Sunday, 30 January 2011

Meerkat Sales Fairy Adventure!

Remember my giveaway? The little sales fairy has now arrived at the home of her new owner, Adrienne of DancingRainbows in Arizona and has sent me some photos to share with you - I'm *very* jealous of the sunshine, it's pretty dismal here in the UK, cold and windy. You can enlarge each photo by clicking on it.

I like your new name, Rose! An English rose has become a Desert Rose :-)

Rose got to work pretty quickly, meerkats are very industrious.
Treasures from nature

Suncatchers from DancingRainbows

Thank you Adrienne for sharing Rose's photos! You will be able to learn more about DancingRainbows in a few weeks time when she is my featured Zibbeter - and if you'd like your own sales fairy, you know where to find them!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Undiscovered on Zibbet:

Sandy, also known as artiste26, has yet to be discovered on Zibbet although she has sold her artwork for many years on ebay and elsewhere.

Sandy's shop mostly contains her colourful quirky cartoons, but I discovered she also likes to paint animals, especially horses.

Sandy doesn't limit her work to canvas, she also paints items for home decor and accessories.

Sandy is also very happy to accept commissions, so why not discover this undiscovered shop? artiste26 You can also find out more about Sandra on her blog

Thursday, 27 January 2011

More Facebook changes

I've always found facebook a bit of a mystery but it's definitely got worse lately!

I blogged last month about how to stop getting email notifications.

Now they've switched me (and presumably all of us!) over to the new profiles and everything's changed.

The first thing I had to tackle was the little group of pictures at the top of the page selected from any and every photo that anyone had tagged with my name. Somehow, a photo of myself in bed opening Christmas stockings with my small children 20+ years ago is not what I want to look at every day! They're easy enough to "hide" though, you just hover the mouse over the pic and click the little x in the top corner. I also found several photos that I'd been spammed with (some sellers think it's a good idea to tag everyone they've ever heard of in a product pic - I call it a good way to get unfollowed)

I was then left with very few photos, so the solution was to tag myself in some photos I actually wanted to show - and we're there!

I'd been wondering why my News Feed seemed to have decreased, I hardly seemed to see anyone's news there any more. I found a very useful post from Mariann Rea which explained how to get my feed back: In order for you to view ALL the posts from your friends and pages that you have liked you need to do the following:
Go to the front page. Next to the news feed there is Most recent, click on that and choose Edit options. There you can change the settings to "show posts from All of your friends and pages"

I was now concerned enough to check my account settings (top right corner) - and discovered that my phone number and address had been reset so that they could be seen by all my "friends"! Seeing as I personally know maybe 6 of my hundreds of "friends" and "likers" I changed many of the privacy settings - and would urge you to check yours. I don't know for a fact that these were changed by the updated profile coming online - but I can't believe I'd deliberately set my phone number to be made public, I HATE talking on the phone at the best of times!

Any other daft changes you've noticed, please let us know in a comment. Thank you!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Happy Australia Day!

26th January is Australia Day, commemorating us Brits arriving in 1788. Personally, I'm not *that* proud of our Imperial domination of the globe - it's not as if Australia was empty until we arrived - but any excuse for a party, and a chance to remember one of my heroes, the late great Steve Irwin.

Another Aussie hero is of course ZIBBET so that's where you can find my kangaroos!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The chip shop saga continues!

I met the journo yesterday and mentioned the chipshop piece had made me a *tad* unpopular at the post office. When I took in my most recent parcels they were sniffed (as a joke) by staff at the counter to show they hadn't got any food smells! I was assured I wouldn't be in the paper this week.

This week's piece shows even the Mayor opposes the plan - he apparently deals in extractor fans, and implies they won't be up to the job.

Relieved not to be quoted, I moved on to the letters page *eeek*!

I feel sure my photo will hang in the fish and chip shop when it eventually opens:
*Do not serve this woman* :-)

Beginning to wish I hadn't placed an objection in the first place - but I *am* concerned about the smell, and it's my right to object, that's what planning permission is all about, seeking the opinion of the locals.

