26 Oct 2015

A slight diversion for me

[…] getting rid of clutter gives a disproportionate boost to happiness. 

Gretchen Rubin

One of the most visited pages throughout my blogging history has been the template for a cardboard necklace display stand and the smaller version for earrings added later.  I was asked to make some earring stands recently and wondered how easy it would be to adapt the design template I already had, in order to cut them on the Silhouette.

Earring display stands cut from my original design, now available in the shop.
Earring display stands cut from my original design, now available in the shop.

I found that I was easily able to make the basic cutting shape from what I already had and thought it was an ideal opportunity to make some design adjustments I’d had in mind.

Having done that exercise and made a batch for a friend, in a quest to reduce the amount of materials I have accumulated, I have made available some pre-cut stands in the shop.

As I have plenty of ivory coloured card of a nice quality, I am offering a dozen in a pack of that one colour or a mixed dozen in random colours, depending on what card I find of the right weight etc.

My earring display stands are an inexpensive alternative for craft fairs. Supplied flat to assemble.
My earring display stands are an inexpensive alternative for craft fairs. Supplied flat to assemble.

I am charging £6 for the 12 stands, which come cut out, pre-scored and flat ready to crease and glue yourself – this saves a big chunk in the postage, to keep the price down.  I supply assembly instructions, but I doubt that’s necessary, they’re very simple to do.  The price includes second class postage.

One of the modifications I made was to cut a tab into the bottom corner of the stand to allow easy placement of a price ticket.  In the past, I cut out my own printed prices and used Blutak to place the price on the stand.

Earring display stand - available to buy, supplied flat and in packs of 12.
Earring display stand – available to buy, supplied flat and in packs of 12.

But cutting a little tab allows prices to be added easily and the stands can be re-used for different earrings that bit more easily by just changing the price ticket.  A card with details of the materials or other information could just as easily be placed under the tab.

I also have an alternative version which could be supplied on request with a little circle tab cut around the earring hole to accommodate closed earwires like lever backs.

You are of course still very welcome to download the original template and make your own, it will remain available.

I’m having a clear out, so bag a bargain:

In line with my current thinking to try and make some more storage space, which I’m getting very short of, I decided that as I now do very few fairs in person, that my range of lower priced designs that I kept especially for events could be cleared to make some space.  So I’ve re-packaged a lot of pairs of earrings and am offering 10 pairs in a Lucky Dip pack for £15.  They could be ideal as stocking fillers, Secret Santas, cracker fillers or just as a treat for yourself – and who needs any particular reason to do that.

I do have a quantity of pairs featuring better materials, such as Sterling silver, freshwater pearls and Swarovski Elements, so will ensure that at least 3 pairs in each pack come from this category.  The savings with these Lucky Dip packs, over the original ticket prices, is considerable.  You can’t choose your own designs, they’re selected at random, but I’ll endeavour to choose a good variety of styles and quality.

Use them for fundraising:

Lucky Dip earrings, 10 pairs for £15.
Lucky Dip earrings, 10 pairs for £15.

I’ve re-packaged these earrings on plain cards and in zip-sealed bags with silicone tube backs to keep them in place, so you could use them for your own festive charitable fundraising events.  Granting this permission and removing my own branding does not infer any rights to the designs or to take credit for the work.


My work this week:

I don’t have much new to show for my time of late as I’ve been re-working older designs, which often requires them to be re-photographed and the details modifying, working on commissions and re-stocking the shop, along with my aforementioned clear-out, both on the site and in my stock.

I did however get some nice new beads to make bracelets and earrings with.  I have some designs that are perpetual good sellers, all using 10mm diameter beads, so I’ve been working on some new variants, including some gorgeous faux amber beads which as you can see in my header image above, are a glorious colour and have lovely light-catching inclusions.  I suspect that they must be a resin that when cooling has created plaques or fractures.  Whatever, they’re very pretty indeed.


25 Aug 2011

500 items – reason to celebrate!

Over the last couple of days I’ve reached a significant milestone in my on-line selling career – at least it feels that way to me – of 500 different items added to my own on-line shop.

I had been aware that I was approaching 490 items and the 500 was in my sights, then after a listing frenzy in an attempt to try and get myself straight, it almost passed unnoticed. These turquoise magnesite hammered teardrop loop earrings were the 500th item that I added.

