Tuesday 31 December 2013

Open for Business

I have re-opened my Etsy shop. You can get 25% off of your order with the code NEWYEAR (offer ends Friday).

So why not go and treat yourself to some new pretties!


You can now follow my dreading adventures on Instagram! @blacksunshinedreads

I hope you all have a great New Years eve and I will see you in 2014! 

Monday 30 December 2013

Sharing the Love: Anmorata Dread Design's

This weeks instalment of Sharing the Love features Anmorata Dread Designs.

Elizabeth of Anmorata started out making dreads for herself in 2005 because of the hassle of dealing with her own thick and unruly hair.  After a year of experimenting she started also making dreads for friends an got more business via word of mouth.
Then in 2010 started selling dreads professionally.

Anmorata specialises in both smooth twisted and knotty crocheted dreads and dread falls.  She also offers wrapped dreads and fluffy naturals.
"I love turning ideas into reality".

Besides dreads Elizabeth also enjoys making custom head dresses using natural items such as feathers, leather, crystals and animal bones.

You can find Anmorata Dread Design's on the following links:

Etsy Shop

Sunday 22 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

The Black Sunshine shop will be open again in the New Year, I will also be open for custom dread orders again. Until then, when I'm not playing with my Christmas presents or stuffing my face, I will be working on new pre-made dread kits.

I just wanted to wish all of you a Merry Christmas. I hope you all have an amazing time!
Are you ready for it? What part are you most looking forward too?
I *think* I am, but I'm sure I must of forgotten something, I'm never usually this organised.
My favorite part of Christmas day has to be dinner and the awful films. Oh and presents :)

Amz x

Sharing the Love: Squidhair

This weeks 'Sharing the Love' Features Squidhair from Newcastle in the UK.

Squidhair  makes and sells traditional smooth style dread kits and falls including multimedia falls which consist of cyberlox and rexlace. Supplies are also available to buy, including rexlace, plastic tubing, ribbon and more.

Sarah, the face behind Squidhair, says "I started making dreads around the start of 2007/ start of 2008 for my own personal use as I am in love with big hair! After a few frustrating tries I finally got some wearable hair. Proud, I carried on and a few friends started started asking me to make them some dreads and it carried on from there.  
I have been selling dreads for just over four years and I love it. I get to channel my creativity and passion through a medium that makes people happy and feel great about themselves and in turn it makes me feel amazing. I want to keep doing it for as long as I can!"

You can find the beautiful creations of Squidhair on the following links:

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Technology Fail

All technology I seem to even just look at at the moment breaks!
The other week it was my laptop and this week I am having problems with my iPod and the keyboard on my other half's computer no longer works. So I will have very limited internet accesses for the time being. Booo!

This means I will be closing my Etsy shop for the time being. I will have it up and running again as soon as possible and I will answer any messages and comments as soon as I can. Sorry for any inconvenience guys.

If I'm not back on the grid by next week I hope you all have a great Christmas!
Here is some Christmas cheer from my Kittens, Yoshi & Jim :)

Monday 16 December 2013

Sharing the Love: Made with Love by Kat

This weeks instalment of 'sharing the love' features Made with Love by Kat.

"I make jewellery from abandoned vintage finds - I like to think of it as sparkly recycling! I use necklaces, brooches, earrings, anything I can get my hands on, which I repair and smooth down before teaming them up with semi precious stones such as amethyst and peridot or Swarovski crystals, ribbon and pearls to make really romantic, one-of-a-kind pieces. Each item is one of a kind which I love - because of the nature of my designs incorporating the vintage finds I couldn't repeat a design even if I wanted to.

