Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Warped and Whorly Wood

Whilst on a walk in nearby woods a few months ago, I discovered this fantastic wood!

Towards the end of my favourite route, some trees had been cut back. All the sawn off branches had just been left at the side of the pathway.

That was where I found these lovely pieces! I love how different branches have twisted and grown around and into each other to create unusual shapes.

Of course, it was all covered in dried mud, with the occasional dead bug and some paint.

This wood also had a case of woodworm, so it was banished to our (metal and glass) conservatory until I could deal with it.
Nanny supplied some woodworm treatment and I gave the wood several coats...

...Then left it for a couple of weeks when I got distracted by other things.

Thankfully, Dad found some varnish when he was clearing out the garage, so I was all set to finish the project!
I sanded the wood lightly to remove the paint and smooth up some of the rough bits. (Really, I should have done this right off the bat.) Ended up utterly covered in muck after this!

Each piece of wood got a coat of varnish. It really helped to bring out the colour!
In the picture, you can see the varnished part (top) versus unvarnished (bottom).
Please ignore all the junk in the background :)

Once I’d given the varnish a few days to cure, I was left with these lovely, finished pieces.

As of yet, I haven’t decided on a place for the big piece. The two smaller pieces are propped up on the top of my bookshelf (no picture of this because I haven’t dusted!)

I’m now trying to decide on whether I can turn these into something functional...

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Etsy Store Grand Opening!

After much hard work and an afternoon of listings, my Etsy store, Unfortunately Oh, is now ready for its grand opening!

Here there be Monstars...
(nice ones)

...key necklaces large...

...and key necklaces small...

...crystals for you neck...

...and crystals for your coat...

...and many things in between.

At present the store contains necklaces, earrings, brooches, bracelets and Monstars.

Everything in found at the Unfortunately Oh Etsy Store is one of a kind and the majority has been constructed from a combination of new and upcycled components, so you can earn some good green karma points with your unique items!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


I have a question for those of you that have an Etsy store:

Do you use your real name on Etsy?

Etsy's help section states:
Your full name is not intended to be your business or shop name, but rather a means of identifying yourself on Etsy. You full name can be your actual full name, just your first name, initials, a nickname, etc. 

I rarely use my real name online--in fact, I only use it on Facebook! My unwillingness to do so is partly because I don't like giving out personal information online, partly because it doesn't 'feel' like my name (only my family use it) but also because it feels somewhat unprofessional and clumsy to say (especially my surname!)

So I'd rather use a pseudonym... Though I'm curious about what everybody else does.

Some feedback would be really great, so what do you think?

Monday, 14 January 2013

This or That

Amanda of City Girl Gone Coastal has started up another link party! This time the theme is 'This or That'

Pepsi or Coke: Coke, at a push, though I don't tend to drink fizzy drinks (they give me indigestion!)

Dog or Cat: Cat. I've grown up around cats and can't imagine not having any!

Movie or Book: Book. You can read a book in a lot more places than you can watch a movie!

Twitter or Facebook: Twitter wins this one because it annoys me less :)

Book or E~reader: Book. You can't beat the smell and feel of paper (especially with old books!)

Tea or Coffee: Tea! I can't stand coffee (though coffee chocolate/cake/etc is good)

Ketchup or Brown Sauce: Ketchup. It's good with a bacon butty!

Sweet or Savoury: Savoury, for now. I've been on a savoury kick lately.

Red or White: Red!

Bath or Shower: Shower. It's quicker and uses less water and cleaning hair dye out of the shower tray is much easier than trying to clean it out of a bath!

Pub or Wine Bar: Pub, especially if it's a particularly quirky or old-fashioned one (there is a pub next to the church in Seaford, Sussex, which has meerkats in the wall!)

PJ’s or Nekkid: PJs, especially the sort that have a shirt-like top. Super comfortable!

Mickey Mouse or Danger Mouse: Danger Mouse! He's the greatest, he's fantastic.

IPod or Walkman: iPod. I can put lots of songs on one tiny device and therefore have to lug less things on trips with me! :D

Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate. Mmm...

Frank Sinatra or Sam Cooke: Frank Sinatra because he's the only one I've heard of...

Original or Improved: Original. As they say, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.'

Glass or Plastic: Glass. It's more widely recyclable!

Pancakes or Waffles: Pancakes. With sugar and lemon.

Home or Away: Home. I love to travel and see different places and different countries, but nothing beats home!

Amanda announced a decision to have a linky every week--looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next week!
If you want to join in, head on over to City Girl Gone Coastal to check it out!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Heart Sun Catcher DIY

Now that Christmas is over, I can share this new tutorial! I made the sun catcher in the picture as a present for my mum, so I couldn’t post until now in case she saw!

This is slightly fiddly to put together – one of those projects that could do with an extra hand or two – but the method is relatively simple! 

DIY beaded crystal suncatcher tutorial

You’ll need:
Beading wire (I used .012 diameter)
Jewellery wire (I used approx 2mm wire)
Lots of small beads and/or crystal chip beads
Large clear bead/charm for the centre
1 split ring
Jump rings

Tape measure
Wire cutters
Flat-nosed pliers
Round-nosed pliers

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Goals for the Year Ahead

I have a confession to make.

I don’t make New Year resolutions.

