Friday, 11 May 2012

Finding a Voice

This is gonna be an exercise in self motivation and probably akin to contemplating my navel - but the thing is I keep coming back to this blog thinking I must write something - must energize this blog - must do something to get myself seen back online and must find a way to try and bring in some sales. And then I sit and think and think and think and look for inspiration a la google with obscure search sentences like "songs that inspire you to overcome obstacles".  


Eventually the penny drops that there must be things stopping me from doing what I feel must be done. Progress! Cos if I can identify the miscreants (why nots) and name them then maybe I can quit the headless chicken routine and get something done. Sounds like a plan. 


So all of those "musts" are problematic because most days:
I don't feel like writing, or talking, and haven't for a while. But I am good - heck I'm brilliant - at shutting myself off and living in my own wee internal world. So good on fact that I didn't speak until I was almost 4 years old and the first words were a proper sentence - so it's not that I couldn't speak it was a case of choosing not to. (But's a whole other post - maybe some day).

I don't feel energized - and the thought of having to try and energize an inanimate object seems backwards. Like I should try to energize me first- right?
Getting seen online feels like an oxymoron. Nuff said!
Trying to bring in sales - ooooh scary mary time - I need to try and promote myself and my work? See facts above as to why that's kinda difficult.


So ends up this post was an exercise in exorcism as much as self motivation. Now all I gotta do is figure out the next step.


To be continued - or not as the case may be ...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Technorati

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Swimmies of Doom and The Age of Enlightenment

Once upon a time an online market was birthed. A haven for artisans and crafts people, a place where they, with supply and vintage sellers, could sell their wares as part of a global community. It promised to be a counterweight against big business: "... the current economy, favoring megacorporations and supersizes, is unstable. People who make a living making things ... will play a key role in revitalizing and stabilizing the world". (source).

To better educate the sellers the creators spokesperson, known as the redone, held a public reading of Leon Leonnie's Swimmy. That wondrous tale of perseverance and triumph, through co-operation and unity, inspired the sellers! They went forth singing the praises of this great market! And greatly did their numbers swell. All was good.

One among them was so moved that they made their own tribute to Swimmy and sent it to the redone. So touched was he that he proclaimed how magnificent it would be for more Swimmies! And the faithful sellers granted his wish. A Swimmy diorama was erected in the market palace ... and all was good.

But the winds of change blew through this mighty market. While the people had been busy building and strengthening their union, a dark duality had been lurking in the shadows. Called the greenbacksellout the people believed it had been banished to the outerness. But alas, its powers were mighty and its reach far, and it was granted entry to the market. And with it came its minions, the despised non-creatives, known as resellers.

For a while the faithful sellers were too busy tending to the business of growing the market that they did not see the evil in their midst. But then some of the elders, who knew the land well, saw movement in the shadows and they became the eyeswideopen.

What to do! cried the sellers whose eyes had seen the shadows.

Remembering Swimmy they fought to call the evil out of the shadows. Surely the redone will act with honour when he sees the truth? But the redone and his servants denied them.

Scaresome tales emerged of the disappeared, of others whose tongues were sewn to their lips so they could not speak! And all was not so good.

Believing in strength through unity they congregated in the market square and tried to open everyones eyes. But their truths feel on fallow ground. A disease had spread among the land and some sellers were blinded, or deaf, and others refused to speak. And they became known as the threemonkeys.

Joining with the dark forces of the greenbacksellout and the redone they formed a powerful trinity that the eyeswideopen could not overcome. No longer wishing to support the trinity through their taxes they sought out fresh fields and the age of diaspora began. Gathering their wares some appealed to the redone to return their Swimmies - but the redone ignored them.

Their plea's however did not fall on deaf ears. The Swimmies heard them and they rejoiced! Breaking free from their diorama they escaped into the great Tumblr and it's tributary the Twitter . Capturing fakelisajune, who they valiantly try to teach English, they sing the praises of their beloved penciljen and commune with the eyeswideopen and such dignitaries as fakerokali, fakerobwhite, fakedaniellexo, fakerevolvingdorkus.

