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Monday, 12 October 2015

Naughty Dragons

We are having staffing problems here again at Glitterwitch.
For those of you who haven't met our staff, please see the post below for details.

Things are getting a little tense at Glitterwitch HQ .......


The dragons are up to their tricks again
They've been skating on beads 'cross the floor!
Apart from the noise and the mess that it makes
The beads all pile up by the door

Then when Alfie arrives, he trips on the beads
And lands with a bump on his head.
The dragons run off and all you can hear
Are the giggles from under their bed.

The Spiral Witches are watching
They tell Alfie all will be right soon
Just wait one more week and help will arrive

By the light of the silvery Moon


Short and sweet this time as I have a lot of beads to pick up from the floor, I do hope the witches have come up with a plan to sort out the naughty dragons.

I will leave you with a sign seen recently in a Belgium Brewery giving directions to the toilets, just because it made me smile.





Monday, 14 September 2015

Never mix Dragons & Witches

Most of you know that I have a few helpers to share the workload at Glitterwitch.

  • Alfie the Elf is in Charge of 'Elf 'n' Safety
  • Lena is a Purple Accounting Dragon (sister to Lorna)
  • Lorna is a Purple Marketing Dragon (sister to Lena)
  • Pearl is a Spiral Witch in charge of Beading advice (sister to Purl)
  • Purl is a Spiral Witch in charge of knitting advice (Sister to Pearl)


The Dragons sisters are rather mischievous and are always getting themselves into trouble. The Spiral Witches on the other hand are hardworking  and just get on with their work quietly singing to themselves. Poor old Alfie tries to control the dragons, but just lately that has been becoming more difficult.

Eventually the lovely Spiral Witches decided that something has to be done!


The Spiral Witches are friendly and kind
They work hard just to make my life better
But they don't like the way that the dragons do things
So they sat down and wrote a long letter

They wrote to some cousins on far distant shores
And explained how the dragons behave
They said its not right, it just has to stop
Its driving us all to our grave

We know what is needed, the cousins agreed
Someone who won't shy away
From meeting the dragons and sorting them out
And making them earn all their pay!

So far, far away in the dark dead of night
They set off with their trusty black horses
Their mission to find and recruit a new witch
As the Head of Non-Human Resources!

Well, goodness know what will happen next, I guess we will just have to await developments.

I will leave you with my favourite quote about work:

I always give 100% at work. 13% on Monday, 22% on Tuesdays, 26% Wednesdays, 35% Thursdays and 4% on Fridays!

Monday, 31 August 2015

The Face of Glitterwitch

Ever wondered about the face behind the Wonderful World of Glitterwitch? Well wonder no more!

A couple of months ago I got an email from Kent Life Magazine asking if they could interview me for an article entitled "Silver Entrepreneurs" I wasn't sure if that meant that I didn't quite make gold, or simply that I am old! Either way there is no such thing as bad publicity as they say, so I thought why not.

The interview was conducted over the phone, where they also broke the bad news that a photographer would be coming around. Well, some of you may know that I am not as active as I have been in the past due to illness, and so there is a little more of me than there used to be.

No matter how much I squirmed, it was no good - the photographer was coming. Resigned to my fate, I thought "Oh well, lets just go for it".

The September issue of Kent Life Magazine arrived last week, and there I am in all my glory photographed at Glitterwitch HQ.

If you look carefully behind me you can see the dragons on the cupboard top being watched over by Alfie (Elf 'n' Safety).

Click here  to read the full article from Kent Life's website

I was asked to give my top business tips for anyone (over a certain age) thinking of setting up their own business. I wonder if you agree with the ones I suggested. Would love to know what you think.

I am now off to update the website with some lovely new items for September - where has this year gone? Well they say times flies as you get older - can't argue with that one!

I will leave you with this quote from Jane Russell
"Publicity can be terrible, but only if you don't have any"

Click here  to visit our website which now has a Christmas Crafting Section.



Monday, 10 August 2015

The Demise of 'Elf 'n' Safety!

Those of you looking for the Blog on Greenland Beading, I am afraid it has had to be postponed until later in the year. Apologies for that, but I seem to have lost my notes. Well, when I say lost them - oh perhaps I had better explain!

Many of you know that I have two dragons that help me out at Glitterwitch. Lorna the Marketing Dragon and Lena her sister who is in charge of accounts.

Alfie, the Elf is in charge of 'Elf 'n' Safety and keeping the mischievous dragons under control. But recently, it has all gone wrong .........

Alfie the Elf has a girlfriend,
 He sneaks off to see her each day.
So, with no 'Elf 'n' Safety to stop them,
The Dragons decided to play.

