, it’s my promotional bookmarks with now-mega celebrity Pusheen! I found a stack of these recently – I think they may turn up in some Trouble Club rewards and SCK giveaways soon.


August 2012 is a grumpy month! Someone reported me to Etsy for not being handmade enough so I wrote a very tetchy sarcastic blog post about the process of proving I’m not a factory. I also had a bit of rant about the infuriatingly-common belief that making cute art is easier and less important that “real art”. Reading that Spoonflower forum comment still makes my blood boil! I’ve never really forgiven Spoonflower for their early attitudes to kawaii, even now that they promote my designs a lot on the site. On a happier note, I finished stitching up a tapestry of Angel Bunny ready for his return from “the health spa” (where he came back looking brand new, after disappearing in the highlands). I also visited House for an Art Lover and shared my favourite bowls – and glasses: so many of those are broken now :(


August 2013 is a short one as I was in the hospital and then spent a lot of time recovering. It was also The Last Properly Hot Summer when it was warm enough to go in the sea up north. I’d been trying to remember what year that was, since we’ve had such a good one this year – hopefully we don’t have to wait another 5 years for the next one. Hard to find a photo for this month, but someone shared their Society6 shower curtain, which I remember as being a very thrilling event.


August 2014 was my first summer in Helensburgh and I took some time off. I bought a paper cutting machine, which has brought me so much enjoyment over the years. I should share more of these cutting mat layouts – they’re so fun. I was also busy with some holiday projects, like photo challenges, redesigning my websites and creating new SCK characters. I also answered some questions about how I create and finished my tapestry cushion.


August 2015 was another holiday month – this was a good tradition to start as it gives me time to have a break and plan stuff before the Christmas madness descends. A bunch of us had some fun swapping postcards in the Summer Postcard Club (the inspiration for my current Surprise Mail Swap and Trouble Club), and I completed some crafty projects. I reviewed an all-over-print t-shirt from Society6 (I still haven’t replaced this) and showed off some new pencil cases made from my fabric.


August 2016 was a few months after my Japan trip so I shared posts about Usagito bunny cafe and my pocket wifi, plus cute and crafty shops HAPiNS and Yuzawaya. I still managed some time off with some birdwatching and castles up north, plus I finished stitching a sashiko piece. The big project was my first surprise box including a peek at my first enamel pins and pocket notebooks. Plus, who can forget this adorable Fuji nail art.

kawaii fabric mini pillows


This time last year, I was just back from a family holiday in Oban and popped over to Edinburgh to make sand art with Naoshi. My paper craft tutorial was for a garland of ice cream cones and I also roped my mum into sewing up lots of mini pillow samples so I could add new designs to Spoonflower. Ladybird & Bumblebee stamps arrived in the shop, along with my happy Volcano.

If you’re reading this in the future, you can also check out all my posts for August 2018.


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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