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