So, as promised here is the first in the series of interviews I will be doing over the next few weeks. The interview is with the fabulously talented Sarah of SLC
1. Tell us a bit about yourself:-
I am a textile designer. I studied Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds College of Art, graduating in July 2009. I am now self employed and own a small shop in my home town Barnard Castle called SLC.
2. When did you first start crafting?
It might sound twee but I first started crafting when I was very young and since then I have loved it!! Taking it right through to my profession.
3. Would you describe this as your work or your passion?
My work in my passion. I love designing textiles I do it for business for a living but also make for pleasure in my spare time for myself, family and friends.
4. What inspires you?
I love where I live in Teesdale, and most of the time my work is inspired by nature and dale life. I do work to brief so this is not always the case, but generally you will find my personal work is themed by nature and the things that around me.
5. Tell us about your favourite creation – do you have a picture?
My favourite creation, is the work I did for my degree show. This project is called Whimsical nature, (picture attached). This work took a year to produce. I was influenced by a poem written by Rose Fyleman called 'fairies'. This poem is about a young girl creeping out of the house to visit fairies at the bottom of her garden. I took this journey into account and thought about what she might see and encounter on her way down the garden and produced a series of prints.
6. How do you keep yourself motivated?
I love what I do, keeping motivated is not a chore. I love providing people with things they will cherish for years to come. My whole surroundings motivate me everyday!
7. Do you attend craft fairs etc. or do you sell purely on-line?
I do attend craft fairs many of them are still to be confirmed for this year and will be taking place at the end of summer you can find more about these on my website as and when they are confirmed. I also sell on-line through my folksy shop which mainly has jewellery for sale, and ebay which sells wonderful cake decorations which are also for sale at SLC high street shop-- www.sarahlouiseclare.co.uk provides links to both of these shops, my website also provides an online contact for my textiles and wedding favours.
I also have a shop on the high street in Barnard Castle DL12 8NF where you can find all of these things and more.
8. Where do you do your work?
I work from home and my shop SLC.
9. Do you have a favourite medium to work with?
I don't have a favourite medium, but I have a few I do tend to stick to and have sort of become my trade mark. These are water colours, pencil drawings both colour and gray scale before moving on to fabric, wallpaper, Ceramics, etc.
10. What are you working on right now?
Right now i am working on promoting my current collection Whimsical nature, but in the background I am working on a new collection which will be coming out soon.
11. Where can we see your creations?
You can see my weekly thoughts and finds on my blog, www.sarahlouiseclare.blogspot.com, you will find my jewellery on my folksy shop, and my cake decorations on my ebay shop each found through www.sarahlouiseclare.co.uk, or you can book a portfolio viewing at SLC 01833 690 855 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Can't believe how long it has been since my last blog post. Been soooooo busy since last post, but no excuse for leaving it so long!!!
Now that my mum has retired, one of her projects has been to get the garden in order, and unfortunately we can't do it ourselves, so we have had the gardeners in for the last week. Lovely guys and they have made a marvellous job of it, I just wish they weren't so bloody cheerful when they woke me up at 7.00am every morning!!!!!
The top half of the garden has been completely re-laid with slabs, to make some great little patio areas for us to sit out in the sun (!!), and the bottom half has been gravelled ready for a massive greenhouse and fruit cage. Mum has got a bit carried away with the buying of fruit trees, and I am seriously considering having a stand outside the house, like in the Good Life!!!
Being completely useless, I forgot to take before shots, but here are the during and after photos;-
They also cleared the pond out so I can see my little froggies again......
Aren't they gorgeous????
Well, now I am back on track, I will be a concerted effort to keep up the weekly blog, and will start doing some interviews with my fellow Folksy sellers soon.
I'm sorry, I have been a terrible blogger just lately. My only excuse is that I have been buying so many new beads and trying to come up with brilliantly amazing designs for them, that everything else has gone by the wayside - honestly, you should see the dust in my living room!!!!! (my excuse - what's the point in dusting? It just settles somewhere else!!!)
