Sunday, December 04, 2011


Promotion is a job I really hate. You seem to spend hours on the computer doing lots of little things that are supposed to help promote your site and sell your patterns.

I have spent loads of time learning about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and altering things in my website coding that are supposed to help.

Sometimes, I wonder if it is really worth it all.

Today I opened a Coriandr account and listed a few patterns. Again, very time consuming and I have no idea if it will help.

Learn how to Crotat

But one thing I have done, which was a lot more enjoyable, is finish the online version of the Crotat Tutorial.

Just click on this button to go and have a look. Then come and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I have been working very hard!

In the summer I had a Crotat article and pattern published in Inside Crochet.

I have re-written the article, taking into account feedback from readers and teaching workshops, so that it now includes more detailed instructions and more advanced techniques.

Crotat in Inside Crochet
Free Crotat Download

But the best news - for all of you - is that all of this hard work is available for free as web pages on my site and as an 18 page downloadable eBook.

Just click on the picture to find out more.

If you have a go, I would love to see the results. Pop along to my Facebook page and post there.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What a bad, bad blogger!

I knew I hadn't blogged in a while but it wasn't until I signed in that I realised quite how long it was since my last post.

What can I say apart from the fact I have been really busy.

First of all the bad news. The home I working in has closed down. This means that I and all the other staff have been made redundant. And all the residents have been moved to new homes.

The good news is that I have been doing really well with the crochet.

I had a "How to Crotat" article and Crotat Coaster pattern in Issue 19 (July 2011).

The six months of the contract is almost up so this pattern, along with a matching oval one, will be available soon.

I am working on a whole new free "How to Crotat" download. After getting some feedback and giving some lessons, I am including more pictures and instructions to make it easier to follow.

My "Barefoot Sandals" were in Issue 20 (August 2011)

I will be designing some more of these to publish when the 6 months of the contract is up.

And I had some "Crotat Jewels" published in Issue 22 (October 2011).

All of this has been very good for business and the knock on effect has doubled the sales on my site.

There are also some new Crotat patterns on the site.

And, when you are a famous designer - DMC send you freebies!

That Natura is gorgeous! Soft and lovely to work with. And wonderful colours. I ended up with 4 balls of different colours and designed crotat motifs for each of them.

One of them will be in Inside Crochet next year. I am not quite sure when yet.

The others will end up on the site just as soon as I am able. The motifs can be made into shawls, stoles or shrugs and the patterns will contain the schematics for each of them.

All in all, its been quite an exciting time. The problem is that I still need a job as this really doesn't earn me enough money. It would be wonderful to be a full time designer but needs must.

And some things never change. Its tea time so I need to go and cook it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Inside Crochet 18 is out

Click to view Inside Crochet issue 18 Yes, Issue 18 should be in the shops and I am in it again with the final part of my Alphabet Mobiles.
For anybody who wants the matching Uppercase and Numbers, you can get those on my site.
Urban Camouflage mini crotat bag

I have finally finished designing the Crotat Mini Bags I have been working on. The last one gave me a bit of a headache as the butterflies just wouldn't go right.

This one is "Urban Camouflage". I was going to call it something really boring like mono stripes.

This one is "Rainbow Waves" and made in pretty much the same way as the Urban Camouflage. Just with a lot more colour.

Rainbow Waves Mini Crotat Bag
Fleur De Lys Crotat Mini Bag

I went a bit patriotic with the "Fleur De Lys" one. After all, I was designing it when all the hype about the wedding was on the TV.

I love this colour, its so fresh. So I made the "Daisy Chain" bag from it.

Butterfly Parade Crotat Mini Bag

And here is the "Butterfly Parade".

The smaller one was made with my new hook. Scarlet Dash very kindly sent me one to play with. Its a 2mm Prym Bamboo Hook.

When it arrived, I though it was far too fragile, it just looks too thin. And I needed to sand the head to make it suitable for crotatting. However, it is surprisingly strong and supple. The head had to be sanded a few times as I was scared to take too much off but, eventually, I got it right. And, unlike the metal crotat hook, I was able to use it for both "normal" crocheting and crotatting. It saved switching back and fore between two different hooks.

I have to admit though, it did take some getting used to.

Talking about Scarlet Dash, have you seen the lovely interview she did about me?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Is it that long since I last posted??????

First the good news, I passed the Theory Test - despite a panic attack outside the Test Centre before it opened.

Inside Crochet Issue 17
Inside Crochet issue 17 is out, with more lovely pictures of my alphabet. I didn't make these ones, they did. Can't wait to see what they come up with for next month.

And, I have won an award!

