PDF: High-resolution (30Mb) - Craft Focus Magazine


PDF: High-resolution (30Mb) - Craft Focus Magazine

Issue 33 October/November 2012www.craftfocus.comwww.craftfocus.comMAGAZINEESPECIALLY FOR YOUShowcasing some greatcard making ideasChristmascraftsA bumper cropof festive findsSumptuousstitchingGorgeous embroideryin the spotlightCleverquiltingOur pick of thelatest productsPlusbusiness advice, industry insights, new productlaunches and your retail questions answeredOfficial media partner forCraft, Hobby + StitchInternational andproud sponsor of theNew Product Showcase

October/November 2012 Issue 33Managing EditorLouise Prance+44 (0)1376 535 611EditorElla Johnston+44 (0)7951 017 687editor@craftfocus.comSales ManagerMark White+44 (0)1376 535 606markw@craftfocus.comSales ExecutiveTracy Voice+44 (0)1376 535 618tracyv@craftfocus.comProduction ManagerScott BrothwellDeputy Production ManagerSarah BarnesSenior DesignerVicky O’ConnorGraphic DesignersAmi Williams, Samantha Lock,Rebecca Clarke+44 (0)1376 535 616artwork@kdmediapublishing.comProduction AssistantCharlotte BrownWeb Development ManagerStuart WeatherleySubscriptionsAlice Henson, Tammy Wright+44 (0)1376 514 000KD Media Publishing LimitedBroseley House, Newlands DriveWitham, Essex, CM8 2UL, UKwww.craftfocus.comFront Cover image:Cover image displays a selection of cardmaking products and techniques, see page59 for full details.Photography: Ella JohnstonISSN 1758-0900Craft Focus is solely owned, published anddesigned by KD Media Publishing Limited.Whilst every effort was made to ensure theinformation in this magazine was correct at thetime of going to press, the publishers cannotaccept legal responsibility for any errors oromissions, nor can they accept responsibility ofthe standing of advertisers nor by the editorialcontributions. The views expressed do notnecessarily reflect those of the publisher. CraftFocus is published six times a year. Subscriptionrates for overseas readers are £75 per annum(incl. p+p), Cheques should be made out toKD Media Publishing Limited and sent toCraft Focus, Broseley House, Newlands Drive,Witham, Essex, CM8 2UL, United Kingdom.Craft Focus magazine is proud to beassociated with and supporters of:contentsregularseditor’s letter 5A round up of what’s in this issuenews round up 7Reporting the industry news andevents that are happening nowbrand spanking new 15The latest product launchesbook making project 25We show you how to make abeautiful Japanese stab-bound notebookcompetition 34Your chance to win not one buttwo PURELITE 3-in-1 lampsbookshelf 36We tell you all about the most excitingcraft-related book releases on the marketcompetition 78Get the opportunity to have a VIP experience atnext year’s CHSIq&a – making your mark – yourquestions answered? 92Industry expert Clare Rayner offersadvice and tips on your small retail queriessubscription offer 103Register for your regular copy of Craft Focusnext issue 104A preview of the December/January issuefeaturescrafting for happiness 38We talk to Abbey Hendrickson, craft blogger andauthor of latest book release, You Are Awesomeyuletide log 41Part two of our amazing Christmas product line upfrom me to you 53Showcasing a plethora of card making productsfabulous fabrications 65A celebration of patchworking and quiltinglets get together 75We take a look at the coolest craft clubs in townthoughtful threads,tactile creations 80Exploring the timeless art of embroidery65showsreview: CHA US 29We give you the low-down on theStateside showreview: Autumn fair 30Our take on one of the mostexciting shows in town53show reviews round up 30The latest intelligence on someof the latest industry events15show previews 32A look at shows that are sure to inspirecraftfocus 3

Suppliers of Card Making, Scrapbooking, Craft and Bridal Supplies41focus ongreat on paper 50We talk to papercraft company Hunkydory Craftscross purposes 60Meet the friendly Stitchtastic teamSuppliers ofCraft and Bridal SuppliesCard MakingScrapbookingCard EmbellishmentsFloral Productssales@e-crafts.co.uk | 01384 230000simple pleasures 70We profile haberdashery suppliers Simplicitynorthern charm 84A closer look at Yorkshire-based retailers Knit & Stitchup and coming– Little Star Stitches 106We talk to the new family-run business based in the Cotswoldsbusiness advicebig shout for independents 86Our focus on Independent Retailer Monthword on the web 88Craft Focus web gurus Loud and Clearprovide you with new cookie law resourcesfederation of small business 91John Walker, Chair of the FSB on financingshow and tell 94Ian Wright, Managing Director on SDI onputting smaller brands in the spotlightthe right message 97Fiona Pullen gives you the low down on social medianew EU cookie rules part 2 99Part one of David Mackley’s focus on this new legislation4 craftfocus

The Kunin GroupA most innovative collectionof environmentally friendlycraft felt.Just launched - excitingnew Fanci felt range foruse in many projects.Available in cut rectanglesand bolts.For further information about Kunin Craft Feltplease contactFashion Futures Ltd, Units 1 and 2 Mace IndustrialEstate, Ashford, Kent TN24 8EP.fashion.futures@btconnect.comTel +44 (0) 1233 625227. Fax +44 (0) 1233 612352Inspiration and support –just for youWelcome to this issue –packed with newproducts, creative ideas and practical advice.There’s so much great stuff in this editionI’m not sure where to start. We’ve got yetanother bumper crop of brilliant Christmas craftproducts including a fantastic festive make thatwould be great for a seasonal window displayand a brilliant selling point in your retail space.We’ve also taken our season’s greetingstheme a bit further and taken a closer look atcard making. We’ve compiled a fantastic round up of some useful piecesthat are sure to make this enduring craft even more popular with yourcustomers.We’re not just concentrating on gift giving. This issue we’re alsoshowcasing a wide range of gorgeous quilting and patchwork productsplus a lovely selection of embroidery-themed items. Our ideas hope toadd new life to these well-loved practices and provide the practitionerwith reliable tools to enable them to create with skill and precision.As you know we like to report on the latest trends and developmentsso that you can stay ahead of the game. That’s why in this issue we’vefocused in on Craft Clubs. Crafting isn’t a solitary pursuit anymore – it’sbecoming a group activity and various crafting communities are formingall over the UK. We profile some organisations and businesses that arecapitalising on this growing phenomenon and we hope they will inspireyou to form your own crafty get-togethers – as they will tell you, it’svery good for business.And, as usual, we aim to give you some business advice from peoplewho really know what they’re talking about. We’re really happy to havecrafting social media guru Fiona Pullen offering her advice on all thingsTwitter and Facebook related. Away from cyberspace in the bricks andmortar world we’ve got some invaluable tips on organising yourfloorspace to maximize sales. Plus, as usual our Retail ChampionClare Rayner is answering your shop-keeping questions.Remember, this is your magazine, so please don’t hesitate toget in touch and tell the team about the issues that concern you andwe’ll do our best to cover it in the magazine.Enjoy this issue.EllaElla JohnstonEditorcraftfocus 5

industry newsnewsWe provide you with the low down on all the latest insights anddevelopments in the craft industry and small retail businessesSwarovski Elements announce firstCREATE YOUR STYLE UK ambassadorDesigner and author Dorothy Wood is the First CREATE YOURSTYLE ambassador in the UK.CREATE YOUR STYLE with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTSintroduced the Ambassador Programme in order to developstrategic alliances with a network of selected experts. Ambassadorsare advocates for CREATE YOUR STYLE with SWAROVSKIELEMENTS and have a passion for designing.Dorothy was chosen for her inspirational use of SWAROVSKIELEMENTS as well as her technical versatility and use of colour with the product range.As a jewellery designer, Dorothy has been running workshops since 2004 and lovesSWAROVSKI fancy stones and settings, wiring them together or using them with beadstitching. She also manages to incorporate crafting techniques such as knitting, crochet orworking with polymer clay, into her jewellery designs.Dorothy has written over 25 books and has been a regular contributor to magazines forover 15 years. To find out more about her, visit www.dorothywood.co.uk.STAEDTLER boostpromotion for FIMO®airSTAEDTLER has announced a major promotional push for itsFIMOair basic range of air-drying modelling clay which includesnew point-of-sale material, press advertising and editorials in keycraft titles, as well as an enticing price promotion set to run untilthe end of the year.The company is introducing a free-standing, triangular point-ofsaledisplay which highlights two exciting new projects. Designedto stimulate trial purchase, the projects, one featuring a carnivalmask and the other an appetising pizza, are also offered as free,tear-off sheets which come with step-by-step instructions and arethe latest in a series of,in-store promotional projects.Customer Marketing Manager, Lisa Davies, comments: “Ournew promotional material, supported by the attractive pricediscounts, presents both retailers and consumers with the perfect opportunity to tryFIMOair basic. Available in three colours, it’s an amazing product and one that is widelyused on craft programmes.”For further information, please contact your Territory Manager,T: +44 (0)1656 778668, E: sales@uk.staedter.com.Celebrate thewonder of woolNational Knitting week takes place between15 th - 21 st October, 2012.Launched in 2005 by the UK Hand KnittingAssociation and Knitting magazine, KnittingWeek aims to bring together enthusiasts acrossthe country through hosted special events.The aim of the week is to encourage morecustomers into knitting and craft outlets and tohelp showcase how much fun knitting can be.Chris Kingdom from the UKHKA said: “Wehope to raise awareness and the profile ofknitting as a hobby, introducing it to people aswell as unifying the existing knitting communityand bringing like-minded people closer togetherto celebrate their love of the craft.”National Knitting Week runs concurrentlywith ‘Wool Week’ which will create evenmore opportunities to raise the profile ofknitting. Wool Week will include the WoolSchool programme which will see universitiesacross the nation partnered with supportingretailers to develop unique wool sweaters.W: www.ukhandknitting.comW: www.campaignforwool.org.Retailers benefit from new trade siteEQS announced the launch of its new, retailer-exclusive website www.trade.eqsuk.comUntil this point the company has maintained one site, the trade element of which wasinaccessible to consumers. Use was restricted to retailers with a user name and passwordand while this gave consumers the chance to look at products and put together a‘Wish List’, it meant that retailer focused communication was inadequate.Registered users of the trade site will now receive alerts specific to retailers, as wellas being able to read blogs on new products and a whole host of information that isreserved for trade customers only.craftfocus 7

industry newsCharity marksimportant anniversaryThe Royal School of Needlework (RSN)celebrates 140 years of keeping thetraditional art of hand embroidery alive.The RSN’s first student enrolled on 5thNovember,1872 and today more than 1,000students learn traditional hand embroideryevery year through the body’s thrivingeducation programme.The studio continues to offer a uniqueUK-based service for hand embroiderycommissions and restoration projects.As a registered charity, the RSN is self-funding and receives no governmentgrants. A gala dinner will take place on 26 th October, 2012 at the MerchantTaylors’ Hall in London and a two-day grand sale of needlework relateditems will be held at the RSN on 9 th and 10 th November 2012.FSB calls for joined-up thinkingCouncils need to better understand procurement spend with small firms tobenefit local economy says the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).Local councils spend £88 billion per year on procurement, yet many don’tknow what size business they are trading with or where they are based.The federation polled all local councils to see how and where theyspend their money. The survey revealed interesting findings, with manycouncils indicating that over half of their procurement spend went to smalland medium-sized businesses. However, of the 148 local authorities thatresponded, the FSB found more than a third (38 per cent) do not activelyrecord the location of their spending and almost a half (49 per cent) don’tknow the size of business they trade with.The FSB wants to see more accurate and public recording of spend sothat it can properly inform strategy and decision making. This will help toembed the link between procurement and local economic development.The federation is calling for all local councils to put mechanisms in place torecord and analyse where money is spent. Councils should also measurethe size of business by categorising them as either micro, small or medium.The body also wants councils to ensure that they have initiatives to supportsmall firms throughout the tender process and to develop the potentialof their local small business supply base. Detailed, specific and timely feedbackshould also be supplied to all unsuccessful businesses so they are in a betterplace to bid in the future.John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:“We are pleased that so many councils took part in the research. It hasallowed us to build up a good picture of what is going on and to identifysome really good practice. However, we were surprised that so manycouncils aren’t being more proactive in terms of the how they record theirspending. Knowing where spend is going in the local area, as well as what typeof businesses are getting contracts, would help councils focus on improvingtheir procurement processes and ultimately boost the local economy andcommunity by helping to ensure that local small businesses are getting a fairchance to compete for contracts.”Think simple!Future, the UK’s best selling publisher across the creativemarket has announced the launch of The Simple Things; anew, monthly, multi-media lifestyle brand, celebrating thesimple things in life.On sale from 6 th September, and fresh and contemporaryin design, The Simple Things is the latest launch from Futureand celebrates homemade values and simple living – fromurban gardening to thrift store shopping, cooking and relaxedentertaining to collecting vintage finds.The magazine will be closely integrated with the blog foundat www.thesimplethings.com which will engage with a veryactive online community. The Simple Things will also be availablein an interactive digital format for tablet users, with integratedvideos and galleries.This new launch comes from the same team that producedFuture’s hugely successful lifestyle-craft title Mollie Makes, whichhas become the UK’s number one contemporary magazinefocusing on handmade items since it launched in May, 2011.It is Future’s fastest growing title in the last decade, with over12,000 subscribers in the first year.Katherine Raderecht, Group Publisher for Future’s Creativeportfolio, says: “Future has a long-standing track record oflaunching fresh and innovative products, and this latest additionto the portfolio is set to continue that tradition. As a launchinto the lifestyle sector, The Simple Things is a new venturefor us but, based on the success of Mollie Makes, is one we’reconfident will work.“There is a real gap in the lifestyle market for a new brandlike this, and with high production values, unique editorial and arefreshing simplicity, this title will be a must-read for the new‘go slow’ movement. The digital edition will be packed withmarket-leading editorial delivered in an innovative, interactiveway that uses the tablet in the most effective way possibleand with support from the blog, we believe that this brandwill reach readers on an international level.”Visit W: www.thesimplethings.com for more information.8 craftfocus

Viking LoomThe Viking Loom Ltdwww.vikingloom.co.uk 01904 620587 22 High Petergate, York YO1 7EHGorgeous range of shaped glass beads from Preciosa in Czech Republic.Available individually or as part of themed colour mixes. Backed by rangesof smaller beads including twin beads. These are going really well - whywouldn’t they at £1 retail price to your customers plus free charts! Moreneedlework items coming along - two new designers to look out for...See us at Stitches Feb 2013.accounts@vikingloom.co.uk01904 620587Please apply for our trade websitewww.plasti-kote.comTel:01223 836400

newsCookson Gold launchesbead selection forjewellery makersTop jewellery making supplierCookson Gold has launched anew beads website, offering morethan 2,500 beading products forbeaders of all skill levels.The new beads selectioncomplements Cookson Gold’sextensive range of jewellerymaking materials, such as precious metal clay, Swarovski crystals,kilns and jewellery tools.The new site, www.cooksongold.com/Beads, includes acrylic beads,Preciosa glass beads, Miyuki seed beads and Swarovski pearls – allowingcreative customers to fashion their own jewellery items.There’s also a range of wiring options, including nylon, Tigertail andchain, as well as clasps, fasteners, findings and charms. Shamballa beads,which can be used to create fashionable bracelets, are set to be oneof the most popular products offered by Cookson’s new online beadshop. To accompany the launch, Cookson Beads has created a new emailnewsletter for customers.Adam Hunter, e-Commerce Manager at Cookson Gold, said thebeads launch would improve design options for jewellery makers: “We’reextremely excited about unveiling the new beads section of our website– it feels like a natural progression for us,” he said.“Our customers use Cookson Gold for a whole range of jewellerymaking supplies. Beads were the missing link in our product range.“By adding such an extensive new range of beads and beading products,Cookson Gold is now truly a one-stop shop for all budding beaders andjewellery makers, from beginners to professionals.”To celebrate the launch, Cookson Gold is planning two exhibitions laterthis year. More details of these events will be announced soon.In the meantime, customers can log in to Cookson Gold to browsemore than 12,000 jewellery making products. Cookson Gold offersnext-day delivery on all orders placed before 3pm.Fine Cell Work pops up in LondonThink of prisoners sewing and you probably conjure an imageof men in arrow covered overalls, stitching away at hessianmailbags. Nothing could be further from the truth! Up popsthe highly regarded social initiative Fine Cell Work with a newshop in Grosvenor Street – one of Mayfair’s smartest addresses.Fine Cell Work is a social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid,skilled, creative needlework. The work is – undertaken in thelong hours spent in their cells – to foster hope, discipline andself esteem. This helps offendersthem to re-connect toto societyand to leave prison with the confidence and financial means tostop offending.turn away from crime.Fine Cell Work, which has a new shop on Grosvenor Streetin Mayfair, sells exquisite needlepoint and embroidered homefurnishings as well as a delightful range of home and fashionaccessories. Celebrated designers such as Nicky Haslam,John Stephanidis, Cath Kidston, Emily Peacock and Daisy deVilleneuve have created and donated designs for cushionsand witty shopping bags which are painstakingly stitched byprisoners in the UK. The products are beautiful, desirable andof the highest quality.Katy Emck, Fine Cell Work’s dynamic Chief Executive says:“Fine Cell Work has long dreamt of a retail space to give thequality of work that can be done in prison the recognition andbroad customer base it deserves. What better place to startthan Mayfair?”Fine Cell Work Shop: 5 Grosvenor Street, London W1K,opening hours 10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.T: +44 (0)20 7931 9998, W: www.finecellwork.co.ukcraftfocus 11

industry newsJane helps you wrap up with new websiteBritish ribbon designer JaneMeans will be launching a newonline site for trade and willbe including helpful featuresincluding displays, marketingand what to do with those oldremnants. Ribbon is a versatileitem, and can be used forsewing, packaging, gift wrapping,upholstery, craft projects andfloristry. Many stockists whosell ribbon are often left withthe dilemma of how to displayit and maximise sales.Jane says: “If you sell ribbonor wrap, have a small display ofwrapped gifts to draw the eye,ensuring that you have plenty ofstock as the ribbon on displayusually sells well” She also saysthat companies who use ribbonfor their packaging should also sellit by the metre to maximise sales.Rolls of ribbon can easilybe displayed on a table top orcounter with baskets, cake stands,trays, big glass vases, large sweetjars, bowls…even vintage cupsand saucers. To display them on awall you can erect some shelvesor buy a cheap French dresser.When ribbon stocks are gettinglow you can fill the gaps withwrapped boxes to give an eyecatching displayThe ribbon designer hasincluded roll lengths in 3M, 10Mand 100M so retailers have theoption to sell ribbon by the rollor metre, or both.Jane who is a thrifty craftenthusiast, has used ribbonremnants in card making andsewing. She has also donatedbundles to charity and schools.Larger remnants have beenpackaged and given away as atoken gift to loyal customersFor more details visit theJane Means wholesale siteW: www.janemeans.co.uk.Yorkshire designer launches new BritishWool Knitting BrandCountry girl and international knitting pattern designer, JulieArnfield-Crowther has just launched her own brand of totallyBritish reared, spun and dyed wool. This is unique as even thelargest brands only spin wool here in the UK, the wool comesfrom sheep reared overseas.Julie has a wealth of experience and a 40 year heritage ofknitting: “I started knitting as a small child, like many small girlsI was fascinated watching my great grandma creating amazingthings from a single strand of wool and since then I almostalways have needles in my hands”In her early years in the industry, Julie worked at famous yarnproducers Rowan, and has learnt her skill from the ground updeveloping an intimate knowledge of design, technical editing,pattern writing and finishing. Having also trained as a makeupartist, Julie has an innate understanding of how colourcomplements and enhances skin tone and her first range ofwool has been designed with that understanding in mind.“I spent extended periods of time in the US working alongsidethe Irish born designer Maggie Jackson who introduced manyof my designs into her ‘Maggiknits’ brand. She inspired me todevelop my colour workshop to help people who were ‘stuckin a rut’ with the colours they wore and were afraid to change.I see yarn as part of a make-up pallet where certain colourscomplement each other to work with a skin tone” says Julie.After being frustrated by the lack of traditional British woolin certain colours, Julie decided to produce what she wantedherself and with the help of an old Yorkshire Mill contact, shecreated her first range in the JUEY Brand.“I chose wool from the blue faced Leicester sheep for itswonderful softness. It is referred to as ‘British cashmere’ andwe now produce a range of specially chosen shades for DoubleKnitting, Aran and Super Chunky wools in complementarycolours that bring radiance to all skin tones.I am so proud that it is 100 per cent British from start tofinish with all of the work being done in my native Yorkshire”Julie proudly states.Julie Arnfield-Crowther is currently working in collaborationwith Debbi Moore Designs to launch her JUEY wool andpatterns into the international market. She can be seenpresenting on the Create & Craft TV Shopping Channeland you can visit www.juey.co.uk for more information.12 craftfocus

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UK distributor of theBejeweler ® Pro UKHotfix Applicator. Applieshotfix crystals instantly tonearly any surface. Volumediscount available to trade,please contact for pricing.t: 0161 7489981e: info@scattercrystals.co.ukw: www.scattercrystals.co.uk

