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Sunday, 8 December 2013

UK Crafters on Etsy Christmas Prize Draw

Enter this Prize Draw for a chance to win handmade goods and generous discounts from a selection of UK Etsy shops, including The Navigatrix!

Click here for details!

Draw ends 16th December 2013. Good luck!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Giveaway Time!The Time~Keeper

The Time~Keeper
To celebrate getting 3,000 Likes on my Facebook page (and feeling rather positive about the direction in which I'm headed at the moment) I'm running a Giveaway through Rafflecopter > Enter Here 

Cope and paste this link to your blog or page if you'd like to help me spread the love!

Giveaway closes at midday (GMT) on 10th October. Open to over 18's only. I am prepared to ship this worldwide using a standard airmail service. Please read the full Terms and Conditions on my Rafflecopter page.

Lastly, a big Thankyou to everyone who likes, shares, re-blogs, re-tweets and otherwise supports my small (growing!) business. I appreciate every encouraging word and action. I'm now looking forward to being able to mark 3000 Etsy sales! Onward and ever upward!


Thursday, 26 September 2013

A Sale of Rather Large Proportions is Now Occurring!

Not only have I selected over a page of items to reduce, but in October you will also be able to skim off a further 10% off everything by using this coupon code at Checkout:


"Why such a large sale?", you may enquire.
It comes down mainly to practicality. I have far too small a stock room for the amount of things I have already created (many of which are waiting to be photographed and listed), as well as the flood of inspiration begging me to make yet more. There will be gloves and tatty bustles, more Aether Nomad and Steampunk Catwalk pieces.

So, do give me a hand up the airship ladder so that my shop can really take off!

Thankyou most kindly,

~The Navigatrix

Monday, 1 July 2013

July Special Promotion!

Discount applies to all listings including Sale items!
What is this? Christmas in July?

I'm usually the one who cringes when they hear Jingle Bells sung anywhere outside of December. I put my little one's seasonal toys away high up out of reach until just before it rolls around again.

However...I am running a business here, so when I heard about EtsyUK's promotion, I jumped right on to that bandwagon (and why not?) 

The promotion is running all month and our international friends will be taking part, too. Here's what it is all about:

Navigation Tip: If you would like to find items in shops that are running the promotional codes, type the code (e.g. CIJUK10 ) into the search bar followed by whatever it is you'd like to buy. Try it! See what comes up. There will be other codes promoted in international shops. You might try CIJ or CHRISTMASINJULY  too.  

If you'd like to take advantage of this offer to buy that thing you've had in your Favourites for ages (before I whisk my stock away to craft fairs!) then please use the code CIJUK10 on your order over £10 (before P&P) to get a 10% discount.

Your custom is much appreciated, always.

~The Navigatrix

Friday, 28 June 2013

Beadpunk and Other Fun Adventures

An Interview with Chris Maj of 'Beadn4fun' 

Being one of the crew of 'The Unpronounceable' whose home dock is the Steampunk Share Page on Facebook, I get to see lots of wonderful Steampunk Creations. Recently, something was posted there that quite took my breath away and I was introduced to a new term: 'Beadpunk'. 

Now, I cannot claim to be a massive fan of seed-beaded items. However, this item shows an incredible level of skill and patience. I love the assymetrical design and the colour choices. It moved me to go and explore her Etsy shop and I'm very glad I did!
Locked In Time

Keyhole Steampunk Bead Embroidered Brooch

1. How did your shop get its name and what was the main inspiration behind opening your shop? 

The name Beadn4Fun came about because I wanted to portray my crazy-stupid love for beading and how happy those tiny little seed beads make me! I was a bit concerned it would sound like I don't take my craft seriously, but instead I think it says how lucky I am to do something that allows me to explore my creativity on a daily basis.
a Cellini Spiral necklace Visit the Shop Listing!
2. What do you create and do you have a signature product? If so how did it come to be?

I work primarily with Japanese and Czech glass seed beads using bead embroidery and bead weaving techniques. One of my signature techniques is to use a focal piece (clay, metal, glass, semi-precious gemstones), surround it with bead embroidery (rows of beads sewn to a backing) and hang it as a pendant from a beaded rope. Another of my favorite techniques is creating a Cellini spiral necklace. It's a beadweaving technique called Peyote stitch done with 3-4 sizes of seed beads that creates a corkscrew effect.

