Sunday, 22 February 2015

Etsy Sales, Online Selling and Dexter the Cat.

Gemstone Bullet Necklaces

Good evening on a very cold Sunday evening here in Manchester. I have had a reasonably good week - I have been on annual leave from the day job and was supposed to go down to Devon, but unfortunately my lupus had other it turned into a week at home. Luckily I have been doing quite well in my Etsy shop and had a few sales this week to cheer me up, otherwise I think I would have been really miserable. The amethyst slices that I made and posted about last week on Handmade Monday did really well online and I only have 2 left. I love it when that's such a boost - especially at this cold and dark time of year. 
I am loving my funky shaped gemstones at the moment and have added the gemstone pendulum bullet necklaces to my range this week. I have strung these ones on silver plated chain but I think I will see if I can get some more of these pendulum shaped gemstones and put them onto gold plated too. I hope these are popular too.

Packing up a turquoise cat to go to America
I love my little Etsy shop, it's my baby (as well as the other 3 fur babies). I get so excited and such a buzz when I get a sale on it. I have been working really hard trying to promote it lately as I just love creating things and selling them but feel totally drained by craft fairs. I still enjoy fairs but only carefully selected ones.....and not outdoor ones at this time of year! It's freezing!!!
I really want my Etsy shop to be a huge success. I think it is important to make a good first impression so I put a lot of effort into packaging to make it look lovely. I wrap my pieces in tissue paper (unless is is Murano glass, which is gift boxed) with a little 'Poppy Designs' sticker and then pop it into an organza gift bag with some love hearts and a thank you tag.

Poppy Designs parcel
I then pop the package into bubble wrap and into a padded envelope - which I 'seal' with a paw print sticker on the back. I hope my customers like it.

I have even treated myself to a new notebook to write my Etsy sales down in (I am trying to keep on top of my tax return as I go this year - rather than a huge panic at the last minute). Of course, I had to have beautiful Dexter sitting in the poppies as my cover print!
New book for Etsy orders
In other news, it was James's birthday last week and one of his gifts from me was this giant beanbag, pictured below. He hasn't had much of a chance to sit on it as these two have decided they like it!

Anyway, I am going to have a nice. cold glass of Pinot now and settle down to Kirstie Allsop's Vintage Homes which I have recorded on TiVo.......have a lovely week and thank you for reading my blog xxx

Monday, 16 February 2015

Amethyst Slices and Moon Dust Rings

Amethyst slice necklace 

Good morning. Somehow it is Monday morning seems to come round quicker every week!
Anyway, I have been very busy over the last few weeks with so many new ideas and creations. I find that I get obsessed with a certain medium/type of jewellery for a while and go totally crazy with it. My infatuation at the moment is with semi precious gemstones.....particularly rough cut, natural looking gemstones. My favourite pieces lately are the rough cut amethyst slices. I just love them. They look like they have been sliced straight from the geode! I have strung them on silver plated chain and I think they are fabulous. I really am proud of them

Druzy rings - they look like what I imagine moon dust to be!

Whilst we are talking about natural looking stones, I also love these little druzy rings. Druzy, for those that are unfamiliar with it, is a thin coating of quartz crystals over a host stone. When the ground water that carries dissolved silica is forced into an area of porous rock, rapid cooling occurs causing the formation of tiny crystals. How cool is that?
I have also made some little mini druzy necklaces on gold plated chains which are just soooo cute :

Mini Druzy Necklaces

In other news, my Tower of London poppies finally arrived. I absolutely love them. I wish I had bought my Dad one too now. I originally put them in the garden....but then ended going out in the middle of the night in my pyjamas to retrieve them as I got paranoid about someone stealing them! lol! I also suspect they are not frost-proof! They are now in my studio waiting for me to find a nice vase to display them in. I am thinking of redecorating the lounge with a  red theme so I can put them in there!
Beautiful Tower of London poppies with beautiful Poppy the cat.
 On that note, I think I will head over to Handmade Monday and link up with the other contributors. I will leave you with a few photos of some of the other new things in my Etsy Shop

Semi precious triangle pendants

chunky rough cut amethyst ring 

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Perfect Weekend In

'Love' bracelets 

Well, it's Monday eve just seems to come around quicker every week. Anyway, I have had a lovely weekend. I haven't done anything special, in fact apart from going out for lunch with my Dad yesterday I haven't even been out! I have spent the weekend at home with my animals just relaxing, creating and generally taking it easy. I had a gorgeous parcel of new beads and findings delivered on Wednesday (in spite of the well done Mr Postie - although I still cannot believe you were wearing shorts in this weather!) so I spend Friday evening just admiring them and all day yesterday playing with them. 

I have had quite a productive weekend.....I have made olive and sundered tomato bread rolls, lemon loaf, banana loaf and I currently have a white loaf baking away in my bread machine. The house smells lovely. I have also been creating lots of new pieces for my Etsy shop and have been watching some fantastic David Starkey documentaries on You Tube in the process. Sometimes it is just lovely to enjoy the simple pleasures in life and have time to yourself to do all the things you love.....and it has been just perfect. 

My parcel of goodies.....

I now have to spend some time uploading all the photos into my shop and writing descriptions. I am really hoping to do well with my Etsy shop this year. I love my little shop and the feeling I get when my app pings to let me know I have had a sale. I opened it a couple of years ago, but it's only really been the last 6 months that I have been stocking it properly and investing the time in it. I still don't spend as much time promoting as I should and I don't really know how to do it properly without being a nuisance spamming folk all the time. I so want it to do well though.....I joined Instagram on Friday evening which I hope will help and I am already on Facebook

 I'd love all my days to be like this weekend.....creating, baking, spending time with my animals. 

Anyway, I am going to sample a piece of my cake now with a glass of wine and have a look and see what everyone else has been up to over at Handmade Monday hosted by the lovely Lucy Blossom. I will leave you with some pictures of some of my recent makes whilst I make the tough decision : banana or lemon???
turquoise leather multi strand bracelet with ceramic focal

pearl leather multi strand bracelet with ceramic focal

Bow necklaces in gold plated, antique silver and rose gold plated

Druzy agate necklaces