I started five years ago this month, after an attempt to make fudge as Christmas presents went stickily wrong! I decided instead to make my friends some jewellery - I'd seen pieces with lots of vintage brooches stuck together but I wanted to create something quirkier and that could be worn every day. 
I got a bit overexcited after making the first necklace, bought way too many supplies and decided I'd better set up an online shop to justify all the outlay! My work was picked up by a couple of galleries in Liverpool and Manchester very quickly and it's grown from there. "

You can check out Kat and her fantastic work on the following sites

Shop: Folksy / Etsy

Tuesday 10 December 2013

December News

I have been working on some new pre-made dreads for my Etsy shop and uploaded two new accent kits today.  A single ended set in pinks and purples and a double ended set in greens, blue and black.
I have also discounted a few of the other accent kits on my shop.
Don't forget every order  throughout December will receive a thank you discount code for 10% off of your next order!

In other news, my laptop decided to completely die on me last week ( smoke and a little bit of fire was involved). So I am having to use the misters computer when its free. I may not be able to post as often but not to fear, I'm still around :)

I'm currently closed for custom dread order until after Christmas but I am happy to answer any questions you might have about ordering a set.

It's December already!? And just 15 days until Christmas (and only 5 days until my birthday ;) )

Are you all looking forward to Christmas?

Monday 9 December 2013

Sharing the love: Mommy's Dreads

This week's sharing the love features Mommy's Dreads.
Mommy's dreads has been around for the past 2 years and creates some beautiful dreads. Her styles include wrapped, classic/ smooth and braids.

Shannon, the face behind Mommy's Dreads, started out making dreads for her daughter and fell in love with them from there. She says "dread making is my biggest passion, I love all aspects of art and I love having a job that allows for me to be and express who I truly am."

Shannon is currently working on some new styles which I can't wait to see!

Check out her Facebook page and blog for more amazing photos and info

Sunday 8 December 2013

A Christmas Gift for you

All orders made via my Etsy shop throughout December 2013 will receive a discount code for 10% off of your next order at my shop!
The discount will be valid until June 1st 2014.

Saturday 7 December 2013

The LMD Giveaway

The awesome Little Miss Delicious are running a giveaway to celebrate handmade this festive season. You can win prizes from LMD, a pastel slime necklace from myself and lots of other goodies from other handmade businesses.

To find all the info and to enter just check out the blog post HERE

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Charity dread set up for auction

Once again this year, Not Just Another Girl Dreads set up a great dread collaboration in aid of charity. Dread sellers from all over the world made and contributed dreads to this epic black rainbow set.
It is now up for auction on Ebay. All proceeds will go to buy gifts for kids part of the Angel Tree Charity.

So click HERE to view this awesome dread set and all the details, and why not bid so you can have some awesome hair and give some kids a better Christmas :)

Monday 2 December 2013

Sharing the Love: Acidrose Designs

Acidrose Designs is based in Toronto, Canada and offers custom made synthetic dread kits and falls.

Jen, the face behind Acidrose says she has always had a passion for hair styling, photography and clothing design. In 2009 she decided to combine them all and launched Acidrose Designs.

On her website she says "I believe that everyone has the right to feel comfortable and beautiful in their own skin. If, through my work, I am able to help someone look in the mirror and like what they see then I am happy".

There are also hopes to expand Acidrose over the next few years, into hair accessories, jewellery and a clothing line.

You can get 15% off of your custom dread order with Acidrose Designs until December 31st.

Jen's dreads are beautiful. And the photographs of them are always creative and eye catching.

Be sure to check out Acidrose Design's work and updates on the following sites



Friday 29 November 2013

Facebook Pages

As a Facebook page user I noticed the reach of my posts was pretty low compared to the amount of likes my page has. My page has over 3,000 likes, but according to the Facebook stats most of my posts only reach about 200-800 of people that like the page.
Have some of you other Facebook page users noticed this also?

Well the other day one of the pages I like, Rivet Licker, posted about this also. And the fact that 'likers' have to manually select how many posts they see from your page, although the option is not obvious.

As a page 'liker' you have to hover over the liked button on the pages, then select settings and then select 'all updates'.

I hope that helps some of you guys if you have ever noticed you are missing updates from your favourite pages.

