Welcome to the blog for Embroidered Originals, where I'll keep you up-to-date with all the goings on at our little cottage industry. You can also view our website and shop online at embroideredoriginals.co.uk Marion x

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Peru, not Scotland

So, what's been happening at the cottage industry since I last blogged? Truthfully not a lot apart from work, work, work.
It's been a case of head down and get on with it, as we're galloping towards Christmas and our stockists have been clamouring for their seasonal orders.
I got a bit behind myself this year due to a busy summer - we didn't get much of a chance to forward plan so I've been doing a day shift and a night shift for the past few weeks.
However, we got our new Christmas card designs made up in time for last weekend's Trade Fair in Stirling, just. And came home yesterday with a healthy order book, all requests for delivery ASAP of course!
I'll post pictures of the new cards in the next blog but meantime to liven up this one, here are some amazing photos of the Andes in Peru, courtesy of daughter Laura and son in law Greg, who are currently trekking down from Quito in Ecuador to Santiago in (er ..somewhere).
This is our wee lassie.
And look at the colour here. It's true to life too - mineral rich water in the glaciers I believe.
One of the majestic peaks. Kinda dwarfs Ben Nevis.

Laura and Greg- the intrepid explorers.

And that peak again.
Just one or two of the thousands - no exaggeration - of photos on their flickr
page. They're only a month or so into their world tour, so God knows how many photos they'll finally have! Laura has been blogging a diary here
and it's very interesting. It makes you feel as if you're taking part too, without the aching muscles.
We've talked on Skype quite regularly and they are well and having a great time.
So it's back to work after another frustrating printer-less day. I won't bore you with the details - suffice to say I've had the opportunity to vent my anger in phone calls today - first of all to the company we bought it from and then to the carrier who was SUPPOSED to deliver it today. It's becoming a farce but not a funny one, as it seriously hinders our progress.
C'est la vie.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Late Show

It's late, very late. Third night in a row I've seen 1am come and go. Why? Good question.
I think the answer has to be peace. When everyone else is (sensibly) asleep, I know there won't be any interruptions and I can get through more work.
Today ( or rather yesterday) was a day of phone calls - I've just checked there were more than twenty between 10 and 4. Customers phoning with orders - always welcome - chat with a friend - also welcome - calls to and from a supplier about our printer - long, involved and ultimately satisfactory - calls from craft fair organisers offering stand space, a local print company about business cards, a call from my "cutting out" helper with a question, even a call from someone asking to speak to the new owner, and who promptly hung up when I said "new owner, what new owner?". Odd.
So you see, you add that to the customers in the shop, plus the other day to day things which clog up my peanut brain and the result - overload.
At one point this afternoon I swear my brain stopped working altogether just like the computer does sometimes, and I had to re-boot it.
Once the eveing meal is over it's a reassuring feeling that there are hours ahead in which to catch up with the work I should have got through during the day.
So tonight there was a pile of cards to have the finishing touches painted on and a sizeable list of one off orders to do for posting tomorrow.
I keep striving to reach the end of the list, the bottom of the pile, the top of the mountain, whatever. But it's never quite there.
My "To Do" list gets longer and longer. Well I don't actually have a to do list, because when I go to write one down my mind goes blank and I can't remember what I was going to add to the blessed thing.
So why am I sitting here at 1.28am writing this post when I could be getting some sleep? Another good question. Just winding down before going to bed.
I didn't get all the work done tonight, but I can't physically paint another card. No sir, saturation point.
I'll crawl upstairs and disturb the sleeping cat and husband and sink into oblivion for a few hours.
Don't feel sorry for me - I'm not looking for sympathy - I'm extremely glad to be in this situation actually, it means business is booming and that can't be bad.
It would just be nice to have time to be ORGANISED. That's my dream - unattainable - but nevertheless my dream.
Now, number 23 of today's to do list is - go to bed. I think I can manage that.
Goodnight and thanks for listening to the rant.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Births and Birthdays

Nought to sixty in two photos... Two of the orders I made up today - the first is a card for the birth of twin boys. The customer asked for a cream/beige colour scheme as a change from the obvious blue, so the teddies are appliqued on a soft cotton print in cream.

