Scatterbox Originals on Etsy

Friday, 18 December 2009

Christmastime is here, by golly...

Well it is that time for me to start winding down my Etsying for the year. Soon, I'm going to be closing up the Etsy shops for the duration of 2009 and taking some time out to be with family, eat some good square meals, watch bad Christmas TV programs, and generally re-charge my batteries. I'm going to need this re-charge, since I have some things planned for 2010 that are going to require some attention. One thing for Scatterbox Originals isn't set in stone yet but is shaping up to be an exciting, quite different project for me...
Oooh mysterious! I won't say too much just yet, but watch this space.

Now since I'm having to put my Etsy shops into vacation mode, going to my main shop page, you won't be able to browse the things that will be coming out of hibernation in 2010. are some images of what should be on offer again soon. If you click on the images, you should be taken to the super secret 'on vacation' page for that item - whilst in this mode, items are not 'cartable' but they are still 'heartable'!

Merry Christmas, folks!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Return of the prodigal products

Today, the nice postman brought me a parcel filled with my Scatterbox Originals items, kindly returned to me from Newcastle by Cassandra Harrison. I will be photographing the items where necessary and then there will be a shop update later in the day. :-)

Lots to I will leave you with thanks to everyone who had kind things to say during the recent dramas, a picture of a new character and a lovely calming blue sea...

Friday, 2 October 2009

On The Art Works Galleries, integrity and the rule of three

You know how they say bad things happen in threes? I'm starting to believe this.

Two weeks ago, as anyone who reads my other blog, Treacle Toffee, will know, I was the victim of fraud on my business account. Drama Number One. 6 days after that happened, when I was starting to recover from the shock and anxiety, I received an email from a gallery that had been stocking my Scatterbox Originals items. The Art Works Galleries in Newcastle had closed for business - with absolutely no notice. Drama Number Two begins.

In the email I was instructed to collect my property on one of three days the following week, within a specific time frame. As I live some 400 miles away from the gallery, I was forced to fork out £12.99 for a parcel force collection, which I hurriedly arranged online. No problem says the gallery, your stuff will be ready for them to collect. The day of collection came and went, I checked the online tracking facility..."FAILED COLLECTION: NOTHING TO COLLECT". Now, my past difficulties dealing with parcel force aside, I'd like to believe they did everything in their power to collect my parcel. Sadly they were unable to do so...I may never know why.

So, with one day left in the gallery's given timetable of collection days, I was forced to ask a very big favour of someone I don't really know.

This summer I had a holiday with my parents in Northumberland, and while we were there visiting the lovely Alnwick gardens, I happened to meet Cassandra Harrison of Gee How Quaint. Cassandra had a stall selling her gocco art and fabric creations and I briefly chatted with her about craft, gocco and Etsy. I walked away feeling guilty that I couldn't afford to buy anything from this nice lady but clutching a business card in hand. How glad I am that I took that business card, for not only have I discovered a very talented artist - I've also had a vital contact in the North East throughout the awfulness of the gallery closing. Cassandra Harrison, for all you have done to help not only me but several other artists who are victims of are a heroine. Check out her work on

Last week, in the midst of working extra hours in my day job as well as trying to get a response from the Art Works Galleries regarding my property and the money they have owed me for several months, my parents were here visiting. I'm thankful that I had them here during such a difficult week, though our time together was limited by Drama Number Three. On Tuesday, Dad went into the local A&E unit with chest pains uncannily like those he had before his pulmonary embolism last year. For 24 hours I was left to wonder what else could go wrong.

Fortunately it was a false alarm. Dad has, as far as we can tell, a clean bill of health, though the initial tests had appeared to show otherwise. Likewise my bank account has at last been credited with the money that was stolen from me, just in time to cover my bills.

Back to the gallery debacle...

Cassandra Harrison very kindly agreed to go to the gallery on my behalf last Saturday, and collect my property at the same time as her own. On arrival she was met with a locked door and a baffled man appointed to open the gallery...but unable to do so, because the locks had been changed, apparently overnight. Curiouser and curiouser.

After much anxious emailing, attempted phonecalls, more emailing and a great deal of reconnaissance work on Cassandra's part...we've managed to piece together the situation. The gallery has been shut down by bailiffs and all the work inside, created with love and care by people who are innocent in all of this, has been seized and taken to an auction house. Each of us have to individually make it known to the bailiffs what property is ours, send proof that we are the rightful owners and that the goods can't be sold as the gallery's assets.

If you are one of the affected artists, phone 0191 477 2080 or email with your contract or drop off forms.

Today, I'm anxiously waiting to hear the latest news on my work. I haven't been able to make a thing all week from the worry and the constant chasing-up of each development. Will I get my property back? Will I ever see the money the gallery owes me? Time will tell - I'll post an update when I know more.

