Saturday, 29 May 2010

CraftsforCharity Blog has Moved

Hi all!

I have decided to move all future blog posts about craftsforcharity to a new dedicated blog and therefore keep my own blog dedicated to my jewellery making and craft work. If you would like to follow the craftsforcharity blog please click here: Crafts for Charity Blog.

crafts directory has moved
The new craftsforcharity blog will keep you up to date with new listing (which I will always blog about), changes to the directory and future crafts and charity projects.

If you have not yet registered with the crafts directory, please have a look and if you need any help, please ask!

Thanks

Mick

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Thank you from CraftsforCharity - Part 2

It has been 2 weeks since I launched the CraftsforCharity crafts directory and so far we have all raised £84 for charity plus £11.28 gift aid. There are now 15 artists and crafters listed in the directory which is fantastic!

As requested by fellow crafters I have also added two more charities to the directory this week, The Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign and The Great Ormond Street Hospital. Since which I have already been contacted by the Business manager at Great Ormond Street as he was interested in what I was doing!

One of the lovely things about doing this directory is that I get to have a good look at your websites and all your lovely crafts. So this is 'part 2' of the thank you's for those lovely crafters who have included their details in my new craft directory.

Crafts Directory Thank you
To welcome the latest listings since my last blog I would like to say a massive Hi and Thank you to the following:

The first thank you goes to Aviya Glass and their unique hand-crafted fused glass jewellery and art made by Terry in Kent UK. From dichroic glass rings and necklaces to glass picture, sun-catchers and glass art, there is something for everyone on her website.

The second thank you goes to Moonbeam Mosaics and her beautiful array of hand-crafted mosaic art. Using a variety of media including stained glass, glass tiles, glass nuggets and vintage pottery, she produces unique designs including mosaic mirrors, photo frames and wall art.

The third thank you goes to Tiny Oyster Designs who make plush toys for both children and adults, all available from her Etsy shop. From unique kooky creatures including the Patchimals to Patchimal fridge magnets..they have got to be seen and custom orders are welcome!

The fourth thank you goes to What the Jackdaw Saw and the fine art photography by the young British photographer Louise Knight-Richardson. If you want a piece of art that is guaranteed to make you smile and remind you of how beautiful the world is look in her Etsy shop!

The fifth thank you goes to Jewellery by Mia and her beautiful collections of handmade silver jewellery. Mia also offers fingerprint jewellery, preserving your little ones or loved ones fingerprint forever in handmade silver fingerprint jewellery.

Hopefully, I have now caught up with all the Thank You's but if I have missed anyone out, please shout at me!

Please also keep spreading the word and if anyone has an enquiry as a direct result of the directory, please let me know and I will make an effort to do a special blog post about it!
Mick

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Thank you from CraftsforCharity - Part 1

I have been away this weekend for a long weekend away in the Lake District (which was wonderful), but quite rightly so Angela banned me from using my PC for 4 whole days! Anyway, I have come back to a mountain of emails and have fallen way behind in my Crafts for Charity Directory Thank you's.

So this is 'part 1' of the thank you's for those lovely crafters who have included their details in my new craft directory. More to come later this week!

Crafts Directory Thank you
To welcome the newest listings since my last blog I would like to say a huge Hi and Thanks to the following:

The first thank you this week goes to Never Forget and their huge range of unique and personalised embroidered gifts for home and family. Whether it is a gift for a newborn baby, birthday, wedding or Christening, they can offer you something personalised for you to receive.

The second thank you goes to Collars and Woofs and their House of Zed adjustable Martingale collars. All uniquely made to order in a smoke-free, dog-filled home, the collars are much safer and more humane than a choke-chain, and are all adjustable in length.

The third thank you goes to Curious Cat Creative and her ever-expanding range of handmade leather gifts and jewellery. From decorative stemmed flowers, to leather bookmarks, leather art, keyrings and phone-charms, you can find a large range of handmade leather gifts or have something custom made.

The fourth thank you goes to Damselfly Gemma. Unique handmade jewellery designs by Gemma Andrews that can all be purchased from her Folksy shop. Emma specialises in creating both sterling silver and costume jewellery but often dabbles in many other areas.

