I’ve neglected you all lately…. I’m going to try to get a bit more active on here for you all.
We give son’s teachers gifts at Christmas and Year-end. This year we decided on decorating a plant pot and picking out a pretty plant for his teacher and the teacher’s assistant. I try to pick something that he can make or do most of and he likes making gifts and really tries to get them perfect.
It’s an easy and cheap craft that looks wonderful and you can put a lot of thought into the kind of plant and the style of decoupage you want to do when you choose the tissue paper.
The plant pots were 89P each, the saucers were 99p. The pack of tissue paper was £2.20 and a bottle of PVA glue was £1.50. I know we had some around here somewhere but I couldn’t find…
My newest Etsy shop, Green Living Co. is finally live! I opened it about a week ago and have managed to get a few things listed. My timing wasn’t great as it’s Easter Holidays now, but I knew if I didn’t start listing, it would be another month before I got it going.
I have some more items almost ready to list – the weather here’s been alternately too windy to shoot outside or too dark to shoot inside. I gave up on taking photos on a few days as it just wasn’t working. I have Organic Buckwheat Hulls for sale as well as a couple of finished buckwheat hull heat packs – more to come for those, I think!
I need to adjust the logo a little, I decided I want the writing darker so I’m going to sort that out in the next day or 2.
I have the other 2 Etsy shops still up and running, so need to figure out how to juggle all 3; the Anatomical Knits by LGD shop ticks over and I don’t have any plans on updating items in that one. I have added other body parts in the past but they don’t sell so I’m leaving it as mostly ante-natal teaching aids.
Looking Glass Designs is still going to get new items, product lines and ideas – more high-end accessories and more items knit on my knitting machine as well as knitting bags and hopefully other knitting accessories. I will need to market it differently, so I think I’ll be researching more about that soon.
My Amazon shop will still carry a selection of products from all 3 Etsy shops so not much change there…
You can get the buckwheat hulls in 500g packs here – Buckwheat Hulls These will come in plastic grip seal bags, wrapped in brown paper with recyclable tape.
And the Buckwheat Heat Packs here. All heat packs/wraps will be sent tied with twine, in brown paper, and taped with brown paper tape – all packaging is completely recyclable! I plan on moving as much of the packaging for all my items to be as reusable and recyclable as possible.
I’ve been making a lot of decisions in the past few months about what I want to make, what I like to make and the materials I have on hand that I need to use up. As part of that, I also have to look at what’s been selling. Photo props are no longer selling well; and that’s not just mine, but a lot of prop sellers are finding that there has been a flood of people thinking that they can make props and make money at it — but they are undercharging. You can’t actually make a profit and stay in business if you are charging £5 for a lace bonnet and the yarn is £3.
So I am putting my photo props on sale in turn. Right now I have all layers in my Etsy shop on sale with Free UK postage until March 22 – that’s lace layers, knit & chunky layers & roving blankets as well.
If you see something you like, check out my Etsy Shop and see if you are able to grab it!
I managed to get 3 scarves made in January in between orders. 2 were made from yarn I’ve had for quite a while, the other one, from ‘newer’ yarn (is there such a thing?).
Technically 2 are cowls, I suppose, but the term ‘scarf’ is interchangeable to me for something you wear around your neck when it’s cold. These definitely fit that criteria!
The first one is a red/ombre grey/black combo in a slip stitch design that’s all in 1 piece – there is a seam simply because of the slip stitches. The grey/black ombre yarn gives it a shadowed effect that you can see in the photos. You can find it on Etsy and on Amazon.
The next is definitely a scarf – long and doesn’t have a loop. It’s made from just the grey/black ombre yarn – and the tweedy effect of this yarn is more prominent as there isn’t the red to distract you from it. The teardrop shapes are made by looping the yarn over the needle then dropping the extra loops on the next row. Which is your favourite of these 2? You can get this one here on Etsy and on on Amazon.
The last one is made from a completely different yarn – Malabrigo Rios, a hand-dyed 100% wool yarn from Peru – I can’t remember what this colourway is called but I kept the sister cowl to this one as it’s so incredibly soft. The basketweave is perfect for this short-change colourway of pinks, purples, greys, browns and greens. It doesn’t sound like these colours should work together, but they do, gloriously. My photos don’t really do it justice. You can get this one on Etsy here and on Amazon here.
I hope you like these cowls and scarves as much as I do.
