Thursday, 31 May 2012

Accident and emergency

My niece loves this toy and was very sad when one of his eyes, well, just fell out.
Says alice thought she could do something to help and here is what we came up with.

She has popped out for a wander where all of the ladybirds seem to congregate in my garden!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Making space

This week we have had a bit of a change around at home, something we have talked about a lot, but always sidestepped the upheaval and kerfuffle.

In an unplanned, spur of the moment decision (brought on by the fact that I had lots of work lined up, which I'm very pleased about!) we swapped two rooms around and managed to create a corner that is my own, dedicated sewing space. Until now I've been split between two rooms for working and storing / filing, which have inconveniently also had a flight of stairs between them. Good for the exercise, not for productivity.

Not any more though - look at my new workspace:

The best bit is all the natural light from the big window and a new bookshelf for all of my tat.
At last, somewhere for the clothkit doll to sit and a hook on which to hang the needlecase.

The silly thing was that the entire move around, including cleaning and sorting out a pile of jumble, took less than two hours. Why did we put it off?? 

Friday, 30 March 2012

Auctioning a promise

Says Alice is based in a suburb of Norwich, which is fortunate to have a great local school. They do wonderful community things throughout the year that Says Alice (and Mr Says Alice) have been known to take part in.

The best for us has been the Garage Sale, in which the good people of Cringleford set up tables on their lawns and the school sells a map of which houses are taking part. This has proved an excellent source of the most random items, including hula-hoops, brass coal scuttles and fuzzy felt, with particularly good bargains from the big houses at the end of the road!
It is also an annual battle to avoid coming home with even more sewing machines: £5 for a Bernina? It would be rude to leave it...

Says Alice, as a result, is very pleased to offer a little something to the latest fundraising effort:
an Auction of Promises.

I have said I'll be very happy to make something that might look a bit like this... something a bit like this...

Let's hope someone bids!

There are lots of lovely things that have already been pledged and you can leave written bids. Have a look here:

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Playing with ideas

Thank goodness the sun has returned to Norfolk today.
Photography was a disaster yesterday!
By far the most common order I get is personalised bunting, which is also one of my favourites as I can check I am getting it exactly right for the little person involved. With the ones I hold as stock, like the fairies or pirates or jubilee colours, I make something that I love and hope that everyone else does too. I also hardly speak to the people involved: an order arrives and I pop it into the post asap.

Maybe it is because sewing is a largely solitary pursuit but I love the little bursts of conversation that come with getting a personalised order just right. Choosing the right fabric combinations and making sure the letters stand out without being too dominant.

It makes it all a little bit more sociable which adds to the fun. And I like things to be fun :-)

Friday, 18 November 2011

The cutest fabric ever?

I think this might just qualify!

You can find it in this lovely shop which I have had in my blog read list for a while:

With this one, they have excelled themselves. Careful, if you pop in you might be there for a while!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Folksy's updates

I have been a seller through Folksy since the beginning of the year and have found it a really useful place to do business.

Some of this, if I am honest, is legitimacy for selling through other channels as you just look a bit more official if you have an online shop. But I have also had a steady trickle of sales and referrals which has certainly made the process of setting up and keeping the products online worthwhile.

Now Folksy is going through a relaunch which has caused all kinds of debate between sellers, particularly those who have used Folksy as their main channel for some time. In fact, some have been told that they no longer gave a place in the folksy community, because the vast majority of their products are not 'crafted' - this could mean they just assemble a pendant and a chain, or attach an earring hook to a charm. I guess the principle is that this is manufacture rather than craft.

I have huge sympathy for these folk - we all buy things like those that they make after all, and someone has to make them and sell them somehow. However Folksy is trying to become a retailer defined by unique products and limited availability, which I understand too.

I'm lucky to have come to the party recently and have watched the debate from the sidelines. I think I'll reserve judgement on how well the new design serves me until I have tried it out and whether I get sales. For now I'd be happier reading about the Folksy corporate marketing plan - how do people find Folksy and how can I serve them best? That kind of advice would be invaluable...

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The bag lady

Pictures taken, I am delighted to say I have now updated my online stock.

I have popped two reversible tote bags onto the Folksy site for sale, with a selection of pictures for each. It feels like they have been completed for a long time so it's a lovely feeling to now have them out there. It was only while loading them that I realised how summery they are - I'll have to make a few cordoroy versions for winter!

Anyway, hope you enjoy them, and do pop over to Folksy if you would like to see more :-)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A bit of a tidy up

This blog has been a lovely place to lurk about, but I often fund myself doing more reading of other blogs than I am writing up my own bits and bobs.

So, I have done a bit of a tidy up and designed some real proper image boxes for the links to the right (to the Folksy shop and the Facebook page) and added a bit of functionality behind the scenes. It feels like a bit of a fresh start.

I have also launched the Facebook page properly for the first time although it has been in development for some time. I really struggle with advertising to friends on Facebook, but a few have asked for links to send onwards so I thought this might be an easy way to spread the word to folk who aren't on my own personal list. How do other people get around this?

Now I just need my friendly local photographer (aka the husband) to return so I can pester him to take some pics of bags. I'll be modeling, so you'll need to be especially kind about these ones!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Can I hear jingle bells?

Yes, I'm afraid to say that the Christmas prep has begun.

I have been going through the Christmas fabric stash and planning what I need to stock up on and what I might just treat myself to :-) I have a couple of ideas for new things this year, so I hope to extend the bunting range a bit. The trial runs and test pieces have worked well, I just need to make a few complete pieces to photograph and I'll be up and running.

Can it really be months since the last time? Feels like weeks!.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Congratulations Mangle Prints!

It is always good to hear when things are going well and it is particularly good when you know the people involved.

I read on the Folksy blog here that Mangle Prints is one of the top 5 most visited shops on Folksy last month, which is great news. The prints and cards in the shop are really beautiful and even better, made in Norfolk.

I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda when I booked onto a lino printing course in the spring where she showed us some of her stunning work. She was also extremely patient while guiding a group of absolute beginners through the basics of lino cutting, inking and printing.

The course was run at the Hare and Hen ceramics studio at Burnham Deepdale in Norfolk which I would also recommend. Not only is it great to learn something new, but you also get great soup for lunch.