Thursday, November 25, 2010

Colour - the CIBJO colour scale

These tables are part of the CIBJO rules and are based on
the master stones officially recognised on 27th April 1978.
For comparison the G.I.A. terms are also shown

Under 0.47ct 0.47ct and over G.I.A
Exceptional
White Exceptional White +
Exceptional White D
E
Rare White
Rare White +
Rare White F
G
White White H
Slightly Tinted White Slightly Tinted White I
Slightly Tinted White J I
J
Tinted White Tinted White K
Tinted White L K
L
Tinted Colour Tinted Colour M
Z
Fancy Diamond Fancy Diamond Fancy

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From Malaysia to London, an unique journey

Let's meet a jewelry artist called Yue, she comes from Malyasia and moved to England 8 years ago. She is also a scientist.


- How did you get started ?
I has always been creative and enjoy crafting since I was a child. I love making jewellery for my friends and family, and they always said I should try to sell these. That's why I started my business online.

- Where are you from?
I was born and grown up in Malaysia, then I moved to England 8 years ago where I started my inspiring journey in jewellery making. I now settle in London for my study, nothing artistic but science.
- Are your creations limited editions or unique?
All my creations are unique, it's still different even with the same design and I intend to design my works to last for a lifetime.

- what is your brand about?
Yue means 'moon' in English, it always represents mystery, beauty, romance and love. I hope that my design reflects the meaning of moon and it can last a lifetime so I love working with gemstones, pearls and sterling silver.

- What inspires you?
Many things, like walking down a path and see lovely flowers hanging in the sky, reading through some inspiring jewellery making magazines and looking at websites from other talented makers.

- How do you promote your work?
Business cards, Facebook and twitter.

- Where are you showing your work?
My online shop.

- any special promos?
Everything from my shop are beautifully gift-wrapped and shipped free of charge in UK mainland.

- favorite websites?
A picture gallery and search engine for all handmade jewellery in Japan: www.bijouxsearch.com

Yue's site http://www.yuethejewelry.com

- Anything else you'd like to add?
My blog  http://yuehandicrafts.blogspot.com is a journal of all my life so it reflects my recent interest in baking and you will find lovely and delicious recipes for cakes from my blog.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Little Wren Pottery by Victoria

Come and meet Victoria, owner of Little Wren Pottery


- How did you get started? - My Dad was originally a potter years and years ago. I myself was keen to learn and he recommended that I attend a night class since he wasn't keen on teaching me himself. I did learn a lot at the class but I got to a point where I was wanting to do my own thing, it was then we started working at home.
- Where are you from? - I currently live in Sunderland in the North East of England. Which isn't currently renowned for its crafts but at one time was home to over 20 potteries.

- Are your creations limited editions or unique? - Each piece I make is unique in one way or another. Its unlikely you'd get two hand thrown pieces the same. I've recently started work on a couple of pottery ranges which will hopefully be introduced for Christmas.

- When did you start your practice? - I started just over a year ago, which in the grand scheme of things isn't very long at all.

- Any favourite suppliers for your materials? - In our area there's only one place to buy supplies from and thats from Bill Todd in County Durham. I usually buy potclays or potterycrafts supplies, the quality of their products are quite high even though it can be a little expensive.

- Are you a professional artist or is this a hobby? - A little bit of both, even though its something I do part time I try to be professional about it. I'd hope one day that I might be able to earn at least enough money to pay the bills.

- what is your brand about? - I tend to focus on the rustic nature of pottery, I prefer to use natural colours and imagery to bring the outdoors inside. I also like to focus on the balance between quality and affordability, I don't think people should pay over the odds for a handmade product.

- What inspires you? - I really like going to museums and looking at old ancient pottery, I often think these older forms are in some ways more attractive than our modern ones. I also get inspiration from nature, I spend a lot of time out in the garden when I'm not potting and sometimes animals make it onto mu pots.

- What is your favourite piece ? - Its tough to choose since its always changing but at the moment I really love this large ornate red bowl.

- How do you promote your work? - I spend time promoting myself on my blog, other peoples blogs, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter. Even though its questionable the impact Twitter has I do love it and people get to know me through it.

