Today I helped my beau set up an Etsy shop. He is a nurse, but an artist by degree and trade – who has recently been designing simple pictures solely using fabric. What do you think to two of his latest creations?
He has been making loads of different ones but has only just started framing them. To spur him on even more we decided to set up his own Etsy shop today – called ‘Art Amour’. You can check it out here. However attached below is a copy of his banner I designed which utilises one of my snow angel pictures. Am sure you’ll recognise it!
So what do you think? Keep checking back to his shop as he’ll be starting to list soon! And if you have any custom orders then let me know.
Today has been beautiful weather wise – so me and my beau found ourselves out and about at the market amongst other places including the fabric haunt that we love so much. I got talking to the owners wife, who was absolutley lovely, who then started showing us different fabrics: – some new ones she had in and some that she loved in particular herself. There were also some new stunning tweeds and tartans from Scotland. I just had to treat myself to one!!! Wanna see?
It really is so much more gorgeous in the flesh let me tell you – and feels so soft! I couldn’t resist! I’ll be making myself both a cushion and a scarf out of that for sure. Or maybe I should just go for a kilt!! Phwoar! LOL
Sadly, the tweed remnant bin was very very very low – so I invested in just a little more for my own collection. It’s great to have in for when I feel ‘sewing machine’ creative. I thought I might even commission a few tweed pictures from my beau to go on the bedroom wall! (Sorry to those who have messaged me about getting some tweed for them – there’s been quite a few of you now – there really wasn’t enough, but hopefully another time when it gets re-stocked!) My beau also bought some different fabrics for some future projects. Take a look at it all:
I also had a go at making another spoon today – but it’s only my second (so be kind!) I’m slowly getting the hang of it! What do you think? It’s hard to get the lettering precise – sometimes it slips too!! – but I suppose it just adds to the charm of it all.
Also, my HoudiniHouse Etsy shop is 2 weeks old today – (!!!) – and the good news is that out of the 4 items I’ve listed to date, I’ve already sold two! Yay! This sardine dish and these opera compact binoculars have already gone! I’m very impressed!
Only 2 items left in the shop – so I’d better get listing!!! There’s lots more to tell you – and share – but I’ll save some of that for another day. I’ll say cheerio for now as I’m going to go have a glimpse around some other blogs. I’ve been busy with my M.A. again – been on a residential – started a brand new placement – as well as starting back at work after the Easter hols so it’s all been abit busy, so I’ve not had as much chance to check you all out as usual sorry!
Anyhow, leave me a comment to say hello – I always love getting messages. Good night x
Turn on your speakers, click on the play button above and enjoy…
Yesterday I was so strong – and resisted going to the market. I love it there and have got to know many of the stall holders by name, standing and chatting for ages. But I had work to do…reading for my MA amongst many other things…so I resisted. I also made a new card! What do you think? You can see it for sale in my shop here.
Of course without my weekendly flea-market fix I felt miserable! So when my beau went to Sainsburys I asked him to nip to HMV to pick up a CD that I’d been wanting since it came out last Monday. I’d spent nothing at the market…so I could justify…surely?!
I have all but one of her albums, and am not normally swayed by ‘definitive collections’ – however, I am a fan – and decided it would help complete my collection!
Judie Tzuke was born in 1956 in London. Her father’s family had come to Britain from Poland in the 1920’s and had originally settled in Yorkshire. They had changed their name from their original Polish name “Tzuke” to Myers because it was one of the more common names in Yorkshire at that time and they wanted to blend into the community where they had come to live.
Her father Sefton Myers, was a successful Park Lane based property developer, who also managed artists and singers. He co-managed and was responsible for supporting Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice while they wrote Jesus Christ Superstar but unfortunately he died a few weeks before the musical opened. Her mother, Jean Silverside, was an actress in films and popular TV series’ such as The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin, The Marty Feldman show, The Goodies and various other TV plays.
By the age of 15 Judie was spending most of her time writing poems (which she turned into songs) playing folk clubs, whilst accompanying herself on acoustic guitar. She went to Island Records to try and get a record deal and after she’d played two songs was asked if she had any more? She replied that she had twenty (which she didn’t!) They asked her to come back and record them the following week; she didn’t return, but their interest made her realise that she could have a career in music.
