Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Craft Site - Craftzine

I'm not sure what to call this one - it's CRAFT, from the makers of MAKE, it's a real magazine and also an e-zine, a blog, has podcasts and tutorials and a forum. I've decided to go with the URL name, Craftzine, but whatever we're calling it, it's great! I'm subscribed to their email list, so I regularly receive lists of cool projects to make.

Right now they have a robotic scorpion listed under projects that I find both gross and intriguing:

Icky, yet awesome!

Happy crafting!
Mandie

Friday, May 29, 2009

Shkolnik on Etsy

Shkolnik makes the cutest felted containers:



Mandie

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Themarinerssupplyco on Etsy

Not being the yachting type (ha, I wish!), I've never seen bags like these before. Themarinerssupplyco creates canvas bags and totes that will add nautical flair to your home.

I immediately thought of a stylish use for them:

Mandie

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DECAcandle on Etsy

Candles, lip balms, soaps and "melts" are what you'll find in DECAcandle's Etsy shop:

That's sandalwood soap!

According to the listing description, each melt will scent a medium to large room for approximately 8 - 10 hours. "Breakaway melts are highly scented wax chunks meant to be melted on a tart/melt warmer."

The colours look so good!

Mandie

Saralonglife on Etsy

Saralonglife is an artist who makes unique jewellery. I love this first piece:



How lovely!

Mandie

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vidalbuttons on Etsy

Vidalbuttons stocks craft supplies, mainly buttons. I love an interesting button.



While I like buttons and even enjoy making button holes, (with a sewing machine, of course!) I'm not so fond of sewing missing buttons back on.

Mandie

Flickr Favourites

1. Bunny & gerbera, 2. Inner Light of an Angel Statue?, 3. muni5, 4. jack rose

It's getting colder every day here in South Africa and I'm starting to miss sunshine yellows. I used the Multicolr Search Lab recommended by Artmind to find photos within my chosen colour range. Visit ArtMind's blog to take part in Flickr Favourites (or favorites if you must).

Of these favourites, the angel statue is my favourite - isn't that sky amazing?

Mandie

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dandie on The Storque


Our mosaic ball was featured in the collection accompanying the above mentioned article on The Storque. How lovely!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

REALBUTTERFLYGIFTS on Etsy

I've always wondered where to find these. REALBUTTERFLYGIFTS mount insects that have been raised on natural cruelty free tropical farms. They create their own frames and can customize your order for you.




Mandie

Cupcakeperfumery on Etsy

Cupcakeperfumery sells delicious sounding perfumes and beauty products, yes, sounding, because I haven't tried them. I'm guessing that Marzipan, Coco Noir and Vanilla Truffle perfumes must smell amazing!


Yummy!

Mandie

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday Craft Site - Instructables

Instructables are tutorials added to the site by users and will show you how to make just about anything. You can save your favourite crafts and create your own instructable for anything from drawing a cat to baking chocolate cake. Here are some instructables I like:

Harry Potter magic wand made from paper, glue and paint.

A picnic blanket with a lit perspex center to act as a little table.

A lamp made from paper.

Feel free to post a link to your favourite instructables in the comments!

Mandie

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

InboundThread on Etsy

I spotted one of InboundThread's sewing machine covers and saved her shop as a favourite. She's sold two items since I first pounced on her "undiscovered" shop, and I'm not surprised!


Mandie

KAPARA on Etsy

These might be useful. KAPARA makes these paper tags from left-over paper from printing houses.



Mandie

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Flickr Favourites

1. Dandelion against the sky, 2. The Great Survivor, 3. A Dandelion Grows in Portland, 4. Dandelion

Dandelions on Tuesday. It's nearing exam time and all the final assignments are due NOW. With all the work, we don't have time to post any new finds, but I'll never miss a Flickr Favourites!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Knighttimedesigns on Etsy

I've been interested in working with PMC for a while now, but haven't had the time (oh for endless holidays!). Knighttimedesigns uses PMC to create leaf pendants, to great effect:


These are made by placing real leaves in the PMC and firing it so that the leaf burns away, leaving the imprint in the clay. Knighttimedesigns creates other types of jewellery as well.


She lives in Killarney, Ireland and has been making jewellery for 12 years now. Lovely items in her shop.

Mandie

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Craft Site - Craftster

I know, I know, I'm Captain Obvious, but let's just get the easy ones out of the way before we start looking at more obscure craft sites. Craftster is another community crafting website that will make your bookmarks folder cry. Here you can share your own crafts, find inspiration, follow a tutorial or ask questions about crafting techniques.

Pictured: Monokuro Boo, Cupcake Bath Bombs, Peruvian Thread Earrings, Knitted Mouse.

Also, for inspiration, just look at this "cute as a button" bag!

Gorgeous!

