Friday, 19 December 2008

Lovely New Purchases...

I saw these cute little spotty cases in John Lewis and just had to get them!  I've decided to keep all my felt and embroidery things in them. I have got so many boxes and bags full of crafty stuff now that not only have I cluttered up my own room but the living room as well... my poor housemate she must be so fed up with me sometimes (especially all the stray thread that seems to get trailed around the flat - especially as it's almost impossible to hover off our carpets!) But generally I am quite untidy - with piles of fabric, half finished projects and BOOKS piled up here, there and everywhere - but I like to think it's because I'm creative and I've got too much going on in my head to worry about tidy things away -  I guess that probably just an excuse for being lazy!

Speaking of my housemate I bought her this gorgeous ceramic bird house for Christmas (I loved it so much I even bought a smaller one for myself - I know I'm terrible!) I got it from a lovely little shop which sells handmade and crafty things. They had a fabulous window display that drew me straight in even though I didn't really have time to look....

I would love a little shop like that - being my own boss and selling the things I make (possible in a little studio out the back) - that would be sooo amazing! Well a girl can dream can't she.....

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Our Crafty Christmas Tree.

Talk about eclectic! - Not only is our Christmas tree adorned by 'Nightmare before Christmas' baubles, Tigger, stars and many other random dangly things - there is also my strange felt creations and my housemate's handmade gingerbread decorations. Are we a crafty household or what!?!

I Love Felt.....

Monday, 15 December 2008

Sick but surprisingly productive...

Today I came home from work sick again! (second time in two weeks) I think I may have discovered the source of my sickness - I think I may have become allergic to mushrooms! (which would suck as I love eating them!) It started again at my Christmas meal on Saturday and I'm still feeling a bit off. I became queasy sometime between the starter ( you guessed it - mushrooms!) and main course. I thought I was just unlucky to have caught the same bug twice but someone at work pointed out that the last time I became ill was the day after eating mushrooms! I don't know what to do - should I try them again and see if the same thing happens or just avoid them and just assume that they are the cause? 

Anyway to take my mind off feeling like I am gonna throw up every few minutes, I made 4 decorations for my Christmas tree. It did make me feel a little better and it felt good to have a semi productive day (maybe I should get sick more often! - no way! I'd rather never sew again than feel like this every day!)

They are made from lovely coloured felt, buttons and embroidery thread. My housemate seems to love them, she thinks they look like little faces!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Oh well..

Oh well no sales at the craft fair (boooo!) but I'm not too upset due to the bags I sold at work last week and I sold another one today! (wooo!) Also I let one of my colleagues take the rest of the bags home for her daughter and her friends to peruse (as she really loved the bags her mum bought and even nabbed one for herself!) ... so that could mean a few more sales! In the mean time I should really get going on the making.... especially trying new things not just sticking to the safe, straight forward totes that I could probably make in my sleep! So that means taking this crafting malarky a bit more seriously in the new year. Starting by getting my personal graphic designer/boyfriend to make me some lovely business cards so I can appear to be a bit more professional than scribbling my etsy address on random scraps of paper for people. I'm also thinking of maybe getting some leaflets printed up as my lovely colleague suggested that she could put them in with the catalogues she delivers which would be awesome!

I got some really nice feedback from FluffysStuff (the lovely lady who was my first folksy sale) and was just thinking what a shame it was that some people who have bought stuff from me haven't left feedback! I know that I shouldn't worry about it or take it personally but I guess it's just nice to know what people think and I admit I'm paranoid if I don't get any feedback from someone but they have left it for other people.... it kinda says to me that the person didn't like their purchase but are just too nice to say!!!!! Oh well....

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Why didn't I think of it earlier....

As Alix is kindly taking my bags to this craft fair on Saturday I took my them into work to pass onto her other half as he is going with her (mostly for moral support as it is her first craft fair). I had been toying for a while with the idea of putting up a poster at work advertising my wares and I just decided that I should just ask around to see if any of my colleagues were interested in buying and amazingly they were!! In the space of a couple of hours I had sold 5 bags to 4 people and made a grand total of £28!! (not all that much I know but that is definitely my best sales day  ever!) I hoping to flog some more tomorrow but I guess I shouldn't wish to unload all of them as there won't be any for Alix to take to London!

