Sunday, 20 February 2011

Featured Seller - GilliansMixedMediaMusings

This week's featured seller is Gillian from Gillian's Mixed Media Musings.

Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Gillian, I live on the North East coast of Scotland. I am married to a very patient and tolerant husband who doesn't mind the crafty mess I create. I am a full time working mum to a teeneage boy. 
What do you make? 
Mainly Mixed Media & Altered Art pieces. I like the distressed,grunged,vintage look. 
Why do you use that medium? 

Mainly because there is so much you can do, you can really "think outside the box" with this style.

When/ how did you start crafting? 

I started crafting in 2002, as a time out hobby where I could switch off from the day to day life stuff. I started mainly with cardmaking/stamping 
When did you start selling your stuff - where do you sell?  

I really only started selling my stuff at the beginning of this year. I only sell on Folksy

Do you also have a day job, or is this your main job? 
I work full time for my local authority council. I am a senior social care worker in a day care unit for older people. 
What do you love about your medium, what do you hate?

I love creating unique/different from the norm pieces. I hate when it doesn't work! 

Where do you get your inspiration from? 
Depending what I am working on, I just tend to look at the materials I'm about to work with and then take it from there. I don't work to a set rule. 
What is your favourite music to craft to? 

I don't listen to any music when crafting. 

What is your favourite piece of your own? 
This is my favourite piece 

Where do you do your crafting (specially built studio - sofa??)  
Sadly I don't have a craft room, so all my crafting is done in the dining room.

Gillian thanks so much for taking part, I've loved finding out a bit more about your mixed media creations!

If anyone else would like to be featured, please just leave a comment below (with your email or shop) and I'll be in touch!!!

Friday, 18 February 2011

New house

Phew....busy busy busy - we move house on Tuesday, so I'm spending every waking hour, cleaning, sorting, painting, - you know the drill. Sadly, anything other than jewellery making at the moment!!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you see a picture of the new house that Chloe looks exactly like it....kind of....and to let you know I'll be back, and raring to go at the beginnning of March. See you then!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Money Money Money

This time of year is perfect to get organised. After spending a bit of time in January struggling through last years accounts to get my tax return submitted, I thought I'd re-do my accounts and try to get organised for the year ahead.

(cute little purse from Moody Cow Designs)

I wondered if this sales form would be of use to anyone else?

I basically put in how much the item costs me to make (and account for some time for making/ promoting the item too!), the sheet also has a column which calculates folksy fees and paypal fees relating to the sales price (without this column I often forget these fees even exists, so it helps with costing!), and therefore how much profit I actually make.Quite useful as somehow in my mind the fees are quickly forgotten - this brings me back down to earth again.

Here's the direct link -

This year I'm hoping to keep track of my customers a little better too, and will perhaps even get around to doing a newsletter at some point.....maybe.... anyway, there's a column included for email addresses just in case.

In terms of calculating how much you should be charging for an item in the first place, I seem to remember Nifty Knits had a fees calculator on their website a little while ago which might be useful to you!

Do you have any good methods of keeping track of it all?

Monday, 14 February 2011

Featured Seller - Po & Mo

This weeks featured seller is Lisa from Po & Mo who make lovely quilted creations.

Tell us a bit about yourself
I'm Lisa, the "Mo" of Po&Mo, and I make everything we sell. I have two daughters, one of whom is the "Po", who works on the techie side of our business, promoting and maintaining our twitter feed and general online presence. We live in Northampton, and are quite new to folksy, and looking to make a name for ourselves! 

What do you make? 
Basically anything. If it can be made with fabric, I will have a go at it. That can be anything from little patchwork hearts to giant quilts. 

Why do you use that medium? 
I'm a frustrated artist! I can't paint well enough to satisfy myself , so I cheat and use other people's fabric designs! 

When/ how did you start crafting? 
It started when my girls were young, and outgrew their baby clothes. The pretty fabric was too nice too waste, and so I used them for patchwork. 


When did you start selling your stuff - where do you sell? 
Started a few months ago at my sewing group, and now sell on folksy, and sometimes on eBay too. 

Do you also have a day job, or is this your main job? 
Now my babies (20 & 21) are all grown up, this is my main job, other than maintaining a household and looking after my husband - which can be a lot harder than you'd think! 

What do you love about your medium, what do you hate? 
The colour. There's such a huge variety of fabric out there that anything you make will be a completely unique piece of work. But that's also my hate - it fuels my compulsion to buy more fabric! 

