Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Seagulls have landed!

 Rose (John's Mum) has made a whole flock of seagulls like Cyril the seagull which she made for me for Christmas - aren't they fab? 
 I have given each one a name, all 6 can be found on my website here.  I am selling them on behalf of Rose - whenever each seagull gets rehomed the money will go straight to her.  I can't imagine they will be here for long so get your skates on if you want to own a seagull sculpture too.
They are quite tricky to photograph and capture their character, they are all the same, but each one is so different from the next - I just hope I have done them justice? - - - it was fun to do a photo shoot outside with such well behaved models - we even had a cheeky hanger-on who kept trying to join in ::
Quick Link ::
see the seagulls by clicking here

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A quiet Saturday

I LOVE working on Saturdays - It's quiet in the workshop today - no radio, no TV...all the doors and windows have been flung open and from time to time I can hear music from the park in the next street over(it's Armed Forces Day today) around lunchtime a Hurricane flew over and I got the best view from the roof garden.  John is spending his day in the garage - and I am finishing off all the jobs I didn't get a chance to do earlier on in the week.  The new drawing pins are on the website ::
 I made 10 new colourways AND did you spot I made my new two-tone die cut roses into drawing pins too? 
They work really well!...whilst I was finishing these off this morning (I was up at 5.30am making these - not because I'm short of time, just because I was wide awake!) I thought of another idea to try ... I'll keep you posted on that!
I've finished off last weeks accounts today- I run my week Monday - Sunday so one more day and I'll have another load to do....and then another VAT return will be due, it's definitely worth staying on top of it because it's so much quicker and easier that way.
I've just got to clear my inbox and gather together some new sewing projects and then I am finished for the day - hope you all have a great weekend - I'm hoping to get some serious sewing time tomorrow...we're also going to start clearing every single thing out of our bedroom so we can start on the decorating and I've a funny feeling it may take a while!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


When I watch Dragon's Den on TV I sometimes watch businesses pitching to the dragons who are similar in size to paper-and-string...they rarely, if ever, get investment.  Normally the Dragons’ class them as lifestyle businesses that can't grow big enough to warrant the Dragons being involved. 
paper-and-string is my lifestyle business - it allows me, John and Becky to do jobs we enjoy, and for that I feel very lucky indeed.
The Dragon's always focus on USP 's – and ask ‘what is your unique selling point’?  ‘What is so special about your business that someone else can't just copy it and make it successful too’?  And my answer is ‘me’ (and my team).

paper-and-string is me. 
Every single handmade item is designed and made by me. 
Every single kit is designed and sourced and put together by me, every single length of ribbon and every single button is a supply I would use in my day to day crafting. 
All the felt colours are dyed to colours I like to use, the quality and extra wool content is paramount because I use this felt and I only want the best.
All the fabrics are patterns I know will look good on products I make, in kits or for you to make something with.
All the supplies and tools are items I use every single day. 
All the packaging is designed by me (and then polished to perfection by my designer, who happens to also be my lovely sister)
And all the ideas are mine.

All the ideas come to life as I craft.  Because I do craft.  A lot.  And that means I have a lot of ideas.
So yes, Peter, Deborah, Duncan & Theo; people can, will and do copy my business. 
They can (and do) follow me like a shadow, they can (and do) introduce products that I sell just because I sell them.  They can (and do) undercut me by 5p here and there
BUT do you know what?  - They can't BE me.  They can't have my ideas before I do.  They can only follow and copy and try to imitate....they can lie and be dishonest and try to keep up...but paper-and-string (me, John and Becky – we’re a good team) will always be here, I’ll be doing what I love – and I’ll be doing it better than the followers because it comes from my heart, not from the greed. 
If you have read all of this blog post I thank you.  I hope you like my newest idea – die cut kits for you to make your own 3d flowers - the paper-and-string way.
 Please click here to see them on my website.
And that, ladies & gentlemen, will be another paper-and-string idea ;-)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

