Thursday, 29 November 2012

Special Feature: Lynwoodcrafts


Today I have given over my blog to the wonderful Sue from Lynwoodcrafts.  I consider her to be the “embroidery queen” on folksy because she makes the most beautiful items using wool and thread.  I hope you will enjoy looking at the photos of her items which she has chosen herself, and if you click on them they will take you directly to her shop.

SOLD
This is what she says:
 
“I have been selling on Folksy for a little over three years.  I’m not sure that there is a ‘typical background’ for a folksy maker and seller. If there is, I’m pretty sure it’s not the same as mine. Textile crafts were quite abundant in my family when I was a child. Out of financial necessity mainly, my mum made our clothes and all soft furnishings etc. – not uncommon then!  My Auntie knitted.  A very elderly distant relative crocheted and her sister loved fine embroidery – I have her collection of ‘1940’s and ‘1950s needlework magazines and a tiny antique needle box of hers. They all attempted to pass their skills on to me. In addition, I was given a table top loom for Christmas when I was about 10. I knitted a pair of fairisle gloves when I was 9 years old – drove my mum mad ‘cos my knitting skills were OK, but I kept getting lost in the pattern – I never knew which row I was on!”

SOLD

“I didn’t consider a related ‘career’. I was just accumulating the skills my family had and none of them used needlework to make a living. My degree is in science, mainly physics and maths.”
 
 “When my children were young, my parents, and my in-laws, were in poor health. My husband worked very long hours in his family business and there were too many pressures on us for me to work for someone else. I needed flexibility. I managed to attend a few adult education evening classes, in paper crafts. Talking to my tutor, I found out about local craft fair opportunities. For about 5 years I made and sold cards, calendars and notebooks. I joined the local association of craft workers and had the opportunity to be part of a cooperative sales venture, attached to a small local ‘tourist attraction’. It worked well for me, but our lease expired. This was at a time when the children were older and my mum was in residential care. I explored some opportunities for re-entering the labour market. I didn’t have any school holiday care options for the kids, couldn’t afford re-training and needed work locally – at a time when it was in short supply.”

AVAILABLE
“I started to explore selling on-line – Folksy hadn’t been launched then. I knew that I would need to achieve high volumes of card sales – due to the relatively low unit value, and I wasn’t sure that I could make that work for me, particularly with the time taken for packing and post per sale.
 
I realised that all the needlework materials and tools which I had accumulated gave me an advantage – although I wasn’t at all sure that people would value my skills.”


AVAILABLE
“I found Folksy and opened my shop with a mixture of bags, scarves, gloves - some patchwork and knitting - but not really embroidery. Being short of space I have always tended to miniaturise new ideas. Whilst playing around with some tiny scraps of fabric, I stitched an appliqué landscape. It was about brooch size and I quite liked it. On a whim, I tried several ways of finishing it as a brooch – found one that worked, offered it for sale, was encouraged by the lovely comments I received - it sold and I had found the confidence to try more! Since then the emphasis of my shop has been embroidery, particularly embroidered jewellery. I have sold more brooches than any other item.”

AVAILABLE

“I love to walk and try to remember to carry a camera. Design ideas come from my photos, from searching through my stash of fabric, from museums (I love the heritage of needlework), from experiments with new techniques, or new combinations of media, for example, fabric painting, felting, use of my peg loom, a new lucet... I am a dreadful magpie! I am not very good at looking at my shop(s) with a clear commercial head and asking myself what stock I need to ‘fill gaps’ or replace popular items.”
 
“My favourite ‘tool’, at the moment, is my embellisher machine – bought earlier this year after some months of trying to ‘be good’ and not spend more money on yet more ‘craft stuff’. ‘Meadow’ designs (produced by felting with fibre onto a background of kunin felt, then felting yarn snippets on top – all using the embellisher, then finishing with hand embroidery) are proving very popular and lend themselves to a variety of small accessories from brooches to bookmarks and needle cases.”


