Pinterest linked now

So besides working on more products for Didi Lou Crafts and working on the infrastructure for displays at craft fairs, I processed my first order on Etsy, for the first commissioned set of work. The batch of products I am working on now includes quite a few flower pots, so I split out the “Garden” related products into a new section on Etsy. To see the changes go to: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DidiLouCrafts. I have also restructured the “Products” page here to have sub menus that match those on Etsy.

But the big news is… the Didi Lou Crafts website is now Pinterest friendly, allowing posts and pages to be pinned by visitors.Pinterest logo

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Making bath/beauty products

Children’s clothes and toys, food and body products all have legislation or rules associated with them here in the UK. Selling internationally would just add to the complexity, so at this stage Didi Lou Crafts will not stock these types of products, although I won’t stop making some of these as personal gifts for friends.

I enjoy cooking and baking and have done food as gifts in the past. I recall as a teenager baking cookies and making pears in crème de menthe as Christmas gifts for aunties and uncles. Chocolate truffles or hand made marzipan fruits are also things I’ve made as gifts in the past. It is a few years ago now and she is no longer with us, but to see the joy on the face of a grandmother at the ripe age of 90+ when I turned up with a fresh loaf of bread I had cooked in the bread maker overnight was a delight.

Presented in a good quality jar that can be reused and done up with a pretty bow, food items make a cheap yet thoughtful gift for friends and family. I really like the recent idea of layering the ingredients for biscuits in a jar and giving that as a gift with the instructions for baking. This example is from the US, but shows the principle: http://www.bettycrocker.com/menus-holidays-parties/mhplibrary/seasonal-ideas/cookie-mix-jar-gifts

I don’t make bath and beauty products for Didi Lou Crafts, but again I have made them in the past as gifts. I have two particular favourites which I have made with teenagers and which are very easy to make: Kool Aid Lip Balm and Milk Bath Bags. I still have a few of the lip balms from the last batch I made.

Kool Aid Lip Balm
The lip balm is quite simple as there are only 3 ingredients. Kool Aid is not common in the UK, but can be ordered online at places such as Amazon.co.uk for under a pound including postage. Petroleum jelly can be found in the baby section of most supermarkets or in most chemists/pharmacies. The bees wax makes this lip balm more solid and is optional. 100g of bees wax is less than a fiver online and is more than enough. Beaded bees wax is better than a block as it melts quicker. It should say for cosmetic or BP grade, for your own safety. The containers are also fairly easily sourced cheaply online, or reuse old lip balm jars.
Ingredients:
1 pack of Kool Aid powder of your choice
1 cup Petroleum jelly
1 tablespoon BP grade bees wax (optional)
Method:
Mix together the petroleum jelly and bees wax in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Take out and stir to ensure it is all melted. Mix in the kool aid powder. Pour into small containers whilst still warm.

lipbalmMilk Bath Bag
Ingredients:
1 cup (full fat) powdered milk
¼ cup cornflour
¼ cup baking soda/bicarb
5 drops of an essential oil of your choice (optional)
Method:
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the oil and stir thoroughly. Divide the mix into 4 and tie into circles of fine material. (For a cheap alternative, use new striped dishcloths/all purpose cloths. Cut each cloth in half and round the corners. Place ¼ of the mixture in the centre. Tie up with string or a matching ribbon.) To use, either hang the ball on the nozzle so that the running water pours over the ball as it fills the bath, or open the bag and sprinkle into the bath while it is still filling.

A hand made gift suggests uniqueness and thought has been put into it. Most people will appreciate the time put into making the gift and see any flaws as character, proving it was hand made. If you can’t find the time to make a gift, consider buying something someone else has put time and effort into making. There is a growing range of items I am producing which all offer that personal touch of a home made item. Have a look and see if any would delight one of your friends or family at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DidiLouCrafts.

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Celebrations

April is a month of both memories and celebrations for me. Easter often falls in April, as it did this year, but there is also a birthday and wedding anniversary this month. In terms of memories, it is both the anniversary of my father’s death, and having grown up in Australia, where Anzac Day was a more broadly observed memorial day than Remembrance Day, I find April makes me mindful of the sacrifices people have made in the past.

Celebrations often mean a special meal at home. Having picked up a small turkey crown cheaply after Christmas, we had that rather than pork, which is what we usually prefer for Easter. The smell of a simple roast dinner, even if it is only for two, wafting through the house is wonderful.

I usually have a stack of homemade cards ready for birthdays and Christmas, although as I have only just started Didi Lou Crafts and need to focus on crafts for sale, the stack is dwindling and I’ve been buying premade cards, although I did take time out to make one birthday card.

For speed, I looked online for a free downloadable card design, eventually choosing this one http://www.greetingsisland.com/preview/cards/husband-birthday/613-6772 but I modified it using Paint.NET, so that the heart was bigger and the writing in the heart did not overrun the edges. I changed the greeting too, putting it in a border. Once I had edited the components I had 3 pieces: the background paper, the heart and the greeting, which I then layered onto a plain white card. I’m happy with the results as shown below.
original cardfinished card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With our busy modern lives it is often difficult to find the time to craft even a simple card, but you can always purchase a card from my collection at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DidiLouCrafts/Cards or even contact me at info@didiloucrafts.co.uk for a special commission.

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First Commission

The weather has been warmer here in the last week and I got outside and mowed the lawn for the first time this season yesterday, and then it poured overnight. I timed that really well.

The big news is that Didi Lou Crafts has got its first commission job, for two jewellery boxes. Both are now in progress, one is close to completion, the other is being painted with the base coats before adding the main design to the lid.

Speaking of jewellery, I am about to upload blue lace drawersthe jewellery box and bangle shown here to the shop at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DidiLouCrafts. I really like these two. I would have been tempted to keep the bangle for myself, except it doesn’t quite fit over my wrist. There are other items to be put up on the shop in the coming week or so and, of course, more items in progress, such as a set of thank you cards and a dream catcher.

rope bracelet

 

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It’s Easter, but I’m thinking summer

It is easter here with the business carddaffodils out in bloom, but in terms of crafting I am thinking summer and researching summer craft fairs and thinking about summer specific products. Early summer is the time for gardening, weddings and planning holidays, so those samples flyerare inspiring the next batch of products, including fun characters for pot plants, more plant pots, some stationery sets, jewellery boxes and jewellery. This morning I spent a few hours embossing while I was baking.

I’ve been preparing business cards and flyers ready for craft fairs and to give out to friends. I’ve also been reading about marketing an online craft business. I may have already launched Didi Lou Crafts at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DidiLouCrafts but now I need to start attracting people to view and then buy my products, so that is the next step.

 

 

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