Mandie

Friday, May 15, 2009

Making your products worth finding on Etsy

I mentioned before that I mainly use the Etsy Pounce feature to scout for interesting finds. There are several things that will make me click on a shop and several things that will make me avoid visiting. I'd like to share these with you now. They are quite obvious, but from what I've seen while Pouncing, some people still don't know these tips!
  • It's all about the photographs. If it's dark or blurry or grainy or unclear, I will probably not bother clicking, because as far as I can tell, you're selling a mulberry coloured blob that fears sunlight. All you need for effective photo-taking is a camera, a source of light (the sun will do, the moon is not so good) and preferably photo-editing software on your computer. Here is a tutorial on food photography for bloggers that might give you some inspiration. You don't need to buy the expensive equipment, just put some thought and planning into your photography. After all, in an online shop, the only way for your customers to interact with your product is through photographs.
  • Have more than one product listed. Even if your lone listing is a thing of beauty, without other products to view, the customer can't tell whether your work is consistently excellent. I know it's unfair and it shouldn't matter, but when pouncing through galleries of product photographs, the shops that have some stock to speak of will attract more attention than the almost empty one with the single sad teddy bear. Your online shop is just like a real shop, with several listings it will look as though something is happening. One product is not enough to draw a crowd.
  • Show only the thing that is for sale. Often people will show several items in a photographs, setting a scene. It looks nice, but it's disappointing when I click to check out the floating candles in the bowl next to the flowers only to find out I'm buying the tablecloth. Use your main photo to cram in as much of the product you're selling and use the other photo slots to display your product in other settings.
  • Make your prices reasonable. If I arrive on your shop page to find that you're charging as much for prints of a painting as I would expect to pay for the original, know that I'm going to close the tab and not go back.
  • Finally, give the buyer as much detail as you can. Not only about your product, but about you, where you are, where the products are shipping from. Some people still find it scary to buy items over the internet, so don't make it worse by forcing them to buy from a nameless seller in an unknown location. I recently found a shop with some nice greeting cards, but they all ship with a "surprise" inside. For all I know, the seller could be a crazy person shipping kitten entrails as surprise gifts inside her cards. When it comes to online shopping, buyers prefer no surprises.
Happy crafting and selling!
Mandie

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

GlassGlam on Etsy

I'm going through a colour phase at the moment. Maybe next week I'll hit a monochrome streak, but for now, I want bright, pretty, vivid colours. GlassGlam sells postage stamp necklaces that fit the bill:


GlassGlam has several other items in her shop that made me go "ooh!". I like the stamps, though. I don't get to see a lot of pretty stamps nowadays, what with everything being emailed. So thank you, GlassGlam (her real name is Dionea), for making me consider the little stamp again.

Mandie

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Flickr Favourites


1. Lantana camara, 2. Pink Spring Flower, 3. Always Marry An April Girl, 4. soft pink roses

Last week we joined ArtMind in a Flickr Favourites blogging event. She has decided to make this a weekly feature and we will be joining in every week. Here is this week's selection from Dandie. Enjoy!

DefiantDamsel on Etsy

Oh what fun! I had to laugh when I saw DefiantDamsel's Etsy shop. If you haven't seen the movie The Big Lebowski yet, you won't understand my love for The Dude. But DefiantDamsel knows:


These are all magnets. This next one reminded me of the flying toasters screensaver from After Dark, minus the wings, of course.

And I just had to share this "Angry Milk Carton of Doom" one, because the idea of a threatening milk carton greatly amuses me:


DefiantDamsel says she stitches things that make her happy. I think that's the best way to craft. She's got some more great things in her store, including an astounding Edward Scissorhands portrait.

Mandie

Monday, May 11, 2009

HendersonArt on Etsy

Art appreciation is so subjective that I am hesitant to share paintings that appeal to me, because I might just be chasing away half our audience with my boorish tastes! For example, I recently read an article on Hitler's art and I thought "hey, it's not half bad!". However, Hitler was denied entry into Vienna's Academy of Fine Arts. Twice. And Richard Westwood-Brookes, who clearly knows his art, because just look at his name, feels that the pieces "are at best the standard of a reasonably competent amateur." So it is with some risk to my reputation that I present to you some paintings that appeal to me, but I was taught that it matters not one jot what critics say, as long as you like it. HendersonArt on Etsy created the following two colourful abstracts with oil on wood:



And here is another piece that is not abstract:

HendersonArt happens to have a degree in Fine Arts from the Emily Carr Institute of Art, if you care about such things. Me? I just like the pretty colours.

Mandie

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday Craft Site - Ravelry


There are so many great internet resources for crafters. I'd like to start sharing some here on this blog. So this is the first post in a new weekly blog feature. Maybe you already know about Ravelry, but if you don't, you're about to go to knitting heaven. Ravelry is a wonderful knitting and crochet community site with loads of free patterns and user comments on those patterns. You get to learn from and laugh at others' mistakes and share your own insights into particular patterns, eliminating your stash, or whatever you're interested in discussing. Join a group, have some fun and knit something! If you're already a Ravelry member, leave a comment about your favourite aspect of the site. Personally, I enjoy being able to see my stash at a glance and also to have a list of favourite projects easily accessible.

Mandie

Coffeeandclutch on Etsy

Her photos could do with some lighting editing, but her designs are solid. Coffeeandclutch makes bags and "the original coffee and clutch" - a coffee cuff and mini card case (I lightened the first image a bit) :

Here is a clutch wallet:

And an "oooh, I want!" clutch organizer:

A very handy item and pretty, too, click on the image to see the rest of the photos, because you will want to look inside that one.

Mandie

Friday, May 8, 2009

CreatedByClare on Etsy

Stuck on paper today, but these are sweet. Cards...CreatedByClare.




All her cards are hand painted originals, painted on 300gsm watercolour paper. Envelopes are included.

Mandie