Bear hugs

This week we’ve finally got around to uploading a new print, a trio of bears (we’ve been meaning to do it for ages).

3 little bears lifestyleIn celebration we thought we would dedicate this weeks Treasury Tuesday to all things bear. We’ve curated a gorgeous collection of bear goodies including jewellery, illustrations, ceramics, greetings cards, cushions, textiles and more! If you love bears and need a bear hug you’re in the right place! These goodies can be bought here on Etsy: Bear hugs by Rose Filtered

BEARHUGS

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Featuring Hope the Black Dog

Welcome to this week’s Feature Friday! This week we introduce the lovely Amy Donoghue from Hope the Black Dog

square logo (1)Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?
Hi! I’m Amy from hope the black dog, and I make DIY kits and gifts promoting positivity and mental health awareness. I donate £1 from every sale to Mind charity. I’m based in Nottingham and I live with my fiancé and my two pet rats, Marie and Rosa.

Do you sell on any other platforms?
My best selling platform is actually through Instagram , I do a lot of giveaways and discounts on there, and I love the friendly community that I’m part of over there.

Tell us a little bit about how and where you work?
I have different “stations” around the house where I do different tasks. I do any sewing on the sofa in front of the TV, I make necklaces at the dining table, I take my photos in the spare room under the window, and I package and wrap my parcels in the corner of the living room!

hopetheblackdogWhat inspires your work?
When I was diagnosed with Anxiety, it was actually about 15 years too late. And the reason for this was because I just didn’t know anything about mental illness. I thought depression was just about self-harm and I felt like the only conversations happening about mental health were in a negative light. What I wanted to do with Hope the Black Dog is promote discussion about the realities of living with mental illness. I wanted to talk positively about it, about the huge victories that we have every day, and how much stronger, empathetic and understanding our struggles make us. And by making it pretty, and making it empowering, it encourages people to talk, to get help and to understand.

sashayawayI am just wondering if you want to talk in any more detail about your journey getting help?  It’s been a really long journey from my childhood anxiety to where I am now. I didn’t understand ANYTHING about mental illness, so for a very long time I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. I didn’t think that people like me got things like that. It wasn’t until a friend very similar to me admitted to having depression when we were at University together that I began to realise that anyone can have a mental health problem. I started investigating all of the physical symptoms that I was having, and all of them could be related to Anxiety (things like digestive troubles, acne, back pains, food intolerances, thinning hair, fatigue …. ). So that was when I went into the doctors and after bursting out crying for about ten minutes, I eventually managed to get the words out “I think I have anxiety”. It wasn’t until about a year later that I was able to admit to myself that I had suffered from depression too. I felt like it would be insulting to my family, or mean that I have failed at picking a satisfying job, or my friends were letting me down. I know that’s complete rubbish NOW but at the time it was terrifying. The doctors were so kind and so patient with me, and referred me to therapy, and explained my options when it came to medication too. I’ve been going back and getting more advice and more help on a monthly basis, and I’ve had two separate courses of CBT, as well as a couple of medications, and now I feel like I’ve got my life back. Sure, the side effects are difficult, but I feel like I’m getting back to the happy, carefree girl I was before the anxiety took hold, and I’m going to keep working hard to cherish that!

ilovemyblackdogWhat you would advise someone to do if they think they might need help? My advice would be, if you’re even suspicious about a mental health issue, please go and talk about it. The doctors have heard far worse and won’t be baffled, and if you don’t feel like they handle it as well as you’d like – go see another one until someone does. It’s scary but it is so, so worth it.

How do you find managing a business on your bad days – if in fact you still have bad days? It can be hard when you’re having a bad day. My bad days aren’t as bad as they used to be, but they do come along. I do a “little quit” where I accept that I’m not going to get anything done right at this moment on the business side, I give myself a rest, and then when I’m ready I do something else. Even if it’s something small like making a cup of tea. Do one tiny thing. Eventually I’ll either feel like I’m ready to do some work, or I’ll try and be kind to myself that at least I did something today. Aim for a non-zero day so that tomorrow you won’t feel bad about yesterday.

