Saturday, July 30, 2011

Romantic Relics Featured Seller

I am so happy to tell you not only a sweet love story but to show you a fabulous new vintage shop. With its name  “Romantic Relics” to me it instantly conjures up wonderful images from days gone by, fashion, lace, linens, and household charms from the past to mention but a few.

Londi and Marcel met and fell in love through Twitter yes, its’ true and as Londi lives in France and Marcel in New Zealand well you can see their problem! After many sweet tweets they  discovered they had a lot in common and the more they spoke the more they realised they were meant to be. Last year Londi set off for New Zealand to meet Marcel in person for the first time, which must have been both a scary and very exciting experience! The result (I love this bit) Londi and Marcel are now busy preparing for their new life together. Mountains of paperwork ensued and having to cross many obstacles that seemed to pop up daily, Londi will finally be heading off to a new life in New Zealand hopefully by autumn this year.

Meanwhile as they both share a love for vintage they recently opened their joint venture shop Romantic Relics where you will find beautiful vintage items.

 As a special offer to my lovely readers you can shop with them and receive a 10% discount on any item in the store  enter coupon code Romance2011. Do pop over to have a look even if you’re not looking to buy today, all the items are beautifully photographed and you really feel like you are browsing though a time gone by.

I would like to wish you both a fabulous and happy future together and much success with your new venture.
Ps: Can I come and visit?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Etsylush Team Members Shop Links

This is an ongoing linky for all Etsylush Team members.To enter your shop links which is free, all I ask is that you follow my blog to enter your link. I will be promoting this page and if your not a team member yet you can join the team here  Look forward to seeing you soon.

Look What you Started Now Pete!!

My lovely Son in Law  Pete presented me with a small multi coloured ribbon the other day which he had woven into a key ring holder. I fell instantly in love with the weave technique and spent an age figuring out how he did it. I did not do myself any favours by using the thinnest ribbon to hand to practice on, and on several occasions it nearly got launched to the other side of the room. But I persevered and when I used the thicker ribbon I was amazed at just how easy it was to do:)

It took me roughly 25 minutes and a few well chosen adjectives to get the hang of it. Now I was ready to try with my beige ribbon and cream lace. I could see this work well for a necklace, apart from the silver chain which doesn't work in my opinion (needs a bronze one I think) and annoyingly I don't have any. I will very soon though.... I finished her off by adding three little shell buttons to the ribbon and lace left over and well here she is. What do you think of her? I might have a go at earrings next. I also made a choker with chocolate and taupe ribbon and added a little rhinestone button to the centre.  Started to make a ring with the ribbon and it ended up as a hairband, How? don't ask, it just did:)


Monday, July 25, 2011

SEO - Simple Elementary Observations!

On the 23rd June I sold an item from my Etsy shop which is always very pleasing. So after a week and not another sale I just thought "Oh well it's the time of year". After 2 weeks I was getting restless and wondered what was going on, my sales had just died. I am not very good when it comes to things like Google analytics, SEO and whatever other technical related sites that give data but I had to either give up and watch my shop go down the plug or do something about it. My first thought was to look back on last years sales and see what they were like. I realised that it couldn't be the time of year as last year I had 14 sales from early in July. Mmh so what was causing me all this grief?

I went to google shopping and found 45 of my items and 100 items  were missing. Of the 45 that were showing they were all showing as used items; someone is really going to buy a used button ring or a used lavender sachet!!

I  will use this item as an example as the wonderful Sandie from the Sassy Team helped me see where I was going wrong. The Title I had used was this "French Vintage Linen Lavender Sachet"
So this was then changed to:
"French Linen Lavender Sachet - Pillow Handmade from Vintage Fabric and Buttons Cream & Taupe Stripes"

Then came the tag stuffing! I had never heard of it but was doing it all the time and it is basically using more than one word in each of your tags, which is frowned upon.  Sandie to the rescue again.

