Friday, 24 March 2017

New Plans and Big Decisions


It might have seemed a little quiet on these parts but that's because we've spent the last few weeks making some HUGE DECISIONS!

As you know designosaur is run by myself and my business partner (and boyfriend - cos I know you're nosey) Jacques. I've been running our small business as my full time job for three years, and Jacques has recently made the decision to become full time designosaur too!

I say full time designosaur but what I really mean is Jacques no longer has a "day job" because he has been doing designosaur more than full time since the beginning.

To be able to make this big change, lots of things have been shaken up. We want to purchase our own laser cutter, and to be able to get the power and precision from the laser cutter we want, we have decided to set up a second business, called 'YEAH laser', cutting other designer-makers work!

As you can imagine there's been a lot going on behind the scenes, but now we want to share it all with you! You can find out more about our plans here.

We are crowd funding to buy our laser cutter, and in exchange we're offering a bunch of exclusive designs from us and our crafty friends including Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes, I Like CATS, Pork Chops and Rock Cakes.

AND if you're a fellow designer-maker you might be interested in our "laser time" perks too!

We're really excited for our next adventure, and as usual we'll be taking you along for the ride.


Karli (and Jacques)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Round Up | 2016

I love reading round ups, and especially putting everything we have achieved in as a brand in one big list! What I don't like is creating these posts as they take FOREVER, so I really hope you enjoy this. You'll find a mix of things we did with friends and family as well as everything accomplished with designosaur 2016... so pleased this post only has to be created once a year!

We started the year off going to London Lumiere - festival of light, it was a city wide exhibition of light installations and it was EPIC.

We were invited to Sussex University to run a jewellery making workshop alongside other Brighton Etsy Team members, the heavily pregnant The Pigeons Nest, and the ever so lovely Georgie St Clair.  Photo Credit | Juream Box

Meet Lulu, the Orca we created for the World Cetacean Alliance to raise money for this endangered species.

We finally got George a girlfriend! Georgette met George and they fell in love, you can read more about their story here.

We held the first ever Brighton Etsy Sample Sale, where we've never seen customers like it! You all queued before the venue opened and then ran to the table to get your hands on as much as you could! It went so well we are currently organising this years event!  Photo Credit | Oh Someday

We created our second collaboration with i Like CATS 

The collaboration came from writing the prompts for Toby's #yayeveryday2016 hashtag project. This Banana sketch is one of Jacques' #yayeveryday2016 drawings.

We went to Florida for three weeks! It was the first holiday Jacques and I have been on alone, and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. Here's us on a Fan Boat in the Everglades. 

The collection we released on returning was inspired by the art deco architecture and the alligators we saw!

We also couldn't go to Florida without going to Disney World and the NASA Space Centre. Here's Jacques in a shuttle... maybe we were a little inspired to create space dinosaurs too!

May is when the Brighton Artists Open Houses are held and we were part of the exhibition 'Gifted' at Unlimited. We're still stocked in Unlimited now too!

May is also the Brighton Festival (and Fringe!) the best thing we saw was this Dr Blighty projection onto the Pavilion, just look at the colour!

In the summer we were commission by Laurie Winkless to create this epic future skyline commission, for her to wear at her book launch.

Then whilst promoting her book Laurie wore her commission piece on Sunday Brunch!

We did a few Cult Milk workshops at Patterns. They are always loads of fun, and the cheapest workshops we run. Hopefully we'll be back again this year.

We designed the totes for Blogtacular with Hello DODO... Photo Credit | Courtesy of Mollie Makes© Will Ireland

But we were unable to attend the conference because we were at Sonar Festival in Barcelona! This meant we did some cultural stuff too, this is the Sagrada Familia, if you haven't been - you should go!

We celebrated Pin Club's first birthday by collaborating with them in August and creating a flamingo floatie pin!

For my Dad's 60th Birthday we went to Barbados! So much sunshine, so much rum punch, so much fun.

We held our first Hen Party workshop, with the wonderful hen Tanya - their party was Superhero themed and they all created awesome dino necklaces.

We went down to Cornwall to visit friends and practice being wholesome/ getting really drunk.

We designed our first pair of socks! There's more of these coming, hold tight!

My third European Captains' Summit, this time in Paris, and my ninth Summit in total! As always it intense, informative and I got to see all my captain friends.

We were stocked in Le Bon Marche, Paris thanks to Shop at the Museums Pop Up Concession.

We were at Renegade for our fifth year! It was so fun as the Brighton crew had a whole section to hang out in!

