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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Interesting reads #7

Here's what I've been reading recently from around the web that I thought you might find interesting.

by The Boho Press
Packaging really does make a difference.

featured on the Pretty Paper Things blog
How fab are these?! 

by Craftaholics Anonymous
These could be used to decorate so many things. And no sewing involved!

Part of Lisa Jacobs' 31 Days to Build Your Own Creative Business.
I've spent a lot of time trying to improve my product descriptions.

Featured on the Card and Gift Blog
How amazing are these! Six book buddies to choose from.

Tips on making sure you're talking to potential customers from Marketing Dodo

Monday, 29 July 2013

Giveaway - win free say it goodies

Would you like to get your hands on some say it goodies for free? I think it's about time for a giveaway, as I haven't done one for ages. 

So, one lucky person will win:

  • A music notebook
  • A packet of buttons magnets of their choice
  • One birthday card
  • And a set of postcards

Worth over £15 in total.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is sign up to my monthly email newsletter* before 31 August. I'll randomly pick one lucky subscriber's name out of the (virtual) hat on 2 September and they will be notified by email. 

Want an extra entry? You can gain an extra chance to win every time you get a friend to enter! Share this blog post with your friends and for every one who signs up and puts your name in the 'how did you hear about say it' box you'll get one extra chance at winning. Why not share on Twitter now.


Enter your name and email below to be in with a chance of winning

* You'll receive one email at the beginning of each month with news, details of new products and an exclusive special offer for subscribers. I promise not to send you any spam or share your email address. And if you don't want to continue receiving the newsletter, you can unsubscribe at any time (but you must still be subscribed on 2 September to be entered into the giveaway).

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Personalised wedding gifts

Looking for a special wedding gift? Maybe the couple haven't got a wedding gift list, or maybe you want to buy them a little extra something that's not on their list. Make your gift stand out by giving them something extra special, something made just for them.

Here are my top ideas for personalised wedding gifts, all handmade in the UK. The links can be found below. (You might spot one of my notebooks in the collection - my travel journals have been flying off the shelves personalised for the couple's honeymoon).
Personalised wedding print by Norma and Dorothy on Etsy
Alphabet ceramic dishes by The Letter Room on Not on the High Street
Personalised hanging bride and groom by Wotnot Pig Ceramics on Folksy
Ceramic initials with heart by The Gift Studio on Not on the High Street
Personalised wedding picture by Pretty Felt on Etsy
Wedding keepsake box by Sophia Victoria Joy on Etsy
Personalised honeymoon album by Dottie Designs on Folksy
Your message on a tea pot by Owl and Brew on Etsy
Personalised bride and groom cushion by Zoe Corney on Folksy
Ceramic wedding heart by Dottery Pottery on Folksy
Bespoke wooden map heart box by Bombus on Not on the High Street

Monday, 22 July 2013

Vintage atlas notebooks and memo boards

Remember the lovely vintage atlas that I found in a second hand bookshop whilst I was away on holiday? Well, it's taken me a while as the shop has been pretty busy (lots of orders for travel journals and wedding cards - I think it must be summer!) but I've finally had time to use some of the maps.

As promised, there are some notebooks.

United Kingdom handmade notebook

London and South East England handmade notebook

South America handmade notebook

This set of three UK maps was just perfect for making three mini notebooks.

Set of mini UK notebooks

And some of the larger maps really deserve to stay in one piece, rather than being cut up to make notebooks. So I'm turning them into magnetic memo boards. Don't they make a lovely way to display the vintage maps, as well as being practical. I've got a world map one, and there will soon be a Europe one too.

Vintage world map magnetic memo board

Vintage map of Europe that will soon become a magnetic memo board

These are now all in my Folksy shop, click on the pictures above to find out more about each item. There's only one of each so be quick if you want one! Also, if there's another country or continent that you'd like on a notebook or memo board drop me an email and I'll let you know if there's a suitable map available.

I'm linking up with Handmade Monday again, so if you'd like to see what other people have been making this week pop over and browse the other crafters and bloggers who have linked up.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Folksy Friday: pens and pencils

Last time I showed you a collection of wonderful handmade notebooks. So, to compliment that selection, today I've chosen my favourite handmade pens, pencils and accessories. All of these can be bought on Folksy and the links to each item are below.

Stripy crayon roll by Devon Stitch
Kawaii ballpoint pen by Asking for Trouble
Leather pen roll wrap by Fenner Crafts
Textured red pen holder by Lauren Ceramics
Personalised wooden twig pencil by Shiny Craftwork
Mini pencil roll by The Beaded Garden

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

I like... #10

Today I'd like to share with you one of my favourite brands.

The Bright Side design stationery and home products that totally match my sense of humour. A couple of years ago my mum bought me one of their desktop calendars, which introduced me to the amazingness of The Bright Side.