Thanks Sue. One of my favourite items from Sue’s shop is this bookmark:
 

AVAILABLE
 I asked Sue to choose three items from my folksy shop that she particularly liked:

“I love the way that many of the items from Handmade by Edwina have a vintage theme to them. I particularly like the combination of materials and the soft, muted colours of her recent journals:”

SOLD
“This purse is just so pretty:”

AVAILABLE

“This notebook is my absolute favourite – so intricately pretty – I’m not surprised it sold so quickly:”

SOLD

For more information about Lynwoodcrafts check out these links:
 Shop name:       Lynwoodcrafts (http://folksy.com/shops/LynwoodCrafts)
Website:             www.lynwoodcrafts.co.uk
Blog:                   http://lynwoodcrafts.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter:               http://twitter.com/lynwoodcrafts
Facebook:          www.facebook.com/Lynwoodcrafts
Flickr:                 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lynwoodcrafts
I hope you have enjoyed reading about Sue from Lynwoodcrafts and if you would like to appear on my blog in a special feature, then please message me via folksy.
 
BFN
Edwina


 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

USE YOUR VOTE!




I love Craftjuice but I have often wondered how people use it.  It is a great way of displaying your craft items to a huge number of people - there are over 8,000+ followers of Craftjuice on Twitter and 3,800+ fans on Facebook it's a great way to network, show off and even sell your crafts.



I hope this post will help anyone who is new to Craftjuice or wondered about how it works or was thinking of using it, but never has.  I am including a range of lovely items to illustrate my post from the November Rockets, the Folksy daily listing club.  Do click on the photos and it will take you directly to their shop.  Lots of ideas for gifts for Christmas if you haven’t finished shopping!!


Listing an item on Craftjuice is quite straightforward, but I don’t think people realise how important it is to VOTE.  I have found items from Folksy on page 4 or 5 of UPCOMING Crafts, and unless they get FIVE votes they will stay there and not be published and therefore not promoted on Facebook or Twitter.  After five votes your item is moved into POPULAR crafts, but don’t stop voting!


 
Your vote counts!!!
Never underestimate the power of your vote. To become popular and hit the homepage you need VOTES!!!  And you have the power to pick what should be promoted.  There is no restriction on how many items you can vote for so USE YOUR VOTE.  It is one of my favourite features of Craftjuice and I use it to the maximum – voting for a huge number of craft items – mostly from Folksy I confess, but if I see something I particularly like from Etsy or elsewhere then I will vote for it.  I vote for far more than I receive back in votes, but this is because I am not sure that people realise how important voting is.


Did you know?
Items older than 10 days that get 5 votes will never become POPULAR and not be promoted.  But it is also important not to stop voting once you are published.  Did you know that? The more votes your item has the better. Why? Craftjuice sends out a newsletter to all their members each month with the most voted items for that month. The newsletter goes to 10,000's of craft lovers all around the world.  Potential customers!!!  It was such a thrill when two of my items were in the Craftjuice monthly newsletter.  I also quite quickly and subsequently sold one of them too!


 
Craftjuice is not a shop.  You can’t sell or buy from it, but it is an excellent promotional platform and everyone who is serious about promoting their items should use it.  You also don’t have to be a seller in order to submit your items. Craftjuice will link to any page on the web with a craft item. If you have a blog then submit that, or you can use Flickr.  Any of the handmade markets also submit items, MISI, Etsy, Artfire, and of course, Folksy.   If you have your own individual website, you can also submit items too.  But, don’t forget to VOTE!


I hope this will get you voting – you don’t have to submit an item, or be a seller, you can go to the site and just VOTE for the items that you like.  You will need to sign in with a password, but apart from your email address no other information is required.  Why not give it a go?


I hope you have enjoyed looking at the lovely selection of items illustrating this post. I want to encourage you to consider using Craftjuice in the future - I will certainly be voting for you, if you do!!

BFN

Edwina



Sunday, 18 November 2012

Christmas Gift Guide


Welcome to my Christmas Gift Guide


THIS BAG IS ON SALE TODAY ONLY 19.11.12 FOR £12.75 WITH FREE UK P&P SOLD


In my Folksy shop you will a lovely selection of items suitable for gifts for family, friends, children, colleagues and anyone else you would like to give a gift to this Christmas.  I have also included in my selection some lovely items from other folksy sellers to stimulate your appetite.  Click on the photo and it will take you directly to their shop.