Speaking from my own experience I think openly talking about mental health with your partner is one of the most rewarding and valuable things you can do. I wonder how much you would say this is true and what your experience is of this? My fiance and I have been together for about 7 years now, and for 5 of those years I had no idea I was dealing with mental illnesses. When I decided to talk to my doctors about it, I mentioned it to Matthew and he didn’t bat an eyelid. He wasn’t judgy, or flippant, he didn’t try and persuade me that it “was just a phase” or tell me “you’re just stressed” as I was expecting. He gave me a hug, he made me a cup of tea and we talked about why I thought I had anxiety. He’s not a man of many words but the ones he did say were just right. We talk openly about the limits of my anxiety, and he’s very understanding when I message him 85 times because I had a horrible vision that he might have been attacked on the way home, or that I throw a huge tantrum when he leaves a cupboard door open, even though I’ve made a mess of the whole rest of the house! He’s so pleased and proud of my journey, not just that I’m a much nicer person to live with now that I have learned to cope better, but because we are both so pleased to have mental health talked about so much more openly.

positive pantsI can relate to so much of that! Many congratulations on your engagement, Matthew sounds so supportive… so have you set a date for the wedding yet?
Yes, we’re having a very laid back, floral affair in London with a fish and chip tea! Quite vintagey and a lot of recycled flowery fabrics.

Oooh – sounds lovely and like a lot of fun pulling all the vintage bits and bobs together! What  are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on my newest product line which is embroidered “body-positive” pants. The diet culture and social expectation upon females in particular, but everybody generally, is so damaging for our self-esteem and positivity. These pants are embroidered with empowering words to give you a boost under your clothes!

What a fantastic idea, I’ll be sure to check them out when they’re launched. How have you found your Etsy journey so far?
I have absolutely loved it. I found the social media side really hard at first, until I found Instagram. The best thing has been meeting so many wonderful people who have become close friends already, particularly within the Nottingham Etsy Team. Sales are picking up and my presence is growing!

That’s fantastic to hear and encouragement to newbie sellers like to me to keep going with it! Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers?
Just start. Don’t wait until you think it’s perfect, make a start and work on it from there. It takes time and the sooner you begin, the sooner you will start succeeding!

 

Sounds like very good advice to anyone on the Etsy Resolution course who still hasn’t opened their shops! It’s easy to get stuck in the mindset of perfecting something, never feeling it is good enough and then not moving forward. I’m glad that I just went for it in the end as opening the shop is just the beginning, things will always be getting improved along the way.

Your favourite make so far?
My first make, and my first sale was the kit for ‘Anxiety Is My Super Power‘. I made this because it summed up my feelings about my anxiety. Yes, it’s been terrifyingly hard at times, but Anxiety has also made me achieve so much. It’s also the basis for changing my life and creating my little business, which has been the best thing I have ever done.

Your best seller?
Until recently, it was my ‘This Too Shall Pass’ kit , it’s a very powerful message to lots of people. And since I listed it, my ‘Hug’ Boxes are doing really well too!

 

My favorite makes from the shop are the ‘W’ anchor necklace (you have to check out this cheeky little make, it’s so cool), the ‘Above All Be Kind’ embroidery hoop, ‘Paralysis by Analysis’ and ‘Pijamas All Day’ embroidery hoops as well as all the cute little necklaces. For the sewers out there the little sewing pin emboridery hoops necklaces are a must! There is so much more in the shop to treat yourself to! 

What’s next for your shop?
More clothing kits, more craft fairs and more sales!

Your Etsy crush?
So many! I absolutely adore Deborah Panesar Illustration , as a business woman and as a person.

I am also so grateful for the introduction of CMarshallArts into my life, both personally and professionally.

