Thursday, 31 December 2009
My first decade as an adult has been incredible. Ten years ago I was in the final year of my A-levels, eight months away from university, I hated school and couldn't wait to escape. A summer job and several weeks of nervous anticipation of exam results were all that stood between an excited 18 year old and the rest of her life. University was all I hoped it would be, although I still lived at home with my parents I had a great time.
Six months after graduating I met James two days before my 22nd birthday, three months after that we moved in together four years later after buying our first home we married on the 25th May 2008.
Somewhere in and amongst all that I met a lady who worked for a cosmetics company - you know the party planning kind. She wanted to recruit me and I was genuinely considering it until James said, If you're going to do parties why not sell your jewellery? Why not work for yourself? That's two years ago now and whilst I may not have had the meteoric rise to success I had initially hoped for I can see that I am well on my way.
The first of January 2010 is the launch date of my newest venture Aprilis Events Management. The launch will be sadly lacking in Champagne and canopes as it only exists in my head and on my blog but it exits none the less. I have sold my wares at good and not so good fairs and I have learnt a lot from each one. I have realised that a sellers perspective is absolutely intrinsic to the success of a fair. Many organisers see the selling of all stalls as the ultimate goal at a fair which of course is their wage for the day. I however will only see my fairs as a success once I have provided my sellers with customers. I wish to cultivate a successful and loyal band of sellers by helping them to make a profit.
I realise that this is a challenge, especially so due to the financial climate. Lets face it, huge retailers throughout the world are collapsing before our eyes. I still believe though that as big business falls small business can rise. This all sounds very grand when in fact I'm a little nervous of my new venture but I'm confident that the only way I'm going to make my life my own is with the stubbornness that comes naturally, the confidence that does not and working my arse off.
Ten years ago in 1999 a 17 year old looked up and the fireworks filled with nervous excitement at the years ahead, tonight she does the same.
Here's to making this decade worth writing about.
Thursday, 24 December 2009
The markets haven't been very successful. I was hoping to better the success the summer offered me but alas I haven't even equaled it. A new strategy will be developed for next year as I've learned a lot this year, it's been an informative experience.
Anyhoo, got to go, QI is on in a mo and then it's early to bed so Santa can do his thang!
I wish you and yours the most wonderful Christmas
Monday, 9 November 2009
I was in reflective mood yesterday on the way home and I was thinking about how the last year had been. I was so nervous about my first Craft Market at Holmfirth back in February yet by Christmas I will have done 31 market stalls and a few jewellery parties and local events too. I was made redundant around the same time and things were scary for a while. Luckily that turned out okay in the end. I have around 10 markets between now and Christmas and they will really set the tone for next year. I never really make proper new years resolutions but I have a good few for next year.
I honestly believed at the time that 2009 could be my year and in many respects it has been but I was naive to think that I would leave work so quickly. I have learned a lot this year and been forced to accept that this is going to be a lot harder than I had expected. One thing this has shown me is that I can do it. I've never worked this hard for something I've wanted and I don't have to push myself I just do it. The rewards are worth the effort.
Recently, thanks to someone else, I have realised that I would love have my own events management company, organising fairs and such. This would ideally be in partnership with someone else and would really help me leave work. I have a mailing list of a lot of artists who have expressed an interest in attending such an event and I think that I have found my first venue. I'm keeping quiet for now but hopefully I'll be able to get it booked and begin the prep very soon.
You see, I'm pretty confident about this because as a regular stall holder I know what I want from a fair. I've been to successful and unsuccessful markets and I've learned a lot from both.
Monday, 26 October 2009
In other news... I did an unexpected market on Sunday at Castle Howard, they had some cancellations and called me. Crikey it was cold! The wind was horrendous and the stall kept lifting. I was so scared that the rain would damage all my stock. The weather was fine at home but 40 miles north it wasn't. The market opened at 10am and up until around 3pm I had made £6! James and I were so miserable, cold, tired (we got to bed after 1am the night before and set the alarm for 6am) and impoverished. Then between 3 and 4pm a miracle happened and we sold quite a few higher priced items giving us enough for a couple of hot chocolates to warm the cockles and a very nice profit. I have to say that Castle Howard has never let me down. I've always doubled my stall fee at least. I've only got three more outdoor markets between now and Christmas and I'm glad because I'm a big ole wuss who doesn't like the cold. That being said all three are Christmas markets and I love Christmas so I'll love the markets.
I've bought a nice woolly hat from Tesco and some fingerless gloves tonight so I should be all snuggley next time.