Eventually she signed to Elton John’s ‘Rocket Records’ Label in 1977 where she recorded her first 3 albums and in 1980, Jude and her band toured America for three months as his support. The tour was well received, but during the tour Elton decided to change the US distribution for his Rocket label from MCA to the new Geffin label. MCA consequently decided to stop all tour support and promotion for the acts on the Rocket label, which meant that Judie was playing to huge audiences, including 450,000 people in New York’s Central Park, but no-one knew who she was and her records were not available in the shops. She received rave reviews for the tour and even Elton John himself said that he’d never had a support act (to date) who had gone down so well!
Sadly, this was indicative of things to come. Judie’s career was never fully in her control nor supported in the way she’d hoped by the record companies, resulting in signing with 6 different record labels over her first 9 albums. Tours were cancelled, and lack of financial backing and publicity here (and abroad) meant that she never regained the success of her first album ‘Welcome to the Cruise’ nor it’s recognisable single ‘Stay with me ’til Dawn’. However, she persevered and eventually became totally self-financed.
As part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s fifty year reign in June 2002, BBC Radio Two conducted a poll to determine the top fifty British songs of the past fifty years. “Stay With Me Till Dawn” was at No. 39. Not bad for a relatively unknown artist and a song which only reached Number 16 in the charts back in 1979.
20 albums later, Judie is still going strong and still writing and releasing songs – for both herself and others. She has recently been working with Seth Lakeman, Morcheeba, The Freemasons and Gareth Gates amongst many others. This release ‘Moon on a Mirrorball’ is a collection of 33 songs which includes 4 newly penned songs as well as re-recordings of 2 of her classics. Because of Judie’s history of different record companies, alot of her albums have been deleted and are now unaccessible – even to her. Due to this, the collection isn’t quite as ‘definitive’ as I (nor Judie, I’m sure!!) had hoped with many strong single releases and whole albums missing – but still a good representation of a 33 year long career nonetheless.
The only CD of hers that I don’t have is ‘Ritmo’ – her 5th album – which has long been deleted and thus very very rare – so if any of you ever see it please let me know!! My beau and I often joke when we’re out and about in new towns, looking in charity shops at their CDs. We’ll often take it in turns to go in them to look – and he’ll ask when I’ve come out: ‘Anything any good?’ and I’ll reply ‘Not really, nothing worth buying…only Boyzone, Judie Tzuke’s Ritmo and a few Spice Girls albums!’ You have to be there…but it tickles us every time ;-) One day we’re going to be really shocked, I just know it – and find it in between Geri Halliwell and Gary Barlow for £1.99!
‘And I’ll show you a sunset…if you’ll stay with me ’til dawn’
Well, I had listed another two items in my new Etsy shop: HoudiniHouse – which I was going to showcase here; however, tonight I sold one of them! Considering the shop has only been open 6 days…I didn’t think that was very bad going! I’m very pleased. Plenty more items to be listed though – so watch this space.
I’ve also started work on another project – spoons!
What do you think?
I have been making some silverware plant and garden markers. This was in fact the prototype – but at the last minute, decided to use the word ‘Primula’ – sadly sightly too big for a smaller spoon – hence why I’ve had to arc the word. I still love it’s quirkiness and it looks perfect in my Primula pot. Ideally the letters would have been hammered straight across the surface – and future creations will feature lots of different words including ‘Mint’ ‘Thyme’ ‘Basil’ ‘Herbs’ – as well as ‘Mummy’ ‘Daddy’ ‘& Me’ and other custom orders.
Some of the bigger serving spoons will also feature short sayings such as ‘Home Sweet Home’. I’ll showcase some on here as I make them, I’ll also be selling a few in my Etsy vintage home shop. They look great in plant pots and herb gardens – in the kitchen, the bathroom and outside. Please let me know what you think.
Anyhow, I’ve been on a wonderful music residential this weekend – and got back late tonight, so I’m feeling very tired. My fingers have some water blisters too, where I’ve been playing the harp all afternoon! Pure bliss! My injuries are well worth it though for the fantastic time I’ve had. (We’ve been workshopping all weekend!) I’m definitely looking forward to my own bed tonight though! Catch y’all soon x
My dear friend Abby from Mutterings has come up with a wonderful fundraising idea for cancer research. She has made one of her terrific BubsBears as a prize and is also asking all of you talented people out there to also donate a prize and / or to bid at least £1 to this great cause. Doing so will automatically enter you into a raffle to win one of many great prizes! The main prize being this wonderful bear!!!
Abby chose to make a bear out of this beautiful fabric as the pink ribbon is associated with breast cancer – a diagnosis that one of her dear friend’s sister is currently battling with. I too, in January, lost a very dear friend from the same condition – and so of course wanted to get involved with this great fundraiser. I ask you to do the same.
