Friday, 28 October 2011

New Crafting Experience

Seen here are my very first atempts at trying to put down what is in my head to then transfer to the clay work, now be gentle with me its a very long time since I held a pen, and an artist I am not. But with great enthusiasm I started to paint them onto ACEO size with the idea they might be absract ACEO's, LOL maybe not.. I wanted to create some keyrings and brooches, but seem to be creating (as well as a mess) pendants and earrings too.

I'm afraid even I was not brave enough to show off my first two attempts at clay work, seen here is attempt number '3' I am currently working with different clay forms even papier mache all of which are taking an age to dry out, so no painting has started on the next lot yet, so not too sure how they will turn out. Believe me I am gettting better each time. Luckily I do live by the motto 'if you cannot laugh at yourself what can you do' so here we go, you better sit down...........

This one is 'meant' to be a flower pendant.

I would like to say this was my first attempt at lettering, but it was infact my third and still not quite got the hang of it.

Happy Flowers, I think they would be more effective multi coloured really.

Here they are together, with the complete disasters taken away. You see I do still need a bit more practice, not to mention some more hours in the day to do so. But I am really enjoying this, highly recommended if you were to need a relaxing craft. Even the ever suffering husband has commented how happy I am in my little world of clay and paint.

Please do let me know what you think, even if you are still laughing (I can take it).

Dont forget if you ever fancied a go at another craft what is stopping you? you may find you enjoy it as much as me.

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


If you have been reading this blog you will know I have been trying to get to grips with clay, still nothing worth showing off (trust me) but I am loving trying, and determined to get there soon. Last few days I have been doing an awful lot of research to try get to grips with exactly what I am trying to achieve - when suddenly I came across a link from Gelert Design which summed it up exactly, more hours spent on research and I think I have it.
I contacted Dave to thank him and he was very kind and supportive, so I thought today only appropriate to show off what he can do.

Gelert Design was one of my very first purchases when I joined Folksy, I bought one of these pendants for my daughter the Christmas before last, she still wears it.

Not just pendants and brooches, but you can also find tea-light holders like this, very original and great work.

I think this is amazing, the beginning of the description says..

A beautiful piece of celtic sculpture for your wall.

Based on a drawing by renowned celtic artist Courtney Davis (used with permission), this plaque depicts two entwined figures, their knotwork hair becoming the heads of hounds - symbols of fidelity in celtic lore.

You can also find artwork, I selected this one as I am a fan of art cards, but you can also find the art itself.

As usual if you click on the picture you will be taken to the Etsy shop for further information and the chance to look around the rest of the shop.

Not just a superb talent but also a thoroughly nice, helpful chap. Thank you Dave for your help and inspiration.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Monday, 17 October 2011

100 SALES!!!

That made you look didnt it? wish I could say it was me, but alas no. (or at least not yet) This afternoon my team on Etsy 'Crafty Folk' clocked up 100 sales for their daily listing club for October, and its only the 17th. As a team we are very proud of this, as we are quite new and many of us have only been on Etsy for a month or so. Its a great team to be part of and we are growing daily, plenty of support for each other and the important promotion, infact again today I was added to a superb treasury which all helps to be noticed on such a vast selling platform.

Speaking of which I do find myself in a dilema about whether or not to stay on Folksy at all, I am so disheatened with it. More talented shops are closing each day due to the new rules which keep appearing at random, with the exception of some of the remaining sellers the forum isnt a very nice place to be, so much confusion of what is allowed and what is not? I know it doesn't affect me (so far) but the treatment of so many hard working crafters so close to the best selling time of the year cant help but make one think...

Must stop waffling and get to the point, whilst trying to think of who to feature from the team I decided to show off the most recent new members, so are some of them. I have chosen my favourite item from each shop, but if you would like to look at the item in more detail and the rest of the shop simply click on the picture and it will take you there.

Here are our latest Crafty Folk members from Etsy.

'Bluebell & Rosie' have this lovely patchwork cushion.

