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Welcome to Voetsy

Voetsy is an online marketplace and creative community that brings together talented sellers and buyers looking for something unique

Author: Nicole Smith

Do you consider yourself a creative person?

I recently shared a funny post in our Creative Community group on Facebook about drawing tutorials gone wrong. It seems people can resonate quite strongly with this notion of not being “artistic” and “creative”. This got me thinking… what makes a person creative? How do we define such an abstract concept, and who decides what creative actually is?

An article by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Psychology Today, defines creative people as “remarkable for their ability to adapt to almost any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand to reach their goals. If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it’s complexity. They show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an “individual,” each of them is a “multitude.””

Now I don’t know about you, but I think that pretty much defines alot of people if not everyone on the planet. From the moment we are born, we learn to adapt to and learn from our surroundings in order to achieve our goals… there were oh so important things we needed, like our favourite toy across a room, and we learned to get upright, get moving and get what we want. Doesn’t seem very creative, until you realise that every person got there differently, and used what they had, whether it was the couch or the family pet. It took some ingenuity to figure it out, and I think ingenuity and creativity are synonymous.

There seems to be two schools of thought: one is that everyone is born creative and either develops it or loses it; the second states that creativity is some kind of unicorn magic that only special people can possess and wield.

According to Gordon Torr, a former Creative Director and author of the recent book Managing Creative People:

The truth is that creative people are different from other people – special, for better or worse, in a way that we’re only beginning to understand. And everything we know about them suggests that they’re creative because they’re different, not that they’re different because they’re creative. It’s a vital distinction.

 

A TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson asks the question “Do schools kill creativity?”.

Personally, I agree that every child is born creative. I also think that the second children learn what judgement is, their inner artist shrinks a bit. The minute they learn comparison, their creativity crumbles. The longer they fear making mistakes they lose that magic unicorn dust that allowed them to create on a whim and not care if it looks “right” or the same as someone else’s.

It honestly makes me sad to think that people have stopped believing themselves capable enough to wield the title of “creative” or “artistic”. In your everyday life I’m willing to bet you have to draw on at least some modicum of creativity in order to get through your day, decorate your house, open a jar, put together a presentation… you get the idea… you have ideas.

Don’t give up on that inner child who scribbled away with as many colours as they could and with free abandon… do what you can to care for your inner creator, this article from Verywellmind.com will give you a few tips on how to do that. If you’re ready to develop your inner artist, then Christine Nishiyama’s essays are just the thing you need. One of my favourites (and there are lots, thank you Christine!) is this one on “How to develop your unique artistic style). She also has a fabulously cute guide that you can download… I’ve got it and will be completing my influence map soon. Give it a shot and let me know in the comments what you thought.

Keep Creating!
Nicole@Voetsy

Talking to Talent: Kristin from Apparition Jewellery

Okay, we know we shouldn’t have favourites… but Kristin’s shop is definitely one of our faves on Voetsy. We honestly had know idea what chainmaille jewellery was when we gave Kristin’s shop the go ahead, and boy, were we amazed when her products were uploaded! Her jewellery is so gorgeous and unique, that we’re always eager to see what magic she makes next.

Read on to learn more about Kristin and her creative process behind making her stunning products…

Kristen

Kristin, Owner of Apparition Jewellery

How would you describe the products that you make and sell?

I initially tried my hand at wire jewellery, but it didn’t come naturally to me.  I then had jump rings and other supplies lying around, so started putting things together.  Before I knew it, I had learned chainmaille, so decided to include it in my work.  I look for tutorials online on how to make the weaves, and then create either the design off the internet or my own creation.  For example, for some items, I have taken a design straight off Pinterest, all in the aid of learning.  I don’t claim these designs as my own, and I believe in transparency.

Half Persian 3 in 1 Evil Eye Round Diamante Charm Bracelet
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Blue Bead Filigree Teardrop Earrings
What do you love about the creative process behind your products?

I love making things with my hands and having a tangible result.  I enjoy just being creative.  I learn as I go along, and that brings me joy.

Celtic Labyrinth Chain Bracelet
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Captured Pearl Beads & Moon Charm Earrings
Describe your craft space for us.

My craft space is full of a bit of everything.  I have candles, herbs, my crafting supplies, my Monster High doll, crystals, the works!  I have a table in our home office where I have all my supplies stored.  Do I have enough space?  Absolutely not.  Do I stop buying supplies?  Nope.

