Sunday, 14 January 2018

Animals in Flowers new collection launch

Finally got there had to wait for silk organza sheets from the US, got impatient and ordered (more expensive) from a UK source only to be told after the order was placed that they were doing a stock take and would dispatch asap! However they arrived and I was able to complete my first new collection of 2018.

Clutch Bags

Gift Cards

Key Fobs

Decorative Hoops

I am happy with how everything turned out and just love these watercolour images.

Joined a challenge on a FB group for Valentines Day. Wanted to do something slightly different and thought these kitty and dawgie mug rugs were perfect. They are also not just for Valentines Day.

Now onto the next collection again just a teaser for you

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Sunday, 7 January 2018

A New Year Dawns

Happy New Year folks, I mentioned in my last post before Christmas that I had bought The Maker's Yearbook for 2018. Julie asked if I would update how I was getting on.

I started after Christmas going through the review of 2017, it was very enlightening to the extent that events just do not work for me. Are a lot of hard work checking stock to take, pricing, packing, loading up the car, unloading the other end, setting up. Then repeat at the end of the event. Yes I made money but for the time spent? Are they good advertising? No as never had any follow ups to sales. I would have been better at home promoting online. I have sold far more sitting at home online than I have at any event last year. So this year? will still do my local event in the next village in November as part of the community spirit. Have a market to use up the rent I paid for this year and too poorly to do last year but will sell of old stock at this one. Then no more bookings.

I know other crafter's who do far bigger events than me have come to this conclusion about fairs and seems as if the internet has finally caught up with us. Heard that one stall holder who made beautiful quilts paid £600 rent and only sold £120 over 3 days. How soul destroying.

Now the other thing I have realised is that I tend to have so many ideas going through my head that I never complete collections. I start making, finish about 4 items then jump to something else. No cohesion at all. My stock will go down as planning to make to order rather than oodles of stock. I will have samples of everything for my website and sell those then replace, or if more than 1 of anything ordered make as required. I can do a day turn round on most items so not a problem.

To recap this yearbook is very good, far better than a normal diary or journal atm. I would say a considered buy and know on Etsy you can download digital planner prints and use as required. It depends what works for you, I will keep you updated as may find my organisation slipping later in the year. Funny but I am quite organised in my every day life but when it comes to creating? well chaos springs to mind especially in my head, lol. There are other planners out there geared to handmade and may give a different one a go next year.

I am currently working on my new collection, not finished yet but just a teaser for you all:

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Here's to us having a wonderfully successful 2018

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Flowers, Pearls and Christmas

Cannot believe this it is now almost Christmas, the house is all ready, the freezer is full. One more grocery delivery on the 22nd, then that is it for the festive period. I love Christmas.....

Getting into the creative groove again, have so many new ideas going through my brain giving myself a headache, lol. This week another jewellery piece with Swarovski pearls:

Have got my list of Birthday cards and gifts ready for 2018. Three cards made already and a gift bought for April. Ordered a jukebox die for an idea for DH's card and a couple of t shirts from the McLaren shop, these were on offer and too good to pass up. Not bad not even Christmas and sorting out for 2018 already.

Thinking ahead, I had to cancel one of my events in November as poorly, did not expect a refund but they carried my payment over to the April market. Checked and just before Easter, now thinking of Pixie baskets full of Easter goodies.

Wedding collection planning coming along well and keep thinking of baby showers as well.

Bought myself a really good handmade planner 'The Makers Yearbook'. I don't bother with diaries as always use my iPone but love notebooks, the only problem is they are not structured, saw this on FB and treated myself. Not cheap but it is a fair old size and so well laid out. You also get access to a closed FB group opening in January and some online courses. 

As you know been disillusioned with events this year either sooo expensive or cheap and cheerful. The latter are fine but know will never sell that much at them plus never seems to lead to sales from my website. Think the people visiting the market do not buy so much online but like to look. To take the plunge and pay out big money with possibly a large loss is not in my remit. So hoping this book concentrates me on the business side rather than just creating.

That is all for now folks, taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks and will see you in the New Year.

Have a wonderful Christmas and hope Santa brings you all the gifts you wanted.

Check out the other blogs at Sum of Their Stories

Sunday, 10 December 2017

New creation

Only another 15 days until Christmas. Are you ready? We have 2 more food deliveries to go then that will be it. What we do not have can do without. I am sure I will have forgotten something. We did the M & S trip to Havant on Tuesday, spent an arm and a leg but got £40 off, mainly due to a voucher from BT broadband for £25, the rest were offers and my Sparks codes. so worth getting a Sparks card. Went to our local garden centre on Wednesday and all decorations have been reduced already. Think things are not so good this year for sales and am sure we have all felt that at events and online.

