Saturday, 24 December 2011

DIY Christmas Gift Labels

This is a quick and easy DIY tutorial for home made last-minute Christmas gift labels - a great way to avoid chaos on Christmas morning! I needed a way to label my presents but didn't have time to go out shopping for gift I came up with this simple and fun idea.

You will need:

- Pens (ideally ones which won't bleed)
- A sheet or two of blank sticky address labels

- Festive rubber stamps of your choice (or carve your own from an eraser/potato!)
- Scrap paper for blotting (ideally not newspaper)

- Ink pads or paint (ideally in festive colours)

...and last but not least:
- Some wrapped-up Christmas gifts!

It's really very simple, take a sheet of sticky address labels, choose the stamp you want to use, ink it up in your choice of colour (or you could use paint instead) and press onto one of the labels.

I found the easiest way to do it was stamp your chosen design (whilst still on the sheet), then blot off any excess ink with the scrap paper. Allow it to dry, then write your tag and stick to the relevant gift!

Repeat for however many gifts you have - et voilà. They are ready to go under the Christmas tree. :)

Merry Christmas & a very happy new year to all my readers!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Last Chance Saloon

If you're wondering why things have gone a little quiet on the blog lately, well, it's because I'm ever-so-slightly snowed under! Not the weather particularly, more a case of lots of orders, commissions and unfortunately a sore throat too into the mix.

Anyway, on a brighter note, I finally got my Christmas tree up last night, hurrah!

I just thought I would do a little update, to highlight the fact that if you're based in the UK and looking for some of my WildCat Designs or WildKittens goodies in time for Christmas, you're in luck - my last order date is this Saturday, 17th December.

If you live outside the UK, I'm afraid that I now cannot promise that your order will arrive in time for Christmas, but I am still accepting orders at the moment if you are willing to chance it, or just want to treat yourself! ;)

* Custom Orders * - I am somewhat inundated with Christmas commissions so I am currently not taking on any new custom work until after the festive period.


Find my WildCat Designs handmade woolly wonders on Etsy, Folksy (£),
DaWanda (€) & Bigcartel (£).

See also my WildKittens knits for babies & kids!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Christmas Post

I think the time has come for me to announce my last order dates for Christmas 2011, now that we are well into November and there's a chill in the air!

snowy post box

UK orders: Saturday 17th December

Orders for Western Europe: Saturday 10th December

Orders for Canada, USA & Eastern Europe: Wednesday 7th December

Orders for Japan, Oz, NZ & everywhere else: Saturday 3rd December


Note: if you are interested in a custom order, please get in touch as soon as possible, preferably before Monday 21st November, to allow enough time for the item to be made and sent in time for the last posting dates. (My current lead time on commissions is 1-2 weeks.)

Custom WildCat Designs handmade stripy felted Merino lambswool scarves.


Find my WildCat Designs handmade knitted goodies on Etsy, Folksy(£), DaWanda(€) & Bigcartel(£). See also my WildKittens knits for babies & kids!

Monday, 7 November 2011

We want Wool!

This is the perfect time to get back into knitting, it really does feel wintery today. Mind you, it's not as if I actually have a time of year when I'm not knitting, if I'm being honest!

Anyway, some of you may remember that earlier in the year, I donated to the Red Cross for every Space Invader sale I made in March and April to the Japan Tsumami Appeal. Almost 8 months later, many people are still trying to piece their lives back together after the 8.9 magnitude quake and resulting tsunami.

One aid project which I think is particularly wonderful is run by Imperfect Planet, and they've been asking folks to donate yarn so that they could host a wool craft party for people in Japan who have been affected by the tsunami and ensuing aftermath. It's so great that someone has thought of helping by enabling a little bit of craft.

They are still hoping for more wool donations, ideally to arrive in Japan before 15th November 2011. Details of where to send yarn to in this post.

If you fancy "crafting for a cause," there are a couple of other noteworthy projects underway:

The annual call for little knitted hats to adorn Innocent smoothies is also known as the Big Knit. Money raised this year goes to Age UK. Get in volved and download/print your Big Knit Kit here.

Now for what is possibly the cutest charity knitting project I have ever heard of...! Handmade jumpers for little New Zealand penguins affected by the recent oil spill.

