The Personal Touch

For the last couple of weeks I have been busy while I set up my second Etsy shop, WendysFunkyRibbon.etsy.com, its still nowhere near fully stocked although it is open for business.

I had forgotten how much hard work it was not only setting up a shop but to trying to get your name out there as well! I have also set up a second Facebook and Twitter page so I feel like I am really starting from scratch again.

In this shop I am concentrating on, (yes you guessed it), ribbon. Personalised ribbon is perfect for cakes, birthday or Christmas presents or to promote your shop – whether that’s an Etsy shop or not, plus sashes for hen nights and birthdays and banners.

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What I really love about this medium is the fact that you are only limited by your imagination, there are so many uses and so much you could say on a ribbon. I am currently trying out ideas to incorporate both my TotesByWendy shop and my new shop. This was yesterdays make and I am already thinking Christmas:

Mum youre a star

I love to see personalised items as I think it shows a real thoughtfulness with gift giving, the fact that the buyer has thought about;

a) What the recipient really likes.

b) To have a name or special message put on that means something to the recipient or to both of them.

I have taken a look around Etsy at what other personalised goodies are out there and this is what I have found!

Drawnwithapencil have some lovely alphabet mugs plus you can buy a matching A4 print – the colours are great and I love the little quirky animals.

Sue Burgess, owner and creative talent behind the shop says:

I use good old fashioned tools such as my pencil to create my artwork. I have tried to be 21st century in my creativity, but is just doesn’t satisfy me.

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This pewter and silver pendant is from WickedWordsmithCo, I think it’s simple design is lovely, I’m not a fan of fussy jewellery.

On this piece you can have names and maybe a date on another side, what a beautiful idea as a gift for a student’s graduation! Or how about having one made with your’s and your significant other’s name on and the date you first met ❤️❤️.

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There is currently a competition running on my Facebook page, one lucky person can have up to 10 meters of ribbon printed with a message of their choice.

Why don’t you head over there and take a look?

See you again soon….

 

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Herd of Sheffield

This year Sheffield is playing host to a herd of elephants.

They can be spotted in and around the city of Sheffield until the 5th October, with the little herd, (the elephant calves), being on display until the 30th September, all in aid of the Children’s Hospital Charity.

The Herd of Sheffield website says:

The elephants have arrived! A herd of 58 elephant sculptures and 72 elephant calves have descend on Sheffield for the biggest public art event the city has ever seen!

The elephant sculptures, each uniquely decorated by artists, have descended on Sheffield’s parks and open spaces, creating one of the biggest mass participation arts events the city has ever seen. Can you find them all?

This exciting initiative is brought to you by The Children’s Hospital Charity and Wild in Art, uniting businesses, communities, artists and schools, leaving a lasting legacy for the city.

Join the stampede, celebrate the herd and make Sheffield Children’s Hospital even better!

Dates for your diary:

Little Herd: our little calf elephants designed by 73 schools and teachers will go on display in indoor venues til 30th September 2016

Herd of Sheffield: follow the trail, collect points with our Herd of Sheffield app and try to see as many of the sculptures as possible whilst they are out and about in the city til 5th October 2016

Virtual Stampede: During the month of September we want you to run, swim, walk or cycle, or do a mix of all four, a minimum of 60km and earn yourself an exclusive limited edition Stampede medal!

You can download the Herd of Sheffield app and follow the trail in and around the city, ticking off the ones you have seen – it’s got to be better than collecting Pokemon!

Sunday the 17th July turned out to be the most glorious day of the summer so far (what summer? I hear you say) so my husband Glyn suggested we go on the hunt for the elephants and see how many we could find. Of course we had a few refreshment breaks along the way, after all it was a hot day and would have been rude not to!

We saw around 30 of the herd but only 3 of the little herd so I think another trip or two to find the rest will be on the cards.

Here are pictures of some of the herd we saw today, but to learn more about this fabulous art installation and the charity concerned pay a visit to the herdofsheffield website.

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Sew and Sew.

Quilting.

Sewing and machine embroidery is my craft and if you’ve already visited my shop totesbywendy.etsy.com you’ll know that I specialise in various types of bags.

I can turn my hand to most things but I have never tried making my own clothes, although I’d love to try, or tried quilting. However there are some fabulously talented sewers out there in Etsy land but I thought for this blog I’d feature just one Etsy seller who is always on hand to give advice and help when needed in our Facebook groups, mixed with a little humour!

The seller I would like to feature is Jane Hurst who’s shop is RosieFreckles. Jane makes some wonderful quilts plus padded notice boards in really funky patterns and colours.

I love this quilt pictured below, the combination of yellows and greys are wonderful.

Patchwork quilt

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How about this cute baby quilt?  Jane’s baby quilts can be used for play mats, pram blankets or as your baby gets older it can be used as a wall hanging, making your purchase a real family heirloom.

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This Aboriginal inspired quilt would also look good as a sofa throw, I can just imagine myself on a cold winters night, snuggled up in this on my sofa with its warming orange tones.

