I recently sent out 5 keepsake cushions made from old T-shirts for a client. They were pretty ratty and well-worn and made quite large ones – 3 -24″ and 2 – 22″ keepsake cushions.
I sent out the cushions in 3 shipments, due to the size of the cushions, and the combined weight. On last Monday, I sent the last 2 out. I send all of them by Special Delivery or by Courier if they are over 3KG (which they may very well be by the time I box them up).
On Wednesday, I heard a knock on the door about 10AM. It was a delivery driver with a bouquet of flowers, addressed to me. When I opened the card, it was from my client! She thanked me for the keepsake cushions on behalf of her family. It was a lovely bouquet of peach roses, hot pink gerberas, nigellas, and…
This is a guest blog post from Heather Barber from Moosethemint on Etsy. She offers quirky eco-friendly gifts she makes from upcycled materials. Her guest blog post today is a Cord Necklace Tutorial. She recently made one for me for my ill-fated attempts at buying a blue agate pendant….
Cord Necklace Tutorial
1. Gather your tools – 2 set of pliers, scissors, ruler. Tools
2. And your equipment – wax coated cotton cord, 2 jump rings, 2 cord ends, 1 lobster
clasp and whatever you are going to put on the cord – I’m using a music pendant.
Cord and findings
3. There are a variety of different kinds of cord ends, often called bead caps, and
these ones have 2 fold over ends like a tri-fold wallet.
4. Cut the cord to a suitable length, I normally go for 18 inches. The cord is easy to cut with…
I had a little break from blogging, but now I’m back and the first post is a Guest Blog Post by Anne-Marie , AKA Handmade With Love Designs. I love her work, the stamped bookmark she made from an old spoon for my son is gorgeous, and he loves it. Take it away, Anne-Marie!
I’m Anne-Marie Wainwright, aged 30. Ive got 2 kids (2 natural, one step daughter) and my amazing husband. I’ve been crafting all my life and finally found something I have a passion for – metalwork.
I decided on my business name “Handmade With Love Designs” because my mother-in-law used to make and bake with the kids and she said to them – “that was handmade with love.” The name had meaning in more ways than one and it felt right.
I started jewellery making after my M-I-L passed away. The kids had this idea to make the nurses a bracelet to say ‘thank you’, they loved them and suggested fundraising. That lead to a year of raising money for Macmillan, and a new love for making jewellery. I enjoyed the making so much I decided to do it full time. I’ve always crafted with my Nanna, and after the fundraising I just wanted to continue, I found something I loved and that I could do around my kids.
My shop has been going for 5 years almost, but the stamping had been for around 4 years. My absolute favourite item to make has to be my book keyrings, they are so sweet and can be fully personalised. I take inspiration from everywhere, I take things I see and hear and try and make them come alive. My Nan was telling me about Ivy climbing up her walls, so I googled ivy and know it represents close families, so I hand-cut some ivy leaves and made a pendant.
As my own boss, I love being able to wear my Pj’s, I love getting dressed up too, but doing it for work on a daily basis is exhausting. Its nice to sit in my Onesie and work away with the music blaring. However doing my accounts and admin has to be the least favourite aspect of running my own business – it’s so laborious and tedious, but it has to be done.
When I’m not working on my business, I craft a lot with my daughter Courtney, she is my mini-me in every way, completely craft obsessed. I like experimenting with hair colours, and love going for long walks in the summer.
If you would like to start your own handmade business — RESEARCH!!! Check everything, quality of materials, new suppliers, Legalities & Laws around what you plan to do. Look into trademarks and copyright and see if will affect you.
Read consumer contract regulations and make sure you’re 100% complying with laws.
Then go for it, build your business slowly and steadily.
On WI visits, a question which always gets asked is “what’s the best way to stop clothes moths?” As yarn is a prime target for moths and I need it in perfect condition to sell, this is what I’ve learnt over the years from pest control experts, other shopkeepers and the internet.
A dreaded clothes moth CC BY-SA 3.0 by Aiwok
In the UK there are three main culprits who chomp away at your natural fibres: common (aka webbing) clothes moths, case-making clothes moths and carpet beetles. The adults themselves do not eat yarn but they lay eggs on it and when those eggs hatch, the larvae do the damage. The warmer months – May to September – are prime moth season but due to central heating and mild winters, they can now party all year in your cupboards. Their lifecycles are flexible, and can completed within a month…
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…
Do you believe the news stories about how if you want to keep your high street shops open, shop local? Or how shopping in independents puts money back into the local economy? Perhaps the message without the maths to back it up makes it all sounds a bit wishy-washy. So here goes, a real-life example with data from this independent wool shop.
The Sheep Shop is an award-winning LYS (local yarn store) which had its fifth birthday in November. Last year we took £60,500. The annual cost for rent, gas, electric, water, phone, broadband, insurance, alarm maintenance, heater maintenance, fire extinguisher checks, not one but two licenses to play music on the radio, waste disposal, web hosting costs, sundries like till rolls, printer ink, loo rolls and teabags, carrier bags, window cleans, anti-moth systems, occasional repair costs or new shop fixtures, card processing fees, card machine rental, business membership…
One of the items that sold well this Christmas was my Faux Mohair Wraps that come in 3 colours. I had one person buy one in Lilac with a rush fee added on, and someone else ordered 11 for her bridesmaids at her New Years’ Eve Wedding…
These are upcycled from Mohair Throws, and I blanket stitch the edges with embroidery thread. This isn’t fast….. lol and i have to do it standing up at my ironing board so I don’t kill my back, and even then I put boxes on top of it.
Luckily DMC do the perfect lilac and tan colour and Anchor do the grey, so the thread matches. I still have a few left in each colour, and have 1 that is a little narrower than the others at 12″ instead of 15″ – it will be in my etsy shop soon!
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!
Doubled up Cowl
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.
Here is another Guest Blog Post, this time from Becci Gott from Bumblebee Lane Crafts on Etsy. She’s written a great post on how to decoupage a mannequin head – I think this would be a great craft to do with old books or vintage comics!
Decoupaged Head Tutorial
This tutorial has been a long time in the planning – I took the photos over a year ago with every intention of writing this up over the following weeks. Life always takes over though and it wasn’t until Denise asked about guest bloggers that it gave me a proper kick up the bum to get it all written.
First, I feel like I should introduce myself. I am Becci from Bumblebee Lane bumblebeelanecrafts.etsy.com) and I often feel like crafting is in my blood. In my first memory of my best friend, we were about 3 years old and…
I went yesterday to London just to see the poppies at the Tower of London. I had seen a lot of press and photos of them, but seeing them in person blew them all away. The sheer size of the moat, the number of poppies, and the number of people there to see them was completely humbling.
I realised that I was going to be a while when I got off the Tube – along with several hundred others; the train left almost completely empty from Tower Hill station. We started to go up to the street and there were people calling out to go left outside the station if you want to see the poppies. We all did.
Outside Tower Hill Station
I could see hoardings all along the road and a lot of construction as well. The first thing I saw was the Shard, then…