Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Taking over the world; Step #5 - Re-branding!

Bonjour, my readers!

Well... I have had some professional design work done ahead of this year's markets and what-not.  I have had a new logo designed, together with colour scheme and all that jazz. It's not all ready yet, as you can see my blog still looks exactly the same...

But, to wet your appetite, here's my new logo! Coming soon... my very own website! I sure am excited!

So... do you like?! I'd love to know what you think!


Saturday, 23 May 2009

New display gear and a piercing cowboy...

First things first. Yesterday the ball fell of my lip stud. It was my own fault, the day before I had got a new star shaped stud in the post and had a go at fitting it myself. It didn't work out, so I put the old one back in. I mustn't have screwed it on properly and I looked in the mirror in the toilet at work and I just had a little screw bit sticking out. Boo. So I was aware of a couple of piercers in Leeds on Call Lane, and decided to go in the one that didn't look like a weird S&M dungeon.

I explained that the bar I presented to her had fallen out and I needed a shorter one anyway. Make sense? She was most confused. I thought she was off her tits and realised it wouldn't be her doing it so I was OK with that. I got called into the piercing room. Sh*t the bed, it was Rab C Nesbitt stood by an old dentist like bed and light. What a hell hole. I was too scared to leave and stayed calm in the knowledge I wasn't actually being pierced, just having a new jewel put in. He couldn't get the angle right and then he got this massive needle out. It hurt... I left and thought I was going to pass out, nuff said. I just hope that needle was clean. Don't tell my mum. Thanks.

Anyway, onto a more positive note. Here's some display gear for the upcoming markets I had specially made. Cool eh?!

I am having a think about other cool shapes I can have made.... ideas always welcome!


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Indie Trend - Share a Story

Throughout May the Federation of Children's Book Groups is celebrating the power of story.  For more info http://www.fcbg.org.uk/national-share-a-story-month/

Here's some cool hand-made story books!

Florist Flo and the Special Order


A True Rocking Chair Adventure


Monster Mapping


Make sure you share those stories!


Happy bits

I put on my personal Facebook status today 'Rowan is happy about a number of things today', and have been questioned by a few about what these might be.  Well, stuff's just going right :)

I had some display gear designed and made specially for me for my markets, and I picked them up today.  They are so cool. I'll take some photos and do a seperate blog about them another day.  But here's a clue for one.

I have been yearning for prom dresses of a spotty nature for some time and saw this beauty on Eastenders a couple of weeks ago.  After my colleague did a little stalking we found a supplier (Dollydagger). They didn't have any left so I made a stock enquiry and the fabric was discontinued. After a couple of days they sent me an email saying that they managed to get some fabric and are making a limited run, so I snapped one up and it's being made as we blog. It should be home in time for my birthday!  On this photo, the wardrobe department have altered it a little and let alot of the hitching/rouching down, it actually sits a fair bit shorter, see here. I am very excited! And Dollydagger's customer service is second to none. they come highly recommended.

Another spotty dress related story - I loved this dress ever since a friend tried it on (she decided not to buy it as it showed too much boob, but that's to something I am too fussed about. In fact, the more boob, the better!). It was in Miss Selfridge about a year ago, and I recently saw it on ebay. The girl did say she smoked and it might smell a bit, my my God, it arrived and was yellow with nicotine. She said it hadn't been worn so heaven knows what was going on with it.  It said dry clean only on the label but I took a chance and put it on a handwash cycle with no soap. It's come out good as new. Yippeee. Can't wait to wear it!

I just made an order for some Lego and thought it was going to take about three weeks to arrive, but I had an email this morning to say it had been dispatched!  This Lego marks the start of the new Boysies range, In case you hadn't guessed, it's going to be aimed at blokes.  I'm starting with new colours in cufflinks ready for Father's Day and selling at Artsmix... and will also branch into little stud earrings and some bracelets (hmm do boysies say 'bracelets'?). So, yeah. I'm looking forward to getting cracking on that.

There's more reasons but this'll do for now. Don't want you throwing up on your shoes.

