Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Twitter Giveaway

Well, well... I said I would hold another giveaway when I reached 1,000 followers on twitter and... well I'm hosting another giveaway so I guess I must have 1,000 followers!

I had a bit of a dilemma about this giveaway as I wasn't really sure what to give away. But I have realised that the bestseller in my Etsy shop are my bunny bags, so despite having had a bunny-bag giveaway once before, I am going to give those who didn't win last time the opportunity to win a brand new bunny bag! This time it's a pink one...

So, if you would like to own a pink bunny bag here is what you need to do...

1) As this is a twitter giveaway, you need to be a follower of create_trouble  All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog with your twitter name.

2) For an extra entry though... tweet about this giveaway - make sure you reference create_trouble so that I know though!

3) For additional entries (one for each) you can: like my facebook page and/ or start following this blog. Be sure to leave a comment for each additional entry though.

I will count up all the entries, get an independent person to pick one and announce a winner on 19th March.

 Good Luck!

Monday, 27 February 2012

BNR weekend

I haven't been very active on Etsy recently - I've been so busy trying to get things ready for the craft fair that I haven't listed anything for ages. I have however started getting more involved in the British Sellers on Etsy team again - it was another thing I had let lapse and am trying to pick up again.
Anyway, this weekend they had another BNR and I curated for a little while. I had forgotten that I really enjoy curating and the first thing I did when I got behind the BSOE flag was to turn the treasury red:

Yes that is one of my pendants in the top row - on Saturday morning I listed about 5 new pendants in my Etsy store - it's been looking a bit empty recently. One of the listings I made was for my long pink pendant. I bought in.... and got bought out really quickly! Woohoo! 

Of course, having been bought out, I was able to buy back in again...Look at the goodies heading my way! I think I have a bit of a love of hair pins - I seem to have bought a number of them over the past year. But they are pretty cute and I'm looking forward to some fun hairstyles this week.

Typewriter key hairpins by Altered Eras -
I already had some but love
them so I needed some more! 
Gorgeous rose pins by
  Wishes On The Wind
I also got some red ones too.
And then in a mad flurry of sales just as it was about to close, I was bought out again! I hadn't actually managed to list the last one - Isabelle of BumbleBeanUK chose a pendant that I had literally just posted onto facebook and I made the world's swiftest Etsy listing! In the end there were 184 sales over the weekend which is a record breaking number - there were a number of times when people didn't even get to showcase their items because they were bought out at the moment they bought in. Anyway, I really enjoyed curating and all the chats over the weekend. We've covered a whole range of subjects, although somehow came back to food a number of times...! It's been really nice getting to talk to some fellow British Crafters and I've really enjoyed it. Can't wait for the next one! 

Friday, 24 February 2012

That Friday Feeling... Feeeeesh!

Ha ha... so tonight I am going to the chippy and having some fish and chips. I've been thinking about this for the past week. Friday Fish Dinner. I've been looking forward to it because I am about to attempt a detox for 2 weeks and obviously fish and chips will be totally out of my radar. So... last fatty meal before I give it all up for a bit. Anyway, while thinking about today's theme, I just kept coming back to having fish and chips for dinner and have finally realised that today I shall have to have my post dedicated to fish (and chips!!)

Usually I have 2 or sometime 3 items in my Friday shout out... but I couldn't choose between these so this week it's a bonanza selection!

Who can resist these finger puppets? Seriously cute by SooSun

Love the colours of this suncatcher - I bet it looks stunning against a window. By Venusartglass

I want one of these crochet needle rolls! So cute by Nicsknots

And I love this under the sea mobile too! ByHandmadebyKATuck

What little snippets can I find for you this week?

  • The oldest goldfish lived to be 43 years old.
  • Fish are cannibals - they will eat their own kind on occasion. And pike actually stalk other fish when hunting for food. Yes, they hide under logs and in dark places to creep (swim) up on unsuspecting prey.
  • Fish, like humans, can drown if they don't have enough oxygen. So for them, they drown when taken out of the water as opposed to when they are in it. 
  • Fish have been kept as pets for thousands of years, but they only became indoor pets in the 1850s when filter tanks and aerating water began to be understood.
  • The smallest fish in the world is the Stout Infant which grows to the huge lengths of a quarter of an inch. In comparison the whale shark can grow to about 39 feet.
  • There are about 27,000 different species of fish - they outnumber every other population of vertebrae.
  • Dentists keep fish because watching the fish swimming apparently reduces anxiety in patients... I wonder if it reduces anxiety for the fish?

There could only be one YouTube clip for you this week. I toyed with Finding Nemo, but this song is a classic so I'm afraid it's The Little Mermaid for you!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Upcycled Jewellery

Almost a year ago a friend of mine broke her favourite mug, and instead of throwing away the pieces, she brought them all over to me to see what I could do with them. It resulted in a lovely mosaic necklace (you can see the original post here). Being a bit of a hoarder, I didn't throw the leftover pieces away once I'd made the pendant - I kept them despite moving house in the interim. Originally she wanted to make some other necklaces for her family but somehow never got around to it. This week I was thinking about what designs to make with my new haul of pendant bezels and remembered the mug. After a lot of searching, I finally found my broken china and glass bag of goodies.

