Thursday, 7 July 2016

how to travel with statement acrylic jewellery

If you're an acrylic jewellery fan then you'll want to wear something from your collection everyday, and that also means on holiday; whether that's an overnight stay, a weekend away or two weeks somewhere sunny.

Acrylic is delicate, some of the huge statement pieces you have won't travel well if you lay them in your case or put them into the pocket of your hand luggage and a jewellery roll is more than useless in this situation.

I travel quite a lot and and I have a practical but unfortunately not very sexy way to travel with your jewels.

I use one of the deep (3 cm) designosaur boxes with the velvet insert removed. I then chose which pieces I want to take away with me and pack them into ziplock bags (which you can buy at the supermarket) before stacking all of the pieces in the box (DO NOT FORCE THEM - they will break).

Why this works for me? Well the box is sturdy and not too big, I don't want to pack all of the individual boxes as then I'd have a case full of jewellery and not much room for anything else!

The ziplock bags are reusable, clear - so you can easily put your hands on the piece you want to wear out for dinner, and conveniently keep the chains from tangling with each other, whilst protecting your jewellery from any suncream explosions, getting dusty and the chains from tarnishing.

So now you know how I do it, my question to you is, how do YOU travel with your bigger jewellery pieces? Also if we were to create travel jewellery storage, what would you want it to do/look like?



Friday, 1 July 2016

how to care for your acrylic jewellery

So your jewellery is made of acrylic, BUT that doesn't mean it's invincible, want to keep it in the best condition possible? Follow our top tips...

Don't apply pressure to your jewellery, most of our designs are big statement pieces and that actually makes them more fragile. The easiest way to break your jewellery is to apply pressure to it. Biggest culprits for this: across body bags, seat belts and standing on your jewellery!

Do put your jewellery away! The designosaur box that your jewellery arrives in is perfect to store it, it will stop the air getting to it, which will slow the process of the chain tarnishing, and stop dust getting into the engraving. Jewellery hangers although pretty are the worst for your jewellery (sorry!)

If your jewellery is looking a bit grubby, we're talking fingerprints and a bit of dust then just use a soft cloth (microfibre, duster, the bottom of your t-shirt - anything dirt free) to polish these out. Remember that acrylic scratches easily so be careful of this.

Don't get your jewellery wet! Do not go out in a storm, in the shower or swimming in ANY of your designosaur jewellery, you'll destroy the findings (they'll tarnish straight away), and if you have a piece that contains wood pieces it'll warp! If your jewellery does get wet by accident, then dry it with a soft cloth as quickly as possible.

Don't use perfume, moisturiser, sun cream, hairspray or any other chemical where you wear your jewellery as this can lead to discoloration, a change in texture of the acrylic and generally it's game over.

The majority of our chains are silver or gold plated which means that they will tarnish over time, if you wear your jewellery all the time and the chain has worn out then we can replace it, or if you would prefer a sterling silver chain (which will still tarnish but can be polished until the shine returns) this can be added for a small charge.

Follow all our tips and you'll have a collection that stands the test of time, any other questions, let us know in the comments!


Karli (and Jacques)

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

brighton etsy craft party | what to do this weekend

Not made plans for this Friday? I'm here to help! We're helping to run the fourth annual Brighton Etsy Craft Party, and it's going to be MEGA!

get your paper craft on, and make a paper garland with Fleur de Carott

With a wide variety of workshops on the night, it’s an opportunity to pick up a new skill, meet like-minded individualS and most importantly have fun! There’s also cake, games and prizes, a bar, music, and much more. Once again we’ll be taking over the Brighthelm centre for the night.

make a floral crown from English flowers with Flower Show Presents

Tickets are available for in advance for £7. The price of your ticket includes entry plus all workshops and materials, plus plenty of cake! Don’t forget some cash for the bar. The first 100 people to arrive on the night will get a free enamel pin (worth £7) exclusively designed for the event by I Like CATS.

Tickets on the door will be £10, so get your ticket in advance before it's too late!

learn how to weave on a hand loom with Peas and Needles

They'll also be more workshops and a Craft Swap, so you can bring your unwanted craft supplies and swap them for something new!

