Friday, 19 November 2010

Children in Need & November Sparks

Today is BBC's annual Children in Need fundraising day, so I have decided to donate 10% of any sales from today until midnight tomorrow night. I should have Blogged earlier, but I Tweeted (a miracle!), put it on Folksy and Facebook, so that should do.
Have a look at this blog to see more Folksters' Children in Need plans - and why not get some Christmas shopping done at the same time! 

I'm joining in with Folksy's "November Sparks" listing club for the last half of the month. Here's a few of the things in my Folksy shop


Sunday, 7 November 2010

Website relaunch!

OK, so I didn't update on the October Folkfest very much, did I? I did manage to list almost every day, and those I didn't I usually did two the next day. It resulted in a few sales from happy customers - my owl earrings proved popular!

A couple of weeks ago I decided to move my website to - I moved my supplies website there in September and have been really pleased with it. So the decision was made not to wait until my renewal was due in February and try to get it done before Christmas. Although it meant I was website-less for a week (it felt like ages!) while the domain name was being transferred, I was working on re-photographing all the jewellery ready for a fresh look when the new one was ready to go. I still have some more photos to take - it's been too gloomy for good photography - and some items to upload, but it's nearly there and I'm really pleased with it. The new header on the website and Folksy shop and indeed this blog was designed by Alex at Aleximo Croissant - I emailed her my ideas and a few photos and she turned the ideas in my head into reality! I'd love to hear anyone's comments and suggestions on any improvements I could make to the website too...

~ Jane

Thursday, 7 October 2010

October Folkfest on Folksy!

Hands up who knows about Folksy ? If you don't, then you're in for a treat when you click the link! Folksy is a great website where UK artisans can set up their own shops to sell their handmade items - from jewellery to ceramics, crochet to greetings cards,  candles to hand carved rubber stamps and practically anything in between. Also, there are some great shops where crafters can buy materials to make their lovely goodies.

Each month this year there have been listing clubs, where Folksy sellers set themselves a challenge to list a new item each day. I've joined in this month, which has the cool title of "October Folkfest"! So as it's the 7th today, I have so far listed seven new items in my shop: here's a selection...

Have a look around Folksy , it's an ideal place to do all your Christmas shopping and support British artisans!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Giveaway winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my first giveaway. Here are all the names of the entrants in the bowler hat....

Congratulations to Kim, your name was pulled out of the hat and a pair of earrings will be made for you over the weekend!

Thank you everyone who took part, I might do another when I get to 500 Facebook 'likers'!

Friday, 10 September 2010

How to enter the Giv*aw*y!!

I'm having a Giv*aw*y to celebrate having over 200 Facebook 'likers'! Please excuse the asterisks, I've had a massive sudden increase in Facebook likers since mentioning the word in a status update (it must have set off alarm bells and flashing lights at Giv*aw*y HQ) and it appears there are serial contest enterers who will 'like' a million pages in the hope of winning something and may or may not be actually interested in the prize they've won.... 
OK, so if you want to be in with a chance of winning a custom pair of specially selected handmade earrings, I need a little market research and patience so please read on!

Now, here’s what we’re gonna do…

1) ‘Like’ my Facebook page if you don’t already here

2) Visit my website here and have a browse

3) Come back here and leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite item. I'll be adding some new designs this weekend so you may want to wait a couple of days!

4) On Saturday 18th September at 11.30am I will put all the names in a hat (literally, I have a lovely bowler!) and draw the winner

5) I will post the results on Saturday afternoon, so please come back to check if you're a winner sometime over the weekend as Blogger messaging system doesn't always work and Facebook page owners can't contact 'likers', so I might have to put a post on here to ask the winner to email me their details.

6) The winner will receive a specially made pair of earrings based on the style of design they chose as their favourite, or in the same category (eg ‘pirate’ or ‘vintage’).

Good Luck!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Fetes & Fairs & Festival stalls!

OK, I've seriously neglected my blog this time! But I've been really busy over the last month as it's Summer fete season...