Gold & Silver Tone European 4 in 1 Bracelet
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Oriental Scale Gold-Tone Elephant Charm Earrings
What is an absolute essential for you to have in your craft space while you’re creating?

Order.  I’m a bit of a neat freak, yet my craft table is ALWAYS a mess.  So most of the time before I sit and create I have to tidy it up a bit.  Other than that, definitely my scented candles.

Tree Of Life Byzantine Weave Bracelet
Celtic Visions, Chain & Green Aventurine Pendant
Tree of Life European 4 in 1 Cluster Earrings
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

As I’m still learning as I go along, I mainly check the official chainmaille tutorials.  I like to keep an eye on trends, and if something pops out, I’ll try to incorporate it.  I do try my best to create from my own ideas and not look at what others do too much.  I think when you constantly check what others are doing, it takes away from your own creativity.  I have the capacity to come up with amazing things, and I try to rely on that aspect of myself instead of looking at others.

Fieldstone Infinity Charm Necklace
Blue Fender Thin Guitar Pick Simple Silver Chain Necklace
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When are you at your most creative?

I think I’m at my most creative when I’m calm and relaxed.  Life gets so stressful, and that gets in the way of really tapping into your creativity.

Tri-Colour Helm Weave Bracelet
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Byzantine & Bronze Tone Scalemaille Earrings
How do you overcome creative blocks?

I find music to be the most therapeutic.  Listening to some of my favourite songs or spending time with my loved ones helps relax me.

European 4 in 1 Bracelet
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Seed Of Life Dream Catcher Earrings
What is your opinion on buying handmade products versus mass produced retail products?

There are some mass produced products that are great.  However I feel that we should all be supporting small businesses as much as possible.  Handmade products are made with love.  There is a lot of time and dedication that goes into creating these products, and that alone should be reason enough to choose them over mass produced products.  Hand-made very often means higher quality, which is just great.

European 4 in 1 Clusters & Chain Bracelet
Pink Fringe European 4 in 1 Necklace
Pink & Red Bead Earrings
What advice would you give to crafters thinking of selling online?

Go for it!  The only thing holding you back is you.  I decided to start selling my products, and I haven’t looked back.  I’ve faced negativity and people who try to bring me down for doing a similar craft to them, but so what?!  If getting your craft out there is what you truly want and makes you happy, then you should follow that dream.

Smiling Sun Charm & Half Persian 3-in-1 Bracelet
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What’s in store for the future?

My ultimate goal is just to keep growing and expanding.  There are a few things in the works that I won’t mention now, but I just want to keep creating.  There is so much to learn and try, and I won’t stop.

Celtic Knot Charm Byzantine Weave Chainmaille Bracelet
Wire Wrapped Amethyst Crystal Necklace
Byzee Bees to Butterflies Weave & Pentacle Earrings

Believe it or not, there’s MORE to see in Kristin’s shop! Browse through her full range of gorgeous handmade jewellery by clicking the button below.

Tips for selling your handmade crafts online

You make beautiful things. Modesty aside you think they’re pretty fantastic, because you know the amount of work and love and passion that goes into making them. Your mom and your gran tell you how talented you are, and that you should be selling these beautiful things, because they would definitely buy them so obviously the whole world will want to as well. This seems like a great idea, because who doesn’t want to turn their passion into profit right? You consider that maybe sitting at flea markets every weekend isn’t quite the business mogul dream you had in mind, and could work out pretty costly too, so maybe selling your beautiful things online is a beautiful idea. Easy right?

 

Well, yes and no. Yes because most people in today’s world spend an overwhelming amount of time online daily, so you’re definitely placing your products where your customers are.

 

No, because it takes more than just uploading a pic of your beautiful thing with a price tag and sitting back waiting for the orders to come rolling in. It’s kind of like dropping a fish flake in the ocean and expecting a sardine run, and unless you’re Aquaman, that’s really not likely to happen.

 

So here are a few things to consider before you swap out the hobby hat for the entrepreneur one:

Who are you?

No, we don’t mean the existential answer to life kind of thing. We mean your brand, your story. It’s really important to set yourself apart from anyone who may be selling something similar to you, which also begs the question, who are they? Research your competition, see what they’re doing and then do the opposite or something completely different. Don’t be afraid to tell your human story, you’re selling something made by one…. So let people know that. Customers like authentic, and not being sold to the whole time. Your brand should be evident in everything from your social media posts to your packaging. Find your sparkle and pretend its metaphorical glitter, that stuff gets everywhere and sticks to everything.

