Wednesday 29 January 2014

#HappyHandmade at Daft Crafts

The Daft Craft website is great site and community for crafters and lovers of handmade items.
I was lucky enough to be featured on the site back in 2012 (it really does not feel that long ago). You can check out my feature HERE.

On their site, as well as features from artists, you will also find tutorials and marketing and business tips.
They also have a successful weekly link up post called #HappyHandmade. Where you can link up to three handmade items from your shop, the only rules being that you share others items from the link up and tell people about it.
Each week there are six opportunities to have your items featured, 3 staff picks and 3 top viewed.
Its a great way get your items seen and to find other handmade items and shops you like!

Just click HERE to view the Daft Crafts #HappyHandmade post and also check out the hash tag on twitter.

Here are my favourite items from this weeks link up

Tuesday 28 January 2014

This Weeks Projects

As well as making pretty colour change dreads I have also been working on some other dread projects this week.

I started on my first dread wig, here is how it look a day or two ago .

I have since added more hair and dreads but it is no where near done. As it's my first one, I'm doing a lot of guess work but I think, hope, its going OK so far. 
I didn't invest in the best wig for a base, but I didn't want to spend out a lot in case I ended up messing it up, so this is just a trial run really. If this does go to plan ( I really really hope it does) I have some ideas for some epic dread wigs in the future!

And my last completed custom order in light pale blonde, white and black in varying lengths. Cant's wait to see these installed. 

I've also sorted out the colour combo for my next pre made dread set for my shop. Blondes, purples and pink.
Light pale blonde, baby pink, UV raspberry ice and light mauve

Monday 27 January 2014

Colour Change Dreads

As promised in my last post / review of the thermal hair from Diversity Hair, here are the finished dreads. 15 double ended dreads in triple transitional.

I LOVE the colours of these, they remind me of My Little Ponies :)
So if you want colour changing hair check out I hear that there are new colours being added to the range too.

Saturday 25 January 2014

Thermal Colour Change Hair

I'm currently working on 2 of my last custom dread orders. And one of them is using the new thermal colour change hair from Diversity Hair.
This hair is more expensive and the packets smaller than normal packs of synthetic kanekalon hair, but for this effect it is totally worth it!

I have used each of the colours of the available hair, purple, blueberry, pale blue and baby pink.
The colours react and change to heat from your hands and  temperature of your surroundings.
The baby pink changes to a beige/ white, the pale blue to a icy blue/ white, blueberry to a mauve/ pink and the purple to pink. 
Blueberry and purple are 'Thermal Pilot colour' and react to heat much faster than the other two colours.
The hair is very easy to work with when it comes to back combing and crocheting.

I filmed while sealing some of the dreads with boiling water so the colour change is much more dramatic.

I've nearly finished making this set and will post pics when they are completed :)

Note: You can see the completed dreads HERE

Friday 24 January 2014

Sharing the Love: Grumpy-Frog

This weeks 'Sharing the Love' post features Grumpy-Frog, the home of hula hoops, poi juggling, hoop fitness and handmade clothing.

Fi of Grumpy-Frog says "My business name is Grumpy-Frog, named with the help of my nephew when he was just 3 years old. He had a mutual liking of amphibians and was quite grumpy when I told him I wasn't naming my business 'Froggy".
He is now 16! So it all started 13 years ago when I got my T4 camper, Humphrey.

I started up just braiding hair an applying temporary tattoos at VW shows and smaller festivals. We still do that but along side I make and sell fluffy hats and coats, hot pants, anything festival. And of course hula hoops, that's my passion.

I create jackets and hats from my own patterns and designs, many of which are one off designs, I also offer custom orders."

You can find Grump-Frog at
& their Facebook page

Monday 20 January 2014

Win a £5 Gift Certificate from Black Sunshine!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on the 1st Febraury 2014
Two winners will be picked at random by
Voucher can not be exchanged
No minimum spend required
Voucher can only be used on the Black Sunshine Etsy Shop
The voucher code will be e-mailed to the two winners, which is redeemable at the Etsy checkout

This giveaway is now closed. The two winners have been notified by e-mail, so check your inbox's :) 

Sunday 19 January 2014

Photos: Petrol & Purple

The other day I finished up an accent dread kit in purples and petrol, its got snapped up pretty fast from my shop. But here are some photos that I didn't post to Facebook.
This is one of my favourite colour combos!

