Archive for ‘Crafts, Tutorials and DIY’

September 3, 2014

Refreshing Branding

refresh brandingThere are many blogs and articles online discussing how important branding in a creative business, but it is important to refresh and revisit your branding as your business evolves.

I’ve been running Ceridwen Hazelchild Design for two and a half years now, and in that time the tags I attach to my tote bags have evolved with my business.

Things to consider:

Time

As a creative business owner, the time spent on things is valuable. Packaging and presentation are both very important, but it is important to focus on the quality and design of the product first. If you can get things like tags, labels or stickers pre-printed to a professional standard, they will look far better than printing them on your home printer and can improve the overall appearance of your product.

Cost

Keep packaging and labeling costs down by ordering a sample pack or a few designs to check you are satisfied and then ordering in bulk so that the overall cost per label is significantly reduced. This isn’t within everyone’s budget, so consider ways of cutting costs by punching the holes and threading yourself, or ordering something larger with several designs on, which you can then cut up yourself.

Design

Make sure your packaging is in keeping with the style of your work. A cohesive design can make all the difference.

mystic moose tags

When I first started, working under different business name, the tags were made of natural fabric with an applied transfer with the branding on, complete with a brass coloured eyelet, and natural twine loop to attached to the bags.  Although these looked great, they took a great deal of time to make. I spent ages pressing the fabric, cutting them out, piercing and pressing the studs before finally threading the twine.

When I had sudden influx of orders I realised how impractical it was to spend so much time on the tags. I had to compramise and settle on printing out the same design on thick card on my own printer and punching a hole using a regular hole punch. Still, the time spent in front of the printer was time I could be designing, making, and expanding my product base, so I decided to get them printed professionally. I was pleased with the printed versions, but once I changed the name of my business to Ceridwen Hazelchild Design I needed new tags. And now I’ve nearly come to the bottom of a seemingly endless supply of card tags, it’s time to order some more!

I felt I had outgrown my old design and needed to freshen up. So keeping the logo, and incorporating some colour and illustrations I had been working on many years ago, I pieced together my new tags. I also changed the way the natural twine was threaded to make the whole thing look smarter. To coordinate with my new tags, I altered my Facebook page and Etsy logos for a cohesive brand.IMG_3903

business card holder

I usually slip a business card into each package I post from an online sale, which means I tend to get through a lot. A few weeks before I needed to reorder tags, I found I was running very low on business cards, and, again, felt like a change. The old cards featured a selection of my products sitting on a charming blue bench. When I find a really nice business card, I tend to keep it and pin it to my wall, and that is what I wanted from my cards. The new cards feature three of my most popular designs, and also double as a miniature work of art that customers can keep!

Ceridwen Hazelchild DesignThe back of a business card is the place to put your details, so customers know what you do and where to find you. Too much information can be overwhelming and make a card look cluttered, so keep it simple:

Name

Contact

Website

What do you do?

IMG_3896

Selling on Etsy, I quite often get emails from lovely customers saying ‘thank you’ for their orders and letting me know how delighted they are with them. Already I have recieved comments on how much my new business cards were enjoyed, and it’s lovely to hear that it’s not just me that collects pretty ones I come across!

Remember, you can get a FREE fox tea towel when you spend over £25 (that’s around $42) in my etsy shop until Friday 5th September 2014! Treat yourself to something new – bags, pocket mirrors, pencil cases, notebooks, badges or cards!

Remember to ‘like’ the Ceridwen Hazelchild Design facebook page to keep up to date with offers, deals, and new products!

 

April 22, 2013

Feeling Foxy

As many friends and regular readers of my blog can tell you, I have a great fondness of foxes. Every time I stumble across fox-related crafts I make a mental note to return to them, but when it comes to it I can rarely find my way! So I’ve started making a list of fox crafts on a few pages of my blog, partly for my own records and partly to share some of my favourite foxy things. Enjoy and please let me know of any of your own fox finds!

