It’s all change this Christmas

Toddler snowman hat

I’ve been making things as Quirky Purple for ages and ages now.

I am always trying out new things based on an idea that’s popped in my head 🙂 I like to try and make up a new pattern and see if I can actually make it look like the image I had in my head. This means that the list of things I make has got bigger and bigger. The upshot of this is that at busy times, like Christmas, I struggle to keep on top of things.

Union Jack tablet coverI’ve been meaning to review my makes and see if I can just reduce it a bit to make it a little bit more manageable. I might manage to get my Christmas prep and Christmas shopping done too :)

Anyway, my ‘issue’ is being pushed a little more strongly now. I’m about to start a course, so I know I won’t have as much time as usual to crack on with Christmas orders. Yep, I’ve had to bite the bullet!

In my Etsy Shop, I’ve created a section called Pre-Christmas Sale. I’ve popped lots of goodies in there at some pretty good discounts. These are all available for immediate worldwide shipping as I have them all made up and ready to ship. These are items that I won’t be making anymore as I just won’t have the time 😦  Over the next couple of weeks I will be adding in a few more items – if I can bear it!

Above are some of the items, including baby sets (newborn hats and blankets), quirky tea cosies, cafetiere covers, vintage crochet bags, gadget covers, retro cushions etc, etc

Please take a look as there are some really quirky little gifts there for Christmas. Thanks!

 

Advertisements

What a waste – wet wipe litter up 50% on UK beaches!

babywipe

BBC News

As you know, I don’t really like to throw things away and this headline today reminded me why I chose to use reusable nappies and wipes.

Here’s the full article from the BBC.

It’s awful to think what we are doing to our environment just for the sake of what appears to be convenience. If people understood the alternatives out there a little better than it might not seem more convenient…

When I first started using reusable nappies I was still using baby wipes. I found that I was popping my nappies in the nappy bin for washing and then throwing away the baby wipes into the dust bin. It seemed a bit odd. So, I did a bit more research and found out about reusable wipes.

I bought a set of bamboo Cheeky Wipes and have never looked back. They aren’t the only solution out there as there are plenty of other brands and some people make their own, or buy cheap flannels from the Pound shops. You don’t even need a special box to store them in – you can improvise. I use a commercial baby wipes box that was given to us as a baby gift.

They are SOOOOOOO much better than a disposable baby wipe. If I do use baby wipes (like if we go away – yeah I’m not perfect!) I find I need to use a lot of them to clean a mucky bum. Is it just me or do they seem to smear everything? With the bamboo reusable wipes, you tend to just need one or two. Then they just get wrapped up in the dirty nappy and popped in the nappy bin for the next wash.

girl hero fabricI use reusable wipes for hands and faces too. Again I just tend to use one wipe for each meal rather than a handful of baby wipes. I have a couple of little double zipper wet bags for them – clean wipes in one side, dirty in the other. They are from My Little Patch, who make to order in all sorts of fabrics. I have one in a sort of ‘biff, bang, pow’ material and another in ‘girl hero’. The ‘girl hero’ one has Wonder Woman on it so I was smitten!

Actually, one thing I did find when I was still using baby wipes. If they go through the washing machine by accident, they come out as lovely clean wipes. I actually used to reuse them as wipes (dampened) or as liners in the cloth nappies. They would actually go through the washer several times before they started to break up…

Geeky sewing inspiration

I bought a fancy new sewing machine a little while ago and have made a few things using it, but not many.

geeky materialMy little girl is now in nursery a couple of afternoons a week so I have a little bit more time to sit down and try some new things. A couple of weeks ago I decided to have a search around to look for some new fabrics to give me some inspiration. They arrived last week. They’re a  wonderful mixture of sci-fi, comic book, techie, Wonder Woman and zombies. A real geeky mixture!

I’ve just finished making some coffee cosies for cafetieres. So far I’ve make a Wonder Woman, a Pacman, a zombie and a Star Wars cosy. They are all lined in a nice soft fleece to keep the coffee warm but keep the cosy nice and slim. I’ve also top-stitched them to give them a neat finish

I’ve put some tabs on the top and bottom and poppers on the tabs to make it easy to take the covers on and off. These keep the cosy nice and snug.

P1020820So what do you think? Nice and geeky?

Now I’m trying to think what to make next with all this lovely fabric. Gadget covers, baby bibs or taggy blankets? Any ideas?

These four are currently on sale in my Etsy shop.

 

Oh Etsy, why?

Quirky Purple EtsyJust a moan really…

Etsy swapped a few menus around a little while ago and I’ve only just got used to them. It just wasn’t as quick to get to my Shop Activity. I don’t know about you but I really like to keep looking at this. I love it when people favourite my things and then someone else favourites it.

I’ve just popped onto Etsy today to add my hot water bottle covers back up now that the weather is getting colder and it’s only gone and bloody changed again!

Arrrgggh, all the menu bits are now on the right-hand side rather than the left so my finger keeps twitching the wrong way for the menu.

Now, don’t get me wrong – those new little icons look really cool and I particularly like how my purple logo is used up there. But, yeah you knew there’d be a ‘but’, right? Now I have to do 2 clicks to see my shopfront?? It’s another thing I like to keep an eye on and change my featured items and I like to look at the shop to do this so I can see it how potential buyers will see it.

