What It Means To Me To Be A Sustainable Business.

In this blog I’m going to talk about why I decided to rebrand and become a cruelty free business. But also to tell you about why a rebrand can take so long and why it is  not an overnight solution.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And this metaphor can be applied to everything in life. Indeed it applies to my own business. I started out making authentic pearl jewellery, and for ethical reasons decided to make my entire range cruelty free to reflect myself and my brand. That meant my brand going vegan and myself!  This meant a total rebrand of my business which is still a work in progress.

It is surprising how many people I have spoken to who told me that they make sure that they source out cruelty free clothes and house hold items etc but have never considered that this applies to jewellery. And this applied to me too.   My research left me stunned and I thought  that I would use my blog to educate others.

It hasn’t been an easy task sourcing out cruelty free supplies as I have had to source out new manufacturers and new materials. Some of them replied promptly whilst others never replied so the search went on to find good quality materials that were ethically sourced and cruelty free.

Lots of the professional pictures I had taken when I first started out making my jewellery had the old products featured in them i.e pearls so were no longer suitable. ( I will tell you more about why later). The hardest part was taking the pictures of my jewellery off my blog and website as hours of work, creativity and love had gone into the wedding shoots that had brought together a photographer, event organizer, hair stylish, make up artist, bouquet maker, a model and obviously myself who had designed the jewellery.

I will admit I was a little disheartened at having to go back to basics, new materials,  new suppliers and new photographs. It seemed such a big task but well worth it because it’s important for my business to reflect my ethics.  To make the whole process easier I broke the goal down into small components and began tackling each one. I had to source out animal free glues, animal free clay’s, and faux pearls. I soon discovered and to my surprise that even faux pearls weren’t all cruelty free. All faux means is fake so beware of this when your shopping for your jewellery.

It was a costly mistake I made as after ordering some beautiful faux pearls in a vast array of colours I began to question how they had got the beautiful colours of their faux pearls. It was a good question and sent me on a quest to enlighten myself.

I soon learned some faux pearls have animal by products in. It was big learning curve! Thankfully I hadn’t sold any as I was just in the middle of making the new product line with them. I contacted the supplier and she told me that she wasn’t too sure what the colours were made of but would contact the manufactures. That supplier never replied back to me so those faux pearls ended up in my draw never to be used. However I learned a lot from this experience and it helped me improve my customer service by making sure I always kept in touch with my customers each step of the way.

Exactly the same applied to my ribbons.  I had to go and find suppliers who didn’t use any animals or by products in their ribbons. I was always taught good business practice is knowing what your products are made of. It was surprising to find that so many businesses had no idea whether their products were vegan or not. And I was astounded to realize that I had been one of those people. I just presumed that Faux pearls meaning fake pearls had no animal by products in.

Some times I’d make progress and other times I was hitting brick walls.   I was surrounded by so many good people who told me to keep going, it would work out for the best. And it did because I managed to find all of my new suppliers so I could begin making my hair accessories again. I eventually chose Swarovski pearl beads which the company assured me were cruelty free and sent me an information pack over of how they are made and what they are made of. It was a good start and so I started making my products again.

However with no professional pictures and no professional photographer to help me this time round to put together the photo shoot and style it etc I had to learn photography skills as soon as possible and fast. I had so many great people around me giving me tips and I enrolled on some online courses, read everything in sight and just kept practicing. It is surprising what you can do when you are passionate about something and determined to learn.

I experimented with flat lays, different backgrounds, props, and through trial and error learned what looked great and what didn’t. It is all still a work in progress and I’m no David Bailey but I finally have some pretty decent picture of my products to put onto my shop now.  I used hair dressing dolls to photograph my products on and my daughter has kindly let me photograph the hair accessories in her hair.  Where there is a will there is always a way I have always said.

I was asked why I had decided to make my hair accessory range vegan. Up until my re brand I was a vegetarian and had been for about 8 years. I had become vegetarian purely for ethical reasons.  A friend of mine sent a video over of what they do to the mollusks in order to get the pearls.  See it here. I think that was a life changing moment for me and so the re-brand of my business began.

Several weeks after watching another video of what is happening in the dairy & poultry industry I finally became a vegan. I knew that I couldn’t make jewellery and claim that I was making something magical when living creatures had suffered to make others feels beautiful. Was there anything magical about that? I couldn’t see anything magical at all.

It is surprising how we can wear things without even questioning what they are made of or what the process is to get that product. I had loved pearls for as long as I can remember, having no idea what happened to the mollusks to get them. Did you realize that they actually place irritants into the mollusks to create the pearl. This causes the mollusk great distress and the pearl is the result of the protective barrier that the mollusks makes.  My love affair ended with pearls when I realized this and I could no longer glamorize or justify  wearing lumps of  materials that were basically a result of an irritant. And yes it is true that this does happen naturally in the sea to them when a grain of sand gets inside of their shells. But mother nature always knows best and does not mass produce. Whereas the mollusk farms do. I don’t think I’d like an irritant stuck in me on a continuous basis. Find out more here

Here are some of the new product lines that I have made. I have just had them measured so I can send away for some boxes for them. They don’t fit into standard boxes so I am having to have them made to measure. I am just in the process on deciding on the colours of the boxes so it fits in with my branding. My logo is aqua so I am thinking about going with that colour. Although I am drawn towards white too so I’m going to take time out to think on this.