Where do you get your inspiration from? 
Photos, nature, and sometimes just out of thin air. 

What is your favourite music to craft to? 
I have a lot of music that I love. The highlights would probably be Radiohead, The Manic Street Preachers, Keane and David Ford. 

What is your favourite piece of your own? 
I've recently made a bag from some of the husband's old ties, and I absolutely adore it! 

Where do you do your crafting (specially built studio - sofa??) 
Oh for a specially built studio! I'm stuck in my husband's study at my little desk. It does have a nice view of the garden though, where I can watch the birds and hiss at any cats that come and try to beat up the birds!

Thanks Lisa, for taking part. I'm struggling away trying to make a patchwork quilt for my eldest - started in the summer and still not finished.... so I'm always very impressed by people who quilt.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Colour Palette - Spring Pastels

I love this art photo that I found on etsy. And yes maybe I am obsessing about the arrival of spring, and the blossom on the tress, but come on it has been a long, long, long, cold winter.

I'm loving these pastels at the moment, and have just listed some seed beads in pretty pastel shades,

Monday, 7 February 2011

Featured Seller - The Mosaic Tree

This weeks featured seller is Annie from the Mosaic Tree

Tell us a bit about yourself - (where do you live, what's your name etc..) 
I’m Annie and I hail from Somerset and moved to this beautiful part of the world in 2008. Family life is full on as my partner and I have two children. We enjoy a work life balance by both working part time and then indulging our coffee habit whenever we get the chance! We’re living our dream now (albeit on a shoe string!) as we thought that we’d rather do it this way than wait until we retire. 

What do you make? 
One day, I plan to make a wide range of items using lots of different craft techniques… the moment I knit! I make baby hats, beaded knitted necklaces, spiral brooches and covers to keep your mobile, blackberry or iPod looking both cool, snuggly and scratch free. 

Why do you use that medium? 
Its partly for purely practical reasons – knitting fits in well with the general hubbub that is family life. I wanted to work with cotton rich wool as it is easy to work with and tends not to go ‘bobbly’ over time. It also come in a fantastic range of colours. 

When/ how did you start crafting? 

Christmas 2009. – My daughter had been given a children’s kniting book, a pair of half pint knitting needles and a ball of wool. I had a few days off and decided that now was the time I was going to teach myself to knit. Its grown from there. 

When did you start selling your stuff - where do you sell? 
I started selling on Folksy during 2010 – and I sell a few bits to family and friends. It’s mainly a hobby for me. 

What do you love about your medium, what do you hate? 
Can I have 2 ‘loves’?! I love being creative and using colours as my inspiration…..and the feeling when someone loves what you’ve made. And I hate dropping stitches – it makes me mad! 

Where do you get your inspiration from? 
What to make is more straight forward – the necklaces started as I wanted to make a birthday gift for my sister, the first blackberry cover was a request. Inspiration for colour is more complex – a sunset sky, for example. Or it can be mundane – one colour theme that I use was the colour scheme in a holiday cottage that we stayed at! 

What is your favourite music to craft to? 
Its not my favourite piece of music…but the Eastenders theme tune does tend to crop up rather frequently! 

What is your favourite piece that you’ve made? 
This varies as it tends to be whichever baby hat the teddy (borrowed from my daughter!) is modelling. He always gets extra points for looking cute! 

Where do you do your crafting?
The sofa, the car on long journeys, waiting rooms – it is truly portable!


I wish my craft was so portable, hubbie isn't keen on me soldering in the car for some reason.....
Thanks again Annie for taking part - it does sound like you're living the dream - good look with it all.


Thursday, 3 February 2011

Featured Seller - Natalia Lovat

This week on the blog I'm featuring Natalia from Natalia Lovat.

Tell us a bit about yourself - (where do you live, what's your name etc..) 
My name is Natalia, but everyone calls me Natasha! Lovat is my middle name (my grandfather was Scottish) and Natalia is Russian (my grandmother was Russian) so coming up with a name for my Jewellery wasn’t difficult. 
I live in Chessington in Surrey, I used to be a London girl but once the kids came along we felt the need to move out to the burbs (and nearer the grandparents!) We have lived in Chessington for nearly four years.
I have always been creative since I can remember. I got my first sewing machine for my seventh birthday. My grandmothers both sewed and knitted and I was fascinated, always helping out and asking for them to show me how to knit and sew. 

