Category: Other

Craft Llama – a New Crafting Community Website

Launching today (1st Septemeber 2017) is the new crafting community website,

I was looking for a safe, friendly, fun crafting community to join and my son suggested: “why not make your own?”

Seven months, many sleepless nights and grey hairs later – I have!

Craft Llama is totally free for everyone. If you join before 1st November you will get Charter Member status with a special badge on your profile page.

Craft Llama is for everyone who likes to craft. All crafts, all ages, all nationalities, everyone!



What Am I Up To?

I have been very busy lately creating a new website.  It is craft related and I will be launching it very soon.

The website will be called – before you rush off to have a look, it currently has a “maintenance mode” sign up so I can construct away without confusing anyone.


This blog (yes, the one you are reading right now) is built using the WordPress platform.  I have to confess that sometimes WordPress and I have little arguments.  And sometimes WordPress appears to win them.  But overall I love it because it is so flexible, powerful and convenient – which is why the Tin Teddy Blog uses it!

My new site is also using WordPress but is far more complex than a blog.  I have had to learn a lot of new skills to complete it, including a crash course in both HTML and CSS code.

So what is this mysterious new Craft Llama site, I hear you say?

Well, the more observant amongst you will have noticed that the banner above includes the words “The crafting community”, so that should give you quite a large clue.

I am hoping it will be something very big and very special – made by a crafter, for crafters.

Stay tuned – Tin Teddy Blog followers will be getting special invitations to see it before everyone else – with various perks to this included.


Preparing for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo – Planning my next novel

During April this year I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo.  This is a month-long challenge to encourage budding authors to get started on their literary masterpieces.  My target for the month was 50,000 words, which is considered by many to the the minimum length for a modern novel.  To hit the target one has to write an average of 1.667 words a day.  If you hit the target then you are considered a “winner” and get a badge for your blog (mine is down on the bottom right), plus special offers on various sponsor’s products.  Technically one could easily cheat… but as the idea is to encourage you to get on with your writing, that would be a bit defeating the object.


For April’s Camp NaNoWriMo I wrote the first 55,000 words of a historical novel that I have been thinking about for a very long time.  I will be finishing if off and publishing it, but am shelving it for now for various reasons.

There will be another Camp NaNoWriMo for the month of July, so I am now planning what I will write for this one.

I am going to be writing the first book in a series of fantasy/crime novels.  I have been thinking about this for many years and have many elements of my fantasy world planned already.

I will be writing using the excellent software, Scrivener, which I used for both my historical novel and my soon-to-be published non-fiction book, Make It, Blog It, Profit!.

Scrivener is a writing environment, created by an author for authors. As well as a conventional world processor, it also can handle research, plotting and formatting tasks.  I was able to buy it for 50% of its usual (very reasonable!) price, as one of the prizes from April’s NaNoWriMo.  There is a free month’s trial version available.   I will write a more in-depth review at a later date.

Throughout June I will be planning the plot of the new novel, and building the world in which it will be set.  This will be a lot of work, but something I will also enjoy.

I intend to work through this Magical World Builder- 30 Days of World Buildingby Stephanie Cottrell Bryant.

I have just started creating some maps for the world, using Campaign Cartographer 3+ software from Profantasy.  As I am very new to this software, I have a lot to learn and so am experimenting and learning as I go along.  I will use it to map out the main world, towns and villages and to create floor plans of buildings.  Some of these maps will end up in the books (I will redraw them nicely!)… others will be purely for my own reference.

Here is a snippet of one of my first mapping attempts.FirstMap



A New Look for Tin Teddy on Etsy

This week Etsy rolled out a  significant new look for seller’s shops.

Now my Tin Teddy shop on Etsy looks like this…



Previously it looked like this.


The biggest differences are that the product pictures are bigger (a good thing!) but reviews and polices are now on the front page (which seems unnecessary to me and distracts from the products).

Sellers have a choice of using the new, huge!, “cover pictures”, as I have done, using their old banners (which do no show at all on mobile devices) or having no cover or banner.

I am trying the cover picture for now on this shop.  My Antique Dog Prints vintage shop on Etsy still has the old small banner up.  I will wait a while to see how people respond to the changes before settling on one or the other for good.

Hints and Tips When Knitting, Sewing or Crocheting Small Doll Clothes

I love making little clothes for my dolls.   Here are some hints and tips for knitting, sewing or crocheting petite clothing.

  • The dolls on the left are wearing clothes that fit them, but they are knitted in double knitting yarn (worsted weight), on standard 4mm needles. They were fast to knit but not really to scale- the stitches look far too big. The tiny doll on the right is wearing a sweater that is much nearer to the right scale. It was knitted in lace-weight yarn on 1.5mm needles.





New Theme for Tin Teddy Blog Today

Today I have changed the theme (graphical style) of the Tin Teddy Blog.

I have been using a lovely theme from Elegant Themes for the past couple of years, but sadly can no longer do so as recent changes in the way WordPress works (the software that powers the blog) means that there were problems with the way some elements of the site were displaying.

Elegant Themes do not sell their themes individually, you have to join as a subscription to get access to them. You do get access to lots of themes this way, and can continue to use any theme after your subscription ends.

I was only using one theme.  Sadly, what I hadn’t realised is that once your subscription ends, you can no longer get any updates to the theme.  So when WordPress changed last year, my theme “broke” and I just do not know enough about website scripting to be able to fix it myself.

I could not justify paying for another year just to fix this one theme.  I do not want more themes and paying again for something I already paid quite a lot for, well that was not palatable.  Elegant Themes is no doubt great value for money if you want a lot of themes.  But if you only want one..  I now know it can be a very expensive option.

So I chose to change to a different theme, Adelle.  Which has meant some earlier posts are a bit wonky now as they use elements that were only available for Elegant Theme themes.

I am going through the blog and updating things right now.  It will take a few days to get everything tidy, plus there are a few other changes I want to make whilst I am at it.

Please bear with me if you see any “wonkyness”.  It should all be tidy again soon.

Thank you to all my regular readers.

Tin Teddy Vintage is now.. Antique Dog Prints – Etsy shop name change

After two years of trading as Tin Teddy Vintage, I have now rebranded my Etsy vintage prints shop with the new name of Antique Dog Prints.AntiqueDogPrintsCard

I already owned the dot com for this name, and as I sell over 90% vintage dog prints, it made sense to change the shop name.  I will still stock a few other animal prints now and then but it will definitely be mainly dogs, as before.

I currently have 53 original, antique and vintage dog prints on offer in the shop and will continue to add more.  I have a very large collection of prints as I have been collecting for many years.  My house, however, is very tiny so I am only able to display a few.  Hence the decision to sell my significant surplus prints so they can go to new homes where they can be enjoyed.

If you are looking for a particular breed, do let me know as I may have it, waiting to be listed.

Thank you to everyone who has supported Tin Teddy Vintage in 2015 and I hope that Antique Dog Prints continues to thrive in 2016.