Thursday, 28 May 2009
There are many more disaster stories over the 21 years of Craft Fairs - daughter locking the keys in the car, breaking down on the way home and worse still on the way there..... I could go on. These are the stuff of my recurring nightmares.
Still, the weather forecast is good for the weekend, the stand is well stocked and it's one of my favourite venues mainly because I could (and invariably do) spend a fortune at all the different plant stalls. Last year it was the Meconopsis. I wonder what will tempt me this year?
Anyway, it's getting late and there are still one or two little tasks to do before bed - price tags to make etc.
Bob will be on duty behind the stand tomorrow and I'll be at home making more stock for Saturday, when it's my turn, and then we will both be there on Sunday which is when I get the chance to look round the show and spend the profits.
And if you are at the Art on the River market in Perth on Saturday, you will also see us there, or Bob anyway. Because we don't do things by halves, not us. Why stop at one major event on a weekend when you can make life even more stressed out by doing two?
Our trusty friend and work horse, the printer has decided to have an inkjet printhead cartridge nervous breakdown - no stamina that one - and chooses the worst times to print white lines through everything. I can guarantee it will suddenly recover and work perfectly as soon as the rush is over.
If you're visiting Gardening Scotland, don't forget to check out the Craft Marquee. There is some wonderful work on display.
I'll try to get some photos done on Saturday.
Saturday, 23 May 2009
It's a whole set of goodies for a new baby girl, ordered by a lovely customer who does this every time she buys for a new baby. Card for grandparents, card for parents, keepsake box and name plaque.
On to boring stuff, and too technical for me, but I've noticed a problem over the past day or so when I load this old blog of mine. You might find this too - when you load the blog page, a window pops up saying that the page can't be opened and Operation aborted. I was slightly worried and deleted a recent post ( Pretty in Pink) because I thought that might be the problem, which was silly.
Anyway, " I'm currently working to rectify the situation" as they say, and have identified it as a problem peculiar to Internet Explorer and nothing to be concerned about - just a nuisance.
The immediate answer seems to be to open the blog in a different browser eg Firefox. No problem there.
But if you only have Internet Explorer and you get a window popping up saying Operation Aborted, don't panic. Just refresh the page and it should be fine.
Meanwhile I'm doing a crash course in Computer Gobbledygook to try to fix it.
Friday, 22 May 2009
Amazing aren't they? These are our first attempts at growing meconopsis ( Himalayan poppies) - notoriously difficult to grow but we know the secret. It's this....
1.Buy a plant at the Gardening Scotland Gardening Show.
2.Stick it in the ground.
3. Forget all about it.
4. Find it a year later, budded and growing well.
5. Say " What's this plant? I don't remember planting it."
6. Two days later the buds open and this glorious blue poppy appears.
There are quite a few more buds waiting to open too.
Anyway, that was last year's Gardening Scotland show. This year's will be upon us soon - next week in fact. This will be the 11th year we have had a stand in the Craft Marquee, I think, and as usual we're at the coo's tail when it comes to preparation. It's the first main event of our craft fair season and it always sneaks up on us. So much to do, so little time.
If any of you are going to the show, please come in to the marquee and say hello.
It's being held at the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston (near Edinburgh Airport) from Friday - Sunday of next week. Here is the link.
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
I spend Tuesday mornings shopping with my Mum while Bob mans the shop. Usually it's as quick as we can get round the Co-op and home again, but today I noticed the Thrift Shop was running in the local church hall. It's a good source of fabrics in the form of old clothes and the prices are CHEAP. Today I found a cotton shirt in the brightest magenta pink which, when washed, ironed and cut up will make a good solid colour for the patchwork cards. Not bad for 50p. There was also a gold coloured cotton smock top shot through with gold thread, again ideal for patchwork cards and finally a pair of hideous men's shorts in a useful country check which believe it or not is destined for WEDDING cards. I kid you not!
The other news is I'm one stage nearer to overhauling the website, mainly because two more shop orders have reached the pack'n' dispatch department. My To Do list has had "website update" at the top of the pile for a few days now and all I need is an afternoon free, some sunny weather ( for photographs) and it will be done. I promise you.
Saturday, 16 May 2009
Since I started this blog, I've been introduced to many extremely talented people from all over the world, who regularly amaze me with the amount of work they produce and share through their own blogs. Very inspiring and humbling.Today I've added a few more examples ( and there's more to come!) of my embroidered textile pieces. These were done when I was a stay at home Mum with small children and the business was still a number of years away. If I say the small children are now 28 and 25, you'll understand how long ago that was. Like the ones before, these are mainly based on freestyle canvaswork which is cut out and appliqued to a different background. Hand stitchery is added to soften the edges. In fact they are all hand done. I prefer the immediacy of working that way.
