French graphics

Having recently discovered a site known as Graphics Fairy, Im enthralled by the images and resources available there. My particular passion is the French Typography page which includes lots of printable images. A lot of thought and work has obviously gone into producing the images on this site and it certainly cuts out a lot of work when looking for inspiration particularly for craft use. I have used a few of the images to apply to furniture, on completion of upcycling the item. The pic shown is a little side table/TV table which was originally a wood finish. Painted with about 5 (Yes 5!) coats of Antique White chalk paint, which I mix myself in order to have a gigantic array of colour choices. Then the image on Graphics Fairy is blown up to a larger size (all instructions for this is given on the same site) and transferred to the top of the table. The resulting image is quite faint and some people might prefer to keep the image this way. But I wanted the graphics to be more bold and stand out so, painstakingly, I overpainted with the tiniest of brushes and black paint. By the way, I buy the pack of nailbrushes which are now available, and are super fine for this sort of work. It takes a bit of patience but I leeerrve the result! So pleased that I found the time to get this done. I had previously painted some room units and did the same technique, but left the images rather fainter. Ill post the photos and would love someone to tell me what they think. To leave as is, or paint over for a bolder look?


Vintage stairs……… last

strsrsI have for a very long time now, been planning to paint my stairs in a vintage theme. Very ‘alternative’, very ‘shabby chic’, very eclectic. At long last the deed has been done!! And so I share it with you. It took a while, seeing that I have a family who wouldnt understand the instruction ‘dont step on alternate stairs’. So It was a matter of placing strategically positioned signs either side of the one step that had been painted, stating ‘WET PAINT’ Anyway, it worked! But took a week to paint. Given that Ive been waiting to do this for Oh I dont know, 3 years I guess, progress was made. And then the finished article. Im so so pleased with it. Needs a wipe over every few days as its lighter than previously. And the same family that doesnt understand the instruction ‘dont step on alternate stairs’, wouldnt understand the instruction ‘tread careful on our new vintage stairs’ So I hope you like it. If you have any questions, please ask away, or maybe even comment on your thoughts about it.

Ebay ology

Well I doubt there are many of us who havent had some experience of Ebay, whether it be to sell something, buy something or just to browse. It would probably be a good idea to give some history of it as a selling site, but Ill stab a guess and say that its probably around 14 years old. Started out as an auction site to sell our unwanted items and reap some monetary compensation.

So, this was the deal. You take a photograph of your item, write a description of it, load it onto your PC and Voila! in a few days, you would receive bids and sell it on. It was that easy. Well, there was a tad more to be done, even back in the day. There was the process of finding suitable packaging, wrapping it up safely, and transporting it to your chosen route of despatching. But that wasnt really too difficult, and was done with the excitement that you had actually sold something you didnt need and gained some financial reward from doing so. Oh, and then feedback. The act of exchanging remarks about the whole experience of the sale, a two way process involving yours and the buyers opinion on the sale and all that was involved. This was pretty much it. You would pay a small fee to ebay for the privilege of them having given your item exposure and, if you chose the Paypal method of payment, a small fee to them also for the payment process. This wasnt mandatory though, you could receive your payment by other methods such as cheque (remember them!?) bank transfer, even cash if you fancied risking getting it via the post. So, from a sellers point of view this was pretty much the process start to finish.

So, thats what you do. Well, thats what you did.

Ebays selling process is unrecognisable nowadays. I dont claim to know how, when and in what order the changes took place, but they surely did.

So, because the process was so easy back in the day, people stopped taking their better quality items to the charity shops etc, and held onto them with the thought of listing them on Ebay. So the whole question of donating items to a charitable cause sort of slowed right down, which was sure to have had an effect on the charities involved. Also, the other spectacular effect I feel Ebay has had on the market, is to drive down the price of collectible items. Sellers would list their item expecting it to fetch a good return, and the bidding would often be slow and low. They would end up selling their items for much less than their value and over time this phenomenen has spread. I have a little item which was valued at around £70 pre-Ebay (Millers antiques). Now it sells there for around £5. Ouch!! Im certain many people will have seen this for themselves.

And then we get to the actual changes that Ebay have made. Where to start, and how to say it without feeling traumatised eh? Nowadays, the process is much different. Listing the item is still quite easy (it would have to be, they need sellers), its what comes after that has changed 100 fold. Sellers have to be very very careful even listing though. If they list an item, and it happens, that they have ommited some details in the text, or put in an actual error (us human beings eh, what are we like!?) you can get someone jumping in on the listing, buying it, and then trying to force you to sell, even though you explain that there has been an error. Mobile phones are very typical. They sell in seconds!! Then you get weird emails asking you to send to a different address, and all sorts of weird and wonderful requests. There is a particular nationality of people who are very present on Ebay just waiting for this to happen, whom I wont even think about mentioning as we all know where that would lead. So, proceed with caution when listing. Dont even think about listing without reading through many times to check you havent left anything out or entered something wrong.

