Thursday, 28 October 2010

Advertiser Spotlight - Spotty n Stripy

Today I would like to introduce you to the second winner of my advertising giveaway, Spotty n Stripy.

Spotty n Stripy design gorgeous contemporary greetings cards, in Lincolnshire.  Graphic designer Zoe explains that her love of all things spotty and stripy and of course greetings card was the inspiration behind her sucessful business.

Like so many women Zoe designs and creates her cards from home in those free hours in between being a mummy.  Her vibrant designs are selling well on Folksy and Not On The High Street.

So if you need a birthday car, wedding stationery or invitations for Christmas drinks be sure to visit Zoe at Spotty n Stripy.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

How to create a Blog Shop

I promised a while ago to share with you how I created my blog shop.  It took alot of trial and error but i got there in the end!  So here we go I will try & explain how to do it.

  • Firstly create a static page. To do this you go to where you write a new post and click on Edit Pages. Here you can create a static page that can appear in a menu bar at the top of your blog, under your banner.
  • Once you have created you page make sure you have images of the items you want to list in your new shop.
  • Now you will need to create a Paypal account, if you don't already have one! If you do have a paypal account you will need to upgrade to a  business account if you only have a personal account.
  • I suggest putting the first photo and item description onto your blog page next.
  • Now go back to Paypal and log in to your account then click on Merchant Services.
  • Scroll down and click on Sell single items, to create a button.
  • You will want a 'Buy It Now' button.
  • Create your button with the requested info and then click 'Create Button' . This will take you to a new page with the HTML code for your button. Copy this code then return to your blog page.
  • Click on Edit HTML tab at top of box where you write a post. Now scroll down to the end of the HTML for your photo & item description and paste your code from Paypal.
  • Now click on 'Compose' tab (next to 'Edit HTML' tab) and scroll down to add your next photo & description.  Don't panic as it will seem the paypal button has put a table onto your page, but this will not be visable when you publish you page.
  • Continue to create buttons for all the items you want in your shop.
  • Once you have finished adding your items publish your post(page)
  • Now try clicking on one of the 'Buy It Now' buttons to check they work!!
Good luck and feel free to ask if you want some more help, just leave a comment or email me.

Oh and don't forget to stock up on ribbons for Christmas crafting in my SHOP!!!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Fabric Friday - Elanbach

It has been a chaotic week and I have been very disorganised which hasn't helped at all. Thank goodness it's half term next week and we can all recharge our batteries.  As promised I have managed Fabric Friday and I'm sure you'll love this company.  Today I will feature Elanbach.

Elanbach is based in Wales at Llangoed Hall with their offices and production based in this fabulous country house hotel.  The hotel itself is a great showcase for Elanbach fabrics in each room.  Set on the banks of the River Wye in Mid Wales with views of the Black Mountains must prove a wonderfully inspiring backdrop.

Elanbach is the creative vision of Sir Bernard Ashley and with his team of designers they have created many fabulous collections. The designers ensure that Elanbach appeals to many style ideas by not sticking to one signature look.  New collections are launched every season but differing from other fabric companies they never discontinue any lines.

Elanbach digitally print their fabric which means they can print in Wales.  Sir Bernard Ashley loves the variable colour palette that digital printing offers, allowing the designers access to a colour palette of over 16 million colours.  Digital printing also means that only the exact amount of ink is used so there is no waste.  Their printing press also minimises waste as it prints instantly unlike the traditional printing process, ensuring no fabric waste aswell.

I think you'll agree Elanbach designs are fabulous and their ethics are in keeping with the trend to be less wasteful and buy British.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Tag, You're It!

When I started using Twitter back in April I never thought that I would make great friends, but the interaction has been fantastic and I have made some wonderful new friends.  One of those friends is Julia over at Catch a Dragonfly and yesterday she passed on a little game of tag to me and five other bloggers.  Julia is a great twitter friend of mine, sending me messages when I was moving to check I was ok and reguarly sends a virtual cuppa. So here goes -

What is your favourite book?

I love reading and have so many books for pleasure and for my studies but an all time favourite is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I read this for the first time when I was 15 and have read it many times since. This book is like a dear old friend everytime I read it and I never tire of it.  I also love reading Cecelia Ahern and Maeve Binchey, they too are my comfort reading picks for cold winter nights.

What is your most treasured childhood memory?

As a child I saw my grandparents about three times a year and my grandmother wore several beautiful rings. Everytime we stayed with them in Dorset or when they came to visit us she would help by doing the washing up and I was allowed to wear her rings.  My grandmother was a wonderful lady, stylishly elegant and always had time to read me a story or teach me to sew and had a great colection of buttons in a tin that I would play with for hours.

Who is your favourite designer/artist/illustrator?

As a child I would be found reading Roald Dahl books over and over and my love for illustration began then and I still adore Quentin Blake. I also am a huge fan of Lauren Child, her illustrations are incredibly creative.  Having studied art I have many favourites but Picasso is a big fave  of mine, I also love the sculptor Giocometti and I have a strange appreciation of Degas bronze sculptures of ballet dancers, I think it's the purity and beauty of the pieces.  As for designers I love Betty Jackson and Amanda Wakely but also have a soft spot for Boden coats! Oh and if I was to renew my vows I would ask Kate Halfpenny to design my dress.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

France. I dream of living there but am not quite ready to take the leap! Our favourite region is the Loire Valley but am hoping to  head to the Dordogne next year.  Also Paris is my favourite city, especially as I am a big fan of art deco design so those Metro signs are simply wonderful.  and of course a trip to Disneyland is necessary every 3-4 years, I am a big kid at heart and it is such a magical place.

What is your favourite pastime?