Check out our comprehensive collection of the very latest arts andcrafts products for you to stock in your shop…brand spanking newnew productsDesign Works CraftsProduct: Christmas Cows Plastic Canvas Ornaments, Ref: 1695Contact:T: +44(0)1263 515267, E: salesteam@solocrafts.com, W: www.solocrafts.comPrice: RRP 19.99Specification:Set of six counted cross stitch ornaments. Kit includes: #14 count plastic canvas,100 per cent cotton embroidery floss, beads, #24 tapestry needle plus fullyillustrated chart and instructionsRetailer Benefits:Part of the Design Works Fun Christmas collection.Country Love CraftsProduct:Contact:Price:Specification:Retailer Benefits:Reindeer Hanging DecorationT: +44 (0)1235 861700, E: sales@countrylovecrafts.co.uk,W: www.countrylovecrafts.infoTrade 35p eachThese decorations consist of white bisque made from earthenware clayand are sold in boxes of 24. The dimensions are: 9.5cm high x 7.5cm wide x0.7cm deep.Reindeer Hanging Decoration comes complete with a hole for a ribbon orcord of your choice. This plain white item is ready to be personalisedwith acrylic, underglazes, glazes, poster paint, decoupage, embellishments, foilsand more. The raised detail also makes this item ideal for rubbing with waxchalk to highlight accents. The low cost of these decorations makes themperfect for including in ‘Paint-at-Home’ kits, group workshops.Heritage Crafts LimitedProduct:Scarlett by John Clayton (JLSC1098)Contact:T: +44 (0)1889 575256, E: enquiries@hcrafts.com, W: www.hcrafts.comPrice: Trade £13.77Specification:Scarlett is the latest stunning addition to the ‘Elegance’ range by John Clayton.This beautiful lady is dressed in her red hood, all ready for Christmas. Availableas a full kit on 14ct aida or 27ct evenweave fabric.Retailer Benefits:A full colour brochure is available and friendly staff are on hand to offer help,advice and a first class service.Other Information: The kit includes DMC stranded cottons on a pre-sorted thread card, fabric,needle, clear stitching charts and instructions.Jane MeansProduct:Contact: :Price:Specification:Retailer Benefits:Pet Range RibbonsT: +44 (0)1522 522 544, W: www.janemeans.co.ukAvailable wholesale on a 20m roll for £8.95 (RRP £1.20 metre).The dog ribbons consist of five dogs: Milly the Labrador, Toby (a BostonTerrier), Poodle (who belonged to Jane’s Great Aunt), Wilbur(a German Schnautzer) and Tia (a Lercher). All dogs have now beencreated as a silhouette and are based on an off white taffeta ribbon.Jane has also designed a reindeer style for Christmas, available in both red and blue. The buyers at Liberty inLondon saw Jane’s sketches back in February and ordered straight away. Since the launch of the collection atHome and Gift, the ribbon has been selling well to sewing outlets, pet parlours, craft companies and giftshops. Both the ribbon and packaging made in England.craftfocus 15

and spanking newRIOLISArtcoeProduct:Contact:Price:Specification:Retailer Benefits:Other information:Product:Pets - Counted Cross Stitch kit by RIOLIS, Ref: R1248Contact:T: +44(0)1263 515267, E: salesteam@solocrafts.com,W: www.solocrafts.comPrice: RRP £44.99Specification:Counted Cross Stitch kit by Aleksandra Gusarova.Each kit includes: cotton/ flax 14-count fabric, pre-sortedRIOLIS wool/acrylic thread, needle, graph and multi-lingualinstructions. Finished size: Approx 16 x12 inches.Retailer Benefits:RIOLIS wool/ acrylic threads give the finished article a threedimensional appearance.Punch, Peel & Stick double-sided adhesiveSteve O’Brien, T: +44 (0)845 300 7750, E: sales@artcoe.co.uk,W: www.artcoe.co.ukRRP (inc vat) £4.50 per packAvailable in packs of three sheets (20 x 29cm).This double sided adhesive is the instant sticky solution for all artsand crafts and is a clean and accurate alternative to glue. Suitable fora variety of tasks, Punch, Peel & Stick gives a superior level ofadhesion and is perfect for decorative card making, fixing gildingflakes, glitter, embossing powder, small beads and more. Punch, Peel &Stick can be used on a range of different surfaces including card,paper, glass and even plastic.Special offers are available to retailers upon request.No mess. No spreading. No bleeding and easy to cut. When placingPPS onto your project, it can be repositioned until rubbed down.BeadTimeProduct:Contact:Price:Specification:Retailer Benefits:Premium quality crystal strands for jewellery, stitch and craft.T: +44 (0)1932 506 362 / 506 596, E: wholesale@beadtime.co.ukTBCThe collection includes crystal rondells in new micro sized 2x1mm, 3x2mm,3x4mm. In rounds there are the 3mm, 4mm and 6mm.. The tiny sizes areperfect for stitch, embroidery and bead weaving. With 36 colours to choose from, beaders and crafters will haveendless creative possibilities with these unique crystals. The company has also launched beautifully cut diagonallydrilled 4mm bicones and crystal cubes that come in 15 glittering shades.The company is happy to launch retail-ready small reels of stringing material.DremelProduct:Contact:Price:Specification:Retailer Benefits:Dremel EZ SpeedClic system accessoriesT: +44 (0) 1332 755799, W: www.dremel-direct.com.RRP is £4.75 for the SC411 and SC413 sanding discs and £6.49 for the SC407sanding mandrel.Three new accessories have been added to the Dremel EZ SpeedClic systemrange: EZ SpeedClic sanding discs SC411 (60 grit), EZ SpeedClic sanding discs SC413(240 grit) and the sanding mandrel SC407 which enables the sanding bands to beattached more quickly.The Dremel EZ SpeedClic system has a unique, patented, screwless mandrel,which allows a keyless wheel change, with no need for screws, in less than10 seconds. Just PULL – TURN – CLICK.16 craftfocus

JanlynnProduct: Waiting for Santa Cross Stitch Kit, Ref: 015-0243Contact:T: +44 (0)1263 515267 E: salesteam@solocrafts.com, W: www.solocrafts.comPrice: RRP £34.99Specification:Counted Cross Stitch stocking kit designed by Diana Thomas. Eachkit includes: 100 per cent cotton 14-count tan Aida, red feltbacking material, 100 per cent cotton six strand carded floss, needle, graphand multi-lingual instructions. Finished size: Approximately 18” diagonally.Retailer benefits:A classic Christmas scene of a boy and his puppy waiting by the fire forSanta. Part of the Janlynn Christmas Collection.new productsBurhouse BeadsProduct:Contact:Price:Specification:Retailer Benefits:Other Information:Pippin Jewellery Making KitsT: +44 (0)1484 485527, W: www.pippinkits.comFrom £3.33 tradeA collection of luxury children’s jewellery making kits based on the concept ofMake, Wear & Share.Gorgeous keepsake packaging makes Pippin kits stand out from the crowd.Pippin kits make ideal gifts that people will love to give or receive and makeperfect stocking fillers.2012 sees the launch of four brand new ranges to the Classics collection,including Sherbets, Berries, Rainbow Bright’s and a Boy’s Surfer Bands Kit.ExaClair LimitedProduct:Contact:Price:Specification:Retailer Benefits:Other Information:Decopatch masksT: +44 (0)1553 696600, E: enquiries@exaclair.co.uk, W: www.tollitandharvey.co.ukTBCThere are a variety of different designs, which can be decorated with a stylish array of papers, tubes of acrylic patch-liners and ‘tresors’ – jewel-likeembellishments.The large range of different decorative papers means that a mask can be createdto suit the needs and tastes of any consumer, with further embellishments available.The Decopatch glossy glue gives a shine that is great for any special occasion, withthe option of Aquapro varnish for an extra lustrous waterproof finish.Since ExaClair launched its collection of Decopatch products, papercraft hasgained in popularity in the UK.DMC Creative World LtdProduct:Contact:Price:Specification:Retailer Benefits:Other Information:Make a Wish Cross Stitch Mini KitsT: +44 (0)116 275 4000, E: sales@dmccreative.co.uk,W: www.dmccreative.co.uk£2.99 per kit16 easy to stitch, bright and colourful cross stitch mini Birthday kits.Stitch size: (approx) 3 x 3 inches - 7.5 x 7.5 cm. Kit contains:14count Aida fabric, DMC Stranded Cotton, DMC needle,chart and instructions.Display is suitable for any counter top and is pre-loaded (dimensions30 x 37 x 19cm). Quick projects offering a variety of end uses including cards, little picturesand gift tags. Competitive price point to promote impulse purchases at great value. Popular designs that arequick to make, encouraging repeat sales.DMC is supporting the Make a Wish Foundation where 20 pence will be donated to the charity forevery kit sold. The Make a Wish foundation helps grant magical wishes to children and young peoplefighting life-threatening conditions.craftfocus 19

and spanking newHunkydory CraftsProduct:Contact:Price:Specification::Retailer Benefits:Vintage JourneyT: +44 (0)1772 272575, E: enquiries@hunkydorycrafts.co.uk,W: www.hunkydorycrafts.co.ukTrade: £10.40 (per 10 pack), RRP: £2.50 (per individual pack)Featuring on trend vintage imagery, this imaginative collectioncontains 12 beautifully foiled and die-cut 300gsm A4 toppersheets, 12 sheets of accent-foiled A4 cardstock and 12 350gsmsheets of printed A4 cardstock. All 36 sheets use AdorableScorable board, a coated board with a superior finish that doesnot crack when scored. Fabulous quality and value-for-money.Hunkydory Crafts aim to offer retailers products that are both high quality and value for money.GrovesProduct:Contact:Price:Specification:Retailer Benefits:Trimits A LA MODE BEADST: +44 (0)1844 258080, E: sales@groves-banks.com, W: www.groves-banks.com.RRP £4.99 a cardA sensational collection of almost 300 stylish beads and accessories for creating today’sfashionable jewellery and decorations. “A LA MODE” contains both an extensive selection ofglittering Shamballa-style beads for making those distinctive threaded bracelets and a brilliantarray of 100 different mixes of three colour co-ordinated style beads.All Trimits products are distributed exclusively by Groves.The “A LA MODE” collection is now available with a free compact display stand in full orpart range options.Colinette YarnsProduct:Seasonal downloadable patterns for tradeContact:T: +44 (0)1938 811898, E: trade@colinette.com,W: www.colinette.com/categories/downloadPrice: May be downloaded as a PDF file with rights to print up to 10 copies for £5,giving a single unit price of just 50p. In addition, these designs are also availableas full colour, printed singles patterns sold for £7.50 per unit comprising fiveidentical leaflets.Specification:Colinette Yarns has taken the decision to offer all future pattern publications in adownloadable PDF file format, starting with a range for late summer. Additionally,for early autumn, there’s a great range of new chunky accessories designed forColinette Point Five, Calligraphy and One Zero yarns, some shown here.Retailer Benefits:These two offerings represent great value for the retailer who is then either able toprint out a professionally generated single pattern leaflet with high-qualityphotography or to order pre-printed pattern leaflets.Other information: Each of these new digital patterns amply showcases the Colinette yarn used in the design, thus helping to bothprompt sales of featured yarns and to promote footfall in the outlet and via the web.WOWProductThe Only Way is Orange Embossing GlitterContact:E: sales@wowembossingpowder.co.ukPrice: RRP £2.40Specification:15 ml jarRetailer Benefits:Great price point, plus no minimum order and worldwide shipping!Other information: The base is a pearlescent orange which changes colour according the surfaceunderneath. Powders are especially manufactured and twice treated to be static free.20 craftfocus

Knitting Boardsand Looms

Luca-S Cross StitchProduct:Pansies Cross Stitch Kit, Ref. B2231Contact:T: +44 (0)1263 515267, E: salesteam@solocrafts.com, W: www.solocrafts.comPrice: RRP £19.99Specification:Purrfectly adorable, this cat stack will steal your heart. From lazy to playful,cats in three colours snuggle together in happy harmony. A border of heartsand leaves surrounds the contented trio. Finished size is 13” x 15”. Kitincludes all woolfelt® for applique, all fabrics (100 per cent cotton) forbackground, borders, back, and binding, batting, buttons for eyes, embroideryfloss, precise patterns and complete illustrated instructions. Colors are gold,gray, rust, red, green, tan, mocha, and cream.Retailer benefits:Part of the new Luca-S Collection.new productsHantexProduct:Cat Stack Kit Hantex Kit Item, ref MQK0712Contact:T: +44 (0)844 879 4719 E: sales@hantex.co.uk W: www.hantex.co.ukPrice: RRP £23.95Specification:Counted Cross Stitch kit. Each kit includes: 16-count Zweigart fabric,Pre-sorted Anchor Floss, needle, graph and multi-lingual instructions. Finishedsize: Approx 18.5 x 32.5cms. contains 32 coloursRetailer Benefits:Rachel’s of Greenfield’s debut new design.HerdyProduct:Contact:Price:Specification:Retailer Benefits:Other Information:‘Magnificent Seven’ yarnsT: +44 (0)1539 739 201, E: spencer@herdy.co.uk, W: ww.herdy.co.ukTBCHerdy 100 per cent British wool is available in seven colours: blue, green,grey, purple, orange, pink and ecru. The chunky weight and vibrant coloursmake it perfect for knitting and crochet accessories. The two ply yarncomes in 100g balls with a meterage of over 105m. Yarn is processed andspun entirely in the UK.Part of the well-loved sheep-loving home and giftware company Herdy. The Lake District based company hasalways been keen to support fell farming communities in its area, so it is happy to launch a bespoke range of yarn.Iron on low heat, do not bleach or tumble dry. Recommended knitting needles: UK 6.5mm.Creative BeadcraftProduct:Contact:Price:Specification:Retailer Benefits:Other information:Autumn/Winter semi-precious beadsT: +44 (0) 1494 786924, E: beads@creativebeadcraft.co.uk,W: ww.creativebeadcraft.co.ukTBCThe latest arrivals include more of the very popular agate rangewhich includes a variety of beautiful striped agates, as well asgorgeous lapis lazuli, coral and bronzite.Semi-precious stones such as amethyst, turquoise, tiger eye andcrystal are always popular but particularly so in the Autumn/Winterwhen they are perfect for adding a touch of glamour. These beads come in beautiful colours and often havelovely markings so make a great display. Trade website gives you all the packaging options, easy ordering andtrade offers.They are very versatile and, as they work well with many other beads, only a few pieces are needed tomake stunning jewellery. They are available by the string or by the piece.craftfocus 23

projectbook it!Artist, Illustrator and Craft Focus Editor,Ella Johnston shows you how she makes herhandmade Japanese stab-bound notebooksStep 1MAKE YOUR BOOKTEMPLATEMATERIALS NEEDED• Awl• Ruler• Pencil• Two sheets of A6 card for the cover•15 sheets of A6 paper (paper weight 120 gsm)• Book-binding thread and binders needle• A6 rough paperStep 2Use your rough paperto make a template forwhere you are goingto make the holes tosew through. Your roughpaper should be thesame length as the paperand card you are going touse for the book.Using a ruler, draw aline from the top to thebottom of the roughpaper, about 1cm fromthe spine. Now make adecision on how manyholes you want. The onlyrule is that you have tohave an even numberof holes, I have six hereevenly spaced. Onceyou’ve decided howmany holes you want,measure them out andmark them on yourrough paper. You canmark them with a pencil,or make holes using yourawl. Which ever wayyou do it this will act asa template for the holesin your book, so be verycareful in your markingand measuring.(PICS A & B)ABMAKE YOUR HOLESUsing your rough papertemplate, even up yourpages and cover cardunderneath and weighdown the front edgeto keep the pages frommoving. Protect your worksurface with a piece ofscrap wood or cork boardas you punch a hole at eachof the marked points usingyour awl. Your pages andcover should all look thesame once punched.(PICS C, D & E)DCEcraftfocus 25

ook it!Step 3STITCH YOURBOOK ONE WAYPut all the pages together.Thread the needle through thetop hole of your book, leavingsome thread loose (PICS F & G).Now do a running stitchalong the book. (PICS H & I).Pull the thread tight throughthe holes while keepingyour top thread loose.F G H IStep 4STITCH YOU BOOK THEOTHER WAY AND LINKLoop your thread at the bottomof the book’s spine and gothrough the bottom hole, sothe bottom of the book is nowlinked. Now place the book onthe side loop around the topof the spine and go throughthe bottom hole again (PIC J).Repeat these steps with eachhole until you get to the top ofthe book (see pics). Remember to keep the thread tight. (PICS K, L & M)J K L MStep 5Step 6FINISH OFFYOU’VE MADE A BOOKNow you’ve got to the top of thebook you need to tie off the thread sothe binding won’t come loose. As atthe bottom, make a loop at the top ofthe book and go through the top hole,now slip the needle under two of thetop bindings coming out of the startinghole and tie a tight knot with theoriginal loose thread. (PICS N & O)NOYou can give your creationto a friend or keep it foryourself! (PIC P) CFOR MORE INFORMATIONPAs well as editing Craft Focus, Ella Johnstonhas also created a handmade stationery collection.See ellajohnston.wordpress.com andnotonthehighstreet.com/ellajohnstonartandillustration26 craftfocus

For more information call 0117 955 4710Or visit our website at: www.sesimons.co.uk

show newsstateside wondersCHA 2013The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) 2013 Winter Conference& Trade Show will unite the craft industry and bring the world ofcreativity together in Anaheim, California, at the Anaheim ConventionCenter. The Show is scheduled from 11–15 January 2013 and willhost hundreds of international exhibitors displaying the hottestnew creative products and trends in the craft industry, including thefollowing categories:· Art Materials· Card-Making and Stationery Supplies· Glass CraftCraft Kits· Scrapbooking· Beading Supplies· Home Decorating SuppliesThe Conference program willinclude a full line-up of Workshops,Seminars and Demo-nars® thatwill enrich your knowledge and provide skills to help your businessexcel. Workshops provide innovative product training in craftcategories including paper crafts, fine arts, jewelry making, mixedmedia and more. The Seminars provide industry expert-led sessionson emerging technology, retail best practices, web optimization,industry research, regulatory issues and more.CHA is also excited to launch three new educational formatsincluding Business Boot Camps, Hands-on Labs and CertificationClasses. Each of these new formats promises to deliver intenselearning opportunities where the attendee works on a particularbusiness skill and leaves with a game plan for advancing their business.CHA: W: www.craftandhobby.orgThis year's Craft & Hobby AssociationSummer show really wowed both visitorsand exhibitors alike. Two exhibitors givesyou the low-down on how it went forthem and we preview the winter event…successful CHA workshopsfor crafter’s companionThe CHA Summer show in July was a huge success and SaraDavies, Sales Director of Crafter’s Companion and CHA-UK chairexplains why it worked so well for their company:“We’ve always found theSummer Show to be a greatshow for us. The quality ofbuyers is very high and it givesme time to spend with our keypartners – not only the USones, but also our distributorsfrom around the world.“Education is a big focusof attention in the US. We recently launched our Spectrum Noirbrand in the States and we used the show as an opportunity to hostmultiple in-depth education programmes. We ran two-hour workshopstyleclasses teaching store owners how to maximise product salesthrough education. During the show we taught close to 300 peopleand the impact on our business was enormous. “Our US team wereoverwhelmed with the response from visitors to our stand at the showand we’re really excited about the opportunities that have opened up tous” Crafter’s Companion: W: www.crafterscompaniontrade.co.ukBeadalon celebratenew launch at CHABeadalon took the opportunity to introduce a new products launchesat the show. One of which was its Satin Silver stretch cord brandElasticity. Stretch bracelets aresuper easy to make and now achievea more dramatic look with the mattesatin silver color.Beadalon developed new SatinSilver Elasticity in response toincreased demand for stringingproducts as chain and metalwarejewelry slowly downtrend. The new 'sanctity-style' bracelet is drivingdemand for stretchy bead cord and helping usher in the next stringingcycle in the jewelry market.Elasticity is also available in clear and black, and the additional satinsilver color is perfect for emphasising sparkle in clear crystal beadsor braiding several cords for friendship style bracelets. This soft,elastic bead cord stretches like a rubber band. It’s ideal for stretchbracelets, power bracelets, hair bands and other stylish bead stringingprojects. Designs made with Elasticity drape elegantly and will retaintheir stretch. Available in 0.5mm, 0.8mm and 1.0mm diameters in 5mand 25m lengths.Beadalon: E: sales@beadalon.com, W: www.beadalon.comcraftfocus 29

eviews and previewsWe’ve got a great round up of some of the exciting shows that havetaken place, including the incredible Autumn Fair event. Plus, we giveyou a taste of some brilliant shows coming up…review: Autumn FairThe September 2012 Autumn Fair was even better than last yearsshow and its Hobby, Arts & Crafts sector – only in its second year– is already the fastest growing sector of the event. The sector wasbolstered this year by thepresence of CHA-UK, theorganisation offered a rangeof informative seminars allthrough Autumn Fair designedto help your business, includingtalks on embracing the powerof social media to keepcustomers, profiling the crafterand encouraging them into your store, and craft trends for 2013.DMC Creative WorldLive demonstrations took place every day at the show on the DMCstand and retailers had the opportunityof learning more about the Hoookedconcept with daily demonstrations inthe Craft Demo area of the show.With Christmas and the lucrativegift market in mind DMC showcasedproducts that would inspire a newgeneration of crafters, with Children’scraft products as well as the HoookedZpagetti range of kits, yarns and accessories which encourage newcrocheters to take up the hobby. With a wide selection of crochetpatterns and kits, DMC offered a range of products that wouldappeal to beginners and more experienced crocheters.DMC Creative World, T: +44 (0) 116 275 4000,E: sales@dmccreative.co.uk W: www.dmccreative.co.ukWest Design expand their Christmasproduct offeringWest Design Products showedoff its comprehensive range ofChristmas products, plus its newsole UK distribution agreements,adding more exciting lines to analready broad offering at the Fair.Lego Stationery, just one ofthese new sole UK distributionagreements, will excite children and adults alike with productssuch as the Lego Art Carousel Desk Organiser, Jumbo Markerswith Lego Heads and stationery activity sets making the perfectChristmas presents. .New additions to the Creativity for Kids range include craft kitssure to catch attention, with the predicted favourites includingFashion Bracelets and Mask Making. Whilst Pluffy from EberhardFaber, the new soft play dough for children is sure to be afavourite among younger children. West Design, T: + 44 (0)1303297888, E: sales@westdesignproducts.co.ukperfect PerthThe Perth Show Scotlandhas been running for anumber of years andis organised by YvonneJackson agencies. ForScottish and many northof England stoes, this isthe perfect opportunity tomeet with suppliers andsee their products in a relaxed yet business-like environment.Paul Smith of Hantex said: "This is a show where we're always busyand what's particularly pleasing is the number of new accounts we'veopened. Last year's show yielded many new customers who went on todo business throughout the year and this year we did even better."With many new exhibitors this year, visitors had a wider choice thanever. Many exhibitors, such as Habico, Creative Products and Hantex,incorporated demonstration areas into their stands, which gave visitors agreat opportunity to learn more about products they sell as well as takeaway a finished sample.Next year’s show takes place on 8–9 September 2013.review: Home and Gift showJuly’s Home & Gift, the industry’s favourite Christmas buying event,drew an impressive calibre of buyers to the 51st edition of the show.The event boasted its strongest line-up of brands to date. New brandsto Home & Gift this year included Alessi, Nkuku, Cavallini Papers & Co,Adele Marie, Decorexi, and Select Cards. Home & Gift can also reportan impressive 59 per cent increase in VIP visitors, representing a largernumber of department store visitors coming to the show.The launch of the brand new greetings and stationery venue, Hall H,proved to be extremely successful, with many lucrative orders taken bysuppliers throughout the duration of the show. This resulted in a 50 percent exhibitor rebook on site, which supports plans for further growth inthis area in 2013.Exhibitors and buyers at the show were impressed with the show’snew branding. Denise Brough of Nkuku commented: “We exhibited atHarrogate for the first time this year. We had lots of visitors to the standover all four days, particularly Northern and Scottish based retailers thathadn’t had the opportunity to see us before.”Next year’s show will take place from 14–17 July 2013,W: www.homeandgift.co.uk30 craftfocus

eview: festival of quiltsThe Festival of Quilts took place at the NEC, Birmingham from16-19 August. More than 30,000 people visited the showfrom more than 50 countries worldwide.Hundreds of quilts were entered into competition this year;from traditional to art quilts, those made in groups or by two people,plus entries from schools and individual children. The Festival organisersencourage entries from beginners through to professional makers.Workshop attendance indicated a shift in interests from traditionalquilting towards more unusual techniques. Dyeing is always popular, asare classes using mixed media techniques.The Festival is a riot of colour and even a non-quilter couldn’t fail tobe inspired by the beauty and talent on display. There is no doubt thatpatchwork and quilting has a huge following of passionate people.coming up: make it 2013,knit & stitch it 2013Gather inspiration and ideas at the South’slargest consumer craft weekend, with topcraft events Make it and Knit & Stitch itrunning alongside each other.Large social areas, workshops and ‘makeand take’s’ will give visitors the chance tomeet up with friends and meet likemindedcrafters while swapping ‘top tips’, the best techniquesand introducing new crafts.Make it, the traditional Farnborough event, will offer three fun-filledshopping days with the very best exhibitors the craft industry has tooffer showing an array of traditional crafts. Knit & Stitch it is a new eventbringing you the finest in needle, wool and stitch craft. Visitors will bewelcomed by wide shopping aisles full of friendly stands with lots ofthings to see and do.One ticket will give access to Make it and Knit & Stitch it – offering thechance to see double the exhibitors, demonstrating new and interestingproducts and crafts.Opening times: 1-2 March 2013, 10am - 5pm, 3 March 10am - 4pmTickets: Advance prices £7.50 (adult), £6 (concession), £15 (adultthree day pass), £12 (concession three day pass). Three-day passes areonly available in advance.coming up: Frankfurt am Main –Creativeworld 2013The world’s biggest trade fair for the creative sector returns to Frankfurtam Main – Creativeworld 2013. Based on the Paperworld Creativesection of Paperworld, the fair is the highlight for the hobby, crafts andartists’ requisites segments.Creativeworld is the ultimate platform for getting to know productvariants, exchanging experiences, initiating new business relations andan opportunity to see the latest industry innovations. Discover thelatest trends at this unique show, learn from the exceptional designedtrend presentation and take away terrific new ideas for your shop andcustomer window decorations.The combination of consumer good fairs in Frankfurt –Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld togetherexperienced both a significant increase in both visitor numbersand international orders in 2012. The three trade fairs attracted87,000 visitors from 155 countries.Date: 26–29 January 2013More details: W: www.creativeworld.messefrankfurt.com,www.paperworld.messefrankfurt.com, www.ukfrankfurt.co.ukNottingham bead & craft show 2012The Bead Shop in Nottingham is proud to announce their thirdannual Nottingham Bead & Craft Show.This fantastic event will run on Sunday 4 November 2012, from10am–4pm. It’s the ideal chance to experience a variety of freeworkshops and demonstrations from fused glass to WigJig, wirework and beading.The show will be held at the Gateway Hotel, easily accessibleby public transport from both Nottingham City Centre andNottingham Train Station, and just two minutes from Junction 26 onthe M1. With ample free parking available, refreshments on offer allday, and so many brilliant items to buy, you can’t afford to miss thisyear’s exciting Nottingham Bead & Craft Show!Full details can be found on the website atwww.ukbeadfairs.co.uk C32 craftfocus

