Friday, 11 December 2009

The latest must-have: a website that works!

Very excitingly for me I was emailed by Vogue magazine UK a month ago to ask if I would like to take part in an advertorial feature! At first I was a bit surprised and figured that it was probably spam. However, I delved further and telephoned Vogue head office in London and asked to speak to the person who had emailed me. I was put through immediately to the jewellery editor who said that her research team had found my website in a Google search and been impressed by both the jewellery and also the quality and running of my site.

Many hours are spent fine tuning my web pages: the look and feel, the photography and, most importantly of all, the key words and meta data found in the head of all page source. It's a never ending job! Every time you add a page you need to be aware of what's going on in the background in order that Google, Yahoo, Ask and so on not only find you site, but like its structure too and display it when your meta data matches neatly with a particular search query.

In this issue of Vogue (Jan 2010) my best-selling O'polo pendant had pride of place, rubbing shoulders with pieces from elite jewellery designers! So now that my website has done its job, let's see if Vogue does a good job of encouraging the shoppers!

Pictured above is my stunning O'polo pendant in crystal and also golden crystal.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

December Giveaway!

'Tis the season of goodwill, so here is another of my giveaways!

This month I'm giving away a petite fleur pendant. This little cutie is made using genuine Swarovski crystals with the wonderful Aurora Borealis finish… no matter what you wear, they shine to match… the ultimate crystal!

The rules are as always:

• Pop into my Etsy shop or my web pages and then tell me here, what you like best.
• Add yourself to my list of fans on my Facebook page
• Join my mailing list

You can of course treble your chances by doing all three! The winner will be chosen on 20th December!

Good luck!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Best bunnies!

Being bit of a bunny fan I just couldn't resist these cuties I found on Etsy… each one has it's very own personality and is totally adorable, and what great names their creators have given them!

Left to right, top to bottom
1. Tall Happy Eary Ham Bunny, Orange Fleece
2. Blue stuffed plush bunny by Megan Stringfellow
3. Cute Rusty Bunny Faux Fur Plushie Momma Size
4. Ghost Bunny Plush
5. Flower Bunny with Bow
6. Dexter Morgan Moon Bun

I love bunnies so much I bought this T to advertise the fact!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Eco Isla!

This season's trend is definitely long and layered, soft and comfy cuts, brilliant for wrapping up warm on the cooler autumnal days. The couture of IslaNewYork fits the bill, practical pieces that work for a multitude of occasions: whether you're at the office, spending a quiet evening in, or off the a West End show! What's more IslaNewYork has become eco friendly! All the jersey is hand dyed and made from a SOY/ORGANIC COTTON/SPANDEX blend that is environmentally friendly and super comfortable! Find out more at IslaNewYork

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Nine words women use… men: take note!

(1) Fine This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) Go Ahead This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) (Loud Sigh) This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6) That's Okay This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' . that will bring on a 'whatever').

(8) Whatever Is a woman's way of saying F*** YOU!

(9) Don't worry about it, I got it Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to no. 3.

Monday, 19 October 2009

New Tabitha necklace

Excuse the tab-itha pun, but I just love these tab beads made by formfireglassworks. I'm always on the lookout for unique lampwork beads to add to my collection and these most certainly fit into the "unique" category. They are just so tactile and make a lovely glassy sound when worn.

Friday, 18 September 2009

What? More offers from L'Occitane…

Get a FREE Divine Beauty Case worth £30 when you buy the new Immortelle Divine Cream 50ml or an Immortelle moisturiser and another Immortelle product. (Qualifying Immortelle moisturisers are: Precious Cream 50ml, Precious Protection 50ml and Very Precious Cream 50ml).
The Divine Beauty Case contains:
50ml Immortelle Cleansing Foam
30ml Immortelle Essential Water
5ml Immortelle Eye Balm
3ml Immortelle Divine Cream
in a L'Occitane Vanity case.
To get yours, simply enter the code WDIV99 at checkout. Offer ends 7th of October 2009. A good seasonal investment!

Provencial Beauty Set, £25

Ideal to try our products or to go on holiday, this collection contains:
• Lavender Shower Gel 75ml
• Lavender Body Lotion 75ml
• Nuit de Mai Rose Shower Gel 75ml
• Nuit de Mai Rose Shimmering Lotion 75ml
• Cherry Blossom Shower Gel 75ml
• Cherry Blossom Body Lotion 75ml
• Olive Lush Shower Gel 75ml
• Olive Silky Body Lotion 75ml
• in a L’Occitane travel bag.