The fifth thank you goes to Orchy Designs. Handmade in Scotland, these bold and vibrant jewellery designs are handcrafted using dichroic glass and sterling silver. The colours and textures produced by the use of Dichroic glass really are beautiful!

I promise to catch-up in the next couple of days and include all the remaining crafters who have joined the crafts directory. In the mean time, why not take a look!

Mick

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Crafts for Charity Explained

I thought that I should better explain the purpose of the Crafts for Charity directory and the reasons for developing it.

The Crafts directory ws developed with the purpose of promoting arts and crafts. It is not a Charity directory and neither is it a directory of crafters that support charity. By listing your website, blog, Etsy, Misi or Folks shop in the directory you will receive a high level of promotion for your crafts. In return I am asking for a small donation (minimum £2) which gets paid directly to your chosen charity via JustGiving. If you would like to nominate another charity not listed, you can contact me and I will add it to the directory. This has already happened this week when I was asked to add the Dogs Trust.

Unlike many other directories, nobody is making any money from it other than charities. I was asked by my Dad this week 'So what are you getting out of it' and I replied 'Nothing, other than the satisfaction that like minded crafters are receiving promotion for their work, and also charities are benefitting'. I could add advertising etc to the directory but feel that it would spoil the whole ethos of the directory.

Crafts Directory
The Crafts for Charity directory is now one week old and so far we have raised £41 which is a great achievement since there are only eight of us in the directory. All of the directory pages have now been indexed by Google (in less than a week!) and I have also discovered that some of the crafters details have already been picked out by Google for searches. For example, yesterday I received a hit on the directory from somebody searching for 'leather antler jewellery Celtic' and that is after just one week being online!

So that is a magical start as far as promoting the crafters who have already listed their sites, and I hope it makes many more sales for you! I will also blog, Twitter and Facebook about new entries to the directory every week.

So a huge thank you for those who have already listed and I welcome more crafters to join us. If you need any help or comments please email me.

Mick

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Jedward, Jedward, Jedward!

Well, my wife came home last night and announced that she had been given a free gift of a suitcase. And a very nice one it was too. We haven't owned a suitcase in years and normally make do with carrier bags when we go away. The idea of owning a suitcase was quite novel and we all made suggestions of how best to use it, like for doing the shopping etc.

Then it came to me announcing my big news. I said 'I have won something today'...and we all did a big drum roll and then I announced what I had won....

Jedward
A lovely Jedward keyring courtesy of the Glamglass Gifts Blog give away. As you can imagine there were lots of oooh's and aaarh's coming from all direction, and my 11 year-old daughter went hysterical! I think she automatically assumed that it was going to be for her!

So, many thanks to Rachel for her lovely giveaway, you certainly made our day, it's not often I get something as special as that and I will treasure it forever!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

My first name on rice custom order

I completed these pendants last week and they are the result of my first custom order for 'name on rice' pendants.

The young lady who contacted me wanted the pendants personalised with the words 'Ari (heart) Roni' writing on the grain of rice, and also wanted two identical pendants making, one for her and one for her sister.

personalised name necklaces
These 'name on rice' pendants proved quite a challenge, it wasn't the wording that was the problem it was the heart symbol. For some reason I am not the best at drawing hearts on paper and trying to draw something that resembles a heart on a grain of rice is a different matter! She also wanted the pendants colouring with a tint of blue. Anyway, several hours later (and many grains of rice) I had produced two pendants that I was happy with.

She is over the moon with her new pendants and so am I for overcoming the challenge of my first custom order!

You can see more 'name on rice' jewellery, the history and symbolism on my name on rice website page.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Thank you from craftsforcharity

The big news this week is that we have raised £26 in the three days since the craftsforcharity directory was launched. That far exceeds what I expected but I also realise that I need to keep the momentum going..

The other news is we have added a new category to the directory for Pet Crafts. This was requested by a maker of dog collars whom I would like to thank because I just love comments like that.