And what a hot few weeks to be standing in a playground/field under a gazebo! The first on we (daughter & I) did, we kept sides on the gazebo as it was a little gusty and I thought it would keep the sun off us; well it did that, but was rather like a sauna! Anyhow, we had a good and successful day, thanks to the great turnout at Keston Primary School.

The following day we had a stall at a hospital charity fete in Caterham. Unfortunately it coincided with the England World Cup game and went very quiet from about 2.30. There was a tent with a television and beer, but what with the score being less than great we didn't get any more customers after that!

Last weekend was the worst of all - a so-called Community Festival which was from 10am-5pm. We didn't bother with sides or back to the gazebo as it was really hot (still) and we'd had enough of baking! Well, the community didn't seem to know anything about their festival and we could have counted the number of people who ventured across the huge field to look at the stalls on our fingers. It seemed a combination of apathy, the heat and lack of advertising were to blame. I heard one woman say to her daughter "it's too hot to look at things, let's get an ice cream". Ah well, I know it's not worth attending next year!
In between them, I did my first jewellery party at someone else's house. I was a little nervous as I'd never done one before for people I don't know, but the ladies all seemed to enjoy themselves and spent a nice amount of money, which gave the host a decent 10% commission to spend on jewellery for herself and me a good profit! I've got a booking for another party in September from one of her friends, so I'm hoping this will carry on and I won't have to bother with too many stalls at fetes next year.

At least one thing with not selling very much the last two fetes means I have plenty for my next jewellery party!
In between all that, I had my first sale on Folksy and quite a few sales on my website, so all in all a busy month...

Oh and I can recommend for personalised t-shirts, polo shirts and hoodies etc. Sarah made me a screen-printed t-shirt and an embroidered 'zoodie' (zip-up hoody). It was too hot for the jacket but the t-shirt looked really good and professional!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Giveaway Bag Win & One a Day Challenge

I won a Giveaway! A fabulous bag from NotJustHandbags which was useful immediately as I took it up to London on Thursday and it had plenty of room for lunch and drink and bits & pieces! Thank you Elissa!!

My 'making' for the last week were mainly of a pirate & nautical theme...
These two bracelets are on my website and the necklace, bracelet and earrings below are in my Folksy shop .
OK, I'm off to make a birthday cake for my son now, I'm thinking chocolate...

Friday, 4 June 2010

Folksy Friday - Cake!

Well I've finally done my first Folksy Friday! I've chosen 'cake' as my theme since it was my birthday the other week, my daughter's yesterday and my son's on Tuesday, so there's a lot of cake about this time of year in our house!

The pictures should be clickable links to the items and if you hover over them it shows the Folksy shop they came from. That's just about worn me out, so I'll do my main blog post on the weekend!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

New jewellery, birthday, broken computer, Folksy Friday features...

OK, it's been 2 weeks since my last blog post but I've got some decent excuses this time!!

Firstly it was my birthday. One with a zero in it. Eeeek! I don't feel any older, especially not mentally, I don't think I've aged (or is that 'matured') since maybe 25, it's only the mirror that tells me otherwise! Anyway, I managed to make the 'celebrations' last a week - friends and family coming for tea and cake on my birthday, breakfast at nearby hotel with friends on Wednesday and lunch at restaurant with my husband, children and parents on Sunday. My husband Gary gave me a ring which he had handmade by a local jeweller, it was a a secret which he has found difficult to keep since he had the idea for it months ago! It's made of white gold and is an axolotl salamader with emeralds for eyes - lizards were a Victorian symbol of 'wedded bliss', so it's a very unique eternity ring.

The other major things which has interrupted everything was the computer almost died. Dramatic I know, but it certainly was at the time. We thought we'd lost everything, but clever Gary has spent a long several days working on it, took the hard drive out to put in another computer and bought a program which has recovered almost everything so it's all on discs and saved. Except the 'My Pictures' folder which I'm sure was there the other day and now seems to have emptied itself. I was going to add the photo of my ring just now and it's not there, so he's got some more work to do...that's all our photos which I was meaning to put on cds in case something like this happened. Go and do all yours now!! Oh, he's just found them on the other pc and put them on another disc to put back on this one - no idea why they wouldn't copy before, but there you go...

