Tag Archives: Etsy

Your special ‘talisman’ – feather hair comb

7 Oct

‘Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane in our own lives.’ William Dement

Everyone has a symbol, shape or smell that stirs something intrinsically personal to them. For some people it brings them power, for others it may be a nostalgic moment in time, a loved one or perhaps even a religious idol.

For me feathers signify peace, a pillar of my grandparents’ beliefs, and this Etsy sourced feather hair comb reminds me of them each time I wear it.

Gold Feather Hair Comb_Etsy_The River is Everywhere gold feather hair comb, etsy, hair comb, haircomb

What special talismans, symbols or smells mean more to you than they appear? Use the comment box below to share!


Christmas Snowflake Gift Wrap Bomb

6 Jan

Inspired by Etsy blog‘s Christmas wine bottle glitter bombs I felt compelled to craft my own presents in their own unique way.

Inspiration: Snowfall, crystallisation, textile patterns, contrast, bold hues, simplicity, random arrangement, odd numbers, Christmas and empty branches.

Project: I began by wrapping my new Christmas purchase in eccentric fuchsia tissue paper. I followed this with a scattering of plastic snowflake sequins on to some cling film laid out flat. I then tightly tucked my wrapped recipe book in to the film, pulling as firm as possible at the end of the plastic wrap.

I finished off with a little tape, and ensured the sequins had been shook in to a perfectly random pattern, et voila – fit for any good boy or girl with eyes like a magpies‘.

TOPTIP: Be sure to use a flat surface, this project is no good if placed upon a lap, or the back of a snoozing relative – you’ll simply end up with sequins everywhere, and loose gathered cling film. Use paper and decorations that present a stark difference, and try to stick to a colour scheme that’s easy on the eye. You could also perhaps use the same idea for birthday or easter gifts, just use your imagination; glitter, sequin stars, diamonte’s, handsome pencil shavings.

Snowflake sequins

Here are some other snaps I gathered when Christmas spirit was brimming from wall to wall:


Exclusive: Chandra of ‘Oh Lovely Day’ DIY wedding blog

17 Apr

I recently interviewed the lovely owner of ‘Oh lovely day’ blog Chandra Fredrick she’s also one half of ‘Tilde Designs’ (personalised wedding stationers.) The stylish bright-eyed LA resident told me all about what got her in to the booming DIY wedding business and some tips for any #TWIP’s (Twitter Wedding Inspiration Pals) out there.

Photo:Jennifer Roper The lovely Chandra in her wedding gown

How did you stumble in to the wonderful world of DIY weddings?

While planning my own wedding!  I wanted to DIY a lot of my wedding to both personalize it and keep it within my budget.  I fell in love with DIY projects and elements and think that is really the way a bride can make her wedding unique.
What are 3 key elements to making a DIY wedding a success?

Keeping it simple, taking on projects you can actually do yourself, and not to do too many DIY’s, otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy!

Photo:Jennifer Roper Chandras innovative drink stirrers for her own wedding

What types of people tend to opt for DIY weddings?

I think all types of brides opt for DIY weddings these days.  Even brides with a big budget want to do a DIY project to personalize their day.  DIY is all the rage!
What is the most obscure wedding theme you have come across?  

I have seen everything I think.  But one of my favorite unique ideas was turning the game “Jenga” into a guestbook. Such a fun idea and a way to always see your guestbook everytime you play!  You can see the post here.

Jenga wedding guest memories

Tell us all about your wedding.

My wedding was an outdoor ceremony in Southern California in Aug. of 2009.  It was a labor of love and contained many DIY projects.  In fact, my maid of honor and I designed all of my paper goods (save-the-dates, signs, invitation suite, menus, ALL of it!) and printed most of it ourselves.  We even started an etsy shop as a result of our collaborations on my wedding (Tilde Designs).  My wedding was everything I hoped it would be and more- sweet and heartfelt, surrounded by our friends and family and the ocean, marrying my best friend, and having a great party!  You can see it featured on Style Me Pretty and The Knot.  And there is more on my blog here.

Photo: Jennifer Roper Chandras dress was the Fern gown by Melissa Sweet (Fascinator - Etsy artists)

What are your colour palette predictions for Summer weddings in 2011?

I think bright colors are making a comeback – especially vibrant pinks, purples, and blues.  
What does the future look like for DIY weddings?

