Monday, 28 February 2011

This weeks Treasury Challenge Winner! APRILISFOREVER

This weeks challenge was 'What does Spring Mean to you...'
The winner is APRILISFOREVER


The photography in each of the products chosen was stunning giving the treasury great overall visual appeal. I also really liked the colour choice and thought it summed up Spring nicely.

The challenge theme for next week is 'Think Pink!'

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Friday, 25 February 2011

British Sellers on Etsy - Weekly round up!

Hello all!
I hope everyone has had a great week, mine has really flown by!

Here's whats been going on this week:

- We've hit 100 followers through Google Friends Connect -

Thank you everyone who follows this blog - please continue to help spread the word about our team and this blog - the more people that we can connect to, the more we can promote everyone's amazing shops and British sellers!

- It's BNR time again! -

After the huge sucess of the last BNR we're having one again!!
You can see a preview of the BNR here.
and also learn more about it here and here!!

Don't forget that it opens tonight at 7pm GMT!!!!

-We're updating the blog directory -
If you are a member of the team and you want to be added to the directory then please see this discussion in the forum!

That's it for this week - not much to report to be honest - the team is doing great with more members joining and the discussion forums look amazing with so many people chatting and getting to know each other and the blog is growing and getting stronger every week!!

If you have any requests for how to features, expert advice, or if you want to put yourself forward for any of the features please email us on britishetsyteam@gmail.com - we'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Tutorial-Ceramic Wedding Favours by TaitGallery

Ceramic Wedding Favour Tutorial courtesy of TaitGallery

This shows you how I make my lovely ceramic wedding favours.


Materials required

Clay, any kind but white earthenware picks up the detail nicely.

Access to a kiln

Glaze

Ribbon for decoration

Instruction: One

The clay has to be wedged to get rid of air bubbles. This is a strenuous activity that involves much throwing and cutting of the wet clay until no more air bubbles are visible.

Then the clay must be rolled out so it is an even depth all over. I use two guide sticks of even depth wood.

Tthe decoration is rolled onto the clay. In the picture this is some antique lace that I love the pattern of.

The clay needs to be left to dry a little until it is managable. I use different shapes of cookie cutters to shape the clay into the favour. In this case a heart shape.


Two

You need to leave the cut outs until they are leather hard. This is the stage in the drying process that you can carefully handle the clay without affecting the shape too much.

Press some letter blocks into the shapes to spell out your personal message. At this stage I sometimes add little clay butterflies or other details in a contrasting clay.

Drill a hole in the top of the heart and cut off any excess clay around the hole.

Leave the shapes for at least a couple of days to dry out completely

Firing

Each piece has to be fired twice. The first time is called the biscuit firing and matures the clay to a permanent state. I biscuit fire my ceramics to 1100 degrees (cone 02) to fully mature the clay but usually 1000 would be enough. I tend to stack the kiln to bursting on the first firing for reasons of economy.

After about 24 hours of cooling you can open the kiln and when the ceramics are cooled fully they can be glazed.


Glazing

I hand paint each piece with a low firing earthenware glaze in a semi transparent colour. Any other glaze might obscure the lettering on the favour. Sometimes I paint the favour and then wash off the glaze leaving just the lettering and decoration glazed for a different effect.

The second firing is to mature the glaze and turn it from its powdery consistency into its glossy, glass like state. I fire my kiln to 1020 degrees (cone 5) for a glaze firing. This time the kiln has to be more carefully stacked with the favours lifted from the shelves on tripods to stop them sticking and no two pieces touching each other

This is my favourite bit! It's so exciting to open the kiln after the glaze firing and see all your work transformed and jewel like. Don't be over eager to open the kiln too soon. Let the work cool as much as you can to avoid crackling the glaze from thermal shock (take it from one who knows).

When the work has cooled it just needs finishing.

Cut two pieces of ribbon. One about 40cm and one about 20cm. Use one as the hanging ribbon and the shorter one as the bow (tie the bow away from you, it comes out neater for some reason).

Trim the edges of the ribbon to look good and there you have it.

