I'm a Mother not a Martyr…

Archive for the ‘Crafty Stuff’ Category

Papercraft blog

For those who are into their crafty stuff, you can now find my dedicated paper blog at Pootles and over there I’ll be giving tips and hints, and sharing products available from Stampin’ Up! UK, of which I am now an independent demonstrator!

Exciting times ahead!


Washi tape? What’s that?

If you’re friendly with a crafter, of any industry, chances are that the word Washi has come on your radar.

But, you may not know what it is.

It is basically a decorative tape, very similar to removable masking tape, but with prettier finishes!

It’s movable, tearable, versatile and decorative!

I’ve decorated more things than I possibly should have in my house. A kitchen timer that had a loose fitting back got the washi touch and now looks gorgeous.

We have an integrated fridge, so we can’t stick the children’s pictures to it with magnets, but washi tape does the job without leaving marks or residue.

My favourite thing to do with washi is to decorate something plain and boring and make it unique.

Here’s a few things I’ve washified!


Bulldog clips


Colouring pencils


Colouring pencils and box


Tuna can, clothes pegs and candle holder


Tea lights


The inner pen of a regular biro

And if you’re after a place to buy, my friend Ruth has a craft shop on ebay, Fluff Pie (←clickable link!) and has a huge selection.  And the best postage rates in the UK!

Definitely get some washi, you’ll be amazed at how creative you can be, even if crafting isn’t really ‘your thing’…


Angel Policies, have you heard of them?

An angel policy is a paper crafting term that’s used by designers to protect their designs from being mass produced.

It usually relates to where a designer has licensed their images to a paper craft company who then manufacturer products to be used in the making of cards and other paper stationery.

More often than not, it will relate to a rubber stamped image. For example, hallmark cards license some of their characters (tatty teddy, Wellington Bear etc) to a company called Docrafts who then create papers, rubber stamps, embellishments etc, all along that theme.

When you rubber stamp an image, it’s essentially reproducing an image over and over again, so copyright may come into question.

However, this is where the angel policy comes into play.

The designer and manufacturer will agree a limit to the number of stamped images that an individual can make.  Eg, 50 cards with one particular rubber stamped image is fairly normal.

It is there to restrict mass market sales (hallmark obviously make their own cards and don’t want Jane Smith up the road creating 5,000 cards to compete with them!), and to keep a cap on just how much their image is reproduced.

However, as I don’t do rubber stamping, and don’t use preprinted images all that often, the angel policy is quite a grey area for my crafting.

I’ve just had a lovely conversation with a licensing manager at Hallmark Cards because someone decided that my 6 week old online shop ought to be reported for abusing copyrights.

Fortunately I’m not (I knew that anyway, having checked all angel policies first!), but it did amuse us both that someone took time out from their day to go to my website, then go to Hallmark’s site, find their ‘report’ page, fill in the contact form and send the email.

For 2 notepads.

I have no idea who would utilise their time I  such a way, and obviously for data protection purposes, Hallmark cannot release that information.

I’m not really bothered, but what it has done is put my designs right in front of the biggest greetings card manufacturer in the World.

There’s always a silver lining!

Happy crafting (and don’t forget to check the angel policies, if you’re unsure, email the designer)

Sam x

Paper is so gentle.

There’s something very soothing about pretty paper. No matter what stresses and strains are happening in your life, looking at some aesthetically pleasing paper can soothe and calm.


Don’t get me wrong, the stuff bites back if you don’t handle it correctly (counts paper cuts), but the very nature of its symmetry and singular dimension makes it totally without hidden agenda and without opinion.


The very action of taking a ruler and pencil to a piece of paper and rhythmically cutting, trimming and folding is very relaxing, and knowing that I’ve created something unique from scratch pleases me.


I wonder how long I can craft with paper before I’m so chilled out I’m horizontal!

Happy crafting!

My Papercraft Lovelies!

Calling someone an Evil B!tch is poor business practice.