★★★★Win!★PURELITE3-in-1 lampGet one lamp for everythingGroves is offering four lucky craft retailers the chance to win twoPURELITE 3-in-1 lamps.The PURELITE 3-in-1 lamp provides a complete solution for allcrafters who need bright, natural light and magnification when they areworking. From the same small and compact box, this lamp has beenexpertly designed so that it can be made into a floor lamp for armchaircrafting, a table lamp, or a clip-on desk lamp. And, with a choiceof either mains power or battery operation, the lamp can be usedanywhere, any time.The lamp is priced to sell at £69.99, offering much better retail valuethan many single-use lighting options currently available.Illuminated by 21 LED (light-emitting diodes) lights surrounding thelens, the lamp supplies maximum brightness for crafting, while at thesame time, producing a natural daylight effect which makes colourmatchingand exacting detailed work much more straightforwardand accurate. The LEDs emit minimum heat ensuring that workingconditions remain comfortable, and that the lamp is safe to touch.An optical quality 15cm/6” magnifying lens provides clear 2xmagnification, and is fixed to a flexible “swan” neck for precise and easypositioning. All necessary accessories, except batteries, are included inthe box, and illustrated instructions show clearly how to assemble thelamp into the desired form.The PURELITE 3-in-1 Magnifying Lamp is an exciting addition to thelighting section of any craft outlet, where it will breathe new life intoa very lucrative and profitable area of the market. The lamp bringsexcellent lighting conditions into the affordable reach of all crafters.Michael Lane, Marketing Consultant at Groves, commented: “TheHOW TO ENTERTo enter the competition, simply go towww.craftfocus.com, fill in your details andanswer the following question. Closing datesfor entries is 30 November, 2012.Q, What do the initials LED stand for?PURELITE 3-in-1 Magnifying Lamp has to be seen to be believed – itsvalue is exceptional, its versatility unmatched, and its quality of the verybest.“LED lighting will be the future for crafters. It is so environmentallyfriendly, using much less power than even the latest low energy bulbs,yet lasting for the lifetime of the lamp without replacement.“Retailers who choose to actively demonstrate this lamp toconsumers will be amazed at how many they will sell.”. CAll PURELITE products are distributed exclusively by Groves. Fulldetails of the complete PURELITE range, including the 3-in-1Magnifying Lamp can be obtained from a Groves representative, orby visiting the company’s website, www.groves-banks.com, whereevery product is featured in full colour.The company’s distribution centre can also provide furtherinformation T: +44 (0)1844 258080, E:sales@groves-banks.com).34 craftfocus

Italian Buttons“Prodotto italiano”••••••

ookshelfThere is a wealth of charming new bookreleases on the market designed to inspire thecreative crafter, including a brilliant collectionof knitting titles, we dive in and take a lookKNITTING AND CROCHETKnitting in Circles, 100Circular Patterns forSweaters, Bags, Afghansand Moreby Nicky EpsteinPublished by Potter Craft£19.99, HardbackISBN: 9780307587060Great for knitters looking for newideas, this book explores circularshapes that can be easily joined to create innovative and striking knittedpieces and garments. The book features 80 patterns for knitted circleswhich can be connected to make 15 projects. Each chapter focuses ona specific technique, from basics to ornate, cables to colourwork. Eachcircle pattern comes with instructions, a full-colour photograph and achart. Nicky then shows how to mix and match these patterns to createstunning projects including scarves, bags, toys, afghans and more.Knitted Pets, ACollection of Playful Pets toKnit from Scratchby Susie JohnsPublished by GMC£14.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781861088512Ideal for those who love to create cutecreatures for youngsters. From furryfriends and colourful birds to slimy snakesand friendly fish, there’s something hereto bring a smile to every face. There are 15 individual designs toappeal to knitters of all abilities looking for a new project to get theirneedles into. Projects come with a clearly laid out pattern and easyto-followmaking and assembly instructions. The book also includes acomprehensive techniques section, a beautiful photographic pet galleryand an array of helpful tips and hints.Urban Edge Crochet, 13 crochetdesigns in sizes small to 3Xby Shannon Mullett-BowlsbyPublished by Leisure Arts (Distributed by GMC)£14.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781609006617For those who like crochet with an edge, thiscollection from award-winning designer Shannon Mullett-Bowlsbyis vibrant, versatile and exciting. Showcasing yarns in light and mediumweights, the designs include a Bangkok Jacket, Dublin Cables Dress,Rio Sleeveless Hoodie, St. Tropez Butterfly Sleeve Top, Buenos AiresMaxi Vest, Amsterdam Vest, Helsinki Sweater, Seattle Cross Front Vest,Los Angeles Jacket, Taos Poncho, Milan Cowl Neck Top, Paris Wrap (amultifunctional skirt or dress) and NYC Dress. Most patterns are forsizes small to 3X and can be created by people of all skill levels. Tutorialshelp explain foundations and finishing techniques.Gothic Knitsby Fiona McDonaldPublished by Search Press£10.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781844486489A brilliant book for knitters looking for somethinga bit ‘different’. Create weird and wonderfulvampires, maidens and ghostly figures withclear instructions on making and stuffing the bodies, colouring andembroidering the faces and creating the hair using fancy yarns, fakehairpieces and hair embellishments. Each doll is artfully and distinctivelydressed in knitted outfits and accessories that any Goth would be proudof. The simple patterns mean that knitters of all abilities can enjoy makingthese dolls. Add just the right amount of scariness, and these creationswill delight and inspire adults as well as children of all ages.200 Fair Isle Designsby Mary MucklestonePublished by Search Press£14.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781844486922A must for fashionable knitters, this guide features200 beautiful Fair Isle designs. From simple onerow “peerie” patterns to complex allover repeats, thisbook will thrill and inspire the knitter, experienced and beginner alike.Organised by row and stitch count, each of the patterns is accompaniedby an easy-to-follow chart indicating both the pattern stitches and thecolours used, and each sample is shown in an alternative colourway. A“mix and match” feature lets you combine patterns with confidence.This book also includes guidance on yarn choices and special techniquesunique to Fair Isle knitting.36 craftfocus

ook reviewsNorwegian Knitting Designsby Margaretha FinsethPublished by Search Press£14.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781844486861Design addicts will adore this collection fromsome of Norway’s best knitwear designers.Those featured in this book have influencedNorwegian hand, and commercial-knitting overrecent years. The book presents 22 unique knitted garments, all usingclassic Norwegian-spun wool yarns and based on traditional patterns.Each design is accompanied by stunning photographs as well as detailsof the materials used, pattern charts and detailed instructions.NEEDLEWORK AND TEXTILESLove to Sew: Pin Cushionsby Salli-Ann CookPublished by Search Press£7.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781844488223Great for sewers looking for gorgeousgifts to make, this book features 20 funprojects, with some step-by-step pictures.All the techniques needed are shown in amini-project and include transferring the design, using fusible web,cutting out, applying decorative effects, sewing together, stuffingand closing. Projects include a mini monster, Union Jack pillow, cupcake, Christmas pudding, Halloween pumpkin, fried egg, voodoodoll, flat cat, wristwatch, magician’s hat and a heart. These brilliantpincushions will brighten up any sewing box or bag. All patternsand templates are included.Love to Sew: Hanging Heartsby Rachael RowePublished by Search Press£7.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781844487875Perfect for home crafters – these heartscan hang anywhere, from doors to dressers.They brighten up rooms and can alsomake perfect gifts for friends and relatives.This book shows how to make a gorgeous selection of hearts withfun projects, clear instructions and easy to use templates. Featuringinformation on both hand, and machine stitching, this title offers thereader advice on the basic techniques and materials needed, plustwenty gorgeous projects in a range of styles that include shabbychic, vintage, French country style, traditional and simply fun.All instructions are accompanied by clear, step-by-stepphotographs, and full-size templates of all featured projects areprovided. Ideal for beginners as well as more experienced stitchers,these creations are quick and easy to make.CAKE CRAFTS20 to Make, Chocolate Animalsby Frances McNaughtonPublished by Search Press£4.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781844488452Creative chocolate lovers will be sure to likethis collection of chocolate creatures made using white, milk anddark chocolate modelling paste, chocolate buttons, sprinkles, chocolatespreads and confectionery. Most projects are suitable for beginners,with a few more challenging models for more advanced sugar crafters.Choccy creatures include a rabbit, teddy bear, cat, kitten, dog, puppies,owl, and white seal pup. The constituent parts of the animals are shownwith step-by-step instructions. Both animal and chocolate lovers will bethrilled to see any of these appealing creatures on top of a celebratorycake. The designs will also appeal to makers of polymer clay models.20 to Make, Decorated Cookiesby Lisa SlatterPublished by Search Press£4.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781844485475An essential tool for bakers, this book includesinstructions for making the cookies themselves(though ready-made cookies are also fine), notes on theequipment needed, and each project is accompanied by clear,step-by-step instructions and complete materials and tools lists.A great source of ideas and inspiration for anyone keen to make anddesign decorated cookies of their own.Book ContactsA & C Black, www.acblack.comAnova Books, T: +44(0)207 605 1466, www.anovabooks.comCico Books, T: +44 (0)1256 302699, www.cicobooks.co.ukDorling Kindersley, T: +44(0)207 010 3709, www.dk.co.ukF&W Media International (David & Charles)T: +44(0) 1476 541080, www.fwmedia.co.ukGMC Publications, T: +44(0)1273 488 005, www.thegmcgroup.comHow2crafts, T: +44(0)121 212 9857, www.how2crafts.comJacqui Small, T: +44 (0)20 7284 7181, www.aurumpress.co.ukNew Holland, www.newhollandpublishers.comNiyogi Books, www.niyogibooks.comOctopus Publishing, T: +44 (0)207 632 5488Quarto Group (incorporating Creative Publishing International),T: +44 (0)20 7284 7197Quarry, www.quarrybooks.comSearch Press, T: +44 (0)1892 510 850, E: sales@searchpress.com,www.searchpress.comStash Books, www.roundhousegroup.co.ukThe Useful Booklet Company, T: +44(0)1761 439825,www.heatherworks.co.ukcraftfocus 37

crafting for happinessWe talk to Abbey Hendrickson, craft bloggerand author of latest book release, YouAre Awesome, on life at the coal-face ofcrafting and why she put pen to paperAs you know, at Craft Focus we love findinginspirational ideas to help retailers to displayand sell their products. So we were veryexcited when a new book, You Are Awesome,hit our desks. It’s full of great craft projects thatutilise a wealth of materials – and can also be agreat resource for store display ideas.The book is a collection of 21 clearlyexplained step-by-step craft ideas rangingfrom a cross-stitched screendoor to a laptoptoy made from a cardboard box. Written byAbbey Hendrickson, pictured, author of theblog Aesthetic Outburst (aestheticoutburst.blogspot.co.uk), we though it would be a greatidea to catch up with her.What is your background and whatprompted you to write this book?Making craft projects is my true love. Last year,I decided to make one craft each weekdayand give them all away via my blog. I endedup giving away 80 handmade products toreaders all over the world. At about the sametime, Publishers Ziggy Hanaor and VictoriaWoodcock invited me to submit a project fortheir book, State of Craft. Ziggy said somethinglike: “If you ever have an idea for a book,please get in touch” to which I immediatelyresponded: “Yes! Yes, I do!”. I wasn’t completelyprepared, but the project I’d been working onseemed like a good fit. Sometimes you needto just jump at an opportunity, even when youdon’t feel completely prepared.Why do you believe that craftscan make you happy?There’s just something about making aproject by hand for the people you love…You write a crafty blog – howinfluential are blogs within the craftingcommunity?Very! This feels like a renaissance period for theblogging/crafting community. There are so manytalented people floating around in the world,and I think it’s fabulous that so many are willingto put themselves out there and sharetheir interesting ideas. It’s truly inspiring.Where do you get your make ideas?The more I make, the more ideas seem to justpop into my mind. I particularly love to wanderthe aisles of thrift or antique stores, though.The book is beautifully styledwith gorgeous illustration – what wasthe thinking behind this very coolapproach?The illustrations are brilliant, aren’t they? FionaBiddington did a beautiful job! As far as thestyling goes, I obsessively collect inspirationalimages from my favorite blogs and magazines,and so I sent publisher Ziggy and photographerGarry a collection of those photos. There’s acertain look that I tend to be most drawn toand I think Ziggy and Garry did an excellentjob in capturing that.Why do you think craft and crafting isso cool at the moment?Making something with your hands canbe very rewarding; it can also be tragically38 craftfocus

great ideasannoying. Imperfection has always appealed tome, though. I also really love the communal,generous nature of the crafting/bloggingcommunity- it’s a space where technologyand crafting happily co-exist.What is your favourite make inthe You Are Awesome book?My favorite projects are the ones that I initiallymade for my children. I instantly picture themclacking away at the cardboard computer orrunning around the house wearing a rainbownecklace. They’re growing so fast - these aremoments that I hope never to forget.What essential crafting materials canyou simply not do without?Oh, that’s an easy question for me toanswer- puff paint! I’ve loved it since childhoodand it remains my favorite craft material.Strange, but completely true.How can retailers encourage novicecrafters to try something new?I always, always respond to lovely packaging.It also may sound odd, but be approachable. Irecently had a disappointing experience witha local retailer, what I took away from thatexperience is that retailers need to be willingto establish relationships with their customers.Crafters, both old and new, will be much morelikely to try something if they feel comfortableasking for advice.Who are your crafty heroes?My first crafty heroes remain a huge inspiration:my parents, my grandparents, and my greatauntDorothy. I’m lucky to be surroundedby talented, creative souls, most particularlymy husband, our children, and our very dearfriends. I once read a quote from someone(forgive me, but I can’t remember who) aboutplanning a life from which you don’t need aholiday. I’ve really tried to do that in myown life and I think it’s working.Craft blogs of noteIt’s not just Abbey Hendrickson who’susing a blog to reach out to other crafters –there are loads of great blogs out there thatare fantastic sources of inspiration. Here’s alist of our favourites….amelieshouse.blogspot.co.uk/Written by Natasha, cheerful proprietor ofAmelie’s House: baker, artist, designer andillustrator. This blog has a wealth of gorgeouscake crafting ideas as well as some charmingmakes to pep up a party.tonicstudios.blogspot.co.ukThis blog is a snapshot from Tonic’s favoritecrafters who share their ideas on what’spossible with Tonic products. It’s also an idealplace to keep up to date with new productFurther informationYou Are Awesome, £9.95 ISBN: 978-1-908714-00-8Cicada Books Limited, 48 Burghley Road, London, NW5E: ziggy@cicadabooks.co.uk, W: www.cicadabooks.co.uklaunches and ideas from the company.onesheepishgirl.blogspot.co.ukA gorgeous blog (pictured) that celebratesall things knitted and crocheted. Both thephotography and content are beautiful.Really worth a look.sewyeah.co.ukFresh and contemporary, this colourful blogis penned by Christine Leech, the co-authorof great craft books Everything Alice: theWonderland Book of Makes and EverythingOz: The Wizard Book of Makes & Bakes. Theblog contains a wealth of inspirational ideas.particraft.blogspot.co.ukA daily papercrafting blog that featureshandmade cards showcasing Spellbinder dies. Ccraftfocus 39

yuletide logchristmas craftsFeeling festive? You will be after you’ve seenpart two of our amazing Christmas product line up…A cross-stitch ChristmasIn collaboration withrenowned needlecraftdesigner Maria Diaz,Framecraft Miniaturesis now able to offer afun range of new crossstitchkits for Christmas.The new collectionincludes; ‘The Twelvedays of Christmas’ heartframe tree decorationsalong with three cardkits featuring Meerkats,Cute Robins and ofcourse good ‘ole Santa.All kits contain: 14-countAida, stranded cotton,needle, double-fold card,instruction sheet and fullcolour and symbol chart.Check out the Framecraft Miniatures website for the full range, all card kitsRRP £4.99, Twelve days of Christmas Heart Frame kit RRP £3.10.Framecraft Miniatures Ltd, T: +44 (0)1543 360842, E: sales@framecraft.com,W: www.framecraft.comFab feltsAward winning Create & CraftGuest Presenter Lisa MarieOlson of Tigerlily Makes, hasproduced yet another showstopping design that isreceiving much attentionin the crafting community.The Lily’s Pudd’s aPudding Christmas Tea CosyKit is a fabulously fun andfestive kit which will definitelybecome a talking point at anyChristmas gathering.Created in classic Tigerlily style,this kit comes with 100 per cent ethically sourced merino wool, plastictemplate and full-colour step-by-step instructions.Tigerlily Makes also introduces Lily’s Heart Felt Festive Fanfare needle felting kit.This is the second in a range of complete needle felting kits that includes: punchingblock, felting needles, wool and as with the last kit, full colour step-by-step instructions.Tigerlily Makes, T: +44 (0)845 543 9046, E: info@tigerlilymakes.co.uk,W: www.tigerlilymakes.co.ukDeck the hallsThese Nordic-inspired Christmas Decorations kitsare the newest addition to the ‘Kitty Kay – Make &Sew’ range for winter 2012. The three lovely redand white decorations – Christmas tree, bauble andstar – come in an ‘easy to make’ kit, aimed at childrenfrom four years upwards.With simple pre-cut felt shapes, there is no trickycutting out for small fingers, making the kits userfriendly to children of all ages and abilities – andadults too of course! Each kit contains sticky feltdecorations, sequins, spotty buttons, hanging ribbon,pointy needle and thread.The kits aim to teach children, who are confidentsewers, to further develop their existing skills inbasic straight stitch by creating a set of beautifulChristmas keepsakes.Kitty’s kits are both creative and educationaland make the perfect gift for Christmas, birthdaysor just family time!Kitty Kay, E: info@kittykay.co.uk,W: www.kittykay.co.ukA magical makeThe Snowman isan iconic figure andseasonal classic. Thewell-known book wastransformed into atraditional film andcelebrates its 30thanniversary this year.The sequel film: “TheSnowman and TheSnowdog” premiersthis Christmas and will introduce a whole newaudience to this well loved character.DMC is offering six new counted cross stitch designsthat have a wide appeal and cater for all levels of stitcherfrom beginner to advanced. The kits include iridescentfabric – adding a special finish to designs and contributingto the ‘magical’ theme of The Snowman.RRP £8.99 - £26.99For more information contact:DMC Creative World Ltd, T: +44 (0)116 275 4000,W: www.dmccreative.co.ukcraftfocus 41

yuletide logSticky seasonChristmas carddesigning just gota whole lot easierand fun with Peel &Stick festive designs.PSA Essentialshas over 100 Peel& Stick® designsfor virtually everycelebration. Thecompany also haslicenses with HelloKitty, Peanuts, Maxineand Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer.Stamps are madefrom clear, polymer andthe black ink cartridgeis good for up to 10,000impressions.The company’s patentpendingPeel & Stick technology allows for plenty of design options.Peel away the inner or outer ring and stick on a new one for addedcustomization and design. Think of it as “switchable middles!” PSAEssentials, www.psaessentials.comMark with an XmasLetraset has given Christmas-loving crafters a head-start with its newContemporary and Traditional Christmas 6 Sets, taking all the hardwork out of picking a colour scheme.Each set contains one Metallic Marker – perfect for adding thatall important sparkle – and five complementary ProMarkers.If one Metallic Marker just isn’t enough for your customers, thenLetraset also has two Metallic Marker 6 Sets, each containing sixmetallic colours.Letraset’s Traditional Christmas 6 Set, Contemporary Christmas6 Set, Metallic Marker Set 1 and Metallic Marker Set 2 are all availablenow, RRP £12.49.Letraset, T: +44 (0) 1233 624421, E: enquiries@letraset.com,W: http://trade.letraset.comSeasonal sparkleArt and Crafts Direct is delighted to announce the launch ofa new brand, Midas Metallics - the exclusive range of paperkits from “Paper Stash”.Midas Metallics is an innovative and creative foilingtechnique that has not been seen in the crafting industryuntil now and is set to take the market by storm. It adds an air ofsophistication and a fabulous lustre, glamour and luxuriousness to allprojects. But it’s not just about the all over foiling, it scores, creases andfolds with ease and without cracking.Art and Crafts Direct is a UK based manufacturing company, with awell established and experienced 40+ team operating from modernpremises in the heart of the country. The company aims to bring tomarket what retailers and consumers are looking for, affordable qualityproducts with exceptional delivery and customer service.Art and Crafts Direct, W: www.crafting.co.ukHOT CHRISTMAS LOOKS FOR 2012• Nordic red and white• Retro ‘50s, ‘60s prints and patterns• Christmas bunting• Luxe purple and golds• Brights• Metallics teamed with candy colours• Folk42 craftfocus

