I opened a new online shop on Zibbet a while ago. It reminds me of Etsy in terms of navigation and how it works, except Zibbet is free to list which is a bonus. You can upgrade to a premium account if you want, but you still get access to quite a lot with the free basic account, so I think I’ll stick with that while I see how it goes.
I love looking in the Showroom, a place where sellers exhibit there favourite items, which change every day – a bit like Etsy treasuries.
Are you on Zibbet? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences of it, and also what you think of Zibbet if you are just signing up.
I’m sooooo excited! After almost 4 years together, me & Dave will be moving into our own house this year. Once we’ve found the perfect place, I can’t wait to decorate and furnish our new home.
I’ve already started to plan some of the handmade home decorations I want to buy. These are some of the items I have admired for a long time, by some very talented designers…
Love & Dreams Country Shabby Chic Folk Art Shelf Sign Blocks by Sparrow Primitives.
Hand crafted Boat made from found driftwood by Kirsty of Sixty one A (I want one of these in the bathroom!)
Little Birdy Drum Lampshade by LittleBirdyDesigns
Chocolate Lollipop Flower Cushions by BlondeDesign
If you know of any nice homeware shops, or if you know anyone who makes lovely home decorations, even if it is yourself, please let me know!
I’ve been busy having a sort out of stock this week. I’ve made a proposed list of all the items I’ll be exhibiting at the ‘Gifted’ 2010 Christmas Exhibition at The Newcastle Borough Museum & Art Gallery from November to December, so I need to start working on a few of those pieces soon. It’s exciting knowing a large display of my work will be on show at the other end of the country. I was selected amongst 50 other designer-makers to exhibit my work at this show, out of hundreds who applied, so I was very happy when I found out this news back in February! I’ll be keeping you up to date with progress.
One of my local stockists, The Hayrack Gallery, have sold a lot of my work over the past few months so I delivered some new one-off pieces to them on Saturday. I always look forward to paying them a visit to see what new pieces some of the other designers have been working on. I’ve watched many different designers’ collections grow since I have been supplying The Hayrack Gallery with my work.
This is a selection of new work I took to the gallery. Various one-off bowls, vases, sculptural vessels, packs of magnets, a clock, a letter rack, framed ceramic wall art, and some sets of coasters.
I like to keep the stock fresh and new so that it is varied for the customers. Although, I do keep a few pieces out on display for a long time. This is since one of my large garden vessels was purchased by a couple that had been admiring it for months – They kept going back to the gallery to look at it, and the lady finally decided to buy it months later when her husband wasn’t with her, as it was a present for his birthday. I love to hear all the little stories about the people who buy my work from this gallery.
So it does pay off if you leave the same item on display for some time, you just have to have a little patience. And I’ve proven that again today, as I’ve just sold this Hanging Fabric Print (left) that has been sitting in my Folksy shop for AGES…
I’ve been wanting to sell it for a long time as its a completely one-off piece that I made one day when I wanted to do something different, rather ceramics for a change. It was a print I designed from a range of my drawings of a pineapple surface. I’m so pleased that it has sold!
I made 2 of these prints, and the other one, which is slightly narrower, is now available in my Folksy shop here
I’m another year older but I don’t feel it! My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I’ve only just got round to uploading these photos. I had a white chocolate birthday cake (my favourite), which didn’t stay looking like this for long!
I had a huge roast dinner cooked for me when we got home as my birthday was on a Sunday. My lovely mum cooked all my favourite things and it was delicious, although I couldn’t move for hours after eating it all!
In the evening we lit some sky lanterns and let them go. I enjoyed doing this on bonfire night last year but we only lit them one by one this time. It’s much better if loads of lanterns are lit and released at the same time. It’s fun to write messages on them too! We watched them fly for miles and I always wonder where they end up and who finds them.
The past 2 weekends have been gorgeous, I hope you’ve all been enjoying the warm weather! I’ve spent some time sitting out in the garden ready for my holiday to Tunisia in 2 weeks – That’s if I can still go with the volcanic ash problem! The sunshine has allowed me to take a selection of photographs of some new work, and I’ve gone back to photographing pieces outside again. I still love the effect of my images with a white background, so will have to take more like this as well.