Beautiful bags, cute purses, notebooks, journals, items for men and children can all be found in my Folksy shop.  I have some lovely bags and totes that any women would be pleased to receive. They are attractive, sometimes unusual, definitely unique, and practical. My purses are quite popular and are suitable for adults and children alike. I have a varied selection, so there is bound to be one that catches your eye. I have a huge range of handmade notebooks and I have specific ones for children with cute fabrics, and also for the more serious minded man who would like a unique notebook specially designed for him.



Travellers, Cooks, Gardeners and Artists have not been left out when I made some of the items for my Folksy shop.  Look no further for the perfect unique handmade notebook or journal for each of these creative folk. I have sourced specific fabric and handcrafted the notebooks and journals to a high standard.  They are ideal for scribbling ideas, keeping images, and ephemera. The paper I have used is 100% recycled, but of a very high quality.



In my shop I have specific gift sets for children that include a bookmark, pencil case and notebook. Each has been made with matching fabric and would make super stocking fillers for any child. Choose elephants, cupcakes, sea creatures and more. I am happy to make a specific set using fabric of your choice. Please message me.



What else do I have? Toiletry bags for men, cosmetic purses for women, 2013 diary covers and lots more items are available. Do have a browse. All are reasonably priced and included UK p&p. Do not forget each item has been handmade to a high standard, so it will be totally unique and not available anywhere else.  Please message me if you would like something specific that is not currently stocked in my shop. New items are being added every week!
 


If you are looking for jewellery, Christmas cards, items made from yarn, Christmas decorations, or something a bit different then also check out the other sellers on here and on Folksy.









Enjoy your Christmas shopping and don’ forget that folksy is THE place to come for unique handmade gifts.

BFN

Edwina


PS Another place you should definitely consider for Christmas shopping is the Christmas Merry Go Round.



 




Sunday, 11 November 2012

Remembrance


When I was studying for my degree at college (seems a very long time ago now, even though in was in my 30s when I graduated!) I remember studying Poetry from the First World War.  It was extremely vivid poetry about the sights, sounds, and smells of life on a battle field and in the trenches.  Horrific images of the most senseless and futile of deaths of thousands of young men.
 


It is the kind of imagery that sticks with you for a very long time.  As it is Remembrance Sunday today I thought I would share with you one of the poems that crystallises a moment in our history.
 
In Flanders Fields
 
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
 
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
 John McCrae (1872-1918)
 
 
Nowadays we canot escape the fact that there are young men being killed in wars far far away, but the pain and futility for wasted lives is even more acute.  Today we need to remember and celebrate their bravery and mourn with their families and friends.


On folksy this month the daily listing club is called November Rockets, I decided it was time to show some of the beautiful handmade goodies that these talented folk have been making.
 







I hope you have enjoyed looking at the beautiful handmade items from folksy sellers.  Please click on the photos and it will take you directly to their shop.
 
BFN
 
Edwina




Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Crafting with Emily

“That is so cool”.  When my niece, Emily says this to me, I feel like I am being paid the highest compliment ever!  Today is Emily’s eleventh birthday.  (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EMILY!)  Last week during half term Emily came to spend a day with me and it was her choice to do some crafting.

First of all she wanted to make a fabric collage.  We found some paper and I pulled out my huge of scraps of fabric – ideal for making collages!  I also found some glue – and I have a small file of images that I have printed on to linen or evolon and she chose this image of penguins.
 
 
I gave her my pinking shears and she set to work selecting her fabrics first and then cutting them up and arranging them on the sheet of paper.  I asked her if she would like to use some blue lace (blue seem to be the colour theme) and then went digging for my bag of blue lace.  She picked out one she liked and then all the glueing started. 

Whilst she seemed quite content and happy to carry on with her project without any further help from Auntie, I cut out some fabric for some purses that I wanted to make.

This is the finished collage:
 
 
After that Emily said she wanted to do some drawing.  “Ice cream” she said, she loves drawing ice cream.  I found my huge box of coloured pencils which she was delighted with, and Emily continued with her second project.

This was her drawing of the ice cream:
 
 

After lunch we discussed what to do next.  Emily liked the idea of making her own notebook which I had suggested we might do.  I offered her a choice of size, A5, (too big) A7, (too small) and A6, just perfect! Choosing the fabric Emily would like on the front and back covers was the next thing to do, so I went and found my children’s fabrics, footballs (she’s a very go footballer) owls – lots of owls (I have two or three different fabrics!) and Handbags, Monkeys and Cupcakes.  What do you think Emily chose?
 