Brand
What are you selling?

Oh it should be obvious, I have a picture, look at it… right? No, no and more no. Your online customers need you to be the Charles Dickens of product descriptions and the Annie Leibowitz of images. They can’t pick it up it up, hold it, see how big it is… when it comes to your descriptions and images, you really have to dig deeper than 1 x beautiful thing. It’s your product, your labor of love, your sleepless nights and your splinters… do it justice by telling people what they’re getting in detail and maybe taking some interesting pictures too. We all love high detail, snow white background product pics… but maybe consider a few lifestyle ones too that show your product in action as it were.

 

Where will people learn about it?

The advice that is offered most often, is pick one or two social media platforms to focus your marketing on. Rather than spreading yourself too thin and risking producing content that’s not so great in quality… pour your creative energy into producing great content on a few platforms. That said, by no means limit yourself when it comes to where people can buy it. There are a number of options available to you, research online marketplaces and other online selling platforms and go for it. Word of mouth is by far the best marketing tool in your workshop, so if you have people who love you and your products, ask them to make it public. The more buy in you have, the better…, the world we live in trusts strangers more than sellers. So ask for reviews and feedback from customers.

Why should anyone buy it?

This is where your brand, your beautiful product portrayal and buy in all comes in handy, but one more important thing to consider is who is buying it? Have you thought about who your customer is and what they want? This will help you find them and market to them. Also, try to imagine what solution your business and beautiful thing provides and sell that solution as well as your product. Your passion for your product, and your belief in your business should translate through to your customers in every exchange and be consistent.

How much are you selling it for?

Speaking of belief in your business. Too often we see artisans selling low because they are trying to beat the competition or are being bullied by customers opinions of what their hard work should cost. It is imperative that you price for profit, and you stick to that price. It is your hard work, made by hand, with love and passion… you can sell it for what it’s worth, promise. If you need some more tips on this, we found this nice article on Craft and Thrive that can help L’Oréal your mind, because you’re product is worth it.  http://www.createandthrive.com/ct-qa-how-do-i-price-my-handmade-goods

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So those are our tips, in our humble opinion and based somewhat loosely or mostly on personal experience, we choose not to say which. Best of luck on your journey, and we hope these tips help a little bit with making your beautiful thing the next best one.

 

Happy Selling

The Voetsy Business Blog Team

How to get creative during load shedding

So it seems load shedding is back, and with a stage 4 vengeance… served cold… like your dinner.

While we’re sure that you are by now no stranger to the dark, and probably have a myriad of contingency plans in place to lighten the load shedding… we thought we’d share some creative things we found about what you can do to beat the blackout blues.

Creative Ideas for Charging Cell Phones

Potatoes. Yup, we looked into this a bit and apparently it’s possible. If you have 110 pounds of potatoes and live under a rock where power banks and car chargers don’t exist, then this is the solution for you. If you’re interested in taking up potato farming, own a potato farm, or have credible evidence that the world is ending… you can check out Popular Mechanics for how to generate your very own potato power here. Creative yes, but if you’re more into the idea that potatoes are better next to your burger than charging your phone, you can read some more good and proper tips from Santam here.

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Creative Ideas for Food

Potatoes. Just kidding, we need to save those to charge our phones. It can be the bane of our existance to try and come up with some kind of edible solution during load shedding. What’s more fun is when Eskom and City Power play “Whose schedule is it anyway?” and surprise you at dinner time with load shedding you weren’t scheduled for and off to the golden arches you go, along with everyone in your neighbourhood. As much fun as standing in a long line with hungry kids and grumpy grownups is, maybe try reading this article from The Consumer Report and give your wallet and your waistline a break. The article is written for Americans bracing severe snow storms, but Winter is coming South Africa… and the night will be dark and your fridge full of rotting terrors.

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Creative Ideas for Boredom

If you have any potatoes left after charging your phone, you could try using them to make stamps and decorate things. If this doesn’t grab you, then you can check out this article from Wikihow on beating blackout boredom… Most fun activities in the absence of electricity will make you relive your own childhood but you’ll probably have to work hard to convince your kids that these are actually fun things to do in the absence of screens. Don’t be alarmed if they’re not sure how to work a book. They’ll warm up to it eventually when their tablets die, just have patience and most of all… make it fun. It’s your chance to play hide and seek and be a kid again. For stages four, five and six… when things are really desperate, here’s a list of 101 things you can do from HubPages.

