Turning Green

I have always had a passion for environmentally friendly action, and have had a few items within my shop that would fall within this category, such as this red riding hood bunting, made on organic cotton.

019But I recently decided that I needed to make the whole shop as eco friendly as possible.  This means a lot of restructuring.  I have a lot of fabric that simply does not fall within the remits of eco friendly, so will be holding a fabric sale in the next week or so, to sell off the larger pieces of fabric.

My focus will, therefore, now be to create items from second hand/vintage fabrics, scraps or waste fabric, or organic or fairtrade fabric. Along with some innovative uses of wool.

I have recently also been creating artwork.  Needlefelting onto a wool blanket with ethically sourced merino wool.  This has been a wonderful creative outlet, on which I would like to expand.  This piece, was recently in an exhibition for eco friendly art, in Banks Mill Studios, Derby.  beepicture

I have been able to turn some of them into blank cards, which would suit a myriad of occasions.

sunset card4I have also been creating artwork, from the small bits of yarn left over from previous handspun projects.  This woven wall hanging was inspired by the layers of earth, and has been finished off with snowflake obsidian beads.     weaving3

I have also had access to fabric that would have been destined for the bin, from the retail industry.  Using these scraps, I have been able to create various bohemian style garlands, which have proven rather popular. raggybunting5The creative floodgates are now open, as I will be creating more one off pieces, and looking at fabrics in a completely different light.

Being eco friendly, does not, of course, stop with the products.  The packaging is just as important.  So my packaging is now recycled, or biodegradable.  But I want to go one step further.  I want to work towards being a zero waste business.  I am not sure exactly how close I will be able to get, as there are things like the plastic strips from the biodegradable polybags, that I will have to contend with, and the plastic spools from spent cotton reels, but if I can work imaginatively, hopefully it will be something I can ultimately achieve.

There will be some of the previous designs still available, whilst I use up the fabrics that are not in quantities that are sellable, but I am hoping, that within the next 6 months I will be have made the change over completely to being an eco-friendly business.  My products can all be found over at my Etsy shop, but also over at www.eco-create.co.uk , which is a wonderful gateway to products all with an eco-friendly quality.

Missing in action

Apologies for being absent for so long.  Things have been wonderfully busy at Aisling Designs, with custom orders keeping me busy for the last few months, but there have also been some technical issues with the Aisling Designs page, which are not fully resolved.

Whilst I am unable to post pictures at the moment, why not check out my Etsy shop ( https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AislingDezines ) to see what has been added recently.  You can also keep up with me over on my Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/AislingDesignz ), which is currently having a little giveaway (closing date tomorrow evening).

Thank you for your patience, and I hope to be showing off my new buntings to you very, very soon.

A new venture

A few months ago a group of artists who had go to know each other online decided to enter into a partnership and set up their own website.  I was fortunate to be asked to join them, and so we set about creating our own website, which would be another avenue to get our products into the big wide world.  Each of us has their own specialisms.  So we have a knitter, jewellry designer, a potter, needle felt artist, someone specialising in felt creations, another specialising in creating beautiful purses, a very talented tatting artist, and a photographer who puts their photos on items such as phone cases, cushions etc. And then there is me with my bunting too.

Between the nine of us, we have a wide variety of products, and plenty of ideas!  We can be found at  www.uniquelyuk.co.uk  Please come and check us out, we would love to see you there.

uniquely screenshot


Every cloud has a silver lining.

This is what I have been reminding myself these last couple of weeks.  About 10 days ago I hurt my little finger.  Just bent it the wrong way but gosh, did it hurt!  And it is still hurting.  I can’t crochet, as I use my little finger to create the tension in the yarn.  It tends to be hurting only when I put it under pressure, so I can still spin, and the yarn I have produced is so wonderfully soft and squishy (alpaca/merino three ply) and such subtle colour changes.  This is destined for a cushion cover for the guiild competition, but I think I will have enough fleece and fibre to make some more for sale.

My sewing machine is poorly at the moment, so all things sewing had been put on hold.  However, after a plea on facebook for a recommendation for somewhere that could do a sewing machine service, my aunt stepped in and gave me her machine that she no longer used.

Not only that but she gave me all of Grandma’s threads that she used.  Grandma was a very talented lady, and would often make gorgeous outfits for herself, as well as collages and sewn birthday cards, so I feel very honoured to have such things that were hers.  I just hope I can do them justice.

The final silver lining, after feeling that I was such a tiny fish in Etsy, and not being able to get any sales.  I was recommended to join a team, full of British sellers, and they are a wealth of knowledge for all things Etsy.  They support each other and help to promote each other.  I still don’t have any sales other than commissions from friends (which I’m not knocking in any way whatsoever, I LOVE doing commissions) but I don’t feel so alone doing what I do now.  And in the light of promoting others, here is the link for CraftBritannia’s shop of the week.

Decisions, decisions

Last year, for my daughters birthday I  made her a story bag.  A cloth bag filled with knitted characters from one of her favourite books, Chicken Licken.  It sparked and idea, and I decided to see if I could make some to sell, this time making the bag a little more professional looking (lined, and with a pocket for the book).  I made sure I sourced patterns that were able to made to be sold, and I had some success with these, and also great enjoyment in re-creating the characters from the books.

We had The three Billy Goats Gruff…

…Little Red Riding Hood…

…and The Three Little Pigs

But, it then came to my notice that these would be subject to safety regulations, and to remain legal they would have to be CE marked.  After the initial anger subsided that something as straightforward as a knitted toy should be regulated, I decided that I would look into what was required to obtain the CE mark.  A meeting yesterday with a lovely woman from trading standards has given me some hope, and has answered some of my questions.  But I still have to see if they would require each character to be tested, and if that is the case, this is definitely the end of Story Bags.

If they just need a sample to test I will have to create a story bag and characters for them to put through it’s paces and see what it takes to destroy them.

The simple play scene below, looks like it might be a rare sight, an even sadder sight is the knitted, but yet unsewn characters I made for a gingerbread man bag, they may never see small hands playing with them.

So, decisions to be made.  And trying not to get too emotional about it all!!

Feeling official

Look what arrived in the post yesterday.  My business cards from moo!  I really shouldn’t be this excited about business cards, but these are lovely.  Really nice quality, I have been able to personalise them with some of my own images, and the turn around was amazingly quick.

Even better, I have some codes which will give you some money off if you decide to get some business cards from moo too.  So if anyone is interested you can use this link http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.moo.com%2Fshare%2F9m85j9&h=gAQEGT16i and you will automatically get 10% off.