31 May 2011

Overhaul in My Supples Shop

I've been very bold over the past 6 months or so and I let my supplies shop die a death. I've decided to restructure my shop and my pricing, I have too many buttons to be selling them in such small quantities, so over the next month I'll be phasing out my small bags of buttons.

Yesterday I added large bags of buttons to my shop, these are from a suitcase of mixed vintage buttons that I have. I'm going to photograph the sets individually, meaning that what people see, they get. This is more time consuming but it really annoys me when buying sample vintage buttons, but what you get in the post in something else entirely. The bags, depending on the size of the buttons are 140-180 buttons, and they are €7. I thought about what kind of imagery would appeal to a button fiend like me, and I went for a vintage fabric background while still keeping my white canvas.

Also I listed some African block print fabric in my supplies shop. I want to expand this range in the near future to about 8 different prints, and if it proves popular I'll invest some more money to vary the choices of prints. So if you are interested in seeing more prints in my shop please leave a comment here. I'll be selling them by the meter for €10 and fat quarters for €3.50...and down the line bundles of fat quarters too. I love the vibrancy and design of the fabric, they would make amazing skirts and dresses, the hard part will be not to use the fabric while I wait for it to sell!

27 May 2011

Hotty But Notty: Tim Roth

Hotty But Notty(Part8): Tim Roth

This one harks back to my teenage days when I watched the film Captives and witnessed the sexiest scene between a dentist and a patient ever filmed. Rather soon afterwards I saw Resevoir Dogs and Four Rooms and decided I was in love with him. While the rest of my school mates had posters of Boyzone and Westlife plastered to their wall, I had an odd fascination with this cocky, wirey, large nosed man.

Tim Roth 1

26 May 2011

Button Rings

I've been at the pop-up shop a lot lately, and if I'm not there then I'm at the market, and if I'm not to be found there then I'm writing/reading emails. Which leaves very little time for creating. To help with this situation I've started bringing in my button ring making supplies into the pop-up shop, it helps fill the quiet times and also means I can get some work made.I got a tonne of them made in the few days that I've been there.

Monday and Tuesday of this week I did a BIG card making session, but then forgot to take photos of them(sorry). They're all wrapped up now in their plastic bags, which makes them a bitch to photograph. I am happy to have some new stock though as only all the rejects were left behind....you know what I mean. Say I make 30 cards, there is gonna be about 4 I can't sell for love nor money. Well after a while of selling for a while, these little runts tend to build up, and that is what's filling my card stand at the moment. I know when this saturation point occurs because my cards sales evaporate...that's when I know I have to get card making. Sometimes it happens because they are kinda niche cards, too specific an occasion, or if they are not mainstream enough. I know this is a bit mean of mean but I've really noticed an increase in my card sales since the card shop in town and the Crescent Shopping Centre closed down. It's awful to reap the benefits of the demise of someone else's business. I couldn't figure out the peak in my sales until I saw their drawn shutters, then I had a light bulb moment.

20 May 2011

Hotty But Notty: Niles Crane

I'm choosing to list this as the fictional character Niles Crane rather than the actor David Hyde Pierce as I've never actually seen him in anything else, and I also suspect that half of my attraction to this odd man is to do with the character he portrays. To anyone who has been living under a rock I'll explain, Niles is the fictional brother to Frazier Crane, two sibling psychiatrists who love the finer things in life like good wine, stimulating intellectual conversations, cheese and chess.

I didn't really like Frazier when I started watching it, but it was my growing fascination with Niles' character that kept me watching, he was less abrasive and more amusing, and therefore a more sympathetic character that the lead.

I love how silly and lovable he is.


I have delicate features, prison would be hell for me!

Niles: Maddening!
Frasier: What is it now?
Niles: They have a new moisturizer dispenser in the men's room, and the cream is entirely too oily, so I had to rewash my hands, and would you know it, that is when the hot-air hand dryer decides to break down!
Frasier: How do you get through the day?

I'm just not someone who cries, it's not in my nature. When Maris' uncle Lyle died, I had to shut my hand in the car door just to make a decent showing at the funeral.

I'll, I'd like a, a petit filet mignon, very lean, not so lean that it lacks flavour, but not so fat that it leaves drippings on the plate. And I don't want it cooked - just lightly seared on either side, pink in the middle; not a true pink, but not a mauve either, something in between, bearing in mind the slightest error either way, and it's ruined.

