Friday, 31 August 2012

Halloween Themed Craft Swap! Sign up now.

I'm holding a craft swap! Why? Why not? I love to see other peoples talents and skills so I want to invite you all to take part. Below are some of the rules and reasons - just to give you an idea on what to expect. I want to invite you all - your craft does not matter. I think it is time to share the talent ;)

What is a 'Swap'?
Swaps come in all shapes and sizes and take place all over the world. Sometimes they are themed, sometimes they are just held for fun. The idea is to secretly create a handmade gift for a randomly chosen individual whilst working with the rules set out during that swap, sending the gift out to the recipient and then sharing the gift you receive in turn. Most swaps are held to make something the recipient will find useful or like. Swaps are a way of sharing your love of crafting, having the great feeling you have created a lovely one of piece that someone will own, and in return receiving a gift just as lovingly thought of.

Do I get paid?
No. You will need to budget for £5 worth of materials for your crafted item. This will not include the cost of the postage and packaging you are going to pay to send the item out.

Who can enter?
You must be over 16 to enter the swap. You must have a Facebook page, blog or website where you can post pictures of your received gift. You must be able to produce a gift that is handmade by you, the craft however is up to you. You can be a paper crafter, jewellery maker, knitter or sewer. You may be able to wood turn or create lovely candles. You must remember that the theme is Halloween, and you must be able to produce something that your recipient will like or find useful.

When will I get the details of whom I am crafting for?
Details will be sent out via email to you by Sunday 9th September at the latest (this is dependant on how many entries we receive! It may be a little earlier).

Is there a deadline?
Yes. Once you have received the details of the person you are crafting for you will need to have the item crafted and sent out no later than the 17th October 2012. You will not be encourage to open you gift until the 31st October 2012. This is a Halloween Swap after all.

Is there anything else?
Yes. You will be required to enter by email ( will then be sent out an email for confirmation in return. You will need to answer a handful of questions (fun ones!) about who you are and what you like. You will be required to give a postal address. You will also need to leave the address of your blog/Facebook page/website. This is so that on the 31st of October, when everyone has opened their parcels you can up load you pictures to show the other swappers and so I can link the pages together from one central point.

Finally, you don't need to run your own business. You just need to have a love for crafting! Hobbyist or full time seller it doesn't matter. However if you would like a little more traffic to your website or you blog it won't hurt. The added bonus is you may make a brand new friend.


P.S. Don't forget, the details are a secret. Don't go giving away the details or angled photos thinking we won't know. I'll be checking ;)

Enter by emailing me here:
Please contact me if you have any questions.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

In need of a Fairy Godmother!

Yet again the last few days have been eaten up with trying to get things done at the day job. In the past 5 days I have managed to total up a whole days worth of overtime - and that's just what I noted down... Things are getting pretty hard at the moment. Nothing seems to go smoothly, and no matter how much time and effort you put into something, it is never enough. This is making me more determined to leave behind the rat race and join the 'crafting for less money but more enjoyment and satisfaction crowd'. I know we've all been in this boat, but sometimes, listening to people put you down all the time, it makes getting out of bed real hard in the mornings. We solider on because we have to... but even so, send me my fairy godmother and allow me to make a wish or two!

Rant over I have several posts I need to get out in the next day or two but this one is just to bring you up to date on a few of my most recent and seemly popular makes. For those of you who are regular readers you will know I love keyrings. Don't ask me why, I just inadvertently started collecting them as a kid and somehow I now seem to make them. However, I added a couple of Christmas themed goodies to the collection this week, just to see how they would go down. Little stocking fillers if you will.

Shortly to be added to my Folksy Store

Shortly to be added to my Folksy Store
What do you think? Kinda cute?

I also made two variations on my best seller earrings. These however are not so themed :D

Already available here: Purple-Passion

Already available here:  Totally-Teal
Thinking I might team these up with some cluster charm bracelets. We'll see!

