Celebrating the year - the old and the new.

Hmmm, it's been a while since I logged in here so feeling a tad embarrassed that my blog fervour has dwindled so dramatically.  Hopefully this Blog will last longer than the New Years resolutions I plan not to make but in the renewed excitement the possibilities a new year brings will foolishly chalk up anyway.

It's ok.. I always get reflective and introspective in December.. The end of the year for me tends to lend itself for a overhaul of body, soul and spirit.  I love the fact that I am always learning and there are many things I have learned this year through good and bad experiences that will equip me in the years ahead.

My foray into online selling through Etsy, Arfire and Zibbet have plunged me in the sharpest learning curve I have had in a long time. The ride has been fun, exhilarating frustrating and scary all at the same time. I have learnt to forum, blog, twitter and facebook. Discovered that there's a science to pricing promoting and photographing product properly..(that's a fair chunk of alliteration).  I have met (online) lots of friendly, generous helpful people as well as a few grumps who value their own opinion way too much.   I have felt discouraged and elated in the space of a day all over a sale or a surprise treasury or feature spot.  The truth be told it has taken a lot more energy emotionally and physically than I was prepared for but it definately has been worth it.

Taking stock of my year and my life I have reached the conclusion that while the shop has done well (not the sell out continual turn over I envisioned)  but in comparitve and sober (sic) terms well.   None the less I personally need a time out to rest and reasses and get all my ducks in order so to speak.  There's nothing serious going on (not unless menopause has become a terminal illness) but in the busyness of life, life sometimes gets lost and I really want to give it (life)  my 'best' not the 'best under the circumstances'

I have put my onlines stores in 'vacation mode' for the time being.  I have lots of ideas and plans but want to really be more intentional in my business instead of my 'jump in at deep end paddle like hell' approach.  Like one of my mentors used to say proper prior planning prevents pitiful performance,  and I used to roll my eyes cause they used all P's but thanks to 20/20 hindsight it's gold.

Ok enough with the maudlin navel gazing.  I have had a fantastic and full year.  I celebrate my God first and foremost and the life I have in Him.  My darling husband a true gift to me, my precious children, my Church, my friends, the beautiful world we live in, coffee shops, bookshops, coffeeshops in bookshops, late night shopping, and my Mac Book Pro what would I do with out you.

2010 seems like a well balanced number and that's what I'm looking for in the New Year a better balance of the work, rest and play dynamic.  A coming of age moment awaits me I think (after suffering through menopause I think it's only fair that a new sense of maturity and wisdom should be mine).
I love the potential hidden in the future is it because am I losing my fear of making mistakes or getting too old to care??? Either way it's exciting.

I want to thank everyone who has helped make my entrance into the online arena a pleasurable one.  I have been humbled and encouraged by the support of strangers who now feel like friends.  If I make resolutions to be a better blogger next year will they hold because they are not New Year ones? I hope so.   So friends and followers near and far have a relaxing, safe and joyful Christmas and I wish you every success and happiness for the coming year.

*big virtual hug and kiss*


Celebrating one of the high moments in 2009

Etsy gift guide feature: The Blue Hobo Tote

This was a big Woo Hoo! day for me.. logging onto Craftcult and discovering I had a gift guide and a Storque mention at the same time.  This Tote sold soon after. YAY.


We have a winner

Congratulations to RecreationalArt who is the winner of the jewellery giveaway!!  Your lucky number was 6 which landed on your 3rd entry (persistance pays off).  I had a lot of fun puting this giveaway together as I had not been in my Jewellery stash for quite a while. 
A big thank you to everyone who entered and who are now following my blog.  Keep coming back I will definately be having more giveaways soon.

On another happy note I awoke to a lovely msg from Jeanette at shnookies to let me know I had won her blog competition.  I am now the proud owner of this cute Little Ladies Bag. (well not quite yet but its my pick :) )

Jeanette makes lovely clothes, shoes and accessories for the little people in your life and all from 100% natural fibres. If you have certain small ones in your life it's well worth a visit particularly for the discerning mini Divas who know a good fashion accessory when they see one.


OK make that three...

I can't believe it!! Another Treasury West feature this week.  How thrilling is it to wake up and see your creations featured in someone elses treasury,  no matter how many times it happens I still get a thrill.

Pop on over to demetgun3  on Etsy and take in the mad bead weaving skills!  They also love to recycle so there are some real eco friendly finds there.


When you least expect it.......

Here I am eyeball deep in end of year madness thinking "I should put my Etsy shop on Vacation mode since I'm hardly there."  Today I log in and find I am featured in 2 treasuries and at the same time managed to get my treasury in as well (right place, right time).

