Thursday, 20 December 2012

Starfish Quay Get Ready For Christmas :)

We've decked out lounge with bows of for the song doesn't really apply here, but our living room glimmers & shines with festive beauty :) One end is the Nordic garland pictured below, then we have our more traditional one that meets the tree in a joining of sparkling delight! More pictures to follow :)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas Festivities Have Begun :)

Here at Starfishquay Towers we're very busy with our decoration making! All busy, busy will follow but we thought we'd share some festive jolliness from Exeter to get you in the mood :) ho ho ho........ :)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Starfish Quay Loves Republics Woolly Jumpers :)

Gifts gifts gifts. Time to stop shopping for yourselves boys and girls (or maybe not) and start shopping for PRESSIES! -- (@republicfashion)

Friday, 30 November 2012

Leukemia Sucks!!

We are due to shave our heads for Naomi Warren and all the other children and families helped and treated by Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. We've raised over £500 through to two charity efforts, Tim grew a 'tash for MOvember & I promised to shave my head if we reached our target £400. We're just a tad short and would love to reach the target by tomorrow, so if you can dig deep and offer just a few pounds by tomorrow I will join little Naomi Warren so she doesn't have to go through the festive season with no hair on her own - so we're joining her!! Her big Auntie Naomi (known to the twins as Auntie Gnome) can't bare for her to be 'bald' over Christmas - so she won't be!! If you can spare a few pounds the address is:
Thanks,  Naomi & Tim - Starfish Quay :)

D DAY - The Night Before Shave Day/LET THE SHAVING BEGIN!


Tim and I decided that for MOvember he would grow a 'Stash and it frustrated me that I was unable to join in, because we had decided that the charity, instead of being a male related charity, this year we would donate the money raised to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSHCC) having spent most of the last six months in and out of hospital (Two heart attacks, one heart failure requiring CPR, three stokes, non-stop bleeding haematomas on my legs and arm, five days of coughing up blood and numerous other things including some rather painful tests!!) Tim has stood by me throughout all of this, and in fact saw each happen, his health has obviously suffered massively because of the trauma to the point where he has had to leave his job to look after me full-time and recuperate from his own PTSD brought on by watching some horrific emergency treatment being administered to me. He has slept in hospital chairs next to me, to comfort me and ensure I'm OK - he's my superhero and always will be. He does it with such grace, never grumbles and is always there to hold my hand. Despite all this, we decided that we wanted to help a family (and many families) struggling with the trauma of watching their children go through far worse than we had experienced, which is why we chose GOSH. Because of my health problems I am unable to give blood (although I've given enough!) and cannot currently go on the bone marrow list (if you can do either of this things, I urge you to think very carefully about what you are actually giving - you are saving someones life!) but I wanted to join in. The family we wanted to help the most is the Warren family. I went to school with Katherine and Caroline Warren, and although Caroline was a year or two younger, we spent time together when I went to their house (especially to watch the Eurovision Song contest - before it became political - nearly 20 years ago!) Me and Caroline got in touch with each other through the 'wonder' of Facebook and have kept in touch ever since. When we discovered 'Little Naomi' had ALL Leukaemia I was heart broken (and not ashamed to say I shed a few tears knowing the pain this would cause to a family that anyone would be lucky to know - and the pain Naomi would go through before she reached the age of three :( ) I spent a long time wondering what I could do that would show I really cared, and would make people put their hands in their pockets during a very difficult financial time. As a girl we always pride ourselves on our looks, even if it's to the smallest degree, so I decided that to get people's attention and hopefully coax a few pennies from them I would shave my head. To do this I want to set the bar high, and I thought £300 would be fairly unattainable in this time when people are struggling to find money for their own needs, let alone those of others. How wrong I could be! I then changed the target to £400 (although I am still shaving my head as the original target was met, and I never back out of a challenge!) I'm currently only £25 off that target, and the brilliant news is that Tim has well surpassed his initial target of £25 (we didn't think anyone would give him money for growing a moustache!!) then he surpassed his next target of £100 and is currently on £125 - I'm so proud of him!! If your reading this tonight (30/11/12), please thing about giving a couple of pounds to my head shave so we can reach the £400 (which will mean GOSH get over £500). Tim has decided to make it a proper challenge he will also be shaving his head, so it's two for the price of one - it's got to be worth a fiver (you can't even buy two pints of lager for that!) so if you would like to donate, you can do so at: and you will help very sick children and families in the UK, not just over the Christmas period, but for the rest of their lives. £5 goes a long way, imagine it was your child. Thank you for reading. If you'd like to read this from a different perspective, please visit: 
You can expect more blogs about what Starfish Quay's Tim and Naomi get up to in 2013, as Tim will be sharing the work load and we're hoping you can share the journey as we build our business :)