Energising Verbena from Provence, £20

This indulging gift box contains:
• 75ml Verbena Shower Gel
• 75ml Ice Hand Cream Gel
• 75ml Cooling Powdered Foot Gel
• 75ml Verbena Body Lotion

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

10/10 Handstand!

Ten out of ten for my 14-year-old daughter's handstand! This pic was taken by my hubby outside Sissinghurst Gardens in Kent and has been entered for the National Trust "Time well spent" photography competition in conjunction with The Sunday Times.

Please click this link to give your vote!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Pastoral pastiche

I spied a beautiful necklace in a gift shop in London the other day and decided that I just had to have a go! I loved the delicate nature of the piece, along with its randomness and "scattered" feel.

I'm planning to develop this style to a design which you'd just want to wear all the time and not just for a special occasion… watch this space, as they say!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


Eeeeek! The summer hols are nearly over, but what fun we've had! My niece celebrated her 5th birthday and wanted auntie Lolley to face paint… her big cousins just couldn't resist going scary!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Hands on management

Just back from my summer hols I've need to do a bit of gardening. We had so much rain here in the South East of England over the past week, the weeds have double in both number and size. But already my hands are suffering!

In search of a shea butter product (a real treat for dry skin) I came across L'Occitane Bergamot Tea Hand Cream

It's a really silky hand cream delicately fragranced with the Bergamot Tea scent. Enriched with shea butter, it nourishes, softens and protects skin leaving hands soft, comfortable and delicately perfumed.

Feeling better already!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Giveaway WINNER

I'm delighted to announce the winner of my latest giveaway: Susan Wright

I had 125 entries in all including those of you who kindly used my mailing list and Facebook page as a means of entry.

The next giveaway will be at the end of November in time for Christmas!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Don't let english weather get you down

It always amazes me how no sooner have the summer holidays arrived, that the weather changes from glorious to… well, err, not so glorious! Never mind though, here are a few favourites which will most certainly see you through the worst of it!

On a windy day…
Box floral kite with red ribbon tail. Was: £10.01 Now: £7.00 inc VAT, SAVE 7%!

On a wet day…
Box floral parasol in draw string case with green strap. Can be hand-held or comes with pole, making it free-standing. Was: £30.00 Now: £15.00 inc VAT, SAVE 50%!

Box Floral waterproof poncho with hood, Was: £18.00 Now: £10.01 inc VAT, SAVE 44%!

And when the sun finally reappears…
Rose Bikini, Was: £32.00 Now: £24.00 inc VAT, SAVE 25%!

Inflatable Ring: Fun accessory to any garden or beach party. Was: £5.00 Now: £2.50 inc VAT. SAVE 50%!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Giveaway coming up!

As promised, here is the next Lolley's giveaway… do join in!

The rules are as always:
• visit my store at Etsy
• return here and tell me about your favourite item

If you would like an extra entry call by at Lolley's face book page and become a fan

Want another entry? I'll enter your name again if you join my mailing list

It couldn't be simpler! I shall use a random number generator to choose the winner on 10th August!

Good luck!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

L'Occitane summer sale!

Oh yum, yum, yum! Some of my favourites are on special offer! Hurrah!

Save up to 50% in the L'OCCITANE Summer Sale!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Introducing the "lolley bean"!

Obviously what everyone's been awaiting!

When I made this I was really thinking of "something for the girls" but now it's done, I'm rather charmed by my smooth and brightly coloured polymer clay beans!

So what flavours what have I made?

Blue raspberry, that's the turquoise one! Lemon zinger, yellow of course; spearmint (green); granny smith, the one that's apple green; blue quandong – I had to work very hard to find this colour! Pomegranate, the one which is almost red, and last but not least, pink blancmange, sort of fruity and milky at the same time.

As mentioned these are made from polymer clay, so not for eating. Instead, the necklace and bracelet set would be just perfect for a little girl although my 14-year-old thinks they're great and wants me to produce a set for her friend's birthday gift!

All on Sterling silver, so pretty posh too!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The truth about… compost!

Visiting a friend recently, he told me of his latest gardening venture. He obviously wanted to share with me since I am a keen gardener and have been running an allotment for the past 10 years. As a avid vegetable-grower, I was keen to hear! His idea is to completely cover his vegetable garden with a horticultural ground covering, secure this down with old railway sleepers and finally fill his "raised beds" with compost…

I was struck dumb.