They are both very talented, I love their customized pet portraits, gorgeous! Your favourite Etsy purchase?
My favourite Etsy purchase is one in the making! The lovely Dawn from DawnysSewingRoom is currently working on a craft fair money belt for me in a gorgeous bright pink flamingo fabric. I already know it’s going to be amazing!

Thanks for that, I love the bright pink flamingo fabric, I’m sure you’re money belt will make quite the statement!  The beer bottle top apron is a great idea for a fathers day gift too!

Thanks so much to Amy for getting involved this week. For me personally it’s refreshing to see products that celebrate and highlight metal health in such a positive way. I think Amy is incredibly courageous to talk so openly and honestly about her story, I find her a real inspiration. All of her positive mental health embroidery hoops and embroidered gifts are available to buy in her shop… please pop over and say hi if you are on Instagram, it’s fab account!  Amy is contactable across social media platforms, please do show some support: 

Etsy shop: hopetheblackdog.etsy.com
Instragram: Instagram.com/hopetheblackdog
Facebook: facebook.com/hopetheblackdog
Pinterest: pinterest.com/hopetheblackdog
Twitter: twitter.com/h0petheblackd0g
website: www.hopetheblackdog.com

See you next week where we will be speaking to the very talented Becky Hogan from Little Wisteria… can’t wait!

Leanne x

PS I’ve quickly run off and bagged myself two DawnysSewingRoom pink flamingo bandannas for my pooches, couldn’t resist! Readers can watch this space… I’ll upload a picture very soon of them sporting their hot pink outfits!

PPS If you love animals then check out this weeks Leapup blog where it’s strictly about the doggie bling… it’s a double bill where we meet two talented Etsy makers. Dog lovers won’t want to miss it! 

Featuring Jes Hooper Pyrography

This week we introduce Jes Hooper. When I saw her illustrations I immediately knew they needed sharing, she’s a very talented lady as I’m sure you’re about to agree!

Introducing Jes Hooper PyographyCould you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?

Picture 1 Jes Hooper, photo credit to Thom Undrell

Photo credit artist and photographer:  Thom Undrell

I am a freehand pyrography (or “wood burning”) artist living in Brighton, Sussex. I am a self taught artist with an interest in animal behaviour and ecology. My material of choice is oak, and I work with local Sussex mills to source reclaimed timber that has interesting grains but would otherwise go to waste. I use large oak planks to create pointillism artwork, where I burn thousands upon thousands of dots into the surface of the wood that merge in the viewers eye to form complex images. I started wood burning in November 2015 as a hobby to lift my spirits during a lengthy time of unemployment. Having never been taught how to draw or burn, I posted my first attempts on Instagram to find there was a keen interest in my work and my art style. That month I set up my Etsy shop selling small wooden gifts, and just three months later I became a self-employed artist. Now in my shop you will find my original oak artworks and an ever increasing range of personalised home decor and gifts.

My artwork is also on sale at the Oriental Brighton throughout May as part of the Artists Open Houses exhibition, and at Thomas Rainsford Art Gallery in Brighton all year round.  I also sell my artwork and take commissions via my website and I will be attending Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace in September.

Tell us a little bit about how and where you work? 

 

For me, what started as a hobby quickly turned my already cramped bedroom into a chaotic workshop. Pine boards and huge slabs of beech were crammed under my bed, tree branch sections were drying (and often moulding) on all my shelves, and everything from wooden spoons to oak boards and various power tools were precariously stacked in piles on the floor. Essentially, everything you see in my studio pics was once crammed into my bedroom.

Then there was the problem of preparing the wood- I needed space for sanding.  This literally involved me chasing small sections of branch around our conservatory floor with a sander. Fun fact: I have tiny hands! Holding a piece of cross section with one hand and a sander in the other is somewhat of an advanced skill I have yet to master. One day, as I was playing tag with another piece of wood, my dad walks in and gives me a stern look… I’ve covered our entire conservatory in a blanket of sawdust. That’s it I thought-game over. Two minutes later he comes back into the room, and nails in a make shift clamp to the floorboards to make it easier for me – my Dad is one in a million!