Here are a new collection of coasters, freshly wrapped up in different coloured ribbon. Look out for some of these sets in my online shops, which will be added soon. They make ideal stylish gifts!
I use colour coordinating ribbon to match the design on the coasters and to make them look more coherant as a whole. I also use different coloured foam to stick carefully onto the base of each coaster which prevents the ceramic from scratching any surfaces they are placed on, and also prevents the coasters from sliding around.
I do this kind of work in the house whilst watching tv, as its easier than out in the messy workshop. A lot of people don’t realise how much work goes into my coasters until they see me doing all the extra fiddly bits with them afterwards. I enjoy making them though, and they have proven to be a popular product
Do you remember the experiment I was working on about a month ago, using pistachio nut shells in clay?
Well the results are finally here – I initially made a round pot and a flat dish to try out the effects. What do you think?
The pot sold at the craft fair I was at over easter, so I was happy that I took lots of photos of it before I went. The lady who bought it said she was going to keep it in her kitchen. I explained how the textured effect had been created on the surface, by rolling pistachio nut shells into the clay, and she seemed to like it even more. She liked the idea of owning a completely handmade piece of work, and being the only person in the world with a pot like it!
I’m pleased with the results and will definitely be making more pieces using this technique and different colours.
Craft Gawker is a gallery where anyone can showcase their art, crafting and photography skills. It’s a place for you to discover new artists and handmade goods to inspire your own creations. Anyone can submit pictures, as long as you follow the simple site rules.
All images that are submitted are ‘vetted’ and can either get accepted or declined. I have submitted 3 images to Craft Gawker since I find out about it a couple of months ago, and 1 image has been declined, 1 has been accepted, and the other is still pending review. I think your images have to be extremely high quality to be submitted. My Beach Cove Vessel was accepted after I realised the quality of the first image I submitted wasn’t of a high enough standard.
I love just browsing through the galleries on Craft Gawker, there are so many inspiring images. Here are a few of my favourites:
You can write a short description when submitting an image, and you can even leave a link to your shop if it is a photograph of an item you are selling, so another way to get traffic to your shops!
I would love to hear if you have tried Craft Gawker, what you think of it, and how you get on if you are now going to try it for the first time.
A self portrait is a representation of an artist – drawn, painted, photographed, or sculpted by the artist. I decided to use a different way of portraying myself to others, by selecting a collage of images that I think represent who I am.
It would have been even better if I took all of the photos myself, but I found some really good images on Flickr.
1. Me with my exhibition, This is my own photo. It was taken at my degree show in 2008 and I wanted to be in the picture to show the scale of my large ceramic vessels and prints. Of course this picture represents a huge part of my life – clay!
2. Rosé wine – 2/365, My favourite, White Zinfandel to be precise! I like to have a glass on a Saturday night, or maybe two or three glasses if I’m out. My perfect summers afternoon would be to sit in the garden with friends & family having a BBQ and a nice glass of wine.
3. mOre marShmaLLoW =D, I loooove marshmallows. I usually get a big bag of them at christmas and on my birthday. I also had a bag of marshmallows while I was in hospital, it was my comfort food
4. Natures colors, My ceramics are all inspired by the natural world, and I enjoy being out walking in the woods, taking photos of natural detailed surfaces.
5. Woman Rides Horse on Beach, Wales, This is my dream. Horses are my favourite animal and I’ve always wanted to gallop along the shore of a beach on a stunning horse with the water splashing up in the air. I think there is horse riding in Tunisia where we are going on holiday in a few weeks, but I doubt they will let me gallop off on my own
6. 3 365 These boots were made for snuggling, I live in my UGG Boots! I’ve got 2 different pairs, the chestnut brown long type and the grey folded cardy boots with big buttons on the side. I think I’ll be changing back to flip flops now that the weather is getting warmer though.
7. You Want A Pizza My Heart …, Apart from home cooked roast dinners, pizza is my absolute favourite food. I get excited about going to Pizza Hut for dinner, and I usually have chicken, pineapple, mushrooms & sweetcorn as the toppings
8. swirly sofa hog ! This cat sprawled out on the sofa watching tv reminded me of myself. I love nights in snuggled up on the sofa with Dave watching something good on tv. In fact, pizza and a glass of wine goes with that quite nicely too…
Whilst at the craft fair in Sywell, Northants last weekend, I managed to find some time to chat to other stall holders and a few of them were kind enough to let me photograph their stalls. It was great to catch up with the people I already knew, as well as meeting many more new faces.