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Creative Ideas for Getting off the Grid

Potatoes aside, if you’re the crafty DIY type, then perhaps you should consider making your own power generators or solar panels. Survivopedia and Instructables will be your go to sites for all the advice you need on living a load shedding free existance. No more will you have to join the mad McDonald’s scramble with your neighbours, your fridge will never be frightening and your families entertainment will still be securely in the safe hands of Netflix. If you’re not that handy with a drill, you could always just make your own candles… you never know, it could turn into a thriving side business for you. Candles, like toilet paper, can run out at very inconvenient times.

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So there you have it, some ideas on what to do in a dark situation… and for those magical times when the lights are on and the world is bright and beautiful again, check out the Lextan Crafts and Designs shop for stunning hand crafted light fixtures and LED lamps.

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Talking to Talent: Shay from Serendipity Home Crafts

One of the reasons Voetsy was created, was out of a love for everything across the arts and crafty universe. So that said, we were really excited when Shay joined the Voetsy family, bringing with her a whole variety of beautiful home crafted products. Adding to that, Shay was one of our first vendors on Voetsy, so we were especially excited to see all the products she had to offer in her shop.

Read on to find out a bit more about Shay and what goes on behind the scenes of being a “multi-crafter” and making home crafted magic…

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Shay, Owner of Serendipity Home Crafts

How would you describe the products that you make and sell?

Different and innovative.

 

How long have you been making your products?

On and off for a few years but now trying to sell them properly.

edh

Dream Catcher Kits

How did you learn your craft?

Some of them are self-taught, watching videos or trial and error.

 

What do you love about the creative process behind your products?

I love being creative, I get restless and need to do something different. I love how much fun I have, and when it works out how accomplished it feels.

dav

Dream Catcher Kits

Describe your craft space for us.

My house. Literally, I sew and crochet in the lounge or dining room. I craft in the office, and I paint and use my resin substances outside on the patio. Needless to say it is chaos but it works.

 

What is an absolute essential for you to have in your craft space while you’re creating?

Hard to say as all my crafts are so different. I think mostly just space to myself, its very difficult to craft when there are others around or my toddler always grabbing my things.

bty

Denim Nappy Bag

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Pinterest, Google, YouTube, nature.

 

When are you at your most creative?

When I am alone, and pretty much the whole day. When I start crafting usually I only stop when it starts getting to dark for me to see.

bty

Baby Change Mat

How do you overcome creative blocks?

I try something new. I find something else that I can teach myself or make and I try that because hey why not.

What is your opinion on buying handmade products versus mass produced retail products?

Better. It is always personal, no two are ever exactly the same. And its someone’s own way of making a living for themselves and families.

Black and white spray paint painting

Spray Painted Artwork

What advice would you give to crafters thinking of selling online?

Have great pictures, be realistic with your prices, don’t charge too little but don’t be crazy and ask so much more. Research your options and then give it a go. There is no harm in trying.

 

mde

Spray Painted Artwork

What’s in store for the future?

Resin sea shell and coffee bean coasters. I am just getting my resin and shells prepped and sending my child to school so I can work safely without him around. I already have two prototypes that worked so well, now I just need the time to make some more and see if they sell.

dav

Handmade Macrame Pot Plant Holders

See what other home crafted gems Shay has to offer in her shop by clicking the button below.

Talking to Talent: Michelle from Shabach Jewellery

Here at Voetsy, we believe all our vendors are creative geniuses… and Michelle is no exception! Her stunning range of jewellery wows us every time she uploads a new product to our site, if you know anything about our team here, you’ll know that we get very excited to see the new products our vendors upload, and Michelle never disappoints!

We asked Michelle to give us some insights into the work that goes on behind the scenes and what it takes to make her beautiful products. Read on to find out more about the person behind the products…

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Michelle, Owner of Shabach Jewellery

How would you describe the products that you make and sell?

