Saturday, 24 October 2009
Monday, 12 October 2009
TUTBURY CRAFTS GRAND OPENING (or how to have your faith in human nature smashed and then renewed in one hour)
However, I refused to be beaten, so back to the house and raid the shed to see what I could find. I would have planters outside the shop, even if they didn't match and the plants looked a bit battered. By 9am, all the plants had been repotted into a strange assortment of old baskets and pots, ribbons attached and we were back on track.
At 10am we were ready and I took great pleasure in putting up the 'OPEN' sign. A very small sip of Champagne and photographs followed, but before we could even say Cheers, our first customers arrived!
The best point in the day was when I turned around and saw my eldest Sister, Sue, walking into the shop. She lives 150 miles away and I had no idea she was coming. I burst into tears for the second time that day. Quite a record for me as I am definitely not a cryer.
All in all a great day and well worth all the hard work. I must say here an now, that there is no way I could have achieved all this in such a short time without help, so here is the roll of honour:
My friend Pip who has worked so hard with me to achieve this, put in so many hours and put up with me.
My wonderful husband, who allowed me to take this risk and was prepared to put up the capital. He has also been a great help with decorating, fixing things, putting up with me and served drinks and chatted to customers all day long.
My lovely stepson, who worked so hard to get the shop decorated and ready and who also programmed the till for me (it had beaten me!).
And everybody else, the other traders in the mews, local people in the village, all of you out there who have been so supportive. Thanks!
Now I will stop rambling on and show you the pictures.....
Saturday, 3 October 2009
"By the pool on lounger sunbathing"
-- Posted from my iPhone
Sunday, 27 September 2009
Saturday, 12 September 2009
I will be getting back to regular blogging and tweeting soon, but at the very least I didn't want to miss SWS again. So here's mine for today:-
A Shopkeeper's work is never done.
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Having an honours degree in Natural Sciences and having majored in Evolution and Geology, you might think you could guess which side of the fence I sit on, but you might also be wrong. Who knows - I certainly don't. And this really is my point. I believe the only thing I know for certain is that there is a great deal of stuff I don't know and I certainly wouldn't presume to try to impose my beliefs, opinions, faith or lack thereof upon anyone else. I get very perplexed by evangelism, on both sides of the debate. Consider Richard Dawkins, a true evolution evangelist, who I noted recently, takes great delight in any piece of evidence which, in his opinion, disproves the evidence of God. I find this just as distasteful as somebody knocking on my door and wanting to convince me to follow their particular brand of organised religion.
Why can't we have it both ways? Scientific types like myself like to be able to prove their hypotheses, find hard evidence that their suppositions are correct and it could be argued therefore that the lack of any hard evidence would disprove the existence of God. But the whole point of Faith is to not need evidence, just to believe. As Douglas Adams said (and I am paraphrasing heavily here because I can't be bothered to look up the quote) if God did something to prove he existed to all the doubters, he would disappear in a puff of logic, which would rather defeat the whole object of the exercise.
What I think I am trying to say here is why can't we have it both ways. At school when I was a child we were taught Religious Knowledge and we were taught Science. We were not given beliefs or opinions, we were given information, and it was up to us to decide what we believed.
My closest personal friend is an Anglican Priest. She jokes about converting me and I joke about turning her to the dark side. But they are jokes, because we have respect for each other and in particular, she respects that I don't really know what I think/believe and she doesn't presume to try to tell me what I should think or believe. She works as a Hospital Chaplain and has to deal with some really dreadful things. What she does and how she lives her life is an example to us all, but it doesn't mean we have to agree with her beliefs, just respect them.
So there, I think I found my conclusion. Let's all just respect each others opinions.
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Fast forward to a few days ago, when I kept finding my little Cairn Terrier, Maisie, playing with little green cherry tomatoes. 'Oh No' I thought 'the cherry tomatoes are dropping, they must be sickly for some reason'. I checked and watered and fed and hoped.
Then I looked out of the window yesterday and saw.... Maisie standing on her hind legs picking the damn tomatoes right off the plant.
