Monday, 30 January 2012

Another week...another worry.

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Monday morning, another start to another week. A friend called in this morning and she had a magazine with her. She read my horoscope out, I'm a Pisces, it mentioned getting creative and going online. My facebook craft page was obviously always going to happen regardless as it was in the stars ;-) 

It did not however let me know that my dentist appointment today was actually at 10.00, not as I arrived just in time for my 10.30 appointment, that didn't actually exist. My boys both have an appointment there tomorrow after school though, so I'm going to hopefully been seen then too. I did triple check with the receptionist that I had the right day and time for that one! My youngest is at the orthadontist on Friday to have a mould taken for a brace, so he will be checked over again then.

I laid awake worrying about an order I've taken last night. I'm trying to source somewhere that sells fabric at a decent price. I've found bundles of fat quarters with the perfect designs, but at astronomical prices, if anyone has any ideas I'd be very grateful.

I'm supposed to be keeping a food diary at the moment to curb my tendency to eat lots of high fat/sugar goodies. It's quite frankly driving me a little insane. All I can think about is food and as I'm looking round the kitchen at the empty packets of treat sized chocolate buttons, I'm not sure it's helping either :-/ I have the willpower of a squashed slug. Overall it just seems to be making me hungry and cranky, not a good mix.

Today I'm torn between getting on with some crafting that is here ready to be done, or going into town to try and find some decent priced fabric. I know doing the latter will ease my worry if I find it, if I don't however, it will only feed the worry. Being the ultimate queen of procrastination, of course I am sat here blogging instead to avoid having to choose between either.

I will be posting out my new Button Heart today that was a custom order. My friend ordered a green heart so i let her choose the name. So far we have the pink one being 'candyfloss' mix, the purple/pink one being 'Berry' Mix and this one is now called 'Mushy Peace' :) 

I should probably head into town as I have an extra hour before picking Alfie up today, as he is going to a  Martial Arts club at school till 4.15. I'm sure he will come home thinking he is Kung Foo Panda. I'd better tie some cushions round me so I'm ready for any attacks! The sun is shining but it's freeeezing out there -blah, roll on summer!

Hugs xx

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Juggling motherhood with crafting

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I've been spending so much on craft stock this month, it's quite scary. I need to get making and selling ASAP! Orders have slowed a little at the moment, they seem to come in waves, I'm super busy one week and quieter the next. I'm hoping to use this quieter time to build up some stock as I want to try some craft fairs at some point.

Motherhood has been tough this week so far - and it's only Tuesday! My eldest son is away on an adventure course all week, I know he's having fun he called tonight and he's been abseiling off a 50ft bridge, I can't believe he managed it, what a superstar :) Alfie, my youngest is really feeling it with Jack not being here and he had a few tears last night because he misses him. Then to top it off I discovered this evening he has headlice, or the joys of motherhood :-/ He's not had them before and he's none to impressed, particularly after me combing through his hair caked in conditioner to try and get rid of any little hitchhiker who thought it could hide from me and my nitcomb, grrrr, don't infest my children little horrid bugs, prepare to face the Mummynator!

I feel like I've pulled a muscle in my stomach this evening, I know this can't be the case as I'm quite sure I don't even have stomach muscles, I am just held up by the wobble :) I'm not sure what I've done, but it's sore and annoying. It's definately going to be one of those weeks.

On the upside, I've had a trip to the neurologist today, just a check up as I have epilepsy, but I was in on time which is a miracle! All I could think whilst sat in the waiting room was I could be crafting! I'm getting obsessed!

Another fabulous thing to happen this week was having an article put on the fabulous More Than Mummies website. I enjoyed writing it, as you can tell from my blogs, I can waffle on for hours if given the chance. But I didn't think I would have all the wonderful feedback that I've had from it. It's been such a wonderful thing to get messages from people saying what a help it's been to read it and so many people appear to have been in the same situation as me either in the past or still now. I think it's always good to know you're not alone when you're not feeling at your most positive and If me waffling on has done that, then I'm over the moon.  If you want a read of the article it can be found here.

I'm finding more and more that, as I originally hoped, the crafting community overall seems really supportive and I've made some really good friends along the way so far.

I've got lots of crafting to do next week, this week seems to be filled up with hospital appointments and relief work at school (though the money will come in handy for sure!). I hope I can get back into the swing of it, I don't like having to take a break as it's all too easy to fall out of sync and start slacking.