I rejoice in their freedom from the clutches of the redone and am honoured that they saw the reefy goodness in one of my creations in their daily Tumblr proclamation yesterday.

Long live the Swimmies of Doom!

I thank you :)

Thursday, 17 February 2011

New Project Watch Cuff

So excited that the custom watch cuff I have been working on is finished and the client likes it - yeah!


Wish I could take credit for having the idea but that came from my client - a lovely person to work with and very good with her communications - which is always important when trying to match someones vision to what is created.

It's great too that I got challenged to make something new.  The cuffs have always been popular at local fairs but never quite took off online and I was hesitant about making more.  Even though I have so many fabrics, embellishments etc begging to be recycled upcycled into something new.

So what do you think? Would this be something you would consider buying? 









Not the best quality photos I'm afraid as it was very overcast here today and think I need to re-tweak my camera settings.

Health to wear Leisha!

Monday, 14 February 2011

How Do You Fail Me? Let Me Count The Ways

How Do You Fail Me? Let Me Count The Ways

You fail me with your nihilistic promise of a handmade site, yet, when resellers come calling you welcome them and ignore my plight.

You fail me and my vintage treasures, from bygone times when quality ruled.

You fail me when modern impostors have you so easily fooled.

You fail me when lack of integrity blinds your sight.

You fail me when you dismiss alchemy, the epitome of custom creativity, you fail me again with erratic search functionality.

You fail me when you decimate the community, you fail me when like a wilful child I am silenced with impunity! - and if you have your way

You will fail me more with each passing day.

Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning for abusing her beautiful penmanship as the basis for my foil of discontent.



Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Etsy Rant

I have been biting my tongue for so long but now I can no longer hold my tongue.

Etsy a site that promoted itself as being handmade, vintage and supplies items has totally sold out.  No big deal and no big surprise for some of the more knowledgable readers who will be saying they are after all a business (aka corporation) BUT it is a travesty for the people who signed up to sell their homemade (I prefer homecrafted btw as a label) and vintage and supples who were the people who advertised and brought customers to the site cos Etsy didn't advertise.

As one of the handcrafting people who advertised Etsy I feel ashamed I promoted the site.  Sure there are many genuine artisans on the site still  - but in their midst, and invisible to Etsy admin it seems, are the resellers.

Now let me state straight off that I have no problem with resellers per se.  What I have a problem with is when they infliltrate a handcrafted site and claim their work is handcrafted and the site admin lets them away with that.  

What's the problem you ask?  Well it's pretty simple. I for an example take my fabrics out and start mixing and matching and sewing them together for a cuff.  Sometimes I like the effect first go but a lot of the time I feel it needs re-worked and will unstitch and re-sew.  When I'm happy with the basic backdrop then I'll go get my stash of vintage buttons and beads and jewelry out and play around with what looks good. 

When the cuff is finished then I photograph it (edit it usually too cos we don't  have good natural light here a lot of the year round) and then list it. 

Now I realise much of what I've written makes homemade/homecrafted sound cumbersome and involved.  Well you know what? It is! 

I don't have any helpers to design or sew, or take photo's or list.  Thats what people are paying for - the one to one touch, the ultimate designer item. Don't get me wrong here ... I love what I do but I am trying to stress that it is what I singular do- just like so many other genuine Etsy sellers do.

But when we are on a site that promotes handmade yet blatantly promotes resellers, through it's various PR tools, then there is a problem for me the wee seller as now my truly handcrafted items are on the same page as the mass produced and that affects my credibility by association as well as the fact that I can't compete price wise to a mass produced item. 

I saw this problem with Etsy a couple of years back  ... but recent developments seem to confirm that they have truly disregarded the artisans who made the site what it is today.

And therein lies Etsys downfall - you screw the people who made you then they will go find another site to promote.  