"Watch your tags. You are doing what is called tag "stuffing" (using multiple unrelated words in one tag). Tags should be SINGLE words that describe the item. The only time you may use two words is if they are an acceptable 2 word phrase like, "sterling silver", "hot pink", "baby blue" etc. I'd fix these a.s.a.p. - tag stuffing is against Etsy rules and can get your shop shut down.

So I think I have fixed most of my tags and have changed most of my item titles. One or two may have perhaps escaped and if so, I will hunt them down, but the net result is this, after 24 hours google now shows all of my items (not as used) and the best bit - in less than 24 hours I had one sale, then one custom order for two items, and this morning 4 sales. So all in all 7 sales resulted for my talk with Sandie ( I am indebted to her for her caring to help me). So if this post helps even one person then I will be delighted and I want to blow a raspberry at a friend who said it could be a fluke, fluke or not a sale is a sale!

Search Engine Optimization.

You HAVE to have it:
The shop title is searchable on the net. Fill it with keywords about what you make/sell.

The announcement is searchable... fiill the first paragraph with keywords about what you make/sell- expand on the title keywords. Keep the sentences to 12-16 words... search engines don't like run-on sentences.

If you can make the announcement 300 words long it will be indexed by google. You can talk about what makes your items unique, where you get your inspiration, etc. That is better than just a short paragraph, which gets crawled, but not indexed.

The titles: the title should be what a person would Google to find the item. 54-56 characters are pulled by search engines, anything over that gets truncated. The first 3 words are the most important. In those first three words put what the item is : pearl necklace, sterling dangle earrings, blue toile fabric... then expand on it with additional keywords...

You need to add keywords that a person would type in to find the item. The job of a search engine is to match what the person types in with what a listing has as a title.

Reuse the keywords from the title in the first 1-2 sentences of the listing to show the search engine that the keywords of the title were relevent. That what the title said is what the actual item is.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bruniquel on my Tod

This fortified market town of Bruniquel occupies an amazing  position high above the Aveyron and Vère rivers. Ancient houses, a belfry and the ruins of the medieval fortifications are spread out over several levels. Dominating the village is the imposing fortress built by Queen Brunehaut (534-613), daughter to the Visigoth King Athanalgilde and wife of Austrasian King Sigebert, grandson to Clovis. Just thought I would mention this. 
So as they were having a Vide Grenier today and it's only a 15 minute drive from my house, I thought why not. Here are a few things I saw and bought.

They both look so fed up

Had to buy a just a few
These were lovely but I managed not to buy

Did buy this little beauty
Now wish I had bought this

Poor Dominique

Ann Miller an American Beauty

Hand made Birdboxes

 So after an hour or so pottering I headed of down this gorgeous little street. Had a couple of hours all by myself and could browse as much as I wanted and yay the sun came out to play.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bagpiper at a funeral

Bagpiper at a Funeral
I found this anonymous article deeply moving -- I hope you do, too.:)

As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a
funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless
man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a
pauper's cemetery in the back country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions.
I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends.I played like I've never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played 'Amazing Grace,' the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen nothin' like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

Apparently I'm still's a man thing!!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

***Vintage Lace Candle Sleeve***

I am constantly trying to think up ideas to use my vintage lace, this morning as I was washing out my little glass yogurt pots (which I keep and use on the table when eating outside on a night with little tea light candles) and tada came up with a sleeve to cover them using my vintage lace. So I thought I would share them with you as they look really cute and hides the boring glass jar, also creates a lovely glow and ambience.

Your Ingredients

1. 23cm (9")  x 10cm (4")  of lace
2. Three  5cm (2") circles cut from either lace or voile (this will make the flower)
3. A couple of beads or buttons
4. Heavy duty iron-on interfacing 23cm (9") x 7.5cm (3")

I decided a French seam would look better so after ironing on the interfacing fold the lace in half and wrong sides together, stitch a narrow seam.
Now turn inside out so that the interfacing is now facing you, then stitch another narrow line which will hide the first line of stitches and you will be left with a normal seam on the outside and a ridge on the inside. Looks better than an open seam.

showing ridge on inside
Now turn again and it's ready to use or add a few buttons down the seam or a flower I added a lace flower on mine with a little pearl bead.