Monday, 10 August 2009
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Monday, 3 August 2009
Saturday, 1 August 2009
I have long held a dream that one day I would run my own business, in particular a Craft Shop. The kind of craft shop we crafters love to potter around in, looking at the lovely card stock, feeling the new yarns, sorting through the latest delivery of stamping blocks and tools. Those of you into handicrafts will know what I mean. There used to be a very successful and lovely craft shop in our village, but the owner moved away to be nearer family and now has a successful business about 50 miles away. We have all missed it terribly and hoped someone would come in and fill the gap.
Well just as I had reached the conclusion that I really didn't want to work for anybody else and I really did want to take a risk a branch out on my own, the perfect little shop premises became available in our village, about 100 yards from my house and in my price range!
To cut a long story short, after viewing the premises, talking with the Landlord, picking the brains of other shopkeepers in the village and several heart to heart discussions with my husband. We decided to go for it and here it is!
Yesterday afternoon, I took possession of the keys and took great delight in taking down the 'To Let' signs. I have put up a 'Coming Soon' Poster in the windows (see below) and now have a great deal of work to do to put together my business plan, redecorate and do the shopfitting, find suppliers and buy in stock and of course, do a lot of marketing in the area to let people know we have a craft shop again.
I have to admit to being absolutely terrified, but also very excited and can't wait to get started.
So here it is, Tutbury Crafts, coming soon. I plan to open in early October, which sounds a long way off but in fact is only 10 weeks away!!!!!!!!!!!
I have had lots of great feedback from people in the village already and hope that is a good omen. I have a lot to live up to as the previous craft shop was really good. It was also in bigger premises, so could keep more quantity and variety of stock than I will be able to, but you know what they say, mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow (hopefully).
I will keep you posted on progress over the next few weeks.
Wish me luck!
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Monday, 27 July 2009
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Today I have been doing my piano practice and have a lesson in 45 minutes and am feeling very frustrated so here it is for this week:
Friday, 24 July 2009
My winning submission was:
My feelings of inspiration are like the many tendrils of a jelly fish, wafting this way and that in the eddies created by the current. I see so much that inspires me, a beautiful garden, a well written blog, a superbly hand crafted dress, a wonderfully crocheted scarf, a well played piano piece, a tidy house. Each prompts me to attempt something similar and I end up inert, not knowing what to do first.
Oh come on Frances - tidy up the study - you know you should
The One Minute Writer is a great blog and great fun to take part. If you want to know more, follow the link on my winner button!
Thursday, 23 July 2009
I got home to find an email from my friend telling me that she is pregnant and due in November!!!!
So I have done a little search and will be attempting this:-
Wish me luck!
Monday, 20 July 2009
This is Vernon the Vole, some children visiting the garden came running to me saying "Bring the camera quick - we've found a vole". I followed them up the path to find this little vole sitting next to the path, surrounded by visitors, quite nonchalantly eating his afternoon snack. Even when I lay on the path about a foot away from him (now with me surrounded by onlookers) he still didn't pause.
Once I had the photographs, the children asked if I would make a photo card to sell on the craft stall the following day. I said I would, but only if they came up with a name for him. They went off to have a think about it and five minutes later came running back down the path shouting 'We've got a name - it's Vernon the Vole". So Vernon it was.
True to my promise, that evening I made 3 photo greeting cards featuring Vernon and they all sold in the first couple of hours. So in future I will be taking my design advice from the under 10 year old sector of the market!
The lavender smelled gorgeous this year and every time someone brushed past, a beautiful waft of lavender was released. The weather stayed fair for us the entire weekend and we hundreds of visitors each day. The kitchen staff (Lovely husband, stepson and stepson's girlfriend) were kept busy making teas, coffees, squash and serving Pip's famous chocolate cake. The craft stall and the kitchen were in competition for who would make the most money. Crafts won on the Saturday, but Tea and Cakes won on the Sunday. Over the whole weekend the craft stall made about £120 with Tea and Cakes pipping us at the post with about £130 (all going to our village church fund).
Overall with ticket sales and the efforts of the other gardens that opened, we made over £2000 for St.Marys!
And finally some views of the garden and a look at our craft stall, both of which took a lot of hard work to achieve, so well done us!
Sunday, 19 July 2009
When we made the decision for me to give up my job, we also decided to keep everybody on, as if I go back to full time employment, it would be impossible to find such good helpers again. Trouble is, it is one thing coming home and finding the house has been vacuumed, or the garden swept, quite another thing actually being there while someone is doing your work for you! I have started hiding up in the office, or going out shopping to avoid having to feel so guilty.