And now, I have to tell you that I won't be blogging for another week, because I am going on holiday again!!!! Yes, I am off to sunny Chapel Point, near Chapel St Leonards. Staying in a lovely little chalet about 200 yards from the beach. I have informed Rose that she needs to pack her collar, and she has bounced around suitably!!!
When I am back, I promise I will have photos of some of my new creations, but in the meantime, here are some of the gorgeous beads I have bought this week......
I am really pleased to announce the winner of my first ever blog giveaway is Di of Adien Crafts. Congrats Di, and thank you to everyone else who took part. Just goes to show how many Goddesses there are out there!!!!
Okay, as I have now got over 50 followers, I am doing my first giveaway.
I am a bit of a history and mythology geek so thought that I could tie the two together. So to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below to say what Goddess you are and why. It doesn’t matter what culture your Goddess is from, it can be Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Celtic, etc. etc.
And the prize.......
This necklace, taken from my Folksy shop. It is made with purple cats eye beads, and some lovely purple cloisonné beads, great for the summer months.
I will run the giveaway until Friday 16th April, then will announce the winner.
Don’t forget to leave details of how you can be contacted, if not linked to a Folksy shop.
Well, got back from holiday on Saturday, and started back to work today. No enthusiasm whatsoever, so..... Decided to upload some of my holiday pics. We didn't really go very far. The weather was not brilliant, to be honest we spent most of the week sitting in the conservatory, drinking tea, eating, and reading the 14 paperbacks I took with me!!!!! Also took some great pics of all the birds in the garden. There were quite a few that we don't tend to see where I live, like...
a Blue Tit, and there were a couple of gorgeous squirrels, that came for their nuts every day.
And of course, Rose was with us as well. Here she is in her special holiday bed!!!!All in all it was a lovely, relaxing week. But now I am ready for the next one!!!
Well it is 4.15 on Friday afternoon. I am at work until half past, then - I AM GOING ON HOLIDAY!!!!!!!! I am so excited, I have been doing my holiday dance at work all day, and they all think I am insane (they are probably right). Anyway, I am off to Norfolk for a week with my mum and the dog. My mum retired yesterday (at 67) so she rightly deserves a good break, and I just happen to be going with her!!!!
I have packed my book selection for the week (I have 15 paperbacks I am taking), and have sorted out a couple of projects, and intend to sit on my bum for the week, drinking tea, eating biscuits and cake, and generally being totally lazy. Last time we went, there was a gorgeous squirrel that visited every day, so hopefully I can get some good photos of him!
About the only place we are planning on visiting is the Norfolk Shire Horse Centre. It was taken over a couple of years ago by Hillside Animal Sanctuary, and they have loads of rescued animals there. I will make sure I get loads of piccies, and will show you all when I am back.
A short while ago, there was a cry for help on the Folksy forum from Heather of NiftyKnits. Her daughter had bought some glass beads to make her mum a necklace, but could only make a bracelet as the holes in some of the beads were too small. Heather’s question was how to make the hole bigger. The answer to this, is a bead reamer, but they can be quite expensive. I had treated myself to a posh new set recently, so had a set that I no longer I needed, so offered them to Heather. They did the trick, and Heather very kindly offered to return them, but as I no longer needed them, I said she could keep them, in case she ever needed them again. Heather emailed to say she would send me a little gift instead, and look what I got......
Isn’t he gorgeous??? The lovely note attached from Heather explained that he is a prototype that she had produced for an article she had recently written. I am so chuffed with him, and he now has pride of place on top of my computer, keeping his eye on me!!! Now, my main concern, obviously, was what to call him!! The first name that springs to mind is Larry, but I did not feel that was a dignified enough name for such an upper class kind of a lamb. So...... I would like to introduce you all to Laurence, the extremely upper class lamb.
I would recommend you all have a look at Heather’s shop www.folksy.com/shops/NiftyKnits - where you will see, she is the Supreme Queen of the Meerkats!!!!!