I will be finishing some hearts tomorrow that I started today, and hoping to get a few more bags started at least. One thing I definately won't be doing is spending more money, late night eBaying is lethal I've decided! I'm looking forward to getting all the parcels though, I'm so impatient, I want them all yesterday :)

I think I'm going to treat my sleepy head to an early night. I'm so tired and that will surely only mean wonky stitches and I get a bit fraught with wonky stitches and sit and unpick hours worth of work if I'm not happy with it!

Hope you are all having a good week :)
Hugs xx

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Organised Chaos...

Apologies for lack of blogging of late, I've been busy with...well, errm, I'm not even sure what I've been busy with, but I've been very busy.

Of course I've been crafting, finishing orders, starting new ones and trying to build a little stock inbetween (of which I'm failing miserably). I've also had several hospital appointments, which for me means hours sat on a bus. I wish I could sew whilst sat on a bus, but alas I fear my stitching would be all over the place!

I really need to get some organisation in my life. It's not a natural thing for me and whilst I prefer to know what lies ahead in my day, or open a box to find exactly which craft items I'm looking for, even knowing what I went into a room for would be a start, but no, none of those are really me. I get out of bed with some vague intention of things that need to be done, but tend to start them all and finish not many of them. Everytime I tackle my ever growing craft boxes I get a sense of wellbeing when they are all tidy, then I gain more stuff and it turns into a big ugly pile which is spreading further and further around my consveratory. As for the time spent re tracing my steps to see if I can fathom why I've walked into a room, I give up! My eldest son (12) goes away for a week with school tomorrow, I wonder if he'd mind if on his return his room has been transformed into a craft workshop ;-)

I feel I'm begining to find where I want to go with the crafts, I wasn't really sure to start with as it was all a bit of an accident it happening in the first place, typically me, no plan, it just happened. But I've gone from using alot of felt to other fabrics and also some polymer clay (fimo) items. I do have quite a low boredom threshold, so I know to keep my interest in the venture I have to have a variety of things to do.

I'm quite liking the fact that the whole process is changing in quite an organic fashion, for instance, the heart garlands which I sell so many of, were originally single hearts with a snowflake stitched on them for Christmas trees, a customer asked for one but with an intial on, these then sold like hotcakes and one person asked for a whole group of names, so I suggested they were done in a garland rather than seperate hearts. I like that, I like the way things just change in a natural flow, rather than a hard set rule. I guess thats the unorganised side of me (who am I kidding, I don't think I even have an orgainsed side!)

I'm finding out what I like, I just hope it's what other people like too. I have discovered a ridiculous love of buttons - I'm begining to wonder if I was a pearly queen in a former life!- Fabrics that I'm drawn too all seem to have a slightly quirky quality to them, I'm enjoying sourcing out vintage items and upcycling them to be loved once more and have re-discovered my love for playing, oops, I mean working, with fimo. Something I did alot of when I was back in college a few decades ago!

I'm getting more and more people talking the business side of things with me, money, accounts, stock taking etc. Whilst I know all of this is important, I still feel like I'm almost 'playing shop' and not really doing this as trying to earn some money. My husband has always been known for using spreadsheets for the most mundane of tasks, it's become a bit of an ongoing joke, but now they are being suggested for keeping tabs on everything for the crafts. I currently own two books, one for orders, one for keeping track of what Ive bought and when. To me this is fine, I understand it, I can't delete it and I can also doodle on the back pages of ideas that pop up, which they often do!

I've been decorating some bags recently, I'm struggling to want to sell them, I love canvas bags and have several already and desperately want one of mine, plus hey, it's free advertising! :-D At the moment as soon as they are made, people buy them, which is great, but I have promised myself that I will have one of my own sometime soon.

I've another busy week ahead of me, sadly not much crafting time though, but I shall squeeze some in somewhere....talking of which, I should probably be sewing right now. (what that actually means, is I really need to tidy up, but sewing seems a much nicer idea).


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Stabbed in the back...with a needle??

Stabbed in the back...with a needle??

Well, this week is proving to be an eye opener. I always thought, naively perhaps, that the craft world would have a good community spirit. Seems like there's both good and errrm, not so good in all industries though. 

We all get inspirations from everything we see, its human nature to take in and absorb the things around us, but when inspiration takes a leap into blatant copying, it's a bit heart wrenching. I know I'm not alone in this dilema. But never mind, its a dog eat dog world I guess. I just wish people could be a bit less obvious when they are chewing on someone elses bone. Hmm now that sounds incredibly dodgy, so I'll leave that one there!! 