And got to work with smashing it up some more... Woah! I had totally forgotten that porcelain is much tougher than glass so you need a lot more muscle to break it into pieces. And once you DO manage to break it... the pieces fly even further afield! One bit managed to totally clear the kitchen counter and land next to the sink on the other side of the kitchen. That's a jump of nearly two metres. But I did manage to cut some successful pieces and was quite pleased with what I'd cut.

Next came the sanding process... ARGH! I sand every piece of a mosaic pendant so that there are no sharp corners for fingers to catch on. Because the porcelain is so much tougher than glass, it was really hard to sand down - and to actually soften the edges took much much longer than it does normally. But eventually they were sanded down properly, attached and left to dry for 24 hours.

And here they are - grouted and finished. 3 new pendants based on one broken mug by Cath Kidston. What do you think?

p.s. Sorry about the photos -  I've been a bit excited about using this week...

Monday, 20 February 2012

P-P-P-Pick up a Penguin

It's been another busy week at Trouble HQ which would explain the lack of blog posts. Last weekend I went to my parents' house for the weekend so obviously I couldn't take all my mosaics with me. But I could take some felt, thread, ribbons and toy stuffing... Which meant that I got busy making penguins. Yes, penguins.

The penguin family has been growing. Rapidly. I think I have made about 50 of them so far - in all different colours with different ribbons to match. These little guys will be available at the craft fair in Balham on 25th March. However, I can't make these fast enough - I've already sold 7 of them before I have even thought to list them or make more. Obviously that is great for me - but I have to make even more now! 

I'm stupidly busy at the moment trying to make enough things to fill my table. I can't remember the last time I was this productive. I felt guilty last night for only making 4 penguins and I have a really long list of everything I want to achieve this week. It's beginning to get overwhelming...

Have you prepared for a craft fair before? Any good tips you can share with me? 

Saturday, 18 February 2012

A Treasury for February

Usually when I think about making a treasury on Etsy, everything conspires to prevent me from finishing it - the laptop dies, my phone rings, I realise I'm late for something... you know what I mean! Because treasuries take a while to make, I only do them very rarely. But I have made a sort of promise to myself to make at least one a month this year. That isn't unreasonable is it? Anyway, I finally made a treasury this week - it's a little different from my usual style: a bit brighter and bolder than usual. Normally my treasuries are very soft, pastel colours - usually white or pale pink. So it was nice to get some colour into this one. All of the sellers in this treasury are members of British Sellers on Etsy - a really supportive team that I really appreciate being a member of. I've met some great people through this group and discovered so many amazing shops and stories. I hope to continue meeting amazing artists and crafters...

But it doesn't stop there! Oh nooooo, because I didn't just make one treasury: I made two!! What do you think of the green theme? This is again made up of items from BSOE sellers. I'm now thinking of maybe doing a series of treasuries in different colours of the rainbow...

Please click on the pictures to be taken to the original treasuries where you can then browse the shops at leisure.

Friday, 17 February 2012

That Friday Feeling...17/02/12

Wow, a week has gone by and I haven't opened my laptop, let alone written a blog post! So I am very sorry that we are already back at Friday again and Creating Trouble has been silent. I aim to do better in future... in fact, maybe I'll write a few posts now and schedule them for the next few days? Yes, that's a great plan.

Did you know that on this day in 1904 Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly opened at the La Scala theatre in Milan, Italy? Well, it did. I think I am going to save the opera theme for the moment; this week's theme is dedicated to butterflies.

These cushions are really fresh and summery. By VeeDubz

Such a cute little keyring by CLScraftcreations

How about a lovely dusky pink skirt with applique butterflies? By thecoliflower

And finally, a gorgeous tiara by tiaramania

What little snippets of information can I find you this week?

  • Madame Butterfly was really badly received: the audience hissed and booed throughout the performance and it was withdrawn after only one performance. The show was revamped and reopened four months later in Brescia where it was much more successful.
  • Butterflies can't fly if their body temperature falls below 86 degrees 
  • There are about 24,000 different kinds of butterfly - nowhere near as many as moths though; they number about 140,000.
  • The largest butterflies can be up to 12 inches across. The smallest - only 1/4 of an inch across. 
  • The only place you won't find butterflies is in Antarctica. They exist everywhere else, although being cold-blooded they much prefer warmer climes. There are very few in deserts as well as there isn't enough food for them to survive there.
  • One of my favourite words in German is 'Schmetterling' - meaning butterfly. It's 'papillon' in French, 'farfalle' in Italian and 'babochka' (бабочка) in Russian. 
  • Thought I'd include an aria from Madame Butterfly for you:

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Just a Short Video for a Saturday Morning

Someone posted a link to this on twitter, I hadn't seen it before but it made me smile. I thought I'd share it with you too. What do you think? 