These are made out of clay, the finest Swarovski crystals and Swarovski pearls which are all 100% vegan.

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Just got to cut the ribbon off the hair comb and then ready to go!

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So what have I learned from rebranding? Be patient, trust the process of life to work for you and know why you are doing it. Plus think of all of the questions that you need to ask your prospective suppliers before hand to save making costly mistakes like I did.

Do you have any rebranding tips to share with me? Please share in the comments section below.

 

 

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8 Organization Tips To Keep Your Life & Business Organized.

In this blog I am going to give you an update of what has been going on behind the scenes of The Earth Faeries, and what I have been up to since the last I wrote. I’m also going to give you some great tips I have been using from my mentor to stay organized.

What’s New?

Over the past months I have been designing and making product lines – bridal hair combs. I have been fitting this in with making orders for clients, looking after the family pet dog, running the house and my other business. It has been a productive couple of months.  Firstly I sketched some designs to give me an idea of what I wanted to create and then I ordered my supplies and got to work on them.

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A quick sketch of some of the designs I am making

I experimented with different back grounds in various locations and was pleased with their effects. I used a gardening magazine for one back ground, the wall of my house for another and my wooden window ledge.  Plus I got some good feedback off other photographers and clients which was nice to hear as I can see I’m making progress. Here are some of the ones that are going on my online shop shortly.

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A peach marbled rose that I custom made for my client

I am also currently having another one of my earth faeries characters drawn up for me. This time it is the Gothic faerie that I am having designed for me. So I’m spending a lot of time on the computer looking for ideas for her so I can send them over to my artist friend. If you are not familiar with my stories that I write with these characters in then please find them here. The plan is to have them all made in silicone moulds so I can make pendants out of them and paint them. I love painting as it is so relaxing and I enjoy getting messy.  Yes I always get more on me that what I am painting but that makes the experience more fun.

I have been getting inspiration from the change of the seasons.  Although the days are still sunny the garden is full of leaves of orange, gold and yellow hues. The sunset was pretty spectacular the other day, glinting on the piles of leaves in my garden and it looked like the golden hour. There is inspiration in abundance everywhere I look which influences my designs or how I style my products.  Autumn is finally here and it’s one of my favorite months.

I celebrated my birthday with my family in the forest

My birthday came and went in October but it was one to remember. An entire day of no work, great company and beautiful nature. Can imagine my delight when my mum and my daughter asked me to go for a picnic in the forest to celebrate my birthday. It was a manifestation come true!

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Maybe it is a bit big as a prop. What do you reckon?

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Me on the right with my mum and lovely dog enjoying my birthday!

Equipped with sandwiches, some vegan oatie cakes and flap jacks, and a flask of tea we headed to the forest which was about a mile walk from where I live. There is something magical about sharing your food with your loved ones whilst sat on logs surrounded my mighty trees and clean fresh air whilst watching our Labrador playing with the sticks. Plus I enjoyed finding leaves, sticks and other goodies that I can use as props in my pictures. It was a great birthday and one to remember.

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Everywhere we go we always take a picture of our feet. It is a family tradition 🙂

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How I’m keeping myself organized this winter

Winter is now upon me and it is so easy to crawl under the bed clothes and want to stay huddled up there for the entire day. I live in a country style house up in the Welsh hills so it can get very cold in the winter here and I can find it hard to get out of bed. And warmth and coziness really helps one to feel more motivated so it is the time of year we start to stock up on our logs for our fire and log burner. This not only helps me feel motivated to work but it also puts me in right frame of mind to get myself organized. And good organization is a must for any business as I soon realized when I was hoovering up and sucking up my faux pearls that I’d unknowing dropped on the floor.

I’m not big on plastics but some of the supplies I order come in them so rather than disposing of them which is not good for the environment I now use them as containers to keep my jewellery findings in. No more hoovering my supplies up now which is far more cost effective for me. Here are a couple of tips on how to improve your organization skills as well as free up time to get organized as well as enjoy life.

8 organization tips to helps keep your life & business organized

  • Use to do lists daily. There is something satisfying about ticking them off. It adds some structure to your day and something you need if you are self employed.
  • Set up production line to help you maximize time and get yourself organized. For example I have all my items in separate trays and all in order so I can pick from them what I need in order to make my products. It is like a mini production lines and saves heaps of time. For example here is the order that I make my hair combs in and the order of the trays I keep them in so easy accessible – computer to process orders, hair comb, ribbon to dress it with, clays to make the roses with, bead wire to create the vines and the beads and crystals to attach to them, boxes, envelopes and stamps.  Plus when I start taking on other freelancers to work for me to help me make my products I will share these tips with them to help them maximize their productivity by getting them more organized.
  • Use packaging that other companies send you for example plastic tubs to store your craft supplies in. It is more eco friendly to the environment too.
  • The obvious one is to keep a diary so you can keep a list of all your clients names and addresses and time scales so my products reach them in time for their special occasion. Writing it all down saves relying on memory.
  • Clean your work surfaces as you go along. Not only is it good hygiene practice but it saves time in the long run.
  • Take time out through out the day and schedule it before hand. You could have half an hour walk, do 15 minutes meditation or just to sit and practice the art of doing nothing. Time out helps to keep you replenished, makes you more productive in the long run.
  • Be like the Europeans and take a siesta. You return refreshed and rejuvenated and I always find that I get twice as much done.
  • Another good tip that was given to me is to use Hoote Suite to schedule my tweets. You would write down what information you are going to share on your social media accounts with pictures and they are automatically posted at certain times of the day. This frees up your time to focus on other tasks and something I am learning more about at the moment as it sounds like a good idea. Obviously you still have to be there to reply to your customers and group members comments but it is a great time saver and helps you organize your time more effectively so you can get more things done in a day.