You can find more information on the situation with the Art Works Galleries and Matt Forster at the website for the Journal here as well as this site and Cassandra's blog here

Cassandra was able to collect my products from the auctioneers - hooray! Once I have everything back, the Etsy shop will get an update.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Vote Squirrel!

I am pleased to announce that my Squirrel Away pouch has been selected for this week's Etsy Vote. Check out the Etsy voter tool here

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Acorn, Yaycorn

I've been making packaging today, for the new acorn badges / pins. Is it sad that I laughed at my little 'yaycorn' joke?

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Squirrel Away!

Squirrel Away! Wristlet / zip-up pouch. Now available in the shop, limited edition of only 4! If these go well, I'm working out some possible non-limited edition versions made with a screenprinted design of Mr Squirrel.

Coming soon will be little acorn badges / pins featuring the same acorn Mr Squirrel is clutching so dearly here. :-)

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Coming soon

Monday, 6 July 2009

Choo choo...

Having recently made the train journey north to visit family and friends (and then south again) I was reminded of this video I took on my camera around Christmastime 2007.

I think this is the view on the Teignmouth stretch of the Devon coastline (It's hard to keep track of where you are exactly on an 8 hour journey) Recently it was far less dramatic a view than as seen in this video!

I find it quite hypnotic looking out of train windows, seeing the world rush by as I sit idly chewing on my packed lunch. On this particular occasion of Train View Hypnosis, I thought of some new ideas and some new versions of old ideas...I'll try to share them here soon. :-)

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Away awhile again

Hello folks,
This is just a short post to say that I've temporarily closed my Etsy shops for a family holiday - a bit of sight-seeing and a bit of friend-seeing.
Both my Etsy shops will be back up and running in very early July. If you'd like to know exactly when the shop is live again, just visit my shop homepage here and choose the option to be notified. (Etsy will send you an email automatically. Clever, eh?)

Happy rest-of-June!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Would you like lines with that?

Springing up into the shop over the next few days...

...writing sets with lines!

I'm trying this out with a few of my designs, to see how they go. Some people like their writing paper blank, but I've always been one of those people who cannot keep their writing straight without a little guidance. (Maybe it's to do with being dyslexic?) I think I'll keep both lined and unlined sets as options. I'm also always open to folks asking to mix and match lined and unlined, or one design with another. Writing sets a la carte!

The new sets also have the labels I mentioned in my earlier post (below the ramblings about my allergies which, by the way, seem to slowly be improving but the sinus pain persists!)

The weather here has been gloriously sunny lately, which is wonderful, if a little sleepy-siesta-inducing. My mojo seems to be coming back though, leading me to wonder if I am in fact solar very green!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Degrees of awayness

Is 'awayness' a word? I think it should be...


I'm back from my holiday, with my age bumped up by one year. I had a nice week in Devon, despite pretty dull weather. I went to a very good zoo saw The Boat That Rocked...went on a real boat to visit Agatha Christie's old summer home (and on that boat met the sweetest quietest doggie...)

I'm very much Here again, but the Etsy shops haven't sprung back into life with quite as much of a flourish as I'd hoped. Why, I hear you ask?

For all my life as long as I can remember, I've had certain symptoms. Dry, prickly eyes...poor sense of smell...headaches that tend to focus on my forehead...feeling poorly if I go out for a walk near plantlife or come into contact with someone wearing a lot of perfume...or do any dusting...atchoooooo!

I've also had a lifetime of people telling me how tired I look (gee, thanks!) or that I might be dehydrated because I have dark circles around my eyes. I only recently discovered that this is a classic sign that goes hand in hand with all the aforementioned problems.

I finally went to see my doctor, shortly before going away, and asked the inevitable question. Might I have allergies? Well, it isn't conclusive whether it's true allergies or just something an awful lot like them, but it does seem to be some kind of perennial rhinitis (fancy term for year round nose problems) which could be worsened lately by what is probably hayfever.

Antihistamines, sadly, have not helped (one kind have no effect, the other send me very rapidly into the land of nod, to dream about pink rhinos asking me if I've had my hair cut recently) but kind Mr Doctor has given me some steroid spray. So far, this seems to help with some symptoms but makes others (such as the sinus pain) a little bit worse. I have been told to persist for at least a month, so persisting I am, aided with painkillers when necessary.

Waking up feeling like you've been walloped in the face with a plank of wood is not nice - sinus pain is a common problem, so I'm sure many of you can empathise with the bruised, tender feeling around your eyes like goggles of pain.

Much as I dislike making excuses, this is the reason for my slow start on a long list of things to make and do. Things that are now near to being crossed off the list (or rather have a big red tick put next to them, which is what I like to do) are...

Writing sets. I've been working on some new and improved versions of these - now with lines for keeping your writing straight and I'm trying out swapping the 12 little round stickers for 6 rectangular ones to use as address labels on the envelopes. They've got scalloped frames and lines in various colours to coordinate with the writing paper in each set...I think they're rather cute.