- Where are you showing your work? - This has been the first summer I've actually attended craft fairs. It was a huge learning curve for me, selling in person is a whole different challenge to selling online. In the run up to Christmas I'll be attending Guisborough craft fair on December 11th.

- If you look back in ten years time, what do you hope to have achieved? - I just hope to get better at throwing. Part of being in ceramics is looking at continual improvement in all areas of what you do, from shaping a lump of clay on the wheel to packing it up and shipping out the orders. My aim for the previous year was to make double the sales I had in the previous year and things seem to be going well on that front at the moment!

- What advice you wish someone had told you when you started? - That I'd actually spend proportionately more time doing administration tasks than actual making. Marketing and stocktaking take up a huge amount of time but these things just have to get done to keep the wheels turning.

- Do you have any advice for fellow artists and designers? - Its important just to keep going but look for improvement everywhere it can be made. Improvement of your skills, your materials, photos, packing orders, keeping stock of whats going on.

- Did you ever think when you were young that you would be where you are now? - No I didn't! When I was young I had other aspirations in life but I've always been a creative person and thats something which has featured continuously through my life.

- any special promos? - I quite often host giveaways on my blog usually roughly quarterly, my next one will be in January. I also occasionally have discount sales and sell pottery seconds.

- what would you like to be when you grow up? - I'd like to be a potter!

- favorite jeweller? - Lazy Giraffe http://www.lazygiraffe.etsy.com/

- favorite websites? - Mostly foodie ones! http://www.smittenkitchen.com, http://www.lottieanddoof.com, http://www.sprinklebakes.com

- Anything else you'd like to add? I'd love to get to know you on twitter you can add me at http://www.twitter.com/MoominMidge

To discover more about Victoria Baker, visit her site - http://www.littlewrenpottery.co.uk
It also features some wonderful recipes worth a try, and wonderful pictures.

Monday, July 12, 2010

madamaRobe - Mrs Stuff from Verona

This is 
Roberta, who comes from Verona in Italy . 
Her brand is madamaRobe
, which should be written with an "accent grave" and a capital letter in the word Robe, which I believe means Mrs Stuff, who makes colorful and whimsical jewelry.


Bonjiourno Signorina.


- How did you get started? I'm always been a creative person but in a particular period of my life my creativity showed to me that I can be who I want and do what I want in my life. My creativity is a blessing in my life. 

- Are your creations limited editions or unique? My creations are unique, if someone ask me a copy I can do it but..it's always different!
- When did you start jewelry and beading? Two years ago.
- Where do you get your materials from? Beads shops everywhere, when I travel I usually find a beads shop... :), Internet, art shop and when I visit creative fairs I buy there too. I only buy high quality materials. When I'm choosing I think to my future creations...Creativity is seeing something that doesn't exist already.  I use only high quality materials and I put a lot of love and care in my creations...I think I have good prices :)
- Which one is your favorite? I love Polymer clays, Murano glass beads and lucite beads but polymer clay I think is a magic material! 
- Are you a professional artist or is this a hobby? I'm trying to become a professional artist, it's hard, there is a lot of work to do but it's what I want to be.
- What inspires you? Colors, art, fairy tales, pictures, ideas when I'm walking, travels, nature.

- What is your favorite piece ? Oooh it's a difficult question! I love all my creations! Well, it's a necklace...I consider it quite special because last year I was visiting a literature festival and I met Sophie Kinsella and she said: "What a beautiful necklace!" I was so flattered!

- How do you promote your work? Facebook, blogs, business cards.
- Where are you showing your work? On the Internet.
- Do you have any advice for fellow artists? I think it's important to believe in our dreams and be sincere with ourselves. It's important working hard and don't give up. Edward de Bono said: "Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting." 


- what would you like to be when you grow up? I'd like to see madamaRobe  as a great and famous brand.

 I'm pleased to be featured on tour blog. Thank you very much. 



Ciao ciao
To know more about Roberta and discover her new products, visit the website: http://www.madamarobe.com 
and her  Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/madamaRobe
Facbook page : http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/madamaRobe/131972730164372?ref=ts

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tea Cosy for Mad Tea Parties

Let's meet a talented UK designer. Her name is Ann McGuinness, she is great with needles and for creating fun, funky and adorable home accessories. She has accepted to answer our little questions for us.