Please click the following link to find out more and make your donation: http://www.justgiving.com/Abby-and-friends
So, to recap, here’s what you have to do:
- make a small donation here – even if it’s only £1, it all goes to a fantastic cause. Your dontaion, however big or small, not only makes a difference but automatically enters you into the raffle.
- if you have a blog, please write a post about this and add a link to the ‘Just Giving’ page where people can donate and enter the raffle. Ask them to please read the blurb carefully as there are a couple of important points there regarding Gift Aid etc. According to the rules, as this is a raffle, it is NOT seen as a freewill donation so Gift Aid CANNOT be claimed. So please make this clear otherwise donations may be returned and the charity will lose out.
- if you blog about it, ask others to blog about it too. Feel free to use any photo or text from this post if you want.
- if you are a maker, crafter, photographer…consider donating a prize towards the raffle. It doesn’t have to be huge, just something you have made. If you can offer something, please email Abby at firstname.lastname@example.org
- tell all your friends on Facebook, Twitter or any other site you belong to about the raffle.
The target is set at £200 – let’s try and raise as much as we can for this worthy cause…together.
Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuernberg, lived a family with eighteen children. In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood.
Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of the elder children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuernberg to study at the Academy. After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines.
They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Dürer won the toss and went off to Nuernberg. Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht’s etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.
When the young artist returned to his village, the Dürer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht’s triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, “And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuernberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you.”
All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over, “No…no…no…no.”
Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, “No, brother. I cannot go to Nuernberg. It is too late for me. Look…look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother…for me it is too late.”
To pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Dürer painstakingly drew his brother’s abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply “Hands” – but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love “The Praying Hands.”
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Whilst putting my first listing on Etsy last night within my new shop I came across this story – and realised that the very metal stamp I was selling was of this very image. I had loved this wooden block enough to buy it in the first place – but love it even more after reading this moving story – and wanted to share it with you.
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I also wanted to say a very big thankyou to my dear friend Abby from Mutterings for this gorgeous old map of Yorkshire (where I live) that I received in the post yesterday. I intend to use it as a wonderful backdrop for one of my Houdini Cards.
Well, today I’ve been to the second hand market with my usual sharp eye, looking for bargains and possible wares for my shop and for myself. I bought this lovely mirror for just £10 which is already now hanging in the bedroom. It’s oak and it’s very heavy!
I also managed to find a few things for the new Etsy shop which, by the way, I have launched this evening! YAY! Click on the link here: www.houdinihouse.etsy.com and check it out – please also let me know what you think!
I’ve been taking photos all afternoon of some of my vintage items – all in preparation for listing within the new shop! I have organised my backdrop and taken photos from different angles. However, some of them need editing still, so as yet, the shop only has one item – but watch this space for more!
I’ve also set up a MISI shop (Make It Sell It) – the link of which is on the right hand side of my blog. I’ve just called that “Houdini’s” so that I can list both cards and vintage wares. I have only one box set of cards listed at the moment. Again, please check it out and let me know what you think to my banner and more.
Things are happening! Jump on board…
Me and my beau went home to my parents and helped out in the garden for the entire time. The sun was beautiful and Saturday was particularly gorgeous and warm. We helped my parents set up the pond for spring; re-positioning and cleaning the pump and filter system. It’s running now and the fish are very happy again. I love the sound of flowing water too.
I prepared lots of soil (using last years tomato pots soil, bonemeal and compost) and planted loads of plants for my mum in the borders and pond area whilst my beau, with expert tuition and help from my Dad, set up the sticks for runner beans and the peas before planting red and white onions, spring onions, peas and broad beans. Lots and lots of other jobs were done around the garden and greenhouse which took up the entire two days we were there. It was very relaxing and therapeutic to be outside, especially with the rockery so full of butterflies and ladybirds. It was lovely to spend such quality time with my parents, helping them now they are elderly, doing what they love the most. We also helped with some chores around the house before driving back very late!
I was, however, a little naughty and popped to the local car boot / bric a brac at the nearby cattle market on Sunday morning. I made it a quick visit, but absolutely loved strolling around, looking at other people’s wares and trying to get the best deal on them. I bought many things for my new Etsy shop ‘Houdini House: Escape to the past’ including an anchovy dish (complete with fish lid), serving spoon set, vintage tea strainer and holder and Rolls ‘Viscount’ razor amongst other things. My favourite purchase, by far though, was an oak wooden church lecturn from a priory in Leicester. Want to see?