I try to always think out of the box when making my products. I would say it’s typically not the same things you will see in each and every shop you can find, it is different.  My personal style has always been different than the average person and I think a lot of my personal style flows into the products. I try to cater for everyone but my thinking sometimes gets limited to what kind of product I like and that is then what I make. I’m obsessed with black and that is sometimes seen in my products. Color scares me now and again but I’m getting pretty good at mixing some color in with the black.

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How long have you been making your products?

I started my company in January 2018 so it really has not been a very long time. December 2017 I started thinking about wanting to do my own thing and earn my own income and it was just a part time job. It ended up in August of this year that I had no other choice as to do it full time.

How did you learn your craft?

In 2006 my mother worked in a small local bead shop and I helped out a lot. My mom had to give classes on different arts from beading to decoupage, etc and we (me and my mom) started collecting some beads and played around and my dad was always mad as the whole house would be full of beads so we kinda stopped. We had this one box still full of beading supplies that followed us from house to house until this year when it was a great launching pad for me to start making jewellery.

What do you love about the creative process behind your products?

It always makes me think outside of the box. In our daily lives we can quickly get stuck in routine and routine thinking. But when you’re at your craft station there can be no routine thinking. I’m not a routine person at all, I actually hate it. Even my daily routine I would do for a week or so and then switch it up a bit. So when I sit in front of all my supplies it forces me to think outside of the routine, outside of what other people already is selling, outside of what is popular. It really is a lot of brain exercise thinking that much.

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Describe your craft space for us.

Unfortunately it is really small. I have to work with what I have and I kind of just wing it from there. It’s a lot of clutter and everything not in its place. I always end up searching for something, not finding it and then skip to something else. When I make the something else I find what I was looking for. From time to time I will clean up and sort out but that doesn’t last very long. Certain things I can tell where it is “Oh you want a pair of scissors? On the table there! Oh you want findings it’s in that small little bin there” but overall my table looks like chaos for the small little thing it is.

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What is an absolute essential for you to have in your craft space while you’re creating?

Something to drink and my Vaseline (laughing face). I use Vaseline as lip ice and it’s a necessity. Crafting wise I would say my pliers, without it I would be stuck!

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Mostly I would sit at the table and pray and ask God for guidance and creativity, asking to assist and give me patience – especially when I think of something cool and I cannot seem to make it work.

I would also scroll through Pinterest, see what the people make, try and do it myself and fail. Do it my way, my design and I end up doing okay. I would get an idea from Pinterest and play around with it and make it my own – or while I would play around with it another idea hits me and I try that.

When are you at your most creative?

Oh it differs… Sometimes in the morning, sometimes late afternoon. I don’t have a specific time really, I kind of force myself to be creative even when I really do not feel like it or have no idea what I’m going to do or how to make something work.

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How do you overcome creative blocks?

I take a walk or go and do something else. I would maybe chill a bit, listen to some music, read a book or I would leave the jewellery making for a week and hope I feel better next week (laughing face)

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What is your opinion on buying handmade products versus mass produced retail products?

You get exactly what you want! For me all my products can be arranged the way the client wants it especially the colour and I do a lot of custom things as well. Mass produced retail products is copy cat’s of everything on the shelve. They buy 200 of the same product which is mostly probably not a bad thing, but if you wanna stand out go hand made. A lot of my products is once off’s which means you will be the only one in the world wearing that piece (well unless someone copies my design of course).

What advice would you give to crafters thinking of selling online?

It really takes a lot of work. I have the experience of having my products inside a physical shop in a mall and having my products online and online is really a lot of work. It’s a lot of advertising, trying to get new clients, uploading all the products, thinking of creative descriptions for each product.

Don’t get me wrong Voetsy takes sooo much work out of our job and I love that, but just like any other job you have your things you love to do and things you hate to do.

Not that I hate the hard work I do enjoy it a lot, but do not think for one second you can just pop everything online and its gonna market itself or sell itself.

What’s in store for the future?

I would like to get more shops to sell my products and I want to push myself in doing more, thinking more outside of the box. I would like to get new product ranges and I would definitely like to make more jewellery for men (which is probably my hardest thing to do like ever).

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View Michelle’s shop to see more of her gorgeous products, made by hand and with lots of love!

13 Things You Should Give Up To Be A Successful Crafter

So I came across an article written by Zdravko Cvijetic on www.observer.com recently, that remarkably managed to narrow down to just 13, the number of things you should give up to be successful. My initial thoughts were somewhat skeptical, as I can list more than 13 chocolates alone that I would have to give up, never mind all the other deep and meaningful things. That said, I am a crafter, a creative… so generally the rules of normal human thinking don’t apply to me in Purple Fairycorn land. So would I be successful giving up these 13 things too?