Is this just me? I’m not really a computer luddite and over the years I’ve changed enough large websites myself to know that you can’t please everyone all of the time. I guess there’s been a lot of user testing on something as big as this, so it probably is just me 🙂

I’ll shut up now and go and bath the baby…

Right. That’s it. I’ve closed my eBay shop!

Well, I’ve been getting more and more frustrated with eBay over the last few months.

I set up a shop on there about a year ago as I thought it gave a better experience for potential customer to browse sections rather that have all my goodies just lumped together. The fees for the shop weren’t too bad either. The shop itself wasn’t very flexible on look and feel but I managed to give it the flavour of Quirky Purple.

Over the last year eBay have hiked the prices and just made it harder and harder to be a successful seller on there, especially if you are a smaller seller like myself.

eBay buyers are out for a bargain, but hey, who isn’t these days? It does annoy me though when I get people contact me and offer me a couple of quid for something I spent ages making and I think I’ve priced at a reasonable price (which is probably too low anyway for the amount of time I spent making it). It’s been quite a hassle on and off.

You can also seem to get the odd  ‘bad buyer’ on eBay. At the end of last year, I had a lady buy 2 vintage items from me and she bought and paid for them as 2 separate transactions. She then complained I hadn’t combined postage – which is impossible when bought and paid for as 2 separate transactions. Anyway, I offered to do a PayPal refund to combine the postage. She then said that she wanted her money back for the 2 items as she wasn’t happy with them. No worries, says I (gritting my teeth as they were completely as described and she clearly just didn’t want them, but hey ho that happens sometimes), just return and I’ll refund. Oh no, says she, I haven’t got time for that, I’ll just leave you bad feedback. Seriously, that’s what she said, and she did indeed leave me poor feedback. I complained to eBay and they wouldn’t do anything as she said the items weren’t as described… even though I’d offered a return with a full refund. I’d never had poor feedback before and had built up a good reputation as a Top Rated Seller. I’ve always provided a full refund even if something didn’t fit or suit a buyer once they’d received it. I was gutted that eBay couldn’t help with this issue.

Anyway, enough of my rant. I’ve closed the shop. I still have a Quirky Purple account on there and will continue to use eBay for auctions of vintage goodies.

Quirky Purple EtsyI’m now going to concentrate on my Etsy and Folksy shops. They seem to fit my handmade items so much better.

Enquiries from these sites are from genuinely interested buyers. The shops look beautiful too compared to eBay. I love the way you can have a look at a seller/maker’s profile and learn a little about them. Ordering custom items is so much easier too and a lot of my customers are requesting custom items.

I love being able to create treasuries and love seeing my items added into someone else’s treasury.

Sorry if this causes you any issues as a eBay buyer, but they have made it harder and harder for me to make it worth my while selling on there… c’mon over to Etsy where the water is lovely and warm 🙂

Babies are like time sponges

P1020071Crikey, it’s taking me ages to get things done these days!

I’ve currently only opened my Etsy shop, so I can start to get into the swing of things. I’m trying to get used to taking and making orders whilst looking after a 3 month old.

Before Christmas, the only things that really stopped me getting on with orders or coming up with new designs was getting waylaid by social media, or a new episode of the Walking Dead. These days it seems like one small creature can just use up all my time like a cute little time sponge.

I’m sure anyone else with a baby will understand what I mean when I say that I seem to do everything in 10-20 minute blocks. I’ll pop her on her playmat and hopefully have 20 minutes, so I quickly make some zombie eyeballs. Oooh, I think, she’s tired so I pop her in bed and think I’ll make that owl baby hat, only to find she’s awake after 10 minutes. Then I think I’ll feed her and get cracking on the TARDIS coffee cosy, only to find she’ll want to take an hour to eat…

That’s also with trying to fit things around all those new mummy things like Baby Massage, Bumps and Babies, Baby Cinema, Baby Yoga, etc, etc. Oh and let’s not forget constantly filling and emptying the washing machine… oooh that’s reminded me – the washer finished half an hour ago so I’d better get those nappies on the line!

Babies, babies, everywhere!

Well, I’ve not been posting for a little while as I suddenly don’t seem to have much time to do anything. Why, I hear you ask. Well I had a baby a few weeks ago, just a few days before Christmas.

It’s not that before I had her that I didn’t believe friends when they told me to prepare for sleepless nights and days where you don’t get to leave the sofa, apart from to change nappies. It’s just that until it happens I don’t think you grasp the reality.

While I was pregnant, I did make quite a few things for my little bundle and it’s been really nice using them now she’s here. It’s especially nice when people as I’m able to respond with, “Oh that little thing. I made it”. Yeah, I know, sad 🙂

P1000292There was also a little amigurumi panda that I made before Christmas. This was in my Etsy shop, until I closed it over the New Year. Last week I was going through my stock so I could start to re-open my shop and she spotted it. I think it’s the combination of having a big face and being high-contrast black and white. It’s her favourite toy now…

I’m glad I managed to get some crochet stock made up whilst pregnant as that’s allowed me to get the shop opened again now. There are lots of new baby items in there now a I was inspired during pregnancy… I’ll post some of them up on here later this week. Some are already up in my Etsy Children and Babies section.

Anyway, I’m not quite sure how I found the time to write this blog post today, but I’d better go as it’s already bath time…