Saturday, 31 July 2010

General Waffle - family illness and coping with guilt!

This isn't likely to be a coherent post. Although perhaps a theme will emerge.

I have been ill this week as those who follow me on Twitter and Facebook will know. Nothing severe - just a sore throat, queasiness and general exhaustion picked up from one of the children. Both have been on holiday from School and its amazing how the days either speed by or drag if you aren't feeling well.
I designed a green star version of my bumble bee for a customer from Illustrate My Name;  I really like it. It seems to have quite a retro look.

Managed to get through all the urgent orders this week and actually am a little ahead of myself, so much so that I spent all day today (Sat 31st July) designing illustrative cards for my greeting card illustration agent and Phoenix Trading. All are speculative which means there is no guarantee that anything will come of doing them. That said I get much from doing it. It's very easy to get rusty and out of practice with illustration and I wouldn't say that I found work just flows because I always - even today- feel the time pressure. A roundabout way of saying, I am trying my best and hoping that I will make a breakthrough and move on with my illustration style(s). Will post pictures of those another time...

I have about 20 outstanding Moobaacluck orders and because of my husbands work ( only Mondays are regular) I always have the feeling that I just might not have enough time to do everything.
Managed to paint all these on Friday - finish them at least but this little lot probably took 2 - 3 days to do. Something tells me I need to develop a printed product line!!


Yet again Tony looked after the children all day on his own. They have a lovely time with him so its not as if they are suffering without me there, its more that they have grown up feeling that I am not usually "there when we go on trips". This isn't strictly true but I suppose for 70 % of the time they do anything exciting it probably is. I feel very happy creating but its always tinged with regret. Something I will just have to get used to. How do you all cope?

Here they are on their quiet Monday with me at home; you can't see them but there was a swarm of beautiful dragon flies swooping about.

This was also the day that I decided to take part in the Notonthehighstreet Christmas brochure. I may be setting myself up for a very tricky time but I am determined to make the best of it. Its as though i have to make life difficult in order to change what is wrong. Im my case the disorganisation of my work spaces and lack of money. Perhaps this will sort out the latter enough for me to buy things to sort out the former.

I designed these horses specifically for a local customer, she loved them so I thought I'd try them out on Noths never thinking for a minute that this would be the product they wanted to feature.

We ( the children and I ) also made two cakes that twitter friends will know I polished off pretty smartly. Here's a photo of them, believe me they tasted wonderful, better than they look here anyway.

Friday, 23 July 2010


Apparently I write like James Joyce having had my last post analysed  via a Facebook Application!
I have never read anything by him but I do know that Ulysses is incomprehensible to all but the most determined scholars. Ha.. so funny.

I write like
James Joyce
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Part 2 - Preparation for the Country Living Show next Spring

 pile of presents   

First I need to book accomodation. I do know people in London but I think it would be a bit much to ask of them to put me up for a week. Besides - I have a feeling I will just need to go to bed early every night or try and do a spot of yoga (haha) in my hotel room to unwind. Have just booked to stay at Earl's Court Easy hotel - it cost £295 - yikes. But for 7 nights in London that's not bad. Of course I will have to pay for my food... me thinks I may lose weight that week. If anyone fancies putting me up do let me know - I will only lose a fraction of that money by cancelling!
After speaking to Penny Lindop a couple of weeks ago I now know that you are allowed 2 days to set up before the fair opens. Some people take 1 day - clearly very experienced exhibitors but someone like me will need more time. Especially as you are allowed to decorate your stand - by that I don't mean simply hanging things up, you are allowed to paint on the boards.

With Moobaacluck being a handpainted business (primarily for the moment) I would be mad not to take advantage of   this.. possibly mad to do so some might say. The only snag is  that you have to paint it all back to the neutral greyish white  afterwards. I think it would be a good idea to visit the Christmas fair with some swatches in my paws to make sure I get a good enough idea of the colour  paint I need to buy to do that.

Apply here for a stand yourself

Another thing Penny told me to be aware of is that there is little time to unload. Book a slot when the big book of instructions appears in the post 2 months before the show and accept that it may not go smoothly! If people booked earlier than you haven't finished you will be asked to move off  or park up and come back; not easy in Islington. Must say I am not looking forward to that bit. And you should only allow 30 -60 mins to unload, deposit everything and return to your car before moving off and trying to find somewhere to park.

