Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Front Page!

Unbelievably for the second time this month, I made it onto the Front Page of Etsy in this gorgeous treasury made by PoorRobin

Mine is the Purple and Green Memory Wire bracelet, first item in the second row. I don't care what anyone says, the views and hearts you get from your 5 minutes of fame on the FP, is great exposure!

Last night I decided to bite the bullet and open a shop on MISI. This is another British based handmade website that I have been reading really positive things about. At the minute I only have a couple of things listed in my shop but I'm hoping to get more listed this week. As with any new site, it took a bit of navigating and after I'd listed my first item, I realized with horror that I had listed it at 61p - the postage cost! Eventually after a bit of help from Overspill I worked it out!

Also, don't forget that I'm offering my blog followers 20% off in my shops this week, finishes on Friday

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


One of the things my hubbie and I have in common is a love of shopping for home furnishings. Yes, I got a man that does love shopping! We will happily spend time browsing round shops but that's become more difficult since our son is a complete nightmare when shopping. So I've been looking more and more on the internet and at the minute it's cushions that are attracting most of my attention.

A few weeks ago when I was making a treasury for Etsy, I found AlexandraFerguson and fell in love with her work. It seems I'm not the only one who likes her work as Alexandra was recently the featured seller on Etsy.
How fantastic is this Be Nice Or Leave pillow?

I also really giggled at Go To The Gym as this is something I am stuggling to do. Maybe if I had this to look at every morning I may be inspired!

The second shop I love is that of pipdesigns. Although Felicity who runs pipdesigns sells on etsy, ebay and her own website I've chosen a couple of cushion covers from her folksy shop to feature, as she has bargains on there to be snapped up at the minute!

This Retro Black & Red Flower cushion cover caught my eye as it is so elegant.

I have a real love afair with spots and if anyone has looked in my shop, they will know I also have a passion for blue, so this Retro Blue and Brown Spots is perfect!

The final shop I'd like to feature is that of HelanaCarrington. One of the things that I love about this shop is the wide variety of quirky designs available. This Campervan pillow brings back many happy memories of our holidays in Cornwall and my son would love us to get one. Of course driving from Northern Ireland to Cornwall in a campervan would take about 3 days longer..

And finally this other great passion of mine, which is coffee drinking. This fabulous Cappuccino Cushion just makes me want to drive to the nearest M&S for a frothy coffee.

Monday, 27 April 2009


I'm delighted today that my blog has reached 100 followers! So I've decided as a celebration to have a 20% off sale, only for my blog followers, in both my Etsy and Folksy

All you need to do, is to leave me a message with the words 'blog follower' and I will send you a revised invoice reflecting the discount.

This will be available from Monday 27th April to Friday 1st May only

Friday, 24 April 2009

Creative Gene?

I was having a think about my creativity and can honestly say that apart from my jewellery making, I don't consider myself a creative person. My sister Louise has been crafting for a few years and enjoys card making, scrapbooking and cross stitch. My other sister Lesley and brother John have no creative tendancies at all - or perhaps they are simply latent!

It is my older sister Anne who is the most obviously creative one amongst us. As a teenager Anne went to University College Dublin to study Agriculture. While there she decided to write a novel - as you do - and wrote the beginnings of a book. After a while she discarded it until a fateful visit to a fortune teller, who told her she would make her money from creative writing.

Out came the novel and once finished she didn't know what to do with it. So she went into a booksellers in Grafton Street, trying to build up the courage to ask someone about how you go about getting a book published. Clearly she looked suspicious because before long a security guard came over to throw her out. Instead, she asked him about publishers, he pulled out the telephone directory and wrote down contacts for a few publishers. Poolbeg was the first on the list. She sent off her work and they accepted it. And so The Pineapple Tart was published.

Since then Anne has had another 5 books published, numerous short stories, stories for radio and managed to have 4 children in the space of 3 and a half years! She currently lives in Bahrain, after time spent in Oman, Botswanna and Ireland. Her latest book is Enchanting Alice.

