Monday, 31 May 2010

This is Amanda Robins

of GimmeThatThing, another new friend from Zibbet.

If you'd like to join us and open your own shop, please use my referral link: click here.

Favourite colour?

Dark olive, with burnt orange a close second. I'm definitely an earth tones person.

Ocean foam

Favourite smell?

Sandalwood. I'm a bit of a hippy and the smell reminds me of my teenage years, youth clubs and hanging out in the park. It still smells fresh to me and is included in so many expensive perfumes. I have a tiny bottle of sandalwood that I bought in Santorini in Greece a couple of years ago and when I make body lotion I use it with ylang ylang or orange to add an amazing fragrance.

Favourite place?

Under the duvet in the winter when it's lashing with rain outside. So cosy with my knitting, a cat or two and a good book!

Favourite sound?

The pair of blackbirds that sit in my pear tree and sing their socks off early in the morning.

Dotty Heart Earrings

Favourite way to spend your time?

Experimenting with new beads to create a design I've never tried before. There is nothing so exciting as getting a bead order delivered just when you've forgotten what is inside the package. I'm just filled with ideas when I see new beads. My biggest pleasure though is starting a new knitting project. It's always more exciting to start a garment than to finish one and because knitting is so portable, I've usually got it with me wherever I go.

nifty: sounds as if you're like me - hate the sewing up at the end? My top tip is to knit in the round whenever possible!

Favourite item in your shop of all time?

Hot Dog Yellowstone Handknitted Sweater For Dogs


The colours are so vibrant and suit the energy that small dogs have. I want the buyer of this item to send me a photo of the little fella that gets to wear this one. I have 2 cats and doubt very much if they'd let me dress them in fluffy yellow garments!

Favourite shop that isn’t yours?

Well that's a tough one. There are so many fab shops, but for originality I'd have to say Annabella Designs.


I've never done the wedding thing, but love all the paraphernalia that goes with the bridal outfit and this shop has it all.

The Pink Custom Made Vintage 50s 60s Style Stiff Net Petticoat is so not me but I love it. The satin ring cushion – I never knew such things existed until I saw them in her shop.

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

Never assume that when you've had a good run on sales you can stop promoting. Keep telling the world that you are making the most wonderful things that they are ever likely to see, and keep making and listing new items. Also, don't be afraid to try something new.

midnight clouds brooch

Oh so true! Thanks Amanda!

Find Amanda's blog and her shop, GimmeThatThing...

and my referral link to sign up for your own Zibbet shop: click here.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Danger in the countryside

We've been for a walk in our neighbourhood.

Stop, look, listen??

Aren't these old Pullman carriages great? They look just like the ones from my Hornby00 trainset many years ago!

It's not the trains that are the danger though - it's this stuff:

Oilseed rape as far as the eye can see. Not much fun for those of us who suffer frm seasonal allergies ;-(

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Your lupins or your life!

Look at my lupin, I'm so proud! I've never grown one so spectacular before, the slugs usually treat themselves to an "all the lupins you can eat" buffet, but this year this plant has no less than 11 flower spikes so far!

No blog post about lupins would be complete without one of the best ever Monty Python sketches :-D

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Sassy's mum!

(and dad!)

Yesterday I introduced you to Sassy - today I'd like you to meet her mum...

Lorin, but most people call me Doody now! Which I love. Is that odd?

Favourite colour?

a yellowy green, or of course black! I am Libra and I love color so don't ask me to choose just one!

Favourite smell?

A warm clean (!) doggies tummy first thing in the morning. Or mossy oaky scents

Favourite place?

Right now, home. Or a low mountain region, Newfoundland!

Favourite sound?


Favourite way to spend your time?


Favourite item in your shop of all time?

The item that started it all as a joke then became a Christmas ornament- the original Doodypops, now called 'Doody on a stick'.


Because everything is better when you add "on a stick"

Favourite shop that isn’t yours?

It has to be 2 though I could pick 5... Unfinishedbusiness, PetitPoulailler , BackThennishVintage and ferdworthi.

nifty: She did say TWO, didn't she? ;-) Anyone else count four? Just me?


