Friday, 31 July 2009

Friday Roundup

Before I went on holiday and shut my shop for a fortnight, I was a bit unsure if it would affect sales. I've read several posts in the forums about how taking a couple of weeks off can kill a shop for several weeks.

So I'm pretty relieved that my shop seems to have survived intact. I've had 3 sales since I reopened the shop on Sunday, which is above average for me! Not only that but I came home to a custom request for 8 Bubble necklaces, bracelets and earrings. What makes this even nicer is that is from a repeat customer who has bought some of my work before and liked it enough to trust me with her bridesmaids jewellery!
This is a great custom order in that every set is to be different and the bride-to-be is making the colour choices.

For this set she has chosen Silver and Pewter glass pearls together, which I think is a stunning combination and I may have to use again!

The bride-to-be also designed the earrings and I'm happy how they have turned out.

I also bought some more pearls in different colours and made up this Blueberry Bubbles Bracelet last night.

Once I get the custom order finished I'll be making up some other Bubbles bracelets with my new pearls which I'll show off next week!

Thursday, 30 July 2009


Today I drove a couple of hours into Southern Ireland to the gorgeous seaside town of Malahide to meet my friend Beth and her daughters Iona and Zoe, who are over for a weeks holiday.

Malahide is just north of Dublin and one of the most picturesque places that I have been to in Eire.

We brought Jack our black lab and Beth had brought her 'Heinz 57 Varieties' Tootsie. As the owner of a big dog, I couldn't belive how cute Tootsie is and how fast those tiny legs can run! We took the kids to the playpark in the grounds of Malahide castle and the sun shone throughout.

If anyone is wanting to visit Ireland and isn't sure where to visit, I'd definitely recommend stopping off in Malahide.

Oh and there's great shops too!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Seaglass UK!

I am still in holiday mode, so I decided to have a hunt around Etsy and see what I could find that is made from seaglass.

I love these Scottish Seaglass Earrings
from Artisanne

Next is this stunning Green and White Seaglass Cuff Bracelet from madebythesea

And finally from Cornwall itself, this gogeous Wire wrapped seaglass pendant necklace from

Monday, 27 July 2009


You know how you look forward to your summer vacation all year? Well, I can hardly believe mine is now over.
We first went to Cornwall 4 years ago, inspired by the TV hit Doc Martin. I didn't realize that it would be the start of a love affair between me and it.

I'm not sure what I even love most about it. Maybe it's the beaches.

Maybe it's the villages and towns with the cobbled streets and tons of craft shops.

For Jamie it is the surfing and bodyboarding.

For Alex it is the chance to play on the beach and bodyboard if the notion takes her.

We were unfortunate that the weather was a bit rotten the first week we were there

but luckily it picked up nicely the second week.

And my crafting?
Well I did none. For 2 whole weeks I didn't make anything and didn't check my shop 10 times a day. In one way, it was perfect. Not to think about it as soon as I woke up. In another way, I couldn't wait to get back into the thick of it all.

And it's just another 50 weeks until we go back :D

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Featured Seller

Todays featured seller is Folksy seller Emma from Strangelord

What is your name/business name?
I’m Emma Lord, and my Folksy shop is ‘Strangelord’. The name evolved from a succession of online aliases. Stop by, to see a collection of collage and curiosities!

What do you make?
I’ve always struggled to commit myself to one discipline. For example –at University I studied painting, but my final show included photographic documents of performances, textile pieces and cakes!
I like the immediacy of collage. I believe that you can’t get more truth, more integrity, more spontaneity, than if you combine actual, physical objects, found imagery and materials. Why paint the buttons when you can stick them on, and have the added joy of textures and three dimensions?!
Most of my work takes the form of small scale assemblages of found treasures from my cherished hoards. I like the idea of miniature because it seems personal and precious, although I have worked larger scale, and past paintings have been at least a few feet.
I have a magpie’s eye, and am constantly of the scavenge for new resources. It’s not unknown for me to find things in the street. Maybe I just like to pretend I’m Robert Rauschenberg or Kurt Schwitters. ( I do disinfect things, don’t worry!)