Okay peeps, I have got a task for you. My mum and I have got vouchers for a perfume making experience. We are going Friday to make our perfume (apparently we sniff lots of things, mix them up and voila!! I’m sure theres a lot more involved, but thats the basic), and once its made, we get to take home a bottle of it, and also to name it!!! I have been wracking my brains trying to come up with a suitable name, and haven’t managed it yet, so I thought about all you wonderfully talented and imaginative people, and thought you might like to help. Add your suggestions as a comment on here please, or PM me through Folksy. The best suggestion will get a little treat from me!.
It may help you to know that i tend to like floral/rosey/vanilla type fragrances, so it will probably be something like that.
Just noticed that I have got loads of new followers, and just wanted to say a big HI, thanks for following, great to have you. Would love you all to introduce yourselves - comment below, or contact me through Folksy.
Big virtual hugs, biccies, and copious amounts of chocolate for you all.
Thought I would show you all my latest make. I have had these silver filigree butterflies for a while now, but was unsure of what to do with them. So, on Sunday night, as there was absolutely nothing on telly, I sat with my bead mat on my lap and played! I tried various different things, but wasn't happy with any of them, then I got out some silver wire I bought ages ago and never used. I threaded the wire through one of the holes in the butterfly body, threaded on some seed beads, and threaded back through the second hole, then twisted the wires together at the back to hold the beads in place, then snipped off the wire ends. I then used the edge of my flat nosed pliers to smooth down the wires and make them lie flat against the butterfly. I did all five butterflies like this, then joined them together with Beadalon quick clips (I think that's what they are called). I added an amethyst Swarovski bicone to either side, then added chain to complete. I finished the necklace with a magnetic clasp. I love these as they are so much easier than fiddling with lobster claws or bolt rings.
Well, the postman arrived on Saturday, and bought me the usual load of junk mail, bills, etc. etc, BUT he also bought me a lovely big pink parcel. I knew I hadn’t ordered anything, so was quite excited as to what it could be – when I opened the plastic envelope, I discovered a lovely pink jute bag, with a pink tissue wrapped gift. I wish I had taken the time to take a photo, as it was wrapped so gorgeously, but I had no patience because I was so excited, and was ripping the tissue open before the word camera even occurred to me!
And look what I got!!!!!!
I recently blogged about the Folksy swap I was organising, and the person sending me the swap was Dottie of Dottie Designs. It is the most gorgeous photo album, entitled Rose’s Special Memories. I was so touched that Dottie had gone to so much time and trouble for a simple swap. The album is lovely, and will soon be full of pictures of my little darling (!), and all her adventures (or misadventures!)
I would recommend everyone to have a look at Dottie’s Folksy shop, where she sells personalised photo albums, guest books and keepsake boxes.
You can find her at www.folksy.com/shops/dottiedesigns, or her blog is at www.dottiedesigns.blogspot.com.
Well, I am quite excited at the moment. I got it into my head to try and organise a swap on Folksy. I have never done anything like this before, but thought I would give it a go, and couldn't believe the response. I had to cut it off at twenty!!! So, I am currently thinking of what to make myself, and also really looking forward to seeing what I receive. I will keep you posted!
My darling, beloved (!) Rose is only 7 inches tall, so you really wouldn't think she could be a lot of trouble would you???? HAA! she is a little swine!!!! I have just been sitting having a merry old hour surfin the web (don't I sound cool) and ignoring her, which was my first mistake.
We have a large bin in our living room, it stands about 2 feet tall, is rectangular in shape, and is up against a wall. For some reason we seem to get through thousands of tissues in our house, which inevitably end up in said bin. My beloved darling Rose used to like to tip over the bin and shred the tissues all over the floor, so we resolved this by putting a brick in the bottom!!!! Clever, I thought, she'll never manage to tip it over now. I was so wrong. I have just got up to make a cup of tea, and the far end of the room is covered in tissue, which now resembles confetti. She has somehow managed to tip over the bin, brick included, making no noise whatsoever. Can someone please explain how a 7 inch tall daschund can manage this????? Oh well, off for the vacuum I go.......