Do you have any organization tips that are working for you to share with me? I am always open to learning.

If you would like daily inspiration please come and join me on my Earth Faeries group

 

 

 

 

 

7 Tips To Get You Back In Flow And Go For Goal!

I thought that I would use this blog to give you a look at the progress of The Earth Faeries so far and also any future developments. I have a couple of new products that I’m going to be launching  in the near future so I thought that I’d give you a sneaky preview. I thought that I would also share with you some tips to end that procrastination and start living that life you know that you deserve. I have been procrastinating for the past couple of months so I thought I’d share with you what has worked for me.

It has been a very productive month. I had a craft stall in Whittington Castle in Shropshire last month. It has been all go go and my fingers haven’t stopped and neither has my imagination.

I was up bright and early and left my house at 8. I’d been up late the previous night getting everything finished and packed.  My alarm clock didn’t go off but thankfully my mum was staying over so woke me up. With twenty minutes to go before my friend arrived I managed to have the quickest shower of my life, get dressed, put my makeup on and iron my table cloth.

Here’s all of my stuff in the back of my friends car.

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My craft stall and the wall of the castle at the back.

The day was successful with a huge show of people. It was only my third craft show and I was very fortunate because my friend had done a lot of them so I was eager to drink in her wisdom. I had a quick lesson in ergonomics – which translates into the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment. She helped me to arrange my craft stall so it was pleasing to the eye so thank you Natasha.

There were a vast range of craft stalls there but not many handmade ones so I wasn’t sure I had chosen the right event. But it was an eventful day. I made some sales, had lots of people take my business cards, and the sun was shining.  I even got to go canoeing in the moat around the castle which was an amazing experience and quite an experience getting into it considering we both had dresses on. I have never canoed before and thankfully my friend who also had a stall there next to me had and managed to get us out of the reeds. And this was all before we had even set up our stall.

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Our canoe was the red one at the front!

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The front of the canoe I was in.

I finally opened my online shop – not one but two and all in the past two days. A folksy shop and an Etsy one both of which feature handmade designers an makers. I have been up pretty late the past two nights uploading some of my pictures, writing out product descriptions, learning about key words to use on each platform and writing 2 bio’s. I am ready for a hand massage! 🙂 If you would like to have a look at them here are my links as I’d really appreciate feedback. My Folksy shop  and my Etsy shop

I also joined Instagram today. Well my very kind daughter joined me as she manages lots of peoples accounts on there so was a wealth of wisdom. After a lesson from her in how to use this new platform I am now feeling a little braver to start networking on there and making great connections like I have on Facebook. If you would like to connect with me on Instagram please click here

All I can say is that setting up all these platforms takes a lot of time as does building relationships with the people on there so it is important that if you are thinking about going into business then it is your passion and you really do love people which thankfully I do.

The marketing side which was never my favorite is something I have come to love.  This is because I’m enjoying the wonderful relationships I have made with my Facebook friends who have become my clients and I have become there’s. I have been sent a beautiful gift from two of my clients and have made wonderful friendships with them too. Plus they have just opened their own business – they are a mother and daughter team.  Her daughter is only 11 but she is an amazing talented crafter and entrepreneur. Lots of the products in their shop are vegan too and they make everything from hair and body products to hand made flower pens. You can find them here.

I have made a new product line. A feminine hair comb in delicate purple and lilac palette which I took to my craft fare and I have just uploaded to my online shops. It took me about an hour and half to make. I modeled the large rose on one of the roses in my gardens. I am working on getting them scented so they smell like roses at the moment as I thought that would be a nice touch.

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I have a new product coming in the near future. I am making handmade recycled paper and tissue paper. I am planning on making my own eco friendly confetti so I’m excited about this project so I will keep you posted.

There has been so much progress in my Earth Faeries jewellery &  hair accessories venture over the past year couple of weeks. As some of you know I also write The Earth Faeries tales on my website. It’s a story that follows the lives of three Earth Faeries and their adventures.

I had a dream and that was to have my characters drawn up for me and featured in the stories so my readers would be able to identity with the characters.  Some of that dream has come true for me as I have been collaborating with an amazing artist by the name Roberto who has drawn two of them up for me. It has been an amazing couple of months designing my characters, looking on the internet for their eye and hair color, there style of clothes etc an sending pictures over to him so he could draw up something unique for me. Well my dream came true. I present to you:

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Princess Onyx

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Princess Ruby Starlight.

It feels so amazing when you see your dream, visions and plans come into fruition. I’ll tell you a little more about the process, the ideas behind them and the plans I have for them in a future blog.