How long have you been crafting for?
I’ve always been arty. When my baby brother was born (in ’86. I was 4) I made a comic book to commemorate the event.
My degree was Fine Art and Art History (2000-2003). I made my first little assemblage-collage during this time (‘House’).
I worked as an Artist in Residence at a local visual arts college shortly after graduating, which gave me the opportunity to start to develop my aesthetic. Now I work in a less directly-arty, and more emotionally draining role (as a youth Information, Advice and Guidance Worker) art and crafting is my escapism, my ‘me’ time, my own little way of restoring order to the chaos that is my life –arranging things neatly and sticking them into place. Just how I like things to be!

What is your favourite thing about your craft?
I love the vanity and self indulgence. I love when I can make someone smile. The masochistic side of me loves labouring and agonising for weeks over just how close together those two beads should be, what colours actually go with what, and if that charm hangs at just the right angle.

What is your least favourite thing?
Finding the right adhesive has been an issue in the past. I’m also finding that having been fairly prolific in recent years my work is piling up and up –upstairs we have a space which very much more resembles Sir John Soanes’ Museum than a spare bedroom!
But most of all I hate that I don’t have as much time as I’d like to spend on producing or promoting my art.


Where do you sell your work?
My work is available on Folksy (the stuff that’s mail-able anyway). I like to exhibit in shows and am participating in The Great Sheffield Art Show for the second time this July (10th-12th at the Octagon if anyone’s interested), where 5 of my newest pieces will be for sale.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Fascination with collagists. Joseph Cornell is my hero. Peter Blake, Max Ernst. Although he’s not primarily a collagist (sculptor, photographer, some might say pornographer!), I’ve been obsessed by Hans Bellmer since my studying days. I like contradictions, and the subversive way he debases something sweet and innocent by juxtaposing it with the perverse, nightmarish and wrong. This is a theme I like to touch on in my own work, along with other Surrealist principles. The ‘chance encounter of the sewing machine and the umbrella on the dissecting table’, as Latreamont famously mused.
I’m inspired by the everyday objects I stumble across, as well as songs, stories, feelings, fears, people, everything really. The best inspiration though, is to sit on the floor, surrounded by my junk, waiting for the associations to emerge.

Anything else you would like to tell us?
I make art because I have to. It keeps me sane. My collages make me. If people take interest that’s a bonus. If they find meanings, or narratives, or simply bewilderment in what I’ve constructed, that’s even better. If they like the pretty colours, and how they all match perfectly, my life is complete.
Stay strange x

Mnay thanks to Emma for answering my questions and good luck at The Great Sheffield Art Show this week.

I'm off on my summer holidays to Cornwall tomorrow for 2 weeks, so won't be about until the 26th July, when I hope to be back with lots of lovely pics of Cornwall.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Boo Jewels

I've been working pretty hard on my custom orders over the past month so decided to treat myself to a pair of earrings. Now, being a redhead, I love copper and who does copper better than BooJewels?

Boo's work is stunning, she's a total perfectionist with great customer service and I'm delighted with my purchase

In fact, I'm wearing them now! So go check out her shop :D

Monday, 6 July 2009

Memory Wire Bracelets

Taking a look at my shop at the weekend, I was struck by how many of my bracelets are summer colours - and with summer radidly progressing, I've decided to have a clearance section of memory wire bracelets.

I usually charge $16 for these bracelets, but am offering them at $10.

When I come back from my holidays to Cornwall, I'll be looking to stock up for the autumn/winter and the run up to Christmas, so will be working with black/silver/grey etc. For now though, I have still quite a selection of pastels, blues and greens. Lots and lots of blues and greens! :D

Saturday, 4 July 2009

School Holidays

Here in Northern Ireland the schools stopped for the summer this week - our village primary finished at 12.00 on Monday. The kids go back to school on the 1st September, which is a loooong way away!

We live in a small village in a cul-de-sac which has lots of kids in it. This is great in that there's always someone around for the kids to play with. It's also a nightmare in that there's always someone around knocking on the door!

