Friday, 30 July 2010

Folksy Friday Green Apples

The apples on my tree are just about to start turning from green to red now (assuming a bit of helpful sunshine comes along!) and they inspired today's picks! Click on any of the picture to be taken to the shop

ialbert heart zeena's shopshoples
cute creations love poppetHave a thing about me

1. This striking fine art print by ialbert would make a fabulous wall hanging

2. This lovely screen printed cushion is called Audrey, and comes with a red or green apple to suit your preference. Beautifully handmade by heart zeena's lovely little shop

3. Apple handmade soap by Shoples - you can smell it from here, can't you? (Love the shop name too!)

4. How could you not smile at this green apple ring by cute creations?

5. You could almost squeeze the pips out of the padded keyring from love poppet 

6. These apple earrings are completely handmade from wood and a vinyl record by Have a Thing about Me

This Folksy Friday is a bit late, due to blogger giving me some grief earlier.  But I'm able to post now, thanks to the help of a very kind military guy from Holland who was on the blogger help forums at just the right time.  Thank you, complete stranger!!

Click here to tweet: A handfull of lovely green apples on Folksy

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

BESTeam weekly feature: Elizabeth MD on Etsy

Love ElizabethMD's strapline

You're one of a kind, so why shouldn't your jewellery be?

Based in London Ontario, Elizabeth has been making jewellery since she was 15, and creates beautiful things in silver, crystal and natural stones.

Here are my favourite picks


ElizabethMD ElizabethMD

1. Lots of lovely brown agate stones combined with chain maille make up this lovely bracelet.  It fastens with a toggle clasp, so it's right on trend!
2. These lovely long earrings will dust your shoulders.  They consist of warm-toned amber resin beads.
3.  This geometric pendant is really unusual- opera length and incorporating a lavender resin bead, it's actually made from galvanised steel for a modern and edgy industrial look
4. Pick of the crop is this blue swarovski and silver bead cap necklace.  Love the circle created out of these beads and the chain used really compliments the necklace.

You can find out more about Elizabeth and her shop through Facebook


and on her blog

Monday, 26 July 2010

What makes a successful shop?

This post originally appeared as a guest blog on Iyobo Design's blog.  Thanks to Beata for featuring it :-)

OK, I’m going to make a bold statement now. I think I have a successful shop! Actually, I have four online shops on Folksy, Etsy, Dreamaid and Zibbet. I’ve been selling for 11 months online and across the Folksy and Etsy shops I have 54 sales.

Were you expecting the number to be closer to 5,000? Or 500? What do you think it means to have a successful shop? Is it loads of sales, loads of stock, repeat customers, wholesale orders, being a household name?

I guess like most sellers when I started I was a bit naive and imagined that customers would be queueing up to buy my jewellery on a daily basis – maybe I wouldn’t be able to make things fast enough! I soon learned that making the jewellery and listing it was the relatively easy part. There were all sorts of things about promoting online that I didn’t even realise that I’d need to do – blogging, tweeting, chatting in forums, all that was new to me. Now I spend a lot of time promoting, but I’ve learned to focus on the things I enjoy. And customers still don’t come in droves. So why do I think I’m successful? Maybe I’m just mad LOL

It’s because of the best thing about online selling, something I’d never even thought of when I started my shops. It’s about the customer experience. A lot of people I’ve sold to have emailed me about the jewellery, have left me feedback in the shops, have blogged or mentioned my shop in other forums and online venues. I’ve been lucky all my feedback so far is really positive. And that’s the real joy of it for me.

Everytime I sell an item and put it in the post, there’s a bit of anxiety about whether the recipient will really like it. After all, they’ve only seen a few pictures and read my description of it, and I’m no David Bailey in the photo department! And all my designs are from my imagination and are things I’d like to wear, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world shares my taste, does it? So the relief and pleasure when you get feedback that it’s beautiful, that my mum will really love it, that it’s well made, that it’s better than the picture etc etc, is really sometimes better than the sale. I don’t think people working in a bricks and mortar shop get that experience very often. So I’m happy to trade loads of customers for a few, really happy online buyers any day!

It’s lucky that making jewellery is my hobby and I do feel for people trying to make a living from their crafting in such tough economic times. And if a hundred people suddenly found my shop and each bought an item, I’d be overjoyed. But just at the moment, on an average of a just over one sale a week, I’m quite a happy bunny. So my advice to new shops would be, don’t be impatient, work hard and the customers will gradually come and then, well, it’ll be lovely!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Folksy Friday: Dragonflies

Saw a beautiful dragonfly on a walk this week.  I thought I'd just find a picture of in on the net and blog about it.  What I didn't realise is how many species of dragonflies and damselflies there are!  So I gave up trying to find a picture and selected some lovely Folksy items instead.  Click on any of the images to go to the shops.

Spiral Moon Oracle LakeBubble Bees painted glass
Owl and the Pussycateastwitching Art on a bag

1. Dragonfly print by Spiral Moon Fantasy
2. Dragonfly vegan soap by Oracle Lake
3. Dragonfly in glass by Bubble Bees painted glass
4. Silk painting with dragonfly by The Owl and the Pussycat
5. Watercolour by eastwitching
6. Jute dragonfly bag by Art on a Bag

Beautiful, aren't they?

And in case there are any dragonfly experts reading who would like to help identify the one we saw, it had a deep bottle green body with translucent green wings, and it looked just like someone had shaken a pot of green and silver glitter all over it.  It kept its wings open when it landed so we could see just how amazing it was.  Quite a bit bigger than the blue ones we see more often around the river, this one was some way from any water.  Any offers?