If you are interested in my Halloween Craft Swap please keep your eyes peeled as I will be looking to post an invite later today/first thing tomorrow. I hope you will all consider joining in. It should be fun!

Friday, 24 August 2012

It's all about the Owls

This past week and a half has been unbelievably busy. Unfortunately not with crafting, but with the 'other' job. With the boss off it's left me in charge and as is usually the case we have had nothing but incident after accident after issue. Always the way when you have no one else to turn to.

However thankfully I have had a couple of days off and in respect had time to catch up with a bit of cleaning and organising. Part of my plan was to sort out the home so that the place is less cluttered and my craft supplies are neatly stock piled. It will take a lot longer than the few hours I've put into so far, but in the next couple of weeks I should have a clutter free home with plenty of space to create that next project.

Talking about the plan, as of next week I will be writing regular posts dedicated to my plan and how to start your own. I am hoping some of you will find it useful and the rest of you I hope will find it an interesting read. As always I am looking forward to reading your comments. Everyone in this community is very supportive which allows us to share our tips and tricks. Where else would you find such friendly people?

I have also been planning my Halloween Swap, which I will be launching the first week of September. I have had quite a few people show an interest. All crafts and skills will be welcome to join, so if you haven't put your hand up yet, by all means please do! I will write the sign up post in a couple of days time.

Now for some crafting...

Owls continue to shine in the crafty spot light at the moment and over the past couple of months I have sold a number of Owl based plushies, including my little avatar character! Two more joined my Folksy store this week.

Baby Blue - Click here to find me!

This is Baby Blue. The baby blue owl that takes away all those sad feelings with nothing more than a simple cuddle.

Owl of Trust - Click here to find me!

This is the Owl of Trust - the perfect low cost pet for that person with all the secrets.

I am hoping these guys will find new homes soon as they were certainly lovingly made. I am hoping to add a couple of other slightly more festively themed in the next few weeks but we shall see how time goes. 

The other cool thing that happened is I decided to get some new Business Cards printed. I used to use Vista Print but I had heard so many good things about that I just had to give them a go. I was so happy with the turn out - I ordered them on Sunday and I got the bad boys on Wednesday. Excellent! The photos are a little 'warmer' than I expected and I will need to adjust that for the next batch, but over all, I can't complain. I used the cover photo from my Facebook page on the front, and then my little owl avatar on the back. They are clean, easy to read and just have the essential contact points and pages listed. I would recommend this company a thousand times over!

However, I have projects to finish. Check back on Sunday where I will be joining the Handmade Monday crowd. 

Sunday, 12 August 2012

I've got me a plan.

Now for the execution.

I'm afraid my craft creations have taken a back seat this week. Firstly I had to head back to work. Secondly I had a decision to make.

For over two year I have kept saying 'I'm leaving my job and I'm going to set up my own craft business'. For years I've said it but never done it. I've plodded along making a little money out of my hobby.

However this week I took the plunge. No I didn't leave my job. I wish I could say I have. I have though, sat down and come up with my two year business plan. Sound like a long plan? Yes it is, and it still isn't finished.

I realised that if I am going to do this I need to do a number of things first.

1. I need a healthy pile of savings in the bank - just in case this business doesn't pay for itself right away. So sticking with the rat race for now.

2. Work out what my goal was - which is? Self employment on a smaller income but with flexibility and creativity based. A business I can run and be responsible for.

3. Finally, how the hell I'm going to get there without tearing my hair out.

It might sound simple but you should see the note book I've drafted all this up in. The poor thing has graphs, plans, brain storming spider grams.... soooooo much. All I need to do now is type it up (I like things to look official  and then to take the plunge.

I have decided that there are two things that are going to cripple me. This first is sticking with my job to get the savings in the first place. I struggle to juggle crafting and work at the best of times. The other fear is Accountancy. How scary is that? I mean I've done my tax returns before... but not for a business. SCARY!
If you have any fail safe tips let me know :D

So over the coming year you may see me typing in stress. If so, no need to call the men in white coats... unless the post reads in tongues.

