Monday, 9 January 2017

New Year Resolutions

I always say that I am going to blog more, and I love having a slightly bigger space to tell you about the things going on at designosaur HQ and what we've been up to, but it always trails off towards the end of the year as things get BUSY and blogging is not my first love.

I know the internet is kinda anti the whole new year new me mantra, but it is a good time to stop doing the things you don't enjoy and start replacing those things with things you do enjoy, you know, whilst you've still got a pile of chocolate to help you through.

Looking back on 2016 goals...

Blog every week

Again I didn't do too badly, I blogged weekly from January until August and then didn't blog again until.... right. now. BUT I noticed more engagement, more views and I enjoyed what I was writing about more. Having a new fancy camera definitely helped.

Get to 10K instagram followers

Smashed it, I know that followers is a fairly empty number and engagement is where it is at, but it did feel good to complete a quantifiable goal and it seems that more opportunities are opening up to us because of our increased following, the year ended on 15.1K followers, HURRAH!

Work on secret plans

These changed throughout the year, but did end in moving at the end of the year and having a dedicated studio space, we've also got plans for early in January and are very pleased that although it's slow, progress is happening, and we're not standing still.

Publish our website

OK so again I worked on this all year, and with some tweaks of our branding it had several "delete everything and start again" moments. I'm all for this don't put all your eggs in one basket mantra, but we also have been incredibly lucky with the opportunities that have been offered to us through Etsy, so although our site will be a place where you can find the blog, a bit about us, information about commissions and wholesale, our main store will still be our Etsy store, as that's what works best for us, and we haven't heard any complaints from you guys!

So overall I'm going to look at this year as completely positive as we achieved a lot of goals, and plenty more things that weren't even on the agenda before they came up!

Plans for 2017

It's good to make goals, even if they change as you get closer to them, so this is the plan for this year... although as I already mentioned it's OK if they change throughout the year.

Design new socks, tights and leggings.

Jacques is going to draw something weekly (for fun)

I'll get our full new colour range up in our colour charts

We will finally publish our website

I'd love to know what your goals or plans are for the next year.



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)