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Soooooo....

So yes, I haven't blogged for a while. This is becoming a regular occurrence. I may have mentioned my horse, Meg, in previous posts, well I have spent most of the summer in and out of the horse hospital (the horspital?) with her trying to get her leg fixed. Sadly it can't be done and she has had to be retired - although she doesn't mind so much, now she gets to eat grass and roll in the mud all day.
However, that's not the end of my competitive dressage career - as there is a new horse on the way! She's called Chirma Van Weltevreden and we have imported her from Holland, the Land of Dressage. Here's some pictures:



Obviously now I have two ponies to pay for I need to make some extra pennies, so I'm offering readers of my blog 10% off in my Folksy shop all this week (until November 12th). Refunds will be issued by Paypal once the item has been bought - just message me on Folksy to let me know you're a blog reader!
I also do have some new stock waiting to be…

A return... of sorts

So yes, I've been away. I made a conscious decision to spend less time doing business stuff and more doing simple things that satisfy my soul. Sales at my Folksy shop have remained pretty spteady, but in the meantime I've been having thoroughly good fun being domestivated. This is what I've been up to...






Folksy Friday Feature

I've been featured in a lovely Folksy Friday feature over at the Sketch Stitch blog. See!:

Summer lovin'

I know, I know, it's been a long time. It's not you, it's me. I admit it, I've been seeing other blogs. But now I'm back and I hope you'll forgive me...
To make it up to you, I've picked out some scrumptious summer items to share.
Ruby Spirit's Summer Pudding bracelet looks good enough to eat:

This gorgeous bag from Mad Rose Designs would be the perfect accessory for a pretty dress:

iLEAiYE's lightweight mohair and acrilic shrug is the perfect cover-up for warm spring evenings:

This gorgeous print from Photography by Brideen evokes romantic summer days:

And of course no blog posting would be complete without a little bit of self-promotion. These are from my Folksy shop:

Not Mass Produced

I'm so thrilled - my work has been accepted by the website Not Mass Produced.
The apply quite a rigorous selection process, so I'm really chuffed they decided that my work was good enough. They've also been featured in some fantastic places, including:
Cooking and cocktails blog Domestic Sluttery.
The Times Online's alternative Valnetine's Day gift guide.
The Telegraph.
and
The Independent.
You can view my items at Not Mass Produced here.

I Heart Dotty P

Ther best thing about being a journalist is receiving the look books at the start pf every season. The ones I've received recently have been pretty uninspiring, but as ever the continually underrated high street darlings Dorothy perkins have once again come up with an adorable new collection.

This fabulously kooky jacket and short combo is well on the edgy side of this season't pretty nude trend.

Ralph Lauren's catwalk was awash with denim in homage to dustbowl America - a fitting inspiration in these tough times. For those who can't afford Lauren's prices I love this oversized denim shirt.

I wish I had long, long legs to be able to wear these brogues. Sigh.

I've been buying a lot of Twenties-style dresses lately. But you can't have too many!

And of course, every summer outfit needs a pair of fabulous sunglasses!

Press releases - a basic guide

As a crafter/designer, I know there can be nothing more thrilling (and potentially profitable) than seeing your name in print.
As a full-time journalist, I know there is nothing more likely to go straight in the trash folder than a bad press release.
So.
How do you maximise your chances of your local newspaper, glossy mag or specialist crafting magazine taking notice of you?
I can't guarantee that these tips will get you press coverage, but they will certainly help.
1. Get the right person.
Buy a copy of the publication or visit their website and find who the best person to contact is. Any email that starts "I'm not sure if you're the right person..." goes straight in my trash folder - it suggests that the sender has no respect for my time, which is over-full as it is, without wasting my time reading things that aren't relevent to me. If in doubt, ring and find out. While you're at it, find out what their deadlines are - and stick to them.
2. Get to the point…

And the winner is...

So after slight diversions for Valentine's chocolate souffle making, I managed to list everyone who had entered my win a bracelet competition...

First I wanted to say that I was overwhelmend by how many people entered the competition. I know there were a few people who RTd lots of times and I was really sad that they couldn't all win. However, the final winner was...

Yep, that's @trinket_box. If she could send me her details to made_with_love@rocketmail.com by Friday that would be fab. Huge commiserations to everyone who didn't win. As a consolation prize I am offering a 25% discount off anything in my Folksy shop. Just email me for the discount code so I can check you off against my list of entrants.

Opinions needed

I have a beautiful, really delicate vintage filigree brooch in the shape of a butterfly. The trouble is, I can't decide whether to make it into a necklace or a bracelet. What do you guys think? (Sorry about the blurry photo - that's what happend when I only have my phone, not the proper camera):

Sneak preview and work in progress

Here's a cheeky sneaky peek of a new necklace I haven't listed in my Folksy shop yet. It's made from a gorgeous turquoisey-blue vintage brooch teamed with rock crystal, labradorite and amazonite, along with one of the last of my tiny brass swallow charms (if anyone knows where I can restock on these for a reasonable price, can you let me know please? My old supplier has vanished). It is as yet nameless, all suggestions are very welcome:

And here is a little look at a work still in progress. The brooch is one I found in a vintage shop in Harrogate (see my last post for more Yorkshire adventures). I'm going to team it with rock crystal, garnet, amethyst and gold filled wire, but beyond that I haven't really decided yet. I tend to work by making piles of things, messing about with them and waiting for inspiration to strike.