Give up your unhealthy lifestyle…

Eating healthy and exercising is what’s called for here… So as a crafter I take this to basically mean a diet free of sawdust, spraypaint and wood splinters from chewing on the end of my paintbrushes. My biggest challenge would be to avoid getting sucked into my deeper than deep space “creative zone”, where the only thing being eaten is my time, and a whole day goes by where I forget to eat real food that doesn’t sparkle or need drying time.

Exercise is easy, I get so much exercise from raising my expectations that my resin will dry bubble free, that my paints will dry the same shiny juicy hue they were in the bottle, and that my masterpiece will turn out exactly like it looks on Pinterest, that I am practically as ripped as Superman… mentally though, not physically, which is good thing, I guess.

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“Give up the short-term mindset”

So this one’s about long term goaling with short term habiting for normal people… Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had to wait for paint to dry or for Herbert Evans to have an art sale, but only true creatives and visionaries are able to wait for that end goal, no matter the days, hours or months that must go by. Crafters are among those rarest of humans in this world that have mastered the patience skill to levels that are almost supernatural when it comes to their creations. Because they have to. Because fingerprints and smudges when wet.

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“Give up playing small”

Okay, so this one is a bit tricky… don’t shrink down to accommodate others feelings and don’t be afraid to fail. I don’t know many crafters that accept compliments on their work with, “Yes, thank you, I know how super awesomely talented I am, and how mind meltingly amazing my work is”… modesty is a hard thing to give up for creative geniuses such as myself. I do know that I’m not afraid to fail though. If I can try to make something new, or test out some new craft, I will… no fear of the unknown there, no sir, and my overcrowded cupboards of every craft material known to man will prove that. I think what I should really give up here as a crafter is my small house that can’t contain my wool, paints, spray paints, brushes, decoupage, scrapbooking, markers, colouring books… there’s more but you get the gist.

“Give up your excuses”

Yes yes, an artist never blames his tools, fish paste etc.… but seriously… crafters have some leeway with this one, surely. I mean, I just cannot pour resin on a project if the resin has dust in it, or if the cup has resin in it, actually, I just can’t pour resin. If you think that’s an excuse, go try it… I dare you, kiss your floors goodbye. Resin aside, bakers can’t bake without sugar… oh, they can? Never mind. Then think of a knitter who doesn’t have needles or an artist who must use his hands to paint and doesn’t have any,  no, wait… You know what? Crafters are awesome and they don’t make any excuses to create, resin is just dumb, and that’s what I’ll give up to be successfully sane.

“Give up the fixed mindset”

Change your mindset that talent alone is what it takes to succeed, and that you don’t have to put in effort as well. Um… look, I don’t know how other people’s fixed mindsets work, but as a crafter, I know that as talented as I may think I am, ain’t no painting going to be painting itself just by having my super talented self stand next to a canvas. The only fixed mindset I would have to give up as a crafter is I don’t have enough spray paint colours, because no one can achieve greatness with a mere twenty colours.

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“Give up believing in the “magic bullet”.”

So normal people cannot believe in the magic of overnight success and must give it up. No, sorry, not going to happen… I am creative, and this idea of a magic bullet appeals to me, and you used the word magic, which is my kryptonite. Now I’m fixated on a magic bullet and what it can do, and does it come from a magic gun too? Maybe wielded by a magic person… Also, as a crafter, overnight success is actually a thing… you paint it, it dries, overnight… success.

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“Give up your perfectionism”

Ugh… really do I have to? No, I’m a crafter and making things perfectly is kind of a thing… I can’t make something knowing it not perfect. Hours must be spent examining said creation for any small blemish until it’s pronounced as complete… or is that just me? I get that most things can’t be perfect, like the family dinner you cook, that has some glitter in it, or your child’s hair you brush for school… that has some glitter in it. But my crafts must be perfect, and generally glitter tends to makes them that.

“Give up multi-tasking”

Look, I have to say I agree with this one. My life as a crafter would be a lot better if I focused on one thing, and didn’t have to spend five minutes, every five minutes, looking for the thing I just put down five seconds ago. This one’s universal, crafter or no.

