Saturday, November 28, 2015


Well hello.
It's been so long, I can only hope I remember how to do this blog thing...

New day jobs, health issues, creative blocks... its been a crazy few months.
And before we realised, we're days away from December. So close to tye end of a year that, personally, I wish was over already.

The page (our little Facebook tribe) has grown slowly but surely over the last few months, and my gratitude is without words.
Its intensely beautiful that people made the effort to look, interact, and press on that "LIKE" button.
Thank you!

Though I am not sure I'm entirely out of the creative block, I can only continue bringing you pieces I hope you'll like.

... now gratitude and blessings aside.
I've started up on the market circuit again (after nearly a year on hiatus). And again so much wells up in me when I am out on "the road" for Wonder Struck Inc.

Last night I nearly climbed straight on here to voice my tactless opinion of market patrons... but thankfully my phone's battery was flat.
At 10pm as people trickled away to their homes... stall holders were packing up their tables and wares slowly.
I stood packing my things into my car in a dimly lit, secluded little parking lot. Both my hands in agony from nylon burns (horse training incident), and I was alone. One of only 3 cars and no security to be seen.
I got home at nearly midnight,  my body aching from the stress every market seems to inflict....for appearance sake.

And as I plonked myself down, too tired to sleep, infront of my work desk I couldn't help but be frustrated all over again. Saddened, angry, empathetic, at a total loss.

My sales last night were nothing to scoff at (I have such a great group of regular customers locally who apparently harassed the market organisers every month to find out if I was there and were at my table before I had even unpacked)... but my frustration was with the "tyre kickers" of market patrons. Not the window shoppers, or tag alongers, and definitely not with the buyers/supporters/fans.
Tyre kickers.
The "market goers" that seem to have no tact or De quorum.  That blatantly use lines like "I can make this", or "how much does it cost to make this?" ....or best of all, they take pictures of your stock so that they "can show" their aunty's cousin's niece so that she can make it for them for "cheaper".

I see these market goers, makers, indie artists who make these items. Take hours of physical chore to make, to market, to sell their creativity... only to have it bulldozed as if it was nothing by people who have no genuine appreciation.
I have literally told Tyre Kickers to move on from my table.
I can see them from several stalls away as they make their way like black putrid clouds through a market venue.

It is very hard knowing that (like me for a long time) what they do at these markets, is often the only income some market stall holders have. Really!
There are stall holders who have found their creative niche,  carried out the investment into their art, set themselves up for it....and then they have their art raped by market goers with no sense.

Its tiring to the soul as you see people exhausted, spent, and sometimes distraught as they pack up, long after patrons have left a market.
These are the people I get angry for. These are the people who deserve appreciation, or at least quiet respect, for their work.

Whether a market patron, or a market stall holder... surely we can create a better trend of the great "craft scene" we have in our country.

And I'll end this post with that...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Yes, Winter is coming...

Its a bit of an odd feeling, with one quarter of the year already gone, it has been a very... bumpy start to 2015.
How are all the indie business owners feeling so far?

Despite things being a bit sandpaperish, the work continues.
A STRING of annual events are awaiting us.
27 April is Pagan Freedom Day
4 July is Geekfest
5 September is Medieval Fayre

We're *really* hoping to see you guys at each one with awesome goodies available from our stock box.
So keep an eye out for our list of confirmed events.

This weekend, 10 April, we're at The Shed for the monthly Night Market.
We love the vibe and feels at this indoor venue, and bonus is that we're safe from the elements to continue vending, shopping and eating.

We've tried to put a hold on any new stock or component making while we give the workroom a good and proper clean out.
Peek into our Facebook photo albums to see if you can grab a bargain while we're sorting out the stock boxes.
There's just SO MUCH.

Our HelloPretty store IS up and running with very select pieces going up and being rotated. We've even added a HelloPretty store tab on our Facebook for ease.
Our Shoptsie store will house our more ghoulish items, so if that's your preference ;) keep an eye out.

Back to coffee, anime (Noragami is the current addiction), and more workroom sorting.

Have a great evening humans!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Moment of rest...

Things didn't slow up after yesterday, and exhaustion (inside and out) started taking over.
Many a crafty will tell you "what office hours?!"
So even after an early night last night, 7pm tonight I HAD to take a... "nap".
Woke up with a squeaky toy being chomped on next to my ear. So I'm awake and working again.

This week also marked our first sale on our HelloPretty store. Small deal to some, BIG deal to us.

We've also been spending time slowly adding things very carefully to the HelloPretty store, and soon some selected pieces will be going onto the online store connected by the "shop now" tab on our Facebook page.

But apart from the stores.... lots of newness going onto the table at markets, so keep your eyes peeled.