Monday, 19 July 2010

BESTeam weekly feature: SandT Creations on Etsy

This week I'm delighted to feature SandT Creations, run by Teri Baskett from Jefferson, IN.  Teri is in senior IT management during the day and designs jewelry and runs wine tasting in her spare time.  Her Etsy shop features gemstone and crystal jewelry, wire wrapping and vintaj supplies, so there's something here for crafters and jewelry magpies too!

I've chosen to feature this sterling chain maille bracelet as I love the skill involved in maille work and it's always stunning in its simplicity when done in plain white metal.

These sterling silver earrings would be great with the bracelet, I think, and they have a lovely handmade, wasi-sabi feel to them.

SandTCreations is also a member of Etsy eSmarts team, a group of store keepers who regularly donate items to support other Etsians in financial need.  You can check out the shop here and check back regularly to support this worthy cause.

Here's some color for a contrast - in fact every color under the sun is reflected in this Summer Capiz Rainbow necklace, with each dangle individually hand-knotted.  Wouldn't this be great with one of this seasons patterned maxi-dresses?

This compass ring is a really unusual item.  It is a functional compass, so you'll always know what direction you're going in when you're wearing it!

Fellow crafters should definitely check out the supplies section, where there are a great range of vintaj brass findings and charms.  Be careful when you're there, because there is a serious temptation to purchase all of the supplies ;-)

You can find out more about SandT Creations by checking out the Etsy store, visiting the blog,
or by finding Teri on Facebook

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Etsy treasury love

I'm so lucky to have pieces of my jewellery featured in no fewer than 5 Etsy treasuries in the last week!  To pass on my thanks to those who've taken the time to compile these beautiful collections, I've done some mini-features of their Etsy stores in the 'News' section

Links to the treasuries are also there.

And here's my own compilation - 'Have a colorful Christmas in July', which you can find here

Happy Christmas in July everyone!

Have a colorful Christmas in July

Friday, 16 July 2010

Folksy Friday: Funky Wedding

Little Bird Too Alexandra Tiarafraggierocks
nappycakebakeryI do take U! Accidental Vix

It's the ideal time for summer weddings, isn't it? My own, 20 years ago this summer, wasn't exactly a traditional white affair! So I thought I'd feature some alternative creations from talented Folksy sellers today.

Click on any of the pictures to be taken directly to these lovely shops.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

My recent handmade lovelies...

..I had this lovely bag bought for me as a birthday present.

Looks like a lovely bag with a great print, perfect for the summer, doesn't it?

All that is true, but as well, this clever creation is a work-out for your creativity and knotting skills.  You can make a whole variety of bags in different shapes just by tying the fabric in different ways.

It's called furoshiki and Mich, who runs myfuroshiki stores on Dreamaid, Folksy, Etsy and Coriander produces them in a variety of fabrics. There are also other materials for wrapping gifts and presents available too.  Visit the shop and the blog to see the many styles you can make.  Such a great idea and an original gift for someone too.

Once you've got a furoshiki you never need buy another bag.  However, that doesn't stop me.  I'm a bag-a-holic.

I saw this lovely creation on Folksy from jentwinkle while I was taking part in the June loons challenge (listing one item every day for the whole of June - phew!)  I like cross-body bags because of my back problems, and Jen was kind enough to adapt this one with a longer strap for me.  It's really beautiful with the buttons and embroidery, and the first time I used it it was admired straight away - there's a dental receptionist with great taste!  Take a look round Jen's Folksy store for a variety of items all equally careful crafted and pretty.

So no bags for a while now.  The OH keeps saying no more bags until we have a bigger house.  But he makes an exception for special occasions.  So with the dog's birthday and our wedding anniversary coming up, I should be OK for the next couple of months ;-)

A blue and brown paisley print hobo style bag is next on my list....

Monday, 12 July 2010

BESTeam weekly feature: CutesyBootsie on Etsy

It's official - CutesyBootsie on Etsy is a knitter's paradise!  These hand knitted items are made by Brook in South Florida but will keep you warm whatever climate your inhabit.  In a great variety of lovely colours, this shop's owner is the servant of one dog, George Bailey, and two cats, Opie and Jewels, and uses knitting as a stress reliever after a heavy day teaching at the chalk face.
Here are a few of my favourite items.  Click directly on any picture to be taken to this lovely store.

CutesyBootsie CutesyBootsieCutesyBootsie
CutesyBootsieCutesyBootsie CutesyBootsie

I love the different stitches and colour combinations in these scarves.  Those chunky knits make you long for cooler weather so you can cosy up and get your autumn wardrobe out!  And if you like the style, but want a different colour, Brook is quite happy to knit you a custom item.

Want pictures of the pets? George Bailey appears as Brook's Etsy avatar, and you can see him and the lovely Opie on Brook's blog.  George Bailey is described as '11 pounds of bad ass Chihuahua-terrier' so even from four thousand miles away I know that my lovely Labrador Lucca dog would absolutely go mad to have him as a playmate - he loves the feisty ones! Lucca is about 70 pounds but he'd be real gentle with him...:-)

Want another reason to stock up now?  Well, Cutesy is offering free international shipping all summer.  So just go for it!

You can find out more about CutesyBootsie
on her Blog,
by following her on Twitter,
or on Facebook.
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