I didn't begin my main post on Saturday as I normally do - only managed to produce the title. We had one of our regular big family get-together's at my cousin's house in Kent. We all grew up together, so share lots of childhood and other memories. The weather was great and as always, the time went far too quickly. One of my cousin's, Maralyn Wimble, has been approached to hold an exhibition of her work - she is a very creative and imaginative artist and when I have more details about the event I will post them on here. If you are in or around the area her exhibition is being held, I really do recommend you visit.
The Cycle tour is scheduled to hit Guildford today - my sympathies go out to the riders as Guildford High Street is paved in cobbles! As it is the end of the race, perhaps the juddering feeling will not be too horrible for them.
My post is not about a specific woman but about all of us involved in the world of handmade. Starting a business is very hard work, starting a business that is about handmade work is even harder. Not only do we have to deal with the legalities of setting up the business, but we have a mammoth (ongoing) task of persuading and convincing the public that handmade is to be valued, it has been designed and created with care, imagination and expertise and will no doubt last much longer than something that can be bought on the high street. Handmade today no longer means the knitted tea-cosy or the knitted crinoline doll covering the spare toilet roll. However, the majority of the public still perceives handmade this way and subsequently undervalues our efforts and we must keep plugging away at changing their minds. Do we give up? No, of course not. Why? Because we are proud of our work, we believe in what we do and know that not everyone sees us as women who frequent craft fairs lurking behind tables with piles of knitted tea-cosies in front of us. But, the added bonus here is that as we are women we don't believe in giving in, it's not in our nature.
To all those women who have been thinking about developing their skill into a business, go for it. It is hard work and initially there will be more tears than smiles, but it is worth it. When you make your first sale, get your first thank you, your first positive feedback you will know it is the best decision you have ever made and your smile will be bigger than you can imagine. Good luck, we are not behind you, we are alongside you.
I hope you have been able to read this week's guest blog post? Madeleine of the Craftsite blogged about cards and her post includes some great tips and beautiful pictures of her work. Her cards are really lovely - thank you Madeleine for being a guest blogger again, I really enjoyed your post.
Life is hectic at the moment (it's that tough time of year for crafters isn't it?) as I am rushing towards events that I need to have plenty of stock for. My first one is on Saturday (details to the right of this post) and I am slightly panicking as my stock is low. I keep making excuses telling myself that my main ones are in November, so there is plenty of time - however, it would be very wrong to not pay the same attention to my first one this week. I have discovered that I always have excellent reasons for not doing something! Perhaps I should write a blog post just using the list of excuses I have invented.
Around, over, alongside and in between kitten fostering, I have been working on Orders of Service - I am pleased with how they look and very near to finishing them. Next? The table plan. Here is a photograph of the Order of Service - names, etc removed, but I hope you like it. The ribbon has not been fixed to the card yet, but that's the next job. The original brief was for the main card to be pearlised cream, but was recently changed to the dark purple used for some of the trims on the invitations - I wasn't too sure at first, but think it is a striking colour combination.
Some time ago I mentioned the weird and wonderful search terms that have led people to my blog - I haven't added any for a while, but couldn't resist including these today (again, no change made to the grammar or spelling):
crafts with bricks
my oh my apple pie and country craft
posh crafts for christmas
Aren't they wonderful?
That's me finished for today - back to work now. Do get in touch if you would like to be a guest blogger or if you want to join in the Card Making competition. Everyone is welcome and if you are not a card-maker, why not give it a try - you could discover a new talent or an addition to your business. I will be back on Wednesday and don't forget to come back on Friday to read my guest blogger's post.
Last but not least, some up-to-date pics of Ash and Micro. They are growing very quickly and should be very soon be off to their new home.