Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Book Review

Recently I had someone comment on this post: Pan Chang Knot and they asked if i learned how to tie the knot from a book. Yes, I did. I am self-taught with my Jewellery making and have learnt it all from books and magazines. I am a self confessed book addict so thought I could do some reviews of some of the Jewellery and craft making books I own. So, the first one:

Chinese Knots for Beaded Jewellery by Suzen Millodot
  • Paperback
  • Published by Search press (2003)
  • 80 pages
  • £7.49 off Amazon

This book was the first one I bought as a guide for tying knots and it is probably my most used one! It features instructions on how to tie 14 different knots and then 16 projects, mainly necklaces with a couple of bracelets. The instructions to tie the knots and the project using that particular knot all come together so you don't have to keep flicking backwards and forwards from the knot instructions to the project instructions.

Each knot shows step by step instructions on how it is tied, either with very clear diagrams or photographically or both. The written instructons are also very clear.

As well as the instrcutions provided for the projects there are also a number of other Jewellery items photographed for each type of knot that provides inspiration for attempting your own knotted jewellery projects.

At the beginning there is a comprehensive section on different cords, beads, findings, equipment and calculating cord lengths. All of this information helps when you have the confidence to develop your own pieces.

It is a really good book, particularly for beginners and one I would definitely recommend.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Relisted Necklaces

I have just relisted 3 items on Northern Dawn on Etsy. These were three items that went in the shop right at the beginning and have just expired, so I thought I would try them again. Re-listing items on Etsy put them back at the top of the search results and is a technique that is nearly always mentioned when talking about improving sales.

So, my three items:

Button Knot Necklace with a glass pendant: FOR SALE: $23.00 (approx. £14.00)

Glass bead cluster necklace: FOR SALE: $23.00 (approx. £14.00)

Fabric bead cluster necklace & earring set: FOR SALE: £29.00 (approx. £18.00)

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Labrador Rescue

I was out on Saturday helping raise money for a Scottish charity - Labrador Retriever Rescue Caithness and Scotland. My 'day job' had a stall so I was one of the volunteers on that. In between doing a little bit of raffle ticket selling I snuck off outside to watch the displays, which were a Gundog display and the Northern Constabulary Police Dog team.

I had a lovely day and as usual loved watching the dogs working. I think a dog with a job to do is so lucky, they just love the mental and physical stimulation. All the working dogs I've ever met have been so fit and healthy and the ones on Saturday were no exception:

Police Dog:

And this beautiful Newfoundland was helping with the fundraising:

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Some bracelets & a Camera

Well 2 things done off the To Do list so far.

I actually completed 2 bracelets today. Both feature the very versatile button knot and beads I picked up from the Scottish Bead fair at Perth.

I have not worked out costings for them yet, but they will be For Sale tomorrow in my Etsy & Folksy shops.

I have also listed my Nikon 35mm SLR camera for sale on Ebay. As well as the camera the listing includes 2 Nikon zoom lenses, a Lowepro camera bag, an autofocus flash & a battery grip plus extras such as filters. It's not been used for over 3 years so I decided it was time to sell it and put the money towards a new digital camera as my little point & shoot digital really needs upgrading. It is all in working order though and I even have instructions and original boxes for some items! here is the listing: Nikon F80 SLR plus accessories. Happy Bidding!!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

To Do on Tuesday

Yes I am still alive. So what have I been doing? Well working hard on something I don't want to say too much about untill the end of the year when it's either definitely happening or definitely not happening!

But now, I'm back to do a bit for Northern Dawn. Today I went out for lunch with a work colleague and pretended to do some work for my 'day job' but in spent a very pleasant 2 and half hours sat on a sofa in the pub eating, drinking & chatting. I also did some housework (this doesn't happen often). So tomorrow I must do at least a few useful things. Here is a list that may or may not be completed!
  • Finish a knotted bracelet I'm working on
  • List my camera on Ebay
  • Put some photographs on Flickr
  • Take some photos of my Boxes for my Etsy & Folksy listings

So, there's a start. I'll let you know tomorrow what happens.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Etsy Favourites - Autumn

Decided on a seasonal theme for this week's Etsy Favourites feature, now it's September already and it's starting to get dark by 8 o' Clock. I find it such a depressing time of year, but these beautiful items are enough to get a smile on anybody's face!

