How are we all doing today? I haven’t done any kind of craft journal or content round up since 23rd March, so I thought I ought to check in with you and let you know all about the activity that has been happening across the blog and our social media channels!
I feel like I’ve been all over the place with my crafting lately. You name it, I’ve done it. The problem is actually finishing what I have started! There has been crochet, knitting, paper crafting, hand sewing, flower pressing, colouring, and much more.
As people are spending more time in their own homes I think they are turning to YouTube to do a bit of boredom busting! Views on the channel have more than doubled in the last 28 days, and last week we have topped 200 subscribers! A big thank you to everyone who follows the channel! One day I will hit 1000 subscribers and then I can actually monetise my content.
Since my last update with you all I have published five new videos on the channel. Last month I had just received a new Corinne Lapierre felt kit from my dad, to make three angels, so there is a new hand sewing video up for all of you needle fans.
The Settlers team is looking at ways to engage our followers at home as they are unable to visit the Stanwick Lakes site. The wonderful Alison is revamping the school visit packs for the children to be able to do at home. In one of the packs I created a one page guide on how to make your own paper beads (you can download the sheet from my blog here, when the Settlers packs are available I will be sharing them on my social media). I thought that some of the parents might appreciate seeing someone actually make the beads so I also filmed a little project video to go with the sheet.
Several hospitals (including my local hospital) have been asking for pairs of small hearts to be made for their patients and relatives who are unable to visit due to social distancing. Initially I thought that I making hearts was something I could do, but then I thought why not take it further? I decided that I would write down a pattern I made up for the crochet hearts and publish it online for anyone else who wants to make some. Then I thought about how many people were at home looking for something new to try, and I decided that I would make a walk through video for making the crochet hearts to accompany the pattern so that the pattern would be accessible and understandable for as many people as possible, even if they have never crocheted before. If you would like to download the pattern or watch the video you can do so here (for free).
At this point I was really enjoying creating video content and I hope people were enjoying it and it has helped to keep some people entertained. I wanted to create another video project for the channel and having made two Corinne Lapierre kits I felt confident enough to create my own simple project. I made a small felt hanging heart decoration as a test and as it worked out well I made a second one while I filmed the process. If you want to watch more hand sewing, you will find the hanging heart video here.
My last video was a very short one and I debated publishing it for quite a while. I received my April Makerly subscription box and filmed the unboxing. Once I had finished editing I was left with a two minute video. I know that videos less than three minutes long perform poorly on Facebook but I wasn’t sure about YouTube. I wanted to publish the video as I had put time and effort into making it, but I was unsure if it would damage the reach of my channel. I decided to publish the content anyway and I would say the results are pretty mixed. The video has performed well in terms of number of views, however being short the total watch time and average view duration are down compared to the rest of my content, so the algorithm is punishing me for that. Lesson learned, YouTube likes longer content. If you want to help me out you can watch the video here, the longer you view it for the more you will help me. Please and thank you!
There are several birthdays coming up (including Mr Crafts this Friday!) and as well as the cards I would usually make to send from myself I have had a flurry of commissions come in. I’ve been making cards left, right and centre. I used to use paper crafting kits for the most part, but lately I have really been enjoying stamping. If there is something specific I need to make that I don’t have a stamp for I will go back to my trusty paper crafting kits but mostly I prefer stamping now. A little while ago I made this video for a card made with stamping and I have made several in a similar style since.
I’ve also been scrapbooking. Several weeks ago I finished my South Africa scrapbook and I have been itching to get started on the scrapbook my USA trip. I have been using up a lot of my washi tapes and embellishments so I thought I would order some more. I have been seeing ads for Kawaii Pen Shop for around a year on my social media and I thought I would order from them. They appear to have some beautiful things on their website and I thought I would treat myself. I picked out some beautiful ocean themed washi tapes and some watercolour travel journal washi stickers, paid my money and waited. Then I waited some more. After that I waited again. Then I got annoyed and emailed them and they sent me tracking information, for the wrong parcel. Apparently my delivery was going to United Arab Emirates. Another email, they gave me different tracking information. They told me my package was in the UK. The tracking information says it is in Hong Kong. I am still waiting. They will be getting another email tomorrow.
I am so annoyed. I wanted to scrapbook, share the unboxing with you guys (ensuring it lasted longer than two minutes!) and write a review.
Well here is my review: Don’t buy from Kawaii Pen Shop.
To add insult to injury I checked on Amazon for some similar products and the exact same washi tape is available from Amazon at a much lower price, but it won’t be delivered until June! Insert expletive of choice here. I appreciate that the current coronavirus situation means there will be delays, especially with international mail, but the communication from the company is atrocious!
I have projects coming out of my ears. Number of completed projects, one. Number of new projects started, at least four.
I joined all of my Blaithin squares and added the boarder and it looks beautiful! I am so happy with it. I even took my blanket for a little walk in the sun on my daily allotted excerise so that I could take some pictures. I’ve made some great progress with the dune blanket, I’m over half way through the colour stripe sequence. It is looking beautiful. It will be hard to give that one away I can tell you!
The dune blanket got put on hold so I could finish a poncho (which is almost done). The poncho is knitted and is taking an age. I only have the collar left to do. I am not enjoying making it whatsoever and I will be glad to see the back of it!
I have also started another jumper. I know, I was a shocked as you are. Maybe it was the knitted poncho, maybe it was the guilt that Mr Crafts actually never got his jumper. Whatever it was, I am now one and a bit sleeves to go on this thing and then that is it! Any more jumpers made will be for me or they will be commissions. I don’t really mind making the jumpers, but the pattern can be a little dull and this will be the fourth one I have made now. Being crochet they are much faster than knitting (for me in any case) and I am at least familiar with the pattern!
I’ve also started trying to use up all the scraps of Aran yarn I have. I am making solid granny squares out of all the odds and ends and I hope to turn them into a blanket (when, I don’t quite know). All the squares are solid, when I don’t have enough yarn left to make a solid square I use two or three colours and these squares will be put together as a dog blanket for Irish Retriever Rescue. I am sure the dogs won’t object to the clashing colours! I’ve also started using up my cotton scraps to make granny bunting and of course there are the hearts I have been making for the hospital. So much yarn, so little time.
Odds and Ends
I’ve been tinkering with so many things lately. I have a lovely orchid from Mr Crafts which I have pressed some of the flowers from and I have some more flowers in the press from my garden (apple blossoms and some small white flowers). I plan to use the flowers in some resin pouring and I hope to film the content for the blog. I’ve designed come digital colouring in sheets that you can download for free, I’ve been baking bread and I’ve also been making some ear protectors for the hospital staff (to stop the facemasks from rubbing the backs of their ears).
I’ve got plenty more ideas for videos and projects, so I at least won’t be bored! I hope you will come along for the ride with me!