Thursday, 30 April 2009

KitschenSink Tip for Craftrepreneurs: Google Alerts

I'm not going to pretend I'm some business whizz but I feel I may as well pass on my tips on what I find that works... all I ask is if you see a better way you let me know too?!

So this tip is about Google Alerts.  Alerts sweeps the internet at regular intervals for whatever you ask it to look for, and delivers a report once a day or once a week or as it happens as an email to you.

If you already have a google account, say, Blogger or Gmail, you'll have easy access to Google Alerts. To set one up, go to - it's quite self-explanatory.

Here's how I use mine:

I set up an alert for "KitschenSink" and "Kitschen Sink" so that if anyone mentions me in a blog or elsewhere and doesn't have time to let me know, I'll find out!

I set up an alert for some of the places I sell, so that if there's anything in the news about them, but they don't mention me specifically, I'll get a notification.

I set up some notifications for things that my readers may find interesting (I'm not giving away everything folks) to use as useful content in my blogs.

I have also used some titles of my popular products in " ". You know, in case a product is mentioned but they forget my name (I could be spelt Kitchen Sink, but a notification on that would be borderline spam).

It's really clever... and I'll be blogging sometimes soon in my 'Taking over the world" series about just how much it's helped me... but I'm waiting on some stuff.. so you'll have to wait too!

I hope this is of some use to you, God bless my crafting and designing friends...


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Indie Trend - Pet Month!

It's almost the end of National Pet Month here in the UK! (Expect more random themes of this nature!)

Here's some gorgeous hand-made pet stuff... learn more about National Pet Month

Ergonomically Designed Elevated Pet Feeder 



Monday, 27 April 2009

Taking over the world step #3 and #4 (inc sneaky peek!)

About time? I haven't done a KitschenSink themed blog in too long!

Taking over the world step #3 'Research and book markets' is well under way. One of my overall goals of the year is 'I'll sell at [x] number of markets' (number omitted, don't want to look like a tit if I don't make it do I?!).

I am pleased to announce that I have been accepted to sell at Designers' Marketplace at The Loft Leeds on Saturday 3rd October. The Designers Marketplace sounds more of a fashion deal that a crafty deal, which is more the vibe I wanted to go for, so I am really pleased about that and really looking forward to it. Do please check out their website, it looks really cool! And the Loft is a very cool venue, so I hope it's a great day! I'll remind you nearer the time to stop by!

I have applied to a couple of other pretty high-profile markets for the summer, but won't give too much away right now. In fact I probably won't if I'm not accepted. Just keep those fingers crossed, eh?

Taking over the world step #4 'Make lots of stock' is also in motion.

Making repeatable stock without compromising on my design features is sometimes pretty hard. I have made runs of pieces in the past that I'm not overly proud of, simply because it appears other crafty businesses seem to do well from it. But we can't all do it, and I don't really want to [flashback, a friend of mine took me round various markets in London one weekend, and we saw the same Octopus necklace over and over and over]. Where's the individuality in buying a charm then hanging it on a chain? With that sort of 'craft', you always get people at markets saying either 'I could make that', or, 'ooh, I could make that!'. These phrases may appear the same, they aren't, and I don't want people to look at my designs and say either. I want them to say 'Wow, that's cool, I'm going to need me one of those right now, because it's amazingly individual and I would never be able to do it myself'.

Without further ado or ramblings, here's some work in progress along this vein...

A rainbow of cameos awaiting their backing and a pin or chain.  These have been cast from resin over the course of a few weeks.

A lot o' lockets awaiting their beads and chains.  These have been layered with resin, cabochons and swarovskis over the course of the last few weeks.

I'm hoping to be back in the week with another KitschenSink tip so stay tuned!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Folksy Finds Friday - Emma Gordon London

Warning: Read further and your disposable income may... disappear....

Emma Gordon handbags are seriously sexy.  Her signature style is ‘ladylike with a twist’ using pretty colours, quirky detailing and delicate trims.  It's been tough choosing just three.  Ready? Hands on purses...

Sexy. Have a  great weekend!


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Indie Trend - Badged Geek

I got a Tee Shirt a couple of weeks ago that says 'I heart GEEKS' on it.

Lately I have started to look sooo geeky and I love it. I have skinny jeans (well, skinny flare), Chuck Taylors, and am building up a collection of badges for my hoodies.

Here's some awesome badges from the best of Indie designers I found

If you have an idea for a theme or want your item to be featured, feel free to comment or email me!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Folksy Finds Friday - Hatastic!

I found my way to Hatastic! via a Tweet from the shoe people Irregular Choice (you gotta love those shoes).

