Turning One Thing Into Another

I finished the stitching part of my latest cross stitch project last week (I just need to sew it all up).

And I thought I would have a go at adding it to my RedBubble store, just to see what it looked like. It looks pretty funky on the cushions I think!

The piece was stitched out of fabric and threads I already had and had no other use for. So, I turned things that were likely to be thrown away into a future piece of ‘art’. It’s going to be a placemat/ trivet type thing once I get around to sewing it up.

I then turned that into other products by taking a picture of it and uploading it onto RedBubble.

You could do this with knitting and crochet projects too. I’ve seen some funky designs with pictures of patchwork quilts that have been added to places like RedBubble.

So, you can make a little bit of extra pocket money from a project you’ve already sewn/ knitted/ stitched etc. I mean, even if you took pictures of things you made for other people, you could still make money!

Just a quick idea to turn your projects into cash without much extra work!

You can find my RedBubble store here if you’re interested. I’m in the process of sorting it out and updating collections and banners etc. for the autumn.

WoollyOrbit2000.redbubble.com


Other recent RedBubble designs below:

Follow me on Pinterest @woollyorbit

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Designing Again

It has been so hot here to think about the big stuff…so I thought I’d think about the little stuff!

I haven’t uploaded any new designs to RedBubble for awhile and lately I’ve been loving the geometric designs with bright colours and simple shapes.

I created these 4 designs on Canva where it is surprisingly easy to create a repeat pattern – much easier than Photoshop!

I’m never sure when it comes to repeating patterns though – do people prefer larger patterns or smaller repeating patterns (on things like pillows and bags etc.)?

When it comes to designing for RedBubble I try to make sure that the floor and throw pillows, for example, have the same pattern but in different sizes, so it’s a matching set kind of thing. And then you get a choice – big or small pattern!

I find it quite hard to place the pattern perfectly on things sometimes! There are some limitations with the software as it has to be accessible and usable by everyone, not just people who are professional designers. RedBubble is still my favourite Print On Demand platform for usability and the aesthetics of it. The others look a bit naff in comparison. Haha, oh well…it’s fun anyways!

It’s fun messing around with shapes and colours and seeing what you can come up with, I’m not an artist, not by a long stretch but I am starting to wish I’d done something more visual and creative at university than a foreign language!

I’m back in the mood for more creative stuff now!

WoollyOrbit2000.redbubble.com

I wrote a design post on Medium about how I decide whether to use a tiny or a larger pattern on products. You can find the link here:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/print-on-demand-tiny-pattern-repeats-or-big-ones-eee11e53849a

Goals for May

I started this little blog in January 2021.

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 motivated to 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Finish all back end Etsy stuff and have 5 printables listed in the store.
  3. Actually create the printables that will go in the Etsy store and the book! Decide on which software to use!
  4. Write 5 articles for Medium – finish my profile and sign up to Partner Program.
  5. Sign up to a fabric printing Print On Demand company eg Spoonflower.
  6. Sign up to Skillshare and use their free trial to have a look at vector drawings, digital designs and creating my own fonts
  7. Try and make a font good enough to sell…might not manage this one!
  8. 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!
  9. Think about a ‘proper’ website where I can put affiliate links etc.
  10. 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!)

  1. Finish Neon Fair Isle Bag – knitted about 2/3 so far, only the second half to finish knitting and sew together
  2. Start The Testaments book by Margaret Atwood – once I read this, I will have all my books on my bookshelf
  3. Do some more on my knitted orange jumper
  4. 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!
  5. 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?!

THIS BUTTON IS MY FIRST EVER VECTOR DRAWING!!!!!

WoollyOrbit2000.redbubble.com

Have a good weekend and go do something nice for yourself – have a cup of tea, bake a cake, sew yourself something…do something creative!! xx

Craft and Life Updates

Wednesday 14 April

Neon Fair Isle Bag

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.

Golds and Purples on Black…oooh look at those colours!!!

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 chose to do one called Make the Days Count

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/616060065/make-the-days-count-cross-stitch-pattern?ref=shop_home_active_8

and another called Think Good Thoughts

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/252232720/think-good-thoughts-cross-stitch-pattern?ref=shop_home_active_9&crt=1

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.

Yay!

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.

Yup, lots to do! See you soon xx

RedBubble Shop

After playing around with digital ‘art’ making in the last week or so (which is why there has been so little crafting going on!), I decided to open a RedBubble shop and see what happens.

Now, I am no graphic designer by any stretch, but once I got started I found I couldn’t stop!

I’m still figuring out sizing of images etc. and I’ll probably play around with images and uploads of what’s already there, but it’s early days and I can only improve in time 🙂

The first collection called Monochrome just jumped out of my head…now I’m thinking a NEON one next! Maybe even an 80’s inspired something…I’m not sure, I like the idea of a green leaves collection too. It’s just an explosion of creativity here right now 🙂

Have a look and see what you think x

WoollyOrbit2000.redbubble.com