- Bonjour Ann, tell us, how did you get started ?
I have been crafting in one way or another since I was very small, and everyone always said "you should try to sell these" The internet is a great tool for people just starting out, so without much in the way of investment I was able to open an etsy shop as an outlet for my crafting tendencies. I all moved on from there.

- Where are you from?
From Glasgow, Scotland originally but now settled in a tiny village about 25 miles to the south, in rural Lanarkshire. A whole different world to the busy city I grew up in.

- Are your creations limited editions or unique?
Everything I make is one of a kind, as it is all hand-knitted, hand-cut, hand-stitched, etc. Even 2 tea cosies will never be identical, the wool I use is not highly processed and the beauty is that the colours and textures differ from one ball to the next.

- When did you start knitting?

My Mum taught me to knit when I was about 8 I think, but I picked up the needles again when I was pregnant, around 4 years ago and it is only since then that I have followed patterns and learned fancy stitches.

- Where do you get your yarns?
All the yarn I use comes from New Lanark Woolen Mill, which is a water powered victorian mill on the banks of the Clyde. New Lanark itself is a world heritage site... well worth a visit if you are ever in Central Scotland.

- Which one is your favorite?
I love working with the pinks and purples, I just love the way the wool takes on the dye.

- Are you a professional artist or is this a hobby?
My crafts are my income, I also run our 'mini-holding' and home educate our daughter so I am a busy lady.... I guess 'artist' is one of my professions.

- What inspires you?

Walks in the woods, flowers in bloom (my sweet peas have just come out now... I just love the colours) I also love a cosy home and I get lots of ideas from looking at magazines and websites about homes around the world.

- What is your favorite piece and why?
I love my tea-cosies, they are chunky and cosy and I love the way they come together.... needless to say I have a few myself.

- How do you promote your work?
I use facebook and twitter, I have my blog and have give-aways occasionally, I try to keep active in relevant on-line forums (especially on Etsy) but there are only so many hours in the day...lol. In real life I hand out my business card and talk to people about my crafts and any fairs I might have coming up.

- Where are you showing your work?
At the moment, on-line - on my own website and at etsy. I have some interest from gift shops, so that is something I hope to move into soon.

- What advice you wish someone had told you when you started?
Keep active, make friends with the on-line crafting community and work on your presentation.

- Do you have any advice for fellow artists?
Keep on keeping on. Don't get disheartened by lack of sales and always consider how you can improve your product.

- any special promos?
Everything from Snowdrops and Daisies comes gift wrapped and can be delivered directly to the recipient. I occasionally have give-aways and special offers through my blog so check in there for offers and promos http://snowdropsanddaisies.wordpress.com/blog

- what would you like to be when you grow up ?
Content and happy :).... or maybe an astronaut.

- favorite jeweller ?
Alibali - just love her style.

- favorite websites ?
Design sponge  I could just spend hours flicking through the pages here.
Etsy, of course, amazing range of handcrafted work from artisans around the world.

- Anything else you'd like to add?
I have recently re-opened my shop after a harsh time with some very naughty builders. I am getting back into the swing of things but sadly my home has been destroyed and I have a long slog ahead of me to get it sorted out. Selling boosts my confidence a lot and knitting really helps calm me down.... now, if I could just find my sewing machine and work table I could get making my new ranges... :)

- Her site www.snowdropsanddaisies.com
- her blog http://snowdropsanddaisies.wordpress.com/blog/