If it's Irregular Choice approved, it's KitschenSink approved.

I don't particularly like formal occasions.  Everyone dresses so stiffly. These hats and fascinators would add a quirky edge to an outfit for a conservative event.


Lucious Deep Red Rose Fascinator

Hope you like

Have a super weekend!


Feelin' IRATE

I went on my business link course and have come back FUMING.

Flashback: in Maths class in middle school, my teacher had this rule. 'If someone answers/asks a question in my class, no one else will ever laugh' (or basically they would be sent out).  This cultivated a really good environment for learning and discussion.  Shame these lessons don't count in grown up life.

There came a point in the session when the presenter asked if anyone had a trading name they were using.  Some guy said '???? Swimming Academy', the presenter liked this.
I reluctantly put up my had. 'KitschenSink'.
'Kitch... what?'
'It's spelt like K-I-T-S-C-H...en Sink?'
'You make jewellery for God's sake' (Looks around the room, laughing)
Some guy (I'm thinking a creative type, he was a graphic designer) says 'Oh yeah, kitsch, I get it. It's quirky'.
'Yeah but jewellery...' still laughing and looking in flabbergastment to all around.
Then this woman goes 'Yeah I like the kitsch-en. But I think the Sink spoils it'. Yeah? I liked you face until I saw your teeth.

I was MORTIFIED. It doesn't end there.

At break time I sat with some other women who were pleasant, but like 'Oh are you the one who makes jewellery'.  Which, obviously followed with 'yeah the one with the really shit name'.  Me? An attitude problem?  They were nice, but then like 'so why do you call it that', because it's KITSCH, and I used all different found objects. One girl says 'Why don't you just call it Kitsch then?'. Yeah? Why don;t you just call you cafe 'Cafe'?


So I put in my personal facebook status "what do you reckon to my business name KitschenSink Jewellery and Accessories? Only answer of you know what Kitsch means... Does it work?"
Here goes:
"I hope your not thinking of changing it!! I think its perfect!"
"It lets people know you do sentimental work of your child hood! I like it!"
"KitschenSink is a good name - it fits, and the name itself is a little kitsch. I vote stick with it !"
"works like a dream"
"Its a good name - stick with it"
"I never noticed the kitsch i thought it was kitchen sink im dyslexic I must be so I am. Its a good name, I so it is."
"its good man"

So then, on Twitter:
"I like!!! "
"Cool as fuck."
"I've always liked your name and I think it suits your stuff"

Now let me say:
River Island - not seen any Rivers and/or Islands any time I ever went in there.
Sainsburys, Morrisons, Halfords, Woolworths, Marks & Spencer. You sell whaaaaaat?
A friend was like 'Topshop?', to which I responded 'I know they have always been half way down Darley St'
Egg? Oh, you do loans not breakfasts?

And like my clever cousin responded :

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, 'business expert'.

Comment away... my lovelies!


Thursday, 16 April 2009

Sad feelings

Just a quicky today, by means of an apology for not doing a 'me' post in a while.

I've wanted to... but I think I am fed up because I am off work (annual leave) and although I look forward to it and think 'I'm going to do all this stuff', I end up getting really quite fed up. I wonder if I'll ever be able to actually quit the day job and do this full time.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE doing this. But it doesn't help when people boys are being mean.

I managed to mix some resin and got some more colours for the cameos done, and I started on some more lockets but am so mad because I did it too thin so that's time wasted. At least they aren't wrecked.

I reckon I'll have to go to Leeds tomorrow to get some syringes to measure the resin with too, because I went into Shipley today and every chemist I asked for syringes they really did frown at me. Surely I don't look like a shoot up? I kept saying 'it's just to measure liquid', but they kinda did a 'yeah we heard it before, smack head' look.

Anyway, I'm off on a business planning course now, yay! Should give me some inspiration to occupy my mixed-up head over the weekend!


Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Glitter and sparkle: I heart Tarina Tarantino

Tarina Tarantino is pretty much everything I want to be.  To look at: she's a funky fish.  Her designs: colourful, girly, big, plastic, fun.  Boutiques in: LA, Milan and New York.  Celebrities are often snapped wearing her designs (click here to see which and who). Ahh man! How cool is that?

Some visuals/what's inspiring me:
Hello Kitty Gothic Lolita Necklace
I love everything in this range, and am inspired by the feature beads on the chain...
 Love the chunky, bright, plastic chain
 Candy Cameo Waterfall Necklace
Big pearls, bright colours... do I need to go on?
I have mentioned her before, I'm sure.  I fell in love with her (I should probably say her work, as I have never met her...) a few years ago. I saw a piece in a magazine about bright hair accessories. And you know I'm all about bright colours, yo.  So I snapped up a Swarovski catterplillar hair slide.  Then I see her Hello Kitty goodies and I'm like a clown in a custard factory. And now she is following me on Twitter! I checked that it's the real deal account, and she even replied to a reply I sent to her! Starstruck? Never!

