Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Win a Rabbit Brooch!

A little competition for you to win a bunny rabbit brooch!

Just follow the instructions below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 20 June 2013

March Of The Elephants!

Elephants are cute! Fact! Especially the babies!

Here's a picture to prove it...

And if you head over to my Etsy shop, you'll find some cute elephant brooches too!

More designs will be available soon...

Monday, 17 June 2013

Weekly Weigh-In 2

Time for my weekly weigh-in, not too bad this week, only lost 1lb, but I struggled at Zumba on Thursday and hardly moved over the weekend (I'm blaming my period for this and the extra water content below).

Weight Loss: 11st 5lbs
Body Fat: 34.8%
Bone Density: 4.6lbs
Water Content: 48.1%
Muscle Mass: 37.1%

Body Fat is still going down so that's good :)

Anyway, more Zumba talk, I've done 7 classes now and picking up the routines again. No longer look like an unco-ordinated mess, just a sweaty mess instead. Put lots of effort in tonight, my arms and stomach muscles already ache, so getting up and walking Ellie is going to be fun in the morning!

I'll just leave you with a picture of the lovely Venia, my Zumba instructor (look at that toned stomach! And toned everything else!)

Monday, 10 June 2013

Weekly Weigh-In 1

As some of you may know, I made a commitment to go to Zumba 3 times a week, so I can back into shape. You can read about it and my new scales here

After one particularly gruelling session last week, I could hardly move, my stomach muscles ached all day on Wednesday. Not helped by the face that I took Ellie doggy walking across the fields that evening (Wednesday - my night of from Zumba), my legs felt like lead weights and it was a struggle to get home!

I also pledged to publish my weigh-in figures every Monday, so here  goes...

Weight: 11st 6lbs 
Body Fat: 35.6% 
Bone Density: 4.6lbs 
Water: 47.5% 
Muscle Mass: 37.2%

I've lost 2lbs! Body fat is also marginally down and muscle mass is up! I think the more muscle you have the higher natural metabolism you have and your figure looks more streamlined as muscle opposed to fat. (Not that I can tell any different yet).

My food intake hasn't been all that good last week... I need to cut down on the snacking! I get particular peckish around 4pm and crave chocolate. Need to find something yummy to have then that isn't chocolate!

Pop by next week to see if I can keep the weight loss up!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Shop Of The Week!

I belong to a couple of Teams on Etsy which run a Shop Of The Week feature... I'm going to combine all shops of the week in to a weekly blog post from now on! Give me a nudge if I forget! I get distracted easily!

First up, Fiona from www.etsy.com/shop/Bellecardsandgifts, she makes beautiful vintage inspired, shabby chic gifts and decorations! Today, I'll show you her new Olde Sweet Shoppe Trinket Box:

You can read more about Fiona here.

Second featured shop is Susan from Dottie Designs! Susan makes beautiful guest books and photo albums! I love this album for recording your child's first memories (it's available in blue too).

If you are looking for a unique wedding guest book, I highly recommend taking a look around this shop!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Back to Zumba...

About a year ago, I went to Zumba regularly and I'd started to tone up. Then I let it all slip and I got a little chubby... Okay, a lot chubby! 

So I've formulated a plan! To get fitter and in better shape! First step was to buy some posh scales, they measure weight, body fat, bone density, water content and muscle mass. I'm to post my stats on my blog every Monday in the hope that it will motivate me to improve them!

Here goes:

Weight: 11st 8lbs
Body Fat: 36%
Bone Density: 4.6lbs
Water: 47%
Muscle Mass: 36.9%

Main aim is to get weight and body fat figures down! I was surprised at my water content figure. The booklet that came with the scales said the ideal water content is 50% and as I don't drink the recommended 8 glasses a day, I expected it to be a lot lower!

Second part of the plan is to be more active! I'm planning on going to a Zumba class on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings and plenty of walking with Ellie doggie.

You'll notice I haven't mentioned food! I love food! This is my downfall! It's not that I eat the wrong kind of food, I think I have a fairly balanced diet. My problem is portion control! I'm hoping to slowly make my portions smaller, rather than going the whole hog all at once and then be feeling hungry! 

Fingers crossed! And watch this space for updates!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Alice In Wonderland Giveaway!