Words failed me.

It occurred to me that somewhere along the line he had missed out on some basic understanding about the way plants grow! How could this be and was he an isolated case? My friend proceeded with his plan despite me suggesting that he might want to rethink because you simply can't grow veg year in, year out in the same compost! He isn't alone… a trip to the garden centre to see people loading up their cars with compost is testament!

The truth is that compost is not plant food and you shouldn't be fooled into thinking that if you plant in compost you are providing them with the nutrition they require. Sure, it's fine to grow your tomatoes in a large tub filled with compost – after all, they're only there for a matter of weeks, but the moment they start fruiting you have to feed them with a proprietary tomato plant food.

The plants in my greenhouse are currently potted in compost. Soon I'll have to start offering them lunch and dinner if I want a good display!

So where do plants get their nutrition? Well, it is in fact a combination of soil (I mean the stuff out planet is covered with) sunlight, air and water. And mostly this will suffice. However, if we are to grow vegetables in a small area, there is no doubt that we will (or the plants will) use up the available nutrients rather quickly – too quickly for nature to do her job.

So what's the answer?

It's very simple. You need to feed the soil. You need to put back the nutrients that have been used up. And you do this by purchasing fertiliser. This goes against the grain for most… how can we be organic if we start adding chemicals to the soil? Nowadays not even that is a problem for even the staunchest of organic gardeners as there are many naturally based products on the market designed specifically to rebalance the elements within the soil.

Salads growing happily in soil. I use very little fertiliser for this crop – just plenty of water!

So what is the point of compost?

Soils are a composition of different things: rocks, minerals, and dead, decaying plants and animals; a regular mix or organic and inorganic material. Adding compost to the soil helps to aerate the soil and retains moisture in the soil, which is good for the roots of your plants! Composting encourages micro organisms to live, breed and consequently die, which in turn are absorbed by good bacteria, which ultimately release nutrients into the soil, but the process is likely to be slower than the rate at which we grow our spuds!

Regular and correct feeding is essential if you want your plants to grow well and to produce the crop you desire.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Surprise treasury

Well I just thought I'd have a look around the treasury (work-avoidance going on here!) and, what do you know: 333 lists! and within seconds up popped the opportunity for me to create a treasury of my own! Luckily, I have one already waiting in Etsy poster sketch!

If I've picked an item of yours – leave a comment!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Flower power!

Ever fancied flower arranging? Playing around with flowers never crossed my mind until I encountered Judith Blacklock's School of Flowers. I was fortunate enough to be treated to courses where I learnt the art of the hand tied bouquet, a table centre, a wreath and how to wire buttonholes.

Judith has the knack of making flower arranging look incredibly simple and imparts tips and tricks which makes the art accessible even for the newbie – like me!

Join a course and you get to take your wonderful creations home, to be admired by family and friends!

What's more, you can find free tutorials on Judith's website! The pic above is my attempt at this month's lesson using a selection of foliage available from my garden along with a few roses purchased from the flower seller in Sevenoaks market.

Find out more about Judith's courses here.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Fashion statement

I really love these typographic Ts by citizenone. Attention grabbing ampersand and "rain in Spain…" t-shirts are by far my favourites, and I'm really looking forward to seeing more from this store!

Friday, 27 March 2009

The natural way!

Grow Your Own Drugs: Easy Recipes for Natural Remedies and Beauty Treats
As a keen gardener I have been throughly enjoying the BBC1 Series 'Grow your own Drugs' presented by James Wong. Each week James has shown just how simple it is to make natural remedies for complaints such as eczema, varicose veins and acne. Many drugs are of course derived from natural products, but have you ever tried to decipher the ingredients of any product you buy in a chemists? I've just purchased my very own copy of the book to accompany the series and this weekend we will be making a hop and lavender pillow to aid restful sleep!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

…In an english country garden

I was just imagining myself in the garden, with the sun shining with my Rose Garden Basket by Cath Kidston… then the phone rang!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Social Networking pitfall #1

We're all very much aware of the pitfalls of social networking, but when we have a brush with them ourselves, the dangers are hammered home.

I refer to my 14-year-old daughter who has recently entered the realm of Facebook. On the whole she simply partakes in enjoyable banter with friends and acquaintances and, on the whole, I can see nothing wrong with this. Indeed over the last couple of months she has endeavoured to come out of a somewhat hardened shell! We're even being told of remarkable improvements in classroom participation, which coincides with her communicating more freely with those she knows well and not so well.