I am so bad. I have thousands, if not gazillions of beads at home waiting to be put into a project, and is that enough for me???? No.... I made the fatal mistake of going on the internet last week, and placed an order with Precious Sparkle Beads. Have a look at their shop, but put your credit card somewhere safe before you do!!!! I bought some gorgeous faceted Garnet briolettes, some small round Peridots, and some lovely moonstone strands, in multi colours. I am now planning on what to do with them all, and will post some pictures shortly.
If anyone is looking for something really special for their jewellery making, then I would highly recommend having a look at http://www.precioussparklebeads.co.uk/, but be warned, it is very, very tempting!!! The customer service is excellant too. I emailed them with a really thick question, and the responded really quickly with the answer, and the beads arrived the next day as well!!! couldn't be better.
My latest interview is with the incredibly talented Amanda of Gimme that Thing, also known on the forums as Chicita. Here goes;-
Tell us a bit about yourself:-
I'm Amanda Robins (aka Chicita on the crafting forums). I live in Manchester with my crafting 12 year old daughter, 2 cats called Zebra and Dolphin, 4 hens called Jet, Opal, Beryl and Doris, a cheeky gerbil and a temperamental (or just plain mental) horse named Sid the Sod. I'm a writer during the day, working from home, and my spare time is spent designing and making beaded jewellery and hand built utility ceramics. I'm a knitaholic, and usually have a difficult project and an easy one on the go at one time, so as not to get bored with the repetition of the same stitch and colour.
When did you first start crafting?
As a child I was always knitting, making papier mache plates and sewing my own funky clothes. I'm a child of the 60s so there were a lot of flared floral trousers being created. I recently got back in touch with an old school friend after 35 years, and when I told her what I was making these days she reminded me that I used to make and sell wooden Disney character brooches to the girls at school as well as fat candles that I produced in my mum's best saucepans!
Would you describe this as your work or your passion?
This is definitely my passion. A few years ago I ran my own hand knitwear business and had a team of knitters working with me, so I know from experience how hard it is to make a living out of handmade items.
What inspires you?
I'm a real water baby and used to scuba dive before I became a mum. I still snorkel but only if the sea is warm, and love looking at the amazing colours of the marine life. So I have to say that the sea and general coastline and all the beautiful things that get washed up on the beach are my main influences in relation to shapes and colour combinations.
Tell us about your favourite creation – do you have a picture?
I like my ceramic jewellery as it's all come from me. My favourite pieces right now are the Dot to Dot Moss Ceramic Brooch and matching Oh! Earrings. I love the colours and textures created by just 2 glazes.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I teach myself new skills. Today I learnt how to make wire wrapped rings, and can't get enough of this simple technique. I also find motivation by ordering beads that I've not used before and just by trial and error I combine them with other beads to create interesting designs.
Do you attend craft fairs etc. or do you sell purely on-line?
I started doing craft fairs locally last year and did some absolutely brilliant ones. I also did some truly dreadful fairs, so this year I'm able to choose the best ones to attend. I also don't need to spend time hunting for events as I'm now on mailing lists.
Where do you do your work?
Jewellery is usually made on my bed. It's a great place to work as I can spread beads out and see what goes with what. There's usually at least one cat ready to cause disruption, attack jewellery wire or just try to squeeze onto my lap. I use the kitchen for playing with clay and my kiln is in the spare bedroom, which I laughingly refer to as the studio!
Do you have a favourite medium to work with?
I love freshwater pearls and have recently found a good supplier that sells wonderful colours. I'm also really keen on using clay to make pieces for earrings, rings and brooches. I'm experimenting with bronze clay and copper clay at the moment. This is a fabulous medium to work with, especially if you have pottery skills and a kiln.
What are you working on right now?
This morning I've been making wire wrapped rings. This afternoon I intend to teach myself how to make wire wrapped bracelets and this evening I'm starting a new knitted wire choker.
Where can we see your creations?