Would you like to see more dreads available in these colours?

Saturday 18 January 2014

Photo Theft

If you are a fan of my Facebook page you may have noticed I have been re uploading all my customer photos with water marks. I made this decision after having a couple of incidents of photo theft.

Basically other Facebook pages using photos of my work, and others, and using them to advertise their own work. For one this this is not fair on the makers of the products in the photos, we spend a lot of time and hard work making our dreads.
Secondly it is not fair on you, the customer. I would not want you spending money on a product you think you are going to get, in reality you will be getting something completely different. I'm not saying the people that take these photos to advertise their own work cannot make dreads but they will never be the same texture or style as the one pictured that they have taken from another seller.

Photo by Luci Alice Photography
Corset by Bubble Fusion

One thing I have learned over the years of dread making and buying others dreads, is that even though a similar method may be used each sellers dreads are 100% unique.

So when looking to purchase dreads, or any other handmade product, make sure you can see photos of the sellers past work. Not just customer photos but pictures of the products alone. And feedback from past customers.

I know when you are starting out as a seller it is hard to get a feedback base. But examples of your own work can go a long way.
If you check out the Hair Extension Society group on Facebook you will find they have a feedback system for a lot of dread sellers. And if you are starting out as a seller you can offer to send small samples of your work to other dread makers, this will help you build up your feedback base.

Just to add I do not mind people using my images as inspiration photos as long as it is clearly labelled as inspiration and credit is given. And it is nice to be asked first, I don't bite :)

Wednesday 15 January 2014

One of this years goals

One of my goals for this year is to make a dread wig. I have wanted to make one for years but have never gotten around to it. So I am making this post so you guys can make sure I keep to it and finally make one!

I have been inspired by dread wigs from LsSeven and Dread Addiction.
Here is the video tutorial I will be closely working to but with my own twist.

Now all I have to decide on is colours.What do you guys think?

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Current Dread Projects

After announcing I am no longer taking custom dread orders, I have been busy making new dread sets for my shop, which will be pre-made and all ready for you to buy.
So here is a little preview on the colour sets I am making at the moment.

Black and 4 different shades of grey ( slate, smoke, gun metal and charcoal)

Purple and Petrol (Petrol, UV petrol, deep purple and wisteria)

Hopefully I should have these dreads ready and photographed by the weekend. So keep your eyes on my etsy shop or facebook page for details.

All Kaneklaon synthetic hair is from Diversity Hair, apart from 'petrol' which is from BuyHair. Photos property of Black Sunshine.

Monday 13 January 2014

Sharing the Love: Hazel's Imaginarium

This weeks Sharing the Love post features Hazel's Imaginarium, beautiful handmade bracelets and necklaces.

Hazel says "My bracelets and necklaces are  macrame, which is essentially lots of weird complicated knots.
I only started out in November after being given some charms by a friend. And after being bored while ending up on bed rest after a small operation, I started out making beaded stretch bracelets and then tried making a few macrame pet collars with wool.   But I soon found out this took a lot of wool and time, so I ordered some cord and more charms and made more. Soon after I was bombarded with Christmas orders. It was amazing, I of never thought it could happen but it did."                                                                                                                                                                                                            
 You can check out Hazels' imaginarium on Facebook, where she has lots of great photos of her work and you can contact her for you very own custom jewellery.

Sunday 12 January 2014

Discovering Dreads

I discovered fake hair / synthetic dreads back when I was at school. The same time I really discovered the internet, showing my age here :p Our school only had a few computers at the time but I would commandeer one whenever possible and trawl the net for hair pretties.
I had dyed my hair from a young age and would often braid different colour wools into my hair. Even though I probably looked awful, I am a bit sad I don't have any photos from this time.

I eventually came across the Quinnster board which had some great tutorials but has sadly gone. But there is still the Heavenly Hair / Hair Extensions Forum. Unfortunately  it is not frequented as much nowadays, probably due to Facebook groups being more accessible to most people.

