Perler Bead Arecibo

perler bead arecibo

So, re-hanging this on my wall made me realise I never posted any photos of the final framed and matted piece! Probably because it’s a nightmare to photograph so apologies for reflections.

If you weren’t around at the time, this is my perler bead recreation of the Arecibo message, sent in 1974 to a far off galaxy with all the details an alien might like to know about Earth. I wrote about why I made this in the original post and I am so happy with how it turned out. It’s one of my favourite things I’ve ever made and I’m glad I went to effort of framing it properly.

perler bead arecibo

Perler (Hama) beads were a really good choice for this project as it gives it such a colourful retro futuristic look, much like the space technology of 1974. It wasn’t altogether fun though, and I sold all my beads and boards shortly afterwards, having no wish to make anything else with them (well, after I made a bunch of ghoasters!). I’m super-happy to have it up on my studio wall now.

Finally got some pictures up at the weekend!

This was part of my foray into grid-based crafts, which has also taken in tapestry and cross stitch. I’m still open to suggestions for more to try, though tapestry has been the clear winner.

Crafts Amnesty

long stitch bargello pattern

I follow a lot of crafty people on Instagram and I’ve been feeling guilty over their progress shots, knowing that I have a bunch of unfinished projects on the go. I decided to take some pics of where I am now so I’ll be encouraged to finish them.


#1 – Bargello Long Stitch Cushion
The top photo is when I started it in February, and I managed to get about a third of the way through the pattern before I started moving house and put it aside. I picked it up a few days ago and I’m already into the last third – the end is just around the roller on the right. I definitely think I can finish this soon. It’s a pretty big piece (16″ square), but it stitches up quite fast, and they also sell pre-made cushion backings to match so I will hopefully be able to use it in the near future.


#2 – Miette Skirt
Did I even ever mention this? It’s a super cute wrap skirt by Tilly and the Buttons which I bought at the height of my ‘WHY NO POCKETS skirt makers’ trauma. I cut out all the pieces last October and then got derailed by Renegade and Christmas. I actually planned to get back to this sooner but I couldn’t find my tins of dressmaking pins after I moved. I eventually found them two months later at the bottom of a tin of thread. And then I had to buy an iron and an ironing board (the IKEA tabletop one is AMAZING and £4 btw) because I had been using my flatmates’ so now I can finally get back to this! I really want Tilly’s sewing book as well, but I am not allowing myself to buy it until I finish this skirt.


#3 – My Sort-of Quilt
I started this a year ago, and then never touched again. It would be nice to have this done for winter so I ordered some more fabric as part of my Spoonflower swatching and will try to get the sewing machine set up.

Obviously, I have way more than 3 projects on the go, but these are the main ones that I want to get done. Follow me on Instagram if you want to see how I’m getting on.

Japan Zines

japan zines treasury

I made another International Zine Month treasury on Etsy to promote some of the awesome zines and comics about Japan. Again, this was extremely easy as I regularly check Etsy for new Japan zines and wishlist them for a shopping spree later. Click through for all the details.

This also reminds me that I have a few Japan-related zines to review so I will bump that up my list.

Weekend Wrap Up

Happening right now - KitKat Bakeable Pudding! We're reviewing a load of crazy Japanese candy for SCK.

My sister was visiting last weekend so we had lots of fun trying a box full of crazy Japanese sweets and DIY candy kits! These Bakeable Pudding Kit Kats were a definite highlight, others not so much… You can read our reviews at Super Cute Kawaii. This weekend looks like being pretty exciting too, as my new glasses should be arriving and it’s the Helensburgh Summer Festival. Roller derby! Sand Sculptures! Vintage Tearoom! Probably terrible Craft “Fayre”! It’s on next weekend too, if you fancy a day out.

On My Wish List

Barruntando tofu cute

Little Ceramic Seal | Puccho Candy Tissue Box Holder

News, Offers and Reminders

- 30% off my Sew Cute rain boots at Ready For Rain through Sunday with the code R4GLENDA.
- 20% off at DENY Designs all July with the code STYLEYOURSPACE.
- 30% off my cross stitch kits at The Bellwether with the code THIRTYKIT.

Read All About It

too wrapped up

My little Q&A with Too Wrapped Up is up on their blog now. It made me realise how neglected my Press page was so I have revamped it into a blog-style layout for easy updating. It’s looks pretty exciting now with all the awesome sites and magazines I’ve been featured in and there’s a real progession from my early interviews about making things by hand to more recent interviews with Zazzle and about Super Cute Kawaii. Go have a read!

marceline smith

I also forced my sister to take some new photographs of me in my studio for press purposes and she did a great job!

