Shoppingforhandmade.com

It seems the appreciation for raw talent and hand crafted products has really grown over the last few years. This want for items that have been made by skilled crafts people has created an opening for fabulous websites such as Etsy, Folksy and Not on the Highstreet to showcase them and their wares.

These sites are jam packed full with talented creative types, who each put their own individual stamp on their virtual shop. Somehow, amongst all the gorgeous wares on Folksy, I have managed to set up and sell my own creations.

When grouped together on here, you can really see my style and everything forms a collection (It makes me look quite proffessional!)

The forums are a great way to interact with other sellers and you get a real sense of community when you read all the posts. From technical problems to general opinions on products, people offer solutions, advice and really welcome each other onto the site.

I haven’t been part of the internet crafting scene for long and so far I have only set up shop on one marketplace. After finding Folksy such a success, I am keen to find other places to sell. The most recent recomendation is Misi. Starting again from scratch is challenging, especially as all my craft work has to be done around my full time day job. Also as previously discussed, my domestic goddess gene seems to have skipped a generation, so house work etc. takes it’s share of my time.

 

 

Still, I can’t imagine not designing and painting so a few late nights here and there to fit everything in is ok for now. You never know, I might become a savvy business woman whose products are saught after by shoppers throughout the country…

For now though, I am enjoying exploring the internet marketplace and trying to establish Bumbleblue into a creative and successful company.

If you’re thinking about setting up an online shop to sell your craft, I would really recommend jumping right in there. What have you got to lose?

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Treats for Tots

A really close friend of ours is about to have a baby boy. Of course I want to make her something special myself, but on many a late night wander on the internet I have stumbled upon some gorgeous and completely unique present ideas forĀ  little tots.

I couldn’t keep such fabulous treats to myself, so here are just a few that I found…

When you start looking, it’s amazing how many talented and cleaver people there are out there!

 

Green Fingers

I mentioned in one of my very first blogs that we (Ed and me) were trying to make a go of growing our own veg this year.

For his Birthday in February, I bought Ed a mini greenhouse – we only have a little garden so a normal sized greenhouse would have taken up the whole of it! This spurred us on and we drove to the nearest garden center to pick a small and manageable selection of plants.

We spent what seemed like a fortune on plants, seeds, pots, tubs, compost, hanging baskets, plant food and bamboo canes. Of course I managed to sneak a few bedding flowers and lavender plants into the trolly as well.

All ready (and armed with a ‘Grow Your Own’ book – another fabulous Birthday present from yours truly) we trundled out into our little garden to start planting. Apart from a few squeals on my part due to worms and spiders, we really cracked on and by the end of the afternoon we had cucumbers, chilli peppers, potatoes, sweet peppers, tomatoes, garlic, beetroot and strawberries planted. Like a said, a small and manageable selection for two amateurs, and not forgetting the colourful bedding flowers and lavender plants.

The random weather hasn’t made it easy, and for first timers we are constantly inspecting the plants in their tubs, asking them if they have enough water etc. Wouldn’t it be great if they actually spoke back? Things on the whole are looking hopeful – everything looks healthy and the flowers are bringing gorgeous colour to the city garden.

The hot chilli pepper is looking great – not quite sure how hot it’s going to be but we’ll let Ed find that one out.

The sweet pepper is looking good too. They’ve been enjoying the warm bit at the top of the greenhouse and I think the recent hot weather has really encouraged them.

I can’t wait for the cucumber to be ready – although if it gets much bigger, we will have to take everything else out of the green house!

We tried a tomato plant last year and it seemed to have more tomatoes on it, but we’re still hopeful that this years will bring a few.

And the small pretty area at the bottom of the garden isn’t looking bad either.

Ed was feeling brave the other day and decided to inspect one of the sacks of potatoes and came back with a bowl full of spuds! So, in celebration, I rustled up a simple potato salad.

Well done Ed – fabulous growing skills and very yummy potatoes!

Pull up a Chair

I love grubbing through antique shops and car boots for little treasures to give a new lease of life to, but my search for a simple wooden chair seemed to be getting very tricky.

I started on Ebay. Perfect chair found. Collection only from Sussex. Moving on…

Cattle Market car boot and a lovely old man that appears at the Derby car boot every weekend caught my eye. He had some gorgeous chairs. Only problem this time was that he wanted a gorgeous price for said gorgeous chairs.

Antique shops seemed to be a similar problem, and alot had already been restored. It would be daft to pay double for a restored chair so I could take it home … to restore.

I decided to look a little newer to see if this would help with the budget, and I found a simple but very lovely unfinished wooden chair. It spent a week untouched while I excitedly picked over my collection of tester pots.

No. 25 Pigeon is a greeny shade of grey from Farrow and Ball and looks subtle and chic on the chair.

After letting two coats completely dry – which was lovely and quick thanks to Mr Sunshine making an appearance – I painted on a thin layer of No.59 New White.

As is always the way, I then went on to finish last weeks ironing pile and deciding what wonderful invention I could muster up for tea.

So as I left my chair drying in the sun, our cat Buddy came to inspect my handywork…

Obviously it had been a hard day at the office.

Hopefully it wont be too long before I can get back into the garden to finish my chair – I’ll keep you posted!