What are you happy about today?

Sunday, 17 May 2009

They're finished! KiTsCh CaMeO NeCkLaCeS

They've been a long time coming... but here they are!

The original KiTsCh CaMeO's have been drilled and then hung on a bail.  I ummed and ahhhhed over what to string them on, I quite like some of the vintage (or vintage-style I assume..) bead chains available, but wasn't sure if when they arrived the colours would match accordingly. Then I relaised I have some awesome bright beads that I hadn't used yet, so I made something similar of my own...

So... whatddaya think? Here's a few to tinkle you fancy

I'm saving these to sell at The Loft Leeds on Sunday 7th June, but I'll let you know when they are available online for your purchasing pleasure!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Indie Trend - National Adult Learners' Week

Adult Learners' Week is the UK's largest learning festival, coordinated by NIACE (the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education,) and it aims to encourage more and different adults to engage in learning activities.  Find out more info here http://www.niace.org.uk/alw/2009/

Here's a few learning related goodies:

Book Note Notebook - The Professor - SpaceDog Studios


Unicorn Leather Journal - Gild Bookbinders


Mushroom Memo Board - Mamutopia


Happy studies


Monday, 11 May 2009

What's cooking in the Kitschen? (formally known as the sneaky peek)

I have been slaving away making lots and lots of things for upcoming fairs and what-not. Well, slaving away should be a term used loosely, I have actually been really sociable too, I guess I have managed my time quite well.

So, here's a couple of visuals to wet your appetite before the fairs (next up, The Loft Leeds for Artsmix* Specialist Jewellery Showcase, Sunday 7th June). Some of the cameos I cast and the lockets I have made have been strung with contrasting beads onto wire. I was going to get some vintage bead chain, but it's quite pricey... and I thought, why the heck... I could make my own in whatever flippin colours I like! The remainder of the necklace will have some chain, I just haven't bothered to buy any yet decided what I like best yet.

I have also managed (well, a friend has) to get the bangle out of my mould, so I can continue to experiment making comic bangles! Yippeeeee


Friday, 8 May 2009

KitschenSink Tip for Craftrepreneurs: Twitter Tips

Just my opinion on the best ways and worst ways I have seen Twitter being used for promoting a business... and how I use it too! I'm @KitschenSink, nice to meet you.

#1 Follow the followers of who you follow
When I first signed up to Twitter, I knew a few Bloggers who were there so I followed them. From there, I looked at who they followed, and followed the ones that looked particularly interesting to me. Phew! For this purpose it's really important you...

#2 Write a little bio for your profile
When you are looking at a person's followers or who is following you, their names appear in a list. Want to know who they are? Hovver your mous eover their name, and their bio pops up. This is great, I don't have to mess around clicking through to their page. Unless they haven't written one, in which case I am annoyed.

#3 Search Twitter
There's now an integrated seach tool in Twitter, but you can also find it at search.twitter.com Use it to search for keywords or brands that are of a similar nature to what you sell. No, I'm not telling you to poach customers from your rivals (but you could?). I search for things like 'Teen Vogue', as I think the readers of Teen Vogue might be the type of people who would like my jewellery.

#4 Tweet often
Think about how many people your followers follow.  I follow 500+, so if you tweet once a day, likelihood is, I won't see it.

#5 Don't over sell. Less is more
I had done a Twitter search some time ago for 'jewellery' (which wasn't really specific enough, I'm learning too) and found a guy who sells, well, jewellery (not handmade). I followed, but each and every tweet was, like 'Why are you spending more than you need to, shop here [link]'. It's annoying and no one likes it. You wouldn't buy a mobile phone and subscribe to cold-calls, so don't expect your followers to either.

I also keep getting a particular tweeter replying to some of my tweets with a vague link between what I said to some T Shirts he sells. It's not clever, it's annoying.

#6 Don't get too personal
For a few days last week I used Twitter to vent my personal anguish, and that wasn't cool. Although I do think the Twitter is all about showing the person behind the brand

#7 Retweet (and hopefully they'll repay the favour)
You scratch their back and they will scratch yours. If you spot a Tweeter promoting, re tweet. Maybe one day that karma will return when your sale is on.

