Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Frugal Life - Getting started!

Now what could frugality possibly have to do with the crafty life? For starters, how about these cornerstones of the frugal life? Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle, and all kinds of other stuff that starts with "Re" but which have slipped my mind right now. Getting crafty and being frugal are just two sides of the medal ... ok, that doesn't make any sense now seeing how a medal only has two sides in the first place, but hear me out - a medal also has a narrow side or what ever you want to call that circle that divides and connects the front and back. That is where the third and most crucial part of the equation comes in - putting an end to acquiring new things just for the sake of shopping. 

Sure, we all like to shop, at least I do, but how often do we snap up things simply because they are a bargain while at the same time having no real use for them, not to mention our closets are already full of similar things we haven't even used yet. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that anyone should henceforth stop buying new things. What I'm getting at here is that we need to learn appreciating what we already have (and consequently use it instead of filling up the already stuffed shelves) and experience the joy when we do treat ourselves to a little shopping splurge.

Now, if I those first two paragraphs haven't scared you away already, I hope you'll stick around for this new feature which is about sharing my own little journey from being quite a shopaholic to switching to the frugal life over two years ago. My life still contains the occasional shopping spree and I'm certainly not running around in tatters, plus (and who doesn't like the sound of that) I've been saving heaps of money through this new lifestyle (which I'd rather invest in traveling instead of some designer frock), so if that sounds good to you I welcome you to a whole lot of rambling about frugal living from this thrifty gal!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Etsy Venture - Guess who's on RedBubble (again)?

Before I opened my Etsy shop I have already been selling my photos through RedBubble. To be honest with you, I didn't think I'd go back there as I feel strongly about selling digital image files instead of actual prints. After all, you get so much more for your money that way. Pay once and print as much as you want. So far I seem to be the only way to see the advantages of this, but all hope is not lost yet.

It's all a learning experience and a little while ago I thought why not offer all my images on RedBubble too? Been selling there before, not an awful lot, but it certainly encouraged me to keep on being snap happy. Before moving to Etsy I cleared out my previous RedBubble portfolio as I haven't been too happy with the quality of many of my photos, so basically I left a barren wasteland behind. Yet wouldn't it be a shame to let my account go to waste? I think so too.

Now I have stocked up on all that you can see in my Etsy shop on RedBubble too. Shocked about the prices there? I hear ya! Thing is, I don't even earn much money through sales there, but have you noticed something in the description of all items? Yep, I linked back to Etsy! The plan? Get people interested in my art and luring them in to purchase digital downloads to print at home or through online printing services of their choice. So far? More views than on Etsy, so I think I'm on the right path with this idea. And of course, I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Lucky Dip - Handmade Jewellery Magdalene

Once again I managed to stumble upon a grab bag of the jeweled variety. You know me, when it sparkles I am always game to indulge in a surprise!

Where to go? Handmade Jewellery Magdalene

What to buy? Mystery Grab Pink Bag Jewellery

What does it cost? £10 plus shipping

What's it all about? Magdalene is offering various grab bags in her shop, this one filled with 6 items: earrings or a pendants,bracelet, rings or if you are really lucky, a set. The value will be between £15 - £19 [...] It will be a FUN lot of goodies and very well worth the price.

Content? Imagine my joy when I received my thick fat bundle of goodies in the mail. One look alone I I knew there must be more than just six pieces and as it turned out I received eleven (unless you count the set as just one, then it'd be ten). A colorful mix if I ever saw one!

Amethyst Necklace / Landscape Jasper Heart Necklace / Floral Ring / Hematite Heart Necklace & Earrings / Little Bunny Earrings / Pink Dangle Earrings / Yellow Bracelet / Drop Dangle Earrings / Grey Bracelet / Pearl Earrings

Most favorite item? That must be the gorgeous amethyst necklace (which I gave my Mom on Mother's Day and yes, she was thrilled about it too)!

Least favorite item? Admittedly the drop shaped dangle earrings really aren't my style at all!