Well did make something this week a lace heart pendant, stitched on my embroidery machine, added some chain and a Swarovski crystal. The keys are so tiny. The thread is random blues and aqua's.

Got a knock at the door at 7am. Post man with a parcel! Frightened me half to death, checked the security first and there he was with his Santa's hat on, cheerful at that time of the morning, wearing shorts and it was freezing!

Off to plan my next project.

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Have a good week, same place next weekend

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Theatre in a tin and the Christmas tree is up!

Christmas decorations and tree up, cards written and stamped ready to post, parcels wrapped ready for collection on Monday. All our Gifts wrapped and in the sitting room by the tree. Only 22 days to go, so excited. Finishing off the special food shop on Tuesday at M & S then Waitrose can do the rest.

As you may have gathered I love Christmas and whilst has changed since I was a child, still try to make it a magical time for the 3 of us (DH, dog and myself). Sorting films ready to watch.

Treated myself a few backs to a 'Theatre in a Tin', took a while to arrive as came from overseas. Got it made last week but had to wait for the batteries to turn up, note to myself read the description first. All done, lit and so pleased with it. My BIL made me a shop a few years back and have never done anything with the inside, this has got me moving to complete next year.

Also found a wonderful kit for bookbinding. Another craft I have always wanted to learn, ear marked to buy in January and fingers crossed may get a reduced price.

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Have a wonderful week x

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Last event of the year

Welcome to another week of my crafting life.

Sad midweek when I heard that David Cassidy had passed, he was an idol of mine back in the 70's, then got into Led Zepplin, go figure! Think it must have been the influence of my uni friends.

Loaded the car on Thursday as such a beautiful day. Swept up 8 bags of leaves and have to pop into the farm shop on the way back on Saturday for some more bags. We are surrounded by oak trees, all of which are listed but do love them. To think that they have been growing for hundreds of more years than I have been on this earth. They must have some tales to tell if they could talk.

Been cleaning the house this week, Lee lost patience with the hoover as not a pet one. Have decided to have this one upstairs and ordered a pet one from John Lewis, arrived Thursday and brilliant. The sitting room will have a real blitz next week as our tree and decorations go up on the 30th.

My last event was yesterday, have been doing the Headley Christmas Fair for years and always enjoy. Villagers come in droves, spend and happy to chat. The vicar comes round and talks to stallholders and customers alike.

Carol's and Christmas music playing, silly hats worn by some, decorations and tinsel round the hall. I love it and gets me ready for the big day. Had these adorable Charlie Bears next to my stall.

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Have fun

Sunday, 19 November 2017

A week of doing nothing.....

Another Handmade Monday and now only 36 days until Christmas.

What have I been doing this week? well basically nothing, so shocking! Did order some linen and silk which arrived for my Wedding collection next year. 

Posted a lot of old stock onto Ebay. Got a sale of a bag within 30 minutes. Sadly selling a lot cheaper than I should but want to clear the space for new makes.

Talking about new makes my head is buzzing and have to carry a notebook or phone with me to write or tell Siri to keep a note of ideas. In fact I have overworked Siri this week and think she is getting a bit petulant with me, lol. She will have to get over it.

Bought some amazing embroidery designs, ideal for cards but so special and cannot wait to start them. Am giving myself a break until Christmas starts as still have a lot of wrapping to do, mounts to cut to hold some sheet music for DH and some Game of Thrones trading cards. Vouchers to buy and parcels to post off. Will make a start on the Christmas cards today.

I have a plan for a day then in a blink of an eye find myself in bed and realise did not complete half of what I had planned. Not even sure where the hours went and convinced either I am getting slower or less minutes in each hour.

So many of my crafting friends are struggling at events this year with sale, events which have proved fruitful in years past. Wonder how it will impact on the high street if sales will be down or a mad rush of spend, spend, spend on Christmas Eve. A lot of crafters who do this for a living are having to decide can they continue or some having to take part time work to pay the bills. Very sad and would hate to see the demise of handmade. I do feel though that so many have jumped on the crafting gravy train thinking an easy way to earn a buck. Churn out goods not really up to spec, give up and move on, leaving others to try to pick up the pieces and convince the public that there are some excellent craftsmen and women out there, who genuinely love what they do and are good at it.

Have a good week