Christmas Craftiness part 1

I hope you had a great Christmas! Mine was full of non-Christmassy films and far too many chocolate oranges. As usual, I'm finding the few days between Christmas and New Year a bit strange - I'm feeling like hiberbating but I need to do some serious tidying and organising.

I made a few presents this year, these ones were using the patterns from the Alphabet Motif Club designed by Carina. The club patterns are still available, but Carina is temporarily shutting her shop from 1 January to deal with the EU VAT changes. There are more details and coupon codes here.

I had to frantically finish this piece, take a photo and wrap it up in the same evening which is why this photo is a bit washed out - it's much prettier in real life! It was the first time I'd used the "yay!" stitch... I wrapped the 4" hoop with dark greeny-blue wool to add to the rustic feel.

This one was finished on Christmas Day in front of Doctor Who (I wasn't that impressed with the Christmas episode, I actually fell asleep at one point. I like the new Doctor but the scripts have been pretty weak for a while). I'd had very little sleep that week so my tracing on a window was a bit wonky - the green lines at the bottom aren't where they're supposed to be, but I think it still works as it's consistent. This hoop is wrapped in brown wool. I prefer the wool wrapping to painting the hoops for these motifs. I want to try more hoop decorations next year, especially using crochet.

I suspect several more of my friends will be getting these alphabet hoops over the next few months and I'll definitely be making one for myself!

Truly nasty tax changes that will probably affect YOU

There are scary new EU VAT tax changes coming in on 1 January 2015 which will affect you if you run a business selling digital products from anywhere in the world, if you sell to countries in the EU.

They will definitely affect you if you live in the EU and buy digital products (ebooks, music, craft patterns etc) as at best prices will go up to include the VAT, and at worst you won't be able to buy from many sellers as they will exclude the EU to avoid dealing with these new laws.

Many businesses are simply closing down at the end of this year, so even if you aren't in the EU or have a business that sells to the EU, you may still be affected.

In short, it will affect hundreds of thousands of small businesses, many of which will be forced to shut.

Here is an excellent resource of what's happening and how you can get involved campaigning against these changes.

There is also a good write-up of the issues by What Delilah Did here.

There is a petition to try and suspend these changes for micro-businesses and sole traders here - please sign it!

Here are some businesses that are either closing completely or stopping selling their digital products from the end of the year, so this is your last chance to support them:

If you are in this position and want me to add your site to this list, leave a comment.

I will be taking my monster Halloween pattern off sale from Etsy and Craftsy at the end of the year, and waiting to see what happens (so frustrating as I had many plans for new patterns for next year). Currently HMRC are saying that manually emailing PDFs to customers won't get caught up in the tax changes, but they keep changing their minds on it so I don't want to risk it. Here it is to jog your memory in case you want to buy it: