Quick Stitch for Chinese New Year

2017 - Year of the Fire RoosterEvery January my Etsy Shop sees a surge in sales of my Chinese Zodiac Symbols as the Chinese New Year approaches.

New Year is the biggest Chinese holiday of the year, with celebrations lasting around two weeks!

Unlike the zodiac we are used to, having 12 signs within 12 months, the Chinese Zodiac has 12 signs that each last one full Chinese year. The date of the New Year also varies from year to year as the calendar is based on the cycles of both the sun and the moon – a lunisolar calendar.

So for 2017 the New Year starts on 28 January 2017 and ends on 15 February 2018. This year is the Year of the Rooster, and more specifically, the Year of the Fire Rooster (as every sign can be divided into one of the five elements used in Feng Shui – fire, water, earth, wood or metal). This means that the last Year of the Fire Rooster was 1957 and will not repeat again for another 60 years!

People born in 1957 or 2017 are extremely strong willed. They have many leadership qualities and have the ability to rise to the top of their profession. They can be shy but are also fun and exciting to be around.

In celebration of the Fire Rooster, all Year of the Rooster purchases from my Etsy Shop will automatically include the 2017 Year of the Fire Rooster bonus chart. And it’s only £1.99 (+VAT if applicable).

And if you want to stitch all 12 Chinese Zodiac symbols then you can find them in a special 12 for 10 pack in my Etsy shop too.

My Favourite Stitches from 2016

I love designing cross stitch charts for my customers and I love it even more when I receive a photo of their completed creation. So, here are just four of my favourite photos I received during 2016…


Most are from my personalized Name Sampler & Wedding Sampler range with the ‘Nerdy’ Chemical Element stitch available to buy & download straight from my Etsy Shop along with lots of other quirky stitches.

I’m looking forward to designing even more cross stitch charts in 2017 and even have a new name sampler design in the pipeline – the first for a couple of years as other events have taken my attention!

Wishing you a wonderful New Year and see you on the other side…

H x

New Additions to the Periodic Table

Back in June 2016 the  International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) announced the proposal of four new chemical elements on the periodic table:

  • Nihonium and symbol Nh, for the element 113,
  • Moscovium and symbol Mc, for the element 115,
  • Tennessine and symbol Ts, for the element 117, and
  • Oganesson and symbol Og, for the element 118.

These are currently under consultation with ratification due in November 2016.

So, it was also time for me to update my popular Periodic Table of Elements chart on Etsy.

As you can see below, the chart is now fully up to date with the new symbols and the 2016 version is now available in my Etsy Shop.


Many customers buy the chart and use it to make up their own words for smaller projects instead of stitching the entire thing – a whopping 450 x 240 stitches – and the new element names help a little with this. Moscovium would be useful for ‘Mc’ names and Tennessine gives you a ‘Ts’ to finish words such as RaTs and FArTs…

I hope you enjoy this new addition to the shop and there are more to come shortly.

H x

How to make your own fabric labels for craft projects

I love sharing ways of keeping your costs down when selling handmade goods, but it is still important to make your items look professional and give your own personal brand a unified look and feel.  So, when I decided to start selling some crochet items recently, I decided to create my own labels and share both the process and the result.

Woven labelsBut first, a bit of history… Back in the day when I made lots of bespoke cross stitch bunting, I stumped up for some woven labels to sew into the back of the bunting that included my company name and website.  These worked really well but were quite expensive (around 50p each) and couldn’t match my font or exact colours.  They did their job and I was happy enough, but once I stopped stitching bunting (too time consuming for the return), I was also left with a bunch of them!

Fast forward to 2014 and I now concentrate on selling cross stitch kits and charts via my website and Etsy shop and it forms a large part of my income so definitely not a hobby anymore.  

I still love making things and crochet is something I really enjoy at the moment and I want it to remain a hobby.  However, there are only so many kindle cases I can have so I’ve decided to sell some on Etsy (just to let me buy more wool really!). So, I am setting up a shop and wanted some labels I could attach to my products and decided to make them myself.

My Bespoke StampLuckily I came across a fantastic company called The English Stamp Company and they created a bespoke stamp for me – it only took a day and I was really thrilled with the result.  It cost £19 and I also bought some Versacraft ink from them which is suitable for fabric and lots of other surfaces (total cost £25).  I attached the stamp to a small acrylic block I bought from ebay for £5 and bought a 20m roll of ribbon for £6 also from ebay.

To make my labels I simply stamp along the ribbon leaving enough room for cutting with pinking shears and folding over the edges and will get approximately 265 out of this roll (cost approx 14p each).  This cost reduces the more I make because I never have to replace my stamp.  It’s also great because my font matches across all of my invoices, shop and labels too.  

Label stitched in placeJust remember to iron all of the labels before attaching them to your product as this makes the ink colourfast.  I do it while they are still on the roll as it makes it easier.  I then cut and fold the edges under before attaching them to my products by hand.  Here’s the finished label attached to one of my kindle cases.  

So, now that I have my brand sorted, I just have to get on with making lots of covers for different tech to fill my shop!  Wish me luck…

H x



Love my Chemistry!

Having an Etsy shop is allowing me to add charts that I would never dreamed of having on my website along with my very prim & proper name samplers!  I have this past few weeks been adding some Chemical Element charts that spell out words and with 5 uploaded already, I am looking forward to creating more.


Not only do I get to figure out more words as I go, but I am also revisiting my happy days at school and university studying geology (yes, a bit sad I know, but I am most definitely a nerd and very proud of it!).

So, if you fancy stitching any of these, pop over to my Etsy Shop’s Chemical Element section and have a browse – and if you think of any wonderful words that I could add that would be great too…

Until next time, happy stitching folks!

H x