Do you remember my A-Z of Chatteris in Photos"? The Cambridgeshire Association for Local History" has given me an award for it.

I have to tart up all posh and go and collect it on June 4th at Denby Abbey.

I am still crocheting hard, working on patterns for both the site and Inside Crochet. I officially went self employed on April 1st. I have never bothered before as I have always spent loads more than I earned on hooks, yarn and thread. But, with the work I am doing for IC, I am going to be in the black this year.

So, as part of all this, I have set up a Facebook page.

I only joined Facebook originally because the family nagged me. I haven't been on there much but last weekend a lady emailed me to tell me that somebody has been using my pictures to advertise that they are selling items made from my patterns.

I contacted them about it, they apologised and took them down. The silly thing is, if they had asked first, I would have given them permission. When I told them this, the excuse was that they were new to it all.

New to what? Didn't their mother teach them manners???????

Anyway, all this brought me to the realisation that Facebook is a great (and free) tool for reaching potential customers and interacting with them.

Very steep Facebook learning curve coming up!

Any help appreciated.

And, to help me get lots of "Likes" for my page I am having a prize draw of a £5 Paypal voucher when I get to 500 and a £10 Paypal voucher when I get to 1000. You will be able to spend these on my site, my Etsy shop or my Folksy shop.

All you have to do is put a link to my Facebook page and this post on your blog, then leave a comment to let me know where the links are.

When I get to 500 I will draw for the £5 and when I get to 1000 I will draw for the £10.

The vouchers can be used for patterns or finished items and if you are entered into the first draw, you will also be entered into the second draw.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ooooh! I am all excited.

I feel like a kid at Christmas but I really can't help it.

I have been officially published in Inside Crochet. And I get paid for it!

Yes, I know I have been in mags before but not like this. I have never been paid before for a start.

Anyway, if you want to see a free online preview, you can click on the picture.

And there are more to come. The full Lowercase Alphabet is going to be published this and the next two issues.

And I have to say, the photos they have taken are lovely and make my letters look stunning.

Now, as to why I haven't blogged in ages.

Well, there has been all this overtime in work. And there have been the driving lessons and studying for the Theory Test. And there has been all the time spent working on more patterns for IC.

And there has been all the time spent working on a new pattern for Rainbow Valley.

This one is "Scrapbooking with Crotat". As you might have guessed from the name, its a motif pattern for scrabooking - or anything else you would like to use them for - and is all crotated.

Crochet Tatting is a form of tatting done with a special type of crochet hook and combined with crochet to produce a unique effect.

Here are just a few of the motifs from it, I think there will be 15 different designs in all, along with some basic instructions.

It is almost finished and will be published in April, along with a slightly revamped site.

I have started working on a crotat jewellery one as well.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Art Exhibition

This weekend there is an Art Exhibition in March Town Hall, Cambridgeshire. It is free to go and see it and well worth a visit.

I entered my Clematis and Mushrooms into it. I have put a rather high price on the Clematis because I don't really want to sell it. But, if somebody is willing to pay £1495 for it, I can always make another.



I have never put a picture of the finished mushrooms on here, so here they are.

I went to the opening reception on Friday. There were lots of people there and lots of comments about my Clematis. But nobody bought it!

For me, however, the highlight of the evening was seeing all the childrens work on the boards.

On Friday morning there had been a workshop for some of the local schools. The chilren had re-created some of the artwork in the exhibition. I was delighted to see that so many of them had chosen my mushrooms to re-create!

These are the ones from All Saints School.





One child did a wonderful re-creation of my clematis and another did the mushrooms.

Apparently, there were lots more mushrooms but the children chose to take them home.



And these are the ones from Burrowmoor School.

As you can see, lots of mushrooms!

















And some of my favourites which were on display.


Dancing by Margaret Williams.






Go Bananas by Heather Kinnear.




The name of the Apple by Jenny Furlong




Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year!

Is it just me or are the years getting shorter?

It seems that one has only just started and it is the summer, then the winter and another one about to start.

And is it really 7 years since I "emigrated" to Cambridgeshire?

Here is my New Year gift to you all. Unfortunately it isn't as good as previous years as I just haven't been out taking photos like I used to. I got out of the habit when I broke my wrist and the camera was just too heavy to hold, then didn't get back into it.

So that is my New Year Resolution, to get out at least once each moth looking for photos so that I have a nice collection all ready for next years calendar.

And my other, which I was going to make last year, is to get some of those patterns which are part written up on the site for sale.

I only managed two last year, partly due to the broken wrist and partly due to the Clematis.

However, as much as I think the Clematis was well worth it, I won't be attempting anything that big this summer.