Monday, 30 December 2013

Happy New Year!

Just a short post to say HAPPY 2014 when it arrives! Here's to a Happy New Year!

Sunday, 15 December 2013


This weekend I had a really enjoyable time making up a request for a beaded glasses chain, I'd never made glasses chains before (it just hadn't ever occurred to me to make them) They were so much fun to make and I'm very happy with the results - so happy that I've decided to keep one chain for myself! I took some pics of the process. I even enjoyed taking the photos, using my glasses and books as props. I have to admit that I normally find that taking photographs of jewellery can be a bit of a challenge, but these photos were really good fun to take. Normally I don't use any props in my jewellery photos because of the assumption that doing so would take attention away from the focal piece. Hmmmm... I believe I've said all this before in a previous blog post - New Years Resolutions 30th Dec 2011 (click to view) So from now on I WILL try and use more props in my photography, I definitely recommend trying it. So if you like to make and sell jewellery/craft items why not give it a go and see if it improves your photos. It worked for me.

In the process of creating my first glasses chain

 Detail of finished pieces (before I discovered the beauty of using props!)

Finished chain - Czech glass beads and crystal

Finished chain - Czech glass, amethyst chip beads and black pearls

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Don't Always Believe The Stats!!!

Well, I had a wee bit of disappointment this week! Ok - so I'm still in the process of building up this blog and trying to gain followers. I'll admit it, every time I log into Blogger the first thing I do is check the stats! It gives me a real buzz to know that people have looked at my blog. You can imagine how happy I was when I noticed that the number of hits I'd got had risen dramatically. YAY!!!!!!! I was thrilled - people were reading my blog, I was getting hits! Brilliant! Hmmmmm then I noticed the traffic sources were a bit, well strange sounding - Vampire Stat? (my blog's biggest fan)  7secretsearch?  Adsense watchdog? Who are these people who love my blog so much that they feel the need to send so much traffic my way? After a quick search on Google I discovered the truth - SPAMBOTS!!!!!! Oh the disappointment. So if you are a real person reading this and you have blog - be warned! These spammers rely on your curiosty "Vampire stat? Think I'll click on that and see who they are" DON'T DO IT. At best you've had fake traffic directed to your blog and like me you get your hopes up and then dashed when you realise the hits are fake, at worst they could potentially infect your computer if you click on any ads/links on their website. For more info please read this post by Calvin's Code ( A very useful post that came up when I googled the mysterious Vampire stat)
Enough said on this topic, now I need to find some imagery to fit in with this blog post...

So she's not a vampire but this picture seemed appropriate

By the way, the image above is of my beloved Bride Of Frankenstein doll. She's one of the good guys!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Back to Etsy!

I've been on Etsy for a while now, I love it for buying presents (presents for myself as well as for other people) and I have found it to be a brilliant source for supplies - jewellery, art, sewing, you name it! I often find myself spending many happy hours looking at the vintage items too, it's just so much fun! However one thing I have never quite gotten the hang of is generating lots of sales on my Etsy shop! Infact when I put my shop on vacation mode when I was last on holiday I didn't re-open because well... things had been so slow that it just didn't seem worth opening the shop again. However this week I had a change of heart and I've decided to give myself one more chance as an Etsy store owner.

click image to visit the Artizania Etsy store! Or visit here 

I'm still not convinced that I've done the right thing, however at a cost of only 20 cents per listing I can't really complain. I'm hoping that Etsy second time around will be more successful for me, I'm still not sure of the best way to generate traffic to the shop. (any ideas out there?) Also I wonder, do I really have the time to network, create treasuries, take part in Etsy teams and join in on the forums? If I am honest I suspect not, I find just photographing the work and creating the listings time consuming enough. I think that the key to Etsy success is all about networking, and I am aware that networking (be it virtual or in real life) is not one of my strengths (yet! I'll try and work on that.) for a number of reasons, time spent being the biggest one. So anyway, I'm having one more shot at being an Etsy store owner and we'll see how it goes. Even if I end up shutting up shop again that's ok. I still love you Etsy and I'll always be a customer, because there really is nowhere else quite like Etsy. P.S.if any of you reading this have any suggestions or have Etsy experience you'd like to share, please feel free to leave a comment and feel free to pay my Etsy store a visit too!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

I Love Lucite

Following on from my last blog post, here are some photos of the lucite flower jewellery I have been creating recently. Hoping to re-open my Etsy store soon and get these listed!

