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Designer Makers I like

Here’s a list of designer makers I like. They might not be big names, or money making wonders and might never be exhibitors but I like them.

For me a designer maker is someone who makes things to sell and not a huge scale exhibitor, I like the idea of small time local designer makers.

Crochet Designer Makers

Denizmum – aka Ulku Akcam

Image: Akcam, U. . , Etsy:

I like her style of cute crochet and has an ability to create animals and people in great detail.

Irene Strange

Image: Strange, I. (2010). Ladybird Purse. ,—-amigurumi-coin-purse.

Irene Strange was one of the first amigurumi crocheters I fell in love with. As with many designers I found several patterns I liked and realised they were from the same person.

Irene’s style is recognised for her use of colour and kitch style animals. Her ladybird pattern was one of the first patterns I bought, easy to understand and includes little details like lining and the tiny ladybird on the zip.

Felt Designer Makers

Ginger Melon

GingerMelon, . . , Etsy:

I love her felt patterns and dolls that you can dress.

Polymer Clay Designer Makers

Odd Fae – Dawn M Schiller –

Image: Schiller, D.M. (2015). . , Etsy:

Christi Friesen –

Image: Friesen, C. (2015). . , Website:

Clay Designer Makers

Kevin Hickson –

Image: Hickson, K. (2015). . , Facebook:

Beth Smith  –

Image: Smith, B. (2015). . , Facebook:

And finally…

Betty Virago

Images: All my own work

I can’t really make a list of designer makers without adding myself, can I?

I always describe myself as a yarn spinner, but what fills my time is making dolls. So maybe I should start calling myself a doll maker, or maybe I should stop trying to label everything and just say I like making things.

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Makey Make – Polymer Clay Notebook

I know!

I’m thinking the same thing.

Another post in such a short time!

This is the third video and I think I’ll have a break for a short while before I make another one.

This time it’s to make a fabulous Notebook necklace from polymer clay.

It only uses white clay, but has a few tools. If you make jewellery you should have most of the tools needed. You’ll also need a necklace chain if you want to turn it into a necklace. You could even turn it into a ring.

Hope you like it.


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My shop check up (Has Etsy had it’s day?)

I saw a comment recently that mentioned how little they were selling on Etsy at the moment. They said they had spent over £100 listing things with little sales and wondered if it was worth continuing. I responded with a quick agreement, but then started thinking, my crochet patterns sell ok, but then they’re on Ravelry. Looking at my other items and patterns I notice sales are low to non-existent.

When choosing the website to sell products how do you go about it?

I found Etsy through another Etsy seller, a friend who also struggles to sell her stunning pieces of jewellery. I also tried Folksy, but didn’t try too hard since I believed Folksy targeted the UK market and Etsy (targeting worldwide) would give me a wider customer base. I forgot the basic rule… Become a shopper.

Years ago, I worked as a waitress, many moons ago! I remember the manager giving me a special task, come to the restaurant as a customer, not as staff. Together we walked through the doors, the menu we’d had for ages, suddenly seemed old, decorations hid important information… the list went on.

So I ask again…

When you chose the website to sell your products on how did you find it?

Did you search places to sell, or did you search places to buy?

Instead of choosing your marketplace as a seller, choose as a buyer.

Here’s a little test…

Open 2 internet tabs and go to the number 1 search engine – Google

In the first tab type “selling handmade gifts”, that might be how you chose where to sell (searching as a maker and seller of crafts). My google list puts Etsy at number 4 on the page. I’m in the UK, so it’s probably different for other countries. The three before Etsy are UK market places including Folksy.

Now try again as a shopper. How would you search google if you were a buyer of handmade gifts?

I don’t know about you but I would type “handmade gifts”

Again, this will be UK only, but worth trying in all countries.

Etsy doesn’t appear on the first page. If you change the search to “buy handmade gifts” it comes third, but would you really search like that?

