Monday, 31 August 2009

And the winner is...

I listed the 20 entrants in order of post:

number 17 is will be in touch - many thanks to all the other entrants, and remember you can always relieve your disappointment by buying!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

More Sixties nostalgia

I don't know about you but I'm going straight out to buy a Morphy Richards hairdryer. Who's got three pounds seventeen shillings and sixpence?

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Ancient history!

We've been decorating. When I emptied our shelves ready to paint I discovered all sorts of treasure trove I'd forgotten about...for instance, my ancient vinyls, bought with my pocket money back in the sixties. (Yes, I am *that* old). History enough in themselves, you'd think - but I'd completely forgotten they used to carry adverts! You'll need to click on the picture to read the ad - see how they're pretending it's a comic?

I couldn't find this track but here's the other side (how many of you are too young to remember physically having to turn records over to listen to the next track?)

More tomorrow!

Friday, 28 August 2009

This is ... Catherine

...from Kalicat Jewelry: and for our European friends.

Catherine is a jewelry designer and maker from Paris. She was kind enough to feature NiftyKnits on her blog too!

Favourite colour?
It depends on the trends, the seasons and my mood, at the moment, I love warm yellows and lime green

Favourite smell?

I am very fond of Amber, and have a few candles in my house that I sniff from time to time, to make me feel good. Another favourite are cinnamon and Candy floss

Favourite place?

I'll have to mention my home town, Paris (France) and the place I had my honeymoon which is Thailand, I am crazy about everything there: the food, the weather, the fabrics, the jewelry, the sun, the people, the architecture!

Favourite sound?

I love the soft noise that a silk dress makes when you dance, move, walk!
And Bells from the ice cream van, LOL!

Favourite way to spend your time?

Listening to music, travelling around the world , looking at jewelry, trying it, making it and buying gemstones

Favourite item in your shop of all time?

I love my hand forged gold chain, which is so versatile I wear it as a choker, an long necklace, a bracelet!

Favourite shop that isn't yours?

I really like AutumnRussell's couture gowns. My favourite dress has already been sold, which is great as it is just gorgeous.

Being also a fashion illustrator myself, I enjoy perusing his sketches. They make me day dream, a bit like being a Cinderella waiting for an occasion to metamorphose into a stunning woman (which I am most of the time, of course). You can see mine at

What has been the most useful lesson you've learnt so far that you'd like to pass on to our readers?

To check several times with my clients what their ring size is, and send them a ring sizing gauge or ask for a sample ring from them, before I make their ring. This way, we both avoid having to resize the ring, which is a huge gain in time.

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You can also follow my blog for jewelry related articles

Thursday, 27 August 2009

twitter friends

I've made some great friends on twitter - even met some of them in real life (how scary was that?) ;-)

Yesterday one of my new friends @NanasGiftNook sent me a link to a gift guide she'd created - and I'm in it!

Thank you Rashell! Check out Rashell's website here:

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Guess who was on Etsy front page yesterday?

YAY! I was so excited - luckily another Etsian, PinkWaterFairy sent me a messge so I got to see it in all its glory :-) Many thanks for that! Incidentally, PinkWaterFairy has a shop full of rather lovely steampunk (or steampink as I now know it!)

If you 'd like to see more of my little Halloween meerkats, here they are: Meerwitch and Pumpkat

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but youre older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the english way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought Id something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
And when I come home cold and tired
Its good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells.

If you're quick, see my steampunk treasury here

Monday, 24 August 2009

This is ...June of

And today we have a special treat - June is offering a giveaway! Read on...

Favourite colour?

Blue or Red I love them both

Favourite smell?

Black licorice (anise)

Favourite place?

I sat and thought about this one for a long time. I have no favorite place. That's sort of sad....

Favourite sound?

My kitties purring

Favourite way to spend your time?

Sewing or sitting up in bed reading a good book.

Favourite item in your shop of all time?

