Thursday, 22 October 2009

Apologies and the chance to win a super prize!

I will put my hands up and admit it-I am rubbish at updating this blog. I'm one of those people who starts a diary, goes at it full of enthusiasm for a week...and then gives up.

We are now settled in our new 'snug' (read:small) home and The Oriental Magpie is now up and running (filled with lots of gorgeous handmade goodies perfect for Christmas!) so I now have no excuse to get back to my scavenging of handmade finds.

So, to ease myself back into this gently, I'd like to mention a fabulous competition to win lots of lovely prize from Temporary Secretary, Love Hearts and Crosses, PennyDog, Funky Junk, LaurasJewellery, Dollipops and Kooky Boutique. Whew!
These lovely ladies have donated some pieces to new blog Bling and Buy who will be giving all the goodies away in a competition which starts tomorrow morning.

Below are a selection of some of the lovely items in the goodie bag;

Check out Bling and Buy for the full list and details on how to enter! Good luck!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

The Oriental Magpie now up and running!

Oriental Magpie logo

I am very proud and excited to announce Ji Ji Kiki's new sister website, The Oriental Magpie.
We have rounded up a very talented collection of designers and artists who create beautiful jewellery, stationary, homewares and accessories and are very excited to announce that the website is now up and running, and filled with lots of gorgeous things for you and your home!

Below is just a small sample to whet your here to visit the website to see our full range.

If you, or someone you know, create things and would like to sell your pieces through the site, click on the 'Artist or designer' button below the designers category to find out more.

The Oriental Magpie is also on Twitter and Facebook, so you can be the first to know about new designers and products as and when they arrive!

I would appreciate it so much if you were able to spread the word in anyway you can...via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, word of mouth...

If you would like to add a link to The Oriental Magpie on your blog or website, here is a link to help you :)

Text: Handmade jewellery, gifts, homewares and accessories all made with love

Monday, 15 June 2009

Competition at Jolicious' blog!

Jolicious is running a competition on her blog to win the delicious Bubsie cake badges below.

She is picking 2 winners on Friday, so hurry hurry!

Saturday, 13 June 2009


And the winner is.....

Pip refused to play ball with picking a name, but she did grudgingly hold the paper for me to take a picture!

Check back next Friday for another competition to win a handmade purse!


I'm running a new giveaway, with a very cute prize kindly donated by Olly.
She makes amazing little creatures called WOLLIES, who have a magical, fairy tale feel.

Olly was born in Switzerland, and grew up there and in the UK. She is influenced by both the Swiss and English traditions in hand sewn and embroidered crafts.

She started making her first little animals by using recycled material from her old dresses and by 2007, she was regularly making WOLLIES and giving them to friends and family as gifts.

She noticed how much people appreciated the care and work that went into the creation of each individual piece and decided to sell her WOLLIES so that more people could have their own to enjoy.

I caught up with her to find out a bit more about her and the amazing WOLLIES!

- What do you make?

At the moment WOLLIES is mainly fabric brooches, keyrings, purses or toys. I like to think of my WOLLIES as individual little characters with their own personality. Sometimes they are sad, sometimes happy, sometimes mischievous and cheeky, sometimes they are just sweet and pretty.

- How long have you been crafting for?

I started crafting regularly when I was 16. I made all sorts of things for my room, like clips to hold up photos or pretty/trashy boxes. I customized my clothes alot and liked to make things out of old plastic Barbie accessories or other plastic toys, bits and bobs I found in the bottom of my drawers.
Generally, anything that recalled childhood play and imagination appealed to me.

- What is your most and least favourite thing about your craft?

I like it because it gives you alot of freedom. You can endlessly make up new characters and find new colour combinations. The medium of sewing is very versatile - you can create any shape and use all sorts of techniques to render a pattern: beading, embroidery, appliqué, printing, painting etc...

However, it is also quite restrictive and I do find it hard to transfer the character of my WOLLIES into more practical things like bags.

- Who or what inspires you?

Who? Bobby Dazzlers, Victor & Rolf, Annette Messager, Abigail Brown, my other fellow crafters!
What? Nature, Children's stories, Medieval art, Japanese street fashion, Vintage fashion.

- Are there any other crafty things you'd like to try?