So far this week I have taken the kids swimming, walking in the woods with the dog, shopping for holiday clothes, to the cinema to see Ice Age 3, to a soft play area with their cousins, to visit granny and granda and to Circus Vegas yesterday. Now Alex wants to wear a thong bikini and work in the circus when she grows up!

Reading that back, I feel exhausted already and there's only another 8 weeks to go.

We're off to Cornwall on Friday for 2 weeks though, which is where I'll recharge my batteries and come back refreshed.

I hope :D

Friday, 3 July 2009

Friday Roundup

The best thing to happen this week was for me to get my new camera up and running, so I could retake some of the worst pics of my jewellery. I discovered that with my hubbie 'rebuilding' the computer, that photoshop had been wiped off, so I uploaded Picasa which is free from Google. Picasa is a photo editing tool, which gives you the ability to lighten pics. This is invaluable when trying to get a white background and I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I've been having more success with my Bubbles bracelets this week and am working on an order for 6 Caviar Bracelets.

I've also been making some new memory wire bracelets, including this Cobalt blue one.

and something a little different, this Pink and Purple Pearl one.

Some of you who follow this blog may remember my post Creative Gene way back in April. Well, my sister Anne has started blogging, so for those of you who are interesed in the life of The Pineapple Tart check it out!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by the lovely Rasa from Happyment so here goes!

What is your current obsession?

What is your weirdest obsession?
I'm obsessed with brushing the floors - we have a black lab and I hate his hair on the floor

What are you wearing today?
At this minute, my pj's!

What's for dinner?
Whatever I find in the freezer at dinnertime

What is your favourite book?
Ken Folletts The Pillars of the Earth

What's the last thing you bought?
So exciting - new school uniforms for the kids

What are you listening to right now?
My cat purring beside me on the bed

What is your favourite ice-cream flavour?

What do you think of the person who tagged you?
Rasa is very upbeat and I enjoy reading about life in Latvia

If you could have house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
I'd like to be back in Troon in Scotland

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

Which language do you want to learn?
Spanish - inspired by the 3 days in Barcelona

Who do you want to meet right now?
My scottish friends

What is your favourite colour?
Every shade of blue

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
My jeans - I live in them

What is your favourite magazine?
If I say Hello, does that reveal another side to me ? :D

If you had a £100 now, what would you spend it on?
Right now I'd spend it on some clothes for my holiday to Cornwall next week. A raincoat might be the best investment.

What is you favourite time of the day?
Early evening.

Do you admire anyone's style?
I admire those who buck the trend and dress for themselves

Describe your personal style?

What are you going to do after this?
Have breakfast

What are your favourite movies?
Chariots of Fire is by far my favourite

What is your favourite fruit?

What inspires you?
Nature and the ocean especially

What music do you like this week?
James Morrison and Take That

What is your dream job?

What is stopping you?
Lack of talent

If you could change something in the world to make it better place what would that be?
It's a cliche, but world peace

What is your favourite animal?
My cat Keiko. She's a tortiseshell and lovely.

What is your favourite tool?
Lefthanded scissors

The rules:
1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people.

I'm tagging:
Lottie at A Dream within a Dream
Christian at Autumn and Eve
Joanne at blissfulbloomspaper
Amanda at colourart
Heather at Holistically Heather
Jean at Jean Talking Beads

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Paid Advertising

For the first time ever last week, I paid for an advert on Craftopolis, the site that allows Etsy users to see if they are in a Treasury or Gift Guide.

I've debated long and hard with myself about paying for advertising and read many forum posts about it. On the one hand, there are people who swear by it, on the other people say it's not worth it.

I paid $15 for a weeks advertising and have been pleasantly surprised by the response.
According to Google Analytics, I have had 70 visitors to my shop from Craftopolis. My shop hearts and item hearts have gone way, way up and in the past week I've had 6 sales on Etsy, which is 3 times my weekly average.

However, did those buyers find me from my advertising? I don't know. Because not one of them has an Etsy shop so there was no reason for them to be on Craftopolis on the first place!

So would I pay for advertising again?

Yes I think I would. I'll look into ProjectWonderful and see about doing some non-Etsy related advertising to see if it increases sales.

I'd love to get some feedback, positive or negative of other peoples experiences of Project Wonderful too.