May 21st Paper Bead Workshop

Here is the advert for my new paper bead workshop. Just a simple, basic introduction to making paper beads from alsorts of papers that you have around the house. So no expensive outlay.

During the session I will show you how to cut, roll and finish some paper beads. You will use your paper beads to make a bracelet with a clasp and charm to take home. I am really looking forward to this. And the beauty of holding my own workshops is that if they do get fully booked I will be able to hold more at later dates and times.

So please contact me if you are interested even if you can’t make the advertised date.

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Where has 2014 gone!

Our tortoise has been put to bed for the winter, and the cats are refusing to move from the radiators, winter is here again and the Christmas Craft Fairs are upon us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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To my beautiful old Huffy, who never did get over his sorethroat, it was later diagnosed as a tumour, and so, very regretably, had to be put to sleep last month. We all miss him so much.

I really need to concentrate now and stop trying out new things (I’m sure I have said that before). I have 2 booked craft fairs for the beginning of December and I am really worried that I don’t have enough stock to cover them both, but I do also have another idea for next year. I am hoping it will help me to sell stock so I am not overloaded in the studio (when I get around to making some more).  Apart from putting money into a garden shed to store my stock I was running out of ideas. But I will reveal the new idea next year!

The business needs to prove itself, but I am so enjoying making things and experimenting that I am forgetting the practical side. The spreadsheets and accounts for the tax man are awful, I must get a grip next year and make a profit. The workshops will need to have more advertising and I will add the paper weaving as I have had alot of interest in that.  At one of the Christmas Fairs I have booked an extra table so that I will be demonstrating the paper weaving as well as selling the finished items. It will be good if I can book some people for workshops then, for next year.

I love, love making containers i.e boxes and baskets.  Things that are pretty, made from recycled stuff, and useful. I found a smashing little chinese pattern for a fabric teapot, but when I made it up I didn’t like the spout and handle ( I put it down to my sewing and interpretation of the pattern). So I redesigned it and made it into a container with a movable handle. Just like the old fashioned biscuit tins you could buy. They are so cute and are brilliant for using up all the small pieces of fabric that I keep for quilting or patchwork. The lids are made using cat food pouch boxes, and a lovely lady gave me loads of large wooden bead necklaces that I am using for the handles on the lids. I have found that by buying 4oz wadding I can stuff these little pots cheaper than buying the proper stuffing. All you need to do is tease the wadding and it is brilliant for stuffing, and isn’t so heavy as the real stuff.

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These are my prototypes!

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This blue one incorporates my favourite type of embroidery red work. But this one is in blue!

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These are so versatile, I have alsorts of ideas for future ones, different sizes, different pattern designs which will include patchwork, crazy patchwork, embroidery, 3d decorations………..

But now I must really go for it and get everything ready for Christmas, roll on 2015!!!!!!!!!!!

What am I doing?

I can’t believe that it is nearly 2 years now since I went self employed.  I haven’t made any money and I don’t seem to have got anywhere with anything.  As you can probably tell, I am on a little bit of a downer at the moment.  But the last couple of years have been ups and downs all the time.  The only thing that is keeping me going is the time I am able to enjoy crafting.  But I am getting to the point where I am realising it doesn’t pay the bills or put food on the table.

One minute I am looking at a job website, then I am trawling through the craft forums.  I have invested so much money (alot to me anyway) and time and effort into this that something has got to give.  Christmas is around the corner again so I am trying to think about that too.  There just isn’t enough hours in the day.

My workshops are non-existent, even though I keep changing them to get interest.  I know the kiddies are on school holidays at the moment, but I haven’t had one enquiry so far this year.  I can’t reduce the fees as I am supplying all the fabrics, equipment etc as well as the tuition and they get to take the finished article home with them.  So I think the price I charge for a 2 hour workshop is reasonable.

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The little craft fair I attended last month is holding another one at the end of this month, so I am making my Rag Bags to fill the stall along with my paper baskets. This last week has been a lovely quiet, creative week in my ‘studio’ doing what I love most.

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My new Rag Bags are thicker, flufflier and (I think) alot prettier than my previous ones.  They are still made from recycled fabrics and are all ‘one of a kind’.  I never make 2 the same. SAM_1518After the craft fair they will be for sale on my website along with others I will be making working up to, hopefully, Christmas sales.

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I am going to be holding an open day for people to meet me, see my studio, see what and how I make my baskets and bags and to answer any questions they have about the workshops. It will be by invitation only,  so if you are local and would like more information and an invitation please contact me through my website.

I must start concentrating and stop going off at a tangent, and keep changing things and starting new things.  Perhaps that would help.  So it is just my paper weaving and Rag Bags from now on.  I have streamlined my website, cut down on my workshops to concentrate on Rag Bag making and decorating sessions.  Now all I have to do is sell ……………………

 

Sew Busy!!

I spent a couple of days taking posters round to shops to put up, spoke to the local newspaper hoping to get a press release in, gave out leaflets and potentially organised a page in the local community magazine for my workshops for next month.  With that one I will get the chance to see what they have written before it is printed.

The local newspaper report, I thought, was a disaster. But I was lucky to get a mention and they made the mistake of printing the same article twice on different pages!  Newspapers never seem to print what you want, but at least they got my phone number right and I had quite a few enquiries.

I now understand the usefullness of mobile phones.  Having never had to rely on one before it used to make me laugh how people panicked when they didn’t have their phone with them.  Now I know how they feel, I had to answer it quite a few times last week and now it is attached to me all the time!  Although I do turn it off when I get on a bus, I am not that attached yet!!!

So, anyway, back to business. With alot more insight, from the enquiries I had, I have over hauled the website and re-organised the workshop details, and sent out alot of booking forms.

The last couple of weeks have been a blur……. and now I feel I have cracked it.  If my new idea doesn’t work I will have to think of something else, I am not going to give in and go back to the Job Centre, no way.

But, today is Sunday, when everything slows down, and tomorrow it is just a matter of keeping my fingers crossed that I hear from someone who wants to book one of my workshops.

Today I am going to spend some time with my cats, try and warm up the tadpoles in the pond, and entertain my tortoises who have recently woken up from their winter sleep.  the sun is shining and at the moment everything is good……… roll on tomorrow.