I made fleece scoodies in my shop 2 winters ago. They were fun to make and fun to wrap around my manequin and photograph her.

Favourite shop that isn't yours? (Apart from Niftyknits, obviously!)

Ha! I think Niftyknits meerkats are so sweet! My favourite shop is actually any shop on etsy that sells fabric. I really love looking for shops that are selling the cute Oriental prints. Ofcourse I am always looking for shops that are selling their scrap bits and pieces. I love variety.

What has been the most useful lesson you've learnt so far that you'd like to pass on to our readers?

I know many people feel fast shipping is the most important thing but
I feel that being open and honest and kind to your customers is the
most important thing for online selling. We can't control a package
once it leaves our house so making shipping number one is sort of not
in my control. Good customer service however is something I can

And now for the giveaway:

I would love to do a free giveaway on your blog! I will give away one
of my 6 piece gift sets to the winner. The winner can choose between or

So...what do we have to do? (I say "we" but of course NiftyKnits is sitting this one out!)

Go to FickleFaerie and check out her new snack and sandwich pouchs, leave a comment after this blog post on what kind of prints you would like to see - it's as easy as that! We will use to choose the winner and announce it here in one week's time, and the prize will be posted directly from FickleFaerie. Seemples!

want to know more?

Sunday, 23 August 2009

The Chattri at Brighton

I love geocaching! My GPS has taken me to all sorts of places that I'd never heard about, many of them right on my doorsterp. This was a bit further afield, but who'd have thought there was a Chattri nestled in the Downs above Brighton?

Like me, you're probably wondering what the Chattri is. The Chattri (which means umbrella in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu) is a monument dedicated to the Indian Soldiers who died in the First World War.

"The fifty-three Hindu and Sikh soldiers who died in Brighton were taken to a peaceful resting place on the Sussex Downs near Patcham for cremation, after which their ashes were scattered in the sea, in accordance with their religious rites.

The Muslim brothers in arms, totalling nineteen, were buried in a purpose built burial ground near to the Shah Jehan Mosque in Woking. Built in 1889, the mosque is the oldest of its kind in north-west Europe."

I should perhaps add that the geocache task required me to read the information board at the site and then leave the area to find the cache. I was interested to see the monument and to learn of the history, but I believe it is always important to respect the beliefs of others and wouldn't want to be disrespectful.

giveaway winner!

I'm waiting for @mattchedit to get in touch to tell me which cd he wants :-)

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Your lupins or your life!

Another of my favourite flowers - and this is the first time ever that the slugs haven't munched up my lupins before I see a flower.

Lupins also featured in one of my favourite Monty Python sketches. Denis Moore is a highwayman who has not quite understood his job specification.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

eeeek, I've been given an award!

In her blog yesterday, Sandie "tagged me" and sent me a blog award. The award states that you give 10 facts about yourself and “tag” 10 fellow here goes!

  1. I'm a Brit, but I lived in Kenya for 3 years as a child. My father was in the Army at the time Kenya was gaining its independence from the UK, but rather than remembering anything of historical importance my main memory was that President Kenyatta's cavalcade held up my school bus and I was late home from school!

  2. When I came back from Africa to the UK the Beatles were very popular, and the talk in the playground was all about who is your favourite Beatle. I only knew one name - so Ringo was my favourite at first!

  3. My hair is *cyber purple* but some of my young pupils thought it was natural (bless)

  4. I love knitting (that'll surprise you!)

  5. I go thorough obsessive gaming phases - over the years I've been hooked on Warcraft, Starcraft, Freecell (I'm still working my way through that in number order, generally while waiting for treasuries to open) and the Sims. The Sims became more real than life at one time, and when we went on holiday to a villa which was advertised as having a jacuzzi I walked around and around looking (in vain) for a turquoise cuboid - well, that's what they looked like in the game!

