Tag Archives: etsy

The Free Postage Offer on etsy ends on 20 October – don’t miss out!


Just a quick reminder……

new etsy banner

Buy two or more items from my Etsy shop and pay NO postage!  

Click on this link to take you to the shop:


Your free postage will be applied automatically at checkout.  If you get to my shop by any other route, there is a box for the coupon code – please enter NEWZFROMJULZOFFER in the box to get your free postage.  I am offering this discount to all international customers as well as UK customers.

This coupon is valid from Friday 6 October to Friday 20 October only.

For more information, please see my earlier post HERE

Make An Upcycled Napkin Curtain – copied from Etsy



Laura Fenton is a New York City-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in many publications, including Country LivingGood HousekeepingKinfolk and Parents. She is also the author of The Little House In The City.

After living for years in a top-floor apartment where curtains were unnecessary, I recently landed in a ground-floor unit that, despite its many selling points, happens to look directly into my new neighbors’ windows. Suddenly, attractive window coverings became a high priority — but one that, I quickly learned, cost a pretty penny. Instead of investing in off-the-shelf window dressings, I decided to make my own from an excess of beloved but rarely-used vintage napkins, amassed over a decade of digging in flea markets and secondhand shops. With a little bit of stitching, my incomplete and mismatched sets of dinner napkins became a charming patchwork curtain that’s sheer enough to let in lots of natural light, while still affording (priceless!) privacy.

To make your own, you’ll need a stash of napkins (tea towels and other vintage linens will work, too), a sewing machine, a few basic craft supplies, and the Tetris-like skills to piece your design together. Here’s how.


You will need: 

  • Napkins
  • Iron
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Measuring Tape


First, launder and dry your napkins. Then, rough out your curtain design by positioning the napkins in a pattern on the floor or across a large work surface. Make sure you have enough pieces to create a varied patchwork; when you reach an arrangement you like, snap a pic to refer to as you sew — or better yet, leave the napkins laid out as they are.


Iron napkins to remove any creases (and make them easier to pin and sew).


Begin pinning napkins together with straight pins, starting with the napkins in the center. Rather than lining up their edges precisely, you’ll want the napkins to overlap each other slightly, as shown.


Use a zigzag stitch to sew along the overlapped edges. The zigzag stitch will add extra visual interest to the curtain (and it’s also a forgiving stitch for less-than-professional seamstresses). After you complete the center section, pin a few more loose napkins from your laid-out design to the edges of the sewn pieces and use the zigzag stitch to secure. Keep sewing and pinning until you have created one full curtain panel.

Tip: If your napkins don’t create a perfect rectangle, you may need to trim some of the perimeter napkins. (Just be sure to leave a bit of seam allowance so that you can still hem those cut edges.)


Next, cut several 20-inch pieces of ribbon to act as curtain ties. (Ties should be spaced about five to seven inches apart. We used nine ties for our 48-inch wide panel; measure to determine how many you will need.)


Fold each piece of ribbon in half, measure to determine to its position at the top of the panel, and pin to the back side of the curtain.


Next, sew one continuous zigzag stitch across the top hem of the curtain panel and each of the ribbon ties. Use the ties to hang the panel from your curtain rod.


Photos and styling by Laura Fenton.

Gallery post: some of the stuff I sell


dec cal pic


Today’s assignment on the  blogging101 course was to try out a different kind of post, and I have been intending  to put together a page that shows the type of stuff I stock, for spinners, weavers, felters, knitter, quilters and other crafters – so, why not use the exercise for this purpose!  This is the first Gallery I have ever put together and its rather random in nature, I could have put them together in categories, but, I haven’t – not this time.  I also intended to link the listings on etsy and ebay to each picture – but not this time. If you want to browse the listings, click on the personal links underneath my photo on the right hand side. If you want to buy direct see this page, if you want more information on anything contact me here!

If you want to buy anything, please do, smile, I  sell worldwide.  To see the captions and find out what the fibres are,  just hover over them.  I think it turns into a slide show if you click on any of the images.

vat moss on digital downloads – designed to catch the big fish but only catching the small fry!



some definitions/explanations given below ……

Today’s assignment on the blogging101 course is to follow up on yesterday’s assignment which was to visit various blogs and leave comments and see if you could start a conversation going!  The challenge for today, is to write about your comment and expand your thoughts into a longer piece.

Yesterday, I started photographing the new stock that came in (plug), and then had a dentists appointment.  He insisted that two teeth needed to be taken out, and I wanted to keep them. For the first time in my sessions with him, I won, but I paid a price!   By the time I came home, the four injections that my dentist had used whilst filling the teeth, had numbed my mouth so much that I didn’t know where it was, and made me feel so ‘woozy’ that I had to go to bed.

So that’s my excuse for not “doing my homework”!  However, I can write something that fits into today’s brief, and its a subject I was planning on writing about anyway.

cropped-3vert-dry-stone-wall-version-2.jpgThe title of this blog may well sound like gobbledegook to you – actually it is!

