The Antoinette Collection

Unique jewellery made with love and tender care.

Featured Seller – Week 6 – KirstinMooreContemporaryJewellery April 4, 2011

Twist Silver Earrings  £15.95

Twist Silver Earrings £15.95

Introduction:

Kirstin is a qualified jeweller and makes exquisite items of jewellery, often inspired by the human form.  Kirstin has been trained in both silver and goldsmithing and combines these precious metals with delicate crystals and stones to create stunning and beautiful designs.

Interview:

Name: Kirstin Moore

Folksy Shop: http://www.KirstinMooreContemporaryJewellery.folksy.com

What do you enjoy most about your craft? I enjoy being able to express myself or a concept through jewellery. Also, i enjoy seeing the pleasure that a handmade piece can give to someone, whether it be from a commission or a piece from oneof my collections, handmade jewellery has that personal edge.

Fairy Wing Necklace £39.95

Fairy Wing Necklace £39.95

When did you join Folksy? about 8 months ago

What first interested you about your craft? I was at art college and discovered that everything that I had painted, designed or made could be a piece of wearable art and so jewellery became the natural progression.

What makes your shop unique? I am a traditionally trained jeweller (through an apprenticeship) and a contemporary trained jewellery designer maker through my degree, therefore I feel that my jewellery is a fusion between the two. My work is often concept led but carried out in a traditional way, therefore I feel that my jewellery is timeless.

Which of your items is your favourite? I am very fond of my enchantment range, inspired by fairies and so it would have to be my fairy wing necklace.

During periods where sales are low, what inspires you to carry on? I tend to find that there is always something going on as i also create oil painting commissions so I tend to find that i am always busy. However, if I do find there is a lull then I am inspired to create new ranges and collections.

Twist Bangle £34.95

Twist Bangle £34.95

What one piece of advice would you give to new sellers? I would advise people to keep on trying and not to get too despondant. One piece that you create might not fly off the folksy shelf but may be extremely popular elsewhere. xx

Conclusion:

Kirstin has some amazing items that are both unique and delicate. If you can’t find what your looking for on her Folksy site, then I recommend her personal website which offers a wider range of items www.kirstinmoore.com It’s great to see someone making a living from something they enjoy and her passion shows in her intricate designs.

Star Shaped Silver Earrings £15.95

Star Shaped Silver Earrings £15.95

Kirstin also sells her jewellery in two small shops in Kent, the addresses can be found on her website. Other jewellery makers should look to her with admiration. She’s reminded me that the internet is a vast space and if something isn’t selling in one place, they’ll be others where it is. Please take a moment to stop by Kirstins’ online store to admire her beautiful creations.

 

Featured Seller – Week 5 – AndOtherStories March 28, 2011

Filed under: Featured Seller — Kerri Robberts @ 9:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
A crochet cushion cover of the granny variety £20.70

A crochet cushion cover of the granny variety £20.70

Introduction:

Helen has been selling on Folksy since 2010, in that time she has sold 16 items ranging from gloves to cushions, brooches to caffetiere warmers. Helen creates some absolutely beautifully crocheted items and her shop is definitely worth spending some time viewing, or even making a purchase.

Interview:

Helen Name: Helen

Folksy Shop: andotherstories

What do you enjoy most about your craft? I like knitting and crochet because I can take it about with me: to a friend’s; on the train; to the par… I also enjoy making recycled fabric greetings cards and gift tags. I love to make something beautiful and useful from something that would probably have been thrown away.

Hot water bottle cover for cold days £20.40

Hot water bottle cover for cold days £20.40

When did you join Folksy? 2010

What first interested you about your craft? The fact that there are a million types of yarn to choose from and thousands of colours – something for every occasion!

What makes your shop unique? It’s a beautiful culmination of new and old i.e. a cushion made from glorious yarn, complemented by vintage buttons; or gift tags made using shiny, new ribbon and scraps of old fabric.

Which of your items is your favourite? I currently have two granny chic, crocheted cushion covers in my little shop. I like that it’s a traditional design brought up to date with bright and beautiful yarns.

During periods where sales are low, what inspires you to carry on? I am only employed part-time and I hate doing nothing on my days off, so even if nothing’s currently selling I’m always motivated to be productive and create beautiful things. Then I put my energy into promoting my new items. I’m always creating new designs, so it’s not hard to feel inspired to carry on!

What one piece of advice would you give to new sellers? Don’t expect to setup shop, sit back, and wait for the sales to roll in. Promote, promote, promote! Use social networking sites to your advantage, leave business cards in your local craft shops and book into craft fairs (I’ve found that customers are more likely to buy if they can see and feel the item).

Peachy perfect crochet clothes hanger £5.10

Peachy perfect crochet clothes hanger £5.10

Conclusion:

Helen remains positive even when sales are slow. She fills her spare time with her hobby, keeping herself busy and remaining motivated to be productive. She provides some sound advice for new sellers, promotion is a key part of creating sales. Helen also sells a range of destash products including yarn and buttons. I highly recommend stopping by to browse Helens’ high quality products.