Too Wrapped Up

Too Wrapped Up

Let me introduce you to my newest stockist! Too Wrapped Up is a brand new web store in the UK with a hand-picked range of cards, wrap and gifts. I’m excited to have my cards and gift wrap sitting alongside the likes of Sarah Ray, Freya Art and Herb Lester. Check out their blog too, where they’re posting little interviews with each designer. Mine will up soon!

too wrapped up

International Zine Month


As always, July is International Zine Month! While the full month’s list of activities is a bit overwhelming, you could still pick a few to help support and promote zines and zinesters and get a bit creative yourself. I might try and make a new zine this month, but in the meantime, I made a treasury on Etsy of all the zines currently on my wishlist. It was extremely easy to find 16 zines I want, and I would buy them all now if I had the cash. Click through to find out more about each zine.

If you’ve never bought a zine, now’s a great time to try them out – I guarantee you’ll find something to interest you. And if you’ve been thinking about making a zine yourself, you can download my free handout that I made for Freshers zine workshop a couple of years ago.

make a zine

Weekend Wrap Up

I really like the jumbo straw holder @tinyotterpaws gave me. That's what it's for, right?

It’s been so hot this week! I’ve been extremely grateful for the sea breeze, and also for randomly deciding to cold brew some fresh mint tea – I recommend it! Just a quick update today as I’ve got my sister visiting this weekend, and a box full of crazy Japanese sweets and candy kits for us to review. I also found a use for the lovely coffee pot Claire gave me for my birthday – jumbo straw holder! (The jumbo straws are on sale at Lakeland)

News, Offers and Reminders

- Up to 40% off some of my items in the Not On The High Street sale – ends Monday!
- 20% off at DENY Designs all July with the code STYLEYOURSPACE.
- Free shipping worldwide + $5 off biker tanks at Society6 with that link only.
- 10% off everything in my Zazzle store today only with code TENOFFFORYOU.
- 25% off my PDF kits at The Bellwether with the code CHEERY25.
- Win a cute alpaca prize pack at Super Cute Kawaii!

Pictures on my Wall

Finally got some pictures up at the weekend!

Since my dad was visiting recently, I took advantage and made him help me hang up some of my pictures. It makes such a difference! The above wall in my studio is my favourite at the moment and shows why I always buy two of the same frames whenever possible – symmetry! Clockwise from left – 2 screenprints by Deth P. Sun with a vintage phases of the planet print, 1 fraction of A Smell Of Sulphur In The Wind by Bill Drummond, my perler bead Arecibo message that I should photograph properly, screenprint by Elizabeth MacLean, my best friend at art school. Crazy crochet blanket by unknown, an amazing find of my mum’s.

I never knew what to do with this tiny radiator shelf but it's coming together now.

My Jay Ryan screenprint is back up too, and really brings this little radiator shelf together. I was very dubious of this shelf when I moved in as it’s right next to the door and I thought I would knock stuff off, but it turns out I don’t so I’ve been adding random things to it. In the frame are screenprinted cards by Rachel Ortas from my sister. The narwhal plate was a gift from Claire and the cactus is totally dying – what am I doing wrong?


Here’s a corner of my bedroom with a bigger screenprint by Elizabeth, that she gave me as a birthday present a very long time ago – I love it so much. Above my bookcase is the bunny woodcut print I bought at Poyon-ya in Kyoto (which I have, bafflingly, never blogged about!), also on my birthday! Emma asked about how I store my books, so here are some. I decoupaged the bookcase when I was a student and it’s still holding up mostly. It holds all my favourite books to re-read, childhood favourites and other fiction, plus a whole stack of Ai Yazawa manga. I need another bookcase really, or at least a bigger one.


Most of my other books (+ magazines, A4 zines, programmes etc.) are in the living room. These are mostly nice books to look at, non-fiction and reference, and interesting books that guests might like to have a read of (plus doorstop fantasy shelf at the top!). The rest of my zines are still in shoeboxes as I have no idea how to display them. On top of this is my Hulder gocco print by Laura Donald, which you can actually see from the street if you squint a bit, so that’s how to recognise my house. Those wrapped “gifts” aren’t really supposed to be there, but I need to photograph them properly with my Lightcase (which fits perfectly into that Expedit shelf at the bottom!). And the Angel Bunny tapestry is by me of course.


There’s also a pile of art and crafty books in my studio, just because it feels like they should be there. That really is all the books I own, so I did downsize a lot when moving. I try to buy as much as possible digitally now, and save my bookshelf space for the books that also look nice.

I still have some more pictures to hang, but I haven’t decided where to put them so, To Be Continued…