News flash! The Free Spirit Designs countdown to Christmas has officially started!
I have just listed this advent calendar in my website and Etsy shop :) Its the first of my Christmassy makes to be available to buy so i felt like marking the occasion..
woo hoo! :)
Re-Useable Linen Advent Calendar
I love the idea of having an advent calendar that you can re-use each year. Its always the first 'bit of Christmas' to appear and i like the idea of greeting it like an old friend in the same way that Christmas decorations are welcomed back into the heart of the home after their long absence.
I also like the idea of not wasting all that packaging every year, although i do think chocolate should be involved - as a child i always remember those little treats being a wonderfully tantalising reminder of the feasting to come.. proper 'grown up' calendars without chocolates are always a bit of a disappointment for me, despite the pretty pictures!
The calendar is not too large at 44.5 x 28.5cms and i've used a double layer of linen so it is a pleasing hanging weight.
The handle and trimming for the edges and the top of the pockets is a pretty Christmassy cotton with red, pink and green highlights. The corner protectors as well as the numbers (which i cut out by hand) are bright pink eco-friendly bamboo felt.
The pockets are 4x4.5cms and there is just room for a little chocolate in each one (the '25' pocket is 5x5cms leaving room for a slightly larger treat on the morning of the big day! :))
I used yummy 'Divine' organic chocolate hearts for the pictures - i have put them away out of site now though incase the new owner of my lovely calendar would like them as they do fit perfectly. If they are left in my field of vision they are bound to get eaten up at a weak moment! :).
I'm pretty pleased with how my calendar turned out so i hope you like it too. It is priced at £30 and is available from my website and Etsy shop.
Supporting Independent British Designer Makers
Like many crafters, although i sell from large online handmade market places like Etsy, Folksy and WTY i also have my own website. One of the tricky aspects of making the most of this selling point is getting people to find it! I am by no means an expert in SEO (search engine optimisation for the uninitiated) but i do know that when people follow external links to your site then it improves its rankings with google and other search engines (thereby increasing the chances of more visitors finding you little corner of cyberspace).
I've been thinking for a little while now that i would like to have a place on my website to put links to sites of other independent British artisans. Supporting the British Handmade industry is something i care a lot about and this seems like a nice way to do it. Also, perhaps some people will feel like popping a link to my website on their own links page, so everyone is a winner!
The thing with the big market places like Etsy is that by there very nature all individual shops are also connected to the greater network. When it comes to independent websites it easy to feel a bit out on a limb, so i like the idea of a bit more connectivity between us 'go it aloners'!
If you like this idea too and you are a British designer/maker with your own website then all you have to do is email me with a square image that represents your site and a link (firstname.lastname@example.org) and i will add you to my links page (there are no links yet but all that is soon to change!)
If you're not British or you don't have your own website don't worry, i would like to support you too! I am working on an idea to create a more comprehensive links list, possibly here on my blog... i will keep you updated!
Other News And Handmade Monday
Thank you everyone who left kind and generous comments about my red yarn wrapped vases and also my completed tomato soup mug in last week's HM post, your support, as always, is very much appreciated!
I have lots of ideas for other makes related to these but they will have to go on the back burner for a little while as i'm super busy coming up with some more Christmassy designs! I also have lots to do in the online world too.. i received the fantastic 'Beautiful Blogger' award from Claire of Lottie Of London (thank you Claire!) so i will be publishing my post about that soon and i've been asked by the lovely Sarah of A Cat Like Curiosity to complete an interview for a new series she is planning for her blog - all good fun!
Now though, i'm off to read about what all the other Handmade Monday bloggers have been up to over at Handmade Harbour... care to join me?!
Have a great week! x