Friday, 31 December 2010

Facebook groups - how to stop getting all those emails!

The main mystery to me about facebook is why on earth they change stuff just when I think I've got the hang of it!

A while back I think there was an option to "invite" people to join a facebook group. The powers that be have changed that. There are now two ways to join a group - you can ask to join, or a member can add you to the group without asking you first.

Rather than add people, I'd like to invite you all to join the zibbet group. It's not just for Zibbet shopkeepers, it's for anyone with an interest in online selling/buying, and we like to chat!

That brings up my next and very important point! Facebook has set the default account setting to notify you every time someone breathes or moves a muscle - and if you're like me, you don't need that number of emails! So here is a step by step "change my email notification" guide:

From your home page, click on "Account" in top right

next click on "Account settings"

Then click on "Notifications" (ignore the red splodge, that's me hiding my email address. After all, the point of all this is not to get MORE spam LOL)

Select "groups"

Scroll down to the groups section (you might want to uncheck some of the other sections for facebook notifications while you're at it)

Click on "change email settings for individual groups"

Uncheck that box - and you will no longer get emailed every time a group member posts. You will still be able to find new posts easily though, there will be a number at the top left of your page showing new posts:

So - back to my starting point - please join us in the zibbet group

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Knitivity in the newspaper today!

It may only be the Kentish Express, but hey - it's a newspaper!

Meerkat Nativity available from each of my stores: Zibbet, Etsy and Folksy

(Watch out for the Shepherds, sheep and angel in time for next Christmas!)

Monday, 27 December 2010

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Cuckmere Haven and Seven Sisters

Yesterday we drove over the border into Sussex to Cuckmere Haven - we had a picnic! SuperZibbetMeerkat refused to come out of the camera cosy, it really was chilly.

You know the old saying about not pulling faces in case you get stuck like it when the wind changes? Well, the wind is always from the sea here. And I guess the trees pull faces...

We've visited here many times but on the walk down to the sea we saw more birds than ever before - at least four little egrets

a heron:

The heron was being mobbed by seagulls who presumably thought he was on their turf, they kept flying at him but all he did was duck his head each time.

We heard a weird swooshing sound and looked up to see a swan flying over our heads - I had no idea their wings made a sound!

The sun on the sea was stunning...

Looking across to Seven Sisters, we wondered why the cliffs were so-called. It turns out they're named after seven sisters who each had a house on the separate cliffs.

Finally, the meerkat decided he'd try his paw at cliff-climbing. The cliffs here are similar to the famous White Cliffs of Dover further along the coast, but have horizontal layers of flint making handy paw holds. They're MUCH too dangerous for people to climb with regular landfalls.

While we were visiting my mother before going home again there was about 5 minutes of snowfall...and our 90 minute drive home took three and a half hours! ouch!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Nom nom nom mince pies!

I don't do much cooking these days (Mr Nifty is much more domesticated than I am!) but I always make the mince pies.

I use a "sweet flan pastry" from my ancient Dairy Cookery book, bought when I first left home.

yolks of 2 eggs (I use the whites for making meringue snowballs)
4 teaspoons of icing sugar
200 g (8 oz) plain flour
pinch of salt
130 g (5 oz) butter
4 teaspoons cold water.

Mix egg yolks and icing sugar and water to a paste, ready for later.
Sieve flour and salt into large bowl, cut and then rub in the butter. It won't rub in to the consistency of breadcrumbs, there is too much butter, but ignore the lumps, they won't matter.

Mix to stiff paste with egg mixture, knead lightly and then wrap in clingfilm and chill for about 30 mins in the fridge. This is important - it's much too sticky to work with otherwise.

Roll out and cut to line bun tins, add a spoonful or so of mincemeat. I use decdent quality "shop" mincemeat. My MiL and SiL always made their own but I don't think it ended up any nicer than shop-bought - so I don't see the point. I don't make a "full" lid, I like to use tiny Christmas cutters. It doesn't matter at all that the edges don't meet.

This quantity of pastry makes about 18 mince pies and uses a full jar (400 g or whatever it is) of mincemeat.

Bake in a hot over (220 C /425 F) for about 10 minutes, maybe a little longer. I like to slightly undercook and then freeze - I put them back in the oven from frozen to reheat when required.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Undiscovered on Zibbet: Valerval

Sky in the cage

Valeria, of Valeria Beads is a new Zibbeter who is busily adding more each day to her shop. You can learn more from her blog:

Valeria has created her own interview for us - a real rest-cure for Nifty!

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I was born in USSR in Kazakhstan. We did not have books about crafts, no computer to see how big is the world. My mom was always busy with something, crochet or knitting or macrame, sewing so we learned that from her but it was not enough. We learned how to do needle work and some construction work from my papa. I grew up and learned more hobbies. My main interest now is beading.

Nifty: I love the story that Valeria tells with this Crochet airy coral set - did you know that Christmas in Kazakhstan is celebrated in March?

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?