Book group choices for December and January are - 'Thirteen' by Sebastian Beaumont and the 'Lucifer Box Omnibus - The Versuvius Club/Devil in Amber' by Mark Gatiss.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Running out of time....

Well the lovely Alix of Big Blue Bed is off to the WeMake London craft fair on Saturday and she has very kindly offered to take some of my bags to sell for me. It has come round sooo quickly, I intended to make lots of bags but (as usual) I kept putting it off and only ended making 2 new ones in the past few weeks! It was my day off and I only manage to make one today (see photo below)

I'll try to motivate myself to make another one tonight when I get back from my book group and maybe attempt a couple more tomorrow after work. I've unlisted pretty much all the bags from my etsy shop so I'll take them and hope to make at least another 3 bags but really I shouldn't make too many as I don't want to overload poor Alix on her journey to London! 

Currently reading - 'Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders' by Gyles Brandreth.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

My First Folksy Sale!

Yay my first Folksy sale! And I finally sold one of my Flora and Fauna tote bags it's only taken eight months. It's weird sometimes how you can have an item that's the most popular in your shop gaining hearts left, right and centre but it still takes an age for anyone to buy it!

Books currently on the go - the strangely and unintentionally linked 'Conjugal Rites' by Paul Magrs and 'The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein' by Peter Ackroyd.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Where has the day gone?

Today I was planning to do so much!!! I spent most of the morning rearranging all my extremely messy craft boxes and pulled out all my half finished projects. I had every intention of finishing at least two or three of them this afternoon after lunch, but did I? NO! Firstly I got distracted by my dummy turning up (I was very excited about that!) then I spent most of the afternoon dragging her round placing her in various parts of the flat to take photos of her (is it strange that I refer it as a her?). Then I curled up on the sofa to read more of the book that I'm just a little addicted to. I'm currently reading 'Twilight' by Stephenie Meyer (I'm reading it for my book group) I thought it was going to be totally over-rated as it's not my kind of book at all, but I am actually really loving it - it seems to really appeal to that awkward teenage girl in me! Maybe I should make this blog about the books I'm reading as I do a lot more of that than crafting!!!  Anyway I guess I should get ready as I always go swimming on a Wednesday evening - I could do something when I get back but Heroes is on tonight so I probably won't!!!

I'm Terrible for Impulse Buying!

Today I received my latest impulse purchase! Saturday evening I was sitting half watching Casualty half browsing the web when I came across a website that supplies display materials to shops and I randomly bought a display dummy!!!! I've always thought it might be cool to own one and after my critique it seemed like a good idea. (also it was a bargain at £39.99!) My main thought was to use it to help make my photos more interesting by placing my bags on them, but my housemate and I are also thinking of decorating it with fairy lights and using it instead of a Christmas tree! 

Here is my first attempt photo, it's not great but I don't know, I think it may be an improvement!

Saturday, 15 November 2008


'I'm thinking of revamping my shop! Does anyone have any ideas?' I posted this question on the Critique section in the forums today. Only two people responded but their feedback was very positive, they both like what I was selling the only criticism they had was about my photos! Surprise! Surprise! Anyway one of them said that they thought my photos needed to be lighter and the other suggested that I should try showing the bags 'on the move'... in the park on a sunny day.... on the beach, etc. These are all great ideas the only problem is I don't know how many  good weather days we will have at this time of year in Britain!!!

Yay more sales! I sold the Negative Panda Bag and the Lucky Dip Beads a couple of days ago! 
Also today I made a new bag. It's made from really pretty duck egg blue fabric that I found in a shop that sells random knic knac's and furniture. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out considering I spent an hour longer than normal making it! I seemed to lose the ability to sew this afternoon and had to unpick the stitches 3 times!! Nevermind! Here is another terrible photo! I really do need some help with them! (or move to a different flat!)

