Sunday, 24 January 2016

Etsy Resolutions


One of the things I love most about Etsy is the scope to constantly learn, and grow, and build up your business with them. And this year is no different - tomorrow (Monday 25th January) Etsy are launching Etsy Resolutions; a FREE four-week programme led by top-selling Etsy shop owners and mentors. It is primarily aimed at helping anyone who has been wanting to open their own shop on Etsy, but isn't sure how to go about it. However it would also be beneficial to people who already have an an Etsy shop but feel they need some help to take it to the next level.


The Etsy Resolutions programme will cover everything from photography, to marketing, to tips for getting found by potential customers. Although it is set up with weekly sessions, you can tackle the programme in your own time, to ensure you get the most from it. There is even a Facebook group where you will be able to connect with others who are facing the same challenges as you, and share tips and offer support to one another.

So make sure to sign up for the Etsy Resolution programme right now, and check back each week to get the latest lesson and updates. If you do set up a new Etsy shop then be sure to let me know so I can check it out - I always love finding new sellers!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Kew Gardens Christmas Lights (part 2)


Part two of my photos from the light trail at Kew Gardens (which is still running so definitely go and visit if you can!) and possibly my favourite part of the whole event was walking through these trailing strings of lights. They changed colours - sometimes they'd all be one colour, other times they'd be different colours, and all the while there was classical music playing in the background. It was a totally immersive sensory experience, and I felt like a child again staring in awe at the sparkly lights!

 



 Finally, these awesome shapes made from coloured lights were seriously impressive. Peacocks and flowers and brightly coloured lights - what's not to love? I would definitely have these in my garden as a year round display (if anyone fancies buying them for me...)



Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Kew Gardens Christmas Lights (part 1)


On New Years Day myself and my family visited Kew Gardens in the evening to see their annual lights display. I should mention beforehand that these are no ordinary Christmas lights - in fact they aren't particularly Christmas themed at all, but they are seriously spectacular nonetheless!

The walk is about a mile long, and took us approximately an hour and a half to meander around, which doesn't sound that long, but it was a pretty chilly night so I was glad to not be out there for too long. There are various different 'sections' throughout the walk - one of my favourites was the Fire Walk, which consisted of two huge trees representing the sun and the moon, surrounded by small fires lit in cans. It was pretty incredible to see, and very cleverly done. I've been watching 'Vikings' recently, and it felt very Pagan to me.

 

 Another highlight were these colour-changing trees, that were made from a tent like structure with a frame covered in sheer fabric. It's hard to tell from the photos but they were pretty huge! The middle sized ones were probably about 7 feet tall! They reminded me of something - an exhibition at the Barbican (or somewhere like that) but I can't quite put my finger on it, so if you know what I'm thinking of then do let me know!


 To avoid this post becoming ridiculously image-heavy I will post the rest of the photos tomorrow in a separate blog post! Do check back to see them - and if you can then pop down to Kew and visit in real-life, because really my (lack of) camera skills don't do them justice!

i heart iphone photos


So December disappeared in a total blur. As did most of 2015 as a matter of fact. After month's like those I particularly enjoy looking back through my iphone photos to see what I actually did during that time - so here is a round up of December's pics. (All photo descriptions are clockwise from top left.)

hanging out at the Betty magazine Christmas party because we love Betty! // launching our new glittery jewellery range including super sparkly collar clips // learning to knit (again) with Wool and the Gang at the Etsy UK headquarters // trying out lots of new crochet stitches and making some pretty cute crocheted dishcloths to boot


 we created lots of new products for our Christmas fairs and markets, particularly focusing on stocking filler gifts like these teardrop pendant necklaces // our stall at the Etsy UK event in Soho which was such a super fun but tiring weekend // these banner necklaces were really popular in the run up to Christmas - I pretty much went cross-eyed painting all the little details in // two sneaky pre-Christmas gifts to myself bought from an awesome vintage stall at Pexmas market


 craft dates with some of my favourite people who I've met through Instagram // starting (yet another) new crochet blanket comprised of these beautiful Maybelle flower squares // meeting Carina's totally adorable dog Blake // cutest ever candy cane storage in the form of this vintage poodle planter


 my cutie patootie DIY pom pom christmas tree // working on a papercut piece for my Mum for Xmas // buying unnecessary things from Ikea (like this cloud cushion) // getting all the cute socks for Christmas, and then wanting to wear them all at once...


Winter Walks


The weather lately has been pretty gloomy, grey, overcast, and WET. This does not make for particularly enjoyable dog walks (unless you really enjoy being caked in mud) or for particularly attractive photographs of said dog walks! However we have had the odd few bright days inbetween and so I took my camera along with me on one of these days. I was amazed by how Autumnal everything looks, though considering how mild the temperatures have been for December it shouldn't really have surprised me.



