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It’s the most wonderful time of the year (for Christmas markets)!

Hi again! How are you? How are you coping with lockdown and are you excited that it’s almost over and Christmas is coming?!?

I know I am because I’ve got a few December markets lined up and I can’t wait!!

First up is The Makers Market at The Bombed Out in Liverpool this coming Sunday. If you’ve never been there before it’s an amazing venue in the centre of Liverpool. The market starts at 11am so if you’re around why not pop down?

If you can’t make that the following weekend I’ve got 2 markets! My first one on Saturday 12th is with Independent Street at The Drum and Monkey pub in Alderley Edge (oooo posh!) and then I’m back at one of my favs, Warrington Makers Market on Sunday 13th.

And if that’s not enough the weekend after that I’ve got my final market before Christmas and that’s also with Independent Street at The Woodlands Pub in Great Sankey, Warrington.

To say I’m excited to be back at markets is a major understatement! Much as I’ve really enjoyed my online markets (which are continuing in December – check out the front page for details) I’ve really missed meeting my customers face to face.

And now for the best bit…

I’m launching a whole new collection on 6th December!!

As you may remember I’ve been doing a jewellery making course with Cheshire School of Jewellery and now I’m releasing my new creations into the wild. I’m starting with a collection of copper rings.

I can’t wait to share these with you in person! Don’t worry if you can’t get to any of my markets in December as I hope to be putting them online next week 🙂

In the meantime why not check out what other goodies I have in my shop for that Christmas present you just can’t find anywhere else!

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Today is Day of the Dead but what’s it all about?

As I’m sure you’re aware by now I’m a huge fan of sugar skulls and they heavily influence my jewellery. By why and what are they all about? Read on for more information about this fascinating culture!

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead, or Dia De Los Muertos, is a holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico on 1st and 2nd November to honour deceased loved ones in a similar way to Halloween in this country. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and to remember friends and family members who have died. It is commonly portrayed as a day of celebration rather than mourning.

When we went to America for our Honeymoon Disneyland had a whole section dedicated to Day of the Dead and their amazing film Coco. Here’s me and my husband enjoying the festivities!

Disneyworld California Day of the Dead
Getting a Sugar Skull Tattoo
My Sugar Skull Tattoo
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Decorating the home with an Ofrenda

This year I’ve decided to have my own ofrenda (Spanish for “offering”) which is a home altar with a collection of objects placed on a ritual display during Día de Muertos. In Mexico these altars can contain the favourite foods and beverages, as well as photos and memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls so they will hear the prayers and the remembrance of them.

I have pictures of my Mum, brother and my maternal grandparents. I also have some sugar skulls and we have lit candles. I’ve even bought a Pan de muerto which is a type of sweet roll shaped like a bun, topped with sugar, and decorated with bone-shaped pieces of the same pastry. I got mine from Sweet Nibble bakery. I also bought these sugar cute crochet sugar skulls which are made by Art_Mkt!

Sugar Skulls

One of the most iconic and colourful items seen during the festivities is the sugar skull or calavera. These skulls, which can come in different sizes, are traditionally made of sugar and are decorated with icing to be fun and colourful. Some even have feathers, glitter, hats, or other objects attached to make them more personal.

Sugar skulls are sometimes eaten, but their main function is to adorn the altars and tombs with a sugary delight for the visiting spirits. I have several sugar skulls as you might expect, and I won’t be eating mine mainly because they’re not actually edible ones!

But why SUGAR skulls? In Mexico, a country abundant in sugar production and perhaps too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations, people learned quickly how to make sugar art for their religious festivals. Clay moulded sugar figures of angels, sheep and sugar skulls go back to the 18th century. Sugar skulls represented a departed soul and often had names written on their foreheads and placed on the home “ofrenda” or gravestone to honour the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk-art style of big happy smiles, colourful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments.

You might think that the sugar skulls can look a bit scary but they are meant to be happy, colourful and are meant to capture the joy and happy memories associated with lost loved ones which is why I am particularly fond of them and include them in my jewellery.

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I’ve got your Halloween half term activity sorted!

Hi again! You’ve probably realised Halloween this year is going to be very different. No trick or treating (or there shouldn’t be but ya know some people might) and no parties 🙁

As far as I’m concerned this does not mean Halloween is cancelled. Maybe we have to celebrate differently and that’s ok. I am spending the evening dressing up and watching my favourite comedians do a live online show. I may even have some treats (no tricks!) 😀

It’s also half term soon and you’re probably looking for something spooky for you or your (older) kids to do? Well, I’ve got just the thing with my next offer!

