Sunday, 30 January 2011

Today's heart tour - studio!

So now it's back to the hearts and tonight it is the turn of my studio .

Hanging hearts

Flowery hearts

Wooden hearts

Spotty hearts

Paper hearts

Lovebird hearts

Glass hearts

Metal hearts

There are quite a few more hidden around my studio but thought this was probably enough!!

So 2 rooms down - just another 5 more rooms to go!

I said there were a lot!

And the Winner is....

The winner of the 12 new card designs, picked at random is.......


Thank you to all of you who are old and new to the blog.

I will try to keep it interesting with a mix of business and home!

More of those hearts on the way - you'll be fed up of them - maybe I'll have to be a bit more selective!

Have a lovely, relaxing Sunday evening.

In less than 24 hours you have got me well over the 400 followers - thank you very much. So instead of choosing the random winner on the 12th of February, I will announce the winner later today - 6pm deadline - so you still have a chance to join in! That makes it fair.
Welcome to all my new followers and hello to all those who have been following me for a while!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Time for a Giveaway!

It's been a while - so it's time for a giveaway!

1 each, of all my 12 new card designs.

The response I got from Top Drawer was excellent, so I thought it was time to share.

I am so close to 400 followers, so will choose a random winner when we get to 400 followers or on Saturday the 12th of February - whichever we get to first!

All you have to do is be a follower!

Hearts a plenty!

Valentine's is fast approaching and I was thinking about doing a blog post about the hearts around my home - 100's of photograph's later, I decided to do a few blog posts about the hearts around my home!

I have 100's of them so over the next 2 weeks, I will randomly do posts from different rooms in my home, as there are so many!

So today it's the turn of the hallway!

My hallway is incredibly small so it's a lot of hearts in a very small space - but I do like them all!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Measuring up!

As if I haven't got enough on my plate at the moment, I have decided to bring forward my move to my new premises by a good 2 months and set a date for the end of February.

Armed with a piece of chalk, tape measure and a copy of the Ikea catalogue, I took an hour out of my day to measure up and consider where everything should go.

I now have 5 months experience of the way I seem to work - what I need better access to - what needs more/different space. Thankfully the Ikea units my husband built for me in late August, are all easy enough to use in various ways and arrangements. Of course, I will be needing more!!

More table space is an absolute must and I am on the look out for some metal, industrial style shelving in preparation for the arrival of my gift wrap which will be very heavy - I'll also position it by the door so there isn't as far to move it.

I'd love to find an old sofa and bits of old furniture to mix things up a bit but know I wouldn't get the chance to sit on it given how busy my days are. It would look nice though!

Off to the carpet fitters tomorrow to get some quotes - dread to think how much that will cost!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Post show reality!!

So the hard work is just starting - poor Jeff spent all weekend typing invoices from the show (that's his bit of the business!) and now the reality of putting together all these orders is beginning to hit home! Not really sure where to start - most of them are pro-forma - they need to be paid for first, so there is an element of waiting until the money comes in.

Then get busy packing - I have been busy getting bits of the orders ready, so am feeling a little better prepared than I when I returned from Harrogate.
I have taken delivery of 16,000 postcards and am awaiting 2000 magnets and 24 boxes of tape later this week.

I have also been working on some commission work - this tulip print is for a website customer.

It's for her new home - a very good choice - very 'Spring'

But I have really enjoyed the last couple of days working on a commission for a new product. I met the customer at Top Drawer - he had his own stand and wanted me to come up with some new designs for his product. Ideally he wanted all the design work ASAP so that he could get it ready to exhibit at Spring Fair - the next BIG event on the Trade Show Calendar, in early February.

I did at the time think to myself, he hasn't a chance - I'll be way too busy to do that! BUT... my daughter has been poorly since Thursday and I have been forced to stay at home rather than work away over at the premises.

Home is where I design - so with time enforced here at home, I have sneaked off to my studio and got busy - loving every minute.

Designing is sooooo the best bit!

I can't reveal any more just yet, but if he likes them and they work how he thinks they will, they will be a fabulous new edition to the dots and spots range of goodies!

In the hall is a pile of orders ready to be weighed and dispatched in the morning. Tomorrow morning is back over to the premises, with daughter in tow to get cracking!

Might even get her to hold the end of a tape measure if she's up to it and measure out the new premises!!

Friday, 21 January 2011

A move on the cards!

Recent Top Drawer preparations, orders and stock production have made me realise that our current premises, which we only moved into at the beginning of September, are feeling on the small side.

Our move into premises has been a very positive one. We reclaimed our house and the business is a lot more productive and organised. We had such a successful show and the possibilities that could come from it and future product development, means we will soon be requiring additional space!

Look what has become available literally next door.

I currently have an L shaped space and next door has the missing chunk of space which would allow dots and spots to grow.

Of course it will take a little time, a little more Ikea furniture building (I can already hear my husband groaning at the thought!) but it would mean we could add 2 more tables for product packaging and I can plan in a designated space for the new gift wrap and tags that are in production at the moment!

So exciting times on the horizon - I just need to get the next month over with before I can move onto this new project - although I'm so impatient, a move might be sooner .

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Home Sweet Home

Top Drawer at Earl's Court - London, has been a fabulous show for us.

It has taken days of planning, a set up day and 3 days for the actual show but it's been great.

It's been a wonderful experience to share a platform with so many talented people and designers. I was lucky to have such wonderful neighbours - makes all the difference when you are with them for 8 and a half hours every day!

The standard of display and exhibits were truly inspiring.

Someone even brought in their own Double Decker Bus!

But I was really pleased with what dots and spots had to offer.

One lady said - ''You are so Top Drawer!'' as it's a design led show I felt a huge amount of pride.
We had a fabulous show - lots of orders, I'm certainly going to be kept very busy! Lots of catalogues were given out to genuinely interested people. Lots of business cards to follow up and potentially a couple of very exciting projects and product designs ahead.

I've been on the phone to see if my 'help' is available all next week as there is a huge amount to get prepped and sent out. So it's good bye London until this time next year (Yes! We have already booked our stand!) and hello Harrogate in 6 months time.
I have loved my time at the show but it is soooooo nice to be home!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Great First day!

I woke to a beautiful start to the day in London - this is my view from my tiny hotel room and that big white roof is Earl's Court, my home for the next couple of days.

Day one of Top Drawer.

What a fantastic display to welcome you!

It's extremely hard to put across just how vast the show is.

But here we are Stand F31

Everything was as I had left it - phew! Nothing had fallen down.

We had a fabulous day - lots of genuine interest, orders and some very interesting conversations. Wonderful developments for dots and spots if it all comes to fruition.

I'm going to be kept extremely busy in the coming weeks - a very productive day but equally very tired and weary feet after being on them for 8 and a half hours!