If you like these please follow Artizania on Facebook and you can see more of this lucite jewellery on the photo album called "I Love Lucite" click HERE to view it. I have a selection of lucite chokers and brooches for sale at An Cnoc in Crieff, so if you'd like to see these in "real life" please pay An Cnoc a visit! They have a lovely selection of high quality Scottish made gifts, perfect for Christmas!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Funky Florals

I was very excited to receive a jewellery supplies delivery at the weekend - I will be posting photos of the finished items shortly. I love working with these lucite flowers, they remind me of the beautiful floral prints you get on 1970s retro fabric.

I know exactly what I'm going to make with these

  Funky floral fabrics (from my own collection) 
Perhaps an influence on my floral jewellery?

Finished floral chokers - More to come in "winter" colours

Monday, 11 November 2013

Mother Nature Loves You

Just thought I'd post a couple of photos of this lovely heart shaped rose petal that I found the other day!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Crafty Charity Shopping

Recently I found some fantastic vintage craft magazines in a charity shop. They even included segments on silver jewellery making, I'll share more pages in later blog posts. Fabulous!

Christmas Bazaar

Following on from my previous post - If I get a chance I'll try and sharpen up this image! (I only had a photo copy to work with)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

I Don't Do Craft Fairs Anymore, But...

Last year I decided to cut down dramatically on taking part in craft fairs (that's a whole other blog post) however next weekend I am making an exception for Church Of The Holy Rude Christmas Crafts and Stall Bazaar! It takes place on Saturday 16th November in Stirling (at the Church Of The Holy Rude of course) I'm especially looking forward to the home made soup and baking in the South Aisle Cafe! An artist friend is selling cards and he has kindly asked me to share stall space, so I will have a small collection of jewellery for sale prices start at £5. See pictures below for a preview!

  "Vintage Rose" earrings 

 Brooches, bracelets, bag charms...

I couldn't resist a close up of the beautiful beads!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Start Each Day In A Happy Way

Ok, I'm trying encourage positive thinking. So my latest exercise in positive thinking came to me through a lucky purchase in a charity shop (and we all know how much I love charity shops!) I came across this Holly Hobby mug and I love the message on it! So now in the morning when I drink my coffee and contemplate the message on my mug I find that I am making the effort to "start each day in a happy way". It is actually helping me to focus on being positive, and in the morning that requires real effort from me (not being a natural "morning person") Yet another charity shop winning purchase!

Another thing to be happy about - I have finally got my new camera! I've been having great fun testing it out. It even has a set of photo filters on it! below are some photos of my latest vintage style rings (soon to be listed on Etsy) - its about time I had more jewellery photos on here! More to come soon.

 This filter is called "old film"

"Vintage" filter - it has a slight sepia tone to it

Monday, 14 October 2013

Photos from the highlands

I'm not long back from a short holiday ( Nethy Bridge in the Highlands) So not much talking from me in this post - I'll let my holiday pics do that for me!

Dramatic looking deer skull at the Highland Folk Museum

 "Room with a view" at Ruthven Barracks

 Taken at the Highland Folk Museum

Weaving detail at the Highland Folk Museum

Monday, 9 September 2013

More Manga

This post is inspired by my last post on drawing Manga and also my Mills & Boon Retro Reading post. I own a few Manga books (girls romance ones - although like Mills & Boon the term romance can be applied in the loosest sense for certain stories) I haven't read any Manga in a long time, so last week I found these Manga books in the sale, 20% off... why not treat myself?

Titled "My Girlfriend's a Geek" rather sweet don't you think?

From what I gathered from the blurb on the back it was a story of guy asks out girl, girl warns him she is a "fujoshi" ( a kind of comics/animations geek) He says he doesn't care about her "hobby" - let the funny and entertaining love story unfold. Well, that was my interpretation of it anyway! Like Tagia (the male lead character) I didn't fully understand what a fujoshi was either.

Image from My Girlfriend's A Geek

Basically Yukio (our fujoshi girl) is a completley obsessed fanatic of a certain manga genre called Yaoi ( look it up, and while you're at it look up fujoshi )  its not a hobby to her its a lifestyle. I loved the artwork in this book but I didn't love the story. I felt sorry for Tagia, Yukio is a complete pain in the backside, a thoroughly dislikeable character. This book was not what I was expecting. I wanted a romance, but Yukio is a thoroughly selfish girl with no thought for her poor boyfriend (although I do question why he doesn't just finish with her) I know, I know...its only a comic book! Ok I'm not really writing a proper review here, just take a look on "Good Reads" the people who have reviewed it there say it better that I could. Click this link MY GIRLFRIEND'S A GEEK REVIEWS I agree with everyone who gave it  two stars or less! 