A week or two later, we were both hauling out the furniture, and setting up the space as my studio. It has changed my life! I now produce large pointillism pieces which I was previously unable to do for lack of space. I can store all my tools and materials in one place. I can organise everything so I know what stock I have, what pieces I am working on, what materials need preparation, and I have areas for wood drying and oiling/waxing final pieces.

This is all however only a temporary workspace. In the coming months I will be joining my boyfriend, a professional carpenter, and his work colleagues in their new carpentry workshop, which is a beautiful converted barn in the Sussex countryside. I’ll be surrounded by wood, machinery, and farm animals- what more could a girl want?

Your new work space sounds amazing… and idyllic. I hope you manage to get some work done rather than spending all day admiring the views!

What inspires your work? 

noggindude

 

My main inspiration comes from my experiences travelling and working as an animal behaviourist. When I select oak I look carefully at the grain. Often I will place a piece if oak board in my studio in full view whilst I work, spending days glancing at it to really determine what the grain would represent in an animal’s environment. I then burn an image of an animal into the grain in a way which represents it’s interaction with its natural habitat. For example, “Noggin dude” (two sea turtles) depicts two sea turtles surfing the current, as sea turtles in the wild use currents as a tool for migrating to their breeding and feeding sites.

What are you currently working on? 

Picture 7 giclee printAt the moment I am working on a special collection of limited edition giclee prints. I really wanted to make my artwork accessible to everyone, which is not always possible to do when each pyrography piece takes weeks (if not months) to complete and are one-of-a kind art pieces that cannot be reproduced. Prints on the other hand, are a great way to offer affordable artwork, making my artwork accessible to more people.

In the past few weeks I have been making a start on a collection of ocean inspPicture 6. Giclee printired pointillism artwork on paper, to accompany my pyrography artwork. Like my pyrography work each drawing is comprised of thousands upon thousands of dots drawn freehand, which merge in the viewers eye to form detailed images. Each drawing is reproduced as a giclee print, the highest quality in fine art printing, all printed locally to me in Brighton to support the local art community.

How have you found your Etsy journey so far?

I am relatively new to Etsy, having set up my shop in late November 2015 when I started pyrography as a hobby. I have found Etsy is a great way to display art and craft and offers a unique opportunity to interact with people from all over the world. I love the way in which it is a personal platform which allows sellers to show not only their craft but their creative journey and their inspirations. I am still working hard to make my Etsy shop the best it can be, but the support from different Etsy teams and administrators is really helpful and I have found a supportive home in the online Etsy communities.

Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers?

My biggest lesson learned so far has been product photography. I found taking pictures of my work was quite challenging when working from home as I had limited space and natural light. With practice and a lot of trial and error I now have pictures that I am happy with, though I am always learning and improving where I can.

Your favourite make so far?

My favourite make so far has been my seahorse art pieces, because I can create endless shapes and patterns working with the grain and different burning techniques.

Your best seller?

My best seller on etsy is my homeware range, with my personalised wooden utensil sets a particular favourite. I like making utensil sets because the small surface space presents a unique challenge in design and intricate burning. I also love to create personalised items because I get an insight into the person who the item is intended for, like being let in to a strangers life for just a moment.

Your Etsy crush?

It has to be “Pocket Moss“, a shop run by Zoee Nuage. Zoee make the most magically cute folklore accessories. Plus, mushrooms. You have to check out her shop to understand!

There are so many cute and adorable makes, I can see why you love it!

pocketmoss

 

What’s your favourite Etsy purchase?

My favourite Etsy purchase so far is a lovely little coin purse made by TotesByWendy. I always find myself perusing through material wares. I can’t work out how to thread a sewing machine let alone make something!

 Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’?

