31 Dec 2011

Nice Day Designs; A Year in Review

I lost my part-time job in the first few day in January, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I started feeling human for the first time in years, now that I had free time again. With all this extra time I was able to make new products, like my now very popular Shrinky Dink earrings.

February was kind of a quiet month, I concentrated on getting more items listed in my etsy shop, taking new photos and I invested in this home photography studio. I got a good hike in sales for my facebook Valentine 'I like You' badge, as it was featured on lots of blogs and treasuries.

In March I took a long hard look at the results of all my extra work on my etsy shops, and came to the conclusion that it won't make me a millionaire anytime soon but \i#ll stick with it anyhow. I also gave my first ever lecture, which was terrifying but a lot of fun.

In April I started my Hotty but Notty series(which I may take back up in the new year when I think of new candidates). It was also when I went for an allergy test and discovered that I'm allergic to the world. This let to a complete lifestyle overhaul, which in turn let me to losing about 2 stone(happy days!). I also had fun making stickers for card making with this sticker paper I got in the 2euro store.

In May I got a four page feature in national magazine Prudence, and in the process I made my house look very pretty. I also set up and ran a pop up shop in Bourkes with some of the other crafty ladies from Etsy Ireland-a mammoth task but a great experience.

June seemed to be taken up with my birthday and Johns brother getting married, I posted what I thought was a filler blog post about weddings, but it turned out to be be one of my most popular posts ever. I also sorted out a catalog of designs that people could order hen party badges from, which out to be a tidy little earner for me over the Summer.

July was a busy month as I was preparing to go to the RDS horse show. I wrote a review on the Mooncup which has been a really popular post, although I'm sure a few people were a little squeamish about it.

I started off the month with this Angry Rant which struck a cord with a lot of other crafters. My friend Emmet had a great Mad Men themed 30th birthday party, for which we got all dolled up.

After a long time talking about it I brought out a range of As Gaeilge handmade cards, which have proved to be great sellers. Another thing I had put on the long finger for ages was sorting out this website. I did a major overhaul and changed my address to .org too. It's been a few moths since I implemented these but I've noticed a huge jump in my traffic, this is also probably due to my increased regularity of posting too.

In October I began my dangerous Pinterest addiction, there is no going back now! I think this led me to start posting tutorials on my blog, I did a shrinky dink brooch how-to,thank you notes, a guide to photoshop brushes,and a make your own stamp, I also started my 'What I'm Wearing' posts, which are really growing in popularity.

I started out the month with an in depth look at how I made my Klingon Halloween costume...a must read for any Star Trek nerds. It was a busy month spent making xmas stock for my stall, there just weren't enough hours in the day.

Busy Season went into overdrive, thankfully we had great weather and I wasn't frozen to death at my stall. One year on I expanded my Shrinky Dink jewellery line to necklaces and brooches, and the were very popular stocking fillers in the last weeks of December

Thanks to everyone for reading my ramblings all year, I blog because I love it, but it's nice to know that someone is listening too! Here's hoping that next year will be just as packed with activity.

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30 Dec 2011

What I'm Wearing:Orange

I've been off the radar for a couple of weeks now,I had said to myself that I would take two weeks off without doing anything work related. But it turns out I don't know how to do that, blogging isn't work anyhow, it's an addiction!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, mine was great I went home and stayed with my parents, which meant I got to see all my nieces and nephews too, they really are what make Christmas for me, with all their excitement about Santa. But I have turned into one of those Aunty's who says 'You've gotten so big, look at how grown up you are', when I was a kid I never understood the obsession with this sentence and swore I'd never say it. What it really means is 'looks at how fast 10 years have past in the blink of an eye, oh god that makes me feel old!'. Aside from lots of chat about my near approaching 30th birthday( I have 6 months left of my 20's, yikes!), and other sundry talk of marriage/babies/mortgages/negative equity(thank god none of these things effect me!), it was a delightful break!

When I got back on Wednesday I went for my Limerick girlie X-mas night out, we had yummy Indian in the Mogul Emperor followed by a delightful gig from Mick Flannery in Dolans. As it was a girls night out I made some effort to dress up, but since it was freezing and I had just stepped off a train I still wanted to be cozy too. I'm loving this years obsession with orange and wanted to play with mixing some warm reds with this bright colour. When I was home I got a lovely mustard woolen skirt in Topshop on sale for only €22, and it even has pockets! It has a lovely bell shape to it with slight pleating and unusually it has a brown leather waist band(which was a little snug after all the xmas treats!). Also on the same shopping trip I went to La Senza and got 4 bras for only €33, which is a crazy bargain as that's what I normally spend on one bra. Since I'm an FF in a bra it means I can't go to Pennies and pick up a one for €4, normally it involves a trip to Debenhams and me wincing while I hand over a stack of cash. Not only were they cheap as chips in La Senza but they are super cute, I got ones in turquoise lace, cream lace, black with pink swallows, and a beautiful brown lace balcony bra(which I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to wear as it's quite 'heaving bosom').