 
Cupcakes.  Rather than turn this into a tutorial on how to make a notebook let’s just say we worked together through each stage, my offering help where needed and showing her how to do things, like stitching the pages together.  Emily was a bit worried about stitching, but when it came to it I think she really enjoyed it.  The needle I use is not sharp but blunt, and I gave her a choice of hemp twine.  (Emily chose purple!)
 
I had already printed on evolon the words “Emily’s Notebook”.  This was really the only thing I had prepared for in advance in the hope Emily would like the idea.  Using my sewing machine, I appliquéd the label to the front cover, whilst Emily was scoring paper. When the notebook was completed I told Emily the glue in the notebook had to be left to dry (at least over night).  Emily seemed to understand the importance of this.
 
Here is the finished notebook:  Aren’t you impressed?

 
Emily is a lovely child, bright, intelligent, and sensitive and she is great company.  We had a lovely day crafting.  I love making notebooks and journals – much more so than bags now. This is how my crafting journey has changed and developed.  I still make the occasional bag.
 
Here are a couple of journals that I have in my Folksy shop at the moment.

 

And here is a preview of two journals that I will be listing this week.
 
 
Hope you have enjoyed reading about my crafting day with Emily.

BFN
 
Edwina
 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Lusting and Coveting


I am sure we have all been there when we have seen something in a shop, on line, or elsewhere, and we have just had that overwhelming feeling that you have just got to have it!  Looking at it, we feel this urgent need to possess, own and hug it to ourselves!  I am talking about something that is both attainable and obtainable!  You can’t stop staring at it and your whole body craves for it – You have got to have it!  You have got to have it!


I know regular readers of my blog may think I have lost it, but what I am talking about is not something I feel very often, strangely enough!  But, I was struck with this longing quite suddenly recently and it took me by surprise.  I was weighing up whether I could purchase said object, and there was a fierce debate going on inside my head. “Don’t forget you have got to pay out that £75.00 on the car this month!”  However, all arguments are lost because you know no matter how hard you want to walk away, you can’t!  I was totally consumed with the idea that I had to own it – it had to be mine and I couldn’t bear the idea of it belonging to someone else!

So I purchased it!  The deed was done and soon the item would be winging its way towards me – I felt relief and excitement!  Have you ever felt like this?  How often do we lust after something?  How often do we covet something?  I know when I look at some of the beautiful items on folksy and I can’t help myself “WOW”.  Gorgeous, fabulous, amazing, beautiful etc. etc. and it is the most wonderful place to visit on a daily basis.

Regular readers will be aware of my obsession with fabric, lace and buttons – I have no idea where it came from!  But I just love them – no I don’t just lust after them or covet them.  I LOVE THEM!  Fabric is such an extraordinary thing, so many designs, colours, textures, and all different!  I just don’t know what it is about fabric that intoxicates me – but it would seem I can never get enough of it!

Well, you must all be wondering what I purchased? Yes? No?  But before I tell you I thought I would mention that today I chose to illustrate my blog with bags – lots of wonderful bags from sellers on folksy.  Aren’t they all gorgeous?  Bags are strange things – we can’t live without them – us girls, (women) – can we?  I hope you will take a proper look at them and click on the photos which link directly to the seller’s folksy shop.  I enjoyed making the selection and I hope you enjoy looking at them too!

Finally, what consumed me so much that I had to purchase it?  Would you be surprised to learn that it was a BAG?  I was.  I am a bag maker!  What am I doing buying a bag?!  But, I tell you this is no ordinary bag, it has the most fabulous fabric and it was the fabric that drew me to the bag.  I can’t, won’t show you a picture of it, because I want you to imagine in your head what would be the most fabulous bag in the world – well, I am the proud owner of it!

So, a brief message to all folksy sellers – we need more lusting and coveting of our items for sale – that will tempt the buyers to part with their money!  Don’t you think?

BFN

Edwina
 
PS  The bag has arrived and it is fabulously gorgeous and I love it to bits!!!
 
TOP TO BOTTOM: HandmadebyEdwina, Lynwoodcrafts, Beledien, Crafty Bags, Wild Rose Designs, Gerda Bags, Handbags by Helen