Natural Gemstone Pendants - handmade by me in the United Kingdom


I make unique one-of-a-kind pendants using natural gemstones like Agate, Amethyst, Jasper and Quartz but at very affordable prices. If you want to be different from the crowd, then check out my pendants and other items. You will never see anyone wearing the same as you.

I design and make greeting cards too.

Find me on Facebook, Google Plus, Etsy and Folksy

Friday, 30 September 2011

I Made a Birthday Card – so why do I feel so bad about it?

Wow it’s been warm today – our summer has arrived at last – just when we are well into Autumn!  I have been sitting in the garden today and it has been like a Summers day.  If it is still as warm tomorrow I wonder if it will break October records as I certainly don’t ever remember it being this warm in October.


I made a birthday card which I must say looked really quite good for my first attempt at making a pop-up card. I should have thought to have taken a photo of it to show you  before I put it in the envelope!   I saw the instructions on StumbleUpon a little while ago and thought I would have a go.  Now why is it that I feel a bit of a cheapskate to send a handmade birthday card – will they think I am too tight to buy one I wonder.  I am sure some people will appreciate that a lot of effort has gone into making it rather than just popping one in the supermarket trolley but then I am sure some others will think I don’t think enough of them to pay for one and just made one instead.  It’s hard to know what people think about this isn’t it.  It’s funny really but somehow I feel that if I make one it is a bit like making one for Mothers Day at school.  It’s a sort of Blue Peter / school / Sunday school project rather than a personal thought-out and spend time doing thing for adults.  I think my card looks quite good, although a tad on the amateur side.  Oh well it is done now and I am certainly not going to just dump it after all that work and buy a cheap one down the shop.  I will try to judge by the reaction when they open it but then it is just the same when you buy someone a present – you can sometimes go to a lot of trouble to choose something you think is particularly suitable for that person and yet they don’t seem particularly enthralled when you give it to them and you wonder if you would have been better to have just bought them a bottle of plonk like nearly everyone had done.  So does it seem like I am being “cheap” if I make a card?


It’s a bit like my pendants – I try to keep my prices to supermarket / clothes shop type prices, as money is so tight for everyone at the moment, and yet would people think “that is expensive for something handmade” or would they think “that must be rubbish to be that cheap for a handmade item”.  Would people rather buy a pendant that they think is better because it is manufactured and sold in a supermarket or clothes shop, even though there may be thousands of others wearing the same pendant, or would they prefer to buy one that they know is unique and that no-one else will ever have?  I would rather make a little on a few sales than a bit more on just one sale and I also want to get my Pendant-Heaven name known so I do like to keep my prices low.   Somehow though, it always seems easier for people to pop a pendant in the supermarket trolley with the groceries than buy something online.  I am sure the crystal lovers and people more into new age type things, Healing, Reiki, Tarot, Angels etc., are likely to appreciate them more as they know about crystals and know they are all unique, each and every one. 


I am sure everyone who makes and sells their items have similar problems.  Why buy a handmade card and pay the postage twice to send a card to someone?  Why buy a scarf that has been made by hand when you have the choice of hundreds in shops where you can actually see them?  Why buy a handmade candle when you could probably conjure one up yourself if you had the time?  So many reasons as to why should anyone buy handmade?  Would you appreciate it more knowing the effort that someone has put in to make it?  Would you like it better as it is individually unique?  Which some aren’t of course, as some artisans make loads of identical items or use very slightly different materials, although they are still handmade.  I buy one-of-a-kind bears as you know and although they are all a bit different each artist has their own style and whereas some will say a bear is a limited edition and make 5 of them another artist will make one but if other people also wanted one like it they will make 5 others but all slightly different so they are all one-off.  Other bear artists will only ever make one like that and once it has sold they will never make another similar one.  I can only ever make one of all my pendants as they all look different because they are all made by nature.  They can be cut in the same shape but the natural patterning is always different.  There are a few exceptions of course as it would be hard to tell the difference between Rose Quartz gemstones for instance – they do have different patterning of course but it is not so obvious to the naked eye.


Then of course there is the debate as to whether your handmade item will be well made or a load of rubbish but just look good in the photo.  There again some photos can make a bad thing look good or a good thing look bad or not do it any justice.  Personally I find continuous comments in my ebay feedback that my pendants looked even better than the photograph – LOL now is that just a complement about my pendants or does it prove I am useless as a photographer?  I know I have improved a lot as a photographer as time has gone on.  We as a family rarely took photos and indeed I had to buy a new camera when I started selling my pendants online as the old one was nowhere near good enough.  I have now learnt to brighten them using a photo editor which I think has brought them up more or less back to how they really look but I need to try different ways and different places to take the photos as the bathroom windowsill in definitely not ideal (especially for my bad back, to have to lean over the sink to take them).  It also restricts what time of day I can take them as I only really have about a 2 hour interval when the sun has moved round but it is still bright enough to take the photos, and yet I still have to be careful not to get the reflection of the window opener on the gemstone.


I suppose a buyer takes a risk buying a handmade item online as they only have a photograph of the item which can be deceiving as to what the buyer will eventually end up with.  You could buy a handmade bag, for example, that looked great in the photo but when you receive it the stitching is messy and the material is frayed which gives way after 3 weeks of using it.  You are really out on a limb when buying something from a photo when you don’t know how well made it is or how good the quality is of the materials used and the workmanship.  I suppose reading feedback on the seller is the only way to make sure you are buying something that you will be really wanting for yourself or as a present.  I am lucky as I have excellent feedback on ebay and have some wonderful complementary comments rather than just “great item and fast delivery” or something similar.  My customers have made great statements in the few keystrokes they are allocated in the feedback section on ebay.  But on ArtFire you can only comment if you are a member, so all the items you sell to non-members (which I presume will be the majority) will not get any feedback which seems silly to me and I hope they change that.  It is early days for me on ArtFire but I did want to have my own little online shop rather than keep selling on ebay.  I hope to eventually just use ArtFire but until sales pick up on there I have to use ebay too as I do sell a lot on there.  I think here in the UK we are not really “into” handmade items and don’t really know of online sites such as ArtFire and Etsy etc.   They do seem to be more popular in the US but hopefully they will get more of a foothold here in the UK soon.


Although yesterdays blog had a little bit in about deleting a wrong entry on Google Chrome it was mainly about my life so I probably wrongly titled it so please do give it a read if you like just reading my “normal” stuff.

LOL – and after my long post today, here is my usual snippet of trivia:

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.


And here is todays chuckle:

As a senior citizen was driving down the motorway, his car phone rang.
Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him,
"Vernon, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on the M25. Please be careful!"

"Hell," said Vernon, "It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"

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