Saturday, 28 August 2010

Town and Country Fair

Only day one and I must confess I am totally exhausted. I say day one, more like day two really. Yesterday morning at 8am I was all ready for 3 days at the local town and country fair, with our Woof Beginnings stall and my Bags of Swank by SimJaTa handbags. By 8.30am we had been asked to fill a gap from Husky Welfare who had to drop out last minute, so hubby had agreed to do an extra Woof Beginnings slot by dashing off to wholesalers after work at lunchtime to purchase some stock, before getting to showground at 3pm to set up gazebo and tables. BUT by 9am, my friend who was meant to be doing the stall had asked me if I could carry some of her stock to try raise the funds in her absence. So, before we knew it we had managed to agree to four stalls with only two of us manning them.
So yesterday, after the dog walking and the shopping I dashed off to pick up some stock and fill the van with Husky Welfare stock and display, that was after I pranged the van at The Dog Shop visiting an outlet, seems I lost the fight with the concrete post.
At 5pm (a bit later than planned) we were fighting the gazebo and a rather strong coastal wind...But still, we were home by about 8.30pm for tea.
Up at 6am today to take all the stock and set up, then return for dogs who were also running in the agility team.
Weather was not brilliant, so a rather chilly and slow day. Photo's show the stall not quite finished, but by the time we had the public had arrived so I didnt get a chance to nip out and photograph it finished.
Also seen is one of the funniest things, hubby has a better shot I will post next week, but this little Yorkie is the boss of a rather large pack of Huskies, who entertain for the day with 'hug a husky' to raise funds for the welfare of abandoned huskies.

Good news also, I made some sales and have 3 custom orders for Bags of Swank by SimJaTa, we raised some funds for Husky Welfare, and some for Woof Beginnings with 2 more days to go to improve the lot.

Now I am off to bed, zzz, zzz, zzz.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Mere Sands new Totes

Had to show these great fabrics. Not sure if I mentioned, when I was accepted into the Mere Sands Wildlife shop I was asked by a third party to make up some bags with squirrels on, the manager of the shop suggested I look around the shop and see what I thought. When we then met I said I could go away and do something more appropriate, so got the go-ahead for that. Here are the first of the new stock to go in (hope the Mere Sands bods are not peeking). Two more designs to go yet, then a bit more stock to be ready for next weekend, when I send in my driver (otherwise known as the husband) who is going to visit and spend some more time there with his camera, great arrangement as he does something to help me - but really means he gets to chill out with the nature for a few hours.

Hopefully the future of Bags of Swank by SimJaTa and Mere Sands will be a great one.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Introducing Labradors

This is my latest tote bag to be listed in my Folksy shop, arrived there today. Of course the Labradors are very close to my heart as I live with one black and one yellow myself, so often hard to steer away from my own chosen subject.

Having said that, arrived today is the single most fantastic bird fabric I have ever seen, I already have one lot I have been working on for the Mere Sands Shop, but this that arrived from France today is amazing I cant wait to start work on it. If only Mr Postman would care to turn up with some new handbag labels and my buttons that would just be great.

Once it stops raining long enough I will photograph the tote bags for the shop as they are just too fab not to share. Also still waiting for the lily pad fabric from the USA again for the shop, but been shopping for lots of extra's to match so these bags really are going to be originals with lots of co-ordinates to make them very special.

I must try take a leaf from Sharon at SPJewellery today, and stay away from the forums and get some work done, not too hard today though with this simply gorgeous fabric awaiting me.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Monday, 16 August 2010

Best in Show

Yesterday was the dog show we have been waiting for. Woof Beginnings had a stall and so did my Bags of Swank by SimJaTa handbags, tote bags, backpacks and gadget holders. People were there for the dog show really, not much spending going on but I did manage to sell a fair amount and come away with 2 custom orders, Woof Beginnings made a few quid too. We entered our dogs in the show, my old girl got 4th in 'meet the grandparents' and my lurcher Jaja won his 'mixed' class, then went on to win BEST IN SHOW!! Handsome boy that he is.