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Top 50 Etsy moms

50 Best Etsy Moms

As reported on Babble.com

Etsy.com is a booming hub for artists all around the world to sell their handmade products, consequently creating a community bursting with creativity and ingenuity. It’s a place to find unique treasures that directly supports some of the most talented individuals and their crafts. Not surprisingly, many of these artists, dreamers, designers and builders are moms like us. They’re balancing the day-to-day parenting responsibilities — sometimes with another day job, sometimes as a single mom — while still squeezing in time for their growing business. (This is where naps and bed times come in handy.) And they’re not just doing it for the money; they’re utilizing this creative outlet while teaching
their children the value of artistry, resourcefulness and determination.
We sifted through thousands of these talented moms to find our favorite 50 of the bunch. (Not an easy feat, you can imagine.) What we love about Etsy moms is the fact that, besides being exceptionally talented and busy, they all create products inspired by a mother’s own needs and wants. That’s why so many of these shops feature affordable, safe and stylish alternatives inspired by motherhood.
Although our picks span dozens of different categories, cultures and time zones, there were overwhelming similarities between the moms. The vast majority described their skills and insatiable need to create as being passed down through the family tree — one generation patiently teaching the next. Even more similarly, each and every one — whether they’ve been crafting for 3 or 30 years — pinpointed their children as inspiration. Often it was the desire to work from home while raising the kids; sometimes a need for better, safer products for their children; and many times it was a dream resurrected from the innocent imagination unfolding before them. Regardless, these moms are all motivated by their children, who in turn will be inspired by their mothers.

Of course it’s nearly impossible to find every talented Etsy mom, so we encourage you to share your favorites and, of course, support these striking talents.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Business Management - tips

A few tips from Michelle Blakeley
Small business management is a delicate balance of planning, action and intrinsic perspective. With minimal resources, time and money must be spent wisely. Business fundamentals must be incorporated at all times. Below are 7 "best practice” seeds to plant. When watered (acted upon), they will help your business grow.
  1. Be clear about what need your business fulfills – Just because you have business cards and your sign says "open,” doesn’t’ mean you have a sale. Be clear about how your product or service helps or benefits someone. We have so many choices these days and people are savvier than ever about how and where they spend their money. Make sure you have something of real value and use and be ready to explain why and how it makes life easier or better.
  2. Know where to find your ideal clients and how to communicate with them. It doesn’t make much sense to have the perfect product or service for pilots who fly charter planes if you are spending your time connecting and marketing to them on Facebook or Myspace. You have to know where to find your ideal clients and how to communicate with them. Too many small business owners are still marketing to "everyone” or the "general public.” It can quickly kill a business.  Refine your target market and define your ideal client.
  3. Have a clear, concise and consistent marketing message – Do potential clients know what you do based on the information on your business card, website, social network profile? What is your elevator pitch? Do you have one? Can you clearly define your business AND its benefit in 30 seconds? You never know when an opportunity will arise or when you will spontaneously be in the presence of your biggest client. Always be prepared to explain what you do, how you do it, why you do it and what’s the benefit.
  4. Take inventory of your existing resources – Small business owners are in constant "I need” and "If only I had” mode. The truth is, often times what you need is already in your bag of resources. You had a life before you started your business and you have colleagues, friends and family. Always be sure you check your sphere of influence for your needs first before looking outside. The people that already know you are your greatest asset. If you need clients, tell them first. If you have a sale or promotion, tell them first. If you need help, tell them first.
  5. Have a functional system in place – As a small business owner, you probably can’t afford to get sick or take long vacations. Which is why it is vital that you have functional systems in place that will minimize unexpected absences and the need for damage control. You should document your processes. When your business is streamlined and you have systems in place, it reduces chaos and stress on bad days, missed days and sick days. It also makes it easier for someone to come in and "follow along” when help is needed.
  6. Communicate with your clients… often – Many small business owners spend an inappropriate amount of time generating new clients. This time and energy is better spent if you focus on cultivating relationships with your existing clients. How many of your existing clients are "repeat customers?” If your "new clients” outweigh your "repeat clients,” you have a problem. Repeat clients are the ones who are singing your praises to their friends and family. Word of mouth advertising is priceless. Repeat clients are the ones who will continue to patronize you out of loyalty through price changes, varied economic climates, and a bad day. Yes, you need to engage new clients, but your existing clients are your foundation.
  7. Stay ahead of the curve – The best way to stay ahead of the curve is to continue to educate yourself in all areas of your business and industry. You also want to keep your finger on the pulse of your clients’ needs. Clients’ needs change with the wind and the quicker you can adapt to the changes (while maintaining the integrity and purpose of your business) the better your business will be for it. Anticipate change and adapt.
Michelle Blakeley is the Founder and CEO of Simplicity, Inc.; a progressive small business development firm. She manages her clients’ business expectations and prevents information overload via Micro Business Therapy™ and Micro Business Action Plans. She is featured in Forbes.com and the Financial Post as one of 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter, contributor for the San Francisco Examiner, the host of Simple Truths for Women Entrepreneurson BlogTalkRadio.com and author of the NEW e-book: "Get it Right and Move Along… a collection of practical tips, tools and techniques for small business owners.”