So, its listed. Then come the emails asking you to sell them for a Buy It Now price, especially if the starting price is low. They offer you something like 4 pence more than the bidding starting price??!! They dont seem to get that its an auction and that the starting price bears no reflection on the value of the item. If you refuse to sell at BIN, they will often bid on the item, and tread carefully here, because theyre annoyed that you didnt sell it at BIN to them, they will nitpick at every stage of the process. So, while its listed, it can be quite time-consuming answering emails, very often asking questions about the items, the answers of which are very clearly contained in the description. But, its what you have to do.

The item is sold. Great!! No, this is when the real trouble starts. Very often, buyers had no intention of paying and will not, no matter how many times you ask them. In order to save your sanity, you just have to list again, wait another 3,5,7 or 10 days and be patient. Okay, so they paid, look at all the lovely money youre going to get in exchange for all your hard work! Wait a minute, theres a massive chunk of it gone for the service of accepting Paypal! Whats happened? Paypal fees, thats what. Paypal and Ebay are one and the same and their policy, in many circumstances is, that you are obliged to offer Paypal as a method, in some cases, only Paypal can be offered??!!?? I already feel angry and didnt think this would happen until I got to the end of this blog! Time for a break to cool down, back soon.

OK, the steam has dissipated. So you send the item. The Royal Mail has jumped on the whole online selling boom and lowered their prices because theyre getting so much business. No, wait a minute that hasnt happend, they have actually increased their prices?? Yes up they have gone. And, if they lose your item, you have to practically take them to court to get a refund, it just doesnt happen. And even if they decide in your favour, you only get refunded the value of the item, and not the cost of the postage, which was the service you paid them for. There is a way around this, send it via tracked service. Wait a minute, your item only sold for £3, why would you want to pay £3 to post it? You wouldnt, just saying. Increasingly nowadays also, if you dont send it tracked, there is no proof that they had the item, and will tell you they havent received it, when theyre sat in their home looking at the safely delivered item, as they email you swearing it hasnt arrived. A lot of people get a lot of free stuff this way. Then they open a case saying item not received. Or sometimes they say it wasnt as described. But never fear, Ebay has got your back……………………..not! When this happens, they always believe the buyer. And in fact they will limit your account due to false claims that buyers have made.

But occasionally, a buyer wont outright scam you and will admit they have had the item, but will insist that there is something wrong with it. They tell Ebay and Ebay ask them for some kind of proof………………………not. They take your money back out of your Paypal account until the case is sorted. Lovely jubbly. So, at any given time, Ebay are holding thousand upon thousands of pounds, waiting for cases to be resolved. No wonder they dont rush and dont get onto the buyer to stop ignoring your emails. The interest they receive must be through the roof! A friend of mine sold a high-priced item to a buyer who insisted they hadnt received it, Ebay took the money back from my friend, without her permission, and the very same day, the buyer listed the item for sale at an even higher price and sold it. Even though she had obtained it for nothing, and my friend was in the loss of the item and the postage. Thank you Ebay

If your sale goes very smoothly, its feedback time. If you have been more than 10 mins late posting it, or you have charged 10 pence more than the postage charged, buckle up! They could have made you wait a few weeks for your payment (classic scenario, ‘I dont get paid til a week next Tues, Ill pay you then’??!!??) but if you dont break your neck posting it on time, youre for it. Also, postage costs again. Why would we want to post an item for the same price as it actually costs to send it? Packaging has to be bought and you will inevitably pay petrol, a taxi, or bus fare to the PO, why would YOU need to pay this? But, even though the postage is clearly displayed, buyers will often complain that they shouldnt have to pay like 5 pence more??? So this step, the feedback nightmare, involves huge amounts of treading on eggshells. For goodness sake, agree with anything and everything the buyer says or requests of you, cos they wont think twice about scrapping a perfect feedback score for the sake of 10 pence or 10 minutes. The objective is usually to get money knocked off their item, and they usually get it. But the good thing is, that if they leave you bad feedback, you can equal the score by doing the same………………….not! Buyers can leave negative feedback, but sellers arent given the option. Now where in anybody’s book is that a fair system? Sellers often have to lie about a transaction, because theyre unable to tell the truth????? This is probably one of the most unfair moves Ebay has made to date (that and the fees) in terms of providing a safe trading place. It is grossly unfair and one-sided, and allows the buyers to hold the sellers by the proverbials They get their own way time after time due to Ebay’s lack of willingness to provide a two-way feedback system. From a trading point of view, I have no idea how they are allowed to get away with this, but they most certainly do.