17 May 2011

Etsy Ireland Pop-Up Shop

The blank dusty canvas.
As most of you already know I've been really involved with the Etsy Ireland Team for the past 2 years. This weekend we set up our own pop up shop in Limerick. I initially came up with the idea of doing it here when I met up with one of the organisers of the Catherine Street Cultural Dig a few months ago. I passed the idea by him and he was pretty excited about it, so after I got official approval I set about getting things in motion. After a blog post and lots of emails parcels started arriving in the post...much to the bemusement of my postman. It was so much fun unpacking all the parcels, and seeing all the pieces in person. There is a huge difference between seeing the pieces in real life as opposed to seeing them online, there is always way more texture and detail in the pieces.

We were lucky enough to get a large space in Bourkes Bar in the heart of all the activity. The above space is an unused section of the Bar that the owners were good enough to clear out for us to use for the weekend. As you can see it was a rustic blank canvas so we spent 2 days putting together the 'shop'. I thought that getting a bold strong colour for the table clothes would help brighten the place up and also go towards tying all the elements together, to stop it from looking too higglety pigglety. Then contrasting the red with some bright green crepe paper to help cover up the cardboard display boxes that I used, I then used these colours in the poster design so that it all matched together, to give it that shabby chic shop feel. We were never going to get the space looking like a boutique so we worked with the rough edges and 'cuted' it up a bit.

After about a day working the space started to look like it was coming together.

Opening day Saturday morning.
After some last minute tweeks and table rearranging we opened our doors at 11am on Saturday morning, and with about 20 minutes we had our first customer, which is pretty amazing. From doing markets I know that you can stand for hours with lots of enthusiastic browsers and still not make a sale, so it's good to break the seal early to relieve that underlying stress. Saturday was a really busy day, so it was great the Rebecca from Lucky Rainbow Designs, Jess from Betty Octopus, Mollie and her son Elliot (friendliest kid ever, who helped out lots with getting customers into the shop!!)from Spleodar, and Helen from Stained Glass Fayre were there to take the selling in turns. We also ran free craft classes on the Saturday, Rebecca did a card making demo in the local craft shop Silkes, I did a sewing demo in the pop-up shop, and Kate from Feltfieltrofilc did a felting demo. Which meant the place was a buzz with activity.

Browsing customers.

There was great feedback from the punters and browsers alike, they were very excited to see a shop with all Irish handmade goods. They also loved the idea of the pop-up shop, feeling it was in the spirit of new recession Ireland. There was plenty of well wishers, most people taking business cards from the sellers if they weren't deciding to buy on the day. It was great that the festival was on as it meant that there were lots of arty creative types in the area who understand the work that goes into handmade.

All of us that were there manning the shop were really excited to be taking part, but as Sunday rolled around we started feeling pretty doom and gloom that it would all be taken down the next day. We had a little word with the organiser mooting the idea that we might ask to keep it open for a week, and she thought we should run it by the owner of the pub. Much to our surprise and AMAZING DELIGHT Niall was open to this suggestion, and then said that he wouldn't need the space for the next month!! So I'm delighted to announce that we have our own pop-up shop in the heart of Limerick city for the next month!!!!! And free of charge!! It was an amazingly nice gesture from Niall, I couldn't believe how easy it was, I nearly gave the man a hug even though I don't know him at all really. After many squeals, high fives and sporadic happy dances we started to think about the logistics of it.  All the local etsy members are going to take it in turns to man the shop, putting in voluntary hours whenever we can manage it. We are gonna open 3-4 days a week, with a few extra 'staff' on Saturdays to handle the extra footfall.

To see more pictures of the shop click here.
Also please visit our new facebook page for the pop-up shop, the more we can spread the news about this the better, so sharing,liking and linking would be greatly appreciated, especially from those sending items to the shop.

We also need to send a huge thank you to Michelle and Alison from Fondelifair who sponsored the event for us.

Our hero Niall, who has given us the space for a month!!

13 May 2011

Hotty But Notty: Neil Hannon

I think most Irish people reading this will know that Neil Hannon is the lead singer of the fantabulous band The Divine Comedy. They have a great mix of playful but intellectual off-beat songs. Hannon has been fronting the band since the age of 18 when he randomly chose the bands name from a Dante book that his parents had.