Thursday, 6 November 2008

I just can't take good photos!!!

It's not only the fact that my flat has the worst lighting in the world, it also seems that it's just impossible for me to take good photos!! I've got a lovely new camera and I thought that this would be the end of my troubles! But NO! It seems that I just can't take a good photo, I've just spent the last hour take photo after photo of my two new bags but all of them came out fuzzy! I tried every single setting and adjusted them on photoshop but to no avail. I think I'll have to get my boyfriend to give me lessons or something as his photos always look great. I got so fed up I thought 'forget it!' and just added them anyway. Here they are, my worst photos ever!

Don't Worry Bee Happy!

I created a little bumblebee inspired treasury!!! They are sooo cute, I especially love the felt wrist pin cushion.    

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

I really should try a little harder.....

This evening I finally added some bags to my Folksy shop, I opened it months ago but hadn't thought about it until today. I was thinking I should really make more of an effort to spread out, opening more shops on sites like Dawanda and Winkelf, that way I get my stuff seen by more people! It's just getting round to it, you know what I'm like - L.A.Z.Y!!!

In other news I sold my odd panda bag to a lady in Florida a few days ago. But annoyingly I need to wait for her eCheque to clear before I can send it out! I hate to keep the customer waiting, usually I like to send it out straight away but I guess it's safer to wait until the money is in my account. 

Monday, 3 November 2008

More Xmas Pressies

Just thought I'd show you some more of my Christmas purchases. I bought two fantastic screen printed t-shirts from bRaNdEd. They are so friendly and were really helpful, replying back to my questions really quickly. This awesome Shaun of the Dead t-shirt is for my brother, I had to get it as it's one of my all time favourite films. I know they also do it in a skinny fit so I may have to get one for myself!!!!!

I also bought this cool tee for my housemate as she is a big Buffy fan (in case your not, this little fella is from the animation at the end of the show after the credits). I must admit I was so pleased with this I gave it to my housemate early unfortunately it was a little too big but she absolutely loves it! The quality of the screen printing is superb and I will definitely be going back for more!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Starting early....

Seeing as I've got a bit of spare cash at the moment I thought I'd start my Christmas shopping a bit early. Well really early, for me I usually do my shopping the week sometimes even a few days before! But this year is going to be different and I'm going to try my very best to buy most of them on etsy. I've bought a few already - here are the first of my lovely Xmas purchases. (luckily none of my nearest and dearest read my blog so I won't be ruining any surprises.)

Two gorgeous Macbook envelopes from fernfiddlehead. The top one is for me! (I just couldn't resist!) I'd been looking for something stylish to keep my Mac in and I collect kokeshi dolls so it was just perfect. The skully one I bought is for my boyfriend (although I'm tempted to keep it for myself!) I hope he likes it but if he doesn't.... I'm so happy with them I want to give it to him now! The seller was lovely and was delivered super quick all the way from Brooklyn, New York.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

How now brown owl.

An owl cushion made of brown gingham with a  dark brown felt envelope back. This cute little creature was from some scrap fabric leftover from another project. I wanted to do something with him so I paired him up with some complimentary brown gingham and felt, I think it worked really well. I originally intended to sell it but I don't think I can part with him now, so I found him a home on a chair in my living room.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

10 Sales!!!

I've finally made to 10 sales......and my second British customer, apparently she found me in a treasury that I didn't even know I was in! I wish there was a function on etsy that let you know when you're featured in a treasury, as I rarely ever look at them. The only reason I knew I was featured last time was because Alix found it and convo'd me! 

It's been a while since I've been on here as I've been quite busy over the past few weeks (although not busy crafting!) I intended to do a lot of sewing this last week but unfortunately really hurt two of the toes on my right foot (I tripped over the hoover!) it was so painful I had to take two days of work. So mostly I did a lot of sitting with my feet up feeling stupid and useless. 

I can finally put pictures on here as I have a new camera (which my lovely boyfriend bought me for my birthday!) it's really great I just have to learn how to use it properly and take better pictures! I thought I'd add a photo of one of the bags I mentioned in an earlier post.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Woohoo again!