a wonderful wednesday

today has been fun! ...and it sped by at the speed of light too -
Rainbow Stacks have been made :: 
Boxes have been made ::
and the rooftop 'garden' outside my workshop window now looks even prettier with some Crazy Daisies that John bought for me this morning ::
and following on from yesterday's blog post: 12" squares were super popular today!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Since the super-dooper-fantastic news that my felt prices have dropped it's really interesting to see what felt is selling best....yesterday it was definitely mini rolls, and today it is definitely 12" felt packs...
... John has turned into a felt cutting machine and Becky has proven to be a felt-pack packer extraordinaire, I have had a panic that we may run out and added to my felt order *just in case* (the turn around for felt is huge...and I am now ordering for September/October sales), I wonder what we will be sending out tomorrow??
PS :: my buttons for the free buttons offer have nearly all gone - I will be disabling the code tomorrow morning, so be quick if you want some free buttons in your order :-)

Monday, June 24, 2013

my famous neighbour

My friend (& just-round-the-corner-neighbour) Ellie's Dolls made the front cover of this months Mollie Makes:
Aren't her Dolls amazing? - you must check out Tommy Tashmen too!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


 I'm trying to get a head start on some Christmas making. 
 I know it's only just the start of Summer but last year I had to stop selling handmade Christmas Decorations in October (I think-can't remember-Christmas was a fun filled /felt filledblur!) This year I want to keep them listed for sale for longer, if I can....last year they were mostly made to order, but this year I plan to have some in stock too.
Four Russian Dolls complete - I find it really hard to work out how many I should be making...has anyone got a Crystal Ball that will help me guess?

Friday, June 21, 2013

for serious button crafters

 All serious button crafters will know how it feels to have *the* perfect button for a craft project.  The perfect size, perfect shape AND the perfect colour.
Sometimes one perfect button is all you need - but sometimes you want to re-make the design and that means you need more perfect buttons.
 I re-make lots of my designs and use a lot of the same buttons over and over - which is why, way back in 2010, I started to dye my own buttons and soon after I started selling my dyed buttons too.
 In February this year I was VERY excited to launch two teeny tiny buttons collections .... both dyed (not by me this time!) to match all 45 colours of my felt --- and now I have BIG button news!
In my shop I have ::  NINE different styles of buttons ALL have been dyed to match my felt (in every single one of my 45 colours) AND they all AVAILABLE in my button pick n mix selection - so if you need 4 purple buttons, you can have 4 purple buttons - if you need 47 red buttons, guess what?  I have them too!
It is button heaven for all serious button crafters.
all dyed to match my felt buttons are here
all pick n mix buttons are here  (I do lots of different pick n mix buttons!)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Buttons In Boxes

Remember the other day when I had a MASSIVE button delivery?  And all the empty button trays I had to fill (27 of them)?  and remember how I said I'd tell you about them another day?
Well, today is the day!
These, my lovely blog readers,  are my new and fantastic Button Boxes :: 
 All of the buttons have been dyed to match my felt
 there are five colours in each box
 in 10 different button styles
 and every box has 150 buttons
and each box is only £5!
There are 9 colour collections and you can see them all by clicking here

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

early morning making

 I got up with the sunshine today and by 8am all these decorations (and flower brooch!) were finished...not sure I could get up that early every day, but once in a while it's OK - and it's a lovely time of day to sit in the peace and quiet and sew, sew, sew!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

packing the packs

I feel like I have done a million and one little jobs today but I now find myself sitting down at the computer to blog about them all - and they all seem a little un-blog worthy....apart from these packs that is:  tonnes of hand cut felt flowers (that I blogged yesterday) plus fab buttons equals lots of different flower colour combinations. 
Lovely :-)

Monday, June 17, 2013

weekend stitching

what a Monday - so many felt-y orders have been parcelled up today and it's good to see it's not just me that likes the new prices :-)
 Yesterday I finished some Owl embellishments, finished cutting out piles of flowers for my craft packs
 and watched some more Columbo whilst on the sewing machine !

