Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Community of crafters

Connecting online and off.  

I have been reading the Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin and in a move a bit unlike my usual self, I have actually taken her advice. The importance of connecting with a community of online crafters has really struck a chord and so I have been dutifully checking out blogs left, right and centre.

In my research so far, I have been inspired, educated and wooed. I have been inspired by the lovely ladies at A Beautiful Mess, who I was aware through Mollie Makes, but didn't really GET until now. Elsie and Emma present things beautifully and it's easy to get drawn into their world. They now even have a blogging course which is very tempting to subscribe to.

I have learnt that that one image, that looks so seductive and simple, is the result of MANY photos. I don't think that blogging is easy anymore, but more like any art form that beguiles the onlookers with deceptive ease.

Kari Chapin stressed the importance of getting involved in online conversations, adding something useful and offering advice and support where needed.  I never would have dreamed of leaving comments on a blog before, but now I know how nice it is to get feedback and how actually it can make your day feel a little brighter and hold a little more hope.

She also suggested getting involved with craft swaps which sounds like fun and there seem to be daily and monthly challenges to get involved in that would be a nice way of getting to know other crafters.

Some days though my biggest challenge is finding time for a shower and so I'm not too desperate to give myself extra work. However I would love to know how you get involved! Do you have to drop some heavy hints?

I like to support other crafters and have recently purchased a great necklace from a lady on Facebook that is designed for teething babies. You can choose your colour combination or pick one from her regularly updated page. I bought a very simple wooden beaded one that Tabitha loves to play with and I am happy for her to put in her mouth. It's a great product and you can find her by searching for Fiddlebeads.

My other great purchase was a custom made tutu for Tabitha that I commissioned after falling in love with everything on Each Peach's stall at the Outlaw Craft Fare. Izzy from Each Peach creates fabulous tutus straight from a fairies dream and you can find her on Facebook and Etsy.

It feels good to buy things that are made with love and passion instead of mass produced and they seem more special because they have a bit of a story to them.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting to know more of my fellow blogging, tweeting, instagramming craftsers. Please don't be shy to say hello. I'd love to meet you. X


  1. Hmmm, getting involved in swaps could seriouly take over your life lol.

    You can look on Yahoo and Facebook for groups to join which can be supportive or daunting, depends on how you roll...

    Some groups have very strict rules on how often you have to swap others are very chilled. Only join a group if you can commit to their rules and swap timings. Remember postage is not cheap and has to be factored in.

    Always a good idea to take excellent pictures for your social media. I take a lot of pictures of my projects in all different lights then tweek them using a photo editor, this takes ages! I use a free programme called Photoscape which suits me but i know a lot of people use Photoshop, it is too expensive for me as i wouldn't use it to it's full advantage.

    A home made light box is a fab idea, loads of tutorials both online & via You Tube.

    When uploading your images take into account that they might be stolen, it is a fact and not a lot you can do about it. Same with designs, don't share if you will get upset about other people using your ideas. Happens to a lot of well known crafters. I have nothing to worry about as not well known & have nothing to offer!

    When writing your Blog use Windows Live Writer, it is a free download from Microsoft website. Like using Word but specifically for Blogs. From here you can write, edit and schedule posts, i use it for all 3 of my blogs. Also you can keep an eye on the size of image used, i ALWAYS use small.

    Not to sure if you know there is a limit on how much space you get to use for free on Blogger. Using large pictures uses up a lot of that space. Also if people want to use your images they are less likely if when enlarged they pixelate.

    You can join Flickr, Instagram, FB, Twitter and many other places to share your projects. Pinterest is a must as it is now used mostly for promoting business and social profiles.

    It is imperative that crafters support other crafters no matter what their discipline, am so glad you enjoyed purchasing your necklace and tutu.

    Hope i've helped you to find some places to share your gifts :-)

    I am known as massofhair on both Twitter and Pinterest, don't do FB or Google+ if you want to look my Boards up. Have a private account on Twitter as too many nutters and grabbing business peeps who want you to pay them money for getting your name out there. Not into that prefer my tweets to be with people i know or who share similar interests.

    If you like Tim Holtz he has an App for both ios and android platforms which is a one stop place for all things Timmy...

    Hope you are not comatose after reading this wordy tome lol :-) xxx

  2. Hi Mass, thanks for all the info! Much appreciated! I've only just seen this, so sorry if it's taken a while to get back to you! I need to set up my account so it tells me when people post comments! There must be a way...

    I don't know how you manage three blogs! I'm finding the social media side of things to be pretty time consuming. I really enjoy it though and get a buzz out getting new followers or a RT!