Value? One word. Bargain.

Verdict? This turned out to be a great pack for gift giving purposes and who doesn't need stocking stuffers every now and again?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Lucky Dip - Paper Gangster

How about sprucing up the apartment walls a bit? Seeing how I love books, going for vintage dictionary prints were the obvious choice for me.

Where to go? Paper Gangster

What to buy? 25 Prints for 10 Dollars Surprise Oops Pack

What does it cost? $10 plus shipping

What's it all about? Not the typical grab bag, this one features seconds of the slightly messed up variety, because sometimes when working with a printer we slightly mess up, and since we only ship the best we have lots of almost perfect prints! They might be slightly miss aligned or printed with the paper upside down but are still frameable! 

Content? As stated in the listing I received 25 prints with (allegedly) minor flaws, but trust me, in most cases you don't really notice why the print didn't pass quality control! Admittedly I have bought such a pack before and they seem to get better and better every time, or maybe I'm just saying that because my inner bookworm and tea drinker is delighted with all those Alice prints!

Many many prints ...

... and even more prints

Most favorite item? Hands down the Alice in Wonderland prints shown off in the second photo!

Least favorite item? The whole Creatures of the Sea lot isn't really mine!

Value? A truly fantastic deal, especially seeing how you'd normally only get two prints at that price!

Verdict? If you love dictionary prints and are on a budget this is definitely the kind of surprise you should invest in!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Snap Happy - Just quote me on that!

How about some quotes that capture the essence of photography?

You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.
Ansel Adams

A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.
Eudora Welty

All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.
Susan Sontag

There are no bad pictures; that's just how your face looks sometimes.
Abraham Lincoln

What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.
Karl Lagerfeld

And last but not least, some words of the wise ...

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

The Lucky Dip Giveaway (Europe only)

Once again it's time to share my love for grab bags with one of you! I packed yet another mystery pack to give away. Most of the content has already been presented in one of my reviews in The Lucky Dip feature and some pieces are from older mystery packs which I bought before I started this blog. Either way, everything in the grab bag is brand-new and ready to find a new owner!

Please note that this giveaway is not sponsored by the Etsy shops whose grab bag contents I'm sharing. It's just my way of spreading the love by giving away some awesome goodies and at the same time it's also a shout-out for equally amazing Etsy sellers!

Up for grabs is a Sweety Pie Grab Bag with "Chocolate Praline" and "Fudge" Necklaces, plus Marshmallow Earrings from Sparkly Shamrock, Recipe Cards from Flapperdoodle, a Greeting Card from Little Mo and Friends, and maybe I'll throw in one or two additional surprises too.

Based on the original shop prices, this grab bag has a € 40 value!

Last but not least - as I'm sending the grab bag out myself this giveaway is open to Europe only!

ATTENTION - In the previous giveaway I had to disqualify a number of entrants, because they did not leave sufficient information in the form. Please make sure to read and answer carefully to be in for a chance to win this goodie bag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Getting Crafty - Lamps & Candles

As much as I am in love with anything handmade and crafty, I admittedly haven't tried myself on some of the awesome ideas I've stumbled over in the past. It's probably a wise idea to start small and work myself up to the really big projects or, even better still, to get started at all ...

A book lamp has been one of the first things aka projects I've had an eye on even before realizing I wanted to make one myself. Perfect for a bookaholic like yours truly!
For instructions on how to create a beauty like this one, just head over to the HGTV site!

Then, of course, I am a huge fan of scented candles, Yankee Candles in particular, and somehow those empty jars keep on adding up over time. What to do, what to do?
You can find a plethora of great ideas on how to repurpose them (or other jars, for that matter) on this Pinterest board and on this one too!


My personal favorite? Get some yarn out, make yourself a vase, and fill it will all that blooms! To find out more about this lovely idea, check out the Mod Podge Rocks blog!

What crafty projects have been on your mind lately?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Etsy Venture - Give me your heart!

