Just a wee note to say I have put a few one-off handbags on sale on my web site and Etsy - click the links on the right for more details and keep popping back as I sort out more sale stock - time for a clear out!
This is my last Advent post, I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my Christmas creations - new and old. I have certainly enjoyed making them. If you look close enough you can see my reflection in the bauble.
So it just remains for me to say thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for leaving all your kind comments, I really appreciate them.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I'll be back in 2009!
We're on the move for Christmas so these pictures have been taken at my parents house. These wee Santa's are as old as I can remember, the red glitter is a bit patchy and some of the white fur is gone. I still think they are magical.
This is who hangs above my parents Christmas tree, the Snowman I knitted for my mum a couple of years ago. Yes, he really can fly.
Had a lovely day today visiting Santa at Glengoyne, our boy said his legs were shaking with excitement. We also had a lovely lunch in Glasgow as we celebrated me being another year older. Now I can start to think about Christmas....
Here are a couple of slightly dodgy characters from my past - some of the first toys I ever knitted, and as tradition dictates they are put under my mum and dads Christmas tree each year. I was thinking of using them in a post and it just so happens my dad sent me an e-mail today with the above picture attached.
I never was happy with the snowman's carrot nose or the fact Santa only has a beard and no moustache. I'm my own harshest critic, but then again they aren't bad for 10 year old.....
Sweets For My SweetThis wee sweety was supposed to be a Christmas cracker, but I think it looks better like this - a little glass bowl full of them would be nice.
I've also been making this - a bunny to replace a much loved and very thread bear comforter belonging to a friends wee girl. We have been sweating over how to make it as like the original as possible. This is my best shot, not quite the spitting image, but hopefully he will be just as special
What a miserable couple of days I have had. Apologies for not posting yesterday, I thought I was being big and clever going to the Wee Green Market, but by the time I got home I was floored with the flu.
To top it all our boy has been a poor wee soul with his chicken pox, his throws of 'Help me mummy I'm dying and turning in to a big spotty monster' were an Oscar winning performance for any four year old last night, nothing that a dose of Calpol couldn't sort out, but still very distressing for me, especially as I was feeling so sorry for myself!.
My poor husband finished work on Tuesday (he's an ambulance man) and has been on a bus mans holiday ever since nursing us both back to health - Bah Humbug indeed.
We have just finished watching 'Elf' on the telly so that has lifted my spirits and I'm starting to feel almost human again.
The film premier on Friday night was fab, fair makes you proud that a group of local(young) talented people have the drive to produce such excellent work. As usual the story was pretty morbid, but you could have heard a pin drop in the theatre all the way through the film. Thankfully the 'bloopers' at the end lightened every ones mood again.
The Wee Green Market was a success yesterday, and a nice way to finish off the fair year. Now I really need to get my thinking cap on for next year, and I am excited by the prospect of being able to indulge myself in my business. Who knows what next year will bring but I cant wait to start trying out new ideas.
Above is a picture of one of my knitted Christmas Trees. I still have some for sale, £7 each (+p&p). Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to buy one.
I'm off to have another Lemsip and another early night. L x
Above are some Christmas decorations I made for my first flat I bought in Edinburgh, made from some garden wire, I still like their simplicity. Bit of a cop out today I know as I have the flu and the boy has Chicken Pox - it never rains but it pours!
Woke up to a smattering of snow this morning though.
Off to the premier of 'When I grow Up' tonight at Balfron High School. It's the new film release of our increasingly talented neighbour/ Baby sitter Michael Ferns (17)
Big News:- I managed to get tickets to see Take That next June in Glasgow, my life is now complete.
Ok, so these are not knitted, but I did make them all last year at a ceramics class at Balfron High School. We've just put our Christmas Tree up, the CD has been found and I have a new Christmas jumper on (see below)- I'm feeling very festive indeed.
Am I the only mother who gets stressed out when their helpful child doesn't place the decorations as tastefully as I could? I will adjust a few when Jnr has gone to bed.
I have also added a few more things including bags into my Etsy shop so please have a look.
...are the best.Last night my sister and I went to see Simple Minds live at the ABC in Glasgow (the one with the big mirror ball). Only 1200 tickets were sold and all the money went to Cash For Kids (Radio Clyde). The concert was AMAZING. Simple Minds Live in The City of Light was the first album I ever bought from a wee record shop in Perth many moons ago. I have always loved them and to see them live for the first time at such an intimate venue was fantastic. I couldn't have asked for anything better.
It must be said though Jim Kerr does dance like your dad a wee bit.