  6. I'm a life-long trekkie. My meerkat trekkies came about because I was invited to a twitter meet-up and someone suggested I wear my Star Trek original series Command sweater - I refused, but said I'd knit a meerkat wearing one - the rest is history!
    I refused because I didn't think the world was ready to see me in uniform - but you guys won't tell anyone, will you?

    by the way...I'm the one on the left. It's not a new pic, I'm in my pre-purple hair phase!

  7. I'm a cat person, I'm not keen on dogs. We're petless right now, but our last cat, Tom, taught himself to use the toilet. Several mornings we got up to find the toilet had been used but not flushed - both my husband and myself thought it was each other and said nothing! Then one morning we heard peeing and looked at each other...! Eventually I managed to catch him "at it"

  8. I went to boarding school - and no, it's not like the schools you read about in books as a child, although we did have midnight feasts occasionally.

  9. I'm married - 29 years next month! - and have three wonderful grown-up children.

  10. I taught myself html to build my school's website (I'm an ex teacher) and learnt by making a fansite for the Lone Pine books by Malcolm Saville. I own the set now, tracking them down from ebay and charity shops, but first read them as a child, borrowing them from the library in Deal, Kent. In a bizarre twist of fate the library building was sold and turned into flats, and my aunt bought one. The children's section where I chose my books is now my aunt's kitchen!

Over to you: here's 10 of my favourite bloggers (in no particular order)
I confess I don't usually follow through on blog awards, so please don't be embarrassed to ignore this award!

This is... * Sandie *

otherwise known as ZaftigDelights & KnitzyBlonde

Favourite colour?
I would have to say Turquoise/Teal/Aqua - those are the color/s that make me feel the best, and certainly ones I have a lot of clothing in. But I also like Lilac, Purple, Pink and other shades of Blue and Green.

Favourite smell?
A new baby, freshly washed sheets, a plumeria.

Favourite place?
Home, the beach, Hawaii, Scotland. All for obviously different reasons - but all because they feed my soul.

Favourite sound?
My grandson drumming loudly. :o) I just love having him around-he keeps me young. Laughter, especially from my family and friends. I also love the waves crashing at the beach (living this close has its perks). Music. Music. Oh yes, and music.

Favourite way to spend your time?
Spoiling my's what I do best. I love to cook (when I have the time). I also love creating; designing and making new items. I also love to travel, go shopping and eating at great restaurants, and sitting at the beach.

Favourite item in your shop of all time?
In my ZaftigDelights shop, it would be this....

In my KnitzyBlonde shop it would be this...

I was just exceptionally happy about how they turned out. Sometimes I am not always sure where I am going when I am creating something - but I just try to follow my instincts. - With the Vintage Rhinestone earrings, I just thought they were stunning stones, and it was lovely hand setting them and seeing how they photographed. With the Flower Garden baby hat, I was just so happy with the final outcome. I started off adding one flower, and then felt it needed more - by the time I was finished adding 6 flowers to it - well it cracked me up. And it really looks cute on a newborn! ;o)

Favourite shop that isn't yours?
It is so hard to narrow it down to one! Egads, well, I'll narrow it down to a few.
I love KateSzabone's jewelry, amazing!! I love the funky earrings from Discomedusa . And I absolutely adore the watercolor art of Mozo.

What has been the most useful lesson you've learnt so far that you'd like to pass on to our readers?

Be integral, prompt and kind. If you do, everything else will pretty much work itself out. And for someone new to this, I can't emphasize enough how important promotion is. Unfortunately it is tough for some artists to promote themselves, but it is must in the creative online markets that we all sell in.

Additional note: I am on two Etsy Teams, Etsy Treasury Team, and "Carried Away" The Etsy Bag Maker's Team I am so appreciative of the wonderful team members on both teams, they are kind, helpful and very supportive etsy sellers. This really makes the Etsy experience so much more enjoyable for me.

Monday, 17 August 2009

This is ... Kim

from KimsCraftyApple

Favourite colour?

