Monday, 29 September 2014

Today's featured shop on The Handmade Forum

..... is Insomniac Treasures!

This shop is owned by Lisa, who makes unique gemstone and recycled jewellery.

In her own words,

'Over the years, I have dabbled in many crafty type ventures. I have tried my hand at drafting, furniture making, resin casting, sewing, jewelry making...even wind chimes. 

Insomniac Treasures is where I get to try out my sparks of inspiration. I am continually inspired by the way a stone or combination of stones makes me feel or how it reminds me of some person or story, old and discarded belts, purses and other random items that call out to be re-imagined, and the challenge of creating something new and different that people will want to wear and use. 
I hope you enjoy my creations. It's your support that keeps this insomniac's light on.'

Friday, 26 September 2014

SammysJewels, featured Etsy Shop of the day on The Handmade Forum!

Today's featured shop is SammysJewels, which is a jewellery shop full of creepy cute, kawaii items made from resin.

Now I know how hard resin is to work with, I tried. So Samson has all my respect! He cleverly makes creepy cute items using a mixture of colours, glitters and molds and clearly has the patience of a saint.

Here are a few of my favs!

Fancy an fried egg on ya head!?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Dix Sterling, featured Etsy shop

Today's post is about an artisan jewelry shop called Dix Sterling

In her own words;

'Since childhood, I have played with various kinds of art, ranging from crayons through pastels and charcoal, to oils, acrylics and watercolors. I've done needlework and fancy sewing. I really wanted to be an artist but, somehow, making a living always got in the way. When we downsized to a floating home, "my space" got smaller and painting got set aside. Then a flyer for a silver jewelry making course caught my eye. "Smaller work space" thought I, so I enrolled — and fell in love. I think the ever-changing river fed my love of surfaces. It runs from mirror-like to dappled to downright wild. My sterling silver pieces are often textured: hammered, brushed or reticulated (I LOVE reticulation).

Having sold some items locally, I tried setting up a web site. It ran for more than a year but I suspect my family and I were the only viewers! When someone at a local supply house mentioned etsy, I decided to look into it. I think it took about 30 minutes to decide to give it a try and not much longer to set up my shop. Etsy made it easy.
It has taken me a couple of years to really get the hang of etsy. I had a LOT to learn about product photography. At least my PR background helped with writing item descriptions! Then came getting involved in etsy teams, blogs (mine is and social media. Meanwhile, I joined the Creative Jewellers Guild of British Columbia and continued taking classes, buying books and -- for sure -- learning from my mistakes! It all takes time but I still find lots of hours to spend at my bench, cutting, hammering, and soldering. The love affair continues.'

Here are some of my favorites:

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

MakeMinePatchwork Etsy Shop of the day

Today's shop is MakeMinePatchwork, a handmade shop which makes quilted items for home, you and baby!

In Karen's own words,

'Make Mine Patchwork was born out of a marriage of my ongoing compulsion to create beautiful things with fabric and thread and the fact that I have already given my family, relatives and friends more handmade blankets, pillows, toys, and holiday decorations than anyone needs. 

What began as a pleasurable pastime for a young girl, has evolved into a lifelong passionate pursuit. I come from a family of women who were always busy with their hands, cooking and cleaning, yes, but almost as often creating beauty from the simple things they found around them. My mother taught me the basics of sewing before I started grade school, but I am self-taught in every other needle art I have developed. I have a voracious appetite for knowledge and new skills. I hope I am never too old to make new discoveries.'

Here are a few of my favorite baby bibs that Karen has lovingly made; 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

HueWood by Miran The Handmade Forum SPA DAY challenge.

Today's post is about HueWood, a jewellery shop that created geometric wearable art.

In her own words,

'I am an American Egyptian artist. I studied Fine Art (painting department) and moved to the US in 2006. I love Art, Painting, crafting and creating unusual unique pieces. 
I use Black and White tones in my abstract paintings, and I use colors to make painted colorful jewelry. 
Inspired by Pop Art, Abstract art, Geometric shapes, my Egyptian background and the pulse of NYC.
it's been a great journey and still lots to discover and learn every single day. 
Thank you so much for taking the time reading my story hope you like them as much as I enjoy making them.'

