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!

 

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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.

Flow Magazine

This magazine is my favourite read ever.. Honestly its such a lovely, escaping, mindful, interesting, peaceful, inspirational magazine that fills you with hope and ideas! Please take a look at their website and trot down to WH Smiths and get one!! You will not regret it honestly!!

 

Here is a link to the websites inspiring quotes which everyone loves a bit of!

http://www.flowmagazine.com/category/quotes-that-inspire-us

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Hoop Earrings

I adore this fun jewelry tutorial. I hope you do, too! -http://www.creaturecomfortsblog.com/

I originally made a neon green version of these hoops for an 80’s Halloween party­–perfect under the black lights. When I went to pick colors for this tutorial, however, I pulled this more gentle color palette with a punch of black. I think it’s so lovely. These hoops are simple to make, yet such a fun splash of hand made in your wardrobe. Add the ability to customize every pair and you might just not be able to stop making them. I adore these little black and white ones.

 
These hoops make for a fabulous last minute, personalized gifts, too!  Here’s the tutorial:
 
 

Supplies needed:

  • Embroidery thread (I suggest DMC 6-strand floss for a smooth finish)
  • Inexpensive hoop earrings (I found these at Target)
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors

Cut 40” of chosen embroidery thread colors for a large hoop, less for smaller hoops. If you place the hoops in your ear before you start, it will help you decide where to change colors and place the majority of your design color work (remove hoop from ear before next step).

Start by placing a small bit of craft glue at the end of the hoop.  

Take desired embroidery thread colors and line them up parallel to the hoop, placing the end of the thread in the bit of glue. Choose the thread color you want to start with and begin wrapping it around the hoop…the other colors you aren’t using they go along for the ride (make sure they are being hidden by the thread color that you want to have showing). Keep wrapped thread snugly side-by-side so you can’t see the hoop or other colors underneath.

When you want to change colors, drop the first color parallel to the hoop and start wrapping with the next color you’d like. Repeat to change colors again. Change as many times as you’d like.  

When you get to the end, place another small bit of glue. Wrap thread directly over that glue, using your finger to wipe away any excess. Trim the embroidery thread colors that you are not using first as close to the hoop as possible. Then place a little extra glue to secure the remaining thread over the ends of the other colors, and trim excess. Repeat the finishing process on the other side of the wrapped hoop. Repeat full process for your other earring. Voila!

 
To create the striped earrings, simply wrap the embroidery threads together at the same time, as if they were one. Keep them in the same alignment as you wrap, and finish with the same process as used above.
 

So fast, easy and fun! Happy Hooping!

50 happy facts to get you in the mood for life

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50 happy facts to get you in the

mood for life

 

 

This is a fab list of things you probably didn’t know.. but are very interesting and nice 🙂

  1. Penguins have one mate for the whole of their lives. They “propose” by giving their mate a pebble.
  2. Cows have best friends.
  3. Not one of your direct ancestors died childless.
  4. Cuddling releases Oxytocin which helps speed healing and recovery from physical wounds.
  5. Otters hold hands when sleeping so they don’t drift away from each other.
  6. The last man to walk on the Moon, Eugene Cernan wrote his daughters initials there. They’ll last 50,000 years at the very least.
  7. There’s a type of jellyfish that lives forever.
  8. We now have less crime, a lower death rate and longer life expectancy than at any other time in human history.
  9. The clitoris has 8000 nerve fibres, double that of the penis, and is the only organ in the body, which has evolved purely for pleasure.
  10. Every year the Netherlands sends 20,000 tulip bulbs to Canada to thank them for their aid in the Second World War.
  11. Rats giggle when you tickle them. Their voices are so high-pitched you need special equipment to hear them, but when you do, their laughs are immediately evident.
  12. Sea horses mate for life, are completely faithful and travel together by holding on to each others tails.
  13. If you say “my cocaine” you sound like Michael Caine saying his own name.
  14. Male puppies, when playing with female puppies, will let the female win. Gentlemen puppies.
  15. The majority of children born in Europe in 2013 will live to see the year 2100.
  16. Seeing somebody else smile actually makes you happier.
  17. Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell.
  18. There are folk out there who are ombrophiles – they have a passionate love for rain.
  19. No matter how old you are there will always be an incredible new food for you try.
  20. The name for a group of porcupines is a prickle.
  21. Smallpox is completely extinct. No one else will ever die from it again.
  22. Pigs’ orgasms last for 30 minutes.
  23. Sloths only leave their tree once a week, to pee and poo.
  24. At the time of your birth, you were, for a few seconds, the youngest person on the planet.
  25. Cows produce the most milk when listening to the song Everybody Hurts by REM.
  26. Someone somewhere is losing their virginity right now.
  27. Baby rabbits are called kittens.
  28. Baby puffins are called pufflings.
  29. Worms communicate by snuggling.
  30. With our horseless carriages (cars), space travel, speed of light communication, cloning, lasers, connection to people worldwide, flying robots, we are living in the future people dreamed of.
  31. A group of flamingos is called a flamboyance.
  32. Cancer death rates are down 20% in past 20 years.
  33. Every year, millions of trees grow thanks to squirrels forgetting where they buried their nuts.
  34. On the day of his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr. had a pillow-fight in his motel room.
  35. The Beatles used the word “love” 613 times throughout their career.
  36. The chances of you (as opposed to someone else) being born is about 1 in 40 million.
  37. The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We’re all made of star dust.
  38. Canada is an Indian word meaning “Big Village”.
  39. Iguanas, koalas and Komodo dragons all have two penises
  40. Just like humans, British cows moo in regional accents.
  41. John Cleese’s father’s surname was Cheese. Cleese grew up 10miles from Cheddar and his best friend at school was called Barney Butter.
  42. Under extreme high pressure, diamonds can be made from peanut butter.
  43. Tintin is called Tantan in Japanese because TinTinis pronounced ‘Chin chin’ and means penis.
  44. In 1881, there were only six men in Britain called Derek.
  45. Only 4 Clives and 13 Trevors were born in the UK in 2011.
  46. Everyone knows the dog in the movie “Wizard of Oz” as Toto, the dogs actual name given to it by it’s master was Terry.
  47. Approximately one fifth of all the publications from Japan are comic books.
  48. The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
  49. Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance.
  50. When Nelson Mandela met the Spice Girls, he called them his “heroes.”

