Busy, busy, busy!

One of my collection of miniature vintage Essex hand cranked sewing machines.

Today I have been working on the “Birdie Heart” design as described in my previous post.  I am very pleased with it and will definitely be using it on the keepsake book/ journal covers as planned.   I will be ready to include a picture later on this week.   I am now almost ready for the Bath Artisan Market on Sunday although I won’t have all the products I planned.  This seems to me to be OK as it’s good to have something new at each market, so I don’t want everything at once.  Hopefully I’ll continue to have fresh ideas so people will be interested in coming back to see what I’ve been up to.

The Rupert necklaces are coming on well and will feature at Sunday’s market.  I will be going to my storage unit to collect all my display stuff one day this week so I can spend some time trying out ideas to make the stall look inviting and, hopefully, irresistible.

Meanwhile I am planning a series of workshops to teach jewellery making as well as one using my collection of miniature vintage hand cranked sewing machines as pictured above.  The workshops will take place at a local shop but will also be offered on a “party” basis in clients’ own homes.  I love sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm with others and really look forward to these fun and informal sessions.

I have been very pleased with the interest shown in this blog as well as in my Facebook page.  It’s amazing what a bit of networking can do and I feel far less isolated working from home, knowing that there is a whole world full of lovely and interested people out there.  It also gives me a small platform for when I launch my website towards the end of March.  I am now trying to decide whether to spend some serious money on magazine advertising when I launch, to really get the ball rolling.  And should I sell in the UK only or worldwide?  Decisions, decisions!

As I look through this post, it strikes me how many different things a small business proprietor has to turn his/her hand to.  In a large organisation there are departments to deal with design, manufacture, marketing, packaging, selling etc. but we have to do all of this and so much more all by ourselves.  It can be daunting but it’s also very exciting and strangely empowering.  If it works!

On a completely different note, I am very excited to report that The Accountant took me to look at vans at the weekend.  He actually understands my need to convert a small van into a camper.  And he is prepared for it to be High Kitsch!  I only had to show him the two enamel mugs I have bought in readiness for our first trip and he could instantly see the style I am aiming for (I was very pleased recently to note that my local hardware store stocks small washing up bowls in red as well as bright pink).   I am going back to the van supplier on Friday to make my choice and then the adventure will begin – and it will be documented here…

It seems that there is plenty to keep me occupied and interested at the moment and that’s just the way I like it.  I am always at my best when I have slightly too much to do.

The weather has been bright but blustery for most of the day here and the rhubarb is pushing its way out of the soil at the end of the Tiny House garden, giving a real sense of wonderful things to come.  Joy to the World!

 

This grand life of little things…

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Rupert and his Chums…

I have had a great week thinking up new ideas and designing the products around them.  This could be my favourite part of the process and I probably spend too much time on it because I tend to go into a kind of dream state.  But then again, that’s when good ideas happen.

I did have one day when I felt a little restless, so I treated myself to a trip to Shaftesbury to rummage among the charity shops and the junky antiques.  I bought a gorgeous little “PAN AM” case complete with pale yellow and pink quilted and frilled lining, and a small metal folding stool which I will revamp and use in my camper (when I get one!).  The case will make a fabulous prop on my market stall and I shall enjoy the looks of envy from the vintage hunters.

Only one week and two days to my first market and I’m managing to tick off the list of things to do gradually.  The first batch of Rupert earrings is ready and I’m busily working on some fabulous necklace designs which are coming along a treat – I’m really pleased with them.  Take a look at the Gallery page to see how this jewellery is made.

I tend to work at a number of things at once, perhaps making up one item while also working on the designs for the next idea.  This week I have meddled with fabrics and threads to bring together something that has been in the back of my mind for a while.  For some reason I have become slightly obsessed with a “birdie-heart” design (as it has become known here at Tiny House) and I was keen to use it somewhere.  The first idea was to make a scented hanging decoration for the wardrobe, but that just didn’t satisfy me.  Then I decided to combine it with another idea for making removable covers for books that can be used as journals, photo albums and the like.  I am so pleased with this design and I’ll feature it next week.  For now it’s a series of rough sketches and fabric swatches pinned to a piece of A4 – I can’t wait to share the finished product.

On the way to Shaftesbury there is an antiques centre (Dairy House Antiques, Semley) and I dropped in to see what textiles they had.  I left with five beautiful, huge mother of pearl buttons and a bone crochet hook.  The buttons will probably be used in brooch designs and I don’t think I need to explain the crochet hook – it would have been rude not to buy it at £2.

The sun is shining here in my little corner of England and I know I have a bar of chocolate in a small drawer in my cupboard-of-all- things (well I did say it was a cupboard of ALL things!) so, as usual, life is grand…