Sunday, 30 October 2011

Halloween pics :)

Well it’s been a funny ol Halloween, and yes I know Halloween is actually tomorrow, but the UK has given me a damn good reason to miss Ireland! Halloween is not a bank holiday here! So like Paddys day, I have to go to work! Smelly Wales! And it’s not like you get a day off for Bonfire night or St Davids day! Cheated out of two days off work!
Anywho that’s why we did Halloween last night, initially the plan was zombie crawl, and then pub, but then our zombie friends bailed and it was raining so we pulled together these fantastic costumes

and went straight to the pub. Good night was had, but Simon was the only other person dressed up in the entire place! Poor show Cardiff! Although there were some fab costumes walking around town, including a hoarde of pirates that looked particularly fab!
So whether you did Halloween already, or you actually have tomorrow off, or bonfire night (I just don’t get it) is more your thing, don’t forget to send on your photos to for a chance to win J
Also got a fab new treasury up of all things red, check it out!  

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Happy almost Halloween!

It's Halloween weekend and I'm about to get myself all zombiefied for a zombie crawl through the streets of Cardiff so just a quick reminder to send me your Halloween pics for a chance to win a fab prize!

Full details here
Have a fantastic Halloween guys!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Smiley happy me!

Oh life is good! Had a fun day working in the museum today, just filling in for someone for the day since it is midterm, great fun! I was running a workshop and it left me wrecked and no good for anything else so nothing got done once I got home, but the kids were fun.
Also since I spent that day or two on my SEO (search Engine Optimisation) ie how to get Google to notice me it seems to have paid off, my etsy stats are up and I’ve had a couple of sales, on folksy as well as Etsy, really need to spend more time and effort on Folksy! I mostly feel relieved that something I did paid off! Hopefully (fingers, toes, arms, legs everything is crossed) it continues! I’m going to do my best to make sure it does by getting lots and lots made and done over the next few days!
I have stuff to do tomorrow morning but I should be home by 3 and let the hammering begin! Will try get my sales posted first thing in the morning! Oooooh I love the sound of that get my saleS posted!
Finally don’t forget the competition guys! Send me your Halloween pictures best one wins this J

Now lets round up some bunnies for bed!

Monday, 24 October 2011

I've disappered into my computer!

A very productive few days! I came across this blog  post yesterday about how to increase your visibility on etsy and in google searches and I tried it on a few listings yesterday and got a sale within hours! So spent a good chunk of today putting it into action for the other items, not all done yet but getting there and my stats are much better for visits today! Woohoo! Feels good to be possibly making headway! Of course lots more work to be done.
No new creations to share today it was a computer day but did find some interesting things online that I want to share:
A documentary about how women are represented in media (don’t worry clip is only 7 mins long)
A cute and quirky etsy shop
And an article from the New York times about the poor ol Nautilus and how it’s shell is being used for jewellery amongst other things and it’s on the road to extinction  

Sunday, 23 October 2011

How to: Make handrawn fused glass pendants.

Right I have been meaning to put up some how to sections so this is the first of hopefully many J