I love Alice in Wonderland... as any visitor to my shop would know. So, today, I bring you the chance to win this necklace:

Follow the instructions below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 15 April 2013

CB Shop of the Week: Chanelled Creations & Lisa Deluxe

First off, an apology, it's been two weeks since my last post! I have no idea where the time has gone and it's made me realise I really need to put some time aside for blogging. Anyway, moving on, this week I bring you two CraftBritannia shops which are being promoted as Shop of the Week.

First up, is Chanelled Creations, you can read more about the artist and the shop here. And as it feels quite springlike today, I've picked this item to show you:

The second shop for this week is Lisa Deluxe, and you can read more about the artist and the shop here. This shop has some beautiful jewellery in and I've picked these polka dot earrings to show you:

Please go take a look around the shops as they both have something for everyone!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

CB Shop Of The Week: Kysam

This post is dedicated to Samantha from Kysam. She is a full time Silversmith making wonderful pieces of jewellery. My favourite is this beautiful heart pendant:

You can read more about Samantha on the Craft Britannia Blog!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Butterfly Sale!

I have the following butterflies available as brooches. They are large butterflies and are available at £5 each plus £1.50 flat charge for postage no matter how many you decide to have!

Please leave a comment or below or email me if you'd like to buy a butterfly :)

I'll remove any images as when they sell out!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Spring Butterfly Giveaway!

Win this beautiful blue butterfly matching necklace and brooch set! It's super simple, just follow the instructions below

Want to choose your own butterflies? Visit my Etsy shop to take a look at all the options! Don't forget you can also claim free UK P&P with code FREEMARCH13 at checkout!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Monday Moodboard

Easter Bunnies

1. crochAndi
2. MistyAurora
3. madrab
4. VasilinkaStore

As it's less than a week until Easter, I thought some bunnies would be appropriate!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Modern Cross-Stitch

The art of cross-stitch is seen as a dying craft, it is seen as a more traditional craft being practised by the WI and sold at church sales. I remember my Mum first teaching me to cross-stitch when I was 7 or 8 years old. It was mainly small floral images and symmetrical patterns. However, Beki from RatherUnseamly is challenging this misconception. She is bring cross-stitch to the modern world!

Here's my favourite item from her shop (I love Sheldon from Big Bang Theory):

And here's something a little more seasonal from her shop! It's a pattern, so you can have a go at cross-stitch yourself!

If you'd like to read more about Beki and her shop, you can find more on the CraftBritannia Blog.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Say Hello to Ellie!

This is Ellie:

She's a German Shepherd and Husky cross. We think she's about 4 years old now. We rescued her in February 2012 and it's been one of the best things we've ever done! I can't imagine our life without her now!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Monday Moodboard

Monday Blues

This is a perfect collection for this morning in the UK, no sign of Spring yet as we have been forecast more snow!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

New Collections: Russian Dolls and Stud Earrings

I've had these two collections in the making for a while and this morning I finally got the camera out to take photos!

So, first up, Russian Dolls! I love Russian Dolls, I even have a set that a friend bought back from Russia as a gift. There's something magical in the small painted smiley faces. Each one decorated individually, I imagine it's virtually impossible to find two the same.

I have made these Russian Dolls into brooches, each brooch stands approximately 2 inches tall. I'll be sad when these sell as they are so beautiful! I've listed my first one on Etsy this morning and will be adding the rest over the next week or so:

Second collection for today is some little wooden stud earrings. Here's the entire collection:

And as before, I've listed one set on Etsy, with the rest to follow in the coming week:

I've kept a pair of these little heart studs for myself too :)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Free Shipping for March on Etsy UK

As many as you already know, a group of Etsy UK sellers got together to promote each other and Etsy in the UK. So, throughout March, we all agreed to offer Free UK Shipping in our Etsy shops. If you'd like to take advantage, you just need to use the code FREEMARCH13 at checkout in your chosen shop! You can visit my shop and take advantage of the code here.