Bluecopper is an example of my work with semi-precious gemstones...this one is a Pietersite.
3. Where do you find your inspiration and what makes you different from the other people that make what you make?

There are a LOT of beaders out there so it's tough to stand out. I'm very inspired by colors, nature, and art. I almost always name my work, big or small, and have a backstory of how it came to be.
(I love that too, stories seem to grow with the work, don't they?)

Greenraku and Directions both use Olivia Dowdy Brown Raku pieces (This piece is 'Directions')
 4. What do you enjoy most about your craft?

I love the ability to capture the beauty I see all around me and interpret it through beaded color and design into a piece of wearable art. And I love the friends I've made, customers and fellow beaders all over the world.
 5.What is your best advice to newbie Etsians just opening their shops?

My advice to an aspiring Etsy-ist is the advice that was given to me...Open up a shop, stick something in it, and get on social media to find like minded craftspeople either on Facebook or in an Etsy group. You will learn as you go along...and keep learning!
Paisley Garden Boho Bag is the piece I made for last year's Battle of the Beadsmith (still available in my shop)
 6. What are your top 3 favorite shops on Etsy and what do you like about them?

 Besides shopping for new beads, my absolute most favorite thing about what I do is using art from other crafters and in my beadwork. I literally have a drawer full of pottery and raku items from Olivia Dowdy Brown I get lots of my Czech seed beads from And for sheer "OMG how did she do that with beads" moments, I go to

Samira is a collar I made in March for a "Scheherazade" challenge in our Etsy Beadweavers Team.  It sold immediately and I won the challenge!!
7. Where else (other than Etsy) can you be found online? 

You can most often find me on facebook or, and on my blog

8. Do you have any coupon codes / special sales / upcoming or current promotional events going on in your shop?

I don't currently have any specials running, but I do offer discounts a couple times a year. I also love to create custom work. 

Thankyou Chris! I wish you much success with your shop and many happy customers. Do let Cap'n G. and the crew know of any more Steampunk creations you come up with over at the Steampunk Share page. Keep on beading for fun!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Photoshoot in May - Part 3

Adventures of The Navigatrix

As my business develops, so does the character of The Navigatrix herself. I may have mentioned before that one of my most cherished hobbies is Live Roleplay. I see it as a form of art therapy, in a way. It has certainly cured me of shyness, boosted my confidence and brought me many wonderful, supportive friends.

Past, Present and Future Necklace - visit my shop here

 As part of the crew of 'The Unpronounceable', a miraculously gigantic airship that traverses not only the aether, but also the dimensions, The Navigatrix has clear duties. The first and most obvious is the practical yet complex task of guiding the behemoth dirigible to its next destination. She also has a more subtle duty; as a member of the not so secret but not openly spoken about either School of Metaphysic, she guides her crewmates along their life journeys - but only when guidance is sought for. Her travelling experiences have brought her certain unique perspectives on life and it brings her joy to be able to have an intelligent discourse with those of an open mind and a kind heart.
Find the volley gun at Arcane Armoury
"When finding oneself in unfamiliar extra-planar territory, one must be prepared for the unusual and potentially dangerous." 

See an accessory you like? Do pop in and browse!
The Navigatrix enjoys finding unwanted or broken treasures and creating new trinkets and adornments from them. You should see the state of her cabin aboard ship when she comes back from a successful haul! She sits surrounded by a multitude of beads, lace and brass gubbins. 

"Of course everything gets squared away once in a while. Cap'n G enjoys seeing the creative explosion though (and is frequently the instigator of her own creative explosions). I wonder, do they leave 'cr(e)aters'? Oh dear. My poor punning has made Weldon Rivett wince again. He's our Mechaneer. I should introduce you to the crew some day, when they are willing... I digress.

