Hi folks! Haven’t written a new blog post in a little while, no time and no motivation lately… my back has been playing up and my elbows have gotten into the act as well, so when I could have been typing or making, I had no choice but to take it easy, do my exercises and use heat on them to help them heal. I’m not 100% yet, but getting there. If I do too much knitting/crocheting one day I can’t do any the next – frustrating!
At any rate, I found these beautiful metal tubs online a few weeks ago while I was looking for new items to sell and bought the red one and it was perfect, so I took some shots and posted a ‘Pre-order Sale’ and got a few orders. Now I’m offering them with wool fluff as a set.
They are lovely and large – 43cm wide, 19cm tall and 31cm deep. I’ll be selling the sets for £37 including UK postage- if you’d like one, get in touch!
The tubs come in Bright Red, French Grey and Black and you can pick your choice of wool fluff from my selection. I plan on offering some with mini- blankets as well once I can get some made… take a look!
I really do have to talk more about my yarn webstore – great yarns at even better prices! Some of my patterns like the Waves Cowl, use yarn from my yarn website – this gorgeous Bamboo Classic – and some of it is on for as little as 77p each skein right now! The cream is currently out of stock, but the grey is gorgeous!
There are lots and lots of yarns – ladder, eyelash, mohair, alpaca, cotton… too many to list. There are basic yarns – acrylic, baby yarn, wool blends as well as luxurious yarns that would make the most gorgeous jumper/sweater, shawl or cardigan.
Another Guest Blog Post from another UK Etsy Shop – DunnCrafting. It’s owned by Susan and Karen, a Mother/Daughter crafting team from Bedford (not too far from me!) and showcases their love of nature and colour in their shop with the collection of home decor and special occasion items including seashell hearts and flower bouquets and pomanders.
Susan has answered some questions about their Etsy shop and how it got started.
Karen and Susan
How did you decide on the name for your shop?
My daughter Karen and I did a bit of toying with word combinations and were trying to find a name that would reflect both of us – we hit on Craftywildes to begin with – but that made us sound a bit shifty- so we settled on DunnCrafting (Dunn is my daughter’s married name) which has a nice play on words.
Just a quick little post showing off my camera scarf straps! I participated in a Market Night on a Facebook Group last night and 2 of these sold there, but they were so pretty I thought I’d show them to you anyway. The rest will be, or are, in my etsy shop and my folksy shop ready to go to new homes!
Everyone who has bought them has loved their choice – one customer ended up buying one each for her Mum and step-Dad as they loved the look of hers so much! I rarely have more than 2-3 of each scarf so grab them while you can if you find some you love!
I’d like to introduce you to the lovely Shirley Woosey from Whimsey Woo Designs on Etsy and Folksy. She is today’s guest blogger and makes the prettiest book covers and miniatures for dolls’ houses that can be found her 2 etsy shops.
I’ll let her tell you a little about herself and her shops:
Tell us a bit about you
I am in my early sixties now, the Mother of two grown up children and I have one 3 year old grandson.
How did you decide on the name for your shop?
My surname is Woosey and I wanted to use the “Woo” part in my shop name. I tried various combinations of words but decided on Whimsy because I though it suited the fabrics I use and went well with Woo. So Whimsy Woo Designs was born.
How long has your shop been open and why did you start?
My Etsy shop has been open since May 2011 but my Folksy shop opened a few months earlier in January 2011. I needed a creative outlet for my sewing and the amount of fabrics I had stashed.
What is your favourite item in your shop at the moment?
Currently this is my favourite item: It’s a large Bible or Book Cover made from a gorgeous piece of green and gold vintage kimono silk from Japan.
What made you start?
I have always loved fabrics and find I can’t resist beautiful and unusual ones. When I was quite young, under 10 years old, my Granny taught me to sew book covers for my school books. These used to have carry handles. I always loved making them but over the years I have evolved them. They are more popular now without the handles and have an elastic loop and button fastening.
