Thanks for looking at my blog and all comments are appreciated

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Pop Up Shops, More sales for my cushions and Christmas in the Wilson Household

Yet again its been a while since I last posted on here.  Since then things have been busy in the Wilson Household and for Created with Stitches.

Early December for my business saw me stitching away like made creating cushions for a pop up shop.  This was an idea from my local Bank where I have a business account for all small business customers to advertise and promote their business.  

Whilst there is a big push for handmade items to be sold on sites such as Etsy, Folksy, Not on the High Street, the advantages pop up shops can bring can help to promote the items for sale without long term financial commitment on rents and bills etc.   This provided me with the opportunity of market research, talking to people about their views, and spreading the word with business cards of my name and brand with potential sales, which did happen.  More about pop up shop opportunities can be found (especially here in the UK and within the London area) on www.startupbritain.com.  All in all it was a productive day with plenty of business cards given out, more Facebook likes and I even managed to sell quite a few cushions.  Now I have to start building up stock again.

At the moment, I am relying on building up word of mouth I am also rolling out online sales on my website www.createdwithstitches.co.uk and will be venturing out again with another pop up shop and craft fairs in 2014. Since my last post (a couple of months ago) here is a sample of all the stitching I have been completing.  














Whilst most of the work involved making medium and small sized cushions I even managed to make some smaller lavender cushions with relaxing messages on them.






But in order to display my name, rather than go for a banner I decided to opt for a larger cushion with my business name and contact details.  This then gave people the opportunity to see how big each size cushion can be ordered or made and sold.


The end result of my stall just before the bank opened was this.



I do have to admit though, this did give me sleepless nights beforehand, especially as this was my first time I had showcased my work.  I was nervous whether anybody would like them but managed to end the day with £50 worth of sales.   I did do my homework prior to this looking at various blogs and sites on setting my stall up but the worst part was the tables.  Whereas I practised on a standard 6' pasting table I did have some changes when I arrived to go to 2 smaller tables instead of this layout I had adapted at home with my friend Caroline who also has a small craft business.  (Just excuse the background decor as we are redecorating in January) 





All in all, my biggest fear was that people would find the prices too high for the various sizes advertised, however the majority of people accepted the amount of work put in and uniqueness along with everything being hand made were happy with the costings.

Along with all my stitching its also been busy here in the Wilson Household with the run up and during Christmas.  Buying and wrapping Christmas presents, visiting my step-son and his wife, with my husband and our own two teenagers up in Sheffield for the weekend and collecting one of our young people from Leicester University en route back home to Lowestoft on the way home to stay with us for Christmas.  As usual it was also busy at the start of the month with us decorating to produce this years Wilson Wonderland with 9 stockings on the fireplace (as our dog Evie has to be included).  Wrapping took ages for 6 children and young people along with my parents presents (and my dad's presents for my mum).  9 dozen mince pies were cooked along with 7 dozen sausage rolls



Christmas Day saw 10 of us sitting round the dining table to a 3 course meal with my son on the settee in the dining room with his dinner perched on a small table but it was a success.  

Hope everybody had a good Christmas, and I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope 2014 is happy and healthy xxx




Monday, 28 October 2013

Why do I feel a right Twit over Twitter? Latest cushions completed and the big project

Twitter

I am in desperate need of a lesson on how to use Twitter.  Don't get me wrong, I am not bothered about using technology, in fact I must be one of the first people in our family to purchase new technology that's out.  When it comes to Facebook, I can use that easily, Pinterest I am getting used to - uploading new photos of cushions created, even creating a website for my online business........but Twitter........I feel such a twit over it!!!!  Am I the only one?

Like Facebook, I have both a personal account and an account for Created with Stitches, but I struggled with not only my personal Twitter account but also the account I set up for Created with Stitches, that I deleted the Created with Stitches account.  One person I do know who is well used to (Twittering?)  is Anabel, one of our ex-looked after children young person who Twitters away constantly.  Now she is away at university, it looks like I am going to have to wait until the Christmas break when she returns home for Christmas to have a lesson off her.....and hope I can master it and get my Business Twitter account back up and running again.

Cushions completed

This week, I have been busy making more cushions to upload onto my website www.createdwithstitches.co.uk and my Facebook page.  Along with this,  I have also used this week to revamp my website to give a more professional feel to it and have added some photos of them.    My aim was to be able to take them into the garden yesterday afternoon (when I started to write my blog) to photograph them in natural light, but unfortunately over here in England we were expecting Jude to blow over the southern and eastern parts of the country so I had to wait until today.










I also managed to complete some small cushions that can be hung.







Now the storm has blown over (excuse the pun) and all the photos are taken I can upload them onto my website.

The Big Project

This week has also seen me manage to get some time on my big project.  I have to admit  I am finding the last part on the left hand side a bit tedious so have moved onto the middle working my way down. Last night I managed to get 500 stitches done and if I can manage my time effectively I will soon have the remainder of both Ben and Natalie stitched.  I'm looking forward to seeing how much more I can complete by next week, whilst I aim to post a new blog post on Sundays it is now looking like being a Monday supplement.