Basic tools, glass cutter, set quare,
running pliers and grozing pliers

Safety warning first! Glass is sharp! You will most likely cut yourself, don’t be silly! Be very very careful and always wear goggles when cutting glass! All glass should be the same coefficient of expansion COE for fusing.
Each of my glass pendants begins life as a sheet of glass about 30cm x 15cm. I’m working in my kitchen so to protect my table I place the glass inside a shallow cardboard box (actually the lid of an old get set kit) this also means that the majority of the little slivers of glass that will break off, end up in the box not all over my floor. I always wear shoes and goggles and Hoover the entire room straight after I finish glass cutting, and often several times during!
To cut glass use a glass cutter (obviously) in a standing position, it’s your shoulder that does most of the work, the score needs to be made in one movement, if cutting straight lines use the edge of a ruler and make a definite score. Practice with some cheap glass first till you get used to how much pressure to use. The pressure with different glasses will vary, but you get a feel for it, some glass is easy to cut some shatters nearly every time! For a great how to check out
Once you have scored it use the end of your cutter to tap (gently) the underside of the score mark, or use a running pliers for straight lines. With dichroic glass I always score on the black side not the shiny side so that I don’t damage the actual finish of the glass and I always use a a running pliers to snap the piece off.
Each pendant is going to need two pieces of glass at least, of the same size, at least one of which will be transparent. Remember that the cutting is done by the little wheel in the middle of the glass cutter not at the side, and it really is easier to cut the correct size the first time. Trying to slice off just a little piece will be very difficult and require a grozing pliers a lot of broken glass and probably cut fingers.
Once you have cut your glass into the desired shape and size, it needs to be cleaned. I use a mixture of water and vinegar, about 50/50, just the normal stuff you put on your chips, and clean it off with some kitchen towel making sure it’s dry. Be careful with any cuts on your hand and the vinegar, it’s very very easy to cut yourself with the glass, it is sharp! And the vinegar will sting like crazy!
Now it’s time to draw!
I design my pictures on my comp or a sketch on a piece of paper first, then place my transparent glass over the drawing, with as steady a hand as you can manage trace the image with glassline paints. You can use a paintbrush or the tips. Let it dry, don’t put it in the kiln wet and don’t smudge the picture with the other piece of glass.
Once the picture is dry place it with the image down on top of the base piece of glass, how exactly they line up will make a huge difference, make it symmetrical! Here are a few examples of different effects depending on if the two pieces were the same size or one was slightly bigger than the other. I quite often will wait until I have drawn the picture to cut the base glass, maybe the picture would better suit a silver of a green background, maybe it should have a dichroic border or not?
Then it’s kiln time! Very gently place the shelf into the kiln trying not to move the objects and use a full fuse schedule, I’m not going to try tell you what to do here, it really depends on your kiln. Don't forget to use shelf wash or thin fire paper.

About 800 degrees

In my case this takes about 7 hours before I can turn off the kiln and another 4-5 hours before I can actually touch anything! This is not a quick project!
Once it’s all cooled, have a look! This is my favourite part! Sometimes they are perfect, more often there will be rough edges and the pieces will require a second firing, if you have used a smaller top piece over a background dichroic piece you may have to use a corundum stone to file off rough edges.

Finished and ready to take out

These corners will need to be filed

You can see the dichroic border where the top glass was a
little smaller then the bottom, a nice effect I think.
Once you’re happy with the piece, it’s time to attach the bail. I only use sterling silver, but you can get cheaper silver plated or gold plated bails if you want, that’s really your call.
To attach the bail I first roughen the area to be attached on both the glass and the bail, I use a drill attachment for this I then clean them with nail varnish remover, and mix the epoxy, you have about 5mins to work with this stuff and by the way it stinks! Make sure to hold the pieces together well or they will pull apart after the glue sets.
Leave them for a few days, then clean them up with a craft knife and some nail varnish remover and finally you have a wonderful wearable piece of jewellery!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

I am now registered self employed! Let the games begin!

Well I’ve just filled in and submitted the online self employed form Wonderfully easy compared to what I was expecting! Should have gotten around to it earlier, I was expecting it to take hours! But it’s fine anyway I only launched properly start of Sept and didn’t take any money in till a few weeks in so I’m still well within the 3 month register yourself window. I presume I will hear from them now to tell me what to do, I’ll give it a week or two and if not I’ll give them a bell. I feel better now I get to tick another thing off my GIANT to do list!
I also finished a silver bracelet which I’ve been nearly finished for a while now, and worked a little on another project. The day job is very much interfering with the business at the moment but joy of joys next week is midterm! This apt is going to be a factory all week long, I have so many plans I haven’t had time to put into action, oooooh!
I have a few pieces ready to photograph and list and just haven’t had the time to get them done either! Oh for a 30 hour day! Only one more day till midterm though! Nothings gonna bring me down tonight!

In honour of today being spirit day I put together a Treasury of all things purple, check it out, some fab stuff!
I have been spending a decent amount of time reading the newsletters I get from etsy and I really liked this one so thought I’d share it. It’s fab to hear someone took the chance and didn’t end up with egg on her face!
Don't forget to plan some fab Halloween pics!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Enamel ordered! oooOOoOoh I'm excited!