However, she recently became aware of the fact that she was being referred to by a friend, "wall-to-wall" a means by which friends can openly communicate. The friend was speaking about her with his pal in a foreign language. With curiosity spiked, my daughter used Google Translate to figure out what was being said, and I'm sorry to write, discovered her friend was being particularly lewd.

A crime? In private, well no, I guess not.

Today my daughter is acutely aware that a distorted physical description and obscene suggestions have been banded around the internet. Nothing to worry about if she were to remain anonymous, but this vulgarity is shared by friends, and then friends of friends; something that if she had the power to undo she most certainly would.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Front page!

Yo! I got a front page and didn't even know it! (bottom right hand corner)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Pretty in pink

I've fallen for this hi-tech baby-grow! Sadly, it neither comes in my size nor do I know a young miss who would enjoy a romp in this funny onesie!

Lots and lots of hilarious baby wear in fun2wear2's shop!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Managing your business from home

Eight things you can improve right away!

Working from home has some major advantages, for instance, being there when the kids arrive back from school. But it can provide distracting disadvantages…

Here are some tips to help you get through the day:

Set yourself a daily goal Without a clear focus, it’s easy to succumb to distractions.
Set targets for each day in advance Decide what you’ll do; then do it.
Worst first To defeat procrastination learn to tackle your most unpleasant task first thing in the morning instead of delaying it until later in the day. This small victory will set the tone for a very productive day. You can turn this one on its head, by saving your most favoured task until last!
Peak times Identify your peak cycles of productivity, and schedule your most important tasks for those times. Work on minor tasks during your non-peak times.
Timeboxing Give yourself a fixed time period, like 30 minutes, to make a dent in a task. Don’t worry about how far you get. Just put in the time.
Agendas If you have to attend meetings then provide clear written agendas to participants in advance. This greatly improves focus and efficiency. You can use it for phone calls too.
Ready-fire-aim! Beat delay by taking action immediately after setting a goal, even if the action isn’t perfectly planned. You can always adjust course along the way.
Deadline Set a deadline for task completion, and use it as a focal point to stay on track.
Brownie points Don't forget to reward yourself when you have met your goals: planned and timed breaks help you to relax and focus.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Twitter Moms newest member!

that would be me!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

FREE L'Occitane Shea Butter Discovery Set

This Shea Butter Discovery Set (worth £12.50) is yours for free when you spend £25.00 or more at L'Occitane. Just enter ASH9 at the checkout. Grab the offer here!

Send a text message!

Send a message to a loved one, or tag your mobile with one of my very own phone charms! I make these to order and have 4 different styles available, each with several colourways. They make excellent party bag and stocking fillers, great for guys and gals alike! Check out my other site here!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Lolley's toolbar

In a continued effort to promote my jewellery business, I have been looking at the features and benefits of creating a customised toolbar for customers' browser windows. There are a few neat sites out there where you can build your custom toolbar, including links that you think your customers might enjoy and find useful.

I figured that if you visit my web page then you are probably looking for, or you are a fan of, jewellery. Therefore, in my toolbar along with links to my web page and Etsy store, I have included links to some of my favourite jewellery sites: Swarovski (of course!) Links of London ("flutter & wow") and my favourite Etsy store Elleabelle.

The beauty of adding a menu is that one can continually update a link selection which is shared instantaneously, and build quick links to some of the best sites out there! Not only that, if you have an announcement, for example; a special offer or giveaway, use the toolbar to get the message across to customers.

Other features I've added to my toolbar include an email notifier (just what you need if you are using webmail) local weather forecast, headline news ticker and chat. When visitors arrive at my home page they see a one-off message inviting them to download the toolbar… once downloaded the message disappears! See how it looks on my home page.

Check out my toolbar here (suitable for Firefox and IE) then why not try making your own version!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

21st Century metal

After casually posting in the Etsy forums that I needed blog inspiration, I was delighted to be introduced to artist, blacksmith Whitney Potter. I have been instantly grabbed by Whitney's work: is it the typographic elements, so close to my designer's heart? Or is it the fact that some of his pieces look decidedly like rippled chocolate!

Despite there being less than 30 items in Whitney Potter's shop, his work is extremely varied, with folding and cutting, hammering and twisting. Designs are fluid and original. If only we had a touchy-feely interface!