Today (Sunday) has been a day of little progressions.
First, I cut out the lining fabric for a denim backpack which I’m going to start sewing tomorrow. Then, I cut out the paper patterns for a couple of other sewing projects I want to do so that they’re all ready to go.
Then, I finished the bottom rib for my knitted orange jumper, which has taken me months to do because the rib needles were a lot smaller than the main pattern needles. Also, I put it aside in October last year and pretty much left it alone, apart from doing the odd row here and there.
But recently I’ve been having a push to try and finish it, and today I FINALLY managed to change to the bigger needles and start on the main pattern. Yay!
It’s still going to take a while to finish but at least I can go a lot quicker with this part. The main pattern is stocking stitch and a couple of cable panels with a tiny bit of lace (k2tog and yfd) so it’s relatively straightforward.
I’m so happy I’ve made some progress!
I’ll post a picture the next time as the light just isn’t great at the moment…I think it’s going to rain again soon!
The pattern I’m doing is a 24 row repeat so I usually scribble down where I’m at on a piece of paper. I thought I’d whip up a quick printable and see if this helps me keep all of my notes and stuff all together.
The picture I filled in as an example, but the PDF is blank!
I’ve been busy the past few months, getting into designing and writing. I’m not the world’s best writer but I’ve always loved it! And reading books too.
Lately, I’ve been looking into writing as a career, I’m not ready to jump head first into anything yet. Honestly, it’s mostly still at the research stage but so far I write on two places – here and on Medium.
I’ve looked into Fiverr and that might be good fit in a little while, once I finish a few other projects first. I’m not sure though as I’ve heard mixed results about that platform (and other ones like Upwork).
Since I’ve been creating printables for my new Etsy shop which I will be opening soon, I also made a couple of sheets for freelancing. I doubt I’ll be putting these in the shop! They were just a play around.
See what you think and if you want to download them you can (as always these are only for personal use, you may not sell or share them in any way).
I figured out how to do a technical thing! I can create digital brushes now…yay!
I always thought it would be a lot harder than it actually is. It’s actually super simple to create a nice texture brush in Procreate.
If you don’t know, Procreate is a drawing app you can use on the I-pad. You can make raster (pixel) drawings on there, which almost every artist uses. It’s very versatile, you can make backgrounds, repeat patterns, lettering, text based designs, pictures, cool effects like neon sign writing…anything really.
I’ve made really simple ones, like a textured brush of a macrame wall hanging I made years ago. And simple diamonds and stars brushes, which are so simple but nevertheless quite effective.
My favourite has to be the dog bone one though!!!
I drew the bone on a page using the symmetry tool (so it didn’t take long at all!). Then exported it to my files and imported that file into the shapes tab in a new brush. Tap the image invert the colours and that’s pretty much it! Play around with the sizing and spacing of the shapes to create some really cook effects.
It might sound complicated but hey, if I can do it…!
As I say, I made other shapes too…like these…
For first ever tries, they’re not bad! Although the cactus didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped…oh well!
You can either use the brush as you normally would to draw or write, or you can stab it on the screen and use it as a stamp. The stamping method works particularly well if your brush has a shape design such as the stars or dog bone.
The lighter you press with the Apple Pencil, then the more faded out the brush looks.
I did try to upload the dog bone brush as a freebie for you. BUT, WordPress wasn’t having it, so you’ll just have to look at the picture with longing I’m afraid!
You can buy Procreate brushes quite cheaply on sites like Creative Market or Creative Fabrica.
For example this cute Rainbow Brush from Creative Fabrica.
Or how about this sweet mushroom stamp brush set?
There are lots of options to buy…I’m going to have a look around, and hopefully once I’ve developed my skills a bit, be able to sell some creations on there. That’s the plan, anyway!
The links to Creative Fabrica above are affiliate links, which means if you use the link and make a purchase, I get a small commission with no extra cost to yourself.
I intended it to be a record of my crafty creations, both good and bad, and I thought it would consist of knitting, crochet and sewing finished objects and patterns, links to sites I like, Youtubers I follow etc. Maybe some daily life thrown in, recipes, baking, new crafts, that kind of thing.
And it started off that way, for sure, but it has been a bit deathly quiet on here for the last 6 weeks or so because I got such a sudden burst of energy at the end of March, that pretty much most of my craft projects got put aside and I haven’t even thought about them, let alone worked on them!!
I am still working on my Neon Fair Isle knitted bag, I did a few rows about a fortnight ago and that was that. I read a book called I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi (spoiler, no he won’t as I don’t invest in stocks and shares!) and I did a couple of cross-stitch projects…that’s it for the crafting!