More Manga!

I do find Manga stories can be a bit hit and miss. From the image above, I love "Mars" (book on the right) and I.N.V.U. (middle book) But as for Hot Gimmick... Stay away!!!! Running out of time here, so I will tell you about those three in a future post. P.S. I'm visiting Glasgow this afternoon, I'm tempted to pay a visit to Forbidden Planet and browse the Manga section! The one thing that is certain about Manga is that even if you don't like the story the artwork is always beautiful.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Birthday Card Blythe Doodle!

I'm currently undertaking a HUGE de-clutter at home (no doubt I'll blog about this at a later date) Last week I decided to downsize my book collection, I'm still not 100% finished with that, but nearly there! I donated about 100 books (there is no way I could ever bin a book) I was delighted to find some books that I'd forgotten about, one of them being a book on how to draw manga style characters. I'm not exaggerating when I say I've not drawn in years, but recently I have been thinking about starting to draw again - mainly to relax and also to keep my creativity flowing. So here are the results of my attempt to get back into drawing - its my niece's birthday so I ended up doodling on her birthday card envelope. I hope she likes it!

 My "Girl To GRRRL" how to draw Manga book - Very useful 
I decided to use mini Blythe as my "muse"!

 Started out in Pencil

 Inked in, no going back now!

 I kept adding colour, I was enjoying the process

Finished birthday card doodle! 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Retro Reading Part Two - Mills And Boon Book Review (of sorts!)

In my last blog post I was talking about the Mills and Boon books that I had found in my local Charity shop. I was especially taken by the one titled "Satan's Master" I mean I couldn't just overlook a book with such an intriguing name. This is my second attempt at reading Mills and Boon. The first M&B novel that I tried to read (titled "Deceit of a Pagan") I only managed about 10 pages. It was just too... emmmmm... Well, it was written in the 1970s and very "of its time" regarding attitudes towards women shall we say! Ok, so back to "Satan's Master" I did a tiny bit better with that one, I managed about 16 pages before I gave up. Same reason as the other book, 1970s sexism reared its ugly head again. But what about that curious title of the book? A title that promises so much... maybe an obscure cult who reside in the remote Scottish highlands? Strange and magical rituals? A window into the mystic and unknown? No such luck, about ten pages in I learnt that "Satan" was the name of the cat belonging to the story's "hero" (and I use hero in the loosest sense of the word) But hey, its not all bitter dissapointment. The Mills and Boon cover art is superb and their logo is a first class piece of graphic design.

It says here that they are a "joy to read"
Sorry Mills and Boon, but I have to dispute that.

The Mills & Boon Logo is very cool! It exudes retro chic.

The other Mills & Boon novel I tried to read.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Retro Reading

I've been rummaging around the charity shops again and I was lucky enough to find some more classic Mills and Boon romance books. I just love the cover art on Mills and Boon.

Check out the title of the book on the left - Satan's master!!!

I buy these purely for the covers, I did try to read Mills and Boon last time I bought some but  I just couldn't get past the 1970s attitude towards women (just read one, you'll see what I mean) But I don't think I can ignore a book with the title Satan's Master!!!! I'm also very interested to read it because it's set in Scotland.

Satan's Master is the gift that keeps on giving! When I flicked through it I found this fabulous advertisement at the back of the book. Well I think that's my reading sorted out for this evening, for more cover art see my previous blog post "Lets Go Retro"

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Summer Jewellery Workshops

On Saturday 20th July I am teaching two jewellery workshops at An Cnoc in Crieff. The morning workshop 10.30 - 12.30 "Make a Daisy Pendant" (cost £20) and the afternoon workshop is "Make A Multi-Strand Necklace" 14.30 - 16.30 (cost £25) All tools and materials are provided and you will leave with a piece of beautiful jewellery to take home. Beginners are very welcome. You can sign up for just one workshop if you wish (or both if you are really keen) To book a place phone 01764 650045. An Cnoc, 16 King Street, Crieff.

Daisy Pendant Workshop 10.30 till 12.30

Multi-Strand Necklace Workshop - 14.30 till 16.30

Friday, 14 June 2013

Photos From Open Studios

There is still a few days left to visit various artists in the Forth Valley area! Open studios is on until Sunday 16th June. I've been exhibiting at Back Lane Studio in Stirling (see my previous blog post for details) Here are a few photos from The Back Lane, enjoy.

 I love this display

Artizania Jewellery - on sale at Back Lane till the 16th June

The Back Lane (and a rare warm sunny day!)