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What to wear...


youv_gotmail
Originally uploaded by kalicat_designs
... to go to the post office

V neck tight fitting sky grey dress, Diva red lipstick and nail polish,
styles with elegance by the addition of soem jewels: a statement necklace and bracelets

Monday, April 19, 2010

featured - Ice dreams

Featured product of the day on Dawanda
Ice Dreams was born from very thin sterling silver wire with rock crystal gesmtones, inspired by melting ice cubes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dotty blue ring

A new addition to the Dotty range of jewellery, with the Dotty ring

This cute little ring is 2 mm wide, with a flat sterling silver band, that has a satin textured finish.
It features 3 little dots of turquoise cabochons, that are the perfect complement to the Dotty blue earrings.
Ideal to wear everyday, this hand crafted band is available at http://en.dawanda.com/product/9343346-Dotty-Blue-turquoise-silver-ring

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not an April Fool

Time to try winning some jewelry, curtesy of Skepti,
at http://urbannaturalhistory.blogspot.com/



a little bit more about this creative:
"
Since a very young age my primary interests have been the natural sciences and art.
They are intimately connected in everything I do.
I have studied Fine Arts and Philosophy.

My goals:
-Get a degree in the History and Philosophy of Science.
-Learn to make my own furniture.
-Get a sewing machine.
-Do most of my traveling by bike.
-See the fossils starting from the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
-See all the plants listed in the Flore Laurentienne by Frère Marie-Victorin (founder of the Montreal Botanical Gardens).

I read voraciously, I do botanical photography, collect antique botanical illustrations, have a rather large indoor flora, and more recently have been making jewelry using vintage and recycled parts here on Etsy!

I have 3 men in my life: my amazing boyfriend and two adorable boy rats adopted from the SPCA.

I reduce, re-use and recycle - in that order!

To explore more:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EcoRetroBling
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12714842@N03/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EcoRetroBling
"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Creative wishes



1. What is your business/craft and give a summary of your handmade process.
I create handmade costume jewellery, greeting cards and other handcrafted keepsakes and gifts.

I use all manner of items to create my 'wishes', from found, reclaimed items to brand new bought raw crafting products. This allows me to offer unique pieces that are either one of a kind or are in small quantities.

I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember and have dabbled in many different crafts over the years, honestly I can’t think of a type of craft that doesn’t interest me and this can leave me feeling like time is running out, as I would love to try my hand at everything. My main stays have always been paper based crafts and more recently over the last 8+ years creating jewellery, in last 6 months I have become truly fascinated with creating wearable art and so plan to explore this avenue more in depth.

2. What event, series of events, or situations allowed you to start your business and make money with your crafts?
I am recently new to the world of selling my creations, only started Oct, 09. I have always been told by family and friends that I should turn my then hobby into a business but I finally decided to bite the bullet last year when I found myself finally a stay at home mom with a lot more time on my hands.

So I decided to put my time to good use and started creating items from my craft stock cupboard, I was accumulating items with no real plans on what to do with the finished products and so decided to open a little blogshop to flog my wares so to speak.

3. Where does your inspiration for your designs come from?
I get inspired by many different sources;
Magazines, tutorials, other crafters and designers all sometimes lead me in another direction or help me to challenge the way I would normally do things, allowing me to put my own spin on an idea.
Nature and the natural world also greatly influence the materials I use, the colours I lean to and some of my design ideas.
But most times I simply sit in front of my work table and just let my ideas come freely. I rarely draw out my designs before hand. I am though planning to create various mood boards to help me find inspiration for when I am having a crafters block moment.

4. How does your culture, upbringing, and/or environment influence your designs/crafts?

My father was an architect and my mom was an accomplished seamstress while I was growing up, I was also very lucky to have a couple relatives whose careers were art related, this along with a very supportive extended family lead me to enjoy and pursue my creative side as a youngster.

The adults from my childhood always seem to praise the individuality and uniqueness of the kids in their charge, which constantly gives me, even now, the confidence to think and create outside the box so to speak.