Shoes: Black bow tie pumps, New Look - €8
Tights: Blue 80 denier tights, Pennies -€3
Skirt: Mustard woolen skirt, Topshop -€22
Jacket: Orange kimono sleeved jacket, Charity shop -€5(best buy ever!!!)
Scarf: red woolen snood from a bag of scarves from my sister-in-law Shell-free
Hat: porkpie hat which I bought to wear as part of a costume a few months back, but now I wear it all the time, Claire's- €2 as part of a 5 items for a tenner sale.
Bag: brown real leather bag, Charity shop: €2
Cardigan: rusty brown/terracotta cardigan, Pennies: €14

You might also like:
What I'm Wearing: Red and Black
What I'm Wearing-Pastels
What I'm Wearing-Shorts
What I'm Wearing-Primary Colours
What I'm Wearing-Block Colours

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24 Dec 2011

Wishing You All a Very Merry Christmas

I've been totally off the radar this week as I've been up the walls trying to make stock for all the extra days I'm doing at the Milk Market. Things have been really busy which is fantastic, now I just need to figure out how to clone myself so I can keep up with stock production! Today is my last day before I take a well earned two week break, after I finish up at the market it will be a speedy dash home to collect my stuff and then I'll be running to catch a train to Dublin.

I'll be back blogging normally in about a week or so, but until then I wanted to drop by and let you all know that I'm still alive...albeit completely over worked and exhausted! Thanks to everyone for all your amazing support throughout the year, for coming down to the market, reading this blog,and leaving your lovely comments, it all makes a difference, and makes me feel really lucky that I have the job that I do. I hope you all have an amazing Christmas, and a super fantastic New Year!!

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16 Dec 2011

This Sunday...Creative Wonderland

I'll be selling my wares this Sunday in the St.John's Square Daghdha Church. I spent many a lovely evening enjoying performances there and i was delighted when the asked me to sell my crafts at their event. It looks like it's going to be an activity packed day for kids with dance,face painting,Santa, Limerick Youth Theatre shows, and music. There will also be a mix of craft stalls there so you can get a bit of Christmas shopping done while the kids are entertained. The event is on 12-5pm, and is free admission.

For more info head to the Limerick Youth Theatre website.

It's such an amazing space I had to include a photo here, thanks to LCGA for the image.

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15 Dec 2011

Gift Guides

I've put together a little gift guide put into different price brackets to give you an idea of what you can get at my stall this and next week.

14 Dec 2011

Get Well Soon

I seem to have terrible timing with being sick, this week I need to be making a mountain of stock, instead I'm snivelling, sneezing and generally feeling very sorry for myself. Here are some cute get well cards i found on Etsy.

The Vintage Greeting-Get Well Card: $3.95

13 Dec 2011

I heart Christmas: Decoration How-To

I went on a Christmas decoration making blitz yesterday. They have been selling really well at the stall and I want to make sure I have enough for the next two weekends. Yesterday I was making hearts, today I'll be making trees and mini stockings, I'll try to blog about them later in the week.

I got the lovely fabric hearts last year in the Limerick Quilt Centre, getting them pre-cut saves me a few extra minutes as all I have to do is cut out the back panel. I use felt as it's sturdier than using cotton. I prefer to use the cheap stuff from Silkes as it's thicker than the felt I buy from Lupin. I also cut out a small circle to add to the front with a contrasting coloured button. Hand stitching on all all these bits was nearly the most time consuming part of my day.

 I sort out the hearts into batches of colour, all the ones I want sewed with green, and red and so forth. I use a wide zigzag applique stitch with helps seal in the cotton and also makes a pretty border. Be warned though this stitch eats thread. You get about 5/6 hearts per bobbin of thread.

Don't forget to pop in your loop of ribbon when you are at the top of the heart, there has been many a time when I've let my mind wander and I've forgotten....after which the was much obscene cursing to be heard in the studio.

When I first started making these a few years ago I used to take the heart off the machine to stuff them. But if you are up for a little bit of tricky fiddly stuffing then you don't have to bother. Once you make sure you drop your needle into the heart to make sure it stays in position you can can then stuff them and continue sewing.

It was a long day but I got 28 of them made in total. I won't be listing them in my Etsy shop as it's too near to Christmas, but you can get them at my stall at the Milk Market for €5 each. I also add little tags to them saying I heart Christmas with a to and from section so you can give them as a small token gift.

10 Dec 2011

Some Fun Things I Found on Pinterest This Week

As regular readers will know I'm a new addict of Pinterest...it's a fascinating way to surf fun and pretty things on the internet without having to sift through all the crap. If you want to follow me go here...I like followers, so please do.

This weird family portrait is from a series of family Christmas photos...there is just no logical explaination for the nakedness of this man!
This is a great series of then and now photos, so poetic and funny at the same time.

Are you forever losing stuff? Well if you attach this cool gadget sticker thing to stuff you lose it can help you find it using your phone...total genius, I love technology!

I need to get some wide elastic and then I'm gonna make some of these hair bands, so simple, but as cute as a button!

