Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Taste Test Tuesday!!

 YES, I know what you are going to say's Wednesday!! 
I know, I know, but it may still be Tuesday somewhere right? And anyway lovely things are not just lovely on Tuesdays, it just seemed like a good title when I wrote it (yesterday!!!).

we'll begin AGAIN...
Taste Test Tuesday  Wednesday!!

OK so, now we've cleared that up - let's see what the Etsy taste test brings us this time...
hold on I'll be back in a mo.....
rumi dish
ampersand earrings
pine cone necklace
Time travellers photo

Well done Etsy ~ I commend you for recognising my good taste!! {hehe}
Seriously though the taste test application has vastly improved since it's inception.
Tried it yet???
Go on! It's fun and who knows what fabulous things you may discover!

Hope your week is going well.
Sally x0x

Friday, August 26, 2011

Kindness from adversity ........

Some of you reading this may have heard about last week's terrible tragedy.
In case not - I'll explain...
I belong to the Etsy 'team'  DUST (Down Under Street Team), which has been a great source of online support, advice and companionship to me; it is a group of Creative types, 'living in Australia with an active Etsy shop', so right off we have a lot in common. This group is like having colleagues in the sometimes lonely world of self-employment!
Anyway, our team leader is called Julie-Ann, and last week this lovely mother of four was travelling in a  light plane from hospital (several hours drive from her home),with her 15 year old daughter Jacinda, who had been suffering from childhood arthritis but was finally in remission. Very sadly the plane crashed and Jacinda and the pilot, Don Kernot, did not make it; Julie-Ann herself was hospitalised and left in a critical condition.

I am so heart-warmed by the kindness and support I have seen from my team members and others within the Etsy community in response to this heart-breaking tragedy.
Members of our team have made donations of money and /or one or more of their products - as we have two Etsy 'treasuries' full of items where 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Julie-Ann and her family. This is in the hope that we may be able to at least help ease some practical (financial) burdens, so that they may concentrate more on comforting eachother and the dreadful, unthinkable task of coming to terms with their loss. So far we have raised $2,962.66. 
Go DUSTers!!

You can view the two treasuries as they currently stand today here and here (new items are being swapped in as any sell). These have been created and managed by the wonderful Deb (please check out her stunning glass jewellery in her Etsy shop Unique Dichroic).

I donated two items, (above) the vintage necklace was purchased by a very kind lady called Yogi Gray, who asked me to pass on the proceeds but not send the necklace, so that I may re-list it and sell it again - which I have.
This very kind lady has her own lovely Etsy shop, Distinctive Color Art,
where she sells her bold, colourful paintings,
 and some by her kids too!! (see right).

I would like to show you some of her work as a tiny gesture of kindness in return for her generosity (but also because I think you will like them!).

I love their bright colours and fabulous energy!

 {All  images of paintings by Yogi Gray}

Oh and I also bought an item from one of the treasuries too! It's a surprise package from the gorgeous and talented Helena of Little Mo and Friends. I can't wait to receive it - I'll show it to you when I do!!

I hope you've had a great week,
and also that you will spare a thought for Julie-Ann and her family.
love and hugs,
Sally x0x

post script: sadly Julie-Ann passed away on Monday 29th August, may she and Jacinda now rest in peace together.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Marvellous - Taste Test Yummies!

HELLO there
I decided to try the whole (Etsy) taste test thing again to bring you some more lovelies!
It's only barely still Monday here, but whatever...... {cute or tempting stuff is still cute and / or tempting whenever we look at it, right?!!}  :-0)

Butterfly Letterpress card

Lemon Meringue Marshmallows

Deep Sea Lamp
Tiny Dots Ring
Vintage airplane toy
Sunshine screenprint
vintage spoons photo

Have a great week!
Sally xox

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday evening giveaway!!!!

Hello My Lovlies,
I hope you have had a lovely weekend! (We have had a really busy one with kids parties and such! - all very nice, we have two tired but happy post-sugar-high boys now!).

Anyhoo.... I am just stopping in to offer a quickie giveaway....

my latest item - {shabby chic vintage button mix} seems to have become my most 'favourited'!! it has 38 41 hearts so far!!! Wow!! (I've also sold and re-listed about 3 times!). Please note these are SHABBY chic by the way!!!

SO, because it seems to be a popular item I thought I'd give a pack (of 50) away. Why not!?!
If you'd like to enter ... (Yes, this IS open to worldwide readers).
You just need to follow my blog if you're not doing so already and leave a comment.Just HI will suffice, nothing fancy or schmancy!!).... (Oh & make sure I have a way of contacting you too please).

I'll pick and post a winner here sometime tomorrow. [Demanding 4 year old will decide the timing - and probably the winner too!]  :-0)

Good luck!
love,  Sally xox

p.s. More giveaways coming soon..............

Giveaway now closed. Thanks to those of you who entered x x x

Congrats to Deb from Two Cheeky Monkeys! 
(Mr Stroppy 4 year old picked you out!!).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

* Designer * Artist * Illustrator * Blogger... * - Lucy King

 I'd like you to meet Lucy - like me she is a textile designer, and an English gal living in Australia!

This talented lady, Lucy King is a Print Designer and Illustrator, specialising in surface 

pattern design across varied creative platforms. She can boast a diverse range of work and 

international clients (although I'm sure she wouldn't boast - we British don't tend to like 

to!!). Lucy's designs and creations include textiles such as Bed linen & interior furnishings

as well as tableware products and children's products.