“Give up your need to control everything”

Oh no problems here… given up, gone, forgotten. As a crafter, you learn this lesson a lot. Nothing will teach you that you are not in control more than a dirty acrylic pour or a dropped stitch if you a beginner at knitting. Been there, done that… got the dirty floors and tangled wool balls that were meant to be jerseys to show for it.

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“Give up saying YES to things that don’t support your goals”

This one is a brain teaser… you’ll find that if you’re creative, invariably you’ll be asked to help with a lot of things where ideas and glitter are required. However, most crafters have a goal in life… to always be crafting, so really… if you’re helping Aunty Liz hand make wedding decorations, or baking themed cupcakes for Cousin Johnny’s birthday… you’re saying yes a lot, but also to crafting. So it’s a win-win in my eyes.

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“Give up the toxic people”

Another one I think also applies to all crafters… including me… maybe only me, I don’t know. I must stop talking like I’m the United Nations of Craft here. Personally speaking, if I encounter people who cannot see the dancing rainbow unicorn in my abstract art, or the genius of tying sticks together to make super interesting home décor, I know I should either ditch them, or give them the sticks for Christmas. No one needs the kind of negativity you get when someone is bad smell squinting at your masterpieces. Also, on the subject… I should wear masks when spray painting, it’s not only people that are toxic.

“Give up your need to be liked”

Goes hand in hand with step 12 of what to junk in your life. Except… as a crafter it’s more about caring that people like what you make more than liking you. So give that up by order of the United Nations of Craft. Not everyone is going to see your dancing unicorn vision. In a perfect world, everyone, including you, is Bob Ross-ish, genuinely awesome, amazingly talented too, and all the trees are happy. If that’s not your world, guess what? You’re an artist! You can just make whatever world you want, out of tinfoil and papermache, you’re like a crafty MacGyver with Heritage Modge Podge and Glue Gun and no one can stop you escaping reality.

“Give up your dependency on Social Media and Television”

So I’m just going to go and YouTube a How to Make Handmade Christmas Cards, while I ask my Craft Group for suggestions on Wedding Decorations, and check Pinterest for pictures of Unicorns, while I update my Instagram Feed with pictures of my current project progress. I find this to be a toxic request that I have to give up, because I need to say yes to things that support my goals. The internet supports my creative goals with ideas. #lol #aintgonnahappen

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There are valid points made in the original article, and you should probably go read that, a lot more profesh than my ramblings. As for me… I’m just going to stick to what makes me happy, and give up what doesn’t… it’s what Bob would do.

Happy Bobbing
Nicole@Voetsy
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Howzit Halloween!

So yes, Halloween in South Africa may not be the all out boo-nanza it is in America… but it does seem as though every year the Halloween spirit is rising. Two puns, one sentence… not bad.

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So what’s the big deal about Halloween? We could enthrall you with the history of the day, the obviously fascinating origins and the tantalizing taboos… but we’re pretty sure you know how to work the Google machine just as well as we do, so we’ll skip on that and get to the good stuff…

The Sweeties…oviaas!

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For anyone who has children, you will understand (every other day of the week) that the idea of pretending to be your favorite someone or something is appealing (it’s why we hate Barney, be honest), but added to that, the concept of free candy from strangers WITH your parents’ permission? Little minds blown! And for those of us bigger children, remaining anonymous behind a Crazy Store mask whilst facilitating the intake of free sweets to sneak from your kids later may also have its appeal, I don’t know, maybe… speaking for a friend, ahem.

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It’s a fun thing to get into for kids and bigger kids, so check out this great article from Joburg.co.za for an all you need to know run down on the freaky fun next week.

Happy Halloweening!
The Voetsy Blog Team

Get into the Halloween spirit with some creepy cool products available right here on voetsy from our fab vendors:

Click on the image to view product details!

Trick or Treat Bags!
Matches your costume!
Creepy Tee!
Spooky stickers for cards or planners!

The Art of Embellishing

Making Magic

There is no end to the upcycle magic you can create with embellishments. Also known as appliqués or furniture mouldings, these little pieces can have a big impact when you’re wanting to give something a fresh new look.

They’re made from wood or resin, and there are benefits to both. Resin embellishments will allow you to apply on curved or uneven surfaces, because of their pliability. Wooden embellishments are more expensive and are used on wooden pieces when wanting to get the same traditional look and feel on a wood project.