9 Dec 2011

The last of my Christmas Cards

Here is my newest batch of Christmas cards, I have about 70 new ones for the stall this weekend. I don't think I'll have time to make any more so I hope it's enough to keep me going through the next 2 weeks or so. It turns out I bought way too much Christmas paper and not enough embellishments, I'll just hang onto the paper for next year and try to get some embellishments in the sales in the new year. 

I had a great brain wave while I was making this batch of cards, instead of just stamping on regular sketchbook paper I used glossy paper instead. It gives a much more vibrant finish and dries more evenly. Also when I use pens or markers to colour in the stamped image these colours come out way better too. I just used glossy paper I got in the €2 store. The only thing is that you have to be careful when lifting off the stamp as they have a tendency to stick to the paper. Also if you are feeling confident you can draw out an image in maker and use these as embellishments, like the snowman here, and the quality comes out the same as a sticker. That's it I'm converted I'm never going back, it's glossy paper all the way for me now!

As usual I only sell them at the Milk Market(not online) at €4 each or 3 for €10. To see the full album of images go to my facebook page here.

8 Dec 2011

What I'm Wearing: Red and Black

Now and then I go back to my old favourite combo red and black, it reminds me of my goth days and it's really easy to accessorise because I have tonnes of red jewellery. You may also notice that my hair is different than previous posts, I chopped it all off the other day. You can't see it very well as this isn't the best photo, my camera died after just one shot. I was brushing my hair the other day and I noticed it was in dire condition, I had been growing it for Halloween, so it was well overdue a snip. I started trimming with my scissors, one thing led to another, and I chopped off about 8" or so. After I cut it, it was more noticeable that the colour was a bit mawkish and more than a little grey so I decided to dye it, something I haven't done in about 9 years. I popped down to my local chemist and got a mahogany coloured dye for only €4.99, et voila nearly an hour later I had new hair, and a new colour!

Boots: Schuh €110
Skirt: Old black skirt I upcycled to wear to my sisters hen party years ago
Jumper: Pennies approx €12
Button Necklace: €1 at the Barbootsale from Claire-Ann
Bra: I know you can't see it but I'm chuffed with my new bra so I'm including it! I got it in Vamp for only €10 in their sale, normally their underwear is really expensive but I'm a weird size (36F) and that's what always pops up in the sale.

You might also like:
What I'm Wearing-Pastels
What I'm Wearing-Shorts
What I'm Wearing-Primary Colours
What I'm Wearing-Block Colours

7 Dec 2011

Looking Forward to Taking a Break

It just occurred to me that this is the first time in my adult life that I won't be working somewhere over Christmas(well aside from the market that is). I've always had a job in the service industry, be in working in a newsagents in Dublin when I was 18, in a kinda dodgy bar in my early 20's, or the ever charming Tom Collins after college, or most recently in Luigi Malones. I've always had to rush back to Limerick a couple of days after Christmas to go to work, missing out on all the fun and drinks with friends. Sure I'll miss out this year in the build up to Christmas since I'll be practically living in the market, but I can't quite wrap my brain around the fact that I can do nothing for a whole week, even two weeks, afterwards!!

I think there will be a lot of sleep involved, probably catch up on some housework since the place is starting to look pretty grubby due to neglect. But there will definitely be some movie days, computer game marathons, day time pints, day trips to the cinema, Winter walks, and lunches that spread into a whole day spent with friends.....and quite frankly I can't wait!

4 Dec 2011

Christmas Wish list

I had to come up with a list the other day for my Kris Kindle of things I want...but it had to be for €20...so I failed miserably. Instead I thought of lots of things I want for more than €20. Here are some of them. I really want a cute wreath from Robin and Ivy, they are so colourful and crafty, I think it would look lovely in my craft room, I'm tempted by the button one (of course!) as I could hang it all year round. If I hung it on my front door it would be nicked in about 2 minutes! Their wreaths are really good value at €30 and you can get them at the Friday Market, or their facebook page is here.

This is the lovely Erika, I want everything at her stall, I would kill her and steal all her stock except she is rather lovely. I bought something off her last week as a gift for someone else, but I think I need to get a gift for myself too. I daydream that I could afford four of her pretty upcycled chairs for my kitchen, but in reality I'll probably get a footstool instead. You can see her lovely pieces on the Friday/Sunday market, or check out her Oh Sew Pretty page here.
Miss Sew it All
 I really want to get the second installment of my crafty tattoo....I suspect that I'm getting a tattoo voucher from John for Christmas, but I don't want to get my hopes up just in case all he can afford are slippers. In the meantime look at this super cute crafty tattoo that Miss Sew it All has!

I really want Season 3(and season 4 when it comes out) of True Blood. I was very good and did not rush out and splurge my monies when it was first released, but it feels like it's been ages since I got my Eric fix, and just look at how pretty he is.
Lastly I want something I can't have unless I move house. I want a cozy fire, all the time. At the time of typing this the heating has been on for over 2 hours and I'm only starting to defrost now. Sadly the fire in this house doesn't work, and to be honest I suspect that it will be the reason I eventually decide to move. But not yet, I still love this place too much....I'll just have to suffer being chilly all the time.
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