Tuesday, 29 June 2010

A Crafty (and Thrifty) Welsh Wedding

After 5 years together, I finally got married to my long suffering partner (and now long suffering husband) Stew in May 2010. We booked it a year ago, and I'd been collecting pieces for the big day all year since - I really wanted to have a hand made feel to the items on the big day... but we were on a very tight budget after I lost my job in June 2009 - BAD timing...

I bought my stunning dress for £40 all in off eBay - bargain yes... but it took me 10 months of evenings and weekends to finally get it in a state where I could walk down the aisle with pride - it was a MESS. The hem had been lopped off by what looked like a blindfolded man with garden shears, the whole top of the dress needed re-sculpting, the Princess Di in the 80's sleeves had to go.... It was a real labour of love. The shoes were priced at £104, I got them for £15 on eBay unworn with the receipt in the box - they were gorgeous!

The Petticoat was hand made by Violavintage - an Etsy seller who also lived in the UK. It was just right - not massively puffy, and with a satin top half it was really comfy to wear throughout the day too - nice and lightweight.

I really wanted a vintage hat to match the dress, but couldn't find one that was just right. So I turned to Alchemy and hoped a fellow Etsy seller could help me out. And along came
Mytreehousestudio, and a few months and approx £50 later came a stunning creation, using fabric left over from my dress to create flowers on the side, and french netting to wear over the face at the ceremony. Paired with the stunning up-do from my local hairdresser Gemma, it looked just right!

Accessories did not take too long to find - I had some stunning jewellery commissioned by the supremely talented Shacara consisting of a pearl and ceramic flower asymmetric necklace and matching bracelet (Shacara is currently closed whilst she undergoes chemo so best wishes), and got a total bargain with a stunning bracelet handled beaded bag by whatthefunk - both looked great with the vintage theme of the wedding. I have to have a watch on....but my duckie themed swatch watch, though epically cool, wasn't going to cut it, so a visit to Jewelrybyroseanna for a very reasonably and beautiful beaded watch! One of myhand knitted shrugs kept me warm in the wind on the day - something I was very glad of!

Not to leave out my bridesmaids, I got their dresses 9 months to go knocked down in a catalogue sale for the supremely cheap price of £20 each - bargain of the whole event! With shoes and bags from New Look for £14 and £5 respectively, I was doing pretty well. I knitted their shrugs from some lovely deep purple yarn I had, and I commissioned some stunning jewellery from Baubleworks comprising of a matching drop necklace and earrings set, and some stunning beaded flowers from Beadsinbloom on Etsy - perfect for placing in their up-do's.

Stew has bad hay fever, and has never reacted well to being around flowers; it usually involves puffy swollen eyes and a runny nose, so I had to think outside the box for bouquets and decorations. MissJenniferRae came to my rescue for the boutonnieres and bouquets, doing me a fantastic early bird deal (I ordered months and months in advance) for a stunning set of felt and button items, including loose flowers which I turned into pins for the mums. They are beautifully made, and were the talk of the reception!

Stew's first present he ever got me was a very large and round stuffed giraffe called Eion (said Ian - it's Welsh...) - he is the 3rd member of our little family and knew we had to find a way of getting him in to our special day!

After thinking about it long and hard and not really coming up with an answer, I stumbled across Fliepsiebieps and her stunning range of polymer clay toppers - they are so cute! After a bit of discussion, and a lot of prototypes and pictures passed between us, I got the most stunning little giraffes to sit on top of my big fruit cake made by our friend Lynn (It's a stunning cake too!) that I can keep forever - they now sit on top of my TV :-)

I then turned my attention to table decorations and favours - there was a lot to think about. I got a fantastic deal from ParDay for some stunning favour boxes in the themed colours of pinks and purples - I then filled them with sweets and little charms from the lovely Steph on keyrings in the shape of cakes - so pretty! To decorate the signing table, I went to Folksy (UK craft site similar to Etsy) and commissioned Nichola of Beads in Bloom to make some stunning beaded stems which I displayed in bud vases, and a gorgeous beaded cake topper to adorn my gluten free sponge cake - so pretty!
I had loads of comments all day about my quirky and beautiful items - I was so pleased to be able to have a crafty wedding, and I hope I can shop you CAN do it without breaking the bank!

*** UPDATE - you have until THIS Satuday (3rd July) at 3pm GMT (actually BST as it's summer!) to enter my SUPER knitted blog giveaway! - See the Blog Post ***

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Celebrate - It's giveaway time!