All good solid friends with amazing stuff

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

Well, renewing items on etsy is more valuable than I first realized. I have gotten quite a few sales in the shop and my other lorinmark, just by renewing!!

woodland Moss Treasure box from lorinmark

And the question Nifty didn't ask?

Star Trek, not Star Wars!:-P

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Sassy...a shaggy dog's tale

I've been working on a commission for DoodyPops for AAAAGESSS, but finally we're ready to show the world!

First, may I introduce the subject of much head-scratching and deep thought:

Miss Sassy - a hairy little dog (if ever there was one) belonging to DoodyPops and Mr DoodyPops.

She is a Cairn /Chihuahua mix and is about 8 lbs now - was 5 lbs when we got her.
She was returned to her breeder and was put outside to live in the backyard with a wolf Hybrid in North Carolina.

A friend of a friend had a backyard that backed up to this breeder's backyard and got to know Sassy .....then it got bitterly cold one winter and she put out a plea for someone to adopt her. We already had 3 dogs, but there was something about her photos. I kept asking my husband Mark...and finally he was so worried about her he said yes.

We worked feverishly with a rescue group to get her on the doggie 'underground railroad" from NC to PA after the flight option fell through. These wonderful people each take a leg of a journey each weekend and help get the dogs to their forever homes. We did a few after adopting Sassy and its very rewarding.

When we got our little Sassy- she was much smaller than we had thought from the photos! She had looked sort of like a tall cairn. But she is really a large chihuahua size, well as I said 8 lbs.

Now the good part! When we picked her up, we met the driver at a McDonalds so I had a soda and offered Sassy a sip to try to win her over. Big Mistake. The carbonation made her sneeze and she gave me quite a dirty look. I think she holds it against me a little still, as Mark is her favorite.

Favorite doesn't really define it though. I mean, she adores him. I have never ever seen a dog fawn over someone they way she does him. She flea bites his beard area to 'groom' him. He can do anything to her, hold her like a baby, clean her eyes, cut her nails,........while she will growl at me for just having the nerve to walk past her! HA! She will snuggle with me though, but still growls if I pet her. Its not a bad growl- she just talks that way.

We lengthened her name to Sassafrass by the way, but we can see how she earned her first name.

Until recently, when my other dog Nicky decided to help wake Sassy up, Sassy would sleep in EVERY day! Till noon! Now she drags herself outside first thing to sunbathe on some rocks... my husband wants me to put sunscreen on her nippies. As if I could get near them! As you can see she is quite a little character.

She looks like several animals all moshed together. I see raccoon, lemur, veiled lizard (because she has a ruff of longer fur around her neck)....and Kramer from Seinfeld.

Of course the question now is...can I bear to part with mini-Sassy?

Pop back tomorrow to meet Doodypops

Monday, 24 May 2010

This is... Koloud ‘Kay’ Tarapolsi

aka A Crafty Arab

Favourite colour?

Purple – in fact, my house is painted lavender

nifty: A woman after my own heart - even my hair is vaguely purple!

Urdu card

Favourite smell?

My baby’s neck

Favourite place?

My studio with the music blaring

Favourite sound?

Giggles from my three girls

Sarcastic cards from Kay's second shop, UnderYourBreath

Favourite way to spend your time?

Watching a movie in a theater

Favourite item in your shop of all time?

Talking Camel Card


The Arabic writing is from an old economics book that belonged to my dear baba (dad in Arabic). I love that I’m taking a part of him and sharing it with the rest of the world. He was a teacher before retiring and it just makes my heart sing to use an element of his culture and language in my artwork.

Farsi card

Favourite shop that isn’t yours?

Portable Graffiti

At the time of writing, PortableGraffiti has around 1500 button badges for sale!


I love her passion for Zibbet and always promoting it. She is so involved in helping other sellers and always posting and selling. As a mom of two, she finds time for her work and has such a passion for it.

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

Connect with your community! Get to know your fellow artists, promote their shop on Twitter (by using #zibbetlove), visit their shops, buy from them, give them pointers to improve their wording, photos, bios, etc. If you see someone stumble, lend a hand to pick them up. We can all succeed if we help each other!

