Tuesday, 5 April 2011

International Shipping

It dawned on me this morning that seeing as I do all my postage labels online, I ought to be shipping worldwide and not just within the UK!

So, I've been updating a few items in my shop (not all of them as I need to retake a few pictures and thought I'd edit their shipping then) and... is it just me or is shipping a bit of a headache? I've set prices for the Ireland and the USA and then left a message on my profile regarding shipping to other countries.

Basically, I don't want to rip people off, but unless I spend hours going through the price of postage for each item to pretty much every country in the world, it's a bit of a mammoth task! So, I'm hoping that people will see the message on my shop profile - asking them to message me with postage queries if they're making multiple purchases so I can literally weigh their package and charge them the exact postage/refund some of the postage. I'm considering putting the same message in all the item descriptions, to ensure people see it.

So, my question to all you crafty sellers out there is this - what do you do about international postage? Have you set aside time to work out costs to well, everywhere, or have you set a 'safe' base rate? OR do you refund people the difference?
I'd love to hear back from people!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

How Tuesday - Resin Pendants

I am a HUGE fan of resin pendants! I just think they look fantastic! So, this week I decided to find a tutorial on making them and then in the next couple of weeks, hopefully I'll have the chance to get myself together and have a go at making some!

How to make Resin Pendants

Now, the page that I've linked to doesn't have the prettiest pictures that I've seen but the instructions are pretty thorough so I thought this was the best one of the billions I found at Cut Out and Keep.

I've also got a link for an online shop selling all the bits you need to make your pendants - When I tried to get into this before, I had real difficulty finding moulds I liked the look of, so this site is a bit of a gem in my book!
Penny Dog's Online Shop

If anyone does have a whack at this, let me know how they turned out! And I'll be sure to post here if I have the chance to make any myself! I'm quite excited :)

Monday, 14 March 2011

A little turned large-ish update :)

It seems every post I get to make on here lately is a brief apology for not posting much... and this one isn't going to be much different I'm afraid!

My final year of uni and all the work that comes with it is swamping me right now - essays, lab reports, lab work, etc! It's a nightmare... but I do love my course, haha!

On the crafty front, I've barely picked anything up in the last month (?), which is a bit rubbish really! Especially when I see fellow crafters making lots of lovely things... I have to keep reminded myself that some people do this for a living and can afford to be 110% committed to it, whereas for me, if I want to pass my degree I've got to put things down every now and then!

Buuuuut, the holidays start soon and though I've got several exams to revise for and a mountain of written work to get done, I will be making some time to do a bit of jewellery making, and hopefully some painting too! I'm also hoping to spend a weekend selling some of my jewellery in my local hospital (a strange setting, I know!). Basically, my mum is a cancer patient and has spent a lot of the last year in a hospice and I'm hoping to get lots of bits sold so I can donate my profits to them as a bit of a thank you for taking such good care of her.

So, just to round off... here's a little snippet of what I have made sort of recently!

This is one of five pairs of 925 sterling silver and amethyst earrings. Obviously, because they're made with natural stones, the patterns in each pair vary slightly. This pair are probably my favourite out of the lot, but their colour hasn't come out too vividly on a quick phone picture! The purple in them is so rich - I love them!

I'll be putting them on my Folksy shop before I go to sell them at the hospital (I'll be putting my shop on holiday mode when I do my hospital sales - if I get the chance to - and I'll update on here before I do, so as not to confuse business)... so if anyone does want a pair, keep your eyes peeled because I'll be updating my blog and shop shortly with these beauties! And I'll get a picture of all the pairs together, so people can message me if they have a preference when ordering!

I'm waffling now, so I'll round it up! I hope everyone has had a lovely day today, in the sunshine! And I hope to give you some more to read soon :)

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

And now for something completely different...

It seems, every time I promise to post more, I'm suddenly swamped with more work to do and as a consequence have even less time to blog/make/live!

So, while this isn't really a proper post, I just wanted to share a little something that I love with you.

I'm a huge, HUGE, huuuuuge ballet fan and so I want to share this video:

This is probably my favourite part of Swan Lake - the Grand pas de deux - a dance between Odile and Siegfried. It's just fantastic and the music is so moving! I love it!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

How Tuesday - Beef Tagine

So, this is my first How Tuesday post!

