Just What I Always Wanted!

“Perfect – it’s just what I’ve always wanted!”

It’s great to hear that after giving someone a present, but it takes some work. I’m not someone who can buy a present in a hurry – it’s got to be just right, and if it’s been uniquely hand made just for one person, even better!

Online market places are great to shop and seek out those specially made products. I have shops on a few selling my wares and it’s a selling point to be able to say everything is hand crafted for each individual customer.

A new venture in this field is a fantastic new website ‘What I Always Wanted’. It all started with two friends Ann Ellison and Deborah Bancroft, who started a mission to showcase ‘…the work of creative and innovative British gift and homeware designers…’

I first spoke to Deborah a few months ago when I received an email from her telling me about a new website to sell hand made products. I’m always intrigued when it comes to new selling platforms and the enthusiasm of these two was infectious! They have created a clean and fresh backdrop for the most gorgeous products (including mine!) All the individual designers are introduced  so customers know who they’re buying from. Shopping online can be a very ‘robotic’ process, so I love this personal touch. You can browse products by category or by designer if you like the work of someone specific.

With Facebook and Twitter accounts and a blog which regularly features the sites sellers, What I Always Wanted is constantly promoting themselves and with that, us.

If you haven’t already found them, I would really recommend paying them a visit especially if you love browsing through carefully designed and lovingly created products. You’re sure to be spoilt for choice!

www.whatialwayswanted.com

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Spring has Sprung

We had a real taste of Spring last week. The sun shined, the sky was blue and even the daffs in the garden made an appearance.

Encouraged by my new seed cards, I planted some sunflowers, sweet pea and foxglove seeds to encourage the bumble bees and butterflies to visit when they flower.

Well, after looking out the window this morning I think my new little seedlings will need blankets and any visiting bees will need to have their rain coats on!

Snow in April? A little odd, but I’m determined to keep a Spring-like mind. I headed over to Folksy to have a look at Spring themed products and have found some gorgeous things;

All beautifully hand made – pop over and have a browse!

Getting Ready for Christmas on Betty’s Farm

It’s been busy,busy,busy at the Bumbleblue desk!

The paint has been flowing and the Christmas songs have been playing – I’m in full on festive mode now. It’s difficult not to be when you’re surrounded by holly, Christmas trees and snowflakes. All my new decorations were carefully packed away ready for my next crafting event. This time I was at Betty’s Farm in Willington. It’s a chicken farm will a shop on site selling their own eggs as well as other goodies. We were in a marquee in the main yard which was next to the chicken fields. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many chickens! As we arrived, they all flocked to the gates to say hello.

…I think instead they were expecting us to feed them. No such luck chickens, the first job was setting up my table.

Then the second job was to get a cup of tea. I’ve not done a fair outside in the winter before and it was freezing! As usual, there were lots of hand made goodies and treats including unusual but yummy sounding varieties of home made soup.

All day were kept amused by the clucks and grubbings of the chickens outside – one of which decided to pop in and have a look around. Amongst all the chickens I saw my first robin since last Winter. It must be getting close to Christmas! Talking of robins, my newest little additions were very popular;

The bunting I made to decorate my table was the first thing to sell and luckily the lady who bought it also had a stall and I was able to keep it strung on mine until the end of the day.

Some more new Christmas decorations were also being admired. I still have my eye on the ‘Ho ho ho’ blocks but I can’t keep everything I make, as much as I could find a home for it all!

So even though the weather was a touch on the nippy side, we were kept warm with hot cups of mulled wine non-alcoholic of course.

If you haven’t been to Betty’s Farm yet, it’s definately worth a visit. As well as eggs, the farm shop is brimming with locally sourced cakes, bread, pickles and pies. In another shed next to the shop is stocked with gorgeous homeware and garden accessories.

I was happy to find a few Christmas presents in here and I know I’ll be back for some more bits for our house!

 

Been a Busy Bee

It has been a while since my last post, but I haven’t been twiddling my thumbs! I took a few weeks off to enjoy the sunshine and spend some time with Ed (and of course Buddy) It’s back to work now Autumn has arrived, and dare I say it the run up to Christmas wont be far away.

I love this time of year – Ok, so the weather is a bit of a disappointment, especially after the long sunny days of summer. There are still a few special days when the sun manages to shine through a fresh mist and everything shares the same golden glow. The pavements are scattered with crunchy leaves and pine cones and little red berrys cling onto the few remaining green bushes.

After a break, I was fully refreshed and ready to dust of the paint brushes. Lots and lots of painting has been going on at the Bumbleblue desk! My little keyrings are always popular presents, so I’ve added a few new colours.

I finally got round to finishing the lavender bags I started in the Summer – I changed my mind a few times about how to finish these off, but I’m chuffed with how they’ve ended up. One has managed to sneak its way into my wardrobe…. I just don’t know how that happened.

And I finally got round to finishing these little projects off…

It’s taken me long enough, but eventually my shabby chic chair and drawers are ready to go to their first craft fair. I’ve booked quite a few from now until Christmas, so although I’ve got more products, there’s room for a few more bits and pieces!

Oh dear, does that mean more shopping? Shame.

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?

New Goodies for my Website

I’m so guilty…….of neglecting my website!

Especially since setting up my little shop on Folksy. I need just a few more hours in a day to keep on top of everything (isn’t it always the way?)

I do get more sales through Folksy, but then is this because I don’t promote my website enough? I’m sure people are reading this with a little grin of aggreement. There’s only so much you can do with a single pair of hands, so mine have been busy this morning trying to load my neglected little website with more lovely products, pictures and descriptions.

As well as keeping my admin side of things up to date, I’ve just ordered a few more bits that will soon make their way onto the Bumbleblue desk. I’m so excited to get the paint pots out and really get stuck into something new, so watch this space for even more new goodies and treats….and of course, they will be on my website soon after.

Another grey day…

Well, I think the sun has well and truly given up! It’s another grey day and although I’m nearly over my cold (the last little bit is still clinging on) it’s a bit chilly to be outside.

So inside I am, and to be productive I’m trying to update the admin side of things. It’s so easy to get carried away with actually making products and to completely forget about advertising them. But on a miserable day like today, updating websites and business listings with a cup of tea actually sounds like bliss!
I’ve spent most of the morning on Freeindex, a free business listing website. I’ve been listed on here for a while, but after a fresh look, everything looked a bit tired and needed a bit of tlc!

New logo added…

Looking much better already! If you fancy popping on, visit;

http://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile(bumbleblue)_91921.htm

Hopefully this will encourage a few more visits to my website.