Mmmm... Cupcakes

Adorable Boyfriend and I went to Harrogate yesterday and today. We were going to go to Betty's for cake and tea, but the American tourists were queuing round the corner so they could tell their friends they'd done something really English. Luckily we found somewhere just as gorgeous - but much less well-known.
Cupcakes by Charley make amazing glittery, yummy cupcakes in fabulous colours and flavours. I had a "Charley's Angel" - vanilla with pink glitter, while Adorable Boyfriend (his proper name's Steven, incidentally and he's modelling his gorgeous new haircut that it took me months of whingeing for him to get below)had a chocolate Crunchie confection.
Her website's not ready yet, but you can see her Facebook page with lots of lovely pictures here.

Features!

I've been featured in some really exciting places recently, and I thought I should share!
First up is Nifty Knits' fabulous blog. Nifty as you might know is the genius behind the knitted meerkats that have become something of a cult phenomenon. The Star Trek meerkats in particular have been featured all over the world and she also has X Men ones, and a cute Valentine's range. As if that's not enough, her blog is also full of brilliant advice for anyone selling on Folksy or Etsy. Thanks Nifty!
Second up is the brilliant blog, Found on Folksy. It's the second time they've featured me in the last few weeks and I'm chuffed to bits to have made it onto their pick of the luxury items. Thanks guys!
Finally, I'm in another magazine! Yep, my stuff is featured in this month's Making Jewellery:

Thanks to everyone who has supported me recently, and of course if you'd like to take a look at my lovely new stock, all you have to do is click here to visit my Folksy…

Win a bracelet!

It's competition time! Would you like to win a one of a kind bracelet made from a vintage brooch, chunky amazonite nuggets, rock crystal, pretty pink Peruvian opal and Swarovski crystals? One that fastens with a cute heart-shaped toggle clasp? I thought so!
Just to whet your appetite a bit more, here's a couple of pictures:


Because it's nearly Valentine's Day I thought I'd have a bit of a soppy theme. So, to win all you have to do is follow me on Twitter here (if you're not already a follower, if you are you can get retweeting right away) and RT any of my tweets that mention the words "Valentine's", "love", "romance" or "romantic". For each RT you will be entered into the draw (no more than one an hour, though!). For two bonus entries, just blog about Made With Love or this competition.
The competition runs until midnight on February 9th and I will be announcing the winner then via this blog.
Good luck!

Explosion in a jewellery box

It took me ages to find a pretty way to store the jewellery for my Folksy shop.
I didn't want it to get muddled up with my own jewellery, but at the same time I didn't just want to stick it all in a box. I also wanted something that I could take with me to craft shows.
At first I used a French shabby-chic style mini jewellery mannequin, but it soon got full! Then I found a gorgeous bird-themed jewellery stand. Unfortunately I've been so busy making lovely new items recently that tha's got a bit stuffed too! Oh dear...
(Sorry about the picture quality, I had to take them on my mobile)



I think it's probably time to buy another jewellery stand. I want one that will complement my existing ones but not exactly the same. Any suggestions will be happily welcomed.
And how do you all store your stock? Is it tucked away under a bed or proudly on display to make the most of any visitors?

Two of the best

There are some fabulous blogs out there on th'internet - and I've been lucky enough to be featured on two of my favourites recently.
Obviously I'm biased because they like my work, but aside, you really should add both of these to your reading list.
Found on Folksy is a well established blog run by Glassprimitif and Aleximo Croissant, although how they find the time I don't know.
They pick the best of everything from Folksy to showcase, and I was thrilled when I spotted my Pink Sunrise earrings on their latest post. And they're reduced!

Newer to the blogging ranks, but just as hard working is EvieGeorge, who when she's not making her absolutely gorgeous gift tags runs Folksy Weddings.
It's a one-stop guide for brides who want their special day to have that extra-beautiful handmade touch, and (hurray!) she has featured my Wonderland necklace. Thankyou!

Happy snaps

It's a bit geeky, I know, but some of the product photography on Folksy just blows me away. So I though rather than picking my favourite items according to a theme I would pick the ones which I think have had most love put into the pictures. Inspirational for us all, I think you'll agree!


William Wordswoof sock dog from Hotdog And Me. I love all of Hotdog's pics and creations, but this one is particularly cute - love they way she's used the snow to create a cool background, and William Wordswoof is at the edge of the frame, almost like a holiday pic.

Ceramic cupcake candleholders by Lauren Cermics. The composition of this picture is so simple - it really suits Lauren's elegant ceramics. Plus they're a bargain.


Shakesperian Valentine hearts by Bookity. I can't imagine how long it took to get everything hanging just right, but it was well worth it.


Set of four owl notecards by Gooseberrymoon. There must have been some contortions to photograph these from that an…

GrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRR

In my job you live in a constant state of fury that the PRs who get paid double your wage often have little or no grasp of how to use the English language. You don't sell over 10,000 tickets, you sell more than 10,000 tickets. And for God's sake, learn to use an apostrophe.
Here's a classic example, which landed in my inbox about five minutes ago. You would think that Topshop would proof read their marketing stuff, but it appears not...

Waste not want not

Upcycling, recycling, repurposing - whatever you want to call it people are increasingly loath to throw things away.
There's been a lovely thread on Folksy showcasing people's upcycled items and I thought I'd show you a few of my favourites:

Patchy Pocket by Ellie's Treasures

Measuring tape fancy bow brooch by Lilidrawspictures

Wee Jock Scottie dog by SophieCat

Upcycled map handbound notebook by Toggle

Comic strip tags by Evie George

Saucer candle holder by Loglike
What are your favourites?