Arty – or Crafty? Join the Crawl that puts makers on the map

Planet South Bank

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Next month sees the return of our Craft-y-Crawl, a Sunday stroll round the streets of the greater South Bank area of York (including Bishy Road and the streets off it)
The event, on 12 November (12.00-4.00pm) offers a chance to visit local artists and craftspeople in their own homes, who will be displaying and selling a range of handmade items, including jewellery, prints, stained and fused glass, Mexican tin decorations, cards, eraser carved stamps, Christmas decorations and other exciting and unusual items!
As a participating artist/ craftsperson you can exhibit in your own home, pal up with a friend or two in your house or theirs, or book a table at The Winning Post pub on Bishopthorpe Road (this is a new initiative for this year).
To be part of the event, email info@planetsouthbank.org.uk giving your contact details and a description of your art/craft. Closing date for participants…

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Repair Café returns!

fantastic event in york!

Planet South Bank

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Following our successful first Repair Café in April, Planet South Bank is putting on another event on Saturday 21 October (10.00am-1.00pm) at Clements Hall in York.

The date falls in International Repair Café Week 2017 (14-22 October) when communities around the world will be organising similar events. There are now over 1,300 Repair Cafes operating globally, with 92 in the UK.

Monitoring by the Repair Café International Foundation shows that, in the past year, approximately 250,000 kilos of waste were saved collectively and that the most popular items for fixing were bicycles, vacuum cleaners and kettles.

Our experience from our April event confirms the popularity of small electrical items; chairs, lamps, clocks, jewellery and textiles were other popular items brought in for repair. Overall, we managed to repair 60 items, with only five items found to be not fixable at all.

As before, we will be relying on…

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Where do you get your inspiration from?

So… I want to know, Where do you creative’s get your inspiration from???

My sources-

  • Pinterest. I really love this site. I have the app on my phone as well so I visit it regularly and update my boards. I mainly use it just for the images as I sometimes find the DIY projects a bit misleading or sometimes they don’t really turn out the way you thought they would? That happens 90% of the time I would say.
  • Instagram. My FAVOURITE site ever. If this wasn’t created I would probably be a lot more productive and more bored at the same time… if that’s possible. I follow so many people, people in recovery from mental health problems, doll makers, celebs including Jack black, SJP, Alicia Silverstone. Home decor stores, magazines I buy and probably a lot more… Oh yes and some select friends who I find have quite interesting lives! Instagram gives you an insight into the lives of people you dream about and admire, it is actually them IRL posting, sharing there creative ways. I also enjoy uploading pics of my makes as well and getting feedback.
  • Galleries – I love visiting galleries and museums when I go travelling and in York. You can pick up some really interesting ideas just looking at other people’s work and taking inspiration from them.
  • Magazines – my favourite mags are –

Flow

2017_cover_int-18-kl.jpgMAGAZINE The best things happen when you dare to follow your heart. And that’s exactly what we did when we hatched this idea for a new Dutch magazine in an attic room several years ago. We dreamed of a magazine with which we could explore our love of paper. A magazine of unhurried time, all about doing things differently and making new choices. Small happiness, daily life and the beauty of not always managing to be perfect. That is how Flow began. Flow is all about positive psychology, mindfulness, creativity and the beauty of imperfection. We love illustrations and in each issue there is a gift made of our much-loved paper. We print the magazine itself on different types of paper. – https://www.flowmagazine.com

 

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Breathe is going to return to its youth and make the most of the autumnal delights.Expect to find us turning cartwheels, splashing in puddles, skimming stones and admiring wild flowers as we head off on long, leisurely (yes, we’re embracing the slow movement, too), fun walks along the UK and Ireland’s beautiful coastlines. Awesome. http://www.breathemagazine.co.uk/magazine/

 

 

 

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Reloved is the exciting new magazine at the heart of thrifting, shabby chic and up cycling. With an emphasis on breathing new life into old, forgotten objects, it brings a hands-on approach to this thriving pastime. Featuring at least 25 substantial projects each issue and priced at only £4.99, Reloved is the practical magazine for everyone with a desire to create and adapt beautiful things. http://www.relovedmag.co.uk/how-to-bu/