"Corsets and bustles are all very well in polite society but when out adventuring, more practical garb must be worn. Do not gasp out loud when I let on that I wear trousers! A good pair of fashionable yet sturdy boots, an underbust harness for shapeliness and a head covering. Oh, no frilly hats with distasteful decoration; a tagelmust is the most practical garb. It protects one from the sun and wind, also from breathing the dust of barren landscapes. Plus I do believe they are rather fetching, in a mysterious sort of way. Goggles are of great use even though they do look utterly ridiculous when worn for use. No, I shall not show you that image. A certain 'Mr. Toad' may have been mentioned by W. Rivett esq...."

So, you see, various aspects of my personality have combined to be expressed through this medium of owning an Etsy shop. I do love to tell stories. The Navigatrix is the first character that I've created without following a roleplaying rulebook! Does The Navigatrix have a name, you may wonder? Of course she does but few know it...

Have a look through the ever changing treasure chest that is The Navigatrix shop. I value every sale and am sincerely grateful for all the help I receive in sharing and promoting my work.

Elsewhere, in Another Universe...

The orange tagelmust is actually part of a costume that I have created for my new character for Empire, a game by the professional Live Roleplay company Profound Decisions. The fantasy culture that I have chosen is inspired by medieval Spain, Tunisia and Morocco.

 The armour has had a previous life (originally in plain black) when I played a Samurai Badger - rubber mask, paint stripe in my hair, a rubber katana and a lrp (live roleplay) safe bow. 

I made the polearm too, quite some time ago. Those amazing trousers came from Etsy and the sandals I bought when I visited Japan in 2007. 

I'm really looking forward to this game as I have not been to one in quite some time. Take a look at my Pinterest Boards to see some of the images I used for inspiration. I have not yet played this character - the event I'll be at is at the end of July. If you're there, do say hello!

There's just one more link to leave you with: my new Tumblr blog!

Follow me on my journey around the aetherweb. You may discover that I have made a treasure in my shop just for you!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Photoshoot in May - Part 2

Cap'n G and Me!

A tale of what happened not exactly next...

I'm not laying this out in chronological order. To be honest, there's been so much going on in between that my brain seems to have scrambled the sequence of events. I put this down to 'Mumnesia' ;)

We had a very full day together with Matt behind the camera to take some new product shots and some set pieces for promotion. Here are a couple of the new product shots - if you browse The Navigatrix you will see that each listing has up to five accompanying photographs. I don't always use a modelled shot for the main listing picture but it is nice to see how an item can be worn. You get a better idea of scale, too.

Black Rose Choker

'Wear Me, Alice'
One can only hold a serious demeanour for so long...especially around friends who enjoy each other's company!  
Oh...we broke our model!

Does the 'G' in Cap'n G. stand for 'Giggly'?!
 Getting the model ready between shots. Yes, I was in my Navigatrix getup the whole time! 
Like the Fleur de Lys? Various colours available: Buy it here!

We just can't help it!
 When we'd got the music blasting out loud and were feeling comfortable in our Steampunk personas as the Captain and the Navigatrix of an airship named 'The Unpronounceable', we got serious!
Aside from the Lionhead, Zeppelin Union and Fleur de Lys badges (by ArcaneArmoury), all jewellery you see in these shots was made by The Navigatrix.  

The airship approaches...
The beautifully made large prop weapons are by Arcane Armoury, the small ones are what Matt buys in to convert to more Steampunkish designs. Ask him about custom orders!

When you need to deal with a Kraken, do it in style!

 A little while earlier...

The two ladies took a picnic at the lovely Great Western Gardens

We were lucky enough to have a sunny morning in which to take advantage of the kind offer to use a beautiful English country garden. It's amazing where you can find props from if you look. This wasn't planned very carefully but it turned out beautifully!

We're at it again! Found a nest of giggles somewhere...

The Navigatrix shows off her latest treasures.
 The Navigatrix, (who does have a name by the way, known only by a few) travels widely to foreign lands collecting treasures and trinkets to re-work into beautiful adornments for modern Ladies of Quality.  Here, she shows her Captain the latest creations over a good cup of oriental tea.
A good Captain always knows how to do several things at once. Even whilst relaxing!

We packed up just in time as the rain started to pour a short while later! 

If you see any item that you like and has not been linked (we were wearing half the shop!) please leave a comment below! 