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Create & Save

Not only can you save yourself a ton of money by upcycling existing pieces of furniture you have rather than buying them new, you’ll also have the endless satisfaction of looking at a beautiful piece in your home that you created. You could take an old side table or wardrobe and turn it into a masterpiece, or give your kitchen a makeover fit for a magazine spread. You could also give your plants a gorgeously elegant home with just a coat of paint and an embellishment or two.

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It’s Easy!

Normally you’d think it would take a heap of effort to get such a fantastic result, but the best part of this is how easy it is to do. You really just need to select your paint colour, choose a beautiful embellishment, sand, stick, paint and admire.

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Get Inspired

If you have a look around your home, we’re willing to bet there are a number of things you can see that would be beautiful with embellishments, hopefully we’ve inspired you to make something magical!

 

Happy Upcycling!
The Voetsy DIY Blog Team

Along with giving you inspiration, we also have all the products you’ll need right here on Voetsy! Our vendors are super passionate about their products so you’ll get fantastic support and advice too! Click on below images to view a wide variety of handmade resin embellishments from Surita’s creations, and SA’s number one selling chalk paint from Granny B’s.

7 Awesome Heritage Day Events

Heritage Day is just around the corner! So we did a bit of googling and found some great things you and the family (or your furbabies) can do that’s different from the traditional “Tjop and Dop” at home.

Jo”Burg Events
Magaliesburg Express

How is this for something different? The kids will love spending a day riding a “real-life” choo choo and the grown ups can sit back, relax and enjoy a slower pace for a change and watch some gorgeous scenery go by. It’s a full day trip to and from Magaliesburg that includes yummy food on board, picnics, swimming, market browsing and even helicopter flips! Find more information on https://www.reefsteamers.com/Timetable/Magaliesburg-Express/ or visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/515706765549619/

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Muddy Puppy

Are you an active Furmom or Furdad? This is the event for you. You can treat yourself and your four-legged bff to a day out and enjoy a 2km or 4km obstacle course. Only, we wouldn’t recommend wearing your designer anythings, the name of the event says it all, it’s going to get messy! It’s for a good cause though, portions of sales go to the Wollies Animal Project. For more information check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/octmuddypuppy/

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Market on Main

Top local food and design entrepreneurs showcase their talents every Sunday in the heart of Jo-burg. You can get your shop on and experience all the local delicious-ness in the beautiful setting that Maboneng has to offer. There is nothing more Heritage Day than supporting local business! You can find more info at http://marketonmain.co.za/ or on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MarketOnMain. Don’t forget to like their page while you’re there!

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Heritage Exhibition

The CANSA Pretoria Art Gallery @ Brooklyn will be hosting a late afternoon group art exhibition. The Pretoria Weavers guild will form part of the exhibition, and you will get to see amazing works, all made by hand, and experience a traditional practice that is wonderfully African. Find more information her http://gaufestival.com/event/heritage-exhibition/ or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/718309631673551/

Antique and Collectibles Fair

You can take a step back in time and shop for items that are little pieces of history. Fittingly hosted at the Voortrekker Monument, on the roof of the large amphitheater, this is one market you don’t want to miss if you have a love of antiques and all things old fashioned and vintage. Get more information at http://gaufestival.com/event/antiquefair/ and view past event pics at https://www.facebook.com/VTM1AntiqueFair.Antiekmark/

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Family Braai Day

So if your Heritage Day is all about the braai, why not take it up a notch and switch your braai venue to somewhere gorgeously scenic, like the Pretoria Botanical Gardens? This year, they are unveiling a brand new braai area, and there will be lots of fun activities for the kids. There will be live music and comedy performances as well, so pack your picnic bag for a super family day. Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/events/1555172214791874/

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Cape Town Events

There’s a myriad of events taking place in Cape Town, from AfroFest to numerous lunch events at Wine Estates. The one that stood out for us is the launch of Wild Waters at Wiesenhoff Adventure Park in Stellenbosch. This event is a great way to spend a day, and because it’s a launch, they’re offering an all access day pass to the park. You can pack a picnic bag or your braai, and have a day filled with fun and sun. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Find out more at https://www.vibescout.com/za/post/heritage-braai-day or check out the Facebook event on https://www.facebook.com/WiesenhofAdventures/

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Happy Heritage Day Planning!

The Voetsy Blog Team