It's not at all craft related, but this Jamie Oliver recipe was so good, I had to share it with you:


• 600g stewing beef • olive oil • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped • a small bunch of fresh coriander • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes • 800ml vegetable stock • 1 small squash (approximately 800g), deseeded and cut into 5cm chunks
• 100g prunes, stoned and roughly torn • 2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted
For the spice rub
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • 1 level tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix (I used a Moroccan spice mix) • 1 level tablespoon ground cumin • 1 level tablespoon ground cinnamon • 1 level tablespoon ground ginger • 1 level tablespoon sweet paprika


Mix all the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover with clingfilm and put into the fridge for a couple of hours – ideally overnight. That way the spices really penetrate and flavor the meat.

When you’re ready to cook, heat a generous lug of olive oil in a tagine or casserole– type pan and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add your chopped onion and coriander stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Tip in the chickpeas and tomatoes, then pour in 400ml of stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1½hours.

At this point add your squash, the prunes and the rest of the stock. Give everything a gentle stir, then pop the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1½hours. Keep an eye on it and add a splash of water if it looks too dry.

Once the time is up, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with a pinch or two of salt. Scatter the coriander leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds, then take it straight to the table with a big bowl of lightly seasoned couscous and dive in.

The recipe can be found at: JamieOliver.com - Beef Tagine

Friday, 18 February 2011

Folksy Friday - Paris, London, New York

I'm spending pretty much all my time at the moment doing university work, either I'm sitting in lectures, flitting about the lab or sitting around at home working on one piece of work or another... So, with all this work, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about going on holiday!

This week, my theme started out as big cities, but I narrowed it down to Paris, London and New York and found some really great items!

As with all my Folksy Friday posts, each picture links back to the seller's original page so do check them out!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


Well, I stumbled across a brilliant idea today called - How Tuesday!

The idea is that you share a little 'how to' with others, which I think is an awesome idea! Unfortunately for you readers, my boyfriend took me out for dinner and a movie tonight so I didn't get the chance to share anything with you this week!

Seeing as it's almost Wednesday now, I guess this is really just a little post to let y'all know that in the coming weeks, I'll be doing Folksy Fridays and now How-Tuesdays too!
I'll mostly be sharing how-to's that I've found here, there and everywhere - to begin with at least - and then when I get going, I might even share some of my own with you all, which should be exciting!

Friday, 11 February 2011

A very late Folksy Friday - Colours of the Rainbow

Well, I started searching for items for this post at about 11 this morning, but ended up spending most of the day sleeping... And before anyone says it, I'm not just a typical lazy student (ha ha!), I've had food poisoning and was awake all night with it, so today I was falling asleep on my feet!

Anyway, enough feeling sorry for myself!

Here are my choices - Colours of the Rainbow... And, as usual, each picture is a click through link to the item in the seller's shop :)


Well, I think it's safe to say I've been an exceptionally lazy blogger lately!
I just don't know where my time is going! My head seems to constantly be in one book or another, or some other chaos is stealing my attention.

I've barely made any jewellery lately either, which is just rubbish!
So from today, I'm going to get back into it properly! At least one blog update each week, not including a Folksy Friday post, lots of updates on all the pretty things I will be making and also, lots of interesting bits about what's going on in the life of me ;)

So, I'm going to get started on a Folksy Friday post in a minute, so anyone who happens to be reading this, check back soon!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Folksy Friday - Birds, Bees and other Bugs...

I seem to have been rushing around doing all sorts this week, but I decided I'd take some time to do Folksy Friday again!
I've been a bit of a lazy blogger so I hope you like :)

My theme this week is Birds, Bees and other Bugs...
Each picture links to the item in the shop, so give 'em a click and check out their shops!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Folksy Friday...

So this is my first Folksy Friday and as some of you may know, I've been looking forward to this all week!
Everyone's getting ready for Valentine's day, so this week, my theme is 'Love is in the Air'! Maybe you'll find something special for your loved on in one of these fab little shops!

Each picture links to the item in the shop and I highly recommend you check out the rest of these seller's shops too, not just the items I've posted here today!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A Little Birdie Told Me...

Just uploaded my lovely little birdie necklaces to Folksy! It's really made my day actually - I've been stuck in the lab all day and it's really cheered me up taking photos of this, haha! Simple things eh :)

So here it is people, I hope you like it!


I'm happy with the pictures but I'm still not sure they do the necklace justice! The largest bead is a really gorgeous fire polished one, so has an amazing finish that shines different colours in the light but that was basically impossible to capture in the picture!

If any of you have any tips on getting good pictures of your products, I would love to get a few comments about that here! Share the knowledge people!


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

My new creations!