Blue Heron

This shop features hand made Jewellery, Pottery and fused glass items, such as the lovely item featured which is a glass sculpture, which can either hang in a window to catch the light or be displayed on a stand.

Little b Bunny.

This lovely shop is the place to shop for some gorgeous handmade cards. I liked the cat on this Halloween themed card. The seller named her shop after her daughter's nicknames, which I think is soo cute. It's little personal details like this that make shopping somewhere like Etsy so nice. The shop features a wide selection of cards for all occasions and in a wide range of styles. Little b Bubby also has a blog:

Radiant Mind Designs

I love this shop. It is full of absoloutely gorgeous beads and also has stunning photographs. Definitely on my list of Etsy shops I will be purchasing from! This shop features handmade lampwork glass beads in small co-ordinated sets or larger focals. Some are one-offs to purchase before they're gone, others are from the custom line that are re-made when sold. They also sell lampwork recipe e-book tutorials for those who fancy trying their hand at making their own beads. Radiant Minds also have a blog:

Humblebeads Gaden Party

Another lovely handmade bead shop. Humblebeads is owned by Heather whose beads are inspired by textures and colours in nature. Her beads are made from polymer clay and hand buffed to a matte finish. The shop contains smaller disk beads and really nice focals and pendants, including things like hedgehogs and owls! Another shop to add to my shopping list! Heather also has a blog:

Lavender Cottage

This shop features handmade metal Jewellery, using fine silver, sterling silver, copper, brass and occassionally gold. The findings are even handmade as well! The pendant i've featured is hand drawn and cut from sterling silver, resting on a background of hammered copper. The stone is a carnelian. It measures an inch across, so is a pretty delicate little piece. Lavender Cottage is a blogger: and also a Twitterer:

I hope you enjoyed this week's autumnal favourites and have been inspired to do a bit of seasonal shopping.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

The Scottish Bead Fair

Well I got as far as the Bead Fair on Sunday in Perth and had a really good afternoon. It was a long way to go and I managed to get there late so missed one of the demonstrations I wanted to see, then was so busy shopping that I missed the second one! I could have spent a fortune particularly on some really beautiful glass focal beads, but I resisted and restricted myself to a £30 cash budget and got a nice selection of smaller beads, both for using with knots and cords and with wire.

I also picked up some cards and leaflets and discovered one of the companies is coming to a local glass studio to teach next year so i will definitely be getting involved in that!

It was a very busy day, I was amazed at the queue to get in but it was worth it and next time I will get organised and actually get to the demonstrations. It was very easy to get to and I had a nice wander round perth as well. It's a nice town, with a real variation of architecture, from the very old....

to the very new.....

(The Concert Hall where the Bead fair was held.)

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Not on the High Street

I have been away on a training course for my day job. We left on Tuesday night, flying from Inverness to Manchester with the lovely Flybe, then returned last night after the course, eventually getting home about 11pm last night!

Whilst on the flight I read their inflight magazine, Flybe Uncovered. In this magazine, they have a 'business' section and the feature in the current one is businesses starting up in a recession. It was a very encouraging and inspiring read, particularly for those, like me, that are attempting to do just that!

One of the businesses featured created hand-stitched personalised baby mementos and was selling them on a website called I'd never heard of this website, but thought it warranted investigation, so had a look today and it's got some really lovely stuff on it, and an impressive list of press exposure. You need to apply to be a seller and they only agree to partner with 5% of those that apply, so I imagine they have strict criteria, and is probably fairly expensive compared to the likes of Etsy or Folksy, but still, there's no harm in asking for information, which you can do via their website. I may well do in the future but not until I've got a bit more organised about what i'm doing!!

They also have a blog: Not on the High Street Blog and are on Twitter: nothsdotcom

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