About Me

My photo
North West, United Kingdom
I am keen crafter, with a particular fondness for pearls and all things shiny and a dream that one day I might just own that little shop I've always wanted to run. I am forever making something whether it's some cards, jewellery or something knitted... the devil makes work for idle hands, but mine are rarely idle!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Branching out

I haven't managed to blog for a little while - things have been a little crazy lately and may continue to be so for a little while longer. Hopefully, normal service will resume soon. I should have posted this sooner, but better late than never.....

With my Folksy shop doing nicely, I've taken the plunge and set up another shop online. I now have a MISI shop. At the moment there is not a vast amount of stock, but I shall add more as I sell items and get a feel for what the customers of MISI like. Some of the stock in my MISI shop is the same as in my Folksy shop, but many items will be unique to each site, so it is worth checking them both out.

Just some of the jewellery delights available in my MISI shop:

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

My mission continues

I am keeping up with my mission to use my craft stash up. My latest creation is the bracelet pictured above. It is made with faceted Rose quartz rectangles, Aquamarine gemstone chips and freshwater pearls. The fastening is a heart-shaped mother of pearl button - I do like my button fastenings! This is such a pretty little bracelet and is available to purchase in my Folksy shop. I am sure you agree this would be a lovely gift for Mother's Day, or indeed any day!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Craft Stash Mission

Like most crafters I hoard and my craft stash is pretty impressive - my little craft room is full of beads, material, wool and paper. I know I should try to buy only what I need, but I see something pretty and have to buy it just in case, despite it's attraction, I forget about it or it's no longer available when I finally think up a project to use it in. As a result my craft stash is taking over. My husband has even noticed the amount I have stashed and he's right - I really should use it up before I buy anymore.

So, I'm on a mission to use up my stash....... then I can buy more! At the moment the first stage of my mission is to use up as much of my bead stash as I can. I've been raiding my gemstone box and have made several items using up gemstones.

Carnelian and Pearl Choker and Earrings:
(available in my newly opened MISI shop - post about this to come!)

Lapis Lazuli, white glass and red seed bead Necklace and earrings:
I'm really pleased with how they all turned out, particulary the bracelet using rose quartz, lapis lazuli and turquoise. I'm also pleased with how I managed to create so many items from my bead stash and not another new purchase in sight! I almost think I deserve to make a new craft purchase, but that would slightly defeat the object of my mission! Rest assured, though, I will be making some new craft purchases, but only when I have made a little more room.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Embracing t'internet

Those that do handmade are no longer only to be found in a dusty hall somewhere on a Saturday trying to sell their wares at a Craft Fair or selling their creations through various outlets that charge them commission. No, serious crafters are taking control and are to be found on t’internet. I’m embracing the use of technology and haven’t stopped with just this blog. Although, there is the time commitment – thime I could be spending crafting – I am not only enjoying exploring different avenues for promoting and developing my craft, but am learning new things all the time. To mine and my husband's utter amazement I am even beginning to pick up a bit of html coding as I build my online presence, which will stand me in good stead in the future when I hope to create my own website.

So, where can you find Concept Design Form?

The first online outlet for me was Folksy, which gave me an opportunity to launch a shop, without the hassle of trying to build my own website from scratch. It's easy to add stock and edit listings and has given me a place to sell my creations. Not only that, but the Folksy forum is providing me with an opportunity to chat with other crafters. If you register on Folksy, add Concept Design Form to your favourite shops, then you can easily find me when you need to buy a treat. If you are a crafter and you are not on Folksy, why not open a shop?

Flickr enables many artists and crafters to have an online portfolio of work that can be updated and organised easily. Images can be made public and so the potential for your work to be seen is vast. In some ways it is like a pictorial blog - where the images take first place. Viewers can also comment on images and so it can serve as an excellent way to gain feedback. If you are on Flickr, add me as a contact and you can check for new images more easily.

Facebook Page
I've only recently started a Facebook page. It is yet another avenue to promote my work. The pages are much like the regular profile pages giving opportunity for sharing photographs, posting links and sharing that latest news. If you are on Facebook, feel free to become a fan of my page and keep up to date with the latest creations at Concept Design Form.

It is rather odd blatantly trying to flog what I make and promoting myself. I am trying to balance this with providing help to others and helping to promote other people's work too. Sometimes, I also think it's rather odd how much we interact with people virtually, yet in the real world many people pass each other without even so much as a sideways glance. Real face to face interaction would be good, but unless I win the lottery or somehow muster up the revenue to open that little shop I keep dreaming about, I'll have to stick with the virtual world.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Buying Handmade Wedding Stationery

Many brides love the look of handmade stationery, but lack either the time or craft skills to embark on making their own wedding stationery. So if the idea of getting crafty yourself fills you with dread, or you simply don't have the time, the perfect alternative is to buy handmade - all the charm of a handcrafted invitation without the hassle of wrestling with card, glitter and glue.

There are a whole host of creative people out there catering to the wedding stationery market. Folksy boasts a 'Wedding' section and amongst all the handmade jewellery, there are several crafty bods selling handmade wedding stationery.

Here are two sellers I've found on Folksy:

Alternatively, to give you some creative control and perhaps save some money, you could purchase handmade cards that are blank inside and create your own insert with the invitation details. I sell handmade cards in my Foksy shop that are without inserts, giving people the opportunity to create their own invitations for special occassions.

Before you invest your money in the whole stationery range, it is worth seeing some samples to check the quality and design. As handmade items are generally made to order, if you want a design changing in some way, ask. The beauty of handmade is that it can be change and made to be even more unique.