Plains Fox Pocket Pillow by Coral and Tusk

Winter Wolves by Mister Finch

Magpie Dusk Wildlife Cake Tins designed by Tom Frost

Red Fox Art Toy – Kay Whelan Illustrations

April 8, 2013

Lovely Colourful Things

Spring is on the way, and it is time to share some of the bright and colourful things that I love right now:

Snuggly knitted blankets by Seven Gauge Studios.

This giant patchwork floor cushion by Big Bird’s Boutique.

Stunning quilts by The Family Love Tree.

lavender bag pile

Illustrated Linen Lavender Bags by Ceridwen Hazelchild Design.

These charming textile tea sets by Emma Dolan.

These handmade patterned notebooks by Brookfarm.

These illustrative dresses by Poppy Children. (Part of me wishes they came in adult sizes!)

March 28, 2013

Giveaway Time: New Hedgehog Tote Bag!

This week we introduced our new Hedgehog design to our range of cotton tote bags, and now you have the chance to nab one of these beauties for yourself! To enter the chance to win a lovely Hedgehog Cotton Tote Bag, head over to our facebook page and click the “like” button on the post about the giveaway and “like” our facebook page – the lucky winner will be announced next Monday 1st April!hedgehog tote bag

In my old house we used to have hedgehogs in the garden, but in the house I live in now we have badgers instead. There is a badger set on the edge of the garden. It sits the other side of a wooden fence in the part we leave to be wild. The ground is sloped and there is a little stream at the bottom, and during the spring bluebells bloom in the shade off the trees; I think all gardens should have a little nature patch, and ours is gradually growing stronger. When we moved in, our lovely neighbours told us about the badgers and we made a hole in the fence for them to come through and explore. It wasn’t long before they started digging little muddy holes in the lawn, but we didn’t mind that because it was lovely to hear them frolicking at night. There have been many times when I’ve been sewing into the early hours, with the patio door open for some fresh air, and I’ve heard the badgers playing in the grass.bedge cotton tote bag

Whilst I love the badger family and the midnight entertainment they provide, I do miss the hedgehogs; there is something undeniably adorable about them, and it was not uncommon to see one or two snuffling in the grass in the evening.  Which is why when I was drawing my Badger illustration, I was compelled to also draw a Hedgehog illustration too. I’ve added these designs to my range of tote bags, and I am working on adapting them for pocket mirrors, badges, lavender bags and zipper pouches in my etsy shop too.

bags

Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win one of our Hedgehog totes here!

February 27, 2013

Mother’s Day Crafts!

flowers

With Mothers Day approaching in the UK, I’ve been playing with the idea of updating some of the products in my etsy shop. Lavender bags, pocket mirrors and make up pouches have all had a little spruce up in the last week, with more designs on their way!

Lavender Bags by Ceridwen Hazelchild Design

I found some super soft natural cotton linen fabric in my local haberdashery last week, and knew it could be used to make something wonderful, so I bought a meter to play with. It wasn’t long before my new range of illustrated square lavender bags were on their way! With a heat pressed image of my illustrations on one side, and filled with aromatic French lavender, these little beauties were finished just in time for Mother’s Day! These lavender bags are perfect keeping drawers and wardrobes smelling sweet, freshening up rooms and tucking beside beds to promote a restful slumber! Lavender has traditionally been used to aid sleep, calm and soothe for centuries, and the French Lavender filling in this bags has a lovely relaxing fragrance.

Pocket Mirrors, Ceridwen Hazelchild Design

I have also been expanding on my range of pocket mirrors. As regular readers may be aware, I recently started making these with lovely fabric illustrations instead of the old paper and cello designs; they have been very well received and are flying off the shelves! The pocket mirrors come complete with a lovely blue or pink hand stitched felt pouch with delicate off-white lace detail. Now my teacups and saucers illustration and eagle owl illustration have been added to the designs available!

make up

And finally, the makeup bags are somewhat of a work in progress, something I have been playing with for the last few months. Having finalised my designs, sewn my prototypes and ordered my fabric, all that’s left to do is wait for the supplies to arrive and sew! I have a feeling that due to various time constraints, they may not be ready for Mother’s Day in the UK this year, but they should be available towards the end of March!

