25 August 2009

It's Never Too Early To Find Your Career Path

And so it seems my son has found his.

Ok so this is what the end result looked like ....

but it's early days ... . I mean can you see how SERIOUS he looks?

24 August 2009

Craft Fair Do's and Don'ts

It's been a brilliant week-end, my first craft fair has been a great experience, thank you to everyone who came and to anyone who bought something from me and all the great feedback I got, it's been an incredible confidence-booster and learning experience. This is me at my stand , and given that I am sitting, it brings me straight to my do's and don'ts list:

- set up your stand at home before, it saves you invaluable time when you do your actual set-up as you can try things out at home and then get whatever you need to make it look better
- bring a box of essentials with scissors, pens, marker, sticky tape, rope, blue tack, stapler, upholstery pins etc
- buy stick-on velcro tape. Whoever invented this deserves a medal!!
- have spotlights to enhance the look of your products. Also if it's a cold day it'll create some warmth for you
- if you bring lights and extension leads, get a PAT (portable appliance testing) certificate for all items, some event organisers will ask for this
- you may need to get PI (public indemnity) insurance for the events, again some event organisers may ask for this and you don't want to wait with this until the last minute
- bring easy snacks that you can graze on like nuts and dry fruits
- bring water/tea but not so much that you need the loo every 30 minutes
- create height on your stand, the visual impact is important
- depending on your price range, see if you can take credit /debit cards
- have a money box with lots of change
- know what to do when someone hands you a cheque
- bring a stool (see below under Don'ts)
- have a layout that invites people INTO your stand
- have special prices for someone placing an order on the day, i.e. no postage fee, and have an Order Book for said orders
- have a large banner with your company's name displayed at height so that people can see it even if your stand is busy
- have cards
- have bags and tissue paper
- have baby wipes to keep your hands clean
- have a few sweets in your bag to keep your spirits up when things are slow

- don't sit on a chair. Never. You can perch on a bar stool (which I highly recommend, it made day 2 and 3 much more comfortable) but do not sit on a chair. Ever.
- and finally do not bring a tuna salad. You'll be drinking water or looking for mints after every bite. Ooops.

20 August 2009

Craft Fair Here We Come

If you're anywhere in the South and have no plans for the week-end .... come to Live Crafts & Food at Parham Park near Pulborough. Well that's where I'll be anyway. My stall is set-up, the weather forecast is ok-ish and I am knackered before it's even started, so hopefully I'll be able to report some good results by the end of the week-end.

Oh yes in case you're wondering - I will not be standing behind two empty tables, I will actually have products to sell. But more of that tomorrow, when I'll also be able see if all my organisational skills have paid off. I feel quite excited, a bit like a kid on Christmas Eve ... will I be able to sleep tonight?

19 August 2009

Can You Feel The Heat

Last week-end we finally made it to West Dean Gardens, a place just 15 minutes from us and in the two years that we've lived here, we hadn't been there before ... wow! If you're anywhere in the West Sussex area, do stop by, it's beautiful, a lovely place for a walk and then a pit-stop at the coffee shop. Mind the wasps though, they are quite aggressive.

At the beginning of this year I had a brief intention of starting my own little vegetable patch, but that was before I sat down at that fateful sewing machine and never got up again. So I hang my head in shame at the planned vegetable patch that is now a weed garden, especially after having visited the Walled Kitchen Garden at West Dean. It is so beautiful that you immediately want to go and grow your own vegetables. Somehow though on the way out we got distracted at the coffee shop and the vegetable patch will have to wait a little longer now.

They run a few events during the year, one of them being the Chilli Festival and I never thought there were so many varieties in the world.

So on the subject of chilli, I leave you with the recipe for my favourite Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce - you should always have a jar of this in the fridge, it's delicious added to stir-fries, with cold meats or pretty much anything that requires a little bit of heat and sweetness.

Makes 200ml

250g large red chillies, trimmed
5 garlic cloves, trimmed an chopped
120g light brown sugar
3 teaspoons white wine vinegar

Combine everything in a pan with 150ml water, bring to the boil and simmer until soft. Blitz in the blender, add a bit of salt. Return to the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Cool and refrigerate, it will last for weeks in the fridge.

15 August 2009

Toddler Logic

There could be a really long post and list to this title but I just have one very simple example:

TWO yoghurts must be eaten with TWO spoons. Is it about mixing the flavours? I don't know. Sometimes it's better not to ask too many questions.

14 August 2009

Display Dilemma

Still here and still trying to recover from a great week-end with the family. At the same finalising everything for the craft fair next week-end and for the last three days I have been racking my brain to find a nice way how to display my things. I wish I could take my garden with me (or part of it) because then it could look like this:

But I can't take the garden with me so I'll have to be creative with two tables and a few clothing racks. I am starting to really look forward to the event, just hoping the weather will be ok so that the turnout will be good. Am I asking too much if I want ANOTHER week-end of sunshine??

6 August 2009

Try This

I love going on holidays in May because if you go somewhere warm, it really gets you in the spirit of summer once you come home. This year we spent a week in Positano, Italy, and I have a feeling we might be heading back there next year. Whilst sitting on the piazza in front of the beach, I discovered this - now I'm not one to entice you to drink, but really you should try this, it's just so lovely. It requires a little organisation because you can't find it in the regular shops and will have to order it online, but boy is it worth it.

Throw a couple of ice cubes in a tumbler.
1/3 Aperol
1/3 Prosecco
1/3 Sparkling Water
1 Orange slice

Sit back and enjoy.

5 August 2009

Time For A Drink

This household is getting ready for a rather big party this week-end with the little man's christening (I know, he's nearly 2 1/2, it was about time) and my birthday, and so far the weather forecast is looking good. I'm squeezing in as much sewing as I can but I fear there won't be much done from 2pm tomorrow until Monday morning. But remember my baby shoe post here .... well ladies and gentlemen, today I give you, ....... ta daaaa, 35 pairs of shoes. Whohooo!!!

I've also had quite a few orders for monogram sleepsuits, here's just one of them.

And finally the magnetic blackboard in the kitchen is being put to good use - thank you once again to the dear friends who gave Luca the fridge phonics (I know you're out there ;-) He loves them.

I feel I deserve a drink or two this week-end. Which brings to my favourite summer time drink, but more of that tomorrow. For now I need to go and have another one get some sleep.

3 August 2009

State Of Panic

Yesteday we went to the Live Crafts Show which is exactly like the one I will be doing in 2.5 weeks and this is how I feel now.


- There are only 2.5 weeks left
- I will be selling for 3 days
- I don't know if I'll have enough stock ready
- I don't know if I'll manage to finish everything I want to do
- I now have to work out what my stand will look like and how to make it look really nice and inviting
- It's costing serious amount of money and I'm hoping I'll recover some of it.