Craft Techniques · Things to Make

Reversible Open-Top Tote Bag

Easy-reversible-bag-tutorial-4

Normally, I find that sewing tutorials online can be rather confusing, but the step-by-step instructions for this cute reversible bag make it really clear what you have to do at each stage . . . so I wanted to feature it here on my blog in case other people get as confused as I do trying to follow sewing instructions! 🙂

The bag is a small size (for kids) but you could always size it up for adults without much difficulty.

My Shops · My Witterings

Handmade Miniature Books & Journals

Blog Ad FM

Just a quick announcement to say that I now have a new shop – ‘Fern Makes‘ – which I have set up to sell handmade products that don’t fit into my card or jewellery shops.

I’m starting off selling miniature bound books/sketchbooks/journals that have blank pages inside and can actually be written or drawn in despite being only a few cm tall!

You can choose between 3 different colours and whether you would like a hardback or leather cover. Each item has been made from scratch by me, and each book page has been hand sewn to the rest (rather than just glued) for extra durability.

You could give them as a gift for a doodler, writer or book lover….and I particularly like the idea of writing nice messages inside and giving it to a loved one 🙂

Favourite Websites · Handmade Seller Interviews

Handmade Seller Interview: Deshca Designs (Metal Sculptures)

Deshca designs horse

This week’s interview is with a UK-based sculptor called Shaun, from Deshca Designs, who creates amazing (mainly copper) metal sculptures inspired by nature and wildlife. His creations would definitely made an eye-catching statement in your home or garden, especially the horse sculpture (pictured above), which I think is particularly spectacular.

Now it’s over to Shaun for the interview…

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get started in your handmade business?
Hi, my name’s Shaun Jeffrey and I make copper sculptures. I started crafting a couple of years ago after I stopped writing fiction, which is something that I’d done for over twenty years as a hobby. I had a few books published by small press publishers, but having never made it as the ‘next big thing’ I became disillusioned with the writing scene.

I still needed an outlet for my creativity though, and I sort of stumbled into sculpting. I often saw items at craft fairs and online, and was always impressed with them, and it was a case of “I’d like to have a go at making something like that”.

I originally took design in metalwork as a subject at school, which admittedly was over 30 years ago, but it was always one of my favourite subjects, so it felt natural to return to something I’d enjoyed before.

Deshca designs lilypad

What first made you want to become an artist/craftsperson?
I’ve always been creative, and I love the process of making things, so becoming an artist was a natural progression as an outlet to channel that creativity. Obviously that passion is contagious, as my other half makes greeting cards (mainly handmade anniversary cards) that she sells through our brand on Etsy at: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DeshcaDesignscards

Apart from crafts, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Although my spare time is mainly taken up with my metalwork and my family, I also do self defence in the form of Krav Maga, which is Israeli in origin. I do that at least four times a week, for a couple of hours at a time. It’s a great form of fitness and you come away hopefully being a little more adept than you were before. Until recently I’d also done Tae Kwon Do, which I did with my son for over nine years.

How long have you been creating art/crafts and how long have you been selling online?
I’ve been creating for just over a couple of years. I’d always intended trying to sell, so after teaching myself the process of making them, and when I felt the standard was high enough, I started selling them, so that’s been around two years too.

Deshca designs flower

How many different places do you sell from?
I sell via the following venues online:
Etsy: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DeshcaDesigns
My own website: www.deshcadesigns.com
Folksy: folksy.com/shops/DeshcaDesigns
Amazon.co.uk: www.amazon.co.uk/handmade/DeshcaDesigns

How did you come up with your shop name?
The name Deshca Designs comes from the first two letters of my family’s first names. De from Debra, sh from Shaun and ca from our son, Callum.

Do you have another job? What is it?
Crafting is only a part time hobby, and my full-time job is as a signalling and telecommunications engineer on the railway.

What is your favourite part of your handmade business?
I find the actual process of making something the most satisfactory part. When you start with a flat piece of metal or pipe, and then start to work, something starts to take shape, (hopefully) turning into something recognisable, that’s where the magic happens, and the sense of achievement comes from. Of course not everything turns out great, but the more you persevere, the better things often turn out.

Deshca designs hummingbird

What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here?
I hope to eventually be in a position where I can make my sculptures full time, but I realise that’s ambitious. But it’s always good to have a target, no matter how high that target may be as it gives you something to strive for. I’d also love to have an exhibition of my work some day.

What would your dream job be?
My dream job would be doing what I’m doing, but on a full-time basis. Hopefully dreams can become reality.