The Black Sunshine & Mr. Strange Giveaway

Giveaway from Black Sunshine & Mr. Strange

You can win a custom colour Horror Heart necklace & hair clip from Black Sunshine
and also the brand new CD album 'The Wonderful World of Weird' from Mr. Strange

As some as you may know, Mr. Strange is my partner in crime (aka my boyfriend :p) and we thought we team up to give you guys this little giveaway. 

To enter just fill in the form below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Giveaway is open Worldwide, postage is included.
* Winner chosen at random on the 4th January 2014

The winner of this giveaway has been chosen and e-mailed, thanks for entering guys!

Thursday 28 November 2013

Devolution Magazine Christmas Hamper Competition

Every year Devolution magazine runs a Christmas hamper competition and this year they are giving away 2 hampers. One as a main prize and a second smaller one. Including jewellery, CD's, homewares, bags, vouchers, books and lots more more. All donated by some great bands and shops; Mr. Strange, Hex Piercing, jagermeister, Kates clothing, Sourpuss homeware to name just a few. I also donated a handmade horror heart necklace from the Black Sunshine shop.

To enter just check out the facebook note HERE

Lovely Customer Photos

I always appreciate it when customers send me in their photos of themselves wearing my dread creations. And this week I was so happy to get 2 beautiful customer photos.

The first is of Alyx, she commissioned me to make an a-line kit in black, slate grey and steel grey. The length ranges from 6 inches to 16 inches.

And secondly, Maya, who commissioned me to make a long set in smoke grey, light blue blend, purple blend and wisteria. I loved this colour combination, wisteria is one of my favourite shades.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Website Overhaul

This weekend I gave the Black Sunshine website a big makeover. It has been a long time since I have done anything to my site, other than add to the galleries, and thought it was about time it all had a new look.

I use Moonfruit for my site which has a really easy interface for designing your site and just upgraded to html 5. No, I don't know what that means either :p But a lot of the designs and functions have changed or are not available at the moment. Which is why  on my site, the galleries are smaller and there is no contact form as yet.

I will hopefully be adding more to it soon. If you think anything needs adding to it in the dread info or FAQ section just let me know below in the comments :)

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Weapons of Dread Creation

I thought I would show you guys what tools I use to make my synthetic dreads.

Latch hook, felting needles, crochet hook and of course, scissors.

I go through a lot of combs which always end up snapping and breaking, but these blue ones are the best I've used over the years and are from Boots.
Both the crochet hooks and latch hooks I purchased from Ebay. No shops here on the Isle of Wight sell such small crochet hooks. I use a 0.55 mm and a 1 mm.
I get the felting needles from Oliven, a local craft shop. And yep, the felting needles are pointy and sharp and I am always missing the dread and stabbing myself. If you follow me on Instagram, you would of seen my most recent mishap with them :p

For sealing the dreads I mostly use the boiling water method and occasionally my steamer. But since I stopped making smooth synthetic dreads my steamer has been a bit redundant.

And the most important ingredient to making dreads - kanekalon synthetic hair!
I buy the majority of the kanekalon I use from Diversity Hair. There is also Cyberlox Shop and I Kick Shins.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Useful Synthetic Dread Links

I have found many useful tutorials and forums over the years for synthetic dread making. Even after 8 years of making dreads I often look at others tutorials and tips, you can never learn to much :)

So here is a list of some of the great guides and groups I have found, whether you want to learn to make synthetic dreads or just find some more information about them.