 

wk7-cover-300x385.jpgWomankind represents a new era for women: Womankind is an advertising-freewomen’s magazine on self, identity and meaning in today’s society. Womankind magazine features the top journalists, authors and artists in a 132 page, perfect-bound magazine – offering a signature mix of reporting and commentary on culture, creativity, philosophy, nature and ways to live a more fulfilling life. http://www.womankindmag.com/about-us/

 

 

They are mainly to do with being mindful of your surroundings and everyday life. How to be kind to others. Gorgeous photos and illustrations. Travel tips. Food ideas. Crafty tips and home decor ideas… My FAVOURITE things basically in magazine form which is always nice to flick through because you come across things you don’t normally search for on the internet.

 

  • Library – we have a lovely library in York which i visit regularly. I get inspiration from there as it gives my choices i wouldn’t normally see. I mainly look in the travel section, crafts section and also the poem books.

Any other thoughts on inspiration?? If so please share!

 

GIVEAWAY

I am doing a giveaway on my Instagram for a gorgeous cat cushion

All you have to do is follow my Instagram and tag three friends:)

Please enter!!!

 

https://www.instagram.com/gembobs_crafts/

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I’m in amsterdam!

Thought I would go on a little break to a place I’ve always wanted to explore.. Amsterdam! So I’ve just come back from there after five days. It’s been really good fun, I’ve met a lot of lovely people and stayed in a hostel! I didn’t want to spend too much money on accommodation so I looked on booking.com and found a central hostel called ‘clinkNoord’. I shared with three other people and we had our own private bathroom which was Nice! The hostel was over the river right next to train station, so every 10 minutes a ferry came and carted people (mainly on bikes) across the water for free which was different! Oh my god.. I have never seen so many bikes. I thought York had alot but I actually found out in Amsterdam there are more bikes then people! And there are plenty of electrical cars that are tiny which is blizzare!

The hostel was lovely I really couldn’t fault it. I had to change my room because the first night I couldn’t get to sleep at all because the two guys (who I ended up spending most of my time with) were snoring, so the staff kindly let me swap rooms at 4am in the morning and it was so much quieter. Every where is spotless, staff were wonderful and it was very close to the train station which I always find helpful. And it was very cheap! So yeah… I met a few people, colin from Vancouver and Kim from norway. So I got to hang round with them on all of the days which was fantastic because I’ve never done that before. I love staying in airbnbs because I’m a private person and have routines, but it was isolated. Hostels you get to meet so many different people from all over the world!

Things I did in Amsterdam –

  • Boat tour
  • Van Gogh gallery
  • I Amsterdam sign visit
  • Lots of coffee shop visits
  • Shopping in the boutique stores
  • Two free walking tours

Here are some photos I took. The weather wasn’t great.. abit like England if I’m honest!


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Boho Decor Items For Sale in my Etsy Shop

I just thought i would kind of do a self promo because i haven’t posted about my products for a while! So, Im kind of a hippie at heart, and so this sometimes reflects in the products i make. I have a few items in my shop that are ‘boho’ and ‘hippie’ that i wanted to tell you guys about!

First are my Patchwork Curtains – They are made from fabric I’ve sourced from literally everywhere, i try to good quality fabrics that normally have a pretty pattern and can do any size thats needed. Ive made a lot of curtains now, all have been individual and one of a kind which is what i love about them. These are the ones i used to have in my own flat, i used quite a few vintage scarfs in this one but they are always lined so light doesn’t flood through.

I also have some lovely boho cushions available in lots of different colours/materials! Each one is one of a kind so YOU get to pick what you like and i will do my best to acocomodate.

I have lots of lovely bunting available also, which would look fab in a hippie style room.

Here are some other things I really really want in my own home from sites on the internet and also what I have found on the amazing Internet which i will keep adding too!!

tapestry – 1497845971468906526

Isnt this wonderful?! I would definitely get this… although i haven’t got enough room on my walls as i have covered them with pictures!! But it is only 12.00 which is a bargain.

 

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dream catcher – gorgeous dream catcher from someone n Etsy. I really advocate etsy, people work so hard on there and i dont think others realise how hard it is to get your shop noticed and get sales.

