Buy Handmade in the UK

Buy Handmade in the UK
My Misi Store

Sunday, 21 January 2007

And So The Search Continues ...

A bit of a mixed bag, this last couple of weeks. It looks like the new shop has fallen through and so tomorrow I'm back to viewing properties. There's a couple of likely suspects and a possibility that we could be up and running in a few short weeks (so look out for that grand opening I promised months ago). But still, it's been really frustrating getting so close and then having it snatched away.

My broadband is still proving somewhat elusive - so no images for this post either. The provider promised faithfully (as much as a call centre in India can do) that the new modem would be delivered within 48 hours and would be live at the same time. 48 hours later the new promise is for delivery within 7 days and an assurance that the connection is already live - just waiting for the modem then! So maybe next week we'll have lots of images on this very blog - but I'm not holding my breath.

I've not managed to do that bit of crafting every day that I'd resolved for the new year - but I have made a few new cards and a couple of layouts. Largely to justify the few new treats that I HAD to have. Nothing too extravagant - A sizzix paddlepunch kit (plus 22 extra punches) and Die Cuts With A View sticker paper - this is a brilliant invention - 12 x 2" sheets of textured cardstock with a self adhesive backing. Suddenly using die cut letters has become less of a chore and I'm probably saving a fortune (not to mention loads of time) and all the tiniest alphabets, such as the Ellison Extended Cuts alphas really come into their own. I've used the sticker paper on everything I've made in the last week and I'm coming up with all these new ideas that I might have ignored before because they would have been too time consuming.

The inverse of die cut letters are also great for creating a second alphabet. I don't worry too much about getting the squares straight - odd edges give a 'ransom note' effect that can look quite funky. You can either stick them straight on to the background or onto a contrasting paper for a different infill.

As for the paddle punches, they are so great for adding decorative apertures where a traditional paper punch cannot reach. Again, you can back the aperture for a contrasting infill or even create tiny iris folds. Although it might take a bit longer to punch a shape with them, they have a good variety of shapes and look great just punched from textured cardstock (or sticker paper). I'm trying to think of some interesting designs to use the ribbon slots on next.

So far, I've not managed to keep to a single resolution, the cat and sofa are still fairly glitter free but the baby sparkles somewhat on occasions; this blog is more fortnightly than weekly; I'm not crafting daily and my class samples are generally done the day before; I've already bought a few new craft bits so that only leaves making my own cards and gifts - and there's nothing coming up until february so there's still time (to make or break it!!)

The first of the new HTML newsletters went out last week and the feedback was so positive that it seems worth my while spending the time to learn how to use it. Although they are now improving the system so I might have to learn all over again! If you are not already signed up for the newsletter and you'd like to get it, pop over to and click on the sign up button on the right.

Talking of learning new things, I've had a look at the new knitting partwork and picked up the first issue. I'm not a complete beginner and have been known to make knitted toys and bits for my babies when they were small but I never really progressed from the basics. So I thought it might be good to start from scratch and learn a new stitch or technique each week. Although these partworks do tend to work out expensive for the cost of the item you make (a remote control car, dolls house or whatever at £400 or something equally mad) I'm looking at it more as a home study class - for which it is a reasonable price (and the knitted throw completed in just 90 weeks I'll look at as coursework LOL) And if I claim it as one of my crafting sessions maybe I'll get a bit closer to fulfilling one of those broken resolutions after all.

Monday, 8 January 2007

Technophobe? Not Me!!

There is soooo much more to owning a craft business than a bit of cutting & sticking or a love of pretty paper. In fact the cutting & sticking is more cut & paste and the pretty papers are more virtual than actual. What, you may wonder, does she mean by that?

Well this last week or two have been a technological revelation as I've discovered the world of ranking sites, ping sites, e-mail management systems and campaigns - and got a bit more involved in the construction of my own websites. Many is the time that I've had to go away & find a comforting bit of paper to stroke!!

But I survived and even managed to add a bit of HTML code to this site (check out the 'crafty blogs' ranking at the bottom of the page - cool huh?). Sadly, grappling with the finer points of a technology that I'll use but have no inclination to understand has left little time for crafting.

However, the last few days have seen me back in the safety of my classes, first scrapbooking on Saturday and today, cardmaking - and not a Christmas theme in site!! Today's cards were so well received that even my brother wants to take some of my designs into work - he says the girls there will love them!! Sadly I'm still on dinosaur dial up and can't get my images here - it just freaks out and cuts me off!!

The broadband connection was due to go live on 9th December but there's still no sign of it - the company (who I won't name & shame just yet) wouldn't give me a new estimated date but are talking about perhaps another three weeks - two months in total! Obviously unacceptable so I'll give them another chance to be reasonable tomorrow and if there is no satisfaction perhaps I'll just cancel altogether and find a company that can deliver what they promise - it's not too much to ask is it? The one thing I've learned above all other since I opened my shop is that customer service is king!

Other than these few minor blips chucked in, I assume, to keep me on my toes , life is good! I'm busy making lots of plans for the new shop: new & exciting classes, brilliant new product ranges (and that's before I spy all the goodies at the Feb trade show LOL) and some exciting new partnerships to keep things fresh and interesting - all I need now are the premises to put it in!

In the meantime it's back to those paypal buttons, writing the new content for the website - and a bit of crafting just to keep me sane ;o)

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Come Craft With Me, The Best Is Yet To Be.

Christmas was such a brilliant excuse to take that quality craft time that I've been after for months!! I handmade about 75 cards (cheating and using many class examples once I'd finished the classes); scrapped an altered bag for my 17 year old niece as a gift from my mother - pink and girly with a photo of her at my brother's wedding (the 3rd time she has been a bridesmaid) and a fantastic excuse to crack open the Citrus Embellish-abilities from HOTP; made two small Sarabinders - one for my mother in vintage Sarapapers as a scrapper's journal (she recently caught the scrapping bug and now there's no stopping her!) and the other in retro 8x8 papers - pink, duck egg blue and v. girly as a filofax (does anyone remember them?) for the aforementioned niece; two 12x12 albums, one each for my eldest and youngest sons - big cheating again here as I had many of their layouts displayed in the last shop and I'll be starting in the new premises with a completely new batch. The other two boys will have to wait a little bit longer as I need to make about 10 layouts for each of them to fill their albums!!

So that was it for my handmade christmas and, as always, I've resolved to do more next time.

So a new year is upon us full of new challenges (and lots more new craft products!!) Already I've made a start on cards for the first classes (a great excuse to use my new Sizzix dies and Ellison alphabet!) and there was the Member's only club project to make - a great little gift box mini album to display a typical Todd family christmas - lots of photos of number one son with beer then!!

I've even managed to finish all the projects in the HOTP Cardmaker's kit and half a dozen extra cards from the scraps. But with a couple of Scrapbook kits still waiting in the wings I'm not going to get bored any time soon!!

Still Loving Cosmo Cricket!