A little case study

One big brand that I can see using Twitter exceptionally well is ASOS.  I have shopped with ASOS since their early days when all their items were titled 'Dress as seen on [insert celebrity name here]. They have dramatically expanded since then.

They have one main @ASOS account which follows only ASOS employees, whose names are all @ASOS_name . There is potential for just anyone to create an @ASOS_name but the main ASOS account won't be following them.

What I love about this is the way they are building customer relationships.  A major thing that a shopper misses out on when they buy from a website rather than a shop is chatting with the staff, getting their opinion on what they are selling and the social aspect of shopping.  What the online seller misses out on is building a customer relationship and in turn getting repeat sales.  And we're lead to believe they are all happy in the workplace - they tweet at each other, about work and play, and the boss-man @ASOS-James disclosed to me that they have been bought Blackberries for this idea. How cool is that?

I hope I haven't missed anything and I hope you find my tips of use!


Folksy Finds Friday - Rachel Albert Designs

Now this is what I'm talking about! REAL fashion design. I often look through the fashion pages of Folksy, but to be honest, it's mainly just T-Shirts. T Shirts are clothes, for sure, not sure if it's really fashion though.

I found Rachel Alberts and just love it these rockabilly inspired designs...

Hope you like!
Have a fab weekend

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

April Round-up

Sorry it's late! I have been super sociable over the past few days (which will go into the May round up!). I can't add a picture today :( sorry for lack of visuals...

Super social events (somewhat suffering due to credit crunch):
1. Take out at Jen's
2. Barbeque at Julia's
3. Cinema trip with my pal Andrew
4. Crazy day (of tattoos and piercings) with Natalie
5. Night out with Natalie

Movies I watched:
1. Little Miss Sunshine
2. The Boat that Rocked
3. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (see that so many times)
4. Juno
5. A good few episodes of Sky+'d LOST

Disappointment of the month: I forgot who I was (not literally...) and I vowed I wouldn't do that again. It happens, but I am BACK!
Crafting highlight of the month: Being accepted onto two panel approved design/craft fairs
Most overused phrase (by someone else on this occasion): She/I buzzed off it
Most annoying thing: the man at the Business Link course. What a turd.

I'm pleased with myself because: I had my lip pierced with no pain relief and didn't pass out. In fact, it barely hurt! Cha'mon!
Focus for next month:
1. Get more 3D stall ideas together and bought/made
2. Complete the cameos into necklaces/brooches
3. Complete the lockets into necklaces
4. Approach another bricks and mortar to sell my work
5. Have my hair cut and colour it!

Focus of last month:
1. To get lots of bubble heart pendants made - done!
2. To make lots more cool moulds to cast rainbow coloured designs with - only did cameos... too skint to buy more brooches!
3. To book some summer markets - done and accepted whoopdy whoop!

I look forward to the next bank holiday and hopefully lots of lovely weather!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Indie Trend - Big Tea Cosy Week!

This week is big tea cosy week! Put the kettle on for Elizabeth Finn Care's Big Tea Cosy!! Invite a group of friends around for a cup of tea in exchange for a small fee and know that you are helping those who have fallen into poverty. More info here http://www.thebigteacosy.org.uk/

I love tea, here's some gorgeous tea themed itemry

Enchanting Teapot Cozy no. 5 - Sonnie Sue



AFTERNOON TEA - TtV Original Fine Art Photography Print - Citrus Tree

High Tea Necklace - Tizzalicious



Saturday, 2 May 2009

Artsmix @ The Loft Leeds - Specialist Jewellery Showcase

I am pleased to announce that another one of the panel-approved markets I applied for has come back to me with a positive response!

I'll be testing these Artsmix waters on Sunday 7th June 2009 at The Loft Leeds, which is a really cool venue.

Please do come along and say hi, and have a browse around the many quality hand made jewels being sold that day.

For more information on the event visit Artsmix's website.