My skull earring kits are perfect for those days when you can’t go out, the TV only has terrible reruns and you’ve played all the board games. Not only that but this weekend I’ve got 20% off my earring kits.

All you need to do is pop to my website, put the kit(s) you want in your basket and remember to add EARKIT20 in the coupon box before checking out.

So far I’ve got no other markets scheduled for October but my November is set to be busy. I’m really looking forward to another Makers Market From Home online market (you may remember me doing these in the Summer?). I’ve also got an awesome brand new market at the end of November in Warrington 😃 I’ve also got my debut at Levy Market 😁

Find more details of my markets on the front page of my website.

In the meantime pop to my shop and stock up on your Halloween jewellery.

Stay spooky folks!

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Another skull jewellery offer you say?

That’s right! It’s time for my 3rd skull jewellery offer to be announced. Where is the time going?!

This coming weekend I’ll have 20% off all my bracelets and that includes the new range I’ve recently designed. If you’re following me on social media you’ll be aware but if not (and why not?!) here are some pics

I decided to design a simpler version of my macramé bracelets and have various crystal or gem options. These can be made without a skull if you’d like but why would you want to?

I have tigers eye, goldstone, turquoise, rose quartz and many others. Each type has a matching skull bead but you can also choose to change the colour if you want. Just click on the link and pick your selection.

I’m also adding more and more markets to my list on my front page. I’m super excited to announce that I’m now working part time in my job so I can focus more energy on making and selling my skull jewellery. Why not come and visit me in person at one of my upcoming markets?

I’m also planning on doing a couple of online markets such as the Curious Exchange Market which is totally goth and another Makers Market From Home which is a “C word” market. And no I’m not swearing! C stands for that festive time of year and I refuse to use the C word under Halloween is out of the way.

Until then stay spooky folks! It’s only 20 days to Halloween…

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Announcing my next skull jewellery offer!

Hello again! Brrrr it’s got chilly hasn’t it? I guess it’s to be expected as it’s now October. How did that happen!? Where has the year gone? Also our boiler finally gave up the ghost last week so I’ve spent most of the week wrapped up to my eyeballs!

Did you take advantage of last week’s offer on my rings? If so, I’d love to see pics on social media 🙂

Anyhoo, on to the next jewellery offer! This weekend* only I will be offering 20% off all necklaces on my website.

To take advantage of this offer all you need to do is pop to my website, put the necklace(s) you want in your basket and add NECKLACE20 in the coupon box before checking out. Although this doesn’t include commissions, I am still open to these and happy to discuss your requests.

Don’t forget I’ll be at Warrington Makers Market this Sunday where I’ll have specials on my skull jewellery too.

If necklaces aren’t your thing don’t worry as I’ve got offers on my other skull jewellery coming up over the few weekends. More details to follow in future emails, blog posts and social media.

Why not sign up to my mailing list so you can receive notification of these and other deals? Don’t forget you also get a 10% discount off your first order (not valid with my Halloween deals).

Remember if you purchase from me I’d love you to leave me a review on Google or my Facebook page.

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Spooky Season Markets & Skull Jewellery Offers

Howdy there!

So, it’s 41 days to Halloween and I don’t know about you, but I’ve been ready for this for ages! It’s my absolute favourite season of the year. The leaves turning and falling, the smell of woodsmoke, the nights drawing in, the warm cosey clothes and boots and OF COURSE pumpkin-spiced everything! I’m rather disappointed that a certain coffee chain isn’t releasing their usual Autumnal offering until October, unlike previous years!

Luckily, as you would imagine, I have my own pumpkin flavoured coffee already in my cupboards.

To mark the spooky season I am running 5 weekends of my skull jewellery offers for you with up to 50% off! I’ll be posting about these on social media so if you aren’t already following me why not start now? Don’t worry if you don’t do social media as I’ll give you full details in my next email.

I have also been busy booking up Makers Markets and I have a new one to add! I shall be at The Great Northern Makers Market in Manchester on 4th October. This is my first Manchester market I’ve done so it would be amazing to see as many of you as possible. I’ll have lots of special offers on, obvs!

I’m also going to be doing Warrington Maker’s Market on 11th October and potentially some other Manchester Markets. As soon as dates are confirmed I’ll let you know.