All the shops listed below, are also taking part, so go take a good look round as there's only two weeks left to take advantage of this brilliant offer!

www.AlteredEras.Etsy.com - FREE UK SHIPPING on orders of £20 or over

www.LizzesBeautifulArt.etsy.com FREE UK SHIPPING on orders £10 or over
www.creatingtrouble.etsy.com FREE UK SHIPPING on orders £15 or over
www.Blucha.etsy.com FREE UK SHIPPING on orders $15 or over
www.JaneCrick.etsy.com FREE UK SHIPPING on orders £5 or over
www.GoddessJewelsUK.etsy.com FREE UK SHIPPING on orders $15 & over
www.therainbowgirl.etsy.com FREE UK Shipping on orders £10 & over
www.WoolworksToo.etsy.com FREE UK Shipping with orders £10 & over

Please share the list with anyone you think would be interested :)

Friday, 15 March 2013

Etsy Tips: Photos

Lots of Etsy sellers struggle with photos. You only have to do a quick search on Etsy to find the good, the bad and the ugly. Yes, there are ugly ones! I thought a quick overview on photos would be useful and I will probably expand further on this topic in future post.

Photos are what sell your product, a customer sees your photo before anything else, this is what will make them click on the item to find out more! It needs to be enticing! Good photos also open up a world of opportunity in promotional terms – treasury features, blog features and media interest!

There are two key things, camera setup and staging. You don’t need a super snazzy camera to get good product shots, you just need to be aware of the different settings your camera offers you (it’s worth getting the manual out and having a good read through of what options your camera has). For smaller products, I recommend using a macro setting, as this will pick up more detail.

As for staging, there are many options and you need to find the right one for you. White or patterned background? Using a model in your photo? Close up or far away? Personally, I have gone for the clean and crisp look of a white background, but this isn’t something you definitely have to do. There are plenty of other options out there and I’ll point some ideas out to you from my favourite shops further down. First though, if you do want white backgrounds for your photos, then I recommend making/buying a light tent or a white blackout blind and some daylight lamps if you can’t stage in a light and shadow free setting. Also, get to grips with some photo-editing software, as this will help your photos become top-notch. There are plenty of free ones available, so no financial outlay here.

The consensus for taking photos for jewellery is no modeled shots, however, I disagree, there are some amazingly beautiful modeled photos on Etsy. These earrings are a great example of a modeled shot:

Also, as I said before, white photos are not necessary to sell your product, as long as the background does not detract from the product. White products generally look better on a textured background, like this bag:

Staging is another consideration, if you feel it is required. This fruit bowl is a great example of good staging, it also gives the impression of the size of the product:

I hope this has given you all something to think about in relation to photos. Feel free to ask question and I'll try to answer them in due course.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

CraftBritannia Shop Of The Week: gemmaclarkhome

Over on Etsy, I'm part of the CraftBritannia team, it's for UK makers and sellers to network, promote and chat. Every week, they feature one member as shop of the week and we all get together to promote the chosen shop. This week is the turn of gemmaclarkhome, you can read more about Gemma and her shop here.

Here is my favourite item from Gemma's shop, I think the colours are wonderful:

Last week, Simmi from Grace's Favours was the featured shop of the week and I just wanted to mention her shop, as I love this Easter wreath she has listed:

I'm hoping to add a feature for Shop of the Week every week, so watch this space for some fab handmade finds!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

My First Blog: Nottingham Meet

Hello! And welcome to my new blog. I've decided now would be a good time to start writing a blog, I am at a great point in my life, newly engaged, thriving Etsy shop and a head full of ideas for writing about. I plan to include previews of new jewellery designs, recent Etsy purchases, tutorials/information for other Etsy shop owners, seller interviews, wedding plans, lots of pictures of my beloved dog, Ellie and whatever else takes my fancy!

I thought I'd start with the Etsy meet I attended in Nottingham last Saturday. It was brilliant. Between 40 and 50 local Etsy sellers came together to swap ideas and information. I think I managed to speak to the majority in attendance and it's where some of the ideas for this blog have come from. I was surprised that many sellers seemed overwhelmed when it came to selling their handcrafted products, that it wasn't just a case of listing your product and someone coming along to buy it. There is definitely a knack to optimising your product listings for maximum exposure. I plan to tackle some methods for increasing traffic and sales in future posts.

For now though, I'll leave you with a group picture from our get-together on Saturday, I'm the second person in on the bottom right of the picture.