Image via Mother Nature Network

They have apparently had such an overwhelming response that they now have a surplus of pingu tops! Check out the Skeinz blog here for more cuteness and updates.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

We have a Winner!

...aaand we have a winner!

The lucky recipient of the WildCat Designs scarf is Kristen, commenter #54:

"My favorite is the Skinny Felted Merino Lambswool Scarf in Teal and Chocolate."

Kristen, please get in touch with your contact details to I can arrange to send out your prize!

I just want to say a massive thanks to everyone who entered and thank you for all the lovely comments :)

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Comfort Food

Now, I don't normally blog about food - unless it's cake, because frankly, I think cake is good for the soul (mainly because it makes you happy!) - but I wanted to share this recipe I came across.

Two reasons: 1. It looks *deee-licious* and 2. much like cosy knits, it's perfect for autumn (or winter for that matter!), when you're craving a little comfort food. I also really love Moroccan food and dream of visiting there someday.

The recipe is for Moroccan Meatballs and the accompanying sauce - found on the Cupcake Junky blog.

Images via Cupcake Junky


Friday, 7 October 2011

Win a WildCat Designs scarf!

That's right - it's giveaway time! :D

I'm celebrating passing the 500 follower mark on Twitter by offering the chance to *win* yourself a gorgeous handmade WildCat Designs scarf. (If you want to follow my witterings on twitter too, find me here: @wildcatdesigns or click the 'follow me on twitter' button on my blog sidebar at the right!)

To get your mitts on this twitter-y teal blue and white striped scarf, made from beautifully soft felted Merino lambswool (perfect for keeping cosy now that autumn has started to set in), all you need to do is comment on this post and tell me your favourite WildCat Designs creation - see here!

One winner will be chosen at random, competiton closes at midnight (GMT) on Friday 28th October 2011. [EDIT: This competition has now closed.]

This prize draw is open to all, I'm happy to post it internationally! (Note that your comments will not be published instantly, as they are moderated, so please be patient.)

Monday, 3 October 2011

Gorgeous Knits

Crafting 365 Day 260: cabled

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend, dear readers. I have to say that I take particular delight around this time of year when the weather starts to turn as it means one of my favourite seasons is almost underway! I adore the beautiful autumnal colours, crisp leaves underfoot and curling up with new knitting projects (of course!). Above you can see a cable design I have recently brought out of hibernation :)
Here are some other lovely things which I think are perfect for staying cosy during autumn.

snowflake mittens

Found on the Fall Fingerless Mitts blog.

This gorgeous leafy hat pattern looks fab knitted up using variegated yarns - it's available from Ruth Sørensen's website and also ravelry.

I love this adorable (and cosy!) *hexapuff* Beekeeper's quilt 

- it looks like such a fun pattern to work on.

[Edit - coincidentally, this is National Knitting Week this week here in the UK! Happy knitting!]

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Abstract Inspiration

Inspired by my friend and talented artist, Beatie, of Fox Design, I curated this list of abstract loveliness.

I hope you like it. My blog may be a little quieter than usual in the next little while as the "knitwear season" has begun, meaning I'll likely be up to the eyeballs in wool! It could be worse I suppose ;)

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Join the (Ox)jamboree!

Come join in the fun at the Edinburgh Oxjamboree - an Arts Market, Oxfam style! It's happening on Saturday 17th September from 10am - 4pm at the church on the corner of Pilrig Street & Leith Walk (map here).


The Oxjamboree will feature a range of stalls from lovely vintage finds to indie designs, crafts and jewellery. Don't miss the raffle, music and parlour games! You'll also be able to grab a cuppa and home-baked cake.

I'll be there too, along with handmade goodies from both my WildKittens and WildCat Designs ranges - do pop in and say hello! It's only 50p entry :)

The facebook event page is right here.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Happy Wool Week!

Did you know it's Wool Week this week?

Frankly, anything involving celebrating the wondrous qualities of wool is fine by me!

One of the highlights of Wool Week is an exhibition called "Wool Modern" featuring work by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Christian Lacroix, Sonia Rykiel and Julien Macdonald. It is part of the Campaign for Wool and will be held from 8th - 29th September at La Galleria in London. The aim of the show is to challenge people's perceptions of wool, a fibre which in my opinion really is somewhat underrated.

