Friday 29 October 2010

Half term trip

Had a lovely trip out yesterday to Groombridge Place.

I thought the kids would like it as they have an "Enchanted Forest", but they key reason was that just over 7 years ago it's where I got married.

It was such a strange feeling going down the drive, I got goosebumps thinking how nervous I was last time I was there.

If it looks familiar, it was the home to the Bennett's in Pride and Prejudice (the 2005 Keira Knightley version).

The formal gardens are lovely..

But we didn't get to stay long there though as the kids were keen to explore the rest of the grounds...

Lots of stuff for them to do, plus a bird of prey demonstration, and a few other creatures..

It's a zedonk by the way - a donkey/ zebra cross.

All set in gorgeous woodland

Definitely worth checking out if you're in the Kent area.

So this is the kind of thing I've been doing this week instead of making jewellery... I'm itching to get stuff made. Hopefully I'll get some time over the weekend.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Work in Progress Wednesday (on a thursday!)

Thought I'd give you a sneaky peak at some things I'm working on this week....

First of all, ages ago (really you won't believe quite how long ago) I started making a little birdie brooch. Then I started on something else, as I do, and left my poor little copper birdie perched sadly on the WIP mountain. Well, time to get on with him I think....

I don't make brooches v often, but with winter coming up I think they look nice on a thick coat. He's going to have a wing soldered on, possibly in silver and maybe some beads but I haven't finalised the design yet. (Yes I know, I know - I should have it all sketched out before I start!)

The other thing I'm going to finish this week is my little silver twig...
This too has been sitting around forever, just waiting. It's a silver clay version of a nicely gnarly little cherry twig I found in the spring. I'm thinking of making a few more like this to make into brooches, but this one is going to have a ring soldered to each end, and become a necklace. And I might even keep it myself.

Friday 22 October 2010

Featured etsy seller & a Giveaway!! - Jack and Ella Paper

Another brilliant giveaway! 

When we moved house recently I was looking around for some change of address cards and stumbled upon this fab shop I love the clean, fun, designs, and the fact that they're quite green, using recycled card stock.

I thought I should spread the word about this fab crafter, and Jessica very kindly agreed to be featured on the blog, and offered a prize for a giveaway too! Personalised notecards...

Check the info at the bottom of this post for how to enter the giveaway...

But first of all, read about this inspiring etsy seller.....over to you Jessica...

My name is Jessica Bates and I live with my husband and two children (Jack & Ella!) in Wisconsin, just outside of the capitol city of Madison. We share our home with many animals including 3 dogs, a parrot and a bearded dragon. Needless to say there is not a lot of down time in our home.

I have long been the 'go to' person (among family and friends) for their stationery needs. I would often make wedding and shower invitations and I truly enjoy designing my holiday cards each year. After only recently discovering, I knew it would be a great tool for me to sell my paper goods.

I began my Etsy shop last spring,
I also sell to a couple of brick and mortar shops as well. The goods typically have a clean and organized look about them, are eco-friendly (recycled card stock), with a hint of fun...similar to how we all strive to live our lives. My biggest sellers are my change- of-address postcards. I also do a lot of custom invitations.

As far as other work, I work (very) part-time at an animal hospital and in a kitchen specialty store (mostly to feed my other hobbies, pets & cooking). My primary job is managing my children's activity and social schedules, as I'm sure most mothers can relate! 

I hope to spend more quality time expanding items in my Etsy shop in the near future. My mind is overflowing with ideas to add to my shop...I just need to find the time to actually make them! I recently purchased a machine to make custom rubber stamps so I will soon be adding return address stamps to my shop.

Working from home is such as sweet gig. I am available to my school-age children most of the time and enjoy the luxury of creating my own schedule. I am able to watch my dogs out my studio window, living the good dog life lounging in the sun in the backyard, listening to Pandora while creating fun paper goods.