Amigurumi (Japanese art of crocheting small animals or toys) and crochet. A step up from my rather basic knowledge of knitting :-S

- Do you have a day job?

Not at the moment, I have just finished my degree, so I'm sending out CVs and crossing my fingers alot.

- Where do you sell your work?

On Folksy mainly. People can also buy WOLLIES off my website and I have a few things on Etsy.

I am doing several fairs over the summer, otherwise I rely on word of mouth alot.

- Do you have a blog?


- Anything else you'd like to tell us?

No that is all. Thanks for reading chappies! Xx


Olly has kindly put one of her WOLLIES up for adoption, so I am looking for someone to give him a new and loving home!

He is a blue afro hedgehog badge called Sniffles and would love to keep you company on your adventures - Olly can vouch that he has very good conversation skills.

He is made with the finest cotton fabric and his beautiful afro hairdo and comb are both made of felt.
A brooch pin is secured to the back so you can pin him anywhere you like. Measures 6 cm x 5.5 cm.

If you would like the chance to become Sniffle's new friend, all you have to do is click here to go to Olly's shop and then leave a comment telling me who your favourite WOLLIE is! (N.B All comments are moderated before posting)

Extra entries for blogging and Tweeting. Please leave an extra comment if you blog/Tweet.

I will pick a winner Saturday 20th June-don't forget to leave an email address if you're not a Blogger, so I can contact you if you win!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Threadless t-shirts

Today I'm featuring one of my favourite online shops; Threadless.

I discovered them a few of years ago, and been hooked ever since.
They sell amazing t-shirts, all designed by independent artists and designers. It's a very hands on site for both customers and designers-designs are only printed once given the go ahead by the customers.

The design below is called 'Low Ink' and is one of the designs up for voting. You score it out of 5 and can choose whether, if it were printed, you'd prefer it as a t-shirt or print.

Low Ink - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

If you are a budding designer, you can submit your designs here and if your design is chosen, you'll get over $2,500!

All of the t-shirts are printed in limited runs. Rarely (and I do mean very rarely) they will do a re-run if an item has been especially popular.
This has only happened twice on t-shirts I have requested to be reprinted, so my advice is if you like something on there buy, otherwise someone else will and you'll be kicking yourself!

I like this one as it has giraffes (who are under-rated) and is almost a Postal Service song :) Such a Great Height

T-shirts range in price from $15-$25 (approx £9-£15). Shipping costs are a bit annoying, as they don't tell you what they are until you have added the item in the cart and told them where you want it posted to.
And you also have to watch out for those nasty customs charges-I bought a hoody from them and got stung for about £20 on customs/tax. Ouch.

Nesting Dolls

It's pretty easy to find discount vouchers, and they reward you for participating in the street team. By doing things such as submitting a photo of you wearing your shiny new t-shirt, you get points, each worth $1.50, which you can then redeem against future purchases. They have a list of the top earners, and the guy at the top has over 49,500 points so god know how much he has spent to accumulate that much!

They also have a 'Threadspotting' section, where you can send in pics of people you've spotted wearing them. It's amazing how many people you actually start notice wearing Threadless-it sort of becomes a bit addictive. They should bring out one of those Michelin Eye Spy books...

If you like the designs, but don't fancy a t-shirt why not adorn your walls with some colourful limited edition prints. They are usually $35, but at the moment Threadless have a sale on, so they can be snapped up at the incredibly cheap $15.

The Tree Referendum Limited to 250

New t-shirts are printed weekly, and if you sign up to the newsletter you'll receive weekly updates.
You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter

I'm off to have a shop (and I will probably be tempted to buy). If only they gave street team points for people writing lovely blogs about them....

NIght-night x

Win a Little Fox necklace!

Another giveaway, this time being run by ...Anything Indie to win one of my Little Fox necklaces. Yay!

Closing date is the 12th June, so go enter (and Tweet and blog if you can :D )

Good luck!!

Platic bat giveaway

Check out this awesome camera necklace, which Plastic Bat is giving away on her blog.

But you'll have to be quick as it closes today! Eek!

Friday, 29 May 2009

Nifty Thrifty + Competition!

And the winner is.....

Number 3- Here Pretty Kitty!

Well done! I have lots more competitions lined up for the next few weeks, so check back soon :)

A few days ago I got a little package through the post from the lovely Tracey, who owns online shop Nifty Thrifty.

