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?


Phoenix Feathers now on Etsy

I’m really looking forward to seeing how the “Phoenix Feather” pendants fare on my Etsy shop. I’ve currently got Purple, Teal, Ashes & Rose and Rose & Gold pendants up for sale.

I’m especially pleased with the way these product photos turned out, as well:

More feathery inspirations

After briefly mentioning in my last post the new “Phoenix Feather” design I came up with, I got hit by another inspiration during this last week:

Specifically, I wanted to see what those gorgeous peacock colours would look like for the “Mod Circles” brooch and pendant designs:

Well, tune in later this week and you’ll find out! I’m pretty happy with it. Now to purchase some mica powders and experiment with iridescent effects!

And this is why I don’t make resolutions…

I’ve been very quiet here of late, haven’t I?

I had a vague intention of updating this blog at least once a week, with news, chats, stories or just random things that inspired or interested me.

Unfortunately, life then happened. Partly in the form of a rather uncomfortable wait for approval from my employer to keep McLaren Crafts going – a wait that definitely had me feeling anxious!

However, I’m happy to say that I’ve got the approval, and don’t have to find out what I would have done if they hadn’t given it.

I’ve also completely rearranged a lot of my living space, which unfortunately means my crafting workspace is rather covered at the moment.

However, here’s a sneak peek at a new design I’ve been working on: Phoenix Feather!

Phoenix feather purple pendant before baking

Phoenix feather jade green pendant before baking

I’m really happy with this design – it all started with a doodle I started playing with while having a cup of hot chocolate with friends. I was playing with the shapes of feathers, candle flames and water drops, and arrived at this beautiful Art Deco-esque design.

I’ll be making it in a lot of different colours, as both pendants and brooches, so stay tuned!

I’ve also bought myself a new laptop (which is wonderful, such a good keyboard and SO much faster than my 3-year-old netbook!) and a new camera. I’m really looking forward to playing with the camera and seeing how the product shots turn out!

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.

Coming soon to McLaren Crafts…

I’m very excited about some of my latest purchases for McLaren Crafts, because coming soon will be more magnets, and keychains!

Amongst other items available on keychains, I’ll offer the toadstools, books and my soon-to-be-listed “Spoilers!” River Song diary replica!

So stay tuned for Gallery updates and more Etsy links!

I’m not quiet, I’m busy!

I’ve been pretty quiet here lately, but not because I’ve stopped working on McLaren Crafts – quite the opposite!

I’ve been spending a LOT of time making new things for the Etsy store. In fact, I’ve been spending so much time making things, I haven’t even had time to photograph and list them!

I’ll list the items and update the galleries soon (gosh, April was a productive month!) – so if you come back in a few days, you’ll see new mini pendants (including a number of gorgeous “Spoilers!” pendants I am VERY proud of) and my new “Circle of seasons” series of brooches and pendants.

And next up will be MORE pendants and brooches, as well as some figurines and magnets.