I have also been collaborating with a professional photographer to have all of my product pictures done professionally. Another dream I had was to hire someone to have them all done for me and it has finally come possible. I am just in the process of letting him know my ideas and he is just about to send me a document with all of his ideas.

And all of this has happened in the last couple of weeks. Before then I must admit prior to this I was procrastinating a lot. I have seen it in my clients that I’ve coached so I recognized it well. It’s that nagging feeling you have that you know you should be doing something to take you forward but you never get round to doing it. I think most of us have been through this as some stage or other. You promise yourself you’ll do it tomorrow but tomorrow never seems to come.

There are many reasons we do this and one of them is fear. It could be fear of not being good enough – what happens if no-one likes my stuff, or fear of failure. For some it is fear of success. And I must admit all of them had crossed my mind. So how did I stop procrastinating, get myself out of the comfort zone and into the new zone. Here is 7 tips that have worked for me:

  • Ask yourself how will you feel in ten years time if you are still in the same place and no closer to your goals. That normally brings up a lot of discomfort and can be enough to get you taking action. It was for me.
  • What exactly are you afraid of? Identify it and then use affirmations to help zap it. For example if it’s fear you are not good enough you are really never going to know until you try and as they say practice makes perfect.  You weren’t born walking but you learned how to do it. You can counteract this limiting belief by saying to yourself ‘I am always good enough when I do my best. I believe in myself.’ If it’s fear of success – yes people can be afraid of this as it can be lonely at the top or so they think. Say ‘as I grow more successful I am surrounded by other successful people who always help me on the way and have become my friends.’ If it’s fear of failure then know most successful people all failed on the way to the top of there game. They learn that if something isn’t working they do it another way until they do succeed. Say ‘there is no such thing as failure, it’s all a learning experience and I’m going to approach it another way until I do succeed. I will achieve my goals! I am achieving my goals.I am making amazing progress!’
  • Use positive self talk like shown above. There are many great coaching books out there that will teach you how to master your mindset.
  • Note the progress you’ve made so far. It builds up momentum and confidence. I did this last month and it really helped me do all of the things I was putting off.
  • Surround yourself with other successful people. It could be people who have already reached the level of success you want to have in your  business, or other brides who have organized their own weddings successfully. No matter what it is the process is all the same. If you don’t know any highly successful people then look for examples on the internet. For example Etsy have a sellers guide which tells the stories of there sellers who have quit there day job and now have a full time business doing what they love. I was reading that last night and it really inspired me to keep going. Or find blogs on word-press of other brides who have organized their weddings. Read their blogs, make helpful comments on there blogs and build relationships with them. You may make lots of new friends in the process but it also gives you some good role models too.
  • I’ve said it before but I will say it again make a to do list. You will thanks yourself so much for doing this simple step. I know I did. Take three simple actions each day and tick them off as you go along. The pleasure that comes from seeing what you’ve achieved is wonderful. Plus it increases your confidence and momentum as you can actually see you are so much closer to achieving the goal. I got excited when I read my list of what I’d achieved in the past couple of weeks. This feeling will help you go forward.
  • Learn how to meditate. I do this each night and it has helped me enormously. Without all of those thoughts floating around in your head you’ll feel an enormous sense of relief. Your body, mind and spirit will relax and you will find that you have the energy to go forward.

And before you know it, the procrastination has gone and your staring at a list of your achievements and feeling so glad that you did the above.

Do you have any further tips that you have used to get rid of procrastination? Please share as I’d love to hear your thoughts

with lots of love

Melanie

The Earth Faeries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discover 3 New Jewellery Products The Earth Faeries Are Working On

In today’s blog I’m going to be giving you an over view of what I have been up to in the last week and sharing some fun moments that have been memorable to me. Plus also to show you 3 new products I am currently working on.

Firstly I have been getting ready for my craft stall in August 28th in Whittington Shropshire. I thought that it would be a good idea to order a hairdressing dolls head to showcase my hair jewellery on. Plus I thought it would be a good idea to use it to photograph some pictures of my jewellery accessories for my online shop which I’m almost due to open. I know that it has been a while coming but I have been researching all of the online shops out there in order to choose the one that is right for me. Although you can find my products to buy on here too. Please click for more information.

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I ordered some hair combs which I’m planning on decorating for brides. This is one of the new products I am working on at the moment.

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Hair combs

Another project I am working on

I received my order Friday for beautiful glass beads in the most softest pastel shades ever and they are excellent quality. They look very realistic and have a very high luster but they are faux ones so are cruelty free. I was so excited to receive them as I have some wonderful designs that I want to bring into fruition.

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A new product I have been working on

I have also been getting creative for myself and making these daisy hair slides. The yellow middle has been customized to make the green yellow effect and the leaves have been lined with a pen knife to give the petal a more realistic look. They are still a work in progress as I want to thin the petals a little more so I have just ordered a pasta maker in order to do this. and then I will add them to my shop on here.  It has been nice to have some free time to make some hair slides for myself too.

