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Moo-ing mini card holders

Following on from my experiment with the ‘not boring business card holders’, I was asked if I could make some for the ‘Moo’ mini cards. These are very odd sized cards, which are narrow and short and very popular with crafters.

So here they are, and some will be winging it’s way to Pomona (don’t say I never give the public what they want!).

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A little BIG monster calendar

I have been contemplating making something ‘monster’ themed. Something that is bright and colourful and useful as well. Thought about a desktop calendar full of little monsters, a monster a month…what do you think?

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Littlerobot

I have a very talented friend. She is a designer and programmer by day and by candlelight she creates the most amazing artwork (I am not at all jealous!).

It’s hard to describe the Littlerobot collection, it’s a mixture of paintings, drawings, sketches and handcrafted toys that have a surreal, ethereal and fantasy theme. The paintings feature mystical animals, flauna and rich luxurious dark colours.

The detailing is just mindblowing, you can see individual hairs on the animals!

She also creates amazing toys and puppet theatres (not for little ones) which are handcrafted and made in her studio at home. Clearly there is no limit to this woman’s talents. I can just about hammer a nail into a piece of wood.

You can find littlerobot on esty where you can purchase prints and capture a little piece of fantasy for yourself.

Lindsay works and lives in the middle of nowhere, just outside of Glasgow, Scotland.

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Liberty autumn fabric prints

Liberty just launched a new and highly innovative collection of fabrics for the autumn titled ‘The Art Collection’. Contributing are six established British artists.

The contributing artists are Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry, Paul Morrison, Mike McInnerney, Michael Angove, Anj Smith, and Simon Hart.

I particularly love the Grayson Perry prints. These could easily be framed and treated as works of art in itself. At £19.95 per metre they are ‘kerching’ but I think worth it if you love your liberty prints.

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I used to work in Carnaby Street so used to pop into the Regent Street store nearly every lunchtime, a very costly lunch break you would agree! One of the few things I miss about London, that and good sushi.

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Validating websites

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Designing websites is like painting a picture, you need to use the right tools and in the right sequence or it’s just a big old mess. If you don’t prime your canvas, no-one will really know, but your colours won’t be as true and vivid as they could be. The same can be said of your code.

I would hope that people check their designs on different browsers and platforms to ensure that the site looks and behaves as it should. I am not a fan of MS Internet Explorer (by any stretch of the imagination), but I acknowledge that there are still people out there who use it and so I make sure my designs work within all the IE quirks. It would be so much easier if we all used the same browser! Anyway I digress, the final step in the web design process should always be to validate the code.

Don’t get me wrong, the amount of times I have sobbed into my hot chocolate when seeing the amount of errors after running the code through the validator is too numerous to count. It’s a scary but neccessary task to do, as not only is it always a good thing to know that you are doing things the ‘right’ way, but it also makes you more aware of ‘sloppy’ coding and hopefully avoid writing it in the future.

There is a great sense of achievement when you get that green ‘validated’ message appearing on your screen and it makes it all worth while. When I can hand over the code to the client and tell them that it has all been validated, just makes it all that much better.

That’s why…

If you are feeling brave or confident, why not run your site through the validator and see for yourself? Click on the I heart validator icon above!

Danish bear

I was up sewing and stuffing late last night, something I don’t recommend as needles and tiredness don’t make happy companions.

I found the perfect old baby grow to make into a bear for ‘Master Crayons’. It’s a funky green punk fish pattern and orange seam grow brought for him by a friend on her last trip to Denmark. You would struggle to find anything with such a cool pattern in the UK, don’t know why that is, or should be.

Anyway, I finished stuffing in the wee hours. This model is simplier than flower bear as I had enough fabric for all body parts so it was a simple case of cut around a template and stitch all the way around. I also added a small pocket made from the original arm piece for keeping spare change, snack bars and other bits and bobs.

papermash: beautiful stationery and packaging

I have just come across papermash, a lovely online store selling beautiful and unique packaging and stationery. The site is really well designed and everything is beautifully presented.

I am loving the tape and string selection, so unusual and fun. Check out the goodies on offer for yourself!

Stuffed bear

My daughther has a cotton ‘flower blankie’ which she is attached to and has to cuddle in bed before going to sleep. I brought it years ago from the Molly n’ Jack range and it has pretty flowers and spots.

The other day we were going through her old clothes and I came across a matching baby grow which was part of the same range. It seemed a shame to give it away or throw it out so I thought I would attempt making a bear out of the material.

Please be kind. Some of the stitching is shocking in places and it’s slightly wobbly in others, but as a prototype it’s not too bad an attempt. ‘Miss Crayons’ loves it and now I have to make another for ‘Master Crayons’…

Miss Flower the sock bunny snuggly as a bug. She is recuperating after a stuffing incident and had to have emergency life threatening corrective surgery. Just don’t tell the sock bunny Mummy, we don’t want a visit from sock bunny Social Services!

Gremlins and gitches

Last night I had to transfer some of my websites from my current webserver to a new one as a precaution. The whole exercise was painful as I have quite a few sites to manage. The ordeal made me realise how much we rely on technology and how little we plan for when things go wrong with the technology.

‘Mr. Crayons’ is a server specialist, and is always drilling into me about making sure I have adequate backups of my work. I now make it a habit of running a backup on my computer before going to bed, but I can’t remember the last time I ran a backup of my websites or blogs!

I recently had a client contact me asking if I had a copy of the site I designed for him because his hosting company had pulled the plug on his account and may have deleted all his sites! Needless to say he was in a bit of a panic about the whole situation.

I always assume that my Hosting provider will have backups of my sites too, but yesterday has proven that you can never have too many backups or copies. So, if you are reading this and can’t remember the last time you ran a backup of your work on your computer, website or blog posts, I urge you to do so now!

It’s amazing the stuff we store about ourselves and our work, photos, articles and the thought of losing all that is just not worth contemplating.

Create my monsters

Inspired by my children, because they can be cute monsters too. The idea is that they can paint, colour, decorate, glitter, sprinkle and create their own monster artwork.

Hand-drawn with permanent marker onto white mount card, 6×4″.

Update: 18:21

Artwork by ‘Miss Crayons’. Well now,which side am I supposed to frame?