A really nice touch on Etsy is how you may like a shop and/or product by giving it a heart. Somehow this has a much nicer ring to it than the ever-present thumbs-up you come across elsewhere. That being said, while hearting something does not equal a sale, it still gives you a good idea about what people like in your shop and consequently clues you in on what apparently hasn't met anyone's taste (so far).

As I'm pretty sure you're curious about the most favorite images in my shop, here's the Top Three ... of course, in case you should feel that different images deserve just as much love (and hearts), feel free to go ahead and heart away on your personal favorites!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Lucky Dip - Shop Lune

And I discovered yet another lovely shop in my weekly search for grab bags! Again, we're venturing into the land of cute jewelry which, come to think of it, I do more than other categories. I'll try to better myself. But oh, look ... sparkly jewels!

Where to go? Shop Lune

What to buy? Medium Handmade Mystery Bag

What does it cost? £15,50 plus shipping

What's it all about? According to the listing this grab bag will contain an assortment of jewels (earrings, necklaces, bracelets & rings) and we also give you an opportunity to select a theme or trend, [...] cos we know every girl is different (ex: grunge, bohemian, vintage, girly, cat lady, etc).

Content? Customizable mystery bags are always fun and I decided to go for a vintage theme. When I received my surprise I certainly wasn't disappointed as two of the four pieces I received definitely fit the theme, while the other two are maybe a bit more girly, but that's all right as they are real cute too.

Cameo Necklace / Cameo Ring / Leaf Necklace / Pearl Earrings

Most favorite item? I've got a secret passion for cameos, so needless to say, the cameo necklace and ring set is my winner!

Least favorite item? Not all too surprisingly the little pearl earrings with the birds come in last, because (you must have noticed by now) I am not really fond of birds!

Value? Great, especially seeing how all pieces were from the current shop selection!

Verdict? A sweet treat for myself, though I dare say you'd make someone happy gifting such a grab bag too!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Lucky Dip - Gertie & Baxter

A girl cannot thrive on fashion jewelry alone, however cute it may be. A girl needs more than that like, say, some lovely fashion accessories? Think clutch bag. Think scarf.

Where to go? Gertie & Baxter

What to buy? Clutch Grab Bag and Scarf Grab Bag

What does it cost? $5,99 for the Clutch Grab Bag and $9,99 for the Scarf Grab Bag, all plus shipping

What's it all about? With the Clutch you might find one of our coveted chevron (we have some with last season's zippers), ikat clutch, pencil case, or something else! The Scarf Grab Bags will surprise you with one of our chunky knit scarves, or a beautiful soft silk scarf, or a casual jersey scarf, or something else! 

Content? As these grab bags are basically a one-piece thing, I knew that I'd receive two clutch bags and one scarf, but which ones could it possibly be? Clutches - no chevron for me, which is a bit of a shame as I recently discovered my love for this pattern, but that's perfectly fine. Scarf - no chunky knit scarf either, but I do all my own knitting anyway. But lo and behold, it's if they had known the kind of styles and colors I love, yay!

Silver Brocade Clutch / Teal Striped Clutch / Blue & Brown Floral Loop Scarf

Most favorite item? All right that is a definite tie between the gorgeous scarf and the striped clutch bag. I seriously adore them both!

Least favorite item? As there's only a third item left it inevitably gets the short straw which is probably unfair, because the brocade clutch is lovely, just not as much as the rest.

Value? Awesomely great! Just compare original prices of all items in the shop!

Verdict? We're talking keepers here! I seriously need to order again, maybe stock up on gifts too.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Snap Happy - Happy Mother's Day (Freebie)

Running a bit late with getting your Mom a Mother's Day present? Consider this post a reminder then. And before you start to panic - you've still got a full week to plan a special day for your Mom. To make things a tad easier for you, here's a free printable greeting card for the occasion ...

Small Print: This image is for personal use only! You may also post it on your own blog if you wish, just make sure to link back to me - thanks!