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Glass Dome 

Another gorgeous boho etsy shop that sells glass! how brave!! I love these, i have lots in my house ranging from candle holders, hanging domes, they just look gorgeous and are very popular at the moment!

 

 

Check back to see more goodies 🙂

 

Books that I found helpful with my online business

I thought I’d do I post about the books I’ve used throughout my etsy journey. I find information online as well but I love books. I am abit obsessed and I love nothing more then visiting the library, especially now I love in York and there is a lovely library.

I have just recently spotted this book – from passion to profit.

I found this extremely helpful. Obviously I already have my business up and running but it still helped with figuring out other things like the worksheets. I got this from the library so I cannot write in it but I will probably buy it tbh. I liked the fact it’s pink, bright, chatty and friendly. Not too many difficult words and not long sentences so I get bored. It helps you figure out your dream customer, what you target market is, resources for selling on the best sites and marketplaces, advertising etc. It also has a few story’s of crafters who are already established and what advice they have. I really recommend this. You can get the book on Amazon here-From Passion to Profit – Start Your Business in 6 Weeks or Less!: A step-by-step guide to making money from your hobby by selling online

 

Craft Show & Sell

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I really liked this book, very helpful but didn’t really offer me any new information because i have already read quite a bit on selling already. If you are just starting out i would suggest you get this though 🙂

“Through highly visual, step-by-step tutorials and inspiring profiles on some of the world’s most successful crafters, Craft Show & Sell delivers all the advice and vision that today’s crafters need to take their brand or business forward into a new realm. Step into the workspaces, shops and online personalities of those global designers and expert makers who have turned the art of craft – be it knitting, crochet, sewing, jewellery-making, paper engineering or printing – into a successful business model. Be inspired by through-the-keyhole ventures into their atmospheric and often ingenious craft spaces, with a range of insider projects to help organise and energise your craft room. Get top tips on how to merchandise and sell items online, at craft fairs, at markets, in shops or at pop-up events or exhibitions. Plus, learn how to build a personality-driven brand, create and write a better blog or website, document your work through better photography and analyse your results to help take your business into the future.”

Get it here – craft show and sell

How To Sell Your Crafts Online

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These are step by step actions which i find really helpful tbh, and how to use social media which is something i used to struggle with!

“Getting noticed on Etsy amongst 400,000 competitors is tough, but with this accessible guide, it can be done. You will learn how to boost your Etsy shop sales, attract more potential customers, and stand out in your field. Author Derrick Sutton lays out his secrets to success with simple, yet effective step-by-step actions that are accompanied by easy-to-follow screenshots. Even crafters who aren’t internet savvy will have no trouble completing the easy lessons and tasks to ensure that your shop is fully optimized. Derrick shares his priceless advice on a variety of topics including: how to design a catchy Etsy banner; a crash course on photographing your goods; how to use Google Analytics to track your progress; tips on how to use Facebook and Twitter effectively; fail-safe copywriting secrets. Where to gain inspiration for blog posts; and, how to take advantage of Etsy’s Forums, Treasuries, Alchemy, and much more!”

Get it here – How to sell your crafts

 

Online Marketing for Your Craft Business: How to get your handmade products discovered, shared and sold on the internet

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One of my faves as i like the layout and i think the explanations are simple and easy to understand.

If you are a creative or craft business owner selling crafts online through your blog, website or on handmade marketplaces, the desire to grow your online following can become addictive. Many people find they spend all day aimlessly clicking and tinkering with their craft blog, Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts with no real strategy in place. They are inconsistent, they don’t plan their content and they don’t measure their results, they just feel drained and demotivated, unsure whether they are seeing a return on their investment of time. Many people end up resenting blogging and social media networking due to lacklustre sales results. Don’t let this happen to your craft business!

Get it Here – Online marketing

 

Will be adding lots more as i read them!

Five simple tips to get your etsy shop started.

I know alot of people who struggle to get sales on Etsy. I have built mine up over the years, it does better each year and this last year it has really grown, and I can only put this down to advertising and social media

I started using Instagram (gembobs_crafts) seriously a few months ago and I think now I am a tad addicted! I love the way you can search for anything, the gorgeous images of endless inspiration, how you can gain an insight into other crafters lives and interact with them. You can even interact partly with celebrities if you like that kind of thing! I now follow some really creative and talented makers who I love to see on a daily basis and watch how there products grow. Anyway… I’m going to list five ways in which you can hopefully grow and spread awareness to your etsy shop which have worked for me so far. You cannot just sit back and wonder why sales are not happening, you actually have to work hard at this.