It's going to be a huge event, and we can't wait to see you getting your craft on,

See you there,


Karli (and Jacques)

Photo Credit | Peas and Needles, Flower Show Presents, Fleur De Carotte

Friday, 27 May 2016

what to see at brighton festival, fringe and artists' open houses | last weekend

Lets talk about how awesome Brighton is in May, you've got Artists' Open Houses, Brighton Festival AND Brighton Fringe. There's a lot going on and a lot of it is FREE!

We try to go to as much stuff as we can during May, some of it is hit, some of them - big misses!

Here's a little round up of what we have seen over the last week (well the one's I took photos of)

Dr Blighty |

You've got tonight and tomorrow night to get down to this! A ten minute projection showing you the history of the Pavilion, there's also lots of other parts of the exhibition in the gardens, from story telling sound trumpets and multi coloured lights in the lawn... it's the best thing we've seen as part of the Festival, definitely check it out if you can, it's FREE after all!

Studio Loo is our FAVOURITE open house, now I find open houses a little bit #awkward a lot of the time, some people make you feel like you're trespassing, others you don't know whether you're allowed to cut the cake yourself or if you have to be served, and some of them are just damn right boring and you can't wait to get the hell out of there.

Studio Loo however, none of that, Claire is almost always there, she's chatty, she'll tell you all about how they turned an old public loo into an awesome eco studio complete with salvaged parquet flooring (painstakingly laid by hand) and old-skool gymnastics horses.

All of this is alongside a whole heap of awesome designer makers, why would you not want to go?

new work by hello DODO

A lino printing steam roller! Now this isn't happening again as part of the Brighton Festival BUT if you missed it you can see it in Ditchling at their village fair (perfect time to check out Gary Stranger's Type Graffiti then too if you do go!)

It's noisy, colourful and therefore the most fun to watch! We spent a couple of hours watching lots of different lino prints being made, some small designs, a couple of massive ones by local artists and Prints which survive the pummelling of tons of steel on tarmac will form the Big Steam Print exhibition at Phoenix Gallery in Brighton: 6– 21 August.

Hope you have a super fun weekend, if you go to anything good, let us know!



Tuesday, 26 April 2016

gifted at unlimited | designosaur with the brighton etsy team artists open houses exhibition

Starting the 30th April, you can find our designs in Unlimited alongside 11 other Brighton Etsy Team members.

Here's a quick round up of what to expect...

Not yet seen our light necklaces in the flesh? Go and have a play,  there's two designs, they have three different light up settings and come on two different colours of ribbon! That's 12 different combinations right there!

Toby from i Like CATS is going to have some new GIANT work!

this isn't new, this is availabe in Toby's Etsy shop, new stuff you'll have to go to Unlimited for!

You'll see mooshpie's cute new ceramic pieces, each one is hand rolled from clay, cut, fired, sanded, and glazed to give you a new planter friend or cake mate!

this isn't new, this is availabe in Cheska's Etsy shop, new stuff you'll have to go to Unlimited for!

As well as these guys there are 8 other artists, if you want to find out more, head over the the Brighton Etsy Team blog.

Do go down and have a look, and pick up a present or two for your best mate (or even yourself... shusshhh we won't tell!) When you're there snapping away use the hashtag #giftedatunlimited on instagram and twitter and tag us so we can see!

Karli (and Jacques)

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

#yayeverday | designosaur x i Like CATS a round up

In March we took over i Like CATS #yayevery2016 providing the drawing prompts for Toby's hashtag project.

Jacques and I decided to take it in turns to draw, so we only had to draw every other day and then about a week in, the pressure was too much and I left it to Jacques to sketch!

Here's some of the drawings we created:

21 | go to disneyland

23 | vending machine

29 | banana

1 | pineapple

4 | parasaurolophus party

6 | whale song

It was the perfect time to also work on some 'Best Friendz' pins, so we both created enamel pin designs that were made in GLITTER! Ours is a little sabre tooth cub, and Toby made a little prehistoric kitty. The idea is that you keep one and give one to your best mate! They're limited edition and available in both our shops!

Toby draws every day, 365 days a year so if you want a challenge, or just some inspiration check out his instagram for the latest prompts!

Karli (and Jacques)

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

ditchling museum | collaboration

Last year we worked with the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft to create brooches for their gift shop.