HOW TO....Participate in a BNR

I thought as the team BNR was starting tomorrow for the duration of the weekend it made sense to explain what a BNR was. I remember when I first started using ETSY wondering what on earth people were talking about.

So, a BNR is basically a treasury that has been created with the sole purpose of driving sales.
The BNR starts with 16 products from 16 different shops (how the first 16 are chosen depends on who is running the BNR) everyone sets their own rules such as minimum spend amount etc.

Here is a screenshot from our last BNR, the title describes the status of the BNR, in this case it was 'MOVED' as we had moved it to another location but usually it will state 'OPEN' or 'CLOSED' it then says how many sales their have been so far, so you can get an idea of how busy it is. (please click on the images to make them larger)


is just a standard web page you will need to refresh the page Each BNR is run by a curator, they are there to manage the sales that are taking place. As a BNRregularly to read new comments.

People chat and have conversations in the comments underneath a BNR, the more comments the higher up the popularity scale the BNR gets and the more chance you have of other people finding it.

The shops that are pictured in the BNR are the ones you can buy from, you don't just have to buy the item shown but can buy anything from their shop as long as it is over the minimum amount specified.
When you have found something you would like to buy you request that shop from the curator, then wait for them to give you the go ahead. This is to ensure that someone else isn't already in the process of buying from them. See the image below:

Once you receive the go ahead from the curator you can purchase the item. Once you have made your purchase, you need to click on 'Your Account' then 'Your Purchases' then click on the title of the item you have just bought, it will display a page like the one below:


The red arrow points to your transaction ID link, you need to copy this and paste it into the comment box in the BNR so the curator knows you have completed the purchase.


Then your shop will replace the one you have just bought from. Simple! :)
It's a great way to boost your sales and stock up on Birthday presents for the coming months.

Hope you will all join us at this months BNR running from Friday 25th - Sunday 27th Feb.
You can check our Twitter, Facebook and Forum pages for the link on Friday from 7pm.
Have Fun!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Featured Seller

This weeks Featured Seller is KimTillyer of Witchmountain
Make your self a cuppa, settle down and let your imagination carry you off into a world of bears , dark forests and northern myths  

Please introduce yourself  and your business
I'm Kim and I live in a remote moorland cottage in North Yorkshire; a while back a friend called it Witchmountain - I'm not sure if it was complimentary but it stuck!
Where I live is very important to me and to the feeling I want to create in my work.
I like to live in a little fantasy world that is a cross between Moominland, Little House on the Prairie and The Good Life (lots of coffee, log fires and crop failures).
I have been trading on Etsy, as well as selling through galleries, since graduating in 2008. While struggling as a freelance embroidery designer my children said " just do what you love, it shows in your work" , so this is what I have been trying to do, producing artwork, illustration and clothing and accessories with a heavy emphasis on embroidery and drawing.




When did you establish your business?
I first joined Etsy as a buyer in 2007 but as I was still a penniless student I didn't have the right kind of credit card to sign up a seller! Eventually with an updated card and my shiny new degree I opened my shop at the end of 2008. My first sale was in February 2009.





What prompted you to start your own business?
My college course had guided us in the direction of studio work and freelance design but I always knew that because of my location and personal circumstances I would have to make use of the internet as much as possible.

Since graduating in 2008 I have continued to work part-time, produce freelance designs for an agent and show at various galleries, as well as running my Etsy shop.





When did you first start working in your chosen discipline?
I have always made things; tiny books for my dolls house when I was a child, painted tobacco tins to sell at Glastonbury in my hippy heyday and handmade cards during the dark days of the Enterprise Allowance Scheme! In my 30's I was encouraged to do my degree in Textiles and Surface Design at CCAD where I learned new print and design techniques which I combined with stitch. I now make a variety of work but I think I have developed a distinctive style which unites everything from a £12 brooch to a £250 framed piece.







What inspires you?
I am really inspired by where I live and also general ideas of The North. I have a personal obsession with bears (a long story), dark forests and northern myths which might also explain why I love the writing of Tove Jansson.
Although I hate being cold I have an affinity with winter, hibernation, nest building and coziness which is often reflected in the materials I chose to use.