It's giveaway time...at last!

I am celebrating:

1. Over 50 blog followers in 1 week of me launching the site – score!
2. It’s my 25th birthday coming up on the 8th July
3. It is gorgeous and sunny here in Cardiff
- summer is here!
4. I need cheering up after a rubbish time recently...

I’m quite stupendously excited about it all!!

It's not complicated - no research needed, no guessing games – it’s easy peasy!

You get automatic entry into the competition if you:

a. Leave me a comment under this blog entry saying what you would buy from my Etsy shop if you had a blank cheque…
b. You get another entry if you have left a message and follow my blog.
c. You get another entry for following me on Facebook
d. You will get another entry if you follow me on Twitter
e. Lastly if you tweet or post on your own blog a link back to this blog competition you get another entry.

So maximum of 5 chances to win… - how cool is that!?

There's a choice of prize for the lucky winner!


A gorgeous slouch beanie hat in NEW berry colours from my new knitted collection - worth $18!


A stunning pair of 100% wool cabled glovettes (fingerless gloves) in navy blue - worth a cool $12!

Please make sure when you leave your comment on this blog post that you say which prize you would choose, and also where I can contact you (email address, Etsy username, twitter handle, facebook fan page etc)

Winner will be picked at random on Saturday 3rd July at 3pm GMT!

Pob Lwc!

(Good Luck!)


Thursday, 24 June 2010

New Treasury - Cream Creations!

I have been a member of the Etsy Knitters team for about 6 months now - and it is a really great team to be involved with to meeet other knitters from around the world, read about what everyone else is up to and get patterns and ideas from around the world - all pretty tidy me thinks!

So in homage to this, I've created a Cream Creations Treasury using it's members stunning creations centred around creams and whites. I hope you think it is as pretty as I do - it took me ages as there were so many lovely creations to choose from!

***Remember guys - only 2 days to go until the super knitted blog giveaway!!***

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Thank you Sarah @ Magnolia Suprise - you are my 50th blog follower, which can only mean 1 thing - I can launch my SUPER knitted blog giveaway!

I can reveal that I will be launching the giveaway on Saturday 26th June (this Sat!) and will be for a custom one off piece of knitwear I'm currently finishing off - a real quality piece from my new collection!

So countdown from now ....3 days to go!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Spelling, Wenglish, English and everything in between...

It's an odd one. And I accidentally started a bit of a debate in the Etsy forums on the subject - Spelling...

For me it's not an issue of a genuine spelling mistake - if you look in my store and you see a glaring error, I need to know about it. Grammar mistake... well if it really offensive to you then go for it - let me know.

But since setting up shop on Etsy which is US based, I've had a lot of people telling me I've spelled certain words wrong... when they aren't. Well.... Not to me anyway - I just use British spelling (and throw a bit of wenglish in every now and again!)

I think I got a bit frustrated with it when I put it up in the forum and it came out a bit negative to some people - it wasn't meant that way, I can't be nasty, it's just not in me :)

I am quite dyslexic and am a bit paranoid about it showing through at the best of times (I try to spell check everything first but things invariably slip through the net) - so I'm perhaps a bit oversensitive. If it had been maybe 2/3 people saying it then I'd probably be OK, but it's many more than that.

Colour, Grey, favourite, centre.... to name a few. I try and use the US spellings in my shop tags as to ensure you Yanks make it to my store... but I LIKE spelling things the way I was taught, I don't want to change it!

So be aware people - there are genuine spelling differences across the English language - they are differences not mistakes!

Let me know what you think!

Lol - and I've had a few requests for a bit of wenglish :)
If something is good - we say it's tidy,
If something is icky or gross - we say ach-a-fi! (said uck-a-vi...sort of!)
If something is very___, you'd say - that's proper good!

And check out Talk Tidy for a full Wenglish dictionary!

Debs :)

Free knitting pattern - cosy ribbed wrist warmers

My wrists get really sore when knitting - especially when I've been doing a lot of it like I have been recently, so I've come up with a dead easy pattern for making toasty warm wrist warmers:

Both methods use 5mm or US size 8 needles, and standard DK yarn or even Aran:

30-32 stitches makes a comfy pair of wrist warmers for me, but you can increase or decrease as needed.