Miran's shop can be found here:

Here are some of my favorites,

As another designer who uses wood and loves geometric style, I really love this shop. I love the unique, modern style Miran creates. Her items are for those people who like to stand out from the crowd.

Monday, 22 September 2014

SPA DAY week 2! Flaherty Naturals

Today I will be telling you about a shop called Flaherty Naturals, which is an Etsy shop full of handmade and organic beauty products based in the USA.

The shop is owned by a lovely lady called Deb and she started her online shop Flaherty Naturals because she wanted to help people with sensitive skin;

  'Flaherty Naturals was started in 2007 because so many of my mature nail clients were allergic or sensitive to commonly used salon products. My desire to offer them a relaxing and safe spa service became the “necessity is the mother of invention” concept I adopted, and so began my researching and learning about the blending of herbs, oils, and essential oils. With over 20 years of organic gardening, and canning, and jam making, and all the other "makings" a woman does for her family, I was ready to start making healing things for the skin as well.'

I love strawberries! These sound so yummy.

Deb also does wedding favors!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

SPA DAY, Quinnys Crochet Etsy Shop

Today's blog post is about Quinnys Crochet, owned and run by a lovely lady named Carol who is affectionately known as Quinny.

Quinny has the skill of crochet and can make many things! You really don't need to look any further to find all your scarves, hats, beanies, gloves for you and for baby! Yes I said baby! Her baby designs are AMAZING.

Know any babies who need an outfit like this for Christmas?

How adorable is that!!!!!!!!!

NO ONE can resist this for their baby boy, surely?

So do check out Quinnys shop!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

SPA DAY, day 3. Featured shop Paisley Lizard Designs by Tammy.

Today's featured shop is the Paisley Lizard Designs, which is an eclectic, boho chic jewellery store which is owned by a lady called Tammy.

Tammy herself likes to explore materials and designs and so this is reflected in her jewellery.

As I type this, sipping away on a cup of tea, exploring her shop, a few things I have noticed that I must share with you all. Check out these beauties!!

Found here:

Found here:

Found here:

Oh and Tammy has cats. Did I tell you I love cats???

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

SPADAY part two, Puffy The Slayer

SPADAY part two is here, and The Handmade Forum is featuring this shop, Puffy The Slayer, which is owned and run by Rhi. Rhi is a proper geek. And I mean geek. Her geekness is translated through out her designs which are very creative and suitable for any geek in your life. I have personally bought some items from Puffy The Slayer, for my geeky niece who loves Minecraft and for my sister and her husband, who lovingly call each other 'Nerd' and 'Nerdette' who are avid Dr.Who fans.

Puffy The Slayer shop:

Rhi uses pixelated art in her designs, which make them original and you guessed it. Geeky.

Here are a few of my favs,

Want geeky coasters? No problem! Rhi can even personalize them.

Want to make a pixelated you?? Well you can! Want a whole pixelated family? Well you can!! Want a fictional character made? Rhi does that too!

Re-usable cupcake toppers! Rhi can make skulls for Halloween, and black Santa hats for the Bah Humbugs in your life.

Monday, 15 September 2014

SPADAY Black Raven Creations

Hi all,

Haven't been here in a while, I am sorry! I am a member of The Handmade Forum, and for the next few weeks they are hosting an event called SPA DAY. This is where a featured shop of the day gets promoted by other people (sellers) on their various media.

So today I am going to be writing an article about a lovely shop called Black Raven Creations.

This shop is owned by a lady called Rhonda, who is based in Michigan. She hand makes all her items, this varies from scarves, cowls to Japanese knot bags.

Here are a few of my favorite items from Black Raven Creations!

This is a multi coloured rope scarf, in gorgeous shades of blue. I love the style of this scarf. You can find it here:

I just love this scarf! It's in a fabulous colour and I can already feel how cozy this is in the up-coming winter months. You can get your very own here:

This is one of the many Japanese Knot bags, Black Raven Creations makes! These bags are ideal for holding all your arts and crafts supplies, make up, goodies and other bits and bobs, Plus this one has a lovely fabric.