Etsy will no doubt go on and will enjoy financial success in the short to mid term .... but their credibility is being dragged in the gutter. 

Roosters always come home to roost and if (when?) the behemoth of handcrafted falls it will only have itself to blame.













Thursday, 3 February 2011

Happy Imbolc!

Spring is offically here - well in the Celtic calender anyway it is.  Though you wouldn't think it if you were here with the lashing rain and wind howling all day :)

February1st is Imbolc  - a day dedicated to the Goddess Brigid who would later become known as Saint Brigid following the introduction of Christianity to Ireland (and the 2nd most loved saint after St Patrick).
In a nutshell today we celebrate the coming of Spring and new life. It's a time of fresh starts and where the tradition of spring cleaning stems from.

I found this wonderful depiction of Brigid from mega talented artist EmilyBalivet who kindly gave me permission to use it today. Thanks Emily!


 

May the seeds of your dreams and hopes for the rest of the year that you plant today bring forth a cornucopia!

Slan!



Friday, 28 January 2011

Change is in the Air

Spring is on it's way and the days are getting longer and my energy levels are climbing which is all good! Plus we had an unusually bright winter here this year aka not so much rain or overcast skies.

There have been lots of things happen since I last posted  and not always the best of things - but it's a new year and new challenges and I'm gearing up to meet them head on!

Today I have spent an age trying to figure more of my way around Artfire and my new shop there.  Well it's not exactly new - opened it in '08 - but had never done anything with it.  But as Etsy continues to roll out changes I decided it was time to merge items from different shops and set them out in my Artfire Studio

I will be keeping a presence on Etsy but that will be for vintage only and my other newish shop irishbounty. So far it has been going ok - slow but steady.

Anyway that brings me to this long neglected blog and I haven't managed to figure out yet if I can change the url to match the blog name.  So any techie minded peeps who happen across this in the wilderness of the www and know the answer please feel free to write me.  Just bear in mind that when it comes to tech speak I am illiterate - truly madly deeply! 

I never make new year resolutions - am terrible at being confined to keep promises - even self enforced ones.  But I am going to try and maintain this blog better - maybe once a week posts cos I think everyday will be a struggle to think of something semi witty to write about.  But you never know!  Maybe the wit angels will visit and sprinkle some sparkling wit on me and then I might never shut up!

So if you have time to take a peek at the new shops and see what you think that would be great.  << I'm also working on my aversion to self promotion but promise not to become an in your face look at me person :) Feel free to give me a sharp smack on the head and tell me to catch myself on if I do! (The Irish peeps will know that expression but for those that don't it's like wise up or get a grip)


Well that's all for today other than to let you know the Card Makers Guild I joined on Artfire are having a huge giveaway that I thought you might be interested in. Good luck if you take part!


Slan for now!
Maura

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Earth Week Countdown Day 3


Happy Sunday! 
 

Nippy here today and wondering when I will be able to turn off the central heating. There is a lot to be said for living someplace with warmer weather and having lower fuel bills is one of them!  Maybe I will hit lucky on the lottery and make my dream of a living in an off the grid house with its own well and enough land for chickens, 2 goats, vegetable plots and an orchid a reality.

But enough of the day dreams – let’s get grounded with some real and earth friendly products – that won't break the bank.

Today I’m going to show off some re-repurposed everyday items that have been re-modelled into something new.  First is this functional card holder made out of re-cycled neckties:

At only $12 it was already a bargain but because Sandra is also taking part in the Trashion team Earth Day sale you’ll get a 20% discount refund this week.  As we say here you can’t beat it with a big stick!
So now that you’ve saved yourself a few extra dollars you can treat yourself, or a friend, to a gorgeous melted media pin like this from the lovely Rhonda aka oddartist: 

I love the pearlescent tones and delicate aqua color of this series of pins – all made from re-cycled cd’s.  And as a bonus Rhonda is also offering a 20% discount through this month!  
Final offering of the day is this funky recycled ring from Tammy over at junck.  

