What I’ve Made Lately

So back at the start of the year (can you believe that was almost 3 months ago now?!) I announced my plan to have a Creative-18. Well, the concept has been a little fluid since then, and while I may not have done something every day as I had planned, the last few months have been wonderful and I’ve never felt so confident with my creative abilities, while also throwing myself totally out of my comfort zone.

My Etsy has somewhat taken over my life in the last two months, and I’m certainly not complaining. January was my best month for sales ever, and I made over triple of what I set as my goal, but it wasn’t until February that things started to get interesting for me.

I was contacted by the wonderful Natasha from EarsEverAfter, who commissioned a custom order unlike anything I’ve ever made before, but what came out of it was something that I am so incredibly proud of, and has sparked further orders for similar items. That’s right, I’ve been making a bunch of little co-ord sets..

Upon finishing Natasha’s set, I instantly decided that I was going to need one to wear to Aulani next month, but rather than a Disney print I found this gorgeous lightweight cherry blossom fabric in my local fabric store and without wanting to blow my own horn too much, I just threw this together one evening! In fact, I wore the top to work with a pair of jeans yesterday I love it that much.

I’ve also had another Disney set commissioned, this time an adorable Winnie the Pooh print! I’m having so much fun being totally out of my comfort zone, and I have a load more custom work in the pipeline so stay tuned for those designs when I finish them!

Another out-of-the-comfort-zone creation was this adorable little girls dress which I made last weekend. I haven’t made kids stuff since my cousins were quite a bit smaller than they are now, so maybe 3-4 years ago, so it was quite strange working on a much smaller scale to what I’m used to, and also going back to using a pattern – for my own designs I make my own patterns or work off the cuff, so a proper pattern is a rare thing for me. HOW CUTE THOUGH? The fabric was chosen by the customer and I decided to do the sash in a single colour as a contrast and I just love it so much! I’ll be making this style of dress available to buy on my Etsy store this weekend if anyone’s interested!

Now right back into my comfort zone – skirts.

This is a custom order and how stunning is the fabric that they chose?!

I fell in love with this holographic silver fabric that I found in my local store and within an hour of getting home it was already a skirt – although I’ve yet to have an excuse to wear it! This is available for custom order on my Etsy too.

And finally, a little different from my usual skater style skirts, I’ve fallen for chiffon a little bit because its so lovely and flowy! This skirt is also available on my Etsy now in both mini and midi length.

It may be taking a lot of my time, and I’m probably annoying all my social media followers with constant photos but being creative makes me so damn happy and I can’t wait to see what else I’ve got in me and what else I can do.

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Time Is Money

Its an age-old saying. Sure, its got some pretty cliche connotations now, but cheese aside its 100% true. I mean, would you sit 9-5 in an office if you weren’t getting paid for it? You probably wouldn’t, right?

Well, its the same for small businesses. You see, creatives don’t like working all day and not getting paid for it – the only difference is, we’re doing something that’s maybe a little less traditional. Graphic designers, hand-makers of all different and wonderful things, cake decorators, bloggers – you name it, there are people trying to make money from all kinds of ventures, but the one thing they have in common is that time goes into everything. Hell, I’d love to know of a way of making money that doesn’t take a second of my time.

I LOVE my Etsy store. I love designing and making things and I love the fact that there are people out there that are actually prepared to buy the things I make. I say ‘prepared to buy’ for a very particular reason. You see, day in, day out, I get messages from people asking me about custom designs, or they’ve seen me wearing something on Instagram and want to know how much it would cost to order it from me, and you’d think that I would love getting these messages, right? Sure, I get a little buzz from someone loving my stuff, but I just know that that is the last message I’ll receive from them, because as soon as I let them know the price, they’re gone.

You know, 9 times out of 10, I actually respond to these messages with a price that is lower than I should charge, just on the off-chance that they might go for it. Spoiler alert, they rarely do, even though I’ve already dropped the price. Why do I do it? Well because while its not the best business sense, I hate asking people for money. Worse than that, business sense-wise, it leads me to under-value my time – I mean, there is a skirt for sale on my Etsy store right now where the fabric itself actually costs me more than the price I have the skirt for sale at! I make a loss on that straight away, and then I spend 1-2 hours making said skirt from said fabric.

I blame what I refer to as ‘Primark prices’, even though its the high street in general. You can buy a dress in New Look for £10, so when you see a skirt on Etsy for £30 you feel like its priced a little steep, right? Well ignoring whatever the fabric costs the maker, when you combine the amount of time it takes to design the skirt, cut the fabric, sew it all together, hem it, fit a zip/button/elastic/whatever, you’re maybe looking at a couple of hours of work. So lets put some random numbers to that – say supplies cost £10 and designing and making took 2 hours – and you don’t want to pay more than £20 for it cos ‘that’s what you’d pay on the high street’, well that’s your non-direct way of saying that you think its ok for that maker to get paid circa £5/hour. That sound like a decent wage to you?

You see, I don’t think it does, yet I’ve been under-pricing my creations so as not to seem too steep. Well, I’m done with that. If people don’t want to value my time, then that’s fine, but I’m going to. My time is worth money, and so is everyone else’s.

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Adventures with Pooh

So I’ve been struggling a little bit putting together outfits for my upcoming Disneyland trip (TWO WEEKS TODAY I LEAVE OMG), mainly due to the fact that I told myself I wouldn’t buy anything new to wear on this trip. I didn’t, however, say I couldn’t make myself anything..

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that I’ve been sewing cute Disney pockets to sell on my Etsy store, and my most recent design is this cute honeycomb Pooh print, which made me think that its been ages since I wore my Black Milk shorties in the parks, and voila!