Still feel like a marked woman though!

Friday, 21 January 2011


of undiscovered Zibbet shop: LUCIDbyleya

Leya picked out this beautiful agate necklace as a favourite - and I can see why! The stones are lovely, and I particularly like how she's set them off with small bronze beads in between.

I also like her lovely coral shell pendant

My final choice - a two strand necklace with black shells

Please check out Leya's shop LUCIDbyleya if you have a moment - our undiscovered shops deserve to be discovered!

If you're not yet familiar with Zibbet, now's the time to join us - we're growing fast and improving day by day.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

What if Etsy was a grocery store...

Many of us type "LOL" fairly regularly, but every now and then I truly *do* Laugh Out Loud. When I recovered, I asked Jen of ArtmakersWorlds for permission to reprint her story - she said YES - and what follows is in her words. I've used her amazing polymer clay cane pics to add some colour!

Jen wrote this little story from the perspective of a potential customer. "No, that's the wrong word. "Shopper." We are all etsy customers. We pay their bills every time we list something. But somehow the shopper here is being forgotten. Hoping the right person finds this. Jen tried to make this a bit humorous too (Nifty says: You succeeded!)


Grocery store Etsyfied.

Grocery stores across the country are all basically the same. Their layout may vary but the idea is always the same. They all have their meat section, produce section, bread isle, cereal, paper, pet supplies dairy etc....
They all usually have displays in prominent areas. Let's call these

“featured items.”

Usually these are seasonal specials. Halloween will feature candy, trick or treat supplies, and so on. Things you don’t always buy.

Thanksgiving will have your pumpkin pies, cranberry sauce, stuffing mix and like that. You will never see staple items in the featured section. No milk, eggs, butter. People will buy those regardless so no need to “feature” them. In fact, stores put staple items in the most out of the way place possible so you have to walk past everything else to get to them.

But seasonal stuff? OH yea. That gets featured. Deep discount sales? Need to move something that hasn’t been selling? Featured.

So... Lets say corn flakes is on my shopping list. I find the cereal isle, some stores will have all brands of corn flakes together. Others may split them up by brand name, but they are all in basically the same spot right?

Now.... lets take our good old normal super market and Etsyfie it.

So I need corn flakes. I go down what was the cereal isle, what is still called the cereal isle, but.... instead of finding corn flakes, I find a pile of corn. Next to that, some corn taco shells. They have corn in them don’t ya know. Then the corn bread, corn muffin mix, corn dogs. Under that is a small box of corn flakes. YEA but I need a large one. Gotta keep looking.

Next to the small box I see some milk. We all know you have to have milk on corn flakes so they put the milk next to them. And next to that is a nice box of mac and cheese. WHY? Well that blue box looks so good next to the yellow corn flake one so they put them side by side.

Bananas are close, so are assorted berries. And also found very close to where my corn flakes should be, is a bottle of dandruff shampoo. Hmmm. Really? No “corn” in that. But.... although it isn’t part of the product name, the word “flakes” is in the description. I have to wonder if the person who comes in looking for the dandruff shampoo will ever find it?

If this isn’t bad enough, other shoppers with their own carts full start asking me if I’d like to look at the stuff they like.
Things they have

"Favorited." Or "Hearted."

Still others have cart loads that seem to have some kind of theme going. We’ll call these little gems,

“treasury carts.”

One has all things that contain pink. Frosting, cake mix, shampoo, dish liquid, lobsters, hamburger, donuts.

One is full of all things that foam. Egg whites, soda pop, rug shampoo, hair shampoo, whipping cream.

These cart people are eager to share with me their wonderful collection. And IF I stop to look, they will take me by the hand and walk me away from my corn flake quest. Every time I try to return, another one takes me by the hand and walks me somewhere other than where I want to be. Do I want the stuff in their carts? Um, noooo, thanks, interesting collection, but no. Not what I came here to buy.