I love anything like this and so it isn’t going to be for sale! (well however could I post!!) It really is very tall – over 5 and a half feet in fact! I’ve currently positioned it next to my piano, complete with a music book full of favourite gospel songs and sea-shanties. It looks fab – and at just £10 was a real bargain!! When I asked him the price, I thought he’d say at least £50 as a starting price – so of course, I snapped his hand off when he said ‘A tenner!’ – I didn’t even barter! Very unlike me! ;-)
Also, we all had a bet on the Grand National! This was always a family custom as a child every April – 25p each way (!!) on the horse of our choice (often with eyes shut and a sharp pencil stab on the newspaper listings!) Even though I normally find it quite cruel, I placed a bet, as for the first time in many many years, I was sat with my Mum and Dad watching the big race – just like old times! Without any knowledge at all of the horses or odds, I chose ‘Conna Castle’ which apparently (I found out afterwards) had the worst odds of the race, but yet, was winning for the majority! He burned himself out slightly too soon and slipped into 6th place just prior to the last fence! No one in the family picked the winner, yet my dad chose second place (Black Apalachi) and my beau chose third place (State of Play) so the race wasn’t a complete financial ruin! Thankfully no jockeys or horses were seriously hurt either!
Tonight I have been playing with Photoshop; experimenting with new fonts, images and brushes. Why? Well I have decided to open a new Etsy shop at some point to sell my vintage flea-market finds – and so, will need a new banner.
I love the one in my Houdini Cards shop – it is a picture of my Grandmother and her sisters in approximately 1919. I never met my Grandma but I hear she was a wonderful lady with beautiful wavy hair. I decided to use it for my shop and I believe it works well. But, I was wondering whether to use the same banner – just with a different shop title, to help consistency and recognition amongst other Etsyians. I’m not sure if this will work, so decided to try make some others first. So far I’ve done five! Can I share them with you – and even get you to let me know which one you prefer.
The competition I ran last week was won by Abby from Mutterings from the Moor who came up with the shop name ‘Escape to the Past’ which I love. Admittedly I had originally thought about keeping the ‘Houdini’ name in some way – (again for consistency with my blog and other shop) and so both ‘Houdini Home’ and ‘Houdini House’ crossed my mind, as every vintage thing I will be selling will be for the home. For tonight’s designs I have chosen the latter with Abby’s suggestion almost as a tag line for now. Want to see them? (You can click on them to make them bigger).
Banner Idea 1:
Banner Idea 2:
Banner Idea 3:
Banner Idea 4:
Banner Idea 5:
So, what do you think? Which one makes you think vintage Etsy shop? I’d love you to say which one you prefer – but also feel free to say none of them! I love the font in the banner above – and I also love the picture of Houdini himself in handcuffs – but getting the vintage feel right is vital so that it doesn’t clash with the items I’ll be listing. Can you see the spoons, wooden rule, photographs, pill box or stamp tin (amongst many others) under any of these banners? I think when I get some time I will experiment making some more, but for now…tell me your thoughts…x
Yesterday was market day ;-) Yay! But this time I shopped with my new vintage store in mind, as opposesd to myself. Wanna see what I got?
I bought this fabric (for a £1) – with cushions and scarves in mind – along with 16 antique spoons of varying shapes, sizes & decoration for my next creative project – so watch this space for more information on that!
I also bought 3 vintage photographs (isn’t that lady particularly gorgeous!) another fold out wooden / metal rule, a decorative metal pill box with onyx roof, a plain circular metal lidded tin, an old metal stamp / matches holder, and a vintage wooden block with a metal stamp of religious hands praying. What do you think? Even though I like them all, they are all for my new Etsy shop, which is as yet un-named and thus un-open!
So, again, watch this space…x
(Press the play button above, turn up the volume & relax to enjoy the true experience)
One of my friends from university came to visit this Easter weekend with her beau. It’s been 18 months since I’ve seen her – which is the same amount of time she’s been seeing her partner – so of course I had to check him out and see if he was good enough for my friend. He was.
I cooked a slap up meal for the four of us that night, after which we were joined by another two friends for an evening of chat, wine-tasting (teehee) and Articulate! This is the ‘fast-talking description game’ which had us in stitches and almost punch-ups! The morning before they left I took them to Saltaire – the stunning world heritage site and Victorian model village. It’s also the home of Salts Mill – a collage of shops, books, exhibitions, galleries and cafes.
The first thing you notice about the place as soon as you walk in is the smell of lillies – they’re everywhere – whole vases of them situated on every available ledge and corner. Also the sound of opera; whether it be Janacek, Wagner or Puccini – the glorious sound of arias fill the space on every visit. These two things have become it’s trademark, along with of course the ability to sit and read through the books at your absolute leisure, without any pressurising sales person hovering over you.
