Thursday, 31 December 2009

New decades resolution

Like many people towards the end of any year I become very reflective. The instant boxing day is over I look to the year ahead and back at the glowing embers of the one passing. I was thinking about how my life has changed this year and I visited Rachel's blog and she made me realise that we are not just looking back over a year but over a decade.

My first decade as an adult has been incredible. Ten years ago I was in the final year of my A-levels, eight months away from university, I hated school and couldn't wait to escape. A summer job and several weeks of nervous anticipation of exam results were all that stood between an excited 18 year old and the rest of her life. University was all I hoped it would be, although I still lived at home with my parents I had a great time.

Six months after graduating I met James two days before my 22nd birthday, three months after that we moved in together four years later after buying our first home we married on the 25th May 2008.

Somewhere in and amongst all that I met a lady who worked for a cosmetics company - you know the party planning kind. She wanted to recruit me and I was genuinely considering it until James said, If you're going to do parties why not sell your jewellery? Why not work for yourself? That's two years ago now and whilst I may not have had the meteoric rise to success I had initially hoped for I can see that I am well on my way.

The first of January 2010 is the launch date of my newest venture Aprilis Events Management. The launch will be sadly lacking in Champagne and canopes as it only exists in my head and on my blog but it exits none the less. I have sold my wares at good and not so good fairs and I have learnt a lot from each one. I have realised that a sellers perspective is absolutely intrinsic to the success of a fair. Many organisers see the selling of all stalls as the ultimate goal at a fair which of course is their wage for the day. I however will only see my fairs as a success once I have provided my sellers with customers. I wish to cultivate a successful and loyal band of sellers by helping them to make a profit.

I realise that this is a challenge, especially so due to the financial climate. Lets face it, huge retailers throughout the world are collapsing before our eyes. I still believe though that as big business falls small business can rise. This all sounds very grand when in fact I'm a little nervous of my new venture but I'm confident that the only way I'm going to make my life my own is with the stubbornness that comes naturally, the confidence that does not and working my arse off.

Ten years ago in 1999 a 17 year old looked up and the fireworks filled with nervous excitement at the years ahead, tonight she does the same.

Here's to making this decade worth writing about.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Oh boy what a few weeks I've had. Markets all weekend, work all week, normal life squished in and amongst. Tomorrow will be my first day off in weeks and I am soo happy I get to sleep in! Yay!

The markets haven't been very successful. I was hoping to better the success the summer offered me but alas I haven't even equaled it. A new strategy will be developed for next year as I've learned a lot this year, it's been an informative experience.

Anyhoo, got to go, QI is on in a mo and then it's early to bed so Santa can do his thang!

I wish you and yours the most wonderful Christmas


Monday, 9 November 2009

another year goes by

Once again I had a great time at Ripley yesterday and this time I did make a profit but it wasn't huge. It's a shame because the location is beautiful but just too quiet but you never know till you try! I think in the summer months when there are other events on locally it will be an excellent venue but in the cool autumn months the majority of people I saw were ramblers.

I was in reflective mood yesterday on the way home and I was thinking about how the last year had been. I was so nervous about my first Craft Market at Holmfirth back in February yet by Christmas I will have done 31 market stalls and a few jewellery parties and local events too. I was made redundant around the same time and things were scary for a while. Luckily that turned out okay in the end. I have around 10 markets between now and Christmas and they will really set the tone for next year. I never really make proper new years resolutions but I have a good few for next year.

I honestly believed at the time that 2009 could be my year and in many respects it has been but I was naive to think that I would leave work so quickly. I have learned a lot this year and been forced to accept that this is going to be a lot harder than I had expected. One thing this has shown me is that I can do it. I've never worked this hard for something I've wanted and I don't have to push myself I just do it. The rewards are worth the effort.

Recently, thanks to someone else, I have realised that I would love have my own events management company, organising fairs and such. This would ideally be in partnership with someone else and would really help me leave work. I have a mailing list of a lot of artists who have expressed an interest in attending such an event and I think that I have found my first venue. I'm keeping quiet for now but hopefully I'll be able to get it booked and begin the prep very soon.

You see, I'm pretty confident about this because as a regular stall holder I know what I want from a fair. I've been to successful and unsuccessful markets and I've learned a lot from both.
Here's a little progress report.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Unexpected possibilities.