Items featured are available from my Etsy shop and my brother's Etsy shop. Do also make sure to visit our lovely model Georgina's shops Curious Doors and Nevermore Dolls

Find us together on Facebook at The Steampunk Share Page where we are constantly looking for other Steampunk businesses to help. Join us!

We all greatly appreciate your support and your custom!

Next time: The Adventures of The Navigatrix!


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Fancy that!

This morning I discovered that a fellow Etsian, whom I'd got in touch with through #UKEtsyHour on Twitter (Tues and Thurs, 8pm) has kindly done a blog article on my shop! Not only that, but she noticed my location and mentioned that she lived nearby. I mean, practically in the next street! What are the chances?

Fabrilushus: The Navigatrix: Oh dear.  I haven't managed to update my blog for a few weeks.  That isn't good when I am supposedly trying to get it off the ground...

Do pop over to browse Fabrilushus' delightful items when you've read (and commented :) on the blog.

I do love being a part of the Etsy community. Serendipities like this really bring it home to me...

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Photoshoot in May - Part 1

....or "What Happens when Three Etsians Come Together"

This month, three Etsy shop owners got together to work in collaboration. Matt of Arcane Armoury, Georgina of Curious Doors and Nevermore Dolls, and myself. 

Matt and I met Georgina through the Etsy Team In Here Life Is Beautiful and before we knew it, we'd started messaging, Skyping and bouncing ideas around. It helped that we are able to occasionally be geographically adjacent, so the opportunity to invite our Cap'n G. over again (see previously...) was welcomed ....especially since two of the three of us had birthdays around that very weekend!

The first day of shooting - cameras, that is; Arcane Armoury's luscious wooden and brass creations are merely props - saw myself and Georgina assembling two outfits from my wardrobe. We both got dressed up but Cap'n G. was in more of a photography mood, you'll see her in the next instalment....  So we got Matt to dress up as his Steampunk alter ego, Weldon Rivett Esq.

Image is important when you run an online shop. People make judgements about items very quickly when shopping on the internet and Etsy is very good at supporting its members with helpful tutorials and Blog articles. It is also very useful to get constructive critiques from fellow shop owners and Georgina and myself both saw potential in Matt's Steampunk outfit, as he wore to the Weekend at the Asylum event in Lincoln last year.

 The thing I love about Etsy is the way in people are able to share not just their creations, but themselves. When you get to know a bit about the person who made your lovely purchase, it adds value and restores the human dimension to this virtual version of trade which can be anything but.

So here we are, enjoying ourselves. I mean working. Actually, (she grins) both at once!

I never thought I'd be a model!

I trained as a professional modelmaker and gained a degree in Design Representation (Modelmaking) in 1996. (I'll tell you about my meandering career path some other time.) When I started The Navigatrix, I never really intended to model my wares. The Steampunk outfit was assembled initially for fun, then it turned out to be useful for the Weekend at the Asylum Steampunk Fair.

I've been a Live Roleplayer for many years and The Navigatrix was the first character that I'd created without a rulebook! The character and the shop developed side by side and continue to do so. With Georgina and Matt, we have created a fictitious Airship that we and our IHLIB Etsy team Leaders crew. The three of us have carried this onto Facebook as the Steampunk Share Page (Cap'n G's grand idea).

 I've never really been a girly girl and rarely wear makeup. Cap'n G. was in charge of hair and makeup and taught me how to apply the various layers of paint to my face. We caught ourselves a couple of times with huge grins on our faces...this is what we do for a living! OK, there's endless hours of photo editing, listing, networking, networking and more networking aside from our main passion of actually Creating...but it's a very self-affirming, empowering way to spend your time.
Sibling Rivalry? Actually, we're the best of friends.

 I'm so grateful to many other people for making these photoshoots possible. My dear hubby and a good 'mummy friend' looked after littl'un whilst I was busy. Thankyou if you helped in any way, however small. These things sometimes just come together, don't they, and feel right? 
Home from school and eager to copy Mummy. Meet my little monster :)

Buy this here!