About 5 years ago I thought I would make some as Christmas presents for friends and family. They were a great hit and I needed something to do which was creative. My job in accountancy was becoming more and more frustrating and I needed to do something else to relax. My daughter suggested selling on Folksy and I soon discovered Etsy as well and after 2 years I was able to give up my accountancy job and concentrate on Whimsy Woo Designs.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My original inspiration for sewing and crafts definitely comes from my Granny who was a trained milliner in her youth. Now my inspiration comes from beautiful fabrics which are created in the United Kingdom if possible, especially Harris Tweed. The tweed comes in all sorts of bright colours and is very contemporary. One I especially like is this Pink Harris Tweed.
I also love Art Nouveau and vintage designs. I have managed to find several vintage fabrics from around the world over the last few years. I especially love vintage kimono fabrics from Japan. The warehouses in Tokyo and Kyoto have many bolts of silk and yukata cotton fabrics which have been stored for 40 to 50 years. These are unused and have the most beautiful patterns and pictures on them. I tend to buy fabrics which I like myself because I know I will enjoy sewing them.
What do you love the most about running your own business?
The best thing is being my own boss. If I want to spend all day in my pyjamas, just pottering around my craft room, then I can do. It gives you an enormous amount of freedom.
What do you love the least?
My least favourite thing is editing my photos and putting listings on my websites. I would far rather be sewing or choosing fabrics.
What other things do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I love to read. I can always find a little time to read, even if it is only a few pages a day.
I also love dolls’ house miniatures and hand stitch miniature rugs and carpets. Some of these are for sale in my other Etsy shop, Whimsey Woo Miniatures along with other miniature textiles I have made. I have my own 4 storey dolls’ house which I am slowly decorating and filling with furniture and rugs.
As my husband is now retired and my Etsy shops are not as busy in summer time we take the opportunity to get away as often as possible in our motorhome. We love to go to Scotland and across to Europe. My favourite places to stay are in the mountains and I also find time when travelling to look out for more fabrics for my book covers.
What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?
The best advice I can think of is to take the best photographs you can of your craftwork. Remember if you are selling on the internet then the customer can only judge by the pictures. They can’t pick the items up to look and feel them. And do make something you enjoy doing.
Thank you, Shirley!
You can find Shirley and Whimsey Woo Designs here:
Is it *that* time of year already? Time to think about Halloween Items in my etsy shop! I guess so….
So what do I have for Halloween? I have Trick or Treat Bags! Whichever you prefer – cotton tote bags, or crocheted cotton bags… take your pick! Either are perfect for your scariest or prettiest toddler to take out trick or treating. The large crocheted Frankenstein one is often used as a book bag too! These have been very popular the last couple of years! If you’d like one, check out the photos, there are links to each one in my etsy shop at the bottom of the photos.
Pick your favourite and tell me why in the comments!
I’ve been making some scarf camera straps and they have been quite popular – I have had 1 buyer buy 3! They are very comfortable and I either buy square scarves and sew them into a rectangle, or find long scarves in local charity shops and use them. Most are adjustable, I haven’t found many scarves that aren’t long enough!
Many are OOAK (One of a kind), so once they are sold, that’s it for that scarf strap. Some of the straps in the photos have already sold…. but you’ll find more in my Etsy Shop, I’ll try to add a couple more every week. Each scarf Camera Strap has swivel lobster clasps to attach to your camera and a slider so you can adjust hte length of your strap. The seams are all triple stitched, and there are 3 rows at the ends of the scarves and then the denim or twill covers are also triple stitched on top.
I haven’t added a recipe in a while…. but here goes! lol Son and I made this for breakfast today. We decided not to make it sweet so only added a little sugar to the fruit. (And yes, as usual, the photo was taken after we ate!)
I used frozen fruit from last summer, and let it defrost a little before cooking it.
