Thursday, 30 September 2010

A little design time!

Yesterday I managed to sneak in a little design time - a real luxury at the moment and thoroughly enjoyable. I am at the moment having to design to order, which isn't ideal - a print run deadline looms and the next new thing gets designed. This isn't ideal but I have had so many ideas in my head, for so long, that at least the design ideas are flowing!
I hope to put a day aside very soon to design a new product ready to be launched at Top Drawer in January 2011 - very exciting for me as I've been wanting to put this product into production for ages but finding an affordable route to market has been tricky! Let's put it this way to make it affordable, I will have to order in the 10,000's! Will no doubt keep you posted of my progress in the very near future!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Christmas is coming!

I now have help! on a Tuesday morning and look what we have been doing....

... getting ourselves ready for Christmas!

I still feel under prepared for the Christmas rush but am beginning to see a little light at the end of the tunnel!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A date with Ikea!

I know , Ikea again - and on a Sunday. However, because I have been so often I know it is best to go early, so I arrived as the doors opened and left as the chaotic parking began!
I was going to get a table for my son's bedroom - remember last weekend I took a photo of his messy room. I spent the most part of yesterday tidying and sorting it and made space for a table specifically for Lego building.

I managed to purchase the said table and of course a few other bits and pieces along the way - that is what you do when you go to Ikea!!

So here is the table - a nice clean surface ready for Lego building....

And here it is 20 minutes later - already filling up with models made earlier and work in progress!

By moving his bed and desk around - he still manages to have some floor space, which no doubt will soon be covered in little projects too but we have agreed NO Lego on the floor now, for me to step on in the middle of the night!

And the verdict from Sam - thumbs up!

Friday, 24 September 2010

All the fun of the fair!

So the fun fair is in town again. It comes twice a year and for us it's a noisy arrival as we live directly opposite the field where it sets up home!

It also means that the children beg us continually, until we cave in, to go every year - which starts to become a costly affair!

So this year was no different - the minute I stepped through the front door, home from a busy day at work, I received the begging pleas to go to the fair!

It's quite traditional, the usual side shows offering a vast display of colourful stuff we don't need!

And of course plenty of rides which we bargained the children down to 3 each! The dodgems being a firm favourite for the 'whole' family - boys against girls!

And the inevitable food stands full of burgers, chips and candy floss!

So an hour at the fair, £15.00+ worse off and that's it for another year! Except the noise, flashing lights, car parking chaos and diesel fumes for the next few days!


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Christmas - all year round!

I know it's only September and although I LOVE Christmas, I personally don't like to think about it until October half term. BUT now doing dots and spots, I've come to the realisation that Christmas is here all year round!
This year's designs, produced in February, have been available to trade since April and have pretty much SOLD OUT! I have just a few orders worth left in stock, so will be doing a print run in the next couple of days before my website, retail sales start and re-orders from trade customers begin.

So not to waste the print run, I have been busy designing my Christmas card designs for 2011!

Yes! you read that correctly - 2011!

Here's a little sneak preview - just to wet your appetite for next year!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Doing my Mummy job!

Today I intended on working on my personalised orders followed by an afternoon at dots and spots HQ packing orders. Well I haven't managed to do any of that, instead as my daughter put it 'I have been doing my Mummy job!' She has invited a new friend to 'come over' (not play!) next weekend and I'd promised to help make her bedroom more grown up, now she is a Year 6 and very nearly will turn 11. On the one hand she is enjoying her music, clothes, fashion etc but on the other hand she wants to freeze time and not grow up! ''I like the age I am'' So with a few tears and shared memories along the way, we have spent the most part of the day making her space more 'grown up!'
We have shuffled furniture around and filled at least 6 bin bags!

We have made her dressing table more prominent and have cleared her cube unit of baskets of dressing up clothes - which have been too small for a year or two now, but she couldn't bear to part with!

We have swapped pictures around - new ones to be added to the birthday list and have adorned her wardrobe with posters. The Saturdays seem to be the favourite!

Of course we have chosen the favourite cuddlies to keep.

But also made way for the ever increasing jars of nail varnish and lip balm, that are bought with the weekly pocket money.

Of course she has a number of spotty bits and pieces and is often raiding my studio for stuff - recognise the tape!

Spotty notebooks are plentiful and of course plenty of pink!
(must change the date on her calendar!)

The Sylvannian's have been hidden in a cupboard until we can decide what to do with them.

And the rest of the stuff... well it's gone into the space at the bottom of our bed! Having just cleared the space of dots and spots boxes, it is now filled with stuff in piles for school, charity shop and our 2 year old niece. Everything is so well looked after, that things both children have played with for the past 8-10 years will be on their way to a new home.
So one child sorted now child number 2!

I couldn't face tackling this mess today - that job has been booked in for next week.

Every surface is covered with stuff! and lots of it.

especially lego!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Never a dull moment!!

I have now been at the all new dots and spots HQ for a couple of weeks and despite no time to add my mark yet with pictures, bunting etc it is beginning to feel like mine and lived in!
Card boxes are beginning to empty and are left in a used state!

Little collections of bits and pieces adorn corners of tables - all being used of course!

Half finished projects sit waiting for a quiet moment to get finished. I'm afraid they are in for a long wait as my days are taken over by packing orders rather than making up and organising stock.

My once beautifully stacked tape shelves which were just waiting for my tape delivery to arrive.....

...are now looking depleted and very sad and empty. The delivery did arrive but hasn't made it as far as the lovely white shelves.

Instead all the tape is still in it's boxes waiting to be checked, tidied and info strip added. I am hoping this might happen next week when my friend comes over to give me a hand. I really thought that I would have had the time but sadly it's not happened because....

..... I've been packing up all these orders!

Today however I was interrupted by the fire alarm. When I looked around originally the owner told me that the fire alarms often went off but was nothing to worry about as they were either checks or a false alarm but always leave the building as a precaution.
So imagine my horror when I left my room because of the alarm, to enter a corridor of thick, black, fume filled smoke. I ran down the corridor to my nearest exit thinking 'Oh my God - what if everything goes up in smoke'. It wasn't until I got outside that I saw what had happened.
The guy opposite me had lit some wax to warm it up but in the process had caught the whole tin alight. Instead of putting a fire blanket over it or using a fire extinguisher, he had decided to run the length of the corridor with the burning tin, slopping hot wax along the floors as he went and filling the building with heavy black, smelly fume laden smoke.

It was soon put out and all the relevant people called - very good of them to check I was okay but on entering my room it was evident that black soot was beginning to lie on my clean, white surfaces nearest to the door. It could have been a whole lot worse and I'm so glad the building is so well prepared for such eventualities. I got to meet some of the other unit holders and now know my neighbour very well!!!!
Looks like he's got a long night ahead of him - trying to clean all the wax off the floors!

Monday, 13 September 2010

A sneaky bit of design time!

I managed to sneak in a little design time, out of necessity I might add!!

With all my orders, I send out a thank you for shopping postcard - I like to keep a selection and theme them according to the time of year or festivities that are due. Well in the flurry of orders during the past couple of months, my drawer is empty so I had to put an hour aside to get these done and off to the printers.

I love doing them as there are no huge print runs being committed to and if I'm honest I just get to play - which is the best bit!

Autumn, Halloween, Christmas and dare I say - Valentine's were the amongst the themes and a cupcake thrown in for good measure, well it is National Cupcake Week this week!!

So if you place an order over the next few months via our website or Trade Shop or from a variety of websites we are featured on, enjoy your Thank You for Shopping postcard.

Have to say the lovebird is my favourite!