OOOOOOOw! Very excited! I've ordered my enamels and tools! Next week this apartment will be transformed into a factory! Also ordered some more silver! Fun fun fun!

I have unfortunately been away from my bench the last while, mostly because of work but also because I've been putting a lot of energy into trying to market my shop without spending the little money I have! I've also been trying to set myself up with stalls at some upcoming craft markets, looks promising that I have one for November and one for December. Very very excited about that!

Really just can't wait for next week, or even just tomorrow, I get off work just a little bit early and I intend to hammer, burn, melt, forge and saw like there's no tomorrow, I need my fix!

Don't forget to get cracking on those Halloween pics for the competition guys!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Ahhhh Tuesday!

Ah Tuesday evenings, a lovely time! Pottery class followed by some time with my girls (bunnies) just relaxing knowing that tomorrow is my wonderful wonderful day off work!
Oh there is plans for tomorrow! Mwhaaaaa so so so many plans and hopefully news of some upcoming craft fairs that I’ll be sharing with you soon J The bunnies are running around like lunatics climbing on window sills and the likes, tis a grrreat evening!
Hope you’ve all gotten to work on those Halloween costumes, pumpkins, whatever, I’m expecting some pretty fab entries for the competition, don’t forget this is up for grabs!
I’ll leave you with another silly Halloween picture J

Scare you later!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Competition time!!!!!!!!!

Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
    Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
It’s almost that most (bah humbug to Christmas) magical time of year All Hallows Eve, and I for one will be dressing up, carving pumpkins and turnips (far more traditional for this part of the world) and celebrating everything gruesome and icky J I love Halloween!
So I’m looking for your best Halloween photo EVER, be it an amazing pumpkin, an outrageous costume, the scariest cake ever imagined, or any of a million other things you might think up!
What in it for you?
Well a prize of course! The winner, with the best photo, will get this gorgeous bat silhouette sterling silver pendant and chain, hallmarked and for sale on my shop at £50!!!! Perfect for both Halloween and all year round.

Sooooooo snap a pic and send it over! before the closing date of November 13th! allow for Bonfire night pictures too.
I will be posting photos up for all to see from now to then starting with my amazing costume from last year! Oh ye zombie painter!?!

Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Resin is done and Halloween is nearly here!

The resin has set! And I’ve worn it for a week and I trust it, have to be very careful with the mix though! So the first pair of adorable earrings are up here!
Also I have a new Treasury of all things green, and I have been included in two other treasuries Cry Wolf and fall colours gift guide yay! Very happy about that!
I should have been more organised and gotten some Halloween jewellery up earlier but its been hectic, so I spent last night making some earrings that I think should be sufficiently creepy, they’re made out of polymer clay and in the oven now, pics to follow tomorrow!

The view coming up the stairs into our apartment

It’s almost Halloween I’m getting excited and we’ve done up the house! Maybe a little carried away but hey that’s the fun of being a child in a grown up body! More decorating to be done asap! Pumpkin still to be carved and we need batteries for some of the lights and for our little Halloween dog, I can’t remember what he sings. 

Finally! Since I love everything Halloween! I shall be running a competition based around Halloween, information to follow tomorrow!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Made in Roath

Headed to Made in Roath today, great fun! Late start cause I’m a big lazy head, but then lots to see! Took lots of photos too! Saw some pedal powered busking outside the craft and famers market and a few really nice little galleries, has me itching to create now!
The photo marathon was a particularly fab idea! Def wanna do it next year! People are given a day and have to get pictures that fit certain themes and send them in. The themes were, your entry number, obstacles, seeing double community, secrets, movement, element, drama, the great outdoors, inside out and my dreams. The pics were all up to be seen and some were fab! Lots with jelly babies and lego men J  

Boy looking at the wall of photos




Element! Yay for nerd!

