Sunday, 21 November 2010

Discount offer

I recently made it up to 1000 fans/likers on my facebook page and to celebrate I wanted to do an offer of some kind, rather than do a giveaway where only one person wins I thought I'd offer a 15% discount to anyone who's a fan/liker. All I ask you to do is suggest my page to 5 or more of your friends, let me know you've done this (either by commenting here on on my facebook) and I'll message a code for 15% off any of my online shops.

Click here or on the picture for more details!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Custom lampshade

I recently got commisioned to make a martial arts themed lampshade for a baby boy's bedroom. The boy's dad is the head martial arts instructor at Kuk Sool Won Glasgow and uses a sillhouette of a kick as part of his promotional material. I'd been asked to make some wall transfers for the room first with the child's name and the kick sillhouette and so I thought it'd be good to try to incorporate the same theme into the lampshade.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

New bar and vinyl transfers

In my guise as a Graphic Designer I took on the job of doing all the signage, marketing materials and menus etc for a new bar that was to open in the west end of Glasgow in July this year; only problem being the place had to be renovated and ready to open within a three day period, no mean feat! You can see how it looked before the refit below:

Monday, 30 August 2010

Map of sales so far

I thought it would be interesting to try and chart where my jewellery and t-shirts were ending up so I've created a world map showing my sales from February this year to date. Some people have been repeat buyers so I've only included one marker for them also I've only done one marker per place (I've had a few sales to different people in the same towns. You can see the resultant map below, or for more detail click here to see it on the Wayfairing site.



I'm hoping to try keep the map up to date as I make more sales, here's hoping it fills up quickly! I think you can follow/track other peoples maps too so let me know if you make one of your own and I'll follow you!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Custom pendants and giveaway winners

A while back I ran a giveaway that offered two winners the chance to get their picture of choice made into a customised necklace. The winners were picked randomly from everyone who commented on the giveaway post, I thought I'd show you quick how the necklaces turned out.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Folksy Friday - Martial Arts

Straight after listing my martial arts magnet set on Folksy I saw a great ninja note book (fiona t's below) that had just been listed too so I was inspired to make Martial Arts my theme for this week's Folksy Friday. Fiona does a number of different notebook designs, and they're on my wish list now!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

My first fair...

A couple of weekends ago I took part in my first fair, it was a school fete rather than an actual craft fair but I saw it as a good chance to work out how to display my items and test out how it would all work for bigger fairs.

I didn't want to spend too much money on fancy displays and I also don't really like the industrial look of the usual jewellery displays so tried to do as much as I could with things I already had around the house with the addition of a few things.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Fathers day's fast approaching!

It's Father's Day on the 20th of June, so it's time to start getting organised! I thought I'd showcase some of my own items that would make good gifts for the occasion, mainly my cufflinks and keyrings. These are all available in my facebook store and most in my Folksy and Etsy stores. The photos link to my facebook and Folksy stores (all in £) to see prices and to buy in $ visit my Etsy shop.

Goldfish cufflinks
Garlic cufflinksbacon cufflinks

Folksy Friday finds...

Letterpress printing is one of those things that one day I'd love the chance to do. Traditionally it's where a negative is made of the image you want to print (like a block or movable type-the loose metal letters you used to find in newspaper printers), the negative is inked and then pressed into the paper to produce a print. Because of the pressing motion letterpress printing is usually indented to various degrees, which you can see in some of the examples below. This is probably what I like so much about it, it has a tactile quality, and also due to the inking and press process no two can be produced exactly the same - mass production but not.

Letterpress printing can be used for everything that more modern printing is used for and is commonly used for high quality wedding invites. Now more modern processes have been devised it isn't as common as it once was as it's more labour intensive and more reliant on non-automated processes. There are some lovely printshops out there doing amazing work - but more about them in a future post! Right now here's some letterpress finds from the UK handmade marketplace Folksy to kick off my "Folksy Fridays".


aardvark on sea



From left to right the people featured above are AarkvarkOnSea, Biplane Press & Design, Lapwing Printworks, The Home Press and Print for The Love of Wood. Click on the pictures to visit the items or on the names to visit the shops.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Recent swap...

I'm new to the world of swaps, I didn't even realise they existsed till I started getting involved in craft/handmade forums! But they can be quite a big thing and a chance to sample work from other crafty people. I heard that SpoiltPig was organising a cat themed swap and thought I'd give it a bash!

My swap partner was Izabela from Blue Fish Handmade and you can see the lovely things she sent me below. There was a little handmade crochet (or is this style called Amigurumi?) lilac cat, which has been promptly claimed by my own cat as his new favourite playmate, some stickers, some cute wee buttons and a wooden cat decoration too.



I've also added pictures of a couple of the things I sent Izabela, a pink necklace with a black cat shillouette and a set of four fridge magnets with different cat designs on them. I'd also sent her some shrink plastic to try out and some fluffy tiger stickers. I enjoyed swap, hope Izabela did too!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

First attempt at something new...

