Sunday, 30 December 2012

Show me your New Year.... your 2013....

 It is the END of an old year and the beginning of a brand SPANKING New One.
What are you going to do with yours.......?





Hell YES baby!!
I love my job but i love my hobby more...
It is the beauty of my job that allows me to be the person i want to be and live the life i want to live.
I might be fairly cash poor BUT i am body strong and soul RICH.
What will you be doing with your year......?

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Closing down the ETSY PaperFish shop...read all about it!

Sooooo What's new? Why am i closing down the sales at 
www.PaperFish.etsy.com? 
The shop will remain static and empty for a while, maybe forever?!
This is all part of my previous post - FOCUS. To pin down and focus on strong elements of my business  Questioning what works on which platforms? making PaperFish a slicker working model so that all the important parts of the machine can run more efficiently.
I do not function well or to my maximum unless i close off ideas and opportunities - that sounds crazy right? But, in my head, i see my mental focus as ME stood in the middle of a circle, surrounded by open doors.
When these doors become toooo many, i have to shut some. I cannot keep too many doors open else i become overwhelmed and un-focused. So that is what i am doing....
So.... until relevant stocks are depleted / moved to different shops / there is:
FREE UK SHIPPING on anything in the ETSY PaperFish shop only
Also INTERNATIONAL shipping is capped at £4 / $6.50 USD approx.
You cannot add items from the other shops. (We will have a huge SALE DAY at the end of February as we do every year!! where i can sell off mistake stock purchases and generally treat you all to some insanely low prices) but until further notice, take advantage for some cute little gifts for yourself or friends.
Then i can shut this shop and make my world smaalllleeerrrrr x
 I have started chatting with a fellow craft business owner and we are going to do some cross-promotion with each other... again, starting to DO the things i said i needed to do. Not waiting for 2013 / for a blue moon / for an 'opportunity'... i make my own opportunities by sharing with other people.
 BigFish Etsy news - these last 2 ribbons are available in the BigFish shop.
(Need to make some time to update the www.LovePaperFish.com shop)
The last ribbons are cute mini-reels 4metres on each. I wish all ribbon could be sold on these reels. Very handy....
Keep Calm and Craft On people!!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Run your own small Handmade / Craft Business....?

So, How's things been then... ?
I have found that, certainly the latter half of my last tax year and the beginning of this, have been my toughest in a long while. I have found that people are spending 'less' when they do shop online (with me) although my regular big customers are still shopping the same. I think it is the luxuries and the IMPULSE buys that have been hit hardest. And this makes sense - i have reacted the same as a consumer in this recession, haven't you?
 We had the HIKE in Postage prices, yeh? and that was a tough one. International went through the roof for a small online shop like mine (ours) ETSY shops will know how hard it was to put up those postage prices. But i found the UK parcel much easier to work with and could set an easy and fair lowest postal cost and could then 'reward' bigger shoppers with free postage on bigger orders.... so its been a bit up n down, hey?
WHAT can we do? when business is slower and spending is down? How do we keep going when handmade is being asked, on some levels, to compete with other online bargains? 
The answer is NOT to reduce your prices.... DO NOT undervalue / undersell your own time and design efforts. Think outside the box and make changes to your business that will help YOU make the sales you need.....
 I cannot speak for all of us or help personally, but here are some ideas to help us get through the lowest times and keep our small handmade businesses growing:
 - Define your brand. Spend time getting your product range smaller and tighter and more coherent so you know exactly what you are marketing and who to.
 - Keep up stock levels it is hard to think MAKE when sales have dipped but use this time to us up your stash, and get stock levels to a point that you are ready to SELL when the sales come.
 - Clean & Tidy & Organise your office, your stash, your stock, your book-keeping. Get on top of all the areas you neglect. I WILL be doing this in January!! be sure on that. Untidy business is untidy selling.

 - Blog / Twitter / Flickr / Pinterest...   i am guilty of neglecting online interests. strike the balance between talking about yourself, your passions, your products and ramming U down peoples throats! why not get together with a few other small business people and cross promote each other?.... these people are NOT your business rivals! They are selling different things to the SAME customer base as you. Use each other.