It's amazing to me that the girl I shared a room with growing up is now found in the Irish best sellers lists and sells books on Amazon.

Maybe there is a creative gene in our family after all?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Online selling

When I first started making jewellery, I had no intention of selling it. Then I made so much I decided to sell it and tried a few craft fairs, with modest success.

In January 2008 I made the decision to open a shop on Etsy. Little did I realize how consumed by the internet would I become. I was so naive. Having worked for the NHS as a physio all my working life, I had no experience of the joys or trials of running my own business.

First thing every morning I check my shops to see if I've had any sales, how many views my items have had, if I'd had any communication from prospective customers, have any items made it into a treasury etc.

I feel great excitement if I make a sale. One or two days without a sale and I start to promote a bit more. A week or more without a sale and it's hard not to wonder if my last sale has come and gone.

I don't know if it's just me that feels so obsessed with their shop. Does anyone else 'have words' with their other half about spending too much time online? Can anything beat the feeling of getting a sale and posting off the item you designed, made and sold?

I know that I'm happy with how my wee business is going and the enjoyment I get out of creating something new is great.

But I wish I didn't have the need to check my shops so often.

Monday, 20 April 2009


I've been really busy over the past couple of days.

Yesterday my sister Lesley and family came for dinner and for the first time this year, we had a bar-b-que. How lovely to sit out in the sunshine, smelling the barbie and listen to the kids playing on the trampeline.

Today I was at work all day. This is a bit of a novelty for me, as I try and only work during the kids school day but occasionally I need to go to meetings etc. Got to say, I have a brilliant child minder Lynn, who feeds the kids and does their homework with them before I pick them up.

This has left me very little time to do any crafting but yesterday I made a couple of bracelets with beads I got at the beading fair on Saturday.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Bead Fair

For the first time ever, I went to a bead fair this morning. It was the Stitch and Creative Craft Show at the Kings Hall in Belfast. Northern Ireland holds many craft fairs but this is the only beading fair I've come across.

I went along with my sister Louise, who makes cards and scrapbooks, and Alex my 10 year old. Straight through the door and I knew I was a goner! The most amazing bead stall with rows and rows of tempting beauties! I normally buy my beads from a couple of local craft shops or on the internet, but there is nothing quite like seeing beads in the flesh, so to speak.

I had set myself a budget and was very determined to stick to it. So I bought some beads that I just don't have access to normally. Ceramic, millifiori, cats eye, silver foil, glass pearls, seed and bugle beads, metal - I couldn't resist!

After we had a cup of coffee and Louise took Alex off to look at some beginners cross stitch, I went back for a second time and er, bought just as much again!

My husband just told me that my 'head was cut' and went back to the gardening when I got home and showed him all my lovelies. Can't wait to get started making!

Friday, 17 April 2009


When I was little, my parents didn't have a huge amount of money and my Mum knit alot of our jumpers. She decided it was important that me and my 3 sisters learned how to knit, although she let my brother off! I remember a particularly fetching pair of sky blue leg warmers and fingerless gloves that I made. I'm not sure though if the gloves were fingerless because that was fashionable then, or if fingers were beyond my knitting skills!

When I started selling my jewellery on Etsy, I rediscovered the art of knitting. Not knitting myself, but the very talented knitters who sell their amazing creations on online.

So I've decided to feature 3 of the UK knitters and their work.

First up is ileaiye. Ileaiye makes a fantastic range of tops, hats, scarves, gloves, shawls and more. Her work has a real romantic, classy look. I especially love the fingerless gloves - made with much more panache that my sky blue pair all those years ago!- and this navy poncho

Next up is niftyknits. This shop is full of the most amazing knitted items, including hair accessories, jewellery, flowers, clocks and of course meerkats and Morris Dancers! I have no idea how one would even start knitting a Morris Dancer, but nifty manages it beautifully.

Finally, is moocowhandknits. Moocowhandknits has been the featured seller on Etsy and with her luxurious hand knits, it's no wonder! She has a great mix of shrugs, scarves, slipperettes, wraps and even legwarmers!