We are a small family run, Edinburgh based rubber stamp company.We manufacture in-house, a fine selection of Cling rubber stamps.Brand NEW Christmas Stamps!We offer FREE delivery on orders over £50 (net of VAT).You can view our range of products on our websitewww.craftystamps.comTel/Fax: 0131 221 9440enquiries@craftystamps.comCrafty Stamps, 92 Grove Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8AP

christmas craftsA handy Christmascraft giftHelp your craftycustomers to makesomething wonderfulfor their loved ones thisChristmas by offeringthem a classy, craftygift option with theSTAEDTLER FIMOpen range. Availableas premium qualitySTAEDTLER ballpointand/or fountain pens,the implements haveplain brass barrelsfor decoration withFIMO polymermodelling clay.The product istruly unique andperfect for eitherpersonal use or as ahighly individual gift.The pens comeapart easily, arecompatible with allFIMO soft, classicand effect oven-hardening modelling claysand can be used with other complementary FIMO accessoriessuch as leaf metal.The pen is aimed at crafters of all skill levels and comes with detailedstep-by-step instructions to ensure perfect results every time.STAEDTLER, T +44 (0)845 600 5930, E: sales@uk.staedtler.comA folky festive finishRenaissance Ribbons has really pushed the boat out this Christmaswith a gorgeous new festive range from Sue Spargo’s ContemporaryFolk Art Collection. Highlights for us include, Christmas Tree on Silverand Red Pomegranates on Gray.Sue draws her inspiration and love of “primitive” art from herchildhood in southern Africa. Later moving to England and the US,she’s gained recognition with quilters and needlework crafters forcontemporary folk art designs. Perfect for embellishment in all craftsespecially quilting, sewing and accessories.Renaissance Ribbons, T: 001 530 692-0842, E: info@renaissanceribbons.com, W: www.renaissanceribbons.comA cute chrimboStitchtastic’s two new Christmas designs are part of the KateMawdsley by Stitchtastic range and join the popular Christmascollection launched last year. Brown Christmas Dog and GreyChristmas Cat are both around 25cm (10”) square, the cat uses 17DMC colours and the dog uses 20. Both use simple backstitch togive a lovely fluffy impression and require simple, straightforwardstitches which will appeal to beginners and more experiencedstitchers alike. Both kits retail at £24.95.Stitchtastic has no minimum order size and offers free shipping onall orders over £100.Stitchtastic, T: +44 (0)114 235 3958 E: trade@stitchtastic.comcraftfocus 45

yuletide logSTEP-BY-STEP: ADVENT CALENDARMake an advent calendar for a fun festive display and show yourcustomers how they can do the same. Simply take your Dremel®Moto-Saw and Dremel 3000 and follow this simple guide...STEP ONEFirst go to your local DIYstore and get the lengthsof MDF cut for you as perthe cutting list.Then, draw a basicChristmas tree shape on your 73cm high x50cm piece of MDF. Here’s how. Start bydrawing a vertical line down the centre of theboard and then measure and mark at each10cm point from the bottom to the top onthe centre line. Go back to the bottom andthis time make a mark10cm in from each edge.Now, follow the drawing as shown and makesure that your tree branches extend out toroughly the following measurements: 50cm atthe bottom, 41.5cm, 33.7cm, 25.5cm, 17.8cm,9.8cm.STEP TWONow that you have yourChristmas tree drawnout on the MDF board,cut out the outline of thetree using your Dremel®Moto-Saw and the fine wood cutting bladeMS52. This will become the front of youradvent calendar.STEP THREEOnce you’ve donethat, use your cut outChristmas tree as atemplate for the backingboard of your adventcalendar. Do this by placing it on top of the73cm x 50cm 3mm piece of MDF and drawaround it. Cut it out using your Dremel®Moto-Saw as before, you should have twoChristmas tree shapes.STEP FOURNext, create the doorsfor your advent calendar.Using your Dremel Moto-Saw, cut your two 45mmx 70cm strips of 9mmMDF into 25 45mm squares.STEP FIVEPlace your cut outdoors onto the 18mmChristmas tree shapeboard in the followingconfiguration: frombottom to top – 3, 5, 3,4, 3, 3, 2, 1, 1 (I’m not sure what this means) –equally spaced. Then, draw around each door.When you’ve done this, draw a parallel line2mm or 3mm inside the line you’ve just drawnonto the board. This will give you a plan forplunge cutting out the centre of each square toprovide a cavity for the chocolate or sweet tobe hidden behind each door.STEP SIXTo plunge cut out thecentre of each square, useyour Dremel 3000 andthe Dremel MultipurposeSpiral Cutting Bit 561 tomake an access hole and cut through to thepart you will be removing. Pass the DremelMoto-Saw and its fine wood blade through thecut you’ve made and cut one side. Continue inthis manner until all four sides are cut and thepiece of wood falls out.STEP SEVENTake your Christmas treeshaped backing board in3mm MDF and pin it tothe 18mm MDF frontboard. Use a pin gun orhammer in panel pins around the edges and afew up the middle. Alternatively use PVA woodglue, apply an even pressure and allow to dry.STEP EIGHTNow, fix the doors ontoyour advent calendar.First, screw a hinge ontothe edge of each doorusing your precisionscrewdriver no 0. Then, using your Dremel3000, drill a pilot hole for each screw using theDremel Precision Drill Bit 1,2mm from the 628set. Drive in the screws using the precisionscrewdriver. Then affix the other side of thehinge to the face of the advent calendar.STEP NINEFinally, affix the 64mmbrass butt hinge to oneend of your piece of 50cmx 8cm 9mm MDF bydrilling a pilot hole withthe Dremel 2.0 Precision Drill Bit from the628 set. Then affix to the centre of the back ofthe advent calendar to make a strut. The strutshould allow the calendar to stand at roughly a10-degree angle.STEP 10Prime and paint with decorative patternDremel, T: +44 (0)844 7360107,E: pt.dremelmarketing@uk.bosch.com,W: www.dremel.comTOOLS AND MATERIALS• Dremel® Moto-Saw using coarseMS51 and fine wood cutting blades MS52• Dremel® 3000 with the Dremel®Multipurpose Spiral Cutting Bit 561,Dremel® Precision Drill Bit Set 628(1,2mm)• 25 16mm x 19mm (open) brass hingesand screws from model making retailer• Precision screwdriver set, screwdriversize 0• 64mm brass butt hinge• 73cm x 50cm piece of 18mmMDF for the front of the Christmas tree• Two 45mm x 70cm strips of9mm MDF to cut:25 45mm x 45mm 9mm MDFfor the little advent calendar doors73cm x 50cm piece of 3mm MDFfor the backing board8cm x 50cm piece of 9mm MDFfor the strut46 craftfocus

Historical SamplerCompany Ltd

yuletide logYOUR FESTIVE READING LISTThere is a fabulous range of inspirational Christmas craft books on themarket providing great projects for festive makers looking for decorationand gift ideas, here are a few of our recommendations…NEEDLEWORK AND TEXTILESQUILTING FOR CHRISTMAS,17 PROJECTS BY HOUSEOF WHITE BIRCHESPublished by Leisure Arts(Distributed by GMC) £14.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781609003609Home-makers willlove this! Techniquesinclude appliqué,patchwork and paperpiecing. The bookfeatures 17 projectsby various designersand includes: BigThings Come inSmall Packages(two framedblocks), PoinsettiaTable Runner, Ornament Wall Hanging, StarBright Table Set (runner and place mats),Christmas Winter Snowflake, Counterchange,Winter Magic, Holly Jolly Snowmen, ScrappyRed Christmas, Redesign Nine, Home for theHolidays, Christmas Hospitality Runner, CelticChristmas Table Runner and Give and TakeOrnaments (wall quilt and bag).ORNAMENTS GALORE VOLUME 2,48 CROSS STITCH DESIGNS BYURSULA MICHAELPublished by Leisure Arts(Distributed by GMC) £7.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781601404992For those who love to add a handmade touchto their celebrations. This second collectionof Christmasdesigns includescheerful elves,bears, birds,angels, reindeerand Santa.Crafters canuse these littlecreations totrim the tree,or use them todecorate packages. They’re also perfect forornament exchanges or secret Santa gifts.KNITTING AND CROCHETLITTLE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONSTO KNIT & CROCHET BY VALPIERCE AND SUE STRATFORDPublished by Search Press £9.99, HardbackISBN: 9781844488704Noveltyknitters andcrocheterswill adore thiscollection ofmini Christmasprojects. Thebook provides40 delightfulprojects (20knitted and20 crocheted),with some designs knitted in differentcolourways to provide ideas and inspiration.There are mini Christmas stockings, hollyleaves, reindeer, snowmen, snowflakes, aChristmas fridge magnet, a star, a candy cane,Christmas bells, an angel and much more. Fullinstructions and materials lists are provided.KNIT THE NATIVITY BY JAN MESSENTPublished by Search Press £7.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781844488728Perfect fortraditionalknitters wholike to updatetheir pieces.This successfulChristmasfavouritehas beencompletelyreworked for modern knitters. The pieceshave all been produced in today’s yarns, takingadvantage of the variety of sparkling andnovelty offerings now available, and the nativityscene has been recreated and photographedusing Jan Messent’s patterns and instructions.The knitting patterns are clearly presentedand there is plenty of advice on all the knittingprocesses. Full patterns, diagrams and drawingsshow how to make your own beautiful nativityscene which will be enjoyed for years to come.MINI CHRISTMAS KNITSBY SUE STRATFORDPublished by Search Press £4.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781844487226This fun book offers somegreat decoration and giftideas for the novelty knitter.There are mini Christmasstockings, a holly wreath,reindeer, a snowman, arobin, an egg cosy, a star,a Christmas pudding,gingerbread hearts, a miniChristmas sweater andmuch more. Full knittinginstructions are given, andeach project is photographed so thatknitters have a clear look at the design,and there are plenty of ideas for ways ofdisplaying the projects.FAIRYTALE KNITS TO CHERISH ANDCHARM BY FIONA MCDONALDPublished by Search Press£9.99, HardbackISBN: 9781844483600Brilliant for thosewho love a bit ofmagic and whimsycome Christmas.The book features10 beautiful fairies toknit, using clear andsimple patterns and avariety of yarns and embellishments. Each fairymeasures approximately 40cm (16in) from topto toe, and all with their own character andstyle. This is a source of ideas and inspirationfor knitters of all abilities, and a book to betreasured by young and old alike. C48 craftfocus

great on paperHunkydory Crafts is one of the UK’s Premier Papercraft Manufacturers, wespoke to the team who told us why the company is so respected and successfulHunkydoryCrafts, prides itself on designingand manufacturing papercrafts to the higheststandard, helping crafters to make cards thatwill be truly cherished by the ones they love.We spoke to the company about the teamand the future of papercrafting…How did Hunkydory Crafts start?Our mail order company, Cardcraft Plus, hadbeen retailing craft products since the late1990’s and was finding it difficult to sourceenough quality products to fill its regularcatalogues. Our catalogue designers werealso crafters and had showed a real interestin designing their own papercraft products,which they did. These quickly became someof our best-selling items.Before long, fellow retailers had begun tomake enquires about stocking our productsand so, in 2007, Hunkydory Crafts was born.Tell us about the Hunkydory teamWe are a family business, run by Ann, Adamand Daniel Newhouse. Hunkydory Craftsand our sister company Cardcraft Plus, aleading mail order retailer in the papercraftindustry, have a combined team of over 80employees, all of whom we consider to beour extended family!Our dedicated team includes the talentedHunkydory demonstrators, Anne-MarieCatterall, Ruth Mackie-McCarten and MichelleMarsden; our Design Team - the best in theirfield and the real hub of Hunkydory Crafts; ourProduction Team - more than a dozen skilledand time-served machine operators; and ourWarehouse Team, who are responsible forpackaging our products and picking the orders.Generally, our team are versatile, flexibleand they relish the wide variety of work. Weare very proud of them all for helping us toachieve the accolades of Best Papercraft Rangeand Best Decoupage Range in 2011.Why did you decide toget involved in papercrafts?Malcolm Langley from Habico (now withCreative Hobbies Group) came into Ann andDavid’s shop in the late 1990’s with some ofthe very first peel-off stickers and Ann wasinstantly hooked! It soon became a family affairwhen Daniel designed the very first CardcraftPlus catalogue and our mail order service wasborn. As with all new start-ups the stock soontook over the house and the dining roombecame an office. Thank God for warehouses!What’s your most popular product?As we launch around 20 new collectionseach year, our most popular products areever changing. We do have some really strongcore ranges though, such as our ever-popularfoiled cardstock, which at 350gsm is a superbheavyweight board that is ideal for bothmatting and layering, or for creating the mostluxurious card blanks.How do you like to workwith your retail clients?Hunkydory Crafts has over 1,000 retailcustomers. Around once a month we releasea new product collection via Create & CraftTV which promotes the collection in themarketplace. We contact our retail customersto announce the release or imminent releaseof our latest product collection and add thenew ranges to our website.Products are released to the retailers in asmaller format than when they’re sold on TV,with most kits retailing at around £5.99, makingthem perfect for all those who watched on50 craftfocus

television but did not buy. We do not have afield Sales Team at present, but may considerthis in the future. However, we create anannual retail catalogue as well as providingregular updates via retail supplements everyquarter to keep our clients informed.Hunkydory CraftsWhat new trends are youseeing in card making?Card sizes are definitely getting smaller!Over the past few years it had steadilybecome more popular to make large cardssuch as 8” x 8” and the even larger A4 cards.However, possibly due to the increase in thecosts of posting larger format mail, card makershave moved downwards to 6” x 6”, 5” x 5”and back to 6” x 4” card sizes. The extrabenefit is that their card making is morecost-effective as less material is needed tomake a card in the first place.What do you like most about workingin the craft industry?It’s a vibrant and ever-changing industry, butif you stay still for too long you will get leftbehind! Personally I enjoy the challenge ofrunning our own business and the craftingindustry is certainly fun to work in. There arelots of friendly people - retailers, wholesalersand card makers alike and many of the retailersare card makers themselves, working with theirfavourite pastime. I’m not a seasoned craftermyself, but I like the enthusiasm and passionthat crafters bring to the industry.What Hunkydory productswould you say are essentialfor card makers?Our Adorable Scorable cardstock is themarket leader and an absolute essential,allowing crafters to create the perfect scoreand fold with or against the grain withoutcracking or feathering. There are now over40 colourways, with more added everyseason. Our Diamond Sparkles Ultra-fineGlitters are also an absolute must-have!With a range of crystallina glitters in over50 colourways, there are colours for allrequirements and these are fabulous foradding extra shimmer and shine to projects.What are your favouriteHunkydory ranges and whatmakes them so special?That’s a toughie! The brand new LoveChristmas Collection uses contemporarystyle and blends it with traditional colourways.The recently designed ‘A Sparkling SeasonCollection’ features glitter that is encapsulatedwithin the design sheets. Contemporarycolourways and beautiful houses in the snowand modern landscapes make brilliant use ofthe most fabulous artwork. For a non-festiverange, there is the brand-spankingnew Autumn Days Collection.Where do you see Hunkydory Crafts inthe future?We are now the leading papercraftmanufacturer in the UK and have becomethe largest craft supplier to Ideal World &Create & Craft TV. In the next few years weaim to expand our database of retailers, aswell as continue working with key brands andmanufacturers in the industry such as CraftersCompanion to help promote growth in thecraft market as a whole, which can only benefiteveryone involved. 2012 saw the launch ofthe Great British Craft Festival, a two-daycelebration of all things craft with the aimof “giving back” to the craft community. Thefestival was crammed with free demonstrationsfrom celebrity crafters and there were over1,700 free make and take places, helpingcrafters to learn new techniques which, inturn, helps to increase sales activity in themarketplace for everyone. CFurther informationHunkydory CraftsT: +44 (0)1772 272575E: enquiries@hunkydorycrafts.co.ukW: www.hunkydorycrafts.co.ukcraftfocus 51


card makingFrom me to youThe art of card making is enduringly popular, plus with so many creative make optionsas well as fantastic papers and tools it’s a great activity for both entry-level crafters andexperienced artisans alike who like make their greetings that bit more personalA touch of classWoodware is always producing products that help crafters push the creative boundariesof their projects. The company is adding some new trimmings to its range and hasintroduced some tartan ribbon to the ribbon range in widths suitable for card makersand at a good value price.The organza ribbon has been added too with some 30mm in cream and white and a superwide 40mm in cream and white. Woodware also has some self-adhesive narrow cotton lace.This comes in cream and bright white. As it is cotton it is easy to colour with stamping inks.The lace comes carded and is easy to display. A pack of crochet flowers complements the lace.Since it is coming up for Christmas the new products would not be complete without atouch of sparkle, new gems and pearls on a 50cm roll in a small clam pack to make displaysimple and space saving. The gems are all the same size and can be used as a strip or cut andused individually. They are either crystal or in a bright colour mix. The pearls form a swirl thatmakes a very elegant addition to a card.The Christmas crafting season is well underway but there is still lots of time to make salesat this the most important time of year for the craft retailer. Woodware’s Christmas range ofClear Magic Stamps is a popular option, as is the range of Stampendous Cling Rubber stamps.While people still have limited money to spend they can see the value in stamps because theycan be used over and over again.Encouraging crafters to experiment with different colours of embossing powder, and ways tocolour the images, are a great way to entice add on sales. Woodware’s embossing powders insingle jars and in packs of five co-ordinating colours, are good value for the customer and offera reasonable sized sale to the retailer.It is up to both the supplier and the retailer to encourage the end users to be adventurouswith their crafting. Showing the crafter how versatile the stamps can be with samples,workshops, and demos are invaluable. Woodware is working hard to show case samples bothin the gallery of on our retailer only website and on our blog, we encourage people to sharetheir creations with us, so you can use it a tool to encourage your customers to create.Woodware Craft Collection, T: +44 (0)1756 700024, E: info@woodware.co.uk,W: www.woodware.co.ukCard making for kidsMaking cards is a great way to introducekids to crafting and Seedlings CreativeCard making kit will have the little onesentertained for hours and will guaranteebeautiful one off creations that wouldbrighten up anyone’s birthday! This noveltycard making kit includes six plain cards;six envelopes; glitter glue pens; colouredfeathers; craft shapes and coloured pencils.Recommended for ages 3+ years.Seedling is a New Zealand born brandwho has recently arrived in the UK.The company aims to inspire the mindsand ignite the imagination of little oneseverywhere. Science, art, nature, thread,design and fashion are just some themescovered by Seedling craft kits, all of whichare sure to bring a lot of fun!Whatever the little one’s aspirationsare, Seedling provides the equipment theyneed to turn these dreams into realitywith absolutely no restrictions, their ownimagination is their only limit.Seedling, T: +44 (0)207 494 0543W: www.asobi.co.uk/seedlingcraftfocus 53

Read all about itThere are lots of great publications that really celebrate the art ofcard making and can provide a wealth of fantastic ideas on a widerange of interesting techniques. Here’s a round up of some of ourcurrent favourites…Encyclopaedia of Card making TechniquesPublished by Search Press£12.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781844482832This new card making compendiumis an exhaustive guide to card makingtechniques that will inspire beginnersand experienced craftspeople alike.Fourteen creative crafters show how tocreate beautiful cards using techniques such as rubberstamping, quilling, beading, watercolour painting, punching and manymore. All the projects are clearly demonstrated using step-by-stepphotography and there are plenty of wonderful card ideas to inspirebeginners and experienced crafters alike.The All New Compendium of Cardmaking TechniquesPublished by Search Press£12.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781844481613Each section of this inspiring bookprovides full information about thematerials and techniques need for aparticular card making craft, followed bystep-by-step demonstrations showinghow to make beautiful greetings cards. The crafts covered includecard and thread, quilling, watercolour, silk ribbon embroidery,beading and using glitter.Artful Mini Cards, Creative Techniquesand Inspiration for Card Makers byJanice E. McKeePublished by Search Press£7.99, PaperbackISBN: 9781596353770With the primary focus of this bookbeing on artistic techniques for cardmaking, crafters will enjoy learningthe processes for embellishing fabric,pressing flowers, using paper napkins to createstunning card art and creating easy hand-stitched designs for cards.Because of the diverse collection of techniques, this book will appealto card makers, altered art enthusiasts and general crafters alike.Search Press, T: +44 (0)1892 510850, E: sales@searchpress.com,W: www.searchpress.comA wealth of optionsAustralian papercraft companyKaisercraft have got somefab new collections for keenpapercrafters to really expandtheir card making repertoire and create some really lovely projects.Just Believe is a special extra Christmas release. This range is veryversatile and can even be scrapped up around a theme that isn’tfestive. Gorgeous patterns are found over all papers from music notes,flora and dots and stripes. Just Believe is a beautiful range that definitelywon’t disappoint.Butterfly Kisses is a fun and playful girlie range that really is every littlegirls dream collection. Pinks and purples are the main colours in thisrange with sweet butterflies, birds and love heart elements. Periwinkle issuch a beautiful and dreamy range. Soft peach and turquoise colours arefound in the papers and embellishments. This lovely range has images ofhot air balloons, feathers and birds which makes the creating possibilitiesendless.Jones Crafts, T: +44 (0) 115 9738720,E: buttonsales@jonesnottm.co.uk, W: www.jonesnottm.co.ukPaper dreamsCardmakers are always looking forexciting new designs and looks for theirgreetings and American Crafts have gotsome stylish solutions for these creativecardmakers. The company’s 6x6 paperpads give you the most popularpatterned papers in reduced-sizedprints that are just perfect forcontemporary looking cards.There are great selection of designs on offer and we likethe fresh and zingy Amy Tangerine pad, which has a fashionablemid-century modern feel about it. We also love the company’s DearLizzy Neapolitan range, which features a mix of cure ice-cream coneand strawberry patterns with on-trend polka dots and chevrons.American Crafts, E: info@americancrafts.com,W: www.americancrafts.comTime to dazzlePetaloo International have agreat range of exciting floraland specialty embellishmentsthat will add a beautiful edge tohandmade greeting cards thatpaper crafters are sure to love.The company’s wide collectionof dazzlers are already provingto be very popular with cardmakers who like to push the boat outwith their designs, while the Petaloo FloraDoodles collection featuresgorgeous 3-D embellishments that come in large, small and mini sizesthat are great for having a funky yet feminine touch to card creations.Petaloo International, E: Cheryl@petaloo.com, W: www.petaloo.com54 craftfocus

Creative solutionsThese great card making kitsfrom Craft Creations are an idealproduct for pre Christmas sales,These handy “pick up and go”packs contain all the materialsneeded to make a single Christmascard (except for glue, sticky padsor silicone). Straightforward designsthat are easy to make with a clearfinished picture, so the customerknows exactly what they are making.The cards shown here are based on the modern ‘fold-out’ card style.Each kit features a precision die-cut sheet of Craft Creations découpage,printed background paper, many have a glitter card backing (others haveplain) a quality card blank, a white envelope and a printed insert sheetwith a Christmas greeting. Other designs are also available.Trade prices start at just 73p per pack, making these great valueproducts for today’s cost conscious crafters.Craft Creations, T: +44 (0)1992 781909, E: trade@craftcreations.comModern makesTake the card-making experience tothe next level with K&Company’sBeyond Postmarks collection.The Beyond Postmarks line of A6cards and custom envelopes featurerich paper textures like intricate dies and debossing, as well as dynamicembellishments and inspiring design, to give a professionally handcraftedlook, but with peel-and-stick adhesives that are simple enough for even afirst-time crafter to use.Both the traditional floral and modern letterpress styles of productassortment are designed to work together or separately to create acustomized look.K&Company, www.eksuccessbrands.comTools of the tradeProvo Craft and Close To My Hearthave again partnered to bringcrafters a new exclusive Cricutcartridge collection: the CricutArtiste Collection.The collection includes onecartridge, three My Acrylix D-sizestamp sets, and three exclusive12” x 9” Dimensional Elements incoordinating shapes. The range alsoincludes 700 images to help userscreate themed projects, interactive cards, 3-D items and more.The Artiste Collection is compatible with the entire line of Cricutelectronic cutting machines and Cricut Craft Room® design software.This is the second collection Close To My Heart has created exclusivelyMaking a stampEstablished in 2010,Crafty Stamps is asmall but expandingfamily run art rubberstamp business basedin Edinburgh, run by ahusband and wife team.Crafty Stamps specialises in ClingRubber Stamps. All of their lovely Cling stamps are put together inthe couple’s Edinburgh shop. As they are Cling Stamps, each stampis designed to be used with an acrylic block, which they adhere towhen stamping.For packaging and display purposes the stamps adhere to alaminated storage sheet, and have a Euro-slot for handy display.The rubber used for the Crafty Stamps Cling stamps has aslightly grainy texture. This allows easy application of ink, and as aresult helps to lead to excellent reproduction of the images whenstamping, even for the more detailed images. The results look greaton greeting cards.Along with a number of talented local designers they have beenworking hard to add lots of great new stamp designs to the CraftyStamps range this year.You will see all of the present crop on the company’s website andthere are lots more of great new designs in the planning stage.For trade customers, Crafty Stamps low minimum order sizeof £50 (pre VAT) makes it easy for any retailer who would beinterested in giving these a try in their shop.Crafty Stamps, T: +44 (0)131 221 9440, E: enquiries@stampersgrove.co.uk, W: www.craftystamps.comfor Cricut machines.“At Provo Craft,we are always lookingfor new ways to inspirecreativity, and I have nodoubt Cricut users willbe equally excited andinspired by this newcollection from Close ToMy Heart,” said AshishArora, the CEO of ProvoCraft. “The last time Close To My Heart created exclusive content forour Cricut machines, our customers loved how simple it was to pairtheir creative content with our easy-to-use machines. I know they aregoing to love this new collection just as much.”Provo Craft, E: info@provocraft.com, W: www.provocraft.com56 craftfocus

card makingSay it with flowersHunkydory Crafts has a wide range of gorgeous products that willabsorb and delight the classic card making enthusiast. The companynot only provides a wealth of creative options for crafters, it alsolikes to offer retailers products that are both high quality and valuefor money.The company’s brand new Floral Chic collection is a wonderfulmedley of all things girly, featuring 12 beautifully foiled and die-cut300gsm A4 topper sheets, 12 sheets of accent-foiled A4 cardstockand 12 350gsm sheets of pretty printed A4 cardstock.All 36 sheets use the company’s special Adorable Scorable board– a coated board with a superior finish that does not crack whenscored. Trade prices are £10.40 per 10-pack with an RRP of £2.50per individual pack.Hunkydory Crafts, T: +44 (0)1772 272575 E: enquiries@hunkydorycrafts.co.uk W: www.hunkydorycrafts.co.ukTake four cardsCard making provides a great opportunity for retailers as thereare so many card making techniques your customers can trythat utilise a wide range of products.Here we’ve used four A6 single fold cards, made with goodquality 290 gsm card that are available in packs of 50 from Peak Dale toshow you how different designs and techniques can be used to up-sellmore of your other products.First we took some A4 Cream Cardstock available in packsof 25 from Peak Dale and printed a special pattern on it with anink-jet printer. Then using a Fiskars’ That’s Amore Squeeze Punch wecut out three hearts. The punch has a specially engineered squeezemotion with ergonomic handles that has made Fiskars punches theonly punches to be awarded the Arthritis Foundation® Ease-of-UseCommendation. In addition, an open punch head lets the user seewhere they are punching for a perfect punch every time with no morewasted paper. We then attached the perfectly punched hearts usingTonic Studios Funky Glue Pen. The pen is equipped with both a fine tipfor precision placement and a wide tip for greater coverage - perfect forvirtually every paper craft project.For the next card three cards we took advantage of wealth of unusualand pretty designs, colours and texture that origami paper offers to theconsumer. There are a wide range of beautiful origami papers availablefrom Origami Papers UK who import its materials from Japan.For the rosette motif, we first cut out a ribbon design on patternedorigami paper and using the Funky Glue Pen stuck them to the card.To make the rosette we used two small pieces of red origami paper,which we accordion folded at 3/4” intervals. We took one accordionand adheres the ends of one side by folding it in half and, using TonicStudios Funky Tape Runner / Roller 8mm x 10m Double Sided StickyTape we stuck the all the ends together to make a circle and thenapplying Tonic Studios Craft Tacky PVA Glue to the middle of therosette we fixed the rosette on to the card. We finished off the designby using our That’s Amore Squeeze Punch on some patterned origamipaper to cut our the centre piece to the rosette which we fixed on withCraft Tacky PVA Glue.For the next two cards with simply took our Funky Glue Pen andattached some wonderful colourful origami paper shapes on to our PeakDale cards. The scalloped circles and gift tag motifs were created withWoodware Craft Collection Super Duper Lever Punches. Easy and safeto use, these punches work well on a number of paper weights and isideal for card making, scrapbooking and other papercrafts. CPeak Dale, T: +44 (0)1298 78447, E: craft@dircon.co.uk,W: www.peakdaleproducts.co.ukFiskars, T: +44 (0)1656 655595, E: wgreensmith@rsankey.co.uk,W: www.fiskars.comTonic Studios, T: +44 (0)1656 749152,E: sbathard@tonic-studios.com, W: www.tonic-studios.comOrigami Papers, E: origamipapersuk@gmail.comcraftfocus 59

simple pleasuresSimplicity has been providing solutions for sewers for nearly a century with cutting edgepatterns, innovative products plus beautiful trimmings and fabrics. Here we learn about wherethe company stands in the market today and find out about the plans for its future…Simplicity has a proud history. Joseph M.Shapiro founded the Simplicity PatternCompany in America in 1927 with his sonJames J. Shapiro and introduced sewingpatterns at a remarkable price of 15c.In the early ‘40s, Simplicity embarked ona major sewing education program, throughwhich travelling representatives, fashionshows, educational books and literature werepresented to stitchers across the country.Such programs cemented Simplicity as thekey source for learning to sew, and set thefoundation for how sewing is taught today.A major trimmings manufacturer ConsoInternational started a programme of companyacquisitions in the ‘90s and during a ten-yearperiod bought British Trimmings, SimplicityPattern Company and Wrights, Owner of theBoye brand. In 2009 The Simplicity CreativeGroup was formed as the umbrella brand forthese market leading craft companies.Tell us about the Simplicity teamThe Simplicity UK business is divided intotwo key components, the long establishedSimplicity & New Look paper pattern businessand the newly emerging craft sector thatdistributes the new craft machines as well asthe US parent company’s major craft brandssuch as Boye and EZ Quilting.The pattern business is run by Jackie Braid,who has over 25 years experience in providingsales administration and customer service toa wide audience, from manufacturers, countrydistributors, wholesalers and retailers. Jackiehas been with Simplicity for over 10 years.The craft sector is run by the Sales &Marketing Director, Jeremy Taylor whosebackground as a retail buyer for House ofFraser has held him in good stead whendealing with retailers and understanding theirneeds. More recently Jeremy worked insales and marketing for an innovative gift andgames company where product developmentwas key. He then joined Simplicity sevenyears ago. Both individuals are supported byenergetic teams from Sales, Customer Serviceand not forgetting our ever busy warehouseteam who turn around the orders so quickly!What are Simplicity’s mostsignificant achievements to date?Simplicity owes its success in remaining amarket leading pattern brand for over 80years to the consistent attention it paysto the quality of its product.Simplicity patterns are known for their easeof use and include comprehensive step-by-stepconstruction notes. As a company, we alsomake sure we remain in tune with consumer60 craftfocus

Simplicitytastes, responding in a timely fashion to trendswhether it be the ‘20s pattern it introducedin 1988 which became the Number onebestseller for the home sewing industryor the current craze for dresses.Simplicity also prides itself on identifying newemerging trends, such as the renewed interestin dressmaking and customising garments thathas resulted in a whole new customer base.The company has introduced a selectionof new pattern ranges aimed specifically atbeginner sewists such as the Learn to Sewrange and the Sewing Patterns for Dummiespacks. Other innovative ideas that have beenlaunched by Simplicity include a Beginner’sGuide to Successful Sewing DVD – Simplicityis the only pattern company to have produceda comprehensive sewing aid like this.The company has also re-launched the twosewing books that have consistently beenperceived as ‘sewing bibles’. They are packedwith helpful advice, tips and techniques forsewing (dressmaking) and home decorating.For us, it is not just about selling patternpacks – education, advice and help are alsoimportant considerations.The new craft machines have establishedand developed a whole new market. The rangehas created incremental retail sales at higherprice points and through a range of accessoriesfor each machine, consumers are being drivenback into store for these additional“Simplicity also prides itself onidentifying new emerging trends,such as the renewed interestin dressmaking and customisinggarments that has resulted in awhole new customer base. ”purchases, which is great news for all retailenvironments. The continued Researchand Development programme promises anexciting future in this category.You’ve recently launched a brandnew website – tell me about thenew site, your thinking behind it andwhat you wanted to offerSimplicitynewlook.com was launched inresponse to consumer demand. The Simplicitypattern business traditionally partnersexclusively with retailers and continues tosupport its retailers strongly. Unfortunatelythe decline in the number of fabric andhaberdashery retailers meant that consumersoften had no local stockists and beganknocking on Simplicity’s door to obtainpatterns. The newly designed, user-friendlysite is the response to this demand.Through the site, Simplicity constantlypromotes its retailers and finds methodsof encouraging browsers to visit their localpattern stockist.The site showcases Simplicity’s patternranges, machines and craft products, howeverit does and will continue to sell all of its rangesat full RRP. It aims to educate sewers, with awhole section of ‘how-to’s’ and a classroomsection full of hints and tips on measuring andfitting patterns. We know that customers findit very useful to be able to find out exactlyhow much fabric and what notions they need,before they buy a pattern. This, coupled withthe ability to view everything, by category,easily and quickly in the comfort of thehome has proved extremely popular.The new blog section also offers thechance for browsers to read about latesttrends, news and views and of course,comment on them. We’ve also recentlyadded the full Burda range of patterns to thesite so now our customers can see Simplicity,New Look and Burda all in one place.How do you like to work withyour supplier and retail clients?Simplicity works in strong partnership withits retailers, many of whom have beencustomers for a number of years. Thetraditional consignment stock model, whichis customary in the paper pattern business,requires great attention to detail and Simplicityworks closely with its retailers to manage this.craftfocus 61

simple pleasuresThe development of the craft businesshas resulted in a new business modeland assisted in the opening of many newaccounts, however the ethos of supportand partnership for mutual benefit remainsthe key focus going forward.What new trends are you expecting forautumn/winter 2012/13?As usual we’ve been following the designerfashion shows from which most high-streettrends emerge and we’re pleased to see thatmany of the new looks are perfect projectsfor dressmaking. Colours will include purples,deep blue with black and electric pink forsome zing. Looks are dramatic and daring,with emphasised waist, shoulders and taperedtrousers cropping just above ankle. Outerwearwill include capes, coats with curved shouldersand jackets with cape tendencies. Also lookout for belts to cinch in waists and tops withpeplums for waist-defining emphasis. Richornate fabrics abounded on the catwalks, manyembellished, which translates well for ourcustomers, particularly the quilted, puffed andpadded jackets.What’s hot at Simplicity right now?Now is the time to take a serious look atbecoming a Simplicity stockist! Not onlydo the consignment patterns offer greatreturns for no investment in stock, the launchof a vast new craft range offering over 1,000lines across a variety of Knit and Stitchcategories means you can get many greatproducts all from one supplier.The new craft catalogue contains one ofthe most comprehensive quilting acrylicsrange available, a selection of funky colouredaluminium knitting and crochet needles as wellas a huge choice of craft trim including somestunning bridal trims and appliqués. There isalso a range of licensed product from Disney,one of the world’s most famous brands. Thisis on top of the incredibly innovative machinesrange that is introducing big ticket sales intothe category.With the continued trend for learningto sew, Simplicity has introduced anothercollection of designs that help when fittinga pattern (few people are one standard sizeso some adjustment is often necessary). TheAmazing Fit patterns have different tissuepieces for curvy or slim fit, different bust cupsizes etc. Coupled with the multi-size patternsheets this makes creating a perfectly fittedgarment much easier.What’s your most popular product?The Deluxe Felting / Embellishing machine hasproved incredibly popular with the interest inhand embellishment soaring since the launchof Kirstie’s Handmade Britain late last year.This interest has caused people to trade upto machine embellishing and with the mostcompetitively priced machine on the market,sales have gone through the roof. The successresulted in a new hand held version beinglaunched in the summer. In patterns, Simplicitycontinues to be bang on trend with its paperpattern designs with dresses currently beingthe most popular items.What do you like most aboutworking with textiles and crafts?The best thing about working with textilesand crafts is the ability to create somethingoriginal and unique and of course, whendressmaking, something that fits perfectly! Wealso find that we constantly learn somethingnew from our customers and stockists whohave produced their own unique creationor used one of our new machines to createsomething stunning and unusual. Working withthe seasonally introduced fabulous range offabrics and notions is also fantastic. Seeing thenew colours, materials and trimmings, decidinghow to pull them together and whatto make each season is a constant joy.What are the teams’ absolute favouriteSimplicity products and ranges and why ?Well, Jeremy is incredibly excited about thenew Knitting and Crochet range as hereally believes that there are a numberof truly innovative products that will createincremental sales for retailers perhaps alreadystocking a range of needles.Naturally he hopes the aluminium needlesfrom Boye will establish themselves in themarket however the I Taught Myself kits,needles sets and starting blanks are the perfectitems for every knitting and wool retaileracross the country.What would you like Simplicityto do in the future?Exactly what it’s already doing – innovating andcreating. The US product teams are constantlydelivering new products for the major USretailers and we in the UK are in the fortunateposition of feeding from a much larger parentcompany that spends a huge sum of moneydelivering new product through research anddevelopment. Long may it continue! CFurther informationSimplicityT: +44 (0)800 214 455,E: uk.sales@btctrim.com62 craftfocus

From the Easy Peasy range stitched on 6 count Binca with tapestry threads.Snowman Trio stitched on 14 count white AidaFrom the Sew Simple range stitched on 11 count Aida with embroidery threads.www.fatcatcross-stitch.co.ukSee our website for information on our wide range of kits for childrenand adults or contact us on 01568 780 183 / info@fatcatcross-stitch.co.uk

fabulous fabricationsThe practices of patchwork and quilting have produced charming reations that have delightedand amazed generations of craft lovers. Here’s our round-up of some fantastic productsthat will enable even the most seasoned of sewers to push the boundaries of their workpatchwork and quiltingSelect your styleEZ Quilting, one of America’s most popular quilting brands,is available in the UK through both Simplicity and EQS andboasts one of the most comprehensive range of acrylicsfrom any brand available in the UK. With more than 40different acrylics in a variety of shapes and sizes, these clearrigid plastic templates with large easy-to-read black markingsare designed to make patchwork simpler and more precisefor quilters of all skill levels and, for all those left-handers,look out for the range of ‘Leftie Rightie’ acrylics.EZ Quilting brings you accessories and gadgets designedby quilters for quilters with a wide selection of specialitypens and pencils, creasers, seamers and clips, as well as alarge range of flexible template plastic including plain, griddedand non melting varieties. The highly visible and easy tohandle brightly coloured flat flower head pins are a particular favourite of celebrity quilter JennieRayment, who is also a great fan of the EZ Quilting brand: “For accurate and easy patchworkpiecing of a wide variety of blocks and border designs plus some nifty appliqué templates, theseacrylics are a ‘must have’ for all wannabee, intermediate and expert stitchers of every discipline.No more hard sums, these acrylics make life a pleasure and are simple to use!”Simplicity, T: +44 (0)800 214 455, E: uk.sales@btctrim.comEQS reach out to new customersPatchwork and quilting appeals to consumersat every level – from the placemat the beginnerproudly finishes to artful wall hangings that takemany, many hours of skill and dedication.To keep all these consumers engaged and todrive business to their customers’ shops, EQS,one of the most successful suppliers of quiltingproducts, invests heavily in social networkingrelating to the topic. The company’s virtual reachis over 100,000, which the company makesavailable to its retail customers as a totally freepromotional tool. Everything the consumerneeds or wants can also be viewed on thededicated EQS website or app: notions, waddings and fabrics. This enables consumers to do theirshopping from the comfort of an armchair before going to their favourite store, shopping listin hand.Take advantage of the company’s rich experience in all things fabric and sign up to its tradewebsite, W: www.trade.eqsuk.comEQS, T: +44 (0)116 271 0033, E: enquiries@eqsuk.comColourful choiceDMC Creative World Ltd offer a QuiltingThread that is made of 100 per centEgyptian long staple and mercerisedcotton, which is a fine thread that isstrong but also soft and smooth to workwith. Colourfast and fade resistant, thisthread is ideal for machine, hand quiltingand patchwork because of the ease withwhich it pulls through fabric: no knots,no fuzz. DMC Quilting thread is alsorecommended to sew thicker fabrics andit is available in a wide range of 72 colours.Another DMC thread that is used forhand-quilting and embellishing is DMCColor Variations stranded cotton thatconsists of 36 colour changing threads.Each thread contains a multitude of tonalcolours so, with just a few stitches, it ispossible to see the changes on handquilted projects.Prices: RRP £3.35 for Quilting Threadand RRP £0.97 for Colour Variations.DMC Creative World, T: +44 (0) 116275 4000, E: sales@dmccreative.co.uk,W: www.dmccreative.co.uk.craftfocus 65

patchwork and quiltingSewing solutionsEvery patchworker and quilter knows that preparation is key – especiallywhen it comes to setting out materials and finishing fabric. PrymConsumer offers a wide range of products to help crafters really gettheir textiles perfect for patchworking and quilting-ready.Its multifunctional ironing underlay is sure to be a hit with sewingand quilting aficionados. It has a printed grid and angle markings as wellas sorting loops and pockets, pin cushion and removable fabric bag.The new, thickly padded sheet is large enough to accommodate bothsewing machine and a small iron, its weight preventing it from shifting.The centimetre scale and angles printed on its surface enable textilecrafters to accurately arrange their work along the lines for the purposeof tacking or ironing. It has an integrated tool organiser, including apin-cushion, a scissor loop and sorting pockets for various utensils. Theremovable collecting bag for fabric cuttings and loose threads makes themultifunctional sheet an invaluable feature for sewing equipment.The company’s new rectangular ironing blanket provides ample spacefor working and is yet so easily manageable. Since it can be rolled up,you can always store it away quickly. However, its particular highlightlies in its versatility. One side has a heat-reflecting surface, the other ameasuring grid with angles. These two convenient options allow you toaccurately and effortlessly arrange and iron your sewing items.Prym Consumer is also offering an innovative, steam-permeableironing board cover in sizes S-M and L-XL for professional sewingpurposes. A centimetre scale as well as auxiliary lines and angles areprinted on its surface.Prym, T: +49 (0)24 0214 04, W: www.prym-consumer.comTop threadsWonderFil’s exciting range of 17 unique thread lines has amazingcapabilities that sewers love and feel inspired by. The variety ofthreads appeal to wide audiences such as quilters, embroiderers,textile artists and sewing enthusiasts.WonderFil offers a diversity of threads and its focus lies inthe sewing result; how the different thread weights, textures,fibres, colours and finishes play out on a design – and how theyenhance a work of art.For instance, the finest thread ever, the 100wt InvisaFil is perfectfor both hand and machine works. The sheer finish makes it blendperfectly to become invisible for background quilting. InvisaFilis great as a top and bottom thread, bobbin thread for delicatemachine embroidery, top and bottom stitch for couching, applique,quilting, and longarming.The company’s heavy 8wt Embellishment collection:Razzle, Dazzle, and Sizzle, areused extensively to add bolddecorative stitches and bordersby way of hand, bobbin work andcouching. These threads can alsobe used for thread lace, beadwork,tassels and fringes.WonderFil, T: +44 (0)1904 567571,E: office@wonderfil.co.uk,W: www.wonderfil.co.uk.Sparkling creationsCreative quilters can sew in style with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. TheCREATE YOUR STYLE Creative Quilting Instruction Package includestwo inspirational showpieces and step-by-step instructions for six designsfor jewelry, accessories and interiors. All you need to do as retailers isstock those all-important elements and point your customers to theCREATE YOUR STYLE website. SWAROVSKI, E: createyourstyle.admin@swarovski.com W: www.create-your-style.comcraftfocus 67

fabulous fabricationsSpecial spectrumMadeira’s Cotona threads come in ten exciting new variegatedcombinations and are a masterful blend of different colours withinthe same range of tone and intensity. Quilters and patchworkerswill love the results because the colours change every 5-10 cm.Made from highest quality long staple 100 per cent Egyptian cotton,these changing coloursbeautifully blend with the60 Cotona 30-weight solidcolours making mixing andmatching colours easy.Cotona No. 30 has amatt finish and creates asoft natural look and feel.The possibilities for creativeexpression and innovativedesign are endless withthe wonderful variegatedcolour combinationsof this thread.Madeira, T: +49 (0)761510 480, E: garne@madeira.de,W: www.madeira.comPerfect partnersHantex’s Art Gallery designers focus their fabric pattern designon usability as well as aesthetics, in the knowledge that this usabilitywill not only lead to better designs but also to many more quiltingpossibilities with their fabrics.So next time you’re looking at buying fabrics, do two things: first,study the designs and make sure your customers can benefit fromthe designers vision. Second, wherever possible, stock the very bestquality fabrics such as Art Gallery’s 100 per cent PIMA cotton with its200-thread count. Your customers will not only see the difference, they’llalso feel the difference.Hantex are also delighted to offering the Sizzix range of die cuttingmachines and associated dies alongside their range of patchwork andquilting products. Sizzix are keen to expand upon their popularity inthe papercraft world and bring their renowned quality to the fabricworld. With this in mind they are introducing a range of patchwork andappliqué dies.With more dies being introduced on an ongoing basis, Sizzix are reallymaking their presence felt in the patchwork arena, while Hantex arecommitted to supporting them with stock available on the shelf andregular introductions of new products.Hantex Ltd, T: +44 (0)844 879 4719, E: sales@hantex.co.uk,W: www.hantex.co.ukBe inspiredAlex Veronelli of Aurifil tells us about his experience at therecent experience at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham:“This year I took the plunge and switched my stand from retail toeducational and had the opportunity to take advantage of Sheena Norquay’sprofessionalism as a ‘numero uno’ quilter and teacher.“Sheena’s work has been exhibited internationally since 1981 and she haswon many awards in competitive quilt shows. She is also interested in usingquilted lines to create graceful movement, sculptural shapes and decorativepatterns. Inspiration comes from relief sculpture, circles, patterns in nature, manmade patterns and decoration on other textiles. Most of the lines are freemachine quilted, a technique which is her specialty.“Amazed for long time by Sheena’s artworks, this year I decided to develop,in cooperation with the artist, two thread collections inspired by her workof arts themes Autumn and Seascape. Composed by a selection of colorsembracing nature and landscapes, the collections will be both available in100per cent Aurifil cotton 50wt.” So, watch this space…Aurifil Threads, T: +39 296 798833, E: info@aurifil.it, W: www.aurifil.com C68 craftfocus

HandEmbroiderycourses foreveryonewww.royal-needlework.org.uk/learnbookings@royal-needlework.org.ukT: +44(0)20 3166 6938RCN 312774Day classesCertificate and DiplomacoursesDegree programmes★

cross purposesWe take a closer look at Stitchtastic, a company that workshard to delight cross stitchers by thinking beyond the traditionalLaunched in 2006, Stitchtastic is a small butperfectly formed organisation that has seen atremendous amount of success in a relativelysmall space of time. One of the reasonsbehind its success is that it thinks differently– promoting the art of cross stitching to newaudiences with its charming, fun designs oftransport and cute characters. We spoketo one of the company’s founders, Sarah Scottwho give us an idea of how it all works…Why did you start Stitchtastic?As a stitcher, I was a little fed up of stitchingthe same style of designs all the time andwanted to stitch something different. So Ilooked around and found a gap in the marketin the area of transport and vehicles. Initiallywe (the company) started out with car andbike designs, then in early 2007 we began ourpopular caricature collection. Since then we’veexpanded the range to over 600 transport,nature and animal designs, plus our well-lovedDesigners by Stitchtastic selection. At first weonly sold direct to customers online, but in thelast three years we’ve moved over to the tradeside of things and now we spend a great dealof our time working with retailers.Talk us through the company team shapePatrick and myself make up the Stitchtasticteam. At first I concentrated mostly on thedesign side of things whilst Patrick designedand worked on the IT and stock managementsystems, but recently things have changed abit, with Patrick designing his own range whilstI have been spending time working on ouronline presence.What is the company’s most notableachievement to date?I would say working with Kate Mawdsley andAnn Edwards on our Designers by Stitchtasticrange. Ann created artwork exclusively forus (our ‘Princess Whiskers’ range) and Katehelped us to choose some of her cutest andbrightest works for our Christmas and patrioticUnion Jack ranges.On a slightly different note, I’d like tothink that encouraging younger stitchers andmale stitchers is also one of our greatestachievements. Since we started, cross stitchhas become quite cool, and we love the ideathat we’ve been part of that resurgence. Thereare so many male stitchers out there who’vehidden their light under a bushel for a longtime too, so we love the fact that they get theirneedles out for our designs!What would you say makes your offeringstand out from the competition?We really do want stitchers to try somethingdifferent. I’m sure we’re not the only companythat thinks that, but we truly strive to createdesigns that will catch the eye and drawpeople in with their bright colours and boldsubject matter. I also think our customerservice makes us stand out too. Being a small,family run company means that we can treateach and every customer as an individualand make time to talk to them, ensuring theirpurchase with Stitchtastic is the easiest andbest it can possibly be. I often communicate70 craftfocus