Next, there will be


Groups of experts. I find a team talking all about corn. Everything I might want to know about corn. Sounds interesting. Maybe they can tell me where my corn flakes are. But no. They whisk me away off to the outdoors section and start prattling on about how to grow corn. Um, interesting, not what I want though, thanks anyway.

Back to the “cereal” isle I go.

But wait. Six years ago, I bought a box of fruit roll ups. Didn’t like them. I’d rather eat an apple than some apple flavored corn syrup goo with the consistency of tar. So I never bought them again. There are lots of products I’ve tried and never bought again. I’m sure you have all done that.

But.... the store knows what I bought in the past. And along comes a store rep holding samples of all the junk I tried once and never bought again. And other stuff, like milk, I buy all the time. When I need it I'll buy it. She gets between me and my corn flake quest to show me

“things you might also like.”

She is blocking my view of what I do want. How do I get this collection of "other stuff" out of my way???

Finally I find a box of corn something or other. Looks like flakes, not sure, could be good so I start to read the box. Or... the product


But I can’t read what’s in it because the thing is covered with stickers. Pictures of those treasury carts, other things I might like, (Those things I know I don’t like.) Oh wait. I see it, gotta life up some flap to read what’s in this box. Very unappealing, so I put it back.

Returning to my quest, seems this is taking all day. Suddenly whole groups of shoppers start circling. They want me to join their
"circle." Look at MEEEE No look at MEEEEE, come join MEEEEE
Go look at the circle this person also circles with. Circles one persons circled person circles with. They start to pull me away from the cereal isle again! I'm getting dizzy!

Will any of these circles take me to my corn flakes?
Know what? This has been a carnival ride, but I think I’ll find a store that is better organized.

Sound familiar?"

Nifty is still laughing. I asked permission to quote a couple of posts from the comments...

WickedMessenger's shop is on holiday right now, but you can find more of her wicked wit on her blog.

She continued the story, telling me that it has given her weird fanatasies when she goes grocery shopping now. Particularly when attempting to find Greek yogurt.

"That customer and a slew of others who have shown up here in the fora, in this thread and others, remarking on the bad search, the distracting circles, the endless loop built into the profile pages, the way clicking on avatars takes you to the endless loop built into the profile pages, AND the rather unweildly shopping cart.

Whole buncha them. All they want is some crackers from the snack aisle, and they end up with Jeff Foxworthy, Wheat Thins, Pringles, Cheetos, the Isle of Capri, Capri cigarettes, slim-fitting pants, short pants, shortness of breath, breath mints, Thin Mints (tm), Girl Scouts, scout's honor, yer honor, no honor among theives, Theives' Hollow, hollow trees, and, since this is Etsy, of course, owls. Oh, and cowls. And cupcakes."

Another quote from the comments:

"Oh, you forgot this part of the grocery store. You pick up some oranges and realize their fake plastic oranges! Yuck! You take them to the store manager to report them and he says to you either "oh, um, well, we asked the maker of these and they say their real oranges." You: "But they're made from plastic, look!" You have them give it a squeeze. Store manager: "Well sorry, they said they were real, so they must be."

"We'll look into it, check back in a few months. If they're still here, then we either haven't gotten around to it or we think they're real."

Read the whole 34 pages (at last count!) of the original thread here, big thanks for permission to reprint this cautionary tale!

Back to Nifty's words: Only one way to end this: the Zibbet Difference!

Scotty Meerkat met William Shatner!

Words fail me - but could you hear my excited squeal when my lovely buyer sent me this photo? THANK YOU!

Live long and prosper \\//__

Trekkie meerkats available here

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Whitstable on a blustery day

One minute you're sailing along without a care...

and then you're down (and no, it's definitely not me, I was on the beach!)

We plan to move to Whitstable in 4 years time...and I REALLY REALLY want one of these fabulous beach-huts! Or - even better - to live on the road behind them.

