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

Monday, 26 July 2010

Hello Again

It's been a wee while since I sat down and wrote something on this blog.
I think  a lot of bloggers take a break during the summer, usually because they are off on holiday, but we are in the throes of our silly season now, and time is a joke.
What have I been doing lately?
Well, a massive clearout for one. Three van loads of "stuff" have been taken to the recycling centre and charity shop and the house seems so much lighter and airier. So is my head, but then that's probably because my brain went in the van too.
Old suitcases, mattresses, videos, computer from a different age, broken furniture, old clothes... you know the kind of thing. Upstairs is now tidy, fresh and clean. Love it.
This is all because daughter is coming home for a few days soon and she is quite badly allergic to dust, as well as cats and pollen.
This is our business van loaded for a craft fair but I borrowed the photo to show just how much stuff can be accommodated in it. And it was three loads this size we got rid of.
Now I've just got to remove the dust of months from the downstairs and we're all ready.
Actually that pic of the van was pinched from last year's blog about the West End Craft Fair.
I can't believe that it's nearly upon us once more. By that I mean the Craft and Design Fair which is held in Edinburgh during the Festival and which is open seven days a week for three weeks.
This was our stand last year just as we were about to start setting it up.

It doesn't look much at this stage - just a shabby little wooden chalet. But after a few hours of hard labour it turns into this.

Then Bob climbs into the cockpit and away we go for three weeks. What I mean is he makes the round trip to Edinburgh each day, rain or shine, and spends the day sitting behind the stand and selling (hopefully). While I am at home making stock for the next day. Team work, and after ten years at least of this routine, we've got it all sussed out.
Yes but I'm not only making stock for the next day, I'm making up orders for our trade customers and keeping our own shop open. Not to mention the website and mail orders.
And Bob isn't just sitting behind the stand either, oh no, he takes piles of cards with him to paint and finish off.
So it's all go.
Despite the panic we're intending taking a couple of days off when Laura is here and having a bit of a life. I hope the weather is decent and we can get away into the hills or coast or somewhere. I think Laura would appreciate that as she misses the scottish hills in Hertfordshire.
Oh and the website....
Mmmm, it's taking longer than I would have liked but already there is a whole host of new designs added. And I've been moving things around a bit to make navigating simpler. Well it will be simpler when it's finished and much needed, as there are now more than three hundred products listed with almost as many again still to be added!
I've had some lovely comments and feedback from some of our regular customers, and they seem to think it's working well. I've added a Craft Market area to the site, where there will be a selection of products not made by ourselves, but chosen to have on display in our own shop.
At the moment we've got -

Fairtrade embroidered bags from India.

Fish Strings from India as well.

And patchwork cushion covers from much closer to home, to mention just a few.
Never a dull moment then.
We were sitting watching a film tonight at 10pm, just winding down for the day, when an email pinged in with a large shop order. 10'clock on a Sunday night!!
Anyway, that's for tomorrow - after we've been to the cinema to see "Inception"! Got to get the priorities right, after all!
Once this crazy month or two is past, we'll have time for our own holiday, and it's going to be a biggie this year, for a certain person's big birthday. That's something to look forward to while burning the midnight oil.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Have I Deserted You?

No, no not at all. But that old complaint of no time left to do stuff like blogging is back.
Since I was last here for a chat, we have been at the Royal Highland Show, which was four days of glorious weather, record attendances and sell outs of our cards.Which is of course what we want, isn't it!
It's great to be selling the cards so well, so easily, and in fistfuls to many customers, but then you get home and look at empty stock drawers and take a deep breath.
It is only a few weeks to the Edinburgh Festival Craft Fair - three and a half weeks long, seven days a week....
Well we do it every year and survive, so what's new!
Another reason I haven't been here for a while is that I'm trying to rejig our web shop and add loads of new cards and other goodies. So online time has been devoted to that, but oh dear it takes FOREVER to upload photos, add text etc.
It's a bit of a jumble at the moment, so please bear with me. I'm not a techie and things are a little confusing until I get the whole lot sorted out.
I'm trying to simplify the website for customers, so that if you're looking for say, a wedding card or keepsake, you just have to click on the "Wedding" button at the side. Simple, a no brainer you say. Yes but it's such a slog copying every single product from one section to another.
Anyway, that's it for tonight.
Holland have just won the semi final of the World Cup, and if they go the whole way I stand to win one hundred pounds, thanks to Bob, who had a little flutter on them on my behalf. His team (Italy) were out ages ago, so I suppose I should share my winnings with him - that's IF the Dutch do the job.
He says if they win I should spend the hundred pounds on something from Holland - that's a lot of Edam for instance. Then again there's beer, tulips, clogs...what else?


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