How did you hear about Etsy?
From my good friend Helen who had been trading for years and doing very well with her handmade hats www.helenhats.etsy.com and more recently her beautiful sea glass jewellery and supplies www.tidelinedesigns.etsy.com







What do you like about being part of Etsy?At the moment I'm liking the "Circles" and Activity Feed features which seem to make you more visible, although this isn't necessarily translated in to sales.

How did you feel when you made your first sale on Etsy?
It’s always fantastic when somebody wants to spend money on something you've made! My first sale was to a college friend so it was even more exciting when I made my first sale to a stranger...and in a foreign country. More sales would be nice though!




What advice would you offer other Etsy sellers out there?
My friend Helen once told me that the thing about Etsy was that many of the people who use it tend to be "makers" themselves, which is why she started selling things others might want to use in their work- perhaps consider producing kits?

Also have a range of prices so that if someone likes your work they can at least afford a card if not a framed original.
I have often felt very disheartened but refused to give up and through blogging and Facebooking have found that there is a lot of encouragement and support out there in the virtual world.
Publicise yourself mercilessly, wear your product, give it away, support others and hope they return the favour!

Would you like to offer the British Sellers on Etsy Blog readers a
special offer?

I have created a 20% discount coupon code for readers of this post, just type in WITCHMOUNTAIN2 at the checkout. thank you and good luck x



Where can we find you?

Etsy shop link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/KimTillyer



Blog: http://witchmountain.wordpress.com



Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Witchmountain/113930678656104?ref=ts

Monday, 21 February 2011

Treasury Pick of the Week

This weeks treasury pick is ARCTIC CHILL by Alison Moore Designs

There were no takers on this weeks treasury challenge so this week I went through the treasuries recently posted and this one really caught my eye. I loved the theme the products chosen and the way they were blended together to create a visually stunning treasury.

The theme for this weeks treasury challenge is 'Spring means to me...."
Your treasury could be featured here, complete your treasury for this weeks theme and post it in the thread below:
http://www.etsy.com/teams/6966/british-sellers-on-etsy/discuss/6778254/page/3/

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Year of the Rabbit.

With Chinese New Year just gone, we thought we would do a special entry on the Year of the Rabbit! Also, just a little bit of trivia from Wikipedia:

"The Chinese Year of the Rabbit is actually the Chinese Year of the Hare, as China has seven native species of hares and no native species of rabbits. The Chinese applied their word for hare to the first rabbits to be taken to China, and the word is now erronously back-translated into English as rabbit. The hare is the fourth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac."

Real bunny moleskine cahier by sweetbestiary

Cotton 18" cushion cover hand printed red Peeved Rabbit by blackcactusinlondon

Moon and mother earth art print by Amanda Clark

Rabbit in spring frock by Lybo

Handmade rabbit brooch by TheHollowbourneHoard

Hoppy Bunnies A4 notebook by hoppybunnies

Little white lies - 8x12 fine art print by AmelieAPoulain

Handmade Jointed Plush Rabbit - White Rabbit by ClareBears

Friday, 18 February 2011

Waiting for their first sale... Li'l Corbeau Jewelry


Based in Rochster, Kent, Li'l Corbeau Jewellry is a delightful little shop!
Let's show it some love!


Combing both laser cut and laser engraved jewelry, Lil Corbeau has a mixture of geometric designs and intricate etchings that tell a story - "pieces that talk to you - and that will be talked about!"

All images are copyright of Li'l Corbeau Jewellry and may not be replicated.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

HOW TO.....use Twitter. PART 1

Twitter was a bit of a mystery to me until fairly recently, now all has become clear. So hopefully I can enlighten some of you! Twitter is basically a series of 'status updates' or 'comments' on your everyday life, "What's the point in that?" I hear you cry. Well it can be a very effective marketing tool...let me show you. I am just going to explain the basics to get you going at this point, so one you have signed up and created your account, your window will look something like that below, except the timeline will only become full once you start 'following' people.


