Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Custom orders

Recently, I've been asked to make a couple of custom orders for two different weddings, one in the USA and one in the UK. Both were based on items I have listed in my Emporium of Curiosities Etsy shop.
The first was to make cards for the tables at a steampunk themed wedding. I had a similar ACEO (art card) in the shop, so I swapped the little cog for numbers which I die cut from gold card.
Steampunk ACEO
Wedding table cards being made

My second commission was to make 40 of my chandelier design gift tags, which are to go with wedding invitations. I thought I'd photograph them as I made them...

Removing the string!

Blending the ink background

Cutting ribbon while the ink dries

Stamping the chandelier

 I'm always happy to accept commissions and it's a real honour to be a part of someone's wedding day!


Sunday, 23 February 2014

What I've been up to, including my Etsy shop!

...So I was debating whether to continue with this blog or just put everything in my Pirate Treasures one, as all my Emporium things were on the website anyway. But then last summer I decided to open an Emporium of Curiosities shop on Etsy as well. So after much deliberating, I decided to do another post here and see how it goes! Not that I have that many followers and I was never the best at updating my blogs anyway...

My Emporium of Curiosities Etsy shop opened last summer and is a mixture of ACEOs, gift tags, cards, decorated wooden things and "assemblage" jewellery - made from a concoction of vintage finds and reclaimed broken jewellery.

Here's a few examples of paper and wooden things from the shop

ACEO vintage style

Paris gift tags

Decorated wooden box
Steampunk art

Altered key cabinet
 To see the jewellery, I've done a couple of posts on my Pirate Treasures blog here
I am not great at remembering to post on that one too, but you never know, I might get into the swing of it! I already have my next post idea planned for this blog!!


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Back in the zone...

I haven't done an awful lot in the way of stamping or making cards and things since Christmas. I have bought plenty of things to make things with - mainly Tim Holtz stuff and Sizzix things to use with my Big Shot I got for Christmas. I was expecting my website to be much quieter in January and February and planned to get new things made then, but the jewellery sales were still coming so I've just been replenishing stock and making new designs there. 
The only cards I've made were for Mother's Day...

I knew I would get back into the paper craft/stamping frame of mind round about now, as yesterday I went to a stamping class at Blade Rubber Stamps in Bloomsbury, London.
My daughter came with me to make a day of it, as the shop is just down a little side road opposite the British Museum. If you like stamping, you could spend hours browsing (and buying!) the whole shop as it is crammed full of lovely things. 
The class we attended was a beginners class. I knew I wasn't a complete beginner, but having never been to a class and having only taught myself by reading stamping magazines and books I thought it was probably a good idea. The two hour class flew by - we could have easily spent the whole day there - but Susie fitted in loads of tips and techniques and we were given a handout with all the information to take home and digest at out leisure (the different inks and what they can/can't be used for is a bit overwhelming to take in without having it written down for reference!). My wish list of things to buy is now longer than ever!

I took a few photos of the class and the samples we made:

 This was my one, using an IndigoBlu stamp. I've only recently discovered them and don't own any of their stamps yet, so it was nice to try it out. 
We used embossing powder and heat guns on our work, which if you've never tried it before you're missing out - it's so cool when it starts to work and all of a sudden the heat whooshes across the image and you have a super shiny design!

How pretty are these? Made by others on the class.

For more information, have a read of the Blade Rubber Blog or Susie's own blog here. We are going back in June for the Steampunk class!

As it was a lovely warm and sunny day, we had lunch outside the British Museum and then had a look around it. There was an exhibition of drawings, etchings and lithographs and we had a quick look at the clocks and ancient jewellery before getting the bus back to Victoria station. We'll do the rest of the museum when we go back in June!
It was a bit sunny! >
  <Big gold boat automaton! 
Awesome clock!>
 I've sold a few of my ACEOs and gift tags on my website since adding the Emporium of Curiosities section to it and I am still planning on opening an Etsy shop, so I'd better get on and make some new things to stock up! 


Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I've made some stuff!

Yes I have actually found a few hours to do some "arty" things!
I have been really busy getting my jewellery stock ready for Christmas Fairs - one last weekend and two this coming weekend. However, I am taking a few bits of art plus some cards and gift tags with me to the Concrete Market on Sunday. It's a bit scary as I haven't had any of my arty things on show in public before.
I sometimes feel that my stamped work and collaging isn't "proper art", much the same as Folksy called a lot of my jewellery "assembled". But then I sold some of both on their website and my customers were happy with them. I suppose that's kind of answered my own question...I probably should plan what I'm writing in my blogs and not just type what comes out of my head!
Anyhow, here's a few photos of what I've been up to...