Now, when Dragons are full of excitement
They giggle and snort a blue flame.
My paperwork's burnt to a frazzle
And the Dragons just think its a game!

Alfie's in love and besotted,
He doesn't see what's all around.
He sits in the sun with his girlfriend,
In awe of the person he's found.


So with 'Elf 'n; Safety neglected
The Dragons are off on a spree
My staff have all gone and left me
So I guess now it's all down to me!


Oh dear, what can I do, I just hope Alfie settles down soon and gets back to work, and goodness knows what those Dragons are up to now!

That's all for this week folks, I will leave you with this thought:

My craft room is not messy, I just have everything on display, like in a museum!

Friday, 31 July 2015

Using Beads & Wire

Yesterdays National Beading Week Blog was all about the Spiral Folk made from beads and wire, so I thought today we would look at what else you can make using beads and wire.

As you may know, I am very fond of knitting and so have made several bracelets, by threading beads onto wire and then knitting with it.


But, don't worry if you can't knit, there are lots of other things you can make. Threading beads onto Memory Wire is great fun and relatively easy to do. You can create many different looks by adjusting the colour or size of the beads - here is one of my favourite ones.


But maybe you don't want a bracelet. Well how about some flowers then.
French Beaded Flowers are made by threaded seed beads onto wire and then twisting the wire to form the flowers


Of course there are lots of other fun things you can make with Beads and Wire, I like to have a play, when I get the time and here are a few of the things I have made.


As you can see from all the above, I am no expert with these things, but I do like to "have a go" and am always delighted with the results.

 I hope this has given you a small insight into what you can make with Beads and Wire and maybe given you the incentive to have a go yourself.  We have a Pinterest Board - Crafting with Wire - that has lots more ideas and a couple of tutorials on it - click here to have a look.

Of course, youtube is a good source of information about these sort of things, but be careful - it has a habit of stealing your time and making you wonder where the afternoon went!

If you want to have a go at knitting a bracelet with beads and wire click here to see the kits on our website in a great range of colours.

That's all for today - tomorrow is all about Greenland Beading!




Thursday, 30 July 2015

Can Beads have Character?

Can beads and wire have character? Surely not!

 Well  click here to meet the Spiral Folk over at Spiral Rose and you might change your mind.

Cathy Rose, the face behind the business explains:

I started Spiral Rose just over two years ago, and at the time I was making wire-wrapped jewellery. I wanted to expand my range to include items that nobody else made, and the Eureka moment came when someone suggested I should make fairies.

Using wire, pearls and lucite flower beads, I came up with a 2.5 inch high fairy that immediately proved popular and it wasn’t long before people started asking for adaptations, like elves, witches, angels and even steampunk fairies. The Spiral Folk were born!

I thought it would be fun to personalise the figures, giving them charms to represent hobbies and occupations and started posting silly photos of them on the Spiral Rose Facebook page.

It soon became clear that while the Spiral Elves were helpful little souls, 

The Spiral Fairies, on the other hand, were mischievous little tykes who regularly got into trouble, often involving the over-consumption of food and alcohol! (Did you know that fairies puke glitter?)


Followers of the Facebook page really embraced the Spiral Folk and started suggesting scenarios for photo shoots and stories about their lives. Requests came in for ‘Mini-me’ Spiral Folk that actually looked like real people! (Have you ever tried to draw a recognisable face on a 10mm pearl? It’s not easy!).

Do you recognise this one - of course it is our very own Andy Murray!

The Spiral Folk community has grown and they’ve found homes all over the world. They have a variety of jobs and hobbies including medics, Police officers, fire fighters, musicians, sports stars and crafters. Or how about Spiral Cavemen?



Cathy kindly made two Spiral Witches who help me out on the Glitterwitch Facebook page, they are called Purl & Pearl and are very well behaved and hard working.

So, can beads and wire have character? Of course they can!

If you’d like to commission a Spiral figure, contact Cathy on her Spiral Rose Facebook page here. Prices start at £6 plus p&p

That is it for today folks, tomorrows blog is more about using Beads & Wire.


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

How Wood You Use These Beads?

When you think of using beads for crafting, what do you think of? Making jewellery perhaps?

Beaded jewellery is, of course, lovely, but there are so many more things you can do with beads.

We have a range of Wooden Beads on our website and it never ceases to amaze me the things that customers use them for. I have set up a Pinterest Board  all about these beads and thought I would show you some of the ideas here.

Lets start simple, this would look great attached to a parcel.
   

Now, I am sure you have all seen these before.


