Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Some of my Favourite Crafty Facebook Pages: Part One

I just wanted to share some of my favourite crafters' facebook pages with anyone who reads this :-D They are in no particular order and are all lovely people!

My favourite librarian, Sheena Graham, owns Amethyst Jewellery. Sheena is responsible for giving me the bug for tinkering with making my own wee bits and pieces of jewellery! Pop along and take a look at her stunning creations.

Silver Thistle Beads is owned by the lovely Francesca and delightful Craig! In Francesca's own words: " was started in 2003 where a hobby making nickel free jewellery kinda spiralled out of control and developed into the beast it is at present"

Not only can you find Francesca's own gorgeous jewellery creations on their site but also a wonderful selection of watch faces, beads and findings.

Now normally I try and rescue nice wood from being burned but Si Easton's 'burning' is the exception! Si is a pyrographer and his work is simply AMAZING. Head over to Wood Tattoos for a peek and for those interested in doing pyrography themselves check out his book "Woodburning with Style".

Kate Churcher, owner of The Dragon's Hoard, I reckon must have the patience of a saint. I know if I were to try and attempt making her amazing chainmaille creations I would have ended up having a tantrum or 2! This lovely lady also makes the cutest dichroics along with other stuff. Just go see for yourself and you won't be disappointed!

These are only a selection of my own personal favourites but I will add more in part two!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A Little More Blethery Ranting...

Following on from my previous post; I've just been having a wee surf around Folksy and I'm honestly gobsmacked at some of the items I have seen. So gobsmacked I just had to share. Aye it can be great to upcycle but does upcycling warrant outrageous price tags? Or at least outrageous in this Scotswoman's eyes.

Have a look at these:

"these are a lust pair of size 8 womens shoes which i have used flatbacked AB CRYSTALS to encrust the heels platforms and bow on the front of the shoes these are a one off pair so come and grab yaslf a pair of shoes like no other"

So basically this person has stuck flatbacked 'crystals' onto these shoes. Rather badly. Now here's the real shocker. They are charging £70.00 for these shoes. And it gets worse. The shoes are from Primark. Not exactly a high price tag shop. In fact you can buy these shoes on ebay for £15. I know us Scots have traditionally been tarred with a reputation of being tightwads but this just takes the McVities.

So off I go looking to see what else is in the same 'shop' and come across these:

"This lush pair of pram shoes are size 2 and are the ever popular hello kitty .... they do up at the back with velcro i have encrusted the toes of these gawjuss lil shoes with 2mm crytals and once again these are one offs so none of your friends will have these"

Aye, too right none of my friends will have these. I credit my friends with having enough intelligence to know that babies tend to put their feet in their mouths for a chew and don't think they would fancy their babies eating 'crystals'...

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Great Folksy Handmade Clarification

So this week has seen Folksy clarifying their definition of handmade and ultimately defining what they aim to see being sold on there. I for one welcome this with open arms but it seems to have pissed off a lot of people. Oh dear. *smirks*

Now don't get me wrong, I believe there is a market for a lot of stuff this new clarification will exclude. For example, I love a lot of the cheap and cheerful chain store jewellery and I love having a look at the jewellery stands while I'm going round Tesco or Asda. But I do take great objection to people who stick the cheapest plastic beads they could find from the Middle East on Ebay onto some elastic and call themselves jewellers. Sure, it's good to blow your own trumpet but be realistic please. The same with 'handmade' cards. Plonking a sticker onto a folded sheet of card and charging an extortionate price is nothing more than a rip off. To those guilty of these travesties; your friends and family telling you that wow, yes, your 'creation' is great and you should so sell those are just being nice. Really.

But then there are those who make gorgeous cards and gorgeous beaded jewellery. They spend a lot of time and effort putting together creations made from quality materials that look wonderful. They have a design flair and an artistic eye as well as having the skills to make items of a high standard. And that won't fall apart 5 minutes after you leave the house! But those quality materials cost more than the crappy stuff someone bought from an engrish speaker running a sweat shop halfway across the world. Those making what I personally class as quality handcrafted products take pride in what they do and aren't churning out 50 pieces of junk to sell per hour.

The frustrating thing however is that there is a culture for buying cheap which ties in with a throwaway culture. We've all become so used to the cheap prices for mass produced items that the big boys buying in bulk thrust in our faces every day that we automatically want cheap. Rather than buying one quality item many prefer to buy multiple cheap items. I admit I can be guilty of this myself. Budget restraints dictate the love of a bargain after all. It's no wonder people struggle to compete.

At the end of the day, however, jewellery is a luxury not a necessity. Isn't it better to buy one item you love that will last a good while than waste 'disposable income' buying loads of stuff that will just end up in the bin?

Should people stop making cheap stuff? Certainly not in my opinion. There IS a market for it and if you are having fun then why not? And don't sell yourself short but don't overrate your stuff either!

Sleepless in Scotland

Having been awake since 5am and not being much you can do in the middle of the night (ok so it's really technically morning but it feels like the middle of the night to me!), I have decided it's about time I made my own personal blog. It's something I've been meaning to do for a long while now but never got around to. Who knows if I will post regularly but I'm full of good intentions to post my bletherings here :-)