Many years ago, I made a resolution to not make any more resolutions--I always broke them by the middle of January, anyway.

Or I set myself resolutions that were unachievable or impossible, such as ‘Get brace off by September’. (My adventure into orthodontics lasted around six years!)

I found that by setting myself resolutions, I was putting pressure on myself to attain them, even if they were impossible. And when I didn’t succeed?

I felt like a failure.
(And believe me, I am an expert in feeling like a failure.)

For a long time, I’ve not thought of making any changes, come the New Year. Sure, I’ve considered things such as, ‘I must stop eating so much junk food’ or ‘I must see my friends more often this year.’ But I’ve never resolved nor challenged myself to do those things.

Again, it all amounts to putting pressure on myself.

This year, I’ve decided to stop being so lazy and avoidant.

I have set myself some goals…

01. Make 100 unique necklaces
02. Start up an etsy store to sell said necklaces!
03. Create some sewn items to sell on etsy, too
04. Prepare blog posts much further in advance…
05. …but don’t get bogged down with following ‘blogging trends’ (unless they’re interesting to me)
06. Likewise don’t feel pressured to create ‘seasonal’ crafts/posts (Halloween crafts at Easter? Why not!)
07. Get a hair cut. Seriously. It needs doing.
08. Practice photography, both for blogging and in general
09. Write more original fiction outside of NaNoWriMo.
10. Have a big clear out and sell things on ebay.
11. Use Royal Pavilion & Museums membership card more before it expires!
12. Paint.
13. Finish reading ‘Tired of London, Tired of Life’ and actually do some of the stuff in it.
14. Complete ‘Wreck This Journal’ (I got one for Christmas and its so much fun)
15. Write more ‘personal’ blog posts (like this one!)

This is a combination of a to-do list and a wish list: things I would like to achieve or do.

 Unlike resolutions, I am not committing to do everything.
I am committing to attempt these things.

Undoubtedly, I will change my mind about some goals!
I lose motivation sometimes. Or I’ll look further into something, and decide it’s not for me.
Or I’ll just plain lose interest. I tried to do 101/1001 once, and about a year in realised I wasn’t interested in half the things I had listed!

Likewise, I might add other goals…

So, how many of these goals will I achieve by the end of 2013?

Who knows! Better watch this space to find out! :)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

50 Things About Me

Over on City Girl Gone Coastal, Amanda started up a blog hop, '50 Things About Me'.

I thought I would join in--it's a great idea and a fun way of finding out things about each other!

These will be random things, because I doubt I could think up fifty sensible things about myself, but here goes!

01. Kei is not my real name, but has been a nickname (in various forms) since 1999
02. I don't feel that my real name is 'the real me'.
03. I went through a phase of hanging the mirror above my desk crookedly...
04. One day it fell off the wall, but that's okay because I replaced it with a necklace board.
05. I have only ever had one paid job. My first day was the day the shop found out they were closing down. 
06. I'd really like to sell the things I make...
07. ...and am looking into opening an etsy shop this year!
08. Meanwhile, I've been volunteering at an awesome charity shop for several years.
09. Volunteering has helped me find new channels for creativity!
10. I have grown up with pet cats...
11. ...we've had anything from 2 to 7 cats in the household at any one time but at present there are five.
12. I meow at them and they meow back (yeah, crazy cat lady alert).
13. I have never quite grown out of eating the occasional Pot Noodle.
14. I don't go follow trends unless I genuinely like them.
15. Though I don't speak the language, I love Japanese rock music.
16. When I was 9, I won a weekly short story competition on Teletext
17. It was called 'The Ghost of the Guillotine'.
18. I still love to write, but haven't entered any competitions since! 
19. Sometimes I notice really random, tiny little details in things...
20. Other times I completely miss the most obvious.
21. Since childhood I've been interested in ancient Egypt and love looking at related pictures.
22. History-wise, I've also been interested in the Tudor era! 
23. I definitely don't feel my age (I feel younger).
24. I like anime and manga.
25. I have moments of completely losing the thread of what I'm saying.
26. In 2005 I was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy...
27. ...and haven't had a seizure since going on medication (yay medication!)
28. I liked most subjects in school, barring PSVE, PE and maths.
29. I was born on the 29th of April.
30. I never read sponsored posts.
31. Family are important to me.
32. I haven't had a boyfriend in forever, but I haven't really been looking either!
33. I am a bit of a Sherlockian.
34. Also a bit of a Whovian.
35. In general, I am very patient...
36. ...but when I lose my temper, I rant. A lot.
37. I don't like war films.
38. Motivation is, at times, difficult for me.
39. When writing lists like this, I sometimes forget my full stops.
40. I don't like beer
41. But I like wine and spirits
42. Fizzy drinks give me hiccups!
43. Of all my education (school/college/uni) I enjoyed college the most...
44. ...I made a really great friend there!
45. It really gets my goat when I get emails from companies wanting me to make a sponsored post or run a giveaway (but it's only valid for residents of the USA).
46. For the record, I live in England.
47. For the record, I will only ever write about things that I believe in.
48. My feet are big--UK 8.5-9
49. I like the surreal and unusual
50. It was really hard to think of 50 things! 

I'd love to find out more about other people! If you want to join in, head on over to City Girl Gone Coastal and check it out!
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