I love receiving cards, don’t you? But even more than receiving, I love MAKING cards! Here’s some of my recent makes.
We’re HUGE fans of Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler’s books here at Beagle HQ. So much so that the toddler’s last birthday was themed around some of their more famous books, but that’s a post for another day.
I wanted to make the toddler something a bit different, so I combined some of her favourite characters with different openers and fasteners to help her improve her dexterity and coordination. The product was ‘Evie’s Quiet Book’.
Quiet books seem to be hugely popular and it’s easy to see why: soft to touch for little hands, they are only limited by your imagination and can keep little people occupied for ages.
I created a page for each of the main characters: Witch, Cat, Dog, Bird, Frog, Dragon plus all of them on the broom.
I tried to use a mix of fabrics and materials to make it interesting to touch as well as various colours. Some worked better than others, with some of the coarser fabric fraying, however I think this adds to the characters.
There are also different fasteners including zips, poppers, buttons and clips, all of which encourage to toddler to explore and learn how to use them. They’ve helped her improve her manual dexterity while also teaching her some key skills for getting dressed.
I think the Witch is my favourite page. Her long ginger hair is a mix of different wools, from very soft, to slightly more coarse and even a few strands from my rag doll I had as a baby! Perfect for learning how to plait, and to tie a ribbon! Her cardigan also needs buttoning. This was the only page where I used my sewing machine (for the cardigan), all the rest was sewn by hand.
The last page is the broom with all the characters sat safely in their seats. I made the finger puppets as a fun accompaniment when reading the book, but they can be used for reenactment while out and about, or for creating new adventures!
Have you made a quiet book? Do you like the characters from the Gruffalo and Room on the Broom? Let me know in the comments below.
Hahaha me, organised? I can hear so many people laughing at that.
Seriously though, the main way I organise the assorted voices in my head is through different notebooks. Here are two of my favourites, which contain my notes for ‘The Vampires Bodyguard’ and ‘Chasing Dragons’. They’re two writing projects I’m working on and I’m sure I’ll tell you more about them at a later date so keep popping back for updates.
So today we’re looking at goals. This is a slightly challenging topic to discuss, especially when your creative endeavours are so varied, and ever changing. When I bought my sewing machine, my aim was to make unique items for my daughter and I to wear. I’ve reached this goal (and ensured a steep learning curve!) but now I’d like to slowly start sharing what I make and hopefully start building clients and business.
For ease, I think I’ll divide it into writing goals and crafting goals.
- Keep writing! I’ve been pretty slack since I had my daughter so need to get back to writing regularly
- Finish editing ‘Elesphere’ my young adult fantasy novel. I was pretty much finished but it needs a lot more work.
- Ongoing work on my ‘Vampire’s Bodyguard’ series. More details on this to come!
- Look into self publishing Elesphere and The Vampire’s Bodyguard next year. I’ve also got an idea to expand a short story but I’m keeping that a secret for now.
- Obviously I’d love best-seller status but frankly, having people out there, reading my work is still surreal so I’ll just take a couple more happy readers. For now.
- Ongoing skill development.
- Improving my felting and learn to make fairies and characters.
- Design and make a range of greetings cards to sell.
We keep it simple here at @bluebeaglebaby Books or craft gifts are normally wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with one of our labels (see Meet the Maker: Brand Image) but for this special order, I made a reusable, upcycled cloth gift wrap. It really added to the gift and the recipients were very excited.
If I’m honest, I never really expected much when I started writing. I mean, hubby had always read and enjoyed my work but having other people read and enjoy? It still seems odd and unreal. However, it was a milestone to get ‘Akane: Last of the Orions‘ in print and into the top 10 of the Amazon YA/SciFi list (it reached number 2), then when I managed that, it became a new milestone to get ‘Weird Wild‘, then Ghoulsome Graveyard out. When I reached one milestone, the voices had already set three more!
I’ve recently discovered felting! I’m not sure what it is, but stabbing something multiple times is highly therapeutic 😉 I took a short class at the recent Crafts 4 Crafters show and made an adorable little lamb and frankly, I’ve been a little obsessed ever since! I’ve completed this set of cards recently, combining washi tape and felted decorations with assorted phrases hand stamped on too. These were so much fun to make and a big learning curve with regards to felting – blending wools, adding details such as the seams on the hot air balloon or adding a bit of sparkle to my snow flake. They are available to purchase, just message me below or via @bluebeaglebaby