Sunday, 29 July 2012

Colour Crush: Duck Egg

Quack! The gentle tones of duck egg blue are really soothing, and when combined with brown and white, make one of my favourite combinations (although I always say that!)

With the weather being so hot, i'm sure we'd all like a dip in the pool, so you can join the ducks with these lovely inspired items:

With all the Olympic water sports on, this colour is rather appropriate!

We've chosen from a range of sites again so please pop over if something catches your eye ;)

x x

Friday, 27 July 2012

5 Reasons To Love Negative Feedback

No, that title is not wrong! Negative feedback is one of the worst things you can deal with as a crafter/maker/designer. It crushes us and in one instant, makes us doubt everything we've ever made.

I recently got my first bout of negative feedback and it hurt unbelievably as you can imagine and I felt out of sorts all day.

As you can't please everyone, it has probably happened/will happen to every crafter at some stage, but you can always turn it around and here are some reason to actually love negative feedback.

Made By Giftsandbobs

1. It Keeps You Grounded
I've not had 1 negative feedback in over a year, so it took me by surprise when I got not just 1, but 2 in the space of a couple of weeks. At first, I was angry and thought "How can they say that!?" but after sleeping on it, I thought "I'd rather people say what they feel, even if its bad".

Getting praise is great, but now and again its nice for someone to say something negative, as its so easy to get caught up in praise, but the reality is your products are not going to be to everyones tastes.

2. It Helps You To Improve
Some people can be seriously harsh in their feedback and while you might feel its the customers fault for say, not reading the listing information properly, you can always stop this from happening again by changing your listings to add more prominent info. 

You probably won't feel like this at first as you're understandably angry and upset, but you should look at the feedback and say "Ok, why did they feel that way? How can I make sure it doesn't happen again?"

3. It Tests Your Professionalism
It's so easy to turn around and be rude to someone who left you negative feedback, especially if its completely wrong, but if you think about it, this could have an effect on future sales.

Most sites show a feedback rating or have a feedback system of some sorts. If a problem is not handled with professionalism and someone reads your rude feedback, it can deter people from buying from you. 

If you're going to reply to negative feedback, i'd advise leaving it a day or two so you'll hopefully be in a better frame of mind about the whole thing, don't just charge in!

4. It Puts Things In Perspective
It's very easy to doubt yourself over 1 negative feedback, but comparing it to your good feedback, is it so bad? 1 neutral or negative from 100 sales is pretty good, right?

Some people do like 100% feedback when buying, but if you've handled the issue in a professional manner, I can't see how you'd stop having sales because of 1 bad review. Some people don't look at feedback anyway - so long as they like the item!

5. It Prepares You For The Worst
Getting negative feedback the first time should in theory, prepare you for the second time (not that you want it to happen ever again)

Even if you've never had a single negative comment, preparing yourself incase it does actually happen will probably help in the long run. As mentioned at the beginning, your products may not be to everyone's tastes so you can never assume you'll always get great feedback, although in a perfect world that would be nice!

And that's it! The tips above won't stop the hurt and worry that negative feedback causes, but hopefully it'll help you pick yourself up and to show that something bad can be turned into something good :)

x x

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A Guide To Product Photography Backgrounds

Photography is one of, if not the most, important aspects of selling online. Customers only have your photos to go by and good photos may be the tipping point between a sale or no sale.

Here we'll be looking at the different types of backgrounds you can give to your products to show them off to their fullest.

White or Clean Backgrounds

White or clean backgrounds show off your products without any fancy backdrops or other items that might distract from it. 

It is a very simple approach and shows exactly what the buyer is getting. This look can be achieved using a light tent or by playing around with your original photos using a site called Fotofuze.

They give the photo a professional air, which could lead them to being featured in blogs, treasuries or magazines more than others, although this isn't always the case.

Wooden Backgrounds

If your items are rustic or perhaps too light for white/clean backgrounds, then a wooden background may suit you.

Wooden backgrounds give a natural feel so are perfect for items that are shabby chic inspired and give an outdoorsy feel to your products. There are lots of types of wood, so choose one that compliments your items well.

You don't have to spend a lot to achieve this look and if wood isn't working for you, there are other natural backgrounds you can use such as grass, rocks, slate and bark.

Real Life Models

This isn't so much a background, but rather a way to display your products. Some products such as clothes and bags for example, might be more appealing to a buyer if seen on a real life model, so they can imagine the sizings better.

Real life models can have many backgrounds, such as a professional white or colour backdrop or a outdoor background, showing how they might use your product during day to day life.

Models can also work for badges, jewellery and baby clothing just to name a few. Maybe experiment with plastic models and real people to see what works best.

Framed vs Unframed

Most sellers usually show a framed and unframed picture of their prints now anyway, but the way you display both can be done in different ways.

Where will the frame be located? In a living room, bedroom, kitchen or bathroom? Maybe the location depends on the print or colours?

If unframed, will it be photographed flat or propped up? Will you use a dark or light background? There's lots to consider!