Wrapped in some tissue paper....

... was this beautiful, corsage made from scraps of fabric left over from her other creations.

Isn't it pretty? And what's more, Tracey has kindly donated it for one of you lucky people to win!

So what does Nifty Thrifty do then?

As well as creating brooches, Tracey also makes doorstops, cushions, jewellery and much more while aiming (and succeeding) to show that recycled products can be cool, contemporary and innovative.

Tracey states 'I make use of everyday clothing and re-purpose them in surprising ways. I take surfy t-Shirts and turn them into travel backgammon sets and men's cotton work shirts are transformed into cushion covers adorned with flower corsages.'

These two cheery little birds are doorstops, made from shirt sleeves with contrasting wings and vintage button eyes. They are stuffed with polyester and have rice in their bottoms to weight them down.

Much prettier than a wooden wedge-and less likely to hurt if you stub your toe on them!

There is also a very sweet star gazing bunny available and all three are priced at £15 each.

Not letting the sleeve cuff go to waste, she has created these yummy cupcake pin cushions, which are £8.

The main part of the shirt is turned into a cushion or a backgammon set-who know you could get so much of out one old shirt!

Thess pretty and very girly cushions (check out the little flower details!) are between £20 and £30 and Tracey will even do a custom cushion using one of your old shirts.

She has also just started making jewellery and has some very tasty gummy bear necklaces listed in her Folksy shop.

To find out more about Nifty Thrifty recycling ideas visit Tracey's blog and to join the mailing list go to the Nifty Thrifty website.

Now to the bit you've all been waiting to win that lovely brooch.
I've decided to keep it very simple this time (after over complicating mine!). All you have to do is go to the Nifty Thrifty website, pick your favourite item and then leave a comment telling me what it is!

I will give 1 extra entry each if you blog and/or Tweet about this competition! Just leave a comment with your links so I know about it.

The winner will be picked next Friday, 5th June using a random number generator. Don't forget to leave an email if you don't have a blog/website so I can contact you!

Good luck!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Hmm...More Cake!

As it's half term, and there seems to be hundreds of children around at the moment enjoying the sunshine, I thought I would feature a kiddie related shop today.

More Cake Designs is a collection of quirky and original limited edition clothing, jewellery, toys and homewares all lovingly designed and handmade by mum of 2, Hannah.

While the shop is child orientated, there are lots of pieces for adults would love as well.

I'm really taken with these adorable star gazing mice for £11 (each) and stray cats, made from vintage fabric, £12.

Perfect for both big and little people :)

Hannah also makes gorgeous children's clothing, which makes me wish I was 5 again and off to a friend's birthday party!
This cute one-off sundress is made from vintage floral fabric. There is even matching hair slides.

Her applique t-shirts, such as this little mouse one, are gorgeous with really unique and eye-catching designs. They are all 100% cotton and available in lots of different designs, ranging from boats and robots to mushrooms and cupcakes. £12 each.

Hannah has lots more goodies in her shop, including jewellery, wish purses and vase covers.

Her items are available from her shops on Folksy and Misi and she is happy to do commissions/custom pieces.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Thrifty Trendsetter

Today's featured shop is The Thrifty Trendsetter, run by Kara and based in Oklahoma.
She has only been open since last month and already has a healthy feedback of 9-pretty good considering how competitive Etsy is.

Thrifty Trendsetter sells altered clipboards, mini notecards, magnetic memo boards, clothes pegs, coasters, picture frames '...basically anything that will make your home look fabulous!'

Her work has a very vintage feel to it, demonstrated beautifully in this wooden Songbird picture frame which has been created using a decoupage of floral scrapbook paper in shades of brown, green, yellow, and blue.

Perched on the bottom right of the frame, adding some colour, is a wooden bird covered with polka dot paper.

The bird theme continues in this altered notebook, entitled 'Eccentric'. I think it's a really lovely piece that would be a great present, particularly for that awkward person who has everything. Even better, it's only $6!

As quoted above, she does have things to make your home look fabulous.
These pretty double sided 'Blueberries and chocolate' clothes clips (for indoor use only!) are great for keeping boring paper work neat and tidy.

Kara is also able to add a magnet, free of charge, to one side so that you can use them on your fridge or magnet noticeboard.