It’s true that a number of these are on the sold section, but it doesn’t seem five minutes since I was struggling to get 30 or so items on there so that I could finally launch the shop – I figured that was the absolute minimum items to look like I meant business – I think I finally went public with something like 45 items.

At the time it seemed like an insurmountable task. I had to get to grips with my cart system, settle on a decent method of taking my photographs, pricing, measuring and a writing descriptions. It took an age in itself just to settle on the cart system to use, as there weren’t so many options readily available as there are now – and I was on a limited budget and it had to be something I could set up, personalise and manage myself. It seemed to take a very long time for it all to come together in those early days and I almost gave up before I even got going.

It is so much easier today – although the time it all takes doesn’t seem to diminish that much with experience. I constantly hone my methods in an effort to shave a few seconds off tasks here and there. I know that I work significantly more efficiently than I did in times gone by, but it’s still nowhere near as much fun as making the items themselves.

I could do with a tech-savvy minion who would accept payment in hugs or metal scrap to do it for me, but despite leaving items to be photographed out overnight next to the camera, I’ve never seen any evidence of elves offering assistance, unfortunately.

Sale to celebrate:

So to celebrate and in conjunction with the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, I’m holding a sale in both my own on-line shop and on Etsy, offering 15% discount on everything in the shops. On my site, the 15% is deducted automatically, but on Etsy, use Coupon Code CELEBRATE500. The sale lasts until 07:00am on Tuesday 30th August.

As if that isn’t enough – necklace giveaway draw:

I’m also going to hold a giveaway draw for this oxidised copper and Sterling silver nugget pendant necklace. All you need to do to enter is complete this very simple form on my site. It is free to enter, but please read the very simple rules on the page before sending off your entry.

I’d be delighted if you’d enter the draw for the necklace – it’s currently shown on a black PVC thong, but I’ll make a necklace up for you to your requirements – you could have it on oxed copper chain or cotton if you prefer.

I wish you luck!


6 Oct 2010

Etsy UK sellers collaborate on the ‘UK Silly Sale’

I’ve been selling on the US based sales venue Etsy for some time and UK sellers there have teamed up to run a special one day pre-Christmas sale called the ‘UK Silly Sale‘ – the idea being to ‘clear the decks before decking the halls’.

It is officially scheduled as a single day sale and promotional event on Friday 8th October, but many sellers are extending their discounts for a longer period, as am I. If you visit Etsy and search for ‘UK silly sale’, it will turn up all manner of bargains from the talented artisans (and vintage and supplies sellers too) in the UK who have shops there – everything from hand spun yarns, delicious baked goods, handmade soaps, handbags, hats, bee hotels, paper goods and original art.

It is very much a team effort, individual sellers set the details of their own personal sale, but we are communally promoting the Silly Sale and helping each other. One of the features is that we each create an Etsy treasury of items in the sale or from sellers participating – a collection of individual items on a theme. I’ve done one already, but there are so many gorgeous things to choose from that I will need to do at least another one.

My own Silly Sale will run for a full week and across my two main on-line selling venues – my own web site and my shop on Etsy. I’m offering 15% discount off everything in both shops for one full week from midnight on Tuesday 5th October – so it’s already running now. Nothing else has been compromised whatsoever, the same high standard of workmanship and service – just lower prices for a few days.

This is a perfect opportunity to get a head start on your Christmas shopping, or just treat yourself to something you’ve had your eye on and save yourself some pennies too – we all need a little extra help in these difficult times.

Christmas gift service:

If you would like Christmas gift items (or gifts for any occasion for that matter) sending directly to the recipient, I am always happy to do this for you at no extra charge (although there’s a modest postage supplement if sending overseas, as with all orders) – I will gift wrap items, as shown, as I do anyway on all items, and include a Christmas card with a personal message from you.

If you want to order now to take advantage of the discounted prices, I can schedule the item to be posted to the recipient nearer the festivities on a date to be agreed with you.

If you’re buying items intended to be given as gifts in person, at any time, please let me know when you place the order so that I can ensure that you have gift-wrapping materials included, but the item is left un-sealed to allow you to inspect it when it arrives, ready to re-wrap to give.

Some of my new fabric keepsake pouches – a little touch of luxury for storing your jewellery pieces or can be used as a travel case.

I have made some fabric keepsake pouches, as shown in the photographs, which are ideal for gift giving as they can be re-used for storing the jewellery piece, or as a travelling jewellery case – I use one myself for just that. For the duration of the Silly Sale, one hand made fabric keepsake pouch will be included with all orders.