As a stationery lover I am particularly fond of their notebooks with covers saying "Let there be lists" and "Hold on people I'm having an idea". They even have a coat hook that says "Hello Mr Coat"! My husband totally doesn't get it though, so I think you have to have a certain sense of humour!

Pop over to The Bright Side website, or purchase some of their witty products in the Really Good shop.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Now on Etsy

I've heard a lot of good things about Etsy. I liked the idea of reaching an international customer base. And it's a much more well known site than Folksy, so maybe new customers will find me. So I've gone ahead and opened a say it shop on Etsy! At the moment it doesn't stock my full range of products, but I've added my most popular items to see how it goes.

To celebrate the launch of say it on Etsy, you can get £5 off your order if you spend £15 or more (excluding delivery) before 31 July. Just pop over to and decide what you'd like, and don't forget to use code YAY5POUNDSOFF to claim your free £5. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Folksy Five #20

Here are five more fabulous Folksy sellers who have been kind enough to share a little bit about what they do. These shops are definitely worth a browse, so click on the shop banners to head through to see the full range of handmade goodies.

And their favourite items from my shop are:

Vaduz circles postcard chosen by Phoebe Dreams
Damascus personalised travel journal chosen by Hoobynoo World
Rhodes map notebook chosen by A Farmer's Daughter and Bright Stem
Skiddaw fun spotty button magnets chosen by Audrey's Cat

Monday, 8 July 2013

I like... #9 - IKEA Paper Shop

I spotted something very exciting on the Origami Chicken blog the other day - IKEA have introduced a paper shop!

Look at the bright colours and shelves of wonderful paper goodies. Sadly, the new IKEA paper shop products are not available online yet and I live a little too far from an IKEA shop to justify making a trip just to buy stationery :-( So, for now, I have to satisfy myself with window shopping. I've chosen some of my favourite new products to share with you. You can see the full range on the IKEA paper shop website.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Turning your hobby into a business - what's it really like?

It's been over 18 months since I turned my hobby into a business. I had been making cards and paper products for many years, selling a few to friends and family. But when I couldn't find a job I decided to see if I could make a few pennies using the skills I already had. So I made a load of cards and put them for sale on Folksy. I turned my hobby into a business; something I loved doing into my job.

I had no idea what I was doing, or what it was going to involve. And I'm not sure it's turned out to be anything like what I expected. So I thought you might be interested to hear what it's like when you turn a hobby into a business. And for those crafty folk who enjoy making things too and who are perhaps thinking about making money from their craft, maybe it will help you visualise what it might be like.

Making things out of paper was something I enjoyed doing, and wanted to do more of. I thought that if I turned it into a business I'd be able to spend most of my time creating things. In reality, I think I may have actually spent less time making things in the first few months. For every item that I made, I needed to think about pricing, taking a decent photograph, writing a compelling description to help it sell, uploading the product to my shop, putting the pictures on facebook. I also had to design a logo, shop banner, blog, write an about page, design a receipt, work out a way of keeping track of sales and expenses, get my head around advertising and social media, think about how to package my products and understand the royal mail pricing system. In short, I found myself running a business rather than making things!

I've been sharing these things on my blog as I've gone along, both to help those who are also on the same journey and to show you what it's like running a craft business, the behind the scenes look at what goes into the handmade products you buy. And there's a lot more time and effort spent doing everything else than there is doing the making.

Handmade business advisers suggest that no more than 40% of your time should be spent making, and in the first year or so it was definitely a lot less than this for me. It's come as a bit of a surprise, but I've learnt a lot more about business than card making in the last year and a half (I'm not sure I even really saw myself as a small business owner at the start). However, what's been the bigger surprise is that I actually enjoy the business side nearly as much as the making. I like looking at sales figures, and writing blog posts, and thinking of keywords to describe my products. It's not what I thought it would be, but it's great.

So if you're thinking about turning your hobby into a business, whether you like wood-turning or sewing, decoupage or needle felting, go into it with your eyes open. Will you be happy spending more than 60% of your day doing businessy things? And if you're someone who buys handmade products, I hope you can appreciate how much work goes into them.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Button magnets

Well, after my post about how much I love buttons I thought I should get on and make some more packets of button magnets for my shop. I was down to only a couple of packs, and they were looking a little lonely!

There are now lots of new packets of magnets to choose from. Each set of magnets is unique; every packet I make is different. Some individual magnets are repeated, but no two combinations of magnets are the same so you have a one off set.

I love playing around with the buttons and putting them together to see which buttons work well with each other.

All these packets of magnets are now available on my website. They're £3.50 per pack, plus p+p (just £1 for UK delivery). Which one is your favourite?

PS. What do you think of the new orange backgrounds? A bit much?! Photographing white packets on a white background was getting too difficult, so I wanted to make them stand out a bit more.

If you'd like to see what other crafty peeps have been up to this week, pop over to Handmade Monday and have a browse of the blogs linked up there.

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