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Daisies

Yesterday was a lovely day. A customer came to my house to collect a customized order for three hair rose slides and she kindly let me photograph them in her hair which was fun. The lighting was perfect for the photographs and I’m very appreciative of her for letting me use these pictures. They are hand sculptured rose slides and the colors have been customized. You can find them here

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Red rose hair slide

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Coral rose hair slide

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Turquoise hair slide

It was also nice to see my customer playing with my materials. I gave her some vegan silk clay and some porcelain clay which is also cruelty free to get creative with and also so she could learn more about the materials I work with. Silk clay (named because of the way it feels) is soft and very malleable and really easy to work with with. As porcelain clay is much more solid and requires a lot of kneading before it is ready to be used to make anything. The latter is very sticky when you first take it out of the packet and it takes about 10 minutes to knead it before it is ready to use but it can create beautiful jewellery and ornaments too to name but a few of its uses. The smile of pleasure on my customers face told me that she was enjoying getting creative and playing with them

Afterwards we went for for a lovely walk in the lovely countryside which is on my doorstep. It was only supposed to be a short walk but it turned into over a two hour one. But it was a lovely end to the day and created many happy memories.

Have you made anything lately? It doesn’t have to be jewellery.  If so please leave a comment of what you have made in the comment section below. And name one of your most enjoyable products that you have made.

Love The Earth Faeries

Melanie

The Earth Faerie Tales – Chapter 5

The rooms in the castle Mondevar were dim with only several golden strands of light partly illuminating the room she was in. Queen Veladera also known as the Gothic faerie was lay on her chaise lounge studying the statues that stood before her. She had had the statues for over a decade but unlike other statues they never aged. She stood up and strode over to them both and ran her purple talons over the roughness of the models features. Oh how she wished things had never come to be like this!

A tear fell down her pale cheek and her almost black eyes glistened in the dimness. She didn’t care much about the male statue but the female one she had once deeply loved. She had been her beloved sister. The most powerful of all of the faeries and known as the blue faerie. It had been a name that had stuck with her since birth as unlike the other fairies her skin and wings had been blue.

It had been said that every thousand years a blue faerie was born and that she would bring peace back to the people of faerie land. And the anomaly had been born into her family she thought, sighing.  She was lightness and all that was good. The protector of the animals, the oceans, the seas and all that was living. She monitored the actions of the humans in the other realm to ensure that they kept the balance of mother nature and when some of them didn’t she would sprinkle magic dust onto the good ones to help rekindle their own powers. Some times she would cross the veil between worlds and enter human land and whisper into humans ears to remind them of the power they had inside of them that they had forgotten centuries ago.  In her own world she had kept the peace between the goblins and pixies and other fellow faeries and she had been loved by many.

The prophecy had foretold that a blue faerie would come and create peacefulness in all of the dimensions, lifting the veil of faerie land so once again humanity could live side by side with the faerie folk. A lot of people in her land had not wanted that to happen and the Gothic faerie had been one of those people. And together they had conspired behind her sisters back.  And whilst the blue faerie had been sleeping with her lover, a human by the name of Jack who had willingly been turned into her own kind, she had flew into her bedroom and had cast a spell onto them both turning them into faux crystals. And now there she stood in the middle of her room a constant reminder of what had transpired.

With a sigh she stood up and strode out into the castles long dark hall ways. She passed Prince Dereamie on her way out and he held out his arms to her calling sweet words of love into her ear. She pushed him away for she had grown tired of his empty words and he stood looking at with brown puppy dog eyes that were pleading her to love him.   People who had had love spells put on them were no fun to be around she suddenly decided her face with a sudden sad expression on it as she continued marching down the hall.

Moving into the far end room which she referred to as the red room as the furnishings and fixtures were in every shade of red she looked through the windows at the land around her. There was a stillness as all the faeries who had dwelled near her home had been turned to stone. The birds and other animals who sensed her darkness had left for pastures new. And all that remained was her in a castle that had become more of a prison.

Out of the corner of her eye she seen a white glow and turned quickly to see her crystal ball glowing. Curiously she went over to it and peered into the clear orb that was so powerful it looked liked a humans television screen. Her eyes narrowed as she watched a very familiar figure materialize through the vortex and land in the middle of an open buttercup field. She could recognize that red hair and green eyes anywhere. It was Ruby Starlight the faerie who had come to her to ask her if she could make her human. Of course she had agreed but with one condition that she would never return to faerie land. She wondered how on earth she had got back into faerie form. Her eyes narrowed into slits as she wondered if she had returned for the ruby she had traded in for her new life in the human dimension. Her long talons curled around the red gemstone around her neck. It had been a fair trade and there was no way she was going to give it back for anything.

She knew Ruby very well. They were similar ages and had attended faerie school together. A very popular faerie unlike herself who had been shunned by others. She had never forgot how her and two other faeries by the names of Crystal Moonwand and Onyx had laughed at her when she had been trying to train her pet.  Each faerie child was bestowed a pet crystal or gem to train to work with them for the greater good of faerie kind and hers which was a yellow diamond had proved one of the most difficult to train.

That memory had stayed with her for ever and it was one of the reasons she disliked the woman who was stood in the field with an eagle perched on her hand. The screen of the ball darkened and then began to glow again as it began to refocus on another faerie, Princess Onyx who was stood before the counsel who were surrounded by everything that she hated; Christmas spirit. The normally dark old underground chamber where the counsel dwelled had been decorated for the first time in a century. No wonder Onxy looked shocked as rumor had it that Christmas spirit had left the councel members a long time ago. But what was more shocking was the other faeries words.

