Another marathon day is underway

The day has gone pretty quickly to date. I was under a little pressure to get set up at Mount Juliet, possibly because I needed to make some fresh cranberry salsa to send home with Alan as well as catch the bank before coming here. It’s also Alan’s birthday today and tonight’s the last night we’ll see each other until the new year so loads to do and almost NO time to get it done in! Anyway, I changed a little of our display here and now all we need are customers to arrive.

Emma manned a joint stand at Borris this morning as we didn’t want regular visitors to miss us for the last market of the year. I don’t know yet how that went, hopefully better than last week though!

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Things are hotting up slightly

While Borris House Christmas Fair at the weekend didn’t exactly rock my sales boat too much the atmosphere was lovely and by the end of yesterday evening I was happy enough with how things had gone. Mount Juliet Christmas Village on the other hand has been extremely disappointing so far, great if you are bringing your children to the Santa train (as 10s of 1000s are!) but totally hopeless to date as regards customers browsing the stands and making actual purchases. We’re committed to having our stand there until 9pm next Sunday evening so all I can do is hope that more visitors come this week to the fair itself as opposed to the train.

Creative Carlow pop up shop

Creative Carlow pop up shop

This morning I had my first working stint at the Creative Carlow pop up shop on Tullow Street, I enjoyed myself and made a couple of good sales too thank goodness! Now I’m at home trying to catch up with the blog and a few household chores, washing, cleaning, tidying etc. but everything will never be done before 24th and neither will presents be sent abroad in time for Christmas delivery or indeed purchased before the big day itself for some of my Irish buddies. I’m annoyed with myself as I had really hoped to have everything bought or made by now, presents posted and cards sent, possibly I under anticipated how busy I would be travelling to and from all the outside events. Hopefully everyone will understand and enjoy their gifts even if they are a few days late, good friends will anyway so fingers crossed!!!

Our stand at the Creative Carlow pop up shop this morning

Our stand at the Creative Carlow pop up shop this morning

One thing that I am happy about today is that I was able to add another mannequin to our display and change around stock for Leiko and myself this morning in Carlow. While it’s not the best picture (rain has prevented any pics outdoors) you can see the sleeveless top I finished the other afternoon now displayed on a mannequin. As I mentioned before, it’s a real juggling game trying to keep each venue looking good with a variety of different items and colourways, tomorrow I’ll have a go at revamping our space at Mount Juliet.

Finally for today, I had a lovely time visiting Jim and Tina Behan at his house/ceramic studio on my way home from Carlow. Tina had selected a couple of felt pieces for herself over the weekend and I was able to trade with Jim for some fabulous eastern inspired wood fired tea bowls and pots. I’ve always adored this work of his so was in seventh heaven, thanks Jim and Tina!!!

Business is picking up a tiny bit…..

I’m just home now after the first day at Borris House, Santa made an appearance too and will be coming back tomorrow to visit some more lucky girls and boys. Leiko and Norma (my current work experience aide) manned Mount Juliet and while neither venue made brilliant sales we all did a little better than other days. Tomorrow should see a much bigger crowd in Borris so fingers crossed they’ll be in a buying mood!

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Crazy schedual and free personalisation of ‘niki & niki’ felting tools from now until Christmas!

My crazy schedual continues! This weekend I was very happy with my sales at Duckett’s Grove, not so happy with them at Mount Juliet but then it’s early days there still.

Later today, I’ll be heading into Carlow town to stock up on more lighting for Mount Juliet and set up both my work and Leiko’s in Tullow Street for the Creative Carlow pop up shop. It’s a bit of a juggling game at the moment trying to gauge which stock to have at which venue, I mustn’t forget the market in Borris on Friday and the two day Christmas Fair in Borris House this weekend!!!

'The Minimilast' felting roller from 'niki & niki'

‘The Minimilast’ felting roller from ‘niki & niki’

There’s still time to order your ‘niki & niki’ felting tools for Christmas. At the moment you’ll need to get them from Niki Collier’s Etsy shop as I’ve no more in stock, we’re also offering free personalisation on each tool over the next two weeks, just our way of saying thank you to our customers!

No rest for the wicked….. felters, jewellers and painters that is!

Emma, Leiko and I have had an active and fun day for the start of the Mount Juliet Christmas Village experience! It’s another early morning tomorrow as I need to finish setting out my wares at Duckett’s Grove, we’re expecting over 7000 for the annual craft fair based on last year’s numbers. It’s been cold but not freezing here all day, I’m glad though that I brought my felted fleeces to sit on, they make for a much warmer experience whenever we get a chance to sit!

Felting frustration…

I’ve had a pretty frustrating morning on the felting front, two failed attempts at a new style bracelet and only one relatively successful result. My plan had been to get a lot of smaller jewellery items felted this weekend as I need to think of splitting my stock for both the Christmas Village at Mount Juliet and the Duckett’s Grove Christmas Fair next week. I’m actually going to call it a day and start a massive tidy up instead. While I totally suck in the household department (with the possible exception of cooking in fact!) I so need to get sorted in advance of Christmas, once next weekend arrives it’s outside events right up until the night of 24th. Starting afresh on Monday morning with a clean and tidy house should help get the creative juices flowing!

A hectic couple of months teaching, making and being on the road lies in store!

I don’t think it’s going to be possible to write long posts over the next couple of months, please bear with me during this time, short and snappy will be the name of the game! I’m crazy busy at the moment thankfully and don’t want to miss the opportunity of having a successful time selling this festive season, I really need to keep the cash flow moving. In addition to my regular gigs at Borris Food and Craft Market each Friday and Duckett’s Grove at the weekends I’m teaching a lot and taking up my duties for FeltUnited, I LOVE doing this so all is good but it’s just that I then need another 12 hours every day to felt and produce new work!!! From 8th December to 23rd December inclusive I’ll be participating in the Christmas Village at Mount Juliet, On Sunday 9th December it’s the Duckett’s Grove Christmas Fair (link below), on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th December I’ll be at the annual fair in Borris House and then for approx 2 weeks in the run up to Christmas as a member of Creative Carlow I’ll also be participating in their pop up shop, phew!!!!!

Last Friday design student Norma joined me for work experience, she’ll be helping for 10 days totally over the coming weeks and her next session is the weekend after next. Katie joined me yesterday for work experience this week, she’s a 4th year transition student and actually my great friend Sharon Jackson is her art teacher! She’s definitely choosen a week where we’ll be out and about a lot, 2 sessions with Borris Active Retirement, one birthday party for a group of 9 year olds and then the market on Friday, I’ve then got the weekend at Duckett’s Grove to myself.

Thanks to you all for your lovely messages, comments and emails about Dawn’s and my promotion to FeltUnited, we hope to do you all proud and really appreciate the support. I’ve got to fly now, bundles to unwrap and a nuno felt wrap to throw!

Christmas at Duckett’s Grove!