But crafting is really another way to talk about your creativity and oh boy have I been creative lately!
A couple of posts ago I talked about making by own fonts with Calligraphr, I’ve since got an app called ifontmaker which is much easier and quicker to create a font – I’m not exactly graphic designer level yet, but it’s a fun side hobby.
I’ve signed up for a Medium account (the writing platform) and I’m getting my profile sorted and stuff like that before I sign up with their partner program. And then of course I need to start writing articles, but that parts the easy bit for me, I’m quite a fast typer and once I’m in the zone, the words just flow.
I’ve been using Procreate and Photoshop a lot as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I realise that for designing icons and simple pictures for my RedBubble shop I need to look at creating vector designs, so I bought the Affinity Design app whilst it was half price (it might still be, so have a look if you want to snag a bargain) and the free app Vectornator.
Both have pros and cons and I’m still getting my head around vectors and paths and nodes etc. It’s hard for me because I have no design experience AT ALL! But it’s fun…is it the challenge that’s fun? I don’t know (God knows the drawings don’t look fun – so far I managed a vector heart and a button!).
I signed up to RedBubble and now I like the idea of the Print On Demand type of passive income so much I’m seriously thinking of joining other sites too.
I would love to make repeat pattern designs for sites like Spoonflower and other specifically fabric based printing sites. I need a little more practice at it, but it’s nothing extra really, especially since you can sell the same designs across different platforms.
I opened an Etsy store too for something I have seen for ages and thought I would be good at but just never got around, or got motivatedto do before…and that is digital downloads. I know I’ve posted a few simple freebies here on this blog before, but the ones I would sell on Etsy would be far superior! I’ve signed up to Creative Fabrica to buy fonts that I can use commercially, and I now have a Canva Pro account.
That’s all to come though because I want to do something at the same time as creating printables which is…
…putting them into a book! I joined Amazon KDP and am thinking of putting the printables into a book that can be photocopied by the buyer. So, you buy the paperback book which is in either A4 or US Letter size, the reader then photocopies the worksheets as they need so they don’t have to write in their book (which they could always do too of course).
I’m having a few issues here. The biggest of which is deciding which software program to use to create them with. Canva, Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, Google Docs, Apple Pages…and then I need a commercial license and there’s the fonts too which need to have commercial license/ permission to use them. If I make an e-book then the fonts are typically embedded into the e-book software, right? But so many font licenses have clauses against embedding…argh it’s a minefield, it really is!
BUT, once I get all that figured out, the actual creation process will take no time at all, especially since once the printables are made, I will be able to make bundles of them for Etsy, sell them separately AND put them in the book.
I could even open a Gumroad or Creative Fabrica store and sell the printables there too.
So, there are a lot of things going on and in my mind, but it’s getting the right licenses etc before it’s full steam ahead.
Saying that, I do have a few goals for this month.
Upload 200 designs to RedBubble in total (I have 74 so far) and weed out any ones I don’t like anymore or that could be improved.
Finish all back end Etsy stuff and have 5 printables listed in the store.
Actually create the printables that will go in the Etsy store and the book! Decide on which software to use!
Write 5 articles for Medium – finish my profile and sign up to Partner Program.
Sign up to a fabric printing Print On Demand company eg Spoonflower.
Sign up to Skillshare and use their free trial to have a look at vector drawings, digital designs and creating my own fonts
Try and make a font good enough to sell…might not manage this one!
Sign up to Creative Fabrica as a seller…need to apply for this so need a portfolio of places first e.g. Yes I have a RedBubble, but what else? Woolly Orbit Pinterest is only just up and running!
Think about a ‘proper’ website where I can put affiliate links etc.
Create digital stickers – maybe to sell and maybe to put on here for free!
Not very crafty goals are they?!
So here’s a few to stay on top of things (and hopefully make a bit of room!)
Finish Neon Fair Isle Bag – knitted about 2/3 so far, only the second half to finish knitting and sew together
Start The Testaments book by Margaret Atwood – once I read this, I will have all my books on my bookshelf
Do some more on my knitted orange jumper
Cut out the fabric pieces for a denim rucksack I want to sew…I may need some more fabric, but we’ll see how much I have first!
Leather handbag…all cut out, dyed, oiled, ready to sew…it’s on my shelf ready. Started this a year ago, so we’ll see if I still remember how to do saddle stitch!
Phew! That’s about enough for May I think! And this blog post which is about 3 times what I normally write! If you got this far, well done!
Lot’s to do, lot’s to create, lot’s to dream!
