“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” (Jim Bishop).
Savouring those last warm days, enjoying the crisp coolness of early mornings and evenings, the beautiful colours of nature, sightings of squirrels and robins and the lighting of an open fire all add up to why autumn is by far my favourite season.
New items for autumn, like this squirrel brooch in mustard felt and little hanging artwork in sunflower yellow, have been inspired by the changing colours of nature. Endeavouring to be a little more adventurous with my mixed media style, I’m enjoying combining different colours and patterns of fabrics and embellishments to build a boho style piece, with a hint of vintage.
With my first 2019 fair under my belt, I thought I’d pop a post with details of upcoming Christmas Markets where you’ll be able to find Ellie’s Treasures.
You may have read my past posts on tips for selling at craft fairs (over four parts), and I think I should have had a little catch up read before the market last Sunday as I felt a bit rusty packing everything up and making sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. I’ve updated my to do list with a few things that came to light this time.
The pop up event on Sunday was lovely, although the weather was atrocious. The heavens opened from dawn to dusk and driving an hour and a half to Reepham in Norfolk at 7 in the morning wasn’t fun! Having said that, the venue was superb, warm and undercover, and it was great to meet and chat with such a wonderful bunch of sellers. We were all amazed how many people braved the weather, despite talk of local roads being closed and cars being abandoned in flooded areas. A big thank you to the organisers, Kerri’s Farmhouse Pine – a fantastic venue to visit at any time with plenty to browse and buy, wonderful tea room and country walks right on the doorstep.
Happy new year to all my readers, I hope you’ve all had a good festive season with time to recharge and look ahead to 2019.
The lead up to Christmas is often a busy one for small businesses, especially those that involve selling, and it is quite a relief to have a little downtime to collect thoughts, look back on the past year and then look forward to the new one with new ideas and optimism. For me the beginning of the year is often quiet on the selling front and I should by now be used to this and try not to get a too twitchy! There are so many things involved in running an indie business that a space of quiet like this should really be a blessing to catch up on non-sewing work, but naturally you can’t help hearing those inner voices casting small nuggets of doubt about your craft and where your path is leading.
As these thoughts can pop up at any time, I keep a month by month journal listing anything positive that happens with regard to Ellie’s Treasures. When the doubt sets in, I find it a help to look back and see that business is not stagnant, there is always something in the pipeline, always something to work on and improve and, hopefully, a lovely customer or two that comes along at the right moment with a compliment that makes you start to believe in yourself again.
The last few months have been a whirlwind of sewing, listing, restocking and selling so I thought I’d share with you a couple of lovely things that have happened since the Autumn and a few plans for the coming year.
I can now show you photos of an artwork commission I received back in September and completed in October. It was a privilege to work alongside my client and be trusted with such a personal birthday present and seeing it come together, piece by piece, was really fulfilling.
The end of November and beginning of December were busy craft market times for Ellie’s Treasures with Pensthorpe Craft Fair and Deepdale Christmas Market over two consecutive weekends. Both were extremely busy and great fun. It was a pleasure to meet so many supportive sellers, customers and visitors, it really does make the early mornings and late evenings worthwhile. I’d like to thank Lottie of Lottie’s Little Treasures (who was also selling at Deepdale with her beautifully gorgeous goodies) for taking the time out of her busy days to track me down so we could meet in person – it was a lovely surprise, thank you so much.
Plans for 2019? Well I have a few new ideas up my sleeve! I’ve just started to introduce planner charms to my range, two are now listed, one is waiting to be photographed and several are ready for sewing. The clip charms are cute and original little accessories that will brighten up any thin ring bound notebook, diary or journal – perfect for the stationery lover.
I’ve been hearing on the grapevine that nature will be featuring big this year, so I’m in the process of developing a range to include more tactile embellishments along these lines. Also, getting Ellie’s Treasures out on the road is something I’d like to do more of as I really enjoy meeting folk face to face. This does mean I need to be sewing a lot more than I already am so a big challenge there for me as time always seems to be against me. Finally, perhaps this year will be the year I start my own shop website – we’ll see … one step at a time!
Do you have exciting plans for 2019? Drop me a comment, I’d love to hear how you see the year progressing for you.
Commissions are always a joy to complete and this month has seen quite a few coming my way (thank you all so much). One in particular put a big smile on my face, a bi-fold fabric wallet – an item I haven’t sewn for quite a long time. It was good to get the batiks out of the fabric drawer and start the long hours of cutting, pressing and hand sewing. There’s a tiny chance I may start making these again for the shop as they have always been popular due to the striking colour schemes and handy size – we’ll see 😉
I can’t believe our luck with this long run of glorious warm weather (I’ve done it now, it’ll probably rain tomorrow). The garden is coping well and the vast majority are sturdy enough to not need a good dosing of water, just those that are potted need a little help every other day. I think it’s the first time in the 11 years we’ve been here that the water butt has been drained dry so I’m trying to be as economical as possible with water from the tap. Flowers are so beautiful to have around the house too so I pick a little posy each week to display near my desk. The small glass jar is one of a pair we found buried in the garden when we first moved in … I do love hidden treasures of history.
In a mission to step away from the PC and sewing basket for a short while and spend some time with friends, we recently headed out to the small market town of Long Sutton. As it was market day we had a little mooch around the stalls and picked up a few bargain pot plants and dainty lace. We also discovered a little haberdashery squeezed in among the other shops – so teeny tiny you could probably only fit 4 people in there at one time, but it was crammed full of colourful fabrics, felt, wool and all the embellishments you could possibly need. I would never have know it was there, right on my doorstep, if I hadn’t ventured out to explored my local area and this started me thinking how I have slipped a little into becoming a slave to internet shopping. Yes it has its positives, as in prices are often cheaper, but there’s also many downsides, most notably the lack of face to face contact, those friendly exchanges between customer and shop owner/assistant that can easily lead to a beneficial relationship for both of you. Popping out to the local shops to support them and help keep them running is vitally important in this day and age where so many small businesses are struggling to make a livelihood.
Before heading home we popped into another small business – Mal’s Vintage Tea Shop – a treasure trove of vintage and handmade items surrounded us as we sipped tea and coffee from pretty mismatched china and enjoyed the delights of perfectly baked scones, butter, cream, strawberry and blackcurrant jams. This tea shop is a real find and I’m planning on returning with hubs in tow.
Enjoy the sunshine everyone! I hope your month has been a good one – stop by and let me know what you’ve been doing.