If you peruse our Facebook albums, you'll note we've been adding alot of cameos into the SUPPLY STUFF album.
Lots and lots have been made and well... time to clear out the overflowing store boxes and spaces.
Prices and availability on all ready made items are in the picture descriptions.

So until later, happy shopping! ;)

Friday, February 27, 2015

The great craft...

I have been soaked in writer's block the last few weeks. Unable to open up the blog app on the tablet, unable to type the link into Chrome... because how do I write something worth reading, worth the time, worth putting up on a public forum when I can barely string two words together in my head?

But here I am.
Don't be afraid though, to curb the possibility of horrendous writing blinding you.. I will instead be putting up some great crafties you should be checking out.

Sharing is caring... and there's hardly any writing involved!

I am always looking out for great monsters to add to my collection, are you?
go get this great guy from Wide Eyed on HelloPretty

Little felt monsters?! At Abundance Designs on HelloPretty

Chuthulu screen cleaner? Or just a very rad plushie to laze on your desk at work... and scare the co-workers away... from Plushie Heaven

I was monster inspired today... there's no age limit and they're just plain amazing.

Until the next blog entry! ♥

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What its about... part 2

In the last blog entry I discussed what SOME expenses could be as a stall holder/maker/indie artist… from my point of view as a resin jewellery artist.
Each craft has it’s own extent of expenses. Mosaicing, wood painting, decoupage, event planning, polymer clay, beaded jewellery, laser cutting… the list could go on.
But my knowledge is limited to resin and beaded jewellery.
In this post I decided to give some times to show how long one of my “usual” necklaces takes to make, from start to finish, as I cast my own moulds and resin.

·         Resin poured into moulds                             = 2-3 days to cure
·         Epoxy glue to join cameo and frame            = over night
·         Drilling, stringing on chain                         = 1-2 hours

Total time for one necklace with minimal beadwork = 4-5 days to make.

There is work that goes into the making process, hours that no physical handling on the piece can be done (like during curing) and yet the mould, and the resin curing in it, are taking an “earning space” in your workspace/workroom.

This is where it’s very hard to make buyers/supporters of handmade understand the extent to which we go for what we make.
It’s all very well that the stall holder next to you has brought a mass of products imported from China and is selling them next to you for R30 a piece, while you have spent many a 2am piecing together your art/work/inspiration.
Where do we make up the hours and HOURS spent on one project? A project we have lovingly and carefully chosen to make and pass on to someone else that we hope will love/appreciate/display it with pride. A piece of ourselves that we have given out to the world instead of keeping for ourselves.

“How long does a mould take then?”
~ bottom layer (base for the mould) = overnight.
~ 2nd layer (actual mould form) = over night.
~ Then we wait a further 24 hours before we start using it for resin to fully allow the silicon to “settle”.
~ 2 days from start to finish for a mould before we can start using it in the work room to start “working for us”.

This is a lot of work, and often messy. There’s nothing pretty about being covered in silicone while making moulds and something restrictive about having to work with gloves and mask while working with resin.
The safety issue behind certain resins (especially in enclosed spaces like my workroom) can be immense. And no matter how hot it is in Summer, an industrial mask and chemical grade gloves are on and my dogs and cat are outside to keep them from the dangers too.
That is when you cannot always explain to the point where a buyer or market goer will truly understand.

But why?!
I am useless at mosaic, and would probably end up with more glass and tiles in my eye than on the surface I’m tiling.
I find decoupage boring and can be rather selfish with all my pretty papers (I have a collection worth well over R1000 in scrap booking paper. Truth)
I’m no artist… my drawings and paintings would probably scare pets, nevermind children.
Beading (especially the elaborate looming and threading) is not equal to the patience I have.
Sewing…anything. Run for the hills if I get near a sewing machine… as is evidence by one of my tablecloths at the markets, see if you can spot it ;) and if it can’t be made on the overlocker, it can’t be made (according to me)

Nope, resin really has been something I have enjoyed (despite the discomfort and frustrations). It’s something I can express myself in without too much self doubt.

It’s just like job… not everyone can be a surgeon, accountant or standup comedian.

Friday, January 9, 2015

What its about… part 1

For the last 4-5 years, I have been actively involved in improving my art in my craft and therefore, improving the wares I sell.
And for all the years I have been going to markets, lines like “Oh I can make that”, or “Take a picture so we can try that later”… have fluttered about not only mine, but many a crafter’s ear.

Yes, we do use ideas and things we see (even subliminally). Accusing someone of “stealing” your craft idea is like accusing someone of using the English language just because you can.
But that’s not what this “series” of posts will be about.
After hearing and saying (guilty as charged), that someone’s wares are “too expensive”… I decided to give in and write a bit on the COSTS and INCOMES involved in handmade culture (or as much as I can while not being too experienced in the costs of EVERY craft).