Yay two sales in two days! I know that I'm only doing well because everything is half price and I'm not really making much of a profit but it's getting me noticed and hopefully people will come back again when I've listed my new stuff next month! Just need one more sale.....

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Lovely Feedback.

I'm really happy, the lady I made the skull appliques for gave me some lovely feedback They are so awesome. Thank you sooooo much. That was quick! Nice work ;) I'm so glad she liked them, I was quite apprehensive as it was my first custom order but I should be cool if I get any more. The best thing was they got there really quickly (in just over a week) normally it seems to take 2-3 weeks so it was an excellent transaction all round!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Another Sale!

Yay! Another sale and my very first British buyer! Until now I've only sold my bags to Americans (and that lady in Norway). So my Safari tote finally sold, I'm glad as it was one of my favourites.

Most of today I've been thinking to myself  'If only I had more money' then I could create all the weird and wonderful things I think about when I'm at work and buy lots of lovely fabric without feeling guilty! I know they say 'you have to spend money to make money' but I really have to save for my holiday next year. The original plan was for me to go to Borneo next year for a month's volunteering work at an orangutan sanctuary but I've put that idea on hold for the time being as it's my mum's 50th birthday in April. I decided I wanted to take her somewhere special as she's had a hard few years so I booked us a trip to Egypt for a week (4 night Nile cruise and 3 days in Cairo). I can't wait the only problem is that I need to save up for it and I'm not doing very well so far!

I was reading one of etsy's featured seller interviews last week and she mentioned that she created her work around a theme or idea using a different one each week. I thought that was a fantastic way to work and thats a concept that I should adopt, it would help me focus my ideas (as I have so many that I never do anything about!) Anyway I am thinking that I could have a monthly theme to create around - obviously next month will be Halloween. 
I'm also thinking maybe over the next few months -


But then again I guess I should be seriously thinking about stocking up my shop for Xmas as it's not that far away! Aaarrgh! Where has the year gone! 

Friday, 12 September 2008

Woohoo a new sale!

Finally my sale has started to show signs of paying off! I decided that I would make a bigger deal of the 'half price' by putting it in the title of each bag and then decided to re-list two of my older listings (pink cord & pink/black stripey skulls) and within 15 mins they were both snapped up by a lady in California! I'm gonna go re-list some more items (although I'm worried I may get addicted to re-listing!) and keep my fingers crossed for some more sales. 

Thursday, 11 September 2008

New Ideas.

It has really surprised me how therapeutic I've found writing this blog. I was really sceptical at first about posting aspects of my life on the internet for anyone to read. But it's been great to have somewhere to put down my random thoughts, I've not got anything particularly interesting to say but then I guess it doesn't really matter if anyone reads this as long as I'm finding it helpful.... And it really is helping me, it has made me think more about what I'm doing and has given me more motivation to move forward with my little shop.

Anyway still no new sales!  Don't think anyone is interested in my half price sale, although I guess I should go on the forums and ask for some advice.

On the other hand I had a much more productive day off yesterday, I had loads of ideas and made two more tote bags (photos to follow) to put on etsy in October.  I've been thinking of maybe starting a new range of cushions, I bought some great new fabric today (even though I can't really afford it!), some lovely blue cord and red/white stripes.

I'm thinking pirate cushion! ARRRGH!!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Yay, I'm in a Treasury!!

My tartan star tote made it in to a 'UK Goodies' treasury! I'm very pleased as there are some really talented people on there.

Monday, 8 September 2008

OMG huge custom order..... then again maybe not!

I was excited to see I had two convo's waiting for me when I checked etsy this morning. I couldn't believe my eyes, the lovely Texas lady had contacted me again to see if I could make 125 skulls!!!! Unfortunately the second convo was also from her two hours later saying she no longer needed them! But hey, she says she loves them so much that she's looking for reasons to buy more and she hasn't even received the original ones yet!! Which is great, I only hopes she likes the ones she's already bought! Maybe I should seriously consider adding appliques to my shop but for now I'll wait and see what my customer thinks of hers first before I start thinking about that.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Promotional Thread

I've just posted my very first thread in the promo section on etsy (to help me promote my sale). It started of well with the help of Alix (Big Blue Bed) and a few other people she mentioned it to on the uk chat thread. I'm hoping more people will find it but I have a feeling I may have to keep going on it with random comments to keep it at the top of the list!