I'd been thinking about buying a sewing machine for a while and had been looking into which type would be best to get when I saw one that seemed to have everything I wanted in a machine on sale. So about 6 weeks ago I became the proud owner of my very first sewing machine!

I'm pretty impatient so after having a quick play about with it to learn the basics I launched straight into trying to make a bag, I always lug about a lot of stuff in my bags so I like them to have lots of pockets and to be roomy enough for my assorted notebooks and diaries, pens and occasionally my boxing gloves for my martial arts classes! I found a pattern for a bowling style bag that I liked the look of and decided to give it a go; when I say found a pattern....I found measurements for the bag and rough instructions on how to make it and made up my own pattern (probably not the best things to do for a first attempt). I've made a few mistakes so far, one being that I meant for the side panels (beneath the start and end of the zip) to be cord like the front and back, but only realised I hadn't when I'd sewed it all together! Anyway, I'm very happy with how it's coming along so far, it's still a work in progress as I need to add the base, lining (which I'm doing in hot pink to match the humming bird) and work out how to incorporate some pockets on the inside and outside.























Since starting this I've also done some smaller items that I'm hoping to make more of in time for a fair mid June and if they go down well I might also sell through my online shops. I'm really looking forward to actually finishing my bag off first though and who knows, if I get good at these I might try selling them too!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Another custom order

I got an email the other week asking me to make a necklace similar to my greyhound one but instead using a sillhouette of India (for the customer's friend who is living out there). You can see the final necklace below. I also included a heart shaped keyring in the same design as a wee free gift.

This uses the last of my green and gold necklaces (the other is on the greyhound necklace) and I've searched high and low to source these, even getting someone to go to the shop I bought them in (in Toronto) to ask but they claimed to never having seen them! I like the colour combo in them and they're also soft compared to the usual ones you find. Hopefully I'll come across a supplier at some point again...







Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Packaging experiments

Like I said in a previous post I've been playing around with various types of packaging for my items in an attempt to work out which I want to use. I've mainly been using craft card finish boxes with a small sticker in the form of the bird in my current logo, tied with either twine or ribbon. But I've also sent out a few items with little canvas bags with my logo applied to them (see the photos), in these ones the items are first wrapped in tissue paper. You can see some variations on these in the photos below:























I'm determined to make time to do a proper set of branding materials this month (in time for my first fair in June!) and included in that will be my proper logo and a final decision on what packaging to use. I think I may end up using both bags and boxes as they both have their place. I've also got plans for packaging for my t-shirts/hoodies that I'll hopefully be able to roll out soon.

Currently I'm using up my hangtags I made for my t-shirts and altering them slighty so they work as business cards (which I send out with all orders). I plan to have new hangtags and business cards once I've decided on the design so in the meantime these are the one's I'm using (along with some wee badges I had done too):

Sunday, 9 May 2010

A recent custom order

I recently got contacted by someone who wanted me to make a custom piece of jewellery as a gift for his wife for her birthday, his plan was to have a necklace that incorporated her birthstone and also birthflower (her birthday was in April so these were diamond and daisies). He'd seen my daffodil necklace and wanted the daisy included in a similar way.

In this case as it was to be a special item I made it using sterling silver chain and findings and decided the nicest way to incorporate the diamond was to use two small heart shaped swarovski crystals. To include real flowers in resin you have to ensure they're totally dehydrated as any moisture left will affect the resin and also could mean the flower can decay inside. This is usually done by burying the flowers in silica crystals abut a side effect is that the colours are also muted. So I decided instead to make the daisy, roughly full scale, out of polymer clay to keep it as realistic looking as possible.

You can see the pictures of the finished piece below, I'm happy to say the customer was really pleased with the piece and hopefully his wife was too!



Monday, 12 April 2010

My workspace

I'm pretty lucky in that I've got a spare bedroom in my flat which I could turn into my workshop, but as the property's rented I'm limited in what I can do with it so it tend to look a bit haphazard!

Another problem is that I live in an old style attic flat so the eaves of the roof mean I only have enough height for proper shelves, or to stand up properly, in the very middle of the room opposite my window. So to work around that I’ve got my t-shirt/hoodie production side of things all on low-level work surfaces, so I have to sit on the floor to work my heat press etc.

I’m on the lookout for more storage that fits the room and my needs – ideally something with loads of drawers so I can store away all my jewellery findings, beads, tools etc. And maybe has racks I can put all my sign and garment vinyl in…I think to get that I’d probably have to make it myself! So here’s what it looks like right now (excuse the mess please!):

I love my desk-my Dad made me it years ago and it's extra deep and has shelves and a drawer. It's currently stacked with jewellery findings, tools, markers & pens, tape etc. Stuff pinned up on the wall and board is info for projects I'm working on right now. You can just about see my shelves (in the tallest part of the room!) with a random assortment of books, fabric and works in progress.

My garment production area with heat press and some vinyls stacked behind. Underneath here is where the real mess is, packing materials (bubble wrap, mailing envelopes, boxes, bags, ribbon etc).

Another view of my desk with my wee craft robo cutting some vinyl ready for a t-shirt.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Three Folksy finds!