'Esme Dodsworth Design' with these simply gorgeous porcelain earrings

'Little Red Robin' with a Panda Bear Bracelet

'Garden Shed Silver' with one of her own creations, Silver Eucalyptus Leaf Earrings

'madebyclifford' new to the team, but I have 'chatted' with on Etsy, lovely person and what a great shop, here is one of her bugs - but there are other great ones too

'Vintage Jewellery Box' with a Bird of Paradise Ring

'CatsCeramics' with this lovely Wild Meadow Necklace

Lastly, me SimJaTa - I'm not as new as the others but still new to Etsy and still need some promo, so here is my latest addition to my shop.

I think I may have mentioned the clay making in my last blog entry, not as easy as it looked so taking a bit more time, even I am not brave enough to show those disasters on here. I am really enjoying 'trying' to create, but not quite managed anything worthwhile so far, but keep at it this week I might improve, sure cant get much worse!

Hope you are all staying warm, hands up all those with the heating on? we are holding out so far, but probably wont be much longer..

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Not a handbag in sight, but more resin adventures

I did 'sort of' finish these at weekend, but only just got around to photographing. My latest progress report on the resin adventures, it has come to a bit of a standstill at the moment as I was awaiting some non-toxic resin to arrive. Also being the impatient person I am while I was waiting I went and purchased some clay and paints, have been working with that for a while, my first attempts are even more amusing than the resin, might photograph them another day to raise a smile or two, all a learning process but I am really enjoying some new challenges. Meanwhile I am still adding to my new Etsy shop, so dont forget that and joining in with my new team the Crafty Folk.

I made these for my friend Sylvia with her dog Zac on them. She is a pink person so they have been added to raspberry pink to suite her style. As you can see one of my first lessons is how to get the photograph to be a perfect round, I think I have found the right gadget for this for next time.

This one is for my friend Sian, with her Kelpie dog 'Tigger' as Sian is not really much of a jewellery person I made this one into a keyring for her. Again, I realise I need to work at these circles, but I think he sits quite well in here for a first attempt.

A range of necklaces here - spot the purple one, thats one of mine of course. The first dog is my Aunts rescue dog 'Sophie' the Staffie, the others are my own dogs, I am wearing Tess and Alfie on purple now, one of my favourites, yes I know the circles are far from perfect but I am happy to be wearing my dogs, and sure Auntie will like her Sophie.

I made some more teardrop pendants, and even added some necklace bails on some of them. This time I did suffer from an attack of the bubbles, which again need some work, and I also need some polish to shine them up a bit more.

I also learnt another valuable lesson about wearing gloves at all times with resin, even if you 'think' it might be dry enough to mess with it isnt! so lesson learnt to put gloves on again when taking box off the top to have a look, as if you drop one its then your instinct to pick it up, this is not a good idea without gloves. Oh and another one, to watch were you are mixing and take more care.

Hope everyone is having a peaceful evening, at least its not too cold yet, no heating on here yet.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Monday, 10 October 2011

My turn for the A-Z of me

A few of my blog and craft friends have already done this, so must be my turn by now.

A - Age – 45

B - Bed size – Double, but I only get a third of it! OH takes up all the space.

C - Chores you hate – Shopping, I detest shopping.

D - Dogs – Well most of you know this one, I currently am owned by 3 of them Tess, Jaja and Alfie, 2 years ago we had 5 that was a bit much as they were all large dogs.

E - Essential start to your day – Shower, I discovered this when it broke this year, I really cannot survive the day without a shower.

F - Favourite colour – Was always purple, but for some reason I have an attraction to orange of late, so going for both.

G - Gold or silver – Niether, prefer pendants on leather.

H - Height – 5'3"

I - Instruments you play – Oh how I wish, would love to play the keyboard maybe one day, paper and comb anyone?

J - Job title – My company is SimJaTa, in order to create other things alongside bags I put down 'Crafts' so I suppose its crafter.

K - Kids – Grown up and left nest, girl age 20

L - Live – Southport, born in Southport - lived in Bradford for 7 years but moved back 16 years ago.

M - Mother's name – Doris

N - Nickname – My Dad calls me 'Looly', dog walkers call me 'Ruby'

O - Overnight hospital stays – Difficult pregnancy about 6 months of it in hospital.