I have to thank Stacey at sunweeds  who selected the sunniest yellows for her 'My Pretties'  cheery  treasury.  Check out her shop and her gorgeous button bouquets.  And also Angela from StellaPearl  who has some stunning hair flowers with a quirky edge

My Be Kind REWIND Treasury is full of clever DUST team members.  It's also a bit of a Christmas wishlist from a old skool, retro, vintage loving girl.  Now to get that memo to Santa....


Jewellery Giveaway - Be a part of the 1st one

I am very happy to launch my first giveaway. 3 pairs of earrings to the value of $25 a lovely mixture of semi precious stones and crystal and glass beads in silver and antique brass settings.

To be a part of this giveaway all you have to do is to 1, 2 or 3 of the following each worth one entry. The winner will be decided by a random number generator.

#1 Become a follower of this blog.
#2 Visit my shop redeemdesigns and come back here and post your favourite item
#3 Twitter or Blog this Giveaway and come and back and post your tweet/blog link here
Please remember to leave an email address if you do not follow so I can contact you.

Giveaway ends Mon 9th Nov

Good luck everyone.


It's flower power with a touch of Grandma!!

I have started to diversify my Etsy shop and have added  a new line of hair clips.
I took up crochet this winter and after 4 or 5 lap blankets I got itching to try more and so thanks to the wonderful instructional blogsites on the www found a little tutorial on how to crochet the Peony flower.  I have since been hooked (no pun intended) and spend most of my TV watching time happily crocheting away just like a regular granny minus the grandkids!!!

In keeping with my ethic of reusing and recycling materials I found the thread for this pair of clips (pictured) at the Salvos (God bless 'em) the little pearl buttons have been siting in my button jar since forever and it was very satisfying to unite them together.

I have also started making brooches with them using recycled jewelry parts for the centres.  My 20yr old daughter requested one and has been wearing it around.  I have also given them as thank you gifts to my buyers who also have been thrilled with them.  I don't know when I will stop, I am having a ball churning them out and sitting and matching flowers to centres from my collection of beads, buttons and jewelry bits.

I am also working on my 1st GIVEAWAY I just need to take the really good photos not the blurry kind I keep coming up with so stay tuned.

Peony Flower How To:
Click here for the Peony flower tutorial.   Thanks to sewritzytitzy blog for posting this fantastic tutorial.


Giveaways, swaps and flow of life...

I have been sadly neglecting the Blog.  Life is happening at full tilt and I haven't even had time to list anything new in the shop let alone write something inspiring here.  Today my baby son has his semi formal and I have to take up his new MENSWEAR pants and go shopping for a good shirt since the last good shirt I bought no longer fits.  It wasn't so long ago when he was a chubby bundle of joy with a head full of Shirley Temple curls (no I could not bear to cut them).

We are very proud of the young man he has become but they grow so very quickly our daughter has turned 20 this month and the hubby and I celebrated 26 years of married bliss.. How come those numbers got so big so fast??? It certainly has no bearing on my age haha I'm still as young as ever in my head I just wish the body would fall into line  (could it be I need to seriously work at it now?? yikes that sounds like discipline).

This month I have also won my first ever contest....YAY!! Luisa from Dance in my Garden hosted a giveaway by Susan from Berrylicious Buttons and I won!!!!  I received my lovely tags this week.  I wish I had taken a photo but was not thinking at the time..... too busy ripping open my prize.

I did however, get a pic of the craft swap I did with fellow DUSTer Verity from Joie de Tea
I received 3 yummy packs of her herbal blend teas and 2 lovely hand embroidered napkins, wrapped and   packaged beautifully, I only hope she is as happy with her handmade Christmas ornaments.

The 3 blends I have are Ruby Red Mint, Spice Road and Peppermint Soother can't wait to try them out.

Well my son is waiting to go shirt shopping... like most men he hates shopping and is eager to get it over and done with.

Finally I got a Treasury West last week after much frustrated waiting during Etsy maintenance.  I did feature myself... hehe adding my new Blue Hobo Tote.. I am so in love with the colour (although I am in love with most colours I have a special affinity with brights)  it also features quite a few of our very talented DUST Team, you may recognise a few.   Helen from Stitcharooney let me know she got her 1st sale on the swallow broach that I featured. Congrats Helen that really made my treasury. I know how excited I was with my first sale so I was happy to be a very small part of hers.  Now off to the shops.:)


A Treasury West feature

I awoke this morning to a lovely message from toolisjewelry letting me know that one of my mini clutches was featured in her treasury.  It has certainly been exciting to see my bags appear in treasuries by other Etsy artisans especially when there is so much high quality work out there.  Finding such encouragement in the early days of my business endevours certainly helps in the 'what were you thinking' days. Well now that I am feeling ridiculously pleased with myself I should go and face the realities of making actual money and get to work.


