Thursday, 7 April 2016

Button Trees - They're back!

Exactly 6 years ago to the day, I posted this photo in this blog of the button tree I'd made. Much to my surprise, that photo got pinned and repinned many times on Pinterest and elsewhere. At one time, if you searched Google images for 'button tree' it came in about 3rd. Now it's slipped a long way down the page, and its heyday seems to be over. There were a few copies, but nicely credited ones, which I'll call 'tribute acts', here and here and here. It also appeared on a lot of sites where it wasn't credited, and even appeared on a Tumblr site called 'StupidShitOn Pinterest', which sadly no longer seems to exist. That one made me laugh a lot at the time.
In my misguided way, instead of thinking 'Hey, this is popular, maybe a I should make some more.', after I'd made a couple, I just went off the idea. To be honest, most pinners were putting it on boards called 'DIY Ideas' and 'Craft I'll Try Some Day', and they only visited my blog looking for a tutorial. But a few weeks ago, I revived the idea and had some fun making a few more.
I was very pleased to sell one at the Vintage & Handmade Fair the other week, and the rest I've listed in my Etsy shop. The middle one is made from vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, and silver-plated wire, and looks like a frosted wintry tree, I think.
I've kept to the idea of putting them in vintage cotton reels, as that seeemed to get a vote of confidence at the time, but I might make a larger one in a block. I'd also be happy to take orders for customised colours or button styles (I have A LOT of different vintage buttons, funnily enough).

Just as a footnote, I want to make it clear that I'm quite flattered (if a bit bemused) by any copies that anyone has made. Lots of people wanted to make their own version, which is great. - it's such a compliment if I can inspire creativity in others.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

7 Days and Counting...

No, not until Easter - much more important - it's just seven days until the Vintage & Handmade Fair at Chipping Sodbury! I am going to be there selling my handmade wares.
This is the first outing for my 'makes' (like my granny square brooches, above) after a long hiatus, and I'm a wee bit nervous. I have been concentrating on getting enough work produced (which is partly why I haven't blogged for a while), but you know how it is - there is never enough time.

I seem to come up with all my best ideas when there is a deadline looming, and not really enough time to get everything finished. When there's no deadline, I dither and dawdle, unable to decide which colour, which yarn, which button, which bead? When I HAVE TO GET IT DONE, I generally do it.
Most recently, I have been making art dolls, all crocheted individually, with antique china doll heads, and decorated with vintage buttons, beads and charms.
If you've been following my Facebook page or Instagram, you'll have seen some of these. 
This is the latest one, and probably the prettiest, with her flowered skirt. I'm quite pleased with them. They are a lot less weird than my previous dolls, but I daresay some people will still find them a bit odd, with their blobby bodies and no arms!

I have also been tinkering with tiny treasures like these to come up with mini shadow boxes. This has been a little bit dangerous, as it involves glue. I will never be able to master glue. I get it in my hair, on my clothes, and inevitably end up with my fingers stuck together. But I persevere.
And not only have I made kitsch little boxes like these (not covered in glue!), but I have been collaging onto vintage wooden blocks, which can be rearranged to make a variety of different collage pictures.

I will be taking other goodies to the fair as well, so hopefully, I will have a good stall full of loveliness. Please do come and visit, if you can, and say hello to me. Or if you prefer, you can ignore me and just soak up all the vintagey goodness. The Vintage & Handmade fairs at Chipping Sodbury are always great events, and definitely worth moseying round to find vintage treasures, cute handmade loveliness and tea and homemade cake.
Saturday 26th March 10am - 3.30pm Chipping Sodbury Town Hall BS37 6AD

Friday, 5 February 2016

Desperately Seeking Pippi

Here's a mysterious mystery, which may never be solved.
For months now, the stats for my vintage Etsy shop have been dominated by Pippi Longstocking. That's not Pippi Longstocking in the picture above. It's just a cute 1960s card which I've had in my shop. In the description, I said she reminded me of Pippi Longstocking. Here's another picture, and you'll see what I mean.
Now I can understand that the occasional Etsy shopper looking for Pippi Longstocking might click on the card to take a look, but they've been clicking in their hundreds! It's my most viewed item, week after week, month after month. Not only that, but the views far surpass any of my other items. Here are the stats for the last 30 days:
So you can see 'Pippi' is the top search term by a mile and a half and then a bit more on top! I'm going to call it 'The Pippi Effect', and try to sell this idea as a new marketing strategy.

But really, I'm completely baffled. How can an item that isn't even anything to do with Pippi Longstocking get so many views from the Pippi search? Why are so many people searching for Pippi in the first place? It's a cute card, and I guess the picture draws people in to take a look, but it's an odd one. The interweb is just full of weird happenings, I guess.
Disappointingly, despite the many views, very few people added it to their favourites, and nobody bought it ... until today!
So the mystery is coming to an end. The Pippi Effect is over. What will happen now? Well, for a start, I imagine the number of views for my shop will plummet. Unless people start searching for some other obscure character. Or maybe I can start the Bonkers Old Doll Effect?

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Don't Look, Ethel!

I feel a bit dirty today, because of something I did last night. Now, before your imagination runs amok, I'd better explain.  For the first time ever, I listed something in my Etsy shop that needed a 'MATURE CONTENT' warning.

What was this scandalous object? Well, my shop is called Kitsch and Curious for a reason. You see, as well as all the kitsch stuff I love, I also have a hankering for curious objects. And among the curiosities that I have a hankering for, are weird bits of folk art and tribal art.

And back in the day, when there were many hippy shops selling Indian or South American knick-knacks and whatnots, I used to pick up odd things that took my fancy. At some point, I bought these small Peruvian figures. Fertility figures. With... details. And doing...certain activities.

If you're over 18 and curious, you can see the listing. If not, here are some kittens to look at instead.

Extra bonus points, if you remembered my blog title comes from here