We are lucky to have quite a few open spaces around us to take the dogs to - these photos were taken by the canal and fields that run just behind our house. Because Jasper can't walk very far (he's 15 years old now, so an old man!) but Poppy (who is 3 years old) has boundless energy, we take Jasper's pushchair with us so he can have a ride if he gets tired. Yes, we are those people that have a dog pushchair. It's pretty cute though and, more importantly, entirely practical and very necessary as he has bad legs and is old!

I'm looking forward to the weather improving though, and the days getting longer. We have to walk the dogs by about 3pm to get home before it gets dark at the moment, which is crazy! Bring on those long summer evenings!

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year Goals


So 2015 was kind of a bummer year for me. Which is actually understating it rather a lot. 2015 is one of my worst years ever, for a lot of reasons. It was a year of one pitfall after another and that, coupled with a crippling spell of depression, left me struggling constantly to stay afloat.

But this post isn't about that. This post is about how I'm going to get back on track, and make 2016 a year full of accomplishments and big changes in my life. And even though I'm pretty sure nobody but me is interested in them, I wanted to write my goals for the new year here so I have a public record of what I'm setting out to acheive....

Personal Goals:

- pass my driving test
- go on a self-imposed spending ban (and try and save some money for the future)
- propagate some of my succulents
- use my sewing machine more
- give pilates and yoga a proper try (and not just give up after one failed class)
- visit some new parts of the the UK (and meet up with online friends while I'm there!)
- throw myself some sort of 30th birthday party
- finish three crochet blankets (and try and crochet more to auction for charity)
- create something every day, no matter how small
- declutter my life and get better at letting go of objects
- learn to play the ukelele
- expand my cooking skills and knowledge (and finally test some of those recipes I've had on my pinterest board for years)
- read twenty new books
- be happy

Business Goals:

- collaborate with at least four other designer makers 
- develop my photography and styling skills
- have a DIY project published in a magazine
- revamp my website and blog
- send regular email newsletters
- run a Ladybird Likes pop up shop
- have some professional product photos taken
- set up a kickstarter to raise funds for some new ranges for Ladybird Likes 
- set myself a weekly routine and stick to it
- grow my blog into something I'm really proud of 
- write a Ladybird Likes zine
- work more with bloggers/instagrammers to help promote my brand
- expand my range massively

What are your goals for 2016? I'd love to have a read, and maybe we can keep each other motivated?

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

New Limited Edition Ranges


As I've mentioned a few times over on Instagram, I've been developing lots of new products ready for our Christmas fairs and markets. But to keep things fair we wanted to offer them up online too, so we will be holding five different sales over the next week (one evening per range) and all will be happening over on our Instagram account @ladybirdlikes. These items are available in very limited numbers, and we will be taking orders for each range for one night only, so don't miss out!

And in case you needed any more of an excuse to spend some pennies, these sales are to raise money for me to create even more new products for Christmas and for 2016. As many of you will know, at the beginning of the year I had a legal problem with a landlord, and lost around £4,000. You can read a bit more about it here on my blog. Losing such a large amount of money has really affected my ability to make new items and buy in supplies, so I'm hoping to raise some of this money back so I can get my little business on the right track again!  (see bottom of post for which sales will be happening on which dates)


Loved Dirty Dancing? Well now you can literally carry (or wear) a watermelon! Choose from two colour options (pastel or bright) and from a brooch, necklace, or two sizes of zipper pouch, all crocheted with my own fair hands.


 These vinyl decals on bottles have been SO popular at our summer fairs and markets - we will have a selection of colours, quotes, and bottle sizes for you to choose from, so there will be something for everything. Our larger bottles make wonderful vases for fresh or dried flowers, and the smaller bottles make great drinking vessels when paired with a paper straw.

 

 Everyone loves a goodie box, and we have a new toadstool themed box coming soon. Each box will contain a handpainted brooch, necklace, toadstool twine holders, plus a toadstool ornament! There are very limited numbers of the boxes available.


 After selling out of these cuties at our summer fairs, we have restocked our crochet jar cosies just in time for Christmas! They will be made to order in your choice of colour (we have six colours for you to choose from) and along with the cute cosy you will receive a jar, lid, and reusable striped straw! Use for your favourite beverage, or remove the lid and pop in a dinky plant, or use to keep your pens safe. We will only be taking a limited number of orders for these.


Our dinky little ceramic animal necklaces have long been a favourite with our customers, and we have over FOURTY different critters available but in very limited numbers! Each charm comes on a long silver or gold coloured chain in its own gift box.


In order the dates for the sales will be as follows;

- ceramic animal necklaces - from 7pm on Thursday 8th October
- toadstool goodie boxes - from 7pm on Friday 9th October
- crochet watermelon items - from 7pm on Monday 12th October
- crochet jar cosies - from 7pm on Tuesday 13th October
- vinyl slogan bottles - from 7pm on Wednesday 14th October

Please do check back (follow our instagram @ladybirdlikes for updates) and I hope to see you at my sales over the next week!