This is a bit more ambitious, but doesn't it look lovely?


So, do you feel inspired to have a play with some Wooden beads?

I will leave you with my favourite idea from one of my lovely customers, Claire from Cobweb Creations . She makes the most wonderful Magical, Quirky collectables. Let me introduce you to Warwick Cobweb

Can you see how she has used to wooden beads. Isn't he just adorable?

If you would like to see more from Cobweb Creations click here to visit her Facebook page and then you can follow her magical world.

You can quote code NBW2015 during National Beading Week to get 10% off our Wooden Beads, click here to see our range on the website.

Tomorrow we ask the question Can Beads have Character?  Pop back tomorrow and and see what you think.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Beads Beads Everywhere

Well, here we are again, and today's blog is a little different - it is a beady poem.

Beads, beads everywhere
I've dropped them on the floor.
They are rolling across the carpet
And now heading for the door.
     


                                                 
They've rolled across the hallway
And down the stairs they go.
I don't think I can catch them,
Watch out down below!

They are off towards the garden
I wonder where they'll rest.
Oh no, here comes the magpie
He will want them for his nest!

At last I think I've trapped them
Herded them under a garden chair.
One lesson this has taught me

The next beads I buy will be square!

I hope that made you smile today.

Tomorrow's blog is about some different uses for beads.

Quote NBW2015 for 10% off beads during National Beading Week click here to visit website

Monday, 27 July 2015

Its All About the Seed Beads

Day 3 of National Beading Week - have you been playing with your beads yet? Today's Blog is all about Seed Beads.

As a teenager in the 1970's I loved the growing trend for seed bead necklaces and bracelets, known as Love Beads.



I would save my pocket money, actually I saved my bus fare money by walking to school, to spend Saturdays with my friends scouring the shops for the prettiest necklaces. Love Beads were everywhere! We would wear them as necklaces, wrap them round our wrists as bracelets, and I would even weave them into a small plait at the side of my hair. Lucky there are no photos of that!

So began my love of seed beads. I now own Glitterwitch and am the only UK stockist of Size 9 TOHO seed beads in over 100 colours.  The trend for Love Beads has slowed down, but maybe we can revive it - here is my more modern take on a necklace. What do you think?



Of course, there are lots of other ways that you can use these lovely seed beads including Bead Weaving and Bead Embroidery. But another favourite of mine is making Christmas Decorations with them. (Sorry, I had to mention the C word in July!)
I like to use the Silver Lined Colours as they catch the light beautifully and sparkle away all day long.


I have no great skill at beading, my Crafting Superpower is knitting as some of you will know. But even I can turn my hand to some pretty decorations using these lovely beads. Hmm, now how can I combine knitting with these beads - watch this space.........

That's all for today folks - let me know what you think won't you.

Tomorrows Beady Blog is entitled Beads Beads Everywhere - see you then!


If you would like to see our range of Size 9 beads Click Here and don't forget, you can use code NBW2015 to get 10% off this week.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

A Beady Childhood

Well it is Day 2 of National Beading Week and I thought I would tell you how I came to have such a love of beads.


As a small child, in the 1960's, I used to love buttons and beads. Mum had a button tin which contained all sorts of shapes and sizes and I remember spending many happy hours tipping the contents on the carpet and then slowly inspecting each one before placing it back in the big tin. But the best treasures were in a smaller, old tobacco tin

This contained beads collected over the years from pieces of broken jewellery. Neighbours and family members would bring beads and glass "jewels" when they visited to add to my tin. Other children would come round to gaze in awe at the beautiful items I carefully showed them. 

"What are you going to do with them all" Mum used to ask.
" I just like looking at them" was always my reply.

Back then my Gran lived with us and I used to love watching her getting ready for church on a Sunday morning.  She would wear her very finest clothes and always top the outfit off with a beautiful brooch.  In her top drawer lived a wonderful collection of beaded brooches, received as gifts and collected over many years.  

There were animals, flowers, birds and various random shapes. She would carefully select one to compliment her outfit, pin it on and always turn to ask me how she looked. Fascinated by the brooches, I always said that when I grew up I would use my beads to make a brooch especially for her.

I used to run to my Mum and say when will I be big enough to make Granny a brooch?  Soon, she used to reply, very soon.  Sadly my Gran left us before I managed to make her that brooch, but I always think of her with great affection and she is the inspiration for the items I make these days.

Lets end with a little song,  I expect you all know the tune:


When I was just a little girl,
I asked my Mummy what would I bead
Will it be flowers? Will it be birds? 
Here's what she said to me
Que Sera ,Sera, 
Whatever will bead, will bead
The future's not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera, 
What will bead will bead.