“As you know the Gothic faerie has taken over the north of faerie land. Many of the faeries have been turned to stone and the ones that haven’t she has put them under a spell to do her bidding. She has plans to conquer the whole of faerie land and something must be done to to stop her.”

The counsel members exchanged glances

“We are aware of this Princess Onyx.”

“Oh, you are?” she said looking taken back. “I see. So what do you plan to do to stop her?”

The orb became dark again and she slammed her hand down on the desk before shoving it in a black satchel and slinging it over her head.

“Fools the lots of them” she shouted “How dare they try to conspire against me after she had allowed them to continue with their outdated rules that no longer fitted in with modern society.”

“Time to put a stop to them.” she said he eyes narrowed into slits “and to Princess Onyx.”

Grabbing her cloak that had been flung on the back of the chair she draped it around her and then gently pulled her bat like wings through the slits. Opening the castles window she surveyed the darkening of the landscape as dusk was creeping in. Then leaping into the air her huge black wings propelling her upwards and forwards over the land and though the forest. The only sound was the vibration of her wings and her own cackling laughter as she maneuvered around the trees.

All was still in the castle apart from a creaking sound as one of the crystal statues began to crack. One eye popped open and began to focus on the room she was in.  The Blue Faerie was awake again and as the crystal began to crack over her chest, for the first time in a decade she took her first breath.

Chapter six coming soon.

 

 

6 Tips That I Have Used To Organize My Craft Events

I thought that I would use this blog to show you the developments in my Earth Faeries venture and also give you some tips on how to organize your event which have worked for me. These tips are applicable to organizing any event whether it is a craft stall or your wedding day.

I have a craft stall in August in Whittington Shopshire UK so I’m looking forward to that. I’m being productive making products at the moment and on the look out for a new table cloth for my craft stall table. I used one with a pattern last year and it detracted from my jewellery so this time I am going for a plain one.

It is not a bridal affair but a craft day so I thought I would make some fun hair accessories for both adults and children for every day wear. Here are some of the hair slides I have made so far for it.

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Hand sculptured rose hair slides!

I thought that I would make some fun children’s hair-slides too for my craft stall. Here are some of them.

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Heart hair slides

The heart hair slides have been made using a mould and I mixed glitter in with the material I use to give it a glitzy effect. Some of them have been marbled which means using a special technique to get a marbled effect. Each effect is different and can never be duplicated which means each hair slides is unique. I finished them off by adding a gem to them. I have just ordered some clear gems so I can finish off making them all. My products are all vegan and have been made out of vegan silk clay which is called silk clay because it has a silky feel to it and not because it has been made of silk.

I have also been working on my branding and I have had a wonderful artist draw me my first beautiful Earth Faerie character. If you follow my Earth Faeries stories on my blog then you will be familiar with my faerie characters. If not check out out my The Earth Faerie stories here.

I have used this drawing in my blog and I also plan to have her made into henna tattoos and silicone moulds so I can make jewellery out of her. Here she is. Her name is Princess Onyx. I named her Princess Onyx because is the keeper of those gem stones. Not many people realize that Onyx can be black or white hence why her gemstone in her hand is white. Although her magical pet Onyx does turn both colours in the story.

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I received a compilation of the drawings from my artist recently showing each stage of her development which I found fascinating. Here she is being drawn.

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My Earth Faerie character Onyx being drawn

Here are 6 tips that I have used to organize my event that has helped make it stress free.

  • Start organizing and making your inventory in plenty of time. Don’t leave it to the last minute.
  • Order all materials well in advance so no having to rush to make things and you can then enjoy the process.
  • Do a stock check to ensure you have all of the materials to make your products in and do it in advance just in case you have to source out new materials if they are not in stock.
  • Get a big calendar and mark the day of your event. Stick it up on your wall as insight is in mind and there is no chance of forgetting the day!
  • Write a to do list of all the tasks you have to completed in that time period and tick them off as you complete them. It will give you momentum and confidence to keep you going. Plus chunking your goals down in easy manageable steps helps you get so much more clarity and gives you more direction.
  • Take some time out for yourself to meditate, go for a walk etc to relax & replenish as when you are calm you are more creative and think logically so you get things done faster!

So now to finish making the rest of my products for my jewellery stall. I will post a blog telling you about it after I have attended it. Does anyone else do craft stalls? If so please tell me what you make and where your craft stall is. Or perhaps you have some tips you would like to share about organizing an event then please leave your comments in the comment box as I’d love to hear your thoughts.

With love

From Melanie (The Earth Faeries)

11 Tips On How To Find The Energy For Biz Life Balance

In this blog I am going to show you how to replenish your energy so you can maintain that business life balance, and get that momentum to keep doing what you love most.

Running a jewellery business is a full time career. It involves all the usual tasks such as selling, marketing, making, gaining inspiration, developing new product lines, managing social media accounts, doing your books and processing orders to name but a few. And whilst I am  doing all of this I am striving to have a social life and keep that business life balance going. Not to mention looking after and exercising our family dog and cat. 20170713_211429_Richtone(HDR)_resized

Here is the handsome fellow who keeps me company whilst I craft.

bell my dog

This is the big pup we all love and adore very much! She is such a character and often also keeps me company when I craft!