STAY WITH:  Original - Valued - Top Quality - Good Design - Customer Service - Personal Touches - Good Communication - Listening & Working with People.... because...
THE BIG COMPANIES cannot ever compete with that. They have low prices and speedy couriers and glossier websites and telephone (non) help. Your business has YOU!! and that is the power you have.
So use it!
 x x x

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Christmas Stock update... and apologia....

 Just incase you are bananas LIKE ME! and shop at the last minute, i am delivering you a public service announcement.
3 Packs of Caribou left for this year, plus maybe 1 each of the Limited Edition pink n white babies
*magic*
 2 gingerbread boys and 2 in the girlie colours - this is my absolute favourite range and how i decorate my little home.
 Babushka Dolls are nearly depleted and i am not sewing anymore thiiiisss year but i have plans for 2013....
(if it comes off i will be most awesome)
And lots of wreaths done and shipped.
+++ 2 Lime / 1 Gingerbread / 1 Tomte / 1 aqua n red left - that is ALL! +++
Thankyou AUSTRALIA!!! who seem to love the bright colours and bold buttons.
You win my award for biggest SnowFish shoppers for 2011 and 2012 
I love you and i love that you love my wacky sense of Christmas joy!

ALLLLLL Ribbons and Trims and FELT and Buttons are well stocked - except WHITE Felt Balls are low low low,,,,,, just giving you the info as it happens....

I promise to do better other blogging in 2013 and not just quick shop updates 
(slaps own wrist)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

pppssstttt....

This is the FULL Christmas Range:
http://SnowFish.etsy.com
Prices can be viewed in any currency
x x x 

Period Homes & Interiors CHRISTMAS 2012

 That's me... page 104 AND 105 in Period Homes Magazine....
Hellloooooooo!!!!!
How cool is that??
 Cue: Gushy speech, 
i would like to thank my family and friends, my customers, the voting public, my agent and Simon Cowell for this wonderful opportunity....
 Seriously though, it is NICE to be contacted. NICE to be asked and NICE to see myself here.
So often, working for myself, being by myself! selling Online, i wonder who sees me? Am i real at all?
I must be look... i am in Pulp!
(ps written by Katherine Sorrell, if she ever approaches YOU - work with her, she is a Gem!)

Monday, 12 November 2012

Made a quick Foxy patchwork cushion...

 I was sewing the other weekend and my daughter was at her Dads... i had missed her so much.
 So i whipped up a real quick foxy cushion simply using a stack of pre cut fabrics from the same collection then substituting a few of the squares for some foxy fabric.
Add on a few extras, of course...
 The birdy flap was to give the foxes something to chase!
And also because my girl likes to 'fiddle' with stuff when she is awake OR popping off to sleep.
Hope you approve x x x

Friday, 9 November 2012

*huh* It's in the trees... it's coming....

Searching through some old photos... i haven't had a play with the Camera for ages. I think maybe i am busy? and a bit too body conscious at the moment? i miss it. Maybe i shall go photograph some other interesting faces n bodies...?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Read some Interviews with some Crafty Stars!

It is noooooo secret that i love Lucie Summers:
She has plans to open a proper workshop studio conversion on her farmland - coooool!

I also think you guys will enjoy this:
Also the Lovely Laura Howard over at LUPIN is doing some great craft BOOK REVIEWS:
and when she does this so well, it means i can just refer you there!?
 x x x
Time to start letter writing to santa i think...

Monday, 5 November 2012

I am all about the honesty right now...

a note:
I am a person who likes to give and receive truthfulness.
I think people can handle the truth and they appreciate it.
You may even get what you want anyway, without the lying.
A good honest opinion is only helpful and refreshing, if it is ASKED FOR! and gently delivered.

I thaaaaaankK you x



Saturday, 3 November 2012

Craft Shop News...