What does it mean to follow someone? This basically means you will be able to see their 'Tweets' (status updates) and respond to them if you wish. You generally follow someone who you think you might be interested in, like the British Etsy Team for example

How to search for people or topics of interest.
The best way to get followers (people who follow your tweets) is to start following other people with similar interests and get tweeting. If you use certain keywords like knitting for example put a # before it.


The hashtag is a way to determine a search term. People will often save searches of phrases that they are interested in. For example the British Etsy team use the #uketsy search tag, we ask our followers to use this tag at the end of their post.



You will see from the picture above I have typed #uketsy into the search bar, the results are shown as Tweets (people who have used that term in their tweet) Tweets with links (as it suggests) Tweets near you (if you've specified your location ie UK then it will tell you other UK users who have recently used that search term in their tweets) and People (if you had typed in someones name you would check this tag to find them and follow them)
You will also notice the option to 'save this search' by saving the search you can keep track on all the people using that search term. So we have saved the #uketsy search to enable us to see which of our followers use it, we then retweet those posts. Whats a retweet? Don't worry more on that next time.

If you look at the first picture you will see the 'Searches' tab, all of your saved searches are kept here, you could have as many as you like for example #knitting #crochet etc depending on what you were interested in.
By using the # with keywords it allows other people searching that term to find you and follow you if they wish, this helps to build up your follower base.


It's also a good way of connecting with others, I've seen Twitter book groups, who determine a # search term they all save the search term and that way can keep up with all of the posts to do with the group and current discussion.


NEXT TIME..... Retweets and @Mentions

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Featured Seller

This weeks Featured Seller is Kay Leverton of Scratching For a Living
I'm sure you will find Kay and her work truly inspirational – I certainly did!

 
Please introduce yourself and your business
I am an English artist living with my husband and son in Tredegar, South Wales, a small valleys town near to one of Britain’s greatest National Parks.
Our nearest city is Cardiff.
I work in Pastels and Scraperboard although I have the occasional fling with watercolours and acrylics.
I sell my own creations from my Studio, in Galleries and now on Etsy




When did you establish your business?
My business in a small way has been around in one form or another for the last 10 years, growing bit by bit as my interests and confidence have come and gone.
It has been a long birthing process with all kinds of experiences along the way and it has changed me considerably.

What prompted you to start your own business?
Apart from having the house taken over by artwork (you know that one I bet!), I also need to have an income to add to a very small pension.
Then of course there's the desire for my work to be seen, to find its place outside in the world.
I used to find it hard to let it go but now I finish a piece and kiss it and say “now go make someone happy”: I love others finding joy in the images - They are me saying “hello world.”
I recently sold three large pastels to a lady for her children's nursery, a big wow moment!
I don't believe in coincidence and since I have put all this effort into Etsy I have had some great sales of original artworks and two offers from Galleries.
What is old work to you can be someone else’s treasure.
I enjoy selling cards of my work as not everyone can afford the originals – I by lots of artist cards myself


When did you first start working in your chosen discipline?
I've always been creative with home making, gardening, sewing etc but I got ill with M.E. and lost my secure job - I realised life had to change.
So in the 1990's I turned to my longing to do art and got better and better. As soon as I touched pastels I knew I'd found something, my hands just knew what to do.
Three years ago I needed to work sitting down. I got out a pack of Scraperboard from my hoard of art materials,
I'm like a magpie collecting things to try out sometime.
So, the sometime had arrived, I just did it, my hands knew what to do and I fell in love.
I have some linocut tools and boards ready and I look forward to trying this later in the year.
The moral of this tale is do what brings you joy.


What inspires you?
Art is a privilege; everywhere I look there is magic and subjects to inspire me.         
I have done a lot of spiritual questing over the years and my love of the Earth and all her creations, humans and plants and animals and my relationship to them and vice versa - that's my way.
I have lucid dreams and many images are born there.
It's important to create beauty and to live in Beauty: it's taken me a long time to come to this and to live it.
Life is truly precious and every moment needs to be cherished.
I say no a lot more to things that I'm not truly interested in and use my time better.
I hope I am kinder, living is not easy, existing easier, count your blessings, be here, be present in your life.