Stitchtasticpastime that you can do anywhere, doesn’tneed a lot of equipment (although I’m alwayshankering after the latest stitching gadget) andit’s amazing to watch the progress day by day.What new Stitchtastic ranges wouldyou like to shout about right now?We’re excited to push our Christmas rangeby Kate Mawdsley. The creation of this seriesof cute animals began last year and has beenextended in 2012 to include more lovelycats and dogs. The kits are a detailed butstraightforward stitch, with backstitchproviding the fluffy look for the pets.with our customers by email after theirpurchase is made to assist them with theirstitching, and to provide extra thread for themif they’ve made a mistake and run out.What are the enjoyable aspects of beinginvolved in the craft industry?Stitching! I love designing my own piecesand knowing that they will be pored over bystitchers for weeks (or months for some ofus) and eventually end up on their wall or asa present for someone they care about. I alsolove the fact that I work from home!How do you decide on new looks and designthemes for your ranges? What is the process?I think this is possibly the most difficult partof our job. We tend to keep abreast of whatothers are doing within the industry, with aneye on the trend setters and those in theknow, such as Mr X Stitch who showcasesunique and individual pieces of needleworkfrom around the world.We visit artwork exhibitions for ideas andto chat with artists, but ultimately we choosethings that we like; projects that I would loveto sit and stitch for the next few weeks anddisplay or give to my own friends and family.Why cross-stitch?Why not? It’s wonderful to have a hobby thatkeeps you alert, improves your eyesight anddexterity and at the same time producesincredible pieces of art that visitors, friends andfamily will admire and (when they find out youcreated it) gasp over for years to come. It’s aWhat is it about these particular rangesthat make them so special?We like to think that the quality of our kits iscraftfocus 71

cross purposeswhat makes them so special. That applies to allof our ranges actually, not just the new ones- I’m so proud of our attention to detail that Ican’t stop shouting about it!We use Zweigart aida and DMC threads,all pre-sorted onto thread cards. We givestitchers plenty of fabric and threads so thatthey don’t feel they have to scrimp on theirstitching, which can result in a variation in thetension of stitches, leading to an uneven look. Ithink the most important thing in a cross stitchbusiness is to have a cross stitching member ofstaff who has a little bit of knowledge in theseareas, so any craft store intending to branchinto cross stitch should certainly get a memberof staff to give it a go, or talk to someone likeme for advice!How do you spot trends andstay ahead of the game?We talk to stitchers and retailers, most notablyat Craft Hobby & Stitch International, whichis invaluable for us to meet people workingin many different areas of the craft industry,display our designs in all their glory and recruitnew retailers. CHSI is as useful for us in findingout about trends as it is for those purchasingour designs for their own stores.What are your best-selling items/ranges?Our caricatures have always been our bestsellers, as they are so unusual and appeal tosuch a large audience. Many of our first timecustomers say they’ve never stitched anythinglike them before, or that they’ve chosen themfor a member of their family that they’ve notstitched for in the past because they couldn’tfind a design that they liked for that person.So our caricatures may provide a fire engineor train for their grandson, Del Boy’s threewheel Reliant for their uncle, a Spitfire forDad or a Formula One car for their sister.Not all of our designs are male orientatedeither, a large number of our customers arewomen stitching for themselves.Where does the future lie for the company?After spending our early years encouragingstitchers to ‘stitch something a bit different’,we’re now very keen to encourage moreretailers to ‘stock something a bit different’.Stitchers are keen to try different designsand more and more local stores are stockingour products now. I get a lot of feedback,particularly from those who have stitched apiece of our work and used it as a focus ina window display, they’ve found that havingsuch a bright and colourful design on displayhas encouraged stitchers to come in and findout what else they have on offer.We would be delighted to chat to anyretailers who’ve never stocked anything likeour designs before, and who would like to dipa toe in the water, so to speak. CFurther informationStitchtasticSPC Internet Ltd, 55 Longford Crescent,Sheffield S17 4LJT: +44 (0)114 2353 958E: sales@stitchtastic.comW: www.stitchtastic.com72 craftfocus


craft clubslet’s get together!Craft clubs and craft workshops are big news – we profile four very different, veryspecial companies determined to pass on skills and spread the passion for crafts…Craft courses, workshops and retailer trainingTigerlily Makes, the Midlands based wool and felt making boutique,has launched its retailer training programme, designed to give retailersof its kits a better understanding of the product.Award-winning designer Lisa Marie Olson believes that by givingretailers the chance to make the kits for themselves, her passionfor the art of felting will be passed onto customer, and into the widercrafting community.Lisa Marie offers day courses, product training to store owners,their staff and even their customers if required. She has a programmeof one day felt making workshops, which can be undertaken in-houseand she also offers in-store demonstrations. Lisa Marie is happy to tailorthe training to the retailers’ requirements, recognising that no two craftoutlets are the same.Lisa told Craft Focus: “I’ve held a number of retailer training sessionsaround the country, and the feedback has been really positive. Generally,it gives retailers confidence in my kits and helps them when selling theproducts to their customers.”With a growing demand for home crafts through mediums such asCreate & Craft TV and Kristie’s Handmade Britain, there has neverbeen a better time to start running craft groups and workshops.Tigerlily Makes, W: www.tigerlilymakes.co.uk andwww.facebook.com/tigerlilymakes.Reaching out across the countryCraft Club is a national scheme initiated by The Crafts Council,which champions craft in schools and communities. Theseclubs are generously run by skilled volunteers who pass on theirskills and keep craft alive.The organisation currently has over 600 clubs across Englandand Wales and is constantly building on this success. Craft Club isrun collaboratively by the Crafts Council UK, the UK Hand KnittingAssociation and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes andis now in its third year of operation.The Crafts Council’s goal is to make the UK the best place tomake, see, collect and learn about contemporary craft, and CraftClub as a learning scheme offers young people the chance to engagewith craft at an early age and develop problem solving techniquesthey will need for the future.A new initiative made possible through the Arts Council seesCraft Club reach out to wider communities by offering free‘Cinema Knit-along’ days in a number of UK cinemas.These interactive family events show a newly commissionedshort film exploring the wild and wonderful world of knitting – aplayful and humorous animated take on how knitting is instrumentalin our lives. The short film is followed by a knit-along activity duringwhich skilled demonstrators will teach finger knitting – a simpletechnique that can be easily learned and a great starting point foryour knitting adventures!For more information and to book visit www.craftclub.org.ukand look for ‘Cinema knit-along with Craft Club’.craftfocus 75

let’s get together!Feel the fluffy loveGilliangladrag runs loads of differentcourses and workshops at her fabulousretail outlet The Fluff-a-torium, focusingprimarily on felting, spinning, knitting andcrochet, but is soon to offer some simplesewing courses too. Company founderGillian Harris tells us more…“Apart from obviously promoting ourown products to sell in store and online, wefind a lot of our retailers like to come andlearn some new felting techniques and skills.They (retailers) are then better equippedto educate their own staff - and sell moreeffectively. It’s also a great opportunity tomake samples for their shops – as inevitablyproducts always sell faster when samplesare available to see and touch, in store.“In addition, our “Knit & Knatter” groupat The Fluff-a-torium goes from strength tostrength, most recently having triumphed by“yarn-bombing” our local landmark - TheDorking Cockerel with a knitted OlympicGold Medal. There were pictures of it allover the internet - including The Daily Mailwebsite! It’s great to support communityspirited projects, and we get lots of localpublicity when the “guerilla knitter” pursuitsget followed by the local press!”Gilliangladrag, W: www.gilliangladrag.co.ukand www.facebook.com/GilliangladragChain of craftsCreative Beadcraft regularlyruns get-togethers in the formof workshops, where they canmeet customers and get peopleenthusiastic about beading. Wethought we’d ask Laura Ells fromthe company about the sessionsand the advantages of running them1) What prompted youto set up workshops?We regularly had customers askingour London shop staff and mail order department if we did workshops, particularly for beginners.2) How do your workshops ‘work’?All our workshops are based at our central London shop, just off Carnaby Street. All thematerials used are our normal stock, sourced from a variety of suppliers. We run severalworkshops during the day on weekdays and on Saturdays, which run for two hours.Workshop information is available in the shop and on our website and sessions canbe booked either in person, or over the internet.3) What sort of people come along?Many participants are complete beginners and we often get friends or family comingtogether. Participants often start with the Beginners Workshop and then come back formore to develop their skills. They usually want to learn a particular technique such aswirework and tiara making or chain maille.Most of our workshops are geared to beginner and intermediate level but we arecurrently developing a new series of weaving workshops for more advanced beaders.4) What kind of atmosphere do you like to create?Our workshops are very informal and relaxed. We like to create a fun atmosphere withplenty of participation and practice. Having said that, it is essential to plan each workshopso that all the information is clearly imparted and the workshops run smoothly.It’s really important to have the right tutor. As well as being knowledgeable, they needto have the right personal qualities, including patience and good communication skills.5) What are your favourite workshop makes/projects?Our most popular workshop is definitely the Complete Beginners Class. This covers theessentials for beading; such as types of pliers and findings and the basic techniques soparticipants can go away confident that they can make bracelets, necklaces and earrings.The most popular specific technique this year has been the very trendy shamballa bracelet.7) How do you think craft retailers could benefit from workshops?Workshops provide a great after-sales opportunity. Beginners, especially, often want tobuy a whole range of products including tools, books, beads and findings. We offer a smalldiscount on purchases made after the workshop which works well. It’s also worth offering adiscount if, for example, three workshops are booked.Other benefits include building stronger relationships with your customers. We get verypositive feedback on our workshops and developing new workshops is a great way to keepcustomers coming back, while word of mouth is a great selling tool to attract new customers.Creative Beadcraft, T: +44 (0)1494 778818, W: www.creativebeadcraft.co.uk C76 craftfocus


★★★Win!A VIP trip toCraft Hobby + Stitch InternationalWe’re offering you the chance spend more time at the UK’s biggest craft trade show, to getnetworking and obtain some top tips on improving your business with an over night stay atThe Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC.★★It’s almost that time of year again as Craft Hobby + Stitch Internationalfast approaches. It will be held from 17 th -19 th February, 2013 at theNEC in Birmingham. The show offers a world-class forum at which topromote, sell, buy and network with industry colleagues from aroundthe globe. Last year more than 8,000 visitors flocked to the eventncluding manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers from thecreative art, craft, needle-craft and hobby sectors.Celebrating its 38 th year in 2013, this is THE event for companies toshowcase their creative art, craft, needlecraft and hobby products to aworldwide audience of buyers.More than 250 creative craft exhibitors from across the globe willbe attending the event which will also offer visitors more than 150hours of dedicated training and technique seminar-based sessions.The seminars require no pre-booking, although to participate in theworkshops pre-booking is required. To find out more, visit the websiteat www.chsi.co.uk.The 2013 event will once again feature a vibrant catwalk show overthe three days, inspiring buyers with stunning creations from exhibitors.Buyers will also be able to discover hot new products and trends in theBright Sparks Pavilion which will be packed with innovative designs andcreations from upcoming designers and creative craft entrepreneurs.GETTING THEREDirect flights from around the world and connections from majorEuropean cities are available into Birmingham International Airportwhich is adjacent to the exhibition centre. The unique sky rail monoraillinks the NEC to the airport for a stress-free transit from plane toexhibition. Birmingham NEC is also at the heart of motorway and railnetworks.THE PRIZEThis issue two lucky winners will each receive a one-night bed andbreakfast stay for two people on Sunday, 17 th February, at The CrownePlaza Birmingham NEC (please see terms and conditions for details).In addition, the winners and their guests will be invited to attend a VIPlunch on Monday, 18 th February at Craft Hobby + Stitch International.The Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC is situated in the heart of theMidlands providing easy access to the main motorway networks andis within walking distance of Birmingham International Airport and railstation. The hotel is set on the side of Pendigo Lake in landscapedgrounds and perfectly located for the NEC.With some of England’s best attractions all within a 30 minute drive,guests can take the opportunity to explore and unwind at some ofthe most popular, including Birmingham City Centre, Warwick Castleand Stratford upon Avon. Shopping fans can experience the delightsof Touchwood Shopping Centre in nearby Solihull together with easyaccess to Birmingham’s Bullring and the Mailbox. C

competitionHOW TO ENTERTo enter the competition, simply visit www.craftfocus.com, fill in your details and answer the followingquestion: At which Pavilion can you discover hot newproducts and trends at Craft Hobby + Stitch 2013?The deadline for entries is 30 th November, 2012CHSI SHOW HIGHLIGHTS• Network directly with over 250companies & their representatives.• Meet the industry’s newcomers in theBright Sparks Pavilion.• FREE Sample & Give Away Area.• Excellent Business Seminar Programme.• Hosted VIP Buyer Programme• Exclusive Show Offers.• New Product Showcase.• Fantastic hotel rates for overnight accommodation.• Over 100 national & international craft publishers.• Immediate Media’s Annual Champagne Awards.Terms and Conditions1. Competitions are not open to employees of KD Media Publishing Ltd(or their immediate families)2. Entrants must be a member of the trade, and over the age of 18.3. The competition closing date is subject to change without prior notice.4. The winner will be notified in writing.5. The editor’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.6. The prize is not transferable and has no monetary value.7. The prize covers the bed and breakfast room rate at the Crowne PlazaBirmingham NEC only. Additional expenses incurredwhile staying at the hotel are not included.8. The prize is based on two people sharing a twinroom; a double room can be requested but is subjectto availability9. No purchase necessary, and there is nocharge to enter via the websiteat www.craftfocus.comcraftfocus 79

thoughtful threads,tactile creationsEmbroidery remains a favourite activity of trendsetters and traditionalists alike. When you seethe plethora of wonderful threads, designs and helpful equipment on offer, it’s hardly surprisingsew a gardenAbacus Designs has been designingand producing quality needlework kitsfor nearly twenty years, and now inresponse to customer demand, hasstarted producing embroidery kits. Thereare now two ranges which are provingextremely popular. Whilst both are aimedat embroiderers with some experience,other stitchers will enjoy these kits, andwill be so proud of the finished results.Stitch & Sow is a range of 13 kits ofdesigns of popular flowers, including pansy,poppy, lupin, cornflower, auricula, foxgloveand sunflower. Each kit contains a packetof seeds so that you can stitch the kit, then grow the flowers! Eight of the kits arepresented in A5 bags, whilst five are in A4 bags. These reflect the finished size, typicallyeither 3¼” or 5” square.All these embroidery kits contain three pieces of fabric a pure silk front, a cottonbacking, and also a wadding which is sandwiched between them, resulting when stitchedin a very effective quilted finish. Kits contain vibrantly coloured Madeira threads, plusvery detailed instructions including how to transfer the design on to the fabric, and howto stitch each type of stitch (each kit uses four or five different types of embroiderystitch). The Abacus Designs embroidery kits are beautifully packaged and are priced at alevel which will be very attractive to stitchers (smaller Stich & Sow kits retail at around£14.95, with the larger kits about £24.95). Impossible to resist!Abacus Designs W: www.abacusdesigns/trade.html , T: +44 (0)1270 811059.natty needlesEmbroiderers canchange threadcolours effortlesslywith SPIRALEYE® needles. Thepatented open eyedesign makes iteasy to thread andalso allows you toquickly capture andbury stray threads.SPIRAL EYE®needles come ina wide variety ofsizes with bothsharp and bluntpoints. From craftyarn to PerleCotton to multiple embroidery floss to metallic thread,SPIRAL EYE® needles make sewing crafts easier andtherefore more fun.Made in America from 100 per cent surgical stainlesssteel, SPIRAL EYE® needles are the highest qualitysewing needles available. They won’t rust or break,and have no nickel plating to kick up metal allergies.SPIRAL EYE®, W: www.SpiralEyeNeedles.com.threaducationEmbroidery thread is yarn that is manufactured or hand-spunspecifically for embroidery and other forms of needlework.Here’s a run-down on the different types available:• Embroidery floss or stranded cotton is a loosely twisted,slightly glossy 6-strand thread, usually of cotton but alsomanufactured in silk, linen and rayon.• Cotton floss is the standard thread for cross-stitch.• Extremely shiny rayon floss is characteristic of Brazilian embroidery.• Perle cotton, pearl cotton, or French coton perlé is an S-twisted,2-ply thread with high sheen, sold in five sizes or weights (No. 3, 5, 8,12 and 16 (Finca), with 3 being the heaviest and 16 the finest).• Matte embroidery cotton or French coton à broder is a mattefinish(not glossy) twisted 5-ply thread.• Medici or broder medici is a fine, light-weight wool thread.• Crewel yarn is a fine 2-ply yarn of wool or, less often,a wool-like acrylic.• Persian yarn is a loosely twisted 3-strand yarn of wool or acrylic,often used for needlepoint.• Tapestry yarn or tapestry wool is a tightly twisted 4-ply yarn.• Threads for machine embroidery are usually of polyester or rayon(less often cotton or silk).80 craftfocus

embroideryget kitted out with The Thread MillThe Thread Mill supplies Organised Thread Cards for cross stitchkits, with cotton from the leading brands, Anchor, DMC and Madeira– the designer decides which to use! It can supply the thread sothat the kit makers do not have to keep stocks of cones, which thenlimits their colour choice for new designs. Also, the time saved inproduction can be used for sales or new designs.There is no limit on the number of threads in a kit. Cards with15 threads and kits of 260m threads in 65 colours on four cardsare available. Most cards have 1m threads but 1/2m are becomingmore asked for. The cards can be printed with colour numbers orsymbols and company name or logo. As many or as few cards asneeded can be ordered.The Thread Mill has always produced cross stitch cards, butare there other crafts needing similar collections of threads.The Thread Mill, T: +44 (0)1924 420882E: hethreadmill@btconnect.comjust ‘For You’An attractive new pair of counted cross-stitch designs have beenreleased by Classic Embroidery featuring a cute floppy-eared rabbitcalled Roo. By Indonesian designer Hana Phanggestu and Australiancraft product development company Touch Screen Craft the first twokits are called For You and For You Too. There will be other designs inthis series to show more of Roo’s life.The kits are on 14ct antique white aida using DMC threads. Thedesigns are 19cms by 14cms and the suggested retail price is £17.50.Contact Classic Embroidery for further details.Classic Embroidery, E: sales@classicemb.co.uk T: +44 (0)1529 461056maker profile: Lara Sparks, EmbroideryEmbroiderer Lara Sparks reveals the inspirations behind her fabulous designs“Quirky Britain is the inspiration for my work. Deck chairs, piers, days on the beachtartan thermos flasks. Our wonderful countryside with meadow grasses, flowers andbutterflies. All things that make Britain great!“After graduating from Loughborough college of Art and design in 1990, in machineembroidery, I have been fortunate enough to have continued, on my little sewing machine,designing and producing embroideries. I have worked for fashion and bridal designers upuntil four years ago. It was at this point I was ready and bursting with my own ideas!With the skills and knowledge I had already gained from my more commercial work, Istarted producing my own cushion and lampshade designs. There are two sides to mywork, which are my appliqué and free- stitch designs and also my ‘printed stitch’ range.“I love the play of fabrics together. A floral next to a stripe, cut out to create acolourful fabric collage. I also like to add humour in some of my designs ‘BritishBloomers’ and Grandma in pink slippers’ to name just two. These add to myvision of a Great Britain that we live in.“My printed stitch range allows me to produce a highly detailed embroideryfrom my love of drawing. I do this on white cotton in black thread. This is thentransferred to a screen print on quality linens. For a hand finish, I add shots of colourfrom cut out fabric appliqué and then I free-hand machine embroider them down.The overall effect looks like a highly detailed embroidered cushion, but on closerinspection, it is a print that has been hand-finished.“I have a real passion for embroidery and, three years ago, I launched embroideryworkshops from my home studio. I had no idea there were so many peoplewanting to learn. I now teach beginners, or the more skilled, a days workshopwhere people make their own embroidered cushion, lampshade or picture.“I enjoy sharing my skills with others. Lets face it, you get a small group ofcrafty people round a table, with gorgeous fabrics, sewing machines, tea andcakes, what more does anyone need?”Lara Sparks Embroidery, E: larasparks@tiscali.co.uk W: www.larasparks-embroidery.co.ukcraftfocus 81

