Wednesday, 31 December 2008
My other half bought me this great Dr Who mouse from The House of Mouse and a handprinted notebook from Pumpkin Sputnik. The mouse is sitting in my jewellery studio and the notebook will be useful for keeping notes and ideas all in one place, rather than on bits of paper everywhere.
I also treated myself to a pincushion from Lupin's shop, and I was her 1,500th customer to boot, I received some brilliant freebies from her! The doves are also going in my studio and the flowers pinned on bags and coats :) I love the map writing set too, I think I might include some of these in my orders!
Being as we have had some free time we've used it to spend a bit more time outdoors, we visited Knole Park in Kent on Boxing day, which is full of deer roaming about freely, they are quite tame too so you can get really close up!We also visited Jimmys Farm in Suffolk this week, which has a great nature trail which includes rare breed chickens, guinea pigs (randomly!), ferrets and a lovely woodland walk.
We also stopped at their farm shop to pick up some pork, farmed just in the next field. I'll be blogging a gorgeous crispy pork noodle recipe later.
Amongst all of this I have also managed to make and list one new item for the shop, these Angelhair earrings. I adore these beads, they really jumped out at me when I was bead shopping, they are so interesting and in limited supply. I am definitely going to keep a pair for myself too. In my Etsy shop and soon to be in my Folksy shop too.
I am working on new designs for 2009, including a new version of my popular Two Lockets necklace, this time with oxidized silver chain which matches perfectly with brass lockets. I am eagerly awaiting more silver chain in the post so I can make and list this design. I hope you like it.
I am now going to end this mammoth blog post by wishing you a Happy New Year!
Sunday, 21 December 2008
So its nearly here, I think I am prepared. The tree is up, presents are wrapped and I have a couple of my handmade presents to finish off. I've tried hard this year to either buy handmade gifts or make handmade gifts, I have some very special gifts that I made myself which I shall blog about once everyone has received them!
I have one more day left of my proper day job and then I am away for a few days for a relaxing family Christmas, I think it will be a well earned break. I am hoping for snow but I don't think we will be that lucky!
My Etsy and Folksy shops are now closed for the Christmas period, I've had a great festive season in both shops, thank you to everyone that shopped with me, I hope your loved ones enjoy their gifts.
Merry Christmas to all my customers, blog readers and fellow crafters!
I'll be blogging my Christmas crafty projects in the new year :)
Monday, 15 December 2008
I am quite excited to be involved with organising the next Handm@de craft fair in the lovely Cambridge city centre, we have recently opened applications to stallholders for the event which will be on the 4th April 2009. We are hoping to attract lots of gorgeous designers, makers, artists, and crafters to the fair.
If you are interested in exhibiting please visit the blog, Flickr group or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and an application form!
If you are interested in visiting, we will be at the Cambridge Guildhall on the 4th April 2009. :)
Thursday, 11 December 2008
I love all the beads that I find and use in my designs, that is the beauty of vintage beads. These beads are my particular favourite, they are so so interesting. I was very eager to get these and start using them. They are lightweight lucite with dark purple swirls, like ink in water. Just perfect.
Inkwell earrings, my etsy shop right now :)
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
I am also still gift wrapping my boxes with lovely satin ribbon and a handmade gift tag.
Happy Shopping! :)
P.S. - only last order date for customers in the USA, Canada and everywhere else is tomorrow.
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Every customer receives one pair of lovely rose hairpins, either a pair of Flamenco red hairpins or Emerald green hairpins. Just let me know when you checkout which pair you would like, if I don't have a message I will suprise you :)
Perfect for filling stockings! In my Etsy shop
Friday, 5 December 2008
I have been following my two favourite blogs for quite a while now and they are always filled with great recipes.
First is Gastronomy Domine, which I also love for the restaurant reviews - alas I haven't been to some of the fantastic places Liz has blogged about but I have drooled at the pictures. I am going to try and track down a pork hock this weekend on her recommendation, I can't wait to try her latest recipe. You should also definitely try the recipe for Char Sui pork, although its not the weather for it now, its really great cooked on the barbecue.
Smitten Kitchen, which is full of what American food really should be about which is great. You should also try some of the cookie recipes, the homemade oreo recipe is the best. One of our household favourites is also the quesadilla with acorn squash recipe (you can use all sorts of different veg, I like courgettes or butternut squash) which is really easy to make. I love the photography too, I can happily flick through the photos and waste a lot of time dreaming of what to make next.
