Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere to share the ups and downs of starting a craft business, with plenty of tips, mishaps and the odd glass of wine!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Felt Star Garland Giveaway

Two posts in one day... how does she manage it? I hear you ask... well the answer is... it's just as well you can't see the mess around the house, the amount of time the kids have spent on their tablets today, the amount of work I have piled up and the state of my hair!!

But anyway, I'm back with a little starry giveaway!

There will be 2 winners, picked at random at midday on Monday 2nd November (GMT) and to be in with a chance to win a garland, all you need to do is leave me a comment saying which you'd like to win - the Rainbow Garland or the Glittery Garland.

I'm happy to post internationally... so GO, GO, GO!

How Celebrity Endorsements Can Boost Your Sales

Now we all know that one of the best things that can happen to a small business is a celebrity endorsement... but how do you get that wonderful magical thing to happen.

Well it can be hard work. Here are 5 things that will help:

1. Work out who you want to connect with. I have chosen a number of famous (and infamous!) because they are interested in crafting or are part of my target customer demographic (i.e. they fit into the group that I am aiming my products at) it's no good following George Clooney if you are trying to get your products to new Mum's who need breast feeding cover ups!

2. Follow (stalk!) your chosen celebs. I follow a number of people on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram... including Kirstie Allsop, George Clarke, Jan Constantine, Benedict Cumberbatch (sadly not really him as he doesn't do social media, but a page run by his people!), Rosie O'Donnell, Taylor Swift, Marie Osmond, Martha Stewart.... I could go on!

3. If they tweet/post something that is relevant to you, comment on it. I.e. Get them to notice you. Interact with them.

4. If you have something you think would be up their street.... tag them or message them about it. Don't spam them with loads of links, but just if something really fits, let them know.

5. Persevere! It's not going to happen over night, but hopefully, with a bit of luck, your work will pay off.

And here's my celebrity endorsement story...

It's quite a small, insignificant thing, but it has already shown results.

I was mooching through my Twitter feed this morning, sitting in bed with a cup of tea, whilst the kids played and my husband complained about having to go to work (so in other words.... I had zoned them all out!) and up popped this tweet from George Clarke:

I read it and checked out the Instagram pic, which was this:

 So I thought I'd take a chance and reply with a cheeky request for a re-tweet. This way my tweet:

Notice how I put the key points in to catch his attention and save the need for any questions - yes, I'm donating profits to the Royal British Legion charity, the prices are included in the picture and there is a link to the poppies in my Etsy Shop

SO then I just carried on with what I was doing... hassling the kids to get dressed, shoving the dog off the clothes pile, soothing the husband about having to work, umpiring World War III as it broke out over which socks belonged to who and who had got dressed 'first'!!

Then... PING.... I checked my phone and saw that Gorgeous Gorge had re tweeted my tweet!!!


When I checked 2.5 hours later, 4,500 people had seen my tweet! And my phone has been 'Kerchiiiiiing-ing' merrily all morning as orders are being placed!

So while, Gorge himself hasn't bought one (yet!) just by retweeting my tweet to his 93,000 followers has done my little business a HUGE amount of good and it's also helping the Royal British Legion, which is fantastic!

So, what have you got to lose?

Monday, 12 October 2015

How To: Halloween Spooky Spider Tutorial

In my previous post I shared some of the details of the Halloween crafts we got up to at Seren's 7th Birthday Party.

The Spooky Spiders, which were really straightforward to make, so I've done a mini-tutorial for them:

You Will Need:

Yarn (any colour)
4 Pipe Cleaners (any colours)
2 Googly Eyes
1 Large Needle
Pair of Scissors
PVA Glue (or similar)


1. Gather your materials.

2. Cut your pipe cleaners in half and wrap one around the middle of the other three. This will leave two legs shorter than the others, they'll be your front legs.

3. Add a blob (technical term) of glue to the centre of the pipe cleaners and stick on the end of your yarn.

4. Wrap, wrap and wrap some more! When you are happy with the plumpness of your spider, glue the end of the yarn to the bottom of your spider (Note: At this point you can chose which is the top & bottom of your spider - once you've chosen, bend the legs accordingly)

5. Add the googly eyes. If they are self adhesive, great.... if not, just add a blob (still a technical term!) to the back of each eyeball.

Your spider is finished!

If you would like to hang him up, cut off another length of yarn, thread the large needle and push the needle through one of the strands of yarn at the top of your spider. Tie off the yarn at the top and hang:

Enjoy your spider making!

We also made Felt Eyeball Coasters:

Which I've not done a full tutorial for, but have explained what we did here

Halloween Crafts

Seren, my almost 7 year old decided that as her birthday is near to Halloween, that this year she would like a Halloween themed craft party.

Ok. We can do that I thought and got Googling!!

The crafty items I came up with were Felt Eyeball Coasters* (using this great tutorial at Patchwork Posse)

And a Spooky Spider:

As I came up with this one all on my very own (as Seren used to say when she was little!) I've done a tutorial to go with this post - it's really easy and the two 5 year olds managed it perfectly as well as all the 7 year olds.

The kids also decorated ghoulish cupcakes and made rolo pastry eyes.

They had a great time and as far as kids parties go, it was far less stressful than 25 kids in a hall with a bouncy castle!!

*The Felt Eyeball Coasters are really really easy peasy! You just need 4 circle templates, each one a bit smaller than the last. For the largest, I drew around the largest mug we have and then made the template a bit larger again. The smallest circle (for the white of the eye) needs to be a good bit smaller than the black bit. Once you have cut them all out, glue the coloured felt onto the largest white circle, then glue to black circle to the middle of the coloured piece and the small white circle, glue to one side of the black circle. Make sure you cover each felt circle with glue right up to the edge. We used a normal PVA glue in cleaned out yoghurt pots and plastic spatulas - 1 for each child so there was no arguing!!

Here are some pics of the room, decorated in our Halloween goodies!

Birthday Girl and ghoulish cupcake decorating

Felt Eyeball Coasters

More Felt Eyeball Coasters

Halloween Candle hiding in a stone nook

Ghostie Fairy Lights

Eyeball Fairy Lights and my Halloween Wall Hanging

Collection of Spooky Spiders - particularly love the one eyed and no eyed ones!

Happy Birthday Seren!

Rolo Pastry Eyeball Making
The kids all had such a good time as you can see!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Handmade At Amazon is Live!

Well, we got there!! I had a few teething problems but I worked it out eventually and.....

Handmade At Amazon is now live! Phew!

Here's my Artisan Profile:

And here are the first products I've got listed:

Not sure why the 3rd listing isn't showing (a few kinks in the system perhaps?!)

So far Handmade @ Amazon is only available to US buyers, but they assured me it will be rolled out to the rest of the world, probably sometime next year.

So now, I'm just going to try and work out how to change the shipping prices to reflect the actual postage costs and list some more goodies!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Handmade @ Amazon

A couple of weeks ago I applied to Handmade @ Amazon - it's a little like Etsy, in that it's a market place for handmade products, but it ties into the main Amazon site, which opens up markets to a huge range of potential customers.

It's a little bit daunting applying to a huge giant like Amazon, but, amazingly, on Monday morning this week I got an email saying they had approved my application - yay!

So, now I have the next scary task... trying to navigate their system to get my products loaded... a very slow, somewhat bewildering task. that is currently being accompanied by vast amounts of tea & chocolate!

So I'm pretty sure that the 2 hours worth of work I just put into creating my storefront and first product, shoud have yielded more than this!!


Might have to resort to more chocolate and then tackle the user manual again to see if I can work out where I've gone wrong!

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