There's more to come but I'll leave you to absorb that lot and explore the links for a while. All three of us appreciate your support, your encouragement and your most welcome custom. Do pop by again!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

A Tea Inspired Treasury...with added Steampunk

I do love browsing on Etsy. The Treasury feature is a way to collect and share your favourite items. You can make up your very own window shopping experience, to save things for later, or do it as an exercise in artistic image arrangement.

Treasuries give shops added exposure...and the more people see an item, the more likely it is to sell! The one rule of Treasuries, however,is never to add your own items (if you are an Etsy shop owner). I love this 'Pay it Forward' (x16!) attitude. Sharing is the kinder path to success.

Have a look at my latest finds:

See my Treasuries properly here:
The Navigatrix's Treasury List

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Interview with Emily Joy from Emi.Nation Artistry

This month's featured Creatrix

One of the things I love about Etsy is being to connect to fellow artists and creators with geographical distance being no problem, thanks to the internet and Skype video chats (ooh er, I remember when that idea was a thing of pure science fiction!)

I'd like to introduce you to Emily Joy, fellow Team Leader at In Here Life Is Beautiful and a talented Pyrographer. Just recently, she gave her shop a new look and has added many new items. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see her work on an Etsy front page in the not too distant future...

1. How did your shop get its name and what was the main inspiration behind opening your shop?

Naming my shop was actually quite a difficult process. I didn’t want to be too specific, in case I decided to expand my brand and do non-pyrography items, so anything with burning or flames didn’t seem to fit. After many discussions about possible names, I was drawn to creating a shop name that was catchy, yet spoke to my mindset when I create. I felt like I was most moved by the concept of the artwork flowing from a divine source or that inexplicable part of humanity that pushes us all to create. Often, artists will say that their favorite or best work seemed have its own will or mind. It needed to come out, and the artist was happy to be the conduit. I often feel that way when I create. The word emanation means “from the source” or “flowing from the source.” I have a bundle of creativity floating in my body, and all of my art courses through me from that initial point. I decided to do a fun take on my name, Emily, and call it “Emi.Nation” – both to honor the definition of the word, and to create my own little Emily world!

I find it difficult to name exactly what was the main inspiration for my shop. I have always loved to paint, draw, sculpt, whatever I could do to get messy and make art! However, I never really took myself seriously as an artist. I had a driving impulse to create, but selling seemed out of my league. Friends, family, and teachers disagreed with me, often urging me to either take classes or open up shop. I think was their support and encouragement, coupled with my desire to grow and honor my artwork as something meaningful, that pushed me to open Emi.Nation.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Interview with Georgina of Atomic Girl Cosplay

A is for Apocalypse...

I'd like to introduce you to a fellow Creatrix that I have affectionately nicknamed "Cap'n G." She recently leapt courageously into working full time for herself and has found a unique niche in which to express her talents...

 How did your shop get its name and what was the main inspiration behind opening your shop?

Let’s start with inspiration. Ever since I can remember I’ve had an intense imagination, as a child I was labelled as being away with the fairies. As I’ve grown up it’s never left me, and has been poured into various projects, characters and creations but I’ve never been satisfied, nothing was ever enough and I always knew I could do more. As I got older I began to develop a love of cult movies and became an avid gamer. I loved everything about the genre – retro computer gaming, sci fi, fantasy, RPG. And all this added fuel to the imaginative fire. Things like Red Dwarf, Doctor Who, A Boy and His Dog, Fallout, Bioshock, Firefly all resonated with me. I loved the idea of a futuristic dystopia. I tried to bottle my ideas as writing, paintings, but nothing ever felt right. Then I discovered cosplay. There was actually a community of people who dressed up as their favourite characters, and to boot were proud of it! Then there was more, Steampunk, people created their own characters based on their interpretation of this collectively created sci fi universe of steam and pipes and cogs and engines. That was it, I thought, I can create my own world through costume. I can turn this vast imagination into clothing, accessories, photoshoots, storylines.  I thought I would do it through Steampunk, I had a love of the Victorian era, it seemed to fit. However, in one evening that all changed, I began to google for pictures of 1950s cosplay, fallout cosplay, apocalypse cosplay. I found a little, but not as much as I had expected. In an instant Steampunk didn’t feel right and my childhood love of gritty sci fi came back. And as usual with the way my brain worked everything was crystalised within an instant. The end game was there in glorious detail – I just had to get there. I wrote down three names on a piece of paper: Apocalypse Girl, Fallout Girl, Atomic Girl.


