Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Miscellaneous Adventures

A couple of weekends ago I booked a last minute woodcarving workshop with Miscellaneous Adventures. I first heard about them a couple of years ago through Emma Ruth Hughes amazing embroidery (you should definitely check her out if you're as into embroidery and typography as me!) as her and her husband Andrew run them. They had a kickstarter campaign to get the workshops going which I backed and I've been meaning to go on one ever since.

When I arrived we were taken to a secluded bit of woodland with fresh coffee brewing over the campfire and cake at the ready. The day started with an introduction on the different types of axes and how to use them, we were chopping logs and making kindling, which was a lot of fun! We then chopped our own logs to get a piece that would be suitable to make a spatular from, and then taught how to carve the wood with the axe. I had never realised how much detailed work you could do with just an axe.

Then it was lunch time, which was cooked over the camp fire by Emma and was so delicious! Afterwards we had a walk in the woods and learnt about the different trees, how to responsibly source our materials and what types of wood works best for what. We were then set a challenge to find the perfect branch to make a pot holder to go over the fire, here's my one (I was quite impressed that it actually worked!) :

After this my phone ran out of battery so I couldn't take any more photos! But we were shown how to carve with a knife and I was shown how to use a crook knife (a curved knife) to carve spoons. It's something I've wanted to learn for a looong time now and I've already started on my first one, more on that at a later date though.

When the sun went down we moved into a yurt provided by Trakke Bags (that's one of his bags hanging on the tree too). Along with a glass of local ale we were told about how to sharpen our tools and what were the best oils and polishes to finish our pieces with. The perfect finish to the day.

I had so much fun and learnt everything I'd hoped to and more, despite being in the woods all day at the beginning of February I didn't even notice the cold and the day went by too quickly. Miscellaneous Adventures have put on more workshops for later in the year and I'd definitely recommend booking one if you're interested in learning a bit of woodcarving too.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Brighton Etsy Team Blog Hop

I've been nominated by the lovely Kate of Actually I do and Anna from the wonderful Anna's Drawing Room to do a blog hop post as part of the Brighton Etsy Team! Here we go:

What inspired you to start your business or Etsy shop?

I started making pieces of jewellery for myself when I was in school but didn’t truly discover a passion for jewellery design until around five years ago when I signed up for evening classes to learn silversmithing. Learning about different types of metals and gemstones and how to work with them was really interesting and made me realise the design possibilities with jewellery are endless. I'd been shopping on Etsy for a while and always dreamed of having my own shop so nearly three years ago now I got some designs together and thought I'd give it a go!

We're looking at goals in the Brighton Etsy Team this month (you can follow along with #btnetsygoals!) Can you share one of your goals for your shop for the next six months?

My goal over the next sixth months is to try out some new designs I've had in my head for a while now but never got round to making and to be better at every aspect of social media!

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm doing a couple of courses over the next month or so and working on my spring/ summer collection, hoping to have a few different designs to what I usually do ready by around May time.

If you could give other sellers or someone looking to start their own design/craft business one piece of advice what would you say?

I think my main advice would be to just go for it! You can spend too much time thinking about doing things rather than just giving it a go. Definitely educate yourself as much as you can as you can never learn too much, whether it be on different techniques and materials or on marketing. I would recommend joining a website like Etsy where it is relatively inexpensive and simple to set up a shop. There are great communities on there that can help you with every aspect of your business. Joining a local team can be really helpful too. I’m a member of the Brighton Etsy Team, I've found it so valuable and I’ve met some really lovely people through it, it's so important to be able to talk to people who are going through the same trials as you with setting up a small business. Etsy has also given me the opportunity to reach customers all over the world, which I think is really exciting knowing that there are people wearing my jewellery in countries that I've never even been to!

For the next blog hop I nominate Mooshpie, The Emporers Old Clothes and Forever Foxed

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Daily Routines Of The Worlds Most Famous Creative People

I found this today via The Independent I think my day best matches Picasso's, not sure if that's a good or bad thing! Which one do you most relate to?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Booth Museum

I've just been told that The Booth Museum of Natural History in Brighton will be offering behind the scenes tours from May so I thought I'd post about the time I was lucky enough to be shown around by the wonderful Kerrie Curzon (she makes amazing pants, you should take a look at them here ). The Booth Museum was founded by Edward Booth in 1874 and it is all about birds, butterflies, fossils, bones and skeletons. It's probably one of the most interesting and at the same time strange and slightly disturbing places I've ever visited. 

It was so intriguing to see what goes on behind the scenes of a museum. Kerrie was an excellent guide with her infinite knowledge of birds and stories about the museum and it's founder. It was also pretty great to be allowed to take photos of all the interesting things I saw. I thought I'd share some of them with you:

You can find out more about The Booth Museum here

Friday, 6 February 2015

Let Me Show You Around

I moved into a new workshop at the end of last year. It needed a bit of love but with it being the run up to Christmas I hadn't managed to find the time to give it a makeover until last weekend. So after a good clean, a lick of paint and my first experience of using a power drill I thought I'd show you around.

My trusty peg and letter stamps:

My favourite tools:

A vintage set of stamps I found a while ago:

The workshop is based on a working farm, here's Tommy one of the four cats that live there:

Two lovely donkeys that greet me as I drive in:

One of the many chickens that hang around outside and the bell for the farm shop that sells local produce next door:

I love animals and being in the countryside so it's kind of perfect for me, the only problem is that it's so remote I don't have any wifi or phone signal there - but that means I get a lot of work done when I'm there due to the lack pinterest, instagram and twitter shaped distractions :)