How did you hear about Etsy?
I had made a website but had no regular sales outlet and I wanted a blog so I started looking at other artists’ blogs.
I kept seeing Etsy shops on these sites and thought let's check this out.
It was so simple compared with other ways to sell and looked friendly - so here I am.


How did you feel when you made your first sale on Etsy?
I put my shop live on a Thursday and had my first sale on the Monday. I stared at the emails in amazement then jumped up and down. I ran to tell my husband, phoned my mum, my son and my best friend.
Four days later I was still having trouble sleeping for excitement.
I think I may be converted to Etsy (ha ha)

What do you like about being part of Etsy
The sense of community.
I have had such a warm welcome and to have your work appreciated is always great. There is so much help to be found and to see the talent out there, wow; we are a potent force for good.
To create is magical, truly.
What advice would you offer other Etsy sellers out there?
From my vast experience of 6 weeks this is what I found so far.
Short version – check it out, lay it out and keep your standard high as you can, keep at it.
Longer version – I studied the site for days before starting my shop and I intend to   develop a lot over the next few months.
  • Do research on similar shops, not to copy them but to find what is unique about your work, your USP (Unique Selling Point) then promote that.
  • Read all the ‘How to do it’ bits - advice is at hand so ask your fellow Etsians.
  • Put in a good selection of work and keep adding - have stock ready to go.
  • Be professional - this is a business I hope to make a living from and it needs to be worked on
  • Make up trial parcels so you can work out weight and price then charge the actual postage. Postage costs are expensive - you're not a benevolent fund
  • Be realistic with your pricing then add on a bit for your time. If you undercharge to start with it's hard to put your prices up later  Bear in mind that galleries will charge you up to 60% etc plus materials and taxes.


Would you like to offer the British Sellers on Etsy Blog readers a special offer?
I plan to do this at Easter, It will be in my banner, look out for the Easter Bunny!
Where can we find you?  


                   

Monday, 14 February 2011

This weeks treasury challenge winner is...... Sdjjewellery


The treasury challenge theme this week was "Other Half, for Valentine's I would like..."
The winner is sdjjewellery!
Her treasury is a feast for the eyes, subtle use of purple and lilac throughout and some beautiful products selected. Well done!
If you would like to see the other treasuries that took part in the treasury challenge then click HERE
If you would like to know how to make a Treasury see our previous blog post.

This weeks treasury challenge is FURRY FRIENDS, post your treasuries in the Treasury Team Challenge thread, the rules are posted their too. The winner will be posted next Monday.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

British Sellers on Etsy - Weekend round up!

Hello! It's Rhianne here from soeasilydistracted and I'm really excited to be a part of the British Sellers on Etsy blog team! I've had my own blog now for two years, so its very exciting to be branching out into new territory especially when its something I feel so passionate about!

It's been very exciting for the British Sellers on Etsy Team this week
we hit 1000 members!!
As you can imagine - we are all incredibly excited about this here on the blog - especially Chiara from CLS Craft Creations, our team captain!

So please take a moment to look through the members pages and forums to get to know everyone!

Here's whats been going on this week:

- Craftbirdcat interviewed our team captain Chiara on her blog - so if you want to know more about the team, check it out here

- The treasury challenge is back! With the chance to have your treasury featured on this very blog! Read more about it here.

- Two team members - Mundane and Beauteous and Black Cactus in London - have been featured on the front page this week! Well done!

- After the success of the teams last BNR we are having another one this month! See more details here on how to take part!

- Its been our first full week blogging! Have you read all the posts? We have amazing features such as Etsy Newbie featuring Sandra June Sculptures, waiting for their first sale featuring Gail Griggs, a wonderful 'how to make a treasury' tutorial and lots more!


We're hoping to really develop the blog further as the team grows, so if you have any requests for how to features, expert advice, or if you want to put yourself forward for any of the features please email us on britishetsyteam@gmail.com - we'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

See you next week!