This is just a short post, but I had to put a little something!

I've made a couple of new pairs of earrings lately, using some semi-precious stones and sterling silver. They're absolutely gorgeous, even if I do say so myself! I've also got a new necklace to show you all:

This is just a quick picture I took on my phone after I'd made it, really just to send to my mum, but I thought I'd upload it here to give you readers a sneak-preview of what I've been up to lately!

I was going for a sort of natural look with this piece and I think I've achieved what I set out to, with the antique brass pendant, and the greens and the browns in the beads. Also, there's a really nice combination of glass, wood and metal that I think really suits it all well! This picture doesn't really do the colours justice, but still, I just love this little piece! I've only got four of them, but I'm undecided as to whether or not to keep one for myself... I love that little bird, he's adorable!

I'll be uploading the items for sale later today I think, or at least some time this week depending on what the rest of the day holds for me - it's the beginning term at uni though, so things haven't gotten too crazy yet... at least not now that exam week is over!

There's nothing like a bit of cutting and sticking!

Well, like the title says... there's nothing like a bit of cutting and sticking!
If you ask my parents, they'll tell you I've been loving it ever since I learned to wield scissors as a little one! Back then it was hacking pictures out of whatever catalogues and magazines I could get my chubby fingers on, not it's more about scrapbooking... much more grown up, haha!

Tonight though, I've been working on a project for a very late Christmas present. I wish I could share more than that, but until I've given it to my friend, I can't say too much about it, just incase she's reading! For now though, lets just say, it's looking fab and is so full of cheer I'm sure she's going to love it! And it's certainly been stress relief for me, you really can't beat a bit late night crafting, especially the kind that involves scissors and a glue stick!

I'll give you all a little more info about it once I've handed over the final piece, but for now, my lips are sealed!

2.30am... I think I'm done for the day!
Good night people

Monday, 17 January 2011

Cut Out and Keep

I was trawling the internet this morning looking for project tutorials and stuff to see if I could learn some new jewellery making techniques, or just to learn something crafty in general!

While I was googling, I stumbled across this little gem of a website: CutOutAndKeep.net

They've got everything from jewellery making projects to recipes, clothing to cleaning products! You name it, they've got it and I am loving every minute of it, haha! Here are just a few of the things that have caught my eye:

How to make Resin pendants...

How to make a Wire Tree...

Recipe for Toffee Squares...

I think I could blog about this all day! Especially the recipes! I love to cook, so with that and all sorts of jewellery making tips to collect, I'm in my element :)

I hope you enjoy the site as much as I am!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Folksy Fridays...

I've been checking out some other blogs today and I'm suddenly wishing it was Friday (probably an unusual thought to be having on a Sunday night)... But not because I'm not looking forward to Monday, instead because I want to do a 'Folksy Friday'.

Some of the blog posts I've seen are just lovely and I've seen some really great shops as a result!

Roll on Friday! Hopefully I'll have a few more followers by then too, so that the shops I find actually get some valuable promotion too!

If anyone has any tips for me, when it comes to Folksy Fridays, please leave me a comment!

Hello Readers!

Hi all,

I'm new to all this blogging stuff so I'm not really sure where to start! Maybe a little bit about me and why I decided to make jewellery could be a good start?

Well, as you've probably seen by now, I'm a Molecular Biology student who's pretty much decided to take jewellery making up as a hobby. I'm in my final year now, so for me that means long hours working in a meningitis lab then coming home to a mountain of revision and lecture notes. As I'm sure you can imagine, there are only so many hours a person can spend in a lab without going mad... so that's where it all started out.

On the verge of a breakdown from stress, I decided I needed to find some sort of hobby to give me a break from all my Uni work... As I said in my profile, I used to paint a lot but being away from home, living in a student house, I don't have a whole lot of space for that so I needed to think of something a little more compact. Eventually, I settled on making jewellery.

I think what finalised my decision was the fact that I'm allergic to nickel... For me that means, I'm a young woman with a tiny jewellery selection because I can't buy anything from Topshop or New Look or those sorts of places because virtually everything they sell is full of nickel and I can't really afford to be buying everything in silver! So, I scoured the internet to learn more about the craft and quickly ended up with a little shop on Folksy selling the pieces I've made.

So far, life's been too hectic to really promote my shop but I hope to make some more sales in 2011 and eventually make enough stock to attend a craft fair or two later in the year!

If you've made it this far, thank's so much for reading! I promise posts will get more interesting as I get more into blogging and of course once I crack on making some more little creations!