Blackberry & Rhubarb Cobbler
450g rhubarb, cut into pieces 3/4″ long
75g white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
3 tbsp water
330g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
milk to make up to 250ml with the eggs
Put the fruit, sugar, spices into a pot and cook on med. heat until the mixture comes to a boil and the rhubarb just starts to fall apart. Mix the cornflour and water together then stir into the fruit — you might not need all of it depending on the water content of the fruit. Turn down to low, and simmer for 3 minutes while stirring, then turn off the heat.
Mix the dry ingredients together, then cut the butter into the mix. Crack the eggs into a glass measuring cup, then pour in enough milk to make it up to 250ml. Whisk together, then stir into the dry mix. You should have a thick, sticky dough.
Pour the fruit into a 9″x 13″baking pan, then spoon the cobbler mix on top, there should be space in between for the fruit to bubble up.
Bake at 190’C (375’C) for 15-20 minutes or until the cobbler mix is lightly browned. Eat warm as is, or pour on a little cream…
I’ve seen Jennifer Dodd AKA “Fairy Fountain Gifts” posting on UK Etsy Facebook groups for a little while, but somehow we ended up getting to know each other a little better than others on FB Etsy pages. I can’t *quite* remember how…. Her shops are Fairy Fountain Gifts and Fairy Fountain Kids She makes cute and affordable costume jewellery for adults and children over 3.
She often helps out other etsy shop owners with advice and suggestions on how to improve their shops, and I have in the past as well…. (see my posts on Product Photography)
She ordered some camera buddies and scarf camera straps from me and left some lovely reviews on Etsy, and I finally got the chance to order from her recently.
My son is finishing up in Year 2 (Grade 2) and is leaving his school to go to a new school for Year 3 instead of moving over to the Junior School at his current one. We had talked about getting a little gift for his friends at the end of the year and when I saw Jenn’s Mermaid/Dragon Keyrings on Facebook, I knew that was what we wanted. I showed them to son, who loved them too.
So, I contacted Jenn and let her know I’d be placing an order for them in a few weeks…. and we sorted out who would be getting one – just a few friends or the whole year? When son got to 23 out of 29 names….. we went with ‘everyone’🙂 We decided that boys would get the dragons and girls the mermaids with initials as well. Son got to pick which colour scale each child would get.
I didn’t place the order through Etsy, but with Jennifer directly and paid through paypal, so I can’t leave her a review…. she’ll have to be happy with this blog post!
I ended up making a spreadsheet for Jennifer on google docs and then sharing it with her, as with a dozen colours of scales to choose from, and 30 kids with different initials… it was complicated! She didn’t get a single colour/initial wrong out of 30, and even put son’s in a different and ‘fancy’ organza bag for him, which he loved.
I gave a deadline for a week before we absolutely had to have them, and Jenn had them made and sent to me by the day I gave her. Each was attached to a small backing card with either ‘Dragon King’ or “Mermaid Bestie’ on it and in a little organza bag. I popped them in a small brown kraft paper envelope and wrote out the child’s name and a short message from son on them.
The first girl who got one said “I don’t think we are supposed to open them now, but wait ’til after school.” Everyone immediately started to rip open the envelopes! I was immediately inundated with requests to put them on school bags, and then the children realised that the scale colours were different and much comparing and querying of “What colour is this? What colour did you get? OOOH, I got xx colour!” started up… Several children didn’t want them on their school bags “They are too special, I don’t want to lose it”. Over the next few days most of the parents let me know that their kids loved their special keychains and planned on keeping them ‘forever’. One mum told me her daughter was ‘over the moon’ and another that her son wasn’t going to use it as it was too special’!
She kept me up to date about waiting for some initials to arrive and let us update the scale colour choices when she got some new colours in as well. I don’t know what the favourite colour ended up being – we picked Green, Blue, Red-Rainbow, Opal, Gold, Hot Pink and Red/Gold so there was lots of variation!
I would recommend Fairy Fountain Gifts whole-heartedly for the great selection of items – many of them themed – along with the excellent workmanship and superb customer service Jennifer gives.