5. What are some of the ways you market and promote your business/Craft?
Like I said before I am new to this and so I am still finding my way in self promotion of my brand so to speak. Currently I use the following:
Blogging and all that it entails.
Twitter.
Free ad type websites.
Craft forums.
Face to face self promotion such as business cards, etc.
And this year I also plan to do a few local craft shows, school bazaars, jewellery parties, etc.

6. Do you use myspace, facebook, flickr, ning, or other social networking sites? If yes or no, why?
You can find me on Flickr, Twitter and UK Handmade ning forum. I had initially been on lots of others but found I was spending more time networking rather than creating. I am still trying to find the right balance.

Flickr - I use to show case some of my work mainly when I join groups with other creators concentrating on a specific creative topic/ medium.
Twitter - I use mainly to advertise when I add new items to my shops and to advertise me shop overall. I also use this site to let others know when I have updated my blogs and as time go on I will also use it to inform others of shows, bazaars, etc I can be found at.
UK Handmade ning based forum - is a great place for me to network with other UK based creators, its where I can share and get feedback on my ideas and make new friends with others who have similar interests.

7. Based on your experience, what advice would you give to other crafters selling or looking to start selling their crafts?
Like I said before I just started my business on a whim but when I have ran businesses before I found and experienced a steady upward growth quicker when I laid a good foundation before launching the business.

I had no experience selling online when I started and though I am learning a lot every day, I would have done better to research what it entailed before jumping in. there certainly would have been less mistakes and better uses of my time if I had followed this fundamental rule of business.

Thankfully it hasn’t cost me any loss of money the way I did it but I‘m sure it has affected some of my earning potential.

8. Aside from running your business what are some of the fun things you like to do in life?
Gardening is a big love of mine; it’s another thing I have been doing for as long as I can remember.
I also enjoy being a stay at home mom and home schooling my youngest at the moment.
Reading, long countryside walks/ bike rides (with/ without my family), dancing and hanging out with girlfriends are some of the other things I enjoy doing.

9. Please add any links here:


My store name is Kella’s Creative Wishes and…

My Blogshop is for UK shoppers: http://kellascreativewishes.blogspot.com/
I also have a store for international customers: http://kellascreativewishes.storenvy.com/

My blogs are:

http://mebutalittlebitmoreindepth.blogspot.com/ Where I blog about family life and my crafting projects.
http://kellasvegeplotandothermusings.blogspot.com/ Where I blog about my gardening exploits and growing my own food for my family.

Other places to find me are on:
Twitter.
Flickr.
UK Handmade forum.

Thank you

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Turquoise treatments


Stabilized Turquoise, what does it mean ?

STABILIZING is a treatment which enhances the hardness of the gemstone.
(it does not mean that the gemstone is dyed)

There are other different treatments available;
Among the ways of treating turquoise, treatments can include wax,staining, plastics impregnation.
Different treatments have quite an effect on quality, so the type of treatment is a very important parameter in measuring the quality of Turquoise

Friday, March 12, 2010

Suivre le fil d'Arianna

1) What is your business/craft?
I mainly do jewellery, but my crafts also include some home decor and some accessories.I use different media, so the processes involved in each type of craft are different.For my “normal”jewellery I mainly use wire-wrapping and stringing techniques with beading wire,metal wire and glass beads or semi precious stones.
For my polymer clay jewellery and home decor the process is totally different and lenghty.
It all starts with the row materials(clay) and patience.I use both the standard colours and my own blends.The clayis kneaded, rolled and then worked in different ways, depending on what you want to do.If you want to make a cane then you just keep on rolling, flattening and composing your design into a log (the cane).Then you build your item’s shape (a bead,a pendant,hair barrette or a sheet if you are covering something) and you decorate it with slices of your cane/sheet.You cure your item in the oven and then you sand it, polish it and glaze it.

2) What event, series of events, or situations allowed you to start your business and make money with your crafts?
After doing some beading and fimo to fill up the time I was spending alone at home I decided to give it a try and open my online shop. This is when I realised that I was totally addicted to making crafts, so that it was a natural development. And, just to be on the safe side, although I didn’t expect to make much money with it, I registered with the HR for peace of mind.the business was set up!