Derwentwater DesignsFour More New Designs For The AutumnTHE THREAD MILLSupplying organised thread cards for crossstitch, to your personal specifications.ONLY topQuality thread isused from:AncorDMCMadeiraMisty Mornings - MM5 Frosty DeerMisty Mornings - MM6 Snowy SheepOrders are welcome for quantities from 25 cards.Cards can be printed with colour numbers, symbols tomatch patterns and logosOr do you prefer twists?Silken Longstitch - SLS9Courtyard WindowSilken Longstitch - SLS10Lavender FieldsOrder Line: 017684 83119Fax: 01768 895031Email: sales@derwentwaterdesigns.co.ukFor more information or a quote,call Tony on 01924 420882thethreadmill@btconnect.com

embroiderylight and colour from DMCDMC has a wonderful selection of Embroidery kits andthreads suitable for all tastes and abilities from beginnersto experienced stitchers.Threads include Stranded Cotton, Pearl Cotton, ColorVariations & Special Embroidery. DMC’s range of handembroidery threads have been, loved by designers and stitchersfor years. Stranded Cotton, DMC’s premium hand embroiderythread, has been madE by DMC for more than100 years.DMC’s 36 colour-enhancing Light Effects threads are designedto add light and sparkle to embroidery The range consists ofmetallics, sparkly jewels, pearlescents, glow-in-the-dark andfluorescents. Color Variations threads see colours change withjust a few stitches. The range of 36 tonal colours consists of amultitude of colour changes all working in harmony with eachother to give beautiful results.Satin Thread has a wonderful silky finish and gives a glamorousfeel to designs. The colour range has the same numbers asstranded cotton and can easily be substituted in an embroideryproject. DMC’s kits offer variation too: stitches used in theirembroidery kits create subtle and dramatic effects: backstitch,couching, chain stitch, and bullion stitch, French knots, long andshort stitch and satin stitch are just a few recommended.DMC, T: 0116 275 4000 , W: www.dmccreative.co.ukvisit the zoo with Bothy ThreadsBothy Threads are delighted to introduce you toCotton Zoo, a beautiful parade of characters with atruly tactile and hand-finished touch. Perfect for newbornsand young children, these colourful, welcoming charactersare sure to make everyone smile.All the designs are worked on 14 hpi Zweigart fabric usingthe ‘petit point’ range with pink or blue spots and come with anembroidered Cotton Zoo logo. They are great fun and easyto stitch, using full cross-stitch and bold back stitching.Bothy Threads, T: +44 (0)844 8000221E: info@bothythreads.comknow your stitchesHand embroidery begins with a few basic stitches. Once thesesimple stitches are mastered, it’s very easy to move into otherspecific embroidery techniques. Here’s a guide to some ofembroidery methods you may be asked about in-store.AppliqueApplique is used as a decoration technique in quilting, clothing, flags andin church work such as alter frontals. Applique involves sewing individualpieces of fabric into a design and then the edges of the fabric piecesare decorated with surface embroidery stitching such as couching, cords,stem stitch and buttonhole stitch.BlackworkBlackwork is a counted form of embroidery in which diagonal, horizontaland vertical stitches are worked on counted fabric. A blackwork designcan be worked from a chart in a similar method to cross-stitch and fromindividual graphed patterns in which the stitches are mapped out.BrazilianBrazilian is a surface embroidery technique in which a range of embroiderystitches are worked using rayon thread on a silk, polyester or cottonbackground fabric. Brazilian thread has a shiny surface and the rayonthread is washable so makes the technique suitable to be worked onclothing, pillow covers and linens.Cross-Stitch and NeedlepointNearly everybody new to hand embroidery will begin with cross-stitch orneedle point – it’s a simple form of counted thread embroidery workingdiagonal stitches over one or two threads of a counted fabric.Cross-stitch can be worked from a chart or directly onto printed fabricssuch as table cloths. Cross-stitch is most commonly worked in embroideryfloss. Designs are easily attainable from craft-stores, local needlework storesand many on-line stores. Needlepoint (half cross-stitch) can be a coarse ascrewel wool worked on a canvas.Jacobean and Modern JacobeanJacobean and Modern Jacobean are surface embroidery techniques thatuse a wide range of hand embroidery stitches. Jacobean is used to decoratehome furnishing such as curtains, cushion covers, seat covers, fire screensand as pictures. Modern Jacobean uses the traditional Jacobean designmotifs such as the tree of life but is scaled down and worked withembroidery floss on a silk ground fabric.Stump WorkStumpwork is a raised form of hand embroidery in which motifs i.e. petalsand leaves are sewn individually and then cut out and sewn down togetherto form a dimensional embroidery. Often motifs are padded or stitched overwire so that they can be molded into shapes. Stumpwork embroidery isworked in embroidery floss or silk threads.craftfocus 83

northern charmYorkshire-based haberdasherers Knit & Stitch is bucking the retail trendand expanding its offering by opening a third outlet, we speak to ownerKathleen Knight about how the business has gone from strength to strength…Independent wool and haberdashery retailer,Knit & Stitch has just opened its doors in Yorkcity centre adding to its current locations inDoncaster and Maltby. Knit & Stitch first beganin 2007 when owner Kathleen Knight bought avillage wool shop on the high street of Maltbynear Rotherham. This was soon followed by anindoor stall on Doncaster market bringing highquality yarns back to the area.After taking over existing yarn store Poppys,it is planning to bring more haberdashery,fabrics and hugely popular craft workshops toYork. We decided to talk to the Kathleen aboutthe shops’ amazing success and learn why Knit& Stitch is doing so well.So, how’s business?Good! I know of many small businesses that arestruggling and I’m thankful for every customerthat walks through my doors. The pressure isimmense running three stores but we have agood team of people who are passionate aboutwhat they do working at Knit & Stitch.How did the shop start out and what wasyour overall vision for the outlet?The business is a partnership run by motherand daughter. My mum discovered that a localvillage wool shop just outside Rotherham wasclosing down, instead of retiring she decided tobuy it! When I moved back to the area with ayoung family in tow, she told me I could do thebookkeeping if I got bored!Five months later we opened a store onDoncaster market which had a tremendousresponse. We moved to permanent premiseslast December and expanded the range. Wehave recently taken over an existing yarn storein the centre of York.You now have three shops – what do youthink is the secret to Knit & Stitch’s success?Listening to what customers want. Our tastesdiffer so much to that of our traditionalcustomers, but they are our ‘bread and butter’.Whilst we bring those customers what theywant at the prices they are prepared to pay,we also want to offer items and keep up todate with new trends that appeal to the moreadventurous customer.Your branding is very elegant and strong, howdid you decide on this and follow it throughto remain consistent with all your branches?Thank you. We are proud of our brand, it’ssimple yet effective. We try and make surewe put Knit & Stitch on everything and say itwhere we can.What are your best-selling items/ranges?Customers are still after the popula basichaberdashery items as surprisingly therearen’t too many places on the high streetselling these. Reels of cotton, zips and buttons,but Sirdar has the largest following with ourcustomers.What are your favourite products in the shop?We often get carried away when the fabricreps arrive and are proud of the range westock. We have the best button collection formiles around and we love the natural yarnsfrom the big suppliers.Talk us through the shop teamand your offering?The people who work at Knit & Stitch arepassionate about crafts and are enthusiasticabout the workshops and products that weoffer. We have fantastic tutors who are keenfor the students to improve their skills and theykeep them coming back for more. The tutorshave created a loyal following.84 craftfocus

Knit & StitchDescribe your typical customerThere is no typical customer. There is the(great) grandmother who knits for her familyand if she can’t do that she’ll knit for any newbaby being born in the area. There is the newgrandmother who hasn’t picked up a pair ofneedles in fifty years who’ll be looking forexquisite yarns and modern patterns and thenthere are the ladies who satisfy themselves,indulging in workshops and fabrics wanting tomake beautiful items for their homes and giftsfor friends. We love the way people use craftsas therapy; to stop smoking; stop eating; combatboredom; meet new friends at workshops...What advice would you give tosmall retailers that are starting out?Talk to your suppliers but don’t feel pressuredby them. They are sales people but the cash isin your hands. Listen to your customers andprovide personal service that can’t be found inthe big stores.You run load of courses, workshops andgroups – why did you establish these?Our customers want to be shown how to craftby a real person. Workshops are great placesfor people to make new friends and so theykeep coming back even when they have learntthe craft. It’s a social affair for a lot of peopleand of course, these workshops are a goodsource of revenue for Knit & Stitch.What have you learnt from runningcourses and workshops?Whilst we were establishing the courses wewere very lenient. We quickly learnt that weneeded a strong set of Terms and Conditionsfor people when they sign up.Also, these people are passionate andare aware of the trends. We need to beone step ahead of them in terms of theproducts we offer.How are you preparing for Christmas?We have brand new Christmas workshopsplanned which we are about to launch on thewebsite and we are busy making up samples.We started knitting Christmas jumpers inJanuary after the resurgence they hadlast year! We’re hoping the staff will liketheir festive new uniforms!What is the company’s most notableachievement to date?I have to say it’s possibly moving froma market stall to a ‘proper’ shop in the towncentre of Doncaster. After almost 12 months ofnegotiating, legal ramblings and seeking planningpermission we finally opened in December,2011. It’s been a great few months - nearly ayear – we have introduced workshops, fabricand a wider range of haberdashery products.It’s been amazing!How do you approach decidingstock and display ideas?We have core suppliers and are led by theirnew products but each season we analyseour stock and decide where we need newproducts. We have monthly promotions whichdetermine how the products are perceived bythe customer and we reduce the price if thestock isn’t moving. CFurther informationKnit & Stitch26 Market Place, Doncaster, DN1 1NE,T: +44 (0)1302 36602292 High Street, Maltby, Rotherham, S66 7BN,T: +44 (0)1709 81794411 Colliergate, York, YO1 8BP,T: +44 (0)1904 270927E: info@knitandstitchonline.comW: www.knitandstitchonline.comcraftfocus 85

ig shout for independentsBased on the success of July’s Independent Retailer Month, a new initiative has beenintroduced to further help smaller shop owners boost their business and theirstanding within their community by capitalising on Christmas fever…Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion andUK lead for Independent Retailer Month islaunching a new campaign – “Celebrate anIndependent Christmas”. Here, retailers areencouraged to work collaboratively in theircommunity and with the support of “LocalActivation Partners” to create “ChristmasShopping Crawls”.The “Celebrate an Independent Christmas”campaign is a spin-off from the well-establishedIndependent Retailer Month. It focuses onengaging local independent businesses andencourages owners to run “activation events”which are set to have a positive social andeconomic impact in their locale. The campaignis a nationwide effort to improve footfall tohigh streets, towns and village centres, toincrease consumer confidence, and to boostretail sales. Local activation partners will helpretailers and consumer facing businesses todeliver “Christmas Shopping Crawls”. Thecampaign will be supported by a wide rangeof organisations and aims to reach consumerswith the support of local press, media, councilsand through retailers themselves.Clare Rayner said of the campaign: “Theinitiative will run for the six weeks prior toChristmas day, from 12 th November, 2012.Consumers will be encouraged to spend aproportion of their Christmas budget withlocal independent businesses. The campaignwill include all of those businesses servingconsumers – so bars, restaurants and salonsas well as traditional shops.”The message to consumers will be thatbuying from Independents, typically guaranteesthem a more unique, personal experience. Itwill highlight the fact that that if consumersare looking for a bit of indulgence at thiscelebratory time of year, if they are seekingmore unusual gifts, unique outfits, delicioustreats or special social occasions, they shouldexplore offerings from their local stores.Via the campaign, “Christmas ShoppingCrawls” will also provide an opportunityfor shoppers to win a prize for completinga crawl, and it is hoped that they will alsoaddress the very real and serious issue oflack of footfall to our high streets. Recentlythe Local Data Company reported thehighest ever level of shop vacancy rates inthe UK and the CBI reported that consumerconfidence has remained consistently low forseveral periods.With a backdrop of such economic gloom,a campaign such as this can have a veryreal, positive social and economic impact. Bycreating a sense of fun, excitement, somecompetition, and raising community spirits,retailers who participate in a Christmas86 craftfocus

usiness supportShopping Crawl have the opportunity toengage new customers from their local area.Rayner added: “Christmas is the perfectopportunity to give independent businesses areal boost in sales; many already achieve over30 per cent of their annual sales in the sixweeks before Christmas.Increasing sales during what is already a peakperiod could make a significant difference totheir bottom line. They have the opportunityto introduce new customers to their productranges, to give them a sample of their services,or just to increase consumer awareness oftheir existence. The first step in re-engagingdisenchanted consumers with the high streetis to give them a good reason to visit; thenext step is for the businesses to showcasewhat they’ve been missing out on! ChristmasShopping Crawls, if well implemented, candeliver exactly that.”About IndependentRetailer Month UKIndependent Retailer Month is a global“Shop Local” campaign that runsthroughout July. The campaign highlights theimportant role smaller, local, independentretailers play in the communities they serve,the local economy they contribute to, andin the retail sector as a whole. Founded inthe USA by Kerry Bannigan, CEO NolchaFashion Week, Independent Retailer MonthUK is led by Clare Rayner, The RetailChampion. The initiative aims to impactthe independent retail sector globally withrelevant support, expertise and insights;connect consumers and communitieswith local retailers, reminding them of thebenefits of shopping local; and engagesmall business organisations, networks andleaders to promote the importance ofindependent retail to the global, nationaland local economies.Further informationContact Clare RaynerT: +44 (0)1727 238890E: champion@retailchampion.co.ukW: www.independentretailermonth.co.ukFollow on social media - twitter via @IndieRetailUK or www.facebook.com/IndependentRetailerMonthUKCASE STUDY: THE DRESSING ROOMMulti-Award winning independent fashion boutique, The Dressing Room St Albans, reporteda four per cent sales increase as a direct result of creating promotions, activities and eventsfor Independent Retailer Month back in July.Deryane Tadd, Owner of The Dressing Room St Albans, has been a strong supporterof Independent Retailer Month since it launched in the UK. To celebrate in 2012 Deryaneand her team developed a range of activities to really engage local consumers and increasefootfall. Many fashion retailers had been reluctant to get involved, concerned that attractingnew customers when they were running end-of-season sales was detrimental to their brand.The Dressing Room has proved that there is never a bad time to attract new customersand create a buzz around shopping local.Deryane said: “I got behind the initiative whole heartedly; I am so pleased that I did! Ithas been a great way to engage with our customers and it’s great to remind people of thedifference that shopping local makes to their community and to their shopping experience.”As the month-long campaign runs throughout July, and like many retailers who are in themiddle of end-of-season sales, it was not an option for Deryane to use discount offers toattract customers. Instead The Dressing Room launched a competition, inviting consumersto tell them ‘Why do you shop Independent?’ This generated a fantastic response withconsumers responding with stories about why they love shopping local with independentretailers. The best comment each week won a prize. In addition the store ran a raffle, bothin store and online. Every paying customer was entered into the draw – the more anindividual shopped, the greater their chances of winning a luxury goody bag! However, themost successful aspect of the month was an offer of double loyalty points every Saturdaythroughout July. Deryane said; “this had a fantastic effect, increasing footfall and boostingtrade. Saturday trade figures increased by four per cent as a direct result of the promotion.”Commenting on the initiative Clare Rayner said: “What The Dressing Room has proved isthat it doesn’t matter if it’s sale time or not, any independent retailer who focuses on how toreally engage the interest of the local customer, and who promotes the benefits of shoppingwith independents, will get results. I don’t personally advocate price promotions anddiscounting to increase sales and footfall in any case, and I’m doubly pleased that the team atThe Dressing Room has proven that independent retailers don’t have to compete on priceto draw in customers, they can compete on service and customer experience!”Deryane added: “Running this campaign during July was actually a real success – it drovefootfall at a time when we needed to shift sale stock, but also gave us the opportunityto show people new season stock at the same time. For me it is imperative to boostmargins during sale time by having 30 per cent of my store at full price, it keeps my regularcustomers interested and entices new customers, so this is a great opportunity. I willcertainly be backing the Independent Retailer Month campaign next year and hope thatmany more will join in too!” Ccraftfocus 87

web resourcesBeth Scott from web developers Loud and Clear, adds to David Mackley’scomprehensive guide and takes a reflective look on the issue of cookiesEarlier this year we covered the new lawson website cookies and privacy and DavidMackley of Intelligent Retail has given youthe low down on the issues involved. As themoratorium on enforcement has now passed,we thought we should add to David’s adviceand review the situation. We’ve certainlynoticed that many sites have now added acookies section to their privacy policy or havereferences to cookies on their homepages orin pop-up windows.There is a wealth of guidance availableonline on this topic, much of it speculativeand, in some cases, contradictory. A coupleof good references stand out, here we talkyou through some helpful resources to drawinformation from…The Information Commissioners Office(ICO) is the “UK’s independent authority setup to uphold information rights in the publicinterest, promoting openness by public bodiesand data privacy for individuals”. It offersguidance on the use of cookies, includingthe approach it takes to enforcement, asPDFdownloads and as a video. It does notyet appear to have embarked upon any majorprosecution but this is no reason to ignore thepossibility of legal action. The ICO itself has abanner on the top of its website telling visitorsthat it would like to place cookies on theircomputers and is seeking active consent, seewww.ico.gov.uk/cookiesThe International Chamber of Commerce(ICC) has produced a concise and very usefuldocument, the “ICC UK Cookie Guide”, whichaims to help website operators comply withthe new rules on the use of cookies. It startswith guidance for website operators, thenit covers the categories of cookies includingtechnical notes and definitions, and finally itprovides suggested consent wordings for eachcategory. There is also a short guide to furtherreading on the issue.The ICC website (www.internationalchamber.co.uk)has a pop-up about cookiesand a link in the footer to help youchange cookies settings.Rather than summarising the entire ICCUK Cookie Guide here, we shall cover thefour categories of cookie and suggest thatyou refer to the guide for greater detail.The first category is “Strictly NecessaryCookies”, that is cookies which the functioningof the website depends upon, such as keepingtrack of login status. No consent is needed forthese cookies.“Performance Cookies” are the secondcategory, these are cookies that gatheranonymous data about the use of the website,for example cookies collecting web analyticsdata would fall into this category. Insertinga phrase such as “By using our website, youagree that we can place these types of cookieson your device” should be sufficient consent,although it will be difficult to show that theuser has seen this if you just hide it in yoursmall print. It may be worth adding it toevery page, perhaps in the footer. This iswhat we’ve done on our Loud-n-Clearwebsite, see www.loud-n-clear.com.The third category, “FunctionalityCookies” allows for the personalisation of awebsite, whether that is by rememberingyour login details or by keeping details ofyour location to provide local news.Consent here can be obtained in thesame way as the previous category.The last category of cookie, the “Targeting”or “Advertising” cookie, is the one peopleare most likely to feel uneasy about, as thesecookies can be used to target adverts. Basedon the information contained in the cookie,the provider can make an informed decisionon what to show a user, whether that beadverts for hotels after you’ve been browsinga travel site, or suggesting books by authorssimilar to the authors whose books you’vebeen reading reviews of.As a third party, an advertising networklike Google will often place these cookies,therefore the gaining of consent may notalways be the sole responsibility of thewebsite owner.Having considered the various categoriesof cookie we should really consider whatneeds to be done. The ICO is looking for “ademonstrable compliance strategy” so youshould be aware of which cookies your siteuses, including third party ones; you shouldinform your users and provide a mechanismfor them to opt out. The BBC websitecovers both informing and opting out verycomprehensively in its “Privacy & Cookies”section (www.bbc.co.uk/privacy/).In summary, we would suggest that youread David Mackley’s comprehensive articlein this issue and last issue. We alsorecommend you read the ICC Guide,consider how it could affect you and takeany necessary steps. The ICC Guide isavailable as a PDF download fromwww.international-chamber.co.uk/components/com_wordpress/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/icc_uk_cookie_guide.pdf CFurther informationBeth Scott Loud-n-Clear.com29 Castle Crescent, Reading, RG1 6AQW: www.loud-n-clear.comE: beth@loud-n-clear.com88 craftfocus

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usiness advicemoney talksJohn Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses takes a closer lookat the financial perils and pitfalls that some small businesses are currently facingAt the start of this year I was contacted byseveral business ownsers that were strugglingto make repayments on a bank productthey’d been sold, supposedly to guard againstincreases in interest rates. Since the start ofthe recession I’ve had many of these enquiries.I’m often contacted by business managers andowners that are struggling and want to air theircase to the FSB in the hope that it can helpothers in similar situations.Just a few months ago, after much lobbying,the Financial Services Authority (FSA) ruledthat they and many others had beenmis-sold complex products – interest rateswap agreements (IRSAs) – by their bank.These swaps are rather like a fixed ratemortgage and many small business ownersapplying for these loans were told they wouldbe protected from soaring interest rates.Nearly all swaps were ‘sold’ from 2004 to2008 when rates were between five and sixper cent. And of course we all know that ratesplunged following the credit crunch in 2008.Some businesses, especially those thatexport, will genuinely need these types ofproducts. But IRSAs that have obviously beenmis-sold have caused many businesses to‘go to the wall’ as owners struggled to makerepayments – some firms were (and still are)being forced to pay thousands per month.This is money they could have beenreinvesting into their business, or takingon a new member of staff. One of the keyfindings from the FSA is that many of thebusinesses owners that took out the loansdidn’t fully understand what they wereagreeing to. And, as with the recent PPIbank mis-selling scandal, many firms weretold: ‘Either you take out this swap – or youdon’t get the loan’.In truth we still don’t know how many firmsare affected. Most small businesses have beentoo scared to publicise their plight. Estimatesput the total loans sold at 28,000 and three ofthe 11 banks that have said they’ll review salesof the products have already put £1 billionaside to pay compensation.So – what can be done?In the FSA’s ruling, it said that the banksmust write to their customers about theseproducts. However, if you believe that youhave been a victim of mis-selling you shouldcontact your bank to ask for confirmationthat the product you have is an IRSA and askfor confirmation that they’ll be writing to youformally as per the FSA’s ruling of 29 th June.Once you’ve had this confirmation, askfor all documentation relating to the IRSA,including transcripts of phone calls dating backto when you entered into the agreement.Unfortunately, the FSA did not place amoratorium on repayments and so firms arestill struggling to keep up with payments. TheFSB also has some concerns about the factthat the redress process is largely beingrun by the banks themselves.This is just another in a long series ofproblems which has plagued the bankingsector and proof – if it was needed – thatmore competition is necessary. For too long,small firms have been at the mercy of thelargest banks and this must change. Sadly,gone are the days when the banks wereseen as a trusted source of impartialinformation and now they are perceivedas just being out for themselves.It is also another clear indication that thereshould be a clear divide between the retailand investment arms of the banks. This is theonly way to eradicate these sharp practicesand get banks back to their main business –serving their account holders.The country is struggling – we are backin recession, and there are fewer full time jobs.Yet small firms have remained optimistic. Smallbusinesses just need a helping hand to createthe jobs and the growth that the country sodesperately needs. For too long the rest of theeconomy has been playing second fiddle tothe financial services sector and this needs tochange. CFURTHER INFORMATIONTo find out more about the FSB, visitwww.fsb.org.ukcraftfocus 91

making your mark andbuilding relationships – yourretail questions answeredRetail Champion and Craft Focus regular Clare Rayner answers your questions -giving you the expert low down on returns and refunds, plus top advertisingadvice as well as insights and tips on dealing with artisan suppliers…QI have a number of handmade products inmy shops and I’ve had people return themwhen they see a cheaper non-handmadeproduct elsewhere. I can’t reduce the costof these products, so can I realistically offera no-refund policy on these items and if so,how do I communicate this to my customersin a friendly way?Well, Athe short answer is that you are entitledto make some items non-refundable BUT thisneeds to be clear to your customers from theoutset. You need both signage to that effectand ideally you need to have your staff trainedto ensure that when a customer presentsan item for purchase they are advised thatthe item is non-refundable. If challenged bya customer you and your staff simply needto confirm the reasons why – e.g. it’s policynot to offer “change of mind” refunds on anyhandmade items. Finally this should ideally alsobe reconfirmed in print on the customer’sreceipt so you are covered.Obviously this policy doesn’t affect thecustomers’ statutory rights, so if the item isfaulty or does not perform as described, youare obliged to refund the product.As long as customers’ expectations aremanaged from the outset, and throughout thetransaction, then there should be no reason forany dissatisfaction.QI’ve opened a new shop, it looks absolutelyfantastic and I know once people are inthey’ll love it, but I haven’t the first clueabout publicising or marketing my newoutlet. Where should I start?Who should I hire? Please help!There are so many great ways you can spreadAQAQthe word about your store opening, it reallydepends on what kind of customer you aretrying to attract and what they are most likelyto respond to.Here are a few publicity ideas, you can pickfrom these and build on them to create a“launch plan” that’s most suitable for you:Arrange a launch day – email all yourexisting customers, contact local press andradio to let residents and businesses in yourarea know. You can also involve other local(non-competing) businesses who can spreadthe word to their customers.You can also organise a local leaflet dropor take out local advertising either in pressor on a prominent billboard. Take advantage ofmodern technology and announce it on yoursocial media pages I’m assuming you do havea facebook page and twitter account – if youhaven’t, get one and identify who you want toconnect with – target local area forums andnewspapers in particular.Employ some actors / performers to engagepassers-by in the local area. Have them givingout flyers about the store and inviting peopleto visit. Add some excitement by including anelement of competition – a raffle for examplefor all those who visit on a particular day.Some of these suggestions could be quitecostly; others could be done with a relativelylow budget and with some creativity andcollaboration with other local businesses.I’m not particularly technically minded – I runa shop to get away from computers – butI’ve heard from other retailers that computersystems are really helping their businessesrun more efficiently. I have a small craft shopso what technology should I be using and isthere any way I can improve my IT skills?It is true that many smaller retailers avoidtechnology, many for the reasons you mention.Most of the best systems are quite easy tolearn and understand, and most providers offerall the training you need, so even the mostcommitted technophobe can learn how touse them. Technology can really help a smallbusiness and so many time-consuming activitiescan be made simpler, more accurate andquicker with effective use of technology.There are systems that automate processesand give the retailer rapid access to dataexactly when they need it which enablesbusiness owners to be more responsive toconsumer demands and more able to makequality decisions with confidence.Probably the key system for a retailer isan EPOS (electronic point of sale) system.EPOS doesn’t only record sales and providereceipts, it helps you to really understand profitperformance, complete stock takes and manyother tasks, so it really is an invaluable tooland one you should get to grips with. Whenyou get familiar with technology, and how touse it, you’ll probably wonder how you copedwithout it! At the touch of a button you canknow everything you need to know aboutyour business performance.So, if you’re really concerned about yourIT skills take a moment to think about all thetime you could save if you could add somesystemisation to your business and how muchmore value you could add if you weren’t tiedup doing mundane activities and trying towork out which lines are your best sellers.This should help you to get motivated.92 craftfocus