A couple of years ago my daugher decided she'd like to learn how to knit and managed a scarf for her barbie. Looking through these 3 great shops, I'm tempted to get out the needles again and see if I can make something. One thing is for sure though, it will never make into my shop!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Pay It Forward Giveaway

I was on the Etsy forums last night and SouthernGirlFlorals
posted a "Pay It Forward Giveaway" on her blog for the first three that replied and I was one of the first three!!

So...I am continuing the Pay It Forward here on my blog!

Here are the Rules:
1. Be one of the first three bloggers to "follow" my blog and leave a comment at the end of this post, which entitles you to one of the pairs of earrings that I design.

2. Winners must post this challenge on their own blog, meaning that you will Pay It Forward, creating a handmade gift for the first three bloggers who "follow" you and leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway!

3. The gift you send can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. And, remember: It’s the Spirit and the Thought That Count!

4. When you receive your gift, feel free to blog about it, sharing appropriate Linky Love

5. If you are not one of the Top Three to comment on this post, you can still play along. Please start your own 'Pay It Forward chain', and encourage your blogging friends to do the same.

Leave your comments now!! And remember to include your email address so that I will be able to contact you!!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Sale or Return

Today I was delighted that my Orange and Grey treasury made it to the Etsy Front Page!

Hope it brings everyone featured lots of views and sales.

When I started selling my jewellery and before I discovered online selling, I gathered my courage and approached a local garden centre with a with a large gift shop. They agreed to sell my jewellery on a sale or return basis. Using the craftsforum as a guide, I spoke to the manageress, agreed terms etc and left my jewellery with them.

I've made a few sales from the garden centre but went today for the first time since I left new items in before Christmas and have decided to remove all my items. Not one piece was on the displays, all the necklaces were still in the boxes which were piled on top of each other on the bottom shelf of the cabinet. The boxes were thick with dust, one of the lids was missing and one box was broken!

I took my payment for the 2 pieces sold and politely said I would no longer be taking my pieces in and left.

So what I have learned is -
1. Draw up a contract with the selling venue to cover things like lost or stolen goods and who is liable
2. Check what price items are being sold for and agree how often you will collect payment for items sold
3. If possible check the venue regularly to ensure your work is being displayed well and being looked after
4. If it's not the place to sell your work, learn from it and move on!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Projeto Gallery, Skipton

A couple of weeks ago I received an email through Folksy from Paula at the projetogallery asking if I would be interested in selling my work there.

So I've sent off some pieces, 4 of which are in this pic below and am waiting to see how they do!

So if anyone lives near or happens to be visiting Yorkshire soon, check it out!

Blog Giveaway!

Thanks to everyone who took part in my first blog giveaway. I used the random number generator
and the winner is Digital Misfit! The Green and Blue Wraparound Bracelet will be winging its way to Cananda shortly.

I will be having another giveaway next month, so I hope everyone will enter again

Monday, 13 April 2009

Easter Monday

Woke to the 3rd day of sunshine in a row, which if anyone has lived/visited Northern Ireland will know is a bit of a record!

I was delighted to find that a treasury I am in made by bayanhippo had made to to Etsys front page overnight!

We decided as the weather was so good, to make the most of it and take the kids and Jack, our black lab, up the north coast to White Park bay, a National Trust beach.
The kids and Jack had a ball

Unfortunately the traffic was typical of a Bank Holiday on the way home and a one hour journey took 2 and a bit instead! Oh well, I think it was worth it

Friday, 10 April 2009

Good Friday

This is the start of the Easter weekend and last night we stayed over with our best man and his wife. They have 2 boys, one of which is Jamies age and one younger. We had a great night with them and a lovely lunch at the The Plough in Hillsborough before coming home.

The next few days are going to be spent with the family and friends, so I probably won't get much crafting done.

I've decided to have a 15% off sale this weekend - from Good Friday to Easter Monday in both my Etsy and Folksy shops.

Hope you all have a great Easter and don't forget there is still time to enter my blog giveaway!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Blog award!

I have received this special blog award yesterday from the lovely Paula from (check out her great blog).

