Handmade verses Store Bought

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Firstly I must say I am not against store bought as I do purchase items from local shops.  However being a crafter myself, I do appreciate the love and personal touch that handmade has compared to store bought.  When I make a piece of jewellery a little part of me goes into it.  Firstly I am inspired by something or someone which gets me thinking of a new creation, and from there I go on to create a new piece of jewellery.  I always take my time to make sure every piece of jewellery I make is finished just how I envisaged it from the start.  Of course when I sell my jewellery I always package it lovingly and I always write a personal note to the buyer, thanking them for supporting me in my art.  When I buy store bought there is nothing personal about it and I certainly know I am not going to receive a lovely note from the maker.

Before I wrote this blog I decided to do a little research on the internet about other peoples opinions on handmade, and here are some quotes I found from different forums.

“Oh I love handmade products. It’s nice to have those you know carefully handmade. It’s award-winning. And I want to know how it is made myself.” (from Lhenni site myLot)

“By purchasing handmade you are supporting independent designers and artisans who have worked hard to develop their skills and knowledge and who play a role in keeping these skills and innovative design alive into the future.” (from Simone Walsh handmade jewellery)

“Handmade means giving a product meaning.

Every creation you buy on Mosey was bought to life by a maker with a unique story.

Think back to a time when you knew who made your clothes and where your food was produced.

Buying handmade means supporting the Australian and New Zealand makers behind the product.

Mosey is created with the hand, inspired by the heart and loved by the eye.” (from Mosey)

I like the way Mosey say’s that every creation you buy is bought to life by a maker with a unique story.  This is so true  as individuals we all have a a story, which will give each of us a different take on the craft we do.  For example I know as a crafter making my own jewellery, there are so many other crafters making jewellery I could think to myself why bother, look at the amount of competition out there.  But I don’t think like that as a matter of fact I think the very opposite, I love to see what other talented crafters make for we all have a unique style, and there is always someone out there who will love the way that style comes across in our jewellery making.

Here I have added a couple of pictures of candles for you to see the difference in something store bought and something handmade.  Notice the  store bought candles are something you can find anywhere.  Yet look at the handmade candles and notice the unique way they have been made adding different textures and even fruit to the candle.

Store Bought Candles

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Handmade Candles

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I believe there is a place for store bought and hand made, it is up to the individual.  I personally think it is great we can have a choice and of course I tend to love handmade, as I like the idea of knowing I am purchasing something made with love.

What are your thoughts on handmade verses store bought, please share…

For the love of art… Interview with Jessica Van Den from Epheriell Designs

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A few months ago I started a series of blogs called “For The Love Of Art”.  For my second installment I decided to interview a jewellery designer.  Enter Jessica Van Den the creative mind behind jewellery brands,  Epheriell Designs and Vintette, Jessica also publishes/edits her own handmade/art/craft zine *bespoke* and also is a regular columnist for Scoutie girl.  I enjoy reading  Jessica’s blog Click here to visit Jessica Van Den. every day since I first discovered it last year.  So of course it has been my pleasure to interview Jessica and gain a little insight into the life of a successful, creative blogger/entrepreneur.

1. Firstly can you tell us a little about both of your jewellery brands?

My main jewellery line – Epheriell – is made from recycled sterling silver, and has a simple, contemporary feel. Metal is my main love – I adore the process of going from raw sheet or wire to something beautiful and wearable!

My other jewellery line – Vintette – is a fun, vintage-inspired costume jewellery line using new and vintage components.

2. What inspires you when you are creating your jewellery?

So many things – and it changes depending on the collection I’m working on. I might see a particular shape, colour, stone… and from there a design arises. I produce 2 collections for Epheriell each year (Autumn and Spring) and each collection revolves around a theme. For example, my upcoming Autumn 2012 Collection is called ‘Rare Earth’ and focusses on rough-cut semi-precious gemstones.

3. How did you first get into blogging?

I’ve been building websites since I was a high-school kid back in 1996 – the internet has always fascinated me! Over the years, websites slowly morphed into these things called ‘blogs’ – so I guess my first blog probably came about in the mid-2000′s. I had already learnt a lot about blogging before starting Epheriell Designs, and have loved it ever since!

4. How would someone describe your blogging style?

Hopefully inspiring and informative! My aim is to provide content that is beautiful and useful – featuring lots of different creatives, sharing my own journey, giving crafty biz tips and advice, learning from successful people. I’m also pretty down-to-earth.

5. If someone was interested in blogging what would be a few things you would suggest?

I would first suggest that they think long and hard about whether they really need a blog – it’s a LOT of work – and if you want to use it to grow a business, it takes a long, long time. However, it is a fabulous thing to do, and if you’ve got boundless passion about your work/hobby, then go for it!