My Russian grandmother was very creative, as was her whole family, many artists, writers and designers on the Russian side. She made everything and was one of the most glamorous women I have had the pleasure of meeting. She was and is my inspiration in so many ways. 
So I always followed a creative path throughout school. I went to Art College to do a foundation and then onto do a degree in Knitwear design. From graduating I started working for an accessories designer hand finishing scarves in a basement in Marble Arch, oh the glamour! I somehow progressed onto becoming a production manager for a children’s wear supplier. I gained a lot of experience from my time working in fashion, travelling to Paris fashion week, London fashion week, meeting buyers, going to India to inspect factories and production.

All the while I had plans to one day start making and selling my own creations. Three years ago I signed up to do a Silver Jewellery course for a year and I fell in love! I loved working in silver and making jewellery and haven’t looked back since. I did a short course in creative bead jewellery and from there started to make my own jewellery. I am still doing the Silver jewellery course and I think working in Silver and metal is something that you can constantly be learning something new in, I’m hooked!

What do you make? 
I mainly make beaded jewellery using vintage and recycled beads and jewellery. I have just started to add some handmade silver pieces to my collections which have sold really well so there will be more being made this year.

Why do you use that medium?  
  I love turning old forgotten about, broken jewellery into something new and beautiful. I spend a lot of time sourcing the beads and treasures. I have been lucky to find some beautiful things. I get very excited!

When/ how did you start crafting? 
I have always been crafty, but Natalia Lovat was stated up around 12 months ago.

When did you start selling your stuff - where do you sell? 
My first proper sale was April 2010 at a school pamper evening. From there I had a sale at home where I invited friends etc to come and eat cake, drink wine and buy my jewellery! I do a lot of private sales where people contact me or pop in to see what I have. I have also made some beautiful commission pieces, which I loved doing. Mainly I have so far been selling locally, family, friends, friends of friends etc. The response has been amazing and hugely flattering, but can be limiting so I need to branch out. My aim for 2011 is to sell more online and to go to some craft fairs. I do however prefer selling face to face rather than online.
A 60th Birthday commission

Retirement present commission

Do you also have a day job, or is this your main job? 
I wish this was my full time job but sadly I’m not there yet! I work part time in a community centre as an administrator, I also am a freelance media analyst and a part time web administrator. Finding time for Natalia Lovat is often very hard!

What do you love about your medium, what do you hate? 
I love silver, I love how you can shape it into something really beautiful. At the moment I love heating up the silver and getting the hammer out to change the shape! With the beads I of course love everything, but as each piece is a one off I can get attached and feel sad when I sell something as I will never see it again! But then I find some new treasure and get excited about them.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 
Everywhere! With the silver I have a thing about circles and circular shapes. I find fashion magazines a good guide when I’m stuck on what to make. But inspiration can come from a conversation, nice walk, something I’ve seen on TV, an exhibition or museum, a book, or just a light bulb moment!

What is your favourite music to craft to? 
I tend t have 6music on most of the day. But at the moment I seem to be listening to Rufus Wainright, Bombay bicycle Club and Arcade Fire while working.

What is your favourite piece of your own? 
I have two favourite pieces which are both made in silver. One is a chain which took me forever to make, but it’s just beautiful. I wear it lots, and will gladly make another as a commission. The other pieces is a lovely long silver necklace with silver beads hanging from the chain, they make a lovely sound as I move. This also can be made as a commission piece. 


Silver chain, took forever to make!

Where do you do your crafting (specially built studio - sofa??) 
I have a desk in the corner of the dining room, next to the window. I am starting to spread out a bit though, under the desk is full and boxes are appearing next to the desk. It won’t be long until I need more space!

A HUUuuuuuge thank you to Natalia (Natasha) for taking part in the interview, and giving us a great insight into Natalia Lovat!
If you would like to be featured on the blog (and haven't been in touch already) do let me know in a comment below, or contact me via the folksy shop. It'd be useful if you could leave a link to your shop too!


Becky x

Fantastic Felt

One of the very first customers in my new little destash shop was the lovely Nichola, who runs Fibre Art on Folksy.

And she very kindly agreed to let me show you what she made with the turquoise irregular focal beads she bought from me.

How gorgeous is that?? Click on the picture to go and see more pics in the shop!

She's got loads of other lovely colours in her shop too. I think the combination of felt and stone is beatiful. The contrast really brings out the softness of the felt, and the beauty of the gems.