Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Some houses just look better with snow...it's not ours!

nor is this ...

each of these shots was along the route of my walk this afternoon

So Christmassy!

Even the local pigs seem to be enjoying the snow!

I love the way the snow accents the skeletal branches

This last photo is a shot I've retaken every winter since we moved here - this house is quite near us (nothing like our own home!!) and it just looks perfect with snow.

Home now - to light the fire! We don't usually have anything like this much snow in November - brrrrr!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Open day at the farm - everybody say "aaaah" at the little lambs!

Baby22 had been snuggling with the others under the heatlamp. Mum was absolutely certain that it was feeding time, and baahed at the gate for ages until he decided to come out.

Baby 23 was my favourite, he looked very new. When he stood up, his skin was all wrinkly. He looked like his mum had bought him new school clothes "to grow into"!

And now that you're all warm and cuddly - did you enter my giveaway yet? Here's the link

Friday, 26 November 2010

May I introduce...EarthAria


EarthAria is brand new to Zibbet but has been making jewelry for a long time - hopefully this feature will be a jump-start to another beautiful new Zibbet shop! EarthAria's owner and designer Sarah's favorite piece is Sealight, and this is how she described it to me:

"It's larimar, chalcedony, apatite, rock crystal and sterling silver. It's a special piece to me because my husband is from a southern Caribbean country and we spent a fair amount of our time together wading in the beautiful water there. Larimar always reminds me of sunlight shining through water, so I always think about that lovely time together when our relationship was still new. "


"Even in its inception this piece was really special to me and I very carefully planned the color variations and texture of each bead in the necklace."

(Back to Nifty)Isn't that a lovely story? Many of Sarah's titles and descriptions tell a story. I'm rather taken by "La Vie En Ros"

Edo Tokyo is another very atmospheric piece - but don't take my word for it, go check out EarthAria

Don't miss NiftyKnits giveaway!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Thanksgiving Giveaway!

I'm thankful for all the support my virtual friends and customers across the world have given me over this year, so Meerkat Pilgrim Father would love to come and share his slice of Pumpkin Pie with one of you!

To enter, select an item from my Zibbet shop and leave the link in a comment below telling me WHO you think would love it. Be sure to leave me a way to find you - email, shop link, twitter link, facebook.

Second entry?
Want to enter a second time? Promote this giveaway ONCE in any way you wish - twitter, facebook, blog, stumbleupon, anything - and let me know what you've done in a separate comment, again remembering to leave me a way to contact you. Please don't promote more than once, I don't want everyone to hate me!

In a week's time I will number the entries and choose a winner with random.org

Entries accepted worldwide (cos I sulk when I'm excluded!)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

International shipping?

I blogged some tips about selling internationally recently and want to add a note about shipping, this time from a buyer's perspective.

Many online buyers are creatures of impulse - so if you're going to offer international shipping, I recommend doing your homework. I often see sellers writing "just ask me for a quote for international shipping" - but for me, that just won't do.

I'm in the UK. If I spot something I want to buy in the morning, and send you (in the States) a message asking about shipping costs, even if you answer me straight away (which of course you might not) it's already afternoon here. I've probably bought from another shop by now (I did say I was impulsive!)

A seller recently quoted me over $13 for priority mail from the States. After she investigated further, it turned out the same item could ship for just over $3 first class, a price we were both very happy with.

So - I guess what I want to say is, don't let the post office get all the profit! We all accept, I'm sure, that shipping overseas is going to be more expensive than locally - but recently I saw something I rather wanted, priced at under $20 with free shipping. When I looked more closely, it turned out free shipping was only for the States - and to me, in the UK, shipping was $25! I didn't buy.

Now I know it's not always easy, especially if the items you sell are all different weights - but if you want those international buyers, maybe it's worth the extra effort? I'd be nowhere without my overseas sales!

UK sellers can find international shipping prices here

USA sellers can calculate prices here

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


I don't know about you but I'm BUSY BUSY BUSY :-)

But I try to make time to walk each day - this photo is from Sunday's walk along the canal at Appledore. Gorgeous.