So do check out Rhonda's Handmade Store, Black Raven Creations you may just find a perfect gift for someone or for yourself. 

Friday, 18 April 2014

Showcase: Uniquely You Jewellery on Etsy

Hey all, today is showcase day and I am going to be talking about my very own Etsy shop, Uniquely You Jewellery

I thought I would talk about some of my processes and show you some of my most popular designs.

I love making my own jewellery, I specialise in wood, decoupage and glass. I create my very own glass cabochons using mixed media. Below is one of my methods.

 I take solid glass domes and I place them in blutak, this stops them from moving around! I then dust them with fine homemade glitter. Then I paint them with my own pigment formula, it has added pearl extract. The result is this gorgeous little gem.

Eventually they are turned into stud earrings. These are a very popular pair of earrings. I think this is because of the colour they give. They literally are stunning in the sunlight.
 Here are the end results. You can have your very own here: I want you!

Here is a new range I am working on. I have these gorgeous solid wood triangle beads and I love them! I drill the holes and hand paint each one again with my own pigment formula. All of my chains are sterling silver. 
You can get this necklace and more here: Buy me!

Now this is very popular on Etsy. It has even made it to the front page a couple of times. I have sold this bangle around the world. It is also a joy to make this bangle. As always, each one is unique, the colour is my own and each wood bangle will have it's own flaws and natural beauty. 
You can have your very own here: BUY ME

This is a new range sterling silver necklace, with large wood beads. I hand paint each one using my own pigments and highlight them with a gold stripe. I LOVE this necklace. I told myself, if this doesn't sell by a certain deadline, I am keeping this for myself. This necklace is on limited supply as I made it using left over pieces of wood from a previous project.  You can buy it below.

Now this is my most popular design so far. I have made and sold so many of these I have lost count. This peacock wooden bangle is more traveled than I am! I use the ancient technqiue of decoupage for this peacock bangle. So it is a little more complicated and time consuming to make. But the end result is always so wonderful. Who doesn't like peacocks? 

You can have your own made here: SHOW ME THE PEACOCK!

So that was a little insight into my handmade jewellery shop! 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Recipe Thursday. Chicken Pesto with Spaghetti.

As some of you may know, I really enjoy cooking. I make dinner for me and my lovely boyfriend each night, expect for Fridays and Saturdays!

I don't spend ages reading cookbooks and following recipes. I tend to chuck things together and hope for the best, and 98% of the time they work out really well and become firm favorites in my small family.

So I am going to let you know my Chicken Pesto with Spaghetti dish. This is very easy and only takes 30 minutes to cook.

(The beauty of this dish is you can just add more chicken breasts for more people!)

This serves two.

You will need:

  • Two defrosted/fresh skinless and boneless chicken breasts.
  • A good quality green pesto, either homemade or from a jar.
  • Spaghetti
  • Tomatoes, sliced. (Vine or Cherry will do)
  • Virgin Olive Oil
  • Parmesan Cheese to taste
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees/400F/Gas mark 6
  • Drizzle a tablespoon of Virgin Olive Oil into a medium deep size oven dish.
  • Place your chicken breasts into the oven dish.
  • Spoon on the pesto generously on top of each chicken breast.
  • Also spoon a few teaspoons of the pesto around the chicken in the Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Place one slice of tomato on each chicken breast and the rest around the chicken, in the pesto and Virgin Oil.
  • Place the dish into the preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes. If you like a dryer chicken then cook for 35-40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, carefully remove the chicken breasts from the dish and place to one side.
  • Using a spoon, give the Virgin Olive Oil, pesto and tomato mixture a good stir. Season to taste.
  • Pour this mixture in the already cooked and drained spaghetti and stir.
  • Place the spaghetti onto serving plates/dinner plates and put the chicken breast on top. 
  • Finally grate some Parmesan cheese on top.
Serve with a glass of white wine!