And next - a plaque for a 60th birthday. This is a slight variation on an existing garland design, freshened up with little pinky peach daisies cut out of cotton and appliqued with a large french knot in the centre. More french knots and single chain stitch leaves to finish off.
This sees me up to date with mail and website orders - well, until I checked my emails a few minutes ago - but I'm pleased that I've managed to get the latest list ticked off.
We had a bit of a hiccup on Saturday - Bob was away to the football in the afternoon and I was juggling a busy day in the shop with a pile of work to do, when everything came to a sudden halt. A power cut. So no iron, no glue gun ( both crucial implements) no work light, I couldn't even open the till.
The customers kept arriving though and we muddled through, but I was annoyed that I couldn't get any work done. The electricity was off for seven hours - that's a lot of wasted time.
Luckily we have a gas cooker, so tea was no problem.
Oh and before I go.... just to let you know that I've uploaded the Christmas cards to our website. It's that time of year again!
Better crack on.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Birthday picture

What do you give a euphonium playing, football loving Dad for his 90th birthday?
Answer: a euphonium/football/90 picture. The colours gold and black are for his favourite team, East Fife and of course there is a football.
Happy Birthday, Margaret's Dad!

And just for the sake of it, here are two shots of beautiful Scotland in the late summer sunshine. The first was taken looking back to Scotlandwell on our walk round Loch Leven on Monday. It was a lovely day, after the deluge a few days before and we watched gliders soaring over the loch before a late lunch at Loch Leven's Larder.

And this is a slightly more dramatic view from a hill walk Bob did last week up at Glen Doll - he was Munro bagging again.
Just thought a little bit of scenery would brighten up the blog. It's a lovely country, Scotland, when it isn't raining.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


I know it's only September but we have to be prepared. Our trade customers have already started ordering and we have our Christmas cards on display in the farm shop. One lady bought six yesterday!

These two are actually from last year's collection, but they were such winners they'll be staying for this year.

The new designs are still under wraps, meaning I've not got them finished yet!

I did design a New Year card yesterday which I think is going to do well, but it's still a prototype and could be subject to a tweak here and there, so I'll not reveal it yet.

I'm going to set a few hours aside over the next few days to update the website - very overdue I'm sorry to say, and I'll add the Christmas cards then.

I just wish there were 36 hours in a day - maybe I'd catch up with myself .

Right I'm off to make an applique picture for a 90 year old, euphonium playing, football supporter. I've just had a look at a euphonium on Google and I think the shape of it will lend itself to intertwining a large number 90, and I'll have to incorporate yellow and black somewhere ( the football team's colours).
If I'm successful, I'll post a photo tomorrow.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Dundee Flower Food and Mud Festival

This was our new bestseller at the Dundee Flower and Food Show - courtesy of our friends at Sprint Design. If you're a Dundonian you'll recognise the sayings - if you're from anywhere else it'll seem like gobbledy gook. But I grew up in Dundee so .... My favourite saying is "Eh e' i' a'" meaning "I ate it all"!
It was a welly weekend.

A month's rain fell in 24 hours over Eastern Scotland on Thursday and Friday causing floods and chaos and the cancellation of the first day of the Flower Show.

No wonder. We battled through floods and torrents to travel the 25 miles or so to Dundee only to be turned away again and told to come back on Saturday.

Thankfully it stopped raining and although the going underfoot was pretty bad, Dundee folk turned out in their droves to support the show on Saturday and Sunday.

Mind you it makes setting up the stand quite a challenge. There was just as much mud in the marquee as outside, so anything accidentally dropped was instantly mucky.

I haven't unpacked the van yet but I think there will be a lot of washing and cleaning needed. Lovely.

We've got a bit of a breather now before the next Craft Fair - it's the Autumn Trade Show next, 27/28 Sept in Stirling - not open to the public but where we showcase our Christmas range for our trade customers.

So Christmas will be in full swing from this coming week as we try to stock up on cards ahead of the Trade Fair.

Hoping to have a wee holiday somewhere amongst it all too.

Last year we had an Autumn break in New York, this year hopefully Venice. That's something to look forward to.


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