A new customer favourite this week is our Breakfast in Bed IOU Coupons. I guess some lovely mums are getting a breakfast-y treat very soon!

valentine ious breakfast

January 8, 2013

Fabric Pocket Mirrors

pocket mirrors

One of the improvements I’ve made in the New Year is a little redesign of the pocket mirrors I make to sell in my etsy shop. The mirrors are hand pressed in my studio, with a glass mirror and metal body. Until recently the metal body was covered in a sheet of illustrated paper and a protective sheet of mylar, but now they are covered with fabric illustrations. I transfer the image onto the fabric using a heat press, in the same way I transfer images onto my tote bags, which gives a beautifully bright and crisp image on un-dyed natural cotton. These fabric images are cut out and the mirror is constructed and sealed. The pocket mirrors comes complete with a lovely blue or pink hand stitched felt pouch with delicate off-white lace detail.

The new fabric illustrations have a wonderful texture and give a much craftier feel to the pocket mirrors. Let me know what you think!001

Red Fox Pocket Mirror, Ceridwen Hazelchild Design

December 4, 2012

Alice Palace Illustration

The last few weeks has brought with it a few birthdays for some lovely Sagittarian friends. Even though we may not live nearby any more, having moved to various parts of the country to pursue our dreams, we try to send tokens and cards through the post at regular intervals, and birthdays are one occasion which can’t be missed! I am a firm believer in card-giving, especially when it means you can support smaller companies and independent artists. One of my favourite illustrators in recent months is the independent greeting card company called Alice Palace.

I recommend taking a good look through their website to peruse the selection of quirky colourful designs.

November 27, 2012

Sally Swannell Advent Calenders

With December approaching fast, I feel the need to share these wonderful advent calendars by Sally Swannel. These flat-pack wonders are assembled to create a free-standing three-dimensional house, complete with chimney and dorm windows, with 24 numbered advent windows on all sides. They are relatively easy to assemble too; we did add a tiny bit of double sided tape on a few of the tabs to make it more secure, but it was more for peace-of-mind than any physical need for it as the slot and tab design holds the house together very well!

I also adore the miniature advent cards, which come with an envelope, perfect for giving and receiving. I enjoy these traditional picture advents like these so much more than chocolate ones!

November 6, 2012

Rachel Eardley Jewellery

I have recently stumbled across the beautiful jewellery of Rachel Eardley. Each piece is constructed from vintage coins, with painstakingly cut out figures and details used to adorn necklaces, rings, pins, cufflinks and bracelets. Examining her work has made me look at some of these coins in a completely new light; the little hares, dogs and horses which cover some of the Irish coins are my favourite, along with the intricate bird on the Fathings. There is something wonderful about transforming outdated coinage into something charmingly decorative and functional. The thing that really completes these lovely creations, is the boxes they are displayed in; each piece comes in a beautifully hand illustrated craft box, detailed with drawing and dates of the specific coins used.

October 30, 2012

Updates with pretty photots

The reason for my rather sporadic blog posting is rather simple. Whilst I would love to tell an exciting tale of adventure and time lapsing away over the summer, honestly, life has just got in the way. Running a business whilst also having a wonderful part time job means my spare time is spent sleeping, waiting for buses, thinking about art, or all three simultaneously. I have been rather lucky and managed to utilise my travel time; my bus journeys are now spent answering email enquiries on my phone, or sketching out new designs or potential new product lines. I’ve even incorporated my post office trip into my lunch time routine.

In these busy times, keeping up-to-date with various online profiles seems to fall behind. For those who are interested, my facebook page for my etsy shop is usually rife with updates every few days, detailing daily activities and sharing photographs of sewing pencil cases and lavender pouches, pressing bags and finishing off pocket mirrors – this page seems to have taken priority, whilst blogging has been neglected. With (dare I say it) Christmas approaching, more and more of my time is spent making crafts than writing about them. Although I never think this is a bad thing – a day spent sewing or pressing is both enjoyable and satisfying – I do enjoy sharing creations and discoveries with followers. One of the great things about my part-time job is that I am exposed to so many talented and inspiring makers, so I am hoping to be able to share a few of my favourites in the coming months, alongside general adventures I’ve squeezed in during my free time.

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