What do you create and do you have a signature product? If so how did it come to be?

I create clothing, accessories and props which have the look and feel of being from a post-apocalyptic universe. Due to the Fallout games being heavy inspiration I decided to give the clothing a 1950s twist. Which ties in nicely with the fact I’ve always loved the 50s tailoring anyway. As this is such early days for Atomic Girl (I’ve only been open about a month and a half) I wouldn’t say I have a signature product as such. However, I do have some very grand ideas in mind which will be realised later in the year. I would hope, though, that my products, in their style, will have a signature. I would like to think that someone would be able to look at one of my products, be it a badge, computer accessory or piece of clothing and say “yep, that’s Atomic Girl”. My two overruling criteria are is it quality and is it believable.

 Where do you find your inspiration and what makes you different from the other people that make what you make?

I’ve got a deep love for sci fi and fantasy, tv, movies, computer games and comics. I take a lot of inspiration from these sources to put my own twist on. I may see something in a movie I like as a concept, develop it, change it, add in some inspiration from a different source then design a product, or even a range. Mostly however things come to me in almost overwhelming flashes. I’m sure my brain is constantly thinking about designs on a subconscious level, then it’ll come to me in a sudden burst. I think very visually, it might be a product, a solution to a design problem, a photoshoot or even a whole costume concept.

What I hope will set me apart from other sellers is detail I put into my products and photography. I  don’t want to simply make an item then photo it in a studio setting. I want to create a world with my photographs, possibly even set up stories being told in visual form. I want my customer to feel like the more the buy from me the deeper the enter into my world. 

 What do you enjoy most about your craft?

Oh it’s got to be the finishing touches, adding the scuffs, the scratches, even adding mould to the corners of computer screens. I love to work into things.

Metallic Grey Robot Face Badge
What is your best advice to newbie Etsians just opening their shops?
Your photographs are your strongest tool. They need to be crisp, bright and show off your product. Your customer can’t pick up your item, turn it over and check it out so do it for them in your photography. For instance if you’ve made a hat have a photo of it upside down so the customer can see the lining, if it’s a skirt photo it both on a model so they can see the fitting and on a hanger so they can see the basic shape. I find if you have a program like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements simply brightening the levels on a photo will turn a dull grey background to brilliant white and make the details of your product really sing. 

Atomic Girl Cosplay has a gorgeously grungy style still but she still makes sure her items 'pop', even against darker backgrounds. 

 What are your top 3 favorite shops on Etsy and what do you like about them?

There are quite literally too many talented artists, crafters and wonderful shops out there to pick just three. I am the captain of the Etsy team In Here Life Is Beautiful (In Here Life Is Beautiful) which is dedicated to people interested in the alternative. If you like steampunk, burlesque, goth, tattoos, rockabilly or retro then you’ll probably enjoy it. We have 326 members so far, I look through each new shop looking to feature people on the team’s facebook page and I’m always astounded with everyone’s individual talents and vision.

 Where else (other than Etsy) can you be found online?

Facebook is my main outlet I’d say, I’m on it constantly, it’s full of product photos, behind the scenes photos, chats from me and fun stuff I’ve found online.

I also have a twitter account which I’m still getting used to. I’ve got a bit of a mental block on twitter, I can’t seem to wrap my head around it!

A blog…

Aaaand a tumblr. Again, I’m very new to it.

Thankyou very much, Cap'n G!* 

Make sure to visit Atomic Girl Cosplay on Etsy! Do leave your comments and question below, thanks.

*(For those of you who are wondering why I chose that nickname, it's because I'm one of the leaders in the Etsy Team "In Here Life Is Beautiful" and we imagine ourselves as the crew of a magnificent airship...I also have Georgina to thank for doing The Navigatrix's recent makeover and for being my lovely model. Add Matt of Arcane Armoury to the mix, as he recently instructed her on a few modelmaking techniques. Expect the unexpected!)

And Z is for...