We saw a little egret, moorhen, swans, woodpeckers,plenty of fallen leaves and just one person during our couple of hours walking. Bliss!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

I've been Christmas shopping on Zibbet!

For those of you who are worried about shipping times...Judy from PortableGraffiti shipped my parcel from the USA last Saturday and I received it in the UK on the following Friday - less than a week!

I have a problem now - I can't show you what I bought because my kids read my blog!

What I can say is *WOW* her shop is just full to bursting with something that really will suit anyone you can think of. The five *items* I bought are perfectly suited (in my opinion) to the five people I bought for...seriously, I defy you NOT to find something!

I've been thinking about asking Judy to make me some promotional buttons...did she read my mind? Look what slipped into my package...

The snowy scene in the middle is a mirror, perfect for slipping in a pocket. Judy makes pins, magnets and mirrors in four sizes - and if you TRULY can't find exactly what you want, you can send her your own artwork. Don't delay - buy today! PortableGraffiti

Friday, 19 November 2010

May I introduce... SerenitysBowtique

Continuing my series of introductions to undiscovered shops on Zibbet, Serenity's Bowtique aims to provide you with a high end, professional handmade products, using high quality flowers from a designer flower shop, and high quality rhinestones and Swarovski crystals to add the finishing clearest, shiniest sparkle touch to each creation. Each flower is pieced together, layer by layer.

Sounds good doesn't it? ... but wait until you see the photos!

Lavender flower stretch headband

Fuchsia diamond beaded flower clip

Pink hairbow

chocolate beanie

If only I had a little girl to shop for - there is so much to love in Serenity's Bowtique, I recommend you Mums of tiny princesses get over there!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

International tips and tricks - what's yours?

If you're selling online, you're probably dealing with people in other countries (and if not, why not?...but that's another conversation!)

So - I'm hoping we can build up a list of tips to help each other.


I'm in the UK - when I first started, I listed measurements in centimetres, because the UK went metric ages ago and it's only oldies like me who still think in inches! I was amazed to learn that the US *does* still use inches - so it's a good idea to state the measurements in both systems. Tape measures/rulers generally have both, so it's not too tricky.

Some folk like to use an item for scale - my pet peeve is when sellers use coins. Seriously, I do not know the sizes of American coins, so it doesn't help me.

I took a photo of my meerkats all standing next to a DVD case in the hope that would help, I've also seen people using tealight candles and pens, both of which work for me.

Shoe sizes, clothing and even ring sizes also differ between UK, US and Europe - calculators here.

Holding your item in your hand also works well, or photographing next to an attractive ruler or measure - my tatty old fraying tape measure would not be a good inclusion!

Keyword spellings

Again, when I started I was often puzzled by the numerous Etsy Forum threads claiming that the jewellery market was overcrowded. If you've spotted my spelling of "jewellery", you'll know why I was confused - I was putting the English version in search, but most sellers were using the American spelling (well, it *is* an American site!) I've just checked today's search - JEWELLERY gives 55896 results, JEWELRY gives a massive 2,198,969!

My advice - use both spellings.

For the same reason, I tag with "collectable" AND "collectible", I can't even remember which is which now, but one is the correct UK spelling, one is US.

Mis-spellings are also worth trying. I tag the correct spelling "meerkat" and the incorrect (but often used) "meercat". I've had messages about my "mere cats" and "mice", so it's important to think about what people might putting in that search bar. I don't tag "mice" though - 'cos they're not.

I try to avoid using my bright pink yarn... it might be fuchsia, fuschia, fucshia ...I give in! The thing is, it isn't just a case of checking for the correct spelling - because you don't know which version your potential buyer is going to put in the search box. Use as many versions as you can!

Seasons - it's always winter somewhere!

I've often heard of people removing all their scarves (for instance) when winter is over. Internationally though, some people are just starting to look for scarves at the time I'm putting mine away.

- yay!

Are you always ready for international holiday marketing? I know I'm not!

