Tuesday, 15 May 2012

I love the web, what an amazing source of information that is available at our fingertips. In my youth it was all about encyclopedias, now it's a tap of a few buttons and "Voila". I recently was reading through a friends Facebook timeline and just loved her status update : I am painting a blue square in my backyard so Google Earth thinks we have a pool! Nothing like a good status update to have a good laugh at.

As mentioned in my previous posting, I am new to Australia, so in order for me to remain sane, I am constantly thinking of new things to create. My jewellery is my good old trusty favourite, one that I can turn to when all other crafts fail. I can create the pieces I want to and know that most times they turn out exactly the way I planned...why? because I am passionate about beads. Find what craft makes you tick and get creating.

 Recently, I purchased a new sewing machine, my Brother cs6000i and I can honestly say its the best machine I have ever owned. I was determined to learn the art of appliqué and with the help of the web and the many blogs I have read, particularly craftygemini.blogspot.com.au, I was able to successfully sew up a few outfits for my little girl...and some matching pjs for my big girl.  Not perfect but this is the first time I have sewn clothing.

So if you ever feel inspired to want to create, use google and YouTube to search for hints and tips, I did!

So back to the reason why I am writing this post...I have the privilege of being featured on Jills blog to share my craft with their readers who will hopefully become mine too...you see there is no better way to get traffic to your website than advertising and what a great way to start. Thank you Jill

The success of my craft or yours for that matter depends on how much traffic you can drive towards your site. A potential buyer is out there just waiting for direction...I have sold two pieces already on my madeit.com online store however this has taken time. I have had 250 hits on my site, so just be patient. I know selling online is not easy, people want to touch and feel. Positive ratings or feedback is very important as potential buyers want to know that they are buying from a trustworthy seller. Be open, be honest and be a good communicator. Have detailed descriptions and plenty of pictures. Etsy.com or madeit.com.au are excellent market places for you to sell your wares.

I can't measure my success in monetary terms yet. My success comes from my love of creating the unique piece of jewellery and then when the product does get purchased, knowing that the person wearing the jewellery is loving it too. 

I love what I do and I do what I love, you should too.

ps .... I have posted my absolute favourite chocolate cake recipe in a previous post...give it a try, it is delicious....click here

xx Shelley

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Secret revealed.....my popular chocolate slab

Hi friends...

For many years I have made a chocolate cake and received many compliments.  At one point, every time I asked if I could bring something for a party, the standard answer was ....your chocolate cake. I can't take credit for the recipe but it was one that I received from a friend, Cathy many years back and I was hooked.

  Recently we celebrated my son, Adams thirteenth birthday.... all those years of being a bratty teenager to my mom have now turned full circle to haunt me... I now have a teenager in the house with another one, my daughter, Skye to follow in a years time. Thank goodness this will give me plenty of practice by the time baby Eryn reaches her teens. Adam dislikes cakes. He has never been a fan of cake, I wish I could say he has never been a fan of sweet things but sadly it's just cake, oh and vegetables!

The day before his birthday I asked him what he would like me to make him for his birthday and his reply...Mom, please make your chocolate cake, it's the best! Well enough said. Out came my dusty recipe!  Yes my waistline made me hide it for a while. It's super easy and one that will please most tongues but beware it is not one that will aid a diet.  Once you have tried it out, I would love to hear your thoughts. I have included some pictures although not the best camera but you get the idea... A beautifully moist, decadent chocolate delight.


125g margarine
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups of cake flour
2 cups of white sugar

2 eggs (slightly beaten)
125ml buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

60g margarine or butter
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp buttermilk
1&1/2 cups of icing sugar

In a microwaveable large bowl, place the margarine, oil, cocoa and water in the bowl. Melt in the microwave. Add flour (I'm lazy and I don't sieve but you are welcome to) and sugar to the cocoa mix and stir with a wooden spoon.  Then add the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla essence and bicarb and stir.

Pour into a retangular ceramic ovenproof dish
and bake at 180 deg C. for 25-30min.

Remove cake and allow it to stand for 10-15min.

Prepare icing.  In a glass jug, place butter, cocoa and buttermilk and melt in the microwave.

Stir in the cups of icing sugar until dissolved and while the mixture is still hot, pour it over the slab ensuring that the full cake is covered.

Leave the cake to cool before serving.  Cut into squares and serve on its own or with a dusting of icing sugar and a strawberry or two.  Do enjoy this decadent delight.

sent with love from my kitchen to yours xx

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Well I am very excited.  As a new business, it is difficult to direct traffic and potential purchasers to your site.  I have been offered a spot on a website advertising create businesses within Australia. Any news is advertising and this is the start.  I was browsing through the Madeit forum and came across this post asking people to submit their websites and if chosen we would be featured on the site.  So I have to start putting finger to keyboard and answer some questions.  Look out for my feature, it will be on the website on 11th April 2012  http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com.au/

Please also remember that I would love your feedback, drop me a line in the comment box just to let me know you have visited, or for you to subscribe to my site so that I can keep you up to date with new designs and happenings.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Time for Introductions....

Okay, so its time for introduction and a face to a name.  As my profile says, my name is Shelley and this is my family.

Bryan my amazing husband, what a wonderful father he is to all three of our children, Adam, Skye and Eryn.