About Dreads
  • The comprehensive synthetic dread guide - Link
  • The difference between single and double ended dreads - Link
  • Types of dread and what to look for when buying - Link
  • About dread falls - Link
  • Dread buyers guide from Rivet Licker - Link 
  • How to install double ended dreads - Link
  • How to install single ended dreads - Link
  • How to attach synthetic dreads to real dreads - Link
Dread styling / care
  • How to wash you hair with dreads installed - Link
  • Dread styling - Part 1 Link & part 2 Link
Dread Making (tutorials)
  • Doctored Locks YouTube channel  - Link
  • Rivet Licker YouTube channel - Link
Supplies  (synthetic hair, cyberlox etc.)
Synthetic Dread Communities
The synth dread communities are a great way to find dread sellers, get feedback on your work and just to connect with other like minded people.
  • Hair Extensions Forum - Link
  • Hair Extension Society on Facebook - Link 
  • Dreadlock Kingdom on Facebook - Link
  • Alternative Hair Extensions Forum - Link
Dread Makers 
Of course its not just me that makes synthetic dreads, so here are a few of my favourite makers.
  • Ls Seven - Link
  • Filthy's Synthetic Dreads - Link
  • Izzybeau - Link
  • Darcrainbow Creations - Link
  • Anouk Dread maker - Link
I will be adding to this list regularly when I come across new and informative links.
Do you have any tutorials you would like to add? Or if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment :)

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Christmas Shopping

Christmas is my favourite time of year! Yummy food, buying gifts for my friends and family and singing awful cheesy Christmas songs :)

My shop has lots perfect stocking filler gifts! And you can get FREE UK postage on my Etsy shop up until December 5th. Just use the code XMAS13 at the checkout. 
For customers outside of the UK there is also combined postage prices when you buy more than one item.

Also, you can now pay via paypal, debit & credit card or Etsy gift vouchers :)

Monday 18 November 2013

Sharing the Love: Monarch Dreads

This is installment of 'Sharing the Love' is all about Rachel aka Monarch Dreads. Who hails from Blackpool in the UK.
Monarch Dreads has some really really amazing dreads sets, I always love the colour combinations and their unique look. 

Rachel started her way on the dreadlock path by having braids with wool done by her Aunty. And the started installing these on herself and later having real dreadlock about 9 years ago using wax.

After needing to give her hair a break from real dreads Rachel started making dread extensions. Starting out with wool and then branching out into making smooth kanekalon dreads. After 3 years of doing this she started on her next set of permanent dreads (no wax) with crochet and a year later started making crocheted dread extensions.

Monarch Dreads specializes in caucasian dreads, wool dreads and embellished ends.

You can check out Monarch Dreads on the following links

Facebook Page

November News

Time seems to be going by so fast at the moment, I can't believe its the 18th of November already?!

Incase you missed it I have started running a new blog feature on other handmade/ independent artists. If you would  like to be involved just check out THIS blog post

I am now closed for custom dread orders until after Christmas. But in the meantime if you have any questions about custom dreads / order please don't hesitate to contact me.

There are still lots of pre-made items available to buy on my shop and I will be adding more over the coming weeks.


Saturday 16 November 2013

My Dread Style

I first started out 8 years ago making smooth synthetic dreads ( back combed dreads which are then twisted and steam sealed) but a couple of years ago I started to dabble in more natural looking dreads. Now they are my favourite style which I specialise in.

Crochet dread texture
My dreads are still made from 100% kanekalon synthetic hair which I fully back comb, felt, crochet and then seal (multiple times) with boiling water. The result is a more natural looking very textured dread. They are lightweight, durable and easy to wear.

Blonde to off white transitional dreads

You can still have a lot of variety with these dreads not only in colours and length but in styles, which include transitional, splashed, harlequin, blended etc.
Just because they are more natural looking does not mean they have to be in natural colours! I have made many sets in pinks, blues and even rainbows :)

Kelly in her rainbow dreads

Friday 15 November 2013

Dread Colour Inspiration

I've been working on a few dread orders for some lovely customers recently. The photo on the left is my latest commission and one of my favourites. A mix of double and single ended dreads in the colours smoke grey, light blue blend, purple blend and wisteria.

