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...