Would you like to win a set of personalised notecards all for yourself (or as a pretty lovely Christmas gift for someone else...?) 

Here's how to enter:
1) LEAVE A COMMENT - visit and come back and comment here on the blog about which item you like best. 

You don't have to do anything else to enter... but if you'd like some extra chances you could...

2) TWITTER - for a second entry you can follow @redbirdjewels on twitter and tweet "Another fab giveaway on the @redbirdjewels blog"
3) BLOG - for a third entry blog about this giveaway (and let me know here!)
4) HEART - for a fourth entry heart the jackandella shop

The giveaway closes at midnight GMT on Monday 1st November.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

I brake for bokeh - giveaway results

Thanks again to all of you took part in the latest giveaway. I'll be putting another one up on the sight very soon (I'm a little behind!!) but in the meantime I guess you'll be wanting to know who won yes?

Well done stupidcats!! We'll be in touch!

Sorry to all of you who didn't win, but why not go and treat yourself to a little something from i brake for bokeh anyway - what a stunning etsy shop. And there's a fab sale going on over there at the moment. Huge thanks again to Tracey for her fab interview, and prize. I love finding out a little bit more about what makes such a fab artist tick!

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Giveaway is closed!! what a lot of entries - just ploughing through them and getting it all into shape - I'll announce the winner tomorrow!

Thanks again for entering, and a big thanks to Tracey!!

(oooh and just to let you know I have another rather fantastic interview and giveaway coming very soon!)

Sunday 17 October 2010

Sneaky peak.....(new handmade jewellery)

Here's a quick sneaky peak of some new brass and turquoise jewellery

I just love this colour combination.

I'll be listing it in the folksy shop very soon!

Friday 15 October 2010

Folksy Friday - Screen Printing

I've just sent off for a screen printing kit. I'm sure I tried it before in art class at school, (ahem not that long ago them....)

Anyway, while I'm waiting for it to arrive, I thought I would get some screen printing inspiration from some of the fab artists on Folksy. As ever, click on the pics to go through to the individual shops...

PS while you're here - take a peek at the fab giveaway I'm running...

Kate McLelland  Fancy and Fondant Lil Sunny Sky ewan john's emporuim of delight
Eilidh Borland the imagination of lady snail

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Shhhhhhhhhhh don't mention you know what

Sorry to mention it, and yes I do know it's only October, but did you know some organised folk are already thinking about.... you know what....

(gift tags by craftypagan on etsy)

I am now officially an organised person. I bought this little lovely.....
And now I have my first of the season done and dusted, I can forget about the rest for a while. Hey, I am still in the organised category dammit.

Anyway, in an effort to get you lesser organised beings (hee hee - sorry), I'm going to be offering FREE SHIPPING for every item on my Folksy and Etsy shops for people who follow the blog, or who are a Red Bird Jewellery facebook fan.

Yep you heard me.... FREE SHIPPING.... on everything - just for you (and a few others). Just put the words "FREE SHIPPING" in the message to buyer in paypal, and I'll refund it right back.

Free shipping will end on 17th December!

Thursday 7 October 2010

Featured etsy seller & a Giveaway!! - I brake for Bokeh

I'm so excited about this interview with the seller of one of my fave Etsy shops. I could spend days browsing her store. Have you seen it yet?..... I brake for bokeh

And to top it all off, she's very kindly offered a fab on.....

Tell us a bit about yourself - (where do you live, what's your name etc..)

My name is Tracey and I am a bokehddict.  I better explain that last part, yes? I am addicted to very shallow depth of field.  I love shooting things with a wide open lens. I love the bokeh.  You will notice it a lot in my work.  I live and work in Ottawa, the capital of Canada.

What is your chosen craft/ art?
I am a photographer by choice, a graphic designer by training. I often say I don't 'take' photos I 'make' them. I like to create a vision of how I see the world and show that to you through my photographs.