Soon I will be working on some more pre-made dreads to list on my Etsy shop. So what colours would you guys like to see? I would love to hear any ideas or inspiration photos you may have, just leave a comment below :)

I am also open for custom dread orders, so if you have some dream dreads in mind get in touch.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Love our Local Business - Please Vote

I have entered the 'Love our Local Business', who are granting 11 wishes to small businesses in the UK.
This would be amazing for me as it could help me further Black Sunshine, by being able to get a new (decent) camera, buy new supplies and advertise. This means more dreads and other goodies for you guys! :)
So if you could vote for me that would be awesome! All you have to do is click HERE and then click vote at the bottom of my info. Only takes a second and you can vote daily.
Many thanks :)

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Sharing the Love: Luci Alice Photography

Model: Hélène Atsüko
Outfit: Pandora Deluxe Latex
Plugs: Sick Plugs
Luci Alice is a female photographer from the Isle of Wight who now resides in London. She does a wide range of photography work from weddings to working with experienced models and designers.

I love the concepts she has come up with as well as the amazing models she has photographed.

I have personally worked with Luci on quite a few occasions and she is absolutely lovely to work with. I'm a very shy person so being in front of a camera is not natural for me at all but Luci makes it fun and makes you feel at ease.

Luci Alice has been featured in some great publications and is definitely one to look out for!
You can check our work from Luci Alice Photography on the following links

Sharing the Love

From now on I plan on doing a monthly blog post (or maybe more regularly, we'll see how it goes ;) ) on other dread makers, crafters and independent artists.
My plan is just to help share the love for other small businesses and artists out there.

Would you like to be featured? Just send me an e-mail blacksunshineiow@hotmail.co.uk

Sunday 27 October 2013

Synthetic Dread Styling

I've often had customers ask me how they can style their synthetic dreads when they have them installed but it quite hard to explain in words. But I just came across a great youtube video by Squeak Machine on how to style your synthetic dreads with no need for hair bands / elastics.

She also has a great photo tutorial on how to wash your hair while you have dreads installed, you can see that HERE.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Custom Dreads

I am currently open for custom dread orders!
You can get yourself your dream set of dreads. I have a wide range of colours to choose from and many styles (blends, transitionals, splashes, harlequins etc).
I use my own crochet textured method for making dreads. They are lightweight and very durable.

I have lots of photos of my past work to view on my Facebook page or website. If you are interested in ordering your very own dread set you can check out the listings for sale on my shop or send me an e-mail

Tuesday 15 October 2013

October Update

Hi guys! I must apologise for being a bit absent on this blog lately. I am hoping to more active here from now on :)

As usual I have pretty much been doing nothing but make dreads and the odd piece of jewellery, but that is what I like doing best!

I have been creating lots of pretty pre-made and custom made sets, that are sometimes very difficult to part with. I must have all of the dreads :p

Autumnal Dread Kit
My favourite set is a pre-made set I made for my etsy shop (they were snapped up quickly), which I based on autumnal colours. Normally natural colours are not to my own taste, but I really liked these and enjoyed making them.
I think I will make some more dread kits in the future based on inspiration photos. (e.g I based the autumnal dread kit on this image)
Do you guys have any images you would like to be turned into a dread kit?

Thursday 10 October 2013

Our 9th Birthday!

Today is the 9th birthday of Black Sunshine! It all started a little differently to how it is now but it is 9 years of our name and my time as a business owner :)
To see my previous post about Black Sunshine started out click here

To say thank to all of you guys use the code BIRTHDAY2013 at my shop to receive 30% off all orders over £10

Wednesday 14 August 2013

August Discount

Through all of this month you can get 10% off of your orders at my etsy store. Just use the code AUGUST13 at the checkout :)

Saturday 3 August 2013

New Button Hair Bows

I have been working on some new button hair bows for you guys :) I just added some to my etsy shop and lots more colours and designs will be added soon. These bows really spice up any look and look  especially great with dreads.

Yesterday I installed the lovely Nykie's dreads and took a photo of  her wearing the black with green button bow. So cute!

Any colour combos you would like to see? Just let me know :)

Wednesday 31 July 2013

Facebook 3000 Giveaway!