The pocket is available in an iron-on format, kinda like an embroidered patch, so you can attach it to any top you fancy, or pre-attached to a t-shirt or tank top, and due to the California sun I think it’ll be a tank top for me! I might even have to make myself a new pair of ears to match..

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Friday Favourite Five – Mickey Ear Makers!

For me, nothing pulls together a Disney trip outfit more than the perfect pair of Mickey ears, and I’m a real sucker for a beautiful pair of handmade ones!

Today, I’m going to share five of my favourite creative beauties who make beautiful ears, some of which I already own and some of which I’m desperate for!

1. Le Ears

I first posted about Le Ears way back last year, and from that post blossomed a friendship with the lovely Nancy, who not only sent me a pair of her ears as a thank you for the feature, but also has been so kind to me and I was lucky enough to meet her back in January! She makes the most amazing range of custom ears!

2. Elephant and Mouse

Another ear pixie I’ve been so lucky to meet is Maggie! I bought a pair of her first ever ears, and have been obsessed ever since; she always has the cutest fabrics! We stayed in the same resort on my January WDW trip and I can honestly say she is just as lovely as her ears!

3. Queen Ursula UK

The most beautiful sparkly and sought after ears in all the realm! I’ve been waiting until I had a perfect design to make an order, and custom slots sell out quickly, but I’m poised and ready for the next shop opening and hoping I can snag a spot!

4. World of Wishes

My beautiful Disney friend Amy has just started making these beautiful wire ears, and I think they’re so pretty!

5. House of Mouse

I love how bright and coloured all of the ears from House of Mouse are, I just wish shipping to the UK wasn’t as expensive as the ears, waa!

Support handmade!

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Handmade Love #1 – Alice Vitrum

I love shopping handmade, and I love sharing my favourite handmade finds with people, so it only seemed to make sense that I should start a little series on them, right?

First up is the Etsy store of the lovely Charlotte, Alice Vitrum. I’ve been friends with Charlotte through Instagram for quite some time now, and admired her cute creations for ages, but it wasn’t until October that I finally could call one of them my own, and this chubby little charmer took up residence on my jewellery stand.

SONY DSC

I instantly fell in love, so when Charlotte started looking for a brand rep, I jumped at the chance, and in return I got sent two more beauties, themed from two of my favourite films, The Lion King and Tangled. As well as the designs being available in silver and bronze, some designs have a longer chain; my Tangled boat scene does and its perfect!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

As well as adorable fandom jewellery, she also makes AMAZING embroidery hoops – you can see some of these on her Instagram (@alicevitrum), where you can often find sale items and discount codes, like 25% off using TY1100 – ends today!

Don’t you just love handmade?!

(If you’d like to be featured as part of this handmade series, please get in touch!)

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Friday Favourite Five: Artists of Etsy

The discovery of Etsy was both the best and worst thing to happen to me in terms of online shopping; it opened up an incredible world of handmade and vintage items from all over the world, making me a very happy girl, but my bank balance a little sad!

I love that you can buy almost anything, from food products to home furnishings, but today I’m focusing on artwork, and sharing my favourite five artists and graphic designers!

1. Teacup Pirahna

I’m obsessed with these vintage travel poster prints inspired by Star Wars, Disney and Game of Thrones, and quite frankly all the art on the shop is amazing!

2. CoconuTacha

Natacha’s artwork is beyond impressive, and she’s such a lovely seller too! I have 6 of her skyline prints, and I’m in awe of them!

3. Kayley Draws

I discovered Kayley through Instagram, and fell in love with her castle print tote, which I bought for my Disneyland Paris trip, becoming a member of her Forever Princess Club!

4. Underland2Wonderland

Danielle’s shop is filled with Disney inspired prints and photography, but my particular favourite is this Lord of the Rings piece!

5. Vivid Editions

Looking for watercolour prints? Look no further! This store is packed with amazing Disney watercolour artwork as well as vintage style park posters, and the best part is they’re normally on 3 for 2!

Who’s your favourite?

xoxo

My Christmas Wishlist

If it isn’t already abundantly clear, I love Christmas. Well, who doesn’t really?!

And in these modern times, I’m sure Santa spends more time checking blog wishlists than he does reading physical letters! So here’s mine:

xmas list 2015

1. Reversible Troll soft toy from The Disney Store

I’m totally obsessed with this little guy, I think he’d make the best travel pillow for my trip in January!

2. Lets Do Lunch business card holder from Kate Spade

Simple and elegant, this makes my inner business-woman very happy!

3. Duff Bakes cookbook from Amazon, among other sellers

Ever since the first time I watched an episode of Ace of Cakes, I have worshipped Duff, and now he’s released a book, I need it in my life!

4. Honey I Washed My Hair shampoo bar from Lush

I love Lush, but as I’m not a bath person, its their haircare and shower products that do it for me! I had a shampoo bar years back and loved it, so definitely up for trying another one.

5. Best Day Ever raglan shirt from Happily Ever Tees

I’ve discovered these guys on Instagram and I’m dying to wear this shirt in the parks in January!

6. Crown ring from Applelatte on Etsy

I’m a huge fan of this store on Etsy, they make amazingly pretty jewellery, and this ring in the rose gold colour is beautiful!

7. Funko Pop Maximus from Amazon, among other sellers

When the Tangled collection was released recently I rushed to get Rapunzel, so now I just need this little cutie!

8. Red Converse All Star High Tops

My shoe collection is pretty much 90% Converses, and I’m not even ashamed of that, so if Santa could bring me red high tops in a size 6, they’ll be much appreciated for my January Disney trip!

9. Sugar Daddy-O solid conditioner from Lush

Another hair product – I can’t live with dirty hair, and I like to believe maybe a solid conditioner will reduce the amount of bottles I get through!

Are you asking Father Christmas for anything special this year?

°o°