Tammy makes a variety of earth friendly jewelry using recycled gift cards and credit cards – and I love that each piece of the ring moves independently.  Gives a whole new dimension to those of us that like to play with their jewelry :) and at only $4.50 special sale price how can you resist?!

Well that’s all for today - I reckon you're all keen to spend more time checking out the other fab offerings from these sellers – so I’ll not keep you back any longer. And remember if you want to find more Trashion team items and fab bargains for this weeks sale check out all the participants at : http://www.etsy.com/shop/etsytrashion

Have fun and see you tomorrow with more earth friendly finds!

Stay safe and well!


Saturday, 17 April 2010

Earth Week Countdown


It's a beautiful morning here - the sun is shining and looks like being another great weather day.
I'm heading off to a new craft fair in West Belfast - and have a wee bit of everything packed.  I like craft fairs and getting to meet other local artisans - keeps me from becoming too hermit like ;)

But on with the business of the day ... otherwise I'll be doing a great White Rabbit impersonation later and in a mad rush to make it to the Crafternoon event.

Going to kick off with this gorgeous Wild Irish Rose Clutch Purse from my good friend Rena aka lilycobweb.   Love the name lilycobweb it’s magical sounding and really suits her delicate and perfectly formed crochet creations.

Rena has very kindly offered up this lil beauty for a Giveaway that will be hosted here next week - well if it hasn't sold already by the time we get to Earth Day that is! But don't fear ... if it sells she will offer up another equally delightful purse (hint: if you want it - grab it while you can!)

That White Rabbit comment has me thinking of Alice in Wonderland now (and nope haven't seen the movie yet - but it's on the treat list!).  Anyway this is probably the best time to unveil the delightfully whimsical and out of this world bespoke Mad Hatter Tufted Chair.


I know!  You're all gobsmacked now aren't ya?  I can so see myself sitting this chair and dangling my legs (cos I am a short arse aka vertically challenged).  I love it!  And it was created by the lovely Jeanne at vintagerenewal who breathes life back into vintage or antique furniture transforming the old into a new and one of a kind piece of functional art for your home.

I’m on a whimsy and Alice theme ... and we’ve had something for the ladies, something for the home, so now something for the weans.  So prepare for some more drooling – go get a hankie now – I can wait ...



Ready?  Ok well this had me all Oooh and Aaah because this Oh, Alice Altered Couture Alice in Wonderland Organic Ruffled Girls Shirt, Pants and Hat Set from the delightful and talented Anna aka Amelie Jo is just beyond adorable!


Well there you have it folks!  More earth friendly and awesome finds tomorrow. Have a great day and stay safe and well!

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog may induce copious drooling that the authoress cannot be held accountable for.
 





Friday, 16 April 2010

Earth Week!

Next Thursday -  the 22nd April - is Earth Day.  To help celebrate the event and get us all looking through a "green" lens I'll be featuring earth friendly products here on the blog every day through to the 22nd.

As well as that I'm taking part in the Trashion Team Earth Week Sale. If aren't familar with the Trashion Team on Etsy they are a group of artists that create art, jewelry, fashion and objects for the home from materials that were leftover, discarded, or found.  Eco artist meets neat earth friendly concept meets imagination, flair and talent = wonderful creations that make the mind boggle at the thought of how they could have ended up in a landfill!

So to start us off I'm going to be a tease and tickle your fancy by showing you just a couple of items from two of the Trashion Team members.  More will follow over the course of the week - so stay tuned!

First up I want to introduce the sublime and poignant Emmaa Spirit from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire






Not only is Emmaa's creator Leslie a gifted artist but she also has a real flair for poetry that certainly hits the spot!  I cried when I read Emmaa's story and for a doll to evoke such emotion in me is rare.  But then Emmaa is unique. I'm loathe to say anything more about her simply because I can't possibly do her justice - and the only way to really appreciate this work of art is to go see her yourselves at Leslies shop the Creative Block (and I suggest you have a kleenex at hand!).  Leslie is offering free shipping with any other item on anything with the Trashion Sale avatar in the listing photo's.  Plus she has an ongoing Treasure Hunt in her Findings shop free to the first person who reads the description and finds the notice!