Next market is Ripley the week after next. I'm looking forward to it. I had a great time last time and I feel this time will be so much better, plus it's indoor!
Monday, 19 October 2009
The place was great, the people and products were great and Elizabeth, the organiser was great, however there just weren't enough customers. The town was very quiet and the lord of the manor (how posh does that sound?) wouldn't allow much signage to be displayed and what was had to be in black and white. It was Elizabeth's first foray into event organising and I think she did a great job just for whatever reason it didn't work out too well for everyone. I will be attending the next one because it's November and it's in4expensive to book the table and I had fun!
You see something some crafters don't think about is that if you don't support people like Elizabeth who are working to provide us with venues in which to sell they'll never be successful. There aren't enough good fairs out there and I commend her and thank her for giving me the opportunity to sell at the fair.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
In November Carrie and I will be attending The mind Body and Spirit Fair in St Helens and I am really excited, more details on that later.
Well it's almost the end of another long week at work, I'm so glad it's almost Saturday (although I have to work in the morning - no sleep-in this weekend!) The weeks just keep getting longer and harder and work just leaves me more and more drained. I'm generally a positive person but all the negativity there just gets me down. I have to fight really hard to avoid succumbing to it, but I'll keep fighting because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and everyday it gets a little bit brighter!
Monday, 28 September 2009
Sunday, 27 September 2009
Monday, 14 September 2009
But this is my happy place so that's my little whinge over, it's done.
Oh, I have hugely wonderfully spangly news! I have a brand spanking new website!
- My two bestest buds are getting married soon which I am really excited about because frankly it's about bloody time!
- Another friend is about to drop a bairn!
- James has suggested to me a financial target I really need to achieve in order to quit my job and it's a lot more attainable than I thought. I just need a really good Christmas.
- I have met some really awesome people recently through my craft fairs and I'm loving it!
- I have the best husband in the world and amazing friends (okay so that's not a recent development but sometimes you need a few crap days to help you see what's good)
Talk about turning a post around! Well I've cheered myself up so I'm off to get a glass of milk and get myself tucked in.
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Fresh water pearl, amazonite, amethyst and rose quartz cluster earrings
Fresh water pearl, rose quartz and jasper wire wrapped earrings
Red agate choker
Red agate and butter Jade bracelet
Pearl charm bracelet with Swarovski, amethyst, rose quartz and amazonite.
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Monday, 7 September 2009
Coral and Smokey Quartz
In my head though I can see my winter range, bright silvers and icy blues, Emerald, Sapphire, blue topaz and Clear crystals. A bright sparkly glitzy range to get you through the cold dark winter.
Red Agate, Golden Jade, Cherry Quartz, Coral, Rose Quartz and Red Adventurine
All that is not to say that I can't be bothered with the business, I can and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't make jewellery or do something on line it's just that to constantly market your work is tiring, that's why I like it here. On Twitter I feel like a spammer on message boards I feel like I'm feigning interest in others to fuel my career. The truth is that I'm not, I follow way too many blogs to visit each one daily but I do read them, I am interested and that goes for the Tweets I read and the forums I post in. I'm not much of a net worker, I never have been. I've never made a friend thinking " I wonder what this person can do for me" If you are my friend either in real life or in cyberspace then it's because of your value as a human being not opportunities your friendship may or may not present. I want nothing from you but friendship.
Golden Jade and Red Adventurine
I am in real life as rubbish at keeping up with friends as I am in this world but not a day goes by them I don't think about them and when I do meet up with them it's like we haven't been apart.
Golden Jade and Red Agate
As I don't have a market for a month things will be tight financially so I'll have to get more items in my shops soon. My silver order will hopefully arrive tomorrow and I can make more. I have loads of gemstone beads left, I could do with some fresh water pearls and Swarovski to brighten things up a little.
So here's to a productive week and a great weekend. I'm having some friends around on Friday to show off my new garden. In fact I hope my Internet-wary chief bridesmaid is reading this and can make it.
- V. V. Brown and Calvin Harris were awesome
- The Qemists lead singer was a foul mouthed idiot
- The Qemists were rubbish
- The Qemists can't spell
- I don't like people swearing in front of children
- Calvin Harris should have been headlining rather than The Editors who were good but not lively enough
- Jimmy got drunk on beer and haribo
- The photos I took were rubbish
- I had a great time
- Festival toilets are horrible and I prefer tea to beer, yes people I am 27 not 77.
- I'll be back later, bye!