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ginormous Important News

I have BIG came out of the blue and it's very exciting!!
It all happened yesterday ~ I'll try and tell how it happened nice and fast .....
Yesterday - a normal day.....I was picking & packing orders, cutting out sewing to sew, working through my new kits spreadsheet and working on last week's accounts.
I then got an email.
whipped out my calculator
double checked it all
emailed again to confirm
went to the pub with John to celebrate
Ta -dah!  and that's how it happened ~ a simple email from me to order more felt (via the spreadsheet of all knowledge), a simple email back telling me that I now order SO MUCH felt that I get a discount.
And the discount is good.
I have to maintain my order levels to maintain the discount, but I think I can do it! 
and this is where the news gets AMAZING!! 
look at what the discount means to my new prices, same special 40% wool felt, same glorious colours BUT at super-dooper-better than before prices!!
How great is that ?????
 Ginormous Important News delivered - I am going to start changing all my prices NOW.  (I think it may take a while!)
I'll pop a note here, with some links when they are all done - if you are itching to order some felt today WAIT - it'll be cheaper when I am finished :-)
If you have ordered felt and it hasn't been posted yet I will send you a refund before I post it.
If you only ordered felt the other day and are a bit peeved - I am sorry - I didn't know this was coming.
UPDATE (2:48pm 15/6/13)
all my felt prices in all my online shops have been changed - you can now shop at the new lower prices :-)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

NEW button-y goodness = free buttons for you!

I have button news.
New button products have arrived and been added to my shops - and very lovely they are too!
First let me show you these ::
 Becky and I *love* these - the buttons for these have been here a while and we have spent rather too long than is normal quite some time looking at them and making up the cards
 each button card is different - each has 10 buttons in a colour theme
 and all the buttons vary in size,
 and in design ::
 but they are all gorgeous accent buttons - proudly packaged on my new packaging cards - and we think they look super smart and offer great value for money at just £4 a card.
 Our other new buttons were delivered today :: new colour choices of our best selling button shapes, hearts; in pinks and reds, and flowers in lovely bright colours
I accidentally-on-purpose ordered waaay too many heart buttons so I could share them with you all!
all you have to do to get a 50g bag of *new* heart buttons is make a purchase from my website and enter the code ::
in the special box at checkout (you can't miss it)
and I will add the free buttons to your parcel.
order must come to £5 before p&p is added
I will send one pack per customer
I have a lot of packs and the offer will run until they have all gone
I will pop a note here when they have all been snapped up

quick links
new button cards are here
new flowers and hearts are here

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

decisions decisions

Ten different fabrics have been selected (no mean feat I can tell you...I started with about 30 on the table!) and after some uumming and aahhing they have been matched with co-ordinating felt - I've ironed and steamed and cut - next step is the sewing machine .... you may not see these fabrics sewn into something finished anytime soon because tomorrow I have deliveries coming and I.Can.Not.Wait to unpack them!!
Links ::
All these fabrics are stocked in my shop  -  and you can see them all here

Monday, June 10, 2013

up & coming with cupcakes

it's not all technical stuff round here these days - there's still a great big dollop of felt-y, button-y Cupcake-y goodness too!
That said, I did get a nice surprise whilst browsing Bloglovin this morning (addicted? me? well, maybe a little bit)::
If you hover over Top Blogs and drop down to DIY and crafts (my fav section, obviously!)  you'll see a great big list of top crafty bloggers - and there are so many new-to-me blogs to follow....BUT then, once you have finished with the Top Bloggers, you can click on Up & Coming and you'll only see this little bit of blog world at number 5 !!! what a lovely early morning surprise!
yippee - I'm officially Up & Coming (with Cupcakes)