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Anyway, I will be away between the 3rd and 4th December, back on the 5th probably nursing a sore head.
As I am away, and in the spirit of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Cyber Tuesday (apparently this is new) and anything else anyone fancies calling days of the week in the USA, I am offering Free Worldwide Shipping on all items in my Etsy shop! All items are already edited so no need to wait for a revised invoice :)
All items will be shipped out on the 5th December!
Friday, 28 November 2008
Saturday, 22 November 2008
I am not responsible for any diets broken by this blog post.
Today I made double chocolate chip cookies, I have recently managed to perfect making brownies, after several failed attempts in the past, so I have been a bit brownie made recently and fancied a change.
I know these are still chocolate but cookies are something quite different :) They are much better with tea (or milk of course) too.
These are adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe (I can't bear Nigella Lawson herself but she does have some great recipes) which was really really heavy on the chocolate. I admit to having to tone it down a little bit - for the sake of my health and the fact that I didn't have 500g of chocolate, which is what the recipe required. Instead I used 100g of chocolate and about 75g for the chips. I used chopped up dark chocolate rather than cooking chocolate chips as I prefer to use proper chocolate.
These are great soft cookies and they are so chocolatey but not too cakey and bakey so they aren't too dense. These are the best ones I've ever made. The only problem with these is that you have to wait at least 5 or 10 mins for them to crisp up a bit and the chocolate to set before stuffing your face.
If you have broken your diet with these, you probably won't care anyway because they are too good.
Monday, 17 November 2008
I don't know where the last 10 days have gone, it doesn't seem like 10 days since I blogged - well thats my excuse for being lax anyway ;)
I've been very busy today, I have used my day off work well and created lots of great stuff for the shop - very much aided by a lot of the supplies I ordered arriving at once today! All in my Etsy shop right now.
Friday, 7 November 2008
I made my first ring this week!
I have been wanting to make rings for the shop and I couldn't wait to try them out once I got my ring mandrel. This one is from a tutorial on MacFarland Designs blog (where she also has lots of other tutorials, I am trying out earwires next) for a simple rosette ring.
This was also spurred on by the loss of one of my rings down the floorboards the other day (I am cursing the landlords inability to lay them without 1cm gaps).
Its good for a first go, the wire wraps could be neater and the back is a little warped, but I love it all the same! I did this using 24g silver plated wire, not brave enough to use the expensive sterling wire yet ;)
I am hoping to introduce some simple beaded wire wrap rings to the shop, made with vintage beads and different kinds of wire. I think copper would be lovely.
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
I love a good food blog, and yesterday I found this one, Simply Breakfast. The clue is in the name! A blog about breakfast, I love it. Great for a bit of foodie inspiration, not what you would normally find but I just love how simple the idea is. Plus it has given me a bit of inspiration to change my usual cereal or toast! I feel a bit shameful for having coco pops this morning now ;)
Monday, 3 November 2008
First one that caught my eye is from seventyandsunny - a mini calendar with gorgeous seasonalillustrations. You should also check out alyson's blog for wonderful photographs, fashion picks and inspiration.
This next one is purely for sheer cuteness, it is from The House of Mouse - maker of little felt mice in various guises - my favourite is Yoda Mouse! This one is definitely designed to cheer up a dull day.
This last one isn't technically a calendar, its a diary but I love it so I had to include it. A luxurious custom made day book, hand bound and hand printed. I am always making notes, although probably too messy for such a nice book, and this would be perfect for keeping all my to do lists, notes and ideas together. By Transient Books.
Its nice to be thinking of Christmas (I know, I said it, Christmas!) when its getting a bit gloomy which is what inspired my newest pair of earrings. These are fantastically festive, they glint and sparkle and are so feminine, perfect for Christmas parties. They are made with nice chunky brass chain and vintage glass pearls in a beautiful champagne gold colour, they are dimpled too which makes them really unique. In my Etsy shop right now!
Thank you also to snapdragonbeads for the vintage sheet music booklet she sent me, the cover makes for a gorgeous background for photographs, it really goes with my vintage jewellery.
