Archive for March, 2012

March 23, 2012

A Mystic Moose Label Making Spree

 It’s been ever such a busy few days, after a few of my etsy totes were featured on and in the daily etsy email. My studio has turn into quite the production line to keep up with all the wonderful orders I’ve been getting!

Today I spent three hours making tags for my tote bags. Luckily they are fairly simple to make, so I can get lots done whilst I listen to audio books (currently on the final captures of American Gods by Neil Gaiman.) I think these little tasks are essential to ensuring your crafts are well presented, but often I forget to restock them until I’ve nearly run out, and need to make hundreds!

What is great about this tags is that although they are made of fabric, the transfer used for the image stops the fabric from fraying, so I don’t have to use pinking shears (which always take me forever to use!) and I don’t have to hem the edges either. The only hard part is getting achy hands after using the eyelet punch on 500 or so labels, but even that can be solved with a well earned tea break! I am a huge fan of eyelets; tying twine through it in a loop means that the tags can be quickly attached the totes using a slip knot when I am packing them!

But pressing the fabric is time consuming for something that some customers may not even look at, so I have been considering making printed card versions in the same way, with the bronze coloured eyelet and twine loop. Whilst they would still look lovely, they would have to added benefit of being recyclable – unlike the fabric tags, some of which may end up in landfills. It also means it is considerably easier and less expensive to do double-sided tags, with extra information on the back – perhaps washing instructions, a little blurb about Mystic Moose, and a ‘recycle me’ prompt?

March 13, 2012

Teacup Totes and Ladybirds

The weather this weekend was somewhat delightful, a wonderful change to the dark clouds and patchy rain we had in the middle of last week. I had been planning a photo shoot for my Mystic Moose website all week, but even though the sun was shining, the lighting just wasn’t quite right for it – it was too bright and harsh, and by the evening it had gone a little cloudy again. So instead I took my new teacup tote bag for a walk whilst I scouted for potential locations for photos.

I made this new bag last weekend, after a rather lovely day in the garden of a cafe. Although I didn’t intend to, I spent about four hours sitting at the slightly rickety duck egg blue table with a friend, drinking cup after cup of tea. The little teashop had some delightfully quirky cups and saucers and no two were the same; having been sitting there for many hours we’d gotten through quite a few different cups! If the wonderful waitress hadn’t been popping back and forth to collect our empty cups, our table would have ended up looking very much like this tote bag! I took to doodling some of these cups, whilst sitting in the sunshine, and once I got home I began to ink and colour them in. As with my other totes, I then reversed the image heat pressed it onto the cotton, resulting in the colourful drawing being transferred!

This walk was extremely lovely, and the air had that lovely freshness that comes when people realise that spring has finally come and begin to cut grass in the hopes for some outside activities in the coming weeks.  Flowers seem to be re-emerging recently, so I spent a lot of time admiring daffodils and daisies and gathering inspiration. I also got to see some lovely dogs – lots of beautiful collies, a couple of Labradors and Staffies and an extremely friendly terrier puppy wearing a pink collar that was owned by a muscular biker-y-looking man. I had several dog walkers compliment my teacups tote bag, which is always a lovely experience, because it’s great finding out in person that people like the things you make.

I also met a lovely ladybird when I was drinking tea, who was kind enough to let me take some photographs. There were some lovely parts of the gardens, some beautiful patches of architecture and I think I found some nice stonework against which to photograph my totes – I’m still looking for the perfect banner photo for my new etsy Facebook page! Go take a peek – I’ll be posting discount codes and updates on new crafty delights!

March 9, 2012

Foxy Stamp

I found this on etsy the other day and kind of need it.

I love stamping.

And I am wondering if the amount of joy this stamp could bring me is at healthy levels?

March 8, 2012

Ducks in the Frost

A few weeks ago, when the countryside was covered in a beautiful layer of frost and the cannel had mostly frozen over, I went for a walk with my camera. I didn’t upload them at the time so these are perhaps a little out of season now since the weather has warmed up considerably in the last week!

March 7, 2012

Vintage World Map Hearts Illustration

I’ve been very busy working on new artwork and illustrations recently, I am particularly happy with having used the old atlas I found at a carboot sale last year. It was such a beautiful book that I felt almost ashamed of cutting it up and making things from it, so I made sure to keep copies for future use. Regular blog readers may remember the map lampshade I decorated last summer, which still sits beside my bed and with my alarm clock, but I wanted to make something which I could share with the wider world, so to speak. Whilst I’ve always loved hearts with maps on them, I wanted a larger image to be displayed with them forming a pattern. This latest tote bag design is one of my favourites so far, and it’s ready in time for Earth Day in April!

I decided to use geographical map because the colours were so stunning, but also to avoid out of date political borders.  I managed to conclude that the atlas must have been printed sometime between 1914 and 1921 since the adverts for other educational books at the back (which are priced in shillings and pence) state that they were revised in 1914, and despite large portions of the map being described as being part of the ‘British Empire’, certain country names and borders indicate that it was before 1921. Of course this information is not present on the geographical map, but seeing the different depths of the ocean and the heights of mountains makes the design so detailed.

I hope to make many more things with my maps, but the pages seem so precious that I only want to use them on crafts I’m sure will be lovely! Then again, I suppose that attitude has kept the atlas almost unused in my studio for the last year!

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