Zibbet shops:
Main Website (that lists my storytelling gigs and classes)"

Great advice - and I think I see a new button for PortableGraffiti here...
"If you see someone stumble, lend a hand to pick them up"

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Mystery flower

Remember the mystery flower I blogged about?

In the intervening fortnight it's grown another foot (in height, sillies, it can't walk) and is now flowering. the blooms shut overnight, open again with the sun.

But I'm still none the wiser as to what it is! Last year it was just a nice little architectural spiky plant, I had no idea it was going to shoot up a flower spike - so this is its second year of growth.

Someone put me out of my misery?

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Uk and USA: two countries separated by the same language

No prizes for attributing that quote, according to google it might be Oscar Wilde, or George Bernard Shaw, or even Churchill - but it's true.

One example: I recently had a temper tantrum, as my team-mates will attest, and apologised later for "spitting the dummy"...only to find they didn't know what I meant.

UK dummy = USA pacifier, does that help? The baby is so furious he won't accept the dummy being popped back in.

Measurements are something else I had trouble with. Being a lady "of a certain age" I grew up with inches. when I trained to teach I had to switch to those newfangled centimetres, but still "think" in inches. To me, that's a sign of my age, and old-fashioned - so I listed in centimetres. Imagine my shock when I discovered USA don't use cm but have remained loyal to inches. Not only that...but they even spell centimeter differently!

p&p - mean anything to you? As a Brit, it automatically means "postage and packing" ... but my USA customers don't understand it. they use s&h (shipping and handling)

Just when you thought you could cope with international selling?


and so it goes...have fun! What's your favourite (favorite?) miscommunication between two languages?

Friday, 21 May 2010

Regretsy Stars!

oooh - a new book! Anyone we know in it?


Regretsy - love it or hate it, you can't deny it brings people to look in your shop!

Want to read April's whimsical extras online? click here

If you want to get ahead of the game and buy your own Meerkat Manger for Christmas 2010, check out Folksy or zibbet or Etsy

***STOP PRESS*** guess whose Locutus of borg Meerat got featured last night? WOOHOO! Thanks Regretsy click here

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Meerkat Perfect Day

thanks to for introducing me to this beautiful song by Miriam Stockley through her treasury.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

It's a wrap #2

Did you like "It's a wrap" yesterday? You're in for another treat today! Handing over to my guest blogger now:

At Adorn Me Jewelry we like to wrap our jewelry elegantly. Our hope is that when our customers open their mailing package it looks like a gift, whether it is actually a gift for someone else, or for them. More practically, the boxes protect the items. I have had three customers now tell me that their purchases arrived in ripped bags with crushed boxes, but the jewelry was protected because of the boxes. I'm guessing there isn't a lot of that sort of thing, but I know that there are some who work for the PO who are actually abusive to packages and who unfortunately save special kicks for ones marked "handle with care" or "fragile," which is why I avoid ever writing that.

One service we happily offer is to fill out the enclosure card if it's a gift. We ask the client what they would like it to say and fill that out. In wrapping we'll often not tie the bow so that unless it's being mailed directly to the giftee, they can peek in to see what they have purchased and then tie the ribbon themselves before giving to the person. If it's for themselves, it feels like a gift even though they have paid for it. In that case, the enclosure card is a thank you card. The cards are hand stamped with a burgundy red damask heart-shaped pattern.

Our boxes come in two main sizes: small, for earrings and rings, and large, for necklaces, bracelets and multiple purchases. The small boxes have our logo labels on them and are wrapped with a silver bow tied in a knot. The large boxes have no label and we use organza ribbon trimmed with satin to tie it in a bow and then slip our business card in there. The gift enclosure/thank you cards fit in each box.

Wrapping our customers' purchases carefully and lovingly is a pleasure, and is part of what we do to let them know how special they are and how much we appreciate their business.

nifty: I bet I'm not the only one who is now hankering for a gift from Adorn Me Jewelry

Monday, 17 May 2010

It's a wrap!

Way back at the beginning of the year I blogged about Waggling. I wanted to find "red spoon", that little sweetener that will help my buyers want to come back again...and again!

