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Sunday, 3 February 2013

SPAM BUT NO CHIPS

Hi everyone

Typical British weather again this week - can't make up its mind whether it is winter or spring!  A lovely day yesterday, chilly but good gardening weather.

My blog posts are attracting more and more spam every day.  If I ignore the content I could take them as compliments in that more and more people are reading my blog.  However, I don't want their comments, their visits are unwelcome and I am extremely glad I have a 'subject to moderation' proviso on my blog.

I took part in the give-aways organised by Wendy of the Handmade Harbour blog to celebrate 100 weeks of Handmade Monday and I was so pleased to learn that I had won one of the 'prizes': the book Commercial Creatives by Mike Carthew and Anna Ward.  Having read some reviews about the book I am very much looking forward to reading it - especially the section about how to price craft work.  Never too late to take advice.  Many thanks for a week of great give-aways Wendy.

Many moons ago, I bought (possibly the first or second issue) the Craftseller magazine.  I decided it was perhaps time to re-visit the magazine and am glad I did as it has become a very good magazine with lots of helpful content and also lovely pieces by some of my Handmade Monday colleagues.  This issue has a very good give-away, the Start-up Guide.   Although it is aimed at newbies, it never hurts to re-visit some of the basic rules about going into business.  It is easy to forget some of the very important aspects of running a small business and it has lots of advice-type articles written by crafters and other business people.

I am a member of the Crafts Forum, not a regular visitor, but I do like to drop in and catch up with how everyone is doing.  In my visit yesterday I came across a topic posted by Ros, one of my fellow Handmade Monday bloggers; the post was about professional or hobbyist.  It is a great post and I know this is a topic that can cause intense debate and I am not going to venture into the minefield here.  My reason for mentioning this post was because of a point made by Ros: '.......there are very few original ideas, all you can do is work with the basics and add a personal touch'.  I am a butterfly crafter flitting from one craft to another (but never abandoning my original paper-craft products).  I really enjoying trying new crafts, but sometimes wonder if other crafters may view this as deliberate or straight-forward copying.  I hope not as I like to think of crafts being for everyone with, more or less, no boundaries.  I think we are all inspired by others work and put our own 'spin' on things - thank you Ros, your comment of 'there are very few original ideas......add a personal touch' is so very true and makes me feel less like an industrial spy :-).

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had been sent a copy of a new crafting magazine, Homemade with love.  I said I would review and feedback about this magazine but am embarrassed to say I haven't done so yet - time has disappeared rather quickly recently.  Tax return, card orders, workshop stock and life in general has got in the way.  I will read it and promise to add my review to my next weekend post.

I have been working on Valentine's cards this week and have added some stock to my wall at Bourne Mill - yet again I forgot to photograph them!  I bought some Kanban flower circles and admit to being very embarrassed when I realised that I could quite easily have created them myself without having bought them already cut out .  However, I decided to have a go at doing something different with them and these are two examples:


I cut diagonally at intervals around the edges of the 'petals'.  I laid one colour on top of the other, trimmed the top one, stuck them together and added a centre spot to match the under colour.


Some of the pre-cut shapes had rounded edges.  I used a cream one for the centre and cut appx 2 cm all the way round and then 'fluffed' the edges.  I again added a centre of a colour to match the base shade.

My plan is to create a bunch of flowers - using my own circles of course - add some long green leaves to them and place them in a vase for a card.  They are very simple and easy to make and I think would be ideal for beginners to tackle in my card-making workshops.  I am also thinking of making some with newspapers or magazines - think they might look rather snazzy in print.  While I am on the crafting role, don't forget to visit the Handmade Monday blog - lots of great posts with beautiful work to see.

I continued working on my landscape in pottery - I keep moving and changing bits and I am still not 100% happy with it, but there is plenty of time to change it again.  Here is a pic in its bare state - the boulders on the left will have glass seed beads added to them.  These will melt when it is fired and should hopefully create the impression of water running down the hillside.  Everything else is work in progress, especially the sky, the hills and trees.  As always the sessions are very enjoyable, go too quickly and make me want to do more crafty things.



Have a good week everyone.  Milly will be here on Wednesday with her mid-week post -she is off to the vets tomorrow for 'the op' so she might still be a bit woozy by then.

Jill

36 comments:

  1. Jill, your pottery landscape is stunning. And I'm sure the Valentines cards are going to be lovely. Nice to see you busy crafting.

    Best wishes to Milly for her op, hope it all goes well x.

