Lucy looking pretty

Lucy looking pretty
Aren't I a sweet wee lass?

Monday, 5 November 2012

Ooh ... it's been a while!

Well hello again!  It's been a while since I last updated my blog, so as we're having to wait in for the gas engineer this morning, I thought I'd use the time productively.

I've been pretty busy lately, mainly because of the MacMillan Coffee Morning at the end of September, when we raised in excess of £250 and my annual festive gathering by way of the Christmas Cards and Jewellery Party at the end of October.

The Coffee Morning (which was held in the afternoon) went very well.  We were very busy serving endless cups of tea and coffee accompanied by home baking and teensy weensy elegant sandwiches.  It was a good, if tiring, afternoon and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.  My choice of music was complimented! I had planned on playing my Timewarp 60s Music, but at the last minute I changed it to Fabulous Fifties Music.  The raffle raised around £100+ (£60+ of which was raised by sales prior to the Coffee Morning) and the shop raised around £60.  On the day itself, granddaughter Lily ran the raffle (and 'encouraged' everyone to buy tickets) and granddaughter Laura ran the shop, and just in case anyone hadn't realised we were selling things, Laura took the shop to our guests to 'encourage' folks to buy!

The home baking went down a treat, and a HUGE thanks to everyone who took the time to bake and also donate to the event.  I'd have hated to force my home baking on everyone there, although I did make some tablet, puff candy and the fruit cake that Arlene donated the recipe for.  Also, a HUGE thanks to everyone for coming along and supporting the event.  It wouldn't have been such a success if you hadn't come along.  THANK YOU ALL!

Now, the Festive Night was also a great success.  I do believe that Laura managed to sell 8 scarves for Woollen Wonders and made some commission for all her hard work.  Lesley's jewellery was also very popular.  I had my eye on a few things on the jewellery table, but by the time I got around to browsing, there was very little left.  However, I did make a small purchase which will go past for Christmas.

Again, many thanks to everyone who came along and supported the event.  I know that you all only came along cos I'd promised to play Crimbo music!  And of course, I've been playing Crimbo music since then and Mike hasn't complained once ... I suspect that his hearing is starting to fail.

And, continuing on the Crimbo theme.  Sky Movies Christmas 24 channel started on Saturday, so now I have Crimbo music in the kitchen and Crimbo movies in the dining room ... what more could a gal ask for!  Apart from hoping Santa keeps her on the 'nice' list!

I've also been working on some trinkets and stocking fillers for the Christmas craft fairs that I've got booked between now and Christmas.  I had hoped to get booked into the fairs for selling jewellery but unfortunately they've all been full for jewellery.  However, from the few craft fairs that I've had a table at, I've been watching what does and doesn't sell, particularly with regards to the jewellery sales.

It appears that what puts people off is that fact the the jewellery is so 'expensive'.  I put that in quotes, cos it's not my view, but from speaking with potential customers, I get the distinct impression that folks come along to these fairs looking for bargains, and don't seem willing to pay what they consider to be 'over the odds' for the craft items for sale.  Clearly most people feel that they should only be paying for the materials, and not for the time involved in making the items.  I do get the impression that people who go to the craft fairs believe that they shouldn't pay for the time spent making an item, cos people selling at craft fairs are selling things they make for a hobby, ergo, they shouldn't charge for their time. This seems really quite unfair to me, cos there are a lot of crafters who are making things to try to run a small business and generate an income.  So, to continue my ramblings, I've also been watching what does and doesn't sell.  The more expensive items just don't sell (maybe that'll change in the run up to Christmas), so I'm now working on creating some inexpensive trinkets and stocking fillers.  These are items that I can charge a reasonable amount for, and can cover the costs of materials, as well as my time for making them.. This means that I'm making things that don't really show any great amount of talent or creativity, but by their simplicity they look pretty good and the price is also attractive to potential customers.  I've found that I can sell several smaller items at £1, £2, £3 etc whereas it's almost impossible to sell an item at £15.  I guess another issue is the fact that it's a cash sale rather than using cheque or Switch cards.  Therefore, most people aren't bringing pocketfuls of cash with them to craft fairs, so it seems wise to switch to smaller, more inexpensive products.

Well, we're still waiting for the gas engineer.  He's just phoned, and it would appear he's running late (was booked to be here between 8am and 1pm) and can only say that he'll be here sometime this afternoon.  So, I'll ramble on for a short while longer, and then I'll start lunch.

I'm all set for winter dog walking duties.  I've decided to retire my old winter boots (my feet never got cold even when the temperature dropped to -16c a couple of years ago).  These boots are pretty well done now, so I'm going to put them in the bin.  But,  I've got some fabby warm welly boots (Muckboots) to keep my feet warm and dry over the winter.  They usually sell for around £60-£70, but I managed to get a pair for only £25! Fabby!  I've tried them out already, and my feet stayed warm and cosy.

I'm also working on a handmade Christmas this year, and will be making and crafting lots of handmade items for Christmas gifts.  I've got lots of ideas, and have even started working on them.  Just hope I don't run out of time ... I'd hate to be the one to keep Santa late on his very important journey on Christmas Eve. 

Well, time's getting on now, so I'm off to make lunch and then we'll get Mickey and Lucy out for their daily constitutional ... and a run with Lucy's beloved Ring Zinger!

Many thanks for reading my ramblings!

As Forrest Gump says ... "That's all I have to say about that".