Also wore a necklace like this today, and was asked where I got it from :D Yay! Always good to hear from someone that doesn’t know I made it! She does now J
Ye for anyone that doesn't know Wales are out of the Rugby world cup today, this is the sign outside our local pub!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Life goes on

Long day at the day job and living life, no making stuff :( roll on the weekend!

Did get time to put together a Treasury though :) pink to make the boys wink! Also been looking around at peoples stuff on etsy, if anyone is looking for some amazing photos, check this shop out! Some lovely stuff!

Hope you're all well, proper post to follow tomorrow and how to sections coming soon.

Considering breaking into enamelling soon! Watch this space!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Holiday boot camp

So every year etsy being very organised do a holiday bootbamp working towards christmas to help sellers get the best out of the gift buying frenzy, last year I got all the emails but sure I didn't have the stock, this year I somehow took myself off the email list, so I'm late getting started (3 weeks) but I'll make up for it!

Have to find myself a buddy to help eachother out and this is the pedge, ahhh homework!

I, Sarah-Jane Egan, pledge to participate in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp to the best of my abilities. I vow to check in every week, do my homework and support my fellow Holiday Boot Campers. I will read the weekly newsletters and blog posts, check in on the weekly forum thread, read the weekly blog post, check off the checklists and salute the mascot. I promise to share what I’ve learned with those who need it, support my fellow Etsy indiepreneurs and, most of all, have a positive and persistent attitude. I understand that together we can spread the word about our handmade and vintage goods, making this holiday season a more unique and meaningful one to gift givers and give-ees everywhere!

Wish me luck!

New listing up today as well :)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A relaxing day off

I was sSick from work today so I spent the morning putting together a treasury of all things blue check it out! Treasury of all things blue

Lots of plants, and a giant pumpkin ready to be carved!

For the rest of the day I took the good advice from  The Artists Way  and had a relaxing day where I didn’t stress about any of the million things I probably should be doing! It was wonderful! I disappeared into Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn  which I am very nearly finished, and I planted and transplanted plants and seeds in my kitchen garden, which is getting a little out of hand at this stage! As illustrated! If anyone wants an aloe vera plant there is a few up for grabs mine just keeps multiplying!

All those old take away containers have seeds that need to steep overnight

Then went to Pottery class, and I have a few experiments gone into the kiln this week! All my creative juices (ewwww) feel recharged and ready to do lots tomorrow, between that is Yoga and Tai Chi classes!
I’m also playing with the idea of doing nanowrimo but only if I’m finished working by then, otherwise I just wont have time, but I have stories in my head that I should finally put down on paper and it would be a nice challenge to set myself, anyone else up for it?

Sunday, 9 October 2011

If at first you don’t succeed try try again!

Some of todays batch before firing
Last nights kiln firing was disappointing, its great and awful that you never really know what you will get out of the kiln, it’s a million times more experimental then my silver work, but that does mean that sometimes you open it after the 7 hours firing time and another 5 or so hours cooling and there is nothing you want to keep L
However I didn’t let it get me down! And I fired it up again today, put it on early so it’s off now and cooling down, I have had a peak and it looks much more promising! Fingers crossed!

The view into the kiln at about 815 degrees Celsius!!

Also got to spend sometime today with my silver work, still not gotten to my rolling mill! I tired myself out before I got to it! And then I had to lesson plan for the day job, but hopefully I’ll get some time free tomorrow after work and I can have a play then! However I did mostly finish a bracelet I’m making as a commission for someone and reticulate some silver which I’m hoping to make into earrings and partly designed a new ring, that I’m loving so far but has still a lot of work to go.
The resin is finally set, I’m going to wear it tomorrow and see if it’s strong enough to be worn in rings. I like to make something and then wear it myself for a week or so before I make another to sell, I don’t want to sell something and then discover it has a major flaw! So I’ll wear the rings, if they’re good to go I already have a buyer for a set and I really do think they’ll be good sellers, but I need to be sure of them before they’re bunny approved! !   

All fired up!