There has to be some Shop News... it cannot be all ponderings and philosophies..
So: £7 for 20 BOW BUTTONS in http://BigFish.etsy.com limited number just because i had stack of extra in stock for these colours...
**NEW** colour spotty buttons - soft Dove Grey spotties :) hooora!
Available in 100 bags at the moment... then they will be added to the standard 130 polka dot party button bag, but i will ne-name it the 140 bag... ya see what's happening there!?
AND... a few packets of these gorgeous Polka Dot Washi Tapes are in:
www.LovePaperFish.com (Hardware Section)
in a pack of 3 just because i was using some and thought they'd make a cute stocking filler if you guys n gals wanted any.
Gotta dash, because i have done far toooo much work today.
The sooner I: get to the gym, get in the spa, get home, eat masses AND put on my slippers... the sooner i can sit in a cozy chair, watch a DVD and do some sewing.
Every day has a finally tuned plan my friends - and that is how it alllll gets achieved!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Here is my current PONDER... and some PlanB

Here is my genuine PONDER and it is currently pecking at my thoughts in a very annoying manner.
I would genuinely love your ideas and thoughts on this because you guys so often have things that i have failed to think of.

 If, like me, you are a natural 'Giver' and happily help / offer to help... in fact its second nature, impulsive, it wouldn't occur to me NOT to jump in and assist people when they ask.... then WHEN is that moment you stop and say, 'now, you are taking the piss' and you realise the giving is being taken for granted?
Do you keep on 'giving' because you believe you are actually giving for a 'higher purpose' / a loftier reason, like you will receive your rewards in heaven? or a Karmic system will reap its own circle of rewards? or it feels right for you as a person?
Because i don't feel like i give 'to receive'. i don't need to feel your gratitude, its not that sort of giving BUT i stand in my kitchen on a Sunday morning and realise i have done nothing but give this week and somehow i am feeling a little taken for granted and that might not be so good for my soul....

 - HERE is a sudden thought... maybe i am just failing to see what IS being given to me already?

*sigh* - here is a random. Anyone who cannot see that PlanB is an acoustic GOD is clearly bonkers
x x x

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

To be Wild & Perfect for a moment...

 Those of you who have dipped into my life over the past YEARS of blogging, will have noticed i have a dark side. Friends and family of mine have long known that i have a WILD streak that needs its outlet... and i don't mean i can finish a whole tub of Ben n Jerrys without a single moment of remorse (but that is also true) My dad would say "She was born angry this One"
(i like to think of myself as more 'motivated' than angry)
 Anyhow... i shall say it out loud:
i am becoming a body builder.
I have a very healthy obsession with weights - weight training - weight lifting - weight swinging about.
I don't even care so much about how it 'looks' on me.
Its pure joy.... and i don't know how many people actually 'get that'
I want a massive BOOTAY and i do NOT long for long skinny legs.
 I have had so many conversations with people over exercise and this is what i hear:
"oooh you are so good" (meaning its a chore to go training)
"i couldn't leave the house to go Zumba, i was all cosy"
"I had to drag myself out for a run"
"i hate going to class but i feel better once i've done it"
"Yeh, i used to go Zumba, i'll have to start back again..."
OR:
"you are already slim / fit why do you train so much?"
"what are you training for"
and the classic...... ready.....
"i'll never train with weights, i don't want to get big and muscley. it looks so masculine"
HEAR ME NOW SISTERS.... I Love going to the gym and it is my TREAT for working so hard the rest of my day: being a mum, a business woman, a friend, a housekeeper, a daughter.... I treat my body with hard work and good food because i deserve it.
 I am not here to lecture on what anybody else does - what you do / don't do...
Do what you do and be happy!
I love the feel of the heavy weights in my hands and on my shoulders.
I love pushing and pulling them about and feeling so strong!! like i can actually take on the world.

I don't think huge muscles look awful on a woman. I think starvation and emaciation make me feel sad for a woman - if you don't like women with muscle definition then i question whether you think women should even be allowed a vote? because if we are allowed to have a mind and a career and a vote and be admired for long skinny limbs and glossy hair then we are sure as hellfire allowed to be admired for our strength!? physical and otherwise??
My name's Kirsty and i am a BodyBuilder.
My name's Kirsty and i value strength and dedication and focus and happiness.
My name is KIRSTY and i love to Wild and Perfect for a small moment in each day x

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A whole NEW Christmas Page ^^^^ on the top bar...

 Just getting excitied because i added a new PAGE ooop the top there....
 Considering my Handmade range is pretty much entirely taken up with Christmas Decorations,
it seemed a bit crazy not to give it a whole page.
 So that is all i am saying for now...
I do have some News and some posts i intend to do about stuff you can make at home, for your home, and all that sort of exctiting Christmassy stuff xxx