I love the mix of the fey gentrified image mixed with blatant silliness.Again as with all my other choices it's his talent that makes him more attractive, both as a lyricist and the owner of a beautiful velvety voice. None of my friends will be surprised with this selection as I've always liked guys who are slight in build,and preferably with a beard. There is something about him that reminds me of John, but I doubt anyone else would agree with me.

On a side note I stood beside him at a gig years ago at Witness watching Muse, I noticed him cos A)He's hot and B)He's Neil Hannon, he noticed me cos A)I was dressed as a clown and B) nobody else was.

9 May 2011

I'm famous...kinda, sorta...

You may remember a while back I was freaking out trying to get my house cleaned for a magazine photoshoot. There was lots of toing and froing but in the end the green light was given and this week it was published. I got a 4 page spread in the national magazine Prudence, which is mostly geared towards professional woman and yummy mummies working on a budget. It was a really exciting opportunity and I'm delighted now that it's out.

During the process of doing a thorough clear out of my house to make it look magazine pretty it was hard to see an end in sight. It seemed like I had so much clutter and that I would never get it done. I'm really delighted I persevered and went to the bother. My house mate Cecily was great with the finishing touches and helping to make the place look more girly and stylish. The interviewer/photographer Alexia McInerny was such a pleasure to work with too, she really put me at my ease and it wasn't nerve wrecking at all. She did a stunning job making my house look glossy mag posh too!!

I don't have my scanner at the moment so I can't show you the piece itself but I can give you a peek at this contact sheet of images that she sent me a while ago. If you would like to see the article itself you can get a copy of Prudence Magazine in any good newsagents or in any Easons nationwide.

7 May 2011

Healthy Living and Oat Cake Recipe

As you can see from my lack of blogging over the past week I've been kept pretty busy. I've mostly been readjusting my life after I was told I'm allergic to the world. So I've been cooking lots more and basically living a bit of a Martha Stewart life. I feel positively virtuous as I munch away on organic rocket, hummus and rice cakes. I even passed the test when some friends came over for wine and I didn't touch a drop. To be honest I'm finding the lack of sugar the hardest thing. Because I work such long hours I found I was taking little sugar breaks during the day to keep me going. Now I just have to plan my meals better and eat things like brown rice so I have energy for longer. I have found myself having to take the odd nap here or there as I just didn't have the energy to keep going. They warned me that this would happen so it makes me feel a bit better, and a little less like an old lady.
I cleared out my press the other night, making room for all the new spelt pasta, brown rice, nuts and dried bananas that now fill my shopping list. Gone is the stabiliser laden peanut butter in favour of an organic one, gone is the white pasta, gone also is all my bread, replaced by rye bread(yummy one with hemp seed, see above) and ryvita(the best one is with oats and sunflower seeds).

I even tried my hand at baking for the first time in 8 years or so. It's quite a challenge making a wheat, dairy and sugar free snack that is tasty and filling. But I need to make a snack that I could eat at the market, as everything for sale that is ready to eat is totally unsuitable so I've been bringing a packed lunch. I baked some oat cakes and it is the simplest easiest thing to cook ever.

3 cups of oats
1/3 cup of crushed walnuts/hazelnuts
1/2 jar of organic peanut butter
2-3 crushed bananas
1/2 raisins (optional)
1/2 hot water
1/4 cup of apple juice, or exchange for 2 tablespoons of honey
1 bar of sugar and dairy free chocolate

This is how easy it is. Mix it all together in a bowl, you are better off putting the peanut butter and oats in first. Then add the crushed nuts,raisins,and crushed banana. Then break up your chocolate quite small, pour in your apple juice and hot water mixed together. This will melt the chocolate a small bit, but still leaving most of it in chunks. Make sure it's a moist but not gloopy texture. Grease a baking tray, spreading the mixture out evenly. Put in a preheated oven of 180 degrees for 30 mins. Et voila, the easiest baking known to man. I couldn't believe I was eating so yummy today and it's totally sugar free.

6 May 2011

Hotty But Notty: Tom Waits

Hotty But Notty(Part 5):Tom Waits

There is no denying the attractiveness of Tom Waits,from his impressive gangling stature, his presence, to his delicious gravelly voice. I'm not in to sheen and polish, so Waits is the prefect antidote to yawnsome Hollywood veneer.

Waits has a very distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." With this trademark growl, he has worked with music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and varying experimental tendencies.

Waits Quote: 'We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge, quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness'.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...