Saturday, 31 March 2012

Meeting Theo Paphitis at the SBS meeting in Edgbaston

On Friday - yesterday in fact, I left my house at 7.30am to drive to a little place near Peterborough to cadge a very turbo charged lift from Ms Lush of @whoatemycrayons fame and her chauffeur in the shape of husband Paul. Many thanks to both of you for saving me probably 4 hours extra driving and the stress of getting lost in Birmingham, which I suspect would be easily done. 

We arrived at Edgbaston to see a gleaming almost surreal silver car - that could only belong to the person we and about 300 other #sbs winners were there to listen to and finally meet! Theo kindly hand signed all our certificates and posed with each of us individually. I don't suppose he thought when he started out in business that he'd end up having to be a part time model!

As anyone reading this blog will know I am quite keen on Twitter and one of the loveliest aspects - apart from meeting MrP - was seeing Twittering friends again or for the first time.

                                    photo courtesy of Becky and Jeff Peabody

Here are two of my favourite tweeters that I'd met before - Becky @dotsandspotsbiz and Heidi in red @GiddyKipperUk . (I'm the one in my favourite yellow cardigan and Amy who I met yesterday from @chambersandbeau is on the far right).

Theo spoke for a few hours gently fueled by beers and was really entertaining as well as inspiring. It is clear that it gives him great pleasure to help and encourage us all and there was an interesting Q+A session through which many good ideas for the future development of the small business Sunday were discussed. A new website has been designed to promote and support any winners past, present and future all has been designed by Chris Wheeler (@metalfrogstreet and his team in Norwich - very near me!)

This is just half of the audience! that's the top of my head there and the woman in the red jacket is Jo Jenner @3blondebears and the woman on the left in the orange one is @LizaJdesign Liza Cole. Jo gave me and a few fellow tweeters a lovely present of one of her screen printed bags and a chocolate rabbit lolly - what a treat! Thanks Jo.. and that wasn't the end of it. The event was sponsored by Rymans and we all have been given a little money to spend on our office essentials when we open an account and came away with these goodies:


Thank you Theo - a day very well spent. 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Images from my shed

Here's one I made earlier. You can see the birch coloured walls of the summer house here... I finally finished painting them. Makes a huge improvement on dark green.

I also managed to transport a very old narrow plans chest which you can just see here. It will be so useful at busy periods - to line with baking parchment and use as drying stations for batch painting pieces and of course storing artwork.

You can also just see the little thank you heart here that I've just put on both my sites.

I had the summerhouse doors open today while I painted - really felt like summer ; payback for all the times I've shivered out there in the cold and damp!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

17th March 2012

I noticed today when I went out into the garden that our willow has started to burst its buds to create little fluffy pollen covered 'flowers' for want of a better word. My mother is coming over tomorrow for lunch so I have polished the windows ( actually only this one!) with water, vinegar and newspaper. It does work....

This is a blurry shot of my Kale that is sprouting from a seedling last year. I adore Kale stir fried with garlic and ginger. My camera kept on showing 'AF' in red - which it does when it can't focus. Tony is not about to clarify what goes on but I loved the way the star shapes overlap so perfectly carefully filling in the space left by the preceeding sprout.

I chopped some willow off to make an arrangement, found the three eggs I have left from those I sold on Facebook and picked some narcissi from the garden too. It looks very spring like there:) The children and I drove up to a little lane I know and picked some gorgeous cream daffodils with yellow centres -we were sure to pick only a couple of blooms from every clump and now have a vase full - only I forgot to take a picture of that in time. It has become dark and rainy.

This is probably my favourite egg.

The children and I did some crafting - Elliot made his third entry to the school design an egg competition. I started a Mollie Makes purse but I was a disaster... Freya was meant to be doing it  but didn't much enjoy the sewing. I could n't get the fabric into the clasp without making a big mess and then there was a gap at each top edge through which precious pennies could easily fall out. Think it will probably go in the bin - still we did have fun cutting it out and gluing elements together!

Our rabbits are happily sitting out in the rain - bonkers bunnies.

Hope you are all having a good Saturday - I've really enjoyed my day. I had a run early on too and did all the shopping for the weekend. Still have a lot of cooking to do though... better get on with it. 

More forward planning needed

I seem to have missed the Mother's Day boat as far as products are concerned! I sold some cards, a couple of Yummy Mummy stars and hearts....and a chicken specifically for the occasion but other than that I certainly didn't notice a surge in orders - probably the opposite as people went elsewhere; !

Must focus now on last minute Easter orders and of course Father's day. The thing is I suppose that with Moobaacluck people tend to think - gifts for children rather than gifts from children..a perception that I need to change but of course children aren't the ones doing the buying.

If you like my style and know how I work you know I am willing to paint just about any wording you like on my shapes - profanities aside!!

I have been busy enough with other orders and the two great courses I've done this year so far. Very much looking forward to developing my brand further in light of the Flourish branding masterclass and designing lots of new surface pattern designs inspired by everything I have learnt with Rachael Taylor on her course.

This is one of my paintings that I cropped for use as a Mother's Day card and sold  yesterday at the local fair. Of course the style here is not strictly speaking Moobaacluck - not at all really! Which is the benefit of doing fairs - you can try new things and see if there is a market for different ranges etc.

This new Easter design, which I do feel fits Moobaacluck, sold out. So definitely one I'll be promoting in the next few weeks, a short opportunity! One year I will be ready - I will!!

You might notice the new branding on the back of the card.. Still a lot to do to incorporate this throughout my products. I do feel that the pale blue flower - rather than coral works best for my cards.

I also entered a competition this week and will let you know if anything comes of it. I don't hold out huge hope but am very glad I did at least try. I'd be over the moon if I was chosen. Wish now I had entered this design. I will be doing a surface pattern based on it soon. The actual painting is one I did about a year ago and came across it when clearing out my plans chest!

Slightly odd post this - more than a touch of "speak your brains" hereHope you enjoyed reading it though. I shall probably be back later as I feel on a blogging roll.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

New business cards

The post man has just been! Last week I designed myself some new business cards in readiness for the spring fair I am doing at the end of the week at St. Nicholas School in North Walsham. Of course I am trying out my new branding which may yet evolve...

I had them done by and I love them - except for the fact that somehow I managed to get a feint line of palest peach diagonally on the white front where it shouldn't be!! Only 200 to issue though. It will force me to distribute them quickly and get some more done. :)

I particularly like how the back has worked. Stickers, invoices and postcards to do next!