Some times I am inundated with orders and other times there are quiet periods which are all normal parts of growing a new business.  In those quiet moments I will be working on new ideas for new inventory, marketing on social media platforms or learning new jewellery making skills so really there is never any quiet moments when running a business.   I may have done all of the above in the early part of the day and then later on in the evening I will start making the orders I have received during the day.  I also have another business so not only am I juggling one business but two.   And If I’m honest it can take it out of me if I don’t watch the balance.

I thought I’d share how I keep my balance and replenish. The following information can be applied to anyone with their goals. Whether you are organizing a wedding, running a business yourself or any other type of event or projects.

  • I take some time off and smell my roses. I literally take myself off the computer, away from the phone and emerge myself in what I love most which is my garden. It really energizes me.
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Here is my little summer house which I craft in when it’s too hot or rainy outside.

 

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My magical garden where I am just designing a faerie garden and planning to plant some more roses. My friend is making a plaque for me saying Melanie’s Rose garden which I’m really excited about.
  • I eat good quality foods and reward myself with some dairy free vegan desserts  such as this yummy recipe my daughter made me today. Click here to see the recipe.

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  • I write a progress list of everything I have done in the year and give thanks for it all. This reminds me how far I have come, increases my confidence and gives me the momentum to keep going.

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  • I look around for inspirational quotes that inspire me and make me smile.

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  • I make time to meditate and if weather permits I will do it in my garden in my little woodland.
  • I’ll take an hour or two for myself and lay in my hammock watching the world go by. Often with big pup on one side and my cat on the other. But there is something really energizing about being with too super cute furry characters. Purring apparently is really good for our well-being!

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My hammock where I just relax and unwind each day!

  • Pure silence. Not a thought in my head only the sensation of the rocking motion of the hammock. I feel like a baby again in my mums arms.
  • I live in Wales in the countryside so I go out walking and hiking each day and often take our family dog with me. She’s a curious soul and often makes me laugh. Laughing is so uplifting and gives you surge of energy.

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Here’s the big pup!

  • I’ll relax of an evening and read two of my favorite magazines which is wander lust and country walking.
  • I write in my gratitude diary every day and thus always get more to be grateful for. After doing this I am always presented with solutions which helps me retain my energy.
  • I make it my mission to laugh about something every day. Laughing is good for the soul and I get a great energy boost.

Do you have any tips you would like to share how to replenish and juggle your business and life?

4 tips On How To Make Life Style Changes

How To Make Life Style Changes

In this blog I’m going to show you some of the big life style changes I have been making over the past year plus give you a fantastic recipe with incredible food that your going to love.  I changed my career from writing and tarot reading to making jewellery and accessories. This was a big step for me but one of the best decisions of my life as I’m in love what I do which is getting creative and getting paid for what I enjoy doing is a bonus.

My top 4 tips for making any kind of changes in life is take baby steps, keep a record of your progress to build confidence and give yourself plenty of pat on backs. If you are making changes in your business then keep your customers informed and assure them that they are still going to get fantastic customer service, great products but even better products and services. If you are making life style changes for your wedding then why not team up with another bride and motivate and encourage each other each step of the way!

The second step was to re-brand my jewellery and accessory business which was a major step for me. I had to source out new  suppliers whilst others informed me that their products were vegan so that was a huge relief as I had already invested lots of money into my materials. I had already wrote some of Earth Faeries tales which you can find on here on my website and then discovered one of the characters names no longer fitted in with my branding.

It was many months of wondering how to get round this until I had an aha moment. I changed the characters name and several other minor details and now can go forward again. So I’m sorry to all of my followers who have been reading the stories and waiting for the next chapter – I am in the middle of writing it now. Here’s one of my Earth faeries characters being drawn up. Her name is Onyx and she is the keeper of yes you guessed it – all onyx stones. She is almost ready to be painted. My designer sent her through today so it was a happy start to the day.

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The third change for me was to go from being a vegetarian to a vegan. I changed my branding first of all and made all of my products vegan and then my life style just followed suit.

Becoming vegan was something I had always wanted to do for ethical reasons however I have a sweet tooth and didn’t know how on earth I’d get round that. And has it been easy to do? You bet it has! I have been vegan about three weeks and I am wondering why I didn’t do it sooner as my dairy free vegan food and desserts that I have been making is scrumptious and I was amazed at how much variety there is if you love cooking. I’m left wondering how on earth I never knew how many scrumptious alternative foods are out there.

I must admit I have a sweet tooth and I didn’t know how I would cope with quitting chocolate. Enter Deliciously Ella the cook book that changed my life plus lots of great recipes that my daughter has been trying on me. And I haven’t looked back. My daughter has also become vegan which is good because we are getting to bounce ideas for new recipes off each other.  I’d like to share this one with you that my daughter made me.  It is a dairy free chocolate mouse made out of cacao and avocado’s plus lots of other awesome ingredients that are good for the body. You can’t taste the avocado’s and trust me you will be coming back for seconds. But don’t take my word for it, why not try it for yourself.

Recipe for Avocado Chocolate Mousse

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Instructions

2 ripe avocados

4 ripe bananas, peeled

12 Medjool dates pitted

4 table spoons of coconut oil

5 heaped teaspoons of cacao powder

Drizzle of golden syrup – 2 tea spoons (optional)

Sprinkle of chia seeds

This recipe has been taken from Deliciously Ella book by Ella Woodward an adapted.