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One of Janes very happy customers says:

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Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy my blogs, see you again soon…

The C Word!

Christmas in July.

Christmas….there I’ve said it and yes I know “it’s only July for crying out loud” I hear you scream.

However Christmas in July gives Etsy sellers a chance to get a head start on promoting their festive makes. I am determined to be organised this year, with both my shop stock and my personal shopping and getting a head start on some great and unusual ideas to come back to later in the year or buy now and stash away.

I have already started to list my decorations and so far have embroidered icicles with Swarovski crystal elements, there will be embroidered snowflakes coming soon.

Icicles from Totes by Wendy

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Paper Space Boutique have some really cute decorations including this one, you can start the count down now if you like!

PaperSpaceBoutique

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Copper Fox Co have something a little bit different with these Nordic style bird house decorations.

CopperFoxCo

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Who doesn’t love a Brussel Sprout at Christmas? Ok so they aren’t to everyone’s taste but I for one love em! I also love this Christmas tape, it’s great fun.

MarthaandHepsie

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Finally from Sophie B Designs, a lovely set of festive wine glass charms.

SophieBDesigns

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There are lots more fantastic and unique gift ideas out there just visit Etsy 

Year of Making, Sheffield 2016

I live just on the outskirts of Sheffield, a city with a proud history of making, famous the world over for it’s steel industry and Silversmithing.

This year, 2016, Sheffield celebrates a year of making with all types of industry from advance manufacturing to award winning theatre.

To learn more visit the website http://www.sheffieldcityofmakers.co.uk/about

“Welcome to the Sheffield Year of Making 2016.

This is a unique opportunity to show that making is in the city’s DNA, ranging across advanced manufacturing to arts, music and theatre.

It’s not just about culture, it’s about how economic vibrancy comes in many forms.

Sheffield is a city that makes people; from theatre-makers, music-makers, health-makers, art-makers, education-makers to business-makers. Year of Making is our opportunity to showcase this by providing a crucible of creativity for residents, visitors and the next generation of would-be-makers, whether born here or wanting to make their future in our city.”

Vanessa Toulmin

Chair Sheffield Culture Consortium Director of City & Cultural Engagement, University of Sheffield

I am part of a team on Etsy called Sheffield Sellers and to celebrate the Year of Making some members of the team are offering a one day only flash sale with a 10% discount on items in their shops.

This is valid only on the 4th June so it’s not to be missed!

Here is just a small selection of the shops taking part:

MaxwellHarrisonJewellery

Jayne has a fantastic range of unique handmade silver jewellery.

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ZinniaGallery

Alex sells original fine art prints, paintings and greetings cards, check out some of their one of a kind work.

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HomespunWonders

Katie has some beautiful shawls, wraps and blankets in her shop to name a few, including this gorgeous and delicate shawl.

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To see the other shops taking part in the flash sale go to the Etsy Local page  and click on the links to each shop to check out their goodies!

Dont miss this great event!

See you soon…

 

The Good Life!

I love gardening even if it is hard graft at times. I’m very lucky (some of you may think unlucky if you hate gardening) to have a very large garden which we have split into 2 distinct parts. The first is the bottom garden with patio, pond, lawn and now a lovely summer house/my workshop. The other half is where I keep my chickens and it’s also  sort of an allotment where I try (emphasise the word try) to grow fruit and veg. The ones we are usually successful with are tomatoes and cucumbers in the greenhouse, onions, rhubarb and strawberries, if I can get to those before the blackbird does!

If I had to chose a favourite season I don’t think I could but I do love this time of year when everything is growing at a pace (weeds included), butterflies and bees emerging and I get to see the baby birds fledging, although at the moment we are overrun with young starlings which isn’t good for the washing on the line, if you know what I mean!

With all this in mind I decided for this blog to feature anything with a gardening or garden wildlife theme, so anything goes.

One thing I have always wanted but never got round to buying is a Trug, I love the whitewashed look of this one from TeaCupsAndCarving

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I have Forget-me-not flowers popping their beautiful delicate blue heads up all over my garden so when I found this lovely pendant I just had to include it, from Larryware

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I love to watch the blue tits flitting about my garden so I fell in love with this cute picture from IainSByrne

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I have kept chickens for 16 years, they give me a lot of pleasure and eggs so when I searched for something chicken related I came across this great shop TheSkinnyCardCompany I had to favourite this shop as it has so many things I like but I had to choose one thing and it was this fab coaster that made me chuckle 😂😂

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I hope you’ve enjoyed looking through these great Etsy finds, I’ll leave you with a few photos from my own garden, see you soon…

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My Acer with pond in the background.

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Some of my lovely ladies.

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Trees at the top of the garden

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A taste of things to come, cherries just starting to grow.

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Aquilegia growing against the garage.

 

 

Bag, ladies?

There are so many different types of bags on the market, from handbags to man bags, it difficult to know where to start.

