23 February 2015

Ernie & Bird has moved!

Thank you for visiting Ernie & Bird. You've probably ended up here following a pin on Pinterest and I am please to tell you there is even more over at my new website! So please head on over there now to find find all my old resources PLUS loads more! 

28 August 2014

Are you a Perfect Pinner?

I was doing a bit of "online browsing to avoid cooking dinner, taking the clothes off the line, tending to my children, folding the washing, running the bath etc etc etc"....) and came across this little pearler.

If you are a lover of Pinterest and like things to look completely in order all the time because that's just who you are (and a lot like me) then you'll love this! It's a size guide to pinning so everything fits beautifully within their allocated areas and everyone is happy. Enjoy the Cheat Sheet to Image Sizes. Now I'm not sure what is good etiquette for referencing this because it appears all over the shop but I got it from Authormedia

Profile images: 165 x 165 pixels
Pins in feed: 238 pixels x adjusted to height
Expanded pin size: 735 pixels x adjusted to height
Pin boards complete size: 238 x 284 pixels
Cover image: 217 x 146 pixels
Tiny thumbnails: 51 x 51 pixels

As you create pins, it’s important to be strategic. Inspirational quote pins drive tons of traffic for authors but they aren't the most effective pins floating around on the boards. You may not know this, but the most clicked on image size are the long, skinny pins. They are most often DIY instructions. Think of the mason jar tutorials or the long pins that show 20 or so different household tips on Pinterest. People pin them all the time. They drive traffic because they require you to click on them to see the full size (so you can actually read the instructions).

When you create pins for your site, think about how you can diversify your pins. Find out which ones drive the most traffic. If you can adapt your pins, try out the longer, skinnier type. When you do pin things, make sure that you remember to link back to your website.

20,000 visits! Woohoo!

I woke up to a lovely surprise this morning finding my blog has clicked over 20,000 visits. My dear little site has been very neglected over the past year after Olive came along and I have been trying hard to bring it out of dormancy. The thing is, you think of ideas to engage with your audience, spend hours compiling photos and content, you post them and then hear nothing and wonder 'is anyone actually reading my stuff?' and feel deflated. But as I see the counter ticking over on a daily basis I guess you are coming to visit and I appreciate the support. Sales have been picking up and it really motivates me to make more things and have more fun exploring my creativity! THANK YOU!

20 August 2014

Upcycling Vs Recycling

Visiting handmade markets and adorable little boutiques you will come across a term that is becoming increasingly more popular 'Upcycling' is all the trend now and I know our grandmothers have been doing it for years but it's now something people specifically go out and seek and sometimes pay a good price for something that was once new then old now new again!

So what's it mean? Is it just a different way of 'Recycling' old items and making new ones? Well kind of. And to be honest I was a little grey on the issue too which is why I went to my good 'ol friend Google. According to the site Hipcycle, Recycling takes consumer materials — mostly plastic, paper, metal and glass — and breaks them down so their base materials can be remade into a new consumer product, often of lesser quality.

When you upcycle an item, you aren't breaking down the materials. You may be refashioning it — like cutting a t-shirt into strips of yarn — but it’s still made of the same materials as when you started. Also, the upcycled item is typically better or the same quality as the original.

What’s old is new again, but with a twist. 

That's where they get the 'up' in upcycling from. It's something better than before! The Upcycling Fashionista says upcycling is converting low-value materials into high-value products that are more desirable. When you convert old or discarded materials into something useful and often beautiful you are giving an item a new purpose and in doing so, you reduce the consumption of new raw materials and you reduce the amount of waste you create.

I love how they use the term 'refashioning' an item. I have a friend who had this fantastic idea to collect old denim items such as jeans and jackets from the local op shops and cut them up into small squares and make a queen size quilt (until she got about 50 squares into it and realised she need around 500). She has since lost interest however the point is she had a wonderful thought on how to upcycle something society tends to discard once it's a little worn, torn, stretched or simply no longer in fashion.

So it got me thinking about what I do at Ernie & Bird and FaithHopeLove and how none of my items are really helping our environment. I just buy brand new things and make more brand new things out of them. This makes me feel pretty blue considering there is so much in our world that is no longer loved and cherished and encourages me to think a little harder about my creations. So who knows what's around the corner for future products but for now I might try sourcing some fabrics from my local op shop and upcycling them into new creations. That would be nice. Here are some upcycled discoveries from madeit

EATcreations - Upcycled Spoons for Herb Garden
Flopsam and Jetsum Bright Boho Patchwork Infinity Scarf
Gaye Abandon - Upcycled Jumper Hot Water Bottle Cover
APIECEOFPIE - Sunny Day Dress - M 12/14
Vintage Chenille - Bernard Plush Grey Elephant
Merry-Go-Round - Vintage Retro Rainbow Bunting