1. Sign up to lots of social media platforms. I have Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest. The more you are active on, the more exposure you will get and therefore advertising yourself.

2. Use good photography. I have just started using my Samsung S7 to take all my photos, i used to have a DLSR but i just found it too cumbersome and it was a hassle to get it set up etc so i found myself not taking too many photographs. i always have my phone with me so i now take so many photos that i can use on my Etsy and Instagram. I try to use a white background(i have white walls in my house) and adjust the brightness and contrast on them to make them stand out. I follow some amazing people on Instagram who are very talented at creating gorgeous photos using props. You should really check them out and see if they will inspire you to create something like this as its a great way to get your products looking fab. One of my favourite Instagrams is – https://www.instagram.com/emilyquinton/ founder of Makelight.

3. Right, it’s time to talk about SEO which I know a lot of people get scared of and try to avoid. I have read up about it quite alot but I still don’t understand it massively tbh. In my shop all I have done is – updated the title to create as many ‘search terms’ in as possible. Try to imagine you are the buyer, and you are searching for your own products. What would you type in? Maybe ask your friends to say what they would type in aswell. Put these in your title. It doesn’t matter if you title looks wierd or really long,people don’t care.

Next, go to your description and in the first few lines copy and paste your title at the top.

Next, go to your tags and type in your search terms IN ORDER in to the tags. This is really important. Use all 13 tags as well.

Use as many photos as you can. The more photos of your product the better and the better chance of getting a sale.

Have more then 50 listings in your shop, you have more chance getting seen in searches.

I know it sounds like a lot of faff and your doing everything just to get seen, but this is how etsy is. The market now is so full that SEO is very important.

4. One thing that I have started doing recently is emailing my customer when they have received my toy. I received a 5 star review and a lovely comment on my snake(the first one i had sold) and I was really happy, so I emailed her and said thank you. I got an email back saying she was very happy and could she possibly buy another for her other son? Now I know for a fact she wouldn’t have bought one if I hadn’t emailed her. Connection helps, so connect with your customers and really make them feel special. They like that 😉

5. I ALWAYS make sure my packaging is lovely, and I add in a handwritten (I think this is important) note saying thank you and could they please leave a review. Reviews help your shop. I know this might be cheating but maybe at the start, offer your friends and family a massive discount on your items so they buy them on etsy and get them to leave a review. It will build your shop up. People like to look at reviews, I sure Do!!!!

So…. They are my basic steps to making sure your etsy shop is running ok and hopefully it will help a tad. Obviously there is loads more ways and a simple search in Google and YouTube will lead to masses of info which can sometimes get a bit overwhelming.

If you need any help just email me or comment here. I will always help you. I love shopping small and I think independent business are Brill, so the more I can help the better.

Back from Paris!

Well I’m back in the lovely York now, it’s been an amazing two weeks I have enjoyed it so much and havnt stopped! My favourite things that I did in Paris were:

  • National History Museum, just beautiful grounds and the zoo is fab
  • Centre of Pompidou, saw amazing works by Kandinsky and Klee!!
  • The Louvre, obviously amazing but the outside grounds and the funky pyramid glass statues are gorgeous
  • Wondering around all the pretty streets, walking along the river and seeing the Notre dame and other pretty buildings.

So that’s my favourite things that I did but obviously everyone is different and likes different things etc.

I’m quite glad I’m going back because I havnt been able to do anything crafty in TWO WEEKS. I am actually getting withdrawals now because I normally sew everyday. I don’t know what other people do? On the evening like what do you do when you havnt got any crafts to do???

I’ve got five orders from etsy to make, a bag to send, and two people have requested some handmade curtains for me to make so I’m gonna get straight into the orders. I’ve been updating my SEO on my etsy site so hopefully that will help as well.

Kind of want to make other animals but not sure which ones? What are you favourite cushions in my shop and what would you like to see more of?

Bye bye bloggers!!