Hope you have a lot make too in May!
Just so you can see my skills with vector drawing…below is about my level of skill – not perfect, but it’s a start, right?!
Isn’t it funny how you start with one idea or purpose in mind and then end up with something totally different! Like, you start down one path and end up going in a completely different direction.
I’ve been looking at a lot of things to do with digital downloads and design software lately, getting to grips with design tools and elements and trying to figure out vectors for drawing and designing (I have NO graphic design experience or qualifications whatsoever by the way).
And then one day, after watching so many design videos on Youtube, I found a few videos about making your own fonts and I was hooked.
There are a few options as to how to make your own font, I should add I’m only looking at free ones or maybe pay a few pounds for an app. I’m not looking to spend thousands on professional design software!
There are apps such as ifontmaker or there’s Calligraphr. Which is what I used.
You sign up for a free account (or you can buy a paid one which gives you more characters to choose from – the free version only gives you 75 characters which isn’t very much, so if you wanted to make fonts to sell, then you would have to create a few more characters than 75).
Then you download a template, import the template into an app such as Procreate, which is what I used, write your letters or characters, export as a PNG and reupload it back to Calligraphr, mess around a bit with spacing and letter height and then create your font.
Once you download your font from Calligraphr, you can add it to your design software, I uploaded mine to my Canva account and I wrote the page below in Canva.
Now, this might sound like a lot of back and forth, it certainly looks it when I come to write all this out, but believe me it’s not. The whole process was quick and easy and a lot of fun.
But I now realise how terrible my handwriting is!! :O
And the pictures are my hand drawings from Procreate too. I can’t believe how the last month has been WHOOSH of technical stuff.
I dont know where this saying comes from but I feel it’s appropriate for me right now:
‘I didn’t know what I didn’t know!’
Want to have a go at creating your own font? Head over to Calligraphr it’s really easy.
You could create a birthday card or type a letter for someone if you wanted. Maybe even make an e-book with it. Or even sell it if it was any good.
Yep, I’ve been creating again. This time something useful, a printable to help organise your day.
What is the most important thing you need to do today?
Instead of getting bogged down with all the little nothings of the day, this time focus on what you REALLY need to get done today.
I’ve kept it simple as I prefer more space to actually write stuff, as opposed to lots of decorations which take up room (I have big handwriting so I need more room lol!).
And I drew the trees on Procreate. Next I need to learn vectors so I can scale up any pictures I draw properly, I did just download Affinity Designer this week which does vectors…then soon I’ll be on my way to making graphics and digital stickers for my blog.
Affinity Designer looks like it’s a step up from procreate though…I’m still getting my head around nodes and paths!
Anyway, if this is useful to you, great! If not…well, then don’t download it!
And here’s the PDF for you to download (for personal use ONLY as usual).
I started this project last month and honestly haven’t done anything on it for about 2 or 3 weeks.
I’ve been so preoccupied with my new digital hobby, creating digital ‘art’ and messing around with Photoshop etc. that all crafting has been put to one side.
After several years of ‘BLAH BLAH BLAH’ (which I won’t go into here), I feel like I have emerged with a hit-the-ground-running kind of attitude in the last couple of months or so. Things which have been on my list to do for ages have got done, things I wanted to start have got started. I am MOTIVATED!!!!
So, naturally, knitting and sewing has been put aside for the moment. Although, saying that, I did manage to get about 10 rows of my Neon Fair Isle Bag done last night whilst listening to some Youtube channels.
I also opened a brand spanking new Etsy shop last week too. Yay! There’s nothing on it yet, still doing the back end stuff like policies, making nice banners that kind of thing. But it will eventually become a digital download place where I sell printables (but better quality than what I’ve been posting here! You know…do it ‘Professionally’).
But it’s empty at the moment. I also have to, you know, CREATE some printables for the shop, but just having it opened and ready to go is motivation in and of itself.
I am also leaning towards doing some more sewing again, I feel like sewing is a bit of a faff compared to say, knitting. I have to actually set the sewing machine up downstairs, collect my sewing box, materials, threads, patterns etc together and it just seems to take more time to set up and get started, so I might do some sewing on Saturday or Sunday. [Spoiler alert: I didn’t!!]
Saturday 17 April
I treated myself to a Fat Quarter of fabric from Lovely Jubbly Fabrics which came in the post today. I’m getting seriously fed up of my current fabric choices, I think I might make a bag (my favourite things to make) and if there’s anything leftover then a scrunchie too.
I also went for a walk down the country lanes near me, it has been so sunny and ‘warm’ lately, it looks like not just Spring, but Summer (although occasionally feels like Winter!).