I have just reached 3000 likes on the Black Sunshine facebook page, so here is a giveaway to celebrate :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

There will be THREE winners -
First place: Custom set of 20 SE or 10 DE crochet dreads
First place: Custom set of 20 SE or 10 DE crochet dreads
Second Place: Custom colour slime or horror heart necklace

Winners will be picked at random on the 31st August 2013
Prizes include postage
Open worldwide

Thursday 25 July 2013

Funky Knits

As you may know I have been selling hand knitted on my Etsy shop for a while now. All of the knit wear is made by my Mum, who has a phobia of the internet (unless it involves playing solitaire :p ).
So I have now set her up her own Little shop - Funky Knits!

All of the items she makes are one of a kind and unique! So get ready for the chilly months by heading over to her shop and stocking up on leg warmers, gloves and more! :)

Funky Knits on Etsy
Funky Knits on Facebook

Friday 28 June 2013

Kitty discount!

Hi everyone

If you follow me on fb and twitter you will probably know we have a couple of new arrivals. Jimothi & Yoshi, 2 cute kittens!
So to celebrate you can get 15% off of your orders at my etsy shop with the code KITTIES

Thursday 30 May 2013

Giveaway winners!

Thank you guys for entering my last jewellery giveaway.

The winner of the custom colour horror heart necklace is Brandi. C and the winner of the cosmos in a jar necklace is Erinda. K ! Congratulations guys :) I will e-mail you shortly.

Stay stunned, I will holding another giveaway soooooon! :)

Saturday 27 April 2013

Etsy Love - Bubble Fusion

Cyber pimp harness by Bubble Fusion
From now on every week I will do an 'Etsy Love' post, focusing on one of my favourite etsy shops.

So my first one its the very talented Bubble Fusion!
Bubble Fusion sells amazing cyber / rave clothing and accessories all in amazing bright colours! Very unique and can be custom made to your own specifications.

I personally own a couple of pieces from Bubble Fusion and they are really well made, and comfortable to wear.
So go check out the Bubble Fusion Etsy shop, you will not be disappointed :)

Monday 22 April 2013

Hair Pretties

Laura Aurora wearing her button hair clip.
Apart from making dread extensions and falls I also have another love for making other hair pretties! Hair clips & bows, which go great with dreads or natural hair.
I personally have a treasure trove of different hair clips, bows and bands, and I never seem to have enough!
So on my Etsy shop you will find many cute, colourful and occasionally spooky additions to add to your hair!

A popular item in my shop is the 'Giant Button Hair Clip', which is available in lots of different colours. I also recently added a version with added sparkle! Both of which have been tried & tested by the lovely alternative model Laura Aurora.

There is also a range of super cute heart hair clips, available in pastel and neon colours. If you see one you like but would like it in your own colour choice, please feel free to contact me via etsy or e-mail.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Jewellery Giveaway!

2 lucky winners will win either a custom colour stitched horror heart necklace or a cosmos in a jar necklace.
Both pieces are made by hand and with love!
Spread the word.
Just use the form below to enter and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday 15 April 2013

Taking some time out

Unfortunately I will not be taking on custom orders for the next few months  (I will post here when I am again).
If we are already in convo about your order this doesn't apply :)
I am currently finishing up some big orders and my supply room is close to bursting. So I am going to take some time out to work on pre-made dreads and get everything organised again.

There is lots of jewellery & hair accessories available to buy on my etsy shop, which will be open as usual.

Sunday 31 March 2013

Dreads, ready to go!

This week I have listed a couple of sets of pre-made dreads on my etsy shop. Meaning these dreads are made and ready to be sent out to you straight away!

The first set is a full double ended dread kit of crochet dreads in browns & reds. Click HERE to see the etsy listing.

The second set is an accent kit of double ended dreads in blends of purples. Click HERE to see the etsy link.

I am currently working on a set of single ended blonde dreads which will hopefully be available by the end of the week and there are lots more to come! :)