She has previously worked for Wedgewood, in the UK, as a tableware pattern designer,

but she now lives in Melbourne, and works from her own studio there, as a freelance 

illustrator and designer.

Just look at these examples of her beautiful quintessentially English illustration style.


Translated into tableware, these illustrations look stunning!

Me Old China!!!
My favourite aspect of Lucy's work has to be her 'Me Old China' range - a unique collection of designs created from pre-loved old and vintage plates; discarded crockery that is given a  

 second lease of life, crafted by Lucy into bespoke collections of over-scaled
                                                           jewellery and wall plates

You can buy this pendant (right) & more of the range from Lucy's
Etsy shop.

(note: these three images are from Lucy's Etsy shop)

Diamond shaped willow pendant - $70

I also adore Lucy's sketchbook illustrations of vintage kitchenalia...

N.B. Unless otherwise stated ALL IMAGES are copyright of Lucy King and can be found here.

See you soon,
Sally xox

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Monday Marvellous - Taste Test Pretties

Hello happy Monday to you Lovelies!!

I decided to take an Etsy Taste Test for fun today (I haven't done it for a while), it has been much improved since the last time I tried it! So much so, that I had a go 3 times in a row!!

Have you tried it yet? Even if you have - do it again, why not?!

Here are some of the pretty discoveries I made:

linen dress
stunning painting
Tomato Server
vintage necklace
Queen Anne's Lace
shabby hearts
have a great week,
Sally x0x

Friday, August 12, 2011

Creative Business Tips - #1 - Looking after your customers.

Today we have a guest post written the lovely, and very clever Julie of Tractorgirl

A little info about Julie (aka 'Tractorgirl'~ she lives on a farm (hence the monniker!), in Wagga Wagga, NSW. She has a BA in Jewellery & Silversmithing and a phD in Fine Arts, and since graduating, has had a busy life  being a practicing artist, part-time high-school teacher and mother of three small children. With the arrival of her children, Julie found textiles to be more compatible than the sharp implements etc required for silversmithing!!. 

Julie uses recycled fabrics for all the outers of her textile pieces, (which include cushions and handmade bags), from an eco point of view, but also she is intrigued by the histories of the pieces of fabric - what paths have they traversed before they reached her, and where they going on to. 

tutorial for sale
Reverse applique cushion (sold)
one of Julie's handmade recycled fabric bags
Now... let's hear from Julie:

"Small biz – Looking after your customers"
 by Julie Gibbons.

Ah yes, we’ve all felt that niggle at some stage - a little cheesed off after a purchase that didn’t really live up to our expectations. 
broken brooch image by Sally

I have found this is especially true of online purchases. I think this is because it is so easy for anyone at all to put their stuff out there. And it seems quite a few of those anyones make some very basic mistakes from lack of experience. I know, I’ve had ALL of these things happen to me.

Get a business card! 
This is so obvious, and these days so cheap, you are silly not to. Nothing looks cheaper than a piece of paper with your biz details printed on it, shoved in the package with the product. And believe me, it gets chucked in the bin.
You can get great cards you design yourself through Saltprint – a wholly Australian owned company, based in Brisbane. I am really happy with the quality of mine. Or you can go to Vistaprint (they’re multinational) – even cheaper, and they have a range of standard, pre-designed cards that you can customise to suit yourself. (note from Sally : this is where I get mine from - and have been happy with them). The quality is OK, though in my opinion, not nearly as good as Saltprint

Package things properly, so that the goods arrive to the customer in excellent condition – e.g. I roll my fabric cushion covers, so there is no major creasing, which can be difficult to remove on a finished item. And I do like receiving a well-presented parcel! Lots of crafters I know like to package their products to look like a small gift – easy, and cheap to do with some gold tissue paper and a piece of ribbon. I always tuck my biz card and the invoice inside with the product, so a ‘gift’ is what they see upon opening the postal bag/outer wrapping. (Oh, and only ONE biz card please, unless of course it is your special aunty/fave cousin/best friend – your casual customer won’t be into carrying those spare biz cards around with the intent of building your empire – again, they end up in the bin.)

Describe your product properly. Of course tell us about its great points, but do not hide flaws, you will not be forgiven. e.g. the vintage fabric you are selling shows a stain mark, or has a corner cut off it (give the size, and show a close up of it) or the bracelet you’ve made has a chip on one side (again, a close up, and give an approximate size & shape)
If your customer has a problem with your product, offer a refund or replacement (depending on circumstances of course). You should be able to stand by the quality of your product, its construction and finish. If you can’t, you’re in the wrong game.
If you promise something, KEEP YOUR PROMISE.  I know in the past I have been guilty of this, because we all get caught up in other things and forget… keep a list of stuff you have to do! And tick it off.

Be generous. If your customer has queried something, offer a little bit extra. Of course this entirely depends on the situation, and how much the transaction is worth, but certainly I have given, and received small handmade gift tags, bonus product, etc, on occasion. 
And being generous does not just apply to product. Be generous in your attitude – if your customer has a problem, be patient and gracious. If you’re writing a message to them, try and think about how YOU would feel if you received that message! Be generous with your time and efforts to assist others – colleagues as well as customers. What goes around comes around.

If you wish to be taken seriously, act professionally. And it really comes down to the old golden rule – treat others how you would like to be treated yourself. 


You can find more about Julie, her life & her products on Etsy,  Facebook & her blog.
Sally x0x