I started my Etsy journey making tote bags (hence the name Totes by Wendy) and as my shop and skills have developed I have updated my designs and range of bags. I now have tote bags, clutch bags with metal kiss frames and beach bags to name a few.

You can check out my own selection of bags here at TotesByWendy including the dragonfly tote bag.

I recently went to a well know department store to look for seasonal inspiration, colours, styles etc and whilst I was there, looked at a range of little wedding clutch bags and I have to say I was very disappointed in the choice and  quality.

Apart from the obvious fact that it was mass produced, the stitching was poor and to be honest I thought it wasn’t good value for money.

I know I have said this before but it’s worth repeating, if you buy from a small business and consciensous seller such as myself and many others on Etsy, you can be certain that their items are made with love, care and in some cases are one offs so you have something unique.

Here’s a selection of the fantastic work out there:

First up we have a large, retro fabric beach bag from GertiesBags I love this fabric as it reminds me of crashing waves.

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From AllTheTrimmingsUK we have a lovely tote shopping bag. I love the fact that not only can you carry your shopping in it, you can use it to plan your next holiday adventure as well, two uses, one bag, what’s not to love?

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For a something that’s a bit of fun, check out this cute fox clutch bag from SplendidElk

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And finally, the man bag (don’t want to be accused of being sexist!) from CRAFTYSTYLESTORE

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Take a good look around Etsy for yourself and see what you can find, there is sooooo much to chose from.

See you soon…

Baby Baby

Unique Baby clothes 

I can vaguely remember when my daughter was born, some *#%^ years ago, getting bundles of sleep suits, baby grows and pretty little dresses. Amongst these were hand knitted little cardigans, bonnets and bootees which to be honest I didn’t fully appreciating the work (and love) that goes into making them, at the time.

My views have definitely changed over the years and especially now I have my own Etsy shop selling handmade items, I fully appreciate how time consuming something can be and how much effort and love goes into making something special and unique.

Whether you are an expectant mum, proud Grandparent or holding a baby shower for a friend or relative, I hope you will love this little collection of unique clothes for baby.

I love these cute little bootees from NoahandNoo .

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What can I say except aaahhwwww! How fab is this newborn newsboy hat from VerityIsabelle

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I love the colour of this pretty little matching sleeveless jacket and bonnet from RainbowsnmoreCrafts

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For a cute summer outfit, how about this from DandilionsLollipop I love the vibrant colours on this romper suit.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed looking through this little collection from fabulous UK Etsy sellers.

See you soon …

 

Hang Out The Bunting!

Garden Parties, BBQs and Picnics.

Wow what a fabulous weekend we’ve had with the weather!

All up and down our road you could smell the aromas of BBQ’s, hear the pop of Prosecco corks and the birds singing, it was sheer bliss.

So after a busy day at a garden and craft fair, ably helped by my lovely sister-in-law, we came back, sat on the patio and stoked up our own BBQ. We plan on having many more over the coming months and in fact already have a big party planned in July for my sister-in-law, to celebrate a special birthday (yes, she’ll be 21 again!).

So to give you and hopefully me, some great ideas for garden parties, BBQ’s and picnics I have put together a selection of lovely finds from UK Etsy sellers.

First up if your fella likes to get in touch with his primitive side and take control of the BBQ, he’ll need one of these from BangTidyClothing. Don’t forget it’s also Father’s day on June 19th so this would make a fun present.

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I love the look of this pretty, shabby chic garden bunting from VillageBunting using Cath Kidston material, what a lovely finishing touch it would make to your party.

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Carry your bottle of wine to the beach or park for a picnic, in style, with this insulated wine bottle bag from my own shop TotesByWendy. This would also make a lovely house warming gift with a good bottle of wine or champagne inside. I will be making a bespoke one for my sister-in-law to take with them to France in their caravan.

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And finally, garden parties are not just for the Queen! If you’re celebrating a special event you’ll love these pretty invitations to send out to your guests, from DesignPlug.

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Get out there and enjoy the weather when you can and the company of friends and family.

See you soon…

 

Pampered Pets

We are a nation of animal lovers, be it dogs, cats, rabbits or in my case chickens.

We have had, in the past, a dog called Murphy who was a Manchester Terrier cross and rescued from the local RSPCA and a cat called Jess who was semi feral and rescued from the Cats Protection League, sadly both have passed now. But I remember with great fondness how much joy they gave us and the laughter they created with their antics.

So it is with them in mind that I have put together a few great Etsy finds for our furry friends and their owners.

 

This first offering, a matching hair bow for you and your cat, from http://www.thelittlestofthings.etsy.com made me smile 😀

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Next up we have a fabulously stylish Pug bag from http://www.prettypugly.etsy.com,

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I have to sneak in my own offering here with my personalised slip on collar bandanas suitable for cats and dogs, check them out in my shop http://www.totesbywendy.etsy.com

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Finally, from http://www.charlieandbillie.etsy.com we have a cute cat toy.

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Hope you’ve enjoyed these great finds, see you again soon.