Friday, 18 February 2011

Little Tin Hut Shop

My Little Tin Hut online shop is open and ready to welcome curious visitors, and those in need of some essential frivolity. Let's face it, who isn't? Click here to go directly to the shop.

So far there is a collection of my Sock Critters, each with their quirks of character and all in need of good homes. Tea cosies will be added soon, and other little projects that I'm working on at the moment. All made and photographed in, and dispatched from an Airstream! Brilliant!

The shop is located on Etsy, which most crafty people will know about. For those who don't, it is a venue for all things handmade and vintage. The variety of artists and crafters is astounding, the quality is high and they are based all around the world. I find it inspiring just browsing the other shops. And even though I only started to list my items on Tuesday and Wednesday, I've already been receiving lovely messages of encouragement from other sellers, and had individual Sock Critters and my shop added to people's 'Favorites' (American spelling since it's an American site, all you pedants!). It's quite overwhelming. I don't know what I expected really. Now I need to dive in and find out how to interact with the Etsy community.

There was lots of helpful advice on Etsy about setting up a shop, as well as blog posts from other sellers. Even though I'm just little ol' me making stuff in an Airstream, I looked around a load of shops where I thought people were doing some really good quality work, or fun and quirky, and where they were presenting themselves very attractively and effectively and tried, with my limited facilities, to emulate what I thought was working well.

Naturally I've had lots of help and advice with the computery stuff from my technical support team of one, Pete. Taught me everything I know (about computers anyway).

Watch this space for updates and news of new additions to the Little Tin Hut, as well as more random bloggy ramblings.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Sunlight and Sweet Melancholy

As I write we are being pelted with windswept tree branches. Nothing too big thankfully, more like large twigs. Sandwiched between a succession of grey and windy days there was a sunny one. I was ready with the tripod and a roll of white wallpaper and my trusty and versatile Canon Ixus. Oh, and a piece of string to suspend the paper from the paper towel-holder. My mission: To photograph my sock creatures.

The sun shone obligingly onto the extending kitchen worktop, but it does move around and sink low very quickly. So the clock (if I had one) was ticking. Sock monsters are not very co-operative either. I had to scour the trailer for discreet objects that could hide behind the critters and hold them up, things like small paint pots and paperclips.

Normally, while I potter I am more than content with having Huey Morgan in the background and his 'if it's cool he'll play it' style radio show on BBC Radio 6 Music. But while I got absorbed in my task I felt I needed an album to unfold around me. I downloaded Nina Nastasia's 2010 release, Outlaster.

I played it all the way through, and then immediately had to play the whole album again. I knew this wasn't really going to be background music since I have often been sucked into her second album, The Blackened Air, and wallowed in its delicate darkness. Outlaster is a more deliciously lush offering. There are moments where you find that you have simply stopped what you were doing and are listening, really listening. It is not just the unpretentious clarity of her voice, or the compelling lyrics. There is her gently meticulous guitar playing and the strings that swoop and scrape in raw, rough-edged, folky gusts.
If you embrace melancholia and cheer in unsentimental equal measure then this might be your cup of tea, but listen alone, because if anyone talks over this music it would be hard to forgive.