I can't go into too much detail but let me just say that I am rather happy at the moment. A new and exciting venture has been presented to me and I intend to embrace it. It's something I have always been interested in and if it goes well it could even help me get out of the day job quicker than I hoped!

In other news... I did an unexpected market on Sunday at Castle Howard, they had some cancellations and called me. Crikey it was cold! The wind was horrendous and the stall kept lifting. I was so scared that the rain would damage all my stock. The weather was fine at home but 40 miles north it wasn't. The market opened at 10am and up until around 3pm I had made £6! James and I were so miserable, cold, tired (we got to bed after 1am the night before and set the alarm for 6am) and impoverished. Then between 3 and 4pm a miracle happened and we sold quite a few higher priced items giving us enough for a couple of hot chocolates to warm the cockles and a very nice profit. I have to say that Castle Howard has never let me down. I've always doubled my stall fee at least. I've only got three more outdoor markets between now and Christmas and I'm glad because I'm a big ole wuss who doesn't like the cold. That being said all three are Christmas markets and I love Christmas so I'll love the markets.

I've bought a nice woolly hat from Tesco and some fingerless gloves tonight so I should be all snuggley next time.

Next market is Ripley the week after next. I'm looking forward to it. I had a great time last time and I feel this time will be so much better, plus it's indoor!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Well I don't know about anyone else but I had a great time at Ripley this Sunday. Okay, so I made a loss, albeit a tiny one but as always I had fun. I met lots of lovely people and had several cups of free tea!

The place was great, the people and products were great and Elizabeth, the organiser was great, however there just weren't enough customers. The town was very quiet and the lord of the manor (how posh does that sound?) wouldn't allow much signage to be displayed and what was had to be in black and white. It was Elizabeth's first foray into event organising and I think she did a great job just for whatever reason it didn't work out too well for everyone. I will be attending the next one because it's November and it's in4expensive to book the table and I had fun!

You see something some crafters don't think about is that if you don't support people like Elizabeth who are working to provide us with venues in which to sell they'll never be successful. There aren't enough good fairs out there and I commend her and thank her for giving me the opportunity to sell at the fair.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Markets and massages

I had a great day at Pudsey Arts Market this Sunday but sadly although it was fun it was not profitable. According to more experienced traders October is a notoriously difficult month. The month between the end of the summer holidays and the commencement of Christmas. That being said I am at Ripley Town Hall this coming Sunday along with Rachel and we are both hoping for a great day.
In other news I also had an amazing Indian Head Massage from my good friend Carrie on Tuesday night and people I cannot recommend her enough. You should really check her out.
In November Carrie and I will be attending The mind Body and Spirit Fair in St Helens and I am really excited, more details on that later.

Well it's almost the end of another long week at work, I'm so glad it's almost Saturday (although I have to work in the morning - no sleep-in this weekend!) The weeks just keep getting longer and harder and work just leaves me more and more drained. I'm generally a positive person but all the negativity there just gets me down. I have to fight really hard to avoid succumbing to it, but I'll keep fighting because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and everyday it gets a little bit brighter!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Small business owners club

Wow am I ever excited! I got myself thinking about leaving work today and wow my minds a spinning. I met up with my friend Carrie the other day, I have known her for years and needless to say with busy lives I don't see her as much as I'd like. She is starting up her own business as a holistic therapist. It was lovely to see her talk with such enthusiasm and excitement. It's also lovely to see someone else embarking on a similar adventure. She had been to see some premises which proved to be perfect, once she has them she can start to see clients and the sky's the limit. If your local you should check her out at Lifechanges-uk if you're not local you should look anyway and become a fan on facebook Even if you are too far away to visit you should still visit, she is an inspirational young lady.

Monday, 14 September 2009

The good the bad and the simply gorgeous

I'm feeling a little low at the moment, a little, erm, preoccupied. I'm finding it hard to sleep and I can't seem to concentrate on anything but my business. I just watched an episode of Voyager but couldn't concentrate on it, how weird is that? What's worse is that it's making me so angry that something so stupid could make me feel so bad. Again this isn't something I intend to discuss here or dwell on but when you spend nine hours a day somewhere it's hard to ignore it.

But this is my happy place so that's my little whinge over, it's done.

Oh, I have hugely wonderfully spangly news! I have a brand spanking new website!