I really enjoyed chatting and sharing techniques with Kate Glover of Cuckoo’s Nest Pottery. Her stoneware range is really eye catching and she makes the most loveliest detailed witches, wizards & goblins. Kate was demonstrating alongside her stall and it was great to see how her witches are made. My favourite from her collection is ‘The Green Man Wall Plaque’ – faces with foliage pouring from their mouth’s which are made by pressing leaves into clay. You can see one of the Green Men hanging up on the left hand side at the back of Kate’s display:
My other favourites were these cute little toad stools that have been fired to stoneware temperature and are perfect for withstanding outdoor conditions. They look great grouped together, I plan to buy some to decorate my plant pots.
My mum came to the fair on the first day for a shopping trip, and bought this elegant glass ring tree from Mr & Mrs R. J. Martin of The Glass Workshop.
I was amazed when I saw it, it is so delicate and was only £12.00! After my mum showed me what she had bought I went to have a look at The Glass Workshop’s stall and saw Mr Martin making items by melting rods of glass. I’m not quite sure of the technique he was using but he made it look very easy, although I’m sure it must take a real skill to be able to make things like that, especially some of the tiny novelty pieces.
Mr Martin agreed to pose for his photo to be taken for my blog and he started making a small elephant specially. Thank you Mr Martin!
Opposite my stall was the lovely Jane and her husband of Just Soaps. I was so lucky to be directly opposite a deliciously smelling stall! Jane makes all of the lotions, moisturisers, balms, creams etc, while her husband concentrates on their wide range of soap. They even make their own dog shampoo, face masks, shaving soap and foot care range, plus they are always holding a series of soap making courses which are not to be missed!
I looked after their stall for 2 minutes on the first day of the fair, and I couldn’t believe it when they later said I could choose any kind of soap of my choice as a thank you. It was so hard to decide, but I went for this lemongrass & lime ex foliating loofah soap. It’s definitely the best soap I’ve ever used – Thank you Just Soaps!
Here’s Claire of Lady Luck Jewellery. Her designs are bold & vibrant, and I love her new style in polymer clay. Claire also works with beaded jewellery but at this fair she was purely showing off her new polymer clay range, and she got some great responses. Claire is also organising her own craft fair called The Contemporary Craft Shopping Experience at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre in December. I had a stall at this fair last Christmas and it was fantastic, I can’t wait to exhibit again this year’s event.
There was an amazing plant & flower stall along the back window at the fair. Dave loves his plants, so I bought him this unusual aloe vera plant in a glass pot with decorative sand in the bottom. We both thought it looked attractive.
My next fair is at the end of May so I’ve got quite a lot of time to get organised. I’ve been busy booking up more fairs throughout the rest of the year too.
We’re off on holiday to Tunisia in 3 weeks so I’m focusing on my holiday shopping list and packing for the moment!!
You might remember me mentioning a custom order I received from one of my followers on Twitter just over a month ago. The order was for a plant pot in my natural style, and I was given dimensions to work with. I had to make sure I made the pot a percentage bigger than the size of the pot that would be going inside it, to allow for the clay to shrink during the drying process and when it was fired in the kiln.
I’m really pleased with the results. Usually, commission pieces always turn out completely wrong, which is very typical. It’s always the items I take the most care over and the pieces I am most precious about, that either break, crack, dry too quickly, the glaze turns out completely wrong… etc. So it was extra nice to see such pleasing results with this pot.
The customer kindly took this photograph of her plant in my pot on her window sill. It looks as though it will be admired from passers-by outside the window, especially now that the amaryllis is in flower
Have you seen the latest thoughts over at Swanky Maison? I am the recent featured seller, and was asked some spotlight questions which are now live on the site. Head over and have a read here to find out how I go about coming up with new designs, my work environment, my perfect home, my favourite item by a fellow seller on Swanky Maison, and lots more!
Swanky Maison also have a new wedding gift collection, I love these vases by Timea Sido.
What do you think of this new collection of images of my work I made? I like it