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Welcome to Emma Dickie Design!

1 May

I’ve finally taken  the plunge after over a year of deliberation!  The Candy Tree will always have a special place in my heart but it is time to move on to the next chapter in my crafty life.

Emma Dickie Design sums up everything about my jewellery, knitwear and cross stitch pieces.  It’s more professional and unique to me.

The Candy Tree came about from my college days – I had painted a tree with a lollipop head and the name seemed to fit with my vibrant beaded jewellery.  However that was before I was aware of how important Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) was to an online business.  Google searches for my business name brought up results for party planning companies and product photos of actual candy trees.  I hadn’t heard of these before but they are centerpieces often made from sweets.  Also, ‘TheCandyTree’ wasn’t actually available as an Etsy shop name so I went with ‘TheCandyTree125’ and I’ve always hated having this extra number after my name.

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Now I am EmmaDickieDesign – no numbers!  Plus when you Google my name you will be sure to find me smack bang at the top of the page!

I’m very excited about this new step.  I already have my new branding printed on business cards and earring cards so I’m raring to go.

As a way of introducing my customers to my new shop name I would like to offer a coupon code.  Simply use coupon code EMMADICKIEDESIGN for 15% off everything in my Etsy shop!

It’s an exciting time as I also intend to streamline my range of products.  Please keep checking back in my Etsy shop to see how things progress!

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I’ve just bought a house!

1 Mar

That’s right, after a pretty stressful couple of weeks we can finally relax and celebrate the fact that we are getting onto the property ladder!

Claremont Manor

This isn’t our house…

It all seemed to happen so quickly from realising that we had enough of a deposit to start looking, to finding a house we really liked.  It’s a two bedroomed house with a garage and box room that can be used for my crafting, and it’s near the train station so I can still commute to work easily enough.

We submitted our offer the morning after viewing the house (which sounds a bit mad but it ticked all the right boxes, so why hang around and potentially miss our chance?).  It was such an anxious wait and I couldn’t stop looking at my phone in case I missed the call from our solicitor but we heard back within a couple of hours.  It was such a lovely surprise to have our offer accepted without any negotiation involved (although in the back of my mind I’m now wondering if that meant we could have gone in at a lower price..!)

It was then a case of finding out if the bank would lend us the money we needed.  We didn’t get an appointment until a week later and I couldn’t stop thinking about it – I was starting to go slightly mad.  I wanted to celebrate the fact that our offer was accepted so badly but didn’t want to set myself up for a fall if the bank decided they wouldn’t approve a mortgage.  The appointment with our mortgage adviser finally happened and it seemed to go well.  We passed the all important credit check which was a huge relief, but after going through the rest of the paperwork our application was referred to the underwriters for approval.  I was back to the anxiety stage as we had to wait two more days to find out if we were going to get the funding for our house.

Suburban Cottage, Auckland

…and neither is this!

On the Saturday afternoon we got the phone call to say that our application had been approved by the underwriters, and exactly 10 minutes later Scotland scored the amazing dropkick that saw them win against Italy in the Six Nations, so it turned out to be a pretty good day in the end!

I’d already started to plan how I wanted to decorate our lounge/dining room so it was such a relief to know that this wasn’t in vain.

So now I’m thinking it would be a good idea to try to sell some stock before the big move!  We get our keys on 28 March so I’ll probably close shop for a couple of days seeing as things are going to be packed up in boxes.  Until then however I’m going to hold a 15% off sale!  Just use coupon code MOVINGSALE for 15% off everything in my Etsy shop!  Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is coming up too (30 March in the UK) so what a perfect opportunity to show how much you care with a handmade gift from The Candy Tree.

15SaleBannerAs we’re moving into a house that doesn’t seem to have been decorated for 20 years, I’m also planning on taking some before and after photos to show our progress in bringing it up to date – so stay tuned!

I’m off on Holiday!

17 Jan

I’m heading down towards York next week to stay in a lodge by a lake and I can’t wait!

I’ll be away from Monday 20 January until Friday 24 January. Any orders placed in my Etsy shop during this time will be processed from 25 January onwards.

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Valentine’s Day is Coming!

13 Jan

It’s not long now until the most romantic day of the year is upon us.  Show how much you care with handmade jewellery or a cross stitched Valentine’s Day Card.

www.thecandytree125.etsy.com

Hello 2014!

6 Jan

I’m not sure it’s quite sunk in yet that we’re now into a new year!  I have big plans for the next 12 months, both in my personal and crafty life, so I might be more likely to stick to my plans if I document them right here! 2013-12-29 14.03.43

Personal goals:

  • To be healthier – what a cliche, but I want to make good use of the juicer we bought with Christmas money and do some exercise every now and again.
  • Buy a house – I’m hoping to have enough of a deposit saved up to buy a house this year, and hopefully before the prices start to rise!

Crafty Goals

  • To start creating metalwork jewellery (I was given an anvil for Christmas and can’t wait to use it!)
  • I reached my goal of 100 Etsy sales last year (which took me a couple of years to reach).  This year I’m aiming for 180!
  • I’m hoping to streamline my shop a little and concentrate on creating more complex knitwear and jewellery.
  • I’ve been a bit lax with my blogging in the run up to Christmas so another goal is to try and be more regular with my bloggy updates!

The Week Ahead – Hats and Scarves and Cards, Oh My!

11 Nov

Last week I had a little break from my blog – I was concentrating on getting my new slouchy beanie hats ready to list and was working on a custom merino wool ribbed scarf. This was the first time I had used this 100% merino chunky wool and it was a dream to knit with. Lovely and soft with great stitch definition. DSC_0416

2013-11-04 21.52.43I have also started knitting a new diamond patterned scarf which combined with this multi-coloured chunky yarn creates a Fair Isle style (but not nearly as complicated!) I still intend to teach myself the Fair Isle knitting technique, but that might have to wait until the Christmas holidays!