It's nowhere near finished yet but I'm not much of a web designer, The design isn't right but I'm using a limited template and HTML eludes me.
So it's not all bad, actually there's a lot of great stuff going on so good in fact I shall use bullet points for emphasis
  • My two bestest buds are getting married soon which I am really excited about because frankly it's about bloody time!
  • Another friend is about to drop a bairn!
  • James has suggested to me a financial target I really need to achieve in order to quit my job and it's a lot more attainable than I thought. I just need a really good Christmas.
  • I have met some really awesome people recently through my craft fairs and I'm loving it!
  • I have the best husband in the world and amazing friends (okay so that's not a recent development but sometimes you need a few crap days to help you see what's good)

Talk about turning a post around! Well I've cheered myself up so I'm off to get a glass of milk and get myself tucked in.

Nighty night!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Sunny sunshine

Well it seems that this week we are having a belated mini summer. The sky is beautiful clear blue and the sun is beating down. Sadly it's not beating down on my garden thanks to a neighbours overgrown trees! We had about 30 minutes of sun before it fell behind the old Oak trees. However in those 30 minutes I did manage to get some photographs taken.

Fresh water pearl, amazonite, amethyst and rose quartz cluster earrings

Fresh water pearl, rose quartz and jasper wire wrapped earrings

Red agate choker

Red agate and butter Jade bracelet

Pearl charm bracelet with Swarovski, amethyst, rose quartz and amazonite.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Give a little lurve

to my coriandr people that's what ama gonna do today. Etsys listing process is so blummin long and the big C's is so easy by comparison. Back soon

Monday, 7 September 2009

So I guess it's Autumn now!

I suppose I should have rolled out some sort of Autumn collection by now but me being me I've only just realised the time. If I turn to my left I can see that the trees in the distance have had very light dusting of gold.
I'm not sorry to see summer go but I am sorry that once again we don't seem to have had one. I am also sorry that daylight is slipping further away earlier and before long the weekends will be the only time I can photograph my work in day light, the best light of all.

Well I just took a break from this post to take some piccys and to feed Jimmy and I found that maybe I'm not soo Autumnally unprepared after all.

Coral and Smokey Quartz

In my head though I can see my winter range, bright silvers and icy blues, Emerald, Sapphire, blue topaz and Clear crystals. A bright sparkly glitzy range to get you through the cold dark winter.

Coral and Rainbow Agate
I've really enjoyed having the last week off and I'm determined to make the most of this one. I can't really say why I'm off but I can say that the thought of going back next Monday fills me with dread and makes my tummy churn. I'm trying not to think about it and when alone I have verbally told myself of for allowing my mind to wander there. Sadly finances dictate that I must go back, and I will, but I do so with a very heavy heart.

Citrine, Swarovski and hand made glass
Maybe I need a little dread though, maybe a lit match under my lazy bum is just what I need, I do feel determined but then I'm like that. My motivation is extreme, one minute I'm not the next I'm obsessive. I would say that I am obsessive at the moment yet in a few days with no new sales I'll crash and feel low. The rest of me thank goodness is a lot more balanced.

Red Agate, Golden Jade, Cherry Quartz, Coral, Rose Quartz and Red Adventurine

All that is not to say that I can't be bothered with the business, I can and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't make jewellery or do something on line it's just that to constantly market your work is tiring, that's why I like it here. On Twitter I feel like a spammer on message boards I feel like I'm feigning interest in others to fuel my career. The truth is that I'm not, I follow way too many blogs to visit each one daily but I do read them, I am interested and that goes for the Tweets I read and the forums I post in. I'm not much of a net worker, I never have been. I've never made a friend thinking " I wonder what this person can do for me" If you are my friend either in real life or in cyberspace then it's because of your value as a human being not opportunities your friendship may or may not present. I want nothing from you but friendship.

Golden Jade and Red Adventurine

I am in real life as rubbish at keeping up with friends as I am in this world but not a day goes by them I don't think about them and when I do meet up with them it's like we haven't been apart.

Golden Jade and Red Agate

As I don't have a market for a month things will be tight financially so I'll have to get more items in my shops soon. My silver order will hopefully arrive tomorrow and I can make more. I have loads of gemstone beads left, I could do with some fresh water pearls and Swarovski to brighten things up a little.

So here's to a productive week and a great weekend. I'm having some friends around on Friday to show off my new garden. In fact I hope my Internet-wary chief bridesmaid is reading this and can make it.

