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I’ve been doing some experimenting – nothing out-of-this-world innovative, but new to me, and not from a tutorial (or if it is, I’ve not seen the tutorial!)

First up, I’m quite excited about offering made to order beads in my shops, and these two psuedo-sculpted designs (‘psuedo’ because I’m not a sculptor, but these cute nature-inspired beads are something I wanted to try anyway, and I’m finding them really fun) are the first up:

Strawberries:

You can choose from either a bead, or a charm with an antique copper hanging loop, and from two different sizes

Lilypads:

And the second thing I’m currently playing with are these ridged beads:

I was inspired by something in particular, but it’s not very romantic or trendy, so I won’t say what (nothing horrible though!)

 

Yep, I’m having a pre-Christmas sale on my beads It’s partly in the spirit of the holidays, partly as a preparation for the new year – many of the beads on both my Etsy store and main site will be taken down after the sale, so if there’s anything that’s caught your fancy, now would be a good time to take the plunge and buy *G*

So, how does the sale work? Just put the code FESTIVE in the coupon box at either site, and you’ll get 25% off the total :)

 

There’s a new section in my shop – jewellery I don’t make jewellery that often, but I had enough supplies in that I’ve made some necklaces out of copper and my beads featuring wildflowers.

The reason for doing this is that I wanted to find a way to raise money for several animal welfare groups, and jewellery seemed a bit more accessible than bead sets.

I’ve set a base figure of approximately 90% of the purchase price being sent to the animal charities, although it will always be more than 90%; basically, the lowest amount I can afford will be deducted for packing and Paypal fees, and that will probably only amount to 6% of the purchase price, but I wanted a nice round number to write on the site :D

Here’s the direct link to the section: http://www.continuumdesigns.co.uk/shop/category.php?id_category=15

And here’s the charity I’ll be sending the money to this time: http://www.bramcote-rescue.co.uk (note: it’s not an official affiliation, simply a donation)

If you decide to buy a necklace for this cause, and would like the receipt from the donation forwarded to you afterwards, that can be arranged.

I’ll update the Facebook page whenever there’s new jewellery/items and a new charity, so please ‘like’ the page to keep track.

Also, I’d really appreciate it if you’d share this post or the link with anyone who may be interested. Thank you!

 


http://www.continuumdesigns.co.uk

(“Relaunch? I didn’t know it had been unlaunched!”)

Technically, I’m relaunching my bead site today – the shopping cart had been down, and I didn’t know (I hardly ever buy beads from myself…) but yesterday I noticed something was off with the site, so I did a check of everything, and yep, something was wrong.

But…

It’s all better now, and to celebrate, I’m giving a 10% discount on order from now until 17th August 2011, yay! Just enter CD1011 in the code box at checkout to get the offer.

Also, now added is a currency converter at the top of every page, for pounds, euros and dollars, for extra ease.

 

I have something embarassing to reveal…

I made a Facebook business page yesterday. I resisted so long, because I never truly ‘got’ Facebook (well, that’s still true) but I wanted another way to connect with people so, here it is. I uploaded quite a lot of eye-candy and I think I may try out some sort of poll later this week (daring, aren’t I? *G*) so ‘Likes’ are very welcome!

Also embarassing: I bought new shoes from The Vegan Store and they’re not of a practical nature. I couldn’t help it – they were on sale, and vegan, and green, and strappy, you try resisting!

Have a look at the totally impractical shoes here

I have no idea where I’m going to wear them, considering most of the stuff I do is better suited for trainers or slip-on shoes. It’s also brought my current number of shoe/boot pairs up to six, which seems a scandalous amount of shoes to own *G*

 

Lately, there’ve been a few playdays with polymer clay, where I just try out ideas and techniques. The main reason is that, inexplicably, I’ve forgotten everything I ever knew about caning. Wait, that’s not strictly true; I remember it all, but transferring the knowledge from brain to hands is proving very difficult *G*

So here’s a taste of what I’ve been doing instead:

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I’ve also managed to install a proper shopping cart-type shop on my site, alongside my other older, more whimsical pages *G*

Link is here: Yay, real shop.

I’ve let my Etsy listings lapse a little because I want to try to get my own site out there a bit more, and give it some self-confidence, so there’s a lot of new pieces up there instead. (Plus, listing items is a relief when I’m not constantly waiting for Etsy’s many listing pages to time out on my slowish internet connection *roll eyes*)

 

I’m one of those silly people who think that because they know about something, everyone else must have found out about it beforehand *rolls eyes*

To counter that, I’m doing a short post about the Frit-Happens Forum Team, a community-based Etsy team centered around glass artistry and jewellery that is handmade primarily in the UK (although some other countries are represented too). It’s a pretty great team, filled with lots of loveliness to look at including artisan lampwork beads, jewellery, and other glassy items, as well as silver findings perfect for finishing handmade jewellery.