P - Pet Peeves – Selfish, lack of consideration for others.

Q - Quote from a film – I am absolutely rubbish at remembering quotes.

R - Right or left handed - Right

S - Siblings – No

T - Time you wake up – 6.30am, have to get up then for OH work, dogs dont understand weekends either so 6.30am then too!

U - Underwear – In drawer, usually bought by family (they are not big on imagination)

V - Vegetable you hate – Swede

W - What makes you run late – Usually my elderly dog.

X - X-rays you've had – knee, shoulder, toe, knee (many on knee!)

Y - Yummy food you make – I just asked OH and he laughed! guess that means not.

Z - Zoo animal – All the cats, snow tiger the best. (seen in tenerife)

Not many pics of me as I usually take them, but here is one OH took on a visit to our friends with the sheep farm at Easter.

Dont get used to it, thats my bit done.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Crafty Folk on Etsy

Since joining Etsy I have been lucky enough to have found the best team there, we have lots to do and spend our time as well as promoting ourselves - promoting each other. Our Team Leader 'Lillys night Garden' also was kind enough to start us up a daily list club, we are now on day 4 and enjoying viewing our new sparkly items and showing all on Facebook and Twitter, certainly keeps us out of mischief.

About time I showed off a few on here, so here are just a small selection of what is on offer from my superb team on Etsy.

Begin with our leader 'Lilly's Night Garden' and her latest dragonfly card

From 'Blue Daisy Glass' never too early for a Christmas Tree Decoration (you wont find these in high street shops)

'Gweddus Art' has this lovely ACEO of fantasy castles

Great to see 'Clover Jewels' join us, here are some hair pins from her, called Perfect Day

These gorgeous earrings from 'Lou Lous Luxuries' also have a matching bracelet in the Etsy shop

This would look great on your Christmas table, from 'Madmunknits' a Christmas Pudding tea cosy

'Mish73' has a super vintage finds shop going on, if you fancy a spot of knitting here is one of her patters

..and lastly from me here at Bags of Swank by SimJaTa, a new bag featuring a very cute Pug dog

Still an awful lot for me to learn on Etsy, hopefully this evening I will be joining in with the BNR? no, I dont know how that works yet but sounds fun, always good to learn new things keeps the grey matter in working order.
Speaking of which I have set another lot of resin to cure today, might even get brave enough to show you how that went next time.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Sunday, 2 October 2011

SimJaTa enters the world of Resin

Well, SimJaTa enters the world of Resin rather slowly. After a couple of weeks of research I ordered some kit, and waited for the nerve to begin.

Yes, they dont look too bad, but they were the better ones. My first attempt taught me an awful lot of lessons, but then I suppose that is the idea to learn by your first mistakes, but what a lot of them!

Now, I 'think' the biggest one was the weather, it was just sooooooooooo hot that the instructions I followed were not the same for tropical conditions, especially those we are certainly NOT used to here in the UK.

Are you ready for a laugh? here is what 'really' happened..

As you can see a catalogue of errors there. I did debate on whether or not to show you, but on my quest to learn I managed to pick up a new cyber buddy called Wendy who is also starting out in the world of resin, and probably so she can laugh her socks off at me she thought it was a good idea to show my beginnings, in the hope that as (IF) I get better the difference will show.

If I ever get good enough at this, I might make some brooches for sale in my Etsy shop but anything else will probably remain off line, as I do have an awful lot of potential customers already, everyone I have spoken to about this wants one - no pressure then! Just hoping if they are thinking Christmas gifts they might be happy to wait for Christmas 2012 as at this rate this year is looking pretty unlikely.

Still, I am told it is good for the mind to learn new skills - or is that more people I know who just like a good laugh? I am currently preparing for my next attempt, but thinking of waiting for the cooler weather this time (should be this week then!)

Meanwhile if you did want to purchase some fabulous resin jewellery - the best advice I can give you is to look here Shpangle jewellery thank you to Mick for his advice, and do try not to laugh too hard wont you?

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~