Making and Posting!

I am feeling much better this week, thank you to everyone for the get well wishes!

This week I have been making and sorting my items for a craft fair yesterday.  The fair was another dismal one with hardly any footfall. People around me sold nothing – some left early, obviously fed up.  I only  sold 3 things 🙁  but I received an email  custom request from Folksy so that cheered me up!

Something I wanted to ask all the lovely crafters at Handmade Harbour is whether or not you all know about the postal increases from Tuesday?   Not only are prices increasing – but categories have been altered – for the worst as far as posting by handmade sellers are concerned. The Post Office lady explained it to me when I went to post one of my Faery Gardens which sold on Folksy this week.

Glass jar with ivy and yellow flowers hanging down with a little dainty faery sitting on green glassbase

Faery Garden

I boxed up this bottle garden and wrote “FRAGILE”  and “KEEP THIS WAY UP” all over the box.  It cost £2.70 first class which was fine. – BUT – then the Post offfice lady explained that  ‘Fragile’  items don’t get any special treatment and will be tipped out of the sack along with everything else. (duh?)   The most you can hope for is that they won’t kick it about !!!!  I haven’t heard from my buyer yet as to whether she received it undamaged.  I have posted one before which arrived safely so I am really hoping this will too!

However,  she then dropped the bombshell that along with the increase in postal charges the categorization is changing,  so that a small box similar to mine would no longer be classsed as a packet, but would from now on be a small parcel with the associated charge of £5.30 at PRE rate changes!  Who knows what it will be from tomorrow?

So now what do I do about my Faery Gardens?  I sell them for £5 – no-one is going to pay more postage than the item costs to buy – effectively doubling the cost. Although there is no increase for ordinary first and second class post, Royal Mail are reducing the size allowed  for ‘letters’ and ‘large letters’ so that fewer items will fit into these categories.

If you want to check out what it will mean for your business http://www.royalmail.com/prices-2013 will tell you!

I think these changes will have implications for sellers of handmade items which are at the lower end of the price range.  Someone buying something  as big as a Faery Bottle Garden but costing say £40 won’t be as bothered at a £5 p&p as someone buying something under £10. Has anyone any thoughts about what they will do?  Over to Handmade Monday!!

Reading Not Crafting!

Amazingly after being sick for a week I had one day of action and  then went down with a cold !  It could be because my recently returned traveller son has been ill upstairs for the last few days and guess who has been waiting on him? Hmmmm!

Anyway I haven’t been able to do any creating or making for days now but have used the time ill to read  a couple of marketing books.  First I read Commercial Creatives by Mike Carthew and  Anna Ward which I bought for my Kindle after reading about it in Wendy’s Handmade Harbour giveaway.  I enjoyed the book and it has quite a lot of good advice, some of which a lot of us already know, but it sometimes takes reading it in print to bring the points home! This book is good if you want to grow your business to be more than just a hobby and, I felt, was more targeted at people who were already having a degree of success.

I have already put into place some of the advice from the book in regards to marketing and next I will be redesigning my online shops to make things more streamlined and improving my product pictures!

Another book I would recommend if you have an Etsy shop is “How to create an income from home with a successful and profitable etsy shop’, by Rebecca Garlardo.  This is very good for new, and experienced Etsy sellers who aren’t getting enough sales. It has some valuable advice about not accepting sales commissions without doing all the maths first to see if it is a) possible in the time given, and b) profitable.

Both these books are fairly cheap on a Kindle which is a bonus but you may find that some of the text in tables, or links is very faint. I think these must be coloured text and my Kindle is only black and white.

So that was my creative week! What’s been going on everywhere else I wonder? Time to pop over to Handmade Monday and see what all the other crafty folk have been up to!

Sewing, Sun and a Cup of Tea!

Been a busy week this week making things for up and coming craft fairs throughout the year.  I’ve also taken some more pictures for my portfolio book which once finished will be photographed and uploaded in this blog.   Been really beautiful sunny week too and I have interspersed my sewing with tea breaks and, I had my first cup of tea of the year in the garden again 🙂  I am sure February is the earliest I have ever managed it!  Although I did have my down coat and furry boots on!

snow boot in grey with red upper and black furry inside

snow boots!

These boots are wonderful – good grip in wet/snowy weather and warm to wear! As I have a dodgy knee and need a knee replacement I can’t risk slipping anywhere as then I will be disabled again for a few days and unable to do anything much, let alone sewing!

 

 

 

Here are some ipad and netbook covers I will be putting on folksy this weekend! I only make things in fabrics which I like to look at and feel! I  am currently in a retro/shabby chic phase, having  developed a liking for Cath Kidson prints and flowery fabrics in general.  The exception to this is the cow fabric for my new moo range – more items to come in this!

Netbook cover in black and white patch fabric

Netbook cover in my new moo fabric!

 ipad sleeve using Cath Kidson and Laura Ashley fabric so pink blue and white

ipad sleeve

Pink and White ipad cover in cath Kidson and Laura Ashley fabrics

ipad sleeve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

patchwork mobile fone covers in mixed colours - mainky pink and red.  1 green one and 1 purple one in Kaffe Fassett fabric

‘Phone covers using some Tana Lawn and Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of my new mobile ‘phone covers mainly in Tana Lawn fabric which I really like as it’s so soft and the colours are all visually appealing to me.

Actually the Kaffe Fasset fabric has been made into a Kindle cover!

orange fabric kindle cover with green triim and orange button

Kindle cover

 

 

This is a Kindle cover which has a retro look – it reminds me of my teenage years in the 70s!!

 

 

 

 

 

And now  it’s time for Dancing on Ice and a look at what other interesting things fellow crafters have been doing over at Wendy’s Handmade Harbour!