Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Homemade Gifts Vintage Style - Book review

Cover photograph used with kind permission from Kyle Books Ltd.

I like to keep my Christmas as handmade & original as possible when it comes to gifts. I love reading through blogs, magazines and books for ideas and was very excited when I heard about a new book 'Homemade Gifts Vintage Style' by Sarah Moore (published by Kyle Books Ltd.)

Combining everything I *love* - vintage, handmade, unique & personalised, this is a very inspiring book for anyone who prefers to ditch the high street and put a little more thought and time into creating something wonderful for friends and family.

'Homemade Gifts Vintage Style' has 50 projects for making your own new-to-old crafts. The author, Sarah Moore starts off with a brilliant intro to collecting vintage items to upcycle, what to look out for & what to avoid (including precious antiques best left alone!) and other useful info that I hadn't considered before, such as being aware of vintage items that may contain harmful lead paint. 

There's great advice on how where to find the best items at the best prices, keeping things thrifty with the focus on the hand-making, not the cost of each project. There's also great advice for sewing newbies on using & buying a sewing machine, hand-sewing and the basic craft kit required. There's plenty of easy & quick projects for non-sewing gift makers too, as well as 'labour of love' type projects to work over a few weeks.

My favourites include vintage paper mobiles, patchwork noticeboard, teapot planters, and the collection of corsages for use on clothes, hats, hairbands and shoes (I will be making lots of these!)

The book itself is just beautiful - not only is it full of fantastic present ideas, it would make a perfect gift itself for someone creative. It is jam-packed full of gorgeous colour photographs of each project, each one presented imaginatively, with lots of inspiration not only for the projects but lovely ideas for displaying vintage treasures around the home too. If you're like me and tend to hold onto or buy vintage & old bits and pieces without a specific idea in mind, this book provides lots of ideas for things to do & make with your hoard, all packaged up with lots of gorgeous vintage eye candy!

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Winter Wonderland Weddings

Excited!!  I love working on winter weddings, so when Decadence Vintage, the people behind the Vintage Bridal Fair in Belfast decided to add a winter fair to their annual summer event, I jumped at the chance to have a stand there.

Image copyright: Decadence Vintage / Campbell Photography
The Vintage Bridal fairs are one of my favourite events to do. The atmosphere is always fantastic, the fellow exhibitors are creative, talented and friendly people, and the visitors are just plain lovely!

It's become an event , not just engaged couples, but for vintage fans too. We've had people visiting from as far away as Cork and Dublin coming all the way to Belfast to attend - check out the map to see just how far that is if you're not familiar with our little island!

The photo shoot based on Grimm's Fairytales to promote the event is amazing. You can see the full shoot here.

The Decadence Winter Wonderland Vintage Bridal Fair
Sunday 4th December 2011, 
11am-5pm at The Holiday Inn, Belfast

Can't wait - ten more sleeps!!

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Last week I created my first Etsy treasury on the theme of birds - I'm very influenced by birds, especially swallows in my designs at the moment. 

First Class Post notecards from Folksy or Etsy
The Etsy treasury was so much fun to do, and I got such great feedback that I wanted to do a treasury with some cool birdy things from Folksy. Here's my selection - hope you enjoy!
Flying Swallow Silver Stud earrings by Sally Ayling
Swooping Swallow Wooden Box by Kettle of Fish

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Book Review & Giveaway!

When I heard about a new book, 'How To Sell Your Crafts Online A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Sales on Etsy and Beyond' by Derrick Sutton, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it!
How To Sell Your Crafts Online by Derrick Sutton (Pub. St Martin's Griffin )
 From chapter one of 'How To Sell Your Crafts Online - A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Sales on Etsy and Beyond' every step you will make as an online craft seller is carefully considered. Mainly aimed at the first time seller, it starts with finding the perfect name for your Etsy store, with step-by-step creating a shop banner, profile, photographing & writing descriptions for items and getting your shop open.

The author recommends working through the book slowly, each chapters ending with 'action steps' - a to-do list before moving on to the next one. With great advice throughout - how to get a free website & business email, free business tools, search engines, etc. - this book will be worth the price simply from the money saved using these tips alone! Etsy communitites, forums, circles & treasuries are all explained thoroughly and how they can both boost your Etsy profile and find support from other sellers.

If you're not a newbie, there's still solid advice for Etsy & non-Etsy online sellers. The latter chapters deal with how sites like Flickr, Google Places, blogs, Facebook. Twitter & online forums can help to get your name & crafts out there and new customers flooding to your online store. From experience, I know there's always something new to learn or improve!
'How To Sell Your Crafts Online' is like having a good friend 'in the know' who's willing to share all their secrets of success and help get your Etsy shop up and running and on the way to a (hopefully!) meteoric rise!


Thanks to the kind publishers, St Martin's Griffin, I have one copy of the book to give away!
To enter, do one of the following:
Closing date: 15th November 2011
The winner's name will be drawn out of the hat on Wednesday 16th November.
Good Luck!

Give away only open to UK readers only - sorry...

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x