Thank you so much!
The rules for this award are:-
1) Add the logo to your blog (will do after posting)
2) Link to the person from whom you've received the award
3) Nominate 8 blogs of your choice (see below)
4) Leave a message on the nominees' blogs
So my choices for the Kreativ Blog Award go to -

1. Amy at

2. nifty knits at

3. Charlotte at

4. Clare at

5. Mrs Gibson at

6. alibali at

7. missmaisy at

8. Cara at

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Interview with MooreMagnets

Last night when I posted a thread in the Etsy forums, the lovely April from MooreMagnets was really helpful and I decided I'd like to make her the first featured artist on my blog.

Your name/business name? April owner/creator of Moore Magnets

Where do you live? I live on 7 acres in central North Carolina surrounded by cattle and horse farms.

What products do you sell? Mainly I sell Magnet boards, but I am starting to branch out into office accessories, and I will soon be collaborating with a vinyl graphic artist for another look on my magnet boards.

Of all the pieces you have made, which is your favourite and why? My favorites change all the time depending on fabric that I see, and fabric that I buy. My current favorite is this one

I just really like the cool blue and the graphic nature of the trees. I am hoping to buy some more of the fabric to decorate my office with, but you never know, I might find a new favorite when I am fabric shopping =)

How long have you been crafting? I have been making things my whole life - I remember taking a pottery class as a summer camp when I was about 5 years old. I have always longed to have a pottery wheel. I also remember making a telephone out of a shoe box because my parents wouldn't let me have a phone in my room. As I got older I wanted to get into woodworking much more. I had a bit of a set back when all of my power tools were stolen from my mother's storage room. However, luckily I married a man who doesn't mind buying me power tools =) I have been making magnet boards and frames for over 5 years.

What inspires you to make the things you do? Initially my inspiration came from trying to find cool furnishings for my boys' room. Now, most of my inspiration comes from walking through the office supply store seeing how drab and boring everything is, customer requests, and the hardware store.

How do you promote yourself? I blog, I purchase ads on various blogs and websites, I participate in other's blogs, and I give out samples and business cards.

Do you blog? Yes, you can visit my blog at

Where can people see/buy your work? (include links so that people can find you) Currently my most stocked shop is at Etsy - but you can also find me at Artfire, my personal website, and various craft shows in North Carolina.

What do you do in your spare time, other than crafting? I would love to spend more time scuba diving. I am a certified stress and rescue diver and master diver, but having children has made that past time a little difficult. I love to garden, swim, visit with friends, and play with my 3 boys. I am also an avid pool (billiards) player.
Tell me anything else you'd like me to mention. I am so glad that I found Etsy. It has really given me a chance to branch out. I have also been challenged by all of the amazing work on Etsy, and the talented artists there inspire me daily.
April's work is lovely and her shops are definitely worth a visit!
Thanks to April for answering all my questions.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Blog Giveaway!

I've decided, as a thank you to all those who've given me advice and those who've decided to follow me, that I'm going to do a blog giveaway. So I'm going to give away this Blue and Green Wraparound Bracelet to one lucky winner.

All you have to do to win is to take a look in my Etsy or Folksy shops and comment here as to which is your favourite wraparound bracelet.

Please leave me a link to your shop or blog in the comment, so I can contact the lucky winner!

The Giveaway will run from Tuesday 7th April to Tuesday 14th April

Monday, 6 April 2009

Been busy today

I've had a busy day today, listing new items on both Folksy and Etsy.
First up is my new Amber Wraparound Bracelet in my Etsy shop.For this memory wire bracelet I've used brown and amber glass beads in different sizes and shapes. The bracelet wraps around the wrist 4 times.
In my Folksy shop I have listed a new Amethyst Wrapaound Bracelet. For this bracelet I have used a mixture of purple, plum and pink glass beads on memory wire. This bracelet will wrap around the wrist 4 and a half times.

