Shop News

Ceramic Update

It’s been a while since I last wrote about my ceramic journey. Feeling deflated about my last unsuccessful glaze fire, I hesitated to start decorating my new bisque wares and left them sitting in a box gathering dust. Then recently when I had a bit of free time, I thought it was a good time to face it and get it done. How else would I know what was wrong? I had to investigate. The glazes were not cheap to buy, I may as well use them up!

I used a different local kiln firing service to see if the outcome would be the same. Happily I found out that this was not the case. Yay!

The ceramic shine I’ve always aspired to worked on every single piece. The decorating glazes look better than the last batch, although not as vibrant as I hoped for but I think it is just the brand of the glazes. I was literally bobbing with delight when I saw them laid out on the table, looking back at me all shiny. In the words of the ceramicist who did the firing, they turned out “really charming”!

I will be using this kiln firing service from now on. It helps a lot that they have electronic controls on their kilns so they can fire quite accurately to what temperature my choice of overglaze needs. It’s also more convenient because that place is closer to get to.

In hindsight, I think I also applied a little thicker overglaze this time so it may contribute to the success of this fire.

All the research and experiments I’ve done for the last two years have at last paid off. I feel really inspired to carry on developing my ceramic collection and hope for a string of successful fires. I have some lovely ideas floating in my head I want to execute in the near future and I will keep sharing my stories here on the blog.

I am not quite where I want to be in terms of style and technique (still a newbie here!) but I felt ready to sell them and want to work hard on finding my style while I continue making things out of clay. So for the first time I sold them on my stall with Paperdolls Summer Market two Saturdays ago and I was elated to receive lots of positive comments and four of them were sold to very happy customers.

I’ve listed the remaining ceramics on the shop for very good prices, do check them out if you fancy getting your hands on a quirky ceramic – and thank you for enduring my ups and downs on this ceramic project of mine!

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GROW Tote Bag

I recently launched an exciting new product in my shop: my first tote bag! I picked my GROW design for it, because out of all my work I believed it will work really well as a tote bag.

I originally designed this GROW piece for my collaboration with Brynn & Co on an embroidery design and embroidery kit / PDF.

When I started researching suppliers, I established that I wanted a good quality, thick, 100% cotton, landscape, long handled shopping kind of bag. After several days searching and contacting potential suppliers, I finally found the bag that is exactly what I am looking for. Asking for samples so I could inspect the material and printing quality really helped me to make a decision of choosing a supplier.

I am really thrilled with the end result, and I hope you like it too!

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Valentine’s Card Collection

Since I started my online shop and selling greeting cards, I’ve always referred to important occasions to give me ideas to develop my line of greeting cards. I have always thought about designing cards for Valentine’s Day, sketching out ideas and illustrating some designs but it never really came together until this year.

I came up with the idea to paint sign language related card designs about two years ago but hesitated, thinking they wouldn’t sell well. I didn’t have the dough to take that risk as well, or enough skill or confidence to paint hands well enough to be printed on a greeting card! This year I felt more prepared to take the plunge. I painted three different designs, two showing “I love you” in American Sign Language and the third showing “love” in British Sign Language.

I was pretty happy with the new paintings at an earlier stage, but I was still unsure about printing them so I shared a snap on my Instagram to see what my audience thought of them. I received loads of positive feedback and I went ahead and printed them all, along with two lovely hand lettered heart designs saying ‘I heart you’ and ‘Be mine’ that I hoped would appeal to people who may not be interested in sign language!

With this new collection, I felt (and still am) out of my comfort zone because these cards don’t look consistent with the rest of my products on my shop – they don’t have nature elements or one bit of green colour in them. But after seeing how well they have sold, I am so pleased I finally found the courage to bring this idea to fruition. I feel proud to incorporate sign language, my first language, in my illustrations.

I may have designed them for Valentine’s Day but I think they turned out to work well all year round! I hope you love them as much as I do.

Christmas Cards 2017

A couple of weeks ago I launched my new Christmas cards! This time I have two sets of four different designs.

When I started thinking about my designs for this year, I wanted to pay homage to my first Christmas designs from 2014 and give them a similar feel – the pastel coloured background in particular, which was the most praised feature at that time. The actual illustration on each design is different from the old ones but the style is similar, and better after three years of practice! The most similar design is the robin one, which I repainted because I felt it needs to be updated.

I didn’t plan to do two sets of cards originally, but one day I spontaneously painted abstract trees, which became my Christmas Forest design. I was focusing on green and blue colours and realised it would actually work well as a Christmas card so I carried on painting with more colours and created another three designs with an abstract theme.

I think I ended up preferring this second set in the end but I do still love my first set with more realistic paintings – so I printed both of them!

I also ordered special luxurious gift tags using elements of my abstract Christmas card set, which are available to buy as a pack of four. What makes them special are that they are folded gift tags with rounded corners. I added beautiful different colours on the back to go with each design. I also tied them with pretty green/white and red/white baker’s twines. All the Christmassy feels!

Which design do you like the best? I am loving Christmas Forest, or maybe Mistletoe most of all so far.

P.S. all my cards are also available in packs of 4 and 12 cards! Why not have a look at my Christmas shop?

You Are Lovely, Mum

This year, I am selling Mother’s Day cards for the first time! I have designed it so it is suitable for all year round, because of course, mothers around the world are awesome every single day, not just on Mother’s Day, and should be celebrated all the time!

I am starting with why my mum is simply amazing, with the most recent example. The other day, I made a mistake ordering new greeting cards, and accidentally bought 250 cards instead of 50. I contacted the printing company to amend my order and they wouldn’t let me because they had already started production. I had a mini-meltdown over how much I had just spent, thinking I wouldn’t be able to sell that many new cards.

While moaning to A, I received a how-are-you type text from Mum, and I replied to tell her what had just happened. Without question, and even with my assurance that there was no amending the order, Mum gave them a call and in the next few minutes I received an email that my order was cancelled and would be fully refunded, and I could reorder my cards in the correct amounts. I was gobsmacked, and of course very pleased! She just saved me a lot of money. How?! My mummy is magic.

This is just one of the many small things my mum does for me. More importantly, she raised me to be a strong woman and good person. I had difficult times during my teenage years due to the death of my father, who I was really close to, and she was always there for me. Even now with the ups and downs of my business, she is very supportive and gives me advice whenever I need it.

I am also grateful that she learnt sign language for me and my sister, who is also deaf, so we could communicate fully and have full access to education. We struggled to learn to speak from an early age and we wouldn’t have been able to learn without a language.

All of which is to say: you are lovely, mum!

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