I do not think DIY elements in weddings are going away anytime soon, and to me that is a good thing!  There is nothing better than a sweet and personal wedding.

Please do visit Chandra’s blog, it’s so inspiring (even for those who aren’t even thinking about marriage just yet.)

Having a Crafty one: TWO FAIR HANDS Craft Party

26 Mar

Emma hard-crafting

The craft party that I hosted earlier this week should have been renamed ‘Night of the Creatives’, it was a wonderful coming together of modest university students – but each one with something special to offer!

In some people, it reawakened their passion for art and creating, in some it instilled confidence that there really was a creative bod inside them just crying to get out.

It was such a simple composition to make the party happen, all I needed was some cheap materials, a venue, lots of imagination and a fabulous motley crew to bring it all to life.

We made:

  • Bookworm bunting.
  • Mothers day photo jars (with knitted rings for the top.)
  • Happy mothers day – embroidered message frames.
  • Crochet doily bunting.

The wouldn’t have happened with a little help from my friends. My amazingly talented friend and illustrator Sara Keating designed the beautiful poster for the event. My passionate poetic pal Yvonne agreed to perform some spoken word for us; she revealed that she doesn’t ‘often get a chance to perform [her] material’, and may I say well done, and finally it took the talented culinary flair of a certain ‘bloke that bakes’ to provide the ideal crowd pleaser, moist yummy brownies. I do believe people were asking if he bakes in bulk.

Wonderful Underwood typewriter

I chose to add little accents to the evening, I brought along an old Underwood typewriter as a prop to signpost the comment and feedback book. Brightened and filled the room with a couple of gorgeous bunting garlands from Amsterdam; one was a patterened plastic garland and the other was a long line of paper triangles in assorted bright crayon-like colours.

A little improvisation

To keep everyone going – and brighten up the desks I bought an assortment of pick and mix sweets from the local market, sprinkling a handful in four cups and saucers.

Lovely second year crafty ladies

To provide a little background and education on craft, I enlisted the help of Etsy’s ‘Youtube’ channel, we watched ‘The Handmade’s Tale’ to open the party, and ended with a thought provoking piece on an American vintage motorbike mechanics’ dying trade.

Tasha & Megan's mothers day embroidery


The final Q & A to end the evening provided me with loads of ideas for the next Craft Party, all I will say is ‘spray paints & quilting’…stay tuned!

Here are some images taken throughout the evening:

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Exclusive: Fun Q&A with Lucy of LucyBlaireCreations

17 Mar

Lucy in the sky with...leaves

I recently stumbled across the talented Mrs Lucy Blaire’s beautiful ‘Handmade wedding’ on Etsy’s blog. Which led me to her utterly adorable Etsy shop.

I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to pick her brain, and find out what makes her tick, and why she’s so damn talented!

What’s your creative background?

I’ve been making things my entire life, learning as I go, and picking up tips from other creatives I’ve met over the years. As far as formal training goes I graduated from the Art Institute Of Boston in 2005, went to night school for welding at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, and worked professionally as a seamstress for a few years before starting my own business.

Describe your personal style in three words.
I. LIKE. THAT. Haha! I have a very eclectic style and just seem to gravitate towards whatever I like on that particular day. The only thing it all seems to have in common is bright pops of warm colours. I tend never to pick out anything in the blue colour family. Not sure why.

You recently celebrated your wedding in the most wonderful handmade style, what were the influences and inspirations for the decor?
The influences were to start with, my love of warm colours and secondly, my love of autumn. I also really wanted a casual atmosphere, more like a backyard barbecue than a wedding.

Why do you think women have made a shift back to the ‘make-do-and-mend‘ and crafting mentality that existed in the 40’s?
I think all people seem to be shifting back to a more handmade make it work life just because we want to make our clothes and our living spaces what we’ve always dreamed them to be. Perhaps we don’t have enough money to have our “dream home” but with all the do it yourself tips out there you can get it pretty close! I also think that everything we consume is so mass-produced, which is fine in certain areas, that we want to craft things that are special and meaningful in a more individual way.

Is it easy to make money from crafting? Do you have any tips?
It’s extremely difficult. I’m sure running any business is difficult, but with something like crafting you can’t just hope to make all of your money from just one outlet. I wear a lot of hats in order to make a decent profit, from crafter, to designer, and freelance writer, and many more. It’s just a matter of being constantly in “work” mode and always thinking of more and more creative ways of getting your name out there and ways to make some money.