'In the Round' instructions:
CO approx 30 stitches and spit over 3 double pointed needles (dpns) or work on 2 circular needles
Work in 2 x 2 rib
(k2, p2) for approx 3" or length desired,
Cast off and weave in ends!

Flat instructions on 2 needles:
CO approx 32 stitches onto one needle,
Work in 2 x 2 rib (k2,p2)
for approx 3" or desired length,
Cast off, and stitch up sides to form a tube with a large eye needle, weaving in ends...

Stunningly simple!
I've just knitted these from some Aran yarn I had spare - very cosy, and took me approx. 30mins or so to knock these out - and a great project for those starting off in knitting but are a bit sick of knitting scarves - not to mention using up leftover yarn!

You can experiment and make them longer for full arm warming, and accessorize with ribbons, buttons, crochet flowers - whatever you can do!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Now on Twitter!

Stew (my lovely husband) has just set me up a Twitter account for my shop / blog - my handle is debs_102 - so please follow me for updates!


I'm also looking for recommendations from YOU for other people to follow on Twitter - so leave me a comment with your suggestions, and of course your own handles!

***UPDATE - 15 more followers to go before the big blog giveaway is launched! ***

The wonderous new world of Etsy stats!

I've been selling on Etsy since November 09, and to begin with really just threw the shop up in time to catch some good Christmas sales, then have been tinkering with it ever since trying to improve it and make it look professional and sleek... still working on it!

As I was chatting in the forums yesterday I was introduced (a bit late in the day it seems) to the world of Etsy statistics and how to track views, treasuries, features and hearts in store - it was a real eye opener!

I'd heard of Google Ananlytics, but it looked complicated to set up, and I didn't really understand what I was doing. Then I got directed to this really helpful Etsy Guide that had been there all along showing me how to set up Etsy web analytics properly - and to my dismay and delight it was very very easy! (Felt a bit silly for not doing it sooner!!)

Once this was all set up and after a wait of 24 hours for it to kick in, I tried out Craftopolis - logged in with my Etsy username and more data than I could handle flew at me - who has hearted me when, how many hearts were on each item, which page my item appeared on when searched, what treasuries I'd been in recently - it's a data junkie's dream!

Now I realise that most of you are very clued up in this already, which is why I write this with awe as well as a bit of sheepish embarrassment - HOW didn't I find this out sooner?! Was I blind to the info out there for me, or was I looking in the wrong places? Or is it that lucky people happen to stumble across a knowledgeable person in the forums at some point like I did and it then all becomes clearer...?

I'm not sure - but I would say that if you haven't got this set up in your store - do it! It is much quicker and simpler than it appears, and now when I get put into a treasury I won't miss it if the creator doesn't send me a message to tell me I've been included. I feel like a proper seller at last!

**** UPDATE - I'm going to launch a SUPER knitted blog giveaway when I reach 50 followers so if you are not already doing so get following! More details to follow....****

Thursday, 17 June 2010

New Treasury - Coral Creations!

I haven't made a treasury in AGES - and was pleasantly suprised with the new treasury format - no waiting for hours for a slot to appear; just put it together, and there it is! I chose to theme the treasury around CORAL - that gorgeous colour which is everywhere in the shops here in the UK this summer. Hope you enjoy it!

See my treasury here - CORAL CREATIONS!

First Blog Post - Fun with Photos...


Something I have been waiting for a free moment to set up and get on with - writing a little blog showing all you lovely people what I have been knitting and crafting, as well as other cool things that happen to take my fancy as things progress!

Last weekend I ventured out into the sun with my new husband Stew (he's great!) with a bag full of new summer stock to take some pictures. I must admit, I'm no model, we have a standard cheap and cheerful digital camera and Stew bless him is no design guru himself, so I was really interested in how these would turn out...

...and they haven't turned out too badly at all! I was amazed at what a sunny Welsh summer's day, a nice local park and a patient husband could produce - I really wanted to show the seed stitch detail in the main body of the hat, and ways that you can wear it. We were only out for about 30 minutes but managed to take about 150 photos of lots of different items including this new hat and glove set I have been working on:

This is a great colour - looks really vibrant on all skin types - even on my super white skin!! I was most suprised looking at the difference between these photos taken outside in the sunshine and on a person, compared to the ones I took in the winter in the darkness of our terraced house on the model - it shows firstly that it doesn't cost a lot to improve the images, that lighting makes a LOT of difference, and I now have a big task ahead of me getting ALL the rest of my pictures sorted!