    Some things you might not know about wool:

  • it's antibacterial
  • when used as clothing or bedding, wool helps to regulate body temperature
  • it can absorb moisture and sound
  • it makes a good insulator
  • it's completely biodegradable and is a sustainable, natural product.
  • it is easy to dye (yay!)
  • it's also a relatively elastic fibre, meaning woolly things keep their shape better and for longer.

Love Wool UK is the crafty side of the Wool Week shenanigans - find out how you can get your craft on right here. (I intend to do a little bit of pub knitting myself this week!)

Wool Week 2011 runs from 5th-11th September in the UK.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Classic Cola Craftsmanship

C for Cola
Images via Creative Review

Cola and craftsmanship...those are not two words you'd perhaps ordinarily expect strung together, but then again, I have personally always viewed the curves of a traditional glass Coke bottle as a true design classic.

cola design drawing
I recently read about the making of an old-school Coca-Cola sign back in 1954, intended for display in London. The details of the design and construction of their first neon sign for the city's Piccadily Circus are described and recorded in a book which was featured in a recent installation at the Design Museum, celebrating the company's design identity and 125th anniversary.

planning the design
There can be no doubt about the craftsmanship which has gone into the making of it when you see the design drawings.

spraypainting the sign
I also believe that there are some really nice elements of graphic design and typography at play here too.

See the Creative Review article here for the full story.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Why Handmade?

Why do people buy handmade? There are so many reasons, really.

Why I buy Handmade: because it has so much more meaning than buying something mass-produced and because as a designer/maker myself, I value the skills, time, work, thought and energy which has gone into making something by hand.

ceramics from DaWanda
Image via DaWanda

I love the uniqueness of something which has been crafted with care by someone creative. The fact that every object (and for that matter, maker or designer) has a rich story behind it, something that gives pieces 'life,' as it were. I enjoy finding out what inspired the person who made a particular handmade piece.

Roly-poly scarves
Something else I delight in is going to local markets and independent shops to see beautiful things made by passionate people living in my own city (or further afield!) and forging a connection with them, their creative process and their creations.

This post was sparked off by the UK Handmade "Buy Handmade" Campaign in support of Designer Makers. I'd love to know: what are your reasons for buying handmade?

Friday, 8 July 2011

Magpie July

Magpie goodie bag
Coming very soon... another crafty extravaganza, brought to you by Magpie!

Magpie Market July Flyer
This will be the second Magpie Market held upstairs at The Hub on Castlehill, and if the last one was anything to go by, it'll be fab - featuring vintage clothing, handmade goodies and naturally there will be cake too!

Swirly Magpie Cupcake
I'll also be showing off my WildCat Designs & WildKittens wares, if you want to see 'em in person, this your opportunity! I plan to showcase a few new designs, so this is a rare chance for a little sneak peek :)

Crafting 365 Day 275

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


Just for fun, because it's my birthday today, and I happen to adore Miffy...


Thursday, 30 June 2011

Handmade Birthday

It's my birthday next week, so I decided to make an etsy treasury wishlist :)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Creature Comforts

lt & dark blue slumber pouffe
I just came across these wonderfully squishy-looking comfy things of loveliness via Deirdre Nelson's twitter feed. Don't they look deliciously soft?

rust slumber pouffe

brown slumber pouffe

cream & lt blue slumber pouffe
The pouffe is called Slumber (appropriate, no?), designed by Aleksandra Gaca and it's available from Casalis.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Show us yer Knitting!

It's Worldwide Knitting in Public Day! Not forgetting International Yarn Bombing Day too. (I don't think this is a coincidence somehow...!)

My suggestion is to get together with friends and kill two birds with one stone - make some knitted graffiti and decorate your local neighbourhood!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

...for those about to CRAFT...

...we salute you! :D

etsy craft party
Yup, it's that time of year again - time to get your *crafty* on! I am getting pretty excited about the Edinburgh Etsy Craft Party, I can tell you. (see the facebook event page for more info) I'm very much looking forward to crafting en plein air in the Meadows on Friday 10th June - here's hoping the weather is as lovely and sunny as it is today for the picnic party! Hope to see a few familliar faces and make some new crafty friends on the day too.

There's even a fun, downloadable party kit from etsy to get you started if you're looking for ideas. Find out if there's an event in your town here.