Just before New Year, I got one of those regular emails you get from etsy as a buyer, or a seller.  I usually just skim them, and perhaps click on a picture of something someone has made that I like. (its a site for craftspeople to sell their work)

This time there was a blog about the introduction of VAT MOSS to all digital download sellers, which caught my eye because I was planning to open a second shop on etsy to sell digital downloads of my photographs.

I read the blog, I read the comments, commented on the blog and on other sellers comments.  Most of them were absolutely furious, not only that they were now going to have to register for VAT MOSS, but that etsy had left it until the last minute to tell them about it.

I don’t blame the etsy team all that much, after all, not even the tax office seems to be able to explain what to do, although it does seem it is the site that takes the payments that is responsible for registering for this scheme.  I would give you a link to this post, but so many of the hundreds of commenters are easily identified by their pictures, so I think I should just give you the link https://www.etsy.com so you can find the blog for yourself, if you want to.

A good number saw no way round this new regulation, because the digital downloads are done thro’ the etsy site, payments made through PAYPAL, and you don’t even know what country your customer comes from!  Many were seriously intending to close their shops rather than deal with the new regulations, or treat their EU customers separately.

The regulations have been made by the EU, but they affect all small businesses, and large businesses,  selling digital downloads of any kind, from any country to EU customers.  That means that anyone in any country has to pay this tax, and what’s more, you have to register with the tax authorities, even if you only sell £1, $1, 1 euro’s worth of downloads – and that, I think anyone would agree is RIDICULOUS!

As a result, I started looking into this issue and couldn’t believe what an idiotic law it is.  How badly drafted it is, and how the “law of unintended consequences” is going to crush all those small businesses that are now becoming the only way to earn a living since the recession.

cropped-3vert-dry-stone-wall-version-2.jpgI said, in my last blog, that I was now living in a digital world – and now that world is going to be TAXED! 

There are:

photographers selling their photographs – they have to register,

artists selling all digital formats of their work – they have to register,

self publishers selling their books – they have to register,

musicians selling their own music – they have to register,

people selling training videos – they have to register,

knitters selling knitting patterns – they have to register,

(altho the knitters site Ravelry has arranged that another retailer takes the responsibility for tax payments)


and nearly everyone who sends digital information around the world is theoretically caught in the EU’s net.

As far as I can tell, the reason the law was drawn up was to get some revenue out of those large tax dodging companies, like Amazon, Apples’s iTunes and SKY, and possibly, it was widened to try and catch those nasty pedophile rings.

Those are the big fish – and, no doubt, they will find a way round the regulations.  We are the small fry, and will be badly affected.  I have put the idea of selling digital downloads of my photographs on the back burner, but at least I hadn’t started yet and won’t have to comply.  There are others that actually earn a reasonable amount from this, and they face the choice of shutting up shop, or paying tax to all the EU countries, all of which, set their VAT at different rates.

And there are not thousands, but millions of small businesses around the world, who will theoretically be affected by this, even if they don’t comply, they will be worried that they might get prosecuted.

There are various angles to this whole discussion, but for once, I think I will make my point and keep this post short – but not sweet.  If you don’t know what I’m on about, the basic explanations are below.

I have signed a couple of  petitions I found against the introduction of this scheme – if you want to sign them too, these are the links – if you can find others to sign, please let me know and I will add them to the list.

http://euvataction.org/take-action-now/  is a site that has been set up to campaign against VAT MOSS

This petition is to the EU official responsible and can be signed by anyone from any country

This is the email address of the UK Treasury official responsible public.enquiries@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk    UK  ONLY

This petition is to Vince Cable MP, UK Minister responsible  not sure if those outside the UK can sign it, but you can try.

For UK sellers only, Vince Cable has negotiated that the regulations can be side-stepped, if you email your customer directly – but as I said, etsy sellers don’t know where their buyers are from, so you have to opt out of the digital download  scheme altogether to comply.  As far as I know, no other country has this arrangement,

Brief explanations of the gobbledegook

cropped-3vert-dry-stone-wall-version-2.jpgI will try and be succinct here, and explain what this involves.

VAT is VALUE ADDED TAX – that currently adds 20% onto the cost of each purchase in the UK – excluding most foods and children’s clothes.  The customer pays the tax – usually hidden in the price, and the seller has to add up all those 20%’s and declare them to the VAT man, and pay the tax they have collected to the government.  In return, they are able to get a refund of the VAT they have paid for business supplies etc, which is usually a much smaller amount than they have collected.

In the UK, you can run a small business and NOT be registered for VAT, the threshold for registering for VAT is a turnover of £88,000 (approx) a year  – so why do we have to register for VAT MOSS for a £1 sale?

VAT MOSS is the pan European name for the scheme to collect this tax.  MOSS is “Mini One Stop Shop”

If you really want to read gobbledegook, this is the site for the UK’s HMRC (tax office),  I don’t understand it, and there’s enough confusion as it is!

Basically, it tells you how to register and then how to send in your accounts, by country, of your sales, so YOU have to work out what you owe, to all the 26 European countries, pay a total, and the HMRC will distribute each bit to the relevant country.

This blog by Heather Burns is the best account I have seen of the complications and unforeseen consequences of these new regulations.

and just cos I’ve put in all this work to inform you – you can find my etsy shop  here



spring time and the japanese knotweed is looking very healthy!

spring time and the japanese knotweed is looking very healthy!