On a lighter note, I've also 'met' via cyberspace some really lovely crafters and hope through my fb page and here too that I'll meet plenty more :) I'm especially thankful to have 'met' a fellow crafter who we both share our ups and downs, worries and ideas, she's been a life saver...*you know who you are, besides you're probably the only one who is ever going to read the blog* lol

It's a bit of a worry starting a blog, I am in essence just rambling to myself as I'm not sure anyone is reading it. Does this make me insane? Probably, but that's not going to stop me, I can talk/type for England :)

I dusted off the craft box today, it had its first opening since Christmas and me feeling under the weather. I even brought Ethel along to the party. Ethel by the way, is my sewing machine. 'She' is a 1963 singer, great big beast of a machine. I was given it by a nice lady who said it had been sat gathering dust for years and would be pleased for it to go to someone who could put it to use. So far I've not done a fabulous job of granting her wish. I was so eager to try it when i first got it and was so dissapointed with how little I can actually achieve on it. Its not Ethel's fault, its mine. I don't know the first thing about sewing machines, but I managed to thread it, do the bobbin and make a few straight lines, so it was a start! But today I have managed to make up the start of a bag, a small childs bag, but its still a bag and Ethel and her previous owner will be proud of me I'm sure! I've signed up to do a sewing machine day course in March, so in April I can bribe the children into doing chores around the house with the ever looming threat of 'please tidy your room or I'll make you an outift on the sewing machine', I'm sure the room would be cleaner than it ever has been before!

I'm going into town to get my eyes tested tomorrow, I know I definately need new reading glasses, I've a horrible feeling I probably need glasses all the time now too :( I'm not one of the lucky people who actually look fab in glasses...but alas, I need my eyes to sew. I just hope when I see my stitches with better lenses I don't start unpicking them because I decide they aren't neat enough.

If anyone is out there *listens out for echo*, please drop by and say hello, I'd love to hear from some crafters/bloggers on how you've got where you are now, or how you want to get to where you want to be. 

I wish all sewing machines came with free courses and little vans that came out and untangled messed up bobbins! Love this advert :) -ignore the stupid comments under it.


Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year.

So, here it Januray the 1st, this means  2012 is upon us. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all.

I'm Claire, mother of two fab boys whos at a bit of a cross roads in life. I've been married for 17 years, my boys are now 12 and nearly 9 (in a matter of days). I qualified as a nursery nurse when I was 18 which is sadly nearly 21 years ago now *gulp*! In September 2011 I left work and am at this crossroad point!

In November I started to make some felt Christmas Decorations, just for myself, got a bit carried away and made several too many and thought I would try and sell a few on eBay. They sat on eBay not doing alot and I didn't get a sale. A friend suggested I made a facebook page to sell them. It's something I had thought about, but self belief isn't my strong point and I wasn't sure anyone would want to even buy them. I decided to set up a page and see what happened. I only had some felt Christmas trees, Robins and Gingerbread men to sell, but made the page, added photos and left the rest to fate.

I soon had lots of interest and this spurred me on to make some more items. I made some scandanavian style hearts and I wasn't prepared for what happened next! I was inundated with sales for these hearts and people also wanted them personalised. I went from making single initial hearts to full name garlands. Whereas my plan was to try and sell a few pieces whilst working on some new ideas, I didnt get the chance as I was spending everyday busy sewing just to keep ontop of the orders, it was the boost I needed to make me want to carry on in the hope that it was something I could possibly sustain.

The lead up to Christmas was manic and eventually I had to close order books to get everything finished and posted out in time. The  plan of action was to take a break from orders over the holidays, but also work on some new items for the page. But due to being away from home with family over Christmas and also Santa bringing me an awful headcold (grrr santa) I've not had a chance to get anything done...apart from ideas!

I'm hoping by keeping this blog, not only will it allow me to look back and 'hopefully' see where things are going right....or possibly wrong and also to make some crafter friends along the way who are maybe starting out on the same journey.

Any advice, critisism, magic wands or small elves who make items during the night are all gratefully recieved :)

I have lots of 'plans' for the upcoming year, but plans and making them happen don't come naturally to me, something i really need to work on!!

I would love to hear from anyone either via the blog or my facebook craft page -link is at top of page.