Speaking of holidays, I’ve been working on more Christmas card designs and just love this geeky QR code design! When scanned, this design simply shows the message ‘Merry Christmas!’, but the ChristmasQRCard1beauty of QR codes is that they can be programmed to read any message you like (up to 200 characters). They can even link to a photo or website address. Just get in touch if you would like to order a custom QR code design!

So what’s next? I’m so pleased with my new beanie hats, and once I’ve finished this chunky diamond scarf I’m going to create a new pattern to broaden my range – keep ‘em peeled!

The Week Ahead – Silver Wire Earrings

21 Oct

I’ve been trying to source some good quality sterling silver ear wires at an affordable price for quite some time – some of the cheaper options can be incredibly flimsy.   That’s when it occurred to me – why don’t I just make my own?

SwarovskiSilverEarrings1Through a little bit of online browsing I’ve managed to source eco-silver wire.  This wire is made from recycled sterling silver and has all of the same properties as sterling silver.  The wire is pliable but much weightier than the ear wires I’ve used in the past.  I just love the more organic nature of these handmade ear wires and I think they’ll become a part of my future jewellery designs.SilverPearlEarrings1

It’s also been a while since I used my pegboard so I’ve used my new silver wire to create these swirling earring designs.

In the meantime I’m also knitting up another slouchy hat using my own pattern.  Once I get it the way I like it I’ll start to make a series of them in different fun colours.  What a great way to brighten up the apparent horrible winter that’s coming our way!2013-10-19 16.02.26

The Week Ahead – Hats!

14 Oct

I’ve been putting my KnitPro interchangeable circular needles to good use this past week by trying to knit my first slouchy hat!  In the past2013-10-10 19.00.06[2] I’ve just bought specific circular needles for whatever project I was about to begin, but these interchangeable needles definitely make much better economic sense!  I really wanted to get the colourful wooden range (because they look so pretty to knit with!), but wooden needles tend to make me want to cut my fingers off 2013-10-10 21.55.50[1]after a few hours of knitting – they’re so painful!  These metal ones however are a dream to knit with and I love that hats are so much faster to knit than my usual scarves!

Slouchy hats seem to be very in at the moment so I’m going to have a play around and create my own pattern once I get the size right.  I’ll hopefully have a new hat section in my shop soon!2013-10-10 21.59.00[1]

This week I’m also planning to fill up my Folksy shop which has been a bit neglected.  I spent a lot of time adding new listings when I first opened a few months ago, but haven’t been very good at adding more.  I think I just need to put a few hours aside and get to it – Christmas is coming after all!  Because I spend all day on the computer at work I prefer to spend my evenings knitting in front of the telly instead of spending more time staring at a computer screen… but my shop isn’t going to be successful if it’s empty!

This week is also Wool Week!  I’m going to try very hard to avoid all of the amazing wool sales that normally take place this week – I still have a massive pile of unused balls of wool so I don’t think I’d be too popular if I filled the cupboard even more without using my existing stash first!

The Week Ahead – I’m Back!

7 Oct

Ok so in actuality, I was back from my holiday a couple of weeks ago, but I felt like I needed a little time to catch up with things before I got back into my blog!2013-09-20 23.57.38[1]

Sooo what have I been doing, I hear you ask!  Well I’ve been knitting this adorable little baby hat which is hopefully the right size this time!  This is my third attempt, with the first try being far too small and the second being too big to fit me (why don’t I just do a swatch first?!?!), so hopefully the third attempt is just right!  All of these attempts has allowed me to perfect knitting in the round using double pointed needles and I even have a top tip to share with you tomorrow!

2013-10-05 11.45.17I have also been cross stitching these branded coasters for my brother.  I’d made him one a few months back as a silly gift for the office and he liked it so much he has commissioned me to make some more!

Once I’ve finished these I’m planning on trying to knit a slouchy beanie hat.  Depending on how it turns out, I might even introduce a range to my shop.  I always seem to get these great ideas right before the relevant season, so I may have one or two hats in my shop in time for Christmas, but a more substantial range probably won’t be available until well into the new year.

I’ve started my Christmas shopping, so I’m assuming that means that most people will be starting soon if they haven’t already.  I’m hoping to keep my Etsy shop fully stocked with goodies for the next few months – I’m still aiming to reach my goal of 100 Etsy sales before Christmas (only 15 more to go!!)

It’s Time for a Holiday!

9 Sep

I’ve had a pretty busy few weeks (hence the lack of posts) and I can’t wait to go on holiday next week.  We’re heading back down to the New Forest for some well deserved rest.  I’m hoping to go on a couple of day trips to Oxford and Southampton as well as lots of relaxing walks through the beautiful countryside.

This does mean that any orders placed at The Candy Tree between Saturday 14 September and Monday 23 September won’t be posted until Wednesday 25 September.  The relevant processing times will apply to made to order items from Monday 23 September.

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I’m planning on taking a couple of knitting and cross stitch projects along with me so I’m sure I’ll have some exciting new goodies to show you on my return.  I’ll also have access to the internet whilst I’m away so feel free to get in touch with any queries and I’ll post the occasional photo on my Twitter feed.

On a separate note, I went to the Leuchars Air Show on Saturday so this week’s Wordless Wednesday will feature a small selection of the photos I took (I snapped around 1,000 photos on the day, so I’m hoping to have managed to get one or two beauties)!