That's all for today folks, Tomorrow's blog is all about seed beads.

Click here to visit our website for 10% off beads during National Beading Week

Saturday, 25 July 2015

National Beading Week

Today sees the start of the first ever National Beading Week. 


Following on the from the very successful National Knitting Week, it's time for beaders to have some fun too.  So The Beadworkers Guild came up with the wonderful idea of beaders coming together to celebrate their craft. Click here to visit the National Beading Week webside

Here at Glitterwitch, I think you probably know that we love beads and so we needed little persuasion to take part in the event.  Lorna our Marketing Dragon has been working hard to add more beads to the website, and come up with an offer of 10% off all beads during NBW - just quote NBW2015 at the checkout to receive the discount. Not only that but she will pop a code in your order to quote for 10% off your next order as well!

If you don't already follow us on Facebook then now is the time to join our page here. We will be having some fun on there during the week with a Bead Clearance Album, some Flash Sales, and a few games as well.

If you are an experienced beader then our website has lots of beads and beading patterns for you. If you are new to beading, we have some kits  to help you get started. Click here to visit website

We will be posting a new blog each day throughout National Beading Week, some will be fun and some will show you some of the different ways you can use beads in your crafting.

So, come back tomorrow for our Blog entitled "A Beady Childhood".


If you would like to know more about the Beadworkers Guild click here

Monday, 6 July 2015

Who is your Business Hero? Mine may surprise you!

Those of us who run small businesses, often take inspiration from other, usually successful, business owners. So who is your business hero?  Is it someone like Sir Alan Sugar who started with nothing and worked his way up to being in the House of Lords advising on business matters? Of how about someone like Karren Brady who got to the top in the male dominated world of football.

Well, my business inspiration may surprise you - it is none other than the very cuddly Pooh Bear! I can almost hear you gasp from here - but just stop for a moment and think about it. A lot of what Pooh said makes sense and can be translated into a business scenario. Let me give you a few examples:



This to me is about customer research. Do you know who your typical customer is, age range, male or female, etc etc?. Your marketing efforts need to be based around just who your customer is, otherwise they will be wasted.




This is all about Marketing. It is no good just waiting around for customers to come to you, sometimes you need to go out and get them. Give them a little push, a bit of encouragement to purchase from you.



This one speaks for itself I think. No matter how small your business is, you need to be organised from the start. That way when you grow everything will fall into place easily.




A typical Pooh Bear comment, but one we can learn from. When describing a product, talk in a language your customers understand. Of course, they need all the technical detail, but they also want to know how it will make their life, better, brighter or easier!




We all get days when nothing seems to be going right and we wonder if it is all worth while. This quote from Pooh always makes me smile, and helps me to believe in myself.

I could carry on, but I think you get the idea now, and maybe understand why Pooh Bear is my hero - he always makes me smile and that can't be a bad thing.

I will leave you this time with one of my favourite Pooh Bear quotes.


Monday, 22 June 2015

Timing is Everything!

Yesterday I had a wander around a Craft Fair made up of stalls from local businesses. There were some beautiful handmade items on display, but hardly any of them were priced. 

This is a pet hate of mine. My Mum always used to say "If you have to ask the price, then you can't afford it" and that has always stuck in my mind. 

I hovered around one stall, while the Stallholder chatted away to some friends, but after a few minutes I got fed up with waiting and so moved on. I was very interested in a couple of items on the stall, but in the end bought nothing, as I couldn't find out what the price was. Maybe if I had arrived a few minutes earlier or later the stallholder would have been free  - who knows!



Do any of you attend craft fairs, and if so do you display prices on your items? I would be interested to hear the reasoning behind not pricing items on display.

********************************


Last week I needed to send an order to my wholesaler as some popular items on the website were running low. With a minimum order value, I was struggling to make my order up to this amount, but I did in the end manage to just get over the specified figure.  

The following morning I received an email acknowledging my order - so far so good. Ten minutes later an email arrived announcing their Christmas Catalogue was now available to order from! If that email had arrive 24 hours earlier my ordering would have been so much easier.  Heyho, as with most things in life - it is all about timing!


So, how do you manage your time? Are you super organised and have a plan for each day or week? With a small business, there are many hats to wear, Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Stock Control, and Dispatch to name a few.  Do you wear a different hat each day or have you become a master at changing hats several times in one day?

Me? I always start the day with a plan but rarely end the day having completed it. But then, isn't that what makes running your own business so exciting - you never know what each day will bring!


I will leave you with my favourite quote about time:
Yesterday's the past, tomorrow is the future, but today is a gift - that's why it is called the present!