Instructions

Slice the avocados in half, remove the stones and peels the avocados. Put the avocado flesh into the food processor

Add all remaining ingredients apart from the chai seeds into the food processor with 5 table spoons of water and the syrup and blend it.

Put the finished mixture in four bowls and sprinkle over the chai seeds.

Keep refrigerated for about three hours for it to set and then voila…enjoy!

Do you have other dairy free vegan desserts you can share with me as I’d love to try them

Love Melanie from The Earth Faeries

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any vegan recipes to share with me? Please leave them in the comments section.

 

 

4 Tips To help you achieve your goals!

In this blog I am going to look at the things, experiences and people I am grateful for. Gratitude is in my opinion one of the most magical and powerful ways to change every aspect of your life and it has certainly helped me to expand my business so I  can do more of what I love – which is making more of my jewellery for fabulous customers and have more freedom to do more of what I enjoy. It is also a great way to note your progress which increases momentum and gives you the confidence to go forward. You can apply this with any of your goals including business and your wedding.

This week I am thankful for:

  • For my designer Roberto drawing one of Earth Faeries Characters for me. Her name is Princess Onyx and she is the keeper of Onyx crystals. Here is a sneaky preview of her being drawn. This was the first two drafts and am waiting on the final drawing now. I’m so excited to see the final draft. She is going to be used for my stories, my stickers and other literature. Plus I’m planning on having her made into a henna tatoo and silicone moulds. They are copyrighted to me so my customers won’t be able to get her from anywhere else so they can have something totally unique. A big thank you Roberto.

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  • For the professional photographer who selected me as one of the crafters to feature as part of his project. He is coming on the 15th of this month to my house to photograph me making my hair accessories. It’s my first time having anyone watch me make my inventory so I’ll keep you posted.
  • For my lovely customers for giving me such a fabulous review. I custom made some rose hair accessories for her and her reaction brought tears of joy to my eyes. To view the video please click here which will take you to my Earth Faeries group so you can watch it click here
  • For the encouragement I have received off my clients, their glowing reviews and for them being part of the Earth Faeries experience and helping me to create a brand they love and I love too.
  • For my beautiful garden and the place I live in wales that is often my workshop as I sit out in my garden and in a little summer house to make my inventory. I’m also grateful for all the flowers in my garden that inspire me to make my roses.
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  • For my daughter, friends and Facebook friends for sending me all of the right contacts in order for me to re-brand and turn my business into an eco friendly one which is suitable for vegans.
  • For my friend Natasha for telling me about the craft stall in Whittington and booking it for me so I can join her for a lovely day out in August to showcase my inventory as well as meet more fabulous people.
  • For my friend Rik and my family for always listening to my ideas on what jewellery I am going to make next. I know I eat sleep and breath it and they always show their interest in what I’m doing and encourage me so thank you guys. I’ll try to talk about other things too!
  • For the internet for allowing me to connect with my customers and the rich source of information on it that has really helped take my jewellery business to the next level.
  • For the blogging community, my customers and Facebook friends for showing an interest in my blogs and for following me.
  • For the customers who have bought my jewellery and enabled me to support the charities that I care deeply about The farmhouse Sanctuary supported by Joanna Lumley and forget me not which also provides a sanctuary for rescued farm house animals and other animals. 10% of each of the items I sell goes to these two charities.
  • For my daughter Chelsea for paying me to make a gift for her friends birthday. It is lovely that my own family love and value what I do that they are willing to pay me for my services.
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Classic white hand made rose hair slide

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These are the hand made and sculptured rose I made and customized for my customer.

  • For my best friend Jaswant for always listening to me, encouraging me, sharing my vision for The Earth Faeries and for sending me inspirational ideas through.
  • For all of my new Earth faerie group members for following my status, interacting with me and also posting beautiful inspirational pictures up on my group. For a daily dose of inspiration come and join me here
  • For the abundance of boxes that have been given to me to package my inventory in. I use either recycled or up-cycled. Thank you mum for your help, support belief in me and encouragement.

I always write my gratitude diary every day. It’s an excellent way to see how far I have come and gives me the momentum to go forwards to achieve my objectives.

Here are some tips on how to go forward in life:

  • Forget the past, learn from it and move on. You can’t change the past but you can change your future and create a better one for yourself by starting where you are now and focusing on where you want to be.
  • Keep a daily gratitude diary so you can count your blessings no matter how small they may appear to begin with. You’ll be nicely surprised to see how little things become huge things eventually.  You can use this for your weddings, your business or any other goal that you have. The power of gratitude shifts your mood and puts you on a frequency to receive lots more. It also helps you to keep track of your progress.
  • Be mindful of what you have and the progress you are making, the people who are helping you – it really will help shift your mindset into a more resourceful stage.
  • Be patient with yourself. You have come so far! Acknowledge this and celebrate your mile stones. Give yourself a pat on back. You deserve this as much as anyone. Know this, believe this and others will too. As they say confidence is all an inside job and it’s really working for me.

Do you have any other tips you can share that have helped you go forwards in planning your wedding, expanding your business or in any other goals? Please share in the comments section.

 

With love

Melanie