*Edit: I should add that you don't have to be an etsy member to come along - it's totally free on the day and all are welcome :)

Friday, 27 May 2011

May is Craft & Design Month!

Yep, that's right. It's Craft and Design Month during May here in the UK. I know I'm a little late, but there are still a whole load of events happening, check out their events page for more details about what's going on near you.

Some highlights...

- A Passion for Glass at the National Museums Scotland, which opened on Friday and runs until September this year.

- Craft Festival Scotland 2011, which also takes place during the month of May

- Support UK Handmade's national Buy Handmade Campaign!

- Jupiter Artland on the outskirts of Edinburgh, which has just re-opened, and features sculptural works by Ian Hamilton Finlay and Andy Goldsworthy.

- The Borders Textile Towerhouse in Hawick is also worth a visit with its textile treasures and currently has an exhibition entitled "The Women who wore Pringle"!

- Colour - Quilts - Collage: an exhibition featuring the work of award-winning quilt artist Frieda Oxenham at the Tweeddale Museum and Gallery in Peebles.

- and last but most certainly not least, don't forget to check out the work of up-and-coming young creatives at the art college degree shows, such as Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

I'm definitely not a religious person. If I did have to choose a religion, I believe it would have to be music. It really does make life worth living (for me at least). Continuing with that metaphor, this song would have to be one of my hymns. It's a truly beautiful piece of music which has really resonated with me recently.

I also love the music video, a stunning animation which fits the song so well. It has a wonderfully organic feeling to it.

Enjoy! Have a great rest-of-weekend :)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Mayday! Mayday!

Mayday! Mayday! Get a cheeky 10% discount in my etsy shop today with coupon code "MAYDAY11" ;)

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Documenting Knitted Graffiti

Yep, you read that right. Knitted graffiti, also known as yarn-bombing is (hopefully) getting its very own documentary! I wanted to share this because I think it's about time this most colourful and tactile form of urban art got a little bit of recognition :)

Find out more about the Yarn Graffiti Documentary project here.

Monday, 18 April 2011

The Silken Thread

I was recently inspired by this gorgeous cashmere & silk yarn created by the lovely Snowberrylime to collate an etsy treasury along a similar theme, entitled "The Silken Thread" - I hope you like :)

The interactive thingy above was created using CraftCult's Etsy Treasury Widget. Yay!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Make Some Noise...

...for the Beastie Boys! :D

beastie boys textile art
I'm excited to say that a piece of Textile Art I created some time ago has recently been featured on the Indie Fixx blog - a guest post by the lovely Michelle of Craftsville (and several other crafty ventures!) on UK stitchery! Read the article here.

textile art1
The work was inspired by the Beastie Boys album artwork for "To the 5 Boroughs" - if you're not familliar with it, it features a line drawing of the New York city skyline - an illustration by Matteo Pericoli.

Twin Towers
to the 5 boroughs
Have a lovely weekend, dear readers! I'm going to enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

Sunday, 3 April 2011


Day Seven: Embellish the story.

I can't believe it's the last day of Knitting & Crochet Blog Week again, already! This week has really flown by but it's been a lot of fun and I've very much enjoyed reading the blogs of other crafters taking part too.

Most folks are covering "your knitting and crochet time" today, but as I did a post last year which I feel would be a bit too similar, I have gone for the wildcard topic which will hopefully make for a more interesting read!

I'll be honest here, I don't really do huge amounts of embellishment on my knits as I like them to have fairly clean, classic lines. An obvious example is these shell buttons which finished off a pair of shoes neatly:

Crafting 365 Day 214

There have been, however, have a few memorable occasions where I have had a bit of a play around with some ideas!

When I was working on pieces for my degree show, I experimented with knitting on huge needles and creating my own yarns from strips of fabric sewn together - I decided to make the stitched joins a feature, using zig-zagging contrasting thread:

lace handmade yarn scarf

Around the same time, I also tried various ways of embedding fibres into knitted woollen fabrics, using needlepunch and hand felting techniques:



...and finally: you'll probably think me a little bit nutty for including this, but I'm going to incorporate it anyway for the fun factor!

Comic Relief Knickers

In case you're wondering, they're meant to be 'textile art' and were made for a Comic Relief challenge project several years back ;)