Sunday, 6 September 2009
This week I intend to sort the spare room out. I'm going to do a car boot sale and get rid of my junk. It's a good sized room so with the money I earn I'm going to board out the loft and then eventually turn the room into a workshop/office.
However today is going to be much more exciting than that because today we're going to Bingley live music festival. We went last year and it was good fun. Last year the happy Mondays headlined and although that's not my kind of music they were really good. This year it's Calvin Harris and the Editors.
I'm charging my camera battery as I type so there will be plenty pics coming your way!
Have a great weekend!
Friday, 4 September 2009
The clasp is a little flimsy as the wire is too thin. I have a delivery of heavy SS wire coming tomorrow so I'll replace it then.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
I was planning on taking some more photos to add to the ones on Etsy but I've just looked out of my window and seen that it's raining, again.
Well, this computer chair is giving a me back ache so I'm going to go make a cuppa and a bracelet.
I'll be back later for show and tell.
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
I do still love Etsy but I very much that I have ever been on their front page!
Monday, 31 August 2009
I think that one big problem I face is the sheer volume of jewellers out there. There were probably 7 jewellers there today and a further 5 people selling jewellery in an amongst their other products. That's out of 20 odd stalls. The other problem is that everyone sold lovely jewellery. If it had been crap then I wouldn't mind but it was all great stuff! ;)
I'm also toying with the idea of giving up plated metal. I'm thinking of working exclusively with silver, gold, gemstones, pearls, crystals and lamp work. It's a tough decision to make as this weekend it was my plated work that sold. People generally prefer the silver but can't resist the £5 price tag on my plated bracelets or £2 earrings. Problem is, from an artsy farty point I don't like making the cheap stuff, I don't feel that it represents my skills and I know that unlike silver when plated metal tarnishes, that's it, you can't polish it up so it has a much more limited lifespan. When I sell a piece of jewellery I want the wearer to keep it forever, I want them to know that it's one of a kind and that it was carefully designed and produced.I want them to look at it and feel a little happier, the way I did when I completed it.
Pictures from top
- Rose quartz, quartz and amazonite
- Quartz and amazonite
- Quartz and amazonite
- Rainbow flourite and amethyst
- Amethyst and Quartz
Saturday, 29 August 2009
Now you have to imagine that the gravel was knee high grass and around it was a border with overgrow unloved rosemary and lavender. I hadn't really ever cut them back properly and they were leggy and beyond saving.
My folks very kindly gave us the table and chairs and James' folks bought us the gravel and death to weeds membrane beneath it for a very early Christmas present so the whole thing cost us some bin bags and sweat. Not bad! I realise that at the moment it looks a little bare but we are going to get some nice pots and plants and soften it up a bit and I'm going to scub the flags and get them brighter. The ones to the left are York stone so they'll look great. the pots will have to wait until we have a little more money though. We live in a backwards terrace so essentially the kitchen over looks the road and the living room over looks the garden and allotments which I love. The only downside is that there is a path through the gardens for access so my garden is cut in two, so patio one side large border the other.
I think it's a rather pretty view to have from your bedroom window. It's even better now that I'm not ashamed of my garden. I'm not the street scruff now! Well, I won't be once I've got the weeds out of my gutter!
Monday, 24 August 2009
Saturday, 8 August 2009
- It would be an unusual question to ask some random girl at a stall
- At least of half of everything on my stall is turquoise.
Black Agate, Turquoise and Sterling Silver.
Okay so half is a big ole exaggeration but I am really drawn to the colour and it always takes centre stage on the stalls. Thanks to my dad, centre stage is much more impressive than it used to be as he very kindly made me some shiny black shelves to raise my display busts at the back. I'm putting my recent success down to my improved displays. Even in the good old British summer rain at Castle Howard a few weeks ago I still managed a healthy profit.
Black Agate, Turquoise and Sterling silver, again!
I'm still no David Bailey but I do believe my photography (ahem) skills are improving. I'm using slightly more rustic backgrounds rather than aiming for the nigh on impossible perfect white.
I'm still really crap at keeping up to my blog, (obviously) twitter and facebook etc but .......
Chrysocola, Black Agate and Sterling silver.