SO a huge THANK YOU goes to the following crafters who have listed their craft websites in the directory this week. You have made the launch of this directory very worthwhile! So in no particular order the people I would like to thank are:

crafts directory thankyou
The first thank you goes to Bags of Swank by SimJaTa. I have always admired her fabulous, handcrafted handbags, rucksacks and lavender sachets not only because the quality of work is fantastic but she makes use of recycled fabrics. She is also available for custom orders!

The second thank you goes to Glamglass Gifts who specialises in handmade funky jewellery and gifts, from beadwork to fused glass and Dichroic glass, her tallents are endless. She often tries her hand at many other crafts as you can see in her blog.

The third thank you goes to Hamespun who produces unique handmade jewellery inspired by centuries old Sami, Celtic and braiding traditions, made in NE Scotland. Their bracelets, complete with very intricate weaving designs are fantastic.

Thank you all for your extremely valuable contributions!

Mick

Thursday, 13 May 2010

CraftsforCharity - The Arts and Crafts Directory with a Heart

So here it is! The reasons behind why I have been quiet on forums, blogs etc recently, I have been beavering away producing this new website.

crafts directory

Crafts Directory - Crafts for Charity: Find quality arts and crafts that support charity.

I have produced a directory based arts and crafts website where artists and crafters can list their handmade arts and crafts website, blog, even your Etsy, Folks, MISI shop and in return you will be raising money for your chosen charity. This is your directory, I have personally put a lot of energy into developing it and the return that I will get is the knowledge that charities are benefitting and artists and crafters are being promoted. I will continue to promote the arts and crafts directory in a big way and have lots of future ideas on how to develop it so that it becomes more than just another arts and crafts directory.

I have currently listed ten charities which have all been nominated by fellow crafters, however this list is likely to grow so if you feel that you would like to nominate other charities for inclusion into the directory please let me know.

Please help me to promote the craft directory, feel free to mention the directory on blogs, twitter, facebook, forums and tell the world about it so it becomes a valuable resource for the crafting community.

I hope you like it and any comments really would be appreciated.

Many thanks

Mick

Arts & Crafts Directory - Crafts for Charity

Monday, 10 May 2010

Scorch's Pyrography & Custom Jewellery

I have been busy surfing the web over the last few days trying to find royalty free photographs to represent the various craft disciplines (all will come clear later this week when I launch a new website project). Anyway, the craft category that I was having the biggest difficulty with was trying to find a photograph to represent Pyrography.

Then it dawned on me that I (well actually my wife Angela) already has a pendant that has been made using Pyrography! It was custom made for me by the very talented Tracey Annison of Scorch's Pyrography for a Christmas present for my wife and I have never shown it off!

pyrography pendant
The pendant is made from solid sycamore wood and the picture is of our special place, Stonehenge and burnt onto the reverse side there is a personal message to my wife. The whole process of having the pendant custom made by Scorch was fantastic and enabled me to have something that far exceeded my expectations, and my wife was very pleased too!

On another note, I have just had my first custom order for some name on rice pendants. A lady wants two, both with writing on each side of the grain of rice and the glass vial coloured. I am extremely excited with this order as apart from making these pendants for friends and family, it will be my first custom name on rice jewellery order.

In fact, I am a little bit shaky with the prospect, which is not a good way to be when you are about to write on a grain of rice.

Hope you are all have a good week!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Festivals!

It was the 1st of May on Saturday, and the beginning of May means something important to me, it is the start of the Festival season!

I absolutely love going to festivals; spending three or four days being transported to another world. A world where everyone around you are there to celebrate good music and good company. A world where the rules and barriers put down by our society are broken and people are free to be their real selves. A world where the words 'morning', 'afternoon' and 'evening' become meaningless because day and night becomes one never-ending experience.

No material possessions, no 'home comforts', smelly portaloos, dirt and mud growing out of every orifice. Thousands of tents, but nobody sleeps, food like you have never seen before. People dressed as fantastical creatures from some far-away planet.

Happy, dazed and sometimes crazed, the people around you become one, a festival family of happy individuals who have completely forgotten what life is like the other side of those festival gates.

Mick Cluley chilling out
This picture was taken at one of our festivals my wife Angela and me went to. I think we spent most of the festival just sitting outside the chill-out tent watching the festival world go by. And what a beautiful world it was.....