I’m still here..and summer collection…

Really I am.  I know I’ve been kind of absent but I think, from my blog reading (which I am still behind on), that this seems to be the case generally in ‘blogland’.  I have been very distracted with family life; I’ve found myself busy with decorating, gardening and being a Mum, plus we have just spent half term in Berlin (more in that another time), both boys have had birthdays and M is about to go away for nearly 2 months to the US with work, meaning I will not get to sleep past 6am (if I’m lucky) in the mornings for a very long time.  I feel tired.

Although I haven’t been sewing all that much, and when I have it’s mainly been blinds for my sister, I have sneaked in a few hours here and there to complete my Summer collection.  I’ve found in the last couple of years that working a loose series of collections through the seasons works really well for me (I’ve been trying to create some Galleries on my website to view past designs), I tend to take a colour theme, from a fabric or picture or just the colours from the landscape and garden and try to change my core shop products to match.

For this summer, I knew early on that I wanted to use my love of Racey Helps work as an influence, I have a number of postcards tucked onto my pinboard and I’ve talked about Racey Helps before.  He tends to work in a set colour palette and I love the bold, bright but natural colours that he uses, they really do remind me of my childhood, I also really love the extensive use of nature in his work and who can resist animals in clothing!

I started some new lavender bags, little birds and a re-stock of other favourites some time ago, but it has taken me a really, really long time to get any of them finished.  First up are a new batch of Little Birds; these, I think, are my favourite of the little birds so far, there is something about the colours, especially with the bright wooden beads that really does make me nostalgic, they make me smile when I look at them.

I would have liked (and still might) to have made a mobile from these, ideally with a nice blue bird in there as well, but for now, they have been mounted and wrapped in their cello bags and are finally listed here.

I need to do a big Folksy shop update.  I’m undecided what to do here, I’ve rather neglected my Folksy shop recently, in all honestly I don’t sell very much there, I mostly sell (and have from the very beginning) much more from my own website and with the new fees and selling structure I need to have a good look and decide if it still works for me.  I find listing in general a chore and splitting stock etc between sites only adds to the work.  The other consideration is what do I get back from Folksy in return for the selling and listing fees?  I love being part of a British selling community (and it’s why I opted for Folksy not Etsy in the first place) but I think it’s very easy to get lost in the mass of sellers and I have noticed it’s aways the same ones that appear in promotional Folksy ‘stuff’ such as the christmas newspaper.  I do think to be fair, this probably says more about my lack of effort to get involved, rather than Folksy itself, I rarely take part in the discussion boards, but I do wonder what I am getting back in return for my fees.  Decisions, decisions.

Finally, I hope to spend my first week ‘home alone’ decorating so I’m not sure just how much time I’ll get for writing posts, although I do have some nearly ready to publish.  The plan is, get the house sorted (I breath so much easier in a tidier space) and then sew, sew, sew and sleep as much as I can, when I can.  We’ll see how it goes 🙂

Couldn’t resist a photo of one of my recent birthday boys, I’ve only just managed to get his thank you cards done, better late then never.  Notice my rather dyslexic (I assume if you read my blogs often you might have noticed I can neither type nor spell) first version, lucky I spotted that before I printed them all out!

27 thoughts on “I’m still here..and summer collection…

  1. That’s a really clever idea for thank you cards!! Happy birthday to both your boys. 🙂
    You new birds are lovely, very cheerful.
    I can’t resist animals in clothing either. I love the bumblebee in the picture. 🙂
    Have a good week and get your sleep!
    Vivienne x

    • Thanks Vivienne 🙂 the boys had lovely birthdays, I am amazed how old they already are! I agree, the bumblebee is very, very cute. Bx

  2. I agree, brilliant idea for thank you cards, I’ve never liked Folksy , I find it very ‘ cliquey’ and it’s just my opinion but I think a lot of the handmade stuff isn’t as good as Etsy it seems like a cheaper version and yes I know a lot of people would disagree with me . I think a bird mobile would look great.

    • Glad you like the cards, I’ve kept a few back ready for teachers cards at the end of the year – might as well be prepared 😉 I would agree that Etsy has a more professional feel in the majority of the sellers, I just can’t face posting to the US as everything I have sent has gone AWOL for some weeks and that makes me nervous and I think you do need to be selling to the US if you list on Etsy. Glad it’s not just me. Bx

  3. I totally agree about the birds, really gorgeous colours together. Like you I’ve been spending time in the garden etc. etc. I feel guilty when I’m not being ‘domestic’, not helpful in trying to fit work around the children. I’ve been disasterous at Folksy! I live in hope I suppose, but I’m wondering about forgetting Folksy and adding it all on my Etsy shop ( very little in that too!) I hesitate putting my jewellery and textiles together- am I being daft?
    I too have found the same people promoted on Folksy consistently, and some don’t have much in their shops at times -Oh Dear sounds like sour grapes!
    Hope your boys had a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    • I do think Folksy works well for some people and it’s a nice easy way to get into online selling, you should definitely add your jewellery to the textiles, they all have your style so it should still look very coherent. The one thing I would say about the same people being promoted on F is most are very good and do most definitely deserve it, it’s just that I feel it’s self perpetuating, ie the more you get promoted, the more you sell, the more you get promoted, I’m not sure where that leaves the middle and botton sellers. Thanks for the birthday wishes 🙂 Bx

