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Father’s Day

It’s really easy to make things which are suitable for girls/women, whatever the occasion there are endless possibilities with jewellery, scarves and hair accessories to name but a few, not to mention the lovely cards you can make to go with them.

When it comes to men it’s a completely different story!  Most men are very difficult to buy for as even if you know what they’re into, they are usually quite specific as to what they want.  I was determined to come up with something to offer on my stalls as Father’s Day gifts, not least because I have an event just a week before at a local hotel.

Having gone through all my stock I decided to have a go at making paracord bracelets.  If you aren’t familiar with them, they are bracelets made from 550 paracord (the stuff they use on parachutes) which is extremely strong, so as well as being a chunky masculine bracelet, it also double up as a survival tool.

After much experimentation I have come up with these:
Cobra Switch Knot

I have made them in 2 different lengths, to suit different sized wrists; the smaller ones measure approximately 8.5″, whilst the larger ones are approximately 9.5″ in length.

Once I was happy with the lengths and the design I went on to make them in a variety of colours:

Solomon Bar Bracelet

I also had a go at another design for which I found some existing instructions.

Whilst making them it occurred to me that if you did need to unravel them in an emergency it would take quite a long time to undo all the knots so I began thinking about ways I could make them which would be quicker to unravel.  If you’ve ever caught a thread on a knitted or crochet item you’ll know how easily they will come undone and leave you with a big ball of yarn.

With this in mind I dug out a large crochet hook and have so far made this simple design using a basic crochet chain. Crochet bracelet

I’d love to know what you think of my creations, and in particular your thoughts on the crocheted bracelets, so please leave a message or drop me a line.

Similarly, if you would be interested in buying one of these, perhaps as a Father’s Day gift or another occassion drop me a line with your requirements.

 

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Where does the time go?!

So it’s been a while, even longer than I realised.  It’s not that I haven’t been crafting, but apart from the rush to get things made for Christmas events I haven’t got much to show.  I’ve spent plenty of time crafting over the past few months, but it seems I haven’t finished much, in fact the list of ongoing projects keeps growing:

  • 2 Cross stitch pictures
  • Patchwork quilt
  • Various Decopatch projects
  • A couple of knitting projects
  • A crochet jumper
  • A pair of trousers

There are a few more things I’ve got in mind to start and I’m sure there are even more half finished projects I’ve completely forgotten about!

I’m having a big sort out so I’ll get some pictures of the bits I made in the run up to Christmas and then I’ll endeavour to finish what I’ve started before I begin anything new.

Don’t forget you can follow all my Decopatch makes on the Devonpatch blog.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2014 in General

 

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Update

As some of you may know, aside from my Chocolate Frogg Craft Creations I also run a craft business called Devonpatch, which specialises in Decopatch.  This started out as a joint venture between myself and my good friend Susie.  Over the summer Susie has made the decision to leave Devonpatch to concentrate on other things.

I am still doing all my crafty makes as time permits, however most of the Decopatch makes will now show up on the Devonpatch blog rather than on here so please follow both so you don’t miss out on any new makes and ideas. 

In other craft news, I’ve been busy working on some new pyrographed key rings and door hangers and hope to be able to show them to you soon. 

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Decopatch, General

 

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Remove the Barriers

I know I’ve not been showing off any new creations lately, I’ve been trying to catch up with the paperwork, but often find myself getting all too easily distracted by other things.  I promise I will get some bits made up soon.

If you run a small business how often have you heard people saying something like ‘That’s really lovely, but I haven’t got enough money on me today’?

Many small businesses would love to be able to accept debit and credit card payments but think the monthly fees are just too high.  Now there are affordable ways you can start accepting card payments without a monthly charge and quite low commission, some of the ones I researched were iZettle and Payleven, however we ended up going with the new WorldPay Zinc.

How it works

You take the WorldPay Zinc card reader and download an app to your phone or tablet through which you can take chip and pin payments.  It is also possible to take signature payments using the magnetic strip (for cards without chip and pin) and cardholder not present payments through your online account for telephone sales. Simply enter the amount into the app, insert the customers card into the card reader, ask them to confirm the amount and enter their pin.

This is completely safe to use as no information is stored on either the card reader or your phone.  The reader is unable to print out receipts, however it sends them via SMS or email straight to your customer, therefore also saving paper.

WorldPay Zinc have made it easy and affordable for any business to accept card payments. We have given it a go and it has already boosted sales when we’re out and about at events.  The cost of the card reader is usually £59.99, this is a one off payment.  Then you can take card payments with a 2.75% fee going to WorldPay Zinc for each transaction you make (this is less than PayPal fees through our website).  There are no monthly costs and if you don’t take any payments then you don’t pay anything.