A couple of  dread ladies that stood out the most and where a big inspiration to me were beautiful Squeak Machine and Cattie.
Squeak Machine by David Raywood
Cattie by Doppelganger Photography

I just had to have epic hair like that! It wasn't until late 2004 that I first got my hands on synthetic hair and had my first attempt at dread making. Obviously the first few tries were pretty bad but I loved them all the same. I'm sure that I must have some photos of my first attempts some where, if I do ever find them I will post them. Its good to look back and see improvement.

Soon after some friends asked me to make them dreads and that was it, I was hooked.
I did buy a couple of sets from other sellers in the early years. I can't recall the name of the first seller brought from but my second set was by Cradle Falls, in 2005 I think. They where thick, very thick dreads. Here they are

Photo by Tony Stubbings

How did you discover the fake hair / synthetic dread world? Who were / are your inspirations?

Saturday 11 January 2014

Closed for custom dread orders

Due to personal reasons I have to decided to stop taking custom dread orders indefinitely.

I am still making making dreads and I will be filling my shop with pre-made dread kits. I will also be working on new designs and techniques with my dreads and jewellery.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused and I hope you stick with Black Sunshine to see what I have planned for the future!

If you are looking for custom made dreads I will be more than happy to pass you on details of other great dread makers.


Black Sunshine

Friday 10 January 2014

Tell me what You want!

As I have been using this blog a lot more in recent months I am interested to know what you guys would like to see here.

If you have any other suggestions just leave a blog comment :)

What would you like to see more of on my blog?
Exclusive dread and jewellery photos
Behind the scenes shots and stories
Tutorials ( dread making, wearing etc)
Poll Maker

Thursday 9 January 2014

Cameras & Cats

We now have a Cannon 600D camera! I say 'we' but it really belongs to my other for his music video ventures. But of course we have to share right ;)

So today we spent some time playing around with the settings and re-taking photos of some jewellery pieces from my shop.

Unfortunately the daylight disappeared fast today so we only managed to get a few pieces done. So some of my etsy listings have had photos updated.
It also did't help one of our fluffy friends, upon seeing the camera out, decided to come and take centre stage. Silly Yoshi :)

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Buying Handmade

Something I came across to remember when you are buying a handmade products.

Each dread and piece of jewellery I make is unique and takes many hours to create. As the same with many other handmade artists. 

If you would like your handmade shop featured on my blog please check out my Sharing the Love page. It is just my way of helping other artists get seen and sharing their great work with you guys!

Monday 6 January 2014

Sharing the Love: Erindas Dreads

This weeks Sharing the Love post features Erindas Dreads

Erinda is based in the Netherlands and makes beautiful synthetic dreads. I always drool over her Facebook updates of her latest work.

"I have always had a passion for hair and fashion. When I was little I cut the hair of every doll I owned. And I always said I wanted to be a hair dresser.
I went to fashion school and after went to to hairdressing school. I have worked in fashion but now I want to focus on hair.
I have a few clients who's hair I cut , I also make dreads and hair accessories.
My speciality is making crocheted synthetic dreads that are very realistic looking. I mix and blend colours and styles for the most creative dreads. I specially make custom dreads, so you can order anything you like! 
I also like to make hair accessories every now and then, mostly on the sewing machine. So I still use some of my fashion background / sewing skills. However my main focus is dread making at the moment."

You can contact Erinda and view her work over on her Facebook page.


Wednesday 1 January 2014

Looking back at 2013

Well this year has been busy!

It all started out with a mammoth custom order of 195 double ended dreads!
Here they are all ready to go getting some sunshine in my garden.

Since then I have made countless other sets for custom orders and have loved seeing the beautiful customer photos you have sent me.  It make me very happy to see something that I have created give some one such confidence and joy :)

In 2014 I hope this continues. I plan to making a lot more pre-made dread sets to be available top purchase via my shop. And also to work on new jewellery and hair accessory designs.

Thank you to everyone who has liked my my page, visited my blog and purchased from Black Sunshine. I could not have done it without you guys!

I hope you all have an amazing 2014!!