Craft Britannia Shop of The Week #45, LisaDeluxe
Lisa designs and creates pretty jewellery and cards, to be found in her Etsy shop LisaDeluxe. In our new CraftBritannia Shop of the Week interview, Lisa tells us more about her world.
Describe your “typical” working day or week
Like many of us – I don’t have a typical week. Broadly speaking, I get up when I wake up, check email and then decide what I’m going to focus on. Then I flit from one job to the next – dictated to by a longstanding pain problem – with a sprinkling of housework in between. If it’s a nice day it may be at the bench silver-smithing or photographing my work. I’m in 24/7 pain so my ‘good time’ is very limited. But it’s amazing what you can achieve lying down on a sofa surrounded by beads or scraps of paper! I can even type one-handedly now.
When you are not doing Etsy related things, what are you doing?
Mainly reading, plus tiny amounts of physio, short walks, sewing, knitting, or just enjoying time with my soul mate. I have a retail website selling manufactured jewellery, so I work on that. I’m going to be swapping the mass produced for more handmade items and anyone wanting to add their work can contact me. I do some ebaying too which funds my crafty needs. As I’m slowly re-training myself to silversmith, I draw designs and develop ideas. I trained 20 years ago but went straight from college to hospital with my spine so never managed to make a business of it. I’m also designing and painting a range to fill a 2nd etsy shop with limited edition prints and cards of my watercolour pen and ink designs, with a view to going back to doing commissions of houses and bespoke Christmas cards.
What was the first piece you ever sold?
In my etsy shop it was two memory wire bangles to a lovely lady; one with Murano Glass beads; I was so chuffed, but I can’t believe how madly I priced my work back then!
What advice would you give someone taking up your craft for the first time?
My ‘craft’ is really silver-smithing, and for that you are best off taking a college course, even if it’s at night school. As far as card making is concerned, work in a very clean space and store your finished items fully protected from possible corner damage. Oh, and when taking your photos, don’t do as I have and use ‘close-up’ for the full sized card – I’m going to re-take all mine as the sides look like I can’t cut a straight edge!
What material do you most enjoy working with?
Silver. And paper. I’m such a hoarder!
If you could try a new craft, what would it be?
Silk painting and paper making are on my ‘to do’ list. But in an ideal world (with no pain) I’d love to be a lapidary or a property restorer/developer.
Which piece of equipment would you be helpless without?
My PC and internet access. I’d be so stuck as we live miles from anywhere.
Tell us about what inspires and motivates you
I’m chock full of ideas – I reckon I’ve forgotten 90% of the card ideas I’ve had – even though I jot down sketches and explanations for them in the wee small hours. Many a time I can’t remember what the heck I was thinking! My motivation is to be earning a living. I know I’m relying on my partner for financial and every other kind of support, but I’m so independent at heart it hurts. Maybe that’s why I find it so hard to switch off, I’m still searching for my niche – one that will be manageable and yet profitable within the limits of my problems.
Tell us about one handmade item that you own and love
There are two things which I can’t pick between. One is a little suitcase my Granddad made, which I’ve stored my embroidery items in for years. Secondly, when I was 10, I went to Nigeria to stay with family. My suitcase didn’t make it and I only had winter shoes. So, I went barefoot and stood on a hairy caterpillar. The foot swelled up and my Aunty Lizzie had to painstakingly tweeze out all the hairs using talc to be able to see them. Anyway, I went to a market, met a toothless but smiling chap who drew around my good foot on a piece of card. Later that day I returned to find I had my very own pair of beautifully made leather flip flops. I’ve still got them.
What plans do you have for your shop in the future?
Firstly, to get my photographs more coherent and consistently lit. Then I hope to have a range of Sterling Silver jewellery that I can make and remake to order using traditional techniques, and casting to cut down on the hours needed. I’m working on getting a design ‘voice’ and I’m doing some things for men too as they are so hard to buy for – don’t you think? Also, I’ll be opening a 2nd shop for my cards and printed designs. I’m finding suppliers now and learning photoshop. Gosh I miss my son who’s left home. He did teach me so much!