The card and tags were made using stamps from Crafty Individuals - I'd love to buy their entire shop!

 Hmm, I was trying to add photos of three collages, but for some reason Blogger has turned them from portrait to landscape and therefore they end up being sideways! I will try and find out if I can get them the right way round and then edit this post later....

Meanwhile, take a look at this great new online magazine http://www.supporthandmade.co.uk/ which is full of useful articles for crafters, website owners and people who like to buy handmade. Oh, did you go to the Christmas showcase http://www.shhim.co.uk/ ? If not, better get your skates on, it's that present-buying time of year!!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Moving to my website...


Well I had a serious think since I last blogged here and decided that the Emporium of Curiosities would move to its own section on my website http://www.pirate-treasures.com/. As I was unhappy with the whole Folksy's new "vision" situation and the fact that they've just added VAT to both their listing fee and commission, I think it's the right thing for me to do. I have been busy adding lots of ACEOs, cards and gift tags to the website, so now all I need to do is promote to make people aware that they are there!


Talking of promotion, there's a fantastic Christmas showcase of UK designer-makers by the one-woman show behind Support Handmade, However it's Made - have a good long browse and get your Christmas present ideas here!

I promise not to leave it so long between blog posts, as I'll have Christmas cards & gift tags to show soon!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

News, Folksy problems & stuff!

Well it's been a while hasn't it?!
Not too much has been going on in the Emporium over the summer...
We had a great holiday in Lido di Jesolo in Italy and visited Venice and the islands of Murano and Burano and another day spent in Verona and Sirmione on Lake Garda. Then had three days in Paris. Fantastic!

Since I've been back, I created an Emporium of Curiosities section on my jewellery website http://www.pirate-treasures.com/ - it's not got masses in it at the moment, but I'm adding my delisted ACEOs from my Folksy shop and more after 1st November when most of my Folksy items will have to be removed due to the new rules.

In case you're not familiar with the new Folksy rules, well you're lucky to have avoided all the nastiness on the Folksy Forums! I've been trying to stay out of it as I haven't decided whether to continue there or not. Basically Folksy want to become a little more upmarket and concentrate on their definition of handmade. However, they have handled it quite badly and many sellers are left very confused, as some of the rules are a bit ambiguous or contradictory advice has been given to different people. I understand Folksy's wish to move away from the hundreds of "bung it on a chain" charm necklaces on sale, but what constitutes "original design" has been interpreted differently and inconsistently. I will go into the jewellery side of the argument in more detail on my other blog later... 

 As far as the Emporium of Curiosities is concerned, I will no longer be able to list anything (ACEO or greetings card) which has just one stamped image, whether I've inked the background or embossed the image or enhanced it in any way. I will only be able to use stamps if I make a collage or layer or use more than one stamp in order to create an "original design".

One of the (ex-)Folksy sellers has set up a page on her website here dedicated to Supporting Handmade However It's Made (see the badge on the right!), where sellers who have been affected by the new Folksy rules can have a free advert and support each other. If you're on Twitter just search for #shhim or pop by the page to see the links to the ever-growing list of sellers and shops. Some are no longer able to sell on Folksy, but have prepared stock for the busy pre-Christmas selling time and will miss out due to Folksy's bad timing and lack of consideration.

I will be adding more ACEOs to the website over the next week and I'm working on a postcard size collage at the moment. I may be having a stall at a couple of vintage & handmade fairs before Christmas so need to work on some festive themes!
I'd better have lunch first though...

Friday, 17 June 2011

Challenge 52 - week 10 - new card & gift tags

It's fairly quiet in the Emporium at the moment, as I'm preparing for the start of the Summer Fete season with my jewellery. I have three local fetes lined up so have been stocktaking and making as many new things as I can - better to be overflowing than run out!
If it's a dry and non-windy day I might bring along a few cards and gift tags with me and see if we can fit them on the table. I thought the large luggage label tags might be able to be sold as bookmarks individually. I'm always having children with not much money wanting to buy something, so maybe I can interest them in a hand stamped bookmark with ribbon!

I've made eight so far and will endeavour to make a few more once I've got all the jewellery sorted. I've got a week to go...

I listed a card on Folksy this week, blank for all occasions!

 Week 11 blog update is due in a couple of days, let's see if I can get anything new done by then!