Well I’m still up even though it’s almost one, because I’m waiting for my very full kiln to cool down to a temperature it’s safe to turn it off at. That’s the problem with glass, if you cool it down too quick you get CRACK! And no one wants cracked smashed glass. It’s ok though I’ve some playful bunnies to keep me company, GrĂ¡inne is in great form!
I’m very excited to see what comes out of the kiln! I’ve tried making some cute coasters and I got a gold paint with my last glass order so I’ve drawn some pictures on clear glass and backed it with opaque black and I’m hoping it looks pretty J Also trying fossils again!
I’ve had a window open on my computer all day that I haven’t even gotten started reading through to set myself up at self employed, it has to be done tomorrow! But then so do a million other things!
In other news! The price of silver has come down a little, and so have some of my prices J Check them out

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Productive weekend required

It’s the weekend wooooohoooo! Time to work on my giant to do list! Aiming to get all the relevant self employment forms sorted this weekend! Along with lots of bench time and hopefully two kiln firings! It will be a productive few days, I’m not leaving the house at all probably! Just going to let all the creativity that has wanted to get out this week, run riot!
Of course could also disappear into the really good book I’m reading! “Daughters of Rome” by Kate Quinn.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Marketing ideas?

The resin is set, no chance to take pics today though L but it’s nearly the weekend and I have lots of plans! I got a delivery of lots of silver and of my rolling mill which I can’t wait to play with and I have a head (and some paper) full of ideas. Not much happening at the moment though, which is all Kim Harrisons fault! Damn book is too good to put down! Reading Pale Demon at the moment.
Saturday is my day to play!
New listing did go up today though check it out and more will be going up tomorrow. Looking for any ideas people might have for marketing? I need to get the word out there more! I have search adds running on etsy but not doing me a ton of good. Needs to get me more traffic, suggestions guys please!
Hope everyone is well and feeling creative.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Resin day

The resin is done! And nearly set and it looks fab! Very very happy with it! Yay! Once it has fully set pics will follow!
Spent some time today getting up listings and made a very cute little bunny ring which I will be road testing to work tomorrow to check that it’s nice and sturdy, and because it’s soooooo cute! A pendant mostly ready to go, for resin too, really loving the resin colours!

Resin setting, proper pictures to follow when its all set!

My order of silver has been dispatched; I got carried away online last night! Also bought a rolling mill which I have wanted forever, but they’re not cheap! So I used my money earned from the commission and then some L to invest (invest not splurge I swear) in one, very excited! Hope it’s here for the weekend!
Decorations from the kiln came out pretty well, gonna start rolling them out online soon, .....when I get another day to fire more!
Oh ye and the film Friends with Benefits is really good J

Sunday, 2 October 2011

I'm still here!

Oh I’ve been very bad this week at updating! It’s been very busy what with the day job and starting Tai Chi and Yoga and my first ever Zumba class (so much fun, so much pain) as well as playing everwake last night.
A very very busy life I’m leading at the moment!
On the creative side I went to a craft show in Cardiff yesterday and my head is filled with new ideas for new materials I want to try! But the best news is, I got my commission piece sent off and she received it in time, and she was chuffed with it! Phew! I was worried it might not be what she had in her head but yay! Happy customer!
Been looking around on etsy at lots of clothes recently and just put together a treasury of clothes I really really want!
Oh to be rich enough to buy everything! I may treat myself to a little something thoughJ This dress is the one I’m leaning towards  opinions?
New listing up on etsy too, a little girl holding an umbrella that the kids in school tell me looks like Mary Poppins.  I think she looks more like a wicked witch J
And drum roll please! The kiln is on! It’s been ages since I had a day where I had stuff ready to go and 8 hours or so at home, so it’s finally back in its place of honour on the kitchen table and is ticking away (it makes a very annoying tick noise) full of possible Christmas decorations I’ve been thinking of making. I also got a load of pendant size pieces of glass ready to cut and I when I got that last glass order I got lots more glass paint colours so gonna have me some fun, today or tomorrow!
Now got a silver bracelet to make for one of the guys in my Herbal Medicine class, gonna start work on that tonight and resin I still have to set in rings and earrings I have ready to go. Huh!  
By the way. whats with this weather! It's amazing! Are we sure it's October???!