 

Pink Butterfly Swarovski Bracelet March 22, 2011

£9.00

When I first went about purchasing beads for making jewellery, I didn’t realise you could get crystals in different shapes. My first few purchases were in craft stores and Covent Garden bead shops. I was buying specific amounts for the patterns I had in a crystal jewellery book.

I soon came to realise that buyin online was not only cheaper, time saving, and more efficient. But it also allowed me to broaden the range of colours and shapes I could stock, therefore use to create pieces.

One of my friends wanted to commission me to make some jewellery for his girlfriend for Valentines Day. Her favourite colours were pink, grey, and purple. I came up with the idea of using butterflies from the saying “butterflies in your stomach”, the feeling you get sometimes when you’re in love.

Along with the butterflies I used silver plated curved spacer beads and light rose Swarovski crystal beads to create this incredibly delicate design.

The bracelet measures 19cm (7.5″) in length, 4mm (1/8″) in depth and 5mm (0.2″) in width. It comes complete with a 38mm (1.5″) silver-plated extender chain, and is finished with a silver-plated lobster clasp.

I have since sourced alternative colour Swarovski butterflies, so if you wish to have this bracelet in alternative colours then please message me for more details. There would be no additional cost for this amendment.

To purchase this bracelet please click here

 

Mondays Featured Seller – Week 4 – MadBrilliantIdeas March 21, 2011

Filed under: Featured Seller — Kerri Robberts @ 9:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Introduction:

Chessy the Munster £18.00

Chessy the Munster £18.00

Katelyn has been making teddies since she fell pregnant and started her Folksy shop in February 2011 to sell some of her creations. These aren’t any old teddy bears that you’d find in the shops however, they’re a family that come with their own individual background story with descriptions of their personality. Naturally Katelyns’ personality shines through each individual bear and you’re drawn into buying due to the personification of each one. How could you leave poor Tinni on the shelf when you’ve bought her little sister Toki?

Interview:

Folksy Shop: www.MadBrilliantIdeas.folksy.com

What do you enjoy most about your craft? The colours! I can’t help it, I like patterns, colours and fabrics (is that odd?). I like combining them in strange ways, it doesn’t always work, but it’s fun to do anyway!

I spend a lot of time thinking up a background story for my creatures: their likes and dislikes;

how they fit into the “family”; how they got there… I actually think up longer

Charlie the Elephant £15.00

Charlie the Elephant £15.00

stories than I post, but I try to keep them shorter for selling.

When did you join Folksy? February 2011

What first interested you about your craft? I fell pregnant and needed a hobby that would keep me occupied, but still be ok when I wasn’t quite as mobile. I tried a few things, but found my niche when I made my brother a teddy from some old pieces of material. I fell in love with the craft because it was fun and I could disappear into a creation for hours at a time. It’s a very relaxing thing to do, plus I can jab the Mr with my needles if he’s being a pain =P

My home is filled with lots of noise and loud habits and such like and having a “quiet” thing to do is just very relaxing for me. I’ll do it when I’m wide awake, or when I’m stressed and want to relax, or even to help me get sleepy enough for bed! It’s good for lots of reasons basically! =)

What makes your shop unique? I think the amount of thought I put into each creature is unique. Every single one has it’s own tale, but they all coincide with each other somewhere along the line. It makes them all the more “real”. I especially like how the backgrounds I create for my teddies gives thempersonalities, making them more than just a bear like you would get from the

Mr & Mrs Tweets Duo £6.50

Mr & Mrs Tweets Duo £6.50

High Street stores. In some cases their background story includes another one of my creatuers, usually with an anecdote of some form as if they were real people! I love that most about my creations.

Which of your items is your favourite? Tinni by all means. She is probably the most “me” of my creations – although they are all me in some way I guess!

During periods where sales are low, what inspires you to carry on?: That things will pick up eventually. Besides I love making little creatures and coming up with their narrative. I’d be making them even if I wasn’t trying to sell them!

They’re a little family of their own, and I can create full personalities for each character whereby they interact together which is great fun.

What one piece of advice would you give to new sellers? Don’t get disheartened by a lack of sales. People can like your items and just not be able to afford it at the time. I certainly feel that way when I go shopping alot of the time! =)

Conclusion:

Katelyn’s creatures are definitely a niche market and not something you’d find in a high street store. If you’re looking for a gift for a child that can teach them about how people interact than these toys would make the perfect learning tool. With a price range of £4 – £25, these reasonably priced toys would make the perfect gift.

 

Replacing a Mortis Lock March 20, 2011

For those that know me, you’ll know I’ve been having some issues in my shared house with my housemate that hasn’t paid rent for half the year. It’s got to the stage now whereby the entire flat has been issued individual Section 21 notices. I’ve been feeling particularly uneasy about the whole thing as I’m the only girl in the flat and I have over £2k of electrical goods. After speaking to my father, who amongst other things is a locksmith, I decided to replace the mortis lock without keys, for one with keys so I can at least lock my room when I’m away.

