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 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 ? 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 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 - 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!

Monday, 13 June 2011


How exciting, I've been awarded a blog award from the fab Jools of whose blogs I always look forward to reading.

"I love reading your blog and I think you deserve this, so I'm awarding you with the Versatile Blogger Award.

I'm also passing the rules for accepting this award:

* Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their site in your original post.
* Tell us seven things about yourself.
* Pass along the award to five newly discovered bloggers.
* Contact these bloggers and let them know they got this award.

It’s as simple as that. Hope you accept!"

OK, I'm going to come up with seven things about myself off the top of my head, here goes:

1) I love the music of Green Day, the Libertines, Carl Barat, the White Stripes (and Jack White's other bands), generally guitar based indie/punky stuffs with a bit of blues thrown in  Soledad Brothers style...
2) I have two gerbils called Milky Joe and Danger. I previously had two called Leo and Squizzle.
3) I like impressionist art - Monet and Renoir in particular and also loved the Waterhouse exhibition I went to at the Royal Academy last year.
4) I like chocolate, biscuits and tea with one sugar.
5) I have a growing collection of bears and sock monkeys & various monsters.
6) My favourite books are The Host by Stephenie Meyer (I also love the Twilight saga!), Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier, books by Garth Nix (pretty much all of them), His Dark Materials (Northern Lights etc) by Philip Pullman, Harry Potter...(no I'm not a teenager!) and I'm currently working my way through Asimov's Foundation saga.
7) I love Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars films - all of them!

OK, now I have to pass the award on to 5 other bloggers I've recently discovered. To be honest, Jools would have been on the list but she's obviously already got it, so here's some more I've been reading lately.

So that's a bit more about me, wasn't too random but it's getting late...and dark, I'd better put the light on because I can hardly see the keyboard....
Back soon,

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Art I've bought on Folksy (so far...)

If you wander around Folksy you will find a huge amount of art of all kinds.
My own main style is to use rubber stamps, inks and ephemera to make vintage style pictures and collages. I have only listed ACEOs so far, but am planning to add postcard sized art at some stage.
There is so much lovely art around I'd love to buy it all, but unless I win the lottery (unlikely, as I don't play it!) I will just have to either wait for occasions such as birthday or Christmas or if I'm desperate I'll allow myself a treat if I make a sale or two! This slightly defeats the object of me saving up any sale money for "essential" supplies such as new stamps or a Sizzix BigShot machine (one day!!) or making back the amount I have already spent on stamps and suchlike, which is quite a lot!
Before I go any further I should thank Brenda (Gweddus Art) for introducing the ACEO thread to the Folksy Forum and thus ACEOs to many people who hadn't heard of them! Hurrah!!
Anyhow, I thought I'd show you some of the art I've bought so far...

This was my first purchase, I love purple! It's a watercolour by the aforementioned Brenda at

I bought these two fab encaustic ones also by Brenda for my children

This one is from which I bought for my birthday. She makes lovely embroidered art in pretty colours, but despite loving them I'm not really a 'pink' person so requested one in red and black - it came out just right! Anyone who knows them can see it also looks like Meg White from the White Stripes, who are one of my favourite bands!!

I bought this set of prints from  as I just love the colours! I'm quite partial to a bit of purple!

The last two I got as presents for my daughter's birthday, which was on Friday. The first one is from  and is needle-felted.

This one is from and I asked Max if she could incorporate a star into one of her copper wire tree and polymer clay designs as my daughter hopes to open her own Folksy shop called Star Tree Designs when she is 18. 
She was really pleased with both her birthday ACEOs.

I hope you've enjoyed my little selection and I hope to show you more sometime!


Friday, 27 May 2011

Challenge 52 - week 8 - Gift Tags

Well I have managed to keep on track despite events which threatened to destroy my plans! OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but (take a deep breath as I might forget punctuation) we discovered a gas leak from the newly fitted hob, which meant I had to call the emergency number and a man came out and capped the meter as he couldn't get to the valve and pipes of the hob which were handily hidden behind the new kitchen cupboards. So I had to leave the window open and the back door and stay out of the room - as it's a kitchen/dining room and also my workspace I couldn't get anything made. A gas fitter from Homebase came in the evening, fixed the leak (the valve hadn't been tightened when installing the new hob) and it was all done by 8pm without the house blowing up. Phew!

Sooo, I got on with it and made two new sets of gift tags as I planned and therefore completed this week's Challenge - hurrah!! I'm not sure if I'm putting them in my Folksy shop, saving them for when I sort out the website or taking them for my stall at the fetes I'm doing. I'll attempt to make some more things by next week to build up a bit more stock.

By the way, is it just my screen or is the font I'm typing in the 'new post' box a completely different size to how it appears when published? Looking back at my posts the font seems so much smaller and more difficult to read. Here's a question then, Large or normal? Seems to be a huge difference! Answers on a postcard...or comment form would be easier, thanks!


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Challenge 52 - weeks 5-7: not keeping up!

Oh, well my plan once again went awry! I have neglected the poor Emporium whilst concentrating on my Pirate Treasures jewellery side. I knew this wouldn't work, having two blogs for two personalities! I've got the dates I should be blogging relating to each Week of the Challenge 52 year (from when I started) in my notebook, but there are big gaps between the last one and this week!
Right well this week my Challenge to myself was to upload photos to my Facebook page because I realised I hadn't got round to updating the photo albums. It doesn't take long, but I appear to have a brain like a sieve at the moment and if it isn't written on a list I'll forget to do it! Or sometimes even if it is on a list I'll still forget!
I have plenty of ideas floating about my head, but I know I should be stricter with "work" time and not get distracted looking at yet more lovely stamps and reading arty blogs on the internet - I have spent quite a lot of money over the last year on stamps, inks, tools etc (I haven't added it up for the tax forms yet!!) so really need to get a move on and try to sell more stuff!!
I'm planning on taking a few cards and gift tags to the fetes I have a jewellery stall at this summer, just to see how that goes. Mind you I usually cram my table full anyway so that depends if I have room! Hmm, so that means I have to actually make some more...
Next Challenge then is to make at least 2 sets of gift tags in the next 3 days, which is when Week 8 is due to be blogged!!
Come back on Friday to see if I've managed it!