The clouds inspire new clocks

We try and use nature as inspiration for all our items, but Tim in particular is a massive fan of clouds, and he has taught me a lot about the different types of clouds and their names etc, for me I just love the way they look, dancing slowly through the sky, either on a beautiful bright day or the sight of an approaching storm.....I took this photo yesterday, mid afternoon - stunning!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Beautiful Clouds After The Storm

Beautiful clouds despite the iffy weather! :) #cloudappreciation #clouds #weather -- Starfish Quay (@StarfishQuay)


FOUR DAY ART SALE FOR CHARITY: We want to ramp up our donation to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSHCC: @GreatOrmondSt so for FOUR DAYS ONLY we are selling all art on our site ( with 25% OFF. Use voucher code CHARITYARTFORGOSH at the checkout and you will recieve 25% off one-off original works of art, as well as helping the children and families affected by cancer, leukemia and many other illnesses over Christmas and throughout the rest of their lives. So if you're struggling to find the right Christmas gift for someone special, why not do something good and give to a UK charity that desperately needs your help?! Tim & I are shaving our heads, so if you can't afford to by a piece of art, why not give to our charity effort at: or give Tim a double thumbs up for his 'Tash effort this MOvember by giving a small amount at: Remember, not everyone is as lucky as you, so why not show a bit of love and generousity this during the festive people to put a smile back on the faces of those struggling or in need of a virtual hug?? Who can resist this face.....?

Thanks for listening!! :)

Before Our Yearly Round Up!!

Having been so unwell this year I have been unable to keep up with our blog. We've had an interesting year, so like last year we will be doing a summary of the year including photographs and how far we've come. Due to my ill health, Tim has had to give up work, which has been a really tough decision to make. It does mean however he'll be able to help full-time with the business and he is going to take over the blogging duties - which means you'll be able to keep up with all our new adventures, ideas, places that sell our products and all the interesting stuff that happens ;) The summary will come in a couple of weeks, but until then I will try and write a couple of bits to keep you posted about where we'll be and what's been happening over the festive season - beginning of course with shaving our head (see previous post)
If you have read the previous post I like to thank you for reading the article - we're giving 10% of sales to the cause as well, and she is a Handmade Guru in the US so for her to write that was brilliant and gets the word to thousands of people who can hopefully help! Only four days left until shave day, everyone should be proud of the fundraising efforts of so many this year, it's incredible that despite people being squeezed for more money by tax and petrol and gas bills etc, they will still give to something or someone that has nothing to do with them. It's an amazing feeling to know that society isn't going down the pan, people are as kind and generous as they've always been, and we mustn't let the bad apples give all the good ones a bad name!!


Handmade Hero: Naomi's Big Hearted Holiday Mission

Oh My Handmade Goodness have written a piece about our mission to raise money for the children and families treated by Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSHCC) ( if you'd like to help please go to: they do great work and need funds to keep the great work the do going. Read the article here: Handmade Hero: Naomi’s Big Hearted Holiday Mission

Sunday, 8 January 2012


We've decided to join in and have our very own January Sale. So until the end of the month we're giving you 25% OFF all of our ART.

Starfish Quay release Clock Rock....

In November (2011) Tim had the idea of turning classic Penguin books into clocks. We went to a local charity shop and bought a couple that we could try with, to see if it worked.
It did, and they looked great. We immediately added them to our market stock for that weekend, and sold out of all the book clocks we'd made. They sold so quickly we didn't even have time to put them on Etsy! Tim made some more, but in the run up to Christmas, we sold out again. If you would like to get a book clock please check back at our Etsy shop in the coming weeks, we will be making some more!

It turned out we loved making clocks and our customers seemed to love them too! We had some spare movements that we had bought for making driftwood clocks (now to be a new project for 2012) so I suggested we turned some of our records into clocks. We've got hundreds of records at home, having collected them for many years, and have some absolute classics. They were just sat there, some having never been played (too collectable!) and it seemed a shame since they are so beautiful. We went through them, and put a few aside to turn into clocks. We concentrated on the song, rather than just the fact it was a record, and picked out some hits.

