Etsy coupons

I have just discovered coupon codes on Etsy, what a great new tool.  For any of you out there who would like to get 10% off anything in my shop (including sale items, yes, an extra 10%), the code is SAVE10BOMT.  You just enter the code at checkout and Etsy does the rest for you.  Super!  Happy shopping…

(Please note that this code only works in my shop, not Etsy wide.)

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What really counts

The children are excited.

Girl, 7, is well behaved on the whole.  She is singing and dancing – a lot.  And laughing hysterically – a lot.

Boy, 4, well, he’s a child on the edge.  Teetering on the tightrope between ‘if I’m really helpful and lovely Santa will bring me lots of presents’ and ‘I want them now and I’m gonna smash things until he gets here’.

Toddler, almost 2, knows something is up and has caught the excitement in much the same way she caught the vomiting bug.  She can dance more enthusiastically, sing more loudly and smash more violently than her older siblings.  Makes sense, she was the only one who projectile vomited.  (She threw up on her own face too, but that’s another story.)

Man, 37, keeps grinning at his tasteless, overdone bright Christmas decorations in the manner of a man satisfied with this work.

I have been struggling to get excited, trying to squash the stress caused by clutter, chaos and a complete lack of readiness (damn that vomiting bug – it took 4 weeks out of my schedule).

Then this morning I heard that our village post mistress had died.  The village is in shock and mourning and our hearts are with the family she leaves behind, devastated and so sad at what should be a time of joy.

I guess it’s not important that I like the decorations or that the house is a mess.  What matters is that my wildly over-excited family are here, are well, are with me.  That we will celebrate together.

With prayers and love for Doreen’s family.  We will truly miss her.

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Pay attention

I didn’t.  I obviously wasn’t paying as much attention as I should.  And I completely altered the dimensions of the bag I was sewing with one wrong measurement at the last stage of construction.

Not a complete disaster, as the bag still looks amazing and I will be able to sell it.  Unfortunately, it was a custom order for a customer who provided her own fabric (she brought it home from her holiday in India) and she wanted a specific size.  Which I changed.  Thank goodness she brought plenty of fabric and I can remake her bag.

So frustrating though.  I thought I was getting ahead of myself and clearing all my orders well before Christmas, but I see a couple of late nights in the coming week.

Not all my sewing will be orders.  There are several gifts on my to make list, including phone cases, dolly carry cots with blankets and art totes.  Photos will be posted after the big day (just in case anyone who shouldn’t know about them is looking at my blog!).  Watch this space.

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Coincidence?  I think not.  There is a direct correlation between work done and rewards received.

Inspiration and motivation

I’ve worked really hard the last couple of months, making stock, trying out new ideas, listing as much as possible (which isn’t as often as I’d like, but hey, with three children you have to take what you can get).  I have worked for too long at both ends of the day (past midnight and before 6am).  And now, I am seeing rewards.

Last month I met the sales target I set myself and this month I have exceeded it, almost doubled it, in fact.

Of course, it’s partly about making things that people want to buy; but if I don’t make ’em, I can’t sell ’em.

So, here I am, just about at the end of the Christmas shopping race, exhausted but very excited about my goals for next year.  Toddler is nearer to two years old than one and I have become very skilled at what I call ‘sneak sewing’.  Sneak sewing means your house is permanently messy (because you have everything ready to make the most of every spare minute) but the satisfaction of producing a finished item every day, that can’t be measured.

How lucky am I?  Not only do I love what I do, but I actually seem to be making money from it.

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Hurray for Etsy

I am doing the happy dance around my house because I made this elegant little bag last night*, finished the flower trim this morning**, listed it for sale on Etsy at lunchtime and sold it within half an hour.   Happy happy happy.

* when I should have been sleeping, in anticipation of Toddler deciding that 4am was a good time to get up

** as a result of getting up so ridiculously early, I had a little spare time!

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Essentials and optionals

Following Boy’s third bout of winter vomiting virus (he’s on the mend now and eating, just 24 hours illness this time), I have given myself a good talking to about what’s essential for a good Christmas and what’s just optional.  Here’s my list:


  1. A warm house with a seat for everyone
  2. Christmas decorations

    Have you seen this elf? Please call North Pole on 0845-SANTA.

  3. Happy children
  4. Enough food
  5. Some presents


  1. A tidy house (not gonna happen here, in the battle between me and the rest of the family, I am losing!)
  2. Tasteful, beautifully arranged decorations (tasteful gets one vote in this house – me – whilst grotto gets the other four; we have grotto)
  3. Clean, well dressed, helpful children (the crumpled look is in, we occasionally score on the helpful front)
  4. Delicious and artistically presented home cooked gourmet Christmas food (I think we may achieve delicious, home cooked and Christmas – I’m hoping the alcohol I serve will blur the vision sufficiently for artistic pretensions not to matter!)
  5. Ribbon tied presents for all (yeah, they’ll be wrapped, quickly and at the last minute, probably without ribbon and many missing gift tags)

How are your preparations going?

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2009, the forgotten year

Last night I finally got around to putting together my photo yearbook for 2009.  Until 2009, I’ve done them on New Year’s Eve (not a huge New Year’s Eve fan, me) but the arrival of child number 3 seems to have affected everything, including my ability to collate the photographic evidence of our lives into an attractive book.

Being a big brother is very tiring.

Anyway, last night I spent some 3 hours going through all the photos from that year on the computer, uploading them to Snapfish and arranging them attractively in the photobook.  The smalls were still up when I started and they were touchingly moved by the photos of Toddler as a newborn baby.  Boy was suddenly very affectionate towards her and fetched all her favourite toys.  Toddler herself was entranced by the ‘baba’ on the screen and babbled at length from her prime position on my knee.  Sadly, I only understood the ‘baba’ bit – I’d love to know what she was saying.

As shoulder numbingly time consuming as it was, the journey back to 2009 was fun and heartwarming, more so than if I’d actually done it at the end of the year itself.  I can see a large chunk of today being lost in revisiting all the books pre-2009, cosied up with my family and a large mug of hot chocolate (with a Christmas upgrade of cream, of course!).

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