everyday life


New Cards Coming Soon!

materialised card designs

Just popping in to say hello! My resolve to keep the blog updated at least twice a week has gone out the window…just been so busy! Lots on the go all at once…decorating, making little cats, designing some new cards & learning Photoshop simultaneously and last but not least, preparing for our open studios next month…

The cards still need a few adjustments before I send them to the printers but I’m quite please with how bright and cheerful they look.

Just three weeks to the open studios day and I still have so many things to make/do/finish/tidy. Hopefully it’ll all start coming together soon… Come and visit if you can!


Cat Face Sewing & Other News

cat face sewing in progress

Busy, busy at the moment so here is just a little peek at what’s on my desk today….It’s not going to be what you might think! Will reveal all soon.

This week I’m working on a few prototypes for new products. I really want to make some new things for my shop but haven’t had the time because I’ve been concentrating on my envelopes. A change is good as a rest, so they say!

There’s also something very exciting I’ve been working on behind the scenes, with a few other local artists and designer / makers. We are planning our first open studios day in the area, which will be happening on the 10th of May. There are still loads of plans and preparations to do but we do have 5000 leaflets, a facebook page and website, which is a great start! I’ll be letting you know all about it here soon, in the meantime if you live near Midlothian and would like some leaflets to share with friends, or at your work, please give me a shout, I have plenty to go round!

One last thing. If you’d like to win one of my handmade bunny purses and a matching brooch, there’s still time to enter the March Giveaway!


Spring In My Step!

spring flowers

We’ve had a few lovely sunny days around here lately…given me quite a spring in my step, so it has! It isn’t until Spring arrives and I find myself with more energy to get things done around the house and in the garden that I realise quite how much Winter affects me. It’s like waking up from a very l o n g afternoon nap.


Inadvertently, I’ve become the owner of three trowels I know…lucky me! Thought I was pretty well equipped with two already but when I wanted to start removing rouge dandelions I could not find either of them, anywhere. Not in the shed. Not in the garage. Not in the kitchen miscellaneous drawer….nowhere. Cue a trip to the garden centre and purchase of one shiny new trowel. Of course, within about 10 mins of gardening, the man had found both! Must tidy out that shed.

Quite a few entries for the March Giveaway so far, which is great! I’m enjoying your comments about your favourite sayings and acronyms – some are completely new to me!  Just a quick word – for your entry to be included you need to sign into the Rafflecopter widget. If you leave a comment on the post without signing in it won’t be included. Sorry if it seems like I’m making you jump through hoops to enter but it makes it so much easier for me to administrate! If you have any problems with it feel free to email me at julialaing(at)materialised.co.uk

Ah well, back to work. I’m designing some gift vouchers…more about that soon!


Posting Mail Art

2014-02-25 16.18.35

Earlier, in between rain showers, I walked round to the post box… Finally I took the plunge and posted off my submission to Mail Me Art 4 . Hope it arrives safely!

It’s a while since my postcard was finished. To begin with I had mixed feelings about it and wasn’t even sure whether or not to send it. I even ordered a replacement post card so I could try again but after putting it out of sight for a few days I’ve come round to it again and like it more… All the frustrations involved in making the artwork clouded my judgement but it didn’t take long to forget about that and see it with more objectivity.

The written embroidery was chiefly what was annoying me. It was so hard to sew through the stiff painted paper that the writing doesn’t flow like my own hand-writing but on reflection I don’t think that’s important at all. More important is the sincerity with which it was written…so that’s it & that’s me.

What I do like about it is that the letter looks a bit like a little brightly glowing house, lighting up the darkness.

In my imagination, the patches of fabrics I added around the envelope are fireworks.

envelope collage

(c) Julia Laing Yours Sincerely Envelope Collage


Hello 2014


Hello, I hope 2014 is being good to you so far!  I had a great rest but now I’m back at my desk and am really looking forward to getting busy with the making and doing again. I have a few changes in mind for this year. The main change is that I’m going to be making the wool purses & brooches to order only from now on. I want to still make them available to anyone who’d like to buy them so once the stock I have is finished, all my designs will be available as custom orders on Etsy. I’ll also be updating my wholesale catalogue soon. Hopefully this will free up more time for creativity and making one-off items. I really love spending a long time on making individual pieces feel much more fulfilled personally working that way.

Every year I begin with a pledge to do more drawing and this year is no exception. At the beginning of last year I spent time working on really quick sketches, armed with the kitchen timer set for 5 or 10 mins. I also did more drawing outdoors than I’d done in years, so hopefully I can pick up these good habits again.

I’m also going to revisit the envelope project I began last year and which unfortunately fizzled out very quickly. I was trying to think about what had stopped me carrying on and the main problem was I always want to make everything finished and perfect which is difficult with limited time, instead I need to just do it and move on. So to make it easier on myself this time around, the envelopes might just be quick sketches, ideas or small drawings on paper, or with fabric.

There will be more fabric creatures. I really love making these and want to develop them further.

Other avenues I’d like to explore are creating patterns, designing fabrics and cards….

I also want to blog more often, although it’ll be mainly photo posts…words can be tricky sometimes but  I definitely need to show my blog some TLC!

That’s my list, now is there anything you are planning on doing differently this year?



Merry Christmas

christmas ornaments

Now that all the pre-Christmas pandemonium is almost at an end I’m beginning to relax. Have spent the past couple of days watching old films on the TV and snoozing…sheer luxury!

My plan was to close my Etsy shop for a fortnight over the holidays but have had a rethink – even if it is too late to buy for Christmas now, it seems silly to put off prospective customers, who might have more free time for browsing, so I’ll be processing orders as normal, although the public holidays mean delivery could take slightly longer than usual. Apart from virtual shop-tending I’m not planning much work for the next couple of weeks, just a workroom tidy up and sort out so I can start 2014 bright and fresh.

However you celebrate this time of year I hope you have a lovely time!

Julia x



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