Even though she is just starting out, here's lots more beautifully things in her shop, so head over to Etsy to check them all out!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Talking Beads

Summer is on it's way (apparently) which means an excuse to buy lots of lovely, feminine sundresses and wander barefoot along the beach.
And buying a new dress naturally means that you should also treat yourself to some new jewellery.

Wiltshire based friends Jean and Janice, aka Talking Beads create beautiful handcrafted jewellery, perfect for weddings, formal occasions or just a day at the beach.

This colourful Mixed Pebbles necklace caught my eye as it reminds me of the beach, which was the inspiration behind it. It consists of two strands of intertwined sweetie-like glass beads and is £55.

I am also very taken with this colourful glass leaves bracelet, which is also available in silvery black.
The multi-coloured version is £26 and the grey tone is £27

What is more reminiscent of the British summer that strawberries and cream (which reminds me, I forgot to get Wimbledon tickets again)
If you're not a big fan of the real thing-strawberries, not tennis- then how about these delicious looking lampwork strawberry earrings for just £8?
Very pretty and guaranteed to get you loads of compliments!

If you fancy having a go at making your own jewellery, Talking Beads have a couple of kits available to make to make the bracelet shown below, in a choice of either pink or purple.

The ladies also run jewellery making workshop with their friend Jackie, under the monkier Three Jays.
Annual membership is £20 and lessons are £5, but they offer 2 free 'try-out' sessions.
They are usually held once a month at the Scouts Hall in Devizes, Wiltshire.

Talking beads jewellery is available to buy through their website- or via Folksy.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Bailey Bowls

As the majority of shops I have featured so far sell accessories and jewellery, I thought I would cover something different today, so have decided on the amazing Bailey Bowls.

Bailey's Bowls sells gorgeous and whimsical pottery handmade made by designer Lisa, 'helped' out by her dog Bailey, after whom the shop is named.

I just have to start this post by featuring this lovely Bailey-ware platter.
Lisa recently drew a set of cartoons featuring Bailey for a local newspaper and has taken some of the pictures and used them as decorations on her pottery. This platter features Bailey and his friend Ben and is $24.00

Owls are one of those magical creatures that you can't help but like, and this applies to this little chap, who is $20.00

He is made of stoneware clay which gives him a rustic look and has carved eyes and feathers. Hanging from the branch he is sat on are some corn and carrot danglies.
It says on the item description that owls hung on porches are meant to bring good luck-even if he doesn't, he will definitely look cute!

As I have a pussy cat (who is very poorly) I have to also show you this meow mug featuring 3 kitties trying to get to the sea creatures who live in the bottom of the cup.

The perfect mug to brighten up any coffee break :) $35.00

All of Lisa's pieces are made one at a time in her studio with a lot of care and attention. Each piece is unique and Bailey-bowls are food, dishwasher and microwave safe.
Lisa also has a second shop called Muddy Paws Pottery which sells more 'serious,' but just as pretty pieces. She can also create custom orders

Check out Cute Crafts for customer testimonials and an adorable picture of Bailey!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Cool cosies by Jacksknits

I started this post on 7th May, a week ago, so I think it's probably about time I got round to finishing it...

I have a bad habit that really annoys my boyfriend of making pots/cups of tea and then forgetting about them so they sit and go cold. I then heat them up in the microwave despite the fact I think this makes the tea taste horrible and then leave them to go cold again.

So I've been thinking for a while that maybe I should invest in a nice tea cosy to keep my teapot warm, thus solving one part of my problem!

Jacks Knits sells the most amazing and unique tea cosies I have ever seen. How cool is this stripey back and yellow creation with little knitted bumble bees!

If something sweet is a little more to your taste, how about the 2 cosies below-one with yummy donuts and the other in the style of a shocking pink cupcake.
The perfect tasty accompaniment to your tea break if you're resisting the real thing.

The great thing about these designs over traditional tea cosies is that they are like a little jacket so you don't have to take it off to pour your tea.

All of Jacky's teacosies are £7.00 each and she is more than happy to take on custom orders if you have an idea in mind for your own teacosy.

I highly recommend that you check out her Flickr album as she has some amazing items on there.
How sweet are these little hatching chicks...

...and this sandwich and salad platter looks really realistic. How cute are the little cherry tomatoes!