expert business adviceNext, consider what you can do IT wise – ifyou can use a spreadsheet, send an email,post on facebook, search on Google thenyou’re not doing too badly. And, if you investin technology you should be able to get thattraining and support from your provider. Youcould also look into doing a short course togain more confidence.QI want to stock artisan cards and gifts in myshop to make it more interesting and createmore revenue. What deal should I negotiatewith these small scale suppliers so that weboth make money?It’s Aalways difficult for smaller businessesto agree terms that are mutually beneficial,however if you are both open to ideas youcan develop a commercially sustainable,symbiotic relationship.My advice would be to propose an openbookapproach to the commercials. They willknow what you intend to sell the item forand you will know their costs of production(allowing for materials and of course their timeinvestment). If you usually target 2x mark-upImage Courtesy of Gail D’almaineQAAand the RRP and cost price proposed canaccommodate that, then that’s great. If not,and you believe their products complementyour range and will contribute to increasedsales overall, then you could always agree to“split the difference” – meaning that youshare the margin between the RRP andtheir cost price equally.In any negotiation it’s about understandingthe needs of both sides to create a win-winsituation and a positive, sustainable commercialoutcome for all. This can usually only beachieved when you have an open and honestdialogue. The good news is if both partiesare smaller businesses you’ll have a far betterappreciation of the pressures of trading in thecurrent economy and can work together formutual advantage.I’m thinking of running workshops andcourses in my shops. Is it worth the effortand are there any issues I should be awareof before I start?The main and most important thing is to makesure that your insurance policy covers you forFurther informationClare Rayner, the Retail Champion, has regularly made guestappearances on BBC radio, TV and has contributed to variousretail-focused articles and opinion pieces. Clare shares herexpertise in developing strategies with retailers of all sizes toincrease profit, customer base, revenue streams and channelsto market. Clare is also Owner/Director of several businessesservicing the retail sector including Retail Acumen, The RetailConference and e-mphasis Internet Marketing.this kind of activity. You should call your brokerup to check – explain what you have in mind,the materials you’ll be working with and theycan advise accordingly.You may also want to check with the Healthand Safety Executive (HSE) to make sure thatnone of the materials you’ll be using have anyrisks associated, and, if they do you need tomake sure you’re making all the necessaryinformation available to participants. You’d besurprised – even the use of glue by membersof the public in your premises could requireyou to provide information about the risks ofhandling glue and make sure your customersare aware!Otherwise it’s about making sure you arebeing commercial savvy about the workshops– are you selling them as an event or are youoffering them free as marketing / customerengagement? Either way you need to makesure that they pay for themselves at thevery least, and ideally make you a reasonableprofit for the effort, energy and stock you willinvest in running them. Craft Focus has run acouple of features in the last two issues aboutworkshops featuring first hand advice fromretailers on the subject so take a look at thosetoo – they should provide insight on all youneed to know. CIf you have a question about any aspectof your business, simply email: editor@craftfocus.com or write to: Q&A Special,Craft Focus Magazine, Broseley House,Newlands Drive, Witham, Essex, CM8 2UL.craftfocus 93

usiness adviceshow and tellIan Wright, Managing Director of creative point-of-sale andretail display company SDI on putting smaller brands in the spotlightIan Wright knows a thing or two about how toattract customers and increase sales simply bychanging the way that tools and materials arepresented. Working with retailers from Tescoto Marks & Spencer, he’s on hand to sharehis top tips on how smaller suppliersand manufacturers in the arts and craftsindustry can steal the limelight in stores.If proof is needed that the craft industryis on the rise, just take a quick look at artand crafts giant Hobbycraft. It’s figures lastmonth showed a 12 per cent increase in sales.There is no reason why smaller stores shouldbe missing out. However, as the number ofconsumers turning their hands to craftingincreases, so does the competition, and asmore suppliers join the industry it becomesincreasingly difficult for small brands to fight forprime space in art and craft stores.Whatever you wish to promote, be itneedlework tools, jewellery making kits orwedding stationery, the same rules apply whenit comes to getting your products noticedby crafters. As the bigger brands continueto dominate, smaller suppliers have to workharder and smarter to gain an equal footing orrisk losing out when it comes to getting theirproducts noticed by shoppers. By stopping andconsidering the way products are presented,you can gain greater presence in-store toenhance brand awareness at the same timeas creating more choice for your customer.Time to take a standBrands that really want to stand out fromtheir rivals should forget the shelves and getonto the shop floor by investing in impactive,freestanding display units. This is a great wayof capturing the attention of crafters and willalso secure an individual display for your goodsin-store, helping to increase sales. It will alsoincrease brand awareness and growth, which inturn will help persuade retailers to justifyspace allocation on main fixtures in the future.For many years, cardboard freestandingdisplay units have been the weapon of choicefor brand managers looking for cheap, massexposure in store. However, with productpresentation so key to suppliers in the craftindustry, brands using cardboard POS displaysmay want to consider a more permanent andenvironmentally friendly alternative. Semipermanentstands are better quality and moredurable to customer wear and tear, so yourproducts will be presented in a consistentlyhigh manner without the need to continuouslyreplace tatty looking point of sale structures.Stores often take a favourable view towards abetter quality retail display, often giving the unitlonger on the shop floor.Knowledge is mission criticalAt SDI, we believe that to be able to sellto your customers, you need to think andact like they do. As well as understandingtheir shopping habits and behaviours, brandsneed to identify the methods customersuse to find the products they want.By failing to recognise customer missionpaths, brands could be wasting a largeproportion of their promotional spend,placing their point-of-sale and retail displayunits in the wrong in-store locations.By taking the time to question andunderstand customers, smaller brands canensure that their budgets are maximisedby positioning themselves in the correctshopping path locations.Invest in successMany brands invest heavily in marketingactivities such as advertising, but it seemsthat the vast majority of suppliers andmanufacturers don’t invest in their in-storepositioning, falsely believing they already havea captive audience. But such an approach isflawed, given that they are marketing theirproducts in the most competitive spacepossible – in stores surrounded by their rivals.Suppliers and manufacturers of craft productsand tools need to be prepared to dedicate abigger portion of their marketing budget onin-store positioning and developing retaildisplays that will capture the imagination.Tell your story and tell it wellIn our experience, smaller brands often tryto tell customers too much and, as a result,fail to communicate anything of note. In thevast majority of cases, brands only have amoment to catch the eye of the customer,so the key is to keep it simple and concise.It’s crucial that customers know straightawaywhy they should buy a brand’s products andthe benefits of doing so.By sticking to a single core message andtelling it in the most compelling way, smallerbrands can contend with a sea of in-storerivals, as well as other modern consumerdistractions.Competition within the craft industryis stronger than ever, but by adopting theapproaches of bigger brands, smaller suppliersand manufacturers can begin to increase notonly awareness of their products, but also theirmarket share and sales. CABOUT IAN WRIGHTIan Wright is the Managing Director of SDI.The company create, make and install pointof-purchase,point-of-sale and retail displaysfor some of the best-known retailers in theUK, including Tesco, M&S and Sainsbury’s.For further information about SDI pleasevisit www.sdidisplays.co.uk94 craftfocus

Swatch BookImages of our products and feelersamples.Print RipstopPerfect for use as tablecloths,toys and raincoatsPrint Craft Cotton PacksGreat Value for money andperfect for quilters and retailersPremium Print anti pil Polarand Micro Fleece.Visit our website to see all of thenew designsFreeDeliveryon ordersover£300Please see websitefor T&CsPrint Polar Fleece Packs.www.its-sales.co.uk+44 (0) 1745 562 120customerservices@its-sales.co.uk

usiness advicethe right messageFiona Pullen, founder of The Sewing Directory, gives you the low down on creating a strongonline pressence by advising you on what to write about via your social media channelsPeople are always saying you should set upan account on Facebook and Twitter or setup a blog to help build your business. This isthe easy part, the struggle begins at what todo next. Most people know you shouldn’t goon about your products all the time, so whatshould you talk about?Related products/servicesIf you sell fabric then why not share projectsand tutorials showing people what to do withthe fabric they buy from you? Discuss sewingmagazines or books. All these things arecomplementary to your products and will helpto engage your followers. If you have the time,try and find projects made up with suppliesthat you sell so if someone loves the fabricfeatured - they can buy it from you. Or whenposting a link you could say ‘this would lookgreat made up in this fabric’, and include a linkto your site.Tips and ‘how to’ guidesPeople always appreciate advice; if you sellbeads why not tell people about differentstorage options, different beading techniquesor write a tutorial to share with people. Ifyou stock art supplies, explain the differencebetween the different types of paint and whenbest to use them, demonstrate techniques,interview artists to get advice to share withyour followers.Show who is behind the businessPeople love to know who they are doingbusiness with, try running a profile of yourcompany owners and staff on your blog, sharepictures of them at shows or in the shopon Facebook. Let people know about thehistory of the company, celebrate milestoneswith them and make them feel a part of yourbusiness. It’s a lot easier to relate to a personthan to a faceless business.Industry news and eventsKeep an eye on key industry sites andmagazines so you can share details ofupcoming shows, new products and industrynews with your followers. If people knowyou are a good source of information theywill keep coming back to you.Your products and offersOf course it is expected that you will also talkabout your products and offers sometimes,just be careful to keep it to a minimum so youdon’t ‘spam’ people and chose your channelwell. For example, Facebook is ideal for sharingpictures of your new products, blogs give you aplace to tell your friends and followers what iscoming soon or just in stock and tempting oneliners on Twitter will get people clicking to seemore. Try something like, ‘Wow wait until yousee what just arrived today...’Promote othersIt’s nice to promote businesses that arehelpful to your own through your socialmedia. Often these companies will return thefavour and therefore get both of you new fansand hopefully new customers. For instance ifyou sell quilting fabrics but not wadding, youcould point people in the right direction. Youcould also tell your customers where to gettheir quilts long arm quilted and then hopefully,the businesses that you’ve promoted will sendcustomers your way when they’re looking forfabric, as well as promoting you via their socialmedia channels.General chatSocial media is all about being social, thinkabout what you would discuss with someoneyou just met in real life – the weather, whatwas on TV last night, what is in the news?Personally I think business accounts/blogsshould be kept mainly to business but thatdoesn’t mean there’s no space for a little bit ofgeneral chit chat, and ironically those kinds ofposts tend to have a good response rate!Hopefully the above will give you a fewideas about what content you could usefor your updates. In time you will find whatworks best for you.Finally, keep an eye on your stats (followernumbers, views per post on Facebook,Twitter interactions and retweets, page hits onyour blog and whether your web stats increasefollowing your posts) to see what topics giveyou the best results. CFURTHER INFORMATIONFiona Pullen is the founder of founder ofThe Sewing Directory website. The sitehelps people source sewing suppliers,sewing courses and sewing groups.Find out more by visitingwww.thesewingdirectory.co.ukcraftfocus 97

etail technologynew EUcookie rulesIn part two of his new series, David Mackley continues to look at cookies, and discusses whatactions you can and should take to move towards compliance, as well as looking at the debateon analytics cookies- Part 2 -If you own a website, then you should beaware of the new Cookie Law introduced on26 th May, 2012. This is part of new regulationsintended to protect people’s privacy andimpacts on all owners of websites that usecookies. The rules have caused much debate inthe on-line community as businesses try andinterpret their meaning. Many commentatorssay that the guidance seems to be intentionallyvague and leaves many questions unanswered.Nevertheless, it is up to the business ownerhow they interpret the rules and determinethe appropriate course of action.Actions to move towards compliance1. Carry out a cookie auditAt the very least, you should show that youare aware of the issues the Directive seeksto address and have begun to take steps tocomply. You should then identify what cookiesare being used – hopefully your websitecompany can help you work this out. It’simportant to recognise that this is not just ‘firstparty’ cookies that are set from your websitedomain but also any third-party cookiesfrom social networks, web analytics tools andadvertising networks.Some of these cookies may only becomeevident at key stages in the customer journey(e.g. on a sales confirmation page), so it isimportant to review these in detail by walkingthrough the pages in question. Remember toinclude all websites you are responsible for, forexample, a blog that might be on a differentplatform, and any campaign micro sites.2. Evaluate the privacy impact of each cookieOnce you have identified all the cookiesassociated with the site, the next step is toevaluate the privacy impact of each one. Thiswill be based on the category of cookie aspreviously discussed in part one.3. Decide how you will inform users ofyour websiteAt the very least, your website/s shouldprovide users with information about cookies,what they are and why they are used, as wellas explaining which cookies are used on yourwebsite and what for. The ICO’s guidancedocument does provide some useful examplesof how to draw users’ attention to cookie andprivacy policies. For example:• Change the wording of the hyperlink, usingthe phrase ‘cookie and privacy policy’.• Moving the link from the footer to a moreprominent position on the page.• Using a different text colour to make the linkeasier to spot.4. Decide which method you will use forgaining consent, if requiredWhere you need user consent, decide whichsolution you are going to use. Your websitedesign company will hopefully be able to helpyou out here. The solution you eventuallychoose will depend upon your own attitude tothe regulations.craftfocus 99

new EU cookie rules“Of all the third party cookies,the one that is causing mostdiscussion is Google Analytics.If you run Google Analytics onyour website then it has probablyinstalled a tracking cookie. ”Third party cookies and the topic ofGoogle AnalyticsOne of the main areas of debate is aroundthird party cookies. Strictly speaking, the ownerof a website a user visits is deemed legallyresponsible for any cookie setting. So, even ifthe cookie was placed there by a third party aspart of an agreement with you, it is you that isresponsible for it.Of all the third party cookies, the one thatis causing most discussion is Google Analytics.If you run Google Analytics on your websitethen it has probably installed a tracking cookie.At the moment there is a lot of debate aboutwhere Google Analytics cookies sit with theregulations, and at time of writing there hasbeen no response to the new regulationsfrom Google.If Google Analytics is classed as a ‘targetingor advertising cookie’ then an opt-in isrequired. In this case, websites the world overwould need an opt-in facility. It is likely that alargely uneducated public would opt-out ofusing the cookie, and this would mean thewebsite owner would lose a lot of the datathat analytics provides.The Information Commissioner is aware ofthe difficulties of compliance in the complexmulti-jurisdictional world of third party displayadvertising, ad networks and agencies, but, toreiterate, is clear that this complexity is nota defense for non-compliance. Dave Evans,Group Manager for Business & Industry at theInformation Commissioner’s Office (ICO), said:“It’s highly unlikely that organisations will getinto trouble because of one cookie or a fewcomplaints, but we would seek to address anypotential issues with the company concerned.In these situations we would be more likely toprovide advice to the organisation. It is unlikely– but not impossible – that we would takeaction just for analytics cookies.”In an interview with The Register,Communications Minister Ed Vaizey saidhe wished that web analytics fell into theso-called ‘strictly necessary category’ in theICO’s guidelines on the legislation. “We needto understand that consent is not blackand white. Both the ICO and I have said onseveral occasions that there is a sliding scale ofintrusiveness which should inform the level ofeffort you go to,” said the minister. “Obviouslysomething like analytics or feature-basedcookies are pretty low on that scale, and Iknow that the ICO will take that into account.Of course, that doesn’t mean that you don’tneed to go to any effort at all, but somethingwhich tracks how many users visit a page ishardly the priority here.”The situation is not really helped by the factthat some government websites – includingwww.ico.gov.uk – have a Google Analyticsopt-in, whereas others have not, such aswww.direct.gov.uk; even though it uses GoogleAnalytics it relies upon a link at the bottom ofthe website saying: ‘Privacy and Cookie Policy.’The ICO does drop a large hint that it doesnot regard analytics cookies as posing a seriousrisk to privacy. In the very last paragraph ofthe 27-page guidance document, it states: ‘Itis highly unlikely that priority would be givento focusing on uses of cookies where there isa low level of intrusiveness’ and includes ‘firstparty cookies used only for analytical purposes,provided clear information is given on the site.’WordingIf you are looking for advice on the words touse on your cookie information page, the ICCguidelines include some example wording foryou to use. CDavid Mackley MBA BSc is MD of IntelligentRetail – providers of Multichannel EPoSand eCommerce websites for independentretailers. If you have any questions, you cancontact David on T: +44 (0)845 680 0126or E: dmackley@intelligentretail.co.uk100 craftfocus

If you’ve enjoyed reading Craft Focusmagazine, why not log onto our website atwww.craftfocus.com? Containing up-to-theminutenews, events and special offers, thesite is updated regularly with information tohelp you advance your business.Special Features• Featured ArticlesRead our regularly updated spotlightedfeatures whenever you wish, coveringe-commerce, visual merchandising, tradeshow previews and much, much more.• Back Issues ArchiveIf you’re looking for information on aparticular subject regarding your business,take a look at our back issues archive. Allmagazines will be sent out free of charge toqualified registered readers.• Media PackDownload our comprehensive online mediapack for a features list, advertising rates andspecifications.Find a SupplierThe latest feature on www.craftfocus.com,the supplier directory, allows you to contactadvertisers in the magazine for moreinformation about their products or services.Simple to use and available world-wide 24hours a day, the supplier directory is a readerreply service for the 21 st century.If you would like to find out more, log ontowww.craftfocus.com101 craftfocusgiftfocus 101

Gift Focus magazine, the leading trade title for the giftwareindustry, is available free of charge to qualifi ed registeredreaders. Published six times a year, Gift Focus contains news onindustry trends, new products and all gift trade events.Subscribe online atwww.giftfocus.com* Average NetCirculation: 7,561(01/07/10 to30/06/11)

why not subscribe?subscribeFill in the form below to receive a regular copy of Craft Focus magazineCraft Focus magazine, the leading trade titlefor the craft industry, is available free of chargetoqualified registered readers. Published sixtimes a year, Craft Focus contains news onindustry trends, recent product launches and allcraft trade events.Subscription formDo you work in the craft industry?YesNameJob titleCompany nameAddressTelephoneEmailSimply fill in the form below and post toCraft Focus magazine, KD Media PublishingLtd, Broseley House, Newlands Drive, Witham,Essex CM8 2UL. Alternatively, photocopy theform and fax to +44 (0)1376 514 555 orregister online at www.craftfocus.comNoPostcodeFacsimilePlease tick one or more of the boxes below which best describe your business.Independent art and craft shopArt and craft multipleDepartment storeNeedlecraft retailerHaberdasheryMail orderOther (please specify)Wool shopModel shopToy shopWholesaler/Cash & CarryImporterAgent/RepNumber of Employees1-5 6-1516-30 31-5051-100 101-300301-1,000 1,001 +Annual Turnover£0 – £25,000 £25,001 – £50,000£50,001 – £100,000 £100,001 – £250,000£250,001 – £1,000,000 £1,000,001 – £5,000,000£5,000,001 – £10,000,000 £10,000,001 – £50,000,000£50,000,001 +Do you wish to receive a free copy of Craft Focus Magazine?YesNoSignatureDatecraftfocus 103

next issue…Don’t forget to look out for ourDecember/January 2013 editionfor lots of fantastic ideasSpecial stitches:Tapestry and needlepoint exploredCreative kids:Our fun round up ofcraft kits for childrenHard sell: We give you thelow down on merchandisingLooking forward: Get superorganised with our year plannerMake the cut:Celebrating papercraftsIssue 34December/January 2013Editorial deadline: 2 nd NovemberAdvertising deadline: 9 th NovemberPublished on: 26 th NovemberPlus• Brand new products• The latest industry news• Top business advice from leading expertsin retail, ecommerce and business management104 craftfocus

perfect stitchesLittle Star Stitches is a family run business based in theCotswolds, here Kerry Whiting tells us about the company’sorigins and the process of turning illustrations into kitsWhat prompted you tostart the company?I loved art when I was growing up and wasstrongly influenced by my dad who wasa marine artist, painting life-like seascapesin oil on canvas. I forever had a pencil inmy hand, and animals have always been myfavourite subject, I am completely animal mad.Another passion that evolved sometime duringmy childhood was cross stitching.After leaving school I concentrated on fineart prints and through this, I learned a newlove – computer graphics and design.Having my first child when I was 20 meantthat my career took a back seat, then, whenour second child arrived, my art got shelved– but I still carried on with cross stitch.Once our boys started school, I had moretime on my hands and so I began a personalmission of trying to combine art, computeraided design and cross stiching. So I started tosketch, and many, many drawings later Peanut& Muffin (the blue and pink elephants) were‘born’. I finally had my characters - the nextstep was turning the art into a crossstitchchart, and finally, I’d be able to stitch them!It wasn’t until many years later that I had theidea to create an entire range of cross stitchkits and at that point I came up with Humbug(the zebra) and Pretzel (the giraffe) as friendsfor Peanut & Muffin.Talk us through the process of creatinga new product from initial concept, tosourcing materials, product testing andfinal productionIt starts with a pencil! I sketch, sometimes Ialready know what I will be drawingbefore I put pencil to paper and I sketch andsketch until what I see with my eyes is what Isee in my imagination.Once I’m happy with the drawing, I maycolour it by hand, with either pastels, colouredpencils, water colours or pro-markers, othertimes I take it straight to the computer. It’s thenscanned in and the charting process begins.Before we start charting, I pick the coloursof thread that I think will work best, if it’s acolour scheme we haven’t used before I willstitch some small shapes using the colours tosee if they work, it’s surprising how different athread colour can look with different threadcolours stitched next to it.We don’t use automatic charting software,we use Photoshop. We lay a grid over thescanned image, decide on what size we wantthe completed cross stitch to be and thenstart laying down symbols – each symbol isput down individually. Then I will ‘draw’ thebackstitch on.We print out this draft chart and startstiching. Any errors or changes that we wantto make are marked on the chart and threadusage is monitored. Once the design is stitched,it’s photographed for the packet and the draftchart is finalised on the computer. The nextstep is turning the draft chart into the chartyou find in the packets, setting up a key forthe kit, creating a thread card, writing up theinstructions and producing a ‘thread sheet’ – asheet we use to cut the thread for the kits.Our kits are designed by a cross stitcher,for cross stitchers. We keep the squares ofthe printed chart as large as possible while stilltrying to keep the paper at an easy-to handlesize. We carefully choose symbols so that it’seasy to distinguish one from another and wepre-load the thread cards, with threads nextto the corresponding symbols to make thingseven easier.What are your future ambitions?Paper crafting is something we want to get ourcharacters into, it’s an area we’ve been tryingto do for over a year now. We are working ona paper crafting CDRom of Binkie and we alsowant to start making children’s cross stitch kits.We’re currently working on new Christmasdesigns for this year, in both the Peanut &Friends range and the Artic Lovables Range.We have two new ones – both from the ArcticLovables, there is ‘Binkies Reindeer Outfit’ and‘Wrapping Pressies’, these are both on paleblue aida and I just love them..What do enjoy most about beinginvolved in the craft industry?What I love about working in the craft industryis that creativity is essential, so my love of artdoesn’t have to get shelved, I can be artisticand be creative because that is what thisbusiness is all about. CFurther informationLittle Stars StitchesT: +44 (0)1453 546891W: www.littlestarstitches.com106 craftfocus

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