On the other hand, not working definitely has its benefits. I have been able to do my piano practice regularly, I have got my guitar out and started hardening off my fingers again, started sorting out my paper crafting stuff and found my crochet hooks. I treated myself to two new crochet books and some lovely new yarn that I can't wait to get started on. I have time to blog. Have lunch with a friend on a weekday. See what my garden looks like in daylight. Guilty pleasures indeed, but I shall make the most of them while I can.
Friday, 17 July 2009
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
As I write this I am on a train speeding towards London where I will then catch another train, on which I will then immediately speed away from London again. I have to spend a couple of days in Southend partly for business and partly to have the opportunity to say goodbye to my colleagues at the Southend offices.
I shall send thus post now(while I have a signal) and keep my fingers crossed. Yay for mobile blogging!
-- Post From My iPhone
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Monday, 11 May 2009
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
I will from now on be attempting to live up to CBeth's fine example. I will, henceforth, blog with discipline and hope for the promised occasional flash of brilliance.
Watch this space!
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Sunday, 29 March 2009
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
I have set myself the target of being down to my fighting weight by the time we go on our 10th Wedding Anniversary trip to the British Virgin Islands next January, an entirely achievable target if I stick to it. But I don't just want to lose some weight, I especially want to improve my fitness, so I think instead of just logging progress in a notebook or on the chalk board in the kitchen, I will blog myself fit!
Hopefully, people will support me and maybe provide some tips too!
New link to Fit not Fat coming to a blog near you soon.
Why am I avoiding starting my preparations, why haven't I revised my scales, or even stayed in the same room as the piano for more than a minute all morning? Because I don't really want to do the exam, that's why. I am learning piano for my own pleasure and and it is a divine pleasure I love every minute of my lessons and my practice sessions, but I hate the performance exams. I even enjoy doing the theory exams and next week I will be taking my Grade 4 music theory and am quite looking forward to it. The problem is, I have got myself into the position of not wanting to let my music teacher down instead of doing it for myself. I am going to have to tell her.
I have lots of things rattling around in my head today that are diverting my attention and writing them down may help me get them into some order. So I will post again in a bit and chew over something else to help sort my thoughts out. In a the meantime, I think a quick look at today's OMW and then raid the fridge for lunch.
(Ta Ta for Now)
Monday, 23 March 2009
Monday, 16 March 2009
Friday, 13 March 2009
Today's One Minute Writer Challenge is a fictional piece of a pivotal moment in a child's life, from the child's point of view. Here is my angle on it....
I lay on the grass, watching sunshine through closed eyes. I could feel the breeze moving my hair and parkland birds were singing. The sunshine, birds, distant sounds of other children having fun and the taste of ice cream merge into a single haze of memory - Summer. My hand reaches out without opening my eyes to check it is still there. My fingers tangle with the spokes of my beautiful new bike and I am filled with the joy of my first taste of independence.
I really enjoyed this one and was surprised how quickly an image I wanted to explore came to me. This is becoming less of a challenge and more of an addiction!
My ATC today is a little different, a more abstract approach using stamping ink and water to get a sort of 1970's lava lamp effect.
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
What happened to day 2 I hear you cry (or is it just the voices again). Well, work work work is all I will say. I will have a good catch up at the weekend and do some proper posting, but in the meantime. The challenge is to submit to the One Minute Writer every day and to create a new ATC every day for a week. Failed at the second fence yesterday, but plan to double up at the weekend (hope that's allowed).
My OMW submission on protecting children from on line predators:
"This is a difficult one, if you are over protective children can feel stifled, but there are some basic precautions. The key one is don't let them surf in private. The sheer fact of having them in a shared family space will limit how much freedom their curiosity gets. But mostly, talk to them, love them and regularly check their browsing history."
Today's ATC was created by stamping an image onto textured card and then creating a gloss with clear embossing powder. I am having trouble uploading at the moment, but will upload to Twitpic in the meantime.
Monday, 9 March 2009
Tonight's post is in response to Creative Machine's challenge to join her in attempting a daily task, this week being to produce an ATC (see earlier posts for info) and to submit our thoughts to the One Minute Writer every day. Well, as she is in Australia and I am in England, I will always be 10 hours behind and playing catch up, but I have determined to try.