When I was 8 I had a string of dark blue beads and wanted to have a treasure box. Me and my sister made a box from post cards! We would put lots of junk inside and on the top that blue string of little beads imagining that that box is filled with treasures. For years we were keeping those beads stringing them on 1 or 2 threads. We did not know what else to do with it. It is why I like weaving beads now as it was something I did not learn when I was a kid.

Elegant turquoise beaded necklace, lacy choker

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
Complicated things! I could string nice beads, add clasp to it or put charm on chain and call it jewelry, but it is boring. Almost everybody else can do that, but not every jewelry person can weave little tiny beads together and get an art, get them bloom turning them into flower, feather almost anything!

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
I like to do blooms of both as with seed beads it is possible, but I am probably fruit as they are higher from the ground usually :-)

Little steps

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?
Cross stitch. I started needle work when I was in kindergarten. We would stitch a little napkin every birthday for my grandma. I never saw her use them. She is no longer with us, but once when I was making order in her house I opened one drawer and found all of our little presents to her. I cried. I did not know she dearly kept them all as she was very strict woman who was not spoiling us. I do cross titch sometimes, but not get patterns from store or web. I like to do something only mine. so I am making portraits by designing patterns. It takes about 6 months for one but I love to see how colorful threads are becoming something beautiful.

beaded Calla Earrings

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
I want people to be noticeable by wearing something different.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
I am not doing it for profit, I am doing it for joy

Thank you for sharing your inspiration with us Valeria - I am in awe of an artist who creates such beautiful work and then manages a shop in a foreign language! Check out Valerval and be amazed, as I was, by the lovely stories Valeria tells in her descriptions.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Spam, anybody?

Here's just some of last night's serving of spam, links removed:

"I have read a only one of the articles on your website trendy, and I extremely like your line of blogging. I added it to my favorites net period file and will be checking stand behind soon. Please report register out my put as approvingly and let me know what you think. Thanks."

"Forgive and forget"

"I have interpret a insufficient of the articles on your website in the present circumstances, and I definitely like your tastefulness of blogging. I added it to my favorites trap age file and resolve be checking stand behind soon. Divert contain in view my site as well and vindicate me be familiar with what you think. Thanks"

And my top favourite:

According to google translate this means:

"Simple and sweet. I want to start another blog or five long, I will certainly consider this topic. Accompany them coming!"

Monday, 6 December 2010

I'm today's Featured Zibbeter!

How cool is this? I was surprised and flattered to be interviewed on Zibbet's blog, please come over to Inspire and read it.

I've been so busy I'd forgotten it was going to be published today, so it's a happy coincidence that I created my first gift certificates on Zibbet today too.

If you're struggling to choose what to buy, pass the buck - let your gift-recipient make their own choice!

And if you're looking for a new online selling venue - look no further - Zibbet rules!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Censorship and moderation

A while ago I posted that I'd changed the settings on my blog to "moderate all comments" - I did this because I get a ridiculous amount of spam and don't wish to have loads of comments about unwanted pharmaceuticals.

Recently though I found myself pondering whether or not to publish comments from a reader who disliked one of my posts.

I made the decision to publish, I'm not ashamed of anything I write about in my blog and believe others are entitled to express their opinions.

I'm curious to know what other bloggers think? Would you have published?

Friday, 3 December 2010

May I introduce YummyCuppyCrafts

Another "new to Zibbet" shopkeeper who at the time I met her, hadn't had any sales...though I see sales have started to happen at YummyCuppyCrafts now *yay*!

YummyCuppyCrafts told me "I'm a proud wife of a US Marine. We have 4 children who keep me busy at home.

Marine Corps Nesting dolls

I love to bake and craft when I have a little free time! (Which isn't always as often as I'd like)

cupcake wrapper club

My husband is gone a lot on training and trips. So when he is gone, I stay up late and love to create things! It's a way for me to relieve a little stress after a long day!

Raggedy Annie

With the holiday season approaching, I am starting to make more 'kissing ball' ornaments. They are so stunning and fun to hang on your tree, from a garland, doorway, chandelier, or in a vase of bowl for decoration!"

Wow - as you can see, there is a huge variety at YummyCuppyCrafts and there is still time to buy for Christmas!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

giveaway winner!

My giveaway last week offered two chances to enter, and asked you to leave each entry in a separate comment. Some of you didn't quite fit the instructions (naturally - you're friends of mine, you're *bound* to be off-the-wall!) so I decided it was fairest to count the correctly formatted entries, to remove third entries and not to count second entries if they weren't in a separate comment.

Anyway - after all that, chose number 16!

I'll be in touch with the lucky winner (laughingfridge) and will get the meerkat shipped tomorrow!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

More snow, the sheep don't like it :-(

3 inches (8cm) in our garden this morning, but much deeper in the fields when we walked to the supermarket for some supplies (chocolate and other essentials)

The poor sheep looked so uncomfortable, but there was nothing we could do.
I guess they're used to it.