Offer

To make it even easier, you can receive £20 off the cost of your card reader through the friend referral scheme, here’s how:

On step 5 of the application form, in the reference code field type D Watts – Devonpatch TQ2 7NG

www.worldpayzinc.com

The offer is open until the end of October so don’t leave it too long.

One last thing

Be sure to make it obvious you can take card payments, for instance create signs using the Visa, Mastercard and Maestro logos and watch your sales increase!

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2013 in General

 

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Be Seen

If you enjoy doing a craft then it’s easy to create products to sell and (depending on the craft) before you know it you can have a whole range of products waiting to be snapped up.

What isn’t so easy is getting your products out there for people to see them, and if they’re sat gathering dust at home they certainly won’t sell!

Setting up a website is a great way of getting things out there and isn’t as difficult or expensive as you might think.  I have created my own website using Create.net, I found their online software very easy and intuitive to use.  If I can’t figure out how to do something their help centre is fantastic and failing that you have an account manager you can email.  All the account managers are very friendly and get back to you very quickly.  What’s more Create are very affordable and even offer a free 30 day trial so go and check them out.

Social media is another avenue, try showing off your creations to your friends on Facebook, but don’t stop there, create a Facebook Page (rather than a personal account) so anyone can take a look without sending a friend request.  Twitter and Pinterest also have their uses.

So far everything I have mentioned will still leave your products sat gathering dust at home, so what next?

The next step is to find a shop willing to display your goods.  This may seem like a scary step to take, but believe me it’s worthwhile and feels really great when you actually see your products displayed in shop windows or display cabinets.

So now you’re probably asking how you go about it.  Well walking into John Lewis asking for the manager and saying ‘Fancy stocking my stuff’ isn’t likely to work.  Try approaching small outlets where your products would fit in (you wouldn’t want toys displayed in a jewellery store for instance).  Make it worthwhile to them, say that you would be willing to give them stock on a sale or return basis for instance.

When you find a shop that is willing to give your creations a go discuss terms, prices, their cut, etc.  Don’t be too pushy to start with in regards to demanding they take a smaller percentage but at the same time make sure you are getting at least enough to cover your costs.

I have tried this with our products and I now have stock in The Bloody Chic Of It in Teignmouth, the Torquay Museum shop and most recently Gifted in Buckfastleigh.

My products on display in the window of Gifted in Buckfastleigh

My products on display in the window of Gifted in Buckfastleigh

So what are you waiting for?!  Be brave, be passionate about your crafty creations and make sure your products can be seen.  Good luck!

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Just the way you want it

My latest makes are these fantastic key rings.  The images are hand pyrographed into sycamore blanks before attaching the metal ring.

As each one is hand crafted you can choose any design you like, you can even draw your own picture for me to copy!  Text can also be added to the design or separately on the reverse.

These lovely key rings make great bag fobs for labelling school and nursery bags as they are hard wearing and the designs do not rub off.  They can also be used for hotel room keys as they are nice and chunky.

You can purchase these lovely key rings for just £2.50 each plus P&P so if you want to label your child’s schoolbag ready for September, label keys at work or just give someone a personalised gift order yours today.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

It’s Party Time!

A Decopatch party is great fun for children of all ages (and adults too) so look no further than Devonpatch if you are planning a party and want something a bit different.

Before the party you get to choose which kits you would like to do at your party and which colour party bags you would like.

On the day we arrive at your venue and set everything up before your guests arrive.  Each guest receives an item to Decopatch, a brush, pot of glue and can choose which paper design they would like to use.  We also provide containers for the paper whilst they are tearing it up to avoid too much mess, aprons for each child and a tablecloth.  We can also provide a table upon request.

As guests arrive we ask them to choose their paper, then when they are all sat down with their aprons on we give full instructions on how to Decopatch.  Whilst they get started all the remaining papers are packed away to create space if needed for food to be put out.  We are on hand to provide help and answer any questions the guests have.

As guests finish we provide wet wipes for sticky fingers and clean their brushes and wipe the outside of their glue pots.  Their Decopatched item is put to dry whilst any remaining paper is put in their party bag along with their brush and glue and an instruction sheet should they wish to continue at home.  The bags are plenty big enough should you wish to add any extras such as cake, sweets or small toys.

When all the children have finished we clear up everything and ensure the Decopatched creations all go into the correct (named) party bags once dry.

If you would like a Devonpatch Party or know someone who would then please get in touch with dani@devonpatch.co.uk

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Decopatch

 

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