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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Featured in my local magazine

I have very exciting news to share today. When I launched my new range of cards and gifts this autumn I sent out a press release celebrating two years in business and how I had successfully created my own job. I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested, until a friend text to say that they had spotted me in our local magazine!

The Journal has been a magazine I've been aiming to be featured in for some time. It fits the right target market for my products - fairly affluent customers who are looking for something a little bit different from the ordinary. And I am delighted that my cards are featured on their November 'best buys' page.

I shall now be glued to google analytics to see if I can spot a rise in traffic from East Yorkshire!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Christmas present planner

Do you like to start your Christmas shopping early, then pop the presents in a draw only to forget what you’ve bought? Then you need my new Christmas present planner! Available to purchase from Folksy or Etsy.

Some people like to avoid the last minute dash round the shops on Christmas eve and prefer to get organised with their Christmas shopping. But if you're anything like me, it's pretty easy to forget what you've already bought. Or you come up with a great gift idea for your aunt, but by the time you go shopping you've completely forgotten it. This Christmas planner will help to keep your present shopping super organised. 

The new Christmas present planner is A6 size, with a red cover and cut out circle to reveal the green inside page printed with 'lists of Christmas presents'. It is hand stitched in green thread. Inside the Christmas planner there is space to write down present ideas for up to 32 people, so that should be plenty for even the busiest of Christmas shoppers! You can even tick off the presents once you have bought them. 

And you can bring the notebook out again next year to check back and see what gifts you have already given. No more buying your sister a handbag three years in a row. Unless she wants that many bags of course...

Do you like reading crafty blogs? Why not pop over to the Handmade Monday link up and find a new one to browse. 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Folksy Friday - farmyard friends

I haven't done a collection of items just from Folksy for a while, so I thought it was about time I joined in with Folksy Friday again. I hope you like these farmyard friends. Links are below if you're tempted to give one a home.

Needle felted herdwick sheep by F'git me Knott Designs
Chicken soap by Scent Cosmetics
Felt cow decoration by Walnut Tree Designs
Wooden cow by Handmade from the Heart
Pig iphone 4 case by MyPipSqueak
Chicken brooch by Kayleigh O'Mara
Highland cow notebook by Aileen Clarke Crafts

Thursday, 17 October 2013

On my desk... week 2

This week I have been trying to get my Christmas cards listed in my online shops. A long overdue task that I had aimed to complete by the middle of September. Why is it when you finally have time to take photos the weather becomes so dull?! Up until yesterday I've had the lights on inside all day, so it really wasn't bright enough to take clear photos. But today I woke up to find the sun shining, so I had barely finished breakfast when I got my camera out, just in case it disappeared!

I don't have any fancy set up for taking photos. Where I take them depends on what time of day it is. In the afternoons my craft room gets the light and the windowsill in there is perfect. But since this was early, the lightest room was our bedroom. So I set up on top of our laundry basket! I just use a piece of white card for the base, to capture the shadows, and don't worry about the rest of the background as I find it's easiest to just cut that out in photoshop afterwards.

So the rest of the morning was spent photo editing. Not my favourite job! I've learnt quite a lot about taking photos though and they have improved enormously over the last 2 years (you can read more about that journey and what I learnt in my post about photographing handmade items).

The photos look so much better once they have a nice white background. I'm amazed what you can do in photoshop to turn a rather poor photo into a product image that looks ok in the shop.

I hope to have most of my Christmas cards in my folksy and etsy shops by Monday. So if you're the organised type you can get shopping!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Made by Carolyn's hands

I promised you another new blog series, and here it is! It's been quite a while since I featured an interview with another maker, after introducing you to nearly 100 Folksy sellers through my Folksy Five series. This time I'm focusing on one designer-maker at a time and letting them share with you their wonderful handmade products.

Image by Cheshire Life    

Meet Carolyn Grant

Carolyn runs CeeGee Jewellery Design, selling her handmade jewellery on Folksy, Etsy and through her own website. She describes her work as "unique glassy gems".

Thank you very much Carolyn for taking part in my new series. Don't forget to pop over to the CeeGee Jewellery shop for a browse of Carolyn's lovely work.

Friday, 11 October 2013

On my desk... week 1

Earlier in the week I mentioned that I have a couple of new blog post series for you, and I'm pleased to launch the first one today. Each week I'd like to give you a little behind the scenes look at what I've been up to. It's called 'on my desk...' and the plan is to share with you a photograph of what is on my desk at the time. Hopefully it will be something interesting!

On my desk this week are...

... a lot of part-made travel journals. The summer may be over, but people still seem to be off on their travels and orders for my personalised travel journals keep coming in. This week I have made journals featuring Thailand, China and Australia. Lots of Australia - it appears to be a very popular place to visit.

I try to make up the component parts in batches, so that when an order comes in it doesn't take so long to put together the journal. I have been sewing the notebook insides whilst watching Pointless on iplayer, and cutting out lots of covers from cereal packets. I've got everyone saving cardboard for me. As it's only used to strengthen the covers and won't be seen in the final journal I like to try and be as eco-friendly as possible by reusing cardboard that would otherwise end up in the bin. It's also quite interesting to see what cereals my friends eat...!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

I've been featured :-)

I'm sorry it's been a little quiet on here recently. August was so much busier than I predicted that I'm still playing catch up. I'm just about managing to keep up with orders, but other things are falling behind a little so I'm sorry. I do however have a couple of new blog post series starting in the next few weeks, so look out for those.

Today I want to share that I've been featured on the Arts of Crafts Directory website.

The Art of Crafts Directory features designer-makers, crafters and bloggers and is a great resource. It's run by Alison (who also blogs at Art of Crafts) and she has kindly featured me on the Directory blog today. So if you'd like to find out where my ideas come from or what I love most about running a handmade business, grab a cuppa and pop over for a read.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

My favourite handmade necklaces

I don't wear much jewellery, but I do love a good necklace. Something different, something striking. The right necklace can really make an outfit. So I've made a wish list of my favourite handmade necklaces - links are below if you fancy one for yourself.

Little tree necklace by Claire Gent
Lilac and amethyst pearl necklace by Anna King Jewellery
Pink scribble necklace by Lottie of London
Button necklace by Realicoul
Teal green floral necklace by Di Keeble Beads and Jewellery
Birds on a branch necklace by Sweet Bluebird Jewellery
Real rose necklace by Wishes on the Wind

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