I have a small proportion of my creations in my Folksy and Zibbet shops. I also feature some items on my blog. Most of my items are sold at craft fairs, but I've just started selling jewellery in Voodooville, my friend's shop in Afflecks Palace in the centre of Manchester. Unfortunately for me, it's right next to a bead shop so all my earnings get spent straight away!
Do you have your own website/blog?
You can purchase my items on Folksy and Zibbet. I blog 2 or 3 times a week.
This probably doesn't really relate to this blog as such, but I had to tell you all about it. I have been sorting my jewellery box out ( a never ending pastime!!) and came across the usual bits of broken jewellery that I am sure everyone has. I had an old gold chain that was twisted and unwearable, and an old gate bracelet that was somewhat squished. I went online to get a quote from one of these sites that keep advertising on the telly. I am always a bit dubious about this things - call it a distrusting nature!. I had to enter descriptions, and the weight of the two in total, and they quoted me a price of £9. I thought this seemed pretty low, so didn't think much more about it, until one of my friends mentioned she had taken some of her stuff into our local jewellers, and he had given her a really good price. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I have just been up town, and my incredibly lovely jeweller gave me £60 for the exact same items!!! So I really would advise people to avoid these on-line, and postal places if you are wanting to get rid of your old stuff, and try your local jeweller instead. It makes me so mad that these on-line places are taking advantage of people who are desperate to make a bit of extra cash. I am sure there are some reputable on-line or postal firms, but on the whole, they seem to be a bunch of rip-off merchants. Has anyone else come across anything like this???
Hi, I am so pleased to be able to present my first blog interview. Laura Gladwyn of Jewellery Drops by Laura kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me. Her answers are below;-
Tell us a bit about yourself:- My name is Laura Gladwyn. I live in Nantwich Cheshire, and work fulltime as Auditor for a company in North Wales and when not working I like to create new and unique pieces of jewellery and try and sell them in my online shop Jewellery Drops by Laura.
When did you first start crafting? I have always been crafty, loved art when I was at school, but got into jewellery making about six years ago. When I was at university one of the lecturers used to make jewellery and it started from there, most of what I know is self taught or out of books. I like to learn this way and get a lot of satisfaction from learning new techniques.
Would you describe this as your work or your passion? This is a passion for me, or as I call it a hobby. I find it relaxing, and at the end of it I have a lovely item of jewellery that is wearable. I would love to call it work but it’s not profitable enough for me to make a business out of it. I would love to have my own bead shop where I can teach other people but this is just dream.
What inspires you? Lots of things inspire me - people, time of year, the way I feel.
Tell us about your favourite creation – do you have a picture? I have a Victorian style necklace which is one of the first things I made and learnt how to bead weave while making it, I still have it somewhere!!! Unfortunately I have no pictures.
How do you keep yourself motivated? I find keeping motivated very hard at times, especially when I’m not selling anything, but I like to make what I like and when I’m in a creative mood that is what I do.
Do you attend craft fairs etc. or do you sell purely on-line? I have a couple of Craft Fairs in the summer and am hoping to have more booked for Christmas time as this is my busy period. I do sell my jewellery all year round on my online shop: www.gladwyn.folksy.com
Where do you do your work? I mainly work in my room where I can listen to music or TV while working. I also have a cupboard that was built specially for me by my brother who is a joiner, it’s fab (I am so jealous!!!! Zoe) I know where everything is and can find items easy
Do you have a favourite medium to work with? My favourite medium at the moment is Lampwork Beads and I have been using these beads in my work. I love the colours, textures and the fact that every bead is different and unique. I would love to have a go at making my own beads but for now I will just buy from British Artists
What are you working on right now? I work on lots of different thing at one time, that way I don’t get bored of one thing. I have a tubular bangle which I’m still working on, Pineapple Pendant and of course coming up with new ideas for my lampwork beads
Where can we see your creations? You can see my creations at: www.gladwyn.folksy.com
Do you have your own website/blog? My blog address is www.jdbylaura.blogspot.com and you can become a fan on Facebook as well
These are some of my favourite things from Laura’s shop;-
This Bracelet has been made with Lampwork bead made by a British Artist, the findings used is memory wire to keep the shape of the bracelet.
