I am sitting at home with a large cup of tea reflecting on the weekend that was – the Handmade Market. It was a big weekend – loads of customers, lots of sales and lots of lovely discussions about wool, tea, teabags, the environment, and everything in between! I sold out of reusable tea bags, have very low levels of stock to list in my online shop, and generally need to get back to work to restock – not a bad position to be in! First of all though I need to clean my house – the last week of intense preparation means that once again my housework was at the bottom of the list of priorities – oops!
A few highlights of the weekend in pictoral form – including a photo of me that a customer took and sent to me!
What next? Possibly a market in August, otherwise focusing on rebuilding stock and filling custom order will be my priority over the next week or so! (After I sleep, clean, and catch up on all my messages!!)
This year has started with a bang but I still feel like I am back in the twilight zone between Christmas and New Year, where I am never really sure what the date or day is. I find myself constantly wondering if March is a long way away, and being unsure of which weekend it is that various events are happening. I swear it is because my brain is too full, and not because of my advancing years.
Despite this sense of time escaping me, or perhaps because of it, I have been rather productive. I have been analysing what works for me in my product lines,and what was a great idea but hasn’t really translated well. As a result I am working on producing my tea cosies in ‘collections’. I am still to fully tease out the names of these collections, but in theory there will be a classic collection, a colourful collection and an artisan collection. I am not rushing into the final details for this plan because it seems to be benefiting from some reflection and refinement! As part of the classic collection I have been working on some repeatable patterns, with the intention of being able to keep them easily stocked in my shops, and with the longer term intention of releasing the patterns for them. So far the classic collection consists of spots and stripes!
I also finally had a chance to play with an idea I have had for a while of combining patchwork and sashiko stitching to make some insulated dome tea cosies, and I am very happy with the results.
And of course some flowers were created and applied with gay abandon to a number of cosies.
One of the lovely discoveries that I have made over the last month or so, with thanks to a helpful friend, is the wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills. It is wool that is grown near my home, and processed and died in Bendigo, so is 100% Australian. It is also beautiful quality wool, so I am switching over to only use that wool in all future creations, which means that I will be supporting other Australian small business people in the process.
And I finally have my products in place at The Collective Store in Brisbane, and in Trove in Canberra. (On reflection perhaps my sense of displacement in time has more to do with the sheer amount I have achieved so far this year!)
My initial display at Trove, Canberra
On the home front we have a slightly different landscape after my eldest chick was accepted to attend a boarding school located about 4 hours from home. She has settled in well and is discovering the differences between her all-girl Catholic school and this co-ed agricultural fully residential high school. She will be home at the end of this week for a few days and I am looking forward to seeing her. I must admit that I am very happy that the advent of smart phones means that I can stay in touch with her much more easily than when I was at boarding school myself. Back then (in the dark ages) my sister and I had a phone call from my parents once a fortnight, or we had to dial the international operator to make a reverse charges call to them, and letters written and mailed that took a couple of weeks to arrive. Now I can be texting with her before breakfast, send her a photo of something happening at home, and she has it instantly. I am trying not to smother her with contact, but it is nice knowing that it is there when she needs it.
The two chicks who are still home in the nest are having their ups and downs. I, and they, have fallen back into some old habits, which means that old patterns of behaviour aren’t changing in the way that I need them to. My current task is to form new habits myself, and then with them, in the hope of improving behaviour and school attendance respectively. This parenting gig is hard and I have been tested a lot over the last few weeks. I am definitely at the point of needing a break, so am working on putting steps in place to see if I can manage some time away. Fingers crossed!
For now though, it is time to sit and contemplate whether to crochet or sew this evening. Tough choices! I hope that your weeks aren’t getting lost in the fog of being too busy, and that you are finding time to do little things for yourself.