I am working on Christmas gift upgrades this week, so I hope to have some nice pictures to show you what I have on offer for your gift wrapping needs. I have just ordered some really beautiful ribbon, in chocolate brown and also teal (not very Christmassy but I can't ever resist teal) for my orders. There is also an extra special addition to my gift upgrades, which I will be blogging about as soon as I receive them! I love packaging , can you tell?
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Not usually described this way but it very much explains my newest necklace.
I made the earrings above recently, Coal Earrings, and I loved how smokey and charcoal like they were, especially the great oxidized earwires and I really wanted to mimic this in a necklace to match.
I found these great horseshoe shaped findings, in a great shiny black steel - which looks just perfect against the grey lucite beads that I used in the earrings. I love this necklace (even if I do say so myself) its edgy, dark, wintery but also delicate, lustrous and feminine.
I've got more designs coming using the little horseshoes, including a snowy creation using little white flowers and rosey pink copper.
For now the Coal Necklace and Coal Earrings are in my Etsy shop, the earrings are also in my Folksy and now also my Coriandr shop.
I just opened my Coriandr shop today! It is a new handmade site, but based in the UK so all prices are in pounds sterling. I believe they are also working on Euros and US Dollars, I will update here when they introduce other currencies.
Friday, 24 October 2008
So I am now required to complete 7 things about myself ;)
The rules are as follows:
1. Link to your tagger and list all these rules in your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.
So - my 7 random facts about me:
1. I'm left handed and I have neat writing. I never understand why people assume that left handedness means that you have to have bad handwriting.
2. I have a horrendous sweet tooth. I love pick and mix, I'm a bit of a child about it. My favourites are foam shrimps, foam bananas and coconut rolls.
3. I haven't done any exercise for about 6 years but splendidly I'm still a size 10 (I'm sure it will catch up with me at some point).
4. I'm only on number 4 of this and I have run out of things to say that aren't totally embarrassing or boring.
5. I hate spiders, insects - any kind of creepy crawly. The thing I hate most about them is looking at them close up, there is a spider living outside our kitchen window and I have a very clear view of it every time I go in there and its gross.
6. It took me 4 attempts over a 4 year period to pass my driving test, I lost count of how many lessons I had.
7. I secretly think I am really bad at blogging, but I am trying to be better!
so now.... I tag:
Debsmuddle - www.debrasargeant.blogspot.com
Felt Me Up Designs - www.feltmeupdesigns.blogspot.com
Kala - www.karenjinks.blogspot.com
Incy Wincy Togs - www.incywincytogs.blogspot.com
The House of Mouse - www.fortheloveofcute.blogspot.com
Tina Mammoser - www.tina-m.blogspot.com
Angharad - www.angharadhandmade.blogspot.com
Monday, 20 October 2008
Being as I had such a large, random lot I have been uncovering some real gems along the way, which always makes it more fun. Amongst my favourite ones so far are these cornflower buttons - such a great shade of blue. They are in the shop right now, I only have what is listed so once they are gone they are never to be seen again!
My button stash is looking smaller each week so I am hoping to source some more vintage buttons for my shop, hopefully as great as the buttons I've already had.
I've been creating a lot of amber coloured jewellery, quite a typical autumn colour, which I love.
I snapped this on a walk last week and I love the light yellow autumn leaves, which is not a colour I would have previously thought of as being very autumnal. It has given me some great ideas for new jewellery, I also love the contrast with the blue sky (which is sadly very grey today!)
Sunday, 19 October 2008
I have also made a nice batch of Onion Marmalade this weekend - which has turned out really well. Which is good because the last time I tried it turned out like pickled onions!
4 large white onions (you can use red)
125g brown sugar
100ml cider vinegar
Chop up onions as finely as you can - I find it is best to cut them into rings so you get nice 'ribbons' of onion in your chutney, but you can also dice them too.
Melt the butter in a casserole dish or pan with a lid. The lid part is important so the onions can steam with the lid on and soften.
Add onions once the butter is melted and stir to coat the onions in the butter, fry for a few minutes and then pop the lid on and leave for 20mins to soften, stir a few times in between.
Once the onions are all very soft, fry for a few more minutes with the lid off to add some colour.
Add the sugar and stir, when the sugar dissolves boil rapidly for about 5mins to caramelise the onions.
Add the vinegar and continue to boil for about 5mins.
