It’s aliiiiiiiiiive!

Yep. McLaren Crafts is actually still alive! The little crafter that could still can… with some changes.

I have… well, not precisely ‘plans’. Plans are grandiose (or at least well-thought-out). Plans involve some sort of strategy. I don’t have plans.

What I do have are nebulous, half-formed ideas for revamping this blog and sharing my new crafting projects and interests with you.

I also have a backlog of completed projects I’ve been meaning to share!

So stay tuned – there will be developments afoot! Plus a makeover. And who doesn’t love a good makeover?


And I think Mum would be proud of me…

Tonight, three things happened:

I read a book that made me cry.

I took a lot of photos for new listings.

I decided to use both of those to achieve something positive and affirming.

You see, my mother passed away a few years ago, quite young and quite suddenly. A few milestones tend to be quite difficult now – Mother’s Day being one of them.

And nothing sets me off crying more than the depiction of grief, because it brings back all of my own, just as new and raw as the day of that horrible phone call.

So reading a book in which the main character grieves – and grieves in a way that reminded me all too much of my own grieving – so close to Mother’s Day… well, it was a good thing I’d stocked up on tissues.

But instead of simply spending the rest of the evening dwelling on my grief, I remembered the mini book pendants I made a couple of weeks ago…

Green book mini pendant with bee stamp and gold bail against "This book belongs to:" faceplate

And I decided that this year, I’m not going to avoid Mother’s Day, or resent it, or get angry about it – I’m going to celebrate it, and celebrate my mother’s life.

In life, Mum was passionate about books – a passion she instilled not only in her daughters, but in the many students she taught over her career as a teacher-librarian. What better way to celebrate her life than to find some way to continue to share her passion?

I decided that when I put the pendants up for sale – and many, many more than the six I’ve made so far – I will donate $10.00 from each pendant sold (or keychain) to a worthy charity. One that promotes literacy and love of reading.

A quick bit of Googling brought me to the website of the Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation, a charity aimed at increasing awareness of how debilitating illiteracy can be for a person in today’s society, and aimed at increasing literacy and numeracy rates in disadvantaged Australian children.

So this evening, I’ve sent them this email:


I am interested in making a donation to your literacy program(s) via a particular method, and would like to clarify with you whether I would be making a donation or running a fundraiser.

Here’s the backstory:

My mother, who passed away in 2009, was a teacher librarian who passed on her passion for reading to both of her daughters, and to many of her students. Mother’s Day is a difficult time each year, but this year I wanted to turn grief into something positive and affirming.

I am the operator of an Etsy store (just starting up) called McLaren Crafts, and have made a series of small book-shaped pendants I intend to sell.

I intend to donate $10.00 from each pendant sold to your charity, in memory of my mother and the love of books she wanted everyone to share.

What I need to confirm is whether this would constitute a donation or a fundraiser?

I’m hoping to time some of my promotion of this to coincide with Mother’s Day, and with her birthday (end of June). However, I also intend to ensure that each pendant will continue to raise $10.00 even after the end of June.

I look forward to your response, and to supporting your ongoing efforts.

I’ve got my work cut out for me over the next few days, but I’m confident that, if I can get the word out, and get a lot more pendants made, with your help I can donate over $100 to this cause.

So help me make this Mother’s Day one to be happy about – and help me do Mum proud.

We have lift-off!

I am proud, thrilled, excited, [insert choice of hyperbolic verb here] to announce that the McLaren Crafts Etsy store has now launched!

Where you can purchase all sorts of pretty things, such as:

Mini toadstool pendant with silver eye loop and jump-ring against ivy - number 2

Or you can buy:

Heart-shaped pendant in dusk-rose pink with darker pink design embedded and silver leaf-bail against ivy

Not to mention the autumnal magnet sets, and a whole bunch of autumnal pendants!

And the fun is just starting! Next up come figurines, more pendants, brooches, magnets, coasters…

My head is buzzing with designs for cats, teapots, ladybugs, bees, TARDISes and TARDIS-shaped notebook pendants (I love a challenge), LEGO minifigures (like I said, a challenge) and so much more!

Best yet – is there something you’d like me to make? Send an email to, or contact me through the Etsy store, send me pictures that represent what you’d like me to make, and we’ll figure something out!

(Bear in mind, I won’t make anything that is an exact replica of a licensed or copyrighted image/sculpture/etc, unless you can prove that you’re the owner of the license or copyright. I don’t want to get sued, that’d spoil all the fun.)