James and I have just had almost two weeks off work and it's been great. I'm dreading going back on Monday like you wouldn't believe which in the short term is a bad thing but it's spurring me on. I guess that's why I'm here tonight, finally motivated. I must come on here more, I actually love blogging it's just that I feel so guilty spending all this time upstairs and totally abandoning James. It's fine on a Saturday but on a week night you get home, cook dinner, eat dinner, load the dishwasher, spend a couple of hours online doing all the things that you "should" be doing and before you know it it's bed time and that's your evening done! Once I get my laptop I can do all those things downstairs in the living room not up here in the spare (junk) room
That being said I'm going to try to make sure I get on every other day to blog and tweet. I have to go online everyday anyway to check my emails and etsy so I should just spend ten minutes saying hi.Smokey Quartz, Swarovski Crystal and Sterling Silver
August in England!
Oh and more beach huts!
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Well I'm at the Waterfront festival this weekend but I'm a little nervous about the weather. It's forecast heavy rain. If the forecast is accurate I can see me making a big ass loss this week. We are a little skint this month so I really need to make a bit at least. Here's hoping! Still last time it was great so I'm worried yet optimistic.
I must must must remember my camera this time. I keep forgetting it.
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Anyhoo it's late and I'm sleepy so it's off to bed. Night night
Thursday, 2 July 2009
I've had a crap few days but I won't go into detail. Lets just say that small minded people really p**s me off. Why pass judgement on everyone else when you yourself are so obviously flawed? Self righteousness is not the way forward, live a little and stop taking yourself so bloody seriously!
Ahhhhhh, that's better. I just hate that one person can have such a massive effect on my mood. It's not a member of my family or a friend I shouldn't care really, but for some weird reason I do.
Never mind, market on Saturday and our nephew and his girlfriends 21st birthday party in the evening. Should be fun, I get to break out my new killer heels, I should take pictures.
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
All of the markets are made so much easier by James for just being there. He's only missed one market and that was for our great nephews christening. He doesn't have to stay with me while I'm there but he does anyway and I am so grateful. Maybe it's cause he knows that if all goes to plan he'll have a housewife, cooking and cleaning all day, dinner on the (coffee) table when he gets home, gingham apron and everything!
Monday, 29 June 2009
If you are in the area I'd recommend you go over to Natasha's blog and take a look. As you'll see from the pictures there are some really wonderful products on sale. I'm excited, it's going to be a great day!
I really need to promote my Etsy shop more. I realised earlier today that I don't even have a link to it on my blog! How ridiculous is that? Well now I do. I think my blog needs a revamp hmmm, where to start!
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Once again I met some really lovely people, I met Bianca at Twinklebug and Amy at Button Bazaar . Both ladies produce wonderfully unique and beautiful pieces and they're also both really lovely. You should definitely check them out.
Other than that there isn't much to tell you about, other than I almost bought a laptop on credit the other day till James stopped me. He was right to do so, paying £500 for a £280 computer is a bit daft. He did say that I shouldn't buy one as maaayyybeee someone might like to buy me one for Christmas! Only 179days, 2hours and 44 minutes to go!
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
I did however under estimate the amount of wire that you need to make a necklace. I've always used plated metal wire in the past which you don't worry too much about using up but I'm very precious with the silver. My wire wrapping has come along in the last couple of days, mainly because this weekend I finally bought some round nose pliers! Last night while watching The Biggest Loser Australia I made a lovely necklace made with Rose Quartz, blue topaz and blue lace agate. It's very pretty and as soon as I get chance I'll take some piccys of it.
Well, my salmon is cooked so it's off to have tea and then make another pretty in front of the biggest loser!
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
It feels so good to see things start to go really well, there's still a long way to self employment but persistence is the key. All I need to do now is get online more and keep up to Etsy. I need to tweet, blog and re list and post on Etsy! I think I need a laptop otherwise James may forget who I am LOL!!
Monday, 8 June 2009
Once James and I had set up the table I had a wander around. Being a showcase everyone was selling jewellery which could have been a disaster but everyone had vastly different styles. Some of the pieces on sale were really wonderful. From the whimsical http://kitschensinkuk.blogspot.com/ to the super cute http://rubyrougejewellery.blogspot.com/ to the downright gorgeous http://rachelluciejewellerydesigns.blogspot.com/ . I chatted with all of the lovely ladies above and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Sadly I still can't retire on the profits but I'm getting there, just very very very very very very slowly!
This coming Sunday I will once again be attending the Pudsey Craft market for which I am hoping for good weather as it is outside. I am a big ole wuss, last time the market was on Easter Sunday and it was really sunny but cold and as the night before was James 30th birthday I was reeeaaaaalllly hung over. I even had to throw up in a bin! Yes I reached new heights or elegance and sophistication that day.
So wish me luck, I may need it and take a look at the ladies above, you won't regret it.