Etsy: www.JesHooperPyrography.etsy.com

Website: www.jeshooper.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jeshooperpyrography

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jeshooperpyrography

Twitter: www.twitter.com/JesHooperArt

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jeshooperpyrography

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/JesHooperArt

Handmade Fair: http://www.thehandmadefair.com/whats-on/shopping/jes-hooper

Thanks so much to Jes and please pop over and take a look at her lovely makes and if you can go and say hello on social media I’m sure she’d love to hear from you. Every little bit of support you give means so much to artists and makers! In the shop there’s lots more to see and it’s well worth a look!

Next Friday on Rose Filtered we will be featuring Amy Donoghue from Hope the Black Dog I hope you can make it!

Leanne x

PS if you’ve still got time we have something completely different over on the Leapup blog this week… we feature Laura Bittles from Ip Dip Design with her quirky, colourful designs, well worth a look. Enjoy!

The recipe for deconstructing a dandelion clock

Ingredients

  • Canon EOS 450D
  • Sigma DC 18-50 f2.8 EX lens
  • Tripod
  • An intact dandelion clock
  • Blu-tack
  • Tweezers
  • Black bed sheet
  • Too much time on my hands
  • Persistence
  • A healthy amount of anal retentiveness

Method

Step 1 – find a healthy looking dandelion clock

This proved to be an easy task. I went down to my local park and they were there in abundance. I selected the best looking one then realised what step two would entail….

Step 2 – get in-tact dandelion clock back home

Given these things have evolved to be masters of wind borne seed dispersal this was not as easy as I first thought. Let’s just say my journey home attracted a few strange looks from passers-by.

Step 3 – set up studio

My original plan was to photograph the dandelion in colour against a black background. I hung the black bed sheet on the wall behind the dining room table which was positioned next to a south facing window for optimum natural light conditions. I set up my tripod and placed a reflector (home made from scrunched up tin-foil stuck to a piece of card. Hey – it works brilliantly) opposite the window to reflect some natural light and fill the shadows.

Step 4 – get photographing!

The first photo was of the whole dandelion clock. This proved to be the easiest shot as it was a case of simply holding the dandelion in front of the lens. I don’t own a dedicated macro lens (though I would love one) but my trusty Sigma lens has a very close minimum focussing distance which came in very handy here. I shot at the maximum focal length of 50mm and went for an aperture of f11 to give good overall sharpness but soften the edges of the seeds.

IMG_5478

Step 5 – deconstruct

Once I was happy with the ‘full clock’ photo I started the deconstructed images. I began by carefully removing an individual seed using a secretly commandeered pair of Leanne’s eyebrow tweezers (shhh.. don’t tell her) and positioning it in front of the lens, rooted in a blob of blu-tack. I moved the camera in as close as my lens would allow at 50mm and shot at f16 for good depth of field. All that was left was  a bit of Photoshop work to re-create the bottom of the seed that had been lost in the blu-tack.

IMG_5483

Step 6 – the ring of irritation (yes, I realise how that sounds…)

I had subconsciously left the most challenging shot until last. I wanted a perfect circle of individual dandelion seeds to mirror the shape of the original dandelion clock but show a simple, uncluttered composition highlighting the essence of the dandelion. All very well in theory – not so easy in practice! Employing the same blu-tack tweezer method as for the single seed I intricately placed 7 seeds in a perfect semi-circle…… did I say perfect semi-circle? Well, after reviewing the first batch of shots they were all far from perfect. This is where I had to draw on my many hours of playing Operation as a child. If I could remove all those organs without a single buzz then I could damn well make a perfect semi-circle of dandelion seeds! After a LOT of intricate tweezer work I eventually got a shot I was happy with (the persistence and healthy amount of anal retentiveness well and truly used up by this point).

Next up was a lot of intricate Photoshop work to clone out the blu-tack and re-create the missing seed ends.