That’s all for now. Weirdly the sun is shining as I write this so it seems a bit odd to be thinking about gorgeous Autumnal things but I can definitely feel it in the air. Stay safe and spooky folks and I’ll leave you with this awesome gif of Vincent Price being attached by a vamp Kermit!

Sam

via GIPHY

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Ch ch ch changes (in my skull jewellery business)!

onlinefair1

Hi! Welcome back to my Self Made blog.

This blog will be about how I’ve developed and adapted my skull jewellery business in positive ways to cope with the current pandemic.

How are you all coping with this current situation? Every day is different for me. Sometimes I wake up full of creative beans and some days I’m all about a duvet day and TV re-runs.

I’ve been furloughed from my full-time job and decided I would channel my work energy into developing my own Self Made skull jewellery business.

I did some small business training…

I had some fantastic business coaching from the lovely Nikki Matts. She really helped me focus my ideas, work out what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go with Self Made.

I also invested in a fantastic “Instagram for Business” course with Bloom Content Creation & Andy Greenacre which I discovered via Makers Market from Home (more about that in a bit).

From there I was introduced to Georgia who runs Bloom Content Creation and invested in a blog writing course and she’s been great! You may have seen the testimonial I re-posted on my Instagram page?

I think all courses have really benefitted me. What do you thinkf

I sold skull jewellery at makers markets…

Obviously, us makers can’t do real markets at the moment so many of us have now decided to take part in online versions. They are super fun AND it doesn’t matter where the market is in the world.  You could take part in a market on the other side of the world if you wanted to (time difference withstanding!).

For me it all started with Makers Market From Home run by the fabulous Andy (a.k.a. Unruly Print). The first market took place back in March and there have been 2 more since. Every time I have become more involved and you may have seen the live chats I did with Andy during the markets? I was even involved in their newest initiative #MiddayMakers last Friday! 

Last weekend I also took part in Leeds Steampunk Market on Facebook and this Friday I’m doing the Bluebirds Handmade Market online market from 7-10pm. Make sure you pop by and say hi!

mmfh1

Makers Markets aren’t all about sales, sales sales! They are about making friends, supporting fellow makers and getting your products out there for the world to see. I love them and it keeps me linked to the in-person market side of things which I think all makers are missing at the moment.

It’s so simple to shop in virtual markets! You search the relevant hashtag (i.e. #makersmarketfromhome or #bluebirdsathome) and check out what wonderful products are for sale by lovely makers. I have found so many different items! Check out this Instagram post to see what I’ve purchased.

Will you be joining me this Friday evening? More info about the market will be on my Instagram page over the next couple of days and I may even have some new products to debut. In the meantime, why not check out my current products in my shop.

Nikki Matts Instagram Post
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Introducing my ‘Self Made’ Skull Jewellery

Hi! Welcome to my new blog. I’m so pleased you’ve popped by! Pull up a comfy chair and let me tell you more about myself so you get to know the name and face behind the skull jewellery. My name is Sam Self and I am the creator of “Self Made”.  I live in Warrington with my husband. I am a Southerner by birth but love it up North . Please don’t ask me to choose between them though! 

 

For a while now I knew I wanted to have a business called “Self Made” which incorporated my love of making things and my surname. My skull jewellery started because I just couldn’t find the sort of items I wanted to buy in shops. I would regularly visit a fashion website and type “skull” into the search engine and often see “no search results” pop up. So frustrating!

 

Periodically , skulls appear in fashion again so as you can imagine I collect lots of skull jewellery during those times! I have loved skulls since I was 18 when I started listening to metal music. All my outfits regularly have skulls on them and when I did my Masters my friends started associating skulls with me and it stuck!

 

I decided if I couldn’t find the skull jewellery I wanted I’d make my own. I took premade jewellery and started customising it by adding a skull bead or two. Then I naturally started to make my own skull jewellery from scratch by  learning and honing my skills.  Once I’d got an idea of the sort of items I wanted to create I just did it!

 

I created so much skull jewellery I thought “I can’t possibly wear all this!” so decided to start selling it as I can’t be the only person who wants alternative jewellery? I guess you feel the same otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this!

 

If there’s anything you’d love me to cover in my blog just drop me an email. In the meantime, why not check out my current skull jewellery here.

 

Take care of yourselves and stay safe out there!

 

Sam