There are many other types of backgrounds and display methods depending on what you're selling, so a lot of it is down to experimenting.

Try to use the Macro setting on your camera to get a clearer shot and if you've got a nice day, try using natural light instead of artificial. 

Don't be afraid to ask others which photos they prefer and although it can be frustrating and time consuming, it should be worth it in the end :)

x x

Monday, 23 July 2012

Everyday Inspiration: Tesco Camomile Tea

Ever since I did a packaging project in college, i've noticed packaging on products a lot more than I probably should.

The tea & coffee aisle is one of my favourites for packaging and the other day I had a good look at Tesco's new tea packaging (love love love!)

The packaging was designed by UK based R Design.

I chose camomile for its colours, scalloped ribbon design and of course, the background patterns.

So here's some Scandinavian designs to inspire you :)

Look out for Tesco's other flavours including Peppermint, Lemon-Ginger and Green Tea, all have equally gorgeous packaging and I bet they smell good too!

x x

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Featured Fabric: Clover by Astrid Weigel

A bold yet simple pattern, Clover by Astrid Weigel is right up my street.

As a lover of anything simple, hand drawn looking and colourful, it ticks a lot of boxes for me and even though I don't sew, i'm itching to get hold of some the Turquoise, if only just to look at how pretty it is.

The Turquoise would be my personal favourite if I were making a coin purse, but i'd equally adore a phone case in the fun Sunny Yellow or even a tea towel in the bold Tomato Red.

Its bright colours suit a number of projects, as demonstrated by Astrid's Matryoshka Door Stop.

As shown above, Astrid uses her own fabrics in some of her work, so even if you have no sewing skills like me, you can still purchase the fabric as part of her other products :)

Clover is available at both her Folksy and Etsy shops and don't forget to also look out for her abstract fabric, which is just as lovely.

x x

Thursday, 19 July 2012

5 Reasons To Love Friendship Bracelets

It may seem like an odd subject for a post, but friendship bracelets have evolved from the days of getting your friends to make you one when you were 13.

I don't wear much jewellery myself, but I still love making these cute little bracelets when I want to take a break from making cards.

So here's my top 5 reasons for getting or even making one for yourself:

Made by SlyRaven

1. You can make them yourself!
The simplest of bracelets with the diagonal stripe are easy enough to make. They require very little materials apart from embroidery thread, although you can always bling yours up if you like.

They do hurt your fingers after a while and can be time-consuming, but they're so worth it and besides, you don't have to finish a bracelet in one sitting.

2. They're fashionable!
If you're a trend follower, the friendship bracelet makes a nice addition to a tribal/aztec outfit, as well as a bohemian or festival look.

You can even just go on colour - pastels and brights would look sweet and make great accessories without breaking the bank.

See? They never go out of fashion!

3. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours!
The joy is you can completely make the bracelet to suit you; you choose the colours, the length and the pattern. You can even buy custom bracelets on places like Etsy where they're made to your requirements.

There are lots of patterns from the simple stripe to chevron to naughts and crosses. There are also simple woven ones that look good if you love simplicity or you could go for thicker designs.

4. They make great presents!
As mentioned above, as you can buy custom bracelets now, this opens up a lot of options for presents, especially if you know the recipients tastes.

Giving a handmade bracelet is also rewarding, as you put the time and effort into creating it and choosing the right colours/pattern for it. Making it yourself makes the present a one off too :)

Made by Quiet Mischief

5. They're just great fun to make!
Even if I have times where I can't get into a rhythm or just get fed up with the bracelet i'm working on, I still go back to making them at some point and find them fun all over again.

I suppose in some ways they are a great patience builder, as its quite easy to do a bit then leave it or get annoyed when you get something wrong (i've done that a lot!)

And that's it!
Hopefully you'll give making one a go if you haven't already, 
have fun! :)

 x x

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Colour Crush: Coral Pink

Our current colour crush has to be coral pink; its a great colour to brighten up the rainy day blues and compliments other colours such as turquoise extremely well.

Here are some coral delights to get you inspired:

All the shops above come from Folksy, Etsy, Wow Thank You and Luulla so hopefully you'll find some new favourite shops :)

If you're not feeling the coral love, why not suggest another colour for us to crush on? 

x x

A Welcome Note

Welcome to No.58, a brand new small craft & design blog, hello!

My name is Leanne and I run a greetings card business called Ello Design. I've been self-employed for over a year now and while I love many aspects of craft, my background is in design. I wanted to create a blog that combined both of these things, rather than focus on just one, and so here we are!

There are many things I plan to feature on here. Aside from different types of crafts, i'd also like to look at materials (I have a massive fabric crush, despite not being able to sew!) helpful tips for those starting out and featuring items from a lot of different selling sites, not just one or two.

As I said earlier, my background is in design, so I might throw in the odd packaging or stationery design now and then :)

I already have my own business blog for Ello, so if you'd like news on our products, you can always pop over there.

I look forward to (hopefully) featuring your items very soon :)

x x