So all I have had time for is cutting out felt templates...

Playing around with some kilt pin ideas...

Oh and catching up with some magazine reading. I keep all the craft mags I buy and sometimes I like to read old issues. Always good to get the mojo flowing. And here, little Hera can be seen telling the world how much she loves Craftseller!

So I'm off to Handmade Monday to check out what others have been up to this week. More than likely more crafting than I hehehehe. Please check out the link and pop along. The more the merrier. 

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Keyrings, bracelets, photos and one fast year

Time for another Handmade Monday... where did the week go? *checks under the bed, in the kitchen cupboards and under the stairs.* Nope it's not there. This week has been a busy week, though I don't actually have much to show for it. I simply haven't had time to take all the photos.I have spent most of the week updating photos of my Folksy items and thus I haven't had time to upload and polish the ones of the other makes from this week.  

Grave Find - A Skull Keyring/Bag Charm with Pumpkin, Bat and Bead extras

Tied in Knots - A leather thong Knotted bracelet

Wild Thing - Bag charm/Keyring

I have spent time working on some very simple black cushion covers to replace the rabbit chewed ones. I was going to just leave them all just plain and simple however I think I will have to stitch on a character or two just for variety. I will post pics once I have those sorted.

I have been pumping out Christmas decorations, getting ready for a fair come November. I didn't want to get caught out with one a couple of days to go and no stock to take. I always worry when I take items to fairs if I am carrying enough stock as it never looks much when I set up the table. I have been assured that less is more, however I am sure you have all viewed your displays from time to time and thought 'Hmmmmm...'

This year has gone so fast though. This time last year was a Friday and I was hours away from getting married on the Saturday morning. When I think about all the hours I stayed up cooking, cleaning and getting the decs up, then how little I remember of the actual day I wonder if it was worth all the money in the end. Not meant in a bad way of course :) I was flicking through the albums though and think maybe I should print them off and make a nice little album for them. I found an interesting looking tute on how to bind your own books so when I get 5 I think that will be project number 50,201 :D

Finally, when jumping from Christmas decs to cushion covers I kinda decided I wanted to host a Swap - A Halloween swap and was wondering who would be interested. Bloggers of the world, let me know. It should be fun :)

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The winner is and a Halloween Swap?

Well done to the lovely author of Highland Monkeys. A great blog and a fantastic follower!

You are the winner of my crafty give away! *Little Hamster dance going on here (unaware of the hamster dance  Google baby, Google!)*

If you could email me your postal address to I can get these goodies off you on Monday :)

Well done and Congrats!! Looooooots of goodies headed your way.

Thank you to everyone who entered! Keep your eyes peeled, got me an idea coming up soon ;)

No really, anyone with crafty fingers, I have got an idea for a Halloween Swap! Who's in?

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Marshmallows, Love Hearts and Dolly Mixtures

After completing the sweet keyring as featured on my last post I was asked to make one up for a friend. I completed that and got a good response. So I went away, got jiggy with the fimo (really not my favourite material to work with as I tend to burn more stuff than what I cook correctly). However I managed to come out with enough beads to make up several new designs. I then remembered that I had been sent a bag of Dolly Mixture beads which I haven't known what to do with for ages. I crafted on down, took the photos and upload them to my Folksy store yesterday morning. I was delighted to find that two sold last night. With a bit of luck I may be on to a winner.

So I thought I would share the photos with you just to see what the general consensus was :)

'Cute Kid' Key Charm

'Wild Thing' Bag Charm

Sold last night - Dolly Mixtures meet Mallows

Sold - Wild Thing Retro sweet Charms
Depending on how they go down I may make some more. Got some plans for the Christmas Candy Canes, gingerbread men and xmas puds :)

Last reminder! Don't forget to join in my crafty give away. This winner will be picked on Saturday. Just click the link (Relaunch Give Away) and leave a comment to be entered. Best of luck and thanks to everyone who has entered so far!