Today's post was inspired by my friend Jane, of who shared her packaging and presentation in a blog post back in March. If you did't see it, I can thoroughly recommend a visit - you'll be inspired too!

I asked some of my Etteam friends to share their presentation of packages:

First to respond was Yael of the Joy of Color

Yael told me "I prefer the personal touch so I add to each item a hand painted or hand made card (by me).

Some are packed in craft boxes and some with craft "wave" carton , it's nice and practical, keeping my flowers safe.

I also add a small leaflet with care instruction and photos of items + 10% off on next buy."

nifty: I'm sure you'll agree Yael's packages look very inviting - and the 10% voucher is definitely a "come back soon"

Next up is Krystle of Dkjewels and Ninjabowtique

She told me "This how I present my items. I use rubber stamps to stamp my shop onto my boxes. I got my stamps made on etsy from JLMould

I have 1 for my Dkjewels shop and 2 for my Ninjabowtique shop. As you can see I use them a lot.

I also buy large 50 yard rolls of organza ribbon from ebay for about $2.50 a roll. :) My boxes are from etsy seller Sudlow

I pack this all in bubble envelopes I get from sams-club (a bulk store here in the USA) I always include a thank you card and business card also.

nifty: Thanks Krystle! I'm particularly interested that you've used Etsy packaging suppliers, I'm sure I'm not the only one who is going to go and check those stores out.

So - what about niftyknits?

My knits are wrapped in coloured tissue paper and tied with curling gift ribbon. They're then packed in padded envelopes.

Like Yael, I enclose 10% discount vouchers, one for my buyer, and one for a friend. I write a personal code number on each one, so I can keep track.

What about that red spoon? I've also made some button badges and fridge magnets, which will give my buyers a burst of meerkat cuteness every time they go to the fridge!

What about you? What brings your buyers back - or, as a buyer, what thrills you when you open your parcel?

If you're interested in learning more, Etsy has a virtual lab in 12 hours time.

This is...Vicki

the first of my new friends from Zibbet to be featured on my blog.

Proverbs 16:24, from one of Vicki's three shops: astitchandaprayer

Favourite colour?

Pink and Yellow Bead Jewelry Set

Favourite smell?

Favourite place?

Favourite sound?
The sound of the voices of my family and friends.

Favourite way to spend your time?

Favourite item in your shop of all time?

Paua Shell and Freshwater Pearl Jewelry Set

I love the colors of the Paua shell and the natural characteristics of the pearls and shell combined. Pearls are absolutely my favorite "gemstones" which is another reason I like this so much. It actually should be in my Denim and Pearls shop but because I already have it listed in LOC Design Studio I don't plan to move it. I'll be making something new with a Paua shell and pearls for Denim and Pearls!

Pastel Freshwater Pearl Necklace

Favourite shop that isn’t yours?
I have several Zibbet friends who have fabulous shops making it impossible to choose just one!
Judy: portablegraffiti and wildgoosechase

Deon: poocheze

Don't these look mouthwatering? Dog biscuits from Poocheze

Jennifer: jewelssosweet and mrssupply

Hair barrette from JewelSoSweet

All three of these ladies are professional and make customer service their top priority. They are also very creative and their products reflect that creativity!

What has been the most useful lesson you’ve learnt so far that you’d like to pass on to our readers?
Patience is a virtue! It takes time and hard work to have your products found. Promoting is a never ending part of the business. If you are not willing or able to put in the time and effort, then avoid the frustration by choosing another vocation! However, with perseverence the rewards are great--if selling your original, handcrafted items online is your heart's desire then go for it!

Horn Ring Jewelry Set

Find Vicki's shops:
locdesignstudio, denimandpearls, and astitchandaprayer

Vicki's blog:

Vicki's website:

Vicki's facebook pages:,
astitchandaprayer and
Denim-and-Pearls (I don't have a vanity URL yet for this one--need more fans!)

Thanks Vicki - I'm sure we can help you out with a few new fans! I'm always looking for new people to interview, so if you fancy joining my rank of victims please get in touch! And if you'd like to join us on Zibbet, please click on Niftyknits referral link.