As they have just re-ordered another batch we thought it was about time we told you about them!

The Hound of St Dominic was originally a wood engraving by Eric Gill which became the symbol for the St. Dominic’s Press.

To mark the acquisition of a new David Jones woodblock of the Hound of St Dominic, Ditchling Museum asked us to create some brooches!

We've never worked with designs in this way before and we were sent a photograph of that original engraving to create our designs for the brooches. 

The two pieces which we created from the design are a fully engraved hound in cherry wood, and then a hound with the red fiery torch in acrylic. This piece might look like it's two pieces, but it's actually six, and one of the pieces is not more than a slither of plastic! (it's super fiddly to glue together)

They all come in a designosaur branded gift box and you can find them at the Ditchling Museum, what are you waiting for?

Seriously though, if you haven't been you should go, it's a a great museum, filled with local design and crafts work. If you're Brighton based it's a couple of stops on the train and then a short countryside walk, easy!



PS We'll be running a typographic jewellery making workshop there in September, more details on that soon!

Photo Credit | Product Photos - Ditchling Museum of Art and Design

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

meet georgette | george gets a girlfriend

We hope by now that you've met Georgette, but if not, here's a little interview with the lady herself...


Hi Georgette, thanks for taking the time to speak to us, you are the infamous George's girlfriend, how have you found being thrust into the limelight?

Well, it's all been quite a shock, I've gone from working in a cafe in Brighton and minding my own business to being recognised when I'm queuing for my tickets at the cinema! (Have you seen Zootropolis? It really is good...) George is very supportive though and a lot of the time it's my bow that gets me the attention, George will be right there and nobody will notice him!

As chameleons you're quite shy, and as you've mentioned, blending in is more your thing, do you have plans to utilise your new found fame?

Well I've started a hashtag on instagram, I post selfies under #georgettethechameleon and I also hijacked #dayofgeorge with some selfies too. I like that I can hide a bit behind my internet persona, in person it's a different story!

How did you and George meet?

We actually met speed dating, thank goodness you only have to talk to each guy for 2 minutes! I was talking to this lizard and I wasn't listening to a thing he was saying as I could see George across the room, well I say see, I couldn't see him, but I could see an empty space, then I spotted his big eyes, and I knew he was the one for me.

What's your favourite accessory?

I always wear this purple bow, I just love it! I once saw Katy Perry wearing one similar and I thought, well if it looks great on her, and we're so similar, it's going to look great on me too!

So there you have it, thanks Georgette! :D

Yup. It's happened. Completely Mad.



PS Georgette is our collaboration with hello DODO. You can find more sensible information here.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

my ring collection

If you know me, you know I have a problem, I have SO MANY RINGS! People always joke that I need more fingers, and it's getting to the point that even with rings double stacked on every finger, plus midi rings I probably have enough rings to wear a different set each day for a month, that's a ring for almost every day of the year...

It all started after designosaur, before designosaur I was the statement necklace queen (I still am kinda) but as a small business owner wearing your own jewellery is a great conversation starter, and people are really disappointed if you're not wearing your own jewels! So rings are a good way of wearing loads of beautiful jewels by other makers, as I can wear them all at once, including a few designosaur ones too! 

I wanted to share some of my favourites from my collection, so here goes!

More than thirty rings right here! The bigger the better, I find sterling silver or plastic rings the best as they don't discolour from hand washing! (always keeping it real)

From Left to right | Me and Zena - Spin the Bottle Ring | Lazy Oaf - Fun Ring | Little Raymond - Tutankhamen Ring | Partially Obscured - Green Fused Glass Ring | 

N2 - Leopard Ring 

From Left to right | Cheap Frills - Eye Ring | Rock Cakes - I'd rather be watching TV Ring | Spirit Level Ring - Carolyn Forsman

From Left to right | Me and Zena - Rainbow Knuckle Duster | designosaur - Unicorn Ring

From Left to right | Pylones - Liquid Ring | Me and Zena x Saatchi - Paint Can Ring | designosaur Lichtenstein inspired Ring Me and Zena - Monkey Ring

From Left to right | Pussy Home Boutique - Bells Ring | Little Moose - 'Don't Be Square' Ring | designosaur - dinosaur stacking rings

designosaur - Bauhaus inspired ring

I have no idea who any of these are by! Help!

designosaur - Enamel Dinosaur Ring

From Left to right | I Am Acrylic - Cheese Ring (made especially for me!) | Rock Cakes - Squirrel Ring and sat infront of that, a little nut ring, also by Rock Cakes! (sterling silver, rose gold plated)


I hope you enjoyed having a nose at what hangs out on my fingers, do you have a large jewellery colleciton? We'd love to see it!