Nighty night.

Aah man

I just typed out a really long post and blogger went bleeuuuuuurr and I lost it. So to summarise
  • V. V. Brown and Calvin Harris were awesome
  • The Qemists lead singer was a foul mouthed idiot
  • The Qemists were rubbish
  • The Qemists can't spell
  • I don't like people swearing in front of children
  • Calvin Harris should have been headlining rather than The Editors who were good but not lively enough
  • Jimmy got drunk on beer and haribo
  • The photos I took were rubbish
  • I had a great time
  • Festival toilets are horrible and I prefer tea to beer, yes people I am 27 not 77.
  • I'll be back later, bye!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Weekend wonderland

So far this weekend has been relatively quiet by recent standards. No markets to attend and no visiting people. Yesterday was almost completely unproductive, well for me anyway. James screen printed a few T Shirts but I watched Voyager and the biggest loser and made a couple of pairs of earrings and half a necklace before running out of wire. Sadly my silver order did not arrive as expected yesterday, my fault, Saturday orders have to be ordered by midday otherwise they are delivered the following Saturday. I have emailed them asking that they send it next day on Monday. I can't go a week without tinkering!

This week I intend to sort the spare room out. I'm going to do a car boot sale and get rid of my junk. It's a good sized room so with the money I earn I'm going to board out the loft and then eventually turn the room into a workshop/office.

However today is going to be much more exciting than that because today we're going to Bingley live music festival. We went last year and it was good fun. Last year the happy Mondays headlined and although that's not my kind of music they were really good. This year it's Calvin Harris and the Editors.
I'm charging my camera battery as I type so there will be plenty pics coming your way!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Show and tell

Well here it is, one of last nights pieces. I think it needs a few more pearls. It's red jade (dyed), red agate, coral and cherry quartz on sterling silver with freshwater pearls.

The clasp is a little flimsy as the wire is too thin. I have a delivery of heavy SS wire coming tomorrow so I'll replace it then.

Thursday, 3 September 2009


Oh yeah, that's what I am. So far my week has gone -Tea - list - tea - list - tea - toast - list - pepsi raw (sorry Jimmy) more tea and so on.

I was planning on taking some more photos to add to the ones on Etsy but I've just looked out of my window and seen that it's raining, again.

Well, this computer chair is giving a me back ache so I'm going to go make a cuppa and a bracelet.

I'll be back later for show and tell.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Need more markets

My next market is 39 days away! I can't go that long without a fix! That means that this week I'm going to have to really work hard on my stores. Blogging, tweeting and posting on forums all over the place just to get a little attention and hopefully some sales. I have been really rubbish at keeping up to them but today I've been listing new items. It's a time consuming process on Etsy but Coriandr is a much simpler process, it's all on one page so there's no waiting for pages to load and such plus its all in GBP rather that US Dollars. Yeah it's great and Rachel informs me that I was on the front page the other day. How great is that?

I do still love Etsy but I very much that I have ever been on their front page!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Artsmix at Castle Howard

Well we got the weather I was hoping for. Yesterday was quite cold but dry and today was lovely and sunny. Castle Howard is an amazing place so I felt sure that if the weather was right, the sales would be great. I'm afraid that was not the case, don't get me wrong I did alright, made a decent profit but I was hoping for more, hoping to be one step closer to giving up work.

In actual fact I am a giant leap, several thousand steps and a 27 hour bus ride from giving up work.

I think that one big problem I face is the sheer volume of jewellers out there. There were probably 7 jewellers there today and a further 5 people selling jewellery in an amongst their other products. That's out of 20 odd stalls. The other problem is that everyone sold lovely jewellery. If it had been crap then I wouldn't mind but it was all great stuff! ;)

The only thing that I can do is work my bum off and continue to gain new skills and hone the ones I have.

I'm also toying with the idea of giving up plated metal. I'm thinking of working exclusively with silver, gold, gemstones, pearls, crystals and lamp work. It's a tough decision to make as this weekend it was my plated work that sold. People generally prefer the silver but can't resist the £5 price tag on my plated bracelets or £2 earrings. Problem is, from an artsy farty point I don't like making the cheap stuff, I don't feel that it represents my skills and I know that unlike silver when plated metal tarnishes, that's it, you can't polish it up so it has a much more limited lifespan. When I sell a piece of jewellery I want the wearer to keep it forever, I want them to know that it's one of a kind and that it was carefully designed and produced.I want them to look at it and feel a little happier, the way I did when I completed it.

As I have said before not everyone appreciates the artistry at craft fairs, many people just want a bargain. Yesterday a lady picked up a pair of £2 earrings made with lamp work beads and Swarovski crystals and said "are these sterling" I replied that they weren't and informed her of the quality of bead and she slammed them straight back down and said if it's not silver she didn't want it. I pointed out my silver earrings and told her that they are £10. Open mouthed and wide eyed she stared at me and said "£10 for earrings?" and walked off. So folks if you're looking for a bargain look else where.
I'd love your thoughts on this. Plated metal, should it stay of should it go?

Pictures from top
  1. Rose quartz, quartz and amazonite
  2. Quartz and amazonite
  3. Quartz and amazonite
  4. Rainbow flourite and amethyst
  5. Amethyst and Quartz
All pieces on sterling silver.

Saturday, 29 August 2009


I'm back at Castle Howard tomorrow for the Artsmix market and I'm really looking forward to it. Last month the market there was good but the rain meant that it wasn't great. Hopefully we'll get good weather. It is hard to run a business that is so dependant on the weather!

Green fingers pt. 2

Phew, who'd thought digging up turf was such hard work? Actually that phew is James'. He did it all, well i dug up a bit but it was too hard so I had a cup of tea instead. Definitely more me! I did however bag most of it up this morning as I wanted to contribute. Then about 10am I got a call from work, we'd had system problems this week and we have a backlog to clear. So I went in for an hour or so to help out and when I got home it was done.

Now you have to imagine that the gravel was knee high grass and around it was a border with overgrow unloved rosemary and lavender. I hadn't really ever cut them back properly and they were leggy and beyond saving.

My folks very kindly gave us the table and chairs and James' folks bought us the gravel and death to weeds membrane beneath it for a very early Christmas present so the whole thing cost us some bin bags and sweat. Not bad! I realise that at the moment it looks a little bare but we are going to get some nice pots and plants and soften it up a bit and I'm going to scub the flags and get them brighter. The ones to the left are York stone so they'll look great. the pots will have to wait until we have a little more money though. We live in a backwards terrace so essentially the kitchen over looks the road and the living room over looks the garden and allotments which I love. The only downside is that there is a path through the gardens for access so my garden is cut in two, so patio one side large border the other.

I think it's a rather pretty view to have from your bedroom window. It's even better now that I'm not ashamed of my garden. I'm not the street scruff now! Well, I won't be once I've got the weeds out of my gutter!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Green fingers pt. 1

My garden is currently a total embarrasment. James and I would like to pave it and although it's a small garden it's still an expensive job. This week we will endeavor to dig up the straggly weed infested lawn and cover it with Gravel. Preferably slate chippings as they are much more attractive. I'm not known for physical labour so watch this space!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Not many people who visit my stalls ask me what my favourite colour is for two reasons
  1. It would be an unusual question to ask some random girl at a stall

  2. At least of half of everything on my stall is turquoise.

Black Agate, Turquoise and Sterling Silver.

Okay so half is a big ole exaggeration but I am really drawn to the colour and it always takes centre stage on the stalls. Thanks to my dad, centre stage is much more impressive than it used to be as he very kindly made me some shiny black shelves to raise my display busts at the back. I'm putting my recent success down to my improved displays. Even in the good old British summer rain at Castle Howard a few weeks ago I still managed a healthy profit.

Black Agate, Turquoise and Sterling silver, again!

I'm still no David Bailey but I do believe my photography (ahem) skills are improving. I'm using slightly more rustic backgrounds rather than aiming for the nigh on impossible perfect white.

Chrysocola, Swarovski Crystal and Sterling Silver.

I'm still really crap at keeping up to my blog, (obviously) twitter and facebook etc but .......

Chrysocola, Black Agate and Sterling silver.

James and I have just had almost two weeks off work and it's been great. I'm dreading going back on Monday like you wouldn't believe which in the short term is a bad thing but it's spurring me on. I guess that's why I'm here tonight, finally motivated. I must come on here more, I actually love blogging it's just that I feel so guilty spending all this time upstairs and totally abandoning James. It's fine on a Saturday but on a week night you get home, cook dinner, eat dinner, load the dishwasher, spend a couple of hours online doing all the things that you "should" be doing and before you know it it's bed time and that's your evening done! Once I get my laptop I can do all those things downstairs in the living room not up here in the spare (junk) room

That being said I'm going to try to make sure I get on every other day to blog and tweet. I have to go online everyday anyway to check my emails and etsy so I should just spend ten minutes saying hi.

Smokey Quartz, Swarovski Crystal and Sterling Silver

We have had a great couple of weeks actually, we spent four days at the seaside on the Yorkshire coast. I always say I'd love to live in the US, Canada or Australia but you know, the UK is a really beautiful place especially Flamborough.

August in England!

Oh and more beach huts!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

I've just watched day four of Torchwood and I have to say (insert welsh accent) bloody brilliant innit! Can't wait for day five!

Well I'm at the Waterfront festival this weekend but I'm a little nervous about the weather. It's forecast heavy rain. If the forecast is accurate I can see me making a big ass loss this week. We are a little skint this month so I really need to make a bit at least. Here's hoping! Still last time it was great so I'm worried yet optimistic.

I must must must remember my camera this time. I keep forgetting it.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sleepy me

Well the market didn't go as planned, it was a little quiet so I made a loss. The girl who organised it, Natasha has put so much work in and made a real effort so if I'm available for the next one I'll do it. The market was great it's just not well known enough yet but if stall holders persist then one day it will and they'll reap the rewards of their patience.

Anyhoo it's late and I'm sleepy so it's off to bed. Night night

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Feelin' hot hot hot

and I don't like it. It's 25degrees at the moment and I'm so not built for the heat. I don't get a tan, I turn into a freckle. I'm sure many of you, especially you guys and gals down under will wonder what the fuss is about. 25 degrees is hardly tropical but me no likey. I'm a big puny wuss! A few more days like this and I'll be praying for an early winter.

I've had a crap few days but I won't go into detail. Lets just say that small minded people really p**s me off. Why pass judgement on everyone else when you yourself are so obviously flawed? Self righteousness is not the way forward, live a little and stop taking yourself so bloody seriously!

Ahhhhhh, that's better. I just hate that one person can have such a massive effect on my mood. It's not a member of my family or a friend I shouldn't care really, but for some weird reason I do.

Never mind, market on Saturday and our nephew and his girlfriends 21st birthday party in the evening. Should be fun, I get to break out my new killer heels, I should take pictures.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Feeling great!

I am just loving the fact that things are going so well for me at the moment. I had a successful weekend at the markets, I've got a market booked for this Saturday, a full weekend of them booked for the week after and so on. I've listed new items on Etsy and opened a shop at Coriandr (Which is wonderfully easy to use) and I've ordered some new display equipment. I've also been tweeting to try advertise my wares.
I know that I have neglected my blog and other sites over the past few months and I need to change that. The only difficulty is that I tend to get hooked on forums and things and I run the risk of my husband forgetting who I am. Work, business and home, it's tough to balance it but if I put the effort into this now one day I can eliminate work and only have two things to balance.

All of the markets are made so much easier by James for just being there. He's only missed one market and that was for our great nephews christening. He doesn't have to stay with me while I'm there but he does anyway and I am so grateful. Maybe it's cause he knows that if all goes to plan he'll have a housewife, cooking and cleaning all day, dinner on the (coffee) table when he gets home, gingham apron and everything!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Branching out

I have to admit Artsmix has provided me with some great selling opportunities however I feel that I also need to be looking elsewhere. I'll continue with Artsmix but in between I'll be trying other markets and fairs. One such even is "The Stalls" Arts and Crafts Fair which I've been introduced to recently. The stalls are reasonably priced and the venue is Leeds Town Hall which is obviously inside and a well known location.

If you are in the area I'd recommend you go over to Natasha's blog and take a look. As you'll see from the pictures there are some really wonderful products on sale. I'm excited, it's going to be a great day!

New items on Etsy

I've put a few items on Etsy today like these bracelets both made with sterling silver findings.


Butter Jade
I really need to promote my Etsy shop more. I realised earlier today that I don't even have a link to it on my blog! How ridiculous is that? Well now I do. I think my blog needs a revamp hmmm, where to start!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Shooby dooby dah, can't think of a title!

Whew! This weekend has been a busy one. Craft markets all weekend at the Dragon Boat Race & Planet Leeds Festival. It was good but not as busy as I'd hoped but I covered my costs and made enough on top to book a couple more stalls. I'm still a million miles away from actually taking a wage. At the moment it's all going back in especially as I'm making mostly semi precious pieces. It's difficult at the moment because I've got enough stock, I don't really need to make more until I sell more, but that's the bit I love. I really need to put my money into new markets and display items.

Once again I met some really lovely people, I met Bianca at Twinklebug and Amy at Button Bazaar . Both ladies produce wonderfully unique and beautiful pieces and they're also both really lovely. You should definitely check them out.

Other than that there isn't much to tell you about, other than I almost bought a laptop on credit the other day till James stopped me. He was right to do so, paying £500 for a £280 computer is a bit daft. He did say that I shouldn't buy one as maaayyybeee someone might like to buy me one for Christmas! Only 179days, 2hours and 44 minutes to go!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Another order

So I needed to buy some sterling silver ear wires for this weekends markets so I had a look at my suppliers retail site. It was going to cost about £30 for a few ear wires some head pins and some plated metal wires so I decided it made more sense to spend £70 wholesale and get shed loads more stuff for my money, so that's what I did. The order will be processed tomorrow and I'll get it the day after giving me Thursday and Friday nights to make the jewellery. So I bought SS wire, ear wires (the wire my supplier sells is just not strong enough to make my own) heart shaped SS chain (makes gorgeous extenders) and a few more gemstones. Yay, I can't wait!

I did however under estimate the amount of wire that you need to make a necklace. I've always used plated metal wire in the past which you don't worry too much about using up but I'm very precious with the silver. My wire wrapping has come along in the last couple of days, mainly because this weekend I finally bought some round nose pliers! Last night while watching The Biggest Loser Australia I made a lovely necklace made with Rose Quartz, blue topaz and blue lace agate. It's very pretty and as soon as I get chance I'll take some piccys of it.

Well, my salmon is cooked so it's off to have tea and then make another pretty in front of the biggest loser!

Ta ta!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Market Mayhem

Well things are on the up! I've now done five Artsmix markets and each time I've had more sales than the last. Sales have been mixed, I've sold lots or pairs of £2.00 earrings but I've also sold some of the more expensive pieces. Sundays Pudsey market was so successful that I have been able to do a big order of Sterling silver wire, gemstones and Swarovski crystals which should be delivered tomorrow. I'm so looking forward to getting it! I decided the other day that my wire wrapping was getting good enough to start with silver. It's so expensive that I didn't want to mess it up.

It feels so good to see things start to go really well, there's still a long way to self employment but persistence is the key. All I need to do now is get online more and keep up to Etsy. I need to tweet, blog and re list and post on Etsy! I think I need a laptop otherwise James may forget who I am LOL!!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Lovely lovelies

I love meeting new people, especially crafty creative people. I find it hugely inspiring to speak with other jewellery designers so yesterday for that reason was a great day. I attended the Artsmix Jewellery Showcase at the Loft in Leeds. It's a great venue, lovely new york apartment style interior with over sized arched windows and exposed brick work. The downside however was the lack of customers. It's a little off the beaten track, just outside Leeds City Centre, you wouldn't wander there accidental which is unfortunate as accidental customer are an important part of retail, especially in today's financial climate.

Once James and I had set up the table I had a wander around. Being a showcase everyone was selling jewellery which could have been a disaster but everyone had vastly different styles. Some of the pieces on sale were really wonderful. From the whimsical to the super cute to the downright gorgeous . I chatted with all of the lovely ladies above and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Sadly I still can't retire on the profits but I'm getting there, just very very very very very very slowly!

This coming Sunday I will once again be attending the Pudsey Craft market for which I am hoping for good weather as it is outside. I am a big ole wuss, last time the market was on Easter Sunday and it was really sunny but cold and as the night before was James 30th birthday I was reeeaaaaalllly hung over. I even had to throw up in a bin! Yes I reached new heights or elegance and sophistication that day.

So wish me luck, I may need it and take a look at the ladies above, you won't regret it.


Sunday, 17 May 2009

New designs

Please excuse the picture quality and the burn marks on my ironing board but here are a few of the pieces I made today. They consist of glass, Austrian crystal, haematite and silver plated wire.

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