Once more the photos are not good, I'm afraid. This was long before digital cameras, remember!
Friday, 15 May 2009
Still, it focused the mind on work. No skiving off to the garden for coffee breaks.
Back in winter woollies, I had a productive day catching up with website orders, and by five o'clock there were ...... nine large special keepsake cards, seven personalised handbag mirrors, five individual keepsake cards, one personalised keepsake box, one trinket bowl, two celebration plaques and two triple pictures packed up in fifteen different parcels and ready to post.
But you'll have to take my word for it because the light was too poor to take photos!
Here's hoping tomorrow (Saturday) sees an improvement in the weather because I know there are a lot of weddings and Christenings taking place this weekend - we've made the cards for them - and it would be such a shame if it rained on their special day.
I also want a brighter day because I have quite a few bits and pieces I want to photograph.
Watch this space!
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
It was only a secret because we wanted to slip away and be back before we were missed by our customers. Some discovered the hard way (if you read this Anne, you'll know what I mean), emailing an order at the eleventh hour for a last minute birthday and having to be disappointed. Anne got her own back though, and won't be disappointed.
As usual, when you go on holiday with Bob, you walk about 20 miles a day. Slight, only slight exaggeration. Anyone who's been to Nice before will appreciate the distance we walked on the first day - from the airport at one end of the Promenade des Anglais right to the port at the other end, round the old town a couple of times and back again to the airport, because we were staying at an hotel there for the first night. That got the calf muscles nicely stiffened for the next few days and the corns on the soles of the feet well and truly bedded in.
And I have to say self catering in a lovely old French apartment is just the most chilled out way to have a holiday - down to the boulangerie on the corner for morning croissants and the market for wonderful fresh produce, sitting at the open window late in the evening with a bottle of wine listening to the sounds of the old town settling down for the night. Bliss.
So we're back in business, refreshed and raring to go. Just as well, as the craft fair season kicks off in a couple of weeks and the website needs attention and the shop orders are piling in and Anne wants her cards made and ...when did we have that holiday?
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Monday, 4 May 2009
No pictures to liven things up tonight, so I won't rabbit on.
The bank holiday weekend is drawing to a close, and selfishly I'm glad. What - no post (that's Royal Mail type post), no customers (we're closed), no orders, no phone calls...everyone's on holiday!
And we're selfish because we like to work when everyone's on holiday and take a holiday when everyone's at work. I can't be bothered with busy roads and full car parks, and traffic jams and queues.......
Stay at home and work!
We did do the usual Monday thing and went for a swim this morning, tempting though it was to whine that I had a cold so I could have a look round the shops while the old bagger (new nickname for Bob, quite apt) was swimming. But no, willpower prevailed and I made the effort. The pool was quiet so that was good. Time was, it would have been bustling with kids and families because the schools were off, but I guess the kids were all still in bed!
I did my usual 40 lengths to Bob's 50. No matter how hard I try I never manage to close the gap. But I did finally discover how to use my legs when swimming. It's only taken 40 years. I usually drag them through the water like a pair of tree trunks and do all the work with my arms, but somehow I worked it out how to kick them, and it made travelling through the water easier and my arms were grateful.
Not a great deal else to say tonight - 15 metres of fabric prepared for the laser cutter, 4 orders packed for the carrier and back in business along with everyone else tomorrow. Phew.
Saturday, 2 May 2009
Today has been productive and sociable. Orders from the Trade Show are under way, customers in the shop and teatime visit from my sister and family.
Since I don't have any new photos to show, I had a rummage and found this video I took last week. It's a 360 degree view of the mess in my workshop - always a mess when there's work in progress, but it's tidy again now. The stars of the movie seem to be a collection of plastic boxes in various sizes, which seem to dominate the entire proceedings. So there's a hint that it's not the most exciting film ever made. But I think craft people in general like to have a nose at other people's work places, so here's mine.
Friday, 1 May 2009
You don't have time for a cold when you're self employed.
Then again, I was exposed to a bit of coughing and spluttering by my neighbour at Aviemore, followed by two (self inflicted) nights of hardly any sleep which usually lowers my defences. Nobody to blame but myself.
So I'm off to bed with a Lemsip.
But..before I go or at least while the kettle's boiling.... damn, forgotten what I was going to say - brain's affected now - BED!!!!