I have been a busy bee of late - I've been doing next years Christmas Card designs ready for the 2013 catalogue, whilst trying to keep up with all the lovely orders that are 'pinging' in.
On Sunday I took a rare day off, Sophie and I headed over to Bath for the day - our only chance for a shopping trip there, this side of Christmas.
The Christmas Markets in Bath were open for business. To be honest they were a little disappointing. When they first started out you got Artisan sellers, a really lovely selection of things you hadn't seen before. This year there were quite a few duplicate sheds - people who had just bought from a wholesaler, there were a couple of Bath shops who took on a shed to maximise sales and quite a few sheds that were there year in, year out.
Don't get me wrong, they are a lovely addition but not as nice as they used to be.
Cath Kidston's window didn't disappoint though - very festive.
It was dry (huge bonus) and it was busy but I didn't come away very inspired and not too many gifts were ticked off my list. I'm looking forward to next weekend and Christmas at the Barn in Mells and also on Sunday is Frome's Artisan/Flea/Super Market - so fingers crossed I can get more Christmas shopping done then.
Before that though, I have lots of orders to get out, more cards to design and a photo shot to prep for on Friday. We are shooting the final catalogue images and web images for all of next years new products - exciting but very busy times. In between all this, there is of course family life too, to juggle and take care of - role on actual Christmas and a few days off.
Firstly a huge thank you to Betsy Benn for giving us this fabulous Destination Print as a giveaway and secondly thank you to all of you who took the time to leave a comment and share about this post.
I have rounded up all the entries from here on the blog and all those who commented on facebook. Over 80 people were in with a chance but the one very lucky winner, whose name was pulled out at random was a facebook entry and drum roll please,was.......
The Peartree Boutique
Could you please email me and I will forward your details over to Betsy Benn so that you can sort out your print together - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you once again to all of you who took the time to leave a comment - if you weren't lucky but still really want one then pop over to their website *HERE*
Today has been about deliveries - I had got so low on my bubble wrap envelopes, that I put in a big order on Sunday. The grey sack was huge - something Santa would be proud of!
And then my wrap order was ready - 45,000 sheets of gorgeous new double sided wrap. There are 5 designs in 3 colourways ,so 15 different sheets to choose from. And with the reverse printed too, that makes it 30 fabulous new wraps. All will be revealed in January.
I love living in Somerset but it can be a struggle to love it so, when it continually rains. The ground just can't take much more of it.
I came home early today to get on with some card designs as the deadline is looming and was met with this scene. Any persistent rain, now leads to just up the road flooding, as the water just pours off the fields.
I did want to share this with you too, another bit of 'Somerset Life'
dots and spots features on page 114 of the new December issue - a little piece about my Somerset business.
Another horrible photo - (I have lost another stone since then!)
But a good write up and fab photo's taken by the very lovely Jo Sheldrake about dots and spots.
I'll leave you with a nicer image than that of the first - the perfect way to brighten up the Autumnal gloom. My kitchen with my 'every day' fairy lights on - much prettier!
Yesterday, I hid away in my studio ALL day. I had a date with my 2013 catalogue - 72 blank pages needed filling by my 9am meeting at the printers this morning.
So I closed the door and just got on with it!
I had done the hard bit a week or so ago, working out what should go on each page. All the products except some new card designs are done. Most of the new products are here prepped and photographed and in theory, everything had a product name and code.
So it was down to me to sketch it all out and then hand it over to the printers.
And with a huge sigh of relief, I did it! 72 fabulous pages of dots and spots goodies for 2013 will be going to print by the end of the month. We will be adding a supplement in May for any new things we decide to make and exhibit at Pulse but this catalogue should take us through 2013.
2014 products are already on a list waiting for design time and money!
So, I best get on with the card designs that are needed, so everything can go to print!
I will be here on Saturday the 1st of December (not the Sunday) - Christmas at the Barn in Mells, Somerset - just outside Frome. It is organised by the very lovely Rebecca and you can read all about it, in a lot more detail *HERE* or click on the image to enlarge it.
We will be taking a selection of our wares - well as much as we can possibly squeeze onto one table - here's a mock up of our table.
There will be special show prices and a discount voucher for anyone who purchases from us on the day.
We will be taking ribbon, wrap and tags - wooden hearts, stars and boats - spotty paper bags, mugs and magnets - thank you postcards, easy wrap gift bags and pudding badges.
We will also have a few Advent Calendars in case you have forgotten to buy one! Big books, A5 notebooks and mini notebooks - stickers, place setting cards and bags of sweet treats and some Christmas decorative tape! There, I think that is everything - all we need now is you, so please spread the word if you are local and support small businesses in the run up to Christmas.
You might be lucky and get Sophie serving you in the little cafe - she's looking forward to her first 'proper' little job!
I have been wanting to produce spotty paper bags for as long as I can remember and at last, here they are. They are made here in the UK and have small spots along the side gusset and larger spots on the front and back panels.
Rather than have them sat over at the premises for 4 months waiting for the big reveal at Top Drawer in January, we have decided to share some of them with you now. We are selling them in bundles of various quantities which you seem to love - available in blue, pink or red and eventually a mixed bundle too - see more *HERE*.
They will (not quite yet) be available as packs of party bags complete with co-ordinating stickers
and as Easy Wrap Gift Bag Packs,
taking away all the troubles you may have, when wrapping a present.
Today has been all about playing catch up. This is the worst time of the year to get behind on orders so this morning I headed over to the unit to tackle this little lot.
5 hours later it became this big lot!
Whilst I cooked the roast for tea - Postmaster Jeff tackled the parcel pile.
Sizing, sorting and stickering each one.
Each parcel is then put into a Royal Mail sack ready for dropping off at the sorting office in the morning.
Thank you to all of you out there ordering - I still get a buzz as the orders 'ping' in but will be glad when the Christmas craziness is over - I have a catalogue that needs my attention and just a few cards that need designing........ there's always something to do.