Hello all 3 of you that are still reading my blog! I kinda got lost with it last year and stopped blogging regularly. It’s harder to do than it looks! I’ve had this blog since I started Looking Glass Designs over 7 years ago and it’s never really taken off. But that’s OK. I don’t want to be known as a blogger.
I have been busy in many ways both personally and professionally in the past year. My son is getting older – he’s 10 now (not sure where that time went) and he’s getting so grown up (sometimes). I knit a shawl for his housemaster who left in December, she decided to move on after almost 22 years at the school as a parent, chorister parent, staff and housemaster. The photos in this post are of that shawl. (and yes,the pronouns are correct!)
Business was OK last year; it didn’t grow as it has for the previous 6 years — but I think that’s down to outside influences like Brexit and a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. It was steady and while I’d have liked my Christmas Rush to have started before Dec 1 I managed even with going away to York for 4 days before Christmas.
I will be starting up another Etsy shop in the next few weeks (see, now that I’ve told you I’ll have to, won’t I?) for reusable, recycled, and upcycled products. I am setting up a new Facebook page for it as well but will still use this blog to show you those items.
Personally, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I am very good at procrastinating – it sometimes feels like it’s my one true talent. I always hesitate to offer new items because I don’t know how well they will do and I don’t like going out of my comfort zone. However I decided to start this new Etsy shop as I have fabric and supplies coming out of my ears and need to use them! I have been looking for testers and have found a couple while making new items for them to test out for me; some will be redundant as they are items others sell, others will be slightly different so I want to get them tested by others as well as me. I plan on having 10 products ready to go when I open up – so keep an eye out as I’ll be running an opening sale!
I hope you have had – or are having – a wonderful Christmas. We had our usual Christmas morning – waiting for son to wake up and then doing stockings and presents before breakfast.
I haven’t been blogging recently; I haven’t had much to say, I guess. I have had a slower year than usual in my online shops; I think people are being more careful with their money and aren’t buying as many ‘wants’ as before. I have had some issues with my arms, shoulders and wrists at times through the year with spending a lot of time knitting and crocheting for orders; I need to increase the time I spend sewing and doing other things or I will have to cut back permanently on the time I spend playing with yarn…
I am opening up a new Etsy shop in the new year, and will be putting one or both of my current Etsy shops on vacation mode to get the new one up and running – I’ll let you know what’s happening soon! Anatomical Knits, Looking Glass Designs , Amazon
I do appreciate each and every one of my customers – some will never know how much their reviews, emails and happy comments have uplifted me. This isn’t something I do as a ‘side hustle’, a hobby or to keep me occupied while my husband brings in a paycheque. I craft for many reasons, one of which is my mental health. The joke is ‘I knit so I don’t stab people’ but for many people, crafting helps them with managing their well-being.
Some of the most popular items I sold this year have been my ante-natal teaching aids, camera scarf straps, camera buddies and photo props. Do keep an eye out for more styles and patterns of scarf straps!
I know there are thousands of oatmeal raisin cookie recipes out there, but this is the one my son and I make – and he does most of the work! LOL
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 cup (250g) butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins or sultanas
Preheat the oven to 160’C (350’F). Cream the butter and sugar together (we used an electric mixer). Then add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, mixing in between until the mix is fluffy. Add all the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon.
Using dessert spoons, scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet, they do spread out, so give them room. Bake for 8-12 minutes…
Here’s another batch of camera scarf straps – I’ve made another since but haven’t managed to get photos done yet. I think the cat print one is my favourite, which is yours? I still can’t decide which design is better – the nylon straps or the adjustable style with keyrings.
I plan on making more fabric items this year and I started with this lovely knitting/crochet projectbag. It’s made from high quality quilting cotton and lined in cream cotton. There’s black grosgrain ribbon pulled through an abstract black & white quilting cotton to close it, and it will hold 3-4 skeins of fingering yarn + needles/hooks and notions. I have enough fabric to make 3 but after that, no more. So kind of “Limited Edition”…. 🙂
Mustard & Black Knitting Bag
Bag with 3 skeins of yarn inside
Peeking into the top of the bag
Side of the Bag
Standing up and open
It’s listed in my Etsy shop here and I plan on having more join it soon. What do you look for in a knitting bag – pockets for notions? Do you prefer a zippered bag, or a drawstring with a toggle on it? How about…