I’m writing this very early, whilst sitting in bed and drinking coffee, because the very rare occurrence of the boys being away for the weekend means that I can – hurrah! (Sods law I still woke at the crack of dawn, though)I’ve spent a lot of time recently trying to work out the best way for me to balance making a living, with looking after the boys. My oldest finally has his official diagnosis and Charlie will (hopefully) be getting his in the coming year. Having children ‘on the spectrum’ means I am quite restricted in the hours I can work, especially with being a single parent, and having gone through a quite difficult transition into Secondary with Felix it just demonstrates to me how dependant the boys will be during certain periods of their lives. So, it really does have to be working from home (for the moment, anyway) as that offers the flexibility I need, and it has to be sewing, as I’ve already invested so much time into establishing a ‘business’, plus it’s the only thing I really know how to do. The difficulty is it’s getting increasingly hard to compete with commercially made items, especially now that ‘vintage’ (sorry, there are lots of quotation marks today…..always makes me thing of Ross in Friends and I cringe slightly that I use them so often!) is so mainstream, and handmade (resisted the urge to stick quotation marks there) is also so fashionable. I’m not complaining, I love how much lovely stuff you can buy these days, I just need to take some time out properly in January and plan how best to present my work to either differentiate it from commercially made things, or to compete on price. I see beautiful pieces of work on a daily basis where I think about the price versus how much I would have to charge for something similar in order to make it scale. Tricky, but doable. I have faith in me 🙂
So, in a slightly tenuous link to above, I’m bringing you some eye candy that you will thank me for.Every year, I buy the boys some form of decoration critter that goes in their stocking, usually it comes from Anthropologie (See the top photo for this year’s bits and pieces) but as I was reading Facebook this morning, the cutest thing popped up in my targeted adverts from West Elm UK. Clearly I’ve shopped there before, for their link to appear in my social media, but I haven’t had a look for ages and I got sucked into a good browse this morning.I love the collaborations with artists pieces and this year, I’m really excited to see they’re working with Erika Barratt again (I write again, but to be honest I didn’t know they’d worked with her before until I did some research). How cute are these little ornaments? They are in the sale at the moment on the UK site (sold out in the US, I think).They also have Mimi Kirchner owls!!! Sooooo cute.I was a bit gutted to miss out on a Doug the Pug from the ASPCA Animal ornaments (F would have LOVED one of those!)but I did get a couple of Brimley Cats, which the boys will be very exited about (in case you don’t have internet crazy kids, this collection is inspired by famous internet pets).On the US site you can even get tea towels!If the above don’t work for you, what about some Fair Trade handmade ornaments?or (and this is probably more my kind of thing, at the moment) some sequin clip-on birds?They have quite a few pretty Christmas bits, much at half price right now, so it is worth popping over for a look.
It’s interesting as having put this post together, I realise that at full price many of the little ornaments are actually more expensive than mine, relatively, so perhaps I do need to be more brave with my pricing? One to think on, anyway.We’ve gone for retro tack again this year, our favourite thing being the foil flowers Mum took off some crackers in the 1980’s. You don’t have to try hard to work out who I get my hoarding tendencies from, I mean, who keeps tacky cracker decorations for 30 years!!My plan for today is to wrap gifts, write cards, and it was to photograph a new Christmas apron for the shop, but the light is so bad I don’t think that’s going to be possible…I might even find time to watch Elf and eat a mince pie 🙂