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 🙂

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Vintage crochet shawls

I had a fantastic find a little while ago. A stash of vintage shawls and ponchos. Most of them are hand crocheted too.

They are a real mix of hippy chick style, evening shawls and some 40s 50s style ‘bed jacket’ style. Quite an eclectic mix!

Some of the 70s ponchos sold as soon as I put them online, but I’ve just popped up a more varied selection which would be perfect for the current cooler weather.

They are on the eBay Shop and the Etsy Shop.

Incidentally I have also sourced some cool 70s crocheted shoulder bags. These are in fab bright colours and are just on the Etsy Shop at the moment.

I’ve got a few more shawls to work through at the moment but so far they are looking fab! What do you think?

Busy, busy busy!

Well, I’ve not posted on the blog for a while but I do have lots of excuses, erm, I mean reasons!

I’ve actually been pretty busy with a number of things. Firstly, being pregnant has been slowing me down more than I thought it would. The tiredness has been greater than I expected and it’s much easier to get sidetracked 🙂

I also write articles for the Nottingham Post for my other business, Quirky Web, where I help and advise small businesses on the web and social media.

And of course, I’ve been preparing for the Vintage Suitcase vintage and handmade fairs. I’ve been making some new handmade items to preview at the fairs. Also, for some reason I seemed to have been inspired to increase the range of handmade baby items. I can’t imagine why…..

Matlock StallFirst of all was the Matlock Fair in June. The location, right in the middle of Matlock, was excellent. Due to all the lovely traders there, space was a little bit tight, but a little bit of wriggling our stalls around seemed to work. Lots of lovely people came by the stall for a chat and I had a few cusotm orders from people after the fair.

Buxton StallLast weekend was the Buxton Fair. The venue here was just stunning. A big old domed building. Very impressive and lots and lots of room for us stallholders. Lots of people seemed to be milling around all the lovely stalls and having a good time. There was also a big area to sit down and have a brew and a chat. There were over 50 traders and a real selection of vintage, handmade and remade. Just my sort of thing!

Bakewell Fair posterThe next one is at Bakewell on Wednesday 7th August, which is next week. There are details here. This one is taking place at the same time as the Bakewell Show, which will be fab! As usual, it’s only a quid to get in and take advantage of having a mooch around all those lovely vintage and handmade stalls.

Hope to see a few of you there picking up some great bargains!

Market day in the sunshine

Quirky Purple stallWell it was Not the Camden Market again yesterday and I think a good day was had by all again!

Considering the tram works have closed the road by Bartons, people still managed to find their way there. It was also Not the Hay Book Festival so it was a pretty eclectic mix of people there. I think the sunshine encouraged people to get out of the house and come and visit us! It’s amazing how much more smiley people are when the sun finally comes out 🙂

I had some new items on the stall and some of these were the most popular. I sold all of the handmade pacman toilet roll covers. The little scottie and westie dogs I made were also very popular. As usual, my zombie horde found lots of new homes.

This month there were also quite a few new stallholders, so it was lovely having a wander round and chatting to some new people.

TARDIS Kindle coverIt was a fairly quiet start to the day, so I was finishing off a TARDIS Kindle/tablet/iPad mini cover that I’d started the day before. As soon as I’d finished it and popped it onto the stall someone came by and bought it. They have been so popular recently that I can’t make them quick enough!

At the moment I haven’t got any more fairs or markets booked until June, but I’m sure I’ll find another one to slot in for May!

Check out our Events page to see where we are next!

It’s snow heels for me today!

The Beatles in the snowWhat is going on with the weather?

This time last year, I’m sure we were having a little mini heat wave.

Only a few weeks ago it really looked like spring was starting. The bulbs in my garden were poking out of the ground and giving a lovely splash of colour and the trees in the street were starting to get their blossom.

Quirky Purple TARDIS hot water bottleQuirky Purple zombie hot water bottleThen boom – people have started ordering my hot water bottles! These two particular bad boys have been flying around the world!

I’ve also taken UK orders this week for a bee and a purple flower design.

I thought I’d be packing these away until winter!

I know show evokes all the childhood memories of how excited you were when you woke up and the world was suddenly white. You could throw the stuff, build with it and slide on it. What could be a better toy?

