31 Jan 2010

Great New Irish Shop!

My friend Donna Bryan from home down in Limerick visiting me this weekend. She wanted me to give her a workshop in setting up her new Etsy shop, DB Jewellery Designs. So on friday night we had a browse around other jewellery sellers to check out their prices, and the general look of shops that she liked. Then we were up bright and early on Saturday to take lots of photos for her lovely wire wrap rings. After some experimentation we hit on the winning idea of placing them on mirrors and then photographing them. I've seen this used to great effect in ad campaigns, and I thought it added that etra wow factor to the images. Then we went through a million fonts and colours to decide on her banner. And by the end of it all she has 11 new pieces in her shop. It was really nice to go through this process with someone else, and trying to guide them past all the time consuming pitfalls I fell into.
At the end of all our hard work we went to see the great band The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra in Dolans Warehouse, it's been ages since I've seen them live and they were a treat and a half.

29 Jan 2010

Recommended Reading

What are your top 5 daily blog reads? I'm always on the look out for new blogs to read, be it style, craft, design, pop culture I don't mind. I read blogs instead of magazines in the morning after I've checked and replied to all of my mail. It's a little chill out time before I start working. I know there are thousands more hidden gems that I've never stumbled upon...so let me know what are your fav reads over a cup of (decaf!!) coffee in the morning??

A Nice Day for a New Look

Do you like the new look on the blog? I went to shabbyblogs for the free background, which I think is super cute. They have a really good selection and it's very user friendly. I did want to pick something that wasn't to distracting so that's why I went for muted tones. I also redesigned the header. I was the same image that I had been using for the past year and a half, and it looked a bit fussy. I went for a crisp font and used some of my many photos of buttons.

I also added a quick 'interesting, cool, and like' button at the end of each post. I like using this tool on facebook, it's a very handy way of saying you like something without having to leave a comment. I didn't even know it was an option until last night when I went browsing around through all the tools/functions. Lastly I've also added a search bar to the top so you can search the blog for exactly what you're looking for.
Any other suggestions to make this beast more user friendly?

28 Jan 2010

Pin Cushions

In one of my last posts you saw a sneeky peek at one of my new pin cushions. I've made a few more, and just took some quick snapshots of them so you can have a wee look. I love making them, as it's mostly hand stitched. There is something really relaxing about going through that slow process and watching something form in your hands. It also means I can listen to my audiobooks without the buzz of a sewing machine (at the moment I'm listening to Robert Jordans The Wheel of Time series).
I also made new small pin cushions that you can wear on your wrist, these are really handy when your on your hands and knees on the floor doing alterations. The cushion is detachable from the wrist band. One is a cake and the other an iced biscuit. John suggested I make one with a watch face.

26 Jan 2010

Woohoo Lots of Sales

Oh my god! I'm delighted I just made 6 sales in the past 12 hours on Etsy...woohoo! I was told my a friend, Tanya about this site Craftcult. It's a website for checking your views and 'hearts' of all your products. Which in itself is very handy, but they also sell ad space too. So I bought a week of one of their carousel ads, which is a roatating banner with images from different shops. So today was my first day of the week long ad, and I sold 6 things, I'm so chuffed....can you tell??

24 Jan 2010

Button Photo

Here are those yummy buttons I was talking about earlier today. Check them out here


Yes i know it's crazy but I got even more buttons yesterday! I think I have a serious addiction on my hands here. I was out with a friend last night and he compared me to the little dude from the kids cartoon Duck Tales who dives into a pool of all his gold, Peter said he could imagine me showering in my millions of buttons....not far wrong Peter! I just spent the past hour taking photos of them and I'll be listing sets of 200 dark, toffee coloured, and white buttons. I also made a couple of pincushions too. It was really nice to get away from the computer and get back to some sewing.

21 Jan 2010

Etsy Treasury

Fellow Etsy Ireland seller Ooakie very kindly featured my pocket mirror in her treasury, click here to go directly to it, and browse through the listings

20 Jan 2010

2010 Irish Blog Awards

Have you heard of the Irish Blog Awards? The nominations for the 2010 awards are now open. To vote for your favorite Irish blog go here and fill in the nomination form, there are a number of catagories from best food/drink, fashion, music, sports and group blog, and many more. I figured that lots of you are bloggers yourself, or regualr readers, so go show your appreciation and love by nominating your favorite blogs....I just did!!

(Note: Last year I was lucky enough to get down to the final 4 in the Best Irish Business blog catagory....don't think I'll do as well this year but I'll definitely be going to the awards just so I can put a face to all the blogs I read)

Caffeine Addict

I am attempting to give up, or at least cut down, on my caffeine consumption. This time two years ago I never really bothered with tea/coffee but a couple of years doing markets got me hooked on coffee, and I drink coke too. A lot of people are fine when they drink it but I get really hyper, and then crash horribly, and in the new year I noticed my sleeping pattern was all out of whack. Something had to give, and after a few sleepless nights I decided coffee and coke just aren't worth it. This marks day 4 totally clean, I'm tired and cranky but I'm sure it will be worth it....right?

17 Jan 2010

...And the Winner is..

I just gor off the train about an hour ago and I remembered that I haven't announced the winner of my crafty supplies blog...
drum roll please...
congrats to Andrea of Vintage Bella Studios !!!

Stayed tuned for next months blog, you never know it might be you next time!

15 Jan 2010

Extended Draw

The prize draw will be open for one more day...so if you are interested in free supplies click here. I'll be away till Sunday so I won't be posting the winner until then.

Note to Spammers

Ugh...I've had a couple of days of nasty spamming, more than my usual amount. It's so annoying, and such a waste of my time. Sometimes I wonder why they bother, but someone out there must be replying with their personal details. Yesterday I got spam to my etsy shop saying they wanted to buy something but they wanted my home address so a courier could collect it.....I think that one is very nasty. Then this morning I wake up to spammy comments!! Note to spammers, don't bother I'm NEVER going to click/respond/give you my pin number/donate money to your long lost cousin who is the king of mars........enough already!!

13 Jan 2010

New Listings...1950s Pin-ups

Yikes I'm tired, I just spent the past few hours listing my pocket mirrors and large badges in my etsy shop. I've had these for the past two months but I was too busy over Christmas to list them. Today I got up and went straight into taking lots of photographs. It's really satisfying when a batch of photography goes well, sometimes things like dead batteries and bad light can be so frustrating. After a brief hiatus of a coffee and some yummy cake with my friend John I returned to start editing the pictures.

I've been meaning to do this for ages so it's been a particularly good day to get a good lot of them done. As for tomorrow, more photos, and more listing. I'm determined to get both of my shops full of goodies.
(PS: I'm still really excited to have a camera....can you tell?)


I've been trying to source some new supplies for my shop. As you know I already have tonnes of buttons, but I wanted to get a few new items, just to keep things fresh. So in the next few weeks the postman will be delivering these lovely things.
(on a side note it's very hard not to buy LOADS of new supplies)

11 Jan 2010

Tom Collins....best pub ever

Here is a snippet from my favorite pub ever! Tom Collins on Cecil St in Limerick. I just found this video on youtube, of the music sessions they have there. All the musician play for free in a loose jam session every week. I used to work there a few years ago, and it kinda feels like an extension of my living room. It's like Cheers except better!

The BBC also filmed there late last year for the New Years special of the programme Three Men on a Boat, and if you look closely you can see me, and John too-actually the black hat Griff Rhys Jones is wearing is Johns, as he borrowed it because he thought it looked good with his costume. I figure this is my very slow progress to super stardom, RTE last year, the Beeb this year, new it's Hollywood.

Talented Artist

I don't ever watch shows like Britains got talent or x-Factor, but a friend showed me this last night on youtube and I was totally blown away. This is the winner from Ukraines Got Talent, a beautiful and amazingly talented artist who does drawings in sand on a lightbox live on front of the audience. I really recommend watching it the whole way through, as the transformations between each picture just get better and better.

9 Jan 2010

Games Reviews for the Wii

Christmas, and most especially post-christmas time always brings out in me a desire to play lots of computer games. I spend the rest of the year gladly console free but as soon as the turkey is digested I feel the need to sit in a darkened room with lots of blankets and hop, skip, jump, and shoot my way through a myriad of colourful rounds. This year in the January sales I bought Paper Mario World, Boom Blox, and Prince of Persia for the Wii.

When I first turned on the Mario game I felt like bringing it back to the shop, there was a painful 15 minute dialogue to get through before I could play it; which John found hilarious. After the pretty boring start it turned out to be a really good game. There are lots of additions to the normal Mario gameplay, and it has lots of inventive twists on the tradional platform game.

Boom Blox is totally addictive, it has lots of short building puzzles that you must solve by throwing, moving, or smashing blocks. It's a really good game of logic that has been excellently designed. My only complaint is that I find the Wii remote sticks a bit and the controlls don't run as smoothly as the need to, and this can be very frustrating on some of the timed challenges . I haven't opened Prince of Persia yet as I'm waiting till I finish the other two before I start it.

Green Travelling

I'm sure I've mentioned before that we don't have a car. We transport everything to the market on a trolly, it's quite an ingenius idea of John's. In this picture you are looking at 2 flat pack tables, 2 display boards, 1 rotating card rail, and 1 bag of stock. We also carry on our backs to more bags of stock, and that's all the gear for the market!! I can't afford a car at the moment, and I can't drive(which I swear I will remedy this year!!), so this is the perfect solution.....and it's much better for the environment too.

8 Jan 2010

Need a Pint

Over the past few days I've been writing tonnes of emails and making lots of lists, all in the name of organising the Etsy Ireland blog. I've taken a few photos of ribbons that I want to list. But really I think I want to get back to some sewing soon though as my fingers are getting a bit twitchy. I plan to make a range of felt pincushions soon, and I want to catch up on my felt brooches too.
I also got food poisoning this week which was pretty nasty, it was from my favorite Indian takeaway, grumble, I won't be going back there again! Between being sick so much since new years and working in the restaurant for a few days in between, I'm starting to go a bit barmy, I think I need to go out and be human for a while, pints and the cinema might do the trick.

6 Jan 2010

Moonlighting at Etsy Ireland

Over the next month or so I will be helping out a great deal with the Etsy Ireland team blog, organising posts, inviting people to write article, and writing quite a few of them myself. So firstly if you're reading this and you've never checked it out then pop over, it's a great collection of Irish etsy crafters showing their wares, giving tips and generally talking about crafty things. There is the loose structure of

Introducing Modays: where a new seller introduces themselves and there work.
I'll show you mine Wednesday: artists show us a view into their studios
Tricks of the Trade: inside tips of crafting, and a guide to some supplies sellers around Ireland, I'm really looking forward to doing one in Limerick.
Fresh 5 picks on Friday

I'm delighted to be working with the team, I love blogging and writing, so it will be good to get my teeth into a new project!!!
Update: Check out my first post here....a tutorial in photoshop design.....jeez it took a while to do it but I'm really happy with my first ever tutorial, next time I may do something simpler....feedback would be great, go check it out!!

New Supplies

I've had a busy day today with the start my supplies shop revamp. Here are a few new things I've added. Pinking shears, shirring thread, polka dot ribbon, brooch pins...and more new items to come soon!!

5 Jan 2010

Crafty Giveaway

As promised I will be having a giveaway this month, but this time it's different as I'll be giving away a $25 voucher for my supplies shop and shipping will be free regardless of your locality. I realise that there are lots of crafters that read my blog so there will be lots who will be interested in getting their choice of buttons. I'll also be adding lots of new listings over the next few weeks, like brooch clasps, ribbon, thread, handmade pincushions, and loads of new buttons!
Because this is a prize that not everyone would use it's not automatically open to all of my followers, so you must leave a comment on this post please(and you must also be a follower too), please no anonymous comments as I won't be able to contact you.

Best of luck to everyone!!

The closing date is 15th January, and I'll be announcing the winner on the 16th.

2 Jan 2010

Sick Lady

I hope all of you had a great Christmas and New Year. I will return to blogging soon, but I'm pretty sick at the moment with a super cold/mini flu, looking at the screen hurts my eyes so this isn't much fun. Last night I even tried to watch a film wearing sunglasses to cut down on the stinging and headaches( John threatened to take a photo of me with my dopey sick head wearing shades indoors and post it on this blog!!).
I just wanted to post this picture taken of me while I was selling at the Christmas market, it was minus 3-8 most days, so I layered up on all the woolie clothes I own. I love the contrast of my crazy colours compared with my friend Richards dark coat. Special thanks to Eamonn MacCarthy for the image.
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