Sunday, 5 April 2009


Although I make mostly bracelets to sell online, I never ever wear them. My one great jewellery passion is earrings. I have loads dating way back in every size, shape and colour.
I thought today I'd take a look at some of the UK earring sellers on Etsy, all of whom have shops on Folksy as well.
First up are these stunning>Wisp Earringsfrom lazygiraffe.

The lucite beads have wisps of gold thread suspended in them and are hung from oxidised silver earwires handmade by lazygiraffe. They are perfect in their simplicity. I've admired lazygiraffes work from my earliest days on Etsy and she has loads of gorgeous designs to chose from.

My next choice is>O Earrings - Purple from beadsbysam

BeadsbySam's trademark is the use of waxed cotton cord and for these stunners she has used amethyst beads with an antiqued brass jumpring and earwires. Sam always uses bright, beautiful beads in her designs and I've a confession to make - I bought a necklace and matching earrings from her for my sister for Christmas. However, they were too nice to give away so I kept them for myself!

Finally, I have chosen httpAqua'>://">Aqua Oceanic Earrings from AREjewellery

I love the delicate aqua faceted drop and seed beads she has used with sterling silver earposts. AREjewellery also has a great selection of necklaces and bracelets. She also makes the most amazing treasuries that I have been fortunate enough to have been featured in!

I'd like also to thank all the patient people on the UK chat thread, who have been answering my inane blogging questions!

Saturday, 4 April 2009


I couldn't help but think of how my Saturdays used to be spent. When Andy and I were first married we lived in the beautiful Oxfordshire village of Thame for a couple of years. After a lie-in on Saturday morning, Andy would cycle down to the local bakery and bring home still warm freshly baked croissants and the papers. In the afternoon we would head into Oxford, or visit friends or maybe even nip into London.


How times have changed now we have 2 kids! Saturdays consist of a rude awakening any time after 7 then we spend the day driving them to their hobbies. Today also meant taking a deep breath and tidying Alex's room.


To keep myself sane I made a spring inspired memory wire bracelet using some gorgeous turquoise and lemon glass beads and silver plated spacer tubes. I've listed one in both my Folksy and Etsy shops.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Bit of a rush!

This summed up my day from start to finish really. After taking the kids to school (without one PE kit) I walked the dog, went through my emails and headed to the gym. However by the time I got there I realised I'd never make lunch with my friend, so instead of pumping iron in the gym, I had a shower!

Rushed into Belfast and was only 5 minutes late to Avoca for lunch. If anyone has been to Belfast or plans to visit, they must go into this shop! It has the most amazing clothes, jewellery and odds and sods. On the first floor is the restaurant and deli. After a not so fattening lunch of goats cheese, salad and er, chunky chips I remembered it's my 15th wedding anniversary - I was a child bride :) - and bought hubbie an Avoca cookbook. He loves cooking so it was a nice pressie for him!!

Got home in time to collect the kids from school and drive to my parents. We visit them once a week after school. After living in Scotland for 12 years, we only moved back to Northern Ireland 2 years ago and the biggest reason was for family. So I drive 35 mins to Mum and Dads so the kids can spend time with them and their cousins. The other lovely thing is Mum always cooks me dinner that day. Have you sussed yet that I hate cooking and like to encourage others to do it for me!

From Mum and Dads to my son's karate. Finally got home and poured myself a nice glass of white wine. Cheers!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

UK March Challenge

Not only have I started blogging this week but for the first time in over a year on Etsy I've participated in the UK monthly challenge. This months theme was Red and Turquoise and I decided to make a memory wire bracelet, as this is my favourite kind of bracelet.

Above is the piece I've entered but you can check out all the entries and vote on this thread -

Blogging Virgin!

At long last and after lots of thinking about it, I've decided to start blogging! Not to sure yet what I'm going to blog about but hopefully it will be a mix of family life, my crafting and my general views on life.

I'd like to feature other crafters as well and show off their work.

So to start off I'll show what I've done with my morning once Jack, our black lab had been walked in the woods above our house.
I made the above bracelet today, though was interrupted by a phonecall from the school to say my daughter was poorly. However as she has now asked for chocolate cookies, I'm not to sure how ill she really is!