Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Featured Seller

This weeks Featured Seller is Di Sandland 

Please introduce yourself and your business

Hello Britain!  Okay, maybe that’s a bit over-dramatic.  Let’s start again.
Hello; my name is Di Sandland and I started up my Etsy business last month.  It says 2008 on my profile but that was because I registered so that I could buy some glorious lampwork beads.  I have been astounded at the response to my etched sterling silver findings, which seem to have caught the imagination of quite a few people.
I am lucky enough to live in beautiful North Devon; Exmoor and Dartmoor are both within easy reach, as is the wild Atlantic coastline.  How could you fail to be creative when surrounded by such natural beauty?

What Prompted You to Start Your Own Business?
I started making silver jewellery about two years ago now; prior to that I was using glass beads and semiprecious stones. I came to the field of semiprecious stones through my fascination with the spiritual and health-giving properties so many of these minerals were reported to have.  What piqued my interest was the fact that, whenever a difficult situation at work was on the horizon (I worked in the NHS, so tense situations were pretty much par for the course), I would wear a large red jasper pendant because I always felt a touch more confident with it on.  Then, purely by chance, I happened upon an article that said of red jasper:

Jasper gives one the courage to speak out and have personal independence.
It couldn’t have been coincidence, could it?  So, in the throes of a new-found obsession, I nearly buried myself beneath a mountain of semiprecious stones.  I used them to make jewellery and Moon Cottage Jewellery was born.  Don’t go looking for it though, because it doesn’t exist any more; although I do still own the domain name.

What are you doing when you’re not creating?
I’m a freelance web content writer, which I do for two-and-a-half days a week and, as my mum used to complain, I’ve always got my head in a book.  Even if today that book is a Kindle.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
That, when I was very much younger, I was a Playboy Bunny of the croupier variety. And, when I was older and fatter, I was a Senior Midwife on a labour ward.

What is your favourite: Colour: Animal: Season: Movie: Book: Blog?
Ooh, I’m very fickle so my favourite colours vary with my mood and the day of the week!  I tend to veer towards fiery autumnals - russet, ochre, gold – although just lately I have found myself being drawn towards Mediterranean blues and aquas.
I am a cat person who loves dogs.  My own cat is called Floozie because, when he adopted us, I thought he was a she, and she rolled on her back for anybody.
My favourite season is between seasons – June, just as spring is becoming summer and nature is full of promise.  By the same token I find September and the coming of autumn very sad and melancholic.
I rarely ‘do’ movies, although if I had to nominate my all time favourite it would be Thelma and Louise.  As far as books go, it depends which author I am into at the time.  Since being given my Kindle for Christmas I have discovered many new authors and I’m having a whale of a time.
When did you first start working in your chosen discipline?
I started working with silver about two years ago when, having joined Cookson’s Jewellery Making Forum, I realised that simple silver smithing was within the reach of most people.

What inspires you?
That’s difficult to say, really.  I love nature and her colours but I think that closest to my heart is the English language and the power of words.  I’ve been searching for a way to make my jewellery more meaningful for ages.  I wanted to etch but I didn’t think I’d be safe with nitric acid – I am very clumsy.  Then I discovered Edinburgh Etch

What’s your favourite piece of work that you have created?

Unless it’s gone horrible wrong, my favourite piece of work tends to be my most recent piece of work.  A friend, who makes jewellery and lampwork beads under the name of Tartan Trout, recently asked me to make some tags for her jewellery range.  These etched silver beads never made it to the tag stage; instead, old Trouty used them in this beautiful bracelet.
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I am heavily into etching and making feature clasps and beads
I’m desperately trying to complete all the orders in my book so I can experiment with a few ideas I have in mind!

How did you hear about Etsy?
I can’t remember, but my first visit resulted in the purchase of very pretty set of lampwork beads.

What do you like about being part of Etsy?
The feeling of being part of a team, particularly since I found British Sellers on Etsy!

Where else do you sell your work?
Nowhere at present because I’ve been too lazy to revamp my website.  When it is online it’s at

What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
Just to be happy, for my family to be happy, and to have enough money not to worry.

Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?

Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it.

Where else can we find you online?

Website: (but it’s currently offline)

Twitter: @disandland

Di Sandland would like to offer readers of the British Sellers on Etsy Blog free shipping on all purchases until midnight on Wednesday,13th August , 2011.  Enter the code BSE at the checkout


Lesley said...

Great insight into your inspirations Diand now you've gone and piqued my interest in etching....! Love that chain maille bracelet...!

Jille said...

great read Di, I love your etched pieces.

FireHorse3 said...

Unique and interesting jewellery - lovely to read your interview! :)