Our first BUST craft fair, the entertainment was AWESOME! Love these girls! Marawa's Majorettes!

Our third Etsy Made Local market, which we spend most of the year organising with the Brighton Etsy Team leaders.

We were back at Crafty Fox market in Peckham, our last market of the season, and then it was online orders all the way to Christmas!

As another year came to a close I wrote about if we'd achieved last year's resolutions and what we want to accomplish this year if you want to read that post you can here.

Lemme know in the comments, or send us a tweet or a message on instagram or wherever you want to say hello, let us know what you got up to and HURRAH it's well and truly 2017, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Karli x

Monday, 9 January 2017

New Year's Resolutions

I always say that I am going to blog more, and I love having a slightly bigger space to tell you about the things going on at designosaur HQ and what we've been up to, but it always trails off towards the end of the year as things get BUSY and blogging is not my first love.

I know the internet is kinda anti the whole new year new me mantra, but it is a good time to stop doing the things you don't enjoy and start replacing those things with things you do enjoy, you know, whilst you've still got a pile of chocolate to help you through.

Looking back on 2016 goals...

Blog every week

Again I didn't do too badly, I blogged weekly from January until August and then didn't blog again until.... right. now. BUT I noticed more engagement, more views and I enjoyed what I was writing about more. Having a new fancy camera definitely helped.

Get to 10K instagram followers

Smashed it, I know that followers is a fairly empty number and engagement is where it is at, but it did feel good to complete a quantifiable goal and it seems that more opportunities are opening up to us because of our increased following, the year ended on 15.1K followers, HURRAH!

Work on secret plans

These changed throughout the year, but did end in moving at the end of the year and having a dedicated studio space, we've also got plans for early in January and are very pleased that although it's slow, progress is happening, and we're not standing still.

Publish our website

OK so again I worked on this all year, and with some tweaks of our branding it had several "delete everything and start again" moments. I'm all for this don't put all your eggs in one basket mantra, but we also have been incredibly lucky with the opportunities that have been offered to us through Etsy, so although our site will be a place where you can find the blog, a bit about us, information about commissions and wholesale, our main store will still be our Etsy store, as that's what works best for us, and we haven't heard any complaints from you guys!

So overall I'm going to look at this year as completely positive as we achieved a lot of goals, and plenty more things that weren't even on the agenda before they came up!

Plans for 2017

It's good to make goals, even if they change as you get closer to them, so this is the plan for this year... although as I already mentioned it's OK if they change throughout the year.

Design new socks, tights and leggings.

Jacques is going to draw something weekly (for fun)

I'll get our full new colour range up in our colour charts

We will finally publish our website

I'd love to know what your goals or plans are for the next year.



Thursday, 7 July 2016

how to travel with statement acrylic jewellery

If you're an acrylic jewellery fan then you'll want to wear something from your collection everyday, and that also means on holiday; whether that's an overnight stay, a weekend away or two weeks somewhere sunny.

Acrylic is delicate, some of the huge statement pieces you have won't travel well if you lay them in your case or put them into the pocket of your hand luggage and a jewellery roll is more than useless in this situation.

I travel quite a lot and and I have a practical but unfortunately not very sexy way to travel with your jewels.

I use one of the deep (3 cm) designosaur boxes with the velvet insert removed. I then chose which pieces I want to take away with me and pack them into ziplock bags (which you can buy at the supermarket) before stacking all of the pieces in the box (DO NOT FORCE THEM - they will break).

Why this works for me? Well the box is sturdy and not too big, I don't want to pack all of the individual boxes as then I'd have a case full of jewellery and not much room for anything else!

The ziplock bags are reusable, clear - so you can easily put your hands on the piece you want to wear out for dinner, and conveniently keep the chains from tangling with each other, whilst protecting your jewellery from any suncream explosions, getting dusty and the chains from tarnishing.

So now you know how I do it, my question to you is, how do YOU travel with your bigger jewellery pieces? Also if we were to create travel jewellery storage, what would you want it to do/look like?



Friday, 1 July 2016

how to care for your acrylic jewellery

So your jewellery is made of acrylic, BUT that doesn't mean it's invincible, want to keep it in the best condition possible? Follow our top tips...

Don't apply pressure to your jewellery, most of our designs are big statement pieces and that actually makes them more fragile. The easiest way to break your jewellery is to apply pressure to it. Biggest culprits for this: across body bags, seat belts and standing on your jewellery!