The concert finished off a good weekend spent at the Green Gallery for their Christmas Fair. The Ladies night on Friday was a big success, and Saturday was busy however Sunday was very quiet. Those who had a stall last year did very well so I went along full of expectations, however I think this year we all struggled a bit. That's the credit crunch for you I suppose.
All money raised and proceeds from our tables is being donated to CHAS, so my Charity hat has been well tipped this weekend so I'm feeling pretty good.
My crisis now is finding my Christmas CD - another day can not pass without it!
This little heart is hand knitted first then felted.
I'm just about ready to go and set up at theGreen Gallery Christmas Fair in Buchlyvie. There is a ladies evening and tonight from 7-9pm, come along and fill out your 'Wish List' whilst enjoying a glass of bubbly. Entrance is £3 and all money raised over the weekend is donated to CHAS, including 10% of my sales.
The rest of the fair is on from 10-4pm Saturday and Sunday with a Men Only evening on Sunday night - 7-9pm, where you can send your partner along to enjoy some beer and pizza and hopefully buy all those things you put on your wish list.
There will also be raffles, home baking/ tea and coffee and lunch from Berits & Browns each day. There is a superb collection of art and gifts to choose from, so take the opportunity to come and see some unique products from talented makers. Why get stressed going into the city when you can enjoy a relaxed Christmas atmosphere locally?
My friend Val will also be selling my wares at the Killearn PTA Market on Saturday 6th December 10.30-1pm at Killearn Village Hall. Go along and ask her some obscure questions about wool - she wont thank me for it!
Sorry it's a bit late, ended up spending the day in Glasgow after visiting the Tron with Nursery to see Rudi - listened to 'The Snowman' on the bus into town this morning, looking at all the snow at Strathblane - ahhhh.
My first knitted holly leaves and berries - turned out quite well I think! The beauty of felting the leaves means I can shape them how I like and they stay in the same position once dry.
I also knitted myself a new scarf yesterday after a cold neck walking round Loch Lomond Shores.
Knitted from Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Spirit wool, with some Donegal Silk Tweed mix to the ends which gives it a bit of weight. I love the Freedom wool, it looks a bit like Fair Isle once knitted up.
I'm off to start getting organised for the Green Gallery Christmas Fair this weekend.
Some girls and I from the Wee Green Market had a mini fair at the studios of River City today which proved quite profitable for all of us.
I confess to having watched it on the telly last night for the first time and I was still none the wiser as to who most of the actors were, although I did recognise a lady that used to be in Take The High Road (much more my scene during my student years).
It was lovely meeting new people of a creative persuasion - and lots more positive feed back.
As usual I spent most of my time chatting with Caireenabout potential ways to develop business and how to stay true to your dream/ goal. It's a balance I think, and the clever thing is creating new products and ideas that I love and that people want. As the saying goes you can please most of the people all of the time, etc...
I always thought when practicing architecture that selling ideas to clients was an art. I do think that the way to a good design is to understand the client fully, from how they open a door to how they sit and drink their coffee. Little details that make up their whole, and a very intimate exercise.
So how can I use those skills when designing new products and developing my business when I don't really know who my 'client' (customer) is yet?
The feedback I've had over the past month has been amazing - I must be doing something right, however I'm sure there are lots of things I need to improve on. Blogs are a great way of getting feedback, so please keep reading and leaving your comments (all constructive criticism welcome)
Also having the opportunity to spend time with like minded and talented people helps - not many of the builders I worked with were too interested in knitting!
So today was a good day, relatively simple and understated, I've also managed to knit some more tea cosies tonight - look out for my sheep ones on the web site soon, maybe I know my customers better than I think!
Well, that's it over for this year. I've managed to survive my first big show without too many battle scars so here is how it went.....
(apologies for not very good pictures!)
The GoodWhat can I say, not so much good, more like fantastic. Obviously the icing on the cake was winning the Best Stand Award out of all those amazing exhibitors, but even better were all the lovely comments I got from visitors, exhibitors and customers.
Giving up being an architect to concentrate on My Baboo was a bit of a leap into the unknown for me, this weekend has just confirmed that I have done the right thing. The hard work starts now though as next year will really be make or break. I wont be doing a show like Country Living every month so I really have to start making the pennies to see me through the year, as I cant rely on Christmas trade alone.
I received lots of trade enquiries, although I am still unsure how to develop this. I would love the time to dedicate to building up my own customer base, and being flooded with wholesale orders may not allow me the time to do so. I'm being a bit cautious just now, but watch this space.
The Bad...Not much was bad about the show, the only real glitch being the power failure on Saturday morning which meant exhibitors and visitor had to wait in the cold till the doors opened at 11am. We stayed open for an hour longer to compensate. Well done to the organisers who managed to pacify thousands of women, tickets in hand who had been queuing since 9.30am - it's not a job I would have liked!