New Treasury - A Royal House

This started off as a 'what not to wear' treasury but after about 3 picks I realised there was a distinct Purple theme so it became a Royal House instead. I love doing treasuries and I hope the featured get as much of a buzz out of it as I do...(seriously doubt it though)

My purple ruffles pouch is in this lovely treasury by retroattck.


Reviving crafts from the past to celebrate Christmas.

When my children were young they all brought home from Kindy and school the handmade Christmas decorations which would hang on the tree with pride for many years.  Sad and sorry Santas, crooked stars, papery constructions overloaded with glue and glitter all sitting side by side in spectacular ugliness.

Now my children would argue that over the years these glorious works of art would move further and further round the back of the tree until they mysteriously disappeared.  What they didn't know was that over the years cockroaches quite enjoyed the doughy stars and cotton wooly snowmen and each year as they were unpacked the ravages of insect feasting and breeding which should have condemned them all immediately to the bin meant that fewer and fewer  could retain their pride of place on the tree.

It was during those years as a stay at home mum that I started making my own christmas decorations.  We were living on a fairly tight budget and couldn't afford much but with a few simple materials I did most of my own decorating (couldn't quite manage tinsel though).  Not only was it cheaper but it was so much fun and that sense of creating our own Christmas together as a family is one of the values we really wanted to entrust to our children.

It wasn't long before I had other young mums asking me how to make Christmas decorations and so I actually ended up teaching craft to a bunch of playgroup mums all eager and enthusiastic.  It was a wonderful time sitting with a group of women balancing babies and toddlers with glue guns, fabric scraps and bead pins.  Amidst the chaos, confusion and laughter there was also a huge dose of personal pride and achievement as each girl took home their 1st creation (even the disasters) to take pride and place on their own tree.

Recently there has been a big resurgence in handcrafts amongst the younger generation.  This year young girls have asked me to teach them how to crochet (I'm only a beginner level granny square maker myself) and they are eager to learn all other forms of craft and handiwork.  It is heartening to see this revival and returning to handicraft and to what was once thought the cheaper and tackier alternative to buying the real "mass produced" thing in a highly consumerised society.

In response to this resurgence I myself have returned to a "craft from the past" and revived the handmade Christmas ornament once more.  Why not make something yourself this Christmas or better yet get the whole family in on it I know for my children it's the one they made they will remember not the really expensive and fragile one you bought in a shop (unless that really expensive and fragile one is also an xbox).   Here is a couple of cool places for how to's on Christmas ornaments.  I could try and do one of my own and maybe one day I can get organised or clean my work area enough to get that happening :)



Treasury 8th Sept 09 - The day after Halloween

Despite all the frenzy about Halloween I've always enjoyed the day after "All Saints Day" mainly because it's my birthday :).  However I do love all things angelic so here is my tribute to them.

This treasury made the FP on Thurs 10th Sept.  My first one and it was very exciting to see it there.


It's a really big virtual world

Whew! it has only taken nearly 2 months but I have finally gotten it together and delved into Blogging.

Having just launched my new stores redeem designs on Etsy and Zibbet  and started tweeting on Twitter (I know shameless self promotion) my poor family have not seen me without my nose buried in a computer or sewing machine for quite a while.

I want to thank  all those who have helped me step into the online community. Big hugs to my lovely supportive family who think everything I create is fantastic (bless 'em) my huge circle of friends and my new crafter buddies from the Down Under Street Team  who have all the answers a newbie needs.

I have always loved being involved in the creative process in what ever form that takes but I also have a passion to help make our world a better place.  Redeem designs is the amalgamation of these 2 passions in that a portion of the profits from my business are going to support micro enterprise industries particularly in developing nations.  Micro enterprise industries help people help themselves by providing that initial boost to start their own business.

Recently a couple of girlfriends and I held a "swap til you drop" party - hilarious and a real purse friendly way to get a new outfit.  The money we raised by setting out a donations box bought a sewing machine and 6 months training for a woman in India through a micro enterprise venture run by an organisation called Empart    I have decided to keep supporting Empart and hope to add others as the business expands.

Well this is turning into a long post.  I am excited about the small new steps I have been taking.  I will be featuring all sorts of fun things here. All things arty and the artisans, green issues especially recycling and upcycling and any charity, aid and enterprise organisations that inspire me.

Look forward to meeting and making like minded friends and seeing you here in my small microcosm of the www.