Wednesday, 18 May 2011



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!


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!