I love the colours of the lampwork bead, and the simplicity of the surrounding beads really set it off.
I adore the animal print lampwork beads used in this set.
The filigree spacers complement the colours beautifully.
Hi, I have been busy over the lat few days making birthday gifts for friends and family. The first I made was this purple seed bead creation.
I love the clasp on this. It is seven strands of seed beads, which I thread on to wire by hand. I think it looks great when it is finished, but it really makes your hand ache!!!!
Here's a close up of the clasp. I think it's so pretty, and makes it a more adaptable necklace, as you can have the clasp as a centre piece at the front, off to the side, or if you have it at the back, and have short hair, it really looks great.
My second creation was a keyring. One of my friends doesn't really wear much jewellery, but I wanted to make her something for her birthday this week. Never made a keyring before, but I don't think it's too bad for a first attempt. Let me know what you think.
I have been awarded the Sunshine Award by Black Cats Whiskers - thank you so much!!! I've never won an award before so am feeling really special right now. I am off to celebrate with another cup of tea and choc biccie. The details of the Sunshine Award are;-
The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity & creativity inspires others in the blog world.
I have an offer running at the moment through my Folksy shop. The first five people to buy through the shop will receive a free pair of earrings. The earrings could be anything from pearls to Swarovski crystals, to some gorgeous handmade glass beads I have recently obtained. My shop is at www.folksy.com/shops/jewelbox
I've been interviewed!!!!!! Tracy of FatCatFelt emailed me with loads of questions, which I replied to yesterday. I am so chuffed, as I've never been interviewed for anything before (except job interviews, which are so not enjoyable!!!) The interview was for Tracy's blog, which can be found here http://fatcatfelt.blogspot.com/ FatCatFelt makes some gorgeous journals, bags and jewellery which are all hand felted. Absolutely gorgeous!!! I don't know yet when my interview will appear, but will update when I do. I have rewarded myself with a cup of tea, and a chocolate Breakaway bar that someone has bought into work. I didn't know they still made breakaways!
Just want to say a huge thank you to all who have followed my blog, and for all the helpful and supportive suggestions made through Folksy. I am currently writing the questions for my first interview and hope to be publishing this shortly. In the meantime, thought I would share with you my official helper throughout my jewellery making - commonly known as Rose.
I love working with semi-precious stones, and this is a necklace I made recently using 4mm Chrysocolla beads, and an Imperial Turquoise Jasper pendant, with a few small gold spacers. I love the markings on the jasper, they have a gorgeous, rich brown tone which I think combine well with the green of the Chrysocolla.
Hi, I am starting this blog to talk about my trials and tribulations in jewellery making. I have always been interested in various types of crafts, and after years of buying jewellery in shops, only to see a dozen people wearing the same thing, I decided to give it a go myself. I have been making jewellery for a while now, and have made things for family and friends. They have persuaded me to give it a go at selling some. I have set up a shop on Folksy, which is an absolutely fabulous site where you can buy and sell handmade items. It is a great place to fin unusual and eclectic gifts that you wouldn’t find on the high street. You can find my shop at www.folksy.com/shops/jewelbox. I hope to interview and feature other Folksy sellers in later blogs.
I also intend this to be a place where I can indulge my love of all jewellery. I will be writing articles on all aspects of jewellery, from making, to the history of jewellery, to gemstones to famous or legendary jewellery. I love to research (I am a geek and proud of it), so if there is anything in particular you would like to read about, drop me an email and I will see what I can do.
You may also find the occasional non jewellery related post about me, my life, and life in general, but I am not used to talking about myself so bear with me!!!
I love jewellery, so much so that I decided to make it for myself. After making jewellery as gifts for friends and family, I was persuaded to sell online and set up my Folksy shop, www.folksy.com/shops/jewelbox. I work fulltime in the office of a construction company - you couldn't get much further from jewellery making!!!