Friday, 10 February 2012

That Friday Feeling...10/02/12

This week's shout out is for all you romantics out there - Valentine's Day is next Tuesday so I thought I'd do a last minute shout out before it's too late! Etsy is a little heart-crazy at the moment so I'm sure you'll find something you like there, but here are some of my picks of the week...

Love this ceramic mug by LittleWrenPottery

I like the simplicity of this card by SteelPetalPress

This photograph by honeytree really struck me too.

  • About a billion valentine's cards are sent every year.
  • The rose was the symbol of Venus, the goddess of love. Red symbolises strong feelings so the red rose eventually became the flower / symbol of love.
  • The phrase 'wear your heart on your sleeve' possibly came from a tradition in the middle ages: young men and women would pick names from a bowl who would be their 'valentine' They would wear these names pinned to their sleeve for a week so that other people knew who their valentine was. 
  • There were at least 3 St Valentines - the one who is supposedly THE Valentine, was an early Christian priest who was imprisoned, beaten with clubs and beheaded in the time of Claudius II. His crime was that he was a Christian. He was executed on a pagan festival day - Lupercalia - which was dedicated to Juno, goddess of women and fertility. Hence over the years the feast of St Valentine and the festival became intertwined and Valentine because patron saint of lovers. 

Monday, 6 February 2012

Crazy Blanket Progress

It's not all mosaics at Creating Trouble HQ at the moment; there is a totally different project on the go as well.

A few years ago I made my sister a 'Crazy Blankie' - it started off as a project that was going to hang on the wall but somehow grew into a full double-bed sized blanket. It's pretty impressive - basically it's a kind of patchwork but made out of yarn. Every square was different - made out of different yarns, different colours and different styles. Some was crocheted, some knitted. Some were plain, some were textured. Various types of wool got nicknames: there was a really fluffy green wool which became known as the monster feet wool.

I don't know why I don't seem to have any photos of the crazy blankie - my sister and her husband use it all the time usually, although as they presently live in the Cayman Islands I'm guessing it must be in storage somewhere awaiting their return.

A few months ago I started making some granny squares - I didn't really have a project in mind, I was just experimenting with crochet as I only really know some basic stitches really. But I remembered that I already had some smaller crochet squares left over from a blanket I made years ago. And I've got loads of scrap bits of wool left over from the original crazy blanket so... I've started making a new crazy blanket!

At present I think it lacks colour - I've just bought some brighter wools a few days ago in the hope of brightening it up a little so obviously it will change quite a lot over the next few months. I'm not expecting this to be finished soon - it took me the better part of a year last time I made one and I haven't had much time to spend on it recently. But anyway, what do you think of Crazy Blankie 2?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Friday, 3 February 2012

That Friday Feeling...03/02/12

Brrrrr! It's FREEEEZING! So while I'd like to say spring is on the way, and that today's post is dedicated to warmth, I'm afraid it's dedicated to snow instead! As many of you know, I cycle everywhere - in this weather it becomes much harder than at other times of year. I get home or to work and am unable to feel my legs, let alone my fingers and toes! I genuinely think someone should invent a bicycle heater - maybe self-heating trousers or something?

Anyway, let's get on with today's finds!

Love this pretty little snowflake pendant by Huiyitan

Curl up and cuddle a great snowflake cushion by SewEnglish

Awwww! Cute little white amigurimi bunny by TheStitchandFold

What little facts can I find for you today? 

  • It takes about a million tiny snow crystals to make up one snowflake
  • According to the Guiness Book of Records, the biggest snowflake was seen in 1887 and was 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick. That sounds impossible to me... 
  • The most snow to fall in a season was in 1998/1999 when 1,140 inches of snow fell on Mount Baker, Washington State.
  • A single snowstorm can drop 39 million tonnes of snow. That's the equivalent of 120 atomic bombs.
  • Scientists believe there are 5 basic shapes of snowflake, but of course there are infinite variations within those shapes. It is a myth that no snowflakes are identical though - shapes depend on the temperature and conditions in which they are formed.
  • And lastly... we Brits see this video every year at Christmas, it's on TV without fail. But what can be more fitting for the freezing weather than the Snowman? Enjoy...!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Having a great week...

It's been a great week here at Trouble HQ. I've been making pendants like a mad woman - my poor flatmate must be despairing at all the mess I've been making in our flat. It's a bit of a disaster zone in our kitchen at the moment! There is a reason for it - I'm gearing up for the craft fair I'm doing in March.

This week I've got lots of lovely parcels - look at my lovely tiles, millefiori, pendant bezels and glass pebbles!

And I also went to my favourite glass shop and came out with these pieces:

So obviously I've been using some of my new goodies in this week's designs...

Rather weirdly the photo of the last pendant appears to have reversed itself somewhere between taking the photo, editing it, giving it a border and arranging it with the other two photos and uploading it. I have no idea at what point that happened...or how for that matter. So you just need to remember that the millefiori star is actually on the right hand side, not the left. 

 Also this week - I sold 3 pendants! Hurray! They were some of the ones I'd made last week and were new designs. In addition to that, I've had loads of compliments so, all in all, it's been a productive and positive week so far! Happy days.


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