Ask yourself a question as a buyer, would you go past the first page? If not, then UK buyers might not find Etsy (or you!)

That’s how you should be choosing your market place because that’s how your customer finds you.

In defence of Etsy, it’s a mainly US marketplace with the majority of customers from the US. I think it’s a fantastic place to sell your items because it’s widely recognised. I’ve just posted a rattle to the US and very pleased I was to do it. However, as a UK maker and seller it might not cover all my bases. That’s why I think a second shop might be in order.

The top 2 searches are MISI and Folksy. Folksy being identical in format to Etsy, but a stronger emphasis on Handmade, and for UK sellers. MISI (make it sell it) is something I’ve only just come across but looks very similar to Folksy (I think it looks like they used the same site designer as well).

So why a second shop?

Here’s my thinking (again as a buyer) I’m from Yorkshire, a Yorkshire lass and proud of it. I also like handmade gifts. As a shopper – and I think we’re all like this at heart – I buy as local as I can. My tea is Yorkshire tea, definitely NOT Lancashire tea (why do they even sell it in Yorkshire shops?) Yesterday when I bought eggs from the supermarket I bought eggs mainly because of the box style (yep, I’m that shallow) But again, how many of us buy the packaging before the product?

I cut my choices down to the yellow happy egg company and Yorkshire eggs. I bought Yorkshire eggs. Price had little to do with it.

And that’s why I think a second UK shop would be a good option.

If I saw nice things from 2 sellers, one being a UK seller and one being a US seller, I’d choose the UK seller every time. That’s not anti-US, that’s human nature. I would support a UK person before anyone one else because it’s more local. It’s also often cheaper because of postage.

I expect it’s the same in the US, an American, buying American before UK because they are supporting their fellow country folk.

That’s why a second, UK based shop might be a sales booster, and lets face it, I’d pay the small fees for a second shop if it meant bigger sales, wouldn’t you?

It’s always worth looking at yourself from a buyers point of view, how would a buyer find you? Places, websites and magazines that are aimed at sellers may not always give the best advice, but show someone something you’ve made and ask them to find it on the internet. Watch what they type and how they try and find you. If they don’t find you, why?

P.S.  Sorry Etsy if you feel I’m picking on you. (I like you really)



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Free Pattern, Pepper Pot Doll raincoat

What a busy but great day.

The Pepper pot doll pattern is finished and on Etsy.

One problem I’ve had is not having a scanner. Every time I draw something I have to take it all the way to Inkwell or a local stationary shop (who seem to charge a lot for the service) but perhaps I’ve found a solution.

I found an app for my phone, an HD scanner. Skeptic me thinks how on earth can my phone camera work as a scanner? How will it know the size of my documents?Pepper pot raincoat

I downloaded two apps, Handyscan (free) which turns out is only free to scan, you have to pay $2.99 to get the pictures after they’ve been scanned. The second one HD Scanner cost around the same but at least they were up front about the cost. It’s very simple, didn’t need instructions and has a choice of ways to access the documents.

Anyway, techie talk over.

It does mean that I can get this out today…

Pepper pot doll Raincoat

I’ve not attached a pdf file before so hopefully it works. If it doesn’t email me and I’ll send it to you till I fix the problem.

Hope you enjoy it.


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Pepperpot Dolls

Pepperpot DollsI am about a week away from finishing the pepperpot doll pattern and am just so excited about it.

The pepperpot dolls is inspired by Gingermelon and the girls from my felt sewing class.

They’re 6 inches tall (the size of a pepperpot!) and have a variety of styles to make each doll just as you want it.

Change the hair style, dress/trouser length, shoe styles and more variety coming soon.

I’ll be posting new pattern ideas, hair styles, clothing, individuality ideas here on the blog for free…

Plus, a wardrobe for the doll is already available on the Etsy shop

What's coming
What’s coming

AND… Additional patterns will be available on Etsy. Turn your dolls into your favourite animals… build a house. Opps!! The house is a BIG SECRET!