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!"

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