As with the books we put them on the market stall that weekend, and sold out of them as well. It seems we had really hit on something! We ordered some more movements (local supplier) and made enough to sell on the stall and online. They clearly make great gifts and in the run up to Christmas we sold out. They weren't all gifts for other people mind, one chap went out of his way to tell me it was going on his wall!! We needed to make more.....

.....or rather Tim did! After much consideration went through our very collectable, limited edition coloured vinyl and picture discs. They look amazing and the great thing with them is that because they are in mint condition, unplayed and in their original packaging, they maintain their collectors value. The process we use to make the clocks doesn't damage the records, so you're buying both a collectable record and a clock :) I was so happy to see these beautiful records on display, and that they will be on peoples wall, being appreciated makes it so fulfilling.

If you would like a record clock, they are available on our Etsy shop ( and on our Bristol market stall.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Starfish Quay - A Year In The Making! 2011 - The year it all started!

After making different products and trying to develop products we thought would sell, we joined Etsy ( on 14 April 2011. It took quite a while after that to photograph and list our early products, but we got going and decided to try a few local markets. Unfortunately, there are no good markets in Exeter (except a Farmers Market on a Thursday - which is just food) so we had to look around. Totnes was probably closest, but the market is full and the waiting list closed. We looked for other markets around Devon, there are lots of pannier markets, so we tried Barnstaple. The above photo is of our first real market. We had done a couple of summer markets at Porthleven in Cornwall, a delightful little market and well worth a visit if you're holidaying in Cornwall ( They have events throughout the year, and it's a great location! Alas, for us it was too far to travel to make it viable in terms of business. Barnstaple Market turned out not to be the right type of market for our products, selling mostly day to day household items rather than craft or arts products.

We then did a few weeks at Croyde Bay market which runs throughout the summer. This was a lot more successful than Barnstaple Pannier Market for our products - even though a lot of the products were similar to that of Barnstaple Market, the location (above - right next to Croyde beach) and sunny weather helped people get in the holiday spirit and want to take souvenirs home to family and friends. As we were local, making products found from the surrounding beaches, our products flew out and our confidence grew. This was the start of us really thinking this could become more than a hobby, and we started researching a more serious way to sell our products. Throughout the first markets, we were continually adding items to Etsy, taking better photos and reworking the descriptions, and were getting a few sales. Our serious options for a reasonably stable, profitable income would still be at markets since they represent an opportunity to trade with low overheads and full design capability. After much research we discovered our best option for a market was Bristol Nails Market.
We have been trading fairly regularly at Bristol Nails market since August, mostly Saturdays, with the odd Friday. We really enjoy trading at Bristol, since we used to live there we know it well! We will continue to trade at Bristol most Saturdays throughout 2012, as often as we can get a spot! We have also done two markets at Camden Lock Market - a long way to travel! Was it worth it? No! The first time was at the beginning of October and was reasonable successful. The guys running it were helpful and even gave me money off the price of the stall because they liked our products. It made it worth my while - the 5 hours travelling each direction - however, the second time - the week before Christmas was a disaster! It was the first time in the entire year we actually lost money. There were no people there, and to make it worse the price of the stall had gone up to £50 (for Christmas!) - which no-one felt the need to tell us. Not as helpful this time, and the last time we will bother to venture there. I would caution any trader who does not live within London about trading there, it's very fickle!

For the rest of December we traded at our familiar Bristol - absolutely worth a visit for handmade, local, or quirky items ( and different foods from around the world! It was the perfect chance to get our  Christmas range out there, which we were please to note went down well - especially as we had only been trading 'outside' since June :)

During the week before Christmas, we also traded for two days at Hestercombe Christmas Craft market. It's a lovely little market, in a great location. They had an ice-rink, Santa and many activities for families throughout December. It's worth a visit all year round though, set in lovely grounds for a fabulous walk, see for yourself at

We spent the 23rd and 24th December at Bristol Nails market in the torrential rain storms and wind! It was still fun and we look forward to 2012!
Hope you all had a great Christmas, and that 2012 will help you fulfill your dreams, aspirations and goals. Thank you to all our customers and supporters - we look forward to seeing you all again!

Starfish Quay