Monday, December 31, 2012


a whole year in one blog post ::
the year started with a workshop move around - and a new dedicated packing room

I registered for VAT
and launched two new kits - 
I launched my new website
made a LOT of bunting for John Lewis displays
and started selling fabric

I cut out trillions of flowers for my new sew your own flower packs
added new colourways to all my handmade items
and bought red drawers to hold all them all

saw the launch of The Stitching Sheds' new cross stitch kits containing my felt embellishments
a new tutorial for Jubilee Bunting
and a special order for bird brooches for a hen party
was holiday time - a week in Jersey with John
I added polka dot button mix bags to my shop
and moved half my workshop into  a new workshop space round the corner, dedicated to all things Kit making
was toothache month - culminating in root canal - OUCH
The RSPB started stocking my Woodland Friends Kit and a new, exclusive to them kit, Garden Friends
 I tidied the stock room (I do that a lot)
and I made a swimming pool for a baby seagull when it was really really hot on the roof
saw the launch of many new items & a freebie extravaganza to celebrate
lots of new kits, including the new sized Mini Kits
a new loyalty card was designed & printed & a new free gift was launched
AND after the biggest felt delivery ever my new 40% wool premium felt was launched !
said goodbye to the old rattly window and a big hello to the new draught proof easily open-able window
and I bought some new drawers (more drawers!)
 started with a mini holiday to Bridport for my birthday
and then it got really busy - many mini rolls were purchased (this is one day of orders worth)
the hand sewing orders were coming in thick and fast
the parcel sacks were getting too big to carry
and I made Christmas bunting for John Lewis!
was the busiest month for making kits - this is one order on it's way out
my new polka dot felt was launched
I stopped taking orders for handmade because the kits were taking over
and Royal Mail started to collect my parcels for me
the kit making carried on in earnest
I did a mini stock take because the website went a bit wonky
I started making handmade again
and Christmas orders and parcel packing continued to keep me very busy indeed
phew-ee, what a year!
goodbye 2012 - and a great big hello to 2013, let's hope it's a good one :-)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It's nearly Christmas everyone!
-My shops are on Christmas Mode (open for orders but with postage suspended until the New Year) 
-All the last orders have been wrapped, packed and posted (yesterday) 
-I have finally got upto date with the weekly book keeping / accounting tasks and paid all my bills (yuck!)
My To Do List is now empty which means it's time for me to put my feet up, eat Christmas food, drink Christmas Wine, watch cheesy Christmas TV, enjoy Christmas family days and have a rest!
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas
see you soon *waves*
*jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the waaa-aaaayy*

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

today is definitely the busiest day yet for felt packs!!  if you are getting a felt pack for Christmas I'd love to see what you make with it !

Monday, December 17, 2012

last (handmade) orders

yesterday was my deadline for accepting anymore handmade-to-order orders and this little pile of goodies are officially the last handmades of 2012!
The shops seem to have picked back up into Christmas Mania Mode over the weekend and I am packing like mad to get everything out as fast as I can - Christmas is a week tomorrow shoppers - best get organised*!!
* I am not organised.  Our tree isn't up.  I haven't bought cards.  I haven't bought any gifts.  I haven't done special food shopping.......but I have been opening the doors on my advent calender on time & promptly  eating the chocolates, so I know exactly how many chocolates there are for me to scoff days I have left to get everything done!

Friday, December 14, 2012

what a difference a day makes ...

yesterday the 6 decorations up there in the photo were merely cut out bits of felt - today they are finished, wrapped and in the post sacks on the way to their new homes
yesterday I said we had sent our last big wholesale order - today we got a new order *who needs time to tidy up anyway, tidying can wait!*
yesterday I said the solicitor was slow and might be replaced - today the very same solicitor was super-duper on top of everything and the ball is rolling *big sigh of relief*
I wonder what shall happen tomorrow??

Thursday, December 13, 2012

ribbon soup & a s.l.o.w. solicitor

Things are a lot less busy around these parts - mostly because our last big wholesale order has gone and that means John is free to help with retail orders - which means I get a couple of hours a day to catch up!  Yesterday I was finishing off designs for Spring (I know!) and today I tried to tidy up the workshop - Christmas Craziness mixed with a handful of Big Kit Orders left the workshop in a mess state of organised chaos! 
 I've also tried to chase my solicitor - as far as I can tell nothing has been done yet - earlier on he promised he would  definitely get back to me today, but no such luck - the estate agent thinks I should change solicitor tomorrow and has recommended someone who has promised they can do it all before Christmas - so we shall wait and see what tomorrow brings!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

dates & garlands

thanks for sharing the excitement of my news yesterday!  I've been chasing the solicitor today and will hopefully have more news soon-ish!
 I've added Christmas Posting Dates to the home page of my website :: last day for posting before Christmas is 19th December (a week tomorrow so no need to panic yet!)...the shops will remain open as always and I'll be posting on 2nd & 3rd of January before we take a long weekend and re-open properly on 7th January (I might even be in the new workshop then, but I might not, who knows!)
I haven't put a date up yet for  last minute hand made items but as ever, order sooner rather than later!
The photos are of a garland I finished last night - 6x penguins and 6x Little Gingers, destined to decorate a customers Kitchen for Christmas - I think it'll look really cute!

Monday, December 10, 2012

exciting news

I am rubbish at keeping quiet when there is news to tell!
I've been trying to keep quiet about this until it's all finalised - but I can't, I'm too excited!!
This ..... going to be my new workshop premises!!
It's the ground floor (sadly my bits not yellow!) it's the BIG door in the middle and the windows either side....
 The past few months we have really struggled with the current workshop - it's much much too small for more than one person to work in, let alone to hold all the stock - stairs do not make a good stock room!! and the extra space we've borrowed around the corner for kit storage isn't quite big enough either...
 So a bigger workshop has been hunted down...this one is 1400 sq ft (it feels current workshop is 300 sq ft!!) and it's just around the corner from here, perfect!
I hope you can see from the photos just how big it is - it's a huge next step and I'm slightly terrified, but I think it will be amazing - there's one big open workspace and 3 separate offices ... one of the offices is almost as big as my entire workshop is now!!
Please keep your fingers crossed that the lease will all go through OK ...if it all goes to plan I'll be moving in in the New Year - yippee!!!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

stock levels

the stock levels on my website go a little *wonky* over time - I have no idea how it happens I just think that the website can't add or subtract in a normal way - it would never pass a maths exam, that's for sure!
example question: you have 120 red polka dot buttons in stock, you sell 46 - how many red polka dot buttons do you have left?  my websites answer: 52 (or any other random number it can think of!)
 Some of my stock items were marked as zero even though I had some and some said I had loads when I had none at all !!!
 So I spent some time today counting and sorting and refilling existing stocks with new deliveries...the website has all the correct stock levels entered and we shall see how it goes!