Sunday 31 July 2011

Sweet peas

Back in May I planted some sweet peas - I don't have a very good success rate...

but this year they actually grew!

Not that you'd know, as they have been hidden by the Mallow and the Buddleja.

I tend to pick them as I just love the scent - gorgeous!

This is the garden in May

and now in July - everything has grown mad due to all the rain and warm weather.

I love our little garden - been working too much in recent weeks to sit out and enjoy it this year but hopefully once the 'big' order goes out beginning of next week and we start to build up some much needed stock, then I can take a few days off.

We have decided to take a 'proper' holiday next year - the children are growing up so fast and we have never been abroad as a family so the diet starts today LOL and I better remember to get a new passport.

Saturday 30 July 2011

I know it's the end of July but....

....I've been thinking Christmas for a while now! Well if I'm honest since January!

Whilst at Top Drawer I managed to find someone who could turn my dream of creating an Advent Calendar into a reality. It stems from my love of an old fashioned calendar - not a chocolate one, we all have one every year so once home, I got busy.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do - link it with my popular owl posters.

I love having a new project and working on a larger scale. But there is always the fear that you will make a mistake when nearing the end of the design.

The small reveals were really tricky as I did these to scale - tiny - on a template grid. As you can see they are no bigger than the tip of my finger and were still collaged, in exactly the same way.

As with any design time - I create a lovely mess but it was worth it - so with great excitement my printers did all the technical bits and whizzed the images over ready for production.

But then the day came and it was so disappointing - the colour was really faded and washed and....

... the doors didn't open correctly - instead of hinging on the perforated line they hinged on the gap between the windows. So after lots of umming and ahhhing, I stuck to my guns, explained I wasn't happy and wanted them done again. They thankfully agreed, a little tweaking was necessary and then wait, fingers crossed, they they would arrive in time for the show.

Well a few samples were sent to our hotel for the show but yesterday I finally took delivery of my calendars. I didn't realise that there would be so many boxes!

To say I'm pleased would be an understatement - they are super and if the show is anything to go by, they will be a best seller. You can purchase them from our website or there may well be a shop local to you which will be stocking them nearer to the festive season.

Friday 29 July 2011

Thank you

I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you to Tracy from Eve's Daughter. A few months ago, I received an email from Tracy asking me for a little help and advice about how to set up her stand for her first trade show. I was very happy to help where I could and thought no more of it. Well she popped by to say a brief hello at the show but whenever I passed her stand she was always very busy - a good sign.

But look what I received in the post - a beautiful hand blown glass heart pendant from her current collection. She really shouldn't of sent me anything - but I must say I love it. We are all starting out at some point and all it takes is a little time to help, I was more than happy to do so - thank you very much.

Thursday 28 July 2011

Today is the day .......

..... we finish working our way through the 'tape mountain'.

My friend Rachel, her daughter Francesca and my printers daughter Ashley have all been helping me and deserve a medal.

Each roll has to be checked to make sure the inner core is clean and not ripped. If they are marked some can be rubbed out, then the ends have to be made neat and tidy (finding the end in some cases is a challenge in it's self!)

They then get a bar coded strip stapled on, get piled back into the box waiting for next week when we put all the orders together.

So we have just 2 types of tape to do and 1 set of Christmas cards left to pack and then hopefully by Monday we will be able to pack all the individual orders for the 30 stores in total and get them dispatched and out of the way!! I can't wait to de-clutter my space!

Wednesday 27 July 2011

I forgot.....

to show you how my retro 1950's kitchen cabinet turned out.

It was back in may that I found this fabulous cupboard at the Giant Flea Market in Shepton Mallet. The man very kindly dropped it off at the house on his way home.

And there it sat for a good few weeks waiting for a little TLC. It was once I received an email about the photo shoot that I paid it a little attention. Not huge changes as I like the old, knocked about, lived with feel but the interior needed a freshen up!

I striped off the old sticky liner and gave it all a good wash down and a lick of paint

before lining it with some spotty oilcloth and painting the door interiors red to match.

I had to replace a couple of the handles as one was broken when I got it and another broke when the door fell open onto my head - ouch!

So now it sits in the corner of the dining room in a made to measure spot and I wouldn't be without it.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Seconds tape

We are currently working our way through a mountain of tape to go out with our 'big' order and along the way we are coming across quite a few rolls of tape that aren't meeting our standards.

The tape is perfectly good but the inner core is scuffed or marked or the tape is a little messy when it has been wound.

We hate to see it go to waste and I can only use so much, so we are offering it at a lower price on our website in the 'sales and seconds section'.


This morning I think back to my teaching days and the holidays!!!! Now I am working for myself I no longer have the holidays in the same way. Yes over the course of the year the pro's and con's for each work themselves out but this morning I could quite happily do nothing but I must go and pack orders. This little lot is waiting for the courier to come and collect - the big box on the bottom is a fabulous order and took over 2 hours to make up! But I have another folder full of orders to put together today. Not complaining just remembering the good old days and dreaming of spending a fortnight on a Greek beach, reading.

Monday 25 July 2011

Tape mountain

Today has been a huge turning point - half of this wall of tape now has tidy ends, a checked clean inner core and the info strip stapled on in preparation of sending it out next week. I really was struggling to see how we would get it all complete this week but with my fab help we are getting there may even be done before our Friday deadline.