Who's the biggest inspiration of your designs?


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Indie Trend - Cute-Tees!

A selection of the best Indie designer finds from across thw globe.

This week I picked some cute tee-shirts. I love tee-shirts!

Animal Sky Ladies Tee - Kid Pirate

Unconditional Love Tee aka The Poop Shirt - Applenoggin

Fun 2 Funky T-Shirt - Acrylicana

If you have an idea or theme for Indie Trend Tuesday, leave a comment or email me.


Sunday, 12 April 2009

My Easter, my lip, my recent make

I'm off work for a whole week! Yippeee. I have been thinking about having my lip pierced for a while now, and decided this is the best time, as now at my day job, it really is desk time for a good few months, so it's not a bad time to let it heal without any big wigs seeing it and getting arsy. I also thought it would be good to have it done at the start of time off so it's healed a bit before my colleagues (and more importantly, my bosses) see it.

I really thought I'd pass out having it done. I passed out when I had a tattoo done, but then again, it was in the middle of a Summer heat wave and I hadn't eaten anything substantial in three months (anxiety. I might tell you about this another day, I might not). I prepared for this by eating a bacon sandwich and drinksome lucozade. It was fine actually. A lot easier than I thought, hardly any fiddling, she just stuck a long needle through it but it barely hurt and it only throbbed after. Groovy. I can see how people get addicted.

I went through some post-piercing trauma. I htink it's normal to feel as though it's not quite right after you have something like that done. My friend had a tattoo done the same day, and went through something similar (it's not really how I wanted, it's in the wrong place...). I was worried about what my mum would say, but she was cool. The second part of the trauma was: the ball fell off as I cleaned it at a friends. We searched on our hands and knees and couldn't find it! I sulked downstaurs and it was later found on the carpet on the landing... phew. It fel of again today into the soap dish. Not happy about that! Here I am anyway, with a little swelling (I covered my eyes because I don't like having too many photos of myself freely available on the web)

I hope to get lots made over the next few days. I am spending time casting lots of cameos in different colours. So far I have done a pink batch and an orange batch. Next is yellow I reckon...

I also did a little experimentation and would love to know what you think about this Blythe bracelet?

I intend to develop the idea further than just Blythe, but Blythe is a great start, right?

Enjoy your Easter! More updates of week-off makes coming soon! I'm off to bake brownies and possible make vegetarian chilli should the boy decide what he wants to do.


Friday, 10 April 2009

Folksy Finds Friday - Tee and Toast

Colour and fun, that's what I'm all about. I was so excited when I found Tee and Toast... all the goodies are so different, product wise, but all funky and fun - and that's what we like!

Take a look at Tee and Toast's whole shop because it's stashed with goodies... but here are my favourites (so difficult to choose!). Everyone loves some Tea and Toast, right?

wee mushroom brooch - isn't the tag adorable!

Tea time badge set - celebrate the nations favourite snack, kawaii style!

Hope you like!
Have a super weekend

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

I ♥ Lego! We all ♥ Lego!

Dee and Ricky, who I first heard of through Fred Flare's Next Big Thing competition, make these sweet Lego pixelated heart pins.  Love them.

 Kanye West giving some Dee and Ricky Lego love
Images from Fred Flare blog

At the Leeds Enterprise Show, the Business Link adviser asked me what sort of jewellery I make.  I never really know what to say. I said 'oh, bright plastic stuff', and she replied with 'I was talking to a girl the other day who makes jewellery with Lego!'.

I really am going to have to up the ante now. And I have a few ideas...


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Indie Trend - Vintage Rose

A selection of the best indie designer finds from across the globe.

White silky ruffled lace tulle sparkle dress - Vintage Opulence

If you have an idea for a theme for Indie Trend Tuesday, leave a comment or email me


Monday, 6 April 2009

KitschenSink Tip: Reading blogs more efficiently...

Ever seen this and wondered what on Earth it was?

I hear every so often people telling me they have bookmarked my blog and check back to it from time to time. That's really great that you like my blog and come visit me... but did you know I can actually come visit you instead? You might forget about me and your bookmark... where as I can be delivered to you, and you can read me whenever you want. And once you have read me... I'll disappear (you can find me again easily though, if you need to).