Bryan and I met and married 15 years ago.  He is a business man and works hard to provide for his family.  Our eldest, Adam is a budding musician and attends a school for the arts.  He loves piano and singing.  Skye our second born, is a dancer.  Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary are her passion.  If she could dance for a living, she would.  Eryn our baby with a ten year gap between her and Skye, is an angel.  She brings such joy to all of us.  The two eldest love their little sister and she loves them too. The children rock our world!

Skye, Adam, Shelley, Eryn and Bryan

From time to time, I will be dropping in a snippet about my family.  I hope you dont mind but every mother has to have her time to brag.


NEW !! NEW!! NEW!!

I woke up, this beautiful public holiday.  The weather is a bit on the chilly side as it is nearing the middle of March.  The sun is peeking through the clouds.  As I lay on my pillow, thinking about the day ahead, I remembered these beautiful red beads I had in my box.  They are a deep red and I knew that I had to design a necklace with them. 

It is finished and I love it...here it is.  I will be listing it on Etsy and MadeIt tomorrow.

I do hope that there is a buyer out there for this because I know whoever buys it will LOVE it!  It is a good weight and feels beautiful.  Take a look...and if you love it or know someone who will...send them to my shop....

what a great day


Sunday, 11 March 2012

How to Install a MadeIt Badge on your blog

Well it took me forever to figure how to install a Madeit Web Badge button on my site....but this is how I eventually did it.

  • Go to www.madeit.com.au
  • Scroll to the bottom of the home page and in the foot notes, you will see Web Badge, Click on this.  
  • Chose which badge you would like to display and copy the html code ie select the code, right click and copy.
  • Next go to your blog.  Now I am using Blogspot,com so this is a how to for this site.
  • Go to Design, then click on layout.  This will bring up a layout of your blog page.
  • Click on add a gadget, a list of gadgets will now appear.Under Basics, find HTML/Java Script.Click on the plus sign on the right hand side.
  • In the next box, add a title and in the large box underneath the title, Right click and paste your html code.
  • Dont forget to save.
  • Dont forget to submit your website address with the madeit button to the MadeIt Forums to be incuded in the Lovely Madeit Sellers who Blog page here 

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Here are my new links

Remember I told you my story of the name change...I forgot to give you the new addressses.

Please visit them and remember to pass on my information to people who may be interested in my items.

website still has to be changed but here is the old one in the meantime

have a great day!

Name Change...ALERT!!!

Oh my...after weeks of setting up my etsy shop and made it shop and my website and blogspot, I have now decided to change the name.  For practicality and labelling Soupspoon Designs will be better than Soupspoon Gifts...so off to redesign the logo and was this a task in itself.  I had tried many programs and finally settled on using different size banners for my etsy shop and madeit shop and then a full size image for my blog.  These were made on Microsoft Publisher.  I do have a small issue of clarity but I will be playing around on Photoshop to figure out if I can clear (pardon the pun) up this issue.

You may wonder why my shop is called Soupspoon Designs.  I don't sell spoons or make them.  I started off with The Soupspoon Gift Company for my jewellery line.  Soupspoon has been a nickname of my surname for many years.  This was a play on my family name, so The Soupspoon Gift Company was formed however as I am planning on expanding my range to include sewing, labels for the clothing would seem odd with Soupspoon Gifts hence the need for a change and rather now before I start advertising.

So finally welcome to my shop...Soupspoon Designs.  The home of handcrafted jewellery and many future ideas.

Within the next few days, I will be posting some picks of my designs...

Have a good evening...I am off to bed!

And so it began....

I moved to Melbourne a little over three months ago from South Africa. I had never visited Australia but I hadn't visited England either and we moved there in 2000. So would this be so different from that...and yes it was. I moved to England with two small kids, ie no schools to worry about etc but our move to Aussie was so much more. I had to find new schools, places to buy uniforms, stationery, a ballet school, a piano teacher, a mothers group, a church, a shop to purchase pointe shoes and dancing supplies and boy was this a task in itself...but here I am three months down the line. Children loving their respective schools, baby adjusted from the jet lag ( waking at night and sleeping during the day), car fitted with a satellite navigational device...a must for a first timer to Australia.

Now that the family is settled, I needed to find me again...it's quiet during the day, older children are at school and hubby is at work and with baby in tow, I can't venture too far. So out came my beading supplies and it felt so good to be running my fingers through these magical little gems...oh how I missed them. They had been en transit for over two months and then with settling in, they were pushed to the back burner. They are now out again in full glory and waiting to be constructed into a design.

I left many customers behind in South Africa so time to start finding new ones. I began searching online for markets and came across eBay. It didn't seem like the right place for my crafts but I tried it anyway. I must say eBay is great for many things but I know that from my experience, people look for a bargain on eBay. My material costs don't allow me to sell my pieces for 99c so I hit the Internet again, this time I discovered Etsy.com.What a little treasure. Just browsing through the sellers stores kept me up til the wee hours of the morning. I regretted it the next day especially when bubba had kept me awake for most of the night. What a great site and well done to all those clever esty sellers out there. If I could create half the things on there, I would feel like a cat with a bowl of cream....darn lucky. I started my shop, small with a few of my designs.


its a start... But then.... I discovered Australia has a site just like it ....Australia...you beauty!!!


and again full of designers that are closer to me. What a talented island this is! So my little shop has opened ...


I have a few designs listed but this is only the beginning...watch this space as I explore ways in which to promote my little virtual shop and grow it into a fun little business. Something to surely keep me out of mischief... So as they say...watch this space and please watch my others too...check out my website too


Soon I hope to have my own domain name but for now this will suffice.

Have a great day
xx Shelley