Perspective is everything. While I was waiting for the seagulls to sit still, lining up this shot...

Mr Nifty pointed me in a slightly different direction:

Ever wondered how far your shadow stretches? Who it touches?

Friday, 14 January 2011

May I introduce ...

monkmama54, a decorative artist who seems to paint on just about anything!

I rather like this birdhouse tealight

Getting ready for Valentines day? I spotted a lovely rooster and hen sugar and creamer set

And sticking with a Valentine theme I found an amusing mug!

The last of my selections is a sweet little bird on a heart pin

Please check out monkmama54!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Not nifty in the paper AGAIN, surely?

I think I was *slightly* over-quoted (don't think I said it'd ruin my business, I'll just go to a different post office!) but hey - I'm famooose!

The photo was taken by the newspaper photographer way back in November 2009, it's slightly weird to think the newspaper can just reach into their archives and find *me*!!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Who won the fairy?

Did you enter my giveaway?

I've counted through to the 74th comment and it's from DancingRainbows - congratulations!

Many thanks to everyone who entered - and better luck next time! Follow my blog to be sure to spot the next giveaway, or sign up for my newsletter.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Undiscovered on Zibbet:

La-de-da creations

I had to smile when I read the shop announcement: Indulge your inner hippy! I was a teen in the 70s (long hair, bare feet and flowing maxi dresses) so I was ready to enjoy myself!

The shop carries a diverse selection, including incense burners

another incense burner - with peace sign, very hippy!

clay buttons

and of course - hemp jewelry!

Enjoy your visit to La-de-da creations - Peace and love, man!

Oh and while you're here - don't forget to enter Niftyknits' giveaway, it closes tomorrow (8th January)

Thursday, 6 January 2011

A handmade Christmas

As I'm taking down the decorations, I thought I'd share with you some of my handmade festive lovelies:

This is probably the oldest made-by-me decoration, I embroidered these pictures around 20 years ago I think. They're not my own designs,they're from a book. Each round picture is about 4 inches across (10cm).

One of my favourites, this bauble is at least 3 inches across and is handpainted on the INSIDE. I can't get my head around that, painting the topmost detail FIRST and the background last. It doesn't show in the photo, but it's translucent glass and the fairy lights shine through making it glow. A pupil gave it to me back in my teaching days, a lovely memento.

Complete contrast! I made this a few weeks before Christmas. I only recently learnt how to knit with beads already on my yarn (instead of sewing them on at the end) and wanted to see what I could create. I might make more next year, but with better quality beads (these were from the bottom of the stash!)

These cute little ice skates were made by Daisy and bought from her shop on folksy, Daisy and I competed for a prize in Folksy's Christmas competition and the skates were her entry - I had to have a pair! I won, but where my photo has gone is a mystery to me. From what I remember, I made a hanging decoration with lots of tiny parcels made origami-style from recycled Christmas cards.

Santa #1 came from Erica, also known as Littleworm on Etsy. We first "met" on a mad rhyming thread on the forum there. You could promote anything you liked, as often as you liked - but it all had to be in rhyme!

Santa #2 is from Creations by Gena on Zibbet - is't he gorgeous? Gena had to investigate international shipping for me, and I'm very glad she did!

We also had some handmade gifts of course!

I created the pigeon for my daughter (she's 23!) because she loves the book. Behind him you can just about see some handmade body scrub from my son's girlfriend - thanks Helen, it smells wonderful!

My son wore his hat-and-beard combo pretty much continuously although for some reason he unbuttoned the beard and removed it before we went outside.

My older son and girlfriend made me a Meerkat Nativity apron - such a surprise! They must have thought Mr Nifty deserved some help in the kitchen this year!

Finally - the Christmas cake. It's a tradition to decorate our rich fruit Christmas cakes in the UK., although I've recently learnt this is one tradition that has not crossed the pond to the States.

Only (how many?) days to go till next Christmas... but in the meantime, don't forget to enter my giveaway!