Also today I've found out I am sooo not cut out for ebay! I can't stand the waiting and the fact that my 24 Season 3 boxset is still only at 99p with only 6 hours to go! I hope that the 6 people watching it will have a bidding war at the last moment, but I think I may have a small heart attack in the mean time!!

Everything must go!

It's strange the ideas you come up with at 2am when you can't sleep! I decided in the early hours of this morning that to celebrate my birthday this month I would make everything in my Etsy shop half price for the whole month of September. It seemed like a good idea at the time and I guess that if I can sell everything in my shop this month it would encourage me to make more bags (and possibly create other new and exciting things) for next month. Well I guess we will have to wait and see if it works! 

Yesterday I wrote that I was going to be really creative but it didn't quite work out that way! I was trying something a bit different, a spot of painting, but I just couldn't get it right! Strangely I was attempting to paint stones! It's annoying when you create something for the first time and it turns out really well but when you try it again it just doesn't seem to work at all. I got the idea from my friend at uni who gave me a stone on which she'd painted a strange little orange monster (whom we named 'Miguel' bizzarly named I think after her favourite character from the prison drama 'OZ') I thought he was fab and kept him on top of my TV for years until his paint started to peel, so now he lives in a box under my bed. A few years ago I found the most amazing stones whilst walking the beach on New Year's Day, the best one looked like a grey and white ladybird, I remembered my friend's creation and decided to take it home and paint it. It turned out great and he makes a really good paper weight (I have also named him 'Miguel the ladybird' in tribute). I thought yesterday that maybe I could paint some more ladybirds or maybe some bumblebees as I have a few stones lying around that I've picked up over the years (a friend at work was shocked when I suggested this as he told me that it is against the law to take stones from the beach but I'm sure no one would mind me taking two or three stones, it's not like I took a bulldozer and scooped half the beach!).  Anyway the point of my ramblings is that I just could not get the stones I painted to look as good as Miguel! I obviously just wasn't in the painting zone yesterday and it was really frustrating!!!  Oh well, maybe I'll try again another day, it might be quite cool to sell them in my shop as paper weights but I think today I'll go back to sewing!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

What should I make today.....

Well I finished my appliques and yesterday sent them off to the very nice customer in Texas. It was so great to have a really nice person as my first custom order. She was really patient as I think it was very clear that I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I'd never made an applique before and had no idea how to go about making one. On the bags that I sell I just cut a pattern from fabric leftover from other projects and sew them directly on to the bag. So I went on etsy and sent out a distress convo to my very helpful friend Alix of Big Blue Bed who gave me a few great ideas. A bit of embroidery and some iron on interfacing and the makeshift appliques were good to go! I only hope I made them right and that the customer likes them. The only shame is that I didn't get much money for the them, I find it really difficult to judge how much to charge in dollars but I would rather have the sale and create good relationships with customers. Anyway she may come back for more or tell her friends about me and who knows maybe I could have a whole new line to sell in my shop!

The big question is what should I make today? I have a weekend to myself, my housemate is away in Ireland and my boyfriend is at the Bestival so I have lots of time and no distractions (it really doesn't take much to distract me and I've always got some excuse!). Anyway I've got loads of ideas and the creative possibilities are endless but knowing me I will probably end up watching TV and browsing etsy!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Starting as I mean to go on.

Following the example of my fellow etsians I have decided to start this blog, mostly to show myself how lazy I am when it comes to crafting! I'm not really writing this expecting other people to read it, more using it as a way to document when and how often I create things. I think my main problem is I have too many things I want to try and make that I never get round to actually making them! Well anyway I should really get on, I've got to make three skull appliques for a lady in Texas and I guess they're not going to make themselves!