On the plus side, (theres a plus side? No not really) you have the money you sold the item for, well thats if Ebay havent took it from you when your buyer said the colour wasnt as described and was 0.0000000007 of a shade lighter than it looked on their monitor, which varies from PC to PC anyway. On that note, you rarely get your money back, it disappears into the stratosphere, and YOU go in the loss. Waaiiit a minute! whats this gigantic bill Ive had from Ebay? Their fees, ouch, ouch and ouch again. An astronomical 10% of the sale price. I cannot quite believe my eyes. All the hassle and time and effort I had put into this, and I have barely broken even. Wait a second, By the time I subtract the postage I paid, I did all this at a loss. Wow! Thats a big fat cup of reality. But wait a minute, Ebay have charged 10% of the postage that I paid out? Why would they feel justified in doing that? Thats is hardly anything to do with them, why should they profit from that? Because they can. And because theyre Ebay.

So, what is the difference at the moment in the Ebay selling world? Well the only thing you can actually profit from, is something that didnt cost you anything in the first place. BUT! theres even a risk with that. If you have been an honest seller for any amount of time with Ebay and gained good feedback which you actually deserved because you have good morals and excellent selling skills, be warned! Because the tiny amount of profit you could make from that sale, could still screw your feedback up good and proper. You could lose it in a heartbeat and Ebay will stand by and DO NOTHING. They can see your account, they can see how you have always provided a top quality service to your customers. They can also see just how much money they have earned from your very hard work, but NONE of that will count for anything, they will sell you up the river in a second. They will stand by and watch you burn.

So, to recap. Ebay, in my opinion are very very greedy. They have laid aside all their morals in the effort to get fat and its worked. The sellers who helped them get where they are mean nothing to them, they could not care less about them. Ebay is absolutely a buyers market. Where does this frustration come from I hear you ask? Obviously some very bad experiences. Some of which I have highlighted here.

The fuller story is that I have sold there for 10 years. I have managed to retain 100% feedback over that time. A few months ago, due Im guessing to the increase in dishonest buyers who know they can get away with it, I had a few nightmare buyers who lied about their experience. Ebay believed them, simple as that. I still have my 100% FB but, because buyers dont want to pay postage etc etc, these few, 2 or 3 I believe, over a few months, left less than a 5-star rating. Even though I communicated with them, I couldnt get them to get back to me. So there are unresolved cases, around 3 in total over 10 years. There is nothing I can do about that, I cant force them to respond, they probably arent even registered any more. Quite often, buyers will do this, register, buy a few items, they get them for free cos Ebay let them, they screw up your exemplary account, then close and re-register as someone else. Simple. And Ebay let them do it. If I had continued to try to get them to reply to me, I would probably have been accused of harrassing them, so there is absolutely nothing I can do. Ebay has limited my selling to 5 items per month, until I can be a very good girl, and do as Im told and improve my ‘below standard’ selling performance. Now, as it happens, I couldnt give the tiniest little jot what Ebay think of me as a seller, in fact I would be more concerned if they thought I was a good seller as that would probably really mean that Ive succumbed to their selling practices, which to me is nauseatingly unthinkable. But the bottom line is that this situation is practically irreversible The limit is to force me to concentrate on the few sales I can make in order to improve things?? I have made a few sales within the 5 that Im allowed, and after requesting that the buyers please (cap in hand) leave feedback, and please would you be so kind as to leave 5 stars in the ratings, Ebay’s policies, not mine ( how degrading), they have ignored my requests and, even though there would be completely nothing whatsoever wrong with the sale, they dont see it as important to carry out the necessary process and complete their half of the bargain. So when all is said and done, we are at the mercy of the buyers and Ebays bosses who have created these unsolvable situations.

They offered us a selling place but didnt mention the massive risks. Their latest advertisement promises buyers their money back if not fully satisfied, and my goodness they deliver on that, usually by shafting their sellers. I have put £17,000 worth of sales through Ebay and this is the treatment you get. I have made the decision not to sell there anymore. They wont care about that as they only want the big sellers, to the annoyance of us who put in a search and see page upon page of the same item. I have decided I will simply give my items to charity, and some of them will be donated but the rest I will list on an alternative site at a miniscule price, just to shift the business away from Ebay. Many people have had much much worse experiences than this I realise, but this is my story. They have put people out of business overnight when they felt it was a good move, and I feel for those people. But just the same, Ebay have forgotten those sellers who were there from the start and made them what they are today, at the expense of utter greed. What a shame

It seemed like a good idea at the start……………….