Seems like a simple question but this is quite loaded for an artist. I would say my favorite colors to work with are the deep, rich jewel tones. But used in the right context every color can be absolutely exquisite. My 2.5 year old daughter would answer for me, Purple.

Favourite smell?

Right now, apple cider donuts...ask me again in a few months after I've made hundreds of them!

Favourite place?

Anywhere by water.

Favourite sound?

my babies laughing

Favourite way to spend your time?


Favourite item in your shop of all time?

Hmmm....another difficult one. I really like my Spring Flowers Quilt.

Why? I like it because I used such bright and beautiful colors on a design I created myself. I was influenced by others items but took the influences and made it into my own. I rarely make anything twice but I was inspired to make my Spring Flower's Quilts into a series...I have four far.

Favourite shop that isn’t yours? (Apart from Niftyknits, obviously!)

I'm going to have to pick a few here: has some amazing dresses for baby girls. I would buy them all if I could!

I bought the coziest, fun shirt from and hope to buy more in the future.

I love to buy fabric from fabricalacarte and karolsvintageart destash section.

I love the jewelry from crowsnestmountain.

I love so many etsy shops...I'm leaving out a ton but I do A LOT of my shopping on here!

What has been the most useful lesson you’ve learnt so far that you’d like to pass on to our readers?

You can't expect to set up a store on etsy and have them do all the work for you to get customers to your shop. In my personal opinion and experienbce you have to start out by:
One, having great pictures (I'm forever working on this)
Two , JOIN TEAMS...once I joined teams it made a HUGE diference.
Three, Take some time and promote on some people in forums and chat rooms

Four, Take A LOT of time and promote off of etsy...twitter does a world of good, a blog (super easy to do on blogger), facebook,, project wonderful. So many sources taht are an inexpensive way to get people to look at your site
FIVE, tell your friends and family! Have them spread the word. Give you stuff as gifts whenever possible and don't forget to wear it yourself!

So...that's my five tips to you:) I'm still learning but it seems to be getting better and better and I'm getting closer and closer to my dream...simply being able to support my habit (Crafting).

kimscraftyapple on twitter

Sunday, 16 August 2009

International Giveaway!


Ici at Niftyknits we love our international customers - especially as they're all so very very good at speaking our language ;-)

So when the weekend papers were kind enough to give us some free language course CDs we thought they'd work well as a giveaway ;-)

Por favor leave me a comment to tell me what you'd like to see new in my shops and I'll ask to choose not just one, mais DEUX winners!

The first winner can choose which set of 2 CDs to win, the runner-up will receive the autre set (there are two Italian CDs, two Spanish)

Simples! Ne pas oublie to leave me a way of contacting you. I will pick the winners next Sunday.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Spot the customer service problem?

Eavesdrop, if you will, on the phone conversation I had earlier today.

Me: Hello, I understand you offer to come out to homes to quote for laying a wooden floor?

Tradesperson: That's right.

Me: Excellent - could you come to my house please, I want a wooden floor.

Tradesperson: Well, we're not very busy at the moment.

Me: Great - so how soon can you come?

Tradesperson: As we're not very busy, our chap doesn't work every day.

Me: Ok, how soon can he come?

Tradesperson: Well, I'll have to ask him. He might not want to come all the way out to your house.

Me: What? Fifteen miles?

So the moral of my story is: if you lay wooden floors in Kent and actually want some work, please get in touch.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

This is ... Shay!


Favorite color?


Favorite smell?

Freshly baked brownies

Favorite place?

Morro Bay, Ca.

Favorite sound?


Favorite way to spend your time?

Creating graphics, Etsy, and reading.

Favorite item in your shop of all time?



Because, I love them all.

Favorite shop that isn't yours? Designingit


Because, she has some beautiful jewelry.

What has been the most useful lesson you've learnt so far that you'd like to pass on to our readers?

Promote is the key to success and good communication!