HOUSNG CRISIS – THINGS IVE FOUND THAT MIGHT HELP

I know at the moment there is a huge housing crisis which is causing mass homeless and people not with secure housing and places to call there own. In York there are a number of services that help these people by offering food on the night and lots more support which is fantastic and i try my best to support them.

Im quite the internet searcher – and i have moved house 25+ times… so quite an expert on renting/where to find cheap housing etc. i have found certain sites that offer cheaper housing. private renting is absolutely ridiculous and i cannot fathom how people afford this – i am personally with Yorkshire Housing paying minimum and i am so lucky to have the one bedroom flat i have. I am warm on the night and there are plenty who are not.

When i was going to live in Darlington (whilst eventually settling on Darling Buddhist centre for a year for 250 a month) i was going to use these websites and move into a property which is currently empty- suitable for living but it is temporary – so good for people who like to move- haven’t got dependents etc Here are the websites i used – there are hundreds of housing all over England that are empty and the can go for as little as 150 pounds a month to have a roof over your head so check them out –

ad hoc – Providing vacant property protection with live in Guardians – Empty property protection or a cheap place to live across the UK

camelot europe – Property in the uk and abroad.

 

I also used several other sites which offer private housing but on a cheaper basis as you dont go through an Estate Agent. These are

Gumtree – Gumtree (be careful on this)

open rent – an amazing site with cheaper properties – sign up to their newsletter to get updates.

 

I will still update this once i find more sites but i hope this helps a tad.

xxxx

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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.

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!!

Surveys Sites = Free Money!

I regularly complete survey and have done for the past 7 years.

I know that my sound a bit sad and like i have nothing better to do(sometimes i dont…) but overall i have probably

I-say surveys – You get points and daily emails, adds up quite quick and can be turned into Amazon vouchers.

Money earned has been overall about 250 pounds in Amazon vouchers.

https://social.i-say.com/surveys

Panelbase Surveys – my favourite account as i have earned the most with them. You can convert your points into either vouchers or straight into your bank account which is what i have done.

Overall ive earned about 300 pounds again.

https://www.panelbase.net/index.aspx

Crowdology Surveys – Quite easy surveys and not too long but i dont get that many through.

Earned about 70 pounds overall

https://crowdology.uk/

SurveyBods Surveys – I love this site because its very user friendly and you can do most surveys on your phone as well.

Earned about 200 pounds.

http://www.surveybods.com/

I will of course keep adding to this but at the moment they are the main ones which I have earnt the most from. I also do alot of secret shopping so I will do a blog post about this aswell if anyone is interested??

Xxxxx

Paris

Paris 08/08/2017

Arrived in at about 5pm. The flight from Manchester was so speedy I couldn’t believe how quick it was!! Had to get the RER B train to near the centre as apparently, I’m staying in the ‘China town of paris? It’s in the 11thendorsement. I got there and a guy greeted me who had been looking after the cats for a couple of days before hand

He was lovely and from Texas, he was giving me abit of business advice about gembobs crafts… to start to focus more on my customers and not just make all the time which is something I do constantly. I find the business side quite difficult really.

Anyway, we chatted and he showed me how to inject one of the arts as she has diabetes L never done that before so it’s good to know what to do. She is gorgeous and pure white. There is another cat also who has urinary problems!! The apartment is lovely I couldn’t have asked for nicer tbh I feel very lucky. So, I just got my things sorted ECT and headed for bed awaiting the explorations to begin the next day.

Day1…

So, I’ve come out into the world and I just thought I would wander tbh to see where it takes me

I’m currently in the louvre queue which is MASSIVE OMG. But if I don’t stand in it now I never will so just have got to do it I suppose. It’s quite a nice day so I don’t mind. A girl from lonelyplanets forum messaged me as I said I was in Paris and she is travelling and is here for tonight so we are randomly meeting up!! She seems lovely so hopefully it’ll be good!! (didn’t meet up in the end… it started pouring it down)

The Louvre is AMAZING obviously. It is absolouty massive and I really didn’t expect that. The mona lisa was bigger then I expected. everyone kept saying its tiny but its not that small? I couldn’t get to it though because the room was full of people. Really busy so I didn’t really like that it made me quite anxious and I felt my heart racing so I had to get out. I decided to wander to the Eifle Tower next but it just started raining so I went to a cute little café and sat outside under shelter and had a small tea. Quite nice just to chill for abit because I find it hard to sit down but haing done 20,000 steps approx (I have a fitbit…) I definetly needed to sit down!!

I got back around 6 ish which was perfect. I had a lovely day out and paris is just gorgeous and so so pretty I would love to live here and take some french lessons because the language is lush.

Im going to update on my adventures on things i’ve done in Paris but not log everyday as its very time consuming but I will show pictures etc!

Travelling

So. here it is my first travel blog entry.

Over this year I made a resolution to myself to be more flexible… to explore new things and not just live my life based on societies and my own rule book. I can’t work a mundane job… I have to be flexible and work around my own routines that I have. So, this year I’ve managed to go to Thailand (very short and abit disastrous but I won’t go into that), Las Palma which was fantastic with my sister Amy. Bergerac in South of France for two-week cat sitting where I had use of a car (which really helped). And not I am in Paris for two weeks, then flying to Madrid after that for two weeks.

 

So overall compared to the last few years of my life it has been brilliant. I struggle with the language difference and I feel very arrogant because I can’t speak another language. But I may take some classes in either French or Spanish. So, I know this blog is mainly crafts related but I’m think of diversifying it a little bit and adding in a few more sections.

  1. Crafts
  2. Travels
  3. Home decor
  4. Saving and money

What do you think?

Chickens!!! How to make them

This is my new project for the weekend. Making these lovely chickens! 😀 I love chickens i have some in my garden so im going to make some stuffed ones.
Heres how to do it :
If you do make some of these please post some pics on here i would love to see them! 
chickens feat

Chickens

You will need
• templates (see below)
• cotton fabric in assorted colours and designs (for the body)
• felt (for feet and comb)
• matching coloured sewing thread
• stranded embroidery thread
• 2 buttons, for eyes
• polyester stuffing

Chicken pattern 1

Chicken pattern 2

To make
1 NOTE The seam allowances are all 1cm, except for the seam-free felt pieces. Download the template and use it to cut out all the body parts from assorted fabrics.
2 Sew the wings, legs and beak with right sides facing, remembering to leave openings in the seams to turn them right sides out.
3 Use a zigzag stitch to attach the felt feet to the leg pieces.
4 Use a zigzag stitch to attach the outer and inner eye pieces to the body piece of the chicken.
5 Sew buttons on as eyes and decorate the outer eyes, body and comb with embroidery stitches, if you prefer.
6 Stuff the chicken legs and turn the beak and wings right side out.
7 Pin the various body parts in place, facing in towards the body. Sandwich the legs between the body and belly parts and sew the belly to the body part.
Pin the body pieces to each other with right sides facing and stitch together, leaving an opening at the back.
9 Turn the chicken right side out through the opening and stuff.
10 Hand stitch the seam closed.

chickens