Penny suggested that I book some of the lighting offered (for which you pay extra) as I haven't got my own. This way I can be sure of the most appropriate lighting and that it will work... 

A curious thing that you wouldn't know unless you had exhibited there before is that the WiRE area has a weak mobile signal; something to do metal surrounding walls.. this means that when it comes to
automated payments one is better off using a telephone line. Never having accepted cards before I was anxious about how to go about this. If you join the Federation of Small Businesses apparently among the benefits are the discounted rental of Streamline machines. You have to rent a line from Country Living - again bookable a couple of months before the show; at about £30 for the duration.

Think carefully too about how you will store stock, plan your display  as much as possible before hand; you bring everything: table, any shelving, drill, tape, posters, framed pictures, display racks.. Plan, plan, plan. Apparently there is a limited amount of storage space if you can find out about it so that you don't have to have ALL your stock on your stand. However you wouldn't have access to this when the show is open to the public.

I was offerred a stand for the Christmas event last week and decided knowing what I do now that I would be better off visiting the show then instead!

If you know differently or have anything to add to this post please comment. I will amend and add wherever necessary :)

Time management or not in my case

One of the hardest things is juggling time consuming art work with family life; all too often I have 6 day weeks and there is rarely a day when I am not fiddling with something. However this weekend I gave myself an entire Saturday and most of Sunday off, apart from 2 hours finishing 30 of these stars - they have to be posted tomorrow!

                                ©Gabriella Buckingham - Moobaacluck 2010

In fact as I finish this post it is the following weekend; there isn't enough time to be perfect. All creative types have to accept this..don't we? I would be very interested in hearing how you all organise yourselves!

I have just bought myself some great wooden filing trays so that I can put all the jobs for a particular day of the week a stack of those. Of course I want to paint them beautifully too but that is going to have to wait!

I had the best weekend I have had in a long while ( last weekend!) taking some time off to splash in the sea with the family and ate outside all weekend, pottering among our weeds and plants with the occasional plunge into our big blow up pool. Heaven, can't want for much more really.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Lovely purchase from DotsandSpots

These arrived last week; ordered on Wednesday morning and they were with me on Thursday morning - all the way from Somerset to North East Norfolk:

and what is more Becky, the founder and chief designer at Dots and Spots included a gift of a set of 4 postcards with my order! Thank you Becky :)) As you can see below the books were appreciated, but I am keeping the postcards.... and the campervan notebook .. and of course the Garden Stuff...

See more of Becky's product range at !

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Some news part 1

As usual have been mostly contained in the summerhouse 6 days a week ( apart from school runs, once to the supermarket and oh joy, a dental specialist in Norwich. Less said about that the better) Oh and the most important day release happened last Thursday. "I worked like Billy Ocean" ( a strange phrase personal to me that I don't remember the origins of) last Wednesday to complete as many orders ahead of time as poss to have lunch with Penny Lindop in St. Benedicts restaurant in Norwich. We spent a fun 2 hours discussing all the potential hazards of setting up at Country Living next year; Penny gave me lots of tips and a big task to do which I will begin next week.. honest Penny!!

Penny designs wonderfully quirky hand finished greeting cards, prints and framed clocks. To see more of her work please look here  If you are visiting the Royal Norfolk Show you can find Penny in the craft tent.

This is one of my favourite pieces of Penny's work. I love the idea of a collection of cards in a lovely box. A great gift for someone or a treat for yourself!

As soon as I find my notebook I will write Part 2 with details of all that I gleaned for those of you who like me have never done a big event before. I have done plenty of craft fairs but never one that necessitated an automated payment system. So that was one of my major concerns.

Yesterday I was delighted to  hear that I've been accepted for the British Craft Trade Fair next Spring. Plenty to do now... not that there wasn't before! :))

Are any of you exhibiting at a big show this or next year? You are welcome to post a link to your site and announce what you are up to in the comments section! Look forward to seeing what you are getting up to. Part 2 to follow soon .... now WHERE is that notebook.....