Saltaire was founded in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt, a leading industrialist in the Yorkshire woollen industry. The name of the village is a combination of the founder’s surname with the name of the river. Salt moved his entire business (five separate mills) from Bradford to this site near Shipley partly to provide better arrangements for his workers than could be had in Bradford and partly to site his large textile mill by a canal and a railway.
Salt built neat stone houses for his workers (much better than the slums of Bradford), wash-houses with running water, bath-houses, a hospital, as well as an Institute for recreation and education, with a library, a reading room, a concert hall, billiard room, science laboratory and gymnasium. The village also provided a school for the children of the workers, almshouses, allotments, a park and a boathouse. Most of these still stand today.
The place is beautiful – and the Mill itself houses not only history, a fine gallery of David Hockney originals, but also unique gifts, cards & books. Sadly, due to time we were unable to sample the newly refurbished cafe – but it was heaving, testatment to it’s popularity and excellent service. I never tire of Saltaire or indeed the Mill and is worth checking out should you find yourself in the area.
What a great way to spend Easter Sunday.
To wish you all a very ‘Hoppy’ Easter, I thought I’d giveaway one of my Easter scans. I have about 10 different Easter cards – all approximately 100 years old – and had the wonderful idea of turning them into an Easter box set of cards within my Etsy shop. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t get round to doing it! I did one for my parents – which I have already sent – but that’s been it this year – how rubbish am I! I know by giving you this now it’s also a little too late to do anything necessarily with – but the Easter sentiment is still there to you nonetheless.
(Click on the image for a large version of it!)
Posted within France in 1913, the postcard shows a young man holding a bundle of easter eggs (yum) with the words ‘Heureuses Paques’ which simply means ‘Happy Easter’. The card is written on the back in beautiful writing from a son to his parents, informing them that he won’t be returning for Easter after all, but wishes them a good day.
The usual blurb: I haven’t photoshopped it or anything – I will leave it up to you to edit should you wish to do so. Please feel free to do with it what you will – in fact, send me a photograph of how you’ve used it! However, just please do not sell it as is, or as a downloadable scan. Enjoy!
So, I have spoken a few times now about possibly opening another Etsy shop to sell my flea-market wares. I have toyed with photographing a few and placing them in and amongst my Houdini Cards to gage response – but I feel the card shop works so well by itself, that it will start to feel abit disjointed if other random listings started appearing.
If you haven’t already done so, you can check out my etsy shop here: www.houdinicards.etsy.com
I love browsing around Etsy, but to be honest, I tend to move on to another shop quite quickly if I visit one and it is full of items that don’t go together. Catogories don’t help on these occasions either.
For this reason, I thought I’d open a separate, but related shop. Call it a ‘sister’ or ‘brother’ shop – I don’t mind which. But, I need your help. I thought I’d run a competition on my blog…to name the new shop. I do have something in mind – but, it’s a bit tame and you guys are all so creative – and have such wonderful ideas that I thought I’d pick your brains and put them to the test.
Go through my past listings on here – especially within the category ‘TO MARKET’ where you will find many of the lovely things that I have purchased over the last 3 months I’ve been with you. I’m not selling all of them (I’m far too selfish for that) as there’s some I want to keep definitely for myself! However, these are the kind of items I’ll be buying in the future too – and listing within the new shop.
So, think vintage, think one-of-a-kind, think Houdini.
So, the prize – well I can’t gve away any of my vintage things as yet – otherwise I really will have nothing left for my shop. So…the prize is 3 of my blank greetings cards including free postage to anywhere in the world. You can choose any 3 cards of your choice (they can be the same, or pulled from box sets already created). Essentially there are 30 listings at present within my Etsy shop – some are single cards, some duos and some box sets of various sizes. The pic attached above showcases just 25 of them. Please visit the shop link (also above) to see the rest (another 35+) of the available cards; – again, choose any 3 you want, and I will post them on to you should you be the lucky winner.
I always think blogs entries get abit lost and forgotton after a few days – so the time frame for this will be short. Suggestions must be received by 7th April 2010 10pm (GMT) which gives 5 full days for you to get your thinking caps on. Is that ok? You’ll not only be doing me a big favour – but you can get yourself some luxury unique vintage cards in the process. Please pass this on to your friends too – in fact tell the world ;-)
Many thanks in advance for your time and suggestions. I can’t wait to hear some of them.