Season with salt and pepper (if you have white pepper this is better as it won't leave black flecks in your marmalade).
Leave to cool for a few minutes and then ladle into sterlised jam jars.
Keeps for about 2months, once opened store in the fridge.
I am thinking of using this as a base for chili marmalade once the rest of our cayenne chili peppers have ripened.
On another note I have some new earrings in the shop, some caramel coloured mini hoops and my newest creation (below) which is as yet unnamed! Both in a lovely amber autumn colour made from nuggets of glass.
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
I was pleased to be featured in this brilliant red Treasury which made it to the front page of Etsy this morning. My cherry frost bracelet was part of this lovely selection. Always a good start to the day!
*click on the photo to see a larger version
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
I like their website too, a great example of perfect marketing which is something you don't see very often I think. And their products are just a little bit different too but without trying too hard, a black pepper cookie or a hazlenut chocolate whisky cookie sandwich anyone?
I urge you to order if you live in the US and relish in the fact that you can buy something, but just don't tell me about it because I will be jealous. ;)
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
We took delivery of our new sofa yesterday, and oh my its comfortable. I recommend that everyone buys a corner sofa, they are really really really comfy.
Now we have a nice new sofa in the living room I have been thinking about the rest of the living room, I love interiors and I think these would be great for our cosy space.
Fallen by teaforbini
Monday, 6 October 2008
I'm really enjoying getting stuck into the autumn and winter seasons now, and its even better now that its looking a lot more seasonal outside.
First of all I have a new website, here.
I'm really pleased with how it has turned out, thank you to my other half for designing it - please have a look at his website, sensesstudios.
New pieces are in my Etsy shop, among my favourite are these Coal Earrings made with dark oxidized silver and soft grey lucite beads. I have recently received some beautiful new earring wires from Metamorph on Etsy and they look just great with my vintage beads, I love handmade findings.
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
I am so pleased, thank you to marieflyfly and karenfaulknerart for putting my jewellery in their gorgeous treasuries.
I have been suffering from a lack of inspiration/time/energy this week which has delayed new pieces in the shop, I am hoping to rectify things over the weekend (aided by tea, music and chocolate) and put more autumn winter items in my shop. The etsy front pages have been a welcome boost to my confidence and I just need some ideas now!
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Yesterday a Treasury West I created made the front page of Etsy! I love creating treasuries, especially as I get to look at lots of gorgeous shops, so its even better when I get one of mine on the front page for all to see.
My treasury featured the following artists, please check out their Etsy shops.
marieflyfly, aBreathofFrenchair, Applause Design, stamp, snapdragonbeads, allthosethrees, fleurfatale, treacletoffee, Sneddoniart, longwinterfarm, graceandglam and cherrypips.
Well done everyone!
Monday, 15 September 2008
This weekend I finally managed to begin work on some truly autumnal pieces, I received some beautiful beads last week, perfect for this time of year. My bead box is full of rusty ambers, deep purples, dark browns and delicate snowy pinks and whites.
I have been trying to concentrate more on matching sets, to make my jewellery look more co-ordinated and also to offer my customers more choice. My two newest items are practically edible! A beautiful Roasted Pumpkin necklace and earrings and Damson necklace and earrings set. See the stack widget below to see (click on the picture to move to the next photograph), or my etsy shop.
I have also been happily carrying my newest handmade handbag by Florigander on Etsy. It too is autumnal, in a nice thick tweed fabric which is a repurposed skirt! As always it is big enough to fit all my things in, which I need!
I think it will be time to resume my search for a winter coat soon!
Friday, 12 September 2008
Just a quick fly by post before I settle into the weekend, hope you enjoy my little stack of cats and guinea pigs!
I think I will be using this more and more to display things I love. I like this stack on the best because its like flicking through a set of printed photos (well kind of), which I miss sometimes as I spend more time using a digital camera on my PC.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Today I have started Crafting 365 - a Flickr group dedicated to everyday craftyness. I love to take pictures, particularly of what I am doing and I love to log the everyday.
I have started my first day with my new supplies, I am getting stuck into the autumn and winter seasons and I have lots of ideas in my head about what I want to do. Autumn is my favourite time of year.
You can follow my progress in the Crafting 365 group, or on my Flickr page.
I hope I can make the year interesting!