I won't even clog up your inbox, because we're not talking about email-type newsletters. We're talking RSS feeds. If you know about this, move on, nothing to see here. And if you think you're not tech savvy enough, don't be so silly.

The RSS feeds will build up and give you a convenient reading list. Yay. All your favourite blog writers ready for you when you log in.

Now... I did start to write a how-to on this, but it was seriously whack, so

Hope you find this useful...


Saturday, 4 April 2009

Taking over the world #1 update; Step #2; more ViNtAgE hEaRt CoMiC NeCkLaCeS

As I blogged here, my first step to taking over the world was getting the little jobs done that seem to take up so much time on an ad-hoc basis.  Last week I finished up making paper bags and bubble envelopes from fashion magazines.  I love Grazia best. The paper is a matte finish and feels more quality than others, plus the colours and imagery are gorgeous.  I have a few friends who subscribe and pass them onto me when they are done. I'd be lying if I said I didn't read them before I chopped them up!

Bubble envelopes
Paper bags (for markets)

I did consider using old comics for these, but they are quite hard to get hold of and may end up costing me in the long run, which isn't the idea.  Plus, I'm all for being known as a fashion brand more than a craft brand. I want to appeal to funky fashionistas as much as hippies (which you can get a fair bit of at craft fairs)... so I think this covers all eventualities. 

Step #2 of Taking over the world was visiting the Enterprise Show in Leeds last week.  It was OK.  Some of the seminars were really inspiring and I booked onto three of their (Business Link's) courses. I went on one last week about 'Increasing your online presence' which I can highly recommend.  Seems I am doing everything right except I don't have my own website yet... (a later step in the series, and it's underway! I'm so excited about that!).

Last but not least, here are a couple more of the ViNtAgE hEaRt CoMiC NeCkLaCeS I made in the last week.  These aren't going to be listed on Folksy or Etsy (although similar ones are available) because it's high time I sent Paula at Projeto some more stock.

Less of a comic, more a vintage porno, but these kind of images have previously sold very well.  I think it's great to promote sexy images of women with a bit of meat on em.

WhAt MaKeS MeN bLuSh? NeCkLaCe
ThE wRoNg KiNd oF LoVe NeCkLaCe

By the way, are you confused by my use of the word 'aren't'? I only realised on Yorkshire Day last summer that this is a word only really used in our dialect, but I say it alot. These days I am more conscious of it, but it's hard to change!

Fab Saturday xoxo

Friday, 3 April 2009

Folksy Finds Friday - Beautiful Skin

I found my way to this Folksy shop when flicking through their fashion pages.  Beautiful Skin makes gorgeous leather cuffs, iPod cases and jewellery printed with original designs. My words don't cut it... look at them yourself...

I love this iPod cover
You get the retro of casettes with the sound quality and convenience of MP3!
Hope you like... have a fab weekend!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

March round-up

Super social events (somewhat suffering due to credit crunch):
1. Ting Tings/Ladyhawke (gig)
2. My parents' 35th Wedding anniversary.. Tapas!
3.Aunty Pauline's surprise 65th party
4. Fun night out with a secret special someone
5. Baked goods at Kelly's (friend)

Movies I watched:
1. What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
2. The Adam's family Values
3. Notting Hill

Disappointment of the month: I forgot to pay for the locket supplies so they arrived late and I didn't get chance to make any
Crafting highlight of the month: Learning how to make my own moulds... a wealth of opportunity and possibility!
Most overused phrase: I'm trying to run a business 'ere!
Most frustrating thing: I'm skint and I want to go out more!
I'm pleased with myself because: I got lots of little jobs done, leaving me time to just make, make, make! And promote! (see Taking over the World Step #1)

Focus for next month:
1) To get lots of bubble heart pendants made
2) To make lots more cool moulds to cast rainbow coloured designs with
3) To book some summer markets

Focus of last month:
1)To get lots more lockets made - nope, supplies were late. My fault.
2) Try out a new idea developing from the comic pendants - check, bubble heart pendants
3) To stay happy - check, it didn;t go wrong til April 1st!
4) To get a cool hair cut - I got my hair cut, but it's not as cool as I'd hoped, so I'll dye it this month!


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Minifig Model Behaviour

I have just introduced myself to the awesome work of Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (AKA JC/DC). He's turned all this Lego fashion stuff round. So many of us creating fashion pieces with the classic toy, he has created fashion for the Lego toy. What fun! Have a watch!

JCDC Versus LEGO from Four H on Vimeo.
Sweet CGI aside, JC/DC's designs are sooo me, completely KitschenSink approved. They all seem to be brightly and boldly coloured with simple textures, influenced by classic toys.
Some visual fun

image: Time online style
Ahhh inspriational