Was a very long day, well weekend really - suffering for it now, too much sun and not enough to drink is not a good recipe it seems, so no work done today aside from some tote bag photographs I will start to list tomorrow.
No further creations for the time being though, as the label company who assured me my labels would be out at the end of last week?? have now said a day or so, so work has stopped and needless to say I will not be using them again. Afraid as I pride myself (as do most crafters) on the best service I can give, poor service makes me a little cross.

Must not end on a sour note. Forgot to mention, the dog show was in aid of the Children of Chernobyl and managed to raise a fantastic £670, not bad for a first time.

Hopefully Woof Beginnings and Bags of Swank by SimJaTa will be invited again next year.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Garden Birds

Can you tell I am still on the bird theme? I have listed this adorable tote bag in my Folksy shop today, quite proud of this one.
Work has come to a bit of a standstill as after last weeks card fraud incident my labels were late to order and tragedy has now stuck and I have run out!!! I have only one left and no more work can go on without them, so fingers crossed they turn up tomorrow. Some great new fabrics in and on order, with dogs and birds, lily ponds etc.
If the labels dont arrive soon I will finally get around to making my own tote bag, keeps getting thrown to back of ever growing list, but what on earth to choose.....?

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Monday, 9 August 2010

Its a tough job but someone has to do it!

This was yesterday's part of the job. Tough eh? I was lucky enough to stock my handbags, backpacks and tote bags at Mere Sands, the local Wildlife Trust. Initially I was asked for Squirrel bags which is what I made. Next will be birds, dragonfly's and if I ever find the fabric a Kingfisher would be perfect.
The last picture is the little shop sat in the most fabulous of surroundings. So, I took my bags to these lovely people, which are now proudly displayed above the counter. Then we spent a couple of hours wandering around sharing the wildlife and taking some pictures. Hubby did see and photograph the Kingfisher, but too far away so not good enough (this time).
I should also have been at the Lavender Farm on Saturday, but just didnt have the time with orders and stock to make up. So hubby has very kindly offered in the future to do all my visits for me at the outlets, leaving me the time to sit were I should be at the sewing machine.
He is really looking forward to the next visit to Mere Sands, were he will be gone for hours, the most relaxing oasis we have visited for a while. We just missed the Tawny Owl too, we heard him but were not lucky enough to get the photograph that one chap did.

So, plenty of further scope for Bags of Swank by SimJaTa to create suitable tote bags, backpacks and handbags for the Wildlife Trust, guess who is on a new fabric hunt?

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Liz Loud Handbag Collection - and card fraud

Here is my second attempt at the Liz LOUD handbag, this one the customer (oddily enough called 'Liz') bought it, and loved it, hurray!!! As both handbags have proved quite popular, Liz suggested I make it a collection. So, in the next few weeks Liz Loud Handbag 3 will be announced. Before that I have Liz Loud Tote Bag, which will be listed this week.
Sales are coming along, I am very pleased to have reached double figures on my Folksy shop, which I thought would take far longer to achieve. Still finding it hard to find enough hours in the day to keep up though, as I also have private orders and outlets to keep stocked up and visit.

Yesterday I tried to purchase my labels on-line, to find my card was declined, phoned up local bank no problem with card or account, tried to order by phone and the card was declined again. After some hours I eventually found a real person to speak to at the complaints department for main bank, and was then put through to fraud dept were it transpired someone had used my card and the bank had flagged it, so to cut a very long story short I had my card stopped, so now have no card and no way to use my paypal account till I can sort it out, which is not ideal when trying to run a business, gggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, how do these people sleep at night? Hanging is just too good for them.

Luckily as I have made sales on line, I can now purchase the daughters birthday gifts I have faved on Folksy - so off to do some shopping now, Folksy here I come!