Wow! After Emmaa I think we need to lighten the mood and so it is my pleasure to introduce yet another doll ... but of a slightly different variety! ;)

Sure to add some glamor and be a great talking point at any dinner party I'd like you to meet this sassy lady who adorns a Blue Slumped Wine Bottle Cheese Plate:  





Just one of many lovely fused glass creations she comes to you courtesy of another artist whose work I have admired for a long time, the lovely Beth from bprdesigns. AND you can get 10% of your very own slumped glass plate this week during the Trashion Sale. Now aren't you glad you stopped by :)

Stay safe and well my friends and see you tomorrow for a bigger selection of earth friendly creations and wonderful artists.


Friday, 12 March 2010

My very own designer skin cream!


I am so excited!  A wonderful herbal mistress, and dedicated social activist, from the Etsy Organic Team has been toiling away this past while making me up what promises to be a wonderfully lush therapeutic skin cream. And today MisticalAcScents contacted me to let me know it's ready!  



This is sheer luxury in a jar!  Gourmet face food worthy of a 3-star Michelin ranking (if Michelin ranked body care products that is).  Check out these organic essential oils in it: frankincense, lavender, rose, with hints of ginger, rosemary, lemon and orange. I bet you're drooling.

I'm delighted! And tickled pink that the cream is named after me - imagine little ole me having such a great product bearing my name.  So yeah there are lots of Maura's out there but you know what I mean. And the great thing is that MisticalAcScents is open to creating custom orders ... so if you're lucky you could even get your own personalized product.

Why not go visit MisticalAcScents and check out her wonderful shop, which is choc full of other great organic treats, for yourself.  You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Look what I just received!

The postie brought a lovely surprise this morning!  These gorgeous earrings from Sarahdequadros that I won in Rubyclovers December blog giveaway.  Aren't they beautiful!


Thanks Ruby for hosting the Giveaway ... and thanks Sarah for offering such a great prize!  I'm delighted :) 

PS: Sarah also has an Etsy shop.



Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Feeling nosy ...

wanna learn a wee bit about what makes me tick?  Well the lovely Mary from herbanlifestyle interviewed me for her blog.  Click blog to take you there in the blink of an eye ... or if you like to take the scenic route then go to :http://herbanlifestyle.wordpress.com

Thanks Mary!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

On the 12th Day of Christmas ...



Ok going to round up this years offerings for all you organic loving and savvy shoppers out there and highlight a sample of the wonderful, and healthy, bath and beauty products available from the Etsy Organic Team.  I reckon after all your rushing around you could all do with some R&R!
 
First up we have Marla of Simple Organic Beauty who makes Organic and fair trade products 'that are your skin's best friend'.


Next we have Holly of Garden Of Holly who makes delectable skin soothers made from Organic oils and herbal infusions that make your skin drool for more!




Gabrielle of Herbfriend has this wonderful Vegan and Organic Whipped Shea Butter a great body moisturerizer:



Jo of Green Springs brings us this enchanting Spicy Love Botanical Perfume perfect for warming up the holidays.




Mary of Herban Lifestyle offers up this delicious Organic Mint Chocolate Chip Lip Balm that you may want to nibble on all season.



Casey and Olga of Mirasol Farm have prepared this lovely Organic Lavender Soap in ceramic reusable bottle that is kind on hands body and face.



And last but not least Amanda of Simply By Amanda has a beautiful array of Organic Soaps that are a great way to start your day. 

So that's it for this year folks!  I had fun checking out all the great shops and promoting team members.  Thanks for all the support and comments.  Wishing you all a lovely peaceful holiday season and I'll see you in 2010!
Stay safe and well :)




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