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, 23 February 2010

Mr Embroidered Originals

Time to sing the praises of my other half. You'll know that he is my business partner as well as husband, but what you won't know is his considerable ability with a pencil and talent as an illustrator.
Caught up in the demands of this business, he, like me has no time to indulge his original passion. But I've been scanning some drawings he made many years ago, for another project, and thought I'd share them here.
You will see that he also has an interest in the cinema.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

I've Been Away -

Well, as you may have read, Valentine's Day was the new Christmas for us this year. Two weeks of frenzied activity thanks to the Sunday Post and by Friday of last week we had dispatched hundreds if not thousands of cards to all parts of the UK.
On Thursday night we had one card left...so I sent it off to my Mum!
We were more than ready for a couple of days off and our own Valentine's treat was a long weekend in London.
I'm not going to be boring and recount it all here - but we got home yesterday, and were back in business today. After all, Mother's Day is only four weeks away!
We had a camera full of pics of the usual - London Eye, Big Ben etc etc - nothing worth posting here. But we also stumbled upon Chinatown one evening bedecked for the Chinese New Year
and it was magical. The colours were so vibrant and the lanterns were all swaying in the light breeze.
We also overloaded on culture at the Tate Modern and other galleries, but the main reason for our trip was to see Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck at the O2 on Sunday night.
Some people who read this, I know, are Clapton fans - you know who you are! - so look what I found on Youtube - someone has got concert clips up already. There was mixed opinion about who was the better performer, but in my mind you have to go a long way to beat Clapton, although Jeff was right up there. My only criticism about the concert was the audience. Maybe the O2 is such a big venue that the atmosphere gets dissipated, but I reckon those two old guys up on stage deserved a warmer reception than they got. I'm sure once they get to NY the crowd will be right behind them, but it was pretty staid in London.
One more photo before I sign off. I just found these on the camera - Bob took them a few weeks back when he was out trekking up our local hill, Largo Law. Snowscenes are always serene and beautiful.  
This was looking across a steel grey Forth from Largo Law.
And a crescent moon was just visible in the gloaming, over the old power station in Leven.
But there was also a bit of colour on the walk - this still life of fishing bits and pieces on a whitewashed cottage wall in Lower Largo
and this everlasting and ever changing flotsam sculpture on the beach beyond Largo.
That's all for tonight folks. I hope you like the Clapton clip..... Janet!!

Saturday, 6 February 2010


Just added a PS to the last post.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

And it continues...

Today it was the postman's turn. Lots of envelopes plopped through the letterbox, each containing a cheque and a  note requesting a valentine card, or two, or three. Some had little stories attached - who it was for, where it was to be sent to, why they wanted to buy it. Others had the bare minimum -  return address only.
And then the phone started ringing again. Normally I answer the phone when it rings ( Bob says that most people want to speak to me anyway. They don't believe a mere man is capable of taking an order!!) But Tuesday morning is my food shopping time time with my Mum, so Bob was "Mr Embroidered Originals" for an hour or two.
And the stories he had when I got home - an old man ordering a card for his 86 year old wife, a batch of calls from people who didn't really know what they wanted (Bob's answer to that is to send them a Mail Order Catalogue) and various other gems.
We had two trips to the Post Office and then ran out of board backed envelopes and stamps. Emergency online order for more supplies and the next lot of orders will have to wait till tomorrow when the envelopes arrive.
I've been wandering around in a daze the last two days, mainly due to lack of sleep and brain overload, trying to keep calm and carry on, basically - avoiding if possible my usual chaos.
There is one person I haven't heard from though, and it's troubling me. For a number of years now an old gentleman has been a regular mail order customer, ordering very special Valentine, birthday and Christmas cards for his wife. She was in a home, unable to recognise him or anyone else. He was the eternal romantic, a lovely man who visited her daily until one or two health problems meant he could only do the round bus trip twice a week. She is 92 and he's 91.
He would phone his order to me and we would have a good old chat. I last heard from him before Christmas when he was ordering his Christmas cards.
Since then, nothing.
He would normally have got his Valentine order in before now and I'm beginning to think the worst. Not because I might have lost a paying customer, but because if something has happened to him or his wife, I'll never know. It's sad.
You know, that's the thing about this business, it may just be greeting cards at the end of the day, but it means that people are coming to the shop or phoning because they want to buy for a special occasion - a new grandchild, a son's wedding, a friend's birthday....and whatever it is more often than not, they tell me all about it. So I get to hear their stories, usually happy but sometimes harrowing. It's not always conducive to work, standing blethering for half an hour or so, but ach well, so what.
( Confession - if Bob sees a car parked outside for more than 20 minutes or so, and he's usually working in the house rather than the workshop, he "phones" me on the intercom button on the phone. I pretend to the customer who's in full flow about something or other, that it's an important call that I must take and that gets rid of them!!) It's not that I don't like talking to them - I could stand blethering all day - but every half hour or hour when I have a chatty customer means I'm not working, so that time has to be added to the night shift at the other end or else the work would never get done. That's probably put a few noses out of joint! If you read this and think I'm meaning you - naw, I'm not, it's someone else!
Help ma boab - look at the time - 1.11am!!! There will be a little old lady in Glasgow or somewhere with her alarm clock set for 6am so she can be our first "old lady call" of the day, and I'll have hardly got to sleep.
I'm off to bed - I feel the old brain getting a bit scrambled - who am I kidding, I AM a little old lady!!
PS Saturday January 6th Just had to say that I got some good news about ten minutes ago - a happy ending to the story - my old gentleman has just phoned to order his Valentine card for his wife! All's well with the world.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Valentine's, the Sunday Post and Cullen Skink

I think I said here a couple of days ago that we were well stocked and feeling that there was nothing really pressing to do. A time for planning, designing, organising and other worthy things.
On Sunday there was a tiny feature about us in the Sunday Post - a Scottish Sunday paper with a worldwide distribution. They published a photo of one of our Valentine cards along with how to contact us  and the website address.
I forgot all about it until the phone rang at 8.15am and woke me from a deep sleep. A little old lady ( little old ladies always get up before the crack of dawn) wanting to order a Valentine card for her husband.
Oh yes, the Sunday Post feature, the penny dropped.
While Bob watched the tennis final ( poor Andy) I sat beside the phone and took call after call from people all over the country wanting this Valentine card. I heard from one man that he wanted to give it to his wife who left him six years ago, in the hope that she would come back to him. A lady who wanted a card for her husband who died two years ago, but she would put it by his grave. Another lady who wanted two to send to her grandchildren in Canada. And so it went on.
All day Sunday and into the evening. Then I checked the website - hoowee - 45 more orders - and not just for Valentine cards. People who had never seen the site before and were buying all sorts of things.
Today we had 40 more calls before we nipped out to do some business stuff - bank, post office etc - and home to a pile of phone messages.
Just crazy.
I checked the website a minute ago and the 52nd web order of the day arrived at 2 minutes to midnight.
The card in question was the I Love You Mair one. I think I put it on here a day or two ago.
Anyway, it seems to be a taste of home for ex-pats all over the place, and I'm pleased that people get enjoyment from it.
The message on the card might sound a bit like gobbledy gook to anyone who hasn't grown up in Scotland but the "translation" can be found here.
Sorry there are no photos tonight, but I haven't had the time.
What will tomorrow bring?


Related Posts with Thumbnails