3) Where does your inspiration for your designs come from?
I take my inspiration from everything. Shapes, colours, other crafters’work or any tiny detail you can notice around.I rarely have a plan, I’m a messy crafter!Most of the time I fall for a shape or a colour and I start from there, trying until I find my way around it.

4) How does your culture, upbringing, and/or environment influence your designs/crafts?
I come from a country where attention to details is very important, So I guess this has somehow influenced me, madking me prefer simple designs with small details to give emphasys, rather then elaborated ones.My mum is a creative person too, and I guess this is my main influence.She thaught me to add your personal touch to things.

5) What are some of the ways you market and promote your business/Craft?
Lately I haven’t been promoting so much, as I’m focxused on revising my suppliers, stocking up supplies and the branding, so that I haven’t had much time to do anything else.NormSo far the most effective way to promote has been the word of mouth, I reckon. Most of my work is on custom orders, and these arrive to me through friends/friends of friends etc. Etsy tools have also been very useful, from the FB application to the simple (and debated) item re-listing and renewal. I’m planning to buy some ads (on FB or Google), but I have to fill up the shop again first!

6) Do you use myspace, facebook, flickr, ning, or other social networking sites? If yes or no, why?
I do use FB and Flickr..and UK Handmade, which I believe is a ning...?I’m not always so active lately for the reasons i explained above. fb really gets me lots of views..not sales, though.

7) Based on your experience, what advice would you give to other crafters selling or looking to start selling their crafts?
To be consistent. To set up a structure for your business before getting into it with no direction.
To set your goals, To be not so emotional about your business, but rather be clear, rational and open-minded. To observe things and people, from competitors to customers, and understand what your tools are. I’m only trying to do all this now and it is draining!Better a bit of planning ahead.And always remember that you are doing what you love, even in the lucky case you’ve transform it into a proper business.Under pressure it’s easy to forget that you love making that fiddly thing, much easier to look at it as something that now has to be done and possibly quickly. Wrong, as you’ll loose your touch, in my opinion.

8) Aside from running your business what are some of the fun things you like to do in life?
Well..lately I haven’t got much time left, as I’m employed full time and do my crafts in my “free”(!) moments... But,in a normal situation, I like to walk, going around with no destination, discovering hidden corners of London, taking pictures, visiting markets, and of course....having litres of coffee with my girlfriends!!!!

9) Visit the website www.petitechacal.com and the Blog
http://somuchlife-petitechacal.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

le LOVEBOOK

Good news!

My Hercule ring has been included in the Dawanda Lovebook, in the "Alles fuer Ihn" / everything for him section.
The dawanda lovebook is being sent to the press as part of their ongoing promotion for Spring summer 2010.

This sterling silver ring has been offered as a present for men to mark various occasions like graduation, birthdays, engagement, anniversary and also been used as a wedding ring.



Hercule is available for 105 Euros. (about $145)

Thank you Dawanda

Monday, March 8, 2010

grey Sunday...


a lovely selection in beautiful shades of sky variations
Thank you Fe by Stan for showcasing my Day and Night ring

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Perpetual necklace giveaway

A new giveaway, to win a customised pendant necklace



Click here for more information on how to win this cute little neckpiece

Monday, March 1, 2010

An angel for the arts

Affordable Original Paintings & Mixed Media Art by Artangel,
A successfully artist exhibiting in Manchester at the moment, and whose work you can see in the current issue of "Making Gifts" magazine.
Prices of work on canvas range from approx $30 to $120

The work is quite whimsical.
the artist Angie says "'m inspired a lot by nature, color and texture, and I also love working with re-cycled bits and pieces; I'm fascinated by things that already have a "history", and I love making something new with them!"

Here is a little selection
Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade
artangel.etsy.com


"I seem to be repeatedly drawn to certain subjects - particularly feathers, hearts, Buddha, birds and trees.

I also love that you can find beauty in the most mundane things - shattered glass, the cracks in paving stones - and to my son's embarrassment I’m forever picking up bits of rusty metal in the street, or rescuing crumpled bits of paper from going into the bin!"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

AlphabettiSpaghetti, a soup? no, jewels !

Let me introduce you to Wendy Humphreys.