Oh well

Delightful in pink

A handmade crochet baby jacket

In a gorgeous shade of pink crochet cotton

Hand crocheted to a very high standard

With full feminine skirt and sleeves gathered to a neat cuff

For your newborn baby

Closure is with cream pearl type beads, for a real vintage look

Measures 15ins chest, 8.5ins length and 8ins sleeve length from side of neck to cuff

With beautiful detail

Custom orders accepted, please email with your requirement

Many thanks for dropping by

The futile race

This post is to someone who spends all their life trying to please someone who is unpleasable

Its the invisible prod in our tender backs, And the carrot that’s dangled all day

Its the greener grass and the sunnier banks, and the call of the sun’s bright rays

Its the quickening pulse and the lump in the throat, And the tears that must be held back,

It’s the aim to achieve at all of the cost, And the message we shouldnt relax

It’s the fear of the task that we might be asked, that we simply could not succeed,

It’s the constant rebuke of a critical glance, and the one that we just don’t need

Its that still small voice that says we can’t do, those things in our path of life,

That we’ll never achieve, and we’ll have to leave, it to those who can get it right

The reality is that God made us for more, and He knows us for who we are,

That striving to reach someone else’s ideals was never the plan from the start

So when we can see that the goal that’s not ours, but a plan to direct us wrong ways,

We can hand it to Him who knows us so well, and bask in the warmth of His gaze

For He knows the plan and it will not harm, but build us up in the faith,

And with His grace, mercy, forgiveness and love, we can follow Him all of our days


by Carol Ann Morgan

written 30th May 2014

Baby shoes Loafer style

White baby shoes with purple inside sole and edge trim Size 6 to 12 months
White baby shoes with purple inside sole and edge trim Size 6 to 12 months
White baby shoes with pale blue inside sole and edge trim Size 6 to 12 months Looks so gorgeous when worn Other colours to follow
White baby shoes with pale blue inside sole and edge trim Size 6 to 12 months Looks so gorgeous when worn Other colours to follow
White baby shoes with black inside sole and edge trim Size 6 to 12 months  £15 plus postage
White baby shoes with black inside sole and edge trim Size 6 to 12 months £15 plus postage
White baby shoes with gold inside sole and edge trim Gold flower also to front toe area Size 6 to 12 months £16 plus postage
White baby shoes with gold inside sole and edge trim Gold flower also to front toe area Size 6 to 12 months £16 plus postage

Nursing vacancy

Well, here goes! New to blogging and not sure how I ended up here but lets give it my best shot!

Actually, its no mistake that I have arrived here. Desperate for a change in direction as to where my destiny is, I made the difficult decision that a career change was definitely on the cards. Having nursed for pretty much all my life, the career is now unrecognisable from that which it started out as. The caring profession is now rarely about caring, but more often about documenting details which will go part way to assure that the said employer will not be in a position of having to pay out vast sums of compensation. All involved spend their working day looking over their shoulders watching out for potential insurance claims. Sad but true. We live in a blame culture which seeks to make every person accountable. Unfortunately, employers usually do not contribute to the safety of the workplace by being unable to provide conditions which make this even possible to carry out. Much too much money is spent on the hierarchy, leaving the workplace depleted and difficult to manage and maintain safely. On a recent visit to an NHS hospital with a relative, it was obvious that the object of the exercise of the staff was not to ensure that patients get the right diagnosis and treatment, but to get rid of the patient as soon as possible so that the bed space would be freed up. I could easily park here for a long time and write reems on the downfall of the NHS, but Im going to resist and not focus on the negative of my previous pastime.

There came a point when I realised that this was just no longer worth the stress and strain. But the point was, did I have a plan B? Yes, I most certainly did. Alongside my career, my passion was to create. Pretty much anything. I have mastered the art of sewing through the channels of experimentation. Never having been a person to shy away from anything really, I went from strength to strength. I had a love-hate relationship with bridal wear for a short time. Loving the romantic notion of being involved in creating someones special day and all the frills and flounce that was part of the masterpiece. This area of creation was snatched away quite quickly as I became aware of deadlines and the stress that accompanied these dates that were massive, particularly in the lives of imminent brides. So, sewing and creating seemed to be the obvious choice. But, and theres always a ‘but’. I had no marketing skills. I can sit and imagine and create for hour after hour, but selling was a big No No. Its very common among crafters. The qualities necessary to put love and care and attention to detail into creating an item of beauty, does not marry well with the subject of exchanging the finished item for cold hard cash. Fact. I know so many crafters and we all struggle with the subject of selling.

So, here I am. My intention is to display and hopefully sell my creations here. It will involve, over time, the addition of items I have made and are available for purchase. There will be crocheted items, sewn items, felted items, jewellery, soap and many other delights. Buying items will involve you dropping me an email and we take it from there unless, along the way, I work out an easier option

Many thanks for reading this. I am praying for success at this venture, it would mean such a lot to be able to contribute to the family finances by doing something I love so much

With all God’s Blessings