Do put your jewellery away! The designosaur box that your jewellery arrives in is perfect to store it, it will stop the air getting to it, which will slow the process of the chain tarnishing, and stop dust getting into the engraving. Jewellery hangers although pretty are the worst for your jewellery (sorry!)

If your jewellery is looking a bit grubby, we're talking fingerprints and a bit of dust then just use a soft cloth (microfibre, duster, the bottom of your t-shirt - anything dirt free) to polish these out. Remember that acrylic scratches easily so be careful of this.

Don't get your jewellery wet! Do not go out in a storm, in the shower or swimming in ANY of your designosaur jewellery, you'll destroy the findings (they'll tarnish straight away), and if you have a piece that contains wood pieces it'll warp! If your jewellery does get wet by accident, then dry it with a soft cloth as quickly as possible.

Don't use perfume, moisturiser, sun cream, hairspray or any other chemical where you wear your jewellery as this can lead to discoloration, a change in texture of the acrylic and generally it's game over.

The majority of our chains are silver or gold plated which means that they will tarnish over time, if you wear your jewellery all the time and the chain has worn out then we can replace it, or if you would prefer a sterling silver chain (which will still tarnish but can be polished until the shine returns) this can be added for a small charge.

Follow all our tips and you'll have a collection that stands the test of time, any other questions, let us know in the comments!


Karli (and Jacques)

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

brighton etsy craft party | what to do this weekend

Not made plans for this Friday? I'm here to help! We're helping to run the fourth annual Brighton Etsy Craft Party, and it's going to be MEGA!

get your paper craft on, and make a paper garland with Fleur de Carott

With a wide variety of workshops on the night, it’s an opportunity to pick up a new skill, meet like-minded individualS and most importantly have fun! There’s also cake, games and prizes, a bar, music, and much more. Once again we’ll be taking over the Brighthelm centre for the night.

make a floral crown from English flowers with Flower Show Presents

Tickets are available for in advance for £7. The price of your ticket includes entry plus all workshops and materials, plus plenty of cake! Don’t forget some cash for the bar. The first 100 people to arrive on the night will get a free enamel pin (worth £7) exclusively designed for the event by I Like CATS.

Tickets on the door will be £10, so get your ticket in advance before it's too late!

learn how to weave on a hand loom with Peas and Needles

They'll also be more workshops and a Craft Swap, so you can bring your unwanted craft supplies and swap them for something new!

It's going to be a huge event, and we can't wait to see you getting your craft on,

See you there,


Karli (and Jacques)

Photo Credit | Peas and Needles, Flower Show Presents, Fleur De Carotte

Friday, 27 May 2016

what to see at brighton festival, fringe and artists' open houses | last weekend

Lets talk about how awesome Brighton is in May, you've got Artists' Open Houses, Brighton Festival AND Brighton Fringe. There's a lot going on and a lot of it is FREE!

We try to go to as much stuff as we can during May, some of it is hit, some of them - big misses!

Here's a little round up of what we have seen over the last week (well the one's I took photos of)

Dr Blighty |

You've got tonight and tomorrow night to get down to this! A ten minute projection showing you the history of the Pavilion, there's also lots of other parts of the exhibition in the gardens, from story telling sound trumpets and multi coloured lights in the lawn... it's the best thing we've seen as part of the Festival, definitely check it out if you can, it's FREE after all!

Studio Loo is our FAVOURITE open house, now I find open houses a little bit #awkward a lot of the time, some people make you feel like you're trespassing, others you don't know whether you're allowed to cut the cake yourself or if you have to be served, and some of them are just damn right boring and you can't wait to get the hell out of there.

Studio Loo however, none of that, Claire is almost always there, she's chatty, she'll tell you all about how they turned an old public loo into an awesome eco studio complete with salvaged parquet flooring (painstakingly laid by hand) and old-skool gymnastics horses.

All of this is alongside a whole heap of awesome designer makers, why would you not want to go?

new work by hello DODO

A lino printing steam roller! Now this isn't happening again as part of the Brighton Festival BUT if you missed it you can see it in Ditchling at their village fair (perfect time to check out Gary Stranger's Type Graffiti then too if you do go!)

It's noisy, colourful and therefore the most fun to watch! We spent a couple of hours watching lots of different lino prints being made, some small designs, a couple of massive ones by local artists and Prints which survive the pummelling of tons of steel on tarmac will form the Big Steam Print exhibition at Phoenix Gallery in Brighton: 6– 21 August.

Hope you have a super fun weekend, if you go to anything good, let us know!