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    1. Thank you Lesley, it has changed quite a bit now. forgot to take a pic, but will do so at beginning of my next session and then at the end. Hope to finish the design part this side of half-term

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  2. Congratulations on your win. Wendy hosted a great week
    of give aways. I must admit I'm a craft forum member but don't visit as much as I feel I should. It's a wealth of really useful advice. The flowers are beautiful and I can't wait to see what you create. Your landscape looks wonderful. The running waterfall sounds lovely.
    Ali x

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    1. I added bluey/yellow glass to the waterfall. A fellow pottery person who works with glass said the yellow would disappear form the glass, which I am pleased about as it will leave blue areas and clear glass areas.

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  3. oooh your landscape looks fantastic! I love the way you've done the foliage.

    I think that 'copying' is part of learning, we're all different so no too things end up the same anyway, especially not when it comes to hand crafting - i have a hard enough time getting two of my own designs to look the same when i want them to!!

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    1. I tend to stick to one-offs with my cards, because, as you say, two never look the same.

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  4. Your landscape pottery has lovely textures to it.
    I know that there are very few original ideas, but as an artist I feel I ought to still try to come as close to original as I can, and at least strive for a little uniqueness, even if it isn't achievable.

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    1. It is hard coming up with something new, because we often see it somewhere else at a later date and wonder who thought of it first

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  5. I am really looking forward to seeing how the beads work - very exciting. Congratulations on the win. I think your flowers are very attractive - the different textures work really well.

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    1. Beads added this week, will be biscuit-fired over half-term so should have something to show in about 2 - 3 weeks gtime

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  6. Congratulations on your win - great way to start the year. Pretty flowers and I love your plaque - the glass beads will look awesome when fired. Can't wait to see the end result.

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    1. I was very pleased with my win - a great week for give-aways.

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  7. Your landscape pottery looks so delicate, and your comments made interesting reading. I must try and get hold of a copy of the craftseller too.
    Wendy x

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    Replies
    1. It has changed a lot since the first issue, really glad I gave it another go

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  8. Your pottery looks really interesting. I hope you put a picture of it on once it is fired.

    I agree that is is almost impossible to do something that is totally original, or hasn't been done in a similar way somewhere else.

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    1. Coming up with new ideas is hard - we think we have created the best thing since sliced bread only to find that it has already been done. however, I think we all put something a little different and unique one our work

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  9. Your pottery is looking fab!!! I love what you've done with the flowers too!! I see it's still snowing on the blog... ;)
    Have a good week xx

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    1. I kept the snow as it was forecast, so you never know. However, would prefer it to be the only snow we see at the moment.

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  10. I think it must be quite common to dabble in lots of crafts as lots of us say the same thing. (Crafty tarts!) certainly makes life interesting though.:)

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    1. I think it is just a crafty person's nature really, isn't it? We like to try as many new crafts as possible.

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  11. I think it must be quite common to dabble in lots of crafts as lots of us say the same thing. (Crafty tarts!) certainly makes life interesting though.:)

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  12. Your landscape is looking great, the glass idea sounds like it should look good too.

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    1. Beads smashed and sprinkled - fingers crossed it turns out well.

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  13. Your valentines flowers look gorgeous! You make a really valid comment about "copying" - it is difficult to be totally original and taking what you think is a good idea and then making something with your own personal twist is really only flattery to the originator. I'll take a look at the rest of the article I think!

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    1. It is an interesting post and worth a read

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  14. Spam will always be a problem for us bloggers unfortunately. Your pottery landscape is fantastic with so much detail in it.

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    1. Seems to be increasing too. Really enjoying my pottery coruse

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  15. Sorry about your 'spamers' - have not got that problem yet... I red with interest the thread on Crafts Forum as it unraveled over the 13 pages, but you are right Ros summed it up perfectly.

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    1. They are a pest - and increasing every date.

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  16. thanks for the blog post tip. I'll go check it out.

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  17. Time is a funny thing, one minute you think there is lots of it the next thing it's jumped ahead a few days :)
    Love your landscape, the water effect sounds good. Have a great week.

    Jan x

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    1. Really enjoying working on the landscape - keep changing it which slows things down a bit

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  18. Hi Jill, love seeing your pottery pieces from your course. They are all so beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Katherine, thoroughly enjoying my course. Sessions go far too quickly though

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  19. your pottery landscape has intrigued me a lot! I love all under water themes. I really wonder what it's gonna look when it's fired in a kiln. i cant wait to see the results!

    oh, spammers - yes, the curse of the bloggers, they are not interested in our blogs content, they just want to post their links in as many comments as they can. i had to turn on the comment moderation and i delete all of anonymous messages in one go. not worth reading.

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Thank you for your comment - it is always lovely to have feedback and I hope you enjoyed my post.