Autumn, branding, craft, crochet, knitting, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, Winter, yarn

Crafty Plans revisited!

Well, that’s a bit of a longer break than I had expected…  Four months since my last post.  And lots has changed since then, for the better!

I’ve started a new job which is going really well, but it has slowed up my ability to work on my rebranding, so I have put that back to next year.

In the meantime I’ve been working on some new products and also have booked a couple of craft fairs for the Autumn / Winter, so I’ve been busy making some Christmassy pieces as well.

I’ve been collecting some lovely bits and bobs for my new business, at the Vintage Bazaar at the Cheese and Grain and am looking forward to the next one in October!

My new business is having a new name and new focus – which is going to be on affordable luxury accessories.  Can’t wait to get going on it…  But first of all I have to get everything ready for the craft fairs in October and November.  These are some of the pieces that I will be taking with me…

And here are some of the handbags that I have been making for my new business – I have lots of ideas on the designs and just have to focus myself!

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Happy crafting!

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branding, craft, crochet, knitting, marketing, sewing, vintage, yarn

Brand New Beginning!

I have been so neglectful of my blog recently and am now going to make amends!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to chronicle the rebranding and refocusing of my brand, currently known as Chester Bunnynuts.

Chester was one of my first pets, a gorgeous rabbit, and I am very attached to the name, it is quirky, fun and memorable.  However, it doesn’t fit the new identity and shift of my business and I have spent a long time agonising over a change of name.

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This wonderful book has helped me immensely, I’ve only really managed to get through the introduction and am working on the first section, which looks into what makes a great brand and how you can draw on inspiration to gain insights into your own creative process and how you can apply this to your own business.

In doing this, rather surprisingly, there was little focus on the brand name.  My understanding of this is that, perhaps, it is assumed that most people already have a name or at least an outline of they want their brand to be called.

The name has quite a lot of importance in branding, but it is not everything…  In reading up on this, there’s a lot more to brand naming than you might think.  A useful tool is Marketing MO to help you refine the process.

You can choose a descriptive name, such as Budget Rent-a-Car, which does what it says on the tin.  Alternatively, a made up name, this worked well for Facebook and Google.  Or even the owner/inventor name, such as Dyson.  Finally you can choose something which gives a feeling or expectation of what the brand is going to deliver.

The most important thing is to define what you want your brand to represent.  In my case it is a shift away from a rather random brand where I just made a bit of what I liked, to something more focused.

My main concerns were to appear more professional but also embody three new key centres of attention – luxurious, elegant and romantic – which is in line with the specific market which I am going to be aligning my brand with.

So, I have decided on a brand name – although I am not going to divulge this yet – but I will do shortly…  What I will say is that I have decided on a name which both gives a feeling / expectation but also has an element of description implicit in the name.  And to top it all, it comes from a reworking of names of very dear family pets, which I feel allows it to take on the mantle of Chester Bunnynuts and allow me to spread my wings and soar!

My next task from this wonderful book is to really fix on what calls to me and what brands I admire and use this inspiration to help mould my brand.  Watch this space, I shall post another update soon…

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art, craft, crochet, knitting, sewing, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 28

Nearly there!

Day 28: Do you do any other crafts besides knitting? What are they, and did learning to knit come before or after learning these other crafts?

I have always been a crafter, it’s in my blood!  My Mum is very inspirational and we have always made things together.  Here she is with some of her hand stitched and pieced quilts for Project Linus, made for children and teenagers who are sick or traumatised.

Mum and I have done craft activities together for many years, from simple childhood crafts, to things that we have created together and sold at craft fairs.

We started off with dried flowers (this was the 1980s!) and I also at the same time learnt cross stitch – I had many commissions and made some lovely pieces for Mum and Dad, but never made anything for myself…

We moved on to decoupage (what is now known as Victorian Decoupage) and my very talented elderly uncle made some wonderful wooden objects which we painted, covered with paper and varnished, often cracking them and rubbing in raw umber or occasionally using gold or silver leaf.

Unfortunately, no photographic evidence of this exists, but we enjoyed making things together and it was only my moving to London that stopped us doing so much crafting together.

I then had a quiet few years (well, not in my social life!) where I did little crafting.  When I moved down to Wiltshire I took up firstly knitting and then crochet, and I haven’t looked back since…

I would like to feel a bit more confident with my knitting and would like more experience in using a sewing machine, but Mum always says that my hand stitching is probably the neatest she has ever seen.

If I had the time (and resources!) I would love to devote more time to craft as it gives a sense of wellbeing and mindfulness that I rarely get elsewhere in life…

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craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge -Day 24

Into the home stretch now…

Day 24: Have you ever made your own pattern or dyed your own yarn? How did it turn out?

I have designed plenty of crochet projects, but so far I have only designed one knitting project and that is my Christmas Pudding place settings / decorations.  They are just the right size to fit a chocolate underneath as a little treat!

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I have been spending far more time crocheting in the last year or two so am looking to do a bit more knitting and hopefully I will be able to start designing a bit more!

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craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Days 22-23

Two for one today – buy one, get one free!

Day 22: Have you ever stricken someone off your to-knit-for list because they didn’t appreciate/take care of your last knitted gift to them?

This hasn’t as yet happened to me – luckily everyone has seemed to like what I have made for them, but I have stopped part-way through making something when the person did something to annoy me!  Luckily they made up for it and got the item in the end!

Day 23: If you had the supplies (and patience) for it, what project would you start today?

It’s not so much the supplies nor the patience, but the time to do something that I find lacking!  I would love to make a lacy shawl, but as yet I haven’t as yet tried to knit one, I have made a few crochet ones though…

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craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized, work

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 20

On to Day 20 already – I am getting more used to posting daily!

Day 20: Do you knit in public? Was anyone offended/incredibly happy/curious that you were doing so?

I do both knit and crochet in public.  I often take to a project in my lunch break at work, on the train if I am going away for the weekend or if I’m on the go and want to take a project with me somewhere.

When I first started knitting I got lots of comments at work, mainly asking what I was making or giving me hints and tips.  It’s amazing to find out how many people are secretly crafty!

Most of the things I take to work are crochet projects, so not necessarily fitting in with the knitting theme, but one knitting-related enquiry did take me aback, a colleague whom I only vaguely recognised came up to me and told me that I was doing it all wrong!

Luckily I had been on a knitting workshop the weekend before, so I felt able to respond by saying “oh well, this is the way I have been taught so I’ll stick with this for now!”…

She obviously reconsidered what she had said and came back the next day with a very interesting article on swiss darning which she picked out for me in case I was interested!

Hey ho!

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Autumn, craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Days 18-19

Oops!  Missed a day there somehow…  Just too much going on at the moment!

Day 18: Do you knit English or Continental?

I knit the standard style but as a left-hander I should really try Continental knitting as I think it would be easier on the hands…

I have been eyeing up a course on Craftsy as and when I have the time to do it!

Day 19: Do you watch movies and/or listen to podcasts while knitting? What are your favorite things to knit to?

I usually watch something on Netflix but if it’s a crochet pattern, I don’t have to concentrate too much, so I can watch something unfamiliar.  For knitting patterns I generally have to pay a bit more attention so it tends to be something I’ve seen before.

There are a few items which I’ve made, where I can recall what I was watching at the time…

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I made some more of these Christmas Puds last night whilst watching one of my favourite non-Christmassy Christmas film, The Family Stone.  With the colder weather and Autumn peeping around the corner, I have obviously started hibernating!

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