I thought it might be nice to give a few step by step instructions for anyone else wanting to do the same. This isn’t just a man thing to do, afterall I’m a 24 year old woman.

  1. First take off both door handles using a screwdriver. To undo screws remember, righty tighty, lefty loosey.
  2. Unscrew the mortis lock. This is the bit that’s inside the door, once unscrewing it you will need to remove the rectangular piece of metal that the handles use and poke your screwdriver through the hole to push the lock out.
  3. Take the lock mechanism down to your local B&Q or hardware store and in their door aisles you’ll find handles, and locks.
  4. Measure the old lock case against the ones in B&Q. If you get a lock case bigger than the old one you may need to chisel out the inside of the door to get it to fit.
  5. Choose the right type of lock. There are several types of mortis lock. My Dad says he can break into a 2 lever one within 10 seconds, a 3 lever takes slightly longer and a 5 lever longer still. The reason for this is that inside the lock there are plates, either 2, 3, or 5 that need to be moved by the key before the lock will be released. To break in you would need to lift each latch individually and keep them all lifted for the lock to pop. The levers are all spring loaded, therefore the more spring loaded levers to lift and hold, the trickier it will be to break-in.
  6. Purchase lock. I chose to use the self-service, it was quicker and I only had one item.
  7. Fit lock. Put the new lock mechanism into the side of the door and check the latch is the correct way around. If it’s not then you’re going to have to remove the lid, fiddle around and get it the right way around. The lock mechanism should have come with instructions for doing this. The instructions in mine weren’t clear so in the end I took the latch off the old lock and placed that in the new one. I will get my Dad to fit my new one into the old one for me when I see him next weekend.

  8. Screw it all back into place. Screw the lock mechanism back into the door frame, you might have needed to chisel some more space first if your lock mechanism is too big.

  9. Screw one handle back onto the door and then insert the rectangular rod that works the handle. Check that when you now move the handle that the latch moves.

  10. Screw the other handle back into place.

  11. Test lock. Using the keys provided test the lock works.

NOTES:

You will likely need a flat head screwdriver and a cross head screwdriver.

You may also need a chisel if the new lock mechanism is bigger than your current one.

Check with your landlord before fitting locks into rented property.

 

Hurray a Cheque From the Taxman March 19, 2011

Filed under: Hints and Tips — Kerri Robberts @ 1:22 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Over the past financial year I have been made redundant, moved straight into a job that ran me into the ground, and then moved into a new job I love. However, this appears to have confused HMRC somewhat. Therefore my taxcode has been completely up the creek for the entire year.

If you think you might be paying too much or even too little tax it’s always worth giving the taxman (or lady) a quick call just to make sure. My first phonecall to them was quite concerning, they told me I hadn’t paid enough tax for the year and as a consequence took too much from my salary last month. Since then I’ve filed my mileage allowance claim for the year 09/10 and asked them to review some taxable medical insurance that I hadn’t had for the entire 10/11 period.

On Thursday I received a letter back from HMRC saying that my personal allowance is now 647L instead of 566L (quite a difference there) and then yesterday I came home to a letter telling me I was going to receive a cheque for £72 for overpaid tax in 09/10. This was due to a claim of £385 for mileage expenses that I had only received 25p per mile, instead of the 40p per mile tax relief.

This morning I received the cheque in the post, so on Monday I’ll pop that in the bank and it can pay for my festival ticket this year. Even if you’re unsure as to whether you’ve paid the correct tax it’s always worth writing them a letter to get them to check. Afterall, the money always looks nicer in your bank account than theirs.

For more information on tax please go to: www.hmrc.gov.uk

 

Folksy Friday – Brainssssssss March 18, 2011

This week I asked the OH for a theme “Pick a theme any theme….” the response I got back “sorry I can’t my brain isn’t working, I can’t think”. “Brains it is then” I replied. Therefore this weeks Folksy Friday is Brain themed, from zombies to reading, to anatomy.

The brain is the fundamental reason for our conscious, without the brain we wouldn’t be able to function, although people can be kept alive through the use of machines when the brain fails it is unlikely they will return to their previous state. The brain is also where we store the majority of our knowledge, although muscle memory also stores knowledge it is the electronics within the brain that allow for these muscles to work.

So here we have it, the Folksy Friday brain theme:

Literary quote brooch by Bookity £3.75

Literary quote brooch by Bookity £3.75

Halloween - Zombie - by Scars and Stars £7.00

Halloween - Zombie - by Scars and Stars £7.00

Moleskine cahier squared paper by Champignons £7.00

Moleskine cahier squared paper by Champignons £7.00

Mad Scientist Wash Set by Bits and Bobs £3.25

Mad Scientist Wash Set by Bits and Bobs £3.25

Zombie Cupcake by Zombie Flesheaters £5.00

Zombie Cupcake by Zombie Flesheaters £5.00

Zombie Charm Bracelet by Stella My Star £20.00

Zombie Charm Bracelet by Stella My Star £20.00