Hurrah! The Cavalry have arrived…

I’m not superstitious, in fact I laugh in the face of superstition frequently putting new shoes in table, allowing the boys to open umbrellas indoors and regularly looking at the new moon through glass (although my Gran took this one so seriously I do have a flutter of panic when it happens).  However, I don’t like to mock it all too much, because you never know and after my, “oh, the boys slept soooo well” comments on recent posts F woke yesterday at 3.30 and decided it was time to get up, yes 3.30!!!! (is it morning yet – no got to sleep – but it’s getting light outside and I can hear the birds – go to sleep – is it morning yet….grrrrrr).  Still, yesterday the Cavalry arrived in the form of my Mother and (twin) Aunt who are here for a little holiday.  Although they live ‘Up North’ they visit frequently, enjoying staying at my Sister’s house which is a 5 min walk away and means ‘Gran’ can see the boys every day but have some peace in between.

Here are the ladies above, looking rather splendid.  I love this photo, my Mother won a trip to Florida by creating a slogan for orange juice and there is an album of publicity shots, all of which I would love to frame and display when we finally finish our decorating.  Whilst hunting for the above photo I checked my old scanned ones and wanted to show you this

my brother dressed in my ballet gear.  I was enjoying reading Rachael’s recent blog entry where one of her boys is dressed in a lovely blue tutu and it reminded me if this shot.  My brother did spend rather  a lot of time in dresses, something we frequently remind him of at the most ‘appropriate’ moments now he’s a burly Yorkshire farmer 😉

I love the photo so much I’ve printed it off to go on my recently covered notice board,

it was a large cork pin board and wasn’t in the spirit of my Zen (I wish) like Studio so I removed the frame and covered it in white linen which makes all the difference.

Back to the point, I have just dropped the boys off and have been told not to come back until later this afternoon, which is great as I have a lot to do.  The above Moo arrived in the post this morning, they are new care labels for all the softies and cushion covers.  I used to print the instructions on transparent paper and attach along with a regular Moo Mini business card but I decided to just get a batch printed.  All I have to do now is attach them all.

And I hope to get one of my open projects finished….hum, ha, hum, ha, can you tell what it is yet?  This one has been planned for some time but not actually worked up into sample stage so I need to just get it done.  I was, of course, thinking of Mother’s Day as well as Easter but I am being so slow I may just aim for Easter for the new designs.

Right, I plan to treat myself to a sausage sandwich with a couple of my brother’s home made sausages (which are rather wonderful, he recommends the HFW River Cottage Pig in a Day course, I can recommend the Mushroom one) and then sew whilst watching an old black and white, maybe a Cary Grant, will make a nice change from CBeebies!

Tired but plodding on…and more MOO

I am soooo tired.  M is away with work so I am home alone with the boys, which is fine except they refuse to sleep after 5.30am (and that’s the latest- we had 4.30 this morning!!).  It means that evenings are out for doing anything except staring at the TV with a glazed look on my face or maybe an extra early night and a read (I am reading The Suspicions of Mr Whicher  which I am really enjoying, I love the period details). Daytimes are about survival, I get little bursts of energy but the house is a tip so I feel guilty if I sew instead of clean.  I am also behind in blog reading, I use google reader for this, which I love (except you can’t leave comments without going to the actual blog so I am really bad at saying ‘hello’ to people I read – sorry!).  I loved this blog post on MOO after Denise left a comment on Pretty Packaging.  What a great post, if you have been thinking about how to package your products definitely go and have a look.  

 

New MOO business cards, with corners rounded by my new 5mm gadget.

New MOO business cards, with corners rounded by my new 5mm gadget

It got me in the mood for some nice small projects to squeeze into the day.  Inspired by above, I ordered some lovely new business cards from MOO (I usually only buy MiniCards, I chose their eco friendly matt cards made from recycled board) and then searched the internet for a simple, cheap corner cutting tool as I really fancied round corners…this was harder than I had anticipated, I think I didn’t get the search words right because it took ages.  I bought two Mini Corner Rounders (both 5mm and 10mm) from Joyce Online, if I really like the effect I can upgrade to a more sturdy option, there were no postage costs – we like that!  

 

I love being able to add an image to the back as well.

I love being able to add an image to the back as well.

After ordering new cards I had a think about my own packaging.  In the early days I started adding a free mini butterfly lavender bag to larger orders (please excuse the photo quality, this was a large order from last Christmas and I had to photo them it in a hurry before posting).

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I used to place a few MiniCards in the box but realised they may well get lost in the tissue and just get thrown in the bin so I started to attach them to the lavender bag with extra ribbon (not shown above, these were the early model).  I also started to attach the cards to the front of smaller orders with a round sticker  and ribbon (I pack single lavender bags and egg cosies in apple green Kraft bags) and I always add a hand written card, even if it only says ‘thanks for your order’.

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I am happy with all of this but may have a little re-design of the mini butterfly lavender bags.  I think they are a nice touch, everyone loves a freebie!

I could spend a lot on packaging, both in time and money, I have to remind myself that I need to deliver something attractive without spending a fortune, hopefully I have got the balance right.

OK, so it has taken me a while to actually post this blog entry, during which time I had an enquiry from the US about postage costs for a linen cat/bunny.  I rarely post to the US although I do post to Europe quite a bit.  I gave pricing for regular Airmail and Airsure and finally International Signed for but all are quite expensive.  This is one of the main reasons I don’t sell on Etsy, Airmail is the only reasonable price but I am unsure how reliable it is?  I know that with a certificate of posting packages are insured up to £39 but getting money back from RM is a nightmare.  If anyone has any good/bad experience of US posting (and reliability) do let me know.