Thanksgiving always catches me by surprise, and every year I end up asking what Black Friday is all about. I found an online holiday calendar which I've bookmarked. Even Mothers Day is on different dates in different places!

YOUR TURN! It would be great if you could add your own tips and tricks for international selling in the comments, feel free to link to an example if you wish! (All comments are moderated so don't worry if it isn't showing straight away) Thank you!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

What a knitwit!

Oh my poor neglected blog! I've been besieged with orders lately, a fabulous state of affairs, but don't you just wish the holiday shopping season could spread out more evenly?

If you're wanting a Niftyknits creation (available from Zibbet Etsy or Folksy) I strongly recommend ordering sooner rather than later, especially if you want something knitted to order. The UK post office thinks I'm ok shipping to the States as late as the 10th December, but I'm not sure I believe them! Check the dates for shipping from the UK here.

And if you have never heard Arthur Askey's "I'm a little knitwit"...then you are in for a treat!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

May I introduce...HancoxHomestead

who have a fabulous range of home made goat milk soaps and much much more on Zibbet. I'm loving this Christmas tree soap which is scented with cranberry.

More cranberry soaps have been shaped to hang as Christmas tree ornaments, just imagine the scents!

Helen has also made some lovely beaded napkin rings

And of course it's not all about Christmas - HancoxHomesteadalso have the sweetest set of four goats milk animal soaps: cat, pig, monkey and mouse perfect for party bags!

There is also a range of lavender filled decorations - I love this little bird!

A shop for everyone! Check out HancoxHomestead and make a new Zibbet friend!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Niftyknits in "Popular Crafts" magazine gift guide

I've just come home to find an email from Popular Crafts Magazine to say they've featured my little footie player! Thank you Kerry :-)

Meerkat footballer available from folksy or zibbet

Monday, 8 November 2010

Monday Morning Woohoos!

No no no, not Monday morning blues ;-)

Actually, I suppose it could be greens - I want to share my newest Meerkat with you...not sure what to call him, maybe ZuperKat? Or SuperZeerKat? He's a customizable Zibbet Superhero, inspired by the fabulous way Zibbet treats its sellers.

If you're getting tired of feeling trampled and ignored, I can highly recommend Zibbet. Premium accounts are a great deal right now, and the basic free account now allows your first *FIFTY* listings FREE.

You can find Jess (Developer) and Jonathan (CEO) on the forum regularly, helping and supporting us. Of course, it still isn't a case of "list it and they will buy" :-) but it's a great site, and growing all the time!

Who is *your* Zibbet Superhero?

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Walking along the Pilgrims Way

Harrietsham, Kent, UK

We even found a pilgrim cat!

I don't know what these seedheads are, but aren't they glorious? They were scrambling through lots of hedgerows.

The pink/orange seeds are from a spindle tree. Mother Nature obviously hasn't heard that those two colours aren't supposed to "go" together.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Undiscovered on Zibbet: Abracadebra!

Debbie, from Abracadebra, creates beaded jewelry. This is how she describes her earrings: "They are special, because although a simple design, they are my first brick stitch design. They are unique to me and are different than your usual brick stitch earring design. Though little, they took quite a few hours to make seeing as each bead was woven in one at a time."

Something I noticed too late for Halloween is this magnificent pendant:

Isn't it great?

I also really like Debra's Autumn inspired choker

Good luck Debra! Check out Abacadebra for high quality, yet affordable beaded jewelry that you can enjoy for a lifetime.

Read about more undiscovered Zibbeters: Boutiqueaholic, PinkDaisy, SugarPlumDreams, AdornMeJewelry,

And if you'd like to be featured yourself, please get in touch.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Waiting to cross the road

...feels like it takes forever for the traffic to pass sometimes. This particular "traffic" was wandering across a public footpath. We thought we'd wait our side of the gate until they'd passed (those horns look sharp!)

You can almost hear the littlest one at the back, complaining "Are we there yet?"

Most of the mums were begged for a drink as soon as they'd arrived.

My favourite photo - you can just about see the milk all over his face! He needs a flannel.