Audrey Hepburn in the snowWhen you’re an adult, snow very often becomes a bit of a pest. It appears and finds a way to stop you doing things. Something that might seem a good thing is when you can’t get into work so you can have snow day. At the weekend it’s going to be a pain for vintage and handmade sellers, as even if they themselves can make it to the fair or markets, the chances are, their potential customers won’t be able to.

For me today, the snow if stopping me wearing heels! I’m meeting friends for a shop (I’m playing personal shopper again) and then some lunch. I was going to wear heels but when I looked out fo the window I decided that I didn’t really want to see the inside of casualty later so it will be some chunky boots!

Quirky Purple wrist warmers and head warmerOn the plus side, at least I get to wear the alpaca and cotton wrist warmers and head warmer that I made myself just before Christmas!

And a big bonus – I found some of the purple alpaca and cotton on sale this week so grabbed some to make myself a set to go with my purple coat 🙂

Etsy Nottingham meet

On the 8th March I popped into town to meet up withe some local sellers. It was a lovely day, meeting lots of people making and selling all sorts of things.

When you have an online shop, you are generally working on your own quite a bit, especially if you are crafting. I think some things like vintage get you out and about a bit more as you ae sourcing goodies. That’s why I try to vary my days a little. Some days I do handmade and remade, then other days I’ll go out and about sourcing vintage in my favorite places.

So it was nice to meet up with such and eclectic bunch and swap stories and ideas. Here’s a group piccie of us all:

Etsy Nottm MeetThe picture is courtesy of the Lazy Pineapple who took some amazing pictures!

I wish we’d taken some individual piccies of us holding our business cards as I’m terrible at remembering names and faces. Anyway. here are some of the lovelies that were there – I know as I picked up their business cards and spoke to most bods. Sorry if I’ve missed you. Drop me a note and say hi 🙂

We’re also in the weekend Nottingham post (Saturday 16th March). Here’s a piccie of the article.

Nottingham Post articleNot my best side…. 🙂

Leftlion were also there chatting to people and doing interviews to find out how people find time to make things and how they became Etsy sellers. Can’t wait to see the article as there were some interesting stories that I overheard.

Hopefully we’ll get something similar organised again!

What’s in a name? Playsuits, culottes and jumpsuits!

70s jumpsuit from Quirky PurpleIn 1977 the Queen came to visit my local town of Mansfield. It was the Silver Jubilee and if I remember correctly, she had come to open the new library.

When we were kids we only used to get new clothes at certain times of the year, like Whitsun or summer holidays. Well I was getting old enough that I could choose what I wanted, obviously within a pretty strict budget, and this particular time I chose a jumpsuit and a blue nylon bomber jacket.

The jumpsuit was fabulous! I was in a khaki brown colour, full arms and legs and had patches on it like an American car mechanic overalls. I was rocking it. I was so enamoured with it I wore it to see the Queen. People like Charlie’s Angles were the sort of girls that wore jumpsuits…

See how I called it a jumpsuit?

Jumpsuits were quite new, modern things as in the 60s the word ‘catsuit’ was used to describe an all in one. Think Cat Woman in the old Batman series, which incidentally was my favorite thing on the telly when I was 18 months old (and I have pictures from the local paper to prove t).

80s playsuit from Quirky PurpleRoll on a bit to the 80s and something similar crops up. In the 80s there were a lot of culottes. These could be skirts or dresses, the dress was usually being the button front style and not really being noticeable as being culottes rather than a dress. Calling them jumpsuits would have seemed old-fashioned.

In the 90s I remember dungarees being the closest to jumpsuits or culottes, but I’ve got to say, I wouldn’t have been seen dead in them…

So moving forward again we seem to have had a little resurgence of these similar styles. This time around they are called playsuits. They look a little like the 80s culottes but more suited to the beach or a night out

80s playsuit from Quirky PurpleIt’s actually been very interesting from a vintage point of view as 80s culottes have been very popular again and I’ve been sending them all around the world. I guess they are very wearable and can look smart enough for work, or dressy enough for a night out. Some are really lovely takes on 40s style tea dresses.

There’s one thing I’ve omitted to mention so far. Rompers. Hmm, to me these are something that a child would wear, or maybe one of those adults that like to dress as babies. Clearly I haven’t got the full picture as I discovered last year that this is what some other countries call our culottes.

So, it just brings me round to, what’s in a name?