If you want to make the flower, lay one circle flat and then take another  circle and make a fold so it should look like this (looks a bit like a coffee filter) then repeat the process with the next circle.

Place the two folded circles so that the pointed ends are together and then stitch through all layers, then attatch your bead or button.

Attach to the seamed side and that's it

I am sure I don't have to mention this but don't use these over just a candle as they are sure to go up in a puff of smoke. If  you do make any would love to see them. I am off to make a few more as I think they would make great little presents. Might even add some to my shop :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

*******La Pastèque*******

If you have never tried this dish then I truly recommend it. Light and refreshing and looks fabulous on the dinner table. I find water melons can sometimes be quite bland on their own and this recipe just seems to make it pop.


This will feed 4/6 as a starter or 4  for a main course

1 pasteque (water melon)
1 large red onion ( finely chopped)
good handful of black olives
jar of cubed feta cheese
two handfuls of mint
1 lime

Cut the pasteque into bit sized cubes (if your melon has seeds they need to be removed, sorry this is a bit of a pain to do but well worth the effort,  today I cheated and bought a seedless one). Then add melon to a large flatish dish. Drain oil off feta and add a few cubes along with the olives and red onion. Tear your mint leaves and sprinkle over and just keep laying up till it looks good. Finally slice your lime and add on top and then place dish in fridge for a couple of hours and then serve with crusty bread. Oh squeeze the lime juice over just before you get stuck in.

Do let me know if you try it I would love to hear what you think.

Bon appetite

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Little Model

I showed Poppy my work area and she was wowing and her head was going all over the place looking at all the bits and bobs on my table, which to my shame is still as untidy as it was a few months back when I promised myself to clear it up. Still, she managed to find a little button with a Dolphin on it (Never seen that one before myself). Apart from the adhesive which I wasn't going to let her do (which earned me a very un smiley face for a few seconds!), she choose the buttons and we made these two rings for her.

Quite the little lady.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wishing you a Sunflowery Weekend

I have the little ones again this weekend and so will be another busy one:)  So I have just popped in to wish you all a sunny happy weekend. I saw this sunflower the other day whilst driving to a friends and it was towering above all others so thought I would snap and share it with you.
Just out of interest there is a sweet giveaway run by my friend Susy  who has a shop on Etsy, she has a great  giveaway running with some lovely prizes so pop over and have a look, she is picking 2 winners and here are two of her giveaways, the others you can see on her blog. Runs till July 18th so plenty time. Click on Susy to take you to the giveaway. Good luck. I quite fancy the soap myself.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Playing with Vintage Lace and Pearls

It was whislt making this lavender cup  for a friend who got married last week that set me off to try  something else with my vintage lace. I have already made a few lace rings and bobby pins but not earrings and have to say think they are softly romantic. I prefer the bigger ones.

The Historian My Thoughts

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to "My dear and unfortunate successor". Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of - a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mothers mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.

This certainly kept me hooked to the end and it is full of  information on medieval Europe and it's blood thirsty inhabitants. Excellent character descriptions and I have to admit the hair on my neck tingled a couple of times. Do I believe in Dracula?  No I don't..... but then again.

My book shelf groaned with pleasure the other day as my girlfreind Sue (waves) popped in with another three for me, yum! So I have now to read

1. When God was a Rabbit (Sarah Winman)
2. Human Traces(Sebastian Faulks)
3. Room (Emma Donoghue)

Do you like my little blue man which my g/daughter Poppy gave me last week? she thought I would like it as he is reading a book and wearing glasses!!!. I do Pops thank you xx

If you have read any of the above would love to hear you thoughts.
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