I need a break from this section.
I know it may seem strange why I have chosen this spot to start more stitching but my aim is for Ben and Natalie to be seen on here.
Since this photo was taken we have changed the decor once and are in the process of redecorating the house so it was interesting to see how the stitching brought back memories of the colours.
Lisa xx

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Hectic week, a happy customer and back on my big cross stitch

This week has been tough, everything has seemed to go wrong with kids coming down ill, misbehaving, totally taking no notice of anything Steve and I have said.  Whoever said about working children and animals was totally right and this week I have felt that I should have taken notice.  However, by Friday evening, just in time for the weekend the household descended into peace and tranquility.  I suppose looking back, now it is peaceful, I would not change a thing - well sometimes I might.

On top of my Christmas orders for cushions, I also had an order for a birthday cushion via Facebook on a local crafts page.  Combining a busy family life with my hard working husband, illness and meetings regarding some of our looked after children, the end result for Heidi's birthday cushion came out on time and provided me with another happy customer, a happy recipient and more likes on my Facebook page.





This week, I finally got out my large cross stitch and have restarted it.  Although it had been put away in a safe place, it was beginning to look a bit grubby, so with fingers well and truly crossed, I put it into a pillow case and into the washing machine on a hand wash on a 30 degree temperature.  I have to admit, I was really worried on how it would turn out, but the end result was brilliant.  Victoria's christening dress and the shirts Stephen and (half of) Ben's shirt came out white again.  

Came out of the machine so fresh and clean, more than I expected!!!
Still plugging away at those dreaded confetti stitches.
Whilst I do find cross stitching my way of relaxation, stopping me from raiding the cupboards etc, even though I wash my hands before stitching and put the stitching back in a protective cover.   Its amazing how much you, well I try to keep it clean, it can get dirty from time to time, especially with how long this is taking me to complete.  Part of me wants to finish this little piece, but its driving me crazy.  I am wondering whether of not to leave this piece until later on and to start concentrating on getting the rest of Benjamin on there and most importantly, Natalie.








Sunday, 13 October 2013

Back to Blogging Again

It’s been ages since I last wrote on my blog, and such a lot has happened.  The first half of this year was a rollercoaster of emotions where life will never be the same again following last December.   Even cross stitch took a back seat and now I have begun to pick up my needle with my business, I am getting into the frame of mind to continue with my photo cross stitch.

During the summer holiday, whilst the kids were off school, we undertook a big road trip in the motorhome. Travelling from Suffolk to Cumbria, then we headed onto Somerset for a long weekend and catch up with two of my brother-in-laws.  From Somerset we travelled up to Derbyshire before heading to the North Norfolk Coast to round off the summer.  

There are a lot of photos showing where and what we have been up too since my last update and the stitching I have been getting back into.  Hopefully soon I will be able to show more updates of the big cross stitch I am still  sorry going to continue on shown in previous blogs.

Picturesque scenery up in Cumbia

I couldn't believe this, it was like they were used to photographs being taken and were ready for the posing

A day at the Beatrix Potter Attraction, Peter Rabbit

Mrs Tiggywinkle, I sometimes think I am like her with all the washing that needs doing in our busy household
Bakewell, Derbyshire, home of the famouse Bakewell Tarts......

.......and puddings
Trip to 'Seal Island' off Hunstanton

the seals were so tame, however.......

...all I could think about was the penguins in Madagascar......'Smile and wave boys, smile and wave'

I cannot say that the trip went without hitch, instead of me doing some stitching whilst I was away, I was the one who ended up being stitched on after cutting my leg open whilst on a walk and having to be taken by ambulance to Lancaster Royal Infirmary to be operated on.  10 stitches later and a joke from the surgeon that he had stitched my leg in the shape of Lake Windermere as a memento I was able to return to the motor-home the next day after being admitted only to return to a flooded out campsite and awning.  

Following our road trip, it was back to school for the kids for 2 weeks before we had another holiday away, this time we flew out to Rhodes to see my step-son and his fiancée get married.  The wedding was held in Kalithea Springs and was a beautiful ceremony.   Even the bride was creative making a brooch bouquet. 

View of Rhodes from our resort

Kalithea Spa, a beautiful setting that the photos do not do it justice



One of the entrances to Rhodes Old Town

Me and Victoria nicknamed him Spike


Steve and me after a total week of relaxation

Ben at the wedding

Victoria at the wedding

The brides bouquet, which was gorgeous, heavy and made by herself
Stitching wise, I have been busy, stitching a cushion for one of our young people who have lived with us for 6 years and is now off to university, a 2nd wedding anniversary cushion, a wedding cushion and starting to get stock done for a craft fair for Christmas on top of Christmas orders for presents.  I am currently working on another cushion which will be revealed after the recipient has received it.  All this is happening on top of trying to de-clutter the house ready for a major redecoration. 

Our young person who lives with us, for all her hard work who has now gone to Leicester University

An order for Angelina's Christening.  This cushion was a medium sized one at 102 x 10"

Cushion order for a birthday

I thought this was so apt, , even though I am married myself all I know of anniversaries is another year.  I actually learnt that a 2nd wedding anniversary is actually cotton.

Another christening cushion, this time for a little boy

The lady who ordered this cushion liked the end result so much.....
......she ordered another

For my step-son and lovely daughter-in-law, ordered by my husband who was told, yes even he has to pay for cushion orders too.

Small Godmother Cushions

Small cushions made up ready for a craft fair

My mother ordered this cushion for another Christening

Thanks for looking at my blog, and any comments are really appreciated and will be replied to.

Lisa xxx