So not only as a crafty, but hopefully as a buyer, you will see just what it is to do this, not only as a hobby but as a living… and yes, some of us (including me) have had to resort to doing this for a living.
This isn’t a HOW TO, or formula on getting started in the craft business, this is more for “why we crafties charge what we do”.

Let’s get down to brass tax…
A crafty month at Wonder Struck Inc. I will be using some costing from November, as these are still fresh in my mind and stretch into December (even though we close for part of the month).

*             Resin & Silicone – R1950
*             Chain, findings & beads (agate and glass) – R560
*             Petrol (for supplies, deliveries, post, markets) – R2100
*             Market stall rentals – R1100
Total: R5710

That’s an average cost of R190.33 per day in November (30 days)
As a freelancer, and in order to pay what needs to be paid, I NEED to earn R150 an hour over each and every single working day of a month. But as a crafter, I cannot realistically expect to carry this cost, and that of my overheads onto my items I make.
So we work on a % markup on cost.

If I had to use just some of these figures to work out what to charge excluding component cost of a necklace we would get a figure of approximately R180 (per necklace).
This is again, not including the material cost of the necklace, this is purely the overhead cost in making it.
Would you pay over R200 for a necklace that ISN’T sterling silver or platinum or gold? … I wouldn’t. Honestly.

On one market day, a crafter EASILY spends over R350 to be there, not to mention food or drinks (even if packed from home). And that’s IF a market is charging under R200 for a stall.
Our COSTS involved at the Medieval Fayre, just for petrol and stall alone, were R850. For the day. This is not a ballpark figure, but actual costs that we incurred for petrol and stall rental. This is not including bottles of water and one meal each to keep us sustained till home time.

And this is where some of my greatest frustration comes when a market patron/buyer/shopper thinks that an item someone has HANDMADE (and most are not able to put a time on how long something makes) and spent time on and displayed hoping to pass on this piece of their day/week, onto someone else… is “too expensive”.
Admittedly, I have seen prices that HAVE been taken to the extreme, and this is probably where the debate comes in over what is TOO EXPENSIVE FOR HANDMADE or not. But to the handmade/indie artist sitting at the market, their prices are real and often very carefully considered….

These items you buy from most of us, cannot just be easily remade and are not mass produced.
Even as a resin artist, things that come out of the same mold are never always 100% the same as eachother. Colours/ridges/nicks/sanding down, all create an entirely unique piece each and every single time.
There’ve been a few pieces on some websites, discussing the possible future value of handmade items over greater mass produced items.
I’d like to research this for a future blog entry, as I see this as a very valid point. (Think about it).

For those who don’t make handmade, but appreciate and shop handmade, thank you for helping us build on the handmade culture we work so hard for. For those who have never really known or understood and go past stalls saying things are “too expensive”, I do hope that some of this gives you a bit of perspective ;)
And to crafties that don’t do this full time… I hope this gives you slightly more info to research before taking it on full time.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hello 2015...

I have always been about positivity on the blog, and page (and all social media actually).

So the first post will follow that trend.

2014 was such a strange year for everyone, and I think there were as many ups as there were downs. But we are so greatful for the 2014 you all gave Wonder Struck Inc.
You were all amazing... and still are ;)

This year we'd like to spend even more time promoting (and supporting) handmade.

Each Friday we'll be sharing a great page for you guys to peek at (and like if it peeks your interest).

Fridays will also be blog updates. Like this one :)

Some new items have started making their debuts on the Facebook and Instagram pages. Don't be shy to join our social media, we're even on Twitter.

Then, markets.
We don't have any booked for January as yet, but keep looking in for updates. But we'll most probably be out and about from February again.

Then, thank you all again for the clicks, views, likes, shares and comments.
We *really* appreciate the time you take to support us in any way.

Onward to the new year!

Monday, December 1, 2014

So far so good...

Its already December,  but I can confidently say I think we getting the hang of 2014.

It hasn't been the best year (personally or otherwise)... for just about everyone. But we are so great at getting up and living another day....

The last dates of 2014 have been finalised,  so please maake a note or 2:

5 December - Night Market at The Shed
6 December - Market at The Shed AND at Walkerville Farmer's Market

6 December - last resin/supply orders taken.
12 December - last postage/shipping dates and Wonder Struck Inc closes for 2014.

13 December - Market at The Bunny Park
16 December - Walkerville Farmer's Market
20 December - Walkerville Farmer's Market

5 January 2015 - Wonder Struck Inc reopens for orders and shipping.
February 2015 - Markets dates will be uploaded.

We're also working on a short list of projects that we want to bring in to fruition in 2015, so we'll be working over the holidays to finalise some of it.
Keep an eye out!

Then, to start December off right.... a huge thank you to all of you again for the time you take to like our Facebook and posts and the time you take to check in on here and on our Twitter.
Thank you all for being amazing.