If you’re just blogging for you – diary-style, then a free blog is fine – but if you want to blog for a business, I’d recommend you get set up with your own website – it’s SO easy to get a site and blog up and running with WordPress these days, and it looks far more professional to have your own dot com.

6. With so many projects going how do you keep a balance in your life?

It can be tricky, for sure! When I first started out I went full-throttle for a long time, before hitting a stage of burnout. Since then, I’ve taught myself to take a step back and make sure I still have time to relax and indulge in other hobbies (like reading), and important things like spending time with my family, and exercise.

My business might not be growing *quite* as fast now that I’m not pulling 16-hour workdays, but I’m much happier!

7. What advice would you give to those who are trying to follow  their passion and financially support themselves through their art/handmade products?

Treat it as a business from the beginning. Keep track of all your income and expenses – know where the money is! I find knowing what’s going on with my finances really motivating – I set goals for myself and it keeps me working hard.

Also remember – just because you love making it doesn’t mean people want to buy it! This isn’t something a lot of us want to hear, but it’s the truth. When you move from making things for yourself to making things for other people, you have to make sure to find that sweet spot between what you love to make and what people love to buy.

And keep going! It won’t all happen suddenly, but with time, thought, and persistence, I believe anyone can make it.

- If you would like to follow Jess her details are below.  If you already follow Jess, know her, own some of her jewellery or just enjoyed this interview,  please leave a comment below.
Blog – EpheriellDesigns.com
Shop – Epheriell.com
Twitter – @JessVanDen
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These earrings are from Jessica’s Epheriell brand.  Modern Contemporary Simple Sleek Elegant Design.

Make your own clay jewellery charms

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Today I decided to make some clay jewellery charms of my own.  I had so much fun I thought I would share my step by step instructions.  They are easy to make, fun and inexpensive.

What you will need:

* Acetate sheet roll

* Air drying clay

 

* Graphite pencil

 

*Acrylic paint

 

Instructions:

1. On an acetate sheet roll a small piece of air drying clay into a ball and gently press down to form a circle.  Press finger onto the                 circle for an imprint, and use a graphite pencil to make a hole in the top of the circle.  Allow 24-48 hrs drying time.

2. When the clay fingerprint charm is dry, paint with acrylic paint and leave to dry.  Varnish if desired.

And it is that easy to make your own clay jewellery charms.  I have included links to everything needed to make your own charms. All you have to do is click on the link and purchase, these are the supplies I use.

If you like this DIY project please leave me a comment

:)

My Favourite crafty pics for the day…

I will be making these cute little material books!

Source: flickr.com via Liz on Pinterest

I love the colours in this gorgeous paper flower wreath!

Source: etsy.com via Liz on Pinterest

I love this unique way to hang jewellery, so pretty! 
If you have any
crafty pics you would
like me to share
please leave a comment below…
:)

Bringing Art & Craft to the community

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I have always loved handmade!  There is nothing more special than buying something that has been lovingly hand crafted by someone.  I recently joined ICAN (Illawarra Crafts & Art Network), they have a lovely little shop in Port Kembla in the Red Point Gallery courtyard.  The shop is full of hand made items and art lovingly created by local artisans of the Illawarra, such as hand crafted items made by Elanya from Left Leg Designs,  http://www.leftlegdesigns.blogspot.com.au/.  And many other talented crafters and artists.  I have also added a selection of my jewellery to the shop.

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Organizations like ICAN give members of the community a useful network of like minded people, who can get together and work to get their art and craft out there for others in their local community to see and purchase.  ICAN also runs art and craft days where members of the community can come and learn a new hobby.

Learning a new hobby can be a great way to meet new people, it can help keep your mind busy and keep away any boredom!

Some of the great things to see in the ICAN shop are these cute little butterfly’s, made from old vinyl records.

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There is a range of handmade clothes, bags, pottery and many other fantastic handmade treasures to find.

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Do you belong to a art or craft network in your community?  If you do please share in the comments below :)

 

Cross & Chain Necklace Set

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My Cross & Chain Necklace with matching earrings, for sale in the necklace section of my shop :)

Handmade With Love

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When I purchase a handmade item, I am purchasing a little piece of its creator.  I am purchasing the passion the artist has for his or her work.  I am purchasing a slice of their vision.  And I am supporting their brave decision to dream big and believe in their art.

Pink Rose Bracelet

One of a Kind

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My newest creation on Etsy. www.etsy.com/eyekandyjewellery/shop