July Round Up


Goodbye rainy July!

Fave 5 from the blog

New Stuff

Links I Loved

  • Spoonflower’s new challenge to create a fabric collection and they’re posting up some pretty awesome tutorials, tips and interviews.
  • The story of a snail that spent 4 years glued to a specimen card on display at the British Museum and then woke up.
  • Seriously, if you’re not reading Kenji’s China travel diary series at Serious Eats you need to go catch up. The last few entries have been hilarious and the whole series makes me both want to eat all the things and also never ever visit China.
  • The new Aqua Stadium in Shinagawa is going on my Japan itinerary ideas.
  • If you’ve been enjoying my art history, Emma shared some of her old artwork too. I would love it if this became a thing – send me links if you post yours.
  • If you’re thinking of starting or redesigning a blog, Design is Yay! has a very helpful series of posts. (Also I can help you, more affordably than you might think – email me!)

Wishlist: Free Things To Make


Stargazing pouch at Wild Olive | Momiji sleep masks
Pom pom Dandelion | Hama bead fruit keyrings

Read more ›

Posted in Monthly Reviews

Zine Sale!

zine sale

Once again, International Zine Month passes without me managing to put a new zine together. It’s really been far too long, though I do have three big ones in the works. Anyway, if you haven’t picked up one of my zines yet, I’m giving you 25% off all my zines (including my book!) until midnight on Sunday – just use the code IZM2015 at checkout.

free zines

That only applies to print zines, but I’ve also lowered my digital PDF zine prices on Etsy and Payhip temporarily so they’re all £1.50-£2 now. And if you’re strapped for cash this month, I have some free zines you can download, including the two above.

Related: Etsy are finally now charging VAT on digital downloads (Payhip already do) so if you’re buying from an EU country then I’m afraid you now have to pay a little more on top. Take advantage of the lower prices while my sale’s running and do feel free to tell your government that the new VATMOSS system is a ridiculous waste of everyone’s time, especially for small businesses. You can find out more and sign a petition at Change.org.

Posted in Books & Zines, Sales & Offers

7 Years of Folksy

folksy blog

It was my seven year anniversary of opening up my shop on Folksy recently and since I’m now their longest-running shop, I’ve been getting a bit of promotion. You can read a big old interview with me on the Folksy blog that talks about the old days and how my shop grew.

7 years at Folksy - Cakeify badges then and now

Initially, they were just going to post my talk for the Summer School that I never got to give because I ended up in hospital. I made these images of how my products developed that I don’t think they’re going to use so I’ll post them here. Cakeify badges (my first character product!) from totally handmade to how they are now with outsourced production and printed backing cards.

7 years at Folksy - fruity characters then and now

My very early Cutie Fruity Friends doodles and how they eventually developed into my 5 A Day characters.

7 years at Folksy - handmade purses then and now

And who here remembers my early days hand-sewing purses from Japanese fabric? Nowadays I just design the fabric and get my mum to sew up cute purses for me.

It was fun looking back at the old days and my 8 year anniversary of starting Asking For Trouble is coming up in a couple of months too. It seems possible I might make it to ten years!

Posted in News

My Art History: Collages

I’m sharing some artwork from my younger years. See all the posts here.


After art school I spent most of my creative time making zines and taking photographs, while my day job was learning how to use computers at a ridiculous government scheme where we had to pretend we worked in a real office. I also made collages, mostly involving cut up magazines and tracing paper. It still had a lot in common with my printmaking, but using paper rather than layers of ink.

Just Seventeen

I think this is still my favourite one. These were much smaller than my art school work, usually only about postcard sized.


Possibly the beginnings of my interest in Japan. I loved how the blocks of text looked in this random Japanese music magazine I had.

Fiction #4

And a much bigger piece, and the last one I made. The bottom right part is a pencil redrawing of my first attempts to draw in MS Paint with a mouse. I later used it in for artwork in my Asking For Trouble double 7″ box set.

Posted in My Art History

New in the Shop

happy birthday cupcake card

It’s Cakeify’s month and I’ve just added a few new products to the shop featuring that happy cupcake. The first is a fresh new version of Happy Birthday Cupcake, one of my most popular cards that’s now even cuter.

Cakeify & Friends Stickers

I also had some sticker sheets made with Cakeify, Jammie Dodger and Bread Slice, which you can use to cheer up just about anything and are just £1.

Cookie Cute Stickers

And since the sticker sheets have been selling well, I’ve added a Cookie Cute set too.

PS. If you’ve got a customer account in my shop, there 15% off the entire Cakeify & Friends collection this month. Just login and check the cart page for the code.

Posted in Creative Work, News

Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Tumblr RSS

Follow on Bloglovin


I'm Marceline Smith, the designer and owner of Asking For Trouble. I make illustrated stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii.

Buy My Stuff!

buy online

licensed products on-demand

Get the Newsletter

Join the mailing list for freebies, offers + news!



All text, photos and illustrations are © Marceline Smith 2007-2015 unless credited otherwise. Sharing my content is encouraged and you may repost my images with credit and link. However, do not reproduce full posts without my permission or use my images or writing for commercial purposes. Thank you!


All opinions are my own and I am not compensated or sponsored for writing about any products or services featured unless stated in the post. Links to shops and websites may be affiliate links - I receive a small commission from your orders at no cost to you, which helps me fund this site. I do not accept advertising.