Tell us about yourself Wendy
I make precious metal jewellery in my little attic workshop in Italy. I like to make as many of my components as possible without relying too much on pre-made findings or casting. This can be time-consuming but also makes an item truly unique and handmade

I started making jewellery at home as a hobby about 9 years ago. I used to sell to friends or make things to give away for birthdays, etc. In 2005 I moved to Italy and no longer had a job. I picked up where I'd left off in the UK, but this time with my very own workshop space under the roof at home. I started to sell on Etsy at the beginning of 2006.

A lot of my inspiration comes from things I see around me, be it a lamp in a restaurant or a fallen leaf. I love creating pieces inspired by nature, with bees, leaves and acorns being my particular favourite models.

How does your culture, upbringing, and/or environment influence your designs/crafts? Although I'm no artist in that I'm hopeless at drawing, I've always been quite good at creating things with my hands. I rarely draw a piece before I make it, having a clear view in my head how it should turn out. I'll only jot things down on paper to remind me of certain features of a piece such as dimensions, finish or stones to be used. My father is a bit like this, but apart from him, I'm the only one in the family who is creative in this way.

What are some of the ways you market and promote your business/Craft?
I do a little outside advertising of my jewellery and send out newsletters to existing customers, friends and family with the latest offers I have available. Every time I list a new item I mention it on Twitter and Facebook. Any new pieces get shown off on Flickr. This is a good way of showcasing your best work and reaching a wide audience for free. When anyone comes round for dinner, I sneakily turn the subject around to my latest creations and ask them if they'd like to have a look at my latest work. Mostly people are too polite to say no!

Based on your experience, what advice would you give to other crafters selling or looking to start selling their crafts?I think anyone who is starting out and hoping to sell their craft has to stay one step ahead of the competition. Copying can be rife on some sites so it always helps to have a unique thing that you do, and something that either isn't easy to copy or that would take a lot of effort to do so. Photographs are one of the most important tools when selling online and should be crisp and clear and show the item from as many angles as possible. Descriptions also need to be clear. Also with so much competition you can never take your eye off the ball. Always have some kind of promotional idea lined up and keep plugging away. Join groups of like-minded people for tips, motivation and inspiration.

When I'm not making jewellery or catnip toys, I can sometimes be found sitting on the back of our motorcycle, zipping around the gorgeous Italian countryside.

Where to find her creations:
Shops: in Euros, on etsy in US$ and

To spoil your kitty cats
http://en.dawanda.com/shop/catscanjump
Her blog, and also Mukkatours

Friday, February 12, 2010

Night and day....

... You are the one
Just love the song, singing about love is wonderful, especially with Valentine coming

Her is one of the latest creations I have had the pleasure to be working on for a lovely French lady.
The gemstones are Rubies and black sapphires

If you could choose any gemstone combinations, what would you go for?

Let me know, I'd love to see what your creativity comes up with

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Together

When a man and a woman want to be together, they will be together

a selection by Lynn of Nemeton

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Valentine day is coming soon

A little selection of jewellery for your Valentine



You and Me sterling silver and garnet ring, also available with other gesmtones cabochons like topaz, peridot, citrine, amethyst, onyx...

also showcasing chain and pendant by minicyn, earrings by Ali Bali Jewellery, bracelet by frosted willow, earrings with pearls by artisan impact, necklace by Melimelo Jewels

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

fact about turquoise


The use of turquoise dates back to 3000 B.C.- 4000 B.C.in the Sinai. It was the primary holy stone for Native Americans living in the Southwestern United States. Every Navajo carried a "personal" piece of turquoise. Middle Eastern tradition claimed that turquoise prevented accidents, especially falling.
Turquoise is December birthstone gem.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jewelry good enough to eat

Here is a little visit in Robins' jewelry box

lovely apetising items you just want to eat.. and wear of course.

to visit the shop, click on this biscuit

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Magic of January


Dawanda, the german website for handmade products has monthly themes.
This month's theme is "The Magic of January": items responding to the theme are created inPastel colours like pink, light blue, vanilla yellow, pastel green, lilac, cream, white.

I was delighted to see tonight that my bracelet was a favorite, Thank you to all the fans
and as a BONUS, there is FREE delivery too on this item.

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