So... I am here, and progress is being made, and I hope the new Scatterbox Originals products will be well received soon. :-)

Friday, 1 May 2009

Away away


At the time of writing, my Etsy shop is about to close down for a short while, as I'm going to spend some quality time with my folks. I'm going to be without internet access while I'm away but I'll respond to any messages when I get back and the shop will be up and running as normal from May 9th with these goodies:

And shortly to be followed by more things (!!!!) such as new writing sets for your correspondence enjoyment.


Tuesday, 24 March 2009

You make me feel like Spring has sprung...

What makes me feel like Spring has sprung?


Nicely turned out scones...

Pear-y nice new gocco-ings!

Those were a challenge - getting the colour right, the position on the card just so, the ink evenly distributed...getting that balance between being too speckled and splotched and having that uniqueness that you only get with printmaking.

I tried two different types of card - a smooth one (pictured here) and a textured one - and I like them both in their own ways. They're going up in the shop soon in sets of 6, with the dinky little brown envelopes shown in the last post. :-)

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Tutti fruitti

Last week, I got myself a bunch of daffodils that blossomed within a few hours. This week, I have scarcely needed the heater on at home. Today, I changed my winter coat for my body warmer. It's official, Spring is on the way!

I had intended to take a photo of the aforementioned daffodils, but I didn't get around to buying a vase before they wilted. They were in an old empty bubble bath bottle, which while being exactly the right size, was not exactly pretty enough for a blog photo, I felt. I'm on the hunt for a nice vase now...recycled glass methinks.

So in lieu of a fresh springy photo of my daffodils I thought I'd share with you what I've been working on this week:

The plan is to make some lovely gocco-ed notecards with various designs, starting off with apples and pears as a two-design set. I thought fruit would be a nice colourful thing for notecards. This is a rough idea of the colour I'm going for - how they turn out will depend on what the ink is like. I'm thinking of mixing up a sort of pale yellowish green, nice and zingy. The apples are either going to be red with green leaves/stems or green all over like the pears...or a mixture.

They're going to be very itsy bitsy - 7cm by 10cm when folded in half. I have been busying myself with cutting out the card ready:

It's lovely recycled card from a company in the UK, to go with my itsy bitsy recycled paper envelopes. I'm deciding on whether to go with the white envelopes for these or the brown 'craft' colour...hmmm.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Plans and schemes

You may have guessed from the clues in the previous post that my new product line for the shop is Gocco printed Moleskine notebooks. I have a few designs in mind, including one featuring Queen Felicity, but my printer only came with supplies for making one design. It was a tough choice but in the end I went with the El Bandido design I used for the fabric covered book I made last year.

Getting used to the Gocco took a little time. I did several test prints before taking the plunge with my supply of lovely notebooks, but because of the weight of the books, they react to the pressure of the Gocco differently. The first few notebooks have small flaws in the prints - splotches of ink, uncrisp lines etc:

See that blob of ink on the right of El Bandido's body? I'm such a perfectionist, I can't bring myself to sell these slightly flawed books at full price, but they're still good to use and I think I've found out what I was doing wrong - later prints have come out much better so I'm offering up my first 'oops' notebooks at a lower price. Why not mosey on down to the shop and snap one up?

Later, I'll be listing the books with clearer prints like these:
They still each have their own little quirks - that's the appeal of printmaking - but the lines are generally crisper.

These are some of the cameo animal themed designs I have in mind...
Please vote for your favourite in my poll on the right and help me decide which to work on next when I get more printing supplies. The bear and rabbit are both going to be black line with red details. I might make Queen Felicity's crown a golden yellow too :-)

Friday, 30 January 2009


Some hints, big and small, regarding the New Things which I hope to list in the shop in the really rather near future :-)

Monday, 26 January 2009

Lost Time

El Bandido has been at it again, stealing time away from under my nose! Blogging and crafting have both been suspended for some time...first because I was away for Christmas, then because I had some overtime in my day job, then it was the dreaded Tax Return of Doom, then I had to compile information on my self employment for the local council (which managed to take up nearly two whole weeks and was a more mammoth task than the tax return!)

Finally able to get back to crafting after over a month of scarcely even scribbling an idea down with a pencil, I found myself with Crafter's Block for a couple of days. I'd get out my fabric and stare at it with a sense of dread. I'd get a pencil and paper and my drawings were so wobbly I almost lost hope that I'd ever get back in gear. After so long away from creating, I was really nervous about going back to it but fear not, I am regaining my crafty mojo and I have some new things up my sleeve...

I don't want to say too much just yet lest I jinx it...suffice it to say, I am getting close to starting on some things I've wanted to make for some time. There are, as is often the case, certain supplies to be gathered first and a little research to be done.

In the meantime, in preparation, I'm doing a lot of drawing. Here's a sneaky look at a new character I'm developing. Her name is Felicity: