Friday, 29 June 2012

Friday Finds: Sunflowers!

When I was a girl I remember my mum taking me shopping to help choose a birthday card for my Grandma. We looked at an assortment of cards, snetimental ones, funny ones, simple ones. Most of them had flowers on (I think the majority of Grandma cards used to be very floral), so we had narrowed our search down to a couple of flowery designs. Option one was a pink and purple fushia, cascading to frame the poetic message. Option 2 was a big, bold bright sunflower, with a simple message.

 'Grandma has always liked sunflowers, and it's big and bold so she'll be able to see it best. We'll get her that one.' So we did, to my Grandma's pleasure, as she confirmed her enjoyment of sunflowers. I don't know why, but the memory of choosing the card has lodged itself safetly in my brain, and now when I remember my Grandma, sunflowers are never far away.

It's very easy to see why my Grandma, and hundereds or thousands and more like sunflowers. They are big, bold and bright. They symbolise our summer; every child wants theirs to be the tallest! The weather has warmed, the grass is green, and the flowers blooming, so it was easy to pick sunflowers as this week's 'Friday Finds', and even easier to discover the huge array of sunflower inspired items on Etsy. In fact, the only hard part of writing this blog post was in choosing which ones to feature!

Morning Glories 1 has hand painted this cookie/ candy jar with a beautiful sunflower pattern.

Leather can be feminine too, as Angel Leather Shop proves time and time again. The leather cuff featuring a cascading sunflower design is pretty funky.

If you like bold and bright clothing, Nika Collection has plenty of designs to take your fancy, including this bold t-shirt.

For a more subtle touch, Pressing Dandelions oozes sophistication and class with their natural marble coasters.

This intricate necklace is made using quilled paper, available from the talented Quill Paper Treasures.

For a statement clock, look no further than Irina Skarbovsky's breath-taking fused glass creations.

These fabulous pieces are just a small selection of many of the lovely sunflower items for sale on Etsy, all carefuly designed, planned, and loveingly created by imaginative crafters, especialy for your unique enjoyment. If only I was a millionaire so I could buy all the fabulous items I'd love! until then, I'll have to make do with the occasional treat...

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Olympic Torch...

... It's come to Sheffield! Unfortunately I wasn't here on the 25th of June when the olymip tourch was here, (I was busy visiting my sister and her fiance in their new flat, having not realised the torch was here when I booked the train tickets). Plenty of Sheffielders turned out to see the torch and support the torch bearers. What an honour it would be to carry the torch! Plenty of worthy people have/ are taking part in the olymip tourch relay, spurrned on my the crowds who have come to witness this special event. You can follow the torch's route here.  Here's a few of my favourite photo's from Sheffield!

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In honour of the occasion, and to show my support for Team GB, I have designed a cross stitch Union Jack Pendant. It is handstitched using embroidery threads, and set in a silver plated mount, 2.5cm in diameter. The chain is 18" long, and is also silver plated. It could be yours for just £10.00 via my Etsy shop, or my website.

I hope we do well, as does every supporter, but I also hope that all of the competitiors enjoy their visit to London, the competion, and satisfaction at knowing they were selected out of hundereds and thousands of others to represent their country in their favourite sport. 

Let's hear it for Great Britain!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Friday Finds:Etsy

Hello, and thanks for reading my first ever Friday Finds blog post. Since opening my own shop on Etsy earlier this week, (and quickly being a bit obsessed at scrolling through all of the wonderful crafty items on there) I have decided to show a few of my new found favourites each Friday.

This week I was busy browsing the jewellery, a girl can never have too much! it's also given me some inspiration for new designs, I'll keep you posted! Etsy has thousands of beautiful, unique handmade items, way too many to just have 'jewellery' as my theme for this week. Narrowing it down, however, is no easy task, but after much deliberation, and further Etsy finds, I have decided to feature flowers for this week. It is summer after all!

I just love the bold red colour of this beautiful flower pendant by artyscapes.

Classic and contemporary, this lovely adjustable ring from Just Gorgeous Things (JGT's) is perfect for those looking for something elegant. 

These beautiful Hibiscus Flower earrings by Sweetie2Sweetie are absolutely gorgeous, I love the colours (Purple is my favourite after all). 
For delicate metal-heads out there, this intricate trailing flower pendant by Alwaysabridesmaid is a beautiful adornment.

Fans of cherry blossom will love HapaGirls cute creation.

ShuliDesigns wastes no time with her polymer clay flower design. The detail is exquisite.

Right, I must stop browsing for a bit now and get stitching on my own jewellery!
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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Etsy Shop Launch!


My Etsy Shop is here!

After a try at a Folksy shop last year, which didn't do as well as I'd hoped, I've decided to give Etsy a go using all of the things I have learned since starting out my craft business.

With any business, its all about promotion to be successful, a key ingredient to building a business and growing profit, and a which is somewhat lacking for You Sew Should. However, with an Etsy shop and the communities available to me, I hope I can learn more promotional tips, get my jewellery seen by even more people, and as a result increase my sales figures! So, to start it all off and celebrate the launch of my new shop, I am offering 10% off all items in my shop, simply use the coupon code NEW10 when ordering and choose your item!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Fathers Day Card

It's Fathers Day tomorrow, so best wishes to all dad's out there, I hope you all have a lovely day.

My dad is on holiday this week, (I hope there's some nice weather for him and mum, instead of this constant rain and grey skies engulfing us). I am however, seeing them next week, along with my sister and her boyfriend who have just moved into a flat together. I'm very excited about seeing them all, and being a guest of my sister for a change! It'll be lovely for us all to be together, and have a good old catch up. It doesn't happen as often as I like, as I live in Sheffield and they live in Northamptonshire, especially as Chris (as a pub manager) works at weekends, and I also have to 'feed' my cells some weekends too.

One 'advantage' of Chris working evenings and weekends however, is that I have plenty of time at home alone to spend stitching away in front of trashy TV shows (like don't tell the bride) and girly chick flicks that he, like most men, try to avoid as much as possible. Anyway, This has given me time to design and make a new cross stitch card for my dad this Fathers Day.

First of all I created the design. I kept it simple, with the classic 'Happy Father's Day' message, and created a simple geometric border to frame it beautifully. This has the added advantage of the card having a more masculine appeal; it's easy for cross stitch to be 'girly' with flowers, hearts, and cute animal designs, but harder to create masculine designs that aren't all about football, cars, or beer, none of which is relevant design material for my father, who prefers walking and cycling. What do you think?

Last time I made a card I simply trimmed and glued the design onto the card. This worked ok, but I wanted to try something different this time, so I carefully measured the size of the design, and cut an aperture out of the front of the card, so that the cross stitch could be glued to the inside of the card, with the design showing through to give it a neat edge, and a more professional finish. As I used green card, I used a green pencil to mark the aperture before carefully cutting it out. Next, I trimmed the cross stitch to give a small overlap, and after carefully checking the positioning and aperture size, glued it into place.

It definitely has a cleaner finish when on display.  However, I felt that it needed a little something still, to bring a bit more interest to the card. After a quick search through my stash of crafty items, I decided to add a bit of sparkle using a variety of different sized gold sequins. I just as easily could have trimmed a ribbon and added that, or cut a card border using a different colour. However the glitz won out, and after selecting the sequins and positioning them on the card I carefully glued them in place with the aid of a match to try and prevent getting glue everywhere! It proved mostly successful, and as I was using a clear drying craft glue it didn't matter too much where some glue was visible.

The inside of the card, however, was less neat as the back of the stitching could easily be seen. to hide this and neaten it up, I trimmed a sheet of pale green paper to a size just smaller than the card, and folded it in half. I then carefully glued it in place along the fold and around the edges of the paper, ensuring that the reverse of the cross stitch was covered. After leaving it overnight to dry, and having written a message to my dad inside, the card was finished and good to go. What do you think?

Happy Fathers Day!


Monday, 11 June 2012

Fathers Day Ideas!

If you've been near any gift shops or walked down a supermarket card aisle, you'll already know that its Fathers Day on Sunday. If. like me, you always struggle to decide what to get for your dad, then here are some lovely, unique and crafty items he might like...

Handmade by MK works wonders with felt. If you're looking for a little special something for an outdoors, veichel loving dad, then these Tractor keyrings are perfect! There is also a green version, along with camper vans, owls, elephants and many more colourful designs.  

If your dad loves his tea, but leaves 'rings' everywhere, then these jazzy mosaic coaster by Diomo Glass are the perfect solution. They are pretty but masculine, and you can never have too many! Diomo Glass don't just stop at coasters, they sell tea light coasters, glass lanterns and sun catchers amongst others.

For 'proud to be British' fathers take a peek at this card by Yammas Cards and crafts. The design is perfect for all London loving dad's. It is particularly apt if your dad will be avidly watching the Olympics with the carefully chosen border. Don't forget to check out their other fabulous cards while your at it. 

Fathers day is for your dad, and his family, which Paper Panda beautifuly reminds us with this intricate framed paper cut out. I thinks it's fabulous, especialy how the tree creates a frame for the family featured. Paper Panda also produces other pictures, and lovely sayings.

This colourful sun catcher is a creation by Busy Lizzy and is perfect for the boy that all grown men still are at heart. The bright design will make a perfect window adornment for any retreat your father could choose, be it a study, his bedroom, or even the garden shed. Busy Lizzy's  talent also extends to buterflies, sun rising over hills, and many more.

I hope this has given you a few ideas! It is definately harder finding items for men than it is for women, I guess they tend to prefer more useful items, or electronic gadgets rather then pretty ornaments. However, with a bit of searching you can find a wide range of items, perfect for your dad this Fathers Day.

Friday, 1 June 2012

The Clothes Maiden

A humongous hooray for my first magazine feature, and a massive thank you to Steff, the lovely lady behind the magazine!

The Clothes Maiden is an independent, bimonthly fashion magazine. It features a wide range of small fashion and crafty businesses and is most definitely worth browsing.

I first heard of it when Steff contacted me via my website, asking to feature my anchor rings (you can see the feature on page 7 of the online version). As you can imagine, I was very excited that someone wanted to feature my rings in their magazine, and immediately followed the link she had kindly provided to her website, where I found Issue 6 of the magazine. It is sleek and chic, and each feature was beautiful presented, be it a two page clothes shop spread or a simple one product feature. I have found some beautiful items in the latest issue (issue 7) accompanied by highly complimentary, interesting and sincere write ups. It's even more impressive when you realise that Steff has accomplished designing, writing, editing and printing her very own magazine for a year next month, So Happy Birthday for July!

Amongst this months issue is Bowtieful, unusual and quirky bow ties that can be custom made, with your choice of fabric type, colour, and extras, such as studs!

Pretty Little Thieves has a talent for quirky artwork. Check out her Etsy shop for items such her printed wall art and hand painted plates.

The Clothes maiden also has articles about Lu Flux, a particularly unusual clothing company involving lots of floral, pleats with a dose of vintage inspiration and a mix of the British Summer time thrown in. If, like many of us, you are fanatical about fantastic shoes then check out Miista for their fabulous fashion forward footwear. If jewellery's your thing, then check out Pebeta Teta for gorgeous, chunky, uber cool jewellery. But don't just take my word for it, head over to The Clothes Maiden for a proper perusal!