I also learned very quickly on Thursday that any shoes with the slightest heel were a bad idea, especially as I almost had to crawl out of the car when I got home on Thursday night as my feet were so sore.
The Ugly....The ugly is simply the people who stole a clutch bag, bunny and reindeer from me. The reindeer was stolen from the press office, and the green bunny and red bow clutch bag are the only ones of their kind out there in the big bad world, so if you have them or receive them as a present then I hope you are shamed into never being able to use them. Thanks, you made my day - not. (please don't get confused by all of you lovely people who did buy reindeer's from me!)
Ah well, you learn by your mistakes as they say. Next year is flat shoes all the way, and a keen eye for those who prefer not to pay.My mind is nearly functioning again and I'm already thinking of new designs , I'm off to get my PA to organise a press release...OK I'm really off to tidy up the garage and sort out my stock - reality bites. Last but not least the biggest thanks goes to my mum, dad and big sis for all the help they gave me before/ during and after the show - I couldn't have done it without them!
The hours are ticking away and I'm feeling quietly confident that I'll be sorted for Country Living next Thursday. I have a Christmas Fair at the BBC in Glasgow on Tuesday (sorry not open to the public) so I need to be organised for that, then its set up day at the SECC on Wednesday.
Vans are booked and I have enlisted the help of my mum, dad and sister to help me set up and man the stall. For those of you that stop by my stand I'm sure you will notice the family resemblance. My mum is already stressing over what to wear and how much shopping time she will have. You just cant get the staff these days.
I've made all that I can and have finished most things bar some bunnies and sheep, I've also lots of empty boxes waiting to be transformed into knitting kits.
I spent yesterday dashing about Central Scotland purchasing receipt books and more card for labels, and managed to fit in a quick coffee with my sis at Perth Theatre (always worth a visit).
Last night I took a few of my things along to a wee soiree at Doyles for the Balfron Nursery mums, a lovely evening, a bit of self promotion and I also managed to get a few orders too.
Which brings me to the real topic of this post. Yesterday I read Janes blog as always with interest. She is also exhibiting at Country Living albeit on a much grander scale, and has raised the issue of imported goods being sold at big 'craft' events. Have a read of her blog and the comments.
Last night I was asked if My Baboo was a franchise. Those of you who know me will know its not, it's all my own doing. I often get asked where I buy my products from and people can be quite shocked to learn I design and make everything myself.
After reading Janes blog I started to wonder why this is. Do people just assume that work of any quality has to be a massed produced product? Or are we as makers not getting the message across that there is a wealth of top quality designers on your door step, where you are guaranteed originality, attention to detail and importantly when you are handing over your hard earned cash, you are buying an item that has been made with a great deal of thought and care, and let's face it- love.
I love making everything I design, and even after having a few intensive months of knitting and sewing I haven't reached my boredom threshold for making lots of the same item. I always get a thrill and surprise when people buy things I have made and are so complimentary about them, it makes it all worth while.
So above is a picture of most of the bags I have made (minus flowers so they don't get squashed). Laying them out doesn't look like much, but I don't physically have the time to make any more, so that is my 'quality over quantity'. If I sell what I have made I will be a happy Baboo bunny.
I'm looking forward to meeting some of you next week, and feel free to ask me if I have made everything myself even if you know the answer.
sorry I've not been blogging for a while, I'm burning the candle at both ends trying to get organised for Country Living.
Ive been finishing these...
and these... and these... and these... and these... and lots more!
In between I have been ordering red paper bags, got my postcards (which look great) and running after the boy.
Don't forget there is still time to order tickets for Country Livingat the SECC 20th-23rd November. Call 0844 848 0136 and quote code CC2 for special discounted rate of £7.50 per adult (normally £11.00 on the door)
I will be at the Wee Green Market in Killearn tomorrow from 10am-1pm, hope to see you there!
It's funny how television and the media distort your perception of things, particularly when it comes to size. Why am I mentioning this? Last night my sister and I went to see Bryan Adams at the SECC in Glasgow - and he's only little! I always thought he was about 6'.
What a brilliant concert. He must have sang about fifteen songs, all the oldies (Heaven) and a few new ones. We were right at the front and could almost touch him. Ah how I love to scream like a teenager, my voice has almost recovered.
My sister and I have done well for live music this year. We still have Simple Minds to see in December at the ABC in Glasgow - only 1200 tickets so it should be lovely and intimate. I always like to see my pop idols close up.
Some other exciting news - it snowed last night at my sisters in Perthshire, so we can now officially start the countdown to Christmas without feeling too guilty.