Thursday, 11 October 2012
TODAY'S GUEST BLOGGER IS.....
My name is Allison, I'm 43 and I live in Harlow, Essex with my partner Simon and my gorgeous labradoodle called Henry. I'm a primary teacher and in my spare time I love making cards but I also enjoy making bookmarks and tags. Sometimes I just like to chill in front of the telly doing cross stitch.
I've been making cards for a number of years and initially made them for family members, friends and colleagues. About a year ago I decided to try and sell to a wider market so I had a stall at a local Christmas bazaar and then another at a big arts and crafts Christmas fayre. I really enjoyed both and had some lovely feedback which in turn, spurred me on to open a Folksy shop (http://folksy.com/shops/allystamps).
When I was growing up, I used to sit and watch my mum knit and crochet. She also used to make all of me and my sisters clothes (we were often dressed identically!) and I vividly remember her laying out material on the living room floor, attaching paper patterns, cutting them out and assembling them on the sewing machine. She was never idle and I guess she was my main inspiration for crafting in general. I can't knit or crochet (much to my mums despair) but I do follow her in always having something to do.
We are very lucky at home, in that we had an extension added to the back of our house. This is our office. Desks run all along the back wall and along part of each side wall (imagine a u shape). My partner and I are able to sit side by side working at our computers. I then have space along the side where I do my crafting and have lots of cupboards for storing my crafty stash. Mind you, if I don't stop soon, we will need another extension to fit it all in! When I'm making my cards, I often look on the Internet for inspiration and may see card layouts that I like. I particularly like Splitcoast Stampers for that. I also enter a lot of card challenges. This keeps the ideas flowing and card sketch challenges particularly help with card designs.
I promote my business through a few different mediums. As mentioned before, I have a Folksy shop. I also have a facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ally-Stamps/209704535743430?ref=hl) and you can find me on twitter (https://twitter.com/AllyStamps). I also have a blog (http://lovinglyhandcrafted.blogspot.co.uk/) Although I've been doing this about a year, I still consider myself a new business and am constantly looking for ways to promote my cards.
I love sitting at my desk making cards, especially thank you cards, or playing with paper, but I hate not having enough time or energy to do it whenever I want. I guess my ideal for the future would be to give up work and craft full time, but I'm under no illusion that this is most likely a pipe dream. Unfortunately, selling cards does not bring in much money.
So that's me, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.