Sunday, May 31, 2009

Land of the Midnight Sun!

Well ok, not exactly, but nearly.

I had a rare night out last night (my Hen Party, I'm getting married in a fortnight) and we left town to head home at about 3.30am and the sun was coming up! Was a very strange thing, wish i'd taken a photo. It meant it didn't feel late when we got in and It was so hard to go bed - I felt raring to go and like it was morning again!

Just wanted to share as it felt relevant somehow to my shop name. Being up here in the far North means the Winters are grim, but the Summer more than makes up for it!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Future Website Planning

Because Northern Dawn is a new venture for me a lot of its development and progress will be documented on this blog. It will be interesting for me to look back on and also may help others, who can (hopefully) get some ideas on how to start and develop a small craft business and (more likely) learn from my mistakes!

I make lists quite regularly. I have a small notepad by my bed that I will randomly write in whatever pops in my head - ideas for designs, a page for the website etc.

The most recent list involves plans for my websites. I currently have which is for my Pet Portraits and has been running now for about 3 years. I also have my Pet Portraits blog at this URL. I'm not doing a lot with this as it ranks highly on Google and I don't want to muck about with it. I have recently got rid of many surplus pages so there's very little that needs done with it, other than the usual updating. The Pet Portraits blog will remain here as the work in progress blog and for any additional original Animal related art. Any other non-Animal artwork will be put on the Northern Dawn blog.

I also have, which curently points at this blog and I have also just bought, which points at the moment to the Pet Portraits website, because I haven't done anything with it yet!

The Laura Young website is going to be turned into a 'gallery' site, containing simple galleries of my various creations - pet portraits, other art, jewellery, cards, maybe some photography. The won't be anything for sale on this site, though there will obviously be contact details if anyone's interested and links to where the items can be purchased from. This blog will be moved from this site to the Northern Dawn one, but there will be 'latest post' links from both this blog and the Pet Portraits blog on the homepage.

The Northern Dawn website is going to be my shop for everything I want to sell other than the Pet Portraits. It will be made with shopping cart software, so I can have recomendations for customers and maybe wishlists etc. Until I have set this up though, it will be a similar gallery style site to the Laura Young website with links to my Etsy shop and my Folksy shop for people who want to purchase. As well as finished products I am planning on providing kits for some items and also a project page and information pages about Jewellery & Card Making. This site will also be home to this blog, which will be updated with news and new makes.

All three websites will be designed to look similar so if people move from one to the other, they will know they're all connected. I am planning on a very simple, natural look using neutral colours, the same fonts and similar headers.

As well as my own websites I need to update my Facebook page and use that as a bit of an advertising tool and I am also going to look into Twitter, as this seems to be the 'thing' at the moment and is highly recomended on Etsy.

So, there you go. I will of course add updates to the blog as I go along. I will start working on all this towards the end of June.

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Necklace design revision

I have just made a small change to the fuschia bead necklace from my last post. I just tried it on to see what it looked like and decided it was too long (I guess I should have done this when I made it!) so have knocked 10cm off the length. I also took a photo of me wearing it, which was fun. I had to crop it to cut out the double chin!! I have amended the folksy listing and added the additional photo to the listing as well.

This has certainly taught me to try any creations I make just to make sure they sit right when worn and not just assume what's a good length for one necklace is a good length for another.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Folksy Shop

Just a small post to say I have now opened my account on Folksy and Northern Dawn now has a web prescence there as well! There are only two items in the shop, but more will be added:

Northern Dawn on Folksy

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Monday, May 25, 2009

New Jewellery Pieces

I have made a new necklace today and a pair of earrings:


It is a 3 strand necklace, made with wire. It has a trigger clasp and is about 60cm long. The beads are pink and fushcia glass chips and some gorgeous Indian glass beads as the centre pieces. The connectors are from a local craft shop and I just fell in love with them and they matched perfectly with the Indian beads I had in my stash, they made a perfect combination for a daring necklace with a bit of girliness about it!

FOR SALE: - £20.00

And a pair of Ratty earrings:

I have pet rats of my own and show them in my spare time. Next year I am going to start breeding them, so when I found these Chinese Zodiac Rat beads on the Jilly Beads website, I had to have them. It took me a while to decide what to do with them but as they are quite small they seemed perfect for earrings. They are simply hung on beading wire and the pink and white glass chips complement them perfectly, hanging off of an antique silver curb chain.
FOR SALE:- £13.00
Both of these items will be going on Folksy, when I have set up my account.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Etsy Shop

I finally got an account set up on Etsy today. I found two other sites to sell handmade crafts, which I will also set up accounts with, Misi and Folksy. The two later ones are both UK based sites, which perhaps would be better than Etsy, which is American and has everything priced in dollars, but I thought I'd stick with Etsy as it is the bigger, better known site and has a wider, international audience. I will eventually try them all out and see which one I get on best with.

You may have also noticed that the name of the blog has changed. I had to think of a username and also a shop name for my Etsy account and spent most of yesterday afternoon inspriring myself using an online thesaurus. In the end I went for Northern Dawn. I think it sounds a bit mystical and wanted to have a sort of 'natural' sounding name. I have changed the name of the blog to fit in with this and will also eventually set up a personal website to showcase the Handmade Jewellery and other crafts, which will all go under the Northern Dawn name.

Anyway, my shop on Etsy is: Northern Dawn Jewellery.

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Friday, May 08, 2009


I was ever so excited last week by the arrival of two parcles, one from Handy Hippo and one from Jilly Beads full of loads of yummy beads and findings. I got started as soon as they arrived and made two necklaces, both adapted from designs in Make Jewellery Magazine and a pair of earrings.

I have since decided that I ordered too many large 'feature' beads and not nearly enough jump rings or headpins so have been ordering yet more beads and other bits. I can spend hours looking at beads and still not make up my mind what I want, but I have more parcels arriving in the next couple of days so I am looking forward to getting making.

I have also ordered these two books off of Amazon, Chinese Knots for Beaded Jewellery, and Ornamental Knots for Beaded Jewellery, both by Suzen Millodot. I love knots so have also ordered a load of cord and can't wait to get started with the knotted jewellery.

Anyway, here are some photos of the jewellery I have made so far:


Wedding Invites

Well the wedding invites are all done now and sent off and the vast majority of the evening invites are off too, just a few left to check addresses for.

Wedding Invites:

Pocket insert cards made with Ivory linen card, containing the Evening Invite, the Menu and a Reply Card with stamped, addressed envelope included.

The inserts are mounted on Bazzill Basics Textured card and Frosted Gold Pearlescent card. The printing is done on an Epson inkjet printer.

They are held together with Organza ribbon in Purple and Ivory.

The heart motif on the front is embossed in gold from a Wedding Wishes stamp.

They took me a long time to make, but I thoroughly enjoyed doing it and responses from those that have received the invite has been really good, after them getting over the surprise that they are actually all hand made, so that's got to be good!

Evening Invites:

These are simply pockets with the Evening Invites as an insert. They also contain a Reply Card with an addressed envelope, but these weren't stamped.

Specifications are the same as the Wedding Invites.

The were all posted out in Ivory Envelopes.

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