I've still been making things for the One a Day Challenge. Even if I haven't had time to make something one day, I'll make up for it so have seven in a week - I'm sure that still counts! Here's a selection:

I've also made these little rose stud earrings in black. They're all in my Facebook shop.

And now for some more Twilight inspired designs for my Facebook shop!

And pirate themed bracelets for my Pirate Treasures website


Now I need to do some more 'Thank yous'...
I was lucky enough to be featured on two Folksy Fridays this week (yes yes I really must get round to doing one myself!), so thanks to Adien Crafts for featuring my rose cameo and melaniezine for featuring my steampunk watch movement ring. They can both be found in my Folksy shop here .
A big Thank You is due for Tiny Oyster Designs who sent a surprise package to me this week. Look, it's a cute little Scoop!! Check out her Etsy store for loads of cool unusual creatures, one of which (Gregor the ghost) I got for my birthday from my children!

 Right, that's all for now, let's hope I can get another post done by next Sunday!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Shout outs & competitions!

Tiny Oyster Designs is having a competition to win a fab 'Love Snog' - to find out what one is and enter the giveaway go here: She makes interesting fun creatures, three of whom are in my house, but I have to wait til Monday for Gregor to come out of his hiding place!!

Thanks to for featuring my Vintage pocket watch steampunk necklace on her Folksy Friday this week.
Very belated thank you to for featuring my

Steampunk Victoriana pocket watch face necklace ages ago on her Folksy Friday (I think I forgot to say thanks then!) 
One day I'll get round to a Folksy Friday, I always mean to and then before I know it the time's gone again...

Keeping up with the One-a-Day Challenge!

Yes indeed I have been pretty busy this week, with website sales and a couple of custom orders. I sold both versions of the chunky wooden beads bracelet I made last week (shown on my last blog post), one as the original custom request and another by someone else almost as soon as I'd put it on the website - so I've made a couple more! They are all slightly different, which makes it more interesting to make and to own!!

I've also added a Payvment Storefront to my Facebook page, which seems a pretty cool way to have an online shop. It's free and uses Paypal to take payments, so no listing fees and only Paypal's commission to pay. If you're thinking of doing the same, there's a link at the bottom of mine, click the 'Shop Now' tab on my Facebook page to set up your Payvment store.
I'm trying to make a few different designs which aren't available anywhere else, plus a good range of popular items. I've been making a few necklaces the last couple of days...
I have all my stock separated, as I think that's easier, rather than having the same thing listed on the website/Misi/Folksy/Facebook - what if I sold something simultaneously in two places?! The chances are probably pretty slim, but it happened on my website a couple of years ago before I had the Pro option with stock control. Two people bought what was a one-off bracelet within a couple of hours of each other, it was during the night as they both happened to be in the US so I only found out the next morning! I had to explain the situation and the one who paid last had to wait a few days before I could recreate it. That's why I now have different boxes for the different venues I sell on. Plus my craft fair/fete stall stock is all stored separately too. It may all take up more room, but at least I shouldn't be caught out again!

  I was planning on making one of my pirate themed charm bracelets today, but the time has gone too quickly! Mind you, I did mow the grass, which took a while since I hadn't done it for a few weeks, so it has been a productive day. I needed to work off the chicken carbonara calzone and cinnamon waffle & ice cream I ate last night anyway! We went to the cinema to see Iron Man 2 and then had dinner in Frankie & Benny's. Both were really good! It's my birthday on Monday, which I'm managing to make last a week - I've got my parents and my oldest school friend (not oldest in age, oldest in length of time known!) coming over for tea and cake on Monday afternoon , going out to breakfast with friends on Wednesday and lunch at a restaurant with family next Sunday! Right, I'd better go and get on with the dinner, I'm doing chicken (and quorn for veggie daughter) fajitas and tacos - yum!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

First fete of the year!