  4. Interesting to hear your thoughts about folksy. I’ve been thinking along the same lines too, not that I’m nearly as far along as you business-wise. The new birdie colour scheme is so pretty, very fresh and natural.
    Love the thank-you card…..well spotted on the spelling!
    Good luck with your time home alone. And, yes, sleep whenever you can. Juliex

    • I’m just a typical tight Yorkshire lass and I don’t like giving money away unless I have to – lol! It’s tricky when I get 100% for anything I sell direct, it’s balancing out which sales I wouldn’t make if they weren’t listed elsewhere I guess. Tonight is my last night, I’ve sent M off to get takeaway – my last for some weeks – eek! It’ll be fine……I hope. Bx

  5. What a great idea for a thank you card. Happy Birthday to the boys, especially the one just turned 7 who shares his birthday with A!
    Love the new birds too, but do I really need any more!

  6. Glad you are still here Beth and not drowning in all this rain…it’s been dreadful. I love your bright colours and Racey Helps is one of my faves….I have some Happy Family cards which I treasure from my childhood. Brilliant thank you cards..really clever idea. Enjoy the summer,
    Jane x

    • I’m a bit wet but keeping my head above water 😉 I have the modern print version of the Happy Family cards, we did play with them as kids, but no doubt the originals are long gone (although all sorts of things turn up at he Family farm so you never know). Bx

  7. ohh im just new to folksy, with just 1 item for sale, now im wondering if i did the right thing after reading your comments???? Anyway loving your new birds x x helen x

    • No, don’t panic, I feel bad now! For all sorts of reasons Folksy is a great place to start selling, and as I wrote, I’m sure part of my lack of sales in comparison to my own website is due to lack of effort, you get back what you put in and I am rather lazy. Hope it works well for you and thanks for commenting. Beth 🙂

  8. The birds are just gorgeous, they look so cheerful. Have you thought about selling using Not on the High Street? I have never used it to sell but often look there for presents.

    • I have, as you pointed out it’s by far the best known of the UK sites offered, even my Sister has heard of NOTH! I often look at the ‘competition’ in my categories and it slightly puts me off as there’s a lot listed so I wonder, again, how lost my products might be, plus the initial joining fee is quite high (if you get accepted). It’s probably the best alternative option for me though – thanks for the suggestion 🙂

  9. Oh I wish you all the best with your husband away for so long. Mine travelled a lot in the last couple of years and it’s not easy with the kids but you do find a sort of rhythm when the responsibility all comes back to you!
    I love the new bird colours and your inspiration for them. Very much the kind of book I loved as a child too. And the thank you cards – brilliant 🙂

    • M travels a lot, but usually only for a max of 2 weeks and by the time he returns I have reached a sleep deprived zombie state. You are right though, things do fall into a rhythm, I tend to become much more organised when M is away, my ‘products manager’ side kicks in even more than usual (control freak me? noooooo 😉 ) Glad you like the birds and card – I am behind reading your blog (and many others), looking forward to finding some time to see what everyone’s been up to. Bethx

  10. Hi Beth – I’m loving the new colours. They’re so cheery (I might have to order myself some).
    I loved your Thank you card idea – It’s given me inspiration to make something similar to add to my teacher’s gifts. I might try and photograph Violet signing out the letters…… I’ll have to give it more thought.
    I’m sure you’ll cope perfectly well with hubby gone. Just don’t put too much pressure on yourself for everything to be absolutely perfect, all of the time.
    Take care. Jill x

    • That’s a great idea, I bet both you and Violet would have great fun doing that! I look forward to reading about it if you do have a go. Bx

  11. Hi Beth,

    I am also loving the new birdie-colors, you know how big fan I am for the bright greens, yellows and such – these are lovely! And that thank you-card is just adorable, make s me smile so wide!

    Folksy-issue I can’t say much of anything, as I’m not familiar with it, except do what your heart tells you and you can’t go wrong! If it doesn’t feel right, just drop it, you’re waving the British designer flag so wonderfully anyway with your own website. You’re part of that wonderful community and its best representatives anyway!

    Happy summer!

    Yours,
    Mia

  12. I’m leaving Folksy as soon as my current listings run out. I feel they were really underhand in putting up the prices for listings. The way they said it “commission has increased to 6% but your listings fees have gone down to 15p! Oh, but that’s just for one item. where you got 5 for 20p before, now that 5 will cost you 75p”. I wrote a comment on the blog asking what about us that sell small items and they deleted it! Also, noone has heard of them, you NEVER see them advertised and that is their job.

    • I must admit, when I read the same bit about the pricing, I remember thinking the exact same thing – it’s not cheaper, it’s more expensive!! and it’s very wrong to delete the comment you left. I’m undecided on what I’ll do, I do agree though, no-one outside craft and making circles has heard of folksy and that does bother me. Bx

      • *sticking my oar in*
        the “pro” account should address that though? i have been put off making/listing multiples, and even though i probably won’t list enough during the year to get my money’s worth, i’m looking forward to the option of doing it (without thinking “ugh thats 75p already” for eg.)

      • Yes, I had a good look at the whole folksy thing yesterday and I will use the pro for a year and then look at it again, see how it’s done. The annoying thing is I really need to update with my summer stock, but it looks like pro wont be ready until later in the year so I’m just going to have to get on with it at 15p per item (plus vat + 6% plus vat etc….working it out makes my brain hurt). Bx

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