When/ how did you start?
Accidentally. I fell into it.  I began stalking birds and bugs and anything that moved in my backyard and it blossomed from there.  My first wedding shoot was the result of curious neighbours wondering what I was doing in the ditch in front of my home for hours on end all summer long.  From there on out it just happened. I started posting photos to Flickr and making connections there until a few people asked if they could buy my photos. Opening an Etsy shop seemed the next logical step.

When did you start selling your stuff - where do you sell?
I opened up my Etsy shop on November 23rd, 2009.  It was a great time to start, the Christmas rush was starting and an Ottawa blog did a feature on shopping locally  for Christmas with a spotlight on Etsy and they featured my shop.   Since then I have had work displayed in a local gallery, but I primarily sell through Etsy and when approached on Flickr, through there as well.

Do you also have a day job, or is this your main job?
I have a full time, day job.  It has a nice pension attached to it which is why I am still there full time. The allure of 'quitting my day job' grows with every passing week, however.  I think about it a lot.

What do you love about your medium, what do you hate?
I love everything about it. The only time I am not happy is when I feel stumped. When the image just won't happen. It has taken me three weeks to get a photograph just right. I tend to dislike those photos for a little while.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I do it all to get a reaction. Sounds like an attention seeker but that couldn't be further from the truth. I hate attention directed at me. I like to sit on the sidelines and watch the world go by. But I want what I make to affect you. I want it to have an impact. My barometer is my friend, whose opinion I value above all others. If I can get a reaction from that one person then I know I've been successful.  I draw my inspiration from that.

What is your favourite music to craft to/ work to?
I'm a fan of silence. I can handle white noise, but when I am working on something I tune everything out. I lose track of time, I forget to eat. I find myself sitting here in the dark because the sun has long since set and I haven't turned the lights on... I get utterly lost in what I am doing. I like silence for that.

What is your favourite piece of your own?
Sometimes, when you fall, you fly. 

Where do you do your crafting?
I do where I am.  I have a dining room table set up at home, with cameras and lenses and usb sticks spread out all over it.  I have a messy office desk at work which looks much the same barring the cameras and lenses.  I have worked in airport lounges between flights, in hotel rooms (I travel a lot).  I need my laptop and time and I can work. It's great.


Tracey has very generously offered a personalised calendar for a giveaway..... I am so excited. I wish I could enter too.

How brilliant would that be for a Christmas present? (erm....very!)

Here's how to enter:
1) LEAVE A COMMENT - Do you prefer a matte finish, or a glossy finish on your photos. Leave a comment below and let me know for your first entry.
2) TWITTER - for a second entry you can follow @Ibrakeforbokeh on twitter (and let me know you have here!)
3) BLOG - for a third entry blog about this giveaway (and let me know here!)
4) TWITTER - for a fourth entry tweet this "Brilliant raceytay giveaway on from @redbirdjewels"

The giveaway closes at midnight GMT on Sunday 17th October.

We've Moved

(Change of address card by jackandellapaper )
Well we did it. We're in, and moved.

I have spent weeks, sorting, packing, lifting, lugging, unpacking, resorting, moving things to better places..... and we are finally done. Just a few pesky boxes lingering in the spare room, but the rest of the house is unpacked.

So, after a few weeks silence, Red Bird Jewellery is back, and ready for business! And I'm so happy to be back.

It's been very strange not making any jewellery, or working on the business over the last month or so, but I think it's done me the world of good. Hardly a rest, but an imposed step back from my jewellery obsession has given me lots of ideas, and can't wait to get cracking.

I know it's only October, but the count down to Christmas has begun here, and I'll be running some special sales and giveaways to get your festive shopping off to a flying start. (Please tell me you haven't started already, that's just way to organised!)

Keep an eye out for my first FANTASTIC giveaway popping up later this week with a featured seller interview. They have one of my fave shops on Etsy...sorry not revealing any more about it until tomorrow! You'll just darn well have to check back!
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