Well we got the first fete over with last Bank Holiday Monday - what a lovely day it was too! No, not really, hailstones as we started to load the car, followed by heavy showers on and off for the rest of the afternoon - and it was freezing cold too! Well that's May for you, completely unpredictable! Anyhow, it meant we (myself and daughter) got to test out the capabilities of the new gazebo. It was thankfully waterproof and didn't blow away! I weighted the corners with some weightlifting weights, (which haven't been used for muscle-building for a very long time, they are most commonly used in the process of my husband's guitar-building) and the other good tip I got from Moonbeam Angel via craftsforum was to fill milk bottles with water - I bought some little bungee cord things with hooks (there's probably a proper name for them!) for about £2 in B&Q to secure them to the gazebo legs. I didn't need my own new table or the sack barrow/trolley thing I'd just bought as I was able to unload from the car on the green before parking it and though they said there were no tables, there was one for me in the end. Never mind, they'll be used elsewhere this summer and now I know everything can fit in the car!
A banner is next on my list of things to buy!

We didn't do too badly sales-wise despite it being fairly dreadful weather. The sun came out towards the end,  but we were in a corner between the barbecue (which kept billowing smoke) and some kind of football shooting game (a bit of a concern with a table full of jewellery!) and didn't get any sunshine. My profits covered the cost of the table (the one I bought, not the one provided) and the trolley, so next time we need to make £80 to cover the cost of the gazebo and then we're in profit! Oh, except for the banner and business cards I need to buy next... still, they'll all be used again over the next however many years!

So I haven't been keeping track of the One a Day figures, I must go through my desk diary and get back on track with the numbers. The week before the fete was a rush at making more stock - better to have too much than too little!

I made a whole load of children's necklaces. Well, technically I didn't make the pendants, but cutting lengths of cotton cord and adding folding crimps and clasps takes an annoying amount of time when I only sell them for £2.50! I made Hello Kittys, Gloomy Bears, rabbits, little deer, Jack Skellingtons, skull & crossbones, pirate heads etc.

The past week I've been working on commissions I've had via my website .

I still haven't put all my display stuff back in the loft and we're tripping over the gazebo in the conservatory, so I'd better get the chicken in the oven and tidy up...

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Better late than never!

Well it's all gone very very behind schedule here at Pirate Treasures Towers - the making is as usual up to date, but the blogging is sadly lacking!

Firstly I was spending time caring for little Leo the gerbil (as mentioned in a previous post), he sadly died on 17th April and for his last couple of days needed help feeding and generally cuddling to keep warm. He was nearly 3 years old so an elderly gentleman in gerbil terms, he's gone to play with his brother Squizzle wherever gerbils go!

I've been busy booking a few Summer fetes to attend and have the first on Monday at Woodmansterne in Surrey - hopefully it will stay dry! I bought a pop-up waterproof gazebo and new (supposedly) 'lightweight' table, but they both weigh a tonne (well maybe not literally) and I didn't consider how far we might have to park the car and carry them from, so I think I'll have to go to B&Q to buy a trolley type thing later... that's all costing a fortune so I'd better sell loads!

I've had a few commissions to make, which I've sold/will be selling/have added similar desings on my website  I was asked to make some dangly pirate earrings with cameos and a bracelet for a bride with a pirate theme!
I've also been making lots of new things for the upcoming fetes...
Memory wire coiled bracelets always look nice & sparkly and the single coil ones are popular with little girls! When I checked through  my box of  'stall jewellery', which I hadn't opened since the Christmas Fair, I realised I only had a few charm bracelets left, so I made one with white glass pearls and acrylic silver hearts and one of my frosty flowers ones which always sell well.
I have a bunch of other stuff made, but I need to take some photos and anyway it would be a giant post if I posted it all at once! So I will definitely blog again before Monday, and then afterwards to say how the fete went...