Sunday 18 April
I have bought and printed off a couple of new patterns from an Etsy shop called Stitchrovia. I did a cross-stitch piece a few months ago and after years of putting cross-stitch aside I realised I loved and missed the hand embroidery element to it and so I bought 2 more to do.
They’re text based patterns, not what I usually go for, but I’m feeling motivated lately like I mentioned above, and so, why the heck not?!
A motivational quote makes for a motivated person…maybe?!!
I’m going to stitch the first one on some black Aida I have, that might be a little hard on the eyes, I can’t remember ever having done cross-stitch on a black background before. If it gets too difficult to see, I can always start again on a white background.
Another project that I dug out to finish is a leather handbag. I went on a workshop last year, luckily right before lockdown happened, and made a mini leather handbag and got the pieces ready to make another one.
I dyed the main pieces a dark green and red (looked more pink) last year and bevelled the edges, got the buckle on and then I got sort of stuck sewing on the buckle strap. On the day of the workshop, the teacher did this part for all of us to save a bit of time because saddle stitching takes ages!
I used up a lot of the thread she gave us, and I sort of lost interest a bit. But, now I have some thicker black waxed thread so we’ll see how I go.
I have all the tools and materials, I needed there to be strong natural light really. It was too dark and cold to work downstairs in winter. I’m ready to try again!
Monday 19 April
You know those days that you know you have been productive but there is absolutely NOTHING to show for it? That was today!
House cleaned, paper recycled, papers shredded…so much boring admin stuff done! Dumped so much old stuff…files on computer, old papers (that’s one thing that piles up for me…I love to scribble random notes on paper). I sorted a bag of books to take to the charity shop…and yet the place still looks the same!! 🙂
Part of me being motivated and productive is cleaning and de-cluttering, I never knew years ago, how good it would feel to throw stuff away!
I started a book called The Testaments by Margaret Atwood today. It’s the last book on my shelf that I haven’t read, once this is done then my reading list will be complete.
It’s a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, I love dystopian future fiction. Give me a book about the world ending any day, I mean come on. Who wants a romantic comedy when you can have death and destruction?
I’m going to try and get some more of the Neon Fair Isle Bag done. It’s only small and it’s only knit and purl, but the colour changing and untwisting takes me forever! It’s soooooo slow going. I have about half of the second side to do and then sew it together and make an -icord strap/ drawstring with my French Knitting Doll.
Well, that’s all for now folks, I’ll try and post more regularly but I’m all steam ahead on the digital stuff now. I even planned out an e-book at the weekend. I do want to get my crafty projects done though, sometimes they hang over your head for ages and they become bigger things than they really are. Some things, like the bag, were only meant to be short and quick projects, and yet they drag on for so long that they almost aren’t fun anymore.
Goals for April:
-Finish Neon Fair Isle Bag
-Do some more on my leather bag (doesn’t mater how much, just SOMETHING)
-Try and finish The Testaments book
-Knit a bit more of my orange jumper that I’ve done half of
-DIGITAL STUFF: open Amazon KDP account, finish all the back end of Etsy stuff (FAQs, Policies, etc), do a bit more on Pinterest and RedBubble sites, Figure out commercial usage fonts and then it’s all go! Start designing printables and work on my book.
What kind of challenge I hear ask…any kind you like! Weight loss, Fitness, Crafting, Reading, Writing – literally ANYTHING you want to do!
I am still figuring out the line thickness in Canva…if I did this again I would add a few more much thinner lines, but I know for next time. The trouble with Canva is that something looks fine on the screen, but when you print it off you realise just how MASSIVE the text and the lines are!!
I think I’m going to do a 30 day writing challenge and try and get some blog posts scheduled, some actual digital download printables created and maybe work on my e-book some more (don’t ask me about that one, I have about 3 ideas on the go right now, with bits and pieces of different ones in different places – creative minds and all that).
I did write one out for February for writing but I made my goals things I couldn’t do in one day such as write a chapter, write 20 blog posts – hahaha! This time I will make ACHIEVABLE goals (is it STEM or something for goals?!).
Anyway, here’s what the printable looks like (with a couple of extra lined pages in the file under the 30 day challenge one for general notes).
Write what your challenge is on the top line and either write in a specific task for each day or simply colour in the boxes as you progress through the challenge.
How about a UFO challenge for you knitters and crocheters and sewers out there where you work on one of your Unfinished Objects to try and get it finished? Or how about you just knit or crochet for 20 minutes every day?
And here’s the printable for you to download for your own personal use.