Note: The clocks pictured above are examples of what you can make with one of our Clock Making Kits. Click here to view our Clock Making items on the website. www.glitterwitch.co.uk

Monday, 8 June 2015

What is Lorna up to now?

Today, I have a poem for you. I know you all love hearing about the antics of our "staff" and so this poem is about Lorna, the Marketing Dragon.

Lorna has planted some seed beads
She wanted to see how they grow
But after a week there was nothing
And she thought it was all rather slow



She gave them a drink with some Growmore
And waited a little bit longer
But when still there was nothing appearing
She thought maybe they need something stronger

The Spiral Witches were watching
They could see from their shelf very well
They wanted to help their friend Lorna
 So decided to cast a small spell

That night when the Dragons were sleeping
The Witches were creeping around
There was chanting and waving of wands going on
While they tried not to make any sound.

When Lorna awoke the next morning
She couldn't believe her own sight
A beautiful flower was there in her pot
And it seemed to have grown overnight

But Lorna was just a bit puzzled
She went to her Sister and said
That flower is really quite lovely

But the beads that I planted were red!

Poor Lorna, she is still a bit confused by it all. Those Spiral Witches, Pearl & Purl, really are lovely aren't they? - how nice of them to help their friend.


Pearl & Purl the Spiral Witches were recruited for us by Spiral Rose. Click here to visit their Facebook page.

Lorna the Marketing Dragon was recruited for us by Mists of Azura, Handcrafted Dragons. Click here to visit their website.

Well that's all from me for this time, just a note to say we have lots of seed beads on our website click here to have a browse.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A lovely surprise in Antwerp

I have recently spent a few days in Antwerp, where I had a lovely surprise.

In the centre of Antwerp there is a wonderful International Magazine Shop. It stocks hundreds of current magazines from all over the world on all sorts of subjects. I like to have a rummage around it as there are often publications that you don't see in the shops here. So, heading for the craft section, obviously, I had a good look at several knitting magazines, many from America, as well as several in French and Dutch. Deciding not to purchase anything I turned to the Beading section.

Most of the publications in this section are in English, and I picked up one called Bead & Jewellery. This is not a magazine that can often be found locally in Kent and so I have only seen it a few times. Picking it up I flicked through the pages, as you do, and something caught my eye.

There was a 2-page article on the Big Bead Show held in March and one of the exhibitors from the Purley Beadworkers had written about their day. She spoke of how visitors has admired her display of Beaded Bells and then - there it was - "the beads were fitted around polystyrene shapes obtained from www.glitterwitch.co.uk. Wow fancy finding my website mentioned in an English magazine on sale in Antwerp! Of course, I had to buy it!

Talking of polystyrene shapes, I know lots of you are thinking about Christmas Crafting already. So, I have an offer on Polystyrene Rings on the website  - buy 5 in the same size and get another 1 free. Click here to buy

Have a look at our Pinterest Board for some ideas of how to decorate your rings here

A date for your diary
2015 sees the first National Beading Week 25th July - 2nd August

 Click here to have a look at the website and see what will be going on. Glitterwitch will be joining in the fun, with games and competitions on our website and facebook page. More details next time.

So, I shall leave you this time with this thought:
I don't have a problem with beads, I have a problem without beads!

Monday, 18 May 2015

I'm Back .....

Well, here we are again - it's been a while hasn't it? 2015 did not start too well for me health wise, but all seems to be going ok at the moment (fingers crossed). That is just the way it is with an Auto Immune disease - very unpredictable!

Anyway, we have lots of catching up to do as it is May already and the year is flying by. I have decided to re-focus my Glitterwitch website to concentrate on beads, beading and craft supplies. This means I will be phasing out the Childrens Craft Kits, so lots of them are already available at reduced prices. Click here
The dragons have been busy too. Lorna, our Marketing Dragon has made her first video, demonstrating how to make a Crystal Angel
video
Lena, our Accounting Dragon has been busy with the end of year accounts and stocktaking.
But the biggest news is about Alfie our 'Elf & Safety Officer. While the dragons have been busy and keeping out of mischief, he has had a bit of time on his hands. Well, it turns out he has been dating the Sugar Plum Fairy! None of us saw that one coming did we?

So, what about the future - lots of exciting things coming up in 2015 including the very first National Beading Week - more details about that coming soon.

Now, over to you, what would you like to see in future blogs from us? General crafting news, or exclusive special offers for the website, or maybe just my usual general chit chat. Please comment below and let me know what you think.

I will leave you with this thought: When life throws you scraps - crochet a blanket!