So please check into Etsy and tap ‘fhfteam 2011′ into the search box, and I’m sure you’ll find a cornucopia of British prettiness *G*

(Although I’m a member, I’m not a glass-seller, so this post isn’t as biased as it seems :D )

 

A post on another blog – Lampwork Diva – Mad for Monday….Hands about sculptures of hands suddenly sent me off on my own search for ‘artisan hands’ on Etsy, because I used to love those tiny ceramic ones that were so common in hippy/fantasy shops.

Anyway, I had to spread a link to this shop: Moonlight Aura. She creates hands from polymer clay. Masses of hands, mostly in American Sign Language formations:

as well as some symbolic hand pieces, like this insanely brilliant one:

Look at the shape of the base! What lovely attention to geeky detail.
 

Recently I’ve been on the lookout for ways to package items with less waste – I already recycle jiffy mailers when I can* and snatch up any card or bubble wrap that enters the house, to re-use in my parcels. But I wanted to find some sources for actual recycled papers, business supplies, and other items. I haven’t used any of these places yet, so I can’t vouch for their service/quality, but I thought sharing them here might help out anyone looking for similar products (UK based).

To see previous resource posts, click here for ‘ethical’ supplies and here for vegan craft items

Green Stationary:

http://www.greenstat.co.uk/storefront/home - stationary that is bio-degradable or recycled in some way, as well as ‘green’ office supplies like recycled printer cartridges and catering packaging.

Recycled Paper Supplies:

http://rps.gn.apc.org/index.htm -  card-making, wrapping, paper, and packaging that is recyclable, and mostly recycled.

Eco-craft:

http://www.eco-craft.co.uk/ - yay, an eco-crafts site. Papers, cards and display bags. (Now all we need is an all vegan craft site)

Tiny Box Company:

http://www.tinyboxcompany.co.uk/ - already well-known, but they do a great range of jewellery, cupcake, and gift boxes in recycled cards (I *have* bought their boxes before, and they were great)

Eco-topia:

http://www.ecotopia.co.uk/pages/default.aspx - as well as a wide array of paper and business supplies, they carry eco-friendly gifts like mouse mats made out of juice cartons, and various cool-looking gadgets.

*i.e. when I haven’t ripped them open down the middle in haste. Ooops.

 

Today is Holiday Decoration Sunday Browsing – a selection of handmade ornaments that I’d love to see around the house (even though I’ve already decorated…did that on the 1st *G*)

Firstly, an upcycled ornament from twistedbeading, made from found metals. I’ve heard the phrase ‘rustic charm’ thrown around a lot by people who know *things* about home decor…well, this is my idea of rustic charm:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/60691747/upcycled-metal-christmas-ornament

I’m still not quite sure what a gourd is (apparently there are banana versions?) but gourdsadored makes brilliantly quirky snowpeople from them, so you have to admire their versatility:
.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/63612932/set-of-3-small-snowman-ornaments

The colours of red and white always elicit a sugar-centered response for me, especially at the holidays; together they just scream ‘candy’ (and then afterwards they scream ‘unbearable sugar rush!!!!’), so this snowflake ornament by Mymothersgarden immediately drew my attention. Reminds me of a beautifully decorated sugar cookie *G*

http://www.etsy.com/listing/56696785/large-snowflake-ornament-with-candy-cane

Vegancraftastic has a small range of hand-sewn Christmas stockings, from non-traditional (pirates!), to this one that epitomizes the classic image of Santa Claus, featuring a pretty, contrasting trim of Christmas lights:

 

http://www.etsy.com/listing/63013912/retro-santa-mini-stocking-ornament
  
 
 
 

One of the best types of holiday decorations are those you get to eat when the tree comes down. Usually, that means candy canes, mini-chocolates that are made twice as expensive by the addition of a bit of sparkly string (ahem, sorry, some bitterness emerging there), or cookies, but PyromancerDesigns’ ornaments instead contain coffee, teas or spices, for a festive, rustic decoration that can be re-filled:
 

http://www.etsy.com/listing/63602840/organic-fair-trade-coffee-filled
 
 
 
 
 

Kissadesign’s shop is such a wonderland of sparkliness that I found it difficult to pick which item to post, so I just went for the one that seemed to have an extra layer of shine; made from stiff metallic paper, these ‘sea urchins’ would look gorgeous at the top of a tree:
 
http://www.etsy.com/listing/53429726/paper-decoration-midnight-blue-sparkler
 
 
 

 
 
For a more unusual take on a Christmas tree, I like this mini wire-scupture, featuring a wire-wrapped star, crystals, and polymer clay roses, by WireArtInk. The texture of the wire just really lends itself to the springiness of fir trees:
 
http://www.etsy.com/listing/56114115/green-wire-wrapped-christmas-tree
 
 
 
 
 

And finally, a cute eco-felt (from plastic, not animals) snowflake, in a subtle light blue and white colourway, that looks both delicate and cuddly. Whatnomints has several of this type of upcycled or ‘green’ decorations, including adorable Christmas trees, and some awesomely geeky amoeba:
 
http://www.etsy.com/listing/60126169/snowflake-felt-ornament-with-bow

 
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