Sunday, April 16, 2017

Closing my Parlour Duck Crafts Etsy store

Etsy sent out an email last week announcing that sellers had until the 17th of May to switch to Etsy Payments and the option to be a Paypal only seller was going to disappear.  While I did consider doing so for a few hours, overnight reflection has led to this decision. I will be closing my shop Parlour Duck Crafts on the 10th of May, and having a closing down sale with the code CLOSING15 for 15% off. I've also made almost all items available for shipping everywhere in the world rather than just Australia.

Except this Charlie One Horse hat, as I don't want to have to ship it overseas. 
The truth is, I wasn't happy trying to run the store and have crafts as a business. I wasn't committing to it in the way that I needed to, and I was displaying classic avoidance and procrastination behaviour when it came to my plans for the store. I am absolutely glad that I have tried it and indeed I suspect I needed to try it - I may well have spent years wondering "what if" otherwise. It was an experience I am glad to have had, if only so it could teach me that I'm much happier for crafts to be a hobby. I started because I wanted a flexible income that came from something I did well and enjoyed. Perhaps I also had a sense that because I enjoyed crafts I had an obligation to try to make it into a career rather than just a hobby. I was attracted by the idea of having a creative business.   Maybe if the other paid work I was doing was awful or exploitative or soulless or was making me miserable, I would have tried harder. But it isn't. I love my freelance indexing and proofing and my casual employment supporting various academics. I'm excited by the projects I've worked on in the past year and the ones I'm starting now.
This zinnia hat is a recent creation and I've had so much fun taking photos of it.

I'm keeping it open for a few weeks rather than closing right away to try to sell my remaining listings, which include some lovely crochet and vintage items, several of which have been pictured throughout this post.
This cross-stitch book qualifies as vintage by Etsy's rules and that fact makes me feel old.

The blog will still continue though, under the same name, and will still be a place where I talk about what I'm crafting, what I'm learning and what I'm enjoying. I have some exciting plans for a blog feature starting in July and I'm also eager to push on with my fabric stashbusting and show you what I've managed to create.  And I'm not saying goodbye 100% to making for others - I will still be open to the occasional commissioned piece of work as a freelance contract. But as of the 10th of May, my Etsy store closes.

Friday, April 7, 2017

A busy making time

I have been so slack about blogging, but like many others I've been busy making things.  I blame the New Year and resolutions involving using up my stash and increasing my sewn wardrobe. I have even joined a Facebook stashbusting group to keep track of how much fabric I use during the year. (So far: sewn 9 metres and bought 2.5 metres)

This post is really going to be a round up of selected makes from the last few months

A baby sunhat in cute spotted cotton
 This adorable sunhat was a gift for a friend with a young baby. I'd forgotten (even in the scant few years since my boy was that small) just how little fabric you need for baby items. The hat was made entirely from a single fat quarter. And that is with a fully lined crowned.

Zinnia hat, from a 1962 Australian Women's Weekly pattern

I've been crocheting some 1960s hats from patterns from the Australian Women's Weekly. Above is a 'zinnia hat' - the original was yellow with red flowers and I've made it in a slightly more subdued fawn and burgundy colour scheme. Below is the charmingly quirky 'field flower hat' which I've made in very close to the colours suggested in the original. I may redo the pompoms on this one, as I think I'd like them to be fuller. Both of these hats will be listed in my etsy shop soon. 

Field flower hat
Close up of the field flower hat 

 Several years ago, I treated myself to a 'I've finally finished the PhD present' and went to a ten day embroidery convention run by Koala Conventions. One of the two-day courses I did was on Mountmellick work and I did a beautiful design. Well I have finally made it up into the bolster cushion it was designed to be!

The finished Mountmellick bolster. 

I also, as part of both stashbusting and increasing my 'me made' wardrobe, made a kimono style dressing gown, decorated with lace I got for a ridiculously low sum at a garage sale. The pattern isn't a true kimono, although the sleeves are very close, and it is from a BurdaStyle magazine Plus Size special (E030, for anyone who might want to look, although I've checked and this isn't available online). It really needs an iron, but what doesn't?

Dressing gown. 
Close up of sleeve under construction - and the amazing lace!

 A lot of my crafting and blogging time has been curtailed by actual paid work now that my son is at preschool two days a week. Still, actual paid work has funded the purchase of some clothing patterns that I really, really wanted, so I hope to be blogging about those makes soon.  I'm also having some bad days on my medications, which eats into the time I have too.