Tuesday, 22 March 2016

7 Tips on How to Build a Successful Etsy Team

A couple of weekends ago I was invited to my eighth Captains' Summit and I told along one of my team leaders Judite from Juream Box. If you want to read about it you can check that post on the Brighton Etsy Team Blog.

I thought I'd write something a bit different here, as I have written about past summits, here, here, and here. Each one is completely unique and I gain so much from each event. And it appears the whole country, and maybe the world (I did go to Australia for a Summit ;) ) know about the Brighton Etsy Team and what we do, because usually at each summit someone asks me about building an Etsy team.

So I thought I'd share some tips if you're a newbie captain, or you want to set up your own team. Please remember that ALL teams are different so these are only guidelines!

1. Be prepared to work really hard.

I'm not going to lie, being an Etsy Team Captain is a second full time job. I work on the team every single day, emails come in, events need planning, social media needs updating, the list goes on. If you have enough time for two jobs, and live and breathe Etsy, then this is definitely the role for you, if not maybe you're more suited to being a leader or a really active team member!

2. Get an awesome team of leaders behind you.

You can't do it alone! As I mentioned before this is a full time job but to stop you going completely crazy you're going to need to delegate as much as possible. I currently have a team of eight leaders and I think there is always room for more but we can cope with less too. These people are people that you hunt out, they have the skills you want, be that, graphic designers, accountants, social media gurus, or PR managers. Stalk people online, make friends with them, and then force them to join your gang! You can also do an open call but make sure the people you pick also align with your values and they understand the amount of work they are signing up for. For free!

3. Set some goals.

So you've now got you, you've got a gang of leaders, but what are you doing? What's the purpose of your team? You need to sit down and set some goals. You could start small with "We are going to run monthly meet ups" or put in some big things to work towards like "Running our first market together". These goals should be public (there's a space on the Etsy Teams page to post them) so that when new members join the team, they know what they are signing up for. You should also review these regularly to check you're on track, or in case your end goals have changed.

4. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

You've got a team of leaders who are smashing it, but if you're running an event and you need somebody to run a workshop, or somebody to do a talk, reach out to your team members! As a captain it's really important to be aware of who is in your team and what they do, so that when you need a crochet expert, or a paper cutting queen, you know where to look! I always contact team members directly, drowning them in compliments before asking them to do a teeny tiny favour for the team. I've not been rejected yet!

5. Shoot for the moon

For me, the whole point of a team is to take on projects that you wouldn't be able to do with just your own business. Be it a Pop Up Shop or a PR day, if it's something you haven't done before then even better! Stretch yourself, do something new, you've got a great bunch of people to make mistakes with if nothing else.

6. Be so positive it makes other people sick.

If you can only see the negatives then you won't be a successful leader, and that's what a Captain is. The team want to look up to you, be inspired by you so you've got to be eternally positive. This comes down to being a great problem solver, more people turn up to a meeting than your expecting, easy - break the meeting up into smaller chats lead by your team leaders. Way less people turn up to a meeting than you were expecting - easy, make everything much more personal, you could even do a one on one shop critique!

7. Say things out-loud.

You make your own luck. Being lucky comes down to working really hard, and people noticing. So if you have an idea, say it out loud, there's no point it being in your head, some of my craziest ideas I've said out-loud and they've had legs, whether that be your dream venue for a market or a grand advertising scheme that you thought only massive corporate companies could afford!

So there you go, something a bit different for this here blog, and hopefully a bit of an insight into what it takes to be a captain.

If you'd like me to write more Etsy/ Captain/ Team related content let me know in the comments or tweet, instagram or even SNAPCHAT [username 'designosaurYEAH'] me.



Photo Credit | Oh Someday and Georgie St Clair