IMG_5495

Step 7 – Computer time

To create the full circle of seeds I took the semi-circle image and flipped it 180 degrees to create the bottom half of the circle then cloned out the overlapping seeds. So now I had my final set of dandelion images against a black background but I wasn’t happy with the final look. I played around with the levels but still wasn’t happy with them. I decided to try inverting the images in Photoshop. This converted the black background to white and turned the dandelions blue – a little strange, so I desaturated the images to make them black and white and adjusted the levels to improve the contrast.

Conclusion

I finished off with some careful cropping and finally ended up with a set of images I was pleased with. I hope you enjoy them too! Our deconstructed dandelion print is available to buy here in our Etsy shop.

 

Rustic_dandelion_3square

The Rose Filtered ‘Feature Friday’ starts this week!

I’m really excited to announce that Rose Filtered’s first ‘Feature Friday’ will start this week. This is your chance to meet an Etsy artist, maker, designer each week and find out about what they do, why they do it, their learning curve selling on Etsy and of course gives a fantastic opportunity to showcase their latest makes and best sellers. This feature will be published each Friday and is currently only open to Etsy sellers.

If you’re wondering how you can promote your Etsy shop, details on how your small business can be featured will be posted on Friday.

Our first feature will be the very talented Vicky Wade from ‘Tori Lo Designs’  – I look forward to sharing her talent with you and hope you’ll come and say ‘hi’ on Friday!

#RFFF

Say “cheese”

How quickly the Treasury Tuesday comes around!

Here at Rose Filtered HQ we are ever so slightly addicted to retro cameras. Here we have a lovely collection of photography finds and camera related goodies to drool over!

Firstly who wouldn’t want an actual retro camera??? How about a vintage Polaroid in cream with rainbow stripes, available to buy from Purple Lane 168. Watch out though, their store is bursting with retro goodies so you might need your cash at the ready!

There are so many lovely designs this week including a gorgeous embroidery hoop which is so cleverly done by Stitches of Anarchy, a gorgeous pastel camera pin by Fairy Cakes and how about that stylish and highly unusual laser cut necklace including the hands holding the camera by My New Fave  which immediately reminds me of the fabulous series ‘Mad Men’. How about that gorgeous art print of girl with camera by the very talented Terri Hall?

This weeks Treasury Tuesday ‘STAND OUT’ is that lovely cushion with retro camera illustration. STANDOUTcameracushionIt has a fabulously bold mustard and fuchsia colour combo, to really help make a statement in your living room! This gorgeous cushion is designed by the very talented Helena Carrington. Helena also has this same design available to buy in notebooks as well as the inverse colour combination of fuchsia with hints of mustard – her shop is worth a look.

All of the items featured in the treasury below are available to buy here on Etsy: “Say Cheese” Treasury on Etsy by Rose Filtered

SaycheeseSo that’s about it for this week but please don’t forget if you like what you see, please visit the shop and maybe help these talented makers who are all small business by sharing this post or their items on social media. They don’t get the same exposure or footfall as the corporate giants or high street stores, so lets share the love and help get these gorgeous goodies seen!

Enjoy shopping!

Feeling Creative?

Hello creative followers, family and friends just a note to let you know that I have an Etsy voucher that gives you 40 free lsitings on Etsy to sell your products – so you can give it a try and see what you think! If you’re seriously thinking of selling your creative makes on-line you could try starting with an Etsy shop as it’s a seriously low risk strategy, with minimal investment required (logo, your products and that’s about it). Pretty simple really.

Get started selling on Etsy with 40 free listings here: Etsy Voucher – 40 free listings

If you do start a shop using the voucher please let us know, say hello and introduce yourself so that we can come over and offer some support!

Thanks

Leanne x

Monochrome

For this Treasury Tuesday (a day for supporting other Etsy sellers by helping share their lovely products) we’ve pulled together a selection of hand printed loveliness, inspired by our decision to work on a black and white collection of photographs for our shop. There are so many gorgeous black and white hand printed items here… take a closer look you won’t be disappointed!

Hand printed Monochrome Etsy Treasury by Rose Filtered

Hand printed monochrome