Friday, 29 April 2011

Challenge 52 - week 4

Oh yes, I've managed it! Phew!

I did manage to finish the bag I mentioned before and listed it on Folksy.

I haven't done anything more this week as I've had a cold of the Lempsip Max Strength variety the last few days, so it wasn't the best time to be in the middle of inking/glueing/sewing with sneezes never far away and my eyes watery and half closed! I'm much better now, just a bit sniffy, so I think a cup of tea and some Easter egg and a read of other blogs will be the best medicine!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Challenge 52 - week 3

Apologies for the lateness of this post, I know I'm actually into the fourth week right now, so I'm due another post before the week is out!
To be honest, there hasn't been too much going on in the Emporium over the last week. If you follow my other blog you may recall we have just had a new kitchen fitted. So my personal challege last week was tiling the wall - I have never tiled before, so this was new and artistic so I'm counting it towards the Challenge!! I only did the 'straight' bits of tiling, my husband used a tile saw and did the tricky round the plug sockets stuff. They are "rustic" style tiles - for "rustic" read "randomly cut and finished so impossible to line up straight". Still, we got there in the end. Not bad for a novice, eh?!

I did manage to sit in the garden for half an hour and made a little rosette/corsage type thing which will be sewn onto a bag shortly. It took longer than anticipated when I dropped the needle on the grass and had to search for it, then got one of those unexplained knots just when I had nearly finished!
Hmm, so this week's Challenge is to finish the bag...shout at me if I haven't updated by Friday!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Challenge 52 - week 2

I have accomplished some things this week...

I have added a cool little "Challenge 52" logo that Abi at Birdcage Creative made me to the side of my blog. If you look closely it has my website address in it!

I have just added a Flickr Photostream to the side of the blog too. That took ages of Googling until I found somewhere that showed me there was a gadget on Blogger if I had clicked on 'featured' in the first place. Took about 5 seconds to add once I'd found it!
Of course the next thing I need to do is remember to keep adding photos to Flickr. Maybe that can be an ongoing bit of the challenge - if I don't remember to add things as I go along, I can do a once a week upload.

[Edited] I have also just added the Networked Blogs app to add blog updates to Facebook. Hopefully!!

This week for my Folksy shop I have made a couple of cards and an ACEO.

So the next bit of the Challenge for me is to add the rest of my photos to Flickr. Not very exciting, but something I can tick off the "to do" list!


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Oh dear, failed already!

Oh dear, I don't know why I thought I could keep up with this regular blogging lark! Well I'm soooo lazy I'm going to copy & paste the first couple of paragraphs from my other blog!! OK, so maybe I need some sort of incentive/threat to get myself moving and remembering to blog...

Well luckily Abi from  Birdcage Creative had a great idea with a great name and invented Challenge 52, where she will aim to make/design/blog or otherwisely be creative every week. She has invited others to join in, so that's probably the poke with a blunt stick I need! But as I have two blogs, I might alternate some weeks if I don't manage to get things done for both of them - sounds like I'm chickening out, but hopefully I'll keep it up!
Also, I'm joining in with the daily listing club on Folksy this month, called the April Show-ers. I'm alternating between Pirate Treasures Jewellery and The Emporium of Curiosities each day, so that will make 30 listings in total.
So far I've listed these:

I have a Steampunk style ACEO to list tomorrow and I'm working on products to put an Emporium section on my jewellery website. Though I've just been commissioned to make 6 bracelets so I'll have to see when I can fit that in! 

Friday, 18 February 2011

Folksy Friday - Birds

Well I thought it was about time I did a Folksy Friday to show of some lovely things found at - it's only taken 2 hours to narrow down the selection! I noticed I have been making quite a few bird related ACEOs and greetings cards lately, so this week's theme is BIRDS...
The first is one of my ACEOs (Art Cards) and the second is from my jewellery shop, so that was easy enough. When I put 'bird' into the search box there were so many to choose from, so apologies if you make birdy items, I could have done a really long blog, but it wouldn't have been finished by Friday! I'm sure I'll feature some more birds in the future...

The Emporium of Curiosities
Pirate Treasures Jewellery
Silk Purse, Sow's Ear
Katy Ray
The Linen Cat
Little Black Heart
Lilly's Night Garden
Eri Urushudani Stained Glass
Click on the picture to go to the shop
1) The Emporium of Curiosities    2) Pirate Treasures Jewellery   3) Silk Purse, Sow's Ear   4) Katy Ray   5) The Linen Cat   6) Little Black Heart   7) Lilly's Night Garden   8) Eri Ururshidani Stained Glass

Hope you enjoyed them ~Jane

Thursday, 17 February 2011

First Post!

Hello and welcome to the Emporium of Curiosities!
I can be found at where I sell my handmade ACEOs, cards, gift tags and, well, for the moment I have one bag in stock...There are more to follow but I'm doing the monthly listing club so I'm listing one item a day. When I have time I will be adding an Emporium section to my jewellery website but at the moment there aren't enough hours in the day to make two lots of stock!
This is the kind of thing I make at the moment...