I adore the internet. It makes a massive world very much smaller. It has reacquainted me with old school and college friends. Introduced me to new friends and kept me in touch with close friends when the ties of motherhood may have otherwise severed those bonds.

I cherish each of those relationships, and am glad that I live in modern times.

And it’s these friendships that have encouraged me to make a go of my Pootles Papercraft new baby, and introduced me to some wonderful crafting artisans who are a long way down the road that I’m just stepping onto.

I call Pootles my baby because it is. I’ve loved and nurtured each product and like my own sons, would find it impossible to choose a favourite.

Like my children, if anyone criticised my creation, I’d be upset, however that would be where the similarities ended.

I’d take on the mantle of Mummy Tiger and tear strips off anyone who criticised my child, but I wouldn’t if someone decided they didn’t like something I’d made.

There is a reason for this post, I’m getting there….

Because I move in lots of different Internet circles, beauty, motherhood, craft etc, I sometimes stumble across things that cross the various divides.

It’s the classic follow a link which leads to another and another and another.

Last night I was watching YouTube videos on soap making. (Did you realise just how much work goes into making soaps? Wow, these people are seriously talented!)

Anyway, one link led to another and I started reading comments. I was shocked to see a viewer make a comment regarding the price of the soaps and the response from the YouTuber was to call her an Evil Bitch!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about loving your product and totally get how passionate crafters are about their products, but one wonders if the soap maker ought to distance themselves a little more?

I have yet to see the supplier of Asda bolognese sauce start calling individuals names, and damn, they’re getting a hell of a lot of criticism right now!

So this post it not about the soap maker, but more as a reminder to myself that while my paper products are my babies, there is a time when I’ll maybe have to come up against criticism and have to bite my lip.

Mummy Tiger to my children, but dignified head on for crafts.

Love to you all, your children and your creations.  Xx

Pootles Papercraft is open for business!

Well, I set myself the challenge last week to have the dotcom shop open by February 1st, and I’ve just about done it!

Pootles Papercraft!

Building the shop wasn’t hard, though I could possibly have tinkered it to death if I’d been left any longer…

It was taking and uploading photos and trying to get coordinating products made in time that took my so long (and some very late nights!)

I haven’t managed to get all the coordinated products completed, but I shall relax and enjoy making them at my leisure (probably tonight knowing me!)

I would love it if you would take a look, maybe leave a message on the guest book!

I’ve opened a new Facebook page too http://www.facebook.com/pootlespapercraft

So, wish me luck and as my friend Lovely says, Pinch Punch first Pootle of the month!

S xx

Building a shop!

So yesterday I followed through on my decision to have an online outlet for my excess craft items.

Craft fayres around here are few and far between, and I didn’t want to craft items without an outlet in mind.

I’ve looked into etsy, but because my items are low priced, I’d pay too much commission to even break even let alone make enough profit to carry on crafting.

I have a moonfruit website for my makeup artist portfolio, and it is perhaps the easiest website template I’ve come across in my 11 years of owning websites.

I did look at a couple of websites that I use frequently http://www.marshmallowblends.co.uk and http://www.lovelysvintageemporium.com but the shop builders were too complicated for my little head!

I needed to go to moonfruit to renew my portfolio subscription anyway, and to my surprise, spotted that they now have automatic shop building templates!


So, in less than 2 hours, I had a shop up and running, able to accept payment for goods and a dozen items in it for sale!

No commission charges, just the standard hosting fee (minimal) and the usual PayPal fees.

Chuffed to bits with it, now just need to get products uploaded.

Only problem now is, I’m not keen on the name….

I want the name to reflect what the shop sells, but keep it short and snappy.

The items are ordinary household things, notebooks, post it notes, pencils, candles, matchboxes etc that have been pimped up to look pretty but still retain their original purpose.

Initial thoughts have been –

Pretty Functional
Pretty Functional Crafts
Sam’s Paperie

After that my brain goes to mush!

Love to hear your thoughts.

S x