What has been your favourite project?

Unfortunately it’s a project I’m really not allowed to talk about because it’s still in progress! I’m working on a yearlong charity effort for the magazine Sew News that will be their 2012 Sew Your Support effort. It’s a great project craft wise, as well as a project that will make you feel good. Look for it next year!

What’s essential for any crafter to prosper?
An obsessive personality! It’s very important obviously to have the funds to do it, the supportive family or friends around you who will help you out if you have a huge order or something you can’t handle alone, but really, an obsessive personality. If you don’t have a real need to do this it will be hard for you to get up at 7am and work a full day, just like a “normal” job, with no one watching over you.

What idea’s do you have for future projects? What’s inspiring you?
Right now I’m being a little crazy about British royal history. It started a while ago when I read a book about Mary Queen of Scots and then it just grew from there, “Wait, whose that person?!” get another book, “I never heard of that guy!”, go out and get a new book… I’m also working on a book proposal right now for my own sewing book. Busy busy!

What three things are you never without day-to-day?
Other than my sewing supplies, which would be too obvious, I’m never without my cell phone, my Chapstick, and my Moleskin notebook.

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Thank you Lucy! I can’t wait to find out what that ‘top-secret project’ you’re working on looks like!

Check out Lucy’s totally original and adorable Etsy shop here! Her website is pretty impressive too!

Charming Stateside Stamps

6 Feb

I ordered these rubber stamps from Esty seller Norajane, of North Carolina a while ago – I assumed they’d got lost in the post, thrown over-board, stolen or had never been sent. I’m a bit of a pensioner with online shopping – pessimistically always expecting the worst.
But they finally arrived, hurrah! I think the stamps may look better with black ink – I’m sure I have some lying around in my jungle of a room. (I’ll be sure to post it when I do.) I ordered ‘Bumble Bee‘ stamp and ‘Heart Doily‘ pattern, and received the ‘Be My Valentine’ stamp for free just in time for Valentines day (I feel a homemade card coming on.)

Here’s some snaps of my stamps that I’m oh-so-very pleased with (the green inks are my own):

Top 5: Crafty buys for Men

27 Jan

But craft’s for girls right?..Wrong! I’m often scowering the net for crafty pressies for the boyfriend, or my Dad or Brother, I even crafted my Dad’s Christmas present (which he loved.) So here’s a swipe of the cream in handmade presents. You could either hint at your significant other to treat you for Valentine’s day, or splash out on yourself – after all it’s cheaper than therapy!


Stag print from CrowBiz

  1. I love woodland creature prints like this inspired by masculinity and symmetry, you could even take your hand to a fine line pen and re-create the image yourself. Imagine how proud this would look on your desk, wall or nightstand all framed and refined. The text behind the image really makes it a visual feast.

    Orwell print 'Silence in the dark' from StandardDesigns

  2. I bought this Orwell print for my boyfriend at Christmas, as his novel 1984 was personal to us. There are lots of other prints of great literary men and women in this collection. I always think it’s nice to wake up to some inspirational words. The lovely artist Simon James even wrote a personal message on the reverse.

    Tea/Coffee Mug from NoTHS.com

  3. I think this is actually my favourite piece, it means that whoever’s making you a brew knows exactly how you like it without having to yell at you from the kitchen. The kind people of ‘notonthehighstreet.com‘ even personalise it for you. The price is pretty unoffensive as well!

    Hand crafted pipe from ExoticTobaccoTools

  4. I’ll always remember my grandfather have a drag on his mahogany pipe out in the garden when I was younger, it’s great as a prop for photography, or a show piece in your bedroom – or perhaps if you’re a smoker you can even make use of it. Stunning Swedish-esque design, and hand crafted, with it’s own little stopper so your 1950’s Lucky Strike tobacco won’t make a mess.

    Antique printing blocks from NoTHS.com

  5. Actually, I was lying before – these are my real favourite item. I actually bought some similar to these at an antique traders in Notting Hill – although they aren’t as stylised as these beauties! You could get inventive, and instead of spelling your name, you could just have your initials or an inspirational word like ‘success’. (However, with my modest student budget I’d try and keep it simple with as few letters as possible – i.e. ‘Bawse’, ‘Fly’, or ‘Gin’.)