Singing! Yes I love to sing but sadly don't get much time to do it now, apart from singing along to the stereo and I think I am getting too old to hit top C!

What is your favourite colour?


Do you have any pet hates?

Bad manners. I abhor bad manners, it only takes a second to say please and thank you. I also cannot stand people who talk with their mouths full, I drive my childen mad at the dinner table as I don't want to discourage everyone catching up on each others day but will not allow speaking with full mouths!

What is your favourite saying?

No worries is one I use alot and I know I say fab far too much! Oh and I am known to reguarly say 'it will all come out in the wash' !

Do you watch the X Factor? If so why?

No. I am a Strictly Come Dancing fan, sorry.

So there you go, great questions Julia, thank you for passing these on. Now who shall I tag?


Dottie Designs

Faye Goodwin

What Katie Did Next

Tigerlily Makes

So lovely ladies, tag, you're it!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Advertiser Spotlight - NOfkants Curios

Well I almost did it, three posts last week! I promise to write a Fabric Friday this week, already got somebody in mind.  Today I would like to introduce you to one of the winners of my monthly advertising giveaway. Drum roll please for NOfkants Curios.

As a child Natalie loved to collect fossils and still enjoys going fossil hunting with her own children. Many of her creations in her Folksy shop are designed using fossils, which makes each piece unique due to the different patterns every fossil provides.

Natalie  also loves knitting and crocheting and has a fantastic selection of hats, scarves, blankets and bags in her Folksy shop.

Like many Folksy sellers Natalie crafts as a hobby and her Folksy shop is an outlet for her numerous creations. Well we all know we can't keep everything, we need to make space for more materials!

Natalie also writes a great blog, that I read reguarly but am sorry Natalie that I am hopeless at leaving comments. 

So now the weather has turned decidedly chilly head on over to NOfkants Curios to treat yourself to a fabulous hand knitted hat or scarf and while you're there why not pick up a couple of Christmas presents too, I know my boys would love those fossil keyrings.

NOkants Curios

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Save The Arts

As the new government tries to claw the UK out of recession, we all expected cuts to various departments but the proposed cuts of 25-30% to the arts funding has understandably caused an outcry. Over the past twenty years, the UK has built a strong reputation in the arts world putting it clearly on the cultural map, reigning supreme in a global market. What these proposed cuts to funding will mean is that not only will we probably lose the top spot but many small arts organisations will disappear altogether and major galleries and museums will see their collections diminished.

However this will not pass through parliment quietly as a petition has been started and is well on it's way to gaining the 100,000 signatures required. When I wrote a post last week for UK Handmade about the Save the Arts campaign and petition the number of signatures had reached 45, 984, I have just checked now and thankfully it has risen to 54,224. The Save the Arts campaign is gathering momentum and you can keep up to date on their blog.

You can read my full post here

And don't forget to add your name to the petition.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A Day in the Life

I love to read about other peoples days creating and how we all manage to fit everything in. Often in between designing and creating we are juggling marketing, pr and admin never mind looking after our families and keeping house. I wonder how many of us are reading emails or tweeting whilst trying to  load the washing machine!!

Unfortunately I don't have a day in the life to share with you today, but I am in the process of contacting some fabric designers I have featured in Fabric Fridays to see if they would be kind enough to share a day in their busy lives.  But I would also love to read about your days, whether you craft for a living or for fun and would love a sneak peak at your workspace.  So please email me if you are interested in being featured in a day in the life.

In the meantime you may like to pop over to UK Handmade blog where they have a regular 'meet' section, with artists, designers and creative types sharing their workspace and creative lives with the readers.  Also the Folksy Blog have regular posts meeting different Folksy sellers.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Advertising Giveaway Winners!

I am thrilled to announce the giveaway winners for this months advertising spots.

#40  Birgitta Designs

#64 NOfkants Curios

#179 Spotty n Stripy

All three have Folksy shops and have all been contacted, so hopefully I will be adding their advertising badges to the sidebar very soon.

I also want to appologise to all my lovely readers as I know I have neglected my blog due to my house move.  I had hoped to be posting five times a week again by now but I have moved into a house that is going to need  lots of tlc over the coming months, but I am going to try really hard this week to post every day.  Thank you for bearing with me and I would love you all to be involved in Buttons and Bows, so if you would like to be part of 'A Day in the Life' please email me.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Folksy Blog

I know many of you are sellers on Folksy and get involved with the forum but have you discovered the blog? There are regular features with today being the day you get to meet and learn more about other sellers.  There are also articles helping you to create shop banners and get the most out of selling on Folksy. There are also opportunities to contribute, which I have done by writing a monthly post about fabric and sewing, well we all know how much I love fabric!!  And of course there is always a Folksy Friday. 

So grab a cup of tea and pop along for a read, here's my latest post

Monday, 4 October 2010

Advertiser Spotlight - Tigerlily Makes

Todays advertiser spotlight will thrill felt lovers and to be honest I'm sure there are plenty of us. Felt is such a versatile material and the thing I love most about it is that it doesn't need hemming! Now the spotlight turns to Tigerlily Makes.

From her Tigerlily Makes Boutique Lisa Olson runs various felt making courses, sharing with her students her love of this ancient craft and helping them create gorgeous bags, hats and jewellery and much more besides.

Tigerlily Makes also offers felt making supplies and you can purchase vouchers to use in the boutique towards any of the great courses. 

Tigerlily Makes is also the perfect venue for a childrens workshop or a hen party, sharing the fun in creating something unique and fabulous all under the watchful eye of your tutor, Lisa.

So why not add a feltmaking course at Tigerlily Makes to your Christmas List, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Tigerlily Makes

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