Just been watching the BBC morning news, and was amazed that they were featuring the problems of Japanese Knotweed – it is a rampant weed round here – and some lenders are refusing mortgages to properties that have it in their garden.  There is also talk of a fine being levied on householders who don’t make efforts to eradicate it ………

I have it in my garden!  It has spread from the hillside below – altho’ I have been uprooting it steadily for years, its well known that only a tiny bit of root can sprout and its back again.  Botanically its actually an amazingly resilient plant, and was originally intentionally introduced into this country over 100 years ago to stabilise railway embankments.  The roots go down and down and down!  (Up to 3 m according to the man on the tv.)

Until recently, no one ever expected to be able to get rid of it,  the only thing you could do was pull up the sprouts as soon as they pushed thro the earth.   But all of a sudden there are companies making good money spraying it and promising that it won’t reappear.  Actually, I don’t believe it.  I have built bonfires over it and it still comes back.

They are now recommending getting a digger into your garden – disrupting all your plants – I can still grow veg and flowers in my garden, altho’ as I’ve been ill this year, the garden is looking pretty rough.  I’d better go out and pull out as much of the knotweed as possible – I don’t intend paying for a digger!

I wonder how much its going to cost the council to try and get rid of it – are they going to try?  There are hillsides full of it.

Oddly enough, I did read something somewhere that said you could cook the young leaves and eat them – like nettles and spinach.  Does anyone know anything about this?

Coincidentally, honestly, a couple of days ago, having been selling my photographic greetings cards last week (see previous post),  I was playing around with the idea of uploading digital files of some of my photographs onto etsy.  They have a service for people to buy them as digital downloads, for a fraction of the price of a print.

Most people sell landscapes or “pretty” pictures, but because I had been looking at a set of digital photos I had taken up the hill last spring and wondering if they would be worth printing up, the first digital download I chose was the one above – of japanese knotweed.  If you click on the picture above, it will take you to my etsy listing – its only £3!

PS:  Updated on 6 July 2015:  Because of the VAT MOSS mess – see my post on this – I decided I’d better take down all my digital photos on Etsy – so this is the only place you will find this photo for now!

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redteapotAll of a sudden we’re being bombarded with pre Christmas adverts, emails, junk mail etc etc…….and oddly enough, I’m planning to do something too ……..

Well, its like this, I was idly listening to Evan Davis (the new Newsnight presenter – what do you think of him?)  on the Bottom Line (Radio 4) the other week, and he and his panel of business people were talking about Flash Sales.  I couldn’t tell you much about what they actually said, but it sparked a train of thought – and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

I used to be a photographer – I say used to be, because the old ways have been so superseded by digital cameras and mobile phones, that I can no longer earn a living in photography – without doing weddings, which I always refused!

TRECASTLEAt one point I also earned some extra by selling my own photographic greetings cards, which I got printed up to very high standards, and on very good card, with really nice envelopes.  Sadly, the ‘art’ greetings card market also took  a dive, as people don’t bother to send nice little notes on nice cards to each other any more either!

I’m not moaning – just setting the scene.  I now am back selling stuff on ebay, and if it weren’t for digital and broadband, I’d never have the opportunity.

Anyway, I did sell quite a lot of cards, and even had some in galleries and museums, but that was about 15 years ago!

When demand starting drying up, I went to see a local business advisor – he was a lovely man – his business was selling bull semen – smile – and he gave me some very good advice.  He said, sell them all off to a wholesaler for 1p a card! – ie take a big loss and forget about them. I was selling them for around  £2.50 at the time.

lambActually he was right – but I just couldn’t do it – so over the years the boxes of cards have had small incursions into them, but there are still loads left – all stacked up in the store room (my 2nd bedroom) and its got so bad in there that I have just spent ages trying to move stuff to get to them!   There are some I just ain’t gonna reach at the moment – I’m looking for the ones I used to sell and send as Xmas cards.  So altho the whole set may not be available – I thought I’d go ahead with the idea of a Flash Sale on the ones I can find – as soon as I’ve sorted everything out and worked how how many of each I have.  The ones I know I have at present are shown in this meandering blog!

Why am I writing this now – when I haven’t got any firm news to tell you?  Because I felt like a rest from excavating the store room, and because I plan to have things ready within the next week.  At that point I will be sending a NEWS FROM JULZ email to all my customers, giving them an exclusive offer, and I will be selling the cards for less than they cost me to produce – but NOT 1p!  So I thought I’d give you a heads up.

Anyone who has not bought from me, or thinks they have dropped off my mailing list, is welcome to email me at julz@julzweaving.plus.com – mentioning this blog, and I’ll add you to the list.

In the meantime I’ve been having fun putting some of my other photos/cards/prints up on my old ebay account – which you can view by clicking on the orange lettering.

I’ve also been adding to my listings on my new ebay account (mainly spinning & weaving stuff) – and to my etsy shop (a more eclectic mix) – click on orange lettering to have a look.

That’s all for now ……will let you know more when I know it!

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