Since setting up my shop on the uk based handmade marketplace Folksy last month I've discovered a whole collection of talented crafty peole and developed quite a long wishlist of things I'd like to buy! So far I've restricted myself to three things that I saw and fell in love with...

My first purchase was this wee soap set from Bits N Bobs, they're so realistic! I had to justify this to myself as something I could buy and give as a gift to someone so I'm waiting for some birthdays to come round (hopefully not of anyone who reads my blog!). This seller also makes a really cute haribo style soap set and sent me a wee sample soap with my order which smells amazing!

The second thing I bought was this lovely necklace from Crafty Little Mia who makes a variety of things including button based jewellery, illustrations, fine silver jewellery as well as her own fabric designs. The necklace I bought has a wee button pendant on it made from fine silver clay which is a material you can mould and once fired, finished and polished has a higher silver content than sterling (around 99%). I love this necklace and it's going to get lots of wear!

Lastly, just today I bought this postcard set, it's from an illustrator called Elli Moody who I discovered though the Folksy forum. There was a thread on the forum with people recommending shops that they loved, I clicked and found this one and the chicken postcards just jumped out at me. I love the style of illustration used throughout the items in this shop and almost wish I was moving house so I could use her new address cards!


I think this is the one downside of setting my shop up - just finding so many things I want to buy and having to rein myself in constantly!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

what to do....

I bought these beads a while ago and because I bought them online they turned out to be a lot bigger than I imagined in my head! I had bought them with the intention of making a bracelet but I'm thinking now that they're maybe a bit too chunky for this?

They're amathyst but have veins of varying colours through them too so vary from deep dark purple to light lilacs, whites and brown tones. 

I'm hoping someone has a bright idea to give me some inspiration! Leave me a comment with your suggestions...

Monday, 22 March 2010

Personalised pendants

I've been meaning to list these for a while now (since I had my giveaway) as there seemed to be a good response them. The basic idea is you can have a picture that means something to you made into a keepsake pendant. It is something that is quite popular in North America but I haven't seem much over in the UK, in fact I had to buy my supplies from the States so I hope they prove popular!

The pendants are approx an inch square and I finish the backs with fabric and a thick resin coat to proect the picture itself, make the bail secure and to give a water resistant glass-like finish to the back to match the glass tile front.


I'll need to see how the choice of necklace types goes down, it's hard when listing items to know how much information to include and whether to just do a standard item or give people choices. With this item because it is customised I'm hoping people appreciate the option of chain/necklace types and colours, so it is more personal to them. But it means that it requires a bit more interaction between me and the customer after their purchase so I'm sure I'll have to iron out how this works best.


Leave me a comment to let me know what you think and what you could see peole doing with these. Of my giveaway winners, one was on holiday so is looking out their photo for me now, the other I'm in the process of making her necklace, I'll post up a photo when it's done!
Anyway you can find my personalised necklaces in my shop (click here)

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Packaging and promotion

This week I got some nice promotional goodies sent to me from Lady Umbrella, a new T-shirt brand that takes their promotion work very seriously. They sent me some stickers and also a pin badge (see below)










I first found these guys on a t-shirt makers forum over a year ago and so saw the thorough approach they took to setting up their company and working towards a launch date. They fully launched their line this February and have already been featured in National media and one of their t-shirts will be in a new feature length movie Booked Out. Their approach to promotion is very inspiring. Now that I've started selling more items I really want to get definate packaging and promotional materials designed and made...watch this space!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Winners, busts and new stock

My personalised pendant giveaway ended on saturday there so using a random number generator (http://www.random.org/) I drew the two winners and emailed them to let them know. The first winner got back to me right away and is looking out her picture for the pendant but I haven't heard back from winner number 2 yet so I think I'll give it till the end of next week then draw another winner if I still haven't heard. So if you're reading this winner number two email me back!

I'm indending too to make personalised pendants (i.e. with your own photo) available for sale. Because of the process they would have a turnaround of a week to 10 days. Is this something people would be interested in? Please leave me a comment with any thought you have.

I'm trying to develop my product photos as seeing as customers to my online shop can't physically pick up and inspect my pieces having good photos is very important. I've yet to work out how to get any good ones at all of my t-shirts or hoodies but I'm working on it! The jewellery is slightly easier because it's smaller but I've proved to myself I can't get good photos of it being worn (seeing as I'm not a contorsionist or professional photographer!) so I think my next project will be to try to make a display bust for necklaces at least. Rena Klingenberg gives a tutorial on her blog showing how to make a simple one like the picture above that I might try out (picture from Dana's Jewellery Design)

I've been listing some new items in my online shop and there's more to come, I managed to get some time to spend making new stuff and so have a batch of resin pieces that need finished. Before I get to much more up for sale I really want to concentrate on developing my logo and packagin material. Right now I'm trying out some different ways of packaging including gift boxes, mini customised cotton drawstring bags and pillow packs. I need to decided and settle for my packaging 'look'. Some items that I'll be listing in the next few weeks...

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