6 steps to improving your photography

Whether you run a blog or an online Etsy store, good photography can really help you and your crafty creations get noticed online.What’s more, you can achieve great results with a regular camera. Claire Gillo explains how

Capture your makes with a compact camera

You’ll need:

Compact Camera

Wooden surface

Large window (natural light)

Craft items to photograph

Step 1

Step 1 Set up your shoot next to a window. We want to use natural light, so around midday is good time as the light is at its best. Find a nice background to frame your subject. A wooden surface works well – we used the side of a toy chest and its lid.

Step 2

Step 2 Next arrange your subject and/or props. Try not to over-prop the shot and choose items and/or colours that complement each other.

 

Step 3

Step 3 Some compact cameras only shoot in a fully automatic mode (if so, skip to Step 5). If your camera can shoot in a part-manual mode put it into the Aperture priority mode (this is often marked as A or Av) as this controls the depth of field in the lens.

Step 4

Step 4 Set the Aperture (depth of field) to the widest setting. This is the smallest number it can go to, and on our camera it’s f/3.5. Using a wide aperture helps blur the background while keeping the foreground object sharp. This creates a softer and ‘dreamier’ image.

Step 5

Step 5 You could also enhance the shot with a photo filter effect. We used the Film Simulation Astia/Soft effect; check your camera manual to see what yours can do. Next, shoot from a low angle, isolating the object/s. Avoid distracting background elements.

Step 6

Step 6 Ensure the focus point stays sharp on the main subject matter. Think about the direction of the main light source. Use faint shadows to give the object/s definition but watch out for heavy casting ones. Once you’re happy, upload it to your blog!

Make your own tent!! :)

DIY A-Frame Tent-A Beautiful Mess We love a-frame tents, so we invited Rubyellen to share her method for making your own. Are you excited? Here’s how the magic happens-A-Frame Tent SuppliesA-Frame Tent Supplies1. From the top of each moulding, measure and mark 6″ down with your pencil. 2. With your drill and 3/4″ spade bit, drill a hole at your mark. Try to center the hole on your moulding. These holes will be for the top of your A-frame tent. 3. From the opposite end of your moulding, measure and mark 1.5″ down with your pencil. 4. With your drill and 3/4″ spade bit, drill a hole at your mark. Try to center the hole on your moulding. These holes will be for the bottom of your A-frame tent. 

A-FRAME TENT DIMENSIONS

Making the cover: Since the cover is made using a vintage crocheted cloth, what you have readily available to use may be a different measurement. The key size to get your tent cover is about 44″ – 51″ in length and about 80″ – 84″ in width, so depending on the size of your crocheted cloth, your crocheted cloth to panel fabric proportion may vary from the one used. In fact, on our tent, the crocheted cover is slightly larger than the fabric panel by an inch or so on each side. If you have a crocheted cover large enough and don’t need a fabric panel, an option would be to fold the bottom of your crocheted cover to create a panel in which to feed your dowel through. Be creative, there are a lot of fun possibilities to use for a tent cover!
(Hint: A twin sized sheet fits this tent frame almost perfectly!)Tent Cover SuppliesTent Cover Supplies1. Cut the fabric to the size needed. In our case, it was 14″ x 53″. For the 14″ side, fold over 1/2″ and press, and fold over 1/2″ again and press. Pin in place. Repeat with the opposite side. Do this for both panels. Then, use a sewing machine to stitch the hem. With the 53″ side, place the right sides together and stitch using a 1/2″ seam. Repeat for second panel. Turn inside out and press. 2. Place the long side of crocheted cloth and fabric together with right sides together, pin in place, and stitch together using a 1/2″ seam. Repeat with second panel for the opposite side. 3. Group dowels into pairs and line up the top holes. Push dowel through the holes of the top moulding (6″ down from top). The hole should have a pretty tight grip and keep the dowel in place. Repeat with the dowels for the opposite end. Drape your tent cover on top. 4. Grab another dowel and push through the holes on the bottom of one side and feed through the bottom panel and connect the dowel to the opposite end. Repeat for second dowel on the opposite side. Open up the tent cover to desired width and height of opening. Grab a pillow, blanket, go underneath and enjoy!
TIPS: For a little extra detail and to keep the tent cover taut, I fed twine through some holes of the cover and tied it to the legs of the frame. This helps prevent the tent cover from sagging. Also, if you are using this on wood floors the legs may have a hard time staying up. I find that if you put your tent on top of a blanket it will help it from just falling flat.
Again, how you make this tent cover will vary depending on the size of the crocheted cover you find and decide to use. I just happen to come across a cover that was almost the exact size I needed, so I didn’t have to really piece together too much. Nevertheless, it will look beautiful with lots of little crocheted pieces put together or even with just one large piece as a cover. Just remember, have fun making it and after you will have a special little hideaway to enjoy! 
DIY A-Frame Tent (A Beautiful Mess) DIY A-Frame Tent (A Beautiful Mess)