Glitter Ghost Halloween Contest

glitter ghost

Yes, so look what I’ve got – Glitter Ghosts! My Little Ghost brooches have been so popular all year round, I thought it might be fun to do something special for Christmas, and what better than glitter? These brooches are laser cut from a clear acrylic packed full of sparkly glitter – the general colour is silver, but you get little hints of other colours too, especially when they catch the light. These are a limited edition run of 50 so don’t miss out. They come with their own special packaging too.

Limited Edition Glitter Ghost Brooch Packaging

Since there are so many of my ghosts out there in the wild, I’m having a little giveaway/contest TOMORROW. Just take a photo of your ghost friend out and about on Halloween and post it on Instagram, tagging me (@marcelinesmith). If you don’t have Instagram, you can email it to me at hello@askingfortrouble.org instead. You can enter photos of any of my ghosts, whether it’s brooches, badges, ornaments or my free garland.

Limited Edition Glitter Ghost Brooches

I’ll pick one or two favourites over the weekend and they’ll win their own glitter ghost and postcard.

Entering the contest gives me permission to post your photo on the blog with credit link. Open worldwide – contest ends at midnight in the last time zone on Halloween so start planning now. Hope to see some ghosts up to no good!

Ghostly Flashback

hannah zakari window

I love ghosts so I thought it might be fun to look back on some of my previous ghostly makes, especially since reposting my trapped ghost got a few questions from new followers. I made him four years (!) ago when Hannah Zakari let me take over their shop window for Halloween.

spooky doodles

He was based on these doodles I did on the ferry to Mull that I later turned into badges and fabric.

Pocket Ghost Giveaway

I also made some pocket-sized ghosts, two years running. I really planned to make more this year but I kept forgetting. Someone remind me next year!

Found my fire and ice zelda ghosts in my tapestry box. High five!

I found my perler bead ice and fire Zelda ghosts hiding in a box recently and now they have pride of place on top of my type drawer. High five!

Get your little ghosts ready for a Halloween photo and you could win a very exciting ltd edition ghost! Any guesses what's under the protective paper?! Find out everything on Thursday...

And finally, I’ll be having a little contest for Halloween so get your ghosts ready for a photo and you could win one of these exciting new limited edition ghost brooches. Any guesses what’s underneath the protective paper? Find out tomorrow!

Exciting Mail Week

I was really hoping for some exciting post today but definitely wasn't expecting ghost marshmallows! Thank you @tinyotterpaws :)

There’s nothing like getting something exciting in the post, especially when you’re not expecting it. Doubly so, if it’s surprise marshmallow ghosts! These are made by Zukr in Edinburgh (why did no-one tell me about them before?) and were a surprise gift from Claire. You probably just about have time to order some for Halloween yourself.

Box of amazingness from @hannah_zakari - I love it all, thank you!

I also got a big box of surprises from Hannah Zakari as payment for my zine piece. So many great things! My favourites are below – I love the watermelon brooch, which is both awesome and perfect for craft fairs and things so people can say hello. I’m definitely going to give the sunae (sand art) kit a go sometime too, and how cute is the little bracelet?

hannah zakari

The zine is a really good read too - go get your free copy! And while you’re there, there’s an interview with me on the HZ blog too.

@paulinahonig has been busy making coin purses :)

My mum has been busy sewing up more coin purses, along with some new secret prototypes! They need a little bit of tweaking, but I may well have some for sale before Christmas. I also got something very exciting from the laser cutters so check back for that later this week.

New 2015 Tea Towel Calendars

space-calendar

At last, here are my 2015 calendar designs! I made three this year because I had too many ideas. The Solar System one is my favourite, and the most unique, so it will be my Spoonflower tea towel contest entry in a couple of weeks, and the one on my magnets.

Anyway, here are the others. 5 A Day vegetables, which would make an ace tea towel.

5aday-calendar

And a Super Cute Kawaii calendar, in honour of our new design.

SCK-calendar

The first two are available to buy on Spoonflower now and I’ll be adding them all to Zazzle as posters soon. I still can’t find affordable postcard printing for multiple designs this year so I may just put these up on-demand. Which is your favourite?

Weekend Wrap Up

@tinyotterpaws asked what I'm doing now - packing orders!

This has been such a stressful week with so many deadlines, and I still have a craft fair to prepare for! I will be glad to get out to the countryside tomorrow where phone service is patchy at best. Thankfully, I also got lots of super-exciting post that I must share with you. I’ve also been getting more of your Halloween orders out – there are still a few ghostcards there ready to pop in with any order over £5 this month, but hurry as Monday morning is probably your last chance for Halloween delivery.

News, Offers and Reminders

Free Halloween Ghost Garland Printable

free halloween printable

I have been meaning to make a ghost garland printable for ages and I’m so glad I finally sat down and designed it. With Halloween only a few days away you still have plenty time to put one of these together – I did mine in less than an hour! Featuring everyone’s favourite Little Ghost and a new pumpkin friend, you can print these off for garlands, double-sided hanging ornaments, tags or anything else you fancy.

Ghost Garland

Look how cosy my fireplace looks in the evenings! This is still my favourite thing about my flat and having some cute ghosts adds an extra level of awesome. (and yes, I put the fire on especially for this photo, and I will take that garland down if I start using it in the winter – don’t set your house on fire).

Ghost Garland

It’s FREE to download and I recommend you do, as there will be a special photo contest for Halloween. More on that next week!

Inver Cottage This Sunday

invercottage

Those of you who have been around for a while may remember I did a few craft fairs at the lovely Inver Cottage by Loch Fyne. They are having a last hurrah before they close for the season and so I will be there THIS SUNDAY with whatever I can fit in my suitcase. Girl Industries will be there too, plus some other nice folks, plus the food is amazing and it’s just generally a nice day out.

Sorry for the late notice, but a) it was all a bit last minute, and b) I forgot. Anyway, more details on their Facebook page if you can make it.

Recent Purchases

Yay, got my kitty slippers thanks to @jijipunch! This is the postman's view now.

I haven’t been buying a whole lot lately, as I’ve been spending all my money on restock for Christmas and buying 10 different types of envelopes (oh, the excitement…). I really wanted these fluffy cat slippers I saw in Sainsburys but they didn’t have my size – luckily my sister found some and sent them up – yay! I love them so much, but my postman is going to think I’m even more crazy since this will be his view from now on. (Forgive my dusty doormat, but it does actually get used for its purpose and I wasn’t going to get the hoover out especially for this photo).

15293363288_b73d9c7594

I wrote a post about kawaii gardening on Super Cute Kawaii recently, which was surprisingly popular, partly due to someone re-using these adorable Korean hand cream pots as planters. I couldn’t resist buying one and after much deliberation I picked what appears to be a squirrel and ordered from BeautyNetKorea. It’s much smaller than it looked in pictures, so not really that good for gardening, but it’s definitely helping cute up my bathroom. It also came with a bunch of free samples – the most adorable one is something I will never use (do I really need white hands?) but I also got some natural aloe vera and avocado moisturisers that I have been trying out. I would recommend the site – they do free shipping worldwide and have lots of cute brands.

I bought a tiny pumpkin! Making a Halloween shelf now.

And finally, I was in Waitrose at the weekend and they had tiny perfect pumpkins! I am still undecided whether to give it a face, but I’ve started making a little Halloween display.

Kaiwa Japan: Rachael Griffiths of Hannah Zakari

kaiwa japan

It’s taken a while to get around to doing another one of these, but they’re always worth the wait. This time I’m chatting to Rachael of Hannah Zakari – the shop is one of my oldest stockists and I always enjoy visiting in Edinburgh to see what’s new. I don’t think I have ever had a conversation with Rachael in all the years I’ve known her where one of us didn’t bring up Japan! She’s one of the few other people who totally understands the need to keep going back.

rachael
Rachael in Japan

Who are you and what do you do?

My name’s Rachael and I’m the owner of an online boutique and real life shop in Edinburgh called Hannah Zakari that stocks the work of independent designers from all over the world. The name Hannah Zakari comes from the Japanese word   花盛り  [hanazakari], which translates as ‘blossoming’ or ‘blooming’. I LOVE Japan!

How did you become interested in Japan, and how did your first trip there come about?

I think my love of Japan spills over from my love of clothes/fashion and can probably be traced to when I first came across ‘Fruits’ which is a magazine documenting Japanese fashion, specifically in Harajuku. I was smitten!

In 2000, my dad was speaking at a conference in Nagoya and I made him take me with him! We were there for 10 days, most of which was spent in Nagoya but we also took trips to Kyoto and Tokyo. As part of the conference we got to experience a variety of stuff that had been put on for the people attending such as a visit to a tea plantation, amazing banquets with tables of colourful and beautifully presented sushi and a Taiko drum concert.

My dad’s colleague took us to visit his family and his sister (who was trained in Japanese arts) performed tea ceremony and showed me flower arranging and dressed me in a traditional kimono from her collection– it was really special.

building in Kyoto
Building in Kyoto

Tell us a little about each of your trips to Japan

I’ve visited Japan several times since then, I’d happily never holiday anywhere else.

From main bases in bigger cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima I’ve done smaller journeys to Mt Koya, Okayama, Miyajima, Nara, Nikko and others for day trips or overnight stays.

My last trip was over xmas and new year last year when I went on my own for the first time. Although they don’t officially celebrate xmas in Japan they do like to shop and give gifts so they kind of have xmas without the time off work and take holidays at New Year.

It’s hard to remember which memories go with which holiday. One of the more unusual things I’ve done in Japan include staying in a Buddhist Temple on Mt Koya. The journey to Koya is stunning and Koya itself is so beautiful and peaceful. It’s a really interesting experience and a great place to get away from the craziness of the city.

journey up to koya
Journey up to Mt Koya

Miyajima is another magical place to visit. I was lucky enough to stay in a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and experience the island at night when there are very few people around – you can just wander about in your Yukata and wooden clogs, it’s so chilled out! The place is covered in deer and there are monkeys at the top of the mountain which was amazing.

I love going to Roppongi to the Mori Arts Centre, every exhibition I’ve seen there has been brilliant and you get a great view of Tokyo from the top floor. There are so many great places just to hang out in Tokyo – Ueno Park has a great zoo, is next to the National Museum, has a great pond with swan pedalos, and is the place to hang out during cherry blossom season. Shimokitazawa is a maze of thrift stores and fantastic cafes and bars. Harajuku is fun for people watching and a visit to Kiddyland of course! Kichijoji